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Discussion Removing Explorers

Discussion in 'Suggestions & Feedback' started by Tennessee116, Mar 19, 2021.

  1. Tennessee116

    Tennessee116 Petty Officer First Class

    I heard this idea once in OOC, and I personally support it. As the title suggests, removing the Explorer job would possibly be a positive concept. By removing them and instead extending its job responsibilities to all EC crew, I believe it would come with four primary advantages.
    • There wouldn't be high influxes of people doing "nothing" because they can't do their primary job responsibilities. This means Explorers wouldn't be shuffling around because they can't explore, and bored EC crew could go on expeditions.
    • Other departments would benefit from the extra players who would otherwise fill the exploration department.
    • It'd help to reinforce the third directive of the EC, that all EC members are explorers.
    • Exploration would likely be more specialist-based, rather than everyone being a generic explorer.
    There are, however, some drawbacks to this. First and foremost, there would be problems with how access to exploration's equipment would work. I'd have to guess the pathfinder would have to grant temporary access (via the flight plan possibly?) in order to not have half the crew being able to access machetes on demand.

    Would it be a good idea?
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2021
    Ozwell, Lindhrive and Gysilian like this.
  2. Chinsky

    Chinsky Retired Staff

    It wasn't a good idea when it was like that.

    That's exactly how 'exploration' worked before dedicated department was created. Randos from various departments would be pulled over and sent on away mission. The dedicated job slots exist because /not everyone who joined as random job want to go on an away mission/. They joined to play whatever role they joined to play, barring emergencies. Away missions pull them away from that, possibly for quite long time (especially with access nightmare of only pathfinder having access).
  3. Tennessee116

    Tennessee116 Petty Officer First Class

    Forcing people to go on away missions is bad, I agree. However, from my recent gameplay during higher population rounds, there's usually multiple non-exploration crew wanting or willing to join the away mission. During lower population rounds, a single explorer being awake usually results in Command forcing people (including non-EC) to go on away mission to appease them. Command rarely forces people to go on away missions if there is nobody in exploration awake. On rounds where the Pathfinder or Shuttle Pilot is awake, they usually accompany the GUP. Forced away missions would probably not occur often enough to be an issue.
    Almost all non-senior personnel have the choice to not being a member of the EC. Oppressing people via lore is bad, however it's a universal understanding that one of the few, basic requirements of playing the EC branch is knowing you might get called to go on an away mission.
    Many of the jobs that would go on away missions are already unofficially integrated into exploration, so they are already being pulled from their on-ship jobs with the explorers. As for access, I think a larger-scale version of the Verne's setup could work, with the pathfinder having access to open a storage shutter, although there's likely a better solution.

    Another argument that can be mentioned is the unga. It's a common occurence of explorers going out of their way to valiantly act as machete-wielding vigilantes because there's no away mission. Too many times have I seen them demand that they participate in security situations because they have machetes and put all their skill points into close combat.

    But I wasn't here to witness explorer-less exploration, so I don't have the authority to say anything outside of "times changed".
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2021
  4. If this isn't the gateway drug to bringing back marines to protect explo, I will be sorely dissappointed.
    CriticalGENERAL and El3ctr1c like this.
  5. Tennessee116

    Tennessee116 Petty Officer First Class

    I don't really know how this would help bring back marines. If anything, it would hinder it. One of the specific goals of removing explorers would be to not make a dedicated team of people who get to go on away missions.

    That being said, Marine Master-at-Arms wouldn't be bad if this gets implemented.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2021
  6. CubecsMelody

    CubecsMelody Petty Officer First Class

    To give my 2 cents to this.

    How it would normally work on a naval vessel and how it would propably also work in an interstellar vessel, is that certain jobs such as Damage control, "Lookout", flight control and similiar are only part time responsibillities or emergency responsibillities, as you have to make due with the cramped enviroment and the limited personal.

    Exploration In my oppinion has the potential to work like that, as explorer explorers have already the potential to "specialise" through skills that unlock them fine specialisation badges. So to imagine an engineer explorer or a corpsman explorer going on an away mission doesnt seem far fetched.
    it additionally would help with the lower standarts that exploration put on itself. I dont think its a secret that explo has a tendency to be a bit unga and sending some people a bit more creative with their RP could help. or even RP at all, as i've seen explorers speedrun planets before.

    For exploration equipment access, there could be a number of solutions, some more difficult to implement then others.
    1. solution would be to give Sec the machetes, the brig chief could hand them out to anyone going on an away mission and the rest of the gear would be stowed away with open access like Emergency 02 Gear.
    2. just have the machetes be open access, but enfore that taking them is still technically stealing or some shit, this could give antags an easly accessible fun toy to play with.
    3. give the explorers an 'explorer armory' where only the Shuttle Pilot, Pathfinder, CSO, XO and CO have access too.
    4. give command the abillity to remotely upgrade someones ID to have explorer access via a PDA pogram.

