PVP is Everywhere
EVE is heavily centered around PVP (Player vs Player); indeed, PVP is global in EVE, meaning that players can attack each other anywhere at any time for any reason.
There is no such thing as a ‘private instance’ in EVE, so hostile players may even show up in deadspace and mission sites. Hostile players can pinpoint and warp to your exact location with the use of Combat Probes. These operate the same way as Core Scanner Probes, except they also track ships, structures, and drones.
Hisec, CONCORD, and Suicide Gankers
In Hisec systems (security ratings .5-1.0), CONCORD (the interstellar police force) will destroy anyone who commits a criminal (but not suspect-level) offense; however, they are not there to prevent crimes, only punish those who commit them.
Because there is a delay before CONCORD responds, it is possible for someone to illegally attack and successfully destroy another player them before they themselves are destroyed by CONCORD. This is called Suicide Ganking, and it is commonly done for fun and profit.
Suicide Ganking is more common and more likely to succeed in lower security level Hisec systems. This is because CONCORD’s response time increases as the security status of the system decreases. Regardless of the risk, many players are willing to pay the price to ‘suicide gank’ you!
A declaration of war between one corporation or alliance against another legalizes combat between the two combatants for the duration of the war. This means that attacking a war target in Hisec is not a crime, and as such CONCORD will not intervene.
In order to declare war, the attacking corporation/alliance pays CONCORD a weekly fee to permit combat in Hisec in 7 day intervals. The fee is 50 million ISK minimum and increases with the membership size of the defending corp/alliance.
Dangersec is the collective term used to refer to both Lowsec (.1-.4) and Nullsec (-1.0 through 0.0) systems. The names of these systems imply that lowsec is potentially more dangerous than hisec and nullsec is potentially more dangerous than lowsec; however, all three classes of systems have their fair share of PVP. Indeed, Hisec can be potentially more dangerous than Lowsec and Nullsec during times of war, and all three systems have their fair share of piracy (in the form of suicide ganking in Hisec).
In Dangersec (systems with security ratings .4 and below), there is nobody to protect you apart from the friends you make, your corporation, and the alliance to which your corporation belongs. War declarations are not necessary in order to engage in combat in Dangersec: CONCORD will never intervene under any circumstance. (In Lowsec, CONCORD still monitors criminal activity and will augment your security status based on your efforts combating or committing crimes just as they do in Hisec.)
Dangers in Perspective
In Hisec, you are liable to be attacked by war targets and suicide gankers. During times of war, Hisec is potentially more dangerous than Dangersec due to enemy forces typically having a large presence in Hisec. Capital ships, smartbombs, and interdiction may not be used in Hisec.
While remaining in a (non-militia) NPC corp leaves you immune to war, it does not protect you against suicide ganking in Hisec or piracy in Dangersec.
In Lowsec, you are liable to be attacked by anyone at any time for any reason. Capital (but not Supercapital) ships may be used, but smartbombs and interdiction are still unusable.
In Nullsec, anything is fair game, including the use of Supercapitals, smartbombs, and interdiction.
Surviving and Prospering in New Eden
There are numerous, simple tactics that can be used to avoid and escape PVP so you can choose to fight (or not fight) other players on your terms rather than theirs. Ultimately, PVP isn’t something to be afraid of – it’s fun, and is something to look forward to!
To three keys to mastering EVE, and, in particular, PVP are Knowledge, Practice, and Vigilance
- Knowledge: learn the mechanics of the game and how they can be used both against you and to your advantage. With regards to PVP, this include situational awareness, PVP avoidance techniques, and offensive strategies and tactics.
- Practice: develop your reflexes so that you can use these techniques quickly and without error when they are needed. You will not have the time to look them up and follow along step by step when combat is ongoing or imminent.
- Vigilance: the techniques you’ve learned and refined amount to nothing if you are not vigilant. Always expect the unexpected, and be prepared to act on a moment’s notice. If you are distracted, then dock to safety. If you are AFKing (ie. not devoting your full attention to the game), then you are liable to be caught off guard and destroyed accordingly. No matter how monotonous and menial the task at hand may be (eg. mining, jumping systems, etc), you should never AFK unless you are docked.