Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Signals in the Void 10

("Signals in the Void" is a character fan fiction story revolving around my adventures in exploration.)

Watching the pile of metal stand up, Blake was already surging forwards shouting at workers to move out of the way.  As panic and understanding grips the salvage teams, Blake gets clear of the crowd and raises his assault rifle.  A few quick bursts of charged plasma at the core of the metallic monstrosity causes it to collapse on top of its previous kill.  Talking calmly on his communicator he orders several mercenaries to lead the way back to base camp while the others provide rear guard support.  Shaking his head in disbelief Blake wonders how rogue drones got past their scanners.  He hears more gunfire to the side as more drones begin dropping down from different sections of the ceiling. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Tournament Ramblings

I've taken the opportunity this year to watch the AllianceTournament XI.  It didn't interest me much last year because it's PvP and this time last year PvP was not something I considered.  While I was a little disappointed in the results last week, this week is turning out to be much more entertaining.  I enjoy watching E-Sports because it pertains to my area of interest.  Physical sports aren't really my thing and I've watched quite a bit of tournaments  involving Starcraft II, League of Legends, Dota II, various shooters, and other odd games that somehow made it onto the tournament scene.  The metagame involved in all of these is different, but one thing they need to provide is entertainment.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Odyssey Exploration Guide Part 1/8

(Draiv Solregard's Exploration guide is subject to change, based on updated information, new information, expansions, and the apocalypse.  If you notice any errors in this guide, wait for your booster side effects to subside.  If the error is still there let me know and I'll look into it.)

Exploration Guide

So you want to be an explorer eh?  Want to discover the unknown, locate areas hidden from others, ferret out rare salvage, reveal knowledge of ancient blueprints, to perceive the truth from misleading clues and uncover monuments lost to the ages?

Well...move along, you won't find any of that here.  All has been revealed, there is no unknown. 

Still here?  What's that?  Oh, you want to be an "explorer" aka scavenger, someone who scrounges through known locations hoping for that one nugget of value, and subsisting off crumbs.  Is that what you want?  Well, if that's the case, I may be able to help you out and hopefully help you scrounge a few extra nuggets.

The challenges will be many and the opposition is great and if you can play dead well enough you might even succeed.  So hold onto your pod goo because you're in for a bumpy ride.

Odyssey Exploration Guide Part 2/8

(Draiv Solregard's Exploration guide is subject to change, based on updated information, new information, expansions, and the apocalypse.  If you notice any errors in this guide, wait for your booster side effects to subside.  If the error is still there let me know and I'll look into it.)


These are the skills you will need to fit the modules and use the ships that will make you an effective "explorer".

Eve is different than other MMOs in that the skill system or leveling system is actually done in real time and has no bearing on how much you play.  As such to arrive at the point where your skills will make you effective will take awhile, but fear not because though your skills impede your progress that doesn't mean you should not explore.  One should not put off doing something and always wait for that next skill, if you do, you'll never play the game.  But there is plenty of experience and practice that you can gain while you wait for skills to finish training. 

The skills which I recommend are for a brand new, never trained character so you may have several of these skills already trained.  I also do not include all the little support skills that may also prove to be of benefit, the skills which are presented are very focused towards the "exploration" profession.

Now then, your capsuleer is fresh out of the vat and you're ready to brave this new world and you are 100% sure that you want to be an explorer.  Go do the starting tutorials.  After which the first thing you are going to do is a neural remap, this will help accelerate your training time.   Now remaps are not given out like candy, you start with 2 and are given 1 extra remap every year.  So if you are unsure, DON'T do a remap, it becomes more important later though when skills start taking days to train, but for this first bit it's alright to wait until you feel more comfortable.

When you do the remap make sure your attributes look like this:

Skills correlate to two attributes, the higher those attributes the faster you will learn the skill.  The majority of the following skills are based off Intelligence and Memory, so we want to raise those as high as we can.

Since you've done the tutorials and have some cash under your belt, as well as some ships and other skill books; if I list a skill you don't have you will have to purchase it, but you should have plenty of ISK to afford it.  So the following list will be formatted by listing the skill name and then the level to which it should be trained to.

