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!
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.
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.