|Player access to Pathology Research has been suspended pending rework and redevelopement.|
See the below section for more details.
- For a simpler guide, see Pathology for Dummies.
- For just a list of symptoms and effects, see Pathogen Symptoms & Mutations.
Pathology Research is a branch of medical science dedicated to the study, curing, manipulation and perhaps manufacturing of pathogens. It is primarily based in the Pathology Lab, where you'll find a unique set of tools for conducting hellish experiments these tiny, questionably-alive organisms.
- 1 Suspension of Player Access to Pathogens
- 2 The base concepts of Pathology
- 3 The tools at your disposal
- 4 So you want to kill everyone in a shower of gibs?
- 5 I want to stop people from becoming showers of gibs!
- 6 Supplementary Video
Suspension of Player Access to Pathogens
In May 2020, the admin team decided to suspend player access to pathology by removing or reworking various sources of pathogens through code and map changes, for a number of reasons explained in this thread.
The pathology labs are still there for the most part, though slightly modified, the CDC is still around, all the machines described below are still around, and pathogens still work as described below too, but you just can't get find pathogens as a normal player, barring Admin shenanigans and the odd diseased "burgle" in the Afterlife Bar.
If you want to re-enable player access to pathology to test out your new pathology code or just for your own curiosity, you need to go to _setup.dm in the goonstation/_stdlib/ folder and uncomment
//#define CREATE_PATHOGENS 1, so it becomes
#define CREATE_PATHOGENS 1. This of course requires downloading and compiling the code, which is explained in the Goonstation Development Guidelines.
CREATE_PATHOGENS define does the following:
- Turns the water in Totally Safe(tm) pathogen sample vials into actual pathogen reagent.
- Allows the Synth-O-Matic to create said sample vials.
- Lets you buy said pathogen sample vials from D.O.C., a medical-themed trader than appears in the Debris Field on space maps and around the station z-level for ocean-based maps.
- Stocks pathogen cabinets, like the ones in Manta's pathlogy lab with pathogen sample vials, instead of letting them sit there sad and empty.
- Enables cookie dough and moldy burgers to infect you with pathogens when eaten.
- Makes appendicitis fill the inflicted with several pathogens at the final stage.
- When the motives system is on, causes reaching 0 on the Hygiene motive to infect you with some pathogens.
Note it does not reverse the various map changes that came along with the suspension of player access to pathology.
The base concepts of Pathology
A pathogen is a structure with multiple different types of components on one body, distinct from the simpler, viruses of old. Unlike in the old pathology system, where a disease is well-defined and has a specific way it plays out, a pathogen is a composition of different, smaller effects, creating a possibility for infinite different diseases.
The microscopic body is the base, bare-bones structural element of a pathogen. Each pathogen is a microbody of sorts, and this microbody determines the initial value of its attributes and the level of activity the pathogen manifests on each stage of infection. The microbody also determines the type of anti-agent that should be used for cure synthesis. Infections from all bodies can be cured, but vaccines, which prevent infections, can only be manufactured for some of them. Different microbodies can be cultivated under different circumstances. Cultivation requires a growth medium and nutrition specific to that body.
Individuals cured of pathogens with certain microbodies will become immune to that infection for the rest of the round. This is determined by the type of the body.
|Microbody||Vaccine||Anti-agent||Growth medium||Nutrition|| Initial
|Virus||Yes||Antiviral Agent||Egg||Iron, Nitrogen, Sodium, Sugar, Water||5||Low to high||Yes|
|Bacterium||No||Spaceacillin||Bacterial Medium||Iron, Nitrogen, Sodium, Sugar, Water||3||Low to high||Yes|
|Fungus||No||Biocide||Fungal Medium||Iron, Nitrogen, Sodium, Sugar, Water||4||Near constant||No|
|Parasite||No||Biocide||Parasitic Medium||Iron, Nitrogen, Sodium, Sugar, Water||5||High to low||No|
|Great Mutatis cell||No||Mutation Inhibitor||Stable Mutagen||Stable Mutagen||5||Constant||No|
All pathogens have an inherent weakness, which needs to be discovered in order to create cures. This weakness is manifested when coming into contact with an appropriate suppression agent. A suppression agent for a pathogen is one of a group of reagents exhibiting a specific trait - such as hot reagents (ClF3 or phlogiston), cold reagents (cryostylane) or brute medicine (synthflesh, styptic powder). In order to test this, a pathogen sample must be introduced to the reagent while being observed under a microscope. Simply add a few units of the pathogen reagent to a petri dish, then place the petri dish on the microscope. Then, use a dropper on the microscope to introduce a small amount of the reagent to the culture, finally, view the petri dish through the microscope in both a zoomed in and zoomed out state. A message about a reagent weakening or negatively affecting the pathogen culture is a good indication of that reagent acting as a suppressant.
