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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mining barge changes to come!

CCP Ytterbium has a new dev blog out. Smack in the middle of it are juicy, juicy words discussing changes to mining barges! I cannot tell you how long I've waited for this day. Now I can't wait until the end of summer!

I'm going to quote the mining barge bits and provide commentary inline [like this] because it's late and I'm too excited to do anything else.
Our goal is simple: each and every single mining barge (and their tech 2 variant) should have an appealing role, and not just be a stepping stone on the way to something better. [Amen!] Players should'nt [sic] only aim for the Hulk without considering anything else when doing some hard rock and roll mining. That means playing with the following variables:
  • Mining output: first and most visible balancing factor, plan is to increase all barge mining output to be within an acceptable margin of the Hulk, not miles behind as it is currently. [Nearly the same reward for the same amount of work. I like it!]
  • Autonomy: mining barges should have proper cargo holds so they not always have to rely on jet cans [Yes! Goodbye can flippers.] (without turning them into industrials however). [agreed] That means giving them large, specialized ore bays where all the ore will automatically go into when mining. [Like an Orca? Took them long enough.]
  • Resilience: another point is to give some of them proper EHP not to be one-shot by anything that even remotely sneezes on them. [Make those Hulkageddoners work for it! Hard work for everyone!]
As a result we thus get:
  • New ORE frig: we want this ship to replace current mining frigates as low barrier of entry vessel, but also fulfill high-end gameplay expectations by providing a very mobile platform for mining in hostile space. Lowest mining output, decent ore bay, little to no resilience. [Interesting. I'll have to see it in use. Could be a lot of fun to fly.]
  • Procurer/Skiff: primarily made for self-defense. Better mining rate than the ORE frig, good ore bay, but capable of having battleship-like EHP. [Battleship EHP for the win.]
  • Retriever/Mackinaw: made for self-reliance. Has the largest ore bay, similear to the size of a jet can, second best mining output but less EHP than the procurer mining barge.
  • Covetor/hulk: ore bay is identical to its current cargo hold, little to average EHP, but best mining output. Basically made for group operations when players have industrials and protection to back them up. [I like the way they are restructuring from skill acquisition to increasing industrialist roles. This is key! Large box stores need a fleet of large capacity trucks for their business to work. My company does not. We need smaller vehicles capable of multi-stop local delivery. They all take approximately the same skill to drive. Having mining barges built for role and not pilot skill is a huge step forward. Way to go CCP Ytterbium and the rest of the dev team!]
Excellent stuff; can't wait!

Fly careful.


  1. Any news how will it change? One day you log in and find your existing Mackinaw gained 200K EHP overnight? Or the old ships are destroyed/refunded and you must manufacture new ones?

    1. One suspects it would work much like the changes to ships like the Navitas and the Merlin did when they changed; all ships automatically get updated to the new specs when the patch drops. (Which is why they told everyone to dock up their Merlins before the patch hit.)

  2. Should be interesting to see how this affects low & null sec ores as I think most people are put off low sec mining because or mining barges being basically slow pieces of tin foil in space.

    The prospect of having a mining frigate that is both inexpensive and agile could really open up avenues for some more adventurous miners who are happy to take smaller quicker bites than one long one.

    Gives pirates in low sec more things to shoot at and gives miners in high sec a lucritaive & (hopfully) exciting alternative to AFK mining in highsec.

    I also like the idea of each ship now having a role rather than just being a stepping stone as it gives much more flexibility of what you want to do. This would even the playing field out a lot more and gives the players the option to decide how & where they want to mine based on the advantages & disadvantages each ship offers (much like how EVE combat works).

    It won't stop events like Hulkagedden from being successful as I can see most people with hulks will still solo mine simply because of its efficiency; but now the option of switching to a ship with a better tank will be a better answer than saying "Quit EVE for a month"

    1. Agreed! I especially don't want the Hulkageddoners to give up. I just want them to use more than a million ISK ship to do it. There has to be risk to them and not just in Concordokken terms. It's easy to rack up 50 miner kills for 50 mISK. The real achievers will do it even if it costs 500 mIsk!

