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Dreckos: Too good?


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After giving it some thought, I came to a conclusion that drecko ranching is almost like meant to be an essential part of any colony.

Let's take a look at what drecko ranching could offer:

1. Fertilizer. If you choose to use domesticated plants as a food source, your most logical option is to start producing fertilizer, as it saves a lot of resources. Fertilizer Synthesizer requires phosporite, and the only renewable source of phosporite is drecko ranching.
2. Reed Fiber. At least in that regard, they are probably outmatched by Thimble Reed wild farming (with equally requiring zero resource input, farms are winning by space efficiency, require less labor and probably are easier to set up).
3. Plastic. Glossy Dreckos require less complex setup than Polymer Press; Their production could be setuped much earlier; Finally, it requires less resources. Basically, unless you need a lot of plastic in short amount of time, you would prefer to just ranch Glossy Dreckos.
4. Domesticated Wheezeworts. Similar to fertilizer, the only way to sustain domesticated Wheezeworts is to ranch dreckos for phosporite. The issue with wild worts is that their number is quite limited until the late game, so replacing 1 domesticated wort with 4 wild is simply not affordable in most cases. Also, domesticated wort could be automated with combination of mechanized airlock and planter box, while wild Wheezewort could not be temporarily "switched off" in any way.

All this results in two issues:

1. Dreckos are being too good for an optional choice. You want them, for at least plastic production in early/mid game. Most times it's just foolish to give up on them completely. And that just looks like a lack of variability.
2. Dreckos are being too resource-efficient. For everything they do, they can do it for free (regular dreckos may be just fed with balm lilies, and you may setup stable with wild plants for glossy variant). After solving setup issues, you would never be bothered by sustaining them, and would just get their output from thin chlorine-hydrogen atmosphere air, or at most for a quite low price.

Am I being too critical about this? Is there any need in additional alternatives to any of the drecko usages? Does drecko ranching need to become more challenging/less profitable?

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2. Fibers. I find drekos vastly superior in the sense that reeds are not available on all map and expecially for the first atmosuits you don't need to ranch dreckos all. Find/make a hydrogen pocket move wild dreckos in there with a shearing station only. Scale growth is minimally affected by the wild status.
3. I don't agree at all. It's a matter of playstyle. Plastic presses are trivial to setup to me. My route is rush for fibers, atmosuits, meanwhile produce some steel (dump heat into any pool of water/pwater), find some oil, refine it, steel press and you're set. I produce the first 20t of plastic that way and production starts way before I could even breed a single glossy drecko.

4. Again playstyle, I barely find any use for worts.

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56 minutes ago, TheMule said:

Plastic presses are trivial to setup to me

Well, I don't exclude a possibility of me doing something wrong, or having a wrong assumptions about difficulty of some tasks. May be it's really easier for an experienced player to obtain plastic in industrial way rather than from ranching and my point about it is objectively invalid.

56 minutes ago, TheMule said:

Find/make a hydrogen pocket move wild dreckos in there with a shearing station only. Scale growth is minimally affected by the wild status.

Well, that's a completely trivial solution. The question is if it's fine to have an ability to use such solutions?

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I am unsure why you think fertilizer is a clear win. It cuts down on resources needed for farming at the cost of considerable dupe labor. You can do this; on the other hand, with a bit more dupe labor, you can get nearly resource free food via heavy-duty ranching of either hatches or slickersters, both of which offers a very useful transformation by turning something that you probably don't want into something that you probably do want.

 

Reed fiber is probably the only reason to keep around dreckos, as you need immense amounts of the stuff for LOX/LH2 if you are too lazy to loop anything (as I am). 

 

I don't think I have seen a build relying on wheezeworts since the steam turbine was made trivial a few releases ago, as deleting heat via steam turbine is just too much easier.

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1 minute ago, Meltdown said:

Well, I don't exclude a possibility of me doing something wrong, or having a wrong assumptions about difficulty of some tasks. May be it's really easier for an experienced player to obtain plastic in industrial way rather than from ranching and my point about plastic is objectively invalid.

Well, that's a completely trivial solution. The question is if it's fine to have an ability to use such solutions?

