The 'why' and 'how' of lowsec is once again a topic of debate it seems. Miura Bull philosophises about the nature of piracy. Rixx Javix writes another one of his saving lowsec posts (I personally think lowsec is mostly fine). Mord Fiddle promises us a post to look forward to and CSM member mynnna decides to amuse himself by poking us lowsec critters a little with a stick.
Why lowsec? Where to begin? I guess I should first point out there's really two kinds of lowsec, normal lowsec and faction warfare lowsec. Technically there's also DUST lowsec but since DUST seems doomed to die quietly and anonymously, I'll consider my home region of Molden Heath normal lowsec for the sake of argument.
Faction warfare lowsec, is relatively newbie friendly and has some of the best individual ISK making opportunities in EVE and these are accessible to both nublets and veterans.
Normal lowsec however is a bit like central Africa, there's plenty of valuable natural resources but unless you're a local warlord or a foreign super (nullsec) power you likely ain't getting any pieces of the pie. It's my one major grievance with this part of lowsec; there's no reliable sustainable income for new players, but I've already blogged about this in the past.
Since I can't talk for other people, this is going to have to be a post about why I live in lowsec and why I made that choice and am quite content with it.
Let me start off by saying I don't normally think about New Eden in terms of security levels, New Eden is New Eden to me and I'm equally comfortable flying in hisec, lowsec, nullsec and wormhole space and I suspect the same is true for all the people mentioned in my opening paragraph. Once you reach a certain level of understanding about EVE's gameplay mechanics and certain level of skillpoints, all the myths about the dangers of lowsec, wormholes and nullsec and the safety of hisec turnout to be just that, myths. A prepared and experienced capsuleer can flourish or cause wide-scale destruction in any environment in EVE both solo or as a member of a group. If you happen to have multiple accounts it becomes easier still.
Once you get to that level, what you decide to call 'home' in EVE -if anywhere- becomes mostly a matter of preference for one set of mechanics over another. I eventually settled on lowsec because I like freedom more then anything else in EVE, and in my experience lowsec allows me the largest amount of freedom. Sure there's gate guns, but I can freely shoot whatever I desire and good luck locking me into a station or denying me access to my assets, you're not very likely to succeed at either. And if I feel like plundering the PvE resources of sovereign 0.0 a couple of dual boxed strategic cruisers and a little research on timezone activity go a really long way (I have to date never lost a ship while doing this). I personally never feel like solo raiding wormhole space, but my wormhole wandering buddy Bjurn Akely does so every day he logs into EVE so that too is totally viable. Hisec never held much attraction to me, but I lived and operated in
it at a full -10.0 for a month during Hulkageddon V so that is
equally possible, though admittedly it requires the help of either neutral alts and/or red frog.
Lowsec to me represents the ultimate freedom to do what I want, whenever I want, how I want, in whatever ship takes my fancy. There's nobody telling me what I can and can't do. Incidentally it is also why I'm not in faction warfare, I have no desire for what effectively amounts to 2000 or so blues that are not of my own choosing. I am however, also keenly aware that lowsec is only like that for me because I have multiple accounts, two of which are half a decade old and am sufficiently space affluent to afford this lifestyle of freedom. I don't associate lowsec with a particular lifestyle, I pirate, I PvP, I PvE, hell I even mine moons and build stuff there, I live there because its mechanics suit my idea of what EVE should be best, nothing more nothing less.