Tag Archives: Exploration

Exploration Log 24-July-2014

Welcome to the Exploration Log. The semi-regular updates where I report actual exploration game time along with the results.

UNDOCK: 30 days

Game Time: Approx 3 hours

Location(s): Sanshas Lowsec, Blood Raiders Lowsec

System Count: 9

Sites Run: Combat 2

Ghost sites seen: 0

Ship(s) Used: Tengu

Profit: 1,400M ISK

Comments: It has been 30 days since I last docked my main.  In that time, my alt has docked 4 times.  He 1)picked up missiles at a station, 2)picked up skillbooks at another station, 3)bought some morphite at another station, and 4) dropped loot at a highsec station for shipment to Jita.  This project will probably continue indefinitely.  My main may never dock again (unless he gets podded or I feel compelled to restyle my profile pic).

I have had several short sessions of playtime over the last week.  Most of them have been nothing.  I ran a minor and regular blood annex with little loot and no escalation.  I ran a couple of relic and data sites just because I wasn’t finding anything else.  I haven’t seen a Ghost site in lowsec in probably 3 months.  I have followed a couple of wormholes into nullsec and found nothing.  Basically, I was having a pretty dry run at exploration.  It happens.

That changed tonight.  I was running the same systems (in reverse) that I had run a couple of days ago.  This time I found a Sanshas Minor Annex.  I ran it, it dropped about 230M isk in loot and it escalated.  Nice.  On my way to the escalation, I found a Crimson Hand Supply Depot and decided to run it as well.  The last time I ran this, I got basically nothing.  This time, I got a Cynabal BPC (120M isk), a Corpum A-Type Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane (1,000M isk), and a couple of other Corpum A-type items.  My total haul for the 2 sites was over 1.4 Billion isk.

I should still have the opportunity to run the escalation tonight so I will see if that turns into anything.  (It did).

 

 

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Exploration Log 9-Jul-2014

Welcome to the Exploration Log. The semi-regular updates where I report actual exploration game time along with the results.

UNDOCK: 16 days

Game Time: Approx 1.5 hours

Location(s): Blood Raiders Lowsec

System Count: 1

Sites Run: Combat 2

Ghost sites seen: 0

Ship(s) Used: Tengu

Profit: 120M

Comments: I logged into a system full of signatures.  After scanning them down, there were 3 data sites, a WH to nullsec, a WH to C6 space, and a Crimson Hand Supply Depot.  There was also one of the Besieged Guristas sites.  The system was pretty quiet with just one pilot in the system and a couple passing through every 10 minutes or so.

I warped out to a deep safe spot where my alt had dropped a Giant Secure Container.  I needed to swap out missiles (needed Mjolnir) so I dropped my mobile depot next to the container and re-fit.  I continue to experiment with ship fittings.  My current fit is expensive and gives up some of the range and dps of fits that I have used in the past.  In exchange, it gets an omni tank and some neut resistance.  It is slightly slower, but I save on space and refitting time.

The site ran smoothly and only slightly slower than my fastest run.  I skipped the Crimson Sentinel as usual.  I may slog through that again sometime, but not just yet.  The final room had 3 neuting battleships.  I was tempted to test my neut resistance against them, but decided it wasn’t worth it.  I killed the three of them and then came after the Crimson Lord.  He went down quickly, but dropped very little.  Basically just the OPE and some junk.

I warped back to my GSC and reloaded with Scourge missiles to do the Besieged Guristas site.  I continue to run these it different ways.  This last time, I stayed at range and used Javelin missiles.  You can be out of warp scramble range if you are approx 40-45km away.  In some ways that is safer, but you spend longer on the site – which makes it more dangerous.  After dispatching both waves, I looted the can and received a ship skin, Low-grade Snake Delta implants, and some covert research tools.  I dropped these off at the GSC and logged out.  I logged in on my alt, picked up the loot from the GSC and warped to the Crimson Hand site to loot the battleship wrecks.  I usually never do this because I don’t have the space.  But my alt in a Blockade Runner does, so he scoops up about 5M worth of loot.  Not worth it, but I will turn it into ore to do some manufacturing.  I have a corporate office only 3 jumps away so my alt drops in there to get some more ammo and maybe setup for my main to do some remote manufacturing.

Exploration Log 22-June-2014

Welcome to the Exploration Log. The semi-regular updates where I report actual exploration game time along with the results.