    Going on an away mission could also be a volunteer thing, potentially.
    Nobody forces anyone to be an explorer, you can be a contractor or Fleetie.

    thoose are my 3 cent, potential solutions, my thoughts. i think it might be worth a try, might fail, might not fail. shit'll get fixed again if need be.

    No. Bad tennessee, baaaddd tennesseeeee
  7. Tennessee116

    Tennessee116 Petty Officer First Class

    Too inaccessible. The gear should be under the access of the pathfinder, and related command. 3 is a better alternative.
    Machetes are reskinned garden hatchets, which are easily available.
    This sounds like an okay, but hard-to-code option.

    The same people who say not to remove Fleet use this defense, so here I am reinforcing it. Also, again, this should be volunteer-only, with only EC crew, being allowed to be voluntold into away missions.

  8. CriticalGENERAL

    CriticalGENERAL Bartender

    In my Experience, and people can correct me if im wrong as this is just from what i have seen and played, there are a few things that always stick out about the Explo team, like at least 80-90% of the time i see someone playing as Explo.

    1) Planets. Planets? Planets... Planets!
    No matter what, i always see the Exploration team and the Charon nearly always go for the nearest planet even if we are right next to a spooky derelict station that should/could totally be looked at and make for an excellent round addition. Like yes, i get that we are looking for planets as one of our 'main goals' but that does not mean we have to do them every single round like its a robotic task that must be done and nothing else, have Exploration go someplace else for once and not just the Planets, the GUP and its tiny (most of the time only one man) team can only go so far before having to die or run away from where-ever it is they go leading to nothing gained for the player or the Torch.

    2) 2 hours is both enough time, and not enough time.
    Each time i have gone out with Exploration i have noticed 4 things happen quite often:
    1, we ship out, land somewhere, do some exploring find nothing/something, then leave right away back to the ship. "oh hey we did our thing for the day, time to do whatever else we want now right?"
    2, we ship out, land somewhere, do actual exploration and in-depth RP, do actual work, bring stuff back for Science, find out there is no science team, drink ourselves silly in the mess hall while our cargo stays locked up on the Charon.
    3, repeat number 2 until back on the Torch, pass everything off to the Science team, go about the rest of the shift helping science or lazing about around the ship with nothing to do, then round end comes and science barely had time to do anything at all or didnt do anything with what we brought anyways.
    4, we ship out, land somewhere, get caught up in super good RP or an event or other players, etc, then all of a sudden the round end vote appears, crew transfer goes through "welp GG, cya, we gotta go or be left to die BYE!" then rush back to the ship so we dont all get left behind.
    (and all of this still goes on no matter what happens/happened on the ship during the round, for all Explo knows the ship could be just fine just to land back into 1/3 of a hanger deck with rads leaking everywhere due to a blown engine core tearing the ship apart)

    3) now what boss... boss? anybody?
    Only explorers join the round and cant go anywhere on their own, for some players that isnt too much of a problem cuz they have great RP lined up as backups for their characters, but others have literally nothing to do, and either Cryo right away or stay in round bored out of their mind doing weak RP until /maybe/ a pilot or pathfinder wake up then its a matter of how much time is actually left to get anything done.

    those are my main observations on the Explo team as it stands right now, /personally/ i feel like the entire crew is meant to be the Exploration team myself, and people try to force it through good RP which is great, like sending a med tech with the rescue suit on, sending an MAA with a lazer Carbine and a security void suit, sending an engineer in a void suit to help watch over the ship or just be on call if anything happens, i feel like the whole "oh just teleport people down if we need them" is a really shit excuse for not sending more people down to begin with, its an away team not a "we are going out for the afternoon, be back before dark" team, and even then they tend to only go to planets, the only time the Torch as a whole gets involved is when there is a distress call, there are other things to do out there to do, but people just seem to not want to do them ever, and that really starts to suck after a while.

    In my own experience i can think of two rounds that stand out:

    1st round: i was a lone Salvage tech, the explo team was maybe 4-5 people strong. we both set off on our own ways, and i headed to a derelict research station a good ways away and Explo went to a fairly close planet (i dont recall what type) i get there, see what kind of station it is, OOC know exactly what to expect while im here and know how far i can push myself even as a lone Unathi, it was the blown to hell research station with the mutated meat monsters and such on it. i kill some brains, kill some worms, get shot at a few times, grab two duffles full of salvage and find some stasis cages, bring back a dead worm and a dead brain in the cages, then head back to the Torch, land in the hanger, report to the DC, come to find out while /all of that/ was going on for me, Explo got scared 10 minutes in and ran back to the Torch with nothing to show for their away mission, AND there was no science personnel to even look at my findings, so i just threw my two duffles in the supply office and recounted my tale to the DC and the Pathfinder that had wandered down in with us till the round end.

