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SIC Ghosts
A solution to Alias Hopping Small worlding

Current Situation: When you hop alias's right now, your old alias disappears immediately, you gain a new one immediately, and if you send a message anywhere, a cool down is placed on your changing the alias again.

Proposed Change: When you hop alias' a cool down like if you had sent a message on an alias is placed, for 15 seconds, in which period you can send messages, which will append the regular cooldown for that onto the 15 seconds. At the end of a 10 second period, your old Alias ceases to be registered to your SIC, and you cannot receive messages from it. At then end of 15 seconds your old alias disappears, and you can change alias' again. Which would start the 15 second cooldown and process again. The key feature to this is that the old alias you were on only disappears after that fifteen seconds are up, and you can even receive messages from it for the first ten seconds of the cooldown.

In my mind this would go a long way to preventing people from immediately assuming someone is an alias hopper. And also allow a little bit of proper non-small world gumshoery, if you were to try and send to them at the last third of the cooldown and get the rejection notice.

It would also reduce the amount of Alias hopping to send threats then swiftly alias hopping back after the cooldown without much of a chance being given to react to the other player.

Meh. As it is, alias hopping is easy to abuse for cheap shots without a lot of risk and the countermeasures against it aren't very accessible. I would -not- say I'm interested in letting players alias hop around with next to no risk while their victims are just kind of left with nothing to do about it. It's risk-averse and petty.
I see where you are going with this, but I feel like this might take some of the gumshoery OUT of the game. Currently, if you are quick on the draw and know what you are looking for, you can spot alias' hoppers out. I think is good, and this change would make it much harder to figure out who these hoppers are.
This is just more cheese for alias hoppers and also is... pretty much a backtrack from the alias change cooldown in the first place.
I think the goal is to make hopping harder, rather than better and more common than it already is, which is (I believe) why a cooldown on PubSIC hopping was implemented.
Kiwi that's what this change is designed to address.

Both reducing the the small world nature of, "Why of course of the 77 million people here, you are of course BobySign, stop hopping motherfucker." While allowing you to have a reason to suspect that a person might be a hopper, because you would have alias' that couldn't receive messages after awhile.

Would also reduce it's use as an anonymous threat sending tool. While rewarding those who have the tools and such TO use it as such.

Why should it be harder?
There's already gear out there that helps alias hoppers...

This is just... why?

Is it making it harder? Is it making it easier?

Stop making it obvious when you alias hop?
Gonna post a quote from the most recent townhall for Villa.

Fengshui says loudly, "I do not personally like calling out alias hopping."

Dethrow stands from their seat in the fifth row, and edges their way out of it into the aisle.

Fengshui says loudly, "You would not notice this unless someone is hopping aliases and messaging your specifically or directing messages at you specifically."

Fengshui says loudly, "I think we should CALL OUT in character, when people do this."

Fengshui says loudly, "I send a public sic calling out an alias hopper"

Fengshui says loudly, "You all reinforce that it is NOT OK to do that by being like 'what, how could you possibly know that just because that alias isn't one you saw recently' or 'there are 65 million people on sic'"

Fengshui says loudly, "Shit like that."

This is designed to reduce the calling out of Alias hoppers by making it harder to distinguish.

It's also designed to reduce its use, by allowing responses to be sent during the de-hop.

So both HolyChrome

I'd also add the last line on the matter later on in that meeting:

Fengshui says loudly, "Let's all agree we'll just stop calling out alias hopping, in general. Unless it's so SUPER blatant or someone makes a mistake like not changing their SIC tag. It seems like a new problem that has been caused by us restricting alias changes to a certain amount of time-- which we did to better support tech characters and we don't want to roll back."

Obvious is easy when you just take it to be the potential 80 active PCs using sic. Obvious isn't easy when you remember there's suppose to be millions of people thinking at once.

The flip side to that rhea is you don’t know who has the equipment to know if you are hopping.

Just nosedive into the sewer after your sic burn.

There is a camp on the game who seem to think that sic is the only form of conflict available to them as a safe bet.

These people are generally the most obvious examples that frankly ruin alias hopping for the people who use it as means to another end.

Yes, if all you're doing is alias hopping and can't even plot otherwise to try and antag someone? You're going to eventually make yourself known. In which case, be prepared to get called the fuck out.

For the people alias-hopping threats? Hell yeah, if they're following through! Be afraid of getting creased by the guy you can't pin down! That's the whole game!

Exactly Grizz.

I'm trying to make a way for hopping to occur, to be less obvious from an OOC perspective. Also to be harder to accomplish for its current uses. While not removing it as a viable option.

This makes it hard to alias hop to send private messages. It makes it easier to 'calias Beans cmsg Rex Gold is a doodoo head' with virtually no recourse and let's say that I don't feel we particularly need to enshrine that, even if a sense of scale is good.
Me thinks someone's been getting a lot of private sic threats in game lately...
How about more discussion on the idea and less trolling Chrome?

