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Different Newbie Perspective

So, I'm typically pretty optimistic and see the best in everything, I think. This game, though... I've been here two weeks and I've basically stuck it out out of sheer determination. That, and maybe because it's so hard to find something without elves and dwarves.

It's boring. The @who reports that there are so many people in whichever sector I'm in, so I wander the streets looking in every direction and I sit in public places and... ghost town.

The help channels and the boards all emphasize that you should treat NPCs as people. So I did. I elaborately roleplayed when I first got in, and... silence. Performing for an empty theatre. I think it was a week before an NPC actually did something, and by then, it was just to ICly slap my character on the wrist for being rude (which also happened to ICly not make much sense, considering the character's situation, but I told myself "naaah, they're probably right") before shooing my character away dismissively.

Elsewhere on the boards, it's also advised to take @notes, to help promote roleplay. So I did. My @notes would probably be pretty extensive, but as it turns out, the world is quiet enough that I'll be connected for hours and hours and... generate two or three small paragraphs. But I manage it. Character motivations and suspicions outlined. The result? Continue on.

So the character goes broke and finds out that, magically, none of the automated systems, which continue to advertise for labor, want to deal with him until next week, nevermind if he didn't actually do more than a day's work at some places. I found the forum post explaining the reasons for this--to promote making money off each other and roleplay. Cool.

The boards and several places in the game promote the idea of making money off players. Turns out all the players are broke, not interested in buying things, and nobody knows where you can make money outside of automated systems or what they themselves can employ you to do. They say the best money is in the business you create yourself. Explored that option, too, being sure to take @notes along the way. I guess the @notes helped my character get a response--he was ICly told to fuck off. No avenue for the character to try and inevitably fail, no potential negotiation, no roleplay value whatsoever. Just no.

And so, without money, and without those pesky jobs that were so detrimental to my roleplaying (As it happens, I was able to get more roleplay out of people with SHI and crates in one day than in all the rest of my time online not doing those jobs), my character goes forth to boldly roleplay elsewhere in the world. Wait, I said it was a ghost town, right?

As it turns out, about the only roleplay that my character HAS gotten has been the result of me forcibly involving the character with others, ignoring the anti-social tendencies that half of the characters seem to exhibit, the kind that tells me that everyone else has important places to be, important things to do, and important people to see, and that there's no time to interact with someone unfamiliar.

Thus, a strategy develops. Go somewhere and stare at a wall for hours to rack up the day's UE. Do this every day for a couple of months, pumping up some kind of skill other people will find useful or that you can use to their detriment. When the day comes that you can codedly make a difference, THEN you can run around the world offering people things or being a nuisance, and maybe you'll get some attention and roleplay out of it, but until then, apparently no one gives a crap whether you play or not. Staring at a wall. This is precisely what I feel this game promotes.

...This is not to say that my entire experience has been bad, as I've run into two or three people who did genuinely seem interested in roleplaying or involving newbies. That's about it, though.

I didn't interact with anyone until after the first month.... You have to make a name for yourself, if you stick with the automated crap then your stuck... My experience was similar then one day it all started to flow. You can be famous or notorious pick and extreme and run with it. Also I don't know what time zone you are in but it seems the city is more alive toward the PM on the east coast... stick with it, trust me, you will one day soon have so much to do in game that it starts to effect IRL stuff... Welcome to the City!

There's certainly much more to the game than staring at a wall (not to say that UE isn't useful). However, it doesn't always leap out at you. There are some times when it just requires plain old persistence.

Just like in real life, the best way to find steady work is to get your resume out to employers. Make up a resume for your character (it doesn't have to be as fancy as in RL) and either Gridmail it to your selected employers or drop off a printed copy. For the latter, you'd need someone to loan you an e-note with a printer. In a day or three - it varies a lot - an IC representative will get back to you with a potential interview offer.

It sounds as if your character is a performer. Given that information, I don't think it's too out of bounds for me to suggest looking at New Light Media (NLM) for a job.

As for finding people to role-play with, the above poster is correct that things get busiest during the evening hours EST. However, there are still folks around all day. You have to remember that there are four levels to the city and a lot of places on each, so people can be a little spread out. Your best odds for finding groups of people playing publicly would be visiting bars. Folks hang out where the booze is.

