Acid balancing

#1

I keep hearing complaints about acid.

Old acid ignored all armors.
Then for a while it didn’t and it made it totally harmless to player.
Now it ignores armor based on how long you stand in it and how little environmental protection your armor has.

You can currently cheese it by standing on a vehicle, which protects you completely from acid on the floor.
Wearing rubber boots isn’t enough, the acid is supposed to fume and boil and attacks the legs too (weaker than feet).

Now, acid should do SOMETHING to armored player who isn’t specifically armored against elements.
It should mostly ignore common, unspecialized footwear. For example, regular boots should barely differ in protection from going full barefoot (otherwise mutants get hit way too hard compared to regular survivors).

Acid melting items off isn’t there mostly because it is horribly unrealistic. Acid that could noticeably damage leather would deal very serious damage to living tissue, to the point where balancing it wouldn’t be doable.
Acid should almost always be way more dangerous to the player than to zombies. Spitter acid melting zombie corpses off the floor is an example of things that should NOT happen - the zombies are supposed to work together, not against each other.

So now:

[ul][li]Should acid act slower or faster?[/li]
[li]Should the player be penalized for staying in acid or should the first turn hurt as much as the 10th?[/li]
[li]Should acid become totally meaningless in hazmat or only weaker than usual?[/li]
[li]Should acid deal a lot of damage or mostly just pain?[/li]
[li]Should acid stay on the ground for long or just for a moment?[/li]
[li]What, other than acid resistance itself, should matter when determining item’s acid protection? Environmental protection or something else?[/li][/ul]

What are some things that should be in the Cataclysm?
#2

I think acid should lightly damage fiber clothing and cause moderate pain and light damage for extended periods until washed off (a flushing kit?) or it wears off. If we’re taking acid away from dealing damage then its role would next be to irritate the living player.

Acid could, in this less damaging capacity, also ‘congeal’ and slow whatever is caught in it down. There’s various considerations here, such as if some kind of str check to negate the slowing some or if it could actually target limbs and increase encumbrance.

If we’re taking acid away from a heavy corrosive substance, will we get an artificial replacement for our bombs and grenades?

#3

How about acid strenghs? Some acid just burns like hell, other types melt your skin off, others just damage certain materials, etc.

#4

Also…yeah. Stand in a puddle of acid, your legs melt yet your (waterproof, even) clothing is utterly unaffected

While it makes sense that acid shouldn’t be strong enough to melt all the things, removing item damage it caused as many unrealistic situations as it solved.

An alternate to reimplementing acid damage would be for waterproof and/or rainproof gear to have an effect on acid damage, complimenting its EP.

#5

I think the first question you need to ask is what kind of acid are we talking about?
For example, if it’s “stomach acid” (dilute Hydrocloric acid), it’s going to irritate your eyes and sinuses if it gets on/near them, but that’s about it. This would act roughly like boomer bile plus some pain.
Concentrated HCl OTOH is going to do severe damage to sensitive tissues like mucous membranes, eyes, and sinuses, and cause immediate burns on exposed skin. In-game you’d be looking at painful but almost certainly non-lethal burns on exposed skin, and significantly more painful but still not lethal burns on more delicate tissue, possibly lethal if the player managed to inhale significant quantities of aerosolized or fuming HCl. See http://www3.epa.gov/airtoxics/hlthef/hydrochl.html for some details, the main takeaway I see is “moderate to high acute toxicity from inhalation and moderate acute toxicity from oral exposure”. If I’m reading this right, that’s “significant chance of death if subject inhales HCl at a concentration of 2,000mg/m^3, or swallows ~2,000mg/kg of body weight”. Those seems like very heavy exposures to me, but feel free to correct me if I’m not reading those correctly.

Even at those concentrations, HCl is still going to do next to nothing to sizeable physical objects, you can look up some youtube videos of various things being put into HCl, for example a soda can, which looks like it took hours to weaken enough to make a seam burst from the carbonation pressure, not exactly exceptionally menacing. Another video I ran across had a chicken leg suspended in HCl for 18 hours, at the end of which the immersed portion of the leg had been dissolved, but we’re talking 18 hours of exposure with the volume of acid being higher than the volume of the dissolved flesh.

