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.
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Monday, July 30, 2012

Update to the update

OK!  There are some more updates to the Mining Barges and Exhumers from my post earlier today.  Most of them are pretty minor, so you can stick with the post I wrote earlier today.  Still, there are a few things worth noting.
  • The Exhumers are apparently getting their resists nerfed, particularly against EM damage against which they will have 0% resistance.(1)  To that, all I can say is WTF?  gg, CCP, gg.
  • The Covetor and Hulk EHP is getting nerfed slightly from my post earlier today.  After the combination of this change and the one above, I suspect Covetors and Hulks will be slightly more fragile than they are today.
  • The Procurer and Skiff are getting expanded drone bays.  Procurer gets 25m3.  Skiff gets a pretty amazing 50m3.  That's even better than what I was hoping for.  And the Procurer is getting four... count 'em, four mid slots.  That's one too many, IMO, but that definitely bumps the Procurer out of the "most useless ship in EVE" competition for now.  I'll have to think of a new candidate... Iteron Mark I, probably.
  • Maximum Retriever ore hold is being nerfed slightly.  nbd.  Mack ore hold is also being nerfed a fair bit.  That's probably a good decision.  It was far too big.  And it looks like the Hulk might be getting a 5% per level mining yield bonus instead of 3%, which is a really good change.  That should push it past Mackinaw mining yield again.
  • Finally, the Skiff appears to be getting another bonus to... something?  Not sure what.  It looks like a per-Exhumer-level bonus, at least, which is good.
  • There's also various changes to the capacity of things, or the amount of space things take, particularly mining crystals which have always taken up too much space.  That's a very good thing!
EDIT (31/Jul/2012): Thanks to everyone that looked into it: looks like that mystery 5% bonus per level is going to be to shield resists.  That'll get the EM resistance of these boats out of 0% but is still going to make EMP ammo quite effective for ganking them.  In other words, in terms of making mining ops defensible, it's self-defeating.  One anonymous commenter said that CCP seems to be looking at these changes strictly through the lens of PvP effectiveness and hadn't bothered to check and see if these changes make them better mining ships.  I'm starting to think that comment was right on.

All in all, these are mostly good changes, particularly the Skiff drone bay, the Procurer mid slots, and the additional Hulk buff.  But dropping the T2 resists on all the Exhumers?  Uhhhh... WHY?  Again though... these changes are just a colorful little band-aid.  I await with interest some real changes to mining.

Thanks to everyone who pointed me at these additional updates!

(1) "DamageResonance" is the inverse of resists, so DamageResonance of 0.8 is 20% resistance, and DamageResonance of 1.0 is 0% resistance.


  1. So gank Hulks with Coercers, not Catalysts?

    Is that 3 -> 5 change for the yield or shield resistance per level?

    Is CCP just trolling the speculators?

    1. Thrashers loaded with RF EMP. :-)

    2. How about with the upgraded noob frigs?

      According to the db dump, they all get an extra mid and low slot, plus substantial boosts to CPU and PG - which makes fitting real weapons much more possible. Since it looks like they are still free to all pilots, even if you need a gang of them to take down a miner, it would still be pretty cost effective... :)

  2. The original Exhumer shield resists were:

    38 / 50 / 63 / 65 with a massive +7.5%/level of Exhumer.

    It looks like they're changing to

    0 / 20 / 40 / 50 with +5%/level instead.

    Personally I'd like to see them with at least the same resist profile as an Ares. It might be terrible T2 resists, but at least it's better than T1.

    1. Yep, which confirms Jester's suspicion that Hulks will be more fragile than they are currently.

      Right now, it takes a single Catalyst to pop an untanked, max yield Hulk. After the change, it might be possible to do it with a single Rifter or Incursus... lol.

    2. The shield resist was actually per Barge level, which with a Barge V requirement, always meant it was max.


  3. Looking at the cost of Hulks and thier continued gankability I don't think it will be wise to fly them in HI SEC. Most (especially newbies ) would be wiser to pilot retirevers if solo and covetors in HI sec with a small fleet.
    I think this might be a small jab at botters looking for hi effiecentcy while allowing Hulkageddon to continue. Those flying in HI SEC with a HULK will have to stay vigilant else see their expensive ships blown to pieces. The profitability of keeping the AFK retriever isn't a game breaker but isn't really worth it to RMT botters unless they attempt to 23.5/7 which is EZ to spot.
    The ICE bonus reductions sort of puzzle me with the MACK.