Well to me it's a matter of habit. Some people find ranching dreckos trivial. I don't. You need to grow mealwood, and that means temperature control. You need two rooms, one with composite atmosphere, and one fully hydrogen. In comparison, the temporary press is way less complicated. You need two buildings, three counting the metal refinery.

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1 minute ago, lee1026 said:

I am unsure why you think fertilizer is a clear win. It cuts down on resources needed for farming at the cost of considerable dupe labor. You can do this; on the other hand, with a bit more dupe labor, you can get nearly resource free food via heavy-duty ranching of either hatches or slickersters

But I specifically said that 

3 hours ago, Meltdown said:

If you choose to use domesticated plants as a food source

My point is not that fertilizer is a "clear win", it's just that specific type of food production (may be not the best one) has strong incentives to use it, and it naturally transitions into having a strong need to ranch dreckos simply without alternatives. 

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The point of using domesticated plants over ranching for food is usually to save dupe labor but using fertilizer cost so much dupe labor that it isn't obvious that you are coming out ahead over ranching.

 

Put it this way, there are good reasons to use domestic plants, but not good reasons to use domestic plants combined with fertilizer.

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5 hours ago, Meltdown said:

1. Fertilizer. If you choose to use domesticated plants as a food source, your most logical option is to start producing fertilizer, as it saves a lot of resources. Fertilizer Synthesizer requires phosporite, and the only renewable source of phosporite is drecko ranching.
2. Dreckos are being too resource-efficient. For everything they do, they can do it for free (regular dreckos may be just fed with balm lilies, and you may setup stable with wild plants for glossy variant). After solving setup issues, you would never be bothered by sustaining them, and would just get their output from thin chlorine-hydrogen atmosphere air, or at most for a quite low price.

Sustainability of phosphorite is in vast majority of cases a concern coming entirely from a wrong mentality. You'll get bored with the colony long before you run out of diggable phosphorus.

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40 minutes ago, Coolthulhu said:

concern coming entirely from OCD/autism mentality

It feels like a rude way to put it.

48 minutes ago, lee1026 said:

The point of using domesticated plants over ranching for food is usually to save dupe labor but using fertilizer cost so much dupe labor

Well, I didn't thought about this from that perspective. I made my conclussions solely on material resourse usage, and not labor as a resource. Point taken, I guess.

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1 hour ago, Meltdown said:

It feels like a rude way to put it.

I mean it literally, not as an insult. I know it firsthand.

It's not rational to bother with sustainable vs 5000 cycles worth when your games end around 1000 cycles. It's just personal aversion to non-sustainable builds, similar to how some people absolutely refuse to use rock crusher on ores and wait until refinery.

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2 hours ago, TheMule said:

Well to me it's a matter of habit. Some people find ranching dreckos trivial. I don't. You need to grow mealwood, and that means temperature control. You need two rooms, one with composite atmosphere, and one fully hydrogen. In comparison, the temporary press is way less complicated. You need two buildings, three counting the metal refinery.

You don't need the composite atmosphere. Just keep a small stable of 4-6 dreckos in CO2 or Chlorine eating mealwood, bristle blossom, or balm lilies and don't bother sheeting them more than once (or at all). Move the eggs to a small hydrogen room to sheer and just let them starve. Auto wrangle dreckos back into the feeding room as they die every 150 cycles. Simple. 

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As others have said, fertilizer is something that runs contrary to how I play the game as I'm trying to find ways to cut down on dupe labor and fertilizer is significantly increasing it.  So it is never something I consider in a base.  Planting more plants is always better, especially once you have secured more water sources than you'll ever need.

Reed fiber and early plastic are the only justifiable reasons I see to ranching drekos at all.  They're less efficient for food compared to hatches and slicksters, which both also give fuel for power plants.  They absolutely must be ranched for reed fiber if you don't have swamp biomes, but otherwise I find wild plants plus a few thimble reeds consuming my toilet water gives all the fiber I'll ever need.  Early plastic really depends on the build.  Polymer presses are better for things that need a lot of plastic, like ladders and tubes, but glossies can cover more minimal needs like beds and turbines.

So while I really liked them in my first game, I have only used them since when I absolutely had to.  Even in that first game I eventually used the polymer press and thimble reed because my drekos could not keep up with my needs.

