This is a collection of short in-character fiction pieces about Awakened Industries, a group of capsuleers and their crews living in the enigmatic and dangerous regions of Wormhole Space in EVE Online. None of the protagonists are actual characters or corporations in-game. All similarities with persons fictional or real are possibly coincidental and only sometimes intentional. - Emergent Patroller

For an introduction to this blog refer to this link. You may also want to check out the guide for new readers

: The stories on this blog contain mature themes involving sexuality and violence and are not suitable for minors or sensitive people.

18 Feb 2014

TRS - Shadow Warfare - Spying in EVE Online Part 2

In the first part of this guide I covered most of what it takes to prepare yourself for a spying career. In this second instalment I am going to go for the meat and potatoes: What you can do as a spy, how to make ISK with it, and how to wage the shadow war in earnest.

So let's get started!

Strategy and Tactics

There are many different things you can do as an embedded spy. Some will be simple and will yield you ISK in a short time, but they will also expose you and make continued operations difficult, if not impossible. Others will take longer and will be more sustainable, but they involve a lot more patience and investment. I will touch on some strategies you can choose and some methods you can apply. You can do as many of those things as you like and/or have time for. The more you do, the better it is of course. 
  • Suicide bombing In EVE this is generally known as Awoxing. What you do there is choosing the right moment to turn against your corpmates. It can be as simple as tackling a friendly target for the enemy to kill or it can be more complex, like providing a cyno for a fleet that drops them right in front of the guns of an enemy force. In any case, you make sure someone on your side dies to enemy fire through direct participation. This is not something I would advice, except when you have decided that you want out anyway.  Awoxing is impossible to hide and will mean the end of your career with that character. It is not very rewarding except if you are mainly aiming for tears. The best you can get out of it ISK-wise is possibly some really expensive loot.
  • Theft Like awoxing, this usually means the end of your spy career. It is possible but quite hard to get away with a big corp theft unnoticed. If you go for this, make sure it is worth it. Before you go for a corp theft, check out the character bazaar to see whether there is any character on sale that is at least your skill level. Compare the cost for that character to the potential ISK you can make by stealing. You should at least be able to pay for a new character and then have a comfortable starting wallet. For those who are interested in this approach, there is actually a whole guide on the subject.
  • Illogistics One of my personal favourites. Alliances depend on logistcs. The larger they are, the more they do. Logistics are not a popular thing to do, so chances are that people will be thankful if you participate in it. By fueling POSes, or at least transporting fuel, you can learn where important towers are and gain their passwords. Like that one where they log off the bridging Titan, or the super secret wormhole operation where they make T3 cruiser materials. It's even better if you get far enough in the ranks to be the one who sets up the POSes. Moving assets and seeding markets is a bit more advanced fare because it will require you to have a carrier or a jump-freighter. However, if you are part of the team that moves stuff around or buys ships in highsec for the alliance, you will usually be among the first to know when there is going to be a major operation and where it will happen because alliances often prepare deployments by moving ships and materials into the area in advance. A good way to become involved is to help the logistics team by lighting cynos for them. That's easy to train for and you need no special roles for it either. This way, you can also find out how the logistics chain is set up and who is involved in it. Being instrumental in logistics provides you with a lot of potentially lucrative information and great opportunities for theft and disruption.
  • Snake in the garden of New Eden You identify the sources of internal dissent and you stoke the fire. Whenever you hear complaints, you subtly encourage them. For starters, don't come up with your own drama, but latch on to everything that develops. Make sure the rumormill is merrily turning. If player A whines about issue B and player C independently starts complaining about it too in your presence, tell C about A's complaints and then go on to tell others how A and C have been complaining to see whether the dissatisfaction has potential to spread. If there is material to discredit a director or an FC take special note of it and slightly exaggerate everything bad you hear. Chances are that the Chinese Whisper thread will escalate. Also, pay particular attention to suspicions about someone being a spy. Encourage and spread those whenever you can. They will detract attention from you and distrust is always good for internal destabilization. Corps, and even alliances, can dissolve into failcascade through internal drama. It is difficult to quantify though and best reserved for times when you have a fixed employer who will just pay you for generally messing with things. It can also be perversely pleasurable to do. In the very best case, you can identify and groom potential defectors who would switch sides to your customer.
  • Open backdoor policy Involve yourself in recruiting. Hang around in any public channels your corp and alliance has and be helpful there. Especially when the main recruiters are not online, you can engage with potential recruits there and then help the recruiters by telling them about the conversations you had. Try and get into the recruiting team or at least become a trusted assistant. If you can do that, you will get access to APIs that people submit for application. If those people are accepted, the APIs will become a hot commodity. If a corp requires a full API, then this will provide a lot of information including eve-mails. Also, if you become part of recruiting, you can get more spies in for your customer. This can be dangerous, because you will have to expose your identity to your customer (See Mistakes to avoid below). Only do that if you fully trust your customer contacts.
  • Black Sheep Scout This is mostly useful if you are already contracted by someone for spying and you are directly involved in field intelligence during battle. If you are scouting for the fleet you are just one step behind the plans of the FC and you will know where the fleet goes, what the plans are, which ships they have etc. Opposition FCs will be able to make good use of this information. You can also supply false information to your own FC, but be careful with that. If you derp too much with scouting you can lose the privilege to do so, and if you overdo it you can actually be exposed as a spy.  In it's most extreme form, this method can be like Awoxing and you intentionally lead a fleet into disaster. Only do that if it's really worth it. Protip: Do not use your main character to relay information. Open a convo with an alt account on a minimized client that you keep active next to your main window.
There are of course even more things you can do. You could become part of the industrial wing which also gains you information about the structural backbone of the alliance. You could become involved in PVE and collect information about the habits of the carebears. You could even try and become an FC or a director. My examples above are all things you can do right from the beginning and mostly with low skillpoints. They are also the things I have the most personal experience with (except theft and Awoxing. I actually never did that because it's too high profile).


