Sunday, October 20, 2013

ISK, At What Cost?

Just a heads up, that "Signals in the Void" is postponed a little as I've had a heavy workload and a few health issues I'm dealing with.  I do plan to resume it hopefully here in the near future.

On another note I was thinking of a curious idea I've seen in Eve.  It deals with a long infiltration into a corporation; time-wise taking around a year to work your way up into the proper positions and access roles.  Along the way you continue training your character and hang out and do things with people who come to call you friend.

Monday, October 14, 2013

BB#50 The Harbinger Is Coming

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 50th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are visit the Blog Banter page.

* * * * *

With the Rubicon expansion being announced and the SOMER Blink scandals (or non-scandals depending on your point of view) that have erupted on the community at the same time, it truly feels like an age of EVE has passed and a new one is dawning.

But which direction is it going? This blog banter can be about several different topics: 
- where do you think EVE is going? Is it a good or bad vision ahead?
- if you were EVE's new Executive Producer, where would you take the game?
- What comes (or should come) after Rubicon in terms of the mechanics and ship balancing we've seen? (CSM8 not allowed to answer this one!)
- Is there anything in EVE's ten year past that should be resurrected? Or buried and forgotten?
- What is the future of the community? What should or should not change?

(Though I like a lot of these questions, and my original plan was to address a few.  While I was writing, it seems I focused heavily on one in particular.  Maybe I'll get around to the others eventually.)

Monday, October 7, 2013

To Arms My Brothers!

As you may well know CCP has done it again with public relations.  They've managed to ruffle a vocal part of the community and as such pitchforks and torches have been raised.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Rubicon's Assault

This is the second part of my thoughts dealing with the upcoming winter expansion Rubicon.

CCP does expansions twice a year, some blow players out of the water while others are a little lackluster.  There is always a lot of controversy when it comes to the expansions with a lot of play styles feeling "cheated".  This causes dissent among the subscribers upon which "bitter" becomes a tossed around adjective.  While CCP has adopted a newer model and approach to their development and are looking to cover all the areas of play over multiple expansions instead of just one play style per expansion; I predict there is going to be a more widespread effect of "being cheated" among players.  While newer pilots might not feel the effects as harshly, I'm guessing a lot of "bitter" vets out there are used to a big awe inspiring feature for a specific type of play.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Signals in the Void 19

("Signals in the Void" is a character fan fiction story revolving around my adventures in exploration.)

It was a new thing for Jimmy holding an assault rifle, and though it felt almost like holding one of the welding or salvaging lasers the feel of it made him less uneasy.  Moving to catch up to the other mercenaries, Jimmy overhears Blake discussing their options when they get to the jammer drone.  The tone of the conversation didn't sound promising and checking equipment and weapons the rest of the mercenaries move forward with Jimmy following in the rear wondering if they have a plan.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Rubicon's Pre-Assault

I started writing this to include my opinions/observations on the upcoming "features" in Rubicon.  After I saw how much I was writing I decided to break it into two posts.  This mainly just lists the upcoming features and what they have currently planned.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Signals in the Void 18

("Signals in the Void" is a character fan fiction story revolving around my adventures in exploration.)

As my smart-bombs failed to activate around my ship, I continue to increase my speed to try and get behind the station.  I'm hoping to put something solid between the battleship drone's missiles and myself.  Having abandoned my curving orbit around the station to a more direct route past it, the large drone boat is going to have to try and catch up to me.  Though the smaller rogue drones are able to keep up, I will probably be able to keep the large one in a position which better suits me. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Signals in the Void 17

("Signals in the Void" is a character fan fiction story revolving around my adventures in exploration.)

Forwarding a report of a large object moving within the station, Erhan winces as cruise missiles slam into their shields.  Moving across the command deck toward the crew monitoring the ship's status, Captain Erhan was not pleased with what he saw.  The ship's shields have been depleted and a few of the modules required to recharge them have been overloaded by the mass surge of energy they received from the explosions.  As he is about to turn around, the crew member monitoring the armor integrity of the ship draws Erhan's attention to several positions around the ship where hull breaches are beginning to happen.  Though the locations of the breaches are puzzling, Erhan orders those areas evacuated and sealed shut; now is not the time to worry about a few holes.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

BB#49 A Rich Perception

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 49th edition!  For more details about what the blog banters are visit the Blog Banter page.

What is "rich" in EVE?  Is it simply having more ISK than most everyone else, is it measured in raw numbers of some other ethereal quality?  Can you actually be poor?  Have you ever lost nearly everything and had to claw your way back?  If you are rich, how do you know and how did you get rich?

