Drug Addiction?

LordAdder

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#1
I had an idea for drug addiction that would encourage the purchasing of drugs outside of a "role play" situation. Not sure if this has been posted before or if the subject has been raised.

I was wondering if this would be a useful process for maintaining a drug dealing system between producer --> Seller --> Consumer.

The most essential part of this chain is the consumer, since it does act as a trickle down effect and not something recyclable. So to keep this system profitable and active, the person at the bottom needs a reason to invest in drugs outside of positive effects, but I wonder what would happen if withdrawal would be implemented.

This would be the ideal scenario for this: A player wants an edge in, for example, combat so turns to drugs to get that edge. The initial buffs for using the drug are great, but they burn out fast. It may be hard to code a delay in the effects of the withdrawal, but I think it would be interesting to have the drug have an affect initially, but eventually, due to the fear of withdrawal, the pros of using drugs starts to decrease. Eventually, if you start to have withdrawal, the drugs no longer give you a buff, but instead helps maintain the status quo of the player's ability. Eventually you will need to take more drugs to get that initial buff.

Granted, this sounds like a whole lot of negatives, but drugs are bad, m'kay?
 

Chip Lawrie

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#2
So addiction and withdrawal are very hard to model accurately without seeming to become a parody (in the don't do drugs kids kind of way). On top of this, it becomes incredibly hard to balance, meaning you walk an incredibly fine line between making the drug pushers obsolete because no one wants to risk the drugs, making the drug pushers dominant in everything because everyone needs to buy drugs and making the addiction mechanic useless (as it was that time they tried it in FoM). You'd also need a way for people to fix their addiction, otherwise people would play, get hopelessly addicted and then log out never to play again.
 

Tornadium

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#3
This is a balancing nightmare.

It would be pretty easy to model diminishing returns for habitual drug use (Say popping one drug on cooldown when the previous one ends, Diminishing returns on drug duration and effect due to your body building a tolerance) however addiction is one of those things that needs to be handled one of two ways.

It either has to be an irritation (See Fallout 4, Can get it easily removed and for the most part is just an annoyance) or a severe issue for the character to manage which just sounds unfun and would deter people from using the items. Trying to hit the middle ground just makes it seem pointless.

What benefit does it add to the game outside of an annoying roleplay addition?
 

Scavy

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#4
I think its a good idea having some sort of addiction system, otherwise they're just more powerful buffs that are illegal for some reason. I think just an addiction system where you get some harsh temporary debuffs for a while when not taking the drug would be fine, of course there could be a legal drug that could be used to ween people off of their addiction with less severe debuffs.


There should be some in game reason why they are illegal. Not that we want to make the game based off of IRL of course, but drug classifications are based on their potential for abuse and likelihood to cause dependency.
 

Tornadium

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#5
I think its a good idea having some sort of addiction system, otherwise they're just more powerful buffs that are illegal for some reason. I think just an addiction system where you get some harsh temporary debuffs for a while when not taking the drug would be fine, of course there could be a legal drug that could be used to ween people off of their addiction with less severe debuffs.


There should be some in game reason why they are illegal. Not that we want to make the game based off of IRL of course, but drug classifications are based on their potential for abuse and likelihood to cause dependency.
You have to balance utility with fun, It's a constant arms race between what is useful and what is downright annoying to deal with.

I can't foresee any kind of balance where an addiction system wouldn't annoy the ever loving shit out of every player who used the drug. It either needs to be overpowered as all hell to compensate for it (thereby making drug use mandatory for balance purposes) or the addiction affects need to be negligible which defeats the purpose.

You're also then running into the issue of forcing CPC/TDC to use drugs because they are much better than legal alternatives without the downsides.
 

Tod Maddux

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#6
The problem is the drug producing factions. I swear no one in BoS knew how to add. They use to sell their stuff at a loss to themselves. No wonder so many of them would have to perma die to get more uc.
 

John White

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#7
2 systems.
One where continuously using a drug reduces it's time of action. ( I think that's easier to do than drug giving lower stats?)
Two where drug users clones cost more cause cloning centre has harder time transferring consciousness that is under influence or alternatively make the cloning longer under same premise.


Having withdrawal wouldn't make sense from technical point of view. People get new bodies when cloned. They cannot get physically addicted. Psychological addiction will present itself as players buying drugs again to get that boost in combat.
 

