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1st Survey Results Discussion


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Per the announcement, this thread here is your chance to post your thoughts/feedback/commentary on the results of our first survey.

Please try to be concise, and stay on topic.

This thread will run for one week, before I look to distill an action plan from the comments made.

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"In general there are issues with nobody obeying command staff."

 It feels bad demoting/punishing someone unless they are straight up griefing, if  someone resist demotion then security will be busy with real antags and not him, the addition of "demote" status for security was a great thing though.

 

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Sec is both most and least fun

Having someone spam the general radio channel from their cell because they decided to break the law feels bad, the whole "scream "shitcurity" everytime security does anything" gets old and repetitive (and im sure it doesn't make the RP level any higher) also constant breaking out of cuffs is annoying and distracting, so i'd increase the cooldown between attempts since it  also hinders the amount of focus you can put into searching your suspect for contraband and it generally takes more time to process prisoners meanwhile real antags are on rampage, while this might not bother older players im sure the new ones would appreciate it.

 

 

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Security players often feel like admins are breathing down their necks.

I don't agree with this since security must be held to high standard but the rules on what you can and can't do are clear so as long as you learn SoP and Space Law, apply some thought and logic to your action then you will be fine and since there is no place to learn security i am even bigger fan of the "Junior officer" idea (however i didn't give much thought to the cons of this job)

 

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Players have different expectations regarding answers to mhelps. Some want an answer quickly and in detail, others are satisfied with a link to a wiki page a few mins later.

Yeah I don't know if it would be possible for coders to add an option for players to "check" while sending a mhelp regarding what kind of answer they want, simple, easy and one that does not stray too far away from the question itself or a more complex one but it's not a very big deal since they can ask for any clarifications.

 

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One thing I think I mentioned once or twice in the meeting is the concerning amount of 'singleplayerized' roles. There are roles where you are pretty much shut off from the station and have your own mechanics to play with(genetics, xenobio, viro, etc.), and those where your average interactions are so short that you might as well be interacting with NPCs(chef and R&D come to mind.) At some point in the past, something thought these features would be a cool idea without considering the fact that this is a multiplayer roleplaying game. You can have all the features in the world, but if they fail to mesh with the core essence of the game, it's just going to be unnecessary bloat.

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PRs can be left in limbo if a maint dislikes them, until the author eventually gets so discouraged they just give up in frustration.

Why is this? What can we do to prevent this?

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Lack of consulting the community with regards to planned changes, even when community objects no compromise seems to be made, if even one maint dislikes something it won’t be merged, even if the community loves it

This seems to be a pretty common thing. As an example, most of the server would agree that X-Ray Guns are too strong, but nothing is being done about them despite it being a weapon that can delete antags even when they are seemingly unstoppable. Paraphrasing Skyping here but he said that despite the community wanting something to be done about X-rays, it would take more time to convince him it needs changing. Why is this? The community at large agrees they are dumb. That's just one example, I am sure others and myself can find more. Why are we not listening to the community more? This is an open-source game and some of the players trying to offer changes have more hours logged in a week or month then all of the maintainers combined. 

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We’re massively behind other servers like TG in terms of features. E.g. map rotation, “old” cult.

Do you agree? Do you have plans to reach a parity with TG in-terms of features? TG is much smaller in comparison to Paradise. In comparison, TG servers are fragmented and have less than a 1/4 of the population we have more often than not. What are servers similar to TG in git-hub structure doing that we can emulate to help us improve?

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PRs can be left in limbo if a maint dislikes them, until the author eventually gets so discouraged they just give up in frustration 

Do you agree? I probably would. A good example is the Mech Painting PR. Putting aside all issues it might have had in coding grade, the feature was relatively fool-proof. Space-pods are paintable, why not mechs? One of the reasons given for not passing it was that people "Colored the mechs hot-pink for the two TMs." This is silly, and should have easily been identified as a case of players playing around with a fun new feature that was added, and should have been taken as good sign for the PR, not a reason for it to be turned down. Some PRs do not get any constructive feedback at all. People will not contribute to our server if they feel it is pointless. 

 

and finally

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Letting certain specific admins get away with too much. 

You didn't touch much on the response to admins, but it really should not have to be said that there is an issue when players have practically outlined a collection of issues with certain admins, without anything being done about it on the surface. As a new player, who started playing 4 months ago, I have come to agree with the community regarding certain admins behavior only within at least a month of playing actively. It's only really two names that are practically a meme in regards to behavior at this point, and its a damn shame, because I think its inaction like this that is preventing the admins from collectively agreeing on how rules should be applied. If anyone doesn't see what I mean, just go to the Decline and Accepted Ban Appeals page on the forum, the same names always show up, while some admins despite being active never show up. 

