The Argument for Mining Barges On Alpha Characters

Hey all, bear with me as I realize this topic has come up several times since Alpha Characters were introduced and subsequently expanded. I also realize there’s a few existing threads regarding this topic, but I believe these threads have been tainted by a multitude of arguments that would be better addressed all in one go than trying to refute each one weeks or months down the line.

The Argument For Mining Barges

History

When Alphas were first introduced back in 2016, they came with a host of restrictions that locked them to mostly T1/Meta modules and on-race T1 frigates-cruisers. At this point, the argument for mining barges was an incredibly unrealistic one. That changed though in late 2017, when alphas were given full access to all T1 ships through battleships, including pirate faction ships, as well as T2 weapons through the battlecruiser level. Surprisingly absent from this change which opened up countless opportunities for alphas was an extension of the roster for mining ships, as the only dedicated ship available remained the Venture.

Balancing The Career Options

The main argument for mining barges is that their availability balances the career options for alpha characters. Right now, an alpha character can easily make 40-50 mil an hour exploring in a T1 frigate or ratting in any of the standard ratting ships. Hell with a bit of startup ISK they can even run DED sites just fine and make a helluva lot more than that. In a venture outside of moon mining though you can only max out at a small fraction of this amount. This effectively locks out the mining career path for alpha characters, as it makes absolutely zero sense for most players to mine except when harvesting Xenotime, or the jackpotted variants of Monazite or Loparite.

Now in the cases of mining some higher level moon ores like the ones mentioned above, barges would be able to make more ISK through this method than the other two ‘standard’ moneymaking methods, but because of the rarity of these ores I’d equate these short bursts of income to the ISK gained from running DEDs, something which as mentioned above alphas are more than capable of doing. While mining standard ore, even a max omega skill / max yield fit / T1 strip mining covetor tops out at <50 mil/hr outside of Triglavian ores. Restricting the available modules and skills, it should be fairly trivial to ensure this number stays under 50 mil/hr even under boosts for most ore.

Ultimately, having this option doesn’t drastically increase the amount of ISK alphas could make compared to before. What it does do though is turn mining into a viable path for alpha characters (and by extension strengthens the industry and production paths as well). It just doesn’t make sense that Alphas are still locked out of this playstyle, one that pretty much all players try at some point early in their Eve careers, and one that makes up the backbone of the game’s economy.

Addressing The Counterarguments

Alpha Characters Don’t Deserve More Than They Already Have

This is by far the most prolific argument against this subject that I’ve seen so far. It usually goes something along the lines of “CCP graciously gave people free to play characters, they don’t deserve anything more and if they want more they should subscribe.” The problem with this is that it seems to be an argument against Alpha Clones in general rather than an argument against mining barges. It’s not a response to the idea itself, rather just an expression of people’s disdain for Alpha Characters. This argument was also made against giving alphas ships from other races before the 2017 overhaul, and it’s as meaningless now as it was then.

The Issue of Botting / Bypassing Alpha Restrictions

At first glance this argument has some merit to it. Mining in a barge can be an incredibly AFKable and scalable activity. But at the same time, so is ratting. Ultimately for this argument to have merit it needs to be applied to the ISK making side of things as well, which breaks down when you take into account the fact that alphas also have access to ships like the Myrmidon, Gila, and Dominix that surpass the income making ability of barges in most situations.

On this topic, I’d also speculate (though admittedly lacking solid proof that only CCP has access to) that the vast majority of bots and botfarms in Eve aren’t Alpha Accounts. For one thing for people who know what they’re doing, maintaining an Omega Account in Eve is exceptionally easy through the use of things like SP farms, something which I’d bet most botfarms take full advantage of. Additionally, for these characters the cost of PLEXing an Alpha Account is easily made up by the additional skills and options for ISK generation.

Mining Battleships

Many people have argued that mining battleships are the route alphas should take if they want to mine. This may’ve been a legitimate option 10 years ago, but there’s a reason people don’t use them now. These ships only barely out-mine a procurer, and to do so requires constant emptying of the ship’s cargo every mining cycle, a process so tedious that it takes less effort for an alpha to get the ISK for ore they need via ratting, then transport the ore from their local trade hub to wherever they need it.

The Economic Argument

There’s an argument that’s floated around theorizing that if Alphas have access to mining barges, they’ll devalue ore so much that they’ll only make the equivalent of what they would in a Venture before the change. Even ignoring the fact that the price of ore has shot up due to the shortage period, economics just doesn’t work this way. When compared to the absolutely insane mining power of rorquals and even the moderately more powerful exhumers, I highly doubt giving alphas mining barges would have any significant, lasting impact on the value of ore.

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Alphas are intended by design to be consumers, not producers.
Therefore by design they don’t have mining barges.
It’s that simple.

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While this would sorta make sense, I haven’t seen any evidence as to this intent, and the availability of several production and mining skills would seem to refute it. I get they’re supposed to be more of an introductory step to the game and the paths you can take, but that’s kinda what barges are for mining.

