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Ganger item payment reduction
Thank the farmers :/

So, we are reducing what gangers will pay for some of the gear they request. This feature was originally put in place to support mixer scavengers and traders as well as to help us keep NPCs outfitted with gear. However, now people are consistently farming gangers (IE: killing them) and then having someone else sell them back their gear.

While technically 'legal' in terms of the rules, this is kind of a bullshit thing to be doing on a regular basis. It's unthemely, does not support RP, and is the kind of grinding-esque MUD style leveling that we do not like. Thus, the payments these NPCs pay out is being reduced drastically.

To those of you who have supported the gangers by selling them gear and gotten paid well for it, you'll still be able to make a profit if you stole the gear, scavenged it, or already had it, but you wont be making nearly as much.

If the farming continues, we will continue to reduce the pricing until it no longer becomes a worthwhile IC task for someone to do, due to it being not worth the potential risk.

-- S

So your nerfing scavengers rather than dealing with serial killers? Why not just deal with serial killers? Why punish scavengers?
Oh... well.

Disclaimer: I used to benefit from ganger payments.

With that said, I think it's... ok. A balance thing to discourage a ganger reaping economy. It's a balance between simulating an ambient pop economy and disabling illogical profit.

With that said, perhaps we coul have more NPCs that buy items that they don't possess in their inventories after purchase? You know which NPC I'm talking about.

Or keep the original reasonably good money for drugs, as no one will try to take on a ganger for a couple marcy pills and drugs are consumed by gangers. No?

It's a balance between simulating an ambient pop economy and disabling illogical profit.

I don't agree at all. What this does is disable logical profit while ignoring the ambient population. The ambient population, upon having a serial killer repeatedly kill their ranks, would gang up and take out the serial killer. That's both themely and balancing without destroying the profits of people who are not abusing ambient pop.

Unfortunately, we as admin are not around 24/7 and neither are all players. Thus, we can't always effectively deal with people who do this on a regular basis. If you want to get down to brass tax though, and talk numbers though-- let's do it!

When I set up this system a machete cost 300 chyen and I made it so that gangers paid 110% for that machete.

Now a machete costs something like 29,000 and a ganger still pays 110% for that machete.

The original intent of the system was to make it profitable for TRADERS as well as SCAVENGERS to make a living selling a TON of gear to gangers every week. While at the same time preventing admin from having to outfit gangers and other NPCs over and over. It also meant that you could recognize that a ganger would always want certain gear, allowing us to customize their personalities a bit (See Zenigra's pick axe).

Before this balancing act, you could make more than a corpie makes in a week by scavenging and selling a SINGLE machete. It's all profit. And it's a huge profit. That's not what the system was intended for. It's just what it has become because one part of the game (weapon prices) were balanced and another part of the game (ganger payouts) was not yet balanced.

This isn't a nerf on scavengers, those brave folk that wait for a battle to happen and then loot corpses and get gear for free that they can then sell back at a profit. It's a much needed balancing.

The farming (unthemely as it is) is just a symptom of the problem, which is that a few years ago when I set this system up, brass knuckles cost 250 chyen, a cricket bat was 800, a machete was 300, protek gear was 1000, etc.

The profit margins on a machete are much higher now. This balance serves many purposes. Hopefully my post clears that up!

-- S

I mean if this is limited to a group of people, why not just have this change affect that group of people? When someone is identified as a 'farmer', make it so stuff they pick up is 'tainted', and will be profit reduced on the next ganger sale. There's so many better ways to address this that don't nerf the people who are not abusing it.
I've already explained why this happened in great detail. Please review my posts again.


-- S

This isn't a nerf on scavengers, those brave folk that wait for a battle to happen and then loot corpses and get gear for free that they can then sell back at a profit. It's a much needed balancing.

Yes it is! Presently gangers are the best option for that. By drastically reducing their payout, you have seriously nerfed their profit potential, all because a small group of non-scavengers are abusing the system. Why don't you just deal with the farmers in an IC way? I understand not always being around, but that's why teaching them the proper lesson regarding treating ambient pop as not a thing is important. I have suggested other solutions to accomplish the same goal, namely eliminate the profit potential in farming, which does not nerf the actual scavengers. What's wrong with that?

