Communication Overhaul (Crosspost from GitHub)

original post

Feel free to discuss in either location, I’m just drawing attention to my latest hot take and I’m about ready to push it seriously.

This is about both reducing and improving the way information travels between players in the game. It will be easier to get an alert to the relevant people, but much harder to instantly notify the entire station of any specific event in any detail.

Bounties posted and approved!


Surely we want sage to feel even more lonely and dead, while making stealth antagging easier than ever.


Surely you can see that stealth antagging is such an issue because the current atmosphere borderline forces it.

The proposed changes make all antagging easier and makes it easier to tell people they should be engaging when they antag. It’s currently such massive risk to try being engaging that people are actively discouraged from doing it.


I’d be personally interested on giving this a try, if it’s not something that’d require a lot of setup / work that could potentially go to waste due to it not working as theorized.

I like the ideas. To me they sound fun, at least on paper.


It’s definitely not and this is my strongest asking point. It shouldn’t take more than a day or so to code and would be something to test merge for a while to see how it actually plays out.

The big hitch is that it will require a somewhat substantial knowledge campaign, teaching active community members all of the alternative and unused tools available to them to mitigate the sudden change, and then having those teach the people who only play without looking at forums and otherwise.

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I do like the idea of the radio headsets being more radio-esque instead of being dressup for a chatroom. Honestly, if there were a decent way to restrict even departmental radios so that only important or job-related information were passed along, that might be good too. Make comms strictly business, and force more casual interactions to be ‘in-person’ (or use one of the more obscure communication features).

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Then I suppose I’m behind the idea.

I’d think that the better way of going through this is maybe set up a couple of event rounds with said PR being test merged. I suggest this because it has way less strings attached all things considered.

I do feel like a change like this being final would require both the dev and admin team to agree on it, alongside positive reception from the community.


Only thing i’m against here as of now, is “soft removing” roundstart AI.


interesting concept, I wonder how people would change to these changes or if they would try to bypass them in some way

i am not a big fan of this.
this would as Blue said already make the station feel pretty lonely and empty.
the proposed change to do this all through consoles feels to me as a poor solution to a problem created this way. The removal of the station bounced radio is ok for me as the intercoms would be more used ( i myself never use station boucned radios onyl intercomsm when the comms are down or walk to the person directly)
i would also say the issue with stealth antagging is not a comms problem as it can lead to some funny situation when it goes wrong. We are also a game and we interact with players in different ways and i dislike the forced interact with them in person.
To the comms clutter: I never had an issue with this and the only problem is when someone litelary spams in comms or gives poly common channel and poly deciceds to be talkactive. And information getting lost on the way can also lead to situations and such.
To the problem with the sensors. Wouldnt it be pretty powe gamey as a sec offcier to carry thats around? you are not a paramed or from medical. the solution would be to just either make it update slower or remove it so you have to use the console instead.
Also your proposed change of sensors on by default is a pretty bad way of doing it. oh X has no sensors they are now either dead or doing something bad. Thats how i see it as it would allow security or medical to pretty much meta if something is up. It wouldnt fix the problem you have only change it
And now to the AI related things: removal of roundstart AI is not a good way what would you gain from this? it woudl only subtract from the experience and it would most often lead to the creation of a AI almost near roudnstart as the tools for it are easilly avaiable in science alone ( AI core board in RDs office the rest in robotics)
Adding the PDA and alert related stuff would be a cool idea i would say but to the laptop thing: laptops are not a common item some stations have a console for maybe a few of them but not enoguh for everyone. There woudl be a rush to get one then if it would be so important giving people an advantage.

All in all i would say the common channel should stay and thats the problem stems more from the Players who use the systems and not the systems itself, but thats doenst mean thats the systems are perfect.

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TBH It’s just as much of a problem whether it’s a paramed or a security officer, both are completely justified in rushing straight to the indicated location for different reasons. Sec can end your round pretty much right there, and the paramedic even if not aggressively valid-hunting can put it in grave peril as well just by the nature of our extremely open infosec.

As far as powergaming for security: Yes I agree it absolutely is, however this is an almost completely moot point because of the nature of the item:

  • There is no obvious sign that a portable monitor is being held or used
  • There is no obvious sign that a portable monitor is the reason security caught the crime in progress unless they blatantly admit or claim this
  • There is no way this is going to be caught or reported unless someone is meticulously investigating the belongings of security officers through a verb that maybe 5% of players know exists, ‘observe’.

I don’t think this one is a case where the player behavior regarding the item can be reasonably fixed at all. The item has to change for the behavior to.

