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Hello again industrious capsuleers.

The ORE mining ships received a massive rebalance in the Inferno expansion, which did the classes a lot of good but also had a number of flaws appear over time. Now that we’re reaching the second anniversary of that change this is the perfect time to revisit them.

The Inferno changes followed the same goals as the rest of the Tiericide project. Previously Barges were a linear progression of underwhelming Procurers and Retrievers up to the Covetor and Exhumers had very narrow roles as miners of specific types of resources.
After Inferno, the Barges and Exhumers each skewed towards a different playstyle, giving players multiple viable choices depending on what attributes they personally valued.

In practice we underestimated the value that players would put in the isk/effort advantage of the Retriever and the Mackinaw, leading to a less diverse mining landscape than we would have liked.

We’ll be keeping the basic role breakdown that the 2012 balance created, but adjusting the bonuses quite significantly within that framework:

The Procurer and Skiff remain the tankiest of the barges, but gain an extra low slot (bringing their fitted yield up to the same level as the Retriever and Mackinaw) as well as a new bonus to drone damage and hitpoints. Asking a dedicated PVP ship to defend a mining fleet can often lead to mind numbing boredom for the PVP pilot, so we’re providing the option for players to make sacrifices in their mining ships to allow self-defense.

The Retriever and Mackinaw keep the solo and low-attention mining crown thanks to their untouched massive ore bays. They’ll be getting a slight decrease to their yield to help moderate their strength, as the previous round of balancing underestimated how much players value ore hold size.

The Covetor and Hulk remain the kings of yield, at the expense of tank and ore hold capacity. Their abilities in large scale group mining will be further improved through the addition of a 5% per level bonus to mining laser and ice harvester optimal range.

We’re also going to be switching the way that bonuses on the barges are applied, to put more emphasis on the skill bonuses and less on the role bonuses. The skill bonuses to both ore mining and ice mining will be duration based instead of yield based, providing parity between the effectiveness of the ice mining and ore mining bonuses.
Top end m3/hr will be dropping a bit for ore mining, and increasing a bit for ice mining.

The following image summarizes the results of these changes on barge mining yield. The numbers are in “effective strip miners”, and they assume max skills and that all but one of the lowslots on each ship is filled with a T2 MLU or IHU (One upgrade for the Covetor and Hulk, two for the rest).

Barge Yield

PROCURER

Mining Barge Bonus per level:
+5% Shield HP
-2% Strip Miner and Ice Harvester duration

Role Bonuses:
+150% Bonus to Strip Miner yield
-60% Ice Harvester duration and capacitor use
+50% Drone Damage and Hitpoints

Slot layout: 1H, 3M(-1), 3L(+1);
Fittings: 45 PWG, 255(+5) CPU
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 6000 / 5000 / 5500
Capacitor (amount / recharge / cap per second) : 800 / 187.5s / 4.27
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 160(+70) / 1 / 10,000,000 / 13.86s
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 25 / 50(+25)
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 30km(+7.5km) / 660 / 5(+1)
Sensor strength: 10
Signature radius: 150(-50)
Ore Bay: 12000m3

RETRIEVER

Mining Barge Bonus per level:
+5% Ore Hold capacity
-2% Strip Miner and Ice Harvester duration

Role Bonuses:
+25% Bonus to Strip Miner yield
-20% Ice Harvester duration and capacitor use

Slot layout: 2H, 1M, 3L;
Fittings: 35 PWG, 235 CPU
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 2300 / 1700 / 2000
Capacitor (amount / recharge / cap per second) : 250 / 187.5s / 1.33
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 80 / 0.659 / 20,000,000 / 18.26s
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 25 / 25
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 30km(+7.5km) / 660 / 5
Sensor strength: 9
Signature radius: 250
Ore Bay: 22000m3

COVETOR

Mining Barge Bonus per level:
+5% Strip Miner and Ice Harvester optimal range
-3% Strip Miner and Ice Harvester duration

Slot layout: 3H, 1M, 2L;
Fittings: 35 PWG, 255 CPU
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 1700 / 1300 / 1500
Capacitor (amount / recharge / cap per second) : 312.5 / 187.5s / 1.67
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 100(+30) / 0.57(+0.124) / 30,000,000(-10,000,000) / 23.71s(-1s)
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 50 / 50
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 35km(+12.5km) / 660 / 6
Sensor strength: 8
Signature radius: 200(+50)
Ore Bay: 7000m3

SKIFF

Mining Barge Bonus per level:
+5% Shield HP
-2% Strip Miner and Ice Harvester duration

Exhumer Bonus per level:
+4% Shield resistances
-2% Strip Miner and Ice Harvester duration

Role Bonuses:
+150% Bonus to Strip Miner yield
-60% Ice Harvester duration and capacitor use
+50% Drone Damage and Hitpoints

Slot layout: 1H, 5M, 3L(+1);
Fittings: 50 PWG, 300(+30) CPU
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 6500 / 5500 / 6000
Capacitor (amount / recharge / cap per second) : 900 / 187.5s / 4.8
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 200 / 1 / 10,000,000 / 13.86s
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 50 / 100(+50)
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 30km(+7.5km) / 660 / 6(+2)
Sensor strength: 14(+4)
Signature radius: 150(-50)
Ore Bay: 15000m3

MACKINAW

Mining Barge Bonus per level:
+5% Ore Hold capacity
-2% Strip Miner and Ice Harvester duration

Exhumer Bonus per level:
+4% Shield resistances
-2% Strip Miner and Ice Harvester duration

Role Bonuses:
+25% Bonus to Strip Miner yield
-20% Ice Harvester duration and capacitor use

Slot layout: 2H, 4M, 3L;
Fittings: 35 PWG, 270 CPU
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 3000 / 2300 / 2700
Capacitor (amount / recharge / cap per second) : 500 / 187.5s / 2.66
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 90(+10) / 0.659 / 20,000,000 / 18.26s
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 50 / 50
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 30km(+7.5km) / 660 / 6(+2)
Sensor strength: 13(+4)
Signature radius: 250
Ore Bay: 28000m3

HULK

Mining Barge Bonus per level:
+5% Strip Miner and Ice Harvester optimal range
-3% Strip Miner and Ice Harvester duration

Exhumer Bonus per level:
+4% Shield resistances
-2% Strip Miner and Ice Harvester duration

Slot layout: 3H, 4M, 2L;
Fittings: 35 PWG, 300 CPU
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 2200 / 1800 / 2000
Capacitor (amount / recharge / cap per second) : 625 / 187.5s / 3.33
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 140(+70) / 0.57(+0.124) / 30,000,000(-10,000,000) / 23.71s(-1s)
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 50 / 50
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 35km(+12.5km) / 660 / 7
Sensor strength: 12(+4)
Signature radius: 200(+50)
Ore Bay: 8500m3

Let us know what you think!

– CCP Fozzie

[ Original Dev Post ]

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