When I stumble into an instance with players who are lower than me, I tend to stay out of their fight - or at the periphery of it - and heal them as they fight instead of fighting with them. I do this because I disliked it when I was new and the upper-level ships stole all the kills. But then I thought maybe these players think I'm just AFKing and getting free points. What do you think?
I've been in that situation a couple times. I tend to do the same. Heal as much as I can, debuff the enemy, jump in if they're struggling and about to blow.
It might seem a little like your scavenging for free points, but sometimes people just want to do things on their own. Staying out of the way with lower players just gives them a chance to play the game.
maybe if the person is very close to exploding and he is getting mobbed by multiple ships....and if you didnt help he would die kind of situation?
Well, I can only do so much. I can disable an enemy, repair and extend shields, I'm a science ship. I have very little that I can do against multiple enemies myself and I have yet to figure out how to get the enemies to target me over a more damaged player. But I stay about 10K out and let the lower players do their best - unless there's a really big enemy bearing down on them then I will step in..."pick on somebody your own size..." sort of thing.
i tend to lead the charge. i invite anybody that wants to fly around with me on a team and if they accept then we go around and blow stuff up. if they don't accept then i just go off on my own and take things out myself.