Monday, October 8, 2007

Be a survivor!

With a few solo kills under my belt now, I thought I'd give fair warning to all and take some time to tell you how not to be ganked by a pirate in lowsec space. I've cruised through system after system without any engagements, so I've learned a thing or two from those who opted out of victimhood as well.
  1. Don't be there. I am frequently denied a fight by pilots who simply dock in a local space station or leave the system entirely the moment I jump in. It is obvious from the wreckage of most of the ships I do loot that the pilots really had no business being in low-security space.
  2. If you are just passing through a system, don't stay long. You are vulnerable from the moment you uncloak after jumping in until the moment you jump out. Don't rely on those sentry guns to save you; battle cruisers can easily take the damage from sentry guns and your weapons, and some cruisers can as well. In fact, I've seen frigates willingly take a few volleys of sentry gun fire in exchange for the chance to pop a pilot out of his escape capsule. Do not use autopilot in lowsec; always select your destination gate and "warp to 0," then start spamming that jump button as you approach.
  3. If you insist on staying in a lowsec system, be sure your ship is fitted for PvP combat. I've killed a couple of cruisers in my T1 frigate that were fighting the typical belt rats one finds in lowsec space. Maybe they thought they could fight pirates as easily as belt rats; all I know is that looking at the remains of what they had fitted as I loot anything left intact, I've had to shake my head. Civilian modules? Salvage rigs? Such things may be fine when it's just you and the rats, pirates are prepared for you to have much better fittings.
  4. If you are going to disregard the first 3 life-saving tips, then the moment you notice anyone else appearing in local, immediately head for a safe spot or a station or a jump gate out of there. I've been able to defeat ships I honestly thought might kill me--without taking any damage at all. Why? I'm not sure, but I suspect they were so engrossed in fighting the rats they didn't notice me enter the system, warp to their position, target them, and open fire. Sometimes I warp in to my victim's asteroid belt to find them already at half armor thanks to the belt rats.
Remember, when a pirate warps in to a system where you are, within seconds he has already evaluated whether he has a chance to beat you in a fight. Within a single minute he is already hunting you down, and has probably already narrowed your position down to just a few asteroid belts. If he's a veteran, he'll be able to find you even at a "safe" spot. If you find yourself locked by a pirate, you could be dead by the time you decide whether or not you want to fight him. He's had the advantage of analyzing data and planning; you'd best start running.

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