Friday, January 22, 2016

Delightful Lowsec (+Safety Tips)

Sometimes you want to leave the crowded systems of Highsec to feel the calm and ominous vastness of Lowsec. Still, you just never know what's going to happen down there.

The feeling you get while watching a local spike, the excitement of a wing warp just before landing on enemy grid, glorious tears from carebears, the ransom moments, the reactions of joy on comms after one of our bumpers manages to push a stupid Jump Freighter off the station… these are all parts of Lowsec and it's a place to have a delightful EVE experience. 

Battle cries, calls to action, cheers of victory, panicked escapes and virtual high-fives... This is EVE Online.

Lowsec allowed me, and many other EVE players to discover basic piracy (ransoming, gate camping etc. including a large collection of tears nearly everyday), small gang PvP, baiting, probing and many fights that we sometimes won, sometimes lost. I once had an ironic moment when I said "miner calm down" to an angry carebear who started insulting me in Local after I ambushed his precious mining barge. It was also particularly funny to see some of those "talker" types who clearly had no idea what they were doing. 

Some of you will remember the following examples from my previous posts:

[ 2014.10.27 23:07:43 ] kapten sortebil > u wot m8

[ 2014.10.27 23:11:27 ] kapten sortebil > you guys are such scrubs
[ 2014.10.27 23:13:12 ] kapten sortebil > I love coming into peoples homes and taking a shit on their doorstep

*2 minutes later*

Kill Report

Needless to say, my passion for the Skiff not only helped me do Anti-Ganking in Highsec, but it also allowed me to surprise other players since about 2014.  This resulted in some delightful memories for me.

Angry carebears often say that mining ships cannot shoot back when an offensive ship is nearby. 

Kill Reports

I beg to differ. koh baelfire learned the truth in a violent way. Mining ships can indeed shoot back, folks.

Kill Reports

For some capsuleers, a mining ship that shoots back is an unexpected, "uncalled" situation. As a result, they react with anger and frustration whenever they encounter this small problem. Luke Damon now knows that nearly everything is possible in a sandbox like EVE. 

Aside these people (that also bring fun), most people who live in Lowsec are actually great people.

It is also a place to learn from. Allow me to share an impressive moment from quite a long time ago, October 24th 2014, when we were once again looking for trouble in Amarr/Gallente lowsec area. During our travels, we came across an Incursus at the gate.

He strangely stared at us while we were aligning to the next gate. We didn't want to waste time with just a frigate and started warping to the next gate. During the warp, I remember the FC say something like: "Bah c'est qu'un Incursus de merde." ("well it's just a shitty Incursus")

We jumped on contact to the next system and guess what. The Incursus showed up again. 

Again, staring at us and literally doing nothing besides flying around our cruiser hulls. I must admit that at that moment, I felt a little suspicious and uncomfortable about it. But hey, it's just an Incursus after all. We started shooting the Incursus for the hell of it…

Image Source: / Reload's channel

…and suddenly, I noticed that Local was already spiking:


Few words can describe the feeling you get when you watch these numbers increase so fast. It's a combination of shock, panic, curiosity, excitement and uncertainty in the ominous vastness of space. Something was incoming.

We knew that there was no one in the surrounding systems. Then where the hell all these people were coming from?


Apparently, that humble Incursus frigate we had just killed wasn't that innocent. He was actually a cyno bait for a fleet composed of about 20+ members. While we were shooting him, the Incursus pilot was busy lighting a lovely cyno by using his Cynosural Field Generator I.

A glorious scenery with sparkling red lights and roaring sound effects surrounded our 5-man fleet. In about 5 seconds, our grid was filled with approximately 20 hostile stealth bombers. Thank you dear Incursus.

Not sure if it was Spectre fleet or Bomber's Bar. I remember seeing some fireworks and then my Moa was destroyed

I don't remember the exact reactions on our comms. However, I recall the hilarious reaction of a fleet member who was relatively new to the game: 

          "C'est quoi?" ("What is it?"). 

"Ehuöheueheheh a lonely Incursus… WTFBBQIAJDSFN!!11!"

I got my pod out of that chaos. Next thing: Never warp to the star upon losing a ship. Of course, I knew this as a general rule. I even have a dedicated GTFO overview tab for that purpose. However, in that WTF moment, I didn't really make the right choice. Upon seeing that sudden spike of hostiles on top of us, I clicked Warp to the first celestial I saw: 

The Star.


As I landed at the star within 0km, TZ Baker (one of the stealth bombers) was of course already there, waiting for my pod in his Hound. I managed to save my pod by quickly warping to another celestial at God knows where, but yeah, it was an amazing moment.

