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Lowsec Survival guide for Carebears.

Durbon Groth
Pator Tech School
Minmatar Republic
#1 - 2012-06-05 12:16:14 UTC
Hi everyone,

I wrote this guide about a month ago for the benefit of any carebears out there who have thought about exploiting the resources of lowsec but are unsure where to start. I'll post the entire guide here (it's about 6000 words) and I've also uploaded it to eve-files and you can download it here:
It doesn't look very good there - I couldn't upload in .doc format so It's just in .txt. Please enjoy and let me know what you think of it!

The Carebear's guide to lowsec space

1. Intro

2. Lowsec

3. The Good stuff

4. The Bad stuff – Pirates and how to stay alive.

5. Other Denizens

6. Turning a Profit.

7. Top 10 tips


Hello and welcome to this Eve online guide; Lowsec for Carebears. I hope you enjoy reading it and find it helpful and informative. First, a little about me...
I've been playing eve online since early '07. I was a pirate for years and lowsec was my home. I've spent many hours stealthily cruising the spacelanes looking for fights and ganking noobs. A couple of years ago I was invited to a carebear corp to help them with ongoing security problems and to help organise the fighting forces of highsec indy corps (with mixed success). I've since moved around several high-sec indy corps turning flaky softskinned capsuleers into grizzly pvp'ers. Along the way I've recruited several small groups from these corps, encouraging them to leave the safety of hi-sec and explore the riches to be found out with concord's protective mantle.
I Have decided to write this guide for a number of reasons, the primary of which is the misunderstanding that carebears have in regards to lowsec – I've added in little [side stories] in square brackets. They're accounts of my own eve experience, usually demonstrating a point. They may be helpful to you, but if you don't enjoy them, just skip on by. Lastly I'd like to re-assure readers first off that while lowsec has a bad reputation, it's not inherently evil. Just misunderstood. Stick with me, and by the end of this short guide you'll have the knowledge to make the most of these forgotten realms.


So, you're still reading? Well then, welcome to lowsec! The first and most basic thing to notice is the security status. Low security space lies between highsec and nullsec (figures) both geographically and in terms of security status. Any system between 0.4 and 0.1 sec is classed as Lowsec. So what's the deal with this sec stuff? How does it compare to highsec? As I’ve mentioned already, there is no Concord here. Any unprovoked attack on your ship will not result in legions of white-knight NPC's descending on your enemies and delivering a righteous smiting.
However, there is some security here, in the form of gate and station guns. These NPC guns work automatically against anyone with a GCC (global criminal countdown) which is gained when one pilot unlawfully attacks another in high/lowsec. I won't go into the intricacies of eve's complex aggression mechanics (they're getting re-done slightly in the upcoming 'Inferno' expansion anyway....). The important thing to remember is that gate guns will shoot anyone who has GCC, cycling between multiple targets roughly every 30 seconds, have a range of about 150km, do omni damage and have perfect tracking. They give about 170DPS, making them almost impossible to tank in anything smaller than a cruiser. Very few cruisers can tank the gate guns for long. Permatanking generally takes a BC or higher.
The other form of security down in low is the GCC itself. It is awarded in high and lowsec space (but not in null). As in hisec, attacking a pilot unlawfully in lowsec results in a GCC timer (15 minutes) and a security status decrease. This decrease is substantially greater when you pod someone. A pilot with a sec status of below -5.0 is classed as an outlaw. They will have red boxes or be highlighted red. The easiest way to spot pirates in eve is to look at their sec status - dedicated lowsec pvp'ers will usually have a sec status of below -5.0, all the way down to the much sought and glorious -10.0. Any pilot with a sec status of -10 is most likely a pirate - they have spent alot of time and effort killing enough people to warrant some caution when they enter system (other telltale signs are hoods, eyepatches, huge "WANTED" stickers and mean looking local spam).
You are lawfully allowed to attack any outlaw in any system in eve without any negative effects. In addition, faction NPC navies will attack the individual on sight in empire space.

The Good Stuff.

So we're all aware of the dangers of lowsec space. How about the benefits? Eve has long been a game with a well-balanced risk vs. reward system. Let's run through a few of these rewards...

Mining: Whilst not as profitable as the ABC ores in nullsec, lowsec ores are not to be sniffed at. On top of the mid-range ores and quantities of high-end minerals that can be obtained here, the belts and rocks are often much larger than their hi-sec counterparts. If you're especially enterprising, finding Gravimetric hidden belts in lowsec can give you a good taste of those oh-so-delicious nullsec spacerocks.

