Combat Probing 101

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This is a syllabus for a class, intended primarily for the teaching staff.

Teachers should review all information for accuracy before preparing or presenting a class.
This syllabus should only be used as a guide -- ensure there is added value for students rather than simply reading this document.


Class Information

This is a syllabus for a class provided by EVE University. This section contains information about this class and its contents. General Information includes materials to create a proper class listing on the EVE University forum. Additional resources and teaching tips are listed under Notes for the Teacher.

General Information

Illustration link for class description on the Eve University forum:

This class teaches the basic concepts of using combat probes to find ships in space, warp to those ships and provide warp-ins for fleets. the class covers the following topics;

  • Duration: 2-3 hours (depends on speed of Practical)
    • 20min Lecture
    • 1.5 - 2 hour practical
  • Location: In space (ideally a quiet system with few other in-space signatures, e.g. Jondik)

Class contents:

  • Equipment
  • Ships
  • Tactical warpins
  • Punting
  • System Surveillance
  • Q&A

Student requirements:

  • Mumble registration and access - make sure you have Mumble sorted out and operational well before the class begins. Use this guide for set-up
  • Access to the Class.E-UNI in-game chat channel
  • Students must understand the basic concept of probing mechanics, i.e. complete the probing tutorials
  • Equipment
    • A T1 probing frigate
    • An Expanded Probe Launcher
    • Combat Scanner Probes
  • Essential Skills (all practical can be done with these skills)
    • Racial Frigate II
    • Astrometrics II (minimum to fit expanded probe launcher)
  • Recommended (will allow you to easily complete all practicals)
    • Racial Frigate L IV
    • Astrometrics L IV (pre-requisite for the following)
    • Astrometric Pinpointing L III
    • Astrometric Range finding L III
  • Pre-Class Reading

Additional information: This class is primarily a set of practical exercises practical exercises intersepced by lecture

Notes for the Teacher

Required materials:

  • Class.E-UNI chat channel, to receive questions and post relevant links
  • Class requires Two teachers
  • Teachers should use ships easy ships to scan (large sig radius, low sensor strength)
  • Teachers must set up appropriate bookmarks in system prior to class

Any particular notes or tips about how to deliver the class go here.

  • The maths has been deliberately left out of the class, and is not really necessary to understand probing.
  • Be available prior to the class to get people ships and equipment from hangars
  • Expect some people to turn up without suitable ships
  • From experience there will be some students who will just not get it. Keep an eye on the clock and move on if you have to, just be prepared to give some extra help after the class.
  • There are short lecture topics interspersed throughout the Practical. The idea is to drip feed some of the more complex topics. Teachers may of course alter order in which topics are introduced.

Class Contents

Presentation Material:

Lecture (approx 20 mins)


  • Introduce teachers
  • Emphasise this is basic class, it will not cover everything in depth
  • Class Breakdown
    • What is Combat Probing
    • Equipment
    • Ships
    • Skills
    • What is a warpin
    • On-grid Warping
    • Finding ships at safe spots
    • Punting
    • System Surveillance

We have a few ground rules for this class:

  • Please put your Mumble settings on "Push to Talk" if you have not already done so.
  • Feel free to type any questions in the Class.E-UNI chat channel as we proceed - I will try to answer your questions as they come during the class. [At the end of my lecture, we'll open Mumble for any further questions or general discussion.]
  • You should be [docked up safely in a station, or located....]

Everyone ready? OK, then - let's begin....

What is Combat Probing

  • Basic mechanic is like exploration use combat probes to identify ships in space and to allow you or others to warp directly to a ship
  • Directly support PvP action, gather Intel
    • Good News: Ships are often easier to scan down than exploration sites
    • Bad News: They move
  • Two parameters
    • Signal strength, need to get to 100% to warp to target
    • Deviation, precision of the scan result (main factor in how speed of narrow down)
    • Both factors effected by:
      • Scan strength of probes (You want it high)
      • Probe arrangement (Cross shape is good, don’t go into details)
      • Your skills
      • target ship (ratio of sig radius and sensor strength
        • it is no longer possible to be completely unscannable as CCP fixed that a while ago
  • Who uses combat probing
    • Ninja Salvagers
    • scouts
    • pirates
  • For warp-ins Scanning is only half the battle
    • Primary objective is to get tacklers within range.
    • Secondary objective to give suitable position for fleet optimal
    • Don't die!


