Saturday, August 29, 2009

Enough Ice for 10,000 highballs

So, what does a high sec miner do on Saturday when the fields are ripe with roids? Typically the corp I'm in runs a mining op every few weeks (it depends highly on whether officers want to bother and whether there is interest from the other members.) One thing I loved about these Saturday morning operations is that you were given an equal share of the haul based on how long you mined for. That meant that when I was flying around in my Navitas (oh god I remember those days) that I would potentially walk away from a Saturday Op with 10 to 20 mil in ISK or minerals. This was huge for me, I could never have hauled that much rock on my own. Now that I'm flying a Hulk when I participate it is a way to give back. It helps newer members getting to the bigger ships faster and as a new player I knew it was impressive to be in a fleet with 15 other miners, watching the lasers crisscross and devour all that is before them.

But this Saturday was something different. As the fleet formed up we rolled out to Sigga and pointed our Retrievers, Hulks, Mackinaws, and Orcas towards the Ice Fields. We were going to to try to take down an ice cube. Now, for those of you who have never bothered much with the dirty details of ice harvesting let me walk you through it.  In the middle of the ice field there are over a dozen floating chunks of ice, just like asteroids. These rocks can range from anywhere around 30,000 units to 110,000 units of ice. Ice harvesting lasers take a much longer time to cycle than traditional strip miners. I don't have maxed skills, but as an example, in my hulk the lasers take 342 seconds to cycle with an Orca Boosting (that is over 5 minutes).

Now this is the frustrating part, every cycle from a laser only gives you 1 unit of ice - the exception being a Mackinaw, which will give you two. So if you want to take down a ice cube you are talking about generating enough man hours to power through 30,000 cycles. This was a pretty might undertaking and while I doubt were are going to make our goal it was still an impressive sight to see. I decided to include an image for you to enjoy:

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