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Perma/Large Pads

This is a breakout from the Town Hall thread at Reefer's suggestion so we can hash out some of our thoughts on large and permanent pads.

Here are some questions that strike me:

1. The IC justification for people with large and permanent pads often do not make a lot of sense. Do we care? In parts of the game that are status-obsessed, it can be a weird dissonance, since Player A may be hustling hard for something that Player B has with no effort.

2. There's been statements from staff about large/perma pads becoming faction rewards. What is the appropriate timing on that, understanding that individual circumstances will vary? Is that something you get after a few months of exceptional work for a faction? A year-plus? Multiple years? Also, when does that 'clock' start -- syndicate membership, for instance, is the culmination of a career, but someone isn't likely to spend multiple years in a syndicate. In a corporate job, though, multiple years isn't crazy. On the other hand, people age out of gang membership after 6-12 months.

3. Generally, what should large pads signify? Is the possession of one a 'holy shit this person is mega-powerful' indicator of age? Is it a signifier that 'this person is hot shit at this moment' that comes and goes?

4. If large pads are moving to being status rewards, how do we handle people with perma-pads in that context? If, say, a PC gets rewarded with a Nakatomi pad for being a badass at their company, does it make sense that other PCs get them for nothing? It's not like memberships can buy you other kinds of promotions, so if large pads are 'promotion-like', that creates potential problems. Do there need to be a class of large pads that are 'promotion pads' that are separate from people who have membership large pads so that there's not the sense that people have purchased IC status with a membership?

5. Finally, and this is a staff question, what is the scope of the issue? How many perma-/large-pad players are there out of the active player base? If it's just one or two people, it's not a big deal, but if it's a considerable percentage, it's a larger problem potentially.

A thought brought up during discussion on OOC:

Two+ membership individuals (or maybe even just a singular member but with a noted pairing or group who tends to live/RP together in a space) should have access to certain large pads.

An example of this would be setting aside a large pad area on Green sector for married corporate residents, for instance, or having a pad or two that are tailored toward crews of individuals who tend to work together (I'm thinking of a heist crew in some abandoned warehouse).

Honestly, there is currently no approved large pad on green left at this moment, we would have to build more. I had to build one to house the last person with a grandfathered perma.

And I'm fairly certain our resources can be used in better ways than more and more housing.

Speaking for myself, as someone who started playing Sindome after perma pads were no longer available for purchase...I think they should be faction reward-only. They're an advantage (for one, in that you can have an apartment in a location no one else can) you shouldn't be able to buy with real-world currency. They may be, in actual effect, a small advantage, but they are an advantage. And I'm not even talking about the ones with high value amenities like a secure garage (? if that exists?). A character should absolutely not have access to something like that for free unless they earned it IC.

I do think Jane Nobody having access to a nice, big perma pad with amenities does devalue such pads as faction rewards for characters who worked hard to achieve the same. They're not special when essentially any immigrant can have them.

I appreciate that people with perma pads donated with the understanding they'd be, well, permanent...but at a certain point, the health and fairness of the game should take precedence over a commitment made in a different era. Things change.

I don't think characters should get special marriage pads or anything like that. If they earn it, they can get a large pad through their faction; that should be enough for any two characters to enjoy.

It's interesting feedback that there are no free large pads on Green right now, and that they all belong to people who have grandfathered permanent memberships.

I've heard several times people suggest that more pads is not an efficient use of builder resources. I don't know if that's true or not, but I can say that a nicer pad is -- for me, subjectively -- a very powerful IC motivation. So in so far as they are rewards for doing the kinds of things we think people should do in the game, I'm not convinced it is wasted effort.

That isn't accurate, there are rewarded pads on green as well.
Sorry, I misunderstood!
"Perma pads" means permanent, not permanent until we feel it's too inconvenient for us. We don't go back on our word, and people who bought perma pads were promised what they were promised.

I don't see us renegging on that.

I don't think personally there would really be an upside to revoking people's permanent pads -- as Mirage suggests, holding to promises have value.