  • Combat Scanner Probes
    • Not core probes!
    • Combat Scanner Probe I
    • Sisters Combat Scanner Probes
      • 10% Bonus to scan strength
  • Expanded Probe Launcher
    • Not a core probe launcher!
    • Expanded Probe Launcher I
    • Sisters Expanded Probe Launcher
      • 10% Bonus to scan strength



  • T1 Probing ships
    • Magnate (Amarr), Heron (Caldari), Imicus (Gallente), Probe (Minmatar)
    • 7.5% bonus per frigate level to scan strength
    • No covops cloak so limited value, other than practice.
  • T2 Covops frigates
    • Anathema (Amarr), Buzzard (Caldari), Helios (Gallente), Cheetah (Minmatar)
    • 10% bonus per covops level to scan strength
    • can fit covops cloak
  • T3 Strategic cruisers
    • Legion (Amarr), Tengu (Caldari), Proteus (Gallente), Loki (Minmatar)
    • 99% reduction in Scan Probe Launcher CPU requirements
    • Covert Reconfiguration subsystem
      • 10% bonus to scan strength per subsytem level
      • can fit covops cloak
  • Force Recon
    • No probing bonus, but can fit covops cloak

Misc Equipment


  • Gravity Capacitor Upgrade
    • Tech I: +10% Bonus to Scan Strength
    • Tech II: +15% Bonus to Scan Strength
  • Signal Focusing Kit
    • Tech I: -15% Scan Speed Bonus (-10% drawback to shields)
    • Tech II: -20% Scan Speed Bonus (-10% drawback to shields)

Mid Slot

  • Scan Acquisition Array
    • Tech I: -10% Bonus to Scan Duration
    • Tech II: -20% Bonus to Scan Duration
  • Scan Pinpointing Array
    • Tech I: -10% Maximum Scan Deviation Modifier
    • Tech II: -20% Maximum Scan Deviation Modifier
  • Scan Rangefinding Array
    • Tech I: +5% Scan Strength Bonus
    • Tech II: +10% Scan Strength Bonus


  • Beyond class, so mention them, but don't go into details

Practical (1.5 - 2 hours)

[Everyone should be in practical system, a planet is good]

Warping to a Ship (Where you know exactly what and where the target is)

P1.1 Tactical Warp Demo

  • Have a target BS (assistant) > 150km
  • Ask fleet to warp to target (they can’t), not fleeted
  • Drop probes
  • Set to min 0.5AU and arrange in cross pattern - Slide 7
    • Note need at least 4 probes
  • warp to target

P1.2 Tactical warp Practice

  • Everyone drop 4 probes
  • Set to min 0.5AU and arrange in cross pattern (link picture)
  • Remind to hold shift to adjust all probes at once
  • click scan!
  • Warp to BS
  • Repeat with BS at new BM just off grid

Filters & Ignore results

  • Our probes are detecting our own fleet & signatures, anomalies structures etc...
  • Set up ships filter (the following are examples)
    • Ships only
    • Ships & drones
    • Caps Only
    • POS
  • Ignore Fleet

What is a Warpin?

  • Most ships won’t carry probes, so they have to warp to a fleet member
  • Primary objective is to get tacklers within range (20km)
  • Secondary objective let fleet get in range at optimal
  • Perfect position would be approx 10-20km behind target
    • So you need to know where your fleet is coming from
    • Usually speed is more important than position! (so long as tacklers are in range, it is good enough)
    • If using interdictors it is preferable (but not essential) for scout to be outside interdictor's bubble when it arrives on grid!

P2.1 Tactical Warp in Demo

  • Use probes get behind target
  • Have fleet members warp to me at range (i.e warp to optimal + 10km for Damage Dealers, for tacklers warp to target + 10km)
    • Range specified by scout is the distance the scout is past the target when drawing a line from scout to fleet (passing through enemy target)
    • Don't warp to scout at 0 as you will cause them to decloak (scouts are in fragile ships and can be killed quickly when seen and targeted by enemies)

P2.2 Tactical Warp in Practice

  • Pair up members (Just go through fleet list and pair people up)
    • Get them to convo each other and communicate in that chat channel
  • Have one partner probe and position themselves behind target
  • Other partner warp in and tackle
  • Swap and repeat
  • Follow up, success, failures, questions
  • Emphasise the importance of Bookmarks

P2.3 Off grid practice (snipers at a gate)

