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.
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