I am a terrible capsuleer combat pilot.
Really, go look at my November kill board. 7 losses to only 3 kills, and one of those was a completely unfit Executioner.
However, since I started flying the Stay Frosty banner, I have seen something unexpected. Pilots, in the militias and other pirates, are running away from me.
I'm now wearing the reputation of others, from incredible pilots such as Rixx Javix, and the superb skills of Joffy Aulx-Gao. This reputation precedes me, and some pilots look at my colours, and simply flee.
There is a lesson in this.
Do not be afraid of corporations or alliances.
The value of a badge is the paint used to put it on your hull. It is not a shield, nor armour. It is not a damage multiplier, nor a range extender. You may have heard of other pilots talking about how they went up against a specific corporation, as though that is an excuse for their defeat, or somehow makes their victory more poignant. It is simple bravado, and unwillingness to see the real reasons for a loss.
Simply being in Stay Frosty doesn't make me a better pilot. Simply being a part of Goonswarm does not make you an expert on the intricacies of 0.0 sovereignty. It is tempting to apply reputations to people wearing labels before they are earned, but resist that temptation, and deal only with what you see in front of you.
Never assume that some people are naturally better.
They might have been more lucky, or more studious when it comes to their particular trade. However, that same luck will come to you eventually, and knowledge is free to all who look for it. Training your reactions to situations takes time, and the speed at which you learn is only limited by your investment in learning.
Assume perfect conditions, but act on probability
Today, I earned myself a Coercer destroyer kill. Coercers are very highly damaging ships, able to vaporize a frigate from the field, sometimes even before the frigate pilot can lock up a target. However, I took the chance to attack, balancing the odds of a perfectly set up destroyer, against the shock of a surprise attack.
As luck would have it, the pilot was new to Faction Warfare, and I was able to slip under his turrets into a tight orbit, setting myself up for victory.
As a quick aside, the new pilot, sreimm, then acted in a manner true to the spirit of the thinking warrior. He asked for help. He did not wail at the loss of his vessel, but sought to discover the reasons behind its loss. If you are reading, this attitude will serve you well in the future, and I fully expect you to surrounding yourself in flaming wrecks in the future!
The fight would not have happened if I did not take the chance.
Do not be afraid of space
In the past two weeks, I have flown industrial vessels throughout low sec, setting up planetary industry to supplement my traders income. As you can see, I have not lost a single industrial.
I went through gate camps, and sat in space assessing planets and customs offices. No one came after me, or even had a chance to get a lock on me.
The myth of dangerous space is just that: a myth. Fly intelligently, and low security space is as safe as high security.
More to come on my Planetary Industry efforts...