Do You Enjoy Combat?

I’ve been thinking about a question that’s come up in my conversations a few times that recently came up once again. That question is “how wrong is it to enjoy combat?”
So, I have a few things I’d like any interested parties to answer.

A) Do you enjoy combat?
B) Why?
C) If you do enjoy combat, how do you feel about that fact?

For my answer to the question: Yes. I enjoy combat.

I don’t just enjoy winning combat. I enjoy the combat itself. In fact, the closer, messier fights are usually more “fun.”

I honestly don’t know why. Perhaps I’m just addicted to adrenaline. Perhaps it’s an acquired taste from the fact that it’s most of what I’ve done in my almost nine years as a capsuleer. If anyone has any honest suggestions as to why I might enjoy combat, I’d earnestly like to hear them. Even if the answer is as simple as telling me I’m just a terrible person, I’d appreciate the input.

How do I feel about this? Awful. A lot of combat is necessary. I strongly believe that one shouldn’t be afraid to fight for a just cause. So I don’t feel bad about the fact that I am willing to fight; I just feel like it should never be fun. But it is fun. I enjoy an activity that leads to people dying. It’s not a comforting thought.


A. Yes.

B. Because in combat, my job is one that must be done, and I do it. I take satisfaction in doing my job. And more, I take pride in knowing that when I am sharp, when my skills have not sat idle for a month or more… there is no-one in the cluster who is better at my job than I am. The harder the fight, the more difficult it is to keep the fleet’s logistics wing safe while still keeping the fleet alive, the more I enjoy my job. That, in fact, is the part of the job I enjoy, the part that matters… not the paperwork, not the administrative end of Repswarm. Not even the teaching parts (though anyone who’s been on a fleet with me knows I do love my ‘teachable moments’ outside of combat).

C. Human. I invested a lot of personal time and effort into becoming what I am. Circumstances placed me where I am. Happenstance dictated that I would be born to my Tribe, my Clan, my family. But I made myself into the best damned logistics anchor in a cluster of trillions. It would be unnatural not to take pleasure in the execution of my purpose, in the exercise of my hard-won skills and abilities. Even when I may not agree with the strategic objective, or even the very existence of the campaign it is a part of, I will do my job, and I will do it well. And more people will come home alive, on our side, than would have if I had not.

Extra Credit Question:

Because we are, so often, detached and isolated. We live lives where most things are under control. Climate control. Agriculture. Animal Husbandry. Medical science. A hundred light-years can be crossed in an hour or less. And through it all, we, ourselves, are removed from all of the mechanisms that make such things happen.

So when you get into combat… when you have a degree of control on whether or not you fly home in your ship, or explode into an expanding ball of gasses and debris… you feel alive. You feel alive in a real, visceral way that tells you ‘this matters’. The harder the fight, the messier the fight, the more you matter, just for having been there.

You enjoy an activity that offers a reason to think you are more than just a disposable lump of meat serving as the wetware at the heart of some of New Eden’s most expensive drones.


Arsia, I am surprised you have not raised this issue privately with your comrades in arms before.

There is no shame in being a warrior, nor is there shame in taking some enjoyment from the art and craft of war. While warfare is destructive, when conducted for the correct reasons it preserves and even builds far more than it destroys. That enjoyment often drives us to become better at it, and therefore perform more good with those skills.

There is shame in enjoying the human cost of war, however. It sounds to me that is not what you are doing, so you need not worry. We are what we are and we may as well take what we may from this unpleasant line of work. Just keep your wits about you and guard yourself from the darkness inherent in our profession. Keep your humanity and your compassion, even for your foes.


Absolutely! And I thoroughly enjoy every aspect of it, such as logistics, EWAR and fleet command.

The key to being happy with your profession is to do what you love. I could easily go down the path of “I want to watch you and yours suffer,” but honestly that’d be a bold faced lie. I don’t enjoy killing but I most definitely get a thrill from the prospect of getting better, more efficient at it. It all comes down to purpose. Every kill, every loss and every stalemate will teach me for when it actually matters. I know and do truly feel that even the most pacifist minded among us know we will some day be fighting again. I would prefer to be prepared for whatever is to come. I would prefer to see our Republic’s flag flown over your capital than your flag over ours and I intend on doing everything in my power to make that a reality when that time comes. My kin will not be lined against the wall, yours will. Call me pessimistic, I call myself realistic.

