Over the last two years, things in EVE Online have been very tense. One of the core drives of both conflict and player strife have been a scarcity period. Developer CCP introduced a major nerf to mining and industry gameplay, leaving the economy gutted. A major overhaul of how much ore ice other products mining could produce was just the beginning. The moon mining changes later introduced in 2020 made matters worse.
CCP finally announced that the scarcity period was coming to an end, and players got their first taste of what’s coming. I’ll let the update post speak for itself and say that: “This update introduces more raw materials into New Eden, compression for gas, ice & moon ore, updates to mining & mining crystals, and a rebalancing of the Orca and Rorqual as well as other mining ships.”
Here’s a more insightful rundown of what’s coming:
- Numerical changes to all asteroid and moon ore, as well as ice spawns, basically adding 200% to previous yields
- The extraction rate is doubled from moons
- PI materials need reduced in subcapital and capital components
- Orca and Rorqual getting numerical nerfs, further pushing them out of a mining role
- Smaller mining ships get HP buffs and more module slots
- Specialized hulls being added to Industrials to haul Ice and Gas
- Mining waste system that removes “wasted” material from spawn pool for that asteroid/moon
- Specialized compression modules, and a compression waste system, reducing yield
- Rebalancing of Mining Crystals
- Changing of visual effects to give players more clarity
So what does it all mean? Judging by the reaction from EVE’s community, not a lot of good things. One of the biggest concerns from players as a result of the initial nerfs is capital production. With these EVE Online mining buffs, most of the concerns have been left in a somewhat uncertain state. There are some major positives though.
Some lower-class mining ships like Barges and Exhumers actually make out OK. The increased fitting space for these ships should help them see more use overall, although it’s a question of how much. Other hull specializations for hulls hauling the raw products open up more opportunities for industry players and gankers alike. The ability to paralyze mining operations by hitting Industrial is a new thing that could develop.
The ability to get more ore, ice and PI into the economy is a good thing. Small producers and those looking to make ISK should see more availability on the market. The long-term knock-on effects of the other changes are harder to predict. The massive buff to overall yields will likely take immediate effect in the short term. It will be interesting to see what happens once stockpiled resources are used up. Speculative pricing is about to go wild on some resources in the weeks leading to this patch.
For dedicated industry players, the simplification of reprocessing skills is a godsend. Those Skill Points could be better spent in so many ways.
Mining Waste, a new system being added in the patch, has some players up in arms. The loss is applied to the actual source of the raw ore, not the yield. What this seems to mean is that the server will exhaust ore and ice spawns much faster. The higher overall yields offer minor compensation, but there’s a major problem. Enforced tedium isn’t fun.
Anyone who plays Path of Exile knows how a lot of players feel about the RNG-heavy gameplay there. The intentional wasting of player time is a sin for many, and players are letting CCP know how they feel.
The ability to compress gas and ice products could be useful, but it’s pretty tempered, A lot of players are miffed over the need for specialized modules, as well as the loss. This will have a knock-on effect in efficiency and pricing, as well as a minor nerf to tankiness of the affected ships. The loss of some compressed materials is already angering industry players. Yet another example of enforced tedium.
The further nerfs to solo mining with Orca and Rorqual ships is a major blow to NullSec. Though the nerfs and Waste will bring down the efficiency of these two ships, the gulf will still be major. The reality is that the smaller ships still won’t be able to compete. This could lead to a major power gap developing as larger groups are more reliably able to defend their mining operations. If CCP follows through and fully relegates the two big boys in EVE mining to a support role, a lot of NullSec panic is going to set in.
There are some edge cases where single users and small groups could carve out a niche that wasn’t as possible before. The pre-nerf mining landscape was dominated by big groups, and the scarcity period caused enough chaos to allow small groups to compete, provided they put in the major logistical effort. The changes in these buffs aren’t as big of a buff as many would like.
What’s it all mean?
My main has almost 10 years of subtime banked thanks to the referral program, and a pretty sizeable bank of assets and ISK to burn. Had no desire to play for months now, and I’m kind of up in the air. The overall tone of the EVE Online mining buffs is good, but players should have concerns. Healthy criticism of some finer details is important to designing a good system.
Seeing the mining waste thing has me really confused about the mentality here. If you’re trying to reduce the overall volume of minerals and material, while offering a buff, why bother doubling? I get that they want to add extra weight onto the scale against larger groups hoovering up resources; but you’re just giving the biggest groups a bigger advantage as they can move faster than anyone else, logistically speaking.
Adding into that numerical nerfs and the compression changes, we’re going to see a major reduction in how many small-scale groups can compete, no? Maybe I’m just overstating what exactly is about to happen. We won’t know for sure how the changes look until the test version lands on the server.