Returning Player Exploration Question

I have an alt I was training for exploration a few years ago. It’s at about 32 mil SP now and can fly the new Sister’s ships (frig and cruiser) at mastery II or so. Long way to go obviously. Last time I played, they had just come out, and people were talking about using them as multi-purpose ships for HS exploration and combat.

This alt’s scanning skills are pretty good now, and other skills favor armor tanking and drones, with a little SP in beams. If I train into the Stratios cruiser and max out the skills, is it possible to fit a relic and data analyzer along with some beams and drones, and take on the DED 4/10 sites? Should I bring along a mobile depot and change out the fit before entering a combat site?

I’ve thought about training an HAC Zealot with this character for the same purpose, but then I don’t get the scanning or relic/data bonuses. Thoughts? Thanks.

I’ve learned quite a bit in a day, thanks to the HELP channel and YouTube videos of people running sites. Thanks for reading, though. I think I’m in pretty good shape now.

Well, current elite frigate rats (with 3 words in the name) are damn rancorous goblins which will try to blow up your drones at any cost. The CCP changed their AI significantly last time so any old video will not show to you the true combat potency of different rats. For example, Sansha rats are hard to any turret and shield tanked vessels due to their Tracking disruptor EWAR and EM/Thermal damage. The Angel rats are very annoying and hard for any drone and armor tanked vessels like Stratios due to their target painting and Webifiers EWAR and Explosive/Kinetic damage and because they are very fast. They will try to web and paint your ship and your drones and mainly all will target the same drone. For example, Angel Vigil’s second pocket is very challenging even for my medium skilled Gila (540DPS / 50k EHP), so Stratios can have big troubles there. Most of DED 4/10 types shouldn’t be a problem for mediocore fitted Stratios.

It will be hard to hit an elite angel frigate with medium drones without Omnidirectional Tracking Link. I lost a couple of medium T2 drones under Gila’s buff while doing some DED 4/10, 5/10 and 6/10. Is hard to save drones without scooping to cargo and launching them 4-5 times in those sites. Any drone without a ship buff I consider useless in such combat sites versus elite rats.

Some Sansha and Blood Raiders DED 5/10 is better to perform at range over 40km by releasing sentry drones and kitting.

I’m flying Gila and working with it fit currently you know, but I have a pretty good mediocore fit for my Stratios. Sadly, I miss skills for T2 scanners.

[Stratios, *PVE and Exploration]
Drone Damage Amplifier II
True Sansha Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane
Damage Control II
1600mm Steel Plates II
Medium Armor Repairer II

10MN Afterburner II
Omnidirectional Tracking Link I
Data Analyzer II
Relic Analyzer II
50MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
Focused Modulated Pulse Energy Beam I
Core Probe Launcher I
Focused Modulated Pulse Energy Beam I
Drone Link Augmentor II

Medium Anti-Explosive Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump II
Medium Processor Overclocking Unit I

Valkyrie II x5
Hammerhead II x5
Ogre II x4
Warrior II x5
Garde II x5
Hobgoblin II x5
Acolyte II x5

Sisters Core Scanner Probe x16
Standard M x2

You can fit Core Probe Launcher I to save money for faction True Sansha Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane, which will help you much more while doing combat sites and Ghost Sites. The T2 weapons are optional based on your skills and aren’t the main source of DPS. This fit will survive all combat sites until DED5/10 (with some cases), Lesser Ghost Sites, Medium Gost Sites (with fat EHP), Standard Sleeper Sites and first 2 rooms of superior Sleeper Sites.

T2 Scanners are required for Sleeper sites and to hack faster Ghost Sites but you can use a Zeugma scanner also. Anyway, you haven’t good option to replace a T2 scanner. But a Scan Rangefinding Array II can be a nice option, considering we missing a Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I rig.

Obviously Afterburner should be used as a speed tank in combat sites while MWD in Data/Relic sites. Moreover, Afterburner is an ok option in sleeper sites while under the Turret pressure - just orbit a can while hacking to mitigate incoming damage.

The Drone Link Augmentor II will work better than addition Beam laser.

Mobile Depot is a must in any case.


What a fantastic and useful response. Sounds to me like you quite enjoy exploration. I’m curious as to why you chose the 1600mm Steel Plates II, over a second EANM. Is it so you can tank the explosions in the ghost sites? I’m also curious about your statement about the Drone Link Augmenter II. My drone control range is 57k. What benefit are you finding in the increased control range. Mine would be 81k with the addition. Thanks again.

