Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

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Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Steelpoint » Tue May 20, 2014 5:55 pm #7456

Nalar, a admincandidate, did a unique event which was highly well received which I personally think was so good it deserves to be its own game mode, if not a replacement for changeling.

The premiss is simple, two players are spawned in as "Shadowlings". Horrific looking entities that function similarly to changelings but differ in several unique ways, the sprites for them are truly horrific.

- They have the ability to phase shift.
- They can absorb people to convert them to Underlings. Underlings possess all the powers of the Shadowling except the armblade and lack the ability to convert targets and cannot phase shift.
- Can see in the dark.
- They take damage in the light.

Despite the changes being so minor, the effect is a unique and fun game mode that was universally liked. It was fun, fast paced and just god damn good.

Personally I think the shadowlings SHOULD NOT be able to disguised themselves, only the Underlings can for balance reasons.

Their objectives can be to absorb a set amount of people, such as 10 or 20. The crew have to kill the main shadowlings. They die just as a ling normally does.
Last edited by Steelpoint on Tue May 20, 2014 6:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Pybro » Tue May 20, 2014 6:00 pm #7457

My suggestions: Move away from the "ling", towards the "shadow".

-Only gain "chems" in darkness
-Chem gain is faster than ling, offset by having to be in the dark
-Take extra damage from lasers (Lasers are after all just amplified light)
-"Shadow night vision", so they can see in the dark, but still be able to tell which tiles are dark and which aren't
-Using a flash/flashlight on them should harm them
-Phaseshift can only be used to travel between dark tiles that the shadow has a path to.
-Weak ranged attack that can be used to smash lights from a distance.
-Overshadows cannot disguise themselves, but Undershadows can. This balances only Overshadows being able to convert, allowing hte Undershadows to murder people and bring their husks to their shadowy bosses.

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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Steelpoint » Tue May 20, 2014 6:26 pm #7459

The Shadowling worked very well for many reasons.

- It kept people in the round, this is one of the bigger things. The Shadowling was incentived to absorb targets to recruit more Underlings into its ranks.

- It was highly mobile, the Shadowlings could afford to take risks and were hard to pin down. The ability was not over powered since mass stunning would typically kill the ling and it had a moderate recharge time.

- People were genuinely scared, being chased down a dark hallway by an abomination dragging a dead corpse is the stuff of nightmares. And when you help arrives it vanishes into thin air.

- People sticked together, no one ventured into maintenance or went out alone. People would set up safe zones and coordinate their efforts to trap the Shadowlings and stamp out the Underling infestations.

- The Shadowlings would work to secure areas by cutting power, and they worked together for their benefit.

The suggestions Pybro gave are great as well, I saw no one complain about the event and there were 50 people on the server at the time.
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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Remie Richards » Tue May 20, 2014 9:58 pm #7502

Can we see these sprites?
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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Cheimon » Wed May 21, 2014 1:12 am #7578

I agree that it was a fantastic event, and well worth making into something bigger. You've nailed it when you said that the key was keeping people in the round and getting people to fear the dark.

I am slightly hesitant as a result about taking the husked participants and (a) making them unable to convert and (b) moving them well out of the shadows. Perhaps a slower conversion would be more entertaining than just letting them provide a pile of bodies. And maybe if they were stuck with their original name and husked skin that would make them harder to disguise (I just feel a little bit like there's a risk run of making them cooperating, familiar, less novel changelings instead of their own entity).

The ideas about light being somehow dangerous to them are great. Chances are that this will make fire an appealing weapon for a lot of people. Maybe the flamethrower will become useful! Other than that, I don't want to get too bogged down in details: what this really needs is someone with a clear vision with those 2 concepts at its heart to make it their own.

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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Steelpoint » Wed May 21, 2014 3:54 am #7637

The first sprite used was a charred black human mob, however about 10 minutes in I suddenly got a sprite change into a four legged, red coloured, thing. I think it was done to differentiate between the original Shadowlings and the other Underlings since the Underlings got the charred black mob.
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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Void Slayer » Wed May 21, 2014 7:52 am #7713

Sounds like turning it into an admin event for now then seeing how the full version works would be a fun idea.

I like the idea of keeping people in the game, maybe the under-shadow corpses could be reabsorbed and reanimated by the shadowling, and they could also be revived to a human somehow (cover in holy water, remove brain and put in a monkey-man?)

