Where do they get those wonderful toys?
Now that the "OMG, you're insane!" posts about moon mining are beginning to die down a little, it looks like people are taking a closer look at the numbers. Naturally, there's people that still think I'm insane, but it was almost a prerequisite of coming up with a process like this.
So, lets start with stuff that I'm looking to fix...
There's a lot of people who've looked at the refining array and noticed that the yield is pretty terrible. This is because the refining array is intended to supplement a base that is also doing moon mining and processing - providing two structures that (should) independently pay for the upkeep would be very uber. I'm currently looking to introduce a new refining structure that's much more efficient, but has tower fitting requirements that make it impossible to do much in the way of moon mining at the same time other than perhaps a single harvester and silo - a pretty dedicated mining outpost structure (not the patch tomorrow).
Oh, I've also upped the yield to 35% from 25% on the standard one (that should make it in for this patch).
Ice refining was affected by the yield penalty, but considering the large amount of work required for a base anyway, this is just insane and should be fixed in the upcoming patch to be fixed at 100% for ice refining at any refining array.
One thing we were always considering when we were doing this was that many people have complained for a long time that while 0.0 is intended in some way to be a player owned playground with risks attached, but also have some infrastructure and industry which provided lucrative opportunities for trade. It's certainly the powerhouse for the mining of high end minerals, but outside of that it's always been a bit barren. I'm hoping that the way we've done this, we encourage a growing industrial infrastructure with associated competitive opportunities.
Notice that I'm implying that you're unlikely to manage to do everything by yourself unless you're a mega-corp that really wants to, which is by design. I haven't expected an instant explosion of tech level 2 component manufacturers, because it's going to take some time for everyone to sort through this whole construction pyramid being dropped on your head all at once. This also means that people who want to take their place inside that pyramid need some time to organize and sort out stable pricing, especially for ice and intermediate products which have no demand until someone can start producing final stuff with them. We've been consistently surprised by the ingenuity, tenaciousness and dedication of players, so I see this complexity as a little bit of a challenge we're giving you. We'll be watching over your shoulders like a concerned parent, but nothing would make us happier than to see you succeed.
When it comes to the cost of running these structures, please remember that we're getting a lot of supply of a number of the ice products in Empire currently, but little comparative demand, and that pricing is somewhat higher than it will likely be as more people migrate to the largest mining barges and less experienced players get into the market which is currently largely made up of mining / industrial specialists.