The ABC's of Minerals
Minerals come from three distinct sources in EVE: Asteroids and Mining, NPC combat and loot reprocessing, and Rogue Drone Compound reprocessing. Of these, mining of asteroid ores and reprocessing of rogue drone compounds are dependent on the value of the minerals to determine that activity's relative income level, whereas NPC loot is one of the total rewards given for NPC combat.
Houston, we have a problem!
Ideally, mining should be the greatest factor in determining the value of minerals since miners can target specific ores where these ores are available and, therefore, specific minerals. Next up should be rogue drones and their compounds, with the distinction that this activity is not targeting specific minerals but collecting them en mass to exchange for money.
However, the value of minerals is increasingly being determined by the diffused loot reprocessing source which forms only a small portion of the overall NPC combat rewards, yet devalues and slowly cripples the specialist activities, as NPC combat is not as adversely affected in income terms from mineral values decrease, whereas the specialist activities are.
This means long after miners have stopped mining as the ore values drop and you have long lost interest in the drone regions, loot reprocessing will still be carried out since it is only a part of the NPC combat activity and a supplemental rather than only source of income.
It is this scenario we want to make changes to and fix by altering the mineral sources in such a way that each gets a fairer amount and relative income in mineral value and that the specialist activities are stronger competitors in determining overall mineral values obtaining minerals in a ratio which is more equivalent to the manufacturing demand ratios.
So what are you changing with the mineral sources?
We identified a core set of loot tables which are responsible for contributing to the majority of the NPC loot sourced minerals and these are the first ones we want to adjust with Tyrannis, reducing the quantity of the Tech 0 items being dropped and substituting it with a variation of scrap metals or tags, for example. There will still be the same amount of Tech 1 meta 1-4 modules being dropped and these will still act as mineral faucets if you desire a source of minerals still from NPC combat.
Whilst this will reduce one of the secondary incomes from NPC combat initially, this is weighted against all the potential rewards of NPC combat activity. With less overall mineral supply, the lower quantity of minerals still possible from loot reprocessing will eventually be worth more.
Unfortunately, I'd been buying and reprocessing NPC loot to give myself some easy income in the past few months when I've had little playing time, so I may need to figure out a new business plan. Luckily, the new planetary interaction system should fit the bill perfectly.