RimWorld

RimWorld

Vanilla Factions Expanded - Mechanoids
majikero Jan 25, 2021 @ 3:35pm
Commentary on factories and defense drones
Just want to talk about the stuff on this mod. Mostly from personal experience and nothing about min maxing.

First is the Automatic drill. You need steel to fuel this and it output stone chunks. Pretty useless on its own unless you need more stone chunks to make blocks.

Steel Extractor makes 10 steel from one chunk of stone or slag. I find that its better to keep the drill separate and just store the block output instead of putting it directly to the extractor input. If you have Alpha animals, stone can also yield sky steal.

Component assembler does what it says. Takes steel and makes components.

These are pretty much a must have since you need lots of steel and components for basically everything.

Next is things the OP things.

Meat grinder will take any animal corpse and turn it into processed meat, and I mean ANY. Be it bugs or rotten meat or even skeleton, you can get usable meat out if it. Humans turn into human meat though.

Chemfuel clarifier does the same thing. Can also use wood if there's no more bodies.

Every dead body is a resource with these two factories. OP as hell and never run out of food.

Next is the nice to have things.

The masonry saw makes blocks but you need to pick a specific block to make. There's no "make any block" option. Its slow so don't expect to churn out blocks on demand.

Plasteel Forge makes plasteel from steel, blocks and chemfuel. Slow as hell so don't expect to be able to build a SOS2 ship with only one. Good for building a stockpile of plasteel since you don't use it much.

Neutroamine infuser makes neutroamine from meat. Nuetroamine is cheap though but it does save you the effort of buying them. A good excuse to use all the meat you'll end up with.

Supercomputer adds a bit of research points per hour. Doesn't really replace a good researcher but its a nice boost to research in general. Having two researcher day at night is still faster.

Next is the factories of questionable value.

The conveyer oven can make kibble or package meals. It can't accept hay for kibble so it's already a big negative to it. The only positive I can think of is it completely removes food poisoning chance. You'll learn to appreciate zero chances of food poisoning when your only stack of lavish meals gets tainted.

Industrial cheese press if you have Cooking Expanded. It halves the cheese making time. I feel like I make more cheese from a bunch of normal cheese press managed by a hauler drone. To be fair, I'm using it to make more food from milk and make awful cheese. 2 milk to 1 cheese that has triple the nutrition. That's extra food there.

Cannery turns any meat into canned meat and hides what the meat inside is. You can can human meat and insect meat no problem. I'd put this in questionable since the meat grinder already does the job and does more. Use if you turn of the health problems from cooking expanded otherwise, the health effects isn't worth it.

I haven't built an industrial soup maker but I assume it just makes soup faster than doing it normally. Still making due with normal soup managed by drones.

If you have fishing expanded, you can build the Aquaponics. After using the meat grinder, its kinda redundant. Insect raids and random dead animal on the map is a better source of meat than fish.

Now for the things I have no plans of using.

The advance component assembler. I honestly don't this I'll see myself using this. Crafting them is basically the only way to keep skills up.

The entire clothing factory line. Auto loom, textile recycler and synthread seems too niche to of use. It's probably a good way to make money but trying to get rid off all the chemfuel I get makes me enough money.

Medicine granulator and drug powderizer doesn't seem that good to me. I rather have control over how many medicine I have with the crafting bill and drugs isn't really my money maker.

Weaponsmith and versitile assembler doesn't seem that useful. I rather have quality on my weapons and I don't want to fiddle around with hopper storage to build a specific thing. Though I need to see what it can actually make,

What else, the artillary foundery I don't see much use. The drones seems to be doing a good job actually. Good enough to just go and attack anything that needs to be hit by mortars.

This leads to the defense drones.

First of all, mobile turrets are the best. Especially with the mechanoid blaster and lance turrets. Only downside is that the mechanoid turrets can't be used to force attack but regular turrets can. I keep some as autocannons to hunt animals with and destroy specific targets.

Riot drones are ok I guess. A bit annoying to use since you can't target anything with them so I either just use them for melee blocking and undraft them in front of the enemy so they attack. A bit too soft for my liking but since their body gives back the mechanoid component, I'm ok throwing them into the fight.

Combat drones are useless to be honest. They're basically a walking mini turret. I have some of them and honestly, I could have made more mobile turrets with blasters instead of these guys.

