One of the common complaints folks have is that there just aren’t enough fleets. And, while some of that can be attributed to logistical issues such as insufficient pilots in some time zones a far larger factor is simple economics. If you’re not already aware, everyone that participates in HMA fleets does so voluntarily. That means no one is getting paid to be here. Not your bosmang, doubling your income. Not the security team, hidden nearby. Not the enforcers, keeping our belts clear of competitors and potential threats. While we are all here for the “love of the game” there is an opportunity cost associated with participation. Every hour you spend boosting a mining fleet is an hour you don’t spend doing something potentially more lucrative.
In other words, if you want to have an Orca at your beck and call, you need to make it worth their while. To be clear, no one is trying to get rich of the sweat of your brow. Assuming a 20-hour “work” week – which I would consider a reasonable top-end for a video game job – it costs a little over 30 Million ISK per hour to run that Orca and its pilot. Personally, I have never come close to bringing in that kind of income and I’ve run these fleets for years. So, its no surprise that when push comes to shove some pilots will choose to do the thing that let’s them cover the cost of their account in a weekend vs. the thing that will probably cost them ISK. And, this isn’t even taking into account the billions in upfront costs to train for and fit that Orca.
Although donations to your bosmang (and maybe the Falcon that saves your ship) will always be voluntary, I cannot stress enough how important they are to making sure that boosts and compression are always available when you need it. The recommended rate for a max-boost bosmang with compression is 25% which works out to a little less than half of what you get from your boosts and even less when you factor in the fewer trips due to compression. However, any amount is appreciated. And, if you’re just a new miner still rocking a Venture we will would prefer that you save those donations to go towards your first barge. But, for everyone else, tip early and often.