Customer relations

The most difficult thing for the independent spy is to find contracts and to make money off their spying activities. First of all, a lot of people will just use alts which they try and get into opposition alliances to do the spying themselves. You, as an outside operator, will have to provide more and better information than they can get themselves this way. Another difficult thing is to build up trust with a potential customer. You are betraying your own corp, so why would they trust you? By far the most complicated issue is payment. Here I'll elaborate on the ways you can use to overcome those difficulties. For this part - as in general - I will work with the assumption that you had to submit a full API during your application. If you did not have to, then you will have an easier time with many things. It is good practice to play things really cloak-and-dagger anyway.
  1. Making contact Once you have decided on potential parties you want to sell information to, open up a trial account and send an EVEmail to all the individuals you consider suitable contacts. In that EVEmail you provide an out-of-game email address to get in touch with you. Do not use an address you use for anything else. Make a new account on gmail or a similar free email service. Contact as many different corps and alliances as you can. My best experience was with NPC nullsec alliances who are PVP oriented or an opposing faction in sov warfare who has their main strength in another timezone. 
  2. The sales pitch In your initial contact mail, you offer something for free to establish a rapport. Select information that you consider valuable enough for your potential customer. Also make sure it is not something they could already know easily by having spies in place themselves. On the other hand don't give them your most valuable piece of information. An internally announced deployment is too little, and the plans for a whole invasion is too much, but if you happen to know that there will be a deployment a few days ahead of time, that will be just right. The location of a manufacturing POS is not enough, the location and password to a wormhole operation is too valuable, but a CSAA which you happen to know has just been seeded with materials for a supercap, that is a nice choice. In any case, make sure it is something that you can definitely deliver. Nothing will be worse for you at this stage than delivering flawed intelligence.
  3. .... Now you wait and see whether you get a response, either by mail or by seeing that someone you contacted made active use of your information. If they actually wrote you back, then you are set up. If they write nothing but still obviously act on the provided intelligence, contact that party again with your trial account or make a new one and reference the prior mail. Tell them that you can provide more if they are willing to pay for it. If nothing happens at all, go looking for other parties and try again. Repeat this process until someone bites. Once someone is actually offering money for your services, you can step up the game. You can offer more and more valuable things. Go to town once you have a customer reeled in and secured. The goal here should be to become contracted as a spy for a longer time. If someone is willing to pay you a fixed amount per week to have you do your job, then you're on the right track.
  4. Profit Actually getting paid is among the most difficult things in this whole spy game. Obviously you will not be contacting your customers with your main account, and you will not be able to transfer ISK to your main from an unaccountable source either. At least not if you submitted an API with wallet access. If not, then knock yourself out and laugh about the lack of security your marks have. Usually, though, you will have to pay for your opened trial account as soon as you receive money on it from your customers (because trial accounts can not transfer ISK). The good news is, you only need to do so for one month. Shortly before that month ends, you open up another trial account and transfer the money over to that one. You will have your customers transfer money to whichever account you are using at this point in time. Eventually you might get contracted for work on such a scale that you can actually PLEX your account and still make a profit. This account will become will then become your agent and your anonymous Swiss bank account. At the high point of my career I kept my go-between account afloat with PLEX and still make above 500mill on top of that. Doesn't sound that much? Don't forget that you are playing the game on your main and also make ISK there. People make less with other ISK making alts they use for PI, manufacturing or mining, and what you are doing is so much more exciting. Also, you are not spending any of that ISK. If you are into that kind of stuff, use it for station trading with your alt and make even more.
  5. Cashing out At one point you might decide that you have had enough of spying inside one corp or alliance. You can then decide to go out with a bang and end your career with a theft or with Awoxing a jumpfreighter full of BPOs and Officer Modules, or you can just leave and find a good excuse for it. People leave from one corp or alliance to another all the time. If you made it this far you should have no trouble coming up with a good reason. At this point, you can actually get at the money you earned as a spy. Make sure you first delete your API! Then you can transfer money over to your main, and repeat the process I mentioned under the point Cleaning house  in part 1 of this series. Make sure your money transfer is buried under lots and lots of wallet transactions. It will also make it more believable later that you have a lot of ISK. You just made it all by turning full-on carebear for some time, right?

