Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Not a Miner Problem

Ten miners sit in a belt. These miners are deep in nullsec. They have hulks and mackinaws and an Orca. I don’t know anything about mining, but that seems like it could be a normal operation.

They have a really good system set up and can make quite a lot of ISK per person per hour. They mine entire belts out before moving on to the next one. They aren’t disturbed hardly at all. They are surrounded by a massive coalition of blues. Hostiles would have to roam for 30 jumps or so to get to their mining hub –it sometimes happens, but they will be reported before they get within a dozen jumps, allowing the mining group to align and prepare to get safe.

In many ways, their mining operation has little risk associated with it. They don’t have to fit anything combative except what they need to tank rats. They can completely focus on the rocks.

Maybe, they weren’t even involved in securing the space they are now in. They joined up far after the alliance had secured the region and created the coalition. They were reaping the benefits of others’ work, essentially, and no one seemed to really mind. There was plenty of rocks to go around.

Well, someone does gets angry about this. How dare they mine and make so much ISK with so little risk? Some of the hulks don’t even have all their slots fit. And yet, they are making bank.

One person suggests that they make the rats in the belts much harder. That way, it increases the risk of mining the rocks there, and forces the miners to be a little more careful about what they fit on their mining ships.

But, this confuses miners. They’re there to mine, not kill rats.

Some suggest that they make it harder to mine period. Maybe, force them to kill all the rats in the belt before they can lock onto the rocks. But, again the miners are confused. They are there to mine. Why should they fit their ships to kill rats when they should be focusing on mining?

“Why don’t you just come into our systems and force us to stop mining.” One of the miners suggested. “It is only easy to farm these rocks because no one stops us.”

“By the time we get to you, you can just run away.” The grumpy people responded. “Then, when we had left, you would just go back to mining again.”

The miners shrug. “Why is that our fault? Also, how will that change if we fit different stuff on our ships? We can still just run away.”

“It is a matter of Risk vs. Reward.” The grumpy people respond. “You are able to get great rewards for very little risk.”

“Yes, and you are the risk.” The miners pressed. “If you refuse to be ‘risky’ then how is that our fault?”

“Not if we make the rats harder. Then it will be riskier for you.”

The miners snort. “You may make us have to fit our ships differently, but technically it won’t be riskier. We will just fit better tanks. Then, we will still mine like we did before. How is that riskier?”

“Well, it may force you to use bigger mining ships, or more of them. Then it will be harder for you to run away.” The grumpy people retorted, getting somewhat unsure of themselves now.

The miners shrugged. “Who cares what ships we use, and who cares what we fit on them? If we adjust to tank the rats, then how is it more risky for us? If you do not come, we do not need to run away. We can still mine as usual.”

The grumpy people were still unwilling to give up. “So you think it’s okay that you mine way out there with nothing to counter you? That you can make so much ISK with so little risk attached? You really think that’s okay?” (They were getting quite frustrated at this point.)

The miners were silent, until one of the wiser, older miners spoke up. “No, I do not think it is okay. But, it is just a symptom of your problem, not the problem itself. If you change the way we have to mine, or what we have to tank, or what we have to counter, we will adjust and things will continue as they have.”

“Then, what is the problem?” asked the grumps.

“Well, as you have stated, the problem is that we do not have enough risk. Since our primary risk comes from you, I would surmise that the problem lies with you.”

The grumps were quite insulted by this, but the miner persisted.

“You said yourself that there’s not enough risk for us. So why is everyone so caught up in us miners and our mechanics? We aren’t the risk, you are the risk. If the risk isn’t risky enough, then maybe we should be looking at the mechanics surrounding you and your motivations and incentives. Maybe, you should want the belts for yourselves. Maybe, instead of just coming around to look for easy miners to gank, you came around to take away what we also want. That would be very bad for us indeed.”

The grumps sneered. “That’s dumb! I hate mining! Why would I want to mine your rocks!? I just want to pvp!”

The wise, old miner shrugged. “So long as you don’t have any desire to take what I want, I have no reason to fight you.”


  1. no more local in null sec, problem solved

    1. problem not solved. no one comes then there is still no risk. so they put an alt on an in gate to make sure. no local still dosen't change the fact that there is no risk unless someone actually comes out to attack them. heck how would you know if there were miners in a system? scanning all the belts and now it takes even longer to find miners to gank. and ganking hulks isn't fun pvp anyway. it's just easy kill mail (if they dont run away)

    2. People have been calling for the W-Spacing of K-Space for ages.
      It wont happen, and that's because its a stupid idea. If Concord can charge sov bills, pay insurance, etc. in 0.0 they can keep local working.

