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Wizard change suggestions


Kaed

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There are quite a few issues with the wizard mode, some of them in theme, others simply due to bugginess. These are a few things that I think could be fixed and improved on.


-Fix the mutate spell (admins are already aware of this though, and it's apparently on the list)


-Replace Subjugation with Suggestion. This spell already causes so much confusion for new players, because the name of the smell and it's description, suggest it is some sort of mental influence. But in reality, all it does is cause stuttering and inability to walk straight. This is, in all, a very tepid ability. The idea I had involved changing it so the person you cast it on gets a message along the lines of 'You feel compelled to comply with 's next request." This would make it similar to the vampire dominate ability, urging someone to perform a single action.


-The fireball spell should stop venting the station unless you're really unlucky or blast a spot repeatedly. This ability is simply too destructive for its own good, and causes breaches into space more often than it doesn't.


-Remove the sandals requirement. This one has always been an irritating and rather obnoxious requirement for wizards. Not only are you using an item that is completely non-magical (literally any sandals will do) to cast spells, but feet are notoriously difficult to lose within mob code. Lose one foot, and you can no longer wear sandals, rendering you helpless, despite your perfectly good wizard hat and robes, which are what should be the important parts of your magic.


-Remove the staff of change. This item is horrible, full of bugs, both graphical and variable-related in nature. It affects things that it honestly shouldn't, like pAI and borg, and is for the most part impossible to reverse even by the wizard due to the entirely uncontrollable nature of how it works. Reworking it to be less terrible would be a massive endeavor, I think, and until someone can be bothered to, it needs to be clipped out.


-Staffs in general need to be unusable by non-wizards (along with scrying orbs). These items are enforced to not be usable by roleplay standards, just making them mechanically unusable would save a lot of trouble and need to explain to people that they're not allowed to mental focus the wizard to death after disarm spamming them.


-Make a magical armor cycler, allowing the wizard hardsuit to be used by other species and not look horrible. This would require new sprites, I guess. But still!


-Alter the wizard's soul stone setup to be more appropriate to their theme. Currently the constructs they make are unable to communicate with anyone but other constructs, and can only do culty things like build cult walls and make cult barriers and floors.


-Ban IPCs and Vaurca from being wizards.


-Maybe some new spells would be cool, but I'm open to this coming up after the fixes mentioned previously.

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I like the staff of change, it allows people to see some interesting content that's rarely used like xenomorphs, shadowlings, and a couple of critters. I'd be more in favour of fixing the bugs, and making it reversible, than removing it.


As for fireball, isn't that kind of the point? It's a destructive spell, its supposed to blow things up. it's the closest thing to epic magic the wizard really has. And speaking as an occasional engineering player, fixing hull breaches is fun. What do you see as the problem with it causing breaches?


I think i'd agree with you on all the rest, though i'd also like to see the horse mask spell removed, that's just dumb and annoying

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I like the staff of change, it allows people to see some interesting content that's rarely used like xenomorphs, shadowlings, and a couple of critters. I'd be more in favour of fixing the bugs, and making it reversible, than removing it.


As for fireball, isn't that kind of the point? It's a destructive spell, its supposed to blow things up. it's the closest thing to epic magic the wizard really has. And speaking as an occasional engineering player, fixing hull breaches is fun. What do you see as the problem with it causing breaches?


I think i'd agree with you on all the rest, though i'd also like to see the horse mask spell removed, that's just dumb and annoying

 

Fireball isn't really not SUPPOSED to be epic magic, though. First of all, it's a robeless spell, wizards can cast it regardless of whatever they are wearing. Second, it's their only real DAMAGE spell (magic missile does a tiny amount of damage, but it's largely irrelevant next to the stun effect), and it doesn't even deal that much damage. The reason that people die to singular fireballs is not because they are massive trauma so much as they tend to suffocate helplessly in the resulting breaches. At the very least, it should have two settings, one to just harm crew and another to blow holes in the station.


As for the staff of change... i'm sorry, but being able to see 'rarely used content' like shadows and xenomorphs isn't a tradeoff for how shitty it is. You can't control what anyone turns into, their tails are often some horrible mangled color, it changes their languages half the time, some things will begin to suffocate to death upon transformation (vox). Most of the time, people lose their names in the process of the transformation, becoming 'unknown' or simply having no name at all and being a buggy blank. If there was a way to in some fashion control what people turned into, it might be workable, but there isn't. And I see wizards running around turning people into slimes and xenos for laughs more than making any kind of story out of it, and the resulting slimes and xenos tend towards going on a rampage because they feel they are antags now.


