The Moon Mining experiment

Over the last year or so I noticed a lot of towers appearing in system and wondered why? I was aware of the one R64 moon that was constantly harvested but recently it seemed there was an explosion of towers, large, medium and small. My curiosity peaked when a couple of mobile warp disruptors were anchored near an off -line tower. Someone had come in an dropped a large Caldari tower on an unoccupied moon and the locals were concerned enough to consider some sort of defensive option. That was at the beginning of the year, the off-line tower is still there and so are the bubbles, so maybe the Great Northern War distracted everyone? or the dropper never returned?

Searching the database of the Eve Moons Project uncovered an interesting composition of gasses on that moon. Atmospheric Gases, Evaporative Deposits and  Silicates. These gasses on their own are not remarkable and mined individually are cost prohibitive but when you look at the ability to drop 2 harvesters on a single moon and take advantage of the combinations, it starts to make sense. A well organized Tower could produce Sulfuric Acid or Silicon Diborite or Ceramic Powder depending on the requirement. End of the day there is an intermediate product produced from a single moon with minimal effort. While it still remains cost prohibitive it could be considered a worthwhile effort for an alliance or corporation with a need for their production logistics chain. (Capri’s Tools give a quick profitability comparison of individual goo)

Given that part of my game philosophy is to try things rather than consider the cost, I though it might be time to anchor a tower, get some reactions going and watch the Isk disappear. Once upon a time, long long ago, in a galaxy just up the cluster I had tended my alliance Towers and become familiar with the workings of moon mining. Back then a fully fueled large Tower lasted about a week. It was a full time job keeping production going. These days it isn’t as labor intensive and a small tower holds enough fuel for a month so a decision was made to drop a small tower, harvester and silo on a moon and see what happened.

There wasn’t a reaction from the locals because the moon isn’t really considered to be worth the effort. I also dropped a medium tower on another moon with silos, harvester and simple reaction array to take advantage of the lack of hostilities. It wasn’t long before I was losing Isk hand over fist, but I did re-learn a fair bit that I had obviously forgotten. While you can hook up two harvesters you can’t access the same material. Linking and on-lining is still a bit hit and miss but the graphics are reasonably straight forward and tend to highlight errors. Making a note of the time you on-lined your harvester is a good idea so that you don’t upset the flow when you empty the silo, but with the changes in on-lining times is not as critical as it used to be. Other than that I was happily dropping intermediate materials in my hanger that were not coming close to the POS operating costs.

I pulled it all down this weekend, experiment over and fun had. I am now exploring surrounding systems to see if there are cost effective moons that might have been overlooked. If so it might be worth dropping a small tower on them with a week of fuel and see what happens. I have to stop and wonder if that is what all the recent towers are, just opportunists grabbing some free stuff?

What it also made me ponder was why moons are unlike their PI planetary counterparts. Why don’t moons have a finite resource allocation?
What would happen if a moon ran out of R64 after a nominal time (6 months or so).
What if the moons were not static?
Do they need to be to stabilize T2 production?

Will leave it at that for this week,

Fly safe as always
Yad

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