The absolute basics:

·         Electronics Upgrades III
·         Survey III
·         Hacking I
·         Archaeology I

These are the minimum skills required to even equip data and relic analyzers without these you'll just look at the data and relic sites as pretty scenic locations.  With these skills at this level you will have trouble completing sites, but you can keep practicing for when you're skills catch up.

The thinking skill:

·         Cybernetics IV

This skill is for learning implants and to be able to equip scanning implants which help find sites easier.  With the first level you can plug in a +3 attribute enhancing implant.  Bringing this skill to level IV will allow you to use +4 attribute enhancing implants which reduces training time even more.

The fledgling "explorer":

·         Mechanics III
·         Jury Rigging I
·         Afterburner III
·         High Speed Maneuvering I
·         Hacking III
·         Archaeology III
·         Astrometrics IV
·         (Faction Frigate) IV
·         Astrometric Rangefinding III
·         Astrometric Pinpointing III
·         Astrometric Acquisition III

This is where you'll actually start to be able to be effective, sites will become easier to scan down and hacking attempts will be more successful.  This skill set also provides you with the ability to fit hacking rigs and a microwarpdrive which will be a saving grace with sites where the hacking containers are spread further than 20 km apart.

The advanced "explorer":

·         Hacking IV
·         Archaelogy IV
·         Astrometric Rangefinding IV
·         Astrometric Pinpointing IV
·         Astrometric Acquisition IV
·         High Speed Maneuvering III
·         (Faction Frigate) V
·         Electronics Upgrades V
·         Covert Ops IV
·         Cloaking IV

Your scanning skills are now up to snuff where you shouldn't have an issue with a lot of the sites, but low and null will still throw curve balls at you.  The Covert Ops ship which you have moved into will greatly enhance your ability at hacking and surviving.  At this point in time, you can subsist pretty reasonably on what you can scavenge from sites with these skills.

The elite "explorer":

·         Hacking V
·         Archaeology V
·         Astrometrics V
·         Astrometric Pinpointing V
·         Astrometric Acquisition V
·         Covert Ops V
·         Astrometric Rangefinding V

This will top off your exploration oriented skills and allow you to use tech II modules.  The benefit these provide is vastly superior to their basic counterparts and are well worth the training time investment.  If you have no wish to do all of these skills, at least do Hacking and Archaeology to V if you plan on sticking with exploration, the benefit they provide is substantial.

Helpful exploration skills:

·         Biology
·         Thermodynamics

The reason for including these skills instead of other helpful ones is that these are probably not as obvious as to why they are useful.  Thermodynamics is just to allow you to overheat your microwarpdrive if you get caught in a situation that enables you to do so.  Biology will increase the duration of booster effects, but the main booster you will use will be Quafe, while it doesn't provide direct benefits to hacking or exploration, when you venture into lower security space the extra maneuverability might prove to be the difference between life and death.

Odyssey Exploration Guide Part 3/8

(Draiv Solregard's Exploration guide is subject to change, based on updated information, new information, expansions, and the apocalypse.  If you notice any errors in this guide, wait for your booster side effects to subside.  If the error is still there let me know and I'll look into it.)


Each race has a basic frigate and covert ops that has bonuses to scanning and hacking.  While you can use whatever ship you want, you really just end up hurting yourself by not using the ones that have bonuses.  There are two bonuses which you will look for on a ship.  These are the scan strength of probes which will increase for each level you train of the designated skill.  The other is called a Role Bonus which applies only once and acts like an attribute of that ship.

(Faction) Frigate:   
  • 7.5% increase to scan strength of probes per level of (Faction) frigate skill level
  •  +5 Virus Strength to Relic and Data Analyzers (Role Bonus applies ONLY once)
The most important part of picking your basic frigate or covert ops which will make it the "best" is to pick something you want to fly.  The bonuses are the same across all races so the only "important" factor is flying what you like.

For those of you who want "the best" then the order of frigates from best to worse is.

