Sunday, January 3, 2021

Soooooo Satisfying...

~or "Now THIS is How You Do IMMERSION"
Roberts never told us JUST how REAL it was gonna be... <sigh>

I finally had a whole and complete really good day in SC. I'm but a noob and learning a helluvalot and it is not easy. It is not hard the same way EVE was hard... EVE was in its “Harsh and Hard” Prime when I joined and remained the top HTFU Game for more than a few years after. (I miss those days... I do.)

The difference is EVE was a 7 year old ongoing game when I joined in 2010 and Star Citizen is, as we all know, still in Alpha. As such, a full day of actually completing every task to fruition is simply not a guaranteed thing yet. That plus a few really amazing to me things happened over Christmas. My lady love decided to get me 32GB RAM and a Tobii Eye Tracker 5 for SC!

Now if you have read the last few posts you know I JUST, like 2 months ago, bought a brand new Dell G7 gaming laptop that came with 16GB. But even that had to turn to page-filing on the HD because Star Citizen (plus the OS, etc.) actually used over 16GB... so it eventually has to turn to the pagefile on the HD which is why 16GB worked but ONLY with an SSD drive. 16GB actually isn't enough RAM to fully run SC “in” RAM.

But 32GB is!! And OMG is it! EVERYTHING loads to RAM and I usually have 13GB or so still free, that's with the OS et al, SC AND Firefox with usually (only now) 4 to 8 SC reference, player tools, streamers, you-tubers and gaming sites open. It is quite simply Brilliant!

Plus the Tobii eye-tracker just quite simply ROCKS. It does take getting used to and there are times/places/situations where you want it OFF... and there's a keybind pre-set for that. But for situational awareness in flight, there is absolutely nothing like it.

I fly by “Keyboard & Joystick”, using a Logitech Extreme 3D Pro, and I switch to the old standard “Keyboard & Mouse” for First Person everything else. So being mouse-free with the Old Mark 1 Eyeball is just a joy and has made me a better pilot... well, mostly.


So I started the day in Baijini Point Trade-Hub over ArcCorp.

Zzzzzz... ZzzzZzt!... !BEEP! !BEEP! !BEEP! !BEEP!

Today Im'a talk about my experiences Mining in Star Citizen. For them as are interested, I highly recommend this article, “Star Citizen Mining: The ultimate guide” from Dec 18th 2020 so it is pretty up to date... for now. =]

I had been thinking a lot and chatting a bit about my progress at Mining for Fun and Profit. I started with First Person Hand Mining and it hasn't been going well.

Several issues, one of which is I am having a recurrence of the Ship Retrieval issues with my Cutlass RED... the one that had gotten better and is now decidedly worse. Now I get the 70% of the ship that I was not getting the first time 'round, and it is now listed as “Destroyed”, AND I cannot put in an Insurance “Claim” for it... the system just auto-rejects it over and over. 

More than I got last time but, still not “flight ready”...

And, the rest of my small fleet, well it's just got weird. I now have “copies” of 2 ships, the Cutty RED and Talon. Both have “-2” appended to the name because the 'real' ones are both totally FUBAR and unclaimable.

I also have a few (I assume) Subscriber Loaner ships, and yes it really IS nice to have fall back ships so I can still carry my ass where ever I want to go and when, but they also do sorta add to the confusion currently holding sway in my hangar bay. Oh well, I have a ticket in with the Authorities... we'll see what they say.

The issue here is all I had left that worked were single seat fighters... I vastly prefer the Cutty RED as it is an ambulance with Autodocs. I can set it as my re-spawn point so if I die, or have to Bkspce, I will respawn right there and can get right back to work.

Plus the RED has a cargo hold where I could store the contents of my Ruck over and over so I could just stay on site and keep working the mine until I was ready to leave, not be forced to make a sales trip every time I filled the rucksack.