Missioning. Yep, there are missions in lowsec too! The level 5 mission sites are all found in lowsec (although from what I've heard they tend to be pirate havens due to the fact they're static rather than dynamic). Also regular agents of all divisions can be found in lowsec stations. Running missions for an agent in lowsec with net you more reward isk, LP and standing increases than hi-sec agents. The missions themselves are the same as in highsec - if you're looking to quickly gain standings with a faction/corp starting from level 1, using an assault frigate and running through level 1/2's in lowsec is much quicker and more profitable than running the same missions in high.

Durbon Groth
Pator Tech School
Minmatar Republic
#2 - 2012-06-05 12:16:58 UTC
Exploration. A couple of years ago I finally trained the scanning skills and set out to see what all this exploration business was about. Since then, running sites of all shapes and sizes has become my favourite source of isk in eve (I always hated missions). There is a hell of a jump in rewards dropping from lowsec exploration sites from high. Radar sites are easy to harvest and often drop several million isk worth of decryptors and datacores in a matter of minutes. Mag sites are a good source of T2 salvage - it's a bit of a lucky dip; sometimes you'll land 500k worth of loot, sometimes 100 million. Combat exploration sites are the goal of most exploration specialists. depending on the DED level, there are potential paydays of up to 1 billion isk per site. And most of the sites are solo-able. It's no wonder that lowsec is mostly inhabited by lone-wolf pilots in tengus running sites all day.

POS. In lowsec you are allowed to anchor a POS at any moon without any standing requirements. Moon mining can be profitable, but IMO the best use for a private lowsec POS for an indy corp is for the progression of its blueprints. Why wait 3 weeks in empire for a research slot to open, when anchoring a couple of labs at your very own POS will give you everything you need right there. Sure, there's a risk of someone pulling it down and stealing your lovely blueprints - but the same can happen in highsec, with just as little warning. Take a tour yourself - lowsec moons are frequently occupied by POSes, but there is by no means a lack of space. Some POSes have been inactive for months before being taken down by local pirates (who usually consider the whole effort boring and a waste of ammo). Having your own capital construction yard or drug lab are a couple more options available to those who decide to set up shop in lowsec.

Planetary Interaction. I base almost all of my planets in lowsec. Have done for a long time. The recent changes in the customs offices don't concern me too much, I set up in an area with a rather lax pirate population. In a good week I'll pull three times the amount of profit from a single planet in lowsec as I would in high. And the best bit is, I don't even need to visit low again to reset my planet timers. One trip in with the command centres, and a trip every month to collect the proceeds.

Ratting. Finally, the good ole' humble belt rats. Anomalies too. Both contain a small proportion of battleship rats, increased chance of hauler and faction spawns and higher bounties. Whilst ratting my sec back up (for like the 4th time - a very tedious affair) I killed 8 hauler spawns in about 4 hours. The total minerals would have been worth nearly 500 million isk, but alas, I had no hauler and the minerals drifted away in the space dust.

Long story short everything is bigger in lowsec. Not as big as null mind, but with bigger rewards come bigger dangers. And Lowsec dangers are often survivable... so lets look at those.

Pirates YARRRR.

Many carebears I’ve spoken too have suffered from a widespread and debilitating horrific memory I've come to term "Shiny new Drake syndrome". Stop me if this sounds familiar...

You fist begin to play eve and quickly establish you're on the bottom rung of the ladder. Your Ibis gets killed when you can't find the cloaking button- your first kestrel sits in a belt too long and becomes rat food. You lost your favourite thrasher when the level 2 mission got a bit hairy. Everything kills you, all the time. Then one day your new corpmates are talking about a ship. Silver and gleaming, raining missile-y death and sporting near indestructible shields. The Drake [note, the drake is simply used as a generalisation. Your own ship may have been something different entirely - mine was a harbinger] becomes your only focus in the game. You skill, you save, you train, until the day you can afford your very own epic pwnmobile comes. You're so desperate to fly it you abandon eve's rule number 1. You strap it with rocket launchers (because you haven’t skilled for HAMs yet...) you fill the mids with shield boosters, the lows with armour plates, the rigs slots with CCCs. You finally decide you want a taste of the REAL eve. The bloody eve. Ignoring the pop-up warnings on the lowsec gate, you jump headlong into the waiting 0.4 system. Sure enough, the flashy reds are there waiting for you. You uncloak, lock one, launch a salvo of rockets and turn on your hardeners...
About 30 seconds later, after several bright flashes of light some brief glimpse of your egg-like pod, you end up back in station. No drake. No isk. We all know what comes next - the sinking in your stomach as the adrenaline wears off and the slow moment your disbelief turns to belief and your computer monitor turns into a UFO.

There are some people for whom their first experience of PVP was a pleasant experience, full of laughing and rainbows. But for most people, it's far more painful. They succumb to the vicious learning curve of Eve. The good news is there are ways around pirates that will help increase your survival in lowsec. Being able to live completely in lowsec (especially as a carebear) takes a keen eye and a little knowledge, but it's really quite easy. Let's first take a look at the threat.

