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Snipers & Stunlocking


Skull132

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So, very simple idea.


As it stands, a single sniper can pin a man, and keep him down (while firing at him) until they die, or are captured. This is called a stunlock. Stunlocks are very powerful. Snipers in and of themselves are already very powerful.


So here's my proposal: simply extend the fire-delay between the shots, thus removing their ability to stunlock you and giving the target time to find some cover. Alternatively, lower the duration of the stunning effect. But basically, a weapon this powerful should not be able to stunlock, in my opinion. Stun? Yes, fine. Deliver high doses of damage? Yes, fine. Lock you on the ground, while delivering that high dose of damage and stunning you? No plz.


EDIT: It would also make the sniper rifle a little less wide-usage, too. Basically, it would bring it closer to an actual, offensive weapon of assassination, rather than an all-purpose answer and a method for crowd-control on top of that. Plus, the ability to start off a charge with a sniper shot would remain unhindered, so you still have tactics to play around with.


Thoughts?

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Yes.


It is way too easy to be a shitter and get a free kill with the LWAP. It's overpowered basically guaranteeing a free kill secure once a shot gets off. I have personally been a shitter with the LWAP before and it is just too easy to do. I'd like it to have a longer fire delay specifically, to allow for someone to recover. The long stun period I think is fine since you can use the LWAP tactically to neutralize and move in on a target or have someone else move in on them once they're down pretty swiftly.

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Snipers need to be viable enough as lethal weapons. They shouldn't have those instant stun/weaken crap, though.


I mean, overall, lethal weapons need to be better at being lethal. Nonlethals need tuning as well, too. It should be harder to take someone alive as it is to outright kill someone, tbh.


I'd prefer if LWAPs had enough stopping power to outright murderfuck someone who exposes themself in the situation snipers are needed to take someone who is sitting nice and comfy out from long-range. Stunlocks need to go, I agree. Kept Gollee as a nuke op under a stunlock the other day as an ERT leader. 3 chained shots is all it takes to put someone into hardcrit.


Edit: Actually, how about a fun mechanic? LWAPs don't necessarily have a 'cooldown' state, but rather, they need a manual cooling 'flush', similar to how bolt-actions require the spent round to be chambered out, and a new round to be chambered back in. Flushing requires the operator to stand still (preferably, in cover) for four to five seconds in order to get another shot ready. Thoughts?

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I'd say that they're pretty much lethal enough? Like, if we keep the the stun effect they have, and just remove their ability to keep you in stun, they're still pretty fucking lethal if you don't longwolf, and actually use it with the help of others. (Namely, use the LWAP to initiate an assault.) As for the flushing, I wonder if that would actually make it even more difficult to use one, as you need to unscope, flush, rescope and re-acquire a target.

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I mean, overall, lethal weapons need to be better at being lethal. Nonlethals need tuning as well, too. It should be harder to take someone alive as it is to outright kill someone, tbh.

Why? More interesting situations happen from people being taken alive than outright killed.


Edit: I'm saying this, because we're currently living in a context where people who opt for non-lethal takedowns in a fight get actively punished when the other party goes for lethal. On a HRP server, it essentially tends to make nonlethals obsolete in nonlethal-vs-lethal situation, and punishes players for wanting to keep others alive, which is sorta counter-intuitive to what server staff have been trying to encourage.

Edited by Guest
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Cargo has like a stack of points gathered up almost every round, though? So that wouldn't really solve the issue.


Also, to FFrances, I'd argue that stun is alot more powerful than lethals (specially that 2-hit-always taser). And has always been, purely because stun mechanics have more immediate effect.

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I mean, overall, lethal weapons need to be better at being lethal. Nonlethals need tuning as well, too. It should be harder to take someone alive as it is to outright kill someone, tbh.

Why? More interesting situations happen from people being taken alive than outright killed.


Edit: I'm saying this, because we're currently living in a context where people who opt for non-lethal takedowns in a fight get actively punished when the other party goes for lethal. On a HRP server, it essentially tends to make nonlethals obsolete in nonlethal-vs-lethal situation, and punishes players for wanting to keep others alive, which is sorta counter-intuitive to what server staff have been trying to encourage.

 

There's been a few situations where people have complained about how a taser is faster/more effective at bringing someone down than an SMG/Laser. Three taser rounds, which can be spammed quickly, = dropped. Three lasers or bullets = Hurt but still fighting.

