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  1. So. Played yet another failed antag round as a Xenobiologist, got me thinking about how viable Xenobiology can be at antagging(that is, if you are robust, which I am not), that is, actually using the tools given to you, instead of just the access that the little card you get at the beginning of the round affords you. Positioning: The Xenobiology Lab is a fortress, in more ways than one, but let's look specifically at the location and layout of the room. One way in and out Double-gated entrance - boltable Two more doors from the main science area All of these doors are in a straight line. If need be, you can shoot, or perhaps more relevantly, throw whatever you need through them. Disposal bin leads straight to outer space - unique Looking at this alone, it is incredibly easy to see how potent Xenobiology can be as a defensive position if need be. A couple more things to note are the obstacles, and solutions to these that are also brought about by the layout. Cameras, everywhere. You can turn them off, but then you can't use the pens they covered. Difficult to solve, but the AI and Security rarely look at you anyways. You can be locked down. However, do not fret. The lockdown area includes Sci-Chem and a large section of non-reinforced walls, which you can promptly break through using chemistry magic or the simple weld-wrench routine. All in all, the very location of the Xenobiology Lab makes it useful for antags to hole up in if things go south, and we haven't even gotten into tools. Tools & Equipment: In practice, very few Xenobiologists use the more obscure slimes and their extracts, and the wiki's page summarizes the effects of useful antagging extracts pretty well, but I'm going to list them out in a little more detail, and how they can be used. Red slimes are worth keeping around to increase mutation chance, but as an antag, they are extremely useful for causing panic/swarming. The coupling of the easily accessible grey extract to make a small army of grey slimes and a red extract to make them hostile can easily dispatch a security squad if they are cut off. Just recently learning this, Green slime extract can be incredibly dangerous in the right(or wrong, from the perspective of pretty much everyone else)hands. Injecting the toxin from this extract, or, in my opinion more easily getting others to inhale it via a smoke grenade turns the victim into a shadow person. What is a shadow person, you might ask? It's a shadowling, with their intolerance of light, but without any shadowling abilities. To my knowledge, someone who is killed by light exposure as a shadow person will still be a shadow person if cloned, essentially taking victims completely out of the game because cloning almost always lit brightly. Black slime extract is a little sketchy to me, it turns people into regular old slimes which are obviously dangerous, and probably vengeful after being turned into a slime, so it is not nearly as much of a disabler as the green extract. Orange is not really worth mentioning, but if you have a firesuit and want to have a barbecue, you can light up a pretty large area around you. Yellow extract is useful as a quick EMP, you can use it to disable the cameras, tasers, doors, IPCs, whatever. It's a large EMP blast and that is always useful. Silver extract is much less direct than the others, but if you get real lucky, you can get certain plants that will grow into viable weaponry, the most prominent being gatfruit, which will spawn a revolver upon usage, but some other plants can be useful too, and it's also a real easy way to get some drugs. Gold extract can spawn hostile, neutral or friendly mobs. They range from quite threatening to adorable. Sepia extract is another lesser known extract, but it can be used to stop time in a 5x5 radius, with the exception of yourself. Can be useful, and will also prompt some crewmembers from other servers to call out a clockwork cult. Oil, like Orange, isn't worth mentioning, but it explodes. It's oil. Go figure. Adamantium is another indirect one, but extremely powerful. Simply put, you can make specialized servants(other players)that are loyal to you and essentially on the level of a crewmember, with a few disadvantages. Nonetheless, golems are useful in many ways, you can use 'em for fighting, spying, protecting and generally helping out. Light pink extract is probably the most well know, because most players have seen the fruits of xenobiology's labours in the form of a sentient tree. It's arguably more useful than adamantium, depending on what animals you can choose to make sentient, but everyone will agree that it is useful. I'm going to add just one more slime extract to the existing list that I find useful, although it is situational. Cerulean slime extract can be made into slime blueprints, which extend the camera and console range of the Xenobiology Lab. By using it in maints and hallways, you can(through some server glitches)see in some areas where there are no cameras, as well as place slimes and monkeys anywhere you can see, so starving some slimes and warping them down to a target is viable. So. That's it. Some stuff to think about using if you plan on playing a Xenobiologist and roll an antag. Cheers.
