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Character Records Redux


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Something I touched on briefly during an IC conversation - hold players accountable for their strange criminal actions during extended rounds by allowing heads of staff to modify their security records to include these crimes. These records would modify the character's record itself and would carry over into new rounds with the following caveat - players cannot modify their own security records. This could also be connected with the duty officer system (perhaps new lines in a record would require DO or administrator approval before it's actually placed?) I've got a small list of aspects of the idea below, but feel free to add and subtract:


  1. What type of record should be used? My instinct says security, but officers could theoretically jump in and wipe their own records at round start, and that's just a mess. A remedy would be to simply modify read-write permissions to the security records (that is, allow officers to view records via their PDA and the HUD, but not to write to them via security records consoles.) Another thought was to add a fourth type of character record to the list, perhaps "formal citations."
  2. What is canon and what isn't? Simply limiting this to extended rounds (and those designated by administrators as 'canon') would be a simple solution. This would, of course, be a giant step away from individual decision as to what's canon and what isn't, and it may not even be territory we want to cross just yet. What if only certain aspects are canon? What if one player wants to keep certain aspects canon relating to their character, but a second character wishes to disqualify the event altogether?
  3. Who can modify these records? If a fourth type of record is created, who can modify these records? Is this an effective way for heads of staff to know about citations issued by Duty Officers in hopes that the system actually begins to curb player behavior? Should operating protocol be changed to include that despite an initial assignment, an individual can be demoted from their post as a result of excessive citations within a small time-frame?

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As its used as part of a characters developed background for many people, I don't think using the existing security records system for this is a good idea. Instead, I think setting up a new character record for this might be better (Although i dont know how much of a pain that might be to program). This way, you'll still have the player-created security records to define the characters background, and also have the 'Incident Records' that would reflect anything Duty Officers entered for these characters. Readable by anyone with access to security records, but writable only by DOs/Admins

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I've complained about this so many times. There are regulars on the server that show bad behavior all time, but have come to the point that neither security nor command staff has willingness to deal with them. You can discuss it all you want, but it all boils down to your right of ownership over your character. It does not matter how much bad shit their character has done on station, as you've said, players decide what is canon or not. Community has no right to demand someone to keep their security record. I highly doubt that the local druggie-botanist player would like their character to have a big -contraband, neglect of duty, resisting arrest- in their record.

If you really care about this sort of stuff, you're free to keep track of your own crimes. But otherwise, I think this is a line that the current staff would never be willing to cross.

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I think the idea is great for character development. However, allow players to cut/reformat things that are put in their records at character creation. It's their character, after all, and they decide what is canon and what isn't.

Also, extend it to all forms of records. If I get charged with assault one shift and I want it to carry on, I should be able to. If I get suspended for a shift and want it to carry over, I should be able to. If I sustain a severe injury or have a mental breakdown and want it to carry over, you already know what I'm gonna say.

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I really. Really. Really like this idea. We need a bit more accountability for people who play the same wackjob characters over and over. Then, just don't save citations for characters who're antags (or, probably for anyone during certain rounds, like mutiny, rp-rev, and 'ling).

However, on account of cannon being such a flexible thing, perhaps players ought to be able to delete citations from more than a month ago. That gives it a lasting effect without being, like, permanent.

Positive citations should be a thing, too. Let being awesome have some rewards.

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No. Just... no.

1) Since only Security and Heads can see those records, anyway, then there is no doubt whatsoever that this would only find practical use in giving the Security chance to brig people before they had even done anything, for being extremely suspicious and known troublemakers and whatnot.

See, people do remember who does well and who behaves like a jackass. People remember a lot of stuff on Aurora, and basically, whatever you do will be stuck with you. That is actually much greater problem, the metagaming; if anything, this would encourage it.

2) If those 'notorious criminals' were detrimental to the ArhPee of the game, they would have received permanent notes. By the mods. If they remain in game, then their influence in all likelihood isn't considered negative.

You have to keep in mind, our aim is not to abolish crime aboard Aurora; we love crime.

I remember a thread where we were trying to encourage drug distribution aboard.

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This is something that I've been pondering on. For the longest of times. And it runs into the general topic of the metagame. No, not the skype-buddy negative kind of metagame. More of the, persistent RPG, stats-savey kind.

The question I've been bouncing around in my head, personally, is: "How much persistence can we introduce, to enable character development and footprint, without crushing certain elements required for actual, meaningful conflict to take place?" It's a balancing act, ultimately, and I'm inclined to leave it in control of the player/master, with oversight from the Administration & Moderation Staff. As it has been.

Persistent security records would basically end with all antagonists and antagonistic characters (ones being by gamemode, the others by pure nature) rooted out and removed. Ergo, it would tip the balance towards having everything orderly and fine, albeit with a bit of an iron fist. What would this lead to? Nothingness, really. It would leave us with no Stamos to quarrel at, no overly-aggressive doctors or Tajarans to talk smack about, no Erec Bellard doing stupid shit, yelling at command staff for trying to stop him, and still continuing. It'd just be, "Sit, wait for antags to appear, move on," instead of, "Manage the folks on station, and watch as the antags come in, throwing a few wrenches into the already fragile cogs."

Now, there is one way to enable what is described above, but whooo boy, it's a large one. You need to create and integrate an opposing side. There need to be ways to bypass these checks, without using a new character. Something like an organized group of antagonist players. Except, this will run into opposition as well. Tishina already scoffed at the stories of Adrianna and Crimson that I told him earlier today (active antag characters played on station, with storyline and canon in mind). So, it ain't an easy idea to pitch, specially not with me running on minimal time for implementing new shenanigans.

But. There is always a but, and always alternatives. And as I said in the beginning, this is something I've thought about for a long time. I've been wanting to give players better control over character records. Perhaps integrate the indepth ones that I've designed into the game, and be accessible for review/editing (by the creator) on a website (uplink style). Basically, bring that bit of the game out of the game, so that it may be referenced wherever they wish. An idea would be that you go to the website, type a name into a search field, and bam. You have rather detailed records to read through. Obviously, IC access level would determine how much you see, but still.

And then do something similar for the syndicate. Not records, as much as a fluid contract database and market. "I want this and this piece, bring it." "Alrighty, I'll log onto the game, see if I can roll/request traitor, and get'er done!" Stuff like that. Make the metagame make the round-by-round game more connected in a manner that is actually encouraging for both sides.

Those are my thoughts, all ideas described are rather horribly far off from being completed, but yes.

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