Scooping, Mining, and Why I Won't Do It

KestrelKestrel Posts: 356Member ✭✭✭✭
edited February 18 in Feedback
Hi.

So I've spoken to a lot of people about Gas Scooping, Asteroid Mining/Tethering, Refining, Autofactories, Captaincy, the in-game economy, and their feelings regarding it.

The general sentiment I'm getting from a lot of people is this: it sucks. And I've heard a lot of reasons which could be broken down bit by bit by someone who's spent a lot more time on this system than I have, from things like the cost (high) vs. reward (none) of maintaining autofactories, to XP/mark gains (negligible) from refining and delivering stuff, etc. But I feel like a lot of these concerns miss the most important point, which is an elephant in the room that desperately needs someone to point it out.

It's boring.

Candidly, and while there are many things I love about this wonderful game, which I log in to play several hours every day, I would rather gouge my eyes out with a rusty spoon than spend one minute scooping gas, queuing in a refinery and then delivering it through market orders. (Which inevitably will take a good deal longer than 1 minute, because this shit takes ages.)

This system doesn't need minor tweaks to be improved. It doesn't need a few price hikes here and there, a numerical adjustment to the quantities of raw materials in a unit, and so on. It needs to be overhauled. Dramatically. There is simply nothing interesting about it at all. People like @BOB (bless your heart, hero of our times) have tried numerous strategies IG to mobilise the playerbase towards doing more with these systems, with very little success. And I really do have a lot of respect for that guy and would love to help him out, but the moment I make any kind of attempt, I can feel my brain starting to dribble out from my orifices and I'm moved to immediately disembark my ship. A soul of lesser constitution, yet perhaps higher sanity, will instead be moved to log out and not come back.

I really have spoken to a lot of people about this and I'm not alone in sharing this sentiment. I normally hate giving this kind of unconstructive criticism and would love to point to an elegant list of ways to give the system a facelift, but the game is in early enough days that I feel comfortable pointing to the whole shebang here and saying, 'This doesn't work. None of this works. It doesn't.'

Please, Starmourn Staff, during the next round of fixes when you're gathered around a digital table looking at the math on scooping/refining/factories etc., and wondering how things can be mildly adjusted to incentivise greater participation in this system, do not look at things with an eye for mathematics and instead look at this with an eye for fun. Absolutely nothing will inspire me to participate in this corner of the game, no rewards or incentives, except an overhaul involving some kind of minigame/activity that requires me to apply some degree of thought/ingenuity. Hacking is a wonderful little puzzle system that I absolutely adore. Even bashing, while grindy, is something I had fun optimising with my system, and I made it a point to explore various areas to make the climb to 75 a bit more interesting. Questing imparts stories and sometimes takes a bit of exploratory strategising. Scooping and refining etc. has none of that. It needs to be a game. That's why people aren't playing it.

"They are elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty."
— Oscar Wilde


"I'll take care of it, Luke said. And because he said it instead of her, I knew he meant kill. That is what you have to do before you kill, I thought. You have to create an it, where none was before."
— Margaret Atwood

BeepBoopKara

Comments

  • GarrynGarryn Posts: 61Administrator Starmourn staff
    Thanks for the feedback! Definitely something that we need to improve.
  • BeepBoopBeepBoop Posts: 69Member ✭✭
    So I know Kestrel's point is that scooping and mining is boring, and while I can agree that it's not the most fun experience, I feel like if something is worth doing people will do it, even if it is not the most exciting activity. Many people bash even though they hate it. What is "worth" it depends on each person - it could be enjoyment or it could be for a high reward. I've said this from the beginning, but the only reason we saw such high numbers of people scooping and mining at the start was because of the shininess of something new. Once that wore off, and people realised it wasn't worth doing for any reason, it stopped happening.

    There are other problems which I've talked about on Discord many times, but I know the economy is something that attracted a lot of people to Starmourn in the first place and it has been a huge let down, not even because it's not working properly, but because it just feels like we are so scared of making big changes that might break it that they don't realise just how broken it already is.
    MinionArsentar
  • KestrelKestrel Posts: 356Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 18
    If it feels 'worth it' that might keep people going for a while, but sooner or later one begins to question what's really worth it if you're not having fun — which is what a game is supposed to be.

