Cloud Imperium Games has put a lot of thought in mining work for Star Citizen. Founder Chris Roberts recently detailed the profession, highlighting how the team has added the complexity and dangers to mining, with respect to real life.
One would normally expect mining work to be repetitive in any game. In Star Citizen though, “mindless repetition” is explicitly avoided. The profession is also more than simply pressing a button and waiting for resources to pile up.
Players can choose to mine freelance or under contract. In the latter, players will have to meet specific quotas and give up most of their haul in exchange for other rewards.
Resources gathered from mining can also be thrown on the open marketplace, and the Trade and Development Division is going to play a large role in this regard.
The danger comes when scouting asteroid fields for new mines. The rarer the resource, the more dangerous it will be when trying to pinpoint a location. Players can take on a job as a Pioneer and go out looking for unexplored fields. Resources that are plentiful will have their prices drop in the market, while rare minerals will sell for good prices.
Other specialized mining jobs include being a pilot, scan operator (the one who scans for most plentiful areas), beam operator (controls beam generator, as well as other equipment), cargo operator, and refinery operator.
For ships that have refineries, the refinery operator is in charge of purification and distillation of resources.
None of these jobs are done “automatically” and players will have to take their ships into account when deciding to go searching for mine fields.
According to Roberts, mining mechanics go even deeper and more details will be shared later.