There's a number of guides on how to make ISK, or how to pilot a ship, or how to do “X”. But I'd like to talk about how players can avoid death.
Considering dying is pretty normal in Eve, why am I making this guide? It's primarily to benefit new players. There are a LOT of ways you can die in Eve. Dying by itself isn't bad, but the feeling of dying due to mechanics or lack of game knowledge can be frustrating (it definitely was for me) because it feels as if you had no agency, no way to avoid death. And are now being punished by losing your ship that you had grinded so hard for.
This guide will attempt to be a compendium of all mechanics, tactics, and other “things” that could lead you to an untimely death. It is my hope that after reading this, you will be well equipped with the knowledge you need so that the next time you die, you understand why it happened, what your role in your death was, and are able to own up to your mistakes and accept responsibility for losing your ship.
First of all, I'm going to assume that you are a player who's actively trying to avoid death. You're not on Autopilot, you're actively D scanning and paying attention to your overview. The problem isn't you or lack of attention, but lack of knowledge of the threats that exist out there in New Eden.
You can imagine yourself, for the purposes of this guide, to be flying a reasonably fitted ship through Hisec, Lowsec, and Nullsec. Your only goal is to get from point A to point B in a safe and quick manner.
Generally, this means you will align to your destination gate, warp off, land at 0, jump through the gate, be deposited 13KM's off the gate on the other side, before repeating the process and aligning to your next destination gate. The problem with traveling based on the above sequence of events is that you are vulnerable at multiple stages throughout.
Here are all the ways your enemy can catch and kill you.
After reading everything above, you're probably thinking “Well, what if I was in a cloaky ship? That means I'm safe right? How could a determined opponent still catch and kill me?”
Let's go over that now.
Even if you successfully bring up your cloak, a warp bubble will prevent you from warping off. But, you may be thinking, so what? Im safe, they can't see me, I'll just slowboat out of the bubble and carry on my way. Unfortunately…
But all of that first assumes that you were able cloak in the first place. You cannot bring up your cloak while you're being locked onto. If you don't start your cloak swiftly, with minimal delay between losing your gate cloak, you will not be able to cloak at all and can be run down by tackle.
Maybe you're caught now in the system. All exit gates are heavily camped, so you decide to bide your time and wait. Cloaked at a random bookmark in space, you feel safe. But you shouldn't, at least not entirely. Mobile Observatories are deployable items that release a pulse across the entire system every 10 minutes. There is a chance that this pulse decloaks you completely, making you vulnerable to combat probe scanners, and thus being caught and killed. However, Mobile Observatories are not a death sentence. You can warp between bookmarks or other celestial objects while you wait to reengage your cloak in order to avoid the people scanning you down. You just need to not AFK until you make your escape.
In addition to the mechanics and tactics above, living in nullsec poses it's own challenges.