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Thor Wotansen

The mechanics of large scale resource harvesting

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In the footage that has been released so far we have a pretty good picture of how mining will go on a small scale, however, we have yet to see what is in store for the large scale mining tools.  There are several ways this could go, from drills ala Space engineers, to scaled up versions of whatever we have on our arms, to mining lasers that can harvest a roid from kilometers away.  This also means that the method of harvesting will have a direct impact on how we design mining ships and also how we use them.  Drills, for example, will limit the size of any practical mining vessel.  Of course there will always be some mad genius building a huge and impressive, but heinously expensive rig that makes holes clean through the planet, but those will be rare.  If we have a large version of whatever the thing on our arms is then we can expect larger vessels that have multiple mining stations, and are crewed by a group of players.  I like this version the best, because I could see some truly astonishing mining barges being built for planetary mining.  The other option, mining lasers, would be less effective because of the voxel system, but still a good option.  They would probably end up being more like the weapons, that lock onto an asteroid and mine it away like that.  They would also be a bit more cumbersome on planets and require less player involvement overall.  I, for one, am casting my vote (do I get a vote?) for the nanoformer based mining rig that is a turret-like device that mounts on the ships hull and is controlled by a player to carve away layers of material.  It would have to be piped up to a very large storage system.  I don't think it should be a thing that can be coded to be run by a script.  Of course there could be a fixed type that mounts on the front of a ship and just sucks in whatever is in front of it for your little mining drones, but the player controlled turret things should be more effective.

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I'm pritty sure large scale mining wont be done with ships, atleast not on planets cuz ya know, gravity and such. But maybe land crawlers or mobile/stationary rigs.

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I'm pritty sure large scale mining wont be done with ships, atleast not on planets cuz ya know, gravity and such. But maybe land crawlers or mobile/stationary rigs.

Asteroids? :P Far easier and cost much much less :P

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I'm pritty sure large scale mining wont be done with ships, atleast not on planets cuz ya know, gravity and such. But maybe land crawlers or mobile/stationary rigs.

Why shouldn't planetary mining be done with ships?  Obviously in the beginning it won't be but once things get going I expect some pretty huge factory ships to be going around strip mining huge swaths of planet.  That's one of the reasons I think the area around the arkship needs to be the territory of large organizations who are planning big building projects.  We don't want the arkship to be sitting at the top of a little pillar of ground with everything else mined away.  But yeah, expect massive capital class mining ships that refine the ore as they mine it and ship it off in transports without stopping withing a year of launch.

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Why shouldn't planetary mining be done with ships?  Obviously in the beginning it won't be but once things get going I expect some pretty huge factory ships to be going around strip mining huge swaths of planet.  That's one of the reasons I think the area around the arkship needs to be the territory of large organizations who are planning big building projects.  We don't want the arkship to be sitting at the top of a little pillar of ground with everything else mined away.  But yeah, expect massive capital class mining ships that refine the ore as they mine it and ship it off in transports without stopping withing a year of launch.

Haaaaave you met gravity? Your ship lands, guess what, goodbye to half your fuel to lift it off the ground, especially with cargo hold full of minerals. There's a reason they are usually called spaceships, cause guess what, ships are not meant for land. Shuttles are not ships, so no, your possible example / comeback is invalid.

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It'll end up coming down to a chain of logistics, whether it's via planetary mining, asteroid mining, etc.

Say you mine on a planet, 

You'd mine this with some sort of land based vehicle that requires a lot less fuel to go forward and backward/mine than a ship. If you use a ship, as said above, gravity would just be a pain for fuel consumption. Anyway, if you needed to get the minerals off ground into space, I believe the most efficient method would to be having it stored on planet and then hauled via specially designed ship that is just used to throw minerals onto a space platform that acts as a shipyard or whatever you have above the planet. Thus making it more efficient to have things stored ground side vs. taking everything up. However, you could also do all your manufacturing ground side and just need an initial boost to get off the planet with your ship. 
 

I guess thats where asteroid mining comes into play as well, want to keep everything space faring? Why not just mine asteroids and take to a refinery/manufacturing platform making things as smooth as possible. 
There would be no need to exit an atmosphere, no need to reenter, just travelling back and forth between mine site and facilities.

Anyway, that's the way I look at it. 

