Merging Exploration and Mining

I am posting this here for those who don’t look at the Ideasguy threads. Said Ideas Guy thread:


Exploration and Minings existance is threatened. I believe in saving Exploration and in part Mining by merging the two to use one shuttle and work together. What would usually perhaps be one Explorer all alone and three Miners spread out all over Lavaland is now four team mates who will work together for different but related goals and help each other. While I love Lavaland, the theme, the scary monsters and its outpost. I am unable to find reason to save it in this idea.

Preperation room and Dock

The Explorers and Miners would still have their own seperated preperation rooms with their work locker, hardsuits, vendor, and whatever else their job might require. For an early example of a preperation room look below.


The dock however would be a common area. Meant for both the Explorers and Miners to talk about their plans, do final preperations or store things meant for everyone. A cozy medium sized room. Preferably this room should be accessible from the main hallway so people who might want things from Exploration can easily request it and retrieve it. Maybe even with a built vendor to allow a somewhat consistant sale of Exploration locked items as transparant PDAs, Pandoras Pizza box or fancy guns at high prices for Security, Clown with the Cargo Budget card or any opportunistic antagonist.


The shared shuttle would be designed to accommodate 6 to 8 people with rooms for work related equipment such a mech recharger. This might also be a good situation to giving a round-start mech and allow players who are unaware of its functions to learn (and get stuck in space). For an example shuttle see below.

The shuttle should only be used for getting from A to B and not be a mobile base. This area should enable the chances for interesting situations and conversations to occur naturally.

Derelict Station

Serving as a very balanced opportunity for situations and rewards, the derelict station will be ideal to keep both Explorers and Miners busy for a reasonable tim. While Miners are busy mining along the exterior of the station the Explorers will be fighting off whatever creatures recide inside. If one or the other happen to meet an unfortunate end there is almost certainly at least someone else who will immediately come looking for you, thus ending (or at least mitigating) the age old classic assumption that the Miner or Explorer are always dead.


While not of interest for the Explorers this would serve as a very good location for extensive mining and would be a good use of a Fulton Extraction Pack in the case that the Explorers leave you.

Unknown Signals

On the opposite end we have unknown signals which unlike asteroids are of great interest for Explorers and a good source of illegal tech or other cool and interesting locations to explore. However, this is not always of any significant interest for Miners.


-Lavaland will not have much reason to exist anymore and as such Miners will lose a lot of possible equipment to do antaggery. This could be solved by moving ruins to the Derelict Station asteroids.

-Supply might be left barren and more empty than usual by soft-removing Mining from them. This could be prevented if Cargo and Science are nearby and treat them similar to how Genetics used to be part of Medbay and Science.

-Possible initial confussion to the standard operation of experienced Miners when working with Explorers. Some may outright refuse to work with the Explorers or wise versa.


In the future after this is created, PRd and merged. I’d hope to be able to implement the asteroid ruins from Lavaland to give antagonist Miners that extra buff. Something PowerfulBacon has mentioned for their Mining rework.

How the Mining rework would function with this I am uncertain. Perhaps these two are in direct opposition to each other or they will serve as an alternative, similar to the various engines Engineering has to choose from.

While not throughly thought through I think a special objective to Changelings to kill all other Explorers and or Miners (when more than 5 in total) would serve to be an amazing atmospheric series of events. Having your team mates picked off one-by-one.


but what is this whole thing about? Like… why? What? When?

I’m quite at the loss here. Before posting any comment on what’s written I would like to have some context about it!

It is an idea I’ve had for the past couple weeks of merging the two subdepartments in order to allow them to cooperate in their work. I think this will open up opportunities for RP in an otherwise singleplayer experience as it has been described by others.

This isn’t anything concrete, what I’ve done is far from being implemented.I am looking for thoughts and feedback if such a change were to be implemented.

In the past few months there has been several conversations in removing one or the other if not both. PowerfulBacon tackles the Mining issue in his Mining rework quite far into development. Link to Bacons IdeasGuy thread:

But why this introduction then? Like why the 2 jobs are threatened? I’m sorry to clog the initial posts of your ideas with my questions before giving any feedback, but without context is hard to give any significant thought on the matter!

People believe it doesn’t contribute to any RP and so wish it to be removed. Most of the time an Explorer either immediately dies or they are an unstoppable semi-God with their own Omni-lathe and so on.

I like this idea but there should be a new item that allows for you to remotely call the shuttle. Or an item that warns the station that the shuttle left stranding you behind. Maybe add something like a SOS button the GPS?

My worst fears Is someone calling the shuttle away.

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This is not a good idea; I briefly explained why on my other comments but I decided deleting that.

