Conversion antags are fundamentally flawed (discussion)

Main two issues that we will discuss here (Revolutionaries and II):

  1. Frustration for all parties involved.
  2. Conversion modes are biased against the crew

More detailed explanation for both (using revs as a reference):

  1. For the targets, it kinda just feels out of nowhere and there’s really only one way to deal with it. For the convertees, people who didn’t want to cause trouble and just wanna have fun as their department are frustrated because now they have a new job that they don’t want to do. For the converters, it’s frustrating when the convertees just don’t want to fight.
  2. It’s entirely possible that the revolutionaries take cargo and sec first and then everyone else is screwed and they can’t do shit about anything 75% of the time, and the other 10% is just the crew steamrolls the revs and the other 5% is an actual fun battle between two sides.

Do note that this is absolutely my opinion, and you are welcome (and encouraged) to share your opinion.

I mean, my opinion is that its fun to do what the round tells you to do. Getting converted is fun because I don’t like doing the same thing every shift and it changes things up.

The least fun thing about any conversion game mode is when some random person gets converted, and then runs up to sec and tells on the person who converted them, ruining the round for everyone. Generally, this is solved by not converting random people and just converting people you know instead, but then people complain that is “metafriending” because they think they are owed a conversion.

I’ve found that generally the revolution gets stamped out or metagamed before anything interesting happens, so it isn’t really biased against the crew at all. Like, at its height, when there is an all out war between sec and the revs and they are evenly matched and neither side just outright wins, it is the most fun game mode by far and there is nothing like it. I just wish that happened more often.

As it stands though, its actually the mode most biased against the antag because there are only 3 of them (The less beginning antags there are, the less of a chance one of them actually knows what they are doing), and it only takes one of them to fail for everything to turn up sideways against the revs. Its why ninja tends to do so poorly too even though it has the strongest antag kit in the game, there is literally only one of them and no one plays it enough to know what they are doing with it.

In the server I play at there’s a rule:

Before converting a person into the ranks of revolutionaries, make sure that he has agreed to become an associate. It is worth noting that the main thing you need to do is convince the target to just follow you, it is not necessary to announce the true goals, it is enough just to convince the person to support you in some business so that he recognizes you as a leader. You can also force a person to follow you by force. Let’s look at some simple examples.
You can invite someone to the bar: “Will you come for a drink with me?”, if the person directly answers you “Yes”, “Okay”, etc., then it can be converted. If he just silently followed you, then no.
You can invite someone to follow you in faith: “My son, are you ready to follow me on the path of faith?” The character directly agreed - you can recruit.
A sufficient reason for recruitment will even be the fulfillment of a simple request: “Hi, can you come with me to the dormitories? We have an important conversation.” Did they agree with you? Feel free to recruit.
You can beat someone up and tie them up, and then threaten to kill them, demanding that the victim follow you. Agree - we recruit, no - you can safely kill a rebellious character.

I’d like to mention a previous thread discussing the topic.

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I think that is generally a good rule in the sense of determining if you are actually converting someone who isn’t just going to grief the revolution, for the most part. Except some people like RPing being against the revolution when they are captured only to do the heel-face turn when they are converted.

Like, round removing those people would suck a lot more than converting someone who doesn’t want it because they are adding in drama to the round for everyone’s enjoyment and shouldn’t be punished with unnecessary round removal for RPing a nanotrasen loyalist.

I think the fun of doing what the round says is heavily impacted by player skill.

I don’t play security partially because I can’t really navigate it. That can be a real challenge in surprise antag roles because I, the player, am not equipped for it. Zombie is better because the basics are low skill. I can follow someone else and boost them if I need to.

Rev though? That takes s strategy and skill I just don’t have. Once I get flashed, there’s a lot of “what am I supposed to do with this”

I mean, you don’t need to be a master strategist to be a rev. You literally just listen to what your head rev tells you to do. Its even easier than zombie, because if your head rev didn’t tell you to do anything, you just go back to work like normal. You aren’t supposed to do anything other than follow orders. If you can’t follow the orders, just tell the head rev and they can assign someone else to do the thing. It isn’t really a player skill issue. No one is going to blame you for being robusted as a lowly revolutionary. They will get mad if you all of a sudden start doing crazy things you weren’t told to do because you have an R next to your name.

