Resource mining and you (Full Version)

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Airpower -> Resource mining and you (7/3/2014 1:10:39 AM)

I always wondered how resource gathering worked, and after playing the game for a few weeks, I got curious enough to do some research. Here's what I found.

Resource extraction rates:

When the game starts, the values for Mining, Luxury, and Gas (MLG) modules are 3, 3, and 20 respectively. When adding these modules to your ships and bases, the values you want to reach are 10, 10, and 40. Reaching these values will allow you to extract the maximum amount of resource every extraction tick (one extraction tick happens every 6 game days). This means that with level 1 tech, you would have to add 4 mining modules, 4 luxury modules, and/or 2 gas modules to hit the extraction cap. These values apply to ships and bases, state and private alike.

The extraction values can be thought of as percentages. Meaning at game start, the extraction values for each MLG extractor (3, 3, 20) would be 30%, 30%, and 200% per extractor.

The maximum extraction rates for MLG resources are hard coded at 100%, 100%, and 400% respectively (10, 10, 40, going by the abstract values for the equipment).

This means that the number of extractors you need to hit the extraction cap changes depending on your mining tech level. Here are the MLG extraction rates per tech level.
         Mine   Luxury Gas
Tech 1   3      3      20
Tech 2   4      4      26
Tech 3   5      5      31
Tech 4   6      6      40
Now, the number of extractors you need to hit the extraction cap, per tech level:
        Mine    Luxury  Gas
Tech 1  4       4       2
Tech 2  3       3       2
Tech 3  2       2       2
Tech 4  2       2       1
The upkeep costs per MLG extractor are 33 (for miners), 35 (for luxury) and 30 (for gas) per unit. Given that extractors don't really make up a large slice of the private sector's maintenance costs in the first place, and also that research time is extremely valuable and finite, I personally don't see the value in researching the Mining techs. I think it would be cool if mining techs increased the mining caps above 100, 100, 400. Maybe have each level increase the extraction caps by 10 or 20 percent. Right now the tree isn't competitive with other techs. Just a random side thought.


Edit: My original conclusions on cargo space were wrong, and I have removed them. For a good explanation of cargo space, check out Feelotraveller's cargo space post at the below link.

In-game numbers:
A mining unit puts resources in its cargo bay once every 6 game days. To see how many resources the mining unit gets, you need to know two variables.
1) What percentage of the extraction cap is the mining unit at? (Extraction)
2) What is the percentage value for each different resource on the planet? (Richness)

Every tick, the miner gets Extraction x Richness / 100 resources, for each resource on the planet. Here are some examples from in-game testing. Note that the extraction rates below 100% are rounded down.
Dantha 26%      Tick 1  Tick 2  Tick 3  Tick 4
3 luxury        7       14      21      28
6 luxury        15      30      45      60
9 luxury        23      46      69      92
12 luxury       26      52      78      104
15 luxury       26      52      78      104