Because, honestly, you stay holed up in robotics most of the time and you have almost no face-to-face interactions to distract you from comms while you’re tinkering away on something alone. There is also almost nothing important to miss as a roboticist (or scientist in general for that matter) anyway. I’ve been a borg in rounds with you as roboticist more than once and your responses to me in person are frequently slow and it seems like you don’t notice me. I even remember a round where you completely missed making it to evacuation and I opened teleporter to get us there. (By no means are you a bad player as a whole. You know roboticist quite well. This could even just be confirmation bias, I can’t really be the one to judge that. You’re one of the few players I actually know IC fairly well though.)

And I think players staying cooped up in one place for the entire round isn’t great for the game - I’m on a crusade against “autism forts” as they’re called and have been for a long time. Interacting exclusively through comms while doing something alone for the whole round is barely being a part of the game at all.

Seems more like a slightly-interactive chatroom with occasional chaos at that point, but maybe that’s all some people want from the game. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I do have to ask @Doktorwueue, what is it that makes you dislike face to face interaction? That might help me understand the other side of players that prefer limited and distant interactions. I come off as attacking their preferred way of playing, and I pretty much am.


i agree thats players should venture out more of their departments and yes i agree robotics and science is a bitg offender in thats regard: you can just stay in there.But i mostly venture out if i need anything from another department and ask in person.
I also do not dislike Face to face interaction i often seek it if i have too/can ( i also use comms to report stuff but from tiem to time venture out to tell them in person)
The point you make for the handhel crew monitor is valid i coudl propose a solution for this. make thats you can check only one persons location/vitals at a time from the list of indiviuals.
when i observe i also use the observe verb on people i think are suspious and i found and ahelp a few people this way already as they were silently powergaming.

I think crew monitor should only be on computers and not portable. That way crew can still be monitored, but only by someone who is stationary.

Crew tracker should only work in hand and not in a pocket. In RL, you would need to be referring to it constantly, so using it from a pocket doesn’t make sense.

Crew tracker limited to the Modular computer system? now only compatible with Laptops and Consoles?
Enhanced in case of Consoles? adjustable multi-person radar rather than single targeting? so that seccies can co-ordinate over SEC coms to guide officers to target locations?

Only modular. Not for laptoops.

We already have it. But the Sec doesn’t need anyone else to track someone down.

Hmmm, the issue with always on suit tracking, its rather hard to justify having yours (or your target) turned off, Unless there are many instances that will turn it off, maybe radiation, electrical shock, burned/damaged clothes, etc.

I know death is suppose to be part of the game, but feeling completely hopeless being dead and no one, i mean no one will notice it unless youre the Famous Static #5 , is not fun most of the time, with current sensor thing you have sliver of hope with paramedic or the warden or ai will notice youre dead. Maybe set the vital refresh time to 1-5 minute or something, but maybe having no hope would be better, idk.

Removing Roundstart AI is kinda bad for AI mains, it means you have to rely on crew to be competent enough so you can play, and if im not wrong we still can make ai core without brain right?

That leave either
  • You have to be a borg roundstart and beg for someone to make AI core so you can be one, or

  • Observing and wait for people to make ai core and be lucky enough for them to choose using posibrain instead of some assistant feeling suicidal enough beggin to be the AI or

  • Be extremely lucky and theres already an empty ai core when you late joined.

With the rest i think its a good idea to try (Restricting common channel), that way hop or captain are also pushed to promote people to acting head more often so the chain of communication wouldnt be borked too much.

Laptops are Modular, they also have a speed debuff when carried open in hand and must be closed to place in bag, thusly if you’re using a laptop for tracking purposes, not only do you need to have it in hand but you’re not moving at top speed, making evasion more probable anyhow.

I would love to not have to stealth antag but you are literally forced to cut every single camera and emp your target the moment they enter your area you set up and hope no one walks up and witnesses you, or you have to run a knockout chem with mute toxin and drag them off and turn off their sensors before moving them to another location, all while your own sensor might be giving you away. Stealth antag is forced due to the fact that valid hunting is rampant most times and all it takes is one person spotting you for all of security to swarm you as the AI calls out you exact locations with no chance of escaping without maints access or cutting every camera in the station.

I’ve seen it so many times where someone gets called out as an antag and someone immediately runs to chemistry and makes a death mix to go shoot at said valid, or will chase down said antag.

I’m just gonna say what I already said on github. The server already feels empty most of the time, reducing the interactions between players even further will just make it fucking sad. I hate when nothing happens, I hate when noone is talking, and people will still be confined to their forts talking to noone.
If you actually take a look who talks on common, it’s not those ‘forgotten, imma spend entire shift in me workplace doing jack shit and interacting with noone type of people’ xenobio/viro/botanist/robo/chemist whatever, its just regular guys like assistants or expereinced players, it’s not gonna fix anything about these people staying in their forts all shift talking to noone, just kill interaction between the latter.


The server even on lowpop feels alive if you leave your work place and don’t go ssd or afk inside your workplace the entire shift. Hell even when i lock myself into my work place people will end up finding a way to come and interact with me.

Skill issue