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There's someone in my town who is REALLY in love with the search tower. This is my second town with him and he always wants to build it ASAP and then upgrade it every chance he gets. I understand that getting resources is important, but is it really effective early on to pump up the search tower at the expense of other things (like the watchtower)? Do other experienced players go for the search tower right away like this?

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I've already complained against him. I didn't want to, but he kept flooding my nice organized threads with drivel. >:( –  GnomeSlice Dec 15 '10 at 21:35
    
I also don't really think the watchtower needs to be upgraded past level 1. As long as you have a basic idea of what's to come, you can plan your defence accordingly. –  GnomeSlice Dec 15 '10 at 21:41
    
@Gnome Upgrading the watchtower is important for people who go exploring, so obvioulsy it doesn't apply to you. ;-) But with the upgraded map, you can see the exact number of zombies in every square, which prevents anyone getting stuck, and the free trip home saves almost as many AP per day as a fully upgraded workshop. –  bwarner Dec 16 '10 at 13:46
    
> I suppose I'd forgotten that it lets you see where all the zombies are on the map as well... –  GnomeSlice Dec 16 '10 at 15:41
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2 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

The higher desert zone regeneration is, the more items you can find closer in the desert. You can travel in smaller groups, make more trips and have more items.

This is especially important when you consider that the single best defensive project in the game is Defensive Focus, which greatly increments the defensive value of each defensive objects -- sparing AP for more ambitious projects. The more objects, the merrier!

Today, day 14 in Itching plantation of shadows, we're getting Defensive Focus 4, for 106 additional defense -- essentially for free. We wouldn't have gotten so many defensive items without a search tower, however.

Indeed, our search tower is level 5. At first I didn't agree with this, but now I can see the benefits.

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Which days did you vote to upgrade the search tower? I know you guys have a fully upgraded watchtower also, which one got upgraded first? –  bwarner Dec 15 '10 at 14:24
    
@bwarner No, we have the watchtower at level 2. I don't remember the specific days -- it happened in days 6-10 circa right when building defenses was no longer a concern. –  badp Dec 15 '10 at 14:55
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un update on this, search tower is by far the single best upgrade in the game to get as early as possible. With a well organised town and enough scavangers, you really need it quite badly in order to find the largest source of defence in the game (defence items). At Day 14 in our current town we only have 7 zones on the entire map no depleted, and we have had Search Tower at lvl 5 since Day 8. We would quite literally have no zones to search on our map if we hadnt upgraded it so early. –  desolation Jan 19 '11 at 13:06
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As with most buildings in die2nite, they all have a purpose and can all be very useful depending on your strategy. Badp has given a reason the search tower can be useful, and it makes perfect sense.

However, I would suggest that a search tower is not an early requirement; not util most nearby zones are depleted or until you are running lower on somewhat rarer items that are hampering your progress.

In the meantime, I find it incredible that he would contemplate building a search tower before a watchtower. How do you know what to build until you have a clear idea of the daily threat?

In my book, workshop is first on the list and the watchtower and/or Great Pit come the same or next day... The search tower I would typically start to consider from day 3 at the earliest.

However, perhaps your neighbour has a masterplan... So challenge him to explain his reasoning for an early search tower, and counter with suggestions of your own. Let the rest of the town decide. Hopefully we've given you some ammo to make your argument.

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If I guessed who this particular guy is, he's likely to have already spammed everybody about the workshop. :) –  badp Dec 15 '10 at 14:20
    
The problem with discussing the search tower like this is its kind of mysterious. There are some differing theories about how it actually works, and the impact is very abstract. You get a mystery number of of mystery items in mystery zones, and whether that benefits you depends on whether you find those items. But this person believes very strongly that it gives tons of awesome items constantly, and there is no way to PROVE otherwise. –  bwarner Dec 15 '10 at 18:10
    
@bwarner Apparently (heh, that's pretty much the point), getting a watch tower gets you a chance of desert winds sweeping in a general direction (e.g., "Strong gusts of wind shook the south west during the night."); the higher the level of the search tower, the higher the chance is that every single tile in this general direction becomes undepleted. –  badp Dec 15 '10 at 18:23
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