Exploration Crew - Please Do Not Remove Us!

A Defense of the Exploration Crew Role


First and foremost… this is the second time I’ve made a post like this. The first was when Shaft Miner received significant nerfs and removals to its department, and there I also attempted to argue why what was done went a little too far.

My suggestions and criticisms were immediately thrown off by Former Head Admin Ruko as being whining from a powergamer.

Part of me wonders why I’m even trying again, but I don’t want to sit here and do nothing. Maybe things will be different. I can hope.

First and Foremost: What is the issue?

If you are not aware, a recent PR by PowerfulBacon will see the Supercruise system updated. This update will result in the removal of Exploration Crew as a role, and see most of the tasks fulfilled by the Exploration Crew moved over to Cargo Techs instead. One of the ‘To Do’ objectives in his PR is to give the Exploration Shuttle and dock to Scientists, which I feel is counter-productive to a lot of the points Bacon makes. But let’s go over those points.

The Reasons Why

In the PR, PowerfulBacon gives four reasons for why Exploration Crew is going to be removed.

“Discovery research was disliked by a lot of people”

Discovery Research was made to stop Tech Rushing and to a good extent it succeeds in this. People don’t like it for that reason; it stops Scientists from building ten Servers to rush the tech tree. Any variation of a mechanic like this is going to be disliked. This more complicated Cargo version (The other changes to Cargo like being able to pilot the ship are fine) will likely be hated much, much more.

“Research disk collection being unreliable and exploration crews having no incentive to collect them”

As for Unreliability, that was the point, was it not? Most Research Disc Technologies are non-critical, very powerful upgrades. Having them appear once every few rounds was kind of neat, and made it special when you actually got to, for instance, see a built Phazon.

As for incentive… there’s many ways you could go about this. Make the Discovery Scanner both upload the disc for you and give you some Exploration Points. Add techs that benefit the Team more so they want to go and get them. But really, nobody would lose anything if they were removed and the Teams stayed. Though I think they’re quite a good and well implemented idea as is.

“VIPs don’t get removed from the round, so just exist to screw about after being rescued”

A lot of people actively like this. Just being able to come in as an Assistant, hang around the bar and RP. I’ve had rounds in the past where I’ve played as a Syndicate Captain, and after being robusted, spent most of the round RPing in the bar about how my crew was wiped out by Blood Cultists. Centcom officials can RP just was well if not better as a psuedo command role. If there are issues like this, the text given to these roles can always be more defined in what their goal is.

But all of these aren’t the reason that Exploration Crew is, in my opinion, being removed. That lies in the fourth point… which I’m going to go over extensively.

Exploration job powergaming

Powergaming. Directly taken from Rule 2 on the Beestation Wiki:

Powergaming" is considered to be the act of prioritizing “winning” rather than sensible roleplaying. Good roleplaying means that you have to embrace the possibility of “losing” for the sake of roleplay and/or preserving immersion. You should not be seeking gear you have no roleplay justification for having, nor should you ever generally be rushing into danger unless it is part of your job. For example, it makes sense for an Atmos Tech to don a hardsuit and enter a breached room to repair it. It makes sense for a Security Officer to acquire a gun from the armory and go fight to repel traitors. It does not make sense if the jobs are switched, and either case would be considered powergaming. Preemptively donning a hardsuit or acquiring a gun “just in case” is also considered powergaming.

I will be going off this definition as I attempt to argue why Exploration Crew isn’t a powergaming job, shouldn’t be removed for it, or could be adjusted instead of flat out given the cut. The first two sentences I feel are the most applicable. So let’s look at the armor and weapon the Exploration Crew has access to at roundstart.

