Recently I've been resparking my love for T1 frigates and dessies. The systems of Amamake and surrounds seemed the most logical place to do this, and wow has it been fun.
My corp thinks I'm kinda weird to fly "ships meant for noobs" when I have the skills and isk to be flying much shinier things.
The thing is, I just have so much more fun with T1. The cheaper and crappier the ship looks, the better the fights I seem to get. And this is what I think most people don't seem to understand.
Sure, an Ishtar is a way "better" ship than a Vexor, and so is a Jaguar "better" than a rifter. But how many solo pilots engage a pirate Ishtar or a Jag in low sec without being extremely cautious and hesitant? It is hard enough to get ships of equal value/size to engage you, let alone smaller things.
People are so paranoid and hesitant to fight as it is, the shinier your ship, the more likely they will think you have back-up, and the more ships they will bring to try and gank you with no risk to them. See this pretty hilarious convo I had with a paranoid Hawk pilot, that kept running away from my solo rifter because he was certain I would have back-up.
So much of PVP is psychology. If people think you will be an easy kill, they are more likely to be lazy and let their guard down. I get so many more fights, because people think "Oh, it's just a crap Rifter" or "LOL catalyst" or my fave "Of course I can kill a Vexor". I am reminded of these kills in particular, because all of these pilots convoed me afterwards, with astonishment that such a thing could be done. That particular Ishtar pilot, Poggly's Child, even rage-quit after he lost that Ishtar. His brother saw me in local last week, convoed me and told me that after that kill, he sold the character and stopped playing the game altogether.
All that said, I have nothing against shiney ships. I'm currently training HAC lvl 5, and I bought and flew my first ever HAC (a Vagabond) last week. My corp were very proud of me I think. I'm feeling a lot of pressure to get into a Zealot soon too...
Anyways, I've enjoyed the last couple of weeks so much in EVE. I've also been meeting and flying with noobs that I see along the way. I help them and teach them some pvp and we fly rifters and die and kill lots. My EVE Universe life is good at the moment.
Oh and by the way, solo and small gang PVP is not dead! Please do your bit, and come to Amamake and surrounds and try soloing in a rifter or thrasher or two. Hopefully see you there :)