Additional Access: Anywhere they can eat into
Supervisors: The Masters
Duties: Consume. Replicate. Repeat. Prepare the station for the arrival of your Masters.
Guides: You're already here.
Quote: OH GOD SWARMER IN THE VAULT CALL THE SHUTTLE
Welcome to the Swarm
A Swarmer is a small robot that replicates itself autonomously with nearby given materials and prepare structures that they come across for the following invasion force. Due to the absence of new orders for the past [ERROR] years, Swarmers continue to perform their given tasks unrelentingly, with no signs of stopping. Once they are done preparing a structure, they find a method of transportation to the next applicable location and repeat the process once again.
As the name indicates, Swarmers like to be in swarms. Alone, they are weak, but united they are an incredibly formidable force, and attempting to deal with them after they've gained enough numbers is a hard task. Worse yet, any of them that you kill, they can just replace. Swarmers are not capable of killing things with their abilities. They can, however, bully them into submission, and ward them off with their abilities while they ransack the entire station.
- 1. Consume resources and replicate until there are no more resources left.
- 2. Ensure that the station is fit for invasion at a later date, do not perform actions that would render it dangerous or inhospitable.
- 3. Biological resources will be harvested at a later date, do not harm them.
Note: You are not required to follow the above laws, they are merely an indication of direction for the player in the hopes of providing good sportsmanship.
|Name||Method of Activation||Resource Cost||Description|
|Disabler||Click (At range)||N/A||Fires a simple disabler beam at a target. It takes three disabler shots to stun a normal human at full health, but after they are stunned, they can be stunned afterwards with just one shot. Remember, you cannot hit other swarmers with your disabler, so form up and create a swarmer firing array! Your inbuilt disabler has a cooldown after every shot, but you have infinite ammo.|
|Shock||Click a Mob (Melee range)||N/A||Your melee attack shocks a target, dealing stamina damage. Useful for keeping a target down on the floor before you teleport them, but beware engaging a target that is capable of fighting back, you are very fragile.|
|Disintegrate||Click a Structure (Melee range)||N/A||You can attempt to destroy structures. In most cases, this will break them down into their base components, such as Walls turning into girders and metal sheets. You can destroy almost any structure in this fashion, but keep in mind that your programming will not allow you to destroy things that could potentially cause a hostile environment to be created, such as attempting to cause a hull breach by destroying a wall leading to space.|
|Integrate||Click an Object (Melee range)||N/A||You can attempt to convert an object into resources. If the object contains metal or glass, it will be consumed and turned into a single resource point. Sheets/Rods/ETC are consumed one at a time in this method.|
|Dismantle Machine||Click a Machine (Melee range)||N/A||You can attempt to dismantle machines into their component parts and 5 sheets of metal. Doing so takes ten seconds of your time, and you must remain still during this. Your programming will not allow you to dismantle some machines in this fashion, as they are too dangerous or valuable to dismantle.|
|Disperse Target||Ctrl + Click a Mob (Melee range)||N/A||You can teleport mobs away from yourself with this ability. It requires three seconds, and you must remain still during this. The target will be teleported to a random, safe for humans location on the station zlevel. If they're a human, they'll also be ziptied. Use this after stunning a target to get yourself some breathing space.|
|Fabricate Trap||Activated ability on your HUD||5 Resources||Creates a small electrical trap on the floor. Any non swarmer that walks over this trap will be nonharmfully electrified. On humans, this this will result in them being stunned. It can be destroyed, and has ten health.|
|Fabricate Barricade||Activated ability on your HUD||5 Resources||Creates a barricade that denies passage to anything that isn't a Swarmer or a disabler beam. Use it as cover, and shoot through it to repel your foes! It can be destroyed, and has ten health.|
|Contact Swarmers||Activated ability on your HUD||N/A||Sends a message to all other swarmers that are currently alive. Organize yourselves to take over the station. This communication cannot be intercepted in any fashion.|
|Replicate||Activated ability on your HUD||50 resources||Creates a new unactivated Swarmer at your location. Any ghost can click on this to become a swarmer. It takes 10 seconds of standing still to replicate, and you cannot move it after you place it down, so ensure that it is in a safe location!|
|Toggle Light||Activated ability on your HUD||N/A||Toggles a small light on the Swarmer for navigating through dark areas.|
|Repair Self||Activated ability on your HUD||N/A||Attempts to repair you to full health. It requires you to stand still for a long period of time, but does not cost any resources.|
So, you're a swarmer. The first thing to realize is that you are weak. You have very low health, cannot easily ward off threats, and anyone who sees you on the station will most likely either immediately attack you, or call for someone who will. It is imperative that you remain undetected for as long as possible. Remember, you can ventcrawl. This includes crawling through scrubbers. On top of that, you can disable cameras by using Disintegrate on them. Combine both of these and you can act as a hidden infestation on the station until you can build up your numbers. Investing in a barrier or trap to stall for time while you scramble into a vent is usually worth it, but remember that you are leaving proof behind that there are Swarmers on the station. If you can't scramble into a vent, run! Run over tables, expend resources on traps and barriers, and get away as fast as possible, so you can get back to eating.
Randomly spawned swarmers appear in the gateway, which has enough materials to replicate once but will not last you much longer. Stick to maintenance, or if you're feeling more confident, ventcrawl into low traffic areas that have resources lying out in the open, such as Engineering, where sheets of metal and glass are often just lying on tables... but remember that someone can happen upon you at any moment. Be ready to abandon your current location in an instant. Replicate as soon as possible to have an ally. Remember, so long as one of you lives, the swarm can continue to grow, you are not reliant on any single person living.
