I mentioned to someone about having written a factory merits guide on another TT site long ago and they asked me to post it here. As I am writing this and updating it, it will be a bit unstructured at first, please be patient.
I've maxed the SellBot suit on three toons, with the third toon benefiting from the knowledge gained by maxing the other two. Through reading, experience, observation and word of mouth, I learned the best routes for getting merits in the factory. This information can be used either to do group runs or solo runs.
First, let's look at the possible merits throughout the factory. The merits listed here are NON invasion merits. Obviously if you want to know the invasion values, just double it and there you go.
As you can see, some sets of cogs offer more merits than the others. The goal for anyone wanting to max their sell suit is to get it done ASAHP. So the strategy is to follow, when possible, is to get the high merits and not go out of your way to get the low merits.
28 Front lobby (front elevator)
36 Gear room
32 Boiler room
28 Pipe room first set
28 Pipe room second set
28 Duct room (side elevator)
32 Oil room
40 West Silo
40 East Silo
56 Center Silo
388 total merits (without invasion)
Someone taught me that by going in the side elevator and making a bee line for the silos, you can do exactly that. In roughly 10 minutes, you can go from starting the factory to dancing and have 260 merits (or 520 if there's an invasion). If you do a full factory run though, you get an extra 124 (248 with invasion) but that can take you at least another five minutes (that's if you're lucky to get it done that fast).
So here's the route to follow (also known as a short factory, old school):
- Side elevator which takes you to duct room for 28 merits.
- Go to pipe room and get both sets of cogs there for another 56 merits (28 each set).
- Next go straight to the warehouse for 40 merits and then to the silos (west, east, center) for 40, 40, 56 merits.
- That's 260 merits right there (again, 520 with invasion). If you happen to need only a few more merits (either 32 without invasion or 64 with invasion), then after you finish the pipe room cogs, you can go to the boiler room before going to the warehouse. It's a very minor detour for the merits. If you do this then you'll get 292 merits (or 584 with invasion).
This is most useful when doing the runs to get 5500 merits. Assuming you finish during an invasion, you could get all your merits in only 10 factory runs in under 2 hours (assuming time to regag and such).
Without glitches and if you are present for all cogs in each battle, the very minimum number of merits you will get is 232 (non invasion). There is no way to get less than that without glitching or being left out of a battle or a cog being destroyed before you join a battle.
Also, the warehouse and silos consist of 176 merits combined. When compared to a full factory run (388 merits), that's almost half the merits right there. That's 176 merits for 14 cogs (12.57 per cog) compared to 388 merits for 35 cogs (11.09 per cog). Keeping that in mind, the best thing to do is to always try to get to the warehouse and silos quickly. Everything else is a waste of time if you have to go out of your way to get to it. This is the main reason that full factory runs are less productive than short runs. When you spend time going out of your way to get to the sets of cogs offering the lowest set of merits, you are actually wasting time that you could be using to get more merits. Even if you do a full factory in exactly 15 minutes, which in itself requires no extra delays between or during battles, you only earn 25.6 merits per minute. By doing a short run, which is easy to do in 10 minutes without the pressure of being as fast as possible, you earn 26 merits per minute.
Some people try to say that doing a long run is still better than doing short runs because they get their merits faster. Let's be real, there's no way to do a full factory run in less time than it takes to do a short factory run. It will always take longer to do a full -vs- a short. Even if a short run takes 15 minutes to complete with a long taking 20 minutes, you're still earning more merits per minute doing a short run.
All that said (and yes, I am trying to sell the idea because so many people are reluctant to believe it even though it's true), here are a few routes to consider based on your needs:
232 (464) - Side, one set in pipe room, warehouse, silos.
260 (520) - Side, both sets in pipe room, warehouse, silos.
292 (584) - Side, both sets in pipe room, boiler room, warehouse, silos.
Values are merits without and (with) invasions.
With a group of four players who each have all gag tracks (not counting trap and drop), it's possible to do the factory at least four times without having to get more gags between each run (assuming sound is used). Here's how:
Level 6 gags: 3 of each (heal, lure, sound, throw, squirt - 15 total)
Level 5 gags: 7 of each (heal, sound, throw, squirt - 28 total)
Level 4 gags: 15 of each (lure, sound - 30 total)
Level 3 gags: 7 bugles
Total gags required: 80. You should actually not need to use all of the gags, but it should keep you covered for up to four runs).
For each run, you'll have one player who lures each time and the three others should sound each time. Then on the next run, someone else takes on the job of lure while the others sound.
