I recently spent a full week living in low security space, only leaving it when a courier mission sent me to a station in high sec or when I passed through a high sec island system because it was the fastest route. I have to say that the experience was certainly interesting. I hope no one minds that I don't disclose the location of my little visit, but I don't want to give out any information to any pirates that might wander across the blog. Loose lips 'splode ships and all that business.
I've already written about the first few days I spent making bookmarks in my area of operations. A very educational experience letting me know about the inhabitants of the systems I planned to fly in. After making my bookmarks, I began to run level 4 courier, er, I mean distribution missions out of a centrally located station. The first thing I noticed is that the missions pay out a lot better than those in high sec. Of course, that was offset by the fact that I was only having one pilot do the missions. In high sec I normally keep both Rosewalker and Wandering Rose in space doing the missions. But I'm still wary enough of the neighborhood to only want to risk one ship at a time. Because of that I'm not sure that I really get any additional benefit by doing the missions in low sec, reward wise at least. I think I do but my record keeping is really spotty.
Flying in low sec is a lot more intense. In high sec, I just undock and follow the yellow gates until I get to my destination. The most important thing is to make sure I remember the cargo. In low sec, I make sure I have Dotlan up in case I need to make an unscheduled detour from the path my autopilot selects. Then, when undocking, check the overview for nearby ships. If I see a ship, warp to the instawarp bookmark I made for the station. No ships, warp to the first jump gate on the journey, especially if I am the only one in local. If local is crowded, think about jumping to one of my observation bookmarks. Rinse and repeat until I get tired of running missions.
Most days I didn't worry too much as most of the pilots I encountered had positive security statuses, including one pilot with a +5. But on Sunday a pirate corporation I had spotted during my scouting the week before began setting up gate camps. I blew right though one consisting of 4 Hurricanes and a couple of fast tacklers. While flying around I wandered into another system they had moved into and started a conversation. I asked if the system was a bad place to mine in and I was told it was a great place to mine and that I should bring a Hulk. Considering 3 of those Hurricane pilots were flashy, I told them I wasn't interested in mining and went on my way.
Talking to pirates via an open comm channel like local can lead to some interesting events. About ten minutes after talking with the pirates I received a private chat request from a member of an alliance that I had determined probably were not pirates. He warned me about trusting the pirates and then offered the chance of getting a non-agression pact between his alliance and my corp. Okay, maybe NAPs are for carebears, but I'm a carebear! I did a little research and found that the alliance had a page on Steam. I found out they were a NSBI alliance that didn't suicide gank. That combined with some research on Eve Who that showed their average security status was positive and I decided to trust them. I contacted the alliance executor as suggested and a couple of days ago I checked my email and I am now blue to a 300 man alliance.
I haven't had a chance to put my new blue status to the test yet. I pulled out of low sec for a bit to do some things like tend my PI colonies and pick up some skill books. I do have to say that after even just a week in low sec some of my reflexes had changed. When I first logged into the game at a high sec station, I just about panicked looking at all the people in local until I remembered where I was and that I probably didn't need to worry. And I now automatically cloak up whenever traveling, even when I have an empty cargo hold. I used to only do that when I had a full cargo hold.
I'm beginning to think I should do some mining in low sec. I have the feeling I might develop some good habits that I don't currently have on the rare occasions when I mine in high sec. I don't know if I just take a Scythe or ship up to a Retriever. The Scythe perhaps has a greater chance of survival but the Retriever will fit in the cargo hold of my Prowler and has a greater mining capacity to boot.
Of course, if I try to mine in low sec I'll have to bring along a ship as protection, if for no other reason to shoot any NPCs that wander along. That would mean finally bringing armed ships into low sec. I've heard that mining in either a mission site or a gravimetric site is the best way to mine. Maybe I should finally purchase a Loki and turn it into an explorer. Or maybe using a stealth bomber will work.
I'm really starting to become intrigued with the possibilities in low sec. I might wake up and come to my senses but at least earning standings with some of the NPC corps in the region couldn't hurt, right?