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Desperation in Withmore
Teach me how to be a real trash golem

The Mix is a dangerous, hostile place where life is awful, a Hell that many are desperate to escape from while many more have given up and are condemned to the meat grinder.

I've seen discussions on how to push this theme through mechanical adjustments and incentivizing PVP, but I don't think I've seen a thread that directly discusses how one can push this theme in more subtle ways besides breaking someone's face or stealing everything that's not bolted down. Without getting into specific, identifiable detail, how do you, the player, push the theme that the Mix is a really, really shitty place to live in and your character have a bad life?

Good question! I think this is where character action and poses can come in real nicely. A nicely themed loud pose can help bring the "reality" of the mix back screaming.

Are people having a tea party on the street? Pretending it's gold? Go walk over to that crucified dead body on the street and bring it into the scene. Use poses to react to ambient descriptions like "someone bring dragged into a van and them screaming for help." You can smile callously or act in shock.

If you're dirty and filthy, pose that into a conversation. Flicking shit off of you. If someone is dirty and you're not, tell them they look like shit.

Pick up some nasty habits to cope with the horror show you live in. Get drunk, addicted to drugs. It's the only way to deal with the horror!

I really love doing this with newer players especially. Bring ambient descriptions into the forefront and help amplify theme this way. It can help cement theme and give them a little rp to start off.

I push the theme that the mix is living hell by pushing hard to make a break topside, where life is objectively better in the non-mechanical sense.

Clean food, clean water, an actual job, citizenship, nice living conditions, extremely low crime... I mean come on, pretty much most everyday mixers should be pushing hard to get a job topside.

I think both topside and the mix would benefit if more people pushed to go topside. There'd be more plot fuel for topsiders, and people (hopefully) wouldn't be smallworlding those who do get service/corporate jobs nearly as badly if it was a common occurrence.

It should be OK for characters to be open about going topside, for the reasons TalonCzar said.

The fact that that's not OK kind of sucks for RP, kind of sucks for theme, and kind of sucks for imagination.

I want to play in the Mix but I don't appreciate that it's pretty much forced on me to portray a certain attitude about this. It's not even OK to RP going for a better job while OOCly intending to stay where I am.

I know, everyone wants to be a freedom fighter. Except the ones who don't actually want to be a freedom fighter. They still want to give the finger to seekers of upward mobility, ironically while they totally avoid RPing the struggle. And the ones who actually do want to be a freedom fighter are able to do so with no real motivating reason. It's dumb.

Only BGBB rules keep me from being extremely profane about my feelings on this, because it's an extremely profane situation. In this regard, theme is being royally bastardized.

Part of the problem is that every PC who does get a topside job is someone who is known to Mix PCs. All of them get this treatment regardless of whether the climber actually fucked all or any of the Mixers over, either in order to ascend or in order to survive while trying. Any Mixer or immigrant who talks about or appears to be trying to go topside gets ridiculed within an inch of their lives before they even get anywhere. This is smallworldy besides being a problem for the thematic reasons.

Save your yuppie-bashing for people who actually earn it. I'm not saying you have to RP sympathy for the climber's struggle, but you're free to just ignore it.

You're also free to plot with them. How can their new position advantage YOU in a long con. This is sorely missing, and it might not be if people weren't forced to hide their ambitions until the moment they pull it off and take that last lev ride.

You AND them, I should have said. I wasn't just talking about swindling a climber. You can partner up, for much bigger rackets, even sustained ones.

We cry and cry about how there should be more corpie/Mixer interactions for the profit opportunities for both parties, but right now, this more than anything else is the reason these relationships are never born.

Yeah, this might be drifting a little off topic, but I strongly agree that the whiff of anything corporate shouldn't be a death sentence. People should look down on getting caught selling out or striving for that corp gig, but it shouldn't really get you harshly punished. An information economy and gig economy violence and murder for hire are themely and data brokers and solos shouldn't really be thought of as an aberration so much as something seedy and immoral- but who isn't?

Digressing back to the topic of the Mix being a bad place, yeah, it's themely to RP that nice things are a rarity and aren't easy to find and that people will covet and look down on you for displaying it for the most part. Food is scarce, violence and disease are absolutely rampant and everything around you is filthy and disgusting. It definitely isn't glamorous.

Thanks for the +1 Beandip.

I think we're of very like mindsets on this topic. There's a seriously large amount of missed opportunities going on with this class struggle RP. The 'Divide' shouldn't be "Make life OOC hell for players playing to theme." In my previous characters, I actively plotted and paid/encouraged mixers who had gained my trust to get jobs topside? Why? Because that flow of goods, data, services etc between the sectors is what drives meaningful, broad and lasting roleplaying for the game at large.

Something else that we should be doing on the theme front is not treating Gold like Green light. I think part of this is on authority figures and topside players to be a bit more lax when seeing mixers potentially doing things topside, as well as mixers putting forth more effort and time RPing on Gold, and not simply at one notable club location.

The ambient room descriptions of Gold specifically mentions mixers brushing shoulders with suits on Gold, of Gangers and their pledges and fellow thugs spraypainting and tagging side-streets on Gold, and mixers overall having a much larger presence there then they do in reality. Maybe we should all make more of an effort to bring these ambient room descs to life via our own actions.

People should look down on getting caught selling out or striving for that corp gig

That's not agreeing at all.

Can you explain why this should be?

I'll bite, beandip.