  3. yes, definitely looking forward to ore holds...there's only one problem: we wont' be able to cargo expand/rig that hold

  4. Well, in the forums they had an update about it. Hulks will get the current (8000m3) cargo hold as ore hold, and there won't be any modules or rigs to affect that hold. So that means u have to empty ur ore hold in every 4 minutes if you don't want to stop your lasers. Or with rorqual support in less time. And i think even if it is a group operation it's a problematic time frame, or more like uncomfortable.

    The changes will happen as with earlier T1 frigs. And they will adjust the BPO/BPC requirements much later for the rebalanced ships.

    1. Well met Geksz. I feel ya. But I also have to say, I've been running a 8000m3 hulk for years now. When you mine in dangerous space you have to. There is a necessary balance between profit and safety that we had the luxury of ignoring for many years. Now the safety aspect of this will we forced upon us. That's not, in itself, a bad thing. We'll just have to be clever carebears and adapt. There will still be profit for all - but there will also be safety for the inexperienced and naive among us. I can live with that.

    2. Well now we will have other options besides the Hulk. But still.
      I don't really understand the mindset around the Hulk update. Why can't that hold be a bit bigger for maybe 2 full cycles with maxed bonuses + implants? As far as i know no real answer came from CCP, we only had some forum post exchange with Tippia regarding this.:)
      There were some who used it for that 17k cargo space to afk mine sure.
      I personally used only cargohold rigs, to be able to hold that 2 full
      cycles before have to empty, all my lows were filled with 2 MLU IIs. And a shield tank to defend against the rats.

      The written CCP concern is that they don't want the barges to compete with the industrial ships. That is why they introduce the ore holds. That is ok, but i haven't seen anyone using barges as an industrial ship to haul stuff regularly. They are too clumsy and slow for that.

      Anyway, if they go as planned currently, i hope they adjust the ship stats accordingly at least. I would not like to see a 100,000m3 volume Skiff that has more EHP, more ore hold, and can mine as good as a hulk or MAckinaw wich are much bigger in volume and mass...

      And another thing. According to the dev blog, all from the 6 barges the Hulk/covetor will be the 2 gang mining ships, wich will only be "defensible" in safe 0.0 space, where u can shoot preemtively, and camp gates. So what does this leave for high sec gangs?
      In my opininon if you want to play safe, u either use the 4 other barge versions. And none of those are ment really for gang operation. But all will depend on their mining efficiency, becouse in the end it is all about ISK/hour isn't it?

      And a little bit off topic "rant": why does CCP hate high sec group operations? (No real small group PVE possibilities in highsec) Level 4 missions are too easy with 2 ppl already, we have level 5 missions only in low sec, Incursions need too many, and too pimped ships to worth it, so what is left for let's say 3-6 men gangs? Sure you can do group mining and socialize in the mean time, but that is all...
      Shouldn't high sec be a learning ground for all kinds of stuff?

    3. @Geksz Oh, your "rant" just hit the nail on the head. I just took a CCP survey (oddly enough) and pretty much told them this exact same thing.

  5. @Mabrick :) I'll do the same thing during the weekend, but taking into account all the currently avalible PvE activities in EVE maye it isn't the best idea to tell CCP to do more of the already mindboglingly boring stuff again... Just a thought. :)

    1. That's not exactly what I told them. I told them to let noobs join the empire forces and run missions for Empire. It lets them learn the game without being full capsuleers (there is an immunity involved.) They can leave whenever they think they are ready. The drawback is, they can't leave high-sec and they might not be able to travel to Jita unless they are Caldari. Just an idea without specifics. I'm sure there are lots of problems with it.

    2. Maybe you can write a blog about this idea and have some good comments to iron out the flaws.
      So you want to have a "totallysafe" version of highsec for noobs, am i understand it correctly?

  6. I wonder how these buffs/changes to the mining barages will affect the prices of the actual ships, when the patch is released i think it will rise at the start and eventually stabilise in a week after the patch comes out.What are your thoughts?.

    1. I intend to wrote a post about this soon. I think you are partially correct. Some barges will become more popular and the prices will thus rise. Others may actually see a decline in price for various reasons. Stay tuned for details!


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