Vehicle & Ship Based Mining
Mining Vehicles & Ships
Greycat Remote Ore Collector
The Greycat Remote Ore Collector(R.O.C.) is purpose built to mine medium surface gem deposits. The vehicle is rugged but can be prone to tipping if it hits an obstacle due to its high ground clearance. It can be rented from various Refinery Decks
or bought ingame for 172,000 aUEC
. It is operated by a single player and is roughly the size of a Cyclone meaning it can comfortably be transported by a Cutlass Black or larger ship. The ROC comes equipped with a single Size 0 Mining Laser and has 0.8 SCU of onboard storage. As with all vehicles and ships, the ROC can be upgraded with different Size 0 components although selection is very limited at this time. There is a slot for a shield generator but it is locked out and it is unknown if this will be a feature in the future. The only real drawback to the vehicle is its lack of an enclosed climate controlled cabin. Outside of temperate zones, players will need to equip environmental armor to survive in harsh environments.
Transporting the R.O.C.
The vast majority of what the ROC can mine is well and truly away from a convenient vehicle spawn pad. The Cutlass Black is an ideal carrier for transporting the ROC. Driven in backwards, the vehicle fits well against the turret operator’s well wall allowing the player room to exit the ROC and go back and forth from the exit ramp and cockpit. A Freelancer can also be used albeit with great difficulty as the ROC will barely fit with no room for error. A better ship would be the Freelancer MAX, Valkyrie, or Mercury Star Runner with their wider cargo bays. Other suitable ships are the Carrack which can hold several ROCs and the Starfarer with its large ramp and cargo bay enables it to easily hold half a dozen.
If the player has no suitable transport, a Cutlass Black can be rented at a Refinery Deck.
The MISC Prospector is the starter for ship mining gameplay. This ship can be rented
or bought ingame for 2,061,000 aUEC.
It is a small, but rugged ship capable of mining mid-size boulders or asteroids and is meant for the solo miner. For defense, it comes with a Size 1 shield generator and a pair of Size 1 distortion repeaters. For mining and extracting precious minerals/ores, it carries a S1 Mining Head and has 32 SCU for extracted ore. Later on, additional functionality will be added, such as detachable saddlebags and a filter system. The ship handles poorly compared to other ships of its size and does not slow down easily.
More information about the Rental Prospector can be found here.
Argo Multi-Operator Laser Extractor
The Argo Multi-Operator Laser Extractor(M.O.L.E) represents a true multi-crew mining experience for a small group of friends looking to work together and mine the largest rocks. This ship can be purchased ingame for 5,130,500 aUEC.
The crew complement is nominally 4(Pilot and 3 Laser Operators), though a 5th crewman could be utilized as a Co-Pilot if desired. For defense, it comes with a pair of Size 2 shield generators and two Size 2 laser repeaters. For mining the Mole comes with three Size 2 Arbor Mining Heads. The Mole can hold 96 SCU worth of minerals and ore. Like the Prospector it will eventually have detachable saddlebags and a filter system. The Mole is larger than the Prospector, but better maneuvers somewhat despite its size. Hydrogen fuel should be monitored closely though.
Mole Crew Communication & Roles
Mole crews face different challenges than a group of Prospectors. Communication, first and foremost, is the key to a good experience on the Mole. Mole crew members must be in constant communication with each to convey valuable directional, mining, or hazardous advisory information. It is best early on for Mole crew to adopt a mindset that non-essential conversation is stopped when a valuable resource is found.
The Pilot is in overall command of the operation and later is tasked with splitting profits once the cargo has been sold. Additional responsibilities include:
Front Laser Operator(Foreman) -
- Maneuvering the ship into the most optimal position.
- Monitoring surrounding space for threats.
- Adjusting power flow, monitor shield integrity, keep watch of fuel reserves.
- Communicate with the Foreman what rocks should be mined or avoided.
- Maneuver the ship away in case of rock overcharge.
The Foreman is the front center laser operator and is in charge of the two side mining stations. The Foreman must have a good knowledge of Mining, not only for training new crewmen but to direct energy flow from multiple mining heads onto one rock for fracture if the need arises. Additional responsibilities include:
Side Cab Operators(Lancers L1(left) & L2(right)) -
- Communicating to the Pilot optimal distance, position, angle.
- Communicating the Abort signal to the Pilot.
- Help train inexperienced miners on what to look out for and efficient laser operation.
- Monitoring fractures by the Lancers and extractions
The Lancers are subordinate to the Foreman when tough rocks need cracking. When this is not the case they operate semi-independently, fracturing rocks into smaller extractable ones, and communicating to the Pilot and Foreman what has been found before extracting them into the cargo hold. Novice Lancers should have the Foreman watching their work so they do not accidentally overcharge the rock.