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Yeah there's one thing though


As mentioned, Cargo often has a HUGE amount of cargo points.


Which means that if we nerf the snipers, you just KNOW that the players will adapt by realizing that - it might last for about a week, and after that, players will just order two snipers and have two people sniping to stun-lock antags.


If anything, snipers need to completely remove stun while adding massive amounts of damage - so that it can easily tear off limbs and send people into paincrit. I mean - I don't know about you, guys, but I don't remember the last time a sniper was used to not-kill.


Make it have weight - make players realize that snipers are not convenient toys, and that they should be used only in the most dire of circumstances. Make players realize that snipers are when you REALLY need something dead and there's no other option.


Sort of akin to how powerful a protopistol can be - but ballistic instead of laser.


(Also, adding lore that makes security require post-operation paperwork for having ordered and fired a sniper, and having DO's or some other authority actually follow up on these, would curb sniper abuse)

Edited by Guest
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Which means that if we nerf the snipers, you just KNOW that the players will adapt by realizing that - it might last for about a week, and after that, players will just order two snipers and have two people sniping to stun-lock antags.
That would already be better as it would reward good coordination, something which is shockingly rare on public servers (of which Aurora is one). If two sec officers can team up with expensive, difficult to obtain equipment to neutralize a single antag through proper teamwork, I'd have no issue with that.
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Which means that if we nerf the snipers, you just KNOW that the players will adapt by realizing that - it might last for about a week, and after that, players will just order two snipers and have two people sniping to stun-lock antags.
That would already be better as it would reward good coordination, something which is shockingly rare on public servers (of which Aurora is one). If two sec officers can team up with expensive, difficult to obtain equipment to neutralize a single antag through proper teamwork, I'd have no issue with that.

 

You can honestly do the coordination thing with regular LWAPs as well, two shots is enough to take someone down to paincrit and still be left alive for about ten/fifteen minutes(enough time to run, cuff and heal). Done it about seven times, best to aim for chest and the other should preferably aim for a leg.


I still miss shooting LWAPs without scoping however, kinda changed the balance, can't stop remembering when Jamison Stamos tried walking through a door and there was me, instantly headshoting him as I charged. I believe 150/250 cargo points would be enough to order the energy marksman crate, whilst there is some sort of other sniper(riot whatever) able to fire stuns through windows and whatnot, 50/75/100 cargo points,keeping the enemy downed whilst a partner moves to arrest.

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Skull, there is - there ARE a few mobs that could be not-disabled without stun (most notably IPCs which have no paincrit, probably 'lings too, tempted to say wizards and dionea and armored personnel). It's not necessarily a one-hit disable. It's a one-hit disable on the standard reference human (maybe with armor piercing - but that's just because of my own opinion where a research station SHOULD be unable to order military-grade weapons to deal with armored targets).


Though the point about cooperation is very true - when seen it that light, it would most certainly be a good thing to require several people to coordinate for that, and I hadn't thought about it.


So it could go either way, really. Make the sniper a less powerful weapon to encourage teamwork, or make it a more damaging but less stunning weapon that has consequences.

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Skull, there is - there ARE a few mobs that could be not-disabled without stun (most notably IPCs which have no paincrit, probably 'lings too, tempted to say wizards and dionea and armored personnel). It's not necessarily a one-hit disable. It's a one-hit disable on the standard reference human (maybe with armor piercing - but that's just because of my own opinion where a research station SHOULD be unable to order military-grade weapons to deal with armored targets).

 

Pretty sure that the lwap beam can stun ipcs and dionae, which are not immune to stun, just to halloss. Besides, if you armor absorbs the beam, you won't be stunned by it.

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Still think that "flush" thing would make using an LWAP more difficult+interesting. It'd be a turn-off to people who prefer DPS, but if you want DPS, a sniper is probably not for you anyway.

 

Why? More interesting situations happen from people being taken alive than outright killed.


Edit: I'm saying this, because we're currently living in a context where people who opt for non-lethal takedowns in a fight get actively punished when the other party goes for lethal. On a HRP server, it essentially tends to make nonlethals obsolete in nonlethal-vs-lethal situation, and punishes players for wanting to keep others alive, which is sorta counter-intuitive to what server staff have been trying to encourage.

 

Citation needed, no offense.


