I started playing EVE Online on December 22nd, 2005. Since then I had used a mining laser to extract ore from an asteroid exactly once, and even that was just two years ago when I made a new alt and tried the revised New Player Experience, which included learning how to mine.
I had never actually mined for real, is what I’m saying. This changed last Friday.
In October 2017 CCP launched the Lifeblood expansion, which included a drastic overhaul of moon mining. Instead of collecting the ore passively the new player owned structures blow a chunk out of the moon in question and blast that into many smaller pieces, essentially creating an asteroid belt that has to be actively mined by players.
We placed a couple of Athanor refinieries at moons in our region of space, and to reap the benefits we now have to form mining fleets regularly. Some pirates we are, eh?
A proper mining fleet needs fleet boosts, just as a combat fleet does. The sub-capital ship for that purpose is the Porpoise Industrial Command Ship. Since I already had all non-mining related fleet boost skills maxed out I thought what the hell, I’ll learn those skills too and contribute to our mining efforts.
I managed to get the Industrial Command Ship skill as well as the Mining Director skill each to level 3 ahead of Friday, allowing me to fly the ship with reasonable stats and use the Tech II version of the mining command burst modules.
We met in tethering range of our Athanor and waited for the citadel’s pilot to push the button and blow the asteroid to pieces. I had the game’s UI turned off and my finger hovering over the print screen button. Alas, there was nothing to be seen, although the chatter on Teamspeak suggested that it should have been. As it turned out I was sitting all alone at the wrong citadel. Doh! I’ll make sure to take screenshots of it next time and post them here.
When I finally met up with the fleet the asteroid belt was already waiting for us.
Since we had two Porpoises we split up into two groups with one booster each and warped to seperate clusters of valuable ore. Boosts were applied, and mining lasers and drones began their work.
Granted, the process isn’t the most exciting or engaging. Asteroids are mined until depleted, then the fleet moves on to the next batch of rocks. When a ship’s ore hold is full it warps to the citadel, unloads and warps back in. This repeats until we have scooped up all valuable ore. We also have some defenses in place of course, which I won’t disclose here.
It isn’t nearly as boring as I would have thought though. The main reason is of course that we do it as a group, chattering about whatever is on our minds and keeping ourselves entertained. As long as at least some people keep watch we can even play something else or watch videos in the meantime.
I really didn’t think that the day might come, but, yeah, I’m mining in EVE Online. Well, moon mining to be precise. In my opinion it’s a fun group activity that rewards a nice sum of ISK for your corporation and/or individual pilots. I wouldn’t want to do it every day, but enjoyed in moderation it’s a neat and rewarding variation of the standard routines.
I’ll continue to train the related skills until they’re maxed out, and I’m looking forward to our next op.