Today’s plan is to get petroleum generators researched and start on a power grid. But first, we have to do some tidying up.
We start by pulling out some of the mealwood planters, most of these were in areas too hot to grow so we don’t want to waste dirt on them, but more importantly we’re getting close to sustaining ourselves on hatch meat and mushrooms.
Our first stone hatch ranch is almost full, so it’s time to expand the ranches. I still want to have as many regular hatches dropping their 2% chance of stone hatch eggs as I can, at least until we’re running a good number of stone hatch ranches. We’ll also extend the SPOM output up the side so all the levels get nice and oxygenated.
The ranch design I’m following is extensible, with only the top and bottom floors not being repeatable, so we start digging out space to add more intermediate levels, with the top level being right under space.
We’ve been feeding sandstone to our regular hatches so we are actually out of it! Luckily we have plenty of granite available. We’re saving the igneous rock for stone hatches and insulated tiles, but there’s also still a ton more we can dig out especially in the lower half of the world.
In space news, we’ve finished scanning the inner two rings which means we will soon find out what the nearby points of interest are.
We also take a quick look at our own world and find that there’s a cool steam vent somewhere. This will be our first source of renewable water on the home planet.
The mealwood for the drecko ranch is overheating, so we toss some ice in there to hopefully cool things down. We don’t have tempshift plates yet so we have to wait for the blob to melt.
No one interesting has showed up in the pod, but we do grab another drecklet which will double our egg production for now. It helps a little bit, but we’ll probably need to repeat this a few times until we can get climate controlled oxygen production online.
I also take a run through everyone’s skills and assign out skill points; we now have three mechatronics engineers.
We also find the cool steam vent, it’s a bit far down but not ridiculously far away.
In further local exploration, we queue up some digging of some cold slime biomes, since we’re starting to run low (about 5 tons left). But there’s another problem brewing. Do you see it?
While we have plenty of rust left, we’re almost out of salt. And we need both to generate the bulk of our oxygen. We have two options available in the short term: We could build another mini-SPOM, which might stretch our water supply, or we could find more salt.
Well, it doesn’t look like there’s any salt around – it would be white on the materials overlay. On this world it’s only in rusty biomes, and we do have one that’s not been fully revealed yet, so we queue up some exploratory ladders.
One of the deoxidizers is already out of salt, and the other not far behind, although our saltvines will keep things running for a short while.
We grab another dupe and start working down smithing tech. We can also start crushing fossil and egg shells to get lime for steel. Grabbing another dupe might not be the best choice considering we’re about to lose the bulk of our oxygen production, but we have a lot of nicely pressurized living areas that should give us a good buffer while we work on a solution.
This also fills up our last schedule block with three dupes. We can add a fourth to each before the bathrooms become a problem, but after that we’ll need to look at other options. I could also reconfigure the schedules to have 12 or more of them, but I want 8 for reasons that will become clear much, much later.
We also throw down a kiln to help melt more water and prepare some refined carbon for steel. All the water we’ve been pumping in has been warming things up a little bit, but the area is actually still a bit too cold and a lot of it has been freezing as it hits the sub-zero polluted water.
The exploration pans out, and we find some salt.
After 150 cycles, it finally happened: a dupe too dumb to live. This was way down at the bottom of one of our main ladder shafts, with no oxygen for a couple dozen tiles upward, but Devon gets himself trapped by digging out the ladders from below. I got the suffocation notification in time, but couldn’t get him to build the ladder before he suffocated.
He was a relatively recent print, from Cycle 97, so we didn’t have a lot invested in him, but we did lose one of our few diggers that could dig everything – important because a lot of the planned ranch area is full of obsidian boulders. Under the rules of the challenge, we must print a dupe on the next pod activation, and this will not let us research another tech since this is just catching us up to where we should be on dupe count. Luckily, the pod comes through.
Now to solve our salt problem. For once in the game, a chlorine gas vent is useful – we can feed it to our saltvines and produce more salt.
Time to run through some math to see how much this can support:
- Saltvines consume 6g/s of chlorine. If allowed to fully erupt (and not overpressurize) this vent will support 15 plants.
- Domestically grown saltvines mature in 6 cycles and produce 65kg of salt. 65 * 15 / 6 = 162.5kg of salt per cycle – assuming dupes harvest the vines as soon as they are mature. Call it 150kg just to be safe, basically 10kg per saltvine per day.
- Our rust deoxidizers produce enough chlorine (at least when fully salted) to support an additional 10 saltvines, bringing our estimated production up to 250kg/cycle.
- Deoxidizers consume 250g/s of salt – or 150kg per cycle. We’re running two of them, but that still leaves us 50kg short.
So this vent doesn’t entirely solve our problems, but it does alleviate them somewhat – for now. The 6 day lifecycle is just the default, and can be modified, primarily by use of the farming station. Luckily we’ve already unlocked this and we have some fertilizer around. The nice thing about using fertilizer is it doesn’t cause the plants to consume any more resources; the consumption rate is constant whether the plant is growing, stifled, or boosted. This means you get more output for your inputs by adding fertilizer for any crop – twice as much, effectively.
We currently have 700kg of fertilizer available, but there is more around we can dig up too. Each plant takes 5kg of fertilizer to get a 100% growth boost for one cycle. This basically means our 25 saltvines will require 125kg of fertilizer per cycle. Better dig that up soon.
We won’t actually need all 25 plants with fertilizer in play. Since we’re effectively doubling our output, to 20kg salt per plant per day, we only need 15 boosted plants to have enough salt to run both deoxidizers. But we will have the chlorine to run 25 plants, so we go with that – extra salt can, in the worst case, be crushed up for table salt in the rock crusher and replenish some of the sand used. (While we do have a pip and could do wild-planted saltvines to not use sand, we’d require four times as many plants and way, way more space.)
Each plant also consumes 7kg of sand per cycle, or 175kg in total. We currently have over 200 tons of sand, more than 1000 cycles worth, so this won’t be an issue for a long time – certainly not before we get minibases running on SPOMs up.
We also get our first glossy drecko egg. We haven’t finished preparing the shearing room yet, nor do we have any tech that can actually use plastic, so we’re not going to bother incubating it.
We’re still at 24 dupes which means our great hall is full. So we build another one, plus 8 more beds, so we can continue printing dupes.
Just in time, too. Time for firepoles, that is.
Our overflow hatch storage is also starting to fill up, so we better get those extra ranches built soon.
But first we have some important renovations to complete. Fire poles are fun and efficient!
While that goes on, we also get the farm station installed. To have enough room for the filter valve and farm station, we can only fit 23 farm tiles in the room, but we have plenty of buffer. This just means we won’t be able to use 100% of the output of the chlorine vent, but considering normally most games use 0%, I think we’ll be fine.
The vent comes out of dormancy at just the right time, and we start pumping extra chlorine into the room.
So now can we focus on the ranches?
Our diggers’ attention is currently divided as we’re also looking for the other supply teleporter and the dupe teleporter. We come across the dupe teleporter room near one of our vertical shafts. I am also closely monitoring this situation so we don’t end up with more Devons.
We celebrate this find with a barbeque for all. Wrangling the hatches first means they won’t eat the meat of their
cellmates friends when they die.
Just as cycle 160 hits, we grab the last dupe we need for smelting. The farm station also starts to pay dividends, but everyone’s a bit irritated.
We also reach the amber fossil and diagonal-build a tile to stop the sporechid from emitting spores. They won’t all die off, but the vast majority of them will, once we remove the source. We can later deal with the rest via careful application of chlorine.
Finally, we reveal the dupe teleporter (although we haven’t quite reached it yet – there’s a lot of obsidian in the way).