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Chemistry nerfs
#16
(03-09-2021, 06:03 PM)warcrimes Wrote: If it were up to me, "chem groups" would instead be data diskettes that spacemans cram into chem dispensers.
maybe like 3 disk slots or so, and medbay would start with diskettes for various medical chems.

edit the diskette at your computer or something.
find weird diskettes floating in space full of illegal mixes. whatever.

anything to make it more interesting than ok google goonstation nerd mix haha

That ain't bad

I'm no chemist, so take this opinion with a grain of salt, but I think making chems more interesting to mix would be fun. Doing stuff like having to add no more than a droppers worth at a time to avoid a bad reaction, boiling chems to distill elements out of them, Pouring acids on ores to dissolve them, etc
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#17
Honestly, I kinda like the idea of having chemgroups be a data disk thing. I am similarly not a chemist, only having occasionally played with the system and cracking a handful of secret chems/making some medicine groups. But, here's what I propose based on my knowledge of the in-game computer systems, fleshing out warcrimes' idea out a bit more:

Chem groups are stored on data disks as 16 unit size files, meaning you can have up to 2 per disk (as each disk is 32 units). They can be created and edited via a special program available on ThinkDOS terminals specifically, as TermOS/DWAINE isn't great for intuitively downloading files to a data disk - relatedly, all ThinkDOS terminals in Research should come with this program, as should all med records consoles. A Chem Dispenser can only have 1 disk in at a time, meaning you can only have 2 groups accessible at a time.

The program's UI should be designed in such a way that would make pasting in complicated groups a little tedious, requiring some actual time to input. You'd enter in the name of each reagent, then the quantity to dispense. Also, tweaking chemgroups such that you can have decimal values (maybe up to the hundredths/0.01?) would be great, since many recipes require a good deal of precision. As an example, you'd punch in "carbon", then "15", then your next reagent, then that reagent's value, and so on. The program would display your group as a series of steps like this or something similar to this:
Code:
TITLE OF YOUR CHEMGROUP
===========================
Step | Reagent      | Quantity |
-------------------------------|
1    | Carbon       |   6.00   |
-------------------------------|
2    | Aluminium    |   9.20   |
-------------------------------|
3    | Potassium    |  16.00   |

This could probably very easily work similar to WizWrite, wherein you have some commands to save, load, select a line, delete a line, etc.

As another possible tweak, allow the defining of the same reagent multiple times to be able to add, say, 3 units of carbon, then 3 units of hydrogen, then 6 units of carbon, as opposed to this instruction being interpreted as adding 9 units of carbon and then 3 units of hydrogen. This is a more technical change and isn't as important, but it would allow a greater degree of flexibility for chem groups.

Perhaps also give the option to 'encrypt' a group, making it not display its contents and unable to be opened in an editor? Particularly handy for secret chems or for mixes you'd like to keep to yourself.

A final change would be giving chemistry borgs a built-in data disk so that they can use groups as well.



The overall goal of using data disks for chemgroups looks like a potentially good step in the right direction to counteract the issue of copy/pasting in things with minimal effort. Much like MechComp, a similarly powerful game mechanic, Chemistry should require significant in-game time investment, even if you know exactly what you want to do. I quite like this concept and am hoping my fleshing-out of it has done it justice, but it can absolutely go in directions other than what I've described here, such as hosting the groups on the mainframe and having to log in from a Chem Dispenser to use them, or to only be able to find existing groups instead of being able to make your own.
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#18
Im a chemnerd.. I have 0 chemgroups. Memorizing the recipes is most of the fun! Copying in pasting isnt very fun. You can make most chemicals faster then you can copy and paste a chemgroup with a welder and memorization. I support nerfing chemgroups.
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#19
(03-10-2021, 09:51 AM)aft2001 Wrote: Honestly, I kinda like the idea of having chemgroups be a data disk thing. I am similarly not a chemist, only having occasionally played with the system and cracking a handful of secret chems/making some medicine groups. But, here's what I propose based on my knowledge of the in-game computer systems, fleshing out warcrimes' idea out a bit more:

Chem groups are stored on data disks as 16 unit size files, meaning you can have up to 2 per disk (as each disk is 32 units). They can be created and edited via a special program available on ThinkDOS terminals specifically, as TermOS/DWAINE isn't great for intuitively downloading files to a data disk - relatedly, all ThinkDOS terminals in Research should come with this program, as should all med records consoles. A Chem Dispenser can only have 1 disk in at a time, meaning you can only have 2 groups accessible at a time.

The program's UI should be designed in such a way that would make pasting in complicated groups a little tedious, requiring some actual time to input. You'd enter in the name of each reagent, then the quantity to dispense. Also, tweaking chemgroups such that you can have decimal values (maybe up to the hundredths/0.01?) would be great, since many recipes require a good deal of precision. As an example, you'd punch in "carbon", then "15", then your next reagent, then that reagent's value, and so on. The program would display your group as a series of steps like this or something similar to this:
Code:
TITLE OF YOUR CHEMGROUP
===========================
Step | Reagent      | Quantity |
-------------------------------|
1    | Carbon       |   6.00   |
-------------------------------|
2    | Aluminium    |   9.20   |
-------------------------------|
3    | Potassium    |  16.00   |

This could probably very easily work similar to WizWrite, wherein you have some commands to save, load, select a line, delete a line, etc.

As another possible tweak, allow the defining of the same reagent multiple times to be able to add, say, 3 units of carbon, then 3 units of hydrogen, then 6 units of carbon, as opposed to this instruction being interpreted as adding 9 units of carbon and then 3 units of hydrogen. This is a more technical change and isn't as important, but it would allow a greater degree of flexibility for chem groups.

