More advanced ships in Eve usually have prerequisites that build from the previous stage. Frigate is a prerequisite of Destroyer, which in turn is a prereq for Cruiser, and then Battlecruiser and so on. Going sideways, the jump from T1 to T2 hulls still has the same weapons skills and switching between weapon systems often shares the support skills. It’s a well designed, smooth system.
For the subcap mining ships this progresses decently well. Mining frigate come before mining barge, which comes before exhumers. Astrogeology and mining give their bonuses to mining turrets which is beneficial for all of those hulls.
Enter the mining command ships. Their hull prerequisites are on a separate tree. They use only drones, so they don’t share the mining skills. This also means they don’t benefit from training the refining skills for crystals. The porp and orca mine less than an exhumer so the only reason to train towards them at all is while you wait for rorqual skills. The mining crystal skills are a total waste of SP when you’re aiming to eventually be in a rorq - crystals give little benefit and require a lot of SP.
This gives players a really bad set of choices. Train into subcap mining and waste all that SP but get something at least decent before the long train for a rorq - or train straight for the rorqual and have just a mediocre orca (especially bad if you have a friendly rorq to boost your exhumer) while you wait for a rorq training to finish.
There’s been a ton of really good changes with making rorqs into mining ships rather than just boosting ships. I’m just struggling to see how the skill progression for a rorq makes sense.