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Full Version: Large List of Potentially Epic Improvements
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Just up front, this is very opinionated, and to treat it as such.
Issues are numbered, with a blurb about them and my suggestions following.

1. Plague types mimic eachother. The Neurax Worm, Simian Flu, and Necroa Virus are from my experience the only unique plagues, which makes them very fun.
Why, you may ask? The answer is because they're not a literal copy-paste of the symptoms and transmissions the way all the other plagues are. (Bacteria, Virus, Parasite, etc)

This can be fixed by tailoring the symptoms and transmissions to each plague type.
For example, the Parasite should have more effective Symptoms along the lines of Insomnia and Diarrhea.
How the heck would a worm give the host Anaemia?
How would the worm have airborne transmission? It wouldn't. It's a worm.
It could be transmitted through feces, because it's a worm. But since a virus doesn't/can't/whatever get transmitted through feces, the parasite can't because it's a copy-paste.

This is the game's biggest issue in my opinion.

2. Discovery.
What tends to happen when the plague is discovered is that nobody cares for a couple months (seconds), then someone focuses all their efforts on curing it, and you're screwed. EVEN IF ALL IT DOES IS MAKE PEOPLE COUGH.

A great example would be Toxoplasma Gondii. It's everywhere, and everybody knows it's everywhere, but it doesn't do anything so nobody cares.

What should happen:
You shouldn't be afraid to let your plague be discovered, because it wouldn't be an instant loss sentence if you weren't ready.

The plague is much easier to discover, however the way the cure gets researched should be changed drastically: Focusing instead on the severity and lethality, location, and wealth.

For example, if it's discovered and has no symptoms, and is isolated to Europe, nobody should really care. Especially not North/South/Central America. Why would they?
If it's isolated to cold regions, people should recognize that. People in hot countries wouldn't care, and people in cold countries would care.

If it just causes diarrhea, which isn't lethal, and is isolated to poor countries, then the rich countries wouldn't care until it gets to them. Because that's what would happen in real life.

Making infected people sneeze shouldn't have the whole world focus on curing it. We don't even have a cure for the Common Cold.
There should also be a very low, but still existing chance that the cure never gets found, the plague is uncurable.
We have many plagues that don't have any cures, even though we've had years and years to find them.

3. More possible strategies past "Hide, Infect, Kill".

That is ALSO the strategy behind Viruses, even though the way they work is supposed to discourage that.

A big way to help with this:

Multiple strains of the plague. You start with one strain which can be mutated into a new strain for each body catagory: Disgestive tract, brain, bloodstream, organs, etc.
Each mutation adds a new strain, and you can chose which strain to mutate.

Mutated strains do NOT get removed or replaced, they retain their original transmission and symptoms, and continue on their merry way as before, allowing them to get cured or eliminated. Having your default, unspecialized strain getting cured for example prevents you from creating new strains that effect new body regions, because you've lost your unspecialized strain.

You have one strain that makes people cough, and another that makes them fart for example.

You can mutate one of them, which combines the pre-existing mutation with the new one, making the host cough/fart AND sneeze/diarrhea, but you still have the previous strains that only cause coughing or farting. This would happen with every single mutation, and each strain would have a different "Symptoms Tree". As such, your digestive tract strain cannot get blood stream traits such as Anemia.
You'd need a new strain to do that, which you would mutate out of your default, symptom-less strain.

This would also make the cure develop differently and people react differently, because they have to cure multiple strains, and different countries would focus on different strains based on what is affecting them, that are constantly mutating. (for example, the USA has a strain that is very drug resistant and causes lesions.
Sudan has a different strain that causes Comae, but is very susceptible to drugs and is easy to research. Who researches which one, and when?)
This would make for a VERY dynamic, unique and interesting cure procedure.
People finding more strains would also panic them more, because they'd be learning that this is a VERY unstable pathogen, genetically.
Of course, they'd have to learn that they're related first... (happens faster for example if they find the unspecialized strain, then find several specialized strains, than if they found two specialized strains in opposite ends of the world, and no unspecialized discovered yet due to its stealthiness)

Multiple strains would also make the graphs more useful, because you would use them to track the progress of each strain.

That, plus what I mentioned back in Num. 2 should make the game significantly less repetitive, and by consequence, more fun.

Factoring germaphobes into the infection algorithm would also make for a few interesting dynamics as well, with more germaphobes on higher difficulties, as well as a % chance of infecting a germaphobe based on the population for your first victim- making it very resistant to drugs but much weaker to the elements.

