0.0 Survival Guide
In 0.0 when you're not blowing things up and in turn being blown up, you'll spend a lot of time docking, undocking and moving between point A and point B - as AGONY typically live in the middle of hostile territory even simple things like moving around can present problems.
The point of this document is to help you feel confident moving around in 0.0, and to increase your survivability if you do run into trouble.
- 1 Getting started
- 2 Intel & support
- 3 Bookmarks
- 4 Stations
- 5 Bubbles & gatecamps
We don't expect everyone to be an expert on every single aspect of EVE and there are no "stupid" questions. I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say we'd rather answer a handful of basic questions than have somebody sitting around bored and not able to do anything for an hour because they're stuck somewhere.
Always keep your clone updated. Get into the habit of checking it regularly so you know when to upgrade and if you've just been podded, double check your new clone can hold your current skill points before you undock. Checking takes a few seconds and will save you a lot of misery.
If you have any jump clones, don't store them in the same station as your medical clone otherwise when you die you'll end up destroying your jump clone. Also, avoid leaving multiple jump clones in the same station as attempting to jump into or between the clones can have strange results.
Ships & equipment
Once you get settled, think about spreading your equipment around a little. Yes, keeping everything in one station or even one system makes life really simple but it also means you have a single point of failure - if that station / system gets bubbled heavily they're able to deny you access to all your ships, modules and ammo.
Don't warp to zero
Dont warp to objects at 0 especially if hostiles are in system - warp to tacticals or undocks and scan down what's at the station or gate. Even then a cloaking gang could be cloaked up near the bubble and when you scan you pick up nothing.
Intel & support
Get into the habit of checking out what tactical intelligence is available - EVE is a big game and we wont always have information on every system or route, but its always worth checking and so you need to know what kind of intel will be available to you.
Ask about our current intel channels in corp chat or from your mentor (as they change from time to time) - we use these to report intel rather than request it, but if you watch you'll be able to get an idea what's happening in the area. Keep an eye on the MOTD as important items are recorded here.
Corp / Vent
If you have any questions about what your corpmates are doing, what's been happening in the area, known problems etc. the easiest way to get an answer is either to ask in vent or write the question into corp chat.
Just because we don't smack talk in local doesn't mean it's not a valuable intel gathering tool - look at how many are in local and which alliance they belong to. Once you start to learn the tactics certain alliances or players rely on you can pay closer attention if you see them in local.
Using the directional scanner should become second nature, the main things to watch out for (aside from hostile ships) are probes, mobile warp distruptors, interdictors, heavy interdictors. Probes mean somebody could be looking for you, and the rest mean there's a bubble, or the potential for a bubble at that object.
When no other reliable intel is available, press F10 and call up the ingame starmap - EVE tracks a lot of statistical information and while it's not updated in realtime it's better than nothing.
Some of the options you'll find under "Starmap" > "Color Stars By" > "Statistics" are;
Average pilots in space in the last 30 minutes - populated systems, potential gatecamps. Jumps in the last hour - pipe systems / large fleet movements. Ships destroyed in the last hour / Escape pods destroyed in the last hour - PvP hotspots, potential gatecamps. Pirate and police ships destroyed in the last hour - missioning or ratting systems.
Just bear in mind that this is statistical information on a delayed timer, so it can only tell you what's happened recently rather than what's happening right now.
Tip: Adjust the map animation speed to either "instant" or "fast" to speed up map loading.
Scouts / Eyes
If you're unsure what's outside a station you want to undock from or need to move a vulnerable ship down a pipe, you can always ask for someone in a light ship to provide you with eyes outside the station or scout you down the pipe.
In hostile 0.0 space having and using bookmarks is the difference between life and death, and as a new member of AGONY you're expected to make your own general purpose bookmarks - this ensures you're familiar with the basic concepts of bookmarking and most importantly allows you to be reasonably confident your bookmarks haven't been compromised. For more reading material about bookmarks and suggested naming conventions, see An Introduction to Bookmarks in Eve or for more advanced reading material on creating high-precision specialised bookmarks, see precise navigation. Bookmarking is also covered as part of the PVP-WOLFPACKS course.
