Mobile Mining 101

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Momaw
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Mobile Mining 101

Post by Momaw » Wed, 10. Dec 03, 06:41

Mobile Mining 101
G.R.R. Corporation's handbook for new mining personnel
---
Last revision: 24th February, 2004

0.) Foreword
This handbook is designed to introduce new miners to the equipment and techniques required to succeed in the X-Universe mineral sales industry. It assumes only the most very basic of skills on the part of the reader, so do not be offended if it seems overly simplistic for your skill level. Similarly, do not feel ashamed if something is shown that, in hindsight, seems painfully obvious. Ultimately we are equal when it comes to the time-honored, simple, hard-working and honest life of the miner. All friends, and one family. Welcome, and enjoy.

1.) Basic information about mining
Asteroid mining in the X-Universe is done in two basic ways:

So called "open cast" or station-mining involves building a large automated factory (purchased from a shipyard) on the asteroid in question. This type of mine will continue to turn out ore or silicon indefinetly, as long as it has energy cells to run. There are a few disadvantages to this method; first, it requires energy, which costs credits to get; and second, it forces you to defend the mine and its transport ships from enemy attack.

The second type of mining is "mobile" mining, which you're probably interested in since you're reading this handbook. Mobile mining means attaching a high-powered drilling laser to a transport ship, and destructively mining each asteroid before moving on. This method requires no energy, so your profit is 100%. Also, because mining occurs in the same sector as yourself, it is far easier to defend the operation. A more subtle benfit is that if you decide to stop mining, you can sell the ship and equipment, which gets back more than half of your investment; tationary mines cannot be sold. The tradeoff is that mobile mining requires your personal attention to work, unlike station-mining, which goes on even when you're not there.

Generally you will use station-mining to supply any factories that you own because of their constant production, while mobile-mining is much better suited to supplying other factories as you move around. Mobile mining can quickly deplete the short-term asteroids of an area, making it unsuitable to supplying a specific factory or region for any length of time.

2.) How much can I make as a miner?
After paying off the cost of your mining equipment there is no further direct expense. Therefore, you are guaranteed to make 100% profit from any minerals you harvest. The average market value for Ore is 128 credits per unit, and the average value for Silicon is 504 credits. A load of minerals can easily net you 50, 60, even 70 thousand credits. When selling at above-average prices to factories in desperate need of your minerals, it's not uncommon to see more than 100 thousand credits per run.

3.) How much will it cost to become a miner?

There are some items that are absolutely required to be a miner. They are:

* A ship that can mount the Mobile Drilling System. The TS-class ships that can are the Paranid Demeter, the Split Caiman, and the Teladi Vulture. Which ship you choose is up to you. A basic summary of the ships in question:
- The Demeter is slow and has only average cargo capacity, but is the only TS that can mount the drilling system on its front mount. If you absolutely must have the laser on the front of your ship, this is your only option. Base price: 103,939
- The Caiman has poor cargo capacity, but is the fastest of the TS-class ships, which can mean quite a bit if you're forced to flee from enemies. Base price: 139,978
- The Vulture is between the Demeter and Caiman for speed, but has much more cargo space than either of them. Base price: 118,074

Personally my recommendation is the Teladi Vulture for its combination of acceptable speed and large cargo hold, but the others are perfectly servicable ships as well.

* The Mobile Drilling System. This weapon can be bought at nearly every Equipment Dock, and costs 134,760 credits. You can save a little bit of money if you find a MDS laser forge that has a full stock.

* An Ore Collector. This system can be bought at nearly every Equipment Dock, and costs 30,884 credits.

Minimum equipment costs: With Vulture, 283,718. With Demeter, 269,583. With Caiman, 305,622.

There are also some highly recommended upgrades that, while not absolutely essential to mining, make it go much faster and easier.

* Best Selling Price locator. This device will instantly show you the best offer in your current system for anything you have on your ship. This is much better than having to checking each individual station for their price. It can be bought from Teladi equipment docks, and costs 19,652 credits.

* A Mineral Scanner. This device will allow you to scan asteroids to see what kind of minerals they contain, and how much. It can be bought from any equipment dock, and costs 37,844 credits.

* General ship upgrades. Speed and maneuverability are cheap to upgrade, you can probably max them out on your first run. Cargo space is very important since minerals are bulky, but it's also very expensive to upgrade. Work on this whenever you can. The more cargo space you have, the larger you can mine per trip, and the larger the asteroid you can take on.

