Ideas for more interesting mining

One of the areas of the game that’s been bothering me is how mindless mining is. I think “all” we need is more variety in how we find and obtain resources, in a way that breaks up the monotony.

So, here’s a couple ideas that, I think, fit pretty well into the Boundless sandbox. Also, none of these ideas are in any way final! I’d be curious to see if people have other ideas along these lines:

Combat + Mining: Metallic/Gem Creatures

No! Not creatures that drop metals/gems. I’m talking about creatures that use metals/gems in interesting ways. Each metallic/gem variant creature would spawn in the same location as metals/gems of that type (in caves, that is)

Metallic/Gem Hoppers: Upon death, rather than destroying rocks, they embed their resource in the blocks within their explosion radius. Adept players will try to lure these hoppers into tight spaces so that more blocks get the resource.

Metallic/Gem Wildstock: Whenever they ram some blocks, those blocks are converted into rocks w/ the resource of their type embedded in it. They loose health each time this happens (so you can’t farm them forever). Adept players will play like matadors.

Metallic/Gem Cuttletrunks: When they vacuum and throw a player, and the player impacts a surface, blocks around the player are converted into rocks w/ the cuttletrunk’s resource type.

Metallic/Gem Spitters: Periodically shoot gem bombs that both damage the player and embed their resource in blocks. There would need to be a limited number of bombs they can shoot so you can’t just farm them forever.

Metallic/Gem Roadrunners: Leave a trail of resources in the ground they run upon, up to some limited number of blocks. The loot goblins of Boundless

Some additional thoughts:

  • Rather than having limited metallic/gem “ammo”, these critters could potentially convert back into a regular creature once they’ve exhausted their supply of the metal/gem.

  • These creatures would probably need to be pretty aggressive with their abilities that spawn resources (e.g. prefer those abilities over others). It wouldn’t be as interesting if players had to have drawn out combat just to get all the resources out of the critters.

  • Ideally, the spawn rates should be balanced such that a mix of mining + creature farming in caves is the optimal way to obtain resources.

Gathering + Mining: Metallic/Gem Plants/Rocks

Surface plants and rocks could have a chance to randomly spawn as metallic/gem variants of themselves. There might be multiple possible varieties:

Explosive Plants/Rocks: When broken, they explode out and embed their resource in blocks around them. Adept players would surround them with blocks before breaking them.

Heavy Plants/Rocks: When broken, a bunch of that resource drops for the player.


Cool ideas!

1 Like

I love the core idea of a death effect that spawns resources. I don’t think it needs to be crossed with every enemy type in the game, though. I could see this being 1 new creature, and if not, it maps best onto the hopper’s explosion since those already damage blocks normally.

Putting it on the enemies’ attacks means you need more edge case rules to deal with ppl gaming the attack patterns. The death effect neatly solves this problem because the creature dies.

I’m mostly in favor of a new enemy, even if it’s just a hopper AI with a metal/gemmy reskin. And I think it’s best if it only spawns underground.

1 Like

It doesn’t have to be mindless

This video is quite old. I should make a new one since I have better hammers now days.

While I do agree with the want for other ways to spice up mining, or anything in the game for that matter. All of your ideas seem to involve buffing resources. Which I am not sure is the best idea considering how some people are complaining about the economy, and prices dropping on stuff.

I personally don’t mind, since I am immune to the economy, but it might not be the best thing for it.

1 Like

Yeah :frowning: This seems like the most difficult part of my suggestions to balance. Specialty hoppers would definitely be a lot of fun. “zomg diamond hopper! get it!”

Yeah, balancing it would be tricky. The interesting part though, is that if the metal/gem critters end up being roughly as (or slightly more) efficient as strip mining, it biases players towards exploring caves rather than strip mining.

The most efficient way to farm would probably be a mix of spelunking, and strip mining between cave systems.

1 Like

This would be a bonus in my book, but the problem i feel is, There is not enough caves, especially on the lower level worlds,. I wrote a small post recently about how I would like to see more different types of underground Environments and biomes, it is kind of plain underground at this time unfortunately.

There are a handful of high level worlds that do have something a little more but its the same thing over and over again.

1 Like

Like treasure goblins in Diablo :blush:

1 Like

I always thought it would be cool for certain ores to be acquired in different ways.

Gold ore would be found by sifting dirt through a machine. Or trommel

Silver and titanium would only be found in natural made mines.

Copper and iron would stay the same.

Diamonds would be found by

1 Like

With the “hunter” coming out I think we will see a change in mining. We still don’t really know much about the warp wraith. But it seems like it might be portaling into the holes we dig.

Caves were far more interesting and fun in early access, they actually had resources imbedded in the walls and glowing mushrooms growing around the place so you really wanted to explore. The majority of the caves now are mostly plain with the occasional bit of copper, iron and tech laying about … pretty boring after a while and no real incentive to see what’s around the next corner.


Rather than load additional functions and variants onto existing mobs and their AI, I think it would be interesting to encode some interesting behaviors into unique mobs better suited to subterranean life. Remember the rock worm concept art? I imagine they would consume quite a bit of precious matter in their lives. From a lore/logic standpoint, they seem more likely than metal engorged subterranean wildstock. Nobody has really explored what a rock worm (or their giant kin) would really do.


Yeah, forgotten the variety of stuff you could find caving, but I guess Devs didn’t want us, quite rightly, using 3x3 Uber hammers to gather all those resources.
Caves did look so much cooler though…

1 Like

Yeah it’s a shame, it was something that actually made part of the game fun for the average player, but as you say, those with all singing and dancing t6 one shot hammers would just clear it all out regardless. For me Boundless has lost a bit of it’s sparkle since going live, maybe I’m just looking back at early access through rose tinted glasses but the planets to me seemed to be a bit more diverse and interesting back then.

I agree. Would love to have a cave system back like Vulpto. Rubies are mega rare now, so it would work well IMO.


Rubies are rare because of Alcyon design. like 3/4 of the planet where ruby could spawn is open area with lava under.

We would need a ruby planet with less broken underground and it would fix it.

But yeah i am for better cave system like Vulpto had back then.