Buzzard or Anathema?

Purpose and use.

Null and W roamer/explorer.
High skilled Omega on exploration.

High slots will be expanded launcher, nullification module and covert ops cloak.
Mid slots will be relic and data analyser and cargo scanner and a prop mod.

Rig slots and other available low and mid slots can be used appropriately for use purpose.

Which one is better and why?

Helios.

Buzzard doesn’t have enough powergrid, Anathema is fine, but inferior to the Helios in my opinion. Cheetah can be fun if you want to use an AB rather than a MWD as it is really fast with an AB, but still slower than the others with a MWD and like the Buzzard, the Cheetah lacks the powergrid to fit a MWD.

Also,

eww.

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Cargo scanner is a must for data /relic sites to speed up can selection.

Also using expanded launcher because I also scan for ships and drones. Cheetah was too tight a fit.

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Unless you take about 10 seconds per can and just do them all, which means you can use another mid slot to speed up scanning.

Most of my exploration time goes into warping around finding new sites to scan. Opening the cans doesn’t take much more than a minute.

Yea the expanded launcher will require some fitting sacrifices. I use the regular (sisters) one in my exploration fit.

Edit: You made me realise it isn’t even that hard to fit an expanded launcher, a single rig did the trick for me. This opens up opportunities…

Anathema because it looks sexy and it’s Amarrian.

Helios is the last one I would use particularly now that amarr and caldari have better scan bonuses.

also cargo scanners save loads of time. and every second you are not decloaked is one second less someone can find you.

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While it is true the Amarr and Caldari explorers have better scan bonuses, this difference is smaller than you think because of other fitting considerations.

Let me walk you through the choices I made to get my T2 explorer fit - I can fly all 4 of them so I could easily pick the one that suits me most.

  1. Safety
  2. Scanning
  3. Speed
  4. Fits

Safety

To catch a T2 explorer who plays well (so no smartbomb camps on a gate or drag bubbles with cans, good explorers know how to avoid that), you have two options:

  • interdictor to bubble the valuable can when the explorer lands
  • decloak next to a hacking explorer and scram them before they warp off

Since the introduction of the nullification modules, the first point is irrelevant except to T1 explorers and Asteros.
The second point means your number 1 safety priority is a low align time.

The lowest align time these ships can get is sub 3 seconds. All the ships can reach this, but one of them requires 4 modules instead of 3:
The Anathema loses this category.

Scanning

At maximum level, the Anathema and Buzzard have a 25% deviation bonus, versus the speed while cloaked bonus of the Cheetah and Helios. For pure scanning, this is in favour of the Anathema and Buzzard.
This 25% scan deviation bonus is worth slightly over one mid slot item, as you could get 20% scan deviation with the Scan Pinpointing Array II.

Next, every mid slot item is a possible scanning upgrade. 20% less time scanning, 20% less scan deviation, 10% scan strength are all very useful so having more mid slots is good.

Amount of mid slots:
Buzzard: 5
Helios: 5
Anathema: 4
Cheetah: 4

As you can see, Buzzard scores positive twice in this category (both many mid slots and the hull bonus), Anathema is 5% above the Helios as the Anathema has the hull bonus, but the Helios has a mid slot more to fit an extra module.
Cheetah loses.

Speed

To get more relic and data sites it does not only matter how fast you scan the sites, but also how fast you move around to new systems and within the site. Especially when you’re racing against other explorers in the same area.

While moving fast is of less importance than safety and arguably of less importance than scanning, it’s good to keep speed in mind as well.

For on-grid speed, the Cheetah is the clear winner, with Helios a second. When you burn from one can to another the Buzzard and Anathema are really sluggish.

Add to this that the Cheetah and Helios are able to move faster while cloaked although that isn’t often a useful bonus.

Next, rigs and choice of propmod are important:
AB is much slower than MWD on grid, so if you can fit a MWD I would always pick the MWD. However, some of the ships (notably the Buzzard and Cheetah) have trouble fitting an MWD without sacrificing low slots or rigs for more fitting room.

Helios wins here. Cheetah is the fastest but limited to AB unless sacrificing other mods for fitting space, Anathema is sluggish and Buzzard is both sacrificing mods to fit a MWD and sluggish.

Fitting

Now to fit it all together!