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  Of course there will always be some mad genius building a huge and impressive, but heinously expensive rig that makes holes clean through the planet

Shh you will give away the plan :P

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I suppose I should actually state what I think. Ships will for the most part be used in space and land based miners on the planet for the most part. There will be some ships designed to mine out huge amounts of a planet but these will most likely only come in if the planet is designated to be profitable if its done. I would really like to see planet crackers and just huge chunks of a planet get ripped out and pulled to space and mined up there with all the rock being discarded and the ore being processed possibly with a small work camp on the surface to help rip the chunks out of the planet and up to space

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I suppose I should actually state what I think. Ships will for the most part be used in space and land based miners on the planet for the most part. There will be some ships designed to mine out huge amounts of a planet but these will most likely only come in if the planet is designated to be profitable if its done. I would really like to see planet crackers and just huge chunks of a planet get ripped out and pulled to space and mined up there with all the rock being discarded and the ore being processed possibly with a small work camp on the surface to help rip the chunks out of the planet and up to space

Exactly, Have a shuttle land a mining vehicle on the ground, pick it up when it's done, then back onto the ship. That's how it should be done. But, I do still think space will be a much better place to mine.

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It depends on what you need, there may be some things that you can only grab from a planet. 
So, with this is mind, it may be just as easy to do both.

Without that, yes, space faring would just be easier and more efficient. 

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It depends on what you need, there may be some things that you can only grab from a planet. 

So, with this is mind, it may be just as easy to do both.

 

Without that, yes, space faring would just be easier and more efficient. 

Well, you can find asteroids full of metal and even more important, HEAVY metals, which are rare on earth or in planets general, like rhenium, which can be turned to real-life Adamantium (almost, I know a certain individual will jump on this statement :P ) , or even iridium, which is really rare of an element. Planets can have more easily accessible for generic metals, like copper or iron. But asteroids should retain this aspect I suggest, as the should be something good miners would go out and hunt for. 

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Yeah I can see two paths for mining logistics: ground and space based. It's certainly more efficient for ground based vehicles to either be small, or use ground based movement (hover engines?). As for space based, yes, that ought to be more efficient outright.

 

I do like the idea of a nanoformer turret, and to add to this, there should be a larger, fixed, forward mounted type too.

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Yeah I can see two paths for mining logistics: ground and space based. It's certainly more efficient for ground based vehicles to either be small, or use ground based movement (hover engines?). As for space based, yes, that ought to be more efficient outright.

 

I do like the idea of a nanoformer turret, and to add to this, there should be a larger, fixed, forward mounted type too.

 

I wouldn't mind a large mining nanoformer however I would also like very large machinery that can just take material and refine ore and other such things out of it quickly in extreme quantities so that your not just sitting around waiting for something to finish refining or extracting or need like 500 of them to do something quickly but they all work in small amounts

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I wouldn't mind a large mining nanoformer however I would also like very large machinery that can just take material and refine ore and other such things out of it quickly in extreme quantities so that your not just sitting around waiting for something to finish refining or extracting or need like 500 of them to do something quickly but they all work in small amounts

 

I assume, if you can make mining vehicles, you could probably make behemoth vehicles that mine, refine and produce in one. Not too advanced I guess, but that would streamline the process on a home planet for an organisation. 

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"Drones would be of immense use here--especially in land based mining. One machine mines the ore and another machine processes it. Over long distances, drones will be very efficient in carrying the ore/mineral from one point to another. They can be cheap and inexpensive or durable and wallet-denting. You should be careful to only use them in secure areas, or make sure they are armed to a commendable level."

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The other option, mining lasers, would be less effective because of the voxel system, but still a good option

 

why shouldnt/wouldnt mining beams work?

 

Haaaaave you met gravity? Your ship lands, guess what, goodbye to half your fuel to lift it off the ground, especially with cargo hold full of minerals. There's a reason they are usually called spaceships, cause guess what, ships are not meant for land. Shuttles are not ships, so no, your possible example / comeback is invalid.

 

haaave you met those fancy antigravity units that seem to be widely available.

you know, those that made the big ships casually hover over the planets in the videos :P

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why shouldnt/wouldnt mining beams work?

 

 

haaave you met those fancy antigravity units that seem to be widely available.

you know, those that made the big ships casually hover over the planets in the videos :P

:V Still, the hoverpads only make you hover a bit above the ground so the devs have to avoid the whole Space Engineers, wheels of death situation :P . The vertical thrust still has to burn like heck to get a ship off the ground :P And I believe ships hovering over a plant is called orbit :P Maybe not the traditional orbit, since the planets behave differently in-game as it seems, but orbit nonetheless. :P

 

 

And it would be pointless to have cities to begin with if ships were to land on planets. "You build a city brah? Guess what, land Titan = best Titan." :P

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why shouldnt/wouldnt mining beams work?

 

 

haaave you met those fancy antigravity units that seem to be widely available.

you know, those that made the big ships casually hover over the planets in the videos :P

 

Well, it's one thing to stick a large ship above a planet. It's another thing to land the ship and take off again. And it's entirely different if you expect to get off the ground again with a thousand tons of ore added to your mass. At the very least, it'd take a big chunk out of your fuel stocks.

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USG Ishimura anyone? Planet crackers?

 

Thing literally sits in high orbit, and rips huge chunks of the planets crust out, pulling it in to high orbit, where it's then mined. Freakin' planet crackers man.

