Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The State of Eve - Mining

As I sat last night and looked at the "Ore Value Chart" it became clear that something is wrong with the state of mining in Eve.  Falling Zydrine and Megacyte prices, rising Pyerite and Trit prices, and the world of mining is becoming unbalanced.

Now before I begin, let me state that I LOVE the market driven aspect of EVE.  I mean I LOVE it.  It is one of the greatest features that the game does not artificially set prices, but relies on supply and demand.  I think the Jita market is awesome. 

In a "perfect" world, the amount you can make should be somewhat proportional to the risk you are willing to take.  Unfortunetly, this is no longer the case with mining.  There exists a situation where, if trends continue, the best way to make Isk as a miner will be to get into an Orca boosted fleet and pound the mins found in .9 and 1.0 systems.  With a good booster, you can warp into a belt, hit the whole belt with out moving and off load the mins into the Corp Hanger of the Orca.  Yawn, what fun.  And gee won't that make the game fun for noobs when locust fleets strip every belt and a poor guy starting ina Bantam wont even be able to find a belt (or be stuck mining Pyrox).

Low sec mining has completly become a losing endevour.  Increased risk and all Low Sec ores are worth less then Scordite.

Null Sec/W-Space still allows for a greater profit, albiet at a greatly increased cost and risk.  Factor in the 75% refining, or a sick amount of time to get the ore refined in High Sec and the profit differential starts to decrease.

I have not run the numbers, but right now I estimate that we are running at under $190isk.m3 on the high end ores being refined in W-Space.  Right now Massive Scordite is getting about $110isk/m3.

Revisiting my Orca Boosted Hulk v Covetor W-Space, and the number get even tighter.  Orca Boosted Hulk pulls about 1400 per laser every 150 seconds for 1680m3/min.  Covetor is pulling around 1150m3/min.  So the Covetor in W-Space is pulling just $20k more per minute then a almost perfectly safe Scordite miner in a fairly good Orca Boosted fleet.  Starts getting hard to justify the extra risk and the $240M per month fuel bill for a measly Million Isk per hour more.


1) Go old school with a true "Mining Director" in a BC.  Less skills required to get a person into this role then an Orca.  Really in W-space the only link that matters is cycle time.  We are a few weeks away from this solution.  Now you sacrifice alot less to get the boost.  Now we have to take a Hulk/Covetor pilot out of commission to get the Orca running, and in W-Space we are not hauling with the Orca very much anyway (and we sure are not leaving it parked in the belt).

2) Add risk and use Hulks.  With Hulk prices pushing $200M this is not a great solution.  The ROI is about 30 hours and while we have been lucky in the loss column, we do not want to continue to push our luck here.  Not a great solution.

3) Get a crap load more miners into corp.  This would justify getting the Orca out more, but with solution 1 available why?  Downside here is what do all these miners do when there are no Grav sites?  I'll tell you what they do, they whine, get bored, and leave.

So yes, mining in Eve is becoming a very unbalanced system  Good thing I am not in W-Space just for mining.  I want to run the anoms, I don't mind mining gas, cracking radar and mags sites is pretty low payoff in Class 2, but I don't mind it, and I look forward to starting to add some PVP to our agenda.  Bottom line is that I am in W-space for the variety, not the mining.  Our corporates goal is to grow and become big enough and good enough to live in Class 4 W-Space.

I guess the point here is a simple warning to people looking to W-Space for quick mining profits.  Be very careful, it may be a mirage.  And if Zydrine and Megacyte prices don't stabilize, or Pyrite and Trit start to fall, soon W-Space mining might really lose its luster.

Fly Safe,


  1. Our corp flys hulks in our wh. but being a nexus system that links to c1's, we don't get many visitors. aligned to POS at all times, and general safety procedures, we have yet to lose one.

    I'm wondering if high-sec min prices are going up because of hulkageddon, more ganks = less mining so prices raise.

    that doesn't help our situation as ABC miners though... the way the economy works I think we'd have to stop supplying minerals for a while for the price to rise.

  2. We tend to fly Hulks in our Home Wormhole where we are more certain of what is open and closed. When raiding static systems we have taken to using Covetors to reduce risk.


