(WALL OF TEXT INCOMING)
I haven’t been playing this server for long but coupled with my EXTENSIVE experience both in SS13 itself (17 years) and my experience in a multitude of other roleplaying environments, i believe i’ve played ENOUGH to identify a series of problems with the server keeping it from reaching it’s full potential.
Right NOW i’m going to focus on the jobs system, i feel the way jobs are currently set up on NSV is flawed. I feel the jobs system should be reworked both to better suit your average server pop as well as the unique identity of what your server IS.
What do i mean by “flawed”? Ever notice how if you join the server 80% of the roles are empty, even if on some level that role might be essential to the normal operations of the ship? Even if the “Right” jobs are all staffed and the ship functions perfectly as a space warship, the ship will feel emptier than it actually is. A large part of this is because right now many roles exist because those roles ALWAYS existed and not because they were tailored to the unique experience of this server. Fact of the matter is, you don’t have the server pop to fill every single job and even if you did, very few people would want to fill many roles.
Many existing jobs would be rolled into the duties of other jobs, some jobs would be removed as job role choices and become something anyone can do in addition to their existing duties.
I’m not saying to actually get rid of ANYTHING, in fact, you can keep everything without losing anything while still adding stuff and ALSO cut down on bloat at the same time. In abit, i’ll tell you how.
Before i get into how we would DO that, i’d like to start by looking at the jobs we have. I feel ALL existing jobs fall into one of three categories.
Essential - This ship cannot function without me, or i am necessary to resolve a major problem of some variety. I may also be core to the experience of this server. This includes jobs such as Doctors, Engineers and Fighter Pilots
Non-essential - My duties are valuable but under certain circumstances could be easily reduced or removed outright. My job may also be easy in that either i only actually have anything to do SOME of the time or i cease to have anything to do at all if i do my job really well for about 20 minutes at which point i may not be needed for the entire rest of the game. I am desirable but the crew may be capable of surviving without me. This includes jobs such as the Air Traffic Controller, Chef and Geneticist.
Tertiary - My duties exist purely on a roleplay level. In practice i almost never have anything specific to actually do unless an admin wants to do a thing. If i were to enter cryo in the middle of combat, no one will notice (or care). This includes jobs such as the Lawyer and Mime.
So, if we organize the jobs in this way, what do we DO with this information? We use it to cut down existing jobs and fold them into other jobs. Here’s how it would work. All jobs in the “Non-essential” category would be combined with other jobs that already exist (we’ll get to the tertiaries later). For example, the “Bartender, Botanist and Chef” would all be removed and combined into a single job that can employ two or three people, the “Food Service Technician”. This would be a job that is meant to be a botanist who also cooks, a chef who also bartends and a bartender who also grows food, you can roleplay and interact with the crew while also having more to do in general, if you still want to be “the chef” then at the start of the round you can interact with your ID and choose from one of another job titles to list you as while your wardrobe vendor would have the uniform options from all THREE jobs, enabling you to look whatever part you want even if MECHANICALLY you are all three jobs.
You could decide for yourselves which specific jobs should get this treatment but here’s MY recommendations
Warden - their duties would be rolled under “Head of Security”, with “Security Officer” gaining some of their responsibilities so they could tend to prisoners properly.
Atmospheric Technician - their duties would be rolled into “Ship Engineer”.
Research Director - their duties would be combined with that of the “Chief Medical Officer”, this would tie into the below changes, CM did this and it works extremely well for them while giving the CMO more to do.
Chemist - their duties would be combined with that of the “Medical Doctor”, CM did this and it works extremely well for them. It also enables doctors to do more to prepare FOR a busy workday rather than just sitting there and waiting for wounded to come in.
Roboticist, Scientist, Geneticist & Virologist - these jobs would be removed and combined into the singular “Researcher” job, you would choose your job title by interacting with your ID at roundstart but would otherwise you would be capable of doing any and all roles at the same time. Their labs could even be combined into a singular large “R&D Wing” as opposed to being their own facilities.