I like and dislike this subject for various reasons.  The viewpoint in real life is taken similarly in Eve, and the whole view of "rich" boils down to perception.  Most people when you ask them if they are rich will give the answer "no", because they see someone else who can afford things which they cannot.  I would then estimate a lot of those people would call themselves poor because they can't afford all the things they want.  You then have the few who know they're rich because they see there aren't very many people with more than them.  The actual quantity in the wallet makes no difference in how this is all perceived.  So being "rich" in Eve could be defined as "Everyone else who can afford the things I want" while being "poor" could be defined as "Everyone else who can't afford the things I have".

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Signals in the Void 16

("Signals in the Void" is a character fan fiction story revolving around my adventures in exploration.)

Blake leads the way down the corridor with his rifle nuzzled up to his shoulder.  He doesn't bother looking left or right because the other two assault troopers will each be watching their own side, which leave the logistics trooper to bring up the rear and keep an eye on Jimmy.  The party arrives at another set of doors, while the others keep watch and Jimmy does his jury-rigging method of opening doors; Blake consults the path to their destination on his helmet's internal display screen.  It looks like they have another long corridor and set of blast doors to deal with before they can try to make their way down the station levels.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Ransom Adventures 2

Though my skills may be a little rusty, I am a pirate and I try to be the best pirate I can be.  Sometimes it just doesn't work out and you end up not making any ISKies for your trouble. 

[  04:24:11 ] (notify) For initiating combat your security status has been adjusted by -0.0797.
[  04:24:12 ] (combat) Warp scramble attempt from you to  (Capsule)Qybixxx Quime [VL EV]
[  04:24:12 ] (combat) Warp scramble attempt from you to  (Capsule)Qybixxx Quime [VL EV]
[  04:24:12 ] (combat) Warp scramble attempt from you to  (Capsule)Qybixxx Quime [VL EV]

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Signals in the Void 15

("Signals in the Void" is a character fan fiction story revolving around my adventures in exploration.)

Abandoning my plan of docking near the maintenance hatch, I turn my Arbitrator away from the station and try to put as much distance as possible between me and the drones which are coming out of every nook and cranny of the station.  I leave my combat drones in the hands of my capable pilots, pausing periodically to lock and assign various targets.  By letting my drone pilots deal with blowing up the hostile drone ships; which allows me to focus on maneuvering my cruiser into a nice orbit of the station to see if I can't loop around and gain enough time to extract my salvage team.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Power of Friendship

Having started the semester last Monday and going to classes all week, I arrived at the weekend tired.  Wanting to vege a little I decided to rent a bunch of movies and do a little missioning.  PvP can take quite a bit of concentration or you end up flying in a pod most of the time, and so I figured I would work on my industry alt a little. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Signals in the Void 14

("Signals in the Void" is a character fan fiction story revolving around my adventures in exploration.)

Planning a route to the drone which is emitting jamming frequencies is proving to be more difficult than Blake had hoped.  While he's happy Jimmy traced the source of the signals, the unfortunate part  is the location happens to be a few floors down.  From what Blake's forward scouts are telling him, the main pathways to that location are either sealed or have a high number of drones coming from those directions.  Counting the munitions which remain, the Dust mercenaries are lacking sufficient firepower to make a frontal assault.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Time Will Tell

There are those who look at video games as a waste of time.  This is an interesting concept because anything  you do could be construed as a waste of time.  A man who spends 5 hours to mow his lawn with a push mower could be considered wasting time when there are riding power mowers which could finish the job in an hour, or the parents who encourage their son to practice Basketball even though the odds of him becoming professional are pretty slim.  The whole thing could be subjective to the way a person was raised to how they are currently living to dozens of other variables.  For the next while I'm going to find playing Eve a bit more of a waste of time.  *gasp*  The reason being is I'm currently working on finishing up my Bachelors in Software Engineering and the semester starts tomorrow.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Memory Lapse

Interestingly enough, I've now been a part of Stay Frosty going on 4 months.  It has been great fun and I have thoroughly enjoyed my stay.  I never would have thought I'd enjoy PvP quite as much as I have, considering I avoided it like the plague for an entire year.  Now, since I joined Stay Frosty I have moved quite a bit of assets into our base system of Hevrice.  This was rough for me because at the time I was quite poor having invested everything into moving into a wormhole only to move out a month later.  As such I didn't have any liquidated assets, and was forced to make the long trek of 21 jumps in my trusty (slow as heck) Bestower with just under 17,000 m3 of cargo space.  After several trips of hauling the little things (myAbaddon and Harbinger are still stuck in the Domain region), I declared Hevrice my home and got settled in.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Signals in the Void 13

("Signals in the Void" is a character fan fiction story revolving around my adventures in exploration.)