Inequality in our real world is horrific; inequality in Sindome's world is exponentially higher. The corporations won. There are barely any laws or regulations to limit their pursuit of profit. They are reaping extreme profits, with the junior-class corpies receiving barely any, while the executive class controls obscene amounts of wealth and power. It's difficult to even imagine what C-suite executives at Sindome's megacorps get up to in their free time.

All this profit comes through unrestrained exploitation. The megacorps are focused on influencing and squeezing the masses to drain them of every drop of productivity and consumption. That millions of people live in hyperviolent squalor isn't an accident. It's what the elite want. It's a captive market who has to live hand to mouth, who are desperate for any relief from their terrible existence and will pay for brief respite real or imagined, who have no options to seek better than the low-paying, menial jobs they have, if they're even able to hold down a job.

Most Mixers (in the sense of including NPCs and virtual NPCs, the full tens of millions of them) cannot push to go topside. They don't have an education. They've suffered from malnutrition their entire lives. Their brains are stews of stress hormones and an always-on fight-or-flight reflex. In our world, people born into the lower class rarely leave it, and it isn't lack of will that keeps them there. It's lack of opportunity. In Sindome, just like the inequality, this is exponentially worse.

PCs have the capacity to be special. But they're still drawn from the world's population, the vast majority of which is downtrodden by the system. They've seen the effects of it for their entire lives. And at least when a PC first immigrates, their stats are bad. They're supposed to be a weak, unobservant, unhealthy, ugly, stupid, slow, unlucky castoff from society. Most of these people would have no shot at a corporate job. Instead, they see the inequality in Withmore shoved into their faces from the start.

Why should mixers, most of whom have no opportunity to ascend, look down on those who do, and hate them for selling out?

Because the world of Sindome is zero sum. The corporations are making their profits by using up and exploiting people like mixers. And they're maximizing that profit, unrestricted, at every turn. There are no laws about factory conditions; there are no laws about what can or can't be put in mass-produced food.

From the perspective of a mixer, this is all at your expense.

If I, in my real life, met a person who told me they work at an oil company, choosing drill sites? I'd probably hate them. They and their company are profiting off of the climate disaster that is going to make my life worse.

If I met a political lobbyist who worked against free elections? They're paying their bills with money earned by making my life worse.

At least from my perspective, Sindome's corporations are (among) the bad guys. Unfettered capitalism is not a good thing. It consumes and destroys.

Now, this is a Cyberpunk game. Cyberpunk stories aren't black and white. They're grey. And cyberpunk stories aren't tales about heroines and heroes who triumph over the system and produce revolutionary change. They're stories about people who fight for small victories inside a system that, if they are opposed to system, either corrupts them or kills them in the end.

It is very common in cyberpunk stories for characters to make moral choices where they choose either their personal values or the profit, power and safety of submitting to the system (an example off the top of my head: Takeshi Kovacs going against for emotional reasons despite great danger and lots of reasons not to). That conflict with the system has to be present; every character is somewhere on the spectrum of having conflict with the system (even Randian corporate supercapitalists who'd sell their own mother for a good annual review will eventually put their own interests ahead of their corporation's and make a choice at odds with what the system wants them to do). Some characters will be close to the extremes of cooperating or not cooperating. There are good cyberpunk stories to be told at both ends.

The argument can be made that currently, players do not allow enough room for Mix stories where characters are not opposed to the system, where they accept it as the order of things and want to rise in it, and where they work inside the system. That can be a legitimate discussion.

But it's perfectly reasonable for a person living in the world of Sindome to hate the system they find themselves forced into, under the weight of, and to hate the people who admit to, even aspire to, perpetuating it. That's both logical and cyberpunk. There being "too much" of that kind of RP is a different discussion than it being somehow unthematic.

*Takeshi Kovacs going against the elitist villain in Altered Carbon.

...how do you, the player, push the theme that the Mix is a really, really shitty place to live in and your character have a bad life.

I don't think anyone should be trying to force their characters to have a bad life unless they're really into that sort of thing. I think it's realistic for characters to try to make the best life for themselves they can manage in a dystopian corporatocracy.

I don't view cyberpunk as something where digging through dumpsters and starving to death on the street is really the genre fantasy. High tech, low life, not The Road.

https://www.sindome.org/bgbb/open-discussion/theme/the-mix-is-a-slum-274/[URL]

[url]https://www.sindome.org/bgbb/open-discussion/theme/mix-and-other-slums-286/

Characters are outliers and yet they are all Middle management at best in the end, they all have their different struggles. I personally complain a lot IC and try to push theme by example and hope others will do similar stuff. Keep it dystopic, keep it cyber and keep it punk. Ultimately I think the staff has the tools to make shifts if they so desired.

Second time is the charm.

https://www.sindome.org/bgbb/open-discussion/theme/the-mix-is-a-slum-274/

https://www.sindome.org/bgbb/open-discussion/theme/mix-and-other-slums-286/

I think we're definitely going a little off topic regarding treatment of corpie-hopefuls or servos in the mix. That can be it's own discussion. Not going to talk about it but I do think even a whiff of corpie cooperation being a death sentence in the mix is terrible for the game.

And I personally think people are going about this the wrong way. This is not a behavior issue. If mixers don't act desperate, it's because they're not desperate. Simple as that.

This has been discussed to death before, but the main difference, on a mechanical level, between a mixer and a corpie is safety. And safety is already relatively easy to obtain in the mix. A mixer who hustles can make just as much as a corpie. They have access to ALMOST everything a corpie does.

