Feature Showcase: Forensic Firearm Investigation
Forensic Firearm Investigation is a new system that aims to give a fresh and realistic look at Firearms. The key objectives are to give immersion to various Crime Scenes and boost detective/investigative type of roleplay. New additions that this update include are Spent Cartridges/Shell Casings and an Investigation Lab.
Shell Casings / Spent Cartridges
Upon firing a weapon you will now notice that a spent cartridge is left behind.
If you are near one (or more) you can press Y which brings up an interaction menu that lists you the closest shell casings to your position.
Upon choosing one from the list you are greeted with a couple of options. You can choose to either examine (1) it or pick it up (2).
Examining a Shell Casing (1)
If you choose to examine a Shell Casing, a message sent to you revealing some details regarding this specific Spent Cartridge.
There are two pieces of information which would be of interest to you. Those are the Temperature and the Condition of the casing.
The temperature value starts from around 370°C (~700°F) and drop down to environment temperature (which you get via /weather) at a decreasing rate. The whole process takes around 5 minutes which gives you a nice window to time events and so forth.
On the other hand, there are four (4) different levels of condition. A shell casing can be Trashed, Severely damaged, Good or Excellent which is internally randomized whenever a round is fired thus a casing is dropped onto the ground and plays a huge role in the examination part of the system which is covered later down below.
Picking one up (2)
Dropped Shell Casings have a "lifetime" of two hours, they get automatically deleted if no-one picks them up within that window and are not stored in the database. They can be picked up anyone and is suggested that you do if you wish to avoid the Law's attention.
Trying to use one (via /useitem) will display the condition, the cartridge type but not the temperature.
Trying to use one as a LEO gives you an extra field called Label in which you can populate with some text and as you can see, it is now considered an Evidence Bag. It is expected that you roleplay picking and bagging them up when you do so.
The Forensic Laboratory is a facility where Shell Casings are brought to for Analysis. By entering the premises and pressing Y, once again you are greeted with an interaction menu.
Most notable at this point is the "Turn In Shell Casings" option. Upon selection, it runs a process that goes through your inventory items and extracts all the shell casings out of it. The Lab Personnel would then proceed and run a preliminary examination for each of the casings that you've just brought in that determines whether or not an Evidence Bag will be kept for further examination and long term storage. For a Shell Casing to be stored and be further examined, it needs to have a satisfactory condition and the cartridge must have been fired from a non-police-issued firearm. The second constraint is straight forward but as for the condition it goes as following:
If a Shell Casing's condition is label as Trashed then it instantly gets discarded.
If it is labeled as Severely damaged then there is around 75% chance to be discarded.
If it is labeled either Good or Excellent then it is kept for further examination and long term storage.
The Evidence Bags that are kept, they are assigned an ID and can be previewed using the /casing command or using the Mobile Data Computer.
MDC Shell Casings Evidence Bags
The Command Explanation option displays you a short help text related to the /casing command, the command functions are also explained in detail within this thread further down below.
The Help Page option directs you to this page.
After a Shell Casing (effectively an Evidence Bag by now) finally goes through the submitting process the Lab immediately starts examining the Spent Cartridge for unique striations and markings. This process effectively takes ~40 minutes for a Shell Casing to complete. Keep in mind that the quality of the casing influences both the time needed to yield results and the amount of Evidence Bags/Casings needed in order to get a positive match. After the examination the Evidence Bag becomes available for checking/matching against seized weapons or Serial IDs. Effectively it comes down to a routine where everyone collects evidence, labels them and passes them onto the Lab for processing. Then when a weapon is seized from a suspect that in turn gets passed onto the Lab to match against all the processed casings and see if there's any matches.
Here are two examples, one of a positive match and the opposite.
If there are more than 10 casings relating to a specific firearm then you are prompted with expand option.
The expand option would list the evidence bags like this
For simplicity, all "commands" related to this system all fall under one command in a form of a tree. You can see the various "sub-options" and their corresponding actions below.