"Lights Out" -- A WQ Genetics Experiment

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Sasseraph
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"Lights Out" -- A WQ Genetics Experiment

Post by Sasseraph » Thu Dec 09, 2021 8:18 pm

"Lights Out"
A WolfQuest Genetics Experiment


Description
Genetics play an important role in WolfQuest's gameplay, the most prevalent of which is the wolves' genotypes. A wolf's "genetic coat colour", or phenotype, is dependant on the K locus, on which the dominant allele, K, represents a black coat, and the recessive, k, a grey (or brown, etc) one. Aside from colour, this locus also has an effect on the disease resistance of the wolf. Wolves with homozygous recessive alleles kk (grey) have average disease resistance, while wolves with heterozygous alleles Kk (black) seem to have a higher resistance to disease. However, homozygous dominant alleles KK (black) is usually fatal in wolves.

This locus is present in the mechanics of WolfQuest 3, and primarily affects the litter size and illness rate among the player's pups, based on the parents' genetics. Therefore, the idea behind this "experiment" is to breed for genetics. Bad genetics.

Learn more about how genetics work in WolfQuest on the knowledgebase article, and the 2018 devlog about the K locus.


Goals
  • Breed a KK wolf
  • Find a KK mate (optional)
  • Breed a KK pair
There are two main objectives of this experiment. The first is to breed a homozygous dominant KK wolf, which will be the main parent for the second half of the project. The second is to breed a KK pair, of which all resulting pups will also be KK. In between these two goals is that of finding an NPC mate with KK genetics. This is now optional because SCMP allows two or more player wolves to have pups, but would still be beneficial as a surefire pair to generate (playable) KK pups.


Methods

Breed a KK wolf
To breed a KK wolf, I will start with a black Kk player-created wolf, called LO1 (Lights-Out-01). All wolves created from scratch are either Kk or kk, never KK. Next, I will find this wolf a mate (LO2) whose phenotype is also black. To be sure, I will examine their coat and rough tint in the wolf creator menu. LO2 will be much more likely to be Kk than KK, and I will assume as such that they are Kk.

Once I have a pairing of Kk black wolves, I will breed the wolves and take note of their amount of pups in the resulting litter (litter Tx), called Tx.y, where x is the litter number, and y is the pup number. I will keep track of who gets sick, for how long, and when. For sake of ease, I will be switching to easy difficulty in order to prevent the illness deaths of likely KK pups. Difficulty does not affect the sickness rate of pups.

Once the pups are grown, I will select the pup that got sick the most, and make them playable. I will then test their genetics by finding them a kk grey mate with four stars of diversity, and breeding them three times. If all pups in all three resulting litters are black Kk, the wolf is highly like to be KK, and becomes LO3. If any pups are grey, the wolf is set aside and I will test a different one from the litter until there are no plausible options left. This part requires raising the test litters to completion if their coat colours are unclear.

If none of the pups in LO1 x LO2's litter turn out to be KK, another litter from them will be completed.

This objective is considered to be completed when I justifiably believe I have a wolf LO3 whose offspring with a kk mate are always Kk.


Find a KK mate
This goal is optional. This task is very time consuming, and technically unnecessary in the short term, as I can easily play an SCMP game with friends playing KK wolves as well, though the pups would be unobtainable.

In order to find a KK mate for LO3, I will find a black phenotype mate with maximum one star of diversity. To be sure, I will examine their coat and rough tint in the wolf creator menu. The mate, during testing, will be Mx, where x is the mate number, until its genetics are confirmed. If the mate is KK, it will become LO4.

Next, I will breed the wolves. As LO3 is KK, all its pups will be black no matter what. Thus, in order to test the mate's genetics, I will test every pup in the litter's genetics. To do this, I will pair them with a grey kk mate with four stars of diversity, and breed them three times. If in any of the litters even one pup is grey (kk) instead of black, the wolf is not KK, and therefore, LO3's mate is not KK, and a new mate will be selected for genetics testing.

If after at least three litters and testing of said litters' pups none of the mate's grandchildren are grey (kk), the mate is likely to be KK, and designated LO4.

This objective is considered to be completed when I justifiably believe I have a KK mate for LO3, LO4, whose grandchildren are always phenotypically black.


Breed a KK pair
This is the easiest goal to complete on its own, the aim of which is to see just how it goes. Illness deaths with not be prevented for this objective, and I will note the statistics of pup illness frequency and duration.

