Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Exploration in hostile nullsec for the chronically risk-averse (Rubicon edition)

Since CCP changed salvage and whatever sites, "exploration" seems to have taken on a new meaning as something you can do in a frigate. Here, we're going to do real exploration. This method will allow you to take off from jita 4-4, fly out to the edge of the galaxy, whack a couple combat sites to see what falls out, and fly back to jita, all in near-perfect safety.

The post-AI-changes iteration of ninja exploration, which dual-boxed a billion isk stealth bomber and an RR tengu, was silly as shit. Luckily for us, the introduction of the mobile depot removes the need for the bomber, making ninja exploration a proper easy-mode profession.

The fits:

This is your scanning fit:

  • Note: The cargo expanders let you run another site or two before you run out of missiles. If you aren't super confident about your cloaking skills, you could consider switching them for warp stabs.

This is your site-running fit:

  •  Note: This is a cheap fit, and at times you will have to run the AB and orbit something to reduce incoming damage. Using shiny modules can increase your tank and damage, make it easier to achieve cap stability, and so on.
  •  Note: Assuming you're doing guristas sites, once you realize that only the DED 6/7/8 are worth doing you will want to switch to mostly scourge fury missiles, and just keep a few navy scourge for clearing large groups of sub-BC.

Your cargo should look like this:

  • Note: Unlike previous builds, I did not include a codebreaker (data analyzer). This is because the sites formerly referred to as LADAR hacking sites now use that silly hacking minigame. Even if they can still drop the neurotoxin control book, they take several times longer to run and half the time it will be destroyed anyway. I deem them no longer worth the effort. This is a modest exploration nerf.

To maek isks:

Scan down a site, launch the mobile depot at a safe spot, and use its' cargo bay and fitting service to refit as follows:

-Move missiles to depot
-Remove 2 cargo expander
-Remove probe launcher
-Remove cloaking device
-Switch locus analyzer for efficiency gate
-Switch covert reconfig for accelerated ejection bay
-Switch interdiction nullifier for fuel catalyst
-Fit 4x BCU
-Fit 2x launcher
-Move missiles to cargo

Then re-online your modules and run the site. When you finish, do the same refitting steps in reverse and scoop the depot. If somebody enters the system while you're doing the site, pound dscan until they leave. If you see probes, warp to your depot, quickly refit, scoop your depot, and warp off. Delete the safe and make a new one.

Sauce: Last room of the 7/10

Other thoughts:

Since the exploration changes, apparently space near empire is full of newbies running around in scanning frigates. They'll constantly be interrupting you, and if you ignore them you're going to end up murdered by a black ops fleet, so I recommend heading toward the edge of the galaxy until they aren't a problem.

Also, you can only run 3 to 6 sites before running out of missiles. Operating out of an NPC station where somebody stocks them will let you stay out much longer.


  1. One thing mentioning, for our fellow neuts: If you're going to be operating out of the same area of null for a long time it can be worthwhile to make some nice safe spot out in the middle of nowhere to anchor a giant secure container and fill it up with ammo and whatnot. Then you can live off of that for however long, dropping your loot in it. Never anchor your depot in the same place though, since depots can be scanned down.

    1. For bonus points, leave the can at a safe spot not directly between two warpable stellar objects. I've killed those cans by warping back and forth making progressively closer bookmarks until I land on them.

  2. You could also get an alt in carrier as mobile base and ammo storage if you are planning to stay in the region for longer period of time. Dump missiles into T1 hauler and then into ship hangar.

    1. And there is actually one site worth doing that I don't mention here because you need a capital for it.

  3. There is something I don't understand about this not-so-dangerous space travel.
    I would think a t3 doesn't really warp so fast, if there's a gate camp with several frigates (which happen especially nowadays, people fitting to catch ceptors) doesn't it happen that you get decloaked and instantly pointed by several people? Or the other bad thing - you can't cloak because of people being too close, not to mention hordes of drones on gate? It happened to me before that I died in a covops! because sabre was 1.5k km from me on the other side (of total 3 people gate camping)...
    Sure it requires some bad luck but I was always thinking of this, eg. when reading of moving BPOs to lowsec...
    Any tricks against these, or just scout and either wait for no gate camp or hope for the best?

    1. Usually the only place you will find that sort of thing is nullsec entry systems. Use the map with the "pod kills in the last hour" overlay, and avoid entry systems with more that maybe two.

  4. Since the introduction of the mobile depot we use this tactic with our t3s all the time. But our ship setup is a bit different. We as a group of two or three t3s fly into hostile 0.0 with a nullifie setup and warpcore stabs and than after scanning down a plex we refit to a dmg setup.
    For guys who dont know much about 0.0 life I recommend as a testing area the great wildlands, they are pretty empty just the entry systems are camped. If you cant nullifie your ship try to fly to minmatar low thru brothers of tangra space and than into the geat wildlands the systems arent that heavy camped.

    1. Thats true I did this area too. But currently during the Halloween war you could even run plex in fountain cause no one is there :)
      As mentionened in the article running out of ammunition can be a problem but I solved it by having a covert cyno with me so I can bring in a cloaky hauler who brings ammunition and hauls loot out.

  5. Possiable to use a laser platform T3 to totally eliminate the ammo issue, maybe out in Blood Raider/Sansha space?

    1. Yeah, maybe. Of course, armor tanks align slower, don't rep as much, and one of those two enemies use a lot of neuts -- but I'd be surprised if it wasn't possible to get something working.

  6. How much isk/hour could u do with this?

    1. A long average should be over 100m/h, and probably closer to 150.

    2. Not a lot considering the requirements for doing it right... but It's always good to find others ways to make isks, the excitement of being wild on nullsec, and the fact that in the end, most of the time u are using only one account.

  7. Can you update the pictures please?

  8. A really good read for a returning player like myself who wants a different side of eve other than being stuck in High sec missions or constant WD corps in null sec. I have a few questions for you:

    1) Are you finding this ISK making approach effective in Kronos patch?
    2) How often do you have to pack and run because of threats? Do you have enough time to warp to your depot and refir/run? What do you do when people attack your depot? Do those rats warm scram/web you?
    I am a bit paranoid about losing my ship even though i have a quite respectable SP focused on tengu skills. I am just not experienced in pvp.
    3) Noobie question: once you scoop your depot fool of goodies, do its contents stay inside? Are 2 cargo extenders enough for loot or do you focus more on bounties and less on loot?
    Would you suggest salvaging a site or not worth the time?

    Thanks a bunch. Great guide!

    1. 1. I don't think I've done it since kronos came out. I don't think anything important has changed, though.

      2a. Semi-often. This is one of the best reasons to go where other players aren't.

      2b. Yes.

      3c. When I see probes, I warp to the depot, refit, and warp off. They can't scan it down quickly enough to get there first.

      2d. There are no or almost no scramming rats in rated DED complexes. Ignoring the 10/10, anyway.

      2e. I've never been shot at while in an exploration tengu. Except for twice when I let them, which doesn't count.

      3. You remove the contents before scooping it. The extenders are so you can carry more missiles; loot is small enough to not be an issue. Profits are almost entirely from loot, and very little from bounties. I don't even kill ships that I don't have to. Salvage is worthless.