Tackling Adversity

Survival in New Eden is a tale of frustration and cloning. Every-time I un-cloak I suspect the dangers surrounding me, eager to steal everything from me including my precious life. As a clone I am immortal, but the loss of life still bears the pain of death.

If we want to grow as a community we have a responsibility to take care of our fellows. Many disciplines have a code of conduct and piracy is no exception. Attacking fresh pilots from the academy rarely breaks a sweat and therefore harbours little rewards. I abstain from such behaviour; identifying such a young pilot in low sec prompts assistance in the form of advice and in some cases ISK. This happens with alarming regularity and indicates a need for clarification.

A right of passage into low sec is one of experience. Be certain about your fate if you venture into these lawless lands without the necessary preparations as you will surely lose everything. If you’re finding it hard to maintain any sort of healthy existence in Empire you must understand that the riches found in low sec or null sec are only obtainable with the correct tools to survive.

Intel is the most important factor which is vital to survival in low or null sec. A lack of intel will surely turn your final destination into a clone vat bay. For this reason, operations in low sec are best planned and should have a specific role. Research the area you plan to ‘visit’ and check the last known kills in the system as this can usually indicate whether the system harbours a blockade or pirates.

The local beacon contains the most readily available intel. It identifies pilots within the system and also shows their security status or their state. A low security rating should heed a warning, although a high security rating is by no means a guarantee that the pilot is honourable. Dependant on your intent, try to find a system that is devoid of pilots and either dock at the local station or cloak your ship until the local beacon is cleared. This valuable intel should always be open and available on your HUD.

Warp Core Stabiliser
These ridiculous modules prevent the warp-field from becoming disrupted or scrambled. A side effect reduces your ships ability to target effectively. This can also result in the inability to target smaller craft. I would only recommend using WCS (Warp Core Stabilisers) if you intend not to engage in combat.

Cloaking Device
This little item is one of my favourites. Generally most of my ships are designed for covert operations but occasionally I will risk the drop in combat effectiveness for the added security a cloak can offer. Similar to the WCS they reduce the ability of the ship to target as well as reduce the speed of the craft significantly. Use wisely and ensure that you are not within 2500km from any floating body including gases as they will disrupt the visual distortion field and disable the cloak.

If you’re not yet enrolled within a corporation beyond the academy it is advised to make this a priority. Ensure that you research the corporation you intend to apply to as there are organisations that will take advantage of inexperience, tricking them into submitting ISK. An application to a corporation costs nothing and kosher corporations do not require you to submit any ISK except through taxes.

As a new pilot you may find it difficult to apply successfully to some of the bigger corporations but there are groups out there who specialise in training young pilots. A good place to start is the Recruitment Forums or the Recruitment Channel(in-game).

Enrolling within a corporation is by no means mandatory but it does present you with more options. New Eden is best enjoyed in tandem with other pilots and corporation enrollment provides additional man-power and security for your excursions.

This is a skill that cannot be taught but which becomes increasingly natural the more time spent in your POD. Combining experience and intel, awareness is the ability to judge situations quickly and proceed with the appropriate tactical actions.

If combat is what you seek you would be well advised to stay out of low sec and enter Singularity. Here all fittings, ammunition, ships, skills and all else has a default price of 100 ISK. Here you can refine your fittings and test them to destruction almost for free. Podding is outlawed on Singularity making for a safer and less frustrating environment for all. There are disadvantages to Singularity but combat is so easily available here that the basics can be self taught through trial and error very quickly.

Fit To Lose
If you’re at the stage where you are ready to enter low sec make sure that whatever you fit on your ship you are prepared to lose. I generally fit items I have appropriated from my prey which helps keep costs to an absolute minimum or I build my own modules from parts and salvage. Don’t fit best named modules and never fit faction equipment, unless you are stinking rich. Stick to Tech 1 items and use the specific abilities of the ship, paying special attention to it’s bonuses.

There is simply no substitute to experience. Regularly engage in a cheap hull and don’t become disheartened by losses. Train to specialise in your chosen profession and become proficient at the frigate sized vessels before moving up a class. New Eden is a violent and un-forgiving landscape and one which refuses to be tamed. Only experienced pilots dare venture deep into null sec for a reason, it’s very dangerous. Don’t be a fool until you’re ready.

This guide is by no means definitive and is only meant as a rough guide. Use your head and your eyes effectively, and the rest will come naturally. Fly safe...

Related Links
Ten Top Tips For New Pirates
Recruitment Forum


In New Eden not everything is as it seems. Some individuals may appear to be quite helpful, right up to the moment they blow you up and steal your stuff. They are the scourge of the galaxy; pirates. But this group is not the worst of scum and villainy. Macro-Miners are automated mining vessels designed to strip entire systems of their precious ores and are a menace which is sadly on the increase.

To combat this economic threat you may wish to destroy Macro-Miners but first you will have to locate them. Macro-Miners tend to, but not exclusively operate within Empire space enjoying the protection of the local law enforcement.

Elimination of this global threat is a noble and just profession, but unfortunately identifying a Macro-Miner can be problematic. The first thing to be done is to join macrointel; a dedicated intel channel devoted to identifying and hunting macros.

