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How do people propose we fix the current issues with antag and sec?


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For a while now, I've noticed that antagonists tend to have this thing where instead of making the round interesting for everyone, they go around murdering people. This gets sec's attention, and they promptly begin to search the station. Since the intruder has killed people, they use lethal force, and badabing, it's now a deathmatch between sec and antag.

What frustrates me is that this leads to a culture where:

A) Antagonists just end up attracting sec, and fighting with them instead of actually making the round interesting for non-sec players (i.e. as a changeling, become the captain and run around naked to get him arrested.)
and
B) Sec shoots any antag with lethals the moment they suspect them of being one.

I'm asking you all because I think this is an important issue. I've heard some people say we should reduce weapon lethality, or perhaps just adminhelp whenever shit like this happens, or even a policy change. I'm honestly not sure, but I hope the admins will take notice of this and see what people say about it.

I'm not saying antags and sec should just be all talking, but this is a HRP server, and as such, antags and sec should be more than just roles to kill eachother and the crew. Antags can do anything they want, but consistently I see them just killing people and getting into fights with sec. 

Furthermore, this isn't a riff on sec or antags, it's just me pointing out the issues with the current system of antag and sec roles, and hoping for some kind of feedback.

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The short answer is there isn't anything to fix. As you described if antags go super loud security should be ass blasting them.

The long answer is it depends on the situation. If antags are killing for the sake of killing without any rp motivation or reason then that is actually against the rules. Ahelp it. If they decide to kill based on their gimmick and have built up to it then as stated above, security should be dealing with this.

High lethality means people actually have to think about their actions. Nobody wants to get killed and removed from the round, so people tend to rp more imo. Back during old-med people would just charge into combat and disarm spam etc because there was a good chance you'd come out fine.

Ultimately, be the change you want to see. Come to the station with interesting gimmicks that don't involve murderising (but for the love of god don't just walk around the station as an advanced assistant, looking at peacewiz here).

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4 minutes ago, Rushodan said:

The short answer is there isn't anything to fix. As you described if antags go super loud security should be ass blasting them.

The long answer is it depends on the situation. If antags are killing for the sake of killing without any rp motivation or reason then that is actually against the rules. Ahelp it. If they decide to kill based on their gimmick and have built up to it then as stated above, security should be dealing with this.

High lethality means people actually have to think about their actions. Nobody wants to get killed and removed from the round, so people tend to rp more imo. Back during old-med people would just charge into combat and disarm spam etc because there was a good chance you'd come out fine.

Ultimately, be the change you want to see. Come to the station with interesting gimmicks that don't involve murderising (but for the love of god don't just walk around the station as an advanced assistant, looking at peacewiz here).

I sort of get what you're saying here, but in part I think that there is currently a lot of motivation for antags to kill rather than RP, especially with the loadout being the way it is. I just think there should be some way of making antags aware that it's better to actually have some fun with other players in the round, rather than just going loud and killing people as much as possible, even if it is a gimmick. 

I suppose what I want is more non-combat antag shenanigans.

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52 minutes ago, Dr. Farson said:

I sort of get what you're saying here, but in part I think that there is currently a lot of motivation for antags to kill rather than RP, especially with the loadout being the way it is. I just think there should be some way of making antags aware that it's better to actually have some fun with other players in the round, rather than just going loud and killing people as much as possible, even if it is a gimmick. 

I suppose what I want is more non-combat antag shenanigans.

The problem with non-combat antag shenanigans is that antags do them and then like 3-5 people show up and the antags don't really feel like they accomplished anything.

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4 hours ago, Dr. Farson said:

I'm not saying antags and sec should just be all talking, but this is a HRP server, and as such, antags and sec should be more than just roles to kill eachother and the crew. Antags can do anything they want, but consistently I see them just killing people and getting into fights with sec. 

We do not promote sane characters or believable antags.

Security has almost no way to handle antags without lethals and is in no form gaining anything from doing so. This result in stuff like a ling getting killed 6 times in a single round.

Antags are provided powergaming gear instead of roleplay equipment.

Gimmiks have been replaced by power fantasies. Creative antags are no longer trusted and will be shut down violently.

Peace Antags are ignored by security until the lethals are authorized.

Security and Antags have been engaging in an endless circle of kill or be killed. Roleplay is not the goal for most folks on either side.

Mains on both sides are terrible at their roles and unwilling to learn new roles or improve.

Balancing is an absolute joke at this point and it seems like everyone involved made it worse before giving up.

There is no room for escalation if you bring a minigun or nuke onto the station.

The more stuff antags got the worse their perfomances has become. Ninja and Revolution pretty much suicided by equipment at this point.

Oldschool antags were in it for the challenge. Antaging is no longer challenging.

Antags have been allowed to break rules frequently and just reroll antag the following round, playerbase does not ahelp if they do not see any use with it.

Lore events focused on new weapons and kill counts. Antags usually work with less prep time.

 

My experience of not only playing an excessive amount of rounds throughout all departments and antag roles but also during my time as admin. The Aurora seems to be suffering from a lack of creativity and understanding, both on a roleplay and mechanics level, that cannot be filled with weaponry and hardsuit sprites.

 

Ignoring all that, the server atmosphere is not the sole responsibility of the modmin team, we all do our part of making it better or worse. The result of a community steering constantly away from roleplay may indicate a lack of interest or comprehension.

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15 minutes ago, Cnaym said:

snip

I agree with a lot of what Cnaym said here. The current lackluster environment is a result of many different issues that combine to become one massive issue. To add to what Cnaym has already said:

Double standard between antags and crew. When an antag talks about how they did that round, you often hear remarks to put down the antagonist (ie "it's not about winning"), but whenever security/ERT brag about bagging the antag they're celebrated instead.