I could see value to there being two sets of large pads available to minimize IC issues between permapad members getting 'free' IC promotion benefits.

Class 1 might be designated apartment buildings or sections of apartment buildings for permapad members containing large pads, while Class 2 might be all the other large pads, especially the 'cooler' large pads, which are available only as IC rewards.

Then, if someone has a penthouse apartment at say AC (a permapad location) there's less IC of 'what did this brand new immy do to earn the SECRET LAIR (a reward pad location) I have been busting my ass trying to convince CRIME BOSS JOHNSON to give me.

Reward pads also wouldn't necessarily need to be large pads -- they could be other cool locations, even if they don't have six rooms.

Is there a particular reason why players can no longer contribute more for a large pad opposed to a medium one?

Just curious as to whether there might be scope for those that have played for a certain amount of time to be able to invest in such with irl funds?

If the subject of 'pay to win' comes up, Sindome is not about winning as we all know, and those that were around when you could make that investment, or even those that make an investment at all could already be put on the 'pay to win' non-exsistant pedastool.

Also, just as a clarification: I think if we were to move to a 'two-class' large pad solution, much like with vehicle pads I wouldn't force anyone in an existing 'Class B' pad to move, even if it would only be a reward pad from then on. But as people reroll or move, the range of available options would conform to the 'Class A' apartments.

Upper floors in existing large apartment buildings would be the best places probably for those 'Class A' apartments.

What's the actual value you're describing and that you're asking for about this all?

The IC world is corrupt. People get what they shouldn't all the time. The world is large, extending beyond Withmore, with people known or random events happening which sees people fall into luck they didn't earn.

Because there's never really been an IC issue about who gets what. Some of them are given plots to give a reason why they have them, sometimes staff asks you if you want a plot or if you're just okay with having it handed over (which is what I pick, because I don't like taking up staff time to run a single plot thread for me at any time, let alone for my grandfathered in permpad), and you come up with your random reason as to why you're living there.

Holding yourself (general, broad yourself) to the idea of 'brand new immy' for this, much like acting like a 'brand new immy' must always be weak, is a bad idea. Because this honestly doesn't sound like this is about IC motivations or IC jealousy, it sounds like OOC annoyances over people who once made a membership donation still get that permanent perk that isn't any longer available.

All the major benefits besides the room amount for permpads/large pads were taken out for the most part. Some were converted into microfraction pads, multiple topside ones were turned into this from my experience.

And wanting to make it into distinctions of class A/class B makes it sound like you want to show that your IC contributions are bigger than the OOC one so everyone can know on an OOC level. Which discounts this: what about permpad owners who make big Ic contributions? Do they then get two permpads? One in class A and one in class B?

I think staff has done a fairly good job in making sure the unused large pads/permpads get handed out as rewards for those who make big, game-shifting, theme-appropriate contributions. Some of them are for a little bit, some of them are for longer. And I've never once heard someone who made a permpad donation complain about this - that someone who didn't make the same donation now gets access to the same quality of apartment that someone who did (though I could've missed it and obviously I cannot see everything in-game).

I don't see a need for distinctions of classes, I don't see a need to invest builder time in making these distinctions or building or adjusting new/current areas.

With an understanding of how permpads/large pads work and are rewarded now to the playebase, my suggestion is simple and a strong sentiment to Sindome: if you don't like what that person has, take it from them and make it yours. (i.e; you don't like your rival having access to something you don't, run them out of sector).

@crashdown

"if you don't like what that person has, take it from them and make it yours."

Unless I misunderstand, you cannot take one of these pads from someone. Even if you run them out, the pad still belongs to that player.

My issue with the state of large pads isn't about the pads themselves, but, without giving away too much IC information, there are certain tools important for advancement in certain professions that are only available with these pads. Frankly I'd rather see such tools uncoupled from pad size and made available through other means, but so long as they remained coupled together, then I think it is reasonable to request that there be regular means of obtaining them so as not to limit characters in those professions.