  • Exploration Hardsuit: Spaceproof. Armor values are as follows: “melee” = 35, “bullet” = 15, “laser” = 20, “energy” = 10, “bomb” = 50, “bio” = 100, “rad” = 50, “fire” = 50, “acid” = 75, “stamina” = 20

  • Exploration Laser Pistol: Basic Laser Weapon. Deals 15 Burn damage in Anti-Creature Mode. Deals 5 damage in Cutter mode. Cutter mode allows breaking of rocks similar to a Proto-Kinetic Accelerator. Comes with a firing pin that only allows firing off station.

Pretty decent, but that gun is unusable on station, as it should be. So let’s look at the ways Exploration Crew can Powergame. Specifically things that you can find out in space.

  • Electronic Firing Pin: While you would be lead to believe this would allow the Crew to fire their weapons on station… that isn’t the case. Attempting to remove the Firing Pin from the Laser Pistol destroys it. So finding these doesn’t matter; you need to find other firearms.

  • Blood-Red Hardsuit: This Hardsuit can be found at a specific ruin in Unknown Signals, in a floor safe along with Syndicate Secret Documents. Its armor values are impressive: “melee” = 40, “bullet” = 50, “laser” = 30, “energy” = 40, “bomb” = 35, “bio” = 100, “rad” = 50, “fire” = 100, “acid” = 100, “stamina” = 60

I would definitely agree that this is a very power game-y item that you shouldn’t be able to get your hands on… if after all their nerfs, Shaft Miners can still acquire them randomly from killed Legions. Exploration Crew have a lot harder of a time finding the Hardsuit then Miners do most of the time as well, as they have to find the specific ruin, know it is in the safe, and invest no small amount of time into breaking the safe open.

And if this is still too powerful, there’s two options. Easiest: Remove the hardsuit from the ruin. Keep the documents, and the ruin is still useful. Or remove the nearby Stethoscope, making the safe impossible to crack unless you somehow brought one already… but that seems like more powergaming rather than less.

  • The Omnilathe: Not counting how difficult it can be to actually get the Lathe running on station having to link it to the main Ore Silo, Miners once again have easy access to this by purchasing it from the Golem Ship. Exploration Crew have to farm the exceptionally rare Charlie Station ruin, and then hope none of the ghosts take roles meant to make use of it. I recall this Lathe being in a different Station layout before and thought it removed before stumbling upon it once again… if it is too strong, it should be removed.

  • The Hierophant Gun: While it certainly has potential, the weapon is just as rare as it is clunky to use. Odd projectile patterns that are clearly telegraphed and do middling damage.

  • The Vault: I’ve played Explorer a lot… and this is the Holy Grail of space ruins. It was added for whatever reason a decent bit before Mining was nerfed, and I never understood why. The things inside are ridiculously powerful. To those who don’t know, the final room in the ruin contains the following.

  • An Anomaly Core. It is Typeless; used almost exclusively for Phazon production.

  • A Hypospray identical to the one the CMO uses.

  • A Dueling Pistol Case, with two revolvers.

  • A Saber SMG

  • A Bicycle

  • An Advanced RCD, which has more ammo than a normal variant and can deconstruct reinforced walls.

  • An RLD, which dispenses lights.

I’m not going to argue for this. It should probably be removed, even if it can be fun.

  • Paper Wizard Robes: If you can do this entire dungeon and beat the boss with your dinky laser pistol you deserve it, champ. That being said I’ve never seen an Explorer get very far trying to get this, let alone actually use it.

I probably missed a few, but those are the ones that I know from my experiences. So let me talk about the good about Exploration Crew.

Why It Should Remain

This is from personal experience, from what I’ve done with the job by myself and alongside others. My reasons are subjective, but I think you can ask anyone who’s tried the job and they’d agree with some of these.

  • It is an incredibly good box to roleplay in

One of the most satisfying things about Exploration Crew is how tight-knit the Team tends to be. Wether its three experts, or me having a pair of newbies along to teach them the ropes, it feels rewarding to actually work as a team to accomplish missions. Go exploring, find cool things. Maybe we have some moments here and there; someone gets blinded by a Rune in a Ratvar Ruin, and me and the other guy defend him. Maybe we stumble across a Corgi Planet, and come back home with a cargo bay filled with dogs (And a grill). I still have more hours in Shaft Miner than Exploration Crew, but this is the thing that makes this job so special. Miners were encouraged to spread out and discouraged from working as a team; if you died, you were likely on your own. As Scientist, RD, even part of Sec… it can feel distant. It’s nice to have just a couple people to call your team.

