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[FEEDBACK] Roundstart AI removal

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https://github.com/Aurorastation/Aurora.3/pull/7183

 

This PR removes the ability for an AI to spawn at roundstart. It also adds another cyborg spawn to compensate. What I want to know is, and I really want you guys to answer BOTH of these honestly.

1) Do you agree with removing the AI roundstart? It's still possible to build the core and put an active brain in it later on, with qualified personnel.
2) The additional cyborg spawn. I heard complaints that three cyborgs at roundstart is one too many. Please let me know what you think.

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The AI is a cancer upon gameplay. Its entire role is based upon the premise that it is benevolent enough to turn a blind eye to antagonists. It's very obvious why this is bad, because it creates an avenue for effortless validhunting. With the immense round altering power the AI has due to it being unchanged from TG days, it has no business existing here. Any attempts at a rework will fall short due to how monumental of a task it is. So, just excise the tumor now. 

I dont care about cyborg spawns. Inconsequential.

Make sure to get rid of malf too since it will spawn an AI manually when selected.

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That's a bit concerning if AI only appears on malf rounds. That's really easy to metagame. It'd be better if an AI slot cannot be latejoined instead.

Edited by Scheveningen

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1) Personally, I think the AI is a detriment to the round. Sure, there are very good AIs, such as Harmony, Arlo, APEX, Aboshehab. But, there are also many, MANY shitty ones. As an AI, you have to purposefully play "badly" to give antags leeway, to make a good round. I think that sucks for game design. So, making it not appear, or making it a "later in the round" thing, would alleviate that.

2) With the removal of the AI, there's a bit of a void in access and synthetic assistance. The addition of another borg fills that void, and makes the station feel a bit more autonomous. That's my personal opinion, and I don't feel very strongly about it, so any other good opinion will sway me.

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2 minutes ago, Crozarius said:

Wait, what happens to the Malf gamemode?

I haven't tested it yet, but I believe it simply doesn't run anymore.

Just now, Scheveningen said:

That's a bit concerning if malf AI only appears on malf rounds. That's really easy to metagame. It'd be better if an AI slot cannot be latejoined instead.

Yeah, that's the problem.

 

One thing I thought of, was instead making a cyborg turn malf, and giving THEM the malf abilities. They'll be then able to hack other cyborgs and do malfy things. Food for thought.

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Remember when we had the discussion about requiring AI to be whitelisted? While a more feasible idea than removing it, I'm wondering whether it's worth the effort.

If you can actually manage borgs to become malf and hack one another, that would be amazing.

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1) Im pretty happy with roundstart AIs. Although some are shit, there are undeniably good ones. People say AIs have no power and they're below assistants. But even so, there is not a single role greater to make or break a round. To further a round or completely shut it down. The AI will always be the hidden ultimate power, and a whitelist would not be a bad idea, haters be damned >:c

2) As for borgs. They are a supplement to the station, and they shouldnt really be selecting departments that are staffed over unstaffed departments. Borgs are expected to know all of the station and should be able to fit in anywhere, but for leeway and to make things more enjoyable, you can brush off lack of knowledge in many ways. (Know some basics all around though, PLEASE!)
Borgs tend to just do the work for the department they're in, leaving nothing to the crew because they're so efficient with all-access, and their interconnected systems makes responding to anything a breeze.
Having two borgs in one department is also really shit as there will not be enough work for both, let alone crew.

 

So TL;DR: I want the AI to stay (Maybe whitelisted) and I dont want more borgs.

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1) i dont think complete removal is the answer here

2) doesnt matter to me.

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Aw shit here we go again

 

Massive -1 even before I start listing my reasons as I feel that major changes like this must have some sort of survey (the server survey?) or similar method to ensure that the community at large actually wants this instead of a vocal minority.

