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DocSocrates

Fun vs Efficient Character

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Hey friendos,

Whenever I make a character, there's generally a gimmick or a quirk associated with them. Each typically stick with a certain department, such as scientist or engineer. My main character, Jimmy Rogers, is a pirate captain. I enjoy putting on a bad pirate accent and mismatching terms to fit the persona. Frequently, people are annoyed with this either due to the fact that they hate pirates or they rather have a 'serious' captain. While maintaining my character, I try and remain serious. I'm not the best captain, and I make mistakes, but I've seen far worse. 

Recently I made a bad call regarding a security situation. The detective was drunk, so I said to throw them in a cell. What resulted was half the bar getting arrested for trying to defend the detective and half the security team calling me incompetent for making an illegal order. Hindsight is 20/20, and I thought it was a fine call. Regardless, the rest of the round left a bad taste in my mouth, and the security crew wasn't a fan of me. Regardless, times like that make me think if I should throw Jimmy away in favor of someone who will do their job, well, that's it.

I'm curious what you all think about this, and while I'll take your thoughts into consideration, I will probably not make any decisions on Jimmy as a result.

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I might not have the best judgement here as I don't really have any specific quirks associated with my characters but I'd say you should probably remain as your character. I'm certain that as long as you avoid doing anything too shitter-y, the character will eventually grow on other players and their antics would be accepted. The key is to make your characters interesting and fun, actually doing your job well and proper comes second in most cases. Then again, I'm probably not the most knowledgeable on the subject. Insert other media

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sometimes I feel like people take IC things to heart too easy, tbh. a bad call or two, or even a quirk or trait of your character that makes them handle their work differently than most, doesn't make it bad overall, it just... makes it different

I've seen your captain char around and i don't think he's bad from a character standpoint, though he is a bit quirky for the setting/other characters people are used to, but doing something different from the norm isn't bad tbh o: 

honestly, as long as a character IS doing their job, and not abandoning post to go sit in the bar/wander maint/gateway/etc all round, then by all means, be different and do something interesting, while also playing your role ovo7 

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To be honest, we need more fun and quirky personalities, the whole efficient character is a really big drag, the reason I've been taking a prolonged hiatus from this game is that there hasn't been a big change in personalities, its all been either the "I know everything that is about to happen" or its new players that know little about mechanics (Also I've been in a small dark area of my life and work has also been keeping me away, but enough about that). Jimmy Rodgers is an amazing personality and a really great character, in my opinion so don't delete him, there is my vote.

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While my contributions aren't huge, I've also found that playing a weirdo really ups enjoyment factor for yourself and helps break the mold in terms of the typical hardass oranother neutral omnipotent character as previously mentioned. Countless captains blur together in my memory as most sit in bridge and talk the same, but I'm sure if we shared a round, even if you did fail in a big way, you'd be a memorable character because..guess what, YOU'RE DIFFERENT!

 

We need difference in how characters tackle things. My attempt at making things marginally unique is facing things as a font of optimism rather than stalwart robustness. Any attempt at variation, in my book, is a good one.

Edited by Nomzy

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As sampaii mentioned, I notice a lot of people taking IC far to seriously. As command or sec, trying to bend the normal playstyle into something more unique and interesting will usually net you nothing but insults and grudges.

Its a shame, but if I have anything to say on the matter, it would be to do your best to ignore the negativity. Don't let others force you to play in a narrow style that makes them happy. If you see a way to make your character interesting and without overstepping the rules, then do so.

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While a bad judgement call there (and really, not a particularly bad one), I don't think that your pirateyness affects that at all. If anything, one would expect a pirate captain to be giving rum rations to sec!

However, such a character can make people think you're not taking the role seriously - which is not what I've seen at all. But I can see why people think that. There have been many examples of captains taking their gimmicks too far.

I don't think at all fun characters stop them being efficient - you can easily be both. What's important is how your behavior affects others. Forcing your playstyle on others is generally a bad idea (Such as a captain recently trying to make all of command wear maid outfits....). This is especially true with captains making "fun" custom laws for the AI, as this forces them to play the way you want them to. 

I have a tendency to tell off "unserious" captains, but I haven't seen your piratey stuff really go over the line. It's only when it goes to the extent of being too memey, unprofessional, and generally stupid that I tend to step in. 

