Reset Password
Existing players used to logging in with their character name and moo password must signup for a website account.
- Euclid 18m
- Bruhlicious 45m Deine Mutter stinkt nach Erbrochenem und Bier.
- Slyter 2h
- JakeyBoy 2m
- BelladonnaRP 23m
a Mench 5h Doing a bit of everything.
And 14 more hiding and/or disguised
Connect to Sindome @ moo.sindome.org:5555 or just Play Now

How to deal PC imbalance?
What do you when the only option is to not play?

I will try my best to keep this as vague as possible, but I think this situation needs to be addressed at least hypothetically.

So, say we hypothetically entered a situation where we have driving elements within the game that are incredibly unbalanced. Wars going on where only one side has worthwhile combatants and no one to oppose them. The pool to get combatants that are competent in the combat meta and the UE levels to back it up is dried up completely. There is no adjustment or interference to try and level the field or make it compelling. This hypothetical situation causes RP to stifle and stagnate due to the reduction in interaction between players involved across the board concerned about being stomped and those that do engage are stomped.

What sort of approach as players would be suggested in this type of hypothetical situation, where seemingly the limited options are to play the game dictated by the strongest or not play?

Additionally, where if any does staff involvement come in, in the past I have seen staff involved in balancing situations like this, just wondering what warrants that response.

The responsibility, at least, partially, is on those hypothetical max experience fighters not to type 'kill you lol byebye n00b' all the time. Is this about cooperative competition and roleplaying or not?
I agree to a point Wulf, but hypothetically should any player or players have the power to run the game or be perceived to have so much control over the game that their whims as to whether they type 'kill you lol byebye noob' is as big a factor as it might be in this situation.

I again agree that Sindome, at least as it is portrayed and my understanding of it as a whole is Co-operative competition and roleplay. I am asking what do we as a player base do when hypothetically the spirit of that is not felt, and the feeling is more akin to 'play to win'.

Well... A few thoughts.

First, staff used to be more hands on here. They used to provide NPC opposition as needed to keep the world dynamic. TO make characters who had little to no other real challenge have interesting lives. And by interesting i mean losses sprinkled in with their victories. But this has fallen out of style as not all players enjoy this kind of challenge. Maybe those in the dominant position could make it clear to staff that they are willing and interested in opposition, even if it meant losses as well as wins. Maybe if staff were convinced they would be willing to do so. maybe.

Second, sometimes it is helpful when a group of high powered PCs with no real competition become each other's competition. I'm not going to say that they SHOULD of that it's the only GOOD way to play. Just that there can be great value in finding ways to MAKE other PCs of similar power your enemies. I would praise someone who could do this but would never look down on someone for choosing not to.

Third... Do your best to look outside of the fight itself. There is a lot that can be done before and after and instead of the 'attack' command. I will freely admit, however, that this kind of resistance takes a LOT of time and effort and you will face losses along the way. But the combat meta is just one aspect of power within the game.

Lastly. Sometimes you just have to live under the oppressive hand of the Big boys TM for a while. There's nothing wrong with there being a group of top end players who are scary as hell with not real competition. It can be themely. It only becomes a problem in my mind when these players use this position to stifle play instead of using it to enrich play.

Moderating conflicts is a double-edged sword. Conflicts that stall out with uneasy or unwilling truces can prevent players from getting totally burned out fighting losing wars, but they can also cause old grudges to fester forever and cause the board to stagnate. They can prevent total victories, something that is sometimes necessary for a clean next chapter of storytelling, even if they feel crushingly unfair for the losing side.

I do think it's reasonable to view high-level factional conflicts as opt-in to a certain degree. Characters taking or benefiting from the premiere positions accept the risks and costs that come with those privileges and perks and status, and the characters who live in the same spheres and who benefit from them will accept a partial amount of the same depending on how far from the center they may lay. They also accept that the risk and consequences may at times outweigh the benefits, and vice versa.

It is also reasonable in many cases for characters to be able to throw down their arms, sue for peace, abandon all hostilities, and be treated fairly and be allowed to continue to tell their character's story in another way once a conflict has run its course, but this will not always be true (or even possible) in personal conflicts; especially extremely bitter personal conflicts that no one wants to let go. Those only end in one sort of way.

I don't think that a power imbalance is inherently a bad thing. It is pretty themely after all, as is "might makes right". It also makes sense for a gang to have more power than an individual, a megacorp or crime syndicate to have more power than a street gang, and so on.

Having the power in a situation, real or perceived, should have some responsibility to it though. I've done some very mean things to people but I try to always provide them with an out, or a way to back down. Some way to let me know they've had enough and want to move on, as well as spacing out vattings and things like that. Give them a chance to recover, continue the back-and-forth, or get their revenge.

What I see certain people doing though doesn't seem to really generate much RP. Chain vatting someone and then hiding in their apartment for months, not really generating any RP or engaging in any sort of back-and-forth. Almost intentionally only ever going outside when characters they're in conflict with who might actually do something that would generate further RP, or allow the tables to turn somehow aren't online. Not really creating a back-and-forth or being really a nemesis but almost like the only thing they care about is winning, so they try to chain vat the character until the person stops having fun and gives up.

As much as we recite "it's fun to lose", it certainly seems like the people who always win are having a lot more fun.

I don't know everything though, I could be wrong and maybe things were even previously discussed in local OOC that they wanted their character to die five times in a row and then be permed while they were apologizing and begging for their life on pubSIC. Or you know, "I just started this new career path but I'm sick of this character, so I'll call you a bitch on pubSIC and you can kill me and then run up to Genetek to kill me again".

I somehow got it in my head that you could only play a character for 5 years before you had to perm/retire/sunset them, which isn't true, but implementing such a rule could sort of naturally prevent these kinds of imbalances from happening.

As far as staff involvement goes, I've seen instances of staff trying to corral some players to keep things reasonably balanced, but it does appear to be that some people are just immune to any such thing. Staff may puppet NPCs to threaten them, but no actual action is taken. That may have been related to that thing someone said in the guided discussion about perceptions of favoritism. There's a natural ebb and flow as people join and depart from factions so that while one may have all the PC power for a little while, it isn't just always in one corner. Usually. I would hope though that in such a case where one faction (it would be insane for an unaffiliated individual to have power over a mega corp or syndicate) has all of the PC power, that staff would make some effort keep that in check with respect to the other factions and players in some way, or find a way to re-balance things so that a back-and-forth and RP can happen and it isn't just one faction being able to crush the other(s) with ease before they can gain enough PCs with enough UE to put up a fight and make things interesting.

Yet, I've witnessed the opposite of that. Seemingly in contradiction to any sort of past actions or established relationships that just sort of kills a whole line of RP or natural power ebb and flow.

At any rate though, I don't think that a game that's supposed to be collaborative competition should have any one, two, or even three players wielding all of the PC power. Or if so, not for an extended period of time. Otherwise the only RP that's really being generated is just thinly veiled OOC complaints that "so and so" is bad for the city (game).

No one has clean hands after a war of annihilation and I don't know if there is much argument to be made that someone isn't being cooperative enough in their competition when the stated goal is to erase them forever. If it's playing for keeps the expectation ought to be everyone should be playing their best, with the understanding their opponents will be also.

Everyone can wage the PR campaign about how unfair it is, but the reality is real fairness is probably letting things play out on their own, which is probably a very different outcome than many would be hoping for here.

If in this hypothetical situation the 'played out senario' is a clean playing field with those PC's sitting at the top in a world sold as 'losing is fun' and 'there is always a bigger fish' and is actively removing large plot plans, RP plans and players.

