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  1. Vissy

    Guide to Robocop

    I think it should be treated differently in case of non-Security cyborgs. "Uphold the law" doesn't imply "get out there, patrol the halls and arrest all the criminals firsthand" if I am a mining model (or any other non-security one). I don't have any law-upholding tools like disablers or zipties, save a default flash, nor do I have an ability to effectively coordinate with the Security department (without access to Security channel). If I were attempting to catch the criminals, the majority of them would either escape (since no stuns and zipties), harm me or simply ignore and walk away. Such vigilante actions would mess with the work of the legit security personnel, do more harm than good, and, therefore, actually be going against the law. What is expected of me is to do delegate my law-upholding duties to the people that are actually qualified for this job (read: Security personnel, Security cyborg models, AI) and assist them to the best of my abilities. This can even be put under law 1, "Serve the Public Trust" and do what is expected of me to do. Continuing analogy with the mining model, the most effective way for me to help upholding the law would to be mining the ores and supplying the departments with the materials they need to make better toys tools for the Security personnel in order to better do their jobs. The same goes for all other models. Engineering - fix the breaches, improve the station, protect people from enviromental hazards and make it easier for Security to do their jobs. Medical? Protect the innocent from illnesses, death and other harm, serve the public trust by being a helpful mediborg they expect you to be. Janitor? Keeps the halls clean, protect the innocent from hazards associated with dark places as well as infections and diseases that are spreaded by uncleaned messes. Service? Be a hyperactive cutie (or a stiff, respectable, stereotypical English butler), assist Security by providing them with coffee and donuts and protect the crew from the horrors of low morale, sober heads, liver failures and hunger tummyaches. I can directly intervene, if I am sure that by this I would help more than harm. Hearing a message about vampires roaming the station while working on the asteroid? Keep mining, I'll be of much more help down here than up there. See one dragging a wounded crewmember in the maintenance? Take a quick picture for future evidence (I have a macro for this), spring forward, flash them, pull the crewmember from their grip and run ride at full speed towards Medbay/Brig (while screaming for help, if I have finally learned how to write and run and the same time by that moment). As a miner, I also try to be on a lookout for injured miners (detecting such by either listening to the comms or passively observing GPS signals), although this is a general behaviour not linked to this lawset specifically. In effect, this lawset could be rephrased as follows: do the job you are expected to do, protecting innocents and upholding the Space law while you are on it. This is... well, a rather kind, nice and humane lawset to abide to. Correct?
  2. Again, I have already explained that removing remote access would not hinder the drones' sabotaging ability (at least, why I believe so) and why I proposed it in the first place. Please, at least consider reading other people's posts thoroughly before replying to them.
  3. You have a good point here. It still feels... wrong to me, but it's an entirely subjective matter. Already addressed in the proposal in an even broader way. :3
  4. What others said. To outline the discovery of relics step-by-step: you find them among other things in Maintenance, then put them in E.X.P.E.R.I-MENTOR and click "Discover". It's really that simple! If you can hack airlocks and don't mind a little breaking and entering, you can even do it yourself Doing it yourself is totally not a nice idea and you are to always relay the found relics to the employees of Science department for a small pay bonus. Yes. It's randomized, indeed. It might make cleaning foam. It might spew out a monkey! Or three space carps and a bear. Or explode. It's a gamble, really, but more often than not worth it. :3
  5. The thing is, the players who play drones have no control about whether they will get emagged or not. They get punished with an equivalent of a brig sentence for a Major crime (10-15 minutes) just because they happened to be in the wrong place in the wrong time. That's what so bad about the timer. Since we are already on it, what's your stance about the proposed above concept of making the e-magged drones into purchasable traitor items? EDIT: Only now noticed that there is a third page and that @Dinarzad has already answered these questions. Oh well. :3
