Farming Autothysian Lancers in High-Sec

Back in 2015, the Carnyx expansion brought a host of changes to null-sec, including the way sovereignty was handled. This would now depend on a system revolving around the usage of a new type of module, the Entosis Link, whose manufacturing required in turn a new material as well—the Antikythera Element.

The Antikythera Element can however only be obtained from the wrecks of certain Drifter ships. Namely, the deadly and overpowered Drifter battleships, and the much more accessible Autothysian Lancers found in those systems across New Eden where a Jove Observatory had appeared. Farming the latter in the relative safety of high-sec can thus be a lucrative endeavour, especially at times of war when – in addition to the blue loot the Lancers drop – this exclusive resource will be in high-demand.

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The Drifters nowadays known as Autothysian Lancers were first introduced into New Eden under a different name: Circadian Seekers. This changed in November 2016 with the release of the Ascension expansion, which incorporated a new NPC also called Circadian Seeker to the tutorial for new EVE players; with the Drifters formerly known by that name being rebranded as Autothysian Lancers.

It shall be noted that the original Circadian Seekers were significantly weaker than their current incarnation, so any information regarding them prior to that date should be taken with a grain of salt, especially as far as fits and farming strategies go.

The current Autothysian Lancers are equipped with two weapon systems capable of dealing a combined 104 DPS at long distances, but no doomsday weapon akin to that the Drifter battleships possess:

EM Exp Kin The RoF Range
Turrets 220 220 5 s 101 km
Missiles 111 111 15 s 84 km
Total DPS 44 8 8 44

Similarly, they have no overshield and very low regen rates, so destroying them is a matter of withstanding their damage output and grinding their tank for the most part. To this end, dealing EM damage – the one they are weakest to – is strongly recommended, or Thermal as a second-best option.

HP EM Exp Kin The Regen
Shields 4,000 73.75% 85% 81.25% 77.5% 9.60 HP/s
Armor 5,600 60% 60% 60% 60%
Structure 2,800 0% 0% 0% 0%
Total EHP 32,038 43,467 38,133 34,578

Of interest when searching for them is the fact that, same as other Drifter vessels, they do not show up in d-scan—and neither can they be pinpointed with combat probes, according to various sources. So the only way to find them is to travel to the multiple locations they are known to visit, and look for them on the Overview once on-grid.

When destroyed, each Autothysian Lancer will drop 4 units of Sleeper Data Library as blue loot, worth 2 million ISK in total; and there is a chance of obtaining a single unit of Antikythera Element roughly one-quarter of the times. Salvaging their wrecks, on the other hand, will only occasionally yield Metal Scraps, but no other salvage materials.

The Autothysian Lancers are gregarious creatures which roam those systems where a Jove Observatory is present in packs of typically four or five, scanning ships and structures at the landmarks they visit without any deleterious consequences for the targets that pique their curiosity.

While their default behaviour is peaceful, a Lancer will attack in three cases:

  1. When encountered next to a Jove Observatory or Drifter wormhole, alone or together with other Drifter cruisers and battleships.
  2. If, upon being scanned, a ship is found to carry any corpses in its cargo hold.
  3. In response to an act of aggression, which may also prompt the arrival of reinforcements.

Once in combat, they'll make best speed (ca. 1,240 m/s) until they get within 10-20 km of their target, where they'll try to hold said distance orbiting at about 155 m/s. Their focus during a engagement seems to be on the ships they are fighting themselves, and they tend to ignore drones—both light, medium and heavy.

As indicated in the helpdesk article on the matter, Drifters – Lancers included – are vicious enemies that will pursue and pod those capsuleers they have a quarrel with:

[…] once a Drifter does attack for whatever reason, it will chase its target relentlessly through the system and once destroyed, all traces of the target will be eliminated, including its wreck as well as the capsule of the pilot. While Drifters will not follow into other systems, they will resume their chase if a target returns to the system after it had left.

Besides any reinforcements the Drifters involved in the attack may summon, no other Drifters present in the system will join the chase at first, but they will shoot on sight from then on until the next downtime. The same is applicable to any new groups of roaming Lancers which may respawn, although it shall be emphasized that the hostilities with the Drifters from a given system won't have any effect on the interactions with other Drifters elsewhere. That is to say, the Autothysian Lancers in a system where no acts of aggression against any Drifters took place since the last downtime will remain peaceful unless provoked.

If a reinforcement wave does indeed appear, it may include Drifter battleships or cruisers. Make no mistake: for all practical purposes, the latter are only marginally less deadly than the former. Either will deliver very high damage outputs at very long ranges; point, web and neut at extreme distances; and enjoy an overshield which, in case of being depleted, will trigger a shot from a superweapon which will obliterate any subcapital ship other than a carefully crafted marauder. Under normal circumstances, the only way to survive such an encounter would therefore consist on being already aligned and immediately entering warp as they land.

Occasionally, similar cruisers will join a group of Autothysian Lancers as escort, roaming the system alongside. In those cases, their behaviour will be similar to that of the Lancers they accompany, maintaining a neutral stance by default. Truth be told, some reports exist about isolated incidents where they attacked passersby without apparent provocation, but they are few and far between, and the limited information available doesn't allow dismissing the possibility of a different explanation.

For starters, the set of systems with a Jove Observatory is fixed; a list can be found here.

