Directional: How not to die

For those of you who don’t know, in WH space local chat is delayed. This basically means that if someone is in system with you, you don’t know unless you tell a joke so good that they type “lol” in local out of habit, or they uncloak in a stealth bomber and launch a bomb at your unsuspecting self. Considering that, again, anyone and everyone can and will try to kill you, you need to have an alternate method to detecting other players before they sneak up on you and give you a prostate exam with an interdictor, hence your directional scanner.

Most miners, highsec and nullsec, don’t give two units of tritanium about the directional scanner. If there’s someone in local, and they’re red, run, if not, keep mining, or get in a battleship.

I can only assume that the other denizens of other places besides WH don’t care about the directional either.

Anyway, the directional scanner works like a local chat, if you bought said local chat secondhand at a flea market from a dude with a shotgun and basset hound. It can’t see cloaked ships, only has an effective range of 14 AU, and, most damning of all, has to manually be pinged for new information.

If you ping your directional with active overview turned on, you’ll see whatever ships, etcetera are within 14 km of you. If you turn off “active overview settings”, then you get EVERYTHING within 14 AU of you, including moons, planets, and every single PoS module your tower has.

You may be asking why you’d ever want to turn off active overview settings, which seems reasonable at first, but shrivels away into idiocy with two key points:
Point one: By the time you see a ship on the scanner, you’re already dead.
Point two: Unless you turn your active overview setting off, you can’t see scan probes.

Scan probes are a very, very important thing to see on the directional.
The only way for someone to find and kill you is by using scan probes, the directional can see scan probes, there’s no problem, right?


Because of mining drone’s giant sig radius, and a hulks moderate sig radius, it’s fairly easy to find a hulk. This means that you, as a miner/sleeper killing dude, need to be very, very on the ball when it comes to scanning the directional. Or you die. Maybe not immediately, maybe not in a few days, but It’s almost guaranteed when you find yourself in a bubble you weren’t watching the scanner.

Of course, a jerk could, hypothetically, scan out a grav site, then come back in a combat ship a few hours later and gank whoever mining with no warning whatsoever, or have such good scan skills that he pins you w/ probes @ 16 AU or some way to counter the directional scanner.

The downside to having active overview settings turned off, which I’ve stated before, is that it picks up all the planets, moons, ectera nearby, making it hard to pick out probes. This is somewhat countered by a strategy I developed of watching the little scrolly bar on the right side of the directional box. If the thing changed, I scrolled through the box to see if scan probes had appeared. If the size didn’t change, I assumed I got to live another five seconds.

8 Comments on “Directional: How not to die”

  1. Good advice! But I have an extension to that advice for you:

    First, check out this forum post:

    The post gives you a good method for probing somebody with very little chance of them ever seeing your combat probes on their d-scanner. I have had a few tries, and it is not difficult at all.

    The only counter to this is to have your own max range combat probe in space at all times, spamming analyze on that as well as the d-scan. You can get a 64AU warning of an uncloaked ship with the combat probe, and all ships are uncloaked for a second or so after they enter through a wormhole, or are deploying their own combat probes. I can not remember if the combat probes themselves ever appear on the combat scanner, but even if not it gives you a bit more of a chance of survival.

    Obviously, if you are mining alone in w-space, then you need to fit a probe launcher to your mining ship and sacrifice maximum mining efficiency, but why are you mining alone in dangerous space with so little warning of incoming threats?

    If you are with friends, it is often a good idea to get all your friends into one spot for a few seconds, and probe them at minimal range to get the ID of their ships so that you can ignore those IDs. Any new IDs turning up on the long range combat probes are either new ships flown by friends, or threats.

  2. Amarrahh says:

    I agree with your blog and have adopted the same scroll bar tactic. The only thing I would add is once settled close to your ore choose a moon and align. I then sit with the warp to 70km dialog open and cursor over the top ready to hit.

    This routine has kept my exhumer safe on one occasion when two bad guys jumped into the Grav site and two occasions when sleepers spawned within the 1st 15 mins of mining.

    My Alt and the orca can sit in safety at the POS scanning directional every couple of minutes as the orca mining bonuses work within the whole of our WH area.

    Great work, love your blog, adventures and ideas.

  3. Nchek says:

    One other trick, my alt sits in a Orca at the POS handing out bonuses. From that vantage point all the POS modules have distances assocaited with them. When I scan I do a quick check of all the items that do not have a distance assocaited with them. You will quickly recognise the pattern produced by the Hulks, drones and cans in the grav sites and any break in the pattern is something that needs your attention. You can even sort your items by distance though I prefer alphabetical.

  4. Another good trick, that’s not always helpful but can be, is to note that scan probes launched anywhere but on the grid with you will ALWAYS return a distance result of -. This means that you only need to keep an eye on the results that return a -.

    Obviously if you’re within range of your POS that gets old fast, but it excludes planets, other ships in your group, drones, cargo containers, etc etc. Basically, all celestial bodies plus what’s on the grid returns a distance and thus is unimportant.

    Good luck avoiding the gank, it’s a hobby of MINE too! *Grin*

  5. iambeastx says:
    Please support this post.
    And 5 seconds is all we need for a hulk sig radius and above

    • miningzen says:

      Couldn’t you not tell me that so I can assume that when you kill me it’s my fault and not a game mechanic tweaked to ensure I die?
      also, the last comment on that thingy:
      “CCP have already said they’ll do this – it was in the minutes of the most recent CCP-CSM meeting. Nevertheless, supported again.”
      Does it still need my support?

  6. iambeastx says:

    I’m sure it’ll make you pay more attention which is a good thing

  7. Poo says:

    Are you kidding? Just use one overview tab for mining and another for pvp. Your scrollbar idea via a non-active setting is foolish given that some wh systems have 50 moons and tons of tower clutter.

    Granted, a good scanner will only have his combat probes on dscan for eight seconds or so.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.