Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
You can follow along, if you want...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The price is right

There's a business phrase that's applicable for me right now: "Don't get wrapped around the axle."

Invoking the image to the left and roughly defined, it means "don't get so wrapped up in the details of a problem that you get tangled up in those, and stop any forward momentum working the actual problem."  What's often needed when you're in danger of getting wrapped around the axle on a problem is a way to step outside the box and look at the problem from a new angle.  The problem right now?  A few months after April 24, when minerals stabilize at whatever their "new normal" is going to be, what are ships in EVE Online going to cost?

Trying to answer that question is turning out to be nearly impossible: there are too many variables right now.  The biggest variable of all is how common mining is going to be after the drone regions are stripped of drone alloys.  Right now, mining is not common.

The major problem with mining, of course, is that you have pilots stuck in helpless, defenseless mining barges and exhumers.  They can't tank, they can't fight, and if they're not pre-aligned when the attack comes, they can't run.  As a result, a mining op generally only lasts as long as there isn't a single neutral in Local.  The moment the single neutral appears, the mining op at least temporarily ends and the miners all warp back to POSes and wait for Local to clear out again.

"You pussies, defend your mining ops," some small-gang PvPers say, which is completely laughable.

Say you land on a heavily-defended mining op.  It contains a Rorqual, ten Hulks, but also thirty cruisers, BCs, and tacklers.  You have ten ships.  Are you going to attack the defense fleet?  Of course not!  You're going to point up those ten Hulks and kill as many of them as you can before you collectively die in a fire.  The math doesn't change if you have five ships, or thirty ships, or fifty ships: the Hulks die first.  They're helpless, tank-less, and expensive.  If you have thirty ships, you're definitely going to kill the Hulks first, then keep the Rorq pointed while you try to drive off the others.  And if you take a lot of losses while killing those ships that can't fight back, you'll accept those losses happily because each Hulk costs far more than your attacking ships.  You win the ISK war in spades.

This is unsustainable for the corp or alliance that intends to do any mining.  So of course they're not going to "defend their mining ops," and it would be stupid for them to even try to do so.  If they smell even a hint of danger to the mining op, the mining op is going to end.

Hint: this is why EVE Online needs a much tougher mining ship, something that can actually take some punches so that it lives long enough to call for help, receive reps, or Heaven forbid, actually be defensible.  None of the current mining ships even close to qualify.

So we can probably safely assume that -- at least initially -- mining may not be any more common than it is today.  Corps will try to start large-scale mining ops only to have those ops interrupted.  What corps, particularly null-sec corps, do to start up and protect mining ops is something that we're going to have to wait and see.  So we can't predict right now what's going to happen to mineral values.

So there's no point getting wrapped around the axle thinking about it just yet.  But still, the problem remains: how much are ships going to cost in this game in a few months?  Which is why it might be fun to think about this problem from another angle.  Let's go completely outside the box.

Instead of asking "How much are ships going to cost?" maybe the right question to ask is "How much should ships cost?"

Let's take a simple Drake.  Right now, the mineral components of a Drake are about 2.5 million units of trit, 600k pyerite, 170k mex, 17.5k iso, 12.5k noc, 3.6k zydrine, and 840 megacyte.  That puts the raw build cost of a Drake, assuming a ME 25 BPO and current Jita mineral buy prices as of 17 April, at just over 50 million ISK.  But how long does it take to gather those minerals?

In one way to gather the needed minerals, we'll need 600 units of arkonor, 1000 units of crokite, 10k units of hed, 8k hemor, 50k jaspet, 333k pyro, 400k scord, and 233k trit.  That will give us everything we need for a 50 million ISK Drake, plus about 37 million ISK in other minerals (almost all of it nocxium) left over.  It works out to 293k cubic meters of ore.  That's about 140 minutes of labor for a skilled but unbonused Hulk pilot, or about 102 minutes of labor if he's receiving full bonuses.  He'll make 87 million ISK in that time, or between 38 and 50 million ISK per hour if he could mine that uninterrupted, depending on whether he has bonuses or not.

That's today.  Do you think that's fair?  For a single pilot, it's less than incursion money, and less than wormhole money.  But it's more than L4 mission money, particularly in a week after missions no longer drop meta 0 loot any longer.  For a single pilot, it's arguably about equal to haven/sanctum money.

But it also assumes one important factor: it assumes that the miner will be uninterrupted during that time.  That's definitely not the case today!  It definitely won't be the case tomorrow!  If a miner can only spend half his time mining (and the other half at POSs waiting for Local to clear out), then that's between 17 and 25 million ISK per hour from mining.

Which means he's likely to spend his time doing something else instead.

That means he's not going to mine until either the mining ops are better protected from interruptions or... until mineral prices (and therefore, ship prices) go higher than their current values.  Probably, a lot higher.  Large-scale mining might not start in earnest until mineral prices are double what they are today.  That makes mining ops worth the trouble even if they are constantly interrupted.  But it also means that ships will cost double what they do today.