 

Reasons this is a bad idea

  1. Including a postibrain, this allows for 4 borgs roundstart, which can effectively run a station themselves.
  2. You can still build a AI, so why wouldnt you? 
  3. Should also remove malf if doing this, as malf would be unplayable otherwise due to above reasons
  4. Doesnt have a plan for what AI chamber will be replaced by, so its just a hole collecting dust.
  5. All you hear is the same 5-6 people saying how AI is bad because cameras, despite the numerous ways to counter this both stealthy and loudly
  6. Bad AI play can and has been dealt with by staff, what has changed between the other 5 attempts to remove/whitelist AI and now

Overall I feel that this idea is just another in a series of suggestions trying to remove the AI, and people should look at said threads as reasons why AI should stay.

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There is no reason for it and this is one of the topics I won't be neutral or friendly about:

You suck at antag? RP!

You think the AI sucks? Ahelp their RP!

You suck at AI? RP!

You think about removing a mechanic because it is not HRP, while falling down holes in a bloodred voidsuit and ahelping for a revive? R..... fuck it, you get it the idea.

The staff team is spending a lot of time and energy trying to keep it as high as possible, but we need a) ahelps and b) clear rules.

I am all for working over the wiki page or setting up a whitelist. I am also all for using the blacklist to remove people from AI.

I suggest a mixture of it. A feedback based AI. No whitelist application, just a quick overview, you get the AI slot and people post their experience and troubles with said AI in it.

About Balance:

Remove security and antags, solved. You can't have HRP without monitoring RP. You can't have antags or security without having unbalanced gamemodes.

Make a rule that the AI can't yell "antag!!!". At the same time make a rule that antags can't do "Zero laws LMFAO." If you see an AI murdering folks because of a lack of laws "Ahelp, AI BAD."

In general we have seen a huge increase in the past 3 or 4 months in AI play. New people willing to learn it, people losing the role and overall less murderbony and valid hunting AIs. There is a reason for it and it's not a balancing one. It's the effort of the staff team and the playerbase.  Deleting the role outright would be a really bad sign going forward.

Why is this post relative agressive toward the minority screeching for it's removal? Because they honestly need to calm down and think whether we are an HRP server or a "can someone hold me hand for greentext" server. If you don't manage to improve with your antag play or ahelp bad AI play then the problem is on your end. And I have seen malfs beaten with words, traitors asking for favors kindly and getting them. Entire hostage situations abusing the AIs protection laws to block a door to stop security from fucking it up once more and so on. The AI is powerfull, it also comes with a big responsibility. Antag does not. It's neither hard, nor hard to stay out of OOC trouble.

29 minutes ago, ben10083 said:

All you hear is the same 5-6 people saying how AI is bad because cameras, despite the numerous ways to counter this both stealthy and loudly

This. This. This.

Why would the majority lose a feature they enjoy and people a role that they invested time and energy in? Because 5 People are screeching. Not going to happen.

I love your PRs Geeves, I love the thing you did with ninja for example. Improve not remove. You are more creative than this buddy ❤️

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honestly the fact that heads were whitelisted but AI wasn't shocked me as a newcomer

and from what I've seen, AI is very hit or miss depending on who gets it; honestly, it seems like most of the problems raised here would be easily fixed with a whitelist which also wouldn't remove content or roles from the server, and is a win-win in keeping the AI role for the people who want it and can play it well, or like experiencing what it has to offer in rounds, while simultaneously limiting the cheese and admin workload in re: bad AIs and the like

as for cyborgs i'm not a massive fan especially if they all go engineer/construction because post-engine setup they can basically do their job but better; but i am also biased in this regard and honestly i don't really care either way

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I am... confused. Why are we against whitelisting it, but content with removing it entirely?

One allows the good AI's to continue being good AI's (and still lets MALF be a gamemode), the other just... shits all over those of us that play AI.

Furthermore, the comment of "Well you can build one, why not start with it" is a VERY good point. We have countless AI's in our lore. Bubble, ALICE, SUNSHINE (to name a few). I don't know why a top notch research station that has robotics WOULDN'T have an AI.

