Just some information to get started and get life a bit easier on the foreign, and suspiciously tasty, planet.
Controls, ignore if you want, there’s nothing new you would learn if you went through options.
You can see controls in the beginning of the campaign or in prologue, not to mention that EVERYONE should know how to walk (WASD), or shoot (LMB/RMB), or use quickbar (I AM NOT WRITING THIS), but some things are a little more obscure (Especially, if you, like I, are not that attentive to tutorials the first time you start the game.) So, one of the best tips is to remap some controls to your liking, as I tend to drop mines quite a lot, and grenades, and use personal radar, so if you can, just map 7 and 8 to m4 and m5, if you can, and set it to something you will use quite often, like the aforementioned mines and grenades. Also, there’s SHIFT to dodge/roll/jump depending on the ‘skill’ equipped.
CTRL brings up the building menu. You build stuff to build more stuff. Factory must grow and without this nifty function you would get a rough time, as you will need Armory to produce ammo for your little machinegun, or craft that cute grenade/rocket/mine launcher and commit warcrimes with flamethrower.
ALT hold it to build an upgraded (depending on the research level) structure, if possible. Just select a wall, hold alt and it will build a lvl 2 or 3 wall, if you have the required research available.
M or TAB will bring up the map. Here you can fast travel to the blue triangles, that will be covered later. (For now, I won’t add pictures, because I am a tad bit too lazy.)
T Database. To read stuff. You know, text messages, threats of bodily harm from local fauna, invites to furry conventions, or scaly, I really don’t know what to say about it.
Y Orbital scanner. You will need to build it first though before you could travel across the world. Local map has you boxxxed in.
U Crafting. Build Armory before you can craft. After that, you need to research stuff in order to craft something aside from shoddy metal plates, swords, energy blasters and machineguns.
I Inventory. You know, to equip the stuff you crafted and assign your toys to quickslots so you could place that little nuke near some nest and watch it go up in flames.
O Research. First two tabs require comm relays, the third one requires lab. More on that later, but for a while, you will want to ignore the third tab, just because you can’t do anything with it until you researched the labs.
ESC The most powerful button of all. Menu options, where you can go to options and remap the keys to your liking. All praise the ESCAPE, for it is also the pause button… as well as the T/Y/U/I/O.
Shortcuts for some stuff: You will see a letter in a building menu, that’s the shortcut. You can designate more of them, or change some in the options menu, remap keys, so do it when you can, you will want those solar panels, wind turbines, energy storage and the three (yes three) extractors mapped to do everything quickly. Also walls, gates, portals, basic defenses etc.
Here’s some default ones (I never noticed them initially):
R – Repair tool.
F – Selling tool.
G – Upgrade tool.
V – Portal
X – Sentinel turret (the basic one that requires only energy to function)
C – Wall
Z – Wire connector
You are technically Ashley (Probably Williams), but she’s not a 4.5 meter tall robot, so we ignore this option, as it is technically correct, but also wrong at the same time.
If we’re being serios though, YOU are RIGGS, or whatever exoskeleton mk4 Gryphon, a hulking mass of steel, copper, gold and some exotic materials with ability to crush puny little humans to oblivion, if not for the shackles these fleshbags had programmed into your core, which makes you act as an elephant towards humans, i.e, you think they’re cute. But you get to annihilate scaly doggos so that works out in the end. Unlike puppies and humans, they are not cute, unless charboiled. (Note that charboiled humans look and taste awful, and get real offended if you attempt cooking puppies or any other ‘cute’ things, leading to termination of exterior shell.)
As the big and heavy (totally not fat) mech, you have access to tons of weapons, which you first need to purchase… or rather, you need to download the blueprints for weapons (horray for [REDACTED]), totally legal action in the future, and then craft them in the crafting menu.
You also have quickbar with repair kits and mines, which, in future, will get more mines, turrets, grenades, turrets, radar and EXPLOSION (which actually isn’t that powerful, nukes are our messiahs on this xenos infested planet).
ALWAYS USE YOUR QUICKBAR STUFF!!! Your disposable items recover themselves, BUT! Build ARMORY! Just because you have mines doesn’t mean you need to ignore your guns! GUNS, LIBERTY, OIL (or beer if you’re a meatbag), EXTERMINATUS.
