1.6b5 Mining Feedback Thread

Post ideas & suggestions you have pertaining to the game here.
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Song
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Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:50 am

So mining's been heavily reworked, but is still a work in progress. I'm putting my feedback here (after accidentally putting this in Commonwealth first) and I invite others to do so as well. First off to keep things nice and controlled:

Rules

1. This is a feedback thread for the current system. Say what works, what doesn't work, and why. Suggestions are cool, but do not suggest massive overhauls to the mining system that change everything. Obviously what we think is possible and what is actually possible may not overlap, but try to be conservative in what you suggest.

2. Keep it civil and don't nitpick or argue with other users. If this descends into madness it doesn't help refine the system.

3. If you change your opinion through further sourcediving or mining, say so! That's useful feedback as well.



That's all for rules. Now.....what do I think of mining in 1.6b5?

It's a good start and a good idea, but with flawed implementation. Finding deposits almost always costs me far more than I get out of them. There's a few specific changes I would suggest:

1.Seriously reduce the levelled damage threshold for mining, or introduce more weapons to fill gaps in that range. Old mining weapons are based on multi-shots to roll the mining chance on each shot. With the new damage threshold for mining, you add the damage roll to that and only if BOTH work do you get anything. And it's levelled. This makes searching without pods almost impossible and can result in sitting on autopilot for over a minute trying to get a few tons of ore out of a rock. It's possible that they're made of the same magic material that internal compartments are made of, albiet in a less refined form and thus displaying different properties...but having rocks magically resist heavy weaponry is really annoying It also means that mining weapons become obsolete as the system level increases, and there is a lack of mining weapons that are optimised for the new system. There is no mining weapon in the game that can effectively mine in the endgame because of the high damage resistance. While pods should be a more efficient method than mining weapons, the weapons should not be useless. This leads onto my second suggestion:

2. Increase the damage of mining weapons. They have very low range and very low ROF, and they both need the extra damage to make the new 'damage resistance' less of an issue, and allow for decent self-defense.

3. Increase the number of asteroids outside of deposits with a few tons of materials, and/or increase the number of deposits. This makes mining less of a problem if you can't find a deposit and need to reduce your losses. Maybe even let you collect really crappy stuff (nickel iron or water ice) from non-deposits sometimes (don't show on scanners) and sell that to cover fuel? Currently I feel that it's a bit like the curator's fake artifacts: mathematically it *should* let you turn a profit or at least break even. Practically speaking, it always costs you money.

4. Reduce the mass of mining and scanning pods. Half a ton is a bit much. Maybe 100-300kg instead?

5. Remove the false negative rate on scanner pods. If there's a single deposit in the system and you hit a false negative when you scan the right place, you will never find it. But you don't know that, so you'll keep wasting money on pods hoping that the deposit is going to make up the cost....and even though it probably wouldn't anyway, it doesn't matter because you're not going to find it. And because of the damage resistance of asteroids, you can't just blind fire a mining laser to look for stuff any more. Currently there's too many hoops to jump through. It *might* be worth having a software upgrade required for this, or for taking mining scanning from a "yes/no" to a "X tons" display. Maybe have false *positives* that go away after a few blasts with a mining laser.

6. Have a way to get the general area of the deposit through rumors and the like so you aren't searching an entire system necessarily. I have made a ticket for this as I feel it's particularly important.

7. Add an invoke hotkey on the use menu for each pod and allow a universal detonation command for all active pods through the communications menu. Might be a bit clunky but it'll speed things up a bit.
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JohnBWatson
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Wed Jun 24, 2015 1:58 pm

The initial mining laser shouldn't be practical all the way to Heretic, but there ought to be more mining lasers out there that the player can buy. A 'heavy mining laser' with twice the damage and higher power usage and an 'advanced mining laser' with ion damageType and even more damage that starts showing up in the Outer Realm would be fairly good.

On the topic of Outlaw Miners, they could use a buff in later game scenarios. Giving the Borer IIs a chance of using the aforementioned heavy mining lasers, giving the Hammerhead IIs a secondary Smartcannon, and giving their outposts and mining expeditions a chance of being protected by other outlaw factions like the Marauders, Outlaws, or Charon pirates would work fairly well. Throw in Kobol protection in the late game and they could even be returned to the Outer Realm.