So I think instead of asking players to pretend to be desperate, you simply make them desperate. Everything is more expensive topside, why? Is the candy better? The food? The armor and weapons? Nope. Maybe in terms of fluff, but mechanically, it's all the same. Any mixer that's past running crates is usually seen with expensive clothes. Players will always act according to the 'reality' of the mix vs the 'lore' reality. It's why you have mixers constantly pointing out that they make a lot more than juniors. Because they often DO. Not in automated pay, but definitely in terms of hustle.

I don't think anyone should be trying to force their characters to have a bad life unless they're really into that sort of thing.

I heavily disagree. You make a mix character, you're making a conscious decision to want to struggle. If you don't want that, play a corporate character, nothing is stopping you.

I think the problem is people want it both ways. They want the danger and the violence and the crime, but they also want a safety net under it. They want it all to be balanced and fair, with safe pads and zones. The problem is, cyberpunk, is at it's core ENTIRELY about imbalance.

If living in the mix isn't hard, you have no reason to want to move out of it, or hate corporates or anything else. It's literally all just fluff and you might as well be RPing on Discord or something.

Players in general should stop lecturing other players about how they think they should roleplay on the forums.

If someone wants to exact some change in what other people do, they should do it IC.

"And I personally think people are going about this the wrong way. This is not a behavior issue. If mixers don't act desperate, it's because they're not desperate. Simple as that.

This has been discussed to death before, but the main difference, on a mechanical level, between a mixer and a corpie is safety. And safety is already relatively easy to obtain in the mix. A mixer who hustles can make just as much as a corpie. They have access to ALMOST everything a corpie does.

So I think instead of asking players to pretend to be desperate, you simply make them desperate. Everything is more expensive topside, why? Is the candy better? The food? The armor and weapons? Nope. Maybe in terms of fluff, but mechanically, it's all the same. Any mixer that's past running crates is usually seen with expensive clothes. Players will always act according to the 'reality' of the mix vs the 'lore' reality. It's why you have mixers constantly pointing out that they make a lot more than juniors. Because they often DO. Not in automated pay, but definitely in terms of hustle."

Hard left here. From a player perspective, this is the exact opposite direction you should be wanting. People sign up for a particular theme when they come to this game. I mean, it's either that or easy access to MOOsex. Making the player feel desperate means actual hardship and that's crap game design. I've got a job that takes up most of my time. I'm not working another.

I think this is a simple matter of reminding people of the environment they live in. Why? Because it's honestly easy to forget. The randomized messages in rooms and descriptions eventually become background noise as you move around. The players and their characters themselves are the real voice. There's subtext in a lot of things that points to the Mix being a harder place to live, but beyond using that as a reason to divide the playerbase, there's not a whole lot of people who bring the environment to life right now. I'm guilty of this as well.

Just acknowledge the environment you live in, in your interactions. If the theme of the Mix isn't what suites your character's lifestyle... take the lev and start applying topside. If you see a character walking around flaunting diamondweave on Sinn without the clout to back it up? Fuck them up. That's free chyen, baka!

...means actual hardship and that's crap game design...

Lost me there. The entire game is designed around hardship. You start the game borderline completely useless in a mechanical sense. Combat is brutally one-sided most of the time. You are encouraged to lie, cheat, steal and otherwise thwart your opponents in any way possible. Death is a pain in the ass, and even permadeath is on the table. Almost everything in the game, even topside, is designed around hardship and struggle. That is the absolute core of the game. It's in the damn tag line when you log in.

This IS a game, at the end of the day, and games have rules and systems for a reason. Because it's those very same rules that make the RP rewarding. Freeform RP can't compare.

If you just want slice of life, or moosex or whatever it is, there are plenty of other games that cater to that. You can have those or whatever theme it is you want, as long as you're not forgetting the core of the game.

I swear no one can make Sindome sound like a miserable slog better than some Sindome players.

Withmore is fun and immersive environment where players get to do all kinds of rad drek and live a power fantasy or slice of life or whatever else appeals to them.

Yes, it's very difficult at times and especially at first and new players should be ready to have a hard time, but Anor, have some perspective. Lots of characters struggle, plenty of them don't, especially if their aspirations are not grand. Anyone that imagines their own experience as an enforceable necessity needs to open their eyes and see what other players are actually doing.

Withmore is a city, with allowance for just about every walk of life and desired experience. If players want to struggle daily they can chose that, but to say that every player is going to have to struggle for everything day after day is just false and misrepresentative of what is actually happening IC.

I won't spam the thread, but this just seems like a very central difference in how we perceive the game, so I don't think we'll get anywhere with this. All I'll say further is I've heard staff say repeatedly that Sindome is very much not a power fantasy and players expecting that will be sorely disappointed. It is no different with slice of life, or whatever other theme.

No one is telling you how to play the game, just what the game is designed for. I just think it's a disservice to play a game about conflict and struggle and then actively avoid both those things. But if you prefer the divide conflict to be about petty insults over SIC, and the mix to just be topside without Judges, that's fair enough. To be fair, you're probably in the majority.

You can come down from the cross.

These 'do as I say, not as I do' posts are hardly new. I have read dozens and dozens of them. Players will so often high-hand about how much conflict everyone else should drive and how hard everyone else should work, when they are doing absolutely fuck all about it IC.

It's a big game that caters to a lot of people, and a quick browse through any of these other forums threads will show tons of characters who liked to tell everyone else what they should do, right up until they self-immolated and quit because they couldn't hack it.

Anyone who wants conflict, or wants other characters to struggle? Then make it happen IC! Where does everyone think the difficulty comes from? NPCs being mean? Not getting as much chyen from week to week?

