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Alephred

Surefire Tips and Tricks for Keeping your Oxygen Recyclers running and your Technicians happy

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I'm seeing certain types of concerns recurring, and it occurs to me that the accumulated wisdom of past posts may be being buried, so I'm going to put this up for general edification.

I have over 100 hours of SB DF-9 logged. I've attached a picture of my current, Alpha 4a base. There are 14 Technicians. All the Oxygen Recyclers are at 85% or higher. Most of the base personnel are 'Kinda Happy' or higher. Many are 'Ecstatic'. I've had almost no Morale problems amongst my crew since Alpha 2, and few O2 crises.

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My Technicians can't maintain my Oxygen Recyclers / My O2 Scrubbers are constantly catching on Fire / My Personnel are Constantly Suffocating

The root problem here is that your Recyclers aren't being maintained well enough and / or frequently enough.

Barring fires or asteroid impacts, your O2 scrubbers degrade at a constant pace, all the time, regardless of their current condition. This means that your Technician crew must be able to maintain a certain rate of service. Think of it as constant tune-ups, rather than hanging around until there are catastrophic failures someplace.

1) Skilled Technicians repair a greater percentage of wear and tear in one session. My 4 and 5-star Techs fix 20-25% of wear in one go.

Corollary: Low-skilled technicians are inefficient, and can sometimes even start fires. (This may have been changed. Unskilled Technicians used to set beds aflame when attempting repairs)

2) Happy Technicians repair more frequently, and faster. With the new Morale mechanics in 4a, Ecstatic crew even walk to their destinations faster - you can see them in their speed-walking poses.

Corollary: Sad technicians repair less frequently, regardless of skill. They spend a larger part of their time sleeping / drinking / goofing off.

Helpful Tips:

- Click around and look at the general level of Oxygen Recycler maintenance periodically. If they're averaging around 50 or 60%, your Technicians are struggling to keep up with the demand. Now is not the time to build any more.

- When your Recyclers average around 80% or higher, your Technicians are handling the load well, and you can consider building more Recyclers.

- Adding Recyclers spreads the same amount of repair effort amongst more machines, so expect the average level of maintenance to decline when you have more of them being serviced by the same number of Techs.

- It's best to alternately add Technicians and Oxygen Recyclers, little by little, so you avoid blowing out the delicate balance.

- Be selective when adding new Technicians. A glut of poorly-skilled Techs can do more harm than good, as they will grab jobs from the job queue, but perform only minimal upkeep. Personally, I only assign new personnel the Technician job if they are rated 3 stars or higher.

- Keep your Technicians happy! This is vitally important. They will be spending the majority of their time in the Residential areas, the pubs, and the Life Support rooms. Be sure to spruce those up with monitors and plants.

Just for emphasis: Construction of Recyclers must be limited by your ability to maintain them.

Alpha 4a has also introduced upgrades, two of which affect the Oxygen Recycler / Technician dynamic directly:

Oxygen Recycler Upgrade: The 'Modified Oxygen Recycler' is incredible. For the same matter cost (150), these babies will produce air for 6(!) crew, instead of 3. In practical terms, this means. for the same amount of O2,

1) fewer machines for your Technicians to maintain, which in turn means

2) each machine receives proportionally more Technician loving. That means

3) Service capacity for more machines, or fewer overall Technicians, whichever you prefer.

Technician Upgrade: Your Technicians repair more efficiently. I read this to mean that they repair more in one go. This is simply a direct upgrade, and highly recommended. Larger caliber upgrades mean a higher average maintenance level for all your machines. And remember, Technicians also have to repair things like doors and consoles as they wear out.

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on technician, i would say this

everything counts as one item that will get damaged and will be needing repair eventually, techs dont prioritize the important stuff and would happily repair beds or cabinets or plants rather than fixing o2 recyclers right away, so remove everything not essential for "life" so to speak if techs cant maintain things fast enough.

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I've found that sealing a tech in life support will sometimes get you out of a nasty place. Note: it'll only work if at least one recycler is keeping them alive.

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How do you keep your crew so happy? It seems like no matter what I do, my crew always descend into a spiral of unhappiness. I put monitors in every space, and "ordinary plants" in all of my life support zones, and other high-traffic areas. I make sure that there are always plenty of beds to go around, and set up my pub/garden combination as quickly as possible to get everyone off of replicated food very early in the game. I don't even think about building research zones until I have plenty of beds, pubs, gardens, and fitness equipment.

