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NPC Muggers
Get mugged, for the themeliness of it

I've thought of several possible implementations of this now, and thought of how to balance it for gameplay, and theme.

So, ultimately this comes down to personal experience. But I find that there is a lack of mugging on player parts happening in the last year or maybe more .

The mix feels soft. And there are non-combatants and immy's even running around carrying valuable tools, in valuable clothes, that they cannot defend themselves. And yet I have not seen nor heard of anyone getting mugged over this in around a year+. This is a contrast to how it was even 3 years ago. Where if you made unthemely choices like this(And yes it runs counter to the mix's theme to walk around in silks and other high quality clothing, carrying high caliber technical devices like quickterms and liteterms like a corporate employee), you would have players roll your face in the concrete and steal your shit. Generally leaving you naked in an alleyway if you were lucky.

So on from that... As a bit of a tax to being unthemely, I'm going to propose a system, that on the outset I think would do some good.

This system is as such.

Walk past a ganger openly wearing high quality items, you get an auto aim action fire off from the NPC on a chance based basis. I'd say maybe scale it based on the items value, from about 2% if it's worth more than 2000 base value(2000 is literally more than a weeks income for most people in the mix.) to 50% if something is worth more than 30k. An exclusion list might have to be built, for things like Xo3, or Xo5, Solo gear and kit. But for everything else, it should roll on if that ganger feels like messing with you.

After the aim stops you, the Ganger says to you, "Give me (ITEM) or I take it from your twitching body." You're being mugged. Wait too long, I'd say 1 to 2 minutes and the ganger starts swinging with all the usual effects.

You have choices and chances there to escape, many in fact, you also have choices to even fight off the mugger, and if you're in good with a certain gang, maybe they won't bother you about your fancy shit. That's up to the coders. But the other ones will. It's not someone swinging on your ass randomly. It's something that is projected, avoidable using the typical ways of blending in. And it will add additional complication to existing within the mix that feels themely.

This item stays on the ganger for a bit, maybe a week at most, giving you an opportunity to hire a tough to smack the ganger around and get your item back, or to hire a dip to retrieve it for you covertly, and after this, the item, whatever it may be, goes into the markets.

Stimulating the economy.

I think you'll find that people will respond to this with the sentiment that the mix isn't soft.

I 100% agree and have always said this. The mix IS soft. Yes, there's a lot of bad people that'll mess you up, a few will even do it without a reason, just because it's the mix, fuck you, give me your shoes.

But those are the exception. I have seen (and done it myself, to a degree) people who manage to get by without any issues whatsoever just by playing nice. Now, I personally don't think that just paying tolls and being nice to people should make your experience living in the mix an easy one. Some people might disagree. I'm of the belief that if you choose to play a mixer, you are making a conscious decision to want constant conflict and fighting for survival. No one is forcing you to. You can play corporate, or be a servo living in cubes. Being a mixer should feel dangerous. You should feel uneasy every time you leave your pad. You should feel uneasy when you see shrouds in the street. You should feel uneasy even just walking past gangers. They aren't your friends (unless you're in their gang). It's a terrible place to live, unless you're at the top of the food chain, and even there, there's still competition. I've discussed this here before and whilst I never experienced this in the mix, people say they have, so I do think perspective is a big thing here.

I hate that a lot of people are chummy with gangers, that there's an attitude of 'I paid my tolls so I'm safe in Sinn street' or whatever. This stems from ganger PCs not wanting to be dicks and constantly harassing people, but... That's what gangs IRL do. Why would they take 1 kay when they could take your fancy prog-9? You didn't pay your tolls on time? Fuck you, you don't get to pay them now, I'm beating the shit out of you and taking everything on you. It's tough, because playing like that would be very themely, but earn you a lot of enemies. I think most gangers don't want that. I think they've found that if they just toll, get the rest of their money, and do other biz, they have a pretty cushy spot. A degree of protection in the code, NPCs to back you up, and pretty nice income compared to plenty of mix jobs. Why would they make their lives harder by angering their marks?

Anyway, I'm all for the mix being more dangerous. I think Rhea's suggestion is nice, provided there's a timer or something to prevent someone from just getting unlucky, getting mugged by Sinner A only to get mugged by Sinner B right after. That's fine if it's PCs and you can RP in it, but if automated, would just be unfun.

