Explorer woes. To combat shall I go?

First and foremost, lest I attract unwarranted ire from the veteran players, I am new; and any opinions/enquiries I make are simply based on subjective information.
So don’t hate me >.<(I’ve been hurt too many times before on MMOs for asking a simple question) >.<

Now, when I began my journey into EVE, I was initially told that Exploration (hacking relics and data sites) in wormhole space could be quite lucrative.
And while I don’t think I’d enjoy being a full-blown explorer long-term, I did feel that it could be good for funding future endeavours.

So I placed my eggs into that proverbial basket and started maxing out the skills to hack and explore more successfully.

I read up a lot on D-scanning and making multiple Safe Zones coupled with cloaking for added security.
Needles to say, every journey I made into WH space was slow, yet methodical. I wasn’t going to die unless I got lazy.
…and truth be told. It happened a few times (I got lazy).
My last ‘adventure’ was 3 hours into an endless WH run where I hadn’t seen a bloody soul, or heard a peep. So I think “eh…maybe I’ll D-scan every TEN seconds instead of 2-3 seconds” …until I am intercepted and promptly destroyed. My fault. Laziness killed this cat. Murphy’s Law 1, Me 0.
Though truth be told, if I put the mental effort into it, I generally don’t die if I stick to my plan and stay focused.

While I wont list my ship’s fitting here, it’s generally a typical frigate layout with cloaking and bonuses to make hacking easier. In fact, I can generally hack any site I come across quite easily (green, yellow, red). Even ones littered with those pesky restoration nodes every damn click.
And I learned about the rule of 6’s too.
Though I am generally NOT prepped for combat. My aim is to be invisible. Scope places out well and truly before diving in and scanning. Often involving a fair amount of scouting a single site before moving in.

Okay, I know I have digressed a little here, but bear with me.
I was initially informed that WH sites could be quite lucrative.
Yet, and granted I have only really scanned and hacked sites in c1, c2, c3 areas (the sleeper sites are out of my league due to me being setup for scanning only), I find that I am not earning a great deal of cash. Not even close.

Sometimes, after a long haul over the space of a few hours, I am getting only 50mil ISK worth of components? Which seems pathetic considering I am hearing people talk of earning “Billions” on a single run.

I completely understand that there are far more dangerous sites around, but it seemed that I would need a rather combat-heavy ship to approach those.
And then it dawned on me:

“Why am I bothering to do all the hard work (for what seems like such small reward currently) when it seems that I could be focusing all my time and effort on being much more formidable in combat?”

I could take on these sleeper sites and simply treat them like combat sites.
I could lurk about and ‘steal’ from other hard-working explorers (like myself…and as many have done to me during my learning-phases).
And I could actually do more (if confronted) to save my own hide, instead of watching my ship slowly disintegrate.

Now I am not stating that one method is clearly better than the other, but from my perspective currently, it seems as though doing all the hard work as an explorer just isn’t worth it when I could be more combat-focused; which does seem to offer more advantages for one simply trying to get ahead in this big empty space-filled universe.

A long post. Yes, and I do appreciate the time taken if you read this far.

Could anyone provide me with any kind of feedback/constructive criticism? Or general advice?

My head is spinning at the moment. I have invested so much skill points into scanning and hacking (maxed a lot of heavy skills). And I am feeling like I may have wasted a fair amount of time here.

I very much appreciate the time taken ~

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My advice: join a WH or Null corp/alliance that can give you some combat training, and give you opportunities to use your hacking/scanning skills at the same time.

Also, if you combat skills and experience aren’t high yet, you may be better of doing exploration in null than in wormholes. There the local list can be used to determine whether you are alone, so you can simply move on and find an empty system to hack in. It’s (I believe) not as good ISK per site, but if you’re having to spend a lot of time scouting sites in WH space before hacking them, it may actually increase your income.

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The skills you trained in scanning aren’t wasted even if you end up doing something else, scanning other players and ships and things like abandoned drones or T2 wrecks down are just a few things that come to mind.

Sounds like maybe you didn’t hit the most valuable sites.

Sleepers are no joke. They are much more effective than regular dumb NPCs. Salvage sleepers for the “blue loot” stuff from them. Be aware that when you make sleeper wrecks people can tell someone is in that site easily.

Seems like you may have had fun at least. Try other things too. One of the best things about EvE is the huge number of things possible to do.

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