Ideas / opinions / rants / suggestions?

Share your ideas to improve Scorpio Station
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Ideas / opinions / rants / suggestions?

Post by Sikroth »

I mentioned the other day I had some gripes with the servers and there was some interest about what those were (which is appreciated!), so I decided to write a long ass ranty post about them. Hopefully I won't take too much flak, I obviously didn't really mention anyone specific in my "accusations" lol.

Antagonists and events

I've seen a number of attempts from the adminship to spice up the rounds in the past few days, with some varying degrees of success. Trial and error is a thing so I won't focus on the issues of those events too much, there's definitely a lot of trying to figure out what works and what doesn't so that's overall a good thing.

Antagonists currently have one big issue in my eyes. There's few players, and even fewer security. A single antagonist, not even being that robust, can entirely take over the whole round with ease currently. This is mostly due to the lack of security. The issue I see is that the server wants to let people feel less "oppressed" than Paradise does, where it feels like you need to ahelp before you push someone. That in itself is a good thing, but it means that players might feel like they can do whatever as an antagonist, and when they already have such an easy time to reign freely it can mean very little fun for anyone but the antag. I'm not specifically talking about rules breaking, but instead stuff like using conversion (mindslave/thrall) during a round with <10 people, or looting the armory with literally no sec to even fight them, or generally tryharding when there's not even a challenge to begin with. Which while not "illegal" can be considered cheap or lame.

Ideally we'd want antags who give the crew some breathing room (since they pretty much will have the upper hand more often than not). I don't think I need to go into a whole paragraph explaining what is and isn't fun. We all have a rough idea. Conversely, we would also want security, and other crew members, to give the antags a chance, to not play to win or screw the antag. It's a hard situation and I dunno if it can be solved by just harsher adminning, having stricter rules or just good faith in players. I am sure a lot of players are actually willing to improve, and I believe having short "you did a bad" bans when someone goes too ham as a way to try to "teach" players are not terribly out of place. But yeah this needs work and thought put into it and I definitely don't have an absolute answer.

Metabuddying, Cliques, and other fun topics

Man this one's sure to make some people not like me. Oh well.

I think it is no secret that with our current small playerbase there are a considerable amount of people that are friends with each other. This is not an issue per se, we all somehow manage to make friends in this crappy spess game and want to play with them. It does become an issue when this starts having an impact on the actual game, though. Cliques and metabuddying are a big problem in Paradise. And I mean BIG, like capital letters big. And if you don't think so then you're being naive or blind, or frankly part of the problem. I don't think I need to go all condescending and explain what a clique is. But let me give you some examples of why this is a big issue, how these "just IC friends" impact the round and make it unfair and unfun for others.

Someone is a vampire, so they tell their friend(s) and they willingly let the vamp freely succ their blood and get away with it.
Someone is given an important role / extra access / etc, because the HoP/Cap knows them and "knows they're good at that job". They might be good but this is still favoritism.
Someone is a traitor or vampire, and they attempt to thrall/mindslave/convert their friends, with them posing very little to no resistance.
A person is arrested in a lawful manner, and yet their friend(s) rush and push the officer, scream shitcurity in comms and generally give sec a hard time.
An EoC is killed, and their friend(s) decide that despite their EoC status they must be revived.
And don't even get me started on the "HoP's Assistant" or "Bridge Assistant" roles.

These are just a few examples, and I know a lot of these situations can happen organically, or through rp, but the truth is they more often than not don't. I might be told I'm dumb and wrong and being paranoid, but I know if these situations involved some random person instead of a friend, most people would be a lot less willing to help them or go out of their way to assist them.

This is also (or even especially) an issue when server staff is involved. Let me paint a picture. You're running an event, or you decide to throw in an antagonist to spice up the round. Who do you choose? What is your selection process for it? Do you use the Create Antagonist button and let the dice roll, or do you go with the player you're more familiar with? Alternatively, you try to run a non combat oriented, rp event. A diplomat walks into the station. A seemingly friendly creature or entity. Anything. Who do you try to involve? Do you consider entertaining all the crew, or do you (subconsciously, even) fall into the familiar players you know?

