Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Psychological Aspects of PvP

When someone has made a decision that they are willing to fight, then they are much more likely to take the fight under conditions that are unfavorable for them.  For example, if you ever see someone at a faction warfare complex who is not part of a militia, then you're looking at someone who is willing to fight.  Unfortunately, simply warping after him into the plex automatically puts me at a disadvantage, because I'm allowing my opponent to dictate range at the start of the fight.  I would much rather have our positions be reversed, such that he is warping into a complex after me.

I encounter this situation very, very often, and there is a simple solution: I warp outside of his plex (to allow him to see me on short d-scan), hesitate for a few moments, then I warp to an empty plex which is within d-scan range of him, and wait.  They come after me with a stunning level of frequency, even though they must know that they are putting themselves at a disadvantage by doing this.

I think that they must be falling into psychological trap: by sitting at a plex in the first place, they have demonstrated that they've seen me on d-scan flying a ship that they're willing to engage and made a conscious decision to fight.  That decision was probably made (at least in part) based on their advantageous position.  When they see me land outside of their plex, that's when the excitement starts.  The plan is coming to fruition, and they are eager for the fight to start.  This is replaced by disappointment, or perhaps confusion when I disappear from short d-scan.  If they're like me though, they'll start checking long d-scan again, see that I'm still in the system, and quickly pin-point me at a different plex.  The excitement is back.  Maybe there's a chance the fight will happen after all!  They warp to the plex, and the fight instead begins on my terms.  If their original decision to engage was based on their advantage of being inside the plex, then this is quickly forgotten.

I understand the thought process, because I've been on the exact opposite side of it too.

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