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How quickly do you get into space?


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I realize it's a single player game so there is no need to rush anything, but I'm just kinda curious to see how people handle this. 

Steel/Lime is the biggest factor preventing me from breaching my surface layer, but that's just because I haven't mined much fossil yet.  But I just hit 400 cycles and I'd bet someone is there in half that time.

 

So, what's your strategy?  What requirements do you need met before you start setting up for space stuff?  Do you have any tips for people trying to get to that stage or tips for once they reach that stage in their game?

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I hit the surface at around cycle 380, currently building/finishing a strong base on the surface with a launch facility, being now at cycle 448. I think to get a rocket launched at around cycle 550. I made sure to dig out a lot of fossil and build a lot of ranches very early on, piling up the lime.

My requirements personally are:

-First of all bunker doors on the map limit, which requires significant steel investment already. If the meteors can keep hitting stuff it's useless to think about putting down anything else.

-Building a base on the surface and house 6-8 dupes there. I usually convert the gravitas facility for this. Note a lot of time and effort here goes to digging out the facility, expanding its size, pumping oxygen in it and finally cooling it down because a lot of heat crept up in the obsidian tiles which will radiate into the facility once atmosphere is present in it. I also make a transit tube connection with my main base to cut down on dupe travel time. Currently I almost completed this phase, just needing to put down the buildings and run pipes.

-Putting down a launch facility next to gravitas facility. It's very important for me to have a large cooling lake right below where the rocket sits. This will cool down the exhaust gasses.

-Building the rocket.

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Its simple. If you enter space, you need something to do there. Just to be there is worth nearly nothing (except free iron. If you dont have a iron-volcano, its a good source for steel production, without wasting iron ore)

In general i open the space biome after i have a decent amount of steel and glass. So i can start building bunker doors and solar panels, to get something useful from the top. 

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I recently launched my first rocket on cycle 380. 

At this point I had mined all the fossil and had enough steel to cover about 3/4 of the map and that was enough for me to start working towards launching, I wanted the rare materials from space. 

Note that I have good NAT gas and only a 12 dupe base so currently no solar panels installed, just rockets. 

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@ToiDiaeRaRIsuOy Yeah, I know before that the meteors used to destroy your map once you opened up the space biome.  They changed it but I still almost lost a whole ice biome one time due to all the meteor damage, so I'm holding off at least until I have close to all the steel I need to protect the surface.  I assume you have a decent size dupe force if dedicating 6-8 up there won't kill things at home.  What kind of dupe count do you normally run?  Also, what kind of ranches do you run?  I normally get a small drecko one started early in hopes of spawning some glossy dreckos but I've never really ranched anything else except for the unintentional horde of shine bugs I spawned (tried a small puft farm once but didn't stick with it).  I was looking into setting up a pond for a tame Pacu (I think they gave the most egg shells over all due to short life span) and then moving it's eggs to a storage tank to spawn more, but I haven't really spent time on that yet figuring I'd focus on that once I got my rocketry stuff set up.

 

@SharraShimada I assume kinda link space and rocketry in my mind.  Like you said, getting there is fine, but doesn't offer much that you can really use for your base outside of the refined iron.  Would it be worth opening up space kinda early on (once you have exosuits for example) just for the refined iron though to help speed up the steel process?  I've never tried that before and always just made refined iron (never had an iron volcano before).  I haven't really looked at what kind of quantities you get from doing it.

 

@TunderLock Good to know.  I normally run a rather small base with only 6 dupes for the first fifty to hundred cycles until I start to establish a stable base and slowly grow from there.  I recently hit 15 and wondered if that was enough to handle things.  I'll probably take on a few more but it's nice to know others run smaller bases and aren't that concerned with it.  I tend to see streamers or videos where they have 20+ dupes.  I might try that one game but I'd rather just have a smaller base that takes a little longer to get things done than have tons of people that I don't know what to do with or can't take care of.

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Pretty much.. well, never, actually.

I always get bored with my base and start playing something else around the time when said base becomes fully automated and self-sufficient without much interference from me.
Then when I inevitably come back to the game after a new patch I start over again, once more never reaching space.
I think it's because there's still no real purpose in going there other than "winning harder", if self-sufficiency is the goal.

Perhaps once Klei makes some win conditions I'll go for it, but right now it just feels so meaningless.

