Posted Tue, Jan 04, 2011 by Space Junkie
The galaxy of EVE Online is a big place, with sixty-four player-accessible regions of solar systems (plus another 2,499 solar systems that are part of un-mappable wormhole space). All of these systems tend to get clumped together into categories based on their security class: high-security space where CONCORD prevents most forms of PvP, low-security space where there are penalties for initiating PvP, and null-security space, where there are no penalties for PvP.
There are, however, more specified kinds of space, more detailed characteristics, and of course, the political boundaries developed by players. This article offers a breakdown of those kinds of space, intended for very new players.
High-security space is where every EVE player starts out, and so the characteristics of that place will be familiar: PvP is mostly limited to wars, suicide ganking, or as revenge for property theft. Any un-provoked aggression that happens outside of a war will have tons of invulnerable NPC CONCORD ships show up and destroy the perpetrators. Almost everybody in EVE knows this. What many may not realize is that it is divided into four areas, with each being comprised of several regions belonging to one of the player races.
Avoid getting any one high-security space faction angry at you, or you may suddenly find their space off limits to you.
Knowing what empire controls what space is also important for members of faction warfare, who are automatically attacked by faction police when in enemy space in the same way that someone with -5 standings would.
Low-security space doesn't have the same protections as high security space: CONCORD will not intervene, but invulnerable NPC sentry guns will automatically take the side of any party that is wrongly attacked.
Though mostly abandoned, low-sec serves a few useful purposes in EVE Online's unique geography:
Null-security space is completely lawless, and players may attack each other here, freely. Some null-sec systems may be conquered by players, while others belong to unassailable NPC factions.
Most regions in null-sec are conquerable, though some are "pirate space" that is owned by an NPC faction and cannot be taken from them, such as Curse or Stain. Some regions may be partially conquerable, with a constellation or smattering of systems controlled by NPCs, but the rest up for grabs. Geminate is a good example of a region like that, with several of its "western" systems belonging to an NPC organization, but the rest of the region is up for grabs.
Under the current game mechanics, the main things differentiating swaths of null-sec from each other are as follows: