Using alternative ships for exploration

I’m not a great pilot and I am still working on skilling up, but using am unarmed Heron to run data and relic sites isn’t ideal to me (lost my Heron yesterday to someone hunting me as I finished part of a data site).

I’m thinking of using a Ferox for running data and relic sites. My thinking is that at least I will have a little protection while exploring until I get my skills up for the next tier of ships.

Does this seem logical? Any issues that using a battlecruiser for data and relic sites that I need to be aware of?


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Your sig will be huge, easier to scan down, slower, and no bonuses to hacking/analyzing. Once you’re jumped, webbed, and pointed, tank won’t do much for you anyway. You just have to explore smarter. Keep your eye on dscan. Look up system info and zkillboard stats. If there’s a corp living in a wh that has lots of explorer kills, that probably isn’t the best wh to be in. And yes, you’re going to lose ships. The idea is to consider that a cost of exploring and fit cheap enough ships that one site will more than pay for it.


Your issue with something like the Ferox is that it has no scanning or hacking bonuses. It may seem hard to believe, but flying the heron is the most efficient, enjoyable (and exciting) way to do it. You don’t want some big, slow, unbounused, fat target.

If your skills are not good, you have to keep using ships with bonuses for explo. Move to the astero, then t2 covert ops. Fit them so that you can warp out quickly. The only way to catch you will be at a gate camp with bubble and ships burning to declaok you, or a cloaky bomber already in the relic/data site, ready to decloak and insta lock you. If you take a ship without bonuses to scanning and hacking you won’t be efficient. And the slots used for hacking modules, probe scanner, rigs, will reduceyour tank and dps so your fit will also be bad for fighting

You can also use an astero or a stratios with bonuses and have a decent fit to fight back

When you have max skills AND you have gained much experience in hacking, then the bonuses are less important, and you can use a ceptor.

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Or a Prospect!

The amount of time you’re going to waste due to lack of exploration bonuses (like scanning and hacking) will be a greater detriment to you than any benefit you’ll get from being in a bigger ship.

Also, if you’re fitting these bigger ships for Explo, that just means you’ll have a worse combat ship that’ll still die to everything, but only now, you’ll be more susceptible to getting killed, Both in gate camps and by roaming pvpers thinking they may have a good fight on their hands because they see a Ferox on dscan.

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Use a cruiser that doesn’t show up on “D” scan, fit cloak if it’s advantageous, your skills determine the racial type but the gallente lachesis for instance gets 7 mids and drones.

Or you can go with a Rook (caldari), but recon ships aren’t cheap.

Edit - it is so easy to scan down drones so an average player can find you even in a frigate, so yup not showing up on d scan is helpful.

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I’m skilling into a Tengu partly due to this, but mostly because I want to run more dangerous sites. If you’re focusing on faction data and relic sites, I see no other reason not to just stick with the Astero. Otherwise, I agree with everything else said here. If you want to explore, you’re better off not being caught than being in a ship that’s suboptimally fit for both exploration and combat.

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I hate to say it: put 3 Warp core stabilizers and a shield extender. This should solve your problem for most cases. Then you should be able to just warp away.

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You can fly a combat ship for hacking. There should be no problem. It just depends on your scanning and hacking skills. You’ll intimidate cloaky frigates like Asteros and stealth bombers. However, cruiser-sized hunters will still attack you.

The best solution is to fit a hacking ship for maximum evasion. A burst jammer module in your mid-slot can break a lock, allowing you to escape. The Magnate is a good cheap exploration ship for max evasion since it can also fit four warp core stabilisers. Few hunters fit more than two warp scramblers.


I also am not a great pilot but I am getting better at escaping.

If you are in High Sec stay with the Heron till your skills are up. Astero is your ship, it can cloak, fly cloaked, escape fast, scan and hack relic and data sties. Astero after High Sec practice will allow you to make the transition from High Sec, to Low Sec, Null Sec and Wormholes.

Astero will cost (Jita) 60 Million ISK and you will lose them. However explore with the Heron, 300,000 ISK, save your exploration rewards while you train, find the Astero fit that works for your skills or again train to them, thats your plan.

Seems like a lot but its not, couple weeks, stay in High Sec with your Heron, practice your scanning, hacking and D-Scan.