    1. "The ICE bonus reductions sort of puzzle me with the MACK."

      Confirming that no CCP devs have actually mined ice... ever.

    2. FYI - Noobs can't currently fly Hulks.

      It looks like CCP is reducing the Exhumer skill req from III to I, but I can't tell from the database dump if they are also planning to reduce or eliminate the other skill reqs, such as Astrogeology V. If not, then it will still take around 7 weeks to train into a Hulk, plus the time required for any fitting skills, esp. if you want to put T2 modules on it. So, on average, you are still looking at around 3 months of training to fit and fly one decently.

      Hulks are already getting foolishly popped in high-sec, but they aren't flown by noobs; they are being flown by greedy miners. These are the untanked Hulks, fit for max mining, and boasting laughable tanks on the order of 4-6K EHP. A single gank-fit Catalyst can take one down. Most are also solo players.

      The botters are a bit smarter - they tend to dock up immediately whenever someone unknown shows up in local - so, a tank is mostly irrelevant. I don't see that these changes will affect their behavior in any way.

  4. I'm not skilled in reading database dumps, but it looks like they've changed the resists from flat-T2 to T1 with a 5%(?) increase per level.

  5. Hello

    I think there is now a +5% per lvl for resistance in the exhumers that would offset the shield resistance nerf.

    Keep up the good work

  6. Yeah, the new "shipBonusORE3" on the Procurer corresponds to the
    "[+|n] shipBonusEmShieldResistanceORE3
    [+|n] shipBonusExplosiveShieldResistanceORE3
    [+|n] shipBonusKineticShieldResistanceORE3
    [+|n] shipBonusThermicShieldResistanceORE3"

    Which means a 5% bonus to shield resistances per level of mining barge trained. If I remember how to read these databases correctly, the + means newly added, the n means not implemented, and the "ORE3" at the end of those is just an indicator as to which variable amount the bonus gives per level, that amount being defined as "shipBonusORE3 => -5". I'm assuming that when you're dealing with Resistance instead of Resonance that you use the flat percentage number and not a decimal... :CCP:

    1. Well it's a per level bonus to resistance by way of -5% to resonance. You don't just add 5% to resistances (that would be a bit OP). So it actually does make sense. I imagine that CCP didn't want to have players confused by another term 'damage resonance', so they just leave it out.

    2. Zenver these are two sides to the same coin so by saying one is OP your saying both are.

    3. Hmm? No, when I said 'add 5% to the base resist' I literally meant you just at 5% (per level) to the base resist of the ship. That is not at all how it works. Drakes would be even more silly than they are.

  7. "... but that definitely bumps the Procurer out of the 'most useless ship in EVE' competition for now. I'll have to think of a new candidate... Iteron Mark I, probably."

    As a Gallente indy pilot, I'd have to say that the Iteron II is actually more useless than the Iteron I. Oddly, it is the only Iteron model which I don't use and have never flown.

    We often use Iteron I's for short range haulers, since it only takes a few minutes for everyone to train up to fly one. Most players never bother training up any higher than level 1, but, those who do don't stop at level 2 - they take it up to at least level 3, which gets you into the more useful and popular Iteron III.

  8. The value of EM shield rigs just went up, albeit a small amount...

  9. there is a 122 page WHINE thread on the Eve forums that might explain why they are nerfing the resists. The gankers are going wild about not being able to gank in easy mode:


    I think it is a sad state of affairs that the hottest topic in Eve is about the two professions that were once beneath contempt to serious Eve players.

  10. Jester they weren't supposed to be becoming better mining ships. CCP made it fairly clear in the original devblog what their point of view was. The Hulk was roughly OK in it's original form, it just needed a bit more survivability.

    The main problem with mining ships was that anything other than a Hulk was pretty much a waste of time. So they've identified 3 roles - best cargo, best tank, and best yield. You get each role in a T1 or T2 variant.

    The problem that's affecting most of the miners posting on the official forums is that they just don't get this - they still want their Hulks to be the best at everything. Having to actually weigh-up the pros and cons and make a decision seems to be beyond a lot of them.

