At the time of this Article I have been playing EVE for almost 7 years, and most of that has been non-stop with no breaks. Over that time I have noticed a few interesting things about PVP.
For example, most players begin as Care Bears and slowly Evolve into PVPers as they grow bored of the PVE part of EVE. Some of them will never try PVP and quit, but those who find PVP are usually hooked for years.
This Evolution has many branches and possible paths, but there are some constants which allow you to control the difficulty of your PVP fights. And by controlling the difficulty of your fights, you can challenge your self while still managing to win some of the time.
You do this by controlling who you fight...
In the movie Fight Club a group of guys get together and fight each other in an effort to reclaim their masculinity and rebel against their numb and boring existence.
It's safe to say that they become better fighters by doing this. Logically those who Fight for fun on a regular basis are going to be better fighters than those who avoid fighting at all costs.
The same is true in EVE, because players who PVP every day are almost always better than players who avoid PVP or only do it rarely.
This is Fight Club Theory
If you want hard fights, go to where the best PVPers are. If you want easy fights, go to where the care bears are and entice them into fighting you. You can do this by thinking like a PVPer (and like a carebear).
Personally, as a PVPer it's very easy to think like other PVPers. We have the same desires and drive. We want action, thrills, hard fights, and death to make it all worthwhile. To get this we have learned to focus on certain areas of the universe where PVP happens more often.
Systems where PVP is more common are:
- Entry Systems to Null Sec
- Entry Systems from High Sec to Low Sec
- Faction Warfare Space
- A few traditionally hot low sec areas
- NPC Null Sec
- Where ever there is a war
- Or even just the biggest blob on the map
PVP is like a drug and PVPers are in constant search of their next high. They know they will get more "doses" in busy areas than slow areas.
This means that in general, the higher skilled PVPers tend to converge on these areas of EVE. New PVPers trying to hone their skills in these areas are likely to face large amounts of frustration, horrible win ratios, and potentially give up.
This is much like someone who has never fought before stepping into the ring with a heavy weight champion. Even if they are destined to eventually become champion they have no chance.
The solution to this problem is to avoid the "Fight Clubs" of EVE and focus on the areas where PVP is less common and the skill levels are much lower until you are skilled enough to fight at a higher level.
These easier areas are where Care Bears live. To find them we must think like a Care Bear, which shouldn't be too hard because most of us were one at some point.
Systems where players are less skilled in PVP:
- Deep Null Sec
- Slow Low Sec
- Null and Low Sec Dead End Pockets
- Systems far away from anything that show a lot of ratting on map
- Low Traffic Null and Low Sec
In general, the less traffic and further from busy areas the better. Care bears often crave danger and will move to low or null sec in search of more profit and excitement. Load up Dot-Lan and look for null sec where there is a lot of ratting and very little PVP.
But be warned, care bears get very mad when you interrupt them or kill their ratting/mining ship. This usually results in exactly what you want, which is an escalation where they form sloppy kitchen sink fleets and try to kill you.
Your biggest threat is being Camped in to a pocket and getting stuck. When they give up chasing they will form a massive camp and try to hold you in. My solution to this has always been to just dig deeper and log off in their busiest care bear system. That way when I log in the next day (or in a few hours) I don't show up on intel and targets are everywhere, which usually results in a quick kill.
Keep in mind this theory isn't just for New PVPers... Even accomplished PVPers could benefit from leaving the Fight Club every now and then. Some of the longest and most fun solo fights I've ever had were escalations after I killed a ratter or miner.