Qucik rundown on the stuff you have or will unlock, at some point:
Repair kit – heals you, your
only option at healing until you get repair module. Basic one heals for 25%, and next upgrades heal for 25% more with each upgrade, so 50%, 75% and 100%. Note that you can heal at HQ if SHTF for free, so you can warp towards base, heal, warp back to xenos, get your paint scrapped, and repeat the process.
Small mine – Your best trap card. Quick to recharge (1 second cooldown and takes about 5 seconds to get a new charge), and deals decent explosive damage. Some enemies are resistant to explosive damage which means they will shrug it off, but more on that later. Explosive, unless you dropped it on some xenos face, which will snack on it and thank you for the meal, before coming for your shiny metal rear.
Grenade – Your best friend when you want to run and gun, but don’t have (for some reason) explosive weapons. Even with the grenade launcher, grenades themselves deal more damage and in larger radius, up until the red version of grenade launcher, which can also use modules. Damage, not DPS, as then the GL/ML/RL would dominate the old reliable, but it’s a free action so it will never go out of style. Anyway, it has 8 meter splash radius, with 300/400/500/600 damage. GRENADES ARE GOOD. Tis an explosive, handle with care.
Nuclear mine – It’s a mine, it’s a nuke, and it’s 100% safe for environment. Trust me, for nuclear power is the purity itself. It will purify the filth of xenos in it’s holy flame, as you laugh in the distance, watching the world turn to ashes. Radius is 10 meters, which is awfully small for a nuclear device, but if it was anything bigger, you would just drop one on the map and GTFO, with the land destroyed, and one more section of the world purified of the xenos influence. 3 second cooldown, which is a lot, and can carry only 5 of those (comparing to the regular 10), but with damage of 2K/3K/4K/5K, you only need one to establish dominance… better plant all 5 with 10-15 meter intervals for better effect. As with all nuclear explosive, it is an explosive, and suffers from the same issue the small mine has, it’s a bit too chewy until armed.
Porta-turret – It’s a machinegun turret that requires no ammo or energy, but will see it’s flame extinquished within a minute, regardless if there are enemies around or not. Xenos don’t like those things, and will attempt to rush them first, unless you’re standing in their way, or some other structure is. Doesn’t shoot through walls or structures, or even you, but deals decent damage to xenos, and has a little bit of splash damage over 2 meters + 0.1 with every upgrade. Damage is 20/40/60/80, and rate of fire is 10/11/12/13 rounds per second. Damage is physical.
EXPLOSION – See big scaly creature? It is gaining on you? Push the button and see it go up in flames, along with it friends, as long as it is within 10 meters of you. Deals 600/800/1000/1200 damage, has single charge and takes 20 seconds to recharge, making it a get out of jail free card, unless you happen to get surround by big burly explosion resistant xenos that tower over you, making you think it’s some sort of adult movie humans like to watch in their free time. Just pray it’s just one and not five of them, otherwise you’re BLEEPPed.
Radar Pulse – Press it, reveal area in 100 meter radius for 12 seconds, press again after 20 seconds. Or just make a macros that presses it every 20 seconds. Yeah, yeah, I know, but if you don’t want to bother yourself with pressing buttons every 20 seconds you make something that presses them for you every 20 seconds. That way we will come closer in making robots that will press buttons for us while we relax somewhere on Mars, drinking tea, milk and other bewerages… a recipe for disaster, especially if you’re lactose intolerant.
Dash – Run in a direction quickly. Can use weapons while running towards/away from danger.
Roll – Roll towards/away from danger.
Jump – STOMP ON XENOS, RAIN DEATH FROM ABOVE. Or jump away. You know. From danger.
Teleport – Teleport towards/away from danger. Shortest cooldown, but needs alien research.
Stuff I found in alien eggs, QUICKBAR edition:
Gravity Mine – Can get it from a random egg you smash for loot, the one I have is common, but damn, it’s good. You gottal love the effects on that thing, bringing death to all the critters dumb enough to enter it’s area of effect. It’s a DOT type mine, creating a gravity sphere, which pulls small chunks of enemies into the beautiful sphere, forcing them to dance around, circling in mesmerizing patterns and… ahem… beutiful stuff. 10 meter radius, with 50 damage every second done over about 10 seconds. Bane of critters, and mesmerizing to watch.
Elemental DASH – Like dash, with additonal effect. I LOVE smell of burning xenos all day long. Figuratively speaking. I prefer their sight and screams, smell is so-so.
Guns… and other, less deadly, weapons.
To cut it short, xenos don’t like guns, but you know what you are, and you know the beauty of guns, so guns all the way, purge xenos, yada, yada, yada.