Optional equipment costs: 57,496.

4.) How do I equip or use my...?
* Drilling system? Press 's' to open your Ship details. Press 'g' to open your Weaponry details. The Demeter can mount the MDS on its front mount, Laser 1. The Caiman and Vulture mount them on their rear turret. Press the Down Arrow until the appropriate mount is selected, then press the Right Arrow until the drilling system is shown. Press Enter to confirm. The computer should say, "Mobile Drilling System, installed". To actually fire the weapon on a Demeter, just pull the trigger. To fire the weapon on a Caiman or Vulture, you need to switch to your rear turret first: Press F1 to get there. When you're done, keep pressing F1 to get back to the cockit.

* Ore Collector? It's already automatically installed and equipped.

* Best Selling Price locator? Press the '5' key from the cockpit view. Note that this only shows you the best sale price for things you have: so it won't show you the price for Silicon if you don't have any.

* Mineral Scanner? Target an asteroid manually (point at it and press 't'), or use the Sector View screen (press '.' to open the view, scroll down to the end for Asteroids, and press 't' on one). Fly to within 20 kilometers of the asteroid, and Inspect it by pressing 'i'. This will show you what it is, and how what its Yield is.

5.) What can I mine?
The Mobile Drilling system is very effective against asteroids, as I'm sure you've guessed. The most common asteroids are either Ore, or Silicon. Ore is a mixture of various iron-like metals used in the manufacture of many machine parts, ships, and high tech goods such as weapons. Silicon is a valuable material that is used to make crystals, circuit boads and microchips. A third, much rarer type of mineral is called Nividium. Very little about it is known, and only the smallest amounts have been found on the fringes of known space. Pieces of Nividium have turned up in very expensive jewellry, and fragments of this precious metal are sure to command high prices.

Interestingly enough, despite manufacturer's claims to the contrary, the MDS will also serve in a pinch as a crude but extremely powerful weapon against other ships. G.R.R. Corporation advises readers to use the MDS as a defensive weapon only as a last resort, due to the difficulty of hitting a moving target.

6.) Where can I mine?
Anywhere you like! A good place to start is Ore Belt, as this sector is rich in mineral resources. There are many sectors in known space that have very dense asteroid fields.

7.) What is "yield"?
Perhaps you've scanned an asteroid and seen this 'yield' thing. Yield rating represents the amount of mineral resources in the asteroid. When you destroy an asteroid, it will explode into a number of pieces equal to its Yield rating. Each fragment will contain between 1 and the Yield in minerals. Usually, somewhere in the middle. Therefore, an asteroid will give at least Yield in minerals, at most[/b] Yield^2 (yield squared), and on average, (yield+yield^2)/2.

Yield is also used to determine how fast a station-mine will produce ore or silicon.

8.) How do I blow up an asteroid?
To destroy an asteroid you need only use the Drilling System to pound it into rubble. This process usually takes roughly 20 hits, which are clearly evident from their distinctive "clang!" and a puff of blue plasma.

The MDS has a very short effective range, so you need to get quite close to the asteroid you wish to mine. The safest way to move into position is to aim yourself near to the asteroid but "missing" it to one side. Stop your engines (press Backspace) once you're fairly close: 1.5 kilometers is a good place to stop. This leaves sufficient space for your ship to coast to a halt. Do NOT turn toward the asteroid until fully stopped. Note that asteroids come in many sizes, and only practice will show you the proper distance to start slowing down. The External Camera (press F2) can be useful on occaision when moving into position. On some of the very biggest asteroids, you may need to enter internal tunnel networks to effectively destroy them.

10.) Using the drilling system on a rear turret
If you're using the Teladi Vulture, or the Split Caiman, a helpful technique when mining with a rear turret is to set up the turret as a mini-monitor display. To do this:
- Press Shift+O to open the Options menu.
- Move down to where it says Monitor 1. Press the left or right arrows as needed until the button says Connect. Press Enter.
- Press Enter to confirm the current sector. Scroll down to your ship, and press Enter on it.

Now, you have a smaller picture-in-picture, showing your ship.

- Switch to the monitor by pressing F4. It will flash to indiciate that it's active.
- Press F1 until the turret view is shown on the monitor.