General fit:

High slots:
Covert cloak
Probe launcher
Interdiction nullifier

Mid slots:
MWD
Relic/Data analyzer
Scan upgrade (or cargo scanner if you insist)
Scan upgrade
(possible extra slot for Helios/Buzzard)

Low slots:
Inertial stabilizers
Inertial stabilizers
(depends on ship)
(possible extra slot for Anathema/Cheetah)

Rigs:
Scan strength
(depends on ship)

Helios is straightforward:

  • An extra scan upgrade in the mids
  • third low slot could be inertial stabilizer, but nanofiber also brings align below 3 yet adds speed → nanofiber
  • Hyperspatial rig (for faster warping around)

Anathema:

  • third and fourth low slot need to be inertial stabilizer and nanofiber to get below 3
  • hyperspatial rig

Cheetah:

  • needs extra powergrid from either rig or low slot
  • can use rig and/or low slots for more speed (2x nanofibers) or inertial stabilizer + hyperspatial rig

Buzzard:

  • needs extra powergrid from T2 rig, which means downgrading the scan strength rig to T1
  • Extra scan upgrade in the mids (Scan Rangefinding Array II) to almost compensate the loss of scan strength of the downgrade of the rig

End result:
Cheetah is much quicker than all the others on grid, but has the least scanning power (= what I mean with the mix of scan speed, deviation and strength).
Anathema is slow, yet has a decent mix of scanning power.
Helios is very similar to the Anathema in terms of scanning power but is faster on grid (and much faster cloaked).
Buzzard is slightly below the Anathema and Helios for scan power, and is as slow as the Anathema.

My verdict:
Helios is most well-rounded with ample fitting space and 5 mid slots.

Anathema is a good second place. Maybe first if you value the 5% deviation bonus over the on-grid velocity and cloaked velocity that the Helios has over the Anathema.

Cheetah might be good if you value on-grid speed, but has fitting problems. If you want to fly an AB fit, Cheetah is fantastic though!

Buzzard’s fitting problems and slow speed nullify the strengths it seemingly has from the 5 mids and deviation bonus. With only 3 low slots that it all needs to get a good align time it has to sacrifice both scan strength and warp speed in order to fit a MWD, a sacrifice in scan strength that isn’t even fully compensated by the 5th mid slot.

Helios > Anathema > Cheetah > Buzzard

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yeah… i think i have been caught all of 3 times in the past decade and i really wouldn’t put a nullie on one. They didn’t need it before and still don’t.

you can’t be bubbled if you are watching D-scan. as for align they all reach sub 3 and none can reach sub 2, this means they all have the same effective align time.

The buzzard can easily use a low for pg if needed as 3 stabs gets it to that suv 3 number

though it doesn’t need it as it can fit each analyzer a mwd and a scan mid without them.

So the buzzard is no less safe than the Helios, and scans better than the Helios

You’re free to do so.

I’ll make use of the tools we’re given. And this tool stops one possible way that I could get killed.

… unless the interdictor is already sitting cloaked at the most valuable can waiting for you?

Except I don’t see how the Buzzard can use 3 inertial stabilizers to get below 3 seconds align and a low slot for powergrid as it only has 3 low slots.

It cannot.

If both are sub-3s align, yes they’re equally safe.

Yet the Buzzard has to sacrifice scan strength in the rigs and a mid slot to fit the ship so in the end it has 134 scan strength and 5% better deviation compared to the 136 scan strength and 5% worse deviation of the Helios.

Pretty comparable.

Except that the Helios has a free rig for more warp speed, and much faster on grid speed and cloaked speed.

no it doesn’t it can get sub 3 with 2 stabs you can then use the 3rd low for pg or just use a cheep pg implant

Please inform yourself if you wish to continue this conversation:

yes it was a typo and i already edited it, however it looks like my toon had another cheep EV plant to get it to sub 3 in 2 so yes the helios has a better align time but your still only at risk from bombers and those can all insta lock either way so the added safety really isn’t that much

Buzzard for sure. Looks so cool, has great slot layout.

You still cannot get to below 3 second align time with 2 inertial stabs, so how was that a typo?

Also, bombers aren’t instalock, they can instantly start targeting when they uncloak but they too have targeting time.

But yea, bombers are the real danger.

However, most of the times it’s an Astero or T3C that decloaks next to your explorer and there the low align time will definitely save you if you pay attention.

read the rest of what i said. I was using an implant w/o realizing it

any bomber that I have used to hunt sites in are all fit to insta lock. iirc its 2 sebos are all that is needed to get sub 1 lock on a cov-ops that is using stabs. I think you can even do it with 1 sebo and a sig amp

Yea, implants can work to negate some of the downsides of the Cheetah and Buzzard.

But even with PG implants the Buzzard has to sacrifice a rig to powergrid, where the Helios and Anathema can use that rig slot for other useful exploration stats instead like increased warp speed.

nah you don’t get an extra second out of a 3rd stab so you should still be using that not a rig for pg.

Yes you do.
Assuming max skills:

Buzzard 2 instabs: 3.35s → 4s align
Buzzard 3 instabs: 2.97s → 3s align

lol i had the mwd turned on. but yeah i would still take the 4s. again odds are you’re getting pointed in under 3 anyway

Again, most often you get Asteros and T3Cs decloak next to you, in which case you do not get pointed in under 3.

While bombers are my real enemy when exploring, I have not yet seen one (but I have been one). I have had many Asteros decloak next to me though.

Add player reaction time and you will really appreciate how useful a low align time is most of the times.