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Musings of a Hisec Miner

First post
Author
Jsuelieta
Perkone
Caldari State
#1 - 2014-11-10 13:36:10 UTC
Fair warning before you get to reading, this will be a fairly long post (or set of posts), so ready your tl;dr in advance if you don't like to read.

With that warning out of the way, I'm going to start with a brief story that I'm sure many like me have to tell. I was recently mining in a hisec system, mostly minding my own business, chatting with some corp-mates who I'd recently gotten acquainted with, when suddenly a couple suicide gankers appeared and I found myself 250 million ISK poorer as I had to replace my precious Hulk that I've had for several years. I was, naturally, annoyed but the good nature of the audience of one of my corp-mates stream shone through and I found myself on the receiving end of enough donations of ISK to replace the ship and fit it better than it had ever been fit before. The first half of that is a common tale, I'm sure, given the nature of the beast. The latter half gives me hope for the community at large.

Now that I've told you that old tale, I'll tell you another that might also be familiar. About a year ago I was with a corp that lived out in nullsec, I enjoyed nullsec mining with that corp, as it gave me an opportunity to use skills I'd trained specifically to make myself more attractive to nullsec mining corps/alliances. Then I lost my job, and I didn't have enough ISK banked to buy a PLEX, so I fell off the map until recently, when I found myself in an NPC corp. I'd love to get back to nullsec mining, if there are any alliances out there taking contractors.

What do these stories have to do with each other? Well, nothing really, but here's a third and final tale before I get into the part of the topic that's more interesting. After being ganked I've started being a bit more cautious, only piloting a Procurer when mining, keeping a closer eye on local, ect. But I've also started to look closely at the people -in- local, beyond their current criminal status. What I've found is people paying out to this New Order to keep from getting bumped and/or ganked in hisec systems while mining. I followed a link to a site, which I won't be providing here, and read up on this New Order. What I found really kind of ticked me off, but it did get me thinking about certain things.

Now I'll get into the interesting part of things: First, I'm going to get a brief rant out of my system, so if you don't want to particularly see a hisec mining rant, skip to the next paragraph. If you're still with me, the biggest thing that got me riled up was the opinion that a miner is basically the lowest tier on the food chain, that mining should be removed, CONCORD disbanded, EVE is a PVP-only game, ect. I cannot begin to tell you how wrong these ideas are, as EVE is, and always has been, an industry-driven game. I don't mean industry the skill, I mean everyone finds something they want to do to have fun and make a profit. Miners harvest ore, which goes to the processors to become raw materials, which become ships and modules, which go into the hands of corps, alliances, pirates, what-have-you, which then get blown up and cause a demand for more ore to start the cycle over. Miners may be the first step, but we're far from bottom of the food chain, we're just one link in an endless chain. Hisec miners are there because lowsec and nullsec can be a little rough for those unprepared, and we need someplace to get our feet wet before jumping into the pool. There are asteroids and ice in hisec for a reason, after all, and those who would kill us would have no business going to ice fields or asteroid belts unless we were there to begin with.

Ok, rant's over. So now let's get into something a bit thought provoking on something briefly mentioned within it: the idea that EVE is based on industry, rather than straight PVP. There's a reason EVE has corporations rather than guilds or clans, and that's because everything we do as players, be it mining, protecting the miners, being pirates, running missions, hauling freight, producing completed modules and ships, are all industries. Interestingly, CCP has hit the nail on the head on pretty much all of these things, as if you put these things on a planet and made them ground vehicles, you'd actually mirror real life almost perfectly.

Taking mining as an example, or resource collection as a whole to be even better, if we divide it up into hisec and low/nullsec work, we can compare it accurately to real life resource collections. Hisec mining is much like being a farmer, or it used to be at any rate before people started hating really hard on hisec mining. Being a farmer is fairly safe work, you invest in your land, equipment and seed, sit around a lot while the crops grow, collect them, sell them and repeat. You can generally expect to live day to day and not worry about much. Hisec NPC rats are the minor annoyances that come with the job, such as watering and fertilizing the plants. Then can come disasters, like fires, or if you're into livestock, poachers, wild predators or zealous animal rights activists undoing your hard work and costing you a buttload of money. These are the suicide gankers. But at the end of the day, a farmer in the real world and a miner in EVE are still the start of an endless and essential cycle.

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Jsuelieta
Perkone
Caldari State
#2 - 2014-11-10 13:36:19 UTC  |  Edited by: Jsuelieta
Remaining on the subject of the miners are low/nullsec miners, which I'll compare to real world miners, something I've had personal experience with working in a quarry. Having had real world experience with this, I can say with 100% certainty that mining, no matter where it's done in EVE, is exactly the same brand of boring as it is in real life. I drove the load truck, meaning I sat there and waited for a hopper to fill, unloaded it into my truck, moved it about 300 yards, dumped it into a pile, moved back to my spot and waited some more. The guys driving the backhoes and bulldozers and the crushers they loaded were my strip mining modules, I waited for them to finish their cycles so I'd do my part. It's got it's own brands of dangers: un-detonated explosive charges in the rocks, for instance, or the idea of the ground you're driving on being unstable and collapsing from under you. There's more danger to life and limb in that line of work than farming, and so it is in low/null than hisec, but either way it's all about sitting there and waiting.