Perhaps also give the option to 'encrypt' a group, making it not display its contents and unable to be opened in an editor? Particularly handy for secret chems or for mixes you'd like to keep to yourself.

A final change would be giving chemistry borgs a built-in data disk so that they can use groups as well.



The overall goal of using data disks for chemgroups looks like a potentially good step in the right direction to counteract the issue of copy/pasting in things with minimal effort. Much like MechComp, a similarly powerful game mechanic, Chemistry should require significant in-game time investment, even if you know exactly what you want to do. I quite like this concept and am hoping my fleshing-out of it has done it justice, but it can absolutely go in directions other than what I've described here, such as hosting the groups on the mainframe and having to log in from a Chem Dispenser to use them, or to only be able to find existing groups instead of being able to make your own.

more computerized stuff is good, 1+ to this
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#20
(03-10-2021, 09:51 AM)aft2001 Wrote:

The overall goal of using data disks for chemgroups looks like a potentially good step in the right direction to counteract the issue of copy/pasting in things with minimal effort. Much like MechComp, a similarly powerful game mechanic, Chemistry should require significant in-game time investment, even if you know exactly what you want to do. I quite like this concept and am hoping my fleshing-out of it has done it justice, but it can absolutely go in directions other than what I've described here, such as hosting the groups on the mainframe and having to log in from a Chem Dispenser to use them, or to only be able to find existing groups instead of being able to make your own.

Aft and warc, this is a really brilliant suggestion. I am a Medicore Chem Nerd and this actually seems like it'd be tons of fun, for me at the very least. Balances a powerful tool and adds a sufficient amount of depth to the ~process~ of chemistry. Mirrors the analytical precision of IRL chemistry in a way that makes sense for a space-toot video game mechanic without having to add like.............titration stand mechanics and sit-and-extract-this-pepper-for-4-hours mechanics and fume hood mechanics (a hole in the floor CAN be a fume hood if I want!) and whatever else.

Vague-ish-ly related but I'd also be totally down if this is a sort of rework that happens for some more goal-oriented chemistry things that tie back into it. Zjd's artifact analysis stuff has me thinking up all sorts of other odds and ends. Running analysis of environmental chems from different azones or biomes or whatever, maybe trying to have reactions occur to create in situ chem products in samples; dissolving ore in acid to extract Useful Minerals was a cool idea too; shipping disks with the resulting groups out or taking them back to Central or something, maybe like a loose bounty system to reward creation and shipping of certain high-demand groups. That'd be fun...For me >:^)
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#21
I should also note that data disks are a surprisingly rare commodity, with the few blank ones being available solely in a single box in technical storage and maybe a couple other places. You CAN wipe existing disks that have stuff on them though. Mechanics can print more though, so you'd wanna bug them for blueprints for Research's fabricator. L
As another note, the quantity of groups that can be hosted on a single disk can be easily changed by just changing the file size. Is 2 too much? Just make it bigger than 16 and only 1 can fit. 2 not enough? Make it 10 or smaller and 3 can fit, etc.

Personally I'd be happy to see EITHER DWAINE-hosted chemgroups *or* disk-hosted chemgroups. I can probably brainstorm how a DWAINE system would work later and edit this reply to contain that.



Now that I'm back at my computer I can make proper edits, whoo.
So, I've been brainstorming for a little bit and here's a bit of what I've come up with for a DWAINE-based chemgrouping:

The creation of chem groups should be near-identical to the process I described for the disk-based method, wherein you line-by-line punch in what you wanna add. Where the Disk and DWAINE systems differ is how they're loaded into the chem dispenser. For the Disk system, you would simply stuff the disk into a chem dispenser. But for the DWAINE system, you'd need to load the group from the mainframe onto the dispenser, somehow. This means that, unlike a disk-based system, a chem dispenser must be on-station in order to be used. This completely shuts down chem nerds from working at some off-station site they've made, unless they do genuinely super nerdy shit with setting up a wireless connection to the station PNET with MechComp somehow (in which case yeah that's fine, they've earned it).

Relatedly, I think the Mainframe should be less vital and more so a luxury. That is, it going down should not devastate the station, but rather just disable/remove conveniences and luxuries, such as Chem Groups. That and being a way to balance particularly strong game mechanics, such as Telesci, since the mainframe is uh, fragile.


Regarding the more specific/technical side of how such a connection would work, here is one way it could work:
As Chem Dispensers would have to be networked machines for this to work, their Net ID should be visible in their UI (or maybe you have to screwdriver it or something). When you make your Chem Group file, you will be prompted to add a Chem Dispenser ID to it, OR link it to your ID (since you can use your ID in Chem Dispensers already). When you go to use the Chem Dispenser you have linked it to, or log into a Chem Dispenser with your ID card, and click a new button which would refresh the available Chem Groups, a list of all groups for that Dispenser/ID will be made visible.

This 'refresh' button would send a packet to the Mainframe, which would include the name of any ID inserted, asking it to list what groups are available. The mainframe then checks to see what Groups stored on the mainframe are listed for that Dispenser's Net ID/ID card name, and will then send a reply packet with a list of the names of all groups the dispenser is allowed to use. These are then loaded into the UI and made visible, save for the actual contents of the group.

When a user clicks the Group, the Dispenser will send a packet similar to the 'refresh button' packet described in the last paragraph, but instead asking for the actual reagents in the group. The mainframe then does a check to see if the dispenser is authorized to use said group, and if so it will reply with the list of reagents and their quantities (likely in a file which can't be read). The dispenser will, upon receiving this packet, dispense the reagents as normal.


Notably this is absolutely not the only way a mainframe-based chem group can be done. For example, it could be worked such that you could directly load the group into a dispenser from the mainframe, rather than having to ask the mainframe every time the dispenser wants to use a group.
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