The GSF Ace Controversy
On my servers, as with many others, there is a GSF channel. To join, just type /cjoin GSF. In this channel, I see people get super serious about the term ‘ace’. I’ve literally seen someone begging in the channel to be called an Ace. I’ve also seen Aces go completely unnoticed. Then I’ve seen self-proclaimed Aces get their feelings hurt when they fly against real Aces. Of course i’m using the term Ace from my own meaning. So what exactly is an Ace? In the modern world definition, a flying ace is someone with 5 confirmed kills. That’s of course not going to apply here. So I did a little stat digging, because I love stats, and have tried to explain what I think defines an Ace in Galactic Starfighter. I’ve also posted my own overall stats below, and the ships I play most along the way. That way you can decide whether you agree, or disagree with my definition of Ace.
You Are Better Than Your Stats
Before I go on, I want to point out something. Your stats are wrong. Stats are the big picture, but not the whole picture. You did much better in your last ten games than you did in your first ten games. Your stats still lump all those games together. Even though today your performance is substantially better, your stats will tell a different story. For a while, anyway. Until your rookie games become the minority of your total games, they are going to drag you down. Don’t be discouraged. Even a tiny fraction of a move up in your stats means a HUGE performance boost on your part. So hang in there. Those small changes mean a lot more than you think.
Case in point, my Flashfire. I flailed around in my Flashfire my entire rookie pilot career. It was Corellian made, my smuggler was a Corellian, so I was in love. Then I noticed everyone was flying the Flashfire, and I like to be a special snowflake. Then I started a new character on another server, and my love affair with the Pike was born. If you look at my stats below, they’re not as good as my other ships. Why? Because I was new. I was flying wrong, I was building wrong – I was just all wrong when it came to the Flashfire. After I found the Pike, then the Clarion, then got a bug to master all the ships, I kinda left it in the dust. I’ve maybe played 20 games in the Flashfire since February 2014.
What Makes An Ace
Kills. I think the five kills bit is a good starting point for defining an Ace in GSF. The essence of that meaning is that a pilot has shot down 5 other pilots, and lived to tell the tale. So regularly surviving 5 engagements in GSF is a good starting point for an Ace. A 5 to 1 kill/death ratio determines that pretty easily. Kills, after all, are the most important aspect of GSF. You could make an argument for the value of assists I think. They aren’t all born starship killers. It’s hard to quantify the value of a support ship. I don’t have any ideas on good ways of measuring support role ships. If you’ve got an idea, or an opinion, throw it in the comments below. After all, there are definitely some Ace wingmen out there who deserve recognition. And they don’t all fly support ships either.
Versatility. You can be an Ace without a 5 to 1 kill/death ratio in every ship, but an Ace can fly multiple ships and still maintain that ratio across those ships. Why multiple ships? What if you see the enemy team start with 3 gunships in a TDM? Or what about 3 bombers in a DOM match? Are you going to let your team start with none, or pick up the slack noone else can? I’ve seen some people fly with one ship on their bar. That’s fine if you can carry a team with that ship, but that’s very rare. An Ace should be able to fulfill multiple roles competently.
Victory. You just don’t see an ace losing all the time. It’s hard to tell what the average win rate is for GSF. Still, an Ace should be able to carry their team in some capacity. That would put your win ratio well north of the halfway line. I’d say a win ratio around 67% is about right. Everyone loses games. Sometimes you play bad, sometimes it’s your teammates, and sometimes it’s just bad luck. Winning 2 out of every 3 games isn’t luck though.
Aces Never Quit
An Ace is always flying to keep their skills sharp. It’s easy to get rusty if you take a few weeks off. Aces don’t rage after a loss. They evaluate the reason for the loss, and decide how they can improve their own performance next time. They don’t blame everyone else on the team except themselves for the loss. A true Ace can see exactly why the team lost, and knows whether it was even worth getting upset about. An Ace gets kills, in multiple ship roles, and leads their team to victory. Galactic Starfighter needs more Aces. Are you one?
Do you agree with my definition of Ace? If not, what are your criteria for an Ace?