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A Total Rework-Removal of In-Game Cloning


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For a long time now, cloning has been a highly contested subject; many would like to see it gone, and many would like to see it made easier. I had a vision in my dreams, and it was a glorious vision of a new cloning system.

 

First, I shall address the main gripes I've seen with cloning as is. I believe, after talking through with multiple players, cloning has the following issues.

  1. Currently, cloning requires a psychologist and a surgeon to be present due to the current trauma system, and is thus rarely used. This is particularly prevalent on lower pop rounds.
  2. For something so... Advanced, expensive, and new, it seems extremely commonplace, and just about anyone can be cloned, for free, on station with little regard to the actual lore.
  3. Contrary to the first mentioned point, the entire cloning system is capable of turning a complete recovery in less than a round, with the possibility of releasing a patient, fully functioning, in twenty minutes or less, depending on the case.
  4. Again, contrary to the third point, the cloning process can entirely remove someone from the round, preventing them from doing much more than be buckled to a bed and dragged around by an MD, sometimes unable to see or hear, stuck in a sort of limbo well-known to station-bound mains, broken and forgotten whilst still in the round.
  5. Cloning works for LRP. It means people can jump back in after death and keep playing. We are not LRP. We are a HRP server and cloning has been shoe-horned in, like many other features, and been adapted ghetto-style to fit the scene and thus, death has very little weight; a person can be turned into a gibbed mess, as long as the brain is fine they are able to be walking and talking within fifteen minutes.

 

Now. My dream was of a world where there is no cloning, instead replacing it with a simpler system utilising a combination of the cryo-tubes currently used for genetic damage; it's weird how these tubes can regrow an entire person faster than they cure a ling-sting, and electro-shock revival.

The general idea here is to not only increase the punishment for death, but also have more reason for bio mechanical engineers, make a more logical solution to reviving people than simply reprinting them, whilst also having a canon reason for why this is no longer the case.

The steps would be as follows:

  1. The victim is slain, and the body recovered by medical.
  2. A triage is performed, records are checked for a DNR/DNC, and the body is inspected to see the cause of death, and what stages of revival are required.
  3. Provided the body has taken minimal damage, the body is revived via defibrillation, and the victim is treated of their wounds much like normal.
  4. If this is not possible, or if excessive damage has been sustained, perhaps from the vacuum of space or similar, the body is placed into a cryo-regenerative vat where a chemical mixture works to stabilise the body, where the body is capable of being revived.
  5. The victim is informed of the situation, and a psychological and physical review is performed.

A key part here would mean that being killed in such a way that leaves a major organ of your body missing would mean you are unable to be revived, this means antags would no longer have to cut off the head of the hydra and run with it to keep someone out the round. This would also mean that losing limbs is suddenly far more of an issue: an engineer who passes in a freak accident involving their hand or arm being fried off now carries this wound even post-death. The officer with a pistol would be far less dangerous in the long-term than the ninja who is about to remove your arms with an esword, but the ninja who does this now suddenly involves robotics AND medical, should the victim fall dead.

This can be easily explained in canon as a more economical method of resurrection than flat-out cloning, which was deemed simply too expensive in comparison to other, simpler methods. Cloning would thus be reserved for only the most extreme cases, and still be relevant in the meta lore.

 

In my discussions with other players, @GreenBoi suggested an alternative, in their own, glorious image.

In their version, the cloning bay is reworked into a sub-department of medical, and begins the round with a digital "DNA Vault" of every crew member on shift. The cloning system is then based on this database, and crew are able to be cloned, without a body, from the database, provided they have an active blood sample from the deceased. This would need to be obtained at the start of each round from high-risk crew, for a reason similar to the blood sample deteriorating too quickly to be held across multiple shifts.

This means, with the exemption of crew who are deemed high-risk, including miners, security, and science teams, crew would become unclonable without a body to sample the blood from.

