Cyberpsychosis, Humanity, Perks, and Chrome (Sequel idea)

Just something I've been thinking on for a bit. This is way too much for the current game, but with a sequel in the works now is a good time to put the idea out there. Overall it's a way to include cyberpsychosis as a condition that can affect the player, as well as the impact it, and humanity, has on one's ability to install cyberware. I'll split this up into sections to make it easier to read through.

1. The Humanity Meter
This presents on the game's interface as a third stat bar below health and stamina. It is effectively a second stamina bar for players with the last third of the meter, the "red zone," being split into three smaller sections. What is important to keep in mind is that Humanity does NOT passively regenerate when lost, and by default can only be restored with specific medical consumables. The bulk of the bar doesn't seem to matter much, rising and falling as you play the game. However when your current humanity level falls into the red zone things begin to happen.
***Stage One: The player now experiences random visual and auditory hallucinations as "junk data" begins to seep into their optic feed. This is your only warning.
***Stage Two: In addition to the above, the character now begins randomly shouting nonsense that can cause nearby NPCs to become hostile, as well as raise their wanted level if it happens near police. Additionally their optics erroneously tag all NPCs as hostile/viable targets. Effectiveness of consumables reduced to 50%. Small chance of cyberware automatically activating.
***Stage Three: All NPCs are distorted with junk data, making it impossible to tell friend from foe. All distortions appear to be attacking the player with harmless illusionary attacks, making it impossible to tell hallucinations from actual threats. All NPC voices are replaced with static. The player is locked into constant "combat mode" and cannot save the game. Effectiveness of consumables reduced to 25%. High chance of cyberware automatically activating.
***Humanity Zero: In addition to the above, the character will randomly attack any NPC that comes within a set range. Effectiveness of consumables reduced to 1%.

2: The Cost of Chrome.
Now that we've established the humanity meter, we should discuss what reduces it. Simply put any cyberware that has an activated effect, regardless if it is player activated or automatic, reduces the humanity meter as if it were a second stamina gauge. Furthermore any equipped cyberware, regardless of it if has an activated ability or not, contributes to a calmative penalty rating that is applied to the activation cost of all cyberware. Each piece of cyberware's penalty is based on it's type, level, and rarity.

3: Cyberware Slots.
By default new characters in the game would have notably less cyberware equip slots than V did. Specifically players will begin with only a single slot for each cyberware type, as opposed to V having two or three slots in most areas. These additional slots, and more, do exist, but must be unlocked via perks after character creation.

4: The Data Port and Perk Shards.
Like in 2077 nearly everyone has some sport of port in their head for reading data shards, and a basic one will be starting cyberware for all characters. In addition you may acquire higher rarity versions to equip later (these data ports DO contribute to the humanity penalty). Primarily each port offers between one and five "shard slots" based on it's rarity. This means, with perks, it is possible to later equip a second or maybe even third Data Port, granting a total of ten to fifteen shard slots. These shards replace the general perk shards found in 2077, and function in a different way. Rather than granting a bonus perk point, these shards are encoded with a specific perk from the character's list. Equipping a shard in one of your slots raises that specific perk by a single rank, only while the shard is equipped. Stacking multiple shards of the same type can raise the perk by multiple ranks at the expense of slots. This system is effectively quite similar to the perk shards of 2077 except with more hoops to jump through, and requires investment in a specific attribute and perks to make proper use of. The trade off; perk shards ignore your attributes when raising perks, allowing you to unlock bonuses you otherwise don't qualify for.

5: The Humanity Attribute.
Much like any other attribute this starts at a given minimum level, and can be raised as you level up. It has multiple perk trees to invest in, and a passive effect. I'll go ahead and throw out there that David and Adam Smasher both probably have very high Humanity stats, while V clearly invested at least a little into a few perks.
***Humanity Passive: Every point invested in the Humanity Attribute increases the size of the character's humanity meter. This is important for anyone who wants to use a lot of cyberware activated effects.
***Perk Tree "I'm Special": Representing David's ability to shake off cyberpsychosis (temporarily) even at it's most extreme, this perk tree focuses on maintaining the humanity meter. A primary perk would grant passive regeneration, while others can add humanity restoration as a bonus effect to other consumables or even gameplay. Imagine getting in your car, cranking the radio to full blast, and then just exploring Night City while munching on some Buck A Slice to restore your humanity meter. Could also have a perk that gives you an actual reason to visit joytoys. In short; mechanically rewarding role playing within your role playing game.
***Perk Tree "Built Different": Representing David and Adam's seemingly superhuman tolerance for cyberware, this perk tree focuses on your ability to chip far more chrome than is healthy. Perks here reduce the activation penalty of different types of cyberware, unlock additional cyberware slots, reduce the cooldown of cyberware activation abilities, boost cyberware passive bonuses, and reduces the attribute requirement of equipping cyberware.

