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A Laymen's Guide to Xenoarcheology

Discussion in 'Tutorials & Information' started by BigPapa, Jul 2, 2019.

  1. BigPapa

    BigPapa Bartender

    Hey hey people, YourDaddy117 here, and today I'm going to show you a little guide to Xenoarch. Now Xenoarch is not at all mechanically challenging but an aspiring xenoarch or anomalist might get very confused by the obtuse systems. Here's a guide I wrote IC. You can also find this guide in the library app In-game. It's a lot prettier there. I'll provide some OOC elaboration and addendum as we go along.

    A layman's guide to Xenoarchaeology
    By Ensign Jack R. Morgan
    Hello! This is just a simple guide to the process of Xenoarchaeology. Specifically the digging side of things. !WARNING! Reading this does NOT make you a professional Xenoarchaeologist or Anomalist. Please leave all artifact digging to trained professionals. That being said let's begin.

    Part 1: Equipment
    Before one can even think of heading down to an asteroid or planet to dig you must first properly prepare. Here is a list of equipment you will need. (Equipment found in the excavation locker is marked with a *)
    • A Excavation Gear Belt*
    • Excavation pick set*
    • A Electric Lantern*
    • Depth Analysis Scanner(DAS)*
    • Core Sampler*
    • Measuring Tape*
    • Hand Pickaxe*
    • Alden-Saraspova counter(ASC)*
    • Fossil Satchel*

      It Should be noted that the above should all go in the gearbelt sans the Fossil Satchel, which can be attached or placed inside of a pocket. The satchel can be compared to a mining or botany satchel but, as the name implies, for fossils.​
    • Two to three backpacks(or any variation thereof. If a dufflebag can be acquired, do so.)
    • full Excavation Voidsuit
    • Spare oxygen tank
    • A Full Mechanical toolbox
    • locator device*
    • Relay Positioning Device*
    • Health analyzer
    • Latex or Nitrile gloves
    • Xenolife Scanner
    • Plant analyzer
    • Gas analyzer
    • Suspension Field Generator (SFG)
    • A anomaly crate
    • Hand drill*
    • A research equipment belt and the standard equipment associated
    Whew! That's a lot of gear. Don't worry we're going to go in depth as to what all of this is for. The actual excavation gear will be explained in a separate part, but the other equipment's use will be explained now. The backpacks(satchels,messenger bags, etc.) is for artifact recovery and carrying the smaller equipment pieces (spare oxygen,tools) that you don't want crowding your main pack.

    "But why a whole toolbox?" you ask. While you could just bring the wrench for the SFG a whole toolbox is recommended. Never know when you need a torch! Gloves are for anomalies. Don't want to activate those on accident. The locator and the Relay are both important for movement. It's easy to get lost if you're on an exoplanet or even an asteroid cluster. The locator will point you to whichever shuttle you used and the relay will tell you your current coordinates. A health analyzer for yourself in case of injuries, xeno-life and plant-life incase you want to bring back samples for xenobiology or xenobotany respectively. Gas analyzer to scan the atmosphere.

    Part 2: Proper Take off Procedure and Equipment Loading
    Now you have all your things together, but there's still the matter of taking off. Before you move you need to establish a few things. Are you taking the GUP or the Charon? Are you going to be joined by Miners or explorers? Will you also be placed in charge of an exploration team? Weigh these questions and think about which shuttle you'll be taking. Depending on your company both options have their fair share of risks. I prefer the GUP myself. Remember to write full flight plans prior to leaving the Torch. Everyone will be happy if you do. Make sure to maximise room when loading equipment. It'll become a tight squeeze with miners. Once everything is loaded and your flight plan completed announce that the GUP is departing and launch for your destination.

