In the first system, I came across a relic site. Cool, my first null sec exploration site. Not so cool, these are a little tougher than those in low sec. I managed to get two out of the three cans I tried, and abandoned the fourth when an Astero decloaked. I buzzed around a couple of other systems without finding anything I wanted to try, then headed back to Thera.
I wondered if I just needed to get better at the mini-game or if I also needed to upgrade my ship. My Cheetah works wonderfully in low sec, but do I need something better for null? I did a little research and wondered if I needed a covert ops frigate with five mid-slots instead of four.
I looked around and decided that the Helios looked like a good ship with which to do a little theory crafting. I wanted a fit that would give me the same or better probing capability while increasing my hacking ability. So I came up with the below fit:
|An attempt at a Helios fit|
NOTE: Replace the Scoped Survey Scanner with a Cargo Scanner II.
The fit does what I required. The Scan Rangefinding Array II and AR-810 skill hardwiring gives me 2 points greater scan strength when using Sisters Core Probes compared to my current Cheetah fit (which doesn't use hardwirings) while at the same time giving me 10 more coherence when playing the hacking mini-game. The fit can even scale down for lower skillpoint pilots to use. Explorers having difficulties with the fit due to CPU can downgrade to a simple Sisters Core Probe Launcher and if power grid is an issue a pilot can replace one of the low slots (preferably the WCS) with a power grid module.
But is the cost worth it? The AR-810 hardwiring that gives a 10% boost to scan strength is 79,375 LP and 79,375,000 ISK in the loyalty points store. That means the one hardwiring will cost more than twice as much as my ship. As I sat pondering the question, another thought popped into my head. Why not just keep the Cheetah and plug in an EY-1005 hardwiring to add 5 coherence? Those only cost 10,875 LP and 10,875,000 ISK in the loyalty points store.
|A Cheaper Option|
NOTE: Replace the Scoped Survey Scanner with a Cargo Scanner II
After playing around, I'm not sure purchasing the Helios is worth the cost. While the Helios is easier to fit for a little more capability, I've got the skills to fit the Cheetah now. Besides, I'm a Minmatar pilot and if I can keep flying my Cheetah I will. Now, I just need to learn how to play the hacking mini-game better.