Named after the distinct shape of its hull, Manta was a mid-sized ocean-based map designed for low- to middle-size populations, namely 80 and below. In addition to several unique tilesets and sprites, a slight military theming, and a few small map-specific mechanics, its main gimmick was its attempts to simulate a moving submarine.
September 14, 2019 to December 26, 2021
As with its stationary cousin Oshan, Manta heralded many new features and firsts, namely being first to:
- Simulate ship movement! See below for more details.
- Feature an actual communications system and hire a Communications Officer to protect it.
- Forgo a Plasma Research area in favor of the ship torpedo system.
- Have its own map-specific random event, which involves...
- Use junction boxes, which can sometimes malfunction.
- Feature functional display cabinets, shelves, and racks, the latter of which are prominently used in the Garbage Garbs clothing store, another new addition.
- Have coffeemakers and dispensers.
- Include a roulette wheel & table in the bar.
- Incorporate a rock worm farm, located, naturally, in Mining.
- Have loudspeakers, prominently featured in Engineering.
- Substitute the Captain's bonsai plant with something else, namely the ship in a bottle.
- Utilize several new flooring sprites and unfortunately purely aesthetic pieces of furniture, such as clocks, posters, toilet paper, diploma frames, ATM covers, and, many, many more.
- Have a unique cinematic for when Nuclear Operatives successfully detonate their nuclear bomb.
Ship Movement Mechanics
In real life, submarines require highly-advanced hydraulics and other mechanical systems to move, but here in the comfortably soft sci-fi universe of SS13, you start and stop the Manta through a simple computer located in the Bridge called the lever console. Starting and stopping the ship is near-instant; no dealing with inertia or engine stalling! It's locked to those with Bridge access (i.e. usually Heads of Staff), there's a big server-wide announcement every time the ship stops and goes that's accompanied by a brief screen shake, and once you pull the lever, you can't touch it again until at least five minutes have passed, so drive with care.
When the ship is moving, technically the ship itself doesn't move; the game isn't changing the location of the ship. Instead, it simulates the ocean moving around the ship, thus creating the effect of things moving relative to the ship. Any people and any objects in the water that aren't properly anchored will start moving southward towards the lower edge of the station z-level, shifting left or right if there's an obstacle. If something reaches the edge of the Manta ship Z-level, it'll fall into the trench. No matter what side it's coming from, it'll always fall in the same section of the Trench. However, this section can change from round to round.
When you are in the ocean, you receive the Slowed status effect, which, naturally, significantly slows movement unless you have a jetpack with thrusters active. In addition, all the sponges, seaweed, kelp, coral, and other flora and fauna disappear. They're actually still there, just invisible; you can cut them if you right click the tile there's on and choose Interact and such. Also, the eight propellers become active; currently, they don't consume any power or anything, but it is a Bad Idea to go near them. Finally, explosions can't make holes into Trench like they do on Oshan. Speaking of which, like Oshan, while you still need air when exploring the water, the water's shallow enough that you don't need a diving suit, and flippers make you swim through it faster.
When the ship is still, it's basically like playing on Oshan Laboratory. You can see coral, seaweed, and other sea life, explosions create holes to the Trench, all that jazz associated with the Seafloor.
To safely transverse the seas when the ship is moving, you need to either:
- Be in a minisub. The sub is completely immune to the sway of the currents, but be careful when exiting it, for you can still be dragged away if you get out on a seafloor tile or lattice.
- Have a jetpack or equivalent with thrusters activated. You'll still feel the pull of the currents, but you won't be carried away if you stand still. The magnetic tether also needs to be active.
- Also, unless you have aquatic genetics, you can't breathe in the ocean, so you should also have internals.
- Cyborgs can safely propel themselves through the currents with propulsion thrusters. The AI's small eggbot/eyebot shells it starts with have built-in thrusters, so while they still have to fight the tug of currents, they don't have to worry about being dragged away.
- Ghostdrones can move freely through the ocean if the magnetic tether is active. However, if it is down, they will get pulled away.
