Rough Idea for Mining Drone Rework

So, one of EvE’s problems is that mining command ships like Orcas and Rorquals are better miners than actual, dedicated mining craft like exhumers. One of the reasons for this is that the Rorqual can use Excavator mining drones, which effectively make them the best mining ship in the game and have created a glut of resources that contribute to capital ship proliferation. Here’s my idea on how it can be fixed.

Instead of Excavators pulling ore out of asteroids like every other mining drone in the game, except better, they should instead apply a buff to the asteroid(s) the Excavators are working on which allows other ships to mine from that asteroid more quickly.

For example, picture two asteroids with identical amounts of ore inside, each one being worked on by the same mining barge. It will take a single strip miner ten cycles to deplete each asteroid.

However, if a Rorqual sets its Excavator drones on asteroid #2, then the strip miner targeting that asteroid starts pulling in more ore per cycle. It will now take eight cycles to deplete asteroid #2.

Obviously, this is an extremely simplified example, but I hope it gets my point across.

I’m thinking the buff ought to be a percentage of what the mining laser would get instead of a flat bonus to m3/sec, as well as a limit to how much any asteroid can be buffed; without those limits you would get silly things like a civilian mining laser outperforming a strip miner in how much ore it pulls in, or twenty+ Rorquals setting all their Excavator drones on an asteroid so a Mackinaw can fill its hold with a single cycle of its strip miners.

Any constructive feedback you folks could give me would be appreciated even if it’s just telling me why this isn’t a good or workable idea, just be polite about it, thanks! :slightly_smiling_face:

Old, rambling post of fail


I’d like to start out by saying that I have no idea if this change would be a good thing or even something the devs could implement at all, but I figure there’s no harm in me putting the idea out there for critique.

Any constructive feedback you folks could give me would be appreciated even if it’s just telling me why this isn’t a good or workable idea; at least I’ll be learning something from this if that’s the case, so please be as detailed and comprehensive as possible with your criticisms so I can better refine my ideas.

My basic idea is that instead of mining ore themselves, Excavator drones should make it easier for other ships to mine ore.

When Excavators are ordered to work on a particular asteroid they would apply a buff of sorts, one where any ship that’s mining from that asteroid will pull more m3/second of ore than it would without assistance from the Excavator drones. This wouldn’t be adding ore to the rock, it would just make you mine it out faster.

This change would dethrone Rorquals from their position as the best mining ship in the game while not making them completely useless, and it would do the same for Orcas if they were given the ability to use Excavators or an equivalent drone in exchange for being unable to use regular mining drones.


Reading so many complaints about AFK Orca mining, Rorquals pulling in truly obscene amounts of ore via Excavator drones, and how it’s all led to the proliferation of capital and supercapital ships that are one of the reasons for the “blue donut”, I started thinking about ways this could be fixed.

The most common complaint I saw was how Rorquals and Excavator drones are some of the biggest contributors to this glut of resources, so I started thinking of ways to change this without reducing the drones or the ships to uselessness.

A couple of weeks back I figured out a possible way to achieve this: make Excavator drones operate as their name implies.

In the context of mining, excavation is digging away all the dirt, rock, and other undesirable matter between you and the valuable ore you’re after.

Instead of being super-mining drones like they are now, Excavator drones would cut away all the dross and unwanted material in an asteroid that the mining ships would normally have to work through to get at the valuable ore.

Mechanically speaking, this would be represented by a ship with mining lasers or strip miners pulling more ore per cycle from the asteroid being worked on by Excavator drones, decreasing the amount of time needed to completely mine an asteroid out of existence.

Now obviously there would need to be a limit on how much of a bonus could be applied to any given asteroid for the sake of gameplay integrity and sanity alike; enabling a player to mine enough ore that they could fill up a Rorqual’s ore hold with just a few cycles from a civilian mining laser is something we really don’t need. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

After mulling it over for a while I began to wonder if it would be a good idea for all mining drones to function this way instead of their current role as tiny independent mining lasers, but since that would impact everyone who uses them in ways that I probably haven’t foreseen I’m inclined to think it’s better to leave them be.

Instead, if this idea were to be implemented then Orcas would lose the ability to use regular mining drones in exchange for compatibility with Excavators or a variant thereof, removing their ability to mine out belts and anomalies by themselves while retaining their position as mining command ships.

The only real problem I can see arising from this is that sitting in a belt doing little more than sending your drones out to assist fleet-mates and lighting off a command burst every so often is going to be incredibly dull, and IMHO that’s not something we should want in a video game.

Unfortunately, I don’t know what else could be done to avert this, but if anyone who reads my proposal has a suggestion to make being a foreman more involved and active I would love to hear it.

Just as a point of constructive feedback, you should really just make a section in your post explaining what your actual idea is.

