Mining Improvement Suggestions Thread

In this thread, we talk about making mining better.
Mining is not in a bad state and doesn’t need urgent changes, however, it is…quite unbalanced, and sometimes incredibly annoying. It also contains layers upon layers of entirely unecessary RNG, as well as outright badly designed tidbits, some of which are blatant relics from ancient mining.

I’ve cobbled together a list of sludge that I’ve witnessed so far. I will expand this list with your assistance if possible.

Balance Issues:

  • Tendril RNG - The value goes from a fully functioning stand to a regular pickaxe. This is absurd. At its best, the reward for destroying one tendril is ludicrously massive. At its worst, it is a mockery.

  • Tendrils Too Easy - Tendrils are typically only a challenge if they’re spawning goliaths.

  • Fauna Drop RNG - Aside from the colossus crystal, where the RNG is part of the charm, Drake and Bubblegum demonstrate particularly disgusting drop variance. From a mostly worthless sword to a dragon transformation, for example. Dragon blood in particular adds an additional layer of RNG to boot.

  • Voucher Option Inequality - There are exactly two viable voucher options: The crusher and the extraction & rescue kit. The second of these is great for convenience more than anything. Despite this, other vastly inferior options are available. What is the purpose aside from baiting newcomers?

  • Worthless Items - Some of the tendril drops are blatantly just a waste. Having two identical reskinned hardsuits is silly. Having a third which is MUCH WORSE is cruel. Items such as wicker doll, prison cube, inferno and the damn pickaxe are total memes. Let’s not even start on Dark Blessing.

  • Mining Point Value - Mining points are pathetically worthless compared to tendril drops and fauna loot. This means that a miner actually doing their job instead of hunting is discouraged by design. Notably, while they provide good utility and healing items, they have no “endgame” unless you consider having a bar to be it.

  • Monster Inequality - As it stands, watchers are a joke. Legions are a joke unless you don’t know what they do, and the goliath is the single regular monster that actually poses a threat. Furthermore, unrelated to this, two goliaths usually kill you if you get hit by one tentacle, since they chain. This would not be an issue if they were not hard to see on the lavaland floor. They don’t have animations or a distinct color.

  • Trophy Inequality - Defeating the Blood-Drunk Miner, a glorified miniboss, gives you a trophy that grants massive resistance. Defeating the Hierophant, generally the first boss a miner should learn, gives you a massively useful barrier. Defeating the Colossus - which can kill you in one hit, gives you a silly projectile. Defeating the Ash Drake gives you…basically nothing. At least Bubbles’ is decent. The rare watchers having their own trophies is also awful, they aren’t even guaranteed and the magmawing is not compatible with the colossus trophy to boot.

Bad Design:

  • Mining Doors - The mining base doors added in fastmos are annoying and serve little purpose since miners are usually on internals anyway. They add nothing of value except for pointless waiting and crowding.

  • Lag Traps - The likes of Lava, Abyss and to a lesser extent Gibtonite are perfectly fine in optimal gameplay. More often than not though, a single stutter of the game will have your miner knee-deep in lava, or instantly slain.

  • Item Unavailability - The cargo lathe does not produce several items which miners typically benefit greatly from (at least by default). This includes items such as the Bag of Holding (and trashbag) and spin inverders, along with other minor ones. Interdependence is already forced through research, but if miners want these items, they are forced to hack, ask, beg, or break in.

  • Spawn RNG - The amount of tendrils and fauna spawned each round is mostly random. Despite this, there are no ways to get additional ones to spawn in case the mines are barren.

  • Elite Unfairness - Beating a sentient elite once again offers a layer of RNG. The elite player may end up with no respawn, while the miner gets mostly unworthy loot instead of a pet. The herald also towers over other elites for its simple ability to speak. Which elite you get is also randomly determined. Elite players are known for not knowing about the revive they can get from the fight. Elites that win usually have a very sad existence too.

Grand Design Flaws

  • No Culmination - Legion - the “final boss” of lavaland, is a massive pushover. The necropolis is nonexistent. “Beating” lavaland does nothing aside from giving you a fancy staff to murderbone with in case you happened to be an antag.

  • Separation - Most of the station does not get to interact with miners much throughout the round.