    2nd round: i was a contractor shuttle pilot, had a pretty hefty team. myself, 4 explorers, the mech with a good pilot, and a scientist, no pathfinder. We land on a desert planet out in the open near the Torch, pretty standard so far. the team leaves the Charon, and i stay behind, they fight some bugs, get yelled at by some very hostile sounding colonists, then another scientist teleports down, cuz of course they do. Then it gets spooky, the Explo team splits up into separate teams, which is fine cuz it was 3-3 at that point and me on the ship alone, but then i see something moving outside, a person wandering around, i try to raise the teams and ask if anyone is near the shuttle, nobody even cares to respond to me as they are /too busy/ with looking at plants, a downed ship belonging to the colonists, and some alien pillars. i keep trying and still nothing, then the lone person pantomimes they need air for their suit and can see our spare air canister inside the Charon, after trying again to get help, one person starts to come back to check on me and the Charon, one whole person. then they finally get to the Charon after im already cycling the stranger into the airlock so i can give them air, turns out it was a peaceful Terran Mule that gave us a /fair/ trade of a mystery vial that turns you into a /monster/ or some such from what they told us. They leave, everyone comes back, one scientist nearly gets his face blown off by a colonist, we all fly home with plants, the vial, and an alien crystal in tow. land back on the Torch, start putting things away, handing things off to Science, find out there is a crazed gunman on the loose that escaped the Brig, /good stuff/ so then i do the only thing i can do, go to the mess hall, which is FULL of people being served by the bartender non-stop, after about 10 minutes or so i leave cuz its far too crowded and go down to the pilots lounge, where i stay there till the end of the round, all in all i sat around doing next to nothing for almost 40 minutes and nothing even came from what we gave science, the xenobotanist was even down drinking in the bar after we brought them a ton of plants, nothing came from the vial, nothing came from the Crystal, nothing at all happened other then everyone drinking and there being a crazed gunman running around until round end.

    There are most defiantly problems with how Exploration is done right now, even with or without the Explorer position itself, as i said above i think that the entire ship is meant to be exploration, not /just/ the 'away team' that always does the same thing every shift or doesn't get to do anything at all sometimes, its rocky for sure and needs some changes. The Crew of the Torch come from all walks of life and are on the ship for any number of reasons with any number of backgrounds, we can/should make it so its easier for anyone to go on away missions and go do different things while out there, not just go to planet X then come back so you can do nothing else till the round ends. The Explorer, as a role/job, is very flawed, if you take Explorer you are doing one thing and one thing only while on shift, going away, thats it, once you come /back/ from being away what do you have to do on the Torch? nothing, not a single thing is expected of you at all, and thats a problem in itself, once your away mission is done you turn into dead weight unless someone pulls your arm or you drum up some good RP to hold yourself over until round end.

    Sorry if this seems like rambling, but these are just my thoughts on not only Explorers, but Exploration as a whole as it stands right now.
    ProbablyAlice and Tennessee116 like this.
  9. ProbablyAlice

    ProbablyAlice Assistant

    I was the Terran with the vial that round! It was actually one of my better colonist experiences, for whatever reason. The vials had three-eye, which my mule had known to cause psionic episodes in other mules, hence why I said it'd turn you into a 'monster'. That char speaks broken ZAC which I felt fit nicely into a nearly tribal sense of danger surrounding the liquid. It's hard to describe, but I think you get the idea.

    Besides that, I never knew a scientist nearly got shot! What happened there?
    CriticalGENERAL likes this.
  10. CriticalGENERAL

    CriticalGENERAL Bartender

    i dont know for sure what happened but a Scientist called over the Radio as we were getting set to leave saying some Colonist was waving a gun in their face and telling them to "fek off" , one of the explorers already back on the Charon commented "yeah that sounds about right for that nosey loud mouth, at least he didnt get shot" , so i guess it was a common thing for that character.
  11. tomdroid

    tomdroid Game Radmin Game Administrator

    frankly, I don't think the current state of explo will be helped much by detaching it further from the main gameplay of the Torch
    lemme just go on a bit of a rant
    SS13 as a mechanical game is largely based around inter-departmental cooperation in the sense of a loop. You need something that only department X can provide and department Y is bugging you for thing A, and you need department X's thing to make getting A easier, and so on and so forth. This gameplay encourages asking people for help and also gives you something to shoot for because you need to succeed in order to improve the whole station.
    The issue is that explo is basically entirely divorced from the torch's gameplay systems. At *absolute best* they can bring back anomalies/loot for science to look at, but there's no loop there, it's just a straight line to either the petrov or the RND lab.
    Narratively the torch is supposed to be an exploration ship. Exploration should be the crux of the round so to speak, everything else should be improved by it, and improve it. As it stands however it's barely even relevant to the main course of the round. To everyone else, it's "the purple fellas fuck off for two hours and then come back when the vote starts".
    I won't claim to have a resolution to any of these issues, I've more than enough experience to know these sorts of discussions in the forums rarely have actual follow-up changes to the game but hey, I sure can hope can't I?
  12. Tennessee116

