01
May
10

Exploration

Exploration sites are dotted all over the galaxy, lasting for three or four days before disappearing to respawn elsewhere. To find them – or at least, to find ones worth finding – you need the following:

a) A scanner probe launcher
b) Multiple scanner probes
c) Luck
d) A lot more in the way of trained skills and practice than the tutorial lets on, but anyway.

Scans turn up cosmic anomalies, little NPC pirate/drone hangouts which are easy to find, and cosmic signatures. Cosmic signatures are what you’re usually looking for – you, and the umpteen thousand other people trying to find the good ones first.

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(Above: Cosmic signature heaven. Let’s all hear it for little backwater solar systems twenty-five jumps from anywhere interesting!)

There are various types of cosmic signature, indistinguishable from each other until you start scanning them down individually, and the gods of EVE have seen it fit to arrange things such that you’ll always get seven of the kind you’re not looking for and none of the kind you are. In decreasing order of undesirability (from my perspective; I’m sure someone out there loves ladar sites):

Wormholes. Wormholes are shiny hypnotic death. Not exclusively, because you can make a lot of money in there if you know what you’re doing and you have a lot of friends and there’s nobody else already in there waiting for you and you take the right equipment in and you manage to get it out without incident and you know how to watch the directional scanner like your life depends on it and you really, really know how things work in there, but, yeah, enough.

Ladar sites. Gas clouds to harvest! If you have a gas cloud harvester, for which the skillbook alone costs 20-something million isk, which I don’t so moving on.

Combat sites. Like mission sites without the mission. You shoot stuff, stuff shoots you.

Gravimetric sites. Hidden asteroid belts, usually with rarer asteroids than you can usually find in that part of space.

Magnetometric sites. Archaeology and salvage sites. I know several people who’ve found good stuff here – skillbooks, blueprints copies – but all I ever get is cheap salvage, bah.

Radar sites. Oh, sweet wonderful radar sites.

I found my first radar site last week, taking an exploration jaunt down to Kor-Azor, one of the quieter Amarrian suburbs. I had 3 million isk beforehand – and then I had 3 million isk plus this:

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The positron cords weren’t hugely valuable, and sold for 999.90 isk each at a station on my way home. The Sacred Manifestos, on the other hand, went for 4 million each at Jita, wretched hive of scammers and villainy and the galaxy’s main trade hub. Oh happy day.

The next radar site, found the day after, made me 500,000 with a couple of datacores. The one after that, 2 million. And the one I found a few hours later, scanning a really busy system on an off-chance, was… occupied by rats that nearly shot my flimsy little scanning frigate down in a big ball of flame.

Hmm. Never mind. Retreat to Hek, the trade hub one system over, where I’d left one of my Rifters. Fit the codebreaker hacking module needed for radar sites to the Rifter, check guns and ammo, warp into radar site, and… again, nearly get shot down in a big ball of flame.

Huh.

Warp out, dock, shields regenerate, undock, warp back in, kill one rat, warp out, dock, shields regenerate, undock, warp back in, find a new spawn of rats triggered by the first shooting, realise am now outnumbered 12 to 1, with the info shards that hide the radar site goodies glimmering tantalisingly just out of reach. Dammit.

By this point, three things occur to me:

1) It is going to take me forever to do this in a Rifter.
2) And this is a really busy system; someone else is bound to find this site before long.
3) And if the easy radar sites are worth up to 8 million, and this is a hard radar site, this is probably worth… an amount I would quite like to get for myself.

I hit the directional scanner. It shows at least one other scanning ship in the system. ARGH.

My Rupture, the cruiser which could easy wipe out the rats at the radar site, was back at home 12 jumps away. I set destination and set off like my engines were on fire (easy to impersonate, since they actually had been after my first warp-in to the site). Hit jump gate – jump – warp to next one – jump – warp to next… and next… and next, yelling ‘FASTER DAMMIT’ the entire way. Get back to Aldrat, dock, unfit codebreaker, select the Rupture, shriek in frustration at Scotty the docking manager saying I have 24 seconds before I can change ships, bite fingernails, 23… 22… 21…, eventually switch to Rupture, fit codebreaker, set destination for solar system with radar site, set off. In a ship which is oh so very much not built for speed. By this point, I was picturing riches beyond imagination at that radar site – my radar site – currently being gobbled up by someone who’d had a better ship closer to hand, and getting frustrated enough to gnaw off my own hand with every jumpgate as my Rupture slowly, slooooooowly aligned to the next.

Warp back into radar site. Empty except for me and the rats, o happy day. Shoot all the rats (why not, eh?), hack open the info shards, retrieve loot, ask in corp chat for a price check in other regions, and shriek in glee at the screen.

One trip to Jita and 31 million isk later, I could afford a brand new ship:

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And the rats at the next radar site had better watch the hell out.

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3 Responses to “Exploration”


  1. 1 Azyrie
    May 5, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    neato! I thought most of these radar/grav sites were only in wormhole space. Did you find those in high-sec or low/null-sec?

    I think I’ll go probe out some sites tonight and see what I find.

    I thought your sisters of eve post was pretty funny, the same thing happened to me while I missioned for Pend Insurance. All these insurance guys wanted was cows and pistols, weirdos.

  2. May 6, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    All the exploration sites I’ve ever had any luck with were in highsec, so yes, worth looking! The rewards are better in lowsec (and nullsec too, I’m guessing), but the rats are bigger and meaner, not to mention the local residents…

  3. April 22, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Today, I went to the beach front with my kids. I found a
    sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She
    placed the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic but
    I had to tell someone!


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About

A new EVE Online player comes to term with spreadsheets, spaceships and the steepest learning curve in MMO history. (SPACESHIPS, you guys!)

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