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"we need to go deeper" into Planetary crust.

Discussion in 'General' started by Forcedminer, Sep 20, 2017.

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This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. Ronin1973 Master Engineer


    I'm not suggesting it, but as a mental exercise, making raw ore heavier would make wheeled and piston based mining more relevant. It would still refine to the same yields and masses. However, flying around with a belly full of raw ore would be prohibitive.

    Granted, that would really fuck up most peoples' current builds and capabilities both on planets and in space. So perhaps planetary ores should be a different animal/recipe? The resultant ingots are homogeneous but the source ores might have different masses and yields. I believe each ore type can have it's own mass per liter. I wouldn't be against having different grades and characteristics to ores based on the environment/planet it's pulled from.

    I'm not attached to any of these ideas, I'm just shooting the shit with someone else who likes think about the logic of game-play.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. GrindyGears Senior Engineer

    Well, I mentioned the different ore richness, as a part of it, generally the deeper you go the richer the ore (gameplay wise)

    However with how the game works even if wheel based mining would be cheaper and not prohibitively expensive for power, you would still have a hell of a time trying to get ores that are REALLY deep down.

    Take for example my excavator, which im sure you've all seen, that massive beast tips the scale at around 1,000 tonnes, (that is the tracked version, tracks are heavy AF)

    it can get ores up to 100m in depth, I don't think you could reasonably scale up the unit much further without having some structural repercussions (clang)

    We need not really look much further than modern mining to get an idea of what it practical in terms of the types of mining, Ores/minerals like coal it's practical to strip off massive layers of ground to get at the veins that are typically very large and flat, Other minerals we find ourselves digging a deep shaft and mining around a central shaft.

    I mean shaft mining could be made viable if we had some reasonably easy way to lower the typically very heavy mining equipment down into the holes, Sure you could just strap thrusters to it, but that adds more mass and takes up a not so insignificant volume of a ships design.

    One thing that could help, but also be an immense pain in the ass, would be to slow down drill speed so that prolonging flight with any real amount of ore would start to cost a lot of energy, Or you could perhaps increase mining speed with respect to mass, So a large heavy ground vehicle will be better able to mine an area faster

    This could be good, because it sets up a risk/cost vs reward, mass on a ground vehicle is not negligible, but it's certainly less of a concern than on its flying counterpart.
    Similarly, if you want to build a massive flying beluga whale of a miner, it's going to cost you heavily to keep it airborne, but it'll also mean that you can more effectively/rapidly mine a given area.

    Unfortunately even with a system like this in place we still have a collective issue with clang interfering and limiting the ability to make super deep types of mines, compounded with the fact that not everyone is really able/wants to set up a massive mining machine.
  3. halipatsui Senior Engineer

    Flying in this game is too easy to make any non flying miner able to realistically compete.

    I think its ok to have flying miners but having some reward for clever solutions would be nice too.

    It would be interesting to see how mining meta would change if atmo thrusters would not work in closed enviroments.
    (Mechanic could be similar to current lighting mechanic that apparently decides you lighting level via raycasts)
  4. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

    Spitballing here... how about adding a second type of drill head that would be too heavy for most flying vehicles but effective on wheeled vehicles? Or in stead of mass, it makes any active gyros start to tweak out a little bit when turned on? This could be presented as flight instability when the drill(s) are turned on.

    The "speed" of a drill is something that starts to impact the game's ability to update voxels the faster and faster it performs. So yields would be a better measure of drill effectiveness.

    Again, I'm just going off the cuff. Depending on how much of an effect the drill has, mining with them using a ship would be possible, but more than likely result in crashing trying to counter the instability.
  5. GrindyGears Senior Engineer

    Unfortunately it isn't typically in keens style to do this, plus im willing to bet even if its heavier, chances are people will still use it on flying vehicles because theyre better, I mean why would I put 5 regular drills on at 1000 kg, when i can mount a drill thats 4000kg and mine like 5 drills? basically you if you scale it up, stats must scale in a near linear fashion or they are meaningless. as for instability, I suppose that could work, but the drills already technically apply the tool shake to the craft, which does cause some issues depending on how heavy it is.

    When I say faster, It doesn't have to be strictly faster voxel updates, cutting a larger area (to some limit of course) as well as a slight increase in voxel tick rate could probably be balanced if done correctly, Inversely this could also be used to actually slow the drill speed when the craft is super light, This however would likely have a negative effect on space faring people, so perhaps a planetary gravity check?
  6. ViroMan Senior Engineer

    drill/tool shaking can be turned off in the map settings.
  7. halipatsui Senior Engineer


    This advantage would have to be massive in order to overcome flying miners ability to:
    Mine straight down/up
    Handle its own logistics
    Simplicity of build and use

    Also moving big rigs with tons of rotors and pistons by flying the craft between uses would be pretty risky for a survival scenario.