Mistakes to avoid 

As a final chapter, I want to address a few things you should not do as a spy. Some of them might seem obvious, but you'd be surprised how often people get exposed. Especially the throwaway alt spies are generally very reckless. If you want to play a spy professionally, look out for the following pitfalls:

  • Asking too many questions People who ask too many too pointed questions, especially when related to things covered by opsec, draw suspicion onto themselves. Make sure you ask your questions of many different people and ask them at moments when they come across as just idle or situational.
  • Knowing too much It's a bad move to give out information to your customer that only you and a very few other people with completely spotless records could have known. If you want to give out information that is kept under any level of secrecy, make sure that at least one other person who knows about it is already suspicious.
  • Giving the customer too much information about yourself You don't know for sure how many spies your mark has inside the organisation of your customer. If someone talks too much they might actually expose your true identity by unintentionally letting a spy from your side know who you are. People should be keeping a very tight lid on who their spy contacts are, but don't rely on it.
  • Fooling around with APIs Some people will try to avoid submitting an API, or at first try and submit one that isn't quite what the employer asked for. Don't do that. Recruiters will usually either refuse you immediately or mark you as suspicious. You should not appear as if  you have anything to hide. On the other hand, if they don't ask, then don't tell either.
  • Risking too much Some of the tactics I propose carry the risk with them that you might overdo things. You could be labelled as a rumourmonger, an incapable scout, a sycophant, hell even something as ridiculous as people believing that you attract bad luck. Keep it subtle and in balance. 
  • Interacting in-game with your alt You and your agent/banker alt are to be kept absolutely seperate. You never transfer anything between the two for as long as someone has a valid API to your main. No ISK, no mail, no nothing. You might not be under full scrutiny all the time, but act like you are.
  • (IRL) bragging Do you like to post on forums, on reddit or on news sites? Would you like to go to meetups or Fanfest? If so, never tell anyone that you are a spy. Don't brag! Remember one thing: There are no famous active spies! If you want to write about it, wait until you have left that career behind you for good - like me.
  • Reacting with your main on this post If you want to be a spy and you would like to tell me how great it is that I helped you with this guide, then don't use any account that people can trace to your in-game name. I am still happy to read positive feedback, of course, just do it anonymously.