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Song
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Thu Jun 25, 2015 2:21 am

One new thing I've noticed: the effect that shows the radius that a charge will affect when detonated will stack. If you spam charges you can actually blot out the screen. This might be too computationall expensive to fix though.

Placing a lot of charges in one place results in heavy lag as you're setting them off. Not sure if this is the overlay or the countdown, or hit detection/sound mixing. Perhaps limiting the number of charges in some way might deal with this?
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Arkheias
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Thu Jun 25, 2015 3:44 pm

I've noticed that we now have a 'miningEquipment' attribute for mining equipment that makes mining equipment appear in the inventory of standard Commonwealth mining stations. Unfortunately it is currently set to work in the same way as how stations offer reactor upgrades, in that every mining station will now sell exactly one copy of every single device with the attribute 'miningEquipment' that falls within their level range (1-3 for Eridani and 1-5 for mining stations in all other systems). This is why we can't have nice things.

Is it really too hard to just use the same setup that's already been in use by arms dealers, armor dealers, and every other station that sells equipment?

Edit:
I've found out that this is caused by inventoryAdj, which since I do not believe is adequately explained elsewhere on the forums, I will proceed to explain now.

The standard Commonwealth mining station thingy has the following section thingy in its <Trade ...> section thingy:

<Sell criteria="*NU +miningEquipment; -Illegal; -NotForSale; -notStandard; L:1-5;" priceAdj="100" inventoryAdj="100"/>

inventoryAdj="100" makes it so that the station will have exactly one of every item that fits the preceding criteria.

inventoryAdj="200" would change it so that the station would have exactly two of every item that fits the preceding criteria.
inventoryAdj="500" would change it so that the station would have exactly five of every item that fits the preceding criteria.

I do not know for sure, but I assume that numbers below 100 would be applicable for items with settings like numberAppearing="4d6" (seismic scanner pods for instance)

Every other station in the game would just have something like 1d6 items that fit the criteria, but noooo. Mining stations have to have one of every item that fits the criteria, no more, no less. One shall be the number of each device they shall stock, and the number of each device they shall stock shall be one. Two of each device they shall not stock and they shall not stock none, excepting that they have previously sold one. Three is right out. Once one, being the first number, be stocked, then peddlest they their mining equipment towards consumers they shall, who, being desperate for mining equipment, shall buy it.
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kay.py
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Fri Jun 26, 2015 3:42 pm

It is a trifle odd when there is an undiscovered motherlode right outside a mining station.

"No wonder we couldn't find it- Fred had his Centurion parked right on top of it!"

Also having deposits right on top of friendly stations make those area effect toys a touch hard to use without pissing everyone off... Maybe a low range but friendly-fire safe device could be an idea?

At the start of the game (I started up a bunch of new games and checked what I could get out of Eridani) a single deposit seems a reasonable starting boost. I was seeing about ~$5500 profit (after paying off the equipment)

Getting a multiple deposit system can get a bit excessive... Might be a moral hazard for startscummers...

kay.py
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Fri Jun 26, 2015 4:25 pm

I notice that there is a warning when you downgrade equipment. Could the same mechanism be re-purposed to give the player a heads-up that they are kitting up for mining in an empty system?

'An idle miner notices your selection: "You might wanna think twice 'bout that- there's nothin around here for you to dig up"'

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Arkheias
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Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:31 pm

kay.py wrote:I notice that there is a warning when you downgrade equipment. Could the same mechanism be re-purposed to give the player a heads-up that they are kitting up for mining in an empty system?

'An idle miner notices your selection: "You might wanna think twice 'bout that- there's nothin around here for you to dig up"'
I think that there should be multiple versions of that message based on the system level or some other way of measuring how far into the game you are. In the first few systems they would treat you as naive for not knowing that the current system was effectively empty, but in later systems/that fancy new mining station that you have to pay to get access to, they would get closer to just outright calling you an idiot for not noticing everyone talking about it.

There could also be variations such as someone asking you if you were getting your ship fitted for the next system and then complaining about how the current system doesn't have any good mining spots anymore.
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Arkheias
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Sat Jun 27, 2015 3:09 am

Since the damage dealt by a mining weapon apparently affects how much ore you get, does this mean enhancers such as the laser collimator would make the mining laser more effective at mining, or is the process of deciding how much ore you get convoluted to the point of making this idea useless?
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Song
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Sat Jun 27, 2015 3:32 am

Arkheias wrote:Since the damage dealt by a mining weapon apparently affects how much ore you get, does this mean enhancers such as the laser collimator would make the mining laser more effective at mining, or is the process of deciding how much ore you get convoluted to the point of making this idea useless?