I can kinda see why. Most miners i see are really robust and just kinda go down to fight mega fauna and get kitted out quite quickly. They do mine, so I can’t fault them on that. But I’ve seen a lot of solo miners go off for bosses and such and die early round and DNR after. Same as exploration. Hard to get people to go and set up a rescue mission to retrieve exploration crews corpses.

At the same time though, I do think merging them could bring RP, I see it causing more conflicts or irritations at best from miners wanting to go to lavaland, explorers saying no, or vice versa.

I think its a tough nut to crack, really.

Maybe something included in job role rules for miners such as “do not engage mega-fauna without appropriate contingency plans or extra crew to provide evac / backup unless there is no other choice” to atleast have less meta gaming or powergaming by running in to kill drakes and make armour or finding lavaland syndie base for gear.

My two cents, I don’t know that a merge would solve anything but I haven’t played enough of either role to fully understand the implications of a merge

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There will of course be a spare shuttle console board on the shuttle and I will provide them with a free beacon in their docking room for anyone to carry on their person.

Lavaland is unfortunately not going to remain with us forever. So the option might not be there. If they desire to go to Lavaland and the planet still exists the small mining shuttle will still be there although with a smaller mining bay and all the spawns will be by Exploration.

Hey don’t mess with explo ok?
It’s the biggest unique mechanical role that bee has.

Mining is already getting a rework from bacon.

Exploration won’t be changed too much and will only get up to 4 nee coworkers they need to talk to.

First thing first, let me preface this by saying that I applaud your willingness to put in the work Larsson! Especially for some roles that have you let down as a roboticists many times in the past!

I do agree. The more you put something/someone where the foot traffic is, the more you’re maximizing the chances for interaction!

On this, as all the others, I’m firmly contrary.

It’s not your fault that you don’t see it as a problem, because you almost never played those roles with any punctuality. But let me tell you, even miners, and not only explorers, get stranded in space by their own team just because they share the same shuttle. And miners are at maximum 3. Before we got the fancy update in the navigator consoles where we can pilot it, the chance of getting stranded by a miner companion was so high that I punctually informed anyone when I was beaming the shuttle up or down to avoid any chance of stranding someone. Because before the update the beaming up or down was instant!

Giving a single shuttle for 8 crewmembers won’t maximize any positive interactions, just ooc frustration for having been left behind.

I would argue give us 2 big shuttle, outfitting the mining and explorer shuttles very differently to let each team keep its flavor AND a small one. In this way you will have not only given us the tools we need for our trade, but even supplied with a small shuttle for any recovery mission, or just plain solo exploration.

Maximizing the possible approaches, and so the enjoyement, these 2 roles already offer!

As other have pointed out, the inner rhythm of each job is too different to be successfully merged. It’s not the fault of any side, it’s just that that’s how it is. Plus it would be horrible to be forced to alter your RP to speed up because if you don’t you’re holding not only your entire team, but the other too.

Part of the enjoyment of being a miner for me has always been the fact that you’re alone, free of the pressure of anyone or anything around the immediate vicinity, but always at comms distance.

I’m sure for the explorer is the same.

For me the mining job has been what the janitorial one usually is for many. A cushy position where I can learn or re-learn the game at my pace without too much pressure from the outside.

Once again, let the mining team do the mining and the exploring team do the exploring. In this scenario the exploring team wouldn’t have any reason to land on asteroid at all and they would be rightfully pissed to have their job and round held up by another team.

While the miner team would resent them because they can’t do their job more efficiently if they don’t land on asteroids.

To be honest I would solve this problem by thinking exactly in the opposite way.

From my many rounds as captain or hop I noticed how science is effectively the land of the lone wolves. Even if everyone know in that department that the explorers have gone missing, aside some notable exceptions(like you and few others), no one truly cares?

And that’s why explorers DNR when downed.

I somewhat recently organised a ghetto ERT to which you contributed to with some very good and needed healing chems and we rescued a lone explorer, soul still intact, after more than 1 hour from his death. And almost everyone knew or could have easily knew he was downed.

So my idea is not to move mining, but instead to move exploration to mining. Explorers can give their finding to the cargo techies and the QM, and finally the supply team will have something useful to ship instead of mails or bounty lists!

And the explorers, adding supply to their headset and miners with the exploration channel added to theirs, will see a small boost in their interactions!

Sure! Give the miner their ruins and fauna to fight to spawn on the asteroids! So both miners and explorers will have more things to do and see!

I’m not a fan of killing my own team mates to be honest, but I can see why one would not want to remove this chance. Even if I personally don’t like it too much!


I’ve played a lot of Exploration lately and talked to Huk who is an experienced Miner. Even did a bit of an informal test where I got Gage the Shaft Miner to join Fiddler and I in Exploring and work together. It worked out well and a lot of what is said under Asteroids and Unknown Signals are based on Gage’s experience. They were bored doing Unknown Signals as it lacked any actual mining and much more preferred mining at a Derelict Station. On a Derelict Station when I was done and about to head back to the station I’d tell him and he’d make his way over to the shuttle without delay. He would maybe get to mine for roughly 20 to 30 minutes each time. And when a Quantum Pad was installed he could more or less mine as he pleased.