    A quick explanation on how the GUP operates. The General Utility Pod (GUP or Guppy) operates much like an airlock. The three options on it's control pad are:​
    • Evacuate Air
    • Equalize with Exterior
    • Seal
    Now the thing that is crucial to understand with the GUP is that it is, in essence, a giant airlock. It doesn't take in or release atmosphere but rather operates on pressure. The main takeaway is this: Evacuate on asteroids. Equalize on planets. If you go to a planet on the GUP make sure to vent the planet's atmosphere in space fully out of the GUP before heading back to the hanger. (OOC: Listen the GUP is fucking annoying when it comes to locations with atmos so honestly if the Charon is going to a volcanic planet, trash planet, desert planet, or the arctic planetoid then bite the bullet and go with them.)
    Part 3: The Dig
    It's finally time for the real meat of your job to begin. You have your gear, you have your planet or asteroid, and you have fiery determination. Let's begin.

    The first thing you should do once you're off your shuttle is pull out your Alden-Saraspova counter(ASC). If all you've picked up is background radiation this away site is unfortunately lacking in surface deposits for you to dig. You'll have to pack up and look elsewhere if that's the case. If you do happen to pick up anything you'll usually pick up two distinct wavelengths. The small anomaly signal will probably be the closest and is always a safe bet for artifacts. Follow either of the two wavelengths until you are within 5 to 10 meters. (OOC: So I didn't know this at the time of writing BUT the first/primary signal you get is the one you want to follow. It'll probably be further away but that's only because the second wavelength is just showing you the closest artifact. The primary signal on the other hand is a guaranteed anomaly AND said anomaly will be often surrounded by artifacts.) Once you are within 5 to 10 meters proceed to scan the rockfaces with your Depth Analysis Scanner(DAS). If it pings you have a dig site. If not you'll have to keep looking. *NOTE Sometimes you'll have to dig through a couple of rockfaces to get to one with an artifact. Always keep your hand-drill ready but be careful about accidently digging into a rockface with an artifact. If you're worried about digging on accident set down your drill until you've scanned all the rockfaces you're thinking about drilling. Remember: CRUNCHING IS BAD.

    At this point you will have scanned and found rockfaces with artifacts. Tape off the area with your research tape so any miners or explorers know it's a dig site, set down your lantern for light (if you aren't already using your mesons or need a break from them) and bring your equipment to the site. You now have a dig site, congratulations! Choose one of the rockfaces with artifacts to begin.

    Now first thing you should do is take a look at your depth analyser. This will show you all the rockfaces you've scanned, they're coordinates, and when you scanned them. If you've been scanning multiple rockfaces and haven't been keeping track of what's been scanned or you've scanned one multiple times it can be hard to keep track of it all. Thankfully you only need the scan of the one you're currently digging so the first thing you should do is press the clear all button. *NOTE due to our equipment being rather old the DAS doesn't refresh on it's own. After pressing a button (in this example the clear all button) you'll need to tap the scanner in your hand to bring up the relevant menu. Now scan the rockface you're intending to dig, tap the coordinates of said rockface (it should be the only option if you've cleared the history) and take a look at the results of the scan. Now you'll see a lot of information, but the only piece you should care about for now is the actual depth. To properly explain this I'll set it up with an example.

    Let's say you've scanned a rockface and it produces the results 30cm - 90cm. What this means is maximum depth before Suspension Field Generator(SFG) is needed to maximum depth before you've gone too far. I can dig up to 30cm before I need to turn on the SFG and if I dig past 90cm I will break the artifact. You see the SFG is needed to ensure artifacts don't fall out of the rockface(as they often like to do). You don't need it active for the whole dig, for that will just waste power, but you do need it active past the 30cm. Theoretically you'll have already set up the SFG by having it face the direction of the rockface, it's legs wrenched into place, and your ID having been swiped through it to unlock the interface. Make sure you're set up in a position that you can use the SFG and dig. You can use the SFG diagonally but you can't dig diagonally. *NOTE The DAS and SFG interfaces can stay up due to your HUD in the excavation suit. The dig will go faster if you leave both up instead of closing the menus.