Aurora has a bad habit of removing RP for the sake of antags, and at the same time implementing "roleplay standards/mechanics" to "promote hRP."

We need to find a balance and stop cherry picking the HRP tree.

Edited by SatinsPristOTD

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12 minutes ago, SatinsPristOTD said:

I am... confused. Why are we against whitelisting it, but content with removing it entirely?

One allows the good AI's to continue being good AI's (and still lets MALF be a gamemode), the other just... shits all over those of us that play AI.

Whitelisting removes one part of the problem, which is the players. The other part is how laws are very open-ended and how it's completely reasonable for someone to argue that busting antags is, in fact, allowed by the lawset. Which it is. AI is a holdover from TG. Hell, the lawset that we use is a holdover from TG.

There's also the question of how powerful bolting and cameras are. I'm going to wait on someone to say how exactly cameras can be countered instead of just going "well, they can't", so that we can actually have a debate about how powerful cameras/bolting are and how to come up with alternatives. The hostility in this thread is somewhat confusing - the minority that wants the AI removed is being painted as the hostile one, despite the pro-AI half being the one that's screeching the most.

Keep in mind that this is a feedback thread. Ideas can change if you don't act like an ass about it. Which means, don't act like this and maybe people might change their mind:

32 minutes ago, Cnaym said:

There is no reason for it and this is one of the topics I won't be neutral or friendly about

 

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5 minutes ago, Datamatt said:

Keep in mind that this is a feedback thread. Ideas can change if you don't act like an ass about it. Which means, don't act like this and maybe people might change their mind

I'm dying on this hill, but the few folks screeching won't stop ^_^

I'll be impressed if they do. The rest of us that like the AI and can handle and use it won't lose it anyway.

7 minutes ago, Datamatt said:

There's also the question of how powerful bolting and cameras are.

Cameras can be removed by engineers. A bolted door takes the roboticist three secconds to handle right now, a couple more for an engineer. The AI has almost no defenses. You can max cap it from the captains office and laugh. You could even massdriver the SM into it and have a big laugh. This isn't really a balanicing problem, but a creativity issue. You can build a wall in front of a camera and giggle as antag.

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1) Do you agree with removing the AI roundstart? It's still possible to build the core and put an active brain in it later on, with qualified personnel.

I don't agree with this. No more malf: some malf rounds are horrible, but then there's the memorable ones, where they don't go for delta and instead involve the crew in roleplay. I would miss those. & Qualified personnel: removing them from start means relying on science to have the materials, know-how, ambition, and time, in a possible antag round, to build a core and upload them properly.

Maybe a change in server rules or AI Laws could fix things a little better than removing from start of round?

2) The additional cyborg spawn. I heard complaints that three cyborgs at roundstart is one too many. Please let me know what you think.

Pretty neutral on this.

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Do not remove AI

 

Yes, there have been moments where I fumed with enough salt to make my dinner run white. Yes, there have been times I threw my hands up in the air and screamed "Fuck that role!" It doesn't need to be removed. There have been other efforts over the years suggesting a whitelist. We should whitelist it, not remove it. Like it or not, I just learned to not do shit in front of cameras that can take three seconds to smash. 

 

Malfunction is a great gamemode if done properly. It's one of my favorites to play because of the freedom you have to run things like sudo events. My most recent malf, I involved practically the entire crew during deadhour with "there are things outside wanting in the airlocks" I've seen some really good malf rounds. While there sometimes may be shit malfs, the good ones are in my memory. Don't remove this.

 

In general, there are some good AIs who sit in their core and look pretty playing sudoku when they're not called upon instead of actively hunting for bad people. If it's such of a problem, whitelist it and lock it behind command.

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4 minutes ago, Cnaym said:

A bolted door takes the roboticist three secconds to handle right now, a couple more for an engineer. The AI has almost no defenses. You can max cap it from the captains office and laugh. You could even massdriver the SM into it and have a big laugh. This isn't really a balanicing problem, but a creativity issue. You can build a wall in front of a camera and giggle as antag.