Unless somehow I'm mistaken and all this has been changed? I have found no information to suggest that it has at this time, and so I assume the situation remains the same.

there are certain tools important for advancement in certain professions that are only available with these pads.

I'm not going to ask you to get IC here, but I think this can't be the truth.

Did a PC tell your PC something IC, which makes you think this OOCly?

I simply won't believe, unless and until corroborated by staff, that certain professions can only be advanced in by players who bought perma pads.

It is very much truth that most or many Perma pads have skill specific objects that can't be moved and essentially give people who bought Perma pads a leg up against people in that profession.

It's frustrating on a certain level and I really wish there was any way to acquire these benefits. As Crashdown suggested, take it. But, you can't and there is a profession suffers for it.

As for what I would suggest, offering to refund Perma pads over time might be a way to bring some kind of equity to the game. I get that it was a promise, but when it's something that you can't get otherwise anymore, then it doesn't seem terribly fair or fun for others that might want to try and contribute the same amount for the same benefit.

Unique tools to various places are also fully available (usually for -much- less than other apartments imo) to any player who can get their hands on the pad like any other one.

You may just have to play apartment roulette or know what you are trying to obtain.

I'm not talking about things like a unique view or something that's useful in that way.

I do know that custom built permapads from days past do have unique features that don't exist anywhere else. I don't object to this and I'm convinced that they're limited to flavor rather than mechanically skill enhancing gear..

I don't believe getting your hands on the pad is the only way to get your hands on an instance of professionally useful tools.

I'm completely convinced that this is a case of IC misinformation becoming to OOC misniformation.

I'm also convinced that I know specifically what device is being referred to here and I happen to know that what's believed about that particular device (that it's overpowered compared to the over-the-counter version) is not true. It may have been true at some point in the distant past but it was nerfed to bring it into parity with the non-custom, non-unique, non-paytowin version.

I honestly don't know if its owner was told that or not, and even if they were, whether they would have stopped ICly claiming their thing was better. But this should be a good illustration of how IC chatter doesn't reflect OOC reality, and how years can go by with perceptions remaining distorted.

I would object if I did think that permapads granted professionally useful buffs that other players have no way to get other than crashing the pad, but I don't believe that.

Again. I can speak with IC information and testing that there are skill objects in perma pads that certain professions are at a disadvantage to do without. Yes, there are a few paces where those same objects can be obtained without one. But it's one of the few professions where the majority of them exist either in very specific factions or in perma pads.

I have rented the use of those facilities and done enough with them to recognize that they do give a benefit that's not obtainable otherwise. I have also tried to purchase said skill equipment and been told it can not be moved or done. The last part is IC, but believe it was communicated from a GM if I understood the conversation correctly.

However, there are also perma pads which confer other bonuses that are similarly hard to get. Whether they are mobility, security devices, other unique objects, or just status, it's not really fair in a PvP game to have that benefit without letting other people obtain the same. If this was a PvE non competitive game, then I would agree, it doesn't mean much. It's not and at least for one profession, it does.

Most special objects for perma pads have been either put into stores so anyone can purchase them, are slotted to be put into stores for purchase, or are being phased out.
DancingRoo, if it is the object you are thinking of - that is not a permapad. It is a regular apartment.
> Whether they are mobility,

The vehicle perma-pads were removed for this reason, they don't "come back" to the player once that character is gone(either perming or moving on or sunsetting or w/e) the way other perma-pads might.

There are a couple left in the game, the players that have them are aware that they will not get them back on their next character, and no new ones are ever going into the game outside of micro-faction / faction use.

Mobility doesn't just mean a vehicle pad, which I think everyone understands are getting sunsetted. Some pads provide, for instance, locking garages, access to secret/protected/multiple exits, and the like.
@Dawnshot

No, I can verify that they are indeed in many permapads. Yes, there is one that I know if in a normal apartment (I have not verified, but heard it was ICly). The majority of them that I have used and had access too are located in perma-pads, not regular apartments. They are pretty clear from the specific location and sector that they are located on.