    Let's go over your digging equipment. All of the gear in your excavation gear belt is pretty self explanatory. Your large hand pick axe digs thirty cm so be aware of that. Your pick set contains smaller picks from 2cm to 12cm and a wire brush. The wire brush is for artifacts encased in rock. Any rocks that look strange to you should be kept and wire brushed. You'll often be digging up artifacts encased in rock. Measuring tape is, well, measuring tape. Use it if you've forgotten how far you've dug. When in doubt pull the tape out. The core sampler is very important. It takes a sample from the rockface so you can tell how old the artifact(s) within is. That'll be elaborated on later but what should be noted is that depending on how fast you are at digging it'll be difficult to keep track of which artifacts came from which rockface. This is why I recommend a labeler. Label the dig site samples and artifacts with your own naming convention. For example the first rockface in a dig site can be dig A. Label the sample from it A and artifacts from it A-001 and A-002, etc. Make sure you have an anomaly crate on hand at all times incase you find an anomaly.

    After your packs are full or you're getting close to your schedule return time begin packing up your equipment and make your way back to the Torch.

    Part 4: Analysis
    You've just dug up some artifacts after a long day of digging, well done! Now we reap the scientific reward of analyzing said artifacts and/or anomalies. Take your packs back to the analysis lab. You can leave your heavy equipment aboard the GUP of course, unless mining requires you to move it. If you have any anomalies take them to the left most cell in the anomaly lab. Always make sure to wear an anomaly suit when interacting with anomalies! Even if you're just scanning them. Take your excavation suit off, refill your oxygen tanks, and place it all in the suit storage unit to be decontaminated and cleaned.

    The first logical step is to begin taking scans of the rock samples acquired during the dig. This is what the Spectrometer is for. The large machine in the analysis lab. Fill the Spectrometer with coolant and set the cooling rate to 2u/s as that avoid potential overheating. The MASER is incredibly important and you'll be needing to match the frequencies as best you can to maximize its efficiency. *NOTE Wear an excavation suit or an anomaly suit before using the Spectrometer. Sometimes it emits radiation and our suits are immune. (OOC: Alright so the amount of coolant you start off with is all the coolant you get. Don't scan every single artifact and rock sample. Rather I suggest that you take a sample per cluster/set of artifact dig spots. Really all it does is give you technobabble to spout in a report and a dating on the rock sample in question to add some flavor. Both things you can make up and bullshit. Which is 90% of the job anyway. Spectrometer is simply a big fluff tool that's purely optional.)

    After scanning the samples and getting more data on your artifacts you are free to examine and understand the story of the areas you are digging. Look closely for friezes as they often tell stories about the kind of people who made the artifacts. After you've gone through them all place them in a crate or package and leave them to be dropped off to observatory. Pat yourself on the back, make a report, and take it easy for the shift. You've earned it.

  2. Przexmen

    Przexmen Bartender

    So yeah, I'm pretty advanced xenoarcheologist, and after seeing this, this is a good guide, but you made some mistakes which I'll try to fix.
    So, if you want to do excavation right, you only need excavation gear belt, pick set, DAS, core sampler, measuring tape, hand pickaxe, Saraspova counter, fossil satchel and a total must, mesons. Mesons let you see throw walls and you see all rocks around you, and because you have a light in your helmet already, you don't need electric lantern, it's a waste of room for artifacts.

