Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Cataloging Pewpew

Ender praised us at our corporation meeting for being good last year in our efforts towards non consensual spaceship violence.  We killed a lot of things and had a good year.  He was also talking like he lived on the streets of compton.  It was interesting.

·         We destroyed 2,818 things
·         We Lost 515 things
·         We Destroyed 364 billion ISK
·         We lost 72 billion ISK
·         Lowest Month's ISK Efficiency 75.31%
·         Highest Month's ISK Efficiency 96.58%

As a small group we're pleased with this.  But, I was pointing out to someone that kill board stats don't mean everything.  For some this is a lot for others it is one large null sec battle.  Each group and person must be looked at to summarize the meaning of their kills.  Individual kills must be looked at to see what they are and what is happening.  Kill reports are something that one learns to read and like any good report they contain a lot of valuable information for the reader.

One of the things that gives Eve's PvP a lot of meaning is the third party kill boards.  Kill boards can be public or private.  There are a few major public boards (eve killbattleclinic, zkillboard).  Along with that, most serious corporations and alliances have their own personal boards that they maintain.  CCP does not maintain a kill board for Eve.  Many people have requested it and many people have been against it.


Every time someone is killed in Eve, it generates what we call a 'kill mail'.  It used to be that a mail was sent to the parties.  This was changed at some point in the pre-Sugar past of Eve to a report put under the combat section of your Character Sheet.  Then CCP made them pretty and turned them into "kill reports".  Kill mail is still the commonly used term.  You receive these for NPCs and for Player generated kills.

Kill mails/reports are linked to your character   Through the use of the API key, kill boards can extract all of a players kills.  This means that even if you do not have yourself linked to any kill board if your killer does the kill will be posted to a board.  If neither party is linked to a kill board then the kills inks into the dark murky waters of the unknown.  You only receive the kill mail/report if you have the final blow on the spaceship.  However, your participation is still documented on the actual report.  Your corporation also keeps a log of all kills and loses both to players and NPCs.  It was recently changed that people can look into their corporation's kill logs to see what is going on with others.

Publicizing kills is a big thing in Eve.  The kill is linked to an API verification and the API pulls information from CCP.  An API verified kill is important.  A kill mail in its raw state is an easily edited document.  This leads to some fantastic lies on the kill boards.

 The side effect of publishing your success is publishing your failure as well.  Yet, even using failure and success is wrong.  Kill boards are more than 'win' and 'lose' because PvP is more than 'win' and 'lose' in Eve.  A single ship may go down in an entire heated long battle and that singular ships destruction does not explain the entire events of what happened during the fight.  Also, if multiple corporations are involved one needs to look at all corporation kill boards that participated or hope that they all submit personal or corporation API keys to the major public kill boards.  For example.  The other day I was out in a fleet with 7-2.  I killed a Slasher by myself.  That kill will not show on 7-2's kill board because no member of 7-2 shot that ship. It will show on Eve-Kill's kill board battle report because both 7-2 and THC2 submit kill board API keys to eve kill.  This is another reason why alliances have alliance kill boards.

I've been told that I write battle reports. I guess I do.  What I am really trying to write are situational reports that catalog my involvement in the fight as well as the other details that go into the battle and what did or did not happen.  I don't write fantastic overviews with intense breakdowns of each side. Instead, I like to go over what actually happens.  Point out the importance of logistics ships when it comes to the balance of a fight.  Someone was telling me that I have very good stats.  I do, sure, but I also fly in fleets a lot which means you would need to gauge my effectiveness differently then someone who flies solo or in a 100 person group.  Similarly, what I am flying is often going to dictate where I will fall in the order of what to kill first.  

For all the details that they give, kill boards lack many points that would prove invaluable tools to understanding an engagement.  We have begged CCP to put logistic ships onto the kill board for years.  Hopefully, they will, one day, hopefully.  A kill can look ridiculous when viewed as the kill mail reports because the two guardians that were repping the ship that did the killing do not show on the kill mail.  Off grid boosters do not show as well.  

And base numbers cannot be looked at alone.  When looking at corporation and player statics on a kill mail there is a section to show you what is actually dying.


Go back through the months.  See what is going on.  Is the player killing lots of rookie ships?  I have several on the attached list of my combat log do to killing cyno rookie ships.  My ISK efficiency is high.  I tend to fly in fleets.  I do get on capital kills.  Flip through individual kills to see who they are flying with and the size of their fleets.  Are there 7 ships on a kill?  77?  177?

I am not saying judge. I am saying look.  Nothing is wrong with flying in a group of 177.  It just gives you a gauge to work with when assessing someone.  Fleet sizes come with different requirements and abilities.  Small gang fighting is vastly different from large gang and fleet warfare.

Activity levels are noticeable as well.  I'm happy with having kills each month.  It shows that I am active and out, each month seeking PvP.  I average around 20-30 a month.  For a low sec pirate that has other activities and likes to fleet for their kills I find that a reasonable number.  For someone that only solo fights they may have more or less depending on the groups they engage.  If someone says they do roams into low sec and null sec for PvP make sure to look for activity   If they have 1 kill and 2 loses and month's with zero kill/loss activity know that you are not going to get into tons of roams with them.  I do admit that I have called more then one person out when they brag about their PvP efforts and I can not find any killboard history linking them.  Then "its my alt".  It is always the alternate character in those situations, somehow.  

If I were to have a month (like I have had) with almost 100 kills that month should be looked at if every other month I have 20 or 30.  Upon looking at that month the person would see that I had POS shoots which increased the number of kills I was on.  My average number of spaceship kills was the same.

It is to easy to focuses on loses as an immediate proof of someone being bad.  When people break out and start to solo or when they are corpless or when they are just learning or whatever they are often going to have many loses.  Instead of judging them on numbers look at what they are doing.  Are they learning to solo fight?  Is there a falcon on every kill they die on?  Are they dying in a poorly fit battleship?  Are they dying in a well fit frigate or cruiser?  Learning often means loss for a while.  We don't enter Eve a fully formed machine of amazing pewpew.

I hate how kill board stats being green (positive) put so much pressure on people not to succeed.  At some point someone has to be forgiven for the loss they will incur while learning.  It is going to happen.  The fear of having a loss on the kill board leads to terrible habits.  Terrible habits breed bad fights.  Then local is full of smack talking because of falcon/logistics/links for people who are going solo.

Don't fear loss.  It is a repetitive argument in Eve but one that has to be repeated   Loss is inherently bad.  Loss in Eve hurts because we worked for what we have and now we no longer have it.  Eve punishes the player for a Loss.  See why they lost.  Talk to them about it.  Figure out if it is stupidity or learning.  They can become badasses later down the road and even then they will lose.  Eve promises that.

And then there is the intel.  Who someone flies with is always useful to know.  What they fly, what fits they fly and all sorts of juciy information is avliable.  One reason people used to self destruct was to hide their fits from the kill mails (or so it is said)

1 comment:

  1. Other than intel, I don't really see kill mails - and all the associated stats (isk efficiency, etc) - as being any kind of indicator at all. I could fly logi all the time and never show up on a kill mail, for example (and those that want logi to have a gun so they can get on KMs are mising the point of logi), or like you point out, Sugar, I could get on 50-60 a month because I fly in fleets. Does it mean I'm good? Nope. It isn't even a reasonable indicator of activity (see my logi comment).

    I dislike corps and alliances that have kill mail requirements and adore the ones who don't care.

    I'd love to see kill mails go the way of the dodo.

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