You can now fire the MDS from the turret, or the pilot the ship, by pressing F4 to toggle between the two views. If you need to, you can toggle between a larger and smaller size by pressing F3. If you want to get it out of the way for a while, press F5 to hide it (F5 again will bring it back).

11.) How do I pick up the minerals?
If you've bought an Ore Collector, then all you need to do is open your cargo bay (press 'o'), and fly over the small spinning fragments that the asteroid blew up into. Don't try it if you have no ore collector, you'll just damage your ship. It's important while collecting to keep an eye on how much cargo space you have free: if your ship is full and try to cram more in, you'll ram the asteroid instead of collecting it, damaging your ship.

12.) What now?
At this point, the minerals in your hold are identical to any that you could buy at a mine. You can sell or distribute it as you wish!

Congratulations on completeting Mobile Mining 101. :D



Mobile Mining 201
G.R.R. Corporation's supplimentary material for experienced miners
---

0.) Foreword
Welcome to Mobile Mining 201! This section can help miners progress from small-time operations to galaxy-spanning mineral conglomerates, if that is their choice. Many of the concepts can be equally applied to smaller operations. It is important in today's universe to carefully analyze your goals and desires: do you really want to be managing a large-scale mining company? The answer ultimately depends on your personal views. Whichever way you decide, the following information should prove helpful.

1.) Automation
The first thing that most miners realize is that picking up ore can be very tiresome. Fortunately, computer engineers have solved the tedium for all. Simply buy the reasonbably priced Special Command Software upgrade from your local equipment dock to gain access to the "Collect Wares in Sector..." command. This command allows you to issue your ship a single order, then move on to other things as the ship picks up ore automatically. One thing to be aware of is that this package does not distinguish between mineral goods and everything else: if there are other free-floating cargo canisters, for example debris from a battle, the ship may divert from mineral collection to pick these up.

To activate Collect Wares in Sector mode:
- Press Shift+C to open your ship's command console
- Choose "Special", then choose "Collect Wares in Sector", and press Enter to confirm the current sector for collection.

2.) Teamwork
The second thing that most miners realize is that there's usually a lot more minerals in a sector than they have cargo space. The cheapest option available is usually to invest in a second ship, that can follow you around and store, collect or sell minerals (or some combination thereof). The choice of which ship to get as a team-mate is again, up to you. The Boron Dolphin makes a cheap team-mate, since it comes pre-equipped with 1500 cargo units: that's as much as a Mercury can possibly be upgraded to, at considerable expense! The Boron Manta also makes a good team-mate, as it comes pre-equipped with 1,000 cargo units and is quite fast. The Teladi Vulture is worth considering as well, though ultimately, any ship that can store XL sized cargo will work.

* For team-collecting: the second ship needs an Ore Collector, and a Special Command Software upgrade. Once you've blown up an asteroid, simple target the other ship, press 'c' to open its command console, select Special, and give it the Collect Wares in Sector command. As stated above, the command may deviate from mineral collection to gather other goods. This isn't really a huge problem, but just so you're aware.

* For storage purposes: the second ship needs a Navigation Command Software upgrade. Target it and issue the Navigation->Follow Me command. This will make the other ship stay near you wherever you fly (it's helpful if your team-mate is faster than you are). The most practical way to use this "mobile warehouse" is to equip your own ship with a Transporter Device (bought from the Goner Temple in Cloudbase Southwest) and zap freight back and forth when required. To transfer freight, target the other ship and make sure you're within 5 kilometers. Press 'i' for target info, scroll down to Freight Beamer and press enter. Then, use this screen similar to the trading interface to move freight to the other ship or to your own.

* For selling: you can tell your second ship to dock at a station and use it to sell minerals without having to go there yourself. This leaves you all the time that the ship is in transit to and from the station to continue mining. Use the Best Selling Price locator to determine where to send the ship. Target the ship, press 'c', and select Navigation->Dock at... Once the ship has docked, you can access it via the Owned Properties screen (press 'r', then scroll through the list till you find the ship; press Enter on it; press 'd' for Trade With Station), or, target the station that it's docked with, press 'i' for info, press 'l' for landed ships, find your ship and press Enter on it, then press 'd' for Trade with station. Either way, you'll be presented with an interface identical to the trade screen you'd see if you were docked there yourself. Once your transaction is complete, don't forget to tell the ship to follow you again.