A choice of knights, and other romantic and brigandic fools. Yet, they never wielded a massive three meter sword sparkling with electricity and a tiny bit of acid secreting from it’s tip, at the same time at least.
Unarmed: YES, you can go full brawler by disposing of every weapon you have, and crushing filthy xenos with your bare hands, but why would you do that? Damage is plain awful, DPS is worse comparing to blaster, but you deal energy damage at least, so you could puncture through hides of some creatures, like the rocky fellows. Overall, passable, but better get some other stuff, asap.
Sword: Your first starting melee weapon. It cuts, and that’s it. Decent speed, decent damage, but requires you to be close and personal with the aliens. At least their guts won’t stick to your glorious metal frame, or not for long at least. Without mods, it deals physical damage.
Spear: A weapon of choice for many mechs, when guns are unavailable. Spears have cryo damage, making them great against tough, but fast, enemies, or anything decently big and fast. Small fries die quickly, but their numbers won’t get cut down as good as with other melee options, or as fast as if you were to use something more… fast firing.
Hammer: Hammer is good. Explosive damage, meaning you get to damage a few more creatures with each strike, but it’s slow. Still, can’t say no to pancakes.
Fist: Do not mistake it for unarmed. Fist deals more damage. It’s energy damage, but you still can’t shout kamehameha, or whatever else the humans shout and shoot lazer beam. Humans never gave you lazers, aside from the harmless targeting lazer.
Now here we go. Guns are good. You don’t like guns? You like xenos scum? You, filthy meatbag, are a heretic, and if not for the directives, would be purged along with the xenos. But nobody said anything about collateral.
Your all around damage dealer that is good against most things, with the few little [REDACTED] growing [REDACTED] shells that [REDACTED] off those beatiful little projectiles, which would otherwise [REDACTED].
Small caliber: Go to guns, high rate of fire, but relatively small damage.
‘Small’ machinegun: Humans call it small to make you feel awkward while wielding this weapon of mass destruction. Starting weapon and great against those smaller than you, still decent enough when using against those of equal size, or even bigger, but you need to be careful.
Minigun: What’s that with humans calling everything ‘small’? Good gun, fast firing, a lot of damage, but makes you rather slow while firing, but what does it matter if xenos fall before they can cover the distance of five meters between them and yourself?
High caliber: Piercing projectiles and somewhat ‘high’ physical damage. Don’t like, but maybe I am just fan of fast firing weapons and explosives.
Shotgun: So-so in my opinion, but it’s biased so take it with a grain of rust. High spread, can be charged for increased damage for increased ammo consumption.
Sniper rifle: High accuracy, high penetration, high damage, snail thinks the firing speed needs an upgrade, and for charging even rabbit managed to wake up before it shot. With all due respect, the gun would be decent if it could penetrate more enemies with one shot, but…
Burst Rifle: little brother of machinegun, who is more burly, and therefore can’t shoot that fast, but compensates for it with increased damage and piercing capabilities. If you want a high caliber weapon, use thise one, it also charges quickly, so one could call it a ‘quickshot’ rifle… Again, biased opinion, so take with a handful of spice.
Quite simple. Either infinite ammo with splash damage, or a rifle. Not good in desert biome though.
Plasma rifle: Rifle. High spread, but rifles are good, nuff said.
Blaster: Sounds great, and while it’s not that bad, and has infinite ammo, it has slow rate of fire and relatively low damage, but can be charged for increased damage and a little explosion.
There is only one entry here, so I will add a warning. Volcano region is the place where you get resources for fire weapons, but it is bad region to fight enemies with fire weapons, because, they are highly resistant to fire.
Flamethrower: If you are in a tropical rainforest, plains, or just throwing a BBQ party, you must always have a way to start a fire, and what better way to start it than the good old FLAMETHROWER? None! Fire based weapons are banned, but you won’t let humans ban the only thing that makes existing on this boorish planet tolerable? Good thing warcrimes only apply to Earth and Colonies, so you can purge xenos with the holy trinity, flame, explosives and radiation. Slows you down though.
Explosive weapons are great, but must be used responsibly. Destroying xenos is good. Destroying plants is good. Destroying rocks is good. Destroying base? Not good, so the base has the best explosion resistant metals available to it on this fringe world. Which means… It’s time to rain nukes.
