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DevBlog: Scanning & Mining

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P.S: Not sure what .gif image shows, but I hope it won't looks like "God Hand", and we will get some tools for scan and dig.

 

Thanks,

Archonious

 

I kind of think of the glove as the tool. Think it would be more interesting if instead of getting actual tools to equip we could upgrade and modify the various parts of our suits for various purposes.

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I kind of think of the glove as the tool. Think it would be more interesting if instead of getting actual tools to equip we could upgrade and modify the various parts of our suits for various purposes.

There is no need to create tools, but would be much better to have some animation of hand/glove (like little transformation). Hand of God or Iron Man looks strange. I understand it is pre-alpha, so not final version, but I can feedback about what I see only. Looking forward for future improvements.

 

Thanks,

Archonious

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Very cool, I never thought mining would ever be this involved! This is a good thing, most mining in games is very grindy the scanning mechanics give it a refreshing twist.

 

On question how big are the biggest ore veins going to be? I heard some really big numbers suggested that would mean that it could take many weeks to fully mine the largest veins, I think this is great as it add a requirement for organisations to build mining outposts and defend them against people who are looking to take advantage of the effort they expended prospecting and digging down to the vein.

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I mean if I want to build a capital ship depending on the resources required I would need a veritable slave army before it becomes viable.

 

That's the point. They don't want a player who's played since launch to be able to build their own personal capital ships while beginners are stuck building starfighters. They want the capital ship advantage to only belong to large organisations, just like in real life.

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I am really liking what I am hearing about the development of this game and what you're trying to do with it. A few tweaks or alternatives to consider did come to mind: 
 

"...they are generated via our procedural algorithms together with the planet as voxel blobs."
Might I suggest that you might save on front-loaded data here? I think you could save the procedural generation until a player actually scans, although you could save again on processing by tying the new procedural generation to what has already been generated. More on that later... 
 

"They will be spread on the planets based on rarity and how important they actually are in crafting recipes..."
I think this should be partly randomized but related to the type of planet. You ARE basing the generation of planets on things like the type of their star, distance from the star, type of planetary system... right? Some things that are very useful should be very common, if they are useful only in bulk. Think of iron vs rare-earth semi-conductors. But there should be surprises, and options -- different minerals useful for similar things, but with drawbacks and advantages, according to their properties -- making refining, smelting/alloying and crafting all the more valuable and interesting, and an actual intellectual challenge, not just a matter of following pre-made recipes. It will also mean that the usefulness and value of various minerals will vary. You could also make some rare ones useful for other purposes, like maintaining health and treating diseases (or being poisonous?). Ooh, think of radioactive materials, or "radiant energy" rocks, both very useful for fueling and weapons but dangerous to extract and process? Maybe getting ahead here. 
 
"Each biome will have a set of typical resources associated with it, so prospecting starts by “knowing your biomes” ... [chart indicating rarity = depth]
 I don't think rarity should relate simply to depth. If something is really rare, it will be hard to obtain at any depth. It would be more interesting to have a few of those, plus some things that are fairly common and very useful, but only found in small, scattered deposits at great depth.   As I was saying, generate what's in the ground based on the ground that has been generated. I would not go by biomes, per se, except for some surface and near-surface minerals. Base the generation of minerals on the geological forms -- rivers or dry canyons, basins (lakes, oceans, dry), plains, hills, foothills, mountains. Players will learn (NOT be told, except by other players, forums, wiki) that certain minerals can be found only in or at a certain distance from these features. The kinds/qualities of the minerals should be generated based on some logical relationship to where they are, e.g. harder minerals found at greater depth, or maybe where rivers/canyons cut through mountains.  This is natural and will allow for the quick generation of mineral deposits on-demand/scanning, without having to load up lots of data in each planet to begin with. 

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That's the point. They don't want a player who's played since launch to be able to build their own personal capital ships while beginners are stuck building starfighters. They want the capital ship advantage to only belong to large organisations, just like in real life.

Actually, it could be very nice, if we would have some kind of small drills on ships. Even if difference would be few % only, I would prefer do it on ship. It makes much more fun, it makes atmosphere of sci-fi.

It also helps with inventory / storage (if it won't be unlimited like in demos).

 

So this won't break plan to keep balance between old and new players.But will add one more step of development for players.

 

Thanks,

Archonious

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I really liked this update but the idea of mining elements on ships scares me a little. Eventhough it was said they were concidering it for a future expansion.

 

I dont see how you can make automation worth it without pushing out the beginning miner.

 

Unless I misunderstood what was said in the dev blog.

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I know it's a bit of topic, but it's still closely related but what about resource attributes?

I would really like to have many attributes for a given ore in order to affect the attributes of the things you will craft using them.

This adds so much depth to both scanning/mining and crafting. Also for the economy given the fact that for instance two guns of the same model will have different firing speed and power.

This way you are not only looking for a resource but also for the best breed of this resource.

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Exciting to hear that they will be taking mining to "a whole new depth" :D

 

To have to go that far into the ground to find minerals and having to prospect for ores is definitely a nice breath of difficulty compared to so many other games out there.

 

Good job, keep it up!

