Thursday, August 25, 2011

Making Mountains of Molehills

He stood up straight and looked the world squarely in the fields and hills. To add weight to his words he stuck the rabbit bone in his hair. He spread his arm out wide. "I will go mad!" he annouced.
--Douglas Adams

Industrial pilots are the rugged individuals tearing asunder asteroids and reforging them into materials to sate the galaxy's ravenous engines of war.  Join this career if you wish to transmute useless space rocks into the mightiest machines mankind has ever known.

Those miners sure do think highly of themselves.  The second group of missions I ran was for the Industrial agent and titled Making Mountains of Molehills.  The missions, like any of the non-combat Career paths, don't really require much in the way of combat skills and can be done as soon as you start the game.  I hadn't done any mining in a very long time before redoing these missions, so please try to have a bit of sympathy for what I had to go through to bring you all this.

1 of 10

Granted: one unit of Miner I

Reward: 92000

Bonus: <1h 24m for 87000

Collateral: 1 isk

This is the first mission I've seen that required collateral.  I'm not really sure why either, since it's only 1isk.  I'm assuming there's probably a programming reason that it's included and they just needed a token amount.  I may never know for sure though.  Quite a few of the missions from this agent require collateral, usually the ones that are Courier missions, or provide me with some kind of Blueprint for free.  Those make more sense, and I won't always be mentioning the Collateral from here on out.  Accepting the mission starts the Mining tutorial, which makes sense.  Pretty basic stuff really, although "Mining is the backbone of the EVE universe" in bright yellow made me chuckle a bit.

The tutorial also tells you that "Asteroids are found in asteroid belts. They are located within most solar-systems and are marked in the overview with a triangle. Alternatively you can use the contextual menu by right-clicking anywhere in space and selecting the asteroid belt sub-menu. "  This could potentially be confusing since this is one of those missions where you have to mine the specific deadspace pocket given to you in the mission, not just any asteroid.  I see a lot of people in Rookie Chat getting confused by this after they've mined Veldspar from somewhere else, or just purchased it off the market.  What might have been a better use of the mining tutorial is telling you to use the default Mining overview that was put in recently.  I had a bit of trouble finding the asteroid once I got there...even though it's huge.  It's black OK?  And I'm in blends in.

Nothing exciting happens during the mining mission.  No surprise really.  After a few minutes of soothing mining laser sounds, I report back to my agent.  At least I'm able to type this blog post while running the missions, right?

2 of 10

Granted: None

Reward: one unit of Tormentor

Bonus: <50m for 31000

The mission is to bring my agent some Tritanium.  Accepting the mission starts the Reprocessing and Refining tutorial to explain how to turn Veldspar into Tritanium.  I get the impression I'm supposed to go mine some more Veldspar...but seriously, I'd rather just buy it off the market.  I have a bit over a million isk at this point, so that's not really a problem.  I would too...except there's none for sale in this system.  It's like they're torturing me into mining.

After undocking, warping to an asteroid belt, and running a single cycle of my Miner I, I have enough Veldspar to continue.  After bringing the mission up again, I realize I probably just could have reprocessed some of the loot I had in order to get it.  After kicking myself a couple of times over that, I turn the mission in.

Upon completion of the mission, and expecting to be seeing more mining in my future, I go ahead and change ships to the Tormentor I just received.  This starts the Insuring Your Ship tutorial because "Almost all activities in EVE come with the risk of death."  Of course, I have been running combat missions, and I'm about to be running a bunch of industrial jobs that don't even require me to undock...I'm not really sure why this wouldn't have been something to have told me sooner.  Oh well.

3 of 10

Granted: one unit of Civilian Afterburner Blueprint (copy)

Reward: one unit of Expanded Cargohold

Bonus: <5h 30m for 213000

Accepting the mission starts the Manufacturing tutorial.  Which makes sense, of course, but I lack the Industry skill.  Buying it off the market, I take a break waiting the 9 minutes for the skill to complete.  Once I come back and set up the job, I then have to wait again.  This time only 3 minutes though.  I imagine all this waiting is par for the course of someone wanting to do Industry as a career, but it comes across as sort of dull gameplay to me.  I also needed some more Tritanium than I had left over from my last mission to set the job up, but I just reprocess items for the 66 missing unit to speed the whole process up.

I spend the time tinkering with the fitting on my new Tormentor.  Once the manufacturing job is completed, I deliver the job and complete the mission.  The expanded cargohold would be nice to fit, but I'm still lacking the required Hull Upgrades skill.  Most people would probably just buy it by now, but I'm holding out hope of getting it for free.

4 of 10

Granted: None

Reward: one unit of Miner I

Bonus: <1h 44m for 65000

This is another mission that requires me to go to a specific deadspace pocket to do my mining, but not just for the arbitrary reason of because they said so.  I'm also supposed to destroy some rogue drones when I get there.  I'm not really sure what the standard practice is for this, if I should take one ship out to clear the drones and then another out for the mining, or equip my Tormentor for combat.  I seem to recall that I used to just use the single light drone back when I did this the first time, but I don't want to bother training drones just for this one ship.  I decide to give my ship a Beam Laser, cringe when I can't online it and a miner at the same time, and then offline the miner.  I figure I can just online it in space once the drones are taken care of.

There end up being only two drones in the mission, and I one shot each of them with only a single laser, leaving me glad that I didn't take the time to bring another ship just for that.  Of course, my Tormentor doesn't have enough cargo space for all the Veldspar I need, so I have to make two trips.  Really wishing I could use that expanded Cargohold right about now...

