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How to keep your scientist happy-- a guide to mining.


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Hello and welcome! If you're a miner, the science staff have probably called you all sorts of horrible names behind your back at some point. If you've advanced beyond that point, then you know exactly why and can stop right here!

If you don't, you might want to read on.

Mining for research and mining for cargo are two fundamentally different things. Mining for cargo is significantly simpler, so let's go over that first.

To mine for cargo, the first thing you do is you take your trusty digging tool. You suit up. Get your air and mesons on. And then you go and find the biggest vein of plasma you can and dig it all up. And then you find some more veins of plasma and repeat. The QM ships it back and gets points. Sometimes, you will be called upon to mine exciting variations, such as: metal, glass. To get glass, you have to get a shovel. Or a proper drill. Just click the dirt with it. yes.

Now, mining for science. Mining for science is a different story. Science will need everything. Research can comfortably get by with small quantities, and Robotics, honestly, does not need minerals unless they're trying to build a combat mech. Now, onto the logistics.

With ten sheets of everything [Plasma, uranium, gold, silver, diamond], research can comfortably max out and still have a little under 7 diamonds to actually use. Fifteen of everything puts research in a comfortable range where they are not likely to run out unless the scientists are incompetent, which they often are! R&D is most material-hungry in diamonds and gold. However, they still don't use all that much, and fifteen sheets is generally enough.

Robotics. Robotics is a very mysterious field, as no-one really tries to quantify just how much it costs for them to do stuff. The figures may surprise you! It costs three diamonds to build a gygax. That's it. Well, that and an exorbitant amount of metal and a less exorbitant amount of glass. Six diamonds can make two gygaxes. Twelve can make four. You get the picture. The durand's figures are a bit less generous. 16 sheets of silver. 6 sheets of uranium. Silver and uranium are, it is important to note, common as dirt. So mass-producing durands is a relatively simple task.

It should be noted as well that combat mechs are pretty much awful and no fun at all for anyone who's not in the mech, as they provide overwhelming levels of force to all but the most intrepid powergamers. If they aren't trying to build a combat mech, robotics does not need more than five(5) sheets of everything, plus large quantities of metal and glass. And plasteel. When it comes to the plasteel, it only costs 5 sheets per mech. Anywhere between 10 and 20 sheets of plasteel is a safe bet.

To sum things up: Aim for between 15 and 25 sheets of everything(Exclude plasteel, metal, glass) for research, especially diamonds. For robotics, aim for between 10-20 sheets of everything, excluding diamonds. If your roboticists need more than 5 diamonds, odds are good it's because they want to hoard it or build a gygax. Include for robotics between 10-20 sheets of plasteel. Then, after the rare minerals have been mined, as much metal and glass as you feel like doing. While robotics needs a lot of metal and glass, it isn't particularly starved for it, and can get it from other avenues, like R&D or EVA with someone cooperative.

You want to, ideally, land on the high end of the quantities specified. Scientists who understand resource management are a rarity! In all likelihood, your scientist is going to blow the diamonds on twenty different kinds of guns and a bluespace backpack and drill and just hoard all of it. When the crisis finally rolls around, you want them to have enough left over to be able to actually help other people. They can and will do dumb things like: steal r&d's resource shipments, search for any excuse to build a combat mech, build a combat mech and go on a joyridge through the station.

You can't expect foresight from any of the research departments, so giving them a little extra is always a good idea. Unless they are stupid, in which case you should replace the walls of the mining outpost with amazing gold and diamond walls and just relax in a throne of money. Honestly, spending all your resources on lavish forts is probably better than giving it to research. But I digress.

When delivering, you want to send it to R&D first. This is because they do the research levels, see, and you aren't getting your diamond ripley drill until they get the resources to advance their research levels enough to unlock it. Some miners mistakenly think, 'Oh, robotics built our big stompy mech, so we should reward them first.' No. First shipment goes to R&D. The second shipment goes to robotics. You don't reward robotics for their diligence until -after- they can reward you properly for yours. Also, it is imperative that you get a diamond handdrill from research. It doesn't matter if you don't need it. It doesn't matter if you don't want it. If you bring them fifteen or more diamonds, it is a must that you get your money. Ask for a drill and ask for a bag to carry it in. Diamond handdrills are miraculous things-- not for their ability to dig really fast but for their ability to strip reinforced walls. If the AI is being a butt, you can do more than drill in and kill it. You can remove its entire core from existence and build a lounge out of gold and diamonds. And uranium. Should probably get a head of staff's permission or something for that before you do though.

And finally: How to mine!

First off: forget the ripley. I know, I know. It's big and yellow and so cool and stompy. There is, however, one thing it isn't: fast. The best way to find diamonds is to cover the greatest surface area in as short a time as possible, and miners are graded by how quickly they can bring a sufficiently sized shipment to research. Waiting for a ripley means you are instantly disqualified. There is only one instance where the mining ripley excels, and that is mass-mining. and also killing xenos.


Lookit this picture. This is a picture of the mine Z-level. You see those funny little rocks on the left? Thanks to the funny way the ore generation algorithms work, those rocks are extremely likely to contain large quantities of diamonds, and are pretty much guaranteed to contain all the other ores you need. At minimum 10-15, unless you are extremely unlucky. So head left. Bring an extinguisher if you aren't good at space-nav. Dig what you need and go. Carry two or three of the orange bags and not an ore crate. You want variety, not mass-quantities, and the bags will carry everything you need very efficiently.

Once the space rocks have been searched and harvested, you have three options: explore the mine, use the mathematical approach, or dig at random. Digging at random is not recommended, but if you're lucky, it can pay off. Exploring the mine is recommended, as it allows you to cover the greatest possible surface area in the shortest amount of time. Walk along the edges of the paths and burrow in if you see any diamonds. The mathematical approach is simpler, but more tedious. You pick a spot and you dig up or down until you can't dig anymore. Then you dig 14 tiles left or right and if you dug up before, then you dig down now, and vice versa. This lets you dig in a way that you don't see any tile you dug before twice except when you're changing directions, and so maximizes the surface area you cover while digging. Which maximizes the likelihood of diamonds.

The very best miner, Seymour-something. Seymour Stevens, I think. He could get a shipment of 25 sheets of everything to R&D before the 30-minute mark on the round.

Miner dos and do nots:

Do go to the rocks out left.

Do mine in exact or relatively precise quantities.

Do remember to focus on variety over quantity first.

Do deliver to R&D first.

Do remember to make glass.

Do remember to make plasteel (Smelt metal and plasma at the same time.)

Do get a diamond handdrill even if you have a diamond ripley drill.

Do not mine one million sheets of metal.

Do not mine one million sheets of plasma.

Do not mine one million sheets of glass.

Do not mine exorbitant quantities of any mineral (25 of everything is an extremely generous amount. If they ask for more, kill them.)

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  • 2 weeks later...
A good miner can have a load of 5-10 of everything for RnD with some extra metal, glass and plasteel for robotics just before Robotics can get a ripley off the ground with the science needed for boards.


A miner's best friend, first and foremost, is their loyal, thick chested, swashbuckling Ripley. He's there for you in the blackness of space, offering a fine pleather seat in which to maneuver the power of the gods themselves within the masterless strength of your drill, as the sweat on your brow from decades of hacking hard rock with your back cracking one measly space dollar at a time is finally going cold.

Slaving to the science department's fine for a silk back diamond pusher, but a gumbo swilling, lung black old crust of a miner gets those excess loads not only to pad the good quartermaster that is their actual boss, but as a straight middle finger to the asteroid for thinking it's punk ass rock can stop metal and muscle from reaving it's innards for all the loot NT could desire.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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