Knot Materials and Bandwidth: Increases and Maxima

From w.mfi
Jump to navigation Jump to search

On this page, "Materials" specifically means the materials you can get through Claim Materials at a knot, which you can also increase by Recycling equipment or materials. I also might call it the materials bank or reserve on this page.

You can see current levels for all knots in your current region via the Map. The easiest way to see maximum levels is to choose Recycle when at a knot, which displays current and maximum levels in the lower right. The only way I know to see the maxima from afar is if an auto-bot makes a materials delivery, causing the popup for changes in materials.

For the maximal levels, a shout out to /u/Hadien_ReiRick, who also kept tabs on levels and even got some I missed. It was a great confirmation that it works the same for everyone (on PC, anyway).

Material reserves are not shared, they're yours alone

Somehow I got the impression that the Material bank was shared with other players; I even posted a reddit question asking if it's considered stealing to take them (see this and this).

Some said they're shared, others said No. Then /u/ASH_the_silent suggested checking levels while playing (thanks!), so I started spot-checking them at knots around me. I found two things:

  • Knot materials only ever increased. (This is with nothing else happening at the knots; I didn't visit, claim, or fabricate.) I never saw them decrease.
  • For three nights I wrote down the levels at some knots in my game before going to bed, then checked them in the morning. They were always exactly the same.

If other players were able to withdraw from the materials bank, you would expect at least some of the levels to go down, some of the time. Or some kind of changes, if there was any multiplayer effect.

Never once happened. They never changed at all, when I was off the game for hours.

I can't say there isn't sharing with 100% certainty. Maybe there are particular situations in which it happens, that I missed for whatever reason. But it looks to me like it doesn't happen at all. Or if it does, it doesn't happen much.

So take all the materials you want. Don't worry about impacting others. They're all for you, just you!

Online Safe Houses and the Share Locker are different

Online Safe Houses (as opposed to ones made by the game) are probably different, because some player had to contribute those materials. Still, DS players themselves say that if somebody put materials in a Safe House, they certainly didn't need them (see /u/IndividualLoad6252's comment). Also, who knows, maybe the game only donated it to your instantiation - or maybe copied it to everybody's.

So take materials from Safe Houses if you want, and don't worry about it.

Share Lockers (where folks can donate materials in containers) ARE different; these are clearly shared. Here, make your choices. Probably only take it if you really need it at the moment. The game otherwise gives you plenty; see KDV Increases below.

I've made a few casual attempts at figuring out how Share Lockers work. Some observations:

  • You can see what's in a Share Locker from across the Map, IF you visited that knot recently. After a while (hours?), you won't be able to see it any more.
  • The contents of the Share Locker didn't seem to change much over brief periods that I eyeballed them. If they change, it doesn't happen often.
  • If you haven't visited a knot and can't see anything in its Share Locker from afar, and then visit it, I get the impression you'll only see a few things at first. (Also true when first connecting a knot?) I'm guessing everything from before was emptied out (given to others?), and then it takes a while to refill with new stuff after you revisit and "activate" it again.
  • I have no idea if the stuff you see is essentially offered only to you (and then what you don't claim is given to others after a long while), or if many people see the same stuff, and can claim it at any time. I suspect it's the former given how little it seems to change.

Max Material Levels at Knots

For two games (Normal and Hard difficulty), I recorded maximum material levels at all knots, each time I levelled them.

How current and maximum levels work

Each time you level up a knot, the maxima increase. There are two particular scenarios to mention here:

  • When a knot is first activated/connected: At this point (almost always at 2 stars), the current levels you get when first establishing it are always exactly half the maximum for everything except chiral crystals (CXls).
CXls will have a max of 300 (except Chiral Artist's Mother has 532), and the current level will have one of these values: 66, 72, 80, or 88 (Chiral Artist's Mother 266, and Englert 634). To see it for each knot, check out my Knot Materials spreadsheet on the DS Data homepage.
  • When an already-connected knot is levelled: The maxima increase, but I have not found a simple pattern for how much the maxxes increase. I doubt it's random, but then, each individual maximum is usually quite different for each knot. Sure, there are broad patterns (like, Chemicals are smallest and Special Alloys biggest), but there's also a lot of variation both in general and in specific values. (See the Mode values in my data.) Maybe it's systematic (in the sense that a few factors determine what it will be), maybe it's not. But I couldn't deduce anything mathematically precise with a very few simple attempts.
Anyway, who cares, laugh. Take a look at the levels in my spreadsheet yourself if you want.
The maximum levels seems to be the same across everyone's games. They were for me in a Normal versus Hard difficulty game (on PC), and my values agreed with Haiden_ReiRick's.

