Best way to start an exploration career?

So once I finish a lot of the tutorial missions, I am pretty confident that I want to focus on a career of exploration. What are the best ships to utilize at beginner levels, and what mods should I be looking to outfit them with? My main goal is to be part of a Corps and be a primary healer in PvE incursions. Does the exploration career path sync well with that goal? Any help would be appreciated. New to EVE, so its a bit overwhelming.

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Exploration = using a ship that has bonuses to scanner probes to find PVE locations. There are several ships that have bonuses to scanner probes, starting with a Tech 1 frigate for each race, and moving up to (faction) SoE exploration frigate and cruiser, and also Tech 2 cov-ops frigate and recon cruiser, and Tech 3 cruiser with the appropriate sub-components installed for probing and for cloaking.

The environment that you’re exploring will differ, from high-sec to low-sec to null space, and separately, wormhole space. High-low-null, you get increasingly difficult NPC pirates at the sites, but the main issue is the PVP that can happen to you in low / null: they can use area-of-effect anti-warp bubbles, and so the T2 / T3 ships that offer immunity to bubbles are more suited for those environments. Wormhole space is different because the NPC pirates are Sleepers, and they have enhanced AI and boss-like triggers that make them a lot harder than the “regular” rats. And also Wormhole space does not have everyone listed in the local chat channel, so cloaked ambushes are the norm, and some of the ships are better suited for that.

Anyway, exploration is just FINDING the sites. Because exploration ships have a role to “explore”, and are pretty much required to install scanner probes, cloaking devices, etc., they’re not as good at combat as a full combat ship. So you may need to find the sites with your exploration ship, then go RUN the sites with your combat ship. Which means you’re also training a little bit of combat pilot.

There’s a huge variety of combat ships, but to keep it simple, each race has a Tech 1 line of ships that progresses from frigates to cruisers to battleships. Tech 1 ships are versatile, some you can just change the fittings and go from Tank to DPS to tackler to backup healer just like that. You also have DPS / combat oriented Tech 2 ships (heavy assault cruisers - HACs), and you can configure Tech 3 cruisers to perform a heavy combat role.

For healing, as part of a fleet, the situation is like this: by themselves, the remote repair modules (remote armor repair, remote shield transfer, remote energy / capacitor transfer) have a very short range (5 km) and will consume your ship’s capacitor at the high rate that repair / defensive modules do. This lets you put these modules on any ship, and function as a backup “healer” even if you’re in a kitchen-sink fleet, but in order to avoid the 5 km annoyance you need to use a “logistics” ship with these modules.

Logistics ships (each race has a lineup, starting with Tech 1 frigates and cruisers, and moving up to Tech 2 specialized logistics frigates and cruisers) have special bonuses for the remote repair modules, enhancing their range from 5 km to 30 - 50+ km, and reducing the capacitor consumption for using these remote repairs. So, to function as a “healer” in incursions, you’re looking at training these ships and the associated fitting skills for the modules they use.

The problem is that 2 of the races focus on repairing armor, and 2 of the races focus on repairing shields. Incursion fleets are typically shield fleets (all ships rely on shields for defense), but a lot of the PVP fleets you may find elsewhere are armor fleets, so if you want to be a “universal healer”, you may have to train the Tech 2 logistics ships from all 4 races. That takes a while, as you can imagine.

Furthermore, trying to run repair modules on multiple fleet members will deplete your capacitor fast. Energy/mana conservation is an issue with healers in any MMO. In EVE, the logistics ships within a fleet form “chains”, where you’re going to use remote energy transfer modules to give your capacitor juice to other healers and they’ll give it back to you, while you’re also focusing on sending your remote shield repairs to the people who are screaming politely asking for repairs in the fleet interface (fleet broadcasts).

So that’s the life of a healer logistics pilot. For incursions, shield healing with capacitor chains, the Caldari T2 Logistics cruiser Basilisk is basically the golden standard. Most incursion fleets will expect you to have the ship trained to at least 4, and eventually maxed out at 5 (with all the remote repair and capacitor skills also maxed out at 5), to be able to handle the “oh ■■■■” moments.

