A Look at Mining in New EdenResa Moon
Why mine? For the same reasons we pursue any activity in Eve: You enjoy the process, the outcome, or some mix of both. The mining process is the actual field harvesting of resources. The immediate outcome is raw material, but the ultimate outcome is the generation of ISK. Though a large number of players mine, the activity is generally mentioned as unfashionable in the extreme and treated with disdain. If you enjoy neither the harvesting process nor the nature or amount of the outcome, or if you value the approval and admiration of the non-mining Eve community, mining may not be for you.
The primary complaint about the mining process is boredom; though an alleged low ISK per hour outcome rate runs a close second. Neither objection is necessarily accurate. We’ll explore these issues, and take a look at an important tool designed to help miners make more efficient mining decisions.
Mining can be risky business, and risk goes a long way toward preventing boredom. No matter where you mine, you are in a hostile environment. In highsec, you are subject to both attack and harassment by gankers or competing miners (or competing miners disguised as gankers or bumpers). In nullsec, lowsec and WHs, you’re simply a soft target in hard space. There is much less AFK mining (at least by serious miners) than often touted.
As to the outcome, the fact that mining scales well can seriously increase the amount of ISK generated. Many dedicated miners multi-box. With some experience, it’s very feasible for a single player to run multiple toons in a mining fleet. This has two major benefits: With a bit more effort, you earn with more characters at the same time, and it makes the process more engaging as it really isn’t an AFK proposition unless you don’t care much about efficiency. You feel like a fleet commander assigning ‘roids to miners, making sure their lasers don’t sit idle, managing your boosting and hauling characters, while keeping a constant eye on local and d-scan to get a jump on potential threats. Multi-boxing helps miners find that sweet-spot mix between enjoying the process and the outcome: Generating wealth.
While mining scales well, it can be a very competitive activity and many miners are highly territorial and aggressively possessive. Yes, mine with a single toon in a fully tanked Procurer in 1.0 security space and boredom is probably the only thing you’ll risk; most dedicated miners try to balance yield, tank, and third party threats.
Efficient miners don’t avoid risk: They manage it. As you increase the size of your operation, the risk of harassment increases. Scale-up and you will learn to deal with situations such as war decs, Orca and freighter bumping, local smack talk, and infiltration attempts.
Any activity in Eve can be boring. Think of Eve as a restaurant with a number of activities on the menu. Few of us want to order the same thing hour after hour, day after day. Consider mining another item on the Eve menu that can provide an additional activity, or activities as mining is closely associated with manufacturing and trading, for your New Eden lifestyle and more ISK in your account.
Knowledge may be power, but when it comes to activities in Eve, it may be more important to realize that knowledge is fun. The following are some mining fundamentals you might consider, and tools that can help you make more effective mining decisions.
What’s hot and what’s not
You need a grasp of the overall mining environment: The current value of different ores, minerals, ice and ice products, where those resources can be found and where they can be efficiently sold. This information will help you decide what, where, and how (ship and booster usage) to mine, and where and in what form to sell the fruits of your labor.
EVE ISK Per Hour (EIPH)
EIPH is a sophisticated Eve industry program that goes into sufficient detail to help you make important decisions for both mining and manufacturing by calculating how much ISK per hour various activities can produce based upon your specific situation. It is free. Download and program information will be found in the link provided.
Before you run any calculations, and after inputting the appropriate API information for a character you will operate, you will import current price information that will be used in running the ISK per hour calculations. The screenshot below indicates a price info pull for miners who intend to sell ore, minerals, ice or ice products in the Amarr trade hub.
Importing price information
The mining tab is the key feature for miners. The screenshot below presents a comparison of highsec ores using a Hulk with particular fittings and skills, boosted by an Orca and taking into consideration the +5 and +10% ore variants. The calculations also account for the different values of raw ore, compressed ore, and reprocessed minerals, so you’ll have a better idea of both what you want to mine and in what form you’ll want to move it to market. This example was run for one miner, but you can run the inquiry for as many miners as you will field.
