I had a mining opportunity pop up in the Shadow of the Serpent Event – collect 500,000 units of Scordite for 1,000 points. There was no explanation on if it could be Standard, Condensed or Massive Scordite, or if it had to be delivered to someone. Given I had visited 20 systems to earn 500 points, I figured it was worth a try.
I undocked in a Skiff and warped to a belt. It was soon apparent that the counter towards 500,000 units increased when the Scordite – of any type, hit your Ore hold. Some quick calculations showed I could collect 22,313 units of Scordite each 145.8 seconds at a range of 15km. With perfect (but impossible to achieve) timing, it would take 53 minutes to harvest.
I undocked my Alt in his Orca to haul and provide boosts. It has been quite a while since I have done that. Doing so increased my Skiff’s yield to 25,663 units of Scordite each 98.6 seconds at a range of 25km. That brought the perfect mining time down to 32 minutes – plus I wouldn’t need to dock or move to collect it all.
I wrote down my yield at quarter, half and three-quarter cycles, and using the survey scanner ensured I minimised unproductive mining time. In less than 40 minutes I had completed the opportunity and was docked with a bit over 11M ISK of minerals.
While I did not pay attention to it this time – during my second mining opportunity for Veldspar I noticed the Ore in my Orca did not add up to the Ore in my counter. It was roughly between 5 and 10% less. I did not lose any ore that I noticed – certainly not due to lack of space, or jettisoning some. It was as if the calculations were wrong – maybe my short cycling of the mining laser confused things, or the counter gave you benefits for mining the better versions of the asteroids. Or more likely – I am just not seeing things right again.
It had been a long while since I had focused on efficiency when mining and I didn’t mind the process for a change.
The next thing I wanted to look at was a revisit of the Keeping up the Pressure opportunity – where you have to clear five Serpentis Shipyard and Research Facilities. In a comment on a previous post a reader (Mark) had suggested these could be blitzed by just removing the central spawn and then looting the container. He also said it was worth running the site with others because anyone involved got attributed one count in their opportunity.
Once again I fleeted up with my Alt. Mark was right on both counts. The problem is being able to keep the middle spawn identified. The Serpentis Event Rats both damp you and close very quickly. Before you know it you are surrounded by a mess of mixed up ships. I first tried to just lock all the central targets using my Legion (can lock 5) and my Alt in his Claymore (can lock 7 from memory). The damps however would often drop these locks and before you have time to think all spawns were together. The Spawns would sometimes switch targets as a group so you could work out the middle spawn that way, but this was not a reliable option.
In the end it worked out better to solo this site to blitz it. I would lock the middle spawn, fire a shot, then slow boat straight away from the loot can. The middle spawn would then be drawn out and you could reliably kill them off. You could then burn back to the loot container, clear it, and the site would be done. While efficient, it does mean someone else could easily enough take the loot. I’ve collected 3 implants from the container so far – so it can on occasion have something worthwhile.
There is a level of exploration and enjoyment in finding efficient methods to clear these opportunities – and not just a little luck. (It took 20 systems to find my first Serpentis Guards, the second time I had the opportunity I found them in the second belt of my home system.)
I am now up to 7,300 points – including 2,000 for killing 200 Serpentis rats within 24 hours and another 1,000 points for 500,000 units of Veldspar which took less than 30 minutes. I have logged in more often and for longer in the last few days than I have in months – and CCP’s statistics will be showing them a success.
That is unfortunate however – as it is not entirely accurate. The scope of the grind is not as enjoyable as it could be, and I don’t feel like once the event (or my goals within it) have finished that I will maintain anything like this pattern of play. I hope CCP don’t just focus on their stats – they seem to be on the right path, but they really need to finesse it to hit the mark properly.
On the other hand – I am now considering researching Drifters and Sleepers (do the Circadian’s count?) – aspects of the game I have basically ignored but come up as Opportunities. Are you able to solo a Drifter battleship in Hi-Sec without a guaranteed loss of your ship for example? In that sense, the event might be more successful in changing the game longer term for me.