The Value of Red

Plus one.

I saw a post on Taking Wing that I started to comment on, but you know what happens?

mhizzing said:

I am a believer that the active killboard speaks volumes more than a green one. If it is active and green, that’s great. But if I am looking at a killboard and I do not see any losses whatsoever, I can only assume that 1) you are better at PvP than anyone I have ever known or seen in New Eden, or 2) you’re sticking to combat within a comfort zone.

In light of this, I find it extremely… shallow, to use the killboard as any serious measure of performance. I still do it even though I write these words, though. Once again it’s hard to give up something that is so simple to compare with.

Kills and losses are a sign of activity, that is all. I commented once on Jester’s Trek that if a pilot was really all about going out and getting a good fight, they’d have an efficiency of about 50 percent.

This makes Brave Newbies some of the few honest people in Eve.

Sometimes you’ll win and sometimes you’ll lose. Sometimes you’d find someone better than you, sometimes you’d find someone worse.  Sometimes you’d get ganked by a gang, sometimes you’re part of the blob.

Sometimes they are exactly as good as you and it’s a coin flip on who wins.

High efficiency comes with choosing your fights, which is what all players end up doing over time.  If you don’t want to lose your ship everyday, you learn to mitigate risk.  You fight in gangs or fleets, use EWAR and logisitics, fight in durable, high performance ships, use various tactics to fight from a position of strength. It’s inevitable.

We learn to fight from a comfort zone because winning is more fun than losing.

In Open University of Celestial Hardship, red on the killboard is not frowned upon so long as pilots and fleet commanders get training value from the losses.  If someone posts a string of solo frigate losses, we’ll end up pulling that string to figure out what that pilot is trying to do and help them get past the problem. We post an After Action Report and debrief every engagement that goes bad. We collectively strive to be better pilots by learning from each others mistakes.  We’re extremely efficient.

Kill more, die less.

The value on the killboard is not the kills, it’s the losses.  But only if you value the loss. If you don’t care about the loss, if you discount it, if you don’t talk to someone about it, don’t analyze it, then you’re probably not going to learn from it.

Minus one.

Ugly Duckling

Plus one.

I’ve got, shall we say, an idiosyncrasy.   I very rarely fly “the best ship” in a given situation.  When the Rifter was King of Frigates, I flew a Merlin.

Dual weapon systems and all.

Case and point, before the cruiser rebalance, I flew Stabbers instead of Ruptures.  Don’t mistake me, as a small gang damage dealer, the Rupture was superior.  Higher DPS.  More Drones.  Better tank.  But the Stabber was fast, and I flew it like a big Rifter in a heavy tackler role.

To be honest, I just liked the Stabber. The Rupture never appealed to me.

So I’ll admit that there’s a part of me that chooses a ship based totally on how it looks.  Offer me a Maller or an Omen and I’ll take the Omen almost every time.


Not quite the ugliest ship the Caldari built, the Osprey and old Moa were both worse.  But there is nothing pretty about the Blackbird hull.  It’s just a ship.  Nothing to write home about.  The Blackbird, Rook and Falcon  are ships flown purely for their utility.

Well, as a Falcon pilot, you should be pleased that the hull is getting a face lift with Rhea.

You would think so.


I think I like the old one better.

Minus one.


Plus one.

A couple of weeks ago, on a Thursday, I checked the forum and noticed that one of the instructors was kind enough to post a warning: OUCH had been wardec’d. Marmite Collective. I checked the calender. Sure enough, it’s been about a year. We had less than 24 hours before the war commenced.

I sprang into action.

I don’t recall you doing anything special.

Yeah, you’re right. I chilled.

A few hours later, I checked the forum. Jak had initiated our war plans. He posted a warning to the corp on the forum and when I got in game, I found that he had sent our a warning Eve mail. He even put a warning in our corp chat MoTD, with a link to the Forum.

Put your mission boats and mining barges up, treat high sec as null sec until further notice. Don’t make yourself a target.

Now, last year, we put away the Mackinaws and got in our Rifters, scouted out the bad guys, figured what they were doing, where they were hunting. Then we told everyone that they could go back to their regularly scheduled activities so long as they avoided the systems where they would end up on the killboards.

Pretty simple. I believe one student lost a mining barge.

So imagine my surprise when 8 hours into the wardec, one of the students says in corp chat, What the hell, we’re wardec’d? I just lost my freighter.

Are you effing kidding me?

That’s what I said. Before he could reply, MT kicked him from corp. I took a deep breath and remarked to my corpmates that I just don’t understand.

Communications is key. Everyone in the corp gets the initial CONCORD notification. They get the commencement notification from CONCORD, too. We send out a corpmail, post on the forum, warn in the message of the day. We can do everything right and still someone will not read the memo.

Then Syko pipes up. He says, That guy was online when Jak passed the word. He knew what was going on.

What you talking about, Willis?

My corpmate informs me that our young freighter pilot was online, in Teamspeak with our Director of Operations earlier in the day. He was told not to fly anything bigger than a frigate during the wardec. He was told not to fly along the major trade routes trying to get blown up. He was told to make the wardec worthless.

He asked questions. He received answers. Training was conducted.

And less than 24 hours later, he innocently lost a 1.4 billion ISK freighter between Jita and wherever he thought was a safe place to park.

You know, sometimes people give you advice that they are just not qualified to give. Priests give marriage advice. Bartenders give stock tips. Gamers tell you how to pick up women.

Truth is, we take bad advice all the time.

But good advice?

Yeah. We slap that away like Lebron blocks shots.

Minus one.