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Grey Telepathy


IceyTracks
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Hello! I am suggesting a change or overhaul to the current telepathy system that Greys use. This is entirely up for coders and staff to decide as to how it should be implemented, as I am by no means a coder, so I don't know what would or wouldn't work.

As it is, ignoring the trade of water for acid and lowlight vision for eye sensitivity, the Grey's biggest trait is trading 25% extra brute damage in exchange for telepathy, which is a hefty trade. And I am fine with that, as the lore of Greys being a fragile race of psionic intellects is very interesting. The problem is that the telepathy system they have is very poor, obtuse, and somewhat lazy. To my knowledge, the Grey telepathy is simply the telepathy power from genetics, which offers a fairly poor system to begin with. This power works through two commands: Project Mind and Scan Mind.

Project Mind brings up a menu of possible targets within 14 tiles of your character, allowing you to send them a single message. Fairly simple. A bit annoying to use, given the menus you have to pass through, but what's difficult about it is the lack of a pop-up when someone receives a message. I've used this power many times only to receive no acknowledgement because the person in question didn't realize they were being spoken to. The biggest problem with this system though, in my opinion, lies in Scan Mind. This ability is what allows the receiving party to respond. How this works though is by using the command and selecting a person, which offers them a command in their chat box to reply once. This command itself expires very quickly as well. And so if one wished to have a conversation through telepathy, they would have to spam this ability, both to allow someone to actually respond without being limited to only one entry and then getting stuck, and because the offers themselves might expire before they can be used. Not to mention that they might even expire before someone realizes a telepathic offer was given.

And of course, this entire system does not allow any form of group communication. It only works for one on one conversations, and incredibly poorly at that. Greys do have their own language which functions as a radio channel for their species only, but that is a separate system. The actual telepathy system, which allows for one on one conversation through psionics, is incredibly obtuse and needs a rework.

I'm unsure what fancy things could be done, such as creating chat rooms or even giving greys some other nifty tricks, but at least, I would like the following done to make the ability bearable: Give the people who are communicated to with telepathy a ping or a more obvious pop-up that they've been spoken to. And for scan mind, don't give a duration or use counter on replies. Instead, maybe just have it cancel once the person who's offered the scan mind leaves the 14 tile distance. Although there's many other neat things that could be done, I feel like those two things are the simplest solution.

And like I said at the beginning, feel free to offer any advice or suggestions on how this suggestion might be changed or altered! Thank you for reading all the way through, if you did.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The 'lazy' part of this system is to reduce coding bloat and snowflake code. We've had many variations on how it's worked, some were lazy - in that it wasn't sanitized and HTML and other code could be inputted into it, among other exploits. It's had exploits in detecting nuke ops, and been horribly exploited in various ways. The efforts gone into by the coders stopping players from abusing it are anything but lazy.


Telepathy is much easier on other telepathic races, and that's working as intended. It isn't exactly meant for full conversations, just quick spooky messages and a few other little tricks that can be done with it. Group conversation is not the intent here. We don't want clique-private chat rooms, frankly. Greys can group chat with all of their race, and even that gets rather poorly RPd at times, sadly.

I'd be ok with maybe a bit of expansion of it, but I'd like to see other cool and useful abilities as long as they aren't too snowflaked all for one race that might not even be present in a round. I am completely against any 'pop up' or annoying thing like that. Maybe a quiet, short sound. Having it cancel once someone leaves the range would mean the code would have to check where the target is every second or so too, which is quite annoying.

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Thanks for the response!

I'm sorry if I misunderstood the system and belittled the work of the coders. That's not my intention, given how much effort coders have to put in to make content with essentially no reward or incentive other than their own passion or wish to help the server.

I understand if the telepathy isn't meant to be strong, but I'm focusing on it since that seems to be the main draw of the race, especially given that they have so many cons to make up for this one trait. This also speaks to what you stated about greys being a very infrequently played race, as I feel like there's very little incentive to play the race. I do enjoy my Grey character very much, but given how weak the race is compared to others mechanically while also having only one customization option, that being eye color, I believe it has little appeal to most players and needs some help. It's fine if the focus doesn't lie in the telepathy aspect, but I do wish they would be enhanced one way or another. As for the pop-up, yeah that's actually a really bad idea thinking about it, given how ss13 pop-ups work.

In the end, I would just like Grey to feel better to play. They feel, at least to me, very neglected. My apologies if this seems like a rant on how I need a race to be super strong or something along those lines. I don't want this thread to be misconstrued for the hope of a new power gaming race or mechanic.

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