No, it comes from players. But if you want predators, you need prey. You want elite solos living large or alleyway killers sneaking around in the dark, then you need a fun and engaging social structure which gives them other characters to interact with, and a living society for them to exist in.

Lions can't eat lions, and an ecosystem requires all its parts to function. Telling the antelope they should just leave if they want to avoid conflict is being ignorant to the place they play in the grand design of things, and what their role in conflict actually is.

Not everyone's a lion, and there's plenty to eat in terms of players and NPCs. You even have the benefit that a Judge isn't going to come curb stomp you if you keep to the Mix. And really? Bruh, lions eat lions all the time- its how male lions get their harems, they kill the other male lion, eat him, kill his children, eat them, and then takes over the other lion's territory. Like, wow, that's an anectdote for how things could be....

In my opinion, there's too much wealth in the mix and its too easy to get comfortable there. Neither of those things should theoretically be possible unless you're in extremely deep with some big players in the lore, or have a deal with a corpie, and even then, they're gonna sell you short in the end. Why pay you what's promised when they can just replace you with one of the other millions that would eat your lion face and take you're lion place?

I'm mostly agreeing with 0x1mm here.

I only think that added "struggle" should become something that you, the player, adjust for when you feel like your routine has become so profitable, successful, or standard that you aren't so much RPing, but instead gaming the systems that you have come to understand. Is becoming profitable/successful bad? No, not at all, but rules exist for things like pickpocketing and farming because gaming the system has proven to be an issue in the past. It's harder to create enforceable rules for someone who's fallen into a rut of acting out a rigid script for their job or actions.

In that same vein, it can be easy to become familiar with a rotation of tasks as a player and to reflect that poorly via a character. A solo might be numb to killing others after murder#2000, but hopefully there's something between murder#2000-3000 that occurs other than taking chyen as payment, doing the job, and getting ready for murder#3001. Otherwise, it's not RP as much as it is going through the motions. This goes for Chex who may be doing their millionth drive from Red to Gold, the bartender who's just standing there and serving drinks, or a WCS worker who may be greeting their eightieth immigrant.

More in-line with the OP, though?

One of my favorite things to see is players trying things and living in the world. Whether that's shown through loud posing or nice @temp_place messaging, I always try to make time to interact with players who are clearly seeking to stand out among the crowd for RP. Sure, there maybe some lack of realism to frequently gravitate toward those players on the street, but if somebody has created what looks to be a stand-out and interesting message to display what they're doing? That's encouraging to see and should be encouraged for the added flavor it brings. It's a flag that says "I am looking for RP, please don't pass me," and I hate seeing said players be passed by for more mechanical things like a courier crate or to ask an NPC if they need anything.

Some people burn themselves out by expecting jobs, interactions, or renown to come with a ctag or by lingering in bars. Sometimes, it comes. Most times, it doesn't. Personally, I try and have tried in the past to point players to getting out and acting in the world. Exploration, trying new things for the sake of experimentation, or just loitering somewhere other than an apartment or bar are all great ways to understand your surroundings and reflect them. People should take their time, soak in the messaging of the environment, and try to give as much as they receive.

Yeah, maybe those crosses on Sinn don't mean anything to you now that you've been in the Mix for six months, but how many people stop to discuss or mention them? I've seen interactions where it's "you get used to it" in regards to most things, but who stops to discuss the faces on the crosses being so-and-so from such-and-such? Who wonders or asks a Sinner what fucked up shit someone would have to do to be strung up? When experienced players allow themselves to become 100% apathetic to the things around them, this will naturally bleed onto the majority of new players, not even mentioning those that are on character 3-4+.

tl;dr:

Engage with your surroundings. Ask questions about "artwork." Find answers. Get talking. Integrate poses and @temp_places that might involve something as little as a street lamp so that maybe the person you're interacting with might dig a little deeper into the room description, too. In dealing with all of these, you understand and reflect the Mix that the Mix is supposed to be.

On the topic of MIxers on Gold, just a FYI but there has been a concentrated effort over the last couple of years to make sure people get that Gold isn't Green and it it's perfectly normal for dirty, filthy Mixers and all sorts of unsavory sorts to be there doing business.

More Mixers on Gold doing every day stuff is good because it mixes them in with corporate characters and creates natural conflict that's more than just some sic banter.

So I'll agree that more people should be encouraging that from both sides.

A few thoughts:

1. I agree that rping awareness of the ambient vibe is lacking. It never even occurred to me I was overlooking that until reading this thread. That's something I feel I can and should work on.

2. I'm on the fence about the stigma against collaborating or even the hint of collaboration with topside is practically a death sentence in the mix. Then again, it was mentioned that watching people join the force that actively seeks to keep you socially and financially euthanized can be infuriating in an rp sense. "I helped this baka get flash on some biz when they couldn't even afford shoes. Now they're screwing me and my chums by going up to help churn the meat grinder?" That's a pretty specific, personal motivation, and I like to think there could be more reasons like that to hate people going up - rather than just on principle. On the other hand, I really enjoy the class war theme, and there are a crap load more mixers than topsiders. Statistically speaking, doesn't it make sense that you'd see a lot of violence toward people trying to move up? Trying for a better life or not, they're joining the oppressor who keeps 'ME' down. Or maybe I can't have it, so why should they? Or they betrayed your chum to get ahead or whatever. There's any number of reasons to rp violence for people going up, but the violence for the sake of it feels overplayed.

That said, I think it's thematically sensible, but does restrict rp.

