Artydea: Timed Prep Shutters

The Pitch:
The entrance to Squad Preps are now blocked by shutters for fifteen minutes at round start. Vendors will be rearranged so that - just as marines can still grab their meals prior to gearing - they can at least get their uniforms and boots on.

Command will have a big red button in CIC to lift these shutters at any time.

Why It’s Good For The Game:
Presently, the round flow goes something like

  • Exit cryo
  • Eat
  • Do the loadout you always do or that someone else recommended.
  • Sit down in briefing or the drop ship until 12:15 or 12:20.
  • Get to the dropship, boots on the ground by 12:25.

Ideally, a switch to this alternative would result more in

  • Exit cryo
  • Eat, get dressed.
  • Explore the ship, roleplay, talk with friends, or tab-out until 12:10.
  • Attend briefing around 12:15 or 12:20.
  • Do a loadout that you always do, or is informed by the briefing and your orders.
  • Get to the dropship, boots on the ground by 12:25 or 12:30.

The first method is a classic, but does have several major flaws.

Firstly, is RP. We have cards, a basketball court, a chapel, a gym, a lounge, and just a lot of people who have put even a minor amount of work into their characters. Despite this, most of that is lost in starting an almost half-hour process with little time to stop inbetween, and where most people are fully armed and armored so that going to play basketball means un-equipping a lot of what you just equipped, and going out of your way to go upstairs and start a game. We also see a bulk of complaints around MPs here, as an armed and armored moron is causing trouble, and an armed and armored moron in a red beret needs to ask them to stop . . . both having good reason to be afraid of the other person’s weapons and intentions.

The Prep Shutters would ideally mean that you can run around the ship unburdened by weapons and armor to explore things, marines are less of a threat to MPs and the rest of the ship while unarmed - therefore reducing pre-drop nonesense, and actually have time to develop relationships off the battlefield. You could have an actual opportunity to form friendships with someone, or a bond over an activity, that would work as a better opportunity to form squad culture again. There’s room to revive Charlie Breakfast, or even just teach Pvt. John Doe which end of the gun you need to point at the bad guys.

Second is bureaucracy. I see a lot of flaws in the current method of briefings, where there isn’t much room to make more complex plans, primarily because the squad you wanted to guard an area may have already grabbed a bunch of chase-down builds, breaching charges, and low-ranged engineer defenses. On the flipside, you either hope that command compliments your loadout choice - especially specs - or . . . you just fuck-off and do whatever you actually geared for.

With time for command to communicate with squads, do a head-count of special roles or overall troops, they could formulate proper orders that inform marines first. Therefore, squads could gear appropriately and get a sense of order going. Sure, they could still fuck-off, but now there’s an actual opportunity to develop these things properly, or even actually process more squad transfers pre-drop so that anybody who wants to run-off or got their special role but put into a different squad than they prefer can be accounted for.

Overall, it would have a minimal impact on the timing of gameplay, with a large and positive impact on RP, the ordering of a mission, game balance, and the community.

An Artydea is an ideally low-skill idea that I myself could feasibly accomplish without needing to hope that some other developer likes it enough to do it for me. However, due to how my motivation works, I would be almost entirely unwilling to work on a project without a good chance of it being implemented.

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I like this idea alot, but i think most xeno and surv players arent gonna like this.

Xenos would have nothing to do for the first 30+ minutes and survs rarely survives beyond 12:15. Idk what we could do to fix this

Plus, usually, by the time marines DO touch ground. The survivors are already at orange, red/almost flatlining, larba food, or perma. So the timing is critical unless something yanks the aCO’s attention away for that long which case the survivors are considered not an issue as they are all either dead or larba food.

While I understand the Xeno-Survivor issues to be concerns, I have three counters:

  1. The survivor is an opt-in role that places you without armor, often a primary firearm, safety, or sometimes even company in an abandoned colony. The poor odds of survivals and expectation of death should be part of the experience, or else you’d see them spawning with Chimp kits so that they may show just how robust they were to make it this far by ensuring they could absolutely defend a fortified position.
  2. A bored Xeno is a lazy Xeno. If the marines deployed forty-five minutes in, then there would still be some blatant areas unweeded, intact APCs, doors, lights, and windows, and probably a monkey or two uncaptured. Perhaps some extra time would allow for them to make more intelligent defenses or plans, as a well-formed murderball of marines can still clear everything from Hydro to the caves of LV within ten minutes through utilizing heavy weapons fire, artillery support, and their full numbers.
  3. I specifically foresaw that some people may just want to get up and go, hence mentioning that these shutters should likely have a button linked to CIC.