Summing it up

So here I will stop my wall of text. Have I told you everything to know about spying and every little trick? No, of course not. There are still many blanks you will have to fill in and more things you can come up with if you are cunning, creative and devious. If you get really immersed in the spy game, there might be a point where a whole new layer of EVE Online covert metagaming will open up for you. Should you end up there, I can promise you that it will overshadow everything you have read here.

Personally, I consider the professional spy career one of the most exciting but also one of the most insane things you can do in this game. I stopped eventually because (among other things) it was starting to mess with my head.

One final advice: Never underestimate the level of vindictiveness EVE players can have IRL if they ever find you out. Beware of that happening. More than anything else.

May you bring down whole alliances without firing a single shot.

14 Feb 2014

TRS - Shadow Warfare - Spying in EVE Online Part 1

[Image credit goes to the Ctrl+Alt+Del Webcomic  sorry guys for not giving you credit right away]

The history of EVE is rich in stories about spies bringing down or at least seriously damaging alliances. This arena has it's own B-R5RB's and Asakai's. Most people will have heard about the heist of Guiding Hand Social Club, the demise of BoB or more recently the disbanding of S2N Citizens. While those events are spectacular and get a lot of attention, they are often the result of special circumstances and even simple luck. The day-to-day reality of spy work is much less spectacular, but it still can be an exciting career that will keep you occupied in-game and out of game.

In this series I will make an attempt to explain a bit about the spy game. How you become a spy, what you can do, which difficulties you will face and which rewards you can gain. The spying metagame is an established factor in many larger alliances. Some even have their own intelligence- and counter-intelligence agencies. I will - however - focus more on the career path of an independent "freelance" spy. This is also more suitable for new players who are not yet part of an established in-game entity and who have a specific advantage in this field as you will see when you read on.

Are you spy material? 

To be a successful spy you need a few personal skills and traits:
  • Be a good listener One of the main things you need to do as a spy is to collect information. You should be able to remember well what people say and how they say it. It is particularly valuable if you are the kind of person who can make people talk and maybe tell you more than they should. It will also be very helpful if you can identify voices on coms quickly and remember many different people by name.
  • Keep your ego in check Creating drama or being a very argumentative person with strong opinions is not very beneficial as a spy. You want people to open up to you or at least consider you a nice person to talk to when they are chilling out. People who wave their dick around too much will not make others feel at ease with them.
  • Be a good sport Joke and laugh with your corpmates. Immerse yourself in their culture and emulate it. If jokes are being made at your expense, play along with it rather than being defensive. Use self-depreciating humor to make yourself appear as someone who doesn't take themselves too serious.
  • Be at ease socially It is very helpful if you are the kind of person who makes friends easily and has no problem fitting into a group. Socially inept sperglords usually do not make good spies unless you specialize in a form of spying that requires you to be that kind of person. Even then, it should be a role you play rather than your actual personality.
  • Maintain self-control You want people to get a certain image of you. Make sure you can maintain that image and keep it up. If you are prone to mood swings or have the tendency to get drunk and talk too much while playing, you might damage that image or even expose yourself completely.
  • Be patient Spying requires time and patience. The good thing is, you will be playing the game while building your spying career, so that can provide diversion. You do need to take the time to build up trust both with your mark and with the people you are spying for. It can take months.
  • Stay detached Hanging around with people for a long time and developing a personal relationship with them with the intention to betray them is not an easy thing to do. Make sure you don't get too emotionally invested in your targets. It's a fine line to walk and in some ways it can become borderline psychopathic.
All of the above can be summed up pretty much by saying that you need to be a people person as well as a social chameleon. None of those skills require you to have lots of in-game skillpoints. Actually new players have an advantage when it comes to spying because they don't have a long corp history and generally come across as harmless. I myself started in this field when I directly came from highsec to nullsec. Nullsec players tend to have a rather overblown sense of importance and generally view people from highsec as being clueless. If you look clueless to your mark, you can stay under their radar much easier.

