Difference between revisions of "Guide to Mining"

From Yogstation-13
Jump to: navigation, search
m (Miscellaneous Advice: summary: https://pastebin.com/zg7zP3ac)
m (Danger, Will Robinson!: summary: https://pastebin.com/2iTmtQwy)
 
Line 94: Line 94:
 
=== Danger, Will Robinson! ===
 
=== Danger, Will Robinson! ===
  
Being a miner isn't all that easy even after getting the hang of the process, unfortunately. There are two primary threats to a miner on the lavaland: gibtonite, a highly explosive ore, monsters and lava.
+
Being a miner isn't all that easy even after getting the hang of the process, unfortunately. There are three primary threats to a miner on the lavaland: gibtonite, a highly explosive ore often found alongside other ores, the monsters, and lava.
  
 
Gibtonite is a crystalline substance that can be found using the mining scanner. It is blue with a orange-ish core. If you attempt to mine a tile with gibtonite in it, it will react to the kinetic energy of your swings and begin to detonate. At this point, you have two options: run the hell away, or click on it with your mining scanner to disarm it. Running away is just fine. Disarming it is fine too, but there's some advantages to letting it detonate on its own, which will be covered in Mining 201. Either way, it is not much of a threat to you unless there are multiple gibtonite deposits in close proximity and they chain react before you can evade them.
 
Gibtonite is a crystalline substance that can be found using the mining scanner. It is blue with a orange-ish core. If you attempt to mine a tile with gibtonite in it, it will react to the kinetic energy of your swings and begin to detonate. At this point, you have two options: run the hell away, or click on it with your mining scanner to disarm it. Running away is just fine. Disarming it is fine too, but there's some advantages to letting it detonate on its own, which will be covered in Mining 201. Either way, it is not much of a threat to you unless there are multiple gibtonite deposits in close proximity and they chain react before you can evade them.

Latest revision as of 06:23, 19 May 2020

Written by RandomTyrant, transferred by Blukey.

More than half the people I see who go into the mines end up dead in a ditch underneath a Goliath somewhere and I usually end up dragging their dead body back to medbay. I'm honestly tired of doing it. This is for all the people who perish in the fiery abyss of the lavaland due to being inexperienced and unprepared. With this guide, and a little practice, anyone should be able to be the one dragging scrubs back to get cloned! Yaaay!

Mining 101: You Probably Haven't Played This Game Before

Shaft Miner is a popular profession of choice for new and developing players. There's many reasons for this: You don't have to deal with the crap that goes on all over the station, you get to work at your own pace and learn the ropes of the game, and it's one of the most rewarding jobs in the game when you get good at it. Unfortunately, most of the skills you learn as a miner don't translate to the other jobs, but it is at the very least fun.

So if you get slotted in as a Shaft Miner at the start of the shift, you'll spawn in the mining portion of the cargo bay. You'll most likely be next to two or three or four other folks who won't say a word to you and will promptly go to lavaland themselves because this is literally their first time playing the game. That's fine, that's normal. Leave their corpses for the Paramedics to find. If someone tries to talk to you, ignore them. You have more important things to focus on right now. Concentrate on getting your sea legs.

The Hard Part

Now, before you do anything, there's three things you should do:

First, hit the tab key. This will activate hotkey mode. Normally you can only move around with the arrow keys, which is an uncomfortable setup for anyone using a right-handed mouse. This allows you to use WASD to move around instead, a far superior setup, though at a price. In order to speak or type in commands in the command bar, you have to first click on that bar in order to select it now. When it's selected, the keyboard will only type into it. To deselect it, simply click in the game window, and the hotkeys will be active again. Alternatively, you can tap the tab key again to disable hotkey mode, type whatever you need to type, then tap it again to re-enable it.

Second, click on the ID in your ID slot on the terrible user interface. Yes, it's atrocious. This will put it in your hand. Then, click on the PDA in your belt slot. This will insert your ID into your PDA. Click on the PDA again to take it off of your belt, then click on your ID slot to put your PDA into your ID slot. This is a lot of hassle, but it frees up a valuable inventory slot which we will use to carry the most important tool of all miners later. You can use this trick in many professions too, but keep in mind that if your ID or your PDA with your ID inserted in it aren't on your ID slot, you will appear to be "unknown" to other people, which is very suspicious and could get you in trouble.

Next, click on the backpack icon. This will open it up and reveal several slots in which items can be contained above the backpack icon. There will be a few things here: a crowbar, a box, a mining satchel, and a mining voucher. Ignore the other three things and click on the box to take it out of your bag. Then, click on the 'switch hand' button just above your hand icons, or press the x key if you have hotkey mode enabled. Click on the box again to open a new set of item slots which the box contains. Click on the extended-capacity oxygen tank to pull it out, the click on one of your pocket slots, which are to the right of your hand slots.