  • It’s fun to have a dedicated ‘explore space’ job.

Curator used to have to just get approval from the Head of Personnel to explore space. Even then, it wasn’t guaranteed. It is such a relief to know that I can pick a job and know that no matter what, I’ll get to explore space. Who would’ve guessed that exploring space in a space game is fun? Doing just Objectives lands you in very fun situations that feel diverse from round to round and challenging at times, especially when alone. It’s something you can easily sink hours and hours into without doing much else. Giving Scientists the ship and responsibilities may be fine at first… but Scientists already have so, SO many different things to manage. Xenobiology, Toxins, R&D, Nanites, let alone niche practices like circuits or, perhaps, using the dedicated shuttle Science already has access to. Yeah, to those who don’t know, there’s a whole extra wing to the Mining base dedicated to Science. And it’s got a fully functional Science Ship. And Fulp Station and Delta Station even have a pre-placed Dock to call it up to the station at the start of the round!

Other Explorers have their own reasons, and we would so, so much like the job to stay where it is. We’ll take adjustments… just let us keep this. Please?

I would end this request here, but I want to say one more thing. Not just about the Exploration Team either. I’ve one more reason for why I would like the Exploration Team to remain… something I feel is ideologically opposed to what coders seem to want. I’ll be drawing a lot parallels to the long-past changes to Shaft Miner and how they apply here.

The Importance Of Gimmicks

If you didn’t pick it up from what I’ve said or my past post… I used to play a lot of Shaft Miner. I adored the job, before it was nerfed. Is the job unplayable now? No. Not by any means. But for me, it lost its charm. Why?

  • Because I feel the game is fun when you can be whacky and still roleplay.

People love their gimmick antags, and I do too. But my reason for picking Shaft Miner, and now Exploration Crew, was because I could have fun with gimmicks without having to roll lucky on an antagonist. Let me use a particular example.

Way back when, the Drake Blood Potion was a chance drop from the Ash Drake Megafauna, who currently only drops this item. However, it had four effects instead of three, the removed effect being the one I found interesting. On use, you transformed into a Lesser Ash Drake. As a Lesser Drake, you had a fire breath, decent melee attack and the ability to swoop up and land to deal damage in a small area.

This transformation was dogshit terrible.

All of those perks sound great. But in reality, as a Drake, you are extremely slow, your only ranged attack is a firebreath that is easily dodged, does low damage and doesn’t apply many fire stacks, and has an unbearably long cooldown, as does the Swoop. Your hitbox is massive, and you still have the same 200 health. Though you can keep attacking for the second half, you’ve no way to heal yourself outside of chomping corpses. And if you transform back below 100 HP? Instantly in crit. Even in high pressure environments it is more efficient to just use a Proto-Kinetic Accelerator with a few upgrades if you want to kill somebody. Bonus points if you’re a Traitor, and buy the pressure upgrade.

But it was fun because it was impractical. Other than just chilling as a Dragon and RPing, attempting to actually use the transformation effectively was extremely difficult. It wasn’t practical, it was just a gimmick. And a lot of other items that Megafauna used to drop were just like this.

The Lava Staff, another Ash Drake Drop, was nearly worthless. It allowed you to turn tiles into lava and back after a lengthy channel. It did some decent burn damage… but why not just put a Knife on the end of your PKA and use that if you’re going for that approach? I’ve used this item once: making a Space Bar using a Capsule, and flooding the back counter with lava while wearing a Hekk Suit to be immune to it. It took forever to set up, took a ton of Mining Points to even buy the thing… but it was a hilarious gimmick the crew liked.