Starting your career

The most difficult thing in the beginning is to get into an alliance you want to spy on. Most - if not all - will have recruiters who will do their best to identify spies before even letting them in. Your first objective is to get past the recruiters.

Choosing your mark
When you choose your target, it is important to know about the political landscape of EVE. Make sure you are familiar with the things that are going on. Reading the news sites is a must. I would also recommend listening to the Podside Podcast because there are regular discussions of current events from the perspective of line members. You want your information to be valuable to someone, so make up your mind about who you want to spy on and who you want to sell information to. Learn everything you can about both your intended target and your prospective "customers". Who are their enemies and friends? Are they currently involved in a conflict or does it look like there might be one soon? Who are the prominent leaders and diplomats?

When you have decided who you want to spy on, do not choose the most high-profile corporation in an alliance. If you want to spy on the CFC you don't start by infiltrating Goonswarm (which is very hard to do in any case if you are not part of the Goon's out-of-game community). Go for a second or third tier corporation. Their counter-intelligence will often be much more lax and you can start building your operation more easily. Renters and industrial corps are often a good choice, but make sure you don't end up being too isolated from the alliance at large. Later, when you want to get closer to the real action, the chances for you to move up in the hierarchy are much better if you come from within the established structure than from without.

Establish your narrative
Recruiters will ask you questions about why you want to join their corp, what you did before in EVE and what you like doing most, what your perspectives are etc. Make sure you have an answer for all those questions without making it sound too rehearsed. Come up with a personal story about who you are as a player and stick with it. Prepare some stories from your personal EVE experience that you can tell. Stick as closely as possible to the truth. Make sure that public killboards reflect your backstory and that nobody from previous corps you were part of would falsify anything you say. Again, you are at a distinct advantage here if you are a new player, because there will be less information available about you. Also make sure your backstory is not too complicated, otherwise you might be in danger of forgetting things or telling them differently.

Clean House
Before you apply to any corp, make sure any information that can be retrieved through the API is cleaned up. Delete all mails that give information about contacts you don't want to be known. Also, make sure your wallet transaction journal is filled with non-suspicious entries. Best thing to do is to run missions for some time and then sell your salvage. Exchange money between yourself and some alt that sits in Jita and buys stuff for you. Make sure you have nothing in your wallet journal which indicates that you have been given ISK by any third parties you don't want to be known to your new employers. If you have stuff lying around in stations anywhere else than highsec, then move it to a highsec station. At best to something inconspicuous like a trade- or missioning hub.

Start a "Spy Journal"
Get yourself a notebook (yes the pen-and-paper kind) and use it to take notes about everything that seems important. Throughout your career you will encounter many different people and hear a lot of different things. It can become overwhelming to keep all of that in your head. Once per week, take the time to review your notes for that week and write down a more concise summary of any information you gathered. Also set yourself goals for each week. An example could look like this:

Was flying with FC A in three fleets this week. He rages a lot and loses control of the situation when he does. Can be triggered to rage very easily by making small mistakes.
Corpmate B, C and D are mostly PVE pilots who are very rich and fly a lot of pimped out ships. They have specific systems they always return to for ratting. C likes to talk about movies a lot and can be distracted easily when engaged in conversation about this.
The deployment for next week will be difficult for the corporation. Many people still don't have all their assets moved from last time and two of our carrier/jump freighter pilots are away next week. A lot of the logistical burden will fall with alliance logistics who are annoyed that we can't properly take care of ourselves.
Goal for next week: Finish training for cyno alt so I can be an active part of logistics and know which routes they are taking.

The first steps

Once you are member of a corporation that is part of your marked target, make yourself familiar with the way things are run. Read their forums and look specifically for anything that refers to counter intelligence. Did they have spies before who they found and kicked out? If so, how did they find that spy? Make sure you avoid being found the same way.

Another thing that you should look for is internal drama and dissent. Are there people who are complaining about leadership or have problems with others in the alliance. Take note of such people and see to it that you stay close to them. They can be valuable sources of information on the internal problems and could even become a means to seed further dissent.

