40d Talk:Exploratory mining

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Rationale for article[edit]

This is a guide on how to search for valuable materials by mining...

...why is there any use for it? --Savok 18:52, 13 March 2008 (EDT)

I think it's useful. The need for more resources, unless you're extremely lucky in the beginning, is not satisfied by the fort's initial digging efforts or its natural expansion. This usually leads to the need to dig in order to reveal large areas, and more often not, the most intuitive method the player thinks up is not the most efficient for their situation. Mining labor, being pretty scarce even for a medium sized fortress, shouldn't be squandered by using an inefficient method, especially if you want fast results.
--AlienChickenPie 04:13, 14 March 2008 (EDT)
Mining labor? Scarce? O.o.
Grab a few peasant immigrants (or miner immigrants if you get any - they come with picks), get picks for them, and start them mining. If you mine out a significant area (like, "enough that you want more than two miners") you'll have legendary miners within a year.
But alright. I do agree that efficiency in exploratory mining is useful, since without it you ruin the area and get lots of useless stone. However, I argue that this article states things that should not be in a manual of any sort: We don't tell you how to make your fortress. We tell you what happens when X happens and we tell you what to do to get Y.
But you still disagree, I assume? Alright. If it really is bad, the article will get deleted/shrunk/merged. If it isn't, we should do it right.
*brings out the umkey*
--Savok 10:18, 14 March 2008 (EDT)
I see what you're getting at, it would definitely be wrong to state design tips as facts or tell people how to build their fortress.
However, this article is intended to be a technical guide to mining methods, not a style guide. I'd like to make it as neutral and factual as possible.
Going over it again, I noticed that parts of it are written inappropriately for a technical article. For example, the usability part definitely steps quite a bit over the line, and I wouldn't mind seeing it removed or altered to contain only necessary facts.
--AlienChickenPie 14:10, 14 March 2008 (EDT)

Proposal: Diagonal pattern[edit]

Would it be useful to add this pattern?

▒▒.▒▒▒▒.▒▒ ▒.▒▒▒▒.▒▒▒ .▒▒▒▒.▒▒▒▒ ▒▒▒▒.▒▒▒▒. ▒▒▒.▒▒▒▒.▒
  • Labor: 20% of the tiles are excavated.
  • Scarcity: Any scarcity. Clusters as small as a single tile are revealed.
  • Visibility: 100%.
  • Reusability: With a bit of imagination you can build nice 3x3 rooms

I usually dig a diagonal squares with the sides 25 tiles long. And use this pattern later. (See Minepoint at map archive). It shows (almost) every vein...Dorten 09:16, 14 March 2008 (EDT)

I fixed the formatting. Hope you don't mind. --Savok 10:18, 14 March 2008 (EDT)
Not at all. I was hoping that someone would come over and give it a proper wiki makeover.
As for the layout, It's incredibly good. It's superior to the rows layout in every way, and it's less work intensive than the 7X7 block layout while giving full visibility.
Comparing all the layouts gave me an idea- We could group all the block layouts into a single block layout, seeing as they are all very similar and related. Different characters would denote different phases in the digging process. Then, we could introduce the block layout as modular, the diagonal layout as efficient and the hollow layout as thorough. I have half a mind to scrap the row layout altogether, seeing as it's pretty inferior.
--AlienChickenPie 14:33, 14 March 2008 (EDT)
Actually, I was talking to Dorten - I fixed his formatting.
Anyway, the row layout does have one advantage: It gets all tiles and can be designated relatively quickly. I would hate to designate the diagonal layout for a whole z-level.
Additionally, row layouts are actually more efficient than block layouts, per tiles dug, although they might not catch a vein running in parallel to them. --Savok 18:45, 14 March 2008 (EDT)
Macros help there a lot. Have you seen MinePoint? It was pretty quick.Dorten 01:38, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
No. What is it? --Savok 14:35, 18 March 2008 (EDT)

Proposal: Real mining shafts[edit]

▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒ ▒X▒▒X▒▒X▒ ▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒ ▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒ ▒X▒▒X▒▒X▒ ▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒
  • Labor: 11.1% of the tiles are excavated.
  • Scarcity: Any scarcity. Clusters as small as a single tile are revealed.
  • Visibility: 100%.

You'll have to have a floor above it with tunnels to the stairs to go down, but after that floor, this provides maximum possible efficiency. --Savok 23:53, 14 March 2008 (EDT)

This actually has an 11.1% Labor Efficiency. An added bonus is that it's easy to make into square rooms of various sizes, the stairways can be removed and used as doorways, or just carved out as part of the rooms. It really is similar to the rows method, except turned on end each mined tile exposes 8 tiles, instead of 2. Instead of scattered tiles I'd call it mine shafts, though. Basilisk 16:38, 20 March 2008 (EDT)
Erm. Oops. I'm usually better at math than that. *hurriedly fixes error* --Savok 14:54, 21 March 2008 (EDT)
this pattern is a a lot of work to designate, so I created a ahk script to speed it up, hope no one minds the link.--Otherdwarf 17:04, 25 March 2008 (EDT)