Sets with cog levels up to 6: Three players use aoogah.
Sets with cog levels up to 7: One player fogs, other two use bugle.
Foreman: One player fogs, other two use trunk.
If all gags hit, then your group should have used only 28 gags total (7 cog battles x 4 players = 28) consisting of 7 lure, 12 aoogah, 4 bugle, 2 trunk and 3 fog. (One player down 7 lure, one player down 4 aoogah/3 fog, the other two players down 4 aoogah, 2 bugles and 1 trunk each.)
This should allow you to do four short runs without needing to go back for gags at all. At the end, each player should have 11 lure left (magnets and lure combined), 3 bugle, 3 aoogah and 5 trunk. This isn't counting the stash of throw and squirt gags.
With the remaining gags, at least 3 more runs should be possible. With the remaining sound, one aoogah and two bugle can take out sets where the strongest cog is a level 5.
If played smart, it's quite possible to make at least 7 or 8 short factory runs before ever having to go back to the gag shop. If you have a taxi near the side elevator, then you can save even more time (even though you could just use groups and the dreaded 'go' button, it'll still save you from having to run back to the factory area).
Soloing the factory using the short runs listed above
I recommend reading this Factory Solo Guide first. It's for using the front elevator, but has some good information in it.
Soloing the factory is quite easy and only requires three tracks: Lure, Throw and Squirt. If you have sound with fog that can do at least 42 damage, that's good too.
For lure, it's best if you have goggles, even if they're new. With throw and squirt, you need cake and storm, even if they're not maxed. Also, the cake or storm has to do 73+ worth of damage. Obviously, if you have these three gag tracks and they're maxed, this won't be an issue.
Lure: 10+ Magnet, 3 goggles (if you have them)
Throw: 5+ Fruit pie, 7 cream pie, 3 cake
Squirt: 5+ Seltzer bottles, 7 hose, 3 storm
Sound: 3 fog (optional and only if it can do 42+ damage)
Here are some quick pointers to remember:
1. When you lure a group of cogs, the first cog on the far right will always jump back and therefore get 1.5x damage done to him.
2. The last cog standing (when choosing gags), if lured, will get 1.5x damage.
3. If you are looking for gag points, then the strongest gag level you can use AND get points for using is the same as the strongest cog level. It doesn't matter which cog you attack. So if you have a level 5 cog, then you can use a level 5 gag and get points for it even if you attack a level 3 cog.
4. It's only a game.
(I'll be updating this as needed, so please forgive the 'rough draft' feel of it)
Duct room (level 3, 4 and 5):
- Depending on the order of the cogs:
a. If the level 3 is on the far right, fruit pie him, then hose the level 4 and level 5 in that order.
b. Otherwise, kill the cog on the far right, then the level 3, then the last cog, using these gags: Levels 3 and 4, fruit pie. Level 5, hose.
Pipe room (both sets):
- Depending on the order of the cogs:
a. If level 5 is on right, then going right to left, hose, hose, fruit pie.
b. Level 4 on right, fruit pie him, then hose the other level 4 and then the level 5.
Alternatively, after you lure the cogs, you could use fog to kill all three at once.
Make sure to tag the level 6 cog so he will be on the far right.
At this point you will need to restock your gags. Go to the paint mixer room and restock your throw and squirt. While there, get yourself 35 beans to spend.
If you plan to use sound:
- Lure with magnet.
- Cream pie far right.
If you don't plan to use sound:
- Lure with goggles.
- Cream pie far right.
- Hose both level 4's (if you run out of hose, use cream pie)
- Cream pie the level 5.
West and East Silos (in that order):
Make sure to tag a level 6. This is VERY important!
- Cream pie far right.
- Storm (or cake) level 7.
- Cream pie remaining cog.
- Go inside room, step on button.
- Lure (use goggles if you can)
- a. If you managed to get level 9 on far right, cake or storm him. Then cake/storm the next two cogs and cream pie the final cog.
b. If a level 6 is on the right, cream pie him, then cake/storm the other two level 6 and then cake/storm the level 9.
I've added a couple of images that show the map of the factory. I don't know who made the original map (kudos to them for their efforts). The second image is the same except I've overlayed it with a list of the merits per cog set (non invasion and invasion values) as well as what gag barrels are available.
Thanks Snorkelwhip for correcting the topic title.
Change log (Eastern times listed):
2011/03/17 @ 15:03 Added maps and multiple factory/no gag shop runs.
2011/03/18 @ 11:19 Added solo guide.