That's all for now. I want to actually use all of them but I just can't find the time to fit them on my current base.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 comments
thepackett Jan 31, 2021 @ 5:49pm 
I'd like to add my own commentary and thoughts here as well. I'll be commenting about the various factories usefulness and performance based on the default 1x production time multiplier and comparing the relative usefulness of various machines. Since almost all machines take between 500w-750w of power and no machine takes more than 1000w, I won't mention the power requirement for most of these.

- Automatic Drill:
The Automatic Drill produces a stone chunk local to your map (you can choose which type of stone you want) once every 2 hours. This is faster than having a pawn get stone chunks via deep drilling and frees up a pawn from the task as well, although it is slower than hauling stone chunks already on the map (up to a certain radius anyway). Since it can be combined with the steel extractor to produce unlimited steel, this is one of the more useful buildings. The automatic drill requires steel as fuel (presumably to model the drill head wearing over time), and uses 75 steel per 15 days.

- Steel Extractor:
The Steel Extractor produces 10 steel per stone chunk once every two hours. In combination with the automatic drill and factoring in the steel maintenance cost of the drill, this means you can produce 115 steel per day per drill/extractor pair. Given that steel can sometimes be a bit of a pain to get and can be used in almost anything, this can be pretty worthwhile.

- Masonry Saw:
The masonry saw desparately needs to be rebalanced. In its current state, there is actually no point in using it. It takes 5 hours to run and produces 10 stone blocks from a stone chunk, a production rate of only 48 blocks per day. Since it takes several times longer and produces half the output compared to a pawn at a stone cutters table, I can't fathom a single scenario where I would want to use this.

For the developer, I would recommend patching this to bring it in line with the other factories in terms of usefulness. I suspect a 2 hour run cycle and 20 blocks per stone chunk would be reasonable, as that generates 240 stone blocks per day at the cost of 5 steel per day (if using the drill).

- Component Assembler
The Component Assembler takes 12 steel and produces 1 component in 5 hours. Since components are used frequently, this machine seems like a good investment to me in order to free up your crafters. Additionally, since components are quite valuable, any excess components can be sold to visiting traders.

- Advanced Assembler
The advanced assembler takes 1 component, 20 steel, 10 plasteel, and 3 gold to make 1 advanced component in 5 hours. Unlike the Component Assembler, advanced components may or may not be in very high demand based on your progression through the tech tree, or other installed mods. If you need lots of advanced components and don't want to dedicate crafters to them, then this machine is for you.

- Plasteel Forge
The Plasteel Forge turns 20 steel, 20 chemfuel, and 5 stone bricks into 20 plasteel over the course of 5 hours. Capable of producing just under 100 plasteel per day, this machine is handy when plasteel is needed in bulk and trading isn't an option, or just doesn't cut it.

- Meat Grinder
The meat grinder takes 6 hours to process a corpes and produces twice as much meat as would normally be produced and with zero loss, but does not produce any leather. This is handy for efficiently getting lots of meat, either for fine meals or for the Neutroamine Infuser.

- Conveyor Oven
The Conveyor Oven can make either Kibble or packaged survival meals using the same recipes as in the stove. It takes 2 hours per cycle and produces either 50 kibble or 1 packages survival meal respectively. Given the slow production speed and high cost of the machine itself, I can't really recommend this under any circumstances.

As a suggestion for improvement, either add in a larger batch for the packages survival meal, such as the x4 recipe, or give it some kind of unique advantage, like being able to produce a packaged survival material with fewer ingredients.

- Chemfuel Clarifier
The Chemfuel Clarifier turns a corpes (or wood) into chemfuel. It takes 2 hours and produces half the creature's meat amount in chemfuel (ie a 90 meat amount human would produce 45 chemfuel). Given that there is no shortage of corpses in rimworld, this is a handy building to have around.

- Neutroamine Infuser
The Neutroamine Infuser turns 50 meat into 3 neutroamine in 2 hours. Since there is no other way to produce neutroamine, this is handy in situations where trade is difficult or impossible (although obtaining neutroamine via trade is far more efficient).

- Medicine Granulator
The Medicine Granulator can produce Medicine, Wake Up, and Penoxycyline, each in 2 hours. While it initially doesn't seem that useful, the Medicine Granulator actually has alternative recipies for penoxycyline and wake up (not for medicine though) which use significantly less material, namely neutroamine, and produce more product. For example, you can make 2 neutroamine, 2 psychoid leaves, and 1 tribal medicine into 3 penoxycyline or 3 Wake Up, whereas making it at the drug lab would cost 6 neutroamine. This makes the Medicine Granulator a good option for anyone who needs to keep up a stock of Penoxycycline or Wake Up.