Using these three methods in some combination can make your mining substantially faster. It can take some time using them to find the combination of commands that best suits your own mining technique and time requirements.

3.) Selling from a station
As an alternative to selling products from your ship or from a team-mate ship, it is possible to set up a station-mine and drop off minerals for sale there. A discussion of how to install stations is beyond the scope of this manual. Once the mine is built, simple dock at (or have a team-mate dock at) the station and choose 'd' Adjust Station Parameters. There, you can move some of the minerals from your ship to the station. Be sure to set the price to something reasonable, so that the AI ships will choose to come to your mine instead of somewhere else that is selling minerals for much less. The advantage of this technique is that it will draw buyers to you, instead of you having to go to them, hence they assume all the risks of travel. The disadvantage is that the mine is stationary, so there may come a time when your mining operations have moved elsewhere, and it's inconvenient to come back to it due to distance.

4.) Asteroid respawning
Asteroids DO in fact participate in this strange phenomenon known as "respawning". After an asteroid has been destroyed, after a delay of several game-hours or even days, a new asteroid will take its place. The new asteroid will be the same type, but will have a different Yield rating. Hence, the galaxy will never be completely "mined out": just wait a while, and fresh asteroids will arrive.

5.) Mining from a TL (Large Transporter)
The TL class of ship opens up many exciting possibilities for the miner. They possses enourmous cargo holds, hangar bays to hold transporters and fighter defenses, and shielding so thick that they can serve as virtually impregnable shelters from enemies. I personally prefer the Elephant for its speed and hangar capacity, but any TL will serve. They're so powerful and useful, that any of them does an excellent job as a mining HQ.

It's a simple matter to extend the techniques described previously to the TL. More what I'd like to show you is how to use the OreCollect script to make your mining operation quite large and powerful. The OreCollect script, currently version 2a and developed by "merle", is custom-designed to make life easier to miners. Its primary feature is the inclusion of a command to automatically have ships from the TL collect and deliver mineral resource. The script can be downloaded from http://www.xscripting.com. The readme will give you instructions on how to install the script.

Once you've got a TL, and the script installed, the next step is to set up some ore collectors. Each of these ships needs to be equipped with an Ore Collector device. Set their home base to the TL, then issue the command Special->Ore Collect. It will ask you how far the ship should roam from the TL (in kilometers), looking for minerals. I've found 30 kilometers to be a satisfactory value. Only two collecting ships are really needed: any more than two ships tends to just create traffic jams. I prefer the Teladi Vulture for its mix of speed and cargo, but again, any ship that can accept XL cargo will work.

After the ships are in place and have been issued their orders, simple destroy an asteroid within their patrol range and watch them get to work. They will automatically launch, collect the minerals, then return to the TL and unload them, ready for you to sell or distribute.

6.) Selling tool
The "Advanced Salesman" script, also developed by merle and available from xscripting.com, allows you to equip one or more "merchant" ships with a jumpdrive. They will draw energy from your TL's cargo bays, then leave the ship and jump to wherever in the galaxy the best price for your goods can be found. This DRAMATICALLY speeds up the rate at which you can sell off minerals; in fact, two merchants can sell minerals faster than I can mine them. You do have to buy energy for them, but the cost of the energy is far out-weighed by the profits inherit in selling at near-maximum prices constantly.


Hopefully, this extremely long two-part document has been of some use in setting up or speeding up your mining endeavors! :D
Last edited by Momaw on Tue, 24. Feb 04, 23:04, edited 6 times in total.

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_LordAnubis_
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Post by _LordAnubis_ » Wed, 10. Dec 03, 06:52

I have a question about mines actually.

As I have never owned my own ore/silicon mine in either X-T or X2, I need to know: How does the yeild of an asteroid affect the mine? Does it mean that it produces more ore/silicon per chunk of e-cells? or does it just mean it produces faster? Reason im asking is cause im thinking about getting an ore mine (I found a 53 yeild ore asteroid, i hope i can place a mine on it. If not, I know of a good 26 yeild one) and im wondering how yeild affects production.

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Post by Momaw » Wed, 10. Dec 03, 07:00

High yield makes your mine produce minerals faster. If you've got high demand and your mine never has surplus stock, faster production is directly equivalent to faster income. :)

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Post by _LordAnubis_ » Wed, 10. Dec 03, 07:03

Sweet, thanks for the info Momaw :)

Also, does anyone know if you can place mines on the huge asteroids that dont rotate and have the tunnels in them?

