MEA’s Guide to Lowsec Exploration: Part 2 – Salvage and Surplus Management

Welcome back. So 50 odd million ISK and some rare coreli drops might seem like some distance away at this point and the most reasonable ship you can afford to lose is a T1 frigate. Have no fear. They are suprisingly effective for ISK generation and you’ll want to hone your skills in them prior to making your way into low-sec.

Apologies for starting you out in high-sec when I know that low-sec is the goal. We all have to start somewhere, and that’s why they start us all out in high-sec. It is the perfect place to make money whilst learning the basics and getting yourself skilled up. There is a tonne of elite salvage in low-sec and we do touch on that here. If you are ready to get your capsule into a Covops hull, there’s no need to manage the mission runners surplus. Skip ahead. For those who are still finding their feet:

By now you should have a skill plan put together that is working towards the Covops discussed in the previous post (see below), based on the modules suggested, and you’ll also want to be making ISK and exploring the game rather than ship spinning.

My suggestion is that you merge all the activities I will be discussing in the next couple of posts into your time online. If you’re doing one, chances are there might be a chance to do one of the others.

Regardless of what race you are, each has two T1 frigate hulls which are worth purchasing and should cost less than a million ISK to buy and fit. You’ll want 1 of the T1 probe frigates (Imicus, Probe etc) and one of the T1 electronic attack frigates (Vigil, Crucifier etc). In true exploration style we may also want a hauler. Your racial hauler (Bestower, Iteron etc), is easy to train for, and can help you pack up and go onto the next station or base of operations and carry heavy loads of procured ore and items.

The last important consideration at this point is to pick that base of operations.

I must also say that some of the strategies I am suggesting below are considered nefarious and irritable to a large portion of the New Eden community. Tough. The mere fact that they need exploration enthusiasts to manage their surplus is  beyond me anyway. We have to unfortunately START our career in high sec, but only until we are ready for low sec. Sorry to break the bad news.

Getting Started

So you’ve gotten your T1 frigate pair and wondering what to put on them. I’ll explain the role of each of your two ships quickly. The probe-bonused ship is your eyes and ears. You use it to find hidden exploration sites and mission runners quickly. Once you are aware of your opportunities in your and surrounding systems you dock up and reship into the electronic attack frigate. These have excellent capacitors and are all quite fast. Excellent for procurement and hasty retreats.

The probe bonused ship needs to have an expanded probe launcher fit, as well as small gravity capacitor upgrades to increase your probe strength. Also pack both combat and core probes (8 of each) into its cargo-hold.

The second fitting I will post in this series is your basic procurement vessel and shouldn’t take more than a day or so to train for.

[Vigil, Fetch]

Salvager I
Salvager I
Salvager I

1MN Afterburner I
Medium Shield Extender I
Codebreaker I

Micro Auxiliary Power Core I
Micro Auxiliary Power Core I
Nanofiber Internal Structure I

Small Salvage Tackle I
Small Memetic Algorithm Bank I
Small Auxiliary Thrusters I

Salvage, like a ninja.

Your first base of operations should be in a mission runner heavy system. There are several around (Dodixie, Motsu, Teonusude to name but a few) and a number of tutorials on how to probe the buggers out. A great trick is to set up your probe signature filters in the scan tab to only show battlecruisers and battleships. This will make it quicker to get a lock on them and it’s also more likely they will be doing higher level missions which yield greater amounts of npc wrecks and therefore salvage. Simply find the wreckage on overview, target and hit the salvage module when in range.

Salvage can be found elsewhere as well like static DED sites (which genuinely require their own post)  and at the belts where miners are.

Salvage also comes in different size and quality varieties. From small to large, and from standard to elite to advanced, depending on the ship destroyed to leave the wreckage behind. Large yields more. Elite and advanced yield very lucrative salvage that is used in T2 rig production. Some T2 salvage is worth 30 million ISK alone per piece.