How about the other industries? Well, I've also worked as a long-haul trucker, and I can safely say the nail has been firmly hit once more there. Being a trucker is boring as watching a chess-by-mail tournament live. Granted hauling freight in an industrial in EVE is faster by an order of magnitude, it's still remarkably similar: You start by accepting a contract and responsibility for your load, make sure it's loaded properly, plot your course, double check for safety and start on the fastest and safest route. Sometimes things come up, bad weather, construction, other drivers, these can cause damage or complete loss of load, equipment or life. Even stopping at a rest stop can have someone sneaking in and stealing your crap. The EVE equivalency is pirates and gate camps, which can cause loss of ship, freight, pod and/or extorted ISK. Once again, though, hauling freight is an important and required service in both EVE and reality. Boring as all get out, not at all glamorous, but someone has to do it.

Construction is naturally tied hand-in-hand with mining and hauling, you get the raw materials, have them shipped to you and turn them into something functional. The biggest difference between reality and EVE in this sense is that someone who specializes in production can often be doing something else at the same time, or not be online at all. It's still a 100% required function, as new players (or at least new characters) appear all the time, and old ones keep getting their stuff blown up and need new. Even if you get all your materials from recycling old product, someone still has to have the skill to make something new from it. Speaking of recycling, garbage collection, or salvaging, falls in line here, as well. Let's face it, a Noctis, or any ship fitted with salvagers or salvager drones, serves the role of a garbage truck.

Where to pirates and miner bodyguards come in? Well, pirates are pirates, really, and even that is an industry. Theft wouldn't be a thing if there were no profit margin in it, and the bodyguards are essentially security companies or police, depending on where you are. CONCORD is more like the FBI, as it's an overarching governmental thing while a corp/alliance fleet governs their own territory to varying degrees of success.

Now why did I tell you all that, you may ask? Well, I tell you because no matter what you're doing, you're part of the cycle. Even if you do nothing but run missions in hisec from the moment you start to the day the universe implodes, you're part of the cycle, because you buy things. You buy ammo for your weapons and new ships. You sell the things you find or reprocess them and put them back into the cycle that way. If you join the game and decide to do nothing but kill miners, you're part of the cycle, creating the demand for the better protections that better stuff can offer and the people to use that stuff, and the very miners you kill are the next step in the chain of supply and demand, because it all starts exactly where it ends, and keeps going for eternity.

Going back to the first story I told about being ganked, after I thought about it and realized the cycle of industry, I honestly couldn't bring myself to be mad. Getting attacked breaks up the monotony of an incredibly boring task, though one I take up willingly, and at least adds a bit of challenge to the game. To an extent I even agree with a bit of the philosophy of the gankers, specifically that bot-miners are a plague, though not so much those that might AFK, as honestly? I was 'AFK' in my load truck at the quarry. I was reading a book, listening to music, doing just about anything I could to avoid going to sleep while awaiting the time to go move rocks from A to B. It's dull, but essential, work. I don't appreciate the loss of resources for having my ships blown to scrap, but that's the price of admission. I saw someone who'd gotten a bunch of ganking groups together and offered blanket protection on a daily-fee basis, and y'know what? That's an industry, too. It's not unlike going through a toll booth on the highway, it's irritating and costs you money, but it's something that's not going anywhere, and the alternative is much less pleasant.


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Chribba
Otherworld Enterprises
Otherworld Empire
#3 - 2014-11-10 13:39:38 UTC  |  Edited by: Chribba
I'm ready. tl;dr?

Miners the lowest tier... and yet everyone needs us. I laugh at them as they fill my wallet Twisted

/c

★★★ Secure 3rd party service ★★★

Visit my in-game channel 'Holy Veldspar'

Twitter @ChribbaVeldspar

Jsuelieta
Perkone
Caldari State
#4 - 2014-11-10 13:41:27 UTC
To conclude this series of somewhat disjointed thoughts, and address the people that just absolutely hate mining and miners for whatever reason, if you were to remove that aspect from EVE, you would end up with a game that wasn't EVE. It'd be closer to Star Trek Online, but without the ground combat (that's in another game entirely). No matter what, we all provide content in some way, shape or form for each other, because the game itself provides very little for us. We have to set our own goals and follow our own paths to those goals, because if we don't all we've got is a virtual job that we pay someone else for, and honestly if I wanted that I'd play Minecraft. At least here, in EVE, when I go mining, it's a step in the direction of my goal, and the ore I sell helps someone else down their path, and continues along the cycle of industry.

