Apocrypha exploration

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This page is about the new probing system now live on EVE: Apocrypha.

Contents

Equipment changes.

Scan Probes:

  1. All 4 probe types (gravimetric, radar, ladar, magnetometric) in all 4 ranges (quest, pursuit, comb, sift) all become the : Core Scanner Probe I.
  2. Observator Deep Space Probe becomes Deep Space Scanner Probe I.
  3. All recon probe types (snoop, spook, fathom, ferret) all become the : Combat Scanner Probe I.
  4. All Sisters Scan Probe Launchers or Sisters Recon Probe Launchers become: Sisters Expanded Probe Launcher.
  5. All Sisters Probes become their respective Sisters equivalent under the new system. (Scan strength of Sisters Core and Combat probes is 10% higher than their basic probe counterpart. Sisters Deep Space Probe has 50% probe warp speed bonus instead.)
  6. Multispectral probes become core scanner probes but their functionality may be performed by deep space scanner probes (DSSP) instead. If you don't have the skills for DSSP you can use core scanner probes instead but not as efficiently (max: 32 AU vs DSSP's 256 AU).
  7. There are now Salvager II, Analyzer II, and Codebreaker II modules. Each requires its respective skill at 5 to use, and offer improved performance over their Tech 1 counterparts.

Skill Changes

  • Everything which used to give a scan duration bonus now gives a scan strength bonus.
  • Everything which used to give a scan strength bonus now gives a scan duration bonus EXCEPT the Virtue set.
  • Everything which used to give a deviation reduction still does.

Changes to the map UI

The zoom in and zoom out buttons have been removed from the ship dashboard. You can access the map by hitting the map key (F10 by default), clicking on the map button on the neocom or clicking a button on the scanning interface. Once inside the map screen, the buttons for switching to solar system view in the top right have also been removed. Instead, the main map menu has a button labeled 'Toggle Map' which switches between star-map mode and solar system view, or you can get to the solar system map from a shortcut on the scanning UI.

When a probe is present and active in the map, you will see a sphere around it representing its scan radius and a cube with arrows coming out of it. Clicking the arrows and dragging (they glow red when selected), allows you to move the probe along the chosen axis. Alternatively, if you click a face of the cube, you can adjust the probe along that plane. The cube scales with your zoom. Clicking and dragging the outer visible "edge" of the sphere will allow you to adjust the probe scanning radius.


Changes to the scanning interface

Scanning 1 02-22-09.jpg

The top menu has a few buttons: "analyze", "recover", "reconnect" and "destroy". A very useful button has been added to the top-right corner which toggles your solar system/ ship view.

  • Analyze: This button performs an analysis. By default it includes all active probes in the system (no more highlighting them all). An oddity is that if you have moved your probes around, pressing analyze will commit the new positions and cause the probes to warp to their new happy spot.
  • Recover: This button (when finished) causes the probes to deactivate and return to your ship's cargohold. This works even when your ship is cloaked (and won't decloak your ship), and even while your ship is in mid-warp.
  • Reconnect to active probes: This button let's you re-establish communication with your probes after you dock, leave system, or get disconnected. Previously, any of these actions effectively "stranded" your probes.
  • Destroy: Destroys the active probes. Offhand I can't think of a good reason to ever do this.

The next section below the main buttons is your list of probes. By default (currently) this is just smaller than the number of probes you have active so you must always expand it. Each probe is listed with its name, lifetime, scan radius, activity status, and on the right, two buttons to individually recover or destroy that probe. By default a launched probe is active but you can deactivate it here (only useful if the adjustment cube is covering your scan results. Otherwise, more probes = better).

At the bottom, you can see your scan analysis results. A filtering function allows you to filter those results to only see what you want (e.g. ships, anomalies, deadspace signatures, etc. or any combination thereof). These result rows include:

  • Type: the type of site you have found. This information only appears when you have a scan result signal strength of greater than 50% or so.
  • Distance: With only one probe, this means the distance from that probe to the result. With more than one probe, this will be the distance from your SHIP to the result.
  • Signal Strength: This is how strong of a signal you are getting from the site. The closer you are and the more probes you have, the higher this gets to a maximum of 100%. 100% is required to warp to a site. It is possible (if you lack the skill) for it to be impossible to achieve 100% on a difficult site.

Basic Triangulation Walk-Through using Deep Space Scanner Probes.

First, you enter a new system and you want to know if there is a site to be found. You load up a deep space probe, deploy it (then hide if in low-sec or 0.0). Open your scanner menu (if not already open) and right click the probe radius and set it to its maximum size (256 AU) and scan. Depending on your filter, you will see a scrollable list of results for that system or nothing.

Let me take a second to answer a question: What if my probes don't find it the first time? Should I scan again? How many times should I scan before I'm sure there's nothing there? The answer is: The new system is NOT NOT NOT chance based anymore! If it's there, you'll find it on your first scan guaranteed (provided the target is within the scan radius of the probe).