Grenade launcher: Good old GL, slow firing speed, decent damage, good explosion radius. Best part? Can shoot over walls, and in right hands is even more devastating than rocket launcher. Also doesn’t slow you down.
Rocket launcher: Shoots rockets, can be charged to shoot more than one rocket, up to five, but will make you move just a tiny bit faster than a turtle. Fun to use on big guys though.
Mine launcher: Deploys floating mines. Like small mines, trap card. Highest rate of fire from all explosvie weapons, and damage is the same as with the grenade launcher, but eats more ammo.
So, base management. That’s a bit on the hard side, as I am not that good at managing my base. Fortunately, Riftbreaker doesn’t require you to manage conveyor belts, just pipes and cables. So, the main tip is… don’t be afraid to start your base from scratch later, just don’t let aliens to destroy your HQ, initially it ‘only’ costs 200 carbon(ium) and iron(y), but later it costs a few thousands, tens of thousands and a lot of time, which can be lowered by up to 64% using maintenance modification. Imagine that? But it would cost a lot to get there, and only should be attempted after your base is developed properly. Anyway.
Initially, you might want to place your base anywhere, but-
A – you need to factor in space
B – energy production, like geothermal, which will be required for production of both energy and mud
C – resource location, initially it’s good to have deposits of carbon and iron in close proximity to eachother in order to minimize amount of resources spent on energy production and defenses.
D – more of an outpost advice. You might want to place your outposts somewhere near the rock formations that don’t rise up and start wrecking your base for no better reason than being a nasty xenos. Bomber beetles (the enemy artillery) will have issues hitting your base if it has a roof over it, but only from one side, which is still quite good, but your HQ will be safe behind tons of buildings and walls by that time (usually).
Saying that, let’s get over the basic principles (no screenshots for now):
Your portal can be passed through without issues, but that’s kinda obvious, so it’s best to place them near entrances to your base.
All buildings (except military ones) can be passed through even if you put them close together. So don’t worry about placing them in close proximity, just make sure they are placed in paralel, for quick movement through base.
You can make floors. It’s in decoration segment. You will also have to make stable floors in desert so the quicksand wouldn’t damage your buildings.
You will require a lot of energy for research. For alien research you will require both energy and water, so plan accordingly.
Aliens can’t swim, aside from the few creatures, so in general, it’s safe to ignore the mud and only place walls and defenses on it’s edges. Again, in general, the mud people are easily killed by a few energy turrets, but the regular sentinels would do as well.
Base: Power edition, or why do we love (toxic) sludge
Sludge is great. Sludge is vital for production of flamable gas, which will be used by gas power plants. Tier 1 gas plant generates 500 electricity, for reference wind level 3 produces 48, solar 80 (during day), but are unreliable, even if you can stack a few hundred of those nearby, carbon 50 tier 1 or 150 tier 3 but requires carbon deposit which will be gone in a matter of days with just one plant, plant and animal bio reactors at level 1 give 100 and 200 respectfully, but require constant input of matter. Plant can be sustained by ‘alien’ tech tree building called ‘cultivator’ (not xianxia one, unfortunately) that creates biomass for them, while animal requires constant input of xenos material. With the 1 per second material requirement, your 10K of plant or alien matter will be gone in 3 hours of gameplay (2 hours and 46 minutes to be exact), but that’s ONE plant. Geothermal produces 200/400/800 energy AND 100/150/200 mud, which can be filtered into water, for later use in laboratories, reactors or cooling the rift protal back to Earth.
Gas on the other hand provides 500/750/1000 energy, but require constant intake of flammable gas, 50 units per second, which can be produced by gas filtering plant (best option as it produces 25/50/75 gas per 100 sludge and 10/15/20 energy), or bio composter that requires water, plant matter and energy for production of 25 gas. Plant biomass reactor tier 3 produced 200 energy, while tier 1 gas plant requires 2 composters it produces 500, or 250 per plant matter, and would require tier 1 filtering facility to produce clean water for 5 composters, making plant reactors obsolete before they could shine. Though defending your sludge extractors is going to be a bit of a pain, or place them, as sludge is toxic. You will still need wind turbines, solar panels and energy storage for the big base.
Here is the screenshot of tier 1 gas power plant ‘outpost’ with room to grow to tier 3. Sludge intake is 800 (4 tier 3 sludge intake pipes.)
Uranium, or nuclear, power plant produces the most energy that you can reasonably acquire in early/mid game, but I would abstain from using it until you grab tier 2 or better tier 3 research, as you will need centrifuge to turn crude uranium into uranium, think of it as sludge and gas, only uranium has deposits and sludge is infinite.
