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[PVP, PVE, and Industry] Making protecting miners content for everyone

Author
TheGuy Akachi
Maniacal Miners INC
#1 - 2017-04-17 20:29:35 UTC
Mining has a lot of problems. I feel gameplay is lacking and the mechanic needs some tweaking (AFK gameplay isn’t real gameplay imo). However that is a post for another day. I have an idea to make protecting miners (even in lowsec) a worthwhile activity for everyone.

I know what you might be thinking, how would you do that? Most people by default make a common mistake to suggest that CCP should buff mineral value to make it more valuable, so miners make an excess amount of ISK to pay for their protection. That would be a bad idea. Economically, yeah, you could argue that would just make ships more expensive, but that isn’t the real reason it won’t work. Miners (and EVE players in general) are selfish. It’s true. If there was an increase of value in ore, miners would only keep the profit themselves to maximize their ISK/per hour. They could mine in lowsec, but once they get blown up, they will just say “sour grapes” and go make to mining in highsec or a quiet pocket in null. Plus PVP pilots aren’t only in it for the ISK, they want “content” too. So again, how do you make protecting pilots worthwhile? Easy, make miners bring the content to the protectors!

Miners bringing the content? You mean like PVP bait? Well your halfway right. PVP is a part of the content package, but I’m talking about PVE and PVP content. The PVP reason is already kind of there, piracy, but this can be added upon (I’ll expand on this later). PVE wise, players can earn ISK while ratting. But not normal belt rats, higher bounty, semi-organized NPC pirates. I suggest a new module be added to the game, that can only be used by ORE/mining ships, a “Pirate Radio Transmitter”.

The “Pirate Radio Transmitter” would be like the “Damage Control “, only able to fit one per a ship and taking up a low slot. The “Pirate Radio Transmitter” (which I will now to refer as PRT) can only be activated while a mining module is active (either mining an asteroid, ice, or huffing gas). This is to create an incentive to really mine, and not just pull up an AFK alt in belt (plus you could sell the ore anyway too). The module when active works on a cycle (like a shield booster). For sake of an example let say the cycle is five minutes. When first activated a pack of NPC pirates will warp to belt. Let’s say this is high sec, and a fleet of five NPC pirate frigates warp to belt. The fleet will be slightly more dangerous than standard pirates. They will change their fleet composition based upon what ships are flying in the miners fleet. They could consist of EWAR, logistics, and tacklers. So they would provide some interesting PVE gameplay along with monetary reward. The PRT would also increase the bounty based on how much ore is in the ships ore hold at the moment the module is activated. So ships like the Retriever and Mackinaw are useful in a mining fleet as NPC pirate bait for those protecting the miners. The lore reason for this is that the “Pirate Radio Transmitter” sends signals to pirate radio stations with realtime information on the ships cargo and location, enticing highly dangerous and high bounty pirates to come to the belt to try to kill the miners to get their precious cargo.

This module should also stack, but not based on how many are fit to a ship (as I stated before, only one max can be fitted to a ship). If there are two miners in the fleet with the modules fitted, they could spawn a total of ten NPC frigates (assuming highsec), two fleets of five (in lower security systems not just frigates would spawn). Also the module can’t send more NPC pirates until the current amount of NPC pirates sent from that module, are dealt with. This stacking would enable scalability to these mining operations. More miners need more protection, which means more rats to kill, which is more ISK and fun for everyone. For players who like piracy, these mining operations are huge treasure chests. On top of the ore from the miners, they could also get the wreckage and loot from the NPC rats.
TheGuy Akachi
Maniacal Miners INC
#2 - 2017-04-17 20:31:06 UTC
Okay, I just gave a monetary reason to protect miners. I still don’t think this enough. Small scale mining operations will still get swatted pretty easily by a skilled PVP pilot and his friends. This is deterrent for smaller corporation wanting to try mining in riskier space, or during wartime (if their main account has focused entirely on being a miner and has no alts). I have a second module type to suggest. Again this module can only be fitted to mining ships, and only be used while mining. I don’t have a great name for it, or lore reason, but we will call it the “Mining Emitted Boost” or MEB for short.

