We lucked out on getting stone hatches from the 2% default egg drop chance with no sedimentary rock on hand, so we didn’t need to use the Critter Flux-O-Matic. It’s useful to have activated though, especially since it can get us glossy dreckos sooner, so let’s start working on that. We move a hatch, drecko, and sweetle into the room, and also a shine bug egg, getting us to 4 out of the 5 critters needed to fully activate it. The only other critters we have available are shove voles and slicksters, neither of which are very accessible or easy to work with right now.
Our new oxygen setup is filling up the ranch area nicely, although we need to start dealing with the carbon dioxide soon. Sweeping up the lower portions of the map also continues. Rather than set up a carbon skimmer loop I might want to get to slicksters sooner rather than later, but we’ll need a hot room and a way for dupes to go into it without getting injured first, otherwise we end up with nothing but longhair slicksters.
Also in the ranching area we’ve set up some micro rooms to separate out the extra hatches from the egg drop room, at least until we can get fully automated meat production going. Somehow we only have 2 active ranchers (and one more needing a skill point or two), so we’ll be on the lookout for more from the printing pod. We set this up right next to the kitchen so the meat won’t have to travel far to be cooked.
The new SPOM is out of water, with the melting getting trapped up on some ice tiles, but we have collected up all the polluted ice and stuck it on the ground next to the pump. It’s very close to melting.
Farther up the ice biome we queue up digging on every tile that can’t be melted, and also move the pipe output to run over even more polluted ice.
We do, however, have another problem: the melted polluted water is still very cold, and is breaking the pipes when coming out of the water sieve. The whole area is actually pretty cold, but the coal generators are slowly heating it up.
So we build some pipes to run through the generator area, which will both cool the generators and warm the water a bit before entering the water sieve.
It’s still coming out a bit cold but as the coal generators continue to run this will become less and less of a problem. Meanwhile, in the middle of the base, we start building more farming floors. We’re going to get off mealwood eventually, but not quite yet. This has the double benefit of digging out a lot of dirt; our supplies have dipped below 80 tons.
This has yet another benefit of digging out some relatively hot rocks (this was adjacent to the old oil biome that is now the ranch area) so we can even out the temperature in the base a bit more.
And we can hasten this process a little by moving some ice over. No tempshift plates yet, but leaving it in a puddle should melt it pretty quickly.
Another dupe, another tech. This time for hydrogen generators, so we can switch off of coal for the SPOM at least.
We also have a good amount of extra hydrogen backed up, so we might be able to use this to supplement power elsewhere as well.
While that’s researching we also find another half-decent dupe, bringing our total to 22. I think it’s about time we moved to indoor plumbing. I also notice we’re starting to get a surplus of fried mushrooms, which will reduce our mealwood requirements. There’s not a tremendous amount of slime around the map but we’ve got slime meteors and there’s still a few patches around to dig out, so we can keep mushrooms going for a while.
In this case we don’t have thimble reeds yet to use the extra polluted water, but this is going to be hot water due to being next to an oil biome, so we ship it off to help melt things on the left side of the map. How’s that going, anyway?
Ah. Let’s spread out the warm water coming in, so it doesn’t all pool on one side of the area.
We’ll close off and deconstruct these vents when they have no ice beneath them. This eventually leads to a breakthrough, dropping more polluted water down to the pump, but this infusion of cold water is too much for the sieve and the pipes are breaking again. Let’s add another loop of piping over to the warmer side of the ranches.
The hydrogen generators are now also running, and hooked up to automation. We don’t need to burn off any excess since we have infinite storage, so we hook both generators up to the battery.
While all this is going on, another project commences. We have access to the telescope from an earlier tech that we needed for another reason, so let’s start scanning space. One problem: we don’t have window tiles or atmo suits. Another problem: we don’t want shove voles getting into the base.
This area of the base is pretty far from any of our oxygen generators, so with a bit of a buffer zone and some extra tiles and doors, we can create a limited window to space without letting out too much air or letting in any shove voles.
(Later I will replace one of these tiles with another ladder, giving 4 tiles of visibility to the telescope, for 44% efficiency.) It won’t actually require a tremendous amount of tech to get rockets going, especially when we already have refined lead and iron from around the map. With three mysterious points of interest in scanning range, we might be able to go on a quick trip to get some resources, even without atmo suits. Just need to bring enough algae along with us to set up a temporary base on any planet we find.
Some oxygen is leaking out, as expected, but not a tremendous amount, also as expected. Once the airlocks get built we can seal it off completely and only lose oxygen when the telescope is in use.
This is right above our right main ladder system, so it is letting some rads in. But it’s not a ton, we should be able to handle this.
Scanning begins, at 33% efficiency due to the amount of sky visible. This is going to take a while, but we have time.
Exploration also continues downward, where we find our first vent or geyser, but it’s just chlorine. Still, potentially useful to make more salt to keep the rust deoxidizers running longer, as we’re currently due to run out of salt long before we run out of rust. I think sand might start to become an issue then, and we haven’t even researched the rock crusher yet, 140 cycles into the game, but that could be a way to get more.
And although we can’t complete it now, we send someone over to say hi to the hermit.
You know the drill: one dupe (#23), one tech. This will let us start planning out our main power grid, which we’ll need for industrialization.
With that we’ve now also explored all the way to the left, right, and top of the map. I want to uncover any potential other blockages (geysers or story trait buildings) that might be in the way of a future ladder/pole/tube/power chute, but that’s for later. A neat power grid is nice but if you don’t have any way to make power or any way to use it, it’s kind of pointless. The good news is we have all that ethanol stored up, and we’re going to want that power to make steel. Or at least, that was the plan.