Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Miner survival guide

CCP gave lot of tools for miners who were dying left and right. After the largest buff any ship class received in the history of EVE... miners are dying left and right and demand more buffs. With this post I want to tell how easily one can defend himself against suicide gankers.

Let's see the first and most important mechanic: security status. As its name clearly tells, it's about the security of the star system. "The higher, the better" should be obvious even to 1 hour newbies. Numerically it defines the response time of CONCORD, the invincible cops of EVE highsec. According to my own combat logs, in 0.5 you can gank for 25 seconds, in 0.6 20, in 0.7 16. Of course it can be affected by lag and rounding errors but you clearly get the tendency. In 0.8-1.0 you can practically only alpha-gank, meaning firing one salvo from a long-reload gun. Typically Tornado battlecruisers are used for it and they cost 100M. In 0.7-0.5 you can use sustained DPS ships, like the 11M Catalyst. You probably see the difference between these options. Considering that there are lot of belts in 0.8-1.0, there is absolutely no reason for risk-averse miners to move to 0.5-0.7. Yet they do.

The second concept that constantly evades dead miners is "tanking". Ships have shield, armor and hull. Each have HPs. To kill a ship, all three must be reduced to zero. You can increase the value of all three and also their resistances. A shield with 50% resistance to a damage type is just as strong as a twice bigger shield with no resistance. This mechanic coined the term "effective HP": the HP of the ship with zero resistances that lives as long as the current ship. Let's see a max-yield Retriever in EFT (third party EVE ship modeling program):
You can see that it has 2-3000 HP in shield, armor and hull, all with low resistances. The hull resistances are zero. This provides 9614 EHP.

Now let's put on an Adaptive invulnerability field that increases shield resistances, and replace one Mining laser upgrades with a Damage control module that gives a small increase to shield and armor and big to hull. Since they need CPU, we'll need one processor overclocking rig. To the other two rig slots the optimal choice is a medium core defense field extender, but that's expensive, so let's just go with rigs that increase your weakest resistances: armor kinetic and armor thermic. While the armor explosive and shield EM were smaller, gankers prefers doing kinetic and thermal damage. Of course if you put on only resistors for these, they will adapt, hence we stick to the adaptive invulnerability field. Let's see the ship now:
Look, the EHP almost doubled for less than 9% yield decrease! Is there any reason to not fit your Retriever this way? Then tell me, why do we gank untanked barges all the time? Can there be any other reason for those ganks than miners being stupid?

Finally let's compare all the Barges and Exhumers with max-yield vs reasonable tank:
Name Naked, yield Naked, EHP Tanked, yield Tanked, EHP
Retriever 1.28 9.6 1.17 17.1
Covetor 1.40 7.2 1.29 13.3
Procurer 1.17 29.1 1.07 67.9
Mackinaw 1.34 14.5 1.23 31.3
Hulk 1.44 10.9 1.32 24.0
Skiff 1.23 36.3 1.13 109.5

Can you see the extreme differences between the various ships and fits? Then why are the 0.5-0.6 belts are full of naked Retrievers?! The only possible answer is stupidity and laziness. It is practically impossible to gank miners who choose ships and system security properly and fit their ships well. Yet the only thing slowing miner ganking is waiting out GCC.

Finally, something trivial: AFK-ing. How can you seriously think of going AFK in a game and win? How could going AFK in a dangerous place mean anything else than sure defeat?

25 comments:

Debra Tao said...

If you want to make ganking harder and protect yourself it makes perfect sense to tank your ship.

However as you have a higher yield in an untanked ship many miners agree on the fact that it's more profitable to eat a loss here and there and go for the higher yeild.

Despite the efforts of the new order, for the average miner that move when he sees the new order coming or just go for ore instead of ice that makes perfect sense.

Nils Magnus Nilsson said...

The reason it is often not worth tanking is profit.

The fitted Retriever in your example costs ~45M.
Assume a low (I think you'd agree) mining income of 10M/hr.
-9% yield = -900k/hr.
45M/900k=50hrs.

If you're not ganked every 50hrs, you're losing money by tanking - and that's not counting insurance.

Gevlon said...

Max yield doesn't explain the empty (or scanner-fitted) mid slot and the empty rig slots.

Also, Mackinaw are around 180M, so with 0.9M/hour lost profit, you have to mine 200 hours to get better.

Anonymous said...

"Is there any reason to not fit your Retriever this way?"

Yes, there is and it's a big one - rock scanners. It's a necessity, especially for solo miners with retrievers. Next - more tank only needs more cats, which are basically free, so it's pretty much pointless. Please consult miners next time.

