[Editor’s Note: This article is the first of a two-part series type called Point/Counter-Point. This installment features Ignacio Daimon discussing the positive aspects of using kill-boards. Stay tuned for the counter-point article discussing the negative view of kill-boards.]
Kill-boards are mentioned everywhere in EVE. It only take a few days of PVP before an inevitable link to a kill-mail lands a new player on one of the popular kill-board sites like zKill or Eve-Kill. Many pilots can use their kill-boards to stroke their ego: efficiencies well into 90% and plenty of shinies littering their kills list. But if used correctly, kill boards can also be a weapon. A quick browse to zKill or the like can help pilots win solo fights and fleet fights before ever even getting engaged. Let’s talk a little bit about how a few moments of surfing can lead to victory on the battlefield.
In short, kill-boards come with great benefits to your ability to accurately assess your capabilities vs. your opponent(s). Out of all the options available to capsuleers, I recommend zKill to do your pre-fight scouting. Here’s a look at the information that particular board offers:
- Ranking – Everyone knows an important metric is ship efficiency. The higher Eff. % the more ships they kill on average vs. the amount they lose. Fleet-only pilots will generally have High Eff. %. Solo PVP pilots fluctuate back and forth, and have generally a lower rate than fleet-only pilots. There are two types of ranking
- In my opinion, the Points stat is the best judge for how skilled a pilot is. Bear in mind, this statistic is available on zKill only. This Eff. % is rated by the Ship destroyed or lost divided by the number of people on the kill and what it was killed by (i.e. frigate killing a cruiser yields a high point value).
- ISK is quite easily determined by the amount the ship lost or blown up cost. The more you lose the lower it goes. This helps determine if engaging and losing is worth getting the assist value of the kill.
- Location – Find out where the pilot fights most often, and who with. If the pilot has a random kill at the top of his kill-board way on the other side of the universe, most likely he jump cloned and won’t be back for a while. (This can prove quite useful in some situations.)
- Recent Kills – This can be an ego booster for some people. Perhaps your opponent is over-confident after going on a lucky killing spree?
- Ship Fits – The real reason why we all come to the kill-boards, the fits. Each green or red marker is clickable and it brings you to the details about the kill. The fit, the damage taken, who was involved, and of course the comments about how bad it really was for those who enjoy trolling. Finding out what fleet fits corporations use is crucial to having the edge in a fleet fight. The principle works even better for solo PVP. For example, learning how an enemy likes to fit his Tristans make sliding into his plex a good idea or a very bad one. The kill-boards can tell you this without having to find out the hard way.
- Solo – There’s a dedicated section to kills made in a solo fight. However even a plex rat involved in a kill makes it no longer a solo kill. In fact if anyone shot at the target at any point before he or she leaves the system in that ship, will be involved in the kill – so bear in mind a solo pilot may have far more solo kills than the board may indicate.
- Top – Ranking of the pilot vs their corp and alliance. Of course, a top ranked pilot in a well-respected corp is probably nothing to be trifled with. Just another bit of free information you can gather moments before a fight.
Together all of these things make for a very strong and easy advantage to winning your next encounter. Research all pilots in local before you choose your target; see who might be flying what ships. Also be sure to check if pilots normally travel with others in local. Do their buddies fly EWAR, logistics, or as a booster?
There are probably even more ways to use the kill-boards to gain the edge needed in a fight. How do you use kill-boards? Comments welcome!