Topic: Mining vs. Npc killing.

With the most recent patch that "fixed" the mining bugs. I can now make an accurate summary of mining and npc farming incomes.

With my main char being pure mining/industry.

I calculated that if I mined titan ore for exactly one hour, with a ore field very close to a station, I would make around 600,000 - 700,000 NIC in that hour depending on fittings and luck. This is assuming you have already scanned the deposit, and have very high mining skills in a well fitted Termis mining mech with several med. mining lasers. (This DOES NOT calculate in mining charge costs.)

Now to make the field balanced, ratting is consisting of farming assault bots in a mech of choice. (Makes little difference.) With about the same ep spent in combat skills as the the mining player has in mining skills. (Give or take 5,000 ep) After farming for also exactly one hour, the income is around 1,400,000-2,200,000 NIC. (Depending on value, damage and frequency of drops.) (This also DOES NOT calculate ammo costs.)

600,000-700,000 vs. 1,400,000-2,200,000

It is possible with the best case scenario to make about "four times" as much killing NPC's as you can mining. Worst case scenario, "twice as much".

I tried to test these as close as possible to being balanced on both sides. In both cases ammo/charges were not calculated. (Although I figure them to be nearly equal in cost.) Also both cases consisted of selling the ore/loot at npc prices. As this seemed the best balanced way to compare. (Doing industry with the minerals would have vastly overcomplicated it, and you can make the argument that the same could be done with less valuable loot being recycled.)

Anyway that's my 2 cents on the matter. The gap has gotten large enough that I'm shelving my main character (Which is the dedicated miner.) and using my pve/pvp alt for all my income. Even though I enjoy ratting FAR less. Making upto 4x as much as I currently am has convinced me to do so.

Hope this helps in future balancing efforts.

Re: Mining vs. Npc killing.

You're right in that this is an overly simplified example. There's just too many variables to really compare all this, but it's also been stated before. Some things not considered: all minerals are valued at .75 NIC per unit no mater volume size (you can mine more Titan ore per hour than you can Epriton or Triandlus); the markup you can get for selling finished items (too variable currently, but definitely up compared to what it likely will be live because of the lack of producers); is the hunt scenario even the most optimal in the long run (ie hunt bigger bots with bigger mechs/destroyers); value of using the money earned from hunting to do the funding for industry; are you hunting in a safe zone so you don't get ganked and the cost of losing bots and relocating to another area from such actions(don't answer that for obvious reasons yarr)....

I could probably list more thoughts and such. There's a lot of 'what ifs' to be taken into consideration based upon balancing other issues, bugs, and designs to yet be implemented. I know one of the mining things that has been mentioned by at least one dev was player controled structures that would mine for the corporation. Another is using terraforming to grow triandlus and helioptris likely negating travel times for full cargoholds. What if NPCs are buffed due to the 'ease' of killing them?

This is one issue that is going to be really hard to balance. I'd like to see more tweaking on it as the server population grows, though. Players shouldn't be forced into combat to make starting money. I welcome the nerfbat when used appropriately to make a more rounded, enjoyable game.

Last edited by Fumen (2009-12-10 07:33:30)

Re: Mining vs. Npc killing.

Currently I completely agree with black omen there a massive differance between the income generated by npc'ing and mining.

basing off the pure mineral values does I think skew this considerably.  The pricing of the items seems to be quite arbitarary, for a fairer comparison perhaps the recycle value of the modules collected as loot should be use (asside from kernels) I wonder how the earning differance would change then.  The other way of doing this, how long does it take to mine enough material to manufacture say a mech compared to how long it takes to eran the nic to buy one from npc'ing though this is quite flawed as far as i can see all module and mech prices are arbitary.

Good points regarding the future industrial buildings as well as cultivation.  We are also missing what I think will be the final balacing factor, removal of most if not all (excluding patents) NPC adverts, modules will only have value if the demand outstrips usage, if this is not the case the value of the modules will drop to the value of the recycled materials, this will be set by the deamand from the industrialists.