 

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Three important questions to consider when you're starting to question what you're doing.

1. Are you having fun/enjoying the game as you like to? 

2. Are you hindering others from having fun/enjoying the game as they like to?

3 (for command roles, antags). Are you helping others enjoy the game? 

Seems like your issue is with point 2- you're worried that your gimmick is stopping others from enjoying the game. But, ultimately, it's a gimmick - you're not actively stopping them from doing what they wanna do unless you go out of your way to do a bad job, and a few bad calls here and there are gonna happen to anyone, command member or not. The path to greatness is bumpy, you know? (Plus, though I haven't met him ingame, he sounds hilarious) 

If you feel doubtful, feel free to take a break from the character, take a few stints as a more serious captain, and see what you enjoy more. All in all, it's up to what you enjoy! 

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Thanks for the responses, everyone.

I took a few weeks off due to the fact that I didn't have a stable internet connection. I've been slowly getting back into the game, and I've felt like my last few rounds have been rockier than usual. I used to take the game/IC too seriously, and then I started focusing on the 'RP' elements about making an interesting character and seeing where they go, for better or worse. 

I guess it's just the atmosphere that gets me sometimes. I can't expect everyone to apply this ideology of character vs game since this is a high-pop med-RP server. Regardless, I think I'll stick with Jimmy for awhile longer, and maybe hop on some of my other characters like Squikibiki or make a new one. 

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Yeah, people are being a bit less welcoming lately. There have been shifts where I just stopped liking what I do, guess a lot of people feel that way lately.

I was part of the de-escalation on your call to have the detective arrested.
I think the problem there wasn't your character's quirk (I love pirates, by the way) but more the fact that some officers just willingly followed orders that were completely invalid, simply because "Arr, captain's be tellin' me ta' throw 'im in the brig, matey" 

The way I see it, having quirks is fine. Encouraged, even. I've got a few characters with quirks (my Plague Doctor who's surprisingly well received by vox. Which is kind of racist, but whatever..)
It's just that command members, especially mindshielded ones, look a bit weird when they're too eccentric.
Personally, I expect mindshielded personnel to have a no bullshit attitude and be the very few reliable, sane people aboard the station.
I'd say, if there was a legless QM or even HOP, talking about how they lost their legs during a military conflict witht he UUSP, I'd be fine with that.
A legless HOS or Captain, on the other hand, I'd rather avoid.

There's a huge difference between roleplaying a senile var veteran on a character the station depends on, and a secondary role like the HOP/RD/QM.
And some roles would profit from ridiculous quirks. Think about clowns, bartenders, chaplains, librarians.

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I play as Wolf O'Shaw and I make sure they feel ... special.

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I'm glad to have someone who was there weigh in on this issue.

12 minutes ago, Germ Man said:

It's just that command members, especially mindshielded ones, look a bit weird when they're too eccentric.
Personally, I expect mindshielded personnel to have a no bullshit attitude and be the very few reliable, sane people aboard the station.

This is really the crux of the issue, I believe. Jimmy as a character could be placed anywhere in terms of a job, really, though I've essentially based him as a captain for the "Pirate Captain" feel. His accent is eccentric, as well as the station-wide messages. Some players take this well, while others don't. While I don't care much about opinions since I'm playing for those that enjoy the character, there are some players who will completely disregard him. As a result, the heads act without regards to the captain. While this happens regularly with heads preferring an autonomous department, it still begs the question that it could be avoided with a different kind of character.

This then boils down to what the expectations of a Captain are, as the heads of each department essentially can ignore the captain and continue working without much penalty (as long as no major SoP breaches occur). From this, I've developed a philosophy that the Captain's powers are quite limited in the end (besides having access to most computers and making big decisions such as calling an ERT, shuttle, and changing alerts). Therefore, while keeping Jimmy serious in his decisions, his eccentric attitude was developed to entertain the crew and myself. Ultimately my call about throwing the detective in a drunk tank was both invalid, and completely unnecessary, as the HoS could control the situation well enough. 

Certainly this is a learning issue on my part as well, as trying to find a happy balance between the two schools of thoughts on captaincy. I don't intend to meme, but there's room for RP. I may make a Captain character in the future as an IPC called "A.B.S.O.L.U.T.E" or something to that ilk. This character would take on the no bullshit personality and be there to preform his job and ensure the station's success. This would be an ideal captain, and maybe there I could preform without worrying about RP, and generally improve my captaincy as a result.