The module takes up a mid slot, and works like the command burst modules. They will require ammo (like the command burst modules), which will be made from minerals found in low sec (and lower). The modules when active will provide boosts to ally non-mining ships in range. The boosts they can provide is based on the ammo used. It can vary from increased damage, bigger shield/armor amount, shield/armor resists, or increased effectiveness of logistics. They can only be activated while mining, and eat up a miners mid slots. So the miners give up their tank for reliance on their allies to keep them alive. Like command bursts, these don’t stack. The benefit of having multiple miners equipping MEBs is redundancy. The miners become a form of support for the fleet. So when pirates attack, they could focus on the miners to rid the fleet of their buffs, or focus on stopping the protecting fleet. This also in turn makes warp scrabbling miners not always the best option, as having them off grid would be more effective. This also would make miners want to stay on grid during the fight to support it’s fellow protectors.

The MEB’s boost should be dependent on two things. The security status of the system and on the average m^3 of ore mined a minute. So the lower the security status, the more fighting force your allies have. Makes sense since the lower the security status the more dangerous NPCs and players you will encounter. The m^3 of ore should also be taken account so ships like the Covetor and Hulk (more expensive mining ships in general) are useful during a mining operation, even in low sec (a Hulk useful during a mining operation and not a liability? Crazy!).

Side note: tanky mining ships like the Procurer and Skiff are useful because they have better tank and can stay on grid longer. Won’t provide the best NPC rats or best boost though.

This also makes bringing command industrial ships like the Porpoise, Orca, and Roqual useful to have on grid too. Since their boosts will boost the miners mining capability, which will boost the guarding fleet defensive capability. This all adds to the honey pot which will be mining. Pirates will have a harder time taking down a mining fleet with defenses, but the reward will grow.

This would also make war declaration in high sec more interesting. Battles won’t be fought by station/gate camping, but at asteroid belts in their Headquarters systems where they have the home team advantage. During war time a miner won’t have to switch to their alt account and wait for CONCORD to invalidate the war. Mining during a war, might actually be encouraged. Would allow the corporation to fund themselves through the war by mining. Attacking a mining operation would actually make sense, since you are preventing them from making ISK that way. An industry corporation could war dec anyone who mines in “their” ice belt in high sec, to monopolize it to an extent, encouraging more content PVP wise.

Although MEB was originally intended for miners, I think it would also be able to work for cargo ships. Instead of having to be mining to use the module, the cargo ship would have to be in auto-pilot (which of course means on grid longer). Escorting an industry ship would an actually be an interesting thing to do, especially in low sec. Of course you wouldn’t be able to rat (make ISK), but would create new PVP activities, and be a counter to gankers. Of course “Mining Enabled Boost” would need a new name, but I think the mechanic would work.

People have been looking at miners all wrong. You need to look as them as cows. Ore is not the cows milk, but the grass they feed on. The NPC rats are the milk for the corp to enjoy. And I guess after the ore is mined, it becomes like fertilizer. The farmers then use the fertilizer to grow ship and equipment. Weird example, yeah, but you get my point.
TheGuy Akachi
Maniacal Miners INC
#3 - 2017-04-17 20:31:55 UTC
So all in all, I think CCP should add two new module types into the game:

- “Pirate Radio Transmitter”
*low slot
*only ORE ships
*can only fit one per a ship
*need to be mining
*active module. Has a cycle time (~5 minutes). Calls for a group of high bounty semi-adaptive dangerous NPC pirates at beginning of cycle
*NPC pirate’s bounty gets a bonus for the more ore is in the ships ore hold when is activated.
*All NPCs summoned by the module must be destroyed before activating the module again.

- “Mining Emitted Boost”
*mid slot
*industry ships only
*has to be mining or in auto-pilot
*works like command bursts, uses ammo (with minerals found in low sec and lower secs)
*provide tactical boosts to non mining ships (damage, tracking, shield/armor resistance, remote rep boosts, etc)
*doesn’t stack, and gives highest boost from nearest ship.
*only applies to sub capital ships
*scales boosting amount based on security status of system, and average m^3 of ore mined a minute (maybe EHP of cargo ships? Lower the EHP better the boost?)

Now that I finished explaining my idea, I’m going to walk about some concerns that may arise from it.

How much ISK/hour should the protectors make from ratting?

