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On MMI Brains, robotic brains and runechat


Thaulos
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I'm not sure if this is the correct place to call attention to this issue, so if this is inappropriate or out of place please let me know and/or remove it entirely.

This is an issue that occurs fairly often but that affects a relatively small part of the server population, namely those who play borg a lot. I bring it up because when it happens, it can make the player feel utter helpless and without much recourse, and it's definitely not a good feeling to have.

In essence, MMI brains and robotic brains do not chat using runechat, ie: when they speak there is no text over letting other players know what they say. This isn't necessarily a big issue most of the time, since in the majority of the rounds the player will only be in this situation for a few seconds to a few minutes, while someone is actively helping you essentially get back to be able to play the game.

The issue happens when the borg gets blown up, either at the hands of an antag, accident, environment or by remote detonation. For the sake of this specific issue lets leave aside situations where the brain is just stranded in space without means of communication or of being detected any either the AI, RD or crew monitors.

When a borg blows up, it's usually messy, and it is often not just caused by the random debris of the chassis. Decompression causes ton of stuff to be on top of each other in a single tile, power lines or lamps being broken by explosions, or just bad luck in the "landing position" might cause you to be hard to spot. Add in that neither MMI brains or robotic brains how up on med huds and even the AI might have trouble locating them even with clear vision of the tile.

In a situation where the player is helpless, their only way to save themselves is their ability to ask for help. And with runechat being common place now, as players rely more and more on the overhead text instead of the right side text, it is increasingly easy to miss those few white lines of crying for help on the bottom right of the screen, specially when you are doing something else and not expecting a player to be there.

This becomes even more troubling when dealing with new players, specially if they are roboticists. I'm not dissing new players nor anyone who tries robotics without being able to 360 no scope honk mechs, but new players are often overwhelmed with the different tasks and will miss a lot of conversation while they try to figure things out, which is normal and perfectly acceptable and expected. But without runchat this becomes a lot worse, because roboticists might not even notice someone needs their attention, such a new robotic brain ghost or a MMI brain (left at the desk by someone else) while they try to figure out the step 8 of building a mech on the wiki.

This doesn't happen all the rounds, but it does happen fairly frequent. I would say I get this multiple times a week myself, and I just get the feeling that is game over for Wrench that round. I often leave the window open in case someone happens to find me but that doesn't always happen. Worse is that we are not even considered dead, so we just stuck ingame, without the ability to move, use comms or speak with runchat.

Here is the ticket I've opened a few months ago for this issue: https://github.com/ParadiseSS13/Paradise/issues/14994

PS: I understand that people volunteer their own time to fix issues and that this might not be the most urgent one, specially as it affects less people than some other bugs. I'm just afraid this issue has fallen through the cracks and most people aren't really aware of it so I figured I would bring some light back to it.

 

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