Suggestion: Coal for planets
There needs to be an ore available only on planets. Coal would be a great solution and here is why:
Coal concentrates in plant matter and therefore its found on Earth and Alien (and Mars if you belive that ;) ). There needs to be a reason to play on planets and in space, having this material only available on planets would be great. It should have a logistical downside tho, (my suggestions: make it heavy or deep under the surface so its harder to obtain by space based players) Coal is very versitile.
Burn the ore with oxygen for a power supply giving oxygen a real use (in oxygen rich enviroments daining air maybe?) This could produce smoke so to make it easier to spot to balance it with solar/wind.
Refine the Ore for Graphene/Diamond. These materials are amazing and have close to infinite applications.
-super light and strong materials made out of graphene layers (armour, tools, weapons)
-better batterys made of graphene (batterys)
-better solar panels
-better anything you can think off really, great stuff.
-drill heads made of diamond
-laser crystals made of diamons (if lasers get added)
-ammo tipped in diamond (slight damage increase for ammo)
-high tech assemblers/energy production applications
these are not really gamebreaking things, but it would create a need to either build a base or a heavily modified ship for mining on planets. It would also give players starting on plandets a small advantage compared to the reactors and ion thrusters from people starting in space.
Ive made a copy for this for reddit aswell.