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Game Accessibility and Item Rarity
AKA Why are there no letters in the Dome?

Hello everyone.

This topic is something I began to notice a little bit before I left the game, and moreso now that I've returned to it.

I understand the desire to create a dynamic economy within the game: It promotes RP like nobodies business, leads to some interesting situations, all that. I'd like to clarify that I'm not against this at all. I'm all for the dynamic economy.

The only issue here is that at a certain point, the game achieves this state where certain items that would be easily obtainable were this a real marketplace or location, cease to exist for all the luck a player would have in finding them.

The easiest, and perhaps most amusing example of this phenomenon is the fact/joke that there are no letters in the Mix.

However, I don't see this as an amusing trend. I see this as a detriment to RP, and potentially very harmful to a new player experience. To elaborate: The lack of these items does encourage RP. This has been established as a good thing. However, the often times more valuable RP comes out of whatever a person decides to DO with that item. When these items become unavailable, that RP cannot be achieved. This might be menial when it comes to smaller things like letters, but the seeming impossibility or mythic rarity of bigger ticket items can be severely discouraging. Why would I want to play a musician if I do not know if I'll ever see a guitar I could buy in game? Why would I take that, or any other kind of RP risk if I have no guarantee what I need to play my desired role will ever show up?

In addition, the game and the players know these items exist. They tell other players these items exist, because they do. And so the player-in-need begins to hunt, all over the place, for these items. Now, not to seem overly analytical, but most of the time the streets of Sindome are not thronged with people. On the hunt from store to store or place to place, a player on the hunt for an item will probably move through a great many empty rooms, which is more time lost from valuable RP.

One of the counterpoints given, when I brought this up in game chat, is there are often other means or ways to achieve something, without certain items, or with the use of others. That true. In the case of letters, there are numerous ways to get around this barrier. However, I do not feel this is an excuse for the lack of an item, or it's hyper-rarity, especially when it comes to items that are easy or moderately easy to find. If I could provide a lore-friendly argument, and not just a game design one: Withmore is a city run by corporations. They all want to sell you things. Wouldn't it make sense, then, that these corporations would continually supply these items, if there was a demand? Companies often produce massive quantities of an item, more sometimes than they intend to sell.

This doesn't seem to be the case in Withmore.

At any rate, food for thought. I look forward to seeing where this discussion goes.

As a new player and avid roleplayer, I understand where the dev team and administration are coming from when they want a more avid roleplay environment. This being said, the levels of which roleplay is desired does come at a drawback. New players are found lost, and a few friends who have joined recently to experience an in-depth cyberpunk world have already left on their third day because of the simple fact that everything is "use the multitude of help menus, or find out in character," so I agree with the above statements put out by Dox.

When it comes to getting a job, you need to get a letter. Where would one get that? Find out in character. Legal offices, maybe. How much chyen will it cost? Can I make this much by doing runs in red? Okay, what if I go help other players for a job? Well, that is unreliable, and may get you blacklisted from certain services. (Although this does make for good roleplay, is not something that you should have to have as a frontal concern when dealing with every player character.)

What I'm trying to say is that the environment created to produce more roleplay, while it does stimulate roleplay a lot more with veteran characters, is detrimental to newer players. Especially ones who have trouble interacting with people as it stands, as it may take someone with anxiety months to get somewhere that someone who is very personable and sociable does in maybe two weeks. And that is just players, ignoring their characters.

You do not need a letter. That is false. Also letters are stocked via people running crates. Run more crates.

Most jobs are applied to via gridmails. Letters are not resumes. Resumes are resumes and ose are printed from an e note. Resumes are processed by NPCs when recieved. Letters are not.

I do not see tbis as a game balance issue I see this as a player education issue.

Sorry but I'm with Slither on this.

Also, Doordox: :

Letters are not rare. You will find them in stores. And there are usually several. If more crates need to be run, then run those. The only reason a bar or store runs out of items is that people aren't running crates.

Crate running is a great RP generator. You meet many people (both PC's and store workers) and learn the lay of the city. What's where and who is where.

Now you mentioned:

"And so the player-in-need begins to hunt, all over the place, for these items." These items would only be in specific area.

"Now, not to seem overly analytical, but most of the time the streets of Sindome are not thronged with people"

False. Read the room descriptions. The city, especially Red, is overflowing with people you'll bump in to or overhear. Not all are people you can interact with but you can still RP. Besides, you've probably seen movies set in New York City or Tokyo. The people seem to be 8-10 across the sidewalk and then just massed together like a body of water.

How many of those strangers are talking to or interacting with each other?

There are so many players now, even in the "dead" time slot, that you can find someone to RP with. Compared to when I started and particularly before that, we are lucky with the number of people logging in.

"On the hunt from store to store or place to place, a player on the hunt for an item will probably move through a great many empty rooms, which is more time lost from valuable RP."

See, that I don't understand. My exploring led to a lot of RP.

Maybe not at that exact moment, but RP was created from exploring.

I sometimes had someone explore with me. (RP!)

Sometimes you'll come across others during your exploration.(RP!)

Maybe knowing where some place is for another crate runner will lead to meeting up with that crate runner in the future for a drink? Or knowing what's where can help you meet with people for a "conversation". (R- you get my drift.) :)

Also:

There are items around. They aren't hard to find. Look where it makes some sort of sense for the item to be carried. And, if some place doesn't have an item and they normally do, try one of the other shelves or other same kind of establishment.

Maybe see if Acme or Withmore Wholesale Warehouse has some crates you can run? Maybe to that particular place?

If you can't run them, pay an immy to run some crates. Just a little bit of additional chy in their pockets plus the tips they get from the delivery itself could get some people to do an extra day of crate running. Or offering to introduce them to someone in exchange for some of them doing the footwork for you.

craftydragon Really? Pay someone to go do something they are getting paid for already in the one in one hundred chance they might stock what you want? I mean If your obnoxiously rich already sure I guess, but that's not (or quite frankly shouldn't be) an option for 90% of RED. It's like playing the lottery.