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Fair Fight
Friend of mine told me a story the other day. He's a 5 year player, capital pilot, multiple accounts, with in game wealth and over 4000 combat wins across his many characters.

He was FCing a small gang of three ships hunting in null sec. He was in a Vagabond supported by two Hurricanes. After jumping through several empty systems, they entered a side system with 1 in local. The fleet split up and warped to different belts to see if they could find the neutral, and my friend found a Drake on scan. He narrowed it down to a belt close to him and prepared to warp to the belt at zero. He quickly checked the pilot's age, only three months old. Not wanting to take advantage of the pilot's youth, he told his fleet mates to meet him on the gate and hold off in case the Drake's friends came to help, or tried to escape.

He tackled the Drake, and found him recovering his shields from battling with rats. He paused before opening fire, and told the Drake pilot in local that he would wait until the shields recovered before activating his weapons. The Drake pilot didn't wait: he engaged my friend with missiles and drones. After letting his shields drop a bit, my friend activated his weapons. The Drake took him into armor, but ultimately my friend took his ship and let the pilot escape with his capsule. "Good Fights" were exchanged in local. My friend thanked him for the fight, looted the wreck and donated enough money to the Drake pilot to compensate his loss.

There are some who might think that a solo fight between an experienced Vagabond pilot and an inexperienced Drake pilot would be a bit one sided, but my friend is a very honorable solo pilot. Before he engaged the Drake, he turned off his Damage Control, and put one of his guns and a gyrostabilizer off-line to ensure that the Drake pilot got the fairest fight possible.

My friend says that the truly fair fights are hard to find in Eve. If possible, you should only engage ships or fleets of equal or superior strength. If necessary, you should reduce the effectiveness of your ship and fit in order to provide a level playing ground for fair competition between pilots. You should not engage a ship or fleet unless the odds are even, or you are the underdog. You should not engage pilots with significantly less in game experience but if you do, he recommends you adjust your fit to give the other guy a fair fight. He never uses EWAR or ECM because game mechanics that reduce the effectiveness of another pilot's ship take away from the fun of the 'good and fair' fight.

Of course, the above story is only a story. It's a fabrication: A fairy tale of a fantasy Eve, where people fight fair and follow some wacked out internet spaceship code of bushido. Where there are rules of conduct, regulation and sportsmanship that all players follow.

There are some people who think that that's the game we're playing, but I hate to to be the bearer of bad news here:

That's not Eve.

There is no tournament format for everyday Eve pilots. There are no rules for how many points each fleet can bring. There is no boundary that disqualifies you if you fly or warp out. There is no common code of conduct or E-Honor, that precludes a T2 heavy assault ship pilot from hunting T1 frigates. There's no arena that keeps anyone from jumping in and spoiling an otherwise fair fight. There are no regulations which prevent a PvE Drake from being ganked by a gang of HACs and BC's. Even in fight clubs like RvB, where they regulate ship classes and outright ban ECM, it's not reality.

The fact of the matter is, people up-ship, people blob, veterans prey on newbies, miners and missioners are hunted in the safety of high sec, and no one ever deliberately gimps their ship to give the other guy a chance.

Why so? Simply put, People like winning. Winning is what motivates most of us to play any game. We all have a goal that defines how each of us plays the game. For most of us playing the PvP game, winning is getting the kill. For some, winning can be taking the loss, but getting the kill. Suicide ganking is an example, but hero tackling something expensive so that your gang can take it down is another. For others, winning is simply preventing the loss. And from a strategic point of view, winning doesn't require combat at all.

Winning is achieving whatever goal you set, large or small, and thwarting the attempts made by others to stop you. That's one of the things that OUCH teaches with it's "Kill more, die less" philosophy.

Fair fight? No such thing.

It can be very frustrating when you think about it. You can understand your own motivations, but if you make the assumption that the other guy is similarly motivated, then when they do something you consider wrong and make a bad play, you just won't understand.

It may bother you. Don't let it. Just play your game. Play hard. Win.
Fly Safe or Fly Dangerous, Just Don't Fly Stupid.
Eve Killboard - East US TZ
In the business of maintaining the high cost of implants since 2009.

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