 

Just make sure to not bring any strange looking monoliths on board. I hear it might give the crew nasty mood swings.

 

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I suppose we will have to wait and see what kind of propulsion systems we will get.  I have been thinking on the lines of very fuel efficient and powerful engines (compared to what we can make today IRL) or engines that simply consume huge amounts of power.  To make the game at all enjoyable the engines can't consume enormous amounts of fuel just to hover, because that would basically make every ship be 75% fuel tank to have an effective range.  The capital class factory ship I described earlier is something you bring out for the rich veins of rarer metals or the huge deposits of common ones.  The mission profile is to just make a pass over the area and leave, but when you leave there's a giant hole where the ore deposit was.  Think a Star Destroyer sized vessel that removes cubic acres of material.  And remember, we have matter compression tech.

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First of all, according to the devs, there are only two forms of propulsion in the game right now, hover engines, which will let you get up to 1km off the ground, and your normal thrusters that will take you into orbit. There are no wheels or other "ground based" vehicles. You will be flying, hovering or walking. I see no reason why you couldn't build a large mining vessel like described above to work in atmosphere. And from the sound of things, you're going to need something like that early in game, because you're not going to log on, mine for an hour, and be in space. You're going to spend some time on the ground before you rocket off into space.

 

And as far as fuel costs.... if you're in a mining vessel, and fuel is mined like Uranium or Ice in Space Engineers.... doesn't it make sense that you would be mining fuel too? Wouldn't you then be fueling yourself as you go? Bam. Fuel problem solved.

 

This does bring up one question in my mind... if everyone starts off in the same arcship and has to mine.... at what point is the arcship the only thing left on the planet? Does the server reset all the mined areas of the planet, like EvE regenerates asteroid belts? Because you know there is a carebear organization out there somewhere who's only goal in life will be to mine an entire planet. And if so, how does the game differentiate between a massive hole dug solely for mining purposes, and a hole I dug to hide my base in, but I ran out of time to place a structure in there before the server reset all the mined areas.... I'm glad I just play and comment on the games. lol.

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This does bring up one question in my mind... if everyone starts off in the same arcship and has to mine.... at what point is the arcship the only thing left on the planet? Does the server reset all the mined areas of the planet, like EvE regenerates asteroid belts? Because you know there is a carebear organization out there somewhere who's only goal in life will be to mine an entire planet. And if so, how does the game differentiate between a massive hole dug solely for mining purposes, and a hole I dug to hide my base in, but I ran out of time to place a structure in there before the server reset all the mined areas.... I'm glad I just play and comment on the games. lol.

 

I keep getting asked those questions by ppl I am trying to involve in the game.

I suppose the devs will have to implement a self regenerating process around the arkship (at least for dirt/grass and non valuable materials)

having a "new" arkship discovered and repaired on another planet could be another solution, as it becomes the new default spawn location and the original  one fade into oblivion.

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I think large capital class ships in atmosphere is probably how mining will go someday. It really depends on how they choose to implement mining elements into the game. They seem to be all about very few restrictions in what you can do. They will probably have some limit in what can enter a planets atmosphere but my guess it will be very large. Things like gravity will only be an issue if the devs choose to make it an issue. In the videos we saw a ship with incredibly small engines, very small fuel storage leave the atmosphere implying realism may be less important then functionality and fun. It is a game after all.

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In the videos we saw a ship with incredibly small engines, very small fuel storage leave the atmosphere implying realism may be less important then functionality and fun. It is a game after all.

 

Beware, pre alpha footage will only show what they have in pre alpha. This may will change along with the game completion.

It is easier for them to make flying bricks now than when they will have implemented all the constraints.

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I suppose we will have to wait and see what kind of propulsion systems we will get.  I have been thinking on the lines of very fuel efficient and powerful engines (compared to what we can make today IRL) or engines that simply consume huge amounts of power.  To make the game at all enjoyable the engines can't consume enormous amounts of fuel just to hover, because that would basically make every ship be 75% fuel tank to have an effective range.  The capital class factory ship I described earlier is something you bring out for the rich veins of rarer metals or the huge deposits of common ones.  The mission profile is to just make a pass over the area and leave, but when you leave there's a giant hole where the ore deposit was.  Think a Star Destroyer sized vessel that removes cubic acres of material.  And remember, we have matter compression tech.

 

1) Matter compression does not remove the mass from an object. You'll weigh a cubic f**kton heavier than you did before you landed if you planned to mine out acres of terrain, and taking off like that will be a nightmare for sure. Between gravity and air resistance, it's safe to say you'd be stuck on the planet for quite a while.

 

2) I'm not saying that engines should naturally just consume massive amounts of power, but getting off a planet with anywhere near 1G of Gravity after adding so many resources... Well, I hope you at least built your ship in anticipation of this

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