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Author Topic: Techmining seems to have rather low returns?  (Read 1923 times)

WhisperDSP

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Techmining seems to have rather low returns?
« on: January 21, 2023, 02:22:44 AM »

Size 6 colony, Vast Ruins (left untouched specially for testing a Size 6 colony), 2 Story Point upgrade, Alpha AI core.

I'm running a tiny personal mod which sets the techmining to 0.99 decay rate.

The results seem low. Especially when according to in-game and the Wiki:

* 2 story points gives +25% finds
* Alpha AI core gives +25% finds
* First time rolling for loot in each ruins has dramatically higher chances of finding things (https://starsector.fandom.com/wiki/Tech-Mining)

I have literally gotten more than the first time roll for loot by taking out a sub-[REDACTED] (which I did while I was doing testing):

ItemsMonth 1Month 2Month 3Month 4Month 5Month 6Month 7Month 8Month 9Month 10Month 11Month 12Totals
Metals16915314414515614816511316612781771644
Supplies8472787476828756100705756892
Fuel767177697272685176635043788
Heavy Machinery8671071083593581
Cyclone Reaper Launcher213
Gamma Core22
Proximity Charge Launcher22
Alpha Core11
Cobra LPC11
Dual Flak Cannon11
Gauss Cannon112
Heavy Burst Laser112
Heavy Needler11
Hurricane MIRV11
Ion Beam11
Piranha LPC112
Squall MLRS112
Tachyon Lance11
Hammer Barrage112
Salamander MRM POD112
Hammer-Class Torpedo (single)11
Talon LPC112
Wasp LPC11
Typhoon Reaper Launcher112
Autopulse Laser11
Harpoon MRM (Double)11
Mining Laser112
Perdition LPC11
Phase Lance11
Gladius LPC11
High Intensity Laser11
Breach SRM112
Hephaestus Assault Gun11
Thunder LPC112
Phantom-Class Phase Transport BP11
Mining Blaster11
Tactical Laser11
Broadsword LPC11
Hammer Class Torpedo (Single)11
Longbow LPC11

The reasons that this seem very low to me:

* Vast Ruins come about from the collapse/saturation bombing of a Size 7+ planet (according to the wiki), aka 10+ million people
** Size 8 = 100+ million people
** 10+ (or 100+) million people leave a lotta stuff, even if:
*** it is 200+ years after the fact
*** erosion, decay, other scavenger/looters, etc

* A Size 6 colony has 1+ million people, so making a few assumptions:
** 1% of people doing the tech-mining (so 10k people)
** 50% "employee theft"

I'm fairly sure that it is possible to get more metals/supplies/fuel/heavy machinery from the combats in the tutorial. (Ignoring the AI cores and weapons, since I'm assuming that they'd be level-and situation-dependent.)

Note that I wasn't expecting Slightly Better Tech Mining levels of return for special objects.

Given (arguably) 10k people combing an industrial zone for a month, the return of "ordinary materials" stuff seems low. I was expecting a lot more in the base items than it came up with, plus hoping for maybe 1 special item to be recovered within 1-3 months. (After 3 months I can totally understand nada special items - 'cause it just ain't there.)

Am I missing something fundamentally obvious?

Or is my testing simply the victim of really bad RNG results?

SonnaBanana

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Re: Techmining seems to have rather low returns?
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2023, 02:25:57 AM »

It just sucks, Alex will make (has already made?) it better for the next release.
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I'm not going to check but you should feel bad :( - Alex

WhisperDSP

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Re: Techmining seems to have rather low returns?
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2023, 08:48:57 AM »

Thank you SonnaBanana. That explains the results - I won’t continue my testing for the moment then.

I might try picking apart the base game’s techmining and Yunru’s SBTM mod to see how he did it and look to making an interim mod of my own. Though java/modding looks like Greek to me.

FooF

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Re: Techmining seems to have rather low returns?
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2023, 09:27:05 AM »

Your objection to the low rate comes from an in-universe rationale (which is good!) but my objections come from a gameplay perspective: It cost a bunch of money and uses an Industry slot that could otherwise be filled with something better. That said, I'm pretty sure this is being addressed next patch but nothing is guaranteed. Alex really liked a suggestion for using the new Progress Bar mechanic for Tech Mining, but who knows what (if anything) has been implemented.