I think the ISK reward should scale nice enough that in low security space, that it is at least equivalent to Level 4 missions, even a bit more. The reason is that you would be in a fleet, and that bounty is shared with everyone. So the bounties should be enough to be profitable for two pilots. That or miners equipping the “Pirate Radio Transmitter” don’t get bounties since CONCORD doesn’t condone using pirate transmissions. I don’t know if miners should be protected 1 PVP pilot for 1 miner pilot, or 2 PVP pilots for 1 miner pilot. A 1:1 ratio may be fair, since they will be getting combat boosts from the miners.

Would this make normal ratting and mission running irrelevant?

This shouldn’t outright replace ratting and mission running, since those can be done solo, any time. No coordination is required. Plus they don’t get standing or LP like for missions. Also their will be no escalations. And these will be slightly harder, but the mining combat boosts help.

Can this be exploited in PVP?

Since all the combat mining boosts takes place on an asteroid belt, you can’t really go out of your way to directly attack an entity. This more or less gives a “home team advantage” if you establish a mining operation any where, it will take some force to remove it. Small corps and new players will get a buff when doing PVP in cheaper ships, which I think is fine. Also the defensive ships might be fit more for ratting than PVP. I’m not a PVP guy, but if you guys think of possible exploits let’s talk about it, I think this idea with tweaking could really work.

What do the miners get out of this other than the ore?

Nothing much else. Maybe some of the bounty? Mining isn’t super profitable end game compared to other EVE careers and activities. But miners will become useful for a corporation to earn ISK and materials to build ships. I think this would make miners more of a “backbone” of the EVE economy, and useful to have, even in a PVP corporation (you know, to fund their PVP).


What’s stopping the mining ships from killing their own rats and just double pocketing the ISK from the bounties, and the ore?

Well these NPC pirates are tougher than average rats, and they will fit accordingly to your one man fleet. But a lore reason to nerf it could be that the “Pirate Radio Transmitter” uses drone bandwidth to send the signal, which in turn could mean no drones used at all, reduced drone number, or half drone damage. Also like I said earlier, CONCORD won’t give bounties to ships using pirate frequencies.

If you think this idea is good, please tell others about it! Repost this on Reddit. Tell game devs and the CSM council. Talk about in game. Also give me feed back from all perspectives! PVP pilots, PVE pilots, industry pilots, and of course miners.
Tipa Riot
Federal Navy Academy
Gallente Federation
#4 - 2017-04-17 20:51:13 UTC
TL;DR?

I'm my own NPC alt.

TheGuy Akachi
Maniacal Miners INC
#5 - 2017-04-17 21:01:15 UTC
Tipa Riot wrote:
TL;DR?


I don't blame you. Honestly I should have put the last post first. It was more of a summary. Also formatting didn't go so well. I typed it in a word processor then copied and pasted it. So formatting is crap and makes it very hard to read.

Essentially two new modules. One makes miners PVE bait, summoning valuable rats into the belt at a regular basis. Essentially bringing missioning/ratting to the miners. Making being in belt with them less of a waste of time.

Second one takes up mid slots (eating miners tank) and makes them combat boosting platforms. Gets rid of their own tank to rely on allies to protect them. Also it is m^3 of ore based, so taking a Hulk on a mining op is more of a benefit then a liability.
Tina Mori
Maniacal Miners INC
#6 - 2017-04-17 21:52:34 UTC
He may be longwinded, but I suggest people read this
Anna-Elizabeth DeWitt
Federal Navy Academy
Gallente Federation
#7 - 2017-04-18 11:49:34 UTC
Tina Mori wrote:
He may be longwinded, but I suggest people read this


Because miners are people too?
General Muller
Benevolence Alpha Fleet
B.E.N.E.V.O.L.E.N.C.E
#8 - 2017-04-18 14:08:01 UTC
You should get in touch with some publishers with that book!
TheGuy Akachi
Maniacal Miners INC
#9 - 2017-04-18 16:46:40 UTC
Anna-Elizabeth DeWitt wrote:
Because miners are people too?

Actually because this turns mining into content for everyone. PVP, PVE, and Industry. Industry, because mining. PVE, because of ratting and facing some semi-dynamic AI (like the response fleet for AI miners). And PVP, for those looking to interrupt these events and collect the rewards the players during the mining operation were getting (ore, loot, salvage).