I would go harder, though. There should be other hazards around the mix. Things like wild dogs/cats/rats spawning rarely in the mix. Drunk npcs that have a chance to just brawl with you. More diseases, faulty cyberware (want the good stuff? Get some topside contacts and pay the premium) food that doesn't fill you up as much (this may already be a thing, I could never really tell), dangerous weather, etc.

The mix always just felt like Gold without the judges to me. The room descriptions do not paint that picture at all.

Mmm.... NPC muggers = farming opportunity. Mods can't yell at you for walking by NPCs, hoping to be mugged, and farming dumbass NPCs who can't tell the difference between people you're not supposed to fuck with and people you can fuck with.
One of my other ideas was a memento that popped up as you moved out of a room in the mix.

But I determined that might be hard on the programming end to figure out, and I always try to make my proposed implementations not require much in the way of new assets built.

This could literally be a script on the ganger that's run when someone enters a room. And in that regard it's a clean thing to implement.

Beyond that, I completely agree with everything else Sly has posted. The mix is very soft, mechanically and socially right now. Culturally, it's easy to get into a place where you can just coast, and if you don't take risks you're basically an NPC able to accrue chy and basically just live your life.

And we already have farming rules that apply in all cases Beepboop. They can and they would yell at you for this.
Keep turning down your muggers or killing them is a quick way to get an entire gang aggroed against you. You're on their turf, you pay whatever toll they want or you go around.
This went from an idea to a naked judgement of people's play styles.

Without getting in to whether or not I'm a fan of those play styles or not, there is a spectrum and it's all valid.

Reel the non-objectivity in please.

Also, I dunno, many people just got mugged ICly recently, I'd tell you the whole details, but that's not allowed.
I feel like a spin off in the Game Problems section is in order for Mix Softness.

As for the idea itself. I...don't like the idea of NPCs taking too many automated actions that PCs should be taking care of. I feel like this is a heavyhanded attempt to address a symptom in lieu of addressing the problem.

Systems should exist to guide players. As it is, they are being guided in a direction of feeling safe. This is not their fault. It's not the theme's fault. The writing is fantastic. The fault is because there is, presently, no systemic disruption without player interaction, further there is an innate psychological and sociological inertia that increases as player count does which states to not make waves in your peer group. So in general, the more players in a location, the more likelihood towards stasis or striking towards intervening outgroups there will be. Essentially the more people there are the more for lack of a better term, white knights, there will be, enforcing stasis and protecting people.

This may be part of the reasons we're seeing more and more crime directed towards corporate players rather than in-fighting in the mix. There are other IC factors of course. But this has been a clear and(needed) present shift for the last year in focusing the attention of players on topside crime.

And to be clear, the problem this is supposed to address, is not the wearing of valuable things, but rather the idea and safety coming in the fact that you can wear the pretty things without consequence, because presently, there is no systemic consequences to wearing said valuable things or walking around carrying said valuable things in the slum. Especially when you account for the sociological inertia increasing towards staying in your lane as the player count steadily increases.

These, like some of the other systems I've brought up in the past few months, are systems that will need to be thought about over time, and considered carefully, and I trust the dev team to do this.

Your experience isn't everyone's else experience.
Thank you for pointing out the obvious Villa.

In other fine elucidations:

Guns shoot bullets.

Gameplay defines function, and function helps to shape form/theme.

Before plumbing was a common feature in houses, shitting in the streets was considered normal and expected behavior. This caused many many Cholera epidemics.

Red is supposed to be a horrible place to live. But without any stick to this fact, there is no real enforcement of this theme.

1. You're wrong, muggings and killings happen all the time in Red.

2. The solution isn't an automated system that everyone will ignore and be meta about for something that should be done by players. Plots are driven by players, not by NPCs.

People have absolutely been mugged in the past year. Certain chums even got a reputation for carrying valuable items with no hold, and it happened to them repeatedly.

We have a lot of mid-tier combat characters starving for jobs, wandering around in shrouds, looking for trouble. The incentives are there for them. I do not personally think we need a new variety of NPCs to do this.

Plots are driven by players, but often by very nature of social pressures, consequences must be driven by NPC's.

I don't care about killings, I care only about muggings in this case. When you are killed you do not know what you have lost.

That said, some real facts, because I like to keep track of corpses I see.

