Supply vs. demand vs. game design

I don’t usually mine, because mining in EVE Online does not offer much in terms of rewards. I do however build things from time to time and sometimes I need just a bit more tritanium or other easily accessible mineral. Instead of buying it from market I jump into a barge and get the job done myself. I thought about training an alt to fly an Orca, to make my occassional mining actually useful, even if I do it twice a year.

Usually such a character would train Mining Barges, Mining Foreman and Mining Director skills to 5. To improve the bonuses given by the Orca by another 50 percent, a Mining Foreman Mindlink can be used. And here comes a little, nasty surprise. I remember that these implants used to cost about 40-50 million ISK. Did you know, that they are now worth 10 (ten!) times as much?

To answer the question WHY

Mining Formean Mindlink price skyrocketed like this, we need to inspect the graph below:

The source of Mindlinks is neither NPC nor Blueprint: they can only be obtained by doing storyline missions (for example Shipyard Theft). In the Incursion expansion CCP has introduced an extensive batch of storyline missions, which results in much lower probability of getting “the right mission” with the Mining Foreman Mindlink implant. This is why I have marked the three stages of Incursion deployment on the price graph.

“What about the Hulkageddon” you might ask?

The amount of destroyed Orca’s and their pilots podded is marginal compared to the amount of Hulks destroyed in Hulkageddon, so I don’t think Helicity Boson could be held responsible. Hulkageddon is a great opportunity for people who build mining ships and is beneficial for the New Eden economy, even though miners disagree.

I’m nowhere near being a full time miner, so I will probably skip the “dedicated Orca alt” plan, because at this point the investment will not make a return.

Dear CCP:

Please look at the distribution of Mindlink implants, unless it was your plan to increase their price. If not, this issue should be adressed pronto.