Arcfiend

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You're an Arcfiend, a being able to harness the station's electrical power for your own ends! Disguised as an ordinary crewmember, the arcfiend feeds on energy, using it as fuel for their suitably lightning-based abilities. You can be thought of as an electricity Vampire, gorging yourself on the power grid instead of the blood of the living.

Arcfiends are a straightforward role; they start with all their abilities unlocked by default, and gathering power to use them is an uncomplicated process that can be done in a variety of ways depending on how you want to angle your approach. Coupled with their highly versatile toolkit and unmatched mobility, this makes them an excellent starting point for learning ability-based antagonists.

Feeling Some Spark: Power and Abilities

Power

To use your abilities, you're gonna need power, and lots of it. You get this through your Sap Power ability, explained further below.

The HUD in the top left of your screen will show you how much power you've got in reserve (labeled Energy), as well as a tracker of how much you've drained throughout the round (labeled Total). You have a maximum of 2500 units of power at once, which is more than enough to use your abilities as much as you want. The only way to lose energy is to use your abilities; you can't, say, be wired to the station's power grid and used as a generator.

Abilities

Arcfiend abilities are all about flexibility. While you have far fewer buttons to press than something like a Changeling, the abilities you do have are often capable of doing multiple different things depending on context, instead of being tailored for a single specific purpose. Learning the subtleties of your tools will make you a stronger arcfiend!

With Jolt as a notable exception, all of your offensive powers are based around crowd control, focusing on disorientation and knockbacks rather than direct damage. Take note of vending machines, glass tables, and other opportunistic hazards; these can be a great and deadly asset when you're flinging people around.

Icon Name Cooldown Energy Cost Description
Arcfiend SapPower.png Sap Power N/A N/A Sap something's power to gain it for your own personal usage. Both you and the target must stay in place and not be interrupted in order for this to work. While you're draining from something, sparks will continually fly everywhere with a distinctive zapping sound, so it'll be very obvious to anyone nearby that you're snacking on their precious power supply. A battery icon and a looping progress bar will also appear above your head, but only you can see these.

This ability has a few different interactions, depending on what you use it on:

  • Sapping from machines will slowly drain from the area's APC, proportional to how much energy the machine uses while idle. Machines that don't use any power on their own, like sleepers, won't yield power at all -- even if the action bar might make it seem that way!
  • Sapping from APCs will drain from the APC's cell directly, charging your power at a rate of 30 units per second. This is fast, but can often cause the APC to break, which will depower the whole area until it's repaired (which often indicates to the crew that an arcfiend is about!)
  • Sapping from SMES units will drain from its power reserves. This recharges you at the same rate as draining an APC, but it's very inefficient; 100 KJ of SMES charge translates to only about 30 units of energy for your good self. A full SMES can hold 100 MJ, so with a functioning engine setup this is peanuts in the grand scheme of things, but be judicious!
  • Sapping from a Cyborg will drain from their power cell (as long as they have some left), in addition to dealing 3 BURN per second and disorienting them. They probably won't like if you do this unless their laws have been changed, and since you're not considered human under the standard lawset, you may very rapidly find yourself on the bad side of an angry AI. On the plus side, this is tied with draining humans (see below) for the fastest sapping method, granting an impressive 40 units per second.
  • Humans and monkeys might not look like machines, but they've all got a big ol' battery inside of their chest. Just like cyborgs, sapping from them will provide power faster than any other method, inflicting 5 BURN per second in the process in addition to massively draining their stamina. People tend to not like being used as a power source, though, and might defend themselves unless you incapacitate them first. You can't drain from NPC-controlled mobs, only players (and only living ones, naturally; corpses provide no energy.)

Attempting to drain from a machine while your power is at maximum will still cause sparks and noise, but you won't gain any extra power yourself. Draining from a mob operates the same way, with damage and stamina loss still being inflicted even if you aren't gaining any more energy.

Arcfiend Discharge.png Discharge 15 seconds 25 This ability can be used in one of two ways: you can target an airlock to cut its power for a short time, or you can target a mob to discharge some electricity into them. For humans, this always deals at least 15 BURN, but typically deals a bit more due to the target being subjected to a hefty shock (which also drains stamina and disorients) alongside the guaranteed damage. Cyborgs take a flat 30 BURN, randomly either dealt to one part or distributed evenly. Both humans and cyborgs will also be flung up to 4 tiles directly away from you.

