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Ascent feedback poll.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Loaf, Nov 28, 2019.

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How do you feel about the Ascent as it currently exists ingame?

  1. I enjoy seeing them in a round and think they add to the game overall.

    21.2%
  2. I have a few small problems with them but overall I think they are a positive inclusion.

    40.4%
  3. I have several major problems with them and am on the fence about their inclusion.

    19.2%
  4. I think they are flawed to the point of being detrimental to the game, but have potential if fixed.

    9.6%
  5. I think they are completely detrimental to the game and should not be included.

    1.9%
  6. I have no idea what the Ascent is.

    7.7%
  1. Loaf

    Loaf Developer Ascent Species Maintainer Deputy Vox Maintainer

    Curious to see how people feel about them several months after their addition.
    None of this is actionable, it's purely for the sake of gauging how well they came through.
     
  2. mikomyazaki2

    mikomyazaki2 Petty Officer First Class

    Hi Zuh. Nice to see you around again.

    I put -- I have several major problems with them and am on the fence about their inclusion -- And here's my thoughts on that (sorry if it gets a bit long):

    I was excited for the Ascent's inclusion, and played in some of the first rounds they were in. But I've been away for much of the time the Ascent have been available -- I've seen them in a few recent rounds over the past week however. So I can't really tell you exactly how they've declined since what I saw in the first few rounds, but I can tell you what they look like to me now.

    So the problems I've seen:
    • In terms of RP toward the Torch - They don't feel like the 'advanced and powerful alien race' they're supposed to. I think people aren't taking the 'humans are basically below our notice' thing to heart. e.g. In a recent round the Gyne harassed the Torch for an hour+ critiquing their fashion and interior design, forcing them to repaint parts of the ship purple and change their clothes. I have a really hard time taking that seriously. I've not met the Ascent as Exploration, but I think this is where people have done the best job RPing them.
    • Holocomm translation bug affects them, I think they would feel more alien and difficult to deal with if they couldn't constantly harass the Torch via the holocall, without a translator or Skrell or something. In my opinion they really shouldn't be talking to the Torch frequently/at all.
    • They have powerful technology. This is represented in-game by powerful items stat-wise. I'm not sure this is a good way to represent their tech difference. Rather than having powerful technology reflected in stats for armor and weapons, which can only lead to unfair fights or situations (and potential abuse by players), I'd prefer if the Ascent had more special abilities from their technology, that are visible to the Torch and let them show off their power. Like maybe the ability to skip-jump across the overmap occasionally. I feel like having an ability the Torch does not, is way more interesting than having armor that blocks unfair amounts of damage, or a laser that never runs out of power. (Note - There is/was a PR by Chinsky to implement armour durability, plus one by yourself Zuh that is lowering their extremely high ballistic resistance that affects part of this note.)
    • Their ships are too fast and maneuverable, the Torch doesn't even have the option to *try* to run away from them, which is the only option the Torch has vs. the Ascent if they feel threatened. This makes the Torch feel helpless and doesn't produce a fun round if the Ascent start getting hostile. Slow down the Ascent ships to something similar to the Torch + shuttles (do the same for the Skrell ship too). They have unending fuel and power, that represents their technology. The Seedship does not necessarily have to represent the best of Ascent technology, does it? It's a wandering colony craft. It can be made of outdated components just like the Torch is, and the rest of the Ascent could still keep their overwhelming power.
    • No MSQ yet. These are meant to be the balancing factor vs. the Gynes to help with diplomacy, and so far as I can tell no one really fills this role as I tried to in the first Ascent round with their Control Mind RP. I think these being included will help, since the Gyne RP is getting a bit silly sometimes. GAS RPers have always been very good in my experience and I look forward to them having a new race to play.

    Do you feel people are RPing with the Torch how you expected them to when you created the species? I think it needs to be considered a bit more from the Torch's perspective (and for the future when we have other overmap roles that aren't super-hi-tech aliens).

