Bear-Tech: Scan-Probing Complexes for Profit
A guide to exploration for really nice ISK generation
There are three types of scan probes:
- Core Scanner Probes - used to find complexes
- Combat Scanner Probes - designed to find ships
- Deep Space Probes - designed to find ships, but with focus on longer range scanning.
You will want the following gear to find complexes:
- Core Probe Launcher I - make it a "Sisters" one if you plan to use cloaking ship
- A Cloak (optional)
- A Ship with one free high slot (1 PG and 15 CPU)
- At least 4 Core Scanner Probes - there is Sisters variant as well. All probes can be used again so don't worry about losing them. Even if you disconnect you can reconnect to them and continue using them
- If you are in a covops, a few Gravity Capacitor Upgrade rigs can speed up your scan time further.
Type of complexes
The types of complexes you may find are:
- Radar: Hacking - need a hacker (skill Hacking to III or better and a "Codebreaker" module) to exploit, good money. As in, invention (T2) stuff. A couple friends in BS minimum to run, usually. Rats will respawn and trigger.
- Magnetometric: Archeological / Salvaging - need an archeologist/salvager (skill Archeology to III or better, Salvaging to III or better, an "Analyzer" module in a mid and a "Salvager" module in a high) to exploit, can be good money if you find a good one, and definitely mediocre for the smaller ones. Has been reported to be soloable in a well-tanked BC. Some small Archeology sites can absolutely be soloed in an AF. No respawns - what you see is what you get.
- Gravimetric: Carebears unite! Roid fields. Good if you're looking to run a mining ops. Your usual belt rats; nothing that combat support can't handle.
- Ladar: Gas Clouds. Also for carebears.
- Unknown: Rats, basically. This can be "escalating path" stuff with a phat reward (faction loot) at the end, usually triggered by a structure in the 2nd room. Note that "escalating path" is going to send you all over creation, possibly into the next region over. You have 24 hours to do each "step" in the escalating path. These can get as hard as 10/10, so bring some friends. They do trigger, and they do spawn a ton of BS - so don't go through that gate until you are good and ready.
- Unstable wormholes: wormholes that can lead between all known types of solar systems - Hi sec, Low sec, 0.0 and w-space.
- Cosmic Anomaly: These are easier variants of Unknown plexes. In K-space there is small chance of "escalation" or faction spawn, but really very small one.
You can start scanning with minimal skills, but a little extra "oomph" goes a long way. Here're the skills that are of interest - they apply to all types of probe scanning, plex or ship equally.
- Astrometrics. Basic skill needed to use scan probes. Each level allows one extra launched probe up to 8 at level V
- Astrometrics Acquisition. Skill at the advanced operation of long range scanners. 10% reduction in scan probe scan time per level. Not as good as used to be, 15s or 20s is not that different.
- Astrometric Triangulation. Skill for the advanced operation of long range scanners. 10% increase to scan probe strength per level. Really good one, I would say train to IV or better
- Astrometric Pinpointing. Greater accuracy in hunting down targets found through scanning. Reduces maximum scan deviation by 10% per level. Depends on your dedication, IV should be enough
- Covert Ops. Provided you are scanning in covops frig: -98% to -100% reduced CPU need for cloaking device per level and 10% increase to scan strength of probes per level. IV at minimum, V is better of course
The scanning part
Start with one core probe, launch it (cloak if you want), open your scanner window and select "System scanner" tab. You will see all your probes there, so right clisk on it and set it to max range (32AU). If you click "Map" button you will see your system map and you can start moving your probe around so go ahead and try to cover as much planets as possible. More scans may be needed in those big systems.
This should give you basic overview on how many signatures are in your system. Cosmic Anomalies gives you 100% accuracy at all ranges, if you are not interested in those, just right click on them and click "Ignore this result" or something like that. All signatures when scanned with one probe gives their range from your probe, it will be represented as red circle around your probe. 2 probes give circle as result, 3 give 2 dots and finally 4 probes are required to get one 100% location.
Once you know there is at least one signature in system you want to launch more probes (up to 8) and start working on scanning them down. 4 probes are enough, but I usually use 7. I have found somewhere that only 4 best placements are used in calculations so I have better chance to find them faster. Amount of probes and their placement is really up to everyone feeling. I deploy them in "3D cross". One in the middle (usually right next to dot result) and other 6 around it - left, right, up, down, forward, backward, all overlapping with result point. In general you will start scanning with longer range (8AU for example) and once you are getting red dots you will reduce range of your probes and moving them closer to result resulting in green 100% result eventually.
Every result have unique ID, you can identify those plexes you (or your friends) scanned before and decide if you want to scan for them. Complex type will show once your result passes certain percentage hit, 50% for example. If you receive 100% result you can warp to it or bookmark it to use it later.
Some useful stuff you may find useful:
- Your scan will continue if you warp - you can warp out and start the scan while in warp
- You can start a scan and then cloak, to keep you safe(r)
- Make yourself a safespot or two to sit at while you're scanning.
- Pilots will often initiate warp to their safespot and drop a probe just before they go to warp, thus reducing the time they are in the vicinity of their probe. As they warp, they start the scan and cloak.
Plexes are within 4AU of planets. That means you don't need to worry about empty space between planets.
Appendix A: Other sources
To be filled later.