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Complaining about topside is cool
But topside is too soft and you're doing it wrong!

I acknowledge that my frustration here is likely greatly enhanced by what's been happening around here lately and may need to take a step back. But I do still want to express my frustration with a portion of the community's feedback and genuinely hope it'll be considered.

An endlessly discouraging critique of Sindome is that topside is soft and that it needs to be more ruthless. The reality of topside is that ruthlessness unchecked and laid out for all to see demands people get pulled out of topside. This is a positive thing, in my view, and incredibly themely. A -lot- of dirty deals go down. A -lot- of mix oppression and manipulation takes place. A -ton- of corpies are cultivating mixers like pawns, some even willing ones. Why don't you hear about them? Likely because what you do hear about means that someone somewhere failed, possibly exposing themselves or their Corps. Or because your alt hasn't yet done the social engineering required (as a part of social PvP) to get invited into this world. Or maybe there's a themely niche topic waiting for someone to drive it and it's looking right you. If you're sitting there waiting for staff to do it and tug you along, you're really missing out.

I'm so exhausted of people saying that all of topside is boring. It -is- boring on the surface level. The salary man drudging along. But if you think that's all that's happening, please believe me, you're wrong. There are certainly times were people in certain segments of the game stagnate. We all have lives, shit happens. We all have our ups and downs. But writing them off as not trying feels enormously unfair. Also, its only fair to say that topside conflict is like playing chess. It can be a slow game. The build up can take ages. It can also all fall apart, leaving you to rebuild. But its not because youre not trying.

If you're unwilling to dig deeper and want your RP handed to you on a plate, then don't go topside. If you dislike conflict and just want to snuggle, you're gonna stagnate topside and then wonder gee, why is my character so boring? If there's a part of topside theme you want to see pushed then push it. You can do this whether or not you're topside.

How do you get mentoring on this? Start commenting on the themely issues that interest you and see who comments back. Start talking to those people - even if they're across the divide. If there's an avenue to form a plan that encompasses that issue, pitch it to your boss, and then intentionally rope in whoever seemed interested.

Corporations, all of them, are -awful-. Do they have nice things, sure. But in the end they see people as a means to an end. You are just an object to exploit. Mixers can complain about how NLM censors or controls people through media, how VS views people as machines that generate chy for them, how Saedor Krupp doesn't care about your mental health, or how PRI runs shitty factories where people are injured, underpaid, and even die. They can suggest doing uncomfortable but themely jobs because theyre 'desperate' to survive. Even if you do have a lot of resources, you can still adopt the mentality that these resources are the bare minimum that you scratched and clawed for.

Corpies can enforce this theme not by ignoring these realities, but by sickly justifying them. Don't like how your job restricts you? Then build it into something themely that generates themely roleplay. How would your character use their resources to maximize CP themes? Maybe you're the good guy fighting the man from the background. Cool, but in doing so enhance how big the evil you face is everyday. Acknowledge that you're nothing in the grand scheme of a Corporation. Acknowledge that thousands of mixers died today so you could be tucked upcozy in your fancy pad. Your just a little cog, easily replaced.

My favorite rival was the person who was pure. The one who wanted to affect change. They took a big risk, and then fell because of it. Now they're damaged, confused and angry and rping it beautifully. They're a more themely character now, but they needed that time for topside to break them in. I did too, in different ways. They know what topside really is. They took that time to ride out and establish character. We bitterly snapped over SIC regularly, and at townhall, emote hugs. This is real, good themely roleplay. I dont talk to this person ooc, but I know with how seriously they react to my character, they respect me as a player. I try to do the same for them.

Just droning on complaining in circles with every guided discussion and every town hall is just a massive bummer, at least to me. Its so incredibly disheartening as someone who sees others working their hardest to push theme. Its fine to complain, but at least offer how it could be different and then IC push for those changes. Please allow room for people to play the way that is unique to them, even if thats not how you would do it.