Most of this is rulebreaking behaviour.

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Also, to the people I'm not replying to, believe me, your opinion is being taken into account.

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7 minutes ago, Cnaym said:

I'm dying on this hill, but the few folks screeching won't stop ^_^

I'll be impressed if they do. The rest of us that like the AI and can handle and use it won't lose it anyway.

Cameras can be removed by engineers. A bolted door takes the roboticist three secconds to handle right now, a couple more for an engineer. The AI has almost no defenses. You can max cap it from the captains office and laugh. You could even massdriver the SM into it and have a big laugh. This isn't really a balanicing problem, but a creativity issue. You can build a wall in front of a camera and giggle as antag.

Alright, let's break it down.

1. Removing cameras is a moot point based on chance. It doesn't matter if you remove the camera - the AI could be spotting you at any time before you approach the camera or the nanosecond before you cut the wire and your gig is up. If the AI spots the huge block of static after you remove the camera and sec gets there, you're in a very precarious situation.

2. I don't think we should balance antags around every single one having the space for a toolbelt, or the means to find one, especially since it's not a guarantee that you'll be able to find one. If anything, the door hacking tool is a better counterargument, despite it taking like 40 seconds.

3. It's very convenient for a traitor to conveniently have access to the captain's office, the time to break into toxins, the time to make a maxcap, a security team so dumb to not be able to stop it AND the luck for it to not be blatant ganking. If you break the floor and drop in, you have no way out of the AI core without being bottlenecked instantly by security. If you choose to go in via the upload, there are a lot of defenses there. I'm not really seeing this "no defenses" thing.

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Just now, geeves said:

Most of this is rulebreaking behaviour.

If the AI is giving you shit, kill it. Place an emmiter in the command bunker and laugh while it fries in its core. 

 

Regardless, this entire thread boils down into one thing: whitelist the role. Malf is a good gamemode. Please don't remove it :(

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19 minutes ago, Datamatt said:

so that we can actually have a debate about how powerful cameras/bolting are and how to come up with alternatives.

Could we code in... and this sounds stupid, but it might work...

"Feed distortion"? Cameras could become unreliable. They're cheaply made and quick as the devil to build. What if some areas just became static NATURALLY. It doesn't have to be overly done or extremely common, but the occurrence could be enough that any AI would just see it as "ahh, my camera's out for a minute or two".

Then we give antags a "feed distorter" and it just plays off the AI's shitty camera system.

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Just now, SatinsPristOTD said:

Could we code in... and this sounds stupid, but it might work...

"Feed distortion"? Cameras could become unreliable. They're cheaply made and quick as the devil to build. What if some areas just became static NATURALLY. It doesn't have to be overly done or extremely common, but the occurrence could be enough that any AI would just see it as "ahh, my camera's out for a minute or two".

Then we give antags a "feed distorter" and it just plays off the AI's shitty camera system.

It's possible, yes. You'd have to ask the people who play malf most often about how annoying it is though.

Feed distorters are an ok idea. Not too sure if it can be done, but they'd help with the instant recognization, though you'd be better off putting a gas mask on and removing your ID for that tbh.

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1 minute ago, SatinsPristOTD said:

Could we code in... and this sounds stupid, but it might work...

"Feed distortion"? Cameras could become unreliable. They're cheaply made and quick as the devil to build. What if some areas just became static NATURALLY. It doesn't have to be overly done or extremely common, but the occurrence could be enough that any AI would just see it as "ahh, my camera's out for a minute or two".

Then we give antags a "feed distorter" and it just plays off the AI's shitty camera system.

I kind of love this idea. No more panic "camera is gone!" but instead "ah, it's glitching again".

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Unless it works like a radio jammer and just knocks off any nearby cameras, even if you aren't in sight/can't see the distorter. So you could knock a radius of cameras out while in the tunnels.

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