Jump to content

Combat Hardened Mechanics


Evandorf

Recommended Posts

In a nutshell, characters would have a value indicating not necessarily combat proficiency, but how hardened to combat they are.


This would affect characters in a number of ways:

  • Characters with a lowered combat hardened value (from here I'll just abbreviate to CHV) will have a chance to have adverse effects occur when certain conditions are met. Examples would include but are not limited to dropping your weapon or held item when damage is taken (in this example the drop would occur because of surprise not because of damage to the hand or arm), accidentally firing when surprised (perhaps by a drastic and rapid change in surrounding light values), vomiting or other negative reactions to seeing someone die or become severely wounded.
     
  • Characters with baseline or higher CHV would have a much lower chance of having adverse effects. Chances of adverse affects are low at baseline and decrease further the higher above baseline you are. Lingering pain or sustaining constant and repeated damage could temporarily lower the character's CHV. This effect could be ameliorated by an extended time remaining at full health, pain killers, alcohol, psychoactive drugs, or aid from the station psychiatrist.
     
  • Crew members would have an initial CHV based on race and occupation. The Head of Security would have the highest rating among regular crew followed by the Captain, then Warden, then regular officers. Cadets would have CHV only slightly higher than the rest of the crew. ERT members would have an exceedingly high CHV.
     
  • Vaurca Warriors would have the highest racial CHV followed by Unathi, Tajara, Human/IPC, with Skrell having the least. This list would obviously be open to changes but consider that we are discussing normal crew members who work on a research station, not extremes like Tup Commandos.
     
  • Most antagonist roles would either be given a high CHV to start with (for example most mercs should be fairly hardened) or a combat manual could be made available on the uplink that would allow players to tailor their stationbound traitors as they saw fit. Considerations would have to be given as to where the changeling, vampire, and other esoteric antagonists would fall.



Examples of RP Generated by this Mechanic:

  • A cult attempts to capture a security officer to perform a quick conversion. The officer cries out and help eventually arrives from the other officers. Unfortunately the captured officer was subjected to intense pain for minutes before the approaching officers forced the cultists to flee. This officer's CHV has been lowered temporarily (possibly substantially due to the mystical nature and horrific events that happen during a conversion). Unless propped up by painkillers or alcohol, this officer will be at risk of having lowered performance in combat and the player will need to adjust their actions accordingly.
     
  • Heisters infiltrate the station and corner miners and cargo technicians in cargo. Taking several hostage, they demand that cargo order weapons and other goods for their use. A baseline CHV cargo technician considers using a knife he found in the warehouse or perhaps other impromptu weapon. The heisters, sensing a reluctance to cooperate and a possible resistance take one of the crew and cut his hand off with an e-sword. Normally this would be done for intimidation effect but with this mechanic it would decrease the combat effectiveness of the crew who may be thinking of fighting the heisters. Some may even vomit or faint (the more extreme reactions would have a lower chance of actually occurring).
     
  • Revolutionaries have killed a majority of security. Two officers remain. While they have carbines and other gear, things are looking grim. One has internal bleeding and medical has been out of operation for a while now. The other is in fairly good health but has taken some damage too and running, fighting for his life for hours, has left him exhausted. The revolutionaries outnumber them now, and huddled in maintenance the first officer loses consciousness from blood loss. It's not long now. The remaining officer comforts him, in the dark, while he dies. This is the final straw. He can barely lift his weapon and his comrades are dead. He considers calling over the radio. To ask for terms of surrender but he can't swallow his pride for that. His pistol, loaded with lethal .45 rounds and so heavy he can barely lift it to his chin, glistens invitingly in the beam from his maglight.

 

Pros:

  • Will reduce validhunting by non-sec crew. Perhaps you shouldn't try to beat that Vaurca Warrior class Mercenary, decked in armor, who just killed a security officer in front of you, to death with a crowbar.
     
