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[Poll] Ore distribution


Ore destribution.  

69 members have voted

  1. 1. Should the ore generation and/or prospecting in VS be changed?

    • Yes.
      62
    • No.
      7
  2. 2. If Yes, how should ores ideally generate?

    • Ore distribution and prospecting shouldn't be changed. (Common small flat clusters of ore)
      2
    • In rare large veins, so that mining infrastructure like minecarts make sense. Prospecting should directly indicate a vein.
      34
    • In rare large clusters, so that explosives make more sense. Prospecting should directly indicate a cluster.
      3
    • In rare large clusters and veins. Prospecting should directly indicate a cluster.
      17
    • In common, but more varied shaped, clusters. Prospecting wouldn't be changed.
      12
    • In common small veins. Prospecting wouldn't be changed.
      1


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I'm really unsatisfied with the current mining experience. It's basically like minecraft, where there's little patches of ore everywhere and mining infrastructure is useless. Prospecting only tells you, if a chunk has many ores or few, which isn't overly useful, since the most useful ores are also the most common.

I would rather prefer a Terrafirmacraft like approach, with better prospecting (Prospecting in TFC is very difficult to get into). Veins would ideally be generated like the Reasonable Realism mod (very long, thin veins). Prospecting should tell you if there are ores beneath in a certain radius (like 6 block diameter). If there is a ore block somewhere directly beneath the prospected block, the player should be notified. So prospecting would be a search on the surface, with clear results.

I added a poll to this post, I would be very happy, if you could fill in your opinion.

Edited by Erik
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I don't think mixing prospecting and ore generation really helps the poll.  They're kind of separate issues, or could be.   Changing ore generation might make prospecting not so bad, for instance.

To the first question, I'd answer both should be improved, which I think they will be.  There's been discussion of other methods of prospecting.  I think it's a little short-sighted to treat things as if the propick is the only tool that we'll ever have.

To the second question I'd answer larger veins, but not for infrastructure purposes - I don't think it will help that.  I think it would improve the chances of people finding exposed ores in caves, which should ease some of the bronze issues people have been having.  I'd also like to see ores have more verticality to them, so that horizontal exploration tunnels can be used, rather than vertical shafts, which the current flat disc form encourages.  If horizontal tunnels can be encouraged, that would set up a scenario where mine carts could become useful, with some other changes.  It's harder to make minecarts useful when vertical shafts are the preferred exploratory method.

Question 3 was the only one I could answer straight, but it won't let me submit just 1 answer.  I like the current frequency mechanic, and I'd love it if the entire system could be arranged such that it stays in some way.  But I realize there's a strong likelihood that too many people dislike it.  But, frequency and direct indication are *not* mutually exclusive.  In fact, your suggested range of 6 blocks for direct indication would still require some kind of frequency most likely, as that's a very short range of detection.  I actually think they could complement each other very well.   Expecting players to just use direct detection is a recipe for TFC's one-dimensional system, where surface ores get exploited, but nothing else because it's all too deep to be detected.  Unless veins were extremely scattered.

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1 hour ago, redram said:

 Question 3 was the only one I could answer straight, but it won't let me submit just 1 answer.  I like the current frequency mechanic, and I'd love it if the entire system could be arranged such that it stays in some way.  But I realize there's a strong likelihood that too many people dislike it.  But, frequency and direct indication are *not* mutually exclusive.  In fact, your suggested range of 6 blocks for direct indication would still require some kind of frequency most likely, as that's a very short range of detection.  I actually think they could complement each other very well.

I don't think the frequency and direct detection go well with each other, as direct detection would only be useful with much rarer veins and frequency detection with much more common clusters. If you can dig down everywhere and expect to find ores 70% of the time, there is no real purpose in using direct prospecting. If you won't find more than two veins in an area, there is no real use in frequency prospecting. The methods of ore generation have different problems for the player to solve. With larger rare veins, the player needs to find the vein. With common small clusters, the player can easily find clusters, but might wan't to know where the most clusters for  what metal are.

