Mineral resources as fuel - any experiences?

Please post here for questions and discussion about scenario, art and sound modding and the game editor for Distant Worlds.

Moderators: elliotg, Icemania

User avatar
Sirian
Posts: 174
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:10 am

Mineral resources as fuel - any experiences?

Post by Sirian »

Hi!

Since we can mod resources since Universe, I thought I'd iron out an issue that always bugged me: Caslon. While playing DW for years now accustomed me to this resource I still cannot really embrace it.

So I changed it into Uranium, which is of type "mineral" and can be found on volcanic and barren planets. I fired up a quick test game and the new mineral was seeded at a reasonable rate so it could be used as fuel. Since gas is mined at a higher rate than minerals I seeded by the bucket (which means: lots) Mines mined it, transports transported it. Ships used it.

The only thing that didn't go so well was Resupply ships. To mine Uranium they needed a mining engine (somewhat unsurprising) Not that it doesn't work... the ship mines Uranium at a good rate. But it also mines Steel, Lead and Aculon which then sits in their cargo bays taking away cargo space. Since you cannot send a resupply ship on a minig missuion you won't get those resources off the ship. Or is there another way?

Has anyone tried something similar? Do you have expereiences?
User avatar
lurchi
Posts: 319
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:25 pm
Location: LV-223

RE: Mineral resources as fuel - any experiences?

Post by lurchi »

Yeah, I tried something similar. So similar it's almost the same. [:D]

I never mined Uranium with resupply ships, but I guess the developers didn't think of this so there probably is no way to get rid of the unwanted stuff.
llanite_slith
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 11:28 am

RE: Mineral resources as fuel - any experiences?

Post by llanite_slith »

So I had the same experience - there needs to be a "I am Fuel" flag in the resource table that then translates to all the correct behaviors elsewhere.

If you want to move away from the Handwavium of Caslon, you could try to change the name to Xenon (assuming the older drives are using an ion drive design and need a neutral gas for propellent). I haven't tried this yet, but would be curious to know if it works -that would help.

This game (and many SF 4X games) make a bad habit of conflating propellents (which need frequent refueling) with power sources (uranium for fission plants, He3 for fusion plants, etc.) Too bad DW in its current state isn't really modable in this way.
The secrets of this earth are not for all men to see, but only for those who seek them.
User avatar
lurchi
Posts: 319
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:25 pm
Location: LV-223

RE: Mineral resources as fuel - any experiences?

Post by lurchi »

ORIGINAL: llanite

So I had the same experience - there needs to be a "I am Fuel" flag in the resource table that then translates to all the correct behaviors elsewhere.

There is such a flag. [;)]
User avatar
DeadlyShoe
Posts: 217
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:15 pm

RE: Mineral resources as fuel - any experiences?

Post by DeadlyShoe »

given the way cargo seems to work all issues with resupply ships can probably be solved simply by including enough cargo bays.

I was considering a mineral fuel for reactors as well, it would help a lot in prewarp starts where bad luck or pirates makes it difficult to acquire fuel. The AI doesn't *seem* to know to prioritize Caslon smuggling in such a case. But it's a lot harder to cut off access to barren rocks and asteroids.

User avatar
lurchi
Posts: 319
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:25 pm
Location: LV-223

RE: Mineral resources as fuel - any experiences?

Post by lurchi »

You might want to check the Research Reloaded mod once it's released. It does exactly that.
User avatar
mensrea
Posts: 233
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 5:37 pm
Location: Pittsburgh

RE: Mineral resources as fuel - any experiences?

Post by mensrea »

In my WH40k mod I completely remodeled the resource system to get rid of the Handwavium (nice term, by the way). I initially added uranium as a source of fuel but noticed that ships tend to want to go to gas mines for fuel. Now, this all may be manageable on smaller scales, but once you have a lot of ships you tend to see ships queued up at gas mines forever. So they will go to the gas mines, realize there is no way to fuel there, probably be completely out of fuel by then, and then have to limp to a planet. Meanwhile they are passing up normal mining stations sitting on top of huge piles of uranium. Basically it complicated everything so much that in the end it seemed like most of the ships in the galaxy were just limping around trying to find fuel sources. Of course once your freighters are crippled the uranium will never actually get to the planets so at that point you are basically handicapped forever.

In the end I decided to make uranium be included in the construction of the fission reactor components and have ships running those reactors use gas as a propellant/"fuel". I made the components use a lot of uranium and looked at it this way: the ships wouldn't actually need that much uranium, but the remainder would be set aside as a strategic reserve to swap in more fuel rods if the ship is actually around long enough to need them. I also included uranium in some other stuff, like missiles and bombard weapons, to try to squeeze more utility out of it.

In the end I would not recommend adding uranium or minerals as a fuel. It seems to work for a while but problems will eventually crop up.
ParagonExile
Posts: 210
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:56 pm

RE: Mineral resources as fuel - any experiences?

Post by ParagonExile »

You know what bugs me?

The Hydrogen and Caslon/whatever is this game isn't used as propellant, but as fuel for a reactor. Why don't our ships run out of propellant?
User avatar
mensrea
Posts: 233
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 5:37 pm
Location: Pittsburgh

RE: Mineral resources as fuel - any experiences?

