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The devs have said that automated mining will probably not be an option. As a student of business and economics, here's what I think: ABSTRACT: Limiting script automation for both mining and weapons fire will greatly limit the capacity for economic growth and in-game innovation. The mining industry, for example, will start out with individuals mining for minerals and directly selling them to other players or on an open market. It will eventually evolve into a number of mining corporations that will be able to provide minerals more cheaply through an organized workforce and semi-automated processes. This is inevitable, as it should be. But why limit the mining industry to this level of business innovation? By disallowing further automation, yes, the market for mundane repetitive tasks like mining by hand will be preserved. But what would happen to the broader job market in a simulated economy where automation is unregulated? It would expand exponentially. How would automated mining exponentially expand economic growth and job availability? Well, the whole purpose of automation is to reduce labor costs, to reduce the price of goods (raw minerals, in this case), so that, in a competitive free market economy, businesses can stay... competitive. Inevitably, reducing the price of raw minerals allows other businesses, further up the chain of production, to increase production and lower their prices (competitive market, remember). These reduced prices further up the chain of production lead to increased demand and, therefore, new market opportunities. STORY TIME: John Smith is a miner. He mines steel all day for Mineral Corp, gets a commission based on how much steel he mines, and Mineral Corp sells the steel to spaceship manufacturing facilities. One day Mineral Corp decides to cut costs by using automated mining drones. Nooooo!!!! Curse you Human Ingenuity!! Let's look at what just happened: In order to cut costs, mining corporations are now buying automated mining drones. This new demand for drones is providing jobs for programmers, industrial designers, manufacturers, and even truckers (to transport all the extra minerals that are being more cheaply produced and are increasingly in demand by all these industries)! Back to John Smith: John lost his job to robots. The Luddite fear that soulless computers will replace all the honest employees has come true! *cough cough* But when John's at home, drinking away his sorrows with some Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, he opens up the classifieds and is shocked to see hundreds of jobs available that weren't there yesterday! Not only jobs related to the production of mining drones, but many seemingly unrelated jobs! Where did these other jobs come from? They came from the steel being cheaper. Businesses that use that steel for product production, like spaceships and buildings, can now sell their products more cheaply. Having cheaper spaceships increases the demand for spaceships because more people can afford them. In order to meet that increased demand, spaceship manufacturers must increase their production by hiring more employees (new jobs! Yay!). So now, even though less people are mining by hand, more people are building spaceships (as well as countless other things)! John Smith may not be mining anymore, but he has a new job now, that pays more, and he can enjoy a cheaper cost of living thanks to those beautiful automated mining drones. BASIC FORMULA: Automation = reduced cost. Reduced cost + competition = reduced price. Reduced price = increased demand. Increased demand = increased production. Increased production = increased job availability. Automation + competition = increased job availability. Can we please have free automation scripting? (I may touch on automated weapons-fire later)