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7 hours ago, Meltdown said:

After giving it some thought, I came to a conclusion that drecko ranching is almost like meant to be an essential part of any colony.

Let's take a look at what drecko ranching could offer:

1. Fertilizer. If you choose to use domesticated plants as a food source, your most logical option is to start producing fertilizer, as it saves a lot of resources. Fertilizer Synthesizer requires phosporite, and the only renewable source of phosporite is drecko ranching.
2. Reed Fiber. At least in that regard, they are probably outmatched by Thimble Reed wild farming (with equally requiring zero resource input, farms are winning by space efficiency, require less labor and probably are easier to set up).
3. Plastic. Glossy Dreckos require less complex setup than Polymer Press; Their production could be setuped much earlier; Finally, it requires less resources. Basically, unless you need a lot of plastic in short amount of time, you would prefer to just ranch Glossy Dreckos.
4. Domesticated Wheezeworts. Similar to fertilizer, the only way to sustain domesticated Wheezeworts is to ranch dreckos for phosporite. The issue with wild worts is that their number is quite limited until the late game, so replacing 1 domesticated wort with 4 wild is simply not affordable in most cases. Also, domesticated wort could be automated with combination of mechanized airlock and planter box, while wild Wheezewort could not be temporarily "switched off" in any way.

All this results in two issues:

1. Dreckos are being too good for an optional choice. You want them, for at least plastic production in early/mid game. Most times it's just foolish to give up on them completely. And that just looks like a lack of variability.
2. Dreckos are being too resource-efficient. For everything they do, they can do it for free (regular dreckos may be just fed with balm lilies, and you may setup stable with wild plants for glossy variant). After solving setup issues, you would never be bothered by sustaining them, and would just get their output from thin chlorine-hydrogen atmosphere air, or at most for a quite low price.

Am I being too critical about this? Is there any need in additional alternatives to any of the drecko usages? Does drecko ranching need to become more challenging/less profitable?

what would be the point of introducing more options if people will always choose the most efficient one in the end? that developing time and resources would be wasted

dreckos are actually the only tames i bother having a farm for, since they are pretty good in supplying several key materials for the colony, while other tames like smooth hatches not only are less efficient than a refinery but also become irrelevant once you jump from steel to thermium.

if anything i would like the developers to make all the other tames just as good as dreckos and give them a greater meaning

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9 hours ago, Xenologist said:

Something to note, people drop their excess dreckos in balm lily ranches and then shear them and let them live the rest of their natural lives.

Nope, I let my excess Dreckos (white and blue) in a room fully fill with hydrogen and some shearing stations as well my Dups shear them constantly and I gain a lot of fibers and plastics.

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12 hours ago, Meltdown said:

All this results in two issues:

1. Dreckos are being too good for an optional choice. You want them, for at least plastic production in early/mid game. Most times it's just foolish to give up on them completely. And that just looks like a lack of variability.
2. Dreckos are being too resource-efficient. For everything they do, they can do it for free (regular dreckos may be just fed with balm lilies, and you may setup stable with wild plants for glossy variant). After solving setup issues, you would never be bothered by sustaining them, and would just get their output from thin chlorine-hydrogen atmosphere air, or at most for a quite low price.

Am I being too critical about this? Is there any need in additional alternatives to any of the drecko usages? Does drecko ranching need to become more challenging/less profitable?

I disagree with your conclusions.  I ranch drekkos in less than a third of my maps.  They aren't critical, though they are useful.  The resources they provide require a lot of dupe labor time.  You also have to construct ranch enclosures such that the plants grow in their required atmosphere, but the drekkos spend most of the time in hydrogen.

By comparison, plastic from a polymer press is rather simple, especially if you have plenty of available power and requires almost no dupe labor time.  If you have lots of polluted water on your map, then reed fibers are much quicker to farm than getting them with drekkos.

Drekkos are the only source of renewable phosphorus, as you point out.  However, you don't have to do any ranching to get it.  Just make sure the wild drekkos have edible plants available on their wandering route.  I rarely bother using fertilizer or wheezewarts, though, so its never been an issue for me to keep drekkos around solely for the phosphorus.