Should Drakes cost 50 million ISK?  Should they cost 100 million?  If a Drake shouldn't cost 50 or 100 million ISK, what should it cost?  Why?  Discuss.

78 comments:

  1. Wouldn't it be LOL if the null sec *l33t* start whining about getting ganked while mining in 0.0, and crying about the need to be able to defend their mining ships from PVP?

    Maybe the next Hulkageddon will take place in 0.0....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you have never lived in 0.0 have u?

      Delete
  2. In Economics there is the concept of equalizing marginal utility. Simply stated all this means is that people adjust their consumption based upon their enjoyment and the price of the good in question. I might really enjoy Single Malt Scotch but that is not the malt liquor in which I will partake. There is an opportunity cost of time. If we imagine an infinite SP toon that only cares about money, call him Gevlon, it is no stretch to claim that Gevlon will engage in whatever activity has the highest return for his investment of time.

    In a highly simplified world, all else being equal, we would expect an equalization across all productive activities. We do not see this for several reasons. Bounties are fixed source of revenue that do not decrease with a greater intensity of use. The same is mostly true with Incursions. The exception there is that as more people do incursions this drives down the value of the LP. Mining actually produces a physical good and the more people that engage in mining, like Incursion LP, the less valuable are the goods produced.

    Bot Mining is a very easy source of revenue. Bots drive down the price of minerals dramatically. Without Bots and without Meta loot, one would expect the returns to mining to equalize with the returns to Missions and Incursions.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Can we get in with a pre-emptive "take your active tank fitting and SHOVE IT" to all those people proffering fitting advice to hulk pilots?

    PvP tanking is all about buffer: you need to last long enough for reps to land. This also implies that you have logistics standing by. If the Orca is providing logistics to two Hulks, that means you need someone else boosting the fleet. Which means you really need six Hulks to make the fleet worthwhile ('cos someone has to cover the salary of the Orca and Tengu pilots).

    Ways to protect mining ops in null: cyno jammers, a hundred bubbles on gates, eyes in every system within black ops jump range, and some way of flushing out AFK cloakers. Aside: passive income via data cores is "not good" according to CCP Soundwave, but passive warfare via AFK cloaking is perfectly fine.

    Those means of protecting mining ops don't work in low sec, so expect Nocxium to be the bottleneck of the T1 economy.

    Active tanks do no protect Hulks against destroyers in 0.5 - a single destroyer can chew through 9k EHP of buffer before CONCORD arrives. That 40k super tanker Hulk that is supported by a Tengu and a Legion will die to 3 destroyers.

    Here's typical Hulk fitting advice applied to typical PvP ships: take the propulsion mod off and you can squeeze another 2500HP into the shield: sure you'll need an MAPC or a PG or CPU implant. Of course you could take one of the guns off, or downgrade all the guns to high meta T1 and fit even more tank. 'cos PvP is all about buffer tank right?

    The world of PvP is about finding fights. The world of mining is about staying put. These two worlds are not compatible, so it is unreasonable to expect mining ships to behave the same way as PvP ships.

    Some options would be to move all the interesting mining to grav sites which act as deadspaces. The interesting ores will be far, far away from the warp in point (thus you'll want an MWD on that Orca to deliver 2 hulks to the mining face). Then you mine the ore, which yields ten times more than ore currently does, and you get the heck out of dodge. Same amount of time invested in the operation (exploration, travel), same mineral yield.

    Alternatively, provide a module for Orcas/Rorquals to use which will project a deadspace field of about 200km radius. This will drop any incoming ship out of warp at that range, but will not otherwise interfere with warp the way a warp disruption bubble does. This is not an offensive module, so it should be equally usable in all space: hisec, low sec, null sec, w-space.

    Give me a 200km deadspace projector that can be fitted to an Orca with a 100MN MWD and I won't care about how paper thin my Hulk is or how slow it is to align: I have the option to GTFO. You of course have the option to fly that 200km in a cloaked Arazu. So we're even.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The best tanking Hulk in the world -- it's a few posts down, in "Bait Hulk emergent gameplay" -- has 61k EHP.

      That's five Tornadoes and one volley to kill.

      And it has no mining lasers at all.

      Delete
    2. The "answer" to the ganking "problem" isn't going to be found in EHP.

      Delete
    3. if active tanks are not for pvp how do u think the eve is easy guys are engaging outnumbered.....all that said the best tank for a hulk is to be aligned or be stored in the orca for a combat ship as soon as gankers warp in, blackbirds would protect your orca while it warps out and if they gank a bird who cares

      Delete
    4. A triple rep myrmidon with drugs and off-grid booster is not going to be getting into fights where there's a risk of being overpowered. Small gang PvP is specifically about picking the fights you know you can win.

      A mining ship sitting in a belt is only ever going to be the victim of an overpowering mob. You cannot active tank an alpha strike, and adding buffer is only going to cause the Hulkageddon folks to bring more destroyers. Adding buffer to a Hulk works the same way as putting security screens on the windows of your house: you make your valuable stuff harder to get than the neighbour's valuable stuff, so the bad guys go after your neighbour instead.

