No! I am not going to state that I am a NULL veteran yet, not by a green mile. I've spent all of 4 hours down there learning the rules of both the area and the alliance.This post is not to spout the glory of my kills or sing gate camp kumbaya songs.
Let's start with getting to Null for me. I had tried to slip down the pipe twice in one of my fleet of rifters. Try number one was prime time for the reds and I found myself in a gate bubble and dead. The second try I had placed myself in station the last Lowsec system before 0.0 12 hours before downtime. Once again in a rifter I hit the pipe 45 mins after downtime. Missed the bubble but found a crow and his buddies. I shot back but melted before I could break tackle.
I eventually made it down in a TGV fleet of 6 where we had little trouble in the pipe. We did get jumped by a rifter and a raven in Lowsec who got a tackle on out CEOs scorpion. We rallied and popped them both but in the process lost the bosses BS. The boss being the boss, he scouted in his pod the rest of the way. One of our drakes got trapped alone and we were given the order to move the rest of us down the pipe. Felt bad leaving a corpie to die, but orders are orders and he made it out with his pod.
So now I am in 0.0 with jump clones activated, a Caracal, and a box of missiles aka a smile and a grenade. So after reviewing the market and finding another box of missiles. I came to the revelation that I am sure many do when they get off the boat. There is no skipping over to Jita for some cheap hulls and mods in Null. At least the Caracal can take down the rats so I can make cash and stock pile any named mods that drop.
So now I am playing the supply chain game. Trucking hulls, mods, ammo, and other creature comforts down to the Jump Freighter staging spot to contract. The war makes the freighter service a little less frequent. I get the risks and plan to tip well. Once I get some care packages from the carebear ranch. I am looking forward to some fleet work for the alliance as well as some other ops with the corp.
I'll say this in closing that running missions. Even if you are trying to run level 3's in a rifter (I have, takes forever). The fights against real people are way faster and much more dynamic than any mission I have ever ran. There is no real way to prepare for it other than fleeting up yourself and throwing a hull into the middle. With every fight I learn a little more. every kill and death it comes a little easier. I have a long way to go before I can say with any confidence that I am a PvP pilot. Yet I can tell you it's a sh1t ton of fun.