The suppressant is not only a reagent that is used for cure synthesis, but also a reagent that will slow down the worsening of an infected individual's symptoms. Thus if you require time to cure everyone that's been infected, injecting them with a high amount of the appropriate suppressing agent is likely to keep them alive longer. Unless, of course, the suppressing agent is something that is inherently harmful. The amount of suppressant reagent required to keep the patient relatively stable is determined by the suppression threshold of the pathogen.
Each suppressant has a DNA signature consisting of three hexadecimal digits (such as F0A). The DNA signature is usually different than that of any symptom, and thus is rarely useful in symptom splicing.
The suppressant inherently determines the color of the pathogen under a microscope when zoomed up, as well as the finer features seen when the microscope is zoomed in. It also determines what kind of therapy a health analyzer suggests when scanning an infectee. Be careful, though, as multiple different suppressants might have the same color/feature/therapy! Furthermore, pathogens only have one suppressant. For example, if the analyzer suggests sedatives for the therapy, and the pathogen is green, its suppressant is either morphine or ketamine, not both. If the suppressant turns out to be ketamine, morphine won't work, and vice versa.
|Zoomed-In Microscope Clue||Health Analyzer Suggested Therapy||CDC Description||Color Clue||Associated Suppressant||Zoomed-Out Microscope Reagent Clue|
|A peculiar gland on the pathogen suggests it may be suppressed by affecting its temperature.||Thermal||The pathogen is suppressed by a high body temperature.||Blue||Chlorine triflouride||The pathogens are attemping to escape from the area affected by the infernite.|
|Phlogiston||The pathogens are attemping to escape from the area affected by the phlogiston.|
|The pathogen is suppressed by a low body temperature.||Red||Cryostylane|| Phlogistion/Chlorine triflouride: The pathogens are attemping to escape from the area affected by the phlogistion/infernite. |
Cryostylane/cryoxadone: The pathogens are moving towards the area affected by the cryostylane/cryoxadone.
|Membrane patterns of the pathogen indicate it might be suppressed by a reagent affecting neural activity.||Sedative||The pathogen is suppressed by sleeping.||Green||Morphine||The pathogens near the sedative appear to be in stasis.|
|The pathogen is suppressed by disrupting muscle function.||White||Haloperidol||The pathogens near the haloperidol appear to move at a slower pace.|
|Neurotoxin||The pathogens near the neurotoxin appear to be confused.|
|The DNA repair processes of the pathogen indicate that it might be suppressed by certain kinds of medicine.||Medical||The pathogen is suppressed by brute medicine||Black||Styptic powder||The pathogens near the styptic powder/synthflesh appear to be weakened by the brute medicine's presence.|
|The pathogen is suppressed by burn medicine.||Cyan||Silver sulfadiazine||The pathogens near the silver sulfadiazine/synthflesh appear to be weakened by the brute medicine's presence.|
|An observation of the metabolizing processes of the pathogen shows that it might be suppressed by certain kinds of foodstuffs.||Gastronomical||The pathogen is suppressed by fats.||Orange||Porktonium||The pathogens near the fatty substance appear to be significantly heavier and slower than their unaffected counterparts.|
|Partially hydrogenated space-soybean oil|
|The pathogen is suppressed by a nice bowl of old fashioned chicken soup.||Pink||Chicken soup||The pathogens near the chicken soup appear to be having a great meal and are ignorant of their surroundings.|
|The chemical structure of the pathogen's membrane indicates it may be suppressed by either gamma rays or mutagenic substances.||Radioactive||The pathogen is suppressed by radiation.||Viridian||Radium||The radiation emitted by the radium/stable mutagen is severely damaging the inner elements of the pathogen.|
|Stable mutagen||The radiation emitted by the stable mutagen is severely damaging the inner elements of the pathogen.|
|The pathogen is suppressed by mutagenic substances.||Olive drab||Unstable mutagen||The mutagenic substance is severely damaging the inner elements of the pathogen.|
A symptom of a pathogen is a trait exerted when infecting a human. Symptoms can be something fairly innocent, such as constant moaning or reciting Shakespeare, or something deadly, such as spontaneous combustion or gibbing. A pathogen may have any number of symptoms, though initial unmutated strains usually have 1 to 5 different symptoms on them. Pathogens can lose or gain symptoms via random mutations or DNA splicing.
Symptoms may also be positive instead of negative - such as wound mending, or detoxicating. The aim for a non-traitor pathologist while not busy curing infected individuals should be to create a beneficial pathogen.
