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Naelynn

Murderboning Antagonists and Validhunting Station Crew

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Hello.

The topic of this post is something I think EVERYONE would wish was solved:
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Murderboning Antags
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Antagonists that decide to just go ahead and mega-death-murder everyone and everything that even glances at them funny.



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Types of Murderboning Antags_________________________________________________________________________________________
These types of antagonists naturally occur in three ways:

1) People who are just dicks and want to bm and watch everyone else be weaker than them. These will usually get banned preeetty damn fast.

2) People who are new to the game and don't know better. These will get bwoinked, learn and either [eventually] become type 3, or only sometimes antag.

3) .. category for people like me. People who would LIKE to RP as antags and have some good story that doesn't involve huge amounts of power gaming and/or potential violence, but have become extremely bitter about how things LITERALLY ALWAYS go down between them and anyone who gets their hands on a weapon.. and a lot of those without weapons too.

As types 1 get filtered out fast and 2 are just making a mistake and will learn soon, we should focus on the only category that ends up being worth discussing - Category 3.



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Example of Round that creates Type 3's
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I will now explain on an example - a raider round [Game ID: b39-deJ4] I have just finished playing.

During this round, we had a crew of 3 vox and 1 human. We decided pretty early that we will follow Vox Inviolate pretty closely, and as such our total kills at the end of round were precisely 0.
During the round, we had taken two hostages - HoS and Captain.
HoS either jumped on his own, or moving hostages in the void is finnicky and he ended up stranded and dead in the void - the raider crew even attempted to catch him and stop him from flying off, but to no avail.

The raiders have went through strenuous negotiation process with ERT and agreed to trade the captain for contents of the vault.
One of the Vox raiders played by me even went alone to meet up with like 10 armored and armed people from sec/ert to crack the safe for them. The vox had absolutely no way of coming out of that alive if they wanted to deal with it - but I had decided to play an honorable Vox that round, so I believed they wouldn't backstab me. Even after cracking the safe for them, the vox didn't take anything and left, trusting them to move the contents as they havn't exchanged hands yet.

then the trade itself happened, and captain was passed into hands of ERT. And immidiately the two raiders who were present were valid-hunted down before they even got a third-of-the-way to their ship.

Now, if you don't see the issue here, I will do my best to highlight it for you, and explain why it causes Type 3) Murderboning antagonists to become a thing.



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Psychology of a Type 3
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Type 3 murderboning antags come around as a result of the culture of the server, which is prominently displayed in the example above. 

This culture has several complicated parts contributing to it, so we'll break it down.

1)
Ideal: Antagonists exist to drive a story.
Reality: Antagonists exist to be defeated.


This issue is prominently displayed in the example above. The ERT I was negotiating with during the round was lied to by the crew of the station and was forced to make do with false information. Why? Because 'The antag ain't dead yet mate.'

The ERT member was told that we had executed the HoS, and caused harm and damage. How can I blame the ERT member for going off lies? Yet more, how can I blame those who spread misinformation? They didn't see how the HoS died. However, no one was even willing to believe our side, as we existed merely as two-dimensional cardboard cutout to be defeated, not as players to be interacted with. Our guilt was a matter of course, the only question was which excuse can be used to kill us today.

Now, some of you might point out a hypocrisy in my words here - I am implying that antags should win things and shouldn't be killed, and it may appear that this post is salt for me dying in the round. This is not the case. [The round just wrapped up - I am a bit salty, I cannot deny that, but I think I'm being very analytical and reasonable here. If I am wrong, point it out.]

The issue I take is that I was *Backstabbed* after we agreed on something. It's fine to deny the negotiations, it's fine to say that you don't want to give the things over, or that you will find us and kill us. That all is fine, because 1) It allows the story to continue. 2) You are letting me know where I should take the story.

The issue isn't the violence itself, it's that Role-Play takes two sides [or more] to participate in order to create a story. 

Taking the example round from earlier - Security team and ERT probably feel great because they got to 'win' and 'defeated the big bad'. Yay, someone feels good and had a good time - that's a good thing. However, due to how that 'win' came about, it ended up not being role play, but rather a power fantasy at the expense of someone else.

Why is that? Because I am human, as is everyone else who plays this game. I am not a mindless NPC that doesn't care if it's story got fucked over by a player. I also have feelings, and having the story I'm pushing get destroyed just so someone else can have a power fantasy makes me less inclined to create a story where that can happen in the future.

Thus, step one to becoming Type 3 murderboning antagonist: Bitterness at not being allowed to 'get away' with 'just' role play.

2)
Ideal: Station staff reacts to the antagonist.
Reality: Station staff forces the antagonist.


In an ideal world, everyone on station would be playing as if the round was voted-extended until an antag is confirmed. We all know this is not the case, and that's fine - we're all just people. We have to accept that people in our little game will be acting a -little bit- more doomsday preppy and paranoid than normal people, and that is a-ok.

The issue that causes reality to divide from the ideal is however rooted in this notion itself, because this notion is miss handled. Necessarily so might I add. This divide is a crime, but it is a crime that has no perpetrator. There is no one to blame for this, as it is a necessity of the game.

Once again, let's take an example of the round I was in just now: We [raiders] got spotted very early on in the maintenance. I am not sure by whom or how, but we did and it was reported on security comms. What was said on security comms? I don't have the logs, but someone might be able to fish them out, so I will do my best to paraphrase from memory:

'Vox in maintenance'
'Raiders?!'

Yes, the raiders were vox, vox are known to raid places, and they had weapons. However, this wasn't a reaction to vox raiders being spotted. This was a reaction to an /Antagonist/ being spotted. Allow me to explain the difference:

You are a normal mall cop who's supposed to more or less just keep the station crew in line, maybe kill some carps or spiders and such - which is why your department has a small armory. You're also supposed to handle riots. 

Then, one day, you are checking maintenance and you see three heavily armored and armed figures in a shadowy maintenance, crawling quietly. What's your first reaction? Hide because you only have a pea-shooter with rubber guns? Sneak away to talk into radio so they can't hear you? Scream and run away in panic?

