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License Plate swapping
Not sustainable.


I've decided to halt all requests for anyone asking to swap license plates out on stole vehicles, and this will upset a few people but frankly you've had it too easy for too long and I need to come up with a solution to that.

Right now,

Player A steals Player B's vehicle.

Player A takes it to a mechanic and resets the security, overriding any ownership of the vehicle.

Player A then takes the car to a specific chopshop to have the plates swapped for a low fee.

Boom, instant 200+K vehicle for almost no effort and very little risk.

That ends today. I am working with Slither to plan out a vehicle registry for cars, when you buy a car, it's registered to the person purchasing it. The WJF will be able to look this up and compare it to the people driving it.

In the future, swapping plates will require an additional step of interfering and manually hacking with the license plate registry so you can insert the new plates into the system and falsify the records. (Hopefully)

I also don't want to keep magicking license plates out of thin air, so I have to think about that.

I am also sick of GMs not reading past notes and charging ridiculously low prices for doing stuff like this for players.

So a lot of stuff will have to change, for now if you steal a ride, you better be prepared to be caught in a stolen car, and you better be prepared for any Judge to assume if you're a known car thief ANY vehicle you're in, is stolen, whether it is or not. They have no way to prove one way or another, and that's a problem as far as I am concerned. So a Judge can make that judgement call on whether or not to seize the vehicle for auction.

If we make it easy for you to get away with theft like this, then we make it easy for you to get punished ICly for it as well until any changes can be done to the system.

The goal is that there will be more steps, more risk, and PCs will get paid to do all the roles associated with the act of getting a free car, and even then, there will be a paper trail, risk involved, and less GM interaction required.


So, it might be pointless to argue or anything. But in my point of view, currently, it is- in fact, quite hard for a character/ car thief to discreetly or successfully gain profit from a stolen vehicle. Here are the following reasons why I believe so. (And perhaps, it is only from my limited perspective)

1. There is always the matter of putting the ue or buying the right chrome to the high-enough level of being able to steal anything worth that much (A vehicle worth a lot is usually well protected by the owners as they are aware of the worth too.) When a player has invested enough ue for them to be able to utilize it in such a way, making it harder for them to do anything with that amount of ue, makes them feel like it wasn't worth investing in that.

2. Then, there is the rule that: When you steal a vehicle, you must xhelp. This already alerts staff about the action and there is an opportunity given for NPCs to come and interfere during the action.

3. Even if staff was too busy to react to the theft, you must @note the theft and thus, consequences would and can be dealt out with. There are few characters who play the archetype already in game so it is also very easy to trace the thief. (Yes, META is not allowed, but sometimes people cannot help it and they subconsciously meta on accident)

4. There are not a lot of characters interested in vehicles to begin with...Let alone a 200k investment in a vehicle. And those characters that DO have the money to the luxury of an expensive vehicle would rather get there vehicles legally in a store to prevent potential scandals or risks.

5. There is more interaction between players when dealing with stolen vehicles. There must, at the very least, be two (the buyer and the thief)....especially compared with buying a vehicle legally from a store. In most cases though, there are more than two.

So far, the only, real "successful" way I know (again, limited perspective) of utilizing the theft of vehicles, is for temporary usage in which the public knows of the theft and is aware of the vehicle(s) stolen.

Yes, I don't mind a price raise in the changing of license, perhaps something relative to the cost of the vehicle... But making everything harder? I disagree. You say there is no effort and little risk? I disagree. I'd like to give more examples and reasons, but I fear of going too IC.

Considering how useless Secure_tech is with the exception of car theft, I am wary of this change. It is also important to note the cost of admission into the role of car thief from both a UE and chyen standpoint.

I think this change can be valuable but I think it would be better to invest time into making Secure Tech a more viable skill before newting one of it's if not only ability usage.

Secure Tech is not useless.

I am super stoked that has changed. :-)

I witnessed someone steal roughly 5 vehicles with no risk and no consequences last week, so let's not argue risk vs reward with the person who sees everything.

Consequences can always come after, could it not? I'm sorry and even if you see everything, but yes, I would like to argue 'risk and effort placed into the theft vs reward'.

Currently the profit for a car thief (that would like to sell the vehicle successfully and try to get away 'risk-free'):

Lower price of vehicle (so people would buy it) - fee to reset system - fee to bribe mechanic to stay quiet - fee to change plate

And that's just the basic numbers, assuming that the character has managed (either miraculously or cleverly) to avoid all IC consequences.

