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Of Flocks and Blobs - Quarantine / Shuttle Calls
I am here to make a hot take, I think when there is a Blob or a Flock on station, calling the shuttle should be disabled. Both Blobs and Flocks automatically end the round if they reach their win condition. (500 tiles for Blob) (Relay for Flock)

I feel like it goes contrary to these antagonists and it's unfair to the players that have rolled these antags, for players to just decide "Oh I don't want to deal with this, call shuttle." the second they see one. I feel like the crew owes it by being good sports to try and actually fight them.

Some people will probably argue that "Oh this will make rounds drag on forever!" No, not really, if the antag is so unstoppable, it should reach its objective at a decent rate, and if not- then it dies and you can call shuttle once the Quarantine is lifted. So, if you want specifics, this is what I think should happen.

Blob/Flock (Either Or) Spawns

If a shuttle is attempted to be called while a Flock or Blob is Alive/Active, it will be denied. It will also give a station announcement. "Shuttle Request Denied due to Blah-blah-Hazard on Station" This will alert the crew that this thing exists, and that they have to deal with it, and actually play along with the gamemode antag instead of avoiding it.

Exceptions? If people are really paranoid of this somehow making neverending rounds by say, a single flockdrone hiding in space. The quarantine could only be enforced if the enemy is of a decent size, (At least X amount of blob tiles, or X amount of living flock drones) or the quarantine can automatically be lifted if the antag was in a "stalemate" for a prolonged period of time. I still do not think this would really happen in my opinion, because if a stalemate is occuring, both sides still have enough players/resources to keep playing, which means the gamemode is working as intended.

TL;DR - We should encourage players to actually deal with these antags instead of just deciding to call the shuttle and give up. That feels unfair to people who enjoy the gamemode, and the antagonist themselves.
How about this insted:
Quarantine mode activated. No shuttles can be called till threat has been neutralized for % / Items antag uses.

HOWEVER... the shuttle will still arrive at the end of the shift to extract any survivors and to send a "science cleaning squad" to get rid of it. (lore wise flavoring, but nothing really spawns, maybe a bomb gets placed on the station then to blow it up after the shuttle arrives on centcom or something, but it counts as an antagonist win)

This way the round won't be ended prematurely but at the same time the shuttle will still come on the same time.
"But what if the shuttle got called back?"
Well extended shifts happen rarely, but the shuttle when called in these rounds are UNRECALLABLE. It just means crew didn't hit the deadline.
But if the quarantine round happens during extended shift?
Well the shuttle will arrive in 10-15 mins insted.

There I think that's a better idea.
Now the players can decide to "reclaim the station" , "abbadon station to survive in the space diner/space" , "Survive till the shuttle arrives" or "defend escape/whats left"

I feel like this is better overall then forcing a stalemate in general. If the round timer ends.. sorry but the antag is just too slow, be faster next time!
That's what I think!
As I've brought up every time someone makes this suggestion, all this does it give a massive advantage to the crew by allowing them to simply hold the line until the blob player becomes exhausted, which is frankly pretty trivially easy to do!

edit: does automatic blob victory still require every single living blob player to hit 500 tiles? Because if so then winning the game with multiple blobs could very easily be flat-out impossible.
(11-07-2022, 03:20 PM)Mouse Wrote: As I've brought up every time someone makes this suggestion, all this does it give a massive advantage to the crew by allowing them to simply hold the line until the blob player becomes exhausted, which is frankly pretty trivially easy to do!

edit: does automatic blob victory still require every single living blob player to hit 500 tiles?  Because if so then winning the game with multiple blobs could very easily be flat-out impossible.

Advantage to the crew? Because they're playing the gamemode instead of leaving? If this change happens, and a ton of people play and crew starts winning 10x more, that's a good thing. Then you have balance concerns to make, because what's happening there is people are playing the gamemode instead of leaving. If the gamemode is currently balanced over people eventually just 'giving' up, I think that should be addressed and changed.


I'd at least like for shuttle calls to be discouraged even if its not a permanent prevention. What if things like blobs and flocks had a single-use ability that let them recall and prevent a shuttle from being called for 10 mins?


As for other things, I think there would probably need to be a few things if there are fringe cases where the gamemode doesn't properly auto-end, but that'd be more akin to a bug, wouldn't it? Gamemodes should auto-end when they reach their objective. I just remember like six months ago I was random event blob and the second I hit 500 it greentexted and round ended.
Nah. If you cause a shuttle call as a blob, you won.
(11-08-2022, 06:07 AM)Cal Wrote: Nah. If you cause. A shuttle call as a blob, you won.

