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Some thoughts on lots of things

I think this is a fantastic write up, thank you for taking the time to do this. I hope you give it another run soon.

'Tantalizingly close', amen! I hope the admin know that when we (most of us, anyway) raise criticisms, we're generally doing it from a place of appreciation and passion for what SD already is and what it could be, that we love it and just want to see it shine even brighter.

I think the points about skill disparity, particularly the usefulness of some particularly with regards to skill investment is a great one.

The Grid, the Grid. I've always honestly felt the outside-the-MOO Grid was just...really, really damn cool but just too ambitious. We just don't have the code muscle for that kind of external secondary aspect to the game. Not skill wise, our coders are badasses, I just mean time-wise. I've been here since the Grid first launched and knowing where it is from where it started so many years ago....I just don't think it's worked as an idea. That's not a failure in my eyes, like I said we just don't have the staff time to support it much less push out Grid 3.0 as anything more than a facelift, much less a meaningful progression in what's offered to the deckers in what is a cyberpunk game that already offers them extremely little. I sort of wish they'd scrap it and start over with an in-MOO grid system, which there's a foundation for. But that's my hobby horse.

Overall great points here, thank you Eph.

I love this feedback. Thank you!

I read this late last night and again this morning. I agree with a number of the criticisms and I don't really have a lot to say about what you've highlighted. Coming from a place where we were an empty sandbox you could RP, we've always liked to say that 'the code supports the RP' and that you'll get out of Sindome what you're able to put into it. That it can be a time-suck is practically foundational. I too can't enjoy games that need hours and hours of time.

And thats the thing, largely, about a lot of your feedback, some of these things are pretty fundamental to decisions we made years ago.

We're a MOO because thats what we came from, what tech could be handled at the time. There is absolutely better technology out there than MOO. It's a single-threaded database without support for anonymous objects or 64-bit numbers. That we get so much out of it, has frankly continued to amaze me. Have we considered moving to something else? Yes. We've worked at building something to migrate to, but thats a pretty huge endeavor. And yes, there are limited hands -- especially with MOO development. It's one part security problem and one part experience problem, so it takes time for folks to be trusted enough to begin learning how things work here. It isn't just Slither and I, but we are always interested in potential new coders -- play for 6 months, then apply.

Grid 3.0 will be coming soon. I just need life to give me some free time, this summer has been busy. And we're working on filling in the use of skills. It's been a work in progress for years now and will probably always will be.

Metro travel times will not improve, because that would negate scale and the balance of travel choices available.

Again, thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us. I encourage everyone to share your thoughts on the topics Ephemeralis raised, especially if you disagree with anything I have said. While things fundamental to what Sindome is may be decisions we consider 'done', we're not closed to discussion about the future and any changes the community might feel strongly about.

I agree about medical - if you are a medic, you barely need to invest anything in the skill to be a god in the ER. Ironically, high UE investment in medical benefits characters who don't play that role far more than ones that do.

I'd still love to see an expanded medical system with brain damage, concussions, organ damage, broken bones, sprains etc. as persistent debuffs that required a skilled clinician to treat. Something that an automated NPC would fix for a healthy chunk of money or a PC medic could do for less with the right tools. I think it'd be a fairly simple change that would give more weight to injury and more money to non-cyber doctors.

I would be very interested in a damage system like that. The persistent nature of such debuffs would add incredibly to RP, I think. Imagine your frustration if say you're walking to the bar and you get your ass kicked and someone takes a bat to your leg. Broken leg, but you're a broke Mixer. Good luck figuring that out. How much more RP is generated just by the persistent nature of the injury? You broke your leg(arm,skull,etc), you -need- a doctor(etc).
I agree, especially about the inconsistency in skill investment.

Not sure how to say this without breaking the rules, but the threshold of usefulness for a lot of skills is full of jank.

Just from my own experiences.

Just barely enough UE to start the climb in driving is enough that I can drive pretty consistently at moderate speeds.

Meanwhile I'm at the point where it's costing me about 1.5 - 2UE a point, and I still can't use artistry to @finalize anything even with the most basic materials.

And I'm at roughly equivalent levels of the appropriate statistics for either of these.

Meanwhile fighting as far as I've seen basically has two modes, no or next to no investment, or you dedicate your game life to fighting. There's no in between, because if you go with an in between and try to fight, you lose against those people who have invested all their UE in fighting, dodging, and stats related to that stuff... Mostly without fail.

I also honestly think the effectiveness of fighting against multiple people should be changed, I think it should be made much MUCH more lethal to be ganged up on.

I've personally seen a person with I'm guessing 6-7 months of UE spent purely in combat stats, ganged up on by a fresh Immy, a person with a one months training in their style of combat, and a person with around one or two months of UE in their skills and a person with three months UE in their skills. The experienced person had no nanos or augments as far as I knew.

RL wise, this fight would be a curbstomp, the person with 6 months training would be overwhelmed. Grabbed and smacked around by four people... In game the person proceeded not take a single hit, counter every blow that could have landed, and basically walk away with nothing happening to them.

In other cases I've seen very experienced fighters, three of them, with the weakest being one with I'd say about six months worth of combat training, go up against one of the characters I know of who is probably max UE with close to everything into a specialized Combat build. All of them with no armor on, and no drugs in their systems. These three characters proceeded to get decimated, three of them. Against one, who took maybe three hits during the entire fight. It was to the point that the combat heavy player basically grabbed one at one point and started playing around with them.

I get the need for high level hugely specialized characters to feel powerful, but I do believe the penalties for engaging multiple people... Aren't high enough from what I've seen and personally experienced. It shouldn't be an instant loss, but if you're attacked by three or more people and you are significantly more skilled than them, you should have a chance, but you shouldn't be nearly utterly invulnerable. Even at max UE. Especially at max UE.

Anyway... That's just my thought. TL;dr The curve of effectiveness for a lot of skills could use some tweaking... Combat could use a little bit of improvement as far as power scale and the might of the many versus the one.

P.S. And to be clear I'm not saying allow a swarm of twenty Immy's to smack down the highest skilled characters in the game. Though that should probably happen IRL... I'm saying make numbers and coordination more of an equalizer like sonics and drugs.

being ganged up on is pretty damn lethal actually, provided the members of the swarm are properly statted/skilled and know how to use postures
Well I mean if the three people attacking the combat god are really bad at fighting, of course it's not going to go in their favor.

If you get 3 or 4 moderately good people to attack that combat god? Seen it first hand. Chummers will drop.

People are supposed to learn this stuff by trying and finding out not being told on the forums. It takes all the fun out of the RP when you've done all the calculations in your head or in excel before you even bother to try to see what you're capable of.

I'd prefer we stop trying to convince the people who don't want to bother trying, and maybe they'll eventually try.