How to Join a Nullsec Corporation
Nullsec can be daunting to new players, it has this “hardcore” stigma about it. I maintain however, that if you are in a good corporation, nullsec is SAFER than highsec. Most 0.0 players that I have encountered (myself included) actually prefer it far more than highsec, in-fact, high-sec makes us nervous and edgy.
However, I will admit that getting to that stage requires a bit of a process, there’s a lot to learn and it’s not just the game mechanics that you have to learn about. Because of this, I’ve prepared the following to make sure you know what to expect as you journey from Highsec to nullsec. Fair warning – there’s very little in the way of screenshots here.
Find a corporation
The first thing to do is research. You need to find a corporation in which to live. If you know someone in a nullsec corp who is happy where they are and you find that you are of similar personality, then this is your best choice for first corp. Nothing beats someone more experienced answering your newbie questions with patience. If you are doing this by yourself, I recommend starting by looking at the various available alliances. At first, the nullsec sov image tends to look like this:
However this is a gross generalization. Interspersed between all those stereotypes are a bunch of extremely good alliances, and within those alliances, there are corporations to meet every play style.
What you need to decide is the things that you value in nullsec. Ask yourself these questions, because assuredly they will come up in either an interview for a nullsec corp or shortly after your joining. And if not, and you haven’t figured these out you may be unhappy in your chosen place.
None of the following choices are bad or good, it’s just important to know thyself.
Do I value Stability or Uncertainty?
Some regions change hands more often than others, some alliances have existed for far longer than others, some alliances move around more than others.
Do I value pew pew or industry/mining?
Some corporations are dedicated industrialists, others only take pvpers, others have a strong mix of both. The changes that came with the Dominion patch allow systems to be “upgraded” by PVE operations such as mining and ratting and since then non-PvPers have been more welcome in nullsec.
How much isk can I afford to spend on pvp
– Can I sustain repeated ship losses in order to play in my preferred environment?
– Would I prefer a ship replacement program and play in a less-preferred environment
– Can I find a corp that both meets my other needs AND has a ship replacement program?
– If it comes down to it, would I be happy flying cheap, easily replaceable ships over more expensive and fun but harder to replace ships.
Do I value Social Interation over “winning”
Some corporations and alliances have a culture of “we don’t really care, we’re just here to have fun” which is sort of what the goons started out like. Others are hardcore and have a culture of “We’re here to win, HTFU” Others have a good social culture but still maintain a “professional” outlook when it comes to the pew pew. Find a corporation that suits your gaming outlook.
The Providence factor
Providence is the only Not Red Don’t Shoot (NRDS) region in the game. I.e. if they have not explicitly set your standings to red, you are free to roam their nullsec space. It is run by some role playing alliances as well as some other neutral-happy alliances. This may be a good area if you want lots of nice happy people mining and missioning with the occasional random pew pew gang. It’s like High-sec, only everyone can shoot at you without consequence……
Types of Alliances
There are a couple of different “flavours” of alliance that are worth describing:
Major power bloc
These alliances have held power for literally years and have generally retained a piece of space in spite the fact they may have moved around a bit. These alliances are (generally) overflowing with ISK and have a very solid ship replacement program.
These alliances are either very new to nullsec and haven’t held sovereignty by themselves for long, or they are alliances that prefer to move around. Historically, Evoke and Triumverate alliances are the most typical of these Mobile flavour
Renters and Newbies
Small alliances are sometimes able to rent space from larger power blocs. This is where I started out in nullsec. Every corp member had to pay 30 million isk every month to contribute to the cost of renting the space from the Northern coalition. This amount is peanuts once you start ratting and doing complexes in nullsec so this may be a viable option if you are not able to apply directly to a larger alliance. Newbie alliances are generally ex-renters or smaller alliances that are installed by the larger alliances. These alliances generally do not have significant ship replacement programs but are often tighter nit with the smaller number of players causing the relationships to be built closer.
Preparing your application
All corporations worth their salt should require a formal application and request an interview. These will vary from explicitly specified requirements, to soft skills like “personality”. Generally if you have chosen your corp well based on the above criteria you will pass the “do we like you” test.
