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Exploration For Noobs.

Author
Ender Karazaki
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#1 - 2012-03-19 05:25:34 UTC
I've been trying to get into exploration since mining and missioning is just not for me. I prefer exploration because it's up to me where to go and what to do. However, I'm finding it hard to get sites that are rewarding enough for me because they either offer no real reward or someone who has been playing for years is camping them (wtf! why aren't they taking over null or in a WH?!) or they are simply to hard for me for now.

So what sites should I look for and what else is out there. Don't send me to low sec. I tried that and I was barely in the DED site before someone almost popped me.
OfBalance
Caldari State
#2 - 2012-03-19 05:34:51 UTC
A week old character with an imicus can make a decent living on radar sites, for his sp level at least. Define "no real reward," and provide me with some more details on your skill training and you'll have a better chance at helpful advice.
Bernie Nator
Wildcard.
Boundary Experts
#3 - 2012-03-19 05:50:57 UTC
Ender Karazaki wrote:
I've been trying to get into exploration since mining and missioning is just not for me. I prefer exploration because it's up to me where to go and what to do. However, I'm finding it hard to get sites that are rewarding enough for me because they either offer no real reward or someone who has been playing for years is camping them (wtf! why aren't they taking over null or in a WH?!) or they are simply to hard for me for now.

So what sites should I look for and what else is out there. Don't send me to low sec. I tried that and I was barely in the DED site before someone almost popped me.


WH space works differently from normal space. First, you have to know class, who might be inhabiting it, other holes in there. There are plenty of high sec exploration sites available that you can do in just a drake with a probe launcher on. Hell, there sites you can run without even firing a shoot.
Ender Karazaki
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#4 - 2012-03-19 05:56:44 UTC
I'm currently training navigation/gunnery/shield/cap and cpu to lvl 3 should start leveling to 4 by the end of next week. The long term plan to fly a sabre by the end of August and some decent pvp with frigs within a few weeks (hopefully). I've been trying to learn as much as I can about the game and it's ship. But getting money to fund my pvp will be a challenge since I like to PvP a

No real rewards mean nothing worth taking other than the odd meta 4 drops. I managed to get a couple of faction mods but they have been few and far between. Although I've gotten enough for some good implants and for my skillbooks and a ok rifter fit. But if I want to go PvP I need to cover my costs.
Ender Karazaki
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#5 - 2012-03-19 05:59:50 UTC
Bernie Nator wrote:
Ender Karazaki wrote:
I've been trying to get into exploration since mining and missioning is just not for me. I prefer exploration because it's up to me where to go and what to do. However, I'm finding it hard to get sites that are rewarding enough for me because they either offer no real reward or someone who has been playing for years is camping them (wtf! why aren't they taking over null or in a WH?!) or they are simply to hard for me for now.

So what sites should I look for and what else is out there. Don't send me to low sec. I tried that and I was barely in the DED site before someone almost popped me.


WH space works differently from normal space. First, you have to know class, who might be inhabiting it, other holes in there. There are plenty of high sec exploration sites available that you can do in just a drake with a probe launcher on. Hell, there sites you can run without even firing a shoot.



I've been told to avoid WH space until I learn how to use probes quickly and effectively and fly some good ships. I'm a long way away from a decent drake fit.
St Mio
Imperial Academy
Amarr Empire
#6 - 2012-03-19 06:50:49 UTC
Ender Karazaki wrote:
However, I'm finding it hard to get sites that are rewarding enough for me because they either offer no real reward or someone who has been playing for years is camping them (wtf! why aren't they taking over null or in a WH?!) or they are simply to hard for me for now.


They're not taking over null or WHs because being in highsec means they don't have to pay constant attention to their surroundings, and the loot is barely worse in exchange for exponentially less risk. As for rewarding, whether you're a one day old character or a 5 year old vet, you're going to have strings of exploration sites where you get absolutely no loot before you get that jackpot drop.

If you're flying frigs/dessies in highsec, I'd recommend Radars, Hideouts, Lookouts, and the DED 2/10 and, depending on your skills, maybe DED 3/10. I'd ignore any and all drone sites, Magnetometric sites, DED 4/10s for the time being, Gravimetric and Wormholes.

You can try running the static DED 1/10 and 2/10s that appear on overview, but personally I find these always camped and not worth the effort of fighting over. I'd ignore cosmic anomalies as they chance of faction loot is much lower than "proper" exploration and the bounties are terrible (unlike the null ones, where you get good bounties + chance of getting faction spawn/escalation).

