The Art of Deception for Eve Online

I, like so many others, loved Samurai Jack, and was most sad when it was cut short. He was everything I idealise as a warrior and as an aspiring master of PvP in Eve Online: cunning, quick, alert, and honourable. My detractors would probably like to point out that I never hesitated to fire guns at the slightest provocation, regardless of the status of the person I have locked. I would like to point out in return that to fight honourably doesn't mean you will always fight fair. While the clashes between Jack and Aku were sometimes straight-up brawls, the vast majority were won or lost because of some element of deception one or the other was able to use to their advantage. This brings us my lesson for today, one that I think that all pvpers of Eve should know, but seem to often forget:

All Warfare is Based on Deception.

It is often said around FW space that the only way you are likely to get a fight is if you're outnumbered at least 5 to 1, or will be overwhelmed, at least on paper, by enemy firepower. This certainly appears to bear out in large part, as oversized gangs, both fw or otherwise, tend to have a hard time finding fights around here, in part because large ships are relatively rare (most of faction warfare tends to occur in ships smaller than battlecruisers and anything larger usually only comes out for special activities, like hub and POS bashes, or Pandemic Legion coming to visit), and resultedly, having an fc comfortable organising such a fleet usually comes down to a few select individuals who may or may not be online. So then, as fitting of true combat, engaging in a fight comes down to looking like an easy target, but possessing some kind of ace up your sleeve.

This particular Taranis pilot makes an excellent example of this. At face value, even a minimally experienced Eve pilot will, quite rightly, assess the matchup as "ZOMG, it's a bleeding Rifter vs. a Taranis, Ed's gonna get pwned in the face, badly." Indeed, a combat interceptor should have no trouble obliterating a T1 frigate on its own. However, as the killmail shows, this doesn't tell the whole story. I had two aces up my sleeve on this occasion. Firstly, I was actively armour tanked, which in itself could not win me such a battle, but it does significantly increase my survivability against a pilot that had evidently thought me a quick kill. However, the second ace was, as may be guessed by the heavy NPC firepower, that I was sitting on the button in a Major Outpost, and this pilot was the third such to have made a go at me, so the spawn cycle inside the plex was already active. What it amounted to was a staggering amount of dps and neuting power was brought to bear on him as he leeroyed straight at me from the complex entrance. To his own credit, he had made it most of the way through my armour when the NPC's ate his capacitor and then masticated what little armour and shielding he had. But none of that was evident when he would have picked me up on scan and decided to have a go. All he saw was a lonely noob sitting in a plex running down a timer to save Tzvi from the Amarrian menace.

A message to those people new to faction warfare, or any kind of PvP in Eve really: never imagine that simply because you're low-level and lack the experience and firepower to defeat enemies in pitched engagements (of which there are an overwhelming myriad on YouTube), you cannot defeat enemies who should by all accounts eat you for breakfast. Battles in Eve are often not won by the side that brings the biggest or most number of ships, but by the side that knows how to shape the battlefield to their advantage, be it in plexes, on gates, outside stations or in asteroid belts, and most importantly, the side that knows how best to deceive the other. If Eve PvP was really only about charging in armed to the teeth, we'd probably get bored of it very quickly.

Signing off,


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