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btroycraft

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Posts: 160
Reply with quote  #1 
INTRODUCTION

     Currently, the resource mechanics are pretty basic, and there hasn't really been anything done in the last year to make things more interesting. There's just not a lot of depth to the system.

     1) Use the magic ore detector to find deposits.
     2) Mine the ore.
     3) Put the ore in the magic refinery.
     4) Put the refined metals in the magic assembler to make components.

     I'd like to see the system reimagined at every step to give it more depth. Here's what I've come up with so far:

IDEA

     1) Introduce geology

     Instead of generic stone asteroids with metal ores thrown in, I'd like to see something more diverse. Foundationally, each asteroid would be randomly composed of several rock types; the nerd in me would love to see real mineral names be used. Within each type of rock, ore pockets would be generated. The type and quantity of ore would depend on the surrounding rock.

     Under this system, a miner with the right knowledge could follow rock seams looking for specific mineral ores. It would add a little randomness, too, which I feel would give a little exploration aspect to mining.

     2) Change the ore detector

     As it stands, the ore detector is a bit too gamey for me (like I said above, it's a bit magical). Instead, I would have the detector work like the chemcam on the curiosity rover. For those unfamiliar with it, the rover has a small laser onboard that can vaporize rock and detect its chemical composition, all without touching the rock at all.

     The new mineral detector would act like a weapon, and upon activation, it would tell the player whatever rock type was currently in the crosshairs; it would only see surface materials (but this would be okay with the new geology mechanic).

     A prospector would have to map a given asteroid to find promising mineral seams before doing any actual mining. This mirrors how prospecting is done IRL.

     3) Expand the refinery system

     Right now, there's only a single refinery block, and it covers every aspect of the process. You put ore in, you get metal out. In my opinion, it shouldn't be that simple. For example, uranium enrichment IRL uses banks of centrifuges to separate the fissile isotopes of uranium from the less radioactive ones. That type of machinery would be completely useless for refining something like copper.

     I'd like to see a more complicated process included for each resource type.

          a) Ore crusher block: Every ore would need to be run through a crusher to produce pulverized ore. Each crusher would only handle a certain volume of ore, so many of these would be needed to scale up production.

          b) Add new refinery blocks for each resource type: Uranium could require a gasifier, multiple centrifuges, and a final reclaimer. Steel would require a blast furnace to produce the steel ingots. Precious metals would require chemical baths for extraction. A lot of the new components, especially furnaces, could be used for more than one resource type, if things started to get too complicated.

CONCLUSION

     I think with a system like I've suggested, resource gathering wouldn't feel nearly so basic, like it does now. I can imagine some interesting challenges to overcome, with logistics and stuff like that. Factories running multiple processes simultaneously would be fun to design and build.

     For some, this might seem too complicated, but I think it could add a lot to the game in time.
EternityTide

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Posts: 85
Reply with quote  #2 

No, no, I think you're on to something here. I might have some suggestions though:
Diversify the ore detector: I made a few suggestions similar to this in another post regarding further applications of lasers (http://forums.keenswh.com/post/new-applications-for-laser-and-holographic-technologies-7342733?pid=1286601571#post1286601571) I should also consider magnetic anomaly detector (such as the ones used for detecting enemy submarines IRL) that use a magnetometers to detect slight changes in magnetic field, like when the composition of a rock gets denser due to higher composition of a denser metal. Additionally, precise gravimeters can pick up tiny changes in gravitational field strength, such as those caused by metal ores.
I'm not sure whether KSH will be keen (haha) to break up the ore detector into 3 separate individual instruments.
However, we have a problem with your concept of indepth refining processes. Gold ore is one example. To refine gold, the ore needs to be crushed down into a fine powder (known as slurry), then it is dissolved in cyanide (or other suitable solvent), forming a substance known in the industry as gold-in-pulp. Then carbon dust is added, which causes the gold particles to bind to them. The solution is then strained through fine sieves to separate the gold bearing carbon from the pulp. Then the carbon is added to cautic hot solvent which strips the carbon from the gold. This gold solution is then put in a cell to seperate the gold in a process known as Electrowinning, which is the electrolysis of metals in solution.
The gold then fuses to the metal of the electrode. This is pulled out of the solution and then sent to a smelter to be melted down at 1150 degrees celsius. A chemical known as flux is added which separates the metal of the electrode from the gold. This gold is then cast into low grade solid bars known as doré bars. These are then liquified alongside scrap gold, and a mixture of borax and soda ash is added to bind to the impurities, and the pure gold is poured off to be cast into whatever use its needed for.
All of this, for a few ounces of pure gold. You can see why the simplified version is preferable.

