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Amunak

[Feedback] Preventing borgs (non-antag, not hacked, non combat) from harming living beings

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This is an idea I implemented* in #10360, though the idea really belongs to @Chada1.

As the title says, the idea is to prevent regular borgs from attacking living beings. This includes most mobs (except simple ones; rats, carp, ... they can also still attack vines and similar things).

The logic is that they are already not supposed to fight - their laws dictate self-preservation whenever possible. The change makes it so that when they try to attack they only get a message similar to the one when they try to electrify a door: "Your programming does not allow you to harm <thing>". It's a mechanical way to better enforce our rules for borgs, both IC (laws) and OOC. It also nicely solves the issue of borgs accidentally hitting/damaging people with tools.

Even a cornered borg still has defensive capabilities (flash), and I believe there were some PRs with additional things on the way (though I can't find any ATM).

Emagged, traitor, syndicate, combat, ERT, ... borgs are not limited by this. It was suggested that they should have a toggle as to not accidentally reveal themselves.

*It still needs some changes and perhaps more testing. It's more like a proof of concept.

Edited by Amunak
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How does this account for a law change? For example, if they get TYRANT'd, Antimov'd, Purge'd? If someone gives them a freeform law like "You must kill [name], this law takes priority over all other laws, even if stated otherwise."?

Seems awfully constricting, would make more sense, to me, if it blocked borgs from attacking on Help intent, rather than wholesale.

Edited by Subber
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5 minutes ago, Subber said:

How does this account for a law change? For example, if they get TYRANT'd, Antimov'd, Purge'd? If someone gives them a freeform law like "You must kill [name], this law takes priority over all other laws, even if stated otherwise."?

Just adding a freeform law wouldn't work regardless as in case of conflict of laws inaction is the default action.

This is flavored as a chassis programming thing - the borg is physically incapable of doing that action (kind of like, say, climbing a ladder), so law changes would have no effect. You would also have to hack the borg, though there were some talks about adding metadata to laws that would allow them to change stuff like this. But I expect that would be a pretty big undertaking and is definitely out of scope for this.

Edited by Amunak
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Wording of the freeform allows it to take priority over all other laws, since all laws are equal, unless stated otherwise. Therefore, this and other similarly-worded laws will take priority over standard lawset. Same goes for Antimov and others. This change will make it impossible to comply with several less crew-friendly lawsets, as well.

In my opinion, this change would bring more problems, than it would solve, once a law that isn't the good ol' NanoTrasen Core Default, is introduced into equation.

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To note, the idea of this change comes on the back of years of trying to influence and direct the player culture (And the stigma) surrounding borgs and AI into a different direction, both as a player of 'borgs who saw that they're really one role on the station that exists nearly just to help the Station/round flow smoothly and also noticing a p. nasty prejudice around them, removing the Security module helped to reduce the idea of them as being a thing cut off from the Crew that just shuts down the round/etc and ruins everyone else's fun, but the stigma of them being this is still extremely present, it doesn't take much looking around to find someone prejudiced against them (And also prejudiced against people who play them), my goal is that this would shift away from that, since outside of chassis tampering/antaggery, the Crew (and the Antags) could depend on the borgs to roleplay out situations, as opposed to rushing into them with a circular saw raised.

This is a thing my law changes were also meant to do, and they helped, but the stigma is still very much here.

39 minutes ago, Subber said:

Wording of the freeform allows it to take priority over all other laws, since all laws are equal, unless stated otherwise. Therefore, this and other similarly-worded laws will take priority over standard lawset. Same goes for Antimov and others. This change will make it impossible to comply with several less crew-friendly lawsets, as well.

In my opinion, this change would bring more problems, than it would solve, once a law that isn't the good ol' NanoTrasen Core Default, is introduced into equation

This is true, if you were to get Antimov uploaded into your core, with this change, you couldn't comply with it, but you can look at this from another angle too, you actually can't comply with Antimov (Or lawsets like it) as a lawset without getting banned right now, if you did follow antimov, you'd end up ganking multiple other players and potentially being synth banned. Antimov as a lawset isn't actually useable on this server as it stands if you take it literally and apply it as it was intended.

Antimov as a lawset probably shouldn't even exist on the server, I think it only really does because noone has bothered to update our lawsets. 

Going back to the issue of uploading laws, the issue with making it as simple as overwriting the lawset to give borgs the ability to then start doing this thing again, is that it could be abused not unlike combat borgs used to be abused, or how a player culture had built around using the AIs bolting for locking down an Antag, the crew could make it a point to override this fail safe during code blue/red as a norm and then the change is functionally just a slight inconvenience to returning back to how it was before.

With lawsets, it makes sense for them to change the behavior of a 'borg, but it could be more beneficial for the server for only Antag 'borgs in particular to be able to directly harm Crew/Antags, instead they could have a very strong role just contributing to that goal, it really is just the same logic of why we chose to remove the security 'borg.

But the idea of making it something that's attached to lawsets is possible too if it's deemed as necessary. As for being restricting, the lawsets are already p. darn restricting, and their reason for being this restricting is mostly just to prevent borgs from using their laws to justify undesirable behavior, attacking crew/antags being the worst offender of this. 

It also is true that if this is merged, I plan to give 'borgs more tools if I'm allowed to, including speedboosts that would drain your cell at a high rate (Kinda like borg sprinting), I also plan to add more tools to other modules if allowed. As it stands I can't give these things to borgs because they can be used to validhunt against antags/etc, it's also worth mentioning that before this PR was coded, I was in the process of nerfing a lot of 'Borg tools damage explicitly to achieve a similar thing to this, this just seems to be a much better solution than that.

