Looking for the best strategy for best pain relief among all citizens.
This is to assume endgame conditions for zero death hard mode. Depending on RNG, prior to the hit of the final storm, there should be about 691-696 citizens or more (about 368 workers, 178 engineers, 148 children and 30 automatons), with about 90k+ coal and 20k+ food in storage which should both last a month. All tech trees have been fully researched (except maybe deliberately skip Infirmary Mechanization to allow more engineers being able to stay in infirmaries). House squeezing has been used. Outpost dismantling has been abused in conjunction with leaving alone the one last Londoner until the final day of the quest to postpone the storm. If more steam cores are required, use bug to further postpone the storm.
Generator stress level drops 2.5% per hour without overdrive, or increases 3% per hour with overdrive on. For a single time, a steam core can be used to reduce stress level from 100% to 65%. This means the generator can run on overdrive continuously for 45 hours before blowing up.
Three days (72 hours and 45 minutes) before the storm ends, temperature drops to -110 °C at 7:00am, and houses get cold (moderate risk of ill). About 160-200 people (depending on how many engineers hiding in infirmaries) would get sick on that day if overdrive's been kept off for all day.
Two days (48 hours and 45 minutes) before the storm ends, temperature drops to -120 °C at 7:00am. If people are left in very cold houses (due to turning off overdrive) during certain timestamp windows on each day, they start to get frostbite (gravely ill). There seems to be two timestamp windows on each day for the game to assign gravely ill status, one at midnight around 1:00am-2:00am, and another at noon around 13:00-14:00, which may vary a bit due to RNG. Medical posts are still operational at this temperature without overdrive.
The most deadly weather (-150 °C) starts at 2:00am on the final day of the storm. Assuming that overdrive has been kept on prior to 2am, people staying in freezing houses turn into freezing status at 6:00am. Overdrive is required to have infirmaries operational at -150 °C. The storm ends at 7:45am. Thanks to the miss of timestamp, people don't get frostbite throughout this 5h 45min window.
A no-brainer way to do this is to keep overdrive off all the time until two days before storm ends. When temperature drops to -120 °C, keep overdrive off and let people freeze in their houses until 7:46am on that day, which is exactly 45 hours before storm ends. Then turn on overdrive and keep overdrive on. When overdrive reaches 100% stress level, use one steam core to fix it, and keep overdrive on until storm ends.
If abusing the timestamp exploit, then never turn on overdrive before -120 °C, and only turn on overdrive during the midnight/noon timestamp windows to fool the game. However, this is inhuman and all these poor virtual citizens suffer a lot in cold.
Though it's easy to avoid frostbite (gravely ill), is there a specific strategy of overdrive to minimize the total number of people getting sick throughout the storm, and to minimize the total time of people staying in the cold? How to spend the overdrive stress level? In my tests I have built 18 infirmaries so all engineers can work in there, and I thought another 360 people can hide in there throughout the final phase at -150 °C. However, people are stubborn and would rather stay at freezing homes. Maybe only these smart guys (engineers) are clever enough to make themselves comfortable?
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