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>Adding new mechanics for service jobs (clown can make balloon animals, librarian can curate books or have a book that boosts them, bartender can use alcohol to stay awake / nullify pain, chef can sell items in a vendor though that does eliminate food poisoning as a thing, etc)

When it comes to bartender, TG could be something to work off of. They have it so (according to their wiki) drinks have an actual effect other than "lol xd your drunk now." Pain resist from alcohol might be interesting. Being able to drink more than a beer or two without being hammered might help too. The effects of TG's drinks also differ from whose drinking it, for example one (Changeling Sting) restores chemicals for changeling. Another (Quadruple Sec) heals security for 1 tick across all parts. 

If we have a system even half as expansive as TG's drink system goes, bartender would be thrice the fun. Or at least, see a lot more visitors.

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Mechs. Mechs are immune to many things (atmos, chems, disablers, tasers, etc) can punch through walls, self-repair, self-recharge from APCs, pack a huge variety of (normally lockboxed) weapons, and are perhaps the strongest weapon accessible to the crew. They even get ballistic shotguns.

Lots of concerns already listed in the notes regarding this, but I feel it should be said: if antags had some sort way to fight back against mechs it wouldn't be so harsh on them. As of now, the only possible way a known antag being hunted by one can fight back is if A) they are in science and print ion guns (they'll need a lot) or B) steal a mech of their own somehow. But for the vast majority, the only option is hiding/running which slows down round momentum and limits interactions.

We shouldn't encourage antags to get everything done before the hour mark, else face the big scary mechs/implants/aegs. Objective rushing into hiding is the last thing we want to see become the norm. 

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Security players often feel like admins are breathing down their necks.

This is how I felt going into security based on a few ill conceived views. After maining it for a while, it is most assuredly not the case. Security has a lot of leeway and room to work with, and when admins do ask questions it is usually just that—questions. Asking about whats happened so they can accurately respond to a ahelp. 

I feel most people who think the above quote likely haven't played security all that much. Or, if they have, are one of those players that like to be more violent/abusive than they should be.

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Traitors are actually remarkably balanced for how complex they are, but borers could stand to be adjusted somewhat. Their low power ranking may reflect the fact they have very little effect on the round - compared to what you’d expect for a mind-controlling alien brain slug.

I feel that's because of borer's OOC rulings. They aren't even really an antag. Just a pAI with extra benefits that prevents an actual interesting midround event from taking its place. Its somewhat deceitful to act like they are even remotely in the same category as the rest of the antags, being that "Survive" could barely be called a antagonistic objective.

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Revs have no interaction with crew. No RP potential. Just collecting bodies like a glorified janitor. Give them the ability to possess dead bodies for both interacting with crew. If you replace Revenant EMP with “possess corpse” then you solve two problems at once.

The potential here is amazing, definitely an idea that piques my interest as revenant has been a glorified "IPC killer" for a while now.

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18 minutes ago, Englishformula said:

This seems to be a pretty common thing. As an example, most of the server would agree that X-Ray Guns are too strong, but nothing is being done about them despite it being a weapon that can delete antags even when they are seemingly unstoppable. Paraphrasing Skyping here but he said that despite the community wanting something to be done about X-rays, it would take more time to convince him it needs changing. Why is this? The community at large agrees they are dumb. That's just one example, I am sure others and myself can find more. Why are we not listening to the community more? This is an open-source game and some of the players trying to offer changes have more hours logged in a week or month then all of the maintainers combined. 

X-ray guns were nerfed, though. It was a bit ago but I believe they got across the band nerfs to damage, charge and range. They are already only effective against blobs and require high tech levels and lots of materials. Big Blobs are very strong, often warranting an ert or even more to stop. They can feel very unfair when ten of them annihilate a fresh blob just starting out, but I believe that is more an issue caused by 1) station being too small for our pop so blobs get found instantly and 2) miners getting back far too many minerals so the cost is not a real bottleneck.

More generally, an often quoted phrase among game devs is: "Players are good at finding problems and bad at offering solutions." In that vein, I think knowing what players are upset over and general sentiments is definitely a plus (with say more surveys like this one). However, I don't think we want anything like a direct player vote on PRs, that would lead to lots of reactive and reactionary code changes, nerfs and buffs.

