Supervisor: The Chief Science Officer and the Pathfinder
Branches: Expeditionary Corps
- EC: Explorer (E-3), Senior Explorer (E-5)
Duties: Go on expeditions. Find curiosities. Wrestle giant spiders. Document findings. Try not to die horribly.
Related Guides: Guide to Exploration, Guide to EVA and Internals
The Explorer is the bread and butter of the Expeditionary Corps and help further the mission of the SEV Torch in deep space exploration. Led by the Pathfinder, their job is to take a shuttle off the Torch and head down to abandoned stations, unexplored exoplanets, and mysterious asteroids in order to gather data such as plant surveys, live alien fauna, and mysterious alien artifacts.
How To Play
IMPORTANT: If it's your first round on Baystation12, you should probably play a job like Sanitation Technician or Crewman, just to get the hang of the setting and the ship. Exploration can be dangerous at the best of times, and a big mistake might not end just your round, but the round of other people.
The Primary Directives
Lore-wise, you are a member of the Expeditionary Corps, a uniformed organization with the goal of exploring space. The core ethos of the Expeditionary Corps is as follows:
- Exploring the unknown is your Primary Mission. You are to look for land and resources that can be used by Humanity to advance and prosper. Explore. Document. Explain. Knowledge is the most valuable resource.
- Every member of the Expeditionary Corps is an explorer. Some are Explorers by rank or position, but everyone has to be one when duty calls. You should always expect being assigned to an expedition if needed. You have already volunteered when you signed up.
- Danger is a part of the mission – avoid, not run away. Keep your crew alive and hull intact, but remember – you are not here to sightsee. Dangers are obstacles to be cleared, not the roadblocks. Weigh risks carefully and keep your Primary Mission in mind.
Your "department", so to speak, is located on Deck Five, the Hangar. Nearby the stairwell, you will find Expedition Prep, where your equipment is stored. In the hangar itself are two shuttles – the Charon, exploration's shuttle, and the General Utility Pod, or GUP. You will primarily be boarding the Charon for away missions.
Most if not all of the gear you will need is stored in one of the lockers. The items found in lockers are as follows:
- Machete belt: A six-slot belt for holding your gear.
- Machete: Your trusty titanium machete, commonly used to cut up plants and drive away hostile xenofauna (Note: This is not very effective at hurting other players, so don't try. Unless there are extenuating circumstances). It can be holstered or drawn with the hotkey
- Light first aid kit: A little more comprehensive than your survival kit, this contains gauze and three injectors that respectively contain Inaprovaline, Dexalin, and Deletrathol.
- Shortwave radio: A handheld radio that automatically connects to your headset. Turning this on, sticking this in your pocket, and using the regular comms prefix (
;) away from telecomms range will allow you to speak over the  radio frequency. Use this to communicate with your team.
- Relay positioning device: Also stick this in your pocket; it allows you to view your coordinates (in x:y:z format) and take note of where you are.
- Universal recorder: For recording a conversation with the Ascent or what-have-you.
- Gas analyzer: Click a tile to get a reading of the atmosphere of an exoplanet. You can click on it while it's in your hand and hit "Print Data" to get a physical copy of the readings.
- Binoculars: Click on these while they're in your hand to see several tiles ahead of you. May mess with your UI, depending on your resolution; click the binoculars icon again to get out of the screen.
- Tape: An extra recorder tape with ten minutes of free space on it.
- Research tape: Used for marking off scientific curiosities, or in case of a forgotten or lost relay positioning device, acting as a breadcrumb trail while you fumble back to the Charon.
- Explorer's combi-knife: A multi-functional pocketknife. Can be stuck in your boots.
- Buddy tag: You can turn this on and match numbers with another explorer; the buddy tag will beep anxiously when you're out of range of your partner.
- Large webbing: Attach this to your clothing slot to get more storage space!
Items you will find not in your locker are as follows:
- Science goggles: Used to determine technology levels, analyze the materials of an object, or know what chemicals are in a solution.
- Plant analyzer: Used to analyze properties of plants you may encounter on the surface of a planet, such as its chemical properties, how much water and light it needs, if it's carnivorous, etc.
- Botanical satchel: A much more convenient bag for holding plant samples. Click on a plant with the satchel in your hand to take the products of said plant.
- Xenofauna analyzer: Used to analyze alien creatures you may encounter on the surface of a planet.
- Geiger counter: A radiation detector; you can turn it on by clicking on it while it's in your hand. Examine it to see the current level of radiation.
- Ore detector: Run it over a tile to get a reading on the mineral properties of a planet. If you click on the detector and press 'print', you can get a desk which can be shipped out by Supply for credits, but the credits are extremely minimal.
Also useful but not typically found in your prep room are tactical goggles and optical meson scanners. Tactical goggles give you night vision, allowing you to see much further around you than you would with just the light of your helmet, and meson scanners allow you to see through walls, though with a green tint.
