Or at least, doing everything reasonably possible to be aware of your surroundings and achieve your goals without losing your ship unnecessarily. Let’s talk about Concordless space, specifically anywhere not high-sec. Much of what I mention here will also apply to high-sec, but CONCORD does add a nice safety blanket in 0.5+ which I’m not going to take into account here.
Last night I ran a fleet based on some intel we had received of a E-UNI mining Operation. This fleet lead to two great examples of different group not taking appropriate precautions and thusly losing ships unnecessarily. First, the E-UNI miners:
They were out in Syndicate which is very near to where Waffles are deployed, so naturally we went to say hi. Now, the plan was that we had a cloaky Hictor logged off in their mining system, we would warp him in, he’d bubble up and cyno us so we could bridge in off a borrowed Titan, then we could get some bear killmails and have a brawl with the defense fleet. At worst, the miners would be playing intelligently and we’d get a fight out of the defense fleet, which is pretty much all we wanted anyway.
Sadly, the E-UNI defense fleet consisted of a single Thorax, so we kind of just killed everything, including members of two other gangs that were planning to kill them before we dropped in:
This was my first time doing an Op where we were a) shooting non-combat ships and b) bridging in off of a Titan. Watching the recording now makes me realise how chill and clinical the whole thing was, like giving the baby Unistas a ganking vaccine. A little pain now so (hopefully) they learn how to avoid the same thing happening in the future.
Despite the nefariousness and a fair bit of butthurt that occurred afterwards, all of them could have avoided losing their barges through basic safety tips everyone should know, any one of these could have saved them.
1) Mine aligned
If you are insistent upon gnawing on those tasty Null asteroids, make bookmarks or use celestials at opposite ends of each belt such that you can align down the belt, do a pass of mining, then realign back and continue mining. This way the second anything appears in local or on D-Scan you can immediately warp to a safer spot, and even dock up until the danger has passed.
2) If there are neutrals in local, don’t mine
If you are in null-sec and there are people in local who are not blue to you they WILL be trying to kill you, or relaying information about you to other people who will do it for them.
3) Watch D-Scan
If you’re mining ~dangerzone~, anything that can bubble you to prevent your prealigned escape will be either warping in decloaked or be cynoed in on top of you. Purely by paying attention to D-Scan the miners could have noticed an Onyx in space (even noticing it warping in their direction if they had multiple people scanning at different ranges).
4) Choose your location carefully
EZA-FM is a well travelled system in a region (Syndicate) historically known for multiple PvP-based entities living there and in general lots of fights happening, EZA-FM itself is in the middle of a web of systems, it has 4 adjacent systems which themselves have many adjacent systems of their own. If you must mine, do it in a lesser-travelled back-pocket with limited ingress and egress so you can take advantage of picket scouts (throwing an alt into a system on a gate where you can watch local and keep track of travel.
I am ashamed to say that I have Exhumers 5 on my character from my life before I joined EVE University and SniggWaffe, so I can appreciate the sadness, but by not taking any of the above precautions, as well mining in such a well-traveled system I’m afraid I have little sympathy for the UNIbros who lost their vessels.
Just because you’re in PvP ships and have a trap planned does not mean you are prepared appropriately. On our way back home our +1 reported a gatecamp on the ingate in K5-, where there was a SFI and a few other bits and bobs sat in an anchored bubble. The most important part of this was that the system we were in, that any potential targets they would be shooting at would come from, was empty. i.e they had no scouts telling them what was going to jump on top of them.
I warped our whole fleet to the gate and told our Drake to jump through. Yes, the most obvious bait in the world, but bear with me. Probably rather pleased with themselves, they decloaked multiple bombers and started torping our drake, so we just jumped everyone else in and started blapping. Sadly the lock times on BCs aren’t that great and they were all on the edge of the bubble, but thanks to our own bubbles we managed to snag a few kills.
Guys, seriously. Gatecamping 101. Hell, EVE 101: Know what’s on the other side of the gate.
In summary, the way to stay reasonably safe in EVE and not lose your ship unnecessarily is to have a good awareness of your surroundings and be able to asses threats. Both of these things become vastly easier with experience, but they are critical ideas for any pilot or organisation nonetheless. By performing a few basic safety measures you can save yourself a lot of time and ISK.