Posts Tagged ‘Mining’

Mini games in Eve’s future?

As some of you will now have seen from Fanfest the idea of compact “mini games” is coming to our gaming
universe, at the moment it will be confined to exploration but I think this small “toe dip” into the murky waters of “mini gaming” is the tip of what could be some pretty big changes. It reminded me of a proposition I put forward some years ago on the eve-o forums that was also mini game based and I thought I would post it here for interest and maybe to spark debate. Shown below is the post in pretty much it’s original form……

The ancient post

Idea 1: Copying is the sincerest flattery…
Mass effect 2 style probing mini game using a audio/ visual queue as you hover over a asteroid representation to find the best areas of the asteroid to hit with your mining lasers. if you choose poorly (or not at all in the case of afk miners) you get a poorer yield (mining skills could improve the accuracy of the audio/ visual queue or the resolution you could scan at maybe). You could also have the rare “ultra dense” drops show as a special anomaly on this that you may miss if you do not check thoroughly) If you have not played mass effect 2 there are loads of vids on youtube of the probing mechanic but my forum foo is weak and I cant make a working linky. Sad face.
Idea 2: use a similar mechanic already in place….
How about the “heat map” from PI also becomes audio and is adapted to be used on asteroids to again show relative potential yield areas with the same “if you choose poorly (or not at all in the case of afk miners) you get a poorer yield mechanism I mentioned above. Obviously the visual heat map will need to be robust enough or the colour scale changeable to allow for visual impairment. Also as with PI you could simulate resource depletion so it rewards people interacting more and finding the best mining laser site at any given time. Skills can effect the audio/visual representation in a way similar to PI and through properly exploring the asteroids you may find the “super duper dense officer
mining equivalent” that an afk miner will not further rewarding people actually actively mining.
Possible fall out of proposed mining “improvements”
Okay those are 2 ideas that someone elsewhere may have already had but I didn’t spot (sorry if this is the case and its not intended as an offence) but what could be the result of making mining better through a “mini game mechanic”?
As is already known people like to min max where possible, by adding a new element to the equation to take concentration you run the risk of not spotting other things (like that hostile that just came into system or the new belt rats etc). I am not actually saying this is a bad thing (I am actually a null sec raider and would love more chance that a miner may not spot my entry into local but I feel this mini game idea, due to concentration required to attain the best results will actually help keep the “risk/reward” mechanic in place.
Also on the subject of min maxing fits I had a random idea, why are asteroids only a resource? why not make them the trigger for rat spawns or even have them shoot back? using the two potential mechanics listed above how about not having all finds positive?
While were at it why are asteroids “only” positive? You could have some asteroid anomalies that are negative, for example…
1. You accidentally spooked a hidden pirate hideout and they boil out of hiding to protect their hideaway (maybe handled as simply as a player generated belt spawn)
2. The asteroid actually has camouflaged weapon emplacements and starts shooting at you itself and you must now incapacitate the defenses or even leave its vicinity if you cannot.
3. There is a pocket of explosive minerals/ gas/ compounds, the asteroid goes off like a smart bomb.
Hell go wild people, I am sure others can come up with cool alternative asteroid anomalies both positive and negative.
The mechanic of system sec status could be used to govern the likely hood of these “negative and positive anomalies” and the severity when they occur and skills could help you spot these special anomalies more easily and avoid them or not as required. This will add an element of balance into people fitting there mining ships as they have to consider if they can survive a potential “negative anomaly” which again helps the risk/reward mechanic.

Some final thoughts

As I said this is a post I made some years ago, the thing that worries me though is that is one area that even with the re balance of the mining ships there has been no iteration off, a rarity in Eve these days, I actually spoke with CCP greyscale at Fanfest about the “why are all “anomalies” positive idea, can we have some negative ones and he sounded genuinely interested so who knows maybe in the near future we may be hearing about actually interesting “once when I was mining” stories that don’t involve a mass smart bomb gank, who knows?

