Thoughts about mining have been rolling around in my head for a while now, so I thought I’d get it out there.
The asteroid belts in EVE have always seemed a little out-of-place. Rocks respawning in exactly the same place, every single day. Sure, as a mechanic it makes sense, but from a lore perspective it really seems a bit whacked.
Then you get the issue of who actually owns the ore. Can you really imagine a world where a government doesn’t try to license everything, extracting its pound of flesh, demanding that you pay it for using a ‘public’ resource. That you ‘buy’ the right to mine. And can you imagine a world where large corporate concerns haven’t tied up all the rights they can?
Then there’s the problem of actually /finding/ decent rocks. Sure, there are going to be a lot out there. But how many of them are going to be useful, and how many are just going to be lumps of ice, carbon and silica, of no use to man nor beast? It’s not like they’re going to be radiating an energy signature which can be picked up.
So here’s what I’m thinking, and yes, I know it’d be a major shake-up:
The regular way
The rights to mine in highsec are, in most part, owned by the various NPC mining corporations. I would not include ORE in this (Hence why they moved out of High, into NPC Null)
This means, when you, as a PC, want to go mine, you’re subcontracting to them. This means: Mining Missions. They’ll give you coordinates for an ice/ore pocket, you’ll go and mine it, giving them a cut of it.
High level missions will give better ore, large asteroids and so on. But claim jumpers are more likely. It’d be nice if people could be flagged Suspect for ‘stealing’ ore in these sites, if they’re not in the fleet of the person who took the mission, but that might be a trifle complicated.
Possibly some of the mining missions will still be the ‘go kill people then mine’ ones. But I think the killing should be reactive, rather than proactive. You’re not claim jumping, in general.
These are pockets of asteroids in an orbit which makes them dangerous. So a beacon is added and Egger avarice is harnessed for the public good. Maybe add in an Ore that can be traded directly for LP. The ‘worthless’ rock that’s from an asteroid that was going to paste a station.
A longer term option. Invest in some system infrastructure, anchored somewhere (not a POS) and using a skill, to generate bookmarks for ore signatures. Chance based, with skills making it better, but taking time to generate. The lower the sec status, the better the signature (as the system isn’t mined out) Maybe one a day. Possibly sometimes sharing signatures, if it’s a high volume system. The first person/fleet/corp into the site gets the mining ‘right’. If they pay a fee to the Faction, reduced by standing, they get exclusivity, with others going suspect if they mine there.
Low Sec/NPC Null
Pretty much the same as high-sec, but with better rewards, due to the dearth of competitors. Prospectors get better and faster results.
Due to the lack of NPC agents, no mining missions. Due to the lack of a NPC central authority, no anomalies.
Prospectors get far better results. More powerful scanners can be used, allowing for chaining of signatures, rather than the larger delays of Low and High.
These are pretty much just replacements for Ore Prospecting Arrays. Just with no tie to the indexes, for the base level one.
Anchored anywhere in system, taking a few hours to online, they can be used to generate a bookmark to an Ore site (Quality is skill dependant) They then offline, and have to be put back online again. The skill of the person who onlines it determines the quality of site it’ll produce when triggered, and how long it takes to online. Higher level ones online faster, and produce better sites. If they’re triggered while the site still exists, they’ll link to the same site.
These cannot, at a base level, be scanned down. However, if you have two within a set distance (say, 2 AU) they interfere with each other, reducing the quality of site.
Upgraded versions, in Sov Null, can be scanned down and destroyed, with a short reinforced timer,if they have stront in them. No more than a couple of hours. Fairly cheap, I’d peg them around the 5 million mark for a basic one, with each progressive level making them more expensive. Probably no more than 100 million for a top of the line one, but someone with a better understanding of Sov Null would have a better clue on this. They’re /supposed/ to be disposable.
The idea is to make mining a somewhat less passive activity. No longer ‘I undock, warp to my bookmark, target the nearest rock, receive bacon’.
Ratting becomes more complicated. No longer would you have asteroid belts to warp round. This could be mitigated by adding more sites. Refineries, colonies, factories, brothels and other such places. No longer would you have high up people in a criminal organisation, deciding to go and look at some rocks.