“Why did I do that?” – exploration fumbles due to stupidity
I hate being stupid, but sometimes there’s just no helping it.
There I was, happily probing system after system, on the hunt for a gravimetric site. Exploring is to mining what mining is to… other things. You drop a probe, you click analyze and then you, basically, wait. Doing this whilst my corp mates are not logged on makes it a very dull experience indeed.
After a few systems I did strike gold, or atleast some kind of ore. A gravimetric site found, the hunt was on.
I’m going to try and explain the basics of exploration here. Please note that I’m by no means an expert, and if the subject interests you, you ought to check out the guide on exploration found on the EVE-online forums. Really.
- Drop one multispectral probe in the system. Click scan and wait.
- If probe doesn’t find anything, move on and begin from step 1. If probe finds a signature that you want to find, move along.
- Drop a quest probe of the right kind (in my case gravimetric) so that you cover every planet in the system. This is a bit of a mini-game; you can’t drop a probe within the range of another probe, but you still want as good coverage over the planets as possible. And when planets (as the ones close to the system’s star tend to be) are close to each other, this creates a conundrum. Solve that puzzle, and scan, using all quest probes at the same time.
- Repeat scanning using all quest probes until you find the site.
- Once you find the site you get a result that is so and so accurate. Could be 0.6 AU from the site, it could be 1.8AU from the site proper. Warp to the result given to you.
- Chose probe size depending on the accuracy from former result. If the result is <0.5AU accurate, use a sift probe. If it’s 0.5AU-1.0AU you use a comb probe. Between 1.0 and 2.0 you use a pursuit probe.
- Drop proper probe and begin scanning. Repeat until new result, that’s hopefully more accurate than the last one. Warp to that result, choose proper probe.
- Repeat ad nauseum or until you get to the site.
Now, I screwed up. In my defense I’d like to point out that I was doing the dishes and DT was approaching, so I was a bit distracted. But what I did was, that instead of launching a probe with better accuracy in step 5 as I should have done, I used a quest probe, again. Meaning that when I got the next result, the deviation happened to be bigger than the result I had gotten before. This was when distraction gave way to stupidity, because I happily warped towards this new result, without wondering how suddenly I had a result with a 1.9UA deviation, when the last one had been accurate within 0.8AU.
Somewhere mid-warp it hit me. Weeeeeell shit.
DT quickly approaching I deployed a pursuit probe and tried to scan down the site. And again. And again. No luck and DT swallowed me up. I did manage to, this time, bookmark the location of this new, albeit suckier, result, and also noted which planet it was close by.
After DT I made sure that the Gravimetric site was still around (exploration sites come and go, so even if you can’t find a site in system X today, you might be able to tomorrow. Don’t know if there’s a system to this though). Multispectral analysis says yes. Figuring I’ll play it safe, or some like that, I place myself at the planet and fire up a quest probe. It’s one of the outer planets, so there’s no risk of the original results having been close to any of the other planets, the closest one being some 15 AU away, and any probe at that planet would’ve been unable to pick up the signal all the way to here.
Basically, I’m scanning as I type, meaning I’ve got time to type. Each scan for me takes over 6 minutes. That sucks. Improving the skill Signal Acquisition cuts that time down by 10% per level. The skill Astrometric Triangulation improves the strength of the probes (or some such), making it more likely to get a result at all. Finally the skill Astrometric Pinpointing cuts down the deviation of any results given.
Now, according to the guide the skill Signal Acquisition is must-have. But I’m thinking… whilst Signal Acquisition can shorten the scantime, the other skills can actually allow for skipping one or several scan cycles altogether. Instead of going from quest to pursuit to comb to sift, I could go straight from quest to sift. And instead of scanning 4-5 times without any result at all, maybe I can get a result on the 2nd try, or maybe even, dare I say it, the 1st?
But this is really just a thought experiment as things are now. I’ve got my skillplan and I’m sticking to it. The Obelisk will be mine.
I’ve decided that quest probes are for wusses and have warped to the result I bookmarked before DT, hoping to get some joy out of a pursuit probe instead. The last result I got was some 1.9AU accurate. A pursuit probe has a range of 2AU, and double the sensor strength than a quest probe, thus increasing my chances of a result. Or so one would think.
Paranoia is getting to me, growing stronger with each failed scan cycle. Did I screw up somewhere along the line? Do I need to place down quest probes all over the planets again, see if I can find the site again that way? Did the site I found vanish during DT, and another gravimetric site take its place, somewhere else in the system?
Of course, no sooner do I type that before I get this:
Warping to that result I arm my probe launcher with sift probes. 1 AU is almost 150 million kilometres, so 3 million kilometres is almost right on top of the signature, relatively speaking. And the sift probe has the strongest scanning strenght, meaning that it should only take one scan cycle to give me this:
Now all that’s left for me to do is to warp over to the grav site, behold the glory, and make sure to bookmark it. Next up, wait for corp mates to get on so we can share the spoils 🙂
And still no EON #13 in the mail. I’m starting to fear they’ve forgotten about me 😦
Currently training: Gallente Industrial V (10 days 6 hours remaining)
Update: well, RL interfered, and it took me some 5h before I could get online again. Collected some omber mining crystals, recruited a corp mate, and off we went. Of course, by now someone else had also found the grav site, so it turned into a bit of competition to get as much of the ore as possible. Oh well.