Or what, you been small worlding alias hoppers on Pubsic?

That's a bit of a joy killer there.

And Kiwi, it actually doesn't, the people with the means of fulfilling those threats, will generally know the ways to block out SIC. And thus functionally nothing will change for them.

Send message, Duck someplace without SIC wait 15 seconds, duck out, change alias back. Wait 15 seconds.

This literally is only to reduce the immediate small worlding response of, OGGanger DIsappeared, and NewSkool showed up, and is bad mouthing me. I know OGGanger hates me, so I'm gonna call out OGGanger for no reason beyond a small world mentality.

It also reduces the viability of small time threats using the names of larger ones, to try and scam and use their names.

It's not trolling.

You're being incredibly oversensitive.

No, this just entirely reads like "I want the terms of sic anonymity to suit my situation."

Or does it more sound like I want the terms of SIC anonymity to focus less on alias and more situation and tools at hand? To reduce the meta inherent in watching a cwho that shouldn't be showing just the exact players around. But rather a vast list of a bunch of things.

I mean an alternate solution would be to populate the SIC list with about 10 for each letter of fluff alias' that don't actually do anything each time a cwho is triggered.

I can say personally, the last time I changed alias to shit talk someone directly outside of a situation where there was a very large situation or event going on SIC wise, was about 2 months ago. So this is more to address a problem I've noticed occuring around me than one that affects me myself.

Yeah, it still does.

And more correctly, to get to the root of my questions here...

Why do you so harshly defend the current status quo?

When that status quo has already caused one of the lead devs to encourage mobbing up on those who fall into this trap of small worlding?

I think it's fine as is. SIC is not that big of a deal in general.
But am I reeeeaaaaally though?


But am I reeeeeeaaaaaaally?

"What if hopping on pubsic was really viable but private hopping was really easy to foil?"

You're already saying "those around you" are affected by it, so the agenda is seeping through. It sounds like, to me, you want a coded solution to a PLOT problem.

The current system with the lock-out was implemented to prevent people from alias hopping, because alias hopping is annoying.

It's also annoying when people are meta and immediately assume alias hopping when there are millions of voices at play. Still, there are definitely times when you can suspect (and verify) that someone is alias hopping.

Keep in mind that some people have tools that allow them to know when someone is alias hopping, and that they might not be speculating about hoppers--they may legitimately know who said what and on which aliases.

Nah, that's you reading too much into it Chrome.

I said it was occurring around me, as in on public sic!

Not occurring to people around me... I don't tend to interact much with SIC shit talkers.

I do however tend to notice when a certain subset of people in game tend to small world , and accuse people without much evidence of hopping. And not get much reaction from people ICly...

This is not constructive and is becoming very pointed and personal.
I agree that smallworlding sux

I also agree that there are subsets that do that kind of sux

This isn't the wanted solution.

The solution is to stop the sux

Just get a SIC rip and forgetaboutiiiiit
Can't stop the suck without IC effort that isn't happening. When IC effort isn't happening to stop said suck as the devs suggested. What do we do?

How about we systemize the suck away to slightly mitigate it? I'm not even defending the idea at this point, honestly, there's about five others I could think of to reduce this problem and this was just one of them. At this point I'm defending that it's a problem that exists. And also defending against people personally attacking me for complaining about small worlding.

There are options available for you to not have to deal with the specific issues YOU personally are having evidently, if YOU don't want to put in effort to make this problem stop then it is YOUR fault, not the game mechanic's.
When IC effort isn't happening

Do we know that it isn't? I don't generally notice people harping on alias hopping/calling out alias hopping, except where it's obvious. In some cases it is obvious. When people do it and they're just being meta, the solution is to pipe up on pubsic about how meta they're being, which is what Slither suggested. Then they hopefully feel shame.

Here's an example of why this kind of meta is often bad.

Say I want to hire a smear campaign. I hire three unrelated SIC's to myself, and have them start smearing my enemy, occasionally chiming in with myself hopped as well.

"Oh, that's just RheaGhe, look at her hop, doesn't she know that her alias isn't there, she's trying so hard. Who'd you get to help you, CONTACT A, CONTACT B? Or maybe Crooknose?"

Boom, any momentum that is gained from this smear is turned around by what is in essence a barefaced metagame ploy. If the hoppers stop, then the enemy is correct, the enemy has gained a win, if they continue they have to address the meta, and then they just look like dickbags or liars...

"Huhdurr how would you know? Don't you know SIC twackers are iwwegal?"

There's a catch 22 that this meta enforces. And why it can't be structurally operated against ICly.

I've witnessed this happen now successively to multiple people besides myself. Enemies, friends, fuck people I didn't even know existed up to the point that this happened have gotten this meta used against them on pubsic.