By this point some of those reading this might be saying "this attribute is OP." This is a misnomer; cyberware is OP. In a world where you can augment your body to do superhuman feats like it's nothing, and literally plug glorified SD cards into your brain to instantly learn any skill it very quickly becomes apparent that the only natural talent or ability that matters is your tolerance for cyberware, and ability to run along the edge of cyberpsychosis without loosing your mind. To those who say this is unbalanced, overpowered, or unfair I have only one thing to say; welcome to Night City.
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Having thought about this too much as well, I like your ideas. Overall, well structured and well thought out, not too much that needs improvement or retooling.

I think though, that some of the symptoms that are experienced at some stages might make it too difficult to play as a cyberpsycho. Or at the very least, locks you into playing as a cyberpsycho until you inevitably die from Max Tac or the police. For this, I'm specifically talking about the auto-hostility from the player shouting and the auto-kill at the 0 Humanity. It would just conflict being able to use cyberpsychosis to start or use during missions. Plus, while it makes sense in terms of the actual lore of cyberpsychosis, players generally don't like it when shitty AI takes over their controls. I'd imagine it would be especially annoying if you had Max Tac teleporting right behind you in the next game like they do now. It would be a fun challenge but ends up meaning loading up your previous save rather than playing it out for the rest of the game.

A possible alternative to this would be maybe tying your health to cyberpsychosis. So at Stage 2, you begin to lose health when you reach this state and killing either 1) heals your injuries from cyberpsychosis (which doesn't make much sense) or 2) reduces the overall amount of damage you take from cyberpsychosis, maybe adding stacks for each kill you get. That way there is some kind of cost to it without removing player control, but kind of reinforces the player to act like a cyberpsycho if they want to or pushes them to carry a bunch of suppressants to keep it down OR health items to keep you alive while you're not killing. Maybe at Stage 4, health drain is extra severe but killing is extra effective/gives extreme boosts to your general stats. Idk, just kind of spit-balling here. Focus here is making cyberpsychosis high risk but high reward, and a viable gameplay option throughout the game.

I have a bit I want to talk about the perks system you have here (overall good and similar to what I have in mind), but I'll have to write it up later.
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So, never thought about Humanity being an attribute despite thinking we should have gotten something since they removed Constitution from 2077, so good thinking about Humanity. However, my original idea on cyberpsychosis and cyberware skills was based on a "Humanity" stat that belongs in the "Cool" attribute, as I'm not a big fan of Stealth skills being in there (though I can see now why: Stealth = avoid combat, Cold-Blooded = rush into combat, you can be cool either way of playing). I think either as a separate attribute or Cool skill tree works, but for the sake of making it easier to write I'll suggest what I had originally in mind. I've also written some of this before in my thread on Street Cred Classes, but will go more in detail here. Again, not fully fleshed out but gives enough details to make sense of it.

So overall this skill tree is a mish-mash of both Cyberpunk 2020's Cool as battle composure and Humanity as empathy stats: it focuses on being able to stay composed based on levels of cyberware and whether or not cyberpsychosis is a part of your gameplay style. Three different paths I have in mind:

PERK TREE: EDGERUNNER (MODERATE CYBERWARE) - This path focuses on being able to use some higher end cyberware BUT trying to avoid cyberpsychosis as much as you can. You are human at heart but with a metal shell, always on the edge of psychosis. Perks might focus on increasing your humanity to use higher end cyberware, less humanity hit to using cyberware abilities, etc. (pretty much what you already have for "Built Different") with maybe late-end perks providing extra slots for cyberware (assuming, like you said, players start with 1 slot for each part of your body). Maybe as balance (and to simulate "being on the edge") these perks might also increase risks of cyberpsychosis: like an extra humanity hit for killing civs, going on killing sprees, or accidental destruction, Maybe taking extra damage when your under cyberpsychosis, like as if your body can't handle the effect. It might sound like these two types of effects might cancel each other out, but the idea is rewarding players being strategic: making sure their shots don't result in collateral damage (leading to humanity hits), taking short breaks in combat from killing (giving time to plan out a next attack that doesn't hurt your humanity as much), and using cyberpsychosis as a last ditch plan.

PERK TREE: PSYCHO 'BORG (HIGH CYBERWARE) - This path focuses on being able to use cyberware to its fullest extent and cyberpsychosis being almost like overclocking your current levels. You are the pinnacle of technology and everything else around you is just meat melded with some metal. Perks would focus on providing many slots for each part of your body immediately (e.g.being able to switch between Gorilla Hands and Mantis Claws) and enhancing/modifying the positive effects of being under cyberpsychosis to outweigh some of the bad aspects (e.g. killing civs gives an extra Cyberpsycho stack/extra health, temporary effect invincibility when getting a multi-kill, etc.). Maybe unique perks for cyberware (e.g. monowire turns into a monowhip, idk). Basically this gameplay style would focus on being less careful and strategic, and more monstrous and inhumane by keeping your humanity low and your cyberpsychosis high. However, you still carry the heavy health loss that comes from being in cyberpsychosis, so you need to keep a high quantity of (expensive) suppressants or health items to keep this gameplay style going, which means you need to more (radiant) jobs.

