Q: Why introduce ores as loots in the first place?
A: There are other mods giving loots, but very often they end up with new things that very too powerful, or lots of trash items like shotgun shells, burner inserters, etc. So why not just give the most basic ingredients (ores) instead, which we always need?
Q: Why not just give the vanilla ores as loots?
A: It was the first thing I have thought of when creating this mod. The first proposal is to give all ores (including coal, stone, iron ore, copper ore, uranium ore), but there is a serious problem: even if I tune them in some "optimal" ratio, this may NOT be really optimal for other maps or players, especially if they have different map settings and/or resource mods installed. That may create stockpiles on a certain resources, worsening their storage system, which I always want to avoid.
The second proposal is to give iron ore only, which is in shortage in most of my games. However, some game may actually lacking copper ore instead. So this is not a really good proposal neither.
Then I came out with the third proposal: a single alien ore, which can morph into any ore the players wanted. It solves the problem of the above proposals, but creates another: players have access to uranium ore too easily by this...
So here came my fourth proposal: 3 tiers of alien ores. Weaker aliens give lesser alien ore, which is good as fuel (coal) or defense (stone), but morphable into iron or copper ores at reduced rate. Middle tier of alien ore lifted this restriction, to make it more useful as the main source of iron/copper conversion. Stronger aliens give the upper tier alien ore, not only worth more, but can be morphed into uranium ore as well. It can be converted into alien science pack if it is in dire need, in case some very hungry alien tech mods are in need for that.
Q: Why there are so few alien ores loots? They are not enough to compensate for the ammo cost...
A: Since 0.15 (and up to now 0.16.51), players get nothing from killing aliens, which makes the combat part of the game discouraging and redundant. The original intention is to add some loots to the dead aliens, to give players some motivation in killing them.
But if the aliens are too "rich", then it may render the mining part of the game unimportant. It is not supposed to cover fully the material cost of ammo used.
If you want aliens to pay for your base defense or even other stuff, you can tune up the richness and multiplier settings. Please see the option settings section below.
Such setting will create an unintended, however, a fun scenario. So a combat-heavy, no-mining scenario is feasible! This will make your bases self-sustainable, even with the poorest resources settings in map generation. As long as you keep some spawners intact, the resources are never-ending.
Q: Why not preserving the "purity" of 0.14 alien artifact? Why add ore conversion ability to it?
A: With this mod only, there are no alien technology to research, so no need for alien science pack. But I do not want to make something useless in my mod, letting them to take up precious storage space. So currently I give it the ability to morph into ores as well, serving as the hidden highest tier of alien ore. This is still the best in crafting alien science pack.
After the alien artifact make some other uses (like my alien tech mod in development), these morphing recipes can be retracted. Whether to keep these recipes or not? I am open to this.
Q: Will you make an alien tech mod, utilizing the alien science pack?
A: Yes! I already have a plan, and is thinking about the whole framework of such mod! It is mainly about weaponry. (Like in human history, application of new technology mostly goes to military side, especially during war-time, which fits the Factorio theme.) It would be mid- to late-game, or even extend to post-space-science era. There will be some alternate energy weaponry and/or special ammo from the alien technology. Still there will always be more things to add in such mod, so any ideas on alien science theme are welcomed (please post here).
In the meantime, you can use the alien artifact for more ores, or accumulate them in waiting of my mod!
Q: What is the use of alien science pack? I do not find any tech needing it?
A: Yes, with this mod alone, there are currently no use. Any other alien tech mod can use this, or merely as a placeholder for my work-in-progress alien tech mod (see the above Q&A). If you do not find any such mod, you can use the alien artifact for ore instead. I will add a link here when such mod is made, please come back later to check!
Alien Ores & Conversion
There are a total of 4 possible loots: 3 tiers of alien ores and alien artifact.
Different types of alien ores and artifact have different recipes, converting at different rate, as shown in the following table:
For example, it needs TWO lowest tier alien ores (alien ore 1) to get ONE iron ore, while ONE alien artifact gives FIVE iron ores. So they have different "optimal" products.
Judging by the equivalent amount of iron ore as value, if setting an iron ore as 2, the loots have the following values:
|Value||Best use||Secondary use|
|Alien ore 1||1||Coal, stone|
|Alien ore 2||2||Iron, copper|
|Alien ore 3||4||Uranium||Iron, copper|
|Alien artifact||10||Science pack||Uranium|
All these conversions cannot be hand-crafted. They must be done by assembling machine 2 or above.
There are 4 loot tier, mainly classified by the size of unit: small, medium, big, behemoth. Higher loot tier gives better loot, in quantity and/or quality.
Worms are considered one tier up (adjusted in options, see below) though their name, since there is no behemoth worm in the current game (0.16.51). Big worm corresponds to behemoth spitters in gameplay wise.
Loot drops are affected by the "richness" setting, current options include: none, basic, low, medium, 2×, 4×. "None" gives no loot from biters, spitters, and worms. "Medium" is the default setting. "2×" is double the amount of "medium". "4×" gives four times of "medium".
Spawners are treated separately, since they have no sizes or tiers, staying the same (without evolution) during the whole game. Each destroyed spawner gives 0 to 2 (or value set in options) alien artifact.
- Loot richness: Affects loot from biters, spitters, and worms.
- None: Can be used for vanilla 0.14 like, where only spawners give alien artifact as loot.
- Medium: Default.
- 2×: Multiplier over medium, which is two times. This is a lot. Suggested for no-mining scenarios only.
- 4×: Four times. This is really a lot. If loots are left uncollected on ground, they may slow down your game very soon.
- Alien ore drop: Affect whether alien ores ever be dropped.
- Off: Used to remove presence of alien ores. Alien artifact not affected, use the following if needed.
- On: Default.
- Alien artifact drop: Affects where alien artifact is dropped.
- Off: Used to remove presence of alien artifact.
- Spawners only
- Spawners, Worms only
- All: Both spawners, worms, biters, spitters can drop alien artifact.
- Worm richness multiplier: Affect how many loots from worms.
- 0: Worms will drop nothing.
- 1: Default.
- 2: Each worm counts as two biters of the equivalent tier.
- Worm tier up: Affect loot tier of worms.
- 0: Big worm still counts as loot tier of big biter.
- 1: Default. Big worm still counts as loot tier of behemoth biter.
- Spawner drop amount: The maximum amount of alien artifact dropped by each destroyed spawner.
- 1: 0.5 alien artifact per spawner in average.
- 2: Default. 1 alien artifact per spawner in average.
- 3: 1.5 alien artifact per spawner in average.
- 4: 2 alien artifact per spawner in average.
Tips on Collecting Loots
Apart from walking over loots to collect them, in case you not yet know, you can also collect them by bots.
With a deconstruction planner (red planner) in the quickbar, right clicking it. Select "White list", then right click one of the slots. Go to the last category (with the big ? mark), then select "Item on ground". The deconstruction planner now has the filter properly set.
You can then use the planner to mark all items on ground to pick up, especially the alien ores and artifacts.
Full List of New (or Changed) Items
- 4 resources:
- Alien ore 1
- Alien ore 2
- Alien ore 3
- Alien artifact
- 1 science pack:
- Alien science pack
- (1 changed) research:
- Lab [appended a new slot for alien science pack]
- 1 alien-related:
- Alien technology