  3. nik:
    there a lot of ways to increase profit and one of those to compress your ore instead of refining inside wh (instantly adds 25% to profit)

    and i will disappoint you - c4 combat sites more difficult but only little bit more profitable than 2 or even 1 class sites. So if you have c1 combat - don't be fastidious - run it too. I think prices for hulks before deploying dominion were more reasonable

  4. Name,

    Dont disagree on the compression if you can afford (and fly) the Rorq, and have a permanent home. I can not see the ROI working out to build and potentially abandon a Rorq in a Class 2 WH. But to be sure if I was investing in a Class 5 WH a Rorq would be a necessity.

    Would be extremely nice to add a POS array that would compress, but I am sure that would crash Zydrine and Megacyte prices even more.

    In regards to the Class 4 being more profitable for combat, I was thinking more along the lines of the Radar and Mag sites. I assume the jump to the next level of gear there is more then that found in C2, but of course I could be wrong.


  5. c4 are somewhat more profitable because the BS wrecks give some nicer loot.

    I cannot give feedback on Mag and Radar sites, because for some reason our wh has yet to give us one :(

    if the c4 mags and radars do not put out though, then c3 may wind up being the best class, still soloable and about the same loot level as c4

  6. I'll agree with everything Mick is saying here. The crashing Zydrine and Mega prices are really making me question whether or not I want to get back into the WH mining business. I was looking at the price charts for Megacyte. $5k just 6 months ago. CCP really needs to do something to control the flood of minerals into the market to restore their previous prices. "Removing" minerals through combat and exploding ships isn't quite enough of a sink, and is really the wrong side of the equation to try to retain balance.

    I blame the entire Dominion sovereignty changes, and the ability to upgrade the asteroid belts.

    And Mick, I've got a pilot with a Ferox that can use the mining foreman links. He doesn't have Cybernetics5 for the mindlink, but he's got at least a few levels of mining director.

  7. Welkyr,

    We have a Class 4 with Static Class 2 connection that we are looking at. Would basically be similar to our current operation in terms of hitting the nieghbors, but would at least give us higher end stuff to do as a group.

    The Grav and Ladar sites are still easily cleared and soloable, but the anoms and combat sigs would be a good fleet training grounds.

    I don't know if I can "blame" CCP for Domi expansion. I think they are on the right path for trying to get alliances to start to invest in their areas, and also to pull more indy stuff into null sec. Obviously the downside is more high end mins should hit the market. I don't know what can be done to counter this, but if the trend continues on Zydrine and Megacyte, the most profitable mining venture will be Massive Scordite in High Sec. I dont think this is what CCP had in mind.


  8. I'm envious of that C4 static C2...

    static c1 is too easy and a lot of them ar occupied.

    our corp is hoping for a double statics c4 and c2. if we could get that we wouldn't care what our nexus is.

    In regards to dominion, another idea our corp had was to go rent in 0.0 and upgrade the wh track. it would allow us to run wh sites all day without actually living in space. however we decided against that at this time. but I think its a possibility

  9. Mick, I think it's worth looking at the reason for cheap zydrine/megacite. I firmly believe it is due to the big alliances that control nil sec. They no longer have any risk mining rare roids and it is probably safer for them than mining Arkanor would be if it appeared in high sec.

    I think this is a natural progression of the concentration of power in large groups. It is one of the things that has made me quit Eve in the past. At least now things have swung around and if I can't be part of an ubercorp I can at least make some kind of living by mining high sec and making WH mining trips.

    Wormholes are also part to blame. People like me can now get to ARkanor relatively easily.

    Personally I think Eve needs a big shake up of some sort, a rebalancing, a clearout... whatever. What I really would love is a server restart (I'd get hung if I mentioned that one in the forums). Oh to be back at the start again! :)

  10. Obviously the law of supply and demand is playing a serious role in the mineral prices.

    In talking with someone in null sec and discussing with him the state of the game on the indy side he thought the rise in low end mins was due to the large production efforts surrounding the new super carriers. The demand for the trit and pyrite needed in this production is driving up costs.

    On the other side of the coin, the easier access to the ABC roids, either in new "enhanced" null sec, or W-space is oversupplying the market and thus dropping prices.

    The short term result is that Scordite and Plag are rising in value, while ABC is dropping. And yes, I can see a point that this makes the most profitable mining endevour occur in High Sec. Most likely not, but it is possible.

    As for solutions, I don't really want to see anything artificially tweaked to compensate for this, especially since any "fix" is likely to have unintended results as well.