Here be pirates

Pirates (and other assorted aggressive PVPers) are your main concern in lowsec. Traditional pirates fly a variety of ship types. From my experience most hostile pilots in lowsec fly battlecruiser sized ships (tornados are the flavour of the month currently due to their high dps and ability to sit out of gate gun range). Pirates often like to gate camp, and it's here that they catch most industrial type ships and inexperienced pilots.

Durbon Groth
Pator Tech School
Minmatar Republic
#3 - 2012-06-05 12:17:51 UTC
Gate Camping

Gate camps can come large or small, but most follow a simple layout. Scout on the empire side of the gate, tackler on the gate and DPS to kill the target. Scouts are often cloaked alts sitting off the safe side of the gate, but be wary of the solitary shuttle pilot that is often seen near the gate during shooting season. Also checking local can be helpful in spotting potential scouts. Just don't get too paranoid here - some camps don’t even scout at all.
Tackle usually sits very close to the gate - their purpose being to point and web any target to prevent its escape or retreat to the gate. This ship can be anything capable of taking the gate guns aggro as they're usually the first to gain it.
The benefit of this is that the ships used on gate camps are usually larger ships. The long lock times of these ships is the best friend to those trying to bypass the camp. Flying in a shuttle or frigate (even better an interceptor or covert ops frig) gives you a very good chance of warping before the tackle gets a lock on you. One of the reasons for the decline in lowsec piracy is the emergence of cloaky haulers. Using these ships and the mwd/cov ops cloak trick it is easy to move your assets in and out of lowsec.
DPS can come in any shape or size (again, gate guns considered). Battlecruisers, battleships, tech 2 cruisers. High DPS ships are popular here. Again, the aggro taken from gate guns -unless the ship is out of their range - means that larger ships remain the order of the day. If the tackle does manage to point you, often the best strategy for survival is to return to the gate as quickly as possible and activate any defensive modules you have. If the tackle has webs or your ship is particularly slow then this may be tricky. Despite their extremely high hitpoints and tanking capabilities, battleships are often the least likely to survive a gate camp because of their slow speed and massive sig. If you must move larger ships through lowsec, its usually a good idea to travel fit them; dual propulsion mods i.e. an mwd and an afterburner is a good idea, as are a couple of warp core stabilizers or nanofibre modules. It’s interesting to note that gatecamps are mostly found on empire gates and once inside lowsec, travel becomes much easier.

Other types of camps:

Off grid Camps.
Set up at a nearby safespot these gatecampers are pre-aligned to the gate and warp in as soon as the scout broadcasts a juicy target. A common failsafe with gate camps is using a scout of your own to check the hostile side of the gate before jumping. This type of camp is designed to surprise targets who think the coast is clear. When using a scout, make sure to directional scan about 10,000,000m around the gate – remember you can d-scan safely whilst cloaked. Finding a collection of hostile ships on scan means trouble (The D-Scan is one of the most versatile tools in Eve when used with some skill - I recommend to everyone to get used to using it... look at tutorials, practice whilst jumping through systems etc. It will save you many times).

Station camps.
Often used in lowsec hotspots, these gate camps set up at station undocks and their aim is to pop the target before it can re-dock or enter warp. Watch for signs of a crowded station whilst docking. If you believe you have been camped in, you can check. If your ship has a large tank and you're able to further tank it with modules in the station, you can just undock and have a look then re-dock if you get into trouble.

[Side story: Whilst fighting a wardec, a friend and I were camped in station by a 20 man gang. Both flying fully tanked abbadons, we were able to undock, destroy a ship, then re-dock before we were destroyed. The repair bills were expensive but we eventually broke the camp.]

Another way to avoid station camps - especially in stations you often use - is to set up INSTA WARP spots several hundred km away from the station. During a quiet time, undock a fast frigate from the station, turn on the MWD and make a BM ~300km from the station. When you undock a ship in future, it will already be aligned to the safe at full speed, so it will insta-warp to safety. Small ships like shuttles will often be able to undock and warp away before it is locked.

Roaming in the Gloaming.

Roaming PVP gangs are a constant danger in lowsec. Running through multiple systems (and then back the way) fleets can range from a couple of members to a fleet of 50 pilots all looking for the same thing - targets. And right now, that means you. Alot of pirate corps have routes that they run periodically - knowing these can often save you. Another helpful fact is that fleets often stick to main pathways through lowsec. Having an entire fleet jumping into every side-system and dead end branch is time consuming, but expect to see scouts.