    If we had tracks or something that would somewht attach to to voxels but could still move it would be a different story.

    Walkers and rovers can tunnel ok but making controlled slope tunnels is inconvenient.
  8. Ronin1973 Master Engineer


    Well, I'm looking at the difference between flying miners and static/wheeled miners. Thrusters and gyros are needed on flying miners; not on rover miners. So what can be done to make a block an advantage for rover, a disadvantage for the flying miner, and not impact current gameplay much. A hyper efficient drill block that comes at the cost of making your ship unstable, could give an advantage to wheeled miners; making them more relevant The only way I know of to make the ship unstable would be to affect gyroscopes. If you turn on the drills, you get wobbles in your gyroscope. The more drills, the bigger the wobble.

    This actually, is a setting in the game (now that I think about it), now we make it even more pronounced using an advanced version of the drill block. You could even do this with an upgrade module that allows for higher yields (an official Keen example mod).
  9. Timuroslav Apprentice Engineer

    I think my biggest problem with planets is the reward isn't equal to the performance hit on the computer or the players' mining capability.

    [-]Can't build Satellites because Laser Antenna got nerfed.
    [-]The hardest thing to build is a wheeled excavator in the game.
    [-]Planets can be equally, or More inhospitable than Space. Gravity and craters make this true.
    [-]Mining Diagonally, for some reason is the hardest thing. We either need new blocks for conveyors or we need more drill types, and or piston fixes.
    [-]Players basically, get half the power time, and it takes twice as long to get Uranium because searching for Ur on planets is a lot harder.

    Also technically, asteroids should have all their ores buried too, due to dust settling from static and low gravity. But, because that was too hard we now have space doughnuts.

    I die way more on planets than I do in Space. So unless you're on Earth planets aren't safer. Also the ore yields are deeper and smaller than asteroids on space.

    I know ore is going to be buried due to dust settling, but because of the Planets gravity the ore yields should be much higher per ore vein.

    As someone posted earlier.
    Surviving on planets Should be Easier, the reality is it's not.
    With mining on Planets being harder.

    Mining in Space is easier, but surviving should be harder. (it's also not).

    It's easier to survive and mine in Space which is fine, doesn't address planets being hard mode though. Because we don't have the block variety to make it easier.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  10. ViroMan Senior Engineer

    If physics wasn't as screwed as it currently is when it comes to rotors, pistons, and especially tires then planets would be much easier.
    • Agree Agree x 4
  11. FlakMagnet Senior Engineer

    I think ViroMan has bascially nailed it in a one liner there. Mining and surviving in space is really easy, and as long as you have a few simple things..stays easy from quite early game. Find ice and a few basic minerals and you are done. Usually...you will find this in a few asteroids in a distance you can easily fly in a suit.

    On planets, you may not need ice ( earth-like ) but on other planets you still do. Movement is harder, and if you run out of H2 you are stuck on the ground. Vehicles have seen some improvement, but parking on a slope is still stupid. Steep slopes impassable and vehicle handling frequently odd. Digging a slope leaves ground so jagged you can barely drive on it. Trees are less of a problem than they were now you can remove them....but alien life on planets is just annoying rather than a hazard. It ha no rules and makes as much sense as Minecraft zombies spawning walking at you. Without the day/night thing. Or the passive mobs...or the variety of creatures. Wore AI than minecraft is not a badge to wear with pride.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  12. halipatsui Senior Engineer


    I kinda suspect keen wluld dislike to make block for only non thruster grids.
    How would you decide when it can be placed?
    What happens when you attach it to thruster grid wih merge block?
    How do you stop people from making a seperate "goos drill drill" and attaching it to a proper mining ship with landing gear?

    How do you explain the difference between them?
    The current drill would just become obsolete.

    Fundamental problen here is thay in SE flying is cheaper, easier and less space consuming than in real life.

    So there is not really any reason.

    You can save the fuel by making massive wheeled transport that moves to position along with the mining ship, load up the carrier ans have benefits of both.

    Miners in real life are not cars either they are very bulky and awkward to use for anything else than mining.

    The relations of how hard different thinfs are in SE change the meta of SE.

