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Mining problem due to the unintuitive prospecting


NekoDisc
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Unfortunately propick doesn't tell you if there is a certain mineral but the chance that the mineral have to spawn in that point.

Usually i do prospecting following a straight line doing a prospection every 100 blocks or more. Once I've got the highest reading I do the same thing in a perpendicular direction in order to find the area with the highest probability. 

About mining I've tried several methods. A good one consist in digging alternatively just in front of you making a 2x1 hole. Digging straight under your feet is not advisable since you may fall down in a cave or something. For this method you need:

1. Showel

2. Pickaxe (better have 2 of them and don't forger that you can't mine iron ore and quarz layers with a copper one, better have a bronze one) 

3. 2x stacks of dirt or sand (to get back to the surface) 

4. Ladders (necessary if you hit the ceiling of a cave) 

5. Torches

6. Mining bag (optional but very useful) 

Now the worst new: as I said propick tells you the probability, not the actual presence. In other words, you may wander around for thousands of blocks to find an ultra high concentration, dig down until the mantel and find nothing. 

Edited by Yukihira_S
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  • 1 month later...
6 hours ago, Elizabeth Becker said:

IMO it should never be a chance but a definite since you are using up materials on a whim. I am surprised to see a mechanic like this from devs who played the much better mechanic in Terrafirmacraft. I cannot believe I am saying TFC is better at this point.

...You sure you're not looking back at Terrafirmacraft through some rose-tinted goggles there? Because if I was given the choice which prospecting system I wanted to use, I'd choose Vintage Story 100% of the time. The main reason is that it not only offers the same tools as TFC did, but actually more of them. Finding ore in Vintage Story is easier and more immersive.

 

Let's review how you found ore in TFC: you walked through the world (or through a cave) and spam-clicked the prospecting pick in hopes of getting a result right beside you; or perhaps exposed ore in the flank of a cliff or tunnel; or small ore bits you could pick up like stones which indicated a deposit below. Once you found one of the former two, you could start mining right away; but if you found a deposit indicator, you dug down from there and tried to triangulate the deposit using the prospectign pick.

There were three main problems with this approach. First: spam-clicking the prospecting pick on dirt? Really? That's supposed to be immersive, believable gameplay? That's not how prospecting works, bro. And yet, that was what most people did all the time, and yes, it occasioanlly worked. Second: false negatives. The prospecting pick would randomly claim there was no ore nearby, even if you could see the ore right in front of you. Third: the only thing that actually showed you where ore could be found were the small ore bits that served as surface indicators. And not all ore veins generated surface indicators - many of them were simply too deep. And those deep ore veins? You had no tools to find them besides the sheer blind luck of accidentally digging into them or walking past them in a cave.

So in practical application, player progression worked by whatever ores they could find surface indicators for. And that is the reason why the vast majority of players never got through the entire progression. Copper, tin, bismuth, zinc, iron... sure, you could find those around as surface-indicated deposits. That would take you all the way to steel. And then you were tasked with finding nickel... and you realized you had zero tools to do so. You could live your entire ingame life in the middle of an area made exclusively out of stones in which nickel can generate, and you could still never see a single speck of it despite digging kilometers of tunnels in every direction and breaking 10+ prospecting picks in your search. I should know - I've been that person!

 

By comparison, Vintage Story. It also has surface deposits that can be discovered through little ore bits on the surface. But those are a special generation type that is specifically meant to be discoverable from the surface, and only a subset of ores can actually generate this way. They're just meant to get you started. The main bulk of ores must be found by active prospecting. This is the first difference: you're no longer running around hoping for an indicator, but rather you're actively searching and tracking down what you want. This is already a better gameplay design approach.

You do this active searching with the primary mode of the prospecting pick. In contrast to TFC, you're not right-clicking blocks, but rather you must break them; and it has to be stone blocks. This much better represents what you're actually doing while prospecting: you're crushing rocks apart to examine the trace elements they contain to get a hint as to what might potentially be found in this area. The game offers this information to you by reporting which ores might generate here, and how likely each of them is to generate - anywhere from "miniscule" to "ultra high" chances. And right away, you know more than TFC ever told you. If you're looking for nickel (if it had a gameplay use in VS, which it does not yet have), and the prospecting pick didn't mention it, then you know you don't have to bother digging a single block here, even if the right stone type is present. And if the pick did mention nickel, you can then continue actively prospecting in the area until you track down the highest possible reading you can get, so when you do finally start digging, you have the highest possible chance of there actually being something for you to find.

Then you have the secondary mode, which works exactly like TFC's propick... except it never gives you false negatives. So it's straight up better as well. You use this secondary mode once you start to dig in a promising area that you previously identified with the primary mode. It helps you find deposits that you're not directly hitting with your mineshaft.

Combining the two, you can identify the best places to look, and then reliably detect and narrow down anything that actually spawned there. Check this tutorial video to see a practical example of how this is done.

 

Admittedly it's a bit weird that the secondary mode is disabled by default in survival and requires you to toggle it on in the customization (or use an admin command in an existing world). That is definitely something that should be changed, in my opinion. Just the primary mode alone does work, to some extent, but all it ultimately changes is having to dig more shafts closer together in order to not narrowly miss something while digging past it. That's not as fun and engaging as actively detecting and triangulating the ore deposit is.

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On 4/28/2020 at 3:46 AM, Streetwind said:

Admittedly it's a bit weird that the secondary mode is disabled by default in survival and requires you to toggle it on in the customization (or use an admin command in an existing world). That is definitely something that should be changed, in my opinion. Just the primary mode alone does work, to some extent, but all it ultimately changes is having to dig more shafts closer together in order to not narrowly miss something while digging past it. That's not as fun and engaging as actively detecting and triangulating the ore deposit is.

I didn't know I could change the config in game with a command so thank you for that. I said I didn't want to say TFC was better but without the secondary mode turned on it actually was better. I never liked TFC but I had it figured out and could find my ore no problem. Now that i have enabled the secondary mode in VS I will reevaluate. And I agree this should be default.

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