When we talk about celestial objects (celestials) we mean any object you're able to right click on and warp to from anywhere in the system - planets, asteroids, moons, stargates, stations etc. but please remember NOT to blindly warp to moons or complexes unless you're in a pod as 0.0 POS or rats in a complex are dangerous.
Tactical bookmarks are effectively observation points in space - the simplest type put you in a position off-grid where you're able to use your directional scanner on a gate or station, letting you check what's waiting there so you can decide whether you really want to warp there or not.
How do you make simple tacticals? Warp between two points (A and B); drop a bookmark (from People and Places) as you're moving away from point A and as you get within 150,000km of point B, drop another bookmark. If it's a long warp consider dropping another bookmark as you're travelling - this should give you an aligned safespot. When you're done, visit each bookmark and assign them sensible names so you're able to use them.
Nobody produces perfect bookmarks on their first attempt and as long as you're within scan range they're good enough, but by explaining a bit more it might help you understand what you gain from putting that little bit of extra effort into making your bookmarks - for general purpose tacticals, between 20,000km and 100,000km from the celestial works well; close enough to allow precise scanning and a quick warp-in, distant enough to stop a hostile interceptor from powering to your position immediately.
So what do basic tacticals let us do?
Navigate 0.0 safely - in hostile 0.0 systems routinely warping to 0 gate-to-gate blind will eventually get you killed, going gate-to-tactical / tactical-to-gate lets you make an educated decision about using a stargate based on what's sitting on it.
Get on-grid quickly - if you're sitting at a close-range tactical and aligned for the gate, hitting warp will have you on-grid in a second or two which is useful for supporting someone sitting on the gate or on the other side (bait ship!), or just to be really sure the situation wont change while you wait to warp 14au from a dead stop.
Safe spots are effectively distant points in space you can use to wait-out hostile forces, they're also a useful alternative to "docking up for the night" when you're out in 0.0 provided you're sensible (use good safes, rotate them, check for probes, wait-out aggression and weapons timers) -- remember safe spots aren't "safe" - they're isolated points in space that can't easily be reached without serious effort and the more effort put into making them the harder they are for a hostile force to reach, however given enough time and resources any safe spot can be breached.
There are two important distances you need to remember when you're making safe spots:
14.3au - this is the maximum range of the ship's directional scanner, so being at least 14.3au away from any celestial is useful as it makes it harder to manually search for you - you won't show up on scan from planets, although if they scan while warping or from a bookmark within scan range you may show up. While you are still well within range of combat scanner probes, uncertainty about your location makes probing you down much more difficult.
32au - the maximum range for combat scanner probes. Since probes can be places anyhere in a system, being 32au from all celestials does not mean you can't be probed out - if the prober has a hunch where you are he can simply move the probes further towards you. However, the further you are outside this distance the more difficult it will be to get a hit on you.
Note that Deep Space Scanner Probes can detect anything in system, meaning that you are never completely safe, no matter how far out your safe spot is (unless you're cloaked of course). While scanning at these ranges requires a great deal more time or luck, is is definitely possible.
Smaller ships and higher sensor strengths will make scanning you down much more difficult, and you should always try to be aligned rather than sitting still (and if possible, keep an eye out for probes on scan).
An aligned safe spot (also known as a mid safe) is relatively easy to make in a big system such as X-7O; warp between two celestial objects avoiding pairs of gates if possible, create multiple bookmarks as you move. Visit each bookmark, check the distance from celestial objects and decide whether you're happy with the distance / position or not.
Very quick, very easy but able to be found easily. No matter how far out you are, if someone warps between the same two celestials (why you avoid gates) you'll definitely appear on their directional scanner while you're in range and possibly even appear on each other's overview for a split-second - an experienced pilot would simply drop bookmarks mid-warp, eventually getting close enough to your safe spot to either power on-grid or drop probes.
