[Suggestion] Make random antags a possibility again.

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[Suggestion] Make random antags a possibility again.

Postby Ketrai » Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:56 am

1. Details
Enable the possibility for antags assigned at random rather than an admin. This should be a low chance to happen. Maybe 33% of all shifts.
Naturally some antags aren't fit for station, but that's mostly a question about changing objectives to encourage scenes and roleplay rather than just powergaming and winning.
Actions committed by characters as antags are considered strictly non-canon. Characters may remember a stressful situation, but only details about overcoming the hardship rather than "character X did a bad, fire them!"
Antags would come in two categories, ones actually disruptive enough to rile up the station population in general. And ones that are just supposed to discretely complete a minor objective, such as eating someone for knowledge. Encouraged to pick someone interesting, bargain, persuade, or ambush to complete this objective.
No need to code much, just tweak existing roles.

2. Arguments

Argument 1: player incentive and rewards.
Right now the station to me is incredibly dull. We have departments, we have jobs and mechanics, but we have little incentive to actually do these jobs. Medical might spend an hour making chemicals that won't ever be used. Security might not even bother to gear up because criminals and actual threats are far and wide between. Social jobs like the chef, chaplain or bartender rarely have relevance in stressful situations either. Whilst on other servers they are often the main answer to a specific threat.

I understand there's a belief to create a mild environment where people can freely engage in voracious roleplay. But then that begs the question, why play at all? If you're only going to log on to scene, or observe people eating one another as a ghost... you might as well go use a chatroom. Vore-station is still space station 13. It's still a game. There should be reasons to play other than text-based scenes alone. A harmony between mechanics and roleplay.

Even if we don't have an antag every round, antags are a great way to offer an incentive for players to play. The mere notion of a possible threat makes it more prudent for people to make the ooc decision to prepare for it. And when a threat actually happens? Well, people bond together to defeat it. They forge memories, friendships. A reason to come back and play more. A reason to opt for a game, and not a roleplay chat or forum. Yes, a lot of players might find events too disruptive, but if they're here for the space roleplay aspect, the dorms are a protected environment where you can vore to heart's content. If people feel like they did good by preparing for something bad, they feel rewarded.

Argument 2: We don't have to follow the classic SS13 antag formula.

We're a vore community after all. So who says that objectives can't be more ambiguous, antags can't be voracious aliens? Perhaps someone is tasked with merely encouraging vore in a certain way. Having to cause mischief without being caught, expected to pin it on some gullible prey instead? Corrupt officers making up crimes? Crazy scientist transforming preds into monsters, or simply creating them? Chaplain offering sacrifices to a voracious entity beyond? Engineers creating contraptions simply to get crew covered in scrumptious, tasty syrup. To trap them for collection and consumption later? Could even be a prey capturing a pred for their obsession. We already have a lot of tools that can make these kinds of situations possible in the code, players are just discouraged to use them like this. Often times because of preferences. But we're a vore server? You don't have to do a hyper detailed ERP super roleplay, just getting mechanically eaten and contributing to the story is plenty already.

Argument 3: Don't avoid something just because it might cause problem on occasion.
Yes, antags can cause problems. Sometimes people might misinterpret their objectives. Powergame rather than roleplay. Prefs might get misunderstood. But just omitting antagonists entirely because of possible issues? That's just ruling out a fun roleplay mechanic entirely. Antags are a learning experience for the community. Take security for example. There's few people who play the role of officer the intended way right away. You'll get a lot of shitters, and people get angry. But we still have security. We consider them a valuable enough assets due to the opportunity for belly brigging and more. Antags present a similar opportunity, if handled correctly.

Argument 4: You can't rely on players alone to spice up the round.
Due to the static nature of the game. (each round happens pretty much the same. You'll always have all the departments, at worst a few grubs might show up, and really rarely, a meteor might hit the station). Creative players might create interesting situations at first, pro actively seek out roleplay and partners, but after a while folks get burnt out. There's only so much you can do as a player with the tools given. And moreover, pretty much everyone can access the same tools. So players fall into a routine. They do the same jobs, the same stuff over and over. They run out of ideas, and being used to the station as they are, the novelty has run down too much to give them inspiration. Less and less people stick around, people go play elsewhere for a new and exciting experience.

Think about it. Knowing there's an event or experiencing something unique on a server gives players more of a reason to open that discord, to connect with the community, and play more on the server.
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Re: [Suggestion] Make random antags a possibility again.

Postby Wickedtemp » Sun Jan 19, 2020 3:00 pm

We probably won't be adding any manner of antags, it's been suggested frequently and shot down every single time. Personally, I think an antag round once or twice a week would be good, but people always get caught up on the same few things.