As a response to your edit, have you ever played any other game with an emphasis on consequence dependent on whether you're killing people or using nonlethal methods to subdue them?


When you shoot someone directly in their head with a rubber bullet, chances are they're going to be knocked the fuck out for a good deal of time. If they're a hardy individual, maybe not.


Right, let's take a look at what lethals are intended for. They are a permanent, solid, and efficient solution to remove an obstacle. That obstacle being, literally anybody in the way that stands to be a threat to the guy with a gun. Guy with gun shoots threat until motionless, threat is permadead. It is a quick means to an end, and the guy with the gun can proceed onward... though, not without consequences that come about later on.


What about players shooting non-obstacles when they shouldn't? They're ganking. Discipline them.


Now, what about non-lethal variants of typical weaponry? Normally, their intention is to not outright remove the obstacle that is in the way, but rather to pacify their level of danger. To seclude them away from other people that they might hurt. To stop them from being destructive, without outright killing them.


However, as any example or citation would prove, it is not easy to do this. Knocking someone unconscious for a couple hours so you can do your job is one thing, but what if you need more time to do the things you want done? If you're so focused on keeping the operation entirely clean and without blood, then you need to start caring for the problem person's safety, even if you really don't want to. Ultimately, using non-lethals in the moment will require more effort for you to handle and deal with. Said problem person might be really fucking pissed off that you took advantage of the opportunity to KO them with rubber rounds. Said problem person is not going to go down without fighting you every step of the way.


This is usually what happens. Still, it's the nature of using nonlethals. You're supposed to struggle with using it, it's not an immediate solution to your problems. Is it ultimately worth it in the long run? Debatable, YMMV. I still personally believe nonlethals should be balanced around my own philosophy of "Can't ever keep a good space nigga down."

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You're trying to balance this for Metal Gear, when we're balancing for Heavy RP.


In stealth games, the player is usually rewarded for non-lethal takeouts. This reward can range from a better game score to additional equipment and bonuses (a soldier you knock out later joins your team or gives you special equipment), or a bonus to your character's moral alignment. It's a basic challenge­­>reward system. (That, and realism.)


In SS13, you don't really want to make nonlethal takedowns significantly harder, because there's no reward for them. You get an annoying person that's probably gonna try to run away while you have to babysit them, or an enemy who'll join up the fight again as soon as they get some healing (if you leave them to their own devices). Hostages can be effective to an extent, but they're really, really hard to take.


Now, the problem: you're saying people using lethals when they have no business to should just be disciplined. To that, I retort that the game made it right to use lethals where it shouldn't be.




Alright, time to channel my inner Skull.


Example. Nuke ops. As an operative, do you engage security with nonlethals? Probably not. Why? A sec officer you stun will just get back up, and be hard to subdue if they have a group of friends covering for them. It's a much safer bet to engage people with lasers or SMGs, which cause permanent damage, because you want to chip away at the enemy's health. You can't afford to trade blows for nothing (which is what a failed nonlethal assault is), because unlike security, you've got no fallback. No medbay, or station backup to rely on. Additionally, the utility of a hostage is dubious, when so many hostages just have the capacity (and reputation) to completely fuck their captors over, both in an IC and OOC sense.


But above all? Lethals effectively beat nonlethals in most fights. It's not the random stunbaton that's gonna get you down. It's the guy that lasers your butt twice after you've been stunned. If you open with nonlethals, and your opponent opens with lethals, and you land an equal number of blow on each other, you will be at a clear disadvantage.


And the issue is security is under no obligation to open with nonlethals. "Uh, highly trained terrorists are attacking my workplace and threatening my life" makes for a pretty valid kill cause. So often, I've seen ops be shot at with lethals simply because they seemed threatening enough, and that it was the most effective way to take them down. At that point, you don't taze back the people shooting at you with lasers. You try to kill them back, because you could be wounded, your comrades could be wounded, and when the fight ends you're not gonna be able to deal with some doofus stuck in halloss for 10 seconds while you have permanent paincrit from actual mangled extremities.


And that makes opening with nonlethals a stupid move, outside of the rare niche situations where you're 100% certain you can subdue your opponent with minimal damage (that, and everyday arrests, which we're not too concerned with here, as they don't require a LWAP or anything of the like.) So we're left in a situation where people will fight with lethals, then other people with fight with lethals because people are fighting with lethals already, and so on. The greatest loss? The opportunity to have nuke, cult, and rp-rev rounds that don't end with one party dying five minutes after carbines are distributed.