I'd hazard a guess and say you'll pull in on average 8 to 10m per Radar site in the long run. For the combat sites you could be getting anywhere from 0 to 100m+ per site. Your possible drops are frigate type C-type, B-type and A-type modules, faction modules, and frigate BPCs.

List of rat frigate prefixes
e.g. You might get a Centii B-type Small Armor Repairer from a Sansha DED 2/10, or a Pithi A-type Small Shield Booster from a Gurista DED 3/10.

List of DED sites per faction: http://wiki.eveonline.com/en/wiki/DED_Complex_List

It's important to pick your region you're in carefully, taking into account what damage types your ship can do, what it's naturally good at tanking, and what EWAR the rats use. For example, laser boats aren't as great in Angel space because they can only do EM/Therm damage which Angel rats aren't weak against, while you'd rather want to use missiles than guns versus Sansha because they use Tracking Disruptors.

Also, if you don't like having the site you're in interrupted by other players, I'd suggest staying out of Caldari space because you will have people in billion dollar ships blitzing past you and grabbing the loot you're after. It really is that crowded.

Remember, and as most of the vets will tell you, there's no point trying to think of exploration in ISK/hr.

A table of exploration sites in highsec: http://www.swiftandbitter.com/eve/dsp/highsec.html

Lastly, I'll link http://explorationalmanac.blogspot.com/. It was written quite a while ago, but most of it is still relevant, especially to newer players.
Bernie Nator
Wildcard.
Boundary Experts
#7 - 2012-03-19 07:41:54 UTC
Ender Karazaki wrote:
Bernie Nator wrote:
Ender Karazaki wrote:
I've been trying to get into exploration since mining and missioning is just not for me. I prefer exploration because it's up to me where to go and what to do. However, I'm finding it hard to get sites that are rewarding enough for me because they either offer no real reward or someone who has been playing for years is camping them (wtf! why aren't they taking over null or in a WH?!) or they are simply to hard for me for now.

So what sites should I look for and what else is out there. Don't send me to low sec. I tried that and I was barely in the DED site before someone almost popped me.


WH space works differently from normal space. First, you have to know class, who might be inhabiting it, other holes in there. There are plenty of high sec exploration sites available that you can do in just a drake with a probe launcher on. Hell, there sites you can run without even firing a shoot.



I've been told to avoid WH space until I learn how to use probes quickly and effectively and fly some good ships. I'm a long way away from a decent drake fit.


You can do WH space as long as you follow a few basic rules. Rule 1, D scan. D scan every few seconds. Rule 2, go into a site you know you can handle. There are plenty of ways to find out the class of hole you're in as well as what ships are recommended. Rule 3, bring a friend or alt that can salvage. If you can manage those three things, you can do WH space.
Ikonia
Royal Amarr Expeditions
#8 - 2012-03-19 09:33:12 UTC  |  Edited by: Ikonia
Finding sites for the new explorer

Hello, i hope i can give you some impressions

I am explorer, living the locust-life, letting drift myself from system to system, and when i started, i had the same problem like you. I was located in Yarebap, which then was very very populated because of the proximity to Amarr and the availability of l3/l4/Storyline agents in the sorrounding systems. I barely found something. So i started to let myself be driven farther and farther away from my base, which brought up an enormous amount of new, not foreseen problems to me

Ship swapping, bay capacity and long time from finding a system far away (12-20 jumps) and be back in time to harvest the treasures, and ship size restrictions to the first pocket. From that point on i had a decision to make between the options

1.) Fitting one ship, to hit all opportunities. There arent many ships, that could fit into that scheme of having an exploration ship, with which i could also tank the hardest complexes, by still having the equipment onboard to harvest MAGs and RADs. Or take all the equipment with me, to refit in stations

2.) Having a transport/logistic ship in my fleet. This would solve some problems like tanking and equipment transport but also brings up the problem, that i lack capacity of bays and increases the risk of loosing expensive ships. But i would gain an independence enabling me, to fly far out without needing a station. Considering that, the problem of too few storage for ammo and loot became huge

3.) Leaving everything as it is, and take all opportunities in a range of 10 systems around my base. Which also means i could do more than just exploration