Toxicity towards antags in general. A lot of times people will just shit on antag gimmicks, and even the antag themselves. If there even is any constructive criticism, it's usually sandwiched between backhanded insults and general toxic comments. Honestly, sometimes it just feels like bullying whenever I see several people team up to bash some antag that had a bad round or gimmick. It's usually when I turn of dchat or OOC.

Toxicity towards specific gamemodes. This usually includes long, already heard, rants about how terrible the game mode is and other such disparaging remarks. But it also includes people deliberately rolling certain antags, just to prevent other people from getting the role.

Real, or perceived, differences in treatment between antags and crew. I don't know if this is only my personal experience, but from my own interactions, it seems that antags are held to a higher standard than crewmembers are, in regards to roleplay, and disciplined accordingly. Another example is when an antag talks about how they did in a round, you often hear remarks to put down the antagonist (ie "it's not about winning"), but whenever security/ERT brag about bagging the antag they're celebrated instead.

 

However, in my opinion, the biggest contributor to the lack of quality antag engagement is the whole issue of risk vs reward. Being an antag is difficult. You take on the, usually sole, responsibility of entertaining the entire station. And you are expected do so while dodging valid hunters, a highly robust security team, and roleplay with everyone you see at your own expense. Well. Combine that, with mechanics and gear that limit your ability to explore interesting gimmicks, and you get the feeling that you're essentially the whipping boy of the entire station. That's assuming you even have a good gimmick that people enjoy in the first place.

 

I don't really have a solution to this, because of how complex the issue is. All I do have is a suggestion. I think one of the things we need to do is discourage toxic behavior aimed at antags in general. That, at the very least, should create an environment more welcoming to antags. And just more pleasant in general, honestly.

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2 hours ago, Lordnesh said:

Toxicity towards antags in general. A lot of times people will just shit on antag gimmicks, and even the antag themselves. If there even is any constructive criticism, it's usually sandwiched between backhanded insults and general toxic comments. Honestly, sometimes it just feels like bullying whenever I see several people team up to bash some antag that had a bad round or gimmick. It's usually when I turn of dchat or OOC.

This has probably gotten rid of any old antags desire to provdie fun for the crew, while making those with the right mindset shy away from the roles alltogether.

I do not agree on the robustness idea at all. We currently do have people who can click others with las rifles, not a robust security team. Basic mechanics are no longer even considered or tried because the one route leads to success the fastest and reliably.

The most robust officer we had was Klaus Kitzler, not because he got the valids or clicked the most antags, but because the player came in each and every round to give the antag the benefit of the doubt, stick to his own character and focus the crews safety while keeping humor and roleplay as their main targets.

When I get to hunt down four semi wizards with machine pistols who I can basicly grab barehanded because they are not familiar with the mechanics in any shape or form I have no need to celebrate that largely in OOC or be toxic to the players. I absolutely get that securities fun in such a round comes from winning, but winning gets stale pretty fast without a challenge as well.

The challenges of antaging used to be so much higher. They punished the player and a single forgotten tool could mean your round ended early. As a result crew was usually understanding, gave time to roleplay, provided aid in the most comical ways like leaving freebies out in the public and such. Antags were appreciated for taking on the challenge really. You could see a new antag improve with basicly every attempt they did. People would not have thought of going antag without being able to use gauze, EVA gear, guns and tools for doors.

Stuff like heisting an AI was planned out and coordinated. Not headbutting a door until you get shot in the back by the arriving security forces and then blaming the airlocks or security.

People then figured out that hacking the AI is one of the most useful and easy things you can do as antag, and suddenly your biggest issue was your silent helper nobody else was aware of.

We had solo antags step out into the hallway lights to perform their show, not security hunting them in the tunnels on the first sign of troubles. This was when security still had access to the tunnels.

Without a challenge we do not come to creative solutions. We get repeats of the same stuff happening every other round.

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4 hours ago, Cnaym said:

We do not promote sane characters or believable antags.

Security has almost no way to handle antags without lethals and is in no form gaining anything from doing so. This result in stuff like a ling getting killed 6 times in a single round.

Antags are provided powergaming gear instead of roleplay equipment.

Gimmiks have been replaced by power fantasies. Creative antags are no longer trusted and will be shut down violently.

Peace Antags are ignored by security until the lethals are authorized.

Security and Antags have been engaging in an endless circle of kill or be killed. Roleplay is not the goal for most folks on either side.

Mains on both sides are terrible at their roles and unwilling to learn new roles or improve.

Balancing is an absolute joke at this point and it seems like everyone involved made it worse before giving up.

There is no room for escalation if you bring a minigun or nuke onto the station.

The more stuff antags got the worse their perfomances has become. Ninja and Revolution pretty much suicided by equipment at this point.

Oldschool antags were in it for the challenge. Antaging is no longer challenging.

Antags have been allowed to break rules frequently and just reroll antag the following round, playerbase does not ahelp if they do not see any use with it.

Lore events focused on new weapons and kill counts. Antags usually work with less prep time.

 

My experience of not only playing an excessive amount of rounds throughout all departments and antag roles but also during my time as admin. The Aurora seems to be suffering from a lack of creativity and understanding, both on a roleplay and mechanics level, that cannot be filled with weaponry and hardsuit sprites.

 

Ignoring all that, the server atmosphere is not the sole responsibility of the modmin team, we all do our part of making it better or worse. The result of a community steering constantly away from roleplay may indicate a lack of interest or comprehension.

