I think your figures are a little off. When I’ve been balancing I’ve been considering time rather than hits, because that is a more accurate representation of how efficient the mining it. What I’ve balanced to is this:
- On a level 1 world it takes 0.76 seconds to mine a rock block with a copper hammer (if maxed out).
- On a level 3 world it takes 1.68 seconds to mine three rock blocks with a diamond hammer (which damage the blocks either side too) and if you get two criticals in a row (which would be quite common) it takes 1.12 seconds. That’s a better return on investment for rocks per second by some stretch.
- On a level 3 world a maxed out sapphire hammer takes 0.63 seconds to mine a single rock block, and a ruby takes 0.76 seconds.
So I believe (unless there’s a bug / mistake) that mining on level 3 worlds with Gem tools is as efficient (if not more efficient) than metal tools on a level 1 world.
The idea for the higher level worlds is higher investment / risk for higher returns. The creatures will be a lot more difficult to kill, but give more valuable drops (not yet implemented), and for mining if will take better equipment or more time to mine, but you will get better resources from within the rock faces. If you are just after rock on any colour, then the home worlds may be the place to go, but I believe that having banked all the rock you need, the extra gems, high level metals, better coal, and better ancient tech you get from a higher level world will be a worthwhile prize even if it’s all just sold off.
I’d be very interested to hear other people’s experiences and opinions on this – it’s really helpful for me to use that feedback. This balance is an ongoing process, and it will always take time.