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Written by Joerd Toastius
Published in PDF format by [aaeo].net www.allabouteveonline.net
Exploration and probing Kali also introduces proper exploration, in the form of various hidden encounters. These can be any number of things - there are over 250 being introduced in Kali 1, which get more interesting and much harder as you move from Empire to Low sec to 0.0. I've been playing around in a COSMOS constellation in 0.0 and I've found gas clouds (for booster manufacturing), straight-up complexes, archaeological sites full of rig parts and T2 rig BPCs, hidden databanks loaded with invention material, rogue drone outposts, hidden roid fields full of ark and bistot... There's plenty of riches to be found, but you need to use scan probes to do it Basic mechanics Exploration probes use exactly the same mechanics as ship scanning probes - same skills, same equations etc. You need to use a Scan Probe Launcher rather than a Recon Probe Launcher, simply because (as Hoshi says) you can't fit an exploration probe in a Recon Launcher because the probes are too big. Other than that, the basics all work the same way. Exploration sites themselves seem to spawn within 1 and 4 AU of planets in system. There may be multiple sites in one system, or there may be none at all. Finding an exploration site Tools Exploration sites cannot be found using the system scanner - you have to probe them down using the exploration probes. These come in four flavours and four ranges: [Type] Quest Probe - 4 au range, 250 points primary sensor strength, 50 points other sensor strength, 2.088 au max scan deviation, 4000 sec flight time. [Type] Pursuit Probe - 2 au range, 500 points primary sensor strength, 100 points other sensor strength, 6,250,000 km max scan deviation, 2000 sec flight time. [Type] Comb Probe - 1 au range, 1000 points primary sensor strength, 200 points other sensor strength, 125,000 km max scan deviation, 1000 sec flight time. [Type] Sift Probe - 0.5au range, 2000 points primary sensor strength, 400 points other sensor strength, 2,500km max scan deviation, 500 sec flight time. The four types available are Gravimetric, Magnetometric, RADAR and LADAR. A Gravimetric Quest Probe will have 250 points of gravimetric sensor strength and 50 points each of Magnetometric, RADAR and LADAR. There is also one final, very important probe: Multispectral Frequency Probe - 999 au range, 1,000,000 points sensor strength (all types), 600 sec flight time This probe has no deviation, as it doesn't return location-based results. Instead, it will simply tell you if there are any cosmic signatures within its range, and if so what sensor type they are.
Technique Firstly, you need to confirm there's anything worth looking for. Drop a Multispec probe anywhere in the system and do a scan. If it returns no results, the system's empty, so move on. If it returns one or more results, decide which sensor type you're going to look for, destroy the Multispec probe (right-click in the scanner interface and "destroy", otherwise you can't deploy more probes) and start probing. "Unknown" results work equally well with all probe types. It is believed that the different sensor types correspond to different types of site, but there isn't enough data to confirm which are which yet. In order to run down the site, you need to get it in range of a probe. The easiest way to do this is to drop Quest probes of the correct sensor type so they cover every planet in the system. This is easy with outer planets, but with the inner ones you need to think about exactly where you're going to drop for maximum coverage. This may require some bookmarks, and sometimes you just have to compromise and hope you don't get unlucky and have the site in a blind spot. The system map is highly recommended at this stage. Once your probes are down, select them all (ctrl-click) and start analyzing. Each site seems to have a set value for the "sig radius/sensor strength" ratio, generally between 0.1 and 0.2. If you do some calculations for ships you'll see that this is a pretty low number, equivalent to an interceptor with 200 or so sensor strength. With quests you'll be looking for a signal strength between 0.1 and 0.4 on the right probe type. This means it can take ten or fifteen tries to get a result, but the probes last for an hour and a bit so you can afford to sit around and keep trying until you get something. Once you get your initial contact life gets a lot easier. It'll show up on the system map, so figure out where it is and try to see how close you can get. The rest is fairly obvious - drop the shortest-range probe you can that'll still scan it, and keep analysing until you get a good result, warp to that, analyse again if necessary... you get the picture. You'll often be able to go from a Quest straight to a Sift, and when you can't a comb will usually work - pursuit probes are generally not that useful. You really need a result with under 100km or so deviation before you can be confident you've found anything. Many sites won't spawn unless you warp into the grid they're in, and as you can't use the directional scanner to find them, if you land in a different grid 400km away you need to re-probe. Once you have your 0m result, be very careful with it. Some sites drop you at an empty dead space gate, some drop you at a gate with passive hostiles near it, and some drop you straight into the line of fire. If you go in with a cov-ops, go cloaked, bookmark quickly and run away again - I've lost I think two cov-ops on SiSi to enemy fire in this way. Also, if you do decide to park your ship and go in with a pod, make sure not to leave your ship too close - once the dead space pocket spawns, the usual dead space rules apply and if your ship is too close you won't be able to warp to it until the site expires Once you've got the bookmark you're basically done with the exploration aspect. Gas
clouds aside, the stuff I've found in 0.0 is not suitable for cov-ops ships. Some of the plexes are supposed to be 10/10 equivalent difficulty. FAQ Can you analyze when cloaked? You can't start the analysis cloaked, but you can uncloak, click "analyze" and then recloak without any problems Can you analyze while warping? No, and if you warp while analyzing it will finish prematurely with no results What does this "module is in use?" thing mean? Why can't I analyze? The probe launcher must finish its launch cycle before you start analyzing. Wait for it to stop flashing green and try again Can I analyze with multiple probes at once? Yes, just control-click them all. Doing this in system map will also show you what your coverage is like. Couldn't you probe spam with snoops instead? Hoshi has done the numbers and says it's no longer worth the effort. So, yes in theory, but not recommended at all. You need a lot of probes for exploration and they're really expensive! Well... yes, I guess. The cheapest solution is to buy the BPOs and mine your own stront, at which point they become pretty cheap. But... then you have to go ice mining. Your decision. Can I convo/message you in game? You're going to anyway I think, but yes, ok. I may however be busy, and I don't have all the answers I know where you can find Gas Cloud Harvester Is but I'm not telling you where I hate you. Oh my god exploration is too boring/hard/time-consuming/unrewarding! News to me. What do you want, a cookie? I quit! Can I have your stuff?
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