Does this hypothetical end game really seem remotely positive for anyone in a sustainable way?

Currently I have seen a few solutions, but mainly it seems to come down to.

Join this hypothetical dream team.

Everyone gets destoried or yields so this dream team gets to run the game.

Wait for staff intervention that no long seems an approach now.

I notice there are some taking this outside the realm of the hypothetical. Which means one of two things.

Either there are some grievances being aired which I am not keen on as it is pulling away from the OP, or this hypothetical situation is not hypothetical at all.

So lets get things back on track.

Is this sort of hypothetical situation damaging to the playerbase?

No, it's not damaging to the playerbase or bad for the game if your character loses.

Do not confuse a lack of player interest in getting involved in a messy, excessively personal conflict with an overall lack of competition in the game.

Nor is anyone a victim who continues to instigate fighting through OOC and IC means, or who makes constant accusations of cheating, or metagaming, or toxic gameplay just to see what sticks. These are not hypothetical at all but a continuing part in complaints that have been on-going for months now, in a transparent effort to pursue the desired outcome through OOC means.

@0x1mm

I think, the point was missed a little, and I am only speaking from an in-theory perspective as to expand beyond any happenings in the game now, previously or in the future. I am genuinely interested in the thoughts upon how people play around a situation like this.

I would say however that that 'instigating fighting through ooc' or IC fighting being based around anything ooc is against the rules. I can only speak personally, as it seems you are directing your response toward me, but I have never made an accusatory statement, especially around cheating or meta unless it was privately with the staff as per the rules around reporting such things.

@goblinfemme

I think that a lot of what you put in here feels sort of unnecessary and vulgar in terms of trying to hit the point. Neither do I feel like these points are detached enough from the game at large. Perhaps you can raise the points in a more constructive and generalised way?

@all

I have made broad-stroke statements about the behaviour I believe to be damaging based on experiences in the game and seeing behavioural changes in the player base as a whole due to these. Anything I put out tends to be in an effort to sense check these statements and observations against the community as a whole and the staff.

It is to spark debate and challenge things that I believe to be negative, my opinion upon it. I am more than happy to be corrected by the community and hope that those in the community feel compelled enough to engage in that sort of thing.

If my efforts to are unwanted, I can just not. It is effort I don't need to put in to nor care to if it is just going to spark childish mudslinging.

Anyway, just read the first post and see what you think.

I dunno man. I've had characters do things I knew OOCly would make them lose in order to try and embody the spirit of 'cooperative competition' and make other characters look cool. I've dealt with powerful characters in nearly invincible factions and they've given me great RP and fun. This is what is meant by fun to lose. The players beating you are giving you RP, something other than 'kill you, a chance to tell stories together.
But... I don't think there is anything the staff can do, or it sets a dangerous precedent. It has to be something the PCs do, like how everyone jumps on PCs who do and say things that aren't themely, like be racist, or say things are auiet in a crowded bar and stuff.
I don't think there is anything the staff can do, or it sets a dangerous precedent

To be transparent this has been done prior, Staff have fully sent 3 max UE+ NPCs against a solitary individual, yelled at them on xhelp when they escape using code telling them its abuse, and enforced heavy handed consequences on that individual.

Please don't advocate for that. It is not a fulfilling experience.

I had a big thing typed up, but brevity is the essence of wit, or something.

If you're UE capped and there's nothing for you to do but slap around people with a year+ of UE gap under you, you should honestly think about vacationing, CP exiting or sunsetting your character. SD isn't a game about lording over your empire or fiefdom, it's a game about the struggle to survive and make a name for yourself among the teeming masses and all the cutthroats across the bar from you.

Winning when wins are of no challenge or risk isn't winning. After a certain point it basically becomes RP power fantasy masturbation, and that's not good for collaborative RP environments.

There's also a really serious lack of 'end game' in SD. Build your empire of sand, stack money until you hit your arbitrary number goal, get some title, and then train up a successor, if there are any, and retire out. There really isn't a problem with older characters who hold down day jobs doing technical work, cyber installs, handing out work and the like. There is a problem with older combat characters feeling the need to handle things personally. If starting over is that terrifying of a prospect, then consider stepping back and working through people instead of handling things yourself. It's much more frustrating, but also much more rewarding and better for the game overall.

Remember: There's no winning in cyberpunk. Tell your story, make your mark, and get a spot on the notable mentions list before you become stale and resented.

I have a different take.

I don't generally mind at all when NPCs are puppeted to take down a big time PC when it's required, if that PC has been caught in the wrong area, if they've pissed off the wrong people, if they're not taking warnings seriously, etc.

I think it's helpful for younger PCs/weaker PCs to see that bigger, longerterm PCs are not invulnerable. And sometimes the current PC pool can't do that or the PC in question that gets beat down by NPCs has made some bad decisions to get themselves bopped a few times.

I've been on the receiving end of puppeted NPCs doing the above and I didn't have an issue with it, the only thing that made the situation sour was an OOC reaction by a player.

So I don't think it's bad for the game to consider the possibility of some NPC balance against PCs when the situation calls for it. Not randomly targeting PCs because they 'have too much', but because they've done something to piss off certain factions or in any of the above described situations.

I like what @crashdown wrote about using NPCs to check PCs.

One of the things that I appreciate about Sindome is that there is a glass ceiling that no PC will ever break through.

There will always be bigger and more powerful individuals or factions over which even the Max UE'd and fully geared character will not prevail.

That dynamic is necessary to maintain the narrative and keep the game from becoming too heavily imbalanced by the collaboration of powerful characters.

People are tribal by nature. Power abhors a vacuum. There is nothing "wrong" with a powerful character or characters colluding to the "detriment" of the rest of the playerbase. As long as it only occurs for a limited period of time.

So far I thank everyone for their contributions, some things have been raised that has me thinking. I welcome anyone to correct my summary of current points in terms of responding to when or if these types of situations occur or have occurred in the past.

Approaches and responses

-Accept that if this sort of situation occurs, that all caught within it are deserving and should take the L in favour of creating a clean slate, presumably headed or controlled by the winners of said situation.

-For NPC's to offer assistance or take the issue at least in part into their hands where PC's cannot to maintain a sense of competitive balance and intrigue.

-While not specifically stated, this is more an extraction from a few other statements. Join this winning team. New and old characters alike see others having a miserable time could naturally have a 'join the winning team' mentality that could be driven IC as well as OOC depending on the player.

I would be thankful to anyone who might be able agree, correct or argue to the above points, and potentially expand. Because despite all this conversation around this hypothetical situation, there is still little that has come up that suggests that players can actually do much other than adhere, join, hope for staff intervention or leave.

There have been mentions that this hypothetical is not unhealthy for the community, I would be delighted to hear as to how it is positive and sustainable for the player base of an extended time.

Real talk, I simply don't think GM's have the wherewithal to do this correctly. They didn't when we fully staffed and I don't think they do now.

Have GM's who need to use @teleport repeatedly on NPC's then chastise you via XHELP to engage you with conflict is not telling a story. It's a heavy-handed way of being told you're going to lose no matter what and I don't think anyone wants to deal with that.

Maybe my perspective is unique here but I cannot in my right mind justify that action taken by Staff.

I disagree with the idea that it's necessary to take down any 'big time' PCs with artificially produced opponents. An appropriate challenge is one thing, tall poppy syndrome is another. I'd also argue there aren't really any big time PCs anymore and there haven't been for quite a long while in part because of the past approach to knock people down before they reach that level.

