16 November, 2009

Pathologic - Another Note On Infection


Having reached the penultimate day of the scenario, I've managed thus far to find as many as 5 doses of Powder, though I haven't gotten any Panacea. Anticipating, from experience in past scenarios, the need to heal six of my rivals' adherents on the final day to get them into the Cathedral and allow for choosing their alternate endings (which is not required, but for completion's sake...), I decided it would be fruitful to try to find one more Powder. I was searching for my sister in the infected districts, when I remembered that the one other non-quest-related source for Powder (in addition to trading with the little girls), was in the drawers of infected houses (well, I had found at least one Powder in this manner before). So I went on a (unfortunately unsuccessful) hunt.

I didn't find a Powder, but I did learn something (though it doesn't surprise me). Protective clothing and immunity boosters are more useful than I've given them credit for. For obvious reasons. I had overlooked them due to the belief that, to utilize a metaphor, the only truly safe sex is abstinence. If wearing protective clothing and popping immunity strengthening pills could only do so much to prevent infection, the best method of keeping healthy is not to plow through the disease with your fingers crossed, but to avoid, avoid, avoid.

Different types of clothing offer different levels of isolation from infection, and the better isolators are of course more expensive. The best of the best are actually extremely expensive - these would be the army supplies that arrive with the General late in the game. But after the first few days, money (or supplies for that matter) has been no problem in this scenario (or run-through - not sure how much is due to the scenario and how much is due to my constantly improving proficiency at surviving in this town), so I've had the chance to take more risks and burn coin on a nice jacket or boots, for example.

And it helps. But here's where the real difference comes in. Your immunity tends to stick around 50% naturally. You can boost it up to 100%, or infect yourself and watch it drop to 0%, but around 50% is its natural level. At 50% it can only provide so much protection from infection, but at 100%, in combination with heavy protective clothing, you can actually walk through a cloud of infection and not get infected. Your immunity will drop a bit, but you'll stay healthy. Of course, it only works so many times before your immunity gets too low and then you'll get infected. But that's what the immunity boosters are for.

So before stepping into an infected house (or zone, though it's difficult to evade infection much moreso in the cramped houses), put on your protective clothing, and pop a pill or two. The best immunity boosters are the Delta tablets, which are rare, but they pump your immunity up to 100% with practically no health risk at all. Or use one of the concocted Twyrine brews - their effectiveness, which you can read on the label, varies. A good +93% immunity -3% health will work wonders. Just, depending on what you use, watch your health, and exhaustion, which can be negatively affected by medication.

And here's one last tip. You have a lantern which you can light up at any time, and you can find lantern oil at the clothing shops, and scattered throughout town (in drawers and such). I never considered it very useful, as there wasn't really any place in the game that was so dark (to my eyes) that it became necessary. But it does get pretty dark in some of the infected houses (it varies), and with the furniture strewn about, and the infection on your tail, a little extra light can go a long way. Remember it the next time you find yourself in a dark, diseased corner. ;)

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