Exploration Crew has much the same gimmicks. An example? Take Clockwork Marauders. You can find them on Ratvar Ruins as enemies, and using a Light Pink Extract’s Sentience Potion… you can let a ghost control one. Their only benefit over most Xenobio Gold Extract mobs is that their shield blocks a couple projectiles before being busted. It takes way too much effort for too little of a reward.

I have still procured armies of sentient Clockwork Marauders to roleplay Clockies as a Traitor. Because it’s silly, and more fun than whacking people with a double E-sword and a Stable Bluespace Extract.

Then there are artifacts, items that can have so many different applications for interesting gimmicks. Artifact that turns Plasma into Hypernoblium? Help Cargo amass enough money to buy eighteen Bicycles. Casually explain to another Explorer that an artifact may end up sending them to a Tear in the Fabric of Reality. I wish there were more cool uses for artifacts like this.

Can Mining do gimmicks at the moment? For sure. But they’ve so much less to play with than they used to. Could Science do gimmicks if they just had the Shuttle as an option for themselves? Of course, but hold on, I have to explain to the third Medical Doctor to come by this shift that we can’t get them their Cryogenic Research until Cargo gets it from their Research Loot Crates.


To anyone who actually bothered to read all this, thank you. I tried my best to be concise, and really, at the end of the day, don’t want my favorite job to get effectively removed for a second time. Like I said, I don’t expect a lot out of this. Maybe I can get called off again for being a powergamer by an Admin again. Then I can make that ‘two nickel’ joke.

To all of you Explorers racing to scan that Artifact… I wish you the best of luck. It was fun while it lasted.


use # titles for your post, not quoting. more ## will go subtitles.

Terrible idea. At this point just tack exploration responsibilities onto shaft miners, they’re not too terribly different after all.

As you mentioned, this is very much an issue of powergamers whinging.

Also a huge part of why this was an issue is the locator for disks was for a long time completely unattainable if you didn’t spawn with it. So if you didn’t spawn with it, or lost it somehow, good luck reliably finding tech disks.

Also tech disk variety kind of sucked. You’d often in a round find 3 or 4 of the maybe 6 disks being some kind of duplicate.

I’ll be honest, there’s plenty that benefit. That one bluespace research disk that gives BoHs, etc.

I do think it is difficult to custom build techs for exploration crews.

Ghost roles, are good. The stupid idea that these should be one off before round removal is very dumb.

Yeah huge flaw for firing pins(especially the unnattainable kind).


The big issue is the disparity of on station gear and off station gear.

Part of why miners got nerfed is that much of the gear was fine off station, but definitely capable of blowing traitor equipment out of the water. So not only would these people amass gear, they’d many times go valid hunting because they’ve effectively become gods.

Let me reiterate a point I’ve made before related to Powergaming being made harder on an RP server.

Players need to understand and accept that you aren’t going to be able to become a god round after round, and will need to accept that you’re not here to just wait for antag and then robust.

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No. Not a single person I’ve interacted with used these ghostroles to roleplay. They use them to powergame on the station, no matter if they roll an antag or not. In fact most of the “gimmick” VIP roles are LRP as hell and I have no idea why they were merged in this state.

Which brings me to point 2: The fact they can roll antags as ghostroles is so incredibly stupid I’m personally surprised it was merged the way it is.

The explorers are able to find standard firing pins on their “missions”, which they will prompty put into their guns to use them on station.

You clearly don’t know how firing pins work. It destroys the removed pin, not the pistol. After the pin removal, the new firing pin can be inserted directly into the pistol with no downside.

The fact exploration can even get this in the first place is a code and gameplay sin. The lathe was split into techfabs for a reason.

You mean “Lets do VIP.” and then never talk again? Because that quote sums up the entirety of exploration time I’ve done.

That might be correct, however in this state it’s not even close to being a healthy addition to the game, as their players will exclusively use it to powergame as hard as they can to dunk on antags.

