Startopia


The RTSC Guide to Startopia
Part 8Medicine


Advanced Sick Bay in actionIt goes without saying that a Station without a Sick Bay is a disaster in the making: a working infirmary should be an early priority in your game. Sick Bays provide medicine for all walks of Peep and are the major source of Body (a.k.a. Health) point replenishment for your population. Properly equipped, you can cure and stop plagues, heal the injured and successfully treat medical emergencies for those lucrative bonuses. Sick Bays are built exclusively on the Engineering Deck and are manned only by the Greys.

The effectiveness of a Sick Bay boils down to the current staffing levels and employee ratings. Expert medics will earn for the Station lucrative tips while poorly qualified Greys can actually harm patients, in extreme cases causing death from malpractice. I've found it wise to only hire Greys with two star Skill levels or more. Criminal Greys can also be a problem, surreptitiously using your facilities if there are long queues of patients and not enough doctors on the job. Illegal medicine is expensive for your patients and generally harms them, plus the illegal doctors pocket any fees for themselves. Again, try to keep your Sick Bays manned around the clock, especially on bigger stations. The number of doctors that can work in a Sick Bay is determined by the number of Diagnosis Machines set up in it. Ideally, you want a nice balance between Diagnosis, waiting patients and medical equipment to administer cures to.

In essence: prevention is better than the cure. You may never ever see a plague victim in a game if your medical facilities are up to scratch, except from passing emergencies. If you start seeing funny textures beginning to appear in your general population then your Station's medical services are not keeping up and disease is starting to spread through the population.

The equipment in a Sick Bay can determine how well it performs. Early on you can get by with basic Diagnosis Machines and Dispensers, but eventually you may need a Medi-Bed for serious cases and Z-Ray Scanners to spot inbound travelers infected with deadly Skrasher eggs. There doesn't seem to be any direct correlation using a specific medical widget for any specific illness. Again, its all done by feel. Its just that if your Sick Bays lack expensive hardware then its more likely that patients with nasty diseases may have to return for repeat treatments - a bad situation all around both for the patients and their opinion of your Station. If an advanced medical item isn't available, a badly ill Peep may have to undergo several treatments with the basic equipment before they they can be cured.


At the Sick Bay
When a Peep receives a cure from a Grey medic, they receive a one off hit:
+100Mind +2000Body -1000Nourishment -1000 Sleep -100Toilet & -1000 Drunk
which roughly translates into a big health and drunkenness hit (the drugs), plus side-effects: hunger, tiredness, feeling dopey and needing to go to the loo. The ongoing symptoms of any disease immediately cease. You'll see cured patients needing food or rest afterwards. The effect of a cure is the same across the population, except for Dahanese Sirens and Greys, who receive different health hits:
Groulien Salt HogsGrekka TargKasvagoriansKarmaramansTurrakkenZedem MonksPolvakian Gem Slugs
+2000 Body
Dahanese Sirens
+2500Body
Greys
+3000Body

What happens when a Peep visits the Sick Bay, but...
...the cure is insufficient? This happens sometimes. You'll spot a "cured" patient walking out the Sick Bay doors and then suddenly turning around for immediate re-treatment. Sometimes this just means the Peep was so ill they needed more than one treatment; they got the cure, but they're health points still weren't optimal. All species, regardless of who they are, will suffer -1000Mind -100Soul. A failed cure scores poorly for your Station's approval rating, and the sufferer get slightly depressed over the incident.
...they're treated by criminal Greys?
Criminal
Without exception, all species suffer problems as they suffer the effects of bad medicine:
-500Mind -500Body -1000Nourishment -1000Sleep -100Toilet & -100 Drunk
Hoodwinked patients get upset, suffer a further slug to their sick body instead of a boost, and don't receive as much as a cure - if any for their ailment. All the other side effects are just as potent as ever.
...they're treated by an unskilled Grey?

There's actually a good chance the patient will die! I generally try and hire Greys that have at least two skill stars myself.



Injuries

See Combat


Eeek! P L A G U E !

Know your plagues! With a bit of luck you'll hardly ever see them, but if the Station's medical services isn't keeping up then things can spiral out of hand. Startopian diseases really aren't all the same you know; some are more severe than others. Naturally occurring diseases seem to be fairly rare in a game, unless you're playing a custom mission that makes a point of them. Infectious diseases tend to become noticeable with minimal medical facilities and huge Station populations that have little to do except hold conversations with each other. With the higher population rates those low infection rates and incubation times start to bear a bitter fruit...