Oh, yes I’ve seen a few recent videos where the drones are simply eaten alive. That’s one of the reasons I started this thread. If the drones are going to go down so fast, I was thinking it might be better to train an HAC that did not depend on drone damage. Lots of things have changed since I was last active in Eve, as you are pointing out.

I can’t say about me that I joined EVE 5 years ago and so on you know, but I spent decent number of hours experiencing and doing very risky exploration.

The shield or armor resistance improvement have very special mechanic compared to other modules – it suffers double diminishing returns: penalty and “percent of remaining percent (p-o-p)”.

Penalty: Using more than one type of this module or similar modules that affect the same attribute on the ship will be penalized.

P-o-P: Let’s say first shield hardener will increase your EM shield resistance by 50% (taking available interval between 0 - 100), while the second hardener by 25% (taking available remaining interval between 50 - 100), and so on.

For ships with basic shield/armor resistance buffs like Stratios, Gila or Worm is required very specific fit mode to not waste valuable fit slots for useless diminishing returns. The 1600mm Steel Plates II grants better multipurpose omni-tank than addition EANM, considering we have enough free power grid for that. For any armor tanked vessel, the Damage Control II is a superb module, which have good synergy with any T1, T2 or faction EANM, which I consider enough, and is a “safe belt” when armor is down. With low, or without, Armor Compensation skills it make sense to fit addition EANM, but with lvl 4 or 5 Armor Compensation skills a Steel Plate II is much better option. At the same time Steel Plate II is well improved by Trimark Armor Pump II. I’ll suggest fitting that level II rig for 20M ISK.

About Ghost Sites
If you are focused to do those sites a lot, especial medium types, then I’ll suggest you replace Medium Processor Overclocking Unit I with addition Medium Anti-Explosive Pump I and Drone Damage Amplifier II with Armor Explosive Hardener II (-55%). What I mean (with fat EHP).

Tip. The worst case is when you open a big yellow-CPU hacking window and just after that those elite rats jumps in. Don’t try fail the hack or to close the window, because the can will explode and you’ll take huge instant damage supported by rat’s alpha strike. Firstly, activate Armor Explosive Hardener II. Try to tank their damage with Armor Repairer, as soon the shield is down, and to finish the hack. After that overload your mid and low slots, turn on Afterburner and speed tank radially. A PVE case when Thermodynamic skills level 3 or 4 are golden. If you feel ok tanking explosive damage then fit anti rat damage Armor Hardener. I’m offering Armor Hardeners just because overloading potency.

I did a mistake, like in a previous explained case, by thinking I can tank explosion damage with my 6k EHP Astero. As soon the rats warped in I aligned the vessel away with MWD on and at 7km range, when hack window was closed, the explosion 1 shot my 100M ISK Astero. So, at 7-8km damage will still very high.

The Drone Link Augmenter I or II are ok if your Long Range Targeting, Drone Avionics and Advanced Drone Avionics skills evolving. At max skill levels, you can remove the Drone Link Augmenter completely.
You Stratios targeting range will vary between 60-75 km. It’s crucial to have the Drone Control Range above 45km. It’s too much to talk about why is so important to have the Drone Control Range around 70km. Just perform different combat sites, lvl 4 missions and you’ll notice all by yourself.

Drone AFK vessels, like Ishtar, are not working anymore in most combat sites with 15-20 frigates, 8 Towers, 10 Cruisers and like 7 BCs. You have to juggle your drones. Drones under ship buff are still usable, but they need attention. It’s a new mechanic, implemented by CCP, to mitigate ISK printing for AFK drone vessels and Carriers, which was complained by community. But there are videos about how people doing some DED 8/10 and DED 9/10 (with 3 frigates and like 9BS) on Vexor or Navy Vexor. Sure, that’s another case for speed tanking drone ships.

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Thank you for all the helpful information. I have read through this once already, but I think I’ll need to read it again several more times, once I’ve been back in EVE for a while. There is still so much to learn that is new, and even more to remember. I wish you the best in your exploration, and I thank you again for all the helpful advice.

I prefer to do 3/10 and 4/10 in an specialised Orthrus. 5/10 escalations in a Barghest. They are quite good in that job. Expensive, but hard, quick and flexible. And elitefrigattes don´t matter that much, if you blast them with missiles.

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Thank you. I’ve never flown an Orthrus or a Barghest, but I’ll gladly take a look at those ships.

Edit: I have no idea why my reply randomly decided to quote parts of your response. Must be another forum bug or a feature I’m unaware of.

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