Ideas on expanding mining

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Xephyr
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Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:40 am

Mining isn't a very well developed system in the game, but it has loads of potential. Ideally, you would be able to choose it as a "career path", like working in the CHOC or the Fleet.

Unfortunately, it gets pretty tedious and isn't always profitable. Here's some of my ideas:
  • Include some mining autons.
Autons that can grab mined ore and return it to your cargo hold would be very helpful. A mule auton with a miner's hold even more so. This would make docking with every piece of ore unneccesary and would make the Constellation capable of mining. Autons that actually mine ore, though, probably shouldn't be included to keep the game from becoming a mining micromanagement simulator.
  • Make the Miner's Union (in CC) functional
Specifically, it should function a bit like a union. Maybe they could purchase unlimited amounts of ore, but well below a premium. They should also offer exclusive services, like access to specialized mining equipment and the previously mentioned autons. Perhaps they could even offer escorts, for a price - you rarely see unescorted mining ships in game - to allow the player to focus on mining equipment rather than combat.

An interesting mechanic for the union to have would be "strikes" - On docking with an IMU station, there would be a random chance for them to notify you of a strike, where mining production is restricted in an effort to raise prices or something. Selling ore during a strike should be very profitable, but would mean losing your IMU membership or some other consequence.
  • More mining devices!
The laser and the plasma torch are all we have. If there were a few more mining weapons in between (and afterward) it has the potential to offer you equipment throughout the game - Since plasma is a high damage tier, you could conceivably end up with an Iocrym killer like the Ferian plasma cannon through a mining career.
Scanner pods are an interesting inclusion, but they're cumbersome to use (I think they should activate automatically rather than having to [c]ommunicate with them). Passive ore scanners have been done before, and I think they should be included in the game.
Maybe an interesting addition would be to make a launcher that fires scanning/mining pods, sort of like how the NAMI mine launcher works.

I'm probably not going to mod any of this in just yet, but I might come back to it. I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on mining, too.
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Shrike
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Mon Feb 01, 2016 4:33 am

Unfortunately, it gets pretty tedious and isn't always profitable.
I norite? The idea of mining is gneiss and all, but it's got a fair few faults.....alright, I'm not getting started on the puns. Or not continuing them, at least.I generally like these ideas.

There's currently a ticket I put up for integrating the mining system in with rumors, to give you hints of where a deposit might be, so you don't waste gear. But I'd definitely support more automation. And maybe adding a few very valuable low mass rare items that you can find while mining. At the moment there's at least one item that's sort of that kind of thing....but is a mineral (malachite) that pretty much requires liquid water in order to form. Having low-mass items that turn up randomly regardless of what you're doing might be neat as a little bonus. Granted you can mine neutronium from an asteroid so realism isn't really the highest priority.
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JohnBWatson
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Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:51 am

Personally, I think the major issue is that smuggling is faster, easier, cheaper, and more profitable than mining. If the miner's bay held ore at a lower mass value than other bays(which would also allow for easier retrieval of loot from illegal miners and ferians), finding deposits were a bit more worthwhile, or selling mined ore became more profitable, I think people might do it more. Alternatively, smuggling could be made more complex or have a risk factor, like in the Black Market Expansion mod.

Another thing that hits mining hard is that there just isn't that much of a need for extra cash. Enemy loot and standard trade routes are generous enough that the player can typically get past any monetary restrictions by a bit before the end of the New Beyond without doing anything special.
Last edited by JohnBWatson on Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:43 am

Xephyr wrote:
  • Include some mining autons.
Autons that can grab mined ore and return it to your cargo hold would be very helpful. A mule auton with a miner's hold even more so. This would make docking with every piece of ore unneccesary and would make the Constellation capable of mining.
Couldn't agree more. PM's QuickLootOre mod is one of the best I've seen. It cuts out about three dockscreens making mining MUCH less tedious. Incorporating something like it would be a winner too IMO.

And some feedback. I love the illegal Borer swarm when you hit the mother lode. What a great idea.

Also thumbs up to someone's idea I saw about being able to sell ore to the mining stations. This would work IMO although the price would need to be discounted from what you get at Enclaves and the manufacturing stations.

gc2
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Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:09 pm

I think a good question to ask right now is what do we expect mining to add to the game.
Currently I see it just being a source of extra cash; but since the game's economy is quite generous, that source of cash is rarely, if ever, needed. I would be very much against reducing the player's income to necessitate mining since it's not a very interesting thing to do.
It would be nice if the player can actually do something with mined ore other than selling it for cash such as crafting consumables (e.g. etherium ore --> etherium crystal)
But the other issue is that even if ore is made valuable and interesting, mining is still not the best way to obtain them. Why would I dig up my own if I can just smash a Ferian nest and loot more than I could ever need?
To be honest, if there is no way to make mining add to the game meaningfully, I wouldn't miss it if it was gone.