I do hope that when missions are relased there is a large change the npc market ads this would not be a major impact on the *economy* as it stands replacing the nic accumilation from module to mission rewards.

It is realy a pain trying to find balance in a system with out oll of its inputs and sinks inplace and with a massivly reduced population.

There is one metric between mining and npc'ing that I like to think of and that is ammunition, how much effort does it take to manufacture ammunition against how quickly it is consummed.
This can be balanced quite easily how many miner hours are needed to support how many npc'ing hours,  should 1 light bot miner be able to produce enough ammunition in 1 hour to support 1 person npc'ing for 1 hour or 2,3,4 to 1 etc.

Re: Mining vs. Npc killing.

i agree there is a difference at the moment,  but in live i believe there will be no npc sell price it will be set by the players, the miner will want as much for his items as possible and the buyers will want to pay as little as possible,there will be a balance but that will take a while to settle down.

I have put some buy orders up and there can be others making buy orders this has already at times driven up the buy price for some materials for a short time.

So yes in beta you earn more ratting than mining in live the market price will settle this. you can auto sell for xx nic or you can place your sell order at what you think it is worth I did see a sell order for titanium at 11000 per the other day ( it did not sell ),you may not get it but the option is there.

Re: Mining vs. Npc killing.

I do agree that mining should be buffed in some way however some points to consider;

- Mining is completely safe, there is absolutely no reason you should be in any danger other than when you mine on the PvP islands for Epriton. Obviously this is not the case for ratting.

- Because the market is currently NPC seeded there is very little value added from the point of mining a mineral to manufacturing an item and selling it. When the markets are finally un-seeded this should change significantly. I can't accurately predict what will happen but it is something to consider.

Last edited by Styx (2009-12-10 16:17:11)

Re: Mining vs. Npc killing.

While i see that you didnt calculated ammo costs, i think that guns ammo costs more than mining charges.

Re: Mining vs. Npc killing.

Styx wrote:

- Mining is completely safe, there is absolutely no reason you should be in any danger other than when you mine on the PvP islands for Epriton. Obviously this is not the case for ratting.

Did I forget to mention this is my post? I ABSOLUTELY agree that killing npcs is a higher risk (Bar epriton mining.) than mining, and thus "SHOULD" pay more than mining. It's the current 4 to 1 ratio that I disagree with on balancing terms.

Thank you for everyone's input on the matter, much of what I've heard so far I've seen argued before, and mostly agree with. However while the argument that removal of npc sell orders will "balance" things, from where I'm seeing it, it will actually make things more unbalanced. As 2/3 of all equipment in the game can be acquired via ratting, including the best equipment. (At some point I believe every single piece of equipment will be acquired that way.) At the momment, the only thing I can make exclusively, is bots, as they do not drop as loot thankfully. Or I would be pointing out a 1 to 25 income ratio difference. big_smile

I'll leave it to the dev's to balance as they see fit, I've played eve for enough years to learn to adapt to nerfs and buffs. And will do ratting when it's better, and mining when it's better. (Reason I got two accounts, one for each style.) I just wanted to shine some light on the current issue. I imagine after the 2x charge use issue is fixed with mining and containers are finnaly added, I'll still do corp mining ops to build more heavy mechs, just won't be doing it solo for income/fun.

Re: Mining vs. Npc killing.

It is essential that mining/harvesting yields more material than ratting. Any risk/reward does not play a role here.

You get Kernels along with loot, you will get missions rewards of some kind once they are implemented, etc.

It is important that gathering profession does not become obsolete or optional only. Mining/harvesting is meant to gather resources and in now way is right to make it less efficient as anything else.

Right tools for right tasks.

Re: Mining vs. Npc killing.

Blackomen wrote:

600,000-700,000 vs. 1,400,000-2,200,000

haha man, just remember about heavymechs

They're costs 30-35kk and you need mining a lot for resources for them. Therefore, mining are profitable (If you're smart though)

Re: Mining vs. Npc killing.