The gain: what is it? That's the part of your argument I'm failing to see, and the question you should seek to answer next: What exactly does SS13, HRP-style, gain from having non-lethals that are significantly more challenging to use than lethals?


Because from what I can see, trying to shift the balance a bit towards non-lethals (or changing the balance of powers by giving non-lethal new, different tools) would rid us of some really unnecessary and un-fun bloodbaths, or at the very least make capturing more viable even if your opponent decides to be a dick and exploit your display of leniency by trying to kill you.

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You're trying to balance this for Metal Gear, when we're balancing for Heavy RP.


Not attempting to correct you or anything, but it's more like 'how can we make conflict different for a change rather than be subjected to the same combat system and the same results again and again', that I want balanced out.

 

I mean, fuck, I don't even want balance. Better yet, I want a sensible imbalance. There should be situations in which, oh, absolutely, the guy with lethals should absolutely win against the guy with a meager taser gun, most of the time. Likewise, though, I want nonlethals to be viable in the situations that call for it, and noticably much less optimal in situations in which it might be better to upgrade to a laser gun.

 

In stealth games, the player is usually rewarded for non-lethal takeouts. This reward can range from a better game score to additional equipment and bonuses (a soldier you knock out later joins your team or gives you special equipment), or a bonus to your character's moral alignment. It's a basic challenge­­>reward system. (That, and realism.)

 

Yes, that's true. Doing X thing in X way as opposed to doing Y thing should be rewarding in its own respect suitable to doing X stuff. I mean, there's not much reward on either side as antag or security besides self-satisfaction for shooting the other side in the face/butt area.

 

In SS13, you don't really want to make nonlethal takedowns significantly harder, because there's no reward for them. You get an annoying person that's probably gonna try to run away while you have to babysit them, or an enemy who'll join up the fight again as soon as they get some healing (if you leave them to their own devices). Hostages can be effective to an extent, but they're really, really hard to take.

 


 

Now, the problem: you're saying people using lethals when they have no business to should just be disciplined. To that, I retort that the game made it right to use lethals where it shouldn't be.

 

I should've phrased it better.


What I was thinking was like this. Security would never be expected to kill a co-worker, most people wouldn't even give it much thought as to whether it's plausible they'll have to kill someone at work today. I mean, nobody wants to think that. Security probably would anyway, since chaotic shit escalates so fast to the point where 'reacting sensibly to a nutty situation' will end up in them getting fucked.


Changelings, vampires, traitors, and other stealth-ish based antagonists would be expected to use their guile and wit to murder their way to the top so as to destabilize the tentative order the crew tries to maintain every round. They don't have laws to abide by, they do what they want in order to survive and thrive.


Highly trained professional criminals pack a lot of decent heat and have the skill to use it effectively in a manner that would completely and utterly destroy any hope for peace and quiet. Should honestly be expected to waste anybody who looks at them wrong. The whole 'gank' rule doesn't really apply to them because it's within their role to be cold-hearted, in-it-to-win-it profiteers. Unless, that is, they just rush the captain's office every round for the nuke disk and don't really do much with the crew as an antag. I mean, I love the comms taunting, it's almost guaranteed to get some keks out of it if the person talking is interesting enough. I wish ops would do it more often, and THEN lead up to blowing the station sky-high.


The crew are supposed to be good. They're supposed to be 'civil'. Antags are supposed to be mean and conniving in their own way. They should be the ones taking the round spotlight, so to speak, in terms of how they create conflict. Crew can create conflict too, but I'm sure you're expecting an argument about the many exceptions of what is or isn't acceptable conflict. Who even cares to have that conversation? It's boring, and you get nowhere with it.


 

Example. Nuke ops. As an operative, do you engage security with nonlethals? Probably not. Why? A sec officer you stun will just get back up, and be hard to subdue if they have a group of friends covering for them. It's a much safer bet to engage people with lasers or SMGs, which cause permanent damage, because you want to chip away at the enemy's health. You can't afford to trade blows for nothing (which is what a failed nonlethal assault is), because unlike security, you've got no fallback. No medbay, or station backup to rely on. Additionally, the utility of a hostage is dubious, when so many hostages just have the capacity (and reputation) to completely fuck their captors over, both in an IC and OOC sense.

