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DEVBLOG: MINING UNITS 101


NQ-Deckard
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Mining units are one of the key features that will be introduced in the upcoming Demeter update. What are they? How do they work? How will they impact the gameplay of Dual Universe? Read on for the answers to those questions and learn more about these handy-dandy little ore vacuums. 

 

HOW DO MINING UNITS WORK?
Let’s start with the basics. 

 

Mining units are new elements that you can deploy on your static constructs on the surface of planets. They need to be linked to an output container and, once started, they will autonomously dispense ore at regular intervals into this container without the need for you to be connected to the game. 

 

There is one mining unit for each tier and they are large elements. Each tier of mining unit is able to mine ores of the same tier. In addition to these five large mining units, there is also a small one for tier 1 only. This special small mining unit is intended for beginners.

 

Let’s have a look at these beautiful beasts in action.

 

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A minimalist mining building with an active mining unit and its best friend, the container

 

These mining units work only if the mining ray you see in the screenshot above is not obstructed and can reach the ground. The mining ray has a maximum range of 50m.

 

Once the mining unit is deployed, linked to an output container, and in range of the ground, you can select what ore it will mine and start the machine. Once calibrated (more on that below), It will then mine regularly and deliver a batch of ore in the output container every hour. To further automate the process, the output container can be designated as the entry point of an industry line. (Note: If the container is full; the mining unit will no longer collect ore, so you’ll need to empty the output containers from time to time or have them feed directly into an industry line.)

 

There are two primary considerations when deploying mining units. First, you need to make sure the territory where they are deployed actually holds enough ore underground and the units will need to be calibrated before they will begin collecting ore.


TERRITORY POOLS
Various types and tiers of ore are dispersed with limited availability across Dual Universe. You won’t find them all grouped together in a particular place. 

 

To represent that, each territory in the game can provide up to a certain volume of ore each hour. That’s what we call the ‘ore pool’. A territory scan can show the kinds of ore present on a territory tile and their yield rates in liters per hour.

 

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This territory is capable of providing a variety of tier 1 ore

 

The image above illustrates the territory-based maximum rate for each ore on this territory. Since there’s a maximum yield per hour, adding more and more mining units becomes useless past a certain point. Each active mining unit “consumes” a part of these available resources. These territory pools represent mining rates, not a total volume of available ore. For example, if a territory has a pool of 100 l/h of a given ore and each mining unit is capable of extracting 50 l/h, then you need two mining units to maximize your extraction capacity, and any additional mining unit beyond two won't give you more yield.

 

Unlike the previous ‘manual mining’ system, the new ore pools are infinite. You will always be able to mine these ores at this rate for as long as you have a calibrated mining unit running here.

 

These territory ore pools are varied and different. On a planetary basis, this new repartition should match more or less the previous allotment for manual underground mining. There are a few changes, but basically a planet that used to contain some tier 3 ore will still contain some tile-wise though, the issuance is very different between low and high tier ores, even from territory tile to territory tile. Typically, you should find tier 1 ore in abundance on nearly every territory tile in the system, but tier 5 ores are only on a few small spots on the most distant planets.


ACTIVE TERRITORIES
For mining units to work, the territory must be active. That simply means that the territory tax for it must be paid. That’s right, if you want the shiny rocks, you gotta pay your taxes. You can learn more about territory upkeep in an upcoming devlog. 


MINING RIGHTS
If you share your territory tile with your friends or organization, you might want to keep the precious underground ores for yourself or, conversely, allow only specific people the ability to operate mining units on your territories. For this purpose, we’re adding the Mining Unit Right. Without this, mining units belonging to other players are unable to access the ore pool and cannot mine on your territories. 


ADJACENCY BONUS
Mining units are social. They like to be around friends. That’s why if you own several active territories near each other, the mining units working on them get an ‘adjacency bonus’ to yield a greater amount of ore beyond the ore pool in each batch. Note that the territories must be owned by the same entity. If you find a great tile with precious ore under it, it might be worth it to own and maintain a few adjacent territories.


EXTRACTING AND CALIBRATION
As explained above, mining units are fully autonomous, doing their appointed duties regardless of where you are and what you’re doing, including when you’re offline having real-world adventures (which you should be enjoying from time to time). The reality is just a bit more complex as mining units need to be calibrated to work efficiently.

 

Each mining unit has a ‘calibration score’ and slowly loses calibration over time if kept unchecked. When the calibration score is below 100%, the mining unit will produce less ore; at 0%, it won’t produce anything at all. To remedy that, it must be calibrated.

 

To calibrate, you will need to enter a specific interface where you will manually probe the territory in search of underground ore. This is ‘extracting’.

 

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Manually extracting ore and calibrating the mining unit

 

In this extracting session, you will use several tools to probe the territory tile, but you will need to keep a look at the probe battery at the same time. The goal is to find the optimal point with the best ore density that you’ll select at the end of the process. Depending on the quality of the location, this will have two effects:

  • It will increase the calibration score so that the mining unit can continue to do its job.
  • It will also extract a few ore rocks in the process and those will pop to the surface of the tile at the selected location. These may be harvested manually at your convenience; they don’t expire. 

 

Calibration is not unlimited. Each player generates calibration charges at the rate of one charge every few hours. You can use your charges on the mining units owned by other players or organizations as long as you have the rights needed to access them.

 

Finally, a single mining unit cannot be extracted twice in a row. There’s a 24-hour cooldown period before calibrating it again. The upside is that mining units will not lose calibration for two days after being calibrated.


MINING UNIT TALENTS
Since mining units are a big new thing for Dual Universe, they come with a variety of new talents to complement their use.

 

You will have talents that improve the:

  • mining unit efficiency, on element deploy
  • base mining rate, on element deploy
  • speed at which your character will regenerate calibration charges 
  • maximum mining charges your character can hold
  • amount of ore extracted when calibrating

 

GETTING TO THE CORE OF TERRAFORMING
One change we do want to make you all aware of comes as part of the terraforming changes where previously a number of players had dug down to the center of certain planets or moons. Each planet or moon will now have an impenetrable core at the center that forms about 80% of the planet's radius with a minimum digable depth of 5 km below its “sea” level.

 

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As such, some constructs may be located below this line after the incoming terrain changes. In these cases, we will raise those constructs up to the relevant planet’s surface. (See this article about preparing for the geometry reset for directions on how to request assistance.) 


A CHANGE OF HEART, THE REMOVAL OF SCAN RESULTS
We received a considerable amount of feedback from players who were opposed to keeping old scan results relevant. And following some internal discussions on the topic, we feel that it is indeed in the best interest of the game to provide a clean slate when it comes to mining data to prevent the hottest of hotspots from being immediately taken. As such, we will be clearing all scan results from the game when Demeter goes live. 

 

We realise that this will inconvenience some of the players who have large amounts of scan data; however, we do believe it is the right thing to do.


DO YOU ‘DIG’ THE MINING CHANGES?
Mining units are a significant departure in how mining is done in Dual Universe. The old underground mining system is gone, replaced by mining units and asteroid mining. We hope that you will appreciate the new feature, from territory management and optimization to the extracting sessions. We really think that the new state of mining in DU is more sustainable and hope you’ll agree. Share your feedback here. 
 

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