Guide to combat sites

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Exploration

Skills
Scanning
Hacking
Wormholes

Site types

Combat sites
Wormhole attributes Relic and data sites
Ghost sites
Ice belts
Ore sites
Gas sites

Guides

Probing In Simple Steps
Hacking guide
Guide to combat sites

Exploration can be one of the most profitable and rewarding activities to perform space. While many players know relic and data sites to be very profitable in especially null security space, combat sites are a good source of income even in high security space and even more profitable in low and null security space.

Combat sites are pockets in space filled with rats to shoot at. This guide focuses on Combat anomalies, cosmic signatures (unrated and DED rated) that are found in normal space. These sites normally contain faction named rats or structures that may contain faction or deadspace modules, faction blueprints and faction implants worth dozens or hundreds of millions of ISK.

Contents

Advantages:

  • You can start making a significant amount of ISK with only basic scanning skills and a good frigate, and more with adestroyer or a cruiser.
  • There is no need to grind standing up for agents.
  • It can be more exciting to scan things down and do them rather than repeating the same missions over and over again.
  • There is a chance of a faction spawn that might drop really good/expensive loot.

Disadvantages:

  • Drops can be very inconsistent. Most of the time you get nothing but any of the sites can drop several hundred million isk worth of loot at once.
  • You have competition - not a lot with the cosmic anomalies, but it gets worse on combat sites that have to be scanned down. In missions you get your own deadspace pocket (although you can be scanned down in it).
  • To be somewhat effective you should be a few jumps away from the Uni HQ, to reduce the competition from other Unistas, which will reduce your ability to quickly join up with PvP fleets if you want to.
  • After a while, the sites do tend to get repetitive, sometimes as much as missioning.

Getting Started

Combat sites all involve combat. Unrated and DED rated complexes also need to be scanned with probes while combat anomalies can be found with no additional equipment.

Skills

For combat you will want to train the skills for your weapon system of choice, tanking skills and general fitting skills.

For probe scanning you should look at training Astrometrics, Astrometric Rangefinding and Astrometric Pinpointing. Higher skill level will make scanning easier and faster but even at low levels you can scan down combat sites to run.

Be careful when operating near trade hubs in hi-sec space due to war targets. Clearing K-space anomalies and signatures should be treated in the same way as missioning. Read tips for surviving during war time for more information.

Ship and fit

Competition for these combat sites can be very high so the faster you can find them and run them the less chance of another player finding your site and completing it before you do. The problem most new players to exploration encounter is that they require two ships: one for scanning down the site with probes such as a T1 scanning frigate or a Covert Ops ship and a combat ship for running the sites, typically a cruiser.

This means that the pilot has to change ship when they find the site which loses valuable time in which other players can find the site and run it.

The easiest way to solve the problem is to find a wingmate (or more!) and form a fleet, with each player filling a different role: one player with a specialized scanning ship will scan for sites (and possibly run Data/Relic sites), while the other runs the combat sites the first one scanned down. Then you split the loot.

If you assemble a larger fleet, you can even try using smaller ships, like Cruisers and T1 Logistic cruisers in harder low security sites, lowering the ISK and skill requirements even more.

With higher skills and ISK investment you can jump into ships that are made to fill both roles at the same time, in particular the Sisters of Eve ships astero and stratios, Society of Conscious Though ships sunesis and gnosis. But with decent scanning skills even a hull with no scanning bonuses will be able to scan down combat sites without issues.

When doing anything in EVE you will need to use the right ship for the right job. While selecting the hull and fit you should remember the following:

  • Exploration involves traveling around in multiple systems. You will be usually on your own and need to have everything you need in your ship.
  • Probe launcher requires a high power slot. Some ships have so called "utility high" meaning they have more high slots taht weapon slots.
  • Usually aim for cap stability to make life easier. But if you pay attention while fighting 10 minutes of cap is usually enough.
  • Shields are often preferred over armor so the low slots can be used for damage enhancing modules.
  • Rats of different regions are different. Each deals different damage type, has different resist profile and uses different electronic warfare. You should at least select your hardeners to match the incoming damage.
    • Angel (Minmatar space) deal and are weak to explosive and kinetic damage. They use target target painters that are mostly harmless.
    • Serpentis (Gallente space) deal and are weak to kinetic and thermal. They use sensor dampeners that will drop your targeting range.
    • Blood raiders and Sansha (Amarr space) deal and are weak to electromagnetic and thermal. They use tracking disruptors that will hinder all turret users and neuts that will hinder ships with active tank.
    • Guristas (Caldari space) deal and are weak to kinetic and thermal. They use ECM that will annoy everyone.
    • Rogue drones (everywhere) deal various damage types, mostly kinetic, thermal and explosive. They are weak to electromagnetic and thermal damage.