Both applications of this ability can only affect targets in melee range.

Arcfiend Flash.png Flash 10 seconds 25 After a brief 0.75 second charge-up, releases a burst of energy around you. Anyone within 2 tiles will be thrown away from you with significant force, taking a modest chunk of stamina damage and becoming disoriented in the process.
Arcfiend ArcFlash.png Arc Flash 12 seconds 50 Unleash a ranged bolt of electricity that does 24 BURN and inflicts hefty stamina loss. The arc can chain to up to two targets within 3 tiles of the original victim, each of whom take about half damage.
Arcfiend Polarize.png Polarize 12 seconds 50 Unleash a wave of charged particles, polarizing humans within a 4-tile range and giving them magnetic auras identical to the Bio-Magnetic Field random event for 20 seconds. All victims will have the same polarity, which is chosen randomly each time the ability is used. Like the random event, the SMES Human mutation will prevent victims from becoming polarized; however, unlike the random event, the Unionized trait does not provide protection from this ability!

Mobs affected by this ability multiple times will have their aura's duration extended, but their polarity will not change.

Arcfiend Ride The Lightning.png Ride The Lightning N/A 75 Expend energy to travel through electrical cables! It takes a second to enter, but once you're in you can travel through any cable as long as it's connected to the one you're in, and you'll see an overlay of all the cables near you so that you can navigate in the dark. Cables don't need to be powered (or even connected to anything) in order to be used. Energy is slowly expended when residing within a cable and is quickly consumed when moving, at a rate of 2 units per tile moved.

Naturally, the station is chock full of power cables, meaning that this ability's potential applications are limited only to how you can think of using it. Use it to scout, escape, get from place to place, infiltrate secure areas -- whatever you can think of. The only limit is your imagination and the station layout... and, of course, your power reserves.

Arcfiend JammingField.png Jamming Field 2 minutes 150 You radiate out electromagnetic waves and jam broadcasts for 30 seconds, completely blocking radio signals within 6 tiles -- most notably headsets. Anything that can send or receive packets is also affected, like PDAs and their pesky crisis alerts (which won't be received by anyone, even if the PDA's owner hits the button.) Excellent for stealth takedowns, as using this will render victims unable to call for help. Note that you'll emit a pulsing yellow aura while this ability is active, meaning that anyone who sees you will immediately know what's up.

This functions identically to the traitor's signal jammer; the effect is just attached to you instead of an item.

Arcfiend Jolt.png Jolt 2 minutes 200 Charge up and release a series of powerful jolts into a human in melee range. Each shock will do 5 BURN like your Sap Power ability, along with slowly stacking damage to their heart. If you manage to complete the activation, the target will instantly go into cardiac arrest, leaving them as good as dead without help! People with SMES Human do not receive any of these effects, and this can actually send them out of cardiac arrest, which does the opposite of killing them. It takes 12 seconds to charge up, and any actions taken by or against you while charging up or releasing jolts will end the ability early.

You can also use Jolt on yourself to restart your heart if it's stopped, which will cause the ability to cast instantaneously. This clears away your heart failure and heals a whopping 100 OXY, but it also causes 30 BURN and renders you unconscious for 5 seconds.

N/A Empowered SMES Human Passive N/A Identical to the genetics trait of the same name. You're completely immune to shocks -- whether it be from a hacked airlock, an engine hotwire, or an enemy arcfiend -- and bio-magnetic fields can't affect you. Since this variant of the mutation is Empowered, you also gain a 40% resistance to disorientation.

Unlike the normal mutation, the arcfiend's passive version is completely invisible, and it's impossible to remove with mutadone.