At least that's what I'd LIKE to do... but as I only have single seat ships that are FUNCTIONAL... well, I have no choice but to fly out as soon as my Ruck is full and if I die at any point, I spawn back to a station, then have to “Claim” the ship and start all over again... <sigh>

Anyway, as re Hand Mining itself... I have died an awful lot trying to get this down pat. You see the best, IE 'least risky' method as I understand it, is to go to a moon like Daymar, and accept the Dead Fred Investigation Contract. There will always be one where you are paid (around 4000 CR) to go find someone's dumbass family member who went caving on a moon and had not been heard from for too long.

Yup, that's Fred... and yup, he's dead

So the thing is, as I understand it, the cave that spawns is yours alone. I am not sure of this but it's what I heard. Now I do not believe that stops anyone from finding your ship up on the surface and thereby potentially causing you all kinds of grief, but that hasn't happened to me... so far.

Anyway, so you now have this cave system all to your self... so GO MINING while you halfheartedly search for poor 'ol Fred. You can focus on Hand Mining and you can fill your pack in good time, not “quick” but not hours and hours either.

Oh and one quick Lesson Learned, wear the Novikov Armor (for cold environments) or the Pembroke Armor (for hot environments). Why? Two part answer... (1) They offer the best Environmental protection for severe temperatures, and (b) Carrying capacity.

The Novikov is good from a low of -225 up to 75 C° and the Pembroke is good from a high of 225 to -75 C°. Both have 40% Damage Resists across the board. I died several times from exposure, and that was WITH the Novikov Armor on... it's HARSH out on them moons man.

Now add to that the little fact that both of those armor sets have a carrying capacity of 130,000 SP. That's 130,000 “Storage Points” or 130,000 microSCU... What? What's a microSCU? Well... that's 1/1,000,000th of 1 SCU, which is a Standard Cargo Unit. What's that? What's an SCU? Well... that's a cargo container based on the size of 1m3 of whatever, stored inside a container with a standard thickness of 0.125m. Making the total size of 1 SCU ca. 1.95m3 (1.25 × 1.25 × 1.25m).

Trivia: 19.7 SCU's fit inside a twenty-foot equivalent unit (often TEU) used in today's standardized shipping containers.

So 130,000 SP is equal to .13 SCU... No other armor or rucksack carries as much. If you go Hand Mining, one of those armor sets is THE only right choice unless you LIKE carrying much LESS than you could each trip. Note, the MacFlex Rucksack Core carries 60,000SP or .06 SCU. Both the Pembroke and Novikov carry just over twice that AND both give you the best ingame extreme weather protection available... 'nough said.

OK, so as I said I had been trying my hand at Hand Mining using the Dead Fred Contract. But... I would fill my packs and I always died either looking for Fred, or when I'd get hopelessly lost while trying to find my way out of the caves.

Once I damn near made it back to my ship... I was “THAT” close... 

Faceplanted, gasping, and died, 20 feet from my ship... with a full ruck

Over the days I tried Hand Mining I made it back with a full pack only once... which got me to thinking that full time consideration of another endeavor, might be... in order.

So I upped the ante. I got me a Prospector.

I call her “Driller”
This thing is a BLAST!!! On SO many levels!! I love my Cutlass RED I do, I do... BUT. All the “Cutlass” class ships have a "physics problem". That hull has Rotating Engine Nacelles mounted at the rear. So does the Driller (I shall henceforth call all Prospector's “Drillers” as “Prospector” has too many syllables), BUT... The Driller has “rotating vectored thrust nozzles” forward courtesy of the legacy of the Harrier Jump Jet and “Physics”.

You see (1), the Harrier Jump Jet is my all time favorite airframe. The reason's are, to me, easy to see... she is a Fighter/Ground Attack Jet capable of Vertical & Short Take Off and Landings, or VSTOL. We who fly in SC (and ED to be honest) know all about VSTOL, well, VTOL as we never really use any “runway” at all... We all “chopper” on and off the landing pads.

And (B) “Physics” says you MUST have balanced thrust, front to rear and side to side or as in the case of ALL the Cutlass class ships with rotating engine nacelles mounted at the rear ONLY... if you applied thrust to those rear engines without a balancing trust forward, all that would happen is the ship would do start doing endless end-over-end rolls until it hit something or centrifugal force tore the hull apart... I don't wanna be torn apart by centrifugal force.