When exploring, I have learned, your best weapon or defense is the ability to escape, Astero will do that for you.

Lastly, you will lose these ships, I am likely lucky I am on my 4th Astero in 6 months, but I play with a high level of paranoia and caution.


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Waste of time. Stick to T1 scanning frigs, do your homework on the hole, slam d-scan regularly, don’t be greedy and drop your cargo at a safe between sites. If the site’s been pre-scanned and you aren’t stabbed (or stabbed enough) you’re probably going to die. Return and pick up your loot, replace your ship and move on.

Concentrate on minimising your losses, not fighting back. As @Kaivarian_Coste said a good choice is the Magnate with four stabs. Most Astero pilots hunting you will use two T2 (or meta) scrams so they won’t be able to hold you and chances are this is what will be hunting you. Of course there are other dangers (snipy fast locking T3s and dictors) but hey, it won’t matter as you’ll have dropped off your cargo and you can afford to replace your ship multiple times with what you made in one site, right?

I hunt explorers a lot, I never fly anything more expensive than a T1 frig to run sites and I comfortably plex each month with lots of spare time to hunt.

Fly safe :slight_smile:

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hmmm, not a big explorer here. Only theory crafting.

Maybe try T3C with nullifier, covops, warp stabs, and zeugma + black glass implants? The bonus get your virus to 60 and one shot many stuff in hacking game even for the hardest cans. nullifier and full stab on low to get away. Maybe overprop too with 100mn. Covops in case someone actively scan to hunt you.

I dont know how expensive the ship will be, how long it will lock the cans, or is it even possible with the PG and CPU. Is this fit possible in any T3C? Is there many hunters with multiple bling scram to tackle these?

Any explorer or the hunter have experience about these?

… or a simple half a mill Heron to ISK tank the stuff.

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Don’t do this. Just do a cheap explo ship.

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A T3C might be able to get away from a single hunter. But if there’s a group, they may have enough scramblers to pin you down. A nullified interceptor is much, much cheaper. Some people don’t even bother hunting them down.

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Using a battlecruiser would basically be suicide. You will be very easy to scan down, will have very poor scanning capabilities. And if you’re trying to compensate for the almost nonexistant hacking/scanning abilities you will have next to no combat capabilities. If you can afford a Ferox you should be trying to use an Astero instead, or train into the Covert Ops line. And make sure you always check Dscan (Once evert five seconds at least), look up anyone who joins local on zkillboard to see if they’re a threat. Bigger isn’t always better and in exploration bigger is almost always worse.

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If you’re fit for pvp, you’ll be trash at exploration. If you’re fit for exploration, you’ll be pretty trash at pvp. That’s just how eve works, and you’ll always be vulnerable when hacking sites, otherwise there’d be no risk in exploring.

Stick with the heron. If you can afford it, fit a cheap astero with scanning midslots to get a lot more isk per hour if you don’t have Caldari frigate V. Explorers are meant to die.

Maybe don’t hack cans when there are others in local with you, and if there are check their killboard since you should easily be able to see if they are explo hunters or not.

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Dont go bigger. You will only lose more stuff doing that what you do. Just like people say, you have to be a bit more carefull, whip out directional scanner, look at map where are the most abandoned systems, look where are ganks or people logged in, check local for pirates and then hack. You can put few warp stabilizers and max EHP shield tank for that “barely survived” occasions.

The defence for heron is quick senses and fast warping out.

Then if you go to Astero with cloak (omega needed) you will lose it very rarely because you will have all the knowledge how to awoid being dropped while hacking.

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I’m also new and flying Herons for exploration. I lost 3 ships in a day and got pretty discouraged, but when I thought about it my 2.2mil fully fit Heron is paid for after 2 low sec sites. Most runs out to low sec, I’m coming back with 40-50mil in loot after 2-3 hours. More than worth the temporary pain.


I’d recommend going through wormhole space and either staying there or exiting in a quiet nullsec pocket. The loot is better, there’s less people, there’s more sites.

Edit: Hunters like to attack you on the last can usually. Don’t bother orbiting the cans, it wont stop you getting pointed, always be aligned to something so that you can just click ‘Warp to’ and be gone before the hunter can lock you.