DrewTuber

Can we discuss the emagged maint drone nerf?

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Removes their ability to pathfind under people's legs.

Remove the hidden diamond drill module

Rewritten its drone control code so that drones that don't call home and verify their programming after a certain amount of time are destroyed automatically.

 

The "certain amount of time" is 5 mintues.

I understand where the nerf came from, after seeing a couple rounds of antags that would carry 3+ emagged drones and throw them like pokeballs at sec, but I personally think the nerf went a little too far. Specifically, the 5 minute time limit is not enough time to even find a target, let alone cause that target chaos. Aside from the debilitating time limit, the other two changes were greatly needed.

Thoughts?

 

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I think the goal on that change may have been to make emagged drones a sort of sabotage helper. Since drones had their combat capabilities severely nerfed anyways, they weren't really meant at that point to be killing things. The idea is that you can use your drone to do targeted sabotage that can't be traced back to you.

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emagged drones are literally free, prenerf they were disproportionately strong to an insane degree

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Oh I agree 100% prenerf they were insane. Post nerf, however, they're not very fun for the player being emagged. The current time limit seems to be balanced toward the following assumptions:

1. Both the traitor and the drone are competent/robust enough to execute a complicated plan.

2. Said plan can be explained and executed within 5 minutes, usually including the time it takes to move to a secluded position to explain after capturing a drone.

3. The drone knows the pipe system enough to be able to travel to the intended area with enough time to spare to accomplish any goals.

Maybe change it so the drone just goes back to regular programming after the time limit is up? Right now it's just a death sentence, and if you're caught the drone fabricators are usually quickly turned off.

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Depends on your definition of fun. Emagged maint drone isn't "fun" in the sense of you get to robust people, but it's not that different from normal maint drone play in that you're just doing your job but in an evil way. The "emag = death" thing is helpful in that it incentivizes drones to run away from being emagged. Before the changes, drones would run toward antags to get emagged all the time.

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29 minutes ago, Tayswift said:

Depends on your definition of fun. Emagged maint drone isn't "fun" in the sense of you get to robust people, but it's not that different from normal maint drone play in that you're just doing your job but in an evil way. The "emag = death" thing is helpful in that it incentivizes drones to run away from being emagged. Before the changes, drones would run toward antags to get emagged all the time.

That's no different then, as a civilian, running at a Shadowling or cult to get converted, but you don't suddenly make it so all converted greytide gib after 5 minutes or making Emagged cyborgs blow after 5 minutes.  There are somethings that cannot and should not be handled via mechanics for these kinds of reasons. That is something for administration.

As I recall it, few people disagreed Drones were TOO strong, but the nerfs applied to them were far and away too much, and that was the toned down edition.  It's of dubious use to most antags and it's a direct killjoy on the Drone to go "Welp you got 5 minutes lol gg no re".  Because bear in mind the death also forces that 10 minute cooldown on being able to rejoin.  So as somone is playing a drone, gets e-magged out of the blue and toddles on to a death they can do nothing to stop, their entire gameplay interrupted, they now have to wait just to get back to what they were doing, a total of at most, 15 minutes.  The equivalent of a Major Crime brig sentence, just for being caught out.

It was to the point a LARGE portion of people in the debate when it was happened said to just make drones unable to be e-magged BECAUSE the nerfs were so extreme.
They needed to be toned down, but what they got was ridiculously overkill.  You want to make an e-magged drone not a combat machine, I'm fine with that, make thme utterly unable to attack things while emagged so they can be nasty little sabotage bots, I am fine with that.

But their current state is easily the most painful experience I have had on paradise since it went through.
Making something painful to play as a 'Balance' to discourage an activity you will NEVER be able to stop, is not good. It punishes a player who did nothing wrong and does nothing to stop the other kind of player they'll still do it for a chance at 5 minutes of murderboning.

Drones are actual players too, they should PROBABLY be allowed to have fun now an again.