  2. Disregarding the Karma System completely, my request still stands. The server is, of course, a medium roleplay server, so players are left a degree of freedom. In practice, from what I have seen throughout my admittedly little time on the server, this freedom has ended up with little race-to-race differences in roleplay, the most prominent feature being a different language that races can use to slander each other. The sole exception to this that I have seen is "voxxy speak", which is consistently used by vox players when speaking in the main Galactic Common. As I stated before, I don't know much about some of the more obscure gameplay features, I don't know how vox players consistently adhere to "voxxy speak", whether it is automatically converted from otherwise regular inputs through automation or manually distorted from grammatical English. But, if the latter is true, that vox players have to make a consistent, conscious effort to stay true to the server's roleplay expectations, I believe that they should be placed on a higher pedestal than other races through the server's system of barriers, may it be the existing karma system or playtime or something else, simply because of the very feasible extra effort that they put into every round.
  3. Before I get into this, I'd like to make it very, very clear that I have no experience with the karma system and the discussion surrounding it other than awarding and receiving it, no purchases, little background knowledge, whatever. Anyways, I think that the vox race needs to be on a higher pedestal than all of the other races. Vox shares the highest karma value for species with plasmamen and slimepeople. I don't think that is very equal. The extent to which I see slimepeople consistently roleplay, in my experience, is periodically squishing(genuinely not sure if that is automated or not)and the occasional reference to water-blood. Plasmamen, I rarely see any difference from the generic roleplay of the crew, only the added "benefit" of having to constantly wear internals and a bulky suit around, which I think is more gameplay-oriented than roleplay. Vox, on the other hand, have to integrate roleplay into everything they say(though I'm not sure to what extent auto-hissing aids this), and I generally view vox players OOC as among the most experienced and established members of the community. I've seen purely fluff roleplaying sequences where vox go to great lengths to assist their "kin", possibly attributed to OOC friendship, but I'd like to see it as another example of vox being vox. As a sidenote, I've rarely if ever seen a vox captain during my time on the server. Perhaps I'm biased, but that speaks at some level to the correlation between experienced players and what I see as a relatively overvalued role. Two solutions, pretty similar in scope. Number one is that vox is elevated to to a karma value of 60. That doesn't seem popular, and I don't really agree with it. The other method would be to push plasmamen and slimepeople back down to a 30 karma value, since I do truly think that those who(hopefully legitimately, though who knows with the playerbase)climb the karma ladder to 45 karma points both deserve and are apt enough at the game to be reasonable expected to carry out high roleplay, and that the other two species don't require nearly as much dedication. Feel free to inform me about my lack of knowledge of the karma system, automatic systems and auto-hiss. Cheers.
  4. The problem is, and I've seen this, having played with and an even being that shitcurity officer who can't distinguish between Sleeping Carp CQC, the Chef's CQC and even more circumstantial stuff like the Warden's Krav Maga, that Sleeping Carp users are rare, and the whole point of unarmed combat is that you don't leave anything behind at the scene. If I was an IAA or Magistrate and some officer came up with someone who they claimed "shouted and hit them very hard", you can guess what my verdict is going to be if I don't get anything more to the story. Simply put, it doesn't make sense lore-wise to automatically label those who know CQC as EoCs, even if there are very clear differences between how they work in terms of gameplay and player interactions, I think that it is reasonable to leave Sleeping Carp users some degree of ambiguity with Space Law, especially considering that it is a relatively rare purchase.