Scouts and tackle.
Running with most gangs will be a number of scouts and fast tackle. These ships can be smaller and faster - engaging off station and gates means frigates are free to act as the eyes and points of a larger force. Seeing new faces in local always calls for a D-scan and quick check of corp, sec status and bio (never underestimate the bio of a player as a source of intel) - this is how it should ALWAYS be. Also if you're in a fleet, let others know and if flying a vulnerable ship, align to a safe area.
Covert ops ships or recons are capable of scanning you down in minutes, but a skilled scanner will use the D-scan and probes together, bringing this time down to seconds. Make sure that your overview shows all types of probe and check use overview settings on the d-scan. The moment you see a combat scanner probe, get safe.

Durbon Groth
Pator Tech School
Minmatar Republic
#4 - 2012-06-05 12:18:19 UTC  |  Edited by: Durbon Groth
I accidentally into a fleet.
Jumping into a hostile fleet is a bad thing to happen, but it happens. First thing - don't panic. You’ll be cloaked so take that time to assess that situation. If they are travelling, there's a good chance they'll just jump right on past you. Check the shiptypes - where are the likely tacklers? Are they fast ships or slow ones? Are you able to burn back to the gate and jump through or will you be followed? If you're flying a covert ops, frigate, shuttle or other cloaky, there's a good chance of survival, as the same tips to avoid gate camps apply. Other than that, all you can do is hold your breath and hope your cargo isn't that expensive.

[side story - I was commanding a 10 man fleet back in the early days of Black Rise. We were being chased by a larger gang and jumping hastily towards backup. Unfortunately I led us all into an ambush - as we jumped through a gate we found ourselves in a large 30 man gate camp. I gave the order to hold cloak and hoped we were still being followed. When the gate flashes of our pursuers began, I fleet warped the entire gang out to a nearby celestial. The larger gang, seeing all the flashes began to disengage but not before popping 2 of our pursuers who also warped away, probably thinking they'd run into our backup. Making three fleets all run away from each other may not seem much like a victory, but we survived to fight another day].

Flying solo - Hunters, prey and assorted denizens.

The population of large parts of lowsec is comprised mostly of small corps or single players, alot of whom have no interest in killing you. A much smaller portion of these would not kill you given the opportunity. Solo pvp pilots are few and far between, often bored pirates roaming near to their home grounds or "leet" empire richboys, out looking to prove themselves with cloaky warp-stabbed tech 3 ships. Recon ships are particularly dangerous in this role - they have the ability to cloak, scan and kill jammed into one ship. Nowadays, tech3 ships are also used for the same reason. Keeping a close eye on your D-scan when neutrals are about is a must. See a combat scan probe and you run. It never hurts to be aligned to a safe the whole time.
Overall, deciding whether a lowsec resident is a threat to you is a case of intel and your own judgement. Being afraid of every passer-by will result in not alot of isk being made and a very bad time. Check the bio of a player - get to know the local population, chat in local, keep it friendly. D-scan to find shiptype and probes. Seeing exploration probes and a tengu will often mean someone coming through looking for explo sites to run. Keep an eye on them, stay aligned (especially if you're IN one of the sites) and see if they leave. Know the routes between gates and the systems local to you. If you find someone who is constantly roaming in a combat-scanning pilgrim, set them red (but don’t let them know obviously) to remind you in future.
There are alot of carebears already in lowsec. The keep mainly to themselves but hang about to run POSes, collect from planets and run sites. Getting friendly or striking up deals with these prospectors can provide you with alot of resources and vital intel. Who knows, maybe you can work together on money-making ventures?

Turning a profit.

The best time to make a go of it in lowsec is now. With the decline of piracy in recent years, and the mass exodus towards highsec incursions and nullsec alliances, lowsec is a gold mine - unoccupied and unexploited. The prevalence of pirates in previous years did to lowsec prospectors what white man did to the buffalo herds. Too much hunting and a dangerous reputation has heavily contributed to pirates searching for greener pastures. Many operate in nullsec now, or specialise in highsec war-deccing. With the upcomming changes to the wardec system and mercenaries even more of lowsec's red guys will leave. So what are the opportunities for carebears in this deserted wilderness?

Exploration comes in several different shapes and sizes. I'll go through each of the main ones:

Radar sites drop datacores, decryptors, components and blueprints for interfaces. Decryptors are the most profitable by far though smart selling of interfaces can net you a tidy profit too. Expect to make between 5 and 25 mil per site. You will need a codebreaker module to hack the cans you find.

Mag sites are a good source of tech 2 salvage. In the right regions a trip can bag you between 10-50 million depending on the salvage it drops and the global demand. Both mag and radar sites spawn rats – there are a couple of tricky sites but they're mostly easy. You will need either a salvager or an analyser to crack the cans you find.

Unrated combat sites are a good source of rats and often faction spawns, resulting in great loot. Most are soloable in the right ship given enough time and some escalate - each stage of escalation has a faction ship to kill before moving on, which gives you many goes on the Random Number Generator lucky dip.

