A fleet doctrine is a a set of one or more type of ships with preset fits that are designed to compliment each other increasing the overall effectiveness of the whole fleet and its probability of winning engagements or otherwise achieving the objectives of the doctrine. The purpose of the doctrine influences the fleet composition such that each fit is designed to fulfill a specific role while ensuring a uniformity of the engagement profile. Fleet Doctrines that have been tested and proven successful in various battles or trials are adopted as official doctrines for corporations to be used in specific situations. The choice of the doctrine is typically the Fleet Commander's call, while the choice of the ship within the doctrine is typically the fleet members'.
Fleet Doctrines reduce the chance that pilots would bring any random ship they have handy and thus Kitchen Sink fleet compositions. The uniformity helps the Fleet Commander to make quick decisions and evaluate the fleet's ability to take on hostile fleet compositions. It also ensures that each ship engages at its optimal range.
To accomplish the desired uniformity all fleet members should fly their selected ships with the exact fits that are established in the doctrine. However, the natural variation in trained skills between different players can be an obstacle. To overcome this, many doctrines introduce a Standard fit and a NewBro Friendly variant to accommodate new players with lower levels of trained skills. These two extremes are used to show the progression a ship fit will take as a character progresses in skills and is able to fit better modules for that specific role. It is perfectly allowable, and in fact encouraged, to fit ships that are in between these two sample fits, and are more in line with a character's specific skills and wallet balance. Fleet members are thus encouraged to experiment with meta variants of the fit modules, however significant variations and module swapping are discouraged without the consent of the Fleet Commander.
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- Main article: Fleets 101
Each fit in a given doctrine fulfills one or more of the following specific roles:
- DD: Damage Dealer; high DPS to destroy enemy ships
- Logi: Logistics; repairs friendly ships' armour or shield and may provide capacitor boosts
- Tackle: Prevents hostile ships from warping away to ensure their destruction
- EWar: Electronic Warfare; manipulates the electronic capabilities of hostile ships making them less effective or useless
- Scouts: Move one or more systems a head of the fleet (and sometimes behind the fleet) for recon. Typically a Tackle Frigate, an Interceptor, or a Covert Ops cloaky ship
- Vanguard: A mini fleet that engages hostiles before the rest of the fleet joins the fight typically to trick the enemy in underestimating the actual fleet size and force
- Anchors: With the rest of the fleet Approaching or Keeping at Range, anchors are responsible for manually piloting their ships to maintain the fleets Optimal Range and tactical positioning. Typically DD and Logi have separate Anchors
Keeping Up with Doctrines
- Main article: Fleet-Up
Doctrines are not static, they evolve and change as necessary given that modules and ships are periodically re-balanced. Since forum posts and saved fits both in-game and in PYFA tend to get outdated and become obsolete, EVE University has adopted a third-party website, Fleet-Up, for managing doctrines and fittings, ensuring that everyone has access to updated doctrine fits. Among other benefits, this tool is particularly helpful to check if a character can fly a given fit using API's.