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EVE New Citizens Q&A

 
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Noob's first time in lowsec PvE

Author
Riel Saigo
Facta.Non.Verba
#1 - 2013-08-07 19:42:05 UTC
Hi guys. This account looks a year old, but I've only been playing a couple months in reality. Noob account.

A contact in-game gave me a few incentives, so I decided to just up and head for low sec and see what happens. I'm under 10 million in the wallet and at the point where the most firepower I can feasibly field is a Cormorant, or other destroyer. I'd even fly a Merlin if I could get away with it.

Mainly, I'm here in low sec to try and run relic and data sites in a basic Heron, and do some PvE if possible - those green anomalies that show up when you enter a system. I just arrived deep in Blood Raiders territory, despite getting blown up by a smart-bomber on the way in, and want to make a few million cushion as soon as possible.

Thing is - I've never run PvE in lowsec before. I presume it's harder than highsec? I know a few things about the Blood Raiders - like they use EM and Thermal damage and like to neut or something. But I don't know how to judge what I can safely tackle in my destroyer.

I have a couple contacts I can ask for advice, but I'd like to read the materials that are available online first. Anyone know some good online guides for lowsec PvE that I can read up on?

Thanks.
Riel Saigo
Facta.Non.Verba
#2 - 2013-08-07 20:30:33 UTC
Oh, and if the answer is - you're an idiot to think you can run these in a destroyer - that's fine too. I would like to know however.
Ryan Starpuncher
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#3 - 2013-08-07 20:58:54 UTC
I'm also kind of a noob, so my input might not be of much value, but it will be input anyway!

The one time I went into lowsec for anything other than passing through was for mining. The only pirates I ran into were cruisers and larger, so a Destroyer might not be your best bet. A friend of mine had accompanied me in a frigate and managed to hold his own through speed tanking. He was in a Navy frigate with Tech 2 turrets which I'm pretty sure is out of your price range, but you might get similar results with a regular frigate.
Paul Panala
School of Applied Knowledge
Caldari State
#4 - 2013-08-07 21:15:36 UTC  |  Edited by: Paul Panala
I fully support young players going into low sec, but I suggest doing it in cheap ships you are willing to lose, because you will end up fighting other players, it is a gravity issue. Even if you start in PvE areas, they will scan you down, so be ready.

It is almost pointless to talk about how hard the NPCs will be in low-sec when the real challenge will come from other players. Having said that, a destroyer is cheap so long as you keep the mods cheap you should be fine and have a lot of fun. Keep a high-sec fit PvE ship in your hanger so you can make ISK running missions if you end up going broke. Learn to use the directional scanner to watch for other players.

Honestly, when I got into low-sec, it is because I am looking for a fight. I have not had much luck with low-sec PvE just because it ends up turning into PvP. I know others who do it very successfully, I just don't have much advice to offer on it...other than fly safe. Sorry if this wasn't the most helpful post.
Petrus Blackshell
Rifterlings
#5 - 2013-08-07 21:26:37 UTC
It's not clear if you're talking about the exploration sites, or plain belt ratting. If it's the former...

Riel Saigo wrote:
you're an idiot to think you can run these in a destroyer


Lowsec combat exploration sites require a battlecruiser at minimum.

The belt rats are another issue. It is perfectly possible to take them on in a destroyer, but you need to have pretty good support skills for it, and to be using the right damage/tank types. Cormorant isn't going to do super well against Blood Raiders, but a Coercer or Thrasher (with EMP) will do pretty well.

The largest threat are the players, though. Keep an eye on local, directional scan, and be ready to bolt if you see something threatening approaching.

Good luck!

Accidentally The Whole Frigate - For-newbies blog (currently on pause)

Arkenai Wyrnspire
Incorruptibles
Sugar. Affiliates
#6 - 2013-08-07 21:30:03 UTC
Firstly, I want you to know that your attitude is fantastic in that you actually want to head out to lowsec, where pirates roam, instead of staying in hisec where it's safe.