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I don't think it went far enough.  An infinitely re-spawning ghost role shouldn't have the option to be converted into an antag at all. 

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3 minutes ago, EvadableMoxie said:

I don't think it went far enough.  An infinitely re-spawning ghost role shouldn't have the option to be converted into an antag at all. 

 

Quote

It was to the point a LARGE portion of people in the debate when it was happened said to just make drones unable to be e-magged BECAUSE the nerfs were so extreme.

A PR was made to do exactly that, and it was shot down.
And to be honest, at this juncture I find it the most preferable option.  It's better to justn ot be able to be emagged at all, then to be emagged while you're on some other project an be forced into an Antag's personal all-access ID card for 5 minutes instead of doin somethin like pipe atmosia or somethin'.

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1 minute ago, Dinarzad said:

 

A PR was made to do exactly that, and it was shot down.
And to be honest, at this juncture I find it the most preferable option.  It's better to justn ot be able to be emagged at all, then to be emagged while you're on some other project an be forced into an Antag's personal all-access ID card for 5 minutes instead of doin somethin like pipe atmosia or somethin'.

Isn't that better than being an antag's personal all-access ID for an indeterminate amount of time?  At least a timer puts a cap on the amount of time you have to be sidetracked before you can respawn and go back to what you were doing. 

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Just now, EvadableMoxie said:

Isn't that better than being an antag's personal all-access ID for an indeterminate amount of time?  At least a timer puts a cap on the amount of time you have to be sidetracked before you can respawn and go back to what you were doing. 

Sort of.
5 minutes limits your misery, but before you could be given orders to go an chaos havoc, to be a saboteur.
Now, five minutes is barely enough plan to lay out a plan, get there and enact it.

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Had it been only the timer, or the removal of the drill, or limiting their mobility and table  pass, it may have been acceptable nerf. But this nerf was the quintessential 'i ded plz nerf' response to a problem that could be solved with two clicks of an ion rifle or less. Most if not all the nerfs should be reverted and some new method implemented, as well as certain people coming to understand that 'No interference' does no mean or equate to 'run away from all crew on sight'

Edited by davidchan
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I echo @davidchan points for the most part, which beat me to the post. Adding three major nerfs that all deserve discussion on their own at once is a mistake. Even if such a nerf is needed, it is always better to implement it slowly, one change at a time, to see how the community responds. I've seen other games fall into this trap as well. Seems the knee jerk reaction of a outraged populace to a overpowered mechanic is to nerf it into the ground, all at once, so it sinks into irrelevancy. Thus shifting overpowered mechanics into pointless/useless ones. It is disappointing, really.

Edited by Rurik
clarification

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What about a new traitor item specifically for emaging drones? Make it similar to the ai board for mining drones, in that it can only be used on one drone. You could balance the cost of the item, and now you don't have a source of "infinite respawning antag ghosts." Take the ability to hack drones out of emags, and throw it into this "illegal drone ai board". You could even throw the drill module being reactive with this new item, since it would make sense from a RP perspective. Alternatively, keep the emag the way it is now with the 5 minute limit, to give antags time to purchase this new item and apply it, which would then remove the time limit and activate the drill module.

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(Also, I am very biased toward the drone player, as I play drone often, and have never personally emagged one, so take that as you will)

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IMO? Change the Drone Sprite when emagged so the 'eyes' glow red or they have some obvious "That drone looks suspicious" visual clue about them. Remove the drill (they never needed this anyways nor does it fit the MO) and replace it with an E-Dagger and ensure there is an inhand sprite for when the dagger is active. Keep or remove the 360 second timer, though the server as whole needs to consider if there really needs to be a 10 minute timer on drones, one of the few thing I like about tg drones is that drones can occupy shells, if crew doesn't want or is worried about rogue drones they can destroy the shells or make more as needed.

Edited by davidchan

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Please note that you can rejoin as a drone. Unlike regular conversion antags where after getting gibbed you are gone for good, you can just press a respawn button.

