Seeds of Conflict

There are a lot of different ways to participate in PvP in EVE Online. Dependent on the sector of space you’re living in, you need to adjust your style and be cognizant of the rules of space you are currently in. For players living in null-sec space, conflict is never further than your desire to engage a target. In contrast, in high-sec space, there are rules to engagement, and similarly, enforcement of said rules. The enforcers are known as CONCORD. The sectors of space that CONCORD technically protects are 1.0 down to 0.1. However once a player goes below 0.5 space, no CONCORD patrols will come to kill aggressors, and their presence is found only in the nature of sentry guns around some stations and stargates. Additionally, aggression in ANY sector of space from 1.0 to 0.1 will result in a negative impact to your security status, which affects your ability to travel in hi-sec space without getting popped by the police.

Because of this reality in high-sec space, the only safe way to kill someone is if they get flagged for it. There are a couple of ways to make this happen. The easiest, most blanket way to get aggression rights on another player is to be at war with their corporation. This means that you can attack them wherever you see them, without concern or worry of the po-po stepping in. However, war-dec’ing another corporation costs money per week, and the CEO (guildleader) or the corporation (guild) of players is made aware of it 24 hours before conflicts can legally ensue. So, aggression and conflict can be had at any point, anywhere, but there is very little element of surprise.

The second way, is to somehow trick a person into getting flagged to attack you. Essentially, you have to play as an underhanded, sneaky, dastardly bastard to make this happen. There is no honor, or chivalry in this, it is purely about getting a kill, and is widely accepted behavior by players of EVE (which is something I really enjoy about the game). However, these ways don’t always work, and in some cases can be extremely boring to do. One of the most direct, but also least successful, methods, is to target lock another ship, which alerts the other player what is happening. This can cause new players, or inexperienced care-bears to return lock and start opening fire – giving you the freedom to respond with what should be much deadlier force.

Another common trick is to fly between asteroid belts where a player has been killing pirates, an activity known as ‘ratting’, and to salvage the wrecks of their kills. It’s best to do this when they are sitting in the belt and can see you doing this. In EVE, it is illegal to take items from another players kill, except under specific circumstances, but it is NOT illegal to salvage the wreck of their kill. Novice players may not realize this distinction, and either by being angry or under a false-belief of freedom, open fire on the salvager. This lets you (hopefully) fly away to a station where your combat ship is stashed, and then come back and extract sweet vengeance on the foolish noob. This method is about equally effective as the first in my experience, but it at least is more active and if you are unlucky, you may make some extra cash out of your efforts, so your time isn’t completely wasted.

A third, and, very common tactic, is called “seeding”. This is probably one of least fun methods for me, but it’s also pretty effective. The plan, is to fly between various asteroid belts ratting, and leaving the wrecks behind. Full of their phat lewts, enticing a player to put their grubby claws over the irresistible contents. If you’ll remember from the previous paragraph, theft is illegal in EVE, and gives the “owner” of the loot the right to attack the other player. So, as you fly from belt to belt, leaving behind seeds of potential conflict, you keep your eye on the local chat window, to see if any names appear with a red-skull-square. If that happens, you know someone took the bait, and all that remains is tracking them down to take the hand of the dirty thief.

There are a lot of different ways to engage in PvP combat in EVE, and it’s a completely different approach to what WAR provided. It’s work at times, but also can feel more rewarding. When a target who jumps away before you could scramble their warp drive, and you then chase them down multiple systems to finally get a kill, it’s a great thrill and a high that you don’t find often in other PvP games. It’s impactful and takes effort, making each success more valuable.


About Shadow
Making serious business out of internet spaceships.

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