I am an equal-opportunity player, in that I can recognize the value or enjoyment in every play style. I understand the fearless solo PVPer--they find enjoyment in fighting against the odds, playing EVE on "hard mode." I understand the tournament player. They refine small gang tournament skills to fly in an extremely competitive PVP environment. I understand the mission runner and even the miner--they find PVE activities relaxing and work toward goals of improving their isk per hour. I understand the CODE. players and other gankers, who wreck havoc on high security space inhabitants. Etc.
However, there is one play style in EVE I do not understand. I do not understand how players can enjoy flying in large fleets. I am referring to fleets where players must simply press "F1" to sufficiently play their role, hence the derogatory term "F1-monkey." I suppose I can understand flying as tackle or logistics or Fleet Commander in these fleets, given that these roles, when done correctly, take significant experience and skill to perform well. However, the average "line member" seems to play a role that requires little skill besides (as a Brave advertisement eloquently puts it) a pulse. I do understand why new players fly in large fleets--such as massive Brave fleets. However, I do not understand how veterans of the game, in coalitions like the (former) CFC, can enjoy being line members in large fleets. If you've played EVE for more than a year, yet continue to participate in large fleet fights, I would like to know what value or enjoyment you find in this activity. I legitimately want to know, because it is the one activity in EVE I find completely boring and valueless.
As a solo player, I am sometimes killed by such large fleets. I often wonder what value they get out of being 1 among dozens on a kill. Is it fun? If they purely want killmails, why don't they just join a high security space war-dec group or RVB? If kill mails and killboard were removed from EVE, would we still see the average line member logging in?
CCP's move toward making null security space sov warfare spread over multiple systems is a step toward de-emphasizing the 1000 player versus 1000 player fights and a step toward emphasizing skill-based game play, where coordination and tactical thinking win fights, not n+1 pilots pressing a single button while they play league on another monitor. This is partly due to the fact that large fights severely tax CCP's servers. It is also due to the fact, though, that such game play will not take EVE into a third decade, because after 10+ years now it has proven too boring to sustain a growing number of subscriptions.