DED combat sites are the highest on most people's to do lists. Usually tricky but with excellent loot drops possible, they're great fun and profitable. When running combat sites, view anyone else in your site as a threat. Even if you could otherwise handle yourself the extra DPS from the rats will stack the odds against you. Often other explorers will attempt to drive you out of your site and finish it themselves. Remember once they're in, the shoe is on the other foot and they will be at a disadvantage if you go to take it back.
Durbon Groth
Pator Tech School
Minmatar Republic
#5 - 2012-06-05 12:19:10 UTC
Gravimetric sites are hidden asteroid belts. The best place to mine in lowsec and often sporting high end nullsec ores to boot. Grav sites last for 3 days once spawned so if you're planning a mining op in lowsec, this is the time scale you have to work with. (p.s amarr space is renowned for large numbers of grav sites).

Moon Goo
I've never set-up or run a POS myself (I’m not a spreadsheets kinda guy) so I can't give anyone an accurate summary of setting up a POS in lowsec. I have used many lowsec POSes though, for researching blueprints, hiding in, getting bonuses from an off grid tech 3 etc. They're useful and in lowsec you can mine moons to produce a profit. There are a number of good moons still available in lowsec (at the time of writing, there is a forum post advertising some 30 decent mining moons in one lowsec area in Aridia) and a profit can be made. If you would be interested in deploying a POS, there are plenty of guides and tutorials - just make sure you have a good supply route that avoids dangerous systems and a good cloaky hauler.

Mining ops (especially since the recent mineral price upheavals) are highly profitable - if done right! No-one is going to celebrate if you lose 5 hulks and an orca. And that’s the deal about mining ships - they're big, slow, weak and expensive. Exactly the wrong type of ship for a potentially hostile environment. To stay alive, you've got to be well prepared. I'm going to into some detail about planning and executing a good lowsec mining op as it's by far the most difficult lowsec activity and the one that causes most tears when it goes wrong.

Planning a Mining op - Essentials.
First off, decide what kind of ships you're going to use. I would advise covetors. They have the same 3 strip miners of a hulk and are a tenth of the price. It loses out in yield slightly but the risk reduction makes them much more promising. You'll need haulers. A cloaky hauler would be nice, but they will be hard pressed to keep up in even a small mining op. The non-cloaky tech 2 hauler is a nice option too - the extra warp strength can help it to get out in a pinch, but they are very slow and expensive. Regular haulers die easily but are cheap. An orca is what you'd want in a big mining op but the expense is daunting. It all depends on how solid your plan is - if you're confident then take an orca, but it may be wiser to start with something more expendable.
Next is the location. This is probably the most important step right here. If you are a hisec corp going to lowsec for an op then you'll need to find somewhere easily accessible and safe. Finding Gravimetric sites when planning a mining op is extremely helpful. It means that your mining fleet is away from any celestial body and can't be warped to without being scanned down, adding an element of safety. If you have to mine in a belt, don't mine in the top belt or the bottom belt as this will be the first place a hostile will warp on seeing a bunch of hulks on d-scan. Check which planets/belts are out of the way of gate-gate warp paths giving you a chance of being passed by. Look at the system itself on dotlan and your eve map. Is it a quiet system? Is it easy to get to? Is it far enough away from population centres? If it's a dead end, do you have a way out? All important considerations.
If you're working out of a lowsec POS (try not to use stations as they're often populated) you have the added element of safety. However by mining in that system frequently, you'll eventually attract attention and start seeing more and more raids coming by your system. There are alternatives. Using a carrier and a rorqual you can move mining ships to a Grav site many jumps away. Miners would move to the system discretely in shuttles or frigates. Deploying in a dead end pipe or system like this will allow you plenty of time to scout any potential threats, dock up the hulks and prepare to jump the rorq and carrier out. Ozone is cheap, keep a cyno ready on your POS at all times. This method takes alot of resources but is as safe (as you can get) and very profitable. Another good idea is to have a lowsec base POS complete with mining ships, haulers and all other gear and organise mining ops on an occasional basis, with miners again travelling out in small fast ships.
Security is your next concern. Guards are useful if an op goes bad although it can be a very boring job for them if everything goes well. Scouts are ESSENTIAL. Alt scouts in cov ops ships are best. Try to give yourself as much notice as possible. The more time you have, the better you'll do. If you find someone coming your way, try to swap out your mining ships for combat ships - a person jumping into a system with 10 combat ships in it is not likely to hang about. Also change your bio's. Try to look inconspicuous or even dangerous and you'll be left well alone by opportunists.
Finally, If it all goes wrong, learn how to cope. Bitchin and crying never helped anyone (except my girlfriend BA-DUM-TSHH). You need to have a plan and stick to it. Prioritise by isk. You're here trying to make isk and if the poop hits the fan your main concern is losing as little as possible. If you have guards, sitting them in a falcon or a scorpion allows you to use ECM to protect your most valuable assets. Make sure you stay on voice comms and make sure everyone knows not to go AFK or to get safe before they do. Have safespots set-up if you don't have a POS to hide in, and concentrate on getting your ships out and warped to them. Wormholes can make excellent temporary hiding places - just make sure you scout these too – having one scanned out in your mining system gives your entire fleet a way to disappear from system. And finally If a mining op gets crashed, even if you manage to avoid the attackers, it's best not to continue mining or proceed extra cautiously if you do.
Durbon Groth
Pator Tech School
Minmatar Republic
#6 - 2012-06-05 12:19:51 UTC  |  Edited by: Durbon Groth
End of the day, if your plan is good then you've got a great chance to make alot of profit in a short space of time with minimal risk. The profits are there if you exercise a little caution.
And most of all, good luck!