3. I would love to see more rp between mixers and corporate assets on gold. Even a casual pose where you give a corporate a dirty look (or mixer the other way around). Or gang members intentionally bumping into suits just to intimidate them. Drek like that. Ambience isn't just a missing cherry of the mix.

4. This one might be controversial. I've been around for...I don't know? Three or four years? Maybe five? I'm certainly far from a veteran player, in my opinion, but I noticed something in the last year. My life got a LOT easier when I donated to Withmore Hope for membership. You want hardship in the mix? Start by phasing out that incentive. I'd like to think our player base is supportive and loyal enough to the game and its development that it won't deter people from donating all that much. Numbers probably say something else, but I'm an idealist sometimes.

A few thoughts:

1. I agree that rping awareness of the ambient vibe is lacking. It never even occurred to me I was overlooking that until reading this thread. That's something I feel I can and should work on.

2. I'm on the fence about the stigma against collaborating or even the hint of collaboration with topside is practically a death sentence in the mix. Then again, it was mentioned that watching people join the force that actively seeks to keep you socially and financially euthanized can be infuriating in an rp sense. "I helped this baka get flash on some biz when they couldn't even afford shoes. Now they're screwing me and my chums by going up to help churn the meat grinder?" That's a pretty specific, personal motivation, and I like to think there could be more reasons like that to hate people going up - rather than just on principle. On the other hand, I really enjoy the class war theme, and there are a crap load more mixers than topsiders. Statistically speaking, doesn't it make sense that you'd see a lot of violence toward people trying to move up? Trying for a better life or not, they're joining the oppressor who keeps 'ME' down. Or maybe I can't have it, so why should they? Or they betrayed your chum to get ahead or whatever. There's any number of reasons to rp violence for people going up, but the violence for the sake of it feels overplayed.

That said, I think it's thematically sensible, but does restrict rp.

3. I would love to see more rp between mixers and corporate assets on gold. Even a casual pose where you give a corporate a dirty look (or mixer the other way around). Or gang members intentionally bumping into suits just to intimidate them. Drek like that. Ambience isn't just a missing cherry of the mix.

4. This one might be controversial. I've been around for...I don't know? Three or four years? Maybe five? I'm certainly far from a veteran player, in my opinion, but I noticed something in the last year. My life got a LOT easier when I donated to Withmore Hope for membership. You want hardship in the mix? Start by phasing out that incentive. I'd like to think our player base is supportive and loyal enough to the game and its development that it won't deter people from donating all that much. Numbers probably say something else, but I'm an idealist sometimes.

Sorry for the double post.
In my opinion, there's too much wealth in the mix and its too easy to get comfortable there. Neither of those things should theoretically be possible unless you're in extremely deep with some big players in the lore, or have a deal with a corpie, and even then, they're gonna sell you short in the end.

Hard disagree, here. The moment you block chyen-making avenues for players is the moment you limit diversity in roles and the many different kinds of hustle available to PCs within the MOO.

Want to be a tailor and work your ass off on commissions? Sure, you get a comfortable life that you've made off your own back through PC-to-PC interaction and time investment.

Want to be a bartender and sell over-the-counter candy from an ascendant chemist? Glean bits of chyen and save until you have a nice, personal nest egg.

Want to be a low-level solo whose regular 3,000c jobs add up to something? Go ahead. Break kneecaps on the corner of Fuller and Knife to your heart's content.

Lore characters and/or powerful NPCs shouldn't be the way in which Mix characters earn chyen. It should be via developing an interesting PC, pushing it short- and long-term, and by engaging in positive and negative business with your fellow Mixers.

In my opinion, there's too much wealth in the mix and its too easy to get comfortable there. Neither of those things should theoretically be possible unless you're in extremely deep with some big players in the lore, or have a deal with a corpie, and even then, they're gonna sell you short in the end.

Hard disagree, here. The moment you block chyen-making avenues for players is the moment you limit diversity in roles and the many different kinds of hustle available to PCs within the MOO.

Want to be a tailor and work your ass off on commissions? Sure, you get a comfortable life that you've made off your own back through PC-to-PC interaction and time investment.

Want to be a bartender and sell over-the-counter candy from an ascendant chemist? Glean bits of chyen and save until you have a nice, personal nest egg.

Want to be a low-level solo whose regular 3,000c jobs add up to something? Go ahead. Break kneecaps on the corner of Fuller and Knife to your heart's content.

Lore characters and/or powerful NPCs shouldn't be the way in which Mix characters earn chyen. It should be via developing an interesting PC, pushing it short- and long-term, and by engaging in positive and negative business with your fellow Mixers.

I'd prefer mechanical economy discussions to stay in their respective topics, personally.
I have my character playing into this notion that working with topsiders is bad. A lot of it stems from his own experiences of being betrayed by those very same people who went topside. Some of it stems from other characters and things like "fall taxes" pushing this as the theme and I just didn't really know any better. They've definitely done their fair share of hurting people who take corporate gigs. Maybe I should have my character stop?

I feel bad now because maybe I was the one being unthemely. When their character was just playing into the desperation of the mix.

How would you suggest people change the way their characters perceive this issue without having a jarring change in personality?

It's been done to death in other discussions, but the Mix will seem more "desperate" if topside seems less so. Put more wealth in the hands of topside characters, probably in three specific ways that reinforce theme and promote the economy:

1. Make living topside have more luxury. The "mixinette" concept from a while back is great there, but also having more and easy luxuries of other sorts that are life gated. Progress on showers has already advanced this, I think.

