Participating in a Mining Op
This guide describes what to expect in the typical mining operation run by Eve University mining fleet commanders, and how to fit in smoothly.
This is a companion guide to Running a Mining Op.
Remember, even if you don't have a ship for mining or hauling, University students can get one for free from the Mining Loaner Fleet program!
Types of Mining Ops
There are several kinds of mining operations. However, most Uni ops - scheduled or pick up - are one of these types:
- Shared Can: This is a jetcan mining operation 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.
- Orca: In this operation, the miners place their ore directly into an Orca's designated Corporation Hangar (see How to Use an Orca below). If there is no additional hauler (or another Orca), then while the Orca is dropping the ore off at a station, a jetcan will be used to hold the ore until the Orca returns.
- Boost only: This is not really a "mining operation" and hence won't be covered in this guide. This is a fleet you can join to get "boosts" from the fleet commander while in the same system. This is typically an Orca pilot with a few spare fleet spots that he lets others use. There is no shared ore or profit. Sometimes referred to as a BYOC (bring your own can) operation.
The mining operation fleet commander will inform the fleet members what sort of operation is being run and, hence, how the miners should handle their ore.
(More details can be found on the mining page.)
Finding a Mining Op
- Look in 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 fleets. Note that not all fleets listed in Fleet Finder will be mining fleets and some mining fleets are run by non-IVY pilots.
- Ask in the "Industry.E-UNI" chat channel if there is a mining op. Alternatively, you can ask in the "Chat.E-UNI" channel. Additionally, check for mining channels on Mumble.
- You can also start your own fleet! See Running a Mining Op.
There are many ways to participate in a mining operation. Most newer players will, of course, be mining in a mining frigate or cruiser. 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).
Participating as a miner is very simple. Essentially, after joining the fleet, you'll warp to one of the fleet members, target your asteroids, and activate your miners. The ore will be placed in a specified jetcan or a specified Orca Corporation Hangar. 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. One practice that is often seen is to x up the can in Fleet chat when you change the status of your can from 'fleet' to 'full' or 'pull,' e.g., "x PULL 2015". Using this convention helps the haulers prioritize which can needs to be emptied next since jettisoned cans last only approximately 2 hours.
Participating as a hauler is also very straight-forward. You will take the ore from the designated jetcan or Orca Hangar and, when your hauler is full, drop it off at a designated station.
At the end of the operation, or when you're leaving the op, 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 as an Orca pilot is an advanced subject and beyond the scope of this guide. Almost all ops can benefit from one Orca and larger ones can benefit from two or more.
After an op 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 and he may just take you up on them. These details are beyond the scope of this guide.
Participating in a Mining Op
- Join the fleet you've located using the techniques above.
- Get to the appropriate system, then warp to the fleet, typically by warping to one of the other miners using the fleet window.
- In fleet chat, clearly state the time your mining (or participation) begins
- For example, "<---- Lasers ON at 22:34 -- Callin Vandylx"
- 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, or whatever time your hauling interval usually is), inform the fleet and clock out when you leave and back in when you return.
- Mine in to the jetcan or Orca, haul, or do whatever the fleet commander has assigned to you for your responsibilities.
- Warp to different belts, or jump to different systems, as the operation moves, per the fleet commander's orders.
Notes on Mining
- Try to mine the farthest asteroids you can reach with your lasers first. (Check your range as they may be boosted from an Orca.)
- Drones, obviously, should target the closest asteroids for best yield.
- If you are following a moving Orca, watch your targets to ensure they don't get out of range; you'll lose the yield from your entire cycle if it does.
- Check the Aldrat: Current Ore Prices thread to see what the most valuable ores are and mine those first. Many ops will just strip an entire asteroid field so sometimes this won't matter.
- Try not to mine the same exact rock someone else is mining. This requires looking at what you're doing when switching rocks.
- In the same vein, try to have each mining laser targeted on a different rock; keep your lasers spread out. (Some mining battleships may be unable to do this unless they have Multitasking skill.)
- 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 - fit MLUs instead of expanded cargoholds.
How to Use an Orca
An Orca is a special ship that has a few features that makes it ideally suited to support mining operations. While it can hold PvP ships and provide fitting services, its main use is the ability to transfer ore from your ship into it without needing to use a jetcan. When you get to an asteroid field with Orca support target the Orca, get within 2,500 meters, and use the "Keep at Distance" option to automatically stay within range as it moves. Orca pilots will often move slowly through the asteroid belt allowing the miners to mine all the asteroids without having to drive themselves.
Once you are in position, open the Orca's Fleet Hangar by right-clicking the Orca (either in the 3D view or the Overview) and saying "Open Fleet Hangar." When your hold is getting close to full, drag the ore from your hold to Orca's Fleet Hangar. You might get a warning that you can't take the ore back; just dismiss the error. If you get a "full" error, remind the Orca pilot that he needs to empty the Hangar (or drop off a load at a station). Most Orcas can hold over 150,000 m^3 of ore (assuming the Orca pilot has fitted for cargo instead of tank) before having to drop it off.
When you are in a fleet with an Orca, check your laser cycle times and ranges by mousing over them. Often, the Orca pilot will be "boosting" these so your lasers cycle faster and reach farther.
Leaving the Mining Op
- Turn off your lasers and recall your mining drones
- Empty your ore into the jetcan/Orca one final time
- In fleet chat, clearly state the time your mining (or participation) is over
- For example, "<---- Lasers OFF at 23:57 -- Callin Vandylx"
- 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!
- Say bye to your fleetmates.
The goal of a mining op is to make ISK for every participant. 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 (such as the Retriever Mining Barge) that they can then afford to buy.
(If you can fly one of these ships, but cannot afford one, then borrow one from the Uni for a few weeks at no cost!)
Weighted ops are also an option. There are various spreadsheets that can be used, such as this one. These can be used to weigh profits by actual contribution, such as laser and hauling capacity. This type of op might be better at encouraging veteran pilots, which will likely increase the total minerals gained, while still providing a fair distribuition. 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:
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
(The fleet commander will usually use a spreadsheet to manage all of this, rather than doing it by hand as in this example.)
You can ask the fleet commander when to expect the ISK. Please be patient, as it can sometimes take the FC some time to refine and sell the ore, especially if he uses a third party to refine and sells using sell orders. That will get you more ISK, so you should be happy.
For the details: there is a method of distributing shares for Uni mining ops at the Running a Mining Op page.
Please see the references at the Running a Mining Op page.