Big improvements have been made to the mining system! Some highlights:
- New research "Deep Mining" which allows you to build Mine Shafts on a brand new 2D mining layer. Mine Shafts extend the reach of mines and allow you to access underground ore deposits
- These underground ore deposits never fully run out, instead they replenish after a 'Mining' cooldown
- You can create new underground ore deposits using 'Ore Prospecting' tool
- Supplying Pickaxes to the mines will speed up the underground ore regeneration process
- Above-ground minerals & ores will now disappear when fully mined. They don't enter Depleted state. Nor do above-ground minerals confer a speed bonus on nearby Mines
- However you can now add 10 workers to Mines, each of which adds 100% speed bonus
- New OmniPlanters, which allow you to place new above-ground ore and mineral deposits
- Earth shrines connect to crops, trees, and OmniPlanters to speed regeneration rates
For a long time I've wanted to improve the Mining system in the game. I want to make sure players can't run out of ores and minerals, but still make it worthwhile to find & develop new natural deposits.
Previously I had a system where minerals wouldn't run out, just enter 'depleted' state that was slower, but that system was pretty easily exploitable and was a bit too easy to just arbitrarily place giant square fields of ores, even halfway through the game.
Now, mines can be expanded through development of underground mining tunnels. This gives you access to a whole new 2D mining layer full of resources that never fully deplete. There is a recharge time on those resources, so it's still in your interest to connect your mines to as many patches as possible.
In late game stages, you can research OmniPlanters which allow you to place minerals and ores in arbitrary locations. From there, they will slowly regrow and can be harvested - just like crops! But since there's a high upfront cost, and requires late-game tech, I think it preserves the usefulness of Mines & Mine Shafts throughout the game.
Many players have been asking for additional uses for tools, and I'm starting to work that in - in this version, Pickaxes can be supplied to Mines. They will be automatically distributed amongst the 2D layer, and greatly speed up the Mining process that regenerates depleted underground ore nodes.
The full patch notes are here: https://steamcommunity.com/app/860890/discussions/3/1694969361090603581/
As always, very interested in any feedback you have about how this new system works and how it is balanced. Please drop a note in the Steam forums or on the Discord! https://discord.gg/factorytown