At some point in the near future, probably around March or April, my total kills on zKill will click over to 10,000. In some ways this will be a milestone worthy of celebrating simply because it is a goal I've been working towards my entire Eve career. In other ways it remains a bit of a magic trick because I most likely passed the 10k barrier a few months ago - if you add the 400 or so kills I lost back when Battle Clinic disappeared and Eve started tracking kills in a different way. Many veteran PvPers are in that same boat and it is nothing new, so I'm not going to rehash decade old arguments - it simply is what it is. There exists no foolproof measure of a characters killboard statistics across the almost 19 years of Eve Online history.
But back to the 10k barrier. Achieving this milestone has been a goal of mine since I started playing Eve and began to understand the importance that some people put on killboard stats. Many of those players were ones I learned the martial arts from and respected. But achieving that goal was never my primary aim. Otherwise I would have passed it long ago. Racking up large statistics is cool and all, but it has never been the way I choose to play Eve. Not to mention that, at least for me, it isn't a sustainable way to approach the game. I know because I've tried it. And while I can hit 200+ kills in a single month from time to time, I just can't sustain that level for long without burnout. And I never want to burnout Eve. Not to mention the real life considerations of time and commitment.
My personal approach to Eve has always been with the long-view in mind. At least the last 10 years has been. Slow and steady wins the race. Play for fun. Run a successful pirate group. Put together events. Play in tournaments. Have a blast. Fly with friends. That's the way I choose to play the game. Others choose other ways and those are valid as well. I'm not here to say my way is the best way, or the way anyone else should choose to approach the game. All I'm saying is that it is the way that works for me.
10k isn't even that big of a deal. Just in Stay Frosty my friend Cervantes has over 17k kills and Ciba has over 10k already. And out there in the wildlands there are many others with many more. But my killboard has never been about beating my own chest or pleasing my own ego, frankly I have no interest in what anyone else thinks about it one way or the other. It is simply a very personal thing, a measure, or a journal written in numbers. Each number representing a story, a memory, a moment captured in time.
I call it a milestone because it is simply another marker along the journey. One I'm looking forward to getting over with. On its own it doesn't mean all that much, but it also happens to mean a lot at the same time.
Plus it's cool.