Thinking about heading to Colonia the long way in my lightweight Phantom. I'm not exactly BORED of the bubble, but I do feel pretty inconsequential sitting in Jameson looking for something to do. I know I wouldn't ACTUALLY be seriously impacting the BGS out in Colonia, but based on my experience in the Pleiades, it FEELS more like I'm actually doing something in the outlying systems. Maybe even pick a home system and help decide what faction stays in control. So my core motivation would be… like 70% roleplay, and 20% gameplay challenge, and 10% community interaction, if that.
1) I kind of want to get the frontier experience, like I did as a noob going to the Pleiades. Mothball my Phantom when I get there, and start pretty much from scratch with only ships and modules I can get IN Colonia. How rare are semi-decent parts out there? I know I'm not going to find a second Jameson Memorial, and I'm MORE than okay with that. I like the feeling of scrounging. But I don't want to unnecessarily suffer, either.
2) How are the Engineers? I know there are only a few out there, but I've heard they can be pretty good. Do I need to bring mats from the bubble to open with them? Do I need to unlock contact for them from inside the bubble by raising rep here, before I head out there? I don't engineer much, almost never, but I don't want to feel locked out if I can avoid it.
3) I've read of pretty aggressive ganking in the area. How true is that nowadays?
4) My main goal is to have a more rewarding Solo-within-Open experience. Chat and contact with players is fine, and I'm not AGAINST PVP, but I prefer a more Solo playstyle in general. How tight-nit/exclusive does the Colonia population tend to be? I read often that it gets a little territorial and political there within the player base.
5) My usual activities are ratting, mining, and maybe some moderate exploration if I get the urge to go sightseeing for money. Am I going to regret it? Like, is it more boring than I think it will be?
Thanks in advance for any input, even if it's telling me to stay away. I'll probably do a pilgrimage either way, because I hear it's pretty, but some input from some folks who actually make their home out there would be greatly appreciated.