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Cargo overhaul
Introducing cargo wars

I always thought cargo has a lot of potential in Sindome because like macguffins they can be expanded limitlessly to promote conflict.

Here are some ideas that when all applied together will lead to a much more dangerous but also more profitable cargo system promoting RP and incentivizing hiring bodyguards, promoting vehicle combat, and setting up crews to run the cutthroat logistics business.

Anyone can get a cargo license but there is no conflict or competition between cargo drivers.

Remove on-demand cargo runs

First, we should remove the ability for cargo drivers to go to a pickup location and just ask for a gig. Instead, the cargo should be available on intervals and should be given on first-come, first-serve basis.

On random events, high value cargo such as gems or sensitive electronics can appear and offer much higher payouts than regular runs and are available at certain times and in limited quantities, which creates urgency and competition between organizations to secure them.

Trucker radio signal

Let's make a constant radio signal where a "dispatcher" of the cargo organizations will announce when there is a new run available. Much like real life trucker radio chatter, we can introduce random chatter (GPT-powered?) from random truckers talking about truck life (prevent small worlding and better immersion) with the odd announcement from a dispatcher about a new run available at X location, let's say once every few hours. All PCs would then compete for that run. This could introduce random events or obstacles that occur during the cargo runs, led by other players, such as ambushes by rival groups or law enforcement, that would require the groups to strategically plan and prepare for their deliveries.

Reputation system

All successful runs should increase a reputation level for the player's faction. If a player is associated to a faction (PRI, syndicates, or a business) that faction's reputation should go up and as a reward they will receive better runs with better payouts. If you fail a run your reputation goes down and your payouts go down, until it hits a minimum and your license is subjected to audit by the WJF.

Cargo theft

If you disable a vehicle, or intercept a cargo run, there should be a mechanism to steal the cargo. Let's say you can remove the cargo from the back of a van, which becomes a carryable object which then you can put back into another cargo vehicle or sell it to a NPC. Stolen cargo can be sold off to a random NPC (let's think about someone who already buys stolen crates, for example) for extra profit, damaging the reputation level of whoever you stole it from and earning a quick profit, much like MacGuffins.

I like the idea of Reputation and Cargo theft.

But I have a different Idea for how cargo should work. I don't think it should be first come first serve, I think that punishes people who can't be logged in 24/7. I don't think making it a race where you have to pick and choose between RP or earning your weekly income will be a good experience.

I think that cargo should be treated like it is in space simulation games. Where there is a cargo market where you have to leverage your own chyen to buy specific cargo types to fill up your hold, and then haul it off to the destination that is paying the most in return for it.

A board that tracks sale and purchase prices of cargo at each of the loading docks would let you make decisions about your routes and your cargo purchases. I think it would be enhanced even more if having a high trading skill had a noticeable impact on your cargo purchase prices.

If you get disabled along the way I think the transfer cargo command should allow one cargo vehicle to transfer units of cargo over to their own hull but only if the vehicle is disabled. Which should require vehicle combat.

I also think that there should be licenses for cargo haulers to arm their aeros for defense purposes to encourage fighting and to cause more damage to aeros to help the mechanic market as well. I think by putting it behind a license it at least gives people a better chance to do crime with it. Yes, they would need to risk their license to do something like that, but it accomplishes the first step of allowing them to be in the position to make that choice by having a legal reason to be armed in the first place.

One thing I've experienced lately that I am not sure I like entirely is that its easy for someone on foot to deal severe damage to a vehicle, and if the vehicles only option is to drive away or fly away it really diminishes the experience and makes it feel very one-sided. The interaction ends as quickly as it begins.

Thanks for bringing this topic up!

I thought the same about punishing people who aren't on 24/7 but I think that's fine because there is a weekly income limit cap so those people would be forced out of runs after a certain point. Reason why I think the runs should be advertised on a radio signal is to create a "capture the flag" scenario where people scramble to get the runs first. But I also like your idea as well.
I like the idea of various 'routes' and in-particular would like if these included some badlands routes.