The following sections detail some basic fits for combat sites. With better skills you can upgrade the modules to T2 and with better fitting skills you can use more cap hungy, more CPU intensive and more PG intensive modules.

Frigates


Frigates can enter all sites. With modest skill, a frigate should be able to complete some of the easiest combat sites. NPC frigates deal low damage and cruisers can't hit small targets too well. The largest danger for frigates are destroyers and they should be dealt as soon as possible.

Tristan is arguably the best frigate for the job. Using drones allows it to stay far and thus take very little damage. If drones aren't your thing you can use some of the other combat frigates but the probe launcher introduces fitting problems. All other T1 combat frigates must sacrifice one of their guns in order to fit a probe launcher resulting in 20%-33% damage reduction. Alternatively you must refit from scanning to combat every time you find a signature. The gun based frigates also need to close into firing range to apply damage but this also brings them into firing range of the rats so they will need to be able to tank the incoming damage.


Tristan - signature
Tristan: Tristan - signature
EFT
[Tristan, Tristan - signature]
Core Probe Launcher I, Core Scanner Probe I

1MN Monopropellant Enduring Afterburner
Small C5-L Emergency Shield Overload I
Upgraded Thermal Dissipation Amplifier I

AE-K Compact Drone Damage Amplifier
AE-K Compact Drone Damage Amplifier
AE-K Compact Drone Damage Amplifier

Small Capacitor Control Circuit I
Small Capacitor Control Circuit I
Small Capacitor Control Circuit I


Hobgoblin I x8

Core Scanner Probe I x17

Fitting template high slot label.png
17938_64.png
Icon hi slot.png
Icon hi slot.png
Fitting template mid slots label.png
6003_64.png
6437_64.png
9568_64.png
Fitting template low slots label.png
41034_64.png
41034_64.png
41034_64.png
Fitting template subsystem slots label.png
Fitting template drone slots label.png
2454_64.png
Icon dashed diamond.png
Icon dashed diamond.png
Icon dashed diamond.png
Icon dashed diamond.png
Fitting template drone slots label.png
Fitting template charge slots label.png
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Icon dashed triangle.png
Icon dashed triangle.png
Icon dashed triangle.png
Fitting template rig slots label.png
31370_64.png
31370_64.png
31370_64.png
FITTING DIFFICULTY
EVE VERSION
LATEST
ALPHA CAN USE
YES
EFT
FLEET-UP
SKILLS
NOTES
RECOMMENDED SKILLS
NOTES
  • Upgrade to T2 modules as you gain skills for them.
  • Aim for cap stability. If stable without all the capacitor modules swap a rig for more damage.
  • Switch amplifier to match incoming damage.
  • Switch drones to match weakness of target.
  • Carry extra drones in case you forget some in space or they die.
  • Use range to stay out of reach of the rats.
Merlin - signature
Merlin: Merlin - signature
EFT
[Merlin, Merlin - signature]
150mm Prototype Gauss Gun
150mm Prototype Gauss Gun
Core Probe Launcher I

1MN Monopropellant Enduring Afterburner
Small C5-L Emergency Shield Overload I
Upgraded Thermal Dissipation Amplifier I
Eutectic Compact Cap Recharger

Vortex Compact Magnetic Field Stabilizer
Vortex Compact Magnetic Field Stabilizer
Fourier Compact Tracking Enhancer

Small Capacitor Control Circuit I
Small Capacitor Control Circuit I
Small Hybrid Collision Accelerator I