Thus my conclusion is that Drekkos aren't really necessary.  They're definitely useful, but you won't really hurt your base development if you decide not to ranch them.  Or if you want to kill them all off.  Or, like my last map, the asteroid is too cold and they all died before I could get to them.

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I don't think they are too good. I went the full optimization road way back and set up a few large Drekko farms. The thing is, they are a lot of effort to build and they require quite some dupe labor after that. I have not used Drekkos at all in perhaps half a year and there is nothing "essential" about them.

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I dunno why everyone gets so up in arms over dupe labor.

What are they there for, if not to work?

Yes.  Things need to be built.

But the only thing that will go faster by throwing more dupes at it is digging.  And for that, you have autominers.  Otherwise, no one building can have more than one dupe working on its construction (EDIT: or, for that matter, operation) at any given time.  (This actually does applies to digging as well - it just doesn't seem that way because dig errands tend to cover a large number of tiles.)

This is why traits like "Unconstructive" and "Trypophobia" are not deal-breakers for me - as long as they don't have a conflicting interest, I just print up the dupe and put them to work where they'll be the most effective.  Can't build but got an interest in tidying and supplying?  Great!  You can be the buff-as-hell dupe that can move hundreds of kilos of materials to whatever is being built in a single trip.

Stop and think of it this way - it only takes maybe a couple or three "shifts" (slots in the scheduler) for an experienced rancher dupe to groom a stable with eight critters.  This can be optimized by setting a dupe's personal priorities so that it's the very first task they go looking for, and also by keeping your ranches all together in one area of your base.

And being realistic here, farming and ranching are supposed to be labor-intensive endeavors that, in real life, would be second only to the maintenance of the life support systems in a real space colony.

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I wouldn't say drecko are too good. Very versatile, sure.  Too good?  Nah.

I tend to ranch them in my pincha farm.  Using pincha as food for drecko basically mean you are saving 40 kg of polluted water per reed fiber (compared to Thimble reed, assuming quick shearing).

And then drecko can give eggs, meat, phosphorite (More than needed for the pincha peppernuts). So, for the same input than a thimble reed farm, you can get more, at the cost of complexity. Ok, granted, balm lily farm would be more "efficient".

As for plastic production...  I usually set my first (and usually only) polymer press in a cold biome.  So by the time heat becomes an issue, I have so much plastic it doesn't even matter.

As far as food (egg+meat) production, dreckos are definitely not as good as hatch. Phosphorite vs coal is a debatable. And their "shearable" compensate for the lower food output. Are they perfectly balanced?  Probably not. But are they sufficiently balanced? I'd say yes.

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2 hours ago, BlackAeronaut said:

I dunno why everyone gets so up in arms over dupe labor.

What are they there for, if not to work?

Yes.  Things need to be built.

But the only thing that will go faster by throwing more dupes at it is digging.  And for that, you have autominers.  Otherwise, no one building can have more than one dupe working on its construction (EDIT: or, for that matter, operation) at any given time.  (This actually does applies to digging as well - it just doesn't seem that way because dig errands tend to cover a large number of tiles.)

This is why traits like "Unconstructive" and "Trypophobia" are not deal-breakers for me - as long as they don't have a conflicting interest, I just print up the dupe and put them to work where they'll be the most effective.  Can't build but got an interest in tidying and supplying?  Great!  You can be the buff-as-hell dupe that can move hundreds of kilos of materials to whatever is being built in a single trip.

Stop and think of it this way - it only takes maybe a couple or three "shifts" (slots in the scheduler) for an experienced rancher dupe to groom a stable with eight critters.  This can be optimized by setting a dupe's personal priorities so that it's the very first task they go looking for, and also by keeping your ranches all together in one area of your base.

And being realistic here, farming and ranching are supposed to be labor-intensive endeavors that, in real life, would be second only to the maintenance of the life support systems in a real space colony.

At some level, if your base is heavily automated, that means that you can get away with less dupes. Since the resources on the asteroid is fixed, you can simply throw resources at the problem instead of having dupes. Oxygen can be automated. Water needs can be automated. Food can be automated outside of cooking, and a small number of dupes don't require much cooking.

 

When you build a proper base, a small team can be every bit as effective as a large one because there is a certain limit to dupes actually carrying out a player's commands. 

