Gas in W-space

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Gas clouds (found in Ladar sites) are used in Tech 3 Production but can also be very profitable on their own. Please see the page on Gas Cloud Mining for a full explanation of HOW to harvest gas.

Ladar sites (along with Grav sites) are the most prevalent in W-space so they are never too hard to find. Most people leave them alone cos it doesn't make anything go boom. In Class 1+2 W-Space Systems you can find Perimeter sites, in Class 3+4 You can find Frontier AND Perimeter sites and in Class 5+6 you can find Core and Frontier and Perimeter sites.

As with Grav sites, the sleepers in Ladar sites do not appear on warp in (with one exception) but rather appear roughly 20 mins after the site has been activated. If you are out in your scanning ship you can just select "warp to" so you get the pop-up box and then cancel warp. Wait 20 minutes, and you can just go back and grab your site clearing ship first rather than mess around with changing ships and back and forth....

Types of gas

Name    Volume    Found in

C50        1m3       Perimeter

C60        1m3       Perimeter

C70        1m3       Perimeter

C72        2m3       Perimeter

C84        2m3       Perimeter

C28        2m3       Frontier

C32        5m3       Frontier

C320      5m3       Core

C540      10m3     Core

Site Composition and Defences

Name                       Gas1 (m3)              Gas2 (m3)              Sleepers

Barren Perimeter       3000 C50 (3000m3) 1500 C60 (1500m3) 5 Frigates

Token Perimeter        3000 C60 (3000m3) 1500 C70 (1500m3) 1 Cruiser, 2 Frigates

Minor Perimeter         3000 C70 (3000m3) 1500 C72 (3000m3) 2 Cruiser

Ordinary Perimeter     3000 C72 (6000m3) 1500 C84 (3000m3) 5 Sentries (present immediatley upon site activation)

Sizeable Perimeter     3000 C84 (6000m3) 1500 C50 (1500m3) 6 Frigates

Bountiful Frontier        5000 C28 (10K m3) 1000 C32 (5000m3) 4 Cruisers, 6 Frigates

Vast Frontier              5000 C32 (25K m3) 1000 C28 (2000m3) 8 Cruisers

Vital Core                  500 C320 (2500m3) 6000 C540(60K m3) 4 Advanced Battleships, 4 Frigates

Instrumental Core       500 C540 (5000m3) 6000 C320(30K m3) 4 Advanced Battleships (The only Ladar site to have Warp Scramblers)

A note on sleeper enemies....

As mentioned above you can find sites below the class of wormhole you are in (i.e. a Barren Perimeter in a C4) but the sleepers you face will have the same stats as if you were in the native class of W-space. So a Barren Perimeter site, even if it is in a C6 Wormhole system can be soloed by a cruiser although why you are taking a cruiser into a C6 is beyond me

The Value of Gas

Gas does not have to be refined in order to use it, as Ore and Ice products do. It can be used as is in T3 production by turning it into a polymer using a Polymer Reactor Array. The difference in value between gasses can be extreme, due to the scarcity of the gas and the value of the end products. For quick and easy reference, here is a listing of current wormhole gas market prices. (Broken Link) Note that while C320/540 is highly valuable, the risk versus reward is too high for beginners. A more manageable target is to harvest C50 as the risk is low and the reward is decent. The sleepers can be cleared very easily and the site can be cleared very quickly due to the small size of the gas.

A note on the more valuable gasses...

When you start getting up to the C320/540 stage you will need several people working together to clear the site due to its size. You will probably need haulers and also someone acting as a dedicated scout. Remember, there is nothing like watching someone clear a site then ganking them and taking all the gas it took them hours to harvest in a matter of minutes. Don't let it happen to you.

Ships and Fitting

A battlecruiser works well for this due to its cargo size and Grid/CPU output. If you have someone with good leadership skills then a Mining Foreman Link - Laser Optimization gang link will reduce your harvester's cycle time. Other links do not affect gas mining.

For the rest of your fit, a Proto cloak, probe launcher and cargohold expanders are the order of the day. Oh yeah a Scanner in a mid slot is useful too so you can see how much gas is remaining (you only need a T1 scanner as you have to be 1500m from the cloud to harvest so you don't need increased range). A bit of tank is handy and cargo expanders in the lows. THERE IS NO EXCUSE NOT TO FIT 2 WARP CORE STABS! I cannot emphasise that enough. If your constant spamming of D-scan is not enough to see someone (and in a lot of cases it won't be) then if one person warps in they will need a faction scram to catch you. If they can afford that then chances are they have a much better ship and more skills than you so you are dead anyway. Otherwise a big gang will drop on you with multiple scrams in which case you are dead anyway. Two stabs are just about right for this. You may also want to fit some sort of ECM in the mids but that is up to you.

The new Venture class mining frigate works very well for gas harvesting. It only has 2 high slots for harvester's but has a 100% bonus to the amount harvested and a 5% bonus to cycle time per mining frigate skill level. At Mining Frigate 4 with 2 tech2 gas harvesters the yield is the same as a battlecruiser. The ore hold is also 5,000m3 ore hold is also capable of holding harvested gas.

Comparing Yield of Venture with unbonused ships:

Yield per T2 gas harvester at base = 20 m^3

Yield per T2 gas harvester in Venture = 20*2 = 40 m^3

Cycle time without bonus = 40 seconds

Cycle time with Venture bonus and Mining Frigate skill at 4 = 40*0.80 (s) = 32 seconds

Cycle time with Venture bonus and Mining Frigate skill at 5 = 40*0.75 (s) = 30 seconds

Yield :

Unbonused ship with 5 T2 harvesters = 20*5/40 = 2.5 m^3/s

Venture with 2 T2 harvesters = 20*2*2/32 = 2.5 m^3/s

Vulture with 2 T2 harvesters = 20*2*2/30 = 2.67 m^3/s

In Conclusion

Gas harvesting is very dull as you don't even get the "click-drag" every 3 minutes that you get with regular mining. You also don't get the nice visuals you get with regular mining. You just sit there and wait for your hold to fill up before jetcanning the gas, which can take as much as 15 minutes. That said, it is VERY profitable. You can get close to 150M isk/hr from harvesting C320 at time of writing, which far negates any boredom you might get. Use it in T3 production and you can make it even more profitable. Even turning it into polymers can make it more valuable. (And a lot less bulky).

Happy Harvesting.