From here on is just going to be my thoughts on how mining might be improved to make things a little more interesting and friendly to those who are just starting in the field, rather than being afraid of getting blown up right away the second they take their new mining barge for a spin. I know not everyone will like this part, but it at least offers a bit of concession that we hisec miners expect some degree of safety

First off, addressing rookie systems, let miners get used to things there in a risk-free environment, but remove the profit. Only put ores that can be used for civilian module blueprints, or make Veldspar a rare thing to see in the belts, enough to get starting miners a bit of ISK. On the next step, divide hisec into tiers, a bit like how it is already with what ores are availible. In 1.0-0.9 systems, disable all strip mining and mining foreman modules, let the mining frigates, 'normal' frigates, cruisers, the Veldnaught and whoever else might use normal, relatively inefficient mining lasers reign, also force Orca hangars to remain closed off while in this area. In 0.8-0.7, allow mining barges to use their strip miners, but not exhumers, and permit orcas the use of their hangar, but not mining foreman modules. 0.6-0.5 allow everyone to do their thing normally. This at least allows semi-safe space for everyone to do what they will while tiering hisec so the greater rewards come with greater risk, as the pirates know exactly where to find the big targets without barring anyone passage through any systems. You want better ore? Better get out to lowsec.

On the PVP side of things, popping a miner in 0.9+ would have to carry some pretty hefty penalties, as these miners are likely not making enough ISK off their work to even cover the cost of insuring their ship. I'm not saying turn PVP off in this space, but certainly cause the 'kill-on-sight' status of CONCORD to last much longer than lower sec space. If penalizing the PvPer is a bit much to swallow, then have a claus in insurance state that loss of a mining ship in, say, 0.7+ grants a new ship of the same type in the nearest station, sans fittings, rather than an ISK payout. At least that way miners just getting their feet wet don't get scared off the game entirely, and still makes those exhumers tasty targets for those that was to suicide gank in hisec. Just an idea, I know most people won't like it, but I figured I'd throw it out there.

My name is Jsuelieta, I am a hisec miner with nullsec goals and supporter of industry in whatever form it may take. If you actually read this through, I thank you for your time and patience.
Ama Scelesta
#5 - 2014-11-10 13:43:18 UTC
WTB a synopsis, since the OP lacks the common decency to do that.
Jsuelieta
Perkone
Caldari State
#6 - 2014-11-10 13:51:38 UTC
Ama Scelesta wrote:
WTB a synopsis, since the OP lacks the common decency to do that.


My apologies, it took me about an hour to get all that from the chaos in my head into a format I hoped people could understand in text, as my thought processes are often disjointed. I'm not even sure how to put it all together in a synopsis without taking up the full 6000 character limit doing so.
Obunagawe
#7 - 2014-11-10 14:15:58 UTC
Jsuelieta wrote:
Ama Scelesta wrote:
WTB a synopsis, since the OP lacks the common decency to do that.


My apologies, it took me about an hour to get all that from the chaos in my head into a format I hoped people could understand in text, as my thought processes are often disjointed. I'm not even sure how to put it all together in a synopsis without taking up the full 6000 character limit doing so.


Noone cares.
Sebastor Cane
The Outlet
#8 - 2014-11-10 14:18:44 UTC
i hope you used an alt as people will be scanning for you even as we speak
Shiloh Templeton
Cheyenne HET Co
#9 - 2014-11-10 14:23:26 UTC  |  Edited by: Shiloh Templeton
Chribba wrote:
I'm ready. tl;dr
You made the right choice.


As someone who did read it, the only thing I can surmise is:

.... OP needs a hug and pat on the back.


Now get back out there keep up the good work.
KnowUsByTheDead
Sunlight...Through The Blight.
#10 - 2014-11-10 14:27:13 UTC
vOv

Big smileShockedPirate

Once you realize what a joke everything is, being the comedian is the only thing that makes sense.

Black Pedro
Mine.
#11 - 2014-11-10 14:29:06 UTC  |  Edited by: Black Pedro
Miners (not in a Venture) are already essentially perfectly safe in 0.8+ space, and can be almost perfectly safe in the rest of highsec if they spend some effort. Why do you want to lower the risk even more?

I have no problem in principle with implementing a system of worthless ore that can be mined risk-free by newbies or even others. But it does seem a little silly as what would be the point beyond training? Mining is not that hard to learn, and then after that why would people bother? They would the log in, turn on their mining lasers and go AFK, only to come back and see some worthless ore in their hold? Seems a little bizarre.