    Ascent are cool - But I'd prefer to see some more races that aren't as technologically advanced as humanity added in future. I think we have more than enough between the Skrell, Vox, Ascent, Vigil, IPCs and Dionaea.


    TL;DR - I think high numbers isn't the best way to represent technology superiority due to how players (inevitably?) act, and I think the Gyne RP has gotten a bit out of hand/ridiculous. Overall it's been interesting to have them added, but I'm worried things will decline further. I remember the reactions in the first rounds of Ascent being way more appropriate.
     
  3. Rodmuth

    Rodmuth Petty Officer First Class

    I voted "I have a few small problems with them but overall I think they are a positive inclusion."

    In fact, I have -one- small problem with them.

    They are in too many shifts and quickly went from "Oh my god, its those super strong aliens that may have killed another sol ship!" to "Ascent ship on grid 22-14"
     
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  4. MrGodZilla

    MrGodZilla Bartender

    Finally, a good place to see what most agree on for Ascent. I put down "I have a few small problems with them but overall I think they are a positive inclusion."

    Myazaki pretty much nailed most of the issues, but I wanted to input something about Ascent and their relation with the Torch.

    First off, the holocomms bug (or oversight,) as already mentioned, is basically the one way Ascent can actually talk with the Torch at the moment, and it's being abused. Ascent policy on the Torch has seemingly tilted between "You can interact with the Torch, but you can't board them without explicit permission," to "Completely ignore the torch and any of its personnel. Period." There's no clear definitive standard of what Ascent should be doing with regard to the Torch, and because Ascent at the moment is basically just glorified exploration with the occasional base-building aspects thrown in (which is disappointingly not fun, surprise, you can't find a planet and build a colony in less than 3 hours,) many Gyne seem to engage in communication with the Torch or actively seek them out in some way. Intent on this really doesn't matter, command will often delay exploration and try to evade the Ascent because of course they will, they're giant-fuck-off-murder-death-aliens to them and don't want their infamously clumsy and dumb exploration team 100 km within the Ascent. Exploration often gets shafted because of this, that's the entire purpose of the ship and a department null and void.

    Whether this has to do with the behavior of public slots like Alate or Drone is unknown, but the Gynes are usually the ones who participate in and sometimes encourage this kind of open communication. The Gyne has the final say in all matters aboard the seedship, and the Gyne should have a good understanding of not only the standards for their race, but the standards for their soft-antag role.

    That being said, the Ascent have a lot of potential to be an interesting dynamic for the overmap and exploration. The moments where explorers find a pack of Ascent roaming the same planet as them and gawking in fear/surprise as the Ascent pay them no mind seem golden in comparison to the rotten moments. That's what I think Ascent should at least strive to be, an unknown force, an almost-mythical power that nobody really understands, except the Skrell of course. Give Torch less of an "Ah, shit, the Ascent..." and more of a "Oh fuck. The ascent." if that makes any sense. EDIT: As Rodmuth posted, returning the Ascent back to their status of rarity might be the necessary sacrifice to maintain their awe and novelty.

    As for their arguably overpowered gear... I'm actually fine with it. For now. When (If?) Hunter ever gets added, obviously the ridiculous hardsuits will be given to them and the seedship will be left with the voidsuits, but for now, I think the overpowered gear kinda illustrates the point that you're not supposed to be provoking them, because they're a true threat. Otherwise, they want nothing to do with you, and they wouldn't even want to waste their time trying to shoot you or maybe even risk you putting a small dent in their shiny armor. Yes, everyone wants to slay a Gyne and brag about it, but that shouldn't be easy in the slightest.

    The ship CAN be nerfed though and I wouldn't mind. The infinite fuel is nice and all, but maybe the ship could be slower so it doesn't literally (I've seen it happen,) fly circles around the Torch while insulting their bridge's interior decor? It'd make things a little slower so the Ascent don't run around the whole overmap and find everything in an hour.

