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Where do you think the balance of cult is? Too strong/weak? In what areas? What could use changes? Discuss!

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Might add some more later, but here's some of the stuff from my list:

 

Too strong:

  • Flagellant Robes.
  • Mirror shields.
  • Wraiths vs the AI.
  • Cult ascension threshold. (Cultists usually get halos way too late)

Might need tweaking:

  • Non-sharpened cult blade damage.
  • Stun spell mute duration.
  • Cult ghosts from manifest runes.
  • Constructs (Once they've died, the player is permanently out of the round).
  • Observer participation in the round.
  • Wraits after they've killed the AI. (Nothing to do, really)
  • Soulstone shades. (Currently useless, maybe could return to the soulstone if they die)

Too weak:

  • Cultist summoning. (Very easy to counter if you're paying attention)
  • Nar'sie rune. (Can be denied with a single cleaning grenade, or space cleaner bottle)
  • Holy soulstones. (Maybe let the chaplain bless runed metal for a construct shell)
  • Blood spear. (Cool as it is, it's overshadowed by other items)
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I still personally believe cult needs a inherent leader role, someone with the ultimate say on things and preferably a separate opt-in preference for veterans to switch on. I'd even go so far to say they should have a one-use stun resist or be unable to be deconverted, helping stave off cult-stended rounds

Sadly that'd probably be too controversial. Aside from buffing a mode I've seen several call "op", it seems most of the community also prefer majority-rule in team antags, like nuke ops.

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1 hour ago, Rurik said:

I still personally believe cult needs a inherent leader role, someone with the ultimate say on things and preferably a separate opt-in preference for veterans to switch on. I'd even go so far to say they should have a one-use stun resist or be unable to be deconverted, helping stave off cult-stended rounds

Sadly that'd probably be too controversial. Aside from buffing a mode I've seen several call "op", it seems most of the community also prefer majority-rule in team antags, like nuke ops.

Agree on this, though IMO rather than being randomly assigned I think it should be something the cult chooses after the round starts

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TG has a cult leader system which could probably be ported over relatively easily.

My main worry with that is that the same few "robust" people will keep getting chosen as the leader every round, and anyone who's not as popular will just get passed over.

From what I've seen from TG, that is what happens almost every time, so it's not an unfounded concern.

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What's the issue with the robust people getting the role each time? Surely they are most fit for the role? We dont want cult leader to end up like nukie leader where they just panic half the time and dont know what to do.

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18 minutes ago, Charliminator said:

What's the issue with the robust people getting the role each time? Surely they are most fit for the role? We dont want cult leader to end up like nukie leader where they just panic half the time and dont know what to do.

Second this, leader role should be elected so that way some rando who hasn't actually played cult once in his life isn't randomly selected because he's played for a while. Would also be something someone could look forwards to, finally being knowledgeable enough to take up the role of cult leader.

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2 hours ago, SabreML said:

My main worry with that is that the same few "robust" people will keep getting chosen as the leader every round, and anyone who's not as popular will just get passed over.

A fair concern.

Is the leader elected by the cult members or is it randomly chosen among those who opt-in for leader position?

If its the latter, aka randomly chosen as with other antag roles from preferences, I don't think we'd have too much of a problem given our pop. Someone, veteran or not, should have a hard time consistently rolling cult leader with 120 people online. 

If its elected, I could see an issue where cult just elects the same pro gamer every time, which *could* be annoying. I personally wouldn't have a problem with it but I can get why some would.

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7 hours ago, SabreML said:
  • Holy soulstones. (Maybe let the chaplain bless runed metal for a construct shell)

Please no, we just removed the construct shell from the beach gateway, we don't need miners bringing ruined metal from lavaland to allow the chaplain to make construct shells

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I tend to play some sec, and my main problem with cult is the consequences of losing a fight against them. If you get fucked over by any other antag (except wizard at times) there is always a chance that someone will find you and revive. If you get caught by cultists, you get sharded never to return. While you're expected to go easy on subverted personell, they can remove your identity completely and then use you against security as a construct. While the cult can simply make up for losses by converting some more crew, there is no way to recover officers that got sharded. You gotta make up for the losses by either calling ERT or do manifest hiring.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Frank said:

I tend to play some sec, and my main problem with cult is the consequences of losing a fight against them. If you get fucked over by any other antag (except wizard at times) there is always a chance that someone will find you and revive. If you get caught by cultists, you get sharded never to return. While you're expected to go easy on subverted personell, they can remove your identity completely and then use you against security as a construct. While the cult can simply make up for losses by converting some more crew, there is no way to recover officers that got sharded. You gotta make up for the losses by either calling ERT or do manifest hiring.