Bear Grylls Lowsec Survival guide: Top 10 tips!

1. Safe spots. Safespots safespots safespots. Sunk in yet? If you use a station frequently, set up insta-undock spots. Set up safes in your favourite systems. Off grid spots on gates can make it easier to escape if local spikes. Warp to the off-grid safe, D-scan the gate, warp to it if it's clear. A combat scanner can often get bored if a ship keeps warping around between multiple safes.

2. D-Scan. It will save you so many times - know how to use it and you'll find yourself alot safer. Practice often and look for tutorials. know how it works so you can avoid d-scanners. DEEP SAFES are safespots that are more than 14AU from any celestial objects, meaning you will be out of range of the enemy's d-scan.

3. Stay off the main pathways. These are heavily travelled and are the most risky places. There are areas of lowsec you can hang about in for days before seeing another pilot pass by. Use your starmap statistics panel and check out the high traffic and low traffic areas.

4. Intel! The more you know the safer you are. Know local pirate corps, hotspots, times that gangs tend to roam, Is your area in FW space? Know the star systems, back doors, escape routes, dead ends, closest stations etc. Plan carefully and your ops will have alot more chance of success.

5. Know when to run. Although you can take alot of precautions to insure you remain intact, it's sometimes better to just GTFO. Have a plan to evacuate a lowsec base or POS. Know escape routes and warp fast. Equally, some threats are not worth running from.

[side story - Whilst flying my zealot I was attacked in a complex by a drake and vengeance - I knew my ship's capabilities and decided to fight. I 3-volleyed the vengance and burned out of range of the rats as I engaged the drake. He shortly warped out (no place on a pve ship for a point) and I finished the site in peace.]

6. Be self sufficient. If you're setting up a base for exploration or other pve activities, make sure you have plenty ammo, nanite paste, charges, crystals, scripts and extra hardeners, or make sure you can produce them yourself. Braving gate camps or lowsec tradehubs to obtain vital goods is dangerous.

7. Drop off loot often. Make sure not to carry valuables around with you. If you die, you loose them all. Drop off loot when you get it and if you do get killed, you minimize your losses. I've seen many ships killed in lowsec carrying far more than the ship's worth in loot.

8. Look before you leap. Use scouts, D-scanner and intel gathering before organizing a lowsec op. I guess most of this is covered by intel but common sense is a massive factor. Most of my own lowsec losses occured when common sense went completely out of the window.

[Side story: Whilst working with an enthusiastic bunch of miners once, the conversation of a lowsec mining op came up. I volunteered to go scout a few systems in my covert ops. Ignoring my advice about a well planned future op, the CEO jumped an entire fleet of retrievers, coveters and an orca into a lowsec system. Facepalm. The second mistake they made was warping directly to the top belt. Because the system was empty they assumed it was safe. A pair of hurricanes jumped in from the highsec system, warped straight to top belt and engaged. Three mining ships were lost. The orca was saved because I had an ECM module on my covert ops ship (pure fluke, I had extra CPU and the module in my hanger) and managed to jam the cane pointing it. I'm still waiting on the promised reward]

9. Know your enemy. A better knowledge of PVP will increase your survival rate ten fold. You may not be interested in becoming a pirate for years to examine how they work but taking a couple of agony PVP courses or just having a play about with RvB you'll gain a much better understanding of PVP and how to survive should it come to that.

10. Ships aslode, get used to it. You're gonna get blown up eventually. It's not so bad, why pay for insurance (platinum4eva) if you're not expecting to ever lose ships? I have many more lossmails than I do killmails (though we used to throw away ships – back in the days before anyone cared about killboard ratings) and I wouldn't change a thing - I've enjoyed this game. After the dust has settled count your losses and brush yourself off. You'll probably make much more isk being in lowsec than you lose.

