[X3] Mobile Mining Guide

General discussions about the games by Egosoft including X-BTF, XT, X², X³: Reunion, X³: Terran Conflict and X³: Albion Prelude.

Moderator: Moderators for English X Forum

Bunny
Posts: 1138
Joined: Mon, 1. Dec 03, 20:44
x3ap

[X3] Mobile Mining Guide

Post by Bunny » Tue, 4. Jul 06, 15:09

Mobile Mining Guide (X3 Reunion)

Okay, before we start, let's define the difference between asteroids and rocks:
Asteroid - Asteroids appear on the sector map and are large enough to be factory mined
Rock - Smaller asteroids that do not appear on the sector map and may not have a factory mine placed on them

What is mobile mining?
Mobile mining is the process of using a ship to break up and collect mineral rich rocks.

What equipment do I need to mine mine?
You will need a ship that can transport silicon/ore/nividium i.e XL class cargo. TS ships are usually used for mobile mining. The ship must have an ore collector fitted and a weapon is required to break up rocks . Any weapon can be used to do this (mosquito missiles are also cost effective for this task). A mineral scanner is also useful but not a must. You will need special commands software if you want to access the "Collect Rocks" command.


Do I need a mobile drilling system to mobile mine?
No, rocks can be broken up with any weapon. Only asteroids required a mobile drilling system to break them up into rocks (a hornet missile could also be used for this purpose)

How much money can I make mobile mining?
A single ship can collect around 40,000 - 175,000 credits worth of minerals per hour.

Mining nividium can net around 3,000,000 credits per hour but this will require selling the ship containing it back to a shipyard (the market for nividium at factories is very small). Nividium is a rare mineral which is difficult to find.

How do I mobile mine?
1. Fly to a sector with lots of rocks
2. Pick a rock and fire on it to break it up
3. Look for collectible rocks (the smallest)
4. Fly up to the rock with speed 10m/s using the F2 external view and drop the shield using the O key
5. After picking up the rock the shield will come back up and the computer will say what has been collected
6. Move to the next collectible rock and repeat (strafe drive helps a lot)

Keep an eye on how full the cargo bay is with the f key. Trying to collect a rock with a full cargo bay will result in hull damage or death.

Can I collect any rock?
Only the smallest rocks can be collected. Larger rocks must be first broken down.

How can I tell if a rock is collectible?
The small collectible rocks have a brown/gold color. Non-collectible rocks are larger gray ones. It is also possible to tell if a rock is collectible by using a mineral scanner.
Simply target the rock and fly to within a few km and press I. The menu will list the mineral type, yield and if the rock is small enough to be collected. After some practice you will be able to visually judge if a rock is collectible without having to scan it.

Does the rock yield matter?
The rock yield determines the number of units of mineral you get for each fragment collected. The higher the yield, the more units per fragment. This amount has a slight random variation for each rock collected.
Collecting low yield rocks can sometimes result in no minerals being loaded. When this happens the ships computer will say "Cargo bay contains debris" and the ships shield will NOT be raised (Shields only come up after collecting some minerals).
Just move on to the next rock and try again. It makes little sense to mobile mine zero yield rocks as pretty much every fragment will just be useless debris.

What is the best weapon for breaking rocks?
IRE & PACs - Good
HEPT - Very good but are not compatible with TS ships
PSG - APSG is excellent at breaking up rocks without destroying too many collectible fragments. The BPSG is overkill and should only be used if you just want to destroy rocks as quickly as possible
Mass driver - Very good but uses ammo
Mobile drilling system - Excellent - Collectible rocks that are destroyed in the blast radius will reappear when reentering the sector

I want to clear a sector of rocks, how do I do this?
There are several ways to do this
1. Mobile mine it yourself - this is slow and would take a couple of months to clear a sector
2. Break up rocks and use a fleet of ships running the "Collect rocks" command - This method works but it will require a lot of attention form the player to keep it going.
The player would have to regularly visit the sector to break up rocks and also manage the rock collecting ships. A sector could be cleared in this way with a couple of weeks of
hard work (see points below about using the "Collect Rocks" command)
3. Attack the rocks with Beta PSGs - A couple of days of work can clear a sector, however it is really a waste of valuable minerals.
4. Use ships running mobile mining script:
Bonus Pack - "Collect Minerals in Sector"
http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=191259

How do I use the "Collect Rocks" command?
This ship must have an ore collector and special commands software to use this command. A triplex scanner is a must as the ship will only collect rock in scanner range.
Do not install weapons in the ship as it will not use them. This command does not mobile mine, it only collects.
The best way to use the command is the following
1. Break up rocks for the ships and mark the position in the sector using a navigation satellite
2. Leave the sector
3. Move the ships to navigation satellite position
4. Start the "Collect Rocks" command
5. Remain out of sector for an couple of hours game time or until the ships are not seen to be collecting any more rocks (check freight bay)
6. Command the ships to a safe position in that sector
7. Return to the sector and repeat

Note. The ships will not use the nav-sats to find rocks only their scanners. Also the collect rocks command has no real search capability so you will have to command the ships to move ro new positions in the sector to find collectible rocks.