While thinking that over, i ended up in defining my ideal solution

I wanted following

  • More Exploration sites, less missions
  • Stable income out of exploration, which meant more sites to find
  • Being able to stay far out for a long time without having to come back often for ammo and refitting.


i ended up in an Orca, carrying T2 Frigs (Assault, Bomber, Salvage). Also having - depending on my plans - a T2 Logistic and a T2 HAC in tummy, but also being able to swap this to mining vessels (Hulk and 1 smaller ORE vessel). With this combination i am able to swap ships in space (400Km³ ship hangar), refit in space (Orca offers refitting), also having 50Km³ bay for ore, and 100K+m³ for loot, salvage, equipment etc

Of course i use 2 toons

With that combination i choose the regions i fly to by following:


  • The less people, the more treasures
  • The less stations, the less people
  • The farther out, the less stations
  • The closer to low or null sec, the better the treasures
  • Systems should not have stations in neighborhood.
  • Systems should be out 20-30 jumps.
  • Systems should not be in a trading lane (nullsec to lowsec to highsec to trading hubs for example).
  • Systems should not be in faction war space.
  • Systems should not have cosmos or epic arc series in proximity.
  • Systems should not have l4 or l5 agents in proximity
  • Systems should have single pocket low sec systems in proximity


If you go for treasures consider the following:


  • The more players online (weekend) the bigger the number of sites spawning
  • The less players online (CET early morning, during week and weekends) the bigger the chance to find treasures
  • Numbers of players are often influenced by bank holidays, release of new online games and such. Always count those things in
  • Same for prices at the trading hubs - new online game released (like SWTOR) influences the market for at least 4-6 month upward


Do's and Dont's


  • Never sell far out. Never buy far out. U will loose a lot.
  • Sum up the value of your orca. If it is higher, than what you consider healthy when flying into WH or lowsec/nullsec - go sell
  • Follow all signatures always. Even if first response is 10% or higher - it might has treasures of high value
  • Always have a safespot close to center and let the orca cloak. Invisibility is safety
  • Always put out drones and after first scan cloak. Invisibility is safety
  • Always scout systems especially when changing to low sec
  • Always check for vessels when entering a wormhole
  • Never speak to anyone in lowsec . u will only find pirates and players wanting to pewpew. Not worth the time at all
  • Always try to contact SOV-Corps personell when in nullsec and chit chat. Nullsec are good people
  • Never ever trust anyone. PVP costs cash - exploration brings cash - u need to be a professional in AVOIDING PVP
  • PVP is not a matter of skill - only numbers. A single easy frig might be the bait for especially you. DONT FIGHT
  • In low or null sec NEVER go for anomalities - pirates always look there first or wait there cloaked for especially you
  • When entering a WH always INFO, then check the EVELOPEDIA, then send in exploration ship, then the rest
  • When leaving a WH always INFO, then check WEB for podkills, then send out everything, the last ship leaving is the explorer
  • Never stay in WHSpace until your WH collpases. It is more safe to return to what you know, than into something u dont know
  • If you are in doubt about a situation, dont go - that saves ships
  • Information and intelligence are your best friends. always check the 360° scanner when in complexes in low or null sec


I hope this helps a bit

Cheers
Tinu Moorhsum
Random Events
#9 - 2012-03-19 10:17:28 UTC
Ender Karazaki wrote:
I've been trying to get into exploration since mining and missioning is just not for me. I prefer exploration because it's up to me where to go and what to do. However, I'm finding it hard to get sites that are rewarding enough for me because they either offer no real reward or someone who has been playing for years is camping them (wtf! why aren't they taking over null or in a WH?!) or they are simply to hard for me for now.

So what sites should I look for and what else is out there. Don't send me to low sec. I tried that and I was barely in the DED site before someone almost popped me.



I'm not a highly experienced 'plex runner myself but I run about 1 a day and I can say two things about it:

1) it's a lottery. you might run the same plex many times and most times it will pay 40mil isk and the odd time you get a drop worth 700-800mil isk. This is what keeps me coming back and it's what keeps it interesting to me, as opposed to missions that pay predictable rewards. I like gambling more than the sure thing.

2) I do most of my plex running in low-sec and find that drone plexes up to 5/10 are not worth the effort. On the whole they don't pay out well and suck severely on loot. Other plexes in low-sec pay on average between 50mil isk per hour (low end) and you gt the odd one that pays upwards of a billion for 90 min. I have no experience running plexes in high-sec.