 

On the other hand, I exclusively rely on ranching for my food supply, so this is more of a "do as I say, not as I do" kind of a thing. I run a team of 8, with 2 devoted solely to ranching, so I am aware of the heavy workload it places on my dupes. It doesn't help that surf-and-turf places a heavy load on my poor chef, who barely gets to do much else.

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@lee1026 I agree on that point. Very automated base has too much dupe idling, Labor becomes non-issue. On the other hand I think drecko is too good, cause there's Surf'n'Turf. You only have to set up the drecko/lily ranch once and you're set for life. Then it's only a question of time until you can set up your wild fish pond. I think dreckos are too good ranching animal, because they don't require ANY resource management at all once set up.

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In practice, once an oil boiler is set up, you are never going to run out of CO2 and slicksters: if burning oil is water positive, you never really want to stop boiling oil!

 

On that same note, once you break into space, you are not going to run out of regolith for shove voles. For any number of dupes, you need far fewer slicksters or shove voles to achieve the same meat output compared to dreckos. 

 

Dreckos are by far the most labor-intensive of the surf and turf options on the meat side, so they are balanced by having less resource requirements. That said, I don't think the resource limits will actually limit you on any map where dupe counts are not outrageously high. 

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19 hours ago, beowulf2010 said:

You don't need the composite atmosphere. Just keep a small stable of 4-6 dreckos in CO2 or Chlorine eating mealwood, bristle blossom, or balm lilies and don't bother sheeting them more than once (or at all). Move the eggs to a small hydrogen room to sheer and just let them starve. Auto wrangle dreckos back into the feeding room as they die every 150 cycles. Simple. 

It has to be mealwood tho, we're talking about glossy dreckos. But I get your point, you make a small breeding stable for egg production only. The autowrangle thing I have to test (I think your dups keep autowrangling all of them even if there's no need), but that can be solved with incubators. One unpowered incubator should be able to keep a stable with 5 breeders operational.


Still in my experience it takes longer to breed glossy dreckos than getting a press. I'm on cycle 230+, I've produced 20+t of steel, 20+t of press, 50+t of ceramic in my original "temporary" setup that I made as soon as I had atmosuits. I don't recall exactly, something around cycle 70/80. On oceania, I collected a quite large pool of salt water and I've been using it to dump heat into. A waste of sort at this time (refinery + steam turbine would actually produce power), but I've been busy with other stuff. I usually demolish that setup when it becomes unstustainable (too much heat) but this time it lasted more than the usual.

Still while you can start ranching quite early, shearing in a pure hydrogen room kinda requires atmosuits. Also I rarely manage to get a sizable stone hatches population by cycle 100, all morphing considered, I doubt you can do that with glossy dreckos.

I'm not saying it isn't a viable alternative to the press. I've not even saying it's worse. What I'm saying is that I don't find it neither much simpler nor accessible much earlier than the press. They're about as complex and about as early access. It boils down to what you're more used/confortable with. Of course having both options is nice.

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1 hour ago, TheMule said:

It has to be mealwood tho, we're talking about glossy dreckos. But I get your point, you make a small breeding stable for egg production only. The autowrangle thing I have to test (I think your dups keep autowrangling all of them even if there's no need), but that can be solved with incubators. One unpowered incubator should be able to keep a stable with 5 breeders operational.

Yeah, auto wrangle doesn't work as well as it should. I actually don't use auto wrangle in any of my ranches so I shouldn't have mentioned it since it probably doesn't work. 

If you connect your 2 stables with a sunken liquid filled tunnel, you can just drop the eggs for the dreckos you want to keep from the breeding stable in there and use automation and pneumatic doors to direct them into the stable you want them in. 

As for mealwood, that's only needed for turning normal dreckos into glossy dreckos. Glossy dreckos can also eat bristle blossom. Since water is so much more available than dirt, I switch to bristle blossoms in my breeding ranch as soon as I have 3 glossy dreckos and move the normal dreckos to the sheering stable.

I also am not making judgements on which is better/easier. I'm just saying the drecko ranches don't have to be near as complex as some seem to believe. 

Depending on the 5yo, I light have time tonight to sandbox up one of my "usual" drecko ranches. 

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