Let's assume you found something: say, a wormhole. Time to switch to solar system view. The deep space probe will tell you how far away from it the signal was found. This translates graphically to a reddish bubble on your map representing the sphere of all points that are that distance away from your probe that becomes visible when you click on the result at the bottom of the scanner window. There are lots of places on that sphere. As if it were not enough, the distance your probe reported is not accurate at all, but suffers from an error which could potentially be half the range of the probe. This means that if the probe is set to scan 256AU, and you read that the site is at a distance of 5 AU from the probe, the site could be anywhere between 0 to 133AU (256/2+5) from the probe (Train up Astrometric Pinpointing to reduce this variation). Now, let's see if we can eliminate some possibilities.

Scanning result ring.jpg
Now that we know something is there, launch another probe. (When you're comfortable with the system, you'll likely launch 3 more probes at this point but for theory's sake, we'll take the slow route). Use the new probe's cube to drag it to another spot in the solar system and set its radius to max. Then press 'Analyze', wait for your probes to warp into position, then they will perform a scan automatically. Now you have 2 probes that are both reporting their distance from the location. This translates graphically into a red ring which represents all the locations that are x distance from probe one and y distance from probe two. It helps to imagine two spheres overlapping each other and where they touch creates a ring. Rings are great but that's still a lot of space to cover. Also, both probes are basically lying about the real distance, due to the above mentioned errors. So, the site may not lie on the ring itsself, but at a distance of up to half probe range away. We have to narrow it down more.

We have two options at this point but for theory's sake I'll go the long way again.

Now let's launch a third probe. The new sphere will touch the ring in 2 places. You will get 2 dots as your result. The variation factor is still present but is getting more manageable.

Finally launch a 4th probe to get a single position in space. Unfortunately you haven't nailed that sucker yet, because of the above mentioned error. But now you have obtained a very important information, an approximate position.

A word of caution. If your probes are too close together, the readings will get confused and your probes will both report the same result effectively reducing your ability to triangulate by one probe. Make sure that your probes surround your target from many sides so that this doesn't occur.

Those are the basics of triangulation theory. Unfortunately, deep space probes cannot always get a sufficiently strong signal from the site for your warp engines to lock onto. In that case the result is a red or yellow dot, not a green one. You must have a green dot to warp to it.

Now you must switch to core scanner probes. Depending on your skills, you may have to recall your deep space probes first. You can have 3 + astrometrics level active at any one time. Skip down to the section: "OK, now I know about where it is, how do I get to it?" for details.

What if I can't use Deep Space Probes?

Then you'll have to do things slightly different. The core scanner probes can go to a maximum of 32 AU so even if you have astrometrics 1 and can only deploy 4 probes, you can still canvas a system pretty well.

Deploy as many core scanner probes as you wish/can, adjust their positions in the system, set their radii to maximum, and scan. If you don't find a site, move them around a bit and scan again.

Since the new system is NOT chance based, you can guarantee that if the site falls inside the scan radius of your probe, you will get the hit on your first scan every time.

Once one of your probes has found something interesting, deploy more probes (or warp the others) around the first probe and scan again. If enough probes (3 or 4) can see the site and they are not too close together, you will get a ring, red dots or red/yellow dot just like the deep space probes.

I hate deviation errors. What should I do to get rid of them?

There are two things to do.

1) First and foremost, train Astrometric Pinpointing at level 4 ASAP. According to skill description that should bring the error to half a range to a bit more than a quarter of range. It makes a big difference.

2) Try to do any scan with the lowest possible scan radius. Lower radii increase the result signal strength which in turn (should) reduce deviation (unconfirmed).

OK, now I know about where it is, how do I get to it?

Deep Space Probe Users: Depending on the size of your ring with 2 probes, you can jump straight to this bit or drop another dsp or two and limit the result to a point first.

Everyone: You will want to have all 4 core scanner probes out and active. (More is better but 4 will do)

The red ring, dots or dot (or yellow dot) mean that you do not have a sufficiently strong signal from the site for your warp engines to lock onto so we'll need to get a better signal.

Scanning success.jpg
Move your core scanner probes around the ring(or point), and scan to find a point. Remember that the deviation of your probes can be up to half its radius so if your deep space probes were set to 64 AU, then your core scanner probes should be set to 32 AU around that point to be sure you find it. Then warp the probes closer so that the point is inside the new radii and scan again. It's possible that not all 4 of your probes hit the site and you get two dots or even a ring again; just adjust. Now you have a result with 32 AU radii, decrease to 16 AU and repeat, etc. As your probes get nearer and the scan radius decreases, you will notice that the 'signal strength' of the site increases. Keep adjusting your probes closer and shrinking the radius until you get a 'signal strength' of 100%. At that point you can finally warp to the site!

Congratulations! You can now explore in the new system!

Still confused? Read this Plain English Walkthrough.

4 probes are the theoretical minimum to get a fix and using 4 is a good way to get the hang of it. But using more than 4 probes doesn't have any serious drawback, and it actually helps. By saturating the area of interest with probes you are more likely to get 4 probes detecting the site, and in the right position. Just remember to not let them get too close to each other.