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35 minutes ago, DemainaNyx said:

@ToiDiaeRaRIsuOy Yeah, I know before that the meteors used to destroy your map once you opened up the space biome.  They changed it but I still almost lost a whole ice biome one time due to all the meteor damage, so I'm holding off at least until I have close to all the steel I need to protect the surface.  I assume you have a decent size dupe force if dedicating 6-8 up there won't kill things at home.  What kind of dupe count do you normally run?  Also, what kind of ranches do you run?  I normally get a small drecko one started early in hopes of spawning some glossy dreckos but I've never really ranched anything else except for the unintentional horde of shine bugs I spawned (tried a small puft farm once but didn't stick with it).  I was looking into setting up a pond for a tame Pacu (I think they gave the most egg shells over all due to short life span) and then moving it's eggs to a storage tank to spawn more, but I haven't really spent time on that yet figuring I'd focus on that once I got my rocketry stuff set up.

 

Dupe count really depends on the map's water supply, but I think I can always have 20 dupes at the very least once I get to access every source. On my current map however I am filfy rich with 4 cool slush geysers and 1 polluted water geyser (next to the 2 cool steam vents), so I can run 40 dupes very easily if I want to, but I have enough with 25 dupes for now. Note that those 8 dupes can be missed for the none-surface activities. I have a high level of automation going on, transit tube transportation to critical areas,my ranch and farm dupes stay underground, etc. 2 ranchers, 2 farmers, 1 cook, 3 operators, 1 supplier/tidier and 1 miner/builder is all I need to keep everything running below the surface. The cook even cooks for the ones on the surface as well.

A Pacu pond can help, but remember to only feed that one pacu. They go through your algae reserves like crazy. I run 3 hatch ranches and currently 2 slickster ranches (but I will get more on that due excess CO2) next to 3 drecko farms (one for breeding/reserve, one for glossy drecko's and one for normal drecko's). The egg shells quickly pile up this way, but the trick is starting very, very early. Getting those 3 hatch ranches in the first couple of dozens cycles will mean you have enough egg shell for atleast a partial bunker door shield. In your case to get egg shells fast, the best thing might indeed be a pacu farm, but remember that will also take time. 1 tame, unfed pacu will lay 2 eggs in its 25 lifecycle,while a fed pacu will do this almost every cycle (once it is adult). Pacu eggs give 2 kg of egg shell, which can be converted into 2kg of lime. 10kg of lime is needed for 100kg of steel.

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Each map seed has different characteristics, so "time" is relative. 
What i do is to set some objectives:

First i try to keep the base alive and stable - food, oxygen, renewable source of water, power and reliable heat control. 

The "Heat Control" is the key for the beginning of space exploration: I'll explain.
I prefer to use water cooling system to keep the base cool. So i use any "source" of cool  - cool slush water, AETN.... but this things aren't efficient (AETN) or reliable (Cool slush geyser), or fun to create :P.

My first heat control is just a pair of steel aquaturners cooled with water or PWater from a cool slush. Eventually the water will became steam. When it reaches 260C, automation enables a pair of  steam turbines, generating power and venting the resulting steam space. The result is massive, easy,  and, until i upgrade it with a condensation unit to recycle the water, a wasteful but beautiful to watch heat deletion in a big cloud of hot steam. 

This system requires an opening to the space and, space requires a steel shield. So first thing i do is to accumulate enough steel to create the "steel shield" to protect the construction site.

Once the shield and the cooling system is completed, the "era of rockets" begins, and, with it, the era of "rush to shield all the asteroid" begins too, to protect the biomes.

I build the "steam rocket fleet" near the cooling system - the ultra hot steam fuels the rockets. When it happens, my 4 Astronaut crew -  "Jebediah", "Bob", "Bill" and "Valentina" - can, finally,  travel through the space!

So, in my game, the age of space exploration is linked with the heat - it usually happens at cycle 450-600, depending os how many cool slush geysers, anti entropy machines and wheezeworths the map has, and, of course, the fun factor, which is what really matters. 

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There is one guy that tried rushing the rocket before cycle 100. The rocket was done - the astronaut wasn`t ready though.

Optimal would be between 350-500 cycle. Your base should be pretty stable by that time and lag shouldn`t be too bad yet (if it`s a problem for you).

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I recently I started a base on the hardest settings with the restriction to only take duplicants with the mouth breather trait.

=> I was forced to breach the surface before cycle 200 to get enough filtration medium to keep my base going

 

But most of the time space is not really a goal for me, so most of the time I start building a rocket after 500 cycles.

(When I start my first rocket it´s the point I could fall asleep and wake up with my base still running ^^)

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Personally, I'd start working towards space when refined metals are becoming a more common requirement. 

'Pretti Watt Wire' and automation is refined metal intensive and space makes them essentially free to build with iron comets, which in turn preserves raw metal for other things. A tiny surface outpost can also be set up in the meantime to get a good early start on exploration and solar power, as steel and glass production slowly ramps up.

This is accomplished by around cycle 150, with a rocket ready to fly by 250-300 with the solar arrays to sustain everything. Although, I tend to skip natural gas in favor of solar, so I may be rushing the process compared to most.

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