It’s been literally stated by CCP early in the introduction of alphas.

Mining barges are not an introduction to mining, ventures are the introduction as the mining frigate, mining barges are the main go to vessel for miners. Exhumers & larger are hyper specialised/focused miners.

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There is no argument for mining barges on Alphas that overcomes the exploits of mining bots. You kids need to stop trying to make this happen.

Looking at your “counter arguments” section, you have no idea what you’re talking about and are making false equivalency arguments. Perhaps taking the time to learn what you’re actually talking about might lend credence to your position. But again, nothing you can say will overcome the fact that alpha mining barges will be exploited.

Edit: dumb stuff like this is why CCP never pays attention to the forums for any actual ideas. It’s almost always filled with kids who feel like they are entitled to more and more and more. Give an inch, and they want a mile. Alphas are already generous enough and allow you to do so much in EVE Online.

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Pretty much everything in Eve is overproduced. It makes no sense to give Alpha players greater access to the economic simulation.

On the other hand, the game does need more destruction. Even in a major war, the value of goods produced is 3 or 4 times the value of goods destroyed and, in an economy where things don’t wear out or go obsolete - that’s a problem. Giving Alpha characters more access to the military simulation makes perfect sense.

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I don’t remember who’s idea it was, but I just went ahead and made a megathread.

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Alphas are trial accounts, or previously paid accounts that have lapsed. How do mining barges help Alphas decide if they want to pay for a subscription or not? Is there any reason to believe that giving Alphas access to mining barges will increase the number of Omega subscriptions?

This ^^

Alphas are deliberately restricted in non-combat areas like industry and trading because they are intended to create content (pew pew).

Being able to do combat based pve is a by-product of giving them access to pvp.

CCP did restrict Alphas from doing level4’s as well.

No. It is not.

Alpha clones were initially buffed because too many of them were subsequently converting to omega. It seems counter-intuitive (especially when omegas pay money, at least initially), but alphas were later given access to better combat ships specifically to stop them them upgrading. CCP explicitly stated at the time that they wanted a permanent alpha presence.

However, the access that alphas were subsequently given to BC’s was “approved” by the CSM, but access to BS was not. So, the alpha presence has arguably never been fully approved of by the broader player base. That said, the fact that CCP’s semi-autonomous buffs have only ever been on the combat side (pvp or pve) should give you pause when developing any argument for any expanded mining and/or industry capabilities.

Eve should learn from games like Warframe, where you spend money if you want to not because you have to in order to advance through the game.

Would you care to explain other than a subscription exactly where in EVE you ‘Have to spend money in order to advance through the game’

So far as I can tell, ion EVE it is possible to “spend money if you want to not because you have to in order to advance through the game”. Alpha clone are sufficient to have fun, so no money is required to generate fun per hour. Furthermore, after subscribing, you can spend as much on PLEX as you want to if the goal is to give money to CCP.

If they were, why not open them up to T2 ships, which consume even more ore to produce?

No u. You don’t even have a counter arguments section, or a counter argument. You ignored his argument. That’s it. And if it is as dumb as you say, then counter it.

On the other hand, it gives a greater inequality inside eve’s economy, meaning more alphas would realize they aren’t in a place “where butterfly effects happen and wars happen daily”. Giving them a bit more ability of production incentivizes them to join corps (for mining fleets) and gives them greater access. This also means corps would accept alphas better and opening them up, giving them a better impression of the game before deciding whether to omega up,

Look above one reply.

Really? Thing is, alphas pew pew only if they have isk, and mining barges are quite good targets for pvp pew pew. (while ventures are versatile and run away)

Uh huh? Now we have to interpret CCP’s ideas before giving them suggestions?

Honestly you can advance through the game while being alpha, and could do like a huge amount of ratting. But mining barges are still closed to them (for some stupid reason).

Not have to, but SP pay to win is a step in that direction. One day training is going to be disabled when you get to 100 mil SP and you have to buy SP from then on.

Yes. Of course you do. Context is everything. At least when it comes down to weighing the chances of your suggestion being successful. The OP made their suggestion in context of interpreting alpha clones as being CCP’s introduction to the game. They are not.

I made my reply in context of CCP’s previously buffing alphas to encourage them to stay alpha, yet they never gave them non-combat buffs as part of that process.

Are CCP open to change, now, as you are perhaps interpreting? Maybe. Would the CSM support that? Maybe not.

Would other players leave (technically unsub) on what could be interpreted as any further dilution of the value of buying a subscription - if, for example, alphas were given a mining buff? I certainly would. But I didn’t interject that as an argument. I simply reinforced the starting context.

And, in that same context, would you like to expand your argument in support of alphas having mining barges? …

This topic again?

You need and Omega subscription for quite a few of your upper skill levels, quite a few of the larger ships, and certain career choices

Ok?
So like I said ‘other than a subscription’… Or do we not care about reading before replying these days.

Touche what about higher skill level?

What money needs spending on a higher skill level other than a subscription?
At the end of the DAY EVE is a subscription game, it just has a limited f2p option.