I am flying a Buzzard. Should I get an Astero or Stratios?

Hello fellow explorer. I would say it depends what you want to do with it. If you just want to hack data/relic sites fastest possible. Go for Buzzard or whatever t2 exploration frigate you fancy. For me the deciding factor and not many have commented on is the different warp speed. 5au/s Astero and 8 Buzzard. That was the deciding factor for me to be honest :smiley:

As someone who’s spent quite a bit of time flying both Asteros and Strats, I’d recommend an Astero for exploration every time. There is no finer exploration ship in the game. It’s quick and agile and you can put an incredible amount of tank on it. At the very least, it’s a “junior Strat” that will allow you to get comfortable with SOE ships before dropping the money on it’s big brother.

That said, be careful in wormhole space. I hunt explorers in wormholes these days and Asteros are tasty and don’t stand a chance if I’m sitting on the hole while they’re hacking. The only thing that screws me up is when they put 4 stabs in their lows. I sometimes run 5 points of scram, but not as often as I used to because so few explorers run 4 stabs. That won’t save you from the wandering hordes (or the Sabres who drop bubbles on you), but will at least let you get away from the random solo hunters who populate wormholes.

Sub 2 second align keep at 3000m from can and pay attention to overview…you won’t catch that in anything but a stealth bomber with sibo. It is what it is and if done right you’ll never lose an astero to a hunter hacking.

Edit: actually forgot one scenario you can’t stop…smart bomb proteus…you get wrecked and there is nothing you can do.

I’m agreeing to all of that, except the align time. For me personally never felt the for one below 2 seconds. To fit for this reduces other capabilities of the ship which I rather like to keep.
Why do I think so? If you have one active armor repairer on your Astero, your chances of winning a fight against that one fast solo bomber are very high. Everything else like T3C, Force Recon Ships, Stratios or other Asteros will have the targeting delay after the cloak. If you have set up your overview so that you can identify other ships right after they appear on grid, warp below one server tick is not necessary as long as you cloak fast enough. Even if objects around you decloak you while aligning for warp, the short cloak prevents from being locked long enough to get into warp. You have to be on the edge of your seat at all times of course. Keeping at range is also a good idea, but I like to be more risky and go for 2300m, placing the ship into loot range while being also able to cloak. Seems like we do a lot the same way. I also like to keep a random celestial active in the overview. The “one click warp” have saved me several times.

@Oyama_Eto you mean Small Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer II ?
Keep in mind that those things don’t increase your align-time. Also never sit still on the first spot you warped to, except its a safe bookmark. If people use the tracking camera their view will turn into the direction your warped to, if didn’t managed t cloak in time.

Another trick I want to share is about D-Scan ranges. When you are in a site and see other Core Probes on scan - not Combat Probes, these are always the sign to run right the f*ck now. If you see other Core Probes on scan while in a site you can “read” by changing D-Scan ranges if the probes come closer to your current position. If they are in between 1-3 AU from your current position, it’s likely that the person using them has found your site.
Now is the time to go from red alert to extra red alert with flashing lights and active adrenaline pumps. The Proteus will decloak any second now. But it will also have the targeting delay. It’s a bit of gambling one might, or might not take depending on personal preferences and (loot)situation.

True that: https://youtu.be/svDBexa6lGs?t=1h31m52s

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Well, turns out I checked too quickly, I am still missing skills for the T2 drones lol. I’ll finish that up first before I use the Astero. dont wanna use an incomplete ship, that would just be asking for trouble.

And yes, I meant exactly that, the Small Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer. I know it won’t make me align faster, but it’ll make me warp faster… I don’t care much for this tbh, if you have better rig suggestion for this build I’m all ears!

Are there rigs that will help with aligning faster without having really bad drawbacks for the rest of the build?


Low Friction Nozzle Joints:

This ship modification is designed to increase a ship’s agility at the expense of armor amount.

Sadly that’s reducing the armor buffer which is already very low on the Astero. So personally I would improve the tank by adding rigs that give repair bonuses. Of course that only makes sense if you have an active armor repairer and want to fight back or try to engage stuff that has the potential to shoot back.

For the drones: faction drones might be worth taking a look at. I have wrote a longer blog post about that topic, if you’re interested. And since you mentioned you consider using it as a salvaging ship, there are better low budget options like the Magnate.

Thanks for that! Actually, I am not sure about the salvaging drones. I was thinking more about something like salvaging the rats I would kill once in a while… I doubt that would be the best 25 m3 I could put in that drone bay though… Maybe something else instead?

So far the goal was to have:
3x T2 armor repairers
2x T2 ECM drone (or 2 repairers and 3 ECMs)
5x hornets II
5x salvage drones

I could replace the salvagers to have 5 ECMs and 5 armor repairers. too so that I can use any combination of 1-5 of any ECM, light attack drones or armor repairers type of drones.

What would you think about that?

When you’re flying solo the armor bots will have no use for you - except you want to repair the person attacking you. ^^ Sadly repair drones of any kind can’t be assigned to the ship they are launched from. I guess balancing is the reason for that.
So, I would recommend to go for a full set of 5x ECM drones. I’m also pretty sure there are no T2 variations of the electronic warfare drones.

Oh wow I didn’t know that. That would have been bad if I had realized that the hard way XD. Thanks a lot! The armor repair bots are fired!

