Exploration gaming experience is awful / This game is not for young

I was trying to do AIR challenges on my newer alt, specifically the hacking one. Took a probe and started from Dodixie.

The new alt has basic skills of new character and I was using the community AIR exploration fit. First I was scanning in highsec. In 30 minutes I found nothing at all besides wormholes and maybe two combat sites. So I went into one of the wormholes, scanned the wh back, then started scanning, out of 9 sites 3 were other wh, 4 were gas, 1 was sleeper data site and 1 was classic data site, I tried it, but I failed everything but 1 cache. Without higher skills (and thus omega), nullsec/wh caches are super hard to do unless you specialize into one type with rigs. Returned back, scanned bit more found a wh into lowsec. There I found 1 data and for about 6mil, was roaming the nearby lowsecs, scanning them, after about 30 minutes I found another one, failed the best can, so my cargo was 14mil at that time from 2 lowsec sites and 1 cache in wh. So scanned more, found 4 more data sites in 30 minutes, except it was: SCC data site, 2x AEGIS data site and then Minmatar Cryptosomthing site which told me that I can’t hack it because I am not in militia. 15 minutes later I finally found a jackpot - standard covert site and I was suprisingly able to hack it fully, got about 160mil from that.

Still in about 2 hours the gameplay was extremely boring and just awful. I don’t know if these new sites are “occupying” the pool of the old data sites or why is it so hard to find a data/relic site in lowsec and highsec, but while we old players can withstand this ■■■■, if CCP thinks that they will lure new players, especially the younger ones, for this kind of gameplay they are wrong.

I suppose that about 180mil in 2 hours is not bad result, but the better design would be lots of sites with smaller rewards that would combined gave you this instead of 3 sites in total which 2 are kinda ■■■■ and the third is jackpot. More sites would also mean more time the player is exposed to interaction, which he typically isn’t during scanning, if he is hugging a station, freeport citadel, wormhole back to high, or simply being cloaked.

Since I was not able to hack 25 containers during this period I tried later that day, I scanned 5 highsec systems (just wormholes), 1 wormhole (4 wh, 1 gas, 1 sleeper data, 1 aegis) and 2 lowsecs (whs, combats and gas sites only). In 1 hour I didn’t even find a data or relic and gained 0 ISK. Really fun experience.

I admit that I was “wasting” a lot of time actually scanning wormholes to 100% sometimes and in the first round scanning gas sites to 100% (since I wanted to complete the gas sites AIR challenge) and my skills being low so it al took much longer that what would it took to someone with fully maxed skills flying Astero or covert ops. Still, this is not fun gameplay at all. Not even mentioning that the new player will likely get killed in wh or lowsec pretty much instantly (be it by player or npcs of guarded data sites or even triglavians).

CCP can refurbish the tutorial and career agents as many times they want, but new, younger players, will not accept the fact that the game is ultra slow where majority of the time you are looking at a screen where nothing happens (feels like filler really), requires almost no input (mining especially) and that is pay2win with highest monthly sub cost of all MMOs and where the free2play is just an illusion and alpha is really just demo. And the game basically promotes and forces players to multibox (hence pay even more) too.

My younger brother, excited by a space scifi book came to EVE (second time, he already knew some basic since I tried to get him play EVE with me when I started myself - unsuccessfully btw) and after 2 days he tried to do explo in nullsec he stopped playing EVE out of boredom, he said. And that I can imagine will be pretty common reaction in younger generation.


I can seriously bath in them tears…

Dude this game was never for the young it’s at least mature rating… even then I sometimes wonder with some pilots


It’s not about young and old, I’m not young anymore but still prefer a fast paced game, it’s about determination to shape your own game experience. If you want action while exploring, go to scan relics in Stain, the action comes to you, and you quickly learn how to survive in hostile space. Other explorers are faster than you? Train to get faster yourself, and how to kill those other explorers while doing it. If you even want more action, you can always come to Pochven. People and NPC there will help you train your reflexes and survival skills.

True, Alpha is just an unlimited trial (as it was called before the renaming), and Omega the regular way to play EvE as it always was and still is.

True also, EvE is no shooter, and complex under the hood, and a lot of mechanics are not obvious on first glance. But it’s very well balanced, even though you may have doubts after the first couple losses you don’t understand why. There is always a reason and counter.

True as well, you don’t need to multibox ever and still be fine, I’m playing one char only for 10 years, mainly PvP, either solo, or with space friends in fleets. And now I’m too old to multibox :wink:

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Everyone’s experience will be different and equally valid, of course. But my view, as a returning player (played a lot for about a year back in 2017 then returned briefly about two years ago) is that the current version of EVE is much improved from my earlier experiences. The UI is so much smoother and a lot less frustrating to navigate, the graphics are awesome (even on my non-gaming laptop at medium/ high settings) and the addition of the AIR career training programme really helps give me a focus that I think was what I lacked ultimately back in 2017.

Is it perfect? No, there are definitely things I want to see more of. I would like more Epic Arc missions as I feel that’s what I enjoy the most. I would like the narrative for missions, particularly distribution missions, to be more lore-based and less comedic. The lore is a massive part of this game’s appeal for me and I would like to feel more immersed in it while playing the game - faction-specific missions rather than cut-and-paste narratives across all agents that might actually contradict the lore of that faciton. This is the kind of thing that is important to me.

But we all play a different game and come to New Eden for different things - that’s the beauty of this game, for sure. So your priorities will almost cetrainly be different to mine :slight_smile:


There certainly isn’t enough exploration content for sure… and the bit that exists is lacking. CCP could absolutely learn a few lessons from star citizen in how they handle mining. Not that EVE needs to be a copy of that system, but EVE could make use of some of those techniques to make the experience more visceral.

