this is far more discussion post than suggestion, but I make suggestions, so it's in suggestions, treat it as both types of posts. (it was also originally a stealth antag rant, but it evolved as I typed)
First Issue: Information Game
Ok, so do you every wonder why every antag and their moms go loud? It's actually pretty easy to answer, being a stealth antag is almost impossible.
The main culprit is suit sensors, if you so much as touch someone with maxed suit sensors, medical will pretty much instantly know and start asking questions. This in itself isn't bad, but the fact they also have access to the exact coordinate position of the person in trouble is a HUGE disadvantage for an antagonist trying to kill/kidnap and so on without being detected. There are currently three counters to this that I know of:
1. Radio Jammers will block suit sensors in their radius, their disadvantage is that they deafen you as well, so you have no idea if back up is on the way. The improvised variation of the jammer only works for a few seconds as well.
2. Cutting Telecommunications, if you cut off telecomms or the NT Net, sensors shut off. The downside to this strategy is that it's hard to do remotely and can take quite a bit of prep work. Not to mention, Engineers will make it their number one priority to fix if there's nothing wrong with the Engine.
3. Stunlock. Just stunlock your foe, don't give them a chance to call for help, restrain them, then cut their sensors. The disadvantage here is that you have to rely on them not RNG'ing out of your grab when the stun wears down. Additionally, stunlocks only works with certain antag abilities, or chemical solutions.
What this usually results in is that antagonists, usually played by new or mid-range experienced players are unsure how to get around the sensors issue outside of brute forcing it and hope you can get their sensors cut off before medical notices. Medical usually has atleast one or two people with their eyes glued to sensors, so it's a very lucky day for the antags if they're not caught instantly. Medical will ask on common, security will catch wind of it and instantly start running over. You usually have about 30 seconds to a minute to react to being caught before 3-4 Officers are ontop of you. That's not including the Investigators or Warden that will sweep the entire department camera network within ten seconds before the Officers reach the first door though.
So, what's the ultimate problem here? Security and Medical are two of the most popular departments on the station, and are the two directly responsible for countering the Antagonist's actions. A fully stocked Security Team (4 Officer, 2 Cadet, 2 Investigator, Warden, HoS) is already a Ten versus One. Add Medical's support behind Security's numbers advantage and most antags won't stand a chance. The amount of information the crew has access to at any given moment can usually counter an antagonists movement rather quickly. Proposed Solutions for the Above Problems?
1. Remove Tracking Beacons as a Suit Sensor Option. Knowing someone is getting hurt is fine, useful, but won't instantly reveal an antagonist. As for Miners, Engineers, and others that go EVA often and need to be tracked down on the asteroid, they already spawn with GPS Equipment in their lockers. They'll just take those instead and be fine. If someone gets hurt, not due to an antagonist's actions, nothing stops them from calling out on the radio for help.
2. Have the Uplink Radio Jammer (read: not the improv one) disable camera coverage in their radius. Just temporarily depower the camera, without triggering the alarm.
3. Add an Encryption Key that grants immunity to radio jammers. Not sure about this one, but you would have to give up your department radio key for it work, or wear two headsets.
Second issue: Getting Spotted
As it stands, when you get spotted as an Antagonist doing your antagonist business, you have two options.
1.) Kill whoever spotted you, fast.
2.) Threaten whoever spotted you, hope you put the fear of God in them.
Option 1 isn't great in some cases, because killing someone is a pretty noisy affair, and people tend to run when attacked. In the case of Unathi and M'sai, you just can't catch them. Not to mention, people tend to salt about getting killed because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, varies from person to person though.
Option 2 is usually worse than 1 because most characters will instantly march to Security and rat you at the moment you are out of sight. There are a few excellent RPers who will go through the trouble of being scared into silence, but most will tell Security.
While discussing the issue in OOC, I proposed adding a new item to the uplink, an Amnesic Pen, that forces someone to forget the events of the last few minutes. Similar to the Vampire Bite effect, but this was met with resistance by a few players, stating that they'd rather just get killed. There's obviously no pleasing everyone, but if you don't try staff will start looking at your antag play with suspicion.
So, outside of the Amnesic Pen, I have no real solutions for this one, so it's open for suggestions from the people reading this.
Third Issue: Forensics
this one is less issue/problem/unwinnable and just PSA.
1. Use Cham Clothing, Infiltration Gloves, or Wet Rags to avoid Forensics figuring anything out. You can wipe down doors, items, almost anything and remove the forensics evidence. Downside is, it takes time.
2. blowing up the Forensics lab also works.
please post any other observable issues with antagonist play, from crew or antag perspective. I intend to take what's deemed useful and good from the thread to a dev and hit them over the head with it.