Posted by: shatteredblog | April 20, 2012

Mining musings

Living in wormhole space means being a generalist. The randomness of connections and signatures means feast and famine… some days the system will bulge with sleepers and some days you will only find rocks to shoot. This weekend was the latter, so today’s topic is mining.

Mining in EVE is changing greatly. Coming soon are changes to drone and npc drops that will change the mineral supply to the economy in ways that are frightening to predict. It means that it’s a scary time to be an industrialist, but an exciting time to be a miner. Soon shooting rocks will be more important and more profitable than ever.

In the wormhole there are gravimetric sites that are similar to the signatures of the same type back in highsec. Great bands of rock floating in space, hulking and waiting to be mined. Like nullsec, the rocks in wormhole space can be any of the types of ore including the ABC ores Arkonor, Bistot and Crokite that have perennially been the most profitable. Unfortunately mining is not as relaxing an activity in the wormhole as it is outside… the need for constant vigilance watching your directional scan is ever present.

The loss of both of the other mineral supplies is going to shock the economy something fierce. Some think that the speculation of the last two weeks has already inflated prices as high as they will go but I tend to agree with Jester that we aren’t even close to what the new levels will be. His figure of another doubling of cost feels much closer to what will be the new normal.

Why is that you ask? It is because of the design of mining as it is now in the game. I think releasing this change without also adjusting the mining activity itself is a mistake. It leaves people with nothing other than profitability to consider when deciding to mine, and it hinders that by leaving the mining barges and exhumers still unable to tank damage from ships a fifth of their cost. Beyond the normal complaint people have about mining being boring these need to be adressed.

It may be as simple as modifying the mining links to provide both mining bonuses and defensive bonuses. A bonus to shield buffer from the links carried by a rorqual or orca would be a good start. Having logistics around to repair the miners is only useful if they have sufficient buffer to tank the damage. Perhaps a boost to the pg or base hp of the ships is in order as well, or a role bonus decreasing the pg requirements of shield extender modules.

The mining activity itself is fine the way it is I believe. The focus on changing mining as a profession should be on the operational side, the planning and defense of the miners themselves. Let the mining lasers do their thing but add a way for the miner to actively participate in his own defense, perhaps through a remote linked scouting drone. Or tie it into the larger idea of changing how intel is shared in null security space. Mining as a minigame is the wrong way to go because it doesn’t help the activity become more social, only less. It would also negatively impact the need to defend yourself by taking the miners attention away from that defense. It’s a bad idea.

Those are my thoughts on the mining subject. If you have comments on my ideas or other proposals you’ve seen I would enjoy hearing them.


  1. Quote: It leaves people with nothing other than profitability to consider when deciding to mine, and it hinders that by leaving the mining barges and exhumers still unable to tank damage from ships a fifth of their cost.

    I don’t expect this to ever change. Asymmetric conflict is a core design principle of EVE. It’s always going to be cat and mouse, and scouting will matter.

    • I disagree with the impossibility of it, though I see your point given past design. It’s all just speculation for now anyway.

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