Steel 89%       Tick 1  Tick 2  Tick 3  Tick 4
3 mining        26      52      78      104
6 mining        53      106     159     212
9 mining        80      160     240     320
12 mining       89      178     267     356
15 mining       89      178     267     356
Helium 43%      Tick 1  Tick 2  Tick 3  Tick 4
20 gas          86      172     258     344
40 gas          172     344     516     688
60 gas          172     344     516     688
This formula is applied to every resource on the planet being mined. So, let's say you have a planet with 100% Gold, 75% Steel, 50% Lead, and 25% Iridium, and a miner with 100% extraction, each tick you would get 100 gold, 75 steel, 50 lead, and 25 Iridium (250 resources per tick). If the miner had only 50% extraction, you'd get about half that (125 resources per tick). Here is some in-game data showing a 100% extractor on a 4-resource planet.
                Tick 1  Tick 2  Tick 3  Tick 4  Tick 5  Tick 6  Tick 7  Tick 8
Dantha 41%      41      82      123     164     205     246     287     328
Winconium 37%   36      73      109     146     183     220     256     292 (slight variations noted)
Silicon 54%     54      108     162     216     270     324     378     432
Osalia 48%      48      96      144     192     240     288     336     384
Relatedly, given that one tick happens every 6 days, and there are 360 days in an in-game year (12 months x 30 days per month), there are a total of 60 extraction ticks every year. If you had a 100% extractor pulling resources from a 100% richness resource, you would get 100 resources every tick. Multiply that by the number of ticks in a year, and you get the total possible resource extraction rate per year. 6000 mineral, 6000 luxury, 24000 gas. That means that every 1% richness that a resource deposit has will give you 600 of that resource per year. Thus, if you give a mining station 12000 cargo space, you will guarantee at least 2 years worth of uninterrupted mining. In reality, 6000 storage will probably be more than enough in most cases. Rare resources will be regularly picked up, and common resources will cap out, which isn't a problem. Also, this lower amount of cargo bays added will help keep mining base maintenance costs down.

Given how cargo storage works, it is most cost effective to build mining bases on planets with the highest total amount of overall resource richness. For example, a planet with 75% gold and 75% lead would be better than a planet with 100% gold (unless you don't need the lead, but you get the picture). This makes planets with multiple resource nodes on them much more likely to be useful than single-node planets.

Okay, with that out of the way, let's look at some tips, tricks, and exploits.

Mining Bases vs Star Bases that can mine:
It is possible to build an unlimited number of mining bases on a single stellar body. They will all extract at full speed, and freighters will come to take resources from all of them. I consider this technique to be a huge exploit which ruins the fun and integrity of the game, but if you want to try it, here's what to do:

Create a Star Base design. Put the following components on (plus any necessary hab bays, life support, and other necessary components):
- Enough Mining Engines to reach 10+ mining extraction
- Enough Luxury Extractors to reach 10+ luxury extraction
- Enough Gas Extractors to reach 40+ gas extraction
- 5 or so cargo bays
- 1 Commerce Center
- 10000 cargo capacity (flavor to your liking)
- Skip defense / offense. Make them as cheap as you can.
- Make the size Absolute: 10, so it's visually small (letting you pack more on the planet)

When you see a valuable planet, build as many of these mining Star Bases as you want on it. When you're done building them, build a single Mining Base or Gas Mining Base on the planet. As soon as the real mining base begins to build, your freighters will warp in to pick up the resources from your Star Bases. Freighters will only pick up resources as long as a legitimate mining base is located at the planet, so keep it there. If for any reason you ever want to add more Star Base miners, just scrap the real mining base, build more star bases, and then rebuild the mining base. With this exploit, you can meet your entire empire's resource need for a specific resource with only one planet.

You'd be wise to defend your mining hubs with 3-4 strong defensive bases that physically encircle the mining bases. Physically surround them, so the defensive bases pick off any harassing forces or space monsters before they damage your mines.

This can and should be fixed. The most appropriate way to fix this exploit is to prevent the Star Base template from equipping a Commerce Center.

Refueling depots:
Again, design a star base. Give it capped gas extraction (40). Calculate the maximum fuel stores of your biggest fleet. I use 10-ship fleets with up to 7000 fuel per ship, so in my case it would be 70000. Give the refueling base design this much cargo storage or more. Give it enough docking bays to accept every ship in your largest fleet at the same time (in my case, 10 docking bays). No armor, no weapons, no commerce center. Make them cheap. Find a spot along your border near enemy territory that you intend to attack. Build a number of these bases on a planet or gas cloud with fuel (Caslon and/or Hydrogen) near the enemy border. Again, make them physically small (Absolute: 10) and cluster them tightly together. Surround them with several large defensive bases to take out any attacking enemy fleets. By doing this, you will guarantee fast and efficient refueling capability for your fleets during wartime. Because these bases lack commerce centers, you don't have to worry about freighters stealing your wartime fuel reserves. The refueling farm will simply extract up to the maximum value and sit there, waiting to be used. This method is the most efficient, reliable, and cost-effective late-game refueling architecture that I have yet found. It is far more effective and defensible than haphazerdly building gas mining bases, and astronomically more effective than solar tankers (energy-to-fuel stations built on stars). Sadly, it is also better than resupply ships, which are a cool idea, but ultimately are just absolute garbage in their role as refuelers.