"But what if people meta"
"Tether is a poorly designed map for antags because elevator"
"It will annoy some people"
"Our players/admins don't know how to handle antags that well"
"But this is a vore fetish server not an action one, go someplace else for that"

And it's easier to not do antags than it is to come up with solutions, so...yeah. We used to have bounties, I always felt like those could totally be refined. The main issues we had were literally because a troll was playing as the HoS and was calling all of the bounties one after another, because the HoS' permission was all it took to get hostile mobs spawned in the station. It was made so that Security could call in hostile mob-spawns in public areas of the station and they didn't even need to tell anyone they were doing it. Medical would all of a sudden just start seeing Security die on sensors and we'd have no clue as to what's even going on and then it turns out the number of mercs that got spawned was as follows:
10 EVA Mercs
20 Gun Mercs
20 Sword Mercs
10 Unarmed Mercs
And Security got rekt and CC did a bombardment and then the EVA Mercs went through the giant holes in the docks to EVA where they remained as a potential hazard for the rest of the shift. All because the HoS was the only person needed to approve the bounties.

Literally downgrade the severity and actually require cooperation and agreement from Heads/CD and we could do a few things like this again. I personally had fun with them despite everything. They can be made to work if Staff wanted to do it. We could have a bounty-round once a week or whatever and it'd probably be fun.

On the flip-side, some people will complain, but you will literally always have people complain. I have people that complain at me because I'm energetic and an optimist -- both to Staff and at my IRL job, though at work it's like one complaint a year. If it's one round out of the 28-or-so rounds we have per week, I don't see what the issue is. Also on the flip-side, we do have a decently sized group in this server that really just treats it like a chat-rp-room than an actual game, which is fine, but yeah they'll be irritated at anything/everything that puts a bump in the 'chat-rp-text-only' routine. And the thing is, there really aren't options for a more combat-y event-y server like this one. Polaris averages like 5 people a round, and they've had Calamity rounds (every antag at once) where every single antag was playing at a peaceful noncombat gimmick and it was the most boring thing ever. I don't think CitRP does antags, and while Chompers iirc sometimes does it, they're transitioning away from Polaris as a codebase and they aren't HRP. Plus, I'd rather play with friends and people I know. If I did just want mindless action, I'd play CM as a baldie marine.

With all of that said, however, I do enjoy playing the server as it is. I actually have fun in Medical, otherwise, I wouldn't play Medical and make the chems and set everything up every shift. Sometimes thing's get a little hectic or there's at least something out of the ordinary to handle. In the last few shifts alone, the tesla blew up (albeit due to a griefer), we had a few new people in Medical that needed helping, and then we had a CMO that had a negligence/manslaughter charge and a subsequent investigation where Security and Medical cooperated to gather any and all relevant evidence. Sometimes Science/Mining kills themselves without needing assistance from antags.
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Re: [Suggestion] Make random antags a possibility again.

Postby Ketrai » Sun Jan 19, 2020 4:47 pm

Though I did mention a lot of less combat focused options for antags. One of my arguments literally states we can get more creative than the vanilla ss13 antags. Look for more ambiguous objectives rather than kill steal, rape and destroy.
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Re: [Suggestion] Make random antags a possibility again.

Postby Heroman3003 » Thu Jan 23, 2020 3:07 pm

Pirate events practically shown that, even with admin moderation actively present, antags will go full guns blazing, put whole station into lockdown mode when backed into a corner. And I absolutely see only much more of this should this become random.

The 'random antag' formula is also a hit against continuity in several ways. Unless we character-ban every antag that failed and/or got found out that is. Which in and of itself requires admin supervision over the situation for the duration of antag's activity. So giving them out randomly sounds like a bad idea unless we pronounce every round with antags present as non-canon. And at THAT point, if they really are random, might as well scrap canonicity entirely.

As for the 'more creative' goals. There is a veeeery good reason that the 'traditional' goals are so simplistic even on RP servers. Its because they need to be automatically objectively scored. Its easy to get game to check if kill target is dead or if stolen item is on you. More complicated stuff? Subjective successes? Those are, in part, also reasons admin supervision would be necessary. If goal is to be something more complicated, you, once again, need someone around to actually control and judge the situation. Admin supervision.

Antags also have the, what I personally call, "Code Red problem". Main issue being, if you aren't the target, or security, or command? Your job is to quietly sit on sidelines and wait for it to be dealt with once the cat is out of the bag. And HRP-wise its also the most "sane and reasonable" thing your character can do as non-sec. So it just ends up being a bunch of people, probably confined somewhere in same place, with nothing to do other than to wait for issue to be solved, unable to do anything unless they want to break their characters or risk breaking powergaming rules. And as I specified in first paragraph, antags causing enough mayhem to be worth a whole lockdown is to be expected. While that should be something that ideally never happens, because in practice it just shuts down any opportunities for anyone except the sec and command until it actually blows over.

I am not against antags. But every antag should be actively approved and moderated by admin or GM. Random antags will not only become way-too-often schtick (solargrubs are 'supposedly' rare and yet we get them every other round), but will either cause station-wide issues or be completely invisible to anyone except the target.
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