On one side are folks like scammers and inexperienced pirates. These folks take advantage of the newer player and the high-sec player who have not yet been steeped in the dark side of the “sandbox” – that while CONCORD will respond to attacks through mechanics (turrets, missiles, drones), there is no entity in Eve to defend you from white-collar crimes like fraud (reneging on agreements), extortion (miner bumpers, bribes to afk campers, protection rackets), corporate theft, and sabotage (the latter two of the “I let the wrong guy into a director role” variety). This group believes they can profit most from exploiting any opportunity to its fullest. Because they can do something, they feel they should do something.
On the other side are professional pirates, pure PvP allinaces, and wormhole players. The first will honor ransom agreements, and the latter two engage in staged fights or attack towers solely to elicit a defense fleet (in some cases, even repping your tower after they scatter your fleet). These players take a longer view, realizing that keeping their word will pay dividends in the future and that how they conduct themselves is as important as what they do.
I’m fall very much within the latter camp. I have plenty of isk for my purposes, and I derive no joy from deceiving my way to a victorious fight. When I offer a 1v1 and it is accepted, I’ll honor it, even if I lose or if I have another character in system. (Naturally, if it’s not accepted by the other party and I track him down, I’m not bound by any promises).
Just today, I heard there were two Sabres a few jumps from my staging system. I didn’t form a fleet of 30 people to kill them, I went out in my Stabber Fleet Issue to take care of them myself.
Why do I play this way? Quite simply, it gets me the best results. I want to win fair fights. I don’t improve or demonstrate my skill by tackling one guy who I promised a 1v1 to, then dropping a fleet on him. The best way to get those fights is to honor my agreements made in the past. When I face those people again, they remember that I was honest and they’re more likely to fight me again. The short-term gain is outweighed by the long-term benefits of integrity.
Let me give you two examples.
In the first case, I was flying a Jaguar when I came across a Wolf in a faction warfare system. I started to probe him down with alt’s my Rapier while I offered him a 1v1. His response was, “No thanks. You’ve got your buddy in here.” I tried to explain that I would honor a 1v1, but he wasn’t interested. What did I do? I continued trying to probe him down, landing on him on several occasions, but I was unable to lock him down before he warped off. This continued for a few systems before I finally gave up. For the last couple systems, I even left my Rapier behind, all to no avail. I would have honored the 1v1 if he’d accepted. As he didn’t, I felt quite justified in continuing to hunt him with both characters. It would’ve been a nice fight; AF fights are awesome.
In the second instance, I tried to convince a Vexor to fight my dual-ASB Harpy. He showed no interest in fighting me until I saw a Sabre jump through to the other side. We both ended up warping to the gate at 100 coincidentally, and – seeing that I was too close to escape, I engaged. I had him into half armor when I went down. Rats and one of his buddies added up to 1,800 additional damage that killed me just as my ASB reloaded for a second go-around. Against just the Vexor, I would have gotten a second round of both my ASBs and the fight would have gone very differently. No worries from my end… it was a fair fight, without a 1v1 agreed to, so all was well.
But what annoyed me was a gang of 12 that camped my pod (no fleet discipline; they attacked before everyone got on the killmail) in that system. A dozen guys for a pod? Really?
The overkill involved with forming a fleet of 12 for a single Harpy made me do something I rarely do… I unplugged all my implants when I jumped through, and let them kill my blank pod. Had it been a single Sabre, I’d have let him get the full pod. There’s nothing I hate more than bad PvPers ganging together for overkill (it’s worth noting that Molly Shears was willing to let my pod go for engaging him, and he was not with the camp gang).
Molly Shears has my respect; the others do not. Waiting to move until you have a fleet of 12 to kill one Harpy is not the way to earn respect, the end result of e-honor. They only needed two Sabres (after all, one could be poorly positioned). I will be returning to that area to inflict some damage. I’ll let Molly Shears’ pod go, but can’t say the same for the others.
Based on their e-honor, I have very different opinions on each of my opponents. And those opinions will affect how I fight tomorrow.