Please stop making blanket statements about how everything sucks and its always been terrible and nobody's even trying topside. Most of these complaints are easily answered with one thing - patience. Its a slow game most of the time but the reward can be great. Please acknowledge the effort of your fellow players. We're all trying and some of you are better than us at it. If we weren't at least trying, we wouldn't be playing SD. There's a reason why all of us picked this game in particular and I hope we can at least enjoy each other for that.

@Papertiger wrote

I acknowledge that my frustration here is likely greatly enhanced by what's been happening around here lately and may need to take a step back. But I do still want to express my frustration ...

The feedback and suggestions on how to improve the game are not personal. Some of us might think, "Hey. I resemble that comment!" That recognition is just an affirmation that the dynamic being spoken about exists. Nobody is a bad person for playing the game a certain way. Similarly, just because there are some people who are saying, "This way that the game is being played could be improved." That does not mean that those people are personally attacking anyone who happens to enjoy a particular style of game play.

The reality of topside is that ruthlessness unchecked and laid out for all to see demands people get pulled out of topside. This is a positive thing, in my view, and incredibly themely. A -lot- of dirty deals go down. A -lot- of mix oppression and manipulation takes place. A -ton- of corpies are cultivating mixers like pawns, some even willing ones. Why don't you hear about them? Likely because what you do hear about means that someone somewhere failed, possibly exposing themselves or their Corps. Or because your alt hasn't yet done the social engineering required (as a part of social PvP) to get invited into this world.

The perception is that there is a lack of combat topside. (At least, that is my take away from the topics in the last week.) Put another way, in the Mix there is a lot of obvious violent conflict and red text. There is also a lot of social conflict.

The perception, or even reality is that once characters "go topside" , the violent conflict more or less disappears. We don't have VS chemists shooting NLM stars outside of KMB. We don't even have PRI CorpSec shooting it out with VS CorpSec outside of SenseNet. We do not even have CorpSec shooting it out in the Mix.

There is the perception that "a lot of" combat characters are sitting topside not doing "combat" on anything close to a regular basis. Those characters are mechanically (skill / stat wise, cyber / nano wise, gear wise) the top tier combat characters in the game. The fact that they're sitting on the bench, scheming behind the scenes instead of leaning into their roles as combat machines rubs a portion of the playerbase the wrong way.

... topside is boring. It -is- boring on the surface level.

Also, its only fair to say that topside conflict is like playing chess. It can be a slow game.

The build up can take ages. It can also all fall apart, leaving you to rebuild.

This is the crux of the issue. Everything noted here is also available in the Mix. There's nothing magical about topside being like chess. There are factions in the Mix playing chess with each other. Factions trying to make their rivals look bad to their bosses. Factions tearing down people's reputation and making them socially radioactive to the point where "nobody" wants to RP with them.

To reiterate. That "social conflict" seems to be the only conflict topside. CorpSec is sitting on the bench. Corpos are "cultivating Mixers like pawns". (conflict through proxy, not direct conflict). Also "A -lot- of mix oppression and manipulation takes place. (the conflict is in the Mix, it's a byproduct of the social scheming. It is not topside.)

If there's a part of topside theme you want to see pushed then push it. You can do this whether or not you're topside.

This is contradictory. The issue that people are raising is that there is not enough combat / kinetic conflict affecting sectors other than Red.

One part of the player base is saying, "The lack of combat outside of Red is a feature. It's always been that way. That's the way "we" like it."

Another part of the player base is saying, "The lack of combat outside of Red is a bug. Direct corp on corp violent conflict is a key element of cyberpunk theme."

@papertiger suggests (paraphrasing)

If you want to see more violent conflict topside, then push that conflict. At the same time, it was also stated, Why don't you hear about them? Likely because what you do hear about means that someone somewhere failed, possibly exposing themselves or their Corps.

Does everyone see the contradiction there?

Go push what you want (violent conflict) top side.


