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Bauser

Cybernetics / Bionics

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I'm taking a page right out of the CataDDA playbook on this one. It's an undisputed fact that widespread human augmentation is in the future for humanity. It already exists in major ways, like electronic pacemakers keeping people alive, and robotic limb prostheses restoring their manual dexterity. For citizens of the future, if technology progresses even remotely on the track it appears to be, this discipline will be transformed into a fact of life. Augmenting the body with tools and upgrades for medical, utilitarian, and even military purposes will be commonplace. I think implementing cybernetics like these would represent a fantastic benefit to our lore and to our gameplay. It could also give roboticists and surgeons more interesting and varied work.


I linked the Cataclysm wiki page for a specific reason, which is that I think it could serve as a great roadmap for choosing what bionics to implement. If you scroll to the bottom, it lists all the possible upgrades available in the game, segregating them into categories based on function (power generation, utility, offense, defense, passive versus active...). It even includes bionics that are needed in order to power other bionics (E.G. by consuming and burning alcohol, or by draining batteries, or by the mechanical action of walking...) and broken/faulty bionics conferring various negative effects (like leaking toxins, causing pain, or making annoying noises) if your upgrades are damaged or installed incorrectly, to balance out the benefit of being augmented. So it's a comprehensive enough list to serve as a total outline for mechanics we might want to implement in a cybernetics update.


Cataclysm is a tile-based game about survival and fighting and building, so a lot of its bionics' functions are functions that translate perfectly into Space Station 13. We could include bionics to:

  • Integrate a set of engineer's tools into your hand so that you don't have to physically carry around a tool-box or tool-belt

  • Introduce filtration systems into your lungs that negate the need for a gas mask to block out harmful airborne chemicals

  • Install a needle into your fingertip so you can directly absorb substances into your bloodstream, or with an internal reservoir so you can inject chemicals without a physical syringe

  • Automatically stabilize you with medicine like inaprovaline in the event that you sustain a certain threshold of damage

  • Install lenses onto your eyes to make you immune to bright flashes, or to give you toggleable night vision, thermal vision, or etc.

  • Replace your bones with a titanium facsimile so you're much harder to break

  • Putting electronics inside your hand (I.E. multitool, cryptographic sequencer) for discreet hacking

The list really goes on and on.


Obviously, this would be a formidable undertaking from a coding standpoint. It would need to encompass the surgeries for implanting the equipment, the addition of energy reservoirs for non-synthetics, interactions when cybernetics become damaged or EMP'd... So this topic is mostly for gauging community interest and trying to define what features are most wanted.

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I like this idea, I really do.


It makes sense in our lore, and it actually is in our lore, with both the Vox and the Vaurca using cybernetic modification heavily.


There's an issue though. It's much the same as the issue that occurred with the suggestion of making IPCs more specialised. In that thread specifically, there was mention of the Zeng-hu frame being able to access an internal syringe. It was mentioned that this would make them extremely overpowered.


The issue is, people will use this to powergame. We will see hulking security officers with heat-seeking eyes, diamond-laced bones, and carbonised skin. We will see engineers with insulated hands, toolbelts for fingers, and meson eyes.


I hate to say it, but maybe Citadel/Vore has it right on this with the NIFsoft idea. At the start of every shift players can choose to install NIFsofts into their brain, such as reactive lenses, PDA messenger apps, or even nanites that help slow down death by bleedouts. These would need to be expensive though, and have significant drawbacks, for example, where being ioned with mechanical eyes gives you blindness, the same should happen to those with any form of lense-based NIF. Being shot in the head should give a chance to destroy the NIF, causing massive damage to the brain, perhaps frying to a point of being unable to be cloned.


I love this idea you're suggesting, but you need to consider how antags would suffer, too.


My suggestion with the NIF idea is that traitor uplinks could be outfitted with a NIF option of each set of glasses, having the same drawback as the other NIF lenses.


Work on the idea some more, you have my vote.

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You could link implants to your load out points so you have to spend sweeeeet points for augs?

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You could link implants to your load out points so you have to spend sweeeeet points for augs?

 

If this is the case. It is 100% required that it is bound to a role. Similar to how an officer can start with a holster, but an engineer can't.


Another issue with this is the fact we may be giving players the ability to spawn in with enhancements over other people. Big enhancements, such as toolbelts. Toolbelts are kinda rare.

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Give them to antagonists, too. More easily accessible or at a lesser cost than to non-antagonists, possibly, whatever that cost may be. Maybe require a whitelist to spawn with them, like custom item applications. They have drawbacks, so it's not like a straight-line advantage. We can predict and negate the potential for powergaming with our design choices. Security mains want to have titanium skeletons? Make it so that augmentation makes them slow as hell like those tough IPCs. Engineers with insulated hands? Can't wear gloves to hide their fingerprints, maybe weaker to brute damage against hands, something. Heat-seeking eyes (what does this mean)? Doesn't work when wearing sunglasses, and flash effects stun you.


Not to mention, most of these things will come with a built-in cost. Using any devices like integrated tools or vision-powers will cost energy, and we can make that a severe and even painful limitation. What happens if you run out? A robot just shuts off, but maybe it's even more cruel to a human. Your battery leaks toxins into you? You take constant halloss? And think, more cybernetics would make EMPs deadlier to organic targets, so antagonists would quickly learn the cheap and easy way to put any powergamers in their place.


I'm pretty sure powergaming can be averted the same way we do it with every mechanic: gate excess strengths behind excess weaknesses, and police their usage the same as any other tool. A warden would get banned for handing out laser rifles at the first sign of some little drunken nothing-confrontation. If you know me or have seen my post history, you will know I am the first to complain that antagonists have it too hard, so I hear your complaint. But I am confident it can be nullified.