Then, move the mouse all the way to the bottom left corner and click on the body icon to open up your apparel menu. Click on the breath mask, then click on the face icon in the apparel menu to put the breath mask on. That's the hard way to do it. You can also simply tap the e key while holding the breath mask in your active hand to automatically equip it. Then, click on the drop button on the screen to drop the box, or if you feel grumpy, click throw and then click in a direction around your character to throw the box elsewhere. You have cleared out a little bit of space in your backpack, and also set yourself up with internals. I'll go over internals more later.

Side note: you can use the e key for most equipable items unless there is already something in that slot, in which case it will fail. You'll have to first drop the item you want to equip, then click on the item in the apparel slot you want to take off, drop that, then pick the original item back up and press e or click on the appropriate slot to put it on. Whew, what an unintuitive, time-wasting mess!

The Vital Stuff

As I mentioned before, most new players get themselves killed almost immediately the first time they play. You, on the other hand, are using this guide, so you know that you must first acquire the essential gear of any miner before going and spacing yourself, which consists of the following:

-Optical Meson Scanner -Seclite -Proto-Kinetic Accelerator -Mining Satchel -Mining Scanner

These are all held in the brown lockers to your right and below you if you're using the boxstation map. If there are no lockers in those directions, you're probably on a different map, in which case you should seek out the nearest brown locker. Once you are beside one, simply click on it to unlock it, then click on it again to open it. Inside will be a huge pile of crap, but you only want a few things from it. Press alt, then click on the stack of items to make a list of all the items in it appear in the upper right hand panel. Then, click on each of the items listed above.

Put on the optical meson scanners (they go in your eyewear slot). Put the seclite in your other pocket slot. Put the proto-kinetic accelerator in your backpack. The belt slot is the only slot that can carry pickaxes, mining drills, sonic jackhammers, and et cetera aside from your back slot, but you want your backpack on your back slot as that is the only slot that can carry a backpack. Gee, what a mess. Put the mining satchel in your pocket. You can hide mining scanner safely inside your backpack and it will still work

Getting to the Lavaland

Congratulations! If you've made it this far, you have taken your first step on the road to understanding the godawful user interface and how to play the game. You should be able to mess around with it for a while and slowly develop a sense for the weird logic behind how it all works. Now, let's see if we can get you suited up and actually out into the Lavaland!

Run your mouse over the things around you to read their names. If you're curious about them, don't hesitate to press shift and then click on them to quickly examine them and see what they're about. Right now, you should take an interest in the mining shuttle console which is normally to your left after you spawn on the boxstation map. If you've taken your time following the prior instructions, the other miners that know what they're doing might have already left on the mining shuttle. The shuttle is a small structure with white walls and blue floors that is always through a set of two airlocks to your left.

If it's gone, simply walk up to the mining shuttle console and click on it to open a menu. Click "call shuttle" to send it back to the station, then close out of the menu as you no longer need it. Wait for a few seconds, and eventually the shuttle will appear.

If the shuttle is there, walk into the airlocks and they will open for you. Walk through both of the red airlocks and the white shuttle doors, then walk onto the frontmost chair which is just below another mining shuttle console.

All ships in this game move at such incredible speeds that you must be buckled into a chair if you wish to not topple to the ground. To buckle yourself in, click on your character and drag the cursor onto the chair. If you do it right, the text logs will say "______ has buckled themselves in!" You can also buckle other people into chairs by clicking them and dragging the mouse onto said chair.

If you had to call the shuttle the first time, you know how to do this next part. Click on the console in front of you, click "send shuttle", and it will wait for a few seconds before basically teleporting to a different location. Pretty fast, huh? If you buckled in, you'll be just fine right now. If you didn't, you'll be laying on the ground for a few seconds before you get back up. To unbuckle yourself in the former case, simply click on the chair and you will be free again.

The Other Vital Stuff

Now that you're on the mining outpost, exit the shuttle and head to the right. The big green square things with the blinking lights are what you want. They're the mining vendor machines, and you have a voucher for them. Open you bag, take out the voucher, and click on one of the vendors with it in your hand. A menu will pop up with three options:

-Proto-kinetic Crusher -Miner's Webbing -Resonator -Fulton Extraction set -Mining Bot

Now, all five of these are useful in their own ways to a miner, but we'll go over that later. Just know that the resonator is a melee weapon, the kinetic crusher is a melee-ranged hybrid of a weapon, the mining bot is a simple helper, Miner's Webbing is just additional storage, and Fulton Extraction Set will allow you to safely pack anything on lavaland right to the beacon, in whatever place you placed it. Choose whichever one you want, because you'll get a lot of chances to try out the other things in later shifts. After you've gotten it, either place the item in your backpack or in the case of the bot, press ctrl and click on it to pull it behind you. It is not intelligent enough to follow you on its own unless you upgraded it with AI upgrade, which will make it sentient(controlled by a player) and obey you and only you.