Quoting is hard.

While I agree with a your conclusions, and some of the other points made, others confuse me so I thought'd I'd just ask.

When you say Antags getting Powergaming gear, can you expand on that? Like, what piece of gear in the uplink, or ability afforded to those types without one, classifies as powergamey to you?

 

"Mains on both sides are terrible at their roles and unwilling to learn new roles or improve" - Is this like a, security players should try playing more antagonist, and vice versa, or like a- both mains should go play a completely different department like sci or engi instead of the one they play now?

 

"Lore Events focused on new weapons and kill counts. Antags usually work with less prep time." - First one just confuses me, second, as in they have less prep time then the lore events? Or less prep time compared to the volunteers for the event?

 

Yea, that's pretty much it, I have no idea if I'm even allowed to ask questions on somebody else's question thread, but I'm just going to send it

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17 minutes ago, Triogenix said:

When you say Antags getting Powergaming gear, can you expand on that? Like, what piece of gear in the uplink, or ability afforded to those types without one, classifies as powergamey to you?

The prices of multiple things like agent IDs have been dropped, they went from an option to consider to something almost everyone buys right now because of their cash to usefulness ratio. Other items are so expensive that it makes no sense at all to buy them, the anti matter rifle with a single shot for 25TC comes to mind, the 50TC minigun and so on. Antags are also able to buy relatively cheap combat suits from different factions on the go. The theory is probably to portray factions  and lore but in reality you see only few used due to their stats to TC ratio. In regards to vampires and changelings, both antag types have been straight up broken for the majority of the last year. This once again makes people take the same paths at every attempt, potato ling being the worst offender here.

22 minutes ago, Triogenix said:

"Mains on both sides are terrible at their roles and unwilling to learn new roles or improve" - Is this like a, security players should try playing more antagonist, and vice versa, or like a- both mains should go play a completely different department like sci or engi instead of the one they play now?

Yes. Both. Preferably not a sec main with uplink shutting down other antags. Identifying yourself as main is the first step of improvement here.  You cannot afford to be a one trick pony as antag. Someone playing only security (team based with support roles) does usually not think flexible enough to play a reliable ninja (you got to open your own doors there, nobody to call). Learning medical and engineering systems is super useful. The most common antag end right now is a failure to coordinate based on a lack of map knowledge, both departments enable you to explore and learn. Asking yourself if you can use and understand a hardsuit before taking it as merc or going full ninja is probably a good idea here (as example, very common issue).

26 minutes ago, Triogenix said:

"Lore Events focused on new weapons and kill counts. Antags usually work with less prep time." - First one just confuses me, second, as in they have less prep time then the lore events? Or less prep time compared to the volunteers for the event?

As an antag you lack the three things that lore events get for free: Predefined loadout, premade gimmik, free announcements. If you then see the eight people representing a lore event stomp into the station in hardsuits to murder a couple of people and leave again you could begin to wonder if antags are really expected to do anything more than that. I like a tank invasian as much as the next guy but a focus on storries and personal conflict would do most antag gimmiks a lot of good. We have those antags right now that are more or less known to only roleplay with a small part of the crew, for example only cargo or their service buddies. This is already an improvement over no interaction or gimmik and I would like to see it embraced and supported. Sure it's boring as fuck to play officer to guard a library for two hours but I prefer it to see the roleplaying antag swatted 20 mins into a round. Currently you cannot even dock with the station without an announcement or cloak system unless you wish to have the armory at yellow dock by the time your ship opens.

31 minutes ago, Triogenix said:

Yea, that's pretty much it, I have no idea if I'm even allowed to ask questions on somebody else's question thread, but I'm just going to send it

If we wish to discuss something questions are the way to go ? Thank you for your questions!

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46 minutes ago, Cnaym said:

I do not agree on the robustness idea at all. We currently do have people who can click others with las rifles, not a robust security team. Basic mechanics are no longer even considered or tried because the one route leads to success the fastest and reliably.

When I said "robust security team" I was more referencing their usual greater experience in combat, in comparison to less combat focused players who play antag every once in a while. Like myself, for example. I've pretty much played every department but security. So my knowledge of even somewhat simple combat mechanics are lackluster.

 

51 minutes ago, Cnaym said:

This has probably gotten rid of any old antags desire to provdie fun for the crew, while making those with the right mindset shy away from the roles alltogether.

This is one of the reasons I only have Wizard as a role enabled these days. I tried off the cuff antag stuff, and most of it was bad. Although, to be fair, I was also just a bad antag in general. It took several months, and two antag bans before I finally started getting actually decent at playing antag.

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5 minutes ago, Lordnesh said:

When I said "robust security team" I was more referencing their usual greater experience in combat, in comparison to less combat focused players who play antag every once in a while. Like myself, for example. I've pretty much played every department but security. So my knowledge of even somewhat simple combat mechanics are lackluster.

Play security! They are all scared chicken who almost exclusively know guns and CQC :P

Some of the best roleplayers hide in the endless flood of officers -> You will rarely work together with the same team, almost never on high pop times

7 minutes ago, Lordnesh said:

This is one of the reasons I only have Wizard as a role enabled these days. I tried off the cuff antag stuff, and most of it was bad. Although, to be fair, I was also just a bad antag in general. It took several months, and two antag bans before I finally started getting actually decent at playing antag.

Which is absolutely okay. I prefer people getting antag banned over perma. One is meant to help them improve their roleplay, the other is meant to remove them from the community for a while.