    I know not everyone is interested in this, but for me personally, RP is the funnest thing in the game; it's engaging in a way that cannot be replicated by any system. What do I get out of it? Nothing, mechanically. I don't get XP or marks for spending a good few hours discussing world domination over tea with @Viola, nor drunken philosophy at Rhodium with @Gabe and @Mattias. (PS hi dude I miss you where the fuck did you go?) But it's fun. That's what keeps me logging in. Hacking and exploring, similarly, convey very few rewards except the satisfaction of knowing I've succeeded/'solved' something cool.

    I know a good few people whose only interest in the game was bashing for a good long while and they've all burned out. I did bash to 75, but I did other things in between (and even during, i.e. questing/exploring as I bash) to keep things interesting.

    A grind can be 'worth it' in terms of watching numbers grow which can be sort of satisfying, but Starmourn isn't unique in offering this experience. There are other, funner games with funner grinds. Giving people things to grind isn't sufficient for maintaining player engagement if the grind isn't fun.

    So, I stand by it needing some sort of minigame, puzzle or quest involvement to make it more entertaining. Something more than just ship thrust 100 30 and ship turn until all the purple's gone.

    "They are elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty."
    — Oscar Wilde


    "I'll take care of it, Luke said. And because he said it instead of her, I knew he meant kill. That is what you have to do before you kill, I thought. You have to create an it, where none was before."
    — Margaret Atwood

  • ZhulkarnZhulkarn Posts: 149Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 18
    For me RP is always the priority which I always associate it with other modes (such as PvP) which becomes a tool to further the said RP. RP does not make marks but it definitely makes the time fly quite quickly. Now it is completely understandable that manufacturing and ship fighting sides of the game might not be fun at all in its current inception. Though there are games with 10+ years under their belts which their economy still are based mostly on promo/trinket/credit markets with nothing too much interesting to buy (things acquired through ingame effort, specifically). So I am positive right now Starmourn at its raw form is still ahead of them. 

    And I definitely agree with on your points regarding the game feeling. I would like people to have more fun and feel like playing a game with their spaceships since most of my RP revolves around enabling people to do stuff in space. 
  • CubeyCubey Posts: 277Member ✭✭✭
    Make mining/scooping less brainless if you want to, yeah. But also make it more profitable - I won't touch it with a ten foot pole because it's less money than incursions and incursions are already far less money than hunting endgame areas.
    I bet many other players feel the same way. Most peeps won't do content if it won't give them good rewards. Mining is supposed to be the basis of player driven economy but with shit rewards it offers, it just doesn't work. As a result, the whole economy doesn't work.
    Minion
  • MinionMinion Posts: 162Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 18
    I would honestly prefer it not become another mini game. Mining IRL is tedius and boring. Flying and finding gas and asteroids is the mini game. Finding a station close to you with the right refinery is the mini game. Not everything has to be slappyhappyfuntime. 

    I do agree that it would be reasonable to have asteroid belts and gas clusters to reduce the searching. 

    The rewards, though, are why the serious miners are not participating. Right now it simply isn't worth the time even if it is intended to be a slow burn.
  • bairlochbairloch Posts: 373Member ✭✭✭
    I like the idea of asteroid belts/nebulae with regular locations, and risk/reward (farther from "civilization" = better stuff) but I'm not a fan of a mini game. I like just scooping, I don't like doing search patterns around empty zones trying to find the thing I need to scoop.
  • DesmondDesmond Posts: 28Member ✭✭
    Minion said:
     Not everything has to be slappyhappyfuntime. 