    If we would add
    Vector thrust
    Realistic inventories
    Realistic gyroscopes
    Realistic thrusters(no enough oxygen to run them in a cave dude. Aside from all the dust)
    And stone would not magically shrink or dissappear

    Flying miner would become next to impossible to build(wonder why they dont exist irl)

    Amso somethibg like excavators would become more viable
    • Agree Agree x 2
  13. FlakMagnet Senior Engineer

    realistic inventory ...this already exists, and does have a big impact on what you can mine. Most people, however, don't like it because ....well....it makes it harder to mine/build/carry a ton of plates in your pockets.

    If they added atmospheric flight, using airfoils to generate lift, and made it harder to hover....again....I wouldn't complain. Lets face it....hovering with 10 tons of ore on board should be MASSIVELY difficult and burn huge amounts of fuel. In SE it's just a question of popping on a couple of reactors and adding thrusters. Flight should be fairly easy to achieve given a runway and enough airspeed. It's VTOL that needs to be harder to manage.

    That would encourage ground haulage of ore, or need a bigger infrastructure to fly it. Flying miner could be built....but they would need to be bigger and would need to offload frequently to stay in the air. The resource cost should also act to discourage wasteful mining and encourage more economic/ingenious mining approaches.

    Why do flying miners not exist IRL?


    You could use rocket engines, you could probably adapt ducted fan engines to operate in the dusty environment....but drilling gear is so heavy and once you add the weight of an ore gathering system and a payload, the cost of staying airborne is more than the product you are mining will get you. Especially in SE world where gold, silver and platinum exist is huge deposits and would have no real value at all!
    • Agree Agree x 3
  14. halipatsui Senior Engineer


    Realistic inventories do not exist because even on 1x settings you can chunk dozens of times the containers volume of mined stone inside the container.

    And not using flying miners is not because cost. Its an absurd idea altogether no gains at all.

    Im on the same pahe with you on the vtol subject.

    I personamly would slap a big fat nerf to thrusters but thats just my opinion
  15. Dax23333 Junior Engineer

    Everything we make in space engineers uses the same blocks. Same conveyers, same cargo boxes and so on. And all that stuff is really, really heavy.

    The thrusters have to be powerful enough to lift things made out of these heavy blocks otherwise they are useless, and then you're left with blocks suited for mining equipment lifted by jet engines because otherwise using thrusters to fly would be very very difficult.

    I think some kind of lighter frame block, and less lift from thrusters, would help ground miners be viable compared to flying ones. You can use the airframe blocks (just really light weight armor) to build aircraft and they'll fly just fine, but not really be suitable for flying down tunnels carrying loads and loads of ore.
  16. Forcedminer Senior Engineer

    if only blocks weighed the amount of components put into them. :p I'd be flying around in a combat worthless ultra light optimized skeleton ship.
  17. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

    Making uranium much slower to produce and lower yields might offer a lot better balance to the game. Once you've mined your first sliver of uranium and turned it into uranium ingots, the game is relatively easy to play. Refining uranium should take a long, long time. It would increase the value of uranium. In my opinion, mining and refining uranium should be barely energy efficient... barely. It would make solar power and batteries more valuable as well.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. Forcedminer Senior Engineer


    I'd love me a bit of fossil fuel via coal mining or something.
    burning dirty fuels to produce power.
    imagine having to create a coal burner but have to put an exhaust pipe up though the roof or away otherwise your base will fill up with C02 and you won't be able to breath. :p

    even if it just gave off a graphic of big thing plumps of smoke

    with the added bonus of it only working on oxygenated planets...unless oxygen is disabled in that cause it'll just work in planetary gravity or if you'd like to use precious oxygen if you really do need to burn coal in space.
  19. Sinbad Senior Engineer

    at the moment, with 1x inventory settings a small grid medium container occupies 3.375 cubic meters of space (about 3,375 liters). a similar volume of voxels when mined (remember thats a 3x3x3 small grid cube of voxel material) turns into what? 20, 30 litres of stone? not even? thats the problem with flying miners. a cubic metre is 1000 litres. but a cubic metre of voxels never even hits 10% of that volume in mined material. if you drill out 1000 liters of voxels, it should turn into 1000 liters of crushed whatever in your cargo.
    that would need a rebalance of ore yields in the refineries though.
    if planets and asteroids had different voxel ore materials that would keep zero g miners viable as well. 1000 liters iron bearing minerals on a planet might only be 10-20% iron. from what we can tell, asteroidal iron is damn near pure, so your 1000 litres in space ore nets you much better rates out the refinery.
    of course, we would need something to do with all that waste stone, and SE hates us just dropping boulders on the ground for floating object cleanup tailing mounds. maybe a place anywhere block thats just a cube of stones in a net that only needs rocks to place, and is placed fully built? maybe it comes in ramp sections too? (off to the suggestion thread...)

    so yeah, stop voiding mined volume and watch the planetary miners either fall out the sky, or start making hundreds of trips to empty out.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  20. halipatsui Senior Engineer


    It would be kinda fun to have to set up realistic mining equipment just to deal with all the stone you are going trough while tunneling.