Gevlon said...

Rock scanner isn't needed if you aren't AFK. You can just chew rocks randomly, starting a new when the old one disappeared. The Scanner becomes needed to target big enough ones to fill your hold while AFK.

Catas aren't free, they cost 11M. A fitted ret costs 40. If 4 Cats needed to kill a ret, they are losing the ISK war.

Anonymous said...

"Rock scanner isn't needed if you aren't AFK."

True, but you forgot to mention it while asking the question. Many say that NO ganks everyone, regardless of being code compliant or not, so afk is also not implied.

"Catas aren't free, they cost 11M."

11m for someone having billions upon billions? It's free.

"If 4 Cats needed to kill a ret, they are losing the ISK war."

Gankers who gank for fun don't care about any isk war. They gank and collect the tears.

Gevlon said...

If the miner writes "lol you lost more than me", then they won't get any tears.

Rammstein said...

@Nils: you forget to include the cost of the implants and the new clone you have to buy after you get podded, plus the time it takes to get back to where you were after you get podded, buying a new ship and implants on the way. Yes, perhaps you would get your pod out 100% of the time, but this post is about the average miner, not you...and the average miner doesn't get his pod out.

" Next - more tank only needs more cats, which are basically free, so it's pretty much pointless. Please consult miners next time."

I'm a miner, and people have attempted to gank my retriever 3 times over the past few months. All have failed, because I tanked my retriever. Tanking is not pointless.

Cathfaern said...

"Rock scanner isn't needed if you aren't AFK"
You need if you're doing cicle fine tuning (which is one of the main, if not only advantage of the active mining). Because in that case you have to know how much ore is left in the asteroid so you can stop your lasers at the right time.

Anonymous said...

"If the miner writes "lol you lost more than me", then they won't get any tears."

If someone looks at it strictly from the isk perspective, then yes. But I really doubt many miners do that. On the other hand I know many (most?) of gankers gank for fun. Even when one in a ten miners don't whine, it's still fun for them. Just look at goons - they don't care about some isk losses. They only care about griefing and have fun doing it.

Anonymous said...

"Rock scanner isn't needed if you aren't AFK. You can just chew rocks randomly, starting a new when the old one disappeared. The Scanner becomes needed to target big enough ones to fill your hold while AFK.
"

wrong. The scanner becomes mandatory if you want to max yield actively mining.
The cycle does not stop if the rock is almost empty. 100 veldspar left in a rock that you pop after your cycle (180sec unboosted) is a wasted cycle.
In the early days in 0.0 rock scanning was mandatory in some alliances in order to keep high end rocks allive to the next downtime.
This is not needed anymore in Sov 0.0 thanks to industrial upgrades (unlimitted spawns of Grav sites).

Hivemind said...

@ Gevlon:

"Finally let's compare all the Barges and Exhumers with max-yield vs reasonable tank"

You might want to throw in a max yield fitting with tank in non-yield slots for your comparison as well, rather than just naked vs tanked; it's not so relevant for the Retriever with its lone midslot but for other barges with more generous fitting options and particularly for the Exhumers it's a noticeable difference; a Mackinaw can be fitted for maximum yield (including an ice harvester rig slot) and get 17.8k EHP, or 20.8k EHP if you want to focus on tanking Antimatter. That's not a huge improvement from the 14.5k base EHP but it does mean a difference between being ganked by you in a solo catalyst and being passed over for other targets.

Personally my recommendation is always to fit for yield first and then use all remaining slots for tanking.

"Finally, something trivial: AFK-ing. How can you seriously think of going AFK in a game and win? How could going AFK in a dangerous place mean anything else than sure defeat?"

"Also I participated earlier fleets against Red Overlord, contributing to their weakening. I am busy AFK cloaker in the space of the enemy coalition, preventing their bots and cowardly members from farming money." - Gevlon Goblin, October 10, 2012

Is that a double standard or do you just have a short memory?

"Also, Mackinaw are around 180M, so with 0.9M/hour lost profit, you have to mine 200 hours to get better."

That's not an unusual lifespan for a Mackinaw, at least outside of New Order systems - in other words in 99% of hisec.

"Rock scanner isn't needed if you aren't AFK. You can just chew rocks randomly"

Not if you want to be efficient - since you never really learned much about mining before you started your crusade to educate miners, allow me to explain. Mining lasers, including Strip Miners, extract their per-cycle yield steadily over the cycle, but only check if the asteroid ran out of ore when the cycle ends - either because it's reached its duration (when it restarts) or because it was ended early. What this means is that an at-keyboard miner with a scanner who knows their own yield can get a solid estimate for what % of the way through their cycle an asteroid will run out, and thus end the cycle at that point so they can start the mining laser on the next rock with minimum wasted time. The alternative would be letting the harvester run for its full duration, normally several minutes, even if it's only really extracting ore for the first few seconds of the cycle.

