Monday, 27 November 2017

Mining Missions

This is a very decent opener for this pilots looking to commence this PvE content.

I wanted to talk about this in further detail. There are three primary mission agent types; Courier, Mining and Security. In my opinion security will pay more, courier is easy to train into; and mining lies in between. However it is possible that even Alpha Clones can solo most of the Level 4 mining missions. As of this post, Alphas do not have access to Ice Mining which is offered in Level 3 and Level 4 missions. Plus for the mission "Drones to a Cloud", a gas mission; a Venture will not survive against drone spawns.

Reasons for doing this content;

  • Earning ISK
  • Earning Loyalty Points
  • Earning Standings
    • Reduced Taxes for Market selling ores and Refining
    • Reduced Office Rental for Player Corporations
    • Access to higher Mission Levels
    • Eventual access to Faction Mission Arcs
Advantages to doing this content;

  • Players cannot merely warp to your location, but need to locate you through combat probes¹
  • If the belts are mined out, you can still be mining here
  • Instant content with a defined goal. 
  • Does not require investment into refining skills. 

¹ Even though there is a safety margin, keeping a eye on Local Chat and D-Scan are your tools for advance warnings of danger.


  • The missions are fragile. They require the exact amount of ore to complete. If another player steals from your jettisoned can or directly mines the ore. You cannot complete the mission. There is a complex alternative I will discuss below. 
  • If the jetcan expires because you were AFK for too long. 
  • A few of the missions will have rats which are tougher than standard asteroid belt rats.
  • Some of the missions require a significant logistics for up to 45,000 m³ in ore
  • Someone helping you disconnects and does not return with their portion of ore.
  • If you fail to complete by server Down Time, you will need to start from scratch²
² You can intentionally do this to generate an "Insurance Policy". What you can do is; mine about 90% of required ore. Call it a day. The mission will reset over down time, and you need to start again. (yes, you will forfeit the bonus isk). But the game will let you keep the 90%. Later if someone steals from you or it is lost, you have some backup ore. The game does not care who mines the 100% ore, only that the player has the required amount at turn in, either in his cargohold, orehold or hanger. By the way, you cannot have some in a hold and some the hanger. All has to be in one place. I would really only suggest "insurance" for Level 4. Note that sometimes the ore can be obtained through contracts. It cannot be refined or sold on the market. 

Who you mission for, can be as important as where you mission. Each of the High Security factions have two primary Mining Non Player Corporations (NPC). Looking at the Gallente; this is Astral Mining and Material Acquisition. Completing missions for with a NPC agent earns standings which flows like this:

Agent -> Corporation -> Faction -> Aligned/Ally Faction

Whilst mining corps they are more common, they have the drawback of offering less opportunities.

Typically they only offer the 32% refining, stations for the state Navy will offer 50%. So if you branching into Industry and Harvesting you want to be aware of the services that NPC offers. The other drawback is that the Loyalty Point store is more restricted. I do use Mining NPC to obtain faction ammunition, learning implants and harvesting implants. I will from time to time, sell implants.

From my own story; I did missions for Quafe to earn Prospector Implant series, so that I could improve my exploration skills. And I did missions for CreoDron for access to the Research Agents. Which got me access to Datacores and supplements my Invention industry.

The Location matters because between 1.0 and 0.5 security, the lower the security the higher the reward. This is because Concord has a slower response time, with lower security. Suicide Ganking is a Damage Per Second race both your own defences and the arrival of Concord. The more seconds it takes Concord, the more damage can be done. If you not vigilant and not in a tanked procurer or a skiff - you are a mug. You are contributing the idea that miners are there to be taken advantage of. Security starts with you, but it can benefit every miner.

Properly Prepared Procurer Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

Because you are not selling the ores or manufacturing, you are largely independent of the market. This gives more flexibility to chose a location away from the trade hubs.

Final point is that after completing 16 missions within a level and within a faction - you will be offered a Story-line Mission. Completed story-line missions increase your overall standing to; NPC that offers the mission and faction of that NPC. You can actually mix types within levels. Doing 8 Security and 8 mining of L4 will get you a L4 Story-line. Now, here's something special. I am not 100% sure about the mechanics how the game will chose which Story-line to offer. Usually it is the closest. Now, what you can do is "lock" a story-line agent. So you get through the 16 missions and the nearest agent contacts you with in a offer. But the NPC is not what you are interested in. Ignore the first story line offer - do not decline it. If you complete another 16 missions, the next story-line agent is then chosen. Keep in mind that the lock is only good for seven days. Then the mission offer from the first story-line expires. So roughly if mining L4 missions take up to one hour to complete with modest skills, will you get 32hrs of game play within seven days?

Purchased through the Loyalty Store a bunch of implants. Which I sold, and used the isk to buy some Moon Products, blueprints and some odds and ends. All through the power of mining, that made it fun.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

The Secret They don't want you know..

I did use Photoshop to remove the location, but will say that it is somewhere in High Security space. These are the numbers as listed on the Mining Ledger. In Quality Assurance and Player Tested we trust.

Mined with a Barge not an Exhumer. Nor a rorqual?! Some people just need a bigger ship to make up for certain short comings. Look, I do not mine for the income - so I do not really pay attention to the wallet. Just the soothing hum of the lasers as the rocks melt.

You say that you have never heard of these ores? Not a surprise, you are not dedicated to the Path of the Miner.

Seriously. These ores are pseudo asteroids which occur in Level 4 Mining Missions. Typically the mission requires about 45,000 m³ of ore. They are simulations of the high end null/Wormhole ores. Indeed you can actually use the mining crystals on these mission ores. e.g. Arkonor mining crystals work with Polygypsum ore. Though generally I just use Tech1 mining strips.

A post for another time when I write up about pros and cons of this content.

For now, seeing worthless ores outscoring the endeavours of Capital Ships, that made it fun.

Thursday, 9 November 2017


With a few days vacation up my sleeve, I aimed for the new PvE content.

I ended up with a Merlin skin for all my efforts. The nice thing about the mining goals, was it enabled me to review market orders and planetary interactions. I have both of these I have allowed lapse over time, spiralling towards "skill queue online".

Most of my market action is mining gear. This has prompted my interest in the new moon mining crystals. Of course it remains to be seen whether I will ever actually get to mine from moons - even if it promoted to High Security space. But, since I happened to be mapped for Industry skill learning, I have queued the 5 new crystal skills.

I have wondered occasionally if there is a sideline in "hiring out" my refining skills, many of which are maxed. It would have to work as some sort of collateral trade to build trust. And how would I fee this sort of service?

As for moons, I hope that CCP soon releases some statistics about uptake in new Refineries. I would like to be proven wrong, but I see the death of Low Security moon harvesting in this change. Let's say some Low Security mob approached me. About the only way I would agree would be through being paid in advance. Three times my mining ship value, as Insurance. It's nice to dream.

Here, I have achieved the required standing of 7 for Resource Wars. The reward isn't the objective. The reward came from completing objectives under time pressure. Managing all aspects of the ship in a hostile environment. Designing ship fittings which would handle all of the specifics of the desired result. I went a little overboard, using a deadspace fitted Prospect to semi-blitz the L2 solo. Most of my deadspace modules have come from 4/10 explorations. Just gathering dust in the hanger. (that actually happens by the way, my ships do not get cleaned).

As a point of interest check zkill for npc daredevil kills. And that is just the Gallente Resource Wars.

So, mining but without the usually automated "go make a coffee and sandwich" afk style. That made it fun.