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Have you read the propick section of the Starter Guide of the wiki?  As is mentioned in that explanation, the propick in VS does not detect actual ores present.   VS generates ore density maps, at a 1 chunk resolution.  It is these maps that the propick reads.  You could clear all the ore out of a chunk and every chunk around it, and the propick would read the same, because the density map does not change.  What you are detecting is effectively the *probability* of finding ore in a given area.   The density maps have a center, and get less dense as you move away (from what i can tell) so it is  possible to find the highest probability by surveying in different directions, and following the direction in which the permille increases.

When exploring I generally propick exposed rock, rather than dig down below the dirt.  In some areas (like swamps) that limits your opportunities.  Currently you can also place raw stone blocks yourself, and then use those, but this is a known exploit and will be phased out (the game will distinguish natural blocks from player-placed).   I generally consider every 100 blocks to be a good general survey.  I think that gives you a good chance of catching most occurrences.  But then once you find the occurrence of what you want, you have to do much closer surveys to find the center of the density.  Once I've got a general fix on the center, I sometimes get as detailed as 5 blocks between survey points.  But that's probably excessive.

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Afaik propick reads ores in the whole chunk column. Tyron said this in Discord afair. Also it reads in the current chunk, so there seems to be no need to get readings 5 blocks apart. You can not get more detailed reading than per chunk column. Am I right?

Wanted to write a similar discussion thread about what techniques do you use to get ore and share my experience. Meh,maybe today.

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@heptagonrus  That's what Tyron says, but in practice you can get results different from block to block.  It's usually not a lot.  .1 to .2 variance within a 'chunk' (I've been assuming chunks are 16x16 but I don't actually know).  But I've seen much steeper dropoffs as well.  I don't know if such a small variance makes any real difference in actually finding the ores.  I've spent the last several versions experimenting, trying to figure out what works best.  The weirdest part is, it seems like you can actually get a different reading at the surface, compared to exactly below it like 12 blocks.  Which should not occur but I've seen multiple instances of it.    It would be an excellent idea to discuss techniques and experiences and opinions on the mechanic.  Finding ores is the core of the game, so I think this will make or break a lot of peoples' opinions on whether they want to get the game or not, and I think the devs will want to tune the system so it appeals to a lot of people, and not just mining masochists like me.

@Stroam  If you're exploring caves, narrowing in may or may not help, because caves can wander a lot and may leave the zone with your target ores.  Nevertheless, I do usually survey at a cave opening if it looks promising, and will enter or not based on what shows up.

I do feel like right now, all three bronzes have a rare component that makes them tough to complete.  Cass, gold, and bismuth are all pretty rare, hitting 'high' density around 4%, or 1% for gold.  I honestly think that since bismuth bronze takes two components, it would not be unreasonable to make bismuth similar in occurrence to sphalerite.  I will say that I just spent the last couple irl days exploring an insane cave network that has occurences of cass, sphalerite, and bismuth all in the same network.  That can occur.  I think I've seen up to nine minerals in one propick result.  Right now the game basically tests the player's tolerance for exploring and doing a lot of propicking.  It really is about perseverance.  It's interesting because a lot of people want an extended stone age, and we do have an extended copper age, in a way, so missed it by one age!  If copper were as hard to find the player would spend a lot of time in the stone age.  I'm assuming that maybe down the road, there might be more variety of loot in dungeon chests - perhaps the odd piece of bronze constituents - to alleviate the search somewhat.  You can already find sphalerite and cass in ruin urns, iirc.

But another problem with the ore situation is that geography can work heavily against you.  When I was looking for iron in a SP game, I did a ton of searching within about a 1k radius of my base.  I found about 4 iron zones, however, of those zone 1 was under a gigantic mountain range that made it impractical to find the center.  Another was under a large ocean - which isn't the worst thing right now because the player does not drown.  But down the road it'll be a non-starter I think.  And then another zone topped out at around 5% iron near as I could tell, which is not great - even when you do find a zone, it seems like sometimes the max density center is not all that dense.  Now add to these factors a presumed greater danger in caves down the road, and we might be increasing the difficulty yet further.  So ya, I think people very much need to share their thoughts and experiences.

I might also mention that there's been several suggestions for higher tech ore finding methods, up the tech tree.  For instance a core drill that sample only a single block column, but tells you exactly what and where the ores actually occur.   A little later, perhaps a larger version that actually makes 1 block shaft.    I've suggested that compasses have a use mode where they will search the immediate vicinity of the player for magnetic ores, and point in their direction if present (iron cobalt and nickel).   So eventually the player should have access to different methods. 