If anyone hears about the conflict, it's because the people doing the conflict failed.

My personal take on it is this.

Nobody gets a free ride in Withmore. Nobody is ever safe in Withmore. Right now it seems like once a character leaves the Mix and heads topside, they leave behind 99% of the violence. They trade the risk of violent death for the risk of losing their job, and being cast down to the Mix where violent death awaits them.

Nobody is suggesting that topside players can stop scheming, using Mixers as pawns, and being pricks to each other in an attempt to get people fired / force their fall from topside.

What I see in the various topics is the suggestion that we all (players and staff alike) take a long hard look at the shared agreement that "topside is safe from violence" because "that's the way it's always been." A key element of that is finding ways to get CorpSec engaged in combat more frequently.


(Edited by Slither at 1:54 pm on 10/2/2022)

There is nothing stopping corpsec from getting involved in violence. This is totally on them.

Papertiger's complaint is far more about than only the complaints about lack of violence or actions for corporate security to take, it's about the general sentiment from players overall. If they cannot see if, they don't think it's happening. And that isn't true - just because your character isn't involved in a plot, conflict, tension, etc doesn't mean others aren't doing it. There are many topside characters moving around pieces topside and in the Mix. Funding people in both sectors. Mentoring people in both sectors.

The playstyles from mix to topside aren't the same and the aesthetics are also different. It's an important understanding when leveling out constructive criticism.

The reality is both sectors benefit players with different playstyles. If you're a person who thrives off being able to respond to visible stuff going on, something you can run to immediately, some random event of chaos - the Mix is a great playstyle for you.

But you if you need others to start something for you for you to keep interest in the game and playing, topside probably isn't 100% the best for you because it isn't going to be as visible, as in your face, and it isn't something you can run towards to watch all the time. You'll get bored and restless.

Naturally there's people of both playstyles who are outliers who do great in either sector, but like most things in games - everything is what you make of it. And it's vital to be honest with yourself about how you like to play and where you can thrive and if a role is actually bad or if it's just bad for -you-. That doesn't make you a bad person or a bad player, it just means you play a different way.

Which is precisely the point papertiger is making - people play different ways. THey play in their own unique ways which work for them and they try to involve others - it may not always work. But let people play the way they want to play. Just because a person is playing in a way that doesn't involve you or you don't know about doesn't mean it's a bad playstyle. Or that the players playing those way aren't doing anything.

Quiet doesn't mean inactive. And loud doesn't mean master of the plots and RP. Both can be intricately involved, or both could be doing nothing.

Some of the best corporate players in the last handful of years have been deemed as 'quiet' or 'do nothing', when they have done the most for mentoring and getting others involved and wanting people to have fun. Corporate play is generally a longer play, a longer journey. It takes a while to earn some trust and move into circles. That's the nature of politicking. Or in some cases, as they might say on The Challenge: polidicking.

It does tend to be a more Lords and Ladies affair with court intrigue and scandals and really really heavily armed guards, I'm not shocked when players bounce off it if they are expecting something a little more Ghost in the Shell and a little less Wolf Hall.
But even so: It's true that topside is a sometimes unfairly targeted whipping boy, stereotyped like the cerebral politician to the jock solo Mix fantasy, and in a lot of ways it feels like a very old sentiment that gets borrowed and re-borrowed again to each new generation regardless of how much things have long since changed.

I know I played topside many years ago, hated it, left and then came back a year later and absolutely blown away by the development in the meantime, even though I decided it wasn't for me personally. There is a ton of talent there, the best talent, it has a lot of important functions in the game in terms of serving playstyles, schedules, and personalities that the rest of the game really doesn't cater to at all. Especially, especially in terms of technical and creative and social/political archetypes which otherwise would have very little support.

And although I didn't personally like it, I actually think topside is superior to the Mix in design and mechanical implementation, superior in distinct faction design, superior in balance, and superior in making non-standard roles possible. I go on a lot about improving the Mix, but part of that is seeing what lessons were learned from topside and seeing which of those could be applied.