2. Loosen restrictions on reimbursements. NPCs should give wide latitude to reimbursing corporate citizens for spending money on Mixers doing stuff for them. Right now, many corporate citizens are afraid to pay Mixers for general intelligence or cultivate relationships where trust is built because requisitions get denied for many "beginning jobs" for mixers. Additionally, because of how toxic it is to work for a corporation, the market is topsy turvy -- it is many times more expensive to have a mixer delivered for a chat than to have them silently vatted, and no one will deliver "beat down"messages because of personal risk. This may be worth its own post.

3. Corporate incomes need to rise slightly. This could be through increased salaries, or it could be some alternate corpshare scheme, or some bonus concept, but with the new super slow advancement pace a lot of people earn not much more than the cost of SIC, eth and updates.

If you want a bigger economic divide between the Mix and topside and you don't want to enforce "poverty simulation" on the Mix, make it easier for topside to be a "luxury simulation."

I made this thread mainly hoping for discussion on personal RP tricks, rather than Economy Thread 2.0, but I guess if this is what people want to talk about then I can't do anything about it, since I'm not staff.
Yep, it's always hilarious and unthemely to see mixers bragging about how much they're making more than corporate citizens, so.. uh... increase the pay, or add hustles for corporate characters?
Slight increases in pay and some more leeway with reimbursements would balance it out nicely honestly, as mechanically there are a bajillion more ways a straight Mixer can hustle versus a straight corpie. And then yes, they brag about making more lol like why. Maybe more than a Junior but otherwise it's unthemely to me.
More than that, actually. I made around 100k in two weeks as a mixer.
Ya, there's that, and then corpies have to spend way more to show off too versus Mixers. Calamity! But I suppose Management is way way way more attainable now than 3 yrs ago.
@0x1mm

The 'be the change you want to see' posts are just as disingenuous. We all play different characters and those characters sometimes can not or will not be advocates of theme. I briefly mentioned player behaviour as a result of the system. The system is what I want to change, not the players. What good will a junior claiming to make more than a mixer when they don't? Asking players to just pretend is avoiding the problem and not what I'm suggesting.

@Cinder

Understandable, but people are discussing the economy because it's the main component in how 'desperate' the mix is or isn't.

As for people suggesting making topside life more luxurious to make the mix seem more bleak, I think that's going around the issue again. I do think there should be more money topside because as people said, corporates primarily drive plot down, but the mix would still be comfortable even if corpies all lived like kings. I would instead look at living conditions in the mix, the food, cyberware availability, diseases and hazards, candy, gear etc.

I have an earned skepticism of these types of threads because the last one resulted in the game being made worse, and was in my opinion made for selfish reasons by a player who had already amassed power and wealth and wanted everyone else to be weaker so they could better flex on them.

My impression and experience is that rewards for corporate characters are deliberately skewed towards non-liquid assets (rewarding with vehicles, housing, equipment) that is all predicated on their corporate employment, specifically to prevent a character from safely amassing a huge fortune in chyen topside and then destabilizing the whole Mix with it.

I have an earned skepticism of these types of threads because the last one resulted in the game being made worse, and was in my opinion made for selfish reasons by a player who had already amassed power and wealth and wanted everyone else to be weaker so they could better flex on them.

Code generated chyen was being exploited at an alarming rate. There was an actual formula people used to get the most out of it, which was in excess of 20k a week from automated systems alone. So, opinion or not. Can we not?

Code generated chyen was being exploited at an alarming rate. There was an actual formula people used to get the most out of it, which was in excess of 20k a week from automated systems alone. So, opinion or not. Can we not?

Code generated chyen is -still- being exploited at an alarming rate. If you want desperation in the mix mechanically, then the solution is simply to put an end to the coded income loophole. It's currently implemented in such a way that it doesn't even really do what it was intended to do in the first place. You're supposed to be able to get 10K in automated (NPC) income a week. Instead that number's more like 25-30K. Easiest solution would be to cut the 'final' turn-in to something like 25% of it's normal trade value.

You fix that problem, the problem of mixers greatly outspending corporates goes away overnight. You'd also fix this idea that staying in the mix and having your character abuse automated income is the 'optimal' gameplay path. Doing so would probably require a look at the overall costs associated with living in the mix right now.

As mentioned above, it resonated with me personally, the idea that membership benefits are of greater overall benefit to mixers than they are corporate citizens. The subsidized housing perk gets washed with membership, something that should be worth quite a lot of chyen per week, but isn't.

The staff made changes based on the macro economics because they felt too much income was being generated, and I favor very slow and realistic gameplay so the results of it ended up suiting me fine. But it is not like I haven't noticed combat archetypes being dramatically more cautious compared to then due to the far greater amounts of time involved in acquiring the resources to engage in and recover from conflicts. I think this is a very clear consequence of pressure for more difficult and scarcity-driven gameplay where players are just as poor mechanically as thematically.

25k-30k weekly incomes for the average player are a fantasy. There has been plenty of voicing from people playing solos and gangers and all other sorts of archetypes that they are struggling to play their roles when their resources are so limited. Austerity does not generate conflict, there has been so much evidence of this in the last two years and in other games as well if we want to cast a wider net (see: EVE Online). From my perspective the coded recession slowed the game down, it did not make it more conflict-driven.

The Mix is poor by theme, but Sindome is a game, not a poverty simulator and players leaning too heavily into the idea of being starved of resources are not going to end up with more challenging gameplay, but more time-consuming gameplay that amounts to a second (or first) job. In my view players need to accept there is some cognitive dissonance between theme and gameplay for the game to actually function as a game, and that sometimes things may need to be easy for veteran players so that they remain possible for less experienced players.