In rare circumstances a Co-Pilot may be wanted. Perhaps the crew just want an extra person to talk to or there is a rotation of miners so more people can gain experience on that mining run. Maybe the Mole is headed to a cave and an extra person could help out. Usually the Foreman will fulfill this role if the ship is not actively seeking rocks to mine. Whatever the case, the Co-Pilot is strictly optional.
Fracturing & Extraction
Fracturing The Rock
After entering Mining Mode, find an optimal distance to the target, wait for the rock to be fully scanned, and then turn on the laser using the LMB. Clicking LMB again will immediately turn the laser off, KEEP THIS IN MIND.
Increase power on the Laser Intensity via the scroll wheel on the mouse until the Charge Level starts to rise. As the Charge level approaches the Optimal/Green Zone, start dialing the Laser Intensity back to ease into and maintain this sweet spot. From here carefully adjust the Laser Intensity or distance as needed to maintain the Rock Energy level in the Optimal/Green Zone.
If the Overcharge/Red Zone is breached, immediately decrease power, turn the laser away from the rock, or cut power all-together before restarting.
The Prospector and Mole can equip the Brandt and Optimum Consumables to aid in keeping the Charge Level within the Optimal/Green Zone. The ROC has no such safety net and must rely on quick Laser Intensity adjustments by the operator. The Prospector and Mole may also equip a Rime Consumable which will immediately drop the Charge Level into the Blue Zone if needed.
Going into the Overcharge/Red Zone for ship-based mineables not only destroys the contents of the rock but also increases the explosive potential of the rock if fractured while having an Overcharge Level. This creates a cumulative destructive effect of the rock’s contents with each breach. For vehicle-based mineables, the rock can explode yielding nothing or scattering gems over a wide area making them nearly impossible to collect. While in the Overcharge/Red Zone, a rock will act similarly to a nuclear reaction, building potential energy very quickly until an explosive end. At a high enough Charge Level, cutting power will do nothing and the reaction will be self sustaining, causing an explosion when the Integrated Overcharge Sensor reaches its limit. This can severely damage or destroy the vehicle/ship.
Once acquisition of the Optimal/Green Zone is attained, the only thing left to do is wait until the Integrated Fracturing Sensor fills up and the rock breaks apart. For vehicle-based mineables, the fracturing process will only need to be performed once and spawns numerous small gems, the same as would be found in hand mineables. For ship based mineables this fracturing process will need to be repeated on any desirable rock still outlined in gold/yellow to finally break it down enough for extraction(purple outline). Please note that rocks small enough for extraction can not be broken down further and attempting to do so will cause them to be destroyed in the process.
The X Factor: Instability
The instability of the rock varies depending on mineral/ore content and the percentage concentration of each present in the rock. Gem deposits generally have an instability ranging from ~1 to ~4 and larger ship sized rocks can run the gamut from <1 to 10. At this time Quantanium has the highest instability of any mineral/ore. Instability determines the magnitude of fluctuation in the Charge Level meter causing it to move erratically requiring fast and careful adjustment to the Laser Intensity. High instability will make mining difficult while low instability means the rock will be predictable and easy to fracture. Instability can be mitigated on the Prospector and Mole by using either the Lancet, Hofstede, or Helix Mining Heads. A Brandt Consumable can further reduce a rock’s instability.
Extraction, Volatile Cargo, ROC Inventory & Interaction
To change Modes click RMB to enter Extraction Mode from Mining Mode. Use the Cursor and hover it over a rock to get precise measurements of its composition. Gems can not be scanned as they are already known and pure upon fracture. Fractured ship mineable rocks have a variable percentage composition of what the original rock contained. Any gem or rock can be extracted into the cargo hold so long as it is outlined in purple and there is space available. To activate the extraction process, hit LMB.
To gather gems, hover the extraction laser over the gems for a few seconds, they should visibly be pulled into the mechanism at which point the extractor can be aimed at another location. This process will not automatically turn off and will require the player to hit LMB again. When a ship mineable rock is fully extracted, the process will power off automatically and the rock outlined in purple will disappear. Partial extractions are allowed on ship mineables but, continuing to hold the extraction laser on a rock after filling the cargo hold will result in the rock disappearing and its remaining contents lost.