Another aspect is a matter of marketable skills. Aside from modifying simple machines and producing rigs what exactly do I have going for myself? Not exactly much.

Pretty good honestly. I don’t shoot those who don’t deserve it.


A. Oh, yes, I do! I enjoy the combat itself, and I enjoy the results of combat. I love to jump into action, and I love when objectives are completed. I love when enemies cease to exist. But speaking about the fact of combat, yes, I do enjoy it and very much!

B. It’s hard to say why. Maybe, because there is a danger? Maybe, because cold shiver runs down your spine before the fight, even when you have calculated everything, and just know that something can and most probably will go wrong? When you feel that your life on the line, and lives of those who trust you… I somehow feel myself attracted to the danger itself. When people threaten me, I do counterwise despite their threats. When I feel I should fight, I take the fight. Sometimes I feel I blunt and start fights I should have avoided, sometimes I get into deeper trouble than I have expected… but, damn, if I would have to choose again, I would choose the fight anyway.

C. All my life I have been trained with just one purpose - to fight. I’ve been soldier since I was 12 years old. I was trained to fight before that, I was trained after. I was CN AWM, now I am a pilot, despite instructors were telling me that I never shall be allowed to touch a ship, because I am way too reckless, but still, here am I. Touching ships, killing enemies. To fight - it was my profession before I became a capsuleer, and it is my profession now. When you enjoy what you are doing professionally - isn’t it the best thing? Doesn’t it mean you’re in the proper job, where your skills can be applied in full, so you can bring the most profit to the State in this exact position? It’s just… you do your job and you LOVE it, it’s a bliss, it’s a gift. It means you are where you should be.

Oh, Maker!
I am saddened to hear this.
Combat is not about killing people, it’s about protecting what is dear to you… and killing those, who want to destroy it. I find it helpful to dehumanize enemies, to find the worst in them, to make them look as detestable as possible, so when you look at them… you can’t not kill them. You could try that too! It helps me, it could help you too! No empathy, no compassion - they’re just monsters, they’re just targets, they’re just obstacles that can kill you. Don’t think about hurting them. Think about the combat itself and eliminating dangerous elements.

Besides, people die, it’s the law of the Universe. What has been born shall die, and there is simply no life without death - just mere existence. The death is what we live with and what we shall accept in our heart, because it’s eventually fate of every one of us.

The third aspect of this… we are fighters. We aren’t just murderers and killers: yes, we kill, but at the same time we are running around with targets on our backs. Only those, who accept they can be killed with a weapon shall be allowed to hold a weapon.

And of course, there’s the fourth part of the equation. Not just combat, but the Death itself at times can be necessary. Sometimes - even ours. And sometimes NOT killing shall make you feel bad - for example, when you didn’t kill a hundred people and that caused a thousand more to die. You have been given a privilege to kill. Thus, use this privilege to kill ones for others to live.

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I doubt anyone would understand, and I am not skilled enough to convey it.
As far as how I feel? Combat is about as far from God’s desire as we can get. On the scale of “what does God want from us?” I put combat on the end with apostasy, blaspheme, heresy, murder, lies, and the like. So, I try to reconcile the fact that I absolutely love war with the fact that it’s pretty horrible. So, ■■■■■■ if I know.

A. No.

B. Violence is a procedural act with minimal emotional investment. It’s just a thing to be done sometimes when required.


As I said, Commander, I don’t feel bad about participating in combat. There’s a lot of times where it’s necessary. I admit this and think it’s noble to be willing to fight for a cause you believe in.

Sister, I disagree. There are many things that I think God would want us to fight for.

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I didn’t say it wasn’t necessary, simply that if you look at Paradise, I believe that there’s a dearth of war.

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A) No.

B) Because I’m terrible at it.

Yes, there’s a period of learning and growth involved. I know that, and that’s not the difficult part. There’s just something disheartening about always being the one blown up or the one running away. It feels like there’s an insurmountable climb between me and everyone in space who’s been doing this longer and is so much better at it. It makes me feel very, very small.

Bonus: Maybe it’s the thrill of outmaneuvering an opponent. Maybe it’s the adrenaline from the ship engaging an enemy. Maybe it’s the gamble. As long as it’s not the corpses produced by the act, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying combat.