As for the rest, it will depend on the corp. Most “serious” corporations will have a skillpoint minimum. Usually this represents a month or two of playtime. ANZAC Alliance require 3 million SP. Other “hardcore” pvp corporations set it at 10 million or higher. If you are new to the game, make sure you get your core certificates, that will take a month or so and will prove you’re in the game for the longish term.
You may be required to prove that you are willing to fulfil the role you have chosen. If you’re in it for the pew, you will have to have a killboard resume/cv or be willing to go on a few newbie fleets. If you’re in it for the mining/industry, you’ll have to prove you’ve skilled your character that way.
Having said all this, the recruiters are Human, and if you get a chance to speak to one, your passion and eloquence can compensate for a lack of hard evidence of PVP. First make them believe that you are not a more experienced players alt. Show that you are willing to learn and explicitly tell them that you can pick things up quickly. Smooth talking will get you in if you are a new player.
Finally, ensure that your employment history is clean. A character that jumps around between corporations will be subject to more scrutiny than someone who has obviously spent at least a few months at a time in each corporation.
I have been a bit fortunate. In my recent application to ANZA, I merely pointed them to my killboard links and my blog and the interview was all but waived. I got the usual chat/disclaimers about mandatory fleet operations and a bit of a summary of the corporation culture and I was in. This process should be the case for anyone who has had prior nullsec experience, but this guide is not for those people.
One thing you will need for your interview/application: your API key. If you have not already encountered this, your API key lets third party applications have read-only access to your character’s data. You can control exactly what access when you create the key.
Most corporations require this to ensure that you are not an alt of one of their enemies and/or to verify that you have the skills and other entry requirements that they require.
If you have chosen a corporation appropriate to your playstyle and abilities and prepared yourself as above you should ace the interview. If not, there are always other corporations to try. If you need a killboard history, join Red Vs Blue or Factional Warefare or a corporation in Providence for a couple of months to rack up some fleet experience.
Prior to your move and before having your application accepted.
Most recruiters will ask you a final “are you sure” question before accepting your application. If the corporation or alliance is involved in a war, you should be told so and will have the opportunity to move all your stuff around prior to having your application accepted. Make sure that all the things you need or want to take to nullsec are in one spot prior to you putting your application in. This will make it easier to move once you get the go ahead. Don’t take too much stuff as you will likely be able to buy ships from your corporation at cost price or at a discount once you’re in nullsec.
Prepare yourself a Jump clone. If you don’t already have one, you can take a trip to providence and get yourself one without having to grind up corporation standings by travelling to 9UY4-H (assuming the NRDS alliance CVA still holds the system when you read this post). This is only a few jumps into a fairly placid area of nullsec.
Jump clones will allow you to move from a clone with expensive implants to a clone without implants or with cheaper implants in order to pvp with lower risk. More on Jump clones is out of scope of this blog post so you’ll have to read up on them yourself.
Moving your stuff
Once your application is accepted, you need to move your stuff. Beware of corporations that will offer to move your stuff BEFORE accepting you into the corporation. This is a scam, and you will want to think twice about joining a corporation that does this. Possibly some corporations may use it as an intelligence test, but use your common sense. Also beware of corporations that ask for a “security deposit” or something similar this is also a scam. The corporation/alliance is gaining a player, they shouldn’t need more from you than that.
Most corporations will have regular transport arrangements via Jump freighter or carrier. In general, you move your stuff to a pre-arranged station and make a courier contract out to the corporation or to the designated jump-freighter. Again, be careful here, always place collateral on the contract representative of the value of the items. Always read the corporation forums as it will have information regarding the maximum size of the package and the maximum collateral accepted per courier contract.
Be wary of people who are new to the corp (less than a week) offering to transport your stuff for free. The line usually goes “Hi guys, I’m just about to make a jump freighter run out to our nullsec base – I’ve got some spare room in my jump freighter, feel free to send me your stuff and I’ll move it out by tomorrow.” ALWAYS, use courier contract with collateral, NEVER just contract your stuff to someone unless you have a very good reason to trust them.