I've definitely contributed to this perception.

I haven't complained about topside because I thought I'd get cool person status for doing it, or because I'm OOCly trying to get attention.

At the same time, I think it's disingenuous to look around topside and go "Yup, everything's great here." We're not at the point where it's hit burning building 'this is fine' meme but I also think that it's very silly to totally ignore the staggering burnout rates in a fair number of career fields topside, when the mix does not have these same problems with the same careers.

I'd like to give a huge thumbs up to Hek for being able to put to words some of my own feelings in ways that are probably better than what I'd have bumbled through doing myself. One of the things I really, genuinely dislike about this conversation that's been going in circles for years and years on end is the talking point that topside is for 'slower' 'more tactical' or 'strategic' gameplay than the mix is. This really, truly just isn't the case. There's tons of people in the mix that plot the downfall of their opponents over the course of six to nine months, and plenty of people who accomplish their goals via other means than turning the opponent into chipped beef. Hek nailed this really well. There's this concept of "They have this, and we have this, and that's what we each own!" when I think the situation is more along the lines of "The mix has all of these things" with a slant towards ultraviolence and topside is more of a "We almost exclusively have political RP."

I do not want to homogenize the gameplay experience between sectors. I really can't stress that enough. When I say "Let's take a successful mix system, ganging, and apply it to corpsec" I don't mean that literally. I don't want corpie hour to be "YOYO BOYYYYYYY VSEC TUUUUUURFFFFFFFF!!! FUCK YOU IMA TAG YOR LOBBIE!"

I would love to see more tactical, more thought out and organized combat with higher stakes and bigger gains. And I don't want it to come at the cost of what we have now. The driving force for this for me is walking around and seeing what amounts to tons of set pieces sitting around unused. Of seeing an armory get opened up once a quarter for someone's promotion (or demotion). Of seeing many, many support character jobs sit perpetually empty because they basically serve zero purpose and players burn out of them because there's zero class fantasy content for them to fulfill.

The TL;DR version here is that I don't think adding more visceral and direct conflict to topside is going to remove the things that people like about it right now. And I don't think it's particularly fair to look at the dozens of people on the BGBB and XOOC who are complaining about topside and write them off as crybabies or that "It's just not for you" when a significant number of these people have played corporate characters for an extended period of time, fallen to the mix and have said IC/OOC "Yeah, I'm not going back." There are very clearly problems present and acknowledging them and trying to address them doesn't mean that we're setting out to be deliberate assholes to the people who currently enjoy topside.

I played my very first character for about six months. In that time, I was pulled into some pretty awesome political intrigue. RP in this vein ranged from unknown callers asking for job related biz to extortion from Jakes, to being beholden to a PC just for -getting- the job the character had.

It was very cool. I did quit for about six months though, and just missed logging in by a couple of days. Character was reaped.

And now? I've learned ways to play this kind of chess game between mix/topside too. It's very very doable and yes, it often takes months to see the desired end result for a specific goal. And it can all fall apart too.

The play exists in and from any sector. If you're looking to play this way? I suggest pick an overarching goal. A broad target. Something like, "I want to convince as many mixers as possible that working for corporations without leaving the mix is flash money.".

Then break it down with smaller goals to achieve it. It's called reverse planning. Focus on individuals as targeted for good or bad biz. Avoid targeting entire entities (I.E. I'm going to destroy VS-999. Not, I'm going to bring down VS). Reach out to relevant topsiders. Build trust, eventually lay out the idea to your new chum. See how they can help and what you can both gain from it. Branch out. Let your rep with that person connect you to others. And remember that youre ultimately out for yourself. If you are.

Social maneuvering can involve a lot of things. Different approaches. Maybe you're openly sleazy with biz, but people work with you because you get results. Maybe you play bottom on the surface, accommodating and subservient, but scheme behind the mask. Dig for data and favors and work in ways that sound like you're doing -them- a favor. Figure out -how- your goal might benefit someone else and pitch it.