Go west to a room with three suit storage lockers (if you're on Yogstation). By now, a few of them have already been ransacked most likely. Walk up to one and either open it and click on the explorer suit buttons in the menu. Use your apparel menu again. Put the suit on in the middle armor icon, and put the gasmask on in your face icon. Or, like before, simply tap e for both.

This suit is lightly armored and designed to protect you from the dangers of lavaland atmosphere. Which is where you're going. With that, a gas mask, and an oxygen tank, you are fully prepared to go on walks. Now, you'll notice you already have an emergency oxygen tank in your pocket, but these things do not hold nearly as much oxygen as a real tank does. Thankfully, there is an oxygen tank dispenser in that very same room. It has blue tanks on it. Walk to it, click on it, and in the menu that appears, click oxygen tank to dispense one. One will appear over the dispenser. Pick it up and put it on with the e button, and notice which slot it goes to. This is your suit storage slot. If you are wearing anything in the suit slot, which is where your suit is, you will be able to add certain items to the suit storage slot. As a miner you will only use it for carrying oxygen tanks.

Now you're fully equipped as a miner!

My First Walk

Now, if you glance at the right side of the game screen, you'll see an icon that says 'internals'. Click it, and it will light up green and say 'on'. Now you are breathing directly from the oxygen tank in your suit. The red airlocks beside the oxygen tank dispenser are your next destination. Walk through them, and after passing through the second one, click the airlock to close it behind you and prevent too much air from escaping the mining outpost. You are now standing on volcanic floor. You are in the lavaland proper, and there is grey rock all around you.

With pickaxe you can manually and slowly mine rock, these will grant you ores if they have ores.


There's one other thing you can do to mine, and you do this with the shovel. Put the pick back on your belt and pull your shovel from your backpack. Click on any tile of volcanic floor, and you will promptly dig up several piles of ash. Sand is used to make glass in the ORM. It's not worth very much, but sometimes there will be shortages of glass on the station and you will be asked to bring some ash back with you.

Striking Gold

Now, you might have seen a few tiles of rock by now that have a bunch of grey things in them. These are iron deposits, and if you mine them, they drop three bits of iron ore. Iron is refined into metal in the furnace, and is, like sand, not very valuable. The station rarely if ever runs low on metal, and iron ore deposits are extremely common in the mining asteroid. You can mine a bunch of it if you want, but you won't earn many points doing so.

Instead, what miners are really after are valuable and rare ore deposits. These are often hidden deep in the lavaland's bowels, and trying to find them by simply digging around aimlessly is simply not feasible. Instead, Nanotrassen has supplied its miners with a viable alternative: the mining scanner. Take the mining scanner out of your backpack and click on it while it's in your active hand, then you can safely store it in your backpack again. It will ping everything you can see on the screen for rare ores. If you are wearing an optical meson scanner, which you should be, and you are near anything valuable, you will be able to see flashes of green, gold, silver, purple, or tiny white specks deep in the rock around you.

These are valuable ore deposits. In order from least to most valuable: silver, gold, uranium, diamond, plasma and bluespace mesh. Your goal is to dig to them, mine them, and recover the ores so that you can redeem them on the station for mucho points on your ID which you can use to purchase various rewards. The station always needs more of these for research and creation of new and advanced technologies. You won't always be able to find them by using the mining scanner - you usually have to dig into the asteroid for a little while, then use it, before finding some deposits. It's a game of patience, but it can be quite rewarding.

Now, ores all take up a single inventory space. This is pretty inconvenient for you since you have about four free spaces in your backpack, and you won't make many points at all for redeeming four ores. This is where ore boxes and mining satchels come in. You start off with a mining satchel in your backpack. With mining satchel in your pocket, you can walk to a tile with ores to instantly pick up all of it and store it in the satchel. Easy, right? Your satchel has a storage space limit of 50 ores. That's a decent amount. If you only mine rare and valuable minerals, you can earn around 1000 points from a single satchel.

However, sometimes you just keep finding more and more ores, and what happens if you run out of space in your satchel? You can totally go back to the station, drop off the ores you have, and come back to finish the job, but it's not optimal. To be more efficient, you can take one of the ore boxes (boxes just outside the mining station that say 'ore' on them) with you. They have infinite space for ores. Press ctrl, then click on an ore box to begin pulling it behind you. You can drag it with you wherever you go and put the ores in it. To collect ores as quickly as possible, use your mining satchel to pick up all the ores in the area, then click on the ore box with it in your hand to put all the ores in the satchel into the box. Now you don't have to stop for anything! Just keep mining until you feel like you've gotten as much as you want and then head back.

