Living in Null Sec (0.0)

Dani talks us through some of the key points about living in so-called 'lawless space'

How to avoid the depredations of hostiles in 0.0 and Lo-Sec

The 0.0 attitude

To survive in 0.0 it is enough to be cautious and never expose your main to potentially dangerous situations. This can be done using a noob scout alt, jumping ahead of the main and occasionally docking to keep update his clone and keep it as close to the main as possible, so he can undock and continue his scouting when the inevitable happens.

To thrive in 0.0 requires something different, it requires a change of attitude.

You have to understand the threat posed by neutrals, gank squads and learn the habits of those who are passing by. To an extent you have to get inside the head of your opponent so that you understand what is logical for him to do. Is he an opportunist just looking for an easy kill? Or is there something more to his behaviour?

There is a part of this that simply cannot be taught, it is to do with being able to recognise and react appropriately to assumed levels of danger. This grows over time as you live in dangerous areas and does fade if you spend time not having to develop your "spidey" senses if you live in Empire for a while.

Other things are not quite common sense but taking account of a few simple rules can make all the difference:

  1. Assume all Neutrals are hostile in 0.0 and act accordingly
  2. Read the intel channels and ask for intel on locations you plan to visit
  3. Do not give friendly intel into intel channels, it might seem innocent enough and helpful but you never know
  4. Do not engage on an out gate from a known hostile location without knowing for certain what is on the other side
  5. If a ship dawdles by a gate or in a belt in 0.0 then 99 times out of 100 it is a bait ship, spring the trap if you like, but be aware of the potential consequences
  6. Scouting is critical for success
  7. Have safespots in the system you are in and don't linger on gates unless you are planning to engage there
  8. If you are ratting and a unknown neutral enters the system, align and prepare to warp out. Neutral scouts in covert ops and recons are often used to locate ratters in belts and then grab and hold whilst the main gank squad move in for the kill
  9. If you dock up in a system with neutral or hostiles present, and as you dock several undock, then yes, they are going to be waiting outside the docking ramp for you to undock also
  10. Be a team player, if you have nothing in particular you are doing, consider moving a system out from your 0.0 home base and cloaking a hundred km or so off the in gate and observing the passing traffic, calling in threats or opportunities to the intel channel

Bookmarks

Correctly using bookmarks can add a whole new dimension to your experience. Making it easier for you engage the enemy and harder for them to engage you.

There are two main types of bookmarks, tactical and safespots.

Tactical bookmarks can be broken down to a number of sub types, Sniper spots, observation point, alternate warp in points, storage locations, bubble points.

Safespots can be broken down to quick safes made on the fly, planned safes, deep safes and hard safes.

Bookmark naming conventions

I use a series of naming conventions and folders to keep my bookmarks useful and rapidly usable. I have a number of folders. One for each gate and one for each station and one for general bookmarks. I will have a series of tactical bookmarks in each folder that allows me to react or to act depending on what the situation is.

My observation/sniper spots I tag as follows:

)oo [Near Location Name] (if a gate then I use % to symbolize a gate) @ [distance] < [aligned from location] oo(

In practice this looks like

)oo 0ltq % @ 100 < 31 % oo(

With this I can see in an instant that this bookmark will drop me 100 off the 0ltq-C gate in alignment with the 31-MLU gate. And i tend to have one at distances of 100 out from each other upto 400 or so.

It doesn't require much explanation to see how this could be useful in dropping on enemies that are lingering a few hundred km off the gate.

I will sometimes use an alternate warp in point using

)A - A(

Brackets to differentiate from other spots, these warp ins are so I can warp above or below a gate to a location that is not affected by a gate bubble

I use )B - B(

To annote bubble points.

I also have a set of alternate belt warp ins annoted [VIII-3] and filed in the appropriate folder.

Having slightly different annotations can make it simple to see exactly what the bookmark is for. And it may just save you pod

These 'Far Gates' are scattered throughout the Eve universe and an evil hazard to the traveller when the system is populated.

PF notoriously has one, the Orvolle gate, which has no nearby celestial objects. And almost always has bubbles all around the gate.

But not always...

But how are you going to get close enough to such gates to scan without warping in @ 100, which will let you get sucked in by the bubble? Read on.

Firstly, you are going to want to warp to a celestial object.

Typically I pick moons for this purpose.

Why moons?!?! Because in general there are lots of them, and very few have POS sat there. Also I tend to travel in a ceptor which means that I can easily warp off before the guns or scram lock me.

In fact most cruisers can also get away very easily unless you are careless and don't notice a POS when you warp in.

Before warping, check how far all celestial objects are from your current position, as you may have jumped into a gate that is a Far Gate.

This can be quite hairy if you jump into a camped gate, with bubbles et all. But don't give in to nerves.

If it is a Far Gate, now is your opportunity to make a near gate bookmark

On the way to the moon/planet/belt you pick, make a bookmark

[Optional]Then pick another moon, on the other side of the system somewhere and do the same. And again and maybe even again. [/Optional]

Warp to the (a) bookmark. [Optional]If you are in a ceptor, then its helpful to begin to MWD straight upwards. Because if you are probed out, it may momentarily disorient the pilot as we humans expect things to be in our plain of vision or below it.

Also I have noticed when ships warp upwards as they arrive out of warp, they spend an extra half second or so beginning aligning to the vertical before returning to pilot control making them not only lose that extra half second, but also a delay to them aligning to chase you. That's time you can use.[/Optional]

Now, lets get to the nitty gritty, the Far Gate is say 70AU from the nearest celestial object. So how do we get into a scan range position without landing on the gate. You could burn your mwd or run an armor rep until the cap runs dry and then warp straight there, but chances are you have trained up all your cap based engineering skills and can't reach a low enough cap level to be able to do a partial warp. Also it takes a while.

So, how do we do it?

Select a distant celestial object, this is our 'Burn Off' object.

Start to warp, and cancel.

You'll notice you lose all the cap it would take to warp there. Rinse and repeat until your cap is dry.

Then select the gate and warp, You should get a message straight away saying you don't have enough Cap to travel all the way. If you don't get the message cancel warp!

(For reasons of safety, its best not to use the Gate as your burn off celestial object in case in case you accidentally don't cancel warp in time and end up sat in one of the bubbles we'd like to avoid!)

Now, doing this burns off cap substantially faster than MWD, Reps etc.

So we don't have to sit in one spot for too long and risk a prober landing on you.

Also it can lead you to be able to make deep safes in the barren centre far from Celestial Objects and so not within a regular prober's range.

You may have to make two or more such Burn Off's to get to a satisfactory distance to the gate.

Once you do, Bookmark this spot and head away from it back to another bookmark. Why? It's to lead any probers a merry dance.

Don't worry, we will head back there in a minute or two.

(if you didn't already set your overview to show warp bubbles, now is the time to do so!)

When you do warp back, have you scanner ready at 5 degrees and scan the gate.

You now know exactly what is waiting for you.

If you are in a ceptor, gates camped by lone HICs are perfectly traversable as long as you are very on the ball.

Gates with large bubbles, ceptors and other fast locking ships around, would be suicidal to visit.

Now you have the chance and the choice and never should have to warp blind to a Far Gate.