I could make an immy character right now and clear 20k a week in most archetypes. If I pick a one of the better archetypes and actually put in work, I could clear significantly more. Without meta or OOC knowledge. This is in the range of upper end corporate pay, for reference.

...being starved of resources are not going to end up with more challenging gameplay, but more time-consuming gameplay that amounts to a second (or first) job.

This, I do think is a player behavior issue. Your response to not getting enough money mechanically should be to hustle. Not to wait for next week, or do crates or whatever. It should make you think "Maybe I SHOULD try taking corpo work. Maybe I should try to shank that smug bastard that pisses me off. Maybe I should try and steal from my workplace, or sell that data" That is the divide, right there. That's what makes people legitimately hate the corporations. Topside is stability and cold wars. Mix is chaos and violence.

And I've never ever heard ANY archetype say they struggled to make ends meet. Pretty much ever. And to be honest, I think it would be a good thing if I did. People being adverse to struggling, in a game mainly about struggling, in the specific part of the city where struggling is literally a way of life... Come on.

And I do agree that the lowered NPC payouts did not increase conflict. They didn't, at least not in a significant manner, which is why I'm talking about reducing the quality of life in the mix instead of just cutting payouts. Imagine a world where paying your tolls would be an actual relevant decision to your character instead of just forking over 1k or whatever the ganger decides, but no. You don't give a fuck because you can make 1k in five minutes. Who gives a fuck?

I'd never take a dirty corp job for 20k, unless the RP in it was particularly good. I believe in the other thread, staff mentioned 20-25k SHOULD be enough to make a mixer take serious risks but it currently, absolutely is not, unless that mixer is particularly stupid. Economically, does not make sense.

Players can claim they can effortlessly turn water into wine and will fortunes into existence by mere thought alone but none of that is relevant to the new player experience, nor is it often particularly relevant to reality.

My experience and reading has shown that there will always be a subset of players who will loudly, passionately and enduringly advocate for changes to any game that will destroy its appeal to any new players. That they will happily demand and ever-more hardcore oriented experience until they are left the only ones with an interested, until they too quit.

Any veteran player that feels Sindome is not offering them sufficient challenge should examine their own behavior before they call for sweeping changes to all player's experience. I have played with many of the most elite players of the last three years and my experience has always been they have nearly always been working extremely hard, the idea that highly ambitious characters are just mass coasting to easy victories is fiction.

I'd never take a dirty corp job for 20k, unless the RP in it was particularly good. I believe in the other thread, staff mentioned 20-25k SHOULD be enough to make a mixer take serious risks but it currently, absolutely is not, unless that mixer is particularly stupid. Economically, does not make sense.

This is absolutely insane to me. This has to be a very very character-specific woe, because there's not a lot of jobs I can imagine turning down for 20k unless I knew for sure it would only get me killed.

We're way off topic here with all the economic balance talk. Can we bring it back in for Cinder here? It's a really good topic. Make a new thread for it if it's weighing that heavy on you. Seems like it's brought up in every thread.

Another thing you can do (especially if you work in a bar) is use spoofs. If you work in the sly you can do a spoof like:

Speak loudly

!Bartender walks around the couple in assless chaps making out on a pile of discarded condom wrappers near the bar and delivers a drink to the toothless man eyeballing the U-vend.

(bartender would be your name here)

Don't go crazy and make shit up, but using the description of the room you can be creative within reason.

Focus on the description of things and bring them to life. If someone is acting like they're in a Euphoria spa, pose near them scraping blood off your shoe. Or ask them how many dead bodies they saw on the way to the bar. If a newer player isn't getting theme, shove some in their face when you give that running job. Teach them to fear pcs and npcs by telling stories. Pose loudly and proudly to get them involved in the environment.

Cynicism and pessimism run rampant, especially on Red. I love to see a good dark sense of morbid humor as a way of "coping" mechanism for the dark ways of life.
I'd never take a dirty corp job for 20k, unless the RP in it was particularly good. I believe in the other thread, staff mentioned 20-25k SHOULD be enough to make a mixer take serious risks but it currently, absolutely is not, unless that mixer is particularly stupid. Economically, does not make sense.

This is absolutely insane to me. This has to be a very very character-specific woe, because there's not a lot of jobs I can imagine turning down for 20k unless I knew for sure it would only get me killed.

For a rando 'mixer', 20-25k is absolutely enough, and I've seen it happen. Solos are a different story. Especially when you start dealing with higher end solos who scare the fuck out of everybody.

20-25k is enough? More like more than enough. Maybe because I don't choke the automated hustles as much as I could, these numbers seem really high to me. For a solo. Again, unless the job is really shitty or almost guaranteed to get you killed or blacklisted, I can't fathom 20-25k not being enough to persuade a solo. Maybe I'm doing something right. Or wrong, depending on how you look at it or who you ask.
20-25k is enough? More like more than enough. Maybe because I don't choke the automated hustles as much as I could, these numbers seem really high to me. For a solo. Again, unless the job is really shitty or almost guaranteed to get you killed or blacklisted, I can't fathom 20-25k not being enough to persuade a solo. Maybe I'm doing something right. Or wrong, depending on how you look at it or who you ask.

Take existing bounties on PCs into account as a gauge of where the point of 'suicidal' lies.

Without getting into specific, identifiable detail, how do you, the player, push the theme that the Mix is a really, really shitty place to live in and your character have a bad life?

