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Mining- Why it needs to be saved, and how to do it

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Mors Sanctitatis
Death of Virtue
#1 - 2012-01-19 02:27:57 UTC
In the 7+ years I've played this game, I think I might have mined maybe twice. Max. It was not for me. That being said, mining is one of the most important and fundamental aspects of Eve and it has never been improved upon since the start of the game. I'd like to share my thoughts on why it's so important and what could be done to revitalize this lackluster and horribly unrewarding profession.

A few quick thoughts:

Mining is generally boring.

Mining is rife with bots.

Mining is marginalized by other mineral streams, namely Rogue Drones and T1 loot drops.

Mining is also the foundation upon which all production is based and is the key logistical resource that should be managed to ensure winning any large scale conflict.

Let's get the easy stuff out of the way first: Get rid of ALL other mineral streams other than through the express act of mining. Will this cause some short term mineral shortages? Sure, but it won't last more than a month. I have faith in my fellow (extremely greedy) Eve players and I'm sure that when Trit hits 400+ ISK/unit we'll see all the PVPers and mission runners out there in a shiny new mining barge trying to cash in while it lasts. In short: remove Rogue drones as a source of minerals (convert them to bounties) and change all T1 loot drops to limited run BPCs for named modules (turning a mineral faucet into a mineral sink in the process).

Now something a little more complicated: make mining FUN.

How do we do this? The EPIC WIN, I say. What if, while mining some basic ore, you have a chance, however small, of mining some exceedingly valuable alloy or mineral (or whatever)? What if it was valuable simply because it had attributes that were completely unattainable via any other means? Like mineral compression for instance? What if while mining Trit you happen to see some "super-ultra-mega-compressed-hyper-density-quantum-tritanium" (I just made that up by the way) pop up in your cargo hold? What if this stuff converted to 10 MILLION Trit per unit, and you just got 10 units of it in your cargo bay? And guess what the best part is? Each unit only takes up 10m3.

Now you have something that is extremely valuable because it has a special quality, but the original use/intent of the material remains the same. Furthermore, the value added to the material is a one time use, one way mechanic (once it's refined, you lose the compression), but the value to people who need to transport vast amounts of ore will be dramatic. Not to mention that you just scored 100 million units of Trit in a single mining cycle that is worth 400M+ ISK on the market.

Such drops would be rare, and there would be various levels of similar drops with varying degrees of probability, but the point is that the possibility would be there. An event like that would really stand out in a player's memory- it would be an EVENT. "Man, remember that time when we found that crazy 20 unit deposit of super-ultra-mega-compressed-hyper-density-quantum-tritanium?! IT WAS AWESOME! I'M RICH!!!" <<<< That my friends is what is missing from mining.

The lower the sec, the better the chances of striking it rich. Again, 10m compression super ore would be hyper rare- the equivalent of a top officer spawn. But you get the idea.

Destroy the bots.

This is the most important part.

Every time someone posts about mining and bots, it doesn't take too long before someone talks about a captcha test to "make sure" there's a person behind the mining. I think that they're right in concept, but wrong on execution.

Bots are good at analyzing data, doing repetitive tasks as fast as possible and so on, but with the concept of a captcha, a designer is trying to break the bot with a mechanic that it's not good at: visual decoding.

But what if there was another area that bots weren't good at? Say... intuition?

What if 95% of the ore in a belt were concentrated in 5% of the asteroids? Same yield per belt, same time taken to mine the minerals etc., but the difference is that for every rock that has minerals in it, there are 9 that don't. The human operator could pick out the rocks with the minerals in them because say, all the rocks had a spin rate, generated in a random direction and axis, but the mineral-laden rocks have a spin rate that is 50% faster than barren rocks. Or maybe mineral laden rocks have more "gold flecks" in the texture, maybe 25% more, or the gold flecks are in a more veined pattern than on the other barren rocks.

There is an impossible number of visual cues and variations that could be implemented to allow players to pick out what rocks have ore in them and which one's do not. My goal here is to incorporate the idea of a VISUAL CAPTCHA in concept right into the rocks themselves, so that it's transparent and players don't even notice that they're doing it. They're simply picking out the "good ones" and leaving the rest behind! Like, you know, being a REAL MINER FOR ONCE!!!

