One of Epistemics' main ways to harvest research points, and the leading cause of headaches in captains of non-coordinated stations. Anomalous Research is a subdepartment of R&D focused around the containment and manipulation of various unique anomalies.
Anomalies are created by the Anomaly Generator, located in the Epistemics department. They can also be generated by random events. The properties of each anomaly vary wildly, but they all share a set of similar characteristics.
- cannot be moved by conventional means (pushing/pulling)
- cannot be interacted with in any meaningful way without the use of anomalous particle acceleration technology
- have passive effects on their surroundings
- perform "pulses", periodic bursts of energy with varying effects based on the type of anomaly
- undergo dangerous "critical events" when their severity stat hits 100%
- can be "harvested" by an anomaly vessel for the passive generation of research points
- pose varying degrees of hazard to the station and the crew
All anomalies have three similar stats - Severity, Stability, and Health.
- Severity affects the magnitude of an anomaly's passive and pulse effects, and causes a critical event when it reaches 100%. It also affects the anomaly's point output, if it has been assigned to a vessel.
- Stability dictates whether or not the Severity stat increases each time a pulse occurs, along with the time period between pulses. Lower stability = less time between pulses.
- Health is a hidden stat not available to the player, and decreases when "containment" particles are used on an anomaly. Once an anomaly reaches 0 health, it simply disappears.
In the event that an anomaly is in an inopportune location, or is simply too dangerous to be left aboard the station, it needs to be contained. Containment is simply a term for the controlled elimination of an anomaly, and does not connotate any major damage to the surroundings.
Anomalous Particle Accelerator
The main way in which science manipulates anomalies is the Anomalous Particle Accelerator, or APE for short. Several of these can be located in the station's anomalous research lab. The APE can shoot three different types of particles - Delta, Epsilon, and Zeta - at an anomaly to affect one of its stats. Simply right click an anchored APE to select the particle type. The stat which each particle type affects is random between anomalies, so you'll need an Anomaly Scanner to figure that out.
The most important tool in dealing with anomalies as it allows you to know which particles does what to the anomaly. Just equip it in your hands and interacts with the anomaly. Once an anomaly is scanned, the scanner UI should show the three types of particles, and which effect they correspond to.
- Danger particles will cause an anomaly's severity stat to rise. Use this type to increase the anomaly's point output at the cost of personal safety.
- Unstable particles will cause an anomaly's stability to drop. This type should almost never be used by good-intentioned scientists.
- Containment particles will cause an anomaly's stability to rise, at the cost of anomaly health. Use this type if you want to eliminate the anomaly.
A very useful little tool that beeps quicker the closer you are to an anomaly. Its only downside is that it doesn't have a very big range.
CHIMP Hand Cannon
An alternate method of using anomalous particle technology is the CHIMP, a handheld version of the APE which requires special particle cartridges to operate instead of electricity. Each cartridge type can be printed at a epistemics techfab for 25 units of plastic a piece, and each one has double the strength of an APE particle. These are best used when an anomaly spawns in a place that an APE can't quite reach, like the gas miners in atmos.
They can also be used for self defense in a pinch, though they deal pitiful damage with their regular ammunition.
If an anomaly is deemed safe enough to keep around, the next step is to harvest it for research points. An anomaly scanner with an active scan of a still-existing anomaly can be assigned to an Anomaly Vessel, located in the anomalous research lab. These machines will supply the research server with a constant stream of research points, proportional to the severity of the connected anomaly. They can also be upgraded to increase point output.
If an anomaly is becoming too unstable or begins to fizzle out, the vessel will make different sounds and change color to notify the science team. A vessel connected to an anomaly when it goes critical will explode violently, destroying most things nearby but rarely causing a hull breach.
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