And it's not reversible, the way it's coded. Even if you get turned back into a human or unathi, I'm pretty sure it jumbles up all your variables and you'll be some completely different person, probably named 'UNKNOWN'. Face it nanako, it's even trollier and stupid than the horse head curse, which at least has the decency to be a removable status effect rather than complete derailment of your character.

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Horse mask could honestly just be reflavoured, it's main point is to remove people's ability to use internals and cry out vocally, which is key, but most people just spam it which is a shame. Keeping the point of the spell intact whilst making it less obnoxious might make people more liable to use it for what it's meant for, killing people in vacuum and shutting them up.


Staff of change doesn't really work because noone's bothered to update it with everything that gets added so it causes a billion amusing issues, and it working on borgs is entirely intentional, though pAIs is weird. Making it reversible (By both wizard, via staff, and crew, via genetics or chemicals or the like) would go a long way towards helping it. As for making non-wizards unable to use staves and orbs, fully agree with you, it's far too open to abuse as is.


Removing sandals wouldn't be needed if the wizard hardsuit came with wizard magboots, otherwise you're effectively required to take the robeless enchantment/spell to go with it unless you like slipping and getting thrown around by the will of atmos.


Fireballs venting stuff is.. Meh, they should still blow up things like welder tanks and the like, but the hull could do with a bit more thickness against fireballs. Maybe make it so there's a minimal initial vent chance, but slightly lower damage, and upgrading your fireball spell will increase the damage and vent chance.


I'm also of the opinion that there needs to be an option to have prosthetics replaced with organic limbs if you spawn as a wizard because otherwise you're locked out of a spell entirely, and the only solution is being forced to play specific characters for wizard which isn't a very handy answer for secret when you won't know the mode initially.

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You can't control what anyone turns into,
That's half the fun! It's a chaotic tool used to liven up a round

 

their tails are often some horrible mangled color,

a bug that can probably be fixed

 

it changes their languages half the time,

this is a feature, an awesome one. gaining new languages is part of the transformation

 

some things will begin to suffocate to death upon transformation (vox).

I also love this, it's amazing, being turned into a vox suddenly gives the wizard power, your life is in their hands

 

Most of the time, people lose their names in the process of the transformation, becoming 'unknown' or simply having no name at all and being a buggy blank.

this should be fixed, name shouldn't change imo

If there was a way to in some fashion control what people turned into, it might be workable, but there isn't.

If it were controllable the wizard would just select vox and murderbone everyone. i like the randomness

 

And I see wizards running around turning people into slimes and xenos for laughs more than making any kind of story out of it,

I've seen people making stories out of it. Being transformed suddenly gives you new abilities, new needs, and new ways of coping with things. Xenos can't speak, shadowlings have to hide in the dark. I saw a pAI-turned-golem having a lot of fun last round, still behaving with the mind of a pAI but in a new physical body

 

and the resulting slimes and xenos tend towards going on a rampage because they feel they are antags now.
something interesting for security to deal with then. Antags exist to create conflict, this sounds like a success

 

And it's not reversible, the way it's coded. Even if you get turned back into a human or unathi, I'm pretty sure it jumbles up all your variables and you'll be some completely different person, probably named 'UNKNOWN'.

I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard to create an original-DNA variable that stores your initial state, and a revert spell could simply overwrite your current one with that. It can be re-coded

 

Face it nanako, it's even trollier and stupid than the horse head curse, which at least has the decency to be a removable status effect rather than complete derailment of your character.

 

The horse head is humiliating, it cuts off conversation, and is no fun for anyone. it also stops being funny the first time you see it in your life. It's just removing one aspect of gameplay and replacing it with crap.


Being turned into a random alien may completely derail your character, but it opens up lots of opportunities to RP how you'd react to this sudden change, and new ways to interact with the world that make up for it. I once made friends with an officer who'd been turned into a neara, and carried him around as a companion for the rest of the shift.


tl:dr, staff of change is fun. for me at least.

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Being turned into a random alien may completely derail your character, but it opens up lots of opportunities to RP how you'd react to this sudden change, and new ways to interact with the world that make up for it. I once made friends with an officer who'd been turned into a neara, and carried him around as a companion for the rest of the shift.


tl:dr, staff of change is fun. for me at least.

 

It kind of.. doesn't, really, though. Most of the time what happens is people go 'ugh wtf is this, why am I black skrell with no head tentacles', then they either cryo in disgust or just try to ignore it and go back to killing the wizard. Much like your comment about horse head curses, it loses it charm after half the crew is turned into random nonsense, and just becomes frustrating. The fact that a small packet of potential fun exists in a giant sea of stupid, frustrating bullshit is NOT a reason, in my opinion, why it's a viable option to keep around. People don't know what a shadow(ling) is - it doesn't exist anywhere in the game lore, and never shows up outside of being changed into one. It essentially looks like a black human, and I am willing to venture a guess that that is all that it is, because it's an improperly coded mess like the rest of the staff. Wizards aren't going to hold your life in their hands if they turn you into a vox, they're going to run off and leave you to die before you shoot them to death for being a fucking annoying mong for picking the staff of change. I'm not saying it's not fixable, but until it IS fixed, it needs to be taken away and thrown into a dark corner where it can't bother anyone.