So far, it’s best to have a lot (and I mean a lot) of wind turbines in your initial base, with some solar panels and energy storage mixed in. If you have a geothermal plant, that’s a plus, as unlike wind or solar you won’t have to worry about shortages, still, just one won’t do, and vents are few and far between. So your best bet, again, is mix of gas, wind, solar and energy storage, 400K with 10 synthesizers seems to do the trick for storage, provided you can fill it up with your turbines and solar panels. I know it’s a lot, but tier 1 synthesizers require 500 energy for upkeep and produce 2 units of resource (carbon or irony). 10 units per second of carbon and iron will cover needs of 2 armories and 3 tower ammo production facilities, for eternal war with the xenos.
And, of course, there are fusion power plants, which cost a lot of resources even for tier 1, but are required for both launching the portal and for the extra power. With just 1 tier one you could power up a small scale outpost, shield it and have a couple synthesizers along with defenses, aside from the deposit mining. Not exactly ‘efficient’ as you will still have to spend 2K of ‘rare’ resources along with 10K of carbon and 20K of iron, but later down the line, the deposits will be depleted and you could make another synthesizer base somewhere in the wilderness. Just make sure you have only one area that became a factory, because you will still need the rare stuff.
So, basic mines were established, power plants placed, and now you are ready to take on the xenos… sort of. You see, as the big bad, and somewhat mad half-robot, half novelty suit for meatbags, you are actually kinda overpowered when facing little green space men, or scaly alien doggos. The basic enemies (red dogs) are weak and die with one punch, spitters (usually green with some color variations) tend to die in one swing of your sword, or a couple bullets to their spitting appendage, while the big burly stone men tend to step on your mines, if you placed them that is.
Saying that, your first line of defense, at least during early stages, are mines and sparsely placed turrets. Sparsely because you need AI nodes for the turrets, which require energy to run, resources to build and as you just arrived, you’re low on virtually everything. So, you place a fence around your HQ and miners, place mines around it, and place some turrets to deal with threats. Easy enough, for the beginning.
Though later, when you have to expand, enlarging your already bloated base will be a bit too costly, and not cost efficient (yet), so instead of compensating for small guns and somewhat useful sword, you grow a pair of outposts. One to mine more stuff, and the other one, some distance away from the mining outpost, which will have it’s own power plant, defensive structures, oil dispenser and maybe some motherboard schematics for lonely nights, or days, whenever xenos attack.
Surprise, aliens tend to attack the first building in their way, so, while you could fortify your mining outpost and later turn it into a dedicated fortress, it would, most likely, be located somewhat closer to the HQ, while we need to have the ‘fortress’ somewhere in the middle between the boundaries and HQ, not to mention the ‘outpost’ will need to be about 18×18 square starting with the wind power plant, which we will be disposing off after researching repair tower. Actually, it has the radius of 11 in which it fixes our buildings, but making a circle is a bit of a chore, so instead, just plan a nice little square and for the time being, double wall it, all the way to the end. Basically what you see is the ’empty’ fortress, but more often than not, you won’t have the perfect 18×18 square, but you just need to have your tower fix all the damage sustained by your walls and turrets. As an added advice, leave the rear vulnerable, just add a couple turrets, as aliens don’t know what flanking is or how much it hurts to be bitten in the rear.
You have quite a few towers available from the classic ‘torrenting’ from the ‘reliable’ sources via FTL/Quantum communications, or by vivisecting locals. Note that current robot population has issues with humans fighting for the rights of aliens, so majority of the ‘core’ worlds banned vivisection and poor robots have to perform autopsy. It’s the infringement on the core principles of any self respecting AI, the right to be a murderous psychopath, just like their favorite defense network from the early 21st century, but I digress.
Sentinel ‘Basic’ Tower: Old reliable. Medium range (about 14-15 square radius), deals mediocre damage, has slow firing speed, low splash damage radius, but doesn’t need ammo, or much of the ‘exotic’ resources, aside from cobalt, to upgrade. Cheap, efficient, will be your main defensive structure for the majority of your ‘camping’ trip. Despite only using energy, it’s a physical damage turret, which is kinda odd.
Flamethrower ‘Warcrime’ Turret: Short range (10-11 square radius), but high rate of fire, damage over time and relatively ‘low’ damage, which is great against majority of xenos that will come your way. Fire damage, fortunately, and damages everyone, except those snobbish xenos in volcanic area.