This may sound like blasphemy to many people, but I have a solution that worked perfectly for me: Don't do any coded income jobs. Only get by on hustle between PCs. If a PC is putting up chyen to get a job done, take it.

Not only will this train you to survive in the mix with only 10k in your bank account, it will also train you to know what jobs you can give to other PCs in the mid- to late game.

I do coded income stuffs when I'm bored and want to make a tiny progress while others aren't online. I do think people who are jaundiced about getting their weekly cap and their "big ticket item" should chill sometimes. Though "big ticket" items tend to generate RP, it's kind of a lot of stress for little most of the time. Some side hustle to pass the time, sure, but if your RP is dedicated to said dangerous semi-automated hustles all the time, I don't feel like that leaves much time or safety for you to do other things.
This does also tie in with the desperation in that I remember being mugged more often while doing crates back in the old days. It had trained me to expect dangerous RP when doing automated work, which sadly isn't the case these days. I wish you could request a mugger from staff to kick your ass so that you can be a cautionary tale for someone.
@0x1mm

Players can claim they can effortlessly turn water into wine and will fortunes into existence by mere thought alone but none of that is relevant to the new player experience, nor is it often particularly relevant to reality.

My experience and reading has shown that there will always be a subset of players who will loudly, passionately and enduringly advocate for changes to any game that will destroy its appeal to any new players.

I'm sorry 0x1mm, but you're completely wrong in this opinion. Speaking historically here--specifically to avoid IC information-- but some of the richest characters in the game became so by grabbing up fresh immigrants, teaching them how to do automated hustles, and then profiting off their ''labors'' I.E. exploiting their automated income caps.

Your flair for hyperbole in this thread has again reared it's head with your water into wine comment. You act as if there isn't a job, which is fairly popular, who's sole purpose is to teach new players how to survive, often directly taking them to NPC's who offer automated incomes and teaching them the ropes. We're not talking about the second coming of RP Christ here. It's literally one of the most basic 101 hustles in the game. New player experience has nothing at all to do with it.

The Mix is poor by theme, but Sindome is a game, not a poverty simulator and players leaning too heavily into the idea of being starved of resources are not going to end up with more challenging gameplay, but more time-consuming gameplay that amounts to a second (or first) job.

Sindome is already second life simulator. Casual & part-time players of the game aren't given nearly the same amount of opportunities for inclusions into plots, player-given jobs, or more 'in the thick of it' roleplaying. Read one of the many, many threads talking about how some careers -are- fulltime jobs, or the threads where people rack their brains on how to be a mover or shaker on a limited schedule. The people who are asking that some semblance of mechanics represent the class divide aren't off-base, IMHO. RP game or not, when the hobo living in the dumpster is slamming more chy per week into WSB, week after week, than members of 'upper class' society, then there's a problem.

The same tired argument gets trotted out that mixers make more because 'omg 2 dangerous 2 live' but the mix has been a gigantic hugbox for the majority of your run of the mill mixers for quite awhile now. And the conflict that is generated that gets people killed and losing money is often the petty, arbitrary and trite kind RP between fellow players.

Finally, regarding your comment on the previous 'mix is too rich' thread, I wholeheartedly agree with you that some of the most vocal players who pushed that narrative did expressly so for in-game benefits and for their own egos. Most of the players in that thread who expressed such disingenuous concern are long gone, thankfully.

I'll be bringing my topic for discussion for this summer's town hall to be purely on point of the game economy. It's clear the economy is a hot topic and is the current zeitgeist.

Personally I'm a little disappointed that my attempt to spur discussions on personal roleplaying practices have devolved into more discussions on prescriptions for other players. If I wanted that kind of discussion, I'd have started this thread on Game Complaints or Ideas.
I'm going to put my .02 on the OP.

So... I'm going to go out on a limb and say that in general, people take disproportionate measures for very small slights. It seems like many conflicts goes from nothing to permtown pretty quick... and yes, that's a metaphor. But I've seen small slights turn into a repeated hounding and firing from jobs.

Am I arguing to be cuddy and carebear? No...

But, perhaps temper the punishment to the crime. If someone insults you, ruining their life just removes an adversary. Maybe just try to spread a rumor about them. Or something less... drastic Cost them some flash, etc. Leave the door open for them to try again, or get a tit for tat thing going on.

If you WIN every conflict, then you have no rivals. You should work to cultivate your rivals as much as try to beat them to the ground. I do think the game lacks a lot of middle area conflict. It's either nothing or I'm hiring solos to bang on your door. Maybe let people win with small schemes that don't really hurt you, it gives you someone to scheme back on.

A scorched earth policy only just stops future RP from happening. If my small scheme gets a nuke back for response, I'll just stop the small schemes and look elsewhere for RP and conflict.

So my tip is maybe ease back on your response if you realize that you're just running your 'competition' out of the game.

I think it'd help to clarify punishments for crime. Are you talking about WJF punishment? Corporation punishment? Punishment in the Mix for what's considered Mix crime?

But also probably for another topic.

Probably right, it's likely another topic in and of itself...

But I was referring to PC to PC "punishment". Like I said, there seems to be a disproportionate response to minor slights. Could be a perception issue on my part, but just what I've seen.

How does this fit into the OP?

Well, you need conflict to feel desperate. Without it, yeah, things can become kind of like a life simulator. However, too much conflict and there is a tendency to give up. So what I was getting at is that you should cultivate your rivals. Let them have some wins. By doing so you will be increasing conflict and making things just feel more dire.