Mindset and dedication is the only way to become better at it. If you struggle with a specific aspect of security figure out what makes them struggle and turn them tables ? 

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11 hours ago, Cnaym said:

Mains on both sides are terrible at their roles and unwilling to learn new roles or improve.

IMO, lots of people have most traitor roles disabled at this point. 'the pick of the litter' is more likely to be fellas who are desperate to be the centre of attention, and activate all the roles instead of people who genuinely want to make the round more interesting. Without some kind of incentive that isn't "You get to break the rules, and get fucked up" I don't think most people will wanna experiment with antagging. Especially new players.

I honestly think lots of the problems stem from this idea. Like either people just don't wanna antag cause they don't feel robust, or don't wanna be the bad guys, or don't wanna have to 'carry' a round by being the only person actively thinking about the role properly.

 

On a side note, being an antagonist on a round without sec often leads me to think "What would be too much in this situation" because I know that hacking into command, and doing jenky shit like giving everyone all access, or giving myself all access just isn't really that fun. I feel like there are solutions to this, but I swear allot of the time I roll antag, and there is no Sec, I feel almost too scared to do anything because I don't want to ruin anyone's time by being violent while they're 'defenceless'.

I kinda also stand by the idea that Violence really sells for antags, because it's where most of the interesting mechanics lay. Even RP heavy antags should, divulge into violence in some way. The game has a fully functional atmospherics system, several alien species, most of which have unique organs that can all be damaged, removed, replaced. There are hundreds of effective weapons at your disposal, and an infinite number of scenarios where people can be hurt in interesting, funny, and insane ways. Acceleration is one thing, but most of the fun lays in using the fascinating depth of mechanics to create interesting scenarios, in my opinion. 

Edited by Aphelion
added the weird addendum about violence and antags.
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I'm going to preface all of this with the fact that I have all my antag preferences off, and have had such for a good few months now, so be aware the angle I'm coming at this from.

2 hours ago, Aphelion said:

Like either people just don't wanna antag cause they don't feel robust, or don't wanna be the bad guys, or don't wanna have to 'carry' a round by being the only person actively thinking about the role properly.

With that in mind, this highlights a very large portion of why I disabled my preferences in the first place. Being the bad guys was less of a concern, for me at least, but as someone who played sec for a month, and mostly enjoyed the RP side of it, I have never felt particularly 'robust' or able to go up against others in a fight, which for a large number of antag rounds (Traitor, Ling, Vamp etc) is the most likely scenario; You alone against a team of 2+ security members. As for carrying the round, this I remember being a concern too. While most rounds are either group antags now, or at least have more than one solo, it can still be tricky to work out something that is a) Achievable and b) Engaging in the relatively little time you have to prepare a gimmick. Especially given that most big and engaging gimmicks I can think of require some prep work in round which will take more time.

The other big reason I turned off my preferences was the lack of other antags. Due to the fact that at any one time, there's a relatively small number of people right now with any antags enabled, it was leading to me being picked more frequently than I'd like, which also makes it harder to come up with gimmicks when you've played Wizard three times in the last two days. I don't mind being the bad guy, but I do also like to play the good guy from time to time too.

Most of my other complaints with antags in general have been addressed above: A combination of a reluctance to slightly meta-game for the sake of the round when a vampire tries to get you alone and a continual focus from both security and antags alike on combat over dialogue have lead to countless gimmicks I've witnessed and thought "Oh, this is new and cool" being shut down too early for anything interesting to happen.

3 hours ago, Aphelion said:

I kinda also stand by the idea that Violence really sells for antags, because it's where most of the interesting mechanics lay. Even RP heavy antags should, divulge into violence in some way. The game has a fully functional atmospherics system, several alien species, most of which have unique organs that can all be damaged, removed, replaced. There are hundreds of effective weapons at your disposal, and an infinite number of scenarios where people can be hurt in interesting, funny, and insane ways. Acceleration is one thing, but most of the fun lays in using the fascinating depth of mechanics to create interesting scenarios, in my opinion. 

This I have to disagree with. The number of guns is anything makes the weapons system less interesting imho, as most are nigh inspiration-less with slightly different statistics to another. During the recent weapon sprite thread, I realised just how many guns we have that I have no idea what makes them unique. I'd much rather we had say twenty guns total, but they were all distinct. To give an example, the icelance is a gun I remember because of it's crank-to-charge mechanic which made it feel different. Poisons feel like they are approximately useless, as medbay is never that far away, and they're never interesting or tricky to counter. Wouldn't it be better if a traitor could blackmail someone into doing something for the antidote to a poison they've been given, rather than just having someone go "I ate some food, and now I feel funny, better go get myself checked out". In short, the number of mechanics feel un-inspiring, rather than creative-inducing.

That's my piece on the matter at least.

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3 hours ago, Aphelion said:

IMO, lots of people have most traitor roles disabled at this point. 'the pick of the litter' is more likely to be fellas who are desperate to be the centre of attention, and activate all the roles instead of people who genuinely want to make the round more interesting. Without some kind of incentive that isn't "You get to break the rules, and get fucked up" I don't think most people will wanna experiment with antagging. Especially new players.

 

9 minutes ago, Sparky_hotdog said:

While most rounds are either group antags now, or at least have more than one solo, it can still be tricky to work out something that is a) Achievable and b) Engaging in the relatively little time you have to prepare a gimmick. Especially given that most big and engaging gimmicks I can think of require some prep work in round which will take more time.