I always thought this was particularly ironic because the justification for having Big Bad NPCs was that players weren't willing or ready to fill Villain roles in the same way, and couldn't be relied on to foster conflict for conflict's sake.

I think Bad Guys are often good for the conflict ecosystem, and almost by definition players are often not going to like them, but I think it's a tall ask to want players to be villains and then also expect them to have to do OOC public relations so everyone likes them enough to allow it continue.

@1mm

I feel it is a vast discredit to a fair few players to say there aren't any big time PCs anymore, and that there haven't been for quite a long time.

A compelling, interesting villain that helps build the world's story and community with interaction, conflict and RP I agree is a fantastic thing. I have seen it done well on a number of occasions, some of the most interesting PC's out there are villains of one nature or another. Some of the most interesting NPC's out there are villains.

I agree, that villains are needed to push conflict, to shift things around, to make things that are not liked from a character's perspective.

Most of us have seen big NPC villains put together horrific, but often intriguing and interesting things. Making a big show of it, pulling on the communities and worlds interests to flex power and show force. Even some PC's have pulled this off to a similar degree.

I agree with most of what you are saying, there are some things I do disagree with though.

The hypothetical situation I am putting forward is talking of villains that lack the steps toward creating compelling, interesting and engaging conflict. If this hypothetical situation I have proposed was compelling, interesting and engaging, individuals would not be here making comment about it.

An honest question.

Do you have any suggestions to help alleviate people's troubles and feelings about this hypothetical situation, a new angle or something, please?

I'm not discrediting people at all, the opposite really. People are very much aware when they're hitting glass ceilings, and I think it's honoring them to recognize they could have gone a lot further in a different time, in different circumstances.

I've never been much of a fan of the phrase 'cooperative competition' because it tends to suggest that competition must be cooperative, that everyone should agree to what is happening and enjoy it. Especially where players come from MUSHes where everything is arranged and conflict is by consent, it can sometimes set people up for disappointment.

Unless players are actually playing excessively beyond the scope of past guidelines on violence and conflict, I don't see there is anything exceptional going on. The conflict landscape is pretty bloodless compared to say, four years ago, though I do think some of the player base has become more violent conflict-adverse since.

As to how to challenge a strong opponent?

+ Perm them. Very difficult to do if they're experienced, only a handful of players will be willing to even attempt it, but solves all problems for good. Also leaves people attempting it open to the same treatment.

+ Outspend them. All wars are won by logistics, and all battles are battles of attrition. Sindome's conflict design means that defeating people often means depleting either their will or ability to keep fighting.

+ Antagonize them into overreacting and losing support. If your enemy is of a choleric nature, irritate them. Might end up with you dying in the process while they burn their social capital erasing you. Popular spite play but doesn't work if the victim is unpopular.

+ Support a more powerful opposing faction. Strong allies and factional support can make a middling character able to fight way outside their usual weight class, especially if you can bankroll them yourself.

+ Don't engage. The simplest option. If your enemy is superior, evade him. Trying to fight a very evasive opponent in Sindome is exhausting and leaves openings for counter-ambushes. Doesn't usually work if the fight is very personal.

+ Outlive them. Works every time if you're more patient and cautious than them. People have a habit of taking themselves off the board without outside interference, but requires a lot of willingness to live through a long stalemate.

@fopsy asked,

Do you have any suggestions to help alleviate people's troubles and feelings about this hypothetical situation, a new angle or something, please?

I am going to offer some background based on my personal experiences here. I am also going to offer some perspective on approximately five years of playing here.

First off, I am sympathetic to what (I think) @fopsy and others are alluding to. It can be frustrating, discouraging, not fun, and a whole slew of other things to not be on "the winning team".

I have probably written enough @notes and BgBB posts on the subject of cliques and power imbalances to craft into a PhD thesis on the subject.

Without discounting or diminishing what has been said, my perspective on the subject is that the community of players and staff has done a good job of preventing any group from being on top for "too long". I base that on the fact that in the ~4 years my current character has been alive, I have seen 4-5 power shifts take place where seemingly unbeating individuals or groups have been either knocked out of their position, or retired.

I believe it is very much a matter of perspective. When we log into the game every day and spend hours upon hours a week playing, it can seem like things "never" change, or change much too gradually. When our character is on the shit list of a powerful character or faction, life can be full of suck. I am by no means discounting how "un-fun" being in that position can be. It can feel hopeless.

All I can offer is the perspective that it will not always be like that. While that power dynamic might exist for much longer than an individual player might want to suffer through, it will not exist for any considerable length of time when viewed on the ~30+ year timeline that Sindome has been active.

@0x1mm offered some good suggestions about how to ICly address power imbalances. It has been my experience that staff and other characters are often supportive of people who use @notes (especially IC-Goals and IC-Actions), combined with roleplaying. It is possible to take on an established faction or small group of active characters.

It is important to keep in mind that those characters have not always been on top. They fought to get there too. They are likely fighting to keep their position.

I don't know the answer to this question, but I think it is worth asking.

Given that it takes about 3-5 years to get a character to Max UE, how long should a character who has "made it" be "allowed" to remain on top? What is a fair tenure for a person / character who has spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours getting to where they are? How long should they be allowed to enjoy the fruits of their labor, even if those fruits are occasionally curb stomping midbies simply because they can?

There are so many variables in the questions above that this could spiral way out of control and down Lord only knows how many rabbit holes. I ask the questions just to get everyone who reads this to put things into perspective. To encourage people to put themselves in other people's shoes.

0x1mm has great suggestions, and as Hek mentioned, power has changed and shifted plenty - some were defeated and worn down, some gave up their spots voluntarily and some just wanted to move on and do something else.

This hypothetical situation seems to be based on an assumption of max UE characters that are out there, only killing people and doing nothing else. My response to that is, while there are some heavy handed characters out there, they probably have their reasons.

I wish that I could provide examples instead of speak hypothetically, but we can't. So I want to reassure people that in my experience, there is often a lot more going on that you don't see. Sometimes, you haven't even realized that the people you're talking to are your enemies engaging with you, directly or by proxy. And in addition to that, you don't see the RP that goes on with others outside of your circle of influence and sphere of perception.

But if we put that assumption aside, then I have some recommendations for people who'd like to take on stronger opponents and gain power.

There are a few things I'd like to suggest.

1. If you want to experience more RP from your opponents when you do lose, then be a good victim. Some people will have experiences where a solo, or similar, will put in extra effort to make it entertaining, or at least try to do a job in a way that is less stressful for the victim.

The solo is more likely to sell or give back items at a fair price, and more likely to give information about why the character died. When a character blows up or reacts negatively - which is their prerogative - it may cause the solo to be less likely to do such courtesies in the future.

This isn't for all cases, because sometimes there's another reason they don't do those things, but just something to think about, that might help. And I can't speak for every solo either, there's no rule about it and no reason they need to. Though I personally think it's a good thing to do when one can.

2. If you'd like to engage in non-violent ways with your enemy and opposition, then reach out to them. Have conversations. If they reach out to talk to you, don't just shut them down. You can't be harmed over the phone or over SIC. Listen, and talk, discuss controversial topics, try to persuade them with your perspective. Find some things that are common ground - you might be able to establish some rules of conduct. In some occasions, there are neutral locations where you can even meet in person without fear of attack, or otherwise try get access to a holo-phone - it can help you engage without fear of violence, assuming that you want to engage - which is something that you choose to do any time you get involved in plots that concern them, e.g. by closely supporting their enemies.

