9:30am Pacific Time, Sunday September 2nd rolled around at last. Mining Barge III training finished up. I could now fly the Retriever I had purchased. I could fit it with the strip miners and head out to harvest the bounty of the asteroid fields.
I was out of the dock and trying it out right away. And I got a good run right off the bat. The rats seemed to be off for Sunday brunch, so I was able to mine and haul undisturbed for quite a while.
Unfortunately, my miner’s CPU skills aren’t up to spec and I could not fit out the ship quite the way Trigger64 suggested in his write-up on the subject. Frankly, I couldn’t even find a Small Clarity Ward Booster I in the region, and the alternatives I could find I could not fit due to lack of CPU resources on the ship. So my miner is training up his electronics skills to be able to optimize CPU usage. Meanwhile, I need to figure out what to put in the mid slots of this barge.
And a barge it is. It moves slow. It has a small capacitor. It cannot fit much equipment.
But it sure can rip apart asteroids.
It isn’t, say, an order of magnitude better than the Osprey. The little Osprey gives a lot of bang for the ISK when it comes to low end mining. But the ore output with the Retriever is noticeably better.
The downside of this change of ships is how I deal with rats in the asteroid belts.
The one nice thing about the Osprey was that it had the chops to deal with any rats that showed up. A single standard missile launcher and a shield booster were all that the Osprey had to have equipped for me to fear no rat.
The Retriever on the other hand is more fragile. It doesn’t take long for a couple of rats bore through the shield and are knocking on the hull.
So I have to work out how to handle two-box mining again. Sitting out there in the belt in a Mammoth and a Retriever is a recipe for disaster. On the other hand, sitting with Wilhelm’s Cormorant on over watch while I burn asteroids makes for a lot of ship swapping. Wilhelm has to dock and get out the Mammoth to haul, then swap back to go on guard again. And I am still exposed when I have both the hauler and the barge out there. More than once the rats have chosen that moment to spawn and I have had to fly both ships back to base to avoid a fiasco.
I suppose that one answer is to let my miner do the hauling as well, while Wil stays on patrol. That means some more training time for him, putting the Covetor further out in the future.
I could stick with the Osprey, which would mean I spent a lot of cash on a ship I won’t be using.
Or Potshot and I can try to coordinate our missions, both of us mining with one client while one of us stand on guard and the other hauls the ore. Unfortunately real life tends to make for odd hours for the both of us, so mining tends to be opportunistic. When we have the time, we log on and mine. It is hard to coordinate that.
Or I can wait until Debes gets bored (as he did last night) and comes over to fly rat cover in his nice ship. (Is it a Wolf or a Jaguar? I forgot already. But it sure made things go “Boom” quite readily!)
I hope this gets better with the Covetor or the Hulk. I see Hulks out soloing and killing rats in the asteroid fields I frequent, so presumably there is a solution to the problem eventually on the miner’s path.