Detective changes vote

So, as you all might have witnessed, Detective has been a hot topic of discussing among regular players, coders and even staff. And so, I’m making this poll to gauge general public opinion.
if you do not know which changes I’m talking about, there’s currently a PR open that greatly reduces detective’s available roundstart gear.

The Detective Changes poll
  • Keep Detective as is, do not change anything
  • Reduce Detective’s gear, keep antag eligibility
  • Remove antag eligibility, keep the gear
  • Do both and remove antag eligibility and reduce the gear
  • Other option (tell in the comments)

0 voters

To me, it seems pretty clear that there are issues with the detective having not a lot of content or purpose in the game with the ability to have a gun and follow sec with the sole purpose of shooting bad people as their main gameplay mechanic as oppossed to actually detecting crime.
Detective to me seems very boring when there isn’t a crime, since you often don’t have a lot to do. There is nothing to do before a crime occurs, no prep or anything and when a crime occurs you don’t get a lot of gadgets to help you gather information.
If anyone has any experience of what you do as the detective then that would be useful information. The thing I’m most interested in is why people value the detective with the weapons so much, is it the same thing I am finding where it is just boring when there are no crimes immediately obvious or something else?


Would be cool if the detective got more gadgets and less combat stuff for sure, but removing his baton seems excessive since it’s almost only used in self defence. The gun nerf is fine I guess, the detective shouldn’t be performing arrests anyways


You could keep antag eligibility if det had a fun gameplay loop that also allowed det to be extremely useful and invaluable to sec, therefore making the question of “det bad?” an actual one worth considering
cuz right now “det bad” just means sec prepares for a guy with a gun, and can completely ignore him apart from that

I am of the belief that detective right now sits in the nebulous middle between what I’ll call The PI and a “true” detetive.
What does that mean?

The PI
On the one hand, the detective could keep their antag status, but less gear. This is the direction bacon’s PR seems to be leading into.
It’s closer to a lawyer than a sec off, and vibe wise it would continue leaning into the noir PI trope, with the smoking, drinking, trenchcoats and fedoras.

The “true” detective
On the other hand, the detective could go back to not being antag eligible, basically a security officer+, kind of like warden.
I think the term detective is the problem. The following is only based on show/movies so take it with a grain a salt but… People think detective, and they compare it to real life police detectives, which are just cops with the task of investigating crime on top of arresting criminals.

Personally? I like both ideas. They’re not compatible together since they’d just step on each others toes, but I think the detective changes should be aware of how people perceive the job. And ultimately, the problem is usually a mentality while playing issue, not a gear issue…


My thoughts? Remove antag eligibility and let Detective keep their gear, but if that’s not an option, here’s a few others:

  1. Let Detective keep the baton and such, but have the firearm in the locker till blue alert arrives or Warden or HOS unlocks it

  2. Give Detective some new gadgets if the baton and such is taken, for example, disguise kits, some extra camera bugs, similar gear, etc. to compensate for the lost gear

  3. Switch out the revolver for a new type of firearm (probably similar to like the PTSD or something)

  4. And thanks Gilgax for the idea, Split Detective into two different roles, one is a Private Investigator that’s closer to the lawyer, the other is closer to Security (rough idea, not fully thought out yet)


This is exactly the problem. Detective is clearly in a greyzone right now, and he needs to be shifted in one of those directions. I honestly couldn’t have put this into better words than this.

Honestly? I think PI is way more interesting and can have much more flavour

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We need a PR that reworks forensics as a whole. I want to see dets use this powder shit they have in movies to identify fingerprints, or work more closely together with genetics when DNA has to be analyzed. Basically make it so instead of one instant giveaway there are many minor clues a det has to piece together.


Yes!! This is a good idea!! Make is harder and more interesting to do forensics but also more rewarding!!


Basically make it so instead of one instant giveaway there are many minor clues a det has to piece together.

This 100%, the most fun I have ever had as a detective is when you have to actually detect instead of checking for hits on the valid scanner.

For example, one round when I was detective an officer went down in maints, no one knew until he dropped off suit sensors a tad later. We find the murder spot in maints, he’s missing his ID, and there is blood all around. Only his blood though and no fibers to be found. The only bit of information I have is a single finger print from a nearby maint door. I run it in sec records, nothing comes up. That’s quite strange and I really doubted it was nukies or that anyone used mulligan so I combed around the area a bit more. Wouldn’t you know it, fore maint is close to a sec outpost. Guess what sec outpost door had fibers on? Guess what sec record had finger prints?

Now I had proof that someone changed their fingerprints on security records using the dead seccies ID, but how do I know who did it? I think I remember the fiber being something that is flimsy as evidence like nitrile gloves or black gloves, something a lot of people have. Well, I started methodically pulling out each and every suspects printed out security records from my filing cabinet since those aren’t changed. After a little Papers Please gameplay with cross referencing the info…

We had our guy. That’s what releases the dopamine. Actually deducing something on your own. Sure you can just scan a fingerprint and know who did something instantly but it’s not really fun. It’s just a “Valid, do not pass go, do not collect $200” situation.


