Exploration Cruisers and Data Sites

So I’ve been playing on and off for a very long time, but I’d never really given exploration a serious go… I designed a Helios build I was pretty happy with, trained all the relevant skills, and managed to scan down a range of sites in high/low/null sec. I’m enjoying it! But I have a couple of questions that I can’t seem to get a straight answer on from the wikis/forums.

  1. Fun as my Helios is, it’s obviously not equipped to actually do any combat sites with its one lonesome drone. Problem is, I’m not at all sure what to upgrade to. I only have Gallente ship skills trained, so my options are probably the Lachesis or the Arazu. Neither of these appear to have any sensor bonuses, though.

  2. I was keen to try my hand at relic / data hacking, but in all the scanning I’ve done this week (across a mix of high/low/null sec), 100% of the Cosmic Signatures I’ve scanned down have been Wormholes or Combat Sites. One of the wormhole systems did have a hacking site, but literally everything else I’ve found has just been combat. Am I looking for the wrong thing? Are they cosmic signatures (of a different subtype, maybe?)

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Well, if you have good scanning skills, you won’t actually need the ship scanning bonuses. They’ll just help you scan faster. Anyway, combat sites can be run in a variety of ships, just be aware that bigger ships won’t be able to get into lower tier sites. You can find out more here. Common combat exploration ships include T3 destroyers (especially the Jackdaw), Stratios, Gila, and Strategic Cruisers (especially the Tengu), but you don’t have to limit yourself to these ships. Like, I’ve used a tristan to run combat sites. Wasn’t the most efficient thing in the world, but that’s what i had the skills for, and it got the job done.

Also, Dad Dex has a bunch of videos of him running various ships in various sites, so you might want to check him out.

Oh, and I’ve heard of other people complaining about a shortage of sites (especially hacking sites), which could be due to more people playing due to the Corona virus. So, you can try targeting sites that tend to be run less frequently (which appears to be combat sites), and/or doing your exploration in systems with less traffic.

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Awesome, thank you! So it’s not just me (re: the hacking sites).

I’ll play around with some different ships/fits, and see what I can come up with.

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