      The best defence for a Hulk is simply to not be there at all.

      Delete
  4. you forgot high sec ?
    sure hulkageddon is near, but it won't last until the end of the world.
    i'm pretty sure it's possible to have enough tank on a hulk to live through a suicide ganking if you know what you're doing.
    it's not because actually the drones region give these minerals that next they will still be mined mostly on nullsec.
    i'm pretty sure they will be mostly mined on high sec, where you can get way less money farming npc, and less risk being interupted like in null.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can't mine high-ends in high-sec, and w-space won't provide enough high-ends to supply everyone's needs. Sooner or later, someone is going to HAVE to mine in null.

      Delete
    2. Only Megacyte and Morphite are not available in hisec. Everything else is accessible through grav sites today. Those minerals are required in very small quantities, so an alliance could dedicate one weekend a month to a mining operation and be certain of having sufficient stocks of morph and mega to keep themselves stocked and have spares to fill their deadhead hisec runs.

      Delete
    3. I agree with Jester. Until this point Morphite was available in level 4 missions. Its gone now. Where is the replacement for that going to come from?

      Delete
  5. But to stay on topic: the question isn't how much should a ship cost or a miner earn in ISK, it's about how much mining will someone do for fun/relaxation. Anything available in hisec will be available on the market in spades except where interrupted by serial bankers.

    The extreme asymmetry of this battle means that for 150M ISK a null sec Nocxium acquirer can prevent 70-odd hisec Hulks interfering with their business. The odds are even better for the Nocxium provider if she's also in the Hulk producing business.

    ReplyDelete
  6. If we are reducing the cost of a Drake to units of time it takes one player to mine the raw resources, you are essentially put a "cost per hour" into Eve. Since one month of Eve = 510 million Isk (the price of a plex in Jita, roughly), one hour of Eve is worth at least 709,000 isk. This is 510m / 24hrs * 30 days.

    A Drake should then cost at least between 1.2 and 1.6 million isk, using the assumptions from your post.

    I know that is ridiculous sounding, but based using time as the main factor is a fun little experiment.

    ReplyDelete
  7. tl;dr: (new price of your ship of choice) = (current price of your ship).(isk/h that will drive enough people to mine)/(current isk/h from mining)

    "helpless, defenseless mining barges and exhumers"

    here is the result of 5 minutes messing with EFT
    [Rokh, mining fit]
    Mining Laser Upgrade II
    Mining Laser Upgrade II
    Expanded Cargohold II
    Expanded Cargohold II
    Damage Control II

    Invulnerability Field II
    Invulnerability Field II
    Photon Scattering Field II
    Large Shield Extender II
    Large Shield Extender II
    Large Shield Extender II

    Cu Vapor Particle Bore Stream I
    Cu Vapor Particle Bore Stream I
    Cu Vapor Particle Bore Stream I
    Cu Vapor Particle Bore Stream I
    Cu Vapor Particle Bore Stream I
    Cu Vapor Particle Bore Stream I
    Cu Vapor Particle Bore Stream I
    Cu Vapor Particle Bore Stream I

    Large Core Defence Field Extender I
    Large Core Defence Field Extender I
    Large Core Defence Field Extender I


    Hammerhead II x5

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Since that mines at less than half the rate of a Hulk, the exact same problem remains.

      Delete
    2. True ... but it will laugh at gank dessys.

      If Hulks cannot mine without insane precautions in nullsec, then bring in the rohks and the veldnaughts. No other choice.

      Half of insanely expensive ore-loads are better than none.

      Delete
    3. But using a BS to mine seems so effective and imune from harm right? http://eve-kill.net/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=13094652

      Delete
    4. The other disadvantage is that the cargo hold fills up every minute. 2.5 minutes if you skimp on the tank and add cargo rigs. Less if you manage to fit Miner IIs. As permanent solution, this is not sustainable.

      Delete
    5. This Rokh will still fail to a gang of Cats. Gank-fit Cats are just too darn cheap and too damn powerful, after the buff to dessies and buff to hybrids.

      But, there are a few folks planning to use the Rokh during Hulkageddon this year, so we'll see how it pans out in practice soon enough.

      Delete
    6. Parking-the-Hulk-pulling-out-the-Rokh crew checking in.

      Delete
    7. Druur Monakh, we did farm our ships that way before the introduction exhumers and bots. It is is actual not as bad as it seems and far more enjoyable than afk mining, especial in fleets.

      Delete
    8. Anon 09:41: Nothing in Eve is immune to harm. It's just that some ships are much easier to kill than others. And much more expensive.

      Delete
  8. Bang on about the state of mining ships. Hulks are a joke to kill even with the resist buff the hull gets.

    I can't wait to see the prices skyrocket even further, then the cries of those same afk cloak / elite pvpers because their ships now cost 3-4x as much as before.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Would having a capital strip mining laser, or heavy mining drones alleviate some of the issue?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 5 x T2 mining drones are about equivalent to 1 x Miner II. The extra yield a hulk gets from 5 mining drones is almost not worth the effort. If I am mining 25km from the field to get coverage, the drones spend a significant chunk of their time simply flying back and forth, not actually mining.