After first establishing a knot and getting half the maximal levels, current values then only change when:

  • You level the knot (I haven't figured out any pattern for how much it increases) OR
  • When you change the levels yourself (Claim, Recycle, Fabricate, autobot/deliver Materials) OR
  • When you make a knot delivery visit (see KDV Increases below for more on this).

The maxima only ever change (they only increase, of course) when you level the knot... except for Mama's Lab (more on this below).

Knot Maxima by Star Level

See my spreadsheet for this. For the 5-star levels, I included statistics at the bottom. For the complete list of all known levels' maxima, no statistics are included.

When Materials Appear in the Game

The spreadsheet has some gaps for early knots and materials that don't appear until later in the game:

  • You can only see Resins and Metals early in the game. If I remember right, not until you hit the DC W of Capitol KC. (The other materials are probably there and increasing due to KDVs; you just can't see or access them yet.)
  • Ceramics appear when you connect Lake KC.
  • Special Alloys appear when you get to the Weather Station (and can make a PCC2).
  • Chemicals are the last to appear, right after you connect South KC and then visit Mama's Lab.

As soon as a material is surfaced, you can check its current levels at connected knots in your region via the Map.

An Overview of Knots' Maximum Material Levels

Only for the typical ones (but see next section). Not a lot to say here:

  • Based on max material levels only, the Knot Cities and Distribution Centers are roughly the same. And the Waystations are about the same as preppers. So on this basis alone, one could call KCs and DCs "big" knots, and all the rest "small". But there are other reasons for this too; only big knots can make a vehicle and have a Private Room that's available when you first connect the knot, unlike Shelters. (Although Safe Houses can store vehicles, and also have a Private Room... but they're not knots.)
    • Oddly, Waystations are the only knots that don't have Rooms or Shelters. (Not counting oddballs like Mama's Lab and Englert.) What's wrong, Bridges Corp. ... getting a little low on materials?
  • Chiral Artist's Mother stands out for its Chiral Crystals (CXls). Not only is its 5-star max level 57% higher than the second highest (2,662 vs. Englert's 1,698), but also it starts out (when first connected) with 266 CXls. All others only have 66 to 88. Except, uh, Englert... He has 634 CXls when he finally connects at 5 stars!
  • Englert at 5 stars has some wicked high max-material levels:
    • By far the highest Chemicals at 3,736. This is 59% higher than #2, Mountain KC at 2,344.
    • Highest Special Alloys of any knot (9,999), though some other big knots are close.
    • At or close to the other highest knots for Resins and Metals.
    • Would've just barely been highest for Chiral Crystals at 1,698, if not for Chiral Artist's Mother at 2,662.
    • Is oddly low for Ceramics; 4,812 is only 61% of Mountain KC's max of 7,896.

Otherwise I can't think of much more to say about max material levels at typical knots. The big knots have higher levels than the smaller ones. Both at any given star level, and at their 5-star peaks.

There's a lot of variability, so it's hard to see what stands out unless it really smacks you upside the head.

You can sort the data yourself if you want to see who's bigger and who's smaller.

Unusual Knots

35 of the 40 knots follow the typical pattern of starting at 2 stars (you can connect some at 1 star if you try hard), then leveling up and increasing their current maxima each time. There are five exceptions:

Chiral Relay

The Chiral Relay (full name UCA-41-011: Chiral Relay) on the southwest cost of the Central Region (which you activate before going to Edge KC) will ONLY provide +3,300 Chiral Bandwidth. It doesn't have materials or even a working terminal after your one-time connection.

And no, the Safe House that Aaron Hill makes for you near it (after returning from Edge KC) is not a substitute for that knot. It's at level 3 already and its material levels (and of course maxima) don't change, not even from KMIs. I checked. You're welcome.

Western Knots

The two Western Region knots (Edge KC and DC N of Edge KC) only get connected, can't be levelled, and never say their star levels. While they have materials and DO get KMIs, there isn't much you can do with these materials. You can't cart anything from the West to other regions.

Both Western knots have the exact same max levels (see spreadsheet), which are quite stunted relative to 5-star knots. They only have an average of 36% of the max levels possible for each material, compared to Englert.

They both have 300 max CXls, which strongly suggests 2 stars. However, their other max material levels are higher than other knots' 2-star levels, even for big knots. And their Special Alloy max of 4,504 is off the charts, almost twice as much as 2-star maxxes for other big knots. So, who knows what happened here. Then again... who cares.

They both add +500 Chiral Bandwidth (CBW), for 1000 total in the Western Region. Only enough for two ziplines, sigh.


