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Mining in Survival Mode

Discussion in 'Survival' started by Farindark, May 10, 2014.

Thread Status:
This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. Farindark Apprentice Engineer


    I have reached the conclusion after some weeks in survival mode mining for ore is just not fun. The current mining model hand drill/small ship drills are just too inefficient/impractical for survival mode. Why?

    1. Dropping ore is just a pain to pick up over extended periods by using the T button especially if its dropping onto your station platform where you can't just let it sit till the cap is reached and hopefully it goes away. (I have seen posts where people have devised all sorts of methods to jam a key to try and auto collect ore as they go)

    2. Using the developer made 2 drill mining ship I pickup by hand almost as much ore than the ship gathers (if the Devs can't make a practical mining ship...well then...who knows?) I also tried my own modifications and workshop ships.

    3. As the ore drops/floats it adds to the item count in game which isn't pleasant when you hit the item cap and your game crawls to a stop or at least slow motion.

    I am now sadly (I say sadly because I actually enjoy the mining process Ala another game that auto collected the blocks that we shall only refer to as MC. I used to have mine tunnels for miles) exclusively raiding npc ships and if a adventure map has them turned off after I get an initial setup I now turn them on. What finally busted drilling for ore for me was trying to expand a asteroid cavern where I had built a station inside. As I dug the roof out to expand it and dig side tunnels for rooms it just became a massive clean up chore picking up all the bloody bits of ore.

    Mining ore collection needs to be automatic with no ore dropped at all either using ships or especially by hand drill. You don't have to collect all those components when you grind a ship part down do you?

    These are only my opinions and I am sure some are entirely happy with the present system. Just remember I am talking about small operations and not mega asteroid eating setups. Please vent your spleens as nicely as possible I am an old fart. :D
  2. Stoner Apprentice Engineer

    I agree: mining is boring. I mine for only Uranium and Magnesium. even the, it's because I must, not because I want to. I get all my parts from scavenging cargo/mining/military ships.

    As a "sort of" solution for you might be playing Survival-10-10-10. The fan-boys (who insist there's only one way to play..theirs) won't like that you're doing that. Screw them. You play your way.
  3. mastpayne Senior Engineer

    In that case, you could also just drop the Max Objects to 16 and drillship mine away, ignoring the rocks completely. There was a thread where someone did a test and figgered you were only going to lose (if I remember correctly) about 10% or so of the ore that way.

    It depends on just how efficient you feel ya need to be.
  4. R Lee Ermey Apprentice Engineer

    Hand mining is what I do if I need to so small jobs only.. to round out shafts or something. Use ship based drills with collectors for the rest.
  5. Viivrabe Trainee Engineer

    1. the developers ploped a drill onto the front of a fighter to call a mining ship, it was not meant to be good or efficient, only existent.
    the first ship i built was for the porpose of mining and i have no problems mineing, and do not creater very many chunks that are left in space

    if you want to expand the rooms and dont want to clean up the ore...
    1. there is a program that lets you remove floating objects from the game (to improve memory preformance) (it also lets you remove ships floating in space that have no energy{meaning no more beacon} but be careful if you remove them all the game will try to repopulate on next start and produce a lot at a time)


    2. right click with drills on the hot bar so it goes into tunnel mode instead of dig mode so no ore is collected

    3 throw a gravity generator on a "small" large ship (cockpit+gyro+reactor+engines+gravity gen) and use that to push all the free floating ore into one location

    and i disagree about auto collection with the hand drill. i for one choose not to collect rock when i drill by hand, because i dont want my invintory full before i can get to the things im after

    also if it lands on something with gravity the gravity ship can be used to "sweep" it away
  6. ramfire Trainee Engineer

    Every map I have started I do well mining.

    Within 10 hours I can have a base and uranium with enough energy forever.

    I build either a 8 or 6 drill head mining ship with large cargo container on small ship.

    Then the drills themselves hold 135000 units each and my cargo holds x amount as well.

    I can go mine for 2 hours and come back with 250,000 kg of ore or more.

    One day I mined so much it took 15 hours for 5 refineries going non stop to catch up.

    Forget hand mining except for fine tuning.. Set the item limit to 16-32..

    Have fun mining and win
  7. Fbkappa Trainee Engineer

    Drill is inefficient (too much ore are loss) so i try to add a collector to my ship... but collector don't have the needed range for get ore aroud drill so a solution is to have 2 ship but i don't want do drill then change ship for get around flying ore..