Core Scanner Probe I x16
Antimatter Charge S x2000

Fitting template high slot label.png
7287_64.png
7287_64.png
17938_64.png
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6003_64.png
6437_64.png
9568_64.png
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11105_64.png
6325_64.png
Fitting template subsystem slots label.png
Fitting template drone slots label.png
Fitting template drone slots label.png
Fitting template charge slots label.png
30013_64.png
222_64.png
Icon dashed triangle.png
Icon dashed triangle.png
Icon dashed triangle.png
Fitting template rig slots label.png
31370_64.png
31370_64.png
31538_64.png
FITTING DIFFICULTY
EVE VERSION
LATEST
ALPHA CAN USE
YES
EFT
FLEET-UP
SKILLS
NOTES
RECOMMENDED SKILLS
NOTES
  • Upgrade to T2 modules as you gain skills for them.
  • Aim for cap stability. If stable without all the capacitor modules swap a rig for more damage.
  • Switch amplifier to match incoming damage.


If your combat skills are good but scanning is troubling you can also use the T1 scanning frigates for combat sites. Use drones for your damage and take advantage of your drone control range to stay out of harms way. They are quite similar to tristan but with lower damage output.


Probe - signature
Probe: Probe - signature
EFT
[Probe, Probe - signature]
Core Probe Launcher I, Sisters Core Scanner Probe

Upgraded Thermal Dissipation Amplifier I
Small Clarity Ward Booster I
1MN Monopropellant Enduring Afterburner
Upgraded Kinetic Deflection Amplifier I

AE-K Compact Drone Damage Amplifier
AE-K Compact Drone Damage Amplifier
AE-K Compact Drone Damage Amplifier

Small Capacitor Control Circuit I
Small Capacitor Control Circuit I
Small Capacitor Control Circuit I


Hobgoblin I x7

Sisters Core Scanner Probe x1

Fitting template high slot label.png
17938_64.png
Icon hi slot.png
Icon hi slot.png
Fitting template mid slots label.png
9568_64.png
6441_64.png
6003_64.png
9582_64.png
Fitting template low slots label.png
41034_64.png
41034_64.png
41034_64.png
Fitting template subsystem slots label.png
Fitting template drone slots label.png
2454_64.png
Icon dashed diamond.png
Icon dashed diamond.png
Icon dashed diamond.png
Icon dashed diamond.png
Fitting template drone slots label.png
Fitting template charge slots label.png
30488_64.png
Icon dashed triangle.png
Icon dashed triangle.png
Icon dashed triangle.png
Icon dashed triangle.png
Fitting template rig slots label.png
31370_64.png
31370_64.png
31370_64.png
FITTING DIFFICULTY
EVE VERSION
LATEST
ALPHA CAN USE
YES
EFT
FLEET-UP
SKILLS
NOTES
RECOMMENDED SKILLS
NOTES
  • * Use drone range to stay out of enemy range.
  • * Upgrade modules to T2 as skills allow.
  • * Aim for cap stability. If third cap rig is not neede swap it for anything you want to.
  • * If fitting room left fit any guns.


Destroyers


Destroyer can enter all cosmic anomalies, all unrated copmlexes and 2/10 DED complexes and above. While destroyer has much higher damage output than a frigate it is also slower and easier to hit. A destroyer is able to owerpower easier sites with superior firepower. As with frigates, cruisers will have trouble hitting a fast moving destroyer and other destroyers are the largest threat.


Thrasher - signature
Thrasher: Thrasher - signature
EFT
[Thrasher, Thrasher - signature]
200mm Light 'Scout' Autocannon I, EMP S
200mm Light 'Scout' Autocannon I, EMP S
200mm Light 'Scout' Autocannon I, EMP S
200mm Light 'Scout' Autocannon I, EMP S
200mm Light 'Scout' Autocannon I, EMP S
200mm Light 'Scout' Autocannon I, EMP S
200mm Light 'Scout' Autocannon I, EMP S
Core Probe Launcher I, Core Scanner Probe I

Small Shield Booster II
Thermal Dissipation Amplifier II
1MN Monopropellant Enduring Afterburner

Gyrostabilizer II
Tracking Enhancer II

Small Projectile Ambit Extension I
Small Projectile Collision Accelerator I
Small Semiconductor Memory Cell I