Some say capsuleers are fearless, that they aren't afraid to die, maybe they're not, maybe I'm just an exception.  But really deep down, does anyone really want to experience death?  Why do we fight so hard to avoid something that seems to have no hold over us?  They say the technology is perfect, that mistakes can't be made, but who gave us the capsule technology?  The Jove as I understand it, and look at them now, slaves to their technology and yet still unable to prevent their disease.  How long until something similar affects the capsuleers?  What's even scarier, is that I'll be around if it happens.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

CSM 8's "Reasonable Things"

The last little while CSM 8 has been working on representing player ideas to CCP.  I find this useful because of how vast Eve is, sometimes (most of the time) developers and players are not on the same page.  Developers are always looking to the future and working on the latest features, whereas players are living in the here and now.  One sees the game as what it could be, the other most often sees the game as it is now.  When you have an MMO which constantly has change in its process, a lot of areas get pushed under the rug.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Signals in the Void 12

("Signals in the Void" is a character fan fiction story revolving around my adventures in exploration.)

The reports from Blake's forward scouts state the drones which they are encountering seem to be scouts themselves.  They aren't deadly but are made for fast movement and seem to be gathering intelligence about the structure of the walls.  The scouts report their attempts to shut down the drones but a few are slipping by.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Ransom Adventures

So I had the opportunity to try out my pirating skills.

Warp scramble attempt to (Capsule)Some Guy

This chat invitation is subject to a CSPA service charge of 2,950 ISK, which you must accept to complete the invitation.
According to the CONCORD Spam Prevention Act, all communication initiations between parties that have not explicitly white listed each other through the use of an access control list shall be subject to a configurable service fee which shall be collected by the Fluid comm operator.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Signals in the Void 11

("Signals in the Void" is a character fan fiction story revolving around my adventures in exploration.)

While we have been docked with the trade hub now for a few hours, I've spent the time trying to decipher this distress signal we received a few days ago and it's driving me nuts.  It seems so bizarre that I can't pin down the type of encryption method.  What I am hearing sounds like some sort of human language but it doesn't follow any consistency.  The signal also fails to have any of the similarities of the major factions.  The station this signal came from is quite old but there should be something similar with all the encryption methods we know about.  Even with the information pulled from the old station's data banks, I can't seem to get areas to match up.  I didn't want to but it seems I'm going to need to hire someone more knowledgeable in archaic languages and encryptions.  Unfortunately there are no reputable members of that profession available, but I'll have Captain Erhan find me someone who won't gouge my wallet too badly considering we need this information before the rest of our preparations are finished tomorrow.  After all that has happened I think I'll go take a nap.

Monday, August 5, 2013

BB #48 Life Of Lore

 Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 48th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are visit the Blog Banter Page.

This month's topic is a request from CCP Sisyphus who wants to know how important is Lore in EVE Online?

"How important is “fluff” in Eve online? Would eve online be the same if it were purely numbers and mechanics, or are the fictional elements important to the enjoyment of the game? Would a pure text, no reference to sci-fi or fancy names still be an engaging game? Should CCP put more or less emphasis on immersion?"

Thursday, August 1, 2013

End Game Content Ramblings

There are many aspects of Eve Online that make it a great game.  There seems to be a niche for most everyone who plays, and people gravitate to what interests them at the time.  Coming from a background in MMO's and the normal approach to how content is introduced.  When I started Eve I was a little miffed at the "leveling" system.  While on one hand I loved it because I didn't have to be playing every waking moment to be able to advance, I didn't like it because there was no quick grind to the next level.  This can be quite frustrating and Eve fails to properly present their system which they implement and the reasoning behind it.  On top of which it is hard for a gamer used to the railroad approach which most games use to designate what you are aiming for.  There exist raids, dungeons, level caps, epic tier loot that all goes towards playing the game and to keep you playing. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Signals in the Void 10

("Signals in the Void" is a character fan fiction story revolving around my adventures in exploration.)

Watching the pile of metal stand up, Blake was already surging forwards shouting at workers to move out of the way.  As panic and understanding grips the salvage teams, Blake gets clear of the crowd and raises his assault rifle.  A few quick bursts of charged plasma at the core of the metallic monstrosity causes it to collapse on top of its previous kill.  Talking calmly on his communicator he orders several mercenaries to lead the way back to base camp while the others provide rear guard support.  Shaking his head in disbelief Blake wonders how rogue drones got past their scanners.  He hears more gunfire to the side as more drones begin dropping down from different sections of the ceiling. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Tournament Ramblings

I've taken the opportunity this year to watch the AllianceTournament XI.  It didn't interest me much last year because it's PvP and this time last year PvP was not something I considered.  While I was a little disappointed in the results last week, this week is turning out to be much more entertaining.  I enjoy watching E-Sports because it pertains to my area of interest.  Physical sports aren't really my thing and I've watched quite a bit of tournaments  involving Starcraft II, League of Legends, Dota II, various shooters, and other odd games that somehow made it onto the tournament scene.  The metagame involved in all of these is different, but one thing they need to provide is entertainment.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Odyssey Exploration Guide Part 1/8

(Draiv Solregard's Exploration guide is subject to change, based on updated information, new information, expansions, and the apocalypse.  If you notice any errors in this guide, wait for your booster side effects to subside.  If the error is still there let me know and I'll look into it.)