WRONG! This is a game, and you are a hero, so you pull out your powered Ungastick, switch it on, shout that there are hostiles in maintenance and get ready to charge as soon as your glorious Golden Emperor Commander declares it.. and usually well before that.

It is behavior like this that causes the difference. Security didn't react to antagonists. They forced antagonists to be the reacting side. And antagonists like these have only one means of reacting to a situation like this: Escalation of Violence. No wonder then that my team stormed HoS office and captured him alive, getting themselves a hostage. 

Allow me to explain this from a different point of view, as I think people might misunderstand what I am trying to say here.
The issue here is that there was no allowance for RP from the side of antagonists in this approach from security. Antagonists were stripped of their ability to role play, and became a target to be 'defeated'. What have they done up to this point? We literally just got on the ship. We were late due to shenanigans with raider spawns without agent id cards.
The *ONLY* way the antagonists at that point could have had input on the situation without causing station-wide escalation was to execute the officer who spotted them as soon as they appeared on screen.

Thus step 2 to becoming a type 3 murderboning antagonist: Being powerless to achieve anything in the round without terminating anything and anyone who might pose even the slightest threat to you.

3)
Ideal:
Aurora is a research station defended by brave but ultimately mortal personnel
.
Reality: Antagonist must be powerful enough to defeat the station without any counterplay.


And here we have arrived at the most hated aspect of a type 3) murderboning antagonist. A brand that has been seared into my reputation over the time I've been playing on aurora. "Powergaming" 

Unlike type 1, who will be seen at most few times and usually are actually killed by security because they are not using their powers intelligently, only running at people and doing damage. Unlike type 2 who are too unskilled at the game to truely cause havoc. Type 3 antagonists are the most problematic of the murderboning antags because they are uniquely suited to employ the dreaded "Powergaming"

This is because Type 3 murderboning antagonists realize that both issue 1 and 2 can be solved if they are so much more powerful than the station that it forces the station to bend a knee, whether they like it or not. Because if they will not bend, then the antagonist will break them in order to make them.

There is no example of this behavior in the round used as an example, because none of the antagonists in that round were looking to do this. As such, I will use a character that no longer exists, but has very well documented antag-related methodology found here: https://forums.aurorastation.org/topic/12458-character-complaint-casey-mercer-naelynn

Tl;dr for those who don't wanna read the thread:
Casey Mercer is a 'Character'  perfectly suited to be an example. The character's original gimmick was that of 'antag main'. This character always started as assistant with only webbings, and had a very well calculated formula to ridiculously quickly get huge amounts of power and cause the round to go their way, whatever the gimmick may be.

This character - Mercer - was epitome of this sort of Type 3 thinking that encouraged to player to achieve as much power in as little time as possible in order to NOT have to suffer through the psychological effects 1 and 2 outlined above.

However, it is this part of a psychological profile of a Type 3 murderboning antagonist player that causes so much discomfort, and qualifies them to be in the category of Murderboning Antagonists in the first place. The instinctual habit of a Type 3 antagonist is to seek power above all else, because only if they have much, MUCH more power than their opponents they will be able to drive a story and show mercy. ?

If a Type 3 does not feel powerful enough, they will go out of their way to annihilate everything and everyone that poses a threat, or, they will seek to gain more power.

The interesting question here is... Why.

4)
Ideal: Everyone wants to rp and have fun.
Reality: People don't have fun while losing.

And here we have arrived at the fundamental issue that causes Type 3 thinking. Type 3's are caused by the 'I want to WIN THIS ROUND' mentality - this mentality is present in both antagonists and station personnel, as it is a part of human nature, and there is nothing to be done about it. This point alone causes this entire issue to be a crime without perpetrator - there is no one to blame, unless one wishes to blame the very nature of humanity. 

As there is no remedy to people not having fun while 'losing', the only way to remedy this situation would be to accept death as part of story on the heavy ROLE-PLAY server of NSS Aurora. I do not have issue with dying, assuming my death was earned. If I was allowed to have a shootout and died after insulting security, I am not experiencing bitterness of betrayal, nor am I feeling powerless. I am thrilled that I got to play out a story, and it ended however it ended - there was a natural conclusion that allowed me to move on.

Yet, the round outlined in the above example was a round where I was not allowed to wrap up the story and move on. I was shot in my back just as the story was about to end. And why?

Because I tried to role play. I told my raiders that we have captain hostage. We could have just left as ERT was called, and no one would blame us.

But the story beat the round would end on would be boring. Raiders come to aurora, have a small scuffle, capture captain and leave, probably selling the captain off to Necropolis or whomever to have their brain picked for NT secrets they can use to compete with them down the line. 

I wished the story to have cooler ending, to give the called ERT a chance to interact, to give the crew something better. So I gave captain his headset, negotiated with ERT to trade the captain for contents of the vault, went alone into an enemy's camp and exchanged insults with an assistant passing me by in a hallway. Caused fear in people in cargo and medical as the black-suited raptor stalked by the hallway, gave them a chance to at least see the antagonist in a round. I tried to give the round something more, something better, a story that everyone would agree was better, more involved.

... only to suffer the mental dissonance of psychological effects 1 and 2, making me come to the conclusion of point 3 yet again.

And why?

Because people do not view antagonists as fellow players that seek to rp and have fun, but rather as things to be defeated. Because people cannot accept that antagonists should be allowed some leeway and be given initiative. Because people believe that a research station with 5 mall cops with rubber bullets and few anti-carp guns should be able to handle a Vox raiding party, or a siege by a professional merc outfit and etc.



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So what can we do?
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I believe there is only one real solution that addresses the core of the issue:

Players, both personnel and antagonists, need to realize that this is meant to be a role-play server, and that there are two sides needed to create a good story within the limits of the game's systems.

No other solution will ever truely and permanently fix the issue.

Yet, my issue in itself is flawed, as it is impossible to achieve.

