Let me clarify some key points before I go in.
I am a returning player starting in at Alpha. I was Omega for years and developed my alt to be a miner. Got all the way up into the juicy tech 2 barges, joined a corp or two to get sweet mining boost and to try mining in low-sec, gas mining, ice mining, all that stuff. I took a very long break because, at the end of the day, I just didn’t have the time or money to devote to the full game.
I came back with an itch. An itch to orbit an asteroid and shoot lasers at it. I don’t have a lot of free time these days. I just wanted to orbit an asteroid for an hour or so, listen to some chill tunes, and then go on my merry way.
Lo and behold, all of the belts in my home system were totally empty, save for these strange NPC miners I’d never seen before. I asked questions in Help, learned that they’re hard to deal with because of the ‘protection’ fleet that comes in, and with my alt being a miner, there was nothing that I could do. Being an alpha, I wasn’t even sure if I could train into a ship good enough to handle the response fleet, and after attacking one, all the rest would disappear. All of that ore they’re carrying, gone into the void.
So I checked other systems. Empty. Five systems over the course of about thirty minutes. Empty. Ten more systems after that. Empty. Yes, all in hi-sec. I don’t have the time or patience for low-sec. I don’t want to be paranoid with my eyes wide open watching for gankers when I play this game. I wanted to chill and shoot some asteroids. I didn’t want to spend hours hunting for ice or gas pockets, also looking over my shoulder for gankers. I wanted to orbit an asteroid and shoot some lasers at it from my little bumblebee venture.
Instead, I just found a TON of these NPC miners. Floating there. Doing nothing. I did finally find a belt with some asteroids and found a whole fleet of these miners with 4 lasers a piece, melting rocks faster than I could get one cycle off of my own tech 1 lasers.
I went in looking for a chill, relaxing time. Instead I left frustrated with zero motivation to get back into the game.
Yes, I’m a noob. Yes I’m a hi-sec miner. Yes I enjoy it.
No, I don’t want to join a corp. No, I don’t want to mine in low sec or null sec. No, I don’t want to gas or ice mine. No, I don’t want to be ganked or invest hours and days and weeks and months into training a ton of skills (in game and out of game) just to be better at not getting blown up by some troll that gets his rocks off on beating up noobs.
Not to mention how wonderfully helpful the Help chat was, with people berating me constantly about being ‘helpless’. All of their suggestions would involve investing more time than I have in my busy schedule. A game that I turned to to relax, of all things, is now nothing of the sort. Yeah, I’m probably in the minority. I get it. But I don’t want to have to spend 1-2 hours searching belts for one tiny rock just so I can finally get to the content that I want.
Orbiting asteroids and shooting lasers at it.
CCP, please get rid of NPC miners. They add nothing positive to the game except to give hi-sec gankers something else to shoot at.