I’ve been focused on mining Arkonor and Bistot for the minerals–namely Pyerite–while I’ve been topping off my mining and reprocessing skills.
Early on in the game, I was training whatever skills took the shortest time, in alphabetical order. I’ve got a lot of skills that aren’t helping me out in the slightest at the moment.
If I had to do it over again, I’d have focused solely on a few things, in the following priority:
General ship skills. Anything that would increase speed, power, CPU, or capacitor for any ship I fly.
Mining-specific ship skills. Anything that would allow me to fly mining ships more effectively.
Mining modules. Anything that would make it easier to fit and use better modules for mining.
Mining skills. Anything that would increase my ability to mine effectively.
Mining drone skills. Anything that would increase my capabilities to use mining drones effectively.
Reprocessing skills. In terms of Z/m³, minerals are still often worth more than compressed ore. I confirmed this for Arkonor and Bistot using www.evepraisal.com for Compressed Bistot. I then had my alliance mate with near-perfect reprocessing skills reprocess that same amount of Compressed Bistot, and selling the minerals doubled my income.
Contracting. In tandem with reprocessing skills, contracting skills are useful when you can start offering your reprocessing services for tips. Where my alliance is, they don’t charge anything in the reprocessing station, and those alliance members with high reprocessing skills make quite a bit in tips (literally billions of Z per month). Consequently, I should’ve been focused on anything that would provide me more flexibility in making contracts.
The good news is I got quite a lot of the skills mentioned above training as I was. I could use a skill extractor to reallocate my skills, but an alliance mate warned me that 2e5 skill points get “burned up” in that process, and it’s expensive as well.
As it is, I’m playing catch-up now, training my skills more carefully to approach industry more strategically. Finding the ore to mine in nullsec isn’t particularly difficult, but the profit margins are low right now, and lower still if you aren’t compressing and reprocessing to sell the minerals.
That being said, it’s in the nature of economies to wax and wane in the face of changing circumstances, and I suspect we’ll see an increase in prices after scarcity ends in Q4 of YC123. “The way out is through,” at this point.
I did switch from an agile frigate with low yield to a more clumsy barge with a higher yield, and had to change my play style as a result. It requires a bit more precaution, but having a yield rate nearly 3x more than what I was getting on a frigate is worthwhile.
My current barge only cost me about 6e7 ISK, and has already paid for itself. I’ve also been making Costco runs in a transport ship and playing Project Discovery whilst mining, which has offset the lower income from mining.
If your goal is to make ISK, industry isn’t the most effective career, but I don’t think it ever was. If, on the other hand, you enjoy industry for its own sake, it’s worthwhile. I’m not rich, but I’m not poor, either, and I have fun as long as I can deny gankers their content.