      Larger drones will necessarily be slower, thus worsening the travel time. If I want to be able to leave the belt at a moments notice, I don't want to have to wait ten seconds for drones to fly back. Worse, I don't want to have ore in my hold preventing me flipping my Hulk into the Orca.

      The main problem I see with ganking mining ships is the way the attacker can arrive almost by surprise (2 million km D-Scan buys an extra second warning over 1 million km, but it still only buys less than 10 seconds before the gankers are on-grid). So the slow align combined with the need to mash thatmd-scan button means the gankers will effectively have the element of surprise every time. Ask CCP how much their servers like people mashing d-scan, and whether mashing d-scan is one of the indicators of a bot.

      The 200km deadspace bubble works best for me: the miner gets the opportunity to run away, the attacker has the opportunity to use stealth. Why 200km? Keep the Hulks out of range of artynados.

      Delete
    2. And, weren't you the one asking why any smart miner would put alts on the gates in the neighbor systems just to get more advanced warning of incoming hostiles?

      Delete
    3. TL;DR I agree with Mara.

      I agree with this idea in principle. But I think it is still going to be vulnerable to say 250 km nagas...

      The solution is going to be providing some form of miner defense, this would probably also make low-sec ops more feasible because the miners need to "feel" safe.

      Mining needs two options;
      1) Rapid in/out mining but lower capacity.

      2) Defended mining. More time to set up, but difficult to get at. (like the deadspace bubble).

      Each concept needs some serious brainstorming. This would also probably necessitate that the ORE ships get reworked.

      I am also going to be silly and vote for an epic miner hull buff.

      Delete
  10. I think you're right when you say that there aren't going to be any large scale mining ops for a while. People by and large just hate the mining mechanic and are used to doing something more instantly gratifying (incursions / sanctums) and they're not going to change unless it is clearly worth their while (pissing and moaning all the way to mining lasers). I wouldn't be surprised if we see prices increase until miners can hit 150-200m+ isk/hr before we start seeing things change on a large scale. Hell, for those prices I would...maybe.

    As far as what things SHOULD cost, I think that is determined by their utility. If something like your drake example is useful enough versus other options to warrant a 100mil price tag, then it'll cost 100mil. Then add in effects from mineral supply&demand and market competition to come up with an expected price. Yep, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see 100m drakes if they continue to be as widely used as they are now, even higher in nullsec entry hubs like Agil.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Eve is real job now. hurray

    ReplyDelete
  12. Ships, modules and fittings will be worth what people are willing to pay for. I feel that the abundance of isk held by many players will force everyone to increase their threshhold of "fair pricing". Eventually, things will settle to a new average, but I dont think there will be enough of a negative response to price gouging (due to the excessive isk alot of people have) for it to matter in the overall scheme of things.

    ReplyDelete
  13. 1 million dollar.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l91ISfcuzDw

    I've been arguing that industry ship deserve more hp since the appearance of the tornado. Most people laughed at me and said that industry ship should die quickly. I disagree completely. I think the ships people fly need to live long enough for the person to get a chance to react. if someone doesn't get a input before they die, it's hardly a challenge.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm not a miner but I would love to see mining improve, at least in 0.0. Do it so it takes multiple people to mine and have the operation guarded. That will will turn the solo gig into more of a social activity, make the miners more important and give us pvp players more "real" targets. Now instead of simple ganks, we have to to actually plan hits on mining ops. Only downside I see is it will make ships more expensive and being a new player, it will impact me a lot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I too want to bring 2500 of my closest friends mining with me. (as CCP would say)

      Delete
  15. If mining truly becomes the only method of generating minerals in the quantities necessary for the production of ships then I would expect that ship cost will go dramatically higher as the cost of the ships in the amount of time necessary to acquire the minerals will go dramatically higher. The time it takes to explode a drone and get the minerals (or loot the L4) is far less than the time it takes to shoot the strip miners so the total player time spent to build a ship is going up ... as is the player time spent to build every single thing else except maybe the PI products. Since time is the true currency you can expect prices to go higher by as much as the extra time invested (if that is double then prices double). The only reason minerals have stayed as low as they have is the bot accounts that are so prevalent. Essentially as a bot runner 10mil/hr is fine if you can pay for the plex and make a profit at the end of the day ... you simply get another bot for more income and drive out all competition. CCP removal of the mining bots is the longer term determinate of the balancing issues for the minerals market. The drone nerf/ meta 0 nerf is a one time hit that raises the price level but probably by a set amount.

    Its not drakes costing 100 million that is an issue... the big problem is that for most players if drakes cost 50 million and then tomorrow with one change they cost 75-100 million then the instantaneous shock probably puts the poorest/newest players out of the markets and that is not good. A gradual shift is a better strategy. What CCP is doing may wind up looking like a nuclear bomb being dropped on the market rather than the Fed just adjusting rates.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Current mineral prices are more than sufficient to justify mining over mission running. Humans were still mining when mining brought in far less than L4 missions. There are people playing this game who just like relaxing with a pretty laser show, trust me.