The Ballistic Launcher
The ballistic launcher, or 'boomstick', is a modified shotgun that can launch beanbag shells, nets, or illumination charges, depending on what you load into it. It is located in the gun locker in the crew compartment of the Charon, next to the cockpit. Only the pathfinder and shuttle pilot can open it, and will probably do so if you ask nicely.
Also inside the gun locker are three boxes of shells, in belts. They are labelled as beanbags, nets, or illumination, respectively. To load them into the launcher, click on the belt of shells while it is in your hand, and pick up the shells. Click on the launcher with the shell in your hand to load it in.
To actually prepare the ballistic launcher to fire:
- Swipe your ID through the launcher.
- Rack the launcher by clicking on it in your highlighted hand. It will make a satisfying 'chk-chk' noise.
- If you are about to fire the launcher, turn the safety off by right-clicking the launcher and selecting 'Toggle Safety'.
- Click on the thing you want to fire at. If it's right in front of you, switch to harm intent to be able to point-blank it.
Preparing a voidsuit
Main Article: Guide to EVA and Internals
Once you have gathered your gear from your locker, head south into Exploration EVA to gather your suit. Clicking on a suit storage unit will bring up a pop-up; unlock the storage, open it, and eject all the contents. It's worth noting you can attach your helmet and magboots to your suit so you don't have to actually take off your shoes to put on your magboots.
Fill your oxygen tank (by default, it's half-full) at the O2 canister nearby, if it's not already aboard the Charon. Either attach it to your suit storage or insert it into your voidsuit the same way you attached your boots and helmet to the suit. Wearing your breath mask is optional if you're already wearing a helmet.
If you are a Skrell or an Unathi, you can place your suit inside a suit cycler to have it fit your species.
Preparing the Charon
If it's your very first expedition, you'll probably be expected to stay out of the way while other people do the heavy lifting. Nevertheless, if you'd like to make yourself useful, you can help load supplies and equipment into the Charon's cargo bay. Keep in mind if you're loading things on your own, it's best to ask what is actually needed by the team.
Equipment that can be loaded on the Charon is as follows:
- Emergency floodlight: For lighting up a particularly dark exoplanet. One spawns in the Charon by default, the other spawns in Expedition Prep. Do not take the ones by the Charon's fore – they are there to light the hangar.
- Stasis cages: Two cages made for transporting xenofauna. To use it, trap an alien creature by firing a net shell from your trusty boomstick, and drag the creature into the stasis cage. (Note: Doing this is slightly bugged; you have to drag the creature's sprite, not the sprite of the net into the cage. Alt-click the tile the creature is on, and in the alt-click menu, drag that creature into the cage.) You can't load a cage containing a live creature into the exploration mech.
- Anomaly containers: Two containers for, well, containing anomalies that aren't stuck to the ground.
- Drill: The drill consists of a drill head, two braces, and an ore box that can be used to transport goods. See Mining to figure out how to operate it.
- Suspension field generator: For the scientist, if there is one. See Guide to Xenoarchaeology for usage.
- Exploration mech: Your trusty mech. Can carry up to four items in its hydraulic clamp; very useful for lugging cages along.
- Air scrubber: Turn it on to filter out toxins in the air. You generally want to keep this in the crew area; one of the racks can be deconstructed to make space for it.
- Air pump: Turn it on to restore pressure to an area; it can be filled up to 15000kPa.
- O2 canister: For refilling your oxygen tanks when you run out.
Reaching Your Destination
Once everything is loaded and all of the team are ready, you should sit down in a shuttle seat or buckle yourself to a railing (if you aren't secured when the shuttle blasts off, you'll be flung around and take a bit of damage). Whoever is piloting will lift off (there will be a sound effect), and you'll be either heading out into open space or directly dropping to the surface of a planet/entrance of an abandoned station.
You'll likely be using the larger of the Charon's two airlocks, at its fore. When everyone is ready to "cycle out", they'll all enter the airlock and begin to cycle the atmosphere in the airlock. Proper airlock procedure is as follows:
- Turn your internals on before you cycle. The air pressure in the airlock will become too low to breathe, and you don't want to risk breathing in chlorine.
- You will hear a klaxon sound effect that signals the airlock is beginning to cycle.
- Wait for the door to open. DO NOT FORCE THE AIRLOCK IN EITHER DIRECTION. Seriously, don't do it. You might either contaminate the Charon's atmosphere, injure your team, or both.
- When the door is open, exit the airlock.
On The Ground
So you've made it to the planet and out of the airlock intact! Now comes the bread and butter of your job - gathering data. This is where your xenolife scanner, plant analyzer, botanical satchel, and other such tools will start to come in handy. But before you get too excited, remember the following safety procedures:
- Don't go off on your own. This is a surefire way to get ambushed by giant spiders and killed. Find a partner, preferably one who has complementary equipment to you (i.e. they have the ballistic launcher and you have the mech to drag stasis cages with), and follow them.
