While you’ll probably spend a lot of your time in very high security space as a new player, you’ll still be nothing more than prey to the ballsy pirates in EVE. Full disclosure, I’ve started a new character, and have myself been tempted and taunted by a few such deviants. The only thing that kept me alive was my experience with high-sec threats, which I want to pass on to any new players before they make the mistakes I’ve made. These lessons will save you millions of credits and hours of frustration.
Wolf in sheep’s clothing
In all of my run ins with high sec pirates, there are two main commonalities. First, I was running a mission in a deadspace pocket. At first blush, you’d think it impossible to enter such spaces without being prompted by an agent. Unfortunately for you and me, and quite good for pirates, there are solar system wide scanners that look for ships in deadspace and elsewhere. At the highest levels of skill, pirates can even tell what kind of ships are in each area, and plan their attacks accordingly. Tier one ships, especially cruisers, destroyers, and frigates, are prime targets as their owners usually don’t have a ton of time in game. The truly suicidal/confident pirates might go for something as large as a battlecruiser or even a battleship if they’ve got a small gang together.
Once they’ve found you, all the pirates need do is warp to your location. However, in high-sec space, they’d be remiss to simply open fire. The NPC security ships would be on them in a heartbeat and they’d have a hard time getting anywhere safe for a while. Here’s where the second, and more devious, commonality comes in. High-sec hunters run around in the ships they plan to destroy, namely tier one frigates, and sometimes destroyers or even cruisers. The tactic is to put you off balance. “Surely,” the new player thinks, “I can take this guy if we’re in the same ship.” And then the new player’s ship explodes and their pod’s ransomed for everything in their bank.
Understand that if a pirate found you in an “inaccessible” deadspace pocket, he has a scanner, which is costly both in money and time to acquire. His “harmless” frigate probably has the most expensive and effective gear available and the pilot is decked out with more skill points than at least ten new players like yourself. You aren’t even a challenge to him. It’s like hawk vs. a mouse, and I don’t need to spell out who is what.
Brains outdoes brawn
When you’re approached by the pirate I’ve just described, you need to remember two things. First, you’re in high security space, and that is your greatest defense. Second, you have ways of “scanning” your aggressor.
In high sec space, the pirate is hoping, and betting, that his presence will make your nervous enough to shoot first. Unless you’ve got a death wish for you and your wallet, do not, I repeat, do not shoot first. The worst most pirates will do if you don’t fight is pester you. They’ll circle you, shoot your targets, even challenge you to a duel. They’ll lock onto you, fly away, come back. Use their concern about angering the NPCs to your advantage. Ignore these pirates like the gnats they are. Most will grow bored of you quickly, but the persistant ones will wait around for long periods. In either case, if you grow tired of them first, just warp to a nearby station and take a fifteen minute break. They’ll move on to greener, easier pastures.
If for whatever reason you think yourself these intruders’ equal, do a little investigation first. Select their ship and look at the player’s info. Specifically, check their “Employment history.” More than likely, you’ll see they’ve got at least a year or so in-game, if not more. The masquerade of “harmless frigate” breaks down under the weight of all that time and all those skill points. While some might not have been playing, or even training, for all that time, don’t take the chance they were.
You lose nothing by running away or boring them to tears. They lose the opportunity to show off, a possibly profitable score, and additional bounty, which some of these guys really want. However which way you slice it, I call that a win for the little guy.