Some one else’s Venture Into Speculation on the Mining Barge Changes of 08/08/2012

All I can say is owch…

My Venture Into Speculation on the Mining Barge Changes of 08/08/2012

I did a tally yesterday on just how many blogs and feeds I currently view every day. ~94 was the answer; and it might be a little extreme. However for me, playing eve is all about accumulation of knowledge. Don’t get me wrong, I a real PvP player, I love fleet fights, I love small gang fights, I even love 1v1’s (although I really suck at them). But I also believe that to truly excel at this game, you need to back-up your fighting prowess with the ability to gather information, and proactively adapt you methods and styles in order to thrive in the new environments.
What’s more this doesn’t just pertain to PvP. In eve, if you want to individually succeed in PvP, you will also need to succeed in making money. Of course you can “opt out” of this gameplay style by purchasing PLEX, and I respect those who choose to do so (unlike a certain Goblin), but that play style is not for me. Today I want to look at a story of how this information gathering (on a topic as unrelated to PvP as you can get in eve) has enabled me to continue PvPing by earning me ISK.

Before I start, I want to preface this by stating that I am by no means a “Rich” eve player. My total wealth (liquid and assets) across four accounts is around 10Bn with an income around 700m per month (which is almost always spent immediately on PLEX + PvP ships), which is enough for me, but by no means an excessive amount. So here goes:

On the 14 of Aug this year CCP released a Dev Blog about some incoming changes to Mining barges and some changes to the T1 frigates. Now I love T1 frigates, and the changes were great, but what really got me excited was the section about Mining Barges. They were due to receive some “Balancing” and CCP was aiming to make hulks no longer the only option for miners. Although it was light on details, my observations on how the frigate changes had progressed, I had a fair idea of exactly what would happen to the mining barges.

Specifically my thought process was as follows: I know the hulk is the best mining barge. I know the Rifter was the best T1 frigate. T1 frigates were all categories into specialities and then balanced up to the level of the Rifter with that speciality in mind. I know that the Mining barges have been categorised into specialities… I am guessing that that same will happen, and that demand for non-hulk mining ships would dramatically increase.

With this in mind, I decided, that very day to dip my toes into the tepid waters of market speculation.

Initially I was timid and simply bough* 5 of each mining barge (except the Hulk, figuring that any % increase in demand for new ships would likely come out of the % demand for the hulk). The gamble, I thought, would come from the simple application of supply and demand principles. I demand for Skiffs etc was going to increase, and the production of them didn’t increase immediately to meet the demand, the cost of the ships would rise, and I would make a profit**. At this stage, I was looking at a 1.8bn ISK investment, and hoping for a few 100M ISK return.

As time went on, and I began to see an immediate slight rise in prices immediately after that dev blog, I decided to place large buy orders on the barges as well, which eventualy filled into around another 1bn ISK investment totaling me at around 2.8bn all in, across 75 ships.

Then on the 30/7 the game changed. A player blog I found linked on Redit, indicated that a Dump from SiSi showed a massive increase of mineral requirements to build the Barges. Assuming that the changes went live, as they were then (9 days before the go live date), I was, at least in the long run, guaranteed a profit on any ships purchased before the patch.

At this stage I had already produced a spreadsheet detailing my investment so far, and the minimum amount I needed the prices to rise by before I could sell for a profit (taxes). Now I took the new mineral amount, and using current market prices, divined the ISK rise in producing each ship. This number could then be added the current cost of the ships (assuming manufacturers would pass on 100% of cost increase to the customer, this is eve after all), giving me my predicted minimum sell prices post patch.

The only risk left (other than a change in the live production costs) was that too many players would speculate in the same market. My fear was that if 1000’s of players invested in the barges, impatient players might sell lower than the production cost (but still miles higher that pre patch purchase cost) in order to regain their capital early. This would slow the rise of prices in the ships, forcing me to hold onto mine for longer before I could sell for maximum profit. Thankfully Redit & the blog saved me.

You see in the Blog, the writer noted that after crunching the numbers the procurer was getting the best % increase in price. Redit bit into this and started to salavate over procurers (I’m sure not everyone did, but there were a lot of posts just about buying this 1 ship). Procurers of which I still only had 5 of were suddenly THE speculation of the masses. Luckily for me, my investment was much more evenly spread.

On the 8th of Aug I returned home from work at 4:30pm GMT and booted up my client. I noted that the T2 barges were virtually non-existent on sell orders (last minute investors?), whereas T1 was still in abundance, and only beginning a slow climb upwards in prices (still above my minimum sell point, but nowhere near my predicted price).

