Hey hey, it’s ya boy Sumter here.
As of the fastmos update, the firelocks and airlocks were also updated to act differently. The firelocks are now two sets of doors except one, and the airlocks use a realistic repressurizing system before cycling.
I’m here to tell you why the firelocks are hot garbage and what should be done about them to make them better.
First off, If we are going for realism the old firelocks were more realistic as they were designed to be bulkhead doors similar to those seen or naval vessels, or on sci-fi space vessels. the doors are full-sized because any door smaller than that would cave into the pressure of the water (or in the sci-fi setting, the air pressure trying to leak out). If the station was a real station, we’d all be dead the second a window got broken.
Mechanic-wise, they are frustrating to deal with both as silicons and as the crew.
For one, when a fire does occur, they fail in their core reason for existing by closing a nanosecond too late to keep the plasma fire from spreading, and actually get some of that blazing inferno trapped between the locks which will NEVER GO OUT.
Secondly, dragging anything through these locks is pure pain, as half the time they will force you to let go of whatever you are dragging and you have to try several times to drag anything through, which if that thing was a dying crewmate then those few seconds of having to fight with the firelocks can likely mean the crewmates death.
Sometimes, the firelocks will refuse to open due to some random pressure check which forces you to use a crowbar on it, which not everyone carries and gets frustrating real quickly when it wont let you into departures to escape or that you keep accidentally hitting someone because their hitbox overlaps the firelocks.
When the firelocks get destroyed, they leave behind two broken firelocks that you have to waste time trying to move out of the way because you can’t simply dissasemble them, which since just about every door on the station comes with a pair of firelocks, just trying to get to a place you are trying to fix is a timely task.
As a silicon, you have ZERO special control over these airlocks. You cannot use them to box in people due to them just being able to walk through the firelocks, unless you also simultaneously cut APC power, which you can’t because pressing the fire alarm and the off button on the APC takes just long enough for the person to escape. Multiple times as AI I’ve been thwarted by the firelocks on my own sat trying to move my core using the air pressure, or trying to intentionally use the air pressure to push people off my sat, which both limits my creativity as far as using the games mechanics, and also severely limits the AIs control over the station despite the AI supposedly having total control over the station’s electronics.
You cannot intentionally space the air in the station now without an RCD. There are times where parts of the station get flooded with lethal gasses and its best to vent the entire room instead of setting the air alarm to panic siphon and waiting 3 hours for the room to vent. With the old firelocks, you could open them for a second to at least spread out the gas for multiple air alarms to vent, but since the new firelocks automatically close and there are two of them, the only way to spread the gas is to physically walk through them (thus again also defeating their purpose).
You may be wondering, how do we fix all of that? It’s simple! You don’t.
The old firelocks did all this properly with the old atmos and they would be just as effective with the new atmos with some updates to their code.
The biggest argument I’ve heard is that with just one big door if it were opened it would space the room you just opened as well. Isn’t that how it works in real life? Don’t we have several warnings in place telling you forcing open firelocks can be a bad idea? Doesn’t atmos have a particular item designed to PREVENT THAT FROM HAPPENING?
The only things you’d have to do to upgrade the old firelocks is to give them the pressure warning the new ones have when trying to force them open and they will work just fine. If people “accidentally” space the entire station, it is their fault for ignoring the warnings and not having an atmos tech do their jobs and fix the problem. Even if that does happen, everyone has a skin suit in their bag to put on temporarily as the station refills, which is rather quick as long as atmos hasn’t blown up since round start.
Even if you removed the old firelocks ability to crush people, I’d still rather have them than the new firelocks.
Long story short, The new firelocks are bad as they are not only difficult to work with, but also fail to do the very job they exist for, and with just a few small updates to the old firelocks they would both be the better option as well as more realistic to how they would function IRL. Please look into reverting the firelocks, as the function of the new ones are enough to keep me from playing any job that has me dealing with them I used to like playing and I’m sure I’m not the only person who finds them infuriating.