Picking Your Battles


[ 2008.11.12 17:09:50 ] Count MonteCarlo > Ok,, here’s a tip,,, when I pvp, I will attack ships that I “should” lose if I was to fight,, but I do it anyway,, it’s all about taking a risk
[ 2008.11.12 17:10:34 ] Count MonteCarlo > When I was younger I used to ask “Can an Incursus take on ‘x'” and the best reply I got was,, “You won’t know unless you try”
[ 2008.11.12 17:11:08 ] Count MonteCarlo > Keeping that in mind, I will quite gladly take on T2 recon ships and hacs with T1 cruiers

Last night Count Montecarlo of Genos Occidere popped into our public channel as I was prowling around in my Jaguar. He was in his Wolf and offered me a duel but I’ve been burnt too often by his superior PvP skills and I wasn’t desperately keen to lose my assault frigate with very little chance of getting a decent reward for my trouble.

After I’d declined he was saying that he learnt his PvP skills by taking risks and taking on ships against the odds to find out what he was capable of. This got me to thinking. In my early PvP days I used to do exactly that. I had more than enough funds from ratting in Stain to support a habit for taking on anything I can find in my Rifter. This meant that I got some great kills but also plenty of losses as I took on opponents I couldn’t beat. But there was nothing I was afraid to engage. Now I’ve become a pirate, though, my income stream has dried up and I try to be much more prudent about the fights that I pick. I do have a reasonably ISK reserve but I’m loathe to use it all up and instead I’m trying to invest some of it while living off the profits of my piracy. This means that I’ve become very cautious about what I engage.

While this attitude does mean that my ships tend to live longer it also means that I get far fewer kills than I used to. Now I’m starting to question this. Am I better running round in reasonably expensive ships being cautious or would it be more fun and possibly more profitable to run around in small ships and take on almost anything I see (within reason, of course). I’m starting to think that the latter is the better option, killboard ratios be damned. I’m sure I can make enough money through Allii’s trading activities to support a Rifter habit and probably make a few nice kills as well.

With the Count’s words ringing in my ears I scanned down a Hawk, Jaguar, and Condor to a Gallente military complex. All three pilots were flying for the Caldari militia so I assumed that the Gallente navy would be doing them some moderately serious damage. Keen for a challenge I warped in, loaded Republic Fleet EMP ammunition and headed straight for the Hawk. I settled into my orbit and started to hammer on his shields. The Condor ran away and the Jaguar closed in on me. Double webbed and double scrammed I relied on my afterburner to minimise the damage from rockets while I overloaded my guns and hoped to take him down before their combined forces could break my own tank.

The Hawk’s shields were dropping at the same rate as mine. This was going to be a close race. Sadly it wasn’t one that I was going to win. My shields gave out and then my armour folded pretty quickly and my lovely assault frigate exploded in a ball of green flame.

Despite the expensive loss it was definitely a fun fight. Much more fun than beating up on people who can’t defend themselves. So what should I do? Nurse the killboard and try and make sure that my kills outweigh my losses or follow the Count’s advice, saddle up a Rifter, and take on all comers?


8 Responses to “Picking Your Battles”

  1. 1 ombeve

    Screw the killboard, saddle up a Rifter and have fun. With the QR changes, Friggies are currently a bit of an unknown quantity, but they have been buffed effectively 🙂

  2. I’m possibly the one with the smallest amount of experience on the matter, but my moto is “I’m paying to have fun!” So all you have to do imo is to define what fun is for you. Are you playing to be the best or for the thrill of the fight?

  3. I admit that I sometimes wish my ratio of wins to losses was better, but I come away from every single PVP experience with a smile on my face whether I won or lost. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a huge thrill to win–especially in a close fight with an evenly-matched competitor. But it’s the fighting … the sorting through tactics, the quick decision-making, to great unknown outcome … that is the rush. So yeah…I’m a lot more free these days with throwing my ships into the fray. There may be comfort but there is no joy in taking the safe route all the time.

  4. 4 Diametrix

    It amazes me, often, how life (and games) imitate poker.

    In poker you can approach a hand (conflict) cautiously or with reckless abandon. Naked aggression can be a buffer all its own. And there is much to be said for losing the fear of the fight.

    On the other hand, choosing which pots to compete for based on risk:reward and odds contributes alot to long term profit.

    Before the poker boom of 2001-2002 the name of the game was caution, wisdom, experience. That’s what won poker.

    These days it’s often aggression and (seemingly) reckless offense that gets the edge.

    There is much to be said for both approaches in poker, internet space ships and life.

    Alot comes down to bankroll. What can you afford to lose? Will your aggressive approach to combat overcome your assets and wallet before the profits payoff?

    Nice article.


  5. I couldn’t have said it any better than Ombey; even when you’re in a faction-fitted T2 cruiser you run the risk of falling into a trap or simply being surprised by a solo target you thought you had an edge on. Don’t get rid of your high-ticket ships, but don’t feel like you can’t have a less expensive bit of fun in a T1 cruiser or frig as well!

  6. 6 Lyta Reimalken

    At the end of the day, deal with it. Much as I would like things to be otherwise, piracy doesn’t always = good fights, since as a pirate, your actually looking to construct fights where you have the upper hand. (even if its not blobbing, you bring the ships to do the job 🙂 )
    Piracy is relatively short on income unless your camping gates a la MOD, which gets old fast. Picking your fights is one way to do it, being nanoed used to be the other. 🙂

    Personally the stats i look at on killboards are isk won/loss, blowing up 50 t1 frigs and then losing your faction fit command ship should look worse on a killboard than it does 🙂

    The way I play it is to have loads of ships, and a healthy number of those are t2 fitted rifters, ruptures, stabbers and the like. Stuff that I can go get exploded and laugh about, ill bring a faction cruiser or my scimitar out too if Ive got a few friends or am feeling brave, but its never my ‘only option’.

    I ‘need’ my pvp fix now and then, and the odds arent always in my favour, so rather than go splurging my t2 gubbins over some lame gatecamp, I prefer to have a rupture i can go get my fix in, and if it pops, so be it.

  7. 7 Burn Mac

    I guess they are two different ways of flying but hey if you do a 20% of win engagement and that win will replace the loss for 5 losses your even in the long run.

    Besides as a pirate you will have to seperate flying looking for fun fights and flying looking for lucrative fights. Hell im not looking for an even fight when i go out and try to probe missioners im trying to get that faction fitted noob ffs.

  1. 1 Think Different « Wensley: The Pirate Diaries

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