 

Yup. Which is sad, really. The only way that nonlethals can or will ever work is if you utilize the element of surprise to put that guy into an immediate disadvantage they can't crawl out of. Nonlethals also almost never work against someone who has lethal weaponry, and has already spotted you. The "shoot first" policy doesn't work in this instance, as you said, since they're shooting at each other the moment they see each other anyway.

 

But above all? Lethals effectively beat nonlethals in most fights. It's not the random stunbaton that's gonna get you down. It's the guy that lasers your butt twice after you've been stunned. If you open with nonlethals, and your opponent opens with lethals, and you land an equal number of blow on each other, you will be at a clear disadvantage.

 

Yes.

 

And the issue is security is under no obligation to open with nonlethals. "Uh, highly trained terrorists are attacking my workplace and threatening my life" makes for a pretty valid kill cause. So often, I've seen ops be shot at with lethals simply because they seemed threatening enough, and that it was the most effective way to take them down. At that point, you don't taze back the people shooting at you with lasers. You try to kill them back, because you could be wounded, your comrades could be wounded, and when the fight ends you're not gonna be able to deal with some doofus stuck in halloss for 10 seconds while you have permanent paincrit from actual mangled extremities.

 

Iiiii don't agree. I feel as though security SHOULD be under an obligation to respect their own code of conduct on escalation of force. In order, to consider from least force to most force: Diplomacy > Hand-to-hand > Flash > Pepperspray > Flashbang > Stun baton > Taser gun > Lethal weaponry.


Antags are different, because they're antags. They shouldn't have this sophisticated set of rules about who is valid and who is absolutely not valid. It's not really possible to discriminate targets, anyway, if you're making an effort to try to do something.

 

And that makes opening with nonlethals a stupid move, outside of the rare niche situations where you're 100% certain you can subdue your opponent with minimal damage (that, and everyday arrests, which we're not too concerned with here, as they don't require a LWAP or anything of the like.) So we're left in a situation where people will fight with lethals, then other people with fight with lethals because people are fighting with lethals already, and so on. The greatest loss? The opportunity to have nuke, cult, and rp-rev rounds that don't end with one party dying five minutes after carbines are distributed.

 

It's a vicious cycle. It'd be ideal for the antagonists if security didn't do anything about their antagonism, but then people would yell at security OOCly for not attempting to robust the antagonists, in which people would cry because it would end in either a non-lethal mass-bag-and-tag-of-the-entire-cult or a giant bloodbath in response to the slightest glance that security might be onto the cult.


Nobody is ever collectively happy, it seems, and this sucks.

 

The gain: what is it? That's the part of your argument I'm failing to see, and the question you should seek to answer next: What exactly does SS13, HRP-style, gain from having non-lethals that are significantly more challenging to use than lethals?

 

The gain is supposed to be 'rrrr peeeee', 'meaningful interaction' or something but we both know that's not true at all. There is no gain to either killing someone or tasing someone besides not getting shot at in response.

 

Because from what I can see, trying to shift the balance a bit towards non-lethals (or changing the balance of powers by giving non-lethal new, different tools) would rid us of some really unnecessary and un-fun bloodbaths, or at the very least make capturing more viable even if your opponent decides to be a dick and exploit your display of leniency by trying to kill you.

 

Alright, you have a point here.


Here's my case, though. As a security main, I find myself in most situations when shit gets bad to get a lethal weapon. Why? So that I can at least not die a horrible death for whatever reason without any chance to react or something. I never struggle getting a shotgun, or an LWAP, or an energy carbine, or any other broken weapon that floors people in just a couple clicks. So that I don't get ganked, but I at least can get a couple shots off at the dude who tried to shoot me and spite him for making an effort to kill me.


It would be an arms race if there was any level of difficulty to get a carbine. Lethals are not hard to get ahold of.


I think one of the best ways to better balance this is to limit the circulation that goes around of all existing lethal weapons. Carbines, laser rifles, you name it. In response, we'd put more nonlethal stuff with some tacticool diversity in to give people options. Then, when you REALLY need killguns, you need to ask cargo rather than rush to the armory for them. Granted, maybe there should be a spare laser rifle or two anyway, but their value would increase a lot more because roundstart lethals would be rare to get ahold of unless you're an antag.


I'll make another thread about it to discuss this more in-depth sometime. I'm going to bed.

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