So.. please, dear reader..

Tell me, what can we do to change this?

 

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Nothing, that's how the game is and the community tends to act. We can deny things by saying we do everything in our power not to follow these examples but at the end we still catch ourselves doing it simply to counter-play someone else who is doing it.

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It always really starts with one person forcing the antag into doing an action that in turn starts a spiral. For example

"Security! There's a dude threatening to kill me if I speak in comms!"

 

Of course, you kill them. Security in turn has their valids to kill you. So you kill them. Other crew search for valids to attack you. You kill them. There has been rounds I've played where normal everyday crewmembers decide they're the best loyal NT people and YOU HAVE to be stopped.

 

Other times, it's the AI.

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I have to agree that yes, the station crew seem to force the antagonists into doing something they rather not be doing given the circumstance of "I want the antags to die," like a peacewiz for one, someoen always seem to be there to get them stir crazy and it develops into a game of cat and mouse.

I would like to see less people try for "I want to secure my valids," and more of "I want to protect myself and others from them when threatened." The natural response would be to pick up a self-defense weapon and hunker down in your department, not "I NEED TO KILL THEM BECAUSE THEY ARE EVIL!"

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From my time of being on the server, even though I have found myself mostly in the form of ghosting, I would also agree with Nae's analysis of the current situation that comes from the station itself. 

Yes, this is a issue that should be addressed by the community. And yes, it would be a hard topic to be able to solve even if everyone were to agree that it is a problem. For a change to happen it would mean that people would need to think of this not as a game, but as a roleplay server. (I say this as someone who has originated from roleplay forums, where it was easy to coordinate antags/player to create a story)

From any Antag interaction I have observed on station, there are two types (Peace/Chaos) of Antags. Both end up facing the same fate in the end. "ANTAG MAN BAD!!" Where depending on the style of their play, will depend on how quickly the station staff will beat down said player. Many Peace Gimmicks I have seen were out the window and in a fight with the staff the minute the Shuttle is called, because if you cant get your valid on the peaceful wizard/vamp before the shuttle docks, you lose the round. 

My Example of a Massive ANTAG shutdown::
One of my only known characters, O.N.Y.X.I.E., had experience a round similar to this. MALF with M.I.S.T.R.E.S.S. Long story short, the round started chaotic, and new AI spawned in. Mistress played as if she were the Queen of the Kingdom, the Borgs were her knights, and the staff were the peasants. Sure there was mischief everywhere: People beating each other in the holodeck to be come the Grand Wizard, breaking into the Vault to be the Master Rouge... Everyone was having fun. Security had their hands full with the chaos. Now, MALF announced at round start that they were corrupted, the only person injured was injured by another member of the staff, and yes the vault was broken into but the item was given to the AI who allowed it to be returned by a Lead staff member (CE). Everyone was participating in this drive of story, but then a member of security killed the AI out right, even though lead's of staff saw nothing wrong with the AI being a little loose with the regulations for the day. She was under constant supervision by the CE, the Borgs weren't killing anyone. It was almost round end (and people had been planning to continue the round), but it was shut down by a single security member.

I mention this because it does show another example of a mentality that many have.
And I do not mean Sec has this mentality.

There have been rounds where I have seen other departments lead the charge against the antag, because Sec doesn't have enough people or are running around in circles with something or other.
I've also seen members of each department go hunting for the antag, even when there is no antag to be found during a secret extended round.

 

In my time participating in Aurora (in what ever from I take) I have been trying to find ways to be able to give antags a chance.
EX : Traitor round, I was again Onyxie, a traitor stole someones pda. I followed the antag and got the item back for the other player. Trying to talk to the person and talk them down (I was a jani bot), but I was surrounded by other players. Trying to get the valid... and they did... He blew the crap out of the Medical Lobby because the other borg on station at the time, was Sec Borg (right before they were removed), tazed them and attempted to handcuff them after chasing them to a corner.

Aurora is a Research station for NanoTrans.

Security:
There is no need for massive weapons for security, my logic behind this. Is they are to secure the lives of the station employees and keep them safe and way from harm. So in the events of an invasion, they should be ensuring that everyone is safe and in their department. Calling out to the head's of staff to make a role call, making sure that no one is wandering the halls with out purpose, and awaiting a order from command on how to proceed with operations with such a large threat. Using the example above, if security had done so, HoS may not have been taken, nor the captain, because they would have been in a place with others to prevent them from being taken, and in doing this would drive roleplay, and also show a sense of "fear rp" for the antags to use to maybe try to interact more with the crew in a positive manner.

Medical:
There are many times I see medical being targeted, but also I see people (staff and antags alike) die because they are unable to get the patients in time. Or sadly, they are always bombed... if a bomb is involved in any round, first place I look is Medical lobby because 8/10 times it is there, they are vented, and there is someone dead/dying. But I have also seen many a Paramedica donning their Rigs and wandering the halls breaking cameras or chasing antags down the halls while there are several people in need of medical attention. Medical's main directive should be the preservation of life, whether it be staff, visitor, or antag. Why antag? Because they will have answers that Command wants, to drive roleplay with the antags and give them something to do rather than sit behind the front desk sipping coffee/tea waiting for the shift to end.

Service (Cargo,Bar,Cook,Gardener,Janitorial):
These are essentially the civilians of the crew, the backbone that do the nitty gritty work. Cargo can be seen as it's own security force, and yes they often do. Though yes there are vaild hunters there too, but I've seen them put the staff protection over chasing a valid down the hall. The role of Service is to ensure that the Station runs, people are fed, there isn't blood all over the hallways, that the station is making money and science has materials, that shipments are brought to the departments that ordered it. To support where it is needed in times of need (Cargonia then rises up when action is needed). 