Self-refueling fleets:
Another option available for late-game refueling is the self-refueling fleet approach. In games where I use this technique, I build 10-ship fleets with 2500 fuel per ship. Then I add 9 (fleet size minus one) docking bays, gas extractors (cap at 40), and 25000 or so cargo per combat ship (each ship's fuel capacity times number of ships in the fleet). Before beginning a war, I fly my all of my combat fleets to a hydrogen gas giant or cloud. I select the fleet, CTRL-right clicking the gas giant or cloud, and click "Move to Gas Giant/Cloud". When the fleets arive, every ship will begin to suck up gas automatically upon stopping. Once the ships have sucked up max hydrogen, I send them off to fight. When a fleet gets low, just select the fleet, CTRL-right click one of the ships in that fleet, and select "Refuel" and "At (ship name)". You have to do this manually. I couldn't get "Refuel at nearest..." to work for it. Nine of the ships will then dock at the tenth ship and suck its reserves dry to refuel themselves. Do the same thing for the 10th ship, and your fleet will be ready to continue fighting. For a 10-ship fleet, you can do this at least 10 times (usually more) before having to refuel the fleet at a gas giant or gas cloud. That basically means each ship's fuel tank is 10x the displayed amount (25000 in my case). The downside to this technique is that it gives up some offense/defense space in exchange for longer battlefield loiter time. If you have a technology or ship numbers advantage though, it can make this loss of combat power per ship less noticeable. This procedure, both gas extraction and fuel distribution, works in enemy territory.

If for whatever reason you mine gas other than caslon or hydrogen, you can have your ships empty their cargo holds by right clicking a gas planet (right click instead of using the "move to" command). By right clicking, when the ship fills its cargo bay to max, it will return to the nearest starport and unload all of its cargo. This differs from "move to" because when a ship reaches full cargo from a move-to command, it won't return to base to empty itself - it just sits there with a full bay.

A rant on resupply ships:
Since they're vaguely connected to resource extraction, I need to rant about resupply ships. Resupply ships are awesome in concept. In practice though, they're garbage. Consider the following pros (+) and cons (-):

Resupply ship:
- Drives around for 10 minutes after you order it to deploy in a gas cloud, then takes 30 seconds to set up.
- Can't fire weapons while deployed.
- Can't dispense fuel to other ships until it deploys at a gas giant or cloud.
- Built at a planet, so it takes forever to build.
- Cannot order a fleet of multiple resupply ships to all deploy at the same time.
+ Uses its hydrogen/caslon stores to refuel itself (when deployed).

Normal ship with gas collector, cargo bays, and docking bays:
+ Gathers gas immediately upon stopping at a gas giant or cloud.
+ Can fire weapons while gathering or fueling other ships.
+ Can dispense fuel at any time, even in open space.
+ Built at a space station, so they build fast.
+ Can order an entire fleet to gather fuel with two clicks.
- Cannot refuel itself with the resources it gathers.

Despite its ability to be built as big as a star base, resupply ships use the cargo rules for ships, not bases. Meaning if you have 10000 cargo storage, you can only gather 5000 hydrogen and 5000 caslon, not 10000 of each. This means that if the only planet available for gathering has caslon and hydrogen both on it, your cargo capacity will go towards gathering both resources, even though you can only probably use one for your fleets. So you waste half of your cargo space.

