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Optimal Pipe/Electric layout early game


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I'm often laying things out based on how the map is set up initially but then it bites me in the butt mid game because of how inefficient I laid everything out. What methodologies do you use when you are planning ahead for proper pipe/electric layouts throughout your base in walls and what not? I ran into a post about putting the Heavi-watt wires in their own tunnel/column corridor because it can't go through walls/floors (due to minus decor rating), but I'm interested in the other stuff leading up to that.

Any advice is appreciated, thanks!
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I design the base in 28x5 blocks centered at the pod. Each gap has room for a tube, ladder, and pole.

For electricity, I use a switching battery design so there is never a need to use heavi-watt except at each power sub-station. The main power line, oxygen and coolant follows the ladders.

I highly recommend always leaving a gap of at least 1 tile between any wiring/piping. This will let you add a bridge to jump over later.

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All I can say is, it is possible to rewire parts of your grid without much downtime. Do whats convenient in the beginning, then set up a heavy wire line for the producers and start rewiring your consumers to 1k or 2k sections. Redoing parts of your base not just wires and pipes is a nice challange. My early base gets rebuilt part by part as my dupes get their well deserved luxuries. 

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The way I do it is:

  1. Figure out how big your base will be.  Most importantly, how wide it will be.
  2. Run heavy-watt conductive up one or usually both sides of the base.
  3. Connect generators/batteries to the heavy watt.
  4. Pull a bunch of conductive wire circuits off the heavy watt via large transformers.
  5. For power generators that are far away, I connect them into the heavy-watt via conductive wire & large transformer.

I will over-provision the heavy-watt wire, but I will not over-provision the conductive wire.  That has bitten me too many times.  Oh, and the only circuit I don't connect to my main heavy-watt circuit is my SPOM, as I want it to run even when I'm messing around on the other lines.  In any case, a screenshot example will probably show you more than any more words can:

6klsmz.jpg

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Usually my bases start out as a big ol' messy garbage dump. I tend to lay a very loose layout like @nakomarusaid, leaving a 3 or 5 tile gap between 18x5 blocks. I build temporary structures, often not respecting the layout, all on one side of the pod, because I like to have my bases mirrored whenever possible, so I try to keep the other side "clean". Wiring is a mess until I discover some geysers, explore a bit and settle on long term power options, plumbing is a mess until I decide a layout, and I leave almost everything as it is as I start building more permanent and well laid out structures on the other side of the pod. Once those are operative, I start relocating dupes and operations there, then tear down the old mess and start taking in more dupes as I proceed with mirroring.

 

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There are too many map related variables to give a "best" anything when it comes to schematics.  You will always have to adjust for things like where a Geyser or PoI is in the way, or you don't currently have a Slime decontamination/containment area set up and can't excavate into the Slime Biome yet.

And the simple fact is that until you get to late game tech, everything else you build is some variation of temporary.  As you get more techs researched, and discover more resource types, you'll be able to build more efficient complexes, or use different sources.  Or you'll need to relocate one system you've built to make room for another one that you now need to create.

It's an inevitable cycle.

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the shortest running distance Base lay out is Sky scraper with elevator (ladder&fire pole).

choose either left - right wing for your heater room , such as Bathroom, Oxygen gen, 

choose opposite wing for your cool room , such as Farm, Water reservoir, 

place Hot industrial zone even far beyond heater room or UP.

place any carbon dioxide generating zone far beyond cool room or DOWN, such as Power plant, Plastic factory

 

what left is placing insulated wall / exosuit gate between zones.

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Early one you won't really have the power for fancy grids. There just aren't many power options, so you'll mostly use hamster wheels and coal generators. So you'll have to see what machines you need and wire them together in a way that doesn't exceed what a generator can supply. 
Later on you can redo everything

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11 hours ago, Esch said:

What methodologies do you use when you are planning ahead for proper pipe/electric layouts throughout your base in walls and what not? 
 

I follow the standard path :

"It's temporary. Don't worry about this!"

"Definitely less than 300 cycles, honestly, I promise..." 

"Maybe I'll fix it before my first rocket ?"

"OK, it's become a feature. Well, I've built my monument around it now..."

 

I find as long as you follow that strict path, you'll generally be fine ;) 

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My bases tend to be rather organic and I end up running pipes/electricity as needed for whatever I'm doing.  I used to try all sorts of methods to make things look neat and tidy, but.. eventually I decided it wasn't worth the effort.  So, here's my current guidelines:

  1. Heat-producing buildings should be outside, above, or to one side of your base (except on Rime asteroids).  Thus my generators tend to be off to the side, or kept out of my base by an insulated wall.
  2. Heavi-watt (and heavi-watt conductive) wires are relatively expensive and look ugly (decor hit).  So I generally use heavi-watt near my power production areas, or only where necessary.  For any power inside my base, I use wire (or conductive wire) connected to a transformer.  If a line starts to get too loaded (average power draw close to wire's melting point) then I build another transformer.  This can sometimes get messy, but...
  3. You can always rewire.  Start with non-critical systems, or run a temporary line to them. Then deconstruct the mess and rebuild.  No materials are lost in the process.
  4. Pipes (both liquid and gas) can get messy. Try to run them in as straight of lines as possible.  Every time you put a corner in a pipe, a puppy dies. ... Er, wait.. I mean it becomes more complicated to run another pipe through that area.  =^.^=  Actually, wait.. I'm a kitten (and a geek!) so.. put all the corners into pipes that you can! ... 
  5. Sorry, got distracted.
  6. What were we talking about again?

