2 quick questions Orca and Refining

I have noticed 2 things since I returned, and would like some answers.

  1. It seems I see a lot of orca’s in high sec belts, is this the new way to mine? I havent bothered to scan their fits but do they use just drones to mine, or drones and mining laser’s/strip miners?

  2. did refining take a massive hit? I have high skills, and I cant seem to get better then 32.5 percent and that is with high faction/corp status’s? this seems to apply to both modules and ores. I have tried a few different stations and havent seen any changes to the yield. Is there a better method that does not require owning a pos or some kind of structure?

Thank you for your assistance.

Can’t speak to #1, but as to #2, you just have to find a better station. The last two NPC stations I’ve used had the standard 50% rate for reprocessing modules.

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thank you ^^

Orcas only use drones. Mostly those players using orcas are semi-afk mining and also reading, watching tv or other gaming etc. It’s their game as well so not judging. If however you want to bulk mine with yield then I personally used to use barges/exhumers with jetcans/MTUs where possible. This is slightly complicated by Trig Recon NPCs but there are ways to protect yourself or find mining where it is “safer”.

For refining, use your structure browser to find local Athanors, haul round a few hundred units of ore to each of them , start the refining window and in top left check the base rate. The best base rate in hisec is 54%, with high skills I think this will get you >75% iirc.

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Orca can only use drones for mining and the command boosts that used to be Orca’s claim to fame don’t work with drones. Yield is roughly equivalent to a barge but you don’t need to dock to unload and you’re a lot harder to gank - by players and roaming NPC’s. Fits should focus on tank.

Whether reprocessing has taken a boost or buff depends on how long you were gone. Prior to Crius expansion in 2014, you could easily achieve 100% reprocessing. CCP nerfed the percent yield to around 72% but increased the mineral content of the ore so you broke even.

With the Upwell refineries they have buffed percent yield back up to about 78% in highsec with maximum skills and facility bonuses. Yields are a bit higher in Nullsec.


Orcas offer a couple advantages for high sec miners. They don’t require as much management as barges or exhumers so it’s easier to multi-task or semi-afk with them. You just set your 5 drones to 5 big rocks and you’re done for 15-20 minutes. They’re also much less attractive targets for high sec gankers, since they can easily fit a tank of 250k+ ehp, don’t need expensive modules to function properly, and usually won’t have much in the hold except ore, which is not a very lucrative thing to loot. Most gankers can’t take down an orca in high sec if they want to, and the ones who can would probably rather hunt freighters or marauders, which require about as much firepower to take down and routinely drop billions of isk worth of loot. Also, their enormous cargoholds mean you can mine longer and don’t need a separate hauling ship to move the ore you do mine. Since you can also carry a scout ship with you in the maintenance bay, it’s easier to find richer ore to mine, too. So even though they have a lower raw yield than exhumers (maybe barges, not sure about that) when you add up all the things they do well they might be a better option, depending on your playstyle.

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Word of advice though. If you AFK mine in an Orca in high sec, someone like me will come along with a Machariel and punt you into the next dimension. Players don’t have to put together a gank squad to take out your Orca. All it takes is a single Machariel. Long story short, don’t AFK…

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haha, no worries about being that afk ever. but I wasnt planning on mining , just belt ratting for the skill points, and i noticed a lot of them about with nothing else in the belts, so I had to ask if that was the new norm. used to be orcas were not usually in belts alone.

thank you for your answer it shed light on the subject for me, greatly appreciated ^^

No problem. Fly safe!

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