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Winter '22 Town Hall Topic Thread
Topics, get ya topics heah

OVERVIEW

It's that time again. The Winter 2021 Town Hall has been announced. This is your opportunity to give us your feedback and let us know what you'd like to discuss and hear about during the meeting. Help us, help you. Let's make this Town Hall the best one yet!

TOPIC SUGGESTIONS

You can respond to this thread with your suggestions, however, PLEASE in the interest of keeping this easy to manage, do not engage in discussion about the topics here. If you want to discuss them, create a relevant thread in the correct part of the BGBB and note that not every topic will make the cut but we'll do our best to get as much in as possible.

SCHEDULE

The town hall is THREE HOURS long.

It begins with speeches from the admin, who offer updates on their respective areas of the game (Building, Coding, Operations, etc.).

Then we move into the discussion section, where we run through an agenda of player & admin submitted topics.

We then close it out and people can leave or stick around to chat with the various admin.

WHAT TO SUGGEST

If you're stuck thinking for suggestions to give, here are some general topic categories that you can think about:

Code Improvements - What could be changed code-wise to improve the game?

In Character Topics - What can we do In Character to make Sindome a better place for all?

Out of Character Topics - How can we help you, the players feel more at home in Sindome?

If you're still stuck, then take a look at a previous topics thread.

WARNING

Please do not reveal any IC info in this thread. Again, this is just for posting ideas for topics (you can explain your topic in as much depth as you want, but don't get into it with others about the topics they post). Create a new BGBB thread to discuss something if you want.

I would like to discuss pads, particularly large pads -- staff has said before they are moving them to being faction rewards, but they still seem to be mostly empty or in the hands of people who were lucky enough to get a membership when they were available.

Is that still happening? What are the standards? This may be worthwhile folding into a general 'rate of advancement' topic, since I still see issues there.

I second Pavane's topic on pad access as roleplay rewards. There don't seem to be any clear criteria as to what would qualify someone for access/paid pads in an IC manner which is unfortunate because it could definitely be a good motivator/goal for characters to pursue IC.

I'd like to discuss what people would like to see bought to out-of-dome gameplay. I can see it is an expanding area at the moment and it would be nice for players to have some added input on what direction that goes.

Would you mind starting a thread around Perma-Pads? I'd love to get some discussion going before the Town Hall. I think it'd be good to get a general pulse from the community on the issue so we can all discuss it prior.
The Grid, When will we might see things, how to make the grid and deckers in turn useful.

Promotions- Why is it such a time sink to get to certain roles, anyways we can improve upon these time frames?

I'd be interested in discussing the potential for more coded weekly-pay jobs that cater to a broader range of skillsets and character archetypes, specifically lower on the ladder and fresh out the gates sorts.

I believe those who interact with a lot of new players will tend to see the occasional disappointment and eventual drop-off of those who feel like there isn't an easy fit for their character's archetype, or get told it's a real far down the road sort of thing. Seems that more clear career paths and stepping stones would go a long way towards drawing in new players to stick around.

Yeah, we talked about the promotions thing last Town Hall, though I missed that section because I was late. But I really feel like there are some better ways to both hit the stated goal of slowing down promotions (to have a 'longer arc' for jobs) and to make things not feel like a slog. I find people really get turned off if there's not -some- kind of concrete reward every 2-4 months, averaging about 3.
- I'll echo the request for improvements to the Grid, and add more to do for deckers in general (that doesn't require GM support/puppet requests to accomplish). I've always found it disappointing that in an allegedly "cyberpunk" game, one of the key facets of a cyberpunk setting is so underdeveloped, and a key cyberpunk AT is practically hamstrung compared to others.

- Large pads - It would be good to have a way for other players to obtain these again, even if just through RP and IC achievements with appropriate requirements. Also, it would be good if some of the benefits of having a large pad could also be obtained ICly through other means.

- Corporate rivalries - there needs to be more competition between corps. The corporations need to be trying to outdo each other, each looking to get more of the Withmore population's chyen than the others. This fuels plots, and is themely to the cyberpunk genre and setting. Right now, the corporations cooperate and scratch each other's backs, and it becomes more of a corps vs. mixers situation, rather than corps using mixers as tools against each other. They can cooperate with one hand, but should be stabbing each other in the back with the other. Such should be the duplicity of the corporate game.

- Adding onto the last one, add more corporate options. I would particularly like to see Saedor Krupp developed for more PC participation. Having this would open up employment options for several skillsets that are currently underutilized in the corporate environment, would increase opportunity for corporate overlap and rivalry, and would improve options for players looking for a corporate employer.

Staff has said before that there's no interest in opening SK, but I think there is definitely merit in discussing 'how to increase corporate competition.'
I would like to discuss the balance and feel of a couple of supporting skills and abilities.

-Towing authorization: Currently authorization is required to tow a vehicle. While II understand this mechanical change, it effectively removed an important offensive tool from vehicle combat. I would like to see this altered. Perhaps through the use of a command like break-in in order to expose the aggressor and address the issue of being able to steal vehicles with impunity that seemed to be the cause of this change.