Chip Lawrie

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#8
Having withdrawal wouldn't make sense from technical point of view. People get new bodies when cloned. They cannot get physically addicted. Psychological addiction will present itself as players buying drugs again to get that boost in combat.
So lore wise addiction is actually fairly easy to add, the various devices that are used to clone in MR transfer mental states and memories as well (otherwise how do you remember everything when you have a new clone). The same could be said about the nervous system and other addiction-related issues - cloning clones the good with the bad.


The gameplay considerations are in many ways more important however, as Tornadium says it doesn't really seem to add anything.
 

LordAdder

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#9
As per the discussion that took place on the Discord, there have been some elaborations and suggestions brought up.

One of them is the differences between having legal vs. illegal drugs. According to Torn it would be something like this:

Legal drugs give a good buff, and have no (or a little?) chance of addiction, the downside being expensive. This would give Avalon something to produce.

Illegal drugs would be cheaper, illegal of course with a chance of confiscation, have a (better?) good buff, but also have that chance of addiction, which if played along with my post, would cause people to have to buy more of the drug to try and slow down the negatives.

I think to get rid of the withdrawal, the process would need to be both expensive, and take time.
 
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Hari Seldon

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#10
Anti-addiction treatment (sold by your nearest AE rep) should be a separate consumable, have cost in its own right and be something you can take to reduce the chance/level of dependency your system builds up but negates some of the benefits of the drugs you take for a period time as it brings down you dependency level over the same period.

Legal boosters for regulatory or simple user adoption reasons would therefore be products that contain the same amount of drug providing benefit but addiction but also inbuilt anti-dependency treatment that means you are far safer taking them, they are inherently more expensive (quite apart from the reasons of legit business with overhead and corporate margins) being essentially two in one consumable and the effects are weaker than illegal "un-mollified" versions. Illegal drugs are therefore for the poor and those two buy a whole seat but only use the edge.

Balance would be tough to strike but the idea is to have a decision points for the enhancing drugs around: Benefit now vs problems later vs costs.

Side notes-

OD

Quite apart from having a dependency effect have a toxicity level that can have negative effects on you for taking cocktails of drugs or large quantities.

Maybe as well as part of the increasing dependency for same effect you also build up a tolerance to toxicity by persistent long term use without dependency treatment taking some of the sting out of running consistently high levels of toxicity by increasing how much you can take without it being too much thus increasing the highs you can get to for the lows you have suffered. Have an implant maybe that can give you a high base resistance to toxicity too and auto-detects a crash causing it to purge you back to normal (none-drug enhanced) levels before the negative kicks in but re-setting your resistance level to default and preventing drugs from having a positive effect on you for a period time.

Purely recreational drugs?

Have a much lower (but still present) dependency impact but give players short term funny UI effects like random ducks popping up on screen, color inversion, sepia tone filter on everything and or unique music tracks that play for the duration of effect.
 

CheSquattII

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#12
The edge the drugs give you in combat over the legal alternatives are the addiction. In FoM you could only tank so hard on Pizz/Burg, or Water/pizza, add anabolica to the mix and you have way more options. You needed to use the drugs to be consistently effective, and that acted as a sort of "addiction" in a game based entirely around combat. This sorta balances itself unless you start adding stuff like this.
 

Tornadium

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#13
The edge the drugs give you in combat over the legal alternatives are the addiction. In FoM you could only tank so hard on Pizz/Burg, or Water/pizza, add anabolica to the mix and you have way more options. You needed to use the drugs to be consistently effective, and that acted as a sort of "addiction" in a game based entirely around combat. This sorta balances itself unless you start adding stuff like this.
How does it balance itself?

There is no downside to using drugs, They are better to use in all situations as was the case in FoM. Having all other items be worthless in all situations with no downside is not "balance". Requiring the use of a singular combination to be competitive is as far from balanced as it is possible to be. You may as well throw them in as baseline stats if everyone is going to use them.

Edit :

To add to the previous point, basing the game entirely around peak combat performance will just retread the same ground we went over in FoM and you know how much of a disaster that was.
 

Joshua Jones

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#14
Another issue with drugs is there needs to be a viable and varied legal options. Otherwise you'll see anyone who isnt a scrub in CPC and TDC running around with loads of drugs just like in fom. Just to be a relevant fighter, which really breaks the immersion for anything other than the "crooked cop" kind rp.
 

