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Water sources/purification ingame. (bleach, alcohol, etc)


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I work in municipal water treatment, and basically all potable water distribution networks use an oxidising agent like chlorine or sodium hypochlorite, which is bleach, to prevent microbial growth in pipes and storage tanks.

which got me thinking, would it be worthwhile to have water "spoil" after a set amount of time if not stored in proper containers? it'd make it viable to allow players to disinfect water ingame using bleach or alcohol as an alternative to boiling it. with 8% bleach 1ml is enough to purify 100L, so player characters would need bleach, a container of tainted water, and a way to add a measured dose (such as a plastic disposable pippette which most pharmacies have) the skill to do it could be locked behind a skillbook just like "how to use generators". purifying water with alcohol (such as burbon) would require the alcohol content to be around 10%, so 1 unit of bourbon could purify 3 units of water, requiring only a container for the water and a bottle of bourbon.

IRL it can be dangerous and i must urge everyone who reads this DO NOT try it at home... but ingame that could make it interesting. the amount of bleach used has to be just right, and the water has to sit for 24 hours before being drinkable, and players attempting to do it with characters that lack the appropriate skill should result in the character getting sick, but bleach is already ingame, along with alcohol, and "not getting sick from drinking water that has been sitting in a bathtub for months" is kinda wierd.

at the moment, even in a town as small as riverside a careful player could stretch out the "water from sinks and bathtubs" for months if not years, which makes purifying water a choice rather than a neccesity.

also on a slightly unrelated topic, it'd also be cool to be able to collect snow and melt it to get water.

Edited by ThatChemistryGuy
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  • ThatChemistryGuy changed the title to Water sources/purification ingame. (bleach, alcohol, etc)

I think this would be too much micromanagement for virtually no gameplay gains. The game would have to track how long water has been "sitting" in a container and then process a function to assign some sort of quality value to the water. This begs the question, do you show the player how good the water is? If you don't, there will be plenty of bug reports from players how don't realize, that they were drinking spoiled water. If you do show, you have to give the player options to treat the various stages of spoilage. The example you proposed with the pipette and bleach will create another "sledgehammer" item, where players will complain that they have trouble finding a pipette. Other players(myself included) would start to argue, that you can use a twig or a twine string to transfer droplets from one liquid to another etc. I'm sure there are other methods as well, that I can't think of right now. Do you then track how much bleach has been added to the water or do you simply reset the quality value? If you track the treatment, then what happens when you use bleach treated water to water your plants? Can you overdose the bleach? If you just reset the quality, will that water start spoiling again or do you set a marker, that prevents further spoiling? All this, regardless of how you answer these questions, hints at a lot of added complexity. But I don't see how any of this would be "fun".

 

I think the way it is right now, with water that is either safe to drink or water that is tainted, is fine. At some point the game has to abstract to some degree from real life anyway, further micromanagement is just tedious in my point of view.

 

+1 for the snow melting part though.

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