-Hot-wiring Kits: I would suggest that these need to be made -less- specific. As it is, they are fairly expensive and difficult to get a hold of, but my perception is that this just happens to be a bar too high, and is actively stymieing vehicle theft RP.

-Disguise: I feel like the coded systems for this are fairly well balanced, with the exception of ponchos. These are simply too powerful in my opinion. I view a shroud as a low-skill threshold item, and because of how effective it is, it tends to overshadow the higher UE investments. A poncho by itself provides a significant amount of disguise, and has the added bonus of obscuring literally every single naked location, which denies critical information even when disguise is lost. This makes it a powerful offensive tool, and effectively a 'must have'. To address this I would suggest a few things. A) Hard-cap the disguise score of a character using a shroud to a fairly low value. B) impose stat penalties for shrouding up (Your perception sucks when you're hiding your face, and your agility is hampered by all that loose cloth, for example), and C) Do not allow character using a shroud to ever set a disguise name.

-Skillsofts: Having used these fairly extensively, I would say that these absolutely need to be re-evaluated. Where they are currently would feel great with a player base half our size, but what I am perceiving is that high-UE characters that have invested heavily in stats and combat skills, are able to effectively supplant PCs that actually invest UE in technical skills. A platinum soft provides enough skill on its own to effectively make someone wielding such a device to be the 'best' in their field, but they are priced inn such a way that they are inaccessible to most character outside of a specific archetype. Yes there is a cost balance to this, but I believe the way in which these function should be evaluated in order to make more room and RP for characters specializing in skills through actual permanent UE investment.

Vatting and its place in roleplay. A previously suggested topic for discussion at the Summer 2021 Town Hall was the issue of 'plotless murders' that actually made it onto the agenda, but never got touched on because it was near last on the list and time ran out.

I'd really like to see this get the attention it sorely needs so we can discuss how to better facilitate roleplay through this and other methods of PvP in Sindome.

Would talking about how the Mix is currently dead be an appropriate topic? It feels like there's significantly more players topside than in the Mix to the point where the Mix feels empty. I don't know the numbers, though, so maybe I'm wrong.
@batko

That might go hand in hand with my proposed topic, or at the very least is a branch of it. Seconding your suggestion either way though, think it should be addressed.

I think -- maybe this is also a good 'ideas' or 'Theme' thread -- that some brainstorm about ways to make Mix play more attractive would be good.

A lot of the cool recent systems are more accessible to topside or at least late-game play (space, flight improvements, maybe even robotics), and the MacGuffin system particularly is excellent.

What kinds of cool innovations could help make day-to-day Mix play more attractive?

Theme derived from gameplay instead of gameplay derived from theme: Will this inspire more interaction? Is it fun?

Why is there an obsession about losing? It's one thing to accept you will lose sometimes but it's overplayed and stressful. People need rewards too. Why not what will you give up as a character to succeed?

I would love to hear about how players and staff feel about the community. What works? What doesn't? Etc. I think we've made a lot of strides to foster our community but OOC-Chat only offers limited exposure to those who opt-in.

I'd love to hear from those quieter voices. :-)

I'd like to discuss the state of cyberware in the game, whether its presence and level of use is where it should be for a cyberpunk setting, and if not, what can or should be done to change it?

My own experience is that the bulk of it is a risk rarely worth the expense for most characters, but my perspective is limited and I'd like to hear from the larger whole.

I'd love to have a discussion around Martial Arts getting some love. Maybe, some expansion in terms of styles to choose from. Maybe some new weapons or chrome to utilize Martial Arts. I don't know, something. I know as a skill by itself it is never supposed to be on par with weapons in combat, and I agree, but it should be able to be supplemented to at least somewhat comparable levels through tech or chrome, imo. As it is, it often feels very lackluster and uninspiring to play with. I'll be the first in line to offer my assistance in any writing of descriptions or whatever I could do to help the process as well. A discussion is where it starts though, and that's all I'm asking for now.
Last call on topics! You've got until tonight to get your suggestions in!
I know I've submitted a few already, but I'll throw out one more:

I'd like to discuss the new player experience; particularly the information presented to new players and how it helps or hinders their assimilation into the game, and what can be done to improve new player retention overall.

If the GMs have data they would like to share on this so we can really understand how things are then that would be helpful as well. Statistics such as the average time between the creation of a new account and when it stops logging in, the percentage of new accounts that make it past 30 days, three months, etc., could all give us a picture of how good a job we're doing of holding onto new players.

Unfortunately, due to the time zone I am presently working in/hours worked, it is extremely unlikely I will be able to make town hall this year. Nonetheless I believe it is important as always to discuss the current state of the games economy.

The economy forms a huge component of the games risk vs reward balance and provides a significant number of roleplaying opportunities. I'd like to know if people think the status quo provides; enough scarcity to drive competition, enough opportunities to roll with punches, rearm and restart, and enough roleplaying opportunities.

Having submitted this this late feels like an oversight on my part and I worry it won't be reached.

Thank you all for the contributions! I'm working on the agenda now. Not everything will make it on, but I've created some polls based on some of the proposed topics, to better give folx the ability to weigh in on some of them. I will post the results of those polls post town hall (or maybe before if we get enough responses).