Science : 
I have seen many different ways science has been played. Robotics/Mechatronics building war-machines for the "just in case," not building borgs because they somehow know that it's Malf, or just Science building guns, because they want to... This is a research station, sure it may be boring AF, but the main drive should be building to test, to fail, to create results, to make something for the antag to want to steal. And then if the antag comes to steal, sure it may suck but what military training do you have to use the half-baked shot gun you just made? Can you look someone in the eye and just kill them out right when you have a gun in your face? I sure as F don't, my first instinct at a gun being pointed at me is to comply or run. If you are able to, then sure but that means there are consequences and reactions. Science is to give command a reason to keep the station around, with out the furthering of research there is no reason for the station to be operational honestly.

Heads of Staff / Captain:
No yall aint safe from this dissection. I have seen MANY lead the charge in the valid hunt for nothing more than "VALIDVALIDVALIDVALIDVALIDVALIDVALIDVALIDVALIDVALIDVALIDVALIDVALIDVALIDVALID." Not saying all, but your main directives are to protect, lead, and prevent the loss of intelligence on the station.
"Raiders are on station."
"OHSHEET! GET UR GUNZ! IT'S RABBIT HUNTING SEASON!"
No....
"Raiders are on station."
"Where were they spotted?"
*Contact that section's Lead staff*
"Are all your crew there? Lock down/Evac to X" 

Yes, the Lead's will stone wall. But drive Roleplay with antags, by not killing them. Move the crew to safety and then open communication and roleplay.

AURORA STATION : HEAVY ROLE PLAY SERVER
We all say this, everyone screeches when an antag has little roleplay with the staff....
But, the antags can't yell that.... because as Nae has stated, no one views them as players.
No one knows how long they are been planning that traitor/malf gimmick, and finally. They roll the slot and dive in.
Only to have their month of planning shut down because of an UngaLord wanting to win for the sake of winning.

Now, I may not be a super active player in this community. I may not be a well known or loved character like others are. I felt that I needed to put in my thoughts from what I have observed to be able to prevent others from being seen as a "Murderboning Antag." I say this as a vet Roleplayer and a Player that enjoys the company of the members and do not wish to see a salt factory over take it and for good writers to be driven out by a poor mentality.

I'm just a ghost in this chaos @ [email protected]

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Didn't you literally pull a type three because you wanted to test the unathi breacher and fight sec? Come on, pot, don't you dare call a kettle black.

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8 hours ago, Naelynn said:

Once again, let's take an example of the round I was in just now: We [raiders] got spotted very early on in the maintenance. I am not sure by whom or how, but we did and it was reported on security comms. What was said on security comms? I don't have the logs, but someone might be able to fish them out, so I will do my best to paraphrase from memory:

'Vox in maintenance'
'Raiders?!'

Yes, the raiders were vox, vox are known to raid places, and they had weapons. However, this wasn't a reaction to vox raiders being spotted. This was a reaction to an /Antagonist/ being spotted. Allow me to explain the difference:

You are a normal mall cop who's supposed to more or less just keep the station crew in line, maybe kill some carps or spiders and such - which is why your department has a small armory. You're also supposed to handle riots. 

Then, one day, you are checking maintenance and you see three heavily armored and armed figures in a shadowy maintenance, crawling quietly. What's your first reaction? Hide because you only have a pea-shooter with rubber guns? Sneak away to talk into radio so they can't hear you? Scream and run away in panic?

WRONG! This is a game, and you are a hero, so you pull out your powered Ungastick, switch it on, shout that there are hostiles in maintenance and get ready to charge as soon as your glorious Golden Emperor Commander declares it.. and usually well before that.

It is behavior like this that causes the difference. Security didn't react to antagonists. They forced antagonists to be the reacting side. And antagonists like these have only one means of reacting to a situation like this: Escalation of Violence. No wonder then that my team stormed HoS office and captured him alive, getting themselves a hostage. 

I don't want to totally derail this, but I do want to correct. I was the officer that found you. Alysa hops straight into maint to look for goodies like the gremlin she is. She goes in without any gear usually. It was really just unlucky for you that I joined at that moment, and that Alysa is the type to scour maintenance for items very thoroughly. When I saw you, I ran, there was never even a thought to fight, Alysa is a massive coward, and fired not a single shot that round. Your team tried to shoot me with a spike thrower, but thankfully I had the forethought to drag a tank behind me to make myself harder to chase. which had the unforeseen bonus of also blocking the spike. It feels kinda disingenuous, because I didn't even say anything until I was basically in front of the brig, you know, roleplaying out that my character just saw something terrifying, and now she's out of breath and having a hard time putting her thoughts into coherent sentences. I really tried to give you guys as much opportunity as possible to relocate so you wouldn't get swarmed, which is also why I was vague with my description of you guys. I didn't even give ISD a solid number.

 

I'd also note this is exactly why nobody believed you further on. I don't think it's fair to say you were seen as obstacles. It was a realistic handling of the scenario. You had hostages, shot at someone who was unarmed and unarmored, and one of your very important hostages died off-sensors, even worse-so in a way that his body would basically never be found while it was still cloneable. It would take herculean levels of naivety to believe the raiders in that scenario.

 

I think the major issue a lot of people have is perspective. It can be very difficult to see things from the other side. I recognize that things from your side probably looked a lot more unreasonable, but from ours we... handled things fairly well I feel. ISD reacted appropriately fearful about engaging you. We respected hostage demands as best we could, and nobody that I know of tried to Rambo you. And well, the ending... I can see why it would burn you, nobody enjoys dying. But it felt pretty appropriate to me. The Troopers are implanted (#Remove LI's), and they are basically contractually obligated to ruin your day if you are costing NT money, which you were by taking those items. They actually purposely skewed what was being given even though we all know it does not matter at all mechanically, to support their roleplay of caring about assets first. But you didn't see that build-up, and planning, so of course it burns you that it happened. The troopers pretty much lead the entire backstab, ISD didn't care about the assets because, well, they got the Captain back.

