Exploration Part 2: The next step

Soulweave 2019-01-14

Illustration by Major Sniper

Hello again, explorers.

In continuation of my exploration guide series, Part 1 available here, whether you are using an Alpha account or Omega account, are a brand new player or returning player who wishes to explore data and relic sites, this guide will provide you some tips and tricks and fits for Exploration Frigates.

Assuming you have been training the recommended skills in my previous article, the only limitation between Alpha accounts and Omega accounts is the use of certain modules and Tech 2 variant of the ships.

Modules and Ships that Alpha accounts cannot use are:
Cloaking Device (Tech 1, Tech 2, Covert Ops Cloaking Device)
Scan Pinpointing Array I
Covert Ops ships (Tech 2 variant of exploration frigates)

A note about modules and safety

Before we go into fittings, I would like to give some recommendations that I believe are important:

  • You may replace the Cargo Scanner in the fits listed in Part 1 with one of the following scanning upgrade modules, as long as you have the skills:
    • Scan Acquisition Array I (reduces scan time of probes)
    • Scan Rangefinding Array I (increases the scan strength of probes)I personally would recommend using Scan Rangefinding Array I.
  • There is no need to use a Sisters of EVE Core Probe Launcher. Sure it can help compared to Core Probe Launcher I but it is vastly more expensive. You can simply use the normal Tech 1 launcher with Sisters Core Probes
  • When doing the hacking, apply the Rule of 6. For more information about this rule, please head over to the Tips and Tricks section of the EVE University’s Hacking wiki page.
  • You may want to avoid doing Data and Relic sites in low-security space for two reasons: the majority of low sec entry systems from high sec can be active. Also in low sec, it is common to have smartbomb ships at gates. Finally, I find it more of an annoyance having to check the in-game map or Dotlan for Faction Warfare systems that I would need to avoid. For reference, here are the Maps for FW:
  • You do not make much more ISK than high sec exploration than in low sec to balance the time and risk involved.

As such, if you wish to do so, by all means do it. But I would recommend exploring in null sec.

It is not to say that you will not get blown up in null, but you can make much more ISK by doing so. Another option is going into wormholes, where you can get any pirate faction data and relic sites randomly and at much greater value. However, I personally am against recommending wormholes to new players especially because of the dangers lurking there. Nevertheless, you can ignore my recommendation.

Some dangers of null security space

That being said, here are some key points about null that you should know (not including smartbombing camps and standard gate camps with instalock tackle):

  1. Null sec has a mechanic that is only available in null and wormholes, and it comes in 3 flavors: Mobile Warp Disruptors, known as bubbles, which players anchor in space.
  2. Warp Disrupt Probes, known as bubbles as well, which are only launched by Interdictors (Tech 2 Destroyers)
  3. Warp Disruption Field Generator bubbles, which are exclusive to Heavy Interdictors (Tech 2 Cruisers)

The bubbles mechanic can either prevent you from warping away from harm’s way, stop you in route to a location (known as stop bubble) or pull you away from a gate as you land (the drag bubble, a technique where the bubble is placed away from the gate).

With the above mechanic, you should never warp gate-to-gate in null. Always warp to a celestial near the destination gate, like a planet, and then warp to the gate to jump. You can warp at distance to the gate to avoid a smartbomb, but that tactic is negated if a bubble is active.

Also, I strongly recommend you to always make sure you have your D-Scan opened and local chat window open so you can see if there are hostiles and any incoming ships. There are players who specifically hunt explorers.

Into null sec, but where?

Now you ask me: there are so many null sec regions, where should I go to make ISK? The most profitable ones are Sansha and Guristas space, followed by Serpentis. Blood Raiders and Angel Cartel spaces are the least profitable. Also relic sites tend to be much more profitable than data sites.

In order to see which regions belong to which pirate faction, you can use Dotlan to view the Outlaw Regions.

So you are now ready to go out there and explore? Great. But before that, in case you are an Omega account and have cloaking skill trained but do not know how to do the micro warp drive cloak trick, I encourage you to read about it in the EVE University Wiki, as this trick will often than not save your ship from exploding.

Time to fit the ships!

The following fits will assume that you are an Omega account. If you are an Alpha account, you will need to adapt the fits for your skills.

Furthermore, some of the fits will be dedicated to relic sites mainly. Nevertheless, you can replace the hacking module and the rigs for the respective type of hacking you wish to do (relic or data, or a mix of both):

 

[Magnate, Exploration – Advanced]

Nanofiber Internal Structure II

Nanofiber Internal Structure II

Inertial Stabilizers II

Inertial Stabilizers II

 

Relic Analyzer I

Scan Pinpointing Array I

5MN Quad LiF Restrained Microwarpdrive

 

Core Probe Launcher I, Sisters Core Scanner Probe

Improved Cloaking Device II

[Empty High slot]

 

Small Emission Scope Sharpener I

Small Emission Scope Sharpener I

[Empty Rig slot]

 

 

[Heron, Exploration – Advanced]

Nanofiber Internal Structure II

Nanofiber Internal Structure II

 

5MN Quad LiF Restrained Microwarpdrive

Data Analyzer I

Scan Rangefinding Array I

Relic Analyzer I

Scan Pinpointing Array I

 

Core Probe Launcher I, Sisters Core Scanner Probe

Improved Cloaking Device II

[Empty High slot]

 

Small Emission Scope Sharpener I

Small Memetic Algorithm Bank I

[Empty Rig slot]

 

[Imicus, Exploration – Advanced]

Inertial Stabilizers II

Inertial Stabilizers II

Nanofiber Internal Structure II

 

Scan Rangefinding Array I

Scan Pinpointing Array I

Relic Analyzer I

5MN Quad LiF Restrained Microwarpdrive

 

Improved Cloaking Device II

Core Probe Launcher I, Sisters Core Scanner Probe

[Empty High slot]

 

Small Emission Scope Sharpener I

Small Emission Scope Sharpener I

[Empty Rig slot]

 

[Probe, Exploration – Advanced]

Nanofiber Internal Structure II

Inertial Stabilizers II

Inertial Stabilizers II

 

5MN Quad LiF Restrained Microwarpdrive

Scan Pinpointing Array I

Scan Rangefinding Array I

Relic Analyzer I

 

Core Probe Launcher I, Sisters Core Scanner Probe

Improved Cloaking Device II

[Empty High slot]

 

Small Emission Scope Sharpener I

Small Emission Scope Sharpener I

[Empty Rig slot]

 

All the above fits are still quite cheap and even if you lose them, you will not lose much ISK. However please bear in mind that in null sec, you can only dock up on NPC stations or if the owners of citadels have set them as a Freeport or granted you access. As such, please be careful when travelling in null sec. I personally never carried more than 150 Million ISK in my cargo before making my way back to high sec to drop loot.

On the next and final article of this series, I will cover the Tech 2 ships variants as well as my opinion on the Sisters of EVE frigate, the Astero.

Until then, enjoy exploring!

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