  2. And here I assumed that this was a thinly veiled metaphor for the FW plexing Incursus. I imagine if the plexers had to use bigger ships then they would be more appealing targets, otherwise I'd agree with the old miner's perspective. I hope nobody is complaining that mining is too easy. I want as many (other) players as possible out mining to drive down mineral prices to reduce the cost of T1 ships I whelp in RvB.

    1. AGREED! They risk to mining is how boring it is! Short of bots, let them mine!

    2. I actually miss the bots. Can't beat dirt cheap T1s

  3. Great article, finally someone understands the economical basis of conflict. As long as there are enough minerals for everyone no one will attack miners besides bored griefers.

  4. Yep the Amarr can just suck it up and try really hard to chase all the farmers out. Or they can do something even easier like join the Caldari or go pirate or go back to nullsec and oh wait....

    I give Agony about a week to grasp all the mechanics, and about 3 seconds to decide to leave once they have.

  5. If those grumps wanted pvp why are they going after miners in deep null sec? They should just join faction wa....oh wait.

    Susan you just gave a great explanation of how inferno turned faction war into sov null sec mining.

    I signed up for faction war - I got sov null sec mining.


    1. They get in a combat ship and sit somewhere besides a plex becon! There are still fights to be had. No one forces you to plex.

    2. I guess we could all join rvb too. Combat with no context.

      I guess the question is: do we want the core sov mechanic in fw to be decided based on who would be better at mining in sov null sec or do we want it to be decided by pvp combat.

      Susan masterfully illustrates how it is currently like mining in sov null sec. If that is what you want, then there is no reason to be grumpy.


    3. no context? no problem!

    4. Then do rvb or even sisi.

  6. Mining is a primarily PVE mechanic. FW is SUPPOSED to be a primarily PVP mechanic. Not sure why you are defending the parasites.

  7. here's the problem... the grumpies risk ships for the thrill of the kill. in order to get the emotional reward (which is their only reward) they have to brave dozens of jumps through hostile space usually, and if they lose that ship is gone. No matter how many ships they pop they will receive.

    The grumpies risk ships for emotional rewards.

    The miners make isk all day. Mining is an activity that is rewarded by the market system of the game with isk. They risk getting ganked, but the intel channels, and standings networks make it fairly easy for them to stay alive so long as they are awake.

    The crucial difference is this: they are engaged in a moneymaking activity that allows them to replace their losses. The PVPer's are not.

    The PVPer's have to have two eve identities: one is their desired form of play (PVP), the other is essentially hooking (doing something we hate) to support our habit.

    The miner's have a habit that supports itself. PVP should support itself in some way. perhaps killing capsuleers and ships should result in awards from concord, or even award from the npc factions in null sec and high sec, but there is no direct way to make money pvping.

    1. should have edited for grammar =(

    2. What you describe is a goal for faction war that hans is pushing for. Yes make it so we get paid for a pvp activity.

      If they make plexing a pvp activity they will have achieved that goal. But we need to keep pushing for that. We shouldn't tell ccp its ok that plexing is a pve activity that resembles sov null sec mining and we are happy with that. Well unless you are happy with that.

      This blog seems to indicate susan is happy that fw sov is like mining in sov null sec. Or would she be one of the grumpy ones in this analogy?


    3. It sounds to me like people complaining about frigates soloing major complexes are the grumps, while the people soloing major complexes are the "null sec miners".

      There is a disconnect where people claim to be looking for fights, but then refuse to defend complexes from solo frigates. Why is there such a disconnect? Are there too many complexes to defend from solo frigates? Should a major complex even be solo able?

      Is there a change of mechanics that would result in the "good fights hunter" wanting to defend the complex that the "solo plexer" is trying to capture? If you adjust mechanics, the clever minmaxers will adjust to the mechanics. The people refusing to enter complexes will need to enter the complexes at some point in time, with no incentive from the game to do so. They need to be out to spoil the other guy's fun.

    4. The disconnect is due to the fact that we don't know where these complexes are being attacked. So if you chase someone out of one they can just leave the system and start another a few jumps out. We just keep roaming around searching for something to shoot.

      Its much more like hunting than it is like a war. In a war if your military complex is under attacked your military is notified and you can assign resources/troops to try to save it. Here they just say here you go ... take a gun and go roaming and shoot people.

    5. Shoot people that are aligned out with their scanner up in a fast frigate while they passively make thousands of LP.

      Of course the pvpers can just adapt but the problem is that in this case adapting is best done by leaving and doing something else.

  8. IMO the core problem is the distribution of money / resources. Concerning the analogy: The 0.0 Miners get minerals which they sell on the free market because there alliance / coalition has enough passive income from moons and co to supply their resource stocks from the open market.
    The Miners might not have fought for the space but WITHOUT them you wouldn't even have ships to fight with no matter who or what you want to fight. Kill those (huge) passive incomes and ANY player organization will want miners to get the minerals at a discount to support their fleets.
    So if it is an analogy it breaks at that point. The solo plexer is (in most cases) only helping his own wallet while the miners provide minerals necessary for everyone in game in exchange for payment ofcourse.