    I do believe that is why we play games...so that we might have slappyhappyfuntime. So yeah, everything -has- to be slappyhappyfuntime. If I want dreary/boring, I go get a corporate job...or join CA and look at their corporate hoops :D
    KestrelPeiryKara
  • bairlochbairloch Posts: 373Member ✭✭✭
    @RocketCat
    I'm that guy. Well, not THAT guy, but like that guy. I still play Eve that way. I played JumpGate that way when it was still live. I log in, I go lick rocks, I process the ore, I log out. That's what I enjoy. No idea why.
    I like to do it in SM too. I don't want conflict or combat, I just want to help provide for the economy. Making that a bit more reliable, and my productions a bit more reliable, would be a big step forward.
    ZootMinion
  • KestrelKestrel Posts: 356Member ✭✭✭✭
    Desmond said:
    If I want dreary/boring, I go get a corporate job...or join CA and look at their corporate hoops :D 

    "They are elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty."
    — Oscar Wilde


    "I'll take care of it, Luke said. And because he said it instead of her, I knew he meant kill. That is what you have to do before you kill, I thought. You have to create an it, where none was before."
    — Margaret Atwood

  • kamyrkamyr Posts: 54Member
    Give asteroids movement and sizes, add a mining laser, and cargo recover the mess once you 'kill it'.
    Gas I would leave alone.

    After that, I would do some kind of 'shardfall' for gas and asteroids: global alert for a zone that turns to open ship-pk but has a high concentration of rarer gas or minerals.

    Beyond that, it's just not profitable. It could be the best mechanics in the world, and I'd be loathe to do it then.
    Bubbalubgravithicc
  • CubeyCubey Posts: 277Member ✭✭✭
    kamyr said:
    Give asteroids movement and sizes, add a mining laser, and cargo recover the mess once you 'kill it'.
    This post inspired me.
    Guys, use existing incursion mechanics but for mining/scooping. Course it wouldn't be incursions anymore but rather sightings of valuable meteorites or gas clouds. These would work similar to incursion mobs but damageable only by scoops or mining lasers, and of course wouldn't fight back. You kill 'em, you get materials.
    Only problem is, incursions are crap the way they are now and you'd need to fix them too*. Still a step in the right direction though.

    * In particular new incursions still won't spawn when the old ones finish due to destroying all enemies, only when they time out - so you gotta wait for the timer to clock down anyway. Also the waiting period between hostile ships to spawn is way too long.
  • QitorienQitorien Posts: 361Member ✭✭✭
    I fully agree that the system needs dramatic revision. I would like to say, however, that I have actually enjoyed it quite a bit, despite its severe drawbacks. Recently the economy forcing the lack of raw material, particularly asteroids, has been the biggest issue for me. I would still be doing it consistently if I could find stuff to gather. In some ways, I almost enjoy the scarcity level because it's introduced a level of strategy of marking where clouds are and patiently harvesting and then allowing regrowth over a few real life days. That's only for gas clouds, since asteroids are nearly nonexistent, and even gas clouds are too scarce. I do wish it was a little more profitable for miners. It's easier to trade your way to captaincy level and profit, even if you are transporting between stations, than to go out and harvest.
    As T'rath has pierced the veil, so will I, and so will my life become complete in a good death.
    Jin
    VOTE FOR STARMOURN
    Tecton-Today at 6:17 PM
    teehee b.u.t.t. pirates
    GrootToday at 2:16 PM
      if there's no kittens in space
      I'm going on a rampage
    TectonToday at 2:17 PM
      They're called w'hoorn, Groot
      sets out a saucer of milk
  • ThessiaThessia Posts: 60Member
    The last time I went asteroid hunting, I flew around for 20 minutes, found nothing, then questioned why I was doing this at all.

    The last time I examined profit margins, I could've made the same money bashing for 2 MINUTES that I would've for several hours of resource gathering.
    Kestrel
  • KestrelKestrel Posts: 356Member ✭✭✭✭
    Cubey said:
    * In particular new incursions still won't spawn when the old ones finish due to destroying all enemies, only when they time out - so you gotta wait for the timer to clock down anyway. Also the waiting period between hostile ships to spawn is way too long.
    I don't agree with this statement at all, speaking as someone who made it to the top #25 in captaincy exclusively through incursion farming (because fuck me if I was going to go gas scooping and shit, hell to the naw.)