It got to me so much OOCly that I basically stopped utterly engaging with public SIC, or trying to smear my enemies anywhere on SIC, what so ever, because it's a pointless endeavor to do so.

When all the enemy has to do to remove any traction from the conflict or chase, is to point and say, "Oh look that alias disappeared from a list at the same time... Must be them!" And it A: Deflects claims that they are engaging in illegal activity, and B: Makes the person doing the hopping and smearing, and actually fronting money to people to SIC hop and smear someone, look utterly fucking stupid when they get caught out by meta.

It's pointless. It needs to stop. And unfortunately, there's not an easy way to stop the suck without systemizing against it in some way.

There's the explanation. There's what's being missed, there's why I'm frustrated.

Because there's no counter to meta that works out in the favor of anyone other than the people being meta in this case.

SIC is the most inane form of conflict in Sindome. Literally nobody, and I mean nobody has been fired, tacked down, died, or lost anything exclusively over SIC rumors. Also in the specific situation you are describing there are REAL IC SOLUTIONS!!! Don't do the alias hopping yourself, or maybe don't stick to one alias for long enough so people can't qualify the lack of that alias to a brief change in yours.
And before you say how can there be an IC solution to a meta situation, no, it's not meta for JoeBaka to assume that RheaGhe is alias hopping when her alias is vacant for the few seconds while someone has been talking shit about him, especially if JoeBaka suspects RheaGhe has reasons to talk shit about him.
No, but seriously, Villa is 100% right. This is pretty much just giving an out to people who are scared of conflict but still want to call their enemy a dick on SIC and then fade into the mist. I 100% do not give a shit about enshrining meaningless, no-risk capability to shit-talk.
SIC is the most inane form of conflict in Sindome.

I disagree. People can and should engage in more forms of conflict that just shooting or smacking each other about. SIC is a valid tool for conducting PR campaigns, smear campaigns, redirection efforts, data leaks and more. Things that do matter. Of course, they need to be done smartly but I 100% do not agree that using SIC as a tool for conflict is 'inane'.

no, it's not meta for JoeBaka to assume that RheaGhe is alias hopping when her alias is vacant for the few seconds while someone has been talking shit about him,

I also disagree here. The alias of someone I think doesn't like me disappeared from SIC and this alias I am unfamiliar with just insulted me on SIC does NOT mean they are the same person. The two bits of truth MIGHT make the conclusion true but it's a long shot at best. The person who you don't think likes you could be on any of millions of other aliases for any number of reasons. And the alias insulting you could be any of millions of people insulting you for any number of reasons. You need more facts and, yes, there are ways to get them.

Sure, if someone is super blatant or messes up with tags or something can and should be outed. But I feel that a lot of people lower the bar far too much in terms of what could be considered blatant and jump to small world conclusions because it is easier for them, more convenient for them or because they are frustrated. None of those are good reasons to ignore ambient population in my opinion.

I don't like the solution the OP suggested but I also feel that we could all take a moment and think about the problem and try and do things better on our end. Instead I feel that most are just outright declaring SIC conflict insignificant and lame and that there is no problem. Even dropping tactics that, as I read them, suggest they provide far more meaningful information then they really do in my opinion.

+1 to Ghosts statements here.

Sic conflict may seem inane to you, sometimes it is, but often it pairs with a more tangible plot to destabilise or outright attack an individual or a group of individuals. In some active plots characters are physically dying because they cannot identify their aggressor on sic.

The effectiveness of the sic component of these plots is determined in large part by the aggressive parties ability to remain anonymous and for that to be undermined by an assumptive tactic that works only because there are 80 players to choose from rather than a full list of 2 million is cheap and rather underhanded.

Some of the comments on here are also really unconstructive. If your comment amounts to "git gud or git rekd" maybe just don't bother commenting?

*cough* correction +1 to Grey0s comments
This is probably going to make me look bad, but what's new?

For me the whole notion of "alias hopping" is immersion breaking and I mostly ignore it, same as people on sic saying YOLO or other things that are not themely.

Feeling that SIC is anonymous is what the majority of the population experiences, there are no real permanent identities, it is a fluid thing so everyone is changing names and saying crazy stuff to strangers 24/7.

Imagine a crowded twitch chat and how chaotic it is, now multiply that to quantum levels and that doesn't even come close to the madness that it actually is, granted there is a script that should emulate this but it gets either broken or deactivated frequently.

You can't really play who is who on such a large scale and even those who can try to have a hard time at it.

The current limitations seem fine by me, before you could make your own SIC plays on a macro and deliver them, now at least you have to get some help and that fuels RP and the econ.

My solution, make your character realize of the immense scale of SIC and assume random people troll around and with you and your enemies and friends too and you don't even know it and most of the time can't know it.