I would also like to see the changeling powers gradually replaced with more appropriate powers but for now it sounds good.

Giving the shadowlings unremovable fleshy space worthy helmets, exosuits and a suit would make them still function like humans and be able to survive a lot, but make them not able to disguise themselves.

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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Nalar » Wed May 21, 2014 10:54 am #7736

The event was run as bluespace wanted to see how I handled community involvement and my viability for trialling.

I actually got the idea from Bay. They ran a similar event with a similar premise, however it was much more focused around roleplaying and interaction more than murdering and the likes. It wasn't particularly well done and it didn't really suit the idea the admin who ran the event had in mind. At bluespace's request, I hastily modified the concept to fit /tg/. Here's the event and how it's meant to work.

  • Two to four people are spawned somewhere dark. For my event, I chose the derelict chapel. It's got atmosphere, it's dark, and random people can't run into you as you're being set up.
  • Those two-four people are given changeling, etheral jaunt, and a method of seeing in the dark (I had to improvise and thus gave them nightvision goggles).
  • Those two-four people are turned into the shadow mutant race. They've been in the code forever and are rarely used. They differentiate from normal humans by having a black transparent skin-set, burn in the light and heal all damage except for toxins/internal wounds in the dark. The dark skin is preferable, in my opinion, because it means that disguises are a viable thing.
  • Those two-four people are able to "absorb" people and thus enthrall them. Those thralls are given the objective to obey the original two-four shadowlings.
  • The original shadowlings are given randomized objectives that they should work towards.

The result of my event-
  • Shadowlings were forced to cooperate or be crushed by the opposing crew.
  • Shadowlings were primarily hunting in the dark by sabotaging lights in areas, and stalking maintenance.
  • Shadowlings were bringing people back into the round (complete with a resounding "Wait what" in deadchat as husks were rising as black shadow-creatures hellbent on bringing more crew into the shadows).
  • Shadowlings had changeling regeneration combined with the ability to heal in the dark. This made crew weary of following or hunting them in maintenance as shadowlings in maintenance were at their most dangerous.

If this is really wanted as a gamemode, here's what I recommend to improve upon the original concept.
  • Replace the changeling abilities with shadow-based abilities. The arm-blade for instance could be replaced with a shadow arm-blade which can only be created and maintained by the shadowling in the dark. EMP could be replaced by an ability to shroud a small area in absolute darkness or a shriek capable of shattering lights within a small radius.
  • Shadowlings are given natural nightvision, possibly even thermal vision given to the original shadowlings to help them hunt.
  • Etheral jaunt is replaced with a jaunt that turns them into an almost invisible shadow. This lasts a bit less than etheral jaunt, however.
  • Absorb is replaced by a conversion ability. Converting takes 15 seconds, and requires a death grip similar to changelings. Original shadowlings are not damaged by the conversion. The thralls (convertees) are automatically given the objectives to obey the original shadowlings at all costs.
  • Thralls are able to enthrall others, at the cost of 70 of their health points as they are much weaker than the originals. If done in the dark, this would be mitigated by their regenerative abilities. But a thrall doing this in a lightened area would find themselves vulnerable to the inevitiable lynch mob.

Those are my thoughts so far. They're not well organised, and it needs a lot of improvement, but it's a start.
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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Kelenius » Wed May 21, 2014 10:57 am #7737

That sounds like changelings that doesn't actually suck.

Intriguing.

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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Psyentific » Wed May 21, 2014 11:04 am #7738

Kelenius wrote:That sounds like changelings that doesn't actually suck.

Intriguing.
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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Steelpoint » Wed May 21, 2014 11:21 am #7743

I would prefer to see if we can keep the more abomination looking sprites that were used during the event, it just seemed more intimidating and befitting the fact that the Shadowlings were more powerful than the Underlings.

Otherwise, the game mode itself is pretty much half finished in terms of the abilities and systems already being in place.
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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Nalar » Wed May 21, 2014 11:31 am #7746

We could allow more powerful abilities and thus, the abomination sprite once a shadowling has converted a certain amount of crew (7-13, maybe?). It gives Shadowlings more to strive for, and means that the crew has incentive to stop them before they become too strong to confront in very small groups.
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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Steelpoint » Wed May 21, 2014 6:14 pm #7827

A possibility is that the Shadowling has to absorb, say, 5 to 10 people. Upon doing so it transforms into a more powerful entity. It gains an increase to 300 health, regenerates all damage in complete darkness (Instead of all except Toxin/Internal wounds) and looks pretty scary.

