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This guide is designed to be a comprehensive summary of mining fleets and the various roles involved. Please note this guide is specifically aimed at EVE University mining fleets, such as those run at our Amarr Mining Campus and may not be representative of mining fleets run outside EVE University.
Types of Mining Fleets
The goal of a mining fleet is to make ISK for every participant. It has a benefit over solo mining in that it is slightly more secure, there are other people to perform roles such as hauling leaving the miners to concentrate on mining, and it is a lot more social and fun! Most EVE University mining fleets are one of these types:
- Shared Can (SC): This is a jetcan mining fleet where the miners place the raw ore into a jetcan (which was jettisoned by someone and named so it will last two hours), and a hauler regularly takes the ore out of the can and when full, takes it to a station for later processing.
- Bring Your Own Can (BYOC): This is a fleet you can join to get "boosts" from the fleet commander while in the same system, though miners will mine different belts and often haul their own ore to the station. This is typically an Orca pilot with a few spare fleet spots that he lets others use. There is no shared ore or profit. More information on the BYOC page.
Roles in a Mining Fleet
There are many ways to participate in a mining fleet. Most newer players will, of course, be mining in a mining frigate or barge. Newer players can also be effective haulers once they have a reasonably fitted industrial (Creating an Alt Hauler shows how much common, unrigged industrial ships carry).
- Miner: The role of the miner is just to mine as much ore as possible. The majority of members in the mining fleet will be miners.
- Hauler: The job of the hauler is to collect the ore as it is mined and to transport it safely to the station. This means the miners do not have to keep returning to the station to drop off their ore, and they can focus their time on maximising their yield instead.
- Orca: An Orca is a special ship that has a few features that makes it ideally suited to support mining fleets, particularly by providing mining boosts.
- Picket / Scout: EVE University is almost always at war and sometimes it is necessary that there be someone who is able to watch gates to see war targets before they get close to the system the mining fleet is in. The job of picket is an important early warning system to protect the rest of the fleet and allow them to get out of the belt and in station before a war target has time to get to them.
- Other Participation: After a mining fleet is complete, the ore still needs to be refined, the minerals transported and sold, and the shares distributed. If you are willing and able to assist with any of these things, let the fleet commander know. If you are in the Amarr Mining Campus this will be done for you as part of their buyback scheme.
Participating in a Mining Fleet
Finding a Mining Fleet
- The Amarr Mining Campus run regular Shared Can and Bring Your Own Can fleets. These are normally announced in their chat channel and mailing list.
- Look in the Fleet Finder: Check the "Fleets" button in the Neocom, then look at the "Fleet Finder" tab. From there, change the scope to "My available" and search for any mining fleets.
- Ask in the EVE University chat channels if there is a mining fleet running. Additionally, check for any mining channels on Mumble.
Participating as a Miner
To participate as a miner, you will need to do the following:
- After joining the fleet, you'll warp to the belt the fleet is currently at (normally by warping to one of the other miners in your squad)
- Target your asteroids, but make sure you are not mining the same asteroid as someone else, and activate your mining lasers/drones
- In fleet chat, clearly state the time your mining (or participation) begins, for example, "<---- Lasers ON at 22:34 -- CHARACTER NAME"
- The ore you mine will be placed in a specified jetcan
- If there isn't a jetcan near you feel free to make a new one by right clicking the ore in your cargo hold and clicking Jettison. Once the new can is made, right click the can in space and select Set Name; then give the can a name. A common naming convention for fleet mining is 'Fleet TT:TT' (TT:TT is the EVE time at which the can was created).
- Once the can is full, rename can to 'Full TT:TT' (TT:TT is the original EVE time can was created).
- If you are leaving the area for any reason (e.g., the belt is depleted, there are no more asteroids in range, or you are simply calling it a day) before the can is full, rename the can to 'Pull TT:TT' (where TT:TT is again the original EVE time the can was created). This ensures that you don't just warp away leaving a 'fleet' can to perhaps be overlooked.
