RimWorld Mastering The Game Guide

by BLACK_FR

My interest in game is a challenge. From the beginning I started to play on maximum difficulty that I could manage (https://ludeon.com/forums/index.php?topic=41992) and very soon even hardest difficulty wasn’t enough (https://ludeon.com/forums/index.php?topic=45664). I think that current balance is making game too easy for skillfull players but as final version 1.0 was released there is no point to whine about it.
So this guide is designed to improve skill for any player on any difficulty. Because all of this techniques were known to Tynan before release (https://ludeon.com/forums/index.php?topic=45723) it means that there are no exploits here, all mechanics were tested and are working as intended.

For myself I will start new run with all sane artificial difficulties that I could think of to make my game more challenging and fun at the same time. I hope that someone could implement balance changes that will make game actually challgenig for good players (there is my request for that person in mod section – https://ludeon.com/forums/index.php?topic=45867), but there are no replies to that yet. There are few mods in that direction that you can use (see below).

For now if you are interested in this type of game, here is list my list of artificial restrictions:
– I use Realistic Degradation and Quality Values mod for balance purposes (in this mod hp of weapons and apparel affect it’s stats)
– I use EdB PrepareCarefully mod to create starting pawn. I create pawn with only backgroung “Abductee”, with no traits, zero skills and no interests
– I forbid myself to get any other new colonists
– I start on custom merciless Naked Brutality start with Tribe Faction. No save/loading of course
– I start on flat temperate forest with 20-days growing period and average temperature about 0°С. Game considers it “permanent winter” but it’s not really is
– I forbid myself to move to better biomes
– I disable all events that I consider “good” or “neutral” (neutral events make bad events appear less often) except for traders. I disable resource pod crash, psychic soothe, self-tame, ambrosia sprout, farm animal wander in, wanderer join, transport pod crash, chased refugee, thrumbos pass, meteorite impact, herd migration, wild man wanders in, ship chunk drop, visitor grougp, traveler group, man in black, aurora, trade request, bandit camp request, incapacitated refugee quest, prisoner rescue quest, peace talks, escape ship quest
– I restrict myself from certain actions that I wouldn’t do in real life in same situations (like organ harvesting or releasing naked prisoner into freezing temperature)
– I consider current wealth mechanic regarding buildings and items as broken (even if Tynan don’t think so) and don’t reduce health of buildings OR items to prevent wealth generation (more of that below). I play as if it affects their utility
– My goal is to launch ship with my starting colonist

If you can think of other ways to make game more challenging without making it less interesting – tell me. I understand that I can make it more challenging by tinkering with stats like research speed, learning speed or market value of all items. But I don’t think that it makes game more interesting.

All relevant mechanics could be divided into several topics. They are written for merciless naked brutality with one pawn only, you can ajust it if your conditions are better.
Wealth and threats
Main mechanic of the game. You can check your wealth on history-statistics tabs. For threat strength it uses those numbers with number of building wealth divided by two (I will call it raid wealth). It counts all items with value on the maps, all structures (except unclaimed walls) and all floors (ancient ruins floors give you starting building wealth that you see on this tab).
When you are below 14k raid wealth you always have lowest threat possible, from 14k to 400k you add about 15 raid points for 1k wealth (you can check exact formula in this discussion https://ludeon.com/forums/index.php?topic=43894, this number is for merciless difficulty with no deaths and injuries, it is lower otherwise), one raider is “cost” 30-60 points.
So you can ignore wealth until you hit 14k raid wealth threshold and then start to manage it.
1. Get health of all items and buildings low. All items efficiency is not dependent on their health (icluding weapons and armor). So you should let items deteriorate before putting them in the storage. That way you remove almost all wealth from them. Same goes for buildings. You should melee attack them a little (not too much because of zzzt events). It works especially good with art, you can get sculptures basically for free and always have +15 mood buff in the room for beauty, buff for impressive room and VERY fast recreation source.
You can play easily using only this method alone.
2. Get rid of all unneeded stuff. You should save only those items that you are using or that are needed in case of emergency. Best way to do it is to sell it (you always need money) if it isworth something or let it deteriorate into oblivion if it doesn’t. Always destroy unused weapons, 20% sell multiplier makes them unsuitable for selling. You can uninstall all the flooring on the map and use it to make art (which you can sell or damage and leave for yourself).
3. Don’t have too much silver. You can always invest it into medicine, neutroamine, components or improve relations. If you invest in items don’t forget about first advice.
4. In the late game you can use dead-man armor. Mood is not an issue then and 10% wealth multiplier is pretty good.
5. Be very picky about new pawns. They give big leap in wealth (more wealth – bigger leap).