10 minutes ago, Rurik said:

I feel that's because of borer's OOC rulings. They aren't even really an antag. Just a pAI with extra benefits that prevents an actual interesting midround event from taking its place. Its somewhat deceitful to act like they are even remotely in the same category as the rest of the antags, being that "Survive" could barely be called a antagonistic objective.

Big agree. They effectively have no objective and thus can't take any hostile antag action. Their choices are being nice and cooperative and getting to breed or being a dick for no reason, getting killed with sugar, perhaps even risking a bwoink for destructive actions for no real reason or connection to their objective. IMO, borers need actual, random objectives. Sure, that borer you just got could have a harmless objective, or he could have a kill objective nad is planning to use you to do it. That would make them much more interesting to play as and against.

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Skrell is thought unpopular as their only unique ability is thought to be laying down in pools - but allegedly humans can also do this

One big thing I wish for them is a buff to their headpocket. Dropping whatever's in it each time you get slipped or otherwise stunned just makes it useless. Sometimes I put a pen or other object in it, but I almost always lose it to a random slip at some point without even noticing or remembering. if it could actually be trusted to hold its item, you might actually use it for something useful like holding an ID. Of course, if we had more functional water, their waterbreathing would also matter more. or maybe a stat boost while in water?

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General lore comments

I brought this up before right after the initial survey results were published, but I'll repeat it here: I think the main reason nobody is working on lore is there's the general perception that the staff doesn't care about lore and that there is no defined way for actually changing or adding to it. I encountered this myself when I wanted to make a very minor lore addition as part of a small cleanup of a wiki page.

Everyone can edit the wiki, but it's generally understood that's to provide factual information, not invent new stuff wholecloth. The idea of a git style system for lore is interesting, but probably too much. However, how about this: Create a new subforum (or discord channel). In that channel (or forum), people can link to their wiki edit drafts (on their user page), to propose it be added. For eaxmple, let's say I want to add to the Syndicate page to add a new faction focused on biological warfare. I would make a copy of the Syndicate page with my desired edits on my userpage, link it in the forum (or discord channel) for approval or feedback. Staff can then copy the changes over if they think it's good, or make suggestions for how it could be improved.

I also propose we put a specific staff member (or small team) in charge of this approval process to not pile up even more work on the headmins (especially Kyet)

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2 hours ago, Eler00 said:

The idea of a git style system for lore is interesting, but probably too much. However, how about this: Create a new subforum (or discord channel). In that channel (or forum), people can link to their wiki edit drafts (on their user page), to propose it be added. For eaxmple, let's say I want to add to the Syndicate page to add a new faction focused on biological warfare. I would make a copy of the Syndicate page with my desired edits on my userpage, link it in the forum (or discord channel) for approval or feedback. Staff can then copy the changes over if they think it's good, or make suggestions for how it could be improved.

My suggestion for lore would be to take a similar route of the SCP Wiki (http://scp-wiki.wikidot.com/) in terms of how to write the lore in a community-driven way. The articles could be posted and written by anyone and require some sort of Lore-Team greenlight and then have it be up or down voted by the community to determine if it stays or not. This would help attempt to make the lore a more grassroots endeavor that aligns with the same ideals we have with the GitHub for the actual code.

Would this require more work than is probably NEEDED? Sure. But I feel that there's likely enough interest to at least get a core "lore" written down and applied for the server if we do wish to move to SLIGHTLY higher than low-med RP (which is where I feel Para sits at the moment)

Edited by MattTheFicus
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Great job on the writeup and thank you for your dedication.

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Constant emergencies and all-crew-v-the-antags situations (lateround event antags, game modes like wizards/shadowlings, etc) which throw all RP out the window (unlike say, traitors, which still allow for RP)

Agree. Certain events actively detract and oppose roleplaying. There is no RP interaction with wizards or Nukies. It's just fighting.

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One suggestion made in voice was replacing “kill” objectives with maroon objectives, as there are many more ways to complete those (like bribing the guy to avoid the shuttle).

This is completely out of left field and would most likely be impossible to greentext but what about an "Interrogate goal"? Something along the lines of: Find out the name of (Player characters) first pet/Moms maiden name/grandfathers favorite whiskey/others. Since it would be impossible to gain the information without actually talking with the target, it would force RP. Also, the victim would make up the information.

Lorewise you could say that the Target character has been left something important and the syndicate needs to aquire it, thats why they need specific password information from that target.