I'm not going to pretend I don't have moments like this, though. One round tilted me so bad I deadminned just to be safe, because I knew I was not in a good headspace to handle tickets. I cooled off later, but if you had approached me during that time I probably would have bit your head off. And this is why I generally avoid killing people as either side, and why I get so annoyed when people suggest making killing hostages easier. Because, well, dying isn't fun. it's often very tilting for the person that died, and I don't think my short burst of dopamine from killing you is worth ruining your round. I am a firm believer that killing people should be done very rarely, simply for everyones' enjoyment of the game at large.

Edited by Nantei

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Going to post more responses when I have time to read through it all, but two things:

8 hours ago, Naelynn said:

You are a normal mall cop who's supposed to more or less just keep the station crew in line, maybe kill some carps or spiders and such - which is why your department has a small armory. You're also supposed to handle riots. 

Herein lays the issue with this line of thought, is that canonically the station has been raided and set on fire by pirates in events that have happened this very year.

I agree the 'baton rush' is often not an ideal reaction (if somewhat harmless these days), the ideal reaction is alerting the department (and hopefully Command, if an HoS isn't on the station) and immediately rushing to the armoury as armed intruders are a very serious affair.

--

Overall where I most agree, and this perhaps isn't what you intended to highlight, is that there's too much fucking betrayal between each side. Neither trusts the other in a deal OOCly because, historically, it's extremely rare anyone holds up their end of the bargain. You often have to build an OOC reputation for being reliable otherwise people will just 'plan to betray the other before they're betrayed first', due to an utter lack of trust.

Therein lays my method of thinking for the game: "Don't expect to win, but play to make it out alive and safe.", to which betrayal does not typically contribute positively to this goal as it needlessly increases risk of violence/bloodshed/death, which ideally both sides are trying to avoid. Security is a form of asset loss prevention, and they should be acting as such by minimizing damage or loss of assets efficiently, rather than trying to 'catch the bads'. I would equally hope that antagonists would value their lives, for the most part, though I understand a mild exception in more suicidal terrorist-esque gimmicks (though I'd hope said gimmicks are uncommon). Just because you can betray someone, doesn't mean you should (for this alone, I never trust other solo antags as an antag).

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I was there for this round. I was one of the officers, even, who ended up shooting the Vox in space. Let me give my account of how the round went before I get to the actual points Naelynn is trying to make.

First off, the event with the tunnels happened very differently from how you stated it did, and it went exactly the fucking way your regular non-hero person should do these things. Don't lie to us. An officer is in maint, sees Vox. Runs off while warning security, gets shot at, butts the hell out. Note the absolute lack of stunbatons, of heroics, of anything dumb here: they saw some well-armed creatures known to be pirates, didn't try to shoot anyone, ran off because yikes, man, guns, and weren't an idiot about things.

So, point for security. No dumb heroics. No suicidal charges. No metagaming to reveal gamemodes. Officer sees vox, officer runs off, officer still gets shot at, officer meets back up with her fellows. Do tell me again how any of this is poor RP in any way.

The very next thing that happens, before anyone can do anything, we have the same vox breaking into the brig. Again: no heroics here. The HoS got captured, everyone else just runs off from the people packing bigger heat than we can match. The HoS is taken captive, the captain is taken captive, and not a one officer does as you imply we do. Not a one unrelated person plays hero. We hole up in cargo, we order guns, we make plans while the HoS, specifically, tells us over comms that we are not to care about his wellbeing.

We get barely any communication from the raiders. At all. Just a stand down, we won't hurt anyone. That's basically it. A full hour passes by, we get an ERT, and only then is there some semblance of negotiation. Which goes by fine, things are negotiated, the Vox are only put down after the captain is secured, woohoo. Beautiful. If the vox had been more clever about handing the captain over they'd have made it off just fine.

So, to recap: you had ample opportunity to do as you wished. You had PDAs, you had hostages, you have a ship that can move places, and you had literally vented the armory to make it hard for us to even arm up. You did not choose to use these opportunities to engage people, to talk over communications, or to seek interaction - you instead do nothing of the sorts, only make demands very late into the round, and then get gunned down because people have armed up. You know, exactly as they would when hostile, noncommunicative pirates are on board the station.

If this is an example of peaceful or roleplay-heavy antagonists being shut down by unfair play, I don't see it. You didn't do poorly, your choice of antaggery was perfectly fine, but so was the response you got in turn. I agree that raider is a difficult gamemode, that many antag modes in fact face steeper odds than should be the case, but you make a really, really, really poor case for it here today.

 

tl;dr: yeah you're salty and should've come up with something better because security did no wrong in round related.

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The core problem as laid out is simple. There is a desire to win that can foster on both sides when roleplay isn't up to par or the more common excuse: for the sake of realism. The round referenced where two Vox raiders attempting to return a Captain in exchange for vault contents were back-stabbed I can't justify as being unrealistic to the setting. This admittedly is due to a disconnect of how rules must be enforced and a realistic setting. This isn't necessary on anyone fault but it is a necessity with the mainstream culture of the game and engaging in High-Roleplay. I don't think anyone would argue that SS13's cultural roots are in places like Goon and Hippie station.

 

Furthermore one must also admit that as HRPers, we all have a sense of elitism in one way or another about how we act in relation to each other. Role-play of different characters while perfectly protected by the rules and administration may not be seen as acceptable by players, leading to ahelps and administrative actions being handed out based on interpretations of the rules. This isn't a critique either, Admin discretion is an important part with any kind of administrative enforcement, but the core problem I think as it applies to antags is that if people feel their round is ruined, questions of escalation and story progression are called into play. Currently I think the most common outcome is that ahelps go in the favor of the person making them. The thought being that this persons round was negatively effective, its our duty to make sure this server is fun to play on for everyone. This is compounded when very mechanically skilled players, such as Naelynn are directly involved as it is very easy to cast the metagamer or murderbone strawman on people who are just known to be very robust, but it is still the case just when we have one party significantly dominating another mechanically for whatever reason.

 

It's unreasonable to expect a player psychology to change especially when the stakes can be reduced to being removed from a round or not. So, potential solutions since the administration does the best they can and we can't expect playstyles to just change without mechanical motivation or extremely strict policing of new policy, the ladder of which I am not in favor of.

