Because nobody else seems to do them, and admins have said they don’t know how. I have done many, many events over the past year, and so I know what works and what doesn’t.
Just about every event can be divided into five categories. When planning an event, consider what category it will fit into, because players will react differently to events in each category. Different categories will also work better on different servers.
Out of Rotation Gamemode:
If you don’t want to put in the effort, just pick a gamemode from the game mode panel that is not in the gamemode rotation, and it will run itself. Next to no effort, all you need to do is use “force secret mode” in the game panel instead of “change game mode” so the crew does not meta it.
The second simplest kind of event. Like traitor or changeling, there is a group of people (in the case of traitor it is the crew), and some members of said group are secretly working against the group as a whole. When running a hidden role event, you should avoid giving out the antagonist positions to players who are playing a traditionally “trustworthy” role (Security, Captain, CentCom staff and to a lesser extend heads of staff) as players will generally trust them enough to let them get away with outrageous stuff, which just isn’t fun for anyone but the “”""“Trustworthy”"""" crewmember. If you are going to give them an antagonist position, you should either place some restrictions on their actions, or give the crew a vague warning of some kind. Players expect to be able to trust these roles, because the game tells them they can. You need to somehow remove that expectation in order to have a proper, tense hidden role experience.
In terms of objectives and equipment, you can really use whatever you want, be it uplinks, powers or even varedited equipment. Just use common sense and only give them equipment of a power level that they need.
Events of this kind work fine on either server, just bear in mind that if you want to do one on Sage, you’ll likely need better or more plausible framing (see below).
Again not difficult. Two opposing sides of players clash. One of the sides is usually the crew, and the other is usually an external threat from outside the station. The teams can either be fighting over an objective (such as the nuke disk) or simply just killing each other. The three most important things to remember when running a PVP event are balance, respawns and easy identification. Both teams should be easily recognisable at a glance to reduce friendly fire, and you should never use or allow infiltration tactics of any kind. Spawning traitors in the middle of war ops is not fun for the crew, as they can no longer tell friend from foe. Weapons of mass, indiscriminate destruction such as maxcaps and viruses should also be banned, as they almost immediately render the event unplayable. Additionally, you should be constantly monitoring the number of ghosts (use check antagonists) and the relative balance of the event, giving out respawns as needed. Events are not fun if you die 5 minutes in or get stomped by a team that is far more powerful.
In terms of servers, you should generally stick to Golden and announce the event in advance to get more people on, as all roleplay goes out the window the second the shooting starts.
PVE is a bit harder to do than PVP, as “PVE” really means “The players vs YOU”. Via “Random” events, mob spawning etc. you have very granular control over exactly what the station has to face. As such, subtlety goes a long way. Start with very small things, such as vent overflow events or whatever fits the theme you have decided. Slowly increase the intensity of whatever you’re throwing at the crew, and remember to give them short breaks to recover every now and then. End with a giant climactic threat for the crew to defeat, after which they win. Since the crew really can’t stand up to admin powers if you use all of them, don’t be cheesy. Use only stuff that the crew could realistically defeat, and give them help if they need it. The crew should win every PVE event you do, as you stomping their face in with admin powers is not fun.
PVE works on either server but once again you may need better framing on Sage.
The hardest to pull off. A small part of the crew go on an off-station adventure, usually solving puzzles and traps to gain a prize. Plan and document the entirety of the event in advance, and gather feedback and suggestions from other admins before you run it. You may need to delay pre-game for much longer on these events in order to set everything up. The first puzzle or challenge should be easy but time consuming so that you can start the event before you’re actually ready and finish the setup while they solve the first one. Roleplay events are difficult to run and require excellent framing and many, many subtle nudges to ensure that it plays out how you planned. Don’t do it unless you have multiple other admins to help and are confident in your ability to bus quickly without getting caught.
Roleplay events obviously work best on Sage.
Ok how do I actually run an event?
First, have or steal an idea for one, and consider what type of event it is. How will the crew react to the event? What are they likely to do? Which server will it work best on? What sort of stuff will I need to do behind the scenes? How will I give the event narrative framework (if it needs any)?
Once you’ve done that, consider what sort of adminbus stuff you’ll need to use to make it work. Test the stuff BEFORE you run the event, as it may not work as you intend. Any varediting should also be done in advance to ensure it works and doesn’t break anything.
