Shouldn't mining be more interesting?

Ahh, good ol' mining. It's been said that without miners, New Eden would fall apart. No ore means no minerals, no minerals means no production, and no production means no ships to destroy. It also means that the only way of obtaining modules is through a destroyed NPC - although destroying the NPC might be difficult without ammo produced by players. Without miners, New Eden's fluid economy would not exist. Indeed, there is little doubt that, without mining, Eve Online simply wouldn't work.

So why is mining so goddamn boring?

"Boring" and "fun" are purely subjective terms. I'm sure that somewhere, there's a man who logs into Eve every day and mines voraciously, and he's having the time of his life. However, for the vast majority of Eve players, mining is an activity that somebody has to do, but nobody wants to because it's not exciting or profitable. Most miners agree that pressing F1 while targeting an asteroid isn't fun, but logistics and maximizing profit while mining are.

Does mining need a change? Right this minute, no; there are plenty of other features and mechanics that are in dire need of revamping (such as nullsec sovereignty and un-clusterfucking POSes.) However, the biggest problem with changing mining is that the entire economy is based around it. Any changes that directly affect the supply or demand of minerals will cause most prices to either rise or drop.

Let's say that CCP releases a new patch tomorrow. Mining has a minigame that increases ore yield when a player wins. The minigame itself isn't particularly hard, so ore yield is significantly higher than pre-patch mining. The market-wide supply of ore and minerals increases by almost half, flooding the market with sell orders. The demand for minerals hasn't changed, since production is limited primarily on time, not minerals (cheaper minerals makes the production process cheaper, not faster.) Ore and mineral prices tank, and the rest of the mineral-based market drops shortly afterward.

On the flip side, let's say that CCP's patch makes mining a passive activity like Planetary Interaction. Instead of warping to an asteroid belt in your exhumer and targeting asteroids, you set up ore extractors on each asteroid and have to manage them once every few days. This new form of mining rewards a little bit less than traditional mining, but has the benefit of adding to a player's passive income. Let's make an unrealistic assumption that the total number of miners doesn't change between pre and post-patch. This decreases the market-wide supply of ore and minerals, and because demand remains the same, prices increase for all mineral-based products on the market. Buying and fitting a ship is a little bit more expensive, and the occasional whiner joins the Market Discussion subforum and cries about ISK inflation and money faucets (despite the fact that it's not monetary or wage inflation he should be whining about, but commodity inflation.)

Mining should be changed so that it's either an active form of income, or a passive form of income. It should also be changed so that the average yield isn't significantly different from the way it is right now; this would minimize the impact that a mining patch would have on the overall economy. Mining was the first profession that I invested in, and I moved to other forms of industry primarily because I wasn't having fun - furthermore, the amount of money that I was making wasn't worth the hours I invested into the game. There are hundreds of others with a similar story. Mining should be a respectable profession, not the McDonald's cashier of Eve Online.

Comments

  1. "Shouldn't mining be more interesting?"

    It's mining what did you expect. People should stop complaining about this.

    "You do peasant work, you get peasant pay."

    ReplyDelete
  2. What you don't consider is that mining, for many people is a semi-afk way of playing the game, if this system changes, theese hours of mining while chatting, watching videos, working, studying, etc would just ceased to exist. Yeah, sure, there are players who only do mining in the game or managing full barge fleets alone and that's their main income but also there are the ppl who just log in and press F1 when they can't or wouldn't do any more engaging stuff. Yeah, mining as a feature sucks but changing that not only would effect the economy but would have a major effect on playstyle of many people. (Possibly less playing hours, less people online, emptyer systems therefore less people in space who you can kill, scam, have a chat with or whatever.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why should people be able to make isk while they are afk?

      Delete
    2. Because in the real world people can make money while they aren't working. It's called passive income.

      Delete
  3. What you don't consider is that mining, for many people is a semi-afk way of playing the game, if this system changes, theese hours of mining while chatting, watching videos, working, studying, etc would just ceased to exist. Yeah, sure, there are players who only do mining in the game or managing full barge fleets alone and that's their main income but also there are the ppl who just log in and press F1 when they can't or wouldn't do any more engaging stuff. Yeah, mining as a feature sucks but changing that not only would effect the economy but would have a major effect on playstyle of many people. (Possibly less playing hours, less people online, emptyer systems therefore less people in space who you can kill, scam, have a chat with or whatever.)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I really don't think mining is intended as a long term solo profession. It's the gateway to industry, and the hope is that you will find less time consuming, more lucrative things to do in the higher 'tiers' of industry, such as manufacturing, invention, research, running an indy corp/alliance, etc. Things that can bring you income while you do other things in the game, in other words. As such, mining is intended to be slow, boring, and of minimal income compared to other things. Missioning is the entry to PVE/combat play. The hope there is that you move up into anoms/null ratting, exploration plexes, incursions, or even into PvP. It's ultimately more skill intensive, and so brings a higher return. Mining is the McDonald's cashier of EVE because it fills the same base and menial purpose. Any character can do it with minimal time and skill investment, and specializing into it brings rapidly diminishing returns.

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  5. Mining (and mission running) is, for the not insignificant number of players who can't devote 2-4 hours per day to the game, oftentimes the only feasible way to play the game. It's relaxing. It doesn't require a huge amount of attention. You can read websites, do chores, whatever, while still playing the game. Even when a player does have the time to commit to the game, sometimes a player just doesn't want to go into super-serious mode; he's looking to play EvE without adding stress to an already stressful day.

    I like mining just fine the way it is. I don't mine that often any longer (usually just for group projects), but it's nice to be able to turn my brain mostly off and just get into the zen that mining can be. I get that others don't find mining (or missioning or fill-in-the-blank) fun. There's activities other players do that makes me shake my head - market trading, for instance, or industry - but of all the things in the game that need changing, mining is so far down the list it isn't funny.

    ReplyDelete

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