Warping to the Jove Observatories looking for Lancers is a risky endeavour, though, as Drifter battleships may already be present and they'll lock and point you right away upon landing, before having any chance to warp off. That may only be the case when a Drifter wormhole is present alongside but, either way, it is safer to simply look for the Autothysian Lancers at any of the other landmarks they'll roam in the system—mainly gates, stations, POCOs and asteroid belts.

Since they'll keep warping around every now and then during the search, it is possible that, by the time one reaches their former location, they'll have warped to one of the landmarks you already visited—or one you didn't consider. Thus, more than one pass may be required before coming across them; although, after a second or third unsuccessful attempt, it may be wise to move on and try your luck in a different system, not to dismiss the chance they may be pending to respawn after having been killed by another player.

Furthermore, some best practices would also include:

  • Needless to say, be on a clean clone, should things go sideways.
  • Follow a consistent order when visiting the applicable landmarks in a system to ease keeping track of what was already covered in a given pass.
  • If you come across a group of Autothysian Lancers escorted by other Drifter cruisers (e.g. Cassandra or Orion Tyrannos), DO NOT engage.
  • Upon finding a group of Lancers – and Lancers alone – align to a gate or e.g. instadock bookmark and be ready to warp away immediately if a reinforcement wave including anything but further Lancers shows up during the engagement. Remember the Drifters will chase you around the system after an act of aggression so, if you have to flee, jump or dock right away.
  • To minimize the risk of colliding and/or getting tangled with an object while aligned, warp to gates, stations and POCOs at 20 km; yet, given their geometry, warp to asteroid belts at 0 km instead.
  • Check The Agency for pirate strongholds (i.e. FOBs) in the current system before warping to any of its asteroid belts.
  • Use a tractor beam to loot the wrecks from the Lancers as they are destroyed, remaining aligned. While an MTU – or a different approach – could be an option, they'd require you to either return to (or remain at) the scene of the crime after the fact, or break alignment. Therefore, the only really safe alternative would involve the usage of an innocent alt which wouldn't be aggroed by the Drifters.
  • Keep track of those systems you have engaged Lancers at, and do not return to them until the next downtime, when said aggro will reset.

The last point shall not be overlooked, as – following an engagement with the Lancers – any new group that spawns in the very same system will shoot you on sight from then on. These may well include some of the aforementioned Cassandra and Orion Tyrannos, which target and point in 2s same as a Drifter battleship would; plus, escorted or not, you may find the Lancers lingering around gates, stations, etc., as usual, posing a risk to even crossing the system.

So take notes, cross them out in a map taken from e.g. dotlan, or consider adding them temporarily to the avoidance list in your Route settings not to be taken there when trying to reach a different destination. No matter what, fly safe.


Unlike the former Circadian Seekers, which could be dealt with using a T1 cruiser, handling a group of Autothysian Lancers requires tanking about 400-500 EHP/s at present – i.e. against four or five foes, each dealing 104 DPS – with damage outputs (ideally) in a similar range.

Depending on the particular fit, regen rates around or below 400 EHP/s can also be feasible when dealing with up to five Lancers, as long as the ship at hand has enough shield or armor buffer to hold its own until the first target is killed. Still, since one's attention should be focused on the Overview in case of additional incoming threats, it would be advisable to trade some DPS for additional tank not to have to care about the damage taken too.

With this in mind, a T1 battlecruiser would make for a suitable ship to farm Lancers with, with a moderate ISK investment.

Please find two fit proposals below, for a Cyclone and a Myrmidon respectively: both have been tested and are equivalent in terms of cost and performance, with the Cyclone having some more tank and being a tad more nimble, and the Myrmidon having a bit more DPS. The tank and damage output of the latter depends heavily on the Gallente Battlecruiser skill being maxed-out, though. So, if that is not the case, consider replacing one of the Drone Damage Amplifier II modules with a second Multispectrum Energized Membrane II.

Nevertheless, double check the figures and make any required amendments according to your skillset using the above damage profile in Pyfa; and, when in doubt, err on the side of more tank—happy hunt!


Cyclone Myrmidon
[Cyclone, Cyclone (Autothysian Hunter)]

Ballistic Control System II
Shield Power Relay II
Shield Power Relay II
Shield Power Relay II
Shield Power Relay II

Large Shield Extender II
Large Shield Extender II
Large Shield Extender II
Multispectrum Shield Hardener II
Multispectrum Shield Hardener II

Heavy Missile Launcher II
Heavy Missile Launcher II
Heavy Missile Launcher II
Heavy Missile Launcher II
Heavy Missile Launcher II
Small Tractor Beam II
Salvager I

Medium Core Defense Field Purger I
Medium Core Defense Field Purger I
Medium Core Defense Field Purger I

Infiltrator II x5

Mjolnir Fury Heavy Missile x5000
[Myrmidon, Myrmidon (Autothysian Hunter)]

Medium Armor Repairer II
Medium Armor Repairer II
Multispectrum Energized Membrane II
Reactive Armor Hardener
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II

Large Cap Battery II
Large Cap Battery II
Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II
Drone Navigation Computer II

Small Tractor Beam II
Salvager I
[Empty High slot]
[Empty High slot]
[Empty High slot]

Medium Auxiliary Nano Pump I
Medium Nanobot Accelerator I
Medium Nanobot Accelerator I

Praetor II x4
Praetor II x4