Sounds like it would hurt the whole time you were being torn apart... and dizzy too.

Just LOOK at those Beautiful Rotating Vectored Thrust Nozzles!

Anyhoo, so I got the Driller and headed out to Daymar to try her out. That actually went well. Now I have some experience with the scanner tools, which are... interesting. I have found that Driller mining is very similar to hand mining, just taken up a notch which is, of course, appropriate.

However, in hand mining you only “charge” each rock once till they pop revealing all the shiney gemstones. With Driller mining you charge the first time to break up the much larger rocks into smaller rocks that you now charge MUCH less to make them pop. Learning that one damaged my ship a bit at first.

I do however LOVE the Extraction Mode!! It is 3 rotating lasers and cut out chunks of material with a center mounted tractor beam pulling them into the mining head intake. It is basically the same idea as in EVE, only presented in fantastically better detail! THIS is what I wanted all along.

Extracting Ore... (and no, it's safer for me to hover)

After trying Surface Mining, which went sorta OK. I ended up smacking into the ground when I accidentally turned off the engines once... seems gravity is not just a good idea, it's the law. I decided to see what Space Mining (in '0' G) was like and NOW we're talking! I set out from HUR-L1 “Green Glade Station” to the local asteroid field.

You do not warp to this field, it is a decent sized low yield kinda "noob" rock garden off to one side and “below” the HUR-L1 station. you can fly to it in just a few minutes.

It is far easier for me personally to mine in 0-G. I have only 1 real talent, and that is in spacial relations. IE Geometry and how “things” interact with other “things” in Einsteinian 3Space. I sorta naturally “get” orbital mechanics and how mass and inertia work in microgravity... IE I understand the 3D 6DOF world. I grok micrograv.

So for me, to hold position in respect to one rock, while keeping accurately aware of all other close by objects is, well, easy. Not that I can't get confused, of course I can, but it happens less often for me than for most of the people I have flown with. So THIS, for me, was easy street with a payout.

First target, 141m out and closing

Out here my only fear is being attacked, and the Dreaded 30K

And it went far faster to fill my ore storage than I thought it would take. Keeping in mind a Driller's four mining containers hold 8SCU each, for a total of 32SCU of ore per trip.

4SCU each, 16SCU per side, 32SCU total

So, I putter back to the station, land, head to the Refinery and start the first ever refinery process on ore that I mined and got back alive to the station with.

I went with the quickest, to learn how it works

While I waited, I could have gone back out I guess, but I was excited to see how this works so... I went and had a bite to eat (at HUR-L1 and IRL). I LIKE this game! =]

Burritos and a soda... yum

So how did it work out you ask? As usual, it didn't. Oh the refinery did their job all right...

1,870cSCU equals 18.7SCU

1,870cSCU is 1,870 CentiSCU, or 1870/100th of 1SCU or, 18.7SCU BUT... what is that you say, you can ONLY deliver it to my Aurora MR? The Aurora MR that (1) has “0” cargo space and the Aurora MR that (b) I no longer OWN??? (I melted it into a Talon, yea Upgrades!).

You see as the only ship of mine that has a cargo hold is my highly fubarred, Destroyed and Unclaimable Cutty RED which has a 12 SCU cargo hold... so it's not even big enough.

You see we don't have “hangar or cargo space” for ingame items... yet. It's Coming(TM). So in order to work with refining and such that requires cargo transfers, you have to have a ship with more then the required cargo space or you are S.O.L.

Is there a workaround? Yes... rent a cargo ship.

So let's go see how bugged renting is! Oh Yes!! Buggy as Fuck.

Uh huh... that's a new one to me

So, we do the Stanton Two-Step, the old Hurry Up and Wait.