John White

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#15
So lore wise addiction is actually fairly easy to add, the various devices that are used to clone in MR transfer mental states and memories as well (otherwise how do you remember everything when you have a new clone). The same could be said about the nervous system and other addiction-related issues - cloning clones the good with the bad.


The gameplay considerations are in many ways more important however, as Tornadium says it doesn't really seem to add anything.
From what you guys already wrote about cloning lore, persons consciousness is digitised and then uploaded into a new clone.
Here's an example: if you were under influence and someone knocked you out and you woke up several hours later when the drugs are out of your system you won't be acting crazy any more.
Cloning creates genetically identical copy. It's sterile body. There can be no drugs in it's system when consciousness is uploaded to it. no drugs = no influence on the mind.

And no, it does add quite a lot.
If you have an illegal compound which is objectively better than legal alternatives and give significant advantage to the player with only reason for it being illegal is you saying so, people will use it, all of them. And you will have policing force using it while attacking people for using it. That sure worked out well for LED.




I liked so of Hari's ideas.
OD sounds great. Though coming up with negatives and balancing them out sounds like a pain.
Maybe if it reaches max toxicity player just drops dead, unless they have implant that purges them.
As for tolerance, again probably balancing issue. Also when people become tolerant to drugs, that usually means drugs stop producing any effect, like nitroglycerine or maybe reduce drowsiness in some antipsychotic meds, but if drugs are wrecking your liver or kidneys, taking more won't make it stop.
But same issue as I described above. Fresh clone=clean system=no tolerance.
 

macmardigan

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#16
A tolerance system would indeed be neat, that manner people wouldn't always use the same drug as they would have to give them a rest in order for their bodies to work out the tolerance while using other, perhaps less than optimal, options.

As for the fresh clone issue: So what? We are not aiming for realism. We all saw unarmored clones taking half a dozen shots of concentrated superheated plasma (something that would probably vaporize a modern air carrier) and just shrug it off after a while of healing. So a small inconsistency story wise that allows a better gameplay is tolerable and desirable.
 
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John White

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#17
As for the fresh clone issue: So what? We are not aiming for realism. We all saw unarmored clones taking half a dozen shots of concentrated superheated plasma (something that would probably vaporize a modern air carrier) and just shrug it off after a while of healing. So a small inconsistency story wise that allows a better gameplay is tolerable and desirable.
Good thing that you brought that up.
Let's make guns work like this:


Jokes aside, even "realistic" FPS suffer from that issue, so it's something to be expected.
But saying we couldn't achieve total realism, so fuck it, is not a good way to go when making RPG.
Besides I'm just pointing it out because it's the lore they chose and wrote, it can be adjusted to fit whatever system they choose to implement.
 
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Cadonez

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#18
And no, it does add quite a lot.
If you have an illegal compound which is objectively better than legal alternatives and give significant advantage to the player with only reason for it being illegal is you saying so, people will use it, all of them. And you will have policing force using it while attacking people for using it. That sure worked out well
That’s the point. Substances that give a significant edge if you can acquire them as they’re rarer than legal alternatives and avoid trips to prison from hardline Cpc. The risk reward balances out, addiction doesn’t add much except to complixate with no enjoyable depth.
 

John White

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#19
That’s the point. Substances that give a significant edge if you can acquire them as they’re rarer than legal alternatives and avoid trips to prison from hardline Cpc. The risk reward balances out, addiction doesn’t add much except to complixate with no enjoyable depth.
How are they rarer if you have entire faction dedicated to sole purpose of producing them?
And this risk of some cpc scrub trying to arrest sometime is laughable, have you never played fom?
You'll just 1 v 5 them or however big their squad will be, with drug advantage that you have, like it always happens.
And on off chance someone will actually get arrested they'll start bitching about how OP the stun weapons are.


I'm not saying that illegal drugs shouldn't be great, they should. Otherwise nobody will use them.
 

Joshua Jones

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#20
If addiction could be easily treated, then one benefit could be that it provides a money sink for the game. Especially if you're going to make a set of illegal drugs way better than any legal alternative. They will need to have significant long term draw backs to just stop everyone using them including the people who shouldn't be using them (Government factions). One of those draw backs could just be the sheer cost associated with using them, although this line of thinking has its own balancing issues.