1 hour ago, redram said:

I don't think mixing prospecting and ore generation really helps the poll.  They're kind of separate issues, or could be.   Changing ore generation might make prospecting not so bad, for instance.

You're right. But I wouldn't say they are separate issues, I think that they are tied together, where only one option of prospecting makes sense for one option of ore generation.

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40 minutes ago, Erik said:

I don't think the frequency and direct detection go well with each other, as direct detection would only be useful with much rarer veins and frequency detection with much more common clusters.

As it stands currently, the frequency prospecting is needed to figure out if you're even in the right vicinity to find the ore you want.  Because VS does not tie ores to rock type like TFC did.   It allows you do do so with enough precision that you can fairly easily zero in on large deposit ores like iron and coal.  Much harder for small deposits like tin and bismuth, and therein is the major problem. 

Direct indicating could be useful even within the current setup, in that once you're in a decent area, you could go around prospecting with a direct indicating tool, to actually find the ore.  You could do a shaft/tunnel, direct indicating as you go, and have a much better chance than currently.  This is because currently a vertical shaft only tells you 5 blocks at each cross section.  The shaft, plus the four adjacent.  A 6 block radius would tell you 169 blocks cross section (13x13).  This is nearly a %3,400 improvement.  Yet still only 1/4 what TFC propicking tells, in cross-sectional terms (1/8 of TFC in volumetric terms).  If you have no frequency detection method in the current setup, then you're limited to blindly tunneling and prospecting, which would be hugely, hugely inefficient, or propicking caves and the surface - also inefficient give how rare ores zones are currently.    So, within the current general ore scenario, even if ores have a great vertical component, both frequency and direct indication would be useful.  I think that even if deposits turned into big spaghetti monsters, it would still be good to have frequency, because the world is just so vast.  I've done blanket surface propicking in TFC.  It's very time consuming - 4x as much so if the search radius is only 1/2 that of TFC. 

I'm pretty sure that right now you cannot dig 'anywhere' and have a 70% chance of hitting useful ores.  If you include quartz, salt, and sulfur in 'useful ores', then maybe.  As for copper, I'm pretty sure the plan is to reduce it eventually - I'm pretty sure it was said somewhere that it's only as common as it is for these early testing phases.

There's no reason to tie the prospecting method to the ore vein generation.  They don't have any direct necessary links.    I'd propose more like:

1 - "What do you think of the current method of propicking (frequency detection) in VS?  A) No good, throw it out and do  something else (for instance TFC-like direct indication). B) It's good, but not enough on its own.  Keep it but add other propicking methods.  C) Its great, no other methods needed.

I don't think anyone will pick C though.

2 - "How would you like to see ore veins work in VS?  A) They're great as they are (flat discs of fairly small size relative to TFC) no change. B) size and distribution like now, but more forms (clouds, snakes, tentacles)  C) rarer larger distributed clouds, similar to TFC (easier to hit from both above and the side) D) huge long snaking veins  E) smaller tentacle-like veins leading to a dense core.    F) Varied forms either randomly or based on ore type (kind of like Reasonable Realism mod for MC).        Etc etc.  

 

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  • 1 year later...

I Would like to see spawns be massive in size such that if a player finds a particular ore they wont really need to locate another.

But I want them to be few and far between and spawn in rock types and locations where it would make sence for them to be.

I would also like the pro pick to display not only the ore's and %

but also a + or - after the Ore to indicate depth.

A level of 0 would indicate a 3 block hieght band on which the player would be concidered level with the ore.

Posably a cardinal direction as well north south east or west. 

I feel if the player could at least have a indication on what block hieght a deposit was on they could better home in on deposits.

The reasons I would like to see massive ore spawns is very much the argument that it would then make a great deal of sense for the player to build logical infrastructure to support the harvesting and transport of that material. I would really love to explore vast distances for said ores and then develope rail transport to and from thoes locations to a central prossing facility.

I find that after a while hunting and pecking for small amounts of Pocket ore's gets annoying. It also doesnt ever give the player an opertunity to plan for production but rather bank ore until such time that they determine that it can then be used to produce a limited production of tools or somthing.

