A word of encouragement, I guess for noobies and non-combatants in general.
As a junior member of the mining corp Anest Iwata I’ve been briefed on their history and have formed some thoughts on the group and EVE in general. The corp has lost a gjillion vessels over the years, most of them mining rigs. Most of the losses have been at the hands of gangs in low sec, where allegedly the real profit lies.
On occasion, they have tried to protect themselves, all attempts have ended in spectacular failure. I’m gonna say most of these have been the result of inexperience with war ships. Poor tank, poor armament, even forgetting to take the safety off and running red.
The decision to mine low sec was initiated by the value of glare crust at the time. 500k ISK each cubic meter was hard to pass up, although somebody should have realized the collateral cost was prohibitive. Doggedly the group kept at it and started to turn a profit. That worked until the ice dropped in value to maybe 200k or there abouts.
At one time, the general reaction, as it tends to be among non experienced players, was whining. “Why do you pick on defenceless minors?” and other words to that effect (more than a few four letter expletives were uttered in chat)
Eventually a more mature, realistic point of view emerged. “That’s EVE, we need to learn to deal with it and keep working”. The major concern became “how much money are we losing?” Barges are expensive, at least to us, and their loss cut into our profit. A system evolved to keep our barges and transports safe. We were able to run gate camps and such on a regular basis and get our ore to market.
Losses of all types of craft dropped to a minimum just by being clever and outwitting our adversaries. That was a helluva lot of fun, especially when one of our Miasmos would escape absolute annihilation in full view of the PVP’s
Despite that, the low return on the ice was still discouraging. Then somebody realized that there was no profit at all n mining ice in lowsec. Mining ordinary ore in hisec would produce the same income. Recently the company has abandoned low sec altogether. We sold off all the barges and larger “security” vessels. Took in quite a lot of ISK as a result. The money was used to buy an entire fleet of Ventures with the right equipment for the job. It was discovered the Ventures could take in the same quantities of ore faster than the much larger barges.
Every member has a corvette with a tried and true fitting. All of them are equipped with weapons and oversized microwarp drives. They are quite fast and agile. The only larger ships we own are freebies, most of them frigates. Larger ships, like those free Gnosis CCP handed out, were sold off. The 100 mil ISK we made on each one added to our growing reserve of cash. Transitioning like this left the group with low cost vessels that could be thrown away and replaced at minimum expenditure.
The corp also funded training so that all members would be on the same level. The recent give away of points greatly accelerated this process (thanks CCP). Members also dropped thier subscriptions. Because they were now operating at a lower level the skills obtained through paid playing were no longer necessary.
Anest Iwata also ceased any planetary development. It wasn’t a good return for the time and money invested. The control centers were sold off and the corp was able to shed the planetary transports. More money in the reserves.
Now the group is operating at a minimum level and every cubic meter of ore is profit. The amount of free time available in the real world has increased tenfold with each member able to do other things with their computers. While the frigates mine, all manner of real work is being accomplished. In order to prevent accidental losses AFK is discouraged. All ships must be docked before bathroom or meal breaks, that sort of thing.
The only issue with all this is a common lack of interest. Members find themselves longing for the days when out-maneuvering other players put some spice in operations. Nowadays, we rarely run into any obstacles, not even NPC. BORING!!! It’s odd, a corporate goal has been achieved and found wanting, ruining the “game” for all of us. We actually miss those gangs preying on “us defenceless miners”
Since ratting gets kinda predictable, many of us have often considered turning to PVP, but maintaining ships of the line has always been too expensive. Since there doesn’t appear to be a profit in it that we are aware of (other than points on a killboard) it seems we would need to spend real money buying enough plex to keep things going. Throwing away game money is fine, throwing real money into a hole is not gonna be fun for very long. Better spent on other forms of wasting time.
For what it’s worth,