Space exploration was available to everyone for a reason before.

Most of our players would disagree. “If you can’t robust le antag, why bother”

This is another sin of exploration. The fact you can get literal cult mobs exclusive to a certain game mode sentient with no downsides to it.

Proof for my powergaming arguments:

This is not healthy for the game in any meaning of the word. The fact that exploration does this nearly every round can severely ruin said round for other departments who wished for anyone to interact with them. However, players being players, do not wish to interact with others, as this means they can’t get their gamer loot in the quickest possible time, and will instead do everything themselves.


The only rounds where I didn’t see explorers with a multitude of contraband guns and gear were the ones where they died on the mission. Worst is how they always act like they are totally entitled to keep using syndicate hardsuits and ballistic weapons they found.

Meanwhile security get banned for using a confiscated syndicate hardsuit because it was convenient.

Same goes for miners, they also need a trimming in terms of powergaming. Patrolling hallways with their drake armor and boss loot just looking for valids. But it’s totally legal in space law since it’s related to their job right.

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haha removal pr goes brrr

I once rolled the former dictator VIP dude. I managed to steal the explo shuttle and set up my new state on lavaland while talking to crew on comms. What im trying to say is that VIP had potential.

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Exploration has access to every item the station can produce, and unlike mining, they can get this every shift (instead of relying on golem spawns). They have the full potential of chemistry and robotics, can aquire guns en-masse, and can even aquire unique items such as katanas, sabers (not a big deal admittedly), and a hand tele. From their targets, they will aquire tools, insulated gloves, and advanced sunglasses as well, because of course. They also have access to absurd amounts of materials, and if we want to get really pedantic, gibtonite and artifacts, the latter of which is great for griefing.

Does this mean they should be removed? I don’t think so, however, judging by past actions, it’s probably getting removed. See: mining, botany, circuits, which all had large removals instead of meaningful reworks.

Unlike the complete removal, I would simply remove exofabs, chem dispensers, omnilathes, and all guns. This would still leave other useful loot. I’d also make explorer guns upgradable like PKAs.

The job’s items such as the disk locator are nowhere to be found unless you spawn with one, and the subjob system for explorers is terrible as well. It’s another thing that could use changes.

But this isn’t likely to happen, and while not the best way to solve things, the removal of exploration is fully deserved. Having a difficult job is not an excuse for being more powerful than everyone else except xenobiologists.

Speaking of which, we’re removing xenobio next, right?

Same goes for miners, they also need a trimming in terms of powergaming. Patrolling hallways with their drake armor and boss loot just looking for valids. But it’s totally legal in space law since it’s related to their job right.

Boss loot does not exist anymore. The hierophant was nerfed to deal puny damage. Drake armor was nerfed to be weaker on the station. Miners do not validhunt normally, and get banned if they do. Please play in the current environment before posting. This is sadly not the first time I’ve heard such complaints. Perhaps memories of LRP mining are very resilient.


Just remove explo, if was fun for the first few times people got to powergame legally

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This was changed. It’s unlocked by T2 parts.

explo is an extremely shallow job that got shunted to the forefront with a system forcedly tied to it to attempt to force people to play it due to how little it actually had as incentive to play it on its own

every single ruin they can visit is either an old /tg/ ruin or one of the dreadful procedurally generated ones, which are literally the same every time, with no variance - once you’ve seen all the mob subtypes between each explo ruin, you’ve seen it all, and will have no more differences in any subsequent round you play as explo crew

the thing’s also riddled with bugs, mostly due to supercruise’s weird interactions with lag and time dilation that just make it a pain in the ass to play on any long-going rounds

if somebody were willing to file it down, clean up its rough-around-the-edge parts, rebalance it, add legitimately unique ruins, not force the station to be tied down to what’s practically a deadweight of a role 9/10 times, and give the Explorers slightly more freedom to not do the same thing every round, maybe it could be a legitimately good job, like bay exploration

but nobody wants to do that. the person who literally created the system would rather just remove it than try to rework the hellfest of a job into being something that’s actually unique, because the effort it takes to improve not remove would be fucking colossal.

it’s a job that was stillborn-at-birth and nobody cares to wean it into maturity, and everyone who has good ideas on how to make it a better job get suspiciously quiet when they’re asked how they’d code those solutions in


I play almost daily a few rounds. You’re being delusional if you think miners don’t still validhunt and gather powergaming gear.