The farming (unthemely as it is) is just a symptom of the problem, which is that a few years ago when I set this system up, brass knuckles cost 250 chyen, a cricket bat was 800, a machete was 300, protek gear was 1000, etc.

Sure, but have weekly payouts gone up to compensate? Or have crate profits and job salaries remained pretty much constant during that time? I don't know the answer, but I'm guessing that job pay hasn't scaled to match these changes. Instead the economy has evolved, from my perspective, to use those jobs as supplemental income... rent paying money... and the real cash comes in the form of player driven biz.

So you're calling this a 'balance', but it's not, unless you do something like triple the amount jobs pay out. It's just a nerf.

This was far too profitable. MegaCop. Yes, it is a nerf. A nerf is a form of balancing. Mixers will still be able to make tons of money if they stay bizzy, but as far as chyen sources come this goes down as being one of the most profitable for the least RP required, risk and time.

That said, while I realise admins can not be around 24/7, I would really like to see more drastic steps taken to punish players who take advantage of farming gangers when staff aren't around. Perhaps measures are already being taken. But from my knowledge playing Mixers solidly (and, at times, being close to the gangs) this has been a solid problem for the last few years and often-times those doing it seem to get off scot-free.

Trading and scavenging should remain viable if repeated nerfs are required to discourage the farming. That said, I would really like to see the farmers pursued more aggressively.

Yes, it is a nerf.

Thank you for acknowledging that. It's kind of disheartening to have people say, "This isn't a nerf" when it's pretty inarguable that it is.

I would really like to see more drastic steps taken to punish player who take advantage of farming

Me too! So much so, that it would make nerfs an unnecessary part of balance. There's more than one way to achieve balance, and destroying opportunities which people have worked for weeks and months to set themselves up because the staff doesn't want to take a harder IC line with farmers is very disheartening.

I would have much rather seen this post say, "Ganger item payment reduction for farmers", since that is the stated problem, not one of overall economy balance. If the goal is overall economy balance, then I would argue a much more holistic approach should be considered, not just a knee-jerk nerf on scavengers with no viable alternative introduced to compensate for the loss.

But it is also a problem of economy balance, as Slither has mentioned.

'There's more than one way to achieve balance, and destroying opportunities which people have worked for weeks and months to set themselves up because the staff doesn't want to take a harder IC line with farmers is very disheartening.'

I believe the fact that this isn't all that's at play here has been covered extensively in this thread.

I never said actions wouldn't be taken against farmers, but what if they are disguised? Should we ignore the IC steps they took to conceal their identities just because we don't like what they are legally doing within the game? That seems just as bad in my mind.

MegaCop: Sorry that you feel that way. These payouts were way to high, there was no RP needed in many cases, and it was literally breaking the economy. Scavengers will have to spend more time and be more crafty to get the hundreds of thousands of chyen that were available to them weekly due to this unbalanced means of acquiring money.

As for the farmers being the cause, perhaps I was unclear. This issue of how high payouts were, came to light due to us looking at people who were farming. This balancing was not done with the sole intention of stopping them. Not only that, but none of us have time to solve the same problem over and over. Let me give you an example:

A newbie walks into the dome and pickpockets the first NPC they see who happens to be a ganger. The ganger kills them.

This happens daily. And results in many people complaining or not playing.

We could try to talk to every player who came in and tell them OOCly not to pickpocket the ganger, we could also puppet the ganger and make them not kill the player (if we are around), we could puppet another npc and have them revive the player, OR we could just move the ganger elsewhere and let them pickpocket someone who is just going to beat them down but not kill them.

Sometimes you have to move the ganger :)

-- S

But it is also a problem of economy balance, as Slither has mentioned.

Well if that's the reason (which isn't what was originally listed as the reason), why isn't the economy being balanced in other ways to compensate? Can't we get some good news to make the bitter pill a little easier to swallow?

This is a balancing act which nerfs the total payout. You're arguing semantics and it's really disruptive to this thread.

This isn't 100% about the farmers abusing the system, it's about the theme and making sure Mixers are NOT capable of earning hundreds of thousands of chyen every month without extensive and involved RP and upsetting the haves and have-not setting of Withmore City.

