"The recall and expire options have been changed a bit – recall is now instantaneous and happens automatically on system jump or dock. Probes still have a timer, but instead of being lost when the timer is out, they automatically recall instead. The system remembers your last probe setup before they were automatically recalled so they can be quickly deployed again in the same pattern (by activating the launcher). No more forsaken probes in space!"
The above passage from CCP SoniClover's dev blog on the probing changes coming with Odyssey certainly stirred up some debate. All I can add is that I am so glad I did not carry through with my plan to turn into a Sisters' probe manufacturer. I don't see much of a future in that now.
I do see another market opportunity opening up in the probe market. The RSS Core Scanner Probe now looks a lot better with these changes. The RSS Core Scanner Probe is slightly more powerful than the Sisters Core Scanner Probe (sensor strength of 45 vs 44) but pays for the extra power with a greatly reduced endurance time (1000 vs 4000 seconds). But now that pilots basically cannot lose probes and the probes are launched in a pattern, I don't really see a downside to using the Minmatar probes now. I rarely find more than 3 signatures to scan down in the low sec systems I haunt and I usually finish within 15 minutes.
I do have a set of RSS Core Scanner Probes from doing the Wildfire level 4 epic mission arc last summer. I didn't do a guide but perhaps I should. Both of my main pilots both have the faction standings and haven't done the arcs within the last 3 months so I can run through the arcs. I think I'll do the arc this weekend, not only because I could use another set of probes but because my pre-Odyssey metrics gathering period ends on Friday and I have four days to kill. I know that I usually don't like high sec but I can set up another experiment. Since the Maelstrom is not receiving any changes, I can run through Wildfire in a Maelstrom/Hurricane gang before the expansion and then a Typhoon/Cyclone gang after the patch and see which does better.
Writing this post does remind me to do one thing on Singularity this weekend. I need to see how the exploration changes affected Wildfire as the arc currently requires both hacking and archeology. Now wouldn't that be a nasty surprise for the carebears who've ignored their exploration skills! I wonder if anyone could make money off of that.