Whirring Contraption

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Category: Curiosity
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A steaming contrivance of brass and steel. Used in creating Wonders of the Age. This is mainly used for creating advanced items - such as a Zubmarine.

If you are a Person of Some Importance, you can create this in the Bazaar Sidestreets or acquire it at Wilmot's End.

See Category:Whirring Contraption Gain for how to obtain this item, or click here to show them.

It can be sold to the Bazaar, but cannot be bought.
Selling Icon-echo.png 6.00

See Category:Whirring Contraption for pages which require this item, or click here to show them.

Obtaining Whirring Contraptions

This guide is incomplete. You can help by expanding it.

What needs work: Proofreading the section to do with the new 125 honey/action option, parabolan hunt source, and new EPA grinds with infinite Arbor no longer possible.

As of the 2020 Winter Balance Patch, updating the Wilmot's section of the guide.

There are three repeatable methods of obtaining Whirring Contraptions:

As of the Winter 2020 Balance Patch, Wilmot's End is almost certainly the most efficient method by far to obtain Whirring Contraptions. The other grinds are listed here for historical reference.

The simple method: Wilmot's End

Main article: Searching out a Missing Woman (Guide)

The Wilmot's End carousel is the simplest way to obtain Whirring Contraptions. The only requirement is access to the location itself, as well as high enough Watchful and/or Persuasive to consistently pass the skill challenges (162 for 80%, 200 for 100%). 11 actions will yield 2 Contraptions, resulting in 5.5 actions per Contraption.

The tricky method: Upconverting Lamplighter Wax and turning the materials in

Commissioning a Whirring Contraption takes 300 Phosphorescent Scarabs and 60 Memories of Light and returns 1 Contraption. Using the bulk conversion rates of the Scarabs and Lumps of Lamplighter Beeswax (1000 Lumps to 105 Scarabs, and 500 Scarabs for 105 Memories), each Contraption has a rounded value of 5578.2313 Lumps. For each contraption, it takes 3.2925 actions to convert the Wax into Memories of Light, 2.8571 actions to convert the Wax into scarabs, and a further action for the storylet itself: this is a total of 7.1496 actions per Contraption, plus the actions required to gather the Wax itself.

The easiest method to obtain the Wax is to simply buy it from the Bazaar. Assuming the player may comfortably complete the Arbor grind (3.1 EPA, requiring Watchful 157), it will take 35.99 actions to grind enough Echoes to purchase the necessary Wax directly. This EPA rate makes the upconversion route be a single action more efficient than the Wilmot's End carousel, though with the side-effect of forcing the player to step away from London while grinding echoes. London-based grinds would take significantly more actions; it would take a total of 56 actions of the Tomb of the Silken Thread grind (2.27 EPA, requiring Watchful 267) to obtain the requisite Echoes and upconvert the Wax.

Wax may also be gained directly through the Light a candle, and wait storylet (accessed from following a chandler to her workshop in The Department of Menace Eradication). If the player has a Dangerous of 313 (equipment bonuses, a Mood, and Overcapping can give a maximum Dangerous of 314), this method is faster than using the Arbor grind to buy Wax directly. A Dangerous of 197 is sufficient to outpace players using the Tomb of the Silken Thread grind.

While purchasing Scarabs directly might seem like an appealing option to avoid the conversion overhead, their higher price means the saved actions are lost in obtaining the extra Echoes required. It is also worth noting that this method requires very high quantities of conversions to be maximally efficient, as the upconversion amounts are not easily divisible by the cost of the Contraptions, and thus could result in leftover or unused resources.

There is also a downside to this method: upconverting Luminous items increases the Advancing the Liberation of Night quality by +1 CP for each conversion. While this does not have a negative gameplay impact per se, some players may not wish to increase it for RP reasons.

The Renown gated method: Sponsoring expeditions

For players with 20+ Renown: The Docks and a distaste for radical revolutionary philosophies, Sponsoring a trading voyage to the farthest reaches of the zee is an option. The storylet takes five actions, 2000 Drops of Prisoner's Honey and 10E, and returns a Whirring Contraption on a success, or 450 Phosphorescent Scarabs on an alternate success. It is believed that there's a 50% chance of either outcome, but this has not yet been confirmed.

If the Contraption is directly obtained, the action efficiency of this method depends on a player's Echoes per action. The total cost of the venture is 90E if buying materials directly from the Bazaar, so a player must attain 2.3077 Echoes per action to break even with the Wilmot's End carousel. This, with the advent of Send him out for a little more honey as a honey source, from hereon referred to as lab honey, is far easier. Lab honey is 2.5 EPA which allows for the 10 required for a single cycle to be obtained in 4 actions. Furthermore, it is the equivalent of 5 echoes worth of honey bought from the Bazaar (per action), far outstripping the previous efficient repeatable source of honey, Unfinished Business, which only produced 2 echoes worth of honey per action. This means that the cost per single cycle of Sponsor a trading voyage to the farthest reaches of the zee* is 4+16+5 = 25 actions! (where 16 is the number of actions required to gather the 1000 honey via lab honey (1000/125).)

In case of not getting a Contraption, the Scarabs can be turned into one via the aforementioned Commissioning storylet. The required Memories of Light can be obtained from side-converting T3 items. Notably, Tales of Terror can be repeatedly obtained by Stealing Tales of Terror from a noted author in The Flit. The action efficiency of this method depends on how a player obtains Casing. Setting your gang of hoodlums to business gives 3.6 CP of Casing per action, and Purchasing some assistance with Casing, if available, gives 9CP of Casing per action at the cost of 2.4E. The 60 required Tales of Terror cost 76.8 CP of Casing each (ignoring the 55 Casing start-up cost), and cost a further 2.4 actions to convert. At 2.4EPA, grinding the Tales of Terror via purchasing assistance adds a bit over 20 extra actions. However, two alternative successes provide enough scarabs for three Contraptions, so each failure effectively adds ~30.7 actions to the grind.

(Following the calculation in the above paragraph i.e. using Tales of Terror thefts gives an approximate rate of 2.9296875 Memories per action, however, this calculation ignores the start-up cost of Thefts of Character, 55 Casing. The actual rate of Memories of Light per action of this method (not approximating the conversion maths) is around 2.7 to 2.8. Thus, if one calculates the memories of light per action for other grinds one can easily substitute other grinds into the calculation, e.g. Breeding the Hyaena in the Labyrinth of Tigers is about 2.57 Memories of Light per action, 2.57-2.58, so using that instead of the casing calculated above would be 90/2.57 = ~35 actions added to the grind.)