    But it would make early game kknda annoying for many players. SE learning curve is already somewhat high and running back and forth with ore is not the best form of gameplay available.

    I suspect current flying miners are going to stay as mining meta for mining.

    New kind of planet might also encourage non-flying miners.

    If there was a planet with high gravity, good resources and no atmosphere mining would become interesting.
    No atmo thrusters would be usable due to no gravity.

    Ion thrusters would struggle in high gravity due to their low power.

    Hydrogen thrusters would struggle in mining overall due to their bulky sizes.

    Harsh enviroment line this could be one way to reward those who build land based miners.

    How do you others think about planet that would be very difficult for flying stuff to operate but would be so rich in resources it would encourage to build creations that can tunnel and mine with other means than thrusters?
    --- Automerge ---
    Now that i think of it also a planet with strong winds that make flying very difficult could be a possibility.
    But with stuff like inertial dampening and overall new mechanics needed for it new hard planet would probabaly be a better idea
    --- Automerge ---
    I wonder what would be good gravity value
    • Like Like x 4
  21. ViroMan Senior Engineer

    Could just create a mini base down at the ore level to refine the ore and fill up crates that are detachable with ingots to be "shipped" to the surface.
  22. Arcturus Senior Engineer

    While attempting to determine the relationship between the amount of voxels that have to be mined to get a certain amount of ore, I made a few observations:
    - You can use the <MinedOreRatio>5</MinedOreRatio> properties in the voxel definitions to control the relative amounts of different ores. It is 5 for most things, except gold is 3.5, platinum 1.6, silver 1.5, and uranium 1.5 - you get proportionally less of those ores for the same excavation effort.

    - There is a strange relationship between the volume mined and the amount of ore collected. For the ore ratio 5 ores (iron, stone, nickel, cobalt, silicon, magnesium) it can be from 1000-1255 L/m3 (small excavations) down to 50-180 L/m3 (large excavations).

    - The speed of excavation plays a part in the above, as you can mine the vacuum/air where an voxel used to be for a short time after it disappears to gain extra ore. There is substantially more benefit from mining this ethereal ore for large multi-drill excavations. Quickly plowing through holes as fast as they appear gains a relatively low conversion rate.

    We ought to find out more about how this works - we can calculate almost anything else in this game. It might be broken but nobody notices/cares.

    Method: Placed many 1x1x1 and 10x10x10 ore cubes using voxel hands. Consumed cubes using a 1 large drill ship and a 5x5 (25) large drill ship respectively. Counted ores in (creative mode) ship inventory.
    • Informative Informative x 2
  23. Doctor Octoganapus Trainee Engineer

    Ok............... so first off: The dark patches are disgusting to me (and many others) so I never make them on my planets. Basically the dark patches are just a image file that marks where dark patches appear and is not connected to ore what so ever, however they served the purpose of showing where ore is to players if they had no ore detector or just a small one as the small detector can't find the deepest vanilla ores.

    Second: The MAT file pretty much only controls where the ore spawns and how big the deposits are. Depth and type is controlled via the planet data xml which will allow you to spawn ore extremely far down if you wanted it to. The Idea of keeping ore closer to the surface is for game play reasons - I say this because I have messed with extreme depths before and I spent hours looking for ore and found nothing.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Informative Informative x 2
  24. FlakMagnet Senior Engineer

    In all honesty ..... anyone thinking about planets, or contemplating how planets could/should be setup ought to go to Doctor Octaganapus' YouTube channel, and watch the turorial vids he made. Must watch stuff if you plan to modify planets, but also very useful for understanding how they work, how they are formed and what controls what aspects of the planet. It really helps to shape ideas that are possible and guide people away from things that are hugely difficult.