They also suggested that the cloning vat, when emagged, be capable of producing malformed clones with reduced health every X minutes, despite the sample of the clone still being alive, requiring a ghost to possess them lest they collapse in a heap of guts and goop, similar to summoning apparitions, or creating golems.

They proposed that the trauma list be kept, but reduced down to the following possibilities; -Bluespace Prophet -Split Personality -Hallucination -Headache (not concussion) -Phobia -Imaginary Friends -Colorblindness -Tourettes.

To finalise their suggestion, they summarised with the following quote.

Quote

With all of this in place, antagonists would have an extra bit of time at roundstart to get into at least every department except Service as people would line for blood sampling. They could do their small get-in get-outs and do what they need as they know most personnel have left their post.

It also makes cloning easier. Since people with dangerous jobs are going to have had their blood sampled within the first 20 minutes, if they die, there's no hassle getting the body. Meaning all that's left is to have them cloned, cryo'd and then consulted to, maybe given a prescription to not flip out because they know life can end suddenly now.

 

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I don't like defibs. Simply because... that's not the way defibs work. They aren't a cure-all and they definitely don't revive people. Defibrillators actually... defibrillate. That is, stop a heart rhythm, in the hopes of getting the heart to function correctly again. It's not a jump start, it's a shut down. Hence, why defibrillators should not be something we add wholesale, and I will gladly fight against that.

 

Now, if you want to add something that does what you say here, but not call it a defibrillator, sure. New space tech and all that.

 

This method comes with some problems, though. When and how could an autopsy be performed? Autopsies currently are done after a person is cloned, so the player doesn't have to wait twenty minutes in irritation to begin the healing process. With this, essentially autopsies would either happen before healing or happen not at all.

 

I could also see this presenting a new meta of hacking off limbs or slicing in half at the lower body. Best turn someone into a potato than fear they could come back. And I'm unsure how we could handle people with no lower body at all. Generally that just means death.

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4 minutes ago, Conspiir said:

I don't like defibs. Simply because... that's not the way defibs work. They aren't a cure-all and they definitely don't revive people. Defibrillators actually... defibrillate. That is, stop a heart rhythm, in the hopes of getting the heart to function correctly again. It's not a jump start, it's a shut down. Hence, why defibrillators should not be something we add wholesale, and I will gladly fight against that.

 

Now, if you want to add something that does what you say here, but not call it a defibrillator, sure. New space tech and all that.

The initial mentioning of the method is "electro-shock revival".

9 minutes ago, Conspiir said:

This method comes with some problems, though. When and how could an autopsy be performed? Autopsies currently are done after a person is cloned, so the player doesn't have to wait twenty minutes in irritation to begin the healing process. With this, essentially autopsies would either happen before healing or happen not at all.

  

I could also see this presenting a new meta of hacking off limbs or slicing in half at the lower body. Best turn someone into a potato than fear they could come back. And I'm unsure how we could handle people with no lower body at all. Generally that just means death.

Autopsies would simply become rarer, and direct witness reports would be used more often as the victim is more likely to remember what happened. What I propose instead of the memory disorder in this case would be a traumatising where adrenaline and the pain of dying would lead to the victim being unable to remember the exact details of who attacked them, much like how an assaulted victim would be unable to remember the exact details of their death. Autopsies need a rework anyways, as they are extremely buggy and more often than not will only state the time of death.

 

Currently the meta is that, if you want someone perma dead, you either gib them in a single shot, or remove the head and run off with it, so not much changes there. Bisecting people is rarer than being beheaded, but is now just as effective.

 

Another thing, this suggestion also allows space for crew who have lost their lungs/heart/kidneys/etc have new, mechanical, implants.

