|from flickr user KAlexanderson|
It's been a few days since I have been able to write here, but I got in a lot of exploration time. I missed our corp fleet night on Sunday but I had plenty of time to establish a nice routine of exploration. I *did* try and do the right thing for my corp and run plexes but I couldn't find a plex that wasn't defended by an NPC.
Remember, my starting point is a low-skilled pilot (Astrometrics 3, Hacking 2, Archaelogy 2) in low-sec flying a cheap ship (Imicus) with the cheapest equipment. And I was still able to raid about 10 exploration sites across 15 star systems for a total haul of approximately 80M ISK, in about 5 hours. As my scanning skills improve (Astro 4+, Pinpointing etc) this should speed up a lot. It currently takes me 3 scans just to identify if a signature is a wormhole/combat site or not.
I used the star map to pick out two "branches" of systems that were mostly low-traffic. In each system I created a "safe spot" bookmark and sat there, cloaked, while scanning. I'd estimate that 1 in 6 signatures were data/relic sites. Friggin' combat sites. Friggin' wormholes. When I found and ran the data/relic sites I never encountered anybody else or found a site that had been partially run.
The hacking game itself can be tricky, but if you leave the white dots till the end, and make sure you're not clicking so fast that you miss picking up a useful tool, then lose it because you've uncovered a trap in the next node, you'll have a good chance of getting to the loot. I also found that I can start the game as soon as I'm under 5km from the tower, because the ship will continue to approach while I'm hacking, and when the loot spills I'll be sitting at 0 distance from the tower.
Basic Scatter Can Guide: At a data site, decrypters are in "Parts". At relic sites the salvage is evenly spread between "Parts" and "Materials". At BOTH types of sites, Blueprints are in "Data". This will cover most of what you'll want to find.
You must use a cargo scanner and say to yourself what cans you're looking to pick up. See the guide at the bottom of this Eve Uni page for this golden information! For example if the scanner shows two good decrypters and a blueprint, I say "parts, parts, data" to myself and watch what I'm collecting to make sure I'm getting the decrypters (and not just junk parts). A good tip to see this is to have the Inventory window open and scrolled down to the bottom. As new stuff enters your cargo, the icon will appear and the inventory window will keep scrolling down, so the item most recently picked up will always be visible.
Your ship has a built in tractor beam that you didn't know about, and it will retrieve a scatter can up to 3500M away with a SINGLE click. While retrieving a can you can also click on a different can. The first will be colored green, then second will flash to indicate it is queued up for retrieval. Don't double click, or you'll move towards a can and maybe get out of range of half the good stuff!
After running the site I always go back to a local station and drop the goods safely into the hanger. Most other pilots carry their treasure around until they have an amount they are happy with, then return home. I'm still pretty paranoid and don't mind waiting till later to retrieve the loot.
While flying through these systems I found a gate that was surrounded by wrecks. They were all looted and the overview showed nobody around. If you've read my earlier postings you know this is what I've been waiting for! There was even a couple of "elite" wrecks, which would drop T2 salvage. But I decided there was a chance that it was a trap; that a cloaked Destructinator was waiting for me. It was difficult, but I left it alone. It was made a little easier knowing that the last few stray wrecks I'd salvage yielded very little of value, so I think I'm cured of the salvage bug for now, at least while using an Imicus. Perhaps in a Noctis and working with a level 4 mission runner, it might be worth doing.
[Imicus, Data and Relic Sites]
Warp Core Stabilizer I
Nanofiber Internal Structure I
Damage Control I
Data Analyzer I
Relic Analyzer I
Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I
Cargo Scanner I
Prototype Cloaking Device I
Core Probe Launcher I, Core Scanner Probe I
75mm Compressed Coil Gun I, Antimatter Charge S
Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I
Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I
[empty rig slot]
The gun is optional. The Gravity Capacitors make your scanning more effective. You MUST have the Core Probe Launcher & probes, Cargo Scanner, Data/Relic analyzer and cloaking device to do this safely and effectively.