In that case it makes sense, but at the same time, it would be fun if flock or blob can "hunt down the survivors" for abit or force the survivors to fight back for a faster shuttle extraction.
You know an "End game" setting where everything is tense for a lil while.

Like if the blob has x-amount of control, the shuttle will take longer to arrive when called due to "interference"
Same with Flock. But if the players destroy whatever is causing it, the shuttle arrival timer jumps to 30 seconds.

Eh... I am just seeing what sticks on the wall right now.
(11-08-2022, 06:07 AM)Cal Wrote: Nah. If you cause. A shuttle call as a blob, you won.

That's not the point to me though, winning/green-text isn't the whole point of the game. It's about participating in the gamemode and actually playing it. In practice I will legitimately see people say "Blob at X" after it's been alive for two minutes, and call a shuttle.

It's not about the greentext, that might as well not even be a round.

I wouldn't feel good if I rolled Werewolf and nobody at all interacted with me at all and they just ended the round and said "You win." That's just kind of lame. I feel like it's taking away the agency of the antagonist. It's along the same lines of "I didn't roll antag, so restart, I don't care if it deprives other antags of their rounds." I feel like I will get a lot of people disagreeing with me and saying I am exagerrating a bit. Especially because I am very aware that blob is far from a lot of peoples favorites, so they are happy to just give up and quit.

I just think it's unfair to the blob. Usually blob-shuttle calls aren't "Forced" because it's winning, it's immediately happening just by virtue of the blob existing at all and nobody feeling like fighting a blob. Imagine if on Rev rounds, the shuttle was immediately called so it can be cut short. That's lame, isn't it? There is a reason Rev rounds prevent the shuttle call. It forces people to actually play the gamemode. (And trust me, I hate revs a lot, but I stick through it for the sake of the spirit of the game.)
As someone who has just experienced a goddamn 11/12 minute-in shuttle call (as flock, who has barely taken over robotics and part of genetics) I feel like a lot of people call the shuttle intentionally to ruin the fun of antags who have no control to prevent or recall it.

The AI literally called it the moment the early call restriction was lifted, and then when I went full nerd to get the relay up 100% of the crew just sat in the shuttle ignoring the relay and nobody even tried breaking in. Call this a kneejerk, but I am sure a lot of blobs/flock who managed to beat back the crew feel this when the crew just immediately shuttles.

At minimum I would say increasing the timer to 15 or 20 minutes before a shuttle can be called would partially alleviate this.
As someone who "won" (Green txy) her last blob, wraith and flock rounds, this is a complex topic.

It feels amazing to win. Like you feel so robust and powerful when you hear thr relay start. When yout power points are so fast you outpace your ability to spend. When you run out of bio to spend.

But if the station flees a major antag, you won. You did your job.

It's not the stations job to provide you a victory lap. Everyonr else's fun and round mattrrs too.

That said, yes. In your example i feel the ai acted in poor faith. But i don't think that's a mechanical problem. I feel likr that was a player problem. 99 percent of the time most would have at least given you a while as a courtesy because you where nowhere near a win. I'd have asked for a token. I wouldn't necessarily expect one. But I would have asked.
I wouldn't really describe it as forcing you to have a victory lap. I'd argue it's playing the gamemode, as well as encouraging the crew to actually combat the antag. There are a lot of times the shuttle is called when really you haven't won yet. It's just a ton of people who have no interest in that antag or fighting it. They just want to restart because they don't like it, or they think they will lose. Or rather it's one single head of staff or AI who just decides "Nah time to end."

I feel like if it's that miserable to keep fighting the enemy until they reach their objective or you win, then that's a problem with the gamemode, right? There's always a chance for the most chaotic of come backs, and if the enemy already "Won". Like legitimately, and not just the playerbase refusing to fight it at all - if the antag had actually wiped out most of the people.

Then it should reach its objective pretty quickly anyways and the round will end with no resistance.

Maybe preventing the calls all together indefinitely is too much, but I really think something should be done. Even if it's just temporary. Or a longer shuttle during these rounds due to "precautionary" measures or something.