  • Will encourage peaceful resolutions to sustained combat. Without preparation you will not be able to fight sustained battle from one end of the station to the other. Everyone has their limits.
     
  • Other non-combat roles will also be affected. Things that may surprise or illicit a response such as the lights coming on all at once, being shocked while repairing a door, seeing the man you're operating on die before you; these could all provoke a response from your character, enabling you to roll with what happened and create additional stories for you and your co-workers. (Plus I always wanted to see a detective choke on his own cigarrette butt when suprised.)

 

Cons:

  • If players were allowed to alter their CHV in character creation, it would run the risk of everyone setting the value high and negating the system.
     
  • If players are not allowed to alter their CHV in character creation it would hamper the ability to create tropes like hard as nails miners, or PTSD aflicted veterans.
     
  • Certain types of players simply dislike mechanics dictating their actions. This is always a valid consideration to take into account when adding new mechanics.

Edited by Guest
Link to comment

Cool idea, I like it.


But you need to divide up the IPCs into subclasses, they are very different from each other

 

Same can be said for Tajarans.


Also, Skrell with the lowest CHV. Hm. They should be equal to humans, no reason to put them lower that I can think of off the top of my head.


As for the suggestion as a whole, I'm not sure. Like you said in the cons, it would depend on if it's something you can set or not. Not to mention, Doctors should not be vomiting at the sight of dead bodies or gore, but they wouldn't have high combat effectiveness. How would you address that?

Link to comment
Guest Marlon Phoenix

Is there any method to have slight buffs to CHV if your character has a plausible history with violence? A lot of our service and cargo crew come from troubled locations, or are even former veterans. While not allowing everyone to run around with full hardening, will we be able to toggle a slight uptick or downtick? The slight bonus, ie them not being at the top of their game, is easy to say is just them having gotten soft in civilian life on the station.

Link to comment

Don't take this personally, but I feel this is yet another suggestion attempt to try and lock people out of fights mechanically for the sake of 'RP' (because as we all know, conflict is the antithesis of writing RP words). Admittingly, this is probably one of the better written/formatted ones and I don't feel that was your intention, but it steps in line with the downward spiral we seem to be finding ourselves in.


Not to mention, once people start figuring out how to boost their CHV it's just a matter of gathering yet more materials before you go loud, and will lead in a shift of the meta. Things such as having x amount of booze in your system to null the pain giving you a +1 CHV will lead to people 'just so happening' to have flasks on them. Or things like security suddenly figuring out how to fill out req forms for hyperzine inhalers. I get that you're trying to do good with this suggestion, but I feel the 'solution' isn't going to be a mechanical one.


(Not to mention, I see that line slipped in about the psychologist. If something as vital as cloning gets completely scrapped after being locked behind a flavor job, I worry this will do the same thing with combat.)


This is a big -1 from me.

Link to comment

I'm strongly opposed to reducing fear-RP to a mechanic. It removes our ability as players to decide both what behavior is most fitting for our characters and what behavior is most interesting for the ongoing roleplay. Furthermore, tying the value to occupation and race just creates more meta and also limits our ability to define our characters. After all, a security officer might have extreme PTSD and be more prone to freaking out than even a particularly jaded cargo technician, but now because it's just a mechanic, we don't get to decide. "Sec officer = stronk stoic manly man. Janitor = scaredy babby. No questions."


Also, giving antagonists a high combat hardiness will make them naturally much stronger against all civilians, further limiting most players' ability to engage with them and meaning only security gets to have the fun, like usual. Validhunting is not a problem you solve by making bartenders get spooked and drop their shotgun because the lights flickered.


We don't need to keep replacing roleplay with mechanics. In my first heist round as a security member today, I got to roleplay meekly crawling away from the pirates as an able-bodied cadet just because I had just been flashed with a clusterbang. I was able to stand and hear perfectly fine and I had an energy carbine in my backpack and there were two super valid antagonists right in front of me. All I had to do was not try to valid them. It's really not hard.