Your rock-paper-scissor nemesis as a logistics ship is electronic warfare / jamming. In particular, if you get target-jammed with ECM, you lose targeting on all your 10-12 friends you were healing, and are basically stunned and can’t repair them. They’ll die. If you get sensor-disrupted, your targeting range can get reduced from the nice 50 km you had, down to 10, 5 km, and again your friends will die. If you get energy-neutralized, you’ll run out of juice and/or the chain will be broken, and you or other healers in your chain won’t be able to perform repairs. E-War ships are your nemeses, and there’s a nice line-up of Tech 2 Recon cruisers (usually trained as part of the exploration / cloaked ops career path) that can pop-out of cloak and jam you solid from 60+ km.

Otherwise, incidentally, there are capital-sized remote repair ships, Force Auxiliaries (FAX’es), used during large scale wars in 0.0 space.

So hopefully this long article has given you an idea of what the options are, and how the exploration and logistics career paths function in this game.

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Excellent info Memphis, thanks a ton. What is the best career for a logistics pilot to go for?

Logistics is basically its own career; the ships are quite specialized and won’t be useful for things besides remote-repair. It’s a PVP career, with the notable exception of Incursions, which are basically the equivalent of 40-man raids.

If you’re talking about the career agents that the tutorial directs you to do, do all of them sequentially. They give out PVE missions that introduce the game to you, and also give you inflated rewards (free ships, free skills, some modules); you should end up with around 10 million ISK once you collect and sell the ships / stuff.

The career agent missions are repeatable; you simply go to a different school and talk to the career agents there, and they’ll give you the same missions (and rewards) all over again.

A couple of the combat career missions even have hidden rewards: you’re sent to kill pirates, but the pirates are in an area with kernite ore, rich ore that you don’t normally find in high-security space. So if you don’t report to the agent that you’ve killed the pirates, and you take your mining ship to the location, you can get another 5 million worth of ore. Just cause you paid attention to your surroundings and noticed the asteroids in the site.

After the career missions, you can do the Sisters of EVE epic mission arc, by setting your autopilot to go to Arnon and talking to Sister Alitura there. This will travel you all over the galaxy and offer a long set of missions that will net you another 10+ million ISK, and also interaction with players (a group likes to hang around Arnon and help out newbies with the harder boss fights).

So the 20 million will help you get some of the skills you need and also help you decide what you like.

It’s all presented as “careers” or “paths” but EVE lets you train whatever skill you want in whatever order suits you. And doesn’t pressure you to make friends or join any corp, but a good corp will provide you with fun, because they have their own goals and support system, and you can participate in that. It’s hard to come up with your own fun all the time, solo. So after you do all this PVE career stuff, ask in this forum about joining a corp, and we’ll give you a whole separate tutorial on what you can do to end up in a good one. The basics are: try, and if it doesn’t work out, leave and try another one.

Anyone can train anything, so corps don’t recruit based on “we need healers / logistics.” Corps recruit based on “we’re focused on Incursions, are you interested? Ok, show us we can trust you, and show us your personality so we can see if you’re fun, get our jokes, etc. Join our chat channel, come to a few ops as an invitee, etc. Say hi, receive a bounty on your head, maybe we shoot your ship in greeting, see how you react, give you a better one afterwards, you know, fun stuff.”

Exploration requires fewer skills, so train those and one of the exploration frigates, and do exploration while you look for a corp and train the logistics repair skills. Maybe find a corp and/or participate in some PVP fleets with one of the Tech 1 logistics ships, as practice for the game mechanics of it. Incursions will likely expect you to have the Basilisk, so that’s a few months of training plus several hundred million ISK worth of ship to be able to fly and replace if it explodes. So switch to Incursions later.

That would be my advice.

You already have quite the detailed answer to your questions, but I will add that Eve Uni has a reasonable skill plan for a beginning explorer:

It should give you a sense of what you will need to be an effective explorer and what order things should be prioritized. If you are an alpha clone, the training times and maximum skills you can train will not all apply, but I think it is still a good start to see what skills are important.

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