So, please stop asking us to outright punish individuals when we're making a change to improve the application and the health of the theme.

Thank you and please try to understand if you're a Mixer ICly, then ICly you're trash. Have a nice day!

I can agree with this. Always seemed weird to see a Mixer walking around in full Xo3 with a shotgun all like "oh yeah I earned this in like a week".
The staff (which I currently is understaffed ATM due to real life circumstances) has confirmed several times they are working better to improve the theme as far as economy goes, adjusting the payouts at the employment terminals to better suit all jobs, etc. The problem is that there are hundred of jobs and it would take a few days to work on it, but it's definitely planned and since it was discussed on the town hall, there are be plans from the GMs and the loremasters to make sure mixers don't earn as much as corpies do in average... not to mention that Cerberus said they've been spent the past 2 weeks working to make it happen

Or Mixers taking constant trips to the badlands, and even to the point that many of them own vehicles is a bit out-of-theme.

If you wanna make an omelette, you gotta crack some eggs.

Cerberus is the chef that apparently just cracked Megacop's egg.

But what Megacop doesn't realize is that the omelette is just getting cooked.

A laundry list of things needs to be done before we see this cracked egg turn into something amazing.

So give it time and relax. This is a game, not a foreclosure on your bank account.

You're arguing semantics and it's really disruptive to this thread.

I've not argued any semantics.

I've stated facts, which we all agree to: It's a nerf. Someone else argued with that, but not me. They were wrong, and others corrected them. I'm sure we can leave that one behind.

I've stated opinions, which are my own: It's disheartening. it feels unbalancing without something to compensate for the loss.

I've asked questions: Why not just deal with the farmers IC? Why not change other aspects of the economy to compensate? These are perfectly on topic questions that have gotten perfectly valid replies, so I don't know what you're referring to

This isn't 100% about the farmers abusing the system, it's about the theme and making sure Mixers are NOT capable of earning hundreds of thousands of chyen every month without extensive and involved RP and upsetting the haves and have-not setting of Withmore City.

I've understood that now from other posters. Thank you.

please stop asking us to outright punish individuals when we're making a change to improve the application and the health of the theme.

I didn't ask you to do that. I asked why that wasn't the solution being worked on. I was answered about that too: There's problems enforcing it. I'd say the question was valid.

Thank you and please try to understand if you're a Mixer ICly, then ICly you're trash. Have a nice day!

No arguments there! I wasn't trying to suggest anything different.

'I've stated opinions, which are my own: It's disheartening. it feels unbalancing without something to compensate for the loss.'

It's been explained.

You were never intended to be able to make this much money as a Mixer - with such little risk and RP and effort.

This system was never balanced to take into account the adjusted prices of items.

This is being corrected to reflect the intended theme.

If you want to make large sums of chyen as a Mixer, you shall have to work harder for it.

This is why they are not just doing targeted punishments of individuals. As has been explained and over and over in this thread. The system itself was in serious need of review.

You needn't be compensated because a system that is paiyng out way more than it should have been is being brought in line.

You were never intended to be able to make this much money as a Mixer - with such little risk and RP and effort.

I get it. Do you understand why taking something away from someone, even though they were never intended to have it, is disheartening? Can you appreciate why that would deflate quite a bit of wind from someone's sails? Wind that has been moving them along at a steady pace and not isn't there to bouy them? As you correctly pointed out, it's a game. It's supposed to be fun. I'm registering a lack of fun with this move. I think that's allowed, and even expected. I understand the greater good, please try and understand the individual struggle.

It can be good to get rid of familiarity, sometimes. Don't let it defeat you; instead see it as an opportunity to reconsider the approach of your character, to try new things and create new plots and experiences.
It's set up like this-

Corpies can LEGALLY only get money from their job. Nefarious disguised business aside- they technically couldn't run for mixers, or run crates. That's why they have larger salaries.

Mixers can run crates, get a lower-salary job, and run for mixers.

The problem is when Mixers have 100,000c on them as "walking around money", super suited up vehicles, and all this gear, and Corpies, the ICly rich and affluent, don't.

I actually don't understand why you can't separate your IC greed from your OOC understanding.