I'm not sure we can say it's unbalanced ...
First harvesting/mining goal is for production use.
nobody will ever be abble to build mechs if nobody ever spend hours mining materials.

Then, nobody can hunt npc to make cash needed to buy mech as he can never find one buyable in the market.

I personnaly think harvesting/hunting balance is an internal corporation problem only.

Not sure i can explain my feelings correctly right now, so i'll come back later tongue

Re: Mining vs. Npc killing.

Bambi wrote:

I'm not sure we can say it's unbalanced ...
First harvesting/mining goal is for production use.
nobody will ever be abble to build mechs if nobody ever spend hours mining materials.

Then, nobody can hunt npc to make cash needed to buy mech as he can never find one buyable in the market.

I personnaly think harvesting/hunting balance is an internal corporation problem only.

Not sure i can explain my feelings correctly right now, so i'll come back later tongue

you forget about recycling wink
Recycle your loot and you get the mats needed for production.
Althogh i dont know if you can get all mats with that...

Re: Mining vs. Npc killing.

Bunkerkind Anni wrote:
Bambi wrote:

I'm not sure we can say it's unbalanced ...
First harvesting/mining goal is for production use.
nobody will ever be abble to build mechs if nobody ever spend hours mining materials.

Then, nobody can hunt npc to make cash needed to buy mech as he can never find one buyable in the market.

I personnaly think harvesting/hunting balance is an internal corporation problem only.

Not sure i can explain my feelings correctly right now, so i'll come back later tongue

you forget about recycling wink
Recycle your loot and you get the mats needed for production.
Althogh i dont know if you can get all mats with that...

You can get everything except alligor in sufficient quantities. If we could get more items to drop alligor M2S would be able to produce at least 1 Heavy Mech a day by using no more than 4 people for a few hours. As it is now you have to mine for the alligor, which is fine. It's reasonably balanced the way it is atm.

Last edited by Styx (2009-12-29 18:28:54)

Re: Mining vs. Npc killing.

have not been on perpetuum a long time, i do not have the mining skills nor refining I would like.

I have located 4 ores thus far.

most profitable ore after refining for begining I have found to be HDT.  this taking in time to get to spot, time to refine, etc etc etc and selling on the npc market.

Titanium comes in second.

Not taking in uber skills etc, MINING is NOT profitable from the start.  even the simple example at top of yes ratting is more nic per hour this discourages a lot from mining.
YET, stated that building mechs etc from that ore is profitable that does give some leway to the argument.

the short sighted is No mining is not profitable.  Manufacturing is.
However with time etc to get the skills needed to do manufacturing what to do in time being, well ratting of course... and even side stepping some of the time to get a few combat skills, assault mech, this is still feasible in the concept that even I with only enough skills to drive an assault mech, its weaps and gears, I can farm rats at 1m/hr estimated.

is this system balanced?  in my opinion yes but takes time for the player to reach that balance.

Should there be something worth while for miners <without tons of cash and skills> be able to equalize the same amount of profit?  it is already.  You go ratting you are taking risk of loosing your mech and all gear.  You go mining you find quiet place with no rats and just sit there.  higher return for rating, but is higher risk than hitting modules and walking away.

Re: Mining vs. Npc killing.

Teufel, I like your arguement, but you have one flawed statement: the profitability of mining. For one mining charge, you get X amount of ore based on your skills. Even with minimal skills, you still make a profit. Is it the best profit possible? No. What is lost is figured as opportunity cost, not a loss in profits. For now, the expense to get up and running mining is greater than the expense of NPC hunting (which is bass ackwards, if you ask me. Mining should be a low skill/low investment activity).

Take me for instance. I've been putting a lot of EP into industry. Why? We all need stuff we can't find in enough quantities off NPCs. If I can get the right components, I make a nice tidy amount and everyone's happier because they don't have to pay 100% of the NPC price for it. I mine for the components I can't get via recycling or the market. Yeah, I'd rather be out shooting stuff, but then I like to keep the industrial lines as busy as possible when I'm on, too.

