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Reader Comments (14)

Posted: Jul 8th 2008 5:54PM (Unverified) said

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I totally agree that mission running killed mining. Mission running is low-risk, high-reward. Mission runners don't lose ships to pirates or enemy corps, but do earn huge amounts of ISK. CCP has made mission running very easy and very lucrative, I believe, because missioning is the preferred playstyle of the bulk of their playerbase. I sympathize, but I think it's gotten to the point where missioning is undermining EVE's desire to be a living environment.

Posted: Jul 8th 2008 9:17PM (Unverified) said

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They've done Trinity and Empyrean Age. That's a ton. I don't see how you can make mining as interesting as every other part of the game. They ought to phase it out and make it a 'mass manufacturing' type of thing. Oh and they have Ambulation on their plate. I'm not seeing big mining improvements for another 2-4 years.

Posted: Jul 9th 2008 5:40AM (Unverified) said

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Good, interesting read.

Posted: Jul 9th 2008 3:05PM rektide said

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You've already mentioned some reasons. The drone regions are another: they're easy to sit and farm. The price of ore seems to be in continual decline. Very few people mine in 0.0, and the numbers seem to be in continual decline. Corp/SpecOps mining ops happen less and less. The couple reds I see mining are clearly amateurs, mining in cruisers or other similarly pitiful efforts.

But the biggest reason mining isnt done is because its logistically a hastle. Yes, a Hulk can fark 50m/hr without much difficulty, but he needs a dedicated hauler character to move the ore. If you scale up, you start to need gang bosses and scouts. Mining is not a one man activity, its a huge group chore.

CCP's talked up multiple proposals for mining. One was to make mining more like exploration, where you probe for fields, and different finds have different characteristics. This links to what I think would be the smartest, seeding new "high value" ores. The amount of minerals worth mining in 0.0 is very small, seeding higher value ores in nullsec might bring people back and give a reason to do something other than import from the hubs.

Posted: Jul 11th 2008 2:01AM (Unverified) said

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Good article.

One interesting note is that this is precisely the same path that was followed by Star Wars Galaxies. It, too, launched with what at the time was a well-developed resource collection system. But from the day SWG launched it, like EVE, ignored that part of the game in favor of adding and tweaking combat content.

The result of this relative neglect of non-combat content was that those gamers who prefer non-combat content decided that the developers weren't interested in making the game more fun for them, so they left. Because SWG was designed around an entirely player-run economy, fewer resource collectors meant higher prices for the same gear (weapons and armor). To insure that combat-oriented gamers could always get the gear they wanted, the quantity and quality of loot drops were increased... which just drove off even more economic players, which required more and better loot drops, and so on.

I'm not saying this is solely responsible for the state that SWG is in now. But I do think it played an important role in that transformation.

The good news for EVE Online is that it was never designed to be the highly cooperative game that SWG was designed to be. Because SWG was explicitly constructed such that combat players required non-combatants, the exodus of miners/crafters put a major structural hurt on that game. But EVE's emphasis on PvP from the very start always meant that mining was an independent and completely avoidable part of the game. Plenty of people came to SWG for the resource collection; no one comes to EVE for the mining. So its long abandonment by CCP has done far less damage to EVE than the same abandonment of mining in SWG by SOE/LucasArts.

That said, I don't disagree at all with the article's conclusion. Reworking EVE's mining -- in conjunction with its manufacturing and research subgames -- could add value to the entire game.

EVE will likely always be a dog-eat-dog, zero-sum, Hobbesian nightmare of eternal combat.

It probably ought to have a mining subgame that makes a meaningful contribution to that play experience.

Posted: Jul 22nd 2008 5:27AM (Unverified) said

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I joined EVE mainly because of the mining, in fact. And the fact that all of the promise mining holds is ignored by people who would rather shoot rats as dumb as the asteroids makes me sad. Even more sad than the fact that 6 months of industrial skill is supplanted by a 2 month old character in a Raven.
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Posted: Jul 11th 2008 8:09PM (Unverified) said

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I read your article and found it interesting so I did a bit of hands on comparisons. While I agree that mission running is more interactive then mining. What I disagree is that by reprocessing looted items you can het more minerals then mining in the same amount of time. I created an Excel spredsheet and compared prices of items I could get on the market and then compared that to the prices of ores I would have to buy on the market that would match the amount of minerals I could get. After comparing about 10 items, most were roughly the same, some were slightly more, some slightly less, and a fraction significantly less.

Now if you take into account the rewards you get from mission running I would have to venture a guess that they break out around even. In my opinion, to become a full functioning miner with exhumers it does take my training time to get to that level. In the same regard, to get to where you can run L4 missions it takes more playing time to get the standing and to get to L4 missions.

Posted: Jul 12th 2008 5:13AM Brendan Drain said

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Some good points here but I can say without a doubt that I make more isk mission-running than mining. It's all about efficiency. A mission-runner parked in a mission hub has a choice of 4-5 different agents and he can decline one mission every four hours from each of them. That means he can afford to pick and choose his missions to a degree. If he knows which ones he can complete the fastest with the highest reward, a good level 4 mission-runner can easily pull in 20 million isk per hour in bounties alone.

I'm interested in your comparison spreadsheet but to be a true comparison you'd need a few tweaks. Firstly you'd need to account for the length of time it takes an efficient mission-runner to complete the mission. A miner can't make his ore come more quickly but a mission-runner can speed up his fighting and collecting with a good setup and knowing what he's coming up against.

