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Lisa Chau

Joined: 2003.06.02 00:00:00
Messages: 591
Location: Kalaheo, Kauai, HI

By Lisa, Meghan, Pam, and Mark.

This is most of what we've learned from the experience of the highly contagious cold a few weeks ago. We're leaving out "spoilers". If ever there's another outbreak like this one, we'll let new players manage it.

- Colds are "emergent" and autonomous. Nobody plans them. New strains mutate with their own logic which nobody controls.
- This highly-contagious strain was the first really "bad" one, ever. Nobody paid much attention to colds before.
- This strain was "maxed" - the highest possible virulence plus the highest possible contagiousness. This is one reason it went around the city so quickly and lasted for several days.
- Another is that players spread it through inappropriate behaviors.
- There can be many different strains active at once.
- You can't die from a cold. If someone says you can, they're wrong.
- If it's a bad enough strain you can be greatly weakened. Health, Energy, Strength, Dexterity all may decrease, sometimes by a lot.
- While you're weakened, bad things including death *can* happen if you're not mindful. It's your responsibility to protect your character.
- Once you recover from an illness you're forever immune to that strain.
- You should not assume that if you recover from one you'll never have another. You're immune to that strain, but not new ones.
- It's not true that symptoms appear immediately as soon as you contract an illness. Different strains have different gestation periods.
- If you have symptoms, it's important to isolate, or you'll spread it.
- We don't know if asymptomatic illnesses can be transmitted, for example during the gestation period. We think probably not. But, we repeat, we don't know.
- The big outbreak was made worse because players who were sneezing went to Sanctuary Island to wait it out. They infected others who infected others, and so on, including many NPCs who were passing through, who then spread it all over the city.
- The socially responsible thing is to get to an isolated place where you won't be a transmitter.
- Wearing a medical mask can help prevent transmission. It does not help to heal faster.
- Masks vary in quality. Most aren't that useful.
- To recover as quickly as possible, raise your con attribute as high as you can. If you can get it above 40 you'll recover quickly.
- The syrettes of cold medicine are effective. They suppress symptoms and can raise your con temporarily.
- But, don't go to the drug store yourself. Ask another player to auction some while you stay isolated.
- Like masks, the most effective remedies aren't for sale. We know where to get them.
- Ditto food and water. Don't run around acquiring supplies. We've heard it said it's safe to move around the city because you won't have enough contact with others to infect them. That's not true. This is one reason why the big outbreak was so intense and why it lasted so long.
- Contagion has to start somewhere. When the server reboots for code pushes, illnesses will not yet have been transmitted from original carriers. If you can neutralize those carriers quickly, you can not only prevent contagion but actually eliminate an entire strain before it spreads.
- Neutralize does not have to mean kill.
- The maxed strain ended because we hunted down all the carriers, except for those who got over it and become immune on their own.
- NPCs with colds are more vulnerable. By a lot. There are significant opportunities implied. Just sayin'.
- Remember, only you can prevent forest fires. That means, if there's another "bad" one, thanks for helping end it instead of making it worse.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2022.05.16 18:38:41

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