The entire thing reads like a blog post and I’m not even sure what you want or are trying to say. You want Excavator drones that excavate and… ??? What do they do, increase mining yields by a percentage? Flat amount? Why bother when we already have Mining Command bursts? Are you just trying to nerf Orca mining? What about Rorquals?

Your blog post doesn’t actually seem to contain an idea just rambling vague concepts.

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I added a TL;DR to the top but I’m not entirely sure what you mean here. Do you think I should cut out my thought process, or just separate the actual meat of the proposal from it?

Edit: I decided to split it into a summary and a details section. How does it look now?

Just adding headers doesn’t really do anything.

You still haven’t clearly explained what your idea is. At best, your post just reads like a blog article or some background lore piece about how the Excavator drones ‘excavate’.

Did you look at any of the questions I asked in my first comment?

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Jesus, I knew I had communication issues, but I never realized they were this bad. I’m actually feeling pretty embarrassed about this. :confounded:

Yes, I read your questions in the first post, and I clearly didn’t understand what you were asking. I’ve edited my post again, and I hope this time it’s actually understandable.

Thank you for your help, I appreciate it.

Ok, so finally, here is an actual idea. Now comes the fun part, explaining why this idea is better than the thing we already have right now.

This is a Command Burst charge. You throw it into a Command Burst module and it pulses every so often, giving every mining ship within it’s area of effect that bonus. In this case, the mining lasers cycle 15% faster.

So we’ve already got things in the game that provide a passive buff to miners like this. So why would anyone use your idea (and risk having Excavators die in the process) when they can already use things that are currently in the game (mining command bursts) and gain a similar benefit?

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Because a ship under the effects of a mining command burst would still benefit from the buff applied to an asteroid by Excavator drones.

Also, IIRC command bursts only apply to ships within the same fleet, right? If an asteroid is being worked on by Excavator drones, any ship that mines from it will benefit, not just the ones in the command ship’s fleet.

Wait, so now we’re just doubling up on the bonuses?

Sure, but how scenarios are you coming across where this matters?
How many people are mining out in nullsec in the same belt, but in separate fleets?

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No, sorry but the Orca certainly isn’t faster than even a procurer, let alone a skiff and a hulk will out-mine an Orca all day.
Even a Rorqual since all the nerfs isn’t the be all end all for mining. I use 1 Rorqual boosting 8 Skiffs so i don’t have to spend so much time waiting for the Rorqual/Excavators.

Both Rorqual and Orca are limited by how close they have to be to the roids to efficiently mine. Kill a rock half way through a core cycle - You’re efficiency goes out the window.

Really the ONLY time an Orca or Rorqual are better than subcap miners is if you want to AFK mine as subcaps require intervention every few minutes.


Pretty much, yeah. This would hopefully be paired with giving Orcas the ability to use Excavator drones or a lighter variant thereof, coupled with removing their ability to use regular mining drones. I’d like it if neither ship was viable for AFK mining or botting.

That’s a good point. I guess the only thing that really matters is that the bonuses stack with each other.

Yeah, I should have been clearer about this. This idea is basically a way to combat AFK mining and botting; if someone wants to mine out an asteroid belt, ice field, or mining anomaly then they should bring a fleet of mining barges, because Orcas and Rorquals won’t be able to do it anymore.

Sorry, never gonna happen - Too many people have invested too much time and money into Rorquals and Orcas for CCP to make them useless again - The loss in subs alone would be horrific.

You aren’t going to combat botting by making Orcas and Rorqs useless, all you’ll do is see hundreds and hundreds more subcaps in belts automatically dumping their ore into a Rorqual.

It isn’t “the guy” who has one orca or Rorqual that is the problem, it is the fact they can be multi boxed so easily - Simply nerfing them more only hurts those who don’t take advantage of poor game mechanics and is not the answer.

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I’m not sure what you are asking for does anything to change the afk nature of either Orca or Rorqual. What’s the active part that the player needs to do? Lock up a rock and send an Excavator to it? That’s already what they do currently. You idea wouldn’t really change anything here.

Ok, now we’re talking about something else entirely.

Why shouldn’t a player be able to mine out a belt with Rorquals? They’re committing, what, like 6-8 billion ISK worth of assets on a grid that’s locked in place. In addition, with the Cyno changes, they can’t just slap the panic button, go invulnerable, and set up a Cyno to bring in reinforcements.

The main issue that I’m having right now is that you’re starting off with the assumption that a player mining out belts with what is supposed to be the best mining ship in the game is bad without ever actually explaining why it’s bad in the first place.

So, going back to your original point. This statement seems a little out of place, given that CCP themselves even said that the Rorqual is supposed to be a better miner than exhumers.

