EVE Online Inferno 1.2 Mining Barge changes
EVE Online Inferno 1.2 is being released August 8th and is bringing a fair deal of changes in all sections (you can check out the Inferno 1.2 patch notes here), most notably one concerning the mining profession. More specifically, the mining barges that are now being rebalanced.
What mining barge to fly after Inferno 1.2?
CCP has made some game changing decisions with barges, and I personally fully approve of them. Instead of pursuing the old and, frankly, somewhat misplaced logic of the “fly only the best” mining barge, they have decided to make them more task specific. So far, it was the all- time-classic run for the mighty Hulk, but now, thanks to the new changes, all barges will actually be viable. Some will perform better in certain situations, others will suit better the different player’s styles and needs (bigger cargo holds, better yields or stronger tank, your pick).
You can check out the general changes on the official EVE Online blog. I’ll be personally focusing on some the most important changes, and the most important one can be summed up like this: Hulk does not longer make all other mining ships redundant!
Here are some of the points from the official EVE blog:
- Mining Barges and Exhumers are getting the “tiericide” treatment, where they will have specific roles rather than being a linear progression from worst at mining to best at mining.
- Procurer and Skiff will have good defence.
- Retriever and Mackinaw will have large ore holds.
- Covetor and Hulk will have good mining output.
So there you go, too long have the smaller ships been dropped for the sake of Hulk, making it the most expensive and most useful miner’s tool (not regarding the ice mining atm). In case you checked for the price differences between those ships, you would be astonished – the difference between a Korean family car and custom made Porsche! Basically, you would mostly see beginners that would work up to Hulk, gathering money and learning the ropes aka the required skills, and once they would be able to switch to the best barge, the rest would be parked away in the hangar and gather dust. Seems those times are, more or less, over.
Suicide ganking, the plight of the miner
EVE has seen surprisingly high amount of pure hatred from certain large player groups towards miners. Suicide ganks are no longer a casual and/or random occurrences, and some players now organize huge hunts on Hulks throughout the New Eden high sec space. Now, EVE is “dog eats dog” kind of game, ruthless competition where deceit, betrayal and backstabbing play more important role than any other MMO I can possibly think of, so there is no crying when you lose your precious ships. Now, the question was raised if the suicide ganks are a result of broken game mechanics, and while there is quite some truth to that, most of players have accepted it as a fact of life. However, the fact that the ganker would lose a very small faction of the value he would destroy, that was nothing but a broken game mechanic. This is what the developers are adressing right now.
Tank is what miners needed (bar making all of PvP in high sec impossible, which will never happen). Once that the value of mining barges has gone down, and the costs of suicide ganking have gone up, there is some future for miners and a casual gameplay. Now, they are being given the opportunity to tank their ships properly and make it very difficult for the gankers to do the “dirty deed”.
- The Covetor and Hulk cater to group mining operations due to their large mining capability, low EHP and storage, forcing them to rely on others to haul and resupply them with mining crystals.
- The Retriever and Mackinaw are specifically designed for autonomy purposes, as their large ore bays allow their pilot to stay inside an asteroid belt for longer without having to dock.
- The Procurer and Skiff are made for protection against suicide gank, or NPCs, by giving a large enough buffer to react to incoming attacks, while paying for that with a lower mining yield.
It doesn’t get any clearer and more simple than this. Even though their yield is lesser the more EHP and shields they got, barges seem more balanced now and even Procurer and Skiff can mine enough to still be a viable option to an untanked Hulk. Of course, we need to see the changes in action before the final verdict can be spoken, but miners can now relax a bit more.
While we are at it, you can check the specifics on the yield, tanking and cargo size right here.
Mining barges post Inferno 1.2 yield (optimal skills, outfit and mining bonuses presumed)
Tanking mining barges
|Ship||Total Hit Points||EHP|
Mining barges ore and cargo hold specs
|Ship||Ore hold||Mining cycles||Cargo hold||Spare crystal sets|
What will mean for the mining profession and prices of goods in New Eden overall, we’ll see in the next month or two. As we all know, EVE is a game of uncertainty, and only lasting state of EVE is change. See you out there, capsuleers!