This is a Primer and as such not a FULL GUIDE. It's purpose is to add an overview to the process and some understanding to how things work. For the full run down you will have to work with others and figure that out
Q: So what is a Mining Barge Coops?
Well, in a nut shell its a semi autonomous ship designed to be deployed (by you) and controlled by an a.I Mining Bot when your not there . It can traverse the Asteroid Fields in the Universe (Expanse Pending) and mine ores for you whilst you sleep, play chess or make tea... Unlike simply Mining Drones, this is a fully loaded Mining Vessel with a lot of bells and whistles to be unlocked and utilised.
Q: How do I get one?
Well we figured that this would be aimed at players who mine for a living or have a passing irritation with mining. It's aimed at the more senior (Time Served) players of level 45 and higher.
You will need to visit F.O.M. Agent 451 over at Karason in Danarius in the Sphere. The Agent will review your rank and status with the Federation of Mining and dependant on that issue you with a Mining Barge Operator License. The higher your FOM ranking the less you will pay.
You will then need FOUR unique Mining Barge Sections. These you can craft / build from schematics sold by the 'Federation Of Mining Systems' Schematic Store also on Karason. Of course if you own a Settlement you can look to adding the Store to your own location.
Build the Four end Sections, ensure you have purchased a license and then go locate an Asteroid Field.
Once you are in orbit of an Asteroid Field with the Four Sections in you hold and a license in your mitts an option will appear to Deploy your Mining Barge. If ready and you know what you want to NAME your barge go ahead.
Deploying is painless once a few checks are made and a name is chosen. At that time the Sections will be assembled and your Large Shiny Mining Barge will be deployed in orbit of the Asteroid Field.
When deploying the Barge a Shiny new A.I. Mining Bot will be assigned to you and take over the autonomous controls of the barge. We don't want your barge smashing into Asteroids or other shipping now do we!
Q: How do I control it once its deployed?
Simple, use your View Assets Tab (far right, bottom). This will now have a new link entitled 'View Mining Barge'. you can access this pretty much any time you can access the Tab. So go ahead and give that a try.
This is the landing screen for your barge. From here you can see where it is. It's Level, Power Cells Remaining, Total Ore mined, Barge XP and Barge Points. There is a section relating the barges operations and also a bar that have Eight Separate 'Ability' buttons. Initially only one is lit up. Pressing any of them will take you to the Abilities screen.
You can also see some Percentage statistics on certain barge operations, along with the actual status of your barge at that point. Initially it will be Waiting Orders.
Mining barges have their own special system for load-out. Initially you get one open Productivity & Defence Slot. Eventually you will open all FIVE slots. When you arrive on your barge for the first time we have gone ahead and 'unlocked' the First basic mining laser. Go ahead and fit it, but take note of the options available to you later as you unlock more and more kit.
Anything that's unlocked and you have a Vacant slot for can be fitted. You don't have to worry about where, what, how much and can I use it. The A.I caters for your every need in that department.
I wont drone on too much here, but I will explain a short bit about Abilities. There are 55 in total although we have reserved a few to use later and a few for YOU to make forum suggestions for. Take TIME to review them all. You will note that ONE of them is actually lit up. Fourth row, fourth from the end. This is Hired Gun - Entry.
This we have unlocked for you. Hired Gun - Entry hires defensive drones to look after your Barge whilst its in the Asteroid fields. After all not everyone you meet is friendly. This particular ability is a Non Primary and as such its 'actions' run passively once unlocked. So you are safe from attack through to level Five. By level Six you will have needed to have something in place for Barge security.
Now as stated there are 55 Abilities. Some Passive Non Primary's and some Primaries. When you unlock a Primary ability you can 'Activate it' on a spare ability slot (Remember I said there was one ready for you to start with) The other Seven you unlock over time as you level the barge.
Take a GOOD read through the Abilities. Most have prerequisites of either Barge level or a prior Ability unlocked or both. Prior planning prevents piss poor performance as they say. You will also see that some Primary abilities can be Stacked. So interesting options arise as you level and grow your barges mining capabilities.
Don't Groan! We have made this simple but effective. The A.I comes with only its own basic set of subroutines that run the barge. If you want it to get BETTER at these things or learn new tricks you need to spend A.I skill points on its various Ten Skills.
You SHOULD take the time to READ each skill description. These are up-to-date and relevant. Ignoring these will lead to a lot of 'errrr and coooooops' which I will point you back at the skills 'View' button.
Your Shiny new Barge comes with an initial 1,000 unit storage bay. This you can expand simply by leveling your barge! It holds all the ores your Barge collects. Once its full any Mining Operations under-way will come to a stop. So make sure its always empty prior to starting a Mining Operation.
Unlike normal stores where you move one stack at a time, this is a MOVE ALL store. So clicking on a Activate Transfer will EMPTY the barge to a nearby (chosen) Commercial Store. THERE IS NO UNDO - and I wont be moving ore back for you manually because you selected the wrong place
This is how you power up the engines and move this beast to a new location. Of course moving something of this size requires a fair amount of Fuel. Fuel costs are taken from your Fuel Depot (the only fuel cost of a Mining Barge) If you move it frequently you will pay for moving it, so think before zipping it across the Galaxies.
Initially it has a set max range of 100 Distance from its starting location. This can be extended with AI Skill points and also Unlocking Abilities. Initially we don't see you moving the barge that often, other than trying to figure out the Ore Groups (that's next)
Ore Groups & Power Cells
When you are ready to start mining you can click on the 'Activate Mining' Button. Cant find it? then you have not equipped a Mining Laser. Click the buttons and you will be presented with a screen relating to the Pending Mining Operation.
Power Cells - These suckers run your Mining Operation. They have nothing to do with Ships power or how many lasers or items you can fit. These little green suckers JUST run your Mining Operations. Initially you start with a max of 200 - fully charged. Each pass of your mining laser will use ONE Power Cell. Once the power cells are drained the Mining Operation is over.
Power cells ONLY regenerate when the Barge is NOT Mining. They start almost as soon as any Mining Operation is over. You can unlock and increase your Power Cells via Abilities and they are also raised for you by leveling your barge.
So Mining Ores from fields....
There are currently A LOT of different ores available form mining Asteroid Fields. Mining by hand requires obtaining higher and higher Scan Ratings. Here the A.I does the hard work for you. BUT he needs educating in 'Industrial Mining'. By increasing this skill he will over time unlock higher and higher Ore Groups.
Each Group can mine up to a certain level. So the higher your mining group available to you the more your A.I can mine from a Field. Your A.I bot comes with a subroutines that automatically caters for and unlocks Group 1. You will need to figure out how much he needs to get to the next level and so on.
I suspect there will be a lot of note comparing in the early weeks and players pass back and forth their findings. But remember the AI can only mine if you have SPACE and Power Cells remaining and then ONLY what's actually IN the field. So the same rules apply for the barge as do humans and drones.
Initially the barge may seem like an expensive outlay, and you'd be right. But over time as you unlock more abilities, more fittings and of course Ore groups you will find the barge starts to become a real asset. The barge is NOT a get rich quick item and it's primary focus is on long term ore collection. It is fully capable of equaling any human at mining in both capacity and ore types IN TIME. You need to work at it and keep it working
The staff have had some fun testing the SHIT out of this one so thank you to them.
We will be placing the Barge Sections and a few choice items relating to Barges in the Store. But for the most part its hard work, dedication and figuring stuff out that will make your barge successful (not a deep pocket) lol
Everyone was new at one time or another - This section holds our helpful Guides written by players and staff. Plus Primers written by the Developers.
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