Join GitHub today
GitHub is home to over 36 million developers working together to host and review code, manage projects, and build software together.Sign up
Assimilation 2.0: Not quite a big enough PR to be worthy of the 2.0 title but almost #42607
(This PR is ready unless maintainers state otherwise)
About The Pull Request
This is a massive update to Assimilation, made after being generally disappointed with how dissimilar the original design concepts and the gamemode at launch were. While I've got plenty of stuff written in
Antagonist VS Antagonist was always a core theme and constant element in the design of Assimilation, but with all the changes and mistakes during both design and implementation, this was absolutely botched. Outside of some cryptic warnings in the greeting and the existence of Network Invasion and Mass Assimilation, there was no real indication that it was the case on launch. The overly time consuming Assimilation process, lack of an endgoal outside of objectives and the overbearing presence of Security during most rounds severely hamper the ability and even the desire to play the mode as intended. Almost every single one of the following changes has been made with fixing the issues outlined here:
The new Network Invasion: Earn your safety
Network Invasion was, and still is the bread and butter of antag-hunting as a Hivemind Host, but now it's become a rather necessary ability for survival and is given to hosts very early into the game (5 vessels). Previously, any Psychic Links lasted two minutes by default regardless of who got it it or why. Now, hivemind hosts start with a minute and a half on their link, but this is incremented by 10 seconds for every successful use of Network Invasion, plus a bonus 30 seconds against any hivemind hosts who had assimilated that vessel. Civilians retain the 2-minute timer after being mindshielded, meaning that Security has the tracking advantage until later on in the round, as do any hosts who start using NI early. A new power, Reclaim, also grants a 30 second bonus against everyone but is riskier and requires far more effort to get.
New Powers, New Options
While I've been hesitant to add new abilities (or doing anything drastic like combining it with traitor) to Assimilation without making the basic gameplay of the mode fun, or at least engaging, these four new added powers (and one removed power) shift up a lot of how the mode is played, especially since the detection mechanics are deeply tied into a couple of them.
Reclaim: Requires 5 vessels
Psychoreception: Requires 5 vessels
Chaos Induction: Requires 15 vessels
Circadian Shift: Requires 20 vessels
Mass Assimilation: Removed
The unlock order
The unlock order for hivemind abilities has been changed and divided into five distinct "tiers". Each tier has a distinct theme and all powers in a tier are unlocked at the same amount of vessels. This way, each host has longer to play around with each set of tools, and each set defines an aspect of the hivemind host's playstyle.
Roundstart powers: Assimilate Vessel, Release Vessel, Hive Sight, Neural Shock, Distortion Field
The biggest change is to the roundstart power selection, Distortion Field is a roundstart ability, one that deals 70 stamina damage (factoring in regen) to anybody caught in a screenwide AOE, which should give hosts some oomph from the get-go while not frontloading their combat prowess. The utility powers being the only extra thing unlocked until 10 vessels is extra incentive to start using them for the genuinely useful rewards and making for a more interesting early game other than "assim, wait 30 seconds, repeat until mind control".
Old powers and quality of life
More minor changes have happened to old abilities, mostly.
Assimilate now has an insignificant cooldown at 5 seconds. This is to mostly eliminate the grind of waiting 30 seconds between assimilations at roundstart when you really need to get at least a few powers.
All objectives except for 'escape' and those concerning having a certain hive size have been removed, mostly due to being frustratingly difficult or far too easy to complete due to them being at complete odds with the mechanics of the mode.
The max amount of antagonists has been increased to 8 at 64 players (with a 50% chance of extra), this may be decreased if deemed excessive.
One Mind: Ascension
(This section may be fleshed out in a future PR)
Once a hivemind host has a lead of at least 20 vessels against every other host (Reclaim vessels count only for the 'lead candidate' here) and has at least 15 vessels (Reclaim vessels don't count here), they unlock the One Mind ability. On use, a global sound plays as their vessels drop unconscious and spasm. Fifteen seconds later,
The sound's licensing info is in license.txt
Hives, and all the code that uses them, have been refactored to store their members as minds instead of living mobs so that the whole thing makes more sense and is less of a nightmare to update. This should fix some weird edge cases and some (unreported) bugs. A few new helper procs have been added, and others have been given more sensible parents.
Why It's Good For The Game
I wish I hadn't used "The PR that fixed Assimilation" as a title for the previous large Assim PR, because that just unfucked the awful sec/antag balance that made the mode literally unplayable. This is an earnest attempt to fix the shaky foundation and turn a lackluster mode into what it should've been from the start: a breezy antag vs antag psychic detective caper featuring xcom memes.
Is de-assimilating yourself still just getting implanted, or did that ever change at some point?
Also, I'm not a huge fan of how you can just put borgs to sleep, but I guess it's a twenty vessel ability so it's whatever.
I think you could totally make the chaos thing scale with the number of vessels. Making it "20% of vessels" would be weaker when you first get it, at three, but stronger later on.
I do appreciate the changes to Mind Control. I still think as a concept it goes against the goals of the host, but at least it's a little less cheesy death now.
This might lead to hiveminds teaming up and willingly "farming" each other, though. Dunno if that's a good or a bad thing.
I personally much prefer the "being too hot/cold snaps you out of mind control" idea over the "moving the victim too far away snaps them out of mind control" idea thematically, although I guess the former "solution" still doesn't solve the problem of space walkies (as you can just strip your target before walking them out of an airlock).
While you're messing with mind control, could you fix the bug that makes hivemind hosts with less than ten hivemind members have a mind control power that's as strong as that of a hivemind host with over 24 hivemind members?
Maybe you could add a changeling-style hivemind host-only telepathy channel so that hivemind hosts can (anonymously, as "Mr. Phi" and the like) set some ground rules for each other and/or arrange deals with each other ("if you leave me Engineering and Botany, I'll let you have Medbay", "don't brute force sec officers yet; you'll get us all caught", etc.). It's really annoying to have your hivemind host round ruined by one brainlet hivemind host that decides to start using very flashy, round type-revealing powers 5-10 minutes into the round, causing sec to panic and order 5 mindshield crates from cargo.
Will hivemind powers be made less janky to use (i.e. NOT "scroll through a list of your entire hivemind to find the name of the assistant that's beating you to death")? It looks like you've got a swanky new radial menu in the screenshot that you posted.
Could you add a HUD for hivemind hosts that lets them know who is and isn't in their hivemind at a glance?