While I don't think vehicle weapons should be licensed - I do think a way of installing and concealing them on your vehicle would be nice. I imagine you would have to use a hard point weapon a level lower than your hardpoint to accommodate an extra modification as an added balancing factor.

I like these suggestions and want to suggest some additional nuance.

Make the trucker radio on a frequency that is only accessible on stationary (not in a vehicle) radios. The benefit of that is to create public RP in establishments that have radios.

Imagine if there were multiple similar stations that broadcast similar paydata about available work. People who "touch the radio dial" might risk harm for doing so. And specific bars, clubs or other public radios would eventually gain reputation for catering to customers who rely on that particular radio frequency for paydata.

Someone mentioned that having to follow radio chatter would be disruptive to RP. I suggest that it IS RP. "Sorry babe. Can't go to the cat party with you. I really need listen to the radio so I pick up another load and buy some of that new, low cost cyber."

PUBSIC - Can you imagine missing the cat party because you want to haul cargo? Sounds like thr kind of stupid thing a Mixer would do.

High-value routes were notionally on the sketchpad for future freight design but my impression was it was a matter of the dev time being available and a lot of other stuff having priority because freight works as is.

I'm not much of a fan of randomized times for tasks as I mentioned in the other thread, but that existing would massively advantage me so I won't die on a hill about it!

Concealment on vehicle weapons is 100% a great way to enhance cargo conflict and vehicle combat. I doubt we'll ever see any type of licensing for vehicle weapons except maybe corporate vehicle exceptions as licenses (where the RP and other IC factors should already influence this so I won't go into it more), but concealment should 100% be a thing.

A little James Bondy, but good for the game IMO.

I doubt we'll ever see any type of licensing for vehicle weapons...

In lieu of recent corporate project changes and cargo changes, I thought this thread can use a rehash. A lot of excellent points are made here, and I think we should really touch on cargo theft just not being a viable discipline at this time.
Trucker radio is a good idea. There should be opportunities for people to rob shipments, then sell the stolen, hot goods, for lower prices, ("This gun fell of a truck.") Things can only be really cheaper than wholesale if they are stolen. More stolen goods, more economy, more RP, trying to figure out if someone is trustworthy enough to tell about the NOVA HOT DEALS on NOVA HOT MERCHANDISE. Maybe make goods that are rumored to be stolen difficult to sell on the market, difficult or impossible, leading stolen items to remain firmly in player-player circulation. Sketchy people caining on folx to pocket part of the profit from the stolen goods. All that good drek. Making vulnerable, valuable drek be in transit would liven things up. In theory there would be automated and non-automated freight traffic, but robbing an an NPC Trucker? Sounds like a pain to make, and also kinda farmy. Would give people a reason to want firearms maybe, cause how are you gonna stop a truck that's driving away from you with a machete. With a gun you might be able to shoot the wheels.

Trucker radio is a good idea. There should be opportunities for people to rob shipments, then sell the stolen, hot goods, for lower prices, ("This gun fell of a truck.") Things can only be really cheaper than wholesale if they are stolen. More stolen goods, more economy, more RP, trying to figure out if someone is trustworthy enough to tell about the NOVA HOT DEALS on NOVA HOT MERCHANDISE. Maybe make goods that are rumored to be stolen difficult to sell on the market, difficult or impossible, leading stolen items to remain firmly in player-player circulation. Sketchy people caining on folx to pocket part of the profit from the stolen goods. All that good drek. Making vulnerable, valuable drek be in transit would liven things up. In theory there would be automated and non-automated freight traffic, but robbing an an NPC Trucker? Sounds like a pain to make, and also kinda farmy. Would give people a reason to want firearms maybe, cause how are you gonna stop a truck that's driving away from you with a machete. With a gun you might be able to shoot the wheels.

I think cargo theft is viable with some elbow grease. That is to say, cargo requires standing still in a vulnerable position (including on Red) outside of your unlocked vehicle for long enough that many people could definitely rob you, your car, etcetera. Much easier to steal than macguffins were.
I wouldn't want to limit it to cargo theft. That may be the most profitable option but I think the ability to just destroy or otherwise sabotage the cargo is also a good idea.