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As far as i am aware, drone were intended to give permadead players something to do, without any interaction with current round (or at least as low as possible).

They should be able to be emagged since it is ss13 and we need as much freedom as possible, but emagging drones shouldnt be something that happens every time. It must be small rare feature, not something antags base their plans on. Therefore, it should be useful if you meet drone accidentally but completely useless to try to find one on purpose 

 

In conclusion - it is pretty good as it is right now

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2 hours ago, Bxil said:

Please note that you can rejoin as a drone. Unlike regular conversion antags where after getting gibbed you are gone for good, you can just press a respawn button.

Most def. Unfortunately for players that enjoy playing as drone (relaxing/low pressure, no interaction), the sight of an emagged drone often leads to the disabling of the drone fabricators and termination of all un-hacked drones. Bonus points if the one on the engie sat gets disabled as well.

Edited by DrewTuber

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On 5/23/2018 at 5:15 AM, DrewTuber said:

Maybe change it so the drone just goes back to regular programming after the time limit is up?

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.

 

On 5/23/2018 at 5:29 PM, DrewTuber said:

Unfortunately for players that enjoy playing as drone (relaxing/low pressure, no interaction), the sight of an emagged drone often leads to the disabling of the drone fabricators and termination of all un-hacked drones.

As for this valid concern, I can only quote the other point well made:

On 5/23/2018 at 7:56 AM, Dinarzad said:

There are somethings that cannot and should not be handled via mechanics for these kinds of reasons. That is something for administration.

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?

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6 hours ago, Vissy said:

...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?

This is always something that disappointed. What's the point of having a console which can activate a killswitch on any maint drone on the station if it only works on the drones which don't need the killswitch, and never actually helps in the specific situation where a drone actually has been subverted? I think it was a good change to make it so that drones can longer attack while hiding their sprite under things (we ought to make it so that xeno larvae can't do this either, but that's a separate discussion), and it's a relief that they're no longer able to cause plasma venting mayhem or shock all doors in a department while safely hidden inside of air pipes. However, it does seem like a 5-minute life limit is a little stringent.

I believe one of the other regulars recommended this to me, but I may suggest that instead of emagging maint drones, traitors get the ability to order a specially-designed Syndicate maint drone for a TC cost, a "Suspicious Maintenance Drone" if you will, with all the mixed combat and utility abilities that emagged drones previously had at their disposal (minus the ability to interfere with station systems while hiding in the vent systems and minus the ability to attack people while hiding). This way, players would only be playing as a hacked maint drone because they had signed up with the intention of being in an antag-assisting role, such as with holoparasites. Ultimately, I think it could be a much more predictably reliable asset for a traitor while sparing the headache for players who just wanted to play as regular drones without being Shanghaied into a temporary antagonist role that they may not be willing or creative enough to carry out.

Edited by Machofish
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For emagged drones to work, we need to know, 100% that people are not specifically becoming drones and allowing themselves to be emagged.  If people are doing that, the whole thing breaks down.

And the problem is, there is absolutely zero way to enforce drones not trying to be emagged. Unless the person who plays the drone is dumb enough to do something really egregious or flat out admit they are doing it, they will never be caught.  All you need to do to get emagged is be in science maintenance while a traitor with an emag is around and let it happen.  Can we prove that a drone was in sci maint specifically to be emagged? No, we cannot.  And on top of that drones are anonymous so you can't even establish a clear pattern of behavior.

Forget all of the other arguments, this right here is why emagged drones should not be a thing.  Because it relies on rules that are totally unenforceable, and unenforceable rules are not rules. Everything else, from fun for the drones and antag, to their combat power mostly being derived from a bad interface, to the power of an emag, to antag/sec balance is static and doesn't matter because this issue means emagged drones cannot work, no matter how they are implemented.  It would be better if we didn't have them at all, but the current crippling nerf of making them basically useless is better than how it was before at least.  They should have been removed entirely, but as they say, a good compromise makes everyone upset. 