  5. So. I've been given the opportunity to play vampire pretty frequently at this point, and I find myself falling back on the same strategy each time. I'm not robust, and I don't like to play at being robust, so my go-to method is to coerce someone into stunning themselves, through drinking/injecting of certain substances, and upon them finding me sucking their blood, cut them a deal where I protect them in exchange routine drinking sessions. Let's cut to the chase here. I'm not sure if this has ever been in the game, but I'm pretty certain that if it isn't, it has already been suggested. In short, my idea is this: Give Vampire Thralls a Shadowling Thrall-like role. I think that it would be really cool for vampires to sire more vampires. It would certainly spice up a round for the crew to find an entire vampire clan in their midst, as well as allow those who collaborate with vampires a degree of release, should the vampire hold up their end of the deal. Obviously, the ability to create full vampires would become incredibly unbalanced, so here are some ideas for how the newly sired vampires would be weaker than their counterparts. Sired vampires only retain one or two abilities possessed by their sire, passive or active All blood drunk by sired vampires is unusable Sired vampires have a maximum usable blood count, maybe 50 Sired vampires lose all skin pigment upon conversion, so they are easily detectable by the crew The blood of sired vampires can be used by their sire, similar to how shadowlings leech off their thralls Sired vampires appear dead upon examination Sired vampires will hallucinate if below a certain thirst threshold Sired vampires crumble into an unrevivable pile of ash when killed In order to sire a victim, they must be below an upper blood threshold Sired vampires can only heal in coffins
  6. I find it really funny that the discussion on this has taken such a turn, but it seems like a pretty valid debate. Just to clarify, the point of the OP was to sort of combat the stigma that's associated with "power-gaming", as well as to make my stance clear on the matter, pretty much every role and player on the station uses OOC knowledge for IC benefits. It's not wrong, it's not prohibited(at least, within reason), but I think it is hypocritical to criticize someone else's RP quality when you yourself aren't going the extra mile to play your character, in the sacred name of convenience. Antagging is a very special kind of roleplay, one that I will admit I'm not extremely good at(at least not when I get assigned, I'm perfectly capable of greytiding and being a general headass), but I personally find antagging the most fun when I'm using the tools that my role and I have been given. Of course, people who have tried and true methods of antagging that don't necessarily adhere to their character are fine, and can add more to the round than an antag limited by arbitrary restrictions, but I like trying to find ways that my role can do something unique, it's simply more fun for me, even if it's less effective. I'd rather turn someone into a monkey as a Geneticist than, I dunno, zip around with an esword playing at being robust or inject someone with stolen chemicals that I IC, should know nothing about. This is purely my selfish side speaking, cause I'm a toddler and can't wait in line, but I do find it questionable when a non-Scientist(usually a miner)waltzes into RnD because the RD or another Scientist knows them OOC(trying my best not to point fingers here)and commandeers the machine to get RnD up to a level where they can get their beloved cool-down mods or whatever. Similar thing happened the other day, two random civilians slipped their way into Cloning within the first five minutes of a shift and pre-scanned each other without any discussion. The key point I want to make is that there is a middle ground. You don't have to start a blank slate every shift, but it is important that you play the role that you have been given, and if you aren't, make it crystal clear why. The above case and similar incidents, in my experience, are most commonly enacted by relatively well known players that have established their identity on the server and whose achievements are generally acknowledged OOC by a significant number of the players that they will encounter in their games. Having OOC knowledge is not an excuse to streamline different dynamics that the server has intentionally declined to streamline, as, to me, the different lengths that an individual has to go to in obtaining an item or position or reputation is the most significant factor in defining their role, and differentiating one character from the next.
  7. I'd like to think I'm sort of a happy medium between my two Bobbies. Not really as eccentric and easygoing as male Bobbie, and definitely not as prone to retardation, but also not authoritative and cynical as female Bobbie. I do repeat phrases that(I think)are intelligent sounding and/or witty , so that carries over, but not a ton else.