As you noted the Crew are incentivised to try and prevent the Shadowling from reaching this stage at which point it becomes far more powerful.
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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Nalar » Wed May 21, 2014 6:51 pm #7828

If that were to be a thing, have it be optional. It's entirely possible the lead shadowlings would want to have the ability to keep a disguise and be all mysterious. I don't want to take away playstyles because something seems "slightly cooler"
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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Reimoo » Wed May 21, 2014 7:59 pm #7842

I really, really, like this idea. Miles better than the boring snorefest we have now.

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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Bombadil » Wed May 21, 2014 8:57 pm #7851

Those charred black mobs? Those are the dark humans who die in light. Its a fully functional thing ingame. You can see their veins
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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Pybro » Thu May 22, 2014 3:11 am #7944

I'd be willing to make sprites for any coders willing to do this.

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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Wesdo » Thu May 22, 2014 12:29 pm #8047

Reminds me of the movie ''I am Legend.'' This shit has to happen! It's too awsome to let it pass!

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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby paprika » Thu May 22, 2014 1:08 pm #8054

Coding gamemodes is hard.
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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Steelpoint » Thu May 22, 2014 2:13 pm #8074

The main difference here is that most of the systems needed are already in place!

The only thing that would, at minimum, need coding is the absorption to conversion system.
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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Bombadil » Thu May 22, 2014 3:14 pm #8093

All that needs to be done is a reaction that injects the person with a toxin that will convert them into a shadow person at near crit health who is enslaved to the Master shadowperson.

Shadow people race already exists so just make the Shadowlings spawn as that race.
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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Remie Richards » Thu May 22, 2014 3:22 pm #8096

Steelpoint wrote: need coding is the absorption to conversion system.


If this is wanted I'll happily share my Horror Form ling conversion code, the system would be near identical.
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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Steelpoint » Thu May 22, 2014 4:46 pm #8115

Here's a run down of how, at bare minimum, what this antag would need to function.

- Innate Nightvision
- Be a Changeling
- Be a Shadow Mutant
- The ability to phase shift (Wraith's version)
- Rework its absorption to, instead at the end of the process convert the victim into another shadowling, minus the ability to phase shift.

That's the minimum that would be needed, everything else is balance and flavour. Such as custom abilities, evolution to a more powerful form after X amount of absorptions, unique objectives, etc.

I think for now, if the game mode gets that far, we should keep it out of the game mode rotation and make it a forced admin event, mainly for balancing concerns.
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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Cheimon » Fri May 23, 2014 12:38 am #8228

I'm not sure about keeping it only at the admin's discretion, largely because that makes it very easy for it to never happen, and then to never get balanced in an enjoyable way. I'd like to see it introduced, if it gets as far as you list of necessary changes goes, as something that spawns after a round's been going for a while: a bit like aliens, ninjas, and so on. That'd be a fun way to revive players after that time, as well.

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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Steelpoint » Fri May 23, 2014 8:38 am #8326

I guess putting it into the actual gamemode rotation would garner feedback more quickly. The game mode on a first pass seemed relativity balanced because while the Shadowlings were powerful in 1 v 1 confrontations, they could not easily defeat groups of people unless they were skilled (Not to boast but I did terminate the HoS and HoP on the bridge). The Underlings are constrained by their lack of a phase shift ability meaning they are far easier to corner.
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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Lo6a4evskiy » Fri May 23, 2014 8:50 am #8331

can we replace rev with this pls

Seriously, I quite like it. Keep in mind though, that game mode, unlike event, should be balanced and that people will of course meta the perfect ways of fighting it. I'd love to see that in action though.

Oh, and I agree that you should move on from "ling" to "shadow" more. Add some abilities connected to that, not some random arm blades for no reason. Lore is no less important than game mechanics. Okay, it is less important, but still is important.

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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby AseaHeru » Fri May 23, 2014 12:21 pm #8354

I like rev...

Just shove this in along side it, to lower the "Its rev, cult or nuke" knowledge.
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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Lo6a4evskiy » Fri May 23, 2014 12:50 pm #8362

Rev is slightly improved monkey. And monkey was removed.