    Other solution is to generate a gravity thanks to a large ship near your small drill ship.. but is useless if i need to jump off from my small ship and get all the ore one by one by "T" key spamm..

    My Solutions:
    - Best solution for me is to add a new hand drill (harder to craft) that can auto loot the dropped ore so mining with a ship is faster but with an high ore loss.. against hand mining is great efficient but more slow :p
    - fix collector with a better range;
    - create a new ore collector that can collect ore fast ( can be a module to attach to drill like pipe :p )
    - fix drill with lesser ore loss;
    - ...your solution :p
  8. Aurenian Apprentice Engineer

    Mining is pretty easy once you get the hang of it.

    For a start the dev ship is just a basic miner to get you going. Two drills will start you off, but you won't get very far with that.

    Generally I've had more success with ships that tunnel straight through asteroids. You don't waste time manoeuvring around the drill shake, you just drive forward and collect everything in the way.

    For that you build a ship with 6-8 drills clumped together on the front, with the rest of the ship built as a tube that fits in the profile of the tunnel the drills create.
    About four small thrusters on each side keeps it stable, and heavy armour on the outside stops it being smashed by the tunnel sides. Even just a couple of heavy armour roll bars works well.

    You place a large cargo container behind the drills and hook it up to them via conveyors. You put 1-9 connectors on the bottom for quick unloading. (but make sure they are off when you are mining).

    The cockpit you put on the very back so that the rear door is easily accessed. You won't be able to see through the drills when they are on, so you may as well pilot in 3rd person.

    With this setup you can just go up to an asteroid, turn the drills on and push forwards until you get through to the other side. With 7 drills and a large container you can collect over 100,000l of ore before unloading.

    You can also use it to carve hefty chunks out of specific ore deposits. Just drill a bunch of shallow tunnels.

    Also if you put an artificial mass block behind the centre drill you can get it to mine automatically for you.
    Just point a gravity generator where you want it to go. To go faster, turn off the front engines first.

    To get rid of the loose rock either build a small gravity rig to pull it out of the way, or set the object limit much lower.
    generally I find the rescue ship scenario easier for this because you start with a mobile gravity generator.
  9. Aurenian Apprentice Engineer


    I think you overestimate how much ore is lost from inefficiency. You're better off just mining for longer rather than wasting time chasing after all the little bits.

    If you really want to collect it all you can build a catcher funnel with a grav gen and a collector.
  10. Zhab Apprentice Engineer

    It's not like automatic collection of floating ore is hard.

    Just build a funnel ship with a collector on the bottom to auto collect everything. Place under (above ? does it matter in space ?) your mining surface and have a blast with your effective mining ship. Once you've mastered mining you quickly get more stuff than you know what to do with.

    But I have to say... after a while... mining does gets old no matter how effective you are at it. That is in my opinion the fundamental flaw of current survival. You basically start in a state of survival with perhaps the exception of crashed ship (which is easily fixed with just one refinery). Why bother with building ships or stations ? For the heck of it ? To express your creative side ? Why not play creative then ? Is slaving over getting stuff to build that fun really ? Why do you even have HP ? Somehow I feel like survival should involve combat somehow. Survival needs scenarios. Raiding pirates will come in X hours. Better get some battle ready ships or face game over (no yellow ship). Or maybe you are a pirate that need to raid a mining base before it ship it's valuable in X hours. But the lack of AI and/or scripted blocks or proper automated defenses makes that kind of scenario impossible at the moment. At least in single player. But I'm getting seriously side tracked.

    Back to the point. While I agree that mining is not the most exciting to do, I don't feel it's because it's to hard or slow to do.
  11. Viivrabe Trainee Engineer

    "Why bother with building ships or stations ? For the heck of it ? To express your creative side ? Why not play creative then ?"

    because i dont want click to place/delete type gameplay

    if i place a block i want to feel like i built it not the "it is now there" i also like working with limited materials, its one thing to build a ship its another to do so when you dont have many starting materials.

    this is still early access guys they have a lot more they plan on adding.
  12. KissSh0t Master Engineer

    Why mine an asteroid when you can turn an entire asteroid into ore in one go.

    You guys are thinking too small.

  13. Zhab Apprentice Engineer

    Which in my opinion will definitively involve combat. The devs already spoke about kamikaze AI ship attacking your base.

    I can enjoy working with "limited resources" and building time if I feel there is a meaning behind it aside from wasting the little time I have to play. For example a scenario where time is actually an important factor and you are required to speed build top some degree. Where taking 20 hours to make the same ship you would make in creative in 5 minutes is not an option. Where you have to prioritize building speed and actual functionality over aesthetics.

