Friday, May 22, 2015

Eve Online Mining: What's a miner to do?

Change is a fact of life in New Eden. Serious miners do much more than warp to a belt or anom, target, and F1 rocks or ice. We are keenly aware of the state of politics in all security space and how those politics and changes to the mechanics of New Eden affect the market place for ores, minerals, ice or ice products. How we react to change varies, but most of us position ourselves so that we are able to enjoy the benefits and avoid the pitfalls that changes bring.

That's not to say we run around chasing daily market fluctuations, though some might. What we do is try to insure that we're not so deeply committed to a single place or method that we find ourselves left behind.

Since the summer of 2014, the industrial way of life has become much more potentially nomadic, mostly the result of POS and array changes. We're now free to throw a small POS and the arrays we need into the Orca or freighter and hit the road. For our more extensive industrial/BPO activities, the changes to station services and the freeing up of their facilities has made it easy to establish as many industrial outposts as needed wherever needed in highsec, lowsec or NPC null.

Teams and Jump Clones

I operate six industry oriented accounts. That's a total of 18 characters. Eve is a long game. I've been playing for years, and every one of my 18 characters has been trained to a useful degree with useful skills. But, more to the point of this post, what I've done is divide my characters into three teams of six. Each team is a well trained, independent mining unit - four maxed miners (Hulks and Skiffs), a maxed Orca pilot and a freighter pilot. Each team also has four or more characters trained to manipulate blueprints, that can manufacture, that can light cynos, and two pilots that have excellent trading skills.

The three teams were based in different areas of highsec, but I will soon move one team to nullsec. However, a team can cover a large number of different systems using jump clones. You can have up to 10 jump clones per character, though I max them out at nine. So, not only are you fairly mobile in general (four exhumers, an Orca and a freighter), you can establish a base in up to nine systems for each team. That's a lot of coverage.

The main focus of where I establish a base is what ores or ice is available, whether a system offers Level 4 mining agents and where the stations with which I have jump clone standings are located.

However, even though you could have up to nine bases per team using jump clones, that doesn't mean you would want to fully maintain that many, especially if that meant having all the necessary ships and fittings at each base. Also, I tend to implant my characters with helpful aids - some of which are a necessity to me, such as the Mining Foreman Mindlink for the Orca pilot,  the Yeti ice or ore implant for yield, and the Beancounter implant for each team's reprocessor.

I have one team that focuses on Caldari space and one for Amarr. Those two teams further focus their jump clone bases on ore and ice - different systems offer different asteroid compositions or ice security level and competition, etc. For ore, I tend not to mine ore in highsec unless I can do it with Hulks, which in turn means .9 or 1.0 sec status systems, so I usually have to find systems with that sec status, a good number of belts, and a decent amount of Scordite and Pyroxeres in those belts. Sometimes the market tips toward Kernite, but I'm usually still better off mining Scord and Pyro in Hulks as opposed to Kernite in Skiffs. Ice is done exclusively in Skiffs.

I have lived in nullsec before, but not as an industrialist, so I'm looking forward to that. Actually, I have other accounts with characters already living in null, but as PvPers and not industrialists. CCP has gone out of its way to make null more attractive to industry, so it seems that with the recent ore shakeup the time has come to find a nullsec industry home. That is proving easier said than done though. Finding a nullsec sov group (looking for upgraded systems) isn't hard, but finding one with stability and likely sustainability takes some homework. Odds are I'll end up using a team that has a strong mix of PvP/Industry capable pilots as most null groups expect you to bring some warfare goodies to the table. I'd prefer to bring resource harvesting and buyback usage or even possibly renting, and have the PvP purely optional, but we'll see.

Give some thought to adding as much flexibility to your New Eden life as possible.

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