  8. Name: Bobbie Wilkins (Robert James Wilkins) Age: 23 Gender: Male Race: Homosapien(human) Blood Type: A- General Occupational Role(s): Geneticist, Xenobiologist, Chemical Researcher, Scientist Biography: Born on a central planet under the control of SolGov, Wilkins quickly grew to enjoy the examination of the natural(and unnatural)world. Wilkins attended the Canaan University of Technology, and studied both theoretical bluespace biology and artificial intelligence. Hired initially as an intern for Nanotrasen's first major prototype AI construction, Wilkins was dismissed after being found sneaking out a corrupted copy of the AI on a flash drive. Nonetheless, Wilkins made his way back into the world of science after spending a year demonized by his colleagues, eventually getting rehired by Nanotrasen under a conditional contract aboard the Cyberiad, where his story begins, again and again. It's worth mentioning that Wilkins also suffered kidney failure as an infant, and due to the stress of encountering death at such an early age, his hair greyed disturbingly quick, as well as the losing his right arm due to a misdiagnosis from a former combat medic. Qualifications: Masters Degree in Theoretical Bluespace Biology and Artificial Intelligence Employment Records: Intern for Nanotrasen over the course of 8 and a half months before being dismissed. Security Records: Dismissed from internship due to thievery of sensitive data. Medical Records: Wilkins has a cybernetic kidney, that was implanted during his youth and a cybernetic right arm. Other Notes: - Wilkins has hinted at suffering from Bipolar Disorder - Wilkins displays uncharacteristic enthusiasm at any sort of scientific breakthrough. Name: Bobbie Wilkins (Roberta Fiona Wilkins) Age: 21 Gender: Female Race: Homosapien(human) Blood Type: A- General Occupational Role(s): Warden, Detective, IAA Biography: Born on a peripheral planet under the control of SolGov, Wilkins grew into a young woman hardened by the poverty and crime that afflicted her homeplace. At the age of thirteen, Wilkins lost a single eye in a knife fight, and underwent a backstreet surgery that replaced both of her eyes with cybernetic optics. Finding a living as a smuggler, Wilkins attracted the attention of Nanotrasen through her reputation as someone who strictly adhered to their own moral values and concept of loyalty. After the Cyberiad was constructed, Wilkins was among the first Security Officers hired on the station, and grew in rank as time went on, eventually becoming a finely tuned tool of Nanotrasen's war machine. Qualifications: Little to none, experience leading a small crew as the captain of a smuggling vessel. Employment Records: Was the Captain of the J. S. Stinger for some time, a smuggling vessel Security Records: None Medical Records: Cybernetic eyes implanted unreliably and likely insecurely, as well as a cybernetic right arm. Other Notes: - Wilkins has hinted at suffering from Bipolar Disorder - Wilkins displays uncharacteristic emotion when felt to be put on the spot.
  9. Well, I'm back at it again with another event suggestion Name of Event: Rendezvous on the Cyberiad One Sentence Description: After a short chase and perhaps some skirmishing, the command staff and their respective retinues from two opposing vessels have been authorized by CC to use the Cyberiad as a neutral rendezvous point for negotiations, hilarity bureaucracy ensues. Map Changes: Possibly, to create methods of transportation for the members of the event, although using the ERT/Syndicate Shuttles would work as well. Code Changes: No Suggested Number of Players: 100+ Full Description of Event: Two factions would meet upon the Cyberiad, the go-to would be SolGov and USSP, although pretty much any two factions from the lore with reasonably hostile relations would work, perhaps something a bit more obscure like a match-up between the Elysium Republic and any of the other minor race-centered factions would be more interesting. My suggested dynamic is perhaps a slightly larger party, 8-10, from the aggressors in the negotiations, and a smaller party, 4-6, from the pursued, yet favored faction in the eyes of Nanotrasen, in order to raise tension, with both parties having at least a 50% composition of guards armed with lethal weaponry to augment their respective command staff. The range of discussion topics would be pretty vast, and could include wider lore-based ideological issues(probably not), or something more feasible like the return of a fugitive, obtainment of sensitive data or the confiscation of goods and/or a space vessel. Since simply having some extra armed people on-board isn't really the worst that the Cyberiad has had to face, I suggest augmenting it with some regular mid-round events, possibly throwing a wrench into already tense negotiations with the stranding, kidnapping or killing of the delegations on-board. The objectives given to the delegations would be the following: Captain/Command Staff: [to generally win out on the negotiations, get what their side wants, this is based on why the two factions are fighting, which is ultimately up to the admins and the roleplaying delegations to decide] Escape on the Escape Shuttle or Return to designated faction's space vessel alive. Guards/Soldiers: Protect the Captain/Command Staff Escape on the Escape Shuttle or Return to designated faction's space vessel alive.