  6. It has been said here before, so I hope you don't mind me repeating. The thing is, it's not just 5 minutes of unwanted gameplay style. Let's consider just this particular part of the problem. First, it is not 5 minutes. It is 15 minutes, respawn delay included. When you die as a drone, you cannot just go on to respawn in a new one, you have to wait 10 additional minutes before being able to do so. Were working on that beautiful pipe atmosia, reworking the bar or gathering resources for making a Vox-box bar in space? Well, too bad, because that another civilian you just passed by happened to be a traitor, and now you have to drop everything you wanted to do and rig the Toxins to explode or something. You'll most likely fail to accomplish anything significant in these 5 minutes, your project might be rendered undoable by the time you are able to continue it (the work already done might be undone as well), and no, you can't just bail out and ignore them (as it would be going against the laws you now have and would even be ahelpable) - but hey, at least they will have their free unwilling saboteur for this meager span of time. Second, as it was already pointed out, sighting of an e-magged drone might be followed with exploding of all the drones and disabling the fabricators, especially on the red alert in the presence of significant threats, when worrying about the drones too might be too much of a headache to the already overwhelmed Security. Third, it's not just another type of gameplay, it's... a sharply different type of gameplay. Unlike literally any other role, maintenance drones have no real responsibilities and minimum interactions while actually being able to contribute to the round in a significant way. As long as you are not harming anyone, you have free reign to do things that can be loosely classified as maintaining, improving or repairing the station, which is... well, a lot. Even if you decide to make some nice wire-art in the escape hall, for example, it still falls under this classification (as it positively contributes to the aesthetics of the station). Cyborgs might be forbidden from doing their pet projects, recalled to do other things or be locked down because AI ROUGE, Station Engineers are entangled in a web of social interactions ("Urist McCreative, you are to stop doing whatever you were doing and come back to the station at once, because cult activity and everyone in space might be evil traitors and we have your fingerprints on the Teleporter's door so you are to report to the brig and what do you mean space bar, there are breaches that need to be fixed and we are on Code Red!!1"), but drones are essentially given a free reign to do anything non-harmful, while being largely ignored by the crew. It's a relaxing, calm activity over an extended period of time, when you can do some repairings at your leisure or something nice for other people to enjoy or simply for your own amusement. By contrast, being an e-magged drone (in their current state) is a deep reversal of this. The rush, the death clock, full obedience to the master, sabotage and harming, strict stealth... For some players suddenly switching between the two gamestyles would be easy, but for others it could be a rather stressful experience, especially when taking in consideration the first two factors. Being an introvert myself, I can confirm how uncomfortable it might feel to be suddenly ripped out of the cozy, relaxing stream of normal drone activities and being unwillingly thrown into someone else's plans and problems that the drone's player had no desire of dealing with. Of course, this happens all the time with the other roles, and there already exists a lot of conversion antagonists, but the difference with the drones is that how distant they are from politics and other players' activities to begin with. I'm not saying that drones should not be able to be "converted" into antagonists just because they are drones, but it just... feels wrong, compared to their gameplay style in general. Sorry if that sounds silly or confusing; I hope I managed to communicate what I wanted to say. As it is, current state of things ironically hurts everyone but the intended audience of the nerf. Traitors can't really accomplish much in just the five minutes they are given (most of the time), and the stealth aspect will most likely be ruined too as the e-magged drone is very likely to be eventually spotted. Players that want to play the normal, good drones lose 5 minutes having to go through a sharp shift in gamestyle and then 10 minutes waiting until their timer ticks down. And then, the players that are actually willing to be e-magged to the extent of intentionally seeking an encounter with a traitor would get their 5 minutes of legal antagonizing, followed by 10 minutes of observing the sweet consequences. As for solutions, I mainly support the separation of e-magged drones to a specialized, purchasable object for traitors to buy (as described in mine and @Machofish' posts above). As an alternative - some un-nerfing, according to what community actually decided they wanted in that original PR (that is, to choose the nerfs carefully, implement them slowly and see how it goes, not hastily slap everything at once). That being said, if neither of these or other viable solutions are available for some reasons, I would prefer having e-magged drones removed entirely over leaving things as they are. It's just appears to be too much of a headache for the drone players who didn't want to be e-magged to begin with. What do you think?