Anyway, I agree with @Lifegrow.

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Don't worry too much about planning.  It's fun to play organically responding to whatever situations arise.  The more you play, the more you will settle in to layouts that work for you.  I like to have a single stairwell dividing the base in two.  Then each side of the stairwell has a single purpose.  Left is toilets, right is dining room.

When it comes to pipe spaghetti, you can always dig out a new biome and build a contraption there.  So I suppose I avoid building new things too near existing stuff.

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9 hours ago, Esch said:

I think my biggest problem is not knowing how big to make the base so I can accommodate all the areas needed to run it, lol.

The more you play, the more you'll learn.  You'll figure out a pattern that works for you and the next time you load up the game you'll already be able to see where everything should go.

For me, I like to make 3 columns in my base with the printing pod in the middle.  Each column contains a certain number of floors that varies most of the time.  In general though I go 4 floors up and down of the printing pod.  Each floor is 4 tiles tall and 20 tiles wide.  In between the columns is a 3 tile ladder/fire pole area.

The top right of my colony is mostly my bedrooms.  On the left I have my manual generator room, main exit, bathroom, research room, kitchen.  In the center I general have more bedrooms, a rec room, and a great hall.  Some of my other floors are completely empty or are makeshift ranches from the beginning of the game.

 

Remember that you can always redesign later.  So even if you built your bedrooms in the place that you want your research area, it will just take your dupes a cycle to rearrange everything.  No need to stress over it.  And believe me, once you get to a certain part of the game, you'll be stuck waiting for things to accomplish anyway so this is the perfect opportunity to redesign.

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Thanks everyone for the tips! There is just so many million little things to remember in this game that it gets daunting at times. I was hoping if I had an idea out of the gate on ways to streamline stuff for later on, it would help tame that a little.

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For me, it really depends on sandstone versus forest starting biome. 

Sandstone starting areas are very structured and consistent between asteroids. It's a fairly typical 3 column base with a centralized water storage and terrarium oxygen plant. Bathrooms and bedrooms to the sides at and above the pod. 2 set of temporary mealwood farms above the pod. Great hall and kitchen somewhere below the pod but above the terrarium level. Food stores under the terrariums. This can change based on geysers/POIs but is roughly the same. 

Foret starts? Ugh. It hurts my base symmetry so badly... Nothing is permanent because I need to leave as many oxyferns untouched as possible so it begins as a mazelike rats nest of tunnels. If I can get one of my normal two vertical ladder shafts in the proper place anytime in the first 100 cycles, I'm happy. Forest starts for me involve a lot of rebuilding depending on what I find for local resources.

My current base has 0 visible geysers so far (still early, cycle 28 or so) so at the moment I'm filling a saltwater tank for Pacus and overpressuring a polluted water tank for oxygen production. As soon as I find some sort of water (any type) geyser, I'll switch over to a more controllable electrolizer setup for O2 and hydrogen power. 

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7 minutes ago, beowulf2010 said:

Foret starts? Ugh. It hurts my base symmetry so badly... Nothing is permanent because I need to leave as many oxyferns untouched as possible so it begins as a mazelike rats nest of tunnels. If I can get one of my normal two vertical ladder shafts in the proper place anytime in the first 100 cycles, I'm happy. Forest starts for me involve a lot of rebuilding depending on what I find for local resources.

I used to do the same but found it too much pain and too little fun. These days I get my fourth dupe ASAP and use his free skill point to make him into a miner to punch through the granite shell and start excavating salt and rust. Once I have that, a rust oxidizer goes up and my short-term oxygen problems are solved. Bonus: chlorine at the bottom of my base is used for sterile food storage.

7 minutes ago, beowulf2010 said:

My current base has 0 visible geysers so far (still early, cycle 28 or so) so at the moment I'm filling a saltwater tank for Pacus and overpressuring a polluted water tank for oxygen production. As soon as I find some sort of water (any type) geyser, I'll switch over to a more controllable electrolizer setup for O2 and hydrogen power. 

Fun fact: pacus don't need water specifically. I used to house them in a petroleum tank. Or, better yet, an ethanol lake.

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25 minutes ago, mathmanican said:

Sounds like critter replanting training is in order.

Haha. Yep. That comes a bit later on. Trying to get both carnivore and locavore this base so I'm skipping certain usually early things to get a couple hatch ranches and a pacu breeding pond up and running ASAP. 

29 minutes ago, M.C. said:

Fun fact: pacus don't need water specifically. I used to house them in a petroleum tank. Or, better yet, an ethanol lake.

