I had the desire to do something in New Eden. Unfortunately, that desire hit as my main and my alt sat in laden ships in a citadel half way through a trip home from a deployment. I could have jump cloned one or both of them out, but I wanted to make sure I was there and ready to go.
Time to get out another character. But which one?
Theoretically I have a dozen characters in EVE Online spread over four accounts. In reality, most of them do not add up to much. Some of them were created to grab an amusing name, like Claude Ring or Escher Alias. Others I had plans for, but never really went anywhere, the general issue being that you can only train skills on a single character on an account at a time. So, for example, neither of the other two characters on the same account as my main ever get any training time because I have never been done training everything in Wilhelm’s queue.
Just never going to happen.
However, I have an account sitting around with a couple of Alpha clone characters. I tried following in CCP Rise’s steps at one point, but with all of the Alpha skills trained on him I was free to roll up another Alpha on the account and start him training. Having a Gallente Alpha, I went for Amarr.
I have kept him training sporadically. With the one day long queue, I put a few skills in and then forget about him for a few days… or a week… or a month… then go back and start him up again. Last time around he had just finished up some mining related skills. Also, he had collected a Venture mining frigate as part of some give away from CCP… was that from Christmas? Anyway, I logged in and saw him sitting there in the Venture and decided to go mining.
I had run my Amarrian friend through the new player experience and looted along the way, so he had a couple of extra civilian mining lasers sitting in his hangar. So I fitted those, grabbed a couple of Warrior I drones for defense, and undocked to go try this ship out.
The Venture came into New Eden long after my career in mining was over. Back when I was at the low end of mining your first goal ship was an Osprey and you mined asteroids that looked vaguely like potatoes.
And you had to train up to get into that Osprey. The Venture though, a new player gets the skills to fly that on day one. It is small and handy and has an ore bay, something that also wasn’t a thing back when I mined as a profession. And, if you follow the industry career tutorial, you end up getting one for free.
So I took it out to a system near Amarr, headed to a belt, and mined some Veldspar for a while.
I also had the Yoiul Festival Skin for the ship, so ran with that as well.
A handy enough little ship, though the civilian mining lasers were slow. Once the ore bay was nearly full I took off back to Amarr to look for some upgraded mining lasers. I sold my Veldspar straight to a buy order and found some better lasers. I thought about a mining upgrade as well, but had already set off again, so put that on my list for later.
I picked up another load of Veldspar and headed back to Amarr to sell that. There I decided to see if that was the best plan. The buy orders for raw Veldspar seemed okay.
But the rule back in the day was to never to sell ore. The guides always said you should refine your ore and sell the minerals. That was the way to greater profit.
However, things have changed. I refined the ore only to find that the remaining Tritanium were worth less than I would have gotten for the ore.
And that does not count the 20K ISK it cost me to refine the ore. Better to sell the raws as a newbie these days I guess.
I took that ISK and bought a Mining Laser Upgrade I module in order to speed things up.
The third time out I dropped into a belt and started mining only to see some hostile NPCs in the belt with me. I launched my drones and sent them after the closest of the cruiser-sized rats only to find that they were not the usual specimen of belt rat. My Venture exploded before I could warp off.
Well that was bad news… not to mention yet another something I never had to deal with back in the day. Now my Venture was gone and I was sitting in my pod.
However, things were not hopeless. First, getting a ship destroyed is one of those new player achievements that earn you some ISK. The payout was 200,000 ISK for losing a ship worth 160,000 ISK. And then there was the default insurance payout.
That was worth another 106,000 ISK, which made the destruction of my Venture a profitable turn of events. Plus I had already made a couple of Ventures worth of ISK from the first two runs. I was able to buy a new ship in Amarr and head back out again.
I wanted to get a closer look… and maybe a few screen shots… at the NPCs who blapped me, but they had moved along by the time I had returned. My wreck, however, was waiting for me, with all the modules still there.
If I had not been in such a hurry to refit I could have saved myself a little bit of ISK. The modules were very cheap relative to the ship and the ISK already earned. So it was back to orbiting and mining.
There remains a zen-like peacefulness to mining. It is something easy to do while you listen to a podcast or an audio book or chat with people on coms. That is especially true early ones mining career, when it takes a while to burn down a rock. Later on, when you’re running strip miners and tech II crystals and it just takes a cycle and a half to finish off an asteroid and you’re juggling a couple of rocks and watching the scanner to see how much each has left so you can cut the cycle early and move on without wasting time… well… life does become more hectic.
So it was nice to go through the peaceful bit, if only to remember what it was like. And it was also nice to see that even mining the most common element in New Eden was still a decent way to build up some capital to buy ships, replace old ones, purchase new skills, and all of the other foundation work that sends you off in the various ways of the game.
Not that I am going to go back to mining. But as an activity it was at the root of all I ended up doing in the game.