Game Time: Approx 4 hours

Location(s): Blood Raiders Lowsec, Angels Lowsec

System Count: 9

Sites Run: Combat 3, Relic 1

Ghost sites seen: 0

Ship(s) Used: Tengu, Stratios

Profit: ???

Comments: I am back with my primary Tengu and re-supply area.  Home for now I guess.  I also have a couple of Cyclones (for pvp) and a Stratios at this base.  This area of space is pretty crowded and well trafficked.  My theory was I could hang out here for while, run everything 3/10 to 6/10 and chase away other explorers using the Cyclones.  It hasn’t worked out all that well.  Mostly, I have been too busy to run sites and the site runners I have seen are usually in pairs or threesomes.

Today there was an Angels’s 4/10 in the system – a great way to try out the Stratios!  I have flown it around a few times, but this is the first time I am using in in actual exploration content.

Here is the Stratios Fit that I used:

[Stratios, combat sites – angels]
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Damage Control II

Pithum C-Type Medium Shield Booster
Pith C-Type Kinetic Deflection Field
Pith C-Type Explosive Deflection Field
Shield Boost Amplifier II
Republic Fleet 10MN Afterburner

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
425mm Medium ‘Scout’ Autocannon I, Republic Fleet Fusion M
425mm Medium ‘Scout’ Autocannon I, Republic Fleet Fusion M
425mm Medium ‘Scout’ Autocannon I, Republic Fleet Fusion M
425mm Medium ‘Scout’ Autocannon I, Republic Fleet Fusion M

Medium Capacitor Control Circuit II
Medium Capacitor Control Circuit II
Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I

Valkyrie II x5
Warrior II x5
Salvage Drone I x5

With my skills, it is cap stable and tanks about 370 Angels dps and deals about 380 dps with the Valkyries (with max skills, it would be 450dps).  It costs about 300M ISK for the Stratios and another 300M isk for the fittings.

The fit did fine in the 4/10.  I kept my distance (drone control range is 50km) and pretty much just killed stuff with drones.  I did use the auto-cannons on a few frigates that closed in on me.  In the second room, I took too much damage it I tried to engage the Overseer immediately at close range, but kiting was fine.  For a bit, I thought I didn’t have enough dps to kill him with just the drones, but that was because I was still using Warrior drones.  Once I switched to the larger Valkyrie drones it was fine.  He didn’t drop anything good – I think I picked up maybe 10M in loot for my trouble.  I found that I am not used to using the drone interface and trying to focus fire on ships was more cumbersome than using missiles.  Perhaps I am not cut out for drones.

Overall, the ship performed well.  I know it is supposed to be armor tanked, but my shield skills are better and I wanted to run with 3 DDA’s.  I probably could have done better than a Nanofiber Hull in my last low, but I wasn’t sure what I needed.  I think if I were more used to drones it would have been better.  There is no way it will ever replace my Tengu though.

After I was done with the site, I shipped out with the Tengu to wander around a bit.  I love seeing all the new LS to LS wormholes out there.  In fact, I am setting up to wander from area to area using these wormholes and follow my main with a Blockade Runner full of missiles and back-up equipment.  I found a wormhole to Genesis and I ran a Blood Annex there.  It didn’t escalate and didn’t drop much either.  Maybe another 10M in loot.  Coming back to my wormhole, I saw a pair of Besieged Covert Research Facilities.  Since it was a fairly quiet area, I decided to warp in and engage.  I did learn that they only web out to about 25km so if you can stay farther than that, you at least aren’t webbed.  They still scram out that far though.  I cleared the site and picked up ship skin (Blood Raiders Coercer) and a 10 run BPC for an Experimental Hyperspatial Accelerator.  The BPC was listing on contract for 250M ISK, The modules are listing for 55M at Jita – not sure how long that will last.

The second site despawned as soon as I completed the first one so I wasn’t able to run it.  I returned via the WH to Angel’s space and called it a day.

 

Pilgrim’s Adventures: 21-May-2014

“2 Machs and a Hack”

Pilgrim opened his eyes and attempted to orient himself.  “Computer – where am I?”  The current system flashed across his display and recognition slowly settled in.  Ah yes, back in frontier – many, many jumps from the famous Jita market where he remembered being yesterday.  Clone jumping was an amazing technology, but it left him disoriented every time.  Thank goodness he didn’t do it every day.