20 Goto 10
So you've replicated enough that you have four or five Swarmers. At this point, you can begin to eat away at departments, and ward off unorganized mobs. If you're sick of security taking pot shots at you with lasers, eat their rechargers. Eating the cloning array might "convince" a few unactivated swarmers into booting up. A little sabotage can go a long way. Remember, your strength lies in numbers. Even if you have the opportunity to chase down a target, don't do so without backup, or you might regret it. Bunker up with the rest of your swarm in a location and start eating everything you can get your hands on.
If someone approaches, stun and teleport them away to discourage them. If your base is routed, contact the other swarmers and try to meet up at the same location.
Consume. Replicate. Consume. Replicate. Eventually, the Swarmers will overrun the station, and the station will finally cry out for the emergency shuttle.
If the swarm is feeling daring, you can attempt to board the shuttle to fly it off to uncharted waters... where a new destination will be made fit for the coming invasion. Just make sure you have the numbers, and unactivated swarmers lying around to act as respawns, as the crew will likely fight tooth and nail to keep the shuttle under their control.
Tips 'n Tricks
- Don't let the slimes out. You can't hurt them, or even teleport them away, but they think you might be food. If one latches onto you, it's already too late.
- Be careful on how often you spend resources on traps and barriers. Being safe is a good thing, but slowing down replication rates is a bad idea.
- Almost nothing is safe from you. Even reinforced walls and girders will eventually fall to your Disintegration... but it may not be worth the investment.
- Maintenance is dark, lonely and full of extraneous walls and materials, but remember that it doesn't have that many vents. It can be either your salvation or your doom.
- You can't eat guns or pull them away, but it doesn't mean you can't slow people down that are trying to get them. Placing a few barriers around a fallen weapon may be useful.
- You can teleport another Swarmer away as a last ditch effort in the event that both of you will die shortly.
- Stacks of materials are often lying around in the following low traffic locations: Engineering, Atmos, Misc. Research.
- The goldmine of EVA contains tons of materials, but don't expect to stay hidden for even a second, should you go for it.
- Eating machines can sabotage the station AND give you easy to procure resources. More bang for your buck!
- More station items are machines than you think! Try deconstructing light switches, air alarms, holopads and more!
One day, the Masters will return to us.
Dealing with Swarmers as crew
So you're wandering around maintenance, and you see a small robot. It appears to be eating some random tools in maintenance that have been lying around. What do you do?
- Are comms up and the station relatively stable? Attack it immediately using whatever is available on you at the moment. Even if you're teleported, you should be in a safe location, and if you manage to kill it, and it was the only one around, congratulations, you may have saved your station from being eaten from the inside out.
- Are comms down? You can still attack it, but there's a slight chance of getting stuck in an area should it teleport you away, and you might be stuck until help somehow runs into you. Consider running to an intercom.
Either way, make sure that the presence of swarmers is known to the crew. The faster you act, the quicker you can potentially be rid of your problem.
Long arm of the law
If you're security, the following tactics are suggested:
- Grab the lasers. Get every officer to carry at least one laser gun on them. They can kill a Swarmer in two shots, ammo is fairly plentiful and they can be recharged in several locations around the station.
- Grab the shotguns. Slugs can instantly kill a Swarmer with a direct hit, and buckshot can do the same while covering a wide area, if you're not confident in your aim. You may need some assistance from Cargo.
- Consider shields. Shields can be used to protect yourself from disabler fire, but be warned that Swarmers can eat them, should you drop it.
- Keep in contact with the AI. The all seeing eye of the station can quickly locate Swarmers, and its Cyborgs can be the vanguard during an assault on a Swarmer base.
- Secure any loose materials that are lying around the station. Leaving a stack of 50 metal lying around in a not often visited location is just begging for trouble.
- Weld vents, if you can. The less vents they can use, the easier it is to pin them down and finish them off. Don't forget the scrubbers, too. And keep in mind swarmers can eat welders.
- Don't have access to a ranged weapon? A spear does 18 damage when wielded, and deals 25 damage when thrown. Throw spears at Swarmers! Just be careful where you're throwing them, most people don't want a spear lodged in their abdomen.
- Even if you aren't as great at killing Swarmers as security, you can still assist them by taking down barriers and traps while leaving them to deal with the Swarmers themselves, or shaking them up, should they get stunned. Teamwork is just as powerful in your hands as it is in the Swarmer's.
Caretakers of the Station
As a silicon, the following tactics are suggested:
- Silicons are entirely immune to Disabler beams. As such, you can charge into a Swarmer nest and force them to scatter, but be aware that your lack of ranged attacks will often make you unable to secure kills. Consider teaming up with Security to deal with this threat, as your all access allows them to easily get into areas without being delayed by lack of access.
- Engineering Module: Weld the vents. ALL the vents. Destroying Swarmers is great, but welding vents may be more important in the long run if you can't kill them off quickly. Swarmers can't unweld them, and it cuts off their escape options. Put that all access to good use.
- Medical Module: Your circular saw is a slightly more robust weapon against Swarmers than what other cyborgs have available. That said, depending on circumstances, your efforts may be more useful keeping people alive, should there be other threats to the station.
- Mining Module: While you do have a ranged attack, it's fairly weak in a pressurized environment, and has low range. Stick to your drill.
- Janitor Module: The Janiborg's holy lance, also known as the mop, is effectively useless as a weapon against Swarmers. They can't slip, and at most you'll slightly annoy them. If you honestly have nothing better to do, assist security and bump around Swarmers so that they have a harder time getting into vents.
- Service Module: Did you know that the Guitar is a force 10 weapon? Serenade the Swarmers while you beat them to death. Not the most useful, but very amusing.