      Mining does not have to be "interesting" enough for you, it does not have to pay enough to be worth your time.

      Sadly, CCP Soundwave seems to be one of you neck beards: always trying to reimagine the game as counter strike in space where every activity in the game is equally exciting and dangerous. There are different styles of players. Just as making shopping "easier" killed Star Wars Galaxies, making the economy "more exciting" will kill EVE. EVE is a scifi simulator, not counter strike in space.

      Some players are not Gevlon. They are not pursuing ISK above all else. They just want the pleasure of being part of something big and important. They mine Veldspar for weeks, then take joy in the reports of massive fleet fights in null because they know that in some way they helped that happen.

      Delete
  16. I am concerned that the price of everything in EVE is going up. CCP has, rightly so, been proud of the EVE market and its defeat of MUDflation - but looking over the past 3 to 6 months one has to wonder at the sustainability of keeping mudflation in check.

    Part of this is of course the money supply, and farmable Incursions are part of this problem. Arguably, to too is blue poo from wormholes. Nullsec bounties are of course a third supply just ahead of mission bounties. All of this raw ISK supply is of course on CCP's agenda to fix, and it is all very inflationary.

    The price of Drakes in the short term? Driven by speculation ahead of the drone poo nerf, the meta-0 nerf, and changes to the pax amarria cap, etc. Plus of course, the upcoming Burn jita and Hulkageddon events are causing speculation on commodities and ship hulls and causing massive stockpiling (I know people who have 250M trit stocks...I hope they sell out in time or they will be down billions if everyone else dumps).

    The speculative price spike will go away after Hulkageddon and the incoming nerfs. Longer term, the amount of mining needed to make a Drake hull won't change one iota; the ISK/hr of mining is related to the mineral volumes required, so it is ISK neutral. If the price of minerals goes up, you still need to mine the same length of time to get the materials.

    The real differential which will change things is the ISK supply. If you look at it less in terms of man-hours per Drake, and more in terms of Blood Popes per drake, you are looking at 20-ish Blood Popes per drake. If CCP nerfs bounties by 10% (a mild nerf was discussed by Soundwave) it means you will currently need 22 Popes to pay someone to make a Drake.

    In the short term, yes there will be a step change with the nerf to gun mining. Longer term that will be a blip. The effort required to make a Drake is still the same for a hulk pilot; the ratio compared to nullsec anom grinding will be different. In a way, removing the drone poo will devalue ALL nullsec bounties in effect, because of the drop in mineral supply and increase in prices flowing from it; nullsec bounty income won't change upwards much.

    Thus, we should be more concerned with efforts to change bounties (which are income per hour limited by the ability of players to rat efficiently), to truesec, and to Incursion dynamics (and blue poo drop rates, for example).

    After all, the marginal cost of someone's time per drake is fixed for mining minerals; the relationship between effort and ISK to pay for that Drake with bounties is under review. Currently we are seeing inflation because of the addition of a massive new font of ISK, and the removal of fonts of minerals. In the end this will go away, and leave us with less ISK fonts, and a slight improvement in yield in ISK for mining.

    As for whether we will see organised nullsec mining? Well, people need to be organised first. Second of all, people can mine much safer in gravs - the problem being that virtually no one in nullsec knows how to probe, and without alliance bookmarks your PVPer probing for gravs can't communicate that to the industrial arm. Who often can't safely transit 5 jumps to a grav site and back with a load of ore, so most gravs go untouched.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You completly forgot to factor in supply and demand in your reasoning. The amount of time it takes for one miner to make one drake is the same, yes, but the price will be decided by how many drakes will be available for sale and how many people will want to buy drakes. ( rather on the amount of minerals for sale).

      Delete
  17. Just to put more factors into the mix: every combat ship guarding a mining operation has an opportunity cost equal to the amount of ratting/missioning it could do in the same time.

    Having a more defensible mining operation (however accomplished) would allow to reduce the number of combat ships needed on grid, and have the others roam the system for lucrative targets until actually needed.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I need to preference this by saying I don't think bots are goo. I don't think ship prices should be artificially low. And I do think miners need some Eve love. However I don't think your going to get a lot of people who don't mine now suddenly interested in mining. people who like to mine are.. well already mine.

    What worries me is this, how mush should a ship cost, well that all depends on the individual. And I fear that if Grind*Time>Ship price (player likes to fly)=they may not play Eve at all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to disagree here. I like to mine sometimes, I loved to mine at the beginning of my eve life together with a fleet of battleships. But if you know that you are gonna lose huge amounts of isk for nothing, it simply spoils the fun for me. If I would enjoy mining much more than other options in eve, than maybe mining would be an option.