Some TS ships are called "miner", what is special about them?
The word miner simply indicates that the ship has an ore collector, special commands software and mineral scanner pre-installed.

Do asteroids respawn?
Yes, asteroids broken with a mobile drilling system or hornet missile will eventually respawn. This will take from a couple of days to several weeks of game time.
The asteroid will come back with the same mineral type and yield. The presence of debris from the previous asteroid will not prevent a respawn. It may also respawn in a slightly different position. Debris from a broken up asteroid is mobile mined like regular rocks.

How can I destroy an asteroid and prevent it respawning?
Build a mine on it and then destroy the mine. The asteroid will never come back.

Do rocks respawn?
No, if the player collects or destroys all rocks in a sector then they are gone forever. However, the player might see something that looks like rock respawning due
to rock reaggregation (see below). The only way to create more rocks is to break an asteroid.

What is rock reaggregation?
Breaking rocks up causes the number of fragments in a sector to rapidly increase. In order to improve graphics performance the game will sometimes removes several small rocks and replaces them with a larger one of similar mineral content (aggregate).

I need nividium, where can I get it?
This is a list of nividium rock clusters
http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=186165

There are also a number of nividium asteroids in deep space that can be broken up for mining.
Check Merroc's asteroid list for locations
http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=98258

Special notes on in sector mining
Make sure the game is patched to 2.02. Rock collisions are less dangerous and rock reaggregation has been improved (1.4 would collect several small gray rocks into one large one which would occasionally land on the player ship, 1.403 converts some of the gray rocks to collectible ones). When entering a sector or view ships on the other side of the sector there was a slight risk that collecting/mobile mining ships (other than the player ship) could get getting trapped in a large reaggregated rock. A trapped ship would beat itself to death trying to get out. This problem can be avoided by using the larger TS ships that are too big to fit completely in a rock and can break out of it. Not using area effect weapons like the APSG or mobile drilling system reduces the risk of reaggregation.

Rocks do not reaggregate out of sector.

[UPDATE 21-6-07]
I have not seen a ship get trapped in a large reaggregate rock since patching to 2.02. Also, ships will not suffer damage from in sector rock collisions if they are not viewed or near the player ship.

Frame rate in rocky sectors seems to have improved with 2.02.

There is also now some evidence of type 19 rocks (smallest non-collectible) getting converted to collectible fragments OOS - this needs to be confirmed.
Last edited by Bunny on Mon, 23. Feb 09, 17:21, edited 24 times in total.

Ammok Rules
Posts: 1303
Joined: Sat, 14. Jan 06, 19:14
x3

Post by Ammok Rules » Wed, 5. Jul 06, 00:16

Well, you put a good bit of effort into that., shame i've abandoned mobile mining and gone for the in situ versions.


A good point about mobile mining is that when you start out, and silicon is expensive to feed that crystal fab of yours, it is a good way to keep it going until you can afford a proper mine.

I spent a couple of weeks shooting rocks, strangely therapeutic.
lIfE iS a bOwL oF cHeRrIeS

Bunny
Posts: 1138
Joined: Mon, 1. Dec 03, 20:44
x3ap

Post by Bunny » Wed, 5. Jul 06, 09:34

I have to agree with you on this. Mobile mining with one ship is only a money spinner early on in the game.
The "Collect Rocks" command allows things to be scaled up a bit more but its so awkward to play nanny to 15+ ships that it is not a long term option.
The majority of people don't use unsigned scripts either so mobile mining remains a short term fling for most.

Anyway, the guide should cover the questions that keep popping up on the forum.

Astropath
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue, 27. Jun 06, 08:28
x3

Post by Astropath » Mon, 10. Jul 06, 04:56

Ahh, if only I've read this topic a few days earlier.
I was misled by old "Guide to mobile mining", which (even though it says "udated to 1.4") made me waste few days trying to get me a Split Iguana, and then I was so disappointed when I couldn't mine any-bloody-thing - but your topic has restored my enthusiasm.
I'll just have to replace that stupid rear-turreted Caiman (sorry, not Iguana) with something more maneuverable, now that I know that not ony Mining Laser can break up rocks.
Last edited by Astropath on Mon, 10. Jul 06, 12:14, edited 1 time in total.
Getting back to X-universe after a year of respite...

jlehtone
Posts: 17249
Joined: Sat, 23. Apr 05, 21:42
x4

Post by jlehtone » Mon, 10. Jul 06, 07:31

Nice guide. very clear. :thumb_up:

The only occasion I have "mined" was to tell a TS to "Collect rocks" after a XI in Scale Plate Green. The Xenon and "helpers" did all the fragmenting for me. I had to collect just to improve the frame rate. I could have waited for aggregation, but if you are right about the removability of the rocks, then collecting is good in the long term.

