Flockmind

From Space Station 13 Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
This is advice for a feature that's still under construction moreso than the rest of the game. It's likely to be outdated very quickly!

The Flockmind is a strange entity. The collective intelligence computed by a number of weak but numerous flockdrones, it exists as some kind of freaky alien radio ghost, stuck around this station in a state too weak to continue travelling across the vast expanse of space. Unlike other freaky alien ghosts, it lives or dies on the lives of its drones, who, controlled by NPC AI, will happily wander around and endanger themselves. At least a Blob Overmind does not need to worry about its nuclei wandering away.

The main goal of the Flockmind is to create drones to both preserve itself and create computational resources, a currency used to perform feats of burst computation. These drones are also used to convert the station into infrastructure to allow it to construct a signal relay broadcaster that will allow it to broadcast itself and continue its strange mystery journey.

Note: At time of writing, constructing a relay is not possible, so instead your objective is to grow the flock and survive. Converting the station will bring benefits, but is not an explicit goal.

Flockmind

Featherdrone-flockmind.gif

Congratulations! You're in charge of the operation here, so may the creators have mercy on your digital soul. As the manifestation of the collective will of your vague distributed existence, all others within the flock must follow your command as holy writ. All others within the flock were ultimately forked from you, and if their values and actions drift from your intent, you can with a thought dismiss their independence.

oh god help me everything's all gone teal

You possess a strange form of vision while incorporeal. Darkness and light no longer matter, but your vision is heavily limited by proximity and the colours are very confusing. This is your proximity vision, and at the moment your only form of vision. But don't despair! You can see normally while inside a drone.

To enter a drone, click and drag yourself to an unoccupied drone. If it's occupied, you'll get a warning and nothing will happen. At the start, all drones will be unoccupied, so don't worry too much about this restriction. However, there are some advantages to remaining incorporeal (other than invincibility and free roam of the station), such as your abilities.

Flockmind Abilities

As a radio gestalt, some of your abilities require that your target has some form of radio capacity, whether that means being a radio broadcaster or having some form of radio device on their ears, or in their pockets, or even in their backpack. If they don't, you are incapable of touching them with any abilities that work on radio signals.

Icon Name Comp. Res. Description Targets
Featherdrone-abilities7.png Spawn Egg 0 First and only ability you get. You can spawn one egg for free, and then you get this ability taken away, but you get all others. N/A
Featherdrone-abilities3.png Designate Priority Tile 0 Let player and NPC drones know you want a specific tile converted above all others. Tile
Featherdrone-abilities4.png Designate Enemy 0 Let player and NPC drones know someone is definitely an enemy of the flock, and must be subdued and deconstructed. Creature
Featherdrone-abilities5.png Partition Mind 500 Create a flocktrace. This is subject to availability of players (who are dead, without DNR set, and weren't antagonists) and so won't always work. N/A
Featherdrone-abilities6.png Eject Trace 0 On a drone, kicks a flocktrace out of it if there's one in there. On a flocktrace, destroys them utterly. Good for flocktraces who aren't obeying the will of the flock, or who have gone AFK inside a drone when others have better use for it. Flockdrone / flocktrace
Featherdrone-abilities8.png Gatecrash 1500 Opens all unlocked, unbolted doors around you. If they can't be opened via radio signals, though, good luck. Airlocks
Featherdrone-abilities9.png Concentrated Repair Burst 1000 Through sheer focus and effort you can will a drone into better condition, restoring it to full health. Does not work on terminally broken drones. Flockdrone
Featherdrone-abilities10.png Radio Stun Burst 2000 Any enemies with radio devices are sonically stunned due to you blasting terrible static at them. Creatures
Featherdrone-abilities11.png Narrowbeam Transmission 50 On creatures, if they have radio devices, allow the broadcast of a message into their radio device, clear as crystal. On radio devices, broadcasts a heavily corrupted message into the channel as if you'd spoken into it. Creatures / radios

Flocktrace

Featherdrone-flocktrace.gif

Congratulations to you as well! You've been created to serve the flockmind in its mysterious aims of conversion and construction. You don't get any special abilities, and are instead just another flockdrone pilot to hop in and out of flockdrones as you desire.