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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby AseaHeru » Fri May 23, 2014 2:17 pm #8374

Well, thats because people dont roleplay, and always try to get them valids on.
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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Lo6a4evskiy » Fri May 23, 2014 2:19 pm #8377

No, that's because the mechanics of rev are shit.

I mean, how else do you propose people play rev?

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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Steelpoint » Fri May 23, 2014 2:20 pm #8378

On TG there is no other way, the entire objective of the game mode is to KILL either the heads of staff or the three Rev heads.
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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby AseaHeru » Fri May 23, 2014 2:21 pm #8380

Cant you just ship the buggers to the asteroid? Because as far as I know it was "kill or get them off the level".
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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Lo6a4evskiy » Fri May 23, 2014 2:27 pm #8381

AseaHeru wrote:Cant you just ship the buggers to the asteroid? Because as far as I know it was "kill or get them off the level".

But why?

Besides, that's not the issue. Instant unlimited conversions are.

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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby AseaHeru » Fri May 23, 2014 2:58 pm #8382

Flashes break.
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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Pybro » Fri May 23, 2014 3:12 pm #8383

I wonder what colors this thing could be
well it is a fucking shadow, so...

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Image

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All three are more shadowy versions of liquefy. The naked guy is a placeholder for "whatever the fuck you're wearing", although it can be changed to 3spooky6me shadow people race or whatever, given that you can barely see it at the .gif's speeds.

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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Steelpoint » Fri May 23, 2014 3:40 pm #8385

The second one seems pretty nifty as the sprite used for the Phase Shift ability.

My assumption is that Over and Undershadows lack the ability to alter their appearance like Changelings do, mainly to effect a differentiation.
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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Lo6a4evskiy » Fri May 23, 2014 3:50 pm #8387

Third one looks cute.

What about a sort of like fluidy cloud that shrinks? Like the second one, but instead it sort of implodes into the center.

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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Pybro » Fri May 23, 2014 5:30 pm #8400

Lo6a4evskiy wrote:Third one looks cute.

What about a sort of like fluidy cloud that shrinks? Like the second one, but instead it sort of implodes into the center.

>le "if I make enough sprites for it coders will take notice" face.gif

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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby danno » Fri May 23, 2014 5:32 pm #8401

All of them are too square except the middle one
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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Pybro » Fri May 23, 2014 5:36 pm #8402

danno wrote:All of them are too square except the middle one

First one is supposed to evoke the "spreading into shadow" theme. Like, a pitch black tile. Third one was just a silly one.

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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Miauw » Fri May 23, 2014 7:50 pm #8420

I'd like to add Underlings to the ling we have now, anyway.
Exams are coming up for me, so I won't be able to do them for another four or so weeks.
After that, however, there is probably not going to be anything sapping my motivation to code anymore.

My idea for underlings would basically be slaves to the ling that have a husk sprite and cannot talk. They are somewhat resistant to brute damage and do more damage when attacking.
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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Steelpoint » Sat May 24, 2014 3:35 pm #8616

The concept of a "underling" has always lingered around for a while, the main problem with this however is the fact that it is a 1:1 antag conversion and in the past free antag conversions ended very badly. That's why a random player was selected to be a alien larva.

One of the reasons, among many, that I like this gamemode is the fact that the overriding objective of the Shadowling (Overshadow) is to incapacitate and absorb targets, of which the victims remain in round and don't have to sit out for another hour.

The addition of a underling to normal Changeling's would be a massive paradigm shift in the gamemode's function, and I think we can better serve that goal by making a gamemode structured around the absorption and resurrection of absorbed target's instead of shoe horning it into Changeling.
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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Pybro » Sat May 24, 2014 3:48 pm #8622

Shadowarmblade.

Spoiler:
These are just the demo's, and only the left arm, because the right arm is the same, only flipped.
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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Lo6a4evskiy » Sat May 24, 2014 3:52 pm #8625

Eh, make them something cool, don't just resprite ling powers.

I mean, there's no connection between these guys and lings whatsoever (except that someone put that in a name for whatever reason), and I prefer it that way.

Make them like super cool shadow powers.