You would also do well to make use of the SIC. Engage in conversations going on there if opportunities present themselves. You never know what that may lead to in terms of meeting people and finding opportunities.

Sitting in an empty bar? Ask the bartender where the action or party is. They'll tell you the bar/club where there is the largest concentration of other players. Granted, this only works for these locations, but they are the dominate social hubs where people meet before they go off on clandestine moosex adventures.

I've been around for a couple of months now and I've got to say, I can't echo your sentiments.

I don't want to come across as abrasive or dismissive; it sounds like you've been sincerely trying and haven't met with success. But with these sandbox style games, I find that the case is that you're usually only limited by yourself (and your character).

If you're looking for RP, it's definitely there - if you can't find it, there are plenty of clues in-game pointing you towards the action.

Are you 'addressing' people when you speak to them? It's possible that you're not being ignored and that rather your character isn't being heard. This is especially possible in crowded areas such as bars and streets. Tiles have an ambient level of noise/interference which can drown out your speech and actions if you're not addressing people with 'to ' or using a pose with their name in it.

Making your own business and working with other players does seem to be the best way to go but it certainly helps to get yourself set up with a salaried job. Jobs are as much a way to make chyen as they are a way to generate RP.

At any rate, I have no problems getting into the thick of it. A lot of my play-time is in extremely off hours (I'm on GMT time and for much of the time I'm on the Americans are asleep or at work). The grid and SIC network are there for your disposal; if you can't find people to speak to face to face, you certainly can still communicate city-wide.

Oh! And use the SIC. The city is huge, so its easy to feel alone at times. Use the SIC, get involved there, respond to interesting statements and questions, bitch about the weather.

A decent portion of the RP happens over the SIC either in encryption or private messages. The public messaging is a subtle layer of comedy, drama and secret meaning. Use it to make friends.

NVT, im sorry that this has been your experience so far playing. i would really advise not giving up and sticking with it.

Just my ramblings as always.. and this is more an open letter to myself and hopefully anyone else who is new and or my find my ramblings amusing or helpful...

Speaking from the perspective of someone who is still new to the game and plays at an odd timezone compared to the majority of the player base in the USA timezone. I have to say that even in the middle of the night SD time there is usually someone to interact with even when the @who numbers register in the 6 - 10 mark that i can see at its lowest.. there is always someone about equally looking for some RPing and there is usually still plenty to do regardless , places to see.. things to do.. Most of the time even with low ish numbers (in comparison to the 30 - 40+ i see at the rare occasion i get to look at peak times) i manage to have lot of fun and RPing joy. Just because there are fewer players doesnt mean you cant have fun. sometimes it means that its easier to find someone new to RP with as anyone else on are more than likely to be open to you approaching them.. they too are looking for RP after all.

Now that's not to say that when i first started playing i wasn't frustrated and bored and felt like banging my head against the wall occasionally. However after the kind and helpful advice of fellow players and especially certain GM's that i asked for advice from.. i was able to readjust my expectations and realize that i was approaching the game all wrong, mainly due to the my expectations from playing other games. After I asked for some help in how to get the most out of my sindome experience and enter the community as hopefully a productive and fun person/player/character to interact with, now i enjoy it more than ever and its more rewarding than any game ive ever played. The depth and scope are staggering when you get into it and its well worth the time and patience to learn the ropes both ICLY and as a player in learning how to get the most out of SD.

The crux of it is and this is pretty much just my ramblings... (and again in no reflection on what you have or havent done or how or havent approached SD )

That the advice i was give led me to change and readjust how i interacted with SD. its not a hack slash, instant gratification game where you can treat it like every other game, looking for the next grind to earn your next lvl up fix, expecting this nice experience curve where simply time put in equals your next level and reward, expecting for the game to be structured in a way that i was nicely guided and led through the game....

It took me awhile (and lots of patenent, kind and understanding advice and help from GMS) to realise that in SD, like in real life you don't get things presented to you on a plate, your not going to be guide through the game down this linear path, x+y+z does not equal success.. you have to earn pretty much everything in game.. friends, chyen. opportunities,knowledge, understanding, peoples respect and importantly Time.