      Delete
  19. Great post, really thought provoking. I started to leave a comment, but then it just kept getting longer and longer...so I instead expanded it into a blog entry of my own. I'd appreciate you stopping by for a read and letting me know what you think of a potential solution for mining fleet safety that doesn't involve an EHP arms race. Oh, and feel free to not publish this comment, I always feel a bit odd about doing drive-by "Come look at my blog!" comments on other people's posts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This post? http://evefng.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/bob-barkers-revenge.html (I'm lazy and didn't want to Google it!)

      Delete
  20. There is already a mining ship that is protectable, strong and not even expensive: Rokh.

    You can also mine in carriers, supercarriers and titans in nullsec. The more I watch the Hulk prices the more I believe that my mining titan plan (http://greedygoblin.blogspot.com/2012/04/elitism-endgame-and-my-titan.html) is not just a joke to give the finger to the "PvP Gods" who can't even dream of a titan, but actually a viable ship for nullsec alliances during peacetime in cynoed systems.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Using super caps for mining ranks up there with the stupidest ideas ever. But, go try it out and make yourself into the biggest pinata for Hulkageddon.

      Delete
    2. So your solution to the mining issue is more EHP and immunity from EWAR ?

      Bot players will love that.

      EHP and EWAR immunity are not the solution to mining.

      And lets not get carried away by using Rokhs, the cargo hold is laughable, and who is carrying the ore?

      The deadspace module is one idea, I'd take it further and make the deadspace module made the deadspace pocket unscannable. Yes, this means that there will be unscannable ships out there, and that itself is subject to abuse. Make this module only usable on the Industrial capital ships (orca and rorqual).

      So if sitting nicely in a grav site mining, no one else will be able to warp to your location, except those in your fleet. In belts, visitors (not in fleet) would only be able to warp to 200 or 250 kms (whatever) AND BE DECLOAKED IMMEDIATELY.

      Delete
    3. Horrible idea detected.

      Seriously, just think how that'd throw off risk vs reward.

      The deadspace creation module is an idea that stands on its own merit and deserves more analysis, sure, but that decloak immediately think just reeks of butthurt miner not thinking before posting.

      What if we could have a module that takes some time to anchor, and that generates that deadspace field?

      Its important to let players be able to scan down and kill miners, as it is now; the problem is not that they are killable, but that it's so easy to catch them with pants down.

      Delete
    4. The deadspace projector would provide more safety, not ultimate safety. I still want mining operations in hisec to be gankable, but I want the ganking to require more smarts than simply flipping a catalyst out of an Orca and blapping away until CONCORD arrives.

      In lowsec you have Hedbergite and Hemorphite, worth around 300 ISK/m3. Those ores are worth setting up scouts for, if you have a decent size fleet to do the actual mining. So 1:4 scouts to miners and you are still more profitable than hisec belt mining. Not quite as profitable as running lowsec incursions but easier on the worry nerve :)

      I am sure that with a deadspace projector that simply drops ships out of warp at the perimeter (without interfering with warping out or MWDs) will be a huge boon to miners. No doubt someone would use them for perverse gate camps — that come with the risk of putting an Orca or Rorqual on the gate.

      More tools for kids to play with in the sandbox. No need to buff hulks or CONCORD at all.

      Delete
    5. If the usage in camps is a problem, they could be set to be anchorable within a minimum distance of X from those. There are many ways to balance the game without buffing Concord.

      Delete
  21. I would prefer some sort of mobile, fleet-fortifying deployable/anchorable item for mining OPs. Do NOT make harder mining ships.

    ReplyDelete
  22. "Hint: this is why EVE Online needs a much tougher mining ship, something that can actually take some punches so that it lives long enough to call for help, receive reps, or Heaven forbid, actually be defensible. None of the current mining ships even close to qualify."

    Why not make mining ships far less juicy targets instead? Drop their mineral cost to something most wouldn't worry about losing. You still have the cost of "wasted time" if you manage to lose one, but it'll make the attacker's decision over whether to go for the mining ships or their defense (then the mining ships) a little more interesting?

    ReplyDelete
  23. About 80% of the cost of the Drake comes from minerals available in high sec.

    Hulkageddon will not last forever, and the current price spikes on the lower end minerals is mostly due to the market speculation on the effect of the removal of T1 mod drops. These prices are likely to drop again, as high sec mining gains more short-term popularity, due to increased profitability.

    Covetors, Retrievers, and Ospreys cannot mine as much as a Hulk, but they are cheap enough that semi-AFK mining is still worth the risk. Unlike ice, asteroids are available in *every* system in the game and even Goons don't gank 23/7. The chances of getting ganked regularly and repeatedly are actually rather small. My corp mined throughout the last Hulkageddon and did not even see a single ganker.

    Megacyte and Zydrine are perhaps a bit more problematical, but they are used in relatively small quantities in T1 BCs, and even a 100-200% price spike would not affect the Drake's overall price much.

    Also, there is still an upper bound on how high Mega and Zyd can rise, before missioning and recycling of meta 1-3 modules, just for those minerals, becomes worthwhile.

