There’s been a lot of press lately about the giant war that’s brewing in EVE Online. So we asked staff writer Seth to give us a run down of what a day in the chaotic, war torn worlds of EVE’s New Eden is like. Here, you can see how…deeply…his mining operations have been affected by the war.
My name is Tara Sarison. I am a Capsuleer* and a comrade in Red Shirts corporation. Mike asked me to share my story about New Eden, since there is a war going on right now. This is was I did today:
1429: First undock of the day. I finally completed my training for Exhumers, and I needed to outfit my bright shiny new Mackinaw. Like the Retriever I flew before it, it’s built for cargo capacity, and can hold 35,000 cubic meters of ore in the ore hold. The dock cranes have already loaded and installed two Tech 2 Modulated Strip Miners, three Tech 2 Mining Laser upgrades, and the hold is half full with modulation crystals. I order the last of my Tech 2 Mining Drones to be moved into the drone bay and message the captain. Captain Henry moved over the crew last night. While my Pod can control most of the operations of the ship, the crew of 23 handles a number of other ship functions that I can’t do (or can’t be bothered to do) from inside my Pod. He says that all hands are ready to go, and we head out the station exit.
1430: I spot the CONCORD Police Commander as I warp out to my first marker in the ore belt to begin mining.
14:31: I reach the asteroid field, target a number of asteroids, load up the appropriate modulation crystals, and turn on the Mining Lasers. The Lasers have two components, one that cuts open the asteroid, and the other that tractors the pieces into the hold. They cycle every 150 seconds or so, and collect 1480 cubic meters of ore at maximum efficiency.
15:00: My hold is full, I warp back to the station to unload. I jettison the ore hold bays and new bays are installed. The dock crews will sort through the cargo, organize the ore by type and purity, and store it in my hanger. I pay a reprocessing fee when I use this station to refine the ore into usable minerals, and this is the service that I get in exchange. This unloading of bins and loading of new bins is the most inefficient time of my day, so I try to keep it to a minimum.
15:03: I’m back in the asteroid belt, mining again.
15:33: Dock up to unload another 35,000 cubic meters of ore, 6 million ISK sold onto the market, 6.5 million ISK after I reprocess it. I’ve done a lot of contact work for the corporation that owns this station, so they give me a good deal on reprocessing fees. I also know how to work the reprocessors better than they do, so everyone comes out ahead.
15:36: Back in the belt, mining.
15:42: Ashis, and old friend from years ago, warps into the system. He ran a corporation that I was in when I got started and taught me the ropes. Now I’ve moved on to a different corp, and he has showed up again after a long break. He messages me, and we fleet up. He’s got to run around and grab some ships that he left in a different system, so he’ll be back later.
16:04: Warp back to station to unload.
16:07: Back in the belt, mining.
16:24: Finished training Exhumers Level 3. My skills with the ship determine the speed at which I can mine asteroids, the range that my mining lasers can reach, and the defenses of my ship. I’m not really worried about this last one, but the first two are quiet important.
16:37: Warp back to station to unload.
16:40: Back in the belt, mining. Another Capsuleer, “Indigo Serine,” has warped into the ore belt. He’s on the opposite side of the belt, and running Tech 1 Mining Drones, so I don’t think that he should be a problem for me. I’m still going to keep my eye on him and see what he is up to.
16:44: Jade Darkwave shows up in our Corporation channel. Riot Dog Xarranan is there too. Riot Dog is one of the founding members of Red Shirts, and a true believer of the Corporate Motto, “From each according to ability, to each according to need.” Riot was in Ashis’ corp with me back before Ashis went into hibernation. He left and founded Red Shirts with I ‘M Kant, another communist and true believer. I came back to them after a brief flirtation with a public corporation that recruits younger capsuleers.
