One of R&D's main ways to harvest research points, and the leading cause of headaches in captains of non-coordinated stations. Anomalous Research is a subdepartment of R&D focused around the containment and manipulation of various unique anomalies.
Anomalies are created by the Anomaly Generator, located in the R&D department. They can also be generated by random events. The properties of each anomaly vary wildly, but they all share a set of similar characteristics.
- they cannot be moved by conventional means (pushing/pulling)
- they cannot be interacted with in any meaningful way without the use of anomalous particle acceleration technology
- they all have passive effects on their surroundings
- they all perform "pulses", periodic bursts of energy with varying effects based on the type of anomaly
- they all undergo dangerous "critical events" when their severity stat hits 100%
- they can all be "harvested" by an anomaly vessel for the passive generation of research points
- they all pose varying degrees of hazard to the station and the crew
All anomalies have three similar stats - Severity, Stability, and Health.
- Severity affects the magnitude of an anomaly's passive and pulse effects, and causes a critical event when it reaches 100%. It also affects the anomaly's point output, if it has been assigned to a vessel.
- Stability dictates whether or not the Severity stat increases each time a pulse occurs, along with the time period between pulses. Lower stability = less time between pulses.
- Health is a hidden stat not available to the player, and decreases when "containment" particles are used on an anomaly. Once an anomaly reaches 0 health, it simply disappears.
|Pyroclastic||Bright pink and extremely hot. Constantly heats up the surroundings and periodically sets its surroundings aflame.||Explodes into a huge gout of burning plasma.|
|Electric||A small mote of light. Constantly emits light and periodically shocks everything nearby.||Emits an electromagnetic storm that zaps everyone nearby and destroys electrical systems.|
|Gravitational||A dark orb. Constantly pulls nearby light/medium objects toward itself and periodically pushes them away violently, tearing up floors and doors in the process.||Causes a very large explosion.|
|Flesh||A pulsating sphere of meat. Constantly converts nearby tiles to flesh and periodically spawns hostile flesh monsters.||The anomaly evolves into "flesh kudzu", a mass of meaty vines that spread anywhere they can, looking for prey.|
|Bluespace||A collection of glowing blue rings. Constantly acts as a one-way portal to a random nearby location and periodically changes its position on the station. Can teleport people and objects into walls, in which case they will be slowly crushed to death.||Teleports all nearby organisms to a random point in local space.|
|Ice||Constantly lowers the ambient temperature and periodically shoots ice crystals, favoring living creatures as targets.||Dissolves into a cloud of frezon gas.|
In the event that an anomaly is in an inopportune location, or is simply too dangerous to be left aboard the station, it needs to be contained. Containment is simply a term for the controlled elimination of an anomaly, and does not connotate any major damage to the surroundings.
The main way in which science manipulates anomalies is the Anomalous Particle Accelerator, or APE for short. Several of these can be located in the station's anomalous research lab. The APE can shoot three different types of particles - Delta, Epsilon, and Zeta - at an anomaly to affect one of its stats. Simply right click an anchored APE to select the particle type. The stat which each particle type affects is random between anomalies, so you'll need an Anomaly Scanner to figure out the pairs.
Once an anomaly is scanned, the scanner UI should show the three types of particles, and which effect they correspond to.
- Danger particles will cause an anomaly's severity stat to rise. Use this type to increase the anomaly's point output at the cost of personal safety.
- Unstable particles will cause an anomaly's stability to drop. This type should almost never be used by good-intentioned scientists.
- Containment particles will cause an anomaly's stability to rise, at the cost of anomaly health. Use this type if you want to eliminate the anomaly.
An alternate method of using anomalous particle technology is the CHIMP (doesn't stand for anything lmao), a handheld version of the APE which requires special particle cartridges to operate instead of electricity. Each cartridge type can be printed at a protolathe for 50 units of plastic a piece, and each one has double the strength of an APE particle. These are best used when an anomaly spawns in a place that an APE can't quite reach, like the gas miners in atmos (a scenario which is stupidly common). They can also be used for self defense in a pinch, though they deal pitiful damage with their regular ammunition.
NOTE: Syndicate scientists can order special "Omega" particle cartridges for the CHIMP. These cartridges do 4 times the damage of a regular CHIMP particle, dealing 20 burn damage per shot. They also add a good amount of severity to an anomaly per shot.
If an anomaly is deemed safe enough to keep around, the next step is to harvest it for research points. An anomaly scanner with an active scan of a still-existing anomaly can be assigned to an Anomaly Vessel, located in the anomalous research lab. These machines will supply the research server with a constant stream of research points, proportional to the severity of the connected anomaly. They can also be upgraded to increase point output.
If an anomaly is becoming too unstable or begins to fizzle out, the vessel will make different sounds and change color to notify the science team. A vessel connected to an anomaly when it goes critical will explode violently, destroying most things nearby but rarely causing a hull breach (spacing).