Sorry for the lack of posting... the truth is that there has been so much happening I keep on starting topics and then deciding to switch topics over and and over again. I am going to try and finish some of the articles and will likely have quite a few posts this December. Here is the first.
So a couple of months ago I discussed how I had moved to Venal to run the very profitable Guristas missions. This worked pretty well and I am now more flush with ISK then ever before. I suspect I will be making periodic trips back. Having said that there was one big problem with Venal... it seems to be home to fail-corps. Due to it's issues getting access to empire, and the lack of good nearby PvP hunting grounds... PvP in Venal seems to consist mostly of bling'ed out T3 ships playing station games. Quite sad.
After making my ISK I started just roaming around Venal and eventually got frustrated. The nearby sov space was controlled by such entities as NC. and the Goons so it proved very hard for me to find appropriate targets for a solo frigate, as well hard to survive gate-camps in larger ships.
Since I was wasting hours and hours of hunting with little to show for it except losses to blobs, I decided to try a much more target rich environment, one where in a couple of systems were dozens of ships with ROE that discouraged blobbing and encouraged 1v1s. I joined Red Federation of Red vs Blue.
In two weeks of Red vs Blue I have racked up more kills then the preceding 6 months. It is senseless violence, but sometimes that is the best kind. We do play internet space-ships after all so it is hard to find meaning in anything we do.
Like all combat in EVE, RvB suffers from long waits to find targets, blobbing, station games and the like. However there is a mutual understanding between the sides that good-fights are the priority, not winning. 1v1s are often offered, and accepted. Players are willing to ship-down for fights. This, combined with a small operating arena chock full of people looking for a fight, leads to more good fights then I have seen elsewhere. In short, I can log in, spend an hour, have a good fight, and log-off.
I find that there is a huge variety of skill-levels within the teams. Sometimes you go into a fight against a faction frigate and are stunned to see a bunch of newbie flying and fitting mistakes. Other times it is obvious that a pro is at the controls, often with max skills/implants. A 'no-podding' rule allows players to invest in high-performance implants with little fear of loosing them.
In general members leave behind the 0.0 win at all costs mindset, but not always. I was on a fleet recently with a brand-new FC, with only a few months experience in game. As always happens he made a few mistakes and the fleet got routed. Not a big deal. One player complained but I, and others, reminded him that this was rather silly, and encouraged the rookie FC to try again. This is the sort of thing I love about EVE.
Income generation in RvB is not too hard. Obviously fighting grinds down ISK, but there is nothing to stop players from mission-ing, incursion-ing, wormhole-ing or doing other ISK generating activities outside of the few systems open for combat. Since the general fleet doctrine is to not fly expensive stuff unless you can afford it, this is not really a problem I see for most players.
Being hi-sec near Jita makes logistics easy. It is no problem buying a ship in Jita and two or three jumps later, being in the combat zone. Note: While no RvB fighing is allowed in Jita, the same cannot be said of the routes from Jita to the various HQ.
Anyways, RvB is good fun. If all you want to do is have great fights with much less blobbing, and less hours spent looking, these are great corps to look into.