  • Move everyone to a planet
  • Two BSes (teacher and assistant) at gate (orbiting at about 100km)
  • One partner provide warp in for other to tackle
  • Swap
  • Follow up, success, failures, questions
  • Instruct to recall probes

Finding a Target in Deep Space

  • Finding a target when you don’t know where they are is hard!
    • Huge number of targets in Highsec & lowsec systems (get everyone to try)
    • Not as bad in nullsec or WH, but can still be a problem.
    • Probes can be seen on D-scan!
      • Very difficult to catch a ship that is defensive
  • Two techniques can help
    • Catch the sigID
    • Hiding probes
    • Using D-Scan

Using Signature ID

  • SigID is a unique number for every object in each system
    • Reset at down-time
    • Reset when a ship is repackaged
  • A ship can dock, and it will still have the same sigID when it undocks.
  • SigIDs are different in different systems

P3.1 Guided Practical

  • Warp fleet to observation position at station
  • Get fleet to drop 5 probes and focus around station
  • BS (assistant) docks and undocks
  • Everyone click scan, Note SigID of ship
  • BS warp off to safe spot
  • Instruct to scan down as if exploration site
    • For those that struggle, provide further advice and tips on scanning as everyone else scans down
    • Everyone warp back to station & recall probes (assistant dock up & change ship name)

Big Problem! How long were the probes visible? (too long)

Hiding Probes

  • Need to keep probes outside D-scan range for as long as possible
  • Probes only move when you click scan!
  • D-scan range is 14.3 AU
    • If you can drop probes more than 14AU from a celestial
  • Immediately move probes above or below system plane

P4.1 Guided Practical Hiding Probes

(Teacher demo each step then ask class to do it)

Drop probes and move them above plane (drop the probes on grid, just say in reality it would be at SS)

  • Arrange probes around target (DON’T CLICK SCAN)
  • click scan, bookmark, warp to target, recall probes (get class to spam D-scan, how long were probes visible)
    • Unless in a huge rush scouts should always do this!
    • Particularly effective in WHs
    • Can be used in conjunction with D-scan
    • Watch out though, once probes are recalled, you can’t repeat scan

P5.1 D-scan Demo

  • BS (Assistant) undock and warp to SS in D-scan range
  • Drop & hide probes
  • Locate direction and range on D-scan (handy to do this on the system map)
  • Arrange probes 1-2AU range around target
  • move into a good position
  • Scan (and hope you were good enough to get in one cycle)
  • warp to target, and then instruct fleet to warp to you.

P5.2 D-scan Practice

Warning this is usually chaos! (but it is important)

  • Get them to hide probes, find target using D-scan, and warp themselves in.
  • Set a challenge to get 100% with the very first scan

Let everyone know that this is difficult and take skill. But is very powerful!

System Surveillance

  • Combat probes have a range of up to 67AU, D-scan has range of 14AU
  • Combat probes can be placed outside of D-scan range!
    • Won’t get a warp in
    • But can ID new ships
  • Technique is very common in WHs


  • Punting is where you as the SC squad warps tacklers directly to a target,
  • Prober does not warp to target
  • Fleet warps to tacklers once they arrive
    • Much faster!
    • Very effective when used in conjunction with skirmish inties
  • Very quick demo, set up as per practical 1.1
  • punt the fleet to the target, cancel own warp (Cancel Warp Hotkey: Control Space)

P6.1 Surveillance Practical

  • Everyone drop probes
  • Move them above celestial plane, set range 64 AU
  • Ignore all signatures
  • Continuously scan, watch ships entering, leaving and moving in system
    • Very useful for WH systems


  • Taught the basic concepts and techniques to Combat scanning
  • There are strategies for dealing with particular ships, relative positions and techniques optimised for finding mission or explo runners. Not enough time!
  • Practice & Preparation pays off
  • Practice probing (get the feel for your deviation for your skills and fit etc...)
    • miners, mission runners, space junk
    • Bookmarks, Bookmarks, Bookmarks
  • Q/A

Depending on time offer misc practice

Edit 12.01.2012:

  • Equipment:
    • Sisters Deep Space Scanner Probe
      • Faster Warp Speed. Probes will stay on D-scan for a shorter amount of time
  • Skills:
    • Astrometric Acquisition (rank 5) 5: 10% reduction in scan time per level
      • Probes will stay on D-scan for a shorter amount of time
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