SenorZorros

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Posts: 4,787
Reply with quote  #3 
1. I'd also like if one may have to prospect the asteroid by what google translate calls exploratory drilling. that is, drill out a rod of asteroid to check lower layers. this should be combined with a way to make "asteroid eaters" less interesting.

EternityTide, you are explaining a complicated process used for refining either low-grade ore or ore where the gold is distributed very fine. back in the day the way to find gold was to just dig up ore and wash it to get out gold nuggets (a practise still used). this is a lot easier but wastes some of the gold.
we could have both in the game. in the early game one uses the simple method. however later one one could build a complicated refinement factory to get maximum gain.
Cy83r

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Reply with quote  #4 
High-gain low-speed versus low-gain high-speed refining would be a nice two-tier system of systems tech.  IMHO, the current refinery should be our basis for a low-gain high-speed system and I can see things like the metallurgy mod being second or third-tier high-gain systems trees.
EternityTide

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Reply with quote  #5 
I would love to see more complicated mining and refinement processes added to the game, I just don't see it happening, since the refiner is in place already, and people won't like change
mexmer

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Posts: 22
Reply with quote  #6 
i don't see anything wrong with having tiered refining technologies, but again (as i pointed out in some different topic), where you get blueprints (sice we use blueprints for building) for this?

this will need first to introduce technology tree, as well as some kind of research facility (computing center) or getting (trading) technology with NPC/other players ....

might work similar way as factorio, or some different, but regardless, introducing multilevel processing for higher gains from scratch ... it will not fit, since if you do that, people will just abandon low gain methods, and will use higher gain methods. Unless there are some dependencies, even i survival mode people might go for it straight.

for creative, it doesn't matter how much "steps" you need to process something, with instant build and unlimited resources.
Cy83r

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Reply with quote  #7 
the advantage of low-gain systems are 1) ubiquity- the refinery refines everything, assembler assembles everything; 2) low-cost mass production- building mutiple high-gain system chains costs more than multiple refinery/assembler complexes; 3) speed over efficiency- good for early mass production start-up

the disadvantage of low-gain systems are 1) inefficiency- you take more resources to mine in order to produce what a high-gain system chain can produce from the same amount of ore/assemble from base metals- that's it, you just have to mine more often

High-gain advantages are 1) efficiency- you get the most out of your resources the higher up the tiers you go; 2) dedication- each chain processes a specific family of resources, you only build the production chains you need the most and leave the rest to low-gain systems; 3) upgrade- going up a tech tier doesn't require rebuilding your line with all new systems, but merely adding an extra system into your production chain

High-gain disadvantages 1) slow; 2) expensive- combined with the lower processing speeds of each successive tier, efficient mass production requires constant expansion of production systems; 3) retool- while a refinery/assembler covers all end-use parts for construction, higher tiers of production will focus increasingly on more specific parts and materials; making a high-tier universal assembly line will overburden one or more sub-systems with a backlog of parts

Hidden disadvantage of high-gain tiers 1) it has to be created on paper, coded into the game, and checked for bugs