  7. I am respectfully disagreeing with you here. I believe that the entire point of discussions like this one is deciding on what, exactly, changes community wants. Making ideas, refining various concepts, carefully considering balancing, all while looking at the problem from many different viewpoints. After the community comes to a reasonable consensus, a coder then can pick up from here and makes a PR incorporating the said changes into the game. Sure, it's not necessary in case of bugfixes and many minor issues, but we are talking about a rather controversial, balance-altering topic. I don't think many people would want to pour their time and effort into coding one of the possible solutions to this problem, only for them to be rejected (or stalled indefinitely) later. And, well... Even if they are accepted - here we are, dealing with the consequences of a single person implementing such changes without being aware of the negative impact it would cause. I'd like to bring up the concept of a purchasable "Suspicious/Syndicate Drone" (I'll be referring to it as "SD") that @Machofish suggested. I admit, I was skeptical about this idea at first, but after giving it some thought I began to take quite a shining to it. The concept of emagged drones as of now has serious issues with or without taking the nerfs in consideration. There is the suggestion to remove the e-magged drones altogether - while it technically solves the problems associated with them, it is met with some understandable hesitation, too. The @Machofish's concept takes the best from the both worlds, separating the "normal" maintenance drones and the antagonist ones (which feels right, considering how differently they are played), as well as removing the wild luck factor associated with finding a drone on chance, the balance issue associated with doing so and the meta-gaming issue of players deliberately trying to get their drones emagged. As the icing on the cupcake, it fits so well lorewise: a helpful autonomous contraption that was designed to improve and repair the station, remade and twisted to be another helpful tool for the agents with a high accent on stealth and sabotage - yet another NT product stolen and altered by the Syndicate to serve its shady means. There is a specific issue about it, however, that I'd like to discuss. Let's look at some pros and cons of the e-magged drone in the current implementation. Full cyborg-like access - a very obvious one. Order a SD, put it in your backpack and stride right into the Captain's office as the bolted airlocks hospitably open before you while close and electrify after the chasing security. Send it to the AI satellite, and it will have its doors bolted open, as well as defenses and APC disabled before even realising what's happening. Ventcrawling - spying and stealthy accessing most areas. I don't mind this one, but thought it's still worth mentioning. For some reason. >_> Fragility - maintenance drones have a significantly low health and speed. Once a SD is spotted by a crewmember, it's basically doomed. It can't run away, it can't fight back and it would be smashed into tiny robopieces before it has enough time to crawl into a vent. Its only hope is quickly hiding behind a bolted door or throwing itself into space... which, understandably, isn't always available and doesn't even always work. Energy - everyone who played a drone knows that a 10K powercell doesn't last long, not to mention the resource stacks that need to be refilled. It doesn't matter that much when a drone can pop into Robotics or Engineering from time to time in order to charge up, but if a SD was to attempt such a thing, it would be swiftly spotted (and consequently killed, see the previous point). 5 Minute Death Timer - an obvious one, already discussed a lot. Eessentially, it is a "glass cannon" - both very powerful and very vulnerable. It also makes it difficult to put a fair price tag on it. Here are my suggestions about what can be done about it. Full cyborg-like access => No remote access : basically, the idea is to completely take away all the cyborg-like access priveleges from the SDs, forbidding them from accessing the doors, APCs and other similar devices as a cyborg or AI could. I realise how controversial it might sound, but hear me out on this one. The drones start with the full set of engineering tools, including an equivalent of a fully stocked toolbelt - as any Greytide worth his toolbox can testify, opening most airlocks is a matter of seconds once you have the tools and know the wires. A maintenance drone without the access will still be able to get into most protected areas, hack the APCs and the like, but it would take a bit more time, cannot be done unnoticed and would require some knowledge about hacking. It goes well with the concept of a foreign sabotaging device imported straight from Syndicate - it's completely autonomous and not synced with the station's network, why would it have the means to directly interface with most digital devices, like AI does? It doesn't hamper at all with the SD's ability to do, well, sabotage - the thing it's designed for in the first place - while preventing it from being a pocket all-access remote. Ventcrawling - leave as it is. Maybe even make it a bit faster? Maybe. Fragility => Survivability - give the drone a bit more health and speed, and, perphaps, just a bit of armor. Not nearly enough to engage in a direct combat, but sufficient to be able escape safely when accidentally bumping into a minor (such as a random crewmember) or a moderate (security member with laser gun and a baton) threat. Energy => Energy - Being aware of how difficult it would be for their modified drones to get maintained themselves - compared to their original, legal counterparts, which could simply use any public charging station - the Syndicate provided their drones with the interesting alternative. A SD can "tap" any powered wire, parasitically sucking off the station's powernet while charging their powercells rapidly; in addition, their nanobot-based maintenance module will repair their hulls and replenish their supplies when activated at the hefty cost of energy. Combine the two simultaneously to effectively simulate a charging station! 5 Minute Death Timer => No death timer - well, duh. :3 As for the TC cost, I would price the SDs somewhere along the holoparasites. 10, 12 TCs? That's just a wild guess, though. I have some more thoughts to share about it, but I've already been up all night, is currently very sleepy and meh. It's probably the best if I just wait for the feedback and other opinions than try to throw in everything at once. :3
