No reason to test drugs and reach maximum efficiency?

Been watching others play the game (as well as playing myself - Just got Master on the first mission in the second 2nd column), and I keep seeing (and doing) the same thing. More drugs, upgraded drugs - But never any testing or attempts at reaching maximum efficiency for them.

So… why would we want to do this again? I mean where’s the incentive? The testing alone is a small fortune in lost drugs, and the added concentration fiddling (maybe even removing side effects) never seems to be worth it - A creamer usually earns back more than trying to “fix” a drug and use pills or injections (As far as I’ve come so far - Still have the later tier drugs to go)


Yea, I have noticed the same thing. In some of the less competitive scenarios I try to reach the optimal concentrations for cures, but usually that’s just for the sake of having a “better” drug than the AI.

However, like you said, the benefits are not worth the cost of extra machinery and their process costs.

I feel like consumer preference needs to be severely adjusted in such a way that they will avoid drugs with side effects, while flocking toward drugs with little to no side effect (in addition to max cure effect)

From my experience, people (IRL) will go without medicine rather than risk side effects. For example, the flu shot…many people avoid it due to its side effects, even though the flu would be far worse if they were to catch it. So maybe specific cures and side effects (in game) should warrant a higher level of consumer consideration.

As a final thought, maybe a “severity” scale should be implemented for side effects, and a “necessity” scale should be implemented for cures. They could both be placed into a formula that could be integrated into the equation used in determining the value of the final product.

I think some balance needs to be done regarding side effects, definitely. In the scenario I just finished I had a blood pressure relief drug with a nice side effect of… increasing blood pressure. The public still loved it, even after the AI brought their own version out.

Economically it’s currently more cost-efficient to just pump out a lot of drugs with sideeffects than to remove side effects or test to find the optimal strength.

With program design, especially games, you have to look at every single element and consider why it’s there, and I honestly don’t see a reason for the analyzer to exist. The game already tells us at what concentration range the desired effect is active. To make the analyzer more relevant, it’d make more sense to give us ingredients where all or some of the possible effects aren’t known and where the correct range to get the desired effect isn’t known. Then we’d have to test that ingredient to figure out how to best use it, or we could just run it through the line and end up with random sideeffects, or effects that aren’t revealed until mixed with other components (which is or should be more expensive than testing).

This would make sense if all we got was “a tribe in Venezuela say these berries help with cold sores” and things like that.

The game’s design currently implies that everything we pull in has been thoroughly tested before it’s offered to us, but if it’s never been put into a drug before, then how was it tested? And how was this done before we research the tool to do so?

I start using it around the time I’m selling drugs worth $600+ combined value. Getting one of those drugs from C rating, to A rating, is worth $150 profit per drug, and it’s likely only going to cost me an extra $25 to fix it’s concentration, it’s definitely worth it. I only need one analyser, since I can just move it around after I’ve bought it.

The creamer is amazing. I often just use a creamer instead of trying remove side effects. It’s more profitable a lot of the time.

Like it was said, it really depends on the value of the drug. For low value drugs, it often isn’t worth it. For higher value drugs, the better drug rating will pull in more than enough money to offset the extra processing cost. I would say that once you get to tier 3 cures, you should be trying to maximize for optimal strength.

As for side effects, the creamer does a good job of keeping them at bay for a long time. Once you can make syringes you are really going to want to remove any active side effects in order to make huge profit.

Great feedback. :slight_smile:

The usefulness of the analyzer also depends on the quantity of a drug you are making, as well as how much you optimise the cost of the analyzer.
For example if you have one production line for a drug, its rated as E, and you stop the whole line to pump the drugs into an un-upgraded analyzer, than can seem a bit of a waste of money, but in a huge factory with 8 production lines pumping out those same E rated drugs, spending a few bucks to work out how to change them to an A by only pausing a single production line can be a lot more worthwhile.

But yup, it may well require some balancing during beta.

