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Mind-shielding Command Staff


Biolock
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I'd like to suggest that all command staff be mindshielded. As it stands they have too much control over the station by default, and too much power entrusted into them to be allowed to be antagonists. I understand this is a pretty touchy topic, but each department head has too many innate abilities to not be mind-shielded. Characters such as the Internal Affairs Agent and NT Rep are mind shielded for fluff reasons in that it wouldn't make any sense for them to be antags when they're trusted by NanoTrasen, yet the staff selected to lead the state-of-the-art research vessel are not.

 

Edited by Biolock
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No doubt, but it doesn't make a ton of sense. There are plenty of fun things on this server that aren't allowed because they either don't make sense or they're too overpowered in an imbalanced way; command staff traitors are in both those categories.

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Mindshield implants are not loyalty implants.

 

Simply giving the RD,HoP,CMO etc a mindsheild does not prevent them from being disloyal, corrupt or flat out traitors.

In the end all this does is make it more difficult for to be mindslaved by a syndicate or culted, or thralled.

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Sorry you'll have to excuse my ignorance since roles that start with mindshields are synonymous with also not being antag roles. What I am suggesting is they become non-antag roles (except for blob, like all the others).

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5 hours ago, Biolock said:

I'd like to suggest that all command staff be mindshielded. As it stands they have too much control over the station by default, and too much power entrusted into them to be allowed to be antagonists. I understand this is a pretty touchy topic, but each department head has too many innate abilities to not be mind-shielded. Characters such as the Internal Affairs Agent and NT Rep are mind shielded for fluff reasons in that it wouldn't make any sense for them to be antags when they're trusted by NanoTrasen, yet the staff selected to lead the state-of-the-art research vessel are not.

 

This would make fewer people willing to play command roles, which is a problem because we already frequently have shifts where command jobs go unfilled.

It would also negatively impact other station jobs, like IAA/NTR, who would have less problems to uncover (ie: less of a job to do).

It would also negatively impact the antags themselves, since if everyone trusts heads for OOC reasons... you'd probably end up seeing the heads get armed every shift, and function as de-facto security within their departments.

All of this seems like a formula for a less fun game.

Yes, head jobs are powerful, both as antags, and normally. That's one of the benefits they get for taking on the stress of management responsibilities.

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Always felt that RD felt especially powerful as a traitor, since they could just MacGyver a pretty potent arsenal in Science, without even needing the traitor items and thus being off the hook for quite some time. HoP is not as good traitor candidate as you might think, since if they aren't keeping their post, they are immidiately suspicious and CMO is a slightly better than regular Medbay Traitor.

To be honest, as much as I understand Kyet's stance on the matter, I think that RD is still the most annoying head to deal with, when they are a traitor, but that I think comes with the issues of how science works currently for traitors.  

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Traitor RD aren't that much worse than traitor scientists, both have full access to the RnD powergame setup. Sure, by default they can't make mechs but they can easily make the machines for it

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Kyet I certainly see your point, however the way your server is run, antags are selected before roles, so if someone who usually plays RD is selected for antag, they would take their next priority role to play as an antag (maybe a scientist if they have it set to medium): I’m sure you know all of that already, but I highlight that to other people to explain why it would not deteriorate people’s willingness to play command staff.  
 

In addition, as someone who primarily plays command staff and the blueshield, Internal Affairs and NTR rarely deal with antags in their fluff/NT role. When they’re reprimanding heads of staff it is usually because a breach of corporate regulations or negligence. No antag cares about listening to the corporate lackies, especially not the CE who just set the tesla loose or the RD on the run with reactive teleport armor. 
 

Finally to address the “de-facto security” concern. I don’t think you’re giving the people who play command on your server enough credit. I think you’re absolutely right that some cucks would probably try that, but for the most part (especially the regulars who play RD, CE, HoP, and CMO) they prefer to play their role how it was intended. If they wanted to be the HoS or security in general then they would have signed up for the role. Even the captains in most games I’ve experienced do not try and be a part of the security department anymore than a captain should be. For a server with very loosely defined standards, I think the command staff do a remarkable job of not power-gaming their roles.

 

 

However even as I write this, I am not certain my suggestion is the right decision, but I definitely believe it to be worth the discussion.

Edited by Biolock
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Personally, I think we should keep the number of players that are known to not be antags as small as possible. The entire game thrives on paranoia and knowing everyone could be a syndie. Having even more people be for sure not antags would go in the opposite direction. Personally, I think IAAs and brig docs should lose their mindshields.

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12 hours ago, Kyet said:

It would also negatively impact other station jobs, like IAA/NTR, who would have less problems to uncover (ie: less of a job to do).