Pathogens have a varying amount of stages, the stage being a values that determines the potency of symptoms. Thus a pathogen with 3 stages and a gibbing symptom will never gib infected individuals, as a gibbing event may only occur in stage 5. Mind the amount of stages a pathogen has - it is a value that can be determined from a glance at the private DNA of the pathogen.
There are 5 tiers of symptoms present in the game. Higher tier symptoms are increasingly rare, however, they can be synthesized artificially through splicing. More on this subject below.
The secondary function of symptoms is transmission of the pathogen between individuals. A pathogen that has no symptom creating a forced ejection of bodily fluids (such as coughing, sneezing or sweating) is unlikely to be contagious. A station-wide contagion can only happen if a pathogen has one or more of these symptoms. The actual transmission itself, however, can only occur if someone directly touches the infected through a punch, grab, or disarm. Coughing, farting, and fluent speech symptoms can also transmit pathogens to anyone three tiles away, as long as they are within the view of the infected, whenever the afflicted cough/farts/talks. Sneezing, gibbing, and capacitor spread pathogens in the exact same way, but go to five tiles rather than just three.
Once there is an actual chance of transmission, the symptoms can spread the pathogen through any of these four means:
- The face, blocked by wearing certain masks and certain head wear, such as biohoods.
- The hands, blocked by wearing certain gloves.
- The body itself, blocked by wearing certain types of body armor, such as biosuits.
- The air, blocked by having an internal oxygen system with an oxygen tank and suitable breathing apparatus.
You get clues to the nature of the symptoms via looking at a pathogen through a zoomed-in microscope, but some symptoms share identical clues, so you may need to observe an infected test subject or investigate the pathogen's DNA to get a more precise idea of the symptoms. You can also add certain chemical reagents to a petri dish under a microscope, via dropper, to observe, while the microscope is zoomed in, certain reactions associated with certain symptoms.
There are over 40 known and documented symptoms; you can find the characteristics and clues of each of them in this appendix, Pathogen Symptoms & Mutations.
Attributes are numeric values of the pathogen. There are two groups of attributes: primary attributes, which can be affected by the pathogen manipulator via the manipulate option, and secondary attributes, which can only be modified through mutation.
The primary attributes specific to a pathogen:
- Advance speed determines how quickly a pathogen advances to its final stage. A very high advance speed is likely to cause a pathogen to hit stage 5 in a matter of minutes, while a negative advance speed might cause an infection to cure itself.
- Maliciousness determines the nature of mutations occurring on a pathogen. A high maliciousness value will enable very bad things to happen when a pathogen mutates (such as gaining multiple additional bad symptoms), while a negative maliciousness value will promote the occurrence of benevolent mutations (such as losing a bad symptom).
- Mutativeness is initially determined by the microbody of the pathogen. Virii and great mutatis cells are very mutative, while fungi are unlikely to mutate over time. Mutativeness translates to a flat chance of mutations occurring on a pathogen on infection. A negative mutativeness will also induce mutations, albeit devolutionary ones.
- Mutation speed determines how many mutations will occur if a mutation happens. Mutation speed is a logarithmic scale, thus you need increasingly higher values of mutation speed for that one extra mutation to happen. For example, at a mutation speed of 10, chances are that if the pathogen mutates, two different types of mutations will happen to the pathogen.
- Suppression threshold is a value which is primarily used in cure synthesis. The threshold determines the minimum amount of reagents required to suppress a pathogen while infecting an individual, and also determines the minimum amount of suppressant reagent and anti-agent required in the Synth-O-Matic for synthesizing a working cure or vaccine.
The secondary attributes specific to a pathogen:
- Stages is the maximum severity of this pathogen. The amount of stages on a pathogen will always be between 3 and 5. The mutation causing the stages to decrease is a devolution, and will not occur on positive value pathogens. The amount of stages is initially determined by the microbody.
- Generation determines the priority of a pathogen. An individual may only be affected by a single mutation of a pathogen strain at a time (and thus cannot be infected with both A1B2 and A1B3 simultaneously). A higher generation number pathogen will always assimilate a lower generation pathogen, thus if someone infected with A1B2 is introduced to A1B3, and A1B3 has a greater generation number, the individual will instead be infected with A1B3 from there on, continuing from the same infection stage. Mutations might cause this number to increase, but never to decrease. A gene-modified pathogen will always be generation 1 when removed from the Pathogen Manipulator.
- Symptomaticity is a flat boolean, which determines if symptoms are exerted on an individual. A mutation might cause a symptomatic pathogen to become asymptomatic and vice versa. Most symptoms are essentially deactivated, though sweating and direct bodily contact with infected individuals can still spread pathogens.