All of this requires a system being created to make you punishable by the Law. You cannot have car theft continue to be rampant and cheap when people pay 500,000 + for a car, when you have no way for the WJF to track and recover the vehicle.

It isn't even a concern to me if car thieves can't make good money from car theft right now, as long as people aren't losing 500,000 chyen cars over 30 seconds of commands and no RP without a way to recover the car other than small-world meta RP assuming a car is theres since the license plate was swapped and there's no way to validate that license plate to a registry.

I'm sorry, but if you need more chyen, run crates or do focus your RP on other stuff.

My only input on this is that bikes should be relatively easy to steal in comparison to cars.

Seems reasonable.

How about adding a license plate assembly line to the new prison, haha.

Bikes are already way easier to steal. You don't need to break into them.

Some food for thought;

1. Paying X amount of chyen for one tool to both break in and steal an infinite amount of cars is a problem.

1A. Repeated tasks should require consumable tools, so that attempts have a cost association, success will see you recoup costs + profit, but failure has drawbacks beyond simply not having a new car.

2. License plates need to be registered and tracked to a database searchable by authorities and swapping them should only be one portion of the requirements to completely flip a car's ownership.

2A. Randomized VIN numbers for each vehicle in the game protected by encrypted which is already coded. Requiring the involvement of a hacker to bust the encryption and tinker with the VIN, this adds a 2nd layer to flipping a car from HOT to clean.

2B. Secure Tech is involved in stealing the car, Secure Tech is needed for uninstalling and resetting the security system. Resetting the security system should require a tool. Car Dealerships would have a tool to do this, reset the system securely and enter their code. Secure Techs should be able to possess a tool, not consumable, but possibly be destroyed on failure. A tool that tries to brute-force authorization to modify the security system.

2C. If your tool blows up, your security system is locked out. In comes the first step for a hacker. Hacker has to override and make usable again, doing so allows the system to be re-set from a hacker's perspective, but only after the Secure-Tech has flunked his checks and his role is over with.

2D. Security system changes ownership, wipes out authorized users, and enables a player to authorize people. This data needs to be recoverable from the security system, so it should be stored on the object. So a stolen car, can have some Forensics done in it involving WJF Comp-Sec divisions to find out who is authorized on a car for investigative purposes if it's not registered.

2E, Once ownership is established, Hacker is required to breach the vehicle registry potentially over Grid 3.X to find generate a usable car registration, inserting it into the WJF's registry. They use that information to hack the VIN encryption and insert the new VIN, along with the newly registered plate information, which should no longer be physical, but also digital, probably.

2F. Failures at any point in the hacking process leave identity traces behind, alert the authorities on the Grid and the WJF as to what was attempted and to what data to provide some kind of path to follow for law enforcement PCs and giving a choice to the car thieves at that point. Ditch or ride it out.

3. After all is said and done, you can repaint the car, swap out some parts for more disparity between it's original and current state and move on with your life.

3A. Profit after appropriate steps and effort have been invested in robbing someone entirely of a huge chyen investment and vehicle asset.

That sounds rad as fuck.

That satisfies the theft end of the RP transaction. If we're worried about the loss of chyen for corpies, why not implement a voluntary insurance policy that must be paid weekly/monthly to protect them from theft.

Also, i'm not sure about the mechanics of the whole thing or what is in place already, so this may be implemented already, but why does car theft have to be such a linear process to get from theft to resale? Why can't the thief actually "chop" the car for parts and redistribute them piecemeal or even chute them for some profit? This gives ranges of difficulties/ rates of failure, etc and if the corpie didn't want to shell out for insurance then its their own problem if their out a ton of flash.

Just curious about this. I love how these things play out in-game. I agree with cerb that the WJF needs more access though. Its lame to park a stolen 500k car in front of a judge, hop out looking like a dirty ass mixer, and not even raise an eyebrow.

You can take all the parts off a stolen car and resell it, and then scrap the chassis in the junkyard, that's all do-able. But people laser-focus on selling a stolen car at retail prices and retiring early.

There's also not much need for spare parts on the daily, so people tend to not want to stockpile though.

However, I feel like stockpiling good parts for a rainy day to sell to a mechanic for cheaper than they'd pay at a store would be a good way for 2 people to come out with more money than they started with.