Pilgrim consulted his navigation charts and plugged in the desired path for today’s travels.  He planned to explore some of the conflict area currently being patrolled by the Minmatar militia.  He undocked from the station that housed his ship and body while he was attending to other matters.  It felt good to be in space again.  His Tengu Strategic Cruiser smoothly entered warp drive and off he went.  It was a couple of systems before he saw another capsuleer and bothered to activate his cloaking device.

As he was performing a blanket scan of the system, something unusual came up.  The readings indicated it was a Covert Operations Facility.  Although it is not all that covert now that CONCORD had freely given out improved scanning capabilities to every capsuleer that wanted it.  Sooner or later the pirates that ran these facilities would have to catch on.  Perhaps they felt secure knowing they had a fast response team in the area.  Ship scan didn’t pick up any hostile ships in the area, so Pilgrim warped in to the site.  He knew he only had a few minutes before his presence was detected.  One by one, he performed a deep scan of the four facilities.  And one by one, he was disappointed.  Apparently, these pirates weren’t very far along in their research.  There were only a few tools and some shattered wheels – hardly worth the effort.  Pilgrim re-cloaked his ship and left the site.

The next few jumps were fairly routine.  Ship scan picked up a Venture in close proximity to some gas clouds, but Pilgrim really wasn’t in the hunting mood.  Finally, his scanner probes found something interesting – an Angel Mineral Acquisition Outpost!  Pilgrim knew from previous experiences that the ships guarding this Outpost could be “persuaded” to give out information on the whereabouts of their Commander.  And Pilgrim was sure that the Commander was just aching to part with some of his ship’s superior (and valuable) equipment.

Ship scan showed lots of activity, but none in the immediate vicinity.  Pilgrim launched the mobile depot that enabled him to remove his cloaking device and replace it with more missile launchers.  He took the time to upgrade his ballistics controls and shields as well.  Such marvelous technology that allowed refitting huge chunks of his ship while still in space.  Once everything was correctly running, Pilgrim scooped up his re-fitting depot and anchored a secure container full of extra equipment.  He wanted to save space for any new equipment he might pick up while conducting “negotiations”.

Pilgrim was just beginning his introductions when his ship sensors sounded an alarm.  Apparently, there was a Machariel battleship very close by.  It wasn’t on visual yet, but it was closer than it should be – especially considering how hard this outpost was to find. Pilgrim re-calibrated his sensors just in case it was just passing through.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t.  In fact, it was joined by a second Machariel and some sort of logistics ship.  Checking their affiliation, Pilgrim noted they belonged to a fairly well-known pirate corp.  Could he take out the logistics ship and possibly both of the fearsome battleships?  That would be a fine notch in the belt.  Slowly, Pilgrim looked at the row of empty drinks by his console.  Perhaps the bourbon was clouding his judgement.  Pilgrim aligned his ship and warped out.

After refitting his covert operations cloak and picking up his stashed gear, Pilgrim left the system.  It was getting late and he had little to show for his efforts.  After scanning three more systems, he again found something interesting.  The signal was very faint, but with a few tweaks he was able to lock in on the signal of a very discreet drug manufacturing operation.  Again, Pilgrim performed a deep scan of each of the operating sites.  This time he was pleased with what he saw.  After slipping back out to a nice quiet spot in the middle of nowhere, he again refitted his ship.  This time, he boosted his shields to near maximum and onlined his hacking modules.  There was no time to kill all the pesky guards at this site – he would be in and out before they could scratch the paint on his Tengu.  One by one the facilities fell to his hacking abilities and yielded valuable blueprints and skillbooks.  Pilgrim wasn’t much of a drug user himself, but could definitely understand those that felt the need to use some performance enhancing drugs from time to time.  Mostly, he was just glad that the while the drugs were illegal, the blueprints were not and they sold quite easily at the Jita market.

Waving good-bye to the helpless guards still wasting their missiles on his shields, Pilgrim warped off to the next system.  He checked his display and saw that it was quite late.  He still needed to refit his ship to something more travel worthy.  Since there was no one around, he slipped into a handy station for a quick refit (and a shower) before returning to the glorious void of space and phasing out for the night.

New Player Exploration Career Guide (part 2)

This is my attempt to write a guide for newish players that are interesting in doing Exploration in Eve. It will be a multi-part guide written over the course of a few weeks months.  It is based on my experiences and research. Accuracy is attempted, but not guaranteed.

