Mining in EvE Online has been a subject of much discussion for quite some time. It’s a dull but needed profession that’s heavily dominated by botting and afk miners. It’s also probably the single thing in EvE that has never gotten much attention since Eve Online’s release in 2003. Every other game I’ve played, singleplayer or MMO, it has never been the acquisition of building materials that took large chunks of time, but rather the search for those raw materials.
What does mining do for EvE Online?
Mining provides a large portion of the minerals needed to build every single ship and module in EvE. Without mining we would all be flying around in noobships fitted with civilian weapons. Mining also provides invaluable resources for POS fuel, jumpfuel, cynofuel, etc via ice-mining. However, I believe the current system is both out of date and not in the spirit of EvE. So here are some ideas I would like to see implemented in EvE Online.
I want mining to be automated. Fully automated. Just how this works I will explain later. I want to get rid of static belts everywhere.
It all needs to start with the belts. Get rid of the static asteroid belts. They serve no purpose besides being a point in space where you warp to for free ISK.
Instead of this model, I would like to see mining tied together with exploration exclusively. Asteroids have to be scanned down, warped to and analyzed. Not belts, but single asteroids. The thing here is that the name of the asteroid should not give you any clue to as to it’s contents. That’s where the survey scanner comes in. You scan the rock and get the results.. not in total amount of x mineral but instead a single rock containing multiple mineral types. E.g. 68 % veldspar, 29 % scordite and 3 % kernite… You get the idea. The amounts of minerals in rocks should be totally variable, this gives the chance for a miner to find “motherloads” of pure rocks. E.g. 100 % bistot ‘roids.
These results can then be saved to an in-game “note” and either be used by the pilot himself, or sold on contracts/market. That way, suddenly we have a new profession in EvE. The Prospector.
This also opens up emergent and interactive game play connected with mining. Also it gives you a choice.. Spend ISK to buy the location of the perfect, for your needs, asteroid. Or spend time and manpower searching for it yourself or with corpmates. Perhaps just cut your losses and accept a mediocre rock and get to work right away.
Asteroid spawn would of course be available in all systems at all times. But I would like to see Eve Online’s famous RNG to distribute them. Say 2 “static” spawns in all systems and from there it’s completely random. In sov-space the ore prospecting array would of course ensure an increasing number of denser and more valuable rocks.
So now that you have found the rock you want to mine. So how do you do it?
Currently you jump into a ship fitted with some kind of harvesters and then sit and look at some spinning rocks with yellow or blue beams connected to them.
This is the part I want to automate with static mining bases. A mining base is a structure you fit, puts into your cargo hold and then anchors around the asteroid. It will then, after activation, start to mine for you. All these bases will have a substantial ore hold.
Mining bases will be what hulks, mackinaws and skiffs are right now. The Hulk will be the top tier base. Pulling in large amounts of ore at the expense of hit points and defense. The mackinaw is the mid-tier base capable of harvesting a good amount of ore but with better defensive capabilities. The Skiff is the low tier base, harvesting small amounts of ore but with extensive defensive capabilities.
These bases are fit like ships. They have a number of hi, mid and low slots and a number of mining module slots.
The normal slots are for fitting normal modules for combat/defense and the auxiliary modules for fitting strip miners/ice miners.
Why the fitting options? Well I would like to see these bases attack-able at all times.. even in Hi-Sec without Wardecs. And why? First off, it’ll allow you to remove competitors who’s mining your hard-found rock. It’ll allow corporations and individuals to hurt the industrial backbone of competitors and it will allow the general griefing that we all crave. And also I want to put an end to at least one of the no risk, free isk printing machines in Hi-Sec. If you want to make money you have to put some effort into it and accept a certain level of risk.
However these bases would have nowhere near the cost of the current Exhumer class mining barges. A lot of these bases will be destroyed on a regular basis and it would make no sense to pay hundreds of millions for a structure that could be destroyed 2 minutes later. I’m thinking in the range of 500.000 -> 1.000.000 isk + any fittings you might throw onto it.
Now the base is fitted and ready to be set up. You launch it, anchor it and press online. A message pops up: Upkeep needed.
Upkeep? Yes. You have to pay the poor workers inside your magnificent mining base.
Based on tier you have to pay an amount of isk to keep the structure running. Say 10.000 isk per hour or something like that. This is foremost because CCP and everyone else love isk-sinks. Secondly it’ll maybe finally rid us all of the stupid notion: Minerals I mine are free.
Then you configure the base, what should it mine? A quick dropdown menu allows you choose what type of ore is to be mined.
You hit online and the base starts mining. You can now leave the area and only need to return to either defend your base, empty the cargo hold of the base or to unanchor and relocate your base.
This is basically the idea behind a new mining system. There are a lot of points still to be considered but I’ll list a few here.
Venture mining frigate : Keep it as it is now. A specialized gas harvesting vessel and a low-entry manual mining vessel.
Orca : Since mining boosts makes no sense now I would like to see the Orca transformed into either a mini-freighter or a specialized ore hauling vessel.
Rorqual: Kind of hard. It’ll need to retain the ability to compress ore but since boosts are no longer needed maybe some kind of bonuses to the promised ring-mining?
Still can’t make my mind up regarding how many bases a single character should be able to deploy. I’m leaning towards 3-5 but maybe just 1?
Ice ore could either be part of the new asteroids or maybe stay as it is now, a single rock you scan down and mine the same way as ore.
Should more than 1 player be allowed to mine a single asteroid? If only 1 player is allowed to “claim” a rock a lot more fighting could occur. If there’s no limit to the numbers around a rock it would make sense to either spend time to remove other bases or search for another rock.
I realize many players will never fire a shot at other players bases simply because they don’t want PvP. Some might even unsubscribe. But in the long run I think it’ll be better for EvE.
What do you think?
- Dunkle Lars