3. If you'd like to gain power and take down those in power, another thing you can do is just work on gaining your own power. It comes in many forms - financial, as 0x1mm said is one of them, while social power is another. One avenue that I think has has a lot of potential is knowledge of the different mechanics and systems in the game. For that, I'd encourage people to look at a power takeover as a longer-term goal - maybe on a year timespan.

Eventually, everyone can get max UE and be on the same play field. But it's often not just about the stats. It's about gaining knowledge and practice executing. There are so many systems out there that can help you learn how to avoid being a victim, and that will allow you to have some advantages. Spend the time and invest in learning them and building relationships with people who can help you access them.

Knowledge is power. If there's a system in game and you don't really understand it, then try to find out more. If there's a tool in game and you don't really know how to use it or what it does, try to find out more. And don't just learn about it, practice using it. A lot of mistakes are made in the learning process - but they teach you how to do it better next time.

Eventually, you'll start to learn how other people are so informed and capable. And it's not just learning what they do, but practicing using them. You're going to make mistakes and mess up - so try do that in a safe environment, or on an easier job.

Learn how to recover from your losses, so that you can afford to lose and not be stuck. Closing that loop, either by yourself or by a group of people working together, is what will help you learn to succeed more than you fail - and the RP is very fun!

3. As a last resort, if you're really stressed out by having bit off more than you can chew. You can either ask the GMs for a bit of help. You can take some time off to recover from any bleed.

And sometimes, you can also ask your enemies for a repreive. If you do that though, and then you turn around and attack them again there's a chance that they will stop trusting that you want peace when you ask for it. But even then, some players can be more than reasonable.

For example, there was once a player who got themselves into a personal situation and didn't like the consequences, and mentioned it to the other player OOCly, saying they were really stressed out and didn't want that kind of RP. The other player didn't want to stress them out and was happy to drop it and go their own way. But that requires that it's honored by the player requesting the reprieve.

I'm not sure how common this is or if it's even allowed, but I know that I'd drop something if another player truly wanted a reset and a second chance at going in a different direction. Hopefully, people find ways to do that ICly, but if you can't, maybe ask some GMs if it's a possibility.

Because this man is 900 IQ, I'm going to repeat some key things he said and that I agree with.

First, staff used to be more hands on here. They used to provide NPC opposition as needed to keep the world dynamic. TO make characters who had little to no other real challenge have interesting lives. And by interesting i mean losses sprinkled in with their victories...

Staff didn't have a problem with slapping the ever-living shit out of people smallworlding, cheesing gameplay mechanics and doing other sorts of anti-competitive grey area tactics sorts of things.

Want to start murdering white shrouds because a white shroud throw a bomb at your buddy? Congrats, we're going to stick a uber-statted godlike character in a white poncho and wait for you to show your ass. Here's your prize: Genetek.

Want to treat NPC's like money dispensaries? Congrats, you got a GM on that NPC who instead grapples you, steals all your shit and tells you if you do gamey shit one more time, you're getting vatted.

And many more examples...

Second, sometimes it is helpful when a group of high powered PCs with no real competition become each other's competition.

Take your best friend and closest ally and find a reason to totally fuck them over, rob them blind and leave their apartment empty and their corpse in the street. Extra credit will be awarded if you convince them you didn't do it and get them to make someone else's life hell for it.

Seriously. Cliques kill RP games. It's that simple. Make friends, have their backs and be their ace cools, then one day, stop doing it. You just need to find the right context and situations to make it into a good story.

Third... Do your best to look outside of the fight itself. There is a lot that can be done before and after and instead of the 'attack' command.

I'm super guilty of this myself, as I've played absolute bully assholes in the past, and their answer to every problem was a hammer. That said, if you really want to promote the health of the game- seriously- stop doing things yourself if it's not a challenge. Hire someone who has a realistic chance of failure to do the job for you.

Lastly. Sometimes you just have to live under the oppressive hand of the Big boys TM for a while. There's nothing wrong with there being a group of top end players who are scary as hell with not real competition. It can be themely. It only becomes a problem in my mind when these players use this position to stifle play instead of using it to enrich play.

And here is the problem at hand. People playing big boys and not moderating themselves. We need either rival players of comparable status, wealth and skills to moderate them, or we need direct intervention by staff. This was as much of a problem four, five years ago as it is right now, today. The only thing that's changed is there's less players to obfuscate shitty behavior, and people today are being much more transparent and forward in voicing their complaints in a civil manner here and in-game (ooc) instead of just slinging their own poop at one another and posting personal attack memes.

Yes, sometimes your fellow player is ignorant of facts, or is doing something wrong that's obvious to you, or what have you. But other times, there's a honest to god problem, and the best way to get it fixed is to recognize it as legitimate in your own mind and be introspective as to whether or not you, personally, are contributing to the problem with your gameplay.

Quotes were from Grey0 earlier in the thread, forgot to include that in my terrible formatting.
Edit by Slither: This post above contains information that for those in the know about specific IC situations will make it possible to connect who eggsaresides is to who they play. So, read on only if you are OK with that. I'm leaving the post up because I think in this situation it may be beneficial to the community to read about the 'other side'.

-------------------

Going to start this off by saying that I do not post on the forums often, nor do I feel it necessary to explain the things that happen on a norm, but because people feel the need to bleed through hypotheticals on the forums, I am here and I am the primary reason these conversations are happening. I have been behind more kills than anyone else in the game since June according to management.

This perception of an imbalance is bullshit. My circle is small. In comparison, there are a lot more of you than there are us. It is not our problem that you did not invest in the appropriate systems to compete with us, and there are other ways to do so that do not involve direct engagement with us.

Yes, we have advantages and experience that a majority of you seem to lack, but we are not untouchable and we are not stopping you from figuring these things out for yourselves. Instead of hoping for divine intervention, learn something and acquire the things that we did to get where we are to compete, or just do you and leave us out of it.

What most people do not know is, me and mine are chill as fuck. We, and me in particular, have been lenient and given others opportunities to get out of the shituation they have gotten themselves into, or even left them alone completely when the events involving them ended and there was no further reason to fuck with them.

This has resulted in letting them go when they got caught up in things again, repeatedly. But when they do not get the hint and continue to play victim? There is not much I can do there. Even when I give someone a break from the usual Genetek spa day, they still complain six months later...

More times than not, I do not fuck with people that do not fuck with us first. Directly or indirectly. It is most often the case with these things that I am simply reacting to someone else's actions, not actively seeking it. I am not going around shit stomping people because they have not given me a valid reason to do so.

I am sure it can be extremely frustrating for some of y'all that I respond the way that I do, but it does not have to be that way either. We are willing to extend our hands to the less inclined and pass on our knowledge. I am an asshole, I am aware of that, but I can be nice and the people close to me definitely are much more capable of being so than I am. They are wonderful people, all bias aside, that want to help more than they harm. Most of the fucked up shit and violence is driven by me.

As far as becoming each other's competition goes, I have explicitly done this some months ago, separating myself from a group that had all the odds stacked in their favor from the mix on up. Together, me and this group controlled a large portion of the player base, there was no one that would oppose us, and those that did were strong-armed and killed before they could get any real power of their own because we were a group of experienced and resourceful people backed by powerful organizations and people across the city.

There was absolutely nothing anyone could or would do to poke a hole in that barrel until I stepped up to do so. I was the one that took the initiative along with my partner's help to break up that power bloc. I had no choice but to play it smart because they were backed by so many of y'all, and my partner was repeatedly told to stay out of direct engagements with the opposition. I had no one else at that point. Part of that was my choice, and the other part of that was the lack of anyone not already working with the competition to oppose us.

