Greetings capsuleers. My in-game name is Roedyn and I have been playing Eve since 2009. I have been fortunate enough to play and enjoy the various types of space in the game. I’ve experienced being a dedicated high sec miner, null sec ratter, worm hole dweller, and finally as a friendly neighborhood low sec scum bag.
Looking back at my progression as a player, I wish I could have spent more time in low sec much earlier in my time in the game. Much of my improvement as a pvper can be directly linked to the dedicated time I spent in the space that is often neglected both by the general player base and CCP alike. Contrary to what you might have been told, low sec offers plenty of isk making opportunities, consistent and sustainable pvp, and the ability to live throughout most of empire due to the transient nature of low sec living.
The next time you come across a grizzled veteran who has done it all, ask him this question. “What is the best way for me to make a lot of isk even if I don’t have that mamy skill points?” He will begrudgingly respond “…faction warfare.” Faction warfare is unique to low sec. The greatest reward of engaging in this type of content is the ability to gain an incredible amount of loyalty points in a very short amount of time. Loyalty points are a type of currency that can be exchanged for faction modules, ammo, and ships among other things. This content is very accessible to the new player since the only requirement is to fly frigates and have at least zero faction standings towards the faction that you want to join. This may sound incredibly broken, but you will be vulnerable to player attacks while completing faction warfare complexes. However unlike high sec, CONCORD does not exist in low sec.
Exploration is another isk making activity that can be very profitable to do in low sec. This is a very worthwhile activity to do since most of the exploration sites are simply left untouched. This is mostly due to the space’s inherently low population. By exploration, I mean completing exploration sites, finding and farming worm hole anomalies, or simply finding a worm hole that can lead to an empty part of null sec where you can farm belt rats or take on more challenging and rewarding exploration sites.
Once you’ve become more accustomed to living and economically thriving in low sec, hopefully you will be more comfortable engaging other players in a pvp setting. Low sec pvp is unique. It is very accessible to new players since most engagements in this space revolve around the use of cheap small hulls such as destroyers and frigates. This is more or less due to the majority of pvpers that choose to focus on low sec operations favoring speed and precision. These types of hit and run tactics are more appropriate than large bulky fleets due to the very real risk of these engagements quickly escalating to the use of capital ships if one side so chooses, since they can be flown here. In order to be successful here, you need to know your ship. Truly understand how your chosen tool of destruction works, become familiar with its match-ups, and be aware of your win conditions.
Along with the local culture of using smaller ships, low sec has one more benefit to the new solo or small gang fleet – gate camps are relatively uncommon here. This is due to gate guns firing on ships that have aggressed in its range. This gives mobile gangs relative safety and forces fights near neutral celestial bodies such as belts, moons, customs offices, and the sun.
Regardless of what activity you want to focus on, eventually you will come across this decision in order to sustain profitability and pvp activities – do I stay and continue isk making activities or do I move to follow targets? Players move for many reasons. Personally, I’ve always followed the herd. I find more value in engaging other players and having meaningful interactions. In many ways, following other players will eventually lead to consistent isk making. Once you’ve become more comfortable pvping, you can realistically rely on those skills to sustain you economically. Often, I find that I only need to kill 2-3 ships and loot them in order to replace the ship that I am currently flying. At this point, you will be living the dream – a hippie sustainable game play style in Eve.
I hope I was able to inform you of some of the realities and nuances of low sec as a viable transition for new players. However I’m sure I probably left you with more questions than answers. I would love to expand on some of these concepts in the future in order to inform new players and assist in helping you make decisions that will enrich your time in the game.