Exploration Guide

So you want to be an explorer eh?  Want to discover the unknown, locate areas hidden from others, ferret out rare salvage, reveal knowledge of ancient blueprints, to perceive the truth from misleading clues and uncover monuments lost to the ages?

Well...move along, you won't find any of that here.  All has been revealed, there is no unknown. 

Still here?  What's that?  Oh, you want to be an "explorer" aka scavenger, someone who scrounges through known locations hoping for that one nugget of value, and subsisting off crumbs.  Is that what you want?  Well, if that's the case, I may be able to help you out and hopefully help you scrounge a few extra nuggets.

The challenges will be many and the opposition is great and if you can play dead well enough you might even succeed.  So hold onto your pod goo because you're in for a bumpy ride.

Odyssey Exploration Guide Part 2/8

(Draiv Solregard's Exploration guide is subject to change, based on updated information, new information, expansions, and the apocalypse.  If you notice any errors in this guide, wait for your booster side effects to subside.  If the error is still there let me know and I'll look into it.)


These are the skills you will need to fit the modules and use the ships that will make you an effective "explorer".

Eve is different than other MMOs in that the skill system or leveling system is actually done in real time and has no bearing on how much you play.  As such to arrive at the point where your skills will make you effective will take awhile, but fear not because though your skills impede your progress that doesn't mean you should not explore.  One should not put off doing something and always wait for that next skill, if you do, you'll never play the game.  But there is plenty of experience and practice that you can gain while you wait for skills to finish training. 

The skills which I recommend are for a brand new, never trained character so you may have several of these skills already trained.  I also do not include all the little support skills that may also prove to be of benefit, the skills which are presented are very focused towards the "exploration" profession.

Now then, your capsuleer is fresh out of the vat and you're ready to brave this new world and you are 100% sure that you want to be an explorer.  Go do the starting tutorials.  After which the first thing you are going to do is a neural remap, this will help accelerate your training time.   Now remaps are not given out like candy, you start with 2 and are given 1 extra remap every year.  So if you are unsure, DON'T do a remap, it becomes more important later though when skills start taking days to train, but for this first bit it's alright to wait until you feel more comfortable.

When you do the remap make sure your attributes look like this:

Skills correlate to two attributes, the higher those attributes the faster you will learn the skill.  The majority of the following skills are based off Intelligence and Memory, so we want to raise those as high as we can.

Since you've done the tutorials and have some cash under your belt, as well as some ships and other skill books; if I list a skill you don't have you will have to purchase it, but you should have plenty of ISK to afford it.  So the following list will be formatted by listing the skill name and then the level to which it should be trained to.

The absolute basics:

·         Electronics Upgrades III
·         Survey III
·         Hacking I
·         Archaeology I

These are the minimum skills required to even equip data and relic analyzers without these you'll just look at the data and relic sites as pretty scenic locations.  With these skills at this level you will have trouble completing sites, but you can keep practicing for when you're skills catch up.

The thinking skill:

·         Cybernetics IV

This skill is for learning implants and to be able to equip scanning implants which help find sites easier.  With the first level you can plug in a +3 attribute enhancing implant.  Bringing this skill to level IV will allow you to use +4 attribute enhancing implants which reduces training time even more.

The fledgling "explorer":

·         Mechanics III
·         Jury Rigging I
·         Afterburner III
·         High Speed Maneuvering I
·         Hacking III
·         Archaeology III
·         Astrometrics IV
·         (Faction Frigate) IV
·         Astrometric Rangefinding III
·         Astrometric Pinpointing III
·         Astrometric Acquisition III

This is where you'll actually start to be able to be effective, sites will become easier to scan down and hacking attempts will be more successful.  This skill set also provides you with the ability to fit hacking rigs and a microwarpdrive which will be a saving grace with sites where the hacking containers are spread further than 20 km apart.