  • Unga Bunga

There’s very little ways to solve the Grand Design Flaws without adding a considerable amount of fresh content into the game. As such, I can only provide potential solutions for the other two parts of the list. Below you will find how I believe we could improve some of the problems. However, you can completely skip this part of the post if you aren’t interested. it’s the feedback that’s important.

Suggested Solutions for Balance Issues:

  • Tendril RNG - Replacing the necropolis chests with another item which serves as currency should solve this. Miners would then turn this item over to either Nanotrasen or some kind of sacred place in Lavaland. Loot can now be priced accordingly.

  • Tendrils Too Easy - Tendrils spawn monsters in much faster when attacked. The spawned monsters immediately attack you and are stronger versions of the normal ones (same name/appearance/drops). Tendrils can only be damaged while these are not alive. Also makes tendril farming harder!

  • Fauna Drop RNG - Upon trying to open the respective chest, the game prompts you to select one of the loot items. In addition, Dragon’s Blood would now always transform you into a lizard person if used normally. It would require you to mix other lavaland items into it and thus create an elixir (with a prefix depending on which you make) , unlocking its true potential. Several regenerative cores for the skeleton mutation, a bunch of goliath hide plates for lava immunity, and a tendril currency item for the drake transformation. Perhaps a new effect for watcher sinew. Note that you would only be able to make it do one of these effects, as before.

  • Voucher Option Inequality - Have miners start with the crusher. Remove the resonator and crusher kits. This leaves the rest which is mostly utility. Buff the webbing kit by adding a medipen or something.

  • Worthless Items - Removal of meme and generally underpowered items. If the currency mentioned above is implemented, they could be maintained under a separate category, similar to “pointless badassery”. I would also suggest adding the speed and fireproofing potions to the loot, in case the miner wants to wear something that isn’t a hardsuit.

  • Mining Point Value - Adding additional useful options, duh! Allowing miners to buy an RCD here would be nice, for example, however the reality is that one can add any amount of useful utility items, as well as some much-needed powerful and expensive options to the mining vendors, perhaps replacing some current ones. The UI could also use some work, with different categories and whatnot.

  • Monster Inequality - Have watchers always attack if you enter a straight line in front of them. Add a visible charge-up for their projectiles. Make legions able to hit you in melee or throw skulls at you. The former should also slow you down for a few seconds. Lastly, make goliath tentacles a stacking debuff. One stack would disarm you, slow you and pacify you for a bit. A second stack would force you down, and a third would apply a stun as before. Increase frequency of tentacle attacks to compensate, and have goliaths frenzy and rush in to finish you off if you hit 3 stacks. With this implemented, you’d get owned if you suck, not for failing to see a few bright pixels in a tunnel.

  • Trophy Inequality - Buff the drake and colossus trophies. Instead of having rare watcher trophies, let miners stack multiple watcher wings, let’s say up to 20, for an improved effect. Have the rare watchers spawn several wings.

Suggested Solutions for Bad Design:

  • Mining Doors - Replace with regular doors and add an indestructible holofirelock between them.

  • Lag Traps - Give miners a starter item that they can attach to their boots. When toggled on, it treats lava and abyss as obstacles. For a bit of emphasis, I’d like to point out that avoiding these doesn’t really take any skill at the moment either. If you die to them you either panicked lagged, or got owned by your own inventory UI in 90% of cases. Moving on - change gibtonite to always be visible to mining scanners from any distance. For an alternative approach, gibtonite could instead drop harmless shards which one could assemble into a payload. The only skillful part of old gibtonite was harvesting it, and that also had RNG in it. I doubt much would be lost with this change.

  • Item Unavailability - Add a few more useful items to the cargo lathe, as pointed in the entry for this annoyance.

  • Spawn RNG - A set amount of spawns which always occur. At least one colossus and at least two drakes, and Blood-Drunk Miner always present. Have Blood-Drunk miner respawn every ten minutes or so (fits his description and death text, too). Have hierophant respawn if the item is destroyed or not held for like five minutes. Allow miners to summon additional copies of other fauna by interacting with ruins. Adding a new type of puzzle or an altar that requires monster sacrifice would be fun, for example.

