Problems with the detective conceptually

Having played a bit of detective recently, I’ve noticed that the job isn’t very well designed for following the rules. The server’s rules with how detective should be played are fine, and I don’t object to them, as I like the idea of a support officer who doesn’t do the brute force work. However, the detective as a job seems to contradict this idea in places, encouraging players to use detective rolls to validhunt instead of engaging with the forensics mechanics. I think this arises from the following issues:

1: The detective’s gear and tech unlocks are geared toward combat too much:

Looking at the job, the detective is clearly not designed to perform arrests, but their starting set of equipment encourages players to lethal players into crit and then detain them. Both their baton and pepperspray are (intentionally) bad at arresting people, and this would be good if not for the existence of the revolver. The 38 revolver, whilst thematic to a detective, is far too effective at the wrong role. Intended as a self-defence weapon, it’s very easy to just kill people with it as a method of detention. This is amplified when we look at the detective’s technology unlocks. Incendiary rounds once again encourage validhunting and as such are a terrible unlock. Iceblock rounds are in theory a good tool for supporting arresting officers, but we rarely allow the detective to do that without getting banned. TRAC rounds are the only unlock which I believe actually encourage people to play the job as intended, being a bullet exclusively for tracking a suspect so that sec officers can arrest them.

2: The detective’s forensics role is rendered pointless by mid-shift if sec are good:

The actual forensics part of the job is excellent, if not for one massive issue: the forensic scanner unlock. From a fairly early tech, suddenly every officer can print a scanner and do forensics just as well as the detective, rendering him essentially useless. With their role rendered pointless, all that a detective really has left to do is to validhunt with their gun.

3: Other than forensics, the detective has basically nothing to do:

If no bodies or breakins are found, the detective has nothing to do but either get drunk in the bar or validhunt, because their entire job depends on antagonists antagonising badly enough to leave evidence to find, but not too badly to be caught immediately. This makes greenshifts as detective horrible to play, because the only thing sec does on a greenshift is arrest petty criminals, which the detective isn’t allowed to do. When there are no serious crimes, the detective is essentially an assistant with a gun.

Fixing these issues:

I’ve had some time to think about this, and I’ve come up with some ways to fix these issues.

  • Change the availability of ammo for the 38. The default ammo should not be the full lethals, instead some sort of “knockdown rounds” that do very minor damage and knock the target over briefly up to a cap. This would let the gun fulfil its intended purpose of keeping the detective safe from attack without letting him easily arrest people or go full lethals validhunt. Incendiary and full lethal rounds should be kept in a lockbox in the armoury for emergencies.
  • Give the detective more types of support ammo, and give him a secondary role of helping the officers track (but not arrest) suspects. For example, a shot that injects a new “identifier implant” into the target, which can be viewed in a list to see the real name/dna/fingerprints etc of a suspect hit by it. Suspect in disguise? Get the detective to tag them with one of those and see who they really are. The implants would dissolve over time for balance. This new “support” role would also give the detective something to do when there are only petty crimes.
  • Move the forensic scanner waaay further down the tech tree or remove it entirely from the tree.

Am I a dumbass and completely wrong? Feel free to let me know below.


I’ve been toying with the idea of completely dumping the detective’s current flavor of Noire for Sherlock because of these very issues.

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TRAC rounds exist.
Det has binos that nobody uses despite them being pretty nifty.
give det Canine smell gene and Noir vision (black and white)

Remove Forensic scanner from det and instead take a cue from ERIS with their detective stuff.


if we’re speaking about det, i enjoyed the inclusion of the camera glasses and camera pin thing in his office. The inclusion of more gimmicky gadgets would be a fun thing for dets to use


Someone clearly didn’t play Detective enough or is just bad at it.

The detective is well balanced and has lots of gadgets and ways to actually do a detective job!
Just stop letting shitters play as detective and enforce SOP and MRP rules.

People empty whole cylinders from their revolver at people and no one cares.
But when I, as detective, force someone into the trash bin because he was tiding into my office trying to steal my locker I get a bwoink + note

I was a det main (:nauseated_face::nauseated_face::nauseated_face:) for the first 25 or so hours of playing

I’m just saying the more gadgets the merrier and that I won’t be happy until i could conceivably LARP as inspector gadget

Yes just ignore everything I said and insult me. Useful and productive. Yelling “JuSt EnFoRcE ThE RuLeS” rings hollow when half of the detective’s equipment encourage players to break said rules.

You’ve also failed to address anything I said. Making a blanket statement with no logical argument to back it up is useless to discussion. The detective has hardly any useful tools outside of the forensic scanner, which any sec officer can get in under 30 minutes if they want. The binoculars are useless unless you’re watching a completely stationary target or are trying to snipe the turrets off of a pirate ship. The spyglasses are cool, but can’t really be put onto a suspect to fulfil the role of discreet observation unless the suspect is a complete and utter moron. The only use for the spyglasses is to stick it on the disk holder/a head of staff and make stealth ops/a would-be assassin cry with it.

Edit: I will concede that TRAC rounds are good, but rely on the rest of sec knowing how they work to utilise them properly (which is almost never).

Cough cough rubbershot

damn relax brother, he wasn’t insulting you.

He’s right, just enforce the rules. If I can play toxins without bombing assholes around the station, then you can play det without becoming a validhunting supercop.

