In Space, a Positive Kill Ratio is the Norm

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 ForceDesert 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.

8 thoughts on “In Space, a Positive Kill Ratio is the Norm

  1. Raelyf

    This is definitely a good thing to notice early on, if only to call out those 200:1 nullsec pilots who brag about their k/d despite never flying in a fleet of less than 1000 pilots ;)

    Most killboards have some sort of points system for rankings, which are awarded differently based on ship classes, number of pilots, etc. It’s a better (if not ‘good’) way of eyeballing a pilot’s record.


  2. Corelin

    Pods showing up on killmails are a result of people doing damage then losing their ship before the hostile ship blows up.

    Different killboard systems use different measurements for pvp ability. I tend to lean towards the Battleclinic system on the whole, though I prefer EvE-Kill’s killboards.

    The system grants 20 points for an even-up kill. In addition it factors in a lot of things like unequal shiptypes, and number of people shooting. For example Mistress Zhantine’s Tengu was worth 0.2067 kiils. Takes a lot of those to make up for a 1v1 in a cruiser.

    Obviously it isn’t perfect. Battleclinic certainly has its partisans and detractors, but it is probably a better indicator than efficiency or kill ratio for an individual pilot.


  3. morg

    If you do 1% of the dmg you shoudl get 1% of a kill.
    1% of the isk value counted toward your ratio.

    This is how some point systems work.


  4. Mbp

    What about the damage dealt and damage received figures. Is that just damage done by you (in which case you are clearly ahead) our do you get credit for all the damage of the group?


  5. Hong WeiLoh

    I think Battleclinic has the right idea. Sure there’s tweaks and improvements that could be made….but if you’re a Blob Warrior, your kills on BC won’t count nearly as much as if you’re a solo/small-gang enthusiast … as they rightly should. Being essentially a “drone with drones” for the FC, extra sets of fingers doing exactly what he tells you, doesn’t require nearly the skill to successfully kill solo or in small-gang ops, and credit should be awarded accordingly.


  6. Corelin

    @Mbp You get your own damage done and damage taken. There’s a few people REALLY upside down on damage done partly from flying in blobs and partly because killmail reports can be badly bugged at times. I’ve seen capital ships that took less than 1000 damage…


  7. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Hong WeiLoh – The only problem with Battle Clinic is that not nearly as many people use it. A quarter of my kills do not show up there because the people who got the kill mail have not submitted their API.


  8. Raelyf


    That doesn’t work well, because logis, ecm/ewar, tacklers, bubblers, etc all play critical roles in gang without putting out much damage.


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