3) since you mentioned it... gated plexes are the safest places in EVE *IF* you have 2 monitors on your computer *and* you dual box a scout to watch the front-door while you're busy.

T-
Ikonia
Royal Amarr Expeditions
#10 - 2012-03-19 10:38:47 UTC  |  Edited by: Ikonia
Tinu Moorhsum wrote:
Ender Karazaki wrote:
I've been trying to get into exploration since mining and missioning is just not for me. I prefer exploration because it's up to me where to go and what to do. However, I'm finding it hard to get sites that are rewarding enough for me because they either offer no real reward or someone who has been playing for years is camping them (wtf! why aren't they taking over null or in a WH?!) or they are simply to hard for me for now.

So what sites should I look for and what else is out there. Don't send me to low sec. I tried that and I was barely in the DED site before someone almost popped me.



I'm not a highly experienced 'plex runner myself but I run about 1 a day and I can say two things about it:

1) it's a lottery. you might run the same plex many times and most times it will pay 40mil isk and the odd time you get a drop worth 700-800mil isk. This is what keeps me coming back and it's what keeps it interesting to me, as opposed to missions that pay predictable rewards. I like gambling more than the sure thing.

2) I do most of my plex running in low-sec and find that drone plexes up to 5/10 are not worth the effort. On the whole they don't pay out well and suck severely on loot. Other plexes in low-sec pay on average between 50mil isk per hour (low end) and you gt the odd one that pays upwards of a billion for 90 min. I have no experience running plexes in high-sec.

3) since you mentioned it... gated plexes are the safest places in EVE *IF* you have 2 monitors on your computer *and* you dual box a scout to watch the front-door while you're busy.

T-


I agree. Exploration is more less like "..being the captain of a fish trawler ..". Some days are quite annoying, when u dont find anything interesting, some days are quite exciting. But prepare: Once u open a can in some MAG and find items worth 200 millions it might be kind of addicting to you. This is the reson that drives u back there.

For point 2 i can say, that this might be some issue we should adress to the devs or the csm: Drones and their loot. Without a bounty, crappy salvage beside 2 or 3 items but a ton of space reducing low cost items, the drones are the most odd stuff in Eve Online. The situation should be considered for a major change to drones. The only drones worth a bit of fun are the Sleepers. But those are far out of reach for 80 to 90 % of all players.

For point 3 - once u have passed the first pocket with ideally 40-100km to the next gate u dont need a scout or a second monitor. The best thing u can do is: Map one of you additional mousebuttons with any tool of choice to the "scan now" option of the 360° scanner and set time intervall to 7-10 secs. Set your filter to "ships only" and set the distance according to the distance travelled by tghe gates u passed (10K km to 100K km under normal circumstances). A ship that appears there is on the way to you. Dont wait and bring the transporter into warp immediatly and warp with fighting vessel immediatly after transporter has passed. My Orca is in warp lowest 15 sec, max 30 sec. No danger, no risk, no loss.

Little story:
2 weeks ago i found a WH leading to nullsec and brought both ships in. I was spitted out in the drone region. I fought for like 1 hr at an anomaly site and took away 2500-3000 m³ drone loot (Plush Compount, Glossy Compound..) which i still have in my tummy. I left the region since i got the feeling, it wasnt worth the time fighting there. The system was a -0.5 and still no t2 salvage. Compared to the fight on a sleeper site in a C2 WH space which took me like 20 mins, i got out about 4 times the amount from 20 sleeper drones in comparison to 65 drones inclujding 20 BS ship size drones. The risk to my HAC was higher from the sleepers while i tanked 8 BS ship size drones in nullsec without coming into anything lower than 92% armor.

Cheers
Jastra
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#11 - 2012-03-19 11:07:27 UTC
Ender Karazaki wrote:
I'm currently training navigation/gunnery/shield/cap and cpu to lvl 3 should start leveling to 4 by the end of next week. The long term plan to fly a sabre by the end of August and some decent pvp with frigs within a few weeks (hopefully). I've been trying to learn as much as I can about the game and it's ship. But getting money to fund my pvp will be a challenge since I like to PvP a

No real rewards mean nothing worth taking other than the odd meta 4 drops. I managed to get a couple of faction mods but they have been few and far between. Although I've gotten enough for some good implants and for my skillbooks and a ok rifter fit. But if I want to go PvP I need to cover my costs.