"If 4 Cats needed to kill a ret, they are losing the ISK war."

1) Your suggested tank fitting is vulnerable to 2 catas, not 4.
2) Since when did the ISK war matter? Most of the time the recovered ISK from the gankship and barge wreck won't cover a new Catalyst for the gankers anyway, but that doesn't exactly stop them. Gankers gank because they enjoy it, or possibly because they believe in the New Order's ill-defined cause, not because it's economically sustainable for them to do so.

"If the miner writes "lol you lost more than me", then they won't get any tears."

If the miner responds to the gankers, they're already well on the way to extracting tears. That particular response contains the roots of "lol didn't want that ship anyway" and "wow, you guys suck", either of which could be chased up by the gankers to get something saltier.

Gevlon said...

@Hivemind: The problem with max-yield + tank in the remaining slots is damage control which is the strongest tank module for barges/exhumers since they have significant hull.

You can switch of ore harvester instantly as the laser animation and the rock animation disappear, and restart on another rock.

AFK cloaker doesn't "win". AFK cloaker does nothing. It's the fear that defeat the enemy.

While gankers may don't care about ISK they care if the target cares. "I didn't want that ship anyway" is a lie so gankers can be sure that the miner is actually mad. But "you lost the ISK war punks" is true, so the gankers can't really assume that the miner isn't laughing on them. A miner saying "lol idiots you lost more than me" is a total defeat for tear-farming gankers.

Also, there is huge difference between 1 cata and 2: the first needs a solo player, the second needs players cooperating, with all its problems: one being AFK, one messes up. Finally, 2 Catas can kill an untanked Exhumer. When we are in a fleet, we ignore barges completely and hunt exhumers. Barges are only targeted by solo gankers and ganker+newbie ganker teaching pairs. So being unkillable by 1 Cata (and 1 Cata + 200 DPS newbie) increases your survival chances greatly.

Anonymous said...

Seems I misread your comment about rock scanners. Let my clarify - rock scanner is a MUST for an active miner, unless he's stupid and wants to waste time.

"You can switch of ore harvester instantly as the laser animation and the rock animation disappear, and restart on another rock."

And where did you read that absurdity? Animation goes on regardless if there's anything left in the rock. That's why a scanner is needed. Once again - please consult miners first on how mining work.

Anonymous said...

Your mixed tank is just plain wrong.

Shield resist rigs for gallente damage would be better.

Anonymous said...

"AFK cloaker doesn't "win". AFK cloaker does nothing. It's the fear that defeat the enemy."

Flawed logic. Thinking that we can say that guns on ships don't do nothing, it's the destruction of enemy ships that helps win. Of course the part where the guns were the cause of this destruction is irrelevant...

tobbelobb said...

If you are afk, you of course want a Retriever, but I thought we were supposed not to be afk according to the code.
If you are not afk things are different. As one of few genuine newbie miners on EVE I worked hard to increase my yield. After poking around with EFT I figured out that I could get higher yield on a Procurer than on a Retriever! Why? I was a true newbie, and didn't have the proper skills for max yield fit. In addition, the Procurer only uses 1 laser. Why is this a good thing? Because when you mine actively and cancel your cycles to increase effiency, I often found myself waiting for capacitor in my Retriever, but never in my Procurer. Additionally, keeping track of which laser points to what rock is a constant headache. The hull for a procurer is also a lot cheaper(at least it was when I played), and you get a 3x free tank.
Bottom line is: If you are in any risk of getting ganked, why not fly a Procurer?

Anonymous said...

"If you are in any risk of getting ganked, why not fly a Procurer?"

yield

Hivemind said...

@ Gevlon:

"The problem with max-yield + tank in the remaining slots is damage control which is the strongest tank module for barges/exhumers since they have significant hull."

But with just midslot/rigs for tank you can still get EHP above what a single catalyst can gank, and "there is huge difference between 1 cata and 2: the first needs a solo player, the second needs players cooperating, with all its problems".

There are also other options to add to that - Orcas running shield and possibly armor resist links in addition to mining, +shield/hull HP implants etc, but the most important thing is getting tank above what a solo catalyst can reasonably dish out before CONCORD arrive.

"You can switch of ore harvester instantly as the laser animation and the rock animation disappear, and restart on another rock."

Once again, maybe you should consider learning about mining before you insist that every other miner should pay heed to your words. At the very least making glaring errors like this only undermines your credibility.