There are a couple in "non-benefit" pads, but I only know of two that qualify for that.

If they are being removed, replaced, or phased out, that would be great. Because it's been a minor frustration that people who will never use these objects, or I suppose skill soft them, are in possession of most of them.

Perma-Pads should be just that. A six room version with no tangible benefits other than 3 more rooms. Again, if this is a PvP game, that kind of has to be the case. Otherwise, whether it's additional security, features, or skill objects, it skews the game. No, not by much, but I am pretty sure I would not be the only one would would jump at the opportunity to replicate that benefit given the chance.

That alone tells you that there is value there beyond cosmetics.

I should correct myself.

"That alone suggests that there is value there beyond cosmetics"

Because who am I kidding. I'd pay for the chance to have additional cosmetics too :)

There is way too much sharing of IC information/misinformation in this thread. Please stop.
Just wanted to clarify, to Beandip's point: There is zero requirement that you have a specific pad, or a perma-pad in order to progress/get hired/stay hired in any role in game.

The only 'living' requirement is probably a soft one, whereby a media star would be expected to live on Green or Blue and a Ganger would be expected to live on Red.

Some perma-pads have cool shit in them, that may have made sense for the original character that it was created for, but that cool shit, as Butako said has been made for sale in stores. There are less than a handful of items that exist in only one or two places in game at this point (think NLM TV control, or NLM Gridworks as examples of things that have special features for ONLY those locations).

Only two opinions I want to throw in here.

1.

I would much prefer it if it was possible to traditionally rent, earn via IC means or get via membership every class of pad. Large medium and other.

To me this means having a selection of large pads with ICly/OOCly reasonable prices on the door that anyone can walk up to and push rent on. These same large pads can have large memberships applied.

I don't see why larges couldn't follow the same general model as mediums. If you can ICly afford it and find one free, pay up. If you pay for a large membership or have a perma large membership, apply it to one of these just like with mediums.

There will always be special pads without the usual renting options that are for use by factions and the like, and these can be any size or design that makes sense. These ICly earned pads don't need to follow the medium/large molds.

2.

A door is not just a door in my opinion. Not all doors are equal. Even if you ignore that some doors have fancy expensive equipment in them that others have to buy and jealously guard, just accounting for CyberEars means a one door pad is not the same as a multi room pad and that different layouts are more effective than others.

This becomes even more true when you are RPing the proper use of rooms and not having five man tactical planning sessions in the closet as it's the best place security wise.

I really think that some doors have more or less value than others and IC costs don't always favor the better doors. Automatic, larger pads make a more servicable layout more likely, especially when you are taking room descriptions into considerations when RPing.

I like the idea of different doors having different security measures to prevent hearing through them!

(Edited by Slither at 5:44 pm on 2/2/2022)

(Edited by Slither at 5:45 pm on 2/2/2022)

That would be very cool! I love the way you think!
There are 3 installed devices in 3 different perma pads that are being alluded to here as overpowered and something folks can't do without to be professionally successful. These devices are on par with portable devices that can be crafted, they are NOT uber beyond what can be obtained by others without access to these pads. Every perma pad added new elements to the game and those elements have since moved beyond the perma pad they started in. While these 3 devices are not and will not be available to purchase in stores, a clever character could work to build one of these devices through plot and RP with GM support.
@Johnny

It's not that you can't be professionally successful without one, it's that in a PvP game, being locked out of a profession benefit because you didn't purchase a perma-pad when it was available just makes it seem unfair and unbalanced. That benefit was not gained for anything other than having money at a given time and a willingness to spend it. If I had thought things were so drastically skewed I certainly would have never pursued and/or continued on that professional path.

Now, that's really good to know what you are saying. I've tried other IC routes to get one and have been denied in the past so it's good to know that there are IC methods to perhaps get one. But to clarify, there have been ways around not having one but they have cost IC resources (favors/cash/etc) that others have not had to spend for the same benefit.