  10. Overview The concept of power-gaming is pretty vague, so definition that this post will be using is "a style of interacting with role-playing games with the aim of maximizing progress towards a specific goal". (Yep. That's directly plagiarized from Wikipedia. Bite me.) In essence, power-gaming can take many forms, some of which are encouraged, some of which are inevitable and some of which are generally looked down upon. Although there is a generally negative connotation associated with the term "power-gaming", Space Station 13, in the majority of cases, promotes power-gaming in it's purest form, due to the very janky un-intuitive nature of its interface. For all intents and purposes, power-gaming actions will be divvied up into two categories, Gameplay and Roleplay. Let's start with the former. Gameplay Gameplay-based power-gaming is, as stated before, a side effect of BYOND's very awkward yet modular interface. A great example of a minor, and widely accepted, form of power-gaming is BYOND's system of macros. A macro, by definition, is a single instruction that activates another set of instructions to preform a task, in other words, a shortcut. Clearly the point of a macro is to increase the efficiency and utility of the tools that a player or user has available to them, namely a keyboard and mouse. On a server such as Colonial Marines, many actions, some as simple as pumping a shotgun, are impossible without the usage of macros, begging the question: Why? Why should those who simply spend more time "programming" their game and learning their hotkeys be rewarded? Unfortunately, this is a difficult question to answer. To some, any alteration of a game from its vanilla state is considered to be an unfair advantage. Others suggest that any tools provided are fair game for maximum exploitation and optimization, almost to the point of automation. The regrettable truth is that because most servers do not regulate such features and because BYOND's vanilla UI is so clunky, "power-gamers" outclass their counterparts in every way, someone who can string together a macro of several different actions will nine times out of ten defeat someone in a fight or complete a task faster than those who can not. Thus, one can reasonably assume that by nature, BYOND and SS13 encourage players to utilize game features that in almost any other context would be considered exploitative. And that drudges up the next issue, Roleplay. Roleplay: As Roleplay is applicable to many different contexts, apart from SS13, BYOND or even games in general, the argument against it must been intertwined with that of Gameplay for it to be relevant to this examination. To understand this, the first thing that must been noted is that SS13 makes some effort to bridge the two, in the form of the little chat bubble that pops up when someone is typing. As with most modern Roleplaying games, this issue could be solved by implementing voice chat, for faster and more organic conversation, but, as everyone is probably aware, that is not an option for SS13. When the concept of power-gaming is applied to roleplay, the key difference between it and that of gameplay is that while power-gaming in the usage of game functions pro-actively exploits systems in order to more quickly or effectively obtain an objective, power-gaming with regards to roleplay is characterized by the passive disregard of roleplay systems in order to serve the interests of the offender. One example is that of the classic greytider. A civilian walks aboard the Cyberiad, perhaps as a tourist, a businessman or a very new and inexperienced employee of Nanotrasen. The civilian proceeds to rush to the auxiliary tool storage, sweep the maintenance areas for useful items and proceed to hack doors, vending machines, really whatever they can find. This is perhaps one of the most classic examples of power-gaming in a roleplaying game, the usage of out-of-character knowledge to strive for in-character pursuits. Greytiders have earned their place among the playerbase's most disdained sect, but their offenses are seen at some level in nearly every player on the station. A legal, and acceptable, work-around for the question of why a character possesses knowledge their role does not usually have is the player biography, but most of these segments are left woefully abandoned. Despite server restrictions on what and how players should know and act, players fail to restrict their knowledge, a civilian picking up a gun for presumably the first time will never ask the passing Security Officer what the different colors mean, the chaplain routinely chooses their null rod variant based on the threat that has emerged and a scientist will seldom ask the client at the RnD Desk why they need the item they are asking for. Thus, the neglect of realistic roleplaying, even on self-proclaimed "high rp" servers such as Aurora, has been so ingrained into the SS13 playerbase as to undermine an otherwise standardized system. As stated before, contrary to the power-gaming associated with gameplay, roleplay power-gaming is not the active maximization of efficency in reaching a goal, but rather the minimization of possible roadblocks in order to streamline a process that is not, in fact, supposed to be streamlined. Afterword: Just to be clear, I have no ill-will towards actions similar to the ones described, I myself am guilty of each and every one of them, I'd merely like to shed light on a term that in some communities I feel is quite, quite misused. These are the two different ways that I categorize "power-gaming", based off of what I think it means, and I am in no ways suggesting that it is either right or wrong. Feel free to shit on this little piece, criticize my spelling, whatever. I'm out. tl;dr power-gaming isn't good or bad per se, but it is everywhere, and as such, people must become used to it, even if it seems unfair
  11. So. What Department do you like the least out of the lot? Could be due to the players who main them, bad history with the department or just dislike of the duties associated with them. For myself, I'm honestly going to have to diss Science. Even though I play Science maybe 7 rounds out of 10, I gotta say, the people can be real pompous pricks sometimes. Probably because of the obligations that Science has to the rest of the station, and the fact that pretty much everyone knows what to do and how to do it, it's just a really difficult department to get into playing, because the more experienced players will quite literally throw you away from the console and sideline you to sitting in Sci-Chem for the whole round if you show even the slightest hint of incompetence.
  12. Ulster. It exists. So do Ulster Nationalists. Some people ask why. Ulster ain't a nation they say. Ulster ain't a culture. It could be a nation, or it could not. People from Ulster don't even all speak the same language. It's an interesting train of thought.