What a Killboard Means to Me

Click to embiggen, or just go look at my killboard
8,339 fights, and those are just the ones that ended in an explosion, later and what does a Killboard truly mean? The above is an image of my zKill page today after ten plus years of playing Eve Online and about seven years after I stopped playing in Null and moved to Low Sec and started losing my sec status. It is neither the best Killboard nor the worst. And this week is the first time I've seriously looked at it in over a year.

Look, you may or may not believe me when I say this, but my Killboard doesn't mean much to me at all. I rarely look at it. And when I do it is for two reasons - 1) To make sure an engagement has been recorded, and - 2) To see what my Efficiency percentage is. I like to keep my efficiency around 75%. The reasons for this are derived from wisdom I was given years ago by other Pirates I respected. A high efficiency percentage denotes a risk-adverse approach towards engagements. Pilots who take easier fights they believe they can win. And a lower efficiency percentage denotes pilots that are struggling with PvP. When I look at an enemies killboard (which I rarely do) efficiency is the first thing I look at.

It would be easy to find an example of a poor killboard, so instead let's look at one from a pilot who I know thinks they are elite. I've removed the name obviously.

The first thing you notice is the 90% efficiency rate. And indeed one of the first things you'll notice about this pilot's KB is the amount of 100+ pilot kills. With a 13% solo rate, most of which are easy kills, this pilot is essentially hiding in plain site. This tells me that this pilot probably has help waiting nearby. They also don't honor 1v1s, but that is a story for another time.

I don't bring this up to shame that pilot, which is why I'm not mentioning their name. But only to illuminate a common trap that some players fall into. Because this looks like a solid killboard at first glance and many people would judge this pilot as a "good" pilot. But a closer look tells you exactly what kind of pilot they are - the kind that will explode your T1 Frigate with an Assault Frigate using a wingman.

Efficiency alone is not enough to determine what kind of pilot you are however. While an efficiency above 90% is telling, combined with the solo rate and the gap between wins/losses, and that insane 99% isk gap - those factors combined tell a more complete story.

You can see higher efficiency rates in pilots that have simply gotten much, much better at PvP over the years. Or have focused on different aspects of the game, such as Null fleet fights, etc. So a high efficiency percentage is not always a bad thing.

So what does my Killboard say about me? First of all I obviously take a lot of high-risk fights and I lose about 25% of them. I'd certainly like that rate to be better, but I'm not going to stop taking pretty much every fight I can. That's the only way those incredibly awesome wins happen. I'd like my Solo rate to be higher, but I am also the CEO of Stay Frosty and that means I end up sharing a lot of fights with my Corpmates. That isn't going to change either. Although I have been trying to focus a bit more on my solo work lately.

I know pilots with 12k kills or more. And I know pilots with tons of losses. I've seen pilots streak and gets lots of kills and then burn out and quit. And I've seen pretty much everything in-between. Years ago I decided I was going to play Eve forever. And since then I've rarely spent time worrying about my killboard. I'm in this for the long haul and for the fun of it. My focus isn't on numbers, or percentages, or anything else other than trying to gain the maximum amount of enjoyment I can from my playtime. That is how I choose to play Eve.

That style isn't going to be for everyone. And I highly recommend you play Eve however you want. But remember this, over ten years of playing an aggressive, yarrr-based, maximum fun style in this game and my efficiency stays right at 77%. Like a rock.

So what does that tell you?