Within the story of Fallout Equestria, addiction played a very heavy role. However, due to the simplistic nature of Fallout’s addiction system, capturing that feeling of dependency that LittlePip suffered from is not really possible. This is why we have reworked the system into two parts; dependency and withdrawal, to put a greater emphasis on risk and reward. We’ve added a bit more realism on the drugs themselves.
Addiction is primarily handled with a new statistic called dependency, which is a hidden stat in the game that increases every time the player takes a drug. As the player’s dependency on that drug goes up, their chance to get addicted, as well as the debuffs that relate to the specific drug, goes up as well. The player’s dependency to any given drug increases from using that drug, some drugs have a higher dependency gain than others. If the player has been addicted to a drug in the past, they will get a significant increase to the dependency gain for that drug. This increase goes down in time, but very slowly.
In order to get out of addiction the player simply needs to get their dependency on the drug to 0, and to do this they just need to avoid taking the drug they are addicted to. Although dependency goes down naturally, the player can increase the rate at which their dependency goes down by going to a doctor and paying them a large sum of caps.
The time it takes for the player to enter withdrawal is also determined by dependency. As their dependency goes up, so does the number of times the player needs to take the drug within a given time.
If the player gets addicted to a drug, they will need to use either the drug or a Fixer regularly, or they will go into withdrawal. If the player does go into withdrawal, they will get a series of negative effects. These effects come in three levels which increases the severity of the negative effects. The amount of time it takes for the withdrawal level to increase is the same it takes for the player to get into withdrawal in the first place. If the player uses the drug while in withdrawal, their withdrawal level is decreased by one.
Visual and Audio additions
Side effects and withdrawal symptoms will not be limited to just stat debuffs. Depending on the drug and the severity of the withdrawal, the player can get certain camera and audio effects that can make combat more difficult or general gameplay more interesting. An example of some of these effects are:
- Echo - Sound effects have a slight echo into them
- Heart Attack - Hear a heart beating sound
- Out of Shape Play a heavy breathing sound effect
- Slo-mo - Sounds are played at a slower rate
- Blurriness - Add gaussian blur effect to the camera
- Nausea - Camera starts wobbling in different directions in order to disorient the player.
- Roid Rage - Camera has a red filter placed on it; All NPCs show as hostile to the player while in Roid Rage. However, this does not mean they actually are hostile.
- Color Vibrance/Saturation - Insane colour influxuation and washed out vision.
A Few Drugs and their Effects
Like already mentioned, the drugs in the Fallout series have arguably minor effects. To fix that, we have greatly increased both the buffs drugs give when used, but also the negative effects from addiction, and by extension withdrawal. In addition to the withdrawal penalties, drugs also have side-effects that the user will get immediately after the initial effect of the drug wears off. However, unlike withdrawal effects, these are relatively short lasting and don’t increase in severity over time.
Increases Intelligence, Perception, and Charisma for a period of time. During the effects, the drug colors will become brighter and more vibrant. However, after the initial effects of the drug wears off, your speech, barter, and science skills decrease. The overall color vibrancy decreases and becomes a tiny bit more of a washed out gray. Withdrawal from the drug will give you penalties in perception, intelligence, and eventually charisma.
During its effects, your limb regeneration rate will be increased dramatically and it will also heal any crippled limbs. However, you become weaker overall after each use. This results in a decrease to your normal healing rate in all areas, whether the healing effect is from a potion, spell, or sleeping. Your Perception is also decreased by one, and you will have a rapid heartbeat sound effect that plays while under the effects for a short time after. Withdrawal from the drug will cause a decrease to your overall limb regeneration.
Increases your reflexes and perception of time for a short time making everything else seem slower, resulting in a sort of bullet time. However, after the effects wear off you will move slower overall. Withdrawal from the drug will cause you to have penalties in perception and agility.
Increases speed and overall fighting ability for a period of time. However, during its use, hallucinations will appear and colors will become distorted. Your speed will decrease by a small amount each time it is used as well as your speech ability. Withdrawal from the drug will cause a penalty in strength, intelligence, and eventually charisma.
As you can see, we are really working to make drugs into a real consequence. In both the real world and the wasteland, drugs are a real issue that should be treated seriously. This system puts real weight behind every drug that the player might take. It attempts to put dramatic weight and appropriate consequences on actions that the player takes. Your character can indeed suffer through horrible addiction and suffer crippling dependency from their substance abuse, but also gain significant bonuses if used responsibly.