Core Sample right now allows players to uncover new resources on any tile they choose, so long as it does not have a resource already on it. Early game its a bit tough to spare a black market buy on a core sample, and mid/late game you are, at best, gambling for a rare resource to pop up next to your base.
My main question: Has anyone seen a pattern in core sample resource generation? I know that certain land tiles are more likely to generate certain resources, you generally find carbon in craters, silicon on sand, etc. but I have not seen as much of a pattern from the core samples. Admittedly I have a very small sample size, and I was wondering if people noticed any trends?
Regardless of whether core samples obey these simple trends or not, do you feel like this randomness is good for the game? All too often I get a core sample, throw it next to a resource I need in hopes of getting an adjacency bonus, only to be rewarded with something completely different, something I may have no need for. This inherent randomness is going to keep core sample as a unique/desperate purchase in almost all games.
Do people like the randomness? Is it actually as random as it seems to me? If there is a system in place, should we ask that the game designers show it to us somewhere? (If it is somewhere, if people could link me to it that would be awesome) Do people have secret core sample strats that I dont know about? (If you do, I would love to hear them)
My proposed change, instead of core sample being random with no information, show a percent chance of each resource appearing in a given tile somehow. The first thing that came to mind was having each tile become a pie chart broken into 6 pieces when Core Sample was selected from the black market. Each triangular piece would become shaded with either yellow (silicon), red (iron), black (carbon), silver (aluminum), or blue (water) to show how large of a percent chance that resource has of appearing. If it was 1/6 black, 2/6 red, and 3/6 blue then you would have an equivalent chance of those three resources appearing on that tile. This maintains some inherent randomness, yet informs the players enough that they can make a strategic decision about where to place their core sample.