16:51: Riot Dog warps into the ore field with an Orca. I hand over the reins of fleet command to him. Riot is more skilled than I at coordinating and directing mining operations. Under his leadership, we see about a 10% bonus in our mining production. The ship he is flying, “Red Shirt Industrial Capital Ship Shepherd,” is an Orca Class Industrial Capital Ship which further adds to our production. The Orca has the ability to boost the ranges of the mining lasers and reduce the amount of power they draw. Most importantly, it can speed up the cycle rate of the strip miners, meaning that we take in the same amount of ore in a shorter period of time. We estimate that we see about a 25% increase in production with Riot in squad command.
16:57: Reinais joins the fleet. Reinais is a younger capsuleer who has gone through a neural remapping for personality adjustment. The process left him chronically fatigued, and he tends to fall asleep in his Pod, so he slaves his controls over to Riot Dog, and follows his ship around. You can raise him in chat if you type loud enough.
16:58: I notice that Indigo has left the belt, not many people stick around when another fleet shows up. You have to fight for rocks, and whoever has the most lasers to bear on the target has the advantage. Better to find your own belt.
17:06: Reinais points out that there is a lot more people in system than normal for this backwater. We picked it for its isolation and low population, when more people show up, something could be going on. I speculate that the war might be drawing in more Capsuleers with the promise of glory and honor, not to mention territory and resources. Wars are usually felt across all of New Eden, the market reacts depending on which fleets are winning, or more acutely, which fleets are losing. Broken ships need to be replaced, and the more broken ships are needed, the more suppliers can charge for them. In the past, Red Shirts have made a killing (literally, in some case) selling ammunition to pirates. The irony of selling ammo to pirates who blow up miners like us, and then spending the profits on defenses for our ships to resist pirate attacks was not lost on us.
17:09: Warp back to station to unload. I switch ships to a Hulk. It’s another Exhumer Class mining ship, and I haven’t flown it yet. Captain Scott has already moved the crews over from “Cold Storage.” The Hulk has three mining lasers, so it rips rocks like no other. The only draw back is that it has a 8,500 cubic meter ore hold, and that fills up in less that 5 minutes. I have to dump the ore out somewhere each time it fills up, and there are three options: warp back to the station and waste time, jettison it into space and risk pirates stealing it, or dump it into a nearby Orca. This is the other strength of the Orca; mining barges and exhumers can unload their cargo into it’s massive hold, and continue mining without having to warp to the station regularly.
17:12: Back in the belt, mining. I’m mining with three lasers, and throwing ore into the Orca as fast as my crews can move it. Reinais is behind the Orca, ripping three rocks at a time as well. This is about the peak efficiency that our corporation gets during a shift.
17:47: The Orca warps to the station to dock and unload its cargo. It’s a long slow trip that I do not envy, but it is more efficient that me running back and forth every 5 minutes. He’ll be back soon, but we need to re-prioritize our mining targets in the mean time to make sure we don’t lose range when his boosts disappear.
17:57: The Orca isn’t back yet, so I leave a jettisoned canister of ore for Riot Dog and dock up. My union break is an hour long, so I’ll stretch my legs and clean up before the second half of my shift.
18:00: Union Break. I exit my Pod and head over the the Red Shirt Ship “Personal Space.” It’s a Naga Class Battlecruiser that I have docked in the station for emergencies. It can punch a pretty big hole in a frigate at 250 kilometers away, but it’s mostly mothballed, there hasn’t been much call for it lately. The ship is 614 meters long, and I can run up and down the access hallways of gun decks everyday.
18:58: My break is over and I head back to the Mackinaw. Riot Dog’s break is right after mine, and he has a Arboretum Deck on his Obelisk Class Freighter. He claims that he has a real live canine on board, and that he runs her around the deck, throwing a yellow sphere. It’s a strange practice, and I’m pretty sure members of his crew place bets on whether the dog is real or a holographic projection.
19:03: Riot docks up and I’m alone in the asteroid belt.
19:16: Warp back to station to unload.
19:19: Back in the belt, mining.
19:48: Warp back to station to unload.
19:52: Back in the belt, mining.
19:57: The last unknown Capsuleer leaves the system, and there are only Red Shirts left. Everyone breathes a little easier.
