Moving on from a Heron

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Dinah Arsten

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Post 2019.11.27 11:29

Moving on from a Heron

Hi Folks,

I've been enjoying some lowsec exploration from HSC in a Heron. There's a nice loop from Agoze I've had some good success in, and I think it's giving me good D-scan and lowsec operations learning too. I've also recently combined this with finding lost T2 drones.

A Heron with Expanded Probe Launcher works OK, but I'm wondering what would be a good ship to train towards or purchase next, particularly if I want to look into some wormholes? Is an Astero the default choice, or are there other ships that people would recommend that can also handle the data/relic sites with rats?

Thanks,

-Dinah
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Troven Smalvard

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Post 2019.11.27 12:16

Re: Moving on from a Heron

Astero won’t handle the data relic sites with rats (unless you kite them off and then do the hack while they boat back - but honestly this is such a time sink and the non rat sites will make you so much more per hour if your still at early frig stage. Plus all the time visible makes it lore likely you’ll get hunted down)

Assuming you are omega account getting the covops cloak of the astero or T2 explo frigs is def a great next step especially if you are diving wormholes (and they will be so much more Isk than hi sec sites) so you can move around cloaked and gives much greater safety and options for escape :)

Sounds like you are practising the skills you need like dscan awareness. :thumbs up:

If you like the expanded capability to get drones as well, I’d recommend the Helios as much more generous ability for fitting room require there (but all the T2 explo’s can make it work with some compromise)

Make sure you are levelling your probe scanning skills along the way acquisition/resolution/(and the time one I forget the name) as this will really help you speed up doing a full system scan and will be able to 2 shot most sigs once it’s up nice and high and practise.


If you like the astero they are a great hunter of other explorers if that’s your thing, let them do the hacking then blow them up and grab the loot !!! :D
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Anidien Dallacort

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Post 2019.11.27 13:21

Re: Moving on from a Heron

I second the Helios comment, I love that ship. The problem with Astero is the price tag. My fully T2 fit Helios ran around 50M - that doesn’t cover the hull of the Astero. Astero certainly has way more drone combat capability, if you have less than peaceful intentions at times, so I’m not disparaging the Astero as a valid boat to get into.
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Danny Algaert

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Post 2019.11.27 13:32

Re: Moving on from a Heron

Take all of this with a grain of salt as I've only been playing about 4 months, although the majority of that time has been spent exploring.

For me the Astero was the clear next step up from my t1 exploration frigate. It's way more expensive but I found the +5 virus strength allows you to fail almost no cans, paying itself off in a couple days to a week. It definitely stung when I lost my first 2 Astero's fairly on but the number of cans I'd hacked with 10 or less coherence left easily paid for them.

In my opinion the Astero is a lot safer than a t1 for 2 reasons. The covert ops cloak, letting you warp cloaked, is an incredibly useful module. Secondly, and perhaps a bit overlooked from a safety point of view is the +5 virus strength lets you pay a lot less attention to the hacking mini game and a lot more attention to dscan and your overview.

You'll be putting a bit of a target on yourself to some players since its a shinier kill mail while at the same time discouraging some lone Astero ganks. The Astero also gives you option to gank other explorers solo or land initial tackle and survive if you have fleetmates nearby although that may not be of interest to you.

I'm only now training into covert ops frigates. I didn't yet have the racial frigate or other skill to 5 so that alone is about 13 days train. Importantly, unlike the t1 frigates where the scan strength bonus is tied to the racial frigate skill, and unlike the Astero where the scan strength bonus is a role bonus tied to the hull itself the covert ops frigates have the scan strength bonus tied to the covert ops skill meaning you'll have almost as much scan strength at 3, and just a bit more at 4 which will add another few days to the train.

I've only decided to train this now that I've moved to WHC and I'd like something cheaper than an Astero that can fit a covops cloak for vision in hostile space, and something that can fit an expanded probe launcher. My plan is for my Astero to continue being my default due to it's versatility after a quick refit. To this end I carry a mobile depot and small standard container of refits for when I'm far from a station.
I'm considering a Stratios in the longer term to open up more options of "things I can tackle in my scanning ship and probably not die", although I wouldn't want to fly one until I have more SP/isk under my belt.

One thing to note, you mentioned scanning down drones. To do this in an Astero going to need good fitting skills and sacrifices to your tank if you still want to fit an expanded probe launcher. The covops frigates may be a better choice for you if you want to be able to combat probe.

I hear a lot of people in null swear by doing their exploration in an interdiction sphere (bubble) immune interceptor however this would require t2 analyzers to get good isk. In wormhole space, where there's no local, cloak is far more valuable and for low sec exploration there's no bubbles anyway.

There's a few different types of data and relic sites with rats, I have no experience with Ghost Sites or Sleeper Caches. From what I understand the latter are quite hard combat wise. The Sleeper Data and relic sites in wormholes are primarily combat sites. These are slightly more challenging than the actual combat sites in these holes. The actual hacks themselves have all been incredibly easy in the sites I've been able to clear with a friend. In any site we've been able to clear the hacks themselves are incredibly easy, I expect to allow them to be done by a combat ship after a refit at a mobile depot. However the loot from these has all been nearly worthless, with 100k isk being the "better" cans we've seen.

So far as the options that a covops cloak opens up: I just want to mention how much fun I've been having since joining WHC 3 or 4 days ago. I had really enjoyed scanning/hacking alongside a friend I made in HSC and WHC campus has been a great progression along those lines. The isk has been great so far, it feels great collaborating on scanning/mapping and there's been decent PvP availability without having to go on an explicit roam - just a couple jumps home and a reship when something seems to be happening. There's been a few terrifying moments, I decided to make my own way to WHC via bookmarks while nobody was available and got caught in a bubble in my way and today I jumped into a hole rolling operation with support ships and one of them managed to decloak me. But if this sounds fun I you should apply once you meet the WHC requirements.

Sorry this got a bit long, tldr Astero great ship.
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Zoltan Irvam

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Post 2019.12.06 16:31

Re: Moving on from a Heron

Hi,

for your peaceful pursuits I would recommend the Helios - Astero and Expanded Probe Launcher don't really go together... and of course the price tag is a bit less shocking.

In my opinion the Astero is only interesting if you are interested in a little gank from time to time...

Zoltan

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