    I have not experienced any of these problems. I find incursions easy and fun. Could use a few minor touch-ups, sure, but nothing as dramatic as what I'm saying scooping/mining needs. It's just the sort of minigame I would appreciate from resource gathering.

    The wait period between spawn times as is IMO is just right to allow you to repair, recover the cargo, and chill a bit so shields can recharge. I don't think this part in particular needs touching, but that's its own separate thread, maybe.

    "They are elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty."
    — Oscar Wilde


    "I'll take care of it, Luke said. And because he said it instead of her, I knew he meant kill. That is what you have to do before you kill, I thought. You have to create an it, where none was before."
    — Margaret Atwood

  • MinionMinion Posts: 162Member ✭✭✭
    Kestrel said:
    Cubey said:
    * In particular new incursions still won't spawn when the old ones finish due to destroying all enemies, only when they time out - so you gotta wait for the timer to clock down anyway. Also the waiting period between hostile ships to spawn is way too long.
    I don't agree with this statement at all, speaking as someone who made it to the top #25 in captaincy exclusively through incursion farming (because fuck me if I was going to go gas scooping and shit, hell to the naw.)

    I have not experienced any of these problems. I find incursions easy and fun. Could use a few minor touch-ups, sure, but nothing as dramatic as what I'm saying scooping/mining needs. It's just the sort of minigame I would appreciate from resource gathering.

    The wait period between spawn times as is IMO is just right to allow you to repair, recover the cargo, and chill a bit so shields can recharge. I don't think this part in particular needs touching, but that's its own separate thread, maybe.
    I have instances where I have flown around a zone for 10 minutes waiting for a spawn. Now, that was with another ship in the same incursion so there is a chance that they were getting them instaed of me. If that is as per design, the help file should make mention of it if it doesn't already.
  • KestrelKestrel Posts: 356Member ✭✭✭✭
    Minion said:
    Kestrel said:
    Cubey said:
    * In particular new incursions still won't spawn when the old ones finish due to destroying all enemies, only when they time out - so you gotta wait for the timer to clock down anyway. Also the waiting period between hostile ships to spawn is way too long.
    I don't agree with this statement at all, speaking as someone who made it to the top #25 in captaincy exclusively through incursion farming (because fuck me if I was going to go gas scooping and shit, hell to the naw.)

    I have not experienced any of these problems. I find incursions easy and fun. Could use a few minor touch-ups, sure, but nothing as dramatic as what I'm saying scooping/mining needs. It's just the sort of minigame I would appreciate from resource gathering.

    The wait period between spawn times as is IMO is just right to allow you to repair, recover the cargo, and chill a bit so shields can recharge. I don't think this part in particular needs touching, but that's its own separate thread, maybe.
    I have instances where I have flown around a zone for 10 minutes waiting for a spawn. Now, that was with another ship in the same incursion so there is a chance that they were getting them instaed of me. If that is as per design, the help file should make mention of it if it doesn't already.
    • Not all incursion types are made equal. Some, like trinaries, echo when they spawn: 'Gleaming, predatory, and alien, a swarm of monstrous Trinaries blinks out of nullspace.' Others, like Selassians, do not. They instead sneak up on you.
    • Incursion enemies spawn around player ships that are parked in that zone. If more than one person is flying around your incursion zone, they're probably stealing your spawns.
    • Incursion enemies have a tendency to move around. Some, like Vonikin Krel, move around a lot more than others; Mining Drones for example remain mostly stationary. If you're parked in an incursion zone and you can't see any enemy ships, you probably missed their spawn and they're now flying all around the zone. Spam ship beacon and wander about to find them.
    • Sometimes you might find that you've accidentally slipped into another zone while roving about. Double check incursion list that you're still in the correct zone. (It should show you distance 0.)
    I guarantee you that you did not fly around for 10 minutes waiting for a spawn. You just did not locate the spawn, for one of the reasons above.