I cannot possibly overstate how bad of an idea this is.

Extreme -1

Link to comment

I will try to answer some of the questions and issues raised, starting with what I feel will be the largest concern for many on an HRP server.

 

I'm strongly opposed to reducing fear-RP to a mechanic. It removes our ability as players to decide both what behavior is most fitting for our characters and what behavior is most interesting for the ongoing roleplay.


Validhunting is not a problem you solve by making bartenders get spooked and drop their shotgun because the lights flickered.


We don't need to keep replacing roleplay with mechanics.

 

First, I want to acknowledge that the debate between RP being shown through mechanics or being left under the direction of the players themselves is less of an issue of mechanical balance and more a philosophical difference in styles of play. Whether or not this suggestion, or others like it, is accepted will be mostly determined by the desires of the community as a whole. Aurora, being an HRP server, will likely have many more members of the community who are of the same mindset as Bauser, and tweaking the proposed changes will definitely be required to make sure that the added mechanics stay on the right side of acceptability for those players. However, combat is a situation which can very easily begin to move at a pace too rapid for all players to be able to remain fully engaged with all aspects of RP. The intention of this mechanic is not to replace fear RP, or even to force players to adhere to fear RP. It simply adds additional mental effects for sustained combat, sustained dangerous repairs where you are taking damage, or sustained viewing of death and trauma. The frequency of these effects should be low and it should only be a factor taken into consideration by players when determining future actions. It should not be so harsh or prevalent that players are left with no choice.


That being said, let's take a look at the possible effects of the mechanic.


I want to emphasize that the negative effects mentioned for having a normal CHV will not be constant or continuous for characters at normal crew-level CHV. Baseline CHV values will have negligible effects on combat or other surprise situations. For an example: We have John Doe, Janitor. John is as normal and vanilla as can be. He was not in the military, is not jaded, and can be considered as close to a "control" subject as we can in our experiment. John's CHV at the start of the round would be considered zero. With a CHV of zero John can start a bar-room brawl, resist detainment, and even engage hostile antagonists if security is non-existent.


It would not be until John sustains damage or has his CHV reduced below baseline that he would begin to see marked effects of combat fatigue. Other characters with higher starting CHV will simply last longer in a fight before experiencing negative side effects. These proposed mechanics would make it more difficult to engage in sustained combat rather than dictate whether or not you enter combat in the first place. Long sustained combat is arguably difficult for anyone, regardless of background or race, and it is my opinion that showing that in the mechanics would not be stepping on people's toes when it comes to RP.

 

As for the suggestion as a whole, I'm not sure. Like you said in the cons, it would depend on if it's something you can set or not. Not to mention, Doctors should not be vomiting at the sight of dead bodies or gore, but they wouldn't have high combat effectiveness. How would you address that?

 

The issue with doctors was one I was grappling with too and there are a few ways I can think of off the top of my head to fix it.

  • The gore and death CHV options could be elimitated from doctors entirely. (I will say doctors specifically because residents, chemists, others who are not acclimated to such might still be susceptible.) This could also be utilized for antags who MUST kill. I think it could easily be argued that lings won't take a CHV hit for absorbing someone.
  • Allow people to set their CHV in character creation, but instead of your occupation giving you a defined vaule it would simply put a cap on your max CHV or act as a modifier for your CHV. In this way, you could still make a high or low value CHV character but have those values tempered by your current occupation. Doctors could be added to the list of occupations with higher CHV.

 

Is there any method to have slight buffs to CHV if your character has a plausible history with violence? A lot of our service and cargo crew come from troubled locations, or are even former veterans. While not allowing everyone to run around with full hardening, will we be able to toggle a slight uptick or downtick? The slight bonus, ie them not being at the top of their game, is easy to say is just them having gotten soft in civilian life on the station.

 

See the answer to Conspiir. Having your occupation be a cap or modifier to your creation CHV instead of a hard value might allow for niche characters.

