As I write about my quest for the Tempest Fleet Issue 2-run blueprint copy given out to pilots with a standing of 9.9 with the Minmatar (along with 20 diamond tags) I receive the advice to join the Minmatar militia (or better yet, a player-run Minmatar militia corp) and rise in the ranks. Each rise in the ranks grants a boost of 10% to the faction standings. After last night's session, I would only need to become a Matar Colonel, the 9th of the 10 ranks in the Minmatar militia. So why don't I do it?
I could point out that the character I'm using to do the faction grind is the CEO of my corp and I don't want her to leave. I also can't just take the corp into faction warfare as I'm not the only one in it. The other person is still trying to recover from a disastrous trip into a wormhole and is a little gun shy at the moment. Since we play at different times (he basically plays in the Australian/New Zealand time zone) I don't want to leave him unsupported if PvP happens. But those are minor points.
Another reason is that joining faction warfare for carebear rewards feels cheesy, and I'm from Illinois, not Wisconsin. Faction warfare, at least in my mind, is a place for people to engage in semi-honorable PvP. I'm not against faction warfare and when I start up my newbie combat pilot next month I'm considering joining faction warfare for the good fights. I also don't begrudge those pilots heavily into faction warfare the ability to make a living off of their activities fighting for control of the war zones. Faction warfare pilots shouldn't have to maintain a carebear alt in order to fund their PvP habit. But just waltzing in to do carebear stuff? That just doesn't feel right.
The biggest reason of all is a personal quirk based on how I've developed my style of play in EVE Online. My carebear lifestyle of living in low sec is basically playing EVE wrong. When I tell people I'm a low sec carebear I get a lot of reaction and questions because most people in low sec are into PvP. I've developed a sort of pride in the fact that the way I play the game not only fights against other players (even if I don't shoot them) but in many ways against the game itself. Or, I should more accurately state, how most players perceive the way the mechanics work. If I break down and go the faction warfare route to complete my goal I'm conceding that I have to use the popular feature. I'd rather use the mechanics I find most enjoyable.
Here's a dirty little secret. I actually enjoy doing distribution missions. I like seeing how fast I can do the missions (my record so far is 15 missions in 80 minutes). I like breaking through gate camps (or just groups of people hanging out at a gate). I also enjoy those WTF moments like happened last night when I had a Dominix sitting in the undock area with a Guardian right in the way of my instawarp path and I wasn't sure his intentions. The faction grind doesn't really have me doing anything I wouldn't normally do except a couple of combat missions. The only thing I'm doing is more of them.
So that's the rationale for not joining faction warfare to get the last bit of Minmatar standings. Perhaps I'm silly and am making my life harder than necessary. But that's life in the sandbox.