You get it, good. Why do you feel disheartened? Well, just hand a thought.... maybe you should feel disheartened. You seem like a Mixer, so that's good. If you're feeling disheartened for your character and if they're a mixer, then I think mission accomplished.

Why do you feel disheartened?

I think you're asking a serious question here, not trying to troll me, so I'll do my best to answer seriously, but I will admit I have my doubts...

The game is about fantasy role playing. You get to, for a time, escape into a world where you can experiment in ways you would otherwise never experiment, and accomplish things you could otherwise never accomplish. These things are often dark, ugly things, like death, murder, and violence. But they're played out in a safe environment where no one actually dies. This presents an opportunity for fun in ways that no other game presents: Exploring those possibilities is fun. Learning is fun. Interacting with people is fun. Setting and then realizing your goals is a LOT of fun. These are IC goals, but the goals are set by someone real, and they're achieved through the efforts of someone real. That real person is the one having the fun.

When you tell someone, "We're changing the road your on", what that means is at least some portion of the work that the real person has put in has been invalidated, and the opportunity for fun in the way they have envisioned it has been denied. I believe the board is littered with goodbyes from players who no longer were having fun for one reason or another.

I can separate my IC greed from my OOC understanding just fine. What I'm disheartened by is my OOC greed, which isn't for money: It's for fun. The fun had through setting and accomplishing your goals. And when you tell someone, "Your goals are no longer accomplishable in the way you had planned", that's not fun. It's disheartening.

The obvious dichotomy is one players face all the time: Keep looking for new ways to have fun, or quit. I understand that choice too, and I appreciate the positive words of encouragement to continue to search for new solutions.

But saying 'I seem like a mixer'? Are you trying to insult me personally? Because that's just not cool.

I think MegaCop has explained his (her?) self acceptably well here. The initial reaction may have been a bit knee jerky but all the follow up has been insightful and moved the conversation along. It's now addressed many of the topics a lot of people might have been thinking.

As for not addressing what the GMs would be doing to ICly deal with this kind of thing... Well, we wouldn't want to give anything I away!

Another thing to consider is that when one door closes, another opens. Not having access to such large amounts of money will mean more opportunities for mixer players to do IC biz with each other. It also means more demand for the corpies that need mixers to ICly do jobs that they can pay for with their corpies salaries.

All in all this should promote RP-- and that is the drivinf force behind the game. So, consider that what we've given back in exchange here is more opportunities to do biz and RP with your fellow players!

-- S

Thank you, Slither! Great reply. He/him/male, for those wondering.
I would like to remind everyone that the game is in constant update.

When the scavenging code was created, about 90% of weapons were useless and about 99.9% or armor were useless... Compared to what they are now. The changes in prices were made to reflect what now consists of about 3 years of hard work by the admin and a bunch of players that helped describe the items we have.

To put things in perspective, Xo5 is one of the high end armor in the game, one of the items I like to call "Golden Carrots", did provide less protection than what a Protek layer does today. A machette was very bad, most melee weapons were useless and knives only had one, maybe two that were worth it.

We've been improving these items and systems iteratively in the past years. Every so often something new is available, adjusted, fixed, made proper, made fair. It takes a lot of work doing the maths behind it, describing it, creating new items, balancing everything across the board, planning, presenting, discussing, reworking, brainstorming, testing and then putting it out for the players to use.

But the moo is so big and has so many subroutines that we don't see every ramification of every change. The issue with the 110% price on NPCs buying things was a flag that was raised a long time ago but left aside as weekly caps would control it to a point. Now the development team has come to a point where they could allocate resources to fix that flag, that issue, that worry or bug. And once looked upon and prodded, it started to stink real bad. So we fixed the issue, notified the playerbase and set IC reactions to player's IC actions accordingly.

There are loads of ways for people to make money. But the "Golden Carrots" should be items players should be working hard to get, not exploiting the game for it. Xo3 and Xo5 should be badge of worth in the Mix... You either lived enough to buy a set or killed someone for theirs...

Yes corpies should have easy access to these items, it is themely, as it is themely for mixers to kill corpies for anything shiny they carry. Mixers should be stealing, scheming, blackmailing, mugging, conning, or doing whatever they can think of to get these high-end items.

