Well - as you probably can't guess from reading the blogosphere - the changes to exploration content have been announced and its absolutely brilliant in my opinion. I'm not going to link to content as this is all accessible on the EVE homepage
Basically - CCP are adding >2000 new solar systems to EVE. Except you can't access them via jumpgates, only via wormholes. Wormholes will be accessed via Exploration and allow a set amount of mass through them (ie bigger ships = more mass = less time before collapse). Oh and wormhole space will be 0.0 - ie no restrictions on bubbles and the like. And no sovereignty - so no alliances holding the space... Downsides are other players are definitely a risk in exploration - but with the sheer amount of new systems to play in, I can't imagine it'll be a huge risk, just watch the scanners...
Downsides are a new exploration system to learn... If you have not got skills in exploration already, I suggest it may be beneficial to get some...
Downsides are: logistics. I can't see how I could partake in a meaningful exploration session without needing a monster exploration boat, and possibly a 3rd character. To explain, the problem will be storage of loot and ammo. In a meaningful exploration session right now I can get through 10k of ammo easily. Assuming I was going to be in wormhole space for a while, I would need a lot of ammo, some spare drones.. and the ability to haul loot back to high-sec as efficiently as possibly without hitting the mass limits. If the trips through the wormhole are limited, hauling could be a huge problem.
A possible tactic may be:
Fly in a small POS + corp hanger + ship maintenance array in a hauler. Dock the hauler. Fuel POS for 2 weeks.
Fly back in a pod to pick up Cov Ops ship.
Other character brings in a salvager - then flys back in pod for combat ship.
Now got a base that can be used without hitting the mass of the wormhole too much. Now other characters could find wormhole, and thats the risk - this is why I think exploration will *have* to be done in low-activity systems for this tactic to work (so you're looking at a low-sec entry point thats well off beaten path). Luckily through some work recently I've identified a few proper low sec systems that fit that requirement. The other nice thing here is you'd get POS shielding...
Another tactic I can immediately think of (though I've never done it) is leaving ships in space. Ie, leave a hauler, in space, at a safespot. No-one in it. Eject jetcan of loot near it, swap to it, pick up. Rinse/repeat.
A ORCA in this sense may also make sense on a 3rd character, storing all the loot, a cov ops (for scanning), a destroyer (for looting), an AF (for fighting) + possibly a cruiser or 2 for hacking. Downsides are the time taken to train for said ORCA - and the higher mass content than doing the above (if I'm right) - meaning that the POS may be the better option.
I can't wait until it's all released to see which option of the above is the "right" way to fly. And I also love the fact I might get proper PvP with no standings loss in a "safe" jump from highsec... rather than the risky 0.0!
What are your thoughts on this?