Mining bandage has been passed, pending a full rework and medbay ooverhaul is still ongoing. My next focus will be on tweaking Botany, but unlike the above two departments I’m not really a heavy player of Botany. This thread is me asking botanists for their input so I’m not ham-handedly advocating for destroying something I don’t understand as well as I should.
What is botany’s purpose on the station?
Food for the chef - primary, albeit minor focus. Chef really doesn’t need hyper-veggies to make food out of.
Medicinals - whether making it for custom “tobacco” rolls, or just handing over medicinal plants directly, botany is intended to be able to function as an alternative to medbay treatments.
Recreational drugs - obviously not a “Nanotrasen sanctioned purpose” but it is inherently intended from a game design standpoint. Be a shady drug dealer if you can get away with it, it makes for a good gimmick.
Dangerous research - Nanotrasen is very interested in anything that has military applications after all. Bio weapons are especially great because they replicate themselves.
What are botany’s problems right now?
The maximum power level that weaponized produce can achieve. Instant or near-instant death is never fun to play against for anyone except the player that is power-tripping. Add onto the fact that it can be ranged, AoE instant death…
The sheer amount of weaponized produce that can be carried in the botany bag, and the fact this is difficult to adjust without making the botanist’s job a horribly tedious task of individually moving dozens of pieces of produce one at a time.
The fact botanists have no real incentive to do anything other than to push for growing super-weapons and the few things that support those super weapons.
The drawing board (disorganized ideas and stuff from posts below)
Make room for and add apiaries (Bees) to botany from roundstart. What does this solve? I don’t know but it feels like a good idea for Beestation. Bees are cool and almost never see the light of day. Mutated chemical bees and a method for potentially weaponizing them seems like a nice combat branch for botany as well (if bees are tweaked to respect the fact they shouldn’t be able to inject chems through hardsuits)
Halve the maximum reagent capacity of all plants, and halve the effect of densified chemsI think a direct nerf to base maximum chem capacity + densified chems is a good start to reducing the maximum potential. This would not reduce (most if any) starting points, just how much you can cram into one plant, and by extension another player via smoke, hypodermic or separated chems.
Make a pass over strange seed traits and chems and look at what can be made more available through normal plants/mutations and perhaps what shouldn’t be available to botanists in general at all. Give botanist with uplinks access either to data disks or look-alike seeds with special traits/toxins to give antags a shortcut to weaponized produce that isn’t immediately noticeable. Being less reliant on RNG is better for everyone and using RNG as a balancing point for OP shit doesn’t make it any less OP
Hypodermic Prickles, Seperated Chems, Liquid contents and Gaseous decomposition should all be mutually exclusive traits. Gaseous decomp would now require in-hand activation (and user will need protection), direct hits with hypodermic prickles would become the only way to dose someone at a range, Liquid contents stops being useful for plants that don’t have a splash effect chem (such as acid), and seperated chems is primarily useful for detonating blenders and players that decide to directly eat the produce. This restricts a botanist’s ranged and AoE combat potential and more or less removes direct explosives (outside of lemons) as an option altogether.
Remove chem dispenser, but ensure the capability of growing advanced reagents via plants is an optional path for someone that really wants to avoid asking chemistry to fill beakers or set up plumbing, but botany has incentive to interact with chemists again.
Find a better balance of busywork for botanists - reduce the frequency at which plants need water/nutrients, reducing the perceived necessity to rush Earthsblood.
I came up with a bit of ideas for some things Botany could have.
1: Biohazard research, this area could have separated rooms with a growing tray in each one, this could be a potentially very dangerous test lab fun. to poke at things with a stick…or…burn…good for shady traitors, maybe add some more dangerous plants not as bad as kudzu but near that level, this also would give nanotrasen a reason to give a fuck about botany as a whole (this is a research station, more things to research/test = good)
2: Animal testing/farming, now you may say ‘that’s kinda fucked up’ be we are already sacrificing thousands of monkies a year and testing on human being so ethics are out the window, this could also be a good source of meat for the chef, maybe we do a bit of mutating of the cows, they give us w a c k y meat instead of normal meat, nah but c’mon, we do it like minecraft, grow some food (depending on the type of animal it may take more or less), feed them until they produce offspring and continue cycle for meat and testing and stuff
Aurora has an area on its station called Xenobotany where all the dangerous plants with the crazy shit are grown. You thinking like this?
Also Ruko please remember to remove Kudzu from the mutation chance. Why it isnt a traitor only item anymore i have no idea. One round as CE a Non-Antag Botanist planted 34 separate seeds of Kudzu across the station. I spent THE ENTIRE SHIFT KILLING THEM AND FIXING ALL THE DAMAGE!
Yes please. I had another idea for this as well. But i seem to have forgotten it…will edit if i remember it.
Edit: I remembered. Let us breed animals and not have to buy more from cargo. Chickens, Cows, heck even Pigs. If a Pig sprite needs to be made i could try my hand at it. But we already have Cows and Chickens. Coloring them and giving them shit shouldnt be too hard right?
Also Ruko, you should go play Goon Botany for awhile to get some ideas. There is way more too it and its very very intricate. And look into some things Aurora and Bay do with Xenobotany as well. Pulling ideas from the ways other servers do things and putting our spin on them seems like a good idea.
another idea for this, what if you could get and train monsters/animals we will call them copyrighted name and give them stats and use commands that could be cool since botany is mostly waiting about or excessively watching plants so they don’t die and you profit why don’t you do some animal training on the downside then the botanists can flex their copyrighted name (this is a joke, but animal training could be cool)
i agree, and cry everytime i see one, or become one
If im playing chef I just throw down some tomato seeds in the public garden as thats like 90% of what a chef needs. Feels a lot simpler than waiting for botany to finish gold trays and hoping they still remember kitchen exists.
Edit: if chef had like just a single hydroponics tray in kitchen that could probably supply them better than botany.