I understand what it is like to be outnumbered. I understand what it is like to be on the weaker side of the game. Especially when Cerberus was head GM. My last character and his people were much weaker when they attracted the attention of their enemies that were, again, powerful people supported by powerful organizations and people across the city. At a time when I was fairly new to the game myself some years ago.

Each time it is my choice to oppose these people. I am quite familiar with this topic from personal experience accrued over almost eight years playing this shit. As most of my time, each time, has been spent on one side or the other. I have never been the most popular option in either case. I do not mind playing an antagonist that a good chunk of people dislike or hate outright. I am an anti-social creature.

In recent times though, I have seen people do the shit that they condemn us for first hand because I was with them when they were doing it. Others were supported by me to the detriment of the relationships I hold dear quite a few times before things shifted and then some. So no, everything has not been peachy for us all the time.

But no one else, that I am aware of, is ridiculed for having their people that they enjoy playing with as much as we are. They are just as loyal to each other as I am mine. Again, I know because I was once close to these people myself. I am speaking from personal experience, not just throwing out assumptions.

I am not going to point fingers or go into specifics. Though, I will point out that at one point people were going after one person close to me in groups of three well-equipped individuals when they barely recovered from the last time they were killed. At times when I was not around to back them up. I am no stranger to that, I have been in a fight with two allies, but most often just one other person at my side. Not always the same person either despite what people think.

At the end of the day, there is always a reason for what I do. I do not need to explain myself in game. It is out of character for mine to do so, though I have at times. But I am also not going around stomping out the comp for the lulz. I am playing the game like the rest of y'all, and if y'all got to know me and mine, you would realize we ain't as bad as people like to suggest.

I am not going to kill everyone on sight or even every time someone fucks with us. We do other shit to fuck with our opposition, and it is pretty clear that it ain't obvious, but it happens. Some people are just a special case. Some people are just jobs. And some jobs are even handed down by NPCs. I am not blaming anyone, it is what it is. I am simply explaining.

And I am working on it with my partner to change how things are, and how I respond to situations now that certain elements are out of the picture. That is not something that y'all might see on the surface because of the way it is delivered, but it is happening. There is a lot of time spent on conflict and violence that we much rather spend on cool shit that others will enjoy too. My partner is all for that kinda shit despite the shit they get for my actions.

Do not drink the kool-aid. We are here to have fun like the rest of y'all, and have much to share if y'all get to know us. My fun is different than your fun, but going forward, I hope y'all find some peace and realize that we ain't here to shit on y'all all the time. Peace.

(Edited by Slither at 7:57 am on 1/24/2023)

The post above comes very close to revealing IC info & motivations, but in this specific case, I think that it could be helpful to people reading it who may be wondering what the motivations (OOCly and to a degree ICly) of the players involved on the other side of the hypothetical are feeling/thinking.

I recently read a bunch of feedback from multiple sources that said that if we allowed some of these conversations to happen OOCly, it might bring the community closer, and and reduce the friction between the playerbase in situations like this, where motivations are obfuscated by the IC/OOC barrier.

If you plan on responding to this thread, please do so without revealing IC information and keep it inline with our BGBB rules.

@slither I think this is a good conversation for everyone to be having, personally. We're keeping things civil and airing out some shit that's festering in the community, hopefully for the better. We'll see, I guess.

@eggsaresides

I read through your post and had a few points I wanted to make. I've been in your boots before and it sucks, I hope this is helpful, if maybe a bit of tough love.

1) You can't tell people to 'git gud' and 'learn to adapt' while also admitting that you've been complacent in willfully stomping out competition. Perhaps some of the whining and angst directed your way wouldn't be happening today if you'd instead be waging war against peers - but that's just a thought experiment to mull over.

2) We used to play in a much different game, a harsher game that was more accepting of (seeming) random acts of violence and bloodshed for various motives, profit, revenge, fun, etc. But that isn't the game anymore, and it hasn't really been that way since early 2018. Some of us got heavily course-corrected into this new direction upon threat of losing IC toys and titles, and that's sort of the vibe I'm getting right now, if not like... 3-4 years late.

3) You mention that there's a lot of grudge and dislike for your group, and I know it can feel like you're being reactionary and escalating things in a logical manner from your personal viewpoint, but that's not how it's perceived elsewhere. If you're a carpenter who hammers nails all day, then rightfully so, you're going to have a reputation as being a carpenter. People don't like carpenters, the remember when they were the ones that got nailed down, and that dislike grows over time and spreads to others. Ultimately, at the end of the day, though, it's a case of 'you reap what you sow.'

If what you're putting forwards in character is violence, derision, and vitriol, then logically, you and your group are not going to be welcomed and have a flock of people being chummy. Perhaps your characters are great people once you get to know them, but you're pushing people away from ever getting to that point, and it's not something that is going to be a fixable matter over the course of a few weeks.

The only advice I could give is what has helped me get over my own BS - sometimes a break is needed, even if it isn't desired. Consider vacationing and playing a goofy goober character and experiencing something radically different. In my case, I simply chose to CP exit and take several months off the game. I wouldn't recommend that, it's something I regret doing (the CP exit part, specifically) but being away a solid chunk of a year was what I needed to come back with a clear head. I can't promise it'll help you, but I do hope you are able to work through things because yes, the game does need assholes and heels, they're what make things great - with moderation.

It's not at all as simple as a lack of comparative experience between different groups. That's never been the case. It's a lack of willingness to play the game in a way conducive to an OOCly friendly atmosphere while competing ICly. I have witnessed every other player group in the game intentionally expose themselves to consequences and considerable risk, instead of intentionally gaming the system in order to stay safe at all times. That's not because they're bad at the game, it's because the game is boring otherwise.

You're making yourself out to be the victim when your entire MO is, and has been for maybe a year now, to repeatedly and relentlessly vat people in groups whenever it is easy for you to do so, and then offer absolutely no recourse or chance at retaliation. That's not an honest argument to bring to the forums, and that fact that you refer OOCly to your character's friends the same way your character refers to them ICly tells me there's a lot of bleed going on that you shouldn't be entertaining.

Ultimately, you do reap what you sow, and there have been many IC antagonists that have done awful things without causing such a collective groan on an OOC level. When you decide that you want to Win Sindome you're doing so at the cost of everyone else's enjoyment of the game. Glad to hear you're working on it, at least.

Ultimately, you do reap what you sow, and there have been many IC antagonists that have done awful things without causing such a collective groan on an OOC level.

The last major Syndicate war was way more lopsided in power balance, one of the strongest factions ever, was an absolute bloodbath with what has to be one of the most chy expensive instances of combat ever, and there was still less OOC complaining around it.

I'm not super keen personally on players getting shunned OOC for what amounted to routine play a few years ago, especially since conflict in the game has cooled so much since. I do think a lot of players have less appetite for it, and they should be able to tap out if they want to, but I don't think they should necessarily be the ones shaping the direction of the game.

It's not routine play, however. Honestly, the current and recent climate of the game hasn't been a bloodbath at all, since the nature of Syndicates playing super hard to win stalls the game entirely. Deaths are somewhat few and far between, except for very recently when players who are unwilling to sweat about Sindome get put in a blender because they don't want to adjust how they play.

But adjusting how you play to fit the current style Syndicate conflict, is not how you have fun playing Sindome. Having a contest of who can watch camera networks longer is not fun. Fixers or other RP drivers simply don't want to go out and interact with lowbies and midbies because they know they'll get vatted the fourth time in a row without any meaningful retaliation or recourse occuring between the last three deaths. RP hubs die, plots die, and usually so do immies and non-combat characters completely unrelated to the issues at hand. Previous syndicate conflicts were bloody because they actually went out and fought eachother frequently instead of playing year-long waiting games and completely slaughtering all Red sector RP in the process.