 

7 hours ago, Biolock said:

In addition, as someone who primarily plays command staff and the blueshield, Internal Affairs and NTR rarely deal with antags in their fluff/NT role. When they’re reprimanding heads of staff it is usually because a breach of corporate regulations or negligence. No antag cares about listening to the corporate lackies, especially not the CE who just set the tesla loose or the RD on the run with reactive teleport armor. 

I agree with Biolock's statement here, I don't see IAA and NTR dealing with the traitors too often, usually they are used as the pre-admin instance of dealing with incompetence at behalf of players. Which is fine, sometimes I think more things should be solved with RP. That being said, Paradise have pretty short rounds for what's actually required from IAA and NTR to deal with an issue by strictly following SoP, forwarding it to "Central" (and you guys are pretty busy with overlooking the round anyway) so they hardly have time to deal with traitors.

And again, I agree that decreasing the amount of people that could be traitors decreases that paranoia, but on the other hand me and a friend of mine have a joke that when round ends we usually say "let's see how many scientists were traitors" and honestly, usually it's at least one.

So yeah, paranoia is all good and fine, but seeing how certain roles really benefits traitoring (and give access to the tools far better than you can get from your PDA) makes things... predictable from OOC perspective. From IC perspective I cannot do nothing about Scientist/RD walking around the station in the beginning on the shift. He's just walking. But as a player who has spent some time on the Station, I know that he's probably preparing to blow something out.

And I know that the topic isn't really about Science (which is the whole other animal, that I feel should be adressed and in the end ends up with a lot of micro management, but at the end of the day I think the issue that Biolock has brought has a lot to do with the fact that Admins and the Server Crew have certain vision of how roles are designed to work, which sometimes is not how the playerbase sees or feels it. Happens in bigger games with million dollar budgets, but should be addresed.

But it's not like this is a single issue, feels like a network of some really intricate smaller elements that are really hard to maneuver around.

I hope I made sense with this post. ^^" 

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I would be against it, really.

Antags exist purely to get action and danger on the round.

More a traitor is dangerous and prepared, more it is exciting for the whole round.

When i play security, i would rather hope to be against one syndicates overpowered with tons of advantage and weapons and give an actual challenge to security than a syndicates who got caught with a esword, got stun, processed and there, it's done.

I agree that some meta are quite obvious to see on players and make them predictable. But if we start tweaking and nerfing antags more and more, syndicates round will just end up being extended rounds really.
Yes i'm kind of overlooking since we're only speaking about mindshield here, but my point stay the same.

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17 hours ago, Eler00 said:

Personally, I think we should keep the number of players that are known to not be antags as small as possible. The entire game thrives on paranoia and knowing everyone could be a syndie. Having even more people be for sure not antags would go in the opposite direction. Personally, I think IAAs and brig docs should lose their mindshields.

Oh that'd be interesting. No more meta trusting whole heartedly on the brig doc to give you implants and what not now you have to wonder if the doc is gonna remove your mindshield and give you the mindslave implant when going under. And the IAAs could make things very problematic for sec.

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In general I dont see many problems with command antag, they are powerful yes but is pretty fun to deal with them most of the times.

Being command without the possibility to be antag would make the roles twice as boring, so why even playing them when you can play the lesser roles that can do the same and are available for antagging.

 

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I was talking about this before when it even came to mindshielding heads even midround during a cult round, and even then I refused it on principle as I find it very anti-antag and somewhat powergamey.

As for roundstart mindshields? They're an awful idea, I personally think. Leaving as much paranoia as possible is so important, and sometimes it's good to have "powerful" antags in the head positions that can sometimes help out others or otherwise cause shenanigans; it's what the server is about. Removing their ability to be any kind of antag- besides blob yeah- would kill the fun for a lot of people.

It's somewhat unpopular, but I'm very proantag. When I'm AI if I see something early on that is clearly an antag but it doesn't break my laws or any ooc rules? I don't call it out. I have no interest in calling the new cult out early because I spied someone accidentally dropping their talisman 3 minutes into the round, and I'm happy to play ignorant within the boundaries to follow whatever path makes the round most fun even if it ends up meaning I momentarily forgetting all OOC knowledge to fall into a trap that IC I wouldn't know, but OOCly I've been aware of for an hour. Everybody is a player and if you validhunt it's boring, uninspired and honestly I would even consider less of a player than those who are willing to go along with things and have fun even if it doesn't mean you win in the end.

While that was a little off the topic, it still has a related sentiment- the potential chaos that a department head can cause shouldn't make you want to remove them as antags, it should make you want to encourage them to antag their little heart out. It's about the destination rather than the journey and if we stopped going for so much blood I think that how it is now wouldn't be seen nearly as negatively.

Edited by E.I.G.H.T.
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I think that a large argument stems from the fact that people wouldn’t want to play heads as often if they thought they were sacrificing their chances to be an antag, but that’s simply not the case, antags are selected before jobs are selected, so if you’re selected to be an antag, it just wouldn’t make you the RD/Ce/etc.

