Swarm Gifts is a general resource that can be spent on increasing processors and memory, and will eventually become your main source of both. It is available for the rest of the game once Swarm Computing is researched, and it supersedes Trust which is available only during Stage 1.
The slider present during Stage 2 and Stage 3 controls the drones. The more drones dedicated to "Think" tasks, the better the Swarm Gifts received. However, while they are thinking they do not "Work" (acquiring matter, making wire).
Drones bring both more and better gifts depending on how many drones you devote to "thinking".
It can take from over two days to less than a minute depending on the quantity of drones and how far the slider is moved to the "Think" side. Although gift time and generosity varies with the number of drones, the relationship is far from linear.
Size and results
- 1 Drone: Status: Lonely (Cute! But needed, natural logarithms convert "1" to "0" and would cause trouble with the number crunching)
- 2 Drones: Status: Active. Minimum "think": 50 hours. Max "think": 15 minutes
- 3 drones: 31h / 9.5min
- 4 drones: 24h/ 8 min
- 5: 21h/6.5m
- At 10 drones, they are reducing 15 secs each (at full), and less than one hour (at min, aprox 15h)
- At 20 drones, they are reducing 3 secs each, and at min they take 11,5 hours
- At 100 drones, going to 200 they are reducing 12 secs total. It's taking 7.5h and going to 200 leaves it at 6.5h, which goes down to 6h at 350 drones. At full thinking, it asymptotically approaches near 2 minutes. In practical terms, it's a gift every 2 minutes of real time. After 10k drones or so, it's a gift every minute (or 2 minutes with slider at 50%)
- The slider on 50% (more or less) seems to be optimum. Not a very long delay between gifts, and close to 50% working power. However, it reduces the size of gifts, too.
- At 100k drones, the timer is below minute. At 1M drones, 45 seconds.
From the game script:
- The size of the Gift goes by the Base 10 Logarithm of the total number of drones, *2, *the thinking percentage of the slider (rounded, and with the right side better). So:
- 10 drones: Gift of 2
- 100 drones: Gift of 4
- 1k drones: Gift of 6
- 10k drones: Gift of 8
- 100k drones: Gift of 10
And this will nicely cap the max gift at 13 (it rounds up to 13 Swarm Gifts between 1.7 and 1.8 million drones), at least during Stage 2, for the consumption limits basically forbid 10M drones. Keep in mind you can also receive an odd number of gifts, depending on the rounding (basically, the position of the slider)
As for the time, the game takes the natural logarithm (base e) of the size of the swarm, *2, *the percentage of the slider. Then a fixed amount (1250 seconds) is divided by this. This is the "tick" of the clock (the bigger the tick, the faster the clock). At maximum speed, this gives:
- 10 drones: 4 minutes, 30 secs
- 100 drones: 2 minutes, 15 secs
- 1000 drones: 1 minute, 30 secs
- 10k drones: 1 min, 7 secs
- 100k drones: 54 sec
- 1M drones: 45 sec
And is thus reduced by the percentage of the slider. If the slider is at 50%, then you're dividing by half, so it's approximate double time. But if the slider is at 25% the time is 4 times, if it is at 10% it's 10 times, etc.