·         Heron - The reason this ship comes out the best is because of that extra mid which allows you to fit an extra scan upgrade module for faster acquisition of sites.  It also has the furthest targeting range to allow an easier time cherry picking larger sites.
·         Imicus - This ship is better than the probe solely because it has more targeting range.
·         Probe - Having average stats across the board makes this ship effective.
·         Magnate - There is one major flaw to the Magnate which is that it only has three mid slots and you really need four to fit the basics.  It will still work but requires docking at station to swap modules, or to complete sites without a cargo scanner.

Covert Ops:

·         10% increase to scan strength of probes per level of Covert Ops skill level
·         +10 Virus Strength to Relic and Data Analyzers (Role Bonus applies ONLY once)

Again as was stated above, "the best" ship will be the one you like.  All the ships do well with exploration and hacking so you'll be successful despite which one you choose.

Now for the list of "the best" covert ops from best to worse.

·         Helios - Coming out on top because of the five mid slots and larger powergrid for easier fitting options.
·         Anathema - This ship pulls ahead of the other two because of the larger powergrid making fitting easier.
·         Cheetah - Though it has a much lower targeting range than the Buzzard, it pulls ahead because it has three low slots instead of two which will affect fitting options.
·         Buzzard - Many will claim that the Buzzard should be first or second, the reason it is last on this list is that with only two low slots it gimps your ability to fit maneuverability modules and has a low powergrid.

To reiterate make sure to choose which one you want to fly, because if you're flying a ship you don't like I think you're doing it wrong.  For a better understanding of why I made these choices check out the modules section.

Odyssey Exploration Guide Part 4/8

(Draiv Solregard's Exploration guide is subject to change, based on updated information, new information, expansions, and the apocalypse.  If you notice any errors in this guide, wait for your booster side effects to subside.  If the error is still there let me know and I'll look into it.)


These will be the tools which will help give you the best advantage for success and survivability.

While I had considered laying down set fits I realized that I would then have to do that for each ship due to the different fitting requirements that each ship has.  So instead I am going to outline modules and rigs which I recommend.


Implants raise your attributes and enhance your abilities.  There are only 10 slots for implants and implants can only be plugged into specific slots.  Implants also come in various tiers where the lower/cheaper ones give small gains and provide bigger bonuses the further up the tier you go.  Following is just the general name of the implant you will want to get, but make sure you have the required Cybernetics level trained before you try plugging the implant in.

  • Implant Slot 2:  Memory Augmentation - This will raise your Memory attribute which will reduce skill training time.
  • Implant Slot 4:  Cybernetic Subprocessor - This will raise your Intelligence attribute which will reduce skill training time.

  • Implant Slot 6:  Poteque "Prospector' Astrometric Pinpointing - This reduces your maximum scan deviation.
  • Implant Slot 7:  Poteque "Prospector' Astrometric Acquisition - This reduces your scanning time.
  • Implant Slot 8:  Poteque "Prospector' Astrometric Rangefinding - This increases your scanning strength.


You will fit two rigs which will help raise your hacking success chances.

·         Small Emission Scope Sharpener I - This will raise your virus coherence with relic analyzers by 10.
·         Small Memetic Algorithm Bank I - This will raise your virus coherence with data analyzers by 10.


These modules will always be the same no matter what ship you use.  One launcher and one cloak should be the only things in your high slots.

·         Core Probe Launcher I - This is the cheapest option and the easiest to fit.  But it gives you no bonuses and is really only useful as far as being able to launch probes.
·         Core Probe Launcher II - I find this to be the best option when balancing cost with bonuses.  But it requires a training investment, you need Astrometrics V to be able to fit this module.  However when taking risks and you get blown up, having this fit hurts a whole lot less than using a Sisters.
·         Sisters Core Probe Launcher - By stats alone this will be the best launcher around.  It gives you a 10% bonus to probe scan strength while also only needing Astrometrics I to fit.  It is very costly though and should only be used if you're very good at not dying.
·         Prototype Cloaking Device I - You will fit this on your scanning frigate so you may remain hidden after you've launched probes.  You may not warp while this is active but you normally shouldn't need too.
·         Covert Ops Cloaking Device II - If you do not fit one of these on your Covert Ops ship, you need to hang your head in shame.  This module will be your saving grace and lifeblood, especially in low and null security space.  It allows you to warp cloaked and move your ship around at base speed instead of -90% of your base speed.
·         Sisters Core Scanner Probe - This will be the probes you use because they are all around better than anything else.  You can use regular Core Scanner Probes, but you should grab these as soon as possible.