The advanced "explorer":

·         Hacking IV
·         Archaelogy IV
·         Astrometric Rangefinding IV
·         Astrometric Pinpointing IV
·         Astrometric Acquisition IV
·         High Speed Maneuvering III
·         (Faction Frigate) V
·         Electronics Upgrades V
·         Covert Ops IV
·         Cloaking IV

Your scanning skills are now up to snuff where you shouldn't have an issue with a lot of the sites, but low and null will still throw curve balls at you.  The Covert Ops ship which you have moved into will greatly enhance your ability at hacking and surviving.  At this point in time, you can subsist pretty reasonably on what you can scavenge from sites with these skills.

The elite "explorer":

·         Hacking V
·         Archaeology V
·         Astrometrics V
·         Astrometric Pinpointing V
·         Astrometric Acquisition V
·         Covert Ops V
·         Astrometric Rangefinding V

This will top off your exploration oriented skills and allow you to use tech II modules.  The benefit these provide is vastly superior to their basic counterparts and are well worth the training time investment.  If you have no wish to do all of these skills, at least do Hacking and Archaeology to V if you plan on sticking with exploration, the benefit they provide is substantial.

Helpful exploration skills:

·         Biology
·         Thermodynamics

The reason for including these skills instead of other helpful ones is that these are probably not as obvious as to why they are useful.  Thermodynamics is just to allow you to overheat your microwarpdrive if you get caught in a situation that enables you to do so.  Biology will increase the duration of booster effects, but the main booster you will use will be Quafe, while it doesn't provide direct benefits to hacking or exploration, when you venture into lower security space the extra maneuverability might prove to be the difference between life and death.

Odyssey Exploration Guide Part 3/8

(Draiv Solregard's Exploration guide is subject to change, based on updated information, new information, expansions, and the apocalypse.  If you notice any errors in this guide, wait for your booster side effects to subside.  If the error is still there let me know and I'll look into it.)


Each race has a basic frigate and covert ops that has bonuses to scanning and hacking.  While you can use whatever ship you want, you really just end up hurting yourself by not using the ones that have bonuses.  There are two bonuses which you will look for on a ship.  These are the scan strength of probes which will increase for each level you train of the designated skill.  The other is called a Role Bonus which applies only once and acts like an attribute of that ship.

(Faction) Frigate:   
  • 7.5% increase to scan strength of probes per level of (Faction) frigate skill level
  •  +5 Virus Strength to Relic and Data Analyzers (Role Bonus applies ONLY once)
The most important part of picking your basic frigate or covert ops which will make it the "best" is to pick something you want to fly.  The bonuses are the same across all races so the only "important" factor is flying what you like.

For those of you who want "the best" then the order of frigates from best to worse is.

·         Heron - The reason this ship comes out the best is because of that extra mid which allows you to fit an extra scan upgrade module for faster acquisition of sites.  It also has the furthest targeting range to allow an easier time cherry picking larger sites.
·         Imicus - This ship is better than the probe solely because it has more targeting range.
·         Probe - Having average stats across the board makes this ship effective.
·         Magnate - There is one major flaw to the Magnate which is that it only has three mid slots and you really need four to fit the basics.  It will still work but requires docking at station to swap modules, or to complete sites without a cargo scanner.

Covert Ops:

·         10% increase to scan strength of probes per level of Covert Ops skill level
·         +10 Virus Strength to Relic and Data Analyzers (Role Bonus applies ONLY once)

Again as was stated above, "the best" ship will be the one you like.  All the ships do well with exploration and hacking so you'll be successful despite which one you choose.

Now for the list of "the best" covert ops from best to worse.

·         Helios - Coming out on top because of the five mid slots and larger powergrid for easier fitting options.
·         Anathema - This ship pulls ahead of the other two because of the larger powergrid making fitting easier.
·         Cheetah - Though it has a much lower targeting range than the Buzzard, it pulls ahead because it has three low slots instead of two which will affect fitting options.
·         Buzzard - Many will claim that the Buzzard should be first or second, the reason it is last on this list is that with only two low slots it gimps your ability to fit maneuverability modules and has a low powergrid.

To reiterate make sure to choose which one you want to fly, because if you're flying a ship you don't like I think you're doing it wrong.  For a better understanding of why I made these choices check out the modules section.

Odyssey Exploration Guide Part 4/8

(Draiv Solregard's Exploration guide is subject to change, based on updated information, new information, expansions, and the apocalypse.  If you notice any errors in this guide, wait for your booster side effects to subside.  If the error is still there let me know and I'll look into it.)


These will be the tools which will help give you the best advantage for success and survivability.

While I had considered laying down set fits I realized that I would then have to do that for each ship due to the different fitting requirements that each ship has.  So instead I am going to outline modules and rigs which I recommend.


Implants raise your attributes and enhance your abilities.  There are only 10 slots for implants and implants can only be plugged into specific slots.  Implants also come in various tiers where the lower/cheaper ones give small gains and provide bigger bonuses the further up the tier you go.  Following is just the general name of the implant you will want to get, but make sure you have the required Cybernetics level trained before you try plugging the implant in.