It is possible that fracturing a ship mineable will yield a 100% pure rock. 50 Mass is equal to 1 SCU of cargo space. For example, a pure 100% Agricium rock with a mass of 200 will yield 4 SCU of Agricium. It is up to the miner to decide personal thresholds of what is good enough to be taken and what will be left on the field. Once the cargo hold is full on the ship then it is time to head back and sell. The ROC however can keep going as it can empty its cargo into a box. Ship mined ore can only be sold at major landing zones. Gems can be sold at Mining or Research Center Outposts.
Extracted Quantanium is the only volatile cargo at this time. Once extracted it will degrade inside the ship’s ore storage limiting the amount of time it can be carried. This degradation can be seen in real time while in Mining Mode. From the first extraction, the player has 15 minutes to get back to a Refinery to sell or begin refining Quantanium. Because of this, all rocks containing Quantanium should be broken down first before beginning the extraction process. It is highly recommended that players looking to mine Quantanium purchase a Military-class Quantum Drive to shorten quantum travel times.
Outside of Mining Mode the only way to determine the state of degradation is via the Prospector and Mole’s control panel which will flash a colored light and sound an audio alert. If no alert is sounding then the cargo has a stability >50% and eight minutes have not elapsed. There is still plenty of time to reach a refinery. A slow blinking yellow light signals that the cargo has fallen to less than 50% stability and seven minutes are left. The Pilot should be thinking about going to a refinery. An orange signal indicates that the pilot only has two minutes remaining and stability is now down to ~15%. The pilot should be landing very soon or consider ejecting the cargo. A rapidly blinking red light means that the cargo has completely destabilized and will explode in seconds unless ejected. Ejecting the cargo is the only option at this point to avoid destruction.
At this time there are only three methods for stopping the degradation. The first is to simply eject the cargo. This can be done by pressing LALT+J or through Interaction Mode on the upper right panel(see picture below). If both volatile and non-volatile cargo is being carried, all of it will be ejected. Non-volatile cargo can not be ejected by itself. For example, a cargo hold full of Beryl can not be ejected to make way for Taranite.
The second way to stop decay is to store the ship. This is dependent on the game registering the ship properly but if it does then the ASOP terminal will have a ‘Store” option where ‘Retrieve’ or ‘Claim’ would be. Alternatively spawning a new ship will force the first ship into storage. Finally, the third way to stop the degradation is to simply sell the Quantanium in its raw form at an Ore Sales console or begin the refinement process by setting up a job.
ROC Inventory & Interaction
Unlike the Prospector or Mole, the ROC is not limited to being filled up once before it has to go sell its cargo. The back of the ROC has a hatch which can be opened to extend the vehicle’s internal storage compartment. To continue mining in the vehicle, this hatch should be closed.
Once this compartment is extended, use Interaction Mode to click on ‘Cargo Bay’ to bring up the vehicle’s inventory UI. This will also bring up the player’s personal inventory. From here gems can be put into a player’s personal inventory or vice versa if so desired. The same options that the personal inventory(see above) has for dealing with gems are also present here.
The same rules for storing the gems in a box also apply: it can not be done on a planetary or moon surface, only inside a ship. It should be noted that anyone can access this compartment, party member or not, and take items from it. This also applies to the boxes which are created from the ROC or personal inventory. In other words, cargo can be stolen. Boxing and then independently transporting the gems to a sell point will mean less downtime for the miners and more profit over time.
Selling the Cargo
After finishing the last extraction and a cargo hold full of valuables is acquired, it is time to sell. Gems can be sold at any trading console at Mining and Research Center Outposts. Selling Gems from the ROC is not unlike selling them from a backpack. Simply go to a trading console and select the ROC. It should be listed first. From here select each gem type to sell. If the ROC has been stored inside another player’s ship, the player who owns the ROC will still be able to sell their own gems at the terminal.
In groups, selling boxed gems comes with a few conditions: 1)The player who boxes the gems from the ROC will need to be the same one who owns the ship where the boxes are sold from or it will show as illegal cargo and can not be sold. 2)Players who box gems, but are not the ship’s owner will likewise be unable to sell their spoils because they can not see the ship on the trade terminal. Currently GrimHex will allow all cargo, legal or illegal, to be sold, no matter who the owner is as long as the boxes are in the ship. Therefore, to legally sell boxed gems, the player that boxes them needs to also own the transport ship to sell them at the trade terminal.
Left) Cargo shows as illegal at Port Olisar and can not be sold by ship’s owner
Right) Cargo shows as illegal but can be sold at GrimHex.
Selling Minerals and Ore
Alpha 3.12 brought major changes to how minerals/ore are handled when the player is looking to sell these goods. Refinery Decks will purchase minerals/ore in their raw form for half price. Refined minerals/ore must be sold at planetary landing zones. For more information on Refineries and Refining Decks in general, consult the TEST Refining Guide.