So to pay the bills, I set Hylora up with an Arbitrator to do some exploration in lowsec. After much hemming and hawing on the fit, this is what I came up with:
This isn’t an ideal fit, but it does what I want. I can manage the vast majority of sites without docking to refit, which allows me to operate in hostile territory. It has an MWD, which gets me out of trouble in a lot of ways. If I had better fitting skills I could fit a medium cap booster, but a small is all I can manage so I have to make do. The cap booster does an ok job though, when fitted with navy cap booster 400 charges.
Best of all, it only costs about 19 million isk. I can cover that in a site I reckon, so its a pretty safe investment.
So, I fit it up and headed into space. I moved into the first system, set up a few safe spots, then moved back to the first safe and aligned to the next. This is important as if someone probes me out and I’ve been lazy and haven’t noticed the probes on scan, I’m not sitting at 0 where they warp in. I pulse the MWD to keep my speed up, which keeps me on the move and harder to pin down in case someone does get a fix on me. I’ve only been caught once by a very well piloted interceptor, and due to this technique he landed 40km off me and I was able to warp to my next safe spot before he got within 38km.
I deploy my probes and start probing. I can use 6 probes with my crappy skills, so I set them up into a cross with one floating above the cross to provide some z-axis triangulation data. This is very useful in narrowing down your sites quicker. I start big to cover as much of the system as possible, usually 32au, moving the probes so the ones on the outsides just touch the furthest probes with their range. You can move all the probes relative to the centre of your probing setup by holding ALT and dragging one probe. Likewise, you can hold shift and move all the probes at the same time. This is invaluable in saving time whilst probing. Time is money.
I scanned out the first few systems, finding nothing but wormholes. On my fourth system, I found a radar site, a Regional Blood Raider Backup Server. Googling the name of the site, I figure I can handle it and have the equipment, a Codebreaker I. Wait, my Hacking skill is at level 1. Shit. Oh well, lets see how it goes.
I went in, popped the rats with minimal struggle and set to hacking the cans. My error rate was high which was a little tedious, but I was in and out of the site within 20 minutes for the following reward:
My probes and ammo aside, that is worth about 16.5m or so. Not bad for 20 minutes in a t1 fit ship.
At this point I went back to highsec to dock up and work on comms stuff for Fweddit. Man, I have more respect than ever now for corp directors and the work they do. Since I helped found Fweddit, I’ve barely gone on any ops or roams, and have instead been setting up the forums, wiki, jabber, killboard, etc, etc, etc. Still, it shouldn’t take much longer until its fully established and I can delegate to volunteers.
The next day, I took off into the same area of space to see what I could find. The first 3 systems were dead, the 4th was crawling with Minmatar militia including the interceptor I mentioned earlier. The 5th system had a ton of sites, which I set about digging into.
The first I got a hit on was the Magnetometric site, Ransacked blood raider explosive debris. This time, I am more confident. Mag sites need salvagers and analyzers, and my Salvaging skill is at a mighty level 2, double that of my hacking skill. I get stuck in and clear the site, watching d-scan like a hawk, and salvage my way into the cans about the site. This was my reward for my efforts:
63m for one site is a bloody nice haul. I suspect this is on the high end of a magnetometric site’s profits, but I don’t have any experience to base this off.
Next, I snuck into a Ransacked blood raider ship remnants. I couldn’t find a decent info article on this on the web, so I dived in to see what it was like.
This site was much harder than the previous. Rats were spawned for every can I hacked, and there were more cruisers and higher quality ones to boot. I beavered on through it, salvaged the cans and this was what I got for it:
In other words, crap. I probably was quite unlucky with only getting one piece of low value t2 salvage. Still, averaging this out with the last site I’m getting 30m a site. This is nothing to be sneezed at.
I feel kinda bad doing exploration, now that we are in FW. I should be out working on taking down outposts with my corp mates, or failing at leading a gang if noone else if FCing. One has to pay the bills though, and lowsec exploration seems to be doing that for me admirably.