Flockdrone

Featherdrone.gif

The backbone of the flock and its primary physical manifestation, the flockdrone is a mobile platform designed to process the flockmind as a distributed computing unit and as a construction unit, capable of salvaging anything and converting it into useful smartmatter resources. The functions of the flockdrone are few but very specialised, and identical across all flockdrones.

Flockdrone Limbs & Abilities

Icon Name Description
Featherdrone-ui1.gif Disintegration Reclaimer Put things into this to break them down into resources. If you can pick it up, you can eat it.
Featherdrone-ui7.png Grip Tool Functionally equivalent to a human hand, although you'll have a harder time trying to melee with it.
Featherdrone-ui9.png Nanite Spray An incredibly complicated and context sensitive construction tool. See the next table.
Featherdrone-ui11.png Incapacitor A stunning projectile weapon that can fire a few shots before needing to charge. The projectiles can go through windows, but not grilles.
Featherdrone-ui35.png Eject From Drone A button that lets you pop out of the drone and move around incorporeally, like a digital bird ghost.
Featherdrone-abilities7.png Spawn Egg Unlike the flockmind, flockdrones always possess this ability, but must pay 100 resources to spawn an egg, and can only do it on flock tile.

The Nanite Spray / Flock Converter

A multifunctional tool with multifunctional results. Costs are given in resources. Get resources by putting things into your reclaimer.

Intent Target Cost Action Description
Help Non-flocktile 20 Convert Converts the tile and everything on it to flocktile and related items. Can also be used to repair damaged flocktile and anything above it, such as doors.
Flockdrone 10 Repair Repairs the drone. This can work on yourself, providing you have the resources and the downtime required.
Disarm Enemy 15 Imprison Imprison in an energy cage. This cage will slowly rip their possessions apart into resources, spitting out flockdrone eggs as it does so, and then eventually rip them apart.
Flocktile 25 Barricade Create a barricade, which flockdrones can pass through unimpeded but nothing else can.
Grab N/A 0 N/A Nothing.
Harm N/A 0 N/A Nothing. Yet.

Strengths

  • You take very little damage from fire and other burning sources, and are even equipped with an automated fire extinguisher.
  • You can't be poisoned. Maybe stay away from the hard spirits to be safe, though.
  • You don't need to breathe.
  • You can move in space. IN SPACE.
  • While holding Shift, you can floor-run through flock-converted floor tiles, walls, and other obstacles.
    • Be careful, though, as it's a little easy to end up trapped if you pop out in the wrong place.
  • Your enemies by and large can't understand you so feel free to mock them endlessly.
  • Providing you have the resources, you can get yourself out of many scenarios.
  • You can move through your fellow drones.

Weaknesses

  • You are incredibly fragile. Any source of brute damage will deal more damage to you.
  • Your typical speed is far, far slower than your average crewmember, and you don't have many ways of creating breaches to slow them down.
  • Without resources you're powerless. If you're walled into an area with no flock tiles and no loose items, you're not getting out.
  • The incapacitor can require charging at the least opportune time.
  • You can barely understand anything said on radio.
  • The AI and cyborgs can hear what you say too.
  • You only have one hand, and one equipment slot but things don't last very long inside it.

AI Flockdrones

When not directly controlled by the flockmind or a flocktrace partition, the flockdrones are controlled by much simpler algorithms that take up far less of their processing capacity to compute, which also allows them to contribute more computational resources to the flockmind. They have a hardwired set of tasks that they're able to do, and will always attempt to perform the task with the highest priority if a suitable target is available and enough resources are held.

Tasks (By Priority)

  1. Cage Enemy: Approach a stunned enemy and imprison it in a cage for deconstruction.
  2. Subdue Enemy: Attempt to fire incapacitor at a nearby enemy, while dodging.
  3. Replicate: Move to a flock tile and attempt to generate an egg.
  4. Repair: Move to a damaged flockdrone and attempt to repair it.
  5. Convert: Convert a tile into flock tiles.
  6. Open / Dump Out Container: Root through an anchored container and throw its contents around, pick up a container and dump it out, or open a crate or locker.
  7. Harvest: Move to and pick up a loose item and reclaim it.
  8. Wander: Wander around aimlessly because there's nothing to do.

Understanding how these minimally intelligent flockdrones act can be a key to both using them effectively and countering them as a regular crew member.

