Fueling the War Machine: Mining

2020-12-09

Header art by Cryo Huren

Editor’s note: This article is part three of a continuing series on fueling the war machine.  See additional articles on Fueling the War Machine with logistics and entosis careers within nullsec alliances.

Most pilots in EVE must farm the funds to buy a ship, and losing their ship means a bunch more farming. This risk of loss makes the kill meaningful, as it requires the pilot to secure a new ship. What makes EVE unique is that none of these ships come from NPCs. Rather, players must mine the minerals, transport them, refine them, and build the ships from blueprints before they can do something like enter the war (as the header art illustrates). This article focuses on mining and how a new nullsec pilot, or someone looking for a new career, can get involved.

Changes to the game by CCP developers over the past few months have affected mining greatly, but have not changed the fact that at its deepest core, this entire game revolves around mining for the production of ships and, in some cases, fuel. The Imperium has a special interest group for mining; I spoke to Dawn Rhea, one of its leaders. She explained that the most valuable minerals were previously acquired in nullsec, but subsequent to the recent CCP changes, most of them are mined in highsec and also purchased from the market. This change opens up opportunities for more players, but the income stream is now more of a long slow trickle rather than a firehose.

Mining in Highsec

If you are interested in highsec mining with your alts, you can train up for an Orca and mining drones. Ores particularly rich in tritanium can then be sold on the market, or transported back to nullsec to go into the production of ships and components. The Imperium has ore transportation routes set up from several locations in high-sec. Either way you choose to mine, your alliance will thank you for feeding the market and therefore providing them, ultimately, with the ships they need to live, to die, and to live again.

Dawn warns, though, that “mining is good in some places but it has become very tedious and requires either lots of characters or working as a group.” The advantage of highsec mining in an Orca is that you are unlikely to get ganked and it doesn’t require your full attention, making it a perfect EVE career for someone working from home who needs to multitask. In highsec, you can mine while also getting other things accomplished, like studying for that exam or working on that spreadsheet for your boss.

If you want to mine from multiple accounts, you can fairly quickly train into Orcas. Be sure to also train up your drone skills for maximum yield. Harvester drones are expensive, but increase your yield nearly 20% over tech 2 mining drones. It’s also helpful to compress your ore for easier transport; but don’t refine it, as that increases its volume, which is not helpful for transportation. While tritanium prices have not yet skyrocketed like some expected, a player with several accounts can still net a billion a week and still be mostly AFK.

Mining in Lowsec

You can also find spawns of rare ores in low-sec systems, which are very profitable and worth the risk.  Dawn suggests training into a Porpoise, as it provides boosts and aligns quickly at the first sign of trouble. The valuable ores to look for in low-sec are crokite and ochre. Find these by looking in the Agency under Resource Harvesting.  It will show you which systems nearby have ore anomalies. You can then find them easily with your scanner upon arrival.

Mining in Nullsec

A Porpoise is also useful in a small mining gang in nullsec, mining moons. If you are interested in this kind of mining, train skills for mining mercoxit. Mining in nullsec, in sov owned by your alliance, also raises the ADMs in the system you are mining, which means you are directly contributing to the war in two ways: you produce ore used in ships and components while also helping protect sovereignty by making it harder for an enemy to hack.

As you can see, there are many options for a new pilot interested in getting into mining, regardless of whether you are in highsec, lowsec, or nullsec. Depending on where you plan to mine, choose the appropriate ship and train up those skills.  As with everything in EVE, mining is most fun when doing it with a few buddies in your corp or alliance.  Being in a group can also help with the logistics of getting your ore to market and keeping an eye out for hostiles.  While mining can be tedious and sometimes dangerous, it is often low effort. Nevertheless, you help fuel the war machine for your alliance.

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