    But maybe that is just me being crazy.
  14. Farindark Apprentice Engineer


    Certainly some interesting discussion. I think maybe I'm just too much of a neat freak. Anyway basically what I have done is lower the item limit when I go off to mine. Not very happy with the whole item limit thing either but understand why it's there. I'm longing for a radar that will let you chase down even a ore fragment or single ship block, would make it a bit more fun being able to go off occasionally on a junk finding mission! Might be useful for adventure/scemario map makers too. What exactly IS counted by the limit anyway? Does it count stations and player ships as well as fragments? :D
  15. Zhab Apprentice Engineer

    From my understanding of the game and the save file, a debris is something you could drop from your inventory.

    Ore rocks, refined ingots, building components and tools.

    Stuff that is placed and then wielded (ships/station) counts as ships. Regardless of level of completion or damage. If you blow a ship into 15 separated pieces, the save file just got 14 extra ships. These will never go away on their own.

    Which is why battles can quickly raise the ship count of your file to ridiculous numbers and why people use "save file cleaning tools" to remove that kind of stuff to keep their game playable.
  16. OneAmongOthers Apprentice Engineer

    I never had a problem mining. You just need to create a decent mining ship and you're all set.
  17. Zhab Apprentice Engineer

    I think some people may have trouble with the "decent" part.
  18. eyedentify Trainee Engineer

    I find that the path to a decent and usefull mining ship no mather its size comes down to a few ingredients:
    1. Enough Power (Make sure your ship does not enter "red" state on the power consumtion at full load and the dampners working to compensate shaking).
    2. for small ship i use Heavy armor for mass and at least 4-5 thrusters in each direction, might want more depending on number of drills.
    Thats a few thumbrules i use when creating my mining ships.
    An alternative is to build the ship part of a big ship blocks and just attach "drill head" made from small ship parts on the big ship with landning gears.
  19. darthraider Trainee Engineer


    I recently build a few basic mining ships in survival and the most basic one that I always make, as a starter:

    2 drills, cockpit behind the drills, conveyors + tubes to the back, merge into 2 or 3 connectors (looks like the ship's got a tail)
    1 ore detector between the drills
    2 gyroscopes, behind the cockpit
    2 small reactors, behind the cockpit
    at least 3 spotlights at the front of the ship
    12 thrusters (2 on each side minimum)
    then i'll add heavy armor blocks on the sides (make sure to stay within max width of the drills) until ship mass is at least 8000kg.

    It's a fast ship, stable enough, can hold 27000L of ore, enough to build a basic factory to start working on bigger ships.
    And it's cheap to build.
  20. eyedentify Trainee Engineer

    Sounds like a good start.
    My biggest mining ship that i built just for a proof of concept weigh in at over 1 milion mass or something and thats with small ship blocks. That thing had like 40 drills or something and shaped layed out behind the drills.... it went through asteroids like a hot knife through butter....
    But lag in multiplayers was noticeable. :)
  21. D4rk4ng31 Junior Engineer

    My biggest one had 169 drills. Terrible lag but nice :)

    My best one is this cutie:

    Docked on a optimized rescueship. No vibrations during digging :) Auto-transfer to the container.
  22. Vampirspiegelei Trainee Engineer

    I haven't had any problems with mining at all.

    What you need is one mining ship and one funnel ship.

    The Mining ship can be very basic - like this:

    It's basically a cockpit, with two drills, connected via conveyors and a connector at the bottom to throw out all the stuff it has gathered. At the back you have a cluster of thrusters a gyro and a reactor. Slap on one or two spotlights to see where you're going and you're done.
    In the back you already see the funnel ship - this one gathers all the small pebbles that start floating away when you drill.

    Basically it's a collector, attached to a large container with a cockpit at the back. Notice the gravity generator's position - this way it generates a gravity field that actually pulls the rocks into the funnel. Add a connector to the large container for easy unloading.

    This setup isn't the most efficient neither is it pretty, but it should get you started easy enough.
    This was done in the Crashed Red Ship scenario. Added a rule to myself to not capture any ships that have weapon systems on them unless I can take them out first, so I have to ignore them for now since I haven't built any weapons yet.
    So the only ship I captured was a Private Sail where "I killed the pilot with my grinder" :p

    Also funky rock colour is a bug - that is just iron.
  23. D4rk4ng31 Junior Engineer

    Ive never understood the funnel thing ... Why? Im curious.