In my view, the only real benefit of a resupply ship is that it can be built as big as a star base, meaning 3x the size of a ship. Since 20% of that space must used for cargo bays and gas extractors, that still makes the resupply ship able to be 2.4x the size of a normal ship. In this regard, the resupply ship is uniquely useful as a single unit blockading a high-value enemy planet until it can be invaded. Oddly this role has nothing to do with refueling other ships.

Eliminating the need for the 30 second deployment entirely, and making resupply ships treat cargo capacity the way star bases do would go a long way towards making this unit viable as a heavy tanker. By treating cargo capacity the way star bases do, players would be able to gather from a hydrogen & caslon gas giant / cloud without having to worry about wasted cargo space. Removing deployment would put it on par with other fuel tanker ships.

A rant on the energy-to-fuel device:
It seems like there should be so many awesome ways to use this piece of equipment. Sadly, like with the resupply ship, it's in-game applications are few. When a ship with energy-to-fuel (e2f because I'm lazy) gear is stationary in a system (or moving along with a planet), it will gather caslon and hydrogen. This is great in theory. Unfortunately though, the gathered resources are not converted into fuel for the ship that gathers them. Even on a resupply ship, the gathered resources only change into fuel when the ship deploys at a gas giant or cloud. Another problem is that the e2f unit will only produce up to 20000 hydrogen and caslon each (40000 total). This cap does not increase with additional e2f units, fuel cells, or cargo bays. This bizarre fact makes this component completely useless as part of a good mid to late-game refueling infrastructure. By the time this component becomes available for use (ironically only in the mid to late-game), fleets generally need well more than 20000 fuel when they come in for gas. That means long lines as the component refills its very small tanks. Adding more e2f units increases the gathering rate, but with a 20000 resource limit, this hardly makes a difference. The hydrogen/caslon gained from the e2f doesn't refuel the ship equipped with the unit, and the artificial fuel cap means the ship or base can't refuel other ships effectively either. It's just a bad, bad piece of equipment.

Removing the artificial 20000 resource cap, and having the unit produce ONLY the fuel type that the ship its deployed on uses would make this piece of gear useable in the role it was intended for - fleet refueling.

Gas miners
Since I don't have anywhere else to put this, a final parting thought on private sector mining ships. Before conducting the above research, I would put gigantic cargo holds on my mining ships, with the thought that "more cargo is good". Knowing that the annual extraction cap for any single resource is 6000, and that civilian mining ships mine a target until their cargo hold is full then return home, I am going to change this approach. If you make the cargo bay too small, the ship will spend most of its time flying, only to pick up a tiny amount of resources and fly back to base. Make it too large, and the ship will sit for years mining, making its dropoffs too infrequent. This is a hard number to pin down, but just as a guess, I'll say 3000 cargo. Enough to keep a single 50% resource busy for 1 year. Enough to keep a dual 50% resource planet busy for 6 months.

Oh, I also saw the game sending my gas/luxury mining ships to planets with minerals & luxury resources, so it could mine the luxuries. I didn't know the game could use gas miners like this, so from now on, all of my mining ships, gas and mineral alike, will get capped gas, luxury, and mining modules so nothing is ever lost. This might be overkill though.

Hope this wasn't too long and annoying. This is my first post so hi.

Aeson -> RE: Resource mining and you (7/3/2014 1:55:15 AM)

If you want to make tables using multiple spaces to separate the entries, I suggest using the code tags provided by the button that says code over the text entry window.

Alternatively, you can remove the spaces from the following and type in between the inner set of brackets:
[ code][/ code]

And it'll look like this:
        Mine   Luxury  Gas
Tech 1   3      3       20
Tech 2   4      4       26
Tech 3   5      5       31
Tech 4   6      6       40 

Also, since you're interested in resource extraction, this thread may interest you:

Airpower -> RE: Resource mining and you (7/3/2014 2:09:21 AM)

Very nice, thanks! I'll edit the original post.

The linked thread is three years old and has a numbers of factual errors...