Yes scavenging got a bit of a cut, it happens when you're refactoring parts of the game to make sense. Yes people will get annoyed at that, because the easy money scheme is now gone. We're sorry, but you should be looking at better ways to get things that aren't abusing the code of the game.

Codewise the NPCs not paying as much as they are, will counterballance correctly with the markets, haggling and non automated forms of trading.

So things are not set in stone. The game is in constant improvement, expect things to change, chin up and game on.

I was agreeing with everything you were saying, especially the part about earning your status items, and ways to get it.

Until I got to this line.

We're sorry, but you should be looking at better ways to get things that aren't abusing the code of the game.

Can you please elaborate more on what you mean when you say, "abusing the code of the game" in the context of selling things to gangers? Are you just referring to "going around and killing people without a proper IC response from the ambient population"? Because my understanding, and correct me if I'm wrong, is that's not something that will be coded for, but handled through GM IC responses, and the abuse wasn't with scavengers, it was with serial killers. Did I misunderstand? I'm asking because I don't want to abuse the code, or be accused of being an abuser because I'm a scavenger.

Hey man, it wasn't directed at scavengers. It was directed at people killing gangers and abusing the code flaws to make excessive money.,

The way scavengers do it, is right. There are better ways to do it without abusing code that uses character skills to increase the margin of profit and there are ways to do it that are easier but won't pay as much. As with every business buy low, sell high... Try to buy lower...

@Jinx: Thank you for your excellent reply as well. All questions to date answered! :)
Having read through this I can understand the point regarding rebalancing being necessary between the corporate and mixer opportunities but respectfully disagree with the chosen means. I feel that more accessible opportunities for corpies to make money in addition their poorly balanced wages should be made rather than penalising mixer who work for money in what I felt -was- a themely manner which:

1. Encouraged routine gang wars and thereby created exciting -themely- rp for players who were members or associates of those gangs (not to mention medics and observers).

2. Generated work, rp and chyen for 2 to 3 players per item 'farmed'. So-called farmers usually couldn't/didn't take on an entire gang alone and so they often had to hire assistance and purchase loot from gangers who had recently been on the warpath. They also could not mechanically run all the goods themselves and so had to employ runners for EVERY item they wanted sell, thereby creating a job and rp for the runner, who in some instances had the goods stolen from them or stole the goods and generated yet more rp.

3. Forced 'farmers' to build alliances with a gang/gangs whilst making enemies of every other one.

Penalising the payouts on ganger payments doesn't come close to addressing the issue of mixer vs corpy income as the income is broken before mixers even start getting creative for their money. A lot of this comes down to the maths, which I will explain below.

For the purposes of this demonstration I have assumed that the mixer is unemployed and earning purely on crate money alone to show just how badly balanced corporate paychecks are. Both corpy and mixer players in this comparison are using the most basic housing available to them.


Crate/other npc income: 10k

Housing: -1.5k

Cash remaining: 8.5k


Entry Corpsec Salary: ~9k

Housing: -4k (after compensation should they be granted it)

Cash remaining: 5k

Already the Mixer is 3.5k ahead of the corporate employee, even without a weekly salary of up to 8k for positions coming from places like CGH or WCS (I was -incredibly- surprised when what feels like a corporation was introduced to the mix. CGH allows gun permits, pays highly, offers reimbursements, but has none of the penalties of corpsec or lesser paid TERRA positions). Once a mixer finds employment in it is not uncommon to be earning cashflows of 18k a week just collecting their basic salary and running crates. Corporate players on the other hand don't have access to NPC payouts by the easily accessed means Mixers do and so quickly fall behind. In theory a corporate player can claim reimbursements from their employer but these almost never add up to a value that even comes close to the value a mixer can earn without having to go through a slow process that requires gm intervention to approve each time and is frequently denied.

What we need to see is corpies earning more from the get go and having more opportunities to actually work for yet more money. I don't expect this decision to be reversed as I wholewheartedly agree with what you are trying to achieve by having made it. I simply don't feel this change actually addresses the issue constructively at all.

My apologies if there is any repetition from earlier posts.

