Thursday, May 9, 2013

Low Sec Ice Mining In Odyssey

I may have questions about the changes that will make belt mining in low sec more dangerous, but I definitely approve the changes occurring to the ice belts.  CCP Fozzie posted the following description of the new ice anomalies on the forums yesterday:
2500 units of standard racial ice.

3000 units of standard racial ice
400 units of Glare Crust

Nullsec with weak truesec (0.0 to -0.5):
3000 units of improved racial ice
400 units of Glare Crust
500 units of Dark Glitter
200 units of Gelidus

Nullsec with strong truesec (-0.5 to -1.0):
3500 units of improved racial ice
400 units of Glare Crust
1000 units of Dark Glitter
300 units of Gelidus
250 units of Krystallos
Sure, null sec is receiving a lot of love, but jealously of someone else's gains is rather silly.  I'd rather concentrate on the changes in my area of space.  Let's review what the current belts hold broken down by security bands:
  • 0.4 - infinite supply of racial ice
  • 0.2-0.3 - infinite supply of racial ice and Glare Crust
  • 0.1 - infinite supply of racial ice, Glare Crust and Dark Glitter
What?  Low sec is losing Dark Glitter and I'm not complaining?  Don't worry, CCP is not paying me to shut up.  I am just looking at geography.  Take the Minmatar Republic as an example.  The Matari have 15 low sec ice belts broken down by the following security bands:
  • 0.4 - 5 systems
  • 0.2-0.3 - 9 systems
  • 0.1 - 1 system
So in my area of space one-third of the ice belts are receiving an ice buff and one is receiving a nerf.  But is that belt, located in Todifrauan, really receiving a nerf?  When the increase to ice mining speed (aka the AFK ice mining nerf) is taken into account, I don't think so.  For that, we need to look at the products refined from the different types of ore:
Dark Glitter
  • Heavy Water - 500 units
  • Liquid Ozone - 1000 units
  • Strontium Clathrates - 50 units

Glare Crust
  • Heavy Water - 1000 units
  • Liquid Ozone - 500 units
  • Strontium Clathrates - 25 units
In Odyssey ice miners can mine 2 units of Glare Crust in the same time as they can currently mine 1 unit of Dark Glitter.  So in terms of time ice miners will actually mine more ice products, even in the one ice field that contained Dark Glitter, after the expansion hits Tranquility.

I also have to add I'm really happy that CCP is giving some love to the belts in the .4 systems.  Currently I don't see a reason for mining in a .4 ice belt except for convenience.  Those belts hold the same ice as found in high sec.  Why mine in the riskier low sec when the same reward is found in high sec?  To my way of thinking CCP effectively increased the number of belts players will mine ice in Minmatar low sec from 10 to 15.  That is, if anyone mining ice will brave low sec.

So will people brave the dangers of low sec to mine ice?  I don't know about those in high sec but ice is looking much more attractive, especially if the price of ice goes up as expected due to scarcity.  Ice belts should be safer than regular asteroid belts as the Tags4Sec rats will not spawn in the anomalies.  Also, the cycle times are much faster now.  I logged onto Singularity yesterday and took a spin in a Procurer fitted with an Ice Harvester II, Ice Harvester Upgrade II and Medium Ice Harvester Accelerator I.  With the changes on the test server I was able to mine one block of ice every 50 seconds.  Can I stay aligned for 10 minutes while the ore bay on my Procurer fills?  I don't see why not.  Instead of drudgery ice mining is possibly something I can do to fill a quick 10 minutes at the end of a night if I finish all my other activities early.

I'm still not exactly happy about the free-for-all the asteroid belts are going to turn into with the rush to farm tags for security status.  But if the reward is going to show up in ice mining because CCP figures attracting miners to belts is a lost cause, then I'll play along and see how players adapt to the new rules

1 comment:

  1. The blogs have begun to sample the changes on SiSi. They note so far that the special tag rats are very rare. Didn't I see somewhere that the special spawns increase with mining activity? Maybe that will encourage tag hunters to leave the miners alone.