You test the level one drugs to get the max strength for the side effects and can avoid them across all drugs. This is cheaper than running upgraded ingredients through it. Once all side-effects have been researched you can then switch your analyser to start eating the upgraded ingredients to find the max strength of just the high level cure. Keep in mind that the strength setting for your side effects is constant in any particular playthrough (strengths change with new maps/challenges though). So once you know the max strength for Narrow Pupils you know that strength for any Narrows Pupils side effect on all ingredients. I usually just put a spur on directly after the final upgrade you’re going for has been reached. Assuming you’re feeding into a speed one machine then one ingredient goes into the evaporator the next into the analyzer. This way I’m only cutting my production down to fifteen instead of zero.

Just one problem with that, Christian - You generally don’t need to know the maximum strength of side effects, since moving further into a cure is generally more expensive - Or you’re dealing with a cure that has such a low active range that it’s moot anyway.

Something I’ve noticed, is that for ingredients with few to no side-effects (As I can often either avoid the effect entirely or minimize it’s impact) the only thing the Analyzer is good for is getting the best cure concentration, and even then I’m rarely running enough lines of a single drug to get that. (Often run two tiers of a drug from a single ingredient line)

On ingredients with nearly completely full of slots of side-effects I don’t normally analyse them because I’m either using them for a catalyst or don’t use them.

I admit I haven’t gotten quite far enough that I’ve felt the need for a new line for an existing drug, and the one time I have used the Analyzer was near the end game of a scenario and already getting the profit needed to cover it’s use.

I think it could be a little more balanced; possibly specifically for Tier 1 and Tier 2 drugs where even a single machine optimization seems to cut profits rather than help.

I like the idea of having some ingredients use unknown concentrations that you need to analyze before you can sell the drug, but that could also just feel like it’s slowing the game down.

Another possibility, and something that I think would be nice for other areas that seem a bit lacking, is if your company had an overall rating determined by the drugs you sell and that fed back into bonuses/penalties for specific drugs. Basically a brand rating. If I sell a bunch of A drugs then my company will have a high(er) rating and I’ll get more money for my drugs, if I sell E or D rated drugs my brand will be hurt and I’ll make less money even for other higher rated drugs (or competition will cause your profits to drop more).

Basically an idea that your company’s reputation matters rather than just each individual drug. That way even if you lose $/pill by optimizing a line (plus the cost to analyze and refactor the belts) if it helps your brand rating you might make that profit back on another line making a more expensive drug.

You could even then expand that out into including marketing/marketers or other systems eventually.

It’s not about needing to know the max of the side effects, it’s about not wasting $200, or whatever, per upgraded ingredient to grind through the side effects and get to the max strength result you want on the upgraded cure. All about economy.

That still makes it an end-game only mechanic that you will be ignoring until then - And sometimes even then, because you’re swimming in so much money.

Not true, the reason why I mention this is because that is my standard early to mid-game tactic. I tend to rush to Analyzer so I can optimize sooner. I don’t mind low-medium costs for testing so I can get a permanent increase in value with a better rating on any level 2 drug or above.

If you’re already starting to remove side effects at Level 2, you’re definitely losing more money than you’re getting back from adjusting the drugs.

How can that be? Even on my smaller lines I produce a minimum of 30 units per month. If I can raise my rating even by as little 5% that’s a significant amount that translates up very quickly.

Say I spend 200 units to determine all its effects. Lets say the cost is $42 per unit and you add on an un-upgraded analyzer cost of $8 per unit. Add in the cost for optimizing to the second level cure and we’ll guestimate another $50 in costs, assuming that I’m just taking the analyzer straight off the upgraded line rather than cheapening the process as I mentioned in a prior post. Say at C grade the profit per unit is $100. Even if I can only increase this by 5% more per day I will overcome the costs of analysing in short order. Keep in mind the base value for a level two cure with 100% net demand is around $200 on average, and this is the value that increases when cure rating goes up, effecting your total profits directly. Total cost is 200x(42+8+50)=$20,000.