Initially, each pathogen is assigned a number of properties, however, this is subject to change over time. Pathogens mutate and adapt according to their attributes. There are several things which may induce a mutation on a pathogen, such as:
- Infection. When an individual becomes infected with a pathogen, there is a probability, depending on the mutativeness of the pathogen, that the newly infected individual will be infected by a mutated version of the pathogen.
- Radiation. A pathogen irradiated in the pathogen manipulator has a chance to mutate, and pathogens residing in irradiated individuals may also mutate over time.
- Mutagenic symptoms. Certain symptoms might cause their base pathogen to mutate.
A strain of pathogen is assigned a base name with the pattern LNL, where L is an arbitrary letter, and N is a number 1-99. This is the base name of the pathogen, which will be used to identify it. Any pathogen with the same base name can be cured with a cure created using any other pathogen with the same base name. A pathogen strain with the same base name will always share the same microbody, but may have a different suppressant due to splicing. The specific mutation of a pathogen is identified by the last number, appended after the base name. For example, A1B2 and A1B3 have the same base name (A1B) and thus are considered the same pathogen, but may have different symptoms or attributes due to the different mutation number (2 and 3 respectively).
The frequency and nature of the mutations occurring are affected by a number of pathogen attributes. Pathogens can also mutate if the host body is exposed to radiation or unstable mutagen.
The pathogen will attempt to mutate at every chance it can, by randomly selecting one of these following mutations and checking if it mets the associated conditions. It can only gain one mutation every time it can mutates, though, obviously, it can mutate again at the next opportunity. There is a chance the pathogen will not mutate at all, if it doesn't meet the required conditions for most of the mutations.
Most of the mutations require the pathogen to be symptomatic, have a Mutativeness of 0 or higher (obviously, a pathogen can't mutative if it's not inclined to mutate in the first place), and have a Maliciousness within a certain range, unless otherwise noted. Once Maliciousness is within the required range, some mutations are more likely at higher levels of Maliciousness, others lower levels. Most mutations can also happen once per pathogen, with the sole exception of Attribute Scramble.
The tools at your disposal
Your laboratory consists of a number of tools, each of which you must be familiar with to be a successful pathologist.
Blood slides are where it all begins. These items will store blood samples extracted from a person. Blood samples function like pathogen samples in an inferior way. They can be examined under the microscope, but cannot be reacted with reagents. They cannot be used for cure manufacturing, cultivation or manipulation. To do this, a singular pathogen sample must be isolated out of the blood slide using the...
The centrifuge is a large machine that given time will extract a pathogen sample from a blood slide into a petri dish. This extraction will always yield 5 units of pathogen sample, and it will destroy the blood slide. Please note that out of a single blood slide only a single pathogen can be isolated - even if it contains multiple different ones.
Now that you have extracted your pathogen sample, it should be in a petri dish. Petri dishes are special appliances that can be used to cultivate a pathogen. Pathogen cultivation requires two different things:
- A medium used to coat the petri dish.
- A couple of nutrients to keep the pathogen well fed.
Each microbody has its own medium and growth nutrients. To initiate cultivation, simply add a pathogen to the petri dish, add the medium and a sizeable amount of all the nutrients and wait. In a few minutes, the amount of pathogen will begin gradually increasing in the petri dish. Note that you need a least a single unit of pathogen in the petri dish at all times otherwise the cultivation will stop!
When the dish runs out of nutrients, the cultivation process goes into reverse. Once the reverse process reaches its end-point, the pathogen in the dish will begin slowly disappearing - dying.
If a petri dish is misused, it will become dirty. A dirty petri dish cannot be used for pathogen cultivation. Examining a petri dish will tell you if it's dirty or not, and inspecting a dirty petri dish under a microscope will tell you why the petri dish became unusable. To be able to re-use a dirty petri dish, you need to clean it in the...
A large machinery which will remove all traces of reagents from a glass container. This includes cleaning a petri dish thoroughly enough to be able to use it for pathogen cultivation once again. To do this, simply slap the petri dish in there and activate the machine. After a sizeable amount of time, it will eject the once again useable petri dish.
The microscope is the most important research tool in Pathology. Using this and a wide array of reagents, you can discover what features a pathogen holds - without this, you are completely blind.
Microscopes can observe blood samples in blood slides and pathogen samples in petri dishes. The latter is the recommended way of observation, as the blood slides cannot be used with reagent reactions.
To use the microscope, use the appropriate receptacle on it, then use the microscope with an empty hand. The microscope has two zoom states: zoomed in and zoomed out.
While zoomed out, you will see:
- A vague description of the pathogen (eg. red chunky viruses). This holds key information for cure manufacturing: the type of the microbody, and the color, which is a hint at the suppressant.
