Seismic Stan (@Freebooted) commented on my previous ring mining post, stating that CCP Soundwave outlined some of his high falootin' ideas about the proposed new mining mechanic in the latest EON issue. Stan didn't go into much detail other than to mention that Soundwave really likes The Deadliest Catch (a show about Alaskan crab fishing trawlers.) One of his ideas on ring mining being an extension of fishing, actually cooperative net trawling through a planetary ring, scooping up rocks.
Net trawling sounds like a really cool idea. My previous ring mining post isn't very cool. But then it wasn't supposed to be. It was mainly a thought process on creating a new option for gameplay using only existing game mechanics.
Anyhow, completely new mechanics are always preferable to simply reworking a bunch of current mechanics into something sort of new.
So how might this cooperative net trawling work? I picture two mining vessels with a net (some sort of electro-force net) extended between them. They both fly in the same direction, manually piloting to keep an optimal distance between them, which keeps the net in a configuration that has the largest area, which then scoops up the most possible ring rocks.
I've drawn some pictures to illustrate (the glowy green thing is the net):
|The ships are at their optimal distance, the net has the largest area, scooping up the most rocks.|
|The ships are too far apart, the net too taut. The scooping area is reduced, fewer rocks collected.|
|The ships are too close together, the net too loose. Fewer rocks collected.|
This seems reasonably bot-proof. This method of mining requires two accounts, minimum. Bots aren't very cooperative.
Net trawling through a planetary ring has that collaborative aspect CCP Soundwave wants in his ring mining. Since there is no way to set two ships flying in exactly the same direction automatically, this method of mining requires constant attention and constant manual course corrections. Speed corrections might also be necessary.
If CCP were to do something like this, get all the 3D aspects right, the many many ring rocks, the netting, the scooping into the net, the path of empty space behind the trawlers, then this could actually be a fun little way to mine.
Mining that isn't entirely boring, who would have thought it possible?