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CCP nerfs mining in EVE Online’s NullSec system

EVE Online July 2018 Patch

CCP has just announced a new change to EVE Online that will send the miners of New Eden into a frenzy. The new hotfix, deployed December 17th, made some changes to the core algorithms that govern ore spawns in the player-controlled NullSec regions of the game. The change targets all NullSec systems in two ways:

  • Veldspar and Spodumain will no longer spawn in asteroid belts.
  • Ore anomalies in NullSec systems of the three, four and five asteroid varieties have 33%, 50% and 66% less quantity of ore in them respectively.

This is an incredibly targeted nerf, but it will have interesting consequences for the entire EVE Online economy. The large-scale miners running a whole fleet of Rorquals just got handed a big problem to deal with. Having to move their entire mining fleet more often poses more risk. I would be willing to bet the increased loss of Rorqual hulls this causes increases the price of the ship when combined with the new scarcity of minerals.

The loss of the lowest yield Megacyte ore type, out of the basic asteroid ores that is, will be felt to some degree. Although when that’s combined with the massive hit to ore-based anomalies, there’s going to be a major shift in ore and mineral supplies once stockpiles run out. This is the first major knock-on effect to all forms of manufacturing, as Megacyte and all the other minerals will feel a reduction in supply but at least a stagnant level of demand.

Resources are theoretically infinite in New Eden, what matters is the pace at which resources are acquired. This change will reduce the amount of minerals that can be stockpiled by a player or group across the board, because new minerals won’t be coming in fast enough to replace those spent/lost.  The raw loss of minerals will cause a shift for the builders who keep groups running with new ships. It will be interesting to see how the composition of player manufacturing changes post-nerf. The larger player coalitions have access to exponentially more manpower though, and might be able to overcome some production shortfalls resulting from this redistribution.

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Let’s look at the most mined region in the game, Delve, for a window into how this might feel on the ground. The total value of ore mined in Delve in November 2019 was 4.55 Trillion ISK. Most of that ore, almost all of it, was then used in local manufacturing. Total production in the region in the same period was 13.3 Trillion ISK. If the pace at which new minerals are added to supply drops by even a third, the pace of production slows horrendously. Could you imagine essentially deleting dozens of supercapitals worth of minerals from the game across NullSec?

The real change under the hood is that Ice mining is now much more preferable if you’re just looking for raw ISK per hour profit, at least for now. The amount of time it takes to mine 1 Billion ISK worth of Ice is now shorter than 1 Billion ISK worth of ABC ores. Ice product prices will fall, but it’s hard to say by how much. If CCP doesn’t monkey with things again (they certainly will) we can expect a bit of economic chaos, but with most pilots only noticing minor price changes in their end products.

We can reasonably expect a total drop in mining and production value that’s roughly correlative with this change to ore spawns, but it’s very possible that the value of Ice products will compensate to a degree. The total money supply will also drop, although it’s unclear by how much because the ratio of mineral value to liquid ISK fluctuates.

It will take some time before reserves of minerals deplete and the decreased pace of mining new minerals takes hold, but I cannot wait to see the MER two months from now.

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