Currently, anti-radiation meds appear to just instantly remove any (or at least a very high) amount of radiation, which doesn't involve any planning and tradeoffs, generally not really interesting and also not "realistic" (as much as a radiation removing "wonderdrug" can be to begin with).
A more complex, but also more interesting implementation could be as follows:
- The amount of radiation removed per use is limited. I'd say one dose should remove at most somewhere between 1500-1800 units, maybe not even that much.
- The removal happens over time. Once a dose is taken, a small amount of accumulated radiation is (attempted to get) removed every in game minute, and the remaining capacity is reduced by the effective value for that tick regardless if there actually was any radiation left to remove (so that the capacity gets depleted and doesn't carry over to an exposure a lot later). The amount removed per tick should be qute small, for the total amount suggested above I'd say 2-3 units per in game minute. Yes, that means that the full effect of one dose takes 8-12 hours to apply, during which organ degradation continues / regeneration is impacted. If you have a high exposure and take the meds too late, you may still die due to the continued organ degradation while the meds work. This may sound a bit too punishing, but forces players to take exposure as seriously as it should be and plan ahead accordingly (also, see a bit below for a possible counter). This also means that you could preemptively take radiation meds for a situation where you absolutely must go outside for a prolonged period, to slow down the accumulation rate while you are outside.
- Doses do not stack. Taking two doses means the second is simply lost, not that it doubles the amount removed or the effect time. This, and/or the fact that a previous dose is still in effect should be communicated somehow so that the player doesn't waste doses. Alternatively, taking a dose while a previous one is in effect would reset the remaining removal capacity to the maximum provided by a single dose. This would probably be the better solution, actually?
- Resting increases effectiveness. When the player is not resting, removal progresses at the nominal rate. During a rest period, the removal rate is somewhat increased, maybe by 50%? (Im not sure if it should impact the effect period, or boost the effective amount removed? As in, when resting, an 1500 dose still removes 1500 radiation and capacity at 3 per minute instead of 2, which means it takes 500 minutes for full effect instead of 750 minutes, or that an 1500 dose removes 2 units from the removal capacity to keep the effect period, but it removes 2 * 1.5 = 3 units from the actual exposure so that 2250 radiation is removed during the normal 750 minutes duration.)
- During the effect period, exhaustion builds up faster, sprint time is decreased and sprint recovery time is increased. It could also noticeably increase water consumption rate for the duration.
To go along with implementing this change, it could be a good time to also flesh out the regular medicine (the "red pill box") to actually do something (I'm not sure if it currently does or does not, I don't think I ever actually tried to use it).
What it could do is basically the same as the radiation meds, only with organ integrity. It would, over time, add a very small amount per tick to it (either to improve a degraded condition faster or partially counter an ongoing integrity loss), up to a maximum capacity per dose or until full integrity is reached, except it wouldn't have a side effect (unlike the exhaustion / sprinting impact of the radiation meds).
This would mean that it could be used, for example, in combination with the anti radiaton meds in a high exposure situation: it takes time for the radiation meds to reduce exposure, during which time organ degradation continues, which could be countered/slowed by taking a dose of "normal" meds too so that you don't die of organ failure before enough radiation is removed for the integrity impact to become manageable without further doses of normal meds.
On a marginally related note: I think radiation induced organ degradation starts to become noticeable a little too late and progresses a little too sharply from there. I recently had am exciting combination of a dust storm immediately followed by a radiation storm, which forced me to accumulate a nice dose of radiation while restoring power generation and fixing things after the dust storm, however, for a while organ integrity didn't really change even as the exposure built up rapidly, then past a threshold (somewhere around 2000-2500 units or so?) it dropped from the immediate step below normal (yellowish green) to poor (orange) in a matter of maybe two hours tops. This rate of change makes it really hard to react to, or even just recognize the danger, so I think the impact should start sooner and ramp up slighly more linearily through the early stages of exposure and then speed up as it does now as exposure becomes really high.
Additionally, I think the exposure count never really changed color to indicate severity, at/around 3000-ish it was still green while I was dying from it at an alarming rate. Given how severe the effect actually was at that point, it shoul'd ve been deep red by that time, and possibly having been turned yelowish at around 500 or so and going towards red from then on towards the 3000 range.
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