Gas mining is considered one of the most profitable methods to gain some dank ISK for newer players. And yes, you can learn the skills and use all the required ships & modules on an Alpha account!
So here is how “ninja gas mining” is done on a budget level.
You will need to invest about 30 million to get started.
- Fitting your Venture
- Finding the spot
- Mining & staying alive (imagine the Bee Gees singing the whole time)
- You did bookmark the exit, right?
1. Fitting your Venture
There are three basic things you need:
- Gas Cloud Harvesters (ideally two of them)
- A Probe Launcher and a set eight Probes (you won’t find what you seek without it)
- A Venture (to put that gear on)
Everything else is more or less optional, and personal preference.
To give you an Idea, here is the Basic Ninja Gas Mining Venture, which I use. This fitting is only about 5.2 million ISK. Very affordable and a single successful trip should easily replace the costs. But of course there is one problem: The skill to operate the Gas Cloud Harvester Moduls cost 24 million ISK.
If you have trained the necessary skills and ISK, you might also have a look a the Prospect. Ah, but why the hell would you read that guide then? You already know what you’re doing, right? Looking for mistakes? Yea, post in the comments if you find some. Would be very kind of you. Thanks.
Anyhow, now that you got the ship, you need to find some smelly space-farts.
2. Finding the spot
If you haven’t much experience in scanning, I strongly recommend, you watch this three video guides. Yes, ALL three of them. But you can watch them later, for now continue reading and you will understand why you need that knowledge.
First of all, you want to find a wormhole. So start to
scam – sorry – scan down Cosmic Signatures in space.
When you have found a suitable wormhole – bookmark it.
Oh, you ask me what a suitable wormhole is? That’s easy: check out the info-window of the hole. There will be something like *reads in deep dramatic voice*:
This wormhole seems to lead into deadly unknown space.
Perfect! That would be some kind of C6 (because it says “deadly”). Oh, err…, I should say something about wormhole classes too, right? Well, I keep it short: there are six classes of wormholes. The higher the class, the more “dangerous” the space in theory.
In fact, when something finds you in your little Venture, you are most likely dead in any J-space. What we want is the “unknown”, in the description, which means it is indeed a wormhole – not a connection to other known space.
Back to bookmarking: Please, don’t do it in the window of the Probe Launcher. If you set the bookmark from there, it will end up a few kilometers (~8 km) away from the actual Signature. If you now warp to the bookmark, you will not be able to jump through instantly. Warp to it first, set the bookmark from your overview or directly in space. Now, when you warp to this bookmark, you will land on the spot the next time you warp there.
2.1 In spooky space
Woooohoo! Wait a second! You didn’t want to jump in that wormhole head first. Not knowing what might be waiting for you on the other side, do you? (Well, actually you never know that, but) You can get a bit more intelligence, by checking out the number of the wormhole which is displayed in you overview/info-window.
I use this website, to check where a wormhole will lead me to:
(If you happen to have a source more up to date, please let me know in the comments!)
UPDATE 15.07.2017: anoik.is – a more modern approach on displaying wormhole data.
Now that you have a first idea, it’s time to dive!
After you leaped through the wormhole DON’T MOVE! Always check first, what you’r directional scanner is showing. Like when jumping through gates you get the one minute cloak. During that time you can evaluate your situation. You can take your time, and lookup the J-number of the wormhole you entered here.
This will give you an overview on what’s up. If you wan’t to push your paranoia a bit, you can also lookup the system on zkillboard.com. But don’t let that information fool you. You can’t be sure it’s a actually full report on the ongoings and a quiet system doesn’t mean there are no hunters.
2.2 What you want to see (on your dscan)
A short list what you would want to see on your dscan when hanging out in wormhole space:
- all ships
- towers (POS)
- force fields (tells you if a tower is actively maintained or not)
- scanning probes (all of them)
- citadels & engineering complexes
But remember: If you see something on dscan and you are not cloacked, they can see you too. You are at the lower end of the food chain, flying a Venture fitted for ninja gas mining.
