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Pirate Amp
You get SICnal?

Amps are very, very expensive. They are cost-prohibitive for most people who would get them for their homes or bars. Even those who can afford them are unlikely to buy more than one to increase room coverage, unless they're absolutely loaded.

What if there was a cheaper amp that was obviously a pirate job? Make it require regular skilled maintenance with tools, or else it gets worse and worse at suppressing brownouts over time (or stops working entirely). That could drive more RP to electro-techs / deckers ... plus, pretty themely to have to go mess with your hacked-together amplifier.

Would love to see something in the middle that isn't as good as a real amp.

Bad signal is just one of the ways the Mix sucks. To get out of it, you can either leave the Mix or pay an enormous sum. I like the idea of giving techs work, but other than that, I think the discomfort is -meant- be impossible to avoid. It's a cool idea, though.
Does sound like quite a cool idea. I'd say they're not just cost-prohibitive though, but also availability-prohibitive.

I like the idea of having to trust some baka to come into your place to fix up your cheap-ass amp every now and then though. Good trade off for not sourcing and paying for the real deal.

I like the idea. Getting a wire tech to come to your secret lair... Priceless.
If someone was to do this, I think you'd want it as a consumable booster. It lasts a certain amount of time -- maybe like a half hour -- before it burns out, and you can turn it off and then on. But it's something someone with electro-tech can repair and recharge.
I agree, Kiwi. Whether you're just getting by without one or paying for a "pirate amp", there should still be some element of SICnal degradation you just have to live with. That discomfort is the point and should remain!

A real Gold-like amp is supposed to rip you off if you want to avoid it completely.

Personally I thought it would be more something like you'd need to get it fixed once a month/whatever. But that still means getting some electro-tceh chum to come visit your place that often.

Unless we're talking *real* cheap. Then yeah, some micro-boost could be fun, but I can't see most PCs paying out for 30 min of boost, when they can just go to the local club for that.

Maybe a couple hours. I wouldn't make it a long time -- I think you'd be toggling it on and off to save juice, you know?
But... would you still have to install it in the first place Pavane?


The booster cell idea is okay, but I feel like it would turn into a continuous cost, which isn't the point; rather, it's a tradeoff of trust for cost. I saw the idea more as an electro-tech or systems check, where you'd need - as mentioned earlier - to let some joe-baka technician come in and work on your amp.

This would mean trusting another player to do maintenance in your space, which generates RP / paydata!

I imagined a checkup, definitely. The model I was considering was like ammo reloading, where when the amp burns out someone has to come repair it.

It would have to be pretty regular to make it realistically any more risky than the current set-up in the paydata sense, you will already need someone with the right skills to come install the amp you're paying X-amount for, and that's paydata on your X-chyen amp, plus whatever else you might have.
Yeah. That's why I thought about a low amount of 'time' on it. Maybe 8 hours is the right number, or maybe it's a number between 2 and 24 depending on the skill of the electro-tech.

In terms of cost, I think you'd want to price this similarly to like a thermo camera, since I imagine techs would not charge peanuts to tune it up.

Right. It might be as regular as once a week or every couple weeks; each time, creating new work for those skillsets that usually only get one-off jobs. Amp maintenance could become a really great regular source of income for them, instead of just a one-off job.
Really fantastic idea! Love imagining a real hacky-looking frankeinsteined amp a jockey put together out of spare parts, it'd be very themely for mixers.

Maybe instead of on/off or recharging, it just straight up isn't as good as a real amp, it never prevents brownouts entirely, but just boosts the chances of a room 'surviving' a brownout roll (or however that works) by some noticeable degree. So you don't survive them completely, but that room will usually have better odds of signal to count on, enough to be worth paying for the amp and some occasional decker/tech visits (maybe once a month). I could see electro/programming tied into it.

That's just one option though, the ideas where it works on charges is interesting too, boosting signal for a short while when you really need it. Could be great too!

I would just like to add that while SICnal shortage is a mixer problem, it's also a complete non-issue 99% of the times and easy to avoid. Unless you live in a cube and REALLY want to stay there. Hell, I'd make it worse than it currently is, to drive more people to bars.

That being said, a pirate amp is super themely and would create RP, so I'm all for it. I also prefer Jameson's concept more than on/off or recharging. I think something like it being up 80% of the time (however the underlying code for SICnal works) and requiring a monthly check-up/service.