 

Don't take this personally, but I feel this is yet another suggestion attempt to try and lock people out of fights mechanically for the sake of 'RP' (because as we all know, conflict is the antithesis of writing RP words). Admittingly, this is probably one of the better written/formatted ones and I don't feel that was your intention, but it steps in line with the downward spiral we seem to be finding ourselves in.


Not to mention, once people start figuring out how to boost their CHV it's just a matter of gathering yet more materials before you go loud, and will lead in a shift of the meta. Things such as having x amount of booze in your system to null the pain giving you a +1 CHV will lead to people 'just so happening' to have flasks on them. Or things like security suddenly figuring out how to fill out req forms for hyperzine inhalers. I get that you're trying to do good with this suggestion, but I feel the 'solution' isn't going to be a mechanical one.


(Not to mention, I see that line slipped in about the psychologist. If something as vital as cloning gets completely scrapped after being locked behind a flavor job, I worry this will do the same thing with combat.)

 

These concerns tie in somewhat with my response to Bauser. Baseline CHV will not exclude characters from engaging in combat, these changes simply add consequences for sustained combat and the percentages for adverse effects should be kept low around the baseline level. However, everyone regardless of race or background, will fatigue eventually.


I think that this will open people up to fighting tactically. Moreso than they already do. Taking cover, using guerilla tactics, possibly prioritizing attacks that inflict pain more than damage. It opens a lot of options for those who want to engage in combat while also trying to ensure that the mechanical combat doesn't become the focus.


Regarding the psychiatrist, I was trying to provide a varied list of options. I want people to be able to recover in the way that would be appropriate to their character. I would not lock recovery only behind the psychiatrist. It would simply be an option, preferable perhaps to those players that want their characters involved in medical recovery.

Edited by Guest
Link to comment

I'd just like to pop in and comment that I think it's utterly laughable people are crying about mechanically enforcing fear roleplay or combat skills when we already have problems with aggressive civilian militia and validhunting on the server.


We need mechanical enforcement because people are generally unable to restrain themselves and the admins refuse to take a stronger hand with it in policy, only behaving reactively.


But that's just my two cents.

Link to comment

Maybe we wouldn't have problems with civilian militias if security weren't ruthless validhunters and allowed other crew to interact with antagonists, but that's just my two cents.


Making mechanical changes on the basis that we cannot trust our playerbase to maintain a certain standard of gameplay is categorically awful.

Link to comment

The idea in itself is not bad. I agree, that there are problems currently and this is a thought out way to (kind of, a bit) fix them, or at least, give gameplay a quirk. The most obvious problems have already been stated by you, there has to be quite some customization (for obvious reasons) but this probably leads to people who want to validhunt as (for example) a civilian just adjusts it to their liking/needs.


Nontheless, I think the idea is good, but on the other hand I am not sure how much of it is possible, from a technical point of view. It sounds like there is a lot, lot, lot to consider, at any given situation. Anyway, I like it and would like to see such (or similar) mechanics.

Link to comment

Making mechanical changes on the basis that we cannot trust our playerbase to maintain a certain standard of gameplay is categorically awful.

 

On the contrary, that's one of the main reasons we make mechanical changes at all. The very concept of 'nerfing' a mechanic is grounded in the ideology that something needs to be fixed because the players certainly aren't going to just refrain from using something overpowered out of courtesy.

Link to comment

I feel like this has gotten slightly off topic. These mechanics were not suggested with the sole intent to eliminate validhunting nor do I think that we are unable to trust our playerbase.


I suggested these mechanics to fill in RP details that I felt were missing regarding the consequences of combat due to various factors including but not limited to player intention, time constraints, and the pace of heavy combat, I feel that even the best of us can gloss over just how tiring combat can be and the effects it has upon the body and mind.