From playing enough rounds, I feel that this should be a pretty straight-forward rearrangement of time, rather than adding additional down-time. Presently, briefing is most often postponed for the marine’s benefit, so that Command doesn’t need to worry about medics in line or riflemen in prep when they tried to get briefing started at 12:10.

Rather, we simply move those time blocks around. We get that down-time upfront for the sake of RP. The marines can talk somewhere that isn’t as packed and noisy as prep, briefing, or the dropship. They can express their characters, form plans and friendships, then attend briefing. This should leave enough time to chill, get briefed, gear-up, and deploy within the same time frame if not a slightly wider one.

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The problem would probaly be that most marines don’t know how to RP, or never heard of RP, or just go “kill MPs”, I mean, there are some marines who know to RP, mostly whitelisted players or those which usually play CL or whatever but didn’t get the role. About the CIC button, you probaly would get lynched as CIC when not pressing the button at roundstart, and quite many people have CIC access anyways, which would pretty much nullify it (I mean, the IOs are infact PFC++s and would press the button, the transport PO just wants to chill and presses the button, the bald MP presses the button while trying to find brig, the CE which is just a greytider++ presses the button, the real greytiders (MTs) hack in and press the button, and so forth). In order to increase RP and stories and whatnot, I would like to have some character persistency integrated or just allowed for the people want it instead. I mean, you get a note if you say “Hey, weren’t you that marine who went scouting with me”, which nukes every attempt to create interesting stories.

You are right that briefing is everytime the same. Either CIC just says "Alpha go west, bravo FOB and comms, charly go south or north, delta murderball (The murderball objective is in fact metagaming). There are sometimes commanders who say “Alpha FOB, bravo west, charly south, delta murderball”, but you probaly know how that ends: Bravo and charly are the only people who know to RP, or just rolled the squad and don’t know what favourite squad is, alpha doesn’t care and murderballs, delta murderballs anyways, bravo and charly fullfill their orders, and some lone comtech gets overrun and hijacked by two T1s because nobody built FOB.

Survivor is fun because it’s hard, not because it’s impossible. Removing any chance of rescue removes the fun from the role. I also don’t want people who haven’t played survivor before to stumble into this role and then realize that they don’t get to play human for 1-2 hours.

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Survivors aren’t really meant to survive notice all the nerfs they have received, and honestly if they do want to survive they can just hide in grass or whatnot till marines arrive.

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It’s been said before and it needs to be said again. We do NOT balance the game around survivors, who are a SMALL majority of players in a round, a small majority who knows that their chances are slim to none.

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that doesn’t mean they SHOULDN’T have a chance, all this is saying is that we should consider the timescales we’re operating on in regards to survivors

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it’s not that they’re not meant to survive, it’s that it’s supposed to be a rare event and a challenge for the survivors to survive, the nerfs have changed the playstyle to cading rather than roaming, but it’s still viable

i dont support this idea, i think that it railroads people into waiting longer, you can’t force them to RP, it just makes the RP that does happen less organic. also, marines won’t follow plans no matter what without OOC ruling involved, they don’t call them ungas for nothing. it’s besides the point that forcing people to take certain loadouts would just make a lot of people literally leave the round. the time we have at the start is already a compromise between time for RP and unga instant deploy.

and there is the obvious point that xenos wouldn’t really have anything to do, giving hivelords TOO much time to build would be detrimental to both sides, i think, because they’d load up with low quality high density walling across the entire map, effectively making pushes very difficult to gain traction as well as being boring for the xenos to be constantly fighting behind walls

Charlie used to have charlie breakfast before brief/deployment but they don’t anymore. and i don’t think it’s because of the time limit but because people just aren’t interested

Okay, so here’s what I thought of. Lock marine vendors until a certain time.

I disagree heartily. We can see from the amount of character art, loadout cosmetics, nicknames, and dossiers that there’s a lot of stories not being told on the Almayer for a lack of time. Where would you fit them in? Is breakfast going to be arranged before anybody has earpieces? While they’re still getting loaded? In the three minutes before or after briefing?

I think that a small time allowance at round start would really give people the time and excuse they need to start that ball rolling.

i’m for the prep shutter locking feature, it could be part of a wider RP focused few changes (e.g. randomly generated backstories, where it could tell you what happened in the last 2/3 deployments so that you don’t get bwoinked for “hey i remember you from that other op”), personally I absolutely want the extra time so that I stop missing drop as medic because there’s nobody at the chemline, and have spare time to RP outside of said chemline

second point is related to the medic thing, if you accelerate the drop so much you end up with people not fully geared up, stuck in req or the chemline, which makes no sense in a proper military, so thats another point for slowing things down and getting everyone ready

personally ive seen plenty of ungas who can pull off some amount of RP if you give them a prompt (asking the delta pfc if he’s doing okay after you defib him), but they do need that prompt so it would help

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