My personal experience in high sec is mixed, Gallente space or at least where we operate from is basically crap (in my opinion, no doubt someone else will argue :) ) - but a brief stint in other regions was more profitable, so where can be important as you have a chance to drop items that are actually worth something, rather than endless shadow serpentis iron charges (if your lucky) - I may be sounding bitter at this point Roll

also it's all luck based and calculating on ISK per hour is pointless as well, there are lots of things you could be doing that will make you steadier income, so it's down to enjoyment, I still explore out of enjoyment if I have an hour to kill with no real expectation of something awesome happening because you never know :)

Low sec is worth looking at one you are more comfortable about GTFO with your ship




Mike Whiite
Deep Core Mining Inc.
Caldari State
#12 - 2012-03-19 11:17:34 UTC
Ender Karazaki wrote:
So what sites should I look for and what else is out there. Don't send me to low sec. I tried that and I was barely in the DED site before someone almost popped me.


I'ts all about preparation. Same goes for high-sec.

First D-Scan, D-scan, D-scan.

Never try anything outside High-sec without it.

Here are a couple of hints/tips that will help you running sites in low sec, some apply to Wormholes as well.

-Seek out a relatively quiet system for exploration.
-Check out the info on everyone entering the system (Sec status high the lower the chance they'll going to kill you)
-Make sure Probes show on your d-Scan if someone is probing they trying to find you or a site (possible threat)
- when there is a possible thread keep alliegned to a friendly safe spot
- If you're on your own don't be greedy, unless it's particulary quite stay with fast in and out sites (Mach/Radar)
- Don't be a hero, better to run away and fight an other day

keep this in mind and you'll get the hang of being able to take a little bit risk more everytime, untill someone puts you with 2 feet on the ground again. I which case you have found your limit.


Xrock
#13 - 2012-03-19 11:48:06 UTC
You appear to be an intelligent poster so I'm not going to water much down.

Depending on where you are going to explore for a given period of time dictates certain rules you should try to hold steadily to, determined by a number of factors. Primarily they are:

Does the loot drop for that particular site of that particular faction come from of an overseer ship or a structure?
Kiting an overseer out far enough if you need time to kill can often thwart any player (Read: Tengu/t3) interventions from occurring. Structures do not have this option.

Is that particular faction's 3/10 modules worth sifting through 3-4 pockets of frigates?
The armor factions (serpentis, blood raiders) frigate modules are not very lucrative items. Time is better spent sticking to Battlecruiser-sized sites (the 4/10) in those sections of space. A-type Frigate sized shield modules (gistii / pithii small shield boosters, Angel / Gurista respectively) tend to fetch considerable more.

I'll end by saying, frankly, there's no point to flying around highsec scanning in anything but the ship you intend to run the site in The cost of scanning more systems costs you more sites by having to backtrack for your combat ship.

Personally (despite being able to fly a Tengu or a Loki) I use Battlecruisers for all of my highsec. With very minimal scanning skills you will pull up 4/10s at about .36-.60 at a 32AU initial scan - more than enough to lock it at the .25AU scan.

Serpentis 4/10 Myrmidon:

6x425mm Autocannons (RF Phased Plasma M)
---------1x Core Probe Launcher w/ sister core probes in the cargohold

2x Lg Shield Extender
1x named 10mn MWD
2xShield hardeners

4xshield power relay
2xgyrostab

3x purger

5x hobs
5xhammerheads

Goes 1000m/s for a few minutes, does anywhere from 300-450dps depending on t1 or t2 mods/drones, dirt cheap, regens ~130 shield hp/sec.



Good luck


Profound Mystery
Doomheim
#14 - 2012-03-19 19:45:58 UTC
Ikonia wrote:
Finding sites for the new explorer

Hello, i hope i can give you some impressions...


Wonderful post, thanks!

I was wondering though if I can use an orca to carry around exploration ship on the same character? Like, fly the orca with my all-in-one exploring ship in it's hold and basically use the orca as a container for loot and place to keep equipment swaps like diffirent subsystems, hardeners, and ammo? If that is possible, how many cruisers can I fit in the hanger?
Rob Crowley
State War Academy
#15 - 2012-03-19 20:47:27 UTC
Ikonia wrote:
Numbers of players are often influenced by bank holidays, release of new online games and such. Always count those things in

You should also factor in the weather. Strong sunshine on the northern hemisphere will make all the nerds hide indoors and run plexes like crazy. Whereas sunshine in Australia will usually cause people to put a shrimp on the barbie, so that faction spawn is all yours. Crikey, ain't she a beauty?

