Large structures found in some sectors on the island of Metavira.
These facilities are instrumental to the game as they both provide a means for the valuable Fallow Sap being processed from the rare trees growing on the island into precious lifesaving medication, and are also the player's primary source of income as the player is not paid for the raw tree sap but for processed one.
There are a total of four Processing Plants on the island that were built when Jack Richards and Lucas Santino were still working together, and each has a different processing capacity (measured in the trees' worth of sap per day):
Sector 60: 20 Trees
Sector 54: 25 Trees
Sector 27: 35 Trees
Sector 31: 30 Trees
The player starts with exactly one plant, the one located in Sector 60, at the beginning of the game, with the rest of the plants in enemy hands.
"The processing plant we managed to capture today has been sabotaged. It could take my men a couple of days to get it up and running!" - Jack Richards
Capturing the plants, unfortunately, is never a straightforward process.
Each of the plants are heavily guarded by the enemy, both inside the plants and outside. In addition, the processing equipment in each of the labs are rigged with explosives, which the enemy has orders to detonate should they realize you are making an attempt to capture it. If an enemy inside the plant detects you, one predetermined guard will run to set off a pre-planted detonator mounted on a wall or on a tree. Additionally, there is always at least one guard patrolling the grounds outside each of the plants equipped with a radio, who will notify the man tasked with setting the bombs off once he sees you, which can result in the plant being detonated before you can even make an attempt at infiltration.
If the explosives are successfully set off, the plant will need to be repaired and refurbished before it can go back into operation, a process which can take several days.
Capturing the Second to Fourth Plants
There are several ways to go about capturing the plants without setting off the bombs, and all of them require extensive care and time. If you want the plant to go into operation right away, be prepared to spend most of an in-game day taking the sector.
The first obstacle to overcome is the radio-equipped soldier(s) outside. To keep him from tipping anyone off, a quick and quiet kill is imperative. Silencers and pistols (preferably modified .357 Magnums) are a must, as gunfire reports will be heard by the other soldiers inside the plant. Keep your mercs together - the soldier is best killed the moment he is spotted, to minimize the chance of him seeing you and notifying the others before you are able to kill him.
Once you enter the plant itself, there are several ways to approach the problem of the men and bombs inside:
- Eliminate All Soldiers - quickly and efficiently killing all the soldiers in the sector without giving any of them a chance to flee or set off the detonator. one of them inside may have a remote control device to set off the C-4. Kill all swiftly.
- Defuse the Detonator - if one or two soldiers are eluding confrontation or you are low on ammo, a quick and thorough search of the premises will reveal the detonator, which is usually mounted in an object on a wall. Naturally, make sure someone well-versed in explosives tackles this, lest you end up doing the enemy's work for them.
- Defuse the Bombs - the bombs themselves are physical C4 bombs planted amidst the processing equipment in the main rooms of the plant. Searching amidst the pipes and machines with someone with explosives skill will generally reveal the bombs, which can then be defused. There are numerous bombs however, and the search-and-defuse process risky and time consuming - this method is recommended only as a last resort. It is better to try this once all enemies all be eliminated.
Securing the Premises
Be sure to position a full of compliment of guards in the sector once it is taken - the enemy considers sectors with plants in them tactically important, and will focus their attentions on them if they are able. They are not shy about crossing the water to do so, either.