Friday, April 07, 2017

Refining the Numbers

You have it slightly wrong. Being large enough a group to support the activity needed to operate this new moon mining is the new paradigm.
Small groups, individual players, need not apply. 
- Comment by Vince Snetterton on post "Rewards Drive Activity"

How many small groups or individual players participate in moon mining? This is a fundamental question to responding to Vince's comment I pasted above.

My gut feel is that the number is low compared to the overall population of EVE because any valuable moons (i.e. R64 and R32 moons) are typically identified and claimed by the various "super powers" who then use their military might to protect the POS on the moon while the extraction process is run by a small handful in the organization.

Still, there is a large number of less valuable moons still necessary to the reaction process to make the Tech II advanced materials, and I have no feeling for who runs those. An individual might do so but my understanding is that the cost of POS fuel to extract is more expensive than the value of the goo extracted, but POS can do more than one activity so perhaps it is supplemental income.

On the other hand, far more small groups / individuals are involved in the reaction process. The moon owners tend to avoid running the reaction farms to take the raw moon materials to advanced moon materials and instead sell the raw materials on the market where secondary producers purchase the matierals required to run the reactions to refine it. This can be done in any POS farm setup with silos and reactors and does not require access to the valuable moons. They markup the finished product to make a profit and pass along the reaction cost to the Tech 2 module/ship producers. Therefore a single moon mining operation run by a small number of pilots feeds into a lot more pilots running reactions.

In the Refinery structure future, reactions will be industry job based and thus limited by number of pilots, not number of POSes. This still lends itself to a large number of pilots running reactions, but since a reaction farm can be replaced by a single Refinery, large organizations might keep the reactions internal rather than selling to a secondary production market.


Yes, running a moon mining operation by a small group or individual will be next to impossible in the Refinery paradigm. However, I think that impacts a small number of players.

I suspect that the far larger impact will be on small groups running reaction farms who may face competition as Refineries will make such operations easier for the moon extractors to keep internally.


  1. I still see this as a boost to the smaller alliances. Can super powers still own R64,32 in hostile area sure but now they have to operate in the area to mine the goo. Right now in game it is one guy running around in a blockade runner next to impossible to catch.

  2. Typically refiners would run reaction farms on R8 or R16 moons and harvest the materials they needed for one part of a reaction with an R32/64 material.

    This is no longer possible since all of the R8/16 materials are now set to become bottlenecks in their own right requiring significant effort to mine and react.

    This is will actually open up some game play for smaller entities since R8/16 materials are so numerous the price won't rise much since lots of small mining operations can take place throughout low and null sec. I'd look to see the null sec cartels allow smaller renters to do those moons.

    1. If there are ways for the null sec RMT cartels to exploit this new paradigm, including expanded control over R8/R16 moons, they will do it. You can be assured that the cartel's best financial and logistical minds were at work sorting out the possibilities long before this was announced to the general public.

      We will see in short order what the RMT cartels' plans are. I imagine that if there is more profit to be made, they will start clearing out existing structures supporting lower end moon mining, just before the new mining platforms and refineries go live.

      As for small groups being able to maintain their moons, forget it. It is a lot easier, and more fun, to drop a gank fleet on a mining fleet than assemble a fleet for a POS shoot, with the subsequent timers. And you KNOW that people won't even need spies to figure out when the mining ops will start. Very quickly people will learn how to eyeball how close the moon chunk is to the refinery.

  3. Moon Mining as an active multi-player replacement of the passive wealth islands that currently dominate the market is a brilliant solution to the status quo.

    The problem, as with many things in EVE (thank goodness), is that how successful and deep it becomes rests mostly upon the player-base.

    The potential for these structures and the game mechanics associated with them represent a big opportunity for the EVE community to develop an industrial gameplay style that we simply do not have yet.

    If the economics play out right, as a moon refinery owner, I can advertise my 'moon asteroid mining tax rate' and use my ledger to track how much ore to tax miners for gathering, send each of them a contract documenting the numbers and billing them for payment.
    Tax the refinery services at a competitive rate and purchase the material from market sales in my refinery that tax abiding players sell to me.

    If the numbers work out this can evolve very complex gameplay on many more levels than just blowing stuff up. But if it works - there will be plenty to blow up.