@0x1mm

Perm them. Very difficult to do if they're experienced, only a handful of players will be willing to even attempt it, but solves all problems for good. Also leaves people attempting it open to the same treatment.

This could work, though when you're expecting your enemy to spend 6-8 months in the vats before popping back out, it can make it difficult. Admittedly, sometimes you die right before you need to sleep or go to work, or you're experiencing some bleed from it and decide to take a day or two off to cool your head.

Outlive them. Works every time if you're more patient and cautious than them. People have a habit of taking themselves off the board without outside interference, but requires a lot of willingness to live through a long stalemate.

I've had enemies that have done this, and it's always kind of sad to me that they do so before I get a chance to have a hand in their downfall or RP with them further.

@DiamondNine

If you want to experience more RP from your opponents when you do lose, then be a good victim. Some people will have experiences where a solo, or similar, will put in extra effort to make it entertaining, or at least try to do a job in a way that is less stressful for the victim.

I've certainly experienced this behavior from people who've killed my character, and it is appreciated, though it's hard to be a good victim when your character just gets ghosted, or seemingly killed for being in the wrong place at the wrong time without any chance to explain themselves during or after being killed.

Eventually, everyone can get max UE and be on the same play field.

While yes, everyone can in theory get to max UE, that doesn't automatically make them on the same playing field. A non-combat max UE character, unless they're in a very lucrative profession, very well connected, or topside, is ultimately at the whims of even mid to low range UE combat characters.

@TalonCzar

That said, if you really want to promote the health of the game- seriously- stop doing things yourself if it's not a challenge. Hire someone who has a realistic chance of failure to do the job for you.

This is an excellent suggestion. The first time I encountered it I was confused why the person would hire someone else to kill someone when they could do so easily, but it is a great way to spread the RP and wealth around and create situations where the intended victim can possibly survive the encounter.

Lastly. Sometimes you just have to live under the oppressive hand of the Big boys TM for a while. There's nothing wrong with there being a group of top end players who are scary as hell with not real competition. It can be themely. It only becomes a problem in my mind when these players use this position to stifle play instead of using it to enrich play.

I absolutely agree. It can be themely and some players and groups have done it very well, creating lots of RP and work for other PCs as well as those subtle fucking over of other PCs just enough to let resentment build over time to where they'll take that job your enemy gives them just because it's a chance to fuck with you.

I try to go out of my way to pick fights with characters my character would find annoying, or hold a grudge over some past slight and bully them a bit on pubSIC or make vague threats without actually doing anything to them, just so that as they grow in UE, power, influence, etc. they're more likely to take that job against my character, or find other characters that dislike my character and band together to fuck with me.

@eggsaresides

What most people do not know is, me and mine are chill as fuck. We, and me in particular, have been lenient and given others opportunities to get out of the shituation they have gotten themselves into, or even left them alone completely when the events involving them ended and there was no further reason to fuck with them.

This could very well be true, though I can't say I've seen evidence of this. Mostly the opposite.

This perception of an imbalance is bullshit. My circle is small. In comparison, there are a lot more of you than there are us.

This is true from a purely mechanical/numbers standpoint, though for most people it can be difficult because of timezones and schedules to coordinate two PCs, let alone three, four, etc.

It is not our problem that you did not invest in the appropriate systems to compete with us

I'm sorry but this just sounds like the kind of argument a min-maxer would use against people who don't min-max. Not to accuse you of doing so of course, but just to say it has that "git gud" type of vibe to it.

As far as becoming each other's competition goes, I have explicitly done this some months ago, separating myself from a group that had all the odds stacked in their favor from the mix on up. Together, me and this group controlled a large portion of the player base, there was no one that would oppose us, and those that did were strong-armed and killed before they could get any real power of their own because we were a group of experienced and resourceful people backed by powerful organizations and people across the city.

If you're referring to who and what I think you are, there were certainly people who did oppose them, and while a proverbial hand may have broken so as to not become a fist swinging against them soon, I can't recall any instances of that hand being outright cut off.

@batko

It's a lack of willingness to play the game in a way conducive to an OOCly friendly atmosphere while competing ICly. I have witnessed every other player group in the game intentionally expose themselves to consequences and considerable risk, instead of intentionally gaming the system in order to stay safe at all times. That's not because they're bad at the game, it's because the game is boring otherwise.

I have to agree with you here. Considerable risk that hasn't always played out in their favor, or hasn't been a very transparent ambush when none (or very few) of their enemies were around disguised as risk.

You're making yourself out to be the victim when your entire MO is, and has been for maybe a year now, to repeatedly and relentlessly vat people in groups whenever it is easy for you to do so, and then offer absolutely no recourse or chance at retaliation. That's not an honest argument to bring to the forums, and that fact that you refer OOCly to your character's friends the same way your character refers to them ICly tells me there's a lot of bleed going on that you shouldn't be entertaining.

The argument put forth does feel a bit in bad faith, considering that it isn't really representative of what people seem to be actually witnessing/complaining about.

When you decide that you want to Win Sindome you're doing so at the cost of everyone else's enjoyment of the game.

This feels like a great and concise summary. I'd love to give the benefit of the doubt and assume that no one playing is trying to Win Sindome, but when there are so many IC behaviors that seem to be done for OOC reasons/advantages, that benefit of the doubt can be difficult to maintain. Particularly so when a seemingly decent chunk of the community says they feel a certain behavior is harmful to the game as a whole, and are met not with "I didn't know people felt that way, I'll take it into consideration" or any sort of attempt to see things from their side but rather a "Y'all are brainwashed and wrong."

I have a comment, and then a question. I hope 'eggsaresides' decides to answer my question.

First. I've done a lot of things IC in order to make other characters and factions look cool and get promotions and stuff. It's give and take. Win some, lose some. I could decide to leverage my OOC and meta knowledge, in a way that neither players nor staff could ever prove, to make the best decisions all the time and win all the time, but that's against the spirit of the game. Maybe I should though... ;)

Second. What does "cooperative competition" mean to the people here?

It's reasonable to expect that everyone has the same advantages and disadvantages at the start, and that there is not subjective advantages given to one side or the other. In effect it's reasonable to want conflicts to play out naturally. I think some of the problems now are because conflicts were interrupted before they could play out to their final conclusion, and now everyone is stuck in and endless embittered stalemate.

Players will often virtue signal about how they would never try too hard, while trailing a long history of doing just that when the roles were reversed. They will, in other words, construct narratives to support their view of their own rightness. The reality is this: Just about everyone involved in this cursed conflict has tried to permanently kill one another. If there was ever a point when it was a fair-is-fair tradeoff of cooperation that is years ago forgotten now. Everyone pulled out the stops, I know because I saw it first hand, and far from condemning it I welcomed and still welcome it. If fewer punches were pulled this thing would already be over: Mercy is not always a virtue.

I may be a minority voice in this regard, but at a certain level in the game the expectation should be that between veteran characters everyone is playing to their absolute best ability. I expect that of my opponents, and I have enough respect for them to do the same myself, not to be paternalistic and pat them on the head for trying and letting them having a win now and then, but trying to be the best and letting them claim that glory if they rise up bury me.

Players should absolutely be able to tap out of that kill-or-be-killed level of play, but I don't think they can really lay any claim to the high levels of the game or roles in that if they're not willing to engage. At some point there should be some part of the game where the training wheels come off, and where better than the parts of the game with all the prestige and resources?

