Incoming wall of text. I'll put a TL;DR at the bottom.
Firstly, I want to be 100% forthcoming with everyone when I start this conversation. I'm a player who has been voided and banned on numerous occasions in the past. I've learned and grown from my bans and suspensions, and I don't think that my bans were unjust in the slightest. If anything, they might have been a bit on the forgiving side.
I also want to say, that Staff have a rough job, and I'm trying to come at them from a place of support with this criticism, and to do so in a constructive manner.
I recently had a local OOC discussion with another long-time player about what we perceive to be a downward spiral in the quality of RP taking place in the game, and I think that there's absolutely something to be said here. The game has grown significantly in the past few years, and I'll be the first to assume that this is a mix of growing pains as well as perhaps a staffing issue on the staff side of the game (not enough?)
I'm going to try and be as vague as possible here and talk about IC events in a manner that's not going to turn into a paydata goldmine, and I ask that responses to this thread PLEASE DO THE SAME.
No selling feels like it is at an all-time high. People getting limbs amputated for IC events and then being allowed by staff to retcon it. People getting beaten nearly to death, tortured, maimed, etc. and still being John Rambo when they're one millimeter from the grave. Characters that will absolutely never break, never have weaknesses, and are pure walking power fantasies, even if their sheets and their backgrounds don't even remotely match this behavior.
Abusing code: This is a massive umbrella, and there's daily examples of this, or at least it feels like it. Sometimes it's innocuous enough- someone recently mentioned that their character had not been paying door fees for a significant portion of time. They had assumed it was because of some IC reason: it was a bug. Was any real harm done? No, not really. A trivial amount of chyen was not moved around in the mix. Big deal.
Then there's much worse examples: Using vehicle code to escape a literal riot of people trying to catch you. Does the code allow it? Yes. Does it make sense you're able to slide across the hood of your car, unlock the door, open it, climb in and ride off into the sunset when aforementioned riot is surrounding you? No, not even a little bit. Another example would be characters beating down every coded NPC of a gang at once, when we all know very well that there are hundreds or thousands of amb pop gangers occupying that turf, and being able to 'win' when fighting 'an entire gang' to me really does scream abuse of a faction because they have a limited number of actually coded NPC's. IC staff responses to these IC incidents have been entirely lacking, which does not seem to be fitting theme at all.
Finally, we have what is literally black and white cheating. I'm going to stay super vague about this, mostly because I've reported it to staff and respect their process, but I'll give a few examples here that seem to keep happening over and over again. Firstly, we have combat logging- which has been reported on characters by numerous people, on numerous occasions, and seems to keep resulting in voids or temp bans. Why?
We have players in the moo who continually reroll from a selection of a few prebuilt characters, go out, do dumb shit that immy characters really should not be doing and then get permed. These characters ALWAYS walk into the dome with loads of OOC knowledge, and will often walk in the dome and explicitly target out characters that were previously involved in perming them. It's been reported, time and again, and the player(s) are allowed to continue to play the moo. Why?
And I want to be 100% clear here with that last part, I'm not talking about 'Oh, this is something I -suspect- is happening.' I'm talking about people rerolling characters with copy+pasted nudes and changing one character in the name of their previous character (such as XXKills -> XXKillz) and what I ASSUME is copy+pasted sheets. I thought this issue had been dealt with and had stopped happening months ago when I experienced and reported it, and yet in the lOOC conversation I had with a fellow player earlier, they described nearly verbatim the exact same thing happening to them in recent times. And I hope that they reported it, I would assume that they have, as a veteran player.
My point in bringing all of this to the forums is two fold: One, I suspect that this is happening way more than one or two people notice, and if we're not being honest with one another and discussing it, we're never going to be able to discover the extent to which it is happening. The other point is that I'd really like to try and see if I'm alone in noticing these things, to bring awareness to staff so that they can xhelp and talk to us 1:1 concerning details and not dump them here and get the thread locked and deleted.
I'm expecting no small level of salt in the thread, but really, if these things are continuing to happen, it's essentially poisoning the well for everyone here. Furthermore, it's driving off what I'd personally consider to be 'good roleplayers' out of a sense of general distaste for the moo. And I don't want that to happen. And again- to be clear and transparent: even in some of the cases that I've listed, I think the person who is doing the items as described either flat-out IS a good, proven role-player, or they have the potential to be so with some course correction. I know it's helped me be a better role player in this game in the past, and I only hope that it will be for others as well.
TL;DR: People are being shits in the game, there's a growing awareness and resentment of it that's poisoning the well, and the staff responses to date don't seem to be sufficient in handling what seems to be an ongoing and growing problem.