Friday, December 21, 2012

A Sub-Optimal Mining Choice

I have to admit something.  I'm not good at mining in Eve Online.  Sure I have all the skills but mining involves more than just making a training plan and sneaking up on a vicious asteroid.  A player needs practice and quite frankly I hate mining in high sec.  A player needs to have good standings in trade hubs to sell products and I really don't like the idea of going back to high sec to run missions for the Brutor Tribe.  I don't know how to properly fit my ships since my Procurer doesn't have a Mining Laser Upgrade II (even though I can use one) but is fitted with a point.

But perhaps my greatest weakness is not knowing which rocks to shoot.  I'm always told to mine the asteroids that produce the most money.  But that isn't intuitive as to which ones are the most valuable.  When CCP created ores they made them so that the rarest (and presumably most valuable) ores had names at the beginning of the alphabet and the most common at the end.  Hey, that's how FCs call targets, right?

But that is not the way New Eden works and mining gneiss like I did Wednesday is bad.  Bad because I had a lot of choices that were a lot better from an economical point of view.  After doing a little research to make the table above I realized, "mining gneiss is kind of dumb."  Well, from a conservative, industrialist point of view.  But I tend to think outside the box.  Or, as others might put it, I'm a bit crazy.

So what led me to make the sub-optimal choice of gneiss instead of a more profitable ore?  I was caught up in the situation.  Here were the conditions in space at the time:
  • I had hit the two hour mark and should have logged off, but I was on a roll and didn't want to stop.  But since I couldn't play much longer I wanted to stay in-system.  Oh, and I had already scanned down all the signatures in-system so I had no better gravimetric site available.
  • I saw gneiss, looked it up on the Evelopedia, saw it contained a high amount of zydrine which is always a good thing to have.  The fact that gneiss also contains mexallon, a mineral I don't usually mine for, was a bonus.
  • The gneiss was sitting in a gravimetric site which anyone wishing to attack me would need to scan down.  All of the better ore was sitting in belts.  And flying in a faction warfare low sec system usually draws people into the system.  At the time a couple of pilots from the Amarr militia were flying around in Rifters (at least that's what d-scan showed).  They seemed happy in their PLEX but why tempt them, especially if some of their friends showed up.  Which they did when I was filling up my ore bay for the second time.
  • This was the first large gneiss deposit I had ever scanned down.  More importantly, I was the first one to find it.  I'll be damned if I wasn't going to get at least one ore bay full of the stuff, especially since every other time I had ever found a grav site containing gneiss all of the prismatic gneiss had already been mined out.  I know Eve Online doesn't have achievement unlocks but I wanted to tick off one more thing from my list of things to do in Eve.
The hardcore miner might look at my reasons and label them as rather silly.  Then again I think a lot of hardcore miners look at mining in low sec as a pretty silly thing to do anyway.  Heck, I think most people think mining in low sec is pretty silly.  But really I only do it because I'm too lazy to fly out to Hek to get more ammunition, although with the recent changes to the Probe I may wind up making a couple copies of the Minmatar exploration frigate for my personal use.  I actually have researched copied of all the tech 1 Minmatar frigates and cruisers so if I really wanted to I could build ships in low sec.  But I probably won't because I'm not very good at mining.


  1. You however are predominantly mining to support your own manufacturing activities. This should skew your own view of which ore is actually the best economics, not Jita.

  2. Yes, but because Zydrine is so compressible compared to low-end minerals and thus easily added in to the trips he already presumably makes, this actually skews his choice farther away from gneiss and towards high-sec ores, working from that assumption. The way in which normal jita prices are altered in the scenario given, is to prorate shipping costs by a third party at market rates onto the cost of the materials, which hits low-end ores much harder than zydrine.

  3. People consider "my time is free" be a fallacy leading to sub-optimal play. In fact all Eve play is sub-optimal unless you are an illegal goldseller or can leverage your in-game persona into some RL profitable venture (as perhaps the Mittani is doing). If you have fun mining Gneiss great.

    In any event Gevlon has pretty much proved that high sec hauling is the only optimal solo playstyle and Kartoon proved that leading one of the biggest nullsec alliances then stealing all their stuff is the only optimal group playstyle.