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Cursed Repair Gym: The Conductive Wire Bridge Buster to train Construction.


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Based on my knowledge of circuit overloads, I built something terrible. A "Repair Gym" for the automated training of construction, based on burning bridges. Conductive Wire Bridges to be precise. Because in Spaced Out refined metal is trash.

Because Repair Gyms are not very popular or well known, in brief a Repair Gym trains construction through repair jobs, which is faster than by building and can be automated. Repairing itself is a Tidying errand, the speed is based on Machinery attribute (I think it's +40% per level), and it awards Construction. Because attribute gain is based on time spent repairing it's only practical for dupes with very low, preferable zero, Machinery. And even then, training Construction is slow. But we shouldn't let all these limitations stop us.

The most basic principle for burning wires looks like this:
image.png.009faf5fbe5211c9c15181c0391e3d9b.png
It's just two Large Transformers furiously feeding power into each other. You have to prime it so the system isn't completely full of energy, such as filling only one of the Large Transformers before connecting the wires or only letting a few ticks of power in before Snipping the wire, because if the system is full then power doesn't flow.

This delightful violation of all that is good and holy will result in both circuits overloading and burning, naturally it'll never consume a single joule of power.

 Introducing Wire Bridges to the circuit 

As you may know, circuit overloads ALWAYS target Wire Bridges before Wires (of the same wattage) and in a way which disregards Ohm's law so strenuously it probably makes electrical engineers cry.

So the next step is making a mesh of Wire Bridges so the circuits are linked by bridges only, something like this:

image.png.46dfef703e4a59503ceb74a4a080a291.pngimage.png.bf20080ec5aa591604d644a32caa3853.png

The Wire Bridges will complete the circuits, and once they've all burnt out the circuits will disconnect and cease burning, so the Wires won't burn, only the Wire Bridges. As such it's fine if the transformers and normal wires are inaccessible.

Increasing the burn rate

Due to bugs, glorious bugs, Power Shutoffs dramatically increase the frequency with which circuits can take overload damage. The basic principle is that when a Shutoff disconnects a fragment of wire, that fragment (the single wire under the Shutoff) remembers and preserves how much progress had been made towards burning the next wire, when the circuits are recombined the game uses the highest value from the two circuits. So the Shutoffs are restoring progress towards burning a wire from their wire fragments, without ever reducing the progress. I'm going to say this is a clear and obvious bug, wire fragments should have no say in the matter.

Having figured out this property, I developed The Abominable Burninator, a series of 4 Power Shutoffs that toggle at a 0.2/0.2 frequency (delayed using a double NOT by 0.2s for alternating pairs) that absolutely obliterate a circuit. 

 

The video shows visually how much faster the Abominable Burninator can destroy a circuit than a circuit without shutoffs, but I measured it to be about 16x faster. And I just want to say this is by far the worst thing I've ever built in ONI!

And I pity anyone who uses Battery Switchers and wants to even mildly overload circuits, because Battery Switchers are basically slightly less highly tuned Abominable Burninators.

Increasing Effectiveness

With a repair gym, it costs a constant amount of material, 2.5 kg in this case, to do any repair job. So to optimize the effectiveness, it's desired that either the bridges all be completely burned before the Dupe starts, or the bridges simply burn faster than a dupe can repair them. Like I made a variant which had a lot of wire bridges, and I'd make sure all were burned before letting a dupe in to repair.

Though as we can see the Abominable Burninator has no problem burning wires faster than our hapless 0 Machinery victim can repair them.

 

We also see here that the Abominable Burninator is good at exposing bugs in the game (gee I wonder why, almost as if multiple aspects of the game start screaming for mercy when it's turned on, like it causes totally unrelated circuits to start flashing). The top-left Wire Bridge is actually in a bugged "already repaired but still broken" state in which it can never get repaired because it's already repaired, but doesn't work because it's still broken. This state persists until either "autorepair" is toggled off and on (which instantly completes the repair), or save/load.

Comparison with other repair gym concepts

Repair gyms are... not easy. But the basic goal is to use a "trash" resource, which generally means igneous rock from volcanoes, or refined metal from metal volcanoes, plastic from Glossy Dreckos, or at a bit of a stretch, Niobium as an "Ore".

Because repair cost is always just 10% of the building cost, the ideal building is very cheap to build and has a lot of hitpoints, or at least a high hitpoints to cost ratio.

There are a number of different damage sources some better than others:

  1. Overheat Damage: about once every 8 seconds, no way to speed it up except overheating things in parallel. Free except for suit wear.
  2. Overload Damage: meant to be about once ever 6 seconds per circuit, though Abombinable Burniator would like words. Free except for tiny amount of heat.
  3. Wrong Element Damage. Once per second. Essentially free (can Valve to 0.1 g/s).
  4. Phase change in pipes damage: Once per second. Need to pump and heat/cool 100.1 g/s of gas or 1000.1 g/s of liquid.
  5. Pressure Damage: Once per 2 seconds. Cheap/free. Catastrophic failure mode. I can't really think of a stable way to do pressure damage gyms.


