As alluded to, when I started playing regularly, I soon joined the corp my friend was in. A predominantly industrial corp ("inty" - cool slang used by the . . . cool players. Notice I didn't used it . . . yet?). I wouldn't call them carebears because there were mission runners and some dudes that could fly some fairly hefty pew pew ships so while they weren't pvp fanatics, they had potential which later started to blossom.
They had been in a war just before I joined the corp, and it didn't go very well, even though the war was with a fairly poor-performing mercenary corp. I don't remember what they said they did. I think they lost a bunch of boats, not overly stupidly though, but I don't know if they basically turtled for the week, or paid them off. In the end, they learned some stuff about pvp in Eve, and it was shortly after that when I joined. In fact, about 2 days after I joined the corp, we were war dec'd again. Understandably, there were concerns that I was a spy, but my friend was fairly well trusted in the corp, and he vouched for me, so I didn't have to be quarantined (aka no war fleets, no war channel in Teamspeak, basically no reindeer games during the war) so even though I had a grand total of about 14 skill points, I grabbed my Punisher, fitted out as tackler the way they told me, and tried to help out as best I could.
Quite the baptism though. Overview wasn't really set up, didn't understand a whole lot of the game mechanics (I had done a lot of lvl 1 and 2 missions though, so I at least understood the basic ship controls) and the amount of information presented in a PVP fight, even a blob, was still enough to give my hands an adrenaline shake. It was great fun even though I lost a couple Punishers in the process. Never got podded though, which wasn't a big deal considering I had no implants to lose. The corp replaced any boats for free if you lost them during pvp ops (until you were in a T2) so there was no real reason not to go do pvp. As the corp was sort of new to pvp, and had a number of new players, thee weren't a lot of people available to fleet up, so we spent a lot of time ship spinning in station. While I mention the corp, we were actually in an alliance but the vast majority of the pvp action was done by our small corp. Most of the hard core indy guys just didn't bother logging on during the war. When the wars came back to back though, lots of the care bear types left the corp, alliance or both. Some that did log on, would go and try to mine, get their barge popped, and then cry and want us to go get revenge for them. ?? Uhh, sure, and they can come too in a tackle frigate, or not, mainly, not . . .
As each war dec came and went, one week after the next for about a month and a half, skill points and player experience were slowly increasing, as well as the courage of both our corpies and others in the alliance. As we were doing less time as the hunted, and actually going out in 10 to 15 man high sec fleets looking for war targets. What supposedly/theoretically started with a rich player who left the corp on bad terms, and is suspected of paying the first merc corp to war dec us, went through a serious of progressively bigger and theoretically tougher merc corps that were apparently hired one after the other by each successive merc corp that ended up doing worse and worse against us. We developed a fairly congenial (at least blue) relationship with the 2nd merc corp to war dec us, and our performance impressed them enough to to offer their help to us should we be dec'd in the future and decided we needed help. For the last couple war decs, with the merc corp and us, we were regularly fielding 25 to 30 man fleets and went out hunting the other merc corps. Not big fleets perhaps, certainly not on the nullsec scale, and maybe not even on high sec scales, but they were big enough to send the targets scurrying away.
One merc corp was fairly worrying because of their killboard stats, but as they were mainly low sec and null sec, and their sec status wouldn't even allow most of them into high sec, I wonder what the point was of them even war decing us in the first place. It's not like we regularly cruised the space lanes down where they hung out. it was a good thing perhaps, as their toons were considerably older than most of our corp's and their numbers were far larger than ours as well. Another merc corp made it a habit of talking smack in local, but their performance was not up to par with their ability to smack talk, and even their smack talk at times was pretty juvenile. As we were winning the isk war against them on a massive scale, we would just post a link to their own campaign killboard. That server to enrage them actually, and their CEO spent a couple billion isk on paying other mercenary corps to war dec us, for weeks at a time.
