My take on the "exploration ship" builds out there and praticality in real gameplay

So i am an explorer with about 2+ months worth of play, that has the Elite rank in exploration already.
Ive been to SAGI A and Colonia, and ATM heading back to the bubble slowly, ive been playing in solo mode almost from start, and plan on going "open" really soon, despite all the dangers and issues that it brings.

My current ship Kraith Phantom, named the "menace" (as in phantom menace from star wars):



Let me kick things off with this piece of mind (food for toughts):

"Exploring is all about the trip and not the destination, max jump range means u leave alot behind unexplored..."



One of the things all new players that dwell in exploration are bombarded in this game and formated to think is that having the biggest jump is the most important thing to be able to have to be a "true" explorer in ED, well, let me say my piece... ITS RUBISH!!!

As i stated above already, u gain your rank of exploration threw the amount of money u earn from turning in the data of your discoveries, so u need to discover stuff, either be 1st discoveries, or mapping to earn the rank and also your payday (credits), and to do that u need to go out and explore as much as u can and be able to safely come back to a station to sell that data.

Now there is a few ways u can go about, but if u are rushing around like mad, going as far as u can... Ull miss alot! Remember, exploring is not a race, doesnt matter that u went lets say 10k Ly, and someone else went 1k Ly, when u both return home, he probrably will get more rank and alot more credits than u! And why u wonder?!
I explain...

While u were rushing along, on your shiny ship that can go 60Ly per jump, and rushing threw systems just so u can say u did those 10K Ly in little time, the other guy, he plotted hes jumps so he would see as many systems as he could, he stopped on all and used the FSS, probrably mapped all planets, or at least the most important ones that give the big bucks, and even doe he didnt went far, he did alot more, and of the 2 hes the real explorer.



When u are setting up a ship to explore, light is best, and important cause it gives u the most jump out of the ship, but u shouldnt sacrifice performance!
Exploring is not just about discovering stuff, is about enjoying the trip, making the most of what u got, and being able to be out there for the longest time possible, for that there are systems u need to have on your ship or else... U will have to return sooner or not at all cause u got your ship to such a sore stat that it cant come back.

There is alot of good advices out there, and videos, but also alot of bad ones, and the focus is always on max jump range, dont let that fool u!

Equipment wise, there is 2 things that are a given for any explorer:

Best FSD possible A-rated (engenieer it to increase range)
Best fuel scoop possible (A-rated advisable)

Now u will see alot of ppl saying... "no shields", or "the lowest u can possible fit", that is all good, but keep in mind, it wont protect u at all in combat, or in bad landings or crashes... And it happens, even if u play in "solo mode", there is npcs and high gravity planets, stars and the ocasional distraction on your part...
My take on that is fit a shield always, myself i would never fit the lowest possible.

Engines for instance, and power distributor, ppl always advise to fit the lowest and lightest possible, and its sound if your going for max jump, but keep this in mind, the lowest u putt these, the worst your ship will perform ingame.
Same goes for power plant, but if u have enough to power whatever u have installed on your ship u are good.

When it comes to other systems, well let me tell u, in my opinion there are stuff u cant do without in a serious exploration ship:

Heat sink launcher
Cargo rack
Auto repair unit
repair limpet controller
planetary discovery scanner
SRV bay

All of this adds weight, and u see that range lower fast, its true, but that is not the most important, in a max jump range ship u can get to lets say a system in 5 minutes, on a well rounded ship u take 10 minutes to get there, but with the 1st one ull struggle to land on planets, the ship will handle poorly, if u get atacked u can actually lose your ship easily, with the 2nd u can easily explore and escape from attackers... Wich one u preffer?!


My last piece of advice to any new explorer:

Do your homework, learn about the ship you are planning to use, learn how to explore, etc, time lost getting knowledge can save alot of sorrows when u are finally out there.

O7 commanders!
 
One of the things all new players that dwell in exploration are bombarded in this game and formated to think is that having the biggest jump is the most important thing to be able to have to be a "true" explorer in ED
First, time for a drink... Okay, now that that's done, let me ask: where are they even bombarded with that from? I thought that such build advice has been obsoleted here by quite some time now. Usually, it's "fly what you're most comfortable flying" and "you only need to minmax your jump range if you're going to the extreme edges".
Plus most everyone agrees that the amount of exploration done is better measured in systems (jumps), not in distance (lightyears). Well, there's also exploration rank gained through credits, but Elite in exploration is now more like "you've completed the extended tutorial".
 
It depends what kind of explorer you want to be. If you want to visit the furthest reaches, highest / lowest etc, you need that jump range.

I'm still flying a pre engineers ship (recently got back to ED after an almost 3 year break) and compromised a lot on the ship to get to a 40ly jump range in an Anaconda.

Disadvantages:
- The Anaconda turns slow as hell, if you shoot by a target it costs you a lot of time to turn around.
- Weak thrusters (max 183 m/s) no boost capability means it takes more time to land and fly to a target.
- Weak shields and no boost, better be careful at high g planets
- One SRV, lose it and you got to go back.
- Weak power plant, I have to turn the cargo hatch and vehicle bay off to use FSD and fuel scoop.
- Low fuel capacity means max 3 jumps before empty.
- The long nose obstructs the view down.
- Hard to find a suitable landing spot.

Once I'm finally back I'll do some experimenting with a more agile ship. I love flying this slow old relic though. It's a big ship, it shouldn't be able to turn on a dime. There's something special about slowly approaching the surface, lights on, scanning a few things then pitching back off to jump away.

Reminds me of the firth element :) Could use some more lights though. Are there ships with better flood lights nowadays?
 