19:59: Riot and Reinais are back from their Union Break, and the boosts from the Orca to my mining lasers resume.
20:06: I catch a glimpse of The Scope news broadcast about the war. The Imperium is getting knocked around in the Tribute region. A force of more than 3,000 Capsuleers from 40 Alliances*** has destroyed the strategic assets of M-OEE8. This system was the Capitol and staging area for the Circle of Two (CO2) alliance, one of the member alliances in the Imperium. Some political statements came out about CO2’s unhappiness with this result, and could result in the loss of CO2’s 3,000 Capsuleers from the Imperium. The attack comes as a retaliation for the Imperium’s “Viceroy” program, where the Imperium would levy taxes against their neighbors. This led to invasions of the Cloud Ring region and into Low Security space nearby. Typically Low-Sec is not considered “controllable,” but the long arm of the Imperium’s reach tried to enforce their programs there. The “Low-Sec Voltron Coalition” was born from the resistance of the pirate alliances, who but aside their differences to fight the new heavy weight. Voltron joined up with Psychotic Tendencies, Out of Sight, Pandemic Horde, and the Omega Security Syndicate, already in the fight against the Imperium. Recently, TEST Alliance, Northern Coalition, Pandemic Legion, Darkness, and The Culture have thrown down in this fight as well. Rumors suggest that entities like Money Badger Coalition have been bankrolling the war effort in a push to break the back of the Imperium, and if true, this could represent the largest build-up of forces in the history of New Eden, all directed at this one Coalition.
20:19: Warp back to station, and switch to the Hulk Class Exhumer. The asteroid belt I was mining has been depleted, so we are moving on to a different one. The Hulk mines faster, now that the Orca is back and I don’t have to dock up.
20:22: Warp back to belt, mining. Riot Dog has the Orca in position, so I can unload directly into his hold and I get a long stretch of ore production.
21:16: The Orca fills up it’s hold and has to dock. I go back to jet canning for a while while I wait for him to return.
21:20: Riot Dog returns and we empty the ore from the ‘cans into the Orca.
21:42: We move to another point in the asteroid belt. Normally I move along as the asteroids are depleted, but I have set up a network of markers, so I’m trying a new tactic of holding in one spot and mining everything nearby, then moving on to the next marker when there is nothing in range. This makes clean up easier when you need to jettison canisters.
21:47: Riot warps back to the station to unload the Orca. I go back to jet canning for a while while I wait for him to return.
21:51: Riot Dog returns and we empty the ore from the ‘cans into the Orca.
21:55: Jade Darkwave gets finished running missions so he joins us in the asteroid belt. He is flying a Dramiel Class Frigate called Headhunter VI. It’s a ship designed by a pirate faction to move really fast across systems. He is orbiting us at 1700 meters per second, just showing off.
21:59: Jade gets bored and wanders off. Riot tries to recruit him into the production effort, but he’s not interested.
22:03: Jade announces he needs to leave, we tell him to “Fly Safe” and he docks up for a while. I may see him again tomorrow.
22:43: We finish up the last asteroid of the second belt and warp to the station to dock up. Riot Dog contracts me all of the ore collected so that I can reprocess it into minerals. Today we mined 126 million ISK worth of asteroid ore and turned that into 139 million ISK worth of minerals. At the end of the shift tomorrow, I’ll contract it all back to Riot Dog for transport to market and sale. Right now, we have an estimated 618 million ISK worth of minerals mined and reprocessed this week. We are just one small outfit providing the warriors of the stars with the material they need to kill each other.
*Capsuleers are the avatars of the player in EVE Online. They are clones, implanted with the memory of their former lives, and encased in a capsule or “Pod” that allows them to control most of the functions of the ship like a mere mortal would control their arms or legs.
**“o7” is the traditional salute greeting, and “Fly Safe” is a traditional farewell in New Eden, the universe of EVE Online.
***Corporations are collections of Capsuleers, Alliances are collections of Corporations, some people refer to the collection of Alliances as Coalitions, but there is nothing official about this name.