Bartender, Cook, Botanist - These jobs would be combined into the singular “Food Service Technician” (as detailed above)
Air Traffic Controller - This job can very easily be added to the duties of bridge assistant, either the controls to decouple the magnetic accelerator could be added to the tactical console (only showing up when a ship is attached to the coupling) or it could simply be it’s own console in the CIC itself with an optional camera view of the magcats itself so you could choose to either physically see the fighters that are on the couplings, or depend on communication with the pilots so they know when you need help. The ATC as it is doesn’t have enough to do, barely justifying it’s existence and bridge officers are only super busy in combat. I personally would take this further, instead of having bridge assistant headsets start with so many channels by default, give them a vendor that vends encryption keys (including one for the pilots network) so they can each choose to take differing duties of communicating with different departments of the ship as part of their regular duties (why do they not already have access to the pilots channel?).
Deck Technician - why does this job even exist beyond just being a munitions technician who has less to do? just roll them into the munitions technician, if you need more MT’s then add one or two more. Half the time the pilots build, move, reload, repair and refuel their own fighters ANYWAYS.
That covers all the “Non-essential” job roles i discussed above, but what do we do about the others? The tertiaries i mentioned? There’s a way to technically remove those jobs while STILL keeping them in the game. Here’s how it would work, lets start with the chaplain.
You join the round as a security officer, you go to a vendor to get all the usual bullshit you need for the workday. In addition to all the usual outfits and the like you would also have the option to get a few “Kits”, in this case, you could choose the “Chaplain” kit (the same as buying a first responder kit at a marine prep in CM). This kit would have alot of the usual bullshit you need to fulfill those duties such as a holy book, maybe some holy water and assorted decorative pieces to make you visually LOOK like a holy man for a given religious faith, in addition to your usual duties. This might be an armband, backpack, bedsheet, cloak, satchel, stickers for your helmet or a tabard to wear over armor.
The entire point is this would be something extra you are choosing to do in addition to your usual duties. You aren’t JUST the clown, you are the Clown Fighter Pilot. You aren’t JUST the chaplain, you are a marine who attends to the needs of the faithful in combat. You aren’t JUST the lawyer, you are a bridge assistant who can also be called upon to serve AS a lawyer when the time calls for it and scream “OBJECTION” the moment the captain says you cannot do something. These kits would enable us to remove those job roles from the selection while still keeping them IN THE GAME. Because the duties of these jobs are predominantly roleplay based, ANYONE can do them so long as they are capable of roleplaying the part. How often do we need a janitor? And how often does someone actually want to BE the janitor? It’d be so easy if i could go to a vendor as another job, tell it to vend me the janitor kit and i could just go clean the ship whenever i’m not already attending to my OTHER duties, especially if it’s my OWN workspace that needs to be cleaned in a place where janitors may not have access (but i do).
The Chaplain, Clown, Curator, Detective, Janitor, Lawyer and Mime would be turned into “Kits” in this manner. As for job specific traitor items tied to those jobs, just change the uplinks so that they can detect the fact that you have activated one of the relevant kits, allowing someone to get chaplain, clown or janitor specific traitor items despite being another job who is merely fulfilling those duties.
Why do this at all? First, this would make it easier to fill crucial, or at least desirable roles in the ships crew without losing anything. It would enable us to cut down on job bloat, making the ship seem less empty than it might actually be while enabling us to add additional roles we wouldn’t otherwise due to the EXISTING bloat while also giving existing people MORE TO DO. There is literally not a single downside to these suggested changes aside from “muh feelings” or “SS13 has always HAD these jobs”. This server has the potential to be MORE than what the other servers are, to offer a truly unique experience, part of achieving that will necessitate moving more towards doing your own thing as opposed to copying everyone else just because “everyone ELSE has ALWAYS done X”.
To start with, these would predominantly be changes to the JOBS, which would also mean changes to relevant door access and so on, and would likely not require extensive codework (beyond what it usually takes to create or remove jobs and roles from play). Eventually, this could be represented in the form of mapping changes, for example, by combining the bar, kitchen and botany lab into a single semi-shared space.