These modules will be your hacking and propulsion modules and if you have an extra mid you can also fit a scanning upgrade.

·         Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I - Hackable containers can sometimes be very far away and when you have to slow boat 50 km to the next container while watching d-scan to see if someone is going to come and kill you is stressful, so less time spent in the site, the better.  You could fit an afterburner but it still doesn't provide the speed you need.  This is also where my rating on the best Covert Ops ship comes into play, because the last two have 5 less powergrid, this means you can't fit a microwarpdrive and all the other modules.
·         Data Analyzer I & II - These are the money makers right here.  You will use the Tech 1 until you get trained up after which you will ONLY ever use the Tech 2 version.  The reason for this is with your skills at IV and when you use an Analyzer it will have 80 virus coherence and 20 virus strength.  When you hit V, things magnify to 110 virus coherence and 30 virus strength.  When used with a Covert Ops you will have 40 virus strength which will allow you to reduce most of the attacks you make on defensive nodes by 1.  Thus your virus will take less damage, look at the hacking section of this guide to catch a better understanding of why this is important.
·         Relic Analyzer I & II - Same explanation as Data Analyzers.
·         PL-0 Shipment Probe - This will allow you to see inside a container before you hack it.  If you think you don't need to know what's in a container before you hack it, think again.  Being able to see what loot is going to spew forth will allow you to make good judgment calls on which mini-containers you need to grab when they are spewed forth into space.  This also does the same thing as the Tech 2 version but is ridiculously cheaper.
·         Scan Pinpointing Array I & II - While not essential, but if you happen to like a ship with 5 mid slots, then you will want this scanning upgrade.  The reason for this is that your scanning skills should be pretty decent where you normally don't need more strength and you're not hunting ships so faster scan time is pretty useless.  This module will affect the margin of error in where the signature shows up and how far you need to move your probes after you re-scan.  This will actually allow you to spend less time scanning.


The modules fit in these slots are for maneuverability.  When you need to change direction while  chasing mini-containers these modules will allow you to grab that 1 or 2 extra mini-containers.

·         Local Hull Conversion Nanofiber Structure I - This module increases velocity and allows your ship to maneuver more quickly.  Both of which are essential in the explorer's life.  While you can use the tech 2 version the difference in the velocity increase is negligible, plus they are more expensive.
·         Micro Auxiliary Power Core I - This module uses CPU and gives you power which is needed when fitting propulsion modules.  This really only needs to be fitted if you can't fit a microwarpdrive e.g. if you fly the Buzzard or Cheetah.  You can skip this and use an afterburner for the lower powergrid cost but I'm pretty sure that after the first few sites the lack of speed will drive you crazy.
·         Warp Core Stabilizer I - NEVER fit these if you are planning on doing some actual exploring.  While the appeal of being able to break free of someone's warp disruption is nice, the truth is that you shouldn't ever be in a situation where they can lock you.  While the stabilizer gives you +1 warp core strength it greatly reduces your locking distance and your scan resolution (locking time).  "Why should I care about that, when I'm provided the extra security of the stabilizer?" you may ask, the reason being is that pirates have adapted.  Since they know what they are hunting (a scavenger aka  "explorer") and from past experience most explorers have fit warp core stabilizers.  Pirates will now have 2 or 3 warp disruption modules when they try to kill you and no amount of stabilizers will save you from that.  So in reality you will be impeding your progress by fitting these. 

Let me throw a scenario out there.  You scan down a site in low security space and the system is kind of active.  The site contains 4 hackable objects and are 25km from each other while also being at most 60km from the warpin.  You now have a ship fit with warp core stabilizers and one without.

A.  Without Stabilizers - You warp to the site, lock all 4 objects, scan all 4 objects in order 1, 2, 3, 4, and container 3 has the most value so you choose to run that one first.  On your way to the next container a pirate uncloaks and starts locking you, because of your increased agility from the nanofibers you have a greater chance to align and warp out before he can gain a positive lock.