Unfortunately, a lot of the sites in lowsec are a little beyond the firepower of a destroyer. I'm sure a couple of the low-end sites might be manageable but lowsec is a difficulty spike from hisec in terms of PvE sites.

There are a couple of things you can do though - hacking sites in your heron is one major thing you could do, and that's actually extremely good income for a newbie, especially in lowsec. Scanning and hacking is harder to do in lowsec, but it's potentially very lucrative, even for older characters.

If you want to have a shot at those data/relic sites, then I'd suggest fitting the following:

High slots:
Scan probe launcher (Loaded with core scanner probes - upgrade to sisters probes when you get more confident and richer)
Cloaking device

Medium slots:
Data analyzer
Relic analyzer
Cargo scanner (any variant will do, as long as it scans cargo)
Scanning upgrade/Microwarpdrive*
Scanning upgrade*

Low slots:
Warp core stabilizer*

Rigs:
I can't remember the exact name, but 'memetic algorithm banks' or 'gravity capacitors' should go here.

*Optional, fit to choice

That's just a rough guideline.

What you'd do with this is firstly make a safe spot. You can do this by dropping a bookmark whilst mid-warp (make sure it's away from the warp points, like in the middle of your warp). This is a spot in space that other people can't warp to very easily. Then launch your probes, cloak, and scan down the sites in the system.

Next, warp to the data/relic systems and clean them out. The hacking minigame is a little bit more challenging in lowsec, and you may need to train your Hacking and Archaeology skills to complete them. Before hacking a container, scan it with your cargo scanner. This will show you the potential contents - if there's a valuable blueprint in there, you'll want to go after data containers, if there's a valuable decryptor in there, then go for parts containers. This way you can get the valuable stuff and not the rubbish things.

That's pretty much it for using your Heron on those sites. The other stuff to think about while doing that is general lowsec survival.
You're going to want to do this in a quiet system. This means well away from any Faction Warfare zones. Whilst running your sites, open your Directional Scanner and push the button all the time whilst you're running the site. You don't need to do this if there's nobody else in system, but if there's probes on scan there might be some danger to you. Here, you can decide whether to stick it out a little longer or whether to skedaddle safely. If you want to stick it out, then set the range on your scanner to 500,000km and mash the button even more vigilantly.

If a ship appears on there that isn't a scan ship like yours, warp out immediately. Drop everything you're doing and get out. There's a risk that a covert ops ship might slip into the site regardless of your scanning vigilance - if this is the case, you need to watch your overview as well. If one appears there (depending on what it is) then you have about five seconds to warp out before it kills you.

When going into and out of lowsec, be aware that some systems are gatecamped. You can use the star-map and set it to show 'ships killed in the last hour' as an indicator of whether bad guys are present.

If you jump into a gatecamp, remain calm. You may yet be able to survive. You can either try to warp out quickly, or you can try a really cautious way and double click in space away from the gatecampers and immediately cloak. Once you've done that slowly move away from the gatecampers until you're at least 30km away from the nearest one, then decloak and warp off.

One final note on the risks of this venture - if you strike lucky and get some really, really valuable loot like, say, a ship BPC, then you'll want to make your way out as safely as possible. Don't be afraid to dock up and leave the blueprint in a station until it's safe to bring it out. Once you get it back to hisec, there's still a risk if you're carrying it in a fragile heron that a 'suicide ganker' might take you out. Take a heavily tanked ship to transport it and this risk is a little bit reduced.



A little more on the PvE sites in lowsec - A well-fitted cruiser, probably a Caracal in your case, might have some luck with a few of the weaker sites but you'll need to be careful. At this stage I'd recommend sticking to the scanning sites.

I think that adventuring in lowsec for newbies should be encouraged, so if you want additional help mail or convo me in game and I'll give you some more help.
Have fun out there - don't be discouraged if you die a couple of times! It's bound to happen, just make it a learning experience.
With luck, you'll come out of lowsec a richer person.

Someone.

Kara Corvinus
Ministry of War
Amarr Empire
#7 - 2013-08-07 21:45:32 UTC
low sec ratting :
I do this in my pvp frigs when i get bored of people warping away from me, just go max gank & your welcome, so a dessy should be fine.

for DED sites ive never done a low sec 4/10 or 5/10 so i wouldnt know but i hear you need cruisers / bc's really.

