Mining in Eve is kinda dull, and it's received very little attention from the developers. This is is a suggestion to offer an "incursion" like alternative to miners.
I had this idea while looking at ice 0.2 AU from the sun and commenting that there should be a huge vapour trail. I wondered - why aren't there comets in Eve? And if there were, what we could do with them?
Comets are pretty rare, but in a world with thousands of
star system, there should be a comet in the galaxy every few days.
Comets come from the outer reach of a solar system, and have complex
compositions, made of the primordial materials that made the system.
Stuff that has since long been minded out in a system could appear in a
comet. Comet are hard to detect, until they come close to a star and
start emitting a large vapour trail, then becoming visible to everyone
in the system. They sometimes do not survive their passage near the
sun though, either gassing out completely, hitting the sun or... being
completely mined out.
- Comets are large and contain various valuable materials. I'm not
sure exactly *what* should be in there but it doesn't have to be a new
resource. I think a good idea would be a mixture of common and rare
ores and ices, gases, and possibly some types of moon goo and PI
resources. A single comet should be worth a lot of money, and would be
worth chasing by miners. Being there
first would give access to the choice materials, but choices would have
to be made - the different kind of resources would require different
mining modules. Variability between comets would also be nice, rewarding adaptability in comet chasers.
- Comets are rare on a system basis, but common on a galactic basis.
They appear in a system, are very obvious when there, then disappears
after a while. The basic
concept is similar to incursions - a periodic event that happens in different places, bringing players together to deal with it. There will need to be some kind of in game mechanic so that miners who aren't in that system can find out where active comets have been spotted.
- Comets *move* . I'm not sure if this is a good idea, but maybe it
could be neat if Comets had velocities. This would change mining
gameplay significantly. I'm not sure how fast they should be moving,
but depending on the velocity certain ships may not be able to keep up.
This would make the skiff and venture more valuable, and certain
methods of cargo handling not as great (parking a freighter or orca in
the belt type of deal, this wouldn't work). I'll note that this is probably the most optional part of my proposal.
- PvP content. The high value of this will attract lots of miners, which will then attract lots of gankers. I think this situation will make miners
fielding a few defensive ship make much more sense than it usually does
now, increasing chance for PvP. T1 haulers going back and forth to the
comet to help with the materials, cans dropped behind would also become
targets for pirates and thieves. Of course, the presence or absence of
Concord will have a big impact, but gankers have ways of dealing with
- Rats: Comets may attract attention from bigger or different types
of rats than what usually shows up in belts, providing further content
and challenges to would-be comet miners.
Reason why CCP should do this:
- new PvE high-end content for miners that has the potential to bring more of them together, encouraging more social play
- shouldn't be too hard for CCP to do
- probable conflict source
- Could have some really cool looking art that would help sell the game. The comet would be visible from the whole system.
- There are economic considerations. What materials should be in the comet, in what quantity and how variable comets are deserves careful thought. The comet has
to be valuable enough for it to be worth going after, and frequent
enough that a "comet chaser" community evolves, but not SO valuable to
throw everything out of whack. Miners chasing comets aren't doing their normal mining operations, and that may impact the economy as well. As mentioned earlier, passing the word
around that system X will be crucial - unlike an incursion that affects an entire constellation, this only affects a single system.
- There may be technical challenges too. For example, one giant rock having multiple
ores and ice may not be possible with EVE's code (but this can be
bypassed by having the comment be a closely packed assembly of rocks). The comet with a velocity may also be difficult to achieve. New mining modules may have to be created, although that should be pretty easy to accomplish.
- There may be "political" resistance from null-sec
players. They may not like the idea of their precious null-only
materials appearing anywhere willy nilly, and they tend to be a lot more
vocal than miners.
Lastly, I'll note that this type of comet isn't the short period, highly
predictable comet. A comet of this type has been mined out a long time
ago. However, we also have comets that we've never seen before show up every
few years. These are either comets that have orbital periods in the
hundred, thousands of years, even more, OR comets that have been
knocked out of alignment in the Oort cloud and are now hurling towards
the sun. These comets are new, fresh, filled with valuables and
unpredictable to boot. Now, in our solar system we only get these comets every few year
(say, once every 4 year just to make up a number). But with 7500 star
systems in EVE, that means 5 of these comets would show up *per day*
somewhere in the galaxy!