Mutations, Food Poisoning, Radation (Minor Spoilers?)

 [center]*I'm just being safe, I mention a few Nightly Build building and items, nothing gamebreaking*[/center]

 I've played Cataclysm for a long while for sure, and I would like to post some of my findings after all this time. However, to start out, I will be posting a series of tests on  Admittedly, I did just spend a decent amount of time typing this out only to be logged out and then lose the wall of text I created. But here it is again! First off, I'd like to thank the dev that integrated the search option for the debug mode (and devs in general, you guys are ballers!) cause these tests took a lot of items to confirm. Now let's begin...

All control tests were performed with a 8-8-8-8 no traits no skills survivor

I started with water, since it is a big source of detriments in all form except for clean. Your standard water (from a toilet, river, sewers, and maybe a few other places) is quenching, but causes food poisoning. I tested to see if all water was the same, and I found that sewer water, swamp water, river water, and tap water all act the same with only different aesthetics (Drinking 5 straight from the source and 5 from a container filled with water from the source). All were simply Food Poising.  However, drinking sewage around Toxic Waste Dumps and Hazardous Waste Sarcophagi raised my radiation, unlike the other sources by the same name in Sewage Treatment Plants and Sewers. My test with normal water was to drink it 30x, then 30x with Disease and Poison Resistance, and another with Expanded Digestive System. Every time I got Food Poisoning, save for two times with the CBM. Moving on, I found that Acid Water did not raise my radiation, but cause minor damage to your torso and cause a bad feeling, but interestingly enough not Food Poisoning. Now I wasn't sure if I should consider sewage samples as water or food (Think about it). Regardless, I found that if you drink it you get almost all bad mutations, but with the trait Robust Genetics you can get a fair amount of benign mutations. This does not offset the vast amount of vomiting you will be doing though.

 Next up, I messed around with buildings. My findings were little but, to a new player, potentially helpful. This test was me hanging around one of the areas for Two Hours. My first test was with the sewage around Toxic Waste Dumps and Hazardous Material Sarcophagi  The control was the same as mentioned above, the test was with iodine pills. Ten control tests resulted in no perceivable pattern of mutations, and about 400-450 rads. With Iodine pills, they all had one random mutation, but capped out around 50 rads.

 I've noticed that gobbling down every pill you get is no longer a viable strategy, to some extent. My tests showed that the amount of painkillers that could take down an elephant is a happy buzz for your average survivor (50+ pills and hours of waiting). However, enough alcohol and liquor to get drunk mixed with two oxycodone, tramadol, or codeine pills will kill you. I'm not quite sure about Adderall, aspirin, or illegal drugs.

 This was my first time doing a test that I posted (I do a lot on my own time for Dwarf Fortress as well). Tell me if I'm biased, or if I should do more tests. This was for new players mostly, just as reference. Any feedback for me is good feedback, cause I'm new to this.

You run tests and controls with samples that are sizable enough to prove tedious for some, and to me that is valuable.
I’d be curious to see how the other drugs are interacting and things of that nature, to ensure they’re doing as intended more than as a beginner’s reference.
The only complaints I could come up with don’t really apply, since a detailed list of items, rate of consumption and ‘lab setup’ are not really as important when it isn’t for a science journal. Still, I’d be curious to know some extra figures, like at what point (number-wise) chugging more pills becomes redundant.

Vitamins had a situation where the intention was ‘one or two a day’ was all you needed to take before anything further did not add to the bonuses already accrued. Turned out something in the code wasn’t reading as intended and chugging entire vitamin bottles was warding off disease like an immunity booster. They’ve since fixed that, but I would be unsurprised if there are other little things like this hidden away that might only surface if checked over with patience.

Note about food poisoning:
The chance of a particular bit of water being poisonous, as well as the overall severity of said food poisoning, is dependent upon the location that the water is gathered from. For example water from toilets has a 2 in 3 chance of being poisoned with a severity of 1-4, where river water has a 1 in 4 chance with severity 1-4, and funnel water will only be poisoned 1 in 10, and will only have a severity of 1.

Radiation has undergone a huge overhaul from the .5 version to the upcoming .6. It’s much more deadly now, and no longer has the old “cap” that was determined by the radiation of the spot where the player was standing.

More deadly?

More frequent and deadly? Or just more deadly?

Just more deadly. Previously radiation couldn’t really kill a character. Now if you go wandering around for too long in high radiation areas without protection, you will suffer the consequences (though you will start seeing signs of radiation in time to get out alive).

