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  1. There comes a time when you want lots of plastic and steel. You've got a base set up and now you're looking to push out and explore the map. Plastic helps with transit speed and steel helps with taming high temperature stuff and space stuff, so you want lots of both. I decided to put some effort in to streamlining refinery processes and I came up with this machine that I'm tentatively calling a Self Powered Refining Complex, or SPoRC. I'm sure we'll come up with a better name. Anyway, I made a video explaining it in more detail for newer players, but for veterans you probably just want the... Summary Consumes waste heat from steel production (capacity: 1 refinery, ~1200kg steel per cycle) Converts crude oil to petroleum (capacity: ~2400kg/cycle, output petroleum @ 130°C) Produces power (powers metal refinery, self cooling and about 500 watts extra) (optional) Purifies water (capacity: <2400kg/cycle, depending on input temperature) Self cooling, cools refinery, output water and can be extended to other parts of your base Setup: requires 5000kg petroleum, no advanced materials, total 2000kg steel. Machine size: 19x33 including access ladder. Design Principles Buildable as early as possible. No late game materials, simple construction techniques. Resolve negative externalities relating to oil and metal refining. Construction plan There is an attachment showing various overlays. I recommend proceeding in this order: Plan out the area (19 wide, 33 deep). Building in carbon dioxide is recommended, otherwise you may need to vacuum out other gasses. Build the refinery, and reservoirs on the refinery level and connect them together, but do not link up the heating radiator yet. Fill the feed reservoir with petroleum. You may need to use an Oil Refinery to make the first 5 tonnes of petroleum. Use the metal refinery to produce 2 tonnes of steel. This will start pre-heating the petroleum, and the steel will be used in construction for the lower part of the machine. Build the rest of the machine while leaving access paths for dupes to enter each level. Steam turbines can be delayed. Disable the lower three reservoirs and then fill them. Remove all debris from inside the various chambers. Test the automation. Toggle sensors by pressing above/below. Nothing worse than finding you missed a wire after the machine is filled with hot steam! Disable the Metal Refinery and all 3 reservoirs on the refinery level. Vacuum any gasses lighter than steam from the steam chambers (Oxygen, pO2, Nat Gas, Hydrogen) Connect the heating chamber radiator pipes to the refinery pipes. Seal it up, enable all reservoirs and start refining! Usage notes I recommend connecting the machine to your main power network. At times it may draw power, but it will be a net energy producer. The metal refinery may be used to refine other metals. Crude oil cracking will not be interrupted, but it may not produce enough heat to be self powered, depending on your duplicant's operation skill. I recommend extending the cooling loop as you see fit. It has lots of spare capacity, but again the machine will draw more power. Note however that it will refund the maximum possible energy while using water as a coolant, so this is still an efficient cooling option until late game materials. The input temperature of waste water and crude oil affects power production. The hotter these inputs, the better. SPoRC.blueprint
  2. This topic isn't about balance. I think everyone agrees Woodie needs a buff. I'm more curious about Woodie's fundamental design. Because I've only seen a few people that seem concerned that this new Woodie is so radically different from his old versions. Should Woodie's established lore matter to his design? Now, we don't know a lot about Woodie. That's part of the disappointement in the animated short, but it's beside the point. The point is, what we do know, is that Woodie is a lumberjack with a talking axe, and at some point he was cursed, turning him into a werebeaver. Nowhere in the lore is there a hint that Woodie has the ability to transform into something other than a beaver. It seems we are supposed to think he gained this ability because of the recent events around the moon and the lunar island, which, frankly, sounds like a total ***pull to me. There's also the fact that the beaver is supposed to be his curse, but aside from full moons, it's now really easy to choose between staying human or transforming. Should Woodie's established identity matter to his design? All the characters in this game (at least the ones from the singleplayer game) have a certain identity. Something to make them stand out from the other characters and make you want to pick them. Woodie's singleplayer identity has multiple facets, like the mystery of how to best manage and wield the werebeaver's power, or even what his secret is to begin with if you haven't seen Woodie in action before. Regardless, I personally think