The game designers could make the coloration even more subtle, so that the best and most experienced miners could cherry pick the belts of the choicest rocks by discerning combinations of spin rate (denser ore = faster spin) and subtle variations in the asteroid texture and coloration (this one has specs of gold ore on the surface, but this other one has spider-like veins of black and silver ore woven through it etc...). This INVOLVES THE PLAYER IN THE PROCESS. It makes it engaging and fun. If you're smart and experienced, your production per hour could be dramatically higher than a "noob".

If you've read this far, I congratulate you. Thank you for your time and attention. I look forward to constructive posts on this topic. No, it doesn't belong in "Features and Ideas". GD has more views and this isn't about a feature, it's about fixing the game as a holistic system.

So, let's hear it! Thoughts?
met worst
Doomheim
#2 - 2012-01-19 02:33:16 UTC  |  Edited by: ISD Eshtir
*snip*

And OP: CSM minutes have drone lands nerfed. Might fix mining all by itself if the stats are to be believed. (70% of minerals is drones?)
Hainnz
Imperial Academy
Amarr Empire
#3 - 2012-01-19 02:33:30 UTC
Actually that is a damned good idea!
Tanya Powers
Doomheim
#4 - 2012-01-19 02:39:29 UTC
Hainnz wrote:
Actually that is a damned good idea!



Maybe.
Elessa Enaka
Doomheim
#5 - 2012-01-19 02:44:07 UTC
If you're not trolling, I applaud your idea, it is good to see a long-time vet trying to help a facet of the game that they admit isn't the way they play the game rather than simply going the "HTFU and play the game my way" route.

I think the ideas you have presented are very good and should be seriously discussed by not only members of the community who consider themselves industrialists but also by CCP Devs as well.

Industry is in need of major overhaul, mining especially.

I especially like the idea of incorporating a "captcha-like" set of visual cues which require active involvement from the player. I also like the idea of having worthless "slag" asteroids in belts mixed in with the stuff that is actually valuable. I think that all of the different types of asteroids should still be labeled the same way that they currently are (to prevent people from just programming their bots to ignore all of the "slag" ores). You should be able to get minerals from all of the asteroids in a belt, but the slag ones should be a pittance (perhaps they only yield 1% of the typical yield).

IDK, I really hope that this gets a serious look by not only players but also by the Devs themselves.

Devour to survive, so it is, so it's always been Eve is a great game if you can get past all of the asshats....

Famble
Three's a Crowd
#6 - 2012-01-19 02:48:49 UTC  |  Edited by: ISD Eshtir
*snip*

I like the OP's vision, tweak as necessary but the vision is good. +1

If anyone ever looks at you and says,_ "Hold my beer, watch this,"_  you're probably going to want to pay attention.

met worst
Doomheim
#7 - 2012-01-19 02:50:24 UTC
Doc Fury wrote:
met worst wrote:
Doc Fury wrote:
Just because you're not happy with how many views you perceive this thread would get in Features and Ideas, that is exactly where it belongs.


So when CCP shift it there you can go "told ya so".

Thought police in Eve.

Who woulda thought......



if more people posted their stuff in there where it belongs, it would start getting more views from like-minded people who want to "share".


Then wtf would you, Morgs and a few other GD Police have to do all day? Blink

Granted, I'm looking hard for forum mods lately but members pre-labelling every topic based on THEIR ideals is pretty lame.
Kuroi Aurgnet
Cry Of Death
Almost Underdogs
#8 - 2012-01-19 02:50:25 UTC
decent idea, but if only 5% of the asteroids had any ores then only really advanced miners would ever get anything. All those people who have trained for their precious hulks would get all the minerals, and the newer players wouldnt have a chance. great idea otherwise, but maybe that one thing should be changed to like, one third of the asteroids have ores, and there should be a LOT more asteroids. we dont need the amount of ores in the game to drop, it would cause some problems.

