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What are your first steps?

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What are the fist few things you do when creating a new colony? I think beds, toilets, food (and it's power requirement) and water are pretty obvious but do you explore a bit before building? I feel like I get to building immediately with the intention of exploring and moving rooms but I never get to the exploring part. I tend to focus more on research and food. What about everybody else?

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My openings tend to follow a pretty strict pattern for the first few days, then changes as I open up the map. 

TL;DR: Hammer on water, food, and research locally early, then explore a bit, then get power up with a vengeance, then explore some more while finishing research, then build out the base proper with some idea of where I'm going, then have some fun.

Day 1: Open up a bit, get into the local food sources and plan how to get the fresh water into a drain ditch.  I'll pump it over to a proper basin later, but stick a water bottler on it, and get 2 lavs, a washbasin, and 3 cots up.  Drive for copper.  If I can get enough quickly, get one batt, one hamster wheel, and the basic research station up and running.

Day 2: Finish water consolidation, make a CO2 pit, aim for the edges of the brown in different directions, see what I can get at easily.  Hope for a nearby geyser, get most of basic research going. Farms, Décor, water, air, power (that order for me, usually).  Not much happens here because one dupe is stuck in research mode, another is running half the day, and the third guy (hopefully my digger) is finishing getting the water where it needs to go so I don't randomly flood later.

Day 3: Finish off basic research, build the Super computer, and get Coal power production and heavi-watt.  Figure out where I want to build my Coal power plants and large batteries, and research farms while I dig that out so I can setup a massive food production of Mealwood and start setting up a fungus farm under the coal generator area.  I want the coal generator farm room to be continuously expandable down so I can keep expanding mushroom farming.  Cots are just getting placed anywhere in my base until much, MUCH later, so I typically get my 4th dupe and get an algae deoxidizer or two going off the coal power once it's laid out (typically this is completed day 4).  I'll back off research to get an extra hand or two into this, then start blowing out the tree in whatever order seems reasonable.

Day 4-6: Focus on research while starting exploration tunnels through slime and caustic biomes.  I want a strong chlorine source for my storage room and I'll setup a deep polluted water ditch so I can build in the open areas quickly and make a large collection of polluted water for later.  Layout my fresh and polluted water tanks and start pumping the early fresh water into it when it's ready.

Day 7-12: Power.  Power power power.  I figure out my base layout, start running maintenance tunnels to run Heavi-Watt and Transformers through, and generally layout the base core for a medical area, 4 electrolyzers/pump/hydrogen gens, lavatory and (for later) shower area, spam up some décor and a few massage tables, and generally get the base laid out.  I'll typically have one or two promising exploratory tunnels/ladders still going during this, but mostly it's about the base and working out how/where I want to expand towards.

Day 13+: Whatever strikes my whim at the time.

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day one: planning, two wash basins, two toilets, water access, beds if possible. That first bathroom and compost handling area, I always keep in it's own dead end corridor - usually dead ends into a dirty water pit.

day two - build reserach, manual generator, research level one power, 

clean-up in between,

Day three to 6 is all about planning, putting the large battery down somewhere, and deciding where to dump dirty water, where to store food that might spoil if it's not in an inert atmosphere, cleaning up messes and poking around in the starting biome to locate the nearest hot biome. bonus include setting up some planter boxes, but I can usually get away with waiting for farm tile research if I have one fast learner.

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Day 1 - Toilets, Wash basins, Digging

Day 2-5 - Digging my main water tank

Day 6-7 Research Farm tiles as I dig my farm then research everything else over the next 15 or so cycles.

Day 8-10 Dig my Waste Water Tank

Day 11-15 Dig Living Quarters

Day 16-20 Expand Farm and clear room for Gas Chambers

Day 21-23 Build My electrical and plumbing grids.

Days 24-25 Beg for more copper, algae, and contemplate where to put my electrolyzers....then repeat the same setup as always cuz im lazy

Day 26+ Expand as necessary and use hydrogen to power my base with coal as my back-up power.

Day 99 - Die as my electrolyzer set-up is inneficient to support my colonists.

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Very similar, except I include a wash basin and now do a med-bed after getting a sick one and having difficulty needing it later and getting it positioned right around food. 

I find an initial source of water and put a bottler, so I can use it for washbasin, restrooms and computers as needed. I try and get a computer and manual generator going on day one too.  Hopefully I find some wild-growing food beyond muckroots. 

Start researching that day if possible, I don't go straight down the paths I do Food 1, Power 1, decor, water 1, gas 1, then power 2 (coal), farm 2 and 3, then percolation and filtration, finally advanced power sources.  After that, I will sometimes vary it, but it's usually not very long until I can deconstruct my research having finished the tree. 

Part of the strategy going in is the flaws of the duplicants - beyond the general skills needs of a researcher, digger and digger/builder, I never get a binge eater, never a flaw that makes them eat more in general (at least to start).  I try to get criers if I can roll up some good ones. I will accept destructive if there's enough of a reason.  Try to avoid those who make messes (pukers, poor bladder). 

As soon as I have my research station, I make it so my researcher can't do anything but research so they don't get distracted. I usually also control who is able to create art because I tend to stress my duplicants a lot in the beginning and so use art and if I lucked out with a good digger and good artist, try to create some decent art in the beginning so I don't have to redo it later. 