ISK per hour for highsec ore using a Hulk
In light of the recent buffs to nullsec mining, below is a look at ore in both highsec and null, though the highsec results are inaccurate as the Rorqual has been designated as the booster, which cannot fly in highsec. Also, the use of a Hulk in nullsec is—let us say—very situational.
The key point though is to get a quick comparison. You would want to compare the ore results in the two security spaces based on a more detailed input of what you’d actually be using (a Skiff in null, for example).
ISK per hour including nullsec ore using a Hulk
Many highsec miners keep a close eye on the value of ice mining versus ore mining. The ore/mineral and ice/ice products markets are volatile, especially over the last year with the changes to nullsec (with things like jump fatigue, the ore buffs in null and the new sov system).
Highsec ice mining in a Skiff
Below is a sample of nullsec ice mining just to round out the presentation.
Nullsec ice mining in a Skiff
Information, not answers
EIPH is a great tool for getting a good feel for the current state of mining values. However, it can’t tell you exactly what or where you should mine as there are two other important factors to consider: Accuracy of the information, and risk.
You will not generate the ISK per hour indicated by EIPH, especially when it comes to mining highsec ore. This is because the program calculates the result based on a full hour of complete cycle pulls; i.e. it doesn’t (and can’t) take into account partial pulls from almost depleted ‘roids, or the time lost switching to a new ‘roid. The results for ice mining inquiries will be much closer to reality due to the size of icicles and the fact that there are no partial pulls—you either mine one unit of ice per cycle, or nothing.
Risk is an important factor in mining. It’s not just that you’re a soft target for evil highsec gankers, it’s that gankers and mining competitors are both out to get you. Frankly, a good number of highsec gankers are actually serious highsec miners who use alts to gank potential mining competition, especially with respect to ice belts. You need to consider what ship to take to what system and what systems will work for your particular mining fleet configuration.
For example, you are probably good to go in a fully tanked Procurer in just about any highsec system, assuming you don’t find a way to annoy the locals. However, taking a fleet of Hulks to a busy .5 ice belt is a recipe for disaster. Even a fleet of Skiffs can be a problem if the belt is already home to a serious miner who doesn’t relish the competition—expect merc war decs, suicide gankers (yes, even against tanked Skiffs if someone has a grudge), freighter/Orca bumpers, local smack talk, or some wonderful combination thereof.
Similar things can be said about the choice between highsec and nullsec. The nullsec ISK per hour numbers look very attractive, but the risk factor can go off the scale; it’s not really a solo activity, and you have to figure out the logistics of what to do with the resources you harvest. Nullsec mining can be great both in terms of ISK generation and providing a more extensive menu of potential activities (including a variety of PvP styles), but will require taking a close look at nullsec corp, alliance, and coalition opportunities. You’ll want to do a lot more homework before jumping into the deep end, but it’s an exciting part of the pool.
More mining tools and resources
Tau Cabalander: Tau is a frequent contributor to the EVE-O forums, especially Science and Industry, and one of the most knowledgeable mining and industry players in the game. He has also said that readers of this article with particular questions about mining or industry may contact him ingame. Here are three of his posts of special note:
You can find all of Tau Cabalander’s forum posts here.
Tools for miners:
- Current ore/minerals/ice/ice products market value information: Celestes.de
- What ores and ice are in what space: Evelopedia and Eve Uni Wiki.
- Tool for finding a solar system that might meet your mining requirements: Carebearium.
Killboard Mining: The next two links will help you see who’s being ganked and where. Suggest you add the gankers, or their alliance or corp to your contacts with terrible standings, so their appearance in local stands out, and use this info to help determine where you might want to mine.
Eve-O forum topics:
- Crime and Punishment EVE-O forum (Yes, they are out to get you.
And finally, a shameless plug: New Eden Mining blog