As far as tech unlocks, again, RP rules. Other officers taking forensic scanners if they have a detective is against the rules, so just enforce them!

The only valid criticism I see is your last one about detective having nothing to do on a greenshift. But that’s easily fixable too, go to HoP and get a job change.

I think more gadgets would be fun, though.

Playing as a detective is easy and fun. Find a weapon that was used in a crime. Leave it in the hallway and hide in a plant. Someone will inevitably pick it up. Shout “HE"S GOT A WEAPON AND IS COMING RIGHT FOR ME!” then shoot him six times in the head. If anyone asks, their fingerprints were on a murder weapon and they were brandishing it out in the open! Guaranteed criminal. Get a standing ovation from the entire station for saving all of their lives.

On a side note though, please don’t remove the noir theme from det. If you do, I won’t be able to drink myself to death anymore.


Encouraging behaviour through code is infinitely preferable to enforcing behaviour through admin coercion. To take an extreme example, if we wanted players to walk when there is no emergency, we should add a sprinting mechanic which drains stamina rather than banning people who run.

Printing a forensic scanner isn’t against the rules.

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honestly an issue i’m seeing at the moment is code and rules having some conflicting ideas. Particularly with some of the TC trades vs antags no longer being able to bone.

I could talk about it for a bit but this is a det thread and i don’t wanna derail it

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This is a massive understatement that is true in many different areas. I could dump a mountain of salt on efforts to fix this being shot down.

basically, detective is more of a support role,

1 major thing is evidence and forensics is never used in trails, seccies bumrush to kill as many antags as possible, rendering the detectives job of collecting evidence obsolete

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As a clown main (yes I know, I’m a gift to the station) – I am constantly being arrested by detectives, and as I scream at them about SOP (and subsequently ignored, and 50% of the time shot with the revolver while handcuffed) I tend to realize, that most people have no idea how to fucking play the detective.

I would say on about a dozen occasions I have had a warden literally grab me away from a detective, uncuff me and let me go, after scolding the detective. Detective just goes back to happy go lucky valid hunting right after.

A detective doing an arrest should be grounds for a job ban. They are not security officers for a reason.

Literally just yesterday, a detective was so egregiously bad on MRP, that the warden had to scold them until they apologized for arresting me, and for firing off their revolver on Green Alert into an IPC who was doing a light bit of tiding (their defense was, they were “assaulted” by being slipped on banana peels – which apparently warrant the use of lethals).

I don’t think I have ever met a detective once, who was actually doing their job, and I agree sincerely with the OP about this whole profession requiring a retooling and a rethink.


Glad someone’s addressing it

It’s a farce that detective are given the tools to be sec, in rounds with limited seccies, and are metashielded, etc. and then we turn around and say “Holy shit. Why are they playing like sec officers? How could the admins do this.” Same with brig phys really.

Also on rules, in the ideal world rules should be low-effort to follow because they should frankly just “make sense,” where admins job is to deport abject failures who never had an interest in the server in the first place, rather than babysitting the minutea of your gameplay. You don’t have this when a job is designed to validhunt.

Detective may honestly be better having a dual duty as a coroner or have that side emphasized, becoming more of a “Forensic Doctor” or so. The main problem with taking/slapping his gun/mindshield is that detective genuinely rarely has much to do.


I love the detective’s noir theme, and I would be sad to see the accoutrements of that go, like the gun; but I agree that there is a serious problem with detectives both acting as a sec officer and validhunting all over the place. Giving the detective more to do is a good idea. When it rains, it pours, and you’re going from one place to another to scan stuff, but when there’s no action, it’s a desert. Your options are usually A. drink yourself to death, or B. comb maints and hope you stumble upon something to relieve the boredom. Unfortunately, the only thing I can think of to help with this would be to make the forensics system more in-depth than “point scanner at thing, put funny letters and numbers into records console”. That’s a bit costly in terms of coding effort though.

To be fair problem with lethal ammo lies on players not the role, you can easily carry your weight in early shift with pepperspray and shoves. Later it’s more tricky but since antags were probably already confirmed you could gear up with stunbaton and det armor.

I played few rounds of detective lately and honestly it’s pretty fun, you dont have to rush down antags for arrests (because thats the role of sec) and can instead focus more on roleplay.


I love being detective.

Sometimes you’re actively being super useful and finding clues, leads and even outting stealth antags. Simply due to the fact you can go undercover and actively sniff out people. I’ve done this several times, I’ve found a few traitors, MALF AI,heretics, and once a cult as well. Other times there is absolutely nothing to do and you just roam around maint and the halls because there’s nothing actually happening or someone is very very very very good at hiding.

My best arrest was getting someone entirely based off the fact that I got blood and fiber samples from a recent attack. I broke into the area where the attack due to a blood trail, scanned the pools of blood, the drips AND the shoeprints, scanned the door and left. Was able to correctly deduce that a cargotechie or a mime was a heretic due in part of just some simple detective work. I didn’t even have to arrest someone I got the information needed.

Detective is pretty hard to change IMO, he occupies a realm where if you’re actively RPing or playing like a Private Eye,Blade Runner, or Noir Detective you do you job very well. But has the EASIEST time of becoming Security 2.

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Could replace the 38 with a rubber shot pistol.