  

 

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I played a similar character when I used to main Captain, named Stumpy. Same gimmick, only in addition to being a pirate captain, I had a pirate hat that gave me a permanent slur, and a lack thereof legs. To say the least, people enjoyed seeing Stumpy, especially as it meant a fair chance at getting that fukken disk.

I've proven my competence in the department to merit having a character with severe handicaps, or a quirk. Considering Captain is a decorative role that is more often than not just about communication, it's not that hard to find a balance.

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28 minutes ago, froz-t said:

Considering Captain is a decorative role that is more often than not just about communication, it's not that hard to find a balance.

This pretty much sums up a fault of mine. I've made it a habit to stick my nose in the departments' business when I should just sit back a bit more.  

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1 hour ago, froz-t said:

Considering Captain is a decorative role

Strongly disagree - it's the top of the chain of command

1 hour ago, froz-t said:

more often than not just about communication,

Hugely agree.

1 hour ago, froz-t said:

I've proven my competence in the department to merit having a character with severe handicaps,

and agree again

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I was the officer that tried to bring the detective in. I had a fun time. Got reprimanded for following the captains orders, didn't bother me. The bar situation was some good RP at first, then a glorified slap fight. The salt levels of the involved civilians in processing was pretty ridiculous. People pretty much decided that they can just do whatever they want regardless of the situation if they feel their position is valid. Captain not allowed to order the detective to a cell for dereliction of duty? Not exactly true. Not allowed to arrest someone for drinking? The situation was not nearly that simple. When detective was asked to take a walk to go sober up back at the brig, they got rowdy due to their drunkenness. It was all good RP up until rule / sop lawyers deciding they can just do whatever because it wasn't a clear situation. Jimmy is a great captain. Served with em a lot. Don't let the bastards keep you down. 

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44 minutes ago, Malphystoh said:

Don't let the bastards keep you down. 

Very much this.

Some people like to really nitpick and overreact if sec/command make even the slightest of errors and scream about VIOLATING SOP. This is especially true of people who break the law themselves. For some reason, it's fine for them to commit crimes - but woe to anyone who goes against SoP.

THE MOST IMPORTANT part of SoP, written at the top, in bold, of EVERY SoP page - which people seem to forget, is 


"As the name indicates, Standard Operating Procedure is a set of Guidelines to be followed when the station is functioning nominally. Breaching Standard Operating Procedure without a very good reason is grounds for demotion, at the discretion of the relevant Head of Staff. In addition, blindly following the letter of SOP while ignoring the context of the shift is a ridiculously bad idea. SOP is malleable if the situation requires it, and the general well-being and proper functioning of the crew and station should not be sacrificed for the sake of rigorous adherence of SOP. Remember, context is king."

As an example - in a recent round, someone teleported onto the bridge, while there was an active threat. The relatively new captain panicked and gunned them down, thinking they were a changling. A mistake for sure (and manslaughter), but not done out of any intent to break the law, SoP, what have you. The person teleporting in did so with the intent of breaking the law, and generally greytiding. Guess who people were screaming for the arrest and demotion of?

In your case, it seems quite reasonable to tell a drunk officer off  and threaten demotion. If they don't go walk it off or follow your orders, then that's grounds for demotion. If they resist lawful demotion, grounds for arrest. 

I didn't see you go nuts and immediatly demand he be fired and thrown in a brig cell. You acted in a reasonably realistic fashion towards a drunken member of security, with a gun. Very few workplaces would allow it.

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Thank you Malphystoh and necaladun, 

This also boils down to me being salty about others being salty. Here's to the adventures of Pirate Captain Jimmy Rogers.

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The only time I dislike gimmicks is if the gimmick results in incompetency at your job. I think everyone should play a character that gives them leeway to be both serious or goofy, depending on if the situation calls for it. A long as you can do that on a character, I say go right ahead.

I also think in some situations a bit of comdomness can be a good thing.  Recently the 'Space Ball!' round was one of the most fun rounds in recent memory, and it all started because the Captain decided to outlaw baseball bats.  And I don't know how it shaked out exactly since I wasn't there, but a giant bar brawl where everyone gets arrested actually sounds awesome if the round was on the slow side.

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