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Anatomy of an Explorer

November 8, 2012

Hi All,

Not sure that this is going to turn into a series mostly because I have two main play styles that I know well. There would be others who know better how to YARR! as an example, so best leave it to them to do methinks (hint hint).

Explorers are a different kettle of fish. They don’t need the safety of numbers. They don’t feel the need to be safe at all, in fact the lure of less well trodden spaces away from the madding crowd can be very strong indeed.

This is for a couple of reasons:

  • competition for anomalies and sites
  • speed is of the essence both in the scanning down and the running of the sites
  • the need to multi-task
  • local – sometimes you just don’t even
  • the relative lack of grind (or at least greater variety)
  • greater variety in loots (and sometimes a big score)

Explorers also tend to fall into two different categories more defined by when they came to try it as a profession. Late entrants usually already have a good degree of combat skills, early adopters will have focused more on their scanning skills and will tend to hit the sites that don’t require much in the way of either equipment or combat to complete.

It is entirely possible to focus on gravimetric, ladar, magnetometric and radar sites in the early days. Radar especially can be quite lucrative with various decryptors running from between 3 and 9 million iskies a pop.

You can have the cartographer certificate to basic in three days flat and all the relevant scanning skills to 4 in 20. Frigate V is a further 10 days. Salvaging, hacking, archaeology to 4 is another 10 days or so.  This is without implants or remaps.

In other words, you can have a pretty good scanner in under 45 days from go. One has noted an apparent increase in scanning alts around the place (possibly linked to the upcoming scanning frigate changes)… which is an absolutely viable tactic, but kinda easy mode and not really treating it as a solo profession imho, though it could be argued there are certain synergies with a cyno alt.

Hardcore scanners will have the cartographer elite cert or be very close to having it. They will most likely have covert ops and cloaking also near maximum and/or T3 cruiser skills to maximum as well.

The major difference between the two isn’t just the skill investment, it’s the in game skills: dropping a deep space probe and triaging the system as whether or not it’s worth spending the time or setting your probes by preferred pattern and resolving ALL signatures in a system in less than 10 minutes.

The use of alt, shift and resizing and moving scan probes is now second nature. You’re much more adept at scanning while running a site, and running d-scans most especially in low or null. You’ll also know which sites can drop the good stuff, and which sites do and do not have the chance of escalations. Best use of time in other words.

Equipment wise scanning can be as inexpensive or as expensive as you like. Going the inexpensive route will mean your gear will be paid for in short order even as a starter. Going expensive can also pay for itself in short order, provided that you have some luck (as I did recently).

The best kit for scanning in game is either the RSS scan probes or Sisters Of EVE equipment. The virtue implants especially make a massive difference to your all important scan strength. Expensive too, the last time I checked a full set was over 2billion on contract…  oO

Hard to grind for due to the relative lack of security agents, SOE can be (mostly) neutral from a faction standings perspective provided you decline the right missions.

But honestly, I think it’s worthwhile going for the good gear if you’re at all serious about it. With the right gear (and with a bit of luck) you can drop probes and hit a 100% on a wormhole on a single scan. If your scan strength is also good enough, you can tell what the sites are quickly and can ignore the ones you don’t want, maximizing your chances to scan down and run the good ones.

That said, there are the right tools for the right job. Taking your blingy mcbling Tengu into low sec is just asking for trouble when a covert ops or assault frigate will do the job. Not as well to be sure, but the risk/reward is just not worth it imho. A different story perhaps if you are deep in blue null sec, and have access to the relevant intel channels.

Explorers look for the quiet corners, times and places of New Eden. Sometimes its a quiet, little traveled route in high sec. Sometimes it’s a major jump hub where people assume that all sites will be run already. Sometimes its low sec during off peak times in New Eden.

It is a fine profession and one that I enjoy. I know I’ve said I wished that there were places where the map goes “here be dragons”, but I’d be very happy if CCP dropped in a real unknown. Something perhaps that brings either a progression to the storyline, or something quite unique to the game.

Let the fighters fight. Let the miners mine. And let the searchers go and find….



From → Eve Online

  1. I am finding that exploration holds the most interest for me in game at the moment. I appreciate the mix of skill and luck involved, and the varied rewards you can get from day to day. I would love to see more content, ships and options be made available for that area of the game.

    • I go through fits and starts – it’s probably one of the easiest to pick up and put down in EvE, which adds to its attraction to the time poor.

      But yes, I totally agree. As far as new content goes, it would be such an easy win for CCP.

  2. -K- permalink

    “Let the fighters fight. Let the miners mine. And let the searchers go and find….”

    and those of us who like to stir trouble and often have to scoot out with our tails on fire and drones left behind, where do we (for surely I am not the only one) fit in? or those who just love to watch stuff go KABOOM?

  3. -K- permalink

    What, you not up to the challenge of capturing the likes of me in written form? 😛

    • Give me a moment to simultaneously turn different parts of my brain 90, 180, and 270 degrees to reality, then randomly reposition all letters in the alphabet!

      Righto! Good to go… 🙂

      • -K- permalink

        lol like that gets you even close to MY reality!

        FYI 86, 184 and 269 is closer 🙂

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