B.  With Stabilizers - You warp to the site, but because the stabilizers reduce your scan range you have to fly to each one separately to scan it, but the stabilizers also lowered your scan resolution so now it takes you ten times as long to lock the container, you then have to fly to the next container to repeat the process.  This will take awhile after which you have to return to the one with the most value.  (Container 3 in this example, which is the third one you checked.)  While hacking a pirate uncloaks and begins locking you, you immediately align out, but your agility is slower since you lack the nanofibers and the pirate gains a lock.  No worries, you have stabilizers, except the pirate figured you would and is using 3 warp scramblers, the end result being pretty fireworks.

Roughly the same amount of time would have passed in both scenarios, one of them will cause you to spend more time in a site allowing people to find out you're there and warp to the site before you've even had a chance to find out what's in all the containers.  While you are free to fit the way you want I highly recommend not fitting warp core stabilizers.  If you think I'm saying this just because I'm a pirate, you are sadly mistaken.  It's because I'm a pirate I'm telling you not to, because when I hunt explorers I use 2 J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I's with a strength of 4 warp core disruption with both scramblers running, the most strength you can give yourself on a covert ops is +3; 4 is greater than 3 so I will always keep you from warping away once I gain a positive lock.  So keep fitting those stabs if you think you'll be safer.

Odyssey Exploration Guide Part 5/8

(Draiv Solregard's Exploration guide is subject to change, based on updated information, new information, expansions, and the apocalypse.  If you notice any errors in this guide, wait for your booster side effects to subside.  If the error is still there let me know and I'll look into it.)


Your ability to find things with probes.

Discovery Scanner:

Shows you all signatures that can be probed down in a system.

Depending on what you are trying to do, the Discovery Scanner can be a boon to your success, or the bane of your existence.  It is the main reason that you are now a scavenger instead of an explorer.  You see, to be an explorer you need to be looking for the unknown.  While this is hard to accomplish in a game due to the fact that everything is known and there is no real "unknown", the discover scanner eliminated the one aspect of making things unknown in a video game. 

The discovery scanner's key role is to reveal if there are any signatures in a system, it does this automatically when you enter the system, and periodically re-scans while you are in the system to let you know if anything new has popped up.  This means you are no longer searching for hidden signatures in a system, but everyone who enters that system knows exactly the same thing as you.  Like a dead carcass on the side of the road, it is seen by all, but which creature will scavenge it first?

So if you jump into a system and there are no signatures to scan then you jump to the next system in your route.  While this makes it easier to farm sites and move quickly through systems which is great in high security space, in low and null security space pirates will know exactly what you are up to and may hunt you down instead of moving on.

Scanning terms:

·         Scan Duration - This is how long it takes to complete a scan.
·         Scan Deviation - When you perform a scan there is a calculation of how far the actual location of the site is from what you see.  While you can't calculate the exact distance to your probe, you can calculate the max scan deviation.  This means there is a max distance which the actual signature will be located from the signature which you are shown.
§  Max Scan Deviation Equation - (Scan Range/Base Scan Range of Probe) * (Base Maximum Deviation of Probe)  Signal Strength plays a role here in that the higher the signal strength the lower the deviation.  But it's best not to rely on it.
·         Sensor Strength - This determines how well you pick up signatures, bigger is better.
·         Scan Range - This is the radius your probes will scan when you initiate a scan.

·         Cosmic Signature - These are the dead carcasses you will see as you move along the space highway.  You will scan and identify if the carcass is worth scavenging.
·         Cosmic Anomaly - These are always shown if there are any in system, with the ability to warp to them without scanning.

·         Data Site - Where goodies are located.
·         Relic Site - Where goodies are located.
·         Combat Site - Where rats are located which will shoot at you.
·         Gas Site - Where gas clouds are located, sometimes they have rats and other things.
·         Wormhole - The great unknown, lots of goodies here.  Except that Data and Relic sites will have Sleepers which will blow up your wee frigate.


