How exactly is one meant to prepare besides learning from trial and error? (sisi doesn't count)

I like to theorycraft.
Some guys wanted to run event mining sites.
I’ve been hearing a bit about them and how tough they are to do solo, so I wanted to look into how tough the enemies are so I knew what I’m throwing money at.
I bring my prospect, and the gate tells me to ■■■■ off cause Limited site is only ventures and t1 frigs (and possibly faction).
Learning to deal with the lack of info through trial and error, I come back in a venture (20jump trip total).

I finally enter one site and see 2 diamond dramiels on the overview.
The entity description matches!
So, we’re up against diamond rats. Diamond rats are notorious for being tough and pvp-scaled, so I think "oh man, I should prep a proper frigate to deal with those! That’s 156 dps each!
I fit myself a breacher, hoping my nearly perfect skills would be enough, and yeet myself forth through the gate and… they seem to die faster and deal way less DPS.

I can see my mistake.
These don’t deal 150 dps, these deal 28. These diamond rats seem identical except the resistance profiles are different.

So, now that I’m trying to make sure me and 3 buddies in ventures survive a bigger site, what am I supposed to do exactly? To me the order of operation seems to be “bring an obviously inappropriate ship so you can see what the gate allows, come back with an appropriately sized ship and collect the resistance profiles of all rats spawning on the site, find them on everef, and THEN make a fit”. Is this the way I’m meant to prep for these sites or is there a much easier way and I’ve been playing the game wrong all along?

I’m just trying to rookie-proof this for my rookie friends.

You can find info about them like though eve uni wiki.

Eve is all about players finding out these things on their own, either by using sisi or through trial and error in game.

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Yep. In the cycle of “plan, prepare, execute, reflect” it might take a few tries until the execution step is successful.

Even if you’re given a fit and instructions, due to your skills and implants and personal piloting style you’re going to wind up tweaking the fit anyway. Without having gone through the learning process, you won’t know what parameters (speed, sig, etc) are able to be traded off successfully – unless someone really spends time mentoring you.

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Players typically learn through some combination of the following methods:

  • Community guides/write-ups
  • Formal Lectures/Classes
  • Informal learning by flying with and/or chatting with more experienced players
  • Trial and Error on the live server
  • Trial and error on the test server

Each have their advantages and disadvantages, and people have different preferences.

Anyway, figuring out content yourself should become less painless (and hopefully more fun) as you do it more and more. For example, you can start to predict the way devs do things, live events will be similar in nature and difficulty to previous ones, and there are various strats you can do to help you figure things out. For example, kiting fits are good for disengaging if things get too hairy, active tanking mods are good for figuring out how much tank you need (you can easily turn off a mod to see if your tank holds or not), and reactive armor hardeners can tell you the approximate damage profiles of mixed fleets.

Oh, you can also frequently find information that will help you in various places, such as dev blogs, hoboleaks, and chrukers. In fact, iirc, the dev blog even said what ships were allowed in the sites. So, that probably would have saved you some time right there.

Check this out, you and your friends might like, the rewards are evenly spread and theirs ton of YouTube videos to show you how their done. I have done solos, never teams, and their a challenge for sure

Best of luck