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WhisperDSP

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Re: Techmining seems to have rather low returns?
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2023, 12:28:23 PM »

Your objection to the low rate comes from an in-universe rationale (which is good!) but my objections come from a gameplay perspective: It cost a bunch of money and uses an Industry slot that could otherwise be filled with something better. That said, I'm pretty sure this is being addressed next patch but nothing is guaranteed. Alex really liked a suggestion for using the new Progress Bar mechanic for Tech Mining, but who knows what (if anything) has been implemented.

Thank you Foof that is a really interesting post you linked!

You make a great point that Techmining isn't a core industry: as-is it declines fairly rapidly over time rather than being consistently gathering food/ores or manufacturing/refining stuff. This means that it would be more considered a sideline, an archaeological/prospecting/scavenging sideline. That would mean a Structure rather than the core Infrastructure of a world.

The Prospectors Rest
*good food and booze*
*safe rooms*
*grubstakes available*

Utilizing that perspective as a starting-point, the type of planet and size of the ruins would dictate what and how much could be found on location for things like special items (https://starsector.fandom.com/wiki/Market_Conditions#Ruins_conditions). Some things would be exclusive, for instance I have no idea if ruins can be found on Toxic or Irradiated planets.

Some modifiers could be:

* cold/dark world - Orbital Fusion Lamp
* hot or extremely hot world - Cryoarithmetic Engine
* pollution - Nanoforge, Corrupt or Pristine (higher chance of Pristine on a Size 5+ world because it would be better-protected)
* within 10ly of a Coronal Hypershunt and Size 4+ world - Hypershunt Tap

Scattered Ruins (Size 3, 1k population, one industry only - find 1 item and that is it, all that's found from then on is small-scale stuff - so pack up shop and move to another planet):
Farming world - Soil Nanites (if it's got farmland then this is as good as it gets, food would unfortunately degrade after 200+ years)
Mining world - Autonomous Mantle Bore
Gas giant - Plasma Dynamo
Airless world - Catalytic Core, Synchrotron Core
Toxic world (Organics) - Autonomous Mantle Bore
Toxic world (no Organics) - research (maybe manufacturing) facility, literally any special item possible
Irradiated world - research (maybe manufacturing) facility, literally any special item possible

Widespread Ruins (Size 4, 10k population, 2 industries only - find an extra 1-2 items over and above Size 3 and that is it, pack up shop and move to another set of ruins):
Habitable world (with or without Organics) - Biofactory Embryo
Combat Drone Replicator
Fullerene Spool - 50/50 chance unless extreme weather or tectonic activity

Extensive Ruins (Size 5-6, 100k-1m population, 3-4 industries (+1 with nearby Coronal Hypershunt) - find an extra 1-3 items over and above Size 4):
Dealmaker Holosuite
Fullerene Spool
* This was an important planet, a hub of expansion
* Pretty-much anything else can also be found, being sent for either later use here or in-transit to other colonies
* The chances of finding special items will drop, yet won't entirely go away - there's always a chance to find a lost warehouse which is a motherload of special stuff
* The standard items (metal, supplies, fuel, machinery) are so extensive (hah!) that they'll be exploitable for decades to come

Vast Ruins (Size 7+, 10m-10+b population, 5+ industries (+1 with nearby Coronal Hypershunt) - anything, never ends):
* This was a major planet, a major hub (Size 7-8) and/or a center of culture and manufacturing (Size 9-10)
* Literally anything can be found - in the ruins of 10+ million peoples lives there are caches and motherloads everywhere, even though the chances will slowly drop
* The standard items (metal, supplies, fuel, machinery - even weaponry) are effectively infinite, exploitable for generations to come

The idea of a progress-bar would 100% fit with Extensive and Vast Ruins.

"Hey boss. We found where they used to make hypershunt taps. A busted-up mess now, we got one intact and maybe some lines on a storage warehouse."

"Here's a goodie boss. We found a crashed ship with AI Cores. Most of them are smashed, still a couple in working shape though."

"Wow boss. We found an old untapped military warehouse: supplies, fuel, armaments, a bunch of weapons. A real motherload."

"A bit different boss. A warehouse of organics, still quite a lot that hasn't degraded. We might be able to trace it to the factory it was supplying too, maybe even further to warehouses of finished goods."

"This one's beautiful, boss. We managed to reconstruct data from some old systems - looks like something special was shipped to Z system, via X and Y. Might be worth hunting the fringes of those systems, see if you can find the ship. Not sure what's on it, however it had a small flotilla guarding it - must have been the good stuff."