Immediately I placed all my Mackinaws on sale for [original selling price]+([increased mineral cost]*2) rounded to the nearest 100. ie. 400m (I bought them for 120-150M each). At this point I should note that there were some buy orders for 500M, and the sales statistics showed that at least 1 of these had already sold. However with limited online time, and other projects needing my ISK investments, I wanted to release my capital at a speed balanced between best profit and best speed. I also placed my Skiffs on the market at the same price.

Within half an hour 6 of the 9 Mackinaws and 1 of the skiffs had sold releasing 2.6bn ISK. The shrewd amongst you will see that at this stage I was still only 200bn ISK down on this whole deal with another 68 ships left to sell. As the evening went on, and Mack sales continued I began to see a rise in Coverter prices, and using a similar calculation to the T2 prices (but rounded to the nearest 10m), I added my stock to the market, in the hope that the market would speed past the mineral + extra cost point and over my sales.

I am still awaiting the sale of most of my T1 ships and currently stand 1bn in profit over this venture with a projected minimal return of 3bn (over my initial investment), although I will need to wait for the prices to rise to at least their base mineral cost before I can realise this final profit.

However, some interesting observations from my story:

– The new Mackinaw in VERY popular. Maybe there are a lot of high sec miners out there who don’t have orcas (not in a corp makes me sad [but richer] panda). Could this have been the bots buying new ships as per Nosy Gamer?

– 7 Sales in the first half hour of my time post patch!? Really? Why did these people not buy them on the 6th or earlier? When prices were around 150M? Did they miss the dev blog until they read the patch notes while updating? Did they read the dev blog but not bother buying one till (after) the last minute? Really!?

– I realise that I probably could have sold my Mack’s for more than the 400M I did, but honestly 400M was enough for me. At a profit of 250M each, the profit of just two of them will keep me in PvP ships for a month. I like money, but I’m not greedy.

*I actually believe that purchasing the ships from the market, with the information I had at this point was a massive mistake. By buying them rather than placing buy orders I was adding an extra 1.25% markup requirement to make a profit. cutting into what I thought would be a slim profit margin.

** Roughly translated:

1.    Buy mining barges

2.    Wait for more people to want them

3.    ????????

4.    PROFIT

Ring Mining, (short)

Just a quick one today.

There has been a lot of chat about Ring mining, and the mechanics surroding them Poetic noted that CCP Greyscale has talked about Trauling. I have literaly only two things to add to this…

1. Please can we make “Trauling ships” PvP ships. A pilot should be able to take a PvP ship, remove 1 tank/spank mod, and fit the “Net”. If you want us to co-operate, let us be ready for combat while we do!

2. If we are using the Fishing metafore, lets make the mechanic work like this: 2 ships trauling, 1 running ahead dropping depth chages. e.g. use a smart bombing battleship to break down the ore so it can be collected by the net. Lets face it smartbombs need some role, other than killing RvB!

