Greedy Goblin

Friday, April 26, 2013

Making mining more interesting

After doing more than 80 mining missions I can see why mining is considered "not fun": your presence at the keyboard makes little difference. While it's not zero, it's small enough to not reward the player attention. Above all: miners want to mine, and not rat, so various ideas how to force them fight red crosses would all be bad as if they'd like to do that, they wouldn't mine at all. I don't say that belt rats have no place in mining, but they must be secondary to the mining itself.

That being said, barges and exhumers could use a pair of utility high slots and maybe a tractor beam range bonus, to be able to tractor in and salvage killed belt rats. You can kill the belt rats while AFK via drones and there is no point slowboating to loot them. However a tractor and a salvager would allow active miners to get some income on the side. Also, why there are rats in the belt at all? There is nothing there but ore! Sure they want the ore! So let's spice up the rats with miner spawns: a rat Venture mining our ore and not attacking. When full, it slowboats some time and warps. If you manually order your drones to kill it, you made yourself some ore from the loot!

A larger drone bay would be great to reward active playing, as switching between self-defense drones and mining drones for larger yield would be possible.

But enough of the rats, let's turn to mining itself, without huge reprogramming. Currently the ammunition of the mining laser is bound to the asteroid type. If you are mining veldspar, you should have veldspar crystal. Very interesting choice. Instead - like every ammo in the game - the mining crystals should affect the attributes of the "gun". Let me list some mining crystals, all affecting every type of ore equally. These crystals should have ice harvester versions too:
  • Standard crystal: like today the ore-appropriate crystal or ice harvester. Every other crystal in the list is compared to this.
  • Sniping crystal: half yield, optimal up to 60km, so you can mine some while approaching.
  • Pulse crystal: 1/4 cycle time, 1/4 capacitor usage, 1/5 yield, it's for mining with low capacitor.
  • Long crystal: 3x cycle time, 3x cap usage, 4x yield but provides no ore if the cycle is interrupted, the asteroid runs empty or the ore hold can't take the full amount.
  • ECCM crystal: 75% yield, you don't lose target on the rock if jammed
  • Sweeping crystal: 75% yield, stops cycling as soon as the rock is empty
  • Thief crystal: 75% yield alone, gained normally when you end your cycle. When any other mining laser on the same rock ends its cycle, you get half of its ore. If multiple thieves are present the victims still get half and the other half is equally distributed among the thieves. Using thieving crystal is not a crime, but it has a very distinct color, making sure that other active miners can notice and respond. AFK miners on the other hand are fair game.
  • Anti-thief crystal: 75% yield, protected from thieving. No distinct color from normal crystal. When the thief ends his cycle, he gets no ore and his miner stops with the message "an anti-thief laser on this asteroid destabilized your laser". The thief still gets half yield of any other lasers if they end their cycle while the thieving laser is active.
  • Boost crystal: 50% yield. Every other mining lasers on the same rock receive 10% yield increase. Not cumulative.
With these, miners would have something to do: switching crystals, tractoring and salvaging, switching drones which would increase their income greatly above AFK miners. The existence of thieving crystals would force AFK miners to give up 25% yield using anti-thief crystals all time.


Anonymous said...

Your venture idea already happens with hauler spawns. If you don't shoot them they will slow boat away about 100km then warp off

Anonymous said...

@first anonymous:
The suggestion appears to be that this "Venture rat" would mine the rocks you are mining.

Definitely would need some additional balancing, but I like the idea overall.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the basic concept. CCP's mining barge "fixes and rebalancing: was just procrastination of the actual problem. The fact remains that mining remains all too easily bottable, and fitting good tanks on ships instead of going full retard with a fleet of retrievers with only strip miners and drones makes it not cost effective to gank them any more. Mining needs to be more interactive! A Buddhist monk would yawn when mining as things stand.

maxim said...

You just gave me pretty much a list of mechanics for a decent mobile game :D

Anonymous said...

You can kill the belt rats while AFK via drones and there is no point slowboating to loot them.

No. You always drop what you are doing and chase the hauler rats (they have names like "transport" or "hauler" in the name). Always. While the vast majority of them only have minerals (in high sec, the loot will easily fit into the cargo space of any mining barge), they are also the source of meta mining laser upgrades. I've obtained several Erin mining laser upgrades (about 15M in Jita) while mining in 0.6/0.7 and when I was in nullsec, we snagged 1 Aeode MLU (about 900M in Jita). The convoy that dropped the Aeode also dropped about 500,000 m3 of tritanium and pyerite.

Fahv said...

I have been playing a lot of Galaxy on Fire 2 and the mining in that game is very interesting and cool. Unfortunately I do not see how it could easily be ported to Eve.
Video of mining for those that don't know of the game.

Dávid Papp said...

Goblin: Sorry for the off, but i am interested in your opinion about the new 0-sec, lowsec asteroid composition:

Anonymous said...

Humm, so all the bots will be in null alliances instead of highsec ore fields now...too bad!

Chris K. said...

Corelin said it best in his blog:

"I’m actually ok with boring. I work in a bank. I study accounting. I write a blog about EvE Online. I watch baseball. Boring is not a huge problem, but there’s a LEVEL of boring that is. Log in to EvE. Check the market prices. Update your spreadsheets. Find a good bookmark for mining the ore you want. Warp in, click *snooze*. Seriously. Warp in, target, wait for the hold to fill, warp away, lather rinse repeat. It’s actually less interesting than work. At a bank."

What they need to do is have a minigame, similar to the new hacking one that is being introduced to Odyssey, where you will need to regulate your mining lasers at specific intervals, to maximize the ore flow. You can just afk, alternatively, but you'd get a severe penatly, maybe upwards to -50% yiled.