EMP S x7311
Core Scanner Probe I x1

Fitting template high slot label.png
8863_64.png
8863_64.png
8863_64.png
8863_64.png
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Icon dashed triangle.png
Fitting template rig slots label.png
31656_64.png
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31406_64.png
FITTING DIFFICULTY
EVE VERSION
LATEST
ALPHA CAN USE
YES
EFT
FLEET-UP
SKILLS
NOTES
RECOMMENDED SKILLS
NOTES
  • Downgrade modules from T2 to meta if needed
  • Switch amplifier to match incoming damage
  • Switch ammo to mach taraget weakness
  • Run shield booster when needed. Once most enemy ships are dead pulse it when needed
Algos - signature
Algos: Algos - signature
EFT
[Algos, Algos - signature]
Core Probe Launcher I
125mm Prototype Gauss Gun
125mm Prototype Gauss Gun
125mm Prototype Gauss Gun
125mm Prototype Gauss Gun
125mm Prototype Gauss Gun

1MN Monopropellant Enduring Afterburner
Thermal Dissipation Amplifier II
Small Shield Booster II

AE-K Compact Drone Damage Amplifier
Vortex Compact Magnetic Field Stabilizer
Fourier Compact Tracking Enhancer

Small Semiconductor Memory Cell I
Small Semiconductor Memory Cell I
Small Semiconductor Memory Cell I


Hobgoblin I x12

Core Scanner Probe I x16
Antimatter Charge S x1000

Fitting template high slot label.png
17938_64.png
10694_64.png
10694_64.png
10694_64.png
10694_64.png
10694_64.png
Fitting template mid slots label.png
6003_64.png
2539_64.png
400_64.png
Fitting template low slots label.png
41034_64.png
11105_64.png
6325_64.png
Fitting template subsystem slots label.png
Fitting template drone slots label.png
2454_64.png
Icon dashed diamond.png
Icon dashed diamond.png
Icon dashed diamond.png
Icon dashed diamond.png
Fitting template drone slots label.png
Fitting template charge slots label.png
30013_64.png
222_64.png
Icon dashed triangle.png
Icon dashed triangle.png
Icon dashed triangle.png
Fitting template rig slots label.png
31406_64.png
31406_64.png
31406_64.png
FITTING DIFFICULTY
EVE VERSION
LATEST
ALPHA CAN USE
YES
EFT
FLEET-UP
SKILLS
NOTES
RECOMMENDED SKILLS
NOTES
  • Switch between meta and T2 modules as your skills allow.
  • Run the shield booster when needed. After you have destroyed most rats you sholdn't need it constantly
  • Switch drones to match weakness of target.
  • Switch amplifier to match incoming damage.


Cruisers


Cruisers can enter all cosmic anomalies, lookouts and unrated complexes that are above lookout and 3/10 DED complexes and above. Cruisers enjoy high damage and good tank. They can run most high security sites they can enter without issues. Only the hardest DED site is tricky hard and the hardest unrated complex is very hard for a cruiser.

The fits here have T2 tank. While they do work with meta modules you should train the skills for T2 tank as soon as possible when you move to larger hulls. With the ship prices beginning to be in 30 million range the pilot should consider using sister core scanning probes instead of normala core scaning probes. A full set of 16 is still much cheaper than rest of the fit and they will help making scanning faster.

Vexor and its navy issue variant are perhaps the most popular T1 ship for PvE. There are numerous fits for them with shield tank, armor tank, oversized AB and more. they can use light, medium, heavy and sentry drones depending on how you like to fly it. When flying drone ship take advantage of your drone range and stay out of weapon range.

Turret based ships like rupture are flown very differently from drone ships. they often uses short range guns and needs to get close to apply damage. To survive in close combat they have considerably stronger tank. Hitting frigates requires some manual piloting to reduce angular velocity.


