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New Strategy: Doing Genetics Faster!


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Nokko's Speed Strats for Genetics!

So, you want to hulk out, see through walls, toss spears and stunbatons at Security, and eat the bolas and flashbangs they toss back. Bad news - completing Genetics takes forever, and is *very* boring. Lots of people want a genetics rework on Paradise, which is fair: staring at a menu all shift and only getting to use your powers on the escape shuttle sucks.

Fortunately, Nokko is here with a new strategy for completing Genetics research much faster!

(There is some informational prelude to the actual strategy. For a list of steps, scroll to the bottom of this post.)

 

Why is Genetics so slow?

  • At the start of a shift, there are 1-2 Geneticists working in the Genetics Lab.
  • There are 54 unknown DNA blocks that may contain either powers or disabilities.
    • (This means each geneticist must test 27 genes each shift, if they divide the work evenly.)
  • There is a cooldown of at least 2 seconds between each block you irradiate, because the minimum irradiation time is 2 seconds.
  • There is a cooldown of 25 seconds between each DNA injector you print (per console).

I timed myself getting a monkey's first 12 DNA blocks to DAC (or higher), here are the results:

50sec, 76sec, 103sec, 17sec, 78sec, 7sec, 79sec, 10sec, 23sec, 80sec, 31sec, 1sec

Lowest: 1sec, Highest: 103sec, Median: 40.5sec, Mean: 46.25sec

This means that, if it takes 25-103 seconds to get a block to DAC, an optimal geneticist checking 27 blocks, uninterrupted, will spend anywhere from 675-2781 seconds just getting injectors. (11-46 minutes) Plus, however long it takes to test each injector, clean any unwanted disabilities, label the mutations you discover, give Chemistry monkeys, etc. All in all, a geneticist working solo, on one console, can unlock every mutation in ~28 minutes on average, meaning flipping every block except 55 to DAC or higher, and printing injectors for each.

However, a geneticist's time might be taken up by other things. SSD, handing out mutations to Security, fighting off randos who want Hulk 5 minutes into the round, cloning people when the coroner is dead, getting killed by traitors, etc.

TL;DR: It's slow because of the injector cooldown, the time it takes to get a block to DAC, and the time it takes to test each injector.

How can we make Genetics faster?

To solve the problems listed on our earlier list, we can:

1. Get more Geneticists working at the same time, or more DNA Scanners per Geneticist,

2. Reduce the search space from 54 genes to a lower number,

3. Don't go SSD,

4. Reduce the cooldown on the time it takes to irradiate a block,

5. Reduce the cooldown of 25 seconds between each DNA injector you print (per console),

1 and 3 are possible in-game already if you have a cooperative Research Director and can coerce a few Scientists into helping you out - the speed increase is obvious. 4 and 5 seem impossible from looking at the code. This guide is about one approach to tackling option 2, reducing the search space.

Genes

To understand how to find what we are looking for, we must first understand what there is. In the code, there are two lists of genes: GLOB.bad_blocks is the list of all the disabilities*, and GLOB.good_blocks is the list of all the powers. There are 24 genes in the good list, and 24 in the bad.

Sources of mutation

There are several ways for lifeforms with DNA to get mutations.

  • Radiation storms - Every time a radstorm mutates you, there is a ~95% chance to get a bad mutation. Rad storms are not guaranteed to occur every round - not easily accessible.
  • Radiation (from nuclear reactors, uranium, uranium golems, etc.) - I believe that radiation in itself does not give you mutations, it only gives you radiation damage. Do correct me if I'm wrong, though, I only looked through the code briefly. Somewhat easily accessible if you get R&D to print SUPERPACMAN generator boards+components.
  • The "Pulse Radiation" function of the DNA Modifier access console - 93.25% chance of bad mutation, cooldown 2 seconds. Greater radiation strength does not increase the amount or likelihood of good/bad mutation. Easily accessible.
  • Unstable Mutagen - Only gives bad mutations, if ingested. Easily accessible if SciChem and MedChem aren't being total nerds. You need about 2-6 beakers to get to 24 mutations.**

  * The Incendiary Mitochondria mutation is technically a disability in-code, so you won't get that one with this strat alone.
** I haven't done the math on this yet, but 2-6 beakers seems fairly reliable.

Unstable Mutagen seems to be the best source of bad mutation. 

Why do we use a chemical that generates 100% bad mutations? Because, of course, once you know the list of bad chemicals, you know the list of good chemicals too - the ones that aren't bad.

 

Synthesis (What the hell is the strat, nokko!?)

