So, the new mining barges went live, and I’ve had a few couple of days to play around with them.
My initial thoughts were:
- All the barges are tough enough to survive long enough for your drones to kill the rats anywhere in highsec, although I would hesitate to bring a Covetor into low-sec without help.
- The wide disparity of yield is gone, which is welcome.
- The CPU issues plagueing t1 mining barges are largely alleviated, to the point where processor overclocking rigs aren’t necessary.
- The specialised roles (tank, capacity and yield) are working quite well as differentiators.
I even put together a few fits to show the relative strengths and weaknesses of the hulls.
Best for: surviving ganks
The Procurer can fit a truly epic tank, and will definitely be the go-to ship during hulkageddon. Its ore bay of 12000m3 will be filled in 12 minutes in a tank fit, which is still a respectable 16.4m3 per second.
A full yield Procurer sacrifices a third of its tank for a 19.5m3 yield, which will fill the ore bay in 10min 15s. This is actually pretty decent. The EM hardener can be replaced by a survey scanner while still keeping 50k+ effective hp.
Best for: going afk
As can be seen, the Retriever can’t fit anywhere the same tank as the Procurer, and frankly, it’s pointless to even try. You can eke out an 18k tank by taking off the mining laser upgrades for a damage control and reinforced bulkheads, and using an invulnerability field, but then you have the same yield as a tanky Procurer, except still with a terrible tank.
The ore hold of 27.5k m3 will be filled in 21 mins 35s with max yield, or 28 minutes when tanked.
Best for: mining as quickly as possible before you get blown up
So, the Covetor has a woeful tank, but doesn’t have the power grid or slots to do anything about it. Do not attempt to tank this ship.
Having said that, the yield of 23.4 is 10% better than a Retriever, and since you have a terrible tank and tiny cargohold, you might as well use mining drones and go completely nuts with drone rigs.
The 7000m ore bay fills in 5 minutes, so if you’re not jetcan mining, your yield advantage over the other barges will evaporate when you warp back to drop off your ore.
These changes are pretty good. They allow the miner to exert some control over how they interact with gankers (and asteroids I guess) by choosing the right hull for different occasions.
Conversely, they’re still not unkillable by a handful of Catalysts in 0.5 sec space so ganking is still a valid tactic. If you want to use cheap Catalysts, you will need friends, or you can ship up if you have fewer people. All things considered, this is a solid balance change.