Oversized AB passive shield
Vexor Navy Issue: Oversized AB passive shield
EFT
[Vexor Navy Issue, Oversized AB passive shield]
Small Solace Scoped Remote Armor Repairer
Core Probe Launcher I, Core Scanner Probe I
280mm Prototype Siege Cannon, EMP S

100MN Y-S8 Compact Afterburner
Large Shield Extender II
Medium Cap Battery II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II

Damage Control II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Omnidirectional Tracking Enhancer II
Omnidirectional Tracking Enhancer II

Medium Core Defense Field Purger I
Medium Core Defense Field Purger I
Medium Core Defense Field Purger I


Hobgoblin II x5
Hammerhead II x5
Warden I x5

Core Scanner Probe I x1
EMP S x1

Fitting template high slot label.png
16439_64.png
17938_64.png
9417_64.png
Icon hi slot.png
Fitting template mid slots label.png
35657_64.png
3841_64.png
3496_64.png
2281_64.png
Fitting template low slots label.png
2048_64.png
4405_64.png
4405_64.png
4405_64.png
33824_64.png
33824_64.png
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Fitting template drone slots label.png
2456_64.png
2185_64.png
23559_64.png
Icon dashed diamond.png
Icon dashed diamond.png
Fitting template drone slots label.png
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30013_64.png
185_64.png
Icon dashed triangle.png
Icon dashed triangle.png
Icon dashed triangle.png
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31802_64.png
31802_64.png
31802_64.png
FITTING DIFFICULTY
EVE VERSION
LATEST
ALPHA CAN USE
NO
EFT
FLEET-UP
SKILLS
NOTES
RECOMMENDED SKILLS
NOTES
  • Use range to reduce incoming damage.
  • Carry extra drones ro replace lost and dead drones.
  • The gun is for drawing aggro, any gun works.
  • Switch drones to hit weakness.
  • Downgrade modules to meta if needed.
Oversized AB passive shield
Vexor: Oversized AB passive shield
EFT
[Vexor, Oversized AB passive shield]
Core Probe Launcher I, Core Scanner Probe I
280mm Prototype Siege Cannon, EMP S
Small Solace Scoped Remote Armor Repairer

Large Shield Extender II
100MN Y-S8 Compact Afterburner
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Medium Cap Battery II

Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Damage Control II
Omnidirectional Tracking Enhancer II

Medium Core Defense Field Purger I
Medium Core Defense Field Purger I
Medium Core Defense Field Purger I


Hobgoblin II x9
Hammerhead II x8

Core Scanner Probe I x1
EMP S x1
Sisters Core Scanner Probe x16

Fitting template high slot label.png
17938_64.png
9417_64.png
16439_64.png
Icon hi slot.png
Fitting template mid slots label.png
3841_64.png
35657_64.png
2281_64.png
3496_64.png
Fitting template low slots label.png
4405_64.png
4405_64.png
4405_64.png
2048_64.png
33824_64.png
Fitting template subsystem slots label.png
Fitting template drone slots label.png
2456_64.png
2185_64.png
Icon dashed diamond.png
Icon dashed diamond.png
Icon dashed diamond.png
Fitting template drone slots label.png
Fitting template charge slots label.png
30013_64.png
185_64.png
30488_64.png
Icon dashed triangle.png
Icon dashed triangle.png
Fitting template rig slots label.png
31802_64.png
31802_64.png
31802_64.png
FITTING DIFFICULTY
EVE VERSION
LATEST
ALPHA CAN USE
NO
EFT
FLEET-UP
SKILLS
NOTES
RECOMMENDED SKILLS
NOTES
  • Use range to reduce incoming damage.
  • Carry extra drones ro replace lost and dead drones.
  • The gun is for drawing aggro, any gun works.
  • Switch drones to hit weakness.
  • Downgrade modules to meta if needed.
Passive signature runner
Rupture: Passive signature runner
EFT
[Rupture, Passive signature runner]
Core Probe Launcher I, Sisters Core Scanner Probe
425mm Medium 'Scout' Autocannon I, EMP M
425mm Medium 'Scout' Autocannon I, EMP M
425mm Medium 'Scout' Autocannon I, EMP M
425mm Medium 'Scout' Autocannon I, EMP M

Kinetic Deflection Field II
Large Shield Extender II
Thermal Dissipation Field II
10MN Monopropellant Enduring Afterburner

Gyrostabilizer II
Gyrostabilizer II
Shield Power Relay II
Shield Power Relay II
Tracking Enhancer II

