Friday, April 12, 2013

Friends Don't Let Friends...

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 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.


  1. "Heck, no self-respecting botter would waste their bot's time on ice when they could mine the more profitable mineral asteroids."

    Ice roids don't deplete, unlike mineral roids. The bot can sit there all day mining the same roid.

    1. Don't know how bots work, do you :)

    2. I actually use one myself, Noizy. How about you?

      Ice mining bots are much easier to code than bots designed to mine minerals. They are also far more difficult for Team Security to detect/confirm, due to the nature of ice mining.

    3. You got me there. All I know about bots is what I read on the botting forums and the instructions in how to use. But the good mining ones don't seem to be bothered by roids depleting. They are programmed to go to the next rock or next belt that is bookmarked. So I don't see the advantage of ice mining except for hiding from CCP.

    4. "So I don't see the advantage of ice mining except for hiding from CCP."

      LOL - given that the penalty for botting is the banhammer, I think you can see why hiding from CCP is not merely an advantage, it is a requirement. ;)

  2. New Order pilots won't attack Procs, unless you are stupid enough to bling fit it. Every Proc they kill is a net loss for the New Order, due to the cheap cost, esp. since a Proc can't be killed by a solo dessie.

    BTW - you don't need/want to fit your Proc with T2 modules. Use T1 or cheap metas instead. The difference in EHP is negligible (relative to defending against a gank) and using cheap T1/metas ensures that the ganker gets nothing of value, even if they do drop - which makes you even a less desirable target.

  3. "So after one hour of ice mining, I couldn't take it anymore."

    Er... I don't think you get the point of AFK mining. You turn on your mining lasers and then go do something else - watch a movie, wash the car, take a nap, whatever. Depending on your mining yield, you only need to check your computer once every couple of hours or so.

  4. @Anon 12:51... Then why play at all? I mean, you AREN'T playing EvE... so why do it?

    1. To passively grind ISK, ofc, while you are busy with your day job, or taking care of other personal issues.

      Whether you use the ISK to support your space poor low sec PVP pirate alt, or to buy mission running shinies, or to buy PLEX to pay for your game play, or sell the ISK to RMTers - everyone has a reason to do AFK mining, just like you should be doing PI and R/D agents.

    2. @TurAmarth: I do mine afk from time to time too. but the "Away from keyboard" might not fit too well. I don't get out and wash my car or take a nap. But I am searching the blogosphere for new articles, read those and maybe comment on it. Placing 3 or 4 mackies in the ice belt works fine. Having an eye on local every now and than to see if some significant changes happened.

      The less active ice mining (as I'm not really afk) is also good way to stay open for communication. friends and corpmates see you online, join in TS and talking about god, world and what else is there.
      Programming a website or reading a book (or the eve fiction articles) is also a create activity in addition to ice mining.

      Obviously Ice mining is a really stress less action. If you want to play active it is the wrong activity. Use it as group building event and for talking. But not for action.

      If CCP is going to iterate on mining profession I hope they keep the old style and ADD a new one. Would be no problem if an active ice prospector would get double or even three times as much in same time. I would totally enjoy that. But sometimes it is just chilling to read something else without being not active in eve.