  • Implant Slot 2:  Memory Augmentation - This will raise your Memory attribute which will reduce skill training time.
  • Implant Slot 4:  Cybernetic Subprocessor - This will raise your Intelligence attribute which will reduce skill training time.

  • Implant Slot 6:  Poteque "Prospector' Astrometric Pinpointing - This reduces your maximum scan deviation.
  • Implant Slot 7:  Poteque "Prospector' Astrometric Acquisition - This reduces your scanning time.
  • Implant Slot 8:  Poteque "Prospector' Astrometric Rangefinding - This increases your scanning strength.


You will fit two rigs which will help raise your hacking success chances.

·         Small Emission Scope Sharpener I - This will raise your virus coherence with relic analyzers by 10.
·         Small Memetic Algorithm Bank I - This will raise your virus coherence with data analyzers by 10.


These modules will always be the same no matter what ship you use.  One launcher and one cloak should be the only things in your high slots.

·         Core Probe Launcher I - This is the cheapest option and the easiest to fit.  But it gives you no bonuses and is really only useful as far as being able to launch probes.
·         Core Probe Launcher II - I find this to be the best option when balancing cost with bonuses.  But it requires a training investment, you need Astrometrics V to be able to fit this module.  However when taking risks and you get blown up, having this fit hurts a whole lot less than using a Sisters.
·         Sisters Core Probe Launcher - By stats alone this will be the best launcher around.  It gives you a 10% bonus to probe scan strength while also only needing Astrometrics I to fit.  It is very costly though and should only be used if you're very good at not dying.
·         Prototype Cloaking Device I - You will fit this on your scanning frigate so you may remain hidden after you've launched probes.  You may not warp while this is active but you normally shouldn't need too.
·         Covert Ops Cloaking Device II - If you do not fit one of these on your Covert Ops ship, you need to hang your head in shame.  This module will be your saving grace and lifeblood, especially in low and null security space.  It allows you to warp cloaked and move your ship around at base speed instead of -90% of your base speed.
·         Sisters Core Scanner Probe - This will be the probes you use because they are all around better than anything else.  You can use regular Core Scanner Probes, but you should grab these as soon as possible.


These modules will be your hacking and propulsion modules and if you have an extra mid you can also fit a scanning upgrade.

·         Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I - Hackable containers can sometimes be very far away and when you have to slow boat 50 km to the next container while watching d-scan to see if someone is going to come and kill you is stressful, so less time spent in the site, the better.  You could fit an afterburner but it still doesn't provide the speed you need.  This is also where my rating on the best Covert Ops ship comes into play, because the last two have 5 less powergrid, this means you can't fit a microwarpdrive and all the other modules.
·         Data Analyzer I & II - These are the money makers right here.  You will use the Tech 1 until you get trained up after which you will ONLY ever use the Tech 2 version.  The reason for this is with your skills at IV and when you use an Analyzer it will have 80 virus coherence and 20 virus strength.  When you hit V, things magnify to 110 virus coherence and 30 virus strength.  When used with a Covert Ops you will have 40 virus strength which will allow you to reduce most of the attacks you make on defensive nodes by 1.  Thus your virus will take less damage, look at the hacking section of this guide to catch a better understanding of why this is important.
·         Relic Analyzer I & II - Same explanation as Data Analyzers.
·         PL-0 Shipment Probe - This will allow you to see inside a container before you hack it.  If you think you don't need to know what's in a container before you hack it, think again.  Being able to see what loot is going to spew forth will allow you to make good judgment calls on which mini-containers you need to grab when they are spewed forth into space.  This also does the same thing as the Tech 2 version but is ridiculously cheaper.
·         Scan Pinpointing Array I & II - While not essential, but if you happen to like a ship with 5 mid slots, then you will want this scanning upgrade.  The reason for this is that your scanning skills should be pretty decent where you normally don't need more strength and you're not hunting ships so faster scan time is pretty useless.  This module will affect the margin of error in where the signature shows up and how far you need to move your probes after you re-scan.  This will actually allow you to spend less time scanning.


The modules fit in these slots are for maneuverability.  When you need to change direction while  chasing mini-containers these modules will allow you to grab that 1 or 2 extra mini-containers.

