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Feature Feedback: Delayed Chemical Reactions


<t>+1 to this feature or -1?</t>  

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Relevant PR here.

Okay, so. We've testmerged this PR into master for the next 2 days. The reason being that we've decided that it's difficult to evaluate the PR's effects without having the players try it out. And it's easier to test it out this way than to merge it into dev and then revert it and blablabla.

What these changes do:

Chemical reactions are slowed down. Most of them, not all of them. This means that mixing will take a bit of time and can be more easily ruined.

Why these changes are:

Primary objectives are to make things more interesting and perhaps to allow further development with temperature based mixing and so on.

To add a bit of depth to the chemistry system.

Please provide feedback and opinions on the feature.

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About time I post something here. Alright so my experience with the new system well, I would say mixed but slight towards 'I like it' side?

During my test, chemicals need time to slowly react with each other to produce the product you want, Let's say if you are trying to make Inaprovaline, (1 part Acetone, 1 part Carbon, 1 part Suger) If they are mixed they are slowly reacting normally cut in half per each second Example a 30 unit Inaprovaline, 10 part each. Every second is reduced by half of the reagents. 10 Ace, 10, Carbon, 10 Suger > 5 Ace, 5, Carbon, 5 Suger, 15 Inaprovaline > 2.5 Ace, 2.5 Carbon, 2.5 Suger, 22.5 Inaprovaline > 30 Inaprovaline. This process takes about 3 seconds but the larger amount will take a longer time to process.

The upside of this new update is that players are required to process things a bit slower but that can be argued as a bad thing as well for those that are inpatient enough to wait but another good thing is that you watch the chemical slowly react and change color in front of your eyes rather than being pored from another beaker to see it. I say that is damn entertaining.

Now for the downside, You can not skip three step ahead when making chems else you will screw up the process. Example, Making Tricordrazine (1 part Dylovene, 1 part Inaprovaline), arguably you can just dump all the chemicals needed and it will auto-react to Dylovene and Inaprovaline then into Tricordrazine before the update, but if you try to do it now it will mess up the whole process and will make a byproduct of Ethylredoxrazine (Anti-drunk meds). Frankly is kinda annoying and a waste of med but I like it as well as it requires the player to get multiple beakers and mix them manually. Another downside I notice is that ones chemical react it may somehow become in decimal example 59.999999 or 21.0694.

Now let's talk about improvement. Hum.. Not really, to be honest, So far my experience is not bad with it. But I do wish we can make Chem dispenser and the ChemMaster 3000 from Static refresh to Dynamic refresh so players can see if the chems are mixing inside the machine (Also not panic thinking the update screwed up the system and all reagent is frozen in place and won't react.) And also, fix that decimal thing, is frankly annoying to see it.

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Used the chemistry update for a couple of rounds now.

The first couple of minutes of the first round it was annoying because I had to chill for a couple of seconds. Afterwards though I got used to it and continued on doing my thing quickly and effectively.

Honestly, I don't think this really adds or takes anything away from the game, or even makes chemistry harder or easier. I'm gonna go with ambivalent on this one because it doesn't seem worth the effort for something that doesn't add much to feel or gameplay.

Also, it bugs out sometimes on the chem-dispenser where it won't refresh. Not a big deal and you can fix it by just taking out the beaker and putting it back in.

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As someone who plays chemist most of the time, I find it really annoying and disruptive. I'd gotten down a rhythm where I could plot it out multiple steps ahead and get the reaction I wanted every time. With the new change, I'll try to do that and get a reaction I wasn't going for because I forget about the new delayed reaction. While I understand the idea and concept behind it, it's also a bad thing if you're a late joiner and chemistry has been empty all round. I've showed up to rounds and gotten screamed at over the medical comms to get to my lab and make a certain medication. If it's super simplistic? This change doesn't matter much, but when I have no surgeons on staff and I'm being screamed at to make Peridaxon, which already takes a bit, this change makes it take exponentially longer and people wind up dead.

Decent idea, poor execution. In slower, more RP oriented rounds it'd be great but in mixed secret when people are constantly being murdered or worse, the time lost with these changes can mean people are dead before you can make the chems needed to save them. Especially as a late joiner. It'd also be really off-putting to new people trying to learn the job, because they'd follow the wiki guide and wind up messing up due to the delayed reaction and wonder what's going on. It could serve to drive potentially decent or even great chemists away from the job.

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  • 2 weeks later...

With the round duration minimum being 2 hours it's probably not exactly good design to be artificially inflating the amount of time it takes to do things necessary for the job. Surgery is one thing but mixing chemicals at its current pace is a little bit absurd. It messes up portioning really hard and the amount of stalling this feature causes just to do basic parts of the chemist job just makes it irritating in general.

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I'm conflicted as an actual organic chemist and an avid chemist in-game aboot this, as I have become aboot fleshing out the chemistry system with emote flavour. See traditional synthesis methods like reflux, distillation, separation, sublimation and the like of what we know to be the pyrex equipment of Hollywood and 2nd year uni chem courses is actually grossly outdated anyway. Automated chemistry is pretty much or just becoming the industry standard with the likes of Beckman Coulter Liquid Handlers or the Chinese equivalents:




So the current ChemDispenser is just an automated liquid handler rather than a traditional chemistry lab. These are used at the moment by the likes of Sigma-Aldrich, AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline, to name only a few chemical giants. They allow rapid drug development, prototyping and testing. Same goes for the ChemMaster, this automated chemistry paradigm is good now and should be better in 2459 after automation has been generally mastered.

However, chemical kinetics usually does need heat and or a catalyst, and reactions may still take hours. I imagine the ChemDispenser actually uses lasers and or microwaves for the quick reactions, slowing it down will mean that random cargo techs, assistants, botanists and other non-chemists that have managed to sneak their way to a chemdispenser will still probably not get caught, unless they ain't up to date with the change, because they'll leave it to finish reacting on the run unless the beaker is locked in and reaction stops outside the dispenser if quickly ejected, which will be a pain to actual chemists who mix outside the chemdispenser.

Ultimately the slowing reaction reaction by halving thus curving the reaction time is alright and will just need a bit of patiences (IRL it takes hours anyway, 3 seconds is like an hour a second if not better and reflects how efficient the dispenser is). If it means ChemHeaters to cook up some Chlorine Trifluoride down the line then great but I'd rather see a ChemiCompiler and ChemFuck ported and actually put some fun complexity into chemistry!

tl;dr I'm for the curving reaction rates that I know and love IRL, but still sad there's no chemfuck. As for the round-off, that's why in chemistry we never have anything 100% pure. This will open up to better uses of catalysts down the line for faster reactions.



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Not sure if it's too late to post feedback, but let's do this. I basically main chemist at this point and I've got a habit of speedrunning an extensive fridge that generally covers every angle that chemistry can cover.

At the beginning, these changes are annoying for reasons Hunter stated above. Rushing too hard would result in impure mixtures and general badness that requires you to start over for that particular medication unless you don't really care about putting in a full bottle into the fridge. I did adapt to this in a few rounds and managed to actually finish my routine within 28 minutes after tweaking it slightly. (Yes I was keeping track, the specifics of what I made can be found in various chemistry related threads here.)

Once you get used to it, it's a 'meh' change that doesn't change much mechanically and doesn't add too much to RP besides taking longer to make things.

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