This may come as something rather obvious to those who have been paying attention. Yet if it actually was obvious enough, it would have been changed long ago. Anyone that’s been paying attention knows this fact: Rorqual mining is destroying the game and actually hurting miners. The concept started out well enough, but lately it has become more and more obvious that this game mechanic promotes stagnation and economic turmoil. It’s hurting both the PVE and the PVP aspects of gameplay. On the PVE side of things, Rorqual mining has made the mineral Market into trash. There is an overabundance of mining going on and prices have been sinking. Older players can continue stacking on more and more accounts, but newer players who are stuck with a basic tech 1 mining ship have no such possibility. This hurts player retention. When once upon a time a player could be happy getting into a Hulk and making a decent amount of money, now having at least one Rorqual is the apparent minimum. It’s just not worth your time to mine in anything else. Furthermore, any half-serious miner is going to have a multibox Rorqual Armada of their own.
While initially the Rorqual and the Panic module created some fun attack and defend style engagements, the prevalence coupled with the durability of the Rorqual has raised the bar so high for the attackers that it’s not even really worth committing to such attacks unless you bring overwhelming Force. Although bigger alliances can stomach such requirements, and you will always find the exception Rorqual Miner who does not pay attention, this trend has hurt the smaller gang players who now feel that they have zero impact in such an engagement. We’ve hit another N+1 scenario this time centered around a mining ship.
Mineral prices crashed, almost unassailable wealth in terms of the Rorqual itself, content stagnation in terms of day-to-day interaction, these are all issues we recognize. The solution is actually much more simple and obvious than some may assume. How did we solve the previous N+1 issue where everyone simply piled on carriers? Fighter mechanics. It’s no longer possible to efficiently multibox a bunch of carriers all at once because fighter mechanics are essentially multiboxing several smaller ships already.
We need to apply the same technique to Rorqual mining. Something which will require more attention and no longer will one person be able to mine with a dozen Rorquals at once. This will decrease the overall amount of minerals on Market and therefore increasing the value of it. We could also consider tweaking the Panic module a bit. Ideas regarding making other mining ships such as Hulks having some kind of active gameplay could also be helpful in dealing with the AFK problem and by extension botting.
There will be a certain amount of blowback with such changes put in place. Specifically the people who have amassed for themselves a stockpile of minerals at this deflated price will suddenly see their wealth increase simply because they took advantage of a broken mechanic. Part of me would like to see some kind of wealth removed from these people the same way as we had when people took advantage of the Faction Warfare gameplay debacle years ago. But on the other hand this is CCP’s fault rather than the players. I don’t mean this in an abrasive manner. The very fact that I’m writing this should be proof that I believe CCP actually listens to its player base and I hope that this article, or at least these opinions, reach them.
Lastly CCP needs to address the scarcity issue… As in there isn’t enough scarcity of resources. Regions are too resource-dense promoting a turtle gameplay style rather than one that sees players competing. Yes we are seeing a potentially massive war kick off right now but this is more due to people being bored and egotistical rather than actual resource acquisition. Players need that drive for resource acquisition and that can only be created through scarcity. The very fact that one single region such as Delve can support the largest Coalition in the game without even being at full capacity is quite telling. Scarcity creates content.
– Seraph IX Basarab