Everything considered, with the current costs of just building refineries and assemblers now, high-gains will be more expensive on the whole even if individual systems are as expensive or even slightly cheaper than the low-gain universal systems, which essentially means high-gain is only useful in a multiplayer environment where there is more to do besides mine and build.  And while high-gain systems give you more time to build, it also requires a large degree of input time to begin saving time in the first place.
a-bullet

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Posts: 136
Reply with quote  #8 
while i like the idea of tiered technology (mostly in terms of making compromises), i don't think the basic refinery will be removed (in its all-refining function).
having multiple (smaller) refineries for each and every kind of ore would increase the size of the starting-ship a lot. Because the yellow bullet needs to be able produce everything (to get better equipment), as you have nothing else at the start.

an idea on how to get the blueprints for the tiered tech:
 you get the blueprint from grinding it down at least once

but where to find the machines?
- in little asteroid-hideouts (with a beacon set to 1km range and maybe a solar panel, just to ensure it to be powered forever) [promoting exploring space]
- in cargo ships (only on mining-vessels?, with a little chance each time, depending on tier) [another motive to pirate / visit them]
- got neither enabled? you can build them all, then, as you can't go anywhere to find them (poor you)
  -> sadly enables abuse: start out a save with both disabled, build the machines, change the settings, grind the machines down and you got all the blueprints...
- in other players bases / ships

another problem with this system would be projectors & (workshop)blueprints, which could use the machines... could be avoided by not allowing the projector to project the new machines
one other thing: blueprints would require to be saved for every player... which could be saved at the same time as the player inventory (which it still doesn't for non-hosts?)

regarding OP's ideas: i'm all for some more depth towards drilling (no pun intended) , but as stated above: a basic system has to fit on the yellow bullet.
Dex_Luther

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Posts: 17
Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
IDEA

     1) Introduce geology

     Instead of generic stone asteroids with metal ores thrown in, I'd like to see something more diverse. Foundationally, each asteroid would be randomly composed of several rock types; the nerd in me would love to see real mineral names be used. Within each type of rock, ore pockets would be generated. The type and quantity of ore would depend on the surrounding rock.

     Under this system, a miner with the right knowledge could follow rock seams looking for specific mineral ores. It would add a little randomness, too, which I feel would give a little exploration aspect to mining.


I see no reason why metals and other ores wouldn't/couldn't be on the surface of an asteroid given how they formed and/or broke off of other bodies.

While I don't hate the current idea, I think it would be best to leave the crafting table and iron furnace type system SE currently has, and like in Minecraft let the modders run wild with their imaginations to come up with the more complex and involved things. IMO that's the best way to ensure the most diversity.
btroycraft

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Posts: 160
Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dex_Luther
I see no reason why metals and other ores wouldn't/couldn't be on the surface of an asteroid given how they formed and/or broke off of other bodies.

While I don't hate the current idea, I think it would be best to leave the crafting table and iron furnace type system SE currently has, and like in Minecraft let the modders run wild with their imaginations to come up with the more complex and involved things. IMO that's the best way to ensure the most diversity.


     Most asteroids are rocky, with iron/nickel asteroids making up around 7% of those in our solar system. You could certainly throw in a few mostly-metallic asteroids if you felt like it.

     Under the system suggested, surface metals could still occur, but that would be up to chance. Rock would just be more plentiful, to emulate reality. It would just be more likely to have the surface of an asteroid be mostly rock. To find useful materials, you'd actually have to dig for them.

     It's a poor philosophy to leave things to the modders. For one, money has been invested in the base game, and it's currently in a lackluster state. Trusting amateur coders to fix the problems in the main game will only lead to buggy, half-hearted solutions. I'd rather the main game, in which my money was invested, be foundationally satisfying. The current resource system is just too simple, whereas it could and should add great depth to the game.