 

 

Edited by MICHAEL CAMPBELL
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  • 2 months later...

Well, what does the game want to be?

It's true that right now mine carts would not be a big help with mining - only with large distance transportation.
The question is: Is "mining infrastructure" an actual topic in the design?
If not then this may simply be working as designed.

Prospecting actually works. The issue is that there is zero guidance on it ingame and not everyone plays games with a Wiki up on another monitor.
Improve the interface / documentation of it and it would work fine.

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On 3/20/2020 at 8:13 PM, Gazz said:

It's true that right now mine carts would not be a big help with mining - only with large distance transportation.
The question is: Is "mining infrastructure" an actual topic in the design?
If not then this may simply be working as designed.

I agree with this observation. The first problem with needing mining infrastructure is that you don't really need to produce enough ore to even warrant it in the first place and that's definitely a design choice because as of yet there is no industrial age type setting to this game.

As for the ore distribution, while some people may really prefer a more realistic environment I think that this type of algorithm change needs to be an option that can be configured. Furthermore, I'd say that even as the game stands now the default ore distribution is harrowing for most normies and kids. Overall, I'd say that the default survival experience should probably be made more accessible to casual and young players and the current survival settings should be renamed "Expert Survival" or something along those lines. 

People may not give a toss about this, but I think it's important for this game to be as accessible as it can to most people out of the box so that it gets more commercial traction. The developers are very good about making everything configurable, so it's possible to have something that appeals to a broad audience as well as a game that can be configured to be very realistic if you desire.

 

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In my current game I have large tool racks of bronze tools and weapons, 18000 units of bronze in crucibles, ready to re-heat and cast, and a pile of about 70 ingots. Plus plenty of ore to make more. In case of war, I guess.

I'm just saying that with the current system it's perfectly possible to pile up completely unreasonable amounts of metal.

Now what I _did_ do is create a mod to re-balance the ores. Not a flat increase (there is a game option for that) but weighted to predominantly increase the "rare" ones. Still a lot of work traveling and prospecting but it's a... bigger needle in a haystack.

I hear you on accessibility. Ingame documentation / guidance is sketchy at best and item descriptions (like on the hammer / propick) that could point out special features and controls are sometimes completely missing.
(I know, it's alpha and that's not at all the focus)

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On 3/20/2020 at 11:13 AM, Gazz said:

Well, what does the game want to be?

It's true that right now mine carts would not be a big help with mining - only with large distance transportation.
The question is: Is "mining infrastructure" an actual topic in the design?
If not then this may simply be working as designed.

Currently, the ore distribution is not designed to suit building mining infrastructure like minecarts. I just think the game could gain a lot by having ore distribution that at least encourages and rewards building mining infrastructure. Ofc the game is currently working as intended, as there isn't any infrastructure right now, but that could change in the future, especially seeing as transportation (boats, minecarts) is a highly requested feature for 2020.

6 hours ago, John Martinez said:

As for the ore distribution, while some people may really prefer a more realistic environment I think that this type of algorithm change needs to be an option that can be configured. Furthermore, I'd say that even as the game stands now the default ore distribution is harrowing for most normies and kids. Overall, I'd say that the default survival experience should probably be made more accessible to casual and young players and the current survival settings should be renamed "Expert Survival" or something along those lines. 

People may not give a toss about this, but I think it's important for this game to be as accessible as it can to most people out of the box so that it gets more commercial traction. The developers are very good about making everything configurable, so it's possible to have something that appeals to a broad audience as well as a game that can be configured to be very realistic if you desire.

More options are always great, but I think the game should focus on the more realistic, more interesting option. This isn't Minecraft, the target audience aren't kids, having Minecraft like ore distribution as a default would probably only harm the game, as it makes the "Minecraft-clone" arguments much more valid.