  1. Get like 4-6 beakers of unstable mutagen.
  2. Get 3 bottles of potassium iodide, which heals radiation damage.
  3. Get 2 radiation suits, one for you and one for your geneticicist buddy.
  4. Feed a monkey all of the mutagen. (You can also use yourself as the monkey, but then you need a cooperative colleague to get you back to normal once you get epilepsy, tourettes, etc.)
  5. Count how many mutations the monkey has - if it's 24, that's all of the disabilities! Feed the monkey more mutagen as needed, until you're at 24.
  6. Scan in all the disabilities, feed the monkey potassium iodide and mutadone to cure the mutations and radiation damage.
  7. Do genetics as normal! Now you have about 45% the amount of genes to check, and all of them are powers! ((54-30)/54 = ~44.44..%)
Edited by nokko
DAC or higher...
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Interesting enough, you don't actually have to set it to DAC to work, it just needs to be higher than or equal to DAC to work. If the first subblock is F or E, you are done, since F or E ranks higher on Hexadecimal than D,. You could also do DB - which works because B is higher than A.

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Yep! The times I put in my post were the times to get to at least DAC, or higher. So, obviously, /E../, /F../, /D[B-F]./ all count as well as /DA[C-F]/

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It happens that the problem of figuring out the average number of steps that it takes to get a block to DAC can be modelled as an Absorbing Markov chain, and solved analytically. I'll post the math once I get the code all figured out.

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  • 6 months later...

Like a billion years late to my own post, but here's the skinny:

image.thumb.png.ec7b9b4193393f2e54d9d585ea879738.png

 

That's me solving it Monte-Carlo, which is kind of bad since it can be modelled with a Markov chain. But, on average, the most times you'll have to hit that godforsaken “Irradiate Block” button is 11 per genetic block. Least is something like 6, if you're starting off with the second “digit” in your block already above A. I'll post more math later, possibly lots of time later. Heck, maybe there'll be a viable genetics rework by the time I come back...

 

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This post taught me how to do genetics well - now that I have a bit more experience I'd like to add to it :

 

1) for clarification, count any blocks above 800 after you've fed your monki all the UM, those are the ones that matter for your 24 bad mutations headcount.

2) I suggest using IVs to feed UM instead, three IVs are guarranteed to unlock all bad blocks, and it lets ya prep whatever you want while your subject soaks.

3) a dead patient will still mutate upon UM ingestion, and bodies do not process reagents or emit radiations (with the radioactive mutation or otherwize), making them easier to work with.

4) 1u of mutadone will reset your powers, don't eat the pills from the medivend whole - those are TWENTY units. Ask chemistry to grind em up into 1u pills for you. This will completely remove the need for you to wait for clean SE's while testing for powers. 

5) Asking for a medibot from robotics will pretty much take away any need for potassium iodine/charcoal

6) About FINDING X-RAY, TK, No breath, Hulk, chameleon skin/cloak of shadows: always ALWAYS mark down "duds", and remember which of them you have activated while testing powers. Each of them might be one of those six "hidden" powers. These only have a chance to activate upon the block reaching DAC or higher.. and then have another chance to do so when another block activates.

6a) So if you try block 1, it's a dud, and then try block 2 and get, say, x-ray and heat res.. you know that heat res ALWAYS activates upon DAC, therefore 1 was a hidden x-ray. 

6b) If you try block 1, dud, and block two gets you only x-ray, things get a little more complicated : X-ray could be in block 1 or 2, and either one could also potentially be another hidden power or a real dud. It's for these instance I always try to keep a maximum of a single dud inside of me, resetting my genes when I find a second one. In this example, the best thing to do would be to pull out block 1 or 2 from your clean SE, and inject yourself with it. If you inject yourself with a clean block 1 and x-ray goes away, congratulations, you know that x-ray was in block 1.

7) About ACTIVATING X-RAY, TK, No breath, Hulk, chameleon skin/cloak of shadows: There's a couple of ways to go about it

7a) You could repeatedly activate/deactivate the block for the power you want, or activate it once and then repeatedly activate/deactivate a real dud until it activates - but this is prone to getting you defects on the side as we've seen in the OP that pulsing has a chance to activate bad mutations.

7b) You can keep printing block injectors for it- Inject yourself, eat 1u mutadone, inject yourself, repeat until done. Works well but can be kind of slow since printing injectors takes time.

7c) Lastly you can make a buffer with only whichever blocks you desire activated, and then use the "Transfer" function of your machine. This has a 100% chance to make your genetics makeup exactly the same as the saved buffer, at the cost of radiating you a little bit more. By continuously transfering between a clean and the desired SE, you can quickly and effectively activate whichever "hidden" power you desire.

 

 

Edited by Peak
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  • 5 months later...
Posted (edited)
On 11/2/2020 at 12:10 AM, Peak said:

4) 1u of mutadone will reset your powers, don't eat the pills from the medivend whole - those are TWENTY units. Ask chemistry to grind em up into 1u pills for you. This will completely remove the need for you to wait for clean SE's while testing for powers.

 

You can also dissolve the pill in a glass of water and split it into several containers, e.g. via dropper, to conserve mutadone.

I'm really proud of myself for making this basically the standard strategy for Genetics nowadays. :) Cool stuff!

Edited by nokko
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