3 years ago, CCP came up with a new vision to make Rorquals with an Industrial Core the “end game” of Mining. They disliked that the Rorqual’s only purpose was to sit in a POS and give system-wide boosts. So they fundamentally changed the way Rorquals operated. And your own opening statement goes completely against what CCP themselves want.

So can you explain why you think it’s a problem in the first place? It seems like CCP’s goal is to make Rorquals mine better than Exhumers.

Thanks to the new Excavator mining drones, the Rorqual will become the most powerful mining ship in the game even without the use of the Industrial Core. With the Industrial Core active it will be in a league of its own, essentially a one-ship mining operation.

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Well, shucks. Never mind then, into the trash this idea goes.

The problem isn’t the ships (or drones) - as long as the resource is infinitely available, players (and bots) will find a way to harvest it. We need an element of scarcity in the game. CCP is well aware of this and have mentioned ideas like resource depletion and/or procedural regeneration which could force the Rorquals to hunt and compete for ore to mine.

Interesting times!

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Interesting idea.

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Good way to rid Sov of small/er groups.

Resource depletion would only force large groups to take more space, which they currently don’t because they don’t need it.
Forced to take more space it isn’t large group vs large group, it comes down to small groups getting pushed out or forced to merge.

Not good for the game short term or long term.

Before CCP can even start to address over supply of minerals they need to rework Sov and Structure spam.

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The current system definitely encourages large groups. For example, Goonswarm Federation alliance is over 32000 members. That’s a consequence of a sov system that delivers infinite resources to your doorstep and scales linearly with the amount of territory you hold.

If we want to change behavior, we need to change the incentives. Perhaps we could encourage Balkanization by restricting sov bonuses (iHubs & ADMs) to the capital constellation - it wouldn’t prevent large groups holding massive amounts of territory but it would discourage it.

This would change nothing other than the “alliance” becoming a “coalition”.

Every “alliance” would be controlled by alts of the same people in charge right now with each different constellation being designated as a “capital constellation”. So instead of one major alliance controlling it, it would be (in-game) a bunch of separate alliances, but ones that are all still controlled by the same people (out-of-game).

We already have boosters and this would get quite complicated since no pilot, fleet or corp owns the asteroid.

All we need to do is add Drone Mining Bonus -50% to Output and things will naturally revert to normal.

Not too mention we can’t give portions of asteroids a state from a data perspective that is a crap load.

Well, now that I’ve tossed this idea, I guess it’s time for me to learn as much as I can from this thread.

Okay, do you have any ideas on how that might be accomplished? All I can think of at the moment is requiring that mining drones be told to mine a new asteroid after the one they were working on disappears instead of being able to choose a new one on their own.

Yeah, this kinda reminds me of something I read on a forum I spend a lot of time at, and while the original quote was about libertarianism it can kinda apply here as well. It boiled down to how higher government structures had big advantages over lower ones when it came to competition, and even if everyone says they want smaller structures there’s little incentive to adopt them because the first group to defect is going to own everyone else.

The same logic can be applied to alliances and coalitions in EvE. No one is going to voluntarily split up their coalition because there’s no incentive to do so, and significant disincentive in the form of getting stomped by everyone who has a bigger stick than they do.

I would also argue that one of the things that make null alliances so powerful is the ratting they do in their systems for bounties, and that’s something that can be solved rather easily: have rat spawns react to how many of them are being killed in a player-owned system/constellation/region.

Lore-wise, the Angels, Serpentis, Guristas, and Blood Raiders don’t have an infinite number of people and ships to throw around, so why would they keep shoving their proverbial hands into a blender? They’re just going to stop feeding ships and personnel to the capsuleer empires and restrain themselves to minor probing expeditions.

Well, that, or they’ll make inroads with their enemy’s enemies and start offering incentives for people to knock over each other’s sandcastles, like the Blood Raiders creating a powerful new doomsday weapon that literally uses Sani Sabik rituals to work and offering their expertise to anyone who helps them kicks Goonswarm’s teeth in.

Hell, if you really want to go hardcore on it, have Sansha’s Nation start launching incursions against the most powerful capsuleer alliances using Jove tech they stole from the Prosper vault.

Yeah, that’s the problem, isn’t it? No matter how CCP tries to get players to fight each other, the alliances and coalitions just keep doing the opposite. I think there was a post on r/Eve that laid it out like:

CCP - does a thing meant to increase conflict
Nullsec - groups up more
CCP - says whoops, does another thing meant to increase conflict
Nullsec - forms bigger coalitions
CCP - starts swearing, does yet another thing meant to increase conflict
Nullsec - forms the Blue Donut

I really don’t know enough to comment on your idea about a mining drone malus being the solution, but I can agree that applying states to asteroids would probably cause issues with the game.