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I frankly highly prefer defibrillators as a magic corpse saver compared to cloning, especially since they often include an element of time even after death, which cloning doesn't have currently. I would not be against cloning being a thing in-universe still, but mechanically it's pretty messy for a high RP server. My only real concern with this is the idea of spacing bodies might be far more commonplace, which is a bit worrying. I am taking some liberties with the term, since spacing is rather difficult on this server, and mostly just mean making it incredibly hard if not impossible to retrieve the body. One thing cloning does do really well mechanically is make it so antagonists often don't need to go out of their way to ensure their victim isn't revived, because they won't remember the last fifteen minutes anyways. Either way I am open to the idea of new changes in how the server handles death, at least mechanically.

 

And yes, defibrillators are definitely not used that way in real life, and have very bad revival rates in real life. IIRC a lot of hospitals still don't even use them as part of their revival routines, in favor of CPR (Unless the heart is arrhythmic of course). But similarly a massive amount of medicine in the game is already grossly unrealistic in its recovery times. You wouldn't be up and about after having major surgery, medication would take much longer to metabolize, etc. So I don't much mind that suspension of disbelief.

 

 

 

EDIT: After seeing the arguments presented, I actually have changed my stance on this. I don't like it being easy to permanently take people out of a round, one of the major reasons it's so hard to space bodies is because of this. It should be a lot of effort to remove someone from a round, not just disabling their sensors and hiding their body in a locker so that they bleed out. That isn't fun for anyone, doesn't improve roleplay, and overall hurts the game experience. The time factor is a cool idea in concept, but really I don't think will add much very often practically speaking.

Edited by Nantei
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I personally like the idea of cloning being present, because it makes sense that it would exist and be used to bring people back to life. HOWEVER, I don't believe cloning is something the station itself is necessarily required to have. Sure it's a way to get back into the game and there's the intimidating respawn timer. Cloning can be done "off station" and in the event the death is canon, a suggestion of say, a few day break from that character to simulate recovery from death, can cover our bases in terms of recovery.

So what do we do with cloning? Well much like cloning not being necessary on the station, removing it isn't necessary either. If it's on the station we can either make it less appealing to use that the alternative, such as being more recource intensive, requiring active input during the cloning process from the doctor (say, a little mini game or something), or a slower process, just for the love of God do not add in more tramas that make the patient tear themself apart or fall asleep every 5 seconds. I think we should give incentives to use other methods of revival after they're added but still allow cloning to be a viable last resort to cheat the grim reaper in the game of life. 

And the solution to a more viable way to cheat death without requiring cloning/being more appropriate for a hrp server/mechanically less messy in the end? The first solution proposed by Crystal, treatment of wounds to get the patient into a state they can (barely) stay alive in, revival of the patient (maybe a new device to shove the patient into that kick starts the heart instead of a defibrillator, because a portable resurrection tool can cause some issues), then further treatment of wounds. Missing an organ and the time it will take to get a replacement? Stuff the patient into a cryo bag or cell to effectively put them into stasis and stop the timer for how long before the patient is only able to be ressurected through cloning. As for addressing the missing organ, allow robotics to print cybernetic replacements to give to medical. We can already make replacement limbs, why not organs?

As for the cryo bags and cells, what would stop people from stuffing them into that and waiting for an easy time to save them instead of running against the clock like they should be doing? We can add complications, such as damaged nerves causing weakness of limbs (lack of feeling, unable to lift heavy objects, maybe the shakes which can cause you to fail when using items), limb necrosis (causing the death of the limb and forcing it to be removed), or the loss of a sense (unable to feel getting poked by things, can't taste food or smell, nearsightedness, and partial deafness). All of which could be treated with therapy, medicine, or surgery in the case of nerve damage or limb necrosis. All avoidable if the person is fast enough, but treatable if the only option is to leave them in a state of stasis for a while. It might get mechanically complex, but if done right it'd be less messy than cloning and still provide incentives to not die in the first place

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I love this idea. If we are really committed to cloning being on the station, why don’t we just have it around in case and assume our old stance of cloning can only happen with the right, qualified personnel, but NT prefers this new, cheaper method. 

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I love this idea. If we are really committed to cloning being on the station, why don’t we just have it around in case and assume our old stance of cloning can only happen with the right, qualified personnel, but NT prefers this new, cheaper method. 

