Besieged Covert Research Facilities are now spawning all over low security space. It appears that around one spawns per five or so systems, but they can be more spread out or more clustered as the case may be. The rats come in two waves: Three ships of some combination of Mordu battleships and cruisers, and then some combination of five ships (four battleships and one cruiser seems typical). They do significant kinetic damage with no trouble applying the DPS at ranges past 100km and to targets with low signature radius, and they appear to be weakest to kinetic—this makes typical PVE ships like the tengu and the ishtar perfect for soloing these ships given their high default resists to kinetic. I am playing with fits at the moment, but so far an active tanking heavy missile tengu seems to work well, putting out upwards of 700dps with scourge fury heavy missiles at 70km—well away from the point range of the Mordu ships. The sites can thus be farmed in only a few minutes given the small number of rats. Even with resists in the high 80s or into the 90s, these second wave in particular requires a decent tank.
It is too early to tell what the average isk payout of these sites will be. Covert research tools, one of the new low-grade pirate implants, and a new ship skin BPC, seem like a fairly consistent group of drops from each site. However, the market will take a few days to weeks to settle on prices for these items.
Here are the drops from five sites thus far:
1. Thrasher Thukker Tribe BPC, low-grade harvest alpha, and around 5m in covert research tools.
2. Cormorant Guristas BPC, low-grade edge delta, and around 5m in covert research tools
3.Thrasher Thukker Tribe BPC, and around 5m in covert research tools
4. Coercer Blood Raider BPC, and around 5m in covert research tools
5. Ferox Guristas BPC, low-grade snake epsilon, and around 5m in covert research tools.
Once the price on the ship skins settles I look forward to PVPing in them. The low-grade pirate implants will also make a cheaper alternative to the mid / high grades, as I assume the price of a full set of LG snakes, slaves, etc., will balance out to a few hundred million isk.
These sites add a new set of content to low sec exploration and another reason to live and travel there, without really overshadowing any of the other exploration content.