It seems CCP might be well on the way to making the new roles for the upcoming mining barge/exhumer iteration mostly pointless.
Two of the exhumers currently have specialized bonuses. The Skiff has a mercoxit mining bonus. The Mackinaw has an ice harvesting bonus.
How will this affect the new upcoming iteration? Where mercoxit and ice mining are concerned, it kind of makes the upcoming changes pretty pointless. If you're ice harvesting, why would you fly anything other than a Mackinaw? Whether it's Hulkageddon or not, no matter what space you're in, you're never going to choose the more sturdy Skiff over the ice harvesting bonus that the Mack gives. This defeats the purpose of the player having to make choices, having to gear their activity towards other outside forces and factors.
I'd simply assumed yesterday, when I cheered on the upcoming iteration towards roles, that the specific mining type bonuses would be removed from the exhumers. If the intention is to create a bit of a paradigm shift in the exhumer class vessels, different ships for different situations, then keeping the current specialization bonuses undermines the paradigm.
Apparently the exhumer bonuses are staying. CCP Ytterbium clarifies in some Q&A on the ship rebalancing thread:
Q: WILL EXHUMER SHIP SPECIALIZATIONS BE AFFECTED BY SUCH CHANGES?It's times like this when I wish CCP would actually go into some detail on their decision-making. What's their thinking on the issue? Why do they feel that removing the current specializations is the wrong course of action? Hopefully the reasons are deeper than just being lazy and wanting to push some changes out the door as quickly as possible.
A: Most likely not.
If CCP did remove the mining type specializations from the exhumers, what would happen to them? Would they just disappear, or is there a way to let players get the bonus/penalty of those specializations through some other means? There are two equally valid ways for CCP to go about doing this.
- Turn the Mining Laser Upgrade and Ice Harvester Upgrade modules into items that can load scripts. The scripts define any bonuses and penalties. Perhaps the Mercoxit Script gives a 60% bonus to mercoxit yield, while delivering an ore bay capacity penalty, along with a penalty to gas cloud formation. This concept could be expanded down the road, with scripts for every rock type. A veldspar script, for instance, giving some veldspar yield bonus and an associated penalty.
- Mining Type rigs. Want to mine mercoxit? Install a rig on your ship. Want to increase your ice harvesting yield? Install a rig on your mining vessel. The bonus of rigs is that to replace them, you have to destroy them, which would please manufacturers.
Why CCP is not going down this road, I have no idea. Smacks as a quick fix to some miner screaming, versus an iteration with some real longterm potential in mind.