I'd also like to acknowledge that I only have my own perspective of how I roleplayed what I would assume you dub a farmer to work from. Maybe there were other players out there who simply singlehandedly killed entire gangs and sold all the loot to markets, generating rp for no-one.
If you read the entire thread you'll see that we're hard at work rebalancing corpie jobs and income.

I did read the whole thread, and I feel I quite accurately summed it up on one post alongside my opinions on the changes. The purpose of my post was to express my opinion on the changes. The TLDNR version of my opinion is as follows.

Agree: Mixers should not easily be able to earn more than corpies.

Disagree: Mixers should be penalised for working hard to get and distribute goods in a manner that generates regular rp for numerous players in a successful business model.

Conclusion: Provide corpies with more opportunities to work for their money rather than penalising people who -do- work for their money.

Agree, disagree, it's all the same to me. I've said my piece.

I agree that making large volumes of cash through NPC’s which are easily available to every single mixer was out of balance.

Econ is hard to manage. Especially ‘driving’ an econ so as to enforce a particular theme or model. More variables than anyone can reasonably account for even in a microcosm example like SD.

Class divide RP doesn’t work if the econ systems allows every mixer a relatively straightforward path to generating 20-50k by hawking items to NPC’s. And it -is- very straightforward no one can tell me this is a hard task based on time spent to achieve X amount of profit. Nothing compared to it.

Anyone who has played ARM can probably attest to how giving ‘poor’ people access to highly lucrative automatic income generation sources tanks the themely feel of class divides. (Red Storm Tailors anyone?)

A genuinely, obviously rich mixer should be something rare as well as highly suspicious/sketchy. That person should clearly be a fucking criminal even if you aren’t sure in what way. It should not be possible to suspect they made all that chy re-selling cricket bats and Protek to street thugs in bulk.

Corpies should never never never have reasons to be jealous of mixers, in general, for having more money than they do.

A lazy dumbshit corpie who goes to work, flirts with his co-worker and goes home should automatically be better off than %99 of mixers. This is what allows corpies to feel entitled and superior and also why mixers should fucking hate the system they are being held down by. It is also why mixers more easily turn to crime becoming horrible human beings as they aspire to be Rich Joe Mixer with the blood of dozens on his hands.

That’s my thoughts anyway.

The upgraded job system we've been working on addresses job promotion and salary progression, so it will go a long way in righting the corpie job market for everyone.

This along with kicking some GM ass about using the full suite of financial tools available to corporations should be welcome changes.

For the sake of continuity and some cool econ rp to really highlight oppression could we create an ic reason for the sudden reductions in the amount gangers are paying out? I'm trying to think of one that would fit... can hardly say the stock market collapsed in this instance. I just think this is an interesting opportunity to turn something ooc into something cool ic.
Gangers are sick and tired of paying above retail price for your bullshit scavenged and abused weaponry. Shit is used, so they ain't payin' more than full price anymore.

There's your RP.

Cerberus speaks from the IC point of view in his post, portraying the in-game feeling that the gangers have. Not the adminly feeling that we as admin have. Just wanted to point that out. Feel free to treat the change as an IC change, and plan accordingly.
With the addition of the Code of the Mix for Gangs introduced ICly (which should now be common IC knowledge) we've seen it become increasingly difficult to farm NPCs for their gear which has made these changes unnecessary. We've restored the payouts on Ganger scavenger wants to 100% of the adjusted value of an item.

We will react ICly if people start farming NPCs again, we will react with price reductions if RP responses don't work.

What we want to see is people hitting the markets more, investing in trading, and the relative stats more, and using the market margins they earn through those efforts to stock the gangs with the needed equipment.

This 'mini economy' should primarily exist between gang, and low-level fixer. It's kind of an introduction to fixing for players on big ticket items and illegal stuff.

Just consider it another extension of the 'introductory Mix experience' that we're aiming for with the Ganger Code changes on gang combat.


Praise jeeeebus
Earning cap is about automated jobs. The market is more fluid, it takes time, understanding, awareness, along with actual stats and skills. So nope, it isn't a part of the automated weekly earnings cap.
Alright. I just spent a few hours doing a lot of math on all this a second time. I know how much profit someone with ordinary stats and no trading skill can make, at most, flipping an item from the market to a ganger. I know how much a fairly focused immy fixer can make. I know how much someone who dedicates their UE to being a good fixer could make after about 8 months.