Next, get permission from a senior or head admin to run the event. If your event requires temporarily changing the server rules, ask a head admin. Protip: Ask them While you’re already running the event and they can’t say no! (don’t).
Once you’re in game and have permission it’s time for the players to rubberstamp the event. Call a vote detailing the event. If the element of surprise is necessary, you may obfuscate exactly what will happen. Once you get a yes vote (and you will get a yes vote unless your event is godawful) set the gamemode to “event” (if you don’t want any other antagonists to spawn) and turn off random events in the server tab. This is to prevent the event getting ruined by the captain failing to secure the disk and spawning a loneop, or xenos, or meteors, or a blob. You can leave them on if you’re an agent of chaos and think that it’s funny when it happens but be ready to cancel random events you don’t want. Turn the panic bunker on to get rid of griefers and set an admin notice detailing the event.
Spawn your stuff (delay pre-game if you need more time) and away you go! Make sure to constantly watch the event to ensure stuff goes as planned. You have a blank cheque to adminbus to keep things fun and fair, so use it.
- You can give antagonist status and objectives to soulless bodies before you offer them to ghosts by selecting their player panel and pressing the “init mind” button.
- The “Check teams” button under round (?) can be used to group players into team antagonists. “Force HUD” lets you pick a custom HUD for them so they can identify each other discreetly.
- Config/Launch Supplypod is your friend. Practice and mess around with it to get the hang of it, so you can easily move stuff around during events, as well as deploy PVP respawns into places where they won’t get spawncamped.
- Under “offer control to ghosts” is “give direct control” which lets you pick who gets it via ckey. Use this to give important roles to competent players (ie mentors or admins).
- The room above the ERT ferry lets ERTs recall the ferry remotely. The room below it is a drop pod bay.
- If an event is playing out differently than expected, roll with it. The players are people trying to have fun, not your personal playthings. No event ever goes as planned, all you can do is prevent it from becoming boring or unfun.
- If people get stuck on puzzle events, give them hints.
- Communicate with other admins who are online. Keep co-ordinated and work together to get stuff done faster.
- Don’t be afraid to ban cheese tactics or place some restrictions on how people act, so long as they make sense and are clearly to ensure the event is fun.
The Importance of Narrative Framing:
What is that? I hear you ask. Put simply, the backstory. Why are these things happening? There needs to be a reason. For example, here is the same event with different framing. See which sounds better:
Bad: The crew fight magic ashwalkers on lavaland because it is a video game. The crew have uplinks to help them because it is a video game.
Better: The crew fight magic ashwalkers on lavaland with the help of the syndicate, because the ashwalkers are a bigger threat right now.
Best: The crew and a nearby syndicate base team up to defeat a dark cult of ashwalker shamans who are trying to release a dark god. As this god is massively dangerous, everyone nearby is ganging up on the ashwalkers to prevent the end of the universe.
The reasoning doesn’t need to be elaborate or a literary masterpiece, it just needs to give better reasons for why events are happening other than “because it is a video game”. Just think of something that makes sense.
Prefabricated events for the lazy:
- Mech Combat. There is a syndicate mech factory (modifed lavaland base) on lavaland. The crew are provided with a large number of mech suits by Central Command and move them down to lavaland to destroy the Syndicate, who also have a large number of mechs.
- Highlander-lite: A small number of crew members are immortal sword wielders. They have varedited claymores that fit in their backpack, and must find and kill each other because THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE. They are given brief physical descriptions of each other and must track each other down.
- Sink the Spessmark: A lethal syndicate shuttle, the Spessmark has been built in nearby space. The crew must build custom shuttles and hunt it down. The Syndicate shuttle is a custom shuttle that starts in another Z-level. There are many Z-levels with structures and navbeacons spawned. Both the crew and the syndicate are given multiple varedited manned turrets to shoot lasers at each other.
- VIP: A VIP is arriving on station as part of a tour. Every antagonist has their death as one of their objectives, but the VIP is very heavily guarded. Can they team up to take them down?
- Arms shipment: A shipment of arms is being smuggled into the station by a team of agents. If they get to a group of other people, they become antagonists and an uprising starts.