Mining Barges – The Foundations of IndustryAshterothi
This fall is the age of Industry. With the upcoming Industrial Arrays, changes in the capital industrial ship, the Rorqual, New Eden is about to see a massive shakeup over how minerals are obtained and processed. CCP has still kept the sheer extent of the changes close to the chest. However, before any of that, we have changes coming to the cornerstone of EVE’s minerals – the mining barges.
EVE mining is primarily performed by the ORE line of mining barges, and is largely considered an AFK activity. A long time ago the barges were differentiated by the kinds of things they mined (Hulks mostly mined minerals, Mackinaws mostly mined Ice), however in Inferno 1.2 those distinctions were removed as “Tiericide” was given to the ships. Now the three lines of barges were differentiated by their strengths: The Skiff was the most defensive (and offensive), the Mackinaw had the largest ore hold, and the Hulk was the king of yield.
there is very little changing in the sense of overall capabilities
Now it seems like there are some minor adjustments that need to be made to mining barges in order for them to fit into the new paradigm. One thing stands out: there is very little changing in the sense of overall capabilities. A properly fit Skiff will mine around the same amount as it could before, but there are several cosmetic changes, and some minor tweaks to the stats for both cosmetic and design options reasons. The biggest change to highlight is that the Covetor/Hulk line of barges are receiving an extra low slot, and although they are not getting additional fittings for mining upgrades, the potential for higher yield is there.
The most clear objective is the standardization of the strip miners on the mining vessels themselves. Before this change the number of strip miners helped distinguish the kinds of vessels you had. Now, the Procurer/Skiff is gaining a slot, and the Covetor/Hulk is losing one, leaving all mining barges at using two. Additionally, some of the mining power has been moved from bonuses on the ship to attached to the module itself.
While the first change is almost certainly designed to follow the new visual style of the mining barges themselves, the second is more about freeing up design space for changes. Included with the bonuses shift we also are getting new ORE faction modules with 5% increased volumed mined per cycle. By putting more of the “stat weight” on the modules themselves, they can now create new and different options for mining modules, without the majority of the power coming from the hull bonus itself.
Overall, the changes we are getting are simple, but foundational. Larger changes, and questions loom overhead. How will Orcas operate in the new boosting world? How will Rorq changes impact null mining fleets? What advantages will Industrial Platforms give to those who plant notifications that they operate industrially in the area? ORE has had a very good year, with the release of their Ice Mining frigate, their acquisition by Upwell, and their announcement of the new Industrial Platforms. Promises are now how empires are built, we will have to see what else the masters of mining have in store for us in the months ahead.