If you think 'playing to their best ability' is the current atmosphere of the game, then I don't know what to say other than I disagree. The game, specifically Red, dies off significantly in terms of roleplay and events every time people 'play to their best ability' as you put it, and it takes a long time for it to recover. That much is obvious.

It's not healthy to the game when people treat the game like an e-sport. It's not how the game is meant to be played, at all, and it will never be healthy for any roleplaying community, ever. When 'playing to their best ability' means losing sleep in real life because you might only get an opportunity to do something you have been waiting to do for months at three in the morning, then it's no longer about engaging at a high level of play or whatever, it's about trying way too hard to win.

I'm going to break out another thread from this because I've been meaning to write up a bit about what cooperative competition means, because I see a lot of people who just don't get it and they're pushing bad information.

Please give me a bit, I'll probably put it up in Theme.

I'm not defending the strategies anyone uses. I think some of them are bullshit on all sides, which is why I stayed out of the whole thing, and frankly I think everyone involved could stand be wiped off the board to clear this nonsense up.

However who is going to step in then? There is always going to be top dogs and I think the game is better for allowing players to get to the point of being that powerful rather than the contrary. Whether they'll be remembered fondly is another question but is anyone here playing better than Mark Grey or L? Or more of a tryhard then Goobai Hesiyef? Got bigger pull than Royce Glover or Hiro Kobayashi or Seven Ecks?

No big legacy was ever carved out by doing only what everyone liked.

@0x1mm

Frankly, I don't think you understand the realities of what is being discussed in this thread, because the behavior being discussed isn't even remotely similar to any of the names you listed. You are often quite right about a lot of problems being discussed, but right now I think you're being fairly tone deaf as a result of not being very involved in the conflict at hand in the first place.

If eggsaresides gets a pass on revealing information in order to bring his complaints to the table, maybe a similar post needs to be made opposing it, because so far I have seen many names in this thread simply gritting their teeth and attempting to bear with the difficulty of having to stay vague.

That's fair. I'd just as soon players dropped the pretense of speaking hypothetically about situations we all know are not hypothetical, but if players feel hamstrung about discussing their side of things or concerns, maybe the floor could be opened (maybe not here, but in private) for that kind of discussion between the effected parties.

I don't really know how that works within the scope of Sindome's @rules though.

I think people have been doing a fine job keeping things vague while also addressing things. Egg didn't go crazy and start naming names or specific events. And he didn't need to. It's pretty obvious that there are people in this thread who knows what's being talked about and don't need to use specific IC examples to make their point. Thanks all.
If we need to get all the parties involved into a room or some kind of group chat in game we can do that if things can't be worked out here.
Please put these people in a chatroom together and let them argue it out until they realize this shit happens on EVERY OTHER MULTIPLAYER GAME. You always have "elite" (using that word lightly) players who can shit on everyone else, some do so more than others for various reasons. I fail to see the complaint here. That group of players is building a story, just as much as you. They're obviously making waves enough that people bleed it OOC, on both sides. That sounds like fun. What are you complaining about? That you keep dying, in a MUD that's expressly PvP? This isn't a MUSH, this isn't Arx, this storytelling isn't cooperative. That doesn't make it any less of a story. It doesn't take away from the roleplay, it's just a different type. Competitive storytelling.

I have been seeing this same complaint for YEARS now. In all those years, only one player on the side of the "elite players" has remained a constant. Somebody whose character is just as easy to lure out as any other under the right circumstances, and who is far from min-maxed entirely for combat. One who gets fucked by NPCs just as much as sometimes rewarded.

So again, what exactly is the complaint? I've read this entire thread and it sounds to me like the complaint is this: a small subset of players are upset they haven't been able to kill this player, and they want staff to make it easier for them and their future characters because they believe this character presents an imbalance to the game as a whole? Have I hit the nail on the head?

Shit's not supposed to be balanced. It isn't fair. Welcome to Withmore.
"But adjusting how you play to fit the current style Syndicate conflict, is not how you have fun playing Sindome. Having a contest of who can watch camera networks longer is not fun. Fixers or other RP drivers simply don't want to go out and interact with lowbies and midbies because they know they'll get vatted the fourth time in a row without any meaningful retaliation or recourse occuring between the last three deaths. RP hubs die, plots die, and usually so do immies and non-combat characters completely unrelated to the issues at hand. Previous syndicate conflicts were bloody because they actually went out and fought eachother frequently instead of playing year-long waiting games and completely slaughtering all Red sector RP in the process." -Batko

I've been on this shit for years and still don't know how to properly quote this out, but changing how you roleplay IS part of your roleplay. You're not going to be able to host parties like you were when you're being hunted by somebody who can kill you. You're going to have to adjust. Oh no, poor RP hubs. They never existed to begin with, they're fluid. People will find RP. You can build your hub later.

You might be surprised to find that this high-level murder shit only serves to ENLIVEN Red RP. It doesn't kill it, it just kills it where you're currently focusing. Readjust your perspective. If it doesn't enliven it, it really has no affect on it at all. That is to say, this doesn't change how the normal newbie enters the game. Take it from one who constantly rerolls.
"But adjusting how you play to fit the current style Syndicate conflict, is not how you have fun playing Sindome. Having a contest of who can watch camera networks longer is not fun. Fixers or other RP drivers simply don't want to go out and interact with lowbies and midbies because they know they'll get vatted the fourth time in a row without any meaningful retaliation or recourse occuring between the last three deaths. RP hubs die, plots die, and usually so do immies and non-combat characters completely unrelated to the issues at hand. Previous syndicate conflicts were bloody because they actually went out and fought eachother frequently instead of playing year-long waiting games and completely slaughtering all Red sector RP in the process." -Batko

I've been on this shit for years and still don't know how to properly quote this out, but changing how you roleplay IS part of your roleplay. You're not going to be able to host parties like you were when you're being hunted by somebody who can kill you. You're going to have to adjust. Oh no, poor RP hubs. They never existed to begin with, they're fluid. People will find RP. You can build your hub later.

You might be surprised to find that this high-level murder shit only serves to ENLIVEN Red RP. It doesn't kill it, it just kills it where you're currently focusing. Readjust your perspective. If it doesn't enliven it, it really has no affect on it at all. That is to say, this doesn't change how the normal newbie enters the game. Take it from one who constantly rerolls.
Sindome can't have both PvP and Cooperative Competition. Not when it's so easy to break some of the most sacred rules. For example, how am I supposed to know if someone is playing "properly" and obeying rules when they grab random shrouds, and conveniently not hoodies because it's so easy to tell if it's a player or NPC? How do I know they aren't sharing things OOCly? How do I know they aren't cheating in some other way? A PvP brings out our competitive side, and we choose to take any advantage we can if we can get away with it.

Cooperative competition expects players to act in good faith to tell stories together, not powergame yourself to some pointless digital power fantasy. I've run up against the most powerful and oppressive factions and players here, and they made me want to do it AGAIN, because the RP was themely and fun, becauae, you know, this is a GAME, where the point is for us to have FUN. Whereas others made me regret ever giving them even a second of my effort because they play in the most anti-fun, powergaming way possible. But hey, if that's what you really want...
@Leech
Shit's not supposed to be balanced. It isn't fair. Welcome to Withmore.

Nobody here is asking for, or seems to have the expectation that SD will ever be fair and balanced. They're asking for suggestions on how to improve the current meta-environment IC, which is a meritorious thing to be trying to do.

There's a big difference between playing hard, or playing hard, or pushing theme and simply playing to win the game.