Of the 38 unique corpses I've seen in the last 30 days that I have noted down, 27 of them have been memento's, 5 of them have been boothed immy's, 2 of them have been Named NPC's. 4 of them have been player characters with more than a month in game. 1 was indeterminate.

As far as I can tell, 80-90% of all death that occurs presently in the game is systemic in nature taken about by Memeto's operating with said systems.

This is fantastic, it makes the world feel alive. But it very much counters your point there. That these automated systems will result in player meta, or that muggings and killings happen all the time between players.

Beyond that. I never once said people weren't getting mugged, I said it wasn't nearly as common as three years ago, to the point where I literally hadn't heard of someone JUST getting mugged for wearing nice shit in the last year+.

But by all means, please debate the motivation for a suggestion rather than the suggestion itself.
An eye for an eye makes the world go blind.

Stop being petty.

Be better.

All of you.

Spin off in the game problems section created by yours truly, since nobody else wanted to do it.

(Edited by Mench at 6:46 pm on 7/9/2021)

Sounds like there's plenty of people ripe for the picking, get mugging!

Rhea, those sound like some pretty hard numbers. It also sounds like pretty IC info...maybe reel it in a bit on that kind of OOC paydata? Or share it via xhelps? You also can't verify how many muggings have occurred outside of those bodies though.

One thing that may play in here (and I'm not 100% sure that's the case) is that some older players may not be as into punching down as was previously happening. Certain players can reach unkillable levels in one on one depending on their builds. It's possible that they're busier running gnarly plots or hitting higher targets, and not as interested in hitting midbies. Hiring lower level players to mug random people on the street is a bit of a donut hole. I think the higher level people are expecting low and midbies to be getting after that chy on their own.

Also, another thing that's sort of a gut feeling for me, is that the playerbase has been growing, and people are hesitant to give that hard welcome to a newer player so they can keep them around. I've seen plenty of people perm out after big losses. It can be a bit of a gut-punch to the person dishing them out, oocly. Without any numbers on actual muggings (which is the point of this post) there's no real way to know. I know a lot of people don't go screaming about how they're so weak they just got mugged. It's a great way to be on the menu forever. However, if maybe things have got too far in the other direction, I'd rather see the GM's incentivize players with a bad-ass NPC, or orders from Gang Bosses saying "these corpa' lookin' motherfuckers are making our street look bad. Make 'em bleed."

I can say one thing for certain though. I can think of one or two locations where a PC with fancy shit is certainly getting their ass whipped and robbed, and the locations I'm thinking of are PC enforced.

i have a bit of experience in mugging

wanna know why it doesn't actually happen much?

most players do not carry anything worth the time and effort to mug them for. mugging players is honestly something that feels like a chore, because you're taking on a good bit of risk for pretty much no payout-- i have had people blatantly disguise meta me when robbing them, shouting my character's name on pubSIC to try and blackball them. i have had people pretty much clam up and not roleplay at all in the interaction, which is probably actual combat shakes and not a personal thing, which I understand. i have had high tier combat characters (no doubt watching their camera network) crash the mugging for seemingly no reason other than being a hero.

why go through all that effort and risk for an empty velcro wallet and a progia 7?

the mix, however, is not soft, it is actually pretty brutal right now for those who are actively involving themselves in plots and taking risks. if you do not stick your neck out, nobody will ever try to take a bite, that's how things are and always will be. adding a toothless mugger memento to attack random people won't really do much to change that.

the things my character has experienced, had done to them, and has done to others, is the furthest thing from soft. if you have a different experience, that's because you have a different playstyle, and that's okay, but i can guarantee you that a hellish mix where people feel like they may even perm tomorrow is out there and the onus is on the player to find it.

I used to love mugging people all the time just as a theme thing, and because it creates drama and ultimately plot.

However, Batko has in my opinion, the right take on things.

Dipping is so completely rampant that hardly anyone carries anything on them outside their locker or apartment.

This makes mugging pretty much a waste of time, whereas robbery can be very lucrative. Unfortunately robbery has it's own share of issues (getting trapped inside for hours/days, Waiting hours/days for people to actually leave their apartments in the first place, etc.) so I don't see nearly as many characters doing that outside special circumstances (getting data on a motherlode stash, for example.)

TL;DR, I still think dipping is largely a non-interactive system that encourages PC money farming and causes a distinct lack of other RP/incentivized opportunities elsewhere.