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The Death of Silent Malf


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I've been giving it some thought, and I think one of the biggest blocking points that the Malfunction gamemode has is that their strongest weapon is gated behind a preposterously difficult to bypass timer.  The station override can take somewhere between 13-23 minutes depending on your progress in the round, and while it is running, the AI is almost completely helpless - all their powers are disabled, and they can do little but sit around and wait for the process to finish.  If they've already been revealed as a malfunctioning AI, the chances are this will result in their doom at the hands of a team of engineers and security members.  Even the warning messages that show up as the override progresses are intended to facilitate stealth - almost none of them indicate in any meaningful way that the AI is responsible, meaning they strongly encourage a stealth malf gameplay.

So I propose two things for this simple change in malf gameplay dynamic to make them a less passive role:

  • First, the Override ability should now have a cost.  A very high one.  I'd place it somewhere around 40-50 APCs worth of CPU to start the process, and as before while it's running your system is locked and can't perform other actions.  However, unlike before, there will be a way to interrupt this process, allowing the AI to halt the takeover to allow them to use their other abilities to defend themselves.  However, starting it up again will require another high investment of CPU. Barring the upgrade that gives you extra CPU capacity, this means you will have to have have progressed a certain amount in the round before you can use this ability.
  • Second, the takeover messages will become increasingly alarming as they go along, and by the second or third warning there will be indisputable evidence that the AI is responsible.  No longer will AI be allowed to or encouraged to make the station suddenly go into delta out of nowhere because they spend an hour and a half pretending to be normal before suddenly trying to detonate the station.  If they want to blow the station up, the crew should have the ability to fight against it before it becomes inescapable, and the AI should be able to defend itself from them.
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