So recently I decided to return to my character that I started many months ago on a 14 day trial. So I purchased myself a month of game time to see if this thing is really for me or not.
So I played for a couple of days, doing fine. At this point I'm owning a nice Catalyst, with some nice guns on it and I'm actually feeling pretty powerful. I was on an Epic Arc quest and I was doing pretty good, bandits were barely hurting me and I burned though missions pretty fast. But suddenly, a spike in the difficulty. I was sent on a mission with a lot of lesser enemy ships and one serious ship between them. It really caught by surprise and I barely managed to warped out of there. I repaired and went back in, only this time, taking out the lesser vessels one by one as I'm warping back and forth for repairs. Eventually I got all of them, and could concentrate on the boss of the bunch, thus completing the mission.
The next mission did not go so well. The encounter I was sent to consisted of, what at least seemed to be, the same quantity of enemies. I thought that I could employ the same strategy as before, but I did not take into consideration Warp Drive Jammers. Needless to say that I did not have a chance. I could only stare at the screen as my sweet Catalyst burst into pieces. In retrospect I should have expected a much greater challenge after the last mission, and should not have gone on the next one without improving my ship.
This was greatly demoralizing, but I decided to use the insurance money to buy another Catalyst and started looking at ways for improving my chances, starting with counter measures to Warp Jamming. I found myself a nice Warp Drive Stabilizer on a station a few jumps away and started making my way there to pick it up. I noticed that the station is on a 0.4 sec area, but I figured that it'll be ok. It was not. As soon as I warped to the station, I was one-shotted by a player, losing my second Catalyst in 15 minutes. Again, this was on me. I had no business in low sec areas, and should not have used auto-pilot to get there. But this was too much for one evening, and so I quit the game.
Few days later I decided to get back to it. I bought a *third* Catalyst and started refitting it. This time, I'm going back to the basics. I've found some low level missions and started refilling my bank account. After a day I feel like I'm back on my feet, but I'm still continuing with low level missions. I got to a series of missions that introduce the scanning mechanic and I started going though it. One mission in the middle of the series asked me to detect a signature anomaly (or something) and retrieve some proof that I've been there. After a long session of scanning, I finally find the acceleration gate and warp to that location. Again, a huge infestation of enemies. The acceleration gate warps me to the belly of the beast and I'm being bombarded from all directions. Before I even notice, my shield is down and as I'm trying to warp out of there, my ship blows up. I honestly did not expect this kind of challenge from such a low level mission and I did not know what else I could do.
So clearly, I'm not playing this game correctly. It seems like the recurring motif here is me not being able to escape when things go bad. I really need suggestions on how the hell to quickly get away from sticky situations. I there any way to predict if a certain encounter is too much for my level? Also, it seems like no where is completely safe. I once got targeted by a player in a 0.8 sec region near a station. 0.8 is considered dangerous of newbies?
I'm actually really enjoying this game despite all of this and really want some advice on how to stay out of trouble ;)