It's just too chaotic to actually be fun for anyone but the wizard or a small selection of people like you who thinks chaos for chaos's sake is great. I personally am fond of the characters I create and being irreversibly turned into a slime or golem kills my mood to even participate in the round anymore, far from providing 'fresh new roleplay opportunities'. At the very least, the staff should have a few very clear settings rather than this completely random nonsense. Settings such as


-Devolve (turns people into lesser forms, like monkies, stok, etc)

-Change species (changes someone into another random species from the base species list, while preserving their color data and such.)

-Monsters (This causes things like vox, xenos, slimes, golems)

-Restore (Reverses changes caused by the staff)


It should stop affecting machines the same way: Borg, pAI, IPCs, Wizards are not supposed to have control over technology (and, in fact, I added a note in the original post about vaurca and IPC wizards being removed from the whitelist). At the most, they can destroy or disable it. The staff of change should potentially damage machines, but not turn them into tajarans or whatever.

 

Removing sandals wouldn't be needed if the wizard hardsuit came with wizard magboots, otherwise you're effectively required to take the robeless enchantment/spell to go with it unless you like slipping and getting thrown around by the will of atmos.

 

You're kind of missing the point. It's not about the inability to wear magboots (though magic magboots is a good idea). It's about wizards being dependent on FOOTWEAR of all things to cast their spells. They already have two items, their hat and robes, that sufficiently restrict their ability to cast spells without them. Why do we need a THIRD, arbitrary one that has no magical significance and is attached to a body part that is ridiculously easy to have blown off?

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Wizards are not supposed to have control over technology At the most, they can destroy or disable it.

 

Where did you get this notion from?


Changelings do their work with chemicals, they're the ones that aren't supposed to affect machines. Wizards work with magic, they reshape the fabric of reality, and distort the laws of time and space. I see no reason why their spells shouldn't work on absolutely anything, including bringing pAIs to life and turning androids into organics. They can also animate doors and chairs and lockers. Heck they should have the ability to convert organics into machines, too

 

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The Staff of Change definitely needs updates, and bugfixes, but has alot of potential and should not be removed. I propose removing base species from the pool, and making the staff draw from a pool of interesting mobs. Lets say Shadowling(If the code can be worked out), Monkey/Devolved species equivilant, Borg, Adamantine Golem, Xenomorph(Random Caste, but perhaps weighted towards drone), Slime(Lets make you a random color for fun), Slime-Person(The Result of Mutation Toxin being applied to you), Clown(Because not enough HONK!), Vox(With or without N2 Internals?), Cult Constructs, Faithless(Not normally controlable, can it be done?), Giant Spider(Again, not normally player controlled) and lets say on a really freaking rare case, another wizard. It should also have a "Reverse Polarity" button so it can fix what it breaks.


The fireball problem can actually be nicely solved thusly. I propose we make fireball require robes, and add a new spell. "Firebolt" This can be fired like a fireball spell, and lights the tile it hits on fire. If it hits a mob, they get lit on fire, as well as the tile, while taking heavy burn damage. There is no explosion, and can be cast without robes. This allows the spell to be less destructive overall while offering a capable offensive and area denial utility for the wizard. While it won't breach the station, it can still make the local area more dangerous for crew, as the ambient heat raises from the fire, and the fire itself limiting movement options. This also gives the atmos techncian an excuse to break out the firefighting equipment, or local crew to run to an extinguisher cabinet.


For the soul-stone and constructs for the Wizard, I'd simply change the constructs availible to him. This could be done by recoloring the sprite to be blue instead of red and making it a separate item from the cultist soul-stones. While my memory is foggy on where he gets his shells from, we can alter that mechanic to make it thematically appropriate. I propose 3 potential wizard constructs. Each is a counterpart to the cultist constructs.

The first one we can call the Support construct for now. It's ment to be analogus to the Artificer cult construct. It can repair other constructs, and should have a healing ability to let it support the wizard and his allies if he can't use the station's medical facilities. It should have a way to produce wizard's robes, and maybe replicate wizard items shown to it, so it can replenish the wizard's gear if lost/stolen. The idea here is utility and support rather then offensive power.