And above all else, remember that while corporate citizens might see a mixer as a tool and a pawn, they are no less of a disposable tool to you, whether they think it or not. They will absolutely seek to use you like a nice can of Osakasama before pitching you in the trash when your usefulness runs dry. But at the end of the day, a corporate citizen is just expensive beer to a lot of mixers.

But yeah, it exists. It's social intrigue and underhanded, shady, under the table biz. It's politicking and maneuvering and socially destroying or building someone up with knives in the back. Only your tongue is the sam sword that cleaves someone in two with some patsy's sword arm.

It took me years to start getting the hand of it, and requires a ton of patience and care, but it can be just as so so satisfying as sic prepping and taking gangers on rival turf.

Beautifully written. But what Talon is trying to say is that there isn’t enough -combat- topside. Red text kind of combat. Violence. Combat characters sit around in lobbies doing nothing because the players have the impression that they have no reason to attack other corps/the mix.

In terms of “be the change”, maybe convince some of your coworkers in corp sec to join you in going down to the mix and try to secure a place you think your corp would want to own. Or grab and interrogate a mixer straight out of a bar to show corporate power, using the SIC brownouts in the mix to your advantage. All you gotta do then is convince your boss that this endeavor was worth it, show them how it benefited the corp, and get reimbursed…better to ask permission than forgiveness.

Wanna attack a rival corp’s lobby? Or sneak in and try to steal their assets? Go for it! Ask a coworker who’s good at the political intrigue side of corp play to charm your boss into accepting that yes, the impromptu corpsec raid on SK was a necessary and advantageous action that resulted in SK stocks plummeting and your corp profiting etc etc.

Don’t think of it like you have to convince staff. Talk to your NPC bosses as if you’re at a corporate board meeting. They worship the almighty Chyen. Convince them that this increased shareholder profits. But just go for it! Nothing will change if you never take action.

For sure, though I'm commenting more to the original post in this case.

As far as combat with corpsec...

I tend to see them as more like the KGB or Gestapo. Aside from typical violent crime against their corporation, their job isn't reeeally to fight.

Their primary task is to prevent violent action in the first place. Data sleuthing, detective work and preventative measures.

If they have to resort to violence as a defensive measure, then they've failed at their job somewhere.

Unless it was they that arranged the violence to come to them. Maybe for a show of force, etc.

I like the kidnapping thoughts, etc. That's very secret police of them too. And without being provoked first is even better. For the mentioned reasons.

If they have to resort to violence as a defensive measure, then they've failed at their job somewhere.

After the Hall of Justice, this was in my experience the foremost reason very little interesting violent conflict happened topside. Characters will actively stand in the way of plots playing out because their players viewed conflict as a fail state and potentially letting 'the other side' win. Part of the reason I ended up disliking Topside v Mix conflict as a paradigm, since it really promoted that mindset.

I remember expending about as much effort keeping security and WJF away from events so something interesting might happen, as I spent effort planning the events themselves.

I may have been murky in my explanation. I think corpsec absolutely should engage in violence, but not necessarily as a product of the cliche, "mixer suicide bombs corp x.

Ideally, violence is a by product of corpsec scheming. For example, arrange a plot that targets a rival corporation and forces -them- to defend themselves, showing a lack of effective vigilance on their part.

If you find days suggesting a pending attack on your corporation, work to direct it elsewhere. Or to profit from it instead. The best violence is done on -your- terms, and that holds true for every sector.

Don't stop plots you uncover. Manipulate them to your advantage.

That’s how it seems to be now, yes, with the secret police type of corpsec RP. I feel like the idea is to reimagine corpsec as Agents who actually fight and engage in combat because it’s more fun for the player that way…

Or at least do anything to help corpsec be more than just a bunch of lobby guards and camera watchers. It has so much potential, the idea of a security force that is loyal to a corporation and carries out that corp’s will.