Some interesting rules to be aware of. Concord will not or ever attack/criminal flag you for merely salvaging another man’s wreck. Concord clearly do understand the importance of surplus management. In fact, they will support you in this instance should he attack you. Mission runners will generally themselves not appreciate your efforts to help them. Try and chat with them to see how much your time is worth, perhaps they are prepared to make a donation towards your efforts, or take the opportunity to make a new friend. The choice is yours.

Concord will not attack or GCC flag you for stealing another man’s loot drops, but the player himself might. This leads to a number of tactical nuances and is a great pvp opportunity. You are more than welcome to warp away and return in something more aggressive. Now that he has shot at you Concord/gate/station fire will not intervene in your revenge.

My suggestion however is to cherry pick the loot drops. Look for valuable meta 4’s like arbalest launchers and hit n run them.

If you’re taking the plunge straight into low-sec this is how you roll. Set up an overview specifically for wrecks. DScan out the elite wrecks/wreck fields, probe the mission/site runner out and plunder away. Keep your eyes open for systems with bc’s and bs’s where the number of wrecks in the system is growing. These indicate that somebody is engaged in PVE, and creating wreck-fields. Probe the bugger out, arrive cloaked, and wait til he get’s beaten or warps off. All your wrecks are belong to us at that point.

Just don’t uncloak with him still around. He will probably shoot.

Got salvage.

Salvage is primarily used for rig production. If you are lazy like me, or don’t want to be too station bound, you can just sell it to the highest buy order for profit. Rig production will maximise your income but it will also take time to do so.

Next time I will chat about the exploration sites and your second probe filter. Once again, your comments are hugely appreciated and your applications to join our ranks desired. I can, after all, help you much more in corp chat.



7 responses to “MEA’s Guide to Lowsec Exploration: Part 2 – Salvage and Surplus Management

  1. sick guide, I made 11 mil today after reading this yesterday.
    Most of that was from the 9 million isk arbalest I stole, but still.
    Haven’t even been playing for a week, haha.

  2. hey man – enjoy reading about your corp and its exploits. i just recently got into surplus management and have made isk more readily and reliably than with any other activity. wish i had been clued into this when i started playing! i’ve always been wary of getting into pvp because i felt like if i lost a properly fitted rifter it would set me back so much isk i’d have to mission and explore for weeks just to replace it. i just fitted out a pvp rifter pretty nicely from just two fairly good salvage scores – all from just using the dscan and a bit of intuition and inference to understand what’s going on between the celestials, as it were.

    what you don’t mention (or maybe you do) is that this is the ideal activity for a new player, as it forces you to get to know and love the dscan (is there even an in game tutorial on this thing? wtf?), and makes you much more aware of your surroundings and game mechanics. once you’re using the dscan effectively, i feel like there’s a lot less mystery and ‘am i about to get jumped’ feeling. once i finally buckled down and spent a good amount of time practicing and learning the ins and outs of the dscan and combat probing, i felt like it was a whole new game, way more fun than scanning down sites (although that’s pretty fun too).


  3. Still epic…

    Could you explain what your talking about here a bit more?

    “…Mission runners will generally themselves not appreciate your efforts to help them. Try and chat with them to see how much your time is worth, perhaps they are prepared to make a donation towards your efforts, or take the opportunity to make a new friend. The choice is yours.”

    Im not too certain I get what your saying. How would they consider taking their salvage as help? Are you saying its best to con them into just paying you? What if they could crucify your simple Vigil (Which is what I pimp)?

    These have been rad….

  4. Hey Guido,

    What Vol is saying is that some mission runners are willing to pay you to leave their wrecks alone. Usually you can spot such a person if they target you, smack you in local, complain about ninja salvages in general or mock you for your inability to “make real isk”.

    I personally recommend that you encourage such capsuleers to attack you by stealing their loot drops (which does cause a criminal flag), warp off when they shoot at you (they are now flagged to you and you can retaliate without concord intervention) and come back in a proper pvp fit ship that can take them down. When you are done, salvage their wreck and let them know that you just made some “real isk”.

    I remember once instance where Vol was threatened in RL as a result of ninja salvage. Always one to keep his head, Vol pointed out various portions of the EULA, threatened to report the offender and demanded a substantial ransom. The ransom was duly paid.


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