PERK TREE: 'GANIC (LOW-NO CYBERWARE) - This path focuses on being able to withstand the cyberpunk world in a meat body. Maybe your character's immune system isn't adaptive to cyberware. Maybe your character has some deep grudge against cyberware. Maybe they just want to kill all robots. Idk as this is the one tree I have less been able to develop, but the point is this style of gameplay would focus on boosting your other skills (e.g. extra skill points for each cyberware slot not in use, etc) and being more of a wildcard in combat (e.g. providing cycling element damage with each kill, killing 'Borg enemies results in explosion, etc.). One limiter to this is being a glass cannon: meat bodies can't take the same amount of bullets and hits that a 'Borg can. Overall, this tree would focus on being Hard 2.0 but reward your (you, the player) capabilities, like knowing when to switch enemies when your extra element damage changes, or being able to lead a 'Borg into a group of enemies for the most optimal AOE damage when it dies. Best of all: no cyberpsychosis means collateral damange is A-OK!

EMPATHY: HIDDEN VALUE - This stat would be hidden in the background based on the degree of cyberware you have, skill points in these trees, and maybe certain story decisions, etc. that would influence choices available, how people interact with you, and endings. Overall, the humanity bar influences current gameplay while empathy influences stories and characters.

Ultimately, these skills are suited towards being able to play in a specific style of gameplay in using cyberware and cyberpsychosis, on top of the different ways you can build your character's class, especially if they added some ideas I had in the other thread (e.g. 'Ganic Rockerboy = Glass Glass Cannon Bard). __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Overall, I really like your ideas and I think that they are more realistic than mine (way too complex, requires locking trees, etc.). Plus, I think trees focusing on certain aspects of gameplay than gameplay styles (like mine does) is a bit more flexible. I think if CDPR does decide to create a system for cyberware, cyberpsychosis, and a "composure" tree, a mix between these two ideas might be interesting, especially since we land on similar ideas.
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1,2 & 5 - That's a No. Players want to enjoy the game without worrying about some external factor that might make them accidentally kill the wrong person. I don't think most players even like V having those feinting episodes he had in CP2077. I didn't mind those but this sounds unnecessarily cumbersome.

3 - Not sure what you mean by "new characters". If you mean NPC's then why would it be necessary for them to have less slots than V? I can understand limiting the number of slots for V but there's already a requirement in the game to use powerful cyberware so why add this on top of that?

4 - you already highlighted the problem with this "more hoops to jump through". The game mechanic should be as simple and straightforward as possible. I do believe the skill tree is a bit of a mess but I think the main problem with it is having it open and the redundancy. A lot of skills feel too similar. This can be easily solved by refining the skills and tying them more closely to your chosen life path.
3 - Not sure what you mean by "new characters". If you mean NPC's then why would it be necessary for them to have less slots than V? I can understand limiting the number of slots for V but there's already a requirement in the game to use powerful cyberware so why add this on top of that?
I think what they mean by "new characters" (and not trying to resurrect another thread on this same topic) is new MCs in the next CP, assuming V is not the MC. But Street Cred as a requirement for high cyberware is a pretty valid way of limiting it. But I think by limiting slots, it might make you have to pick and choose btwn powerful cyberware (e.g. one slot = having to pick and choose whether you want the beserk implant or sandevistan, 2 slots = you get both). Simulates being extra powerful with extra cyberware, and increases cyberware risk on humanity.
4 - you already highlighted the problem with this "more hoops to jump through". The game mechanic should be as simple and straightforward as possible. I do believe the skill tree is a bit of a mess but I think the main problem with it is having it open and the redundancy. A lot of skills feel too similar. This can be easily solved by refining the skills and tying them more closely to your chosen life path.
I think the main issue with the skill tree is the upgrades don't feel strong or unique. In other games, Borderlands for example, each skill gives you unique features (e.g. rocket upgrade for your turret, new stacking skill) or a stat upgrade that feels significant. I'm starting to play CP2077 again, and I'm noticing how this time around I feel extra disappointed by the skills. Early game it's relatively easy to get skill points but each upgrade doesn't feel likes its doing much. Really, my power just comes from the most powerful gun I can find than my own character. And honestly. It's not surprising given the Witcher's skill tree also feels relatively weak.

I somewhat agree with simplifying this mechanic though, as I'd imagine it could be difficult to both implement and run (which is why I think my ideas would be super unrealistic to actually have). I think it should still have enough effect on both gameplay and gameplay style though. There's that current mod for cyberpsychosis that I think just messes with your vision and adds some wanted level if it gets too high, which is still better than base game, but doesn't feel like it does enough to reflect cyberpsychosis, and doesn't have any positive sides to use it (I think, could be wrong). Results in just reloading your game.
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