I was having a discussion with someone who PvPs in a very different style then I do. A very different style. A few days I wrote about a disconnect with someone else and one of the reasons for the disconnect is the vastly different ways that we commit spaceship violence.
For some, non-consensual spaceship touching is all the same. Violations happen. Spaceships cower in their hangers, pods are scorched from the energies that ejected them from the void, etc etc etc.
The conversation was about how the two of us happened to find our PvP. The other person did high sec war decs. That developed from a third party who had recently dealt with high sec war decers and felt frustrated by the situation. The high sec war dec PvPr of course suggest that they undock and enjoy the fight. The person who was dealing with the war decs did not find the fight appealing.
In this conversation you had three people with three different ideas about PvP. Each idea is valid. No idea was incorrect. Each person had their own interests. Yet, for all the similarities there was a lot of disconnect about why each person was PvPing as they were.
My question to the high sec wardecer was "If you are looking for a fight why are you looking for it with people who only wish to avoid you?" In my flavor of PvP some people want to fight and some do not but you go looking for it and try to make it happen. Sometimes the fight is about convincing people that it is safe enough to fight you with baiting or behaviors. However, finding people who do not want to fight at all rarely brings any pewpew and seems to be an ineffective way to find PvP.
For them, the imbalances of low sec were a harsh demotivator and they preferred the hunt and chase of the high sec person. Some might fight back some might try to run. It was more a predator and prey approach and one that gave them satisfaction.
It is hard at this point to separate personal preference and opinion from the situation. Everything is not neatly categorized and variations occur at each level and things overlap.
I've taken to asking people "How" do you want to PvP. I've learned that many people have ideas of what they want to do. They want to stop pirates or engage in null sec battles. Some people want to be the lone hunter in the darkness and others want to know if they can fund their game through blowing up other peoples spaceships. Some just want to learn to defend themselves and some just want to have fun. What one visualizes PvP may and probably will change with time and experience. However, how one enters PvP can be more successful and productive if what is wanted is focused upon.
What I personally attempt to do is not apply a value of right and wrong to how people decide to PvP. This includes myself. Do I shy away from types of PvP because I feel that they are wrong in some way?
Eve has 4 'zones' one could say (in my opinion at least).
High Security Space
Low Security Space
0.0 or Null Security Space
Approaching PewPew PvP in each is different. Due to the rules of the game how, when, where and why you PvP comes into play.
----NBSI (Not Blue Shoot It)
----NRDS (Not Read Don't Shoot)
----NPC Null (unclaimable nullsec)
----Sov Null (claimable nullsec)
And of course it gets more complex. Null Sec space has the big groups that make the big waves through the game. They form alliances and then the alliances form coalitions. The coalitions are pacts between the alliances without in game support such as enrolling in a corp and the corp enrolls in an alliance. The support is player made. Intelligence channels, alliance and corporation standings, and whatever diplomatic decisions are made such as moon resource usage.
You have CVA, a group that runs a Role Play version of null security space where anyone can come and play.
In Low Sec you have groups like my own. We are NBSI. Some groups never go blue with anyone so that they are shoot errything. There are several NRDS groups that abound. Many of them fly under the banner of anti-pirates. Then many never fly in low security space because we have to deal with gate guns, station guns, and security status drops for shooting other players. In null security space there are no gateguns, station guns, or security standing loses but there are things like warp bubbles to trap people.
Or, you have sov null, a place that many grumble is too safe. Cyno jammers are placed to stop things like hot drops. The systems have people watching and Intel moves faster than light to help people avoid the hunters. There are people there that only engage in battle to defend or support their space. They do not go hunting for PvP for fun, they have other things to do.
Wormholes are the badlands. With a delayed local channel you only know someone is there if you see them on dscan or they speak. This leads to a lot of paranoia and sudden incidents. They also have mass restrictions which stop super capitals from joining into the fray and don't allow a 5 thousand man fleet to jump in and assist.
Or you have high sec, the place where I believe PvP is the most turbulent. In low sec, wormholes and null sec there is a very basic understanding that you can shoot at everyone. There are consequences sure, but you can shoot at everyone and its okay. The various people may like their type of space more for whatever reason but all of them have that one thing in common.
Then there is high security space. I've mentioned before that I don't pewpew in High Sec. It is not because I have a problem with it it is a lack of interest in that type of fighting. I am sure that my curiosity will catch up to me and I will venture forth and find out what it is like to deal with high security space mechanics.
High security space, while it allows nonconcesnual spaceship violence carries many more rules and restrictions for the PvP pilot.
First, there is CONCORD. Concord comes and kills people who break the rules in high sec and shoot people they are not allowed to shoot. There are several people you may shoot in high sec.
----Someone you have kill rights on
----Someone who has GCC (Global Criminal Countdown)
----Someone that has stolen from you
----Someone with a criminal (-5) security status
All of these things are much more complex then 'everyone' and it creates a vast list of ways people PvP.
Some people like to PvP under war declarations. It means that they are relatively safe from being shot except by the people that they chose to war dec. The people being war deced don't have a choice as to who issued the war dec. Sometimes it is a 2 person group and sometimes it is a 20 person group. This leads to one of the largest pools of tears in the game. War dec griefing. Many people use the war declaration system as a way to get targets in high sec. To assist the people who are war deced, CCP added an ally system where another corporation or alliance can come to your aid and also shoot the people who have declared the war dec on you. Think mercenaries.
And I can't forget the institute that is RvB. Red is at war with Blue. The entire point is casual PvP in high security space for lulz.
Let us not pass by the suicide gankers. I believe they have an almost even pool with the war dec people but ever so slightly smaller do to the resounding beatings with the nerf bat that they have received. Suicide gankers accept that their PvP will include ship loss. Many do it for profit, some do it for fun. Many people ask for it to be removed. But removing it will remove one of the best features in Eve. The ability to get back at someone for something they have done. It may be ganking botters or ganking that jerk you dealt with a few systems over. Eve has given its players the right to smack other players.
Criminals are shot by concord, chased by the faction police and shootable by players. There are a few people that sit on high sec to low/null gates and pop the criminal pods that enter high sec. A lot of people have bounties and its an interesting way to make ISK if you can catch them.
And the can flippers. Can flipping may be consensual in the case of 1v1s in the trade hubs or they may be non-consensual such as those that can flip miners or mission runners in an attempt to create an aggression flag in the favor.
Of course there are more. Also, you can mix and match to your heart's content. For instance, Faction Warfare people are at war with their opposing faction without them issuing a war dec due to the faction warfare side that they chose.
Then you take all of it and you shake it up with a healthy dose of ego, opinion and personal taste. One group looks down on another, a third things the fourth wastes time, someone is curled up in their wormhole ready to defend their system from anyone that enters. All of these things are different flavors of the very simple idea of PewPew Player vs Player.