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.”