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(Nearly) Automated Slickster Ranch...

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Hello all,

I've been playing ONI obsessively since Summer and have managed to avoid posting anything by continually reading forums, wikis and watching YouTube videos made by all your wonderful people. I am very slowly getting to grips with the game.

I've gotten into the habit of trying (complex) things out in debug & sandbox mode in a separate save file before implementing them into my current base. I haven't touched any CO2 since the beginning of my currrent game as I always intended to set up a Slickster ranch to feed off it. But I really wanted to maximise/nail it this time as so many other attempts have gone so badly wrong in the past.

The main obstacle I have found is getting the Slicksters into the ranch. I don't want to be using a plastic trap every time a replacement is needed. I figured that an incubator in the room itself is what is needed. That does mean that 1 of 8 critters in a maxed out stable is going to be in the incubator*. I can live with that.

This is what I came up with (see image) and explanation:

Incubator (prio:9)  is on a cycle sensor so enough time is given for lullaby and then switched off to save power for the rest of the cycle. Lower Critter Sensor is set to "Count Critters & Eggs; Above 8" sending green signal to Auto Sweeper to sweep excess eggs either into empty incubator first then conveyor loader (the Buffer Gate is about 8 seconds so the Auto Sweeper can collect up meat and egg shells). The Filter Gate is about ten seconds so once the Auto Sweeper is finished and the count is still above 8, then the Automated Notifier** lets me know that - sadly - a Slickster in the Ranch must be culled***.

The excess eggs are dropped into the space in the middle. Currently, it allows unlimited Slicksters to also contribute Crude Oil but in the interest of keeping the proper ranches full of CO2 I might replace it with a simple kill spot (fill it with water). The middle Auto Sweeper will grab one egg and place it inside the dispenser which is set to 1kg (i.e. half an egg - for some reason setting it at 2kg, a full egg, kept ending up with 2 eggs instead of one). The higher Critter Sensor is set to "Count Critters & Eggs; Below 8" and sends green to both the Air Lock and Dispenser to drop the egg into the room.

In order to make use of the dead space in the 96 tile ranches I've worked in the Oil Refinery (and consequentially the natural gas removal at the top of the room) and the Petroleum Generator (and consequentially the polluted water pump an deodorizer). None of these things need to be in there so may get removed, likewise the Smart Battery and Atmo Suit Docks can easily be on the outside of the ranches. Initially I figured anything that gives off heat and CO2 is all right for these rooms! (I know there is no heating aspect yet, all in good time...) The crude oil collection works OK but I can probably do better. You could easily make this room taller rather than wider. 

Questions & Problems!

*When 8 Slicksters are already in the Ranch, it would be great if the Incubator was not filled automatically by a Duplicant. Is there a way to stop this?

**Has anyone else had issues with Automated Notifying sometimes just... not working? Flashing up temporarily, or not at all?

***If the first question has a resolution, then a culling would never be required. It's annoying atm as I'm incubating prematurely just to have to kill another one off.

This is as close to an Automated Slickster Ranch as I can get. The Incubator removal is very annoying - any advice on this? I understand the Critters pop out automatically as an adult, maybe that isn't such a bad thing. 

I'm looking forward to anyone's feedback/ideas, and I'll post updates as I'm still working on it - thanks in advance!


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You can keep the incubators outside the stables. If you set the a critter dropoff in the stable at 8, dups carry baby slicksters to the stables with less than 8 critters.

You can have another dropoff with lower priority the babies are carried to when all stables are full.

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Immediately after posting, I thought "is the incubator actually necessary at all?"

And came up with this... 

This is a test for a one Slickster ranch with fully automated replenishment; left sensor says to Auto Sweeper pick up "above 1": first egg goes into top dispenser (set to 1kg/1 egg) and excess to lower (un-powered) dispenser (immediately into water, upon hatching, they drown). Right sensor "below 1" releases the top dispensers egg. When the Slickster passes away an egg will be dropped and hatch "naturally". So it will take significantly longer than an incubated+lullabied egg but requires no dupe input (except grooming), drop-off, removal, manual cull, etc. 

The plan is to expand this ranch to be 96 tiles i.e. 8 critters/eggs, add symmetrical ranch next door, ripping out second dispenser in favour of conveyor system and neatness. With up to 8 Slicksters laying regularly, I'm quietly positive - but not 100% certain - that any egg spoiling in the top dispenser should be replaced quickly enough and be ready for when required... also hoping the downtime from natural incubation won't be too impactful.

Alternatively, if I run with the advice @TheMule has shared: replace the idea of the upper dispenser with an incubator, place a drop off in the ranch and drop off for excess larvas, then leave or find a way to cull...


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14 hours ago, dupe_da_whoop said:

I assumed they where un-wrangle-able like the adult versions.

Well, babies inside incubators can be moved w/o technically "wrangling" them.