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When it comes to other systems, well let me tell u, in my opinion there are stuff u cant do without in a serious exploration ship:

Heat sink launcher
Cargo rack
Auto repair unit
repair limpet controller
planetary discovery scanner
SRV bay

All of this adds weight, and u see that range lower fast, its true, but that is not the most important, in a max jump range ship u can get to lets say a system in 5 minutes, on a well rounded ship u take 10 minutes to get there, but with the 1st one ull struggle to land on planets, the ship will handle poorly, if u get atacked u can actually lose your ship easily, with the 2nd u can easily explore and escape from attackers... Wich one u preffer?!


My last piece of advice to any new explorer:

Do your homework, learn about the ship you are planning to use, learn how to explore, etc, time lost getting knowledge can save alot of sorrows when u are finally out there.

O7 commanders!
Well...

All my ships are equipped with a discovery scanner. Most have a single SRV. The rest of the list...hmmm. I have these only on my Cutter. Not that i really need them but the Cutter has so many internals. I feel i must put something there after all :)
Looks like for 4 years i was exploring in non-serious exploration ships.
 
If you travel 60,000 LY in a 60 LY ship you will see just as many systems as travelling 20,000 LY in a 20 LY ship. Having a smaller jump range does not mean you visit more systems per unit of time!
This.

I get the OP's point, and if you have a certain destination in mind, then it holds some merit. But in a general sense it's just two sides of the same coin. And besides, if you miss stuff because you jumped over it, you'll eventually reach stuff you otherwise never would have.
 
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If you travel 60,000 LY in a 60 LY ship you will see just as many systems as travelling 20,000 LY in a 20 LY ship. Having a smaller jump range does not mean you visit more systems per unit of time!
This winds me up more than it should. Along with the cargo slider 'tip'.
 
You are of course right, jump range is not everything. But then, not everybody has the sheer patience required to 'do' something in baby steps. If you just go to where the wind blows you, alright. But if you are like me, with a certain target, you want to see some progress. Let's be honest - the time it takes me to grind my Conda up to those mythical 80ly is about as long as doing an exploration run at 50ly. And it's less fun. So I'm happy with 53ly and won't squeeze out those last few. But speaking for myself again: if it feels like treading water it does get boring.

The difference to Beagle Point between 40ly and 50ly is roughly 300 jumps. Never been there but I'm guessing that can get long in the tooth... especially when you're thinking about the way back ;)

My Conda standard exploration build. (before anyone asks - no I have never needed a higher rated shield. I'm just that good at landing ;) )
 
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts Cmdr; I'm sure there will be many others that appreciate you being so considerate as to let us benefit from the wealth of experience and knowledge you've accumulated over 2 months.

I feel somewhat embarrassed as, despite travelling over 2.75mlys, visiting >57,000 systems and making >64,000 jumps, I seem to have neglected to use a heatsink (maybe due to only ever outfitting with one for a short period of time).

Once I've finished my current trip, I'll be sure to equip my ship to meet your specification for a 'serious' exploration vessel.....

Or maybe not?
 
If you have a huge jump range you can always jump less, but if you have a tiny jump range you cannot jump further.

Jumping 10ly with a 10ly jump range costs more fuel than jumping 10ly with a 70ly jump range.
 
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60Ly seems too puny to me, I prefer my 82.91Ly Anaconda. Never stock Heatsinks; fills ship with AFMU's instead, they act as passive heat absorbers if something goes really, really wrong.
 
1)One of the things all new players that dwell in exploration are bombarded in this game and formated to think is that having the biggest jump is the most important thing to be able to have to be a "true" explorer in ED, well, let me say my piece... ITS RUBISH!!!
-----------
2)Best FSD possible A-rated (engenieer it to increase range)
Best fuel scoop possible (A-rated advisable)
----------
3)Heat sink launcher
Cargo rack
Auto repair unit
repair limpet controller
planetary discovery scanner
SRV bay
My humble opinion as a Beta veteran :)
1) Vets will never advise that ! (Unless you are min/maxing the outer galactic area, or other sparse area)
2) FSD yes, Scoop no(2nd best is still fine in most ships, DBX on the other hand...)
3) never used heat sink launcher
never had cargo rack
never took AFMU
no repair limpets
always had SRV
 
2) FSD yes, Scoop no(2nd best is still fine in most ships, DBX on the other hand...)

I really like my DBX, it is a brilliant, cool, little ship...
It needs to be cool because you will spend so much time orbiting a star to refuel...

Still one of the best medium range ships for me though :)
 
I haven't played for that long (since May 3304) but when I went to BP, Colonia, Sgr A* and back to the bubble with my trusty Asp Explorer I could afford my lovely Anaconda, but I wasn't Elite at that point. But with the the FSS that may have changed.

And I have to say, that I don't like the notion of "real" explorer.
I explore, kind of. Scannaning all ELW's, Ammonia and water worlds, mapping the former two. But otherwise I rush through the systems because those lightyears don't fly themself. So I certainly want to get far away fast.
Hence, I consider myself more of a traveler, to not insult any real explorers.

And even though I certainly want as high jump range as possible do I not want to miss some amenities. That small shield for bumpy landings and the SRV for example. Every couple of thousand jumps it itches in the inner ear to get some real gravity.

But then again … Right now I'm near Sgr A* and … well, … the sky scares me. It's full of stars. It feels crowded … I want to go back to where it actually is black … with my lovely Kassiopeia and her slow turn rate.

Sorry, for my ramblings. It's late … and I have the feeling that lately the Anaconda get's a lot of flak … while I really like this type of ship, with all its quirks and shortcomings … on the other hand, I also think that the Type 9 is a really beautiful ship ... will buy one, once I'm back ... I will paint it yellow and call it "Chicken of Doom" …

right, I should go to bed now.
 
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