- Drug Powederizer
The Drug Powderizer can make 1 Flake or Yayo in 2 hours time, and from 25% fewer psychoid leaves than making it by hand at a drug lab. If you want to make a lot of Flake or Yayo efficiently, this is certainly a reasonable option.

- Textile Recycler
The Textile Recycler can turn clothing into either cloth, or plain leather based on what you set the factory to output. Regardless of what recipe you use, it takes 2 hours to complete and always produces 20 material, irrespective of what apparel is being recycled. The material of the apparel being recycled also does not matter. You can recycle a dog leather parka into cloth, or a cloth cowboy hat into plainleater. While neither cloth nor plainleather are particularly hard to come by, it is useful to be able to get some material out of apparel full stop.

- Autoloom
The Autoloom can make a variety of clothing from either cloth of patchleather and takes 8 hour per cycle. The quality of the final product is always normal. However, since it also each recipe requires twice the amount of ingredients it would cost to make it a tailor's bench, I can't really recommend this unless your colony has an excess of cloth and a constant need for new apparel.

As a suggestion, making it so that the Autoloom took the same amount of material as the normal recipes and making the output always excellent instead of normal would go a long way toward making this machine useful, otherwise it will simply always be better under all circumstances to just have a crafter make your colonies apparel.

- Synthread Synthesizer
The Synthread Synthesizer takes a piece of apparel you define in the recipe along with 20 plasteel and outputs a synthread version of that apparel after 8 hours. The created apparel is always normal quality, irrespective of the quality of the input apparel. Although synthread is somewhat uncommon, I would recommend buying synthread and making apparel from it rather than use this factory since a skilled crafter can make higher quality apparel.

As a side not to any developer who reads this, making it so that the quality of the output apparel is the same as the quality of the input apparel would make this machine significantly more useful, as you can create many apparel items from cheap materials like cloth and only make the best into synthread.

- Mechanized Weaponsmith
For some reason, for me the Mechanized Weaponsmith had no recipes I could use, probably due to other mods I had installed (Combat Extended?). As such, I have no comments on it.

- Artillery Foundry
The Artillery Foundry can make various artillery shells in 2 hours per recipe. Since I was using Combat Extended, I had the option to make 81 mm HE, Incendiary, and EMP artillery shells. The recipe ingredients and products were identical to those in the machining bench. Since creating artillery shells by hand takes significantly longer than 2 hours, having an Artillery Foundry will free up your crafters to do other more important jobs.

- Auto Sower & Auto Harvester
Both the Auto Sower and Auto Harvester can Sow/Harvest a 7x30 tile grow zone in about a days time (a bit under an hour per 7 tile strip) and they both need to be manually triggered. Although it may seem a bit slow compared to a skilled colonist, they do free up your colonists time or allow you to grow more crops than your colonists alone would allow you to grow.

- Industrial Soup Vat
The Industrial soup vat turns 4 nutrition into 8 nutrition over the course of one day, twice as fast as an electric pot could do it. That being said, there is simply no reason to use this large and expensive factory building when two cheap electric pots do the same job. There is not a single merit to using this factory.

As a suggestion for improvement, perhaps having a much larger batches would be appropriate? For example, instead of taking 40 food to make 10 soups per day, have it take 140 food to make 35 soups per day, or even add a third intake and have it input 220 food to make 55 soups per day. It may sound like a lot, but this is an expensive machine, and as it is it can't even compete with 2 cheap electric pots. Alternatively, offering the Industrial Soup Vat a unique advantage like producing more soup per ingredient then could be done by hand would also work.

- Industrial Cheese Press
The Industrial Cheese Press, much like the Industrial Soup Vat, does exactly what the cheese press does, but twice as fast. Once again, there's no reason to use this incredibly large and expensive machine when two cheese presses does the same job. There is not a single merit to using this factory.

As a suggestion for improvement, just like the Industrial Soup Vat, I''d recommend either increasing batch sizes so that the overall throughput is significantly higher, or offering it some other unique advantage, like producing more product from a given input.