I’ve advocated for a salvage site for over a year now, that dynamically records all the despawned salvage in the system and moves it into a centralized location themed after rogue drones. But there are other similar types of content that could be created that take into account player interaction, and make the world feel more alive.


In terms of exploration in particular, I agree with some of the criticisms in this thread. For me, exploration is something I would like to like - if that makes sense! I like the idea of being an explorer, but the reality in my experience to date has been very grindy and very ‘spreadsheets in space’. Exploring in null and lowsec can be more fun in terms of always having to watch D-Scan and take more precautions while you consult your spreadsheets etc. but, in my experience at least, the UI has just felt too cumbersome and I haven’t really enjoyed my time with it.

Everyone’s experience will be different, though. Some people love exploration and have in a very literal way dedicated huge parts of their life to it - like some of the folks at Signal Cartel who have traveled very extensively throughout New Eden and documented their time doing so.

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The gameplay as an explorer in the current reality of the game is already only on two levels: casual, where the player out of curiosity or following tutorials tries to scan and hack low tier data & relic sites and so enjoys what they manage to find, even if it’s ridiculous amounts of ISK.

On the other hand there are dedicated explorers who have highly (or maxed out) skills, high-grade implants and use T2 explorer frigs (sometimes they also use SoE ships). These are the people who have mastered instant scanning to perfection, hack cans with ease and very often use the ‘cherry-picking’ principle. They look for loot everywhere, hi-sec, low-sec, null, WH… Naturally, they have an Omega.

As an Alpha, or a beginner or intermediate explorer, there is virtually no chance of establishing meaningful competition with such players. It’s just the way the game is, where the better one takes the most valuable loot and everyone else collects the leftovers. And they either sacrifice time and ISK to match their level, or they let go of their explorer career. Ultimately, this is not a path for every player, as it requires patience and not being discouraged by setbacks, which the game does not spare.

Btw wait for the winter event. In the systems where it takes place there are very often one or two such pro explorers who, as soon as the event data sites respawn, momentarily scan and hack them before the rest of the wannabe-explorers manage to at least pinpoint the location of such data site. There you go…


There was a game called firefall years ago that I enjoyed. It’s no longer around so it obviously isn’t a great thing to copy in it’s entirety but there were two things that game did extremely well.

First, was the concept of the scan hammer… which after it was activated created a visual 3 dimensional representation of near by resources. Iirc, height indicated quantity, and color indicated type of resource.

And the second, was the idea of a thumper. Which is similar to a crab beacon in concept, except that anyone seeing it nearby could assist without it being a negative experience for the person who dropped the beacon. That type of gameplay allowed for easy onboarding from solo to group gameplay in a seamless manner.

What has competition to do with what I observed? There was not a single other explorer doing it in the same time. I haven’t seen anyone elses probes in the systens, some of he lowsec (especially the two I visited on my second trip) had no player in them. There were simply no sites whatsoever.

Idk why are you guys advocating this. In 3 hours and I am not exaggerating, I was not able to find 25 cans to hack. I used to to explo in past, but whenever I tried it this year, even in Solitude which used to be a explorer’s paradise, it took awfully long time to find a site and the loot was total ■■■■ most of the time (the standard covert data site yesterday was first good loot (which is more than 10mil per site) in a while. I know that EVE players are able to withstand this, but good luck getting any new player hooked on such boring gameplay of just flying around and finding nothing.

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This is the problem here, you’re looking at it from a vet’s perspective who’s using a fresh alt. You KNOW what to do, you don’t need TIME and EFFORT to learn and practise and to you 180M is “not bad”. A REAL newbie (which is not the same as an alt) needs time to figure out what to do, how to do it, how to traverse and not die in WH space etc etc. A REAL newbie would be elated if he’d bring home, say, 10-25m, that would be MASSIVE compared to other real newbie play styles.

REAL newbies (so not alts pretending to be new who magically make it in and out of a WH just fine with massive riches on the regular to then go “I started playing 3 days ago”) are going to struggle with exploration no matter what because they’re still struggling with the basics and UI,

I will say that alpha scanning restrictions are very limiting and it would be just fine if they could get Pinpointing to lvl 2 and high sec, where newbies can practise, could accommodate hacking a bit more. Beyond that it’s fine.


One thing is struggling with how it works, learning which site is what, and how to complete them (like the covert site - real newbie wouldn’t bring anything from it because he would die and lost everything) and how to survive in low/wh/null.

Struggling to actually find any, thats something else.

Yup, hence:

If you nerfed highsec rewards (especially removing escellations,) there would likely be more sites available since vets wouldn’t bother.

We’re talking about hacking, not combat.

True… but anoms are part of the overall experience for a new player.

Anoms don’t need to be scanned for, they’re not signatures and as such they don’t affect each other. Lowering anoms (which are not escalations) doesn’t somehow increase sigs.

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As an older player, the AIR programme took about a week. Decent amount of SP for basically nothing. Hope they will let us go back around again at some point. I did get hung on the ‘find x wormholes’ and ‘hack y data/relics’ - it is generally slow process to find and then ‘do’ them, even mining all the ores didn’t take as long.

you can scan 1 wormhole and just keep rescanning it, takes 5 minutes

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Peronally I am ok with scattered relic and data. What I am not ok with (as an Alpha) is ridiculously weak scanner. In green highsec I have a lot of troubles getting stuff scanned with 2 scan power rigs (+20 %) (althouth I am only frigate 3 and don’t have sisters probe launcher). But at the same time I can improve Hacking and astrology to lvl 3 and lvl 2 both are more than enough. I’d gladly change both for lvl 3 Astrometric rangefinding and lvl 1 Pinpointing. Without them it’s difficult to enjoy the process.


As a real newbie I actually WAS elated when accidentally found around 20 mil in my first explo attempt in several data sites. Helped me a lot.