If you're out in the ocean while the ship is moving, and you don't have the correct equipment on, you're gonna get swept away by the current. Immediately scream over the radio, activate a crisis alert for Medical, and/or try to send a PDA to someone to rescue you or the Command staff to stop the ship. The current's slow enough that you can probably afford to do all three.
If you can't get anybody to help you in time and fall into the trench, there's still some hope. If you haven't called for help through any of the aforementioned methods, do it now. Stay put while waiting for rescue. You always wind up in the same part of the Trench no matter what part of the map you fall off of. When people attempt to do the same to find you, they'll spend less time searching for if you just stay where you are.
If you have the diving equipment or equivalent and internals, you could try going to the ship's mining outpost, whose GPS identifier is NT-MO. However, the path to it might have sharkdrones, fishdrones, and other hazards, and you might not even be able to get to it without mining tools, so if you're not prepared for either, it's better to stay where you are and call for help.
Created by a former admin & spriter with the help of several other admins, coders, mentors and community members, Manta was released to the public in September 2019 after several months of teasers and tests. It would be the second underwater-themed map to arrive on Goonstation and the first ship map to be set underwater.
In October, Manta received major renovations. First, Manta was wrecked; for a few days, it started out with several walls and windows missing and broken, having in-universe weathered several attacks during a special admin event. Then, Manta was rebuilt; a new version of the map was rolled out with several more changes. The Sea Turtle was added, which came with a dedicated area for the Construction Worker (back when it was still in the regular job rotation, not when there was the Construction Game Mode) and an extra supply closet for the Janitor. The Tunnel Snake Mining Rig was replaced with a smaller mining outpost, and the old Mining area was closed down, leaving behind a vast empty grey room. Security received new stucco-style walls, similar in design to those used on the Sea Turtle.
As part of a Syndicate vs NanoTrasen storyline going on at the time, a NT Representative was added to the map, heralding the arrival of the NT Reputation system.
There were plans for a second round of map changes. Cargo would move to the Mining submarine bay adjacent to it. The Kitchen and Hydroponics would relocate to the area left behind by the Cargo Bay move and the pre-existing vacant space that used to be Mining. More interestingly, the two rooms would also take on a new Japanese temple theme, complete with ponds. Meanwhile, a sushi bar would have opened in the place where botany and kitchen once were. These plans were halted when the admin who made the map left in early 2020.
Later on, in September 2021, the Tunnel Snake Mining Rig was reintroduced, replacing the old underwater mining outpost that itself was meant to replace the Tunnel Snake.
In spite of its checkered history, development of the map still continues, and the coder team is still open to new additions, as with all maps. The storylines related to the map may have grounded to a halt, but that doesn't mean they have been cancelled. Instead, they are waiting for someone to kickstart it.
As the computer console in the Bridge can tell you, Manta is a submarine built shortly after the creation of Oshan Laboratory, and its the main goal is patrolling the waters surrounding the research station.
After four weeks of patrol, the ship received a distress signal from the NSS Polaris. It attempted to rescue the vessel, but unfortunately was unable to uncover the where-abouts of either the ship or its crew while sweeping the seafloor. The search is still ongoing, and the crew is now sending out search teams to probe the nearby deep-sea Trench. Meanwhile, Nanotrasen sent a representative to the Manta and Oshan Laboratory to investigate the matter. This of course is where the NSS Polaris adventure zone comes in.
Following an attack on the NSS Manta, a repair ship, the Sea Turtle, arrived to fix up the damage and do some renovations. They gave the Security area some new stucco-style walls and cleared out the old Mining area to make way for some relocations and expansions. As a result, the Miners relocated to the Sea Turtle and now do their work there.
Civilian & Recreation
Slightly modified from a map compiled by pali6 and friends. Save or open in a new tab for a bigger version. Now with ship directions.
Please note the map is somewhat outdated; the Mining area is now located on a ship on the east side of Manta. You can access it through the maintenance area surrounding the Sub Bay (Starboard).
<img src=https://i.imgur.com/Mo5HokP.png style="width:1100px;height:750px;>