That doesn't mean, you later can't get all amped up on candy and shoot the pizza boy, because you are positive he was JoeBaka saying those mean things about you because last time you didn't give him a tip, although he probably didn't.

Not knowing and not being able to know is part of the fun.

SIC is not as inane as it is being written off of, I have to agree there.

To say that one cannot use it as a tool to push skillfully crafted propaganda is very obviously not true, and a good portion of Sindome is information warfare.

You can use SIC to; Leak ”pay data” spread propaganda, control the narrative, throw your enemies off kilter so they say things revealing or act in a fit of anger, hell, you can be bored and instigate gang warefare at 9am so you can snipe some hanger you don’t like or hop in and grab a piece of gear when they’re down. It is a tool in your toolbox.

With that said, I echo the sentiment that it’s fine as is.

it's not meta for JoeBaka to assume that RheaGhe is alias hopping when her alias is vacant for the few seconds while someone has been talking shit about him, especially if JoeBaka suspects RheaGhe has reasons to talk shit about him.

This. Also agree with Grizzly, there are plenty of uses of SIC. If you're obvious how you're doing it and look like an alias hopper, then get called out for it, it's more like, why didn't you have a more subtle plan.

Maybe separate out the idea of "alias hopping" in your mind from the idea of smear campaigns. If I have that one enemy who's been trying to nail me to a cross and all of a sudden four aliases start teeing off on me for no reason, it may be obvious to my character that someone is deliberately attacking me and I may have a suspicion about who would do that. That's not being meta IMO, it's common sense.

This might not occur to everyone initially but I'm just going to put it out there.


When people say meta, it's automatically tied to negative connotations, but there is a -necessary- amount of suspension of disbelief needed so we're all not bogged down in semantics, arguing unnecessary details, and scratching the paint on the wall.

Why is meta sometimes good? Because the WHOLE focus of this game is conflict.

If you get your place robbed, you don't throw your hands up and shrug because...

"Oh well, could be one of 70 million people!"

Get creased on the street?

"Oh well, could be one of 70 million people!"

Is there some baka shittalking you on sic?

"Oh well, could be...."

If you want conflict, you -have- to assume one of the "usual suspects". Yes, there are some golden benchmarks and sacred things not to break. Like disguised people? No, you shouldn't automatically assume someone in a green hoodie is the same one who dipped you. But it also makes for a hilarious situation when someone -does- jump a guy in a hoodie only to find out he's an ace solo who'll kick your shit it.

Please, stop decrying meta as bad. There are instances where it is. And there are instances where it's -necessary- to keep the flow of the game going. What separates good and bad players is knowing when to push on it or to investigate more. The GMs will -never- punish you for investigating more, but there is a certain point where you've done all you can do and have to make the jump because...

"Oh well, could be one of 70 million people!"

Chrome, what you are describing is not meta, it's using IC knowledge to figure out IC stuff. Meta is when you are using OOC information to influence IC actions. Yes, you could ascribe that someone breaking into your place was a random act of violence, but that doesn't drive anything. Now if you also have enemies, or suspects, for some IC reasons, then following that at least gives you something to do, even if it was a random act of robbery.
That's still "meta". It's where the two waters meet. And knowing the difference is again, what separates good and bad players. And sometimes it takes pleading the case to GMs. People also are not obligated to explain how they know things ICly, nor are GMs obligated to explain how Fuckface McGee knows either. Which is probably the #1 source of people crying meta.
How is taking IC actions based on IC data meta? I think you have the terms confused, as meta is strict that - influencing IC actions through OOC means.

And I don't know about rules on meta, when my PC makes some sort of guess, or attempt to put something together from incomplete data, I sure as heck note that, to explain how he arrived at the knowledge. To satisfy both me and the GMs, that it's 100% IC, not OOC driven.

@Marleen: We often use meta to also denote what's known as "small worlding", ie, making guesses/assumptions based on the fact that you're playing a moo with 100+ other people.

When I get killed by a petite shrouded mona with a katana, I might have an OOC guess as to who that is. My character (had they survived) might have had an IC guess as to who that was. However, to then jump to the conclusion that such and such a person must have killed me because they're a petite mona who's known to use katanas is considered meta thinking, even though OOCly I don't know if it was really her or not.

Does that make sense? A lot of people who raise issues about meta are wondering, "Did my opponent do due diligence on this or are they just making an assumption based on small worlding?"

The premise of the thread is that everyone else is small worlding in a way that's detrimental to alias hoppers and needs to be corrected. The counter-argument that's being presented is, not ever instance of calling out hoppers is meta: there are IC tools to identify them and it's possible to use IC logic to reason about when someone might be alias hopping. Knowing when to apply that reasoning and when to play dumb is part of the learning curve of being a better player.

There's no anonymity on SIC.