EVE Evolved: The cost of failure, part 2

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EVE Evolved: The cost of failure, part 2
In today's gear-based fantasy MMOs, the quality of your equipment is paramount to your character's effectiveness on the battlefield. Using the best equipment can increase a character's abilities tenfold compared to using cheap gear. As before, this doesn't hold true in EVE Online, where the quality of equipment is a relatively small factor in the outcome of PvP. The main factor in the outcome of PvP is skill, and not the type on your character sheet. Joining a good player corporation that specialises in PvP and learning from them will provide a bigger boost to your effectiveness in PvP than equipment ever could. The contribution that quality of gear or level of skills makes to your PvP career pales in comparison to learning all about the tactics and strategies used on the battlefield.

The golden rule:
The cost of replacing ships is the primary reason that EVE's death penalty is seen as harsh. It's often said that PvP costs a lot of isk and that players involved in PvP corps need an alternative income supply to fund their combat. This isn't exactly true, however, as the amount of isk spent on PvP is completely scalable to any wallet size. Even pilots with barely a million isk to their names are able to budget their PvP costs appropriately by flying cheaply fit frigates.

The absolute golden rule of EVE is to never fly anything you can't afford to lose. If you take a ship into combat, sooner or later it will be destroyed. Whether it's killed an hour into a fleet operation or six months down the line, no ship is immortal. The key to keeping your costs down is to get a good balance between cost and performance. Rather than examining the amount of isk spent on the ship, it's best to estimate the amount of isk it will cost to lose the ship. For example, while a tech 2 cruiser costs the same amount as a tech 1 battleship like the Megathron, insurance can recover most of the isk spent on the battleship but is next to useless on the tech 2 one.

Some players will tell you that standard tech 1 ships and equipment are useless next to their advanced tech 2 counterparts but this couldn't be further from the truth. Cheap ships can be incredibly effective in groups, a lesson I've proven to myself many times since joining the Gallente faction warfare militia. Flying tech 1 ships keeps the cost of losing the ship down thanks to insurance. It costs less than a million isk to lose a cruiser, less than 200k for most frigates and surprisingly under 10 million isk to lose most battleships. The only additional cost is in the modules used to fit the ship and while the temptation to fit tech 2 gear is always there, their cost is much higher than standard tech 1 or cheap named equipment.

In this article, I've shown that the death penalty in EVE doesn't have to be sky-high. It's up to the individual player to choose how much they want to risk losing with each battle. With greater risk of loss comes greater rewards but ultimately, PvP is decided based on the actions of players and strategies employed. Victory has no price in EVE Online but there is definitely a cost of failure.

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