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I play almost daily a few rounds. You’re being delusional if you think miners don’t still validhunt and gather powergaming gear.

So do I and I don’t see it. I know miners are quick to fight cult, xenos, blob, etc, but I haven’t seen any validhunting barring a few, rare exceptions.

In addition, if you ever see a miner doing it, try to report the shitty player instead of trying to fuck the job up even more. Since mining was gutted, there isn’t enough gaming gear to facilitate this naturally. It’s definitely a player issue.

Now, on to a more fruitful topic.

I can write a lot about mining and how it it can be improved, but the shortest summary possible on topic of nerfs and needed changes is this:

  • Nerf: The meat hook, captain gun from arctic base, and banana staff from the clown temple should be replaced. Despite removing most pvp gear, these were left for unknown reasons.
  • Buff: The mod disks and blood crystal should be replaced.
  • Extremely important: Miners need more items that help mining and/or fighting fauna instead of pvp, as replacements for the above ruin items and tendril drops, else we will have a barren job.
  • Less important: some tribal recipes could be made ashwalker exclusive, namely the bone sword, bow and axe. This isn’t too important, as time spent making these could also be spent making weapons from station resources, but it could help.

The most-important point to derive from this is that removing existing items from mining without adding good replacements will just fuck the job up even more. Fighting bosses is already more pointless than it should be since their drops were removed instead of replaced, and the tendril drop table is hell. The job needs revisions, not blind nerfing.

If you see people power gaming send an ahelp
This is a notice by your local admin team for the love of God.

If you see people power gaming send an ahelp

Can we get an actual ruling on security powergaming? I myself would classify what some security officers do as power gaming, so if you tell us to ahelp people and the rules are vague there will be confusion.

I am not going to provide an exact clarification because I don’t want to speak for the admin team as a whole just yet.
If you think you see someone powergaming or are just a little sus about it. Ahelp
We aren’t gonna bite, well Investigate and we’ll let you know.

Fuck me.
We’re gonna pretend that didn’t happen.
EDIT: I appreciate being called out, but I don’t want to detract from the actual post discussion.

Sorry not sorry you two.

Also for the love of God go leave feedback on the PR itself. The dev team doesn’t read opinions elsewhere sometimes.


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I mean Explorers are like one of the few unique things bee has over other stations (besides clockies and extensive ghost roles, the latter of which removing explo would nerf). Take that out and I see myself playing less and less bee over tg manuel (I can’t build a cool shuttle as explo or sci shuttle guy but I can live out of a duffel and explore with a hardsuit, which is less RP not more).

Building out a cool shuttle and showing up midway through whatever is going on on the station is fun. Having bite sized rp with explos is fun. Being able to leave the station for awhile, fuck around, and then come back and have to figure out what is going on is fun. Survivalist is fun. Being a VIP nerd is fun. Having to go rescue the explos as a crew member because you need disco points and they got dunked is fun (disks are not fun, fuck disks).

Most of the people I see complaining are those who call literally everything power gaming. Some of you forget this is a game, if it’s not fun people don’t play. It’s not just me either, several times that I’ve mentioned I play on Bee in deadchat on TG I’ve had people say the same thing (i.e. the bee players call everything powergaming).

(One specific point, charlie omnilathe is incredibly rare as of a pr a couple months ago. Charlie used to be like every other shift, that’s now no longer the case. You can also just… take stuff out of it? That’s what tg did)

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