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While plug slugs can be useful as an early game energy source, they lose all advantage when other sources of power become available, which make them as useful as the dupe hamster wheel. To further aggravate the problem, ranching them for more power and meats is not viable since they eat metal ore, a not-renewable resources that are required for multiple recipes. With those problems in mind, many players either put all the slugs in a room and forget about them, or exterminate all of them. Furthermore, as the only new critter in the swamp biome, it makes the biome uninteresting since I feel the only thing the biome can offer me is bog bucket.

 

As a solution, it was proposed by @pether and @natanstarke that a new morph of slugs would be appealing for many players. With that in mind, I would like to propose the rust slug as a new variant. The rust slug could eat salt, which currently is mostly used has a sand source with the rock crusher, and produce rust, which can be further processed into oxygen, iron ore and chlorine. It would not only provide the player with a renewable source of metal ores to feed plug slugs, but also provide a way continually generate chlorine, which the only renewable way to obtain it is to find a vent, and make the rust deoxidizer a potentially long-term oxygen solution, giving the player another option instead of building a SPOM.

 

 

 

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I like this idea, but I have my doubts about continuous chlorine generation part. Currently, the only ways to produce salt are getting it from brine/salt water and farming dasha saltvines. While using geysers can provide some decent amount of salt generation, scaling rust slugs + deoxidizer economy would eventually result in having to use dasha saltvines. The deoxidizer + dasha saltvines combo is chlorine-negative alone, and you probably would have to use some salt to feed the slugs, too. I think this build would rely on having chlorine sources rather than becoming one.

Maybe rust slugs could excrete both rust and chlorine? That could help with scaling salt production without relying on chlorine geysers.

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4 hours ago, Meltdown said:

The deoxidizer + dasha saltvines combo is chlorine-negative alone, and you probably would have to use some salt to feed the slugs, too.

4 hours ago, Meltdown said:

Maybe rust slugs could excrete both rust and chlorine? That could help with scaling salt production without relying on chlorine geysers.

I like the idea, I didn't know that deoxidizer+ dasha saltvines was chlorine negative. Plus, the fact the slugs could excrete chlorine would be a thing to keep in mind if you want to ranch them.

 

Since the build would be chlorine, oxygen and metal ores positive, maybe the rust slugs could also produce something like tetanus germs, a disease that would cause a large debuff to athletic, or even temporary paralysis, so there a challenging element to ranch them? That way, players would need to design their ranch in ways to prevent an disease outbreak and even give an reason to build an hospital?

 

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9 hours ago, Pproy said:

That way, players would need to design their ranch in ways to prevent an disease outbreak and even give an reason to build an hospital?

I think it is't a good idea to add more and more different roles to a single concept. The topic of germs and medicine usefullness in ONI is quite big one, and I don't think the core theme of this suggestion (userful morth of Slug Plug) should be really mixed with this issue.

Besides, there are other ways to design drawbacks for Rust Slugs, both easier to implement and harder to counter than germs (which would be simply avoided with total atmosuit equipment and may be some decontamination shower usage).

For example, slugs may excrete chlorine at big temperature and it would eventually cause heat problems. So, the whole chlorine production chain should be designed with heat problems in mind. Chlorine temperature could be simply deadly to slugs, so you would have to keep poor critters from killing themselves. Or maybe it could simply be too hot for saltvines (50C+), so you would have to cool it down before using it for farming.

Or maybe, instead turning Rust Slugs into heat generators, some complications may be added to getting/keeping the morth. For example, regular slugs may require some tricky conditions to increase chances of laying Rust Slug egg. Or Rust Slugs themselves may require something to keep chance of laying regular slug egg low.

Or you could nerf their nutrition value, so Slug ranching wouldn't be able to solve colony food problems.

Overall, I don't think Rust Slugs would be much more powerful than hatches or pips, so complicating players lifes beyond having to setup big chlorine-based ecosystem shouldn't be really necessary. But, if you insist on that, there are plenty ways to do it without creating new type of germs :)

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On 5/6/2021 at 1:21 AM, Meltdown said:

I like this idea, but I have my doubts about continuous chlorine generation part. Currently, the only ways to produce salt are getting it from brine/salt water and farming dasha saltvines. While using geysers can provide some decent amount of salt generation, scaling rust slugs + deoxidizer economy would eventually result in having to use dasha saltvines. The deoxidizer + dasha saltvines combo is chlorine-negative alone, and you probably would have to use some salt to feed the slugs, too. I think this build would rely on having chlorine sources rather than becoming one.

Maybe rust slugs could excrete both rust and chlorine? That could help with scaling salt production without relying on chlorine geysers.

A cleaner solution would be to have Rust Slugs eat something other than Salt. One of my original suggestions for Plug Slugs was a cold variant that ate Ice. This would explain where the Hydrogen they fart comes from, would teach players how to cool down local parts of their base, and allow for habitat differentiation between normal Marsh biome and Icy Marsh biome. While Regular Plug Slugs are steadily converting a Muddy biome into a Marsh, full of Hydrogen & Chlorine pockets, Rust Slugs are steadily converting a Frosty Mud biome into a Rusty biome.

The challenge of ranching Rust Slugs would come from the need to maintain Ice for their feeders, effectively requiring ExoSuits for proper dupe handling (or tons of Hypothermia). Spillages are also always a possibility. Allowing for an Ice -> Rust transformation would also allow for ALL resource types in the game to be produced from a single Water Geyser, enabling interesting challenge scenarios and an enormous variety of potential builds.

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I don't think this will fix the core issue that Plug Slugs from the start consume a resource that's essentially finite and thus become an annoyance. I do agree we need a critter that provides a renewable source of chlorine+rust, but I'd really rather it be a morph of Dreckos given they're illogically placed in the Rust biome where all they do is heat up the place while it loses its natural chlorine to saltvines.

As to what Plug Slugs should consume, it should be something a starting base can make en masse, but not something you just get oodles of in the swamp biome itself. I recommend sand.

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