You can't win at SD.
Anti-competitive behaviors deserve to be called out.
SD as a RP game has objectively improved over the past 5+ years. This isn't because the game suddenly became carebear land and we all stopped PVPing one another. It's because staff pushed people to stop taking the easiest pathway to solve conflicts--murder--and start pushing RP that allowed people to better respond and continue the RP thread.

@Wulf
You're reiterating what people have been arguing for while simultaneously contradicting yourself. The thing being talked about is the perception of people powergaming themselves into "some pointless digital power fantasy." That's the entire thread.

Again, nobody's asking for tactical nukes and I-Win buttons. The most aggressive thing people asked for in terms of 'disrupting the natural order' was for NPC's to occasionally power-check high end players when they don't have any direct competition. And that isn't a wild or outrageous act to ask for. It's something that's been done for years in SD, and while it sometimes seriously stings to be on the receiving end, from what I've seen, it often doesn't usually happen totally unprompted or without reason.

As for the question of 'how do you compete when you can't know if the other side isn't rule-breaking?' The best you can do is put on your best face, put forth solid RP when you're able, and @note to notate things you see that seem out of place, weird or suspect.
One thing you're right about Talon, you can't win SD. So this focus that people have on the proclivity of others playing only to win is ironic. Nowhere in my post did I mention or encourage powergaming or playing to win. Yet because of the content of my post I'm still tied to it, like my views on competition suddenly make me a worse role player. Almost like there's an "elite" group of role players keeping me and my stories down, when nobody on this thread knows who I rp or how I rp.

In answer to your post Wulf, player versus player games always have rules that are enforced to make the experience and competition more enjoyable, so I'm not entirely sure what you're talking about. People try to get ahead within those rules. If they break them, report them. Player versus Player doesn't have to mean everybody going for the same win. Like Talon said, you can't win in Sindome just like you can't win in a game like Minecraft. It's a sandbox. You win by playing and being involved in a good, maybe tense, story.

I don't see this conversation about the meta you insist is happening Talon, there were some suggestions on how to deal with this situation (how do I not get stomped by high ue players) ICly that are very good but they've been said and resaid a hundred times and to be honest I'm not sure it's ever going to sink in. This isn't a conversation about the meta or any particular endgame strategy anymore but rather AGAIN has turned into how a certain high UE player and those players around them should be knocked down by staff due perceived imbalance. And I don't agree with that, or people assuming shit about the way other people role play because those RPers like conflict or have a high kill count or the people doing the critiquing have gotten stomped by that player before in a way they thought "wasn't good RP".

We're all here because we like story. We are all trying to roleplay, even eggsaresides. Operate with that in mind, and report anybody breaking rules.

(Worth noting I don't have any problem with staff puppetting npcs and knocking people down in general. This situation is the exception for me.)
@Leech

You clearly haven't read the thread nor know the context if you believe this is purely a bunch of bellyaching about UE disparities. This is about code abuse, smallworlding, and creating a complete RP wasteland in Red due to the actions of a few who wish to win the game like it's a hack-and-slash MUD rendition of a Postal game.

The fact that you've been absent yet have such strong opinions about this particular situation is a little silly to me, but to each their own. I think this thread was better off left alone on Slither's last post a couple weeks ago.
I understand that you have your reasons for being a bit saltier than most that have engaged in this conversation, batko, but damn. Silly is making baseless accusations and suggesting that we were abusing code, breaking rules, or creating an RP wasteland when we employed and engaged with quite a few people outside of violent encounters. Even those within the opposition's circles. It was not 'kill scrub' all the time.

Yes, there was a lot of violence, but we do not play Sindome like it is a hack-and-slash MUD. I extended offers of peace to let things cool down, give people the opportunity to recoup from their losses.

The only exception to that were people that deserved it. There was nothing indiscriminate about the consequences I dished out for breaking said peace, or continuing down the paths that resulted in repeat Genetek trips. IC actions were met with IC consequences that had valid IC reasons at the time whether people liked it or not.

I believe I pointed out most of this in my initial post that some do not appear to have read. That said, it is a lot to digest. Regardless, we did not needlessly or relentlessly target immigrants, non-com, or unaffiliated parties.

And when we did, there was a reason for it. Bar staff in particular were usually left to their down devices, it was others that instigated that shit. The only one I can think of at the time brought that shit on themselves.

But those that believe otherwise are mislead by lies pushed by others with their own agendas. Which is fine, that is part of the game but do not take it as out of character facts.

Just because we did not give y'all what you wanted when you wanted it, all of the time, does not mean we wish to 'win the game'.

We have taken risks which y'all have directly benefited from. We have taken risks and given our enemies business and put ourselves in situations that could have ended poorly for us. We have voluntarily given out things, to y'all and others, at no benefit to ourselves.

These things, among other numerous actions of generosity and good faith, such as releasing repeat offenders who have died too many times while being caught in consequences, seem to be conveniently forgotten.

As I pointed out in my initial post, no one had an issue with the way I played the game when I was playing with them and pushing their agenda. Talon suggested that this would not be happening if I turned on my peers, despite my post explaining that I have done just that.

I turned against my peers and stopped giving them what they wanted. That is when the issues came from what I was doing because I was acting against the people that benefited from our help in the past. You included.

So do not give me some shit about how I am bleeding or playing the victim here. I am not the one that brought this shit to the forums. And I left it at what I said initially because I did not want to add fuel to the fire and cause more distress.

I came here to put some at ease and give y'all a little look into this side of things, maybe answer some questions. Gunna point out your bullshit though because you keep pushing it as if it is a reality.

Even when I am not around or actively causing hell for others, I witness people saying things are boring or tame. So, on the point of creating an RP wasteland, it is not an 'us' problem. Nor is it the first time that I have witnessed people saying that.

Peace.
Playing as a group of shrouds with the same shortdescs to abuse multiples in combat, routinely sniffing random shrouds and killing them if they seem remotely player-like (ignoring hoodie mementos of course, they are obviously NPCs), getting triangulators nerfed into the ground because you can't go outside without pinging six people first, the list goes on. Nah, I think my assessment is totally fair. Your behavior has caused people in this thread to wonder why they even play the game, maybe you should reflect why that is.

I am more tolerant than most to unfair treatment and circumstances, but when I see how many players have echoed many of the same issues, then yes, I will point out shitty behavior with them on the forums. Even when outright told by those who are supposed to be your allies to cool your jets you continue your murderhobo tendencies, so pretending like you're a victim and clutching your pearls about how you offered peace IC is just disingenuous. Regardless of your IC actions, your propensity towards OOCly antagonistic gameplay remains, and that's what is being discussed, not the IC world.
Triangulators are there to be used. Smell is there to be used and taken into consideration. If somebody smelling your character seems weird to your character IC, maybe you should leave.

Multiples in shroud combat needs some sort of solution. Have any handy Batko? These aren't the ace up the sleeve, shocking code abuses I thought they'd be, I'm a little disappointed.

"Propensity towards antagonistic gameplay" - batko

Seriously? And I thought "rp wasteland" was a hyperbole. You realize this is a feature and not a bug, right?
I'm not interested in playing word games with you, Leech. If you'd like to misquote me and glean over obvious problem behaviors, fine. You can all ignore the complaints that have been brought up in this thread, clearly nothing is going to change and you're all okay with how things are going currently. No skin off my nose. But I'd like to repeat how interesting it is that you've been absent and have returned only to tenaciously take sides and make bad faith arguments in defense of problem behaviors in this thread.
Letting this discussion play out doesn't seem to have had the effect I had hoped for. I'm going to lock this thread and will try s different approach.