You ARE going to have setbacks, people are going to be rude , mean and down right ignorant. What you think makes sense and that is going to guarantee you fame, riches and win friends and influence people is sometimes just going to fall flat and fail epic-ally.

Good news is that its also going to work sometimes.. you are going to meet nice people, fun people.. going to explore new places and learn and see some really cool shit that people have worked very very very hard to code, to create with RP, to put some serious time and effort in describe , in create and molding.. .. in short the more you treat it like real life and the more you put into it the much more you get out of it.. The more you put into your character the more people will want to interact with you, think @nakeds, @voice, @look place me.. and all the other cool things that have been put into the game to allow us players to customize and bring our characters to life..

Now remember this next bit because its important (Mainly a note for myself everyday i play but also something i want to put out there) a lot of people have put a shit load of time and effort in both big things and little things in SD.. from massive obvious things like building a financial empire or a street gang or coding some cool things for us to intereact with or get infected by .. to little things like, really thinking and refining their @nakeds or their speech .. or the way and IC reasons why they would or wouldn't interact with you.. each room description.. the comedy tags or little jokes.. the sic adverts.. the list is truely endless... So you too ( and this is mainly to me) owe it to them and everyone else who plays SD to put just as much effort in as well .. I dont deserve anything just because i login in and play.. i gotta earn the right to play this game with my effort in everything i do with SD. And sometimes stop chasing that chyen or power or respect.. and just stop end marvel in the endless detail in SD.

And my final note of my ramble today is to remind myself... remember like real life there are frustrations and setbacks and times when you get lost and wonder where you going with it all.. but that's all part of the journey.. embrace it and it will all come good eventually and occasionally rather than just blast past that decription.. Stop and smell the virtual roses sometimes..

I have to say that when I started out there wasn't anything but then opportunities present themselves.

For example there was a corpse in the immigrant cubes and there were two other guys there. We decided to try and contact the authorities to have it removed as the stick was unbearable. What resulted was confusing WJF with TERRA and having an irate TERRA agent tell us that we had the wrong agency. Then we tried to contact WJF and managed to get through whereby we waited until we realised that they weren't coming.

The point I'm trying to make is that some of the greatest RP comes from spontaneity as my years of a DM prove. You just have to take the opportunity and run with it.

Hi!

The several posts above pretty much lay it out:

Time which you are on

People you come across (NPC & Player alike) - they may not notice you unless you use "to ".

Someone above mentioned bars - I say, if it is empty when you go in, explore some more then return.

You may run into a player making deliveries, and if so, you have an opportunity to communicate.

Oh, do use the SIC (help sic).

~

I have been here about two weeks now and the first bit, after the first day, it was a little bit of a ghost town but I explored. (It was a ghost town when I was a guest but the xooc chatter intrigued me, as did the description of each area.) Explore up, down, sideways.... People are indeed spread out -- there are four levels to this dome (so far as I can tell...).

Then I started bumping into people making a delivery, or sitting in a bar, or at the Immy area.

Some characters are dicks (which is awesome) and some are not, but every player (as can be seen in xooc and xgame) I've observed has been pretty cool or helpful in some way. (And the xhelp guys are cool and patient.)

Do a little more than stare at a wall - explore the NLM terminals, climb fences, heck, talk and mumble to yourself on occasion.

Perhaps I'll see you in the Dome?

The "treat NPCs as people" thing doesn't mean you should expect any or all of them to RP "live" with you all the time.

It's out there more as a warning that MIS-treating them will backfire on you eventually. Mistreatment can include anything

from extreme brevity (you wouldn't apply for a job in real life by just saying "JOB??" to the manager, right?)

to other un-IC behavior (maybe spamming ungrammatical nonsense at them, trying to find "trigger" words)

to abuse ("farming" gangers because they "drop loot").

to just being an inconsiderate asshole to them. Unless it's IC for your character. Hey, maybe they *do* treat all people that way.

Anyway, I remember this experience. When I was new, there were about a third of the daily number of active players as there are lately. Learning to "find RP" and to find ways for my character to pursue his goals took me a while too. I hope you've gotten some ideas from this thread's responses, NVT, and that you'll be around to start getting into it.