Case in point the character “Malace” pulled this scam in my first nullsec corporation. I thankfully had the presence of mind not to accept his offer, but the corporation lost a few billion worth of stuff prior to him being kicked from the corp:
Note his employment history…. would you accept him into your corporation? he’s moved from corporation to corporation, , but he’s been in the default npc corp between each one. This is an indicator that he’s been kicked, not voluntarily left. Also, the corporations he has been in, it is for a short time, some of them (see THE INSURGENCY) only for a few minutes!
You most definitely don’t want your employment history to look like this.
The Great Sign Up
Any corporation worth its salt will have forums and non-eve voice comms. Most corporations also have a non-eve IM program (jabber is popular).
Also, most corporations are in an alliance, with associated alliance forums, voice comms and text chat.
Also, most alliances are in a coalition or allied with another alliance, which may have their own forums, voice comms and text chat.
In addition, corporations/alliances and coalitions have in-game intel channels.
So, for example, I have recently Joined up with ANZAC alliance. I have had to sign up to the following:
ANZAC (corporation) forums
ANZAC Jabber channels
Executive Outcomes (alliance) forums
Executive Outcomes TS
Executive Outcomes Jabber.
Test alliance teamspeak
Test alliance jabber
Fatal Assention (allies) teamspeak
It’s a pain…. the most important ones are your corporation and alliance, but don’t neglect the others. If there is an emergency multi-alliance operation called, you don’t want to be the one spamming alliance chat with “what are the TS details???? could someone approve my application/grant me permissions????….. hello?” when the pew has already hit the fan and people are trying to organise a coalition fleet.
These forums and voice coms will generally also require your API key which must be generated in a specific way (described on the forums). This is to make it easier when you leave (or if you get kicked out of) your corporation. Your forum and Teamspeak access will automatically be revoked.
Be patient and allow yourself a week to get everything sorted.
Getting yourself out there
You now need to move your steaming hunk of meat body out to nullsec where you will be based. There are two ways to go about this: Flying and death-cloning.
Death cloning is the easiest and fastest method:
1) dock at a station with medical services
2) change your medical clone to the station that you wish to be at
3) undock and suicide
4) update your medical clone.
Flying out is slower but is essential if you wish to keep the implants in your head or have rigged ships that your corp logistics won’t take out via carrier (or if it’s too expensive to do so).
Your decision will also depend on what ship you can fly (cloaky ships are low risk and strategic cruisers with interdiction nullifiers are practically uncatchable (watch out for sensor boosted HICs)), and whether your alliance has a jump bridge network close to high-sec.
For example, When I was in Mostly Harmless and Against All Authorities, there was a jump bridge located in a system directly adjacent to a high-sec system. So the only time I actually flew through jump gates was to go from high to nullsec. Clearly these sorts of systems are regularly camped and so paying attention to intel channels is critical.
Now that I am in Executive Outcomes however, we are based in fountain and the closest system to high-sec with a jump bridge separated from high-sec with a large swathe of lowsec through which I would have to try my luck. Rest assured, I will not be flying my Occator through this. It’s less risk for me to spend 10 mil on rigs and get my packaged up ship delivered via jump freighter.
Once you’re at your destination, there’s a lot still to do, but this is out of scope for this post.
Some suggested readings:
Nullsec basics (here is a nice guide: linky)
Using your directional scanner
Bubbles (Warp disruption fields)
Fleet communication protocals
POS’s (using, living out of, passwords, supercapitals)
Fitting your ships
Finding a Niche in the corp.
Possibly the most important thing I would say to someone new at the game: learn your ship types. Do you know the difference between a Velator and a Viator? or a n Aeon and an Ares? a Which is worth chasing? which is worth ignoring? which is worth running away from? once you’ve learned what each ship is, learn the difference in capability between each – Drake Vs Hurricane? Which ships are generally armor tanked or shield tanked etc.
That’s all for now, I may post another nullsec mechnaics 101 guide later but I’m sure you’ll all read ahead yourselves 🙂 fly safe all!