Monday, 7 November 2011
This is a post that I've been meaning to put up for a while, as a result of discussions I've had with other pvpers, both in corp and out. None of my comments are directed at anyone in particular.
Killmail whoring. It's an ugly term for an ugly practice, but we've all done it. We all like being on killmails. We all like seeing our Battleclinic rating and our combat efficiency go up. So we all like to get in on low risk killmails, even if we didn't really "earn" it.
Because we all do it, we also all tolerate it, to one extent or another. Still, there's a line out there somewhere, and when a fellow pilot starts crossing that line on a regular basis, resentment starts to build. Here's my take on the "unspoken rules" of killmail whoring.
1) You need unequivocal approval to join any one on one fight.
Nothing pushes a pvper like a straight up 1v1; these are the fights we all dream of, the fights where you learn and grow as a pilot, win or lose. These fights are also rather hard to come by, so having someone jump in uninvited deprives you of a great experience, a valuable learning opportunity, and an attractive killmail.
Furthermore, interrupting these fights tarnishes your reputation, your corp mate's reputation, and your corporation's reputation; your victim will never believe that your intervention was not by design, so don't intervene lightly.
For these reasons, always get express permission before interrupting a 1v1. Simply asking if they want backup will do the trick. If they say "yes", you're in the clear. If they say "no", leave them be.
2) You need tacit approval before joining any fight where the target needed to be brought to battle (scanned down, bubbled, bait, etc).
Even if the fight is not going to be 1v1, someone put a fair amount of work into finding this fight. While they may well welcome assistance, you should make your intentions clear in plenty of time for them to object.
Usually, the easiest way to do that is to join their fleet and ask where you should be ("you want my Malediction on the gate, right?"). You've given notice of your intentions, and if anyone feels strongly, they have a chance to object.
3) If there has been a public call out, you are generally free to jump in...
If they didn't want company, they would not have advertised the fight on vent or in chat. Still, good manners suggests publicly signalling your intentions as early as possible. Again, this gives people the chance to object if they feel strongly ("Actually, it looks like we've got enough people right now")
4) ... unless the fight is nearly over by the time you get there.
When three frigates have nearly downed a battlecruiser, I guarantee you that none of the pilots will be pleased when you show up and open fire as the last sliver of structure disappears. It was a tough fight, and the killmail no longer shows that, especially if you are flying a heavier class of vessel.
Don't even ask. Be a man and help them try and point the pod. There will be other fights.
Politeness will probably push your corp mates to offer you a slice of the loot. Bow out; they'll respect you more for it.
5) Be a rain maker.
Some pilots are alpha hunters. They actively seek out targets and are very, very good at finding them. To a certain extent, the Tuskers (by virtue of their recruitment process) are all alpha hunters (although I'm more than happy to accept that certain members of the corp stand out above the rest).
However, many corps also have another kind of hunter - beta hunters. These guys spend most of their time in station or in safes, but are always happy to lend a hand when a fight is found. There's nothing wrong with being one of these guys (and it has nothing to do with pvp skill), but try to make sure that you are providing the corp with a fair share of kills, and, by extension, your fellow pilots with a fair share of killmails.
Of course, these are just my own views, and they are very general; the specifics of any given situation (or set of personalities) may well override them. Feel free to add your own views, rules, or guidance in the comments.