Peter Englert's knot is highly unusual. You can't connect it until Episode 10, at which point it leaps up to 5 stars with The Final Pizza, slightly edging out Mountain KC for having the highest average max materials allowance. It also breaks several other customs:

  • You don't actually see any material levels or maxima until it hits 5 stars. So you can't see how these levels progressed as the star level rose.
  • It also has lots of materials available at that instant. But again, you can only see the final amounts. You don't know if they were increasing each time the knot levelled, they were all added right at the end, or what.
  • When his knot leaps from 0 to 5 stars, popups for chiral bandwidth (CBW) appear for 3 stars (+80), 4 (+120) and 5 (+80), but not 2 (or 1) stars. Then you see the UCA connection screen which says +440 overall (confirmed relative to prior total CBW). So apparently his knot adds +160 CBW as of level 2 (440-80-120-80 = 440 - 280 = 160). But unlike most other knots - and similar to Englert's materials - the game doesn't show his entire CBW progression.

Apparently, you inherit his knot lock, stock, and barrel. Works for me. So do those sweet custom guns.

Here's a video showing the Final Pizza delivery on the Director's Cut while barefoot (lol).

Also see What Does the HG in "HG Custom" Mean?

Mama's Lab

Mama's Lab is perhaps the strangest:

  • When you first visit her (Chapter 5, "Mama"; right after connecting South KC and WW1), her Lab starts off with low materials maxima similar to a 2-star knot, including a 300 CXl capacity.
  • Her knot never shows any star level, and never contributes any chiral bandwidth. (It's in South KC's territory.)
  • I'm pretty sure her knot levels in lockstep with South KC, but haven't tested it yet.
  • Regardless, it's useful to know that it has its own materials bank that also collects its own KMIs for the whole game.

Ultimately Mama's Lab, being equal to South KC at every level, ties with South KC at level 5 as the 4th-highest knot.

Mama has more storage capacity than Port KC or even Lake KC!

1-Star Knots

You probably can't activate the main/big storyline knots at 1 star, but you can start at least some smaller knots at 1 star. In my second game I wasn't trying particularly hard, and still did it for seven: the Collector, Cosplayer, Elder, Film Director, First Prepper, Novelist's Son, and Veteran Porter.

Try to bring Lost Cargo or even make partial Order deliveries (if you're determined). You want to get less Likes than you need for 2 stars.

  • Tip: Knot owners can't see what's in your Private Locker. (I guess that's why they call it Private.) You can put all your stuff there and try delivering it different ways, if you want.
  • If you have several deliveries, maybe reload your game and play with delivery order. (The game always does an Autosave when you access a knot terminal, if you haven't hit that knot in a while.)
  • In case you didn't know: Some knots require you to read their emails before you can level them again. If you see the level meter hit a wall, you probably need to do this. Some also say you may need to sleep in a Private Room, too. I'm not sure about the latter, but anyway, there it is.

Can I open all knots at 1 star?

No. It's probably not possible with the big knots and/or particular storyline knots where you must make a specific delivery, which rockets you up to 2 stars.

When I first got to Lake KC, there's a bunch of provisions to deliver and 5 Lost Cargo, IIRC. I tried my damnedest to mix and match this to open Lake KC at 1 star, but couldn't:

  • All the Lost Cargo are not enough to get you to 1 star.
  • The delivery Order gets to to 2 stars.
  • You can't partially deliver that Order; it's all or none.
  • Lake KC's front doors are closed until you activate the knot. (I guess it's a safety feature, so you don't go traipsing in the wilds when you don't have any chiral bandwidth or even a working knot to fab things or rest.) So you can't go looking for any more Lost Cargo for Lake KC.

So for Lake KC you're screwed. It's 2 stars or nothing.

I bet some other knots are like this. But I also bet that you can open more knots at 1 star than I did, if you try. I didn't try very hard because I wanted to keep moving. If I could get seven without trying hard, you can probably get a lot more if you really try.

Why bother?

There's nothing magic about 1-star knots; it's practically anti-climactic. All seven knots I got to 1 star had the exact same materials maxima as that particular knot had for 2-stars. In other words, a given knot has the same materials maxima at 1- and 2-stars; the maxima don't change when you go from 1 to 2.

Important: Please tell me if you ever see different! I could only "test" seven knots. Maybe this isn't true for others. Compare what you get to what's in my list of knot material maxima for knot levels at 2 stars.

What's the difference, then?

The difference is that if you get it to 1 star and then 2, you get half the maximal material levels both times. Two times one half equals a completely full materials bank (at 2-star levels). This is for all but CXls. For them, you get two times the initial fixed CXls for that knot, usually 66 to 88. (See spreadsheet of individual knots and levels.)