    So, you can take as many backpacks as you want, but I recommend taking one empty bag or dufflebag, since you don't usually have time to spend 2 hours on mining artifacts, and one, two sites are usually enough. If you get overload of artifacts, then you just go back to your shuttle, unload your bag and come back to the excavation site. Spare oxygen tank is a must, but full mechanical toolbox is recommended, but not a must, since command can send you tools, and you don't need to break anywhere, it's a job for salvagers, explorers usually. Locator device and Tracking beacon! are highly recommended, never go on any mission without these or RPD. Health analyzer isn't needed, since after getting hurt you'll head back to torch and call medbay, you don't have any medicine aboard GUP, so it's just a waste of room. Latex or Nitrile gloves are a must in analyzing the anomaly, your voidsuit already makes you safe, but I recommend wearing insulated gloves all the time. Xenolife scannet and plant analyzer shouldn't be taken by you, since you're a xenoarcheologist, not an explorer, you excavate, leave this job for others, it's too dangerous for you to study xenofauna. And you can always take some xenoflora samples without need of having plant analyzer. Gas analyzer is recommended by me, you can know, if atmosphere is breathable or not. SFG is a must, since you need something to safely excavate artifacts. Anomaly container is also a must, since you can, rather will encounter one. Hand drill is also a must, and the rest of your equipment may be in your backpack, since putting a lot of gear belts in your backpack makes it harder to get the thing you need.
    So yeah, GUP is one big airlock, and the worst is, that it gets fucked up as charon's is, and even worse. Sometimes equalize with exterior doesn't even work, so if you want to do it a lot faster, you can just open the shuttle and buckle to something or turn on magboots. And yeah, if you want to cycle the air back, you evacuate air, and if you refilled air canister, there is a small valve under the middle passenger seat, that opens the canister with air and spreads the air a lot faster. Asking engineers for help won't help, since GUP is too small for modifications, and any modification without command's and engineering's permission will end really badly. One tip, don't, ever, claim the entire GUP for only yourself, if there is an prospector, ask them, if they want to go with you. There is enough room for your SFG and anomaly container and for their drill. And yeah, if you're and Ensign, you're an officer and if they don't listen to you on the mission, you can report them to command for their insubordination. And yeah, GUP is capable of going on long range missions, just make sure to fill your CO2 canister to 15000kPa and take a spare one.

    So, if it comes to the excavation, if ther is background radiation, there may be still a place with monoliths and some other stuff, so don't loose your hope of finding anomalies. Also if it comes to the saraspova counter, the first one is anomaly wave, and anomaly's name. You should focus on this wave, since anomalies are surrounded with artifacts. One small tip, from one rock you can have multiple artifacts just on other depths, so mine throw the rock if your depth analyzer isn't pinging. The same may be with anomalies, they may be in the same rock with for example two artifacts, if you'll excavate these artifacts and your depth analyzer will show you, that next artifacts is on depth 0 and other stuff that don't make any sense, then it's an anomaly, you shall use your 30 cm pickaxe and prepare an anomaly container nearby, to instantly put the anomaly in anomaly container.
    If it comes to that, that is the worst part. If your artifacts has 21cm and it's depth is 210, you must mine for 209. You should call it bare minimum, the depth that can't be crossed. If you mine to the bare minimum, you should turn on SFG and brush the rock with your wire brush before the artifacts jumps out. If instead of artifact there is strange rock, don't panic, if you brush the strange rock with your wire brush, you'll get the artifact. Just remember, that you can't dig past the bare minimum, because the artifact may break.

    So the analyzing part might be the most boring one, but you don't have to only analyze your artifacts, you may also analyze the anomaly, if there is no anomalist, you can analyze it with anomalist too, but it's the same case as with medical and chemist. Doctors can do the chemistry if there is no chemist or do it if there is a chemist too, since they can have the training for that. So that's true if it comes to the coolant. You can always order one from supply, if you require more of it. And if you're good enough, you can safe some coolant by jumping from 2 u/s flow to 1 u/s flow and back on 2 u/s if it's too hot. Having excavation voidsuit or anomaly suit is a must when working with the spectometer, since it will produce a lot of radiation (not in reality, but in game it'll make you bald and worse). The final part is the part of making reports to CSO or command. It's a paperwork stuff, and there is no paperwork example for artifacts, so you must create your own. If you're studying the anomaly, there is an report example. If it comes to analyzing anomalies, you can do it, and if you want to know how, you should use the wikipedia page about anomalies, since analyzing anomalies is easy. I hope that I helped with fixing some stuff, if something is not clear, call me.
    thebest_player757 likes this.