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Re: Making mining fun

JabbleWok wrote:
Hardenberg wrote:I do like the idea of a mining rig installed into a ship, where you simply set the vessel down and let the drilling rig go to work. Then again, I could also imagine a "space dredger" (anybody remember the reference in the Elite manual?) that tractors in complete asteroids to devour and refine.
I like that idea! Effectively a relocatable extraction platform. It would be less efficient but more flexible than locally assembled extractors. If whole asteroids can be crunched, it may be more efficient to fit an engine to the asteroid and take it to a more centralised processing station. Of course there will be a critical size of asteroid above which it becomes a better idea to take the crunching gear to it!
There are four ideas here, all of which I really like. I think they would each be a good mining method for ships of different sizes:

(1) Mining with Small to Medium Sized Ships

Small to medium ships could have a mining drill/extractor rig attached to them. Even smallish ships could use this setup. As Hardenberg said, they'd land on asteroids (which Josh has already implemented) and fire up the drill, which will automatically carry in ore to the cargo hold. Perhaps it would NOT also refine the ore into pure materials, but merely store the ore.

(2) Mining with Really Big Ships

With large enough (i.e. Really Big) ships, entire asteroids could be swallowed and processed within the leviathan's belly. Such a setup WOULD refine the ore into pure materials, spewing out the waste rock and storing the good stuff in the hold.

(3) Mining with Any Size Ship

A captain of any ship could order an AI-piloted thruster scaffold to dock with an asteroid, as JabbleWok suggests, and fly it to an ore refinery. This scaffold would basically just be a cheap NPC ship which you would use LT's command interface to command to land on the asteroid, and then command it to fly where you want the asteroid to go, pulling the rock with it. Even the tiniest ship could use this method, as it's not doing the mining itself.

Perhaps multiple scaffolds could be attached to large asteroids to make their transportation quicker and easier.

(4) Mining with Any Size Ship II

Another idea folded into JabbleWok's post was the idea of actually leaving the drilling rig on the asteroids surface. The ship with attached rig lands, leaves the rig where it is, and flies away. The rig then mines ore (maybe refining it too, if the rig is big/expensive), and the player returns and picks the rig back up when the it signals that it's full.

Re: Making mining fun

The fun comes from the choice. Personally I would love to be able top end up with a fleet of AI controlled mining ships.

But all of these options look great to me and they give the ability to change the universe that you are playing in.

(I actually was doing that with EVE until I got toasted in a 'safe' area and dumped the game)
No Coffee, No Workee

Re: Making mining fun

Hardenberg wrote:Then again, I could also imagine a "space dredger" (anybody remember the reference in the Elite manual?) that tractors in complete asteroids to devour and refine.
I like this idea, maximum profit for minimum work. Maybe not the most efficient, but when you have to fund a war effort bigger is almost always better.

Re: Making mining fun

JabbleWok wrote:
NikoDG wrote:There's nothing saying you couldn't break it into a dozen or so smaller pieces and then continuing to devour though.
That could lead to faction rivalry and escalation - you eat my asteroid, I'll eat your planet! <chomp chomp!>
I fail to see a problem here, any excuse to kick some ass :D

Re: Making mining fun

Here's the gist of EVE's mining system:

- Asteroids are randomly spawned in sectors at certain time frames dependent on security level of system:
-- High sec: common-yield only
-- Mid sec: common-yield, and uncommon-yield asteroids
-- Low Sec: common, uncommon, and rare asteroids
- Asteroids that are not mined, grow with time. This growth tapers off once the asteroid reaches a certain size, dependent on its rarity (more common asteroids can grow larger).
- Ore can be refined into minerals.
- Minerals of all rarities are necessary to build ships.

The obvious thing is that common yield minerals are cheap, and rare minerals are expensive (simply due to supply and demand). But if we look closer, interesting dynamics pop up:

- In safe high sec space - common-yield minerals are cheap, rare-yield minerals are very expensive
- In unsafe low sec space - common-yield minerals are fairly expensive, and rare minerals are much cheaper than in high sec space.

Why? Opportunity cost. In low sec, everyone wants to mine rare minerals due to the danger involved. As a result, rare minerals accumulate. They keep accumulating because ship building operations which are occurring utilize all minerals, common and rare. As an additional consequence, common minerals are deficient, thus they increase in price.

All this sets up .. of course, trading opportunities. Or shuttling "compressed" common minerals to low-sec space (look up EVE mineral compression in google for an explanation), and ferrying the rare ones out. Add pirates, and you have an interesting trading dynamic going on at all times; high-sec and low-sec are irrevocably linked for this reason.


And yea, I've played EVE for a while - joined in 2005, quit sometime after capital ships were introduced and faction politics became far too annoying.

Re: Making mining fun

I'd like to add here that nebulae are possibly a better source of metals / heavier atoms than asteroids. Specially those created by a supernova.

From wikipedia:
Supernova nucleosynthesis is the production of new chemical elements inside supernovae. It occurs primarily due to explosive nucleosynthesis during explosive oxygen burning and silicon burning.[1] Those fusion reactions create the elements silicon, sulfur, chlorine, argon, sodium, potassium, calcium, scandium, titanium and iron peak elements: vanadium, chromium, manganese, iron, cobalt, and nickel. As a result of their ejection from individual supernovae, their abundances grow increasingly larger within the interstellar medium.

So perhaps we could have cheap nebula miners equipped with ramscoops/ramjets too?
Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master.

