The Fate of the Mighty Mackinaw

As I mentioned previously, the last big thing CCP dropped into EVE Online was an update to dedicated mining ships. The stated intent was to change the roles which the ships occupied in the game.

Each group of ships, tech 1 mining barges and tech 2 exhumers, would be divided into three new roles based on aspects of the mining process.  The new roles were actually priorities, the theory being you could choose which mattered most to you.  Those priorities are:

  • Defense
  • Storage Capacity
  • Yield

Pick your focus. If you are worried about being ganked, go with high defense.  If you want to burn the most rocks, choose yield.  And I guess if you want to mine without the logistical tail of a hauler, choose storage capacity.

My prediction was that players would stick with the Hulk.  Even though it lost some defensive capabilities… ganking Hulks got easier with this change… it remains the premier exhumer for mining the maximum amount of ore (or ice) in the minimum amount of time.

And past experience… go look at Hulkageddon kill mails… shows that people will fit.., when they put any thought into fitting at all… to maximize yield first and storage second, while defense remains a distant and rarely considered third.

I know what I was mining regularly, that was my priority set.  And it was reinforced by the fact that I never lost a mining ship.  Well, except for one that was in the cargo hold of another ship back in my more naive days.

I haven’t been back to mining in any serious way in a couple of years, and I do not expect I will return any time soon.

Still, the idea of the Mackinaw harvesting away while I worked on something else… like writing blog posts… has an appeal.  My second account is off in high security space involved with an industrial concern that is building tech II modules.  But that only takes up a bit of his time, so I have been doing some building and sales on my own.  And if he could, for example, save a bit of ISK by idly mining some rocks while I was otherwise occupied, it might be worthwhile.

So I decided to build up a mining ship for that purpose, limited only to parts I had on hand.

Fortunately, being a pack rat, I have a lot of parts on hand.  That included a Mackinaw hull left over from a brief dalliance with ice mining a few years back.  And so I assembled my ship.

Mackinaw at work

I like the ORE logo on the back fender of the ship.  I must have opted for the gold trim upgrade.

I ended up fitting:

  • 2x Modulated Strip Miner II
  • 2x Veldspar Mining Crystal II
  • 2x Mining Laser Upgrade I
  • 2x Medium Core Defense Field Extender I
  • 2x Meta 3 Shield Hardeners (I forget the names at the moment)
  • 1x Small Shield Extender I
  • 1x Dactyl Asteroid Analyzer

Thanks to the skills on my alts, which are at 5 all around for mining and defense, this gave me a Mackinaw that has about 25K effective hit points (EHP), could hold 35K m3 of ore, and which could pull down 1140 m3 of ore a minute, if I kept the mining lasers targeted.

The yield from a 3 minute mining cycle

That means I fill up the ore hold in about 30 minutes, at which point I fly back to the station, empty the hold, fly back to my bookmark… or another belt bookmark… and start again.  A full hold of just plain veldspar gets me about a million units of tritanium (333 veldspar refine to 1000 tritanium, and my guy has the skills and standings to get 100% refining yield), which I could turn into 6 million ISK pretty easily just servicing buy orders at the trade hub a few jumps away.

Given turn around time in station and occasional foibles in keeping lasers pointed at rocks full or ore, this is maybe a 10 million ISK an hour occupation in the given market.

There certainly are more lucrative occupations.  I could easily make 4-5 times as much running the right null sec anomalies based on bounties alone.  And Jester has a list of other activities I would be stupid to ignore if making ISK were my primary goal.

Hell, I could just mine better rocks and make more ISK.  I chose veldspar because I happened to have the tech II crystals on hand and because in the systems where I mine, nobody touches the veldspar.  I can come in many hours after downtime and find a rich bounty that requires little in the way of laser management.

The rocks nobody wants

But for an activity that requires little effort, it isn’t bad.  And I can do it in a ship which, while hardly gank proof, is much better protected than your average Hulkageddon victim. (I do keep myself aligned to warp out and my window arrangement keeps the overview in my field of vision to avoid surprises.)

This is just the sort of thing that has upset some people.  Not that somebody expressing outrage over any change CCP makes is a new thing, but the linked article felt to me like it was straying dangerously close to what I would call “ganker entitlement,” a theme I suspect will continue in parts II and III.

But you still have to ask, “Is this too much?”  Is my slightly safer semi-afk exhumer a good thing or a bad thing?  Is the change going to kill off ganking and eventually flood the market with cheap minerals leading to a price crash?  Or will things remain business as usual?

