With both ladies having Drug Production level 5 and their Gas Cloud Harvesting skill at level 5 too it is almost a must for these young ladies to gas mine. However, these illusive gas sites are not without risk. So is it worth being vulnerable while harvesting and most of all is it profitable at all?
*** Dec 10 ***
It is very easy to grab a ship and fit some gas cloud harvesters if you have the right skills and a proper ship. For T1 gas harvesters you need only Mining level 4 and the Gas Cloud Harvesting skill. For each Gas Cloud Harvesting level you can use another harvester, so it is worth training it up to at least 4 to be able to use 4 T1 gas harvesters.
There are no skills or modules that will improve gas cloud harvesting. However, there are T2 gas harvesters on the market and they will make the Gas Cloud Harvesting skill shine at level 5. Not only can you mine 50% more with them, but you are also allowed to use 5.
T1 Gas Cloud Harvester: 10 m3 gas in 30 seconds = 0.3 m3 gas a second
T2 Gas Cloud Harvester: 20 m3 gas in 40 seconds = 0.5 m3 gas a second
There are ways to speed up gas mining with implants called Eifyr and Co. ‘Alchemist’ Gas Harvesting GH-801, 803 and 805 which use up slot 8 and boosts the Gas Harvesters into mining faster with 1, 3 or 5%. You can also get a mining booster to boost you with the Laser Optimization link for even faster harvesting. Remember, what ever you do, you will get more isk an hour and spend less time being a target if you harvest faster!
The cruiser or battlecruiser
The only T1 cruisers capable of supporting 5 harvesters are the Thorax and Omen. A big deal, because unless you are harvesting in a very secure system people might scan you down and kill you without you being able to cloak. Cruisers can handle themselves in nebulas that deal damage over time, but I found repairers and a microwarpdrive hard to fit with all those harvesters fitted.
The battlecruiser fixes these problems, but are bigger and thus slower. You can tank them up for bait, which can be pretty hilarious in a gas cloud that deals damage to everything nearby.
Mining yield without implants or links:
4x T1 Harvesters 40 m3 gas in 30 seconds = 1.3 m3 gas a second
5x T2 Harvesters 100 m3 gas in 40 seconds = 2.5 m3 gas a second
Mining yield with 5% implant and maxed Orca boost:
4x T1 Harvesters 40 m3 gas in 22.6 seconds = 1.8 m3 gas a second
5x T2 Harvesters 100 m3 gas in 29.8 seconds = 3.3 m3 gas a second
The Venture or Prospect
These are little frigates made for gas cloud harvesting and mining. They get a 100% role bonus for mining and gas cloud harvesting yield and you will get a 5% reduction in mining and gas cloud harvesting time for each level in the Mining Frigate skill. Unfortunately they can fit only 2 harvesters, but that means you only need Gas Cloud Harvesting level 2 to outfit both these ladies with T1 harvesters. They also have a spare high slot for a cloaking device and grid enough for a microwarpdrive to get out of those tight situations.
On top of that the Venture has a warp strength bonus of 2 and with a warp core stabilizer fitted she will be pretty hard to catch without someone having multiple scramblers or disruptors fitted. I really love the Prospect over the Venture though. She lacks the warp strength, but has twice the ore bay, can warp cloaked and thus escape gate camps. She has a smaller signature radius, is faster, can handle gas sites that deal damage and can fit a covert cyno field for a nasty surprise if someone catches you while you have a fleet ready. She only gets a bonus to mining yield and signature radius from the Expedition Frigate skill, so unless you want to mine ore with the Prospect train it to level 1 only.
Mining yield without implants or links:
2x T1 Harvesters 40 m3 gas in 24 seconds with lvl 4 mining frigate = 1.7 m3 gas a second
2x T2 Harvesters 80 m3 gas in 32 seconds with lvl 4 mining frigate = 2.5 m3 gas a second
2x T1 Harvesters 40 m3 gas in 22,5 seconds with lvl 5 mining frigate = 1.8 m3 gas a second
2x T2 Harvesters 80 m3 gas in 30 seconds with lvl 5 mining frigate = 2.7 m3 gas a second
Mining yield with 5% implant and maxed Orca boost:
2x T1 Harvesters 40 m3 gas in 17.9 seconds with lvl 4 mining frigate = 2.2 m3 gas a second
2x T2 Harvesters 80 m3 gas in 23.8 seconds with lvl 4 mining frigate = 3.3 m3 gas a second
2x T1 Harvesters 40 m3 gas in 16.8 seconds with lvl 5 mining frigate = 2.4 m3 gas a second
2x T2 Harvesters 80 m3 gas in 22.6 seconds with lvl 5 mining frigate = 3.5 m3 gas a second
Is it worth harvesting all this gas?
