I remember a time when nullsec alliances said they didn't care at all about hisec war decs because they're all in hisec. Most recently a fellow alliance member got yelled at by some grunt in -A- during the War Dec Roundtable at fanfest who proudly proclaimed, "YOU GUYS DON'T MATTER TO US, WE DONT GO INTO HISEC ANYWAYS!!" A few weeks later, we caused them as many hisec losses as they had in nullsec. Large alliances used to claim they didn't care. Now they can't but help post their support of built in dec shields. They reply with comments about how if hisec war deccers want to shoot at large null alliances they should have to come to nullsec to force the issue. That sounds like someone who is scared, someone who doesn't know how to fight without an FC feeding them every single command, someone who requires an intel channel to stay safe and find out about incoming gangs. In contrast, most of our fleets rarely have a formal FC, even in the rare but large fleet fights we have the FC is really just a target caller since we all know what to do beforehand. We have an intel channel, but we don't rely on someone elses intel before jumping through a gate. If someone reports a target in intel we all immediately go after it and scout ourselves individually the way there, versus nullsec alliances who take the time to form a gang up and usually end up disbanding the fleet because the target is "too far away" by the time they get organized. The point i'm trying to make is, the groups that actually know how to PVP generally don't spend the time bitching on forums about the only way to deal with war decs is to nerf the mechanics because they spend their time doing something about it, like when draketrain came to hisec and punched our shit in...with fucking Drakes.
I find it funny how many nullsec guys claim that hisec guys don't know how to PVP, when most of them don't undock unless an FC calls for a fleet to form up and its the FC who gets you killed. I'm sorry, but if you have to wait for a fleet to form up before you do anything then you have no right to criticize someone else's ability to PVP. The second a ship comes down a pipe, every hisec guy at least in MT instantly knows how their ship will match up against it, where to position themselves, and how to properly fly that ship against the incoming target.
My second complaint is all these large nullsec alliances complaining that war decs are pointless and they're just a game mechanic that just encourages "griefing" (killing someone who doesn't want to be killed) for no reason. Since when did a game mechanic become pointless because the main way that its used is the enabling of pixels to be exploded. Since when did you need a reason to kill anyone? Space-bushido shit is one thing, but this is just ridiculous. To the people arguing that violence like that is pointless, ok then, see how much you enjoy an EVE where everyone has all the ships they want and several billions tucked away in their wallet. The point is the true endgame of EVE is PVP and the blowing up of pixels.
I'm confident that the new war dec changes bring something new and interesting for us, but I don't think that the kind of small scale conflict and making mercs particularly viable will happen. I'm glad they have a formal method of allowing mercs to join on a war now, but the issue is the high barrier of entry into the merc trade. As it stands now there's an extremly big divide between level of quality between merc groups and its instantly apparently who you're going up against. For example, when a quality merc/hisec dec unit goes against a mediocre or just starting one, the new group usually gets their face punched in. On the other hand when groups that use the same tactics go up against each other, it usually ends up in a stalemate. For example, back in the day when MT would get dec'd by Snatch the war usually went like the following: One side would get a kill against someone who hadn't quite switched themselves out of "fly casual/look for traps" mode, after that first kill, both sides usually avoid each other until the end of the war when someone on the other side gets overconfident and loses an equally expensive ship and the war ends up at 50% efficiency with maybe 1-2 kills on each side. Boring. And its not something that can really be changed we know all their alts to scout, we have everyone watchlisted, they have the same for us, its boring.
Theres been a common belief that hisec players have no skill. We might not be able to kite like other people, we might not use advanced blob tactics, but what sets us apart is our ability to scout and position ourselves effectively. In nullsec you have the drag bubble, in hisec you have nothing like that. For anyone that says that using RSB alts is easy mode, but in nullsec you can literally sit on a drag bubble and the targets warp to you. Even if they're stabbed you still have ample time for your entire gang to get tackle. What about cloaky targets jumping into you? Well just throw a bubble up and let your ceptor have all the time in the world to get a decloak. In hisec, with client/server lag even if you get a perfect decloak if the target can align under 5 seconds he'll probably get away, DESPITE having an instalocking ship with RSB. But I digress, going back to scouting, In MT everyone flies with a scout, everyone knows what they're jumping into, we have all the in gates covered, many times two jumps out. You guys may say that this is playing EVE on easymode and doesn't take skill, but the nullsec guys have intel channels, and most nullsec guys couldn't scout a gang like we could if their life depended on it. We have to be self-sufficient and saying that 5 guys each scouting themselves with alts and knowing everything within a 1-2 jump sphere that is happening while killing stuff is definitely not easy mode. We don't have a large alliance to rely on, we don't have this massive intel network where we see blobs coming miles away and the only way you can really get ambushed is via wormhole. While lots of the kills we get are the results of stupidity, lots of the kills we get are the results of weeks of patience finally coming together, weeks of having someone watchlisted and waiting for the moment they screw up, weeks of marking their neutral scouting alts, and weeks of watching their behavior. I can't count how many war targets i've killed that i've waited 3-4 wars and months to finally kill. Many times if we're out of position to get a kill, we'll just let them them go and get them later, instead of blowing local and making them paranoid.
I think the reason why hisec deccers have gotten such a bad wrap and saying that they're too easy is that we've gotten too good for our own good. This sounds egotistical and cocky, but I hardly mean it in that context. My point is that when hisec decs first started out people flew carelessly and most groups were 85-90 efficiency at best. The core founding member corps of MT were the two 95% efficiency groups in the 0rphanage. Now that we've refined our tactics and everyone has gotten used to each other, we're at 98% efficiency. People take a quick glance and their first thought is that something is broken with that system, they don't realize that its the result of groups of people who are all high SP and have flown with each other for years. As a result, they look and see that they can't kill us and they think that something is wrong with the system. They're absolutely mad, they're mad because they can't kill us, and we've gotten so good at what we do, that it has the illusion of looking easy and something that doesn't require any skill. They're mad because the only thing in their repertoire they have to kill us is the Titan bridge and that's something they can't use in hisec. They're mad because they don't have the discipline to shut the fuck up and listen to the FC while we have the patience and discipline to not only scout a target for days, but to also to let small ships go through in order to create the illusion that the target is safe.
My biggest complaint about when I was in nullsec is that people had no patience or discipline. People were unwilling to let a Rupture go and as a result would cause our gang to be made in the enemy intel channel and causing that faction battleship to decide to make his trip down the pipe later that day. Their only response is that somehow the kills we get are too easy and this needs to be nerfed. Even if you make our kills harder to get, its not going to make us any easier to kill, and I think thats what people forget.