Many of my fellow non-carebear type bloggers have pointed out that undocking from the station in Eve Online is permission to PvP. There are no toggles a player can use to avoid PvP. It simply is the way of Eve Online. If you are a capsuleer and do not realize no place is safe in New Eden, then you are either less than 24 hours old or are completely in denial. The fact is you are a target no matter where you are.
This is not so different from real life. Every day we read stories of people who wake up, go to work and never come home. At some point during the day, someone else ends their life. They could live in the “safest” of communities. They could even be an invited guest in such a community, walking home minding their own business and some ignorant asshole with a gun and a prejudice against hoodies will just blow them away. It happens. That’s real life.
Yet some of those same bloggers have lamented about how hard it is to get a GF. They go on roams and no one wants to fight them. It gets so bad they decide they need to grief certain corporations out of the region just so they can get a GF. Is it really that difficult to PvP in Eve Online? Well, yes, it is.
Let’s compare Eve Online to other PvP intensive games. The first I ever played, and the original MMORPG, was Ultima Online – UO for short. I’ve written about my experiences in that game. That game made me into the carebear I am. After being subjected to rampant sociopathic behavior and seeing it wrought on others, I was done with that sort of bullshit. There is no way I will ever debase myself to the extent of being like the player killers I came to revile. That’s just how I am.
But what made it possible for their bad behavior to actually work? It was the world set up on the computers we had at the time.
A character could run from Vesper to Britain in minutes (providing you ran into no player killers.) And that is the very thing that made PvP so bad in UO. It was a very, very small world. You just could not avoid the PvP.
Eve Online is not like that at all. There are plenty of ways to avoid PvP. Just look at my last post and you’ll see. Eve Online is huge. There are 5000 star systems linked by star gates. There are again half that many wormhole systems. Long story short, if there is someone you don’t like there are many, many ways to avoid running into them.
And the wormhole experience I’ve had over the past three months does not lead me to believe otherwise. I have moved to the terrible, dangerous unknown of wormholes where you have no local and anyone can decloak and blow you away at any time. This had be so worried I brought in a Viator and ran my PI with elaborate cloak and move tactics. Stabs laughed at me – or at least he did in his own mind. Well, he was right. This really dangerous wormhole has afforded me exactly three (3) PvP opportunities in nearly as many months. That certainly doesn’t mirror my UO experience.
Forcing PvP on someone else in Eve Online isn’t easy. The player killers in UO only had to stand on the bridge leading into Vesper and everyone had to come to them sooner or later. In Eve, you don’t ever have to go to Jita. You don’t ever have to go to Apourulie, or HED-GP or J144238. There are 7496 other systems for you to play in. And you can. They are all equally good for having an enjoyable experience in.
And that is like real life. It is possible to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and have your head blown off. Chances are that isn’t going to happen. It’s a crapshoot but the odds are way in your favor. Those who want to blow your head off will have to work very hard to do so – providing you aren’t stupid or terribly unlucky. So do your thing, don’t be stupid and don’t worry about it. Perhaps that is my lesson of the year. Undocking may be permission to PvP, but first they have to force you into it. The reality is, you are more in control of that than they are. 
 – This does not apply to noobs. Noobs are ignorant, not stupid. There is a big difference. Those who take advantage of their ignorance are contemptible and are not true to the idea of Eve Online IMO.