An unaligned deep safespot is harder to make and requires more time, but avoids a lot of the issues with aligned safespots - you start by creating several aligned safespots, then warp between a pair of these safespots and bookmark a mid-point between the two. When done correctly this should give you a bookmark which can't be reached by flying directly between any two celestial objects and far enough out that you shouldn't appear on the kind of celestial-to-celestial scans an experienced pilot would run when looking for possible targets.
To break a good unaligned safespot takes time - if you're not visible on directional scanner they'd need to drop probes, initially set to cover the whole system with a lot of false results (you're probably not the only frigate or cruiser in the system); many of these hits will need to be refined by narrowing down the probe settings and rescanning until they can be eliminated.
Watch your scanner closely - Once you see probes within a few AU of your safespot, it's time to not be there any longer
An undock bookmark is a point in space 1,000km+ from the station aligned with the "perfect" undock point. All ships undock at maximum speed, angled at most 5 degrees off the "perfect" undock line - using a good undock bookmark as soon as you're clear of the station should cause your ship to enter warp almost immediately because of your speed and alignment.
If everything works correctly then an undock bookmark makes you pretty much untouchable - the gap between your undock invulnerability ending and you entering warp will be so short that even an interceptor will struggle to get you tackled.
Bookmark making ships
Three types of ship work really well for making bookmarks - fast T1 frigates, interceptors and covert ops.
Each race has a T1 frigate with a speed bonus, set one of these up to be cap stable with an MWD and you have a cheap bookmarking ship. You're able to move and align quickly, you have the cap to cover long warps and while you warp slower (6au / second) than either a covert ops or interceptor, that makes dropping bookmarks easier as everything will happen a little slower.
Interceptors are a more expensive alternative to T1 frigates - they warp faster (9au / second & 13.5au / second) and are a more agile version of the T1 frigate, the extra speed they offer is very useful for distant off-grid bookmarks.
Covert ops are the stealthy option for bookmarking - they warp at interceptor speeds (13.5au / second) and while they're not as fast, their covert cloak makes them ideal for bookmarking in extremely hostile systems.
AGONY operates in regions with NPC stations as this provides us with relatively stable and secure forward bases without the ownership problems associated with player outposts. Unfortunately you can also setup some nasty traps on 0.0 stations involving bubbles which is why we're going to talk about docking, undocking, kickouts and undock bookmarks.
Never warp to 0 on a station unless you know it's safe - if you don't have reliable intel then warp yourself to a tactical bookmark within scan range of the station and use your directional scanner to check what's on the station.
Also, try to break the habit of docking up for the night - provided you don't have an aggression timer it's much safer to head out to a random safe spot in the system and logout. Any hostiles will have a hard job finding you.
Whenever possible make sure you have eyes outside a station before undocking to avoid potential traps, and wherever possible have undock bookmarks for the stations you regularly use.
If you undock into a hostile camp, don't panic - if you're lucky you'll still be within dock range (500m) and provided you don't aggress yourself by firing back you will be able to re-dock once your session/invulnerability timer expires. When you have a hostile camp on the undock point of a station you can also employ the same kind of tactics you would use to evade a gate camp you've jumped into.
Kickouts are what we call stations where the undock point places you outside dock range, leaving you unable to re-dock without moving back into dock range. An example of this type of station is the Sisters of Eve (SoE) station in X-7OMU, Pure Blind.
Unfortunately kickout stations are prime targets for bubble traps as a well placed bubble will stop you from warping off immediately, and being outside of docking range stops you immediately docking - leaving you vulnerable to hostile forces. There are two things you can do to avoid this - know which stations are kickout stations either by their name or the model, and whenever possible get eyes outside the station if you have people in local who are known station campers.
Bubbles & gatecamps
Essential reading material for this topic is Bubbles and Warping, aside from being excellent background material it explains when you will and will not be pulled into a bubble.
Look at your overview and types of ships at this gatecamp - you're looking for three classes of ships; fast locking tacklers (interceptors and T1/T2 frigates), webbers (rapiers, huginns and hyenas) and damage dealers (combat ships). Knowing what hostile ships are present helps focus your mind on which of the following options would work best;
Burn out of the bubble, warp away.
