Because they are a bullshit representation of ability.
Thats the short answer. Now lets take a look at why:
First, let’s do a bit of a comparison:
So? Who Wins?
Well, according to the stats, your’s faithfully of course (Xi). I have great efficiency, have destroyed over 13 billion isk worth of ships and modules and my enemies only have a 33% chance of survival.
So does this make me better at PvP than Joslin or Horace? According to a brief glance at the stats, yes.
Yay. I rule.
Pfft. Not in the slightest.
Firstly, take a proper look at my killboard. Upon a closer inspection you will see that I have benefited greatly from having the honour of flying with a number of really good pilots and a number of really good fleet commanders. Yes, I killed a tengu whilst flying a rifter… next to a uni-blob. Yes, I killed a carrier… along with 39 other pilots whilst on an Agony Unleashed roam.
Hmmm. Suddenly my killboard stats are looking a lot less impressive.
What also has to be remembered is that in New Eden, each capsuleer may well hold the knowledge of multiple capsuleers. For example, Joslin represents a capsuleer who’s alt has destroyed close to 30 billion isk worth of ships and modules. Joslin’s counterpart has over 400 kills under his belt (twice as many as me), the majority of which have taken place in nulsec. A quick scan of his killboard indicates that he is versed and clearly well educated in fitting a variety of ships.
Simply on this basis, Joslin has vast pvp experience and is well educated in the school of hard knocks, regardless of his killboard stats.
So does this make Joslin the winner?
No. Horace Weatherspoon, with his laughable 4 kills, might well actually take the cake. His alt, although with a measly 49 kills, is a specialist. Out of 49 kills, only 3 were not in wormhole space. Of those 49 Kills, only 2 were not solo kills. This means that Horace has a number of invaluable skills – knowledge of how to control range, knowledge of how to pick targets and how to find them and an intimate knowledge of dscanning.
So does this make Horace the winner? Not necessarily. Horace has great solo skills, but can he operate in a fleet? Does he fire on command or does he hesitate, considering what his best options are? Is he blinded by his solo experience? Perhaps.
I have met a number of pilots who have made out that they are excellent at PvP. These pilots often point to their killboard stats as an indication of their brilliance. However, these pilots often turn out to have very little knowledge about PvP mechanics, virtually no knowledge as to how to fit a ship that doesn’t fall within their race or skillset (which is a very useful skill when fighting other ships), only attack when they are certain of victory, and often most importantly, don’t know how to shut the fuck up on voicecomms when they are dying.
So what is the conclusion? killboards are a useful tool – for gaining intel, in assessing your own losses and trying to figure out what you did wrong or to guage a target or potential recruit’s experience. But, above all, killboard stats are a bullshit representation of PvP ability.
As a last word to the reader, please don’t take this post as a representation by me (Xi) or M-E-A that we are elite PvP’ers and that we are “above” killboard stats.We are not. We just don’t give a shit about your stats or our own, and will attack regardless.