The first in a four part series on the changes coming to mining in EVE.

The mining revolution has begun, and it is a thing of beauty!  From new Mining Drones and mining drone skills, to Capital Industrial ships, there are going to be some big changes coming to New Eden!  Mining has been largely a passive activity that, while vital, hasn’t been the most exciting or profitable way to spend time in New Eden.  After listening to the feedback of capsuleers, CCP will be implementing some changes, much to the joy (or dismay) of miners.  While only time will tell if the changes are enough to bring excitement, it looks like there is a good chance that income will increase for miners, especially with higher risk operations.  As there has already been extensive discussion on the new mining boosts, there was nothing truly “new” revealed; instead, this newest dev blog focuses on the changes that are coming to the ships and their abilities.   First is the creation of a new class of Industrial Ship, The Porpoise.




The Porpoise

Glancing at the new Porpoise Class Industrial Command Ship, it is reminiscent of another ship released by ORE, the Noctis, albeit with a new paint job.  This ship has been long in coming, and there is some speculation as to whether the Porpoise will meet the needs that miners currently have.  According to the progression tree, the Porpoise will be placed before the Orca, and as such will have some reduction to its abilities.  That being said, the training time for this ship, from a completely new player perspective, will be 18 days.  Although this doesn’t differ from the Orca, at current market costs, the the Orca is worth 500 – 700 million isk.  CCP advertises that this new “Mobile Industrial Command Ship” will be around the cost of a current Tech 1 BattleCruiser, or 50 – 70 million isk: one tenth of the cost of the Orca.  

This low cost is going to be one of the biggest benefits of the Porpoise, because it will allow for new players to jump in fairly quickly and it creates a new workhorse for dangerous sections of space, where the risk could make it unprofitable to take an Orca or Rorqual.  Under the current system, unless a new player uses PLEX (or has a benefactor), they won’t be able to purchase and fit an Orca for a significant amount of time. Since the Orca is the only currently usable mining boost ship in Hi-Sec, the higher cost also means that newer players are less likely to fly their Orca in regular mining fleets, where they are popular target with pirates.

“With a full flight of medium drones and a full-strength drone damage bonus, the Porpoise has the damage potential of a combat cruiser. This can be used to help clear NPC pirates from the belt, or in conjunction with Procurers and Skiffs to form a deadly drone swarm and surprise overconfident capsuleer attackers…A 400% bonus to Remote Shield Booster optimal range allows the Porpoise to effectively aid in the defense of its allies using medium remote shield boosters.”

Aside from the mining applications, there are some that have already considered the PvP implications that a 400% boost to a shield Logi may bring to the battlefield.  In the response forum, the capsuleer Blastil said: “looking at this right off the bat, I’m going to say I’m excited for the Porpoise and I’m not even an industrialist.  A logi ship with slightly reduced range, but an extra 400 ish DPS from drones? I’ll allow it. I’m seeing it now: Gila fleets backed by Porpoises.”

Even in some of the largest alliances and most secure sections of space, flying an Orca with a mining fleet is a risky prospect that doesn’t currently merit the rewards.  With a fully fit Orca costing nearly 1 billion isk, the Porpoise creates a platform that will allow fleets of barges or ventures to mine in some of the most active and contested areas, while still receiving boosts. In addition, if the boosting ship is lost, the cost of replacement is extremely manageable.  Under the current set up, most pilots mine without boosts in these dangerous systems, but no longer! Interestingly, this also applies to W-space, as:

“Thanks to ORE’s tireless work advancing hull materials technology to reduce mass, the Porpoise is light enough to travel through small-ship wormhole connections.”

Soon the wormhole miners of New Eden will have the same harvesting capabilities as their boosted counterparts in known space and the boosts, while not the equal of the other Industrial Commands, are well balanced for the benefits of the Porpoise.  The ship comes with a 2 percent bonus to mining boost strength and duration per level of the Industrial Command Ship skill. If maxed and combined with all the other skills and abilities, the boost will be ~112 percent of the normal mining amount, and both the laser cycle reduction and the mining crystal degradation rate will be ~-55 percent.  In the role bonuses, there is a 90 percent reduction in the capacitor requirement for the booster modules which means that there should be enough cap to boost, tractor in jetcans, use remote and local reps, and warp away if the need arises. Although the Porpoise cannot fit mining lasers, it does have a 50% bonus to mining drone yield which will allow it to bring in a not insignificant ~980 m³ per minute (+ drone travel time) according to the dev blog. 

These boosts, along with a full complement of mining and medium attack drones with bonuses to both, a large ore hold,  and increased tractor beam range and velocity make the Porpoise a ship that is versatile and will be an interesting fit in the complex world of mining in New Eden.