Re: Mining vs. Npc killing.

I think I'll trow my 2 cents here: I've started playing couple of days ago, been messing around with both combat and mining. Now it's ok to try and balance a system at the 'pro' end of the spectrum, but it needs to be even at thw newbie level, otherwise everybody will choose the 'easy' way with the only industrialist being alt fundend by npcing mains.

First thing I would change are raw mineral values: right now (basing off the npc commodity buy order) they are all worth 0.75. People should be encourage to go and mine in farther/more dangerous territories beucase of the inherent more valuables minerals, not just because the material you're looking for is not dropped enough by npcs.

Then, I would take another look at the newbie experience. A single small mining module will take 30 minutes to fill a arkhe cargohold with minerals, which will then net 28k nic (no mining skills used, but as well no refining waste taken into consideration. max skills would net you about double the minerals, while no refining skills will waste 30% of your mins). Say 5-10 minutes going back and forth and you can do less than 2 full loads every h, for  ~50k nic on sold minerals, from which you need to deduct 3k nic for the charges (plus time spend surveying around).

While I understand that mineral prices could go up as demand for industry raise, it's necessary to point out that currently npcs sell infinite amounts of modules for 4*mineral base prices, so the overrall mineral value in minerals of a item can only go up so much before people buy items from the npc to recycle and sell as commodity minerals. Also an increase in items value would not affect much the mining<->npcing disparity since npcers get modules to refine too. Maybe a solution would be a decent increase in mining yeld and at the same time a small nerf to the refining yeld of damaged modules

Re: Mining vs. Npc killing.

Robota wrote:

I think I'll trow my 2 cents here: I've started playing couple of days ago, been messing around with both combat and mining. Now it's ok to try and balance a system at the 'pro' end of the spectrum, but it needs to be even at thw newbie level, otherwise everybody will choose the 'easy' way with the only industrialist being alt fundend by npcing mains.

First thing I would change are raw mineral values: right now (basing off the npc commodity buy order) they are all worth 0.75. People should be encourage to go and mine in farther/more dangerous territories beucase of the inherent more valuables minerals, not just because the material you're looking for is not dropped enough by npcs.

I agreed to this in another thread and glad to see there are more than less supporters.

1.    Mineral values do need to be readjusted for launch to support and encourage the player-driven economy, as opposed to npc.
2.    The mining/manufacturing system seems to be laggin behind in early-stage income value when compared to the combat loot gain system.  I’ll just throw this out there, but roughly gain ¼ to ½ the income from one hour of resource gathering and fabrication for munitions manufacturing when considering the cost of charges, patents, licenses, tax, etc., compared to stationary npc combat at the base of a stattion, looting, selling, rearming, and repeating in the same localized area at the base of a docking station.
3.    More less-common and unique materials/resources should be in unprotected areas.  Otherwise, harvesting and manufacturing is marginalized to where nothing in industry game-play has scaleable value.   

DEV Zoom wrote:

I'd like to note that the way natural resuorces are distributed now is to help testing game mechanics and they will be redistributed as soon as we're out of beta.

Fortunately, if the devs are thinking along those lines, as Zoom has eluded to…the reason why things are as they are, is just for beta testing.

Re: Mining vs. Npc killing.

I'll have to second what Robota said. I created a miner (basic skills geared exclusively towards mining) and a fighter (basic skills pushed hard for battle ability), to get an "extreme" reading, and the extremes are stunning. In a nutshell, mining is no viable source of income for a new player.

To mine, you have to take a fair lot of hiking, because right around the base there is little to be gained. 5 minutes of walking are the minimum. In an hour you can, with newbie mining equip and start mining/refinig skills aimed for that task, gain roughly 30-50k NIC. Another miner costs 64k or so.

Let's look at the fighter. An hour of fighting not only got me enough loot that I could sell for a bit more than those 30-50k NIC, I also had two small miners which I would have bought for the ore sold (provided it gave me enough to buy at least one).

