Now that the mining barges have been updated, I thought I would take a look at the suggestions I made in the Mining Overhaul posts I made back in May and see how they compare to the changes that were actually made.
In the first post, I outlined a variety of changes and additions to the equipment with which we mine in EVE – ships, modules, crystals, drones, and structures.
- Skills: Mining barges still use their own skill. I still say that they should use ORE Industrial instead; but this is a relatively minor quibble, and there’s nothing stopping them from making this change further down the line.
- Hull repairers are still as shitty as ever.
- T1 and T2 strip miners still require wildly different amounts of cubage (100m3 and 5m3, respectively).
- A tracking computer-esque module to increase the range of a mining laser or strip miner would still be welcome addition to the game.
- Crystals and Drones:
- While they didn’t reduce the mining crystals all the way down to 5m3, as I suggested, they did halve their volumes, reducing them to 15m3 for T1 crystals and 25m3 for T2 – and with the addition of dedicated ore holds to the barges, that was sufficient.
- Given the changes made to the mining barges and the planned removal/revamp of mining frigates and cruisers, I think my sentry mining drone concept, while interesting, probably doesn’t have a place in the game.
- Structures: With the additions of such large ore bays to the mining barges, I initially thought that the Surveyors’ Repository concept had been obsoleted. On further reflection, while the new ore bays do reduce its value as a extra-large, permanent jetcan, it’s still useful as a magnifier for Survey Scanners and as a temporary security blanket for people mining in dangerous space. In high security space, it lets industrial corporations claim belts as their own (with the possibilities for conflict that engenders) and acts as an extension of a barge’s own ore hold, allowing a miner to remain productive even when none of his corpmates are online to help haul.
- Ships: CCP’s changes to the mining barges and exhumers are far, far superior to the ones I suggested in May. I still believe barges should use the ORE Industrial skill, rather than their own, and I still believe that the Orca and Rorqual’s bonus to survey scanner range should be applied to their fleet, and not to themselves – but the important thing is that each ship now has its own strengths and its own weaknesses; none of them are useless any longer.
In my second post, I examined the actual activity of mining and ways to improve it from that perspective. Since the mining barge buff didn’t touch any of these aspects of the game, none of that post has been obsoleted. A brief summary:
- UI Improvements: I suggested adding a health bar of sorts to an asteroid, so we can see proportionally how much of its ore has been mined.
- More Engaging Missions: I proposed making adding more ore than required by the agent, and adding motion to the asteroids, potentially with NPC structures that need to be protected from the moving rocks by mining out the ones that will strike them.
- Add “Terrain” to Low- and Null-sec Belts: I suggested adding some variant ores to belts outside high-sec that produce EW effects when mined.