I redid this script's functionality from scratch, and I decided that since the original did not function at all (under the current version of AHK), that replacing old one was justified.StrawberryBunny 00:41, 6 August 2008 (EDT)

query: similar minerals together[edit]

ive noticed whislt runnign explaratory mining in one of my forts that minerals often come in similar groups- for example i have one floor with 6 or seven garnerite viens and one with atleast 2 lignite veins. is this just coinicedence or a propper pattenr that should be noted on the page. i find i useful myself when looking for resuacres i have already had. unsigned comment by Gnomegnome

Rock layers (sedimentary, metamorphic, etc.) tend to change according to depth (Z-levels), so you'll find stuff in one rock layer that won't be present in a lower rock layer. That should be noted in the article, though other than that, I don't believe there's a pattern.--Maximus 13:42, 2 November 2008 (EST)
i am aware of that it just i have seen a significant correalation to this effect in my current fortress, beyond what one might attribute to strata, it is a real one Z levels has the garnerite one Z level has the lingnite and one Z level has the hematite type distinciton, and was wondering if it was more that coincedence, also sorry about not signing my comment, i don't acutally know how :D
It can be attributed to the random numbers not being random. Watch the flows for a while. you notice patterns, right? Not random.--Zchris13 00:38, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Separate section on effectively finding magma vents and underground rivers?[edit]

As it stands, this focuses more on finding minerals and less on finding underground rivers/vents. Considering the unique challenges of the two (especially in regards to potential flooding/monsters), is there any advice specific to finding them quickly and safely? MagicJuggler 05:05, 3 November 2008 (EST)

You could always try to search for cave spider silk web on the stock screen. Zoom to them and it will display where the chasm (and maybe other features, but that's how I found my chasm) is. For other feaure like cave river... perhaps searching for cave crocodile / slugman / other cave river critters corpses in the stocks screen ? Timst 05:19, 3 November 2008 (EST)
This does not work as the animals will not show up until they are [DECEASED] and they are not zoomable.
Best solution is probably to use 15x15 blocks on every third level. You only need to do every third level because the damp/warm stone warning will tell you when you're near. Then go back a few squares and dig an up staircase. On this new z-level dig another tunnel to where you just found damp/warm stone. Rinse and repeat and eventually your miner will reach a z-level where he can dig all the way through without encountering damp/warm stone and thus he will reveal the feature.
The side profiles below illustrate how you will discover a river if you go every third z level
   Over the top    Reveals      Hits damp     Hits damp     Underneath      
    _______o##     ########     #########     #########     #########      # Unmined stone
    ###  #####     ___o  ##     ####  ###     ####  ###     ####  ###      ~ Water
    ###~~#####     ####~~##     __o#~~###     ####~~###     ####~~###      _ Tunnel
    ##########     ########     #########     ___o#####     #########      o Miner
    ##########     ########     #########     #########     _______o#
--Juckto 17:42, 8 November 2008 (EST)
An obsidian cap
You don't actually need to do any digging at all to locate magma pipes or volcanoes. A volcano will be visible from surface z-level. Some magma pipes will also be visible from the surface z-level. Both of these types will be revealed all the way to the bottom. If it is not open, then it will have an obsidian cap. If you check the surface, you can find an obsidian cap over the top of the pipe, although it's tricky to see if you don't know to look for it.
Underground rivers and magma pools are a different story, though. I've never used a magma pool before, how big are they? --RomeoFalling 21:09, 8 November 2008 (EST)
I'm pretty sure that not all pipes have obsidian caps, only ones that have reached the surface in cold climates. When I get home tonight I'll check my ocean side fortress, I'm pretty sure it didn't. Also, that image is pretty useless unless you already know what you are looking at.
Magma pools are about the same size as a pipe, but only 3 or 5 z-levels deep, iirc. --Juckto 21:30, 8 November 2008 (EST)
Yeah, I'm correct. It had 2 layers of soil above it, 3 if you count the level the magma surface is visible on. Edited the article to reflect this. --Juckto 01:50, 9 November 2008 (EST)
Well, that cap image is from the terrain I'm playing on now, which isn't in a freezing biome. So we should take out the "freezing" bit and just leave it as "may extend to just below the surface." Oh, and sorry about the image. I guess that's a case where it is so obvious to me what it's of, that I couldn't imagine other perspectives. I'll do another screen shot and replace it at full size. The full size image is still very small. --RomeoFalling 03:52, 9 November 2008 (EST)
Personally, I have my init file changed so that I can see any magma pipes and pools on the regional map when settling a new fortress. From my experience I will say this: a) Not all magma pipes have obsidian caps. b) If the magma pipe is within 2 or 3 z-levels of surfacing, it WILL have a cap. c) Frozen biomes do not change this, though you might have a higher change of finding capped pipes instead of volcanoes due to the fact that water+magma=obsidian. However, the obsidian cap is usually very obvious compared to the fresh ice and snow. --Alkyon 04:04, 9 November 2008 (EST)

the line pattern (new)[edit]

a new line pattern, but I cannot figure out the things. it should be any scarcity, though. key: X=designation, O=unmined


etc. etc.