Derelict Stations would satisfy both Explorers and Miners.

It should be the job of the RD to ensure their recovery but… what RD? As an explorer I tend to give a radio key to the most reliable person in Science to keep tabs on us Exploring. Whoever is working in Robotics.

You guys should read this: Mining rework + Lavaland removal by PowerfulBacon · Pull Request #9613 · BeeStation/BeeStation-Hornet · GitHub
powerfulbacon; the head coder of bee (and creator of explo) wants to remove lavaland for these reasons.

reformatted because block quote is horrible to read

Problems with Lavaland
What are the high-level problems with mining?

Mining as it stands acts as a single-player experience with very little interaction.
Players on Lavaland do not experience any of the events which occur on the station, leading to other players being eliminated from the systems which depend on players to create unique experiences.
Miners are inaccessible to be interacted with, even when interactions are forced through antagonist objectives.
Miners do not cooperate and tend to compete instead.
Death is too punishing for miners and often results in >30-minute wait time or full round removal, leading to players being unable to play the game if they die.
Most deaths are caused by environmental/system-controlled hazards and have no player involvement, leading to boring and unfun deaths.
Antagonists feel encouraged to eliminate miners as soon as possible rather than come up with plans and wait for the situation to kill them.
What mechanics cause these problems?
The nature of Lavaland itself contributes a significant amount to the problems outlined above. The 3 major problems that I have identified with Lavaland that leads to these problems are:

The inaccessibility of Lavaland to most players on the station. This comes in the form of access requirements restricting players as well as the time gap to access Lavaland.
Lack of any tangible reason to go to Lavaland.
The game is focused on the story of the station, there are few systems which are designed around events and stories taking place away from the station.
Specialist gear is required to access Lavaland which is not accessible to the crew.
Discussion of alternative solutions
There are other proposed solutions, however many of these solutions either do not solve all the problems I am looking to solve, have other conceptual issues or are simply too much work to get completed.

The reason I believe this concept is the best solution is that every aspect of the design helps to propose solutions to the problems while remaining an elegant solution (one which is simple and already fits in with the existing mechanics without feeling out of place). An elegant solution has significantly lower risk during implementation as there are less ‘moving parts‘ which can cause unexpected outcomes.

Secondary Benefits
Removal of Lavaland saves a significant number of resources when it comes to mob processing, other background systems processing and load time. The removal of Lavaland results in about ~30% load time improvements (~60 seconds down to ~40) as well as reduced load throughout the round.

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As Floria mentioned, Lavalands existance is doomed. Derelict Stations currently almost always generate inside an asteroid. I’ve told it is only supposed to be 33% of the time but that has not been the case in my experience the past few days. So Derelict Stations will satisfying both Explorers and Miners desires.

If bacon says something is going to happen its going to happen.

just like corg.

Lavaland is not doomed, and if it is it’s due to bad decisions of staff members. Lavaland is fine and even if it isn’t just making it worse by removing it altogether or creating a hellhole unplayable merged mining wouldn’t make things any better.

I don’t see any clear reason that would justify removing it other than keeping it, because all the problems cited aren’t solved by either removing or merging it.

You can’t just go “well, this is bad, so let’s make random changes to make it even worse” then pretend it’s solved

Also, about you asking Huk or Gage, that’s like two dudes, there are tons of miners including me, Lydia nere and many more. Make a poll, I doubt this idea would be popular amongst mining players

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Your argument would be a lot more effective if you addressed the points i quoted. For example, can you counter this:

Mining as it stands acts as a single-player experience with very little interaction.
Players on Lavaland do not experience any of the events which occur on the station, leading to other players being eliminated from the systems which depend on players to create unique experiences.

I’m not saying asteroid mining is the solution. but it is a solution. if you have an alternative idea that solves those points then that would be something to talk about.


Lavaland IS doomed, maintaining it is a pain, as it was ported from TG and while we may have modified it, it isn’t perfect, and many age-old bugs like The Legion (Megafauna) and the Icewing curse remain, instead of trying to run the treadmill to maintain a ever festering pile of rust, Bacon decided to rework the entirety of Mining and actually have the potential of adding new content be a thing.

And that’s not the only reason Lavaland is getting removed.
As it stands, jobs like Mining, Xenobiology and Virology act as a single player mode of a multiplayer server, which stinks when those same people are ment to be on a station with you.
Exploration also has this problem, but you’re heavily encouraged to stick close to your teammates due to the possibility of a quick death otherwise. (3 Clockwork Marauders will not take kindly to your existence.)