Saturday, November 16, 2013

Exploration and Isk - 7 Months of Statistics

Last winter, primarily through the outstanding exploration videos of JonnyPew but also out of a need to fund my PVP addiction, I decided to create a new character for exploration. She was to find a suitable home in low security space and make isk through exploration sites, with a goal of bringing in enough for one PLEX and extra for pew every month. She moved into her still current home in January, and has tracked data on her isk earnings per site. I compiled that information right before the release of Odyssey. The original post with that data and more extensive discussion of it can be found here:

Since that time (for 7 months total now), my alt has continued to explore and track the data. My exploration habits have stayed roughly the same: averaging roughly 2 sessions per week, I explore three and only three systems for sites and occasionally check those three again later in the day. She can fly a T3 quite well now, and though she makes most of her (/my) isk elsewhere (through trading--posts on that to come), she nonetheless continues to pay for a PLEX plus a few hundred million extra for pew from exploration. So, let's look at both sets of data:

-----> Pre-Odyessy (Jan 31 - June 4 / 4 months) - (apx 2.8b or apx 700m/mo)
Provisional Blood Outpost - 6  10m faction loot, 4mil, 1m (15m)
Mul-Zatah Monastery - 7  340m faction loot, 2m, 340m, 2m, 2m, 2m, 2m (690m)
Blood Outpost - 9  17m faction loot, 5m, 2m, 12m, 1m, 70m, 18m (125m)
Blood Raider Psycho - 2  80m (30m in faction loot), 75m (155m)
Blood Annex - 3  95m faction loot, 55m, 1m (156m)
Gas - 4 74m
Data - 55 695m (AV=12.6m)
Relic - 38 576m (BPCs 315m) (AV=23.4m) (Highest: apx 125m) 

-----> Post Odyessy (June 4 - Nov 19 / 5 months) - (apx 4.15b or apx 830m/mo)
Provisional Blood Outpost - 4 70m,
Mul-Zatah Monastery: 7  25m, 5m, 190, 4m, 2m, 2m, 7m (235m)
Blood Outpost: 8  110m, 7m, 25m, 1m, 1m (143m)
Blood Raider Psycho: 10  60m, 80m, 40m, 400m, 80m, 200m, 55m, 220m, 280m, 75m (1.490b)
Blood Annex: 3  3m, 125m, 1m (128m)
Crimson Hand Supply: 2 50m, 50m (100m) 
Data: 45 330m (AV=7.3m)
Relic: 42 580m (100m bpc) (AV=16.2m)
Belts: 170m tags / (since 7/29): 730m (900m)
Gas: 2 24m
Null: 1 Relic 41m, 1 Data 14m (55m)

[Extra PI: 200M per month since August 4]
-----> Post-Rubicon (Nov 22 - )

I will discuss this data in three sections: First, comparing my earnings during these two periods. Second, thinking about what exploration will look like in my third period, from Rubicon to the summer expansion. And third, focusing on how new players can best profit from exploration, post-Rubicon.

I. Odyssey, before and after

Obviously, Odyssey brought some changes to exploration, and my alt's skills improved quite a bit during these two periods of time. The largest change, though, was simply the massive increase in players exploring. As is well known, this caused a sort of crash in the data/relic loot market. (For instance, capacitor consoles went from a high of around 18m before Odyssey to 2.5m or so after). As you can see, data and relic sites were my largest source of income pre-Odyessy, and I averaged about 30-40% more per site. The other main difference in income after Odyssey came with my ability to easily run the blood raider 5/10 site, and in some cases I got quite lucky with the spawn rate (I once had three in one system in one day). Finally, the next biggest change is the added income from tags found in belts.These amounted to around 25% of my income. My average isk per month has thus slightly increased, but my total time exploring per session has likely stayed the same. Overall this is a positive change.

II. Exploration post-Rubicon

Rubicon will bring a number of changes to exploration, which will affect what my third set of data will look like months from now. First, Rubicon will likely further hurt the data/relic loot market, as new and returning players will be doing a lot of exploration. This market may recover a bit in the lull before the summer expansion, but for me, this means I probably will stop doing these sites unless I have little else to do. Second and thanks partly to the suggestions of low-sec dweller Sugar Kyle, the lower end DED sites in high-sec are going to spawn in low. I've prepared for this by training for an AF for my alt, and I expect to run these whenever I find them. I have no experience with them, so we will have to see what kind of isk they bring in once we compiled the next set of data. I'm at least very excited about new sites to run. Ghost sites will also add new content, although since my alt stays in an isolated area I do not expect to run these often, if ever (the current word is that there still be one per region spawning). Finally, my alt's skills continue to improve, and I am hoping she will make more off 6/10 sites in the future. 

III. Exploration for new players, post-Rubicon

Based on my experiences thus far, if I were starting over as a new player and looking to get into exploration here I what I would do: I would find a suitable place in low sec or null to live, avoiding high sec exploration almost altogether (I hope to make a video series covering how to find good places to live in low and get started at some point in the future). I would skill first for scanning and hacking skills, running relic and data sites as well as low end combat in a frig (like a LM Kestrel). However, before training toward running higher end complexes, I would focus on getting into a stealth bomber and farming security tags in .1 and .2 space. This would likely end up more profitable than exploration until the 5/10 and 6/10 sites could be run reliably.

Hopefully this data has been useful. If anyone else has any stats of their own, especially different experiences than I've had or suggestions for where to focus in the future, I'm all ears. 



  1. Thanks for this post.

    I started a second character yesterday to provide my main char with isk and decided to give exploration a try. Since i'm still a beginner in eve i don't really have a clue about how to make this activity profitable. That's why i would like to know if you could develop the third part of this article a bit more. Can i jump into low sec right away with my heron & kestrel ? And what are you exactly calling a suitable place to live in low/null sec ?

    Anyways, thanks again :)

    1. I hope to develop this third part more in the future, particularly addressing the big question of how to find a place to live. A great place to start, though, is by checking out the yearly system statistics on Dotlan, such as the low sec systems which are the least visted: If you don't want company, that chart tells you some decent places to live in or around.
      Depending on your goals, you can definitely jump right into low sec especially now that low-end DED sites are being added to low sec (many of which can be run in a T1 fit frigate).

  2. Nice summary. I noticed the significant reduction in BPC's from relic sites right away. I used to make a ton of money on those. I wish I had kept as good of track of the sites as you did - it makes for a useful analysis.

    I am curious what ship you are using that you can run a 5/10 but not a 6/10. I think the 6/10 is slightly easier.

    Finally - I am also working on a new player guide to exploration. It probably won't be done anytime soon though. Maybe I can just link to yours :)

    1. Yeah, I used to make a lot of isk off BPCs in relic sites, but not any more and that's with the added T2 capital rig BPCs and POS module BPCs (I've gotten 3-4 of these and they never sell for much). I run (blood raider) 5/10s with a Tengu and find it time consuming but very easy (I basically blitz the last room, killing the webbing towers and then killing the named BC right after). However, for the 6/10 it is also time consuming but for the "boss" I need to jump my main, PVP character into the area for the added DPS. What ship do you run the 6/10s in?

    2. I used a Tengu on both with the pretty much the same fit. I use HAM's though. My char has the missile range skills to make them work.
      For fit:

    3. Awesome fit, thanks. Lots of your other posts were really helpful, too. I'm so bad at this game that I haven't done gas sites much because killing the rats takes too long...I didn't even think to scan/hack the containers in a tanky ship O.o I think I've missed out on a lot of loot over the past few months lol...