It would make going to low sec to mine an actually worthwhlie endeavor since ratting in low sec is better than in high sec, plus the MEB (Mining Emitted Boost) would provide an advantage to those in fleet with a miner in the asteroid belt.

The reason no protects miners is:


  • It isn't profitable.
  • It isn't fun.


This solution helps that. It makes miners a source of income for a corporation. Something important to defend, or even attack.
William Ormono
Reason Will Prevail
#10 - 2017-04-21 15:16:51 UTC
Too long, but I did read.

I like the idea of the PRT. Sounds like a good way to merge combat and mining by giving the combat guys something to do while the miners mine. I like the idea that it can only be activated when a mining module is active, and scaling the NPC difficulty in relation to the amount material mined makes sense (pirates would be more interested in engaging rich targets after all, so a stronger response makes sense).

I'd be curious how frequently people would use the PRT in low and null sec though. My guess is it would be used pretty rarely. NPCs with ewar would pose a huge risk to the fleet if a bunch of neutrals enter your system when your people are scrammed and pointed. I could see people avoiding this similar to how low / null sec incursions are typically avoided (to my knowledge).

I'm not exactly sold on the MEB idea. I think I get what you're going for with it, but it seems to random to me (more ore / hour means stronger boosts? - I'm not a fan of this at face value, largely because I can't wrap my head around how this would make sense. It seems too arbitrary). I'd rather just stick to using combat boosts, which as you mentioned are pretty similar.

All in all good ideas though. Lets see if they can take root!
TheGuy Akachi
Maniacal Miners INC
#11 - 2017-04-21 22:21:26 UTC
William Ormono wrote:
Too long, but I did read.

I like the idea of the PRT. Sounds like a good way to merge combat and mining by giving the combat guys something to do while the miners mine. I like the idea that it can only be activated when a mining module is active, and scaling the NPC difficulty in relation to the amount material mined makes sense (pirates would be more interested in engaging rich targets after all, so a stronger response makes sense).

I'd be curious how frequently people would use the PRT in low and null sec though. My guess is it would be used pretty rarely. NPCs with ewar would pose a huge risk to the fleet if a bunch of neutrals enter your system when your people are scrammed and pointed. I could see people avoiding this similar to how low / null sec incursions are typically avoided (to my knowledge).

I'm not exactly sold on the MEB idea. I think I get what you're going for with it, but it seems to random to me (more ore / hour means stronger boosts? - I'm not a fan of this at face value, largely because I can't wrap my head around how this would make sense. It seems too arbitrary). I'd rather just stick to using combat boosts, which as you mentioned are pretty similar.

All in all good ideas though. Lets see if they can take root!

Thanks for reading my atrociously long post. I just wanted a way to make miners more of an asset then a liability to a corporation.

I am starting to back down from my idea of a "Miner Emitted Boost". Mainly because industrial support ships can do the same thing. They could fit combat bursts instead of mining ones. So maybe a ratting mod is all you need to make farming with miners more prosperous.
Alaric Faelen
El Ultimo Hombre
Goonswarm Federation
#12 - 2017-04-29 17:39:30 UTC
It wasn't long, it was thorough. And I like the thought you've put into this. It would take a huge amount of balance tweaks but it's as good a plan as any.
I've always advocated the need for escort rather than just buffing industrial ships to combat ship stats. The problem is making it viable with the various aggression mechanics we currently have. Escort needs to be able to be pro-active, but currently in high sec that just makes them the criminals. A reworking of aggression mechanics that allows for realistic 'escort' needs to part of it.

Also, the rats need to turn on the attackers. It's too easy to wait for the rats to have someone damaged then just blap the ratter off the field. When committing to the attack, the aggressor needs to be prepared for a three way battle.

When I was a brand newbie in Eve I was the only ratter/mission runner in a newbie corp full of miners. My contribution was occasionally flying by the belt to kill rats their drones could have handled, on my way to the next anom. A system like this would have been exactly the kind of content creator that would have given me something to do while they did what they wanted to do- but still together.
Hopefully it would encourage miners to go to dangerous space, given that escorting them would be a parallel fleet op on the corp calendar.