 

When I made this suggestion it was less about the in-game power of command traitors, and more about the roleplay aspect of it. Command traitors make zero sense, they’ve probably been with the company for a decade, and they were vetted and trusted enough to be made head of a department on a state of the art research vessel. At the VERY least, command traitors should be given the absolute hardest objectives; they’ve no doubt been a sleeper agent for 10 years and are now blowing their cover to assassinate bald assistant #249

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2 hours ago, Biolock said:

I think that a large argument stems from the fact that people wouldn’t want to play heads as often if they thought they were sacrificing their chances to be an antag, but that’s simply not the case, antags are selected before jobs are selected, so if you’re selected to be an antag, it just wouldn’t make you the RD/Ce/etc.

If you are mindshielded, and caught by cult/shadowlings/etc, you are more likely to be killed, than converted to their side, because its harder for them to convert you.

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11 minutes ago, Kyet said:

If you are mindshielded, and caught by cult/shadowlings/etc, you are more likely to be killed, than converted to their side, because its harder for them to convert you.

As far as I know slings ignore mindshields

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3 hours ago, Kyet said:

If you are mindshielded, and caught by cult/shadowlings/etc, you are more likely to be killed, than converted to their side, because its harder for them to convert you.

That is true, however I don't think all that many people would care that they are not going to be converted into a cultist. Maybe I am speaking for the masses, but I don't believe that would factor into many people's decisions to play command. 

 

Mindshielding doesn't really effect shadowling conversions, and the final crew-wide round, Revolution, is arguably most fun for the command staff because they're being manhunted and it's fun to try and hide/stay alive.

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One of the biggest issues here is that if command are immune to being antags, then the knowledge of that affects how they're treated, and suddenly there's no problem with the RD being armed to the teeth or the CE having a super flamethrower. Part of the fun of SS13 is the mistrust and paranoia, and having all of command be immune to that takes away from the game.

 

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On 3/14/2020 at 12:37 AM, necaladun said:

One of the biggest issues here is that if command are immune to being antags, then the knowledge of that affects how they're treated, and suddenly there's no problem with the RD being armed to the teeth or the CE having a super flamethrower. Part of the fun of SS13 is the mistrust and paranoia, and having all of command be immune to that takes away from the game.

 

That comment has been made before already, and I TOTALLY understand the concern and it's completely valid. However I do not think that you would see the CE and RD becoming akin to robo cops or anything of the sort, they elected to be in a department other than security after all.

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When i've been killed as vampire by a RD with meth, full combat implant, a Sniper and a phazon ready for him

I doubt it.

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I think an optional mindshield at some point in the round, which technically exists, would be fine, but whats the point to not have command antag for the big objectives. Everytime I get antag as CE, its like kill the HOS and Captain, and when both sit on top of each other it actually takes command level power to achieve if you arent super robust. Your antag objectives do get harder with role, as engineer it was usually like steal something or ensure someone didnt get off the station, but as CE its always something ridiculous. So having command level power is practically needed.

On the subject of these being long time employee's, sure they can be loyal to NT up till the week before, when their entire family is abducted and held hostage. I dont like to be truly bad, so I RP that when I am an antag CE, if I ever get caught (never happened though, but have had a fellow tator engi RP being blackmailed, and the cap gave him his objective for syndicate information), my reasoning for it is blackmail from Syndicate.

And yeah, most RD, HOS, and CE become monster late game if they are somewhat versed in their role. HOS gets every implant known to man, has a ridiculous array of weapons and mechs. RD literally can make anything and no one will bat an eye. CE can go anywhere really and with proper thought, can even be more successful at stealing/subverting the AI than anyone else without anyone questioning imo. And dont get me started on the stuff you can do with atmos if you are competent with that stuff. Hell even CMO can get access to chems and virus's that make the others heads weapons/powers useless, as you malpractice said head and blame it on a number of problems, while getting said items or assassination target eliminated. Being a head and traitor is such a fun thing to play into, and I stopped playing antag quite a few weeks back, because killing people sucks. I enjoy when a head is tator, it makes the rounds more fun than just terror spiders/xeno/blob being the only truly threatening mid-late game tier threats. And if they all were antag proof, then it would take a lot of skill to even kill one of them, let alone two if you are that unlucky person. Just look at the HOS, he so rarely dies to anything that isnt a mid round antag, and trust me the tators try really hard sometimes.

I do agree though, Brig Phys doesnt make much sense to be antag proof with a mindshield, but at the same time they are sec, and no security role can be tator. However, if Brig Phys got antag potential, NO one would help them in security, and they would always be hassled. Well more than normal ;)!

(Yes I am aware that HOS cant be tator on round start, just using him to demonstrate how strong heads can be when antag proof)

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