I don't think every person who is part of a clique is actively trying to make the game worse for others. In fact I think a lot of people don't even realize they're taking part in this behaviour, or why it's a problem. But it is. And I think being aware of it and trying to stop it, both from players and staff, is really important. I bring this up because, in my honest opinion, this kinda is already an issue in this server. I am not going to point fingers here because I don't particularly want to stir any drama with any particular person or group, but I'd ask to be vigilant and aware of these things, and try to stop them.

Roleplay standards

To make up for the previous point being a considerable wall of text / rant, I'll make this one short.

A lot of people really act in a very memey LRP way. I know we don't need to fully emote breathing in and out, but I wish there was a conscious effort to steer the server into a more High-MRP oriented situation. To have people playing a relatively beliveable person, and not a gimmicky meme. And also to have people playing roles because they want to play said role, not because "lol extra access" or "lol easier antag" or whatever other reason, and then not giving a damn about their job.

I imagine my ideals and standards in this regard are higher than most, considering how consistently annoyed I am at others lol. But yeah that's what I think.

Ok that is pretty much all I can think of right now!
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Re: Ideas / opinions / rants / suggestions?

Post by ZomgPonies »

Okay let me try to give my thoughts on this point by point:

So this codebase derives from Paracode, which has been tuned over the past 7 years to their specific pop numbers. That includes rules, SOP, EoC rules, etc. It's VERY hard to try to create 'lesser' antags based on the current ruleset, which is why I've put up some proposals regarding EoC stuff, how specific antags should be handled, and really just try to nip in the bud the idea that all antags are automatically anathema to the station, or to good RP. Antags aren't strictly meant to be a mechanical system, they can absolutely spice up a round through RP and using a minimal amount of their powers. People just have expectations, and I'd like to at least be able to point to our rules and say "This is how we treat antags, and in return said antags will try to accomplish their (right now, always customized) objectives with the least amount of removing people from rounds possible.

I definitely have a problem with what I consider 'snowflake' behavior where even getting kidnapped for 10 minutes and RPed with suddenly becomes an unbearable burden that requires admin complaints. If you're being kidnapped, at least TRY to engage with RP, you might be surprised at the outcome. Back in early Para days when people had unreasonable expectations as to how the round was supposed to go, we made ample use of the "Shut up and deal with it" button. I have a feeling there's a certain need for it here at a certain type. SS13 is based on the principle of taking things at face value and rolling with the punches, because there are so many potential interactions that in a technical sense you can't always be prepared for ANYTHING. This should be reflected in the RP also.

So right now we've got a very small core of regulars, it's to be expected. Also the fact that we don't have a full command staff, or sometimes even ANY sec on board is just the luck of the draw. Once we reach a reasonable stable population, I expect most of those problems to go away on their own, and if they do not then we will intervene. As far as certain people getting the antag roles in the past few days, well it's just the luck of the draw. Specifically regarding the vamp event last night, I asked for volunteers. A single person replied, so they got it. In the case today, a mistake was made when 'secret' was kept over rounds, and that same person got the random draw for antag. My PR that scales and increases the minimum number of players for even a single antag to spawn will resolve the 2nd situation, and as for the first one then it's simple: more people need to volunteer. We're not picking favorites, we're picking from a very small pool of willing participants.

I've yet to see a single case of admin preferential treatment happening, and I am -very- tuned to the concept from my experience in previous servers. It won't fly.

Finally, for the LRP/powergamey actions of certain players: We are aware of them, and are monitoring the situation. If you're picking a specific role only for what it can bring you in terms of combat ability, authority, access or whatever you think you can lord over other players, we see and we know. We will intervene as necessary to ensure an even playing field for all players.

TL;DR - With the coming proposals for rules changes, the pending PR for antag scaling and the hopefully soon switch from low-pop to a 25-30+ average pop, I think most of these issues will go away organically. As you can see though, we are very aware of how things are progressing and implementing changes as needed to support the goals and values of this server and community.
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