Mining Barge Changes: The details

It would appear that the ORE Ship changes have come live on SiSi, bellow are the new stats (with changes in brackets), as found in this paste of stats: This is good news for Carebares, good news for gankers, and good news for the economy!
Mining barges
Armor: 1800 (+550)
Hold Capacity: 500 (-3500)
CPU: 255 (+55)
Structure: 2000 (+125)
Shield: 2200 (+1219)
Ore hold: 7000 (New)
Bonuses (per level of mining barge)
4% bonus to strip miner yield per level of mining barge (+17% assuming mining barge lvl5)
3% reduction in ice harvest duration (new)
Total hold space: 7500 (+3500)
Extreme Yield
Effective miners: 3.6
Armor: 5000 (+4687)
Capacitor: 800 (+612.5)
Hold Capacity: 350 (-650)
CPU: 250 (+125)
Structure: 5500 (+5031)
PG:  45 (+10)
Shield: 6000 (+5805)
Shield Recharge: 2,500,000 (+1,875,000)
Signature Radius: 200 (+110)
Ore Hold: 15000 (new)
5% bonus to shield hit points per level of Mining Barge (new)
66.66% reduction to ice harvester duration and capacitor use (new)
200% bonus to strip miner yield (+197%)
Total hold space 15800 (+15187.5)
Extreme Defence
Effective miners: 2
Armor: 3200 (+2575)
Hold Capacity: 350 (-1650)
CPU: 235 (+110)
Structure: 3500 (+2562)
Low slots: 3 (+1)
Shields: 3800 (+3409)
Shield Recharge: 1,500,000 (+875,000)
Signature Radius 250 (+130)
Ore Hold: 20000 (new)
10% bonus to ore hold capacity per level of mining barge (new)
33.33% reduction in Ice Harvester duration and capacitor use (new)
50% bonus to strip miner yield (+35% if you assume mining barge lvl5)
Total hold space 20350 (+18700)
Extreme hold space
Effective miners: 3
The Yield bonuses seem all over the place until you remember that the barges Covetor is the only barge which fits 3 turrets, with the Retriever and procurer having 1 and 2 respectively. To reflect this I have added the Effective Miners stats which is equal to (High slots * bonus@lvl5). Average total hp increase of 8654. The Covetor seems to have gotten a meagre 1894 increase which pales in comparison to the Procurer and Retriever (+15523 and +8546 respectively). Hold space is way up, on all of them, with the retriever getting a whopping 30k space at mining barge level 5, that’s a quarter of a Orcas unfitted hold space.
Armor: 2300 (+1287)
Hold Capacity: 500 (-7500)
Structure: 2500 (-31)
Shields: 2700 (+1181)
Shield Recharge: 1,000,000 (+375,000)
Ore Hold: 7500 (new)
3% to trip miner yield per level of Mining barge (same)
7.5% bonus to all shield resistances per level of mining barge (same)
3% bonus to strip miner yield per level of exhumers (same)
4% reduction in ice harvest duration per level of exhumers (+1%)
Total hold space 8000 (+500)
Super yield
Effective Miners: 3.9
Armor: 3700 (+2912)
Hold Capacity: 350 (-5650)
CPU: 270 (+72)
Structure: 4000 (+2734)
Low Slots: 3 (+1)
Shield: 4300 (+3119)
Shield Recharge Rate: 1,500,000 (+875,000)
Signature Radius: 250 (+130)
Ore Hold: 25000 (new)
10% bonus to ore hold capacity per level of mining barge (new, replaces 3% strip miner yield)
7.5% bonus to all shield resistances per level of mining barge (same)
1% bonus to strip miner yield per level of exhumers (new)
1% reduction in ice harvest duration per level of exhumers (-4%)
50% bonus to strip miner yield (new, replaces 100% bonus to ice harvester yield)
33.33% reduction in ice harvester duration (new, replaces 25% penalty to duration)
Total hold space 25350 (+19700)
Super hold space
Effective miners: 3.1
Armor: 5500 (+5050)
Capacitor: 900 (+525)
Hold Capacity: 350 (-4150)
CPU: 270 (+82)
Structure: 6000 (+5367)
Low Slots: 5 (+1)
PG: 50 (+15)
Shield:  6500 (+5825)
Shield Recharge: 2,500,000 (+1,875,000)
Ore Hold: 17500
5% bonus to shield hit points per level of mining barge (+2%)
7.5% bonus to all shield resistances per level of mining barge (same)
1% bonus to strip miner yield per level of exhumer (new, replaces 60% bonus to mex yield)
1% reduction in ice harvester duration per level of exhumer (new, reduces mex cloud reduction)
200% bonus to strip miner yield (new)
66.66 reduction in ice harvester duration (new, replaces war strength +2)
total hold space 17850 (+13700)
super tank
Effective miners: 2.05
Again yield bonuses seem all over the place, until you factor in high slots. However the skiff seems a little out of sorts in comparison to its mining barge kin. The tanking and hold space mining barges have the same effective turrets, whereas in the exhumers the skill has 2.05 compared to the Mack 3.1, I’m guessing the argument is that T2 is all about specialisation, that or my calculations are out. All of the exhumers are getting a massive HP bonus (+9148 on average) The hulk again getting very little in comparison to the others (in order: 2437, 8765, 16242). There are also a lot of slot changes in the exhumers, an extra mid the for the Mack could make for a even better tank, and the skiff has an additional low, which could be used to either add more tank without compromising yield (DCU), or to add a laser upgrade, and close the gap between it and the Mack in terms of yield.
Final thoughts
I love these changes. They seem to represent a fantastic balance between risk and reward. Once these changes are live, any high sec miner complaining about suicide ganking can just be pointed at the skiff (and even the maka to some extent). Great work CCP.