This means that if you get a knot to 1-star and you've made deliveries to other knots in the meantime (always possible), you will lose some materials due to exceeding the maxima if you don't withdraw any materials before levelling the 1-star to 2 stars. Adding the two half-maxima makes the 1-star (now 2-star) knot full, and any other KMIs you did in the meantime are lost (see below for more on KDVs and KMIs).

So if you're counting your pennies, withdraw some/all of the materials from a 1-star knot before you level it up.

Further levelling (3, 4, and 5 stars) doesn't suffer from this. For these stars, both the materials and the maxima increase with each new level. It provides room for the new materials you got from levelling. It's only when you go from 1 star to 2 that the maxima don't increase.

Warning about Premium Deliveries When You Hit 5 Stars

A small but important warning here:

At the point that you max out the connection with a given knot, and you paste a new star onto your pants,

You do not get Premium delivery rewards.

The star on your pants appears to over-ride rewards.

The solution is easy (unless you want to play Iron Man):

  • When you first hit a knot, the game makes an Autosave.
  • If you make 5 stars and realize you may have missed some Premiums, reload that Autosave.
  • The knot owner can't "see" anything in your Private Locker. So stick some of your orders there and play with what you deliver.
    • Either use non-Premium to get you over the 5-star threshold, if you have any.
    • Or at least arrange it so you only lose one Premium reward at the moment you hit 5 stars.

When I maxxed Novelist's Son, I had seven Premium deliveries. (You can get a lot at the DC N of MKC.) If I just piled them all into that one Delivery session, I would've lost 21 D‑Cryptobiotes!   (7 x 3 D-CBs/Premium)

Chiral Bandwidth (CBW)

Your total CBW increases when you level most (but not all) knots. Here's what you get when every single knot is levelled as much as possible:

Region Total
Eastern 10,720
Central 41,220
Western 1,000
Grand Total 52,940
Careful, the amount of CBW currently used and available that's shown at the top of Map/Info is only for the current region. To see the total available across all three regions, go to Bridge Links and scroll to the bottom of the first panel.

CBW is not as "linear" as materials increases from levelling. In particular, you get +5,000 when you first connect Lake KC, and you get +3,300 when you connect the Chiral Relay. These are the highest single values by far. A table of how frequent CBW increases are, across all knots and knot star levels:

+5,000 1 5,000
+3,300 1 3,300
+1,480 1 1,480
+1,400 1 1,400
+1,160 2 2,320
+1,080 2 2,160
+800 1 800
+760 5 3,800
+720 2 1,440
+680 2 1,360
+600 2 1,200
+560 5 2,800
+520 2 1,040
+500 2 1,000
+440 5 2,200
+400 9 3,600
+360 5 1,800
+320 6 1,920
+280 5 1,400
+240 6 1,440
+200 16 3,200
+160 20 3,200
+120 23 2,760
+80 29 2,320

The total CBW here is 52,940 and the total N is 153. There are 40 knots so you might think the N would be 160 (40 x 4 levels, 2 star to 5 star). But:

  • -6 for Western knots (they only have one level each; that's 2 x 1 instead of 2 x 4).
  • -4 for Mama's Lab, which contributes no CBW.
  • -3 for Chiral Relay, which only has one CBW contribution.
  • -1 for Englert, who doesn't break out 2-star and 3-star levels. I counted them together (as one +240).
  • +7 for the seven knots I got to 1-star. (You don't get extra CBW for them. What you actually see when you open a knot at 2 stars is its 1 star plus 2 star CBW contributions.)

The net equals -7. 160 - 7 = 153.

if you want to see the specifics for each knot, see my spreadsheet at the top of the DS-Data homepage.

How much Chiral Bandwidth do my structures use?

I might've given CBW its own page, but may as well stick it here, shrug.

Structures on Bridge Links page
Sequence Structure CBW
1 Signs 0
2 Ladders 0
3 Climbing Anchors 0
4 Postbox 200
5 Watchtower 250
6 Bridge 1,000
7 Generator 350
8 Safe House 2,500
9 Timefall Shelter 750
10 Zip-line 500

To find it:

  • Go to the Map and bring up Bridge Links. You have to be level 10 or so to see this, so you won't see it until you've played the game maybe a half dozen hours.
  • Select your name. (On PC, just hit Enter when you first bring up Bridge Links.)
  • Go to the Structures tab.

The Sequence number above is the order in which they are presented on that page.

Structures don't use more CBW if you level them up. A given structure only ever uses what's shown in the table, when you first create it.

If one of your structures is dismantled or destroyed, its CBW is returned to your pool. You can dismantle things far away in your current Region by simply finding it on the Map and holding F (on PC). Easy peasy!