Medium Core Defense Field Purger I
Medium Core Defense Field Purger I
Medium Core Defense Field Purger I


Hobgoblin I x5

Sisters Core Scanner Probe x9
EMP M x1
Phased Plasma M x1000

Fitting template high slot label.png
17938_64.png
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1999_64.png
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Icon dashed triangle.png
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31802_64.png
31802_64.png
31802_64.png
FITTING DIFFICULTY
EVE VERSION
LATEST
ALPHA CAN USE
NO
EFT
FLEET-UP
SKILLS
NOTES
RECOMMENDED SKILLS
NOTES
  • Switch hardeners to match incoming damage.
  • Switch ammo to hit weakest resist
  • Use speed to mitigate damage from cruisers and larger.
  • Can run all high sec signatures up to vigil without issues. Even vigil is possible with skill and knowledge.


Battlecruiser

While battlecruiser can still enter all anomalies and same unrated complexes as cruisers it suffers from inability to enter 3/10 DED site that is commonly found in high security space. In general a battlecruiser is not a good choice for doing combat sites in high security space.

Battleships

Battleships are completely unusable in high security combat sites as the acceleration gates never allow a ship of this size pass.

Advanced hulls

Higher skills and money opens the option to upgrade to faction, T2 and T3 ships. The faction cruisers gila and stratios are popular ships for both high and low security combat sites. Of the T2 cruisers the heavy assault cruisers are best suited for combat site running. The T3 cruisers are perhaps the strongest ships in game.

Where to Explore?

When deciding when and where to explore you should consider the following questions to help guide your decision making process:

  • How far away do you want to travel?
    Traveling to more remote areas of space can have its advantages, there can be a lot less competition for sites, war targets are likely to be less of a concern and there will be less distractions. This has to be balanced out with the logistical costs, both in time and ISK, of being further away from a trade hub and your other in game activities.
  • What pirate rat type is there in the region of space you are considering?
    This both effects the type of loot that will be dropped by rats and the type of damage and ewar the rats deal. This can be very important as your combat ship may be unable to run the sites in the region. For example an active armour or shield tanked ship may struggle against Blood raiders energy neutralizers and EM thermal damage.
  • How many back pockets, dead-ends and systems without stations does the region have?
    These systems tend to have more signatures as they are less likely to be scanned down regularly so a region with a lot of these can be more fruitful than one with a high amount of interconnectivity and stations.
  • How busy is the region and how much competition is there for sites?
    You shouldn't rule out a region because it's very busy and there's much competition: Metropolis is a very busy region, but Angel sites can give the most expensive loot, making it an excellent area to explore. In busy areas you might have great success exploring during off peak times and hopefully after reading this guide you'll be able to set yourself up so you are at an advantage against other explorers.
  • How much time can you dedicate per session?
    Players that have limited time might want to focus on a relatively small area of space in one region in an area that has a high density of stationless, back pocket dead-end systems. Players with more time may want an expansive route that covers more than one region or rat type, with staging-post systems to swap combat ships and resupply.

The sites

Combat sites can be divided anomalies, signatures, escalations and static complexes.

  • Cosmic anomaly.
    • Visible in probe window without scanner.
    • Low chance to either contain faction spawn or escalate.
  • Cosmic signature
    • Needs to be scanned down with probes.
    • Unrated has moderate chances for faction spawn and low chance to escalate.
    • DED rated have guaranteed faction spawn that can drop DED modules.
  • Expedition
    • Escalates from anomalies and unrated signatures.
  • Static complex
    • Relic of the past and should be mostly ignored.
    • Visible beacon on overview that can be warped to.

The System security determines how hard sites spawn while region determines what pirate faction sites spawn. Most high security sites can be completed in cruiser.

In addition to these there are occasional in-game events that contain combat sites. These sites show up as beacons on the overview and run for limited time.

Cosmic Anomalies

Cosmic anomalies are the first type of exploration site, they appear automatically in the ship scanner whenever you enter a system. Cosmic anomalies come in a few varieties; this article deals only general site structure, see Cosmic Anomalies for a fuller listing.