It is loosely related to the current discussion, and totally not serious, and yet… I’ve remembered the song we were screaming back in the days when we were younger:

I’m loving the war
Anything that kill off people I’m for
Be it desease or another world war
I’m loving the war
I’m loving the war
Because I want my land back
I’m loving the war
I need less people for that
I’m loving the war
So go blow up yourselves
I’m loving the war
I want my damn land back
You ■■■■■■■ bastards!


A) No. But I used to.
B) Because I’m more cynical and world-weary than I was.

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A. Yes and no.
B. Because it serves my cause, however risks are to high so I have to be calculating on which conflict am I to be involved.
C. Life in New Eden is a life of chaos, of endless strife. However even so strife should not be forced upon those who are not willing.
I have seen those who became capsuleers for pacifistic cause of exploring the unknown stars and for harmless profit seeking.
However there are also capsuleers who ridicule such pacifists and forces them into combat using easily replacable destroyers for their predative cause.
They are oppressors, and they deserve only oblivion.


I didn’t become an immortal just to do normal things.

Combat sets us apart from the plebs. We can never die, so it’s like we are playing a game for the rest of eternity.

I’m looking forward to seeing how many clones I can burn through, and to always staying the same age.

A) Yes, I do. I didn’t always, but I’ve learned to.

B) The satisfaction of everything coming together to execute a plan. The trust and comradeship from seeing people having their act together next to you and knowing that if we lose today it won’t be because we suck. The simultaneous rush and stillness of the moment when the dice are cast but still falling. The mad exhilaration of knowingly taking the bait (never not take bait!) and the occasional combination of amazement and vindication when it turns out it paid off.

C) I don’t think it is wrong to enjoy what you would do anyway. A universe without wars and fighting would be better, sure. But that universe does not exist; not on this side of the Gate anyway. I think the reasons why you fight matter more than whether you find it enjoyable. I don’t seek combat to revel in hurting others, nor simply for a pastime without a goal. Deployments sometimes get tiring enough as is; without job satisfaction they would get unbearable.


A) No.
B) I find it stressful.

The rush sounds like a likely candidate.


A. No.

B. Because it hurts, makes me worry, and I am not good at it, so it is embarrassing also.

C. I am not troubled by any of this.


I do not personally enjoy combat; mostly because I don’t particularly enjoy the consequences. Beyond the obvious, I am, above all, a diplomat. I must be careful with my engagements, as I could quite easily end up sawing off the branch of the tree I’ve built my archdiocese on. When all you can sense is the paperwork afterwards, even the most universally praised combat feels a liability.

Still, I engage in it. I am not too proud to admit that, especially in the early days, assisting local militias with localized pirate issues and salvaging the wreckage was all that kept the archdiocese solvent. And I would hardly judge anyone for enjoying combat itself. Certainly, to prey on the weak and innocent, those who shy from it, is dishonorable and distasteful. However, to fight the worthy, to bring the aforementioned parasites of society to justice, I could hardly condemn those who enjoy providing the peace I require for my own work. There is no shame in such.

A) Yes? I mean, I don’t hate it.

B) It’s an opportunity for me to release pent up aggression and stress in a way that everyone understands. Normally towards the enemy that is responsible for said aggression and stress (looking at you, you filthy slavers).

C) How do I feel about it? I’m just hoping that one day I’ll be stress free enough to lay down my guns. Today is not that day though.



B) Look, anything that gives me an opportunity to make something explode, either my ship or some other guys ship… That sight is something I never get enough of. But on top of that, it’s the thrill of the hunt, it’s the adrenaline in my veins… It is just great feeling all around. The excitement! The GLORY! And last but least, when a ship goes boom, they leave this nice lil’ basket of goodies that I can take somewhere and sell. So it’s also profitable! What’s not to like!?

C) I try to only attack people that aren’t… Very good people. Which is basically this whole rotten universe. So everyone’s a target, because my logic is the best logic! It’s all about bringing justice to this place and damn it feels good. But also think about this, I do this for my living. So what should I feel about doing my living? I feel the same as the hunters on planets do, hunting prey. But instead of common animal prey, the prey is a spaceship. And instead of my rifle, I got other spaceship. Does that makes sense? To me it does, yea. So in short, I feel pretty good about it. And the industry folk should feel good too, I’m the one buying your stuff when I get blasted into bits and pieces!