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JohnBWatson
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Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:26 pm

gc2 wrote:I think a good question to ask right now is what do we expect mining to add to the game.
Currently I see it just being a source of extra cash; but since the game's economy is quite generous, that source of cash is rarely, if ever, needed. I would be very much against reducing the player's income to necessitate mining since it's not a very interesting thing to do.
It would be nice if the player can actually do something with mined ore other than selling it for cash such as crafting consumables (e.g. etherium ore --> etherium crystal)
But the other issue is that even if ore is made valuable and interesting, mining is still not the best way to obtain them. Why would I dig up my own if I can just smash a Ferian nest and loot more than I could ever need?
To be honest, if there is no way to make mining add to the game meaningfully, I wouldn't miss it if it was gone.
I'd just nerf the quality of lootable ores. It'd make sense that the stuff NPCs that have been there for years are dredging up from the asteroids they make their bases on and the nearby field is worse than the ore in that ultra - valueable deposit that nobody's found yet and everybody is eagerly searching for.

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Wed Feb 03, 2016 2:14 am

JohnBWatson wrote:
gc2 wrote:I think a good question to ask right now is what do we expect mining to add to the game.
Currently I see it just being a source of extra cash; but since the game's economy is quite generous, that source of cash is rarely, if ever, needed. I would be very much against reducing the player's income to necessitate mining since it's not a very interesting thing to do.
It would be nice if the player can actually do something with mined ore other than selling it for cash such as crafting consumables (e.g. etherium ore --> etherium crystal)
But the other issue is that even if ore is made valuable and interesting, mining is still not the best way to obtain them. Why would I dig up my own if I can just smash a Ferian nest and loot more than I could ever need?
To be honest, if there is no way to make mining add to the game meaningfully, I wouldn't miss it if it was gone.
I'd just nerf the quality of lootable ores. It'd make sense that the stuff NPCs that have been there for years are dredging up from the asteroids they make their bases on and the nearby field is worse than the ore in that ultra - valueable deposit that nobody's found yet and everybody is eagerly searching for.
Mining is barely profitable as-is. Nerfing loot = the system gets worse, not better.


In terms of the ferians, I suspect they may need some buffs.....it used to be that swarms of miners were actually extremely dangerous. Over time, this became less of a thing...the plasma torch is now pretty terrible. The warriors are generally fine apart from some rather odd AI issues. I think when/if the torch gets re-designed....ferian farming will once again be a bit of a risk.
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Xephyr
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Wed Feb 03, 2016 2:28 am

There's a few issues with Ferians.
The warriors target whatever destroyed the colony, even if the player got it to 99%. Since warriors that spawn before the colony is destroyed can fire over top of it, the warriors that spawn afterward will kill it for you and all the work is done. It may be a good to turn off friendly fire for ferians.

They're not really much of a threat if you're careful about it. If you have a friendly station to retreat to, the friendlies can pick them all off for you if you wait for it.

Making the swarms more powerful and fixing the warriors' AI issues (where they like to gravitate to the 270 degree mark if you're sitting on a planet or station) are a step in the right direction, but here's a couple of my ideas:

-Upon station destruction, have a ferian vessel gate in that takes the ore from the station, like corporate stations do. I'm not sure if this makes sense for zoanthropes to do, but if they have masters supervising the operation then maybe it makes sense.

-Make CW/Corporate neutral with ferians angry at the player - this would make things quite a bit more difficult.
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Atarlost
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Wed Feb 03, 2016 3:32 am

Making ferians not give loot doesn't make mining any better. In EP it may make it worse since you seem to need to both mine and farm ferians to get enough of the rare ores for the armor fabricator to outfit yourself with anything high level at a level when it's still useful.
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JohnBWatson
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Wed Feb 03, 2016 5:49 am

Shrike wrote: Mining is barely profitable as-is. Nerfing loot = the system gets worse, not better.
If high level ores can't be looted from two fairly easy to beat enemy factions(which right now give loot that is more than generous enough for the difficulty of killing them), their value can be raised accordingly without further unbalancing the loot economy.

Keep in mind that mining is a money making mechanic. Right now, it is much, much easier and more economically efficient to acquire the sellable resources it provides through combat, making it less viable.
In terms of the ferians, I suspect they may need some buffs.....it used to be that swarms of miners were actually extremely dangerous. Over time, this became less of a thing...the plasma torch is now pretty terrible. The warriors are generally fine apart from some rather odd AI issues. I think when/if the torch gets re-designed....ferian farming will once again be a bit of a risk.
Swarms of miners would be a decent threat if they could catch up to the player. Right now, dealing with them amounts to just casually drifting along and shooting at them from outside their pitiful range.