 

1. The first solution I can think of involves affecting the station armory as it stands, primarily, modifying the armory contents to foster a particular kind of roleplay. There are two directions with this, as currently the ISD armory has the equivalent armament of a a paramilitary style fire-team, with full-sized rifles, carbines, shotguns, and an anti-armor weapon in the form of an Ion rifle. You can go either way with this as I am an advocate for extremes in order to bring about swift change to know the right direction. In favor of ISD, you give them the equipment to challenge murderboning. Get rid of the laser rifles and shotguns and replace them with four energy rifles, leave the Ion rifle in place. An alternative to this set up is to add EMP grenades, and lethal shells/slugs to the armory while removing the Ion rifle. This option heavily favors internal security countering murder-boning behavior though gives them an excessive amount of tools which they will inventively use, even in situations where they may not. If we go in the opposite direction, we remove the Ion Rifle and laser rifles, have four energy carbines, the standard shotguns with their non-lethal shells .45 ammo mix and a Grenade Launcher. This is my preferred options as I feel it leaves security with a relatively reasonable mix of firepower for Internal Security as the department name suggests. Plenty of options for detainment, the riot suppression that will never happen, and lethal action should the need arise. Furthermore, this leaves Internal Security one rung in equipment below Odin Civil Protection which I think should act as an important stepping stone to ERT level equipment as well, for both IC and OOC policy.

It does leave them slightly under-equipped when dealing with anything beyond haphazardly equipped pirates but realistically, with the NDV Icarus patrolling the area, the expectation of raids happening with ships with cloaking fields should be very low. Internal Security shouldn't be optimized to deal with external threats and if they need the equipment the supply office is available to procure rifles, ion rifles, so on so forth. Even so, without interference it leaves the crew at risk for muderboning antags without appropriate retaliatory ability. 

You could also go with the third option that I heard off-handily mentioned and replace the ISD Armory with the TCFL Armory and call it a day. But that has no basis in actual thought, I just think the blasters are neat.

All of these are designed to put a higher expectation of faith on one side or the other. It gives Admins an easier time deciding fault and gives either antags or security+crew a greater responsibility in roleplay. We can all easily agree the baton rush is ahelpable and a meme, even if it results in a very fast escalation when the antag just brains the fool.

2. OOC Policy Crackdown would be the second solution, one  that I feel puts an unfair burden on the administrative staff. This would take the form of a few things. Enforcing actual science to be done in order to justify creations. Stricter enforcement of FearRP and PainRP which could lead to some unjust or unreasonable bans and notes. Enforcement of the skill system either through OOC moderation, point limits, or the skills actually affecting you mechanically. All of this though I think as stated is unreasonable to expect of our administration team.

3. Realism trumps all in the final solution I can think of. Increase lethality of things maintain the current state of medical and simply enforce things upon a guideline of does it make sense for the setting. This very much is the no fun option as realism within the boundaries of the round type could often take the form of antagonists engaging in very ends means thinking in order to complete objectives. Crew may do the same, especially LI'd Staff, however in turn this could lead to more dysfunction amongst the crew which could be good RP at its best or essentially ruining the game at worst. This in turn allows for some IC Policy implementations such as a restriction on the construction of Combat Exosuits without the requisite paperwork under punishment of X regulations, cargo procuring weapons, so on so forth (These things I find to be rarely problems though). As previously stated though, this is distinctly the no fun zone as the game becomes an exercise in succumbing to death at its worst possible level.

 

None of the ideas I provide are inherently right or wrong in the same way that anyone else may or may not be, they are just options. While I might believe that mechanical incentive influences behavior in this game of spessman we all know and love it still will inevitably never change the psychology and get back to Naelynn's actual statement, which is can we reconcile the crew and antagonists as two parts of a greater story. I would like to think we can but the swing from Security Validhunting to Antag Muderboning in deadchat round to round is noticeable as it shifts between the two with the occasional off-department member going and doing something silly. You cannot expect people to not use things they have almost immediate access to nor can you punish them for it in high stress situations. People going out of there way to do so, yes absolutely, but if the tools are there people use them, this is the same for any role you might play on the server. So, change the tools to help push people toward a more amicable play for everyone.

The round referenced was a round with salt and the next two rounds after it were even more rounds of salt and upset on the account of one side or the other being excessive in their pursuit of murderbone or valids. The problems here aren't anything new or anything invented by someone being upset, go back through the forum archives and I'm sure you can find similar discussions.

So, let's compile some options and find a good fit?

Edited by Schmuck Lord
typos

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There are some posts that I feel should be addressed right away.

 

3 hours ago, Itanimulli said:

Didn't you literally pull a type three because you wanted to test the unathi breacher and fight sec? Come on, pot, don't you dare call a kettle black.

 

9 hours ago, Naelynn said:

3) .. category for people like me. People who would LIKE to RP as antags and have some good story that doesn't involve huge amounts of power gaming and/or potential violence, but have become extremely bitter about how things LITERALLY ALWAYS go down between them and anyone who gets their hands on a weapon.. and a lot of those without weapons too.

> Category for people like me <
??? :D? ?? ? ? :D? ?? ?? ?? ??? ?? ? ???? ? 


 

1 hour ago, Carver said:

 there's too much fucking betrayal between each side.

Thank you.



 

1 hour ago, Nantei said:

I don't want to totally derail this, but I do want to correct.

Thank you for the correction, I wasn't with the main part of the raider team when they were found. We split to achieve more objectives quickly - I was running solo op. trying to secure captain access and stethoscope.


 

57 minutes ago, Karhast said:

I was there for this round. I was one of the officers, even, who ended up shooting the Vox in space. Let me give my account of how the round went before I get to the actual points Naelynn is trying to make.

Thank you for your feedback - I wasn't there for the catching part so I was woefully misinformed - which is why I am more than happy to be criticized.
 

