In reply to posts so far:
Yes, black holes are rare....except the Shivans can make them. The one at Capella is pretty close to all the GTVA, for instance.
Building gas miners for extended logistics takes foresight, pre-planning. An organism that doesn't think would have trouble with this concept. Instead, it seems more likely that the shivans -would- just lug crate after crate of supplies around.
After all, do you take the time to make a supply-gathering ship that only works in nebulas, or since you can make whatever you want, do you just make filled transports?
Do blood cells find a way to make oxygen on-the-go, or do they need supply lines that link them to where the oxygen comes from? [lungs]
Why make gas miners when at the same time and for equally zero cost you can make transports brimming with cargo? At least the transports will arrive where the supplies are needed without having to drive out to the nearest nebulae first to fill up on cargo. The filled transports route is simply faster and more direct.
After all, we've seen on a few occasions exactly how much cargo the shivans like to drag about. Theres actually more emphasis on shivan logistics via cargo-hauling than the GTVA. (or so it seems)
Also of note, the Shivans in FS1 had 3 different variants of cargo-haulers. FS2 introduced a few more. Granted, GTVA forces have quite a few varieties of cargo hauler, but those were all built by corporations in a free market attempting to fill a niche in the shipbuilding market. Shivans don't think, so their motivations for having such a diverse cargo-hauling fleet must be different. One thing that can be taken from this observation is that the shivans are heavily dependent upon their shipping fleet. (vessel count and diversity)
(Mission to scan shivan cargo for shield tech in FS1, you are a part of just one team sent out to scan and capture shivan crates, and theres a TON floating about in this mission, so I assume the other sites were as well.)
[Your team was unsuccessful in recovering shield tech, but your scans should enable us to target shivan vessels. Meanwhile, another team was successful in recovering shield tech]
(Mission in which 2 GTA transports each attempt to dock with shivan cargo, [which explodes].)
(Mission in which you scan the lucifer in a dragon fighter- every ship in the mission except the lucifer and fighters were explicitly hauling cargo/war material. [Possibly the lucifer itself was brimming with cargo as well])
(Admiral Steele got his grit in his younger years, particularly in a campaign to wreck the main shivan logistics line.)
@Mito: I brought up the part about shivans not landing on planets and controlling jump nodes to illustrate that shivans dont bother claiming land or building population centers. Yes, the point of node control was to deliver the Lucifer to its targets -but also to prevent any GTVA forces from escaping annihilation. The important piece here is that the shivans brought everything they needed to get the job done with them, without needing to establish any logistical support from the regions they were razing. In FS1, Shivans are never seen harvesting resources or claiming land, they literally brought everything with them in cargo containers, and no GTVA forces ever even got a look at their origin point. (as far as we know)
I brought up the shivan Animas, and the "external" source that re-directed the shivans war efforts in FS2. This external source could have been simply Aken Bosch becoming an anima and exerting influence, but I'm suggesting that there is something more to the shivans than simply being the Great Destroyers.
Shivan behavior when looked at as a whole gives us a clear motive for -most- of their behavior, but something else is going on as well.
So, there is something special about the gas miners. Shivans don't need anything you can find on planets.
They already have everything they need from black holes, so long as they can establish supply lines from them.
They need something special from nebulae.
I may be on a wild tangent. The BP team has no obligation to address these observations, in any form.
I just like trying to "figure the shivans out", ever since FS1.
The more definition and concrete behavior we can attribute to the shivans, the more comfortable we can become in implying this or that about them.
They are certainly an interesting species.