You learn something new in EVE everyday. The next time I see a weirdly-acting and humble-looking newbie Incursus wandering around gates in Lowsec, I will think twice before engaging. Thank you Papor for the fun. It was a good fight… well.. sort of. o7 

Anyways, below I listed the important points about this engagement and some general tips for safety in Lowsec

  • Always have a ready-to-use overview tab dedicated to GTFO purposes. It's easy to set up: go to the overview settings and remove everything but celestials. This is very important for one's ability to save a pod. As you start losing your ship, select a celestial (planet, belt etc.) and start spamming the Warp button. I also recommend reading this blog post written by a player named Feyd Rautha Harkonnen (aka "God Wills It", "Kill-it-forward", "HTFU" and "Jessica Alba").  "By spamming the warp-to (planet/belt) button prior to seeing your ship explode, you actually start your pod's align & warp-to cycle before your enemy even sees your pod on overview."

  • Obviously, do not warp to the star upon losing your ship. People like Santo Trafficante...

...or a few members of the enemy fleet might be waiting for you. 

  • If you see a ship acting in a bizarre, unusual way (sitting at gate for a while before jumping, engaging your fleet lonely, doing odd maneuvers which don't make sense, going away to another system then coming back, waiting for you to engage him etc… anything weird of that sort), the odds are not in your favor and it can be a bait/trap. Also, like Bronson Hughes once said, "When sitting on a gate in losec, if someone comes along in a frigate, locks you up, and starts chatting with you in local, it's probably a trap."

  • D-Scan, D-Scan, D-Scan. Use it, manipulate it, embrace it. If you're not alone in a system, check D-Scan like every 10 seconds (or every 3-4 seconds if you're a maniac like me). 
  • Did I mention D-Scan? Yeah I think I did.
  • Local. Make sure that you have a separate Local window at all times and keep an eye on it at all times. Also, I recommend removing the small portraits in the Local chat list so that you have nice list with names only.
  • Bookmarks/Safespots. If there's a station that you have to use regularly. Create insta dock/undock bookmarks. (This goes without saying for many of you). Safe spots close to stargates and perches near those gates are also extremely useful. 
  • It's a very good idea to have scouts in the next-door systems. Keeping an eye in the surrounding systems gives an important advantage since it's an early warning intel.
  • When you're chasing somebody from system to system, add him to Watchlist. Sometimes he will go offline to trick you or for another reason. Don't waste time searching an offline pilot.
  • Although I've never been a fan of third party killboards, I cannot deny their utility when it comes to collecting some intel about a group of capsuleers. Use the online kill boards (like zKillboard) to identify active capsuleers in your favorite systems. Click on the kill reports and take a look at what they fly and who they fly with. 
  • If you have some time before engaging somebody, check their killboards to see if he/she has already lost the same ship type. Most people don't change their fits much for a given ship, so it can give you an idea before engaging. Also, if possible, Look At their ship and try to understand what type of offensive weapon system they have. For example, Autocannons have an obvious rotation, Artilleries don't (correct me if wrong).
  • Use voice comms as much as possible. It has a huge advantage for fleet coordination and fleet members' reactivity. 
  • Let your favorite music accompany you in space, especially when there's nobody on comms. This can be EVE music itself, or anything you like. My personal all-time favorite will remain the beautiful world of Trance music (which goes perfect with space!)
  • Be careful when you encounter lonely roaming ships like Procurer, Skiff, Maller, Prophecy, Myrmidon, T3s and even battleships like Dominix or Abaddon. These ships are often used for baiting.
  •  If you really feel uncomfortable while engaging a suspicious-looking target that looks like a bait, try to keep your ship aligned to a celestial while shooting him (as much as you can do). This makes it easier to GTFO in case bad things happen. If you're pointed though, good luck. 
  • But most importantly: Don't be too much paranoiac. Enjoy the moment. Losing ships is a part of EVE, and as Dame Edna Everage said:
"Never be afraid to laugh at yourself. After all, you could be missing out on the joke of the century."
Because even though you pay attention, something horrible will happen and you will lose your ship.  Allow me to finish this post with this great quote:

"Out here, you are either the hunter, or you are the prey. Remember this before you undock. Somewhere out there, right now, someone is hunting you. They will probe down your missions. They will camp your gates. They will smartbomb your pod, they will scram your stabbed ship. Plan accordingly, accept losses graciously, and fly dangerously." o7


Image sources: / Reload

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