Introduction to Mining Careers

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(Citizen Star News) - by Silver_Fox - 2015-03-05

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Star Citizen: An Introduction to Mining Careers

Star Citizen is a game with innumerable possibilities. As a game with no objective but to forge your own path, there are a number of things to do. The first person game of space exploration offers a number of careers to partake in. Thanks to the realism and details of the game, these careers are like no other.

One career choice in Star Citizen is mining. This career requires players to use their skill and intelligence to succeed. It's not like other mining games. Instead of repetitive button mashing and waiting, players will have to strategically work around dangerous obstacles. While combat isn't an immediate threat while players are mining, there are hazards like pockets of gas, volatile materials, and corrupt explorers. Players can become specialists, completing tasks that will keep them engaged while they reap the rewards.

Getting Started At The TDD

To start mining, you'll need to figure out what you will mine. The local Trade and Development Division, or TDD, can give miners a better idea of what materials they should be aiming for. The TDD is a marketplace for copious amounts of local materials and commodities. Miners can see what is in demand to ensure they get the biggest profit from their work.

Freelance or Contract?

As is the nature of Star Citizen, miners have a choice of how they want to work. Players can choose to work independently, or work for an agent. Both options have their pros and cons.

As a freelance miner, players handle every aspect of their career themselves. They can decide which material to obtain and where to sell it. If you are looking to see the highest profit margin, freelance may be the way to go. However, freelance miners are also exposed to loss. If the market for a material declines, freelance miners could ultimately lose money after paying for expenses, such as NPC workers and fuel.

To secure your work, you could become a contracted miner. Doing so will remove most of the financials risks involved with mining. However, contracted miners will not get the full value of the material they obtain. Instead, they'll get a fixed price. Contracted miners will also have the obligation of obtaining a material under contract. If they don't, they'll reputation will suffer.

Finding The Material

After deciding if you want to be a freelance or agent miner, you'll need to figure out where to get the material. Materials can be obtained from asteroid fields. These fields litter most star systems and contain ore with varying levels of purity. Before heading out to mine, players must find out which asteroid field contains the particular sough-after material. Doing so isn't always an easy task.

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Well Known Sites
Every system has a bit of information that is known by the general public. Miners can easily find well known asteroid fields and what they contain. This may be a good place to start. However, these well-known asteroid fields are most likely dried out. As they become public knowledge, their valuable ore is extracted, leaving only a bit spread throughout the field. Finding this sparse ore may be more hassle than it is worth.

Information Brokers
For a price, miners can go to an information broker for help. They can provide miners with lesser-known asteroid field locations. These fields are often smaller, but may contain a sought-after ore. That being said, unscrupulous information brokers may give you unreliable information about the ore contained in the field, making this method a gamble.

Acting As A Pioneer
Finding your own asteroid field can be the most lucrative option, but it can be time consuming. Players can act as a Pioneer to find unknown fields. Pioneers use scanners and probes to find anomalies in space. Some of these anomalies can be unexplored asteroid fields. As a miner, you can take advantage of these smaller unknown fields. If you are a freelance miner, you can even sell information about the location of this field to a broker. Alternatively, you can share this information with other members of an organization you are part of while keeping it secret to the public.

Mining Ship

Once you've found an appropriate asteroid field with your desired material, you'll want to ensure that your ship can handle the ore extraction. Bigger asteroids require the use of specialized ships. The first specialized ship available is the Orion, by Roberts Space Industries. The ship is huge, measuring 170 meters in length. It can also hold a significant amount of cargo. Its storage containers can effectively carry 16,288 standard units of ore. Miners who invest in this ship will be able to compete with mining corporations, potentially earning a substantial profit.

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Specialists

Jobs system in Star Citizen is as complex as the game function, new comer should understand game's basic knowledge first. One of the most unique aspects of jobs in Star Citizen is the separation of tasks to complete the overall effort. While miners can work solo, the most effective way of completing the job is by having multiple people work on separate tasks. Players can work in tandem to reap the benefits. Alternatively, solo players can hire NPCs to work with them. In the mining career, there are five specialist jobs.

Pilot
Pilots have a much larger task than just managing the ship. Because the most valuable resources are often deep within an asteroid field, pilots must take data from the scanners to choose an asteroid that will be mined and traverse the ship without damaging it. They can then choose to stay stationary during the mining process or traverse the ship around the asteroid to help the beam operator.

Scan Operator
This job requires the player to inject a Remote Material Analysis Package, or RMAP, into an asteroid. This RMAP then sends information about the materials in the asteroid to the operator, who will then relay the asteroid's exact composition to the pilot. Depending on the ship, a scan operator may be responsible for injecting hundreds of these RMAPs. The scan operator uses missiles to inject the RMAP into a precise location on the asteroid.

Beam Operator
A beam operator is responsible for handling the multi-megawatt mining beam generator attached tot he ship. They must use their skill to adjust the power of the beam generator to safely mine the material. Too much energy can result in an explosion or flying asteroid chunks. They are responsible for a number of different meters and detectors. The Exothermic Reaction Detector monitors the energy of the beam. They'll also use a Laser Seismometer to detect tremors within the asteroid. The Analytical Materials Processor informs the beam operator of the precise materials beneath the surface of the asteroid.

Cargo Operator
The cargo operator uses a camera and monitor to see the impact point on the asteroid and any fragments. They then operate a crusher that captures and crushes the fragments to be stored in the cargo hold. They operate a Fragment Scanner that informs them of the materials in the fragment. They must then decide if it is worth guiding into the input port with the crusher or not. The input port has a repulser and attractor beam so that the cargo operator can manipulate the trajectory of the fragment.

Refinery Operator
This position is only present on ships with a refinery onboard. They control the routing of crushed fragments to specialized processing units that separate the ore. Operators must use their skill to perform the job without error, as doing so causes equipment to fail. If successful, the ship can ultimately hold more refined ore compared to fragments.

Selling The Mined Cargo

After mining, players can trade in their collected material for payment. Contracted miners will return the order to the agent and get paid what was promised in the contract. They will only take what was specifically asked for, so any surplus can be traded at the TDD.

Freelance miners can bring their cargo directly to the TDD. To make the most money, independent miners should find a TDD that offers the most money. The most lucrative way of doing this is mining in one solar system and selling it in another. However, they will be responsible for transportation. They can pay a transporter to do the job or take the risks by transporting themselves.

Another option is to rent a storage facility to keep the resource. Miners can wait it out and see if the price of the resource goes up over time. However, storage facilities are rented out, so miners must pay a monthly fee.

See Also

COMM-LINK - Design Deep-Dive: The Mining Occupation