But as to your point of highsec miners being described as at the bottom of the food chain in the New Halaima Code of Conduct, it is a pretty fair characterization of them. They take the least amount of risk, flying ships that can't fight back, pursuing a mostly solo and self-interested profession. But I think you are reading the negativity in. The rabbit or the gazelle is also at the bottom of the food chain in the forest or savanna, but that doesn't make them "bad" or "worthless". No, in fact they are an important part of the food chain, even if they are at the bottom, just not quite as inspiring as the lion or the wolf.

Eve is a PvP sandbox. Sure, that PvP takes many forms including resource collection and industrial activity, but these are done to eventually facilitate direct PvP ship combat, so it is a PvP game. The Code is there to help players avoid the trap of collecting resources for no greater purpose than watching their ISK balance tick ever upwards. The Code also recognizes that these miners are indeed the bottom of the food chain, and thus serve as the favourite prey animal for the suicide ganker.

Read the Code. Reflect on the Code. And let it inspire you to something greater than spending all your playtime sitting in a highsec mining belt, alt-tabbed to another screen, the whole time thinking that you are "playing" Eve.
Jsuelieta
Perkone
Caldari State
#12 - 2014-11-10 14:31:23 UTC
Shiloh Templeton wrote:
Chribba wrote:
I'm ready. tl;dr
You made the right choice.


As someone who did read it, the only thing I can surmise is:

.... OP needs a hug and pat on the back.


Now get back out there keep up the good work.


Mostly needed the vent. I'm generally satisfied now that it's out of my system.
Nate Hill
Rocket No. 9
#13 - 2014-11-10 14:32:37 UTC  |  Edited by: Nate Hill
I guess it's all about New Order. And I searched keywords. So it is.
Nate Hill
Rocket No. 9
#14 - 2014-11-10 14:38:31 UTC
Fly Skiff and New Order never existed.
Doc Fury
Furious Enterprises
#15 - 2014-11-10 14:39:20 UTC
Meine Augen!

There's a million angry citizens looking down their tubes..at me.

Jsuelieta
Perkone
Caldari State
#16 - 2014-11-10 14:47:49 UTC
Nate Hill wrote:
Fly Skiff and New Order never existed.


That's part of the problem, isn't it? If one has to spend all their ISK on re-buying the lower tier barges and fittings it becomes pretty difficult to afford an exhumer that's roughly ten times the price, and if one is investing their training time in skills to improve their ability to mine or survive the effort, then running most missions for ISK is difficult as there's a general lack of offensive skills. Granted, years ago I heard rumors that a tanked out procurer was suitable for level II combat missions while using appropriate drones, I don't know if that holds true today.
Nate Hill
Rocket No. 9
#17 - 2014-11-10 15:03:05 UTC  |  Edited by: Nate Hill
Jsuelieta wrote:
Nate Hill wrote:
Fly Skiff and New Order never existed.


That's part of the problem, isn't it? If one has to spend all their ISK on re-buying the lower tier barges and fittings it becomes pretty difficult to afford an exhumer that's roughly ten times the price, and if one is investing their training time in skills to improve their ability to mine or survive the effort, then running most missions for ISK is difficult as there's a general lack of offensive skills. Granted, years ago I heard rumors that a tanked out procurer was suitable for level II combat missions while using appropriate drones, I don't know if that holds true today.

Ask hypocritical James 315, the hypocrite of EVE.
Crumplecorn
Eve Cluster Explorations
#18 - 2014-11-10 15:17:53 UTC
Jsuelieta wrote:
Ok, rant's over. So now let's get into something a bit thought provoking on something briefly mentioned within it: the idea that EVE is based on industry, rather than straight PVP.
This is only thought-provoking for you, everyone else realises this already. The fact that someone attacks miners does not mean they want mining to be removed from the game. Removing the opposition from the game (or trying to) is in fact how carebears like to do things.

Witty Image - Stream

Not Liking this post hurts my RL feelings and will be considered harassment

Nerath Naaris
Pink Winged Unicorns for Peace Love and Anarchy
#19 - 2014-11-10 15:24:29 UTC
Buy a Mining Permit and obey the Code and you are as safe as a baby in a cradle.

Je suis Paris // Köln // Brüssel // Orlando // Nice // Würzburg, München, Ansbach // Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray

Je suis Berlin // Fort Lauderdale // London // St. Petersburg // Stockholm

Je suis [?]

Jsuelieta
Perkone
Caldari State
#20 - 2014-11-10 15:26:38 UTC
Crumplecorn wrote:
This is only thought-provoking for you, everyone else realises this already. The fact that someone attacks miners does not mean they want mining to be removed from the game. Removing the opposition from the game (or trying to) is in fact how carebears like to do things.


Actually, I've read a pretty good number of things that've pretty specifically said things like 'attempting to get miners to change jobs', and at least one person indeed suggesting the removal of mining entirely and just using the reprocessing of modules and other scrap for raw materials in place of ore. Granted, that specific instance is fairly old, but it's still floating around out there.
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