Where are my structures?

Unfortunately, there's no easy way to find or scroll through all your structures.

  • The Bridge Links / [Me] / Structures tab shows how many of each type you have (as shown above), and it also shows you the number of Likes and date made for some - but ONLY for 30. (Don't ask me how it decides which 30.) And there isn't any way to, e.g., click on something there, and see where it is on the map. So this screen is only an FYI, not a way to find structures.
  • You can use the Map Filter to see only your structures. But this isn't really helpful if the problem is that the Structure count says you have 75 ziplines, but ... how many am I seeing here on the map? Am I missing any? Is this really 75?? (sure doesn't look like it!)
  • The count in Bridge Links is for the entire game, all three regions, but the Map only shows your current region. If you can't make your numbers square, maybe you have more back in Eastern (or whatever).

If you've hit a CBW wall and want to get rid of some structures, it's a little maddening to know you've got 8 Postboxes out there somewhere (from Bridge Links), but you can only find 5 (or whatever).

Total Chiral Bandwidth

The total used / available CBW for your current region is shown in the top center of your Map.

To see the total available across all regions, go to Bridge Links / [Me] / Delivery Stats and scroll to the bottom. Look for Available Chiral Bandwidth.

If you try to add up the chiral bandwidth based on the total number of structures you've made (Bridge Links / Structures), be aware that this is showing all the structures in the whole game (in other regions, too). So unless you've only made things that use CBW in your current region, calculations based on total counts will result in a total CBW higher than what you're using in your current region.

This is another reason I wish we could some how scroll through every single structure we've made and see its location, even in other regions. (Or at least, know which region they're in... and/or a "Total Structures" count for each region.) So that your CBW structures are much easier to confirm or review. Instead we have to use Filters and search all over the map.

Good luck if you can only find 69 ziplines when it says your total is 75... and I'm so sorry you had to keep track of all 69, to get that far.

Oh well, it is what it is. In all fairness, DS generally shows far more information and stats than many other first-person games.

The Knot Delivery Visit (KDV) and Knot Materials Increase (KMI)

The big question on some folks minds is: How and why do the materials at knots increase over time?

Have no fear, your DS data scientist is here.

What are they?

Each time you make a delivery visit to a knot, materials at ALL connected knots increase a slight amount.

I am deliberately inventing two new terms for this functionality because they're new concepts that aren't described anywhere in the game, nor do they show up in your Bridge Links info. But anyone talking about them needs a specific term so that they don't have to say a long sentence about what it is when they discuss it.

A Knot Delivery Visit is any time that you visit a knot and deliver one or more Orders.

It doesn't matter if you deliver one order or a dozen to that knot at that time. That's only one KDV. The point is that you need to count the number of visits in which you delivered orders, not the number of orders delivered.

A Knot Material Increase is the amount that knots' materials increase, when you make a KDV.

I know that Standard Orders trigger a KDV. I haven't tested Sam Orders, but I bet they count.

Autobot deliveries do not count... you yourself didn't visit a new knot.

Lost Cargo Loophole

Lost Cargo is an odd one. It counts as a KDV, but you don't get the increase. The only way I can think to put this to use is with the following convoluted maneuver:

  • Take a bunch of deliveries to some target knot (A), but only deliver some of them. (Put the rest in your Private Locker or keep them on you.)
  • Now deliver only some Lost Cargo to some other knot (B).
  • Come back to knot A. Now if you deliver the orders you held onto, you will get a KMI. (In this scenario, you would not have otherwise gotten the KMI from the orders you stashed previously.)

Ordinarily you'd probably never do this. Because you may as well just deliver everything to knot A in one fell swoop, then go make more actual deliveries to knot B, etc.

Just saying... it's something I observed. Do with it what you will. Maybe a few times in an entire game, it'll get you an extra KMI.

Can't trick the algorithm to get KMIs

When trying to figure out how KMIs work, I tried a bunch of things to trick a knot into making more KMIs (one per Order delivered) when I had a bunch of deliveries for that knot:

  • Stuffed most of my deliveries into my Private Locker (where the knot owner can't see them), then doled them out one by one. Didn't work... I could deliver them and get the usual evaluation (of course), but I got no additional KMIs.
  • Dropped a ton of deliveries for a knot into its Private Locker. Then went outside that knot's perimeter (where you get the warning about weapons locked etc.), came back, and doled out another delivery. Also didn't work.
  • Instead of putting deliveries in my Private Locker, I dropped them outside the knot's perimeter, then brought them to its terminal one by one. Didn't work.
  • Did a similar thing, but actually went almost a km away (from Capitol KC to Waystation W of CKC via zipline). I got almost to the boundary of the WS (but deliberately didn't go into its perimeter) and came back. Doled out another delivery from CKC Locker. Didn't work.
  • Went all the way to WS W of CKC and checked into its terminal, but didn't actually make a delivery. Came back. Didn't work.