Side note: if you're using an ore box, feel free to dump iron ore and sand into it for a little extra profit. It won't massively increase the amount you earn, but it won't hurt, either.

Danger, Will Robinson!

Being a miner isn't all that easy even after getting the hang of the process, unfortunately. There are three primary threats to a miner on the lavaland: gibtonite, a highly explosive ore often found alongside other ores, the monsters, and lava.

Gibtonite is a crystalline substance that can be found using the mining scanner. It is blue with a orange-ish core. If you attempt to mine a tile with gibtonite in it, it will react to the kinetic energy of your swings and begin to detonate. At this point, you have two options: run the hell away, or click on it with your mining scanner to disarm it. Running away is just fine. Disarming it is fine too, but there's some advantages to letting it detonate on its own, which will be covered in Mining 201. Either way, it is not much of a threat to you unless there are multiple gibtonite deposits in close proximity and they chain react before you can evade them.

As for the monsters - the lavaland is full of plasma, which is a mysterious substance which mutates and corrupts lifeforms. What may have once been innocuous, gentle alien lifeforms have become true, territorial monsters that will stop at nothing to kill any who tread on their domain. If you are digging and find a tunnel about two tiles wide that turns diagonally at random intervals, you have most likely found a monster tunnel and you should be ready to either fight or flight as necessary. Thankfully, an experienced miner can defeat these monsters and even profit from them. There are four monsters common to the lavaland:

  • Legions

These weird things are all swirly and stuff. They can detach parts of themselves to attack you at a distance, and always try to stay several tiles away from you. You can catch up with them, however, by smashing all of the hivelord broods that block your way or trapping them in a corner. They do not deal significant damage to you, so you can basically ignore the broods and go straight for the hivelord itself. Killing it drops a hivelord heart on the ground, which you can pick up and eat by clicking on yourself with it in your active hand. It fully heals you and removes all hunger and various other side effects.

To experienced miners, these guys are basically walking medikits. Your pickaxe is actually the best weapon for dealing with these guys, as the accelerator and resonator simply do not attack as quickly and you have to chase them around.

  • Watchers

Nasty pieces of work. They're big walking crystal things. They are not particularly fast, but they have icy stares that slow you down to a crawl and cause freezing damage to you. They hit harder than a full pack of hivelord broods, and combined with their stare, they are quite dangerous. However, perhaps counter-intuitively, the easiest and safest way to fight them is to use your pickaxe or resonator and fight them in melee. They will take off most of your health if you fight them toe-to-toe, but if you start with full health you can definitely defeat one. On death they drop two or three diamond ores.

The real secret to dealing with them is that they have a very small aggro range. Staying out of that range is wise, as they always hurt you more than its worth fighting them for. If you absolutely must fight them, teamwork will make short work of them and the cost in health will be miniscule.

  • Goliaths

The worst thing you can meet in the tunnels. These assholes are big, mean, killing machines and are the number one cause of miner deaths. They hit harder than any other monster on the asteroid, able to send someone into critical status within six or seven hits. They're slow, but they don't need to be fast. Every ten or so seconds, they will dig their tentacles under the ground and they will appear underneath you in a partial cross with one missing tile. If you do not move, or if you move into one of the tiles with a tentacle on it, you will be tripped and stunned for several seconds while the Goliath can beat the tar out of you. You must move into a tile unoccupied by any tentacles to avoid the tripping attack, or you will definitely die.

On some servers, you can avoid the initial tentacle attack, then engage them and spam attacks with your pickaxe until they die. On more advanced servers, like Yogstation, there is a cooldown timer on attacks against all of the mining monsters. If you try to fight a Goliath with a pickaxe directly, with no backup, you will die. There is no chance involved. It's a certainty. This is where your resonator, kinetic accelerator, or mining bot shines.

You must create energy bubbles with the resonator and let the Goliath move into them before they pop, dealing minor damage. Or, you must stay roughly two tiles away from the Goliath at all times and slowly plink him to death with the kinetic accelerator. If you set your minebot to combat mode, and you both attack it, you may be able to kill it but at significant cost of health (need to do more research). My personal preferred method is using the kinetic accelerator. It's easier to handle than the resonator and you can kill a Goliath without taking any hits if you're robust.

Killing a Goliath nets you one set of Goliath hide plates. If you pick these up and click on either your mining hardsuit or hardsuit helmet, you will upgrade it slightly. Each upgrade gives you 18% damage reduction against brute damage - which is most forms of melee damage, including the kind the mining monsters dish out. You can upgrade both your helmet and your suit up to five times, to a maximum of 90% brute damage reduction, which means you become a goddamn tank. This is by and far the best reward any monster can drop, and experienced miners will sometimes go Goliath hunting solely to get as many hide plates as they can.

