Guide to Research and Development
Research & Development
The main purpose to RnD is to provide upgrades to the various machines running around the station, while also often being required to complete the various main station objectives. To perform the RnD role, you will need to construct and deconstruct various items, in order, to get research levels, which in turn grants access to more complex and powerful items. Tools such as the jaws of life and powerful weapons, are also unlocked at higher tech levels. Do note that some items require toxin research, performed in the toxin test area, read this guide to find out more.
Deconstruction is a simple process. You place the item you want to deconstruct into the Analyzer, head into the RnD console and deconstruct the item to gain appropriate levels. Information about the item in the Destructive Analyzer is given on the console, showing you what levels the item possesses and the levels already present on the network. If the item in the Destructive Analyzer has an equal or higher tech level in any category than what is currently present on the database, you can hit deconstruct and that item will be broken down, increasing the tech level in the database by 1. It is best to only deconstruct an item if the level is equal to the database, as it is often wasteful to deconstruct items that are a couple of levels higher, which could be used when you reach that level to achieve higher results. You are also able to eject items that you don't want to deconstruct.
The majority of the items you will need to break down will be constructed from the Protolathe and Circuit Imprinter, but for higher tier technologies, items from other departments will be required. A list of items and the order in which they should be broken down to get to a baseline of level 5 can be found here. Do note however that this list is not necessarily the most efficient and experimentation and additional investigation is recommended. Here is a helpful tool for simulating items you can deconstruct, should you wish to experiment. The filter button will filter for items that will only improve the selected tech level.
The Protolathe allows you create advanced items and tools, when you have the appropriate levels required to unlock them, check here for a list of things you can create. You start with the most basic items available,akin to an autolathe, which you will use to upgrade the tech level to access more complicated things. Basic items, will require mainly metal and glass, but as you start printing more advanced items, you will need a variety of resources in order to construct them, so there is a close tie to mining, and upgrading their ORM is essential, if you want a steady supply of resources.
The circuit imprinter prints off the boards for machines and consoles, once again requiring certain tech levels to be achieved before more complex boards can be made. AI related boards as well as exosuit control modules are built here. The imprinter requires only glass for most boards, with a handful of items requiring metal as well.
Make sure to head into settings and sync with database periodically. This will update the server on the station, making a back-up and granting access to the established tech levels. The Research Director can access the R&D server management computer and either transfer or delete research blueprints to other computers on station.Robotics will require access to tech levels, and as such syncing the server is essential for them to operate successfully.
Technology Data Storage Disks
So, you are done researching at least the basics of R&D (all research levels at 5 or higher, except toxins, illegals and alien). Now the last thing you need to do in order to fullfill your job task is to grab some technology disks, to load your research on them and to give these to cargo, so they can ship them off the station. For this you will at first need a minimum amount of eight technology disks, two of which are already located in R&D as well as them being printable via the protolathe. If you acquired these stick one of them into the R&D console, use the R&D console to use the Disk Operations option, load one of the already mentioned technologies onto it and eject the disk again. Repeat this process till you are done downloading the technologies that were upgraded, transport all of the disks to cargo, drop them before their door and hope they actually ship them, which they should as it grands them extra points to spend.
These technology disks can also be used to transfer toxins research, by swiping one of these disks in the Tachyon-doppler array and then uploading its content into the R&D console, as well as to transfer research between different R&D consoles. The latter option is easily outclassed by using a R&D server/ syncing your research, but can be quite useful in case the R&D server is not working.
A Love Letter to R&D
Research and Development is one of the, if not the most tedious and repetitive task on the entire station, resulting in many players not willing to commit their round to it, while the rest of the station expects science to get it done. While the first ten minutes of your round doing it will nearly always be the same, R&D has huge potential to influence the entire round, changing its outcome and the experience people had with it. Therefore, here are some examples on how to make your stay in R&D more pleasant for yourself and others.
You could for example give people items they didn't even ask for, but are yet useful for them. It's always fun to see their reactions to the weird stuff you can make.
While other departments can function on their own without the help of science, upgrading their machinery or even adding more machinery can save many peoples round. For example constructing a second or even third cloner in medbay is able to turn many peoples experience from a frustrating to a more forgiving one, as they are granted a second chance after a genocide took place.
Furthermore, after you're done doing the basics and therefore the pressure on your shoulders has been reduced, you are able to remodel R&D into a more effective set up, making more place for interesting machinery and constructions in the process. Such constructions can include small set ups of other science sub departments like sci-chem and even xenobiology. Or change R&D into something completely different like robotics or a surgery room for organics and synthetics alike, while only leaving the bare minimum of what defines R&D in place. If the stakes are high, constructed mechs are able shred a biohazard to pieces.
You could construct a quantum pad network, connecting the various parts of the station with one another, or even use quantum pads to make connections to other areas normally not so easily accessible, like everything found in space and on lavaland. This could result in security being more mobile in order to catch antagonists, or antagonists using this network to their advantage to escape a tricky situation.
A second telecoms network is possible too, in case someone turns the other one into dust or there is another Ion-anomaly shutting it down.
Or just generally experiment with different things you can make with R&D.
The options available are gigantic, including many different things that weren't even touched on here, letting it up to you, on how you will leave your mark on the round.
The traitor experience one winds up getting while doing R&D is a mix of different elements of other traitor experiences. For example it contains the mech aspect of robotics, and possibly the grenade usage of sci-chem, even being able to enhance its usage, while also allowing for an approach to things that is unique to R&D. The lockboxes protecting the printable weapons from your hands can easily be cracked with an emagg, jaws of live can provide easy access to every place behind an airlock that isn't bolted and different implants and gear can give you an advantage in certain situations compared to your average officer. Generally sabotaging the station becomes much easier with the critical machinery you can build and using it to your own advantage. Combined with other elements like chemistry you are able to become an unstoppable force.