- Any reactions to a chemical that affect the pathogen culture as a whole.
While zoomed in, you will see:
- Finer features of the pathogen, which hint at either a symptom, a suppressant, or a reagent to use to get a hint at a symptom or a suppressant.
- Any reactions that affect individual pathogens.
Using the hints that don't hint at a reagent, you can already probably discern a few symptoms the pathogen might exert. To discover the rest, especially the suppressant, use a dropper (not a syringe) filled with any reagent on the microscope while a petri dish is under the microscope, then view the pathogen in both a zoomed-in and a zoomed-out state. If the pathogen reacts to the reagent (due to a symptom, or perhaps the suppressant), you will see messages you did not see before.
When creating cures, the key function of the microscope is to determine a reagent that suppresses the pathogen. Using the hints, this should be a relatively easy task. If you are sure that you have found the right suppressant, you are ready to make a cure using the...
A truly mystic machine, the synth-o-matic will take a vial of any pathogen and two beakers and output one or multiple syringes of possibly a pathogen cure. To use the machine, insert a vial of a pathogen sample into it, then select it on the machine interface. Depending on the type of synth-o-matic modules you have in the machine, you may get additional helpful information. You may acquire these modules from various traders or the QM office.
When synthesizing a cure, along with the clean pathogen sample, you will require:
- A beaker of anti-agent, greater in amount than the suppression threshold of the pathogen inserted. The anti-agent is specific to the microbody. Be sure to ration the minimal amount of anti-agent your lab starts with, otherwise you will need to ask some scientists to make you more!
- A beaker of a suppressing reagent. The method for discovering the suppressant is detailed above. Again, you will require an amount greater than the suppression threshold of the pathogen, otherwise the cure will be faulty.
With the synth-o-matic modules, you have a number of additional options:
- The synthesizer module allows the Synth-O-Matic to create anti-agents, thus easing your reliance on chemistry.
- The irradiation module relieves your need to rely on suppressing reagents, replacing the suppressant with radiation. It takes a longer time to manufacture syringes with radiation.
- The upgrade module increases the efficiency of the machine, creating four syringes at once instead of one.
- The assistant module is a module is capable of analyzing and determining the suppressant of the pathogen. It will suggest the appropriate suppressants and also the minimal amount of them required.
- The vaccine module allows the creation of vaccines for vaccinable microbodies. Vaccines do not require anti-agents, only suppressants. You can create vaccines only using radiation, as well. Note that a vaccine may also be faulty when created improperly!
- The microbody modules are a set of modules that allow you to create the cures. All microbody modules are initially loaded into the Synth-O-Matic machine, other than fungi, which must be acquired separately. Make sure these aren't removed! If you lose them, Cargo Bay can order replacement modules.
Synthesize your cure with the appropriate options, and the machine will spit out one (or more) syringes after bubbling a bit. Be careful! If you messed up with the anti-agent or the suppressant, the cure will not put anyone's condition into remission, and will infect anyone that's not already infected! You cannot visually differentiate between working and faulty cures, thus simian testing is encouraged before human testing.
Now that you are an experienced healer of infections, the time has come to create your own. You open up this machine, expose one of its slots, insert your vial, and load & close your designated slot to find OH JESUS CHRIST IT'S NUMBERS AND LETTERS AND VERTICAL BARS WHAT DO I DO?
First, it's important to understand what the pathogen DNA looks like. Here is an example of a pathogen DNA: 000100130006FFFA00070005510C3||1F3|EE2|1F3EE2
The DNA has two parts: a private part, that contains the attributes of a pathogen and a public part, which represents the suppressant and symptoms.
The private part cannot be spliced, its individual elements, however, can be manipulated by irradiation. Manipulating the primary attributes of the pathogen can be done using the Manipulate option in the manipulator. Each attribute can be nudged upwards, or downwards, which will cause movement in the opposite direction on some other attributes. The private part of the pathogen is the first 26 hexadecimal digits of the pathogen DNA, in our example: 00010013000600050007000551. Decoding this:
- The first four digits represent the unique identifier of a pathogen microbody. In our case, this is 0001, which is a virus.
- The next four digits represent the mutativeness of the pathogen in one's complement. In the example, this is 0013, which is 19 in base 10.
- The next four digits represent the mutation speed of the pathogen in one's complement. In the example, this is 0006, which is 6 in base 10.
- The next four digits represent the advance speed of the pathogen in one's complement. In the example, this is FFFA, which is -5 in base 10.
- The next four digits represent the maliciousness of the pathogen in one's complement. In the example, this is 0007, which is 7 in base 10.