In short, Goliaths will kill you many times until you figure out the art of how to fight them, and even then, they'll still kill you every now and then. Because they are such a problem, there will be an extensive section on them in Mining 201.

  • Gold Grubs

These are the only non-threatening monsters on the asteroid. They eat ores and burrow around. They are cowardly and flee if they see you. If you catch one, and kill it, it may drop some ores that it ate. Usually they just aren't worth your time, though. They do not attack you.

And Knowing Is Half the Battle!

Now that you have a basic understanding of the mining part, there is only one more thing to learn - how to redeem your ores for points. First of all, return to the mining station and board the mining shuttle and go to the main station. Feel free to turn off your internals once you get indoors, it saves oxygen. Make sure you bring your ore box with you, too. Once you're back at the station, go back into the mining room and head north into the main cargo foyer. There's usually some loser sitting at the desk there doing paperwork. Ignore him because he's a loser and walk past him and head through the door just north of him.

This is the disposals room. You will see a ORM in the bottom right corner. Push the ore box into the dotted square behind it and let it sit there for a while until you click on the box and see that it is empty. All the ores have been loaded into the machine. If you have ores in a satchel as well, click the satchel while standing in the dotted square to dump all the ores out and watch them all get sucked up by the machine.

Click on redeem points to add all the points you've earned to your ID. You can also select the ores in the menu to dump them out, but you should usually just leave them alone - someone else will get them sooner or later.

Now that you have a bunch of points, go back to the mining station and go to a vendor machine. Click on one with your ID in hand to insert your ID and open a menu of things you can purchase with your points. There is no particularly useful or valuable reward there, so you can mess around and buy things you think might be cool. The alien toy is a favorite of most miners - just take it back to the main station and throw it at someone and run away.

Now, you have finally learned the basics of being a miner. You definitely could have figured it all out on your own, like I did - but where's the fun in that? After playing a few shifts as miner, if you feel confident enough, feel free to look at Mining 201 for advanced mining tips and tricks.

Mining 201: Advanced Dwarven Tactics

So you're familiar with the piss poor user interface and how to use it to mine! Congratulations. The hard part is out of the way, and we can get into the nitty-gritty of how to be a robust miner. This will cover a variety of important topics for any miner aspiring to greatness.

Efficiency

The most important trait of any miner is their efficiency, or rather, how quickly they can complete their job at a minimum of loss of health and potential scores. There are a number of methods you can use to increase your efficiency, and while I will not list all of them, I will offer a few suggestions that any miner could benefit from, assuming they don't already use them.


Health

On many occasions you may find yourself at brown or worse health and no legions in sight. At this point your movement speed has decreased dramatically. This would be the time to call for a mining medic, or if you are a mining medic, to patch yourself up. Sometimes there are no mining medics, however, or they're all dead and they wouldn't have been of any use anyways. In these situations, there are a few options you may take to recover your health and not have to go all the way back to medbay for a doctor to spend five minutes trying to patch you up.

First, you can steal the medikit in Cargo or in the mining station infirmary. Or steal both. You have enough space in your pack for them. Sure, it's not very helpful to anyone and everyone might call you a selfish prick, but at least you can heal yourself on the go. If there are very few miners around, it's more palatable to do so. It is up to you ultimately, as other miners do rely on the medkit in these places to patch themselves up on the way back from a long haul. And if someone else takes it before you, be sure to call them a total scumbag asshole jerkwad chode, or some other colorful combination of curses. Unfortunately it is not allowed to kill people for stealing medical supplies, so you'll have to wait for him to get torn to shreds by a goliath before you can loot the medkit off of his corpse.

The second, less powerful, less time-efficient, but more team-oriented option is to drag yourself back to the mining outpost and eat something. Mining outpost is equipped with food items. Donk pockets are available in the outpost. Eating, especially if you are hungry (which is indicated by a burger icon on the right end of the screen and a yellow or brown tab above it), heals you a bit because of the small amount of nutriment in food. It will not fully heal you by any means, but it can turn your health from brown to a pale green, or from red to a darker yellow. This option does not cut into the medical supplies of the other miners, too, so team players will prefer to do this.

Remember to put a donk pocket in the microwave and heat it up to increase the healing value.

And, lastly, of course, you can simply keep digging in the hopes of finding a legion that you can murder and eat its core out. This will fully replenish your health and hunger, but it is risky as you could run into many other kinds of monsters instead. Do note that you cannot kill a legion and carry its core in your inventory for just when you need it - the core will expire and go bad quickly, leaving you with nothing. It is better to use it as soon as you can.

Inventory Management

This is a more controversial topic, and I've already covered some the core tenets of it in Mining 101 by teaching new players to put their ID in their PDA and get rid of the internals box and so on. Of more importance is the ever-broiling argument over mining satchels vs. ore boxes.