Also, last time I cheched you can wrangle slicksters, use a drop-off with autowrangle on and 0 max critters... as long as the drop-off is reachable by the slickers (and dups of course), it works. I don't know if that's considered a glitch and/or it has been fixed recently.

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Sorry for being a noob, but the wrangling of baby slicksters into a stable with free space isn't working for me:


Here I have 2 stables with the drop offs at 8 each, the left has 2 and the right is empty. A larva hatched from the incubator, but nobody is grabbing it. Even had the rancher standing nearby idle. The drop off to the left in the kill chamber doesn't accept slicksters right now. Is there some step I am missing to get the larva into the stable?

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Maybe that guy hatched on his own, because after leaving it the other 2 eggs hatched and they were put in the stables the way TheMule stated for incubators. The auto-wrangle and 0 trick didn't seem to do anything. So at least for now, it's working well enough  8)

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Thanks for that link Nakomaru! That was a great idea, and as I'm already running Pacus that way (have about 75 wild sitting in 1 tile providing half the surf and turf) I rebuilt my slickster stable:


The sweepers grab all eggs and the loaders drop them into the holding tank below. At the very bottom I have a pump pulling out crude oil based on the hydro sensor. There's a door under the slicksters and the eggs fall under that. A second closed door doesn't block the sweeper in the oil, which now picks up longhair and molten eggs and ships them out to the drowning tank that hatch eggs evolve in. Also pulls out cracked shells.

The critter sensor in each room connects to an OR gate, which sends a green signal if either room is under 8 critters (eggs not counted). That connects to an AND gate, and the critter sensor in the incubator room is set to send green if under 1 egg/critter, and runs through a buffer gate set to 30, which will hopefully be long enough for the hatcher slickster to be transported to the stables. If either stable is under 8 critters and the incubator room is empty long enough, the mechanized door opens and the sweeper can place an egg. Edit: as shown the left stable is under 8 critters, to the door was open and an egg put in the incubator. Edit 2: needed a filter gate in the incubator room, not a buffer gate (like I said, noob still learning!):


Hopefully this will help automate it all a bit, now I just need to balance CO2 output from the petroleum generators to the right with how much the slicksters consume. I saved up a bit over 10,000kg CO2 with an infinite storage unit before this was up and running, so that will give a nice buffer.

If anyone has suggestions for improving this, that would be great. This is my first time doing most of these things, so seeing designs that others have built is great inspiration!

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On 12/24/2020 at 2:15 AM, nakomaru said:

Some more ideas here: 


I should note that this version ended up having problems.  When you get in to the thousands of critters, occasionally all the slicksters will die due to them expelling too much crude oil or petroleum at once, causing them to sink.  Since there are so many of them, they ended up drowning before they got a turn to think and you end up creating several million of calories of meat that needs processing.

Due to this, I ended up redesigning the system and came up with something that looks completely different, but works.




This uses the fact that if a door closes on a critter, they fall down.  I have a three stage system.  At the top, we have incubators.  These replenish my slickster ranches over to the right, with any surplus eventually falling in to stage 2.  In stage 2, there are a large number of eggs waiting to hatch in a door.  I put them in a door so they wouldn't cause the other critters to be cramped.  The slicksters that hatch eventually are in the door to the left and fall in to the one tile storage area, where they eat until they die at 100 cycles.  Running this for many cycles, I have never seen an adult slickster in stage 1 or 2 (unless they were adults when they were added), though it is technically possible for these slicksters to stay up there for their whole lives.

The slickster pens to the right were not designed perfectly and slicksters sometimes end up where they shouldn't be.


If I were to redesign this, I would have built it a few tiles higher, put the ranch portion at the bottom level, and made an access shaft underneath.  As you can see in the far left ranch, there is a misplaced slickster.  This system is automatic, but not optimal.

I use the extra space in the ranches to burn the petroleum from my 90+ kg pipeless petroleum generator.  I don't actually need that much power, but I need the CO2 for the slicksters, as they are they are my primary food source.

The timer sensors on the doors are set to 30 seconds open, 30 seconds closed.

I am primarily using the incubators to generate extra heat, train my ranchers, and to replenish the ranches.  If the incubators produce too many slicksters they get added in to the one tile unhappy ranch.  Since I have so much extra power, I don't have to worry about extra slicksters being incubated.  I would have put in more incubators if I had more space, as that would just be more experience for my ranchers. 

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Easiest way I have found to automate critter ranching is by just having one incubator inside the ranch that isn't powered in auto sweeper range. That will make sure you have about 5 critters in a ranch on average while never really exceeding the max amount you can have in a single one. Set it to a higher priority than the loader and any surplus eggs will get shipped away. No need for moving critters from one place to another. And there you pretty much have a fully automated ranch with the only need being occasional food supply (until you automate that as well) and grooming.

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