Part 1: Overview

Part 2: Getting started

 

Phase 1a: “Hacking” High sec profession sites

Ship: T1 exploration Frigate

Training: ~ 1-3 months

Major Skills: Racial Frigate IV, Archeology IV, Hacking IV, Astrometics IV, Astrometric Rangefinding III,

Modules: Core probe launcher, T1 Data/Relic Analyzer, T1 rigs

Cost: < 10M

Risk: Very low

Reward: Approximately 5-10M per hour

 

This is something that you can do just a few days after completing the tutorials (depending on how long they take you).

 

SHIPS

The Heron, Imicus, and Probe are all good T1 exploration ships. The Heron has the advantage of an additional midslot to improve your scanning strength – but it is only a 5% improvement (where the rigs give you give you 10% each). The Imicus and Probe have the advantage of an additional low slot for either better agility or more storage (or both). The Amarr Magnate is a poor choice because it only has 3 midslots.

The fitting that you want looks something like this:

High Slots

Core Probe Launcher I : Core Scanner Probes

(optional) Prototype Cloaking Device (for short trips into lowsec)

(optional) Auto Targeting System (1-2 more locked targets)

 

Mid Slots

Data Analyzer I

Relic Analyzer I

Cargo Scanner

MWD

(Heron) Scan Rangefinder Array (+5% scan strength) / Sensor booster (lock & scan faster and from further away)

 

Low Slots

Nanofiber Internal Structure(s) / Fitting Mods / Cargohold Expanders / Signal amplifier

Rigs

Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrades (x2)

Generally, I would go for cargo expanders in the lows.  Data sites particularly drop loot with high m3 requirements.  The signal amp lets you lock more targets for scanning, but as a newer player, you should be hacking all the cans anyway so it is ok if you can lock 5+ simultaneously.    You don’t need cap stability, so the only fitting mods you need are for power or CPU if your fitting skills are low.  Once they are a bit higher, you can drop the fitting mods as needed.

 

TRAINING

Your training priorities should be getting your chosen racial Frigate skill to IV, Hacking to IV, Archeology to IV and then go after getting Astrometics to IV, and Astrometric Rangefinding to III. You will of course need to train some fitting skills to fit and run the modules. Beyond that, you can spend your time training for the next phases while you rack up some exploration loot.

EXPLORING

If you need help scanning stuff down, here are a couple of scanning guides….

Once you have your ship and basic skills you are ready to head out. The further away from market hubs the better. I went to Genesis, but there are lots of options. Generally, you can check the number of jumps per 24 hours on Eve Maps and look for a low-travelled area. As long as you stay away from the major market hubs (Jita, Amarr, Rens, Dodixie, Hek) and the immediate routes between them, you should be able to find some sites.

Once your hacking/analyzer skills are to at least IV (and preferably V) and you have the ability to use a prototype cloak, you may want to use the occasional wormhole to venture into lowsec. If you find a HS-LS wormhole, leave your loot safely in a station and try out lowsec. Don’t wander too far from your entrance system, but you should be able to explore a few systems and maybe find a few data/relic sites. Lowsec sites are slightly more difficult, but usually have much better rewards.

When you are in highsec, you have the option of taking sites from other pilots and vice versa. Alternatively, you can team up and split the loot you gain.

If you go it alone, you should try to do the data sites first. Scan them with your cargo scanner as soon as you land and do the most profitable cans first. The most valuable items are faction BPC’s (data scatter cans) and decryptors (parts scatter cans). Relic sites aren’t as good in highsec, but may have faction BPC’s (data scatter cans), Tech 2 Rig BPC’s (data scatter cans) or salvage materials (parts/materials scatter cans). You should target and scan all cans and then go after the best ones first. A targeting system and signal amplifier increase the number of targets you can lock allowing you to keep track of more cans. A sensor booster/signal amplifier will let you scan them from further away. Sometimes cans are 60km away and you have to fly a bit to be in targeting range.

Once you have scanned the cans, MWD to the first one.   As soon as you are within range, turn off you MWD. I usually right click the can and “Keep at Range 500m”. This gives you a good shot at getting the loot when it is “spewed”. Activate the appropriate analyzer module and the hacking mini-game will appear.

For a very detailed overview of the hacking mini-game, please check out Eve University’s Hacking 101.

Here is my quick list of tips:

–          The System Core is usually on the opposite side of the mini-game board. I used to try the “edge” approach of clicking on edge nodes and moving around the board that way. But I think I actually have better luck just going straight to the opposite side with as few clicks as possible.

–          Don’t attack Firewall or Antivirus subsystems unless they are blocking your path. You may be able to skip them.