That is to say, some miners prefer to carry two mining satchels instead of a mining satchel and an ore box. Sounds strange? You are not wrong.

See, with two mining satchels you can pick up up to 100 rare ores. That is quite a lot and on average, one mining satchel full of rare ores is worth about 1000 mining points when redeemed. However, you are explicitly abandoning any thought of taking iron ores or sand. In this situation, it is prudent to discard your shovel as you won't be needing it and it frees up space in your backpack. The second mining satchel occupies the freed space, more or less.

But why, you might ask, would you go without an ore box and thus forsake the lesser ores as well as be forced to return to the station more regularly? It is quite counter-intuitive. There's a few reasons for that. First, pacing oneself is vital to a miner. "One more vein of plasma" you might say, and then get killed by a goliath. If you regularly make trips to and from the station not only does the station get to benefit from your rare ores more quickly, but you also get mining points more quickly, and RnD will be able to make advanced optical meson scanners and mining drills or even diamond mining drills for you earlier in the shift. With an ore box, there is no hard pace setter and you may be tempted to simply go for a full circuit of the entire asteroid before redeeming your ores. This is terribly inefficient.

On top of that, some miners get tired of having to ctrl+click ore boxes and then let go of them to fight monsters and then pull them again. Then you also have to keep track of it, and losing your ore box is a terrible prospect. They also obscure a portion of your vision while you're pulling them and can obscure rock while you're mining if they're beside you, which means you have to spend a couple more seconds digging, which can be frustrating.

On the other hand, some miners prefer to literally pick up everything and kitchen sink and while it won't increase their profit margins all that much, it will potentially appease their obsessive-compulsive disorder. Double satchels is technically more efficient if you do get upgraded mining equipment from it, while the ore box would be more efficient if there is no upgraded equipment available and you intend to make only a single, broad trip through the entire asteroid without having to stop and go back to redeem your ores. There is no necessarily right or wrong choice here, only a matter of personal preference.

Equipment

From the get-go, miners have to choose between three essential pieces of equipment. On top of that, they have the chance to acquire improved gear from research and development, assuming the scientists aren't useless twats that shift. Here is a breakdown of these items and how they can affect your mining style and experience.

Resonator

These things are fairly simple melee weapons that can also be used to mine. They can mine multiple tiles of rock at the same time, but in exchange, they cannot instantly break a tile of rock and the cooldown between hits is shorter than the time it takes for a pickaxe to break through rock. I've seen many miners eschew pickaxes entirely in favor of these and just dig one tile wide tunnels through the asteroid. You do move faster than digging three tile wide tunnels with a pickaxe that way, but you are endangering yourself by doing so as you do not leave an avenue for escaping or fighting goliaths. This is an absolutely shitty practice and anyone who does it should feel bad because you are not following the dwarven way. Loser.

Resonators do create little energy bubbles when you swing them, and said bubbles last for a few seconds before popping. When they pop, they deal a little bit of damage. It is possible to kill goliaths by luring them into the bubbles, but it is a feat of timing and patience that I do not personally care for as the bubbles last far too long to be practical in battle.

Proto-Kinetic Accelerator

"This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me my rifle is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true... My rifle and I know that what counts in war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, or the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit.

My rifle is human, even as I am human, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strengths, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel... We will become part of each other." - excerpt from the Rifleman's Creed

This, this is how you kill Goliaths solo and without taking damage. It has a range of two tiles in any direction, and it can destroy tiles of rock just like the resonator can, but it is much slower at doing so. It deals heavy damage per hit, but it takes around eight to bring down a goliath. It does not deal much damage at all in an area with an atmosphere, it is only practical in the vacuum of space. It does not have a limited amount of ammunition, the only limitation is that you must cock it each time you fire. If you master this weapon, you will be able to bring down ten or more goliaths in a single shift without healing. I have done so (record is ten goliaths in a row without heals, with an eleventh goliath killed after healing). To fire it at things adjacent to you, you must click past the thing you're trying to hit, or else it won't fire. It is less efficient in a fight against legions and wathers than melee weaponry. Keep your pickaxe near, it will suffice for those.

Each shot from one of these in a vacuum deals 30 damage.

Advanced Mining Scanner

Quite useful, when active it does a constant and perpetual scan of your surroundings, lighting up all ores in the vicinity. Only works with mesons, but you should already have those on. I wouldn't use my ticket on it, but it's a good thing to have, to stop you from striking Gibtonite unprepared, or letting you mine right to the plasma.

