Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Eve Master Class - Probe Strength

Pre-Apocrypha, the most crucial thing about improving probing skills was to decrease your scan time. Starting at 600 seconds and working your way down from there, aiming at around one minute for the best abilities/modules/implants.

Now, duration is a joke to worry about and its all about scan strength, baby. Since you can't tell if you are chasing a magometric, gravimetric, or unknown site until you get a hit with strength of 25% or more, finding your way out of wormhole space with its plethora of cosmic signiatures can be problematic if your skills require you to hone down to the closests ranges to get the information.

This post is to introduce you to the scan probe relative strengths and the methods (and their relative effectiveness) to increase them.

Base Stats

The first thing to understand is why Deep Space Probes are your friend. In Figure 1 we see the base stats of the standard probes.

Figure 1 - Base probe stats.

As you can see, the Core probes get the highest strength and lowest deviation but you need to get to 0.25 AU to accomplish this. At 0.5 AU the Combat and Core probes are the same except the Core probes cannot detect ships (so I've heard, I've not confirmed this mechanic). But notice how the Deep Space Probe has the same strength but at a range four times longer?

What essentially that means is that you can cover larger areas of space with Deep Space Probes when searching for a particular item like a wormhole or enemy ship. Although the deviation is significantly worse, it should allow you to get about 25% on many targets to determine if you want to continue to narrow down the hit by switching to Core or Combat probes, or just ignore it and move on to the next hit.

For finding exits in wormhole space, I've taken to covering the centre of the solar system where the majority of signatures are found with overlapping Deep Space probes set to 4AU range; this quickly gives me multiple hits over 25% strength and often the Unknown I'm looking for.

Increasing Strength

Derranna has trained in probing and I've invested in multiple items to assist in her abilities. First look at Figure 2 to see the adjusted scan probe stats when she is using them.

Figure 2 - This is what training, faction launcher, rigs, and implants will get you.

As you can see, the strengths have jumped by over 100%. How did she accomplish that?

First off, using a Covert Ops frigate is essential, with each level giving a 10% increase in scan strength. Secondly the Astrometrics Triangulation skill is also extremely important as it also gives a 10% increase in scan strength. Train both of these to level V and you have immediately more than doubled the strength of your probes.

Next you can fit Gravtity Capacitor Upgrade rigs to your Covert Ops frigs. The tech 1 version gives a 10% bonus per rig while the tech II gives a 15% bonus.

For a 5% bonus, the Sisters probe launchers can be used. Its not much of a jump but every bit counts.

If you have a little ISK to burn, consider investing in a Poteque Pharmaceuticals 'Prospector' PPH-0/1/2 implant (slot 8) for a 2%/6%/10% increase to scan strength of probes depending on the version you use. Derranna has the PPH-1 for the 6% increase.

If you have a lot of ISK to burn, you might consider the Virtue implants that give varied amounts of scan strength bonuses depending on whether you have the set or the Virtue Omega, but they were too rich for my blood.

So Derranna, starting at a base of 40 for the Core Probe has:
Covert Ops V = 50%
Astro Triangulation IV = 40%
2 x Grav Cap Upgrade rigs = 20%
PPH-1 implant = 6%
Sisters Launcher = 5%

Which when all multiplied together gives: 112.1904 or 113 rounding up.

My combat character is not as prepared for probing, although he does have a fancy implant.
Covert Ops IV = 40%
Astro Triangulation IV = 40%
1 x Grav Cap Upgrade rigs = 10%
PPH-2 implant = 10%
Sisters Launcher = 5%

Which gives 99.6072 or 100 rounding up, still not too shabby but he can't use the Deep Space Probes because he doesn't have Astrometrics V yet. Note: if he was using a non-Covert Ops ship with no rigs, his strength drops to 65.

So the lesson of the story is this: Use a Covert Ops frigate and get the skills to IV if not V because that is where you get the most bang for your buck. Get Astrometrics V so you can use Deep Space Probes to narrow down desirable targets. Then consider the implants, rigs, and faction module. If you follow these instructions, your probing will be faster and easier.

UPDATE: Latest patch completely nerfed the base strength of Deep Space Probes from 20 to 5! A huge hit and means that Deep Space probes are identical strength as Combat and Core probes at equivalent ranges which means their only advantage over Core probes is at ranges higher than 32 AU, and over combat probes its ranges over 64 AU. In other words, useless in 90% of the cases. Sigh.


  1. You should also consider picking up some Sister's scan probes. The core ones have (IIRC) 10% additional scan strength (44 versus 40) over the normal variety.

  2. Dangit, I knew I forgot something in this post.

  3. This was a much needed post. Thanks for this. :) Especially the bit about the deep space probes.

  4. Excellent. Thank you very much for that. One of the single most useful threads/comments etc on the new probing system I've found

  5. Great Post! I'm currently working on skills for using the analyzer and hacking modules until I had a better idea of the skills and equipment now involved in probing. This has definitly answered all my questions.

  6. You mister, are the man! Thanks for this explanation.

  7. Anonymous3:21 pm

    You SIR ROCK! That is all.

  8. Update: Latest patch has nerfed Deep Space Probes from 20 to 5 base sensor strength! OUCH!