    But yeah, TL;DR, enforce a standard and make sure every Gyne knows it by heart. Encourage the Ascent to be conductors of fun, non-self-serving RP.
     
  5. tomdroid

    tomdroid Game aadmin Game Administrator

    I voted "I have a few small problems with them but overall I think they are a positive inclusion." My issues with them is that there really isn't much to do with them. You can do an exploration, but because most away sites try to tell a story ( and you don't care about that story, because it is entirely a primitive affair), and any loot you find is obsolete due to obvious reasons, there really isn't much to do there. So, you have a few options. Wait for explo to show up, which entirely depends on explo actually getting ready, and nothing happening to stop that ( Traitors, slow ass pathfinders, your own presence causing the torch to do a grounding). If that does happen, then you can't even roleplay with the explorers due to the fact that unless a skrell happens to be on the team, you can't communicate in any meaningful way. So, you can't really do anything but ignore them, which may be the intent. The explorers are stuck basically just trying to bow and hope they don't get memed on. You can interact with the Torch, which is, well... It was very funny but I don't think it was any fun for anyone on the Torch that one round. I think the inclusion of MSQ is heavily needed if ascent is to be a feature-complete race.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2019
  6. Persona E

    Persona E Game Administrator

    I voted "I have several major problems with them and am on the fence about their inclusion." That's stronger wording than I'd have used, though.

    First, I feel that I don't have the tools needed to moderate them properly. Their responsibilities and limitations as antagonists are not clear to me, so I'm regularly asking Gyne-whitelisted staff or their maintainer whether or not certain actions are appropriate. Since only the Gyne role is whitelisted, issues that could simply be referred to a maintainer for whitelisted roles usually can't be referred to the Ascent maintainer.

    Second, I'm hesitant about them from a game balance perspective. They are (intentionally) way over-tuned, which is OK in a strictly controlled environment - we certainly don't have issues with GAS or railgun-toting Skrell going on murder sprees - but I don't fully perceive what limitations they have that bring them into line. I certainly have seen Ascent go on murder sprees at least once, so when and where and why is that acceptable?

    I'm not informed enough about the Ascent - that's the point of my post - so I'm not calling for their removal or even for their blanket whitelisting. I just feel that both game staff and prospective non-Gyne Ascent players need some documentation that clearly and concisely lays out their expected role, what they do and do not know about humans, and what expectations and limits they have as antagonists. A prospective player who has never played this game before should be able to find information on what they cannot do in that role, because without a whitelist, we cannot expect them to do any more investigation than skimming the rules before playing them. (What I will suggest is, if we need them to know this stuff, why not a super easy "I have read such and such on the wiki and would like to play Ascent" whitelist for non-Gynes?)
     
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  7. Karbivio

    Karbivio Ascent Species Maintainer

    I voted 'I have a few small problems with them but overall I think they are a positive inclusion.', and most of my opinions line up with Myazaki's. The lack of MSQ is really harmful to the overall tone that the Ascent are meant to give; without the diplomatic balancing factor in RP, gynes have no reason not to throw their weight around from an IC perspective. I've considered rewriting Kharmaani to be less aggressive until monarch serpentids are in just to alleviate this, given that it's a core part of how they're meant to interact with others.

    Related to that, I don't think having 'overpowered' equipment is a bad thing when the species isn't inclined to use it as their first option. It allows them to present an actual, credible threat when they need to, unlike even heavily armed antags like mercs that get steamrolled by a semi-coordinated Torch. It's also worth noting that they're balanced against vox and skrell, which both have weapons that easily work against Ascent armor.

    In terms of rules for interacting with the Torch (and thus avoiding the balance nightmare altogether), it's difficult to not influence the Torch while still existing on the overmap. Awe and novelty doesn't carry 3 hour rounds, and the entire purpose of the Ascent building a colony is to facilitate RP with away sites, not to just build with incomplete equipment. The problem is that by simply being present, the Torch will actively avoid whatever the Ascent are also interacting with, which puts a damper on exploration's round. I'm not entirely sure how to fix this, because in most cases the problem stems from exploration stumbling into the Ascent and starting some sort of conflict, even when the Ascent players are doing as they're meant to and trying to ignore them.