- Remember the Charon's coordinates. Getting lost is a great way to run out of oxygen. Also, do you have your relay positioning device on you? You should.
- Communicate. Whether it be about something strange you've found, a puncture in your suit, or just random chatter, make sure that your team is aware that you're alive and being relatively productive.
In terms of gathering data, the procedures are relatively simple:
- The first thing you can do on the planet is take out your gas analyzer and scan the atmosphere. Then, click on the analyzer while it's in your hand and hit 'Print data' to get a physical copy of the readings.
- You might find a plant growing on the surface. Give it a scan using your plant analyzer, then click on the analyzer while it's in your hand and hit 'Print data' to get a physical copy of the readings. Harvest the plant by clicking on it with your botanical satchel.
- If you come across an animal (that isn't attacking you), give it a scan with your xenolife analyzer. Then, yep, click on the analyzer while it's in your hand and hit 'Print data' to get a physical copy of the readings. If you'd like to capture said xenofauna, load the ballistic launcher with net shells and shoot it. Then, drag the animal into a stasis cage so it can be safely transported aboard the ship. (Note: Doing this is slightly bugged; you have to drag the creature's sprite, not the sprite of the net into the cage. Alt-click the tile the creature is on, and in the alt-click menu, drag that creature into the cage.) You can't load a cage containing a live creature into the exploration mech.
- You found an anomaly! Either get someone to bring you an anomaly container or load the anomaly into the container yourself. Try not to interact with the anomaly too much, as poking it may have harmful effects. See Guide to Anomalies for more details.
- If you see a structure on the surface, call it out over the radio and go exploring inside it, ideally with a partner. You never know what (or who) might be inside.
On occasion, you may hear an announcement that a biological activity spike is happening on the planet you're on. What this means is that hostile mobs will crawl out of the ground and beeline for the ship, or for you. Depending on what the mobs are, staying on the planet after the biological spike may be a bad, bad idea.
Congratulations, you made it back intact! Hopefully you didn't set an atmosphere aflame, get poisoned by a giant spider, inhale toxic atmosphere, contaminate the Charon's air, or smoke in your suit! Now, it's time to bring the anomalies and filled stasis cages to the Petrov, hand the botanical satchel of samples over to the scientists, and help the Pathfinder write their report. Otherwise, if you're not heading out again, it's time to retire to the bar and regale the patrons with tales of heart-racing peril (or stupidity).
Explorers are often considered the most troublesome group on the Torch, often referred to as "machete-wielding savages". Because of this you may be held in low regard, even though you have done nothing wrong. You are expected to make mistakes, but here are some basic tips to make everyone's experience better when you play as an explorer.
- Listen to the Pathfinder, follow their directions. They are most likely much more experienced than you, and have better judgement as an explorer (unless they are an antagonist). It is also against the Sol Code of Uniform Justice to not follow their orders, as they are your superior.
- Do not try to "conscript" yourself as security or try and openly stop threats just because you are armed with a machete. This is usually considered "valid-hunting" and is often adminhelp-able. If you are confronted by a threat, you can use your machete, but try to remain on the defensive. Just chopping the head off of a traitor often ruins their plan/gimmick and can even spoil a round.
- Usually, rounds are non-canon. This means what happened in one round stays in that round. You are expected not to know anything major about away sites that can only be known via experience (the loot there, the backstory, what's on a planet). Although it may become repetitive, view every away site as a completely new and interesting experience, regardless of how many times you've been through it.
- You are at most an E-5. You hold little authority compared to the Pathfinder (an O-1), or any other higher-ranking crew member. Do not try to make executive/important decisions when there are superiors available. The difference between your experience and the experience of a superior can usually save a life.
- Most importantly, it's not about the loot, it's about the exploration. If you want to loot, be a Prospector.
|Bridge Officer ∙ Commanding Officer ∙ Corporate Liaison ∙ Executive Officer ∙ SEA ∙ SCGR|
|Chief Engineer ∙ Engineer ∙ Engineer Trainee ∙ Roboticist ∙ Senior Engineer|
|Explorer ∙ Pathfinder ∙ Shuttle Pilot|
|Chief Medical Officer ∙ Counselor ∙ Medical Technician ∙ Medical Resident ∙ Pharmacist ∙ Physician ∙ Trainee Medical Technician|
|Chief Science Officer ∙ Research Assistant ∙ Scientist ∙ Senior Researcher|
|Brig Chief ∙ Chief of Security ∙ Forensic Technician ∙ Master at Arms|
|Chaplain ∙ Chief Steward ∙ Crewman ∙ Sanitation Technician ∙ Steward|
|Deck Chief ∙ Deck Technician ∙ Prospector|
|Merchant ∙ Passenger ∙ Robot|
|Changeling ∙ Cultist ∙ Loyalist ∙ Mercenary ∙ Mutineer ∙ Ninja ∙ Raider ∙ Renegade ∙ Traitor ∙ Vox Raider|