The first thing you need to know in Eve, is that everyone is out to get you and you can’t trust anyone. This is what makes it such an engaging and dynamic game. There is no hand-holding from the devs, and if you lose a ship, it’s gone, forever.
In high security space, you will get “ganked”. This is where another player explodes your ship for reasons that may not be immediately clear. There are professional gankers who do it for profit or roleplaying reasons. There are also bored players who love to ruin your day.
Low security space is home to small gang PVPers. They pride themselves on practicing the deadly art of solo or small gang PVP. This is the best type of PVP as it actually requires some skill to manage your weapons, fly your ship effectively and mitigate the amount of incoming damage. It’s also home to Factional Warfare, which involves orbiting a beacon for a certain time and warping off when someone comes close. Remember to use your warp core stabilisers to ensure that no-one can catch you.
You also have wormhole space. This is home to some very accomplished hunting gangs who enjoy nothing more than rolling their holes until they find a juicy victim. They then explode that victim and disappear back into their hole. Some of these guys are extremely good at what they do, and you do need to be vigilant to avoid becoming their next victim.
I’m going to focus on staying alive in null security space, where the PVP generally involves overwhelming numbers. But there are also roaming gangs, and wormhole gangs who actively roam and look for high value targets.
If you are trying to make some ISK in null sec, you are generally going to be ratting. Running anomaly sites and killing NPCs in the most efficient way possible. People start with faction cruisers (Vexor Navy Issue), Heavy Assault Cruisers (Ishtar), pirate battleships (Rattlesnake/Vindicator), Carriers & finally Supercarriers or even Titans. These tips should help to keep you safe no matter what level you are at in that chain.
Tip 1 – You need to always align out. Absolutely, no excuse here (apart from the VNI or Ishtar, which should be orbiting something, very fast). If you are in a BS or above, you should align out. Do not align to a station, as enemies will bubble these to stop you from docking. You should ideally align to a POS. This is the first thing you should do when you warp into an anomaly.
Tip 2 – Watch Local & Intel channels like a hawk, if something is getting close, around 1-2 jumps out, prepare to warp off to your safe POS. As soon as you see that neut appear in local, hit the warp button and get safe. It doesn’t matter what ship they are in, even a rookie ship can light a cyno to bring friends.
Tip 3 – Be sure to use a helper program like N.E.A.R.2, or whatever is recommended by your corp/alliance. Most of the large null-sec entities have a program they use which reads your intel chat logs. It will normally have visual and audible alerts when a neut or enemy comes close. Take the time to set these up properly, and ideally set it to look at anything within 4-5 jumps of your location.
Tip 4 – Be in your standing fleet or home defense fleet. This lets your friends come and help you easily, as long as you provide decent intel to them.
Tip 5 – You can use your local channel to help give a better visual indication of any visitors to your system by using Shift + click to select everyone in system. When an enemy comes in the system, they won’t have the selection. That actually stands out pretty well if you have the local channel in a prominent position on your screen.
Tip 6 – If you are ratting in anomalies, use your scanner to your advantage to help avoid wormhole gangs. Choose the type of anomalies you are running and ignore everything else. When a new signature spawns, it will appear in red on your scanner. This makes it much more likely that you will notice it. Dock up, scan the sig and take appropriate action.
Incidentally, this also helps improve your ratting efficiency as you are more focused on the ones you are running and not random ore sites.
Tip 7 – Be aware of your surroundings. Before you undock your big shiny ship, check any signatures in the system and make sure there are no active wormholes. If you just logged on, spend a few minutes just sitting there. Watch the Intel channels to make sure there are no roaming gangs nearby.
Tip 8 – Beware of the Dreadnaught NPC spawns, they can and will kill you easily. They web and neut and put out a really high level of damage.
Tip 9 – Don’t rorqual mine or carrier rat whilst the rest of your alliance or coalition is off running a CTA or big fleet, they won’t come back to save you! Just die quietly, and hope no-one sees the lossmail.
You are never truly safe in Eve, but you can take steps to protect yourself. Using the tips above will hopefully help with that. Obviously you can still get awoxed (attacked by a player who is in the same corporation or alliance as you) and there really isn’t much you can do about that. Use common sense, stay alert and fly safe!