Waiting on Bureaucracy

20 minutes it took before the Cutlass Black was available to rent. Which I immediately did for 3 days. NOW we're getting somewhere right? Well actually no... Now I have to make back the 90,988 CR I just spent in order to get my ores out so I can sell them... <sigh>

90,899 CR Running Expense

But, I got my products! Off to the market!

Now comes the personal good part... the ingame payoff for me, the player. I confirm delivery and head to my ship with a brain full of what to do next, how and where... and I open the cargo ramp and...


A loaded cargo hold is just Soooooooo Deeply Satisfying...

So off we go to Hurston/Lorville to find the CBD (Central Business District) and see what we can get for my 10.54SCU of Aluminum, the 7.09SCU of Gold and the 1.06SCU of Laranite.

LOVE the detail and realism

NOTE: For any who are having issues landing at Loreville it is easier, and yet harder than you think. But basically there is a vertical Free Flight Corridor or Zone “directly above” Teasa Spaceport. See map below.

Loreville & Teasa Spaceport Map.

Best How to Land at Loreville Guide I've found yet.

Now, once again things did not go quite as planned...

I clipped her stern, flipped and gently, oh so gently crashed to the floor

I was able to jump out and RUN to the Terminals and... sold all my goods!

My hat's off to the Cargo Crew who unloaded her!

I had to go into the city, to the CBD, the Central Business District and find the “Transfers” office.

Hurston CBD inside the Archibald Hurston Memorial Hall

Transfers Office (to the left in the Memorial Hall)

Hurston's Transfer Office, Market and Stock Exchange

Market & Trade Terminals

Gold, 709 units for 4,537CR (6.42CR ea.)

Aluminum, 1054 units for 1,054CR (31.01CR ea.)

Laranite, 106 units for 3,286CR (31.01CR ea.)

So, did I make back the 90,899CR rent for the Cutty Black...? Well, hell no. I made 8,877CR... <sigh> Oh well, back to the belts. But I DID learn a lot and now I am better prepared to take the next steps.

So back to HUR-L1 for me. But first... a few scratches to buff out of the rental, and of course, Teasa Spaceport can't handle the work... we can't buy fuel or repairs in the BIG cities and stations, that is only available at the Lagrange Point Stations like HUR-L1.

Kudo's to the Dock Gang.... Boo on the Repair Crew

So this is what you would have seen out of your HAB, if it had windows or from the train had you seen me take off...

I swear if I could I'd make this configuration permanent

Throttle to the stops, burning hard to break atmo...

Once back at HUR-L1 (after repairing the rented Cutty Black) I went out one more time and quickly filled the ore bags. Back to the refinery and...

Second Refinery Job

This time I again just filled up as quickly as possible, not picking rocks based on Min/Max'ing... I'll get to that later. Right now I need to understand the whole process, so...

This batch (1) had WAYYY too much inert matl. Oh well, I'll get better at that as I go. For this batch I chose the Dinyx Solventation method which is High yield, Low expense and Very Slow to process. My first batch I chose the Cormack Method, Low yield, Medium expense and Very Quick to complete.

Another GREAT resource on Mining and Refining, Vanguard Org has a great site here.

The biggest issue with the Dinyx Solventation method is obviously the long run time. But, from a profit & loss standpoint, once we have hangar and/or personal/org cargo storage space available to store ores, goods and mods then we can start to work out realistic production schedules.

So there I was, 19+ hours to wait and it was late. I headed back out to the pad... There she was, my Prospector, “Driller”... my home for possibly a long time to come.

Back aboard, ready to hit the rack

And there's my bunk...

'Night all... Zzzt, zzzZZZzzzz...

Fly it like it's your HOME



  1. I am finding your journey interesting to read, but after spending a couple days doing research and thinking about it, I will hold off giving the game a go. The bugs would drive me crazy.

    1. Please know that I will NEVER push anyone to actually play SC right now... If you think EVE was hard... SC is ONLY for the strongest of us right now. The crashes, bugs and 30Ks will make you sit on a window ledge contemplating your navel while crying and eating ice-cream...

      But... it is the single most immersive game I have ever experienced, period. To me, and those I fly and die with... it is worth it.


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