Remove Mining Hardness/Power?

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Doublespin
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Remove Mining Hardness/Power?

Post by Doublespin »

In the game every ratio can be calculated simply by looking at the crafting times. So you can work out the number of assemblers you need to fill one belt. But this does not work with mining ores. Here you have additionally to the mining time the ominous mining hardness and drills have mining power and mining speed. This is confusing and probably nobody can directly see what these values mean. You have to look up a formula to calculate the time needed to mine a single ore. Since I think that this is not consistent with the rest of the crafting processes:
Is mining hardness really needed?

I know that this makes a difference as you can see here:
Calculations
This means the mining hardness changes the scaling of improvement as the game progresses. Considering that burner drills are seldom used longer than it needs to get electricity, removing mining hardness would have no impact to vanilla Factorio.
This changes the question mentioned above to:
Does the game need this change in improvement scaling?

What remains to be discussed:
Is this value important to mod authors so that removing it would break their mods? The Mining time would remain adjustable, but the factor of improvement from drill to drill would be the same for every ore-type.

An alternative solution would be to keep the property but let player know how long a miner takes to mine the ore. For example in the preview window when miners are placed.
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Is there anything I forgot? What are your opinions?
Would you prefer to remove mining hardness or to get a preview of the mining time? Or maybe you have even more ideas?
Last edited by Doublespin on Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:10 pm, edited 3 times in total.
I'm not a native speaker (obviously), so I will appreciate every pm with corrections :)

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Re: Mining Hardness/Power

Post by eradicator »

Doublespin wrote:Is this value important to mod authors so that removing it would break their mods?
Mining hardness can be used as a gating mechanism. As you can see in your formula, if the hardness is greater than the power the solution becomes negative, so a drill with insufficient power can not mine certain ores at all. The same behavior could be emulated with resource_categories, but depending on how many ore types, hardness classes, etc a mod has that would be notably uglier (basically you'd have to add a new category for each hardness "class" of each ore type).
I have to admit that i've found it strange before that higher power also equals higher speed though, instead of being a simple "is enough or not" gating mechanism. It's probably just a relic of the past or has some sort of performance benefits.

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Re: Mining Hardness/Power

Post by Doublespin »

I thought about that and it should be simple to let a player mine the ore but gate the processing or usage behind a tech. If the ore is used directly (like coal as fuel) one could add a processing step.
This should cause only a minimal amount of inconvenience. Or do you see further problems?
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Re: Mining Hardness/Power

Post by eradicator »

Doublespin wrote:I thought about that and it should be simple to let a player mine the ore but gate the processing or usage behind a tech. If the ore is used directly (like coal as fuel) one could add a processing step.
This should cause only a minimal amount of inconvenience. Or do you see further problems?
I'm not sure what you're even asking there. If i consider having to preprocess every piece of coal ore only a "minor inconvenience"? No, i do not consider that minor. Do you understand how factorio internally determines which drill can mine which ore? Because if you don't you might want to read up on that. As i already stated above it is currently already possible to remove mining hardness from the calculation by using categories instead, with no observable difference to the player except tooltip numbers.

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Re: Mining Hardness/Power

Post by Ranakastrasz »

I've seen mining hardness used in a few mods. I think bobmods used to require a higher grade drill to get gemstones.

That said, I have never found it particularly interesting. Given we now have a 'gate' for Uranium, and then a custom miner, the Pumpjack, for Oil, I don't think mining hardness adds anything.

It slightly alters the difference between burner and electric drills based on the ore type, but given how only in a few cases the mining rate of burner drills matters, it hardly seems relevant.


So yea, Drop those two variables entirely, nothing serious would change. Just Add mining time to ores to preserve the current rate electric drill mining.
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Re: Mining Hardness/Power

Post by Doublespin »

@eradicator
Sorry my mistake I only thought about a late game resource but if a mod adds something like this early on you are right.
Last edited by Doublespin on Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mining Hardness/Power

Post by m44v »

From the perspective of the player, the game shows me hardness, time to mine, mining power, mining speed, etc and is utter useless information without the formula that you can only find in the wiki, so is just clutter in the UI. But instead of simplifying it I would just ask for Factorio to have an "items per sec" stat in entities that output stuff, miners in particular.

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Re: Is Mining Hardness/Power needed?

Post by bobucles »

Mining hardness can be used as a gating mechanism.
It can be, but it's not. It doesn't do anything substantial for the vanilla game other than make mining yield more confusing. Some mods can use it as a gating mechanism, but Factorio is set up to make raw resources easily available. The real gating mechanism is tech.

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Re: Is Mining Hardness/Power needed?

Post by HurkWurk »

i'd be ok with removing hardness. i never really saw any value to being able to mine some materials faster than others.

ive seen some mods use hardness to make a drill do more without also speeding up the animation as much, but that could be solved other ways. (add an easy entry line for animation speed multiplier)

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Re: Is Mining Hardness/Power needed?

Post by Lav »

Don't care if hardness/power are removed or stay, but UI definitely must show items/sec (or items/min).

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Re: Is Mining Hardness/Power needed?

Post by Septimus ii »

It looks like it was added a long time ago to allow for more options with miners that never materialised. As said above, we already have different gating mechanisms for Oil and Uranium, so having mining hardness just adds unnecessary complexity.

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Re: Remove Mining Hardness/Power?

Post by bobingabout »

it might not make much of an impact for Vanilla if you remove and recalculate, but I personally do use it to do things in bob's mods.

When they were talking about removing mining axes, I made quite a point that hardness should still be upgradable to be able to mine the ores with higher hardness.
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Re: Remove Mining Hardness/Power?

Post by Doublespin »

I know that your mod use it but lets imagine there would be no mining hardness. Would you miss it? Would you make a suggestion to add more complexity to res-mining?
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Re: Mining Hardness/Power

Post by 4xel »

m44v wrote:From the perspective of the player, the game shows me hardness, time to mine, mining power, mining speed, etc and is utter useless information without the formula that you can only find in the wiki, so is just clutter in the UI. But instead of simplifying it I would just ask for Factorio to have an "items per sec" stat in entities that output stuff, miners in particular.
I love this idea.


Mining hardness is currently used as a soft gating mechanism. The most noticeable effect is trying to mine dead trees and ore by hand and with an axe. the axe improvement is like only twofold for mining tree, and tenfold for ores.

I'm not sure how this mod works, but I can imagine it rely on mining hardness : https://mods.factorio.com/mod/tree-axe

I'm not sure the formula makes sense, and it is definitely underused, so I get why it feels useless though

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