Being Ir-resistor-ble: Strategies as an Arcfiend

  • Discharge is useful as an all-around tool, whether for one-on-one combat or making a quick escape and depowering a door to buy you a few precious seconds to run away. Activating it is loud and visually distinctive, so be cautious if you're trying a stealthy approach. Just remember that the attack only works within melee range, so you might need to get a bit cozy with someone you usually don't want to.
  • Flash doesn't do any damage on its own, so it can pair well with abilities like Arc Flash.
  • Arc Flash can be used as long as you have eyes on your victim, meaning that windows will pose no obstacle. Walls and doors are a bit more of a barrier, but perhaps acquiring X-Ray Vision from Genetics might be of use to you...?
  • While Ride the Lightning is an excellent maneuvering tool, it does come with its disadvantages, like running into a wire's dead end. Scouting out areas you plan on going into with a t-ray scanner can be helpful for planning ahead, as can making your own escape routes by laying out extra wires. Better yet, do both.
  • Jolt is an extremely deadly finisher, but should only be used when your opponent is on the verge of being knocked out or has had significant stamina drain from your other powers. Consult Being A Better Traitor and maybe Chemicals for some help on how to incapacitate someone.
  • Bring tools, especially a welder, screwdriver, and wirecutters. If you weld and bolt the door behind you, you can use Ride the Lightning in order to make a speedy getaway.
  • Unlike certain other ability-based antagonists, you have no innate healing powers or damage resistance, which makes you very fragile. Damage vulnerability is your core weakness as an arcfiend. Carrying a first aid kit (or at least some tasty food) can go a long way towards keeping you from an early demise.
  • Almost all of your offensive powers utilize electrocution in some way, meaning that the SMES Human mutation can ruin your day by rendering your victims resistant or even immune to many of your abilities! Making sure that Genetics can't distribute it en masse (either by taking out the gene booth or by packing some mutadone and a way to administer it quickly, although this latter method won't help if it's been made Reinforced) might be in your best interest if things are looking bad.

Sleep Mode: Going Pacifist

Like the Vampire, you are able to play passively if so desired. You can do this by draining APCs on-station, but if you wish to minimize as much impact to the station as possible, you might consider going to off-station areas that aren't used very often and have an ample supply of power such as the Space Diner or Mining Outpost. The Mining Outpost specifically has four dedicated SMES units which will provide you as much power as you need as long as you provide a way to get in.

Just remember that while you can go pacifist, it doesn't mean you should! It'll probably be more fun if you interact with the crew and cause some chaos; that's why antagonists exist, after all. You can still use these remote areas to prepare your reserves or to lay low and let the heat die down, but try not to stay there the whole round.

Power Level: Arcfiend Objectives

Arcfiends get two objectives: one is an antagonist-specific objective to gather a certain amount of power (detailed below) and one is the standard antagonist objective to escape on the shuttle alive. As with almost all objectives, they are purely optional and more suggestions on what to do, and nobody will even glance your way if you just ignore them completely and doing something you find interesting!

Accumulate at least [powergoal] units of charge in total.

Straightforward enough; just do your thing for long enough and you're bound to hit this. The objective counts the total amount of power you've drained throughout the shift, not how much you have in your reserves for ability use. On the RP servers, the amount of power you need ranges from 3500 to 4000 units; on the Classic servers, it's 4500 to 5000 units.

Power to the People: Hunting an Arcfiend

Arcfiends are disguised as regular crew, and so you might have a hard time finding out who's who unless you can catch them in the act. Look for damaged APCs or areas which power is out, especially in isolated places such as in maintenance or off-station areas such as the Space Diner. Scan them for prints if you have access to a forensics device, as arcfiends have no choice but to touch the object they're sapping power from; even if they have the foresight to wear gloves, the fibers they leave behind might point you in the right direction.

One of the strongest ways to protect yourself from an arcfiend's shocks is the SMES Human mutation. It counters many of their offensive powers, making them weaker against you or even negating them entirely! This may take some time to find and unlock completely, though; even if you have a Geneticist on the case, don't expect them to have the power up and ready to go in just a few minutes' notice.

Despite all their wacky powers, arcfiends have the same weaknesses to fire, space, explosives, oxygen, crushers, bullets and lasers that you do. Changelings can spacewalk freely and regenerate from death, and Vampires can heal by taking a power nap in a coffin -- but the humble arcfiend has no such windfalls. Their body is in nearly all ways functionally identical to a regular human's. Damage is much more permanent, and must be healed through conventional methods. Sometimes the simplest methods are best!

Supplementary Videos

Jobs on Space Station 13
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Antagonist Roles With own mode Arcfiend · Blob · Changeling · Gang Member · Flockmind · Nuclear Operative · Spy Thief · Traitor · Revolutionary · Vampire · Wizard
Others Grinch · Hunter · Krampus · Werewolf · Wraith · Wrestler · Zombie · Gimmick antagonist roles
Special Roles Artificial Intelligence · Battler · Cluwne · Critter · Cyborg · Ghost · Ghostdrone · Monkey · Santa Claus