For relic sites & data, just use a scanning frig, there's no npcs at them anyway.
Daniel Plain
Doomheim
#8 - 2013-08-07 22:16:43 UTC
your attitude is commendable, but your wallet will likely suffer. all the advice given above is good advice but you will be very lucky not to lose a few ships and maybe a few loads of your precious relic site loot.

as for combat sites: try killing the rats in asteroid belts and at warp gates. if you manage them, you can *maybe try to finish an anomaly but be prepared to warp out if the damage gets too heavy.

another piece of advice: if you find lowsec life enjoyable, faction warfare is a good way to hone your skills while keeping your wallet afloat.

I should buy an Ishtar.

Riel Saigo
Facta.Non.Verba
#9 - 2013-08-07 22:37:16 UTC
Alright, I'm getting the sense that there are some differences in PvE content out here depending on what you do.

So...

1. You've got rats on asteroid belts and on gates (saw some of those sneaking in here). These are weak enough that I might be able to take them in a destroyer or decently fit ganking frigate.

2. You've got those green anomalies that show up on your probe scan without you doing anything. Some of them are pirate hideouts, some are nice special asteroid clusters. I used to run these in my Cormorant in highsec, or sneak in with my Heron and ninja salvage the wrecks there from other players. These show up green immediately without scanning, and you can warp to them right away if you want. I don't know how strong the NPCs are in these things.

3. You have anomalies that you have to scan down with probes - could be a wormhole, could be mining sites, could be data or relic sites, or it could be another pirate lair.

So... what's the strength of the pirates in each of these? And what are DEDs and how are they different? Are those the pirate lairs with multiple "rooms" connected by acceleration gates?

If it turns out these are too strong for me, that'll be disappointing since there are so many of these things waiting to be farmed out here - largely untouched by anyone. In highsec, you have to scramble to find one of these combat sites, since everyone and their dog is looking to farm them too.

But in that case, I'll probably look at scanning down relic/data sites and supplement it with salvaging tier II wrecks that were left behind by other players (which I'm told happens a lot in lowsec). In frigates of course.

The logistics of getting stuff to highsec market is definitely a problem since... now that I think of it, the prices out here in the lowsec stations might be pretty ghetto. What's the cheapest hauler I could pull this off in? For now, I was considering just using a Heron fit as best as I can manage for blockade running. Ideas?

Incidentally, I'm already kind of getting the feeling that other players are the biggest problem out here. After all, I got ganked by some guy smartbombing the gate at zero in a pipeline system when I tried to sneak in here in my Heron. More cautious warping practices, use of D-scan, and hyper-analyzing local got me about 15 jumps into lowsec to my current residence OK (in a free Ibis). In deep lowsec though, I'm getting the sense that there just aren't a lot of residents, and that much of the ganking and PvP action goes on in the border systems - places where traffic gets funneled from highsec, etc.

Anyway, thanks for the responses.
Phei Hsui
Asteroid Mining Industries
Salt Mining Industrialists
#10 - 2013-08-08 00:01:08 UTC
Another new player here. I have been going into lowsec to mine roids. I know I can more safely mine in highsec, and I do, but there is something about lowsec that creates a rush. You HAVE to be on your toes.

I would say if you just want to PvE, take the minimum that will get the job done. If someone wants to gank me and os able to pin me down, I'm probably dead with a Venture or Retriever either way.

Be ready to warp at a second's notice.

When you are ganked, make a note of who did it, and keep an eye out for them next time.
Praxis Ginimic
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#11 - 2013-08-08 04:30:50 UTC
List of all cosmic anomalies no probes needed

List of DED rated combat sites you will need probes to find them

List of unrated combat sites probes also needed

Good luck... and if you see me in local, there's no need to run and hide. Just sit very still. Chances are I won't even see you. Twisted
Neor Deninard
Blackwater Coalition Forces
Harkonnen Federation
#12 - 2013-08-08 05:44:03 UTC
More safety pointers, sorry if some has been said :), if you go exploring (data//relic site hunting). I assume you will use a frigate with scanning bonus skills. You could use a destroyer, but you are only hurting yourself ....