- The next four digits represent the suppression threshold of the pathogen in one's complement. In the example, this is 0005, which is 5 in base 10.
- The next single digit represents the amount of stages of a pathogen, which can be anything 3-5. In our case, this is 5.
- The next single digit represents the symptomaticity of the pathogen. In this case, this is 1 (symptomatic).
One's complement is a binary representation of numbers. In our case, all one's complement numbers are 4 hexadecimal digits long, which equate to 16 bits. In this representation, the leftmost bit represents the sign of the number (- if 1, + if 0). If the number is positive, the other 15 bits represent the magnitude of the number, and if a number is negative, then the magnitude of the number is the complement other 15 bits. This means that 1 would be represented as 0001 (0000 0000 0000 0001 in binary), while -1 would be represented as FFFE (1111 1111 1111 1110 in binary). FFFF and 0000 both mean 0, the machine will however always represent 0 as 0000.
The public part can only be modified by splicing the pathogen with different pathogens. Before we get into splicing, let's take a look at the public part's structure - in our example: 0C3||1F3|EE2|1F3EE2. Decoding this:
- The first three digits will always represent the suppressant. Each suppressant has a unique three digit identifier incompatible with any symptom identifiers. In our case this is 0C3, which represents some suppressant. The suppressant codes are round-randomized, thus a suppressant will always have the same code on all pathogens during a single round, but will change between rounds.
- The suppressant is followed by two separator enzymes, which must be present after the suppressant.
- This is followed by a list of symptoms the pathogen exhibits. Each symptom has a round-randomized code that is of a length divisible by 3, up to 15 digits.
Symptom codes are assigned by tier the following way:
- The lowest tier symptoms (tier 1) are assigned a three digit code. All three digit groups found in the effect list of the DNA represent a valid tier 1 symptom.
- For each higher tier, the symptoms are assigned a code by taking the code of a symptom from a lower tier (so in case of tier 2, taking the code of a valid tier 1 symptom), and are either appended the code of a tier 1 symptom, creating a code that is 3 digits longer than the code of a symptom a tier below.
An example of the code creation behaviour:
- Let's assume tier 1 symptom A gets the code 111, and tier 1 symptom B gets the code 222.
- A tier 2 (C) symptom will pick any tier 1 symptom (in our case, either A or B), and a tier 1 symptom (again, either A or B) and create the code. Thus the possible codes for this tier 2 symptom are: 111 111, 111 222, 222 111, 222 222. Let's assume this symptom got the code 222 111
- A tier 3 symptom will pick any tier 2 symptom (C in this case) and any tier 1 symptom (either A or B) and create the code. Thus the possible codes for this tier 3 symptom are: 111 222 111, 222 111 111, 222 222 111, 222 111 222.
- And so on!
The combinations are also round-randomized, thus if you want to create something really deadly, you must discover how to create it in that round.
Splicing takes a target and a source DNA. The target DNA will be the one we modify, and the one that's loaded into the manipulator. Upon splicing you will be asked to choose a source DNA. Then, the splicing commences. In splicing, select a segment on the target DNA and on the source DNA. Then, you have three actions: Delete the currently selected target DNA section, add the selected source DNA section after the selected target DNA section or add the selected source DNA section before the selected target DNA section.
Once you finish the splicing, the manipulator will attempt to assemble the pathogen with the newly created DNA. If the DNA is imperfect, for example, an invalid symptom is specified in the DNA (going by the above example, 111 222 does not exist, and thus is an invalid symptom), the DNA will collapse and be lost. It is important to cultivate the newly created pathogen after each successful splicing, or you might risk losing it altogether!
The DNA tester is a powerful tool to determine how to assemble potent symptoms. In order to use the DNA tester, you must load it with a pathogen. The pathogen will be destroyed in the process, decomposed into the elementary building blocks of its component (public) DNA.
Once you decomposed a pathogen, you can use each of its 3 digit codes once, inserting it into a buffer that can hold up to five 3 digit codes. If there is at least a single code in the buffer, you may analyze it.
Analysis provides the following details:
- Stable: If the code loaded into the buffer corresponds to a symptom, the DNA is stable. A stable code can be safely inserted into a pathogen as a single symptom without risking collapsing it. If the code is not stable, it is lost upon analysis, otherwise it's retained in the analyzer buffer until cleared.
- Transient: If the code loaded into the buffer is a prefix to any other, longer symptom code, then the code is a transient. For example, if the code AFD E1B is a valid symptom, AFD will be a transient. This specific piece of data is useful to determine if research on a specific line should be pursued.