- Industrial Coffee Roaster
The industrial Coffee roaster can make a variety of beverages, such as coffee and tea. The recipes are identical to the recipes in the various beverage production stations, and take 1 hour to complete. Although a steady supply of various beverages is nice, it takes very little time for a cook to make the beverages themselves and saves you from having to build this large and expensive factory.

As a suggestion for improvement, perhaps having it produce more product from the same number of ingredients would be a worthwhile buff?

- Cannery
The Cannery turns 1 nutrition of food into 1 nutrition of canned food over 2 hours. Compated to the pawn operated canning machine, it requires no steel, which is a nice benefit. Although canned goods have no shelf life, too many canned goods can cause health problems for your colonists so this isn't the end-all-be-all solution for non-refrigeration food storage methods, but it's certainly a nice option.

- Aquaponics Basin
The Aquaponics Basin turns 1 nutrition of food into 1.2 nutrition of a fish of your choice in 2 hours. This is an excellent and efficient way to reliably get meat for fine meals, pemmican, or packaged survival meals. There's no reason not to use this.



In summary, most of these machines actually seem fairly well balanced, both overall (most machines have fairly modest outputs and functions, although they can be made up to 10x faster in the mod settings) and relative to each other (no one machine or groups of machines are insanely good or bad). That being said, there are a few machines that do need to be updated before they are worth using for the reasons listed above, namely the Masonry Saw, the Autoloom, the Conveyor Oven, the Industrial Soup Vat, the Industrial Cheese Press, and the Industrial Coffee Roaster.
wMaestro Mar 1, 2021 @ 11:55am 
I logged in and everything just to be able to comment: thanks so much for your comment packett! You inspired me to do some testing of my own, in case Mr. Potocki is looking for feedback on the amazing factory framework:

Originally posted by thepackett:
- Masonry Saw:
The masonry saw desperately needs to be rebalanced. In its current state, there is actually no point in using it. It takes 5 hours to run and produces 10 stone blocks from a stone chunk, a production rate of only 48 blocks per day. Since it takes several times longer and produces half the output compared to a pawn at a stone cutters table, I can't fathom a single scenario where I would want to use this.

For the developer, I would recommend patching this to bring it in line with the other factories in terms of usefulness. I suspect a 2 hour run cycle and 20 blocks per stone chunk would be reasonable, as that generates 240 stone blocks per day at the cost of 5 steel per day (if using the drill).

[...]

- Chemfuel Clarifier
The Chemfuel Clarifier turns a corpses (or wood) into chemfuel. It takes 2 hours and produces half the creature's meat amount in chemfuel (ie a 90 meat amount human would produce 45 chemfuel). Given that there is no shortage of corpses in rimworld, this is a handy building to have around.

- Neutroamine Infuser
The Neutroamine Infuser turns 50 meat into 3 neutroamine in 2 hours. Since there is no other way to produce neutroamine, this is handy in situations where trade is difficult or impossible (although obtaining neutroamine via trade is far more efficient).

- Medicine Granulator
The Medicine Granulator can produce Medicine, Wake Up, and Penoxycyline, each in 2 hours. While it initially doesn't seem that useful, the Medicine Granulator actually has alternative recipes for penoxycyline and wake up (not for medicine though) which use significantly less material, namely neutroamine, and produce more product. For example, you can make 2 neutroamine, 2 psychoid leaves, and 1 tribal medicine into 3 penoxycyline or 3 Wake Up, whereas making it at the drug lab would cost 6 neutroamine. This makes the Medicine Granulator a good option for anyone who needs to keep up a stock of Penoxycycline or Wake Up.

[...]

- Textile Recycler
The Textile Recycler can turn clothing into either cloth, or plain leather based on what you set the factory to output. Regardless of what recipe you use, it takes 2 hours to complete and always produces 20 material, irrespective of what apparel is being recycled. The material of the apparel being recycled also does not matter. You can recycle a dog leather parka into cloth, or a cloth cowboy hat into plainleather. While neither cloth nor plainleather are particularly hard to come by, it is useful to be able to get some material out of apparel full stop.

- Autoloom
The Autoloom can make a variety of clothing from either cloth of patchleather and takes 8 hour per cycle. The quality of the final product is always normal. However, since it also each recipe requires twice the amount of ingredients it would cost to make it a tailor's bench, I can't really recommend this unless your colony has an excess of cloth and a constant need for new apparel.