I think that's up to the corpsec player. There's different styles. You can have an agent who's stealthy and in the thick of things, you can have one that's loud and just goes ham, or you can have the one's who move pieces around from their ivory tower. All valid playstyles, in my view.

But my beef isn't with people who just want more combat. More combat, sure. If that's what interests people. My beef is with people who say topside players do nothing and that they aren't actually playing the game. Those who make blanket statements that topside is just dress up and moosex.

To continue the discussion, why would a player who wants more red text go topside? Legitimate question. The whole point of topside has always been a more stable, safe environment where you have to use politics and backroom tactics to win instead of brute force. Why would I go 'ah, yes, instead of being a ganger, I'll go corpsec. I'll get all this cool cyberware to fight the other corpsec teams, surely'. No. Are there rare situations where two corpsec teams could theoretically fight each other? Sure. I do think topside players forget corporate sovereignty a lot, remember, the WJF can't do shit to do you if you're in corporate territory (unless the corp lets them/wants them to). But that's never the goal. Your goal is to protect the interests of your corp, and sabotage the interests of the other corps. By whatever means you see fit. If corpsec wants to be more than lobby/camera watchers, they can. If they don't, it's because they don't want to, so why are we running with the idea that this is somehow a latent desire that is being limited by the powers that be or by game systems? There are a bajillion ways for corps to fuck with each other, and if they don't, it's because the players don't want to. Could corp NPCs guide/encourage this a bit better? Sure, maybe. But NPCs shouldn't be guiding conflict, and they certainly don't in the mix, topside should be no different.

People cite burnout and stagnation, but I haven't seen this. Since I started playing, topside has only gotten larger and more populated over the years. And the moosex complaint is laughable, I remember a week or so people were complaining about it on xooc and no exaggeration, and hour later, the mix was having a lite moosex event. It was very popular. Can't make this up.

It's hard not to see this as just 'topside isn't how I want it to be so I want it changed' and sour grapes because the mix is, currently, dull. The playerbase didn't magically change overnight or over months or even years. People didn't suddenly decide they wanted slice of life RP and abandoned the mix. There are reasons for topside growing, as there are reasons for the mix being dull, and the 'lack of redtext' isn't it. Go kill a few people, stir the pot. See if anything changes. It won't. It'll make it worse.

I'll finalize by saying that if you legitimately don't think there is topside conflict, then you must have not played a lot of topside, or you're seeing what you want to see. One of the most, if the not the most successful topside character in recent years was literally infamous for conflict.

Sly hath spoken the gospel here.

Only thing I'd suggest is that there's nothing wrong with NPCs guiding plot, but don't expect it. We all know our GMs are understaffed and overworked. But hey, if you want to work on a plot that they can jump on board and get the community involved in, there's a handy dandy submission right here...

In fact, @staff can we pin this one pls?

@RatchetEffect the submission form is dead
Booooo. Why?
In response to @sly

"Why would I go 'ah, yes, instead of being a ganger, I'll go corpsec. I'll get all this cool cyberware to fight the other corpsec teams, surely'."

People seem to forget that corpsec isn't simply hall monitors and lobby guards. It isn't simply that they're secret agents who do spy games and manipulate people all throughout the dome. Corpsec is, quite literally the entire combined armed forces of the globe, each representing the territory and statehood of their corporations.

Do you join the military today to try and go into SIGINT? (corpsec spy) Sure. Do people join the military to be MP's (hall monitors and lobby guards) Yes. But that's a small portion of the people who join the military because they either want to defend their country (read: preferred corporation) or because their country (again, corporation) provides them with compelling benefits to join. To use US terms, corpsec is the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, Homeland Security and FBI rolled into one massive conglomerate under a single umbrella.