I'd suggest making them fast enough to threaten the player, but adding a chance per miner of gating on station destruction instead of attacking, in order to keep the possibly hundreds of miners per hive from becoming *too* lethal. (Alternatively, we could be nice to people with weak computers and reduce the number of miners spawned per station)

Warriors are definitely threatening enough right now. If the miners were capable of supporting them, they'd be a reasonable challenge to even endgame - equipped players.

The warriors target whatever destroyed the colony, even if the player got it to 99%.
Already ticketed. Glad to see I'm not the only one who enjoys finding these things.
Since warriors that spawn before the colony is destroyed can fire over top of it, the warriors that spawn afterward will kill it for you and all the work is done. It may be a good to turn off friendly fire for ferians.
That's a bit of an inelegant solution, don't you think? Just store the most recent thing the station sicced warriors on, and send the avengers after that if the station's killer belongs to one of the Ferian factions.
They're not really much of a threat if you're careful about it. If you have a friendly station to retreat to, the friendlies can pick them all off for you if you wait for it.
That's a universal issue for enemy factions. The Ferian miners suffer more from it due to their speed, but that needs to be buffed regardless.
-Upon station destruction, have a ferian vessel gate in that takes the ore from the station, like corporate stations do. I'm not sure if this makes sense for zoanthropes to do, but if they have masters supervising the operation then maybe it makes sense.
If Ringer canon lets them have ships, that could work. Of course, the only time it would manage to take anything is when a Xeno Worldship blows it up, as a player can always just toss the ore in a crate if it doesn't fit in cargo, and I'm still counting on the Xenos eventually becoming smart enough not to commit suicide by Ferian poking(it doesn't make sense to attack a docile faction that's effectively made up of animals, unless they want to exterminate microsaurs and salmon too).
Make CW/Corporate neutral with ferians angry at the player - this would make things quite a bit more difficult.
I've always thought this would be a good idea. Of course, it would raise the question of why the government is unwilling to help an innocent-for-all-it-knows citizen who is being attacked by feral beasts.

Making ferians not give loot doesn't make mining any better. In EP it may make it worse since you seem to need to both mine and farm ferians to get enough of the rare ores for the armor fabricator to outfit yourself with anything high level at a level when it's still useful.
That system has lots of issues, the fact that the armor generally isn't worth the effort to make being one of them. Nerfing a loot source that the player can only access with the skill or equipment not to need the armor anyways(and is several systems away from the shipyard that makes it) would not be throwing a wrench into a perfect machine.

There's also the fact that ore can be bought in huge quantities from UAS stations, too. The game's economy isn't exactly stingy in terms of the credits it gives out.

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Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:01 am

JohnBWatson wrote:
Making ferians not give loot doesn't make mining any better. In EP it may make it worse since you seem to need to both mine and farm ferians to get enough of the rare ores for the armor fabricator to outfit yourself with anything high level at a level when it's still useful.
That system has lots of issues, the fact that the armor generally isn't worth the effort to make being one of them. Nerfing a loot source that the player can only access with the skill or equipment not to need the armor anyways(and is several systems away from the shipyard that makes it) would not be throwing a wrench into a perfect machine.

There's also the fact that ore can be bought in huge quantities from UAS stations, too. The game's economy isn't exactly stingy in terms of the credits it gives out.
UAS stations do not carry the high level ores that the high level nanoforged armors require. You have to both mine late game systems and farm ferians to have any chance at getting them in sufficient quantities.
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JohnBWatson
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Wed Feb 03, 2016 3:27 pm

Atarlost wrote: UAS stations do not carry the high level ores that the high level nanoforged armors require. You have to both mine late game systems and farm ferians to have any chance at getting them in sufficient quantities.
Then their stock can be buffed, or the ore quantities required can be nerfed such that mining alone can supply it.

Like I said, it's not a very effort efficient feature at present, nor is it balanced perfectly to the point that it would be excessively damaging to gameplay to rebalance a related feature. One can probably get a better outcome by selling the ore and buying armor from the Ringers.
Last edited by JohnBWatson on Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Wed Feb 03, 2016 3:55 pm

Atarlost wrote: UAS stations do not carry the high level ores that the high level nanoforged armors require. You have to both mine late game systems and farm ferians to have any chance at getting them in sufficient quantities.
In the games I played, some of their late-game stations did have enough high level ores to forge anything. But by that point, heavy ithalium was always available (usually from NAU stations), and it's better than any nanoforged armor (except nanoforged meteorsteel if you're willing to sacrifice a shield).

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