This is a post I've been thinking about for a bit now, and it took me some time to figure out my feelings on things. I think the game at the moment has an issue with tech and feature creep that isn't being well represented in the established lore, and I don't know how exactly to address it both from a OOC and IC standpoint. I wanted to see if there was the same impression with others in the community, and workshop ideas on how we could perhaps resolve the issue I've been seeing.
In years previous, there were stretches of time where it felt like not a heck of a lot of content development for the game was going on. I think part of that changed in the past few years with the introduction of the changelogs and the huge curtain reveal that was seeing all the stuff staff was working on, as well as the game growing it's staff pool and talent. It seems pretty commonplace now that there's fairly regular, sizable content additions to the game, as well as balance changes taking place. Sometimes we get some IC blurbs or a post on the boards to explain the context or reasoning behind changes, but it seems like we're retconning the existence of new technologies, businesses, hell, even entire career paths fairly regularly.
THIS IS NOT A CRITICISM OF CONTENT BEING ADDED. WE LOVE IT. MOAR. MOAR!
Retcons become a big issue for older and more established characters as well as players when we have a major business added or a whole new technology, and everyone is either completely clueless on it. This includes characters that should NOT be clueless, or we're having to ask NPC's for info, which wastes GM time, or we're just recycling a paragraph or sentence off a forum or info board. The only solution that I can see to this is that maybe when introducing new content that's supposed to have been canon, we could perhaps get a more significant post about the lore, background, history of the tech/field, etc that we can refer back to? Otherwise the cycle of continuity errors is prone to repeat when jimjoebob says on pubsic he's worked for X retconned company for 57 years and then a puppet gets on and says something along the lines of 'we were incorporated 10 years ago, this dudes a whackjob.' (This is purely a random example, I don't have any actual IC experience here to go off from.)
The second thing I wanted to discuss with the community is that I've had a growing perception that technology has significantly advanced in the past 1-3 IC years, and we don't seem to have any timeline, forums or really any explanation at all. I recently came back from a break and saw all the awesome new features and content added to the game and was like, totally dumbstruck with how awesome it all was. But then I started thinking about how much of an incongruity there is between people having exoskeletons, brain-scanning technology, full cyberbrains and literal exo power armor... and then said characters pulling out... a wood bat to fight with.
Again, I'm not saying this is a bad thing, if we want to have some kind of unique setting like in other media where there was 20 meter walking tank robots in WW2, people digging trenches and using M1's next to O.G. Gundam suits, I'm all for it. It's just that there seems to have been a significant leap forwards in dome technology in a lot of areas, and yet there's still unga bunga caveman basic stuff in others- and it's not simply an issue of "the divide" or "Haves and have nots." I don't know how to reconcile the progia-11 being this state of the art super masterpiece of wireless technology, then we have someone using a cyberbrain and remote piloting literal flying robots in the same room as each other.
I think there's growing incongruities and gaps forming in our lore as we add cool (and genuinely, amazingly CP things and things I wish we'd had 5+ years ago) content. My solution proposed is what I feel like is the minimum lift, to post up some little blurbs explaining things, possibly even outsourced to the community and reviewed by lore experts on staff. In a best case scenario, I'd really like to see this trend continued and us starting to phase out some of the unga-bunga gear. We could drop current "high tech" (Old content) weapons and armor down a tier or three, as far as 'mechanical scaling' and 'stats' are concerned and then add back newer content as the replacements for older tier gear.
Thanks for reading. I'd really like to hear everyone's thoughts on this.