this new Woodie doesn't maintain his old identity at all. Ignoring the fact that his forms are extremely weak, because that's sure to change, the dynamic between Woodie and his forms has changed. Now that Woodie has (almost) full control over whether he stays human or transforms, there's no mystery in figuring out how to use them. Having multiple transformations I think also weakens Woodie's identity, because each individual transformation is now less special. Celebrating his new forms just because they're stereotypical canadian animals paired up with a stereotypically canadian character seems like a very superficial reason to me. Should Woodie have to plan ahead to not transform? Speaking of Woodie's identity, having to think before you chop was part of what made Woodie interesting. Now I know people are going to disagree with that seeing as that was a big point of the reason people wanted the rework. I understand that wood gathering is an inherently weak niche and one that is already close to cornered because of Maxwell, so I don't think it's unreasonable to want this drawback to be altered or tuned down. However, there is a big difference between to only have to think about something a little and not having to think about it at all, as with the current Woodie. People of the forums have celebrated that characters like Wormwood and Warly have interesting, impactful downsides. Yet Woodie is now a Wilson that's better at gathering wood, because there's no reason to use his transformations. Yes, I know his forms are going to be buffed to be useable, but that only worsens the problem that he doesn't have a significant downside. Remember, in singleplayer his perks were "Has a lovely axe and a terrible secret" implying that his drawbacks were built into the werebeaver. Now I'm not saying that werebeaver should be something to be avoided, then we'd just be back at his previous DST version. Ideally, I'd want the beaver to be tricky to use effectively and even harder to master, which brings me to... Should Woodie's design be simple? I like that the singleplayer characters are simple. A good design should tell the player immediately what they are about. Now that doesn't mean that every character should be easy to use, nor that some characters shouldn't be complex. I'd argue that some characters, like Maxwell, aren't as complex as their designs seem to imply. Also, just because a character is simple in concept, doesn't mean that they are simple to use. Look at wormwood, not being able to heal is a simple downside, but leads to interesting gameplay. That's what the singleplayer version of Woodie was. Even though the game doesn't tell you what the werebeaver does, as soon as you transform, it immediately becomes clear what it's supposed to be about. There was a clear risk in transforming, but if you knew how to use it you could turn it into an advantage. The last multiplayer version was not like that. Not only did human Woodie have lots of unneeded perks, but the werebeaver was counterintuitive. Now look at the new version. It's style over substance. The new forms look cool but they don't let you do anything you couldn't before. They add more complexity but they don't interact with each other at all. This is a trend we've seen with Willow's and Winona's reworks too, the team handling these reworks just can't seem to settle for something simple. Someone made an on point comparison to Riot Games (oh god I can't believe I said that). To sum it up: Should Woodie have multiple transformations? I personally don't think so. I didn't like the idea when it was first brought up, and even ignoring the clear balance issues I don't think merely buffing his forms would help. Unfortunately, because of how much time was spend creating the art of the new transformations as well as an animated short focusing on them I don't believe this update is gonna get reverted any time soon. Even if he's buffed to where he actually plays well, we have to deal with the fact that the Woodie I and many others loved is dead, and has been replaced with an impostor.
  3. I know the most common/standard design for Hatch farms is 4 wide, 24 tall. That makes all 8 hatches stay in a very compact area and if you researched automation you can have auto delivery and pickups to avoid wasting your duplicants time. But... I have seen very few design screenshots for it and those that I saw don't show the upper area. Since I can't imagine people wasting all that valuable space I must ask... what do you use all that upper space for? Storage? Something else? If you don't mind, share some screenshots too.
  4. Hey everyone! I was curious how you've all been using the new content for base concepts or designs. I've seen a few images of interesting decor in different threads and thought it could be nice having more in one location. Sea bases, lunar bases, moon glass statues, lunar turf designs, mast gates, etc. Post anything and everything built inspired by Return of Them. Thanks!