The second one we can call the Eluder for now. A slightly different take on the Wraith, it has a powerful melee attack and medium armor. It can cast Knock, and my aforementioned firebolt spell. This gives it a decent ranged attack and mobility options, while not making it impossible to pin down. Hit and run is the idea here, this guy is either harassing you and leaving to attack from another angle, or backing up a much larger target. Its ranged attack allows it to zone out it's opponents and discourage pursuit, while it's stronger melee attack allows a bold Eluder to deal severe damage.

The final construct we can call the Titan for now. It's got a slower speed, but the armoring of a cult Juggernaught. It has a similar damage threshhold as well, except where the Juggernaught ignores anything under 15, I'd like to call this one anything under 10. A few more improvised weapons will work on it. In exchange, this titan has the ability to cast magic missile, though it's on twice as long a cooldown then the wizard's. This guy is ment to be your tank. He takes everything the other team has and keeps on going. Have one of these backed up by a Supporter and Eluder, plus the Wizard himself and you've got a damn strong team.

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100a6a7c2fafbc9e79699fcf584c8e1b.jpg

 

Ugh. It's not going to stay like that, though, and that's what I'm working on fixing. Up until I was assigned to give them one, wizards were just WACKY SPACE MAGES, and currently they only barely fit in fit into a high roleplay server anymore. It's is going to be an alternative form of power separate from electronics and 'technology'. It is possible to have sense of the mystical in a setting without going batshit crazy and placing no limitations on it. The 'it's magic, I don't have to explain shit' excuse is horrible and lazy from a narrative standpoint, and I refuse to embrace it for the same of convenience. Things shouldn't stay the same as they are now just because we are familiar with it, when it could be so greatly improved. Such as...

 

The Staff of Change definitely needs updates, and bugfixes, but has alot of potential and should not be removed. I propose removing base species from the pool, and making the staff draw from a pool of interesting mobs. Lets say Shadowling(If the code can be worked out), Monkey/Devolved species equivilant, Borg, Adamantine Golem, Xenomorph(Random Caste, but perhaps weighted towards drone), Slime(Lets make you a random color for fun), Slime-Person(The Result of Mutation Toxin being applied to you), Clown(Because not enough HONK!), Vox(With or without N2 Internals?), Cult Constructs, Faithless(Not normally controlable, can it be done?), Giant Spider(Again, not normally player controlled) and lets say on a really freaking rare case, another wizard. It should also have a "Reverse Polarity" button so it can fix what it breaks.


The fireball problem can actually be nicely solved thusly. I propose we make fireball require robes, and add a new spell. "Firebolt" This can be fired like a fireball spell, and lights the tile it hits on fire. If it hits a mob, they get lit on fire, as well as the tile, while taking heavy burn damage. There is no explosion, and can be cast without robes. This allows the spell to be less destructive overall while offering a capable offensive and area denial utility for the wizard. While it won't breach the station, it can still make the local area more dangerous for crew, as the ambient heat raises from the fire, and the fire itself limiting movement options. This also gives the atmos techncian an excuse to break out the firefighting equipment, or local crew to run to an extinguisher cabinet.


For the soul-stone and constructs for the Wizard, I'd simply change the constructs availible to him. This could be done by recoloring the sprite to be blue instead of red and making it a separate item from the cultist soul-stones. While my memory is foggy on where he gets his shells from, we can alter that mechanic to make it thematically appropriate. I propose 3 potential wizard constructs. Each is a counterpart to the cultist constructs.

The first one we can call the Support construct for now. It's ment to be analogus to the Artificer cult construct. It can repair other constructs, and should have a healing ability to let it support the wizard and his allies if he can't use the station's medical facilities. It should have a way to produce wizard's robes, and maybe replicate wizard items shown to it, so it can replenish the wizard's gear if lost/stolen. The idea here is utility and support rather then offensive power.

The second one we can call the Eluder for now. A slightly different take on the Wraith, it has a powerful melee attack and medium armor. It can cast Knock, and my aforementioned firebolt spell. This gives it a decent ranged attack and mobility options, while not making it impossible to pin down. Hit and run is the idea here, this guy is either harassing you and leaving to attack from another angle, or backing up a much larger target. Its ranged attack allows it to zone out it's opponents and discourage pursuit, while it's stronger melee attack allows a bold Eluder to deal severe damage.

The final construct we can call the Titan for now. It's got a slower speed, but the armoring of a cult Juggernaught. It has a similar damage threshhold as well, except where the Juggernaught ignores anything under 15, I'd like to call this one anything under 10. A few more improvised weapons will work on it. In exchange, this titan has the ability to cast magic missile, though it's on twice as long a cooldown then the wizard's. This guy is ment to be your tank. He takes everything the other team has and keeps on going. Have one of these backed up by a Supporter and Eluder, plus the Wizard himself and you've got a damn strong team.

