Botany discussion

So, we all know botany isn’t in the best spot and there’s basically multiple forces trying to pull it different directions.
And I still my robust harvest rebalance to eventually get merged.
So, we probably need to have a discussion on the flaws botany has and how a better designed Hydroponics would look like.
Personal take, I think it’d be cool if we could largely phase out the Seedless trait.

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I honestly don’t think botany has too many jssues currently except for inaccessibility for most new players to do the magic that botany can pull off (at a basic level negating the need for chem to make half of their usual chems).

Seedless as a trait is pretty much not relevant currently with the clipping change allowing you to harvest a perfectly good seed from a plant as long as it’s ready to harvest.

The main thing that currently holds botany back from being overpowered is what chems botany has access to, and what is provided from cargo. A majority of the time, botany only gets some mutagen and has to pray their plants won’t all inherit the dying trait, though you can fix both with Phanalaxamine and Cryoxadone (if you can ask for/steal the chems to do so).

Botany 100% needs a better guidebook page for new players, there is a lot of stuff happening on botany yet the guidebook tells you only the very basics of it

I had to teach a lot of botany new players (some even were ss14 newies) as botanist and this quickly shows at the guidebook doesn’t tell them everything what they need to know for do basic botanist work

If you could please describe the things it’s lacking that could be helpful.

Maybe am just burnt out of botany but there’s just a lack of more fun mutations IMO.

Also with newmed coming up, there’s a real danger of botany becoming irrelevant, although maybe we can be the new old ‘chem’ med, who knows. I mean that’s what being a ‘good’ botanist is right now: be the local polypyrylium + omnizine/cognizine producer for necrosol/opporozidone WHICH I STILL DON’T SEE GETTING MADE/USED by med by the way.

Like, look at SS13’s version to ours. Such a big canyon. SS14’s botany is just pouring mutagen and/or swabbing then pray.

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  • lack of information about anything you do in general without testing it first (no information about what plant’s spores does what when given to another plant, no information about the current mutations on a plant outside of the obvious ones, actual no information about possible mutant plants (i legit learned all the mutant plants watching expert botanists or straight up being told how to grow them by a chemist), hell they don’t even tell you at you only can inject 5u of mutagen for make safe mutations or at more at 9u of robust harvest can decrease the yield amount), the only way of learning actual botany gameplay is if you were lucky and got a robust botanist with you

  • lack of qol tools at botany needs for no need to stay in the department 24/7 or half of the plants die (automatic gardening would be a blessing for those plants at aren’t your main interest), even chem haves more freedom at botany

  • i feel like plants in general grow old and die too fast, they also are too vulnerable to changes in temperature

  • plants consume stupid amounts of nutrients and water, while water isn’t really a issue, getting fertilizer for nutrients is a complete mess and depending on your botanist knowdlege this means you are either unable to do mutations without destroying your reverses of nutrients or it becomes a trivial and quite annoying thing at requires even more of your attention (making it short, chemical fertilizers suck but growing 3 6 yield 50 potency apple trees gives you infinite fertilizer for the entire department but now you have to be constantly checking those trees for harvest them or you could run out of fertilizer)

  • i hate whoever was who though seedless plants were a good idea, it only makes your life a hell even if all you want are normal mutant plants

  • there is a overall lack of variety on botany gameplay, the main gameplay loop involves a lot of waiting and rng with the occasional annoying weed or kudzu and it can be really boring if you don’t get anything interesting for over 40 minutes straight, and that is if you even get mutagen, without mutagen it is just a waiting simulator

  • almost all the mutations for plants are either annoying or not too interesting and there is a lack of variety, they are either a chemical mutation (i miss full rng chemicals on plants, i want it back just with no romerol, omni and amatoxin…), a atmos mutation, a plant/useful mutation or a useless/lethal mutation and it becomes repetitive quite fast

  • excluding slip mutations plants have almost no combat utility for antags, most of the time botany is just ignored as food poisoning, tomato minions and poison plant weapons are weak, hard to make, easy to spot even if you grow them on maints and/or easy to counter, when was the last time you saw a botany python used by a antag? Botany really needs to have at least a few out of view hydroponic trays

  • hydroponic tray ghost role should be able to do more at just be a worse pai

  • botany haves almost no incentive to grow food for the crew and just does work for chem, cargo and chef (though this may also be because, excluding carrots, plants literally give nothing and food is too abundant on the station outside of botany and kitchen)

  • kudzu, the only real threat at can come from botany, is stupidly easy to counter (and i may add at this is because crew were crybabies and got kudzu nerfed into the ground thinking at it was as dangerous as meatzu (it isn’t)) and it nerfs made goats useless

And that’s only the stuff at comes into my mind right now, i am sure there are a few more issues i can’t remember right now

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I hope that with newmed being rolled in, omnizine production would be tweaked to not be the default botany function.
But yeah, I think both the RNG gameplan and lack of overall uses other than being med’s chem factory are two of the main issues botany has.

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Thank you for the input.
I’d like to note, from what I understand of the code, the yield decrease on Robust Harvest is actually tied to it reaching its potency cap of 50 rather than the dosage used.

Especially on the water part… Plants can chug WAY more water than hydroponics replenish when filled to brim with it.

Yesterday I had such chugger koibean mutations they would be at 0/100 water pretty much no matter what I do and suffer from it at all times.

Lack of feedback on dying mutations is also annoying as hell, I fear its also bugged as I can cryox “unhealthy” plants but when returned to seed stage and planted in very same tray the light is not blinking.