Retreat1970 -> RE: Resource mining and you (7/3/2014 2:17:33 AM)

Nice first post [:)]

Airpower -> RE: Resource mining and you (7/3/2014 2:37:30 AM)

Thank you! I try to keep my stupidity to a minimum when in public... :)

Keston -> RE: Resource mining and you (7/3/2014 2:40:24 AM)

I have seen resources become exhausted (though steel and lead are common as asteroids). What happens to overproduction? Does it go to waste, is it sold off somewhere, or is cargo space on worlds unlimited? Does it decay?

Some resources may see heavy demand and then reduced demand, or be (I believe) recycled by retirement and retrofitting ships. Luxuries are consumed, however, meaning we want a steady supply for the length of the game for the bonuses, not a glut until exhaustion (nor having it go in great quantities to less worthy empires). For things like Spice, Fruit, and Fluid, with perhaps a single source in the known galaxy, might we want a low extraction rate? Or are unique resources (or biologicals) inexhaustible - fruit, fluid, and spice sound renewable to me.

Aeson -> RE: Resource mining and you (7/3/2014 3:13:39 AM)


I have seen resources become exhausted (though steel and lead are common as asteroids).

Resource exhaustion is an event. If you don't want it to happen, turn off 'Disasters and other events' during game setup. As far as I know, whether or not the event triggers has nothing to do with the extraction rate, either, so using a design with a low extraction rate will not really do anything for you as far as preserving a high-value resource goes. On the other hand, if 'disasters and other events' is active, you will also occasionally see new resources spawn on worlds in addition to seeing old resources become exhausted, so you probably won't see the galaxy run completely out of any given resource (unless you're unlucky enough that the superluxuries are both able to be exhausted and the exhaustion event fires for one of them without a new source spawning any time soon).


What happens to overproduction? Does it go to waste, is it sold off somewhere, or is cargo space on worlds unlimited? Does it decay?

Some resources, mostly luxuries, are consumed at colonies, and so you will see stocks of those deplete over time if you do not have more production than consumption. All other resources, as far as I know, will just sit there until they're used by something. Cargo space on colonies is essentially unlimited (nevertheless, there is a cap somewhere, depending on the size of the datatype used to store the quantity even if they haven't explicitly capped the resource stockpiles of planets within the game; if they just used a signed 32 bit integer, though, you're looking at a little over 2.1 billion units of the resource before you hit the cap on just one planet).

Airpower -> RE: Resource mining and you (7/3/2014 3:31:32 AM)



I have seen resources become exhausted (though steel and lead are common as asteroids). What happens to overproduction? Does it go to waste, is it sold off somewhere, or is cargo space on worlds unlimited? Does it decay?

Some resources may see heavy demand and then reduced demand, or be (I believe) recycled by retirement and retrofitting ships. Luxuries are consumed, however, meaning we want a steady supply for the length of the game for the bonuses, not a glut until exhaustion (nor having it go in great quantities to less worthy empires). For things like Spice, Fruit, and Fluid, with perhaps a single source in the known galaxy, might we want a low extraction rate? Or are unique resources (or biologicals) inexhaustible - fruit, fluid, and spice sound renewable to me.

This is a great question, and I have wondered about resource exhaustion myself.

I tested it just now by building 100 star base mining stations on a planet with a gold deposit at 78%, and let them mine for 4 years (400 extraction years worth of strain on the planet). The 78% didn't budge, so this backs up Aeson's point that depletion is a special event.

Your point on wanting a low extraction rate for limited resources is well taken. It will drive the price up if they're more limited, I guess...

I don't have an answer to that one. :)

Aeson -> RE: Resource mining and you (7/3/2014 4:04:33 AM)


Your point on wanting a low extraction rate for limited resources is well taken. It will drive the price up if they're more limited, I guess...