    A clear and concise guide for what Ascent players should and shouldn't be doing would be helpful. I'll probably write one up at some point in the near future, because both my and the other gyne players' rule knowledge stems only from discussion on Discord as far as I can tell.
     
  8. SierraKomodo

    SierraKomodo Command Keyword Detected

    So far my only experiences with Ascent have been one of three things:

    1: We see an ascent ship and nothing happens and they may as well not exist.

    2: The ascent show up and everyone goes full panic, shuts everything down, exploration gets cockblocked from exploring any nearby sites, and the bridge gets to spend 3 hours playing 'Oh my gyne I am just a lowly Igor to you my gyne'

    3: Adminbus gives ascent permission to roflstomp the Torch and nobody can do anything about it, resulting in a round worse than a merc team full of murderboners.

    I've not have any positive experiences with the ascent where I can say I actually enjoyed the round.
     
  9. BigPapa

    BigPapa Bartender

    Hi I'm a little late to this discussion but I figured it's a good opportunity to throw my hat in the ring and offer an opinion.
    As a certified explo main I have to agree with Sierra's quick little summary as well as Karb's post. Basically the Ascent are designed and have been introduced in such a way that the only options to interact with them are often either: In fear and doing whatever it is we have to do so the bug people don't blow up our ship like the Magnus oh god or Completely ignoring them and moving to the other side of the map if you see them. This makes them the utter bane of existence for explo because as far as the usual interactions go they exist purely to cockblock. OOCly everyone knows they can't just board the Torch and start a killing spree. ICly? Well as far as I'm aware our only possible knowledge of them is from the "Magnus report" or whatever everyone else calls their source of knowledge regarding what happened to the ship. In short the Ascent as far as humans know ICly are just giant purple murderbugs.

    Now all of that said I have, actually, had decent interactions with the Ascent. Especially when they were first introduced (which was at a time where I was taking a semi-break from explo). The language barrier and having to use expressive emotes can be fun RP. I'd like to note Karbivio as a good Gyne player since all of my interactions with them playing Ascent have been very entertaining. Often I think some of the problems that happen in away teams interacting with the Ascent is due to over zealous Alates or stupid explorers but that's not meant to understate the flaws with the Ascent as a whole.

    I feel like I just said a whole lot while saying nothing at the same time so I'm just going to end this with: The Ascent simply need to be less hostile in nature, possibly need a retcon regarding humanity's first meeting with them, and potentially a whitelist for Alates and control minds.

    I just want to reiterate that this is all from the perspective of a Exploration player. I have no idea what it looks like behind the scenes in terms of the Ascent players but I'm sure there's plenty I'm being ignorant of and I know that not all of the problem is on their side. I want the Ascent to continue being an overmap race, I really do. They're an interesting race, but frankly something needs to either be added or changed because otherwise they're just doing nothing but fucking over explo or having a tea party on some random away site on the other side of the map.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019 at 10:58 PM
  10. WickedCybs

    WickedCybs Game Moderator

    I've had a lot of good experiences with the Ascent, but it requires meeting a Gyne that doesn't shut down RP or use their equipment to just stomp what isn't even opposition. Being able to talk, negotiate. That's fun. Just being powerless or pigeonholed into one outcome isn't. I usually play Skrell, so I get more interactions with the Ascent. The good interactions? Most weren't done via holopad. Talking to the Ascent through a holopad really feels like a waste of time right now. Get called up, talk, hear about how the Gyne plans on doing something, no the Torch can't prevent it, also hello frog. I personally just ignore them when possible, and ignoring the Ascent is really the only good outcome, but then they'll call the mess hall or some other likely occupied location and someone is bound to pick it up.