This is a bad idea. Making mechanics “more complex but fun” is not ever going to improve the actual utility of a detective, it’s just gonna make him even more ignorable, because, like
How do you convince sec “don’t go hunt the valid in maint and let me do det work” ?

“I can find who did it within 30 mins”
You can just find them anyways by patrolling if they’re the type to leave a body or even clues behind

“But you can do cool shit like dust prints off and grab blood and analyse the body”
Bodies are so easily recoverable and revivable that any paramed is going to rush in and take it away, removing your chance to investigate an actual murder scene - let alone if you find one, since they are extremely rare as people opt for perma removal rather than leaving a chance to revive.

“Come on it’s a cool mechanic that gives us lotsa info”
No seccie is gonna give a shit because they’ll prefer going into maint hunting le valid, and no wonder why, antags are always findable and lurking in maints

The best you’ll do is get the info on your own (if you even can), without anybody else or roleplay involved except for the occasional seccie or bystander, shout it on sec comms for sec to either go “we know” (because you took so long) or “alright” and go arrest them (if they can find them).

Seriously, the way to improve det is not to make it more complex and fun, it’s to give him an actual utility that sec would actually consider caring about.
If even now, with instant findable fingerprints and whatnot, most of sec still don’t give a shit about det or forensics, why would they even bother if it was harder and with less info?


You don’t. That’s not really a detective problem though. Some people play security just to catch valids and that’s all they do, and all they will ever do.

You can just find them anyways by patrolling if they’re the type to leave a body or even clues behind

True and real

shout it on sec comms for sec to either go “we know” (because you took so long) or “alright” and go arrest them (if they can find them).

Third and most common possibility by far, they ignore it completely. Even if I hand something off to the warden who has nothing but time to kill by reading through everything and coordinating security probably 50% of the time it just gets ignored anyway.

It’s to give him an actual utility that sec would actually consider caring about.

How do we really do that without buffing security massively? There was an attempt to do this with restricting forensics scanners to the detectives and a spare since so many officers were printing their own and doing the detectives jobs. Didn’t really solve the problem at all though, now forensics is just ignored.

could be cool to give the det some special goggles that lets them examine things more closely or something. Letting them see footprints that aren’t normally visible as a clue to what direction the culprit fled a crime scene from could be interesting


Yeah, I’m mostly stating what I witnessed. A lot of seccies just don’t give a shit.

That is indeed the problem that should be discussed here, rather than “let’s make it more fun and complex !” as if fun would inherently solve all the overall issues related to the detective

Stuff like this, yeah. Det specific abilities that would allow them to have a special, unique mechanic that makes them invaluable.
You could even imagine this as a type of curator/magician-choice.
“Pick between seeing invisible footprints up to a limit, or this det power, or (…)”

While it would indeed be a buff to security against stealth antag, it’d give massive value to the detective that sec wouldn’t ignore every single round


I like the magician type thing!!! Very good idea!!

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i could see this ending poorly with some back seat detectives in the brig. When there’s a choice between supportive abilities, one will inevitable become the meta and the rest of security will get pissed off at you for throwing away an advantage if you choose anything but the best option. It’s best to have all or most the items in your kit available as det id say. I wouldn’t be opposed to a beacon choice for your detective aesthetic (Noir, Sherlock Holmes, Inspector Gadget, Disco Cop) though


it’d be cool if you could check people’s fingernails for clues. like focusing their arm with the scanner and seeing if they unarmed hit somebody and if it comes back with a thing that says who’s blood was under their fingernails.

why fingernails? just make it so punching a bleeding person gets blood on your hands that can be washed off.

One thing that could be done is reduce the amount of personally identifiable information that shows up on forensics while upping the amount of vague information. This would make the detective have to actually think and connect the dots themselves instead of just relying on matching things to records exactly.

For example, instead of the forensics scanner giving you:

Prints: [xxxxxxxxxxxx]
DNA: [xxxxxxxxxxxx]
Fibers: [xxxxxxxxxxxx]

You would get:

Prints: The scanner shows the object has microscopic claw marks on the handle.

That could be a lizard, felinid, or a moth.

DNA: The scanner shows the blood type of AB+

Now you can cross off lizard from that list

Fibers: The scanner shows a small tuft of brown organic material and blue inorganic material.

Well, brown organic material fits for both felinids and moths with hair/wing color. However, blue clothes are strongly associated with medbay.

Think of it like this, you are drawing a police sketch through forensics. Now you know that the suspect is a felinid/moth and probably works in medbay. Your next step is to poke through the files to see who has the matching blood tyle.