Edited by EvadableMoxie
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17 hours ago, EvadableMoxie said:

For emagged drones to work, we need to know, 100% that people are not specifically becoming drones and allowing themselves to be emagged.  If people are doing that, the whole thing breaks down.

And the problem is, there is absolutely zero way to enforce drones not trying to be emagged. Unless the person who plays the drone is dumb enough to do something really egregious or flat out admit they are doing it, they will never be caught.  All you need to do to get emagged is be in science maintenance while a traitor with an emag is around and let it happen.  Can we prove that a drone was in sci maint specifically to be emagged? No, we cannot.  And on top of that drones are anonymous so you can't even establish a clear pattern of behavior.

Forget all of the other arguments, this right here is why emagged drones should not be a thing.  Because it relies on rules that are totally unenforceable, and unenforceable rules are not rules. Everything else, from fun for the drones and antag, to their combat power mostly being derived from a bad interface, to the power of an emag, to antag/sec balance is static and doesn't matter because this issue means emagged drones cannot work, no matter how they are implemented.  It would be better if we didn't have them at all, but the current crippling nerf of making them basically useless is better than how it was before at least.  They should have been removed entirely, but as they say, a good compromise makes everyone upset. 

Positronic Brains, mid-round join cyborgs.
Still can't stop 'em from knowingly getting antag'd.
And yet, you still don't give cyborgs a 5 minute lifespan.

The current design is good for no one. It's terrible for antagonists, cuz it just broadcasts their existence.
It's terrible for the drone who gets 5 minutes to live and if it's player wasn't keen on antagging to begin with, now has to stop everything it was doing for 15 minutes, the length of a major crime brig sentence, for doing nothing.
It was a kneejerk reaction that went WAYYY too far.

The alternative people gave wasn't even minor. Just make emagged drones appear on the drone console to be remotely blown, just like cyborgs. Now Drones have to play with a measure of caution, just like borgs, else they just get remotely blown.
Why all this OTHER stuff happened is beyond me, the fix was simple, it was easy, it was the ultimate nerf that didn't ruin everyone's good time. But instead of going down the easiest, clear-cut path, we elected to take weird and horribly confusing paths to achieve the same goal an all we got was obnoxious design because of it.

A Good compromise is one that everyone can live with and tolerate, that works out for both parties.
This was never a compromise. This was one side's salt overdose hitting lethal quantities and letting it cloud their judgment with irrational thinking.

Edited by Dinarzad
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4 hours ago, Dinarzad said:

Positronic Brains, mid-round join cyborgs.
Still can't stop 'em from knowingly getting antag'd.
And yet, you still don't give cyborgs a 5 minute lifespan.
 

The role of Cyborgs, like crew, is to have an impact on the round.  They can save lives, chase down antags, or be subverted when the AI's law change. Creating them is a decision the crew makes in order to get the benefits in exchange for the risks. It's part of the design of borgs that you can never really fully trust them. Further, Cyborgs name themselves and have oversight from the AI, making them not anonymous and making it far easier to tell if they are intentionally trying to be emagged.

Maintenance drones on the other hand aren't supposed to normally impact the round, because it's an infinitely respawning ghost role.  It's more akin to respawning as a mouse, with just a bit more to do.  The two aren't really comparable when it comes to design or function.

Quote

This was one side's salt overdose hitting lethal quantities and letting it cloud their judgment with irrational thinking.

If you disagree with someone, attack their idea, not the person. If you can't even accept the fact that someone might disagree with you for logical reasons then really there's not much reason to discuss anything with you.

Edited by EvadableMoxie

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I think they should be able to move under / through people still and so on. But other than that, I think its a mostly good change. Not being able to move under / through people is just way to much. 

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10 hours ago, EvadableMoxie said:

The role of Cyborgs, like crew, is to have an impact on the round.  They can save lives, chase down antags, or be subverted when the AI's law change. Creating them is a decision the crew makes in order to get the benefits in exchange for the risks. It's part of the design of borgs that you can never really fully trust them. Further, Cyborgs name themselves and have oversight from the AI, making them not anonymous and making it far easier to tell if they are intentionally trying to be emagged.