Yes. This is something that makes the cult particularly threatening in a way that other antag types aren't at present. Overall I suppose the game mode isn't awful, but the major problem is that the cult has a way of permanently removing players from that round's security. As HoS I've tried making up for the losses by demanding that deconverted cultists join security—particularly the more belligerent or violent cultists, or cultists directly responsible for soul-sharding—but this rarely works. I think the problem is that people are IC/OOC obliged to support the cult when they've been sharded or converted, but when you ask them to make up for any of the damage they inflicted after being deculted they're allowed to just fold their arms and do nothing.

 

On 6/2/2021 at 2:19 PM, SabreML said:

Might add some more later, but here's some of the stuff from my list:

 

Too strong:

  • Flagellant Robes.
  • Mirror shields.
  • Wraiths vs the AI.
  • Cult ascension threshold. (Cultists usually get halos way too late)

Might need tweaking:

  • Non-sharpened cult blade damage.
  • Stun spell mute duration.
  • Cult ghosts from manifest runes.
  • Constructs (Once they've died, the player is permanently out of the round).
  • Observer participation in the round.
  • Wraits after they've killed the AI. (Nothing to do, really)
  • Soulstone shades. (Currently useless, maybe could return to the soulstone if they die)

Too weak:

  • Cultist summoning. (Very easy to counter if you're paying attention)
  • Nar'sie rune. (Can be denied with a single cleaning grenade, or space cleaner bottle)
  • Holy soulstones. (Maybe let the chaplain bless runed metal for a construct shell)
  • Blood spear. (Cool as it is, it's overshadowed by other items)

With regards to Flagellant Robes, this will be a very controversial suggestion with impacts outside of the cult, but I'd propose that pulling or dragging a person should limit their maximum movement speed to default running. This would apply to speed-boosts from Flagellant Robes, and from chemistry or adrenals. There have previous proposals to force people to walking speed while pulling (which were shot down because nobody likes walking speed) but I think limiting someone's maximum movement speed to default running speed while pulling another person would be a good way to let the flagellant robes (and other speed boosts that antags are so fond of) stay useful while getting rid of their worst aspects. The problem I understand with flagellant robes—and all speed boosts for antags—is that they let a cultist player pick apart much larger groups of players without any planning or any serious danger. Simply run up, stun a member of the group, and pull them away at high speed with the confidence that the rest of the players are too slow to follow. By forcing a default maximum movement speed while pulling, this means that abductions are still possible so long as the person pulling has a way to throw off pursuers (bananas, soap, lube, even just shooting a taser behind you as you run, they'll all work fine). Speed boosts will still be good for hit-and-run attacks or making speedy getaways, but a player isn't allowed to also capture and kill other characters while simultaneously escaping danger with a speed boost. 

Mirror Shield. If it actually works as-described, I don't think it's too bad. 50% block is a bit gross since it's so unpredictable, but that's the same block chance as the telescopic shield: sometimes it'll turn you into an unkillable terminator by letting you block 5 hits in a row or sometimes it'll fail to block a single hit and you'll curse yourself for bothering to carry it. Holding one is extremely obvious and, unlike other types of shields, the mirrorshield can be outright destroyed if certain weapons are used on it. RNG never feels good in a game that's already so unpredictable, but that's something about shields in general. One change I'd suggest is that the illusory copy shouldn't be usable as a meat shield. In cramped spaces the illusion can force you to break off a chase simply because it gets in the way.

For Wraiths and the AI I think this is just a matter of the players being too lazy to adapt to an emerging meta-tactic, rather than an actual case of something being too powerful to counter. I had a recent round where I suggested that the chaplain spray holy water around the AI core once a cult was discovered. The chaplain did it. At the end of the round, the AI player said that a wraith tried to jaunt in, but was forced to materialize in a bad spot due to the holywater and the core turrets promptly dunked it. To make a comparison to another meta case: it was common practice for Nuke Ops to snipe the AI, so in response it became common practice for the AI to move its core into the upload whenever Nukies were discovered. If it's common practice for the cult to rush the AI using wraiths, I think it should just become common practice for the crew to spray holywater around the AI core to protect it from wraiths when a cult is discovered. This is a problem outside of cult, too, but just not used as frequently: a single emagged maint drone can easily assassinate the AI without much of a warning. By comparison, wraiths assassinating the AI doesn't seem like a huge problem because there's a straightforward in-game method of preventing it. 

Cult Ascension Threshold. I think it's less a matter of the halo appearing too late and more a matter that the crew don't react at all. You'll get a few "Unga" players who quickly arm up and start slipping into the survival-horror mentality when the cult halos show up (which by that point, is an appropriate mindset to have). Yet most players tend to react like this, when the cult swarms their department. Simply put, nobody outside of security has all that much interest in stopping a cult. It's not so much that the pentagram halo appears too late and more that nobody cares when they do appear.