·         Local Hull Conversion Nanofiber Structure I - This module increases velocity and allows your ship to maneuver more quickly.  Both of which are essential in the explorer's life.  While you can use the tech 2 version the difference in the velocity increase is negligible, plus they are more expensive.
·         Micro Auxiliary Power Core I - This module uses CPU and gives you power which is needed when fitting propulsion modules.  This really only needs to be fitted if you can't fit a microwarpdrive e.g. if you fly the Buzzard or Cheetah.  You can skip this and use an afterburner for the lower powergrid cost but I'm pretty sure that after the first few sites the lack of speed will drive you crazy.
·         Warp Core Stabilizer I - NEVER fit these if you are planning on doing some actual exploring.  While the appeal of being able to break free of someone's warp disruption is nice, the truth is that you shouldn't ever be in a situation where they can lock you.  While the stabilizer gives you +1 warp core strength it greatly reduces your locking distance and your scan resolution (locking time).  "Why should I care about that, when I'm provided the extra security of the stabilizer?" you may ask, the reason being is that pirates have adapted.  Since they know what they are hunting (a scavenger aka  "explorer") and from past experience most explorers have fit warp core stabilizers.  Pirates will now have 2 or 3 warp disruption modules when they try to kill you and no amount of stabilizers will save you from that.  So in reality you will be impeding your progress by fitting these. 

Let me throw a scenario out there.  You scan down a site in low security space and the system is kind of active.  The site contains 4 hackable objects and are 25km from each other while also being at most 60km from the warpin.  You now have a ship fit with warp core stabilizers and one without.

A.  Without Stabilizers - You warp to the site, lock all 4 objects, scan all 4 objects in order 1, 2, 3, 4, and container 3 has the most value so you choose to run that one first.  On your way to the next container a pirate uncloaks and starts locking you, because of your increased agility from the nanofibers you have a greater chance to align and warp out before he can gain a positive lock.

B.  With Stabilizers - You warp to the site, but because the stabilizers reduce your scan range you have to fly to each one separately to scan it, but the stabilizers also lowered your scan resolution so now it takes you ten times as long to lock the container, you then have to fly to the next container to repeat the process.  This will take awhile after which you have to return to the one with the most value.  (Container 3 in this example, which is the third one you checked.)  While hacking a pirate uncloaks and begins locking you, you immediately align out, but your agility is slower since you lack the nanofibers and the pirate gains a lock.  No worries, you have stabilizers, except the pirate figured you would and is using 3 warp scramblers, the end result being pretty fireworks.

Roughly the same amount of time would have passed in both scenarios, one of them will cause you to spend more time in a site allowing people to find out you're there and warp to the site before you've even had a chance to find out what's in all the containers.  While you are free to fit the way you want I highly recommend not fitting warp core stabilizers.  If you think I'm saying this just because I'm a pirate, you are sadly mistaken.  It's because I'm a pirate I'm telling you not to, because when I hunt explorers I use 2 J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I's with a strength of 4 warp core disruption with both scramblers running, the most strength you can give yourself on a covert ops is +3; 4 is greater than 3 so I will always keep you from warping away once I gain a positive lock.  So keep fitting those stabs if you think you'll be safer.

Odyssey Exploration Guide Part 5/8

(Draiv Solregard's Exploration guide is subject to change, based on updated information, new information, expansions, and the apocalypse.  If you notice any errors in this guide, wait for your booster side effects to subside.  If the error is still there let me know and I'll look into it.)


Your ability to find things with probes.

Discovery Scanner:

Shows you all signatures that can be probed down in a system.

Depending on what you are trying to do, the Discovery Scanner can be a boon to your success, or the bane of your existence.  It is the main reason that you are now a scavenger instead of an explorer.  You see, to be an explorer you need to be looking for the unknown.  While this is hard to accomplish in a game due to the fact that everything is known and there is no real "unknown", the discover scanner eliminated the one aspect of making things unknown in a video game. 

The discovery scanner's key role is to reveal if there are any signatures in a system, it does this automatically when you enter the system, and periodically re-scans while you are in the system to let you know if anything new has popped up.  This means you are no longer searching for hidden signatures in a system, but everyone who enters that system knows exactly the same thing as you.  Like a dead carcass on the side of the road, it is seen by all, but which creature will scavenge it first?

So if you jump into a system and there are no signatures to scan then you jump to the next system in your route.  While this makes it easier to farm sites and move quickly through systems which is great in high security space, in low and null security space pirates will know exactly what you are up to and may hunt you down instead of moving on.

Scanning terms:

·         Scan Duration - This is how long it takes to complete a scan.
·         Scan Deviation - When you perform a scan there is a calculation of how far the actual location of the site is from what you see.  While you can't calculate the exact distance to your probe, you can calculate the max scan deviation.  This means there is a max distance which the actual signature will be located from the signature which you are shown.
§  Max Scan Deviation Equation - (Scan Range/Base Scan Range of Probe) * (Base Maximum Deviation of Probe)  Signal Strength plays a role here in that the higher the signal strength the lower the deviation.  But it's best not to rely on it.
·         Sensor Strength - This determines how well you pick up signatures, bigger is better.
·         Scan Range - This is the radius your probes will scan when you initiate a scan.

