Rixx Javix wrote a blog post about the reasons for and changes to his decision making about when to Pod another pilot and when not too.
He has had a couple early comments on his blog from people who tend not to pod in Low Sec because of the extra security status hit, and the impact it has on their need to access High Sec.
Aside a skin, you can not fit anything to a pod. It has no weapons, no extra propulsion, no extra tank. There are still a surprisingly number of factors in play however if your pod gets warp scrambled. You might escape based on your distance from gates or docking, external intervention, your ability to fast or sweet talk, or the distraction level, ammunition level, rules of engagement or whim of the aggressor.
Jixx covered many reasons for his decision making on when to crack open an egg or not – tactical, economic, even a touch of OCD for the accumulation of statistics on his killboard.
There was one area I would have liked to have heard about that is of interest to me. The battle is done, the target no real threat. When Jixx talks about making decisions based on his judgement of the performance or behaviour of the other pilot, or his own bushido code, he is talking about power. The power he has over another player in that moment.
I find that aspect of EVE interesting. What is the meaning behind the exercise of that power, what reward does the player gain from it?
For some it is just a game so the decision might be a purely unemotional, intellectual one.
Some might feel satisfaction or pleasure from doling out revenge or karma.
Some might feel good about being magnanimous and sparing the other pilot.
For each pilot it could change day to day, moment to moment, but power is one of the factors to podding. You only have to look at the number of references to tear harvesting.
For me it is almost a moot point. The handful of times I’ve been in a position to make such a decision I’ve mostly just done what the FC has instructed. I have pointedly destroyed Pods to stop them being a source of Intel. I have also pointedly removed Pods when the pilots have clearly been AFK. Regardless the situation, I have generally just felt a bit bad about doing it.