Well, that's the end of the guide. I hope you've enjoyed reading this – I've enjoyed writing it! Comments and feedback, positive or negative is always appreciated. Also if you would like to ask any more questions, please do and I'll try to get back to you all.

Fly safe o/
Durbon Groth
Pator Tech School
Minmatar Republic
#7 - 2012-06-05 12:20:24 UTC
Meafi Corp
#8 - 2012-06-05 12:45:24 UTC  |  Edited by: VaMei
A few points from my experience as a sheep among the wolves...

1. Your 1st days are not about getting rich, they're about scouting the area and laying roots. Expect to die during your 1st days in a new area. Plan for it, and use it to your advantage. During those 1st days, fly cheap ships you can afford to replace and learn who will try to kill you and who will not. Make contacts with the locals and learn about any local intel channels.

2. Combat missions can give you deep safes. Especially during your 1st days in an area, run combat missions for a Lv1 or 2 agent. You can run them in cheap ships, you can get solid safes while you're at it, and the real goal of your 1st days is to learn who's out to get you.

3. Exploration BMs make good safe spots after a few days. When you BM that exploration site that can't be re-created by mid warp BMs, keep it!

4. Pirates value intel too. Got a line on a juicy WH? Is a fat target comming down the pipe? The local pirates might choose to let you be, if you're more valuable to them as an ally than a target.

5. Safe spots don't stay safe. Have many ready to use and be ready to burn them. If you're spotted at a safe, burn it. If probes get close to you while you're at safe, burn it. If you've been using it for a while, burn it. If you don't trust your corp IRL and you warp fleet to it, burn it.
Pinstar Colton
Sweet Asteroid Acres
#9 - 2012-06-05 14:09:58 UTC  |  Edited by: Pinstar Colton
When roaming around low, keep an eye on local. Do more than just see who is there, check their info. What is their name? What is the sec standing? What is their corp? How big is their corp. How big is their alliance. Over time, you'll see some familiar faces and names. You'll learn who the camping pirates are (and where they camp) who the roaming pirates are...and who are just the ratters, explorers and PI colony builders (who are slightly less likely to seek you out and cause you problems).

If you come into a system with 7 people in local, there is a big difference between 7 random people with a mix of high and low sec status...and 7 people with negative sec status all part of the same corp.

PI in low sec is very good if you can find some planets with good tax rates. Not every corp puts up a double digit tax on their planets in low and if you can find a cluster of <10% tax planets, you can stand to profit quite well.

Find a safe entry system into low if you plan on traveling back and forth from high sec. This is often going to be a jump or two out of the way. Use the statistics page on the star map to sniff out quiet border systems. Border systems are more dangerous than deep in low sec.

When you do run into gate camps (regardless if you survive them or not) take note of the time and location. Over time, you'll learn when it is safe to go where.

Until you are comfortable with your environment, fly cheap and insured.

When operating in low, make sure you have your route planner set to 'prefer shorter'. 'prefer safer', ironically, will send you to chokepoint systems that tend to be heavily camped.

If you are flying a ship not designed or intended for combat, fit two warp core stabilizers. That is enough to muscle past a scram or two long points. This is more than enough to escape 90% of gate camps (provided you can align and warp before they just vaporize you outright).

Lastly, remain humble. Unless you are going to low specifically geared for PVP, you aren't going to win against pirates. In the cat and mouse game that is low sec piracy, there is no shame in learning to be a better mouse. If you are popped by a pirate, you would be surprised at the results of a polite message of congratulation to your attacker(s) rather than the rage/bile/tears that is normally expected.

In the cat-and-mouse game that is low sec, there is no shame in learning to be a better mouse.

Princess Strawberry
#10 - 2012-06-05 14:34:23 UTC
Good guide, like your side stories, they give a good flavour of life there Big smile

Pinstar Colton wrote:
In the cat and mouse game that is low sec piracy, there is no shame in learning to be a better mouse. If you are popped by a pirate, you would be surprised at the results of a polite message of congratulation to your attacker(s) rather than the rage/bile/tears that is normally expected.

Both of these things are very true, especially if you are solo. Try not to get caught, if you do, don't rage or (even worse) dock up and try to get some "revenge" pvp going (you'll just lose another ship), be nice. Pirates are people too, I've actually met a couple of nice people in game after they popped me on a gate camp, and it does pay to know the locals if you want to stay out there for any time. Some people are just d!cks of course, it's better to just ignore them though.