·         Cosmic Signature - These are the dead carcasses you will see as you move along the space highway.  You will scan and identify if the carcass is worth scavenging.
·         Cosmic Anomaly - These are always shown if there are any in system, with the ability to warp to them without scanning.

·         Data Site - Where goodies are located.
·         Relic Site - Where goodies are located.
·         Combat Site - Where rats are located which will shoot at you.
·         Gas Site - Where gas clouds are located, sometimes they have rats and other things.
·         Wormhole - The great unknown, lots of goodies here.  Except that Data and Relic sites will have Sleepers which will blow up your wee frigate.


When presented with your probes you actually don't see any of them unless you're holding Shift or Alt, instead it gives you a probe box in the middle of where all your probes are located this is the focal point where all probes intersect.  Any changes you make to the focal point will affect all probes unless you are holding Shift or Alt.
·         Hold Shift - Allows you to modify a single probe.
·         Hold Alt - Allows you to affect all probes relative to the center of the formation.
·         Hold Mouse Button - Allows you to move the formation as well as change the scan range.
·         Double Click - Centers your camera on the probe or cosmic signature (when it is a red dot).

Your probe box will look like this:

·         Blue Circle - This shows your scan range and all the things your probe encompasses.  You may adjust the size of the circle by click + hold the first mouse button and drag in any direction towards or away from the center.
·         Arrows - These will allow you to move the probe only in the specified direction, to do this all you need to do is click + hold and then drag in the direction you wish to go.
·         Box - The sides of the box allow for a bit more freedom of movement, except you may now move the box diagonal as well as sideways or up/down, just click + hold and move to the desired location.

The two formations you will be using are:

·         Pinpoint - This formation is what you will be using to zero in on a signature.

·         Spread - This formation will be used if you forgot which planet the other signatures are at after you have warped into a system.

After you have launched probes and cloaked up in a safe spot, you now need to hunt down all those pesky signatures.  A key concept to remember is that no signature will appear more than 4 AU away from a planet.

After you have positioned yourself, your screen might look a little like this:

1.  These are all the signatures which you know are in the system, hence why you are a scavenger not an "explorer".
2.  The giant red circle means the signature which you are looking for is probably located somewhere inside that circle.  Since a signature can't appear more than 4 AU from a planet and there are no other planets within the giant red circle, you now know the exact location of all signatures in the system to be within 4 AU of that planet.  So there is no need to use the spread formation after you find those signatures.

Edit 2014.03.16
A quick update to point number 2 above, thanks to an anonymous comment and their willingness to do a bit of research and testing; have shown that some of the higher class wormholes can indeed spawn a bit further than 4 AU from a planet.

Move your probes over to the planet that is close to the signatures and make sure your distance is set to 4 AU and hit scan.

After scanning you see 3 signatures of varying signal strength:

·         Green Triangle - means you have scanned that signature to 100% and are now able to warp to it, as you can see under the signal column. 
·         Yellow Triangle - means that you are fairly certain the actual signature's location is near there.
·         Red Dot - means you got a hit on the signature but you're still going to have to do some finagling to find it.  You would do this by readjusting your probe focal point onto the red dot and lower the range of your scan from 4 AU to 2 AU.
·         Rinse and repeat until you have scanned all the signatures you wish to.


·         Centering - Make sure to double click the signature you are trying to scan down (if you are unable to do this make sure to center on a probe, it really does help), this will center your camera on that signature and make it easier to move your probes around.
·         Vertical Alignment - Because you are working in a 3D environment perception can be skewed, to minimize this it is helpful to move your probes until they are on the same horizontal plane as your target.
·         Horizontal Alignment - Because you can't get directly 90 degrees above your signature it is best to align probes vertically, then change your view above the signature and move your probes on top of your target.
·         Adjusting Range - It is common practice when zeroing in on a signature to only ever drop your range by 1 tier e.g. 4 AU to 2 AU.  The reason for this is your max scan deviation will normally be near that number.  As you gain better skills and more experience you will be able to drop 2 tiers e.g. 4 AU to 1 AU this can normally be done with yellow triangles.
·         Bookmarks - Always bookmark a site after you scan it, this will save the location in case you leave system and also allow you to warp in at another distance besides zero for safety reasons.  When you right click a signature which has been 100% scanned and select bookmark, it will bring up a little window for you to enter in a name.  I normally keep the signature type where it is and instead enter at the front of the name the first letter of the group of site, and the first three letters of the ID e.g. "C HTU Sansha Hideout".  (IDs will reset after downtime.)