Participate in fleets as much as you can and with as many different FCs as you can. Learn about the fleet doctrines and how they are used. Also take note who the main opposition FCs are. They can become potential "customers" who will buy the information you are able to provide. Pay special attention to those who lose a lot of fights against your mark. They will often be most desperate to get an advantage.

If your mark is using out-of-game communication like Jabber, make sure you are logged in whenever you can. Especially during times when people do not play, they will idly chat about many things both game-related and not. Start profiling people in your spy journal. Over time you can build up whole dossiers on important people in the corporation and alliance.

Become familiar with the alliance infrastructure. Where are important POSes? What does the Jump Bridge Network look like? Who are the main people taking care of logistics and trade? Where are preferred ratting systems and trading stations. Which are the PVP staging systems. How many ships are available on contract and who supplies them? If there is a ship replacement program, how well does it run and how much stress is put on it?

And next?

If you have followed the path of the spy until this point, you will be embedded within the alliance you have marked as your target. The first big obstacle for your spy career is behind you. Now you can begin your work in earnest. In the next part I will write about the things you can do for spying, how to sell your information to the opposition and then spend some time with possible dangers and how to avoid them.

I hope that you found this guide helpful and informative so far.

Good luck with your spy career.

5 Feb 2014

OOC Entry 105 - To the rescue

As Keram hinted in the closing scene of Metamorphosis, Awakened Industries have a plan to get Sandrielle back from The Hive. With the actions of Shisei prior to the events of the previous chapter, this plan has been set in motion. Now the moment has arrived for the next step where the Rasenzoku get to do their part.

While this is going on, attentive readers will probably be able to piece together where those sophisticated infiltration nanites are coming from. After all, creations like that have appeared in the stories before.

The new chapter then closes with probably the most disturbing scene I have written since the beginning of this story arc, but since I have my official disclaimer in place I can go as far as I want. Not that I held back in the times before I put a warning on the blog that there is mature content inside which is sometimes not suitable for the squeamish. :)

Anyway, after all this building up, I actually feel like writing a proper space-battle again even though I find that really difficult. The next chapter will definitely feature one of a kind that hasn't been featured before in any of my stories. Something that I always wished to do in-game.

I hope that I can put it into words in a way that gets it across well.

1 Feb 2014

TRS - A beginner's guide to scouting

Are you a new player who would like to mean something in a PVP centred corporation, but while everyone around you is flying big and expensive ships, all you can fly is frigates?

Very often, corporations will assign their newbies to the role of frigate tackle. While this role can be important, it can also feel like you are being used as cannon fodder. You will also be doing a lot of reshipping and playing catch-up with the fleet as it moves on.

But you don't have to be that guy.

You can be a scout instead!

Being a scout is more difficult than just locking up a target and pointing it, but it is also much more rewarding. If you volunteer for this role, you can make a name for yourself much quicker. FCs will remember you and corpmates will appreciate your effort, if you do it well.

Like tackling, scouting is a role you can fulfil with a cheap frigate. Very often, veteran pilots do not want to be scouts. Especially in small gangs they tend to be of the opinion that they can be more valuable in their fighting- or logistics-ship. When an FC asks for volunteers to scout, coms can turn awkwardly quiet. This is your opportunity. If you know how to be a scout, you can seize it.

This article is about teaching you how to do that even if you are a character just out of trial. Scouting does not require skillpoints, it requires skill and here I will give you the basics about how to develop that skill.

Different corps and alliances will have different styles, so I will keep it as general as I can. Still, most of what I am going to write below will apply to small roaming gangs rather than big fleet operations.

