Ranking every antagonist that’s locked in to a specific gimmick or playstyle. This is a personal ranking but the tierlist is freely available here and I look forward to yours. Ranking is not done based on power level, rather amount of fun added to the game.
S - Zombies
The best way to end the round in my opinion, and from what I’ve seen, many other players agree. Zombies pose a great challenge to deal with collectively, but they’re honestly very reasonable to fight. It’s more about taking care of people who’ve fought than anything else. Outbreaks happen when the infected aren’t treated or beheaded more than anything. Playing as a zombie is quite fun and has decent rp potential even though it’s mostly an unga bunga role, but if someone throws you a bone you can have your fun, be it with crew or other zombies. Players who lose to zombies or don’t get treated just join the horde, so even salt is typically avoided. Overall, great design. 10/10.
A - Blob
Gloves come off when the Blob appears, and the whole station actually works together. Every department can help, and as long as people aren’t too lazy or scared, you can gather a small army to fight this thing. The funny thing is, fighting a blob isn’t really that engaging. Most of the entertainment comes simply from working with so many people. Speaking of which, everyone wants this thing dead, so it also makes antagonists collaborate with the crew. That’s honestly impressive. It’s designed to be a “raid boss” and it works perfectly for that. It’s not in S because zombies are more engaging and have more rp. One could argue that the blob, while it cannot talk to you, inspires rp by merely existing, but that can go for any antag and is a technicality. To A it goes.
A - Morph
I have to preface the morph’s entry with an imprtant statement. This is about the antags themselves. It’s not about the players. The morph doesn’t have a particular craving for the station’s ore silo built in - that’s what I’m really saying. So, when the morph decides not to pull a dick move, it’s actually a very fun entity to play with and around. Be it playing prop hunt when hunting it down, or dealing with its shenanigans. Morphs that actually impersonate crew or other entities can get very far. The morph’s threat isn’t very high, but that’s not what the list is about. You can generally have good fun interacting or fighting a morph, which is why it’s here.
Spiders can’t typically communicate with the crew, which means they are usually locked in as a purely combat-focused antagonist. The thing truly hindering spiders in this role is simply lack of knowledge on the players’ parts, so I think it might improve as time passes. Spiders can be fun to fight, but aren’t anything special. They are typically easy to take down as soon as actual security gets involved, but have strength in numbers and are hard to fully end as a threat. The last part is annoying, but a lone spider also cannot do much. Overall, very generic but they can spice up a round nicely.
B - Nightmare
The nightmare is a lone antagonist with decent potential for rp, while also being fairly competent unless specifically countered. I do not believe that the nightmare is designed as a true combat antagonist, and it isn’t balanced as one either, as it is unable to properly fight a mobilized force unless there’s a severe skill gap. On the other hand, the hand you’re dealt when it comes to roleplaying a nightmare isn’t particularly stellar. In the end, you’re just an immigrant who lives in the dark. You are given the ability to communicate, and that can carry you since you can just make shit up, including your own goals, but if you’re getting good rp, it’s because you’re putting in the work, not because this role is giving you a leg-up. Overall, jack of all trades honestly, varying ways your round can go as one, none of them superbly good, or bad.
B - Space Dragon
The dragon is very unbalanced when it comes to its place on this list. This is to say that it has some great aspects while others are terrible. I feel that this is a good antagonist that’s still struggling to get its full potential (ie, code changes). Your goal as a dragon is stupid, and while sentient carps are a breath of fresh air, the spam of npc carps is genuinely terrible. If a dragon isn’t being antagonistic, your roleplay is also rather limited. I haven’t seen a dragon do anything interesting ever since one played itself in a d&d game i ran. So the appeal is just doing generic rp while you look cool? Or are we going to see territorial rp for the 100th time? Pass for me…On the other hand, fighting a dragon is actually difficult, as it’s balanced to be a good threat even as a sole entity. Robust dragons make sure to abuse space and tight locations as much as possible, and if they start going on a rampage, running from one is actually very easy. This means that a combat-oriented dragon will typically only harm security unless you are suicidal or caught off-guard.