Astropath
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue, 27. Jun 06, 08:28
x3

Re: Mobile Mining Guide

Post by Astropath » Tue, 18. Jul 06, 11:47

Bunny wrote:
How can I tell if a rock is collectable?
The small collectable rocks have a brown/gold colour. Non-collectable rocks are larger grey ones. It is also possible to tell if a rock is collectable by using a mineral scanner.
Simply target the rock and fly to within a few km and press I. The menu will list the mineral type, yield and if the rock is small enough to be collected. After some practice you will be able to visually judge if a rock is collectable without having to scan it.
I noticed an easy way to distinguish collectable rocks from those that need to be broken down further:

- when a collectable rock is hit by AIRE, it glows from within, as if many rays of blue light would protrude from inside the rock, all over it.

like this: Image

- when a non-collectable rock is hit by AIRE, the laser just leaves a glowing spot in the point where it hit the rock - the rock doesn't glow all over...
Getting back to X-universe after a year of respite...

Nova Scotia
Posts: 251
Joined: Fri, 16. Jun 06, 13:24
x3tc

Post by Nova Scotia » Thu, 20. Jul 06, 10:17

Very good read, BIG thanks.Enjoying myself mapping out the expanses of the X3 universe but when I am done mining souds like a peacefull way to earn some spare change for a couple of pints of space fuel :)

Koci
Posts: 178
Joined: Tue, 25. Oct 05, 12:07
x3tc

Post by Koci » Tue, 1. Aug 06, 16:29

Sorry, but I cannot target asteroids/rocks in standard (from "cockpit") view.
This is normal ? I must target from "sector map" - very frustrating.


Best Regards

Koci

EDIT: I play X3 of course.


Excuse me - my english :-)

Koci
Posts: 178
Joined: Tue, 25. Oct 05, 12:07
x3tc

Post by Koci » Tue, 1. Aug 06, 22:12

So, this is normal that I cannot target asteroids/rocks form "cockpit" view ??

This is very frustrating, and I need any solution, if is solution :-)

Best Regards

Koci

Ammok Rules
Posts: 1303
Joined: Sat, 14. Jan 06, 19:14
x3

Post by Ammok Rules » Tue, 1. Aug 06, 22:20

You can target asteriods from your cockpit view. To blow them up you need hornet missile or ahepts in your craft. What craft you flying?
lIfE iS a bOwL oF cHeRrIeS

Koci
Posts: 178
Joined: Tue, 25. Oct 05, 12:07
x3tc

Post by Koci » Tue, 1. Aug 06, 23:09

I fly Teladi Vulture, when I try to target asteroid/rock only autopilot is enabled, asteroid/rock is not in brackets like targeted ships or bases.....
hmmm......

Thank You

Koci

Ammok Rules
Posts: 1303
Joined: Sat, 14. Jan 06, 19:14
x3

Post by Ammok Rules » Tue, 1. Aug 06, 23:46

rear turret?? try pressing F1 to switch views, whats weapons have you got installed? if its the mobile drill, i think it only fits in the rear turret.
lIfE iS a bOwL oF cHeRrIeS

Koci
Posts: 178
Joined: Tue, 25. Oct 05, 12:07
x3tc

Post by Koci » Wed, 2. Aug 06, 00:47

sorry, I thought targeting should work in front view too :oops:

Best Regards

Koci

User avatar
apricotslice
Posts: 13734
Joined: Sun, 16. May 04, 13:01
x4

Re: Mobile Mining Guide

Post by apricotslice » Wed, 2. Aug 06, 05:24

Bunny wrote: 4. Fly up to the rock with speed 10m/s using the F2 external view and drop the shield using the O key
5. After picking up the rock the shield will come back up and the computer will say what has been collected
Just to be technically accurate....

O opens the cargo bay doors, which action also drops the shields. When the doors close, the shields go back up.

Collected wisdom suggests that you use a fighter to break rocks and a freighter to collect them. Break the rocks, jump out of the sector, tell the freighter to collect rocks, and wait until its finished. If it still ahs cargo room, you tell it to go somewhere out of the way, jump back in, then break more rocks and jump out again, and repeat.

The main problem with mobile mining is the ship doing the collecting is extremely vulnerable while you are in sector. But oos, there is no vulnerability at all. X2 did it considerably better, how they implemented it in X3 wasnt thought out properly.

User avatar
Anoik
Posts: 2237
Joined: Fri, 9. Apr 04, 19:20
x3tc

Post by Anoik » Thu, 14. Sep 06, 12:10

Bunny, if you don't mean, i will translate your guide to spanish for the spanish forum, giving you credit for it, of course.
Image

Post Reply

Return to “X Trilogy Universe”