[Idea] an idea for asteroid mining: secrecy, teamwork, subterfuge

I know asteroid mining has been discussed and is likely on the roadmap, but I wanted to share an idea I think could make asteroid mining a really fun and interesting part of gameplay for those that would like to partake in it. I feel like this would not be toooooo difficult to implement (though I don’t want to make assumptions), but would provide a lot more cool options for things to do!

The idea is this:

  • Asteroid areas (belts, clusters, etc.) would be added into star systems on the map. Much like a planet or cx station, they’d have an ID like AB-123c and could be flown to. Example:

  • some ships could come with mining equipment (or could be built with it); only ships with mining equipment can search for and mine asteroids. Perhaps a tiny mining ship with 50t/m^3 could be provided as a starter ship.

  • upon “landing” at an asteroid site, a ship could either mine from an asteroid known to the user (takes time) or search asteroids for ones with resources (also takes time)

at the end of a search:

  • an asteroid is found, and has certain finite resources that can be extracted (e.g. 200 TIO or something)
  • the resources would be generated somewhat randomly based on location of the asteroid, some would be much better than others
  • different asteroid belts have different probabilities to generate certain resources
  • the found asteroid is added to a list of known asteroids for the player
  • the asteroid is given a random ID, e.g. aboewrijwo3983983magweji
  • anyone possessing the ID can add it to their list of known asteroids and thus has access to it and can mine resources

The key part of this is the ID/code of the asteroid, which allows anyone possessing the ID to return to and mine from that particular asteroid so long as their ship is stopped in the asteroid area.

When an asteroid is dicovered, the player would have a number of choices they could make:

  1. mine the asteroid now

  2. ignore it and look for a more lucrative one

Let’s say the player finds a particularly juicy asteroid with rare resources. A number of things could happen from here on out:

  1. original player keeps the asteroid a secret. If you don’t give anyone the code, no one else will be able to reach it

  2. player gives the asteroid ID to their friends and/or corp, so that they could work together to extract all the resources from the asteroid quicker

and now for some more interesting scenarios:

  1. player sells the code to the asteroid to someone (perhaps a special LM tab). The buyer would then be able to reach and mine the asteroid, but perhaps the seller of the info has already taken all the resources! Can you trust them?

  2. if the asteroid code is leaked or stolen, another party suddenly could secretly come strip the asteroid bare. I doubt this would happen often, but it’s always fun to add the ability for some more mischief

  3. assuming each asteroid belt/area has very different concentrations of resources, a player could watch where other player ships are going to speculate on which asteroid areas are the most lucrative

Reasons why a system like this would be cool:

  1. asteroid mining is awesome

  2. would make for some really fun early-game gameplay (when overall production is slow). Players could be given a very small starting mining ship, and could either venture out on their own or immediately start working with friends/corp-mates to start bringing in resources quicker. Adds some diversity to early game gameplay and a small boost to the early economy

  3. would provide a cool new way to play late-game - massive asteroid-mining companies with many mining ships, exploration and speculation for much rarer resources

  4. giving or selling asteroid codes would be a cool way to add an exploration layer to the economy

  5. would add in some more small opportunities for villainry

  6. would give a good reason to watch the map and track where other players and corps are sending their ships

I know there are all sorts of ideas floating around but I think having shareable/tradeable asteroid IDs would open up a lot of cool gameplay, and just wanted to note this down!



I’ve often thought that, for when exploration becomes a thing, the exploration actions could be enabled by carrying a certain module or two in the hold, EG Deployble Telescope Array/Away team crew quarters/Exploration Drone Station/Gas and Rock sampling lab…

Something similar would work for Asteroid mining for discovering and drilling the asteroids.