Between the Empires and the lawless expanse of Null Security Space lies the darkness known as Low Security Space. A haven for roving bands of Pirates, Faction Militias, and all sorts of unsavory characters with vile intentions. It is the kind of place your mother warned you about. A place unsafe to linger, as likely to be gate-camped as it is to be dangerous for the unwary, Low Security Space is home to Eve’s best combat pilots, most cunning warriors, and surely the most nefarious collection of characters, corporations and alliances in all of New Eden. We also like to brag a lot about ourselves.
As the CEO of one of the largest Pirate corporations in Low Sec, Stay Frosty, I personally own all of that space. As Pirate Lord of Low Sec it is my sworn duty to keep the Empire’s influence where it belongs, on the other side of our gates. The Empires call us criminals, pirates, thieves, and a hundred other names, but truly we are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. Once we’ve removed you from your ship, we can be quite pleasant and even help you along your way afterwards, either by pod express or with some sage advice. Depending on how much we like you.
To be serious for a moment, Low Sec is thriving, as it always has as the very best space for PvP in all of New Eden. Ever since Faction Warfare was instituted our space has seen a boom in activity. From roaming gangs, to massive fleets, to solo practitioners, it is possible to find a little bit of everything in between the Empires. Sure, heavily-trafficked gates may often be camped by insta-locking Svipul gangs, but once through those barricades the possibilities are endless. This is the way it has almost always been in Low; without ownership, all we have is our abilities, our wits, and our talents. Low Sec is where you go to make your reputation as a pilot, to make your fortune, to hide from your enemies in Null, or to re-group for the next invasion.
Certainly, not all is perfect. Sadly many of the most recent changes have had a negative impact on the ability of roaming gangs and solo artists alike. We don’t get a lot of love from CCP in Low Sec. Hidden Recons still bait opportunists inside medium Faction Warfare plexes; Supercarriers are now as likely to cyno on top of your Frigate as a Black Ops gang used to be; Command Destroyers’ micro jump drives have no suspect timer; insta-locking camps are as annoying to those that live there as they are to our visitors: the list of bad news is a rather long one. But, as always, we who live in these systems make adjustments, change tactics, rely on intel, and make the best of it we can. CCP has favored the player who stays put in one place of late, and put the roamer at a disadvantage. But honestly, we have always been at a disadvantage, so we’re used to it.
The upcoming changes to links will be interesting, and may help to open up the space lanes for more direct combat opportunities. As always, it is important to find friends you can rely on – even for dedicated solo pilots. Word of mouth, intel-gathering, and experience is more important in Low Sec than you might imagine.
As the Imperium recently discovered, it isn’t a good policy to take Low Sec for granted. Since we are unable to plant our flags in space, Low Sec inhabitants place our reliance on other factors. Our own honor, our word, our brothers and sisters in arms, and even those we often fight. It is a brotherhood in ways that people who live in other places may not truly understand. But they can learn to their detriment if they try to take advantage of us.
If you are considering moving to Low Sec and trying your hand at the play style it offers then I can only encourage you. There are great corporations on all sides of the Faction Warfare divide, and great Pirate corporations throughout Low Sec space. As always, choose wisely and carefully. On the Pirate side especially, the type of corporation and what they can offer you, goes a long way towards making an experience you will enjoy and benefit from. I’m obviously biased, so I won’t name any names, but there are many great groups to choose from. Look for activity in your own time zone, a good mix of experienced and younger players, and an active and efficient killboard. Talk to people, and try not to be hasty making your decision. This is advice I give to everyone when choosing a group to fly with. Often, groups like ours may even invite you along on roams even before you join, just so you can get a taste of the action.
I can’t speak for Faction Warfare pilots, or for the PvE Events (like Crimson Harvest, or Operation Frostline), but generally speaking, these seem to be working as intended. I know many pilots in FW share many of the same worries and concerns as we do, although often for different reasons. And while the PvE might not always be as challenging or rewarding as many would prefer, activity still seems rather high from my perspective.
“Good Fights” remain challenging to come by, as always. More ships, more mods, more changes, have all made keeping up even more difficult. But challenging and difficult are the sort of words the pilots of Low Sec take pride in overcoming. It is the hardest space to live in. And that is why we love it.
Is Low Sec better today? I think that remains to be seen. An argument can be made that it is worse now than it was just a year or two ago, but I believe the jury is still out on that. Hopefully we’ll get some much-needed love in the coming expansions, to address some balance issues, like the Svipul, and temper some overblown tactics, like off-grid links. The criminal system needs some tweaks as well.
As always, Low Sec remains the place where you can prove yourself. No matter what you choose to do there, it won’t be easy – and that is exactly why you’ll stay. Or give up and go home.
I hope to see you in space. Yarrr!