While mining is a dirty job, its importance should never be underestimated. It is absolutely vital to many things in ToA, even the economy.
You will be able to mine almost anywhere on the surface, meaning you won't have to worry about running around looking for nodes sticking out of the ground in order to mine.
You can expect to dig up what would make sense for the region you're in. Lots of sand in the desert, rock in the mountains, salt from salt flats, and so on. Over mining can deplete an area of its resources for a certain amount of time. We know that realistically you should be able to shovel sand from a desert or pull rock from a mountain all day long for weeks or months on end, but for the sake of balance we're putting some limits on how much you can extract in a given time.
And that's mining! Well, surface mining anyway.
If you want to get to the good stuff, you're going to have to tunnel for it. Tunnel mining is much more involved and dangerous than surface mining but can yield better and far more valuable resources.
To tunnel mine, you first need to place a mine shaft. This will take materials, time and labor to build. Once your mine shaft is built, you get a tiny tunnel to start mining in. Simple enough. As you mine the mine, your small tunnel will continuously gets deeper and deeper. As you go deeper into the earth, you'll begin to uncover more of the rare resources like nuggets of copper, silver and gold, as well as gems. However, the deeper you go, the more dangerous the tunnel becomes as its stability becomes less and less certain. Not too mention that you might come upon things that you'll wish you didn't unearth like underground creatures and pockets of flammable gas.
And there you have it -- mining.
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