    They are also really quite interesting whatever you want to do :)
  25. Forcedminer Senior Engineer

    you know i never really realized but you're completely right about the dark patches......completely illogical in a game attempting to create realism. :)
    meteor showers and the ore nodes should be sufficient enough to construct an ore detector better than the players drill.
    thats a really interesting thought playing without those dark patches.
    oh man you've created whole solar systems and an awesome selection of planets! thats amazing I'll be sure to check them out tonight!
    I can only imagine how hard it is to survive on a planet with 2.4g of gravity! :woot:
    one quick question though...the planet with the corrosive player killing atmosphere...the one that doesn't effect ships...if a player is in a sealed oxygenated environment will they still take damage?
  26. FoolishOwl Junior Engineer

    I've been enjoying the Novana System by @Doctor Octoganapus. In fact, most of the hours I've logged in SE came after I saw it mentioned on @Xocliw's livestream, and started thinking about how to create a space station and a set of ships for exploring it. My favorite moment so far has been landing on Getalis, next to a formation that looks like Bear Lodge Butte.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  27. FlakMagnet Senior Engineer

    First thing I did when I knew how it worked was to make a version of the solar system planets with no ore blobs.

    You have enough minerals in the rocks on the surface to make a basic ore detector craft. Usually I can strip what I need from the lander respawn ship with no bother. Then you explore. My usual tactic is to use a large grid ore detector on a small grid rover, linked by a rotor. You build the large grid detector and rotor....then add small grid rotor part, and build the rest of the craft on that. Drop on a small grid antenna on broadcast, and you can see what the detector sees. Finding ore is then fairly simple.

    A flyable version is also simple enough to build, but powering it can be an issue until you can find uranium, and enough silver ore.

    Novana is a fun system to explore. Mainly because the variation in planets is so great, and the huge gas giant just sits there all the time tempting you :)

    After an idea that came my way from another forum member, Greyson_XMG, I might have a go at playing Novana.....with no asteroids. Playing with no asteroids means planets and moons are your ONLY source of minerals, so you have to land...mine....refine...and then ship the ingots or parts back into space to build ships. To travel to all he planets/moons would mean setting up refinery bases and shuttle systems on every world with orbital stations etc. Quite a challenge. Throw in a modded more aggressive cargo ship mod and RDav's fleet script....and maybe I have enough to tempt me into some more longer play sessions.
  28. Carrion Senior Engineer

    the ore blobs are simply a way to show where ore could be, on earth we have geologists who are able to analyise rocks and formations to work out what should be there as with X mineral needs Y situation to form.

    its a way to make things easier for players as otherwise we dont have ANY way to determine what is below.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  29. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

    Ores that are unmarked near the maximum range of the ore detector might be a nice addition to the game. Placing ores like uranium and magnesium under these conditions would make exploration a bigger part of the game when exploring planets. I would also make ores like uranium less frequent and less abundant. Scarcity adds for interesting game play. As soon as I find ice and uranium, the game play is basically over. The rest becomes simple return on investment it terms of scale of extraction and refining capabilities. You use your resources to build machines more efficient at extracting resources. Then you reach a threshold where you're basically sitting on 100 refineries churning out magnesium and platinum.
  30. Ruadhan2300 Trainee Engineer

    I suggest that rather than bury the ore deeper per-say.
    Ore should be increasingly large deposits as you get further down.

    My biggest complaint in asteroid-mining is that once I find a given ore, I usually don't have to go looking again.

    The solution being, lots of small deposits rather than lots of big ones.
    Smaller asteroids with only one or two ore types each, interspersed with extremely rare larger asteroids which are suitable for use in building bases. In Multiplayer these would then become desirable real-estate and force players into conflict.

    I want to be able to actually mine out an entire asteroid and leave a husk of barren stone behind.
    This would encourage me to journey further afield and provide a sense of progression. It makes late-game emplaced bases harder to work out of because the commute from mining location to home-base is longer, requiring me to set up drone supply-lines or spend a lot of time travelling.
    Eventually it'd actually be viable to use jump-drives to get home each time.

    In a similar fashion, bury the ore deposits at a variety of depths on planets, with the size of the deposit being governed largely by depth.

    You can find small amounts in boulders on the surface already, the idea being that getting ore isn't hard, but when you want industrial quantities of iron, you're going to have to excavate 50 - 100 meters down to get it. and deposits like that are comparatively rare. especially for the rarer ores like Gold or such.

    Make the ore generating code build its deposits based on the rarity values of the actual ore too, so Iron and nickel might dominate the large deposits, but in deeper locations you might even find ores normally not found on planets like Platinum. but only in small amounts.
    The likelihood of finding platinum on the surface of a planet is extremely small, but the deeper you go, the more likely you'll be to find some.

    I'm picturing the average deposit being between 50 and 200 thousand litres in total. so for most ores you'll not have near enough to complete a large project, but enough for an early-game task and then some.
    • Agree Agree x 2
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