Being in null sec and in actual fleet battles, I have naturally become more interested in the kill boards available. Who blew up whom and, more importantly, who have I blown up, is now of more interest to me than ever before… primarily because I have now actually blown a few people up.
And something that was initially impressive to me was the fact that I have a positive kill ratio.
This was in my mind because in many past PvP games I had played, the ratio of kills to deaths was an important measure of player skill. This goes all the way back to the beginnings of my online gaming.
In games like Stellar Emperor, MegaWars III, Stellar Warrior, and Air Warrior getting more kills than you had been killed was an key indicator of who was the better player. In Air Warrior, where for a while the rankings were based on kill ratio and kill streaks… how many kills in a row you got without dying… it reached a level of obsession at times, with players husbanding the kill streaks by refusing combat except on the most favorable terms and people bailing out of undamaged planes… which granted no kill to the opposition and thus preserved your streak… when cornered and potentially forced to fight on terms not of their own choosing.
And even later on, when I was playing games like Delta Force, Desert Combat, or Battlefield 2, match results and clan kill boards often elevated the kill to death ratio as a key measure of player capability.
So when I go into PvP, that is one of the measures that is ingrained into my mind. Did I kill the bad guys more than they killed me.
Unfortunately, in EVE, that measure is bogus for an individual.
It did not take me long to realize that everybody I ever ran into, red or blue, had a positive kill ratio.
And of course they did. If we go to my kill board for February and look at my kills, you see things like this.
That is a kill from the battle at EWN-2U, one of the targets that FC Boat was particularly obsessed with bringing down during the battle. I got credit for that kill along with 177 of my fleet brethren.
All told, Mistress Zhantine’s tengu was hit by:
- 123 Drakes
- 22 Maelstroms
- 3 Manticores
- 3 Nemesis
- 2 Huginns
- 2 Hounds
- 1 Tornado
- 1 Nighthawk
- 1 Vulture
- 1 Hurricane
- 1 Lachesis
- 1 Purifier
- 1 Scorpion
- 1 Bellicose
- 1 Stiletto
- 9 Capsules
- 5 Unknowns
I am not even sure how those last 14 figure into things, unless it is via drone damage or damage done before they were reduced to pods.
But that was 178 people over 14 alliances who hit that tengu. And while the only the person getting in the final blow gets the kill mail on their in-game character sheet (that person did 0.15% of the damage… which isn’t that bad considering the top damage dealer did 1.44% of the damage) we all got the credit.
In fact, if the kill boards broke down what percentage of a kill was actually due to my own efforts, I would have about a single cumulative kill. I have gotten top damage dealer exactly once, as part of a VFK Homeland Defense Fleet operation, for which I clocked in at an amazing 16.8% of the damage for the kill.
So kill boards, at least when it comes to individuals, are a nice record of where you’ve been and what you have done, but the number of kills and ratios of kills seems to be best applied to individual battles or the success of a large organization, say an alliance, over time.