- If you have to take a break or go AFK for more than a short time (defined as however long it takes your lasers to typically fill your cargo hold), inform the fleet and clock out when you leave and back in when you return
Bring Your Own Can Fleets
For a Bring Your Own Can fleet, you will need to do the following:
- After joining the fleet, find an asteroid belt with no fleet members in it, target your asteroids, and activate your mining lasers/drones.
- Once your hold is full return it to a station or jetcan it to be picked up by a hauler that was already arranged.
- It is customary to tip the booster a small percentage of your profits, as a thank you for providing the boosts.
- A BYOC Fleet Boss needs to maintain the fleet; this does not require any special skills.
Maximising your yield as a Miner
These tips will help you make the best use of your time:
- Try to mine the farthest asteroids you can reach with your lasers first. Check your range as it may be higher than usual if you are receiving Orca boosts.
- Mining drones should target the closest asteroids for best yield.
- Try not to mine the same exact rock someone else is mining. When you switch asteroids make sure you 'Look at' the asteroid before you start to mine it, to make sure there is noone else already mining it.
- In the same vein, try to have each mining laser targeted on a different rock; keep your lasers spread out.
- When the rocks are fewer in number than the fleet's mining laser count, short cycle your lasers. This means cut off their cycles part-way through (capacitor permitting!) so that you won't lose a full cycle on an almost empty asteroid.
- If you have a scanner fitted, feel free to use it to target the biggest asteroids first, and know when to short-cycle your lasers (or send drones to finish off an asteroid).
- Generally, you will be expected to avoid being AFK.
Participating as a Hauler
To participate as a hauler you will do the following:
- Take the ore from the jetcans
- When your hauler is full, drop the ore off at the designated station
- At the end of the fleet, or when you're leaving, you should either give the ore to the commander at the designated station, or contract it to him at that station. Please "stack all" the ore before contracting it!
Participating in an Orca
You have two possible roles as an Orca Booster:
Option 1 - Passive Orca Booster
- Park up on a station undock & turn on your boosts.
- Read a book....
Option 2 - Active Orca Booster (probably redundant since CCP introduced MTUs)
- Locate yourself in ore field and turn on your boosts (I use Laser Optimization & Laser Field Enhancement).
- Use tractor beam to pull in full jet cans.
- Allow hauler to access Fleet Hanger (especially when using freighter as a hauler)
- Keep filling Fleet Hanger.
- Read a book....
Participating as a Picket / Scout
To participate as a picket or scout you will:
- Position yourself in an appropriate system which is close enough to the mining fleet to provide intel but far enough away to give an adequate warning
- Keep an eye in local and on the gate for any war targets or threats to the mining fleet
- If you see something that might pose a threat immediately alert the fleet commander so they can take appropriate action
Leaving the Mining Fleet
- Turn off your lasers and recall your mining drones.
- If you are on a shared can, empty your ore into the jetcan one final time and mark the jetcan as either 'Full TT:TT' or 'Pull TT:TT' (see above).
- Again on a shared can, clearly state in fleet chat the time your mining (or participation) is over. For example, "<---- Lasers OFF at 23:57 -- CHARACTER NAME".
- If you have been hauling, trade the ore at the designated station to the fleet commander, or contract it.
- Remember to thank the fleet commander, who will typically have some logistics to do after the fleet is over in order to turn your time into ISK for your wallet!
Running a Mining Fleet
It can be daunting running your first mining fleet. If you are nervous, consider asking a more experienced fleet commander to allow you to shadow him in running a mining fleet, or for them to come along on your first mining fleet to help you out. The following checklist summarises the main points:
- Pick what type of mining fleet you want to run and where. Make sure to advertise it in advance for decent participation.
- Put together a spreadsheet for the mining fleet. The Amarr Mining Campus has a section of the Buyback spreadsheet specifically for mining fleets.