Quote:
Never speak to anyone in lowsec . u will only find pirates and players wanting to pewpew. Not worth the time at all

My momma always said: "Rob, son, don't you ever speak to pirates. They are filthy people and bad influence for you. Now go and find me some Pithum A-Types."
Daniel Plain
Doomheim
#16 - 2012-03-19 22:05:43 UTC  |  Edited by: Daniel Plain
just out of curiosity: is a pimped-out wolf with near perfect skills good enough for hisec exploration? if not, which sites should i avoid?

I should buy an Ishtar.

Tabernack en Chasteaux
Phoibe Enterprises
#17 - 2012-03-19 22:32:02 UTC
Daniel Plain wrote:
just out of curiosity: is a pimped-out wolf with near perfect skills good enough for hisec exploration? if not, which sites should i avoid?


Sansha Vigil. The web tower in the second room will ruin your day.
Ender Karazaki
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#18 - 2012-03-20 03:53:44 UTC
Thanks for all the replies, some really usefulalthough I don't think I'll be flying an Orca or dual boxing this year. :)
Lunkwill Khashour
Ministry of War
Amarr Empire
#19 - 2012-03-20 09:35:11 UTC
Try this ship:
[Imicus, explorer]
Core Probe Launcher I, Sisters Core Scanner Probe
Salvager I

Codebreaker I
Limited 1MN MicroWarpdrive I

Damage Control II
Overdrive Injector System II

Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I
Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I
[Empty Rig slot]

Hobgoblin II x3

Carry an Analyser, Experimental 1MN afterburner and a small gun in your hold. It costs about 3,5 mil isk.
Apart from the damage control and the drones, you can fit this with not a single skill above 3.


A cheap (500k isk) very low SP version would be:
[Imicus, explorer low sp]
Core Probe Launcher I, Core Scanner Probe I
Salvager I

Codebreaker I
Experimental 1MN Afterburner I

Damage Control I
Overdrive Injector System I

Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I
Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I
[Empty Rig slot]

Hobgoblin I x3

You should be able to fly this ship in 2 days. Carry an Analyser and a small gun in your cargo hold.


Strategy:
The scanning rigs, ship bonus and sister probes (worth the money) help with scanning. Depending on the sites you'll find, you'll need to dock to switch around some modules. Once you're at the site, you'll want the enemies (if any) to target and to chase you while you let your drones kill them. With an afterburner and 0 skills you'll do 694m/s which is fast enough to outrun npc frigs. With high skills and a microwarpdrive you can kite them at 40k, with a speed of 2.8k/s and your drones doing 60dps.

Motivation:
You can do most exploration sites in high sec with the above ship. (Apart from the harder combat sites) Since your ship is bonused for probing, you can train up other skills first, most importantly your drone skills. These are some of the most useful skills you'll ever train no matter what you end up doing in Eve. Moreover, you can't do all-in-one-ship exploration without high scanning skills or a probing frigate. Even moreso, the arguably best all-in-one-ships for exploration are drone ships like the pilgrim or ishtar so your early drone skills are perfect for that goal too!

Ikonia
Royal Amarr Expeditions
#20 - 2012-03-20 13:04:18 UTC
Maybe some rules for the explorers, looking for lowsec adventures, but are unsure how dangerous it is.

Only an empty lowsec system with you only, is a good system for exploration.
When entering lowsec, and local has already one or more toons - leave and come back later.
While in a lowsec system, always have the local open, to see if you are alone or not.
Once someone enters a lowsec system, keep checking 360° scan for combat probes, possibly from cloaked toons near center.
Never go to anomalies in lowsec. Pirates look there first or even wait there for especially you.
The best plexes and sites for exploration in lowsec are those with the weakest signal - once u r cloaked this is a safespot.
Never ever choose a safespot, which can be choosen from a common menu like e.g. 100km away from ... - always make special ones.

Lowsec isnt that dangerous, as most hisecers think. The most dangerous things in a lowsec are those things, you can navigate to by choosing it from menu or overview without any need to scan. Cloak up, and nobody can find you. With exploration vessels in specific you are able to warp cloaked. Just have enough safespots - formerly found sites, long vanished are good enough.

Cheers
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