Durbon Groth
Pator Tech School
Minmatar Republic
#11 - 2012-06-05 22:47:19 UTC
Thanks for your replies guys, I appreciate the extra bits I forgot! Using old exploration sites as deepsafes is a great idea - I use it too. And the bit about pirates being people too... yeah it's true! It's all about fun at the end of the day and no-one wants to feel bad for shooting a few guys. Don't take it personally and it's much better for everyone!
I decided a while back not to pop total newbies - it's a bad experience and not even a challenge so I either ransom them or If i blow them up, shoot em a few million isk and give them some advice about better ship fittings, have a bit of a friendly chat.

P.S Just read that the Mitani has decided to keep endorsing hulk gankers and create a continuous hulkageddon in highsec, so theres never been a better time to try a bit of lowsec mining!
Mathieu Foiritan
Center for Advanced Studies
Gallente Federation
#12 - 2012-06-08 02:25:45 UTC
Nicely written and the personal stories are a nice touch. I'm currently seeking out a place to call home in low-sec and getting a bit discouraged. I haven't been popped yet, although I'm sure it's coming. P Blank clone and cheap ships to keep the losses minimal. Mining op? I'm not that crazy yet, maybe someday though. Thanks for the guide.
Sola Mercury
Republic Military School
Minmatar Republic
#13 - 2012-06-08 14:37:34 UTC
Durbon Groth wrote:

... If there is any celestial object directly in front of you, warp to that - the fact your ship is aligned will knock valuable seconds off the time between uncloaking and warping.

The direction a non moving ship is aligned to has no significance.

Also found this:
Durbon Groth wrote:

DEEP SAFES are safespots that are more than 14LY from any celestial objects, meaning you will be out of range of the enemy's d-scan.

These would be a save located well out of system Lol
You mean 14 Au, right?
Pinstar Colton
Sweet Asteroid Acres
#14 - 2012-06-08 14:44:30 UTC
Mathieu Foiritan wrote:
Nicely written and the personal stories are a nice touch. I'm currently seeking out a place to call home in low-sec and getting a bit discouraged. I haven't been popped yet, although I'm sure it's coming. P Blank clone and cheap ships to keep the losses minimal. Mining op? I'm not that crazy yet, maybe someday though. Thanks for the guide.

Getting popped is actually a bit of a relief when it happens the first time. In the same way that (for you needle-phobic types) watching a nurse prep a needle can be very unsettling and the only way to shake that nerve is when they finally stick you with it and you see it isn't as bad as you thought it would be.

In the cat-and-mouse game that is low sec, there is no shame in learning to be a better mouse.

Durbon Groth
Pator Tech School
Minmatar Republic
#15 - 2012-06-09 17:56:30 UTC  |  Edited by: Durbon Groth
These would be a save located well out of system Lol
You mean 14 Au, right?

Of course :D 14 LY would be a VERY safe spot! Would take a while to warp to though. Regarding the align points, I always thought it would be faster due to not having to align first, but i've never measured it.
Princess Strawberry
#16 - 2012-06-10 15:32:34 UTC
Sola Mercury wrote:
Durbon Groth wrote:

... If there is any celestial object directly in front of you, warp to that - the fact your ship is aligned will knock valuable seconds off the time between uncloaking and warping.

The direction a non moving ship is aligned to has no significance.

Aye, what you have to do is keep your ship moving and stay aligned, then you can warp almost instantly. A bit fiddly to do depending what you're up to, but do-able none-the-less. Maybe OP could clarify this in the guide.

Calebus Phobeus
Eternal Seekers of Darkness
#17 - 2012-06-10 16:59:09 UTC
Many thanks for that guide. I think there are quite a lot of high-sec players, who actually will avoid going into low sec because of their bad experience. Especially when you're new in game, there is lot of stuff you're not understanding and then wondering from where the hell someone actually just jump on you. As some players tend going after the greenish as well, this might lead that some people avoid low-sec after all.

So many thanks for explaining some low-sec stuff and also for some of the nice side stories. It was really nice to read and very interesting. Please keep up the good work.
Durbon Groth
Pator Tech School
Minmatar Republic
#18 - 2012-06-13 16:15:44 UTC
Thanks for the great comments guys - regarding the aligned warp time, yeah being aligned at 75% speed will give you an instant warp, it was spawning from a gate jump and being pre-aligned to some celestial I was talking about. I measured it last night though and it does seem I was talking bollocks. Will amend that bit of the guide.
Cap James Tkirk
Asteros Anonymous
Domain Research and Mining Inst.
#19 - 2012-06-13 23:06:57 UTC
Solid guide me and my corpies jsut moved to low were ahving a blast it has given a new life to eve for us and me mostly. I would recommend everyone try it Blink.

fly safe peeps
Durbon Groth
Pator Tech School
Minmatar Republic
#20 - 2012-06-18 02:46:31 UTC
self bump - with highsec systems becoming too dangerous to mine in and wardecs rampant, as well as the proposed mining barge improvements and mining frigate, theres never been a better time to exploit some forgotten lowsec riches!
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