The basics

  • Overcome your fear As a scout you will be the first to jump into a hostile system. Do not panic if you see a whole gatecamp on overview. Stay cloaked, take a deep breath and have a look at what the enemy ships are. A scout who can not keep a cool head in the face of danger is useless. If you are inexperienced, then take the time to fly through lowsec and nullsec on extended round-trips. Jump into gatecamps with rookie frigates and a clone with no implants. This way you can practice to stay calm even if you see an overview full of red. You can also practice getting out of such situations alive without losing anything valuable if you don't
  • Set up your overview The best way to do this is to import an overview pack and customize it. EVE Uni has a very detailed article on how overview customization works and at the end you will find links to some overview packs. It's a long read, but it can literally save your life in EVE to understand how that works. You will need a properly configured overview for the next part. Make sure you have a tab that shows enemy ships and other ones for loot (for scanning wrecks to tell you where ratters are active) and other things that are important for your scouting style. (That can vary but could include POSes, Customs Offices, Sovereignty Structures etc.)
  • Configure DSCAN Directional scan (DSCAN) is the next step. Your DSCAN window has several things you can configure. The first thing to do is to tick the box "Use current overview settings". This way you will make sure you see only the things necessary. The second thing is the range. The maximum for this is 2,147,483,647 km which is a bit more than 14,3 AU. Set it to this value initially. The third one is the angle. This angle refers to a cone in the direction you are looking at. You can fly your ship in one direction while you are looking in another, always remember that. To start with, set your DSCAN angle to 360, that means you will see anything around you in a 14AU sphere.
  • Activate camera tracking If you do this, your view will track anything you click on. This is very useful if you want to use your DSCAN to pinpoint things quickly. To activate camera tracking simply hit "C". 
Here is an image to show you what your DSCAN window should look like (note that the tracking camera checkbox has been removed in the latest Rubicon patch. The Keyboard shortcut still works, so use it):

Ships for the job

I don't want to go too much in-depth here or provide you with fixed fittings, because there are many different ones suited for that role. What I will do is give you a few guidelines on selecting your scouting ship and how to fit it.
Other people might have different and better ideas on how to fit a specialized scouting ship. but I will give you my recommendations based on experience and preference, and explain why I consider them valuable.

Ship type 
I guess it is pretty obvious that you will be using frigates as scouting ships. They warp fast, they are hard to hit and they move quickly on grid. All those things are important for a scout. If you have enough skillpoints to fly an interceptor an assault frigate or a covert-ops frigate (and you can fit a covops cloak), then go for that. Otherwise, choose the fastest and most agile ship you can fly. Agility is a function of the ship's mass and it's Inertia Modifier. Choose a ship on which both of those values are the lowest for it's ship class. Also choose a ship with the lowest signature radius after you have satisfied the other criteria.

  • High slots Don't bother too much with weapons. Other things are more important for a scout. Fit anything in the highslots that you can after you have made sure you have all other things in place. One thing that can be very useful for a scout is to have an energy neutralizer in the high slots. That can help you to get away from fast tackling frigates by hopefully deactivating their web and scram when you drain their capacitor.
  • Mid slots If it is in any way possible, I would always recommend fitting two propulsion modules on a scout. One Afterburner and one Microwarpdrive. One is to move around, and the other one is to still move comparatively fast when you are scrammed (i.e. your MWD is shut down). The other thing is, an Afterburner keeps your signature lower, and you should have a low signature so enemy ships can not lock you that fast. If you can't fit both it's a coin toss, but I would personally rather go for an afterburner when flying a standard T1 frigate. You should also fit a Warp Disruptor so you can point ships if necessary. If you have more than three midslots, you can go for some electronic warfare modules like a sensor dampener, a tracking disruptor or an ECM for defensive purposes. Use whatever you have skills for. Also a sensor booster can be helpful so you lock quickly in case you want to point an enemy ship. "What about shield tank?" I hear you ask. I wouldn't recommend fitting a shield tank. You need the mids for propulsion and point. Also, shield extenders increase your signature, and you should avoid that. I would also not recommend fitting a web or a scram, because you will not survive getting close to an enemy. Keeping at range and keeping your transversal speed high is your best defence.
  • Low slots Definitely always fit a Damage Control here. In addition to that, a Nanofiber Internal Structure module is also very good to have. If you have more low slots available, go for some armour tanking modules. I would recommend resistance over buffer, because armour plates reduce your speed and agility. If you end up having no tank, don't worry too much. You will rely on your low signature and your high speed to not get hit. If you are under fire, just don't turn on your MWD if you don't have to. The exception is if you fly an interceptor or an assault frigate which get reduction bonuses for the signature bloom.
  • Rigs If necessary use the rig slots for Ancillary Current Routers or Processor Overclocking Units to make your fit work. As for the rest, put some armour resistance rigs there, or a Polycarbon Engine Housing if you feel comfortable with losing some more hitpoints (it will reduce your armor). A Targeting System Subcontroller is also not a bad idea, to increase your lock speed.