Cosmic anomalies are ungated pockets in space. They have several waves of rats that spawn when a trigger is triggered. Usually next wave appears once the previous wave has been destroyed but on some sites destroying a specific ship will trigger next wave. The last wave can contain a faction commander spawn. This commander has different name from normal rats and can drop valuable faction module, implant or pirate faction ship blueprint copy. Destruction of the last wave can also escalate the site. If an escalation occurs a text window will pop up with escalation message and the escalation is added to expeditions page on journal.

When looking for faction spawns or escalations and your ship is able to tank the incoming damage of the waves it is possible to trigger all waves as soon as possible to get the possible faction spawn and escalation.

Once a Combat Anomaly has been completed it will disappear few minutes after you warp out, so make sure to bookmark the wrecks if you want to salvage them later. Ore sites will despawn when all asteroids have been depleted, or after an internal timer expires.

To see information on a specific cosmic anomaly see Combat_sites#Combat_anomalies.

Cosmic Signatures

Combat sites that appear as Cosmic Signatures are more advanced exploration sites that need to be scanned down with probes. They are gated deadspace complexes with limits on what ships can enter.

The deadspace complex usually consist warpin and one or more additional rooms. Any warp into the site will land on the warpin. In each room there is an acceleration gate that will fling ships to next room. The acceleration gates are however most of the time locked. Most common requirements for unlocking the gate are destrying all hostile NPC ships in the room, unlocking it with a tag (consumes tag), destroying a specific ship or destroying a specific structure.

Each room can also contain multiple waves of enemies. As with anomalies the next wave is usually triggered by destroying all ships from previous wave or by destroying a specific ship. Other triggers are proximity to an object in the room, damaging certain ship or structure and timed spawn.

The prize of the site waits in the last room. DED rated complexes are quaranteed to contain an overseer or a structure that drops DED modules and on some sites pirate faction ship blueprints. In unrated complexes destroying ceratin targets has a chance to spawn a commander ship that can drop a faction module, implant or faction ship blueprint copy. Unrated complexes also contain two or more escalation triggers. Destroying the commander is always one escalation trigger but the sites always contain an alternative trigger that can be triggered if commander does not spawn.

The complex can also have split routes and multiple opportunities for faction items. For example serpentis narcotic warehouses contains two routes that both contain an overseer cruiser with small chance to drop a faction module and a structure in last room that can drop DED modules and a faction ship blueprint copy.

When running cosmic signatures it is often best to rush to the commander as fast as possible as they are the most profitable objects in the sites.

Each site is unique. Spawn triggers, defender waves and escalation possibilities can be found for each site in Combat_sites#Cosmic_signatures.

One often forgotten combat site group is chemical labs. They only spawn in certain low security regions and show up as gas sites. They are defended by two defender waves and to get the valuables you need hack containers with data analyzer. They can drop drug related commodities, drug blueprint copies, drug related skillbooks and drug related implants. For more information on chemical labs see Combat_sites#Chemical_labs

Expeditions

Sometimes, completing an exploration site will escalate to an expedition. These are like followup missions and usually have a chance to happen if you kill a faction spawn at the end of a site. If an escalation occurs a message window will appear with escalation message and the expedition is added to your journal on expeditions page.

These sites can be very lucrative as each escalation typically contains another faction named rat for you to kill and loot and they cannot be scanned down by others before you warp in, and have a 24 hour time limit to complete.

Escalations from cosmic anomalies will lead to a deadspace complex that are normally found as cosmic signatures. Escalations from unrated cosmic signatures are unique four part expeditions that are only found as escalations. Each part has a chance to lead to location until fourth location is gained. Each of the three first locations have high chance to contain a faction commander with normal commander drops and the fourth location will usually contain quaranteed DED module drop.

You'll only have 24 hours to complete an escalation. When you warp to an escalation site, make sure to make a bookmark, since the bookmark in your journal only marks the system you need to travel to.

Escalation sites are normally ungated and generally involve you being on site for a long period of time during which you can be scanned down very easily with combat scanner probes as any wrecks will appear on D-scan and a good combat punter can drop his probes virtually on top of you first time. As your ship will be PVE tanked and you will be dealing with room aggro, it's very unlikely you'll escape with your ship intact if an enemy fleet warps on you, and to add insult to injury the nasty pirates who ganked you will also have the location of the site and can steal the site and the reward.

