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Enable short range propick mode by default


Gazz
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I did reinstall the game recently and apparently this is off by default.

Without knowing the secret command a new player would have no idea that this even exists.
(add to that that you have to find the "mode" key which is inconsistent with other typical "harvesting" tools)

Even with it enabled starting out is rough.
Yes, you can find the "probability cloud" for copper but you absolutely must have copper to break the rock below so if you find very little on the surface (as I did) your 1-2 copper picks can run out before you find that first vein.
I ended up running a panning macro and walked away for an hour or two. I don't think that this should be the intended gameplay. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

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42 minutes ago, Gazz said:

if you find very little on the surface (as I did) your 1-2 copper picks can run out before you find that first vein.

If you find copper or something else on the surface, there's more of that stuff just a couple of blocks under your feet. ;)ย  So you just need one pickaxe and one hammer (40 nuggets) to start.

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I wholeheartedly support setting the secondary propick mode on by default. It is an engaging game mechanic that gives the player a feel of control, yet it does not magically lead the player to ore - they still need to use the primary mode. As such, there's pretty much no downside and a whole lot of upside to have this active by default. I recommend a search radius of 8, but that's just me personally.

ย 

That said: you're doing it wrong ;) You'reย  not supposed to look for your first vein with a prospecting pick. The primary mode will, in fact, ignore surface copper deposits entirely, as they are not spawned by the ore density map. They use a different generation mechanic.

Instead, you're supposed to dig out those surface copper deposits that spawn below where there are bits of copper in stones on the surface. I generally do zero panning in my games, because it's just not necessary. You go and find those little rock bits, guesstimate the rough middle point they are clustered about, and then make a map marker in that precise location. Repeat for every cluster you find, they're adequately common at default survival settings. Or, well, you could find just one of them and pan for the rest, at your leisure. Once you have collected enough copper to make a pickaxe, or you found a pickaxe in a ruin (more common than you might think), come back to the marked spot(s) and simply dig straight down. You will be pretty much guaranteed to hit copper, every time, for every cluster. The surface deposit spawns within the top ten stone (not dirt) blocks, and is usually a circle about 10 blocks in diameter. You'd have to be really, really bad at finding the center between multiple rock bits to miss a 10-block diameter disk.

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That said... ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

The ingame guide on "Prospecting" says:

"Prospecting
Ready to move on from the copper age?"

I would rephrase that to include The Catch:

"Prospecting
If you have good stockpile of copper for crafting tools you are ready for the next challenge."

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On the actual topic...

I'm having a bit of trouble with the range.

With abundant ores like copper a range of 7 is optimal for me. It's close to the 5-block "reach" of a pick so it works well with a grid and it's low enough to not generate a lot of false positives where you track 2 separate deposits.

With rare ores like tin I tried a range of 12 and I got nothing. And nothing. And nothing.

Now as a developer I'd probably go "Tough shit. Enjoy a range of 7 and keep digging." ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

ย 

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Well, you cannot find what isn't there - regardless of range. :P

Even if you get an "Ultra High" reading for cassiterite, that just means that this spot has a better chance than near anywhere else. It doesn't mean the diceroll was a guaranteed succees and placed a deposit there for you to find. Especially if you happen to dig in a stone type that cannot actually spawn cassiterite! Only a subset is able to, regardless of what the spawn chance says.

Your methodology also has a large impact on how easy it is to find a deposit that actually does exist. Because Vintage Story generates most ore deposits as flat(-ish) discs, it means that driving a horizontal tunnel through the stone looking for ore is a terrible way to do it, while drilling a vertical shaft straight down is a great way to do it. Think about a large, circular archery target. How are you more likely to hit it - if you face the flat surface head-on, or if you lay it on its side and try to shoot the edge?

Another way of looking at it is the "mesh fence paradox" - as in, throwing a rock through a mesh fence without hitting the mesh is far harder than it looks, given that the mesh fence is like 98% empty space. But in order to miss, you have to not only consider the area of the mesh, but the area of your rock as well. They add together. And the same is true for an ore deposit and your detection range. If you dig a shaft at 0,0, and there is an ore deposit at 0,16, and your detection range is 8, you might think you'll miss it... but actually, if the ore despoit is a disc with a radius of 8 blocks itself, then your propick will in fact detect the edge of it. Your true search range is the radius of your propick plus the radius of the disc of ore. And in fact, the grid pattern you need to search to be sure to "not miss anything"* is twice that number. If you start at 0,0 with a detection range of 8, and you assume ore deposits have a radius of 8 as well, then the next shaft should be dug at 0,32 - a whole chunk away. Eight blocks search radius of your first shaft, plus two times eight blocks radius of the ore disc, plus eight blocks search radius of your second shaft. And then another shaft at 0,64. And so on. And then maybe offset by half in the other dimension, so 32,16, 32,48, -32,16, -32,48... and so on.

As such, the difference between a detection range of 8 and a detection range of 12 on the propick is actually not as large as you think it is for the purposes of noticing the presence of an ore deposit. But triangulating where the deposit is after you have first noticed its presence takes much less effort with a lower detection range. That's why I recommend a value of 8 over a larger one.

ย 

*(Actually not guaranteed to not miss anything, just likely to find >90% of everything. But, making the pattern narrower starts to become inefficient by partially overlapping search areas, meaning you search some areas twice, which is a waste of your time. You are more likely to spend less time on finding ore by accepting a small chance to miss something.)

ย 

Edited by Streetwind
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  • 3 weeks later...

That's all true but I'd like to set it a leeetle lower to 7.ย  In a rich area it gets tricky to triangulate a deposit when you get readings from 2 or 3 nearby ones. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

6 or lower and I start seeing a lot of nope so that's probably too short.

Maybe that's just personal preference but I have been tinkering with the value quite a bit and 7 worked out best.

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