I've been considering for a while what Eve's End Game is, and I think the question even bounced around the blogosphere for a bit over the past couple months. I was a bit surprised to see that the overwhelming majority of people believed it to be null sec fleet combat. I can't say I really blame them that much though, given the focus that CCP puts on it and the narrative surrounding it. I just can't seem to wrap my head around it though. Being a part of a 300+ man fleet is cool for the sake of sheer magnitude, but I can't honestly say that following an FC's barking orders is how I want to spend my time.
As cool as it is to ride a Titan bridge and get into an absolute slug fest with Supercaps et al, I can't really see much skill in it. You spend months skilling up for the FOTM, fit the FOTM as per alliance mandate, make a few jumps, engage opposition and head home. I suppose if you're the one scouting and doing intel, its great, but to just be one of the hoard seems a bit dull to me.
To me, the end game of Eve is being the hunter. If you step into my system, I want to be able to methodically find you, trap you and kill you. I want the rush of the hunt and the thrill of victory. The only places where I can see this mentality occurring currently are lowsec and perhaps NPC null. Even in RVB, the tendency is rare for corp members of either side to stray from 10-25 man fleets. I feel like the most interesting and exciting fights in New Eden come from well organized small gang warfare or even solo fights. Its for these reasons I love the Alliance Tournament as well. What's better than evenly matched, crafted teams going at it to the death (except for the Hydra/0utbreak match, of course)?
As a result of all of this thinking, I'm making a concerted effort to get more into lowsec adventures. The Syndicate region still seems to be calling my name as well, but I'll figure it all out. For some reason, Eve feels new again. And I like it.