Barges near obsolete?

so i got to seeing fleets of orcas everywhere and decided to see what the deal was.

In a orca i can out mine all of my barges without sacrificing a tan. for my mackinaw to outdo a orca with t2 drones, i need t2 crystals, all laser upgrades in low, and t2 mining drones with rigs leaving nothing for any tank and i just barely make more than the fully tanked out orca that’s only using rigs to boost the drones.

i havent tried to see if the covertor can out mine the orca, but i know my hulk can but is only useful in a fleet which i havent seen anyone doing due to “muh ore” and the fleets of afk orcas


Here’s some numbers for you.*

  1. Hulk can mine around 2094 m³/min. (Max yield fit)
  2. Skiff can mine around 1734 m³/min (Max yield fit)
  3. Mackinaw can mine around 1626 m³/min. (Max yield fit)
  4. Orca drone mining maxes out at 1485.2 m³/min.

*) Skills affecting Orca (T2) fit at Lv.5; Skills affecting Exhumers at Lv.4-5.

So to sum it up; No, an Orca does not mine more (faster) than Exhumers. It’s quite possible that it can out mine both the Retriever and the Procurer but they should not be far behind. Let’s not talk about a combination of Industrial command ship(s) using their ability to boost Barges and Exhumer(s), that’s when Orca really shines


A covetor surely can’t .( Ops editing, understood it wrong)

Mining with guns is a lot more profitable than all of the above.


Orca outmines procurer and retriever (T2 upgrades and T2 crystals), with one tech I rig for mining drones and tech 2 drones.

But the tank on a not badly fitted Orca is ligthyear above a mining barge, while a covetor is a few secondes away from getting popped by a single catalyst, so the likelyhood and frequency to losing the orca compared to a covetor make it far better for afk players on the long run.

There should be a bigger difference between a support ship and a mining ship, with the boosts strong enough to make it worthile to put a support ship constantly on grid, no idea about the exact numbers though. Rorqual is another subject I think because of the panic module mainly.


It has to do with the amount of active management. 6 orcas afk in a moon field is real money and you can all but forget about them for what… 40 mins?

Using a hulk yeah the yield is better but it requires a jet can and a pick up with an alt or a dump into a fleet hanger or (worse) jump back and forth to a station.

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A covetor definitly outmines an Orca, esspecially if it is mining boosted.
And the amount of money and training time a barge takes compared to a orca is staggering.
And although a Orca is tanky, the only good mining speed comes from faction drones that are 60 to 150 mil a pop.


i can out mine the bargers with just t2 drones at over 4km3 in 3 mins

my internet signal does not let me do that anymore, when i first moved to africa i ran a lvl 4 mission in my paladin, it got stuck in a full spawn of the blockade for 7 hours

Yes, Rorquals are too strong in nullsec and Orcas too strong in highsec. At least, that is the impression looking at player’s mining choices gives you. The mining support ships have become the go-to miners, undermining the utility of the dedicated barges.

Not sure what the solution is. Maybe a nerf to drone mining? As problems go, there are bigger ones to deal with, but I would not object to another mining balance pass at some point.


Orca is basically the highsec version of the Rorqual. Easily multiboxed and practically invulnerable while requiring less skill to fly than an exhumer.

Add to that the fact that Orca prices have dropped while exhumer prices have increased and the economics make Orca the overwhelming choice.

I don’t think this is what CCP intended - Orca and Rorqual are supposed to be support ships so it wouldn’t surprise me to see a rebalance that gives people a reason to fly barges and exhumers again.

Edit: I hear there is a “problem” where drones can’t mine moon ore. Maybe that should be a “feature” giving barges & exhumers a reason to exist! CCPlease - don’t fix it!


There is a reason, barges CAN receive mining boosts.

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exactly, barges are far from obsolete, they are different tools and have different uses even if the end goal of “get ore” is still the same. and they shine with proper fleet support.
I run a handful of rorquals, but even with that I have a fleet of 6 hulks that I run along side them, simply because the hulks can do some stuff that the rorquals can’t. and are better at certain things than rorqs are.
with boosts a single hulk pulls in about 1/2 as much as a rorqual does, is able to mine mercoxit which a rorq can’t even touch, and can reach out to ~45km even without mining implants. they cost about 1/10th what a rorqual does, and are much faster to train into (or cheaper to inject into)
Rorquals (and to a lesser extent orca’s) need to sit right on top of a rock in order to mine it efficiently, and with rorquals if the rocks are too small you will waste cycle time as the rock pops and you are left sitting there before re-positioning. or at best, result in having to warp off and back constantly which all wastes time.
Barges/Exhumers meanwhile can reach out and clear the smaller rocks letting the bigger ships focus on the large ones where they are more efficient, and are a hell of a lot more cost effective.


As a side-solution - add mutaplasmids for mining/ice harvesting upgrades in Abyss. There is no reason for them to not exist alongside other weapon upgrade modules.


You sure on these numbers? The procurer has only two lower slots for MLU, whilst all other ships have three. So a straight up 9% gain/difference. (ML2 rate) Otherwise there is three rigs for Drones (Procurer) vs only two for the Mack. But mining drones in barges are only worth about half a strip.

OP; the Orca as 187,000 Orehold, 40,000 fleet hold and a 33,000 (non expanded) cargohold. Giving it a lot staying power and casually tanks 250,000 ehp (fit to taste). It’s the perfect AFK-mobile miner.

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yes but thats only if 1 you multibox your own barge fleet or 2 you manage to find a fleet of miners (probably mostly new people) everyone in my channel is either just going abyssals or rolling lvl 4 burner missions for most isk possible

Meant to say Skiff :wink:

When it comes to running multiple accounts or fleet mining, I will take one orca and the rest barges. Solo mining the orca may not be the the most ore per hour, but it definitely is the safest and easiest to afk mine.

So to awnser this thread, no they are not obsolete at all.


I still actively mine with one Orca and one Hulk. It’s the most practical option for me when I’m looking to maximize my yield. Since the Orca is the most expensive, I tank that thing into oblivion so that you need a fleet a Tornadoes or a much larger fleet of Thrashers and Catalysts to take me out. Meanwhile, the Hulk just get a small tank. If the Hulk gets blown up, oh well. I mined enough ore to make up for the loss. And if the Orca somehow gets blown up, I will immediately salute the gankers for putting in so much effort to get me as I fly back in my pod to the backup Orca still waiting in the hangar.


nades are not good vs big daddy.
use polarized bombers/talos