Just that hint of cynicism the world needs now and then.

mullet nugget
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#9 - 2012-01-19 02:52:26 UTC
these are some really good ideas. however mining has been improved several times since the beginning. orcas, ore compression, etc.

that being said, the bots are THE main problem. it's f'ing ridiculous how lenient CCP is on these people. it's like they are more concerned with collecting the botter's monthly fees than pleasing the people who play the game to have fun.
Macks Artilius
Brutor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#10 - 2012-01-19 02:53:20 UTC
I've always thought mining should be more about finding the good ore sources than actually extracting the ore, and this sounds like a great way to go about it.... except we already have survey scanners which tell us the exact yield of every asteroid.

Though I agree mining needs some sort of faction rat equivalent.
Mors Sanctitatis
Death of Virtue
#11 - 2012-01-19 02:58:31 UTC
Elessa Enaka wrote:
If you're not trolling, I applaud your idea, it is good to see a long-time vet trying to help a facet of the game that they admit isn't the way they play the game rather than simply going the "HTFU and play the game my way" route.

I think the ideas you have presented are very good and should be seriously discussed by not only members of the community who consider themselves industrialists but also by CCP Devs as well.

Industry is in need of major overhaul, mining especially.

I especially like the idea of incorporating a "captcha-like" set of visual cues which require active involvement from the player. I also like the idea of having worthless "slag" asteroids in belts mixed in with the stuff that is actually valuable. I think that all of the different types of asteroids should still be labeled the same way that they currently are (to prevent people from just programming their bots to ignore all of the "slag" ores). You should be able to get minerals from all of the asteroids in a belt, but the slag ones should be a pittance (perhaps they only yield 1% of the typical yield).

IDK, I really hope that this gets a serious look by not only players but also by the Devs themselves.


#1. Totally not trolling.

#2. I agree that "slag" asteroids should give a small amount of the correct mineral, but only a very small amount (1%?).

#3. I fully intend for all asteroids of the same type to be named the same from an overview standpoint: i.e. Veldspar, regardless of how good it is. A bit like true sec for 0.0 perhaps?
SirFur
A Blessed Bean
Pandemic Horde
#12 - 2012-01-19 03:07:23 UTC  |  Edited by: SirFur
Macks Artilius wrote:
I've always thought mining should be more about finding the good ore sources than actually extracting the ore, and this sounds like a great way to go about it.... except we already have survey scanners which tell us the exact yield of every asteroid.

Though I agree mining needs some sort of faction rat equivalent.


Survery scanners don't show yield.....they show quantity of ore.

Yield is what you will obtain once you refine the ore. The named versions of ore give you higher yields and at present you choose them based on name. If they all are named the same but the yield variant differences were made obvious in ''capcha form'' form than it would mean you could keep the ores pretty much as they are now except changing the names. You could add the 'slag' versions and more variants of each kind of ore using the capcha features, with the highest yield only available in null sec. With this you wouldn't need to add the extra chance drop - you can just add higher yield ores (like 15%, 20%, 25%, and slag being 1%) that visually look vastly different and better, but on overview or on scan the name of that asteroid is the same as the slag version.

You then just need to add a lot of slag asteroids and seed the highest yield ores only in null sec and the best in true null sec.
Elessa Enaka
Doomheim
#13 - 2012-01-19 03:07:29 UTC
Mors Sanctitatis wrote:
Elessa Enaka wrote:
If you're not trolling, I applaud your idea, it is good to see a long-time vet trying to help a facet of the game that they admit isn't the way they play the game rather than simply going the "HTFU and play the game my way" route.

I think the ideas you have presented are very good and should be seriously discussed by not only members of the community who consider themselves industrialists but also by CCP Devs as well.

Industry is in need of major overhaul, mining especially.

I especially like the idea of incorporating a "captcha-like" set of visual cues which require active involvement from the player. I also like the idea of having worthless "slag" asteroids in belts mixed in with the stuff that is actually valuable. I think that all of the different types of asteroids should still be labeled the same way that they currently are (to prevent people from just programming their bots to ignore all of the "slag" ores). You should be able to get minerals from all of the asteroids in a belt, but the slag ones should be a pittance (perhaps they only yield 1% of the typical yield).

