Economic Expansion 5 - Mining and Metal Working
In this post I’ll cover some of the changes coming to mining and metal working, which will include information regarding quarries in the economic revamp.
Basic Process – Ore to Ingot
The largest change to the mining and metal working industry is in the processing of ores into workable metals. Currently ores are harvested by mines and smelted by forges to become workable metal except for sulfur and saltpeter. In the revamped economy all minerals that come from ores use the same process - ores are harvested by mines; the ores are reduced and then smelted. Reduction is achieved by crushing the ore with hammers. Reduction is a process that concentrates ores while reducing their weight for transport.
All mines in the revamp produce raw ores which will need to be reduced (or processed in the case of saltpeter). Several structures have the ability to reduce ores but the partner Mining Company is the only mine that can. Most mines will either sell the raw ore which does have regional market value or they will rely on two other structures that can also reduce ore – the Forge (currently in game) and the Stamp Mill.
Once ores are reduced ores they are ready to be smelted and in the revamped economy there are three smelting structures – the Forge (currently in game), the Blast Furnace and the partner Iron Works. Smelting for the most part always involves the use of flux materials such as limestone, charcoal and sulfur. Iron is already processed in this manner in game with limestone as its flux and in the revamped economy the other metals require similar additional ingredients in smelting. Smelted ores produce workable materials in the form of pigs or ingots. Iron has a unique smelting processes in that it can be smelt into wrought iron (called simply iron in game) and pig iron which is semi processed iron form used by multiple structures.
In implementing this process there were two changes to mine outputs – sulfur mines will produce sulfur ore and guano caves will produce guano. Sulfur ore processes in the same manner as all the other metals. Guano caves operate a bit differently in that guano is not considered an ore in the revamped economy and the Guano Cave is able to process the guano into saltpeter without the assistance of an additional structure. Guano conversion to saltpeter can be accomplished more efficiently with the use of a Boilery.
Industry Structure Changes and Additions:
There are few changes to the mines in game. Outputs remain the same with general adjustments to higher labor and in some cases lower costs. There are revamped versions of each mine (except the Guano Cave). These Large Mine revamp versions have different outputs and costs and have higher maintenance needs than Basic Mines. There is only one partner mine – the Mining Company. Like the Logging Company the Mining Company can harvest all mine resources at the port it is located. The Mining Company the most efficient mine is available to all careers and factions.
The Forge is essentially the same in that it continues to produce everything it currently produces and gains essential production part recipes such as rudder irons needed for basic shipbuilding. The Forge’s low maintenance costs and high versatility result in increased labor costs and some inefficiency in processing.
The Stamp Mill’s primary function is as an all-purpose ore reducer and pig to wrought iron converter. The process of converting iron ore to ingots is faster if the ore is reduced to pig iron by a Blast Furnace and then wrought by the Stamp Mill than going directly from ore to ingots (the methods used by the Forge and Finery). In addition to its function as an ore reducer and pig iron converter Stamp Mills are also capable of producing some iron work more efficiently such as hoop or bar iron. The Stamp Mill is a basic structure available to all careers and factions.
The Blast Furnace is the high efficiency smelter intended to be a supplement structure to the Finery and Foundry. It is for the most part a single purpose structure that is also the source of one of the few mineral resources being added – lead which comes as a byproduct from smelting other metals. The Blast Furnace is a basic structure available to all.
The Finery is a semi replacement to the retiring Advanced Forge in that is can do everything the Forge can do more efficiently. It is also capable of producing additional items produced by some of the other structures though not as efficiently such as bolts, hoop iron, and copperware. Its strength is similar to that of the Forge in that it is capable of ore to finished product production for many items. The Finery is a free trader only basic structure.
The Foundry a partner level cannon producing structure. Basic cannon are still produced the Forge for use on basic ships. The Foundry can produce basic cannon as well as the newer cannon – the long and short cannon. The Foundry will also produce bronze cannon though those will not be part of the first build to the Test server later this week. The Foundry is also capable of producing most of the items that are produced by the Finery with more or less efficiency (depending on the item).
The Iron Works is a partner level combination structure that combines the functions of the Blast Furnace, Stamp Mill and Foundry into a single structure with a smaller slot footprint that the three other structures combined.
The Pottery is a new basic structure being added that produces clay based products and glass. Clay products such as brick are used in structure construction and shipbuilding while others such as retorts are used in ore processing. Glass production is similar in that it is use predominantly for structure and ship construction as well as some agriculture applications in the form of vessel glass.
The Clay Pit is a new resource structure that produces two new materials - Clay and Sand. Clay and Sand are used primarily used by the Pottery but are also used in some ore processing and other structures as recipe ingredients. The Clay Pit is a basic structure available to all.
Quarries have a reduced role overall in the revamped economy as granite and marble usage in shipbuilding is reduced. In the revamped economy quarries are reduced to a single Large Quarry structure which is capable of quarrying any stone found in the port it is located. Current Marble, Limestone and Granite Quarries will be retired in that new deeds can no longer be produced in the 2.15 build. The existing structures will continue to function and deeds currently held can either be used or exchanged.