Scout go plus one

You have just been ordered to jump through into the next system ahead of your fleet. At this point you should have an overview set up and selected that shows you all relevant targets. Now it is time to check your surroundings and report what you can see. To make this easier, sort your overview by type.
  • Hold your cloak. Do not move and start with everything you see on the gate. Are there any ships? How many? Which type? Are they camping, moving, fighting someone else? Are they criminals, wartargets or neutrals? Report all those things on coms. If there is nothing, report that the gate is clear.
  • Are there any relevant landmarks in the system? In FW that would be plex beacons, elsewhere SBUs and TCUs can be relevant. Judge that depending on the sort of fleet you are with. Again, report what's visible.
  • Next hit DSCAN. At this point it should be long-range and set to 360 degrees with a filter suitable for PVP. Report everything you see on DSCAN. Tell your FC what you see.
  • At this point, if you saw ships on DSCAN, narrow things down a bit. Set your DSCAN angle to 30 degrees and click on stations, beacons, asteroid belts, cynosural fields etc. if they are within 14AU. As your camera view swings around, you can now see whether any of the ships you saw are in the direction of the respective landmark.
  • You can also change range on your DSCAN. To do this quickly just remove the 2 at the beginning of your DSCAN range. This way you can quickly switch back to long range - you just have to add the 2 again. 147,483,647 km is slightly less than one AU, so if nothing is within that short range (like a close planet), ships you can still see on DSCAN are likely to be in warp to your position. 
  • Finally - if you are hunting PVE pilots - take a look at the Probe Scanner to see whether there are any Anomalies in System where they could be busy making ISK.Switch to an overview showing loot as you scan in the direction of the anomalies. If there are NPC wrecks then there is (or at least was) a PVE pilot active.

Further afield

Depending on the situation on the other side, the FC will make a decision and give you new orders. You could be ordered to lock and point a target. If so, get to top speed (using the Afterburner rather than the MWD) and orbit them outside web and scram range (just choose a 20km orbit to be sure). Now your speed and low signature radius will be important to keep you alive long enough for the fleet to jump in and start killing targets.

If the gate is clear, you might be ordered to create safespots and tactical warp-in points. You can find and explanation about tacs in my previous post and a guide to creating safespots here.

If you saw hostiles or possible targets in range, then you could be ordered to get to them to either hold them down or to check them out. Do not warp to 0 on your destination, take a distance like 10 or 20 km. That will put you in a range where you can still possibly point targets on grid but not be webbed and scrammed yourself.

You could also be ordered to go to destinations which are off your DSCAN range. In that case, keep your DSCAN angle small and face in the direction you are flying while constantly clicking DSCAN. As soon as ships appear on your scanner, report that immediately. If they are actually on grid when you land, confirm that to the FC.

In the simplest of scenarios you might just be ordered to go plus one i.e. warp to the next system on your route. If so, then just do that and repeat the procedures from above.

In Summary

  • Always keep a level head, stay calm and keep looking at overview and DSCAN.
  • Don't get distracted by bullshit in local or in fleet chat. Do not click links, you have more important things to do.
  • Constantly report everything of importance. Don't be afraid to talk over others (even the FC) and use Break/Check commands to notify people of incoming information.
  • Move fast, never stay still.
  • Listen to your FC's orders.
  • Take no unnecessary risks, you are important to the fleet.
  • Double check whether your overview and DSCAN settings are fine.
  • Practice, practice, practice
Don't worry about not being perfect the first time you do this. If you don't feel confident enough, listen to scouts from fleets you join before taking the role yourself. In time you will become skilled in scouting and a valued fleet member even if you can not fly a T2 fitted battleship or a logistics ship on max skills.

Happy hunting.