Actually what really needs to happen i the entire mining system and the way it works need to be completely redone. As a developer, i think its high time for a revamp, and many there is agree, including the lead devs over at the start citizen project. In fact this was one of the thing they really publicly gave crap to ccp about.
The problem is that the base / original code is so wrapped up in the foundation of the game changing many things there would ultimately break it, but i think there are solutions to this and a seemingly more quiet and bigger reason is that ccp just cannot figure out a better way to do it with out breaking eve’s economy.
Any change to mining will have to be in line with its current system, likely stat-related. For example mining the cargo full very quickly, but having a reduced amount of minerals. This could be easily accomplished by simply just increasing the mass of raw ore, which will cause much more flight time in mining and ultimately start in to the effort of a) banning people who use bots to automatically deposit ore, and two, making it more dangerous for miners (who can get caught coming out of warp in a belt at the wrong time (ie a hostile fleet invading).
You could take this concept and simply just make it so that asteroid stays, but replenishes its ore over time. this may help encourage the use of the scanner module.
I personally believe that the system should be changed so that all barge/exhumers etc are gutted from the game, in place for the expidition frig class, and other variances, all capable of warping cloaked.
The reason why i say this is because i believe that mining ships should be agile, fast, and mine full ore very quickly. i believe this should be the case so that people have more incentive to mine in low and null sec via the common “ninja mining tactic”. Granted this could be done by simply making the ship mine extremely fast, it would ultimately break the game in terms of barges and exhumers (and potentially capitals). Thus their removal seems to be better suited.
Stat changes could help make mining much better, but it reverts back to the major problem, that ultimately changing these thing would break the economy, or at the very least has the potential, especially when you take into consideration the hordes of spammed-multiboxers/bots like you witnessed.
In my mind, mining should work like this.
Asterioids no longer contain their type in name, and instead are sort into small, medium, and large asteroids.
Each size has a set value of ore, for example smalls contain 2500 units, mediums 5k, and larges 10k.
Mining full cargo capacity should take place in about 10-15 seconds.
Scanning the asteroids with a asteroid scanner should be overhauled and hide or show specific ores and their values broken down in the above. For example lets say your skills are a set value mid (level 3-4) way through training. You should see something in the gui (Graphic user interface) that loots like
Veldspar 50%, 1256 units
Ochre 25%, 750 units
Mercoxit, 25%, 750 units (hidden because of lack of skills).
Then on top of this the asteroid should have capped limits on how much can be mined, lower then the values above.
lastly, the ore should be mine-able by specific ships, and all mining beams should be reworked to have scripts to pull specific ores only, or unscripted pull it all at a higher rate.
This will ultimate cause people to search through asteroids, develop skills, and help make things like the scanners more useful. Ultimately, the faster mining rates mean its easier to acquire the last of the minerals you need to build that one last thing, and move on to doing other stuff. This makes mining more casual friendly (in the aspect that you can spend 10 minutes to mine then log off and go to work) and more complex (in the aspect of planning skills out and planning the bodies you are in that have access to what you specialize in mining, as well as optimizing isk return rates if thats your thing).
It should be noted that i believe there is a fundamental flaw inside of mining, as there is in production of items. I believe that minings over all isk per hour rate should be stablized significantly, to say around 50m an hour base, and 30m minimum base. The reason players multibox i because we are looking for ways to optimize income, because players believe that activity to be inefficient, so when it comes to combating this problem the solution is rather simple, make it more difficult to min/max income via multiboxing. With so many ships mining asteroids that deplete quickly, have simi-unpredictable types of ore, this will significantly impact the income rates of those players making it extremely difficult for them to validate that type of behavior.
Lastly i will state, that i believe ore, ice, and gas should be present in all area’s of eve, and in all belts. Ore specifically should have all of its types in all systems and all parts of space, and ice and gas should be present in all regions in all types. Gas is far to untapped and its truly a unique type of game play that is really seriously prevented because of its current access and availability. (no joke, drug production is serious isk)