Author Topic: Orbital Miner Automation/Rework  (Read 550 times)

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Offline Destragon (OP)

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Orbital Miner Automation/Rework
« on: August 14, 2022, 08:17:39 PM »
Orbital miners in the game right now function pretty much like an orbital version of auto mines, but I kinda originally imagined them to work a little differently and wanna write about that as a suggestion.
I've always pictured orbital mining ships to behave more like, for example, the belters in The Expanse. What I mean is, having many, smaller mining ships that indivdually seek out nearby asteroids, mine them and then carry their cargo to a nearby colony. The way I imagined it would have the ships be automated in a similar way to how survey ships are, moving from body to body on their own.

This would require 2 changes:
- Orbital mining working on a body that is NOT a colony
- Orbital miners loading their mined minerals into their cargo hold, instead of dumping the minerals onto the body surface

It would also require a standing order "move to next orbitally mineable body" and the conditional order "when cargo hold is full, unload cargo at nearest colony".

This would let you have fully automated mining fleets mining asteroid belts without requiring you to mark every body as a colony nor would you need to deliver mass drivers to the bodies or tell cargo ships to visit them since the miners will do the mineral shipping themselves.
 
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Offline ArcWolf

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Re: Orbital Miner Automation/Rework
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2022, 08:32:52 PM »
i too would like to see this.
 

Offline lumporr

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Re: Orbital Miner Automation/Rework
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2022, 10:19:52 PM »
I wonder, would it work to have these as cycled orders? It wouldn't be perfect, but if you had a list of mining colonies and a few miners with engines, you could have them move between colonies,  load all minerals after an order delay (which you'd have to calculate I suppose, though that wouldn't be too hard), dump at colony, refuel and repeat.

That would work, wouldn't it? Though it might be a little fuel intensive, perhaps.
 

Offline nuclearslurpee

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Re: Orbital Miner Automation/Rework
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2022, 10:28:57 PM »
This would require 2 changes:
- Orbital mining working on a body that is NOT a colony

I'd prefer to keep the colony requirement. Unlike gas giants, mineral-bearing bodies vary wildly in what they offer both in terms of availability and accessibility. Marking mining colonies ensures that your standing order sends the miners somewhere productive, and not to the asteroid with 27,937,481 tons of 0.1 accessibility vendarite because it happens to be close by. If you try to automate the logic, you'll almost certainly wind up with something that technically works but makes most players very confused and/or annoyed, especially since distance is a factor which is not the case for CMCs (which are sufficiently limited as to be fairly predictable).

Quote
- Orbital miners loading their mined minerals into their cargo hold, instead of dumping the minerals onto the body surface

For roleplay, it's not a bad idea, since it's just automating something you can already do manually with a lot of tedious micromanagement. For gameplay, of course, the optimal approach would probably be to put a mass driver in that cargo hold and carry it around in perpetuity, but enough people play without mass drivers that this change would find a niche.
 

Offline KriegsMeister

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Re: Orbital Miner Automation/Rework
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2022, 11:15:14 PM »
I agree, asteroid miners should function more like Salvage ships (which already directly store salvaged minerals in its cargo). Salvage ships work of the waypoints of wrecks, and the game already tracks what bodies are OM capable, so could a hidden waypoint be added to the bodies so that miners can utilize the same conditional orders logic as salvagers.

Would also love to see some "planet cracker" mining ships that are capable of mining any size planet with an extremely large 250kton module. However, such big mining apparati should cause damage to the habitability of the planet, possibly by way of adding dust to the atmosphere. would be fitting for Invaders to have such ships that just come in and harvest unprotected colonies and wiping out its population as an afterthought. [/spoilerp
« Last Edit: August 14, 2022, 11:27:47 PM by KriegsMeister »
 

Offline Destragon (OP)

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Re: Orbital Miner Automation/Rework
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2022, 06:45:33 AM »
This would require 2 changes:
- Orbital mining working on a body that is NOT a colony

I'd prefer to keep the colony requirement. Unlike gas giants, mineral-bearing bodies vary wildly in what they offer both in terms of availability and accessibility. Marking mining colonies ensures that your standing order sends the miners somewhere productive, and not to the asteroid with 27,937,481 tons of 0.1 accessibility vendarite because it happens to be close by. If you try to automate the logic, you'll almost certainly wind up with something that technically works but makes most players very confused and/or annoyed, especially since distance is a factor which is not the case for CMCs (which are sufficiently limited as to be fairly predictable).
In my Sol, all the asteroids seem to be low quantity high accessibility, but that's a fair point anyway, especially when comets and dwarf planets are added to the mix.

And yeah, this is not efficient fuel usage wise compared to other mining methods, but I think it would be a cool way to handle it anyway.

Would also love to see some "planet cracker" mining ships that are capable of mining any size planet with an extremely large 250kton module. However, such big mining apparati should cause damage to the habitability of the planet, possibly by way of adding dust to the atmosphere. would be fitting for Invaders to have such ships that just come in and harvest unprotected colonies and wiping out its population as an afterthought. [/spoilerp
I like the idea. haha