So something that I've been noodling over for a little while in response to the What Happens When Your Character Is Defeated thread basically comes down to the notion of how "Hospitals work" game mechanically, and should those mechanics even bother making any nods towards real(ish) world expectations of how things "ought to work" in a City of Titans such that it doesn't feel either gimptacular and/or ridiculous.
The first point I want to bring up is ... what is the Hospital Response Time when a PC gets Defeated?
Out in the real world, response times vary pretty widely in terms of how long it takes to get to a hospital, although there are of course different means and methods (up to and including VTOL helicopter flights). But the one thing that I think we can all agree on is that (out in the real world) response time to a medical emergency usually isn't "instant" in terms of how long it takes people to get delivered to a hospital. So a time delay (cue ambulance siren sound FX) would seem to be appropriate if it can be worked into things in some form or fashion.
However, ANY sort of time delay is going to face pushback from Players ... which is where IGC can come in (partly as a sink, but also as an alternative "cost" to the PC). Now we're all familiar with the arguments around "you want faster service you're going to have to pay more" that is linked to the old adage Time Is Money that came into use once clocks became a part of people's daily lives centuries ago.
So why not combine these two things together for determining Hospital Response after a PC gets defeated? The basic way it would work is like this:
When your PC is defeated, a countdown, measured in seconds begins. The duration of this countdown is determined by what combat Level your PC is.
If you're Level 1, the countdown is 1 second.
If you're Level 10, the countdown is 10 seconds.
If you're Level 30, the countdown is 30 seconds.
If you're Level 50, the countdown is 50 seconds.
When the countdown reaches zero seconds, you can be "revived" at a Hospital at no IGC cost.
However, if you do not wish to wait that long for a "free" Hospital trip, you can AT ANY TIME choose to pay IGC for a "faster" trip to the Hospital, thereby "waiving" any of the remaining countdown duration. The IGC cost for exercising this option ought to be on a geometrically increasing scale ... something like (countdown time remaining)2 or even (countdown time remaining)3 depending on how "plentiful" IGC is within the game's economy. Basically, the UI would show you a steadily decreasing IGC cost to be revived at a Hosptial "now" until you press the button, with the IGC cost eventually reaching ZERO if you spend the time to wait long enough to exercise the "freebie" option.
In other words ... TIME equals IGC when it comes to needing to revive at a Hospital.
Because the whole thing works on a sliding scale, it becomes a matter of letting everyone "choose their own pain point" in terms of how much they value the Player's TIME versus the accumulated IGC resource that the PC has amassed.
So if using a square of second remaining metric, for a level 20 character the IGC costs would break down like this:
20 seconds remaining: 400 IGC
19 seconds remaining: 361 IGC
18 seconds remaining: 324 IGC
17 seconds remaining: 289 IGC
16 seconds remaining: 256 IGC
15 seconds remaining: 225 IGC
14 seconds remaining: 196 IGC
13 seconds remaining: 169 IGC
12 seconds remaining: 144 IGC
11 seconds remaining: 121 IGC
10 seconds remaining: 100 IGC
9 seconds remaining: 81 IGC
8 seconds remaining: 64 IGC
7 seconds remaining: 49 IGC
6 seconds remaining: 36 IGC
5 seconds remaining: 25 IGC
4 seconds remaining: 16 IGC
3 seconds remaining: 9 IGC
2 seconds remaining: 4 IGC
1 seconds remaining: 1 IGC
0 seconds remaining: 0 IGC (free transportation to the Hospital)
This would then represent one of the rare instances where an outcome becomes MORE expensive the higher your PC's Level, since using a square of (duration remaining) would mean that a Level 50 PC would need to pay 2500 IGC for an "instant" Hospital trip (at 50 seconds remaining), but would only need to pay 1600 IGC if the Player could bear to wait a mere 10 seconds before getting sent to the Hospital (at 40 second remaining). The key point here is that "instant" Hospital trips are always an option ... but if that option gets exercised past the "starter" Levels of the game, it's going to start costing you IGC.
The other thing is that for higher Level PCs, there's going to come a point of diminishing returns for waiting additional time when you're in a rush. So for a Level 50, waiting the first 10 seconds yields a 2500-1600=900 IGC savings, which might be worthwhile ... but the last 10 seconds only yields a 100-0=100 IGC savings, which might be something that many Players are willing to pay to skip past and get back to playing the game that much faster. The point being that every Player is going to have a different "okay, NOW" point in the countdown when it is worth it to them to pay IGC to hurry things up and get back to playing the game ... and that's by design and intent. By putting everything on a sliding scale in which Players can exchange IGC earned for avoiding time lost "waiting" for a trip to the Hospital (insert ambulance sound FX) it then puts the Player in a position of needing to DECIDE which is more valuable to them ... TIME or IGC ... with a predictable "unit of exchange" put in place between the two so that Players can make informed decisions regarding this question after their PC has been Defeated and needs to be taken to a Hospital.
Now, would this one single solitary IGC sink be intended to solve every problem of economic inflation in the game? Of course not! That would be silly!
But presenting every Player with a CHOICE of spending either Time or IGC after a Defeat would offer Players an incentive to burn their IGC for faster "service" after being Defeated and needing to go to a Hospital, and I'm thinking that such an IGC sink could help contribute to combating rampant inflation in the game, particularly since it would be an entirely OPTIONAL expenditure on the part of the Player. Don't want your Hospital trips to cost you IGC? Well then just wait (Character Level) seconds before clicking the Go To Hospital button and it'll cost you no IGC at all!
So ... Time versus IGC ... in the context of Hospital services. Who's with me?
Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.