IDK, I really hope that this gets a serious look by not only players but also by the Devs themselves.


#1. Totally not trolling.

#2. I agree that "slag" asteroids should give a small amount of the correct mineral, but only a very small amount (1%?).

#3. I fully intend for all asteroids of the same type to be named the same from an overview standpoint: i.e. Veldspar, regardless of how good it is. A bit like true sec for 0.0 perhaps?


Yeah, like true sec for 0.0 and keep that totally dark from any mods (like survey scanners that tell you the number of units of ore in the roids). The only way that you should be able to discern the "true yield" of the roid is by the visual cues of the roids themselves.

So, all of the veld in a belt is still labeled veld and the survey scanner might tell you that X number of units are in each roid, but it still can't tell you if that huge 110k unit veld roid is worthless or a jackpot roid; you could only tell that by actually looking at the roid and figuring out if it had the appropriate visual cues on its surface. So, if someone isn't paying attention (or perhaps a bot), they could mine that entire 110k roid and not find out that it was essentially worthless until they get it back to station and refine it.

I like it, it definitely still needs more work, but I really like this idea.

Devour to survive, so it is, so it's always been Eve is a great game if you can get past all of the asshats....

Mors Sanctitatis
Death of Virtue
#14 - 2012-01-19 03:09:59 UTC
Kuroi Aurgnet wrote:
decent idea, but if only 5% of the asteroids had any ores then only really advanced miners would ever get anything. All those people who have trained for their precious hulks would get all the minerals, and the newer players wouldnt have a chance. great idea otherwise, but maybe that one thing should be changed to like, one third of the asteroids have ores, and there should be a LOT more asteroids. we dont need the amount of ores in the game to drop, it would cause some problems.


A few quick comments:

All numbers and ratios aren't fixed- they're just examples to illustrate the point. I agree that a 60/30% split might be a better ratio, it just depends upon testing.

I'm not suggesting that the total available ore in the game be reduced. Just the current volume distributed as suggested in the OP.

There would be equal opportunity for all players to get at the ore- the amount of ore, the time it takes to mine it and the general availability would be comparable to what currently exists. Hulk pilots won't be any more/less capable of monopolizing resources than they already are. I do appreciate your viewpoint and concern. I'm very much in favor of having the new players as much access as possible to resources.
Mors Sanctitatis
Death of Virtue
#15 - 2012-01-19 03:13:17 UTC
Elessa Enaka wrote:


Yeah, like true sec for 0.0 and keep that totally dark from any mods (like survey scanners that tell you the number of units of ore in the roids). The only way that you should be able to discern the "true yield" of the roid is by the visual cues of the roids themselves.

So, all of the veld in a belt is still labeled veld and the survey scanner might tell you that X number of units are in each roid, but it still can't tell you if that huge 110k unit veld roid is worthless or a jackpot roid; you could only tell that by actually looking at the roid and figuring out if it had the appropriate visual cues on its surface. So, if someone isn't paying attention (or perhaps a bot), they could mine that entire 110k roid and not find out that it was essentially worthless until they get it back to station and refine it.

I like it, it definitely still needs more work, but I really like this idea.


Agreed that it needs more work, but how about letting me know how you would like to see it refined? What points would you like me to iterate on? Expand on? Let me know what you think needs to be worked on and in what direction?
Mors Sanctitatis
Death of Virtue
#16 - 2012-01-19 03:24:43 UTC
POSSIBLE INSANELY ELEGANT SOLUTION- for the visual aspect of the various asteroids that is: what if the rocks were "V3ed"? If they were, then we wouldn't need a huge amount of new/additional textures for every variation of rock type. We could use procedural textures to generate the variation instead, thereby limiting the amount and number of textures that would need be loaded into memory.

Yes? No?
Elessa Enaka
Doomheim
#17 - 2012-01-19 03:58:23 UTC
Mors Sanctitatis wrote:
Elessa Enaka wrote:


Yeah, like true sec for 0.0 and keep that totally dark from any mods (like survey scanners that tell you the number of units of ore in the roids). The only way that you should be able to discern the "true yield" of the roid is by the visual cues of the roids themselves.