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Guest Marlon Phoenix
On 13/06/2019 at 17:46, IAmCrystalClear said:

A key part here would mean that being killed in such a way that leaves a major organ of your body missing would mean you are unable to be revived, this means antags would no longer have to cut off the head of the hydra and run with it to keep someone out the round. This would also mean that losing limbs is suddenly far more of an issue: an engineer who passes in a freak accident involving their hand

Limb loss is very common with death. I can also see ancillary issues where a meta develops against antags delimbing characters just as there is a meta against beheading.

Gathering up limbs and replanting them on your body is more work than putting the head back on. Esp if the organs rot. I can take an experimena bite out of your leg and make you unclonable without a lot of extra work.

For example, being an antag that eats part of my victim but leaves their head intact on their body is currently not at all impacting their cloneableness. This would basically make them unclonable if i ate their leg or kidney.

Edited by Marlon Phoenix
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This method, while intriguing, has the downside of all but isolating a large part of the unathi community from being revived.  As a race, many of them strongly oppose the concept of mechanical prosthetics and artificial organs.  I would much rather some method for creating organic limb/organ replacements based on someone's DNA be implemented to shoehorning in robotics as necessary by default for this process. If we have the capability to regrow someone's entire body (because you are keeping cloning, remember, just making it rarer) then creating limbs and organs to put in the corpse should not be impossible.

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These are valid suggestions, however, many unathi are also against cloning in general. I, myself, play a Unathi who is against cloning, robotic limbs, and prosthetics in general and I simply think this'd deepen her character. Should she die and lose an arm, she will have to live with that, but can still be brought back.

As far as I know, the most common way to die are by guns, ling horror forms, and cult swords. Two of those methods typically leave the body totally destroyed, and the other doesn't typically sever limbs.

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Guest Marlon Phoenix
3 hours ago, wowzewow said:

I mean, unathi can probably canonically regrow appendages

No.

3 hours ago, wowzewow said:

and we can always just use the proto-human limb-cutty-offy-re-attachy thing.

Not what I want to see.

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While there are outliers of course, just because yours and a couple other players' Unathi are adverse to cloning doesn't mean the majority are, especially considering the spiritual belief is that their body is just a vessel, and cloning puts your soul in a new one. A system like this might not affect you all that much, with your character being against cloning personally, but it would still affect a high amount of others. Getting cloned and turned into a limbless potato isn't going to be very fun for anyone.

Edited by furrycactus
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Accepting possible mechanical disadvantages for the sake of playing a character is a very important part of roleplaying.

What do Unathi do when they lose their arm in an accident? They stay without an arm, as a permanent consequence that they understand to be a lesser evil than getting a prosthetic. Same with death - them simply refusing to get cloning because they cannot get limb replacements would 1) grandly enhance their flavor; 2) be the mechanical disadvantage that Unathi so sorely seem to lack with all of the strength buffs they are getting. If they're against cloning in such a form, they should avoid death instead. Roleplay should prevail over balance here.

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Guest Marlon Phoenix
4 hours ago, furrycactus said:

While there are outliers of course, just because yours and a couple other players' Unathi are adverse to cloning doesn't mean the majority are,

The majority does. Its explicitly written into the religion of all of them. It is the minority that is fine with it. Its an intentional mechanical difficulty of the race to spurn prosthetics. 

There is also a different teir of difficulty. This is too much difficulty with little enough rp benefit.

 

 

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Guest Marlon Phoenix
1 hour ago, VTCobaltblood said:

Same with death - them simply refusing to get cloning because they cannot get limb replacements would 1) grandly enhance their flavor; 2) be the mechanical disadvantage that Unathi so sorely seem to lack

There's a lot to unpack here.

1) No it won't. I've never felt more immersed from dying without being able to be cloned and i dont know many who do.

2) do you mean in combat ? This wouldn't balance anything...

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