5 of 10

Granted: one unit of 1MN Afterburner I

Reward: one unit of Expanded Cargohold I

Bonus: <56m for 30000

A pretty standard Courier mission.  I have to take a small item four jumps away.  Not the most exciting thing in EVE, but I've done my fair share of grinding Courier Missions when I made an R&D alt a while back, so this is nothing by comparison.  I'm there and back in ten minutes.

I keep mentioning how agonizing the industrial missions are for me to run, but it's really not that bad.  I'm using most of the down time to answer questions in Rookie Chat, and I find that pretty rewarding.  It also produced this gem of wisdom "[07:15:49] ISD Anon > Gabriel, assume everyone else in the game is trying to steal from or kill you. And work up from there."  Which made me actually laugh out loud.  There's also the completely adorable noobies "[07:22:16] Random Nubbie > Are there guilds or corps I could join? im only lvl like 1 or 2"  Anyway, mission completed, on to the next one.

6 of 10

Granted: one unit of Cap Booster 25 Blueprint (Copy)


Bonus: <2h 42m for 104000

Another manufacturing job.  This one requires a few more exotic materials, Pyerite and Mexallon specifically. I don't bother with mining or even buying the minerals, instead just reprocessing some armor plates I'd gotten as loot.  I suppose I could have just bought the Cap Boosters it wanted, but that wouldn't have really been in the spirit of things.  Three minutes later and the job is completed, the mission right along with it.

7 of 10

Granted: None

Reward: one unit of Overdrive Injector Systems I

Bonus: < 3h for 17000

Another Courier mission, this time to move the 20 Cap Boosters you made in the last mission one jump over. There's again flavor text during this whole process, and it does make the missions at least slightly more interesting in that there's a reason you're making what you're making or transporting what you're transporting. Having all of it be interconnected is sort of cool.  I'm not actually sure if the regular Mining missions keep this sort of stuff up, but it at least attempts to mirror how other things drive industry in the game.  Namely, other players and their war efforts.

8 of 10

Granted: one unit of Civilian Amarr Shuttle Blueprint (copy)

Reward: 50000

Bonus: <2h 10m for 46000

There are civilian shuttles?  Who knew?  Making one takes less than a minute, which must really keep costs down on the civilian ship market.  Sixty-three seconds later and the mission is complete.

9 of 10

Granted: None

Reward: 74000

Bonus: <1h 18m 59000

This is really more of a combat mission than anything else.  I've got to go destroy some Pirates, but before they'll spawn I have to mine the asteroids present.  My agent doesn't actually care about the ore though, and tells me I can keep it.  I head out in my trusty Tormentor with a Beam Laser offlined again.  Hopefully it's enough to stand up to these Pirates.

Err, Pirate.  As in singular.  I guess that's why it's under Industry instead of Military.  I really do think I could have handled the quasi-combat missions in my Tormentor with a single light Drone, if I'd had any drone skills. Once the single ship that shows up dies, I have to loot a specific item from it and return to the agent.  Once that's done, it's mission complete.

10 of 10

Granted: one unit of Tormentor Blueprint (copy)

Reward: one unit of Sigil

Bonus: <6h for 224000

Again, the 10 of 10 missions don't disappoint with the mission rewards.  Not only am I getting a Sigil as a mission reward, but the Blueprint Copy has 5 runs on it, and I'm only asked to turn in one ship to complete the mission, meaning I can produce and sell the remaining 4 if I want.  For an industrial minded player, this is definitely some great stuff.  Producing ships is a lot slower than the modules I've been making, so this one's going to take me about an hour and twenty minutes to complete, hence the very large window on the time bonus.

All told, the Industry missions actually work a lot smoother than the combat missions did.  I had a lot of complaints regarding the order of skillbooks and mission reward items given out for those, but beyond the lack of the Industry skill, and still not having Hull Upgrades for the Cargo Expanders, there are no other complaints from me.

I guess I could also mention the fact that you can't actually use a Sigil while on a Trial account.  It requires the Amarr Industrial skill, which isn't trainable on a trial.  You could look at this as an oversight considering you can get the ship as a mission reward on day one.  On the other hand, you can view at as genius on the part of CCP for giving you something and then telling you that you need to subscribe first to use it.  I actually recall this being the exact reason I subscribed the first time when I did.  I had played through all the tutorials and was ready to relocate to start my EVE Career, but wanted to take all my stuff with me in an Industrial Ship.  Sure, I probably would have subscribed at the end of my two week trial anyway, but it was the reason I did so after only a couple of days instead of a couple of weeks.

I actually sort of enjoy the Manufacturing process in EVE and could even see myself playing a game where I did this.  I just have trouble doing it in EVE since PvP is just so much more enjoyable for me.  Maybe someday I'll get around to having multiple accounts running a massive industrial empire to supply all of my own ships at cost.  Then I'd be really living the dream.



1 comment:

  1. Nice read. I actually went through all the new tutorials when I came back a few months ago. Except I cheated and used my '06 character and bought all the stuff I needed. I just wanted to see what they were and found they gave fairly decent faction bumps.

    Back in the day I ran a second account with an industrial character. He could fly hulks, and orca's, and transports. He also has a ton of manufacturing, research and such skills. I wanted to see how hard and profitable it would be to run a one man industrial corp. Mine it myself, refine, build, and sell it. Has hoping to make a enough isk to support my PvP character. Then I came to the realization that the monthly cost to pay for the extra account I could buy plex and sell it for more isk then I was making and it took a whole minute to do.

    However I do have to admit that I have since cross trained some industrial skills on my main, simply because sometimes it is a good change of pace from combat.