Re: Making mining fun

So perhaps we could have cheap nebula miners equipped with ramscoops/ramjets too?
Depends. As described, it's "park your ship in a nebula and watch your hold fill up". Can you think of a way to make that fun?
Hardenberg was my name
And Terra was my nation
Deep space is my dwelling place
The stars my destination

Re: Making mining fun

Hardenberg wrote:
So perhaps we could have cheap nebula miners equipped with ramscoops/ramjets too?
Depends. As described, it's "park your ship in a nebula and watch your hold fill up". Can you think of a way to make that fun?
I'd fly around and make huge drawings in the nebula. :D
Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master.

Re: Making mining fun

mining, by nature, is very repetitive, and time consuming.

furthermore, there will be an RTS aspect to this game, so eventually, by nature, it seems the player may just end up just assigning ships to do mining. so, how to make mining fun?

here's my 2 cents. where we mine should not be static asteroid fields. I think the ability to mine asteroid belts, planetary rings, and even moons should all be options with their own unique dispersion of materials. Furthermore, discovering rare gas clouds/nebulae, scooping gas from gas giants, and finding and mining rare comets should be also be sources of industrial mining/resource gathering. doing so makes mining a more varied career path, adds to exploration, and provides different locations to fight over.

honestly, the idea of veins and rare spots in asteroids initially makes sense, but consider the fact that most mining will not be done by the player, such precious development time used in an player based mining system may detrimental to the whole experience, and make things more complicated for the AI. instead, I'd rather go for something the AI can also do.

how about making asteroids explode into many pieces, than a scanner shows whats valuable and whats not. with a configurable overview, the player can just see what mineral chunks he wants to see, or see everything, or a mix of things. he then multi-targets and tractors in these pieces.

those pieces could be sold right away, or processed with equipment to higher purity for more cash. the AI could easily do this.

when you have exploding asteroids that create a small (or large) group of chunks, the loot table for the asteroid dictates what comes out.

and then, something can provide more fun to the player. every once in a while an artifact could pop out of a shattered asteroid or comet. Some artifacts can be readily sold or researched, used immediately, others need to be processed with special equipment to unlock their full value.

and hey, why not ancient wrecks as well?

so, your scanning for a nice comet mine, and your scanner records a hit, but also registers the comet has an anomaly. you bring up the report, and it shows extremely high metallic content. SWEET, its either a really rich comet, or something more special, or a bomb, you have no idea.

you arrive at the comet, and it looks just like any other ice covered comet you've seen. you engage your mining laser to shatter it, only to reveal that the comet shatters into ice and a long dead an ancient ship! you then salvage the ship for lost technology to reverse engineer, and than you are faced with a choice. the ships structure makes great materials for armor plating, so you could process it down to make extremely effective armor plating or some other expensive technology. Or you could sell the wreck on the open market, and make a small fortune. You could save the wreck and attempt to repair it. You certainly wont be able to revive the ship to its former glory (overpowered), but the hull, if repaired and refitted with current tech, would make an excellent ship, it would have more flexibility in fitting, and could have an advantage in weapons fitting, armor, engine fitting, or shielding ( one or two of these). with the proper infrastructure, you could build a blueprint based on the refitted ship, essentially allowing more to be made, but this should be near end game difficult, in both the tech to do so, and the materials to build it.

the system could be scalable as well. smaller comets reveal ancient frigates, fighters, small ships. large asteroids could reveal destroyers, or cruisers. and if you have the massive industrial capacity to shatter small moons (not all at once, just deformation of the moon until its innards are left), you could reveal solid metal cores, ancient cities, or even a capital ship, but mostly just the usual fare.

random events such as rare artifacts, data, blueprints, derelict tech, even live ordinance, or rare deposits coming from mining, would make mining far more engaging and interesting, no matter the mechanic used in game-play.

TL;DR random loot and events in mining. but seriously, read my stuff :<

Re: Making mining fun

well, if you want to make mining fun, then do it like minecraft...i always find it fun to stumble upon alot of gold and diamond ore, but hey heres a suggestion for limit theory!, you fly your mining ship at around 500 meters at some asteroid and you engage active scanners, the animation could be like nexus the Jupiter incident (a blue ray like a flat laser moving back and fourth) it would be cool to have like a green one too! and scan the asteroid for ore deposites, now i reckon depending on the ore it should be distributed differently, like say lead, gold, silver, platinum, iron, urainium are heavy elements so they should be at the center of the rock and other elements like silicone and carbon should be evenly distributed, which you then have to equip your ship with a drill and ore collector bay, the animation whilst you're drilling should look like a drill with alot of debris and dust and a muffled drill noise (imagine you are under water and someone is drilling kind of noise) and you then have to use the collector to grab the elemental ore like a minigame where you have to input numbpad numbers or the arrow keys up down left right and match the ore coming at you to be able to collect

later on you could hire npc's to do the job for you and you could build mining bases on asteroids, the npc's work by mining and drop off the ore to the mining station to be transported to yours or other manufacturing facilities where you make profit by selling it

if there is tech level system involved you could start out with a mining drill then upgrade to a mining drill with an auto collector or electro magnet to pull in metalic materials then upgrade to a graviton beam to slowly pull apart the asteroid and pull in the ore with a graviton collector all with nice effects, this would be cool but it may not be possible with the lt engine to break apart asteroids into smaller piece's, well can it?

another way to make mining fun is to make a minigame to it. you could implement contracts for a faction or corporation to mine asteroids. if you match the arrow keys to the dirrections it show's you gain more money because you're mining faster.

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