    Now the only actual disadvantage the Hulk is getting is the cargo-bay change, but that's to avoid the obvious problem with slapping a huge cargo hold on a Mining ship. Eg it becomes a hauler (how many Orcas used for mining support vs "safe" hauling?) so they've also changed the way mining works so there's a dedicated bay that strip miners load into. Most of the players whining about this actually want to semi-afk mine solo, and probably want the max-cargo hull variant.

    Anyway tl;dr the concepts behind the changes actually look good. The numbers will probably need iterating on after it goes live. People don't like change.

    1. "Most of the players whining about this actually want to semi-afk mine solo, and probably want the max-cargo hull variant."

      You haven't done much mining, have you? It has *always* been a semi-afk activity. CCP designed it that way and nothing they are doing now is supposed to change that fact. Look at the cycle time on the strip miners and ice harvesters and dare to say otherwise.

      Miners spend most of their time chatting in corp channel or local, while waiting for the cycles to finish and the cargoholds to fill up, so that they can transfer the ore to the hauler. Doesn't matter if you are mining solo or in a fleet - it works the same way, except a solo miner uses an alt rather than a corp mate for the hauling.

      Max cargo fits allow more time between ore transfer, which is a good thing for semi-afk play. Reducing the cycle time by shrinking the cargoholds and is just plain stupid. It turns a boring activity into a tedious activity.

      Also, Hulks require a fair amount of dedicated skill training, which is useless for any other activity in the game. It is therefore not unreasonable to expect that the top-of-the-line ship be able to do everything well, rather than be recast into a new lame ass role. Consider how upset the super cap pilots would be if the Titans and SCs were recast into fleet super freighters (no rigs, no module slots - just a big honking cargo bay which can only store cap charges and ammo).

      Orcas are extensively used for mining ops - even by solo miners, due to the bonuses to mining. The only miners who do not use an Orca are noob miners who have not yet trained up the skills to fly it, or can't yet afford to buy it.

    2. "Now the only actual disadvantage the Hulk is getting is the cargo-bay change, but that's to avoid the obvious problem with slapping a huge cargo hold on a Mining ship. Eg it becomes a hauler"

      Yeah, right. Who is going to spend the time required to train up a Hulk, just to use it as a hauler? It requires less time to train up a freighter.

      The Orca is a special-case ship. It is specifically useful as a hauler due to the impregnable corp hangers. Without the corp hangers, you would not see them used much for hauling.

    3. Anon1: "top-of-the-line ship" - which just proves you don't get it. The future of Eve is that there are no top-of-the-line ships.

      Anon2: Well you wouldn't need to train Exhumers - you'd just need to train mining barge. There are also other advantages to the Orca, but you're just reinforcing my point that due to game-design issues the Orca is being used outside it's originally intended role in-game.

    4. Even if there won't be a top of the line ship in each class, they still stole the already finely crafted roles of the T2 barges. Made them new one yes, but max yield, max tank and max orehold are not mining profession like roles. They are more like roles from a pvp standpoint.
      Whereas the current roles were just fine: mercoxit mining platform, ice mining platform, and ore mining platform. (Ok, mercoxit mining role wasn't the best thought out one)

      So now each mining barge and exhumers mines 2 things almost the same. And we lost mercoxit mining role.
      Also we won't get a gas mining platform out of the new changes either, wich is pretty much requested everywhere.

  11. Again CCP is just tweaking the database values of ships.
    Again....No real content and effort required.

    Yet another update that has nothing new...

  12. Mining is all about productivity. These changes are rather useless, since they don't make mining more productive nor less boring nor less of an AFK activity.

    Beefing up the tank just means that the gankers will beef up the DPS. Instead of using a single Catalyst to gank an untanked exhumer, they will need to use a couple of dessies. Net cost to the gankers will still be lower than the net loss to the miners, esp. if the per ship mining productivity is actually nerfed.

    What needs to change is the mechanics of ganking. In high sec, the mechanism is simply broken. It is currently far too easy and too profitable to gank - as Helicity and the Goons have adequately proven. I don't say that ganking should be impossible, but it should be more difficult and challenging.

