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PSA: IPC changes.


K0NFL1QT

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https://github.com/Aurorastation/Aurora/pull/748


Since IPCs are the most common species by a huge margin this has the potential to impact a lot of players. If you play an IPC, you're probably aware of most of this already. But let's see. Components that act as organs? Awesome. Flash vulnerability? Yeah, that makes sense. Brute resistance is negated? Wait, what?


Okay. So robotic limbs are now no longer physically tougher than organic limbs, but they still retain their vulnerability to EMP? If you say metal is as vulnerable as flesh, well then okay. That'd be totally worthwhile if IPCs were allowed to self-repair again. Alternatively, easy 'limb-swapping' so you don't need to deal with tables to slot on a new arm, you just detach the old one and slot a new one in place. Would you consider these an option Skull, instead of 'tweaking resistances''?

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Yeah, seriously. I've had much the same thought... albeit not quite as colorfully. I guess the idea behind putting the IPC chem storage in the groin was supposed to avoid packing all two of the three IPC organs in the chest... but still. A medical belt with a couple of bottles or beakers is a less weird way to carry around meds.


Which leads me to something I've been wondering... does anyone actually use their IPC as a walking beaker?


As for the rest, I'm a bit conflicted. On one hand, IPCs are kinda op in some respects (being somewhat mobile and functional in crit is pretty sick), but they also have some fairly brutal (and silly) weaknesses. As an example, 0.6 points of damage to a limb is all it takes to get all clumsy and drop stuff, and being unable to self repair without nanopaste means you'll probably be seeing the roboticist every time a vending machine takes a shot at you.

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OK LET'S GET THINGS SORTED FOLKS


First, the damage modifier. Pull request notes says that we'll see how it goes. It means it's not permanent. It may be reinstated.


Second, the chemical storage. Yes, people DO use IPCs as walking beakers for a variety of reasons (one of them being their unparalleled carry capacity - even a medic with a full toolbelt of cryobeakers couldn't carry around the same amount as an IPC, and there's the fact that they can react so a particularly shifty IPC can easily stuff themselves with reactant and carry one or two syringes and be walking flashbombs or smokebombs for a quick escape and so on). It was placed in the groin because logically speaking that's where it'd go - I mean, there's the radiator in the chest that takes a lot of space... And groin generally delimits lower-organs. I mean - for humans, don't they extract the liver and kidneys through the groin? Yet they're pretty high up.


But yeah - it's only a location, as well. The chemical storage is only available through syringes (used on any limb). It's not some magic healing/sleep pelvic thrust. If anything, it's closer to a blood bag that can't be hooked to an IV. AND they break if any form of acid (and maybe some other chemicals I'd need to double check) enter it, which means there's a whole slew of chemical concoctions that are off limit. It's the main goal of that organ, really - IPCs could be walking acidsmoke bombs before. Not anymore. And if an IPC is being particularly dickish, they don't need the tank to live - so they could be mandated a removal without a single issue.


And third: this is all a work in progress, as the notes said. EMP damage may be tweaked to be lesser, the brute modifier may be reinstated (full or reduced), and there may be changes here and there. It's tentative.


As for the vending machines - has anyone ever seen them do that much damage? (and the 0.6 thing is a reasonable worry... until you remember that IPCs don't paincrit - so aiming for the arms is as viable as aiming for the chest on organics. Because if you aim for the chest, or legs, or head on an IPC, it won't do JACK DIDDLY SHIT. Hell, if you aim at the head, you might even make them unkillable by decapitating them)


For a full log of the process, so far, there's this thread right here.


Any other questions?

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As for the vending machines - has anyone ever seen them do that much damage? (and the 0.6 thing is a reasonable worry... until you remember that IPCs don't paincrit - so aiming for the arms is as viable as aiming for the chest on organics. Because if you aim for the chest, or legs, or head on an IPC, it won't do JACK DIDDLY SHIT. Hell, if you aim at the head, you might even make them unkillable by decapitating them)

 

Have I ever seen a vending machine do 0.6 points of damage? Actually, yes, I had one attacking me in the OR once and, yes, as a result of 0.6 points of damage to one arm I was dropping surgical tools. Not often, but enough that I had to stop using that hand until I could get it repaired.

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Incase it wasn't clear, I'm not necessarily opposed to the idea of the removal of the brute resistance. It doesn't make much lore sense if IPCs are metallic constructs, but we could say that the majority of an IPCs shell is instead a form of plastic composite and thus not metal like everyone thinks. Problem solved. Fragility explained.


Some of the changes you suggested would make sense, but let's not just turn IPCs into resprited organics by mirroring all the organic systems in functionality and changing the names, please. Let robutts be robutts.


Some more internal components to play with would certainly be great; I have no problem with the internal storage change, or that camera 'organs' act as eyes and can be damaged. Coolant and servos would also make sense, if you want to add more 'internal system' vulnerabilities. But that's the thing, 90% of what's proposed is negative for the most common non-human species that already has extreme weaknesses to common weapons and environments. I'll certainly agree that IPCs could use more finishing. Maybe buffing the EMP resistance would help, so that they don't insta-die to one Ion shot but suffer enough damage to cause a system failure or two, if they had some other vulnerabilities like the ones suggested. But none of the developers ever seem to realize how destructive the loss of self-repair was to the IPCs, nor does it ever seem to show up on the table of ideas as potentially ever coming back.


What vulnerabilities would IPC players be willing to endure to have back the ability to weld and wire themselves? Probably a lot. Some of them even sound like fun. In what universe does Occupational Health and Safety standards prefer you to be dropping tools, weapons, beakers of acid, oxy-plasma bombs, etc, over a simple self rewiring? An incapacitated employee over a functional one? The removal of self repair just seemed like a lazy way to make IPCs less likely to bullet sponge, gimping all of them for the attitude of a few powergamers.