[mention]Bauser[/mention], as I stated earlier the frequency at which you would encounter adverse effects while at a baseline CHV would be very low. I'd like to get futher feedback from you on the response post I made. If you feel like these mechanics are invasive to your RP in some way I feel like tweaking the numbers could find a good balance.

Link to comment

You want to know what you can do if you want to simulate the effects of being unaccustomed to combat? Drop your weapon. You don't have to wait for the game to make you. You can, in fact, create this interesting development manually at any point in time, with zero chance of being forced to when you believe extenuating circumstances warrant being a little braver.


Like maybe your meek character is hopped up on hyperzine and got the adrenaline going. Maybe it's a chance to explore exactly what the depths of this character are. Woops! You're a librarian, so that didn't matter. Better luck next time.


Stop taking control of the game away from players. If this change ever sees the light of day, we better add in thirst mechanics, too. How the hell else could we trust our players to stop having fun and take a sip of water every now and then instead of focusing on what elements of the game are actually currently relevant and engaging?


I don't want this in because people are better than RNG at deciding when an effect like this would be fun. Not to mention, since it will take players by surprise, it could go ENTIRELY counter to the actual roleplay that is happening. Like maybe the antagonist actually IS scared, and the civilian is actually confident, like the tables have turned! But WOOPS! In the middle of the civilian's triumphant dialogue, they did a 180 and got too scared!! Because they suddenly remembered what job they have and what race they are - their ultimate statement of their lot in life!


If you think people aren't respecting fear RP, make complaints. Ahelp them. Don't shit up the code for the rest of us.

Link to comment

I feel like I've given you the wrong idea or explained it poorly.


The mechanic would be similar to dropping your weapon because your prosthesis is damaged or you have a bone fracture, except in this case the cause would be mental not physical.


It sucks when your prosthesis is damaged but do you really think people will spend their time and brainpower keeping track of that? They'd rather concentrate on the actual RP and not the minutia the server can handle in the background.

Link to comment

Literally every part of my post is directly related to the title suggestion except the part in the middle where I compare it to thirst mechanics, and even that is thematically relevant.


EDIT: The fact that players would rather focus on 'the actual RP' is why this feature should be ignored, not why we should attempt to shoehorn it in so the RP has to go one certain way

Link to comment

From my perspective, I think of it more like a DM in DnD. There's nothing wrong with player driven story and RP but sometimes the DM has to step in and give them external consequences to deal with.


In this case the DM is a set of automated rules which we can alter the math behind to best fit the playerbase.

Link to comment

"A set of automated rules" is exactly the opposite of what a DM is. The people who can step in and alter the path to best fit the playerbase is the playerbase. Players have control of this already, they make the decisions about what is fun for them, and this feature serves to step in and say "They're not good enough, they don't know what they really want."

Link to comment

But surely there has to be oversight somewhere. Earlier you said that, if there were issues, complaints should be made and ahelps created. This puts the majority of the responsibility of oversight on the admins and moderators. Additional mechanics that are reasonable, balanced, and realistic in the world allow the game itself to account for more of the countless scenarios that could occur and automatically resolve some issues that might otherwise be ahelped or entered as a complaint on the forum.


It also removes the subjective element of admin/moderator decisions. An element I think causes quite a bit of unrest when it comes to people not being satisfied with admin/moderator decisions.


This applies not just to my suggestion but any added mechanic. But I've gone quite off topic again and I'd like to return to the details of my suggestion regarding technical viability and balancing.


I respect your position and I understand where you're coming from and your concerns should be taken into consideration if this is implemented.

Link to comment

I've gone ahead and edited the original post so that it is more in keeping with the intent of the changes. Notably verbiage such as "low CHV" has been changed to "lowered or reduced CHV" and "high CHV" was edited to "baseline or augmented CHV".


Originally, stating that normal crew would have "low CHV" would indicate some kind of hindrance or restriction, but normal crew CHV should be considered baseline and not detrimental until certain actions trigger a reduction.

Link to comment
  • Gem locked this topic
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×
×
  • Create New...