Terrible Ideas: More Mining Iterations

October 24, 2012

Be warned: This post is a bit of a rambling grab bag of topics.

You know what I enjoy? Kitting out my high-end PVE ships with blingy gear. It's great fun for everyone – both the people who fly the blingy ships and the people who blow them up (and loot the resulting wreckage).

But mining ships are a little left out of this equation. Sure, they can benefit from the same faction tank modules as combat ships, and sure, there are faction mining lasers – but what about shiny hulls, utility mods, and damage mods?

More Mining Utility Mods

Speaking of utility modules, why is it that mining only gets a single utility mod, the survey scanner? Let's have a bit more variety, here.

In my initial Mining Overhaul post, I suggested the Mining Beam Extensor, basically the equivalent of a Optimal Range-scripted Tracking Computer that boosted mining laser range. Unfortunately at the time I hadn't considered how that bonus compared to the one provided by the Mining Laser Field Enhancement command link (hint: it was way too good). With that in mind, here's a revised version:

  • Harvest Beam Extensor: This active midslot module requires 35 CPU and 1 grid, and boosts mining laser, strip miner, and ice harvester range by 5% (T2 by 7.5%).

That's still slightly better than the baseline command links, but the command link bonuses are heavily increased by skills, so a dedicated mining booster will still be more useful than one of these modules.

More Faction Mining Gear –  The ORE Merchant Marine

But, back to the original topic, faction gear for miners. Let's give ORE its own equivalent to the Imperial Navy or Republic Fleet – the Merchant Marine. All existing ORE faction modules can be rechristened with the Merchant Marine moniker, and we can also add in a few more options to fill in the gaps:

  • Merchant Marine Mining Laser Upgrades: Here's a traditional faction item: damage mods. In a mining context, that means Mining Laser Upgrades and Ice Harvester Upgrades.
  • Merchant Marine Damage Control: Another traditional faction item are tanking modules – and with designs that feature a wealth of hull HP, who better to introduce a faction damage control module than ORE?
  • Merchant Marine Survey Scanner: Perhaps a bit of extra range to give miners more info about their choice of rock.
  • Merchant Marine Harvest Beam Extensor: An 8% range boost sounds about right (in line with the optimal range bonus offered by unscripted faction Tracking Computers).
  • Procurer/Retriever/Covetor Marine Issue: And naturally, faction hulls with a bit of extra HP, some extra fitting room, and an extra slot or two to play with. Just as a strawman, let's say they get 30 extra grid and CPU and an extra midslot each.

Deep Core Mining – Not Just For Mercoxit Anymore

Currently, all minable asteroids in game are uniform in their composition. But what if they weren't? What if, buried inside of every moonlet of veldspar, you might find a nugget of jaspet or even arkonor, invisible to scanners?

This nugget could be accessed in one of two ways: mine away the outer shell of more pedestrian minerals, or use deep core mining modules and hope that there really is something special lurking at the heart of a rock.

This could provide a rough equivalent of faction spawns for mining and add a bit more unpredictability to the activity of mining.

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