  • Elite Unfairness - As with Megafauna chests, trying to open one would prompt you to select from the revival item and the trophy/accessory. Once an elite player is selected, they get to choose which elite to be (random if unchosen). Once an elite is offered revival, the player gets MASSIVE GLOWING TEXT telling them that they can enter their corpse for a revival. Lastly, using a certain item on an elite would allow it to speak even if it isn’t the Herald. Regenerative Core perhaps?

I appreciate any feedback: towards the mining we have now, towards other issues that i’ve missed, towards making it better, and towards my own suggestions, of course.

1 Like

Miners can print RCDs from the cargo techfab though. they just need research, iron and glass

What if we DID base mining on hunting? You ever heard of monster hunter? Like, make a shitton of monsters coloured to their respective material, and make you butcher them for parts, which can be used to craft stuff and can be melted into useful materials for the station… Brooooooooooo

Its also supposed to be a good idea because we technically followed the fun. Most people ignore conventional mining because fighting is much more fun and rewarding?
Shift the focus to fighting then

So have megafauna drop a large amount of ores?

The closest we have is a bit of diamond dropped by the drake. This is a nice change imo.

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I fully understand, your idea, and i think its good, seeing as ive played monster hunter, a large variety of fauna and mega fauna all with their own parts and armors and gear (like ash drake having its special dragon hide and armor) is good, but you also have to consider that monster hunter is a big budget game with lots of effort put into it, while ss13 is just some fun community project with basically no budget (or something like that but i think my point is made). Honestly although if people were willing to put that much effort, i would love to see this idea made.

Honestly it’s not that much effort.

Lavaland monsters spawn with a random color.

Each color drops different kinds of ores.

Megafauna drops something like 15 of a rare ore or a big mix of them.

This seems like something that could be added in a day.

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well monster hunter has a large variety of monsters, all with their own armors and weapons and materials that you can craft, which is what i think barrelbox had in mind. there are tons, and tons of monsters in monster hunter

We dont need to make it perfect, we need to make it better than it is currently. Currently, it sucks ass.
Nobody is enjoying conventional mining it seems, and everyone just instantly flocks towards fighting megafauna which currently drops nothing but self antag material, so the station is forced to rush mining tech, the miners use the op plasma cutter to get TONS of mats in a single go, and science builds 20 bluespace miners to substitute for the miners.

And what we must remember: coders are people too. Whilst having our temporary solution will suffice for a time, ultimately, yes. We will need new monsters.
But is it a bad thing? Not only will mining get a well defined future to look forward too, it will also be food for thought for the coders. Sometimes, in order to work, you have to have some sort of big project where you can add as much as you want. The coders already did a lot of insanse stuff and i am personally thankfull. But they do it for the game, and more importantly, for the creative process. Sometimes it is a bother to work on something you personally had no hand in thinking up and creating the foundation for, but the fact that you can base your own creativity on it, is what makes this mining revamp much more appealing.

These are pretty good suggestions to me…

more powergame shit for miners

what miners really need is LESS powergame, more MINING

hmm yes drain the fun out of every part of the game yes

The problem is mining itself isn’t fun.

I agree miners need less powergame and self-antag shit, but before that happens mining itself has to be turned into something enjoyable or any “fix” is just going to be bad.

No one plays miner just to mine for ores, that is boring considering the number of other jobs you can do. The boss battles are fun, adrenaline rush, clusterfuck of fun with the bonus of getting mad loot.

If you want to balance mining, have bosses be a summon after doing stuff. So, you can tier a boss instead of a miner being able to kill any boss, anytime. Like Terraria. This will allow you to have more control of what a miner has access to at anytime during their playtime – would also mean you could infinitely fight a boss for those long greenshifts.

Yet, this adds its own issues. A miner farming the drake and giving out its armour and the alike wouldn’t be nice.

Why wouldn’t it be nice? If the geneticist can give out shit like telekinesis and SA the miner should be able to farm a fancy suit which xenobio can make inferior anyway.

As a former shaft miner.

This is cancer to get; I did a sentient pandora boss and what i got was a HOPE fucking tag for my jumpsuit that makes me “happy” along with darkblessing. What a joke.

Happiness is the greatest treasure though, you got a great artifact!

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wonder if you can take dark blessing with a trash bag… maybe i could sell it to the chaplain for 10k credits, and he could become the mystical double armblade man


You could just drag it