While limiting the supply of the superluxuries will probably drive up the cost, don't forget that the superluxuries are supposed to provide a development bonus beyond what you get for having 10 standard luxuries at a colony, and that the development bonus affects tax income, and also that from the descriptions of the luxuries there may also be other benefits (e.g. increased population growth due to extended lifespans), though I have never checked for such. It may be the case that you'll earn more by having stocks of a superluxury on every major colony and getting the handling fees at normal resource costs than you'd earn from the handling fees at inflated resource costs when you don't have enough to supply your big colonies.

There's also the consideration that if you can colonize a world that has a superluxury resource present on it, it's probably better to do so than to use a mining base just from the standpoint that a colony is typically less vulnerable than a space station. If I put planetary shields and a big army on Korrabia, anyone who wants to deny me my supply of Korrabian spice needs to bring in a better army to dislodge mine and cannot bomb me off the world (of course, if all they want to do is deny me the resource, then I'm still vulnerable to a planet killer, but using a planet killer on a superluxury planet isn't exactly the smartest thing someone could do, and planet killers are fairly rare anyways, especially if the storylines are disabled). While you can, within narrow limits, control the rate of production granted by a mining station, I am not aware of any way in which you can affect the resource extraction rates from a colony (which, if I'm not mistaken, are somewhat lower than for a full-rate mining station anyways, so security and supply restriction may both be served by colonizing the world).

Retreat1970 -> RE: Resource mining and you (7/3/2014 4:15:29 AM)

Cargo is still strange for me. I had two gas planets, one with three resources, and the other with two. I built two starbases per above on each planet and let them max on cargo (made sure no one picked up). My cargo storage is the last upgradabe standard storage (650). Oh and I put 10 cargo on the bases. Playing Human.

1st planet with three resources: Base 1 - 8710, 8791, 7469, plus 550 in others (lead, steel etc...) = 25520. Base 2 - 8684, 8438, 8334, plus 550 in others = 26006.

My storage capability should be 6500 correct? 650 storage x 10 storage bays.

The above resource numbers never moved from those results. No more mining was taking place. Am I missing something here? I'm no math genius, but this seems odd.

Mandras -> RE: Resource mining and you (7/3/2014 4:24:14 AM)

Wow, I've got to try out that mini stacked starbase mining exploit.

About mining ships; I wouldn't put gas extractors on an orehauler. I've never seen one willingly head for a gas giant, they'd much rather rummage around on some random asteroid for lead or iridium than be caught dead on one of those lame 'Jovian' worlds. My gas miners though, definitely have either four of each extractor or just gas extractors if I want to keep them on task early game.

Refueling ships really are amazingly wretched aren't they?. Their Achilles heel is the rail gun. A single bullet from a pirate escort can causes them to undeploy and head back across the galaxy for repairs.

Airpower -> RE: Resource mining and you (7/3/2014 4:57:53 AM)


ORIGINAL: Retreat1970

Cargo is still strange for me.

You're right... something is wonky here. Doing some testing right now. And here I was thinking it was time to get to bed!

Airpower -> RE: Resource mining and you (7/3/2014 5:50:16 AM)

After some quick tests, gas storage appears to be 3 times the listed cargo amount, plus an extra value on top of that amount, which seems to be roughly equal to 900 times the number of cargo bay items equipped, minus one... The values are extremely consistent though. Here's my data.
Storage	     Observed storage			
1000	3002	3009	2996	3019
2000	7075	7082	6531	6535
3000	10626	10617	10615	10617
4000	14447	14440	14442	14442
5000	18518	18525	18511	18539
6000	22592	22580	22602	22616
7000	26429	26427	26424	26452
8000	30253	30242	30244	30244

Bonuses above expected values (3x the listed storage value)

1000	2	9	-4	19
2000	1075	1082	531	535
3000	1626	1617	1615	1617
4000	2447	2440	2442	2442
5000	3518	3525	3511	3539
6000	4592	4580	4602	4616
7000	5429	5427	5424	5452
8000	6253	6242	6244	6244
Moreover, this bonus value isn't exactly 900, and the more cargo bays you add, the lower it goes. There's some sort of logarithm being applied here, methinks. In any case, the values shown on the ship design screen are BS, and a magic hidden value is being added to them. This is going to take a day or two to figure out.

