As we know--because the Code tells us--avoiding excessive mining isn't simply about limiting oneself to a specific amount of mining time each day. It's about self-improvement, personal development, and personal growth. Let's read the text of that excessive mining provision once again. (One must never tire of reading and rereading the Code, just as the Code never exhausts itself by granting wisdom to the reader.)
"No excessive mining. Miners should not fall into a routine of mining all day. I want well-rounded people in my system, not ice-mining machines."Note that the provision doesn't specify an exact amount of time that a player is permitted to spend mining. The bot-aspirant miner is innately suspicious of this. He wants everything quantified precisely. That's not life, though--that's a computer program.
No, when our Agents judge the miners, they do not judge them with a detailed checklist of strictly defined metrics. Such a system, no matter how well-devised or well-intentioned, would inevitably lead to bad results. Judging people is an art, not a science. Our Agents take the holistic approach.
Consider, for example, a miner's participation in local chat. Agents often test miners by asking them to reply if they're not AFK. If the miner does not respond in a timely manner, he must be AFK (or constructively AFK, which equally earns him a gank). We know that a miner cannot respond in local if he is AFK. Or can he? It's certainly possible for a mining bot to be programmed to type in local chat. Indeed, there is a long history of bots in EVE that were programmed to exactly that. (Usually they were advertising scam contracts by periodically linking them in Jita local.)
In order for a miner's participation in local chat to be meaningful, it must go beyond stating, "Hi, I'm not AFK." At a bare minimum, a miner should be able to pass the Turing test. Here's the thing, though: Even a child can pass the Turing test. Do we really think so little of our miners?
Bot-aspirants, by their nature, aspire to become more like bots. They want to strip away their humanity to the bare minimum needed to collect ice and ore. The New Order and its Code have the opposite goal in mind: They want to help miners reach their full potential as human beings. In our vision of highsec, an EVE player becomes a better person after spending time in the game. Impossible? Don't doubt our Agents.
The rebellious carebear protests, "You're changing the standards. You're making it increasingly difficult to meet the arbitrary criteria of the Code. This was supposed to be about paying 10 million isk and not being AFK. Now you're adding new, unreasonable rules."
Oh? I invite you to read the Code again, friend. Try this on for size:
"I realize that there is already a EULA in place that governs player conduct, but in my encounters with highsec miners, I often find myself wishing that the miners were of a higher caliber. In my view, many of these miners could become higher quality EVE players (and generally, better people) if they were simply held to a higher standard. The New Halaima Code of Conduct provides that standard."That's a quote from the very first paragraph after "The New Halaima Code of Conduct". I guess you didn't get very far, eh?
Let's return to the question of a miner's participation in local chat. What should the miner be able to do, beyond merely confirming that he's at the keyboard? To answer that question, I'd like to draw the miner's attention to a MinerBumping classic, a post from 2014 called The Modern Miner. It's full of useful information on this very subject. Rather than summarizing it here, I'll encourage the reader to enjoy the post in its entirety by whetting his appetite with two paragraphs:
"Whenever a miner goes out to mine some ice or some ore, he should imagine that he's headed off to an important job interview. Perhaps an Agent won't visit him that day. If an Agent does appear in local, the miner should be prepared. Being able to greet the Agent isn't enough. A bot can do that. The modern miner should be interesting to talk to. He should be impressive, even charming. It's not a terrible idea for a miner to keep at his disposal a few jokes or anecdotes to share, when appropriate. Our Agents should walk away from the encounter thinking, "You know, I really like that miner!"As you can see, a highsec miner is expected to fully develop himself as a person in all respects. Even by setting out the task, we divide the miners good from bad. When a bot-aspirant reads this post, he's crestfallen. He wants to give up. A Gallant miner relishes the challenge. He draws strength from it. The bot-aspirant decays.
"Striking the right balance is key. A miner should demonstrate awareness of, and respect for, an Agent's superior position. Yet the miner shouldn't be cloying or oleaginous. A sycophantic miner can come across as a sarcastic one. Our Agents have finely honed senses; they know when a miner is being sincere or not."
So who are these well-rounded miners? What are really like? Actually, there's a good chance you won't see him mining. Because, for one thing, he doesn't spend 11 straight hours mining. A well-rounded miner is modest in his mining, just as he's modest in his fittings (lovers of blingy, decadent modules and drones need not apply). As such, the Gallant miner gets in and gets out quickly, probably without you noticing. He doesn't feel the need to make a big show of mining. He treats mining like he treats brushing his teeth. He engages in the activity, sure--maybe even on a daily basis. But he doesn't rub it in your face. How often do you see a respected colleague brushing his teeth in front of you? Probably not often.
The best miner is the one you never see mining. Maybe he was planning to collect some ore, but he changed his mind at the last minute and decided to do something else instead. Maybe he even decided to go out to Uedama and kill some autopiloters. The rebellious carebear scoffs. Consider, however, how difficult it would be for such a well-rounded miner to be ganked. No wonder--he's obeying the Code!
Bot-aspirants are crippled by their greed. As I said, reading this post will put sad faces on a lot of miners. They would like to go out and mine whenever they want, for however long they want. If that's you, miner, then I cordially invite you to step inside your time machine and travel to highsec circa 2011. Because highsec belongs to the Code now. And it always will.