Operating Range

I am just starting to get serious with exploring. I have set up two lowsec systems with bookmarks and plan on doing three more. Once I build a bankroll, get used to pvp dynamics and move on from a t1 frig I plan to move to nullsec.

What is your main profession and how many systems do you typically operate in?

1 Like

I don’t have much time to knock around most times, I keep mine 4 to 8 systems depending on my luck and time my ol lady gives me.

1 Like

When I was exploring, I backtracked a whole region in my relic ceptor. Sansha Nullsec, staging in Stain for the day. My area of operation is the whole cluster, beside travel ceptors jumping gates I use Thera and random wormholes for travel.

1 Like

Back when I was new i started out exploring as well. I would typically go on 40 jump trips through low sec before heading back. (Back then relic sites had rats, and I could tank the ones in low sec, but not the ones in null sec.)

Nowadays I live in a wormhole. My main profession is shooting and looting other people in wormholes (and every other place I can reach through my chain.) I’ll typically scan out a chain 5 holes deep, if it shows no promise I roll my static and start anew.

1 Like

I started doing Exploration back before the Apocrypha Expansion and have made that my career choice ever since.

The thing to remember as an Explorer is it’s a Nomadic career. Finding the best sites requires a lot of travel as well as investing a lot of time. Since there’s a lot of competition it’s best to have max skills and top line equipment.

As for finding sites, I suggest checking map stats and look in systems that are away from major travel routes with low amount of NPC kills, player population, jumps, etc. Look for deadend / pipeline systems since Exploration sites have a tendency to accumulate in them.

Basically set up various routes consisting of a dozen or so systems, note the locations and check them at different time zones. After a while you’ll know when the best time is to scan and find sites in those routes. Also if one route seems to be devoid of sites, you can quickly refer to your notes and travel to another route location.

Another great tool for exploration is Covert Ops Cloak. That allows you to travel and scan without being interrupted. Also get familiar with making and using safe spots and D-scan as well. That will help safeguard you while running Exploration sites.

Good luck and may you have much success.

I go on exploring binges once every half a year or so to break up the monotony. As stated above, its best to have a fully skilled and well fit ship. When I go through wormholes I often go for several days at a time and concentrate on either relic or data sites but not both because I need the slots in my fits. I would go for 3-4 days at a time and log off mid space. Relic sites on average are more valuable, but data sites are OK too and like I said, break up the monotony.

Last bout I did was in a Tengu, fitted with Interdiction nullifier, Accelerated ejection bay, Covert reconfiguration and Obfuscation manifold for sub-systems. This is a very flexible fit, you have a cloak, built-in bubble immunity, you warp fast, and I ran it with 2 ECMs. You still have enough tank and DPS to deal with mid range rats and explosion damage relatively well and can GTFO fast when you need to. The drawbacks are that the high end explosions, radiation waves etc. can take you out so you can’t linger, have to warp out on those sites. I could of course get rid of teh ECM for tank, but then I’m actually more vulnreable to PvP which IMHO is the worse of the 2.

As far as systems go, I like to mix it up and travel through wormholes. I avoid systems that are most traveled, have most players in them either in space or docked as well as dead end systems. Dead end systems are usually quiet, but they also tend to be the biggest traps, because they are dead end systems.

When doing sites themselves, I like to do the ones that are well beyond D-Scan range of anything or at least furthest away, in range of least other places, be it asteroid belts planets moons, stations, whatever. You have a lot less chance being picked up if you are in range of only 1 or 2 places vs being with d-scan range of 5 places. Don’t forget you can use your in-game map to check for player activity of all sorts before you even jump into any given system. This helps out greatly as well.

1 Like

I have scouted out about 7 or 8 low sec systems (i.e. set bm and monitor traffic on dotlan regularly). Half are in a very busy part of lowsec (more than 1500 jumps per day) and the other half are pretty quiet (less than a few hundred jumps per day). I have only been caught in one gate camp in a 1m isk fitted t1 ship. I was setting bm before learning and using dotlan. Now I check dotlan like you said and have a better feel for traffic and gate camps.

The low sec systems i travel are less than 5 jumps for high sec but it seems like high sec is expodentially more busy and picked over compared to lowsec. In high sec, I had trouble finding relics and data sites (one in 5 or 10 hours) and they we worth less than a million each. Keep in mind I was learning the simplest game mechanics (and still am) at that time. I switched focus to low sec, scouted the 7 or 8 systems and now can comfortably make 5 to 10 m isk and hour.

It may not sound like alot but I am only 1m sp in and plan to skill into more advanced ships. It is a good thrill bouncing around, moving loot and staying out of harms way.

