This week I did perhaps the dumbest thing I have ever done in Eve. That's right, I went ice mining in high sec.
I've ice mined before. When I want to make Sister's scanning items, some of them require ice products so I'll mine in my low sec neighborhood. Playing cat-and-mouse with battlecruisers or dodging incursion rats is an interesting experience. But high sec, where all one does is sit and watch?
I did try to spice up the experience. I did some research and headed over to MinerBumping.com to see in which systems The New Order is operating. Seeing that one of the systems, Mitsolen in The Forge, has a station I have perfect refining skills in, I moved in 2 Prowlers, 2 Procurers and a Slasher and set up shop. Since The New Order has a reputation for suicide ganking I made a quick set of bookmarks with the Slasher because that's just SOP in potentially hostile space. I also made a new overview setting showing only frigates, destroyers, battlecruisers and battleships, since I figured those were the most likely ships a ganker would use.
Once I was ready I sent out my tanked Procurer and headed out to the ice belt. Since I was in "ganker-friendly" space I started checking local for potential gankers. Out of the 23 mining ships in the belt, 7 had listed in their bio that they supported The New Order. That indicated that at least I was in the correct place. I set their standings to red so I could keep track since The New Order could use those ships as warp-ins for suicide gankers. Apparently most of the other pilots agreed as those who submitted to The New Order's extortion were in their own little group.
The other group of ice miners was from the Eve Engineering alliance. I'm guessing that the pilots from EE were out in the ice fields to fuel their POS. They had Orca support and, noticeably, were not submitting to the will of James 315. They seem like a well-organized group, complete with military wing, and one The New Order may not want to tangle with.
But gathering intelligence only takes up so much time. Finding the proper align points also takes some time, but I did manage to find some. Unlike the low sec belts I usually mine in, the ice belt didn't really offer clumps of rocks I could hide in. Also, because of the nature of high sec, I can't effectively shoot at an attacker, so the only methods of defense are to stay aligned and heavily tank the ship. Of course, the gankers have to know your ship is tanked, so I was running all my active hardeners and Damage Control 2 to make my ship visibly less desirable.
So I did all the proper steps, so what came next? Boredom. Ugh! CCP really needs to fix this mechanic. But I was ready to sit and wait to get suicide ganked. Until after one hour of mining ice I priced out my output. 30 units of White Gaze, even when refined, comes out to around 4 million ISK. What! I understand why groups like Eve Engineering mine ice. But I'm not spending time in high sec for that little ISK. Heck, no self-respecting botter would waste their bot's time on ice when they could mine the more profitable mineral asteroids. If botters are forced to bot ice because it is easier to disguise their activities, then CCP is winning the War on Bots.
So after one hour of ice mining, I couldn't take it anymore. I left the one Procurer I had rigged in The Forge and moved the rest of my ships back to my high sec staging station in preparation for moving back into low sec this weekend. After the experience, I now feel sorry for those who have to undergo the experience and understand the desire to mine AFK.