This relies on raw speed and not being tackled immediately - find the closest edge of the bubble, align to a celestial object in that direction at full speed while spamming warp. Because you're aligned and moving at full speed, the moment you exit the bubble you should enter warp. How quickly the hostile ships can lock you matters a lot, if they can get even one point on you before you enter warp then you'll be trapped off-gate and killed.
Power back to the gate, jump through to the other side.
This relies on the weapons timer (previously known as the aggression timer) - you head for the gate at full speed, don't attack anyone and then jump. Any hostile ships firing on you will get a weapons timer that will prevent them from docking or using a stargate for 60 seconds, assuming you can tank incoming damage until you reach the gate.
Whether it's an attempt to scare some two-bit hostiles off or a desparate last stand against a meat-grinder, going out guns blazing is always an option.
Jumping into a gatecamp
The previous system was empty, you landed on the gate, clicked jump, the grid loaded and now your overview looks really unfriendly.
How can you avoid this in future? Unless you have a scout, watch for available intel and be cautious around known choke points.
How can you escape this now? Stay calm, you'll remain cloaked for 30 seconds so we're going to use that time well - they know you're here because the saw the gate activate but they won't know precisely where you are until you're ready to break cloak. Start by zooming out, look at your screen / overview, and ask yourself two questions:
- Do they have a bubble up?
- Is your ship in a bubble?
If you answered "no" to either of those questions you aren't trapped in a bubble, the only thing that might stop you escaping is if the hostiles can lock and scramble your ship before you enter warp, powering back to the gate might be viable if you can tank the damage.
Your escape options are listed above, you need to look at the situation and decide which one will work best for you.
Warping into a gatecamp
You warped to a gate at 0, the grid loaded and now your overview looks really unfriendly and you've been pulled into a bubble.
How can you avoid this in future? Don't warp to 0 unless you know it's safe - use tactical bookmarks and the directional scanner to scout our your destination, if no bookmarks are available either warp to a nearby celestial or dump cap to perform a partial warp (taught in WOLFPACKS and skirmishing).
How can you escape this now? Your escape options are listed above, however if the hostiles set this up correctly your options will be a lot more limited as you don't have the luxury to sit and think while cloaked and while your hostiles will have had all the time they wanted to plan where the bubble should sit, discover the main catch points etc.
Undocking into a gatecamp
You undocked, the grid loaded and now you're in a bubble.
How can you avoid this in future? If the system is hostile, ask if anyone can check outside the station for you.
How can you escape this now? Stay calm, you'll have undocking invulnerability for 10 seconds so we're going to use that time well. Press Ctrl spacebar, this will stop your ship without breaking your invulnerability.
Check your distance from the station - if it says 2500m or less then provided you don't attack anyone and nothing pushes you further away from the station (bumping), you'll be able to re-dock once your session timer expires.
If you are more than 2500m from the station you're outside docking range (due to kickout station or bumping) and you should treat this the same way as jumping into a gatecamp with regards to your options.
You're sitting at a tactical, the directional scanner shows a bubble and a small group of hostile ships but you need to get through that gate. From the reading material you'll know that bubbles only pull in ships exiting warp within 150km of an anchored bubble in alignment with the ships course, so if we warp to the gate from a direction the bubble doesn't cover or doesn't cover very well we should arrive within jump range of the gate.
Look at what the scanner tells you about their bubbles. If they have multiple large bubbles up they probably have the gate well covered and an alternate route may be advisable. If they have a single large bubble, it's probably going to be directly on the gate unless it's one of the larger gate models used at the boundaries between empire and 0.0, regions and constellations. Anything smaller than a large will be positioned infront of / behind the gate to catch incoming ships.
Find an alignment unlikely to be covered by the bubble - open the system map and imagine lines going between the camped gate and the other gates/stations in this system and look for planets at a 45-90 degree angle to these imaginary lines. Warping to the gate from these planets should bypass a bubble directly infront of or directly behind the gate. For a bubble covering the gate completely you will get pulled in, but hopefully in a position to power to the gate.