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Other potentially interesting antag objectives included “steal X amount of IDs” or “steal X amount of stamps” or “steal X levels of R&D data”. Or simply “steal X money”. Stuff that gives you flexibility about how you achieve it.

Also a great suggestion. Non violent goals, even though they can be executed violently, are great.

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More generally, player consensus is that antags are scary to play. Many players refuse to play them until they have hundreds of hours on Paradise. Maybe we need some ways to make them less scary? For example:

I would love to play more antags, but not as my characters. I mostly play good guys and couldn't justify them being antags. However, if I could get the option to get a random name  or even better, a specific character, if I became an antag, then I would have it enabled all the time. Furthermore, giving you some anonomity as a possible antag could stop the "X-player is always antag" memes going around, since if that person is an antag, their name would be changed. Also, making someone anonymous significantly lessens the feeling of being "judged" that people seem to have when playing antags.

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RP levels vary enormously between admins. Some will have detailed char backstories and be serious, others will literally spawn pokemon.

While I think the Admins are doing a good job in general, when they play make public announcemnts as CentCom, they come of as extremely unprofessional, especially when compared to the rigorous standard set to faxes that should be sent to Centcom. Often they make huge announcements, calling out mistakes of employees THEY THEMSELVES hired in front of the whole station. From a huge corporation with so much focus on being professional, they don't really apply those standards to themselves most of the time. I think getting bwoiked would be a much more pleasant way to be alerted of mistakes you're making instead of being called out in front of the whole station.

If there is such a situation that needs to be resolved IC, I know most IAA agents would foam at the mouth to get a fax from Centcom where they are tasked with dealing with a serious breach of SOP.

Edited by Maxfromsweden
Thought of something more to add.
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Regarding RP and antagonists, there are a few problems I've had:

Firstly: As an antag, I feel like my options for RP are very limited. If I take any action which potentially reveals me to the crew, I basically have to rely on the fact that I'm going to have security and potentially powergamers hunting me for the rest of the round. As such, the most optimal thing to do in most circumstances is to make sure there are absolutely ZERO witnesses to whatever I need to do. This means either avoiding all RP entirely, or leaving no survivors when I have to be hostile. In return, this reinforces to the crew to treat me as a KoS threat, because essentially I'm pushed into being one. I don't really want to kill if I don't have to, but not doing so often compromises my survival chances greatly. I don't like having to choose between RP and continued participation in the round. I feel like the main solution here is actually to take a look at SOP and Space Law to make it harder for people to kill or even start hunting an antag before a certain threshold is met. More leniency in acting suspiciously without committing crimes is needed, else I will feel forced into sticking with the most optimal routes to victory, because victory and survival are essentially synonymous in many cases. 

 

Secondly, this was briefly touched on with the Mech discussion, is that late in the round the crew simply has too many lethal toys to play with. Part of what pushes antags into playing without RP is the fact that if they stall, high tech weapons will start coming out and they'll have almost no chance of survival. In my early days of SS13, one of the biggest sources of enjoyment I had was the paranoia that antags could instill. Now that's gone because I know that antags are the ones who should be terrified of psychotic crew members with high tech guns and nearly indestructible mechs, who will hunt them down using their X-ray implants. It's simply too easy for crew to steamroll the 'normal' threats to a station in the lategame, so all antags who want to live do their best to finish up before lategame comes.Aside from science I've also had multiple rounds where I've seen mining, having had time to loot lavaland and get bored with it, come onto the station, stumble on an antag, and steamroll them into oblivion with weapons security can only drool over.

 

Last thing I want to bring up, is that despite about 600 hours of crew play time, I'm still fundamentally unsure about how straight-laced the admins want players to be. I still see people arguing over how literally to take Crewsimov. Sometimes it seems like AI overriding door timings is just common sense and other times it's powergaming. Sometimes Sec is just throwing people in cells as they see crimes, other times there's a lengthy investigation. Sometimes the admins are meme'ing the heads, sometimes they're bwoinking the heads for meme'ing themselves. There's just this fundamental insecurity about where lines are drawn in how a player is allowed to behave which makes me afraid to exhibit any spontaneity because it seems the only way to learn the boundaries is to get the bwoink after the fact, and it varies admin by admin. This ties in to the whole LRP-MRP-HRP discussion a bit, but it seems like there's no actual definition on what MRP means.

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I just wanted to shoot in a quick comment about karma. I think it would be useful to prevent karma from being updated DURING the round, and rather have it apply after the round is over/when shuttle docks. In that case, it would be possible to change your mind about karma later in the round, and give it to someone else.

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