- Analysis: The test also analyzes each 3-digit section of the code, marking it with a color. The color for a segment determines that the code up until and including that particular segment is prefix to how many longer codes. Red means that the code segment is prefix to almost none to none, while green means just about all longer codes start with this code piece. For example:
Analysis results: AFD E1B
In this particular example, AFD is green, meaning that a vast majority of codes containing at least two 3-digit segments start with AFD. E1B is orange, which means that several codes with a length of at least three 3-digit segments start with AFD E1B.
So you want to kill everyone in a shower of gibs?
First things first, that'll be a tier 5 symptom, so you'd best be working with either a virus or a parasite as they both have 5 stages to start with, and it will make your life slightly easier. Go with parasite if you want to transmit it across the station faster, assuming your transmission are all tier 1 symptoms, or go with a virus if you want death to ramp up quickly. A parasite moves fast to slow, a virus slow to fast. Choose whichever you think will suit you best.
Secondly, get many, many Totally-Safe pathogen samples. You start off with 5 samples, possibly more depending on the station. The Synth-o-Matic can fabricate more, provided there's funds in the Research budget, and several samples are scattered through the various ruins of the Debris Field. The NPC medibot merchant D.O.C. sells pathogen samples at a somewhat affordable price at the abandoned satellite, which is easily accessible via Space Pod beacon.
Third, and this goes in hand with the second, you need to pray that RNG is on your side. To make a Tier 5 symptom, you need to create and test several combinations of lesser tier symptoms until you get a valid sequence. Most of them will fail. You'll need all that luck and all those samples.
Let's say you're lucky though, and you get a full range of tier one symptoms in total, and one tier two symptom in the last. Let's say it looks like this:
- CCC DDD
- FFF AAA DDD
Not sure how to check symptoms? Just load them up in the Pathogen Manipulator, and take a look at what's after the ||. Each three digit code is one symptom, and higher tier symptoms are just combinations of lower tier ones.
First things first, you're going to want a good source of symptoms to start off with, and no one can be bothered growing petri dishes at once. Let's start off by combining all of our symptoms into one really annoying, harmless parasite.
First thing to do is you can play it safe (Place each sample in its own petri dish, add the nutrients, start growing them and harvest them in units of 10 for each vial) or dangerously (stick all your starting samples in and wing it). Whichever way you do it, let's say we have three samples in the Manipulator, and 1) is our virus. We place all the vials into the machine, and load sample one. Then we select the splice option, and select slot 2.
First things first, on the target line you select the symptom AAA, and on the source line you select '|'. Then you click 'Splice after target DNA sequence'. Our target should look like this :
and our source like this
The 123 code is just the identifier for the type of pathogen, nothing to worry about. Now we select the '|' on the target line, the symptom on the source line, and select 'Splice after target DNA sequence' again. Our target shall now look like this :
And our source like this
Then we just save that virus to a slot, and rinse and repeat for all the other symptoms until eventually we get a sample which looks like this -
It might be a good idea to splice this with itself a few times, just so you have to do less work when it comes to testing later. The downside is you'll have a parasite which looks like 123||AAA|BBB|CCC|DDD|EEE|FFF|AAADDD|AAA|BBB|CCC|DDD|EEE|FFF|AAADDD|AAA|BBB|CCC|DDD|EEE|FFF|AAADDD.
How do you splice in that tier two symptom? Simple, you just don't add the | between AAA and DDD. The region after each | is a seperate symptom, and so let's imagine our gibbing symptom is AAABBBCCCDDDEEE. How are we to find it?
Off we head to the DNA Tester. Now be warned, don't load up the DNA tester with your sample unless you have more growing in a petri dish. Seriously, you don't want to go through all this effort, just to lose it to a stupid mistake. I've done that, it's really not very fun. Now, we have a spare sample growing, we have the DNA loaded into the tester, and now you have a really long string of letters and numbers in front of you. What do you do? You get testing of course!
Question is how do you test? Well, it's trial and error. Mostly error actually, you're going to stick bits of DNA together, test it, and see what fits. The majority of this is covered in the DNA Tester section, so all we need to remember is Transient, and Stable. What we want is Transient symptoms up until we get to the big bad gibber.
First things first, I suggest you test each individual symptom. All of them will be stable, not all of them will be transient. Let's imagine we can cheat, and know all the symptoms that there are this round.