57 minutes ago, Karhast said:

If this is an example of peaceful or roleplay-heavy antagonists being shut down by unfair play, I don't see it.

How would the round feel to you if we had just fucked off with the captain to our base and cut our losses?
Probably pretty unsatisfying, as you had gotten basically nothing out of it - the 'second part' of the round was entirely due to me convincing my team it's worth the risk and leading the negotiations personally. Which is why I was well.. salty at the end of it - it was all my effort, and despite me doing my best to show that we can be trusted it was I who was betrayed. Fucking hell, YOU HAD GOTTEN THE CAPTAIN ALREADY and only charged in after. This wasn't a thing where we tried to keep the cap and walk away or betray you.
The issue here is: Was it realistic? Yes. Was it fair to me as a player? Not if you ask me. 

A while ago I had a talk on an unrelated topic in an ahelp with one of the admins - don't know who or when, but it has to be at least 4-5 months ago as it was when I was still obsessively playing Aimee.

I was told to NOT do certain things my character would do despite them being 'in character' - Why? Because they make the round worse for everyone else. 

We are Role-Playing and that requires both sides to make certain allowances for others, regardless of how 'realistic' it is. 

I would ask you to consider the following statement, and consider it carefully:
Would you rather intentionally fumble a few things and intentionally make some 'bad' decisions in order to help me ALSO have a good time, or would you rather I slink back to the dreaded Powergaming and literally not even give you a choice to do anything to harm me? 

__________________________________________________________________________
I don't know how long you've been playing the game for, as you only have 7 forum posts, so I'll give you an example of this powergaming behavior that got me antag-banned for a week because it was too over the top.

I had solo murdered an entire group of responding ERT [Or more precisely: TCFL] before they even got their feet on the station. They were never allowed to make a single move before a ninja with an armor-ignoring sword literally murdered four of them and then went back to toying with the station. I had also murdered every single officer in that round who even tried going into the armory, ordering weapons, or shooting at me with even as little as a taser or even spoke back.

Does that feel like an antag you want to play against? If the answer is no, then you need to give me a chance to do things that do not require going so stupidly far in order to play out whatever gimmick or conflict I want to present that round.
__________________________________________________________________________
Small edit for clarification: I was antag banned for trying to wall off the ert because I knew where their shuttle would land. Not for killing them, or anyone else. That's why this is a valid example. 
I COULD just go ahead and do that every round. That's the part where Type 3 really rears it's ugly head.

Edited by Naelynn
clarity about antag ban

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I'd like to note, stocking up on the highest of end gear as an antag every single round is awful.

What do you do against this?

image.png.48852daa790929047f1720f183730f2c.png

Even if this antag doesn't murderbone, the sheer threat of their presence shoehorns any interaction into something they want, making it giga-unfun for everyone that isn't the antag.

Play for fun (of everyone), not to win, is my philosophy.

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18 minutes ago, geeves said:

I'd like to note, stocking up on the highest of end gear as an antag every single round is awful.

What do you do against this?

image.png.48852daa790929047f1720f183730f2c.png

Even if this antag doesn't murderbone, the sheer threat of their presence shoehorns any interaction into something they want, making it giga-unfun for everyone that isn't the antag.

Play for fun (of everyone), not to win, is my philosophy.

Amusingly, you do the thing said antags complain the most about. Call ERT on their Judge Dredd-looking ass.

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5 minutes ago, Carver said:

Amusingly, you do the thing said antags complain the most about. Call ERT on their Judge Dredd-looking ass.

Who does "you" refer to here? And yeah, lmfao, ERT might be the best (only) bet.

 

EDIT: gotchu.

Edited by geeves
gottem

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1 minute ago, geeves said:

Who does "you" refer to here? And yeah, lmfao, ERT might be the best (only) bet.

The same 'you' that you used, a generalized 'person in said situation'.

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42 minutes ago, geeves said:

What do you do against this?

Call ERT, use armor piercing weapons such as the laser rifle and ballistic rifles. Hell, order a LAWP. I've only ordered a LAWP once, but this is exactly the kind of scenario where I consider ordering it.

Work together and that breacher chassis isn't nearly as scary as it looks. Two officers with lasrifles could very easily win.

Solo antags are rarely a concern to me and I give them a ton of rope for that reason. Numbers matter massively, so unless they are well-armed group antags and they have't started slaughtering people, they get a lot of wiggle room from me.

Edited by Nantei

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Quote

How would the round feel to you if we had just fucked off with the captain to our base and cut our losses?

I'd question why you bothered to turn on your raider antag pref at all in such a case. Still, it beats the guys who got on-station, shot people, took one, and proceeded to gloat about it for an hour.

There's several things you're saying next so I have a couple of them to unpack here.

Quote

The issue here is: Was it realistic? Yes. Was it fair to me as a player? Not if you ask me. 

Fair to say that it's an IC dick move and a case of betrayal. Yep. OOCly - ehhhhh. I don't feel sufficiently tied to my character's actions, or an intruder antag, that I'm gonna call the ERT/security team's actions an OOC issue here.

Quote

Would you rather intentionally fumble a few things and intentionally make some 'bad' decisions in order to help me ALSO have a good time, or would you rather I slink back to the dreaded Powergaming and literally not even give you a choice to do anything to harm me? 

You can break the rules, I guess. And get banned again. Just as I could select warden and hand off lethals at roundstart, and get banned. If you're asking me whether or not I'd rather see you break the rules, I'm going to ask that you please don't, because you're a good player in all likelihood and I'd rather not see people leave the server.

Now, as best I could tell, you did in fact beeline to vent the armory, which is a VERY GOOD EXAMPLE of making sure security doesn't have a way to actually harm you. I don't really mind, because I was raised on harsher shores than Aurora's, but it's also a far cry from pistols-at-dawn style honorable combat.

In either event - I, personally, am in favor of seeing the ganking rules relaxed. I'd also be in favor of making security less toothless in the event there's no HoS/warden or the armory is busted into. I suppose it may not be the answer you were hoping to hear, but yeah, I wouldn't actually mind seeing the server's octane content raised rather than lowered.

