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How To Make Explo Curse Your Name: A Guide To Provocateur

Discussion in 'Tutorials & Information' started by RustingWithYou, Mar 29, 2020.

  1. Provocateurs are some of the funnest quasi-antags on Bay IMO, but, like all antags, they're full of people being shit. So I decided to write this handy guide for newcomers to Vox, Ascent and Skrell to learn how to Provac good.

    Most important thing: Provac is, as the startup message says, not a license to kill. This doesn't mean you CAN'T kill - the devs put all those lovely lethal weapons in your spawn for a reason, after all - just that you should try to avoid it where possible. Running up to explo as a gyne and crushing the pathfinder whole doesn't really make fun RP for anyone, and like any antag your job is to make the game more fun.

    So, when should you kill someone? That varies from species to species, so I'll cover that more in the individual sections. Now, a bit more on what you should try to do and avoid when interacting with away teams and offship spawns.

    1. Cause Problems On Purpose
    You are still, technically, an antagonist, meaning your job is to antagonise and otherwise interact with offships. Now, you don't have to do that - I've had a lot of fun rounds as Vox just vibing with my fellow shitbirds - but generally, you shouldn't AVOID explorers/offship spawns. In fact, fucking around with offship spawns is highly recommended. After all, why did God put the Verne there if not for the Vox to take it as their own or for the Ascent to get new test subjects?
    Antagonising explo is a bit murkier with regards of what you're allowed to do. Kidnapping three explorers without saying a word is bad, as I learned the hard way. However, a general rule of thumb is that if they're not on the Torch, they're fair game. I'll list some general ways in which you can antagonise explo/mining down below, as it varies between the three provocateur types in-game.

    2. Try To Make It Fun
    Your goal as any antag should be to make the game more enjoyable for everyone. Try and RP with away sites as much as possible, and if you get an opportunity to interact with the Torch, great! Just try and get admin permission first. Which leads me to my third point, which is...

    3. Who To Fuck With And When
    Opening with that any away site is fair game for you to mess around with. If it's an offship spawn, try and RP with them somewhat, even if that's difficult due to language barriers e.g offships not speaking Zurich, Ascent not speaking any human languages, etc. As for away teams, then it gets a bit more complicated.

    Interact with away teams when you're on the same away site as them
    Make life difficult for them on purpose
    Fuck with them insofar as it benefits you

    Follow the Torch around all game and then pounce on explo as soon as they leave
    Kill them without a valid reason (This one should be obvious)
    Start fights without at least a little RP first.

    As for the Torch, that's off-limits. You aren't allowed to go there, you should avoid calling them unless you need to and you're not allowed to storm the Bridge with 6 alates and declare it the newest ship in the Ascent fleet.

    There are exceptions to this. If the Torch has fucked with you, well, eye for an eye and all that. If someone drunkenly calls the seedship from the mess hall and insults the gyne to her face, well, no one will fault you for demanding their head in return. If the Torch has retrieved a Vox corpse, it's your solemn duty to the Apex to retrieve the stack regardless of where it is. A general rule of thumb is - if the away team has done something to demand your continued intervention, or if the Torch contacts you themselves, you are allowed to show up there. Otherwise, stick to messing with away sites.

    Other provacs are free to mess with, but just a request, don't go to the Vox base and murder everyone there. It's the only one without protection, it's a dick move, just don't do it man. If you're Skrell, Ascent or Vox and you're on an exoplanet, feel free to fight, talk or loot to your heart's content. And if you're the poor colonist whose planet just turned into the start of the next Skrell-Ascent War, get ready to sell your story to Nyx Daily for a fat payout.

    Now, onto the specifics. There are three Provocateur roles in game - Ascent seedship, Skrell scout vessel, and the Chadliest of all, the Vox Box. (Vox maintainers I love you pls gib Armalis soon). As someone with some experience in all three of these, I'll sort of give a brief rundown on how specifically to antagonise away teams, as well as a few tips.

    First, the one I have the most personal experience with - the Shoal Forward Base, AKA the Vox Box.
    Now, firstly, as a Vox, your goal is to salvage, because unlike those fancy Ascent with their fusion reactors and the Skrell with their multi-z-level ship, your home base is a pile of shit. It is falling apart, the shuttle barely works, and you have bits of dead human lying in the fridge. Also, unlike the other provocateurs, your home base doesn't move. You'll be relying solely on the shuttle to get around, and booooy does that suck for you because the Vox shuttle is barely functional. First off. If you spawned late and your kin already took the shuttle, ahelp to get a teleport there. If there are no admins online, then, well, get fucked. Your kin don't know you're there, can't communicate with you, and likely won't come back home all round.