Always keep the local chat window your main chat window, usually there will be only 0, 1 or 2 people there with you. If you are not moving, you are cloaked. Do not afk ANYWHERE if you cannot cloak. Did I mention to fit a cloak? Fit a cloak.

New people joining always check their sec rating; there's usually 3 categories:
Under -5, usually -9,9 : they are most likely out to get you. Cloak up.
Around 0: just starting in low sec, or peaceful, or new//alt; they still can be out to get you ;)
Over 2 or 3: usually an industrial char or a passerby or fellow explorer; buy they still can be out to get you

Check their corp and age, a 4 week old npc corp char is less of a threat than a 3 week old char in a pvp pirate corp. Regardless of their sec rating.

Set D-scan range on 360 and max KM (just enter 9999999 etc....)

Once someone jumps in start hitting D-scan, with any luck you are near their entry gate enough to see their ship types; learn those. Example: a pod, transport, blockade runner etc.. -> no issue and more relaxing on your nerves ;)

Use combat scanner probes if you can; whenever a new person enters the system pop your probes on system wide and run a scan, it shouldn't take you more than 3x to find them if they have a non cloak ship. This will help you to assess the threat; it also scares fellow explorers away ;)

Keep D-scan open and try to hit it once every 20 - 30 seconds if there is a potential danger in the system; if you see combat probes pop up that aren't yours, they are actively looking for you. If you see core scanner probes they are looking for the anomalies, but still can be doing that to get to you!

And finally, first thing of business in a new system in null // low; make safe spots. 1 near 2 or more gates, at least 200km out from the gate not in line with a warpable celestial, and 1 or 2 in the system itself. A nice way to do this is to mark an old relic//data//ded site as those are always scattered in the system so not in line with a celestial usually. If stuff goes bad, and it will eventually, warp away, and as soon as you drop out of warp cloak. If you warped to a gate you can observe the gate from that 200km and decide it is safe to leave, or maybe try the other side.
Arkenai Wyrnspire
Incorruptibles
Sugar. Affiliates
#13 - 2013-08-08 08:19:40 UTC
Riel Saigo wrote:
Alright, I'm getting the sense that there are some differences in PvE content out here depending on what you do.

So...

1. You've got rats on asteroid belts and on gates (saw some of those sneaking in here). These are weak enough that I might be able to take them in a destroyer or decently fit ganking frigate.

2. You've got those green anomalies that show up on your probe scan without you doing anything. Some of them are pirate hideouts, some are nice special asteroid clusters. I used to run these in my Cormorant in highsec, or sneak in with my Heron and ninja salvage the wrecks there from other players. These show up green immediately without scanning, and you can warp to them right away if you want. I don't know how strong the NPCs are in these things.

3. You have anomalies that you have to scan down with probes - could be a wormhole, could be mining sites, could be data or relic sites, or it could be another pirate lair.

So... what's the strength of the pirates in each of these? And what are DEDs and how are they different? Are those the pirate lairs with multiple "rooms" connected by acceleration gates?

If it turns out these are too strong for me, that'll be disappointing since there are so many of these things waiting to be farmed out here - largely untouched by anyone. In highsec, you have to scramble to find one of these combat sites, since everyone and their dog is looking to farm them too.

But in that case, I'll probably look at scanning down relic/data sites and supplement it with salvaging tier II wrecks that were left behind by other players (which I'm told happens a lot in lowsec). In frigates of course.

The logistics of getting stuff to highsec market is definitely a problem since... now that I think of it, the prices out here in the lowsec stations might be pretty ghetto. What's the cheapest hauler I could pull this off in? For now, I was considering just using a Heron fit as best as I can manage for blockade running. Ideas?