Going to group those two just to ping you both. It comes with experience. The way I would recommend starting out is to enable traitor and do small stuff like one a day or every other day you play. That way you can come up with a goal beforehand and give it a try. Highpop usually has the bonus of not having to "carry" a round while lowpop often makes you solo antag which can be hard on the RP but quite easy on the mechanics -> Less eyes and guns around.

Team modes like merc and raider depend too heavily on the team mates. Ninja or wiz with familiars is usually easier to start out with. It is hard to find the combination of mechanicly robust, OOCly healthy mindset and will to roleplay. The nature of not being canon and a healthy dose of "lets see how far I can get" is what motivated me when I started out, but I go months without enabling antag as well since it can be draining quickly.

The last hint is to scale down expectations. No raider team has ever pulled le epic heist. Just rob peoples wallets. You will get more roleplay and laughs than with complicated gimmiks. For the favorite sneaky mode of vampire I recommend just sucking people in the middle of the hallway and roll with what happens. You can fail multiple times per round, my record were 4 x 200 credits as vamp for jumping people without having them forget about it in a single round ? If all else fails pick some thermal visors, a powerfist and steal lightbulbs. Chaos will ensue within minutes and most people enjoy "a drunk miner with the metal glove he found outside".

As for the prep work that is directly linked to chance, experience and routine. Sometimes you get super unlucky and got to space walk half nacked and break into the captains office with a mag light, sometimes you find insulated gloves before finding your department. That is pretty much what keeps it entertaining for me long term, the random nature of the game and the fact that you get to play with different people every time. You can get good enough with mechanics to rob the vault within the first 10 minutes of the round without being noticed. In the end it only makes you notice how little you really need as antag to make a fun round. There is a reason why people like Ryan Barret are so popular targets, they make interaction entertaining regardless of the finer details. As you get used to mechanics like hacking an AI you start to combine and experiment with it to test out what works within the systems. You start to switch your fingerprints ID with someone and stop wearing gloves to get them arrested for example or just run into surgery and put the captains ID on the patient claiming absolute innocence in front of the security team and pointing towards the surgeon who was just doing his job. Sky is really the limit as antag, combat most of the times not being the key but a minor annoyance.

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15 hours ago, Cnaym said:

Antags are provided powergaming gear instead of roleplay equipment.

Gimmiks have been replaced by power fantasies. Creative antags are no longer trusted and will be shut down violently.

...and other stuff said in the thread

As a player who has played on the server since 2018 and does not have antag preferences enabled, I am very discouraged to actually ever try it because of rhetoric like this. Everyone, including you, is talking about how "we should be less toxic towards antags", and then go on to say that antagging was better before, every antag sucks, and that antags should be banned more often. I absolutely don't want to be subjected to the same kind of scrutiny that's expressed as desirable by you and many others in the thread, and I believe other experienced people don't want it either. If you want new people to play antag, stop bashing on the concept of antagonism as a whole and actually take steps to be less toxic towards them. You talk about mythical "creative antags" as if people who choose antagonist roles don't want to express their creativity even now, and it makes think that if I enable antag preferences as well, I'd never be able to meet that mythical standard of "creative antag" with a "good gimmick". 

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I don't like playing antag purely because the fact that you have the entire server/deadchat watching you and constantly making snide/hostile remarks to both sec players and you which is then followed up by you getting immediately ahelped over a simple mistake over something very subjective because people have a certain view on antagonist RP/behavior.
as @VeteranGaryonce put it, it's like stepping on a dozen egg shells at once and it's just not fun

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12 hours ago, Triogenix said:

Quoting is hard.

While I agree with a your conclusions, and some of the other points made, others confuse me so I thought'd I'd just ask.

When you say Antags getting Powergaming gear, can you expand on that? Like, what piece of gear in the uplink, or ability afforded to those types without one, classifies as powergamey to you?

 

"Mains on both sides are terrible at their roles and unwilling to learn new roles or improve" - Is this like a, security players should try playing more antagonist, and vice versa, or like a- both mains should go play a completely different department like sci or engi instead of the one they play now?

 

"Lore Events focused on new weapons and kill counts. Antags usually work with less prep time." - First one just confuses me, second, as in they have less prep time then the lore events? Or less prep time compared to the volunteers for the event?

 

Yea, that's pretty much it, I have no idea if I'm even allowed to ask questions on somebody else's question thread, but I'm just going to send it

Feel free to ask questions. This is more of a discussion thread as of now.

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17 hours ago, Cnaym said:

We do not promote sane characters or believable antags.

Security has almost no way to handle antags without lethals and is in no form gaining anything from doing so. This result in stuff like a ling getting killed 6 times in a single round.

Antags are provided powergaming gear instead of roleplay equipment.

Gimmiks have been replaced by power fantasies. Creative antags are no longer trusted and will be shut down violently.

Peace Antags are ignored by security until the lethals are authorized.

Security and Antags have been engaging in an endless circle of kill or be killed. Roleplay is not the goal for most folks on either side.

Mains on both sides are terrible at their roles and unwilling to learn new roles or improve.

Balancing is an absolute joke at this point and it seems like everyone involved made it worse before giving up.

There is no room for escalation if you bring a minigun or nuke onto the station.

The more stuff antags got the worse their perfomances has become. Ninja and Revolution pretty much suicided by equipment at this point.

Oldschool antags were in it for the challenge. Antaging is no longer challenging.

Antags have been allowed to break rules frequently and just reroll antag the following round, playerbase does not ahelp if they do not see any use with it.

Lore events focused on new weapons and kill counts. Antags usually work with less prep time.