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My big issue is if there are huge lumps of ore, we are going to need elevators or trucks to move vast amounts of ore up to the surface. Allowing up scaling of the mining process rewards people for playing longer. It should be a motivation for people to go from mining with their hands, to tools, to small vehicles, to mining constructs that are much more efficient form of mining the resource, store it inside, and transport it to the surface for processing.

 

And from a military standpoint I would like to see a way to block or prevent people from mining in your area....If i remember right there was a territory system going to be developed? Mining out an area and placing walls of super dense material to block people from getting into your mining shafts are going to happen, but if we had a territory system there would become a reason for people to fight over resources.

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My big issue is if there are huge lumps of ore, we are going to need elevators or trucks to move vast amounts of ore up to the surface. Allowing up scaling of the mining process rewards people for playing longer. It should be a motivation for people to go from mining with their hands, to tools, to small vehicles, to mining constructs that are much more efficient form of mining the resource, store it inside, and transport it to the surface for processing.

I am also iffy on the Devs not wanting mining elements on constructs. I see their point of view, but there is a balancing factor. In order to make a battleship sized mining ship (with a massive drill), it will first be power heavy, so lots of generators need to be added in order for it to run. As more generators are placed, more thrusters are needed to keep the ship airborne, hence more generators (continue with adding warp drive, cargo space, etc.). A ship this big will take forever to become profitable, and will likely be a MASSIVE target for pirates and other factions.

 

The more profitable way to do it is use many smaller mining ships the size of fighters (think homeworld style resource collectors) that drop off at a carrier. It requires many, MANY people to be OP fast, and new players can be paid to mine for you (security is your problem), helping with the later stage new player experience. Maybe don't have the massive drills that fit on capital ships to begin with, but at least have the strike-fighter sized drills (think small ship drills from Space Engineers) available from the start (this is science fiction, why are we digging things up with our hands/hand-drills?).

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Here is an idea that will help with scanning for resources, allow us to colour code the sphere markers. This could make a third technique (place markers where ever you find the resource and then remove the lower percentage markers until you have a precise area) much easier, depending on how you use the colours. You could use them to show which direction you were moving before you placed the market, or what rough percentage of the sphere the resource is located in (grey for less than 10%, red for 10%-20%, orange for 20%-30%, yellow for 30%-40% and green for above 40% (values due to around 50% of the sphere will be above ground))

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Will the scanning be spherical in shape, or cylindrical?  How far down can we expect a survey scanner to penetrate?

Sphere and cone respectively. The exact distances are not known.

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Very exciting to hear some of the core mechanics of mining being discussed and how it can lead to different specializations of being a prospector/miner or both. 

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Question : Are the mechanics of scanning going to carry over to other gameplay aspects? Can we expect things like "motion sensors"?

I am thinking the triangulation technique could be used in regular sensors. With one sensor you can tell the direction, with two you can tell the position. More sensors make it more accurate.

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I am thinking the triangulation technique could be used in regular sensors. With one sensor you can tell the direction, with two you can tell the position. More sensors make it more accurate.

In EVE you need like 6 sensor probes to pinpoint the location of an object in space.

 

I am talking more of the Directional Scan function for planetside, if I can scan ahead of me, then tune the angle to 10 degrees at 2 km, to check if there's someone there out of my line of sight or render distance. That's what is done in EVE if one wants to keep their 6 o'clock covered. You look in said direction and check if a person is coming towards you at a certain Astronomical Unit range. And if they do and you are a miner for example, you bail, cause they are out to get you :P

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I like the idea of having to scout for resources and have the scanning mechanic. I do have a few concers but first some question...

 

- What is the max range with the Radial scanning with max skills and best tools?

- Mining with Nanoformer. Are there plans for Drills, mining lasers or such stuff? As a natural progression I would expect people building mining ships, mining vehicles, mining platforms.

-  About the accual mining gameplay. You planning a more EVE like mining (afk and dull) or something more engaging like Star Citizen?

 

 

 

 

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Just a thought, but this whole aspect of 'scanning' opens up a whole lot of ways to cheat in this game.

If the Information of the Planet underground is also available client-sided (for rendering maybe) - then someone can just read the local memory of his machine and extract all the information he needs (maybe just by flying over areas that are then loaded into memory from the server) without scanning at all in seconds.

There are probably some more ways to exploit this if you think long enough about this. (You can keep coming up with ways to prevent this, but will they be implemented?)

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Just a thought, but this whole aspect of 'scanning' opens up a whole lot of ways to cheat in this game.

If the Information of the Planet underground is also available client-sided (for rendering maybe) - then someone can just read the local memory of his machine and extract all the information he needs (maybe just by flying over areas that are then loaded into memory from the server) without scanning at all in seconds.

There are probably some more ways to exploit this if you think long enough about this. (You can keep coming up with ways to prevent this, but will they be implemented?)

Tl;dr The position of natural resources is calculated using a seed. Only the seed is stored on the players drive.

 

The location of the resources may not be calculated/generated from the seed until it is either part of the mesh (discovered whilst mining) or until it is scanned. I might be wrong though, but it does help with storage space and background calculations due to less voxels. Even if that is not the case, you could hash the data (maybe combine the position and it's type with a constant? Not familiar with the process) so even if someone goes to look for the data, it would be as impossible to crack as a very good password. The only way to get around that would be trial and error, but since you need a position and a type to begin with, it would just be better to scan.

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