As a suggestion, making it so that the Autoloom took the same amount of material as the normal recipes and making the output always excellent instead of normal would go a long way toward making this machine useful, otherwise it will simply always be better under all circumstances to just have a crafter make your colonies apparel.

- Synthread Synthesizer
The Synthread Synthesizer takes a piece of apparel you define in the recipe along with 20 plasteel and outputs a synthread version of that apparel after 8 hours. The created apparel is always normal quality, irrespective of the quality of the input apparel. Although synthread is somewhat uncommon, I would recommend buying synthread and making apparel from it rather than use this factory since a skilled crafter can make higher quality apparel.

As a side not to any developer who reads this, making it so that the quality of the output apparel is the same as the quality of the input apparel would make this machine significantly more useful, as you can create many apparel items from cheap materials like cloth and only make the best into synthread.

[...]

- Artillery Foundry
The Artillery Foundry can make various artillery shells in 2 hours per recipe. Since I was using Combat Extended, I had the option to make 81 mm HE, Incendiary, and EMP artillery shells. The recipe ingredients and products were identical to those in the machining bench. Since creating artillery shells by hand takes significantly longer than 2 hours, having an Artillery Foundry will free up your crafters to do other more important jobs.

[...]

- Auto Sower & Auto Harvester
Both the Auto Sower and Auto Harvester can Sow/Harvest a 7x30 tile grow zone in about a days time (a bit under an hour per 7 tile strip) and they both need to be manually triggered. Although it may seem a bit slow compared to a skilled colonist, they do free up your colonists time or allow you to grow more crops than your colonists alone would allow you to grow.

[...]

- Aquaponics Basin
The Aquaponics Basin turns 1 nutrition of food into 1.2 nutrition of a fish of your choice in 2 hours. This is an excellent and efficient way to reliably get meat for fine meals, pemmican, or packaged survival meals. There's no reason not to use this.
Working my way back up, since some of the biggest comments I have are on those earlier factory chains, your comments on the Aquaponics Basin, Auto Sower, Auto Harvester, and Artillery Foundry are spot on. These are rly nice factory *pieces* - even on their own, they're useful and interesting and exciting right from where you see them on the tech tree. Not only this, but they're intuitive, which I think speaks to the values Mr. Potocki holds throughout his entire Vanilla Expanded series, and which is a huge reason so many of us love his mods. I really enjoy trying to use each of these pieces as I play for their pure efficiency alone, and I can especially recommend the Artillery Foundry alone as being worth factory research.

The Wearables and Textiles Factory - W.T.F. hah! - chain is one I see a lot in Lone Scrapper games (there's another thread about this actually - I don't usually look into the game files themselves so it may be by design), and I enjoy using it to flesh out my clothing in the mid-game, when I have 1-2 Geothermal Generators, some nice stone walls, and I've sectioned off parts of my map for the safety of my colonists... and the productivity of my prisoners. I cannot stress enough how useful this is in, at the very least, turning tainted tribalwear from *places* into useful cloth, even patchleather if you're eventually going to turn it into synthread anyway... but your comments about the Textile Recycler in particular blew me away; it does indeed use the same amount of power and time to produce the same number of units of patchleather or cloth! I'm assuming this is mainly to distinguish between the "cloth" and "leathery" material requirements in certain recipes, especially apparel recipes, so I understand it, I guess. I think of cloth as much more desirable a material than patchleather, and so feel like this is unbalanced, but perhaps it's just one of those pesky feelings that'll go away as I get used to playing with it.

Your comments on the Medicine Granulator, Chemfuel Clarifier, and Neutroamine Infuser encouragingly match up to what I've found in-game. I think it feels very successful when ignore the Infuser and use my corpses for the chemfuel, since bulk purchases of Neutroamine are, I find, often perfectly viable to support my colonists' medicine supply - fewer traders seem to have chemfuel for me, so it's always nice to have a way to make some on-demand. I love the idea of maximizing your efficiency on the available Neutroamine by using the Medicine Granulator for, in particular, wake-up. Cannot recommend this more to well-regulated colonies wanting peak efficiency out of their pawns!

Last but not least: the masonry saw 100% needs a buff! :) Again, packett, thanks for your comment if just so that some of this info is in writing somewhere, more easily accessible to those who want some pre-testing. Hopefully we can get a look at the efficiency of some of these in a future update, and maybe more mods will add support for this cool framework.
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