I talked all these numbers over as well with staff members who have played gangers, fixers and other roles. Nobody felt that they were unreasonable when looking at the big picture. Also keep in mind the history as there has been a few adjustments over the years.

Gangers, for a long time, paid high rates. Pretty much equal to or more than what a new item would cost. This was abused. Then the rates were dropped massively. Some of you will remember these times as it was almost impossible for anyone but a master trader with supporting stats to make a profit. It was this way for a long time. About 2 years. Flipping the expensive items from the market to gangers largely died.

Then we upped it again because things had changed. It looked good at first but we started noticing that the higher rates were making the trading skill and supporting stats rather pointless as anyone could make a good profit on a flip. A really good profit. Not much incentive to invest much into being a good fixer when if came to flipping from the market to gangers really.

So we sought a middle ground. Prices were adjusted based on how frequently the good were needed and their values to a place where skilled traders could make good flash but those bakas who had no trading skills and ordinary stats could barely turn a profit. We feel that this is as it should be.

This is where we are now. And the numbers look good. Yes. If you want to be able to flip items from the market to gangers for a good profit you need to invest in the relevant skills/stats now. That is intentional. If you don't feel you're making enough then you need to invest more in those skills/stats and probably need to learn more about how markets work ICly. And yes, overall everyone is making less on some such transactions then before. Also intentional and so far it looks and feels healthy.

If you don't want to up the needed skills/stats or learn how to be a good market trader, then I don't see why you should be able to make good flash doing these things. Just like we don't let people with terrible combat skills/stats/knowledge win battles just because they want to and it is cool. Or people with terrible dipping skills to dip people anyways. If you want to be good at something and turn profits you need to invest.

Plus, there are some really nice boosts you can get by working together with the right PCs. A little more risk too but that's what you pay for the boost.

As I said before, if anyone can give us some good, solid examples of how they should be able to make flash but no longer can because of the changes, let us know. We will listen and consider it and make adjustments if we feel it is needed. :-)

Barely turning a profit is fine. Losing is bad. When my char was a baka 6 months ago he was losing money, as the payout was roughly similar as shop prices and market prices were like 170% bigger than shop prices and could not haggle down more than to like 130% and gangers paid roughly shop prices. In one case tried the drug vending machine as it was lower than to what he could haggle the price and then ganger paid exactly what it costed in the vending machine, no extra for the running. Even a month ago he was losing when running some armor to gangers from the market, despite high (on the curve) trade skills and high stat in what I think (I have no way of verifying) is relevant for haggling, CHA.

This is all very weird. Usually but I would not say always they pay better for drugs than for armor. For one drug there is basically no profit even with the above character, for the other drug they pay high. This is all seriously weird.

Another issue is that the automated earnings cap is on earnings ,not profits. It does not take your costs into account. So you can get capped while you hardly made any money because your costs were high.
Getting a good deal involves both knowledge on how to effectively work the markets (find an IC mentor) and how you allocate your UE (check the archetypes page and get IC advice from other characters). If you are lacking in knowledge or skills/stats you will have a hard time. :-)

And I am fine with people who lack one or the other or even both netting a loss. With time and effort a good trader will be able to avoid these things but you will have to learn and experiment and explore and become a good fixer!

The OOC earnings cap is on purpose and works that way intentionally. Sindome is a multiplayer game. We intentionally limit how much you can do on your own with NPCs. If you hit that cap and want more, it's time to start RPing with other PCs. Rob then, hire them, work with them. But we will not be making it possible for someone who only engages automated systems to have as much success as someone who engages other PCs.
@OyVey: Making flash from the markets requires the right skill/stats, IC knowledge and paying careful attention (eg, once you know how much a ganger pays for an item, you know what your margins are; if you'd known how much they would pay for that armor, you wouldn't have bought it at a loss).

Right now I think the ganger payouts are very well balanced. It's possible for a serious trader to still do well and forces everyone else to either rely on trader characters (which they should be, that's what they're there for) or get much less appetizing margins.