 

My experience of not only playing an excessive amount of rounds throughout all departments and antag roles but also during my time as admin. The Aurora seems to be suffering from a lack of creativity and understanding, both on a roleplay and mechanics level, that cannot be filled with weaponry and hardsuit sprites.

 

Ignoring all that, the server atmosphere is not the sole responsibility of the modmin team, we all do our part of making it better or worse. The result of a community steering constantly away from roleplay may indicate a lack of interest or comprehension.

So what do you propose we do to solve the issue regarding creativity? Should we host workshops run by experienced players for antag and non-antag positions? Should we remove some of the plethora of guns that you say cause an issue? What do you think would help to remedy the problem?

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As a HoS main, and antag player, I might have a bit of insight into this. It's something I reflect on a lot when we are discussing gimmicks, and too when I try to respond to antags on station.
Disclaimer, due to this I will mainly be talking about the security-antag dynamic, as in my opinion- this dynamic is the driver for a majority of roleplay actions on the server. Explosions requiring repair, Surgeons fixing ribcages all flow back through the sec-antag dynamic.

Firstly, I think it is a lack of creativity. Creative gimmicks are shot down in favor of gimmicks that require less lore knowledge or adapt skillsets.

Consistently while antagging, unique and insightful gimmicks are shot down due to complexity. A skilled antag who can perform a good gimmick will be outvoted for a mediocre gimmick that requires very little lore knowledge or additional effort to maintain a gag.  This issue of nonunique gimmicks compound when you consider people play archetypes. Certain gamemodes lend themselves to specific gimmicks, and when there is no originality or originality is outvoted due to the issue above, you will see a 'rut' of the same gimmick being played over and over.

Which is the second issue- the same gimmicks are presented over and over.
When you have the first issue resulting in the same gimmicks being played over and over, people, especially security, get tired of them. No longer is it a freeform roleplay experience, but a rehearsed and choreographed dance that occurs. When the gimmick is repeatable, so too are the responses. If you were to supply a 'round equation' for each popular gimmick, a majority of those gametypes would follow the average equation. Only semi-often does the gametype break from the gimmick mold. It is the responsibility of both the security department as well as the antags to introduce uniqueness. Uniqueness not only in gimmick or antag actions, but also in response to them. The latter is hard. Antag failure to involve other deparments vs. mentality of 'play vs. security' is a hinderance as well.

The latter, response to gimmicks, is especially harder for peace-antags.
A peaceful antag forces security into fewer choices of response. Upon verification with central command, if CC goes with the gimmick, security will almost surely be completely pacified. The peace-antag is then wholly responsible for driving narrative for the gimmick, involving the other departments / full station as they wish.

How many rounds have you witnessed where an peace-antag, say, a healing wizard, joins, is granted amnesty, and is merely monitored? They then join medical, and just become another surgeon with some magical powers. Perhaps they visit the bar? This is driving narrative at a turtle pace and is in no way entertaining after the 10th time you have witnessed such a round.



What is the solution?

I'm not certain, but a wise man once said do not complain unless you have a solution. So- in addition to the 2 cents of advice above I will say this;
I believe that the dynamic gamemode intensity PR is going to resolve a lot of this. Introducing randomized sets of antagonists and different 'difficulty' levels will allow for new combinations that we have yet to see. Yes, we will still have classic combinations, but I believe that the playbooks will have to be set aside for some of the new combinations. This will improve gimmicks.

Additionally, and this is a point that is contested and is purely my opinion-- security's use of force escalation has been messed with. I think it should be looked at. 
image.png.9e1301991204a531f91761a64bd05331.png

 

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3 hours ago, Camellia said:

I don't like playing antag purely because the fact that you have the entire server/deadchat watching you and constantly making snide/hostile remarks to both sec players and you which is then followed up by you getting immediately ahelped over a simple mistake over something very subjective because people have a certain view on antagonist RP/behavior.

I have taken to considering it a good antag round if the people I interacted with do not complain, as staff the dead chat comments will ruin otherwise enjoyable rounds, as can AooC sometimes. Usually better to disable them while going antag yourself.

3 hours ago, Dr. Farson said:

Should we host workshops run by experienced players for antag and non-antag positions? Should we remove some of the plethora of guns that you say cause an issue? What do you think would help to remedy the problem?

Stricter rule enforcement. I do not mean ban everyone who did an oopsie, but talking over issues is the only way to improve on them. If antags do blatently insane stuff ahelp it, let staff talk to them and clarify why they did it what they did. This sparks an entire range of emotions but most importantly you learn to talk with staff to explain your antag actions and in my optimistic childlike fantasy start to consider such things before getting prodded about it. The basics of why are we here, what is our goal, how are we going about it, how far would this character go for it and so on. From the rules themself you are not supposed to kill for the sake of it, gimmiks that go for two minutes and only serve to provoke security are not gimmiks at all. Stuff that does only drive a round straight against the wall like Nuke-Ops should be either done following the rules of the server or not at all. If security and antags are at least nudged to follow the server rules, the atmosphere should improve for everyone involved.

The rest is a community mindset issue. If crew is grateful for antags then more people will try it who wish to do more than combat. It is easier to go along with antags if you can understand their position and ideas. At the top of the list are antags that not only make sense but propose issues for the crew to figure out personally. Dominians are a good example of this, most players are familiar with their lore and have established characters. Going in as high priest and demanding IPC sacrifices makes little to no sense for them. Flipside of  the coin: Antag decides that the Edicts were changed and all dominians are to rejoice about the new (probably bad) circumstances -> Suddenly you got a lot of experienced folks going with it and causing all kind of situations.

