[Bug Report - Beta 4.0 - 422687] Mining Resources

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BardicHeart
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon, 21. Oct 19, 03:59

[Bug Report - Beta 4.0 - 422687] Mining Resources

I'm observing problems mining resources in some sectors. As best I can tell it seems to be a mix of problems that include:

Resource amounts not matching quantities indicated by resource probes
Mining ships unable to find resources where indicated by probes or only able to gather them very slowly.
Mining ships not mining in correct positions above or below the elliptic plane
Miner "clumping"

I've attached a couple of save games that help illustrate these problems and focus on Second Contact II and Argon Prime. These are unmodded games with more than 7 days of play time into the game.

Water Problem

Water Problem 2

The Elliptic Plane

If you load the second save (Water Problem 2) and look in Argon Prime I have a mix of M and L ships mining for my only station (my Player HQ which I've teleported to Argon Prime). They are gathering silicon in Argon Prime and they are doing so effectively. BUT, look at their position. The resource probe indicating the rich deposits of ore and silicon is in the asteroid field, and this is located about 20 km above the elliptic plane. Yet my mining ships are gathering silicon while being located AT the elliptic plane, well below both the probe and the asteroid field. Yet despite this they are actually gathering silicon and supplying the station.

Actual Resources not matching Resource Probe Data
For this I'm going to focus on Ice in Second Contact II, but I have noted similar disparities in other sectors with other resources. If you look at the map in the first save I have only one resource probe deployed and my fleet is gathered around it. According to the probe, this area barely has any ice at a low 0.085 per km^3 but if you look in game, visually it has some of the most visible concentrations of ice asteroids and even scanning we find that while many of those are empty, there is enough with high enough amounts that with manual mining you can quickly fill a mining ship. In the second linked save I have dropped more probes.

If you get in one of my ships (I'm already in my Nemesis) and fly to probe X+ of the gate to Argon Prime, this probe indicates there is no ice here yet flying around you can see that there is indeed ice at this location. Conversely I dropped a probe in front of the gate to The Void in empty space and it indicates there is 1.0 ice per km^3 (as well as ore and silicon). Now maybe that probe is partly picking up on the asteroid field Z+ from it, but keep in mind the above issue, miners mining in empty space below an asteroid field and still gathering resources. I have see miners in other locations "mining" in empty space and yet somehow they were actually able to gather resources, and yet in other areas where there are asteroid with resources they sometimes cannot gather resources. Something is very wrong here.

Mining ships unable to find resources where indicated by probes or only able to gather them very slowly.
In the second save I have located two of the highest ice concentrations in Second Contact II. One of them is 4.4 per km^3 located X+ and slightly Z+ of the gate to The Void. in the second save game many of my mining ships have gone to this area. However, despite this indicated concentration, my mining ships seem to only be able to gather ice VERY slowly. The 2nd save is several game hours after the 1st save and in that time many of those miners have only been able to gather a few hundred to a few thousand units of Ice, none of the L miners have been able to fill up their cargo hold. As a result, my mining fleet cannot gather enough ice fast enough to keep my six water refineries busy and so there is a shortage of water and this seems to be effecting not just my ships but all of them. Since my silicon miners in Argon Prime are able to gather enough silicon with far fewer miners, but a much higher concentration of 42 per km^3 I suspect that something was adjusted with mining rates and resource density and that this has had an unintentional adverse effect. But that's just a guess based on what I'm observing.

Miner "clumping"
As you can also note, all my mining ships tend to group near whatever resource probe has the highest indicated yield. So in the case of Second Contact II, they are near the 4.4 Ice while Z+ of that location there is another probe indicating concentrations of 3.7 Ice that is being entirely ignored. I haven't considered this problematic until now because I wonder if it has anything to do with why the mining ships are gathering resources so slowly, are there too many ships at one location?

Given the water problems I wonder if this is what is apparently causing my station to constantly run short of food and medical supplies. In the first linked save, the station had a population of over 22,000 which had taken me days to accumulate, a few hours later the 2nd save the station has run out of food and the population has crashed to less than 9,000 and still dropping and will soon likely be 0. This was part of why I'd build the water refineries, if you examine the station you can see I have a number of wheat, spice and meat modules pre-planned and had intended to later build enough food ration and medical modules to supply the station. But without steady amounts of ice for water, that's going to be impossible. I have not had this issue with water in Second Contact in the past. In older games (pre 4.0) I could maintain large farming stations there and was able to supply plenty of ice with only about 1-2 L miners per Water Refinery, Now it seems even with 18 L miners and 9 M miners I can't keep the six refineries supplied. I'll talk about the food / medicine / population problem in another thread.

