Virus Help

#1MusashiKusanagiPosted 6/4/2012 4:23:46 AM
I'm having trouble with this level. I only invest in Vectors and devolve symptoms, but once I've infected everyone, I don't have enough points to make my Virus lethal enough to survive the cure. Any tips? Starting in China or Indonesia seems to spread the infection quickly, but Greenland and Canada take forever it seems.
#2BombspyPosted 6/4/2012 1:14:36 PM
Don't devolve symptoms with Virus! You have to use points to do so... This is one where you need to just let the symptoms happen.

To win, focus on transmission and resistances. Bird, water and air are huge, so keep upgrading them all.

Give it a shot. I won my first try with this.
#3ArsenicOverlordPosted 6/4/2012 2:31:35 PM
You can definitely get away with not devolving anything on normal difficulty virus level. But on brutal, it is essential you devolve early symptoms, or you'll never outpace the research.

On both normal and brutal difficulty, you want to keep the mutation to minimum because when you get symptoms, the research starts. And if you get lethal symptoms, then the research gets faster, and governments start taking steps to slow the infection. This is particularly problematic in brutal difficulty because sick people get quarantined, so if you haven't fully infected all nations, you may never get to infect them anymore. In one of my brutal virus game, I had all nations infected, so I thought it was ok when a lethal symptom mutated. I didn't realize that Greenland and Iceland's populations were only about 10% infected, and I had to helplessly watch the rate of infection grind to a halt over there while people dropped like flies everywhere else. Those two islands had survivors and I lost.

Thus, my strategy is to stick with only Water and Air transmission vectors. Birds and Rodents are usually great, but since they increase the rate of mutation, I do not want them when I'm playing with virus. (again, you can get away with having them on normal difficulty because the research speed is much slower)

So I start with Air 1 and Water 1 & 2, then I invest points in Drug Resistance 1 and Genetic Hardening 1 & 2 in order to slow the research speed down. Generally (and particularly in brutal difficulty), I like to devolve every symptom that develops until I have at least Genetic Hardening 1. I don't want research to start before I have research-slowing abilities. Usually this means devolving the first 2-3 symptoms.

After that I let symptoms mutate. By now I have a handful of countries infected worldwide, and it's good to have people coughing to help spread the disease. And with Genetic Hardening abilities in place, I can afford to have people start researching.

My next priorities are Genetic Hardening 2 (if I didn't get it already), and Cold Resistance 1 & 2 (those northern European nations can be so pesky). Drug Resistance 2 can be helpful, but not really necessary. Get it if you have points to spare. I might get Rash+Sweating symptoms if they don't mutate on their own. Genetic ReShuffle 1 is also good to have if you have points to spare.

The whole point is to make sure EVERYBODY is infected before kicking up the lethality. On normal difficulty, it's not that important, but on brutal, it's critical because like I already said, governments can start quarantining sick people if the disease gets lethal, and if there are still enough healthy people left, the disease may never get to them. So until I get the "there are no healthy people left in the world" notice, I generally devolve any lethal symptoms that mutate.

Once everybody is infected, I get one or two highly lethal symptoms (like Total Organ Failure). Obviously it's important I have saved up enough DNA points for this. As the death toll skyrockets, I'll have a good influx of DNA points, and I spend them on Genetic ReShuffle 1-3 to slow the research. Coma, Paralysis, and Insanity are also great symptoms to get, as they are lethal and they slow the research down. Immune Suppression is also a good symptom -- it is lethal, and it increases mutation rate. Free symptoms are a very good thing now. I might even get Viral Instability abilities for even more chance at free killer symptoms.

The virus level on brutal difficulty gave me the most trouble of all, and it took a while to figure out a strategy that worked for me. Things are much easier on normal, and like I already said, you can get away with not devolving any symptoms on normal, as long as lethal symptoms don't mutate too early.
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Phosphorus? Pfffft, who needs 'em?
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#4sifting82Posted 6/4/2012 11:41:47 PM
I too am having trouble with virus on brutal. If it helps, I've noticed that you can allow cough symptoms (or maybe any single symptom?) without triggering research at all.
#5ArsenicOverlordPosted 6/5/2012 12:51:41 AM
sifting82 posted...
I too am having trouble with virus on brutal. If it helps, I've noticed that you can allow cough symptoms (or maybe any single symptom?) without triggering research at all.


Yeah, since I wrote my earlier post, I played the virus level on brutal difficulty several more times, and I came to make the same conclusion.

In fact, if I just have Coughing, it usually won't even trigger the "new minor disease discovered" notice. If I have Coughing+Sneezing, it will trigger the notice, but often it won't trigger the "research has started" notice.

I think it's because Coughing and Sneezing have very low severity value. You can see how a given symptom increases the severity level in the Disease Graph, and Coughing increases severity level only half as much as most other beginning symptoms. I guess it's indicative of how in the real world some coughing and sneezing are easily dismissed as just common cold. And the fact that these two symptoms have very high infectivity value is a sweet, sweet bonus.

So yeah, in the early going, if I get Coughing or Sneezing symptoms as mutation, then I leave them be. If I get other symptoms, I devolve them. Then once I have both Genetic Hardening 1 & 2, I let other infectious symptoms mutate. I still devolve any lethal symptoms that mutate because I don't want governments to take countermeasures just yet. Once I have infected everybody on the planet, then I let loose with all the lethal symptoms I can afford. Doing it this way has netted me much better score than the strategy I wrote above.

I wonder if Coughing and Sneezing are particularly less "severe" in the virus level, because I could have sworn that just having Coughing triggered research in other modes. But whatever. Coughing and Sneezing are now my best friends in beating the virus level. :D
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Phosphorus? Pfffft, who needs 'em?
http://img585.imageshack.us/img585/5206/takeyourtime.jpg
#6sifting82Posted 6/5/2012 6:17:43 AM
You would think the entire planet coughing might raise a few eyebrows but hey, I'll take what I can get.