Economics / Resource Management
Since one of the main goals of MineralManager is the allow servers to increase the amount of resources / chunk I thought I would break out some math to give some solid numbers for server admins to work with. As well as provide some insight on how one should set the cooldown and degrade factor for each block.
Lets assume that your server has 1000 chunks, and there are 3.1 diamond ore per chunk (MC Wiki). Lets further assume that your server has 10 players who each mine an average of 10 diamonds per hour. Thus the total number of diamonds per hour produced would be 100 (10 players * 10 diamonds / hour*player).
Since every time you find diamond you mine it, you will only ever know where 100 are at a time (assuming a discovery rate of 100 / hr)
A server not running MineralManager would exhaust those 1000 chunks in 31 hours. If we assume your players play an average of 2 hours a day then those 1000 chunks would only last you a little over 2 weeks!
MineralManager mitigates this problem by increasing the number of available resources per hour. Lets say we set our cooldown for diamonds to be 2 hours and the degradation to be 5%. This means that the number of diamonds available per hour would decrease by 5% of the number of diamonds mined. So instead of lasting 2 weeks we now have 1000 chunks that will last for over 6 weeks (containing more than 50 blocks of diamond)!
Lets take a look at how changing the cooldown and changing the degradation effects the amount of diamonds available per hour.
Increasing the cooldown decreases the rate at which old diamonds may be mined. Increasing the degredation decreases the number of diamonds that can potentially be available.
Maximum Number of Mineable Diamonds / hr = (discoveries / hr) / degradation
In general, If your server has an infinite amount of diamond ore in it, the maximum number of mineable diamonds is equal to discoveries per hour / degradation. (i.e. assuming all of the diamond that is known of is mined every time it is available). The time is takes to reach that asymptotic value is linearly proportional to the cooldown.
That is... that if it takes 22 hours to reach 90% maximum mineable ores when the cooldown is 1, then it will take 44 hours to reach 90% maximum mineable ores when the cooldown is 2.
Also, the time it takes to start losing mineable ores is simply equal to (# of diamonds * cooldown) / (discoveries / hr). The degredation only effects how quickly you reach that maximum number of mineable ores, and how quickly that maximum is reduced once you begin to run out.
So a general tip is that if you know how many new ores are being discovered each hour, and you know how many diamonds you want to introduce into the economy every hour and your server is not bounded then you should set the cooldown and degradation according to the formula above. If your server does have boundaries then you need to do some thinking and figure out how long you need to make your server last (before a new world / update / ect) so that your players will be able to continue to get resources and have fun the entire time.