When presented with your probes you actually don't see any of them unless you're holding Shift or Alt, instead it gives you a probe box in the middle of where all your probes are located this is the focal point where all probes intersect.  Any changes you make to the focal point will affect all probes unless you are holding Shift or Alt.
·         Hold Shift - Allows you to modify a single probe.
·         Hold Alt - Allows you to affect all probes relative to the center of the formation.
·         Hold Mouse Button - Allows you to move the formation as well as change the scan range.
·         Double Click - Centers your camera on the probe or cosmic signature (when it is a red dot).

Your probe box will look like this:

·         Blue Circle - This shows your scan range and all the things your probe encompasses.  You may adjust the size of the circle by click + hold the first mouse button and drag in any direction towards or away from the center.
·         Arrows - These will allow you to move the probe only in the specified direction, to do this all you need to do is click + hold and then drag in the direction you wish to go.
·         Box - The sides of the box allow for a bit more freedom of movement, except you may now move the box diagonal as well as sideways or up/down, just click + hold and move to the desired location.

The two formations you will be using are:

·         Pinpoint - This formation is what you will be using to zero in on a signature.

·         Spread - This formation will be used if you forgot which planet the other signatures are at after you have warped into a system.

After you have launched probes and cloaked up in a safe spot, you now need to hunt down all those pesky signatures.  A key concept to remember is that no signature will appear more than 4 AU away from a planet.

After you have positioned yourself, your screen might look a little like this:

1.  These are all the signatures which you know are in the system, hence why you are a scavenger not an "explorer".
2.  The giant red circle means the signature which you are looking for is probably located somewhere inside that circle.  Since a signature can't appear more than 4 AU from a planet and there are no other planets within the giant red circle, you now know the exact location of all signatures in the system to be within 4 AU of that planet.  So there is no need to use the spread formation after you find those signatures.

Edit 2014.03.16
A quick update to point number 2 above, thanks to an anonymous comment and their willingness to do a bit of research and testing; have shown that some of the higher class wormholes can indeed spawn a bit further than 4 AU from a planet.

Move your probes over to the planet that is close to the signatures and make sure your distance is set to 4 AU and hit scan.

After scanning you see 3 signatures of varying signal strength:

·         Green Triangle - means you have scanned that signature to 100% and are now able to warp to it, as you can see under the signal column. 
·         Yellow Triangle - means that you are fairly certain the actual signature's location is near there.
·         Red Dot - means you got a hit on the signature but you're still going to have to do some finagling to find it.  You would do this by readjusting your probe focal point onto the red dot and lower the range of your scan from 4 AU to 2 AU.
·         Rinse and repeat until you have scanned all the signatures you wish to.


·         Centering - Make sure to double click the signature you are trying to scan down (if you are unable to do this make sure to center on a probe, it really does help), this will center your camera on that signature and make it easier to move your probes around.
·         Vertical Alignment - Because you are working in a 3D environment perception can be skewed, to minimize this it is helpful to move your probes until they are on the same horizontal plane as your target.
·         Horizontal Alignment - Because you can't get directly 90 degrees above your signature it is best to align probes vertically, then change your view above the signature and move your probes on top of your target.
·         Adjusting Range - It is common practice when zeroing in on a signature to only ever drop your range by 1 tier e.g. 4 AU to 2 AU.  The reason for this is your max scan deviation will normally be near that number.  As you gain better skills and more experience you will be able to drop 2 tiers e.g. 4 AU to 1 AU this can normally be done with yellow triangles.
·         Bookmarks - Always bookmark a site after you scan it, this will save the location in case you leave system and also allow you to warp in at another distance besides zero for safety reasons.  When you right click a signature which has been 100% scanned and select bookmark, it will bring up a little window for you to enter in a name.  I normally keep the signature type where it is and instead enter at the front of the name the first letter of the group of site, and the first three letters of the ID e.g. "C HTU Sansha Hideout".  (IDs will reset after downtime.)

Odyssey Exploration Guide Part 6/8

(Draiv Solregard's Exploration guide is subject to change, based on updated information, new information, expansions, and the apocalypse.  If you notice any errors in this guide, wait for your booster side effects to subside.  If the error is still there let me know and I'll look into it.)


Your goal is to bash your way through the mini-game and loot spew to get goodies.