I thought the radiation in the game was supposed to be comic book radiation. That is to say, super powers and giant bugs as opposed to cancer and dying. Making it deadly cancer radiation just takes out a lot of the game’s flavor.

Oh it still works as comic book radiation that gives you super powers (though there is an option to make it realistic now, where it doesn’t make you mutate). It’s just that now it actually fills a slot in mutating. Prior to the update it was fully possible to set up a sleeping bag in a toxic waste dump or sarcophagus, spend the night there, and leave the next morning with every mutation known to man (and with robust genetics a huge number of them would be good mutations). Now radiation fills the high risk/high reward slot for mutating, where you can expose yourself and probably walk away with mutations, but if you expose yourself to much you can seriously hurt or kill yourself. This is in contrast to mutagen, which works as a small risk/reward where you need to work hard to get it/make it, but then you can mutate. At an even higher level are the “flavored” mutagens, which allow you to push yourself towards the exact mutation category that you want (which is much more important now with some of the changes to the “mutate” algorithm, there is a much higher chance to remove mutations that aren’t part of your specific category).

So it’s a proper approach-avoid conflict now. I likey. It’ll mean the few mutations I do walk away with will have been hard-earned. As much as I love piling on the random combinations of everything, this spreads it out a little thinner so you savour the flavour a bit more. If that makes sense.

Thanks Pthalocy, I spent some time testing with drugs like you said. Also, I was just posting the details of my experiments so if anyone needed some confirmation it would be there. I won’t go into as much detail, but I’m still going to be stating the frame of the experiment. Now that that’s over with, I chose to do these experiments with a (still blank) survivor in the normal game. I first tested vitamins: My first survivor chugged 20 vitamins to begin with, and my second took two per day. In two weeks, my first survivor had the Common Cold, but my second seemed to be fine. I also tried to cure my first survivor with Dayquil and Nyquil, but it seems to just prevent symptoms and not actually the disease (which is fine for me because Nyquil just ends up being for sleep and not diseases anyways). Painkillers were a bit harder to test. Aspirin was fairly easy, at up to 4 pain, taking two would drop it, further than that it did nothing to the pain. Codeine is useful up to about 20 pain, then it starts to just dampen it. Tramadol actually does more at a longer time, but if you need quick painkiller, Codeine is slightly better. Taking one of each didn’t prove fatal and could lower my pain level of 50 down to 0 in about 30 minutes. Oxycodone is just great, one pill could lower 100 pain and above to 0 in minutes. It will however kill you in a dose I can’t quite figure out, so I couldn’t test the redundancy of taking it. One or Two will be fine in most cases though. Stimulants were nothing more than seeing how high I could get my speed levels. Adderall Would get me to 136 in a pill. Caffeine pills capped at 106 after 4 or so. Meth, Crack, and Cocaine capped at 186 in doses of 1-2. Since my guy is pretty well addicted, I got to test Prozac and Xanax as well. Prozac seems to get rid of negative speed modifiers, but not mood modifiers. It’s as effective as you are sad basically. Xanax doesn’t affect addictions, or the withdrawal and messages of wanting to take them that are paired with them. And lastly, we have Thorazine. It seems that someone who is on Shrooms or is a Schizo gets hallucinations, taking one Thorazine pill will simply eliminate them.

 I don't quite know what you mean, if this is correct then that's great, but if you meant something else please do tell.

I can confirm this:

[ol][li]Vitamins won’t push you into super high health ranges. Starting dosage should be about 2-3 pills, and then after that the average time it takes for the effects to completely wear off is 16 hours. Taking vitamins more often then this can provide some additional protection, but can potentially waste some of the vitamin’s potential.[/li]
[li]Nyquil/Dayquil simply reduce effects, neither will cure the cold or flu.[/li]
[li]Taking multiple Aspirins will lengthen the effects, but it won’t push your painkiller any higher. Thus you can never die from taking aspirin by itself.[/li]
[li]Each Codine provides ~51 painkill. This is reduced by 1 every 5 minutes, so the end effective bonus is 48 (This is then further modified by addiction level to painkillers). This stacks indefinitely, and if you reach the 240 point threshold you die. Optimal dosage for 50 pain (no addiction) would be to take 2, wait 5 hours, and then take them every 4.3 hours. Once you become addicted this amount would rapidly increase, though.[/li]
[li]Oxycodone is only slightly better then Codine, having an effective value of 63 (67 - 4 for natural reduction). It’s benefits are that it kicks in extremely fast, giving 13 in the first 3 minutes! It then releases at the same rate as codine, giving ~5 every 3.5 minutes.[/li]
[li]Xanax doubles your natural stimulant decrease rate, bringing it to 2 every 5 minutes. Other then that the only effect it has is on the Hoarder trait.[/li]
[li]Prozac only has an effect if you are in the negative morale when you take it (elsewise it only has a small stim bonus), and it will divide any total negative morale values by 4 for it’s duration (12 hours).[/li][/ol]

The reason that I think you were seeing different results at the end of your painkiller testing was because you had lingering effects from previous tests.