Incidentally, I'm already kind of getting the feeling that other players are the biggest problem out here. After all, I got ganked by some guy smartbombing the gate at zero in a pipeline system when I tried to sneak in here in my Heron. More cautious warping practices, use of D-scan, and hyper-analyzing local got me about 15 jumps into lowsec to my current residence OK (in a free Ibis). In deep lowsec though, I'm getting the sense that there just aren't a lot of residents, and that much of the ganking and PvP action goes on in the border systems - places where traffic gets funneled from highsec, etc.

Anyway, thanks for the responses.


1. Yes, the rats in the belts can be weak enough to defeat in a frig or dessie, though the larger ones may pose a problem. You'll have to keep your transversal up (meaning that you have to keep moving around them) so that you can evade their heavier weapons fire though. If you belt rat though, the risk of encountering another player is probably the highest of these activities.

2. The green combat anomalies are stronger than what you're used to. They're also more valuable, but your cormorant is going to be unable to deal with them. Personally to run these I use a HAC or well-fit battlecruiser, both of which are beyond your means at the moment. These are fairly risky to run as well because other people can warp straight to you, but you have an acceleration gate to give you a little advance warning here.

3. Yep. This is what you'll want to be doing I think - but limiting yourself to the relic and data sites. The mining sites aren't really likely to be of much use to you unless you bring a heron, and if you're in a mining boat they're really easy to check. I would note though, that mining sites aren't scanned down with probes anymore - you can find them in the same way as you can anomalies, increasing the risk to you.

I recommend not going into wormholes at this point. It can be a fun adventure, but there's not much you can actually achieve there and it's much more risky than lowsec. If you die there, you're probably going to lose your pod as well.

The other sites are combat sites (or as you call them, pirate lairs Smile). Those can be either 'unrated' or 'DED' sites. These tend to be groups of strong pirate ships with high bounties with a powerful 'overseer' NPC at the end who can be supported by energy neutralizing towers, stasis webifying towers, and warp scrambliing towers. These are definitely beyond your means right now - the smallest ship I'd recommend running them in is a highly skilled Ishkur, and only for some of the weaker sites. I suspect a tech 2 assault frigate is also beyond your reach.

I guess it is disappointing for you that you can't do the combat sites, but there's still plenty of stuff for you to do in lowsec.

In terms of logistics, a Bestower or an Iteron V makes a good hauler. The haulers are being tweaked in the next patch though, so this won't be very stable. If you get high value loot make sure not to use a hauler to carry it - instead, use a cruiser and shove on as many shield extenders as you can. This will reduce the risk of you getting ganked for it, even in hisec.

If you're getting smartbombed at the gate, you might want to try and find an alternative route into lowsec. You can look for potential gatecamps by looking for 'ships destroyed in the last hour' on your starmap.

Deep lowsec is probably friendlier to your purposes, but you have to be careful getting your stuff out - if at all possible, try to move super valuable stuff just after downtime. Alternatively, in the future you can upgrade to a covert-ops ship which is superior in just about every way to your heron for this sort of work.

Someone.

Neor Deninard
Blackwater Coalition Forces
Harkonnen Federation
#14 - 2013-08-08 08:32:18 UTC
Quote:
Deep lowsec is probably friendlier to your purposes, but you have to be careful getting your stuff out - if at all possible, try to move super valuable stuff just after downtime. Alternatively, in the future you can upgrade to a covert-ops ship which is superior in just about every way to your heron for this sort of work.


'Problem' with covt ops frigs is a relatively small hold, but the covert ops cloak is #1 null//low safety.

If possible train for a blockade runner, or even better, 2nd account with blockade runner. This way you can meet in the middle with yourself, or have the blockade runner somewhere at a safe spot, cloaked, for drop offs. With some training and mods you can get the Viator hold over 6000m3 for example. A Helios with 1 cargo expander (that lowers your speed!) only 200 ish.
Daniel Plain
Doomheim
#15 - 2013-08-08 09:04:17 UTC  |  Edited by: Daniel Plain
Riel Saigo wrote:
Alright, I'm getting the sense that there are some differences in PvE content out here depending on what you do.

So...

1. You've got rats on asteroid belts and on gates (saw some of those sneaking in here). These are weak enough that I might be able to take them in a destroyer or decently fit ganking frigate.