2.3 Getting a safe spot
Before your cloak-timer runs out, you should warp somewhere. Mostly I choose customs offices of the planet furthest away from the sun. Depending on the size of the system, you won’t show up on other players dscan so easily. And I have time to make bookmarks on the way. I don’t recommend warping to moons, though.
A great guide on how to do good safe spots can be found here: wiki.eveuniversity.org/Safe_spots
That’s basic knowledge every capsuleer should learn – at least when you leave HighSec for the first time.
When I decloak and click warp, I simultaneously launch my scanner probes, so I have them already in space, and can start scanning while warping.
You shouldn’t leave scanner probes right at a wormhole for long. That’s like slapping someone a wet towel in the face while shouting “YOU ARE NOT ALONE!”. And you tell them which wormhole you came from. To avoid this, you can launch the probes and just hit the scan button right afterwards, so the probes warp of and scan somewhere, but don’t sit right a the wormhole.
When you now hang around at your saved safe bookmark, you can fully commit to scan down sites. But keep an eye on the dscan. In case of combat probes happen to show up, it’s time to take a run.
2.4 What to mine
After you scanned out a gas site – which you also could do with a dedicated scanning ship, and come back in the Venture for the space-farts – you need to know what’s in there.
Here is list where you can look up, what you can find in here or there under the headline “Ladar”
The gas you are looking for is called “Fullerite-C###”. If a cloud is worth your time can you evaluate at fuzzwork.co.uk (sort by isk/m³, because your harvester suck in m³ not units)
In general you can say, Fullerite C320 and C540are the most precious to clouds you can find out there. Followed by C32 and C72.
3. Mining & staying alive*
Before you warp into a site, you want to check the name of it first. The “Ordinary Perimeter Reservoir” is the only site which has five active Vigilant Sentry Towers in it right from the start. Just avoid those “Ordinary” sites with your little Venture. In every other site, you have roughly 15 to 20 Minutes time until the first Sleepers will spawn. So you want to to be quick.
But be ready to warp out at an instant when you find that the Sleepers in the site have already been spawned. That just means some other sneaky ninja gas miner was there before you. Sad!
Here the process in detail:
- Check the name of the site. If it says “Ordinary” avoid it.
- At warp-in check if there are any NPCs yet. If not, decide which cloud you want to go for.
- Use propulsion module to reach the cloud quicker.
- Orbit gas cloud at 500 m with Mircorwarpdrive off or you won’t be able to orbit withn the reach of your harvesters which only have 1500 m range.
- Activate gas harvesters.
Staying in motion makes it (theoretically) more difficult for someone to scan you down with combat probes. In the case you are scanned out, you move while the hunter is in warp, which gives you a little bit distance between his warp-in and your actual location.
But really that shouldn’t happen, when did setup your dscan correctly and use it too!
- While you are harvesting, klick on a celestial you want to be the place to escape to. This will enable you to warp there by a single klick on the overview-button. (See screenshot)
- Check directional scan every view seconds. And keep an eye on the overview for red things to appear.
- Wait till the cloud is empty, Sleepers spawn (they will warp in), or something frightening pops up in dscan.
- Before you warp out, quickly deactivate your harvesters. It’s better to get the outcome of a half complete cycle than nothing, which you would get by just warping of. Then the module didn’t have the time to “bring the gas in”, and you loose what you would have gotten out of that unfinished cycle.
*If you want full chills, don’t listen to the Bee Gees but the ingame music, it’s really tense in J-space.
4. You did Bookmark your exit, right?
I probably should have mentioned that earlier, but you really should bookmark the wormhole(s) you came from. I always name them “_EXIT”. The underscore keeps in on the top of the list of my personal bookmarks. Makes it easier to click while you’re panicking.
A good way to keep track of the sites in a wormhole is to name them after the first three letters of their ID like “ABC Minor Perimeter Reservoir” and “XYZ Unsecured Perimeter Amplifier” and ignore them in den Probe Scanner Window, after you bookmarked them.
So, you didn’t die?
You managed to bring that ore hold full of space-farts out of spooky space?
You didn’t die on the way to the market?
Congrats! You can now call yourself rightfully a ninja gas miner!