So as far as I can tell, apart from the Lost Cargo loophole above (of dubious import), there isn't any way to trick the algorithm.

You have to make a new visit (with actual deliveries) to another knot to trigger a KMI.

How much do materials increase with each KDV?

Every single knot that you've connected gets a Knot Material Increase (KMI) when you do a KDV, even knots in other regions. Also I bet that materials you can't see (like Chemicals early in the game) are increasing, too. So you probably have a wealth of Chemicals at Lake KC and back East once you surface them (but I haven't tested this). You can even use it to measure how many KDVs you've done; see below.

It doesn't matter what star level the other knots are; they get the same KMI regardless of level. (In truth, I only spot-checked this on three knots, three times, using an old savegame. All the rest of my KDV/KMI testing was on a Chapter 15 game where all knots were 5 stars. Thus I have very little data on it. But why would they make something so deeply under the hood complicated? If anyone does find exceptions, let me know.)

A typical KMI (the medians across all 39 knots) looks like this:

Typical Knot Material Increase (KMI) values
Resins Metals Cerams Chems Special
9 32 40 28 16 48
There are actually 40 knots in DS including the Chiral Relay, but the Relay does not have materials and does not get KMIs. So it's not included in these discussions about materials at knots.

But the actual values are specific to each knot. See my spreadsheet for exact values. It's at the top of the DS Data homepage.

KMIs happen the moment you make the delivery, even for the very knot you're making the delivery to. Try this:

  • Write down the current material levels at a knot, just before you make a new delivery to it. (Remember, it has to be a new visit.)
  • Make the delivery and don't do anything else (don't fabricate, claim, or recycle).
  • Now check the levels again and get the difference.

You will see that all its materials levels just increased by a small amount similar to the table above. The exact amount for that particular knot is in my spreadsheet.

  • If you made a materials delivery, just subtract the increase due to that. What's left is that knot's KMI.

Variation in knots' KMIs

The KMI is pretty uniform for all knots and quite close to what's shown above. But quite a few knots have slight variations that make them unique. Looking at the KMIs for all 39 knots:

  • Chiral Crystals: All knots get 9, except Chiral Artist's Mother gets 16.
  • Resins: Everybody gets 32, except seven of the smallest knots get 31.
  • Metals: All knots get 40, period.
  • Ceramics: This had the most variation, 20 to 32, but the most common value was 28 (which 10 got). Oddly even some large knots only got 20.
  • Chemicals: Everybody got 16 or 17 (about evenly split), except the Collector got 18, and the two Western knots got 24. (Go figure.)
  • Special Alloys: All knots get 48, period.

See the spreadsheet for a complete list, knot by knot.

KMIs summed across all knots

If you have activated every knot, here's what gets distributed to them each time you make one KDV. This also assumes no materials are maxxed (because any excess would be lost):

Individual KMIs summed for all 39 knots
Resins Metals Cerams Chems Special
340 1,177 1,480 978 609 1,776

This is the actual values for each of the 39 knots, summed together. It's not simply the "typical KMI" table above, times 39. (There are 40 knots including the Chiral Relay, but it doesn't have materials or get KMIs. All the rest do, including Mama and even Englert, if you delivered the Final Pizza.)

Of course, this doesn't directly help you ... you wouldn't want to run around visiting all the knots just to get one KMI's increase. But it does add up over time, leading to the large (or even maxxed) values you see in knots you haven't visited for a long time.

How long it takes for empty materials banks to fill via KMIs

Knowing the maximum materials that can be stored at each knot and how much each knot gains per KDV, you can compute how long it takes each one to fill due to KMIs alone.

The actual values for each knot are shown in the spreadsheet KMIs tab, but some generalities are:

  • Because KMIs are roughly the same for all knots but storage capacity isn't, knots with larger storage capacity take longer to fill.
    • The smallest knots have about half the capacity of Englert. (Not counting the two stunted Western knots.) The larger knots have at least 75% of Englert's maxxes.
  • Englert takes the longest by far (150 KDVs), but large knots (and Mama) are not far behind. Lake KC is the smallest of the large knots, at 120 KDVs.
  • Overall (including small knots), the minimum any material will fill is in 93 KDVs.
  • Chemicals are the lowest (110 on average across all knots). Other materials are in the 146 - 158 range. Chiral Crystals are highest, with an average of 162.
  • Forget about the two Western knots; they have low maxima. But you can't do much there and can't take their materials to other regions anyway, so who cares.