Stun spell mute duration. I'm not completely clear on how it works these days, but here's my two cents. Lone players should be very vulnerable to the cult. In fact, I think lone players should be vulnerable to most antag types as it is. What I think makes this spell feel too strong is when its paired with something like the flagellant robes and shadow shackles: in those cases it means the cultists need extremely little preparation or patience aside from having an escape route planned out.

If we really wanted to 'tweak' this, I might suggest making the full mute shorter and instead let the victim speak with cult-slurring for longer (so instead of 6 seconds of mute and 20 seconds of cult-slur, it could be 3 seconds of true mute and 23 seconds of cult slurring.) This would still give newer cultists a highly forgiving window of time to cuff+convert or cuff+remove headset+convert a target without revealing their own identity, but it'll give the victim an actual chance to alert the crew that something is up—even if they can't state their location or the name of their attacker. I think the problem is also compounded by Shadow Shackles which inflict a frankly egregious 12 seconds of mute when they're applied. If someone really wants a cult conversion to go stealthily, they should have to supplement it with on-station materials to pull it off: Such as opening with the stun spell, removing the headset first, then using a stunprod to hold them still for the cuffs, or open with the stun spell, apply perfluorodecalin to prolong the mute duration, then cuffs+headset removal. Heck, the EMP spell would also have a use here in disabling headsets if a cultist wants to make sure the victim absolutely can't get the word out. Having a process where a cultist can stun, mute, and restrain a victim with no equipment preparation (aside from an empower rune) seems a little too forgiving.

Edited by Machofish
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If we limited speed boosts when dragging flag robes would be useless for their intended function, converting. The issue with flag robes is their use in combat with security. They are clearly not designed for combat as the damage modifier suggests, however they are designed for speed conversions. Making people slower when dragging makes non lethal kidnappings much much much more difficult. In the situation you provided, the cultist would have to stun, then kill the other people they were stood with in order to convert them. Not ideal. Instead of nerfing their conversion ability, we should nerf their combat ability. 

 

I have two ideas on how to do this. 1 make the speed decay over time, being refreshed via conversion. Meaning they are less useful in combat with sec but they still remain powerful for growing a cult. Another nerf which is much easier to implement, is to prevent cult blades from being stored on flag robes. This would mean a cultist couldnt stun + have a mirror shield + have a sword as easily. Vastly reducing their lethality.

 

Another suggestion is to make them harder to obtain eg. Requiring cloth + a forge in order to transmute flag robes.

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46 minutes ago, Charliminator said:

I have two ideas on how to do this. 1 make the speed decay over time, being refreshed via conversion. Meaning they are less useful in combat with sec but they still remain powerful for growing a cult. Another nerf which is much easier to implement, is to prevent cult blades from being stored on flag robes. This would mean a cultist couldnt stun + have a mirror shield + have a sword as easily. Vastly reducing their lethality.

 

Both of these could work, particularly the former idea. After all, my only problem with flag robes is the ability to stun an officer, zip to maint and permakill faster than sec can physically respond.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Charliminator said:

If we limited speed boosts when dragging flag robes would be useless for their intended function, converting. The issue with flag robes is their use in combat with security. They are clearly not designed for combat as the damage modifier suggests, however they are designed for speed conversions. Making people slower when dragging makes non lethal kidnappings much much much more difficult. In the situation you provided, the cultist would have to stun, then kill the other people they were stood with in order to convert them. Not ideal. Instead of nerfing their conversion ability, we should nerf their combat ability. 

 

I have two ideas on how to do this. 1 make the speed decay over time, being refreshed via conversion. Meaning they are less useful in combat with sec but they still remain powerful for growing a cult. Another nerf which is much easier to implement, is to prevent cult blades from being stored on flag robes. This would mean a cultist couldnt stun + have a mirror shield + have a sword as easily. Vastly reducing their lethality.

 

Another suggestion is to make them harder to obtain eg. Requiring cloth + a forge in order to transmute flag robes.

Another possible idea, as the name implies Flagellant robes, the user should have to deal with some other negative effect than just increased damage, maybe a passive health drain that grows if you don't commit self harm of some sort? Another idea, the armor could inverse the slowdown at low health, so instead of being super slow and easy to hit, you become speed.

Edited by Leanfrog
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22 hours ago, Leanfrog said:

Another idea, the armor could inverse the slowdown at low health, so instead of being super slow and easy to hit, you become speed.

Okay, I really like this one. Would still be powerful while also being interesting, and perhaps risky to use.

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Posted (edited)

Cult is meant to be taken in nonlethally if possible but mirror shields make it so that you must use ballistics to actually take them down. Kind of weird design, that. That's my biggest issue with cult - second biggest is flag robes, but they're only really good because the shield enables them so hard.

It's not even needed, that shield. Unholy water gives you stun resistance comparable to meth (or well, closer to crank). EMP spell lets you delete taser charges. Flag robes' speed allows you to dodge

Edited by Woje
additional point about stuns
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