People just don't tend to have that kind of patience, it's always biggest, fastest payday only when I see people put in @Notes or do things IC.

Making the plate swapper NPC charge like 1/3 of the vehicle's value (modified by the usual factors like charisma, trading skill, past history and affiliation) seems simpler and painful enough.

I want it to be a more involved process creating RP for more than just for the baka stealing the car. You should have to pay more PCs to get through the process than paying NPCs.

I see Cerb's point and agree with it.

I don't see Cerb cutting down on what Sec Tech can do but increasing what it can do.

Something to keep in mind:

Stealing a car / vehicle is not something that's a simple in/out job. Especially in Withmore where you have almost 5x's the amount of people in Red that NYC has.

Yes, there are the Legal Authorities you have to look out for but don't forget about the Authorities of the Street. You start boosting vehicles off of someone else's turf, they're going to pay attention.

Once, maybe they shrug it off as it comes with the territory of living in Red, but you do it more often, especially in a short time frame and you're not doing it for them? You have yourself a problem.

Especially if you happen to steal someone's vehicle who is a high in the family's hierarchy. Anyone who's watched a certain action flick knows the "Oh shit" moment the family leader had when he found out who's car his son stole. "He stole blank's car." ... "Oh." (hangs up the phone)

In Red, you have TERRA, the families, and the gangs. Let alone the people in it for themselves selling to the highest bidder.

Also, stealing cars, especially multiple in a short time frame, is a multi-person job with a long planning stage. It's not something you do in 5 minutes. I like the idea of the additional people who would be involved in a job like this which he's come up with.

2 cents from someone who at some point owned most vehicles in the dome and had the highest sec tech (we used my char as a test to see if i could break into a new system). Luckily , i don't play anymore , so i can't have any inside info on what is happening right now. (And that makes my point very moot and ignorable very fast). I believe Slither still has an old GM training doc written by my about boosting cars and how to provide a proper CP way of going about it.

This is why we don't have nice things. This was also the reason I was never given legal access to a tow truck when I played.

Thats the only way i can think off that a player can steal 5 cars in a week without any rammifications. (Except the job that went down in Chex's ages ago , but thats ancient history and special).

When i jacked cars , it started with a 10-20K bribe to the local gang that owned said part of Red per car. I never bothered going above red because we all knew i'd get smoked by jakes faster than i could hotwire a car. Gangers can see you hanging under a car for a good minuite. Same with Terra and god knows who else. In a place like red , someone is always going to have seen something. And they can easily understand that you are going to make a good chunk of profit and they want in on the deal to keep their mouth shut.

License plate swapping was invented because there was no codely solution to the problem that every car was marked with to begin with. I'm certain there are still a few Koi's and Holdens out there with no plates on it. And i deny all charges.

When this theft happens , with the amount of subsets you are describing , i'm wondering why these people aren't taking the cuts they are. You are doing a large part of the legwork. So your profit on old version koi's and mono's should be more like 20-30k. (Bribe gangers , Bribe mechanic for the uninstall and reset , bribe the chopshop, selling at less than shop price). A certain mechanic must have lost his edge.

Ways this could be changed /improved ;

Uninstalling a sec system is a mechanics skill check. Add an (harder) security check system for resetting a system and authorizing new users. Theres no skillcheck for resetting a security system. Having this done by NPC's will be an obvious red flag for stolen cars and they will check the WJF for car ownership (Something that was done a few years ago when players wanted their legit cars reset).

I have impression players can steal cars without GM's. This must have changed since the past , since i couldn't steal a car without notifying and getting the go ahead from GM's. And authorising used to be something only GM's could do , this step would make sure there were checks and balances out there.

So what are all these Holdens doing in RED with a shitty security system ? (Don't answer that , i'm partially to blame). More importantly , will WJF come hunt down a stolen Holden in RED belonging to a RED citizen ?

Security vests used to be "restricted" without a security license. Another fine way to go after the less than upstanding citizen. (More situational though).

Lastly ;

When i played , it was literally harder to chop a vehicle than to resell it.

In both cases , you break into the vehicle. When reselling , you uninstall one part and move it on.

When you are chopping a car , you need to uninstall all the car parts. Move the car parts via a fixer. Then move the empty chassis (using a tow vehicle) into the junkyard to scrap it.

The moment you have acces to a tow vehicle , its easier to steal the car than to chop it. And more profitable.