Quick question. 2 days ago I went exploring in the buzzard. I’ve found a sleeper data site in 0.8 (I think… if not, it was 0.7… it was high sec anyway), I checked it out, and decided to clear it. Made 40M in one run.

Now the question is that I’ve read sleeper caches have pirates that will warp in if you fail a hack. I failed at least 3 times, and nothing warped in. Easiest 40M I’ve made in EVE so far. So why did nothing warp in?


Maybe you thought of Ghost Sites: https://wiki.eveuniversity.org/Ghost_Sites (it’s unlikely you would have survied those in a frigate)
Or Drone Sites: https://wiki.eveuniversity.org/Relic_and_data_sites#Drone_data_sites ?

Failing the hack twice in drone data site will not destroy the container. Instead there is a chance that failure spawns hostile frigates. These rogue drones can be easily handled by the drones of T1 explorer and do not pose serious threat. These frigates need to be destroyed before you can hack again.

As far as I can remember Sleeper Caches don’t spawn any rats but some have mutliple areas with sentry drones.

there was indeed multiple areas. The fist place I got to when I warped to the data site was a gate. I took the gate and arrived in the first site I could hack. I haked everything there, but didn’t go through further gates. Maybe the first area doesn’t spawn anything. I am 100% it said “Sleeper” in the name of the site. Don’t remember the rest of the name but it was “sleeper something” or “something sleeper something”. 100% sure it said “Sleeper” anyway. I know because that stressed me out pretty bad. When I opened the first container and found 13M in it, I almost crapped my shorts. I was SURE I was 5 seconds away from my death. Turns out I looted 4 or 5 more containers after that one… Still alive and well! :stuck_out_tongue:

I recommend you read the guides linked concerning the sleeper caches then. If you would have been willing to risk it, you likely coul have made double or triple the ISK of the site. :slight_smile:

Although they are scary, I think they are worth doing.

yeah my pants were brown and the smell was getting… overwhelming. Had to flee back to station XD.

My astero is almost complete, still a couple days of skills to learn and I’ll be off with it. I’ll take a LOT more risks with the buzzard in a couple of days ;). I WILL go back to w-space and try to make a glorious last run with the Buzzard before switching to the astero. If I get killed, so be it! Anyway I know I’ll loose ships once in a while. I just don’t feel like replacing the Buzzard at this point sice I’m so close to completing the Astero!

My dude,

Rule nr. 1 : never do sites in a covops.
Rule nr.2: never do sites in anything larger than a frigate.
Rule nr.3: you are never completely safe and you will die.

To detail the rules:

  1. Covops align slow and even the slowest form of ganking, which is the astero will have a reasonable time catching you. On paper it may look good with your cheetah aligning at <3 seconds but in practice that extra second will get you caught. They are also expensive and hard to skill into properly.

  2. Other ships
    T3C - expensive, will get you killed, will get you hunted with a fleet, will keep hunter’s interest up
    Stratios - expensive, slow, you won’t get ganked by random campers but a fleet will mobilize for you
    Other cruisers + Gnosis - you will get killed, casually

  3. Ways to die on site running, ranked from most common

  • Ganking astero - you get ~4-5 seconds to flee, usually meaning just align and warp. Depending on the guys’ physical and character skills may take more or less.
  • Ganking interdictor - you get some good seconds to outrun him before he scrams and/or kills you. You will need to race it out of its bubbles, you will usually fail.
  • Ganking other cloaky ship - you get 4-5s + locking time to run.
  • Ganking smartbomb proteus - you can’t escape
  • Alpha T3D - if you don’t pay attention to dscan you may get this baby up on you. Once it landed it will insta lock and you will die.

So far I have three reasonable strategies for this, rated from easiest

  1. Cheapest T1 frigate, cloak and t2 hacking/arche skills - just put a cheap cloak, mwd, probe launcher and an analyzer - minimize the loss. will not run from anything, except maybe the astero.
  2. Instalign Astero - nano and istab in the lows, full rack. aligns under 2 sec, you need to be on the ball if you see something decloak. will run from most things, but interdictors will still be hard to evade
  3. interceptor - an inty with a scanning module and fit for align <2 sec. Less cargo space (so less data sites), can escape almost anything short of a smartbomb fit (but those are rare and not sure are possible at all after the t3c revamp)

anything else is begging to be ganked and will certainly will.
Also train astrometrics to 5 and use a t2 probe launcher - it’s 10% of the sisters price and halves your loss.

For my money…

First off, I disagree with @Nigbala_Tareem. CovOps are great for running sites, mostly b/c of the CovOps cloak. Sure, it may take a second to align. But you can hit that Cloak the moment you see a ship approaching on Dscan or Overview (they’ll usually show up as hundreds of thousands of KM away first). And by the time they’ve officially come out of warp, you can be cloaked and aligning unseen.

However, I do agree with him about using a Frigate to do Data and Relic sites specifically. I’ve run into a few places where the Data site was on the other side of an Accel gate, and it would not allow anything bigger than a Frigate through. And most Data and Relic sites in general do not have combat, so you don’t need to worry about defense/offense. That’s why most Explorers just use an MWD fit Frig so they can hop from Can to Can quickly.

But, if you’re planning on doing more generic Exploration, and you want to run Combat sites just as much as Data and Relic, then the Stratios is the way to go. It can tank like a beast, it can fit pretty much any weapon system you prefer, and the drones are monstrous.

So yeah… I’d go Astero for pure hacking sites. And Stratios if you expect to do some shoosting as well. =)

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