Congratulations on your choice of living out in null-security space. Riches abound and are waiting for you to make them yours. Yet, unless you are a part of a major power sitting on a swath of virtual land, you want a way to move around the neighbourhood without getting robbed blind. Even for those whose home space is fairly safe, it pays off to know how to move through space unscathed, be it for a day trip to Jita or in order to follow on the tail of an enemy fleet.
Luckily for you, it is possible to make catching you in nullsec an exercise in futility. Yes, people can still get a camp of smartbombing battleships up to break the hardiest of interceptors – but then amount of assets and time they’d need to get on the field makes it pretty inefficient.
Tip one: Get yourself into an interceptor or start yachting
The fastest ship class in EVE Online is the interceptor. Normally, their role is to zip around space and prevent other ships from warping off or provide navigational on-grid bookmarks to fleet commanders. To this end, they are immune to being stopped by bubbles, those things that you’ve seen end your plan of an easy way to travel through another person’s region. They’re also able to align almost instantly, making it almost impossible for gate campers to tackle you before you are on your way.
This handy graph shows you what happens if you slap two different kinds of module on your ship: inertial stabilizers and small low friction nozzle joints, a type of rig. You are looking for the number to be ‘green’ according to your spaceship command skill. After you have an insta-aligning ship, you’d be looking at slapping on some tank, like a medium shield extender and an EM hardener. For travelling around, a propulsion module is not necessary and reduces the available tank you can put on your ship. Please don’t repeat this pilot’s mistake and forgo putting in anything. This makes your ship not align instantly while doing nothing about its squishiness. You can read more about how server ticks and instant aligning work here.
If you do not feel like taking a (useful) 1-week detour in your skill plan, there is always the solution of throwing money at the problem. The Victorieux Luxury Yacht is the solution you will come up with. The hull comes at around 90 million ISK, and to make it align instantly you will need to spring for a set of faction inertial stabilisers that come in at between 400 and 500 million ISK. It’s a rich people ship of choice for lazy boating and can be very useful for moving about until you get yourself into an interceptor, should you be training for one later on in your eve career.
Tip two: Bookmarks
From the time you begin playing EVE until the time you stop, you should make bookmarks. Set up in the client as CTRL + B, the bookmarking function allows you to save the particular spot in space that your ship is at when you press the bookmark button. By using unaligned bookmarks, you can avoid most catch- or drag bubbles between you and a gate. While it often enough to bounce to a gate off of a random celestial, bookmarks on grid with the gate are the preferred method.
When you look at bookmarking guides, you will find many of those referring to on-grid and off-grid bookmarks. This hails from the time of smaller grid sizes, where a bookmarked placed 250 km off an object would not be in the same server instance as the bookmark. That way, you were able to check a gate from very close, before warping onto it. With the advent of citadels, this changed and off-grid bookmarks are not really a thing anymore.
There are multiple ways of going about bookmarking. You could get into a frigate with an MWD and burn out for a bit before creating a bookmark. This is very convenient, but I prefer to jump between celestials and create a few “mid-safes”, bookmarks made on your warp between two different objects. I would then use those safes (or a temporary anomaly), to warp to the gate and set a bookmark right before landing. This would normally get me in at between 2000km and 500km on grid with the gate – safely out of range of any bubbles or enterprising gate campers. Normally, I create those bookmarks on the fly while travelling between systems. For naming, I normally do a quick notation of “g> ABC @distance”. I do not use folders for frequently used bookmarks since client lag only becomes a problem if you have many bookmarks and I prefer having my bookmarks in front of me when I right-click in space, rather than in a nested folder structure.
If you still use stations, you would also want instant dock- and undock bookmarks, but since outposts will be going away, this is outside of the scope of this article. If you really need to, you can look up how to create those in one of the many great guides out there.
Step three: Common sense
You can be ganked in highsec as well as in low- and null-security space. The ganker’s decision is always the same: Is it worth for me to kill this ship? In high-security space, suicide gankers calculate this risk/reward in ships that they need to sacrifice in order to destroy your ship. In lower security space, this decision is skewed more towards whether people are willing to spend the time hunting you down and ganking you. Unless you are a target of opportunity, catching a smart player is a cat- and-mouse game that can take a while, even if you are not in an interceptor. Since killboards mean a lot to many people, they are more likely to try to gank you when they can get a nice kill-mail from it – so if you are flying a fancy ship, or have a history of losing expensive yachts to smart-bombing gate-camps, people might be more willing to muster a dedicated response fleet. If you are merely a pilot using a cheap, disposable interceptor, few people will have the dedication to track you down.
This is it – staying safe in null is easy if you use the right ships and get into the good housekeeping habit of bookmarking as if your life depended on it; no less because it does.
Hopefully this helps a few people travel a little more safely round null. Thanks QuendanApril 29, 2017 at 12:55 PM
I will be referencing this article to my new bros in my Freedom’s Dream Alliance. Well written. With our reds usually trying to gank my guys they’ve gotten good at always being aligned.April 29, 2017 at 1:57 PM
Don’t forget– THE MAP. Never undock without looking at the map. Ships destroyed in the past hour (especially in known camped systems) can tell you if the campers are active.
Intel Channels. Chances are if you live in null, you have access to an intel channel network. Watch them, and contribute to them.
Also keep up on the various wars going on- more than once I’ve been killed just flying through someone else’s war zone.April 29, 2017 at 2:04 PM
Smart bombing battleships took out my Ares while I was streaming. So where your tanks or die 🙂May 1, 2017 at 12:18 AM