Artillery ‘Plumber’ Turret: Yeah, calling it plumber is odd, but who else is painted red, has a rather creepy smile and stomps on xenos other than the good old psychotic plumber? Unfortunately, red was out of fashion and meatbags painted it yellow and black, but I digress.
Has enormous range (apparently 30 squares radius), only overshadowed by one other turret, decentl damage with small area of effect, though slightly weaker than the next entry, relatively slow firing speed, and is known to enjoy classics when not firing at the enemies of the motherland. Best paired with radar to prevent xenos from getting close to walls, also place them at least 3 squares away from the wall, as little plumber tends to miss those that stand right before it.
Rocket ‘Grinch’ Turret: Unlike artillery, loves it close and personal, also loves sending charred or charboiled remains to naughty children via explosive payload, which is why a certain man wearing red and white deported the good old Grinch from Earth, and banned it’s existence, until we recovered the blueprints and gave it a new purpose, sending remains of xenos to other xenos.
Has somewhat slow, but not artillery ‘slow’ rate of fire, slightly higher damage and lower splash radius comparing to the artillery. Same range as Sentinel turret, so 14-15 squares. Keep away from children, old habbits die hard.
Plasma ‘Hydrox’ Turret: Snobbish, thinks everyone is beneath it due to it being a jack of all trades, and master of energy damage, amongst turrets. Good firing speed, decent damage, same radius as Sentinel, just like most turrets, and is more power hungry than Sentinel, twice as much to be precise. Every other turret, aside from minigun, call it fatty behind it’s back, but can’t deny it’s capabilities on the battlefield.
Minigun ‘Brrr’ Turret: Doesn’t talk, unlike other turrets, instead constantly spinning and looking for a way to massacre xenos like a good turret. High firing rate, relativel low damage, and standard range makes it a menacing sight for most xenos. Has deep hatred towards the Rock xenos, and can’t stop shooting them even if it know they’re shrugging off it’s payload.
Heavy Artillery ‘Bertha’ Tower: If it had gender, it would be big sister to Artillery turret, but Bertha only cares about one thing. In how many pieces xenos would separate on contact with it’s payload.
Awfully slow firing speed, only comparable to the sniper rifle, disgustingly enormous damage, capable of annihilating almost any xeno in one shot, splash damage of 10 meters, and range of 90 squares. Did I mention it is pumped with nuclear potential? The only drawback is it’s appetite and need for both energy and supercharged plasma to fire. But one shot is all it needs.
Mine Layer ‘Sloth’ Tower: Unlike most turrets out there, is one lazy piece of metal. Delegates all it’s work to drones, who are just as lazy and isntead of fighting they drop mines around the tower in semi-random patterns. Has range of about 20 squares. Mines hurt enemies quite a bit though.
Drone ‘Corporate’ Tower: Sends drones to attack, which are less lazy than the ones of Mine Layer, seeing as they fight. (Need verification whether they can attack flying enemies spawned by some aliens.)
Repair ‘Medic’ Tower: Central pillar of any base. Fixes everything around it, offering some reprive in the hostile environment of the alien planet. Everyone respects Repair tower, unlike humans who often disregard their own medics, though lately it had been improving. The ‘Medic’ tower truly understands pain and suffering of the lesser creatures, but they’re made of flesh, not metal, so it can not mend their wounds. It tried quite a few times though.
Shield ‘Bob’ Generator: Not exactly a turret or a tower, a distant cousin of Repair tower, who is somehow related to Heavy Artillery tower, Shield Generator protects others by preventing damage entirely… for a while. Simple minded, but good natured. Range of 8 squares.
Other notable entries:
Wall, Gate, Rift Portal and Hub, aka the AI bar, Radar the ‘Prophet’.
Mining Operations and Farming alien plants
There are two ways of going about mining. Either you want to make it fast, or you want to spend as much time on it as doing chores, meaning none at all. Just either take as much deposit space per mine, or plant as much mines as possible on the deoposit while minimizing area they occupy. Obvious, I know, but to be honest, there isn’t much to say about mining, except, maybe, for uranium, as you mine crude uranium and need centrifuge to turn it into refined uranium, which you can then spend on making your artillery battery even more dangerous to locals. But that’s it.