This objective is considered to be completed when I have recorded the illness statistics for at least ten KK pups.
Last edited by Sasseraph on Sat Mar 26, 2022 10:09 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Sasseraph
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Re: "Lights Out" -- A WQ Genetics Experiment

Post by Sasseraph » Thu Dec 09, 2021 8:19 pm

Execution

Current status:
  • Breed a KK wolf: In progress
  • Find a KK mate: Not started
  • Breed a KK pair: Not started

Breed a KK wolf
To begin, I created a wolf, LO1, with a black Kk coat. As a base, I created him from a wolf with the "youthful prowess" perk so that his litters will be larger in order to maximize the chances of KK pups. The perk also raises the chances of sick pups recovering, but this should not significantly impact the choosing of a pup to test, nor will it affect said pups' genetics. I gave him the colloquial name "Ink Cartridge" based off of one of my friend Rowan's suggestions for the name of the experiment. I gave him the coat "Cool Coats 831F", which is a black coat.

Designation: LO1
Nickname: Ink Cartridge
Coat: Cool Coats 831F
Genotype: Kk
Image

Next, I found a mate, LO2, whose coat was also genetically black. I accepted a one star wolf with the "Hall of Fame Spitfire" coat, which is always phenotypically black regardless of tint. Though she has a small chance to be KK, I assumed her to be Kk as it is far more common, and is irrelevant at this stage aside from the rate of KK pups resulting from the pairing. I named her "Whiskas" because Rowan said her coat looks like cat food.

Designation: LO2
Nickname: Whiskas
Coat: Hall of Fame Spitfire
Genotype: Kk (Unconfirmed)
Image

T0
Taking this pair to Slough Creek, despite the youthful prowess perk, they had only three pups. However, they were at least all phenotypically black. Over the course of the litter, T0.1 got sick twice to a fatal degree, T0.2 got sick once recovered at 30% health, and T0.3 got sick thrice to a fatal degree. Both T0.1 and T0.3 were runts. After testing the genetics of T0.1 and T0.3 with kk mates, at least one of their pups were grey for both wolves, so both are Kk, and another litter from our founders is required.

T1
This litter also had three pups.

Goal is still in progress.


Find a KK mate
(Dependent on "Breed a KK wolf")


Breed a KK pair
(Dependent on "Breed a KK wolf")



Results
(No goals completed)


This project is currently incomplete. This post will be edited as progress is made.
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Runic_Raptor
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Re: "Lights Out" -- A WQ Genetics Experiment

Post by Runic_Raptor » Sun Mar 27, 2022 5:15 pm

I really love this idea! Genetics are super interesting to me, and I love this detail they included.

Hopefully you'll be successful. I had always assumed that KK pups simply weren't born based on the fact that in real life they rarely survive and that in-game two black wolves tend to produce far fewer pups. So it'll be interesting to see if it's possible or not if you continue!
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Re: "Lights Out" -- A WQ Genetics Experiment

Post by Sasseraph » Tue Mar 29, 2022 2:53 pm

I agree, genetics are very fun! I completed litters for both sickly pups from the first litter, so now I'm slowly working on the next, but you're right that they produce very small litters, haha. Hopefully we'll see!
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Re: "Lights Out" -- A WQ Genetics Experiment

Post by Runic_Raptor » Sat May 07, 2022 1:07 pm

There was just a post on the Steam page about the K locus, titled "KK and kk, Okay!"

It turns out it is possible your a player wolf to be KK, and has the same chances of an NPC wolf.

It also broke down the percentage chance of NPC and player wolves to be any of the possible combinations,

"However, there is some chance of KK pups surviving. In their survey of Yellowstone wolves between 1998 and 2009, biologists found this distribution:

kk: 54%
Kk: 41%
KK: 5%

The game reproduces this (somewhat roughly) with pups, but also with adult wolves. We use this distribution to set the odds of dispersal wolves being kk, Kk, or KK. Furthermore, if you create a wolf with a black coat, it will have the same odds: 90% chance of being Kk and 10% chance of being KK. So your wolf can (unknowingly until now) be KK."

It also mentions a bug fix in the coming update that prevents the player wolf's k locus from being rerolled every time you edited your wolf's coat.
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Re: "Lights Out" -- A WQ Genetics Experiment

Post by Sasseraph » Mon May 09, 2022 9:39 am

I'm aware! I have potential plans change the goal; perhaps just to finding a KK mate for a KK wolf and seeing how awful their litters turn out to be.
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Re: "Lights Out" -- A WQ Genetics Experiment

Post by duskypack » Fri Jun 17, 2022 6:54 pm

I love this idea and I’m excited to see the results of your experiment. Such a good way to make full use of the genetics mechanics!
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