Hey folks! As we first mentioned at Fanfest this year, we have a visual revamp in the works for Mining Barges and Exhumers (along with many other ships) to continue improving EVE’s amazing visuals.

This pass on the barges allowed the art team to fulfill a long-standing request from the game design team. Way back in 2012 when CCP Tallest implemented the big tiericide of mining barges the three branches of barges were changed to have similar mining yields and specific specializations (defenses, storage capacity and range/yield). At that time Tallest added role bonuses to the Procurer, Skiff, Retriever, and Mackinaw to bring their effective strip miner count into the same general range. He also asked the art team to make a note that next time the Barges and Exhumers were up for a regularly scheduled visual refresh they should be unified at the same number of strip miner hardpoints. That day has now come!

To compliment the art rework we are completing a light pass on the stats and bonuses of these ships and of the strip miner modules themselves. The balance between the mining ships is in a fairly healthy state right now so we’re not making any drastic changes to the relative strengths of the different barges and exhumers.

For a bit of insight into the current usage of the top 7 mining ships, here’s the breakdown of mining yield by volume (last 90 days including ore, ice, and gas):

  • Retriever: 23%
  • Mackinaw: 22%
  • Hulk: 21%
  • Skiff: 14%
  • Procurer: 8%
  • Covetor: 7%
  • Venture: 4%
  • Other: 1%

Unsurprisingly the Retriever and Mackinaw are still on top (unchanged from the last time we presented these stats) due to the very high value placed on ore bay capacity among a solid chunk of miners. However we don’t feel any need to reduce the power of Retrievers and Mackinaws, as their popularity isn’t out of control and other alternatives have their own well-balanced strengths.

The overall mining yields of the Procurer, Skiff, Retriever, and Mackinaw remain unchanged after this pass. The Covetor and Hulk will gain a lowslot which allows some new options and the potential of greater yield (although fittings will be appropriately tight when using three MLUs).

As part of this change we are increasing the yield of all barge-sized strip miners and ice harvesters, which cancels out the changes to hardpoints and bonuses on the Barges and Exhumers. We are also providing a moderate buff to the ORE Strip Miners and ORE Ice Harvesters.

The module changes in full are:

  • All Non-ORE Strip Miners: +25% volume mined per cycle
  • ORE Strip Miner: +30% volume mined per cycle, -10 CPU
  • All Ice Harvesters: -20% cycle time, -20% capacitor use
  • ORE Ice Harvester: -16 CPU

And the ship changes:

Procurer:
Removal of strip miner yield and ice harvester cycle time role bonuses
+1 highslot
+7 PWG
+55 CPU

Skiff:
Removal of strip miner yield and ice harvester cycle time role bonuses
+1 highslot
+8 PWG
+60 CPU

Retriever:
Removal of strip miner yield and ice harvester cycle time role bonuses

Mackinaw:
Removal of strip miner yield and ice harvester cycle time role bonuses

Covetor:
Changed skill bonus for the skill Mining Barge: 2% (was 4%) reduction in strip miner and ice harvester duration per level
New role bonus: 25% reduction in strip miner and ice harvester duration and activation cost
-1 highslot
+1 lowslot
-5 PWG
-15 CPU

Hulk:
Changed skill bonus for the skill Mining Barge: 2% (was 4%) reduction in strip miner and ice harvester duration per level
New role bonus: 25% reduction in strip miner and ice harvester duration and activation cost
-1 highslot
+1 lowslot
-5 PWG
-40 CPU

We’re very interested in your feedback and welcome you to try out the new stats (and new ship models) on SISI.
Thanks!

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