C - Xenomorphs
The demented cousin of zombies. A conversion antagonist that’s (in my opinion), terrible to play against, enforces a highly specific dress code unless you want to owned in one hit, and features the most unsatisfying of all conversion methods. Xenomorphs are incredibly powerful, be it stealth, speed, or the ability to knock you down. Anyone who lacks the (stupid!) meta knowledge about headwear will get owned in a single facehugger throw. Security might fully arm up and still get owned. They’re just that good. So, the crew makes some mechs, and then the xenos get owned instead because they can’t use emps or good ranged attacks, and that’s honestly not much better than unprepared crew getting steamrolled by the xenos. When a xeno kills or downs you, you have to wait for a very long time for your corpse to explode, which honestly just isn’t satisfying. Once in a blue moon, the curator or a miner will speak to the xenos and get a semblance of rp in.
If the crew decides to make a xeno farm, that’s another story, as the xenos’ conception promotes an inherent bond to the crew, or at least the person responsible for them. However it’s not uncommon to see the situation escalate into the equivalent of random spawn xenos.
Overall I’d say this is the last antagonist on the tierlist which can still contribute to the round positively, but it’s not guaranteed.
C - Demons
You’ll almost never see these guys, as they require a Wizard. You get to harass the crew while being incredibly hard to pin down, requiring cleaning supplies, of all things, to counter. You’re not particularly tough or interesting to fight without your ability to fuck off at will. You roundend people until you’re killed, which can mean a few minutes or the rest of the round. Bad.
The only upside is that you’re playing as a demon. There’s surprisingly a lot you can get from this setup. Rituals, contracts, tributes and various other rp, as long as you’re willing to engage with the crew instead of hunting them. They’re low on the list mostly because of their rarity, which means people probably won’t use the role for rp, combined with their bullshit escape mechanics.
D - Abductors
Non-interactive and reliant on gotcha mechanics. They’re supposed to disguise among the crew and then abduct them, but the way they abduct is by instantly winning in one hit. So really, instead of anything truly sneaky, they just wear someone’s face, walk in, and immediately drop the disguise and make you lose.
What the abductors do after capturing you is also incredibly annoying. They’ll cause a lot of chaos on the station with all the random effects they give to the crew, and yet, there’s no true reasoning or end goal to this. They cannot even round-end. In my experience, what happens to the victims needs a serious rework, the crew directives are usually cringe as hell and restrictive, and the actual effects given to crew are disruptive and don’t add any fun. Most of the time, anyway.
Rp? You rp with abductors? The potential is there but abductors would have to figure out how to speak first, which isn’t impossible, but will they bother? It’s just not happening though. The moment the ayys start to rp, the moment their whole role loses sense since you can easily just make a deal with them. That’s probably why it’s so rarely done.
Overall, just a nuisance, but not as much as the other D-rated antagonists.
D - Swarmers
Can’t communicate with the crew unless very lucky. Locked into a directive that generally offers very little room for rp. The closest I ever got was petting a swarmer and feeding it a little, but that was me being silly. The actual swarmers don’t really have the capacity or encouragement to do anything interesting with the crew. They’ll just eat stuff, be annoying, and be incredibly hard to dispose of completely unless they’re playing badly. One smartass will always go for the silo because they value causing harm to players more than actual entertainment, I suppose.
D - Revenant.
The worst of the worst. A role that’s hard to kill and revives unless finished off in a specific way. The catch is that most players don’t know how to do this, and even if you do, unless you’re playing a chaplain, curator, or maybe command(??), you wouldn’t even know about this in-character.
So, in effect, you’re probably unkillable. Now, what does this role, blessed with almost-immortality, do? It griefs the crew.
You just make things unbearable for people.
Okay. You can also communicate with the crew, and you actually have a wonderful setup with this role, since it’s actual ghost roleplay. Give people knowledge from beyond, haunt them, mess with them psychologically, and so on. It’s a fucking shame that something with so much potential got placed on a role that’s designed so terribly. The sheer frustration and lack of interaction that greifing revenants cause overrides anything good that comes from this role.
Also uh, slimes are cool I guess. But they aren’t actually antagonists so they aren’t here. Very cute though.