    Encountering Ascent on offmap sites generally feels a lot better to me. One time I've fixed up a yacht with the help of two salvage techs, Ascent noticed and came in for a closer look. They found us, and then there was a lot of negotiation and dialogue, trying to get everyone out safely and actually getting chances from the Gyne's player to do just that. Didn't end well for the yacht crew, but things developed at least. Roleplay versus I'll be taking everyone now.

    Now, when there's opposition to the Ascent. If you're being shot at by someone using a laser that cannot even bypass your armour and hurt you, is your first response to just kill them instantly? That's just how many engagements seem to go. The whole "stomping" tends to be overblown though in my opinion, but the feeling that it could happen does make crew act very desperate and hysterical even when the seedship hasn't moved from its spawn point all round or Ascent on some offmap are outright ignoring them. The lore doesn't help this.

    Some guidelines as mentioned earlier in this thread and a less hostile stance would probably do some good.
     
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  11. Omi

    Omi Bartender

    As an exploration main, Ascent are second only to Charon-related traitor/merc gimmicks in their ability to totally torpedo your round. Unless you happen to be playing a skrell or be the Pathfinder, your scope for interaction with them is very limited, and every encounter plays out more or less the same way: the second they're spotted everyone is called on to regroup, whereupon everybody either stands around staring at the collection of purple bugs watching the skrell (if any) talk to them or the pathfinder trying to use Me emotes in a way that makes even a vague amount of sense.

    They are a non-issue at best and round-ending at worst -- at least in the sense that the normal gameplay and roleplay loop for an explorer goes out the window the second they show up. You can't talk to them, you can't aggress them, you can't do anything except either stand there or just leave, and it makes a lot more sense for a (supposedly) highRP server's characters to bail immediately the second the purple menace shows up.

    Honestly, they need more ways to communicate with non-skrell, not less. Focusing the potential of their faction entirely down to the limited number of skrell players -- or a holopad translation bug -- acting as translators just handicaps the whole thing from the word go. The air of mystique has already long since been lost. Making them less dangerous as a whole might also help -- if the Torch stood even a small or decent chance of asserting itself when pushed into a corner, assuming a sizeable deployment of security and maybe e-arm weapons, there might be more scope for encounters more broad than "ignore them" or "do everything they say or we might die".

    My only good encounters with Ascent have been as off-Torch survivor roles. Every other encounter has been nothing less than a waste of my time, to put it bluntly.
     
  12. Roth

    Roth Chef

    To keep it short, as most people have aired out the main points, I want to say that I think the point of them being... mysterious and ambiguous is kind of ruined. In rounds where I do see them, I just think of them as som race that will kill you in seconds if you don't do as they say - and they'll make you do whatever they want. They kind of barge into away sites and sort of ruin the flow of exploration too, we basically have to go 'well, okay, they're here now, time to go.' I think one big step is to have the holo communicator fixed so they can't call in to say some bizarre shit like 'oh you people are so out of style...'
     
  13. flying_loulou

    flying_loulou Sol Gov Pilot

    Well I'm late and a lot of people have already pointed out what I'm about to say, so I'll try to keep it short :
    Ascents are, basically, a good idea, yet...

    You never get to meet them in game, and whenever you do, I never saw them have a positive impact on the round. They were always detrimental, either ruining the round by killing the whole exploration staff/the whole Torch, or by using their superiority to order the Torch around, forcing people to do things they don't want to do (because heh, either you comply, or you die).

    There is no way to deal with the ascents ICly, because of the advantages they are given (armors, suits, guns, the fact that any ascent can fight while, on the Torch, only security is supposed to, so basically they outnumber you, et caetera...). Which, as I already said, basically forces the people playing on the Torch to comply. I don't feel this adds any fun to the game, and find it quite irritating when they put a full-stop to your round because "unga you didn't want to become a slave, this is what you get".
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019 at 11:48 AM
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