    I'd suggest that changing the mechanics of Concord's response to outlaws in high-sec would be a better solution - and not just by tweaking down the response time.

    Concord should actively pursue outlaws in high-sec, whether they are in pods or ships. If Concord catches up with a ship or pod, then they should just slap on an infinite scram/web, rather than insta-popping, and slowly tractor them to a Concord station/outpost - allowing other players the opportunity to pop the outlaw. Concord ships should be tough, but destructible, so that an outlaw has a chance of getting away - but, not in a cheap T1 fit throwaway gank ship.

    If the outlaw enters a POS or swap ships via an Orca, then the POS and the Orca should become valid targets, as well. Concord should set them to blinky red and add a bounty, so that players can have the fun of chasing the outlaws and any "neutral" accomplices.

    And, ofc, outlaws should not be able to dock at all in an NPC station in high sec. That just doesn't make much sense, and makes it too easy to scoot around high sec, as an outlaw.

  13. Does the building cost of the old barges increase?
    If not, the price fall after the patch will be swift... I invested 2B (not a lot, but I'm new) in barges, so I'm rather excited about it.

    1. As the last info on this that i read: there won't be any BPO changes on ship costs until they finish the balancing of all the ships.

  14. If CCP wants to buff mining ships to deal with PVP, then they should:

    (a) reduce the targeting time on mining ships to 0 secs or nearly so (or perhaps just the return targeting time, ie. time required to target someone who is in the process of targeting you); and

    (b) add turret/launcher hardpoints to mining ships; and/or

    (c) add actual smart - not dumb - smartbombs to mining ships - ie. AOE weapons which only hit a player who is shooting at you.

    These changes would allow a mining ship to fight back against a ganker. Not well, perhaps, but better than just being a helpless target, with no time or ability to respond to a gank attack.

  15. I don't know what the hell CCP was thinking with this. The three tech2 barges each had a specialized. Hulk: General Ore Badass Supreme. Skiff: Mercoxit mining. Mack: Ice Mining. Depending on what you're doing each has a mining role.

    That's been changed to lets see... Tank, Cargo Hold, and Mining Yield. But, and this is the important part, the Hulk isn't being given the bonuses comparable to what the Skiff and Mack lost. So... yeah.. some things are going to go up in value.

    Personally, I'd rather they have just normalized the tank and cargo hold across each Tech level of Barges and Exhumers. And then fiddled with ores and bonuses a bit to make each more useful. Skiff -> General Ore(Highsec/Lowsec), Mack - Ice, Hulk -> ABC+M.

    It's not a great idea, but from a miner's perspective it'd be a hell of a lot more useful than this.

    1. The devs working on this are not interested in the miner's perspective - they are only interested in the PVP (ie. miner vs. ganker) perspective. That should be obvious from the proposed changes.

  16. I Think the changes are well made.

    Retriever Class is now THE Solo Machine. You can mine Solo without touching your PC for 40 minutes. If you mine in a group, the new system encourages you to get into a Covetor Class and have a hauler/orca by ur side to move the ore.

    And the Skiff-Class is WH/Low/0.0

    Don't be so negative on everything and step out of your bittervet-grumpy-chapel ;)

    1. And where is the Mercoxit miner role?
      Where is the gas harvester role?
      These are roles too that matter to the miner/harvester industrialists!

    2. There has never been a gas miner role, thus why BCs are the ship of choice for gas mining.

  17. Insane... I just fit a Procurer after Inferno 1.2 went live and I'm getting 60K EHP. On a T1 mining barge, which used to cost about 2M ISK to build (now up to 20M ISK). And, with the 3x bonused mining laser and 12K ore bay, it easily out-mines the old 3-turret Covetor and isn't all that much of a step down from the new exhumers, yet at 1/10th the cost.

    Looks like the days of high-sec miner ganking are pretty much done. It just isn't worth popping this ship.

  18. It isn't worth pooping this ship? Gankers don't do it for profit, they do it because of the mentality. I'll leave it to you to decide which flavour. I liked the idea of tiered mining ships, after all there are tiered fighting ships. And do you really think that making different roles is really going to change mining any? Who cares what ships are used and aren't used. I agree, making changes to Hi-Sec security response to criminals is the direction to go. These ship roles are lame.


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