Crossroads of Killboard Avenue and Memory Lane
Some of my fellow bloggers (Logan Fyreite, Rixx Javix, Mansai, Nash Kadavr and Romeo Blakstorm) have been talking about killboard statistics. While the numerical values provide a mile-high view of a pilot, they can’t give you any insight into how far he’s come, what he’s learned or what the most interesting and educational kills have been. In many cases, raw killboard statistics aren’t even a decent measure of how good the pilot is; Rixx Javix touched on this in a blog entry recently.
So, if you want to see my statistics, you can visit my killboard, but for the interesting bits I have to actually write something.
My all-time favorite kill is from the one time I led a fleet. I live on the West Coast of the U.S.A. and I’m plagued with a low New Eden population — both friendly and enemy — during my evenings. I’d been asking in alliance chat whether anything was going on and I got the usual, “if you’re bored, start something.” response; so I did. I gave the usual new fleet-commander disclaimer, piping up with, “X for a fleet if you’ve got a cheap ship you’re prepared to lose” and after a few pilots joined we were off.
At the time, I was a member of IRON living in P-2TTL and a common roaming route was into Cloud Ring. So we headed off towards Cloud Ring with me giving hesitant orders to my three fleet members. We’d gone eight jumps when my Taranis scout reported that a Rapier had just jumped into the rest of the fleet. Knowing it was a Force Recon I didn’t hold much hope we would catch it, but I gave the order to try anyway. Somehow I managed to lock the Rapier, then managed to get a point on it, and it popped as my Harpy was nearing structure.
I decided that a perfect record was pretty good (also, we had no repair capability to bring my Harpy back to full armor) so we headed back home. The trip was short, sweet and to the point. And my record as a fleet commander is spotless (because I’m too chicken to do it again).
Then there are kills you get because your enemy is silly. I don’t suppose there’s a better way (that isn’t terribly rude) to describe a stealth bomber engaging an Ishkur. I was so surprised that it took me about 20 seconds to start returning fire; I was nearly down to 90% shields (on my armor tanking assault ship). But in the end, one dead, smack-talking Purifier was the result.
But you can’t just talk about the kills and ignore the losses. This is a trip down memory lane, and the killboard loves to remember losses. The failures are often better lessons than the successes.
For example, I will always remember the time I went to help a blue Cerberus engaged by a Curse. I engaged the hostile upon landing at the gate and the next thing I saw was a gate fire; I thought, “great, more blues have come to help.” Until I saw the friendly Cerberus disappear and I was left alone in my Harpy, aggressed against a Curse. The lesson was, “don’t be a hero.” A lesson I’ve not taken to heart as maybe I should, I’ve been taught multiple times but will always remember the first.
The loss that taught me there was such a thing as PvP, the devastation that taught me that low-sec was not friendly (and it’s sister loss) and the mistake that taught me not to undock in Jita during war time were also important; now I can laugh about them, but at the time they were terribly frustrating. Thankfully I’ve learned many lessons (some that I didn’t even have to learn firsthand) and my ability to appropriately fit a ship has improved since these early days, but the killboard keeps these ugly lessons around for all to see — and ridicule.
For me, it’s highlights like these that make my kill record interesting and not the raw statistics.
Note: Nope, this is not an I-don’t-have-great-statistics-so-I’ll-ignore-them-post; I have great statistics, but all that tells you is that I’m afraid to commit and I fly [relatively] cheap ships.