Rework/Limit Mineral Extractor, Add Second 2nd Tier Module

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Current problems this suggestion looks to solve:

  1. Mineral extractor is too much of a one-stop-shop for resources in the late game
  2. Mineral extractor renders the trade platform largely useless once the player has a sample of all mineral types 
  3. Mineral extraction needs to remain available to make up for lack of common resources such as compound and resin in the early game
  4. Mineral extractor requires players to maintain samples of all mineral types - a space-wasting and error-prone process, as well as an artificial limitation that varies based on RNG findings
  5. Coal and large generators have virtually no use as players only find coal once they have left terra and have better power generation options
  6. Wind generators currently spotty/unreliable power for night


  • Instead of the extractor taking a mineral sample, use arrows (similar to medium printer) to set the output target.
    • Removes the need for players to maintain (or lose/accidentally use) a palette of mineral samples
  • Limit the mineral extractor to producing only the following resources:
    • Compound - essential
    • Resin - essential
    • Ammonium - needed for fuel but requires a separate module to process it; generating this is not as much of an issue
    • Coal Carbon - Rename to carbon, multiple purposes
      • Make this available earlier so that players can reasonably consider unlocking and using large generator early on. This could offer another night power option when wind doesnt work.
      • As 'Carbon' instead of coal, this can be fuel for a subsequent module
  • Create a 2nd module - "Atomic Reconstructor"? "Atomizer"? Name TBD - that processes Carbon into other resources similar to mineral extractor
    • This 2nd tier module can be locked behind a higher byte cost, similar to larger shuttle or rover
      • This gives an incentive to use either the trade platform or exploration to get carbon/aluminum/lithium/etc instead of immediately jumping to the 2nd tier
    • Putting carbon into the machine fills an internal tank, similar to dirt
    • In addition to carbon produced by mineral extractor, provides a purpose for excess coal/carbon discovered during exploration
    • Similar to mineral extractor, use arrows to select the output type. All options are available so players do not need to maintain a mineral sample palette
    • Visual for this module - Not a hard requirement that it looks anything like this; I tried to mock this up in paint and it turned out looking horribly ?
      • Spherical 'carbon dust tank' with marker lines and a port to accept carbon blobs
      • Arrows to select output target (similar to medium printer)
      • A laser/ion beam assembly below the carbon tank, above 8 output slots
      • When active, rings rotate around the carbon tank and a laser/ion beam below the tank zaps the output slot(s) as the resources are generated

In the early game this will still allow the mineral extractor to provide vital compound/resin for base building, while making the large generator more viable as a night-power option and giving players more of a reason to explore or use the trade platform for specific resources. 

In the late game players will still be able to ultimately turn dirt into resources, but will no longer need to maintain the mineral sample palette and will need to perform another step in the process, making it feel a little less 'cheap' and more like the player is making something. It also provides a purpose for any coal/carbon found naturally during exploration. It also opens up a fun synergy for putting both the mineral extractor and this Reconstructor module on a single extra large platform (or a large rover), allowing the Reconstructor to directly claim carbon from the Mineral Extractor's output to fill its tank and then process further.

Edited by JTWrecker

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Thank you Pailzor! 

Thinking about this further, changing 'coal' to 'carbon' has other applications beyond those listed above - i.e. as 'carbon' it can far more readily be used as a crafting resource for modules/platforms/vehicles/tools/etc - and since it doesnt typically spawn on terran that means using the mineral extractor to get carbon could be a required step in producing such items, adding a bit more to the tech-up process for items you WANT to be later-game.

To ask a bit of a newbie question though - is there a way to tell if the suggestion has been seen/noted beyond those who reply here? I'd hate to have this simply vanish amidst all the topics.

Edited by JTWrecker

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