    All in all, then I sort of doubt that Drake - and other T1 ship - prices will remain high over the long run. I'd expect to see a bit more price rise, perhaps through early May, but then a steady ramp down on prices as the high sec mineral prices stabilize at a lower level, as high sec mining increases to fill the need.

    ReplyDelete
  24. A few small misconceptions here. Are we talking about Miners, or people with mining ships that are trying to just print isk? Sorry, that's like calling every non-mining player a pvper. Any actual miner does the smart thing during Hulkageddon. We raise faction for stations in new mining territory. A lot of us in Gallente space are looking at Amarrian and Caldari space for Pyroxeres, since the production of Noxcium will be a very lucrative chunk.

    Also, any miner trying to create a tank fit on a hulk for hulkageddon, you do know you are, instead of bringing a knife to a gun fight, you're bringing a sword and a shield to a gun fight? Guess what? Still a bad idea. If you know the fight is coming, the real miner side-steps it.

    And a final thought. You know what real miners are doing during Hulkageddon? We are doing the true eve thing.

    Sweetening the pot to gankers by putting bounties on competition.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. +1 :)

      The people asking for mining to be "less boring" are not true miners. True miners are the ones who appreciate every link in the chain of life, from glorious mountains of Veldspar right through exquisite explosions to delicious salvage. Each part of that chain appeals to a different mindset.

      Delete
  25. Ripard.

    Do you think the rise in prices is mostly speculation and a sudden lack of people running in to fill the gaps, or do you think it's a sign of the "hidden" inflation in EVE that was being disguised by the bot mining putting excessive downward pressure on the mineral market essentially causing the inflation to seem less excessive through the devaluation of player "time" (since bots don't have an inherent value on isk/hr, as long as they can run 24 hours+). Meaning, that inflation was being countered by deflation - something you probably would rarely see in real life? Closest I found was "Biflation" or maybe "Stagflation" - : ref @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biflation

    My main point is, this is more than a single action on the economy in EVE right now - we're seeing multiple factors at work causing the issue with prices rising. If people couldn't afford 100m isk drakes, they wouldn't be buying them (meaning inflation had set in already, and wasn't being visible), at the same time, why hadn't they appeared already? Because of bots. So what was really causing this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All of what's happening right now is speculation, driving stagflation. However, it's speculation with a real cause, given that between half and two-thirds of the sources of all minerals in the game are being removed. Another large percentage source is being removed with bots under attack.

      There will therefore definitely be a "new normal" for mineral prices. It's just that nobody knows what it'll be yet.

      Delete
    2. I think the real question here is whether it's hoarders or speculators. I think there are a good amount of the former and not a ton of the latter, but both together are driving up the markets. I think the speculators are getting close to done now until the patch, and the hoarders are starting to kick it into high gear.

      My idea behind this is how Most minerals have steadied out, but as I've seen evidence elsewere and in game that pyrite and tritanium continue to rise.

      Oh, and to remove any confusion, a hoarder is buying minerals now to vastly increase profits later with manufactured goods, where a speculator is going to simply resell the base minerals back into the market at a later date.

      Delete
  26. Another aspect is that mining in null will become a strategic concern. If you're a big null alliance with a lot of people mining you don't want them dumping it all at Jita for your enemies to buy. Part of null strategy may become developing your own miner infrastructure while interdicting your rivals'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe. But you're not going to have happy miners if they're not getting 'jita price' for their work.

      Delete
  27. Why would anyone defend a mining op by parking the defense fleet on grid with the miners? You defend a mining fleet by finding and destroying small gangs before they get to your miners, preferably as many jumps away from them as possible. This makes doing things such as gathering intel, and putting small fleets in space actually matter to the entity owning the space and is something I fully support.

    Actually no, on second thought mining in null sec is going to happen the exact same way it happens now; in dead end systems with a cyno jammer, 3-10 mega bubbled gates in the route, and exactly one 5 day old alt in each system down the pipe so the miners can log off 30 minutes before you even get there. With the current game mechanics, null sec mining is untouchable and even if more people start doing it it will still be untouchable.

    There is a reason our FCs do not even bother to check out know mining systems when they are just a few jumps off our route.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Dradius. ;-)

      In my experience, most successful attacks on mining ops are thanks to Black Ops drops or (more rarely) cyno drops. It's not something you can "defend" against in the traditional sense that you mention. If you see 10 or 12 guys in system 4LY from your mining system and you get nothing on scan, what are your options for driving off this obviously cloaky group?

      Your second thought is the correct one. Mining ops won't be defended, they'll be POSed up the second there's even the slightest hint of danger.

      Delete
    2. Camp the gates and shutdown choke points. Though that is not perfect, but at least a far better way to defend miners than to babysit them on site. If someone actually reach the mining system it is to late.

      And it is a kind of larger scale mining ops. I would not bet that this kind of stuff ever happens, even when it sounds at least theoretical interesting.

      Delete
    3. Oh, what I totally forgot:

      Another option is to mine the old fashioned way: With battleships, they are tough, they can refit in a few seconds to combat and they mine about iirc 2/3 of hulk.

