Monday, August 13, 2012

First Mining Foray Into Low-Sec

After a busy two days following the release Inferno 1.2 on Wednesday, I finally logged into the game early Saturday morning Eve time to finally fly my first non-cloaky ship into low-sec since I was in Eve University.  With the changes to mining ships (now I guess just called barges) I really wanted to try my hand at mining in low-sec.  I don't like mining in high-sec even though that is where all the big money is for small operations like mine.  So add in the tension of sitting in a fairly defenseless ship waiting for someone to drop by for a visit and trying to avoid becoming another victim in someone's kill report and low-sec mining sounded like fun.

My ship of choice for this first effort was the Procurer.  Why the Procurer instead of the Skiff I was raving about a couple of weeks ago?  First, Gevlin from SpaceMonkey's Alliance left a comment that a nice cheap Procurer should suffice for mining in low-sec before giving some advice on to mine in a Skiff.  The second reason is the sharp increase in the cost of the new mining ships once the patch hit.  I bought mine early but still only bought one Skiff compared to two Procurers.  On the theory of fly what you can afford to lose I chose discretion over valor and smuggled a Procurer into low-sec.

Smuggling the ship in was easy.  The mining barges are 3,750 m3 packaged and fits in the small cargo hold of my Prowler.  Throw in the fittings and I made the trip to the sleepy out of the way system I scoped out a few weeks ago easily.  After fitting the ship I was ready to begin the operation.

Belt mining in low-sec involves more than just flying out to a belt and shooting rocks.  First, a security team needs to scout out the belt looking for pirates, either the NPC or human kind.  I didn't see any players in the belt so I just had to deal with the Angel Cartel.  Did I mention I don't like the Angel Cartel?  So while doing an activity I really don't like I got to kill Angels.  Cool!

My security "team" was Rosewalker in a Hound.  I'm getting better at ratting in belts so once killing the Angel battleship and accompanying frigate Wandering Rose flew into the belt and bookmarked a really good location inside the belt.  From there came the waiting game.  Where would the attacks come from?  I did pretty well in picking my system and except for a guy triple-boxing a Rifter/Incursus/Griffin gang I wasn't too worried about players once I spotted the operational patterns.  A lot of neutral pilots just flew on through without stopping.  The real presence thoughout the day was Nulli Secunda doing the faction warfare thing.  A Procurer wasn't worth wasting their time killing.

With players not interested in my little operation, I just needed to worry about the Angel Cartel.  They seemed to spawn every 10-15 minutes or so.  If only frigates showed up, I would unleash my flight of Hobgoblin Is, which did surprisingly well against one group of four frigates I fought once.  They were so busy trying to kill me they totally ignored the drones.  I guess someone forgot to tell the NPCs about the new specs on the mining ships.  If heavy ships showed up like battlecruisers and battleships I warped the Procurer back to the station and let the Hound take care of business.

That's right, I didn't stay mining the entire time.  In fact, one time when returning to the belt after delivering a load to the station three Angel battlecruisers spawned 40 km from my bookmark while I was in warp.  Thankfully Procurers are really agile and I landed and jumped back faster than they could lock me up.  My mining session ended when three battlecruisers and two frigates spawned.  Since the Cartel wanted the belt so badly I left the field to them.

I did learn a few lessons from my first day of mining in low-sec.  First, the only reason that low-sec mining will bring more money into my wallet than high-sec mining is that I hate high-sec mining.  For those concerned with maximizing yield, either stay in high-sec or move out to null.  The second is that the Procurer is a tough little ship.  If I had a flight of Hobgoblin IIs instead of the tech 1 variant I probably could have taken on cruisers and below.  I've corrected my lack of advanced Gallente drone skills and have the tech 2 drones in the station ready for the next time I go mining.  The third is that I need a ship with a salvager on-site to clean up all the wrecks.  I got some nice loot but salvage always helps.  I can probably fit a salvager on my Hound and then just on-line the module once I begin looting.

Will I take a Procurer out again?  Why not?  The whole process was more engaging and I wound up with a log of minerals I can't get out of Minmatar high-sec.   I probably won't mine at a belt again which means I need to brush up on my exploration skills and perhaps even buy some better equipment.  Is now the time I can justify purchasing a Loki?  I definitely need to start researching what types of defenses I will find in gravimetric sites.


  1. I only mined in high and 0-Sec grav sites but it was the same as the belt spawns in most of the cases.
    I think in some cases rouge drones may be an initial spawn in a hidden belt but the respawn will be belt rats again. And if you get a good spawn that you can tank with your procurer (like non scrambling frigs) hold them so you don't have to bother with respawns.

  2. The one grav site I tried out in low spawned a bunch of drones with two drone battleships. Once it was cleared out no more spawned while we were there.