The actions you describe suggest a fundimentally different understanding of and experience in the role than I have had.

Okay I need to elaborate.

A couple of things - the head red doesn’t always stick around, certainly not long enough for the noob (me) to get oriented.

The instructions for the role provide a goal (take over the station), which overrides my old goals but leaves me a little extra disoriented. This is not unrecoverable, but boy does it not help with the skill issue.

Then when the heads are there, they give orders like “kill RD”. At that point I can argue (at which point I am not exactly playing the role) or skill issue my way to jail, possibly talking the head with me. Yes, even if they arm me.

That’s not the best experience, even if I did enjoy yelling rebellious things because I didn’t realize I was no longer a Rev.

To address point 1, what do you think of making Revolutionary an antag preference and then in round revolutionaries can see which players have the preference set to yes?

Setting Revolutionary preference to no would not stop getting converted. It would just not show an indicator that they want to be converted.

I’ve been thinking about it a bit and I think it would help with the meta-friend part of the role, while also reducing the chances that the converted player does not want to be a revolutionary.


  • Less meta-friend, due to having a data point to check against that isn’t just meta knowledge of players.
  • Less chance of the converted not doing anything, actively going against the game mode, or accidentally revealing the revolution early.

Cons that I can see:

  • New players will not get converted. (Good for revolutionaries, bad for player discovery and wonder of game modes.)
  • It may result in players with Revolutionary Antag set to no getting killed more often instead of attempting conversion at all.
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To be honest I don’t see the problem. By that logic, nuke ops is one sided because nukies can arm up, hit up ATS and steamroll a badly coordinated station.

People who don’t want to do big bad antag stuff can still not do so.

If it were zombies, would you have new players who didn’t tick zombie antag just drop dead and die? Leave it as is tbh. Some things people just learn on the fly as has always been the case with SS13/14

I’m not suggesting requiring that the Revolutionary Antag preference be set to yes for conversion. I’m suggesting that we make it a visible indicator that they would do something if converted.

This would make it so that players that don’t check it won’t be converted as often, but players that do will be converted more often.

Instead of having a simple toggle for “I wanna be a Rev”, what about these two changes together:

  • Give revs an RP way to recruit. Essentially allow players to recruit parties without coersion. This is probably done in the form of a pill or something that doesn’t make you a Rev or see who is, but does flag you as friendly, so a Rev may be comfortable asking you for supplies during the prep. This is a good initial introduction to the game mode imo.
  • Give everyone the ability to give their character a minimum amount of reputation, starting with indifferent/undecided, But also include loyalist and open minded. This would be visible to everyone in all game modes, and could help Revs make good decisions, but have no mechanical impact.

The first part gives revs an option that allows them to have more RP while not dumping new players into the same deep end.

The second helps Revs pick their freedom fighters.

To be honest the problem isn’t conversion game modes, it’s that Revolution is pretty infamously the worst one. “What if Cult was worse?” Basically. I wouldn’t be shocked if revolution goes the same exact way here as it did in 13: Disabled by many servers in favor of other conversion gamemodes.

As for how Revolution can be made better? Honestly the million dollar question. I can’t think of any practical solution that would make revolution a game mode that I like.

Honestly? I would like to see more emphasis on things that are normal in a revolution.

At the moment, Rev is not so much a revolution as it is a takeover.

How about having CentCom play more of a role (maybe make them their own antag for this game mode?) and then give players more freedom in choosing a side?

After all, what kind of revolution doesn’t involve power from the ordinary people?

i think if revolutionaries were less “evil” it would make the gamemode better.
Like revs could try to get x (a raise, maybe a shitton of corgis, something funny and maybe even randomized between a few options) and they could either go the roleplay way (for example do cargonia and quickly gather people on they side and keep disrupting the work on the station until command surrenders/accepts the objective of the revs and gives what the revs want, letting them win the round peacefully) or go the actual antag way (turn enough people for take over the station for get what they want, killing/capturing command and forcefully getting they objective).


I don’t have too much knowledge of ss13 discourse.
Could you please explain what makes other modes better than revolution?

Can we split improving Rev to a separate topic? I think I have an idea that might make it work.

Actually, this is a super good idea.