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Methinks it's very easy to keep implants and cybernetics balanced. For starters, there's a difference between a cybnetics and a full body carbon skin graft. That's just plastic surgery at that point.


Regardless, it would be nice to have stuff that makes sense. Like integrating a pda into your arm, a headset into your head, ect, ect.


And yes, this would be directly balanced simply by the very existence of emps. The ion riffle would now be even more important for crew safety. Perhaps we might even see two in the armory, even though a ninja will undoubtedly get both. As for antag-only stuff, it'd likely be aling the lines of stuff you'd see in some cheesy b-flick. Gun in your hand, thermal eyeballs, a goice modulator that makes it easier to trick people, ect, ect.


One gripe I do have with this is ling becoming even more of a meme. It'd ba hard-pressed for a biological being to replicate implants in the slightest.

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how 'bout just have the roboticist have to install actually major ones, and leave the loadout for useless shit like a holowatch embedded in your nuts or whatever

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That's also a nice workable implementation. It gives roboticists more to do than making a medibot and telling security they can't have a gygax. I am led to believe that roboticists don't have a lot of work, currently, so I would be happy to see cybernetics become their domain.

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how 'bout just have the roboticist have to install actually major ones, and leave the loadout for useless shit like a holowatch embedded in your nuts or whatever

 

I could get down with this.

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Vore has better shit once again, smh.

But seriously, we have cloning and borging but not a toolkit in your arm, this needs to change!


Very supportive, bless this post.

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I'm all for some proper H+ stuff.

Formalize it and you have my vote.

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As someone who occasionally plays a character with some cybernetics, I can get behind this idea, if it were implemented in a way that makes it at least somewhat difficult to abuse.


I like the idea of using loadout points for this. Currently my loadout is filled with a bunch of random clothing options and a lunch box. It would be neat to have something that pertains to my character more.

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To balance, it could be so that the loadout has options for less-powerful cybernetics (comparable to existing utility loadout options), while more significant ones require in-game acquisition. Retractable sunglasses (AKA The Adam Jensen)? Loadout. Retractable arm laser? In-game. Flashlight in your head? Loadout. Full toolkit inside your hand? In-game.


Etc.


How about a cybernetic to allow organics to control electronics from afar, the way that cyborgs do? There are a lot of cool possibilities, basically

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How about a cybernetic to allow organics to control electronics from afar, the way that cyborgs do? There are a lot of cool possibilities, basically

Just make sure the more potent stuff is department restricted. That'd be something for engineering and security.

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+1 from me. The more powerful cybernetics could give a roboticist more to do and allow for some interesting antag plays. The less powerful ones could be used obviously for convenience's sake, but also as a way to start rp, perhaps between someone who finds it unnatural and is against it and somebody who believes it is the way forward. This could allow for a lot of intriguing character concepts. However, at least for department restricted cybernetics, they'd need to be easily removed lore-wise, as it's not uncommon for people to turn up as a visitor rather than their normal job, which would be impossible if they had something irremovable built in.

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You could hand-wave it and give them "dummy" augments by saying the implants know when the person is on-duty and deactivate if they're only there as a visitor (for department-specific ones).

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Alternative, you could do the opposite and make using said augments when off-duty breaking regs while still keeping them available to use for our dear visitor ERPers.

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I definitely don't recommend that. Players shouldn't be able to get job-specific benefits if they're not playing in the capacity of their job. It would be overpowered, either individually or for the department in total. I mean (this is an extreme example to show the danger), if there was a security bionic that let you shoot a taser electrode from your hand, and you joined as a visitor when security is full, regulations aren't going to stop you from "protecting yourself" (read as: validing the antag you purposefully sought out because you have a security bionic) with it.


And then after the round, everyone would complain that the antagonist didn't do enough to involve them even though you were the one who ruined the round. (Note: I am not accusing you personally of anything and I don't know anything about your style of play, this was just an example)


The same concept would apply to basically every other augmentation, whether it's opening doors remotely or having a toolbox in your arm. If it has a functionality, an in-character rule saying "nuh-uh, don't use it" will mean absolutely nothing to people if there is actually a tangible reward on the table.

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That's the problem with cybernetics, they're kinda.. Permanent. Unless you get your whole arm replaced, your armor-laced skin, or your in-built climbing pick will still be there. Unless you have it surgically removed, which would be a long and expensive process.

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That's the problem with cybernetics, they're kinda.. Permanent. Unless you get your whole arm replaced, your armor-laced skin, or your in-built climbing pick will still be there. Unless you have it surgically removed, which would be a long and expensive process.

Really? I've imagined the entire cybernetics gig being extremely modular. You install a prosthesis socket and then just pick a limb to attach.

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Or just have it be able to turn on and off. Their canonical permanence really shouldn't be any bottleneck.

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That's the problem with cybernetics, they're kinda.. Permanent. Unless you get your whole arm replaced, your armor-laced skin, or your in-built climbing pick will still be there. Unless you have it surgically removed, which would be a long and expensive process.

Really? I've imagined the entire cybernetics gig being extremely modular. You install a prosthesis socket and then just pick a limb to attach.

 

As I see it, basic cybernetics would be a lot like plug and play, since you know how your arm is supposed to work. But Im betting having tools and gadgets installed in a limb calls for a lot more precise calibration as some of them probably need you to.. Mentally call for whatever tool you want to deploy? Not to mention training yourself to think or feel the correct command for that spesific limb/tool I guess?

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