It's lowsec that changed, not 0.0. Back in early 2010 when I moved into lowsec you could reasonably expect to undock a Rifter and find something you could fight. Tech 3 link alts were extremely rare, pirate implants were equally rare (or perhaps I was just less aware of them because they didn't show up on pod mails). Anyway lowsec was environment in which a solo frigate pilot could exist without to much frustrations.
Sure there were camps and such but campers aren't very creative people and once you know where they are, you just go around, problem solved.
Fast forward to 2012, almost every pirate or militia home/staging system has several POS'ed up T3 link alts 23.5/7 (CCP can you please make links like cloaks so you can't activate them inside shields? ktnxbye!). The number of 'solo' pilots that have (multiple) travelling link alts with them has been steadily increasing to the point where they're now a common sight. And at least half of the kiters (Slicers etc) I see run with snakes in their skull.
Since the introduction of the Faction Warfare changes in Inferno faction cruiser gangs are the rule and not the exception (so many SFI's!), severely limiting the number of things you can engage solo in a frigate hull. And over half the T1 frigates you do see in lowsec are now farming alts that have no interest in fighting you to start with and even if you do catch them I don't actually find it that rewarding to butcher a frigate with no guns.
The increase in the number of FW roaming gangs also means that every gate is now a gamble for the flashy soloist. And with rewards for FW as they are the scale and size of gangs is only going to increase, not decrease. The rewards are now equal or better then 0.0 rewards. Equal size fleets, meta-gaming and doctrine won't be far behind, in 0.0 this isn't as much of a problem due to the vastness, but in FW space it becomes cramped pretty quickly.
Don't get me wrong I'm sure lots of people enjoy the changes to lowsec (changes to FW really, not quite the same thing), but from my own experience for the frigate soloist/mini-gang (2 or 3 people) game-play in lowsec has deteriorated not improved. The FW plexes were good for one or two weeks until people figured out the farming, then they became a frustration more then a benefit. Also the FW changes did absolutely nothing for people that live in lowsec but aren't in FW, yes population went up but what good is that to me if I can't fight those people (with any chance of succes)? Not to mention that if you want any chance of keeping up in the lowsec arms race now you almost have to put one of those cursed farming alts in FW yourself. So you too can plug your head full of pirate implants and fly faction ships. And really I don't find circling a dot that exciting. Frankly I'm now of the opinion that all loyalty point rewards should simply be removed from Faction Warfare PvE and be made PvP exclusive, but that's a different debate.
So much for me being bitter and unwilling to change my play style.
I had noticed this worsening trend in lowsec since Inferno several weeks ago and started looking for options to be able to keep flying my beloved frigates (mostly solo) without ending up frustrated all the time. I really do prefer to enjoy my time spent in EVE.
0.0 seemed like the logical answer. Link alts aren't that common with smaller roaming gangs or other soloists and pirate implants are used by none but the most obscenely rich. And due to the lower population density (there's more people but 0.0 is much, much larger then lowsec) random middle of nowhere camps aren't very common and often easily escapable.
So a little over 2 weeks ago I picked a NPC 0.0 station and set up shop to test the waters.
I should have moved to null ages ago. Seriously.
I have had no trouble finding stuff to shoot so far, people seem more willing to fight in general. Only major difference is bubbles, but those work both ways so I've simply incorporated them into my arsenal. But I have had numerous small scale fun fights so far, it's been an absolute and utter delight and lowsec can pretty much kiss my behind, I am never ever going back.
My favourite victory so far was a nifty 3 vs. 1 that I won, my favourite loss was loosing a Jaguar to a BATTUL scimitar (nope never saw that one coming).
As a result of the good times I'm having in null I have decided to repair my sec status and try my hand at 0.0 entry gate PvP at some point. People like Kil2, Sard Caid & Kovorix make that look fun, so I want in on that! And with CCP announcing their reworking of crimewatch and security penalties during last fanfest I think that maybe after the winter expansion it might be worthwhile to have positive sec status again anyway.
Kaeda Maxwell the pirate is dead, long live Kaeda Maxwell the 0.0 PvP'er.
|p.s. the new camo paint on the Jaguar looks bad ass!|