[edit] got some of my numbers very wrong with effective miners… corrected now!

Combat Frigates: Tormentor Edition

After my last post on Fears for Tiers its seems only right that I should update now that some more information has come out regarding how these changes will actually proceed. CCP Ytterbium (what a name!) has posted a thread in the Ideas and discussion sections of the forums on the proposed changes to 5 frigates for Inferno.
Two first points of interest. Firstly the location of this thread is an indication of the content; i.e. and idea not solid fact. However it does give us a very valuable incite into exactly how the collective mind of CCP is thinking about these changes.
Here is a summery of his first two posts for those not willing to trawl the whole thread:
The Attack Ships will be:

Tormentor: role changed from mining frigate to medium range combat vessel
Punisher: improved role to fit close-medium range brawler
Merlin: overhauled role to fit medium-long range turret platform (may be reconsidered as resists loss is pretty hefty)
Incursus: overhauld role to fit close range brawler
Rifter: role untouched, it already is made of win and dipped with awesomesauce

Attack ships are expected to be a well balanced mix of spank tank and speed, with the slight draw back of capacitor issues (still under consideration). The aim of this class is pretty much to all be similar in power to the Rifter, which is receiving only a minor change (very slight cap nerf very slight HP boost).
In my previous post I was a bit puzzled as to where Mining Frigates were going to sit in all this, and in the end assumed that they would simply classed as a Support Frigate. I couldn’t have been more wrong. With the benefit of 20:20 hind sight this does make sense. CCP has stated that the aim of these changes is to make ALL T1 ships viable in combat in equal measures. We also know that the tier chart below (from a previous dev blog) clearly shows the T1 ships should be more of a versatile platform.
With this in mind we can clearly see that the decision to revamp a ship specialised for mining into a more general combat role, does make clear sense. But the question remains; what will happen to newbe mining progression? Ytterbium adds that they are currently considering adding an ORE frigate and/or giving some more mining roles to the newbe frigates.

This does also portend to an interesting future for the eWar frigates.Ytterbium Mentions that they will retain their current split (EWScanning) but need a boost. Judging by the statements given on each role in the initial dev blog, they will still require far more damage and mobility, with a small buff to tanking in-order to fit with the role described (again summarised in my previous post)

This is some great stuff so far; and if CCP can really turn all these frigates into Rifter equivalents, we could be seeing a lot more variation in frigate combat than we are at the moment, all of which encourages the emergent content which seems to have been leaking out of the game of late.
Looking even further into the future (as this will likely be the template used for cruisers and above), we will likely see the same changes to mining cruisers and perhaps similar boosts/nerfs to all ships as per their class classifications. My only worry is the time frame for these changes, going slow to receive feedback is one thing: five ships per 7 months seems a little to slow for my liking*.
Thank for reading
*This is pretty unfair of me, CCP  spent a lot of this time looking at all ships and the roles themselves, and have already stated that they are short on development time for this change. These are mitigating circumstances, but if my time in development has taught me anything, its that there are always mitigating circumstances.

Blood Money: Rogue Drone Special Edition

This series of posts is intended as a discussion and my thoughts in how ISK affects PvP and how PvP Affects ISK; further entrys can be found here.

A few days ago I posted a quick and dirty commentary on the Micro Jump Drive module possibly being added in either crucible 1.5 or Inferno. Within the same “leaked” document, a large chunk of information was also given on the soon to be changes to drone bounties, which I very briefly touched on. I want to now go a little deeper in to what the drone changes mean for us as players. First a short explanation for those not acquainted with our artificial brethren.

Rogue Drones, which can be found in the Eastern Low/null regions of New Eden, are in essence Drones which have developed an AI and gone all “Virus” on us.  Unlike the human pirate factions, the drones don’t have a bounty on them, but instead drop Alloys and Compounds (sometimes called drone poo), which can be refined into minerals. Now CCP has begun to acknowledge that this needs to be changed so that Drones begin to give bounties like the other factions.

Drone poo has been a thorn in the side of industrialists for quiet some while now, with miners unable to compete with the speed and efficiency of killing drones for minerals instead of mining ‘roids. Some have even gone so far as to state that the primary source of minerals in New Eden is not the humble hulk; but instead these devious drones. I’m not sure I would go so far, but it does show the level of the problem. Now this is no new issue, and people have been complaining about Drones for some while*, so why has it suddenly changed?