Here are some example gym concepts, the building, damage mode, hitpoints, repair cost, and (hitpoints per repair cost)

  1. Conductive Wire Bridge (overload) has 30 hitpoints, and cost 2.5 kg of refined metal to repair (12)
  2. Oil Well (wrong element) has 100 hitpoints and costs 20 kg of refined metal to repair (5)
  3. Conveyor Loader (overheat) has 100 hitpoints and costs 20 kg of refined metal to repair (5)
  4. Liquid Mini Pump (overheat) has 100 hitpoints, and costs 10 plastic to repair (10)
  5. Gas Mini Pump (overheat) has 30 hitpoints and costs 5 plastic to repair (6)
  6. Sludge Press (overheat) has 100 hitpoints and costs 20 kg of rock to repair (5)
  7. Pitcher Pump (overheat) has 100 hitpoints and costs 40 kg of rock to repair (2.5)
  8. Fridge (overheat) has 30 hitpoints and costs 40 kg of rock to repair (0.75)

Note that many buildings are much much worse, as many buildings only have 10 hp. I have chosen the unusually good outliers for this list.

There aren't many options for making buildings from Rock which can take a rapid form of damage, though rock is arguably the cheapest resource. The Sludge Press seems to be most efficient rock option, though it's fairly bulky.

I can't really think of a good way to do a pipe-busting gym. Pipes have only 10 hitpoints which immediately puts them at a disadvantage because you'll probably want to do multiple pipes in parallel, and the plumbing to arrange for 100.1 g/s of overheating/frozen gas gets complicated to parallelize. Like I'm sure if pipe-busting looked like the best option, I'd figure something pretty decent out, but it doesn't have strong foundations.

For Plastic it's mainly overheating a Mini Liquid Pump. It's good and spammable.

Of the buildings I could think of, the Conductive Wire Bridge not only has a "convenient" and free destruction mode, it actually provides the most hitpoints per resource. For refined metal this is probably followed by the Oil Well, which is quite constrained in its placement but can take wrong element damage for rapid destruction. Conveyor Loader is a decent option for overheat damage and is very spammable. But the Abominable Burninator seems to dramatically surpass any other repair gym option using refined metal in every way.

 

I hope you enjoyed this descent into madness. Though the build actually is, IMO, fairly pointless, I did learn rather a lot about circuits in developing it.

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Can't automation wires get demaged when you switch from ribbons to normal without using readers and writers? If normal thin wires get demaged then it could get cheaper. Though I don't remember if that works like that, might be wrong, and would probably be less efficient then this, but might be worth a try. 

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4 hours ago, Nogard78 said:

Can't automation wires get demaged when you switch from ribbons to normal without using readers and writers? If normal thin wires get demaged then it could get cheaper. Though I don't remember if that works like that, might be wrong, and would probably be less efficient then this, but might be worth a try. 

I didn't know that, but apparently they do. They burn if the Ribbon has a green signal in any slot other than 1. It seems that burn once every 6 seconds (one piece per circuit). The Automation Bridge has 30 hitpoints and costs only 5 refined metal making it 5x more material efficient compared with Conductive Wire Bridge.

I couldn't figure out any way to speed up the burn rate other than taking advantage of the game speed dependence of the automation network (it burns in half the time on ultra speed, but that's not very useful). But it's very easy to parallelize.

Because it relies on an automation signal to burn, it's quite easy to both control whether the automation bridges burn, and also to detect when all bridges have burned, making it overall remarkably easy and straightforward to control.

So this is my first pass at a Automation Bridge Burner Gym:

image.png.1f8dcc7802fe42c6b0150e89999d2c80.png

With the basic idea being that many parallel circuits are created. Because I want to read the circuit values they need to be kept split into different circuits from the game's point of view by using BUFFER gates (here really just circuit diodes). Once there are only red signals, the "in" door gets opened (the door below it always allows dupes to leave). Duplicant Motion Sensors suppress any bridge burning while dupes are inside to prevent wasting time on barely damaged bridges. A Timer Sensor sends a pulse to the Ribbon Writers which isn't enough to overload the circuits by itself, but allows the circuit to form a closed green loop if the Duplicant Motion Sensors all send red.

And particularly if using Blueprints mod, it'd be straightforward to duplicate this build to have multiple "batches" going at once so gym victims can be repairing one room while another is burning.

Edited by blakemw
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On 12/13/2023 at 1:58 AM, blakemw said:

Pressure Damage: Once per 2 seconds. Cheap/free. Catastrophic failure mode. I can't really think of a stable way to do pressure damage gyms.

If you are doing pressure damage with water, you can see how much damage has been done by measuring the liquid that has leaked I think.  You can let it get damaged to 70% and turn it off by closing a door, maintaining diagonal access.  Then, you can have the presence of a dupe release the water back in to the high pressure liquid chamber and reopen the door. 

It would be tricky to set up, though, as you would need to support a dupe being interrupted in their repairs.  This does assume that every tick of damage deals the same damage to a tile though, which might be false, but the ability to turn any buildable resource in to construction xp could be useful.

On 12/13/2023 at 1:58 AM, blakemw said:

Overheat Damage: about once every 8 seconds, no way to speed it up except overheating things in parallel. Free except for suit wear.

I think this might not actually be free.  AFAIK, if a building is fully broken and repaired, its temperature resets, meaning that you have to spend more heat energy to heat up the building again. 

Edited by Zarquan
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On 12/28/2023 at 8:41 AM, psusi said:

What's wrong with just ordering the dupe you want to train to go build a room full of stone tempshift plates?  Then tear them down.  No materials wasted.

The goal is to make it happen automatically.  Basically, a set and forget system.

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