2. You've got those green anomalies that show up on your probe scan without you doing anything. Some of them are pirate hideouts, some are nice special asteroid clusters. I used to run these in my Cormorant in highsec, or sneak in with my Heron and ninja salvage the wrecks there from other players. These show up green immediately without scanning, and you can warp to them right away if you want. I don't know how strong the NPCs are in these things.

3. You have anomalies that you have to scan down with probes - could be a wormhole, could be mining sites, could be data or relic sites, or it could be another pirate lair.

So... what's the strength of the pirates in each of these? And what are DEDs and how are they different? Are those the pirate lairs with multiple "rooms" connected by acceleration gates?

If it turns out these are too strong for me, that'll be disappointing since there are so many of these things waiting to be farmed out here - largely untouched by anyone. In highsec, you have to scramble to find one of these combat sites, since everyone and their dog is looking to farm them too.

But in that case, I'll probably look at scanning down relic/data sites and supplement it with salvaging tier II wrecks that were left behind by other players (which I'm told happens a lot in lowsec). In frigates of course.

The logistics of getting stuff to highsec market is definitely a problem since... now that I think of it, the prices out here in the lowsec stations might be pretty ghetto. What's the cheapest hauler I could pull this off in? For now, I was considering just using a Heron fit as best as I can manage for blockade running. Ideas?

Incidentally, I'm already kind of getting the feeling that other players are the biggest problem out here. After all, I got ganked by some guy smartbombing the gate at zero in a pipeline system when I tried to sneak in here in my Heron. More cautious warping practices, use of D-scan, and hyper-analyzing local got me about 15 jumps into lowsec to my current residence OK (in a free Ibis). In deep lowsec though, I'm getting the sense that there just aren't a lot of residents, and that much of the ganking and PvP action goes on in the border systems - places where traffic gets funneled from highsec, etc.

Anyway, thanks for the responses.


your analysis is spot on for the most part. for hauling stuff out into highsec, a fast-aligning frigate will likely be the best option. the reason is that (valuable) loot does not take much room and a smartbomb (a.k.a. disco) gate camp is usually on the lowsec side of the gate, which you bypass relatively quickly.
if you are serious about lowsec life, training for cov-ops frigates and blockade runner industrial ships may be a good idea.

I should buy an Ishtar.

Ekhss Nihilo
Pyke Syndicate
Solyaris Chtonium
#16 - 2013-08-08 15:02:46 UTC
Petrus Blackshell wrote:
It's not clear if you're talking about the exploration sites, or plain belt ratting. If it's the former...

Riel Saigo wrote:
you're an idiot to think you can run these in a destroyer


Lowsec combat exploration sites require a battlecruiser at minimum.

The belt rats are another issue. It is perfectly possible to take them on in a destroyer, but you need to have pretty good support skills for it, and to be using the right damage/tank types. Cormorant isn't going to do super well against Blood Raiders, but a Coercer or Thrasher (with EMP) will do pretty well.

The largest threat are the players, though. Keep an eye on local, directional scan, and be ready to bolt if you see something threatening approaching.

Good luck!


I've had some luck against low-sec belt rats - Blood Arch Templars and Revenants to be specific - with a Corax. It definitely helps to have your light missile skills maxed out, along with Missile Projection, Rapid Launch and Missile Bombardment. A loading cycle time reduction mod is also helpful.

I just keep them at 45-55 km range and salvo Infernos at them until they're done. I've been able to take on three at a time in this manner and hardly even got my paint job scratched. Four at a time is possible, five or more might be stretching it.

I've still got a lot to learn about low-sec ops, though. First and foremost is to use the map. See how many active pilots there are and match that against recent ship/pod kills. A little intelligence gathering can be ship-saver.

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180)

Ekhss Nihilo
Pyke Syndicate
Solyaris Chtonium
#17 - 2013-08-08 15:10:37 UTC
Arkenai Wyrnspire wrote:
Firstly, I want you to know that your attitude is fantastic in that you actually want to head out to lowsec, where pirates roam, instead of staying in hisec where it's safe.