I think it’d be pretty cool to overhaul spitters to where they attack with an acid spray, perhaps targeting the face, with the initial batch of spitters producing regular gastric acid, and successive evolutions of them producing more concentrated HCl.

Now if we wanted to be really mean, we’d give advanced spitters the ability to produce and launch a Chlorine-producing compound, that’s significantly more toxic than just HCI, and even relatively small puddles of it would produce dangerous clouds of Chlorine, not to mention a direct hit on the player causing the player to become a source of Chlorine clouds.

I think this sort of thing would be a far more interesting way to take “acid” rather than trying to keep it as an abstract game entity with no reference to reality. For higher levels of danger, there are other chemical compounds that are incredibly lethal in very small quantities, such as igniting on contact with air (fire-breathing anyone?), reacting with atmospheric water to produce large clouds of concentrated sulphuric acid (reportedly dissolves heavy rubber gloves in a matter of seconds!) or acids that are eagerly absorbed through the skin and cause heavy tissue damage with even slight exposure.

#6

Again, the issue here is that you can melt to death in waterproof clothes and your g ear will be untouched.

I’m fine with acid not destroying items anyway, or at least don’t care anymore. The only reason I liked the old way was due to an also-unrealistic feature (acid-immune corpses melting).

#7

Personally I’d go full sci-fi and completely detach the acid’s chemical composition from reality, or rather make it unknown and exotic. That way we get the creative excuse to give it whatever properties we desire, and maintain immersion. I mean, to me to assume that a spitter zombie’s acid would be plain old HCl is preposterous. :stuck_out_tongue: Well… I might allow the first evolution to spit HCl.

Also, who is to say that there wouldn’t be any exotic pathogens, or their excretions in the mix, to complement the acid’s effects. Then you could get away with an explanation such as that “it’s just HCl but the virus acts as an adaptive catalyst, enabling the HCl to dissolve most materials, making it exponentially more hazardous.”

And let’s not forget aqua regia, a mixture of nitric acid and HCl. Can dissolve gold. Mucho corrosive. Probably not bueno on leather boots, or most items for that matter.

No matter what acid we choose it to be, you might still have to explain why the acid doesn’t melt the spitter zombie itself…

#8
Should acid become totally meaningless in hazmat or only weaker than usual?

I don’t think there even is a reason to wear hazmat suit and its derivatives in game. So, i would not mind that this, scavenged and overspecialized piece of equipment, would completely counter some of the in-game dangers. In future, there could be more environmental dangers, which are countered by hazmat suit. Like areas of acid rain and mycus spores in air.

Should acid stay on the ground for long or just for a moment?
Definitely, MUCH longer.
#9

The problem with “full scifi” is exactly the fact that we must come up with the properties ourselves, what’s the point when there are a huge number of options we can pull from reality?
Saying “because scifi” doesn’t prevent prevent imersion breakage, because someone would have to find the piece of information telling them it’s a scifi effect, it’s not going to be in the game when they encounter the effect.

#10

Blob-enhanced acid! The spitter zombie combines stomach acid with blob waste products to create super enhanced acid. Acid rain is the result of blob waste products that have been emitted into the atmosphere, and is weaker than spitter zombie acid.

#11

Personally, I’d be happy if we just unfucked the inconsistency of your legs melting off while wearing a full waterproof outfit, without the item being damaged.

Basic idea would be, if standing in a puddle of acid, the presence of waterproofing on your feet and legs should reduce the damage in some way. It could be a bonus (additive OR multiplicative) to the item’s existing acid defence, or it could be a separate fixed damage reduction applied before or after factoring in. Or we could go so far as making you immune to acid damage if your outfit is waterproof, but that would be going a bit too far.

For acid spray attacks, it could look for the presence of waterproof or MAYBE rainproof on the body part that’s hit, and apply possible bonuses (see above) as necessary. If rainproof is to affect acid sprays, might be sensible to have its bonus (whatever we decide it to me) be less than if it was waterproof.