    If the shuttle is still there, first things first. Drag those useless TEGs out, they don't work. You'll be using the tritium-fueled portable generators aboard the shuttle for power, so try and get yourself some raw hydrogen if it's included in the asteroid map and get some more, as well as grabbing any spare from the station. Get voidsuits, nitrogen, and all the guns your base spawned with. I personally like to tear down the wall into the burn chamber, rip the injectors out, and move the medical bay in there, because if your dipshit Quill fought a space pike hand to hand and got their lungs ripped out, you don't have time to get your ass back to the station for surgery. Grab any other remotely useful equipment that can fit on your shuttle, because you won't be coming back here any time soon. Also bring the alien rig suits, they're your only way of moving in EVA. Before you leave, use the slug sling and plant slugeggs all over the asteroid, just so Torch mining knows they can't have nice things.

    As for guns. The meat guns you spawn with range from good to complete shit, and you'll probably get better ones from away sites. Maybe take a pistol if it's there - ballistic is better as you can hack the autolathe to print more ammo, but you do have a recharger in the armory, make sure to take it with you. Next, Vox guns. All Vox guns have infinitely regenerating ammo and can't be used by non-Vox. I'll list them here.

    Slug Sling: A defensive weapon, though you can set it to impact in a pinch. Has two modes, sentry and impact. In sentry mode, plants eggs that will hatch into slugs if a non-Vox walks over them. In impact mode, the slugs will hatch on hitting. Slugs will burrow into any non-Vox flesh, eating their organs and giving them severe PTSD from the sheer "What the fuck" factor of it.

    Dart gun: Only Vox weapon without regenerating ammo. Fires darts full of chemicals that will put most organics to sleep very quickly. Not Skrell, though. Don't use them on Skrell, as their high toxin resistance and, if it's the provoc Skrell, their armored voidsuits, will make dart guns pretty much useless on them, as a few Vox players have learned the hard way. Good for non-lethal takedowns, but probably the worst of the Vox weapons unless you're trying to be stealthy, as it makes pretty much no sound.

    Soundcannon: Fires sonic blasts. A middling weapon, not as situational as the slug sling, and with the most shots of the Vox weapons. It deals damage, and probably has other effects I don't know because my offship characters are smart and don't get shot by Vox.

    Spikethrower: The weapon of kings. Only three shots, but they COUNT. Launches a metal spike with extreme force, hard enough to pin the unfortunate victim to a wall if shot with it. You should probably leave them if they're pinned, so long as they don't have a loaded gun of their own, as it stops them from moving without severe blood loss/even more damage. A very good weapon, until an update breaks pinning and makes it useless again.

    Flux Cannon: The big daddy of Vox guns, the Flux Cannon fires sci-fi bullshit purple lasers. It's powerful, it's hitscan, it shoots through windows and it can be set to stun, shock or kill like most energy guns. Generally if there's a Quill, they'll grab this bad boy. Probably the best Vox gun in terms of raw damage output, and has more shots than the spikethrower.

    Now you're ready to go. As Vox, your primary mission is to take salvage. Take generators, materials, fuel, weapons, entire ships if you can get away with it (the best Vox round I've ever seen involved someone stealing the seedship and a VERY angry gyne left on an exoplanet. In the likely event that you can't pull that off, the Verne is pretty easy to fix too). If it's there and it has a use, the Vox can and will take it.

    For RP, remember Vox are pragmatic above all else. Any Vox lost is irreplacable to the Shoal, so if your kin get killed in the field, for the Auralis's sake GET THEIR CORPSE BACK (or at least the cortical stack). This is your number one priority if someone dies. Sadly you can't actually bring back dead Vox in-game yet, but it's fun RP anyway. Also, because lost stacks are such a disaster, always be cautious. Don't start fights with meat, and if they have you outnumbered and outgunned retreat unless there's no other option. Generally you want to be sneaky if stealing from armed people, or just walk right in like you own the place (which you soon will) otherwise. And don't kill people for a random reason, it's a waste of good ammo. Just ignore meat unless they can either help you get more loot, or are preventing you from getting more loot in any way. Vox can start with several human languages, and I recommend it - it's always fun to chat to the disgusting meat.

    Ascent are probably the most prone to shittery of the provocateurs, for two reasons. One, they have very powerful equipment and two, they're not whitelisted. Anyone can spawn as a drone or an alate. If you do choose drone or alate, there is one rule above all else: The Gyne's word is law. If you're a control mind you can be slightly more free-willed: you aren't obligated to throw your life away on an order - you are a free citizen of the Ascent with rights, but the gyne is still your ruler and you should obey her as much as you reasonably can. As an alate, reason goes out the question. Your gyne is like a god to you - follow her orders without question, even if doing so gets you killed. If the gyne tells you to beat a GAS to death with your bare hands, you will die trying. If she tells you to get on the table because you're out of food and she's peckish, you do so happily. There's a pretty good Ascent RP guide on the wiki, and I recommend you read it:

    Aside from this, Ascent are proud motherfuckers. Don't start fights unless your gyne orders you too, but for every primitive you meet, remember that you are better than them and that they should know it.

    If you're a gyne, you have an ego the size of a small moon. You are, as far as you and your simps alates are concerned, the single most perfect and important being in the universe. If a primitive insults you, punish it accordingly, or have one of your alates do it. If they dare to ATTACK you, crush them in your bare hands and stare their fellow apes in the eyes while doing it.

