Thursday, 5 June 2014

T1 scanning ships - Home system

One of our corp members lost a scanner recently while setting up bookmarks.  This post is to inform others about how I do most of my scanning, using T1 ships.

The T1 scanning frigates are Heron, Magnate, Probe and Imicus.  It really does not matter what frigate you use, so simply use the one you have highest racial frigate for.

While a T2 scanning frigate  (Anathema, Buzzard, Helios, Cheetah) are a superior scanning ship, a lot of our scanning is done in alts.  We are a series of Wormhole PI farming corps, and not all of us have access to our well skilled mains are off doing their thing.  Often it is our basic skilled alts left at 'home'.

The goals is efficient scanning and efficient bookmarking (including tacs).  Not losing your ship is part of efficient scanning.  My personal fitting preference is that a ship be good at a primary role, with any secondary duties (eg dps) very much a secondary consideration.

An example of what to fly

[Heron, BasicScanner]

Nanofiber Internal Structure I
Nanofiber Internal Structure I

1MN Microwarpdrive I
Scan Acquisition Array I
Scan Pinpointing Array I
Scan Pinpointing Array I
Scan Rangefinding Array I

Prototype Cloaking Device I
Core Probe Launcher I, Core Scanner Probe I
Light Ion Blaster I, Iron Charge S

Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I
Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I
[Empty Rig slot]

Hornet EC-300 x3
Acolyte TD-300 x3
Warrior I x1

The core of this fit is:
  • Probe Launcher and probes
  • 2 rig upgrades
  • Prototype cloak
The probe launcher and probes are obvious, you can't scan without something here.  Sister probes and launcher or maybe the T2 launcher has some marginal value, where either you have a low skilled alt or you are in a combat situation (eg blockade).  The rigs are there as a performance improvement as well.  Keep one or 2 sets of probes as spares.  I have occasionally lost launched probes due to a DC, and even a reconnect didn't work. Also spare probes can be reload while you are scanning.

The prototype cloak is for when you are scanning away from home.  If you are scanning it is easier if you don't also have to concentrate on bouncing between planets; making and using safe spots.
The MWD is for making tac bookmarks (more later). Also mildly useful to pulse then cloak if you find yourself having jumped through a WH into trouble, at a cost of additional align time.
Semi optional are the 3 Scan Arrays, ... I think.  Rumour has it that mid slot scanning arrays might becoming 'active' modules in an upcoming patch.  This rumour is still unconfirmed. If this change does go ahead, you will not be able to cloak and still use them.  If you are in a system that you have a POS, they have benefits.  If you are in dangerous space and don't have access to a POS forcefield, they become situational; i.e. when scanning fast is more urgent than staying alive.

The gun, drones and nanofibre are optional.  These are merely options that might make a difference if you get caught.  If you need them, you are most likely toast anyway.  They might make a difference, but I doubt it.  WCS are an option for lowslots, increasing your align time from 2.96s to 3.84s (perfect skills) but giving you another option.  I prefer the faster align time.

Another option is some cap recharge for the MWD for low skilled pilots.

You will note everything on this ship is T1, and the only even partially expensive item is the cloak.  I don't want to lose any ship; but if I lose this one so be it.  I don't think I have ever seen a scenario where meta modules fits would have made any difference to one of my T1 scanners.   Any pilot with the skills to use T2 scanning modules can probably fly a covops frigate anyway.

The specifics of the fit are less important.  Nothing is sacred in the above fit, and many pilots will tell you that it is 'fail' for so many different reasons.  I sometimes like to get 2 pilots with strongly held fitting ideas into the same conversation and enjoy the popcorn. 

How to fly them

We generally make tactical bookmarks around choke points.  The most obvious of these is the wormhole entrance itself.  We want this more than 150k away from the wormhole, and my preference is on grid, so generally less than 250k. 