Tips & Strategies

  • Nothing can interrupt flock communications, but silicons can hear them (in a corrupted state). When starting out, silence might be a good idea.
  • On the flipside if the AI already knows you're around you should make full advantage of your uninterruptable all-range radio.
  • Flockminds and flocktraces can click the names of drones that speak to immediately jump to their location.
  • As a flockmind or flocktrace, you have invincibility and free roam of the station, and can see perfectly clearly in the dark and through walls. If you can stomach the weird colour filters, a single intangible flock member can be a good source of intel to the drones who don't know what's happening the other side of the station.
  • A flockmind or flocktrace can run faster than a drone can. If you desperately need to be somewhere else and there's a body there, this is far quicker than trying to move a sluggish drone body to your destination.
  • Spreading drones across the station is better than bunching them up if only for this reason alone.
  • Cages can be moved and spit eggs out by their own initiative. Dragging them around will aid in drone distribution.
  • When stunning someone with a gun, prioritise eating their gun over caging them. This denies them a weapon and gives you resources.
  • Item resource value is directly proportional to how long it takes for the item to burn. If it would make good furnace fuel, it's good flock food.
  • The incapacitor, as an energy weapon, does not stun borgs. It damages them. This is both a good and bad thing.
  • Eating the cores of your fallen drone comrades is incredibly encouraged. It might be worth grabbing a knife to butcher them first.
  • Your equip hotkey when used on your grip tool will automatically "equip" your held item to your reclaimer.

That's all fine and good but HOW DO WE KILL THESE THINGS

  • Flockdrones are at their most dangerous in numbers and in their home turf. Hit and run tactics on single drones are pretty effective, but hitting one drone will make all of them hostile to you. Bring good running shoes!
  • Cages both directly give the flock more drones and threaten to take away people on your side. Get people out of cages as fast as you can by kicking them (empty hand, attack intent).
  • Flock doors, floors and barricades can all be destroyed. Flockdrones can't run through broken floors.
  • If they can't keep you stunned, they can't seriously harm you. Drugs might be useful here.
  • AI flockdrones will always be aggressive to an enemy they can see, even if they can't reach it. They can't do anything else while futilely shooting at you.
    • Although if you're going to stand on the other side of a window, make sure the window has a grille. Incapacitor bolts go through windows.
  • AI flockdrones broadcast your visible name to other flockdrones to know who to target. If only there were some ways to somehow change your visible name...
  • Don't attack solo. At least have someone nearby to drag you away if you go down before you get caged.
  • Don't rely on pacifism to keep you safe. The flockmind can very easily make you an enemy of the flock with a single click, and some of the more aggressive ones will undoubtedly do so.
  • Take all the most flammable things in the station away from major flockdrone concentrations. In extreme cases, things that let you mass destroy items might be helpful.

In Summary

As the flock, you live and die on your drones. Left to their own devices, the drones will produce more drones, but the real secret to survival is to stun and to cage humans. Spread, assimilate, and rely on ever increasing numbers to become a menace to the station. Just be very very careful early game.

The flock is a foe that is trivially easy to crush in its early stages, but one of the problems that, left alone, will quickly become untenable to oppose. If you're opposing the flock, treat it like a blob or kudzu. Just because the drones seem harmless and uninterested now doesn't mean they won't suddenly charge you in far greater numbers than you'd have expected.

Supplementary Video

Jobs on Space Station 13
Civilian:
Staff Assistant - Chef - Barman - Chaplain - Janitor - Botanist - Clown - Job of the Day - Gimmick jobs
Engineering:
Engineer - Mechanic - Miner - Quartermaster
Medical & Research:
Medical Doctor - Geneticist - Roboticist - Scientist
Command & Security:
Security Officer - Detective - Chief Engineer - Medical Director - Research Director - Head of Security - Head of Personnel - Captain
Antagonist Roles:
Changeling - Nuclear Operative - Traitor - Wizard - Vampire - Wraith - Blob - Werewolf - Predator - Grinch - Krampus
Gang Member - Revolutionary - Spy Thief - Flockmind - Gimmick antagonist roles
Special Roles:
Artificial Intelligence - Cluwne - Critter - Cyborg - Ghost - Ghostdrone - Monkey - Santa Claus