I'll once again just make my comparisons to imagine if nukies arrived and the crew just all went to escape and said "You win." That'd be lame. Sure, they "Won" but it's not really much of a round is it? I also saw that most recent flock-round, and it's really not as rare as people think, this happens a lot. Blob round, a couple seccies die close to the beginning. "Blob is winning". Shuttle call. Same thing happened with the flock here.
i think the issue is that some of these antags straight up aren't fun to play against. shuttle calls are just a symptom and treating the symptom isn't going to alleviate the problem
(11-10-2022, 04:27 PM)babayetu83 Wrote: i think the issue is that some of these antags straight up aren't fun to play against. shuttle calls are just a symptom and treating the symptom isn't going to alleviate the problem

I disagree. I enjoy them a lot. If the answer to an antag is just to not play against it, then it should be improved. Maybe I am a pessimist but I think there are a good amount of people who do genuinely look for the first reasonable excuse to restart and therefore roll for antag again. Anyways I still don't think everyone hates these antags, and it's not fair to the people who enjoy them, or the antags themselves to just go "Ew Blob shuttle time please skip this.". If the antags are so unfun that the crew just being forced to actually fight against them makes the game objectively worse, than the antags will get a lot more attention on their weak spots. Otherwise you might as well just let shuttle be called on revs as well.

Though I genuinelly don't think that will happen.
I think this debate is going around in circles now.

So let's fully cap the reasons for and agianst this suggestion.

-So if an antagonist like a blob or flock doesn't get ignored once noticed and players just wanna skip the round.
-Revolutionaries do not allow shuttle calls.
-Allowing the antagonist to play the game till the end or atleast extended.
-"Forcing" players to engage and be more aware of the antagonist insted of calling shuttle.
-Allows blob/flock to finish their objectives and win.

-"Forcing" players to engage and be more aware of the antagonist, since now they will most likely abbadon station and come back during the shuttle.
-Forcefully extending the round.
-Blob and Flock are considered annoying to deal with and unfun, thus players want to end the round. It's not fun for 1 player to technically hold 50+ players hostage for a round, nor is it fair.
-People don't want to wait for the blob or flock to get the green text: "YOU WIN" if they technically already lost and are unable to fight back.

Pretty much it doesn't matter where your boat flows, but it's kinda lame for a single antag to be given up on due to their appereance. Since you do not PICK WICH ANTAGONIST YOU ARE! It's not like the blob or flock can say: "I could have played wizard..."

From what I can catch I am still for "Delaying the shuttle and forcing the crew to do something against the blob/flock to arrive it soon" so they can't just give up right away, but at the same time.. if the antagonist is TOO hard to fight against or TOO ANNOYING maybe it's time we change some things.

Mayhapse Cargo should get options like:
"Blob eradication kit"
"Blob containment supplies"
"Flock disposal Gear"

So they can order weapons/chemicals/gear for security and normal crew could use. We already have "anti singularity gear" for when that goes to shit.
But that's the last "brainstorm" suggestion i could add.

Otherwise I think we discussed this enough since it will only bounce back to:
"I want people to stop shuttling"
and followed up:
"But shuttling is good, because... XYZ"

If anything it has only proven there is more need for counterplay and more fun interactions with these antagonists.
At least for Flock-

Flock has some shuttle call protection with the Relay. When the Relay is built, it prevents the shuttle from being called, it auto-recalls the shuttle if it is in transit to the station, and if the shuttle is at the station it changes the shuttle time to leave from two minutes to [Relay time to explode + two minutes].

Only problem currently is that yeah, for the shuttle call being delayed if the shuttle is at the station and the Relay is built, many people stay at the shuttle and the Relay goes off with little resistance. Possible solution would be to just make the Relay transmission an instant round end, which is already at least planned for the round start Flock game mode.

Partial problem with mid round major antag spawns is that they are mid round antags, may be unfair to the crew in some instances to instantly delay the game by 10 - 20 minutes when there's a chance the station could go downhill at any point, independent of the mid round antag that just spawned. Could always add some exceptions like checking for number of players dead, but the station can also have a bunch of turfs destroyed or air missing with many people alive which checking for starts to get complicated. Also, could be sort of a meta thing to call the shuttle, see a message about it being denied, and instantly know that there's a mid round antag that hasn't been discovered.
Okay, how about an inbetween idea? Hear this out. What if these antags just made the shuttle arrival time longer? Like ten minutes instead. This does not fully prevent the crew from running away, but gives the antag/player the time to actually do a bit more stuff. Worst case scenario if you say that every player is dead and it's a slog or whatever- worst case scenario it's just an extra five minutes people have to wait.

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