Back on point though:

I do not think that code or rules can do all the work on that one. As long as okayish antags are treated shitty we will see little to no great antags.

It is almost impossible to "train" antags during the rounds so the workshop idea or join as merc to help new folks is usually pretty worthless.

Improvement therefore is most likely in my eyes if it comes from the antag player themselfes. Determined to improve, fine with failing a ton before that. Ignore the hate.

Some people write down gimmiks that they come up with, take notes on how they work when they finaly role the slot for it and rate it afterwards. Could help if one wants to go the extra mile.

Overall I got little to offer as a quick fix, I planned to write an antag guide but it's taking me a while since I keep running into walls on clearing up concepts. I think the biggest and fastest improvement would be of everyone involved to calm down and chill a bit. Don't open a conversation with a fireball or a las rifle and such. Goes for both sides of the conflict obviously.

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I play mostly sec/command and so I am biased. Not touched antag for a while.

I'm also likely to get crucified, but I think it's  the antag side that are the bigger problem. I just got out of a borer round where I was bordered, not communicated with, taken over, and then they tried to flush me down disposals. This repeated three or four times until I got it out, and honestly isn't all that rare. Then you throw in things like wizards who spam spells on cooldown without a word, mercs who shoot you on sight, and cultists that gank you for wandering into your own maintenance.

It is incredibly easy to get jaded and frustrated when you're dealing with these things over, and over, and over again, often with ahelps hitting a brick wall and repeats of behaviour until they eventually do something severe enough to get banned.  In turn, I'm considerably more likely to be suspicious of what may end up being a very enjoyable round and be more willing to jump into the fray if I don't recognise the IC mannerisms. I'm not saying this is just a sec problem - I imagine it's a very similar experience for the other 'side'. 

The sheer lack of believability required to play antag is one of the main things I think that leads into this problem. The janitor is now perfectly able to hack an AI core, fire every weapon, and do self-surgery which leads to lack of thought or planning. We've buffed antags over and over again, whilst stripping away security's mechanical power, but there's been no real change. To my mind, this is due to a huge focus on PvP over anything else, as well as a cynical outlook on other elements. Often, you'll bring the captured ling/vamp to science/med, only to be met with blank stares and a shivving for interrupting their table RP, only for the very same people to then ask why they weren't involved in said RP.

Again, I am writing this from the security side over many, many rounds and so fully recognize my own opinion is a little warped.

For actual solutions:

- I feel stronger rule enforcement regarding antags would be better. It often feels pointless to ahelp when chances are they'll be doing the same thing for the next half a dozen rounds, wading through warning after warning, until someone eventually pulls the trigger. Many learn, many don't, and the cycle repeats.

- Someone posted in the discord a PR to change TC values. It cut down the amount of TC whilst not changing weapon costs - thereby making them more expensive - whilst drastically reducing the price of other categories. I feel stuff like this is good. It offers more options, more flexibility, but doesn't lean toward a sudden increase in shiny guns. Tools rather than weapons as it were. 

- An increased length of time before hopping into antag. A lot of other servers do this, but the lockout point between joining for your first round and then playing a vampire or whatever is really short, and often time people haven't really settled into the flow.

- It would take a lot of work and I don't know who would do it, but the potential for randomized 'who am I?', purely optional briefings when logging on as an atang may help. Not goals per say, but things like: 'You're a wandering , wanted slaver who's crash landed and needs help' for a loner or whatever, or 'Your family is being blackmailed to force you into stealing 'x' credits' as a ninja. Just vague, open ended starters that could lead into a character rather than a walking gun. Offers space for newer wannabe antag players to do something, whilst not stifling the creativity of the more experienced. 

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8 hours ago, Zelmana said:

Which is the second issue- the same gimmicks are presented over and over.
When you have the first issue resulting in the same gimmicks being played over and over, people, especially security, get tired of them. No longer is it a freeform roleplay experience, but a rehearsed and choreographed dance that occurs. When the gimmick is repeatable, so too are the responses. If you were to supply a 'round equation' for each popular gimmick, a majority of those gametypes would follow the average equation. Only semi-often does the gametype break from the gimmick mold. It is the responsibility of both the security department as well as the antags to introduce uniqueness. Uniqueness not only in gimmick or antag actions, but also in response to them. The latter is hard. Antag failure to involve other deparments vs. mentality of 'play vs. security' is a hinderance as well.

The latter, response to gimmicks, is especially harder for peace-antags.
A peaceful antag forces security into fewer choices of response. Upon verification with central command, if CC goes with the gimmick, security will almost surely be completely pacified. The peace-antag is then wholly responsible for driving narrative for the gimmick, involving the other departments / full station as they wish.

How many rounds have you witnessed where an peace-antag, say, a healing wizard, joins, is granted amnesty, and is merely monitored? They then join medical, and just become another surgeon with some magical powers. Perhaps they visit the bar? This is driving narrative at a turtle pace and is in no way entertaining after the 10th time you have witnessed such a round 

God I hope I quoted that right.

So, I agree with nearly everything you said here, and just wanted to throw my two cents ontop of this. I've kicked around the idea of making a dedicated discussion for this one thing, but to put it bluntly combat just doesn't feel fun for me as antagonist anymore. Due to recent changes, security feels as though it's on such a higher mechanical level, once they crack open the armory, and like a declawed kitten before then. I'm not, as antagonist, going to put effort into attempting to do a unique gimmick(using lore stuff that is) that involves fighting security, just because I know I personally won't have fun because I'll get shot twice in the chest with a laser rifle and require surgery(Unless I'm wearing the banshee, the ONLY armor/voidsuit/hardsuit that has laser rifle armor besides the ablatives and adminspawn stuff that I could find, but, that's a story for another time). And yes, while I realize in a perfect world all antagonists would prioritize the fun of the collective over the fun of themselves, you can only do that for so long before you just become extremely jaded after getting shot three times and having your heart stop, or watching an officer/command member question a CC announcement that makes sense given the background lore. 