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Incase it wasn't clear, I'm not necessarily opposed to the idea of the removal of the brute resistance. It doesn't make much lore sense if IPCs are metallic constructs, but we could say that the majority of an IPCs shell is instead a form of plastic composite and thus not metal like everyone thinks. Problem solved. Fragility explained.

 

IIRC the logic behind it was not specifically that limbs could be damaged - it was that they housed fragile servos and circuitry to CONTROL them, and that's why IPCs don't paincrit - by damaging them, you're not damaging the actual limb, you're damaging the circuitry and components to operate them.

 

Some of the changes you suggested would make sense, but let's not just turn IPCs into resprited organics by mirroring all the organic systems in functionality and changing the names, please. Let robutts be robutts.

Read the thread. It was taken into consideration, and discussed very thoroughly - it is a core thought in the modifications, that IPCs should be nerfed without being resprited organics. It's also why they have a lot less organs, and organs with a different purpose (they still have no blood, I think? and their 'heart', the cooling unit, does NOT kill an IPC - it merely keeps them cool (and so damaging them makes them slowly overheat, and destroying it makes it akin to being in the vacuum). And so, an IPC in a properly-cooled room (like the server room) MIGHT just be able to survive.

 

Some more internal components to play with would certainly be great; I have no problem with the internal storage change, or that camera 'organs' act as eyes and can be damaged. Coolant and servos would also make sense, if you want to add more 'internal system' vulnerabilities. But that's the thing, 90% of what's proposed is negative for the most common non-human species that already has extreme weaknesses to common weapons and environments. I'll certainly agree that IPCs could use more finishing. Maybe buffing the EMP resistance would help, so that they don't insta-die to one Ion shot but suffer enough damage to cause a system failure or two, if they had some other vulnerabilities like the ones suggested. But none of the developers ever seem to realize how destructive the loss of self-repair was to the IPCs, nor does it ever seem to show up on the table of ideas as potentially ever coming back.

 

Direct servo organs were ruled out. Eyes were added because it's the only reason why IPCs were immune to flashing. Internal storage was added to explain the mechanical quirk of IPCs being walking beakers. Coolant was not implemented yet, and as said, the radiator behaves entirely differently from organics - and, overall, that's the main difference between an IPC and an organic. Take out all of an IPC's organs, and it can still survive with the proper conditions. Take out an organics' organ, and they're dead right where they stand. And the EMP damage is being considered, as per the patch notes - because right now, IPCS are indeed a lil' bit squishy, since they lost their brute and haloss resistance and gained organs. But it's still a WIP.


And guess what? IPC self-repair MIGHT just be coming back, because the GOAL of the IPC changes was to nerf it enough to make it worth considering adding things, like self-repair and the IPC equivalent of genetics, without making IPCs even more OP than they already are. IPCs are changing, and things might just get better.

 

What vulnerabilities would IPC players be willing to endure to have back the ability to weld and wire themselves? Probably a lot. Some of them even sound like fun. In what universe does Occupational Health and Safety standards prefer you to be dropping tools, weapons, beakers of acid, oxy-plasma bombs, etc, over a simple self rewiring? An incapacitated employee over a functional one? The removal of self repair just seemed like a lazy way to make IPCs less likely to bullet sponge, gimping all of them for the attitude of a few powergamers.

 

Honestly? You're entirely right. Being flash-resistant with a massive brute damage resistance, it made sense balance-wise to make IPCs unable to self-repair without nanopaste. But as I said, things are changing - and it might come back to the table at some point.

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One quick thing about IPCs now. Limbs can be removed really, really easily from brute now. Like it took 4 swings from a bladed weapon to remove my own hand, which also did 30 damage to the arm attached to it when it was removed, almost knocking me into crit. Another important thing is that IPCs can already perform self-surgery if they have the right materials. Why can't they repair themselves without nanopaste? Doesn't seem to make a lot of sense, which you pointed out. Another point, then. If IPCs are meant to be quite durable to brute but their internals can be damaged easily, hence the lower modifier, why do their limbs get removed when they sustain heavy damage? If that's true, they should have an even higher brute resistance with high burn values, right? And let's be honest, The limbs would be designed as a protective casing around the wiring. Making IPCs more like humans isn't a good thing. They're slowly drifting back to being more and more like clones of every other species with a few weird things about them.

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I actually did some testing, IPCs lose their limbs to brute damage at exactly the same rate as humans do. The only difference is the fact that humans lose some of the brute_dam on the limb, due to regeneration. With this in mind, I may actually be inclined to add the brute modifier back into the mix.


However, what's interesting is the fact that no one's mentioned how damaging energy weapons are to IPCs. We've discussed EMP, yes, but not lasers, which seem to be about twice as deadly for some reason. I need to figure out why. And I'm also probably thinking of reducing EMP damage in the next round, and making EMP more livable, if only to have them in critical condition after an ion bolt strikes. So that they would be disabled, but still alive.


The thing that irks me, though, still, is the lack of pain. This makes balancing them a more difficult gambit than it should be ._.

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I don't mind the EMPs being deadly at all... especially with dead being kinda relative for an IPC. If the head isn't destroyed, you haven't really died, your body is just FUBAR.


I was playing the chemist in a wizard round a few days ago and, after hearing a lot on the coms about this guy running around shooting off EMPs, the wizard pops in the chemlab to cook something up for himself (medicine, one assumes) and says if I say anything to indicate he's there he'll kill me. I smiled at him and continued my work like he wasn't even there, 'cause fuck if I was taking an EMP just to call security.


It's all about making the vulnerabilities make sense... and vulnerability to EMPs makes sense. So does vulnerability to energy weapons... after all, IPCs already run very hot.

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