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Your colonists will dump debris, bodies and animal corpses in dumping areas, it is a 4x4 tiles construction that can hold up to 16 things at the same time, when the area is full another area can be built or it can be emptied for continues use, it's unclear if the emptying of a area is relying on a bug or an intended feature (needs confirmation), but a dumping area can be used in even more ways than just a area to dump garbage at.
How to clear a dumping area
A dumping area can be cleared by using any form of damage such as explosions, gunfire or even regular fire (fire doesn't work on rocks).
- The cheapest and fastest way is to have a soldier with frag grenades target and attack the dumping area.
- Molotov cocktails can be used in the same way, but they can't destroy rocks (they can actually damage rocks with the explosion on impact, but not with the resulting fire), only dead bodies, and they will start a fire that can get out of control.
- Blasting charges can be used like frag grenades, by first selling the dumping area and then build the charges and explode them so the bodies are caught in the explosion, 2 explosions are required to remove a body and several more for rocks (rocks need testing).
- Uzi, pistol or other firearms (does NOT work on bodies, only rocks): Another way of clearing a dumping area is to use it for target practice, it's a very slow method if a pistol or uzi is used, but these 2 weapons gives the fastest training (11 points per each shooting sequence, 1 bullet for pistols, 4 bullets for Uzi's) because they have the lowest aiming time of 1.1 seconds. Each bullet (from a pistol) does about 5 damage to the rock that it hits (0 damage if it misses, obviously) each rock start with 300 health, so 60 HITS are required on the same rock to destroy it, it is advised to use this method on full dumping areas because of the chance of hitting another rock than the one aimed for.
Used as target practice
A dumping area can be used to train your colonists range attack level by draw a colonist to be a soldier, equip him/her with a rifle or pistol, then target the dumping area by using the "pistol button", the colonist will then continuously attack the dumping area until the action is canceled or the colonist suffers a mental break from hunger and sleep deprivation.
Used as defense
A dumping area can with some work be used as a free defense for a turret.
- First designate a dumping area where you want your turret to be
- second find 16 rocks to haul so the area is filled (make sure they don't haul the rocks to some other dumping area)
- When the area is filled, sell the dumping area
- Designate the middle 4 rocks to be hauled to another dumping area (designate a new dumping area somewhere if you don't have another)
- When the rocks are removed, build a turret inside the square of rocks that remains, the turret have now got additional "armor", for free!
Used as "burial place"
Each separate dumping area can be assigned to be able to receive colonists' bodies, strangers' bodies and animal corpses or not. Each placed debris/body/corpse takes one space, limiting the amount of available dumping spaces to 16 per dumping area. By selling the dumping area and exploding 2 blasting charges the bodies caught in the explosions will "perish", more elaborate ways of removing "waste" are available here.
0.0.254b As of this version a method of removal of debris (commonly generated from destroyed structures, orbital drops etc) exists similar to corpse removal from graves by the use of explosive charges (research option). Collecting dumpable material via Dumping area designation, then removing one of the middle debris to another dump (after selling the existing Dumping area designation) allows placing the explosive charges inside the former dumping area. Each time the explosive charge is detonated it will cause damage to surrounding material. When the dumped material reaches 0 HP it will be permanently removed from the game.
NOTE: non-organic dumpable material has a high HP count and requires multiple detonations to remove. See below section on pirate defense.
0.0.254b Using the Dumping area designation one can build a row of refuse at a convenient location in your defensive line of fire. The current AI of incoming pirate raiders favors the use of refuse as a cover mechanism, thus allowing the player some limited control of the raider pathing. When a small wall of refuse is placed for this purpose it is also useful to plant an explosive charge next to it for use if/when the raiders are becoming problematic for your defenses. In this way, you can slowly wear down unwanted garbage refuse while still maintaining the defensive usefulness of the explosive charges during defense.
0.0.254b Refuse in a dumping area slows the movement speed of any creature or person moving across the tile. Using this mechanic it is possible to use refuse as a snare to slow the approach of hostiles before they reach firing range. Note that this tactic only works on those creatures not within firing range or line of sight to a valid target so is best used when your defense members are equipped with long range weapons. If the hostiles are equipped with the same long range guns this tactic is less useful - however since the number of hostiles with maximum range weapons (M-24 Sniper Rifle - range 45) is usually limited this tactic can be quite useful when employed between the 33 to 45 square radius of your defenses, allowing your snipers more time to shoot at incoming hostiles. It is unclear if the cover mechanic protects hostiles even when moving, or if only when stationary behind cover.