Also, a way to get to islands after they've closed their ports would be welcome. Either add airports to all countries, add "private" airplanes and ships that can spread infection after ports have been closed, or let birds migrate and bring the infection with them outside the "Bird Migration" event. And letting advanced waterborne diseases just "wash up" on shore. Preferably all of those.

Currently, if you don't infect Madagascar/Greenland/Whatever before they close their ports, you're screwed. Because there's literally no way to get to them.

And, that's my blurb. I really hope the developer(s) see(s) this, because I feel like it would really help the game a LOT.
If you were to look at the negative Steam reviews, they all criticize the repetitiveness, and the same-y that is happening with the different plague types.
The only reason the "Infectivity Ramp" works is because the game has no concept of immunity. Once someone is infected, the disease never fought off, and no resistance is built to being re-infected. Mutations are also propagated quickly to every single pathogen in the world, which makes *no* sense. Fixing both though, would make for a completely different game:

- Mutations cost less, and spread from a single pathogen on the map (previous infections retain their old characteristics unless they mingle with the new one)
- Infections "wear off" after a period of time, and confer that individual with resistance against new infection, which is proportional to how similar a new mutation is to the strain that individual was infected with. (In essence, different strains).

This would be a real pain to code, and would require an overhauled interface, though.
Quote:For example, the Parasite should have more effective Symptoms along the lines of Insomnia and Diarrhea.
How the heck would a worm give the host Anaemia?
How would the worm have airborne transmission? It wouldn't. It's a worm.
It could be transmitted through feces, because it's a worm. But since a virus doesn't/can't/whatever get transmitted through feces, the parasite can't because it's a copy-paste.

I agree, Parasite and Fungus should be more unique. Bioweapon and Nanovirus are rather same old as well, although I like the way virus is played and i think that is a variation alone that makes it unique.

but i have some suggestions for Parsite Symptoms

Anorexia - Parasite leaches nutrients intake, can be fatal
Obesity - Parasites known to cause obesity, can be fatal, people less productive (causes contradiction event when applied with anorexia)
Compulsive Hunger - Parasite causes compulsion to eat

Feces - Parasite Transmission
Bat - Parasite Transmission
Hand to Hand - Skin Burrowing Parasites, Scabies etc transfered via skin contact

Ocular - Many parsites known to make people blind, can infect the eye and other delicate oragans decreasing productivity, considerably harder to cure.



Nano Virus, Prion and Bio Weapon should be a hell of alot more unique, particulaly with transmission. the games should also be harder.
I would like to see the ability to pick a body area specialization from your first strain for the parasite, with different body areas giving a whole new symptoms and transmissions tree. Digestive tract, organs, head, skin, etc.
Your disease getting discovered isn't a death sentence - in fact, scenarios like Black Death and Smallpox are perfectly doable, even when the disease is highly severe and lethal to start with (though smallpox is notorious for its difficulty.) If you are unable to win when your disease gets detected, you're doing it wrong.

A lot of your suggestions seem to be geared toward making the game easier, which is pretty bad.

Also, what do you define as a parasite? The parasites in the game appear to be microparasites - while not bacteria or viruses, they seem to be akin to something like malaria.
My suggestions are mostly for new mechanics that make sense.
They would of course need to be tweaked to not be overpoweringly easy.

What I want is for the game to have more variation and depth, as well as being a bit harder because of it.

I'm assuming the parasite is something like a Pinworm because the little animation square majigger shows a worm.
More diversity is needed and more complexity is desirable. I'd also like to see more fleshed out and more realistic mechanics, but the more realism you implement, the more accessibility you have to sacrifice and therefore you more and more restrict your target audience / customers. One of these features would be your proposed mechanic with multiple strains you have to care for, this would strongly decrease the accessibility (not to mention the high coding effort). I'd prefer the whole immune system calculations stuff in a more but not totally accurate way.
(14-08-2014 07:20 PM)Flypaste Wrote: [ -> ]My suggestions are mostly for new mechanics that make sense.
They would of course need to be tweaked to not be overpoweringly easy.

What I want is for the game to have more variation and depth, as well as being a bit harder because of it.

I'm assuming the parasite is something like a Pinworm because the little animation square majigger shows a worm.

It's apparently small enough to merge with host DNA, as per one of its abilities.
That's a pretty friggin' small parasite, then. Honestly, that's so small that I wouldn't even call it a parasite.
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