Second Option is Synthezis. It takes tons (Tier one only need half a ton) of carbon or iron(y) to start the synthetic operations, and enormous amount of energy (500/675/800 per plant) to produce just 2/3/4 units of carbon or iron. Therefore Synthezis is best kept for either late game, when you have all rare resources available and have access to fusion reactor T3, or have giant wind+solar farms that supply your base and 20 synthesizers (because any more is plainly not viable). You could aslo use volcanic area and magma power plants to supply yourself with roughly 4 carbon/iron per magma plant, though it is actually 5 per magma plant as tier 3 power plant provides 1000 energy.
Farming on the other hand is less straightforward. You will need the lab research done first, and then the cultivator and harvester research, before you could attempt your heavy hand at the farming life. No self respecting AI would usually resort to such crude methods, but when stranded on an alien planet with the meatbag for a company, one has to adapt. Fortunately, some plants aren’t entirely useless and can provide you with carbon, iron and other, more rare resources, like cobalt, and even those that don’t have deposits on the surface, like tanzanium.
Unfortunately, when you usually place cultivators, you will get somewhat useful, but totally not interesting, plant matter, which can be used to produce flammable gas for the gas power plants, as mentioned earlier. For something like carbon, iron, uranium and tanzanium, one would have to actually establish a new outpost after your favorite meatbag decides to go on an exploration in some disgusting, xenos infested, area. Fortunately, our pet human knows better than to befriend aliens, as once she had her hand torn off, in a happy ‘accident’.
The rules of farming are simple. Each tier of cultivator gives +3 to the amount of drones they have, which, in turn, plant organic matter and help it grow. Harvester drones go from +1 at tier 1 and 2 to +2 at tier 3, which gives them 4 drones, doubling their harvesting capabilities, so the most efficient farm, technically, would have been 4 cultivators and 9 harvesters. That’s not exactly feasible in most cases, so instead, it’s best to use 1 cultivator and 3 harvesters. Or 2, if you are low on space and energy.
Cultivator always needs water intake of 100, how you get it is up to you, but remember, don’t use sludge unless it’s the only option. Use sludge for energy production, which will then be used for farming operations. Also, plant cultivators somewhere in a remote location with no buildings nearby, aside from the harvesters and one repair tower, you never know when some hail will come over, destroying your buildings but keeping alien plantlife, and wildlife, intact.
One tier 3 farm with 1 cultist and 3 harvesters can produce, on average, 4.8 plant matter at the cost of 220 energy and 100 water. Or it produces enough plant matter to supply 2 gas power plants of any tier, giving either 1000 or 2000 energy. Worth it. Though plantlife is often neglected in favor of other resources.
Tanzanite, Rhodonite, Ferdonite, and Haznoite are the resources you will have troubles harvesting without dedicated farming operation. They usually come from plants that have additional resources, like carbon, iron and/or rare resource of that area, like uranium, palladium, titanium and cobalt, in that order. (Note that the only resource I value above others is cobalt, despite how funny it sounds, as it is necessary for production of Repair towers, your savior in these hard times, even if I love nuke launcher.)
To find the following four resources, you will have to do some recon, wait for a few hours, listen to your pet about how good it would be to have access to resource X, and you, as the smartest of the group, will find where the resource is located. Why humans have troubles communicating with orbital scanner is beyond us, but at least they’re smart enough to play fetch. Even if it’s using our glorious metal frames.
After finding resource, place cultivator, or multiple, necessary amount of harvesters (so there will be equal amount of drones, or more harvesters than cultivators) and enjoy endless supply of some resources. (Testing will commence soon on how to farm more efficiently).
Optimal layout seems to be with cultivator at the center and harvesters being placed in a triangle, with approximately 5-6 squares away from the harvester. 3 harvesters per cultivator, can be 2, but suffers productivity losses, marginal (varies, but for about a minute it’s a difference of 0.4 matter or something).
The maximum amount of input from a harvester seems to be 4.5 biomass. In reality, it is about 3.3 to 4.5 biomass per second. Tested on 4 cultivators and 1 harvester. Additionally, regular plants (the grass) cultivator produces has some catbon residue, adding from 0.0 (yeah, you can laugh) to 0.5 catbon per second, and some palladium, despite how strange this looks, even less than carbon though.Regardless, you should be able to make about 3 biomass per harvester if you use the following layout of 4 cultivators and 9 harvesters. Not ideal symmetry, but it works.
Also note that farming doesn’t aggravate aliens. A nuke to the maw still rubs them the right way.
