EVE – Mining and Distribution

I moved to another system, because I got tired of undocking in Arnon and seeing all the canisters labeled “free stuff!” and “don’t open the free stuff, its a scam!”. I get it, new players are drawn to Arnon for Blood-stained Stars, and some players lay traps, hoping to catch other “stealing” stuff so they can blow them up. Awesome… time to move somewhere else.

Ice Mining

Gevlon is always posting about how profitable Ice Mining is, so I thought I’d check it out. As always in EVE, checking out a game mechanism means Googling for the info first, and reading up on it.

I found a great page on Ice Harvesting on the official wiki. (As a side note, as complicated as EVE is, the official wiki and the EVE University wiki are fantastic sources of info). It lists skills needed, modules, and ships.

Good thing I didn’t fly out to a system with ice and get stuck trying to figure out why my mining laser wouldn’t work.

I didn’t have all those skills, and would need to buy a few. I checked the market in game:

  • Astrogeology – 405K
  • Mining Barge – 450K
  • Ice Harvester – 337K

OK, that’s about 1.2 million ISK. Expensive (to me) but I have that much. The page also said that mining ice requires Ice Harvesters, a special mining laser:

  • Ice Harvester – 2M

Ouch. That plus the skills is about half my ISK! The mining barge itself, the Procurer, was unfortunately expensive:

  • Procurer – 8.3M

That’s a grand total of 11.5 million ISK to start ice mining, which is about double the ISK I have.

Just for curious I looked up the improved mining barge, the Mackinaw and its associated skill, Exhumers:

  • Exhumers – 25M
  • Mackinaw – 175M

200 million ISK! That’s a mind boggling amount of ISK. Sorry all you wealthy EVE veterans, I’m somebody who was thrilled to have 11 million ISK after the Blood-stained Stars, and currently has ~6.5 million ISK. That’s an astronomical (har har) amount to me.


I thought I’d try some Level 1 Distribution missions to slowly build up ISK. I don’t want to spend every ISK I have on ice mining stuff, because if I lose it them I’m screwed (fly what you can afford, etc.) and I don’t want to sink everything into an unknown venture (maybe I’ll hate ice mining).

So at the station I picked up a mission. It started with delivering air to another station, then tourists to another station, and then I received a 5 part mission linked with a theme: dolls.

Yes, dolls. The first 2 missions were to courier dolls around, no problem. The 3rd mission was to retrieve 4 dolls, each placed in a container near an acceleration gate. Sort of a scavenger hunt except the item is the same and where to look isn’t a mystery.

The 4th doll mission was to find the doll buried in an asteroid field. This meant mining all the asteroids until the doll appeared. Weird, but whatever. This particular payed well, 204K including the bonus of finishing in 3 hours.

I found out why… it turns out it is a little tedious to mine 25 asteroids (all of which produced 1 Veldspar), looking for a doll. And midway through, 2 Serpentis Spys showed up.

Spys while Mining
Spys while Mining

Fortunately I had some offense – 2 Hammerhead drones (I had 4 but could only deploy 2 due to bandwidth limitations on my ship). The drones took out the enemies, and I continued mining and mining and targeting another asteroid and approaching it and mining and mining…

Finally, after the last asteroid was mined, a cargo container appeared. I bet that’s only triggered to occur when the last asteroid is finished. Anyway, the doll was there so I grabbed it and returned to the station.

The mission after that was to kill the guy hiding the dolls all over. Macabre, but fitting. I flew out and discovered the miscreant hiding in some debris, and made short work of him (switching over from my Imicus to Catalyst).

Doll Thief
Doll Thief

This entire sequence paid me 493K ISK (reward plus bonus for each) and took about 95 mins. That works out to ~311K ISK per hour. At that rate, I could build up the ISK for the Procurer, Ice Harvester, and skills in around 4 weeks.

I want to measure what Security missions pay too, as an hourly rate. For me, a lowly newbie player. Just curious.

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