The problem is, that my builders and miners rapidly become sad, then very sad, then deeply sad, early in the game. I try to rotate people on and off of those duties, but that doesn't help much. Usually if they're just sad, I can fix them by putting them on bar tender duty or botanist duty for a while, but even that doesn't help if they'r very sad or deeply sad. Once a critical mass of the base population is very sad or deeply sad, it becomes contagious and the rest of the crew rapidly devolves into sadness. This has destroyed more of my bases than anything else: once everyone is that sad, nobody does anything, life support fails, and everybody dies.

I just tried something extreme, which seemed to work (until another bug rendered my situation untenable): I built a new, unzoned room, put a level-5 beacon in it, and assigned all of my very/deeply sad citizens to security. Once five of them were in the room, I sealed the oxygen and waited for all of them to asphyxiate. Lather, rinse, repeat until I no longer had any very/deeply sad personnel. Unfortunately, that left me with only half a dozen personnel in a base built for two dozen, so I sealed off most of the base and neglected it while I slowly built my population back up, unsealing areas one at a time as I was able to add new technicians to repair the neglected equipment. At first most of the crew was neutral/kinda sad due to lack of socialization (not many opportunities to socialize with a crew that small), but as new arrivals came in, everybody started to trend towards happiness rapidly. I had a large store of matter saved up, and my base was already built up enough to handle a sizeable population, so nobody had to go on miner or builder duty. I'm sure that once my population would have grown to the size where further expansion would be required, I would have run into morale problems again. However, I hit a bug that sent my technicians going outside to repair derelict equipment which I couldn't vaporize, at which point I had to give up on that base and quit.

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That did push a few more crew members over edge, in cascading fashion, so I had killed almost two-thirds of my crew by the time I was done. However, in the end I was able to get down to the point where I had a few relatively neutral citizens who's morale immediately started moving in the right direction.

All that being said, I wasn't trying to espouse this as a good technique for dealing with bad morale, I was trying to make the point that bad morale is currently too persistent and infectious, to the point where killing the majority of my crew was the only way I could dig myself out of that particular hole.

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I just tried something extreme, which seemed to work (until another bug rendered my situation untenable): I built a new, unzoned room, put a level-5 beacon in it, and assigned all of my very/deeply sad citizens to security. Once five of them were in the room, I sealed the oxygen and waited for all of them to asphyxiate. Lather, rinse, repeat until I no longer had any very/deeply sad personnel.

Wow. That has a very GLaDOS flavor to it.

"Congratulations. You and your colleagues have been promoted to security positions. Please attend a mandatory party in non-suspicious unzoned room. There will be cake."

In all seriousness, I find the early game is a struggle with citizen mood, but once I have an established pub with cooked food, and a sprinkling of plants around, a few "ecstatic" people start becoming infectious in positive way and the funk slowly begins to lift.

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that's how it was for me until this last udpate, for some reason cant keep high morale like before

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How do you keep your crew so happy? It seems like no matter what I do, my crew always descend into a spiral of unhappiness. I put monitors in every space, and "ordinary plants" in all of my life support zones, and other high-traffic areas. I make sure that there are always plenty of beds to go around, and set up my pub/garden combination as quickly as possible to get everyone off of replicated food very early in the game. I don't even think about building research zones until I have plenty of beds, pubs, gardens, and fitness equipment.

The problem is, that my builders and miners rapidly become sad, then very sad, then deeply sad, early in the game. I try to rotate people on and off of those duties, but that doesn't help much. Usually if they're just sad, I can fix them by putting them on bar tender duty or botanist duty for a while, but even that doesn't help if they'r very sad or deeply sad. Once a critical mass of the base population is very sad or deeply sad, it becomes contagious and the rest of the crew rapidly devolves into sadness. This has destroyed more of my bases than anything else: once everyone is that sad, nobody does anything, life support fails, and everybody dies.

I'm having this exact problem.

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I just tried something extreme, which seemed to work (until another bug rendered my situation untenable): I built a new, unzoned room, put a level-5 beacon in it, and assigned all of my very/deeply sad citizens to security. Once five of them were in the room, I sealed the oxygen and waited for all of them to asphyxiate. Lather, rinse, repeat until I no longer had any very/deeply sad personnel.

Wow. That has a very GLaDOS flavor to it.

"Congratulations. You and your colleagues have been promoted to security positions. Please attend a mandatory party in non-suspicious unzoned room. There will be cake."

In all seriousness, I find the early game is a struggle with citizen mood, but once I have an established pub with cooked food, and a sprinkling of plants around, a few "ecstatic" people start becoming infectious in positive way and the funk slowly begins to lift.

seriously though

I havent had any problems with morale in the new update.. I guess i just build my bases more efficiently then i did when i was new.

I have a few screanies on the post your base thread if you guys who need help maybe you shouldcheck them out.

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