    Tennessee116 Petty Officer First Class

    Indeed. The core issue of exploration is indeed its lack of connection and actual gameplay loop, this would only relieve a minor symptom.
    Exploration's round-long expeditions simply cannot be fixed reasonably. Many changes could be made, but it would be extremely hard to find a way to make exploration not be gone for the entire duration of the round.
    Well, as the subforum's description says, the threads are here to be vetoed.

    That being said, I cannot think of a decent way to resolve exploration's issues that would be both fun to play and make sense. This isn't supposed to be the resolution to that issue, but to a seperate one; it's hard to address them individually. I think, at the very least, removing the job and extending its (mostly voluntary) responsibilities to the rank would distribute some extra crew to better departments, and create more diverse expedition crews to add just a little more RP.

    I'll go ahead and work up the PR for this. It's been here for 18 days, and I think I've gathered enough opinions from the people who care to express them.
  13. Kozak411

    Kozak411 Forbidden Moderator Game Moderator

    Hope is sinful, Tomdroid.
  14. Sergeant Adam

    Sergeant Adam Game Administrator Game Administrator

  15. CubecsMelody

    CubecsMelody Petty Officer First Class

    that is because non-planetary away sites arent as random as planets. Veteran Explo players know exacly where the good shit is on derelict stations, what threats await them there and the story of why this place is derelict. There is nothing cool about any of the mysterie stuff there, they dont even try to RP as if they have never seen this before. so they just end up speedrunning everything, so they can get to a planet wich might be more interesting.

    ag! The teleporter, the bane of existence when it comes to exploration.
    The teleporter is shit, it allows exploration to be lazy. Oh forgot an item? well we dont have to improvise, adapt and overcome, nah we can just ask the torch to send it over.
    Some explorer would rather stay on torch and RP with some buddies then come onto the mission? well guess who just teleported onboard an hour later, guess someone got bored.
    Oh there is a threat or medical emergency on the charon and we didnt bring medical or security along? well no proplem, just hop onto the pad and tell the bridge that fuck's shitted, they will send someone over.
    just dont make the teleporters be able to transport people onto shuttles that are across the system.

    Exploration could be implemented into the gameplay loop more, if the items that they could potentially find on planets and derelict stations where key items needed to advance the research tech tree. This of course would require a lot of coding and has proplems on its own, as the away missions themself take 2 hours, so eventually there wouldnt be a point in trying to research certain things if you cant use them regardless.
    This could be fixed by making a seperate exploration tech tree that is completly dependend on the items exploration brings back, that stays between rounds and only gets reset every week or so and additionally could improve all aspects of the torch.
    Ancient gun --> Better weapons for sec
    Ancient bowl --> better booze machines!
    derelict reactor --> better power generation from the SM
    fountian of youth --> better medicine for medical
    Additionally, certain items that are more dangerous and hard to aquire would give greater boons.
    Some of the stuff exploration finds would be massive scientific discoverys, but nobody cares because exploration doesnt care, then science doesnt care and because thoose dont care command doesnt care. Because its hard to care about a funny looking bowl if it doesnt make life harder or easier.
    I know this idea would require a fuckton of coding, but its an idea, better then nothing.
    CriticalGENERAL likes this.
  16. Sarcasmotron500

    Sarcasmotron500 Bartender

    I really don't like 'this isn't enough, we should remove it entirely'.
    1. Usually pathfinders are amenable to having non explorer-explorer crew tag along. I think I've seen one PF turn down a medic wanting to come along. I've gone along on expeditions needing manpower as both an EC medic and an EC engineer. EC medtechs are great extras if the medical department is full up, too, because sometimes it's so slow the medtechs all pounce on someone having a tummyache. Take more EC folks along, just make it more of a habit.
    2. The Explorers have goals to complete like other departments. Striving to reach those goals is something to RP about. SCAN THE DAMN PLANTS. Get the plant samples and bring them back with enough time for science to play with them, if there's science. Capturing creatures is dumb because you can't do anything with them. Playing as a scientist I sort of nod along when they bring back a critter and leave it on the Petrov.
    3. Other departments can turtle up and not interact much with the Torch, too --- particularly science. Wrangle slimes for a shift. Didn't do the research matrix? That happens, okay.
    4. Explorers can mill about doing 'nothing' orrrr they could prep the Charon and GUP as much as possible. Or RP. Go to medbay sometime when there's not much going on. That's a lot of milling about RPing, too.