Max Bain
Posts: 1125
Joined: Wed, 27. Jun 18, 19:05

Re: [Bug Report - Beta 4.0 - 422687] Mining Resources

I have a suggestion how to fix the clumping of miners which I also have noticed a lot.

1. The actual resource density will be taken into concideration (not the maximum amount).
2. All resource probes define the possible spots a miner will automatically sent to.
3. Only resource probes where the actual amount is not lower 50% of the highest actual res probe will be taken. So if we have 4 spots with the following actual resource densities (0.2, 0.5, 10.4 , 15.6) only 10.4 and 15.6 would be chosen.
4. The chance a ship will be sent to one of the probes filtered by 3. are proportional to the actual density. In the upper case spot 3 will have a weight of 10.4 vs 15.6.
So in 3 of 5 cases a ship will be sent to the highest density spot and in 2 of 5 to the spot with the second highest density.

Still not a perfect AI decision, but it shoud solve the clumping and make ships spread out more intelligent.
X4 Editor (view stats of objects and make your own mod within a few clicks) viewtopic.php?f=181&t=421306
XR Ship Pack (adds several ships from XR) viewtopic.php?f=181&t=419641
Weapon Pack (adds several new weapons) viewtopic.php?f=181&t=421266

Imperial Good
Moderator (English)
Posts: 2173
Joined: Fri, 21. Dec 18, 19:23

Re: [Bug Report - Beta 4.0 - 422687] Mining Resources

BardicHeart wrote:
Thu, 14. Jan 21, 10:09
Resource amounts not matching quantities indicated by resource probes
Known issue that is not going to be fixed. If there is a very bad example you can try reporting it, but ultimately this is caused by the object fields the player experiences being separated from the resource volume system used by the resource probes. There is an attempt to try and keep the two in sync, but sometimes it does not work too well.
BardicHeart wrote:
Thu, 14. Jan 21, 10:09
Mining ships unable to find resources where indicated by probes or only able to gather them very slowly.
The probes report resource volume data. This is used by the low attention/out of sector mining mechanics. In sector at high attention the miners use the object fields to mine. Since most miners will be in low attention/out of sector and mining is boring to watch the mining AI and mechanics was not optimized for in sector at high attention mining and miners will perform very poorly, if at all. Object fields also do not respawn when the player is present like the resource volumes replenish. This mechanic has carried over from XR where resource volumes also did not match the object fields.
BardicHeart wrote:
Thu, 14. Jan 21, 10:09
Mining ships not mining in correct positions above or below the elliptic plane
Auto miners will head towards the centre of a resource volume. Resource volumes are a cube of space which has ~8 to 16 km long edges (I forget exact amount but it is uniform for all sectors) and a set of minable properties. Placing a resource probe anywhere in this cube of space will give the reading for those properties which auto miners will then use to make decisions. Multiple probes in the same resource volume will report the exact same values at the same time. Where the auto miners go to mine is the centre, while the resource probe will likely be offset due to the continuous nature of space.

The Elliptic Plane includes resource volumes that extend both above and below it in the Y axis. As a result it is possible to place probes above or below the Elliptic Plane while the centre point of the resource volume is still at the Elliptic Plane which miners will then head towards and use. If a probe is placed high enough to hit another resource volume then the miners will fly there to the centre of that higher up resource volume to mine.
BardicHeart wrote:
Thu, 14. Jan 21, 10:09
Miner "clumping"
Miners will automatically go to the resource volume with the highest current (not maximum) yield in the nearby area based on a cost vs distance calculation of sorts. If there are enough miners to deplete an area (current yield ~0) then they will spread out over time to other resource volumes marked by resource probes as they slowly fill up, unload and then look for a new mining sight.

The yields of 4.4 and 3.7 are considerer only moderate. Many solids are available at yields of well over 10 in the resource volumes of some sectors. As such I would expect the miners to take a bit longer to mine than in some sectors, but from personal experience it should still be fast enough as long as you leave them in low attention/out of sector so as to not interfere with their operation.

Be aware that 4.00 is doubling the amount of food and medicine consumed by workforce while also reducing the amount modules produce at full efficiency by a small amount. As such over twice as many medical supply modules and food modules are needed to support the same population, especially considering those also need additional workforce that must be fed as well. This then runs all the way down the supply chain back to ice which is now also needed in over double the quantity. Due to this change you require additional miners to keep up with the increased demand of ice.

Huib-Bloodstone
Posts: 65
Joined: Thu, 20. Dec 18, 23:13

Re: [Bug Report - Beta 4.0 - 422687] Mining Resources

viewtopic.php?f=192&t=432210

I had some weird experience in this fresh new game.. check the first post.
"a problem well put is half solved"