Now, the argument is that ore prices are going to be relaxed and given free once players can handle it alone. The problem is that ore prices would have to skyrocket (if it wasn't for recycling, I get to that), double, triple or even quadruple to convince people that mining (which is, let's be honest, quite boring compared to ratting) is a viable and sustainable source of income. Who would willingly pay 100 NIC per titanium? Doubt it.

But don't worry. Recycling is the answer. As I said, ratting nets you a nice amount of loot which can easily be turned into raw material. The average low level rat drops something. A laser, a drone kernel, a miner, if nothing else, enough ammo to make sure you won't need to buy any. One of these things can be refined in about as much ore as 15 minutes of mining (again, with newbie mining skills and newbie equip) gives you. I don't know about high level loot/mining yield, someone who has the ability might want to look into that, but if this is true later, too, I cannot see how mining/manufacturing can compete with ratting.

Re: Mining vs. Npc killing.

People making more by hunting NPC means they can pay more for your minerals...

Re: Mining vs. Npc killing.

Maynard Benaui wrote:

People making more by hunting NPC means they can pay more for your minerals...

I'm not so worried about loot that can only be sold (well, I am, since it's basically NIC generation which in turn drives inflation). What I'm worried about is loot that can be recycled. When you can easier get ores by recycling loot than by mining, mining becomes redundant.

I have a small miner module here that I got from a rat I just shot. It drops fairly often, I'd guess 1 in 10 Arkhe bots you shoot will drop one. It can be recycled for:

300 Tritanium
250 Plasteosine
90 Isopropentol

Not much, but it would take a newbie miner roughly 30 minutes to an hour to mine that. Provided he knows already where to mine for what.

And then he has the materials for this one miner. In the meantime, I shot out another couple miners, a few autocannons, enough ammo to keep me operational and enough NIC loot to ... well, what would I buy? Everything I need I get from drops anyway. Maybe a new mech one day.

Re: Mining vs. Npc killing.

just two mistakes -

it would be 100 isopropentol - AND, your major mistake:

thats what you would get for 100% recycling rate, which isn't even possible with Recycling extension maxed. AFAIK

you need Recycling at least at rank 4 to get half of the Materials the item.

Re: Mining vs. Npc killing.

Bunkerkind Anni wrote:

just two mistakes -

it would be 100 isopropentol - AND, your major mistake:

thats what you would get for 100% recycling rate, which isn't even possible with Recycling extension maxed. AFAIK

you need Recycling at least at rank 4 to get half of the Materials the item.

This is indeed true and I apologize for this mistake. So let's reduce it to the yield of my fighter:

120 Titanium
100 Plasteosine
40 Isopropentol

Now, he has no refinery or recycling skills so this should indeed be the bare minimum you can achive with certainty.

I'd still consider it a fair lot considering the time it takes a miner to get just titanium ore, which in turn would only yield me titanium, none of the other minerals (unless I blend them with other ores and go after plants, which first of all would require another set of extractors which, in turn, I could not afford as a miner).

The problem I have with it is also not the NIC this could be turned into, rather the amount of ore. Getting a mining module from loot is fairly trivial. I also got a lot of autocannons with I could as well turn into ore. The point is, if recycling loot is a sustainable and sufficient source of ore, why bother go mining?

Re: Mining vs. Npc killing.

Now take into consideration working in a Squad.   One industrial piloting a hauler gathers the salvage that the other combat members kill. He/she then sells/recycles the items. As a Team you will, make 2 to 5 times the amount you would make working alone.

In 1 Hr 1 hauler ,and 1 combat bot useing Small lazers farmed 7.5 mill. If the combat bot had supirior skills ,and heavyer weapons that amount more than dubbles [the hauler will make multiple trips to base. yeah Field Containers...].

Baseing your tests on Solo Work your resutlts can not compare to the results working as a team. This way all team members share equally in a MUCH larger yield.