Now, assuming I only made %5 more on $200, or $10 per day, it’d only take me 2000 days or over five and a half years to pay off. But obviously I don’t just stop at 30/month. I expand to as many lines as I can for saturation, usually four or five. We’ll say four, so that’s $40 per day. This brings the total down to just 500 days or around one years and four months.

A few things to keep in mind with the above example. I only went up in cure rating by the minimum amount, if I go up by three or four ratings (or more if your previous version was going below a C rating) then that amount of time to recoup my costs drops even more. Also, obviously some level 2 cures are cheaper to make than $50 and you can find/upgrade ingredients that are cheaper than $42. You would obviously only do this on cures that have a low lvl 2 upgrade cost and would be more efficient targeting drugs at D value or below. And finally it would cost even less if you optimize using the technique of analyzing lvl 1 first for side effects. All in all you can recoup your money very quickly.

Just did a quick test. Using the three level one ingredients with only one cure and one side effect on a quick start game it took me 34, 40, and 42 days to fully analyse each ingredient. The first side effect came in after about give or take a few from thirty days with the rest of the days to finish out the cure. So even drugs with more side effects would be significantly cheaper to analyse then the $20,000 I mentioned. Obviously this is a small sample size but it seems unlikely to take 200 days to analyze any ingredient completely.

It isn’t about getting the money back on the scan alone…in most cases, you will get back less than what you would if you left it alone. For example, running a brand new game with a drug of 3-8 range good and 6-10 range bad starting at 9, you would think to move it down to 5 in order to get out of the bad range to maximize profit potential with no knowledge of the ingredient…here are the results:

Moving down to 5 costs $50, C rating, no bonus
Moving down 1 costs $10, D rating, -5% valuation
Finding the right point determined it was at 4, cost to bear was 1764
Moving down 6 costs $60, A rating, +20% bonus

Cost to buy $32
Valuation of drug $101

Moving down 5 with no knowledge earned $51
Moving down 1 with no knowledge earned $81
Moving down 6 earned after knowledge earned $66

Although earning an extra $15 for the extra down step would allow you to get your money back in 118 days, it will never be as good as the crap D rated one. Even if the drug turned out to be 30% bonus, that would have still been below the D rating profit. Saturation also makes it far worse because if you flood the market, the starting point of the drug reduces…which means the % gains and losses will be reduced, while the actual machine cost stays the same. Saturating the market to above 70% would bring the profit down to $0, $8, and $2 respectively.

The Original poster is correct, there is no reason to test drugs at any point in the game. I did my fair share and I tried desperately to be the “best pharmaceutical company” for the people, but when it comes to profits, nothing can beat the cheap 3rd world route. In the beginning, the drugs are too cheap to gather range data, and later in the game, you get mixer/shaker/centrifuge ability to completely wipe out any negatives from the board, match 4 good drugs together, smack the level dead center to all ranges, and either put it in a syringe or sachet for maximum profit…no knowledge ever needed.

Personally, I feel that the analyzer should be given to you from the start, no research needed, and cost nothing to use (you are already paying for the import cost). When upgrading the analyzer, it should decrease the fail rate instead. On top of that, new ingredients you discover should be completely empty of profile and you are forced to use the analyzer in order to figure out what it provides and where the ranges are. The same goes for when you upgrade a drug to its next level, the range should be hidden until it is analyzed. This would give purpose to the analyzer.

All of my math was assuming this is a level 2 cure, level 1 cures are generally not worth it. As long as you make more money than you did before you perfected the formula then you will recoup your losses eventually. Your assumption on how saturation vs net demand is totally off. Net demand only starts to decrease and negatively effect your prices when your saturation is greater than it’s current net demand. If net demand is 100%, as it was in my example, then the price would either stay consistent or go up, but never go down, as a direct result of 70% saturation. Yes if you have to drop by $60 for optimal efficacy it would be difficult to overcome that cost, if not impossible. But you’re just as likely to only have to adjust it by $10 or $35. It’s a gamble, but so is R&D in general.