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Post by otter » Mon May 23, 2016 10:55 pm

Author: otter.
Last Update: 23/MAY/2016
Languages Used: PAWN

One area of the script that has been in need of a revamp for some time now is the detective job and all of its components. The existing implementation is unbalanced and takes a lot away from the actual role-play surrounding investigations - be it as a result of features that are over-powered in the favour of law enforcement / private investigators or features that just don't work as intended which negatively impacts all parties involved. Crafting a script which supports today's role-play standards was one of my top priorities and I'm confident that this ticks all the boxes in that respect.

The implementation of drones serves as a replacement for the existing RC vehicles. The use of literal RC vehicles on an investigative level really doesn't make sense in this day and age and eliminating all references to them was something I felt was necessary to make their usage more realistic from an in-character point of view. On top of the re-branding of these vehicles, several changes have been made to the fundamental ideas behind them.

In order for a drone to be operated, the player must be in the back of a Berkley's RC Van - just as it is now. This was a necessary step to ensure that these drones are not too accessible and maintains some sort of limitation on how they can be used. Arguably the biggest change to this aspect of the job is that range is now taken into account when a drone is being operated. It must be within a set distance from the vehicle in which it is being operated; going out of range will result in signal being lost and the drone falling to the ground. It cannot be operated again until the van is moved closer and signal is re-gained. This means that one player alone is going to be far more limited in terms of how they can use the drone and teamwork is encouraged to ensure that it maintains adequate signal.

A demonstration of how operators are given an indication of a drone's signal strength.

In order to maintain some sort of balance with how these drones can be used and to promote more realistic usage, drones will be destroyed after taking three hundred damage - a third of the damage it used to take to destroy one. On top of this, drones will not require components to be operated and there are only two types that can be used: the raider, and the goblin.

From left to right; raider, goblin.

  • /drone [raider / goblin].
  • /destroydrone.

For a while now, trackers have served very little purpose due to their lack of functionality. When they did work, they were a little too over-powered in some respects and lacked power in others. This is one of the more significant re-writes that comes with this revamp. Trackers as a whole have been given an entire face-lift with the end goal of making it more user friendly and a little more worthwhile for detectives whilst at the same time - ensuring that they aren't too crippling for the other parties involved.

Trackers can still be placed on players, but this requires consent from the other player involved; the main idea behind this was to eliminate any misuse such as a vague emote followed by the inexplicable placement of a tracker, but at the same time - continue to support consensual role-play where a detective may be putting a tracker on say, an informant. Unlike in the past, trackers can now be placed in a vehicle; a tracker in a vehicle will only track the vehicle itself, not its occupants

The way in which tracking information is presented; on top of this, a small gang-zone is updated periodically to give a visual indication of where the a tracker is on the map.

In an effort to maintain the balance of such a system, trackers can be placed but will not give the detective any information until they are in a vehicle and have activated it. Once activated, a detective will only be able to get updates whilst in the vehicle in which it was activated. Trackers have a battery life of one hour which will begin to decay from the moment is activated for the first time. Once activated once, the battery will continue to decay regardless of whether the tracker is active or not. When it runs out of battery, all tracking will cease and the tracker will be killed completely. Whilst deactivated, no information is displayed to the detective and it can be re-activated in a different vehicle.

Trackers can be shared with other detectives. This will grant them the ability to activate and deactivate it, but only the original creator will be able to kill it completely. A detective can have access to only one tracker at a time. Anyone that is in a vehicle in which a tracker is active will be able to see the updates. The only way to stop another player from being able to see this in a vehicle is to deactivate it completely — if one player can see it, there's no reason for anyone else in the same vehicle as them to not be able to.

  • /tracker [accept / activate / deactivate / kill / place / reject / share].

Moles have been subject to some considerable change in this re-write. Before, moles were extremely over-powered. They could be put on players without their knowledge which from a role-play point of view, makes very little sense. The balance has always swayed in favour of detectives a little too much so my one of primary objectives here was to even it out a little whilst, at the same time, ensuring that they serve enough of a purpose that they can still be useful in investigations.

In many ways, they follow a similar system to trackers: once placed, they can only be activated in one vehicle and unless you're in that vehicle, what is said cannot be heard. Anyone in the vehicle - as long as the mole is activated - can hear what is being said. Moles have a limited battery life of six hours. A detective can have five moles. If placed in a vehicle, a mole will pick up anything said inside apart from what is said through /w. Inside properties and businesses, only what is said within the normal speech range will be picked up meaning that if a player talks and isn't close enough to the mole, it will not be heard by the detective on the other end. Before, anything said in a property / business could be heard regardless of where it was said. In order to get better coverage, detectives must place several moles.

Players can check for moles in properties through the use of /devicecheck; a player must be within one unit of a mole to find it and - if in range - can kill the mole. With this re-write, the "mole protection" in properties has been made redundant and there is no longer any way to protect your property from them. A vehicle can obviously be locked to minimise the chances of it having a mole placed inside. A mole can only be removed if: a) they run out of battery, b) they are killed through /mole, c) the server is restarted or d) the vehicle in which they are placed is destroyed. Moles, just like trackers, are their own entity and are not tied to a player which means if the one who placed it logs off, it will continue to exist.

  • /mole [activate / deactivate / kill / place / share]

Wires are - as a whole - pretty simple. There really wasn't all that much to change when it came down to the fundamentals. The only real addition here is - as with most other aspects of this revamp - the introduction of a battery life which for wires, is two and half hours. Placing a wire on a player requires their consent. Wires can - just as with moles and trackers - only be activated and listened to in one vehicle. Anyone in that vehicle will also be able to hear what's being said as long as the wire is active. If a player is wearing a wire and is frisked, the frisking party will be made aware of its presence. Wires are removed if: a) the player wearing it does not log back in within fifteen minutes of logging off, b) it is removed manually by the player / detective, c) on a server restart.
  • /wire [place / activate / deactivate / share / kill]

Arguably the most significant change to come around with this revamp is going to be the way in which a player can obtain the job. Law enforcement faction leaders will be able to issue the job to their faction members, but anyone outside of law enforcement factions will have to apply for it on the forums. The idea behind this is to promote more realistic investigative role-play outside of law enforcement factions. The job is far more prestigious than it was before and having it available to absolutely everyone would definitely have a negative impact the role-play quality surrounding it. There's plenty of potential for this job to be a really valuable asset to right type of role-play and my hopes are that by making it less common around the server and giving it to the right people, there will be a lot more room for those who want to venture into investigative role-play to do so.

It should be noted that features included here may still be subject to change whilst the development of this script is being finalized.

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Posts: 6271
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2012 5:53 pm

Re: Detectives

Post by otter » Tue May 24, 2016 11:31 pm


24/MAY/2016 —

Code: Select all

- /devicecheck; players must be within one unit of the mole in order to find it. This command can only be used within properties. 

- /mole kill; now available to all players as long as they are in a property and within one unit of the target mole. Mole ID is found through /devicecheck.
- The Department of Corrections do not require components to operate a drone.
- Detectives operating outside of the LSPD, SASD or SADOC require fifty components to operate a drone.

- Several back-end bugs.

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