 

So, what does this actually mean. Well, for me, it means I'm probably going to stick to the gimmicks I've seen succeed in the past or only marginally change them. For two reasons.

1) No-body has fun when the antag dies at 00:30.

Most of the new gimmicks I've seen tried, good or bad, gets shut down very quickly. This is partly due to how screaming "Armed [x]" can instantly have the entire armory open and in the hands of officers(I saw Ballistic plates and Las-rifles broken out for a single guy with a 9mil and no armor)  So trying anything new besides peacetagging or buying an announcement to say you're actually from CC(which are both pretty boring IMO) will most likely end with you dying very quickly after setting off to whatever your gimmick may be.

2) Fear of OOC Retaliation

The amount of toxicity regarding poor antagonist play in after-round OOC is extremly detrimental to trying anything new, as there's an innate fear people won't like what you have thought of and so will straight up throw slurs at you in post-round OOC. and yea you can say that people shouldn't take it seriously and that would be true, but why try anything new or risky if one of the possible reactions is public shaming. And I realize this is pretty much the pot calling the kettle black, as I've done this multiple times before when dealing with other situations, but I'm trying to step away from it. Because even if you have valid points, it just isn't a constructive way to give feedback, and will most likely just reinforce the "Us vs. Them" mentality that seems to be growing with every passing day. It's also just kinda plain mean/rude.

and I forgot an entire section:

Pretty much, I think the best way to deal with this, not already in progress, is what @Lemei mentioned, increasing timers in order to play as antagonist. Currently I believe it is Eight days after you join the server, and doesn't take into account how many rounds you played during that time. I'd personally do it so it's based around time played in round, and increase it so that assuming 1 round played per day it takes around a week and a half to unlock antagonists. Where I think I differ, is that I would also like this applied to security. There would have to be caveats of course, primarily around old players and cadet. The reasoning for this is because, while fewer in number, the amount of people who play security and only security is much higher then it should be IMO, and people should have more experiences before jumping into the arguably most Roleplay Intensive Job on station. And, this is not like a 'Oh you should have to refresh it every x months' no, once you get it you get it, it's more about the people who joined the server, joined as officer/cadet, and since have only played in security with possibly 1-2 round minor excursions to apprentice or internships(or EMT which is pretty much medical lite coming from someone who plays it alot). 

Edited by Triogenix
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4 hours ago, Lemei said:

- I feel stronger rule enforcement regarding antags would be better. It often feels pointless to ahelp when chances are they'll be doing the same thing for the next half a dozen rounds, wading through warning after warning, until someone eventually pulls the trigger. Many learn, many don't, and the cycle repeats.

It does work. I have the two temp antag bans to prove it too. In hindsight, I think the situation could have been handled differently to have been more effective, but that's a different topic.

4 hours ago, Lemei said:

- Someone posted in the discord a PR to change TC values. It cut down the amount of TC whilst not changing weapon costs - thereby making them more expensive - whilst drastically reducing the price of other categories. I feel stuff like this is good. It offers more options, more flexibility, but doesn't lean toward a sudden increase in shiny guns. Tools rather than weapons as it were. 

This is pretty much the entire reason I only have wizard enabled as antag. The wizard's kit is just so much more versatile. I've done undying death cults, turned aurora station into a horror movie, been a super hero, and even had a stint as special acting captain. With the other antags.. I just feel so constrained. Both in my tools, and also what I can do with my tools. Which isn't conducive to inducing creativity.

4 hours ago, Lemei said:

- An increased length of time before hopping into antag. A lot of other servers do this, but the lockout point between joining for your first round and then playing a vampire or whatever is really short, and often time people haven't really settled into the flow.

I actually had the same thought as you while in the shower. I think, one thing we can actually do, is this. I think it would be helpful if we've made it so people have to effectively play for a week or so in game, before being allowed to enable antag roles.

4 hours ago, Lemei said:

- It would take a lot of work and I don't know who would do it, but the potential for randomized 'who am I?', purely optional briefings when logging on as an atang may help. Not goals per say, but things like: 'You're a wandering , wanted slaver who's crash landed and needs help' for a loner or whatever, or 'Your family is being blackmailed to force you into stealing 'x' credits' as a ninja. Just vague, open ended starters that could lead into a character rather than a walking gun. Offers space for newer wannabe antag players to do something, whilst not stifling the creativity of the more experienced. 

I might be willing to support this if it was reinforced that it is a suggestion, and not a requirement. I don't like the idea of forcing people into gimmicks.

I did have an idea for a suggestion about making a "gimmick discussion" section on the forums. Some place where people could post their gimmicks and people could discuss them. Hell, if it was really successful could even use it for sort of planned non-canon events.

 

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15 hours ago, Lordnesh said:

I might be willing to support this if it was reinforced that it is a suggestion, and not a requirement. I don't like the idea of forcing people into gimmicks.

It would not be much of a challenge to add a textfile with dozens of premade backrounds that get randomly picked for antags to give them a profile once they get roled. A simple: You may use this as inspiration or ignore it and we got an opt in feature for premade antag backstories. Could be super useful for people who role on accident or cannot come up with a gimmik that quickly for their antag round. Should not be too challenging to implement if such a thing is wanted.

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