The laser animation and rock animation only disappear at the end of the laser cycle that empties the rock, never sooner. The only time a rock and laser animation will disappear while the module remains active is if another mining laser finishes its cycle and empties the rock - that can be from another miner or it can be a different laser on your own ship, but the rock/laser animation will not disappear just because a mining laser has loaded all the ore remaining into its cycle.

“AFK cloaker doesn't "win". AFK cloaker does nothing. It's the fear that defeat the enemy.”

You know, that sounds awfully reminiscent of me pointing out that AFK mining is the same as active mining for interaction. In both cases it’s the effort you exert when you are not AFK that provides the payoff, the AFK part is just filling the time between them. Without the exertion of effort while at-keyboard there would be no benefit to the AFK period (if you’re a cloaker who never hotdrops residents will just ignore you, if you’re a miner who never fires mining lasers you don’t mine anything).

"While gankers may don't care about ISK they care if the target cares."

And even a factual response like "you lost the ISK war punks" shows that the target cares. Gankers will then proceed to laugh at their victim for thinking the ISK war matters and/or try and get them to join the New Order. A miner saying "lol idiots you lost more than me" is still showing that they care about their own loss, because they’re trying to justify that loss in terms of hurting their attackers more. In contrast a ganker doesn’t care about their loss, which is why losing an ISK war isn’t an issue for them.

Also 12:53 Anonymous is correct: using Kin/Therm shield rigs instead of armor rigs gives a few extra EHP even though they get some diminishing returns from the invuln field - the larger base shield HP makes up for it. It’s only about 200EHP difference, but every little helps when someone’s shooting you with overheated antimatter.

Bobbins said...

Also make sure you implants are appropriate for mining and that character. There are some coorps that offer standings for jump clones for free so never get caught with a clone full of not used implants.

On the mention of implants I seem to remember that the 3% structure implant is normally dirt cheap. Inherent Implants 'Noble' Mechanic MC-803 81,000 isk at Lonetrek (Source Eve Central).

Anonymous said...

"Can you see the extreme differences between the various ships and fits? Then why are the 0.5-0.6 belts are full of naked Retrievers?! The only possible answer is stupidity and laziness"

While I don't argue that most Retrievers are probably fit for those reasons the way they are, it's by far not the only possible answer. You weaken your argument by trying too hard to reach your wanted conclusion.

For the last 4 month I mined in max-yield Retrievers. I chose them explicitly after comparing all yields (notice that from the tanked ships only the Hulk has better yield and only marginally so). It's simply more cost-effective to do so. I can lose 4-5 Retrievers before losing as much as 1 Exhumer and have the same yield.

In fact, I didn't lose a single ship, even with the New Order being in the system for some time (I didn't evade them). So...

"Look, the EHP almost doubled for less than 9% yield decrease! Is there any reason to not fit your Retriever this way?"

Yes, of course. Why *would* I take 9% yield loss for tank? If I did, I'd lost about 7-8 Retrievers this way in 4 month.

Tanking is an opportunity cost (a fact you should be aware of given your background), which should be compared to the risk. For me, protecting myself from gankers by tanking, they would have already won, because I'd inflict more losses on myself than they'd did.

NoizyGamer said...

Gevlon, you are one very confused little goblin. First you complain when miners are AFK even though that makes them less efficient than active miners. Then when the active miners actually use a scanner to increase yield you complain and state they should act like AFK miners. Please make up your mind.

In my personal experience I don't fit for maximum yield but I don't fit for maximum tank either. I always fit a MWD so I can move around fast and depending on the situation I either fit a scanner or a long point.

I don't mind telling you elements of my fit because I'd be very surprised to see you show up where I mine.

Chris K. said...

As almost every one here said, a scanner is essential for the non-AFK miner. Also, the veterans here should know a few tricks with the scanner to time their cycles and screw over the competition (mining pvp yarr!), especially afks and bots.

Ethan said...

Here's where this guy is ultimately a moron himself and defeated by his very own "logic".

He says "Finally, something trivial: AFK-ing. How can you seriously think of going AFK in a game and win?"

I don't know goblin, do you mean something along the lines of how we can set up multiple week skills in our queues and "level up" while we are logged off?

I don't see you complaining about that.

Anonymous said...

"Rock scanner isn't needed if you aren't AFK" Its so funny how you act like you know everything, yet its so obvious that you don't mine. Im not saying you shouldn't take a barge, but I am saying if you don't have a scaner you don't know what the hell you are doing. wasting 3 mins on 3 lasors waiting for 1 veld is not a smart move.

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