These statements are based on all knots being 5 stars (largest maximums). These are also probably slight over-estimates because you can't completely clean them out, even if you try (except CXls).

How I Manage Material Banks

I personally only remove materials so that I have enough to make one complete XL4 at knots I visit much. And I always try to keep at least three XL4s for each material in my Private Locker at all knots so there's always some to grab if needed. It's all funny money anyway, shrug.

Otherwise, I do try to keep Materials banks very low; I only keep enough for one XL4 at most in reserve (in the bank itself, not moved to my Private Locker). This is so materials have plenty of room to grow over time. (Who knows when I'll be back? If I'm taking the time to clean out the bank, may as well clean it out good.) But I don't bother with Claiming anything smaller than an XL4. It's just not worth my personal time to get all the smaller-sized containers, especially when you consider you'd have to do it for all five of the containerized materials.

On the PC, it's very easy to either get all XL4s, or all except one:

  • Bring up the Claim window.
  • Use E to go to the next specific material.
  • Click on the largest XL.
  • Hit A (or Left, if you assigned it) twice to get all XL4s. Or hit it three times to get all but one XL4.
  • Use E to go to the next material.
  • Rinse and repeat.

Your Private Locker Space can become Full

If you have been hoarding materials and other items your whole game by shoving them into Private Lockers, somewhere in the after-game (Chapter 15) you'll get a message that you're running low on Private Locker space. This is across ALL Private Lockers you have. Apparently DS can only keep a certain number of records; it must be in the thousands.

At that point, I donate a lot of material containers and equipment I no longer care about to the Share Locker. Usually at knots that are off the beaten path (so I still have lots of options at frequented knots). If I donate stuff at the next few knots I hit (ones I don't visit much), I'll have gotten rid of a lot.

Also, don't keep many materials in containers smaller than the XL4. The XL4 stores much more than others, which also makes for less scrolling through your Private Locker, than if you had those amounts in a lot of smaller containers. If I have more than a handful of smaller material containers in my Locker, I just Recycle them. An exception is that I keep a few 240 Chemicals and 480 SAs handy in a number of key knots on the mountain, for ziplines.

Lowest maximum material levels across all knots: A player aid

Here's a little aid to help memorize the lowest max material reserve across all knots, in case it helps:

Lowest Maximum Material Levels across all knots (excluding Western ones)
Value Chiral
Resins Metals Cerams Chems Special
Exact 1,288 2,897 4,353 1,880 1,584 6,288
Hundreds 13 29 44 19 16 63
Large Exact 1,584 4,738 7,812 4,060 1,912 8,826
Hundreds 16 47 78 40 19 88

The idea is to provide a benchmark so you can glance at a knot's current levels via the Map and have a clue as to whether its materials might be maxxed. Anything less than this is in the clear.

The Hundreds rows are easier to remember. If it looks high based on this row, you can then look up its specific max values in my spreadsheet, if you want.

"All (Small)" is for all knots, but because the smaller knots have the lowest values, it's effectively for them (27 are Small). The "Large" rows are for all KCs (5), DCs (3), and Englert and Mama's Lab, whose capacity puts them in the big leagues (Englert has the most of anyone). The two Western oddballs and of course the Chiral Relay are not included in any of this.

It's not perfect ... there's some overlap between the lowest Large and the highest Smalls. In particular, the three Large Eastern knots (Cap KC, Port KC, and DC W Cap KC) are the lowest of all the Large ones. And the following six Smalls overlap into the Large Eastern knots for some of their max levels (highest first): Photographer, Heartman, Roboticist, Paleontologist, WS N of MKC, and Weather Station. Past the Weather Station, there's a real gap to the average max levels for other Smalls.

To see the actual values for each knot, look in my spreadsheet. If you want a more sophisticated benchmark, make your own from it.

This is when all knots are 5 stars. (Technically, Mama's Lab doesn't have stars; its max levels are dictated by whatever South KC is.)

Roll your own KDV Meter

If you've been paying attention, something may have occurred to you: You can make your own "KDV meter" to see how many Knot Delivery Visits you've made.

  • Clear out all the materials at some knot you rarely visit. (Maybe Mama's because it gets no real traffic nor autobots with materials. Or maybe a big one you've gotten to 5 stars back in Eastern?)
  • Write down any remainders for the materials you can't zero out. (Like if there were 53 metals, you can only check out 50, which leaves 3 Metals.)
  • May as well write down real-world time and your Bridge Links' Total Play Time to give it some context.

And from then on you can check that knot's levels from afar, subtract remainders, divide by its KMI values, and see how many KDVs you've done since you cleaned it out.