    "They are elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty."
    — Oscar Wilde


    "I'll take care of it, Luke said. And because he said it instead of her, I knew he meant kill. That is what you have to do before you kill, I thought. You have to create an it, where none was before."
    — Margaret Atwood

  • LhundrupLhundrup Posts: 40Member ✭✭
    I think NPCs are needed here:

    1. To offer hauling contracts: "haul X units of (various miscellaneous objects) for X amount of marks. I feel like these contracts should be plentiful for people of all skillset, and the rewards should be based upon distance/amount shipped.
    So, for example I have entry level captaincy skill and the beginning ship - I could talk to an NPC at Crazy Jerry's whom would give me a list of available contracts in the entire sector. I decide I would like to accept a small contract to get started and I'm close to Iota, so I accept the contract: "Deliver 3 pallets of Assorted Fruits from Iota to Omni station for (reasonable amount in comparison to time taken and what could be earned from bashing) Marks" Once I accept the contract the shipment appears in my station cargo for Iota, so I pilot myself over to Iota, transfer the shipment to my ship, make my way to Omni, transfer the shipment to the station and receive my reward after talking to the NPC at the Crazy Jerry's on Omni. (I wholeheartedly believe Crazy Jerry's should be the place to go for all things logistical such as this) I feel that there should be both generated, and player offered contracts. The generated contracts would follow as above, but you're only shipping non-consequential things like pallets of pies, fruits, pipes, etc. And the player offered contracts would involve moving units such as X amount of Hellium11 from Iota to Omni for X amount of marks. Space Trucking. I believe completion of these contracts should award captaincy exp as well.

    2. To streamline the process of passing goods between gatherer and manufacturer: I feel as though there needs to be an NPC available that will buy raw materials for an established amount of marks. The materials sold should then be available for sale at the NPC at a higher established price.
    So, this means there will be an NPC at stations that will buy raw materials from players, and then turn around and sell those materials to whomever wishes to buy them. This system should be noticeably lower-profit than buying/selling directly from players. But it should be an option. Maybe this could operate similar to the shipforge, have a broker ship dock with your ship when it is within docking range - giving you the option to either BUY or SELL materials all at a pre-determined price.
    So, for example: I am just starting out and would like to earn some marks, I fit my ship with scoops and go gather 100 units of helium11. Now, rather than go through a bunch of numbers and data to find the perfect ratio of time vs. profit, I would rather just CALLBROKER while within docking range of a station - "A massive freighter ship emerges from the nearby station and approaches to board with yours!" Now, I would like to BROKER SELL 100 helium11 for X marks. And just like that, the 100 units of raw helium11 are turned into marks and are now available in that station's broker ship inventory for a predetermined price. Same process with tethered asteroids. For example; It could BUY helium11 at 10 marks per unit, then SELL helium11 at 25 marks per unit (or whatever the pricing should be)
    Maybe this "Broker ship" should only be available at Iota and/or Omni... Maybe they should be available at all stations. Maybe it should only be available for the more common materials, maybe it should be for all raw materials... Maybe this broker ship should be 100% player stocked, maybe it should generate a certain amount of certain materials... 



    I am Xylem.
    KestrelUridbairloch
  • CubeyCubey Posts: 277Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 19
    Kestrel said:
    Cubey said:
    * In particular new incursions still won't spawn when the old ones finish due to destroying all enemies, only when they time out - so you gotta wait for the timer to clock down anyway. Also the waiting period between hostile ships to spawn is way too long.
    I don't agree with this statement at all, speaking as someone who made it to the top #25 in captaincy exclusively through incursion farming (because fuck me if I was going to go gas scooping and shit, hell to the naw.)

    I have not experienced any of these problems. I find incursions easy and fun. Could use a few minor touch-ups, sure, but nothing as dramatic as what I'm saying scooping/mining needs. It's just the sort of minigame I would appreciate from resource gathering.

