Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Farmer
A couple notable bloggers, Rixx Javix of Evoganda and Drackarn of Sand, Cider and Spaceships have gone on record on their blogs despising farmers in faction war, very understandably so. Both are commonly hunting for 1v1 or 1v2 etc fights which are always hard to come by and get frustrated when they go into a plex where a faction warfare pilot is found and watch in frustration as the target runs away, even from fights that they have the advantage. Its even more enraging if you manage to get a point on them and then they have warp core stabs fitted and run away regardless.
"You're in faction WAR, that implies fighting!"
Back when I was a solo / duo pilot I shared a lot of the same frustrations, but not to the epic scale of Rixx and his campaign against Warp Core Stabs. But my perspective has changed a lot as I moved to the role of Fleet line member in militia fleets and then Fleet commander for Aideron Robotics.
Nowadays, when I head out with a fleet I don't pay too much attention to the lone Atrons, Kestrels, Tristans and such found in plexes as we roam. Sure, if my scout wants to try a tackle of a target and there is nothing pressing I let the reins go and let them go for it, sometimes it even works out. But what I'm really angling for is the quick juicy ganks of bigger targets and brawls against other fleets our size.
I've also, over time, come to view faction warfare farmers as a necessary component of the warzone. After all, I have a position of privilege in that I don't need to grind my ISK for replacement ships and implants and the such as my writing and industrial activities have basically set me up for the foreseeable future, but less veteran players need to do something to replenish the coffers after a night of following me to their doom and constant plexing is an easy way to do so while remaining part of the militia. The fact they are part of faction warfare should not compel them to engage every target that comes through just like ratting in null sec does not mean you need to stand and fight every possible sov challenge that presents itself. Nor would I tell players to leave faction warfare to generate ISK in some other activity and then come back when they want to fight again.
I guess what I am trying to say is that I don't begrudge players using all the tools at their disposal to make a buck in low sec, even if it frustrates pilots looking for a good fight. Those farmers are getting those loyalty points to turn into ISK for more ships and ammo for fights later on and I support that wholeheartedly.