Edited by redram
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21 minutes ago, redram said:

 

@Stroam 

I do feel like right now, all three bronzes have a rare component that makes them tough to complete.  Cass, gold, and bismuth are all pretty rare, hitting 'high' density around 4%, or 1% for gold.  I honestly think that since bismuth bronze takes two components, it would not be unreasonable to make bismuth similar in occurrence to sphalerite.  I will say that I just spent the last couple irl days exploring an insane cave network that has occurences of cass, sphalerite, and bismuth all in the same network.  That can occur.  I think I've seen up to nine minerals in one propick result.  Right now the game basically tests the player's tolerance for exploring and doing a lot of propicking.  It really is about perseverance.  It's interesting because a lot of people want an extended stone age, and we do have an extended copper age, in a way, so missed it by one age!  If copper were as hard to find the player would spend a lot of time in the stone age.  I'm assuming that maybe down the road, there might be more variety of loot in dungeon chests - perhaps the odd piece of bronze constituents - to alleviate the search somewhat.  You can already find sphalerite and cass in ruin urns, iirc.

 

7

I think the World see changes a lot. Right now in my SP game, I have found 4 big veins of Bismuth but not even one of Sphalerite. 

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I went into creative and punched 20 16x16 holes about every 70 blocks heading in a straight path due north. I kept track of four ores and their height each time I found them. The results are:

bismuth cass gold silver
  -104 -96 -97
  -88 -45  
  -69 -100  
  -77 -94  

 

I also looked at the game files and gold and silver spawn in the same way. What this tells me is for this test Bismuth was rare this map despite the game file saying it has a higher chance than tin. Tin spawns below -50 and be found at about every 10 levels down till the bottom of the map. Gold and Silver is always found in quartz usually at around -97. According to the game files, the deposits of tin and bismuth are generally small around 4 ores in a deposit and the deposits of gold and silver tend to be 2 or 3 ores. In extremely rare circumstances there can be a massive cassiterite deposit. Consider yourself extremely lucky if you find one.

Take this information with a good helping of salt as this was a very small sample with varying distances, propicking only when ores were found, and if you are playing on the public server then there's no telling when ore spawns might have changed and when that chunk was generated. Based on this information and the fact I tried cave exploring in creative mode to no avail my guidelines are propick every 64 blocks until you pick up on the deposit you want and then every 16. Then keep propicking until you locate the "center". I would then dig down to -57 and make exploratory branch tunnels out 16 blocks in each direction. I'd double check with the propick on each tunnel. I'd then continue down 10 levels and repeat until I hit -107. For Gold and silver, I'd dig down until I hit a quartz layer around -100 and then branch mine through the quartz at around that level.

I had much difficulty finding ore in creative mode so know it's going to take a long time even with this technique to find ore. With more data we could eventually improve on these techniques.

Edited by Stroam
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According to the game files, cassiterite can spawn well above sea level, and the distribution is "uniform", aka, equal chance to spawn at any given level.

depth: {dist: "uniform", avg: 0.1, var: 0.5 },

Adding the variance to the center point we get -0.4 (clamped to 0.0) to 0.6 (sea level is at 0.43). (I'm relying on stuff @Tyron said on the Discord to interpret these numbers. Looking at the surface copper numbers, there is a chance he was misremembering or `placement: "followsurface"` does something interesting.)

thickness: { dist: "uniform", avg: 1, var: 0 },

The vein is always 1 block thick.

radius: { dist: "gaussian", avg: 4, var: 3 },

and is generally 4 blocks across, although it can be as small as 1 block or as large as 7.

There is a rare version of the cassiterite vein with the following size data instead:

radius: { dist: "gaussian", avg: 12, var: 3 },

Find one of those and you will be set for a good long while!

(All data from "assets/worldgen/terrain/standard/deposits.json")

EDIT: Also, searching for "32x32" on Discord shows several places where Tyron says that the ore map has a 32x32 block resolution and/or that 32x32 is the chunk column size. Propicking closer together than that is probably useless.

Edited by Milo Christiansen
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28 minutes ago, Milo Christiansen said:

According to the game files, cassiterite can spawn well above sea level, and the distribution is "uniform", aka, equal chance to spawn at any given level.


depth: {dist: "uniform", avg: 0.1, var: 0.5 },

Adding the variance to the center point we get -0.4 (clamped to 0.0) to 0.6 (sea level is at 0.43). (I'm relying on stuff @Tyron said on the Discord to interpret these numbers)

Alright, so it's uniformly distributed from 0.6 * max map height to the bottom of the map. If sea level is at y=0 and the max map height is 256 then 256 * 0.6 = 153.6 so then relative height such that V shows would be 153.6 - (256 * 0.43) = +43.52. So Cassiterite has an even chance(uniform) of spawning anywhere from +43.52 to -110. In theory at least because it's programmed that way though sometimes programs don't do quite what you'd expect.