      And you could go to the extreme of carrier or mom mining. ;)
      Though I doubt that mineral prices ever will go that much up.

      Delete
    4. Battleships mine at half the rate of a Hulk. The problem remains exactly the same.

      Delete
    5. jester the bops cyno ship still has to get to you. you dont see the guys 4ly away but the scout at the end of your pipe sees him coming and u safe up or diaf. it really is hard to kill good 0.0 miners

      Delete
  28. Jester, actually it is less or at least similar than you get even in l4s with similar expensive setups. And if you blitz in shinny ships mining becomes with your numbers even more worthless. Furthermore is loot irrelevant because you should blitz missions and do not loot at all . A second mission runner is more effective than an alt with a noctis. Only exception are marauders, but most seem to prefer pirate faction ships.

    (Though as usual blitzing is depending on the LP store, and some people still trade 500isk/LP and will make even less than a miner. I have no idea why to market is not working with LP stores)

    ReplyDelete
  29. mining needs some love
    ie they should lower bpo costs of mining ships, retriever bpo for 1 bil is absolutely overpriced

    ReplyDelete
  30. The actual NPC price of the Retriever is 900m in 0.0. I do agree that's a bit much, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mining ships are production capital. They are not explicitly designed to be consumables. Thus the BPO price reflects the value of the ship as something that produces value rather than destroys it (for "value" not equal to aesthetic potential of asteroid belts)

      Delete
    2. that sounds right, but with this in mind, a procuror bpo(450mil) should be cheaper than an osprey bpo(26mil), and retriver bpo a lot cheaper than bs bpo(apoc:980mil); as these have much greater offense and defense possibilities than barges, and mine more!
      Or barges should get buffed for way more yield to compete with apocs and ospreys.

      Delete
  31. Mining ships are pathetically weak, and need looking at.

    That said my own hulk (yes, Helicity owns a hulk) has to date survived 7 ganks attempts, by virtue of me not being AFK or a bot and using align points while mining.

    90% of miners crying about ganks just need a clue, but 10% have legitimately not had a fighting chance.

    What to do? Tough one.

    Do we really want to make AFK players inviolate and immune to ganks? I would say no.

    Is it ok for two destroyers to ruin an expensive hulk with almost absolute certainty? I would also say no.

    I dont think we need battleship tank exhumers, but a hulk should have at the minimum twice as much EHP using a sensible tank (i.e. two hardeners and a DCU).

    People who do not fit a tank at all really should die in a fire though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. my tank is being aligned to something why waste the slots on a useless tank

      Delete
  32. Capital mining barges with siege mode. Problem solved.

    Still vulnerable to organised hot drops, but can tank a small gang long enough for a counterattack to be attempted.

    ReplyDelete
  33. One profession I was interested in when I joined eve was that of bodyguard for couriers and such. It quickly became apparent that the role is difficult to make work since the attacker can simply ignore you and take out the target (given the weak shields and armor of haulers and miners). Because of this, the fight I was hoping to have never happens. Well, it does, but not how I pictured it in my mind. :)

    I am not sure I have played long enough to know if this would work, but I have often wondered about a remote buff module that increased the resists (shield or armor) to a high level (resists on targeted ship are 96 - 100% based on skill). The module would only work on certain class of ships (haulers and miners). I would also imagine that the module can only be fitted on ships that have remote buff bonuses.

    With such a module, the attackers would need to contend with the security fleet before taking out their target. That is the fight I was picturing in my mind when I thought of the profession initially.

    This might make hauling and mining too hard to disrupt. But I think it would make for some interesting tactics and some interesting fights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or as a replacement for Line of Sight, a module that substitutes the guarding ship's shield for the target's. Thus if you want to blow up my hauler, you have to get through my super tank Maller first.

      Delete
  34. Late to this discussion, but...

    My worry is this. Trit is currently at 6isk per at Jita right now. A jet can is 27.5k space, so it can hold 275k veld. Enough for 825 refining cycles, at 1000 trit each at max skill. So 825,000 trit at 6 per. So just under 5mil to gank a hulk and loot his can. They're not always going to have a full can out, so lets say half a can, 2.5mil. Even if you don't gank the hulk and just loot the can left behind, it's still worth the price to fully buy, refit, and re-insure your Catalyst.

    And that's with trit, it gets worse as you go up the mineral chain. All the sudden annoying hulks is a profitable enterprise, even if you don't get a shiny kill mails and loot drops. If your the type of eve player who just enjoys going out and messing with people, its now isk stable.

    ReplyDelete
  35. But stealing is something security actually could deal with. Hmm. Maybe we should really increase the tank of miners by large AND force them at the same time to mine into cans.

    ReplyDelete
  36. How about an anchorable structure for defense of the mining op? This could be a bit like a mini POS which you'd have to anchor along with guns, warp disruptors, ecm batteries, etc. Then it would be a bit like mining outside a small POS.

    It would allow you to set up a mining op that's much better defended at the cost of having that op be less mobile because of the time taken to set up and take down the defenses.

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.