Monday, August 24, 2009

Why do I like mining anyway?!

As many of you know, I have decided to make mining my primary "career" in Eve, at least for the time being. I have spent many weeks training up skills to help me be a more effective miner, including Astrogeology, Mining, Industry, and Mining Barges to 5 in order to be able to fly an Exhumer. However, the question remains: "Why do you like mining?!" with the subtext that it has got to be the most boring thing in the game to do.

I guess the short answer is that it is easy. It doesn't take a huge amount of effort or concentration to do it reasonably well. In high sec, especially in a fleet operation where someone is hauling for you, you can go mine all night long while watching TV, talking to the family, or even reading a book or newspaper, checking in every minute or two to move ore out of your cargo hold. Even if you go AFK and are gone for a long time, nothing bad is likely to happen to except that your mining lasers will shut down when your cargo hold fills. Not a big deal.

In addition, mining is something that is highly valued, especially by a production corporation such as PPL. Without raw materials, a production corporation is pretty much a social club, so the folks who are willing to put in the time mining are highly valued. Whether it's mining ice to power your POSs or mining asteroids for ore, miners are what make production possible, and are a valuable link in the supply chain.

And don't think that mining is always mind-numbingly boring either. If you are doing jet can mining with a large fleet and don't have an Orca or two to drop your ore into, mining can actually keep you pretty busy (even if the activity is not that exciting). Popping new cans, renaming them, tractoring them to the the hauler, hauling back to the station, etc. can keep you very much occupied if there are lots of miners working a belt. In addition, mining in low or null sec or in a worm hole can be exciting when you need to be ready to warp out at the drop of a hat.

Anyway, yes, it is not as exciting as forming a gang and going on a mission hunting bad guys, or firing up your scanning gear and discovering new belts and wormholes, but mining has an allure all its own. I compare it to fishing in WOW: something to do that doesn't require a lot of attention, with the difference being that in Eve you actually have something worth having when you're done.

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