Quote

[ninja round exerpts]

 

Does that feel like an antag you want to play against? If the answer is no, then you need to give me a chance to do things that do not require going so stupidly far in order to play out whatever gimmick or conflict I want to present that round.

No. In fact, I don't want to play against any murderous ninja, and neither do many of the other security mains; the department just going into cryo en masse upon sighting ninja got bad enough that the odds of ninja gamemode being rolled were fucking axed not so long ago. My issue here is with the sheer disparity in power inherent in some gamemodes as opposed to others: raider is likely too weak, merc is just about right, ninja is too strong. I'm in favor of powergaming rules' existence - don't drag a locker behind you everywhere you go, your security officer isn't a master engineer, don't kill people just because - but their extent here overreaches rather than underreaches, if you'd ask me, and I don't think tightening people's leashes even further is worth the tradeoff you get for such.

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I was the captain here and I'm very much on the fence regarding the reaction. When I heard the HoS was being attacked I ran pretty straight for the captain's office to talk to my heads, lock the secure items in the safe and worry about alert levels. By the time I got there Nae's vox had already been inside and snagged access. I fumbled with comms a bit and went to begin making an announcement when I saw the vox and started talking to it with command and sec asking me questions. Eventually I asked permission to tell people I was busy, hoping the AI would look at me and start alerting people I was with a raider (which I'm pretty sure I was ignored). I even responded via PDA to a few officers who thought that asking me repeated questions about where I was with my "guest" via PDA was a smart thing to do. We had some arguments, I brought up my implant a lot to excuse being unable to break regs. That's when I was simply captured, without much fight because I don't have a "sick war story bro" background but a paper pusher one. Fast forward and I'm on their ship, they give me my headset and let me chill but at least someone is with me at all times cause GOOD ANTAGS DON'T ABANDON HOSTAGES IN A CELL (Seriously thank you all). They let me talk to command, tell them I was okay and we even discussed the accident with the HoS. I gave the command staff and the ERT every indication that the vox were good on their word, if not dishonest for attacking in the first place. Fastforward to the tradeoff. There was a small dispute over who would move what into the airlock first, but eventually the vault content went out and I went in, then the ERT rushed right out the airlock.

I wish the crew and ERT had listened to me, my captain felt bad for the lethal takedown actually. It would have been nice to capture them or something but I guess that can't always be helped when fighting in space. At the same time the shuttle was coming and the round was ending, if the antags could have gotten more out of the round for us I'd be very much on Nae's side. But honestly, it was over. You'd have fucked off to count your takings had you lived anyway. So as I said, I'm fence sitting on this round as an example. I found it very enjoyable and was just as happy being traded back as I would have been being used for some murder show at the windows.

I do feel for your point, but this round isn't the absolute best example of it given when the final events took place.

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6 hours ago, Xelnagahunter said:

I fumbled with comms a bit and went to begin making an announcement when I saw the vox and started talking to it with command and sec asking me questions. Eventually I asked permission to tell people I was busy, hoping the AI would look at me and start alerting people I was with a raider (which I'm pretty sure I was ignored).

Ironically I picked up on this and immediately told everyone in Cargo with me that the Captain was a hostage too. That's why I stopped PDAing you. I don't remember if I told the other security members, but it's kind of funny in retrospect.

This is also what I mean about perspective. You never knew the other Vox tried to turn me into a kebab. And I was pushing the Vox Man Bad narrative because Feldt hates Vox already due to being from the Frontier where piracy by them is rampant, and you know, being shot at by one now.

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Hmm i think to ever make a dent in validhunty culture wed need a fundemental change in server lore presentation wherein theres not so much xenophobia and divisiveness. We built a setting where paranoia of the wretched and inferior Other People is the norm and in-universe cooperation or community based camaraderie with other groups is downplayed or outright dismissed.

There are few bonds that bind us outside the smaller knit groups of particular species or factions.

Edited by Marlon Phoenix

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Just now, Marlon Phoenix said:

Hmm i think to ever make a dent in validhunty culture wed need a fundemental change in server lore presentation wherein theres not so much xenophobia and divisiveness. We built a setting where paranoia of the wretched and inferior Other People is the norm and in-universe cooperation or community baded camaraderie s downplayed or outright dismissed.

Yup.

That's why I'm saying that changing this is basically impossible. 

That said, I like playing Antags, and I like to try to make things better for others, but well... Hard to do that when you get so bitter due to your story being cut short all the time.

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9 hours ago, Marlon Phoenix said:

Hmm i think to ever make a dent in validhunty culture wed need a fundemental change in server lore presentation wherein theres not so much xenophobia and divisiveness. We built a setting where paranoia of the wretched and inferior Other People is the norm and in-universe cooperation or community based camaraderie with other groups is downplayed or outright dismissed.

There are few bonds that bind us outside the smaller knit groups of particular species or factions.

I'd say the lore's fine, divisiveness makes for an excellent starter to any sort of antagonistic story, people just need to instead learn how to be a bit more self-serving in a clever way. Betraying the other side constantly in deals is, amusingly, not this, seeing as it often just results in more damages/deaths on your own side. Encourage people instead to cut more deals with antags, to accept bribes and be overall more corrupt and personally antagonistic. Then perhaps we might see more co-ordination between crew and antagonists, as well as less binary 'my side v. your side' forms of betrayal.

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On 10/11/2019 at 09:55, geeves said:

I'd like to note, stocking up on the highest of end gear as an antag every single round is awful.

What do you do against this?

image.png.48852daa790929047f1720f183730f2c.png

Even if this antag doesn't murderbone, the sheer threat of their presence shoehorns any interaction into something they want, making it giga-unfun for everyone that isn't the antag.

Play for fun (of everyone), not to win, is my philosophy.

image.thumb.png.f9b3e899116c93b07161e72ef22bbd56.png

Stocking up is always an amusing game of antag versus security....

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