There's something like ten different ailments in Startopia (outside of injuries, battle wounds and Skrasher induced cranial traumas), each with its own distinct way of affecting Peeps. Some species succumb more readily than others to specific diseases. Many of the diseases are the med, and affect a particular character attribute like hunger (Gutworm) or Love (Nymphitus). These aren't obvious until symptoms become really severe and the Peep starts to develop some curious texturing on their bodies. Disease degrades Peep health until the sufferer eventually dies. Timely intervention by a Sick Bay can avert this unhappy state of affairs, and you'll know you have proper medical coverage when the only diseases you see are coming from Medical Emergencies called in via your Comsensors. Naturally occurring diseases seem to be fairly rare, unless your population starts to rise sharply and you can't keep up with your medical services. Then those low infection rates and incubation times start to take their toll...

Notes

Every conversation with a Vermin always results in the Peep getting sick. The Vermin Ratio shows you the chances of what disease it will be out of all the possible illnesses in the game.

As a Sandbox default, 5% of all Peeps emerging through your Port will carry a disease of some kind. The game then randomly decides what disease it will be using a "Port ratio" which I've translated into a percentage. Some diseases are more prevalent than others, like the Common Cold. The Port Ratio shows the likelihood a particular disease that that 5% is going to carry.

Contagion shows the percentage chance of a disease being transmitted via a Conversation between two Peeps.


Radiation Sickness

Radiation Sickness is the result of injury, and isn't a transmittable disease. Sufferers don't irradiate others. Thus it isn't contagious and no funny texturing appears on the sufferer (what! they don't glow!?). Sufferers lose Toilet points (diarrhea and vomiting being nasty side effects of radiation poisoning) and endure ongoing damage to the body, more so in the fragile species.Back

Vermin ratio Port ratio Contagion
0%
8.6%
1 in 230 Visitors
0%
Grekka Targ
-5Body -10
Toilet
Groulien Salt HogsKasvagorians
-10Body -10Toilet 
Greys
-15Body -10Toilet
KarmaramansDahanese SirensTurrakkenZedem MonksPolvakian Gem Slugs
-20Body -10Toilet 

Common Cold
The Common Cold is a simple sniffle. As far as I know, this has no textural effects although you'll see Peeps pantomiming severe little coughing fits. Very infectious, but not as severe for some Peeps as some diseases. Runny noses obviously don't faze the slimy Gem Slugs, whereas pretty Sirens just become a mess.Back
Vermin ratio Port ratio Contagion
40% 17.4%
1 in 115 Visitors
10%
Polvakian Gem Slugs
-1Body
Groulien Salt HogsGrekka TargKasvagorians
-2Body
GreysKarmaramansTurrakkenZedem Monks
-3Body
Dahanese Sirens
-4Body

Solar Fever Mind

Solar Fever is one of the the milder diseases, affecting Mind. Sufferers have been caught in a solar flare and have a "touch of the sun", so to speak. Its not that fatal to the sufferer, but its a problem for Station Administrators since the sufferers' opinion of the Station is falling faster than a stone. Severe symptoms manifest as this amazing red hot brick texture.

Brainy Turrakken scientists suffer its effects a little more than other characters. Back

Health Effects Turrakken
-6Mind -2Body -8Mind -2Body
Vermin ratio Port ratio Contagion
2% 8.6%
1 in 230 Visitors
5%

Nymphitus Love

Nymphitus is a disease where your patients won't die on you, but will go a little crazy, becoming Love starved and needing more of it more frequently. Severe cases start manifesting rather cute little Valentines all over their (presumably) sweaty, trembling bodies.

As some of you might have guessed, this the med plague affects the Dahanese Sirens more than other species.Back

Health Effects Dahanese Sirens
-5Mind -2Body -5Love -5Mind -2Body -10Love
Vermin ratio Port ratio Contagion
2% 8.6%
1 in 230 Visitors
5%

Lunar Psychosis Love

Lunar Psychosis is another semi-mental illness, except Peeps suffer Soul degradation over time. Potentially, this can quickly lead to a need for religion and ultimately even a soul-starved psychotic reaction. White lunar crescents appear all over the sufferer's bodies in severe cases, although on some Peeps it just looks like they've been badly shat on from a great height.

Kasvagorians are particularly at risk, suffering double Soul loss over other Peeps. Back

Health Effects Kasvagorians
-5Mind -2Body -5Soul -5Mind -2Body -10Soul
Vermin ratio Port ratio Contagion
2% 8.6%
1 in 230 Visitors
5%

HyperactivitusLove

Of concern to all Administrators, Hyperactivitus is a mental bug that seriously affects a Peep's Fun gland, causing them to bore faster than normal. Bad cases develop a weird plasma like texture.

Kasvagorians suffer double the trouble to their Fun glands compared to other Peeps. Back

Health Effects Kasvagorians 
-5Mind -2Body -5Fun -5Mind -2Body -10Fun
Vermin ratio Port ratio Contagion
2% 8.6%
1 in 230 Visitors
5%

Gut Worm Nourishment

Probably one of the more visceral diseases around. Gut Worm is a space tapeworm: Gut worms suck Nourishment out of their hosts, and victims have to eat more. Arona Daal makes mention of one in the first single player mission. Sufferers develop a organically rich, woody, fungal sort of texture.