The 'paranoid' method of scanning at home is:
  1. Warp to nearby but offgrid safespot.
  2. Lauch probes
  3. Warp back to POS
  4. Scan until you have found the WH's you were looking for. (All WH's will be within 8AU of a planet; most are within 4 AU)
  5. If the WH is not within Dscan
    • Warp to a safespot or 70/100 k from a nearby POCO, Moon, or Planet.  If you lose your ship by flying into a hostile POS in your home system, consider the lost ship a valuable lesson.
  6. Dscan, looking for bubbles/ships.  If you see unknown ships or bubbles, let your corp members know.  For us that is via an intel mailing list as well as in game chat.  Whatever works for your corp is fine too.
  7. Warp 100K to the wormhole. Bookmark the wormhole from your overview (exact) NOT from your scanning window (within 5k).
  8. If overview has ships or bubbles on it either cloak or run away.  Decide quickly; either answer is fine.
  9. Assuming you did not run away, fly either up or down until you are at least 160k from the wormhole.  
    • If your overview and dscan remains clear, use MWD
    • If your overview or dscan has neutral or known hostiles, but no combat probes on dscan, MWD, cloak or warp away
    • If you see combat probes, even on dscan, the MWD is not enough.  In this case either cloak or run away.
  10. Once you get at least 160k from the wormhole; roughly either above or below it, bookmark that spot (from people/places)
As an alternative to step 9 above, while you are still 100K from the wormhole:
  • Warp  to a safe spot or celestial that is away from the wormhole but not on a direct line to your POS.
  • Warp to 100K from this intermediate bookmark.  If you are within about 160k, rinse and repeat.

The bookmark is not in a direct line from your standard approach, assisting in avoiding to avoid bubbles.  It is either up or down so that orbiting ships won't de-cloak you if you decide to cloak.

I use the 160k bookmark as a base of what I fly my industrials to.  Often to 50/70/100k from that bookmark.  From this bookmark, you can see what is on the wormhole, yet still be able to warp to it.  I don't know of any ship that can point you at 160k, there are few enough camping ships that can lock at that range.

The reason I prefer at least 160k is you often coast a little when coming out of warp and I want at least a small distance buffer.  Any distance between 160k and about 250k works easily.  Much more than 250k and you risk being off grid; still valuable in their own right but not what I generally use.

The above method is paranoid and a little longer than simply flying to a wormhole.  9 times in 10, there will be no-one on the WH when you first scan in your home system, especially if you have only the expected number of wh's scanned (2 for C2's, 1 everywhere else).   You could decide to simply eat the few ship losses by not bothering with this.

However, the cost of losing a ship is more than just the ISK value; but also the possible loss of a scanning pilot for an unknown duration.  You might be podded. It might be the start of an extended camp or even worse, an eviction.

I don't know that I can get my pod away on the loss of a ship. I don't know when I will be able to get home after a podding. I would rather not lose a ship in the first place, and will generally perform all/most/some of the 'paranoid' steps above.

Where I have lost scanning ships is by simply not paying sufficient attention.  Being called AFK while warping to a wormhole, especially when deciding you can warp directly to a wormhole, is not always the safest of activities.

The reference to 'Home System' is because this article is long enough and I intend to write an 'away system' post soon(tm).

Nothing in Eve is perfectly safe, nor do I want it to be.  I have been on grid with neutrals, and escaped in these ships, with this method.  That is good enough for me.


  1. quick note about bookmark creation. It is one of the options from the radial menu that comes up from clicking on your ship (might be in the radials for other items in the overview , I haven't checked) I find this easier than going through people and places, but that is just me. I will be forwarding this onto my corp mates as we are looking to start our collective eve experience in a C4 in the not so distant future.

  2. I guess its a different attitude... Our Alliance generally demands CovOps for every toon, alt or main. The ability to warp cloaked is just too important.

  3. @splatus; Agreed about the different attitude.

    However, the foo corps are aimed at a newer pilot and alts. My mains have covops ability; as well as many alts. Some via the astero, others have frigate 5.

    However, there are times you will have a choice: Alt with prototype cloak, or no alt.

    We take more pilots with fewer skills. Other corps take less pilots with more skills.

    As a choice; if you needed it. Given a choice of no backup pilot, or a pilot with covops; what would you take?


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