Not really interested in naming names, just in case, but one corp we fought I will name, and that was the 0rphanage. I understand that there are different styles of play, especially pvp mercs or whatever they want to call themselves. They are an embarrassment to other organizations of ill repute, though. I understand ambush tactics, hit and run, etc (I actually learned a lot in our couple months of pvp, even though it was mainly blob tactics) but these guys would show up in T2 and even T3 boats, and ambush freighters and T1 cruisers. They talked a lot of smack on the forum and in local, but their killboard against people who were actually willing to fight was the complete opposite of how much smack they would lay down. Fighting them was actually pretty easy because they were, and likely still are, completely predictable. They camp the same gates, the same pipes, the same stations. If you are lucky enough to make it through their flock of alt accounts, and actually catch them, they either immediately try to run, or they make a cloud of space dust. As an indy corp, our isk loss-to-kill numbers were something like 5% to 95% which is pretty bad advertisement for a "merc" corp like 0rphanage. The blue merc corp with us, who was also war dec'd, was also about the same ratio. Apparently/supposedly, one of the "fail merc" corps that war dec'd us that we were soundly trashing, was the one that hired 0rphanage to harass us in the first place. It went worse for 0rphanage than it did for the original merc corp though. Now to most players like the type that write the blogs I enjoy to read, they hang out in null, low or wormhole space, so corps/alliances like 0rphanage are about as significant to them as fruit flies on a rhino. I would contend they are little more to any high sec group as well. So, for any group that is one of the regular 10 or 12 corps that 0rphanage war decs each week, fear not! If you take it to them, they will generally run, which is what any scavenger does. You have little to fear from them because they don't hunt - they sit, and sit, and sit, and wait for people to fly into them. Not my choice of play style, but I can accept that it is theirs.
In all the war decs, and the increasing amounts of pvp roams that the alliance and corp started to fly, I've actually lost very few ships. Lost a couple Punishers and a couple Omens, and a Geddon.
Two of the Punishers were doing tackle duty, and their wreckage added to the greater good of the battle.
One Omen I lost while mining during a war dec when I was brand new, and it was my first war. I was cautioned about missions and mining during war, but I was educating myself on staying aligned, watching the overview and watching local. I needed the isk :). I had escaped a number of times when I saw war targets show up in local, but one time, I just wasn't fast enough and I didn't anticipate or understand (actually, or know about) the role of alts, especially cloaky alts. I had nothing of note in my clone and the Omen was insured, so it was a good learning experience. 2nd Omen lost was on a pvp roam with a FC lacking confidence who couldn't decide whether we should go or stay, and by the time he told us all to go, in a fairly nondescript fight, our targets decided I pretty much had to stay so they could see what the inside of my Omen looked like. At least I didn't lose my pod on that one.
The Geddon was lost in a wormhole when a "major issue" needed to be dealt with IRL, and as we were on a pvp roam and just hopping through WHS and seeing where it took us, at the time I figured the issue would be of short duration, and I could leave the Geddon there for a couple minutes and BRB. I notified the fleet, and went off to deal with things. For the record, the way it works in my life, if the dear wifey has something that she wants me to do, that is a "major issue", possibly even bordering on life threatening - at least for me. Anything else, by and/or for anyone else, and it's not so "major". So, it turns out the "major issue" took about 15 minutes, and when I got back, I was a little confused, because now the wormhole space (first WH I'd ever been in too! :)) looked amazingly like the inside of a hangar, or at least this part of it did . . . I thought there were NO stations in WH space?? Turns out, while I was cleverly AFK in WH space, 6 Tengus showed up and apparently took issue with me sitting in their wormhole, or maybe it wasn't their wormhole, and they just didn't like the cut of my jib. At any rate, they decided to help me leave the wormhole by pushing me towards the exit with their bullets and both I and my pod unfortunately exploded during the process. Another alliance member, who is a very skilled pvp pilot and a great FC, tried to guard me with one of his alts for as long as he could, but against a fleet of Tengus, he knew the smart thing was to exit stage right, which he did. The Tengu pilots were all null sec denizens, based on where they get all their kills. Probably Russians too (проклятые русские . . . ). I could have simply logged, or best bet, just gone out through the WH we entered with, and then dock up or just log in high sec space. Insured, lesson learned, oh yeah, and it allowed me to boost the Eve economy a little by buying new +4 implants.
The last frigate I just lost was an unintended solo fight that I'll write about separately.
The Point? PVP happens in Eve, sometimes a lot. Just roll with it, oh yeah, and don't go AFK in WH space ;) I don't have a lot of kills either (only 27), and they are mostly blob fights, but there is time for that later and my schedule doesn't allow me to go out with the pvp roams in the alliance as I'd like to. Right now however, I actually have a plan, and I need iskies to execute said plan, and more pvp content in my game "life" would have the potential to have a negative isk impact on my plan, rather than a positive one.