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Survival Guide - Dust Settles: Exploration

Table of Contents:

I. Purpose
II. Sending Explorers
   A. Population Sent
   B. Resource to Find
   C. Number of Days
III. Improvements
   A. Buses
IV. Limitations
   A. Camp Radius


In order to survive before you can produce food, disposables, or building supplies, you must find them. If you do not explore (and start exploring with at least 1/2 your starting population) from the very first turn, you will surely perish. This is also the only way you will ever be able to increase your total land. Exploration takes many forms and can be adjusted throughout gameplay. Remember, depending upon the class you choose, certain main resources may be much more difficult to find. Use the ones that are easier to find to your advantage.

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Sending Explorers:

Explore Page No Busses

When you click on the Explore menu option, you will be presented with a screen showing how many of your camp members are currently unassigned. Obviously, this tally of available camp members is constantly being updated. You can't have someone assigned to build a building and explore in the same day. So make sure to always keep a few unassigned for this purpose.

At the beginning of the game, exploration is going to be one of the most important things you do each day. You will want to send out as many people as possible exploring and keep a minimum number for recruiting and construction. To send out a group of people exploring you will enter the total number of people that you want to send out in the first text box. Then you will select the resource(s) you want your people to explore for. If you have buses then you will need to assign the number you want to send. Finally you will select the number of days they should be out exploring. Once you have established all of these variables, you will need to click "now" to set it as a command.

Explore Page Explorers Set

Once you have clicked now, you will see a message similar to the one above in the place of the original set up menu. As long as you have not yet ended a turn, you can disband this group of explorers at any time by clicking the gray button.

After you have ended the turn, your results from the search will be displayed with the End Turn results at the top of the page in bright green with more details in the green box.

Population Sent:

The number of people you send exploring must be entered manually by typing the number in the text box (or accepting the maximum number that will be entered automatically) and clicking now after setting the other variables. Once you have set up a group to search, you will receive a basic message telling you how many people you are sending out in that search. These people will be unavailable for any other task until you cancel the search or until the search is over.

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Resource to Find:

Explore Page Resource Choices

You will have the ability to assign your people to search specifically for a desired resource or to just search for anything. No matter what you search for you will always find some little bit of each resource type, except maybe land at the very beginning of the game. Your best bet, though, will be to actually send your explorers searching for a specific resource. You won't get quite as much of the other resources as you would if you just searched for "Any and All," but you will get a much better return on the specific resource you search for. Disposables will be the easiest resource to find, followed by food, supplies, and then land.

During any exploration mission, your explorers may also find lost CEP's or ore deposits. Searching for land specifically will provide a slight advantage for finding ore since the more land you find, the higher your chances of finding a deposit will be.

When you are setting up a search party, you will select which resource you want your explorers to search for from the drop down menu, as pictured above.

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Number of Days:

At the beginning of the game you will only be able to send out your explorers for a single day at a time. Later on in the game, you will be able to open the ability to send out your search parties for up to five days at a time. You will select the number of days that you want to send them for from the drop-down menu beneath the text box where you enter how many people you want to send.

You should be careful to make sure that you send out any recruiters for the same length of time that you send explorers once you begin to get large. You could end up with exploration returns on land that will set you over your communications coverage if you are not careful. If you send out explorers for multiple days, the safest thing to do is send out recruiters for the same number, if you want to send them at all, and then end all of those days at once. This will protect you from losing people, even if your comm range is exceeded by the search. If you do not end all of the turns at once, you will not be protected from losing these people. If you do end all of the turns at once, you will not be penalized.

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Ingenuity is the primary research modifier for exploration. Time Management allows for sending multiple-day search parties. You will also be able to eventually send out buses to aid in your searches.

Scouts get an extra bonus in exploration due to their training and experience pre-apocalypse, while Goofballs will have a slightly decreased return from exploration missions. Goofballs tend to waste time and forget to really search when they are supposed to.

Advances in morale will improve your explorers search rate since they will be more peppy and excited. You will also have better returns during the spring and fall, when the weather will be less harsh on your explorers. When the weather is sunny or cloudy, you will also experience better results. The more extreme temperatures of the summer and winter will cause your explorers more problems as they have to deal with extreme heat or cold. Stormy and rainy weather will just make everything more difficult with your people struggling through muck, mud, and nasty weather as they try to find resources.

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Explore Page With Busses

Once you have opened the ability to build garages, you will be able to send out buses with your explorers. You will be limited to 1 bus for every 50 people you've sent out. Sending any more would be a waste of gas and could cause too much wear on the vehicles. Another limitation to your buses will be the size of your camp, both because of fuel costs and because as your size increases your number of allowed buses will increase. Along with having enough fuel for your buses, you will need 1 staffed garage for every 4 buses that you are sending (remember, staffing is changed through the Construct screen). The final limitation will be your Vehicle Transport research. As you increase this, the number of buses that you can send out at a time will increase. Though there are restrictions, sending buses with your explorers will increase your exploration returns to a point that they are worth dealing with.

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Exploration Storage Warning

Your first limitation for exploration returns is available storage space. You will be able to send people out when you have very little storage, but you will only get to keep what you can fit into the storage. This means if you only have room in your storage for 5 disposables and you come back with 15, 10 will go to waste. Keeping extra storage space around is helpful for multiple reasons, so don't be afraid to build more when you get short on space (as long as you can afford to of course). When your storage space is low you will get the above warning after you have set a group of explorers to search.

Exploration Comm Deficit Warning

Your other major limiter will be communications coverage. At the beginning of the game when you have less than 5,000 land, you will be able to send out explorers with little more than old maps, compasses, and maybe a couple of walkie-talkies and have them all come back safely. After this, though, your people will be wandering too far away on strange terrain (this is the apocalypse, the cataclysms would have changed the landscape a bit) to be able to always find their way back. This is where communications coverage comes in. You will want to build enough comm relays to keep yourself covered. If you see the warning above, you are lacking the needed communications coverage and you will lose explorers when they are sent out.

Your final limiter will be your camp radius.

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Camp Radius:

Camp Radius Map

Each person can only really search so much land in a single day. After all you are sending these people out from the edges of your camp to go as far as they can that day and come back by nightfall. Even when you send out a search party for multiple days, half of that time will be used going out, while the other half will be used coming back. Your camp radius is used to determine how much land you could possibly expect your people to search at one time. This will provide a limiter for your population once you get large if you do not increase your camp size physically as well.

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 Game Overview +/-
 Getting Started +/-
 Units and Resources +/-
 The Main Game Screen +/-
 Camp Activities+/-
 Research +/-
 Economy +/-
 Attacking a Camp +/-
 Alliances +/-
 Focus Paths +/-
 Camp Information +/-
 In-Game Communications +/-
 Extras +/-

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