Making Mining Fun, Making Mining Matter

My Name is Corelin and I can Fly a Hulk.

But I am a Strong and I can Choose Not to.  Which is why I haven’t for years.

Mining simply isn’t profitable, isn’t productive, and isn’t fun.  I used to think it was fun.  I used to think it was profitable.  Then I got into missioning.  Holy PEARL was I wrong.  Missioning is interactive, it requires judgement and planning far beyond mining, and is both fun and insanely profitable.  I gave up mining after my 2nd Iraqi field trip when I literally could not fathom a reason to do it.

First lets list things CCP needs to improve in mining

  • Challenge:  Let’s make miners feel like they’ve accomplished something, like their mining prowess is better than that of other miners
  • Fun:  Let’s make mining more interactive and fun rather than target, mine wake up and wipe the drool off the keyboard.
  • Profit:  Let’s let them prove it with their wallets!
  • Botting:  Let’s make botting less simple.  I know they will find a way but why make it easy.
  • Unpredictability:  Everyone knows where to go to find miners and ore.  Let’s fix that.
Tomorrow you wake up and every asteroid belt is gone from EvE.  Every.  Single.  One.  No more static belts.  Instead you have constantly spawning signature sites with rocks in them, think Incursion sites, only you have to use the ship scanner to find them.  This change will eliminate the predictability of both mining and miners.  No more will they be easily warping to and from a belt where the botting program or suicide gankers can find them easily.  Now they have to do a certain amount of work just to find one site, that may or may not be terribly suitable for their needs, and the gankers may or may not find them easily, certainly their tactics will need an adjustment.
The rocks in these belts will not be named “Kernite” “Veldspar” or “Arkanor” instead they will have names like LV425, BH210, what have you.  When you arrive in the belt there may or may not be rats, more rate may or may not spawn as time goes by.  The rock names are totally random and are generated discretely from the contents of the rocks.  The contents themselves are determined by a program that mixes all the ore types possible and selects a few for the rock.  For example in a 0.6 Caldari system you might have Veldspar, Scordite, Pyroxeres and Plagioclase all in the same rock.  Getting it out is the challenge.
When you target a rock you have to survey it using the asteroid scanner, and will work similarly to how PI scanning works.  You look for hotspots and mark where you want extractions done.  This creates a lockable target on your overview which you can lock and mine with your mining laser.  How accurate you are and how well you select your laser/crystal will determine how much ore you pull per cycle.  Each cycle to rock will degrade as you mine it out, and re-scanning the rock will be a wise course after a few cycles to determine where to best place your lasers, or you can simply let it alone and lose efficiency.
Profit will be helped by letting more competent people make more money, but you don’t want to squeeze out introductory level miners.  I would suggest some of the larger ship classes have an increase in the low-level minerals required to build them.  Nothing terribly drastic, maybe 3% for BS+ ship classes.  Maybe even as low as 1% for supercaps.  Enough to drive prices up a chunk without crushing the economy.  Hopefully we can also find a way to drive more PvP to get more ships destroyed to drive up demand even higher.  And yes I realize my demand side/progressive taxes economics background is showing.
These changes should combine to make mining more entertaining, profitable, and at the very least require a LOT of work by the botters to adapt.  It will improve New Eden by making miners more mobile and social, as they will have to relocate from their traditional systems, and the system can even be adapted with droughts and floods of rocks in constellations and regions to encourage further redistribution.

What about Major Kong?

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About Corelin

An Eve playing Fool who occasionally writes about the shenanigans he and his minions get up to.

Posted on November 5, 2011, in PvE, Things I think I think. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Vincenzo DiFrancesco, Belt Police Commissioner

    I don’t know you anymore…

    *sob*

  2. Vincenzo DiFrancesco, Belt Police Commissioner

    Okay, now for the more serious reply. [Since Corelin requested it of me when I gave him the spiel online.]

    You find mining dull and pointless. I find mining dull and pointless. I’m willing to be most of us that are reading this blog find mining to be dull and pointless.

    But here’s the thing: we’re not the entire populace of EVE. And there are plenty of people that like to mine. That make it their primary thing to do. Make corps and alliances structured around mining. Do it for entertainment.

    Don’t believe me? Go flying around asteroid belts sometime in populated hisec. Especially within a half dozen jumps to trade hubs. You’ll find them out there, plugging happily away with their strip miners. Not to mention those aspiring career miners, still working with Miner 2 equipped cruisers. The simplicity of some people, in terms of what entertains them, never ceases to amaze me. There are plenty of people who have played for years, enjoying the EVE equivalent of fishing without bait. I see no reason to piss in their part of the sandbox.

    It remind me of a Facebook game my wife used to play called “Yoville,” You make an avatar with an apartment that you buy stuff to furnish. One of the primary ways of making money in Yoville was to “work” at the town factory. Your job consisted of going to the factory every day, walk up to the guy behind a counter and collect your paycheck. Simple. Dull, Thoughtless.

    Well, the game devs thought the same way about the factory job as we do about mining. So they came up with a new job. They replaced the factory with a bakery. Now when you work at the bakery you go to a room where you have several ovens and a handful of recipes. You choose what you want to bake, set up the ovens with the recipe, come back after the allotted amount of time, pull out your goods and collect money for them. Not exactly more complex. And it provided some variety. It looked like a nice little change.

    A couple months after implementing this new system the bakery disappeared and the old factory returned. Why? People complained. They thought it was too complicated. It took the fun from the game for them. Simply put, they liked the old job of walking in and clicking a guy for their loot. I can’t claim to understand their mindset. But it is what it is.

    Yoville players = EVE Miners.

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