Then it's just a matter of getting initial mealroots set up, consolidating water and percolation started.  Then usually power, especially now that I have a better hang of the power system.  Then go hunting for geysers :) 

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1. At first, i pause the game and inspect the map! (so far i could see it) Most times, i pause game, while doing that.
2. Hunt down any nasty lifeform quick, for food.
3. Dig here and there, for ressources
4. Build here and there (with the ressources from point 3)
5. At that point my base is up and running well.


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Day 1:  Lengthen floor from 8 tiles to 12, Find water supply, co2 pit floor that is also 12 by 4 (or as close as possible)

Day 2:  Finish co2 pit + 2 bathrooms + 4 wash basin area.  Use the same fl plan for a room above for power and research.

Day 3:  Storage compactor underwater and above water.  Sweep.  Research if possible.  Additional fls above and below if possible.

Day 4:  Additional fls, algea deoxidyzer, and massage table.  Gas permeable tiles.

Day 5 to ~26:  Research, expand square base using 12 by 4 fl plan w/ ladders as separators, water tank, waste tank, Storage area, food area, decor, mess tables, beds, algae terrariums (avoided if possible), insulated tile border, water locks where needed when greeting other biomes

Day ~27 to ?:  Deal w/ stuff like trying to find an ice biome so my base doesn't heat up.  Connect two electrical systems via two transformers with large batteries connected on both sides to make use of coal generators.  Deal with co2 scrubbers, and electrolyzers.  Find a steam / methane geyser.  Natural generator set up.  Safely increase number of dupes.  etc.



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1. Build a 10x10 tile  reservoir made out of Granite to store all my Water and do research, so I can build Kitchen with quick access to Water and Dirt for the cook.

2. Build duplicate reservoir for Polluted Water, Bathroom system, Medical Bay, and Bedroom area. Should have enough research completed by this point.

3. Find Steam Geyser.

4. The rest is up in the air.

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3 dupe, Creativity for making monalisa, Learning for faster research, third dupe with strong immunity or all around

First early day is toilet, next is beds, Water reservoir, then research

Then setting farms, digging and walled up entire base, dont forget algae deoxo


Mid game is tons of battery outside of base, coal gen, hydro gen, fertilizer maker with natural gas gen.

Proper plumbing for bathroom then electrolyzer, make 2 entrance with vacuum airlock for base

Set refrigerator room, making kitchen, upgrade farm, storage area.
liquid oxygen for cooling base



Found steam geyser

Base 01.jpg

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i try to open any cave that has oxygen and the most bottom/right cave if any to sink the co2

kinda better to plan the rooms before, the shafts, i like wide shafts for better ventilation, changes depending on map

i usually choose dupes in a way i set up jobs

builder/digger dupes who will explore and mine, i keep closer eye on them, early game their job is to dig for food, sometimes i separate who digs, who builds but usually is better to finish building one side of map before moving forward

scientist: even before was working properly i liked the learning skill, faster research is nice, they pick up skills faster, so i like to put them into digging

cook/artist: best combination in my opinion as its not a full time job, combining this two can cover a full job

power generators tinkering is a great skill when working with machines, athletics develops over time anyway so i like tinkering much better, i even take anemic dupes a lot of times, i only let them sweep and generate power, i always make enough wheels and batteries for them, later on they join the next category

cleaners/construction helpers those who get the dirt, water, sweep up, even from start the scientist and the cook needs to have resources, i try to have intelligent design, like having water and dirt near the kitchen/stations to save unnecessary walking time

i dont go for a lot of population, usually 8-12 dupes

1.smart guy (quick learn, learning tinkering) 2. strong guy (strength, tinkering) 3. explorer (digging) i roll until i find the best ones. the main strategy is to dig for food from buried objects, make the toilets, main shape of base, get to the closest water, build the kitchen and the research stations there, put dirt storage, use up the water. depending on the map, usually are 3 types of seeds: algae heavy maps, research  can be slower, going for expansion and architecture. coal heavy: comes with lot of hatches, coal, faster research getting to oxygen generation from water, making food production faster. slime heavy- i dont like that much, i prefer new seeds but if map is okay then try to close up the base and clean the enviroment

4th guy usually construction/tinkering preferably anemic and only uses the wheel to generate power, moving the strong guy to carry stuff

5th guy 2nd scientist usually, i try to make him use the small station, sweep/carry in free time

6th guy cook/artist i go with art kinda fast, when i got the granit i make all the art, the base always includes a lot of art, thats the first priority to fill every inch with art, cooking in free time only if neccesary

7th guy another power generating guy, i reject dupes if not useful, when my scientists finish, usually 25-40 cycles, they go help on building/digging

8th guy another guy to power/carry stuff

strength and learning is the priority , but i decide based on negative traits, so it can vary but i try to have guys to carry/sweep full time, this saves a lot of time for others. i try to set up energy system and farms faster, then i go for oxygen generation. i explore a bit. i like to make my way as fast as possible to geysers and bleach stone. make lavatories and hand licking stuff near every exit from base and close to beds. i use a lot of doors even vertically for water pools and floors . i got small pieces of designs and i combine them based on map. i try to have a very small main base with a good ventilation but only a few routes for duplicants. the outside is more creative and messy. i remove temporary rooms and try to make more effective designs. i like to interact with the wildlife and biomes . i like the game start better, usually i run out of ideeas and motivation.

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On 9/20/2017 at 11:06 PM, evenflow58 said:

I'm surprised how long everybody else waits for food. That and decor are usually pretty early on for me.

yeah, i always plan for it but never actually make it, i just delay delay, dig all buried objects, make some mushbars, set up some mealwood then around 70 cycles i make a huge farm room.

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