 

This is the most constructive and thought out comment I have seen on this thread so far. The sole exception is your mention of changing people into clowns, which I unilaterally reject. The age of 'honk!' being a thing has passed and it needs to remain buried in the lowrp nonsense mass grave.


Other than that bit, most of this looks pretty great! It would definitely give more of a reason for artificer wizards to exist, and I like the firebolt/fireball idea

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No. This is lazy writing taken to it's worst extreme. Writing magic is not "New powers as the plot demands". While the source of magic can remain unexplained, magic in a setting must be internally consistent. Simply saying "It's Magic, Don't Question it" is a disservice to both the writer and the audience as we want to know more about it, how it's done, what makes it work like that, if not what is it's source, then why can it be used that way?


I'm a personal fan of the "Magic as Alternative Science" approach. Perhaps we don't know why waving a staff and speaking "Oni Soma" launches an explosive fireball, but we do know that those words and gestures produce that effect. We do know that the magic has set rules on how it works, and those rules can be explored to find how to cast other spells and create other effects. Perhaps for the benefit of the mystery, the space wizard's power source can remain unexplained in game, but for the sake of developing a consistent lore, their magic must have an internally consistent explanation. Once we can explain how it works, we can build on that foundation to create a much stronger product overall.

 

Things

 

This is the most constructive and thought out comment I have seen on this thread so far. The sole exception is your mention of changing people into clowns, which I unilaterally reject. The age of 'honk!' being a thing has passed and it needs to remain buried in the lowrp nonsense mass grave.


Other than that bit, most of this looks pretty great! It would definitely give more of a reason for artificer wizards to exist, and I like the firebolt/fireball idea

 

Thank you, I tried to leave numbers out because I'm not sure what variables we're dealing with for some values. There's a couple balancing concerns with the constructs to make sure they don't become too powerful, but I hope the concepts are a step in the right direction.

With Fireball and Firebolt, I actually tried to model those off of DND 5e, I'm playing a Wizard in my party's current campaign and use both spells very frequently. Fireball is simply a great area of effect damage option, it costs a 3rd or greater level spell slot to cast, plus spell components(Hence the robe requirement). In return, it produces quite a damaging kaboom at the point of your choosing. It's loud, it's destructive, it's the perfect offensive tool when you're staring down a group of hostiles and have no want for subtlety.

With Firebolt, it's a Cantrip, so you can cast it at will(No robes), but it's single target damage and lights stuff on fire. Honestly, if you want, I can dig out the player's handbook and look for other interesting spell concepts to consider adding. More options is always better, and helps cut down on meta gaming against the wizard.


Side thought, should we look at assigning point values similar to telecrystals to spells and letting a wizard pick a wider variety of lower-level options? Knock might be less costly then Etherial Jaunt for instance.

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Locking any species out of an antag is unprecedented and in my mind abominable. The lore can exert itself on the game in many neat fashions, but I see no reason to force people out of playing an antag they want to play it. Antags, unlike race whitelists or the like, do NOT currently need to abide by their 'established' antag lore, and I say this is a good thing and should stay. While the other ideas posted in this thread bear merit, I am strongly opposed to blacklisting races from antags.

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Locking any species out of an antag is unprecedented and in my mind abominable. The lore can exert itself on the game in many neat fashions, but I see no reason to force people out of playing an antag they want to play it. Antags, unlike race whitelists or the like, do NOT currently need to abide by their 'established' antag lore, and I say this is a good thing and should stay. While the other ideas posted in this thread bear merit, I am strongly opposed to blacklisting races from antags.

 

I'm sorry, but 'magic as an alternative form of power/technology' means that it would not coexist with robots (IPC) or heavily mechanical creatures (vaurca). They are locked out of it for a very valid reason. We've already started to establish lore for vampires within the setting, in that their powers come from the void. There is absolutely nothing wrong with providing a structural framework for an antagonists lore, and that is inherently going to involve placing logical restrictions in what they can be. I don't think antagonists should be some sort of special exception to the rules of following lore - they're just antagonists, not a collection of mary sues from another universe where the laws of common sense don't apply.


IPCs are presumably locked out of being vampires, and if they are not, they NEED TO BE. It is completely nonsensical for a machine with a screen for a face to be 'biting people with their fangs'. The same principle of logic follows to wizards, who have the ability to destroy all technology around them. Simply saying 'well, the ability to not use Disable Technology is a tradeoff for getting to be a robot wizard' isn't logical, it's simply handwaving the issue in an attempt to not hurt people's feels by telling them they shouldn't be doing it.

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Entirely agree with Kaed. Lore reflects capability of game mechanics, if it's not possible to execute in-game then from a backstory standpoint it's invalid for storywriting for character or faction lore.