Unfortunately, a lot of the sites in lowsec are a little beyond the firepower of a destroyer. I'm sure a couple of the low-end sites might be manageable but lowsec is a difficulty spike from hisec in terms of PvE sites.

There are a couple of things you can do though - hacking sites in your heron is one major thing you could do, and that's actually extremely good income for a newbie, especially in lowsec. Scanning and hacking is harder to do in lowsec, but it's potentially very lucrative, even for older characters.

If you want to have a shot at those data/relic sites, then I'd suggest fitting the following:

High slots:
Scan probe launcher (Loaded with core scanner probes - upgrade to sisters probes when you get more confident and richer)
Cloaking device

Medium slots:
Data analyzer
Relic analyzer
Cargo scanner (any variant will do, as long as it scans cargo)
Scanning upgrade/Microwarpdrive*
Scanning upgrade*

Low slots:
Warp core stabilizer*

Rigs:
I can't remember the exact name, but 'memetic algorithm banks' or 'gravity capacitors' should go here.

*Optional, fit to choice

That's just a rough guideline.

What you'd do with this is firstly make a safe spot. You can do this by dropping a bookmark whilst mid-warp (make sure it's away from the warp points, like in the middle of your warp). This is a spot in space that other people can't warp to very easily. Then launch your probes, cloak, and scan down the sites in the system.

Next, warp to the data/relic systems and clean them out. The hacking minigame is a little bit more challenging in lowsec, and you may need to train your Hacking and Archaeology skills to complete them. Before hacking a container, scan it with your cargo scanner. This will show you the potential contents - if there's a valuable blueprint in there, you'll want to go after data containers, if there's a valuable decryptor in there, then go for parts containers. This way you can get the valuable stuff and not the rubbish things.

That's pretty much it for using your Heron on those sites. The other stuff to think about while doing that is general lowsec survival.
You're going to want to do this in a quiet system. This means well away from any Faction Warfare zones. Whilst running your sites, open your Directional Scanner and push the button all the time whilst you're running the site. You don't need to do this if there's nobody else in system, but if there's probes on scan there might be some danger to you. Here, you can decide whether to stick it out a little longer or whether to skedaddle safely. If you want to stick it out, then set the range on your scanner to 500,000km and mash the button even more vigilantly.

If a ship appears on there that isn't a scan ship like yours, warp out immediately. Drop everything you're doing and get out. There's a risk that a covert ops ship might slip into the site regardless of your scanning vigilance - if this is the case, you need to watch your overview as well. If one appears there (depending on what it is) then you have about five seconds to warp out before it kills you.

When going into and out of lowsec, be aware that some systems are gatecamped. You can use the star-map and set it to show 'ships killed in the last hour' as an indicator of whether bad guys are present.

If you jump into a gatecamp, remain calm. You may yet be able to survive. You can either try to warp out quickly, or you can try a really cautious way and double click in space away from the gatecampers and immediately cloak. Once you've done that slowly move away from the gatecampers until you're at least 30km away from the nearest one, then decloak and warp off.

One final note on the risks of this venture - if you strike lucky and get some really, really valuable loot like, say, a ship BPC, then you'll want to make your way out as safely as possible. Don't be afraid to dock up and leave the blueprint in a station until it's safe to bring it out. Once you get it back to hisec, there's still a risk if you're carrying it in a fragile heron that a 'suicide ganker' might take you out. Take a heavily tanked ship to transport it and this risk is a little bit reduced.



A little more on the PvE sites in lowsec - A well-fitted cruiser, probably a Caracal in your case, might have some luck with a few of the weaker sites but you'll need to be careful. At this stage I'd recommend sticking to the scanning sites.

I think that adventuring in lowsec for newbies should be encouraged, so if you want additional help mail or convo me in game and I'll give you some more help.
Have fun out there - don't be discouraged if you die a couple of times! It's bound to happen, just make it a learning experience.
With luck, you'll come out of lowsec a richer person.

This is good information, especially appreciated by a newcomer like myself. Just starting to get my feet wet in low-sec operations. You've provided an excellent perspective.

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180)