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[2020] Drug Feedback Thread
What needs work with drugs?

There has been feedback in a variety of posts (and in the town hall topic thread) about drug feedback. We won't have time to discuss what people want to see feature wise at the Town Hall, so this is where we can collect feedback on Drugs.

Drugs have seen several massive feature overhauls and updates in the last year. Please respond to this thread with your thoughts on how those changes have positively or negatively affected the game, as well as with adjustments or suggestions you would like to see in them moving forward.


Starting topics for this post:

- Have we found a good balance of risk & reward?
- Are the experience scripts adding to RP? How could they be improved?
- Are people using recreational as well as combat drugs?

(Edited by Slither at 5:17 pm on 1/31/2020)

Not sure if I'm alone here, but I pretty much stopped smoking weed entirely when the new changes went through. It debuffs a particular stat pretty hard (a full level), as far as I can tell. I'm wondering if that could maybe be halved?

Weed DOES make you sleepy, so maybe this is working as intended. I'm just wondering if there's some wiggle room.

I'm pretty sure it was all buffs before the changes, so maybe it just seems extreme because of that. It's also possible that I'm smoking bad weed but I'm pretty sure that's not the case.

Also, I've been having a blast with the scripted experiences. I've seen other players really helped by them as well, often noting it on local ooc. I think they're a great addition. I don't even mind when I'm taking multiple hits of different ones. Honestly it's great because it sort of mimics the "come-up" you get IRL in a minor way.

I think someone mentioned scripts for when drugs are wearing off. I think that would be great too. Something like "You feel the Vee-202 wearing off". Maybe something more complicated that mirrors the come-up experience if people are open to it.

Overall I'm really pumped that this system gets so much attention. Drugs make this game very fun for RP and are also useful IC as far as I can tell. I think the duration boost has gone a long way towards making them useful as well.

- Have we found a good balance of risk & reward?

Closer but not quite there. I personally feel that there needs to be a more realistic limit on the total number of drugs taken no matter who you are. Taking Drug-A and Drug-B and Drug-C and Drug-D and Drug-E all at once should really mess you up in my opinion.

Also, If there is a limit of like two or three different drugs at once I think you will be forced to accept a bit more of a downside than you have to face when taking four plus drugs at once. The more drugs you can take simultaneously the easier it seems to be to make the down sides inconsequential for all practical purposes.

And no, I personally don't feel the cost of the drugs is enough to limit this kind of usage.

- Are the experience scripts adding to RP? How could they be improved?

I like the scripts I've seen. As Floored said, maybe something to help PCs know of and RP the wearing-off a bit more.

- Are people using recreational as well as combat drugs?

I think that most of the people using drugs for recreation usually only do so in certain, controlled circumstances. If you are neck deep in plot it's hard for a player to choose to debuff stats that might be essential to survival and boost stats that are not really going to help their build should they have to face the unexpected.

That being said, I personally see a lot of drugs being offered and presumably used in a recreational capacity. More than I recall seeing a year ago or two years ago.

I'm pretty sure it was all buffs before the changes

It wasn't.

There are four different kinds of weed and these come in many, many variants at all different strengths. The penalties and bonuses are different depending on what you're smoking (and always have been).

As for feedback: I think Nevadone could use a look. In certain situations it provides a large benefit at little cost.

In my experience Nevadone is the most expensive candy being sold. What do you mean by little cost Vera? I'm curious to know what you mean.
Nevadone is pretty high cost when you consider it is 1) hard to make 2) hard to keep making over time 3) has a massive shelf price 4) has pretty gnarly withdrawal symptoms. I think it's fine as is. Something being good doesn't mean it needs to be nerfed. Something being good makes it valuable and worth fighting for. Fighting over stuff is good cyberpunk.
I don't think Nevadone is OP at all, tbh. It messes with a stat that a certain type of fighter relies very heavily on. The balance is that Slither has somehow found a way to make it so there are equal types of candy that help and mess with each type of build.
Have we found a good balance of risk & reward?

Yes.

The changes to addiction have made it possible to experiment with different drugs. Through experimentation, I have been able to develop a mixture of chemicals that work well for my character. Because of the lower likelihood of addiction, I have even been able to branch out into other drugs.

While the 'other' drugs are not necessarily beneficial for my character's niche, it's get to be able to get a sense for why other characters might use them. And from that, extrapolate what other characters are focused on in their own development.

It is my perception that the current system encourages the use of chemicals. A player with zero knowledge of the chems can experiment with them and develop a solid understanding of their benefits and drawbacks.

As much as I hesitate to ruin a good thing, I am going to suggest that drugs might need to be SLIGHTLY more addictive. (With the emphasis on slightly.) Although my character has been using the same three to five drugs, once a day every 1-3 days, they are still not addicted. In my character's mind, they are dependent upon the drugs. By that I mean, they would not do anything "important" without being on at least one drug.

Are the experience scripts adding to RP? How could they be improved?

Yes they are adding to the RP.

Another round or two of scripts triggered further into the experience would improve my RP. I kind of default to being generically 'high' after a few minutes. By that I mean, I'm not so much roleplaying the effects of a specific drug as I am roleplaying being in an altered head space. To be honest, after taking 3-5 drugs at a time, I lose track of which effects are which.

My suggestion is a second round of experiences around minutes 3-7, and maybe a third or final round of experiences around minutes 5-13 or whatever.

I haven't obsessively tracked how long the drugs last. Though it seems like a while. "Long enough" is accurate. Long enough to need reminders feels right to me.

Are people using recreational as well as combat drugs?

90-95% of my character's drug usage is with recreational drugs.

If combat drugs have different addiction rates than recreational, then please take that into consideration with what I said for addiction. I just want to reiterate that I think addiction is very close to being right. A very slight tweak towards being slightly more addictive would likely be "perfect".

Suggested Improvements / Expansion of Drugs

Bonuses / Penalties

This should probably go on Ideas, but it fits here also.

A Bonus that makes Drugs slightly better and a corresponding Penalty that makes the more risky would be cool.

The Perk might be that they last longer. Twice as long. 50% as long. Whatever is high enough to make it worth spending 1 of 3 Perk points on it, but not so powerful as to be imbalancing. I suggest duration of drug effect instead of increase of drug effects (i.e. more Stat bonus) because duration seems less likely to imbalance the game.

The Penalty might be that a character is more likely to become addicted. In my mind, that would need to be almost guaranteed addiction after just a couple of uses. Otherwise it's not really a Penalty like other Penalties that apply to every single skill check that falls under the category of the Penalty.

I literally haven't gotten addicted to a single drug despite going nuts at every party plus occasional recreational use.

This confuses me.

You get addicted from habitual use and there are many factors that can make a particular drug or person less prone to addiction.
I think in general drugs are going great. I second the desire to have maybe some “reminder” scripts fire off, or maybe just some @stats note about the effects you are feeling. I want to be able to know when I am on and off a drug for RP purposes, and also a little better sense of what symptoms I experience during my high.
My take-away items:

Revamp overall is good. Drug use is up drastically, as it should be. Seeing people shooting up all kinds of candies before rumbles is fantastic.

There's too many varieties (as in the actual item types) of weed without a significant difference between them to really justify having so many. I think we could probably make due with just joints, jackals, and maybe one bubbler, and let the candymen really make these three types of items shine on their own. As it is now you can't give away some of the bubblers.

I think Vera's suggestion of adding additional PDS utility to Dez was a fantastic idea.

The addition of the scripts has been great for having RP prompts!

Overall, I think characters are still primarily using candy to farm chyen with, although recreational use is up in a big way since the changes. It's much closer to being balanced now than it was previously.