–          In Low or Null sec (extremely rare in high sec) you will see Restoration Nodes. They need to be destroyed immediately.

–          Also in Low or Null sec, you will see Virus Suppressors. Use a utility if you have one (Secondary Vectors as best), but you must destroy this ASAP. If you get a Restoration Node while a Virus Suppressor is active, you are finished.

–          Use a Self-Repair utility immediately. You don’t gain anything by saving it for later.

–          Polymorphic Shield (2 charges) is best used on 2 different AntiVirus defensive nodes. Use it to knock each of them in half and you can usually destroy them in 1 click (and thus take no damage).

–          Secondary Vectors are best used on Virus Suppressors. If you are unlikely to encounter one (like in high sec), then you can use it on a Firewall.

–          Kernel Rot is best used on a Firewall or on a node buffed by a Restoration Node.

–          I usually skip Data Caches unless I absolutely need one.

–          If you are in lowsec and/or worried about getting ambushed, orbit the can at 3km until you have the System core down to 1 hit. Then approach (or Keep at Range 500km). Do the last hit when you are ready for loot spew.

–          Once loot spew hits, go after the priority cans first (Data if there is a BPC you want, otherwise Parts for Data Sites and Parts/Materials for Relic Sites). For a breakout of contents by mini-container click here.

–          During loot spew, you can single click on a can to tractor it to you. While it is tractoring, you can single click on the next can. It will be pulled in as soon as the current can is done. This way you can queue up cans for your tractor beam. Double clicking on a can causes your ship to approach it and activate the tractor beam. This actually SLOWS DOWN your collection so only do it if a can is going to be out of range (beyond 3000m).

 

If you don’t want to play the hacking mini-game and want to move toward combat sites, a good way to make ISK while you work on your ship skills is to try out some Ninja Salvaging/Looting.

Phase 1b: “Combat” Ninja salvaging

Ship: T1 exploration Frigate

Training: ~ 1-3 months

Major Skills: Racial Frigate IV, Astrometics IV, Astrometric Rangefinding III, Salvaging IV-V, Drones IV, Salvage Drone Operation III-IV

Modules: Expanded probe launcher, T1-T2 Salvager, T1 rigs

Cost: < 10M

Risk: Low-Moderate

Reward: Approximately 5-10M per hour; higher if also ninja looting

This is something that you can do just a few days after completing the tutorials (depending on how long they take you).

SHIPS

The Heron, Imicus, Magnate, and Probe are all ok for Ninja Salvaging. The Imicus is probably the best because it has nice fitting ability and can use up to 4 drones for additional salvaging speed.

The fitting that you want looks something like this:

Imicus- Salvager

 Highs Slots:

Expanded Probe Launcher I

Salvager I x2

Mid Slots: Limited 1MN Afterburner I

F-b10 Nominal Capacitor Regenerator

Small F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction

Surface Cargo Scanner I

Low Slots:

Co-processor I

Nanofiber Internal Structure I x2

Rigs:

Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I x2

Drones:

Salvaging Drone x4

 

There is lots of room for experimentation here. You can force an MWD to fit, but I don’t think the extra speed helps all that much. You already move pretty fast and don’t have to worry about cap stability. The small shield extender gives you some breathing room if you warp into a room and rats are still there.

 

TRAINING

Your training priorities should be getting your chosen racial Frigate skill to IV, Astrometrics to IV, Astrometric Rangefinding to III, and Salvaging to IV. You will need a few fitting skills to III. Next you should get Drones IV and Salvaging Drone Operations to III before going back and getting Salvaging to V.

After that, you can focus your training time on the next phases or focus on your getting your scanning skills to IV/V across the board.

EXPLORING

Once you have your ship and skills ready to go, you are ready to head out.   You are looking for regional Mission hubs that are just a bit away from the major market hubs. Sansha’s are generally regarded as having the best salvage, but Angels and Blood Raiders are good too. Guristas and Serpentis are just ok.

You can read about my experiences and suggestions regarding Ninja Salvaging here.

For another take, check out “Scumbag Hanz“.  He was only blogging for a few months, but he posted some interesting experiences in ninja salvaging and looting as a new player.

Ninja looting is even more profitable, but of course carries more risk.  It also has some downtime with it as you don’t want to be flashy by high sec gates.  It is also a bit harder with the new Tractor modules that auto-loot wrecks.  Destroying tractor modules and stealing their contents can also be pretty profitable.  It isn’t necessarily something I recommend for a newer player, so I am not going to go into details here.