Isk Averse VII - Strategic vs Recreational PVP

Hello all,
Post VII is live on the Isk Averse blog! This week, I’m starting a 3-part essay that introduces the framework of Strategic and Recreational PVP as different mindsets players can have, then looking at how this drives a lot of the interactions we see in space. If you’re interested in either type of PVP, or just in exploring how the open-world can affect player actions, check it out!


Nice story, good to see how players can have completely different goals in PvP.

Excellent and well written blog post, you hit the nail on the head.

Good stuff, hope to read more.

I think Highsec PvP is more like fishing, as opposed to hunting.

I do a lot of trolling.

:fishing_pole_and_fish: :princess:


The first few paragraphs summarize very nicely why EVE’s null-sec gameplay is absolutely dogshit garbage.

Also, I think that there’s no such thing as purely “recreational” PvP. PvP can be incidentally recreational, but all PvP serves some kind of greater purpose, such as gaining more experience to become better, improving kill board stats, experimenting with setups and doctrines to collect efficiency metrics, getting loot, or achieving strategic objectives as outlined in the blog. To that end, the 5 vs 50 “no fight” story seems to ignore the fact that the 5 group achieved a pretty significant strategic victory by wasting the time of ten times the people, who could’ve been doing other things instead of sitting on a gate for many hours.

And no, they weren’t “achieving” some kind of “goal.” They were literally cowards. They should’ve taken zero losses in that engagement (even if they had a third of the people), and still achieved the strategic goal of denying you the ability to feed on the krabs. They were simply too afraid to fight. It’s a sort of cowardice I’ve observed a lot from null-sec players over the years. Outside of high-sec carebears, null-sec players are next-in-line in terms of being risk-averse and afraid. The only difference is that they’re able to mask this by having a lot of kill board activity in which the element of loss is made more palatable by virtue of dying collectively (hardships are much easier to tolerate when others are in the same boat as you).

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I disagree. Perhaps I should post on the appropriate character(s) but I can’t be bothered re-logging in to the forum.

I have gone on roams in order to have a fight, sometimes we encountered what the OP did, once we decided to end up with a purple on purple free for all when we couldn’t find anyone to fight.

If that’s not purely recreational, I don’t know what is.

You were fighting friendly parties, so that sounds more like the “tournament” style of PvP to me.

Tournament style pvp suggests people are using strategies to try and win.

When a fun roam ends in a free for all brawl with purples shooting purples I would definitely call it recreational PvP. Both the first and second part.

You’re not trying to win, not trying to accomplish a goal, except the goal of having fun while interacting in PvP with people.


I thought the whole purpose of a video game was recreation other than the purpose envisioned by its owners/developers ofc.

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That’s such an outlier situation though.

If this is the best example of “recreational PvP” then my argument is pretty tight.

About half the fleets I used to do in null (before the war) are about shooting stuff for fun, rather than strategic objectives.

While last year was a bit strange in the way that we shot goons for fun, which could be considered a strategic objective in the war, it’s not really fair to dismiss all fun pvp or recreational pvp as ‘outlier situation’ when it doesn’t fit your argument.

Fun recreational pvp exists. You should try it.


I can get it from games with much more compelling gameplay.

I too get it from other games. And in EVE. Just play for fun!

I’m wondering, what is it you like about EVE? It seems it’s not the recreational PvP.

So did I. I only play EVE for recreational purposes, I mean, it is a game, right?

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Many nullsec entities end up doing recreational battles, the FC’s talk among themselves and arrange them at times for content. It was rather irritating at times to find out that you were replacing a ship because of such a battle. I am only interested in battles that mean something, so if I became aware of it I started to make excuses.

I also found some alliances were just sending out fleets to be slaughtered because they at least got respect for giving fights, when I was aware of this I also avoided. There is a hell of a lot of this sort of stuff going on in Eve.

A very excellent and thoughtful blog post - starting to really enjoy these when they come out. Keep up the good work!

If that’s your opinion that’s totally cool. But there are literal 10s of thousands that disagree. I feel like you read the article and missed the key element of it - that Eve is a world where many games exist, and that your game and someone else’s game differ does not make either one of you correct.

Another interesting viewpoint! Not one that I share this time, it must get awfully tiring being so serious in your Eve play!

The strategic value of their tactics was clearly defined in the blog, along with the point that the assets those pilots were sitting in also have strategic value, and so by achieving their strategic victory without even risking said assets is the literal definition of “achieving” a “goal”.

Think of it like this: by not even risking those ships, they now have 100% certainty that those ships are available for use against a roamer that isn’t intent to chat and bait for fights, or an enemy that has more strength that the 5 players that were engaging at that moment. The pilots don’t have to spend their isk on replacing those ships, they can spend it on skill injectors for more rorquals (given the era and alliance discussed). The corp doesn’t have to spend SRP isk on replacing the ships either, it can invest in newbro handouts or subsidised JF fuel, or a new station closer to a mining field, or upgrading a border Fort to a Keep for logistics purposes.

All these things may very well go against your game in eve, and some of the mechanics unveiled by that reasoning may well be bad for the overall health of the game. But so long as they are possible, and will lead to victory, you can expect people to follow that path no matter how hard you wail and gnash your teeth.


Its wierd though, Ive played for a decade now, and I never got the feeling that there were tens of thousands of people.

I guess maybe not being a nullsperson gave me that view, but in all honesty I have always wondered where they come from, how are they recruited, and where they all are.

They are spread out across the map, and across timezones. If you roam regularly, you get a feel for when groups are active and when they are asleep.

Despite some appearance to the contrary, people generally don’t log in and leave their accounts up all day - barring campers, griefers and botters at any rate! The overwhelming majority of players - and thus nullsec players also - will log in for a few hours a day max. They may have a range of systems they are active in, including wormholes, abyss and high sec.

As a roamer, I’m passing through people’s space for MAYBE an hour, tops. Even if all things were equal, that would give me a 1/24 chance of seeing everyone in the system throughout the day, or looking at it in the inverse, the area has a capability of supporting 24x the pilots I see there in that hour. (OK, that’s taking it to extremes, but I hope you see what I’m getting at…)

If you want an idea of max form numbers, you only have to go back to the M2 timers where the world record was set. Nullperson or not, you can’t have missed that?

Ofc not but my instinct is not to assume those are individual people.

The dwindling numbers of individual posters on the forums and other media is what I believe gives a number of people, myself included, the unfounded feeling theres not that many folk aroubd.

But like I said previously, Im on the outside of the divide, as a person on the other side of that wall, you will have a different view.

Im not saying there arent 10000s of individuals in Null, I just never got that feeling. Esp. as I havent the first clue how they get recruited.

Hold on, which wall are you talking about?

As someone who plays the game still, and is far more active in Comms and various discords etc than I am on these forums or Reddit, I can tell you that if you think eve is dying based on the miserable buggers that float around in those places, you are being severely misinformed!