Retreat1970 -> RE: Resource mining and you (7/3/2014 9:20:27 PM)

After testing starbases as mining platforms for half a game I've noticed freighters tend to stay away and not pick up goods.

I put 4 resource sb on a zen fluid planet and waited. After 2 years no pick up. I destroyed those and plopped a mining station on it and within 10 days i had zen fluid reserved and transports on the way.

I think something is hardcoded within the private sector to use mining stations as mines only. But then again I have seen freighters pick up from resource starbases just not very frequently.

buglepong -> RE: Resource mining and you (7/3/2014 11:10:27 PM)

Resupply ships can work in enemy territory.

Airpower -> RE: Resource mining and you (7/3/2014 11:11:39 PM)

Retreat, I'm really glad you double checked my story. It turns out we're both partially right and wrong. I did some further testing and it turns out that while a Star Base mining station will extract the resource and allow freighters to pick up resources from it, the galaxy does not take note of the planet until a Gas Mining Station or a Mining Station is built there. As soon as the legitimate mining station is built, the galaxy says "Hey there's a planet with Loros Fruit there" and sends freighters to every mining station at that planet, irrespective of whether it is a Star Base or a legitimate Mining Station.

It was interesting to note that it didn't matter what mining station was build on the planet. For my Loros Fruit world, for example, I designed a Gas Mining Station with zero luxury extractors. Meaning a station that can't actually extract the Loros Fruit. The moment my constructor began building the station, and in fact, before any components had actually been placed on it, the freighters showed up to mine from my four already-existing Star Base miner stations.

I then scrapped the partially-build Gas Mining Station. Within a short time, the freighters stopped showing up.

I rebuilt the same design Gas Mining Station, and freighters immediately appeared to collect from my four star bases.

It is worth mentioning that after you build a real mining station or gas mining station at a planet, you cannot build Star Base mining stations there anymore. You have to scrap the real mining station, add more Star Base miners, then rebuild the real mining station.

So... the exploit works. It's just a little more complicated than I thought.

Airpower -> RE: Resource mining and you (7/3/2014 11:23:28 PM)


ORIGINAL: buglepong

Resupply ships can work in enemy territory.

Yes, but so can a combat ship equipped with a gas miner and cargo space. And a combat ship with refueling capability is superior to a resupply ship for the reasons mentioned in the original post.

buglepong -> RE: Resource mining and you (7/3/2014 11:35:37 PM)

Resupply ships are usable in enemy territory.

Ill admit starbases are a huge exploit. What is the role of starbase even? Jack.of all trades? Well ill have to try this for myself

Airpower -> RE: Resource mining and you (7/3/2014 11:39:24 PM)

I just tested combat ships with gas extractors/cargo bays/docking bays in enemy territory. They both extract gas just fine there and refuel friendly ships just fine there. Does your experience indicate otherwise?

buglepong -> RE: Resource mining and you (7/3/2014 11:45:50 PM)

Resupply ships are 3x bigger

Airpower -> RE: Resource mining and you (7/3/2014 11:53:44 PM)


ORIGINAL: buglepong

Resupply ships are 3x bigger

Yeah... already pointed that out, lol. As I said up above, they have niche uses in combat, but those uses are not at all related to being good at refueling.

As far as their combat utility goes, they're even limited there. Resupply ships will not actively engage enemy targets, even if they are blockading an enemy planet. They will only fire on enemy ships if fired upon first, or if you manually order them to fire. So like I said... niche uses. But they're awful as the role they're intended for.

buglepong -> RE: Resource mining and you (7/3/2014 11:57:02 PM)

Are you telling me a fleet of 50 ships when told to refuel wont crowd around one tiny ship with inadequate docking bays?