Raids/threats
1. Design your base so that you can be completely indoors if needed (including acces to food storage and bedrooms). Stay indoors when manhunter pack comes in. It’s easiest way to deal with it.
2. For starting raids you need just a few steel traps. Open one door when raid starts, put trap near it and wait while raider will come unto it and die. If he is incapacitated strip him (to sell apparel later), finish him and haul him to dumping zone. Close the door, make new trap and you are good. When you need to move your traps, don’t reinstall them, use unistall-install to avoid 0.4% chance to die on it yourself.
3. When your raids will become bigger make outer wall with doors every 15-20 spaces with “trap entrance” which is corridor filled with traps.
4. For later game you can make some turrets to help the defense. They are especially needed if raiders avoid trap defense. Make sure that you make walls between them to avoid chain reaction if one of them explodes and put sandbags before them to make some cover. Also remove all possible cover for enemies.
5. Have some animals for fighting purposes, they will be needed for drop pods raids.
6. If you have access to belt shield you can use 1 of your pawns as running bait while other pawns shoot baited target.
7. Train your shooting. For that go hunting regularly.
8. Train your melee. For that you can go melee hunting for animals that usually leave only bruisers (like bucks or alpacas).
9. Use ally help using comm console for hard raids. That way you are basically trade silver for temporary firepower which is good deal with hard raids.
10. Have at least one long-range weapon like bolt rifle or sniper rifle. You will need them in sieges and versus mechanoids (you should kite mechanoids to you trap entrance).
11. At bare minimum make vests and advanced helmets for pawns protection.
12. It’s good idea to research and have at hand go-juice for hard raids. Risk of addiction is worth it.

Disease prevention
It’s most dangerous threat in early game. So you should start the game with that in mind.
1. Gather all healroot near the base (~25 is enough). Create and delete stockpiles to take gathered medicine with you.
2. Buy some normal medicine asap.
3. Capture prisoner and start training your medical skill performing surgeries on him (install and remove denture or peg leg). If you have 0 skill at the beginning just beat your prisoner by hands and then tend to him to get minimum necessary skill for surgeries. Get your 4k xp every day, train skill to 11-12 than release your test subject.
4. Research normal beds as your first research project.
5. Research drug table and penoxycyline next. After that you should  be under penoxycyline all the time.
6. Make some pemmican so you are not worried about cooking food when disease hits.
7. If you got plague or malaria or sleeping sickness before you got penoxycyline follow this protocol: you should be all the time in the bed, getting up only for eating (if you are ravenously hungry it slows immunity gain) and treating yourself. For treatments use best medicine first (while you have best manipulation). See how good you treatment was and decide if you want to make new treatment 3 hours early or not. Be aware about stages of disease, don’t be incapacitated out of bed.

Food, rest and mood management
1. Always watch for your pawns mood. They should never be in risk of break, combined with orther threats that can be deadly.
2. Deal with all basic needs to remove mood debuffs. Keep you recreation at maximum. If your pawn go to threshold of mental break send him to work in the room to get him some comfort and beauty bonuses.
3. Make some psychite tea for emergency mood buff.
4. Make some art (see wealth management section) to have +15 mood from beauty, mood buff from room statand source for very fast recreation.
5. If you have cooking skill make fine meals (you have to go hunting anyway).
6. You can “trade” mood for extra food. Just forbid all the food and eat when you have ~1% of  hunger bar. That way you can save up to 40% of food by the cost of temporary mood debuff. It’s relevant in the early game, but too micro-management intensive for mid-late game.
7. You can “trade” mood for extra working time. Just set schedule for work only and go to bed when you have ~1% of rest bar. That way you work up to 40% more by the cost of temporary mood debuff. It’s relevant in the early game, but too micro-management intensive for mid-late game.
8. You can draft/undraft pawns to change there chosed mood recreation method to choose best one without tolerances (or reset any other activity you want).

Other tips:
– If you play with transport pods enabled than you should strip falling survivors, their apparel is quite valuable
– If you acquired greandes you can destroy all unneeded stuff with them. Works well for corpses after raids, you don’t ever need smelter or crematorium
– You can also get rid of them by creating caravan, dumping all trash when it moves and immediately going back (works well if you have cargo animals)
– You can also use grenades to damage your artifacts that can’t deteriorate to reduce their wealth contribution
– You should give your colonists hats with social buff to increase their relationship
– If you are in a dire situation with food (for example you run out of it during toxic fallout) you can wait it in caravan. Just create it to nearby location and then immediately stop for better food foraging

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