Saturday, January 12, 2013

Mining PvP

 I haven't been mining of late.  Today was one of those days that undocking my Mackinaw and chewing on ore while I worked on market orders, moved supplies and wrote contracts seemed like a very good idea.  I'd built up a little bit of a back log of stuff to sell.  I don't find the Market exciting but I spend a lot of time and energy making sure I make intelligent decisions as I sell my stuff.  On these kind of days, mining seems to be a good way to add some productivity to my time.  I also have a small project that I want to use the minerals for.  Off I went to undock.

My industry character has recently moved into The Forge.  Due to my business partnership I've needed to move her closer to Jita.  It is not a big deal.  I moved my Nocxiem acquisition camp to a system in the Forge which has adequate amounts.  That done, I've mostly settled in over the weeks.  I will admit that the Forge is a much different area and very, very busy by my standards.

The first thing I did when I arrived in system was make bookmarks to the asteroid belts.  The warp ins are all almost 20-30k off the actual belt.  This is an unbelievable pain in the butt in a barge.  I therefore go through each belt and make a book mark about 1/2 of the way between the center and the edge on each side.  This way I can warp in, land on top of rocks and start mining.  I empty my ore bay when full and warp back in to continue.  

I randomly picked one of my bookmarks and warped to the belt.  To my dismay, it was almost completely empty.  A few, small, pathetic pyroxeres floated in an unorganized line.  Figuring I had picked a bad belt I warped to another to find the same thing.  Worried, I went to a few more and each and every belt was picked mostly clean.  Sigh.

I found one little, pathetic group of Veldspar, Pyroxeres and Scordite.  Figuring that I was already out, I settled down to clear out the rest of the belt.  It was just me and eight or nine anemic, sad asteroids that I was scraping over like I was dumpster diving for my next meal when another Mackinaw warps in.  Instinctively, I grabbed my shank and glared from inside my dumpster.  The street was still empty.  My hands were encased in rags that I had wrapped around them to keep myself warm.  This was my dumpster.  It was behind a pretty good restaurant and people threw away whole meals sometimes.  You just have to look...

Wiat, wait... it might not have been that intense.  But I was picking over these small, pathetic rocks and this guy rolls in.  Okay.  I'm a reasonable person.  The system is pretty empty.  There isn't a whole left for everyone.  We're all starving these days.  The daily toll burns the same, regardless of our individual needs.  It's cold and a bitter rain has left everything so damp and chilled that your very soul feels affected by the persuasive grip of winter.  My feet haven't been dry in days and I have this cough that has me worried...

Ahh, off track again!  Anyway, I have my asteroids targeted and my drones out.  I'm ready to share, kind of with this guy. Its less for me but we're all mining together right?  There are eight... wait no.. seven (now) asteroids out here and two of us.  Each Mackinaw has two strip miners so we can share.  We'll both go a bit hungry but something now is better then something later.  So, I settled down and then noticed he had both of his lasers on my only precious full meal... err I mean high grade asteroid.  My only sweet Viscous Pyroxeres (10% greater moar better) asteroid that was barely soggy and he had both lasers on it.  BOTH!  On one tiny asteroid!

"I'll cut you!" I screamed and lunged for him.    Well, actually I short cycled my mining laser and the asteroid vanished.  All mine.  Screw that thief.  Bad manners!  I was not going to share this dumpster with someone that behaved in such a boorish fashion!  My desire to share my meager pile of scraps vanished.  My hands hooked into claws, ready to rip out the oily lank mass of his hair.  My shank, so beloved, I had to sheath. This place was to busy with to many cops.

The fight was on.  He tried to climb in and I clubbed him across the head and pushed him back to the ground.  As he stood up I began to throw coffee grounds and wads of sticky cracker crumbs and juice boxes at him.  He tried to dodge my relentless barrage but I moved up to harder things.  Forks and spoons and a broken plate whizzed through the air.  Blood splashed against the mildewed brick wall as I snarled a battle cry into the dank, damp sky.   This was MY belt!

Or... I may have, outside of my little dumpster fight fantasy, started to systematically short cycling all of the asteroids since he only found it reasonable to mine on one that I was mining on.  I don't use a scanner and I have no idea how much the asteroids hold in them.  However, a well mined high sec system tends to contain small rocks.  It was not hard to cut and go with my lasers and snipe the rocks out from under him.  He finally gave up and left when there were only three left.  Don't think I didn't huddle atop them, teeth bared as rain dripped down the knotted, tangled clumps of my hair a snarl rumbling in my throat and another broken cup ready to fly through the air.

I shuddered from the aftershock of the fight.  Adrenaline roared through my system.  I hadn't expected the intensity or his determination.  Draped over the edge of the dumpster I pulled my hood up to block some of the persistent drizzle of rain that never seemed to quite stop.  I'd defended my turf.  I'd make it through another day.  The hunger burned in my gut but it was a bit better as I ate.  Only one of us was going to leave this belt with ore in their hold.

Ender is the one that taught me about mining PvP.  It is his only happiness when he mines (which he will not admit to but he does so whatever Mr. perfect mining characters, perfect orca boosting, perfect gang links, perfect Roraqual pilot pirate corp CEO).  He is terrible to be in a belt with if not you are not invited.  When you are invited he is a task master that knows precisely where everything should be every time he scoops the cans and heaven help you if you have a moment of humanity and short him!  The whip comes down across the back of your barge.  Screams of pain rend the darkness as the Hulks buck and heave under the onslaught.

Maybe not.  But, when I started, it never would have occurred to me to share or not share.  The finite quality of each asteroid was not known to me.  Calculations, needing millions of units of minerals was something that was too far into my future to understand.  In the early days, asteroids are forever.  Only a year ago the newbie system belts were free with the occasional barge keeping the catalysts and Navitis (when it was a mining ship) company.  Then hulkageddon scared them into the newbie systems where to swarm like locust and leave the freshly born rookies starving in their nests for Veldspar.

What dark days.  I can only thank the strangeness that drops little red crosses with chunks of scrap metal down for me to add to my small piles of ore.  I collect them carefully and lug it to my home in this box.  Waste not and all of that.

[TL;DR: Where Sugar turns into a hobo]

6 comments:

  1. I applaud this great blog post.

    Sugar Kyle - Keep it up man, it was very funny and I enjoyed it a lot.

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  2. wads of sticky cracker crumbs..awesome.

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  3. Nice post Sugar. Uncouth miners beware.

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  4. Now do you see a need for a scanner? My point is nice and might scare people away in low, but you face other dangers in high sec.

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  5. Great article Sugar! I greatly enjoyed your dumpster diving illustration!

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