Looking at the Eternal Hulkageddon kill board, which stands at 18,783 kills right now (10,454 Champion, 8,329 Junior), it seems like ganking is carrying on in its merry way.  The recent kills on the front page are all very recent indeed.  So somebody out there is carrying on as though it were business as usual.

But that might be because players continue to choose the Hulk and yield above all else, in which case ganking got easier not harder.

What do you think?

10 thoughts on “The Fate of the Mighty Mackinaw

  1. MC

    I have to admit, I clicked on the link, saw the byline, and its value dropped like a rock before I’d read the first word of the article. This was the same [censored by CONCORD] who used to try to make a living griefing miners in Arvasaras by demanding that they either give him a million ISK or he’d bump them out of the belts with his speed-fit Stabber.

    In his profile, he’s the “Savior of Hi-Sec.” In reality, he’s a hi-sec griefer whose preferred method of griefing can’t be stopped short of a coordinated suicide gank. He can’t even be war-decced because he’s part of an NPC corp.

    There were times that miners who saw him doing his thing would abandon a jetcan full of veldspar free for anyone to take, sort of neutralizing his effectiveness.

    Prime example of someone trying to demand that others play the game by his rules.

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  2. Knug

    Say you have 3 chars that can mine, and at least one can also boost perfectly in an orca w/ t2 links and flies with a mining mindlink.

    So. you can mine with 2 folks in hulks using the orca and mine at a scaled factor of 1.7 x 2 or 3.4 in roughly 2 minute cycle time.

    Or you can mine using 3 folks in macks and get 1.5 per ship (3 x 1.5) = 4.5 in a 3 minute cycle.

    It still works out that orca + 2 hulks is faster than the 3 macks (just at 1.7/min vs 1.5/min) but more importantly, with the t2 links, your lasers can fire up to 25 kms instead of just 15.

    But if you only have 2 chars, macks have a better yield.

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  3. carson63000

    I think it will remain business as usual for ganking.

    Stated intent: “If you want to burn the most rocks, choose yield. If you are worried about being ganked, go with high defense.”

    Predicted reality for most miners: “If you want to burn the most rocks, choose yield. If you are worried about being ganked, choose yield, and then whine when you get ganked.”

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  4. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Knug – My main character has an Orca, t2 links, and a clone with the foreman mindlink sitting in high sec. I could go back to that if I ever got serious about mining again. But for now, it will just be the one industrial alt and his mackinaw.

    Still, I ought to jump back to that clone just to see what it does some time. I think there might be a Hulk in the Orca’s hanger, now that I think about it. In six years I have accumulated a lot of crap.

    @Carson – I suspect you are correct. 22 more ganks since I posted this according to the big board.

    And another aspect to the whole this is how many people even noticed that a change went in. There is always some significant percentage of the population in an MMO who fails to notice these sorts of things. They probably saw that their Hulk had a new ore hold, but other than that, they might have just continued about their business not even considering the other exhumers as options.

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  5. Powdrdsnake

    I think it really just goes back to, why should you care about what someone else is doing. If a thirty year old man or woman wants to play EvE and has to take care of children/pets/whatever, why can’t they play EvE and just mine with a single Mackinaw? They’re still paying for the game, and you can still gank them… It just seems like a lot of hoodoo about nothing! lol

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  6. evehermit

    I actually think CCP’s mining barge changes were really well done. It made all mining barges useful, and gave people a choice on how much risk they are willing to take to achieve their yield. While I haven’t seen a lot of Procurer or Skiff’s in empire, I have noticed a much greater mix of the other mining ships out and about. I’ve read some of the people crying over how the game is now too easy for miners – but that seems to be coming from people who hate mining, and don’t actually know what they are talking about. CCP stated that they are happy to have suiciding ganking in the game, but that they want to ensure it comes at a cost for the ganker. That seems to be the real issue – not the mining changes, but that people want to be able to grief other players easily and cheaply, and are complaining they now have to consider the tank on their targets. Frankly, HTFU.

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  7. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    About 26 hours after posting this, the Hulkageddon killboard shows 18,898, which means another 115 mining ships have been blow up. That is about 4 an hour.

    Not a peak of Hulkageddon V blood lust kill rate, which ran at an average of 244 kills a day. It is closer to the Hulkageddon IV rate or 155 kills a day and bit better than the first Hulkageddon which only managed 88 kills a day.

    (Kill counts from my end of Hulkageddon V post.)

    I wonder if the GSF analytical team could generate some pre/post change numbers on ganks.

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  8. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Aeek – Indeed. I looked at some of the kills and there appears to be a lot of low sec/null sec killing. Over 100 barges and exhumers a day, which seems like a lot. Hrmmm…

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