The rewards for the final part of these escalations can be massive but they are very risky and highly unsuitable to be taken on solo in most cases without thorough research. Before deciding if and when you will run the final part of the escalation check for recent activity in the system, in particular ship and pod kills: running escalations in systems with high activity is a bad idea.

Consider forming a fleet with some friends to limit your time on site, provide a +1 scout for travel (preferably in a covops) and to provide some strength in numbers to deter opportunistic pirates.

More info on escalation is found in Combat_sites#Expeditions

Competition and site stealing

Since the rewards are so interesting, competition for sites is fairly high and it is not unusual for a player to enter a site whilst another player is running it. There are three main eventualities that occur when other players are involved: somebody has already been to the site and left the first room or the site completely, somebody is still in the site or you are running the site and somebody warps in to the site.

Somebody has already been to the site

If somebody has already been to the site and left the first room or the site completely, this will be apparent by the presence of NPC wrecks or the absence of NPC rats in the first room: do not despair as all might not be lost. It is quite common for inexperienced players to find one of these sites and fail running it, leaving it half finished.

Alternatively, they may have moved on to the next room in the complex. Use 360 degree D-scan at 1 AU range on an overview setting that shows ships and wrecks and look for the other player or their wreck: if the faction rat or structure is still there and there are no player ships around, you can safely proceed with the site.

Somebody is still in the site

In this case you can decide whether to try to "steal the site" or leave him to it.

To steal the site you have to land the final blow on the named rat or structure so that the wreck and loot is yours to take freely. This is not to be confused with stealing from other players' wrecks that appear yellow on your overview, which is expressly forbidden by Eve University rules and makes you a suspect, exposing you to EVE's aggression mechanics and the very possible loss of your ship.

There are a number of ploys that can be used to ensure you land the final blow:

  • a well timed overheat of weapons can help to land the final blow.
  • trying to alpha strike the rat can also work, particularly if the other players damage output is relatively consistent or regular.
  • "pulling the triggers", i.e. shooting structures and rats that spawn other waves to aggress the other player and force him to flee the site, is another option as the increased damage output may cause him problems with his tank.
  • leaving the site yourself may even be an option if you believe the other players ship is not capable of tanking all the aggro in the room.

Knowledge of their ship and your ship's capabilities and weapon systems is a massive benefit in formulating a winning stratagem. Even if your opponent is in a T3 you still stand a chance and anything you can do to maximize it is worth doing, even if you sacrifice drones or burn out modules in the process. If you successfully steal the site and it drops you may decide to give them some ISK in compensation but ensure you and your loot are safe first!

You are running the site and somebody warps in

It is best to assume that this player is attempting to steal the site from you. Similar strategies apply as above but you may be at an early advantage depending on the situation within the site, or at a disadvantage, particularly if the site contains stasis towers.

It may be in your advantage to warp out to the nearest celestial and warp back in so the other players has to deal with the adverse EWAR effects.

If you lose the site, UEve University members should never take the contents of the named rat yellow wreck as it is forbidden by Eve University rules. You will also become a suspect and the other pilot(s) will be free to engage you and destroy your ship.

Tips 'n' Tricks

  • Occasionally you may find sites that require a tag to enter through the acceleration gate. Some players collect these tags and will sell them on at exceptionally high prices on the market or via public contract. Be very wary of acquiring a tag in this way.
  • Some explorers keep a spreadsheet or record of signature ID's of non combat sites that fall within the desired deep space probe signal strength so that they avoid probing them down more than once. This is useful if you are scanning a small or busy area frequently, then you only have to scan down any new signature ID that falls within your desired range. Eve university members are recommended to use WHC Mapper for this when scanning near any of the campuses.
  • Carry spare drones as the rats occasionally target your drones and kill them. The drones are also easily forgotten in space when warping out. Also bring loads of ammo and nanite repair paste if you have the thermodynamics skill trained as docking up for repairs may be inconvenient and time consuming.
  • Bring 16 core probes. This way the launcher autoreloads after launching probes.
  • Always try and find ways of doing everything that little bit faster to increase your chances of finding sites before others do and you will soon be on your way to space riches.

See also

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