    You don't need salvage or most of what the offship spawns have. So get creative with reasons for your gyne to interact with them - perhaps she's scientifically inclined, doing experiments to see if primitives can ever be worthy of joining the Ascent, or an archaeologist searching for ancient artifacts even more advanced than the Ascent's own technology. I remember a great round as a colonist where the Ascent showed up, informed us we were their subjects, and used imprinting implants to make us worship the gyne as a god. It was fantastic, and a great model for good Ascent RP.

    The Ascent don't get the wide array of weapons the Vox do - they get two powerful energy guns, the handheld particle projector and the rifle-style particle lance. The gyne gets a particle lance in her hardsuit, along with a flechette rifle that can pierce walls and a nanoblade which, like all hardsuit melee weapons right now, doesn't work. But as a gyne, you don't need a melee weapon - you ARE a melee weapon. Gynes are incredibly strong, capable of effortlessly grabbing and crushing smaller creatures, and knocking primitives down in a few powerful blows. Don't worry about melee combat as a gyne. Unless you're fighting a GAS or a Vox Armalis, you'll win for sure.

    As an Alate, you can wear your gear harness holding all your tools and particle projector on your belt. Which is good, you'll need it to make room for the hardsuit - although the hardsuit contains all the tools as well. Carry a particle lance with you at all times, and don't worry too much about suit power or internals - they replenish over time. Be careful with jetpacks, though, as they can drain your gas reactor faster than it regenerates.

    As a drone, you're not built for combat. You have a few non-lethals up your sleeve, though I can't remember what as I don't play drone often. I think there's a flash, and maybe a particle projector? Anyway, let the gyne, alates and, if they're ever added, serpentids do the fighting.

    As anything but gyne, you kill when she orders you to. As a gyne, have primitives killed or otherwise punished for their defiance if they dare to resist or inconvenience you in any way, otherwise overlook them unless they have something you want. If the Torch offends you in some way or if they harbor someone who did, call them up and order them to relinquish the offender to face the harsh justice of the gyne - better yet, get an alate or drone to do it, why sully your divine mouth speaking to ape scum?

    Remember, the Skrell are not primitives - they're the ancient rivals of the Ascent, and the only race in-game to be considered their peers. Don't kiss their asses, but accord them the respect due to an unfriendly but equal power. And try and avoid killing Skrell if you can, no one wants another war.

    One last important thing: Uplifting. As an alate, take surgery skills and I'll tell you why. UPLIFTING PRIMITIVES. Any non-Mule race (don't take mules anyway, they're awful and deserve immediate death for being inbred fucks) can have a system controller implanted into their upper body, allowing them to speak on Worldnet. This can be useful for communication and roleplay - you might even decide this makes them somewhat less primitive, and treat them with a measure of dignity. So many people don't know this can be done, and it saddens me - just remember, NEVER ABDUCT MULES. THEY'RE AWFUL.

    I'll add a section for monarch serpentids when they're actually playable, because god knows the shitshow of non-whitelisted serpentids will need a guide.

    Good news, they fixed the warble ship! Now your ship has a magic power stack, and will, generally, work. Power on those shields, warble with intensity, and there's no other prep to do because now the airlocks aren't horribly broken. Grab your handgun - basically a smaller AEG - your voidsuit, a relay positioner, your energy machete and a rifle and get ready to fuck with some away sites...

    EXCEPT, Skrell are a lot harder to antagonise as than Ascent or Vox, due to their cordial relations with humanity. Now, different city-states vary, and as a military vessel on a mission you don't have to help the Torch - though that can be fun, and I usually rescue offships as my Skrell character if they need it. But as a Skrell, you shouldn't open fire on humans UNLESS they attack you first. Even then, you have stuns for a reason, try and use them.

    As a Skrell, you are professional and dedicated. You have a mission here, coordinate with any other Skrell to decide what it is. Follow your Qrri-Vuxix's orders if there is one, and get the job done. Don't antagonise exploration, maybe even talk with them - but don't let anyone get in your way in this mission. Skrell are the trickiest provoc to play purely because of the difficulty of antagging, and I personally am still quite bad at starting conflicts with away teams, hence Javon-Q-1985 saying my battle-hardened Raskinta-Katish was a 'chill guy'.

    And that concludes my provocateur guide. If you have any other tips I missed, info I got wrong or general vibing, please post it here, I'd really appreciate it.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
  2. Roth

    Roth Petty Officer First Class

    Nice Guide. Thumbs Up! ;)
    RustingWithYou likes this.
  3. Astrospacedude

    Astrospacedude Bartender

    Can you tell me how to do the uplifting?
  4. Yes - the Ascent ship medbay has a bunch or items called 'system controllers' - these are cybernetic implants that let whoever you install them in speak Worldnet. They're also used as Ascent IDs, so be careful with that knowledge. You implant them in the upper body and bam, your victim can now communicate via Worldnet.