Mining bot

It's shit. Don't waste your time with it. You have to pull it behind you, which means you can't use an ore box (double satchels method is fine, but it sucks for other reasons too). It has two settings, ore collection and wildlife combat. If you set it to ore collection it will go around collecting ores on the ground for you, but unlike an ore box it does not have infinite space inside it. If you set it to combat mode, it will engage the nearest monster with its kinetic accelerator and mining drill. Unfortunately, it will shoot you in the fucking back with its gun because it has no sense of friendly fire. Which hurts. A lot.

You can kill a goliath by working together with this thing, but you will still take huge amounts of damage and this thing will almost certainly be destroyed, leaving you with nothing. Avoid this pile of junk like the plague. It's not that it doesn't have uses, but rather that the other two options are far superior to it. You can repair any damage caused to a mining drone by clicking on it with a welder in your active hand with the help intent, but if it's destroyed, you cannot fix it. Everything changes of course, when you apply AI upgrade to it, then it becomes controlled by a player and will help you fight even the megafaunas.

Optical Meson Scanners

These allow you to see through walls and see rare ores when you use a mining scanner, which means all tiles of rock, so you can see where iron veins and other tunnels are from your position. Moreover, they work even without a light source, but you will not see items or actors (people, monsters, etc.) without a light source and your range of vision of items and actors is still limited by the brightness of your light. It's not strictly essential to miners since you can find rare ores just fine without it, but if you're trying to avoid monster tunnels or trying to FIND monster tunnels, feel free to use this.

Mining Drill, Sonic Jackhammer, and Diamond Mining Drill

These are straight upgrades of the pickaxe, greatly reducing the time it takes to dig through a single tile of rock in order from most time to least time spent digging. Mining drills and diamond drills require rare ores, so it is in your interests to deliver them to science so that they'll have the materials to make such things. Sonic Jackhammers can be purchased from mining vendor machines for 500 points and they are superior to standard mining drills but still inferior to diamond drills in terms of how quickly they dig. All of these deal the same amount of damage as a pickaxe. With a diamond drill, digging is almost instantaneous. You have a chance of finding sonic jackhammers and diamond drills laying in randomized rooms on the lavaland by a corpse, usually with an oxygen tank nearby as well to prove that they were once miners. There will be more on artifacts later.

Plasma Cutter

These are fun little things that you might recognize as being from Dead Space. They can be used to mine, but their real usefulness lies in their robustness in combat. They're like resonators but harder hitting, basically. Great for fighting xenomorphs, but these end up being pretty inefficient tools overall to miners.

Gibtonite

Gibtonite as equipment? Huh? Well, if you disarm gibtonite with your mining scanner, you can mine through the rock around it and it leaves the deposit sitting there. You can pick this up (it takes both hands) and carry it around and drop it anywhere you want. Clicking on it with your pickaxe or resonator or shooting it with your accelerator will re-arm it and it will explode. Unfortunately, for reasons unknown, gibtonite has a much smaller explosion radius after it has been disarmed once, and it is difficult to use them as portable bombs to clear rock away. It is usually far more efficient to simply let them explode in the place you find them, as the explosion is much larger and clears much more rock.

Ripley Mining Mech

This is the standard mining mech, which robotics might give you. The advantages of these that they have their own health, their own atmospheric systems so you don't need a suit (but you should wear a hardsuit anyways), and they mine very quickly especially if they're equipped with a diamond drill. Also, you can instantly crit anyone by mining them with your drill, but that's more useful for antags. Unfortunately, these are not particularly durable things and goliaths will make short work of you. On top of that, you need to charge it every now and then at one of the mining stations or it will run out of power and shut down. Plus, they're slow and turn slowly. A redeeming quality is that their armour can be upgraded by applying Goliath plates, which means that the more Goliaths you kill, the easier it is to kill them. It has a limit of 3 Goliath plates on a Ripley. They're an option you can mess around with, but I personally prefer to just hoof it.

Goliaths

The bane of all miners, everywhere. Responsible for 99% of miner deaths. Literally unbeatable in solo melee even with a resonator. And here's how you kill them. If you do it all correctly, you might even take no damage.

Set the Stage

If you've been mining three tile wide tunnels like I instructed you to do in Mining 101, then you are already doing this to an extent. The goliath tentacle attacks that trip and stun you are their most frightening weapon. To evade them, you require at least one empty tile in all four cardinal directions around you. That is, an empty tile to the north, south, east, and west. If you do not have openings, the tentacles can pin you against a rock wall and unless you have a resonator or diamond drill, you won't be able to break the wall and move into the empty space in time to avoid being stunned. Three tile wide tunnels are the bare necessity for fighting goliaths provided you stay in the center of them, but not the ideal. The ideal is a wide open area, such as what gibtonite creates when it explodes. In these areas, you should be moving back so that you're at least two spaces away from the goliath at any given time, as well as slowly moving diagonally away from the goliath so that you can make a wide circle. If you do this, you will be able to kite the goliath eternally provided you don't screw up evading the tentacles.

