Monday, March 23, 2015

Explorer hunting!

I decided to go back to lowsec. This decision had nothing at all to do with my humiliating highsec experience. I just don’t like highsec now. Alright?

I decided to pick on someone my own size and hunt some explorers! This called for an Astero:

[Astero, Explorer Hunter 1]

Damage Control II
Small Ancillary Armor Repairer, Nanite Repair Paste
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Drone Damage Amplifier II

1MN Afterburner II
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
Fleeting Propulsion Inhibitor I
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
Small Nosferatu II

Small Anti-Explosive Pump I
Small Auxiliary Nano Pump I
Small Nanobot Accelerator I

Acolyte II x5

You can swap the nosferatu for a probe launcher if you have good enough scanning skills (Zappity doesn’t) and don’t have a scanning alt (Zappity does). I have shown a double web fit here but you should always carry around an extra scram with your mobile depot so you can switch if you suspect your target is stabbed.

The first Relic site I found was in Osaa, a lowsec system in The Forge. Zappity warped in, set up a bookmark near one of the cans, and loitered with intent. Surely it wouldn’t take long for an unsuspecting victim to appear, all ready to be killed.

Actually, it didn’t take long at all. The first to appear was an Astero. Based on the killboard I suspected that this player was unlikely to be packing a warp core stabilizer. In fact, I was highly suspicious. And then I somehow managed to decloak myself and the Astero scarpered. I decided to continue loitering, even though the game was evidently blown with this particular capsuleer. Just a few minutes later, however, a Buzzard appeared. I inspected his record closely and soon noted that the Astero pilot was an associate on Battleclinic. So that’s the game, is it? We’ll see about that.

When assessing the site from a defensive viewpoint I decided that my perch was no good. First, the Astero had seen where I had earlier warped in. Second, there were no celestials to warp to away from the site. I would have to align back through the site - troublesome because of debris but also because the Astero would likely be between me and the sun. Not good for an escape. So I made my way painstakingly around to the opposite side of the site and patiently waited for the Buzzard to approach the relevant can.

It took him ages. He was evidently rubbish at this. Or MAYBE he was not in a proper exploration fit but rather packing a tank as bricky as one can possibly make a Buzzard, loaded up with plates and scrams and webs and all sorts of nasty goodies.

He finally made his way to the last can. I gave him a minute to settle in then hit ‘keep at range’, decloaked, and targeted. By the time I had set my drones on him the Astero had unsurprisingly also decloaked and was approaching fast. The Buzzard died much faster than I expected, my earlier charitable assessment of poor hacking performance due to an unoptimised fit apparently unwarranted. I transferred the scram and both webs to the Astero who was now on top of me and biting into my armour. The double webs did the job and I didn’t even need to overheat the burner to escape. Ha!

When reviewing the video I decided that I should have killed the Astero as well. But frigate fights are so quick that it is hard to chew through two ships, one of which is similar to your own. Still, it would have been worth a shot. Anyway, out of curiosity I checked the Buzzard fit and saw that it was a proper exploration fit, Sisters expanded probe launcher and all:


Very odd. But very, very satisfying to get away with it right under his nose. I wish I had at least blown up the wreck to teach him a lesson.


My next victim was very straightforward. He just sat there in the site while I scanned it down and warped in:



I asked if he was new and gave him the Lecture. He gave me a 40m isk bounty! He was only a month old and this was his first trip to lowsec. He was not very friendly but I thanked him for the bounty anyway. I cannot seem to keep a decent bounty so every little bit helps.


  1. I use a stealth bomber for hunting explorers since it has 0 delay in targeting when decloaking. I set up a bookmark 200km away from the site and use that as my perch. Makes it easy to warp to any can in the site. I usually kill my prey in 1 or 2 volleys.