Or if you want, just do it for Chiral Crystals somewhere and divide by 9. CXls are nice because you can easily zero them out.

You can also use this to do extended testing of my theory that the game always uses KMIs the way I describe. And you can do it on more than one knot if you like. (It's a good reference check. If you see something odd, did it only happen to your one KDV-meter knot, or to others, too?)

Remember, all I've done is one big test in which I made just three KDVs. (Plus some spot checks prior to that.) I don't claim omniscience, but the results of that test were solid, and why would they need to make it more complex? But still, I haven't done a big longitudinal test. A KDV meter like this would really help. It also tests the KMI concept.

If you ever clean out your KDV-meter knot again, just write down the number of KDVs to date, empty its material banks, update your remainders, and keep on portering. If you also timestamp your notes (real-world time) plus capture your Total Play Time again, it'll help put your progress and other Bridge Links milestones into context.

How I figured out KDVs and KMIs

How did I figure all this out?

First I was curious about what causes materials to increase. (Isn't everybody?)

  • Initially I assumed other players contributed to it, which presumably would result in a notable increase when I was offline overnight. So I wrote down some knots' levels before going to bed, and checked them the next morning. I did this several times, but levels never changed.
  • Other thoughts were that it depended on the number of Order deliveries (nope). Or their total mass (also nope).
  • Also, of course, I had no idea if it only increased nearby knots' levels, or what. So I started keeping tabs on nearby knots...

And then I started to see that there was a fixed increase in materials (the KMI) associated with deliveries (the KDV). It started solidifying when I realized it looked like it was the same fixed increase at a given knot for every single delivery visit. Then I spot-checked more and found that it was even true for knots in other regions, when I made a delivery.

By the time the KDV/KMI functionality looked pretty solid, I did a comprehensive test:

  • Wrote down current materials levels at ALL knots in ALL regions. (Not as hard as it sounds, because you can see current levels via the Map, for all knots in that region.)
  • Checked that not a single one was maxxed out for any material using my spreadsheet.
    • I had to visit quite a few and clean them out. That was some work!
  • Back to the first bullet, lol. Once all knots were well below maxxes for all materials, I:
  • Made three delivery visits (3 KDVs) with different types of orders, starting at Spiritualist:
    • O312 Standard from Spiritualist to Mountaineer (LoL "S" Premium, 136 Likes)
    • O321 Time-Sensitive Spiritualist to Mountain KC (in 2:48, LoL "S" Premium, 252 Likes)
    • O298 Mountaineer Clothes to Mountain KC (LoL "S" Premium, 238 Likes)
    • O556 Standard MKC to Doctor (LoL "S" Premium, 109 Likes)
    • O557 Fragile MKC to Doctor (LoL "S" Premium, 113 Likes)
    • Note: Visits with two orders delivered should count as one visit for KDV purposes; I deliberately challenged this idea with the design of this little experiment.
  • Wrote down all knots' new material levels, across all regions.
  • Got the difference and divided by three.

Why three? Because it's a simple, small number that's also likely to show any remainders (non-integer values) that aren't perfectly divisible by that value. A.k.a., it's easy for two different even numbers to have a .0 remainder if divided by an even number, etc. Checking three KDVs helped confirm that KMI values were always the same.

The results were spot-on perfect. The material increases for every single knot were evenly divisible by three. That's for all 39 knots (Chiral Relay doesn't count here) times 6 materials each equals 234 datapoints. Okay, twice that (468 datapoints) because I got them before and after. Okay, actually even more than that because I found some were maxxed out at first, laugh. Plus I also checked Aaron Hill's Safe House at the Chiral Relay but found no change in Materials, proving it's not a stand-in for the Chiral Relay's materials bank.

The results of this test are what you see in my individual-knot KMI listing as described above.

FWIW, if this sounds like a ton of data gathering... it was. But by the time I did this test (7/19/21) I had been collecting material levels for weeks; the maximum materials data was some of the very first info I started collecting on DS (6/5/21, in my first game). So I had been working with spreadsheets with (max) knot materials in columns for a long time. Collecting all this data basically just meant copying down my list of 40 knots again, times two (actually three), then some subtraction (before and after) and division (/3). Not nearly as bad as starting from scratch or, far worse, not even being good with spreadsheets.

Having everything in a spreadsheet – including the maximum material levels – then made it easy to do, e.g., calculations on how long it would take KMIs to fill each knot's materials banks.

So, while all my materials info looks like a ton of work (and it was!), it was definitely easier inasmuch as I had been progressively working on info like this for a long time already. I had already been working on sets of data that had all 39 knots on rows, and columns for materials, for a long time.