Art by Cryo Huren
I have a confession to make. Beneath this exterior, that’s been so well fed by Pandemic Horde, is a miner. So I’ve come to talk about CCP’s recent mining changes. Do you think the new residue mechanic is terrible and cannot quite put your finger as you why? Well, this article is for you. Now for this article we’re going to call residue by its first name “waste” as opposed to its last name. First let’s start with what waste is.
What Is Waste?
Waste is CCP’s new mining mechanic in which miners now have a chance to lose some of the resources they are harvesting. Simply put for every 1 resource you mine there is a chance that you’ll delete 1 as well. The probability of waste originally scaled from mining drones being the highest chance; tech 1 miners being the second highest; tech II was a middle ground; faction miners would have zero waste. It is here we shall start looking at CCP’s original intentions with the system.
First, we must delve into what each module would have likely be used for. Tech I miner modules would’ve been used by new players at great cost to the available resources. Tech II would’ve been used by players with a fair amount of skill points under their belt and used on ubiquitous sources such as mining anomalies or asteroid belts. And lastly faction, with zero waste, would’ve likely been used on very rare resources such as r64 moons. With the faction modules called ORE Strip Miners going for approximately 260 million isk in Jita as I write this article, it’s quite clear who these changes were aimed at.
Attaching these 260 million isk modules to a barge and going moon mining with them is begging to get dropped on. It is quite clear CCP took aim at the powerful and wealthy alliances that hold valuable moons. It is here they intended to create a great deal more risk by greatly discouraging any other ways to mine except to barge mine with the faction modules on good moon fracks. You might argue that they could’ve always just ate the 1/3 loss from waste, but on valuable moons that mounts to quite a few billions of ISK. The system, as it was originally intended, was to punish successful organizations that secured rare resources by all but forcing them to use high risk mining ship fittings.
Why Does It Feel Bad?
EVE is no stranger to chance-based mechanics. Examples are wrecking shots, jackpot moon fracks, and Invention. While similarities can be drawn between these in waste, the reality is that waste is a beast on its own. Waste is a perfect reflection of CCP’s statement from this outlook, “Predictable Inputs lead to Stagnant Outputs”.
Waste is unique since it is a negative, time-sensitive, detracting outcome of a shared time-gated resource. It is something you likely don’t want to happen; thus, waste is a negative outcome. The faster you choose to mine a rock based on module and ammo choices, the more waste is created; so waste is a time-sensitive outcome. It diminishes the total value of a rock; waste is a detracting outcome. And it can affect others instead of just yourself; waste is a public outcome to anyone who mines with you. Finally, being that mining anomalies and moons fracks have long respawn times, it affects a time-gated resource.
BRM is much the same as waste. However, one more person ratting will always increase the total output of a system if there is an anomaly for the ratter to rat. Combat anomalies, unlike mining anomalies, respawn in a handful of minutes. Due to the often long respawn rates of mining anomalies and belts, however, waste is the equivalent of taking a piece of pie at a party and throwing one piece away.
What’s the Problem?
The biggest issue of waste is that it a system where an individual can affect the total value of shared resources. Before this change individuals had choices to the speed at which they acquired the resource and had no effect on the total amount available. Mining faster meant you were just taking more pie for yourself. It is because this system affects the total value of a time-gated resource is what makes it terrible.
Can It Be Redeemed?
Even if you were to change it to a positive outcome such as a chance to gain one of a resource and not remove a resource from the asteroid, it would still be a bad system since it affects the total value of a shared and often limited resource. This system disincentivizes mining with any module that the mechanic affects.
The waste mechanic poisons everything it touches, and originally it was going to poison the new player experience. After a considerable amount of backlash, CCP have removed waste from modules that new players might use to mine. Originally, waste would’ve punished organizations for allowing new players to mine limited shared resources, thus disincentivizing organizations from helping new players gain wealth.
Waste is a terrible system that CCP have added to EVE Online. Originally, waste was targeted at organizations that own rare resources. It is a system that not only punishes a player for playing the game but punishes others for a person playing the game. The only redemption of this poisonous system is it to be removed or negated in all but its PvP applications.