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Watch Code Changes
Little late, but can we get some tweaking?

So when the watch code changes and ambient room noise code went into effect, I was not nearly as impacted by it as some might have been at the time. However, after playing a handful of new characters since that time, I have to say that I'm not a fan of the current implementation.

Right now, if you lack the appropriate stats you just... literally lose RP. There's no recompense, there's no upside. It's just purely an impairment of the most simple elements of a role playing game- seeing people do things and hearing them say things. We can't spy and narc data, we can't pick up on other people's RP hooks, we can't learn about the living, breathing world when we just flat-out cannot see or hear what's going on.

I've noticed that when there's a decent volume of things going on, you don't get the messages indicating that things are happening. This leads to your character sitting in a bar or other RP hotspot and thinking the game's just dead, when the reality is that it's banging. You might catch someone saying something every fourth or fifth time, which makes rational characters seem like they're insanely muttering to themselves.

Suggestion: Keep the messages that tell you how crowded and busy bars and other such locations are. That's great for informing people about game state and combatting small worlding with newer folk. However, append messages afterwards, don't binary block them. "The room is alive with chatter and noise, and you can barely make out: XXYY saying ZZZZZ." As for simply straight up failing stat checks and not hearing anything, I don't think this should be anywhere near as common as it it CAN be. Especially considering that not every archetype should have to invest into a stat simply to RP with more than one person at the time.

Addressing only works well in small group situations. Even if you're in a group of 3-5 and everyone is using TO X, you'll get dropped messages. And I'd think that the solution isn't to take RP to private locations off-grid that are quieter, simply because that leads to a whole other basket of eggs.

In summary, I'd really like to see much less dropped emotes, poses, say and to messages, but keeping the messaging that was implementing to guide theme is A-OK, and a good thing, IMHO.

Discuss?

I feel like this could use a revisit too. Newer players especially don't understand how [CROWDED] rooms work, yet they're dropped straight into them from the start. I would hazard the guess that people have quit on day one over not understanding how to interact meaningfully with others.
I don't think I've ever seen anyone that likes the dropped messages. The only argument I've seen for it is that missing a single sentence or emote and can cause you to misinterpret something or get wrong information, which can lead to RP, but that's such a fringe, rare thing that it's not worth the massive hassle it gives everyone.

I think Talon's suggestion is pretty much perfect. Keep areas feeling crowded and loud, but at least tell players that they're missing things, so they can do something about it. I'm all for crowded rooms having more features and things happen in them to remind players there's hundreds of people around them, but this literally just kills RP for a players, especially new ones.

Could just implement the new radio code of static over distances to be worded and work for rooms where it's crowded and the target isn't being actively watched by the PC.
A little frustrated with this myself. Something to note too is that you should automatically be tuned in to people you're following or escorting/vice versa. I shouldn't have to 'watch' people I'm following when we leave a quiet location to go out onto the street and subsequently retype it every time we move rooms or risk missing something they said, realistically I'd be sticking very close to this person or persons and not move out of talking range.
This already exists in player options. You can toggle on messages when you don't hear something.

It's defaulted to off because when it used to be on, threads like this one used to pop up about how the messages were annoying. :)

I've never found this as annoying as everyone else for some reason. If you take ambient population into account, it's pretty reasonable not to catch this stuff. Players can speak loudly or target the other person if they want them to hear it.

Maybe as a newbie the ambient "missed messages" are enabled by default? As a bit of a crutch.

This topic seems like a hassle but it's actually a great way to teach people to dip their foot in the "You and I aren't the only ones on the block/club" topic.

Hey folx,

Unless I missed a major update, the watch code wasn't changed. It's been the way it is, for a few decades. What we added was the cacophony and crowded indicators to better indicate rooms where you may have been missing messages already. You've always had to watch, and address people. The amount of people you can watch is based on your perception and cyberware.

The updates were to make the system more visible. If you've got feedback on how we could do that even better (help, indicators, etc) feel free to weigh in!

--S

@Slither

Would it be possible to use a system kind of like how when you just barely hear someone on their progia/whispering, but for speech? Maybe depending on your PCP you only catch snippets or the tail end of something someone said like in a real life noisy social setting?

If this is doable I think it would not only be more interesting and immersive for all, but also less confusing to new players who may see the cacophony flavor text but not really understand why or what it means. Hope I made sense there!

I would like to have something that gives you a vague indication from where (who) the "cacophony" is coming from, so in crowded rooms you have more or less an idea of who to pay attention to listen to conversations and know where to chime in.