These belts had been broken for months, they did not spawn asteroids at all which was dumb enough on its own. What they did still have though, are belt rats. Personally i live in the area around Great Wildlands and Curse. Curse has no belt rats left, which entirely deletes an officer npc from the game, and the wildlands only has 6 systems with belts left.
Belt ratting was a nice and simple thing to do and get a few rare spawns with. Not to mention the belts' purposes in roaming.
The belticided regions: Providence, catch, impass, feythabolis, omist, teneriffs, immensea, curse, detorid, wicked creek, scalding pass, great wildlands, insmother, cache, the spire (partially), etherium reach (partially), malpais (partially), outer passage (partially), the kalevala expanse (partially), perrigen falls (partially), oasa (a lot), cobalt edge (a lot).
My suggestions to fix this:
Ideally, restore the asteroid belts, and make asteroids spawn in them like they used to a while ago.
Or, change the now "deleted" asteroid belts into "depleted asteroid fields" which dont spawn asteroids, but spawn rats. Miners can remove these from their overview, so the quality of life of this change remains.
From the player perspective, this controversial change came out of the blue and caught all of us by surprise (see forums + reddit).
What happened behind the scenes in this situation?
It could be chunks of rock with fixed resources (x iron, y copper, z fireice) that gets eaten away as you mine it. IRL, they're where we're more likely to start extraterrestrial mining because it's easier than getting stuff to and from than another planet.
Bonus points for the ability to adjust their orbits (tractor them into being a new moon for short transits), collisions with other entities (planets, dyson spheres), and manufacturing space stations
I hear over the radio as I stare in horror at my family laying lifeless in our home as I put the cold steel barrel into my mouth.
As I saw the bright spot on earth slowly expanding, their holograms in my arms began to fade away.