The name of a pilot can explain a great many things about the individual, but names can also mis-lead. If the name of a target is something binary or appear to be a random collection of letters and/or numbers then it’s a good bet they are a macro.

The age of a pilot indicates their experience. This does not definitively identify a macro, but if the pilot is young and mining in a mining barge then this can indicate a very specialised role toward just mining. This isn't to say that every specialist pilot is a macro, but a macro will not train unnecessary skills to maximise the investment of time and productivity.

A pilots security status is a good indication of their occupancy within New Eden. Generally a macro will have a security rating of 1.0. There may be some variation as the macro kills the local rats but these increments are so small it is unlikely to affect the rating significantly.

Check the pilots name against popular kill-boards such as Griefwatch. This can help identify whether the pilot has ever undergone real combat. A macro would find it impossible to fight effectively therefore if no kills show for the pilot this can indicate a macro.

A macros’ nature is to operate in the same manner for hours at a time. Watch the pilots behaviour closely to observe the cycle of the ship. If the ship doesn’t dock immediately upon completion of its cycle this could indicate a real pilots’ presence.

There are no alarms to warn pilots that their cargo hold is full and many may be pre-occupied with other duties to notice for some time, but a macro miner will generally dock as soon as the hold is full and the lasers cease their cycle. This doesn’t mean that if the ship does dock immediately it’s a macro, only if it doesn’t it may not be a macro.

The best way to identify a macro is to begin a conversation with the pilot. A macro cannot communicate therefore any pilot that does not respond may be a macro. Be careful though, as mentioned before some pilots may not notice your communications request immediately. It is wise to give the pilot some time to respond. If it is a macro then there will be no response or the communications may be rejected.

I am yet to discover a method which can identify a macro reliably, therefore these points are only a guide. If you are unsure of a pilots status then an attack must not be initiated, but it is a judgement call and the more often one undertakes this role, the more accomplished at correctly identifying a macro you may become.

It is important to note that while macro mining is rife, many innocent pilots can become the victims of an attack simply due to a mis-identification. The ability to reliably identify a macro has yet to be developed and any attack should proceed with caution. If the target retaliates, intelligently (such as moves the ship, deploys drones or uses any kind of e-war) then the attack should be ceased immediately. Similarly if the target attempts to contact you, stop the attack.

There are many different ways to kill a macro but as macros usually operate from Empire, it can be difficult to destroy them cleanly without receiving reprisals or penalties from the local law enforcement.

If the macro is mining into a jet-can you must claim ownership of that can to force the macro to aggress. To do this approach the jet-can and deposit a portion of the mined ore into your cargo hold. This will aggravate the macro, granting it permission to attack you. If the macro has drones deployed and your lucky, you may be attacked. Once the macro has engaged your vessel you are free to destroy the macro with utmost vigilance.

Unfortunately this method has seen a dramatic decline over time as macros have almost completely stopped mining into jet-cans for this very reason.

The other option open to you is the obliteration of the target. This is only viable if the wreck is likely to harbour modules which will compensate your inevitable loss. The best places to kill macros 'illegally' is within 0.5 security systems because the local law will not respond as quickly. There are three popular methods to reliably eliminate Macro-Miners.

1. Smart-Bomb Battleship Suicide Squad.
This method is particularly useful against larger groups of macros. The inherent cost is high, but the time taken to destroy all the macros in range is very short indeed. Utilising Raven battleships equipped with smart-bombs is a sure way to kill off a large group of macros quickly and absolutely.

There are drawbacks with this method. Any loot dropped can easily be destroyed by the AOA bombs making the venture more akin to pure cleansing rather than trying to make a living from Macro-Hunting. Use caution.

2. Frigate Suicide Gank Squad.
For this method to work a lot of pilots are needed and the target should be a group of macros. Ensure that the combined DPS is sufficient to destroy the macros before the inevitable local law enforcement arrives to enforce its misplaced justice. This method works better for smaller groups of macros and the costs are much lower. It's also possible to protect loot drops within the wrecks as the firepower is directed exclusively at the macros and not the general spacial area.

3. Suicide Gank Cruiser.
This can be accomplished solo. I've found the best ship to do this is the Gallente Vexor. Fitted with maximum DPS it can kill a Mackinaw in less than 60 seconds, which is sufficient. Your Vexor only needs to survive long enough to kill the macro before becoming a target itself, but the costs involved are very manageable.

In all cases you are looking to destroy the macros as swiftly as possible before your own ship decompresses. Insure your ships as they will be lost. It's also wise to have a neutral pilot present to gather the loot and salvage the wrecks. It's worth noting that the agressors' security rating will be severely compromised by any illegal actions undertaken therefore one should be prepared to grind the security status back to acceptable levels.

This guide is based on my personal experiences of macro hunting. There may be other methods of hunting, identifying and killing macros but these methods have been proven to work despite the inherent risks and penalties. Be prepared to lose everything while possibly gaining very little as this is the unfortunate nature of macro hunting. You may rest assured that your actions will be appreciated by many and the experience is not completely without its merits.

Above all else remember that, although macro mining is widespread, not every stationary mining vessel harbours a macro and caution must be observed whenever making the decision to attack a mining vessel.

Happy hunting...

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