Now that I have a little bankroll (about 80m isk). I plan to continue exploring (maybe make wh trips) but also practicing getting out of gate camps in a cheap ship with insurance. I also am a week or so from have a number of scanning and hacking skills at level 4.

I figure that in a t1 frig and those skills I should have good success in lowsec sites and moderate success in null and wh space with the expectation of getting a number of cheap ships blown up but also learning evasion. Once I have a reliable method of funding I may mix in some pve to get used to being shot at and shooting back. In the long run I’ll proboly pickup less passive pvp.

1 Like

Well, in my opinion if you just want to do Exploration Hacking sites in low sec systems you should definitely consider piloting a Covert Ops Frigate fit for speed and agility with a Sisters probe Launcher and Sisters probes.

With Covert Ops Cloak, using Safe Spots and watching D-Scan for probes plus having on-grid / local chat awareness, you’ll be very tough to catch. Also the bonus to scanning and hacking will make finding and completing Hacking sites much more easier and faster which means less chance of being interrupted by roaming PvP gangs.

Right after jumping through a gate, I select a celestial object and right after clicking ‘Warp To ____ Range’, I’ll immediately activate Covert Ops Cloak asap. With high skills the ship is cloaked before it even goes into warp. Then I just warp around cloaked making Safe Spots and scanning, even if there’s other players in system.

I highly recommend to skip Covert ops frigates and go straight for T3Cs. Too many explosions etc. will kill you in the frig so you can’t do them, also they are unbalanced and have a very low cargo capacity so you have to dock up or return too often so you can’t make up the low sites quality by volume. Those are huge negatives. CCP will eitehr never address this or if they do it will be years from now. So just not worth it, unless you also plan to go for stealth bombers, then its OK because a lot of the training is along same paths.

I do however recommend you take your frigate skills up to 5s so you can effectively pilot faction frigs such as Dramiel, Worm, Daredevil, Garmur and most important for you, the Astero. This will give you flexibility on what you can do in the game, you will get tired of just explo and want to do some otehr stuff at least once in a while. With level 5 frigs you can go do FW, or train up more and do burner missions, etc.

You are better off flying an Imicus with Sisters launcher and probes and a proto cloak just to break d-scans or go take a leak to the bathroom when you need to, then a covert ops frig. You will at least be able to carry some loot back with you, and when you do lose it, it will be a much cheaper and smaller loss. It won’t put you back at zero when you’re just strarting out.

Alternately, go for Astero instead of the covert ops. More flexible and better choice.

1 Like

Well, first off the OP said he’s doing Hacking sites, both Relic and Data, using a T1 scan frig in Low Sec.

In regular Hacking sites if the first hack fails, the Hacking screen closes. If a second hack attempt on that container fails, that container is destroyed. There’s no big explosion like in Ghost Sites, Sleeper Caches, etc. Since regular Hacking sites don’t have any NPC’s in them, the only danger to worry about is roaming PvP players.

T3 Cruiser is definitely my top choice for exploration. However those ships take a lot longer to skill into and cost a lot more. Compared to a T1 scan frig, Covert Ops Frigate has a higher Scan and Hacking bonus to help find and complete those sites much quicker. Plus a Covert Ops Cloak module allows warping while cloaked, thus making travel a hell of a lot easier and more safer.

About loot, I’m sure there’s plenty of cargo room in the T2 Covert Ops Frigate to clear out at least one Hacking site. Could also just carry a Small Secure Container to increase amount of available cargo hold space and anchor it in a deep safe spot if needed to minimize the amount of station docking.

I believe Astero cost more ISK than a Covert Ops Frigate. Also completing a few sites should easily pay back the initial cost of a Covert Ops Frigate.

The t1 frig without a cloak has been working well (…knock on wood…a few times). I am a fan of driving beat up cars before moving to fancier ones.

I did warp to zero on a w-space relic site and almost got wiped out by a gang of npcs. Next time I won’t warp to zero.

I’ll wait until I have the bankroll and skills to move into the higher end ships and getting blown up constantly is impacting efficency or I get bored driving a beater.

1 Like

Let me tell you from my experience of almost 2 years of hacking relic sites … speed of travel (align, warp, mwd) is more important than hacking and scanning bonus finally if you have max skillpoints on the profession. You want to traverse as much systems as possible per time used. Also scanning and hacking is at least 50% real life skill if not more. The new T3s are a bad choice for non-combat sites, because: slow as ■■■■, expensive, juicy target.

T3 Cruisers are typically an all-in-one exploration ship, able to access and complete most any site available. With good fit, skill level and sound player judgement, a T3 Cruiser can pretty much go anywhere.

This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.