Maintenance drones on the other hand aren't supposed to normally impact the round, because it's an infinitely respawning ghost role.  It's more akin to respawning as a mouse, with just a bit more to do.  The two aren't really comparable when it comes to design or function.

If you disagree with someone, attack their idea, not the person. If you can't even accept the fact that someone might disagree with you for logical reasons then really there's not much reason to discuss anything with you.

I did attack their idea, repeatedly, several times in the PR that brought the changes to begin with. There was never any real rebuttal to those arguments.
I also gave alternative suggestions, I didn't just say "Idea's shit lol" and carry on, I provided thought out suggestions.
Calling someone salty and saying they're letting it make them irrational is not a personal attack, it is absolutely calling into question the motives for WHY they're making their suggestions and motivations can be important to know. It's literally the entire reason that "i ded pls nerf" github tag even exists.
If you disagree withsomeone, attack their idea, don't try to dismiss it out of hand because it was delivered in a way you don't like.

The point of the maintenance drone is not to INTERFERE in the round, not have no impact, that notion is literally impossible.
You cannot be involved in the round or exist in it and have no impact in it. Drones have engineering tools, can repair breaches/various items, can clean and even set up atmos layouts. ALL of those things impact a round rather heavily. If someone like an antag blows a hole in the station and a drone fixes it, it has impacted the round rather heavily, potentially foiling an antag's plot.
If a drone repipes atmosia to be more effective, thus handling a plasma fire efficiently, it effected the round quite heavily.
If it sets up the turbine/solars and helps power the station, it is impacting the round.
By cleaning up a room of blood and gibs, it's potentially wiping away a crime scene before anyone saw it. That's another massive impact.
Doing ANYTHING shy of being your normal everyday civilian RPing in the bar, is going to have tangible impact on the round. You cannot avoid a drone having impact in the round, by the fact it EXISTS, it has impact and always will, you;re taking that interpretation far too literally, or far too strictly.
The goal is for them not to INTERFERE in the round, not to be seperate from it entirely.

Earlier your quantification for "Emagging drones to work" was knowing that a drone didn't do so intentionally, that they didn't purposefully get themselves made an antag, but a positronic brain can do that EXACT same thing. They are both ghosts joining into the round, both can just as easily tell who is and isn't an antag prior to joining if they had a mind to. They are both designed to have impact in the round, just to differing levels. A borg can have MORE of an impact in a more open manner since it can talk.

As for oversight, Drones have just as much oversight as Cyborgs, the problem isn't that they DON'T, the problem is the crew is too lazy to ever give a shit to do that. That shiny drone console in engineering tells you the location and name and status of every single active drone. It can be used to resync drone laws (Mostly a hold-over feature from when there was an occasional bug that caused drones to have borg laws instead of the KEEPER laws.) and to give a remote kill command to any NON-EMAGGED drones.
Each drone has a unique number identification, and unlike cyborgs, blowing every single drone, while a dick move, is a lot less of a big deal, considering those non-antag players can also respawn.
Currently, emagged drones do not appear on that console and are thusly, immune to it.  Something emagged cyborgs can't say. That was why the number one suggested nerf was to have them show up ON that console and able to be remotely blown, just like a cyborg. Thus keeping drones from being tiny murderboner bots, because that's a great way to get yourself instagibbed.

The choices taken to get to this point were illogical and irrational. Most people AGREED nerfs needed to be had, what people argued was for a series of smaller nerfs until we got to a good place, as opposed to taking a sledgehammer to the entire thing, repeatedly, in several areas all at once.
Again, few people said they didn't need ANY nerfs. The problem was it was 3-4 all at the same time, instead of 1 or 2 to bring their power level down safely and slowly. It was all about a knee-jerk quick-fix instead of doing the job correctly and precisely.

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