@tony Liberatto Chunk size is 32 so every 32 blocks.

Edited by Stroam
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There was a version of the game where gold and silver were spawning all over the place, but I am almost certain that that was before the public server.  Nevertheless, I just recently spent a ton of time mining an  extensive quartz layer with gold and silver throughout, at around Y -40.  So maybe that didn't get fixed the way Tyron wanted if they're only supposed to spawn below 100.

And ya, the cass and other veins I've seen are more like what Milo mentioned.  I think I did once find a tiny case vein of like 5 blocks, but mostly I think they're 40+ ores.  The thing I've noticed about gold and silver is that yes, they spawn in relatively small clusters of something like 10-20 ores, but they can be fairly densely spaced within the quartz pocket.  So once you find a quartz vein containing them, it's often not too hard to find more clusters in the same vein.

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1 minute ago, tony Liberatto said:

In my SP I just found a Gold and Silver vein inside quartz inside Claystone. They are in small pockets but I am clearing out all the quartz and keep finding more and more clusters.

It is only -5 deep, so very close to surface.

Did your propick detect them Tony?  In that erroneous previous version, they were generating in large quantity, but not being detected by the propick.  Now the propick properly detects them (that is, their density map), but I wonder if they're spawning outside their ore map density locations, and at incorrect heights?

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13 minutes ago, Milo Christiansen said:

But it isn't, at least I'm pretty sure it isn't.

Sea level is at 0.43 (according to the worldgen modding page on the wiki), aka Y115 (absolute) with a world height of 256.

256 * 0.43 = 110 so sea level couldn't be at y=115 (absolute) and at 0.43. Standing on the mantle is -114. Standing on top of the highest point I can build is 139. 139+114 = 253. I assume the missing three is under the mantle so that means the bottom would be at -117. That would make y=0 (relative) at y=117(absolute).

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			code: "bituminouscoal",
			blockcode: "ore-bituminouscoal-{parentblocktype}",
			parentblockcodes: ["rock-*"],
			placement: "followsealevel",
			radius: { dist: "gaussian", avg: 5, var: 5 },
			depth: {dist: "uniform", avg: 0, var: 0.7 },
			thickness: { dist: "stronginvexp", avg: 1, var: 2.3 },
			quantity: 1.5,
			surfaceBlockCode: "looseores-{parentblocktype}-bituminouscoal",
			withOreMap: true

@Milo what do you suppose quantity functions as? Also, I see some with avg = var, Do you think that sometimes when it tries to spawn there's a chance for none to spawn?

Also, there is now an ore deposit page on the wiki. Feel free to add to it.

http://wiki.vintagestory.at/index.php?title=Ore_Deposits

Edited by Stroam
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I... Have no idea. "quantity" values seem to be all over the place.

As for avg = var: There are some cases (for other things, such as depth) where avg < var. I'm guessing out of range values are discarded. That could help explain why certain ores are so rare, if they are placed at an out of range depth they may simply not be placed. Only one way to know for sure, ask Tyron.

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I still can't formulate my text about optimal mining, and new info comes constantly, but here some raw info from Discord about propicking mechanism for now. Hopefully will describe here later.

Search for "Ok, sorry, I formulated my questions last time so badly, that can't now fully understand your answers" to find my question in #general.

Edited by heptagonrus
Changed search phrase to get better result
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On 2/14/2018 at 12:13 AM, Stroam said:

 

Also, there is now an ore deposit page on the wiki. Feel free to add to it.

http://wiki.vintagestory.at/index.php?title=Ore_Deposits

 

The numbers for depth are in absolute terms, so confusing for the regular player as he/she will see negative numbers going down.

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Numbers for depth must be in absolute terms, as relative depths are different for each world. The beginning of the page lists how to convert from relative depth to absolute, but it probably wouldn't hurt to draw attention to it somehow... I'm just not sure how.

Anyway, to summarize info from the Discord: The ore map is one "pixel" per 16 blocks (2x2 per 32x32 block chunk column). Values are smoothly interpolated for each block, so you will probably not get exactly the same reading for any two blocks. Taking a reading in the center of each quarter chunk will probably give the most accurate and detailed readings, but for most purposes taking a reading in the middle of each chunk should be good enough to make sure you don't miss anything.

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