     It's not like this kind of thing would have limited appeal, like ridable space-squid, or wearable sombreros. The system suggested is a fully fledged-out resource system for a game that's supposed to be a survival/engineering sandbox. A super-simplified resource system in that setting seems incredibly out of place. I'm not in favor of simulator-level complexity, but there's a lot of room for additions.
kristakis

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Reply with quote  #11 
While I personally would love to have a more complex ore/minerals/components arrangement, I don't believe the game as it currently stands would benefit from that. I think there's a lot of appeal in the relative simplicity of the underlying mechanics and that's what is keeping the game accessible. If there was a way to optionally add depth without making the simple pleasure of construction a chore, then I'm all for it. Ultimately I think making the game's core more easily moddable is the key and leaving the addition of extra content up to mod authors that have the time and energy to create complex interactions.
SenorZorros

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Reply with quote  #12 
1. on blueprints.
why add collectable blueprints? they only add another grind and a level of inequality. I would suggest that in theory high-gain chains could be made from the start if you have enough resources. they just won't be very useful yet.

2. on mods.
we need a core game. leaving all but the most base to modders is not a good idea. and adding a couple of tiers doesn't make the base more complicated. people could just stay at tier one.
btroycraft

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Posts: 160
Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kristakis
While I personally would love to have a more complex ore/minerals/components arrangement, I don't believe the game as it currently stands would benefit from that. I think there's a lot of appeal in the relative simplicity of the underlying mechanics and that's what is keeping the game accessible. If there was a way to optionally add depth without making the simple pleasure of construction a chore, then I'm all for it. Ultimately I think making the game's core more easily moddable is the key and leaving the addition of extra content up to mod authors that have the time and energy to create complex interactions.


     There's a creative mode for a reason.

     Survival mode should have a somewhat steep learning curve. There should be a build-up, and there should be a lot of complexity to it. It's all about the challenges you overcome, and the machines you build to get you there. The current system is just too easy. The game does everything for you; there's no challenge.

     With this improvement to the resource system, and other tweaks across the board, survival would provide a much more interesting experience. There would be more reasons to build, and more problems to solve. Plus, it mimics reality.
PeZook

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Reply with quote  #14 

There are several industrial mods to Minecraft which solve tiers in a very simple manner: high-tier machines require components and resources (usually energy, but in some cases also things like industrial gasses or processed wheat) produced by lower-tier machinery.

So you start on low tiers, with simple production lines powered by low-density power sources, which let you make components necessary to build better equipment, etc.

Also, the added crafting steps mean that in order to meaningfully use the higher tier machines, you need to design processes and automate production lines, or you'll end up spending all your time supervising the machines and moving stuff between them by hand.


There is a small nugget of this in SE already: look at the way conveyor systems are expensive, but allow you to automate your production to an extent. Conveyors ARE a tier II technology already!


Same for your first small mining ship, which is an upgrade of the hand drill, then a large mining ship...you get the idea.

mexmer

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SenorZorros
1. on blueprints.
why add collectable blueprints? they only add another grind and a level of inequality. I would suggest that in theory high-gain chains could be made from the start if you have enough resources. they just won't be very useful yet.

2. on mods.
we need a core game. leaving all but the most base to modders is not a good idea. and adding a couple of tiers doesn't make the base more complicated. people could just stay at tier one.

as for blueprints, that's why i suggested introduction of tech tree and lab (or whatever) either similar to factorio or different way, and also BP trading between players ... as for NPC trade, unless there is some AI and more PVE content, i don't see that viable ... but it's still posibility for future development.

BP trading between players might be beneficial on MP servers ... imagine you will focus on getting better "power source" (ranging from uran refination to high gain solar cells and power cells, including better processing and construction of related parts) and trade it with other player for bps for better ore processors or faster/specialized assemblers ...

on mods ... i generally don't like idea of mods suplementing lack of functionality, diversity in core game. i like idea of mods in general, some of things that are now currently mods might also get implemented in future, but heavy modding that change fundamentals of game doesn't appeal to me.
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