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Post by barronosod » Wed, 10. Dec 03, 07:21

Damn, where did you find a 53 yeild?

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Post by _LordAnubis_ » Wed, 10. Dec 03, 07:42

barronosod,

Sorry, i was mistaken, its a 56 yeild, not 53... and you can find it in the sector:
Spoiler
Show
Ministry of Finance
Or click here to see a sector screenshot (WARNING - the screenshot contains the name of the sector, do not click it if you wish to explore and find these asteroids on your own)
If you would like to know how to get to the above sector, please see this X2 Map

Happy Huntings!

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Post by Momaw » Wed, 10. Dec 03, 08:01

Pfft. 56, that's it? I've got an asteroid mapped that has a yield of 64 :)

*waves ego around enthusiastically*

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Post by _LordAnubis_ » Wed, 10. Dec 03, 08:04

would you mind posting what sector it can be found in? I would love to know.

By the way, I swear I found a 72 yeild silicon once.. in one of my previous games. If anyone has found it to prove that im not crazy, please post :P lol

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Post by Logomonta » Wed, 10. Dec 03, 17:43

When I mine I find the following procedure the easiest:

Get navigational command software.
Target the asteroid you want to harvest.
Engage autopilot and the ship will fly to and stop within range of the mining laser automatically without the danger of crashing. Doing this with seti on is quite unnerving at first.
Disengage autopilot, open up the rear turret monitor and flip the ship around so the asteroid become visible in the rear monitor.
Press F4 to select the turret and get blasting.

When the asteroid is in bits I:
Target a piece of ore/silicon by pressing page up or down
Engage autopilot, open the cargo bay doors and disengage autopilot when I'm lined up with the ore and the cargobay doors have opened (this way if the cargo bay doors are not open quickly enough the autopilot will slow you down until the cargo bay doors are open. When the autopilot disengages I have my throttle set to max velocity so I fly at top speed toward the ore).

And then repeat the process for each bit of ore.

Shame there isn't a way of keeping the cargobay doors open for multiple ore fragments as its a pain waiting for them to open each time.

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Post by taronas » Wed, 10. Dec 03, 18:39

Shame there isn't a way of keeping the cargobay doors open for multiple ore fragments as its a pain waiting for them to open each time.

Code: Select all


Can't you use the Special Commands ... Collect ware in sector ..." to collect the ore?

I do that all the time when going for stuff other ships have dropped

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Post by Momaw » Wed, 10. Dec 03, 20:06

Yes, you can use Collect Wares to pick up the ore chunks. I think it's more fun to do it myself though.

As far as the 64 yield asteroid,
Spoiler
Show
http://chapterhouse.nhvt.net/users/momaw/x2screen52.jpg

There's another one northward of the north gate, outside the gate grid

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Re: Thoughts on mining

Post by Lorien » Wed, 10. Dec 03, 20:47

Momaw wrote:The only TS's that can are the Paranid Demeter and the Split Caiman.
Teladi Vulture can have it as well.
Things I've procrastinated on...
1.

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Post by Bolkie » Wed, 10. Dec 03, 20:58

commander805 wrote:would you mind posting what sector it can be found in? I would love to know.

By the way, I swear I found a 72 yeild silicon once.. in one of my previous games. If anyone has found it to prove that im not crazy, please post :P lol
Maybe that was that asteroid you had to find during the Perseus mission in X-Tension.
I am a Paranid Believer.........are you...?

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Post by _LordAnubis_ » Wed, 10. Dec 03, 23:14

Bolkie wrote: Maybe that was that asteroid you had to find during the Perseus mission in X-Tension.
I don't think so. This asteriod was in one of the new sectors. Also, the asteriod in the Perseus mission in X-T is a random spawning asteroid. I can be in one of 3 reported sectors I believe. More info on the Perseus missions can be found on CJ's website along with a ton of other cool stuff :)

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Post by CanadianBrit » Wed, 10. Dec 03, 23:46

Well bang goes my mining op. I have the Argon TS and that would apparently not support the mining rig! Nor does mining sound good. I mean easy money yes, but if the yield of said roid equal number of ore collects then its going to take some time to fill a maxed cargo TS out!!

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