Tier 1 :
- AAA - Transient, Stable
- BBB - Transient, Stable
- CCC - Transient, Stable
- DDD - Stable
- EEE - Stable
- FFF - Stable
- CCC FFF - Stable
- BBB EEE - Transient, Stable
- AAA BBB - Transient
- CCC DDD - Stable
- BBB EEE AAA - Stable, Transient
- AAA BBB CCC - Stable, Transient
- AAA BBB DDD - Transient
- BBB EEE AAA AAA - Stable
- AAA BBB CCC DDD - Transient
- AAA BBB CCC DDD EEE - Stable
Now we get to testing. Say we've tested all the tier one symptoms, and we find out AAA, BBB, and CCC are transient and stable (because they are, and I'm lazy.) We know a transient symptom has to be a prefix to a larger one, and so we get started on AAA. I like to write it down in notepad, so I have a bit of an idea of what I'm doing, so I may write it like this -
- AAA BBB
Stable + Transient
- AAA CCC
- AAA DDD
- AAA EEE
- AAA FFF
And, repeat for all the codes. Eventually we find a load of tier two symptoms, only two of which are transient - AAA BBB, and BBB EEE. From here, we test these -
- AAA BBB DDD
Stable + Transient
- AAA BBB CCC
- BBB EEE AAA
- AAA BBB AAA
- AAA BBB BBB
- AAA BBB EEE
- AAA BBB FFF
- BBB EEE BBB
- BBB EEE CCC
- BBB EEE DDD
- BBB EEE EEE
- BBB EEE FFF
Let's assume we already know there is a tier 5 sypmtom, because we've been hugging bees all day and RNG loves us. We guess at AAA BBB CCC, because it feels good and the voices tell you to, so we have another round of tests with that.
- AAA BBB CCC DDD
Stable + Transient
- AAA BBB CCC AAA
- AAA BBB CCC BBB
- AAA BBB CCC EEE
- AAA BBB CCC FFF
And finally, we test with our Tier 4 symptom -
- AAA BBB CCC DDD EEE
Stable + Transient
- AAA BBB CCC DDD AAA
- AAA BBB CCC DDD BBB
- AAA BBB CCC DDD CCC
- AAA BBB CCC DDD DDD
- AAA BBB CCC DDD FFF
And there we have it, we've found gibbing. Now we just need to splice that into our virus, and say we've been testing for a while, and hate everyone with a passion, so we stick on every symptom we can. We're terrible people, I know.
Our end Parasite will look like this -
Then we can grow that, load it up in spray bottles, syringes, scalpals, monkeys, whatever you want, and go to town. Maybe you want to make a cure, blow up the Pathology Machine, and ransom it for all the credits? Maybe you only want to cure yourself? Whatever you want, enjoy. The station is yours, you mad bastard.
I want to stop people from becoming showers of gibs!
There is a virus rampaging on the station and you have no idea on how to cure it? Fear not for there is the CDC! For this you will need the quartermaster's help, if he is not dead already.
First, ask the quartermaster to request a biohazardous materials crate from the CDC; it'll come with a syringe and short guide on how to send samples to the CDC in case you need a refresher. Place a sample of the pathogen, in form of a blood vial, petri dish, or regular vial, in one of these crates and simply push it onto the outbound conveyor belt, no sticker needed.
Once the sample has reached the CDC, it will offer to analyze for the reasonable price of 100 credits. After you've paid the fee, the CDC will begin analyzing the pathogen; the more symptoms, the longer it'll take, up to a point. Once it's finished, it'll offer a brief description of the pathogen and also start offering cures. Similar to analysis, the more symptoms, the longer the CDC will take to make sure and the more expensive the cure will be, up to point. The price range is usually between a few hundreds to a couple thousand, with some discounts for buying bulk batches. It might be a lot, but compare the price of a cure to the price of a life lost.
Deciphering CDC Results
When the CDC analyzes a pathogen, it'll always describe it in this following format.
It is [SYMPTOM NUMBER LEVEL] pathogen with a hazard rating of [RATING]. We identify it to be a [STAGE DESCRIPTOR] organism made up of [MICROBODY]. [CDC SUPPRESSANT DESCRIPTION]
This text string is packed with information that you might miss if you don't read too carefully into it:
- [SYMPTOM NUMBER HINT] indirectly tells you the number of symptoms.
- "Relatively one-sided" : 0-2 Symptoms
- "Somewhat colorful" : 3-4 Symptoms
- "Rather diverse": 5-6 Symptoms
- "Incredibly symptomatic" : 7 & More Symptoms
- [RATING] is actually just the value of the highest primary attribute of the pathogen. In true government fashion, it doesn't tell you which one.
- [STAGE NUMBER HINT] represents the number of stages. Most symptoms have their worst effects in the last stages, particularly for more deadly symptoms, and the [STAGE NUMBER HINT] reflects this.
- "Weak" : 3 Stages
- "Potent" : 4 Stages
- "Deadly" : 5 Stages
- [MICROBODY] is the microbody. Self-explanatory.
- [CDC SUPPRESSANT DESCRIPTION] is a brief explanation of the suppressant that's usually direct and straightforward.
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