- Form the fleet. You will need at least one miner and one hauler to get started.
- Log the "lasers on" and "lasers off" time of each member of the operation (or the join/leave time for industrials) on the spreadsheet, from the chat channel. Also log the entire fleet start/stop time.
- Keep track of the belts you have mined and be prepared to move the fleet on to the next belt when required. Also be prepared to give instructions to the other pilots, such as the hauler, Orca, and scout/pickets.
- When the mining fleet is over, refine and sell the ore to convert it to ISK. If you are in the Amarr Mining Campus you can use the buyback scheme for this.
- When the ore has been converted to ISK, distribute the ISK to the fleet members according to the calculation of the shares. See below for more on how shares are calculated.
It can help to have a MOTD (Message of the Day) to remind new members what they need to do as part of the fleet. Here is a suggested template:
Welcome to today's Shared Can Mining Fleet. Current Location: [current belt link] Spreadsheet: [spreadsheet url here] Contract Ore to: [name of original Fleet Commander] <b>Important:</b> Make sure you're on the spreadsheet correctly and logged into mumble, AMC channel. When you start mining, put into fleet chat: LASERS ON HH:MM - (Ship Type) When you stop mining: LASERS OFF HH:MM Naming your cans: FLEET HH:MM (in use) PULL HH:MM (moving on) FULL HH:MM (filled) <b>NOTE: Leave the <u>original</u> (creation) time in the name.</b> Share cans whenever possible (that means dumping into a fleet can if one is available, instead of creating one yourself) Miners, PLEASE Stack your Ore!
Mining Fleet Security
Mining in a fleet is generally slightly more secure than mining alone, but there are some simple tips which will help increase your safety, against various types of enemies.
- NPC Rats: These are only likely to be a problem if you are mining in a frigate. Ideally take some drones along for defence so you can get rid of the NPC rats if you are targeted.
- Can Flippers: Can flippers are less of a problem with Shared Can fleets, because there are several people to look out for them and normally a hauler who can bring in the cans if there is anyone suspicious sniffing around them. Regardless, make sure you keep an eye on your cans.
- Gankers and war targets: These are normally the biggest threat to a mining fleet, though the risk can be mitigated by having scouts or pickets to warn of any potential threats. Remember to keep the location of your fleet secure as some added protection, and mine aligned if you are mining in dangerous space.
Shares may be time based or weighted. For time-based, each participant in the operation is given a "share" based upon his time in the fleet. This simple mechanism is intentionally biased to favor newer players (with smaller mining ships like mining frigates and cruisers) at the expense of older players (with the Orcas and Hulks), as this may help get all of its members into larger mining ships that they can then afford to buy.
Weighted shares are also an option. There are various spreadsheets that can be used. These can be used to weigh profits by actual contribution, such as laser and hauling capacity. This type of share might be better at encouraging veteran pilots, which will likely increase the total minerals gained, while still providing a fair distribution. The spreadsheet automates this heavily, so all the fleet commander need do is arrive a set of weights that satisfy everyone in the fleet.
A simple example is as follows:
The operation goes on for 5 hours *The fleet commander's ship participated for all 5 hours (probably hauling or with an Orca) *Seven ships participated for 3 hours each *Three ships participated for 2 hours each *Total effort: 5h + 7 x 3h + 3 x 2h = 32 ship/man hours The mined ore sells for 160 million ISK, so each man hour of work is worth 160/32 = 5 million ISK The proceeds are as follows: *Fleet commander: 5 * 5m = 25 million ISK *3 hour participants: 3 * 5m = 15 million ISK *2 hour participants: 2 * 5m = 10 million ISK *Total: 25m + 7 x 15m + 3 x 10m = 25m + 105m + 30m = 160 million
(Note: The fleet commander will usually use a spreadsheet to manage all of this, rather than doing it by hand as in this example.)
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