To also clarify, I don't have a problem with perma-pads existing, other than they are denied from anyone else acquiring one any more. I have played with them in the game for long enough that it's not a big enough problem to think that things are so unfair that I can't succeed. It's more of that it's something that comes up every now and again when a new character walks into a perma-pad and has a certain status and benefits that just exist.

I have never liked permapads, and I am part of a generation of players that will never like them. I don't object to the outcome of certain players being granted this particular luxury no-questions-asked as a result of their tenure, but come on. There's not even an equality of opportunity here. I can't take yours as you suggest, crashdown; it will magically return to you in much the same way a certain beloved flying vehicle pad will inexorably return to its owner. It's an entitlement we can't covet, and congrats on having that, but the fairness/corruption issue isn't purely an in-character one.

A large place for one's character to live is both prestigious and mechanically advantageous. My character will never have one, for the purely OOC reason that I am not a legacy player.

I play a character who has done quite a lot for the world and who's labor-intensive to play. That character has some resources as a result, but when it comes to housing those resources basically don't matter. They live in the best extremely-cramped place they could find because that's just how it is! They have to. There's no direction or examples for how a non-grandfathered character can possibly do otherwise.

I don't want to have to beg puppets for special treatment, I simply want some mechanics for how to progress housing-wise. Build it into the structure of certain high level promotions, or create some pads that are owned by rival NPCs that can be taken over through various means. Create plots for which better housing's a reward, and goals that might yield one. Make high-tier housing look possible as a goal for non-legacy players. I would love if we could focus on creating that progression structure so large pads don't feel like a hopeless entitlement locked away from more recent arrivals to Sindome.

>A large place for one's character to live is both prestigious and mechanically advantageous.

There are no mechanical advantages. No, more space is not a mechanical advantage. Not being able to hit one of our checks because you have too much shit is not a mechanical 'advantage', its abusing the system.

This is the only thing you could achieve with a bigger place.

You also don't have to beg puppets for special treatment. No one is asking, or telling you to do that.

I am and always will be severely against any kind of structure to any kind of IC reward because it limits our options as GMs. Not only that, but building these pads take a LONG time for our builders to do. They have a massive, enormous backlog at this point.

I'd rather them spend that time elsewhere- In projects that won't benefit 2 or 3 players out of the hundreds we get a day.

High-tier housing is possible as a non-legacy player, just put the effort in.

Also, to be clear: Even if there WERE tiers to rewards, we wouldn't ever publish that to players. That's just giving you something to try and be gamey with, which I don't like.

(Edited by Celestial at 9:07 am on 2/21/2022)

Perhaps a character would vastly prefer to have some rooms that do not need to be item-storage piles at all. Maybe they want a bathroom with a door that shuts, or a place for armor and valuables that's locked/hidden away from the rest (as some large pads have). A layout where more rooms are spaced away from the front door. It's rude to assume I'm trying to "abuse the system" when these are the only concerns I'm thinking about. That's what I mean by mechanically advantageous; it's more than just the social prestige of the place, it's simply a better type of housing by design.

By not making it clear how non-legacy players can obtain large pads, we make them seem hopeless (or completely up to GM discretion) while others with an entitlement are simply handed the perk on an OOC basis. I do understand that builders have limited time to develop pads like this, and you're right, it's better spent on projects that will benefit a broader group of people over time. But there are vacant large pads already in the game, ready to be moved into, so I don't see builders as the limiting factor.

Some kind of process for upgrading residence that is available to all would be nice to see. It's a difficult problem to address but I'm glad we're thinking about it again.

In my view, social advantage is a form of mechanical advantage. There are places in the game where being the best with a sword is what's most important, and there are places in the game where having the flashest shit is most important.

It's possible that at one time -- perhaps this was the case when legacy rewards were created -- being dead hard was more important in more places. Listening to IC stories about the old days suggest that there was a time when everyone in every sector was involved in comic book rocket launcher combat with Judges Vic Mackey and Chuck Norris.