what do you think?--Destor 13:52, 28 November 2008 (EST)

Exploratory mining#Rows --GreyMaria 13:55, 28 November 2008 (EST)

oh, I thought it was reversed, meaning the walls were the floor and the floor was the walls. how silly. oh, well--Destor 14:30, 28 November 2008 (EST)

Proposal: Teeth pattern[edit]

I just thought of this, so I made an account to ask for opinions:

▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒ ▒.▒▒.▒▒.▒ ......... ▒.▒▒.▒▒.▒ ▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒ ▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒ ▒.▒▒.▒▒.▒ ......... ▒.▒▒.▒▒.▒ ▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒

I'm not too sure about the math involved, but it's pretty obvious to the eye that this is more efficient than the rows pattern. What do you think? --YF-23 12:25, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

This is actually more labor than rows. If you have a 10x5 grid of tiles, you will excavate 18 of them (10 for row, + 8 for the 'teeth'.
  • Labor: 36% of the tiles are excavated.
  • Scarcity: Any scarcity. Clusters as small as a single tile are revealed.
  • Visibility: 100%. --quartic 14:25, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
Hmm, however... this way, a single row of teeth (the main row and the actual teeth) reveal the two adjacent lines, the one being dug, and then the ones further than the lines adjacent to the row. This means that, in a single row, Rows reveals 3 lines, and teeth reveals 5. So, it reveals 1.66 times as much as rows... The labour required is also the same as rows, and then a third of rows for each line of teeth, so an extra 2/3rds... 1.66 times the labour. Ok, it is well past midnight where I am, and I'll give myself an excuse if my math is sloppy. But now I agree that it's not more efficient, but... Shouldn't it be just AS efficient? Perhaps, try it with a larger area?--YF-23 00:26, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Wait, actually, I think I got it why there's this disrepancy. If you take a grid that's XxY, and X is even, you'll have to dig an extra square per row of teeth that you won't if X is even. So, this design is either just as good or worse than rows depending on the area you want explored, plus it takes longer to designate. Guess it's not as good as I initially thought it was.--YF-23 00:35, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
It might have better usability then just rows, plus it makes it easier to use multiple miners then rows does.

Or, for purely exploratory, there are trivial improvements:

▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒ ▒.▒▒.▒▒.▒ .▒..▒..▒. ▒.▒▒.▒▒.▒ ▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒

Now, in a 3x5 repeating space, 15 squares are revealed at a cost of 4, for a labor cost of 0.26 compared to .33 for rows. Or:

▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒ ▒.▒▒.▒▒.▒ .▒..▒..▒. ▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒

3x4, with 3 squares, for .25 cost With a slight modification:

▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒ ▒.▒▒▒.▒▒▒.▒▒ ▒..▒▒..▒▒..▒ ▒.▒▒▒.▒▒▒.▒▒ .▒...▒...▒.. ▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒

We have a 12x6 space in 21 squares: .291 cost, still better then rows. And:

...▒...▒...▒ ...▒...▒...▒ ...▒...▒...▒ ▒.▒▒▒.▒▒▒.▒▒ .▒...▒...▒.. ▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒

It can become workshops or bedrooms, with no constructed walls.

Decius 23:02, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

large clusters = no other stones?[edit]

When a 48x48 block has a large cluster, there are no small clusters or veins in there.

Not perfectly accurate. I've seen chromite veins (with diamantoid) around olivine large clusters, and platinum veins extending out of magnetite. And, of course, raw adamantine does whateverthehell it wants, large clusters or no.--Albedo 15:45, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

How do I find ores to mine?[edit]

02:00, 4 December 2007 User:Freakazoid

The simple answer is, mine. Mine until you can't mine anymore. You'll run into something eventually.

A more appropriate answer is that finding ores, specifically finding ores you want, cannot be easily done without cheating. The best you can do is look up all the info in your chosen location and, based on the rock layers, can expect a certain range of ores to be present.

Once you have a fort running and you want to look for ore, a good method to look for veins of ore is to mine in a grid-like fashion. For each z-axis level full of stone, mine out an outer edge square of your choice in size. Repeat this square shape over and over until you've made your current layer into something like graph paper.

The size of your square is up to you. A large square will not keep your miners too busy, but you may miss a couple veins. A small square will keep your miners occupied for seasons after seasons, hitting every vein but taking forever to explore another level. Making an 8x8 square is probably as small as you want to go, as veins are actually quite long and unless you're looking for gems, you'll spend forever on one level, wasting time hitting previously discovered veins.

A quick way to get an early supply of available ore is to look across the area. Along rock faces and the edges of lakes and rivers, you can see what the rocks are made of. Once in a while, a vein of something will stick out. That's your clue that there is some more of it waiting behind.

As a reminder, your miners' starting skill in mining cannot be grater than proficient. Going after ore you've spotted on the surface with these dwarves will result in some loss, as they aren't skilled enough to leave usable ore behind each dig. At best, you'll get half of the ore as you mine it out. Waiting until your dwarves are more skilled will yield much more ore.