Airpower -> RE: Resource mining and you (7/4/2014 12:08:07 AM)

I'm telling you that if you design your fleet correctly, no. No they won't. If you design your fleet brainlessly, then yes. Yes they will.

You need to structure your ship design with fleet refueling as a design parameter. For starters, I wouldn't ever make a 50-ship fleet. Even if you DID use refuelers, 50 ships with large fuel cells would suck it dry in a matter of seconds, and you'd be waiting anyways. The trick is to create a ship designed to be part of a specific fleet. Here is what I am suggesting:

Fleet size: 10 ships
Fuel per ship: 2000 fuel (1000 if you are going lean, and adding more weapons)
Fuel used: Hydrogen

With these specifications, you need enough cargo space on each ship to have enough to refuel the 9 other ships in the fleet, assuming they are totally empty. Then add a little more cargo as a safety margin. You would then add 9 docking bays to each ship, so there is no wait line (although you can get away with 1 docking bay to save space). Because gas is gathered by ships at 4x the listed speed, you can also get away with only having one gas extractor too, to save more space. Thus, a lean ship design would look like this:

Gas extractors: 1
Cargo space: 9000+ (assuming 1000 unit fuel cells)
Docking bays: 1

And a deluxe model would look like this:

Gas extractors: 2 (if you need 2 to get 40 gas mining rate)
Cargo space: 18000+ (assuming 2000 unit fuel cells)
Docking bays: 9

At any time, you can find a nearby Hydrogen planet or gas cloud, select your fleet, CTRL-right click the planet or cloud, and select "Move to". When the fleet moves there, it will stop. When they stop, they will automatically mine gas until they top off their cargo stores. This process is frighteningly quick if you do it right.

A resupply ship can't touch this setup. Not even close.

buglepong -> RE: Resource mining and you (7/4/2014 12:23:09 AM)

Fleet size 10? Are you playing easy mode?

Airpower -> RE: Resource mining and you (7/4/2014 12:24:29 AM)

No, I play Quameno, so I usually have a tech advantage.

Airpower -> RE: Resource mining and you (7/4/2014 12:27:51 AM)

Okay let's run with your premise. Let's say you NEED to send 50 ships to an enemy system in order to not be killed. Fleet resupply is STILL better, because you just make 5 fleets of 10 ships, and hotkey them 1-5. There's your 50 ships on target, with the ease of fleet refueling. Resupply ships still aren't needed, even in your scenario.

And if you run the lean design (1000 fuel per ship), you can make 20-ship fleets that can refuel, and still have tons of room left for shields and weaponry.

Rhikore -> RE: Resource mining and you (7/4/2014 12:30:33 AM)

Air, Interesting find, but more to the point, I think this is "Not working as Intended".

Airpower -> RE: Resource mining and you (7/4/2014 12:32:19 AM)

Yeah it's definitely broken. My hope is that when the Dev team sees this, they'll make the suggested fix (disallow commerce centers on star bases) and not do anything heavy-handed that would break other aspects of star base utility (specifically as fleet refueling stations).

Rhikore -> RE: Resource mining and you (7/4/2014 12:34:11 AM)

That and make Docking bays on normal Combat ships redline the design.

Airpower -> RE: Resource mining and you (7/4/2014 12:37:59 AM)

I'd agree to that, as long as combat ships with gas collectors are able to use their collected hydrogen/caslon to refuel themselves.

Fleet refueling as I described it above is a workaround, because ships can't collect hydrogen and put that hydrogen in their own fuel reserves.

I'd even settle for energy-to-fuel devices filling up the ship's fuel stores, but that's not an option either. End-game refueling is extremely problematic when there are large numbers of ships in the field. Haphazardly sprinkling gas mining stations here and there is not an effective strategy. There has to be an option.

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