Now, there are a lot of characters whose combat is mostly social combat, and it is expressed through players' creative writing and ability to compete in the status game, and I think that benefits to people's ability to compete over status can be just as if not more valuable than a Katana +1000 that makes them super-killerous.

I suspect (though don't know for sure) that if large pads were on the market for a one-time cost similar to that of some super-rare high-end weapons, you'd see people flocking to them in droves. If true, that suggests that people's subjective view of their value has mechanical/economic weight.

I don't think that's really what Celestial meant when they talked about mechanical advantage, but I also don't think that the economy (as a rough measure of what players value mechanically) puts zero value on luxury.

>But there are vacant large pads already in the game, ready to be moved into, so I don't see builders as the limiting factor.

We have to have pads available for people who own permapads, as they paid for it. Builders are still the limiting factor. You don't know how many of those are actually available. I think it's very easy to run down these assumptions.

>Some kind of process for upgrading residence that is available to all would be nice to see.

Players have already earned large pads in the past. This is not new. I stand on the fact that we will not start giving out instructions on what you could do to get a pad- This is between you and your IC boss. Talk to them if you want a path.

> In my view, social advantage is a form of mechanical advantage. There are places in the game where being the best with a sword is what's most important, and there are places in the game where having the flashest shit is most important.

I throughly and entirely disagree with this from my time as a GM. Things are not this black and white. If you still see things this way, you might need to experience more of the game. There are a plethora of ways to make a character more respected, a larger, fancier pad is just a small one, one I'd most likely consider irrelevant, actually.

The best players I've seen in the game don't need, or care about flaunting their pads. I'm not keen on anyone believing that this would be such a massive game-changer.

Players put value on luxury, yes, but they also put value on you being an interesting character. Earn your keep instead of needing to rely on something mechanical and tangible to do so.

Even leaving aside cyberears, which I already pointed out, multi room pads are mechanicaly different than single room pads. Size does change things. Open the door of a one room pad and everyone in the pad can be seen and, depending on the configuration of the door, shot. Do the same in a multiroom pad and it's possible to hide in side rooms.

Depending on the layout of the pad, you could have more room to run about and hide from intruders in a larger pad. And this is only focusing on size and layout. Not mentioning things like hidden passages, locking spaces, windows and other features that can make one door far more or less valuable than another.

I do agree that once you are comparing medium to large the mechanical differences are fewer but I can not agree that pad size in general makes no mechanical difference. Or that size is the only factor that separates one pad from another.

@grey0

The majority of pads in the game are 'medium' which means they typically have 3 rooms. The mechanical advantage of large pads is minimal. The aesthetic value is there though.

These pads are available for players to RP for, which has always been the case-- and in a recent staff meeting we have taken the additional step of making sure everyone knows they are available for folx to RP for. We also have a recurring agenda item to discuss if there are players working towards this, so we can be aware and act accordingly and appropriately.

To the argument that folx don't want to have gear laying around-- we have cabinets that can be purchased ICly, and you can also spend a minimal amount of money on a locker, or a slightly larger amount on a cube or cheap apartment to stash things at, which is ostensibly a benefit since if you spread your gear out, someone sneaking into your pad isn't going to get everything.

We've heard the feedback that folx want to have access to these things ICly, and we're actioning on it for those that seek it out and RP for it (for example through consistent stellar RP at their job, or as a major plot reward).

As Cel said, there are a number of people who have already had something like this in the past, but it isn't something that is going to be advertised ICly, so I think the perception is that anyone who has one got it by paying for it, which is not the case. Hopefully that clarifies things.

Based on the discussions we've had as a staff, the availability of builders, etc. I don't think we are looking to do more than what we've already outlined at this point.

I think having a recurring agenda item and clarity among staff that this is something people can RP for is exactly the kind of internal staff standards that keep things consistent and give players a sense of possibility. Thank you, Slither, that's great.