The Drone Economy
The Drone Economy consists of:
Concrete is used in maintenance costs, and in building costs. A lot of it will be required for building domes, as well as things like wind turbines, power accumulators, and the like. The resource extractor is automatic, and therefore is helpful to set up and leave running early when landing drones – thus, when you want to build your dome, you’ve got your concrete available fast. Late game, with the liquefaction technology, it is possible to convert waste rock into concrete, but this will take a long time.
During the drone economy phase, Metal is acquired and gathered from surface deposits. It’ll be very important to put up a sensor tower to find more, as many buildings (most importantly power cables and solar panels) require metal to maintain.
There are two sources for water. Extractors – which are very useful early on, with one extractor being the equivalent of 4-5 Vaporators, and Vaporators – which can be used forever, making water one of the few infinitely available resources. However, in both cases, it’s very important to remember that you don’t get this water freely – you have to pay the maintenance costs.
Naturally, it’s essential to get a fuel economy up and running as rapidly as possible, specifically to allow you to make multiple rocket flights with a reasonably quick turnaround. Later, you’ll need that fuel to make polymers.
And power makes everything run. It’s easy to think one should push for wind turbines easily – but keep in mind, wind turbines eat up machine parts. If you don’t want to put the burden of resupplying by rocket onto yourself, your other option is to use solar panels – which will leave you unpowered during the night, but only cost metal in maintenance – or use accumulators, which will require polymers.