The decadent Gem Slugs suffer double the intestinal trouble of other species.Back

Health Effects Polvakian Gem Slugs 
-5Mind -2Body -5Nourishment -5Mind -2Body -10Nourishment
Vermin ratio Port ratio Contagion
2% 8.6%
1 in 230 Visitors
5%

Droop Eye Sleep

Droop Eye is a sleeping disorder that much like chronic fatigue syndrome. Sufferers start losing Sleep points and need to sleep more often. This could work well to your advantage as sleep deprivation can play into the hands of the Zedem Monks and earn some big bucks creating some Penitents. Peeps develop a strange, Bananas-in-Pyjamas stripy jimjams texture!

Karmaramans get more sleepier than other species with this condition.Back

Health Effects Karmaramans 
-5Mind -2Body -5Sleep -5Mind -2Body -10Sleep
Vermin ratio Port ratio Contagion
2% 8.6%
1 in 230 Visitors
5%

Volatile
A Salt Hog burning upI think Volatile is the "Explody Head" disease mentioned in the game's Mission text files. I've had many volatile patients in the past, but I've yet to see any exploded heads - only exploded bodies. Occasionally you'll come across a freshly dead skeleton surrounded by the shattered polygons of its former owner, but with no Skrasher in sight you can be sure this has been an unfortunate victim of Volatile. Volatile patients develop a vivid and angry red rash all over their bodies. A truly egalitarian illness, this disease affects all Peeps equally without any exemptions or prejudice. Although it only affects Health points, the severity of its symptoms make it a formidable medical condition: twice as bad as most other diseases, but not quite as nasty as the Space Plague.Back
Health Effects
-10Body
Vermin ratio Port ratio Contagion
0% 4.3%
1 in 460 Visitors
5%

Blotchy Green

Unclean snottinessBlotchy Green is a nasty bug causing both heavy Body and some Mind and Soul injury. That is, this bug is as virulent as the dreaded Space Plague, and adds a double whammy where it depresses the sufferer on top of everything else. This disease tends to knock out the "softer" and more intellectual Peeps more quickly. Blotchy patients develop yucky, green pimples. Unless treated immediately, weaker Peeps will die on you, often while waiting for treatment. Fortunately, its not that common and not that contagious.

Physically hardy species like the Salt Hogs, Targ and Kasvagorians are more resistant to Blotchy Green.

Sirens are especially vulnerable.Back

Health Effects
see below
Vermin ratio Port ratio Contagion
1% 8.6%
1 in 230 Visitors
5%
Groulien Salt HogsGrekka TargKasvagorians
-1Mind -10Body -5Soul
GreysKarmaramansTurrakkenZedem MonksPolvakian Gem Slugs
-2Mind -15Body -10Soul
Dahanese Sirens
-3Mind -20Body -15Soul

Space Plague
Classic space pox symptoms This is a bad one: Space Plague is the second most contagious disease in Startopia after the Common Cold and its symptoms can be very severe in some species. Space Plague simply drains Peep Body points without affecting any other attributes. While not as lethal as some diseases, its combination of relatively high infection rate and health loss makes it a potential problem. Sufferers can die waiting in Sick Bays if you don't watch out and it can spread rapidly on Stations with large crowds with nothing to do except engage in lots of conversations.

Sufferers develop some suitably impressive purple spots with this space germ.

This is one of the few odd disease: the normally tough-as-an-old-boot Salt Hogs drop like flies before it, while the soft and unhealthy Gem Slug is barely affected. Back

Health Effects
see below
Vermin ratio Port ratio Contagion
2% 4.3%
1 in 460 Visitors
20%
Grekka TargPolvakian Gem Slugs
-5Soul
GreysKasvagorians
-10Body
Groulien Salt HogsKarmaramansDahanese SirensTurrakkenZedem Monks
-15Body

Alien Spawn
What used to be a Turrakken researcher (note the double headed skeleton under this brute)Skrashers are the ultimate medical nightmare. You've got less than 200 seconds to get that Peep to a cure - and that's assuming they started off with full health. Otherwise, the Peep explodes to reveal a huge Skrasher. Most of the time you'll simply fail to save them and you'll be dealing with a destroyed Sick Bay. Skrasher spawn infect their hosts after they've been petting a Memau that's eaten too much litter. Keep those litter levels down, and keep an eagle eye out for any Memaus. The effects of alien spawn are immediate and horrendous: the hapless host's Nourishment and Body are gobbled up by the Skrasher larva. Weirdly enough, their Mind and Soul points start to increase - perhaps its larval induced delirium; or an evolved measure to prevent hosts seeking help? Back
Health Effects
+10Mind +10Soul -50Body -50Nourishment
Vermin ratio Port ratio Contagion
0% 4.3%
1 in 460 Visitors
0%


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Last modified Sat, Nov 20 2004 by Lindsay Fleay.