Getting Engagements

 

On an ideal night, I'm out for blood and pod goo, but I'm finding the longer I play the less people want to fight me. Sure, the guys in pimped out faction frigs are always happy to drop in on a t1 frig, but I sure do like to get a fair fight out of an unsuspecting pilot. I've started to need to either force fights, or trick people into fighting me. Here are some ways I accomplish this.

Be Engagable. So much goes into being seen as an easy target, but really the biggest one is going to be what ship you are in. Go too hard, and you will certainly deny yourself content, or at the least be forced to punch above your weight. In my mind, unless you are out for some particular purpose, faction ships (frigates especially) have little place in the current solo or even small gang meta, especially if you are chasing the proverbial gudfight. There are certainly exceptions to that, for example if you are sending a tackle scout ahead to tie down targets, or if you are cloaky astero's, but as a rule most pilots are going to run from your dramiel or worm. You may think them cowardly, but any pilot will tell you life is not death. It's on you to bring at least the appearance of a fair fight to your opponent.

Try and look as little like a threat as possible. The best way to do this is to keep your security status in the positive. For the active pirate type individual, this can be tough. Security tags are expensive, and actually the only thing I farm for in Eve, but they also are usually much more affordable at trade hubs than at concord stations. You can help yourself afford them by overbuying and then reselling the excess at a higher price. If you have the inclination to ratting, you can avoid this cost all together with a little belt ratting. In lowsec, you can help your sec status a lot by refraining from shooting pods, or from camping gates. Someday CCP is going to do away with faction hits inside plexes I feel it, but for now, appearing to be the upstanding individual will go a long way toward being ostensibly invisible. As far as many other pilots are concerned, you are just another cog in the logistics of the universe, and nothing to worry about.

Strive to outsmart your opponent and use his assumptions against him. A great way to get a good fight is the classic bait and switch. This strategy is applicable in many aspects of eve, but works especially well in factional warfare space. When I am out looking for a fight in a t1 frigate or cruiser, I will look for a system with a low level farmer, and do my best to impersonate him. Ideally the farmer will be docked, or in a ship that is not self named, and I simply rename my ship's name to the default '[character]'s Tristan'. Naming your ship after a module or distinguishing feature also works great, but make sure it is the opposite of what your ship is actually equipped with. For example, I would name my close quarters tristan 'Acolyte I' because it would be assumed I was a kite fit newer player. Can't find a pilot to impersonate? Try offering one a quick 10mil to park in station and go walk his dog, it works every time. You find people will rush to die under your guns. They will be convinced you are going to run, and will be focused on chasing you over fighting you. This gives you a huge advantage.

Make connections through combat. At the end of the day, it can sometimes be hard to remember that we are all wearing Eve t-shirts. The salt flows through local, and the anger and hate is often real. I try and remember, if I ran into any of you in a social setting, and we discovered we both played Eve, we would be instantly best friends. I recently discovered the checker at my local grocery store plays Eve, and I now wait in his line no matter how long the line is, and the people behind me look on in confusion as we sketch ship fits on receipts. Talk to your opponent after your fight! Be friendly and approachable! Talk about how close it was and share fits.

So often we wander alone through Eve, taking what we feel is important from our content and our gudfights, but disregarding the faces on the other side of the screen. Do not let your epeen shine so hard that you deprive yourself of one of the fundamental features of Eve, community. Many times, when wondering about a certain corp I was thinking about joining, or a new area of space I was thinking about flying around in, I would take a stack of nothing special ships out and just fight for a few days with the locals. You can tell a lot about people by fighting them. Do they come to fight you fairly? Are they brave? Do they take losses? Are they active in your timezone? I've had great evenings where one at a time, I would fight everyone in a small corp who was online. I would win some and lose some, but at the end of it I had a bunch of new friends and had found a memorable way to meet them. Everyone loves content, but that doesn't all have to come with explosions and fire.

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