It seems to me entirely possible that CCP has been planning this for a long time and just never gotten around to it. After all changing an entire faction’s (races?)’ bounty is probably no easy thing. But it seems quite likely that the catalyst for the change has been the Russian Civil war. For quite some while the Eastern provinces of New Eden have been quite in terms of war. Sure the citizens have shipped out and attacked other seventy, and some fringe space has changed hands, but until the Russian Civil War, Conflict hadn’t really been seen in the Drone Lands since the dawn of EvE. Then, a few months ago several big Russian Alliances drew a line in the sand and started picking fights. Along with this came an internal change, Minerals which were bound for high-sec were re-routed to fuel the War Machine in preparation for the long drawn out fight to come. With the majority of Null-Sec minerals now not leaving 0.0, the control of the markets returned to the industrialists overnight, and we all saw the price of minerals skyrocket as a result. I suspect this realisation of just how much the Drone Poo was changing the balance of the markets is what finally tipped the balance for CCP, who at the time were looking for balancing changes to fit in with their new attitude. But this is just the start, the real market changes will happen when the Drone Poo dries up entirely.

Anyone familiar with the laws of supply and demand (or indeed anyone who can open the market window) knows what happens when this hits. With demand for minerals staying the same (or indeed likely increasing) but let’s say 40% of Supply disappearing, it’s now a sellers’ market for minerals. Mineral buyers will be forced to increase their buying prices to ensure they get a chunk of the (mineral) pie, meaning more profits to the miners. In the short term prices of anything made from minerals will increase as the increased costs of mineral is passed on by industrialists to customers, along with the increase in profit margins (most margins are calculated by a percentage of the base price). However before miners break open the Cava and start forming conga lines, the spike will likely be short lived, as more miners join their bejewelled playing fraternity in the form of both industrialists looking to cut costs, and money seekers jumping on the band wagon. That said; when the prices do finally settle they will likely be higher than the previous average.

In short, things are going to get very very very expensive and then drop down to just very expensive as supply begins to meet demand.

But what does this mean for the variety of the game? I do agree that low-end minerals should be controlled by High-Sec & its miners. But I disagree that bounties for drones were the right way to go. I believe that eve’s un-uniformity is its lifeblood, and this smoothing of the rough is detrimental to the game. Indeed I would argue that other faction bounties should be changed instead. I would advocate that every Ratting faction should supply a different way of rewarding the player. We will keep one faction with the “press button get reward” system we know and love (let’s say the sansha so we don’t mess up Incursions). Each other faction gets a new method below are just a couple of rough and ready suggestions (aren’t they always with me):

– Loyalty: A new Corporation is founded opposed to the faction in question. Every Faction rat gives loyalty points with the faction, which can be saved or spent on items.

– Standings: A new sub corporation of concord is founded. Each rat you kill increases your standings with the corp. Every week a payout calculated on your standings is given, and your standing is reset with the corporation.

– Fertiliser Pellets: Really throwing the boat out here, let’s make drones drop a fertiliser which increases an asteroids yield (each is set to a type and rarity.. i.e “Minor Veldspar enrichment” and “Glacial Golden Omber deployment”. 0.0 players can sell this roid’ manure to High Sec miners so they can increase their asteroid pools. Hell while I’m on this trip, let’s say we remove the refilling of belts during downtime, and make it reliant on the fertiliser to keep minerals.

Again, I’ll emphasise here that I don’t want ALL rats to follow a single, different system; but for EACH rat to have a different system of profit. A usual this is pulled from my arse as I write, and only intended to give a gist of what I mean (although I do quite like the fertiliser one).


    – Drones will be giving bounties
    – Minerals are going to spike in price
    – Items will also spike
    – I think the change is bad for eve, because it doesn’t go far enough

Thanks for reading,


*including the people who farm them. The Russian Alliances who have traditionally held drone space have always complained that drones are less profitable and more risky than bounties due to the need for logistics to ship them to High-Sec. Although I always hear it in the same tone my father says “Oh no this is awful, urg no horrid, you wouldn’t like this at all!” while tucking into a cake. Except of course the Russians are Building titans, not eating cake.