    The wait period between spawn times as is IMO is just right to allow you to repair, recover the cargo, and chill a bit so shields can recharge. I don't think this part in particular needs touching, but that's its own separate thread, maybe.
    That's your experience - the tempo might be just right for you, but for me it's too slow. I blow up the mob in 2-5 shots and then have to wait at least a minute, sometimes several, until another one bothers to pop.
    The advantage of on foot hunting is that the player controls the pacing. You kill one mob then move to another one when you're ready. In incursions, the game controls the pacing - if you're fast you get bored but also if you're slow (because you're a newbie or use a screenreader) you get overwhelmed by additional spawns. That's just a bad game design decision. Dunno how to fix it, maybe some kind of ship command to ping incursion mobs and make another one pop up - on a 30-60 sec cooldown to prevent abuse and the spawn rate would be slowed down or just removed altogether otherwise.
    Minion said:
    I have instances where I have flown around a zone for 10 minutes waiting for a spawn. Now, that was with another ship in the same incursion so there is a chance that they were getting them instaed of me. If that is as per design, the help file should make mention of it if it doesn't already.
    Don't fly around. Wait and let ships come to you as they spawn.

  • BeepBoopBeepBoop Posts: 69Member ✭✭
    There are also much more choice in high level mobs than there are hard incursions. 
  • MinionMinion Posts: 162Member ✭✭✭
    Kestrel said:
    Minion said:
    Kestrel said:
    Cubey said:
    * In particular new incursions still won't spawn when the old ones finish due to destroying all enemies, only when they time out - so you gotta wait for the timer to clock down anyway. Also the waiting period between hostile ships to spawn is way too long.
    I don't agree with this statement at all, speaking as someone who made it to the top #25 in captaincy exclusively through incursion farming (because fuck me if I was going to go gas scooping and shit, hell to the naw.)

    I have not experienced any of these problems. I find incursions easy and fun. Could use a few minor touch-ups, sure, but nothing as dramatic as what I'm saying scooping/mining needs. It's just the sort of minigame I would appreciate from resource gathering.

    The wait period between spawn times as is IMO is just right to allow you to repair, recover the cargo, and chill a bit so shields can recharge. I don't think this part in particular needs touching, but that's its own separate thread, maybe.
    I have instances where I have flown around a zone for 10 minutes waiting for a spawn. Now, that was with another ship in the same incursion so there is a chance that they were getting them instaed of me. If that is as per design, the help file should make mention of it if it doesn't already.
    • Not all incursion types are made equal. Some, like trinaries, echo when they spawn: 'Gleaming, predatory, and alien, a swarm of monstrous Trinaries blinks out of nullspace.' Others, like Selassians, do not. They instead sneak up on you.
    • Incursion enemies spawn around player ships that are parked in that zone. If more than one person is flying around your incursion zone, they're probably stealing your spawns.
    • Incursion enemies have a tendency to move around. Some, like Vonikin Krel, move around a lot more than others; Mining Drones for example remain mostly stationary. If you're parked in an incursion zone and you can't see any enemy ships, you probably missed their spawn and they're now flying all around the zone. Spam ship beacon and wander about to find them.
    • Sometimes you might find that you've accidentally slipped into another zone while roving about. Double check incursion list that you're still in the correct zone. (It should show you distance 0.)
    I guarantee you that you did not fly around for 10 minutes waiting for a spawn. You just did not locate the spawn, for one of the reasons above.
    I am not a rookie captain and was actively ensuring all of these things were in place. I am not exaggerating the amount of time I searched for a spawn. Thanks.
  • gravithiccgravithicc Posts: 8Member
    kamyr said:
    Give asteroids movement and sizes, add a mining laser, and cargo recover the mess once you 'kill it'.
    Gas I would leave alone.

    After that, I would do some kind of 'shardfall' for gas and asteroids: global alert for a zone that turns to open ship-pk but has a high concentration of rarer gas or minerals.

    Beyond that, it's just not profitable. It could be the best mechanics in the world, and I'd be loathe to do it then.
    This is great for new pilots practicing ship combat. I would prefer to shoot asteroids with my regular weapons to keep it simple. Just pepper the galaxy with asteroids, comets, derelict ships, and space lifeforms that we can blast into bits.
Sign In or Register to comment.