Hi, I'm Tur. I have a problem. I'm a miner. I mine. And I like it. There... I said it.
OK, here's the thing. I hate mining in EVE and I always have. Now that's not to say I haven't mined in EVE in the past. I have no problem with the need to make ISK and with taking advantage of all available sources of ISK. And I mine in wormhole space, a space that is richer in the quality of it's resources than even nullsec... but I have never "enjoyed" mining as an activity for and of itself. To me it's simply the Worst most mind numbing PVE in any 'verse... but, it is also the very Best representation in the game of what a "work for profit" job IS. PVE in EVE was ALWAYS just supposed to be just a job. A grind. A pain, and unfun. Designed that way, and working as expected.
This has changed in a very interesting way...
What you see above, is mining in Anoikis today, 16 years after the advent of the Empyreans (aka Capsuleers) and 8 years after I first mined in W-space. This is a moon mining operation, one of 2 we have running now. It is absolutely fascinating. Mining was NOTHING like this when I was last here... nothing at all.
The Refinery station you see used a "Moon Drill" to literally BLOW then RIP a sizable chunk of that moon (see that crater!) and then tractor it up to orbit, this operation is called an "Extraction". The length of time the extraction is set for (6 to 56 days) determines the final size of the chunk. Longer Time = Bigger Chunk = More Ore = More ISK = More Time Exposed to Attack... Greater Reward = Greater Risk, it's the Via EVE.
Once settled in orbit, the chunk is then blown apart into smaller (yet still HUGE) mineable 'roids. We are creating our own temporary mining fields from a chunk of a fukkin MOON!!! This is so very COOL and also extremely profitable. I'm in Anoikis... the available ores are the finest quality you can find in or out of New Eden, and in quantities that are, even to me an 8 year veteran of wormhole life... in quantities that are staggering.
Next comes the really boring part which has not changed not one damn bit. Warp to rock > orbit or sit at "0" > target rock > engage mining modules > launch mining drones > sick mining drones on rock > spam DScan > spam DScan > spam DScan > spam DScan > spam DScan > spam DScan > spam DScan... ZZT... Zzzzz... zzzzzzzzzzz....
If my gameplay is going to consist of 95% spamming DScan and 5% moving the ship, triggering modules and drones, it'd better be really damn pretty and stinkin' lucrative to boot! Well... they did it. Mining, as an activity, still sucks a tub of lard with a hair in it... but the view, and the profits, have been VASTLY improved.
I fly a Mac' (Mackinaw) by preference. I like the Ore bay, at 35,000m3, is the largest of all the Exhumers. I run faction Ore Strip Miners and fly 5 mining 'bots and I am more than happy with the yield overall. In the past I have always fit for max defense and GTFO but, in this New World of EVE I have decided that I'm going to refit for max yield while mining in a wormhole.
I have been watching the numbers of user's logged in and it is down, way down from not just my heyday, but for as long as I can remember. There are far fewer players on now most of the time and EVE is BIG... really big. 7,500 systems... thousands of planets and stations and... well, 15 to 20k users active and spread across the time zones of the real and the thousands of places you can be in EVE... statistically speaking the risks are far far reduced from when I was here before. There simply aren't as many players around in the game as a whole and wormhole space specifically is all but dead except for us and a few other big groups.
So yeah... I'm gonna fit for max yield and mine solo in a wormhole... and expect to live substantially more than I die. If you only knew just how deeply weird and against all I was taught and learned in my experience over 6 years living exclusively in holes this is. It's just not done... and I'm going to do it.
The whole time I have been writing this post I have been AFK mining a big fat rock of sweet sweet Flawless Arkonor... I have thrice looked up only to find my ore bay full, my drones orbiting me and I have no idea how long I have been sitting there like that... In truth, I may be hitting DScan 3 to 5 times every 20 or 30 minutes, if that much.
It's sad that I feel safe in Anoikis. I did before but it was leavened with the bone deep understanding that I liked the reality of the fear, the excitement of knowing "they" ARE out there and "they" ARE looking for you and "they" DO want to Do You Harm. The cold hard truth that Surprize Buttsex is always only a moment away. Now I wonder if anyone is really out there at all. There is a certain degree of safety in the deep woods, in the wilderness, and Anoikis has always been the Deep Desert compared to Empire Space's safety of Rock... (let's see who gets that).
One nice thing other than the ISK and th' pretty... mining can be a very social thing for some and I am still very new in NOMEX and as such I am careful about comms. For voice comms to work, there has to be an understanding. Imagine a room with 20 or 30 people sitting around all talking. Now imagine those 20 or 30 people sitting around in the dark, no visual cues as to who goes next, who gets to speak, all trying to be heard... yeah, it is unpleasant at the least, and decidedly deadly inna fight. So there is an unspoken understanding that the Directors, Scouts, FCs and anyone nominally "in charge" of something will have primary speaking rights (this un-written list often includes a few "favorites" of those listed above too). If you are new, unknown and not in charge of anything, well the understanding is that (all of) you will keep off comms and use chat. I hate chat. I've always said.... "I type and fly, I type and die".
I'm new, so I'm careful on comms, but I want in. I hate chat. The opportunity came tonight in the form of this ongoing mining op I knew naught about. Earlier in the evening I had decided, as there were no gas sites in home, that I'd do a bit of mining instead. I'd pop a belt, kill the Sleepers and nom-nom up the ABCs (Arkonor, Bistot and Crokite). So I had popped out to hisec to get my Mac' and lo and behold on the way in I heard tell of this op and asked to join in. I interjected myself a bit, asking questions then questioning the answers as is my wont. Telling a few tales from my past and then listening... people like you when you listen to their stories too.
I feel like I'm finally settling in. I have maybe made a few new friends and people in the corp are getting to know me, and that's all to the good. I look forward once again to this game where I am so very comfortable... yet everything is so very new. Me mining and liking it... whodathunkit?
Fly like no one is watching... (or, are they?)