DOOOOOOODGE

Evading the tentacles is not just about having the room to do it, you also need to get a handle on the timing. They appear once every ten or so seconds, which is about enough time to get in two or three kinetic accelerator shots. While you're moving so that you're always around two tiles away from them, you need to get an instinctive grasp on the tentacles' timing so that you know when to simply stand still and wait. If you move at the wrong time, you'll move right into an erupting tentacle and get stunned. Even if the goliath moves up to you and starts hitting you, waiting is preferable to getting stunned and letting it hit you a lot more times. Also, moving into melee with the goliath causes the timer to be reset; they will not use their tentacles while beating up on you. Keep that in mind.

Shoot Them

Shoot them. Or use your resonator bubbles. Do something to actually hurt them that doesn't mean getting into melee with them. Make sure you keep your distance and you don't back into a corner.

Rinse and repeat these three steps, with a bit of experience, and you should soon be able to kill goliaths while taking little to no damage each time. It feels good. Here's some other advice on dealing with them:

-Gibtonite explosions, while clever use of your environment, do not hurt them that much even if it's point blank. After all, a miner can survive a point blank gibtonite explosion too. Don't get cocky just because you blow them up a bit, it's a difference of like one hit at best. What these are good for is clearing an arena for fighting the goliath. -don't be afraid to clear rock out even in the middle of a fight - use your accelerator or your resonator to break tiles of rock a bit at a time and make your arena more ideal. Just remember to watch for the tentacles. -laser guns, energy guns, etc. are very ineffective against them. Projectile weapons that deal AT LEAST OR MORE THAN 30 damage per hit will be fully effective, but laser guns and energy guns do not. Use laser cannons, shotguns with solid slugs, et cetera. -Teamwork can make short work of them if two or more miners get their pickaxes out and wail on the goliath. -Don't be afraid to flee and get healing if the goliath beats up on you and you're nearly dead. -Goliaths deal 15 brute damage per hit on you.

Revel in Your Victory

Now that you've killed a goliath, you can take their hide plates and put them on your armor. This increases your brute damage reduction by 10% each time and your helmet and your hardsuit can each be upgraded three times.

Goliaths and all mining monsters only attack your torso and limbs, so upgrading your hardsuit before you upgrade your helmet is advisable. With just three hardsuit upgrades the goliaths will hit you for way less damage than before! That means being stunned is not as big of a deal. With five hardsuit upgrades, you're nearly a tank - each hit will only deal 7.5 damage! You can literally just stand there and beat up on goliaths with your pickaxe until they die, though you'll still hurt quite a bit from it.

However, if a human player intends to robust you, they will most likely attack your head region, and having an unupgraded mining suit helmet means you are as vulnerable as a baby to griefers and antagonists. Still, if you do manage to get a fully upgraded suit and helmet, you can basically tank any antag you feel like in melee. Keep this in mind.

Miscellaneous Advice

-Grab a GPS and turn on your suit sensors. The paramedics and CMO can see your location and vitals on their crew monitoring console if they're activated, as long as you are on the station. The GPS is useful because if something were to happen to you, your GPS would point them directly to your corpse.

-Teamwork is never a bad thing except if you actually care about getting lots of mining points (not much reason to, though. The rewards aren't all that great...)

-If you're a traitor, why not use traitor items for mining? An e-sword is twice as powerful as a pickaxe. You might even be able to kill a goliath with one in melee. Food for thought.

-Talk to your other miners, talk to the station, just talk and make friends and so on. It alleviates some of the boredom of a long trip and gets you in on the happenings of the shift even though you're technically absent. Talk when you're about to go fight a goliath, or if you're stunned and about to go into crit, scream on the radio and let everyone know so you have the best odds of being retrieved.

Wrapping Up

Well, that's about all the advice I can dispense that I can think of. If you follow my instructions, you should become quite the robust miner. If you get good enough, the title of "Honorary Space Dwarf" may be bestowed upon you for your valor and efficiency, reminiscent of the space dwarves. Or at least, that's what should happen. Unfortunately miners are a pretty undervalued profession and you rarely, if ever, get noticed by the heads for being good at your job. Still, there is a certain amount of fun to be had in collecting goliath hide plates and just being competent in general.

The profession is somewhat limited by the quality of its earnings with mining points and the time limit on shifts. Some shifts don't even last thirty minutes, not even enough time to fill up a single mining satchel (~1000 points). Clock cult shifts in particular are egregious for this. It's not bad, but it's not as good as it could be.

Well, that's about all I have to say. I hope this helps someone, anyone. There's still some secrets to the mining gig that I've left out, like artifacts, and the location of bananium, but I won't spoil the fun of discovering things. Go forth, and may your pickaxes be sharp.