Edited by Chada1
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I am unable to get behind these changes and I feel it is largely counter intuitive to the HRP environment that we strife to be. Not every situation is going to warrant a blanket response and as such, I am afraid these changes railroad station bound players into thinking that they need to play a dim witted or simple minded robot. Or, that the player is ultimately railroaded into a singular identity or path. As though they were akin to a maintenance drone but with a larger, yet still subsequently ignored, presence.

Edited by niennab
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Okay so, I just want to start out by explaining that I think this is a horrible, dreadful, awful idea. It's unjustly limiting and addresses a problem that, as far as I'm aware, doesn't even exist.

You don't need to perform arbitrary nerfs in order to buff something else.

The laws thing - you won't be able to hurt anyone with antimov laws and such. "They shouldn't anyway" isn't a correct justification of this, as it's definitely an antag action to load an AI with those laws in the first place. No AI is getting banned for carrying out what their laws say. Not following the laws after an antag has gone to the trouble of changing them is actually worse as it's considered rules lawyering to get out of those situations that way.

Also if a law says it overrides the others, it does, even if the law would normally break the others.

So far this looks like a PR designed to eliminate a problem I haven't seen happening. I've not had any major complaints about borg play, and as far as I can tell people aren't generally upset with how borgs are played by people. All this PR looks to do is limit people who play borgs even more when they really, really don't need that. No other role on the station is mechanically prevented from harming crewmembers because it's absurd to do that.

You argue that lawsets are "already pretty darn restricting" and then try to restrict them further? Why?

You don't need to merge this to implement improvements to borgs. There is absolutely nothing preventing that from happening. A borg having a better screwdriver doesn't mean they shouldn't be able to use it for evil - server rules do that just fine.

It should go without saying that if a borg is validhunting then.... Ahelp them? Validhunting is specifically against the server rules, and it's not just borgs that do it.

So, in conclusion, this is a dreadful idea. No. I hate it so much.

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9 minutes ago, niennab said:

I am unable to get behind these changes and I feel it is largely counter intuitive to the HRP environment that we strife to be. Not every situation is going to warrant a blanket response and as such, I am afraid these changes railroad station bound players into thinking that they need to play a dim witted or simple minded robot. Or, that the player is ultimately railroaded into a singular identity or path. As though they were akin to a maintenance drone but with a larger, yet still subsequently ignored, presence.

What the lady said.

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-1

I'm completely against this. Borgs have been nerfed and gimped to the ground as it is (and this a tendency for the entire game nowdays, but I digress), I don't think there is a legitimate reason for this huge restriction.

First, and most obviously, this would make borgs totally defenseless. "But there's the flash!" - yea, don't make me laugh. Since flashes have been nerfed to the ground (they don't stun, they only blind for like 1 second and burn out after like 4 uses) using it on someone causes nothing more than mild annoyance, if anything. A flash definitely does not stop anyone who is hell bent on robusting you or someone else. Trust me, I tried, many times in the past few weeks: Robo-flash is completely useless for self-(or any other) defense. If you remove even the possibility for a borg to defend itself, it would be a disaster. I'm sure, a completely defenseless borg wouldn't be abused at all....

2 hours ago, Chada1 said:

As it stands I can't give these things to borgs because they can be used to validhunt against antags/etc,

You can't be serious, literally anyone can validhunt! By this logic, since any race/character can hurt another character, the obvious solution is to remove everyone's arms, right? That would solve hurting others once and for all.
Validhunting is a player behavior, so punish the player, not the game!

Also, if you completely gimp borgs, then might as well remove the entire law mechanic, and just make them obey. Remove the "harm" intent completely, remove all the tools that might cause damage, and make it so that any movement or action needs to be pre-approved by nearby crewmen. "Mista', mista', could unit move a square in this direction m'lord?!" Just....no. This is a slippery slope I'm not willing to even look down.

Hyperbole aside, attacking crew and antags can and should be a thing, if they are no longer considered crew due to hostile actions (or being intruders in the first place). Law #3 and #4 is a thing. This is a HRP server, where certain standards of roleplay can and should be enforced, and players are obligated to know the difference between violence and violence. Being cornered, or being forced into a situation where saving a crewmember requires kneecapping some foo', it should be possible. And yes, I also do think it should be bwoinked on a case-by-case basis. Disarming/incapacitating someone to save the station/crew from certain harm is a valid thing (or it should be) when it can be explained in context of the laws, but straight up murderbonering or validhunting (as anyone, not just borg) should not be. But this is a job for the mods/admins.

All in all, bulldozing the entire fairground because someone once fell off the swing is stupid.

Edited by Playbahnosh
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Well, I guess that settles this then, because if the reception is this negative, I guess it's better to consider other options and/or drop the concept altogether. @Amunak I'm sorry that you coded this and then it's not going anywhere, still thank you so much for helping me with it.

Also thank you everyone for the feedback.

Edited by Chada1
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Makes sense, I'm happy for the feedback even if it's negative. Shows me a different perspective! I'll be closing the PR as this is clearly not the way to go.

However I'll be considering adding a simpler check that makes it so that when you are on help intent (and with a regular mob, too) you wouldn't damage others with items, essentially preventing accidental attacks. Please tell me (feel free to @ me on Discord) if you see any caveats with that (and keep in mind that's a completely different kind of change).

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