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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Steelpoint » Sat May 24, 2014 4:05 pm #8632

Overshadows and Undershadows need some kind of offensive ability for combat, and I really want to avoid any kind of ranged attacks aside from the suggested one that let's you break lights from a safe distance. I do think that a arm blade of sorts should remain, at least for the Overshadows, but drop that insane 40%ish knockout chance.

I really want to move the Shadowbeings away from the Changeling style of stealth and subersion into a more offensive but still reserved antag. One that picks and chooses it's battles and is methodical. Not a Wizard with Ei Nath and Magic Missiles.

I would like to keep a Changeling style system where you have a wider array of abilities to select from, and you need to absorb/shadowfy targets to reset them.

-------------------

For the most part, the following abilities would be removed from the pool of one's to chose from.

-Hive Channel
-Hive Absorb
-Extract DNA Sting (The above three are useless anyway)
-Transform (Not stealth orientated)
-Digital Camouflage (Not as useful anyway)
-Anatomic Panacea (Redundant anyway, should be merged with Fleshmend)
-Blind Sting
-Transformation Sting
-Hallucination Sting (No thanks)
-Cryogenic Sting
-Spread Infestation (Already have the ability to convert)
-Organic Space Suit (Redundant for Overshadows, should have innate protection from space)

This leaves us with...
-Regenerative Stasis (Reform Shadow)
-Fleshmend (Repair Shadow)
-Lesser Form (Lesser Shadow)
-Epinephrine Sacs (Muscle Ejection)
-Engorged Chemical Glands (Organ Expansion)
-Mimic Voice (Mimic Voice)
-Resonant Shriek (Darkness Overwhelming)
-Dissonant Shriek (Electronic Drowning) ((Somewhat iffy, give's Shadowbeing's a way to combat Silicon's, but it fucks over Silicon's))
-Arm Blade (Shadow Blade)

In additon I think the following would be neat...
-Light Dimisher (Extended attack range on hitting lights)
-Shadowvision (Free ability by default, essentially night vision plus thermals???)
-Shadow Shift (Phase Shift, identical to the one used by Wraiths. Only for Overshadows, free)
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Lo6a4evskiy
 
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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Lo6a4evskiy » Sat May 24, 2014 4:10 pm #8634

Yeah, what I meant was, don't redo lings, design the mode from scratch. I seriously believe it would be better that way. Lings could stay anyway, for mixed traitorling rounds and stuff, shadowlings don't fit in there in my honest opinion.

Pybro
 
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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Pybro » Sat May 24, 2014 4:45 pm #8644

Lo6a4evskiy wrote:Eh, make them something cool, don't just resprite ling powers.

I mean, there's no connection between these guys and lings whatsoever (except that someone put that in a name for whatever reason), and I prefer it that way.

Make them like super cool shadow powers.

Can you think of any better ideas for the "shadowy weapon that attaches to your arm and does a lot of damage"? I just went with a scythy, smoky looking thing. No, really, give me ideas, even if this doesn't get made, I want to improve muh spriting.

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Miauw
 
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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Miauw » Sat May 24, 2014 5:46 pm #8660

make it some sort of shadowmaw or something.
<wb> For one, the spaghetti is killing me. It's everywhere in food code, and makes it harder to clean those up.

<Tobba> I stared into BYOND and it farted

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Steelpoint
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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Steelpoint » Sun May 25, 2014 10:46 am #8823

I think a arm mutation/blade is more noticable and does not obstruct the mob itself. However what ever is cooler looking will go well.
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Cheimon
 
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Re: Shadowlings (Gamemode suggestion/replacement)

Postby Cheimon » Mon May 26, 2014 12:08 am #8974

How about instead of using a light diminisher and a dissonant shriek, both of which are somewhat problematic, you replace both with something similar to the statue's light-flickering ability (though preferably without the blindness).

It doesn't fuck over silicons, it gives you time to smash lights, it hurts people's PDAs and flares too (+1 fear), and it all round sounds a little more fun and shadowy rather than what changelings currently have.

I say light diminisher's problematic because the concept just seems really hazy. I mean, something like a goliath tentacle but only strong enough to take out lights? I'd prefer flickering.

I like what's being drafted so far. If Pybro wants more ideas for sprites, how about a replacement form for when husking someone, like a sort of 'melt and enshroud the body' type thing? Another way, along with the rest of your lovely sprites, of increasing the differences from changelings.

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