Vitamins (True based on coding, also we now have rare vaccine shots which can provide a weeks worth protection)
Painkillers (Confirmed but it does make you unhealthy)
Nyquils and Dayquils (True but taking these seems to make you healthy) quote : ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’

Yep, sounds pretty much like what I was getting at. Basically just checking that the end results being reported do in fact reflect the intended designs implemented. In my head it seems smart to have a programmer (thanks a ton for confirmation i2amroy) add in the code and a non-programmer report back the results, just as a control measure.

Is it true that chugging stimulant drugs isn’t resulting in overdoses in the same way the other classes of drugs are? I bring this up because I have stimulant meds irl and I know damn well a heart attack is not that hard to accomplish with too many adderal (or adderal-like meds in my case). Shaaakey shakey hands and super hair-trigger edgy. Is it plausible that stim drugs and non-stim drugs are counteracting one another? I only have a rough understanding of how the PKILL(?) values work in figuring out if a player has reached the overdose threshold. Realistically, taking a hundred caffeine pills will not stop you from passing out due to a truckton of alcohol. It’ll just kill you creatively. Maybe one or two caffeins might make a bit of difference.

I’d say try testing oxycodone in isolation. As i2amroy suggests, I suspect drug interactions are confounding some of your testing measures. I don’t think two-ish should be enough to cause an overdose, that seems far too easy to do. Making sure drugs are designed with relatively balanced levels of ‘difficulty rating to OD on’ is something I’m positive the devs have considered far more than I am able to assume, but still good to check imo. Unless I’m being redundantly methodical in worrying about this. I don’t want to come off looking like I make assumptions nobody has triple-checked this already.
Noting that drugs make sense when taken in isolation, but suddenly become hard to utilize safely due to other drug interactions is something worthwhile I think. It at least gives us an idea of where players are most likely to screw up when utilizing multiple meds.

I was just thinking about drugs and their effects, and I have a few research questions for anybody willing to try it.

Do drug of any sort have any affect on hunger/thirst levels?
Unless specifically created for sleep/sleep deprivation, do any drugs have sleep related effect? (Like does marijuana or Adderall increase/decrease character sleepiness?)
Do drugs taken by NPCs actually work on them? (Not sure how to isolate and test this)
Do drugs have any yet unknown side effects? (Length of vision? Accuracy? Crafting Times? Driving Fumbling? Melee Damage? Anything?)

I think that drugs don’t affect NPC’s , because i was running around a forest with most body parts broken and 20 pain , then i saw an NPC and when he tried to flee he took 2 adderalls and he was still slower than me.

Maybe it was because of the weird stuff that usually appears in NPC inventory , like minireactors , 13" wheels , metal tanks and other uselless stuff that NPC’s really don’t need.

Marijuana increases hunger; Cocaine, crack, and meth all decrease it.

Unless specifically created for sleep/sleep deprivation, do any drugs have sleep related effect? (Like does marijuana or Adderall increase/decrease character sleepiness?)
Thorazine and Nyquil increases fatigue, Prozac increases stimulation (which makes it harder to fall sleep), Xanax decreases stimulation (which makes it easier to fall asleep).
Do drugs taken by NPCs actually work on them? (Not sure how to isolate and test this)
I'm... actually not sure on this one. The NPC code is notoriously difficult to understand, so it's possible a bug could be there. Someone who understands it better would need to answer this one.
Do drugs have any yet unknown side effects? (Length of vision? Accuracy? Crafting Times? Driving Fumbling? Melee Damage? Anything?)
No, though obviously those drugs that effect your stats will have an echo effect on everything that particular stat is influenced by (increasing STR makes you hit harder, etc.).

Seeing as there is a new stable build, I’m not going to be doing any dedicated tests for a bit. If anything pops up I’ll say it here, but I’m not exactly counting on it. One thing though, I’ve noticed that NPCs aren’t exactly affected by pills, I damaged one with traps and managed to get her to pop painkillers like crazy, she was popping Codeines and Oxies in lethal doses. I suppose she could have been affected without the death, but woflspider’s comment leads me to believe that it doesn’t do anything at all. I’m not exactly a coder, so I wouldn’t know where to look for it, although I could see where that would be useful for tests.