I remember the first time Signal Cartel was war decced. Lots of our members were in a bit of a lather. As new players, war decs freaked them out a little bit. We vets calmed them down, provided strategies for not getting caught, explained our out-of-alliance logistics services, and proceeded to not pay a whole lot of attention to the fact that we even had a war dec.
And so it continues to this day. P I R A T is the most recent to dec us (3rd time!!!) and the usual questions have been raised in Alliance chat by new players.
"Why do they hate us?"
"Who hates us enough to pay them to dec us?"
"Which Signaleer is responsible for this one?"
Oh my darlings. The tinfoil is strong in you. I just had to say it:
"Maybe someone in leadership is paying them to dec us to keep you explorers on your toes and teach you how to fly clever. Now go forth and...explore. Somewhere far, far away from the trade hubs and high sec."
However untrue, I admit the my pirate heart smiled at the thought. There were some uncomfortable laughs in Alliance. Maybe they were checking out my corp history? :P Thing is, maybe someone hates us, maybe they don't. Who cares?
For a corp like ours is, we are already in places where anyone can kill us. Why bother with the cost of a war dec? Come find us and give it your best shot. (Our old pal and EvE-Scout co-founder G8keeper even used to send our deccers mails with words to that effect!) Narrow escapes provide some fun diversion for those of us who sometimes grow weary of hacking our bazillionth relic site. :P Mostly, we fly clever and get away. And for the times when we don't, no worries...enjoy the loot!
I've seen some discussions of proposed changes to war decs. I suppose like any other old mechanic, it's worth looking at to see how it might be refined. I have no opinion either way...I'm off in dangerous space looking for sigs and hoping I don't get caught by some random bubble or gatecamp. War decs are pretty much the furthest thing from my mind. But I think they are an interesting mechanic and provide some fun opportunities. Like, you know, Hugs Fleets.
At the same time, I get that war decs can present a serious challenge for newbros and inexperienced corp leadership of high sec corps. But there are answers to that challenge...none of which involve logging off for a week or letting war deccers wipe the floor with you. It's just a matter of being smart and clever while you continue to enjoy flying in space. If you happen to be one of those folks who frets about war decs and would like some practical, no-nonsense, no-tears advice, join the EvE-Scout channel in-game and ask for a Signaleer. By now our folks have a pretty good handle on life during wartime and we'll be glad to share our strategies for continuing to have fun while (mostly) denying our war deccers kills.
And remember...fly clever!
Edited to add:
The War Dec Project is an organized discussion of the current war dec mechanics and ideas for how it might evolve. The players involved have put together a comprehensive "live" document summarizing their discussions/ideas. Everyone is invited to contribute ideas and add constructively to the conversation. Learn more about it here.