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The End is Nigh & Lightning Rod Experiment


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Since the WX-78 rework, Wickerbottom's book "The End is Nigh" (hereafter will be abbreviated as "tein") has fallen somewhat out of favor for a number of reasons, namely:

* WX-78 now gains charge naturally over time for free, a full charge takes 9 minutes (1 in-game day & 1 minute)
* Because tein summons 17 bolts of lightning for each of its 5 uses and WX-78's maximum charge now only requires 6, 11 bolts are "wasted" and needlessly drains WX-78's sanity (unless that is something they want)
* Winona's G.E.M.erator can charge WX-78 using any gem for a nearly full charge without the need of a shadow manipulator or insulating clothing for Wickerbottom
* Winona's Nitre Generator can charge WX-78 at the cost 2 nitre for each charge. Since the nitre generator starts with a full charge when built and drops a nitre & tape when destroyed, WX-78 can drain the generator while Winona hammers & rebuilds it to halve the nitre cost from 12 to 6 for a full charge
* Even though tein can be used to charge multiple WX-78 at once, the lightning bolts will be unpredictable and might leave one of the robot's electrical thirst unquenched


On the contrary, tein still has some benefits over other methods:

* Tein will guarantee the full charge of a single WX-78. If they want to drop sanity, then this is a welcome side effect
* Technically, WX-78 can equip insulating clothing mid-lightning once their charge meter is filled to avoid further loss of sanity
* 1 Red gem for 85 bolts of lightning is pretty economical when compared to the G.E.M.erator
* Maxwell can read Tein in place of Wickerbottom

With the rework, WX-78 also gained the ability to tap electricity from charged lightning rods (albeit not lightning conductors for sails).
Even though a single lightning rod can catch every bolt of lightning summoned from tein, WX-78 can only ever gain 1 charge from a lightning rod. A charged rod will hold its charge for 3 autosaves. What this means is that if you use Tein right before daybreak, the charges will last for 2 days, but if you use them right after daybreak they will last for 3 days.
This left me wondering if it would be possible to capitalize on tein by building a lightning rod array to catch as many separate lightning bolts as possible (at a reasonable resource cost).

[TEST#1]

I initially built a compact array of 16 lightning rods in a 4x4 square, standing in the middle when reading tein. I chose to use 16 rods, even though each use of tein summons 17 bolts since they are bound to strike at least one of the rods multiple times. There's also more room for more simple symmetrical designs using 16 rather than 17.
Building more rods will, naturally, be more expensive. Of course, one could cover their screen with rods and likely catch every separate bolt, but I was looking for a more viable option. (16 rods = 64 gold nuggets and 48 rocks).

After the first test, lightning only struck 9 out of 16 rods, which wasn't ideal.
However, I noticed something peculiar about the lightning strikes that I had never realized before.

Spoiler

Unlike what I had stated in the beginning of this post in underlined text, the lightning strikes from tein were actually predictable (at least when it comes to lightning rods). They were "wandering" around the array of rods in a counter-clockwise motion.

[TEST#2]

Using what I had learned from the previous test, I decided to try a circular array without any rods in the middle (several times).

Spoiler

A few points of interest from this result:

* The bolts always moved in the same direction and never went back on themselves
* The bolts would in most cases get into a rhythm of striking every other rod, leaving roughly half of the rods charged/uncharged
* The bolts would always start south-west of the player and make 2 perfect laps around the rods by the end of the 17th bolt

[TEST#3]

In an attempt to solve the problem of "every other rod struck", I came up with the idea of taking every other rod from the circle and making another smaller internal circle; 2 circles of 8 rods each.
I hypothesize that since the game always seems to prioritize making 2 laps around the rods, each lap will consist of half of the 17 strikes: 8.5 strikes per lap, or rather, 8 strikes in one lap, 9 in the other.
This could be put into the following perspective: the first lap guarantees 8 or 9 charged rods, the second lap has a 50% chance of striking each of every remaining uncharged rod.
  

Spoiler

In this third and final test, only 1 rod was left uncharged in my luckiest attempt. Granted, it still falls down to a dice roll as I have had the worst, albeit rare, outcome be 6 uncharged rods even in this layout, but this is still undoubtedly the most successful iteration I have yet to come up with.

In conclusion, this has been an analysis and experiment with the goal of making as much use of tein as possible in its current state. I am fully aware that all of this is a very niche and whimsical take on a single game mechanic that may well become outdated by the time Wickerbottom's rework arrives.
My hope is that this research of mine might enlighten and inspire those with chests full of gold to make creations of their own. Thanks for reading!

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Smashing and rebuilding generators takes so long you might as well not consider it 6 and 5 instead, cus by that time I'm sure a minute will have passed and wx will just naturally get a charge lol.

Also great work with your research. I never knew about tein counter clockwise functionality. Super neat. :)

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Thought I should bump this thread now that Wickerbottom and Tein is a more relevant topic. Tein seems to be mostly unchanged in the beta, apart from a new visual animation and being able to recover in the bookcase.

Also, if anyone wants to replicate my design of the lightning rod array, here's how to do it:

* First, build 4 rods, one in each corner of a 4x4 tile square.

Spoiler

20220718205547_1.thumb.jpg.d06617813048348ccce70a83de34c947.jpg

* Then build another 4 rods, one between each of the previous rods, but one tile outwards (like the movement of a knight chess piece).

Spoiler

20220718205639_1.thumb.jpg.785ca27efc47ba6f2d258f3d728c4168.jpg

* Lastly, build the remaining 8 rods within the other rods as close as you can. This is easier done by rotating the camera to line up the rods.

Spoiler

20220718205831_1.thumb.jpg.51e394f25d59a8ea1d90e12348046d30.jpg

 

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can't think of a use for this

 

Does anything happen if you're in between the end of range for two lightning rods, can you perhaps predict a strike outside of their range?

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1 hour ago, h2mk said:

can't think of a use for this

This experiment was mostly a response to Tein's lack of identity after the WX-78 rework with the goal to squeeze as much power out of the book and actually make use of it. The array of rods can be useful on a multiplayer server, private or public, with multiple WX-78s. If nothing else, it's a neat light fixture with room to build in the center.
I should also mention that I was wrong about the amount of time that the rods remain charged; they actually last for 3 autosaves. What this means is that if you use Tein right before daybreak, the charges will last for 2 days, but if you use them right after daybreak they will last for 3 days. I've updated the original post.

1 hour ago, h2mk said:

Does anything happen if you're in between the end of range for two lightning rods, can you perhaps predict a strike outside of their range?

I tested this out and it seems bolts will strike you or around you as if there were no rods at all, even striking inside the 14-tile range of the rods without targeting the rods themselves. The effect summoned by Tein is also stationary, and will stay behind if you leave the area after casting. I don't think it is possible to actually manipulate the bolts to strike a location or target using the rods as they themselves are lightning magnets, essentially.

1 hour ago, Parusoid said:

I only was able to hit 10 rods using the 3rd setup :/

I'm sorry to hear that, but like I mentioned in the original post:

On 5/11/2022 at 3:57 AM, Bronzebot said:

it still falls down to a dice roll as I have had the worst, albeit rare, outcome be 6 uncharged rods even in this layout

I actually managed to get all 16 rods charged while testing today, and in case there's any doubt regarding my building instructions I've now added images to further clarify.

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