Something I personally find extremely lacking in SD is this sort of class fantasy. You're not a street thug doing it to get rich or because you want to crack skulls. You're not a syndicate member doing it to do back alley assassinations and run a crime empire. You might, however, be doing it because you want to roleplay being a bastard and fighting other corporations. Not because they're oppressing you, but because you have a shitload of stock options saying that if they fail, you get fat stacks.

"People cite burnout and stagnation, but I haven't seen this."

You can't be serious. In going on six years of playing the game, there has been a very steady, regular procession of corpsec agents lining up in front of the skywalks and doing Olympic diving competitions. Every month or two you get a former agent falling and joining TERRA, or a gang, or mix security, or to be a solo, or join a syndicate. In fact, I can only name a few characters who have legit permed out of the role during my time. Almost the entirety of the rest of them either quit the game (hello, burnout. Bored people quit. People having fun don't quit.) or they do the triple backflip nosedive to the mix. I'd argue that a pretty large percentage of the mix divers do it... because that's where the action of the game is, and they spent months or years trying to become an action hero.

"It's hard not to see this as just 'topside isn't how I want it to be so I want it changed' and sour grapes because the mix is, currently, dull."

The mix being dull is your opinion. I don't think it's dull. I see gang fights, medical rivalries, turf wars between entities, clubs competing with one another, people bounty hunting and running contracts- I see a hell of a lot of content happening that doesn't happen topside.

The suggestions and ideas as they've been presented haven't been "I don't like this, change it." It's been "There's a deficiency of content in these areas, let's try and build those out." Nobody is advocating turning all the corpsec agents into marines. Nobody is saying that corporations should places to go to seethe with rage at the rival corporation's presence.

What myself and others are suggesting is that perhaps it'd be nice if combat characters with combat sheets, and combat gear, actually did... wait for it.... combat things. Not at the expense of the content of everyone else, but in addition to it.

And I'm saying your claims aren't based on what's actually happening, Talon. If people were nosediving left right and center from burning out topside, wouldn't the mix be far more populated than topside, and we wouldn't have these conversations to begin with? I can think of currently... 3? Maybe? Former corp characters in the mix. In the past six months or so, I can remember even less people than that falling. I may be wrong, I'm not watching like a hawk, but there it is.

All I'm saying is people with combat sheets, and combat gear... Aren't stopped from doing combat. They're not doing combat because they don't want to do combat. They want to roleplay... And occasionally do combat or have the threat of combat there. No offense to anyone, but Sindome's combat isn't exactly riveting. It's usually one-sided and quite uninteractive, I think you'd be surprised at how many combat characters you'll find actually don't care for combat that much. You've got the Hall, you've got corpsec, security positions at businesses, there's plenty of room for combat. But the mix is right there, if you just want to throw UE at each other and kill people for loot. That's what it's there for. You have corp projects, stock market, lowered prices all around the game, more incentive than ever for corporate conflict, if people aren't doing it, it's because they don't want to do it, it really is quite as simple as that. And as I've stated, people do conflict, it just doesn't get physical all the while and that fine. It's designed that way.

And for the record, I don't think the mix is dull, I was just parroting what I've seen people say in these threads. I think ganging is the best designed system in the game, going as far as to say that if you're playing in the mix and not ganging, you're essentially kneecapping yourself. Do I think a ganging-like system topside is wanted, though? Not at all. Homogenization is a dangerous thing and the mix/topside should never work similarly. If corpsec are bored and feel like they have nothing to do or they want to get into combat or conflict, they should seek tutoring. The opportunities are there. What I will say is that topside suffers a lot from a lack of mentors. But if the drive was there, you wouldn't need mentors, the truth is, most of topside likes the status quo, the stability, the lack of violence. That's why they're there to begin with. This is where we disagree. This obsession with combat and redtext isn't nearly as widespread as you're making it out to be, and pushing topside into that (even at no 'expense of other content', which I think we both know is an impossibility) would just drive people away from it, just the same as making the mix more safe and peaceful would drive the players there away from it.