There are plenty of gas site calculators available, for example at the eve calculator site, but market prices change and some pretty quick too. On top of that, some of the gas types might seem pretty priced, but often those are the ones that are really hard to get, especially in busy systems where you’ll be hitting that directional scan for a long time. Others can be hard to get due to rats spawning at the site or the site dealing damage over time. Don’t forget that you will have to warp away sometimes or cloak up when someone manages to get in close with either their probes or ship, which makes you lose precious time you could have used for other less dangerous things like incursions, missions, trading, production or running sites.
Gasses that are worth harvesting
Fullerite-C540 and C320
These gasses are rare and only spawn in the Vital Core and Instrumental Core Perimeter sites in C5 and C6 wormholes. Like other wormhole gas sites these sites will have sleeper rats warping in after about 15 minutes. Problem is that these rats are extremely nasty and can only be killed by a fleet with logistics, which often means you will have to share the site with others.
Fullerite-C28 and C32
C28 is a relatively light gas type and very lucrative. The C32 is worth even a little more, but over twice as heavy as the C28. Both are excellent gas types to harvest though and can be found in the Bountiful and Vast Frontier Perimeter gas sites which spawn in C3, C4, C5 and C6 wormholes. Again, these sites will have sleeper rats after 15 minutes, but they will be much easier to handle and can even be soloed with a strategic cruiser in a C3 or C4 wormhole.
With its low mass and nice value, this is a decent gas type to harvest. Problem is that it only spawns in small quantities in the Minor Perimeter gas site and in large quantities at the Ordinary Perimeter gas sites. The latter always has sentries present and they are pretty tough to clear out with their high alpha damage. It is doable with a strategic cruiser, but the sentries are spread out far away from each other, so make sure you fit a microwarpdrive and prepare for quite a bit of time spend on flying around.
There are 8 types of cytoserocin gasses for creating standard, improved and strong combat boosters. Depending on the market these gasses are or are not worth mining, so always check the market before risking your ship. Each of the gas types has their own region which can be owned by a large alliance that doesn’t like other capsuleers snooping around. Especially if there is a lot of fighting over key systems it might be close to impossible to reach the gas systems and extremely dangerous to run the gas sites for their precious gas.
Also remember that certain gas sites have some nasty rats, while others are unstable and deal damage during your harvesting cycles.
Gasses that are not worth harvesting
Fullerite-C50, C60, C70 and C84
Very little gas types that are all pretty worthless. Don’t risk your ship for this unless you have no way of buying these gas types from new players and still want to make that precious reaction at your tower.
Like cytoserocin there are 8 types of mykocerosin gasses. But these gas types are for creating synth combat boosters and nothing else. The market is almost always flooded with these, which kills the price on the gasses themselves. Sometimes one or two of the gas types will go up in price when someone is fighting over a region or system, but even then the prices are often not high enough to risk your ship.
Unlike any of the other gas sites in wormholes in which rats will warp in at around the 15 minute mark, the Ordinary Perimeter will always have turrets spawn upon warp in!
Never ever mine with people in the system you think are cloaked up. They could be waiting for you in an interdictor, bomber or even a covert ops with warp scramblers. Also don’t mine gas sites which you think are probed out by locals, they could also have some interceptors waiting for you in a nearby system.
To prevent cloaky ships from entering the site you can drop a can at the warp in point to decloak people that are silly enough to warp to the site a zero. With very large gas clouds you can maneuver your ship to the middle of the cloud to prevent cloaky ships from sneaking up on you.
Still, my personal tactic is to use the microwarpdrive to burn away from the gas cloud and cloak up as soon as possible while hitting the directional scan. People know you are in the system, but they don’t know you are gas mining. To them you could be anything with a cloaking device and I often found them leaving the system pretty fast.
And last but not least, be careful when transporting the gas and preferably use a scout. You might think you are still in your 3 million Venture, but don’t forget that all that precious gas in her ore bay turned her into a juicy target.
Have fun gas mining!