The hacking isn't complicated to understand, you start off at a node and can only activate highlighted nodes which are near nodes you have already activated.  Your objective is to find the system core and destroy it to win.  As you click on nodes random things will appear whether helpful or detrimental, you won't know until you click. 

You are given two chances to hack a container.  While there is no penalty if you fail your first hacking attempt, failure of the second hack attempt will cause the container to blow up and destroy all the goodies inside.  Containers inside a wormhole will allow you to hack as many times as you want, but the sites contain Sleeper NPC's which will try and kill you.

Your Virus:

·         Coherence - This is your virus' health and if this drops to zero you lose.  It is represented on the left with an orange color and the actual value is located at the top.
·         Strength - This is how much damage your virus will deal to defensive subsystems and the system core.  It is represented on the right with a red color and the actual value is located at the bottom.

(Note a few images are missing, I thought I had them but as it turns out I don't.  I will update when I come across them.)
Good Subsystems:

Utility Subsystem:  Polymorphic Shield - Makes you immune to damage for two turns.  Best used against high damage defensive nodes.

Utility Subsystem:  Self Repair - Will heal you a random amount for three turns.  Best used right away since there is no cap to virus coherence.

Utility Subsystem:  Kernel Rot - Cuts the coherence of the system core or defensive node in half.  Best used against high defensive nodes.

Utility Subsystem:  Secondary Vector - Deals 20 damage per turn for three turns against a defensive node or system core.  Best used against high coherence defensive nodes.

Bad Subsystems:

Defense Subsystem:  Firewall - The most common opposition you'll run into.  Deals a bit of damage and may have a high coherence.

Defense Subsystem:  Anti-Virus - A pain in the butt, normally lower coherence but hits like a dreadnought.  Try not to attack these unless you can guarantee it'll die before it hits you.

Defense Subsystem:  Restoration Node - KILL IT...KILL IT WITH FIRE...KILLT IT NOW!!!!!!!  Every turn it's active it will raise the coherence of other defensive nodes.

Defense Subsystem:  Suppressor - This is annoying because it'll half your virus' strength which can really gimp your main advantage.  Kill it as soon as possible.


Data Cache - Can contain good things but frequently contains a defensive node.  Do not touch these unless you have run out of options.

System Core - This is what you are trying to find and kill to be able to perform a successful hack.

Hacking Mechanics:

When you attack a defensive subsystem your damage will always be applied first.  This is why having more strength is so beneficial.  I'll give two examples showing why it is so beneficial to get your hacking skills to V.

1.  Your virus has 120/40 (coherence/strength) and you need to get through a firewall 80/20 and an anti-virus 70/40 and the system core 70/10.
2.  Your virus has 90/30 (coherence/strength) and you need to get through the same as above.





0/20 (dead)


0/20 (dead)





0/40 (dead)

0/30 (dead)

0/30 (dead)
0/30 (dead)

System Core

System Core


0/30 (dead)

0/30 (dead)
0/10 (dead)

0/30 (dead)

0/30 (dead)
0/10 (dead)



As you can clearly see there is a great benefit to training to V on your hacking skills.  The above breakdown also shows how damage is applied, notice whenever you kill a defensive subsystem his damage is not applied.

Hacking Walkthrough:

The majority of the time the system core will be located on the outside nodes, periodically it can show up one node deeper in but that doesn't happen often.

I start off picking a direction from my starting point and clicking only the outside nodes until an obstacle presents itself.

Even though I could destroy that firewall, for the sake of demonstrating my method for hacking I'm going to ignore it and go a different direction.  Notice I still only hit outside nodes until I can't go any further.

I picked up a repair subsystem which I will use and since I'm blocked from all outside edges I'm going to make my way to the nearest edge until I can't go any further.  I'll become blocked which is why there is a second arrow going up.

Because there are more nodes available up top, I'm going to ignore that node outlined in yellow.  This is smart because to gain access to multiple nodes I need to kill one firewall instead of having to kill two firewalls to gain access to one node.

Now even though the system core isn't on the outside edge, the majority of the time it will be.  I also uncovered two data caches but you always want to ignore those until you run out of options because they often contain defensive subsystems which will ruin your day if you still have options.