Heh. Yeah. It entertains me when I have a school of Pacu (well, Tropicals) down in the oil biome. This particular base seems to be far away from any rust areas so ethanol is out of reach. Got plenty of easy to access salt water so that's what I'll use for now. What can I say, I like to pre-brinebthe fish fillets. 

Edit: Just realized I never actually addressed the primary topic of the thread. I run main trunk lines outside of my base and feed power off them with transformer/smart battery units via wire/conductive wiring. Piping? Clean water from my reservoir goes under the right side ladder. Incoming clean water for the reservoir is under the left ladder. Polluted water is directly next to one of the clean water pipes (which side depends on the map) so I can bridge on and off freely. I also run a temp controlled loop in a granite tile (upgrade to metal or diamond window later) exterior wall within the insulated tile outer shell. 

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Eh, I free form everything based on terrain.  Admittedly the first thing I do on a new map is to save the fresh game and hit debug to find out what geysers I've been blessed with.  Or cursed with.  This last game I figured I was good with two NG geysers, the initial numbers looked promising.  Turns out I have enough NG to run 2 generators with 2 g/s avg to spare.  thanks RNG!

 But... everything I build is modular and is designed/built as its own facility.  I guess most folks try to jam all their stuff in the base proper, but I don't.  Once I plot out all the bedrooms, bathrooms, farms, ranches, and the like, I insulate the whole thing.    Everything else gets built outside.  My primary generator facility is the largest structure I make other than the base itself.  Generator room proper sits on mesh tiles.  Under that is a 2 tile tall access, also on mesh, with a deodorizer every third tile.  Down below is my bulk PH2O storage, so the NG gens above empty directly into that.  The roof has a small facility tacked on with two bottle drainers for PH2O that goes straight into a pump... and that pump, along with the sewage line from the base, feeds four liquid reservoirs set on automated hatches that cycle twice a day to ensure the chlorine pit they're in does its job.  Later in the game I extend the facility another 20 blocks or so to the right to add three petrol gens, one that gets fed by ethanol.

 Up until this time around, that was really the only structure I sat and pondered where I was going to put it.  After this play through, I'm going to take a little bit more thought in where I place the facilities that crank out heat more to make managing cooling loops a little easier.  Running pipes is easy when it's your first set through an area...  after the 6th or 7th, the snarl begins to really bite you.

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11 hours ago, beowulf2010 said:

Haha. Yep. That comes a bit later on. Trying to get both carnivore and locavore this base so I'm skipping certain usually early things to get a couple hatch ranches and a pacu breeding pond up and running ASAP. 

Not to derail the conversation, but depending on what map you play on, you might consider setting up a few outhouses to breed morbs to help with oxygen problems.  I got both of these achievements on my Oasisse colony, and without those morbs I probably would've run out of oxygen since I was floating around 200g pressure most of the time.  Once Locavore was unlocked around cycle 60 I dug up some of those oxyferns and planted them in hydroponic tiles which actually got my oxygen up to 1K for once this playthrough.  I'm also trying to get Super Sustainable this playthrough as well so I still suffer with lack of pressure until I get electrolyzers set up, but morbs really helped.

Also, if you are below your carnivore requirements, throw some binge eaters in atmosuits and don't let them use the bathroom.  That's 40% stress a cycle, which was enough to counteract the random stress reduction they kept getting and get them to stress out every few days.  Ran into a problem where they wouldn't stress out again after hitting 100% the second time, so I had to reload a lot to get them to binge eat, but it worked.

 

On topic though,

One thing if you are concerned about your pipes/wires looking weird is try to have a habit when building.  Like build wires/pipes behind tiles or ladders or something like that.  Or if you think you may need to deconstruct a pipe later, use a bridge to fill it.  That way when you want to remove it you can deconstruct the bridge and not have loose gas/liquids that need to be dealt with.

Another thing you can do is just make a main line and then filter off that.  It isn't really efficient once you get later, but running a giant loop around your base and pipe any gas/liquid into it is so much easier than running specific pipes.  I make a main gas pipe and all my geysers empty into it which is then sorted near my main power station.  Gas is sent to generators while excess is stored in infinite storage.

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On 8/17/2019 at 11:12 PM, DemainaNyx said:

I make a main gas pipe and all my geysers empty into it which is then sorted near my main power station.  Gas is sent to generators while excess is stored in infinite storage.

Then I started getting too much CO₂ from biofuel processing and had to run 4 pumps and 2 dedicated gas lines alongside the scavenge line to get all the stuff into the infinite storage. I think I hit 4500 kg/cell in a 33-cell CO₂ tank. "Caution - contents under pressure"

With that kind of volume, would it make more sense to use an ethanol cooling loop to turn the gas into dry ice?

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8 minutes ago, Derringer said:

With that kind of volume, would it make more sense to use an ethanol cooling loop to turn the gas into dry ice?

With that kind of volume, it makes more sense to build a smoke stack and let the gas naturally escape into space. There is some utility in the CO2, but it's not worth putting a huge amount of effort into it. Slicksters take effort, the oil output is low and the petroleum engines are super hungry.  You'll have more success running dupes on hamster wheels, so take the easy pickings and vent the rest.

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