    To the FW part: Plexing a MILITARY complex without fighting and even without weapons fitted is ridiculous. Faction NPCs could simply web and scram and anyone flying a plex without guns will be dead sooner than later. Maybe even towers for bigger sites.

    In any case, in an ideal eve world no single activity or play style can live without the others. You can never only destroy stuff without someone building it. You can't fight a war if no one goes fighting for it. And YOU won't be able to only PvP without someone taking enough benefit from it to pay you. And ofcourse you need the ability to redistribute the money of benefits.

    Just a thought jumping to my mind: Taxing LPs! Make corporations able to Tax the LPs rewarded through plexing (not PvPing). The main income of this plexing is LP and no one is paying any taxes as far as i know.
    Those dudes in NPC FW corp just pay 20 % to the NPC corp which might use it to upgrade the system the LPs where earned in or the next nearby system. For Player corps the standard Tax rate counts and the corporation gets an corp LP wallet to buy stuff with. Then it can redistribute the income from benefiters to those responsible for the gained benefits.

    1. I don't like solutions that involve more pve and shooting red crosses.

      If you want to make this a pvp game then let the players know when plexes are captured. That way they can either fight for them or lose the systems. At least its their choice and and their action that decide the game not the strength of the rats.


  9. The problem is that it is too difficult for the controlling alliance to get a big enough cut of third party mining. In the real world, when countries fight over a resource-rich area, they aren't usually displacing the farmers, miners, etc. They're essentially just getting the taxes and/or buying the resources themselves.

    EVE needs to get to a point where the miners stay in place and essentially alliances are fighting for access to them, and protecting them because it is in the alliance's clear interest.

    Not that I can think of the mechanics that would actually produce that.

    1. First I will admit that I don't play eve, I come here from Greedy Goblin which I started reading when Gelvon played WoW. So this may be completely nuts, but what about an insurance premium payed by the miners. They pay a monthly fee for full ship reimbursement. SOV owner has to pay it if they insured the ship, and its killed in their space, or space that was theirs when the ship was destroyed. Then the miners pay the fee to the system. System generates profits for the Corp. new corp? miners get the same deal they had before. just the profits end up in a different bank account in the end. There would need to be additional safeguards in there to prevent griefing the corps etc, but from an interested outsider it seems like the basic idea could work.

  10. A bunch of pvp wannabes is all i read here. Have any of you pvp? Or all you have done is join hulkagedon? Unless you are a roid, hulks will not fireback. The chances to kill a pvper is low. Unless you are a goon of course, t
    hey get killed by macks.
    My point is. Plexing has as much risk as doing anomalies. There is no risk involved. Like running misions, you may say gankers are risk to that. But then again, gankers are not pvpers. Or run anomalies, where is the risk in that? Fit a sniping ship or a good tank tengu and the risk is gone. Mining is so boring as it is right now. Miners and ratters have the same int channels. Moon mining could be said to be low risk, there is a lot tof work to do. But in reality the only way the risk exist with that is if they come and take the system. After that, there will be no moon goo, no ratting, no mining.

  11. Those "PvPers" don't want a fight, they want a gank against the easiest of targets: mining barges and exhumes. If those "PvPers" want to PvP, what about all the targets that pop up during the 30 jumps to their "destination"?

    Similarly with FW, going after weaponless (or not so weaponless) plexers in search of a gank/fight isn't going to be prime hunting grounds for getting kills. That said, a reason for going after plexers is simple: to defend what your faction has.

  12. I would have preferred this article if it had ended by making a direct point tbh. Pretty sure its about FW. Not so sure what the author actually thinks about plexing or what their point is.

    Is this about removing npc's from plexes, changing how they work or leaving everything as it is? Or is it trying to say that the Amarr are the problem for not fighting harder?

  13. This article misses a major point....

    If the nullsec miners and ratters can easily "get safe" before a hostile can catch them, then they aren't at risk. That's the problem... and truth be told, harder rats aren't a solution, as you seem to think PvP'ers want...

    I've led many, many roams through most of nullsec, and I'm pretty competent skirmisher. The current nullsec mechanics, where you appear instantly in local (before you actually even load the system on your client), ensures that only people not paying attention or traveling without a scout get caught by a roaming gang. In truth, nullsec should be riskier, where you are getting/staying safe is not 100% certain.

    And removing local from Nullsec is NOT the appropriate solution. A much, much more appropriate compromise, is there is an actual 5-15s delay between you entering local and you appearing in local.

    The current situation is just not balanced in the hunter/prey relationship. (Note, hunters should have a 1-5% chance of success, not a 0-0.1% chance of success).

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