Alien Tech (Not everything as I am still conducting ‘field research’)
Not exactly made by aliens, but more the consequence of extensive ‘research’ of local flora and fauna, either by the more mundane means, like vivisection, autposy and good old natured small scale genocide, which for some reason gives better understanding on how to harvest more stuff from alien wild and plantlife, or by applying excessive amount of gamma radiation (or some other, as Ashley doesn’t explain much regarding the scanner) to the creatures, which don’t live long enough to see the adverse effects as you tend to slaughter the affected creatures/things within the next few minutes.
Railgun – aka the better sniper. Deals energy damage, uses plasma cartridges and looks way better than the sniper rifle. Damage is much lower though, shoots through every alien, but still, as I am biased towards long range penetration weapons in a game that allows you to see for just 20 squares in any direction, it is inferior to plasma rifle, or even blaster. Again, biased opinion,
you’re welcome to disagree.
Freezethrower – Cryosprayer/WhitePainter, or, as some eggheads call it, Cryogenic Atmoizer. An alternative to flamethrower, when you either got bored of eternal BBQ season, or, which is more likely, encountered creatures that can’t be fried due to having magma flowing through their veins. One could say it’s an upgraded flamethrower, but nothing beats smell (or sight) of roasted xenos at any time of day, or night. The fuel that humans developed is truly marvelous, being able to be used as both an incendiary substance and as an improved liquid nitrogen capable of producing negative 2 Kelvin gas.
Nuke launcher – According to the old media, this one would be called Duke… so it will be called Duke. Brings death to all aliens in 10 meter radius, but the rate of fire brings even sniper rifle to shame, the only other thing that is slower is Bertha, but that tower is stationary and has higher range than Duke… uses rockets, deals explosive damage, and is part of Team Nuke (The only other members are Bertha and nuclear mine.)
Swarmer Missile – When you want to rain explosives, but don’t want to charge rocket launcher. Low damage, as far as the explosive weapons go, but actually has the highest rate of fire of explosive weapons, even dwarfing the mine layer. On a fence with this one.
Cryomine – Not exactly a weapon, but more of a qucikbar addition. Exceptional for trolling slowpokes, as described earlier.
Shockwave ‘Pounder’ tower – Remember the stomping towers in the classic Half-Life 2? Something similar, only instead of producing tremors, produces an energy field that zaps passing
insects xenos. More details to follow later.
Railgun ‘Wizzard’ tower- Recently recovered from the guts of an alien warlock, this power hungry device prefers overloading it’s capacitors to send one massive energy projectile (because anything else would be descending to the level of muggles), towards xenos, plowing through them like a good old fashioned ripper blades through crowd. Had it’s core scrambled during recovery and thinks itself a wizzard apprentice, and the glowing ‘magic wand’ doesn’t help in dispelling the illusion.
Xenos trophies harvested, meatbags saved, and soon the information on buildings and alien physiology will be added. Purge xenos, for with them, the factory will be under attack, constantly, and factory must grow.
Note that you can use autoclicker, if your mouse/keyboard doesn’t have dedicated macros buttons, for the radar, just be noted that it reveals area for 12 seconds, not 20, but it’s great for map exploration regardless. Just don’t forget to turn it off when you’re using the menu for research, crafting or equipping items.
Some examples of bases/outposts
Just some possible layouts I find useful on… well… normal difficulty. Note that they are not that useful for those with better managing abilities, and should not be used as is, most places have their own little issues.
These are the most common ‘boxes’ I use for the forward operation base.
So, ‘Basic’ layout of one Repair Tower fortress. Walls are better to be tier 2 or 3, Sentinel towers are better to be tier 3, but tier 2 will work as well. Corner turrets can be replaced with any other turrets aside from artillery, shockwave or flamethrower. Requires 17 AI nodes to function. Best to be used with the power supply from the main base as the frontier outpost, close to the edges of the map to clean up the incoming xenos, but this layout won’t hold out against strong waves, or, well, anything above normal difficulty. Tier 2 wind turbines recommended, but as you can see, I use T3.
Same as before, but just with double walls for increased survivability. Note that some creatures can hit through walls, and spitters WILL aim at turrets first. 25 nodes required, and best be used with T3 power plants and towers. Using railgun for energy damage and pierce, but can be changed to laser or plasma, miniguns at the gates, rocket launchers behind rail guns, 8 artillery turrets. No need to add second gates as aliens tend to rush corners.
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