Second I think you'd need to compare raw minerals with a 100% refine rate rather than using market values as the market doesn't represent true mineral value. Buy orders for most modules are set by people who are reprocessing them for cheap minerals so you'll never really get the true mineral value if you use the market price of a module. The market price of ore is affected similarly, best to rule out most of the market influences by comparing the jita buy order value of the minerals gained from 100% refine of the ore versus 100% refine of loot collected.
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Posted: Jul 13th 2008 5:10PM (Unverified) said

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Here has been my experience. I want to caveat this that I run both a mission runner and a miner at the same time since neither one requires my full utmost attention usuaully.

When I run missions, the ISk that I can gurantee on is from the bounties and from the mission rewards. I just did a short L4 mission twice in a row, Duo of Death. The first time I got really good loot with several million. The second time all I got in loot was 100 cruise missiles. Relying on just purely loot to get ISK is a risky a business. That being said the loot that I get from missions is just a small part of the total ISK I get from running missions. Mostly I get ISK in bounties. Also in running missions there is a chance you could lose your ship since it is actively being shot at. As skills increase the odds of survival go up.

As a miner, I know what to expect everytime. I know what ores I can get in a predictable manner. I know how long it takes me to fill a jet can. I know what the market price is for the minerals I produce. The only thing you have to worry about is the odd griefer jet can stealing or just simply blowing up jet cans.

Now if mining was the beginning and end of involvement then I would have to agree that mission running produces more income, more exciting, and requires a lot more involvement. However, if you look at mining as the beginning of a vertical process where you gain raw materials in order to then use those materials to manufacture ships and items to then sell it increases profit margins in production tremendously. Granted in order to produce the quantity it is best to be an a corporation that specializes in production.
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Posted: Jul 14th 2008 11:29AM (Unverified) said

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Running missions has become pretty wrote. In that respect, I find them no more exciting (or even fun) than mining. I find that I can usually mine in my hulk ore/minerals worth something close to as much isk as I can earn from missions in rewards, bounties, loot and salvage. However, when I factor in my time to haul the minerals to a hub to sell at a decent price, the isk/hr goes way down.

Also, what hasn't been said yet in the article or comments is the effect of macro-miners. More and more mining in high-sec means finding some place farther and farther out of the way so that the belts aren't constantly stripped. In a way that's a draw to lowsec/0.0. The availability of big asteroids means it could be easier to mine from one location without having to constantly be roaming looking for rocks left to mine.

Posted: Aug 9th 2008 2:03AM (Unverified) said

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Mining, for me, is about making ISK while getting on with other stuff.

Other stuff could be badge-farming in WoW, ironing in real life (which ties in really well with the 3-minute cycle on strip miners, incidentally), or watching a movie. Mining in a cruiser is not conducive to this practice - you need to pay attention to the game every 20 seconds - but mining in a Hulk (which I expect to have in a month) will be pure heaven.

I can't run missions while doing other stuff - I need to at least keep targeting the ships that are blowing up every minute.

As far as people who are interested in manufacturing - mining does not give you minerals for free. You are paying an opportunity cost: the time you spent mining could have been spent engaged in some other more profitable activity, the ISK/mineral income from which you could have used to make more profit form your manufacturing career.

Thus if mission-running nets you the greatest ISK/hr, you run missions and buy the minerals you lack - especially considering that you can get zydrine and other rare minerals from hisec missions. Why go mining in losec when you can get the minerals you want in hisec?

The "solution" is to identify the problem - people interested in the economic games within EVE need to turn to identify what they want to achieve, then engage in activities which support those goals. Mining is a low-attention mini-game which allows character advancement in a semi-afk playstyle.

Ultimately if the economy was truly player-driven, there would be no level 4 missions full of Machariel class battleships unless there were players actually providing the Angel Cartel with the materials to build those ships.

Posted: Jul 24th 2008 4:45PM (Unverified) said

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For me it is not about ISK, it is about variety in gameplay.

One Day I may want to run mission to make the ISk and another I'll go Mine for it, and some other time, why not, get some from PvP too.

It provides a flexibility of gameplay, that offers variety of choice to the player.

Honestly back in the days where mining was the primary source of income, the game was dull over the long term, and EVE is a long term game.

Bringing in Missions to Low Sec Corps, offers that variety that at the same time makes the game enjoyable to a broader audience, and gives the opportunity to some of the corps to evolve beyond a certain threshold, and why not, go for sovereignty at one point themselves and challenge those that are already in lace.

More Live as a game when there is turn over, challengers and defenders, rather than the same ol same ol status quo of the same alliances and corps holding deep space.

Having two or more primary sources of income is good and healthy for any game.

Posted: Aug 4th 2008 2:57PM (Unverified) said

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Kids of today have it too easy, back in my day we had to mine omber with our teeth and *walk* it back to the station

Posted: Aug 21st 2008 7:14AM (Unverified) said

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I sure don't agree with the Rorqual restriction to 0.0. That said, I'm not seeing the lack of money in mining in 0.0. I pop in my Rorqual (or command ship with 3 link modules) and gang up my alt in a Hulk. Granted, both are at End-Game skills and equipment - but I easily turn a billion in isk in no time. My only risk is to the Hulk, but that's not bad as I simply warp away if enemies get near.

Lets expand that equation now. Don't forget - Mining can be for an entire corp. I've run numerous ops with a dozen people in them. Hauling isn't the problem with a Rorqual or 2 in action. The entire op is turning a couple billion in a single op. Either sell the ore or make a cap ship, or both. When you get those level of skills running it a daily event to see from 2 to 5 on avg mining together. That's billions for the corp and people with minimal risk. Again - it's the community that benefits in mass now :)

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