Ice Harvesting Skills for Max Drone Cycle Times?

Hey guys - I used to play EVE quite a bit, maybe 5 years ago, then took a break. I am back to playing again and I’ve decided ice mining is really what’s fun for me these days.

Anyway I’ll get to the point. I prefer to ice mine solo, in an Orca (mostly for the large ore bay and no need to keep going back and forth from the field to the station). So, I am using an Ice Harvesting II drone. I always Approach and park next to the asteroid, etc.

My issue is this: I can’t seem to break 88.88 seconds on my Activation Time / duration. I was watching a video by delonewolf and he got his down to 55 seconds, somehow. I know i can use an Augmented drone to get that down to 83 seconds (appx), but for various reasons I don’t want to use a 100mil isk drone. I also have the mid-range Yeti implant (IH-1003) for the 3% cycle bonus (the more expensive one is… too expensive lol).

I have the following skills:

Drones 5
Drone Navigation 5
Ice Harvesting Drone Operation 5
Ice Harvesting Drone Specialization 5
Mining Drone Specialization 4
Mining Drone Operation 5
Drone Avionics 4
Drone Interfacing 5

Is there anything else I can do to lower my cycle times? Thanks for any help or suggestions.

See “Improving Yield” in this article (I think this is what you are after).

So ming upgrade modules, rigs and implants.

Yes get a rorqual and ice excavators.

Sorry - i should have put this in my OP, that I’m sticking to high sec mining for now. I have forgotten far too much about EVE to head into low or nullsec safely (or, EVE-safely lol).

I also should have stated that my Orca has Large Drone Mining Augmenters in the rig slots.

Have you tried using the Simulator in EVE? Or better yet, Pyfa? These can probably point you in the right direction where you may need to tweak your fit without costing you anything.


I’ll give that a look Arthur - thanks for the feedback.

Sorry I wasn’t able to be of more help. The only other thing I could find on high-sec ice mining was what you might expect to face when you run into the roaming Russian ice mining bot fleets.

Do you have Industrial Command Ship to 5? That makes a big difference (-10% cycle time per level).

Also, the yeti implant is only useful when using mining lasers. It does not do anything for your ice mining drones. Nor do:
Mining Drone Specialization 4
Mining Drone Operation 5
Drone Avionics 4
Drone Interfacing 5


Hey Erethond - thanks. No my ICS is only at Level I. I have som eextra SP though so I can bump that up. Damn, that’s a lotta SP for that skill. But, if it knocks off 30-40% at levels 3-4, then that’d be worth it.

Wow! So I used up all my free SP to get that to Level 4 (Level V is like another 800k SP), and that alone took my cycle/activation times down from 88.88 seconds to 59 seconds!! I never would have known to do that, had you not suggested. In reading the skill description, it doesn’t say anything about that 10% per level decrease. So, thank you again!!!

Glad to help. If you read the description of the orca, it’s one of the bonuses you get per level, amongst many many others. It is not in the skill description (nor should it be), it is a ship trait. Same way as combat ships give bonuses to their damage, the orca gives bonuses to it’s drones for mining (and other things).

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My mistake… didnt even think to check ship descriptions… smh

your missing the face he flys a orca and that cuts down duration

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