    The amount of the loose Ore isnt that high? Or on the other side .. there are enough asteroids with tons of material. Why care about this little waste?
  24. Falcon(CZ) Trainee Engineer

    The main reason for this is to reduce the amount of floating objects - well, at least in my case. It reduces lag caused by mining. I don't want the physics engine to calculate trajectories and collisions for over hundred floating rocks.
  25. dustnbone Trainee Engineer

    In my experience the best drilling ships are the ones with the highest mass to drills ratio. Use heavy armor and lots of it, everywhere you can without adding substantially to the overall dimensions of the ship. Thrusters aren't that important as long as you have mass, and extra side thrusters will help more than forward/reverse thrusters. Below is a picture of my most useful mining ship. Any bigger seems to become unwieldy, especially if you make it too long. This thing can very easily turn itself around inside a tunnel and make it's way back out drills first, due to it's short length and how wide of a tunnel it carves. I've also tried to avoid anything "sticking out" as things that do tend to get broken during mining. You can bash this one around quite alot without worrying about catastrophic failure. Also I find having gyros closest to the extremes of each axis as possible to help keep the thing stable while the drills run. Gyros are also heavy so help with the overall mass ratio. Anyways, just my ideas. Happy space engineering.

  26. dustnbone Trainee Engineer

    Or if you're really in a hurry to get things done [​IMG]

    This thing doesn't wiggle one bit on it's way into the asteroid. I really didn't expect it to work, but it does. Plus 8 refineries on board means it dumps ingots back at base instead of ore.
  27. D4rk4ng31 Junior Engineer

    Thought for problems like that we have SE Toolbox :)
  28. Sergeant Snuggles Junior Engineer

    I dont have a picture of ship to upload at the min and to be honest its not built for prettiness so I would probably get abuse for its design but hear me out as it suits my purpose perfectly which for an engineer.....;)

    Anyway! my little worker has 3 drills on the front and is set out in a rather boring rectangle shape (is it oblong im thinking of?) with a spot light facing forward and to the left and right. With control groups in place these are easier to quickly turn off to save on system resource when im not using the ship but they are invaluable when you get really deep into tunnels! just behind the drills is the front facing cockpit to make drilling in small tunnels easier and then from front to back the ship is linked with conveyors to 12 connectors. These connectors form an incomplete square around the rear facing cockpit which serves for piloting my ship back out of said small tunnels but also to line up the ship to my Refinery stations collector. It might seem excessive but I always mine until my ship is full to the brim (trying to fill a freighter with 5 large containers so it takes time) so when i turn on the 12 connectors at once its almost like im giving the poor thing an enema =P

    For any of you who do have issues with piloting small tunnels then i seriously recommend the use of a second cockpit as it made my life so much easier and I was kicking myself the thought had not occurred to me earlier. I realize you can just turn the camera facing backwards but then that spoils the whole cockpit experience for me.

    Another little tip I am quite pleased with as well is instead of mining in tunnels (sometimes you just plain have to) try to instead mine as you would plant a row of seeds. If you keep pushing your ship forward in a loop you can quite easily cut an even ring out of an asteroid without having to deal too much with the shaking issue and if it does shake you can quickly compensate yourself with the thrusters rather than banging into a wall. I lost my rear cockpit twice because I hadn't realized it was bouncing just a little bit too high!

    tl;dr Pity for you I'm not repeating myself, real engineers can read =P
  29. Vampirspiegelei Trainee Engineer

    Well the amount that floats off is not that little... 20% maybe? It kinda depends on whether you press your drills into the rock or scrape them.

    And I just don't like to let things go to waste.

    And like Falcon said - it reduces lag.
    Though if you have 256 objects floating around lag isn't really much of a concern.
    If you have ramped it up to 1000 however things get pretty slow.
  30. Vivicector Apprentice Engineer

    I use quite a small mining ship, with 4 drills around the cockpit. Behind the cockpit, 3 reactors, 6 pairs of small engines and a gyro are situated. The thing even does not a have a closed internal space, only a protective tube. Made of light armor. Actually, it works just great! Its a bit unstable when drills are on, but ship is not drilling (who cares?), but otherwise - fine. It can dig tunnels (and use those tunnels) through the asteroid without a problem or damage to itself. Only downside it having to build connectors every time to unload it or do it manually, since connectors get smashed if left on drills and so are any conveyor chains.
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