As the title suggests this is a thread about mining in space engineers, We've had a few conversations in discord with various people on the topic, but that quickly gets lost to the void of endless meme spam and people asking why features are missing (tongue in cheek, sorry) So, i'll preface this a little bit with my own personal experiences, and maybe some designs. lets just assume space doesn't exist for a moment here because its basically free infinite resources that are easy to extract, i'd like to focus on planetary mining. I have a great soft spot in my heart for ground based vehicles in this game, they're fun to design, balance (sometimes literally) and try to make it as close to "real" as i can. I honestly don't bother leaving planets just because i love the tougher gameplay. Now, lets also assume that there are no real bugs that would spoil this gameplay, as discussing stuff around bugs is stupid. This includes clang, simply because I don't have much of an issue dealing with it. See below for a small grid crane and trailer truck that can side load about 70 tonnes at max extension. So we've got a bit of an idea how I like to play, this is great for single player, as you can work at your own pace and generally speaking aren't in any kind of rush to get stuff done. This behavior however is quite unsuitable for MP, simply because there is absolutely 0 benefit (game mechanically, personal satisfaction doesn't really pay the bills) to actually engineering a somewhat advanced solution VS just making a thruster porcupine with a couple drills strapped to the nose. I've found that the deepest ores, on earthlike seem to be about 100m deep, not including the size of the ore vein. This presents an engineering challenge of which i've had many solutions, but no matter how fancy, or how mobile, or how well engineered it is, it can never seem to beat a flying miner. This is arguably rightfully so, as a well thrustered flying craft has full six degrees of freedom in its movement, including when its digging, whereas ground vehicles are generally limited to maybe 3 degrees of freedom for movement, and come with numerous downsides as one might expect when comparing to a perfect floating brick. I believe that one of the core issue(s) for this major disparity is that flying is essentially "free" in SE flying is really an extremely easy mode thing. - We don't have to worry about things like center of mass, and thrust lining up - Component cost is a little higher than ground vehicles, but in SE basically everything is abundant enough to render this moot - Power/fuel is really a null issue, if you manage to get 1kg of uranium from any source you're basically set for an extremely long time. I realize were supposed to be many years into the future for the setting of SE, but I can't foresee our massive mining equipment being made to hover by 2077 the reason we don't typically do mining with helicopters or planes is because its just too expensive, flight is expensive, hovering is EXTREMELY expensive. So, whats been the point of all this blather? Well you see: keen has stated that the next major is going to be balancing of game, and I would like to see some balance be brought to wheeled VS flying, to make sure that i'm still clear however, I'll state that I don't think ground vehicles should ever truly be superior to flying vehicles (except maybe in super heavy transport applications) but I would like to see this gap between the two narrowed in a little bit so that it isn't completely one sided. Things that I would like to put forth to try and address this based on my 3 points above: - Actual CoM thrust would be cool, but aggravating for the vast majority of players, since many people build replicas, or ships that would otherwise never really work in real life (looking at you star trek) So I don't know if adding this as an option would be beneficial. I am however open to suggestions on this particular topic. - Actual ore placement in game is a very delicate balancing act, simply because changes that would be good for MP might not be good for SP, and vice versa, adding another system to the world generator that would allow more granular control over how ore is generated, distributed, and concentrated would be a nice way to help balance out how early or how viable flying would be. For example: you can't find uranium on planets, this is good because it should technically limit your max power, but its relatively easy to build a big solar array and mount batteries to flying craft that you can just recharge between offloads, So using the above solution, you could lower the yield, or quantity of nickel to minimize the production of solar panel and/or batteries. - here comes the big one, power: In SE the amount of power that we can generate is both unreal, and probably breaking a few laws of thermodynamics... The game makes it so easy to just strap a nuclear reactor to any grid and toss is some uranium you stole from the crappy pirate AI and now you're set for life. While I realize the power consumption of stuff in SE sounds extremely high by our modern standards the production is also easily able to match it. in order to combat this I would like to suggest increasing the energy cost of atmospheric thrusters (by a yet to be determined amount) to make hovering with them be slightly more prohibitively expensive, hydrogen fuel I wont get into because it already has a fairly rapid fuel drain associated with it (though H2 is cheap to get....) But I can already hear people screeching about how they don't want flying nerfed, and blah blah blah... I get it, So to help offset that I would like to see some basic aerodynamic blocks introduced, I don't recall the exact mod, but it adds wing parts, this means that you can still get the benefits of flight and the higher travel speed, without needing to add omni directional thrust. it would still require more power than a ground vehicle, but far less than something that just forces itself to stay airborne. This would effectively create 3 tiers of sorts with ground based, and winged flight being reasonably well balanced with each other, so each has trade offs and benefits, and then having hover based (omni) being a late game, or at minimum high expense option. Tell me what you think, I'd like to hear your thoughts and experiences of how planetary mining has gone for you. also, feel free to post pictures of your ground based mining rigs to show support for the down trodden! If I can see some support for this I will like start a thread on the new support site, I would just like to get some others feedback to improve it before I do. Cheers, One salty, clangy, earth mover.