In my experience injecting more at 9u will always make a 1 potency plant go all the way to 43-50 but risks decreasing the yield amount by 1, 15u or more will always give 50 but also always decrease the yield amount

For me that mutation is actually one of the lethal mutations, thirsty plants are so annoying i always kill them when i spot them and in general they force you to put even more attention into your department… it could be the worse mutation in the game imo

From my personal experience with kudzu, it’s now pathetically weak. It grows extremely slowly and just… stops growing at point which feel completely counterintuitive for a super invasive plant. I agree I needed a nerf as from what I remember like every few shifts would have a very large kudzu problem, but at its current state it just feels too weak to me.

Really the only issue with Kudzu as is, is that it will kill your plant, but thats about it. Any lizard can take apart kudzu unarmed and any other cutting weapon makes cutting it down a breeze.

I unironically would prefer a rare super kudzu over the common shitty kudzu

Also kudzu DOES still spawn most rounds even after the nerfs, it is just at kudzu is now extremely easy to contain and most of the time it literally only grows 3 tiles before being instakilled by a weed spray, and this is if you even allow kudzu to spawn, as soon a botanist sees a plant with the weed spam mutation they can straight up kill the plant before kudzu can spawn

This is my asshole opinion as a botanist main.

Mechanics:

Swabbing: This is suppose to be part of botany gameplay, which is useless due to the lack of information on what in gods name you are swabbing over. A robust botanist doesn’t need it because they can super mutate, a beginning botanist is left in the dark on what swabbing is actually doing thus avoid it like the plague most of the time (Especially with the Clipping nerf)

Mutagen(RNG): Overall this is fine. Botany should be an RNG hell hole due to the power as a singular player can bring to the table if your robust enough.

Clipping: While I disagree with the clipping nerf, I understand it, but with the seedless trait this makes botany a slog to produce a decent number of mutagenic plants. Combined with a poor implementation of swabbing, which automatically makes a plant seedless, harms one of the main mechanics of botany (IE Swabbing)

Tray Management: Due to different mutation like water and weed mutations a can cause this too be so micro inducive to keep Kudzu at bay combined with literal metric tons of water going to waste. With no ability to eliminate these traits from plants efficiently makes one of the most micro intensive jobs for a role that is supposed to be relatively chill. If you don’t mutate then you are fine. Overall its not bad at all.

Mutations:
I’m completely fine with most of the mutations with the exception of the tolerances. Having a weed/water mutation is absolutely horrible to play around. Heat/cold/pressure mutations are just annoying. There gameplay mechanic is nonexistent due to the fact no botanist is going to change the environment of botany to match the needs of one plant. The constant flashing light indicating these plants are in improper environment does nothing but obscure the need to de-weed plants. Please for the love of god get rid of those mutations.

Antag Viability:

This is a hit or miss. You CAN make a mess of the station if you know what your doing, but the majority of ‘Antag plants’ are more or less useless. Tomatoes being able to attack while in a plant bag makes it a death sentence trying to hunt down a player with mass tomatoes. The second you get close to anyone they will just attack you through the bag and kill you in 2 seconds. Death nettles are fine, but to make true death nettles you need amatox but with the clipping nerf this is nigh impossible with swabbing. Gas bombing the station can be done if you are robust enough but with the clipping nerf it is hard to pull off. Poisoning if massed produce is off the table with how much food is on the station.

Overall you can be an effective antag if you know what your doing, but using botany only things you are stuck with death nettles and thats about it.

Conclusion:

Things I would like to see to smooth over botany would be the addition of a plant analyzer to support swabbing. Removal of the seedless trait for swabbing/Robust harvest but keep the seedless trait mutation. A lower chance of mutations for Water/weed tolerances. Revert the Death Nettle nerf to puncture hardsuits but add the need to have botanist gloves to wield. This will keep it out of the hands of most players with the addition of having cargo mass order botany crates during war ops if they truly need Death Nettles.

Botany of the Future:
The ability to have genetics in botany would come a long way to making botany more engaging for the average player. I know this is a long ways away but always food for thought if they ever add genetics to medical.

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Correction, swabs do have a function even for robust botanists

You can get a 5-6 yield 50 potency apple tree with it

  • give the tree spores of a cocoa plant twice
  • from here you can do either:
    A) give it 10u robust right away and hope you get at least a 5 yield 43 potency plant at can become a 5 50 after planting the seeds
    B) play it safe and only give it 5u per plant until you get 6 yield 50 potency

3 5-6 yield 50 potency apple trees give you infinite fertilizer at can even expand the life of a plant in exchange of requiring more attention, probably the best and only use i found for swabs as a botanist player

So in the end swabs do have a function for robust botanists (even if it is used only really few times per shift), it would be nice if they were more useful though

I’d also like to add that cocoaswabbing before mutating to the plant you desire retains the potency and yield after the mutation and doesn’t mess up the chemicals (aside from mutagen possibly adding new chemicals) of the newly mutated plant.

That’s pretty much my main use of swabs these days. For example, cocoaswab (from robusted cocoa) to ambrosia, mutate it into ambrosia deus, ta-daa 6 yield/46 potency deus with original chemicals retained (meth, space drugs, omnizine)

Its also useful no matter the chems if you are juicing/using plant itself as in first case yelds are fixed so potency does not matter and in latter you use the plant itself.

Honestly i rarely use swabs because i don’t know what traits a certain plant has.

Maybe some kind of analyser/machine to see the traits of a plant would be really nice.

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People keep discussing the clipping nerf but seem to be forgetting that you get flawless seeds if you clip the plants in a harvestable state. All that really changes is that you should swab and mutate your plants while they’re in a state ready to harvest. Once that’s done you can clip the plant and then grind the resulting produce to see what you have.

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