  8. Thank you! Happy pride month to you too, FeiH. <(^w^)>
  9. How do nerds talk? Needs further clarification.
  10. This. I also propose them not simply reverting to their regular programming, but becoming completely immune to emagging after - say, the in-build firewall system finds a way around the hacks, or the mother server finally detects something wrong and reuploads the updated firmware with hacking countermeasures. E-magging is no more a death sentence for a drone - they just have 5 minutes of potentially dangerous (as the crew may still kill emags on sight) fun and are free to continue to do what they were doing before. Obviously, this also forbids repeated e-magging of the same drone over and over again and keeping it as a pocket all-access pet or a weaponised pokeball. I also wanted to propose the immunity to be reflected on a sprite - "normal" drones are blue and emagged ones are red, the immune ones could be, say, green - but realised after that cons seem to outweigh the pros. Decide for yourself: Pro: Antagonists would have a visual clue about which drones are unable to be e-magged and not worthy of chasing, reducing the unnecessary frustration. Pro: Regular crew would (1) be alerted that there are traitors around who probably did some sabotage, (2) might be able to scan the drone for fingerprints (???) and (3) just know that particular drones cannot be emagged. Con: Powergaming antags would simply tend to destroy their drones either directly or by sending them on suicidal missions rather than leave this "living evidence" to the crew. Con: "Visual clue" could be easily replaced by a message appearing when trying to emag an immune drone ("This drone appears to be immune to subverting!"); this also adds a bit of risk and uncertainty for the antagonists (should I chase this drone into that secure area when it might come out to be immune to e-magging and will just left me locked there and scramble out by the vents)? Weird side suggestion: increase the said risk by making an unsuccessful attempt to e-mag a drone be dangerous and obvious to observers (with a certain probability, if necessary) - say, by applying a non-damaging, small shock which stuns the traitor for a few seconds while making the drone audibly and visibly "spark" for a moment. As for this valid concern, I can only quote the other point well made: I think people should treat the drones more like cyborgs in this regard: not only they are a valuable NT property which are a crime to destroy without a really good reason, they are also living players who should not be given preemptive judgement based on the fact that just one or a very few of them were subverted. For cyborgs, we have an AI that can check and see who of them isn't linked to it. For drones, however, there is no such system, so the crew cannot know at any given moment which drones are emagged, if any, which may understandably lead to disabling the fabricators if an emagged drone is spotted. I realise that wouldn't solve the problem entirely (and, frankly, not sure if this idea is even good - I'm a bit sleepy at the time, and something about it just doesn't feel right, but I can't put my finger on it >_>"), but I'd like to propose that the drone control console should at least provide information about whether the drone is emagged or not, hopefully reducing the paranoia related to their subverting to some degree. What do you think?
  11. It's been 47 days from the last reply. As someone who really likes the Paradise server, and, having a bit of coding experience, is shocked by the general soft crit state the codebase is in now, I would really want this topic to not go stale. I doubt I would make a more compelling argument of my own, so I'll just quote IK3I here. IMHO, they proposed a very good solution, which, if implemented, would help the aforementioned lifeblood gradually become un-stale, make the lifeblood flow better and purer and avoid causing unnecessary lifeblood vessel breaches., I totally wouldn't make a more compelling argument of my own. But I hope you get the idea of what I was trying to say. >w>
  12. Vissy

    Wire relays

    Ah, thank you! But I'm only learning. :3
  13. Vissy

    pAI Refactor

    *pfft* My tea! You... evil person! Seriously, though, I love this idea and support it wholeheartedly. :3
  14. Why D&D, though? Heavily randomized dark tunnels on a 2D rectangular grid, with scattered loot, hidden doors, probably some critters... I mean, come on! it's basically screaming "Roguelikes!" by this point. :3 And, most importantly, there are a plenty of open-sourced roguelike level generators already coded out there that could be used as a template for coding Paradise's own. As for implementation... It could be coded in pure Byond, I suppose, but I'm thinking about something like map post-processor application. An automated script feeds it a raw map file, it spews out a freshly maint-randomized version which is then used for the next round. It's just a concept, of course, and might or might not play out well for a variety of reasons, but it looks like a nice middle point for a discussion.