Post by mensrea »

I don't know what the hell Caslon even is, other than a Baroque typeface, according to Wikipedia. The way I looked at hydrogen was that the fusion process does have byproducts and that it was those byproducts that were used as the propellant. I agree about the whole fuel/propellant thing, that was one of the things that irked me the most about the resources, other than the fantastical ones.

Couldn't fuel scoops feasibly collect enough gasses to be used at least as supplemental propellant?
ParagonExile
Posts: 210
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:56 pm

RE: Mineral resources as fuel - any experiences?

Post by ParagonExile »

ORIGINAL: mensrea

I don't know what the hell Caslon even is, other than a Baroque typeface, according to Wikipedia. The way I looked at hydrogen was that the fusion process does have byproducts and that it was those byproducts that were used as the propellant. I agree about the whole fuel/propellant thing, that was one of the things that irked me the most about the resources, other than the fantastical ones.

Couldn't fuel scoops feasibly collect enough gasses to be used at least as supplemental propellant?

No.

For enough fuel to be collected in interstellar space, you'd need a collector kilometres across made up of a material that is lighter than any we have today and still resistant to micrometeorite impacts. Quite a hurdle, and I'm willing to bet our ships don't have that :3

This is why I completely redid and renamed the resources, the normal ones suck so much.
User avatar
mensrea
Posts: 233
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 5:37 pm
Location: Pittsburgh

RE: Mineral resources as fuel - any experiences?

Post by mensrea »

Errr, oops...looks like I may have to rethink my fuel scoop component, heh. I'm curious about what direction you took with resources. Would you be willing to post your resources file?
ParagonExile
Posts: 210
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:56 pm

RE: Mineral resources as fuel - any experiences?

Post by ParagonExile »

I'd love to give it to you... but I may have accidentally deleted it when I re-installed the game to fix a bug :3

I still have my old file that just renames everything, I could give you that.
User avatar
mensrea
Posts: 233
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 5:37 pm
Location: Pittsburgh

RE: Mineral resources as fuel - any experiences?

Post by mensrea »

That would be great! In fact that's mostly what I wanted to see. I took a very vague approach to things and was wondering if there were more specific models out there.
ParagonExile
Posts: 210
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:56 pm

RE: Mineral resources as fuel - any experiences?

Post by ParagonExile »

http://www.filedropper.com/resources_5

:D

Note; there were shortcomings with what I had available, so I made the super luxuries incredibly rare/nonexistent elements and dilithium crystals "scalar particles".
User avatar
mensrea
Posts: 233
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 5:37 pm
Location: Pittsburgh

RE: Mineral resources as fuel - any experiences?

Post by mensrea »

You know, I was wondering ahead of time if Vanadium was going to be on there. It's utility is often overlooked. Good call.
User avatar
tjhkkr
Posts: 2428
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:15 pm
Contact:

RE: Mineral resources as fuel - any experiences?

Post by tjhkkr »

I changed Caslon to Carbon-Nitrogen... that was once thought to be one of the ways that stars fueled themselves. So that was the change I made...
Remember that the evil which is now in the world will become yet more powerful, and that it is not evil which conquers evil, but only love -- Olga Romanov.
ParagonExile
Posts: 210
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:56 pm

RE: Mineral resources as fuel - any experiences?

Post by ParagonExile »

ORIGINAL: mensrea

You know, I was wondering ahead of time if Vanadium was going to be on there. It's utility is often overlooked. Good call.

Vanadium is the middle child of the periodic table.
User avatar
Sirian
Posts: 174
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:10 am

RE: Mineral resources as fuel - any experiences?

Post by Sirian »

Thanks for the valuable feedback!

In my first game, all interstellar civilization broke down because the colonies used up so much Uranium that there was nothing left to fuel the ships.

In the second game, the colonies use less Uranium for themselves and there is enough to fuel ships. But I had to build lots and lots of uranium mining stations to cover the needs. I fear the AI will do that so I will try something else. Somewhee I read that gas resources are mined at 3 times(?) the speed as mineral resources, this could be source of the problem.

Maybe I could make an artificial resource and use it as fuel, something like "Nuclear Fuel". Uranium is mined and only used up by colonies (but at a high rate) which make fuel from it. I'll give it a try, lets hope the colonied produce enough of it.
User avatar
feelotraveller
Posts: 1040
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:08 am

RE: Mineral resources as fuel - any experiences?

Post by feelotraveller »

The cap for gases is 4x that for minerals. Otherwise extraction rate depends on the number of mining engines and the mining tech level.
User avatar
Sirian
Posts: 174
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:10 am

RE: Mineral resources as fuel - any experiences?

Post by Sirian »

Ah 4 times... thanks feelotraveller.

The artificial resource didn't work out too well, either. It was created, and used as planned, and it seems there was even enough of it there but... You can only define 4 sources per resource, so races that live on volcanic or ice worlds got the shaft... Not good. Back to the original plan.
Post Reply

Return to “Design and Modding”