==================================================================

And that up there is I suppose the start of a modspec. Might eventually learn enough to be able to write it.

Rusty Edge

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Re: Techmining seems to have rather low returns?
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2023, 06:53:09 PM »

 When playing the game, my first assumption was that tech mining was Starsector's equivalent of research from other games.
 That you could unlock special blueprints, hullmods or industries that you couldn't find any other way.
 Would be a big incentive to build them if that were so.
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WhisperDSP

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Re: Techmining seems to have rather low returns?
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2023, 12:03:08 PM »

I was expecting similar, plus the (very occasional) rare items on the bigger ruins.

Timid

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Re: Techmining seems to have rather low returns?
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2023, 05:00:49 PM »

Size 6 colony, Vast Ruins (left untouched specially for testing a Size 6 colony), 2 Story Point upgrade, Alpha AI core.

I'm running a tiny personal mod which sets the techmining to 0.99 decay rate.

The results seem low. Especially when according to in-game and the Wiki:

...

Am I missing something fundamentally obvious?

Or is my testing simply the victim of really bad RNG results?
https://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=16816.0

Because your best loot is always in the first month even with 0.99 decay (since there's a high multiplier for the first time using it)

WhisperDSP

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Re: Techmining seems to have rather low returns?
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2023, 06:27:19 PM »

Yeah, my “big” month in vanilla was not much: 1 alpha / 2 gamma and a few extra weapons. Month 8 for the only BP retrieved. The metal/supplies/fuel/machinery was generically meh also.

Interesting mod of yours, though I’m trying on the whole to stay near-vanilla while I’m learning.

I’ve been thinking of grabbing your TMI mod too. :)

WhisperDSP

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Re: Techmining seems to have rather low returns?
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2023, 11:43:24 AM »

Digging through the code:

Code: java
if (mult >= 1) {
  float num = base * (5f + random.nextFloat() * 2f);
  if (num < 1) num = 1;

  d = new DropData();
  d.chances = (int) Math.round(num);
  d.group = "techmining_first_find";
  dropRandom.add(d);
}

And then the drop groups:

Code
"item_modspec:{tags:[!no_drop_salvage, !restricted]}",techmining_first_find,10
"item_:{tags:[package_bp, !no_drop, !restricted]}",techmining_first_find,10
item_corrupted_nanoforge,techmining_first_find,2
#item_synchrotron,techmining_first_find,1
"item_:{tags:[hist3t, !no_drop, !restricted]}",techmining_first_find,2
alpha_core,techmining_first_find,1
beta_core,techmining_first_find,2
gamma_core,techmining_first_find,5
"wpn_:{tags:[rare_bp, !restricted]}",techmining_first_find,20

So yes, there's no wonder that it seemed anaemic. :o

Time to make my own drop groups and extend the TechMining class. When it gets to testing-point I'll ask in the mod thread how to compile the java and how to tell the game to use my wtaTechMining class rather than the base-game TechMining class.

Megas

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Re: Techmining seems to have rather low returns?
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2023, 12:24:44 PM »

Your objection to the low rate comes from an in-universe rationale (which is good!) but my objections come from a gameplay perspective: It cost a bunch of money and uses an Industry slot that could otherwise be filled with something better. That said, I'm pretty sure this is being addressed next patch but nothing is guaranteed. Alex really liked a suggestion for using the new Progress Bar mechanic for Tech Mining, but who knows what (if anything) has been implemented.
Not only that, it is also a Pather magnet for bigger planets.  +2 for the smallest ruins, and gets more for bigger ruins (up to +8).

But yes, tying up an industry slot (and burning money and taking more Pather interest) for many months for a chance to get rare items and nothing else early in the game when I want them is lame.  By the time I may have an industry slot to spare, either I have the means to raid the core worlds for the blueprints I want, or I simply no longer need them.

When a great item drops, it feels good, but most of the time, I was sorely disappointed throwing good money after bad.  It was better when it produced commodities, and now that size 3 planets do not get targeted by major factions like they used to, maybe bringing that original feature would be useful for early colonies.
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WhisperDSP

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Re: Techmining seems to have rather low returns?
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2023, 10:06:24 AM »

Slightly overdone LOL





At least the mod worked. In a fashion. :) Time to tweak logic.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2023, 10:14:27 AM by WhisperDSP »
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