Maybe a middle ground would work best, with most ores generating like they currently do (aka, small clusters with quality depending on the stone type and quantity depending on the ore map), but more advanced ores like iron or some types of coal generating in rare, long, thin veins with low quality ore that go on for miles and warrant construction of infrastructure, as iron and coal are very commonly used materials. It would spice up the system and give a good bit of variety.

Maybe making only copper ore generation more like Minecraft would also help, as it is the starting material. It would certainly help new players, while not taking away from the prospecting, as any other ore requires it.

Another supportive way of encouraging infrastructure would be to lower the stack size of ores and make turning ores into nuggets require an anvil.

Edited by Erik
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  • 5 months later...

My take on the huge rare deposits idea, which would be more realistic, is that it would only suit multiplayer. Then players could set up over a deposit and be the supplier for everyone else. Long range transport of some sort would be nice, or maybe other players would act as caravans/traders to distribute that resource.

But I don't think it would work for single player mode. It would be tedious to have to travel far away and bring back as much of the resource as possible so you had it close to hand, with multiple trips because inv space is limited. Having most things in most places is a playability necessity in my mind. Ok if you have to travel for a couple of things, but not everything.

It looks like the dev has done an exceptional job of making the engine modable so it doesn't seem a stretch to think someone motivated enough could replace the ore generation part. Having said that I don't know if you can hook into worldgen and replace bits of it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've found an ocean of Iron in my world. It took me over 14 hours IRL to even uncover it all. I haven't even started collecting it yet...

Maybe It's a fluke, as mostly I do tend to find chunks of flat ore veins, between 8-20ish blocks in size.

Trust me though, this ore vein is crazy!

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Regarding prospecting, I think it sort of works ATM but isn't much fun. I watched the video and read the threads and a systematic survey makes sense.

I started around my homestead for a few hundred blocks in each direction and got a lot of nothing much. No tin, of course, one high copper, everything else very poor.

It wasn't enough fun I wanted to keep going in all directions.

I had taken the propick by mistake when I was looking for resin and figured while I was out and about I may as well give it a few goes. I found poor tin, better than anything around home, so kept looking and got it to very high. It isn't too hard to see you're getting lower or higher. I was going 50 metres in each direction.

But at that point I thought about the next step with the other propick mode and couldn't be bothered. I copied my world, switched to creative in the copy and went looking at the very high location. I hit a layer of quartz about 10 metres down. I went through it and found the tin about 20 under it. It wasn't anything like as large as iron or coal veins I've found but good enough. As you only need 10% tin for bronze you don't need that much.

I wouldn't be able to get through the quartz with my copper pick and it was extensive enough it didn't seem I could reasonably mine my way around it - I gave up in 3 directions even in creative. Luckily the last direction I tried had it ending fairly close to my reading location so I noted the edge of the quartz layer, and where I'd seen the copper, and then took it from there back in the survival world.

I looked up tin mining the other day and after following a few pages I think I may have found the wiki page the dev used to decide ore probabilities - the numbers looked exactly the same :)

A lot of bronze age tin mining seemed to be at or close to the surface, so having to dig through quartz seems unfair.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I voted "In rare large clusters and veins. Prospecting should directly indicate a cluster."

Prospecting works ok, although the second mode should really be enabled by default. Ore generation, though.. I like the idea that Erik put forward about a few smaller clusters for getting started, but also rarer massive veins.

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  • 2 months later...

i think it would be nice to have a way to prospect vertically too.

maybe prospecting could have a reach of about half worldheight, and depending on the sample layout you used you could prospect in different directions? for example if all 3 samples were on the same y level you would prospect like now, but you'd need to be on at max half height to detect the lowest y levels. and else you create a symmetry plane with the sample points and get a reading for half worldheight blocks in both directions perpendicular to that plane.

the ore generation with ores generating kinda in a layer isn't that bad, just that it's always kinda a disc shape, more height diffences in a ore deposit though would be nice. Everytime i found iron i'm good for the rest of time, but the earlier metals not so much, especially zinc, bismuth and/or tin are just way too rare (or just way too hard to find) everytime i find a deposit it's really small often not more than an ingot or two worth of metal in it.

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