A note about the sites: In the old system you had a good idea what you were going to find (e.g. if you used radar probes, you will usually find hacking sites or unknowns). In the new system, you know the site type (radar/magnetometric/ladar/gravimetric/unknown) after you manage to obtain a 25% signature strength on the site, and you find its exact name when you obtain a 75% signature strength (Unconfirmed. I couldn't tell that a site was a wormhole until my signal strength was at least 50%).

Advanced Techniques

NOTE: These techniques were developed based on a 0 deviation assumption. These techniques can be used with deep space probes but the deviations make it very impractical. The best time to use these would be when you are narrowing down the site with core scanner probes and after reducing your scan radii, you only get a ring or dots (This because the deviations are much smaller).

Get a decent fix using 3 probes: Once you have 3 probes in space, you will have 2 dots as your result. If you then move one of the 3 probes and scan again, you will get 2 dots again but one of the dots will have shifted. The dot that didn't shift is where the site is.

Tiree-Catryes planar method for 3 probes Once you have the ring with 2 probes, Drop a third probe and move all three probes into the plane of the ring. This should make the two dots right on top of each other.

Get a decent fix using 2 probes: Once you have 2 probes in space, you will have a ring as your result. If you then move one of the 2 probes and scan again, you will get another ring but shifted. The site has to be on both rings so remember where the first ring was and look for the spot where the second ring goes through the same spot. The site will be there.

Get a decent fix using 1 probe: Theoretically possible but what a headache. This is however your last resort, when everything fail this will let you know where the site is with a very good degree of precision. You'd have to remember the signature strength of the site, move the probe, scan again, and look whether the scan strength increased or decreased. Good luck with that though.

Advanced Multilateration

The key to quickly and efficiently locating cosmic signatures is to understand how exactly the scanner probes and received signals work.

  • When you do a scan, the signal of every cosmic signature within the radius of any of your probes is picked up.
  • Any signal that is not received at 100% strength will be located at least 468.75 km away from its source (well outside the 250 km radius needed to warp to it).
  • Scan probes themselves cannot determine the direction to the signal, only the identity of the signal and its distance from the probe(s) that detect it.
  • Selecting a signature from the scan results will display the set of all points where the signal could be located, based on how many probes detected it and the distance between each probe and the signal.

This last feature is what causes the "cosmic signatures" to take on their various appearances, such as rings, spheres, and points, as demonstrated by the following examples.

SingleResult.gif DoubleResultAll.gif
TripleResultAll.gif QuadrupleResultAll.gif

This helps narrow down the result sets, as follows:

  • If you have multiple scan probes in an area, but the result of a scan is a sphere, only the probe at the center of the sphere has detected the signal. The actual location of the result must be on a portion of the sphere that does not fall within any other scan probe range (the blue spheres).
  • If the result of a scan is a circle, the two probes that lie on a perpendicular line through the center of the circle are the ones that detected the signal, and the location of the signal is on the part of the circle that does not fall within the range of any other scan probes.
  • If you get two point results that have identical IDs, these actually indicate a single signal that has been picked up by three different scan probes. The line formed by the two results will be perpendicular to a plane on which three of your scan probes lie. These three probes are the ones that detected the signal, and the correct location can NOT fall within the range of any other scan probe.

Note that all these techniques help track down the location of the SIGNAL, not the site itself! When a scan is run, all signature-producing sites that fall within the range of at least one of your probes will produce a signal that has a single point location, in a random direction and distance from the actual location of the site. Although the site itself must fall within the scan range of at least one probe, the signal the probes pick up is not limited to the probes' range, as locking the result to the maximum range would affect the algorithms used to calculate the signal's location in in ways that would make it impossible to home in upon the site. This is why there are occasional instances of scan results seeming to fall outside of the range of the probes that detect them. A site 30 AU away from a Core Scan Probe may generate a signal that is up to 44 AU from the probe, in which case the probe will still pick it up and report that it is 44 AU away. For this reason, the actual ranges the scan probes are set to scan out to can only be used to determine where the signal can NOT be, rather than where it can be (since actually being within the range of another probe would force the signal to a more precise result).

The maximum distance of the detected signal from the site will be:

(Largest Scan Radius) * (0.5 - (0.05 * Astrometric Pinpointing Skill)) * (100% - Signal Strength)

The minimum distance from the site will be:

(Largest Scan Radius) * (0.25 - (0.025 * Astrometric Pinpointing Skill)) * (100% - Signal Strength)

The signal strength is the most important factor in pinpointing a location, whereas skill in Astrometric Pinpointing helps most during the initial stages (when using weaker, longer-ranging scans) to prevent the "loss" of a signal, caused by the signal location of subsequent scans randomly moving outside the range of one or more probes.

Further information about increasing signal strength will be added soon.

It is currently rumored that the distances and angles between the four closest probes and the actual location of the site are the primary factor in determining signal strength, which would seem to indicate some sort of average dot product formula. The most error-resistant way to maximize signal strength through the placement of your scan probes would then be to place them in a roughly tetrahedral shape: three probes at the points of an equilateral triangle along one plane and a fourth above or below the centroid of the triangle, with the signal being tracked down falling somewhere inside the boundaries marked by these four probes.

See Also