You don't just suddenly become magical one day. Wizards of the wizard federation are much more ept at what they do than that.

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IPCs are presumably locked out of being vampires, and if they are not, they NEED TO BE. It is completely nonsensical for a machine with a screen for a face to be 'biting people with their fangs'.

 


The thing is, a lot of these things are left open ended so people can RP with them more.


I once met a varuca wizard terrorist. his fireball was RPed as a grenade launcher (presumably voice locked)


A robot vampire could be a special IPC built by cultists and infused with nar'sie's power somehow, allowing it to fuel its power cells on blood

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You can start placing heavy lore orientated restrictions on antagonists when antagonists become white-listed. Currently there is no mandate stating that antagonists have to abide by any lore except the lore that comes out of their assbrain, and this tends to work very well. Instead of restricting our players to abide by linear storylines constructed by crusty old farts with purple names, allowing them to create their own antag story allows for on average decent rounds, and sometimes moments of greatness.


As Nanako has alluded to, these 'nonsensicals' of yours are only nonsense when you look at them from an exclusive perspective. They are nothing more than obstacles easily surmountable with a bit of creativity, creativity which lends itself well to creating a cogent story. Who says the IPC even has to be a wizard? I myself have roleplayed as a prototype combat droid using the wizard powers.


If exhaustive antag lore is to be our aim, at the very least do us all a favour and don't design lore with restrictions in mind. If your lore cannot possibly tolerate even the slightest about of player freedom, cannot even trust a little bit the player to take something and run with it without hammering them down with pointless mechanical restrictions because you yourself cannot at the time of writing fathom an explanation, then perhaps you should take a moment and put a little more thought into the work.

 

Entirely agree with Kaed. Lore reflects capability of game mechanics, if it's not possible to execute in-game then from a backstory standpoint it's invalid for storywriting for character or faction lore.


You don't just suddenly become magical one day. Wizards of the wizard federation are much more ept at what they do than that.

 

I typically agree with that rule, but I don't understand how it's being used in defense of Kaed's position. In fact, I would argue that it could be used against his position - that IPCs CAN be wizards merits explanation, not restriction.

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I'm primary defending his position where certain characters/races/species should be blocked out of certain roles for the sake of logical consistency over arbitrary concept shoehorning.


IPCs being wizards or vampires or cultists, to me, seems pretty dumb as magic is a sort of thing that doesn't effect synthetics across all genres. IPCs are artificially created. Unless you stick the relevant programming and hardware into an IPC, they will never be able to "magically" teleport, "magically" phase through walls, "magically" shoot fireballs, lasers, magic stunning missiles or whatever else at their opponents. They cannot be magical, but they certainly have room for modular improvement, but it would be much more obvious than a disguised wizard in a crowd.


Regarding the point on explanation and justification, I will concede in siding with that, but the issue is that there are very few who can put a believable and RPly sensible spin on being an IPC wizard, and just calling it a "prototype combat android". It ends up begging a better question, "why can't we give IPCs fireball projectors for hands", but I won't go on that further as it'll derail the purpose of this thread.


Anyway, the issue is that some people can spin their antagonist to be doing things in sensible, understandable and logical ways, but what about folks who decide to be lazy and say "Yeah, I'm an IPC wizard, I don't have to explain myself to you, if I can be a wizard in-game as an IPC then it's lore!" Which has happened to some degree or variation of circumstances,


As much as I would love to fault them for it, I would never hear the end of the unrestricted "Let people RP how they want!" crowd.


I hate restrictions, too, but sometimes they're necessary for a better RP experience.

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If exhaustive antag lore is to be our aim, at the very least do us all a favour and don't design lore with restrictions in mind. If your lore cannot possibly tolerate even the slightest about of player freedom, cannot even trust a little bit the player to take something and run with it without hammering them down with pointless mechanical restrictions because you yourself cannot at the time of writing fathom an explanation, then perhaps you should take a moment and put a little more thought into the work.

 

Entirely agree with Kaed. Lore reflects capability of game mechanics, if it's not possible to execute in-game then from a backstory standpoint it's invalid for storywriting for character or faction lore.


You don't just suddenly become magical one day. Wizards of the wizard federation are much more ept at what they do than that.

 

I typically agree with that rule, but I don't understand how it's being used in defense of Kaed's position. In fact, I would argue that it could be used against his position - that IPCs CAN be wizards merits explanation, not restriction.