So, all of the veld in a belt is still labeled veld and the survey scanner might tell you that X number of units are in each roid, but it still can't tell you if that huge 110k unit veld roid is worthless or a jackpot roid; you could only tell that by actually looking at the roid and figuring out if it had the appropriate visual cues on its surface. So, if someone isn't paying attention (or perhaps a bot), they could mine that entire 110k roid and not find out that it was essentially worthless until they get it back to station and refine it.

I like it, it definitely still needs more work, but I really like this idea.


Agreed that it needs more work, but how about letting me know how you would like to see it refined? What points would you like me to iterate on? Expand on? Let me know what you think needs to be worked on and in what direction?


Well, TBH, I had a few ideas regarding how mining could be refined (no pun intended)

First off, I think that there should only be 1 or 2 "asteroid belts" per system and those asteroid belts should only provide Scordite and Veldspar (basic varieties of each as well). However, each system should also get 12+ static grav sites (I say static to mean that there should always be X number of gravs per system, though as each one pops another one spawns somewhere else in system). The grav sites should have the possibility of having all of the different ores in them in varying quantities (though I am NOT suggesting that high-sec gravs get huge amounts of ABCM, there still should be the possibility of at least some). As the sec level of systems drops, the quality of the gravs increases exponentially.

Secondly, I think Ice should deplete and be treated the same as the gravs found in every system. This isn't to say that Ice should be available in every system, though I do think that there should be 1-2 Ice Field "gravs" per constellation (though not always in the same system) to compensate for the fact that they would now be depleting. Also, purely from an aesthetic point, I think that the Ice Field gravs should always be way outside of the orbital belts on the solar system map.

I think that if miners actually had to search for the roids that they were mining it would make things a little more interesting, as well as if the slag roids and visual cues were to be included.

Devour to survive, so it is, so it's always been Eve is a great game if you can get past all of the asshats....

J Kunjeh
#18 - 2012-01-19 04:15:57 UTC
Damn, someone give the OP a lollipop! I love this idea, one of the best on how to fix mining that I've seen, and I've seen a lot. Spin rate? Genius.

"The world as we know it came about through an anomaly (anomou)" (The Gospel of Philip, 1-5) 

Covert Kitty
SRS Industries
#19 - 2012-01-19 05:01:09 UTC
I love your general idea, however, the problem is that the best bots don't look at the screen at all, they hook python or read memory directly. It would not take long for them to hook in the new information and pick the right rocks directly.

Personally, I think that mining should be replaced with "small holding" you anchor fairly easy to kill structures at the belts, and they mine for you, you just have to do the hauling from time to time. Not unlike moon mining, though at a much smaller scale a tank of say 500dps omni, with about 2-3x the effective of a battleship. This would free up the player to defend it, and open them up as a nicer target for small gangs. Botting for mining becomes obsolete because there really isn't much of anything to automate.
Mors Sanctitatis
Death of Virtue
#20 - 2012-01-19 05:13:10 UTC
Covert Kitty wrote:
I love your general idea, however, the problem is that the best bots don't look at the screen at all, they hook python or read memory directly. It would not take long for them to hook in the new information and pick the right rocks directly.

Personally, I think that mining should be replaced with "small holding" you anchor fairly easy to kill structures at the belts, and they mine for you, you just have to do the hauling from time to time. Not unlike moon mining, though at a much smaller scale a tank of say 500dps omni, with about 2-3x the effective of a battleship. This would free up the player to defend it, and open them up as a nicer target for small gangs. Botting for mining becomes obsolete because there really isn't much of anything to automate.


Good point about the bots. X What if we moved 95% of the work to actually finding/locating the resources instead of the actual recovery of the resources? Maybe a combination of all of it? If only the best bots inspect memory or inject themselves into Python then maybe my ideas would foil most of them? At least it might make it a little more fun for the human players, having the ability to apply some skill and know-how to the process, instead of the noobs having the exact same ability to produce as a more experienced player?

Man I hate bots. Evil
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