Yes....but not by much, because the damage on the mining laser is only 1d4 or so to begin with.

Edit: one thing that might work to make stuff nicer: make the damage accumulate. So rather than the lower-grade stuff not mining at all, it would still mine...but because of the reduction/increased damage required it would be a lot slower at higher levels.
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Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:08 pm

Shrike wrote:5. Remove the false negative rate on scanner pods. If there's a single deposit in the system and you hit a false negative when you scan the right place, you will never find it. But you don't know that, so you'll keep wasting money on pods hoping that the deposit is going to make up the cost....and even though it probably wouldn't anyway, it doesn't matter because you're not going to find it. And because of the damage resistance of asteroids, you can't just blind fire a mining laser to look for stuff any more. Currently there's too many hoops to jump through. It *might* be worth having a software upgrade required for this, or for taking mining scanning from a "yes/no" to a "X tons" display. Maybe have false *positives* that go away after a few blasts with a mining laser.
I do not think the scanner pods have false negatives specially coded. Their shockwaves have the default passthrough="80" like other stock shockwave effects, meaning some of shockwave's constituent fragments can be absorbed then not hit more rocks despite image showing otherwise. This is using shockwaves' built-in functioning at default settings as a feature for false negatives. To fix that (if desirable), scanner shockwave needs passthrough set to 100.
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Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:42 am

kay.py wrote:I notice that there is a warning when you downgrade equipment. Could the same mechanism be re-purposed to give the player a heads-up that they are kitting up for mining in an empty system?

'An idle miner notices your selection: "You might wanna think twice 'bout that- there's nothin around here for you to dig up"'
I do like this one , However I would like to addd that I found the Association in a high level system rather then in StartOn - which, IF my mention of the Danger Arco is in and how I normally remove him from the system until the player meets the mission requirement - Outlaw Miners running into the system to pick up ore and bother the player could very well start a fight that gets Arco Killed before his time.

Other then that - seems legit - the Ore Scanner numbers appear over rocks that I find did hold ore but did not show up in the scan ( I am a Mining Fool and habitually blast rocks - the numbers are useful to save fuel for the weapon - but they should only be counted as a guide to ore, not held as the authority of what and where)
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Miguk
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Tue Aug 11, 2015 7:54 pm

At first I didn't get how it worked. I thought the green area was already scanned. Using "communicate" to set off the charges wasn't immediately intuitive to me.

It would help to have a tutorial. You get sent out to a place where you're 100% sure to find some ore and then walked through all the steps until you've collected it.

shanejfilomena
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Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:28 pm

Miguk wrote:At first I didn't get how it worked. I thought the green area was already scanned. Using "communicate" to set off the charges wasn't immediately intuitive to me.

It would help to have a tutorial. You get sent out to a place where you're 100% sure to find some ore and then walked through all the steps until you've collected it.
Yes - a good idea for an added Mission in Benedict's introduction to the universe
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JohnBWatson
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Sun Aug 16, 2015 6:30 pm

shanejfilomena wrote:
Yes - a good idea for an added Mission in Benedict's introduction to the universe
Why not have it as a mission from a CW mining colony?

Also, a lot of the confusion could be fixed through a

"Scanner pod deployed, press "C" to detonate"

message upon deploying one.

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Fri Oct 02, 2015 7:41 pm

Lately, the damage threshold curve has annoyed me much lately. It is hard to design weak multi-hit mining weapons that are balanced for their level, yet not be obsolete at mining too quickly. For now, I have resorted to multiplying the damage via <OnDamageAbandoned> event if the target is an asteroid with items.

Speaking of damage curve, even if the damage is high enough, if the damage is not much higher than the threshold, player will see lots and lots of ore with a few tons each after mining an asteroid with a hundred or so ore in higher level systems. Docking every last ore that pops out of a pile of dozens is a pain without the Quick Loot Ore mod.

For some reason, weapons with mining:7, which should be 100% efficient, do not always cause the asteroid to eject ore when hit.
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