 

... You're making an argument against me restricting player freedom focused on the basis that mechanics should prevail over everything? The mechanics given to many antagonists in the base code are TERRIBLE, and saying that anything allowed by code 'should be valid because mechanics support it' is a really shortsighted viewpoint. Shall we ignore that changelings can take 'DNA' from IPCs, and say that it's okay because the mechanics allow it? We should come up with a reason to justify it, rather that looking at it, saying that's stupid, and fixing it? I view that in the same fashion that I view IPCs wizards getting access to an ability that will cause them instantly kill themselves with a button click. The very fact that they CAN get that, to me, far more justified that neither they nor Vaurca should be allowed to be wizards than an oversight in the code that allows people who start as an IPC to be one. Just saying 'don't take Disable technology if you're mechanical' is not explaining ANYTHING, it's just indulging people who want to spin their own story without really paying attention to the tone of their antagonist.


You should NEVER attribute all design in something to be given intent, especially in an open source thing like SS13 and baystation. There is a lot of different code cobbled together to make a working game, and some of it is very old. Wizards were created far before IPCs and vaurca were ever implemented. The fact that IPCs can become wizards is due to no one bothering to code in an exception, not because they should be inherently permitted to be.

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I could give less than a rat's ass if a stupid Vaurca or IPC wizard accidentally EMPs itself. We don't antagban them from Heist even though Heist has EMP grenades. If you're phrasing your entire argument around the fact that wizards have an EMP spell, then that's perhaps even worse than your initial stance.


The difference between the DNA argument and the Wizard argument is very simple - IPCs being wizards can easily be explained away with the proper perspective. IPCs having genes is more of an oversight. You're the one that considers IPCs and Vaurca having access to wizard powers to be an oversight, and I'm the one that considers that perspective erroneous. Shall we also ban people with cybernetics from being wizards also, since we're apparently constructing the entire lore for antagonists around one single ability?


Finally, I see no problem with "indulging" people who want to spin their own story. Isn't that the point of this game? To spin our stories? When did Aurora start being less about players creating the story, and more about a few individual people deciding what stories can and cannot be allowed, with a much weightier "cannot" category. Soon I imagine we'll leave ALL stories to be created by the lore-developers, for surely we cannot trust the base and impure playerbase to exercise even a modicum of creativity.


As to the position that we should punish all players over the mostly harmless actions of a few; that sort of ultimatum should be handed out only lightly, and I don't consider this the proper venue for it. Flippancy with the wizard role will not end with the eradication of options.

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Moving back to the subject of wizard golems before this thread derails off topic further, I'm of the opinion that we might have a reworking of the soul stones entirely. Perhaps they will be purple or blue in theme instead of red, and the golems themselves will primarily be bright colors similarly, rather than black, or simply something like iron.


I think since they are supposed to be DIFFERENT from cult, soul stones should perhaps have an option for people to voluntarily have their soul pulled out, rather than needing to murderer them first. That's not to say that forcible de-souling shouldn't be a thing anymore, but I see people who are FAR more willing to join the wizard's golem army than people willing to sell their soul to Nar'sie's cultists. What do you all think?


I also think some form of apprenticeship mechanic would be interesting... perhaps, even, during wizard rounds, a small number of random people are assigned a 'magic sensitive' trait, which does not make them wizards, but gives the wizard themselves the ability to notice said magic sensitivity, and potentially start trying to whisk them off to learn.


And another thing... I think wizards should be able to leave the station. Much in the same way that raiders and mercs and 'return home' ending the round as antagonists. Specifically, them removing themselves from the station proper and not returning, potentially taking their apprentice with them. Obviously, there would need to be some kind of restriction on this, perhaps requiring them to wait until say, a couple hours into the round, so they don't just grab an apprentice and run off to do solo (e)rp with them for the rest of the round in their wizard lair.

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Guest Marlon Phoenix

The lore supporting the mechanics is a philosophy I have abided by since I became loremaster. Originally wizards, cultists, and vampires were "non-canon" in that they didn't exist at all. There were very serious arguments being taken very seriously to remove wizard entirely. I defended it very vigorously because by the merits of being established in the mechanics and an entire game mode that, in my philosophy, legitimized its existence and made it deserve as much work and oversight as any other antagonist or game mode. However this doesn't mean that we have to just abandon all changes to game mechanics or give up bug-fixing because "Well it's in the lore!". We can still change game mechanics, it won't restrict player freedom or kill Aurora.


Anyway,


There are very solid arguments from everyone here (EXCEPT YOU, DELTA) but we've all started to derail.

 

The difference between the DNA argument and the Wizard argument is very simple - IPCs being wizards can easily be explained away with the proper perspective. IPCs having genes is more of an oversight.

 

You've conceded in several posts that things tend to be "oversights" and that they should be fixed. That is part of what Kaed is suggesting in his OP; the wizard antagonist suffers from many oversights that should be addressed. Yes you can handwave them away just like you can handwave away anything, but that doesn't mean we should just stop bugfixing and smoothing over oversights.

 

Shall we also ban people with cybernetics from being wizards also, since we're apparently constructing the entire lore for antagonists around one single ability?

You're not going to make any constructive dialogue by being condescending with a slippery slope argument or being a white knight for the playerbase, because your arguments of player freedom are on a foundation just as vulnerable to it.


For example, I could say that your position justifies giving all players access to the debug menu to change their variables. Not allowing me to activate all the mutations in my vars is restricting my freedom because it says right there in my backstory that I'm a genetic experiment that Nanotrasen spent 12 trillion credits on and also I'm immortal and an expert in every field.


Do you see how unconstructive that was


Kaed's greater argument is to being a sense of standards to the wizard antagonist, one that encourages players to at least vaguely follow the lore and guidelines we've established. I reject the arguments that giving standards demolishes player freedom - you agree to abide by standards by joining a high roleplay server with expectations to accept the internal consistency it has. There is a long history of precedence for this - many players have not been allowed to have "unrealistic" backstories that are inconsistent with the setting or their place on the station. You cannot be a latex gryphon disguised as a human, you cannot secretly be a prince of bluespace living on a planet made of pure diamond.


You are right when you say antags are not whitelisted and so should not be held up to the standards of a whitelisted individual. However I am sure that our playerbase is not filled with helpless little infant babies that can't survive being held to a bare minimum standard. Have you ever tried telling a baby to stop drooling on itself? It doesn't work. They don't listen.


The antagonist can be held to the same bare minimum standards are literally all of our other antagonists. Vampires have a baseline you have to build from, as does cult, changeling, and heist to a lesser extent. It is far more rewarding and enriching to reward players that want to follow the standards and explore the possibilities of the lore foundation we have given them than to arbitrarily shrug and go "Yeah sure it's a hand-cannon" even though we all know it isn't.


As for the mechanics, I support pretty much all of Kaed's suggestions, except I would love if we kept the horse face. And the wizard should have SOME destructive ability.

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There are very solid arguments from everyone here (EXCEPT YOU, DELTA) but we've all started to derail.

>pretty much parrot what has been said already, in addition to adding personal views and justifications to their arguments

>"GOSH DARN IT DELTA YOU'RE A LOOSE CANNON CALM DOWN THERE"


Dammit, every time. There's no winning here!... if that was the objective.


All jesting aside, what are your thoughts on barring IPCs/Vaurca from being wizard on the account of them being synthetic, for the point of IPCs, and Vaurca, whom have not really existed in the realm of known space for very long, thus ootentially making the case that the Wizard Federation has no real embodied interest to take Vaurca on as apprentices? It is a part of their list of suggestions in the OP, so it has a level of importance that should be discussed and decided upon.

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I've conceded only that IPCs having genes is an ostensible oversight.


Furthermore, the idea that player freedom ends because if we had player freedom we'd have fuzzy pink-haired bluespace princes is ignorant of context and expectations. The expectations of a worker aboard the NSS Aurora are different than the expectations of an antag, and if we did not have to mold our gameplay against that nebulous and unjust concept of balance, I would definitely support antagonists having expanded permission powers. Even now antagonists bartering with admins introduces new and often-times unique experiences, because expanded freedom grants expanded opportunity to create a better and more unique story.


Ultimately, this imposed standard is one I argue against because it adds nothing. IPCs wizards does not detract from the roleplay experience, the roleplayer detracts from the roleplay experience. An IPC sufficiently justifying their abilities is just that - sufficiently justified. At this point, it starts to look like the players are serving the lore, and not the other way around. The lore should be in service to the players, but the players should not be chained and fettered by it when there is no good reason for such entrapment.


The idea that vampire, changling, and heist have a baseline and thus this creates precedent is also not exactly true. Vampire has no baseline, and even with Skull's new vampire code you could easily spin your powers in whatever way you like. It's not as if you spawn with a label that says "This is a Vampire, Homo suckerini, and they have a highly segregated society centered around how long your teeth are." Heist and Changeling especially are a little more difficult, because they are arguably team antags, and it's not exactly easy to get your story straight. This is especially prevalent in changelings, who tend to resort to vagueness to maintain consistency with their fellow 'lings. Heist seems to be going in the exact opposite direction of the suggestion proposed - once it was Vox-only, but now it's essentially a free for all. I don't have any specific examples for Heist, but it's parallel Nuke Ops has had plenty of enjoyable rounds where the antags were not syndicate operatives nor even strictly hostile mercenaries.


If you are concerned about not letting IPCs and Vaurcae into your 'Wizard Federation', then the simple arrangement is to forbid IPCs and Vaurcae from being in the Wizard Federation. Do not exclude them from the entire antag opportunity.

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