I might be wrong but this post has a lot of negative vibes and id like to share my experience with SD to add a bit of balance.
I've been playing now for just over a year and whilst i haven't the experience of some of the players that shall remain nameless, i think i've been here long enough to see a massive change in SD.
When i first started playing there was a small but dedicated player base, the average @who player numbers when i was playing was 7-10 on a good day and i was regularly playing with 2 or 3 other people in the whole of withmore. The player makeup was heavy mix orientated and there was little to no corpie activity. You would see the same faces over and over again (this is all my experience on my limited *quiet* timezone) and the mix was a small place for a newbie and it was very fun and exciting playing a very small fish in a medium sized pool with some very big sharks ( i will not name characters but to my eyes and from my time in game these were legends of the game). On the whole it was a fun place to be with everyone being positive both on OOC and on the boards, however inevitably due to the limited number of the players RP was somewhat limited and in my experience new players like myself had to play smart to last long and things in the game were earned over time with good play and RP.. alternatively you went hard and fast and live and die in a blaze of glory as they attracted the interested and attention of these big sharks.
It felt like the character base was a couple of dedicated hardcore characters (all 2+ years) gods in the realms of the mix .. and smattering of 1+ year olds (characters and i suspect it wasnt the players first go around) big ass sharks.. .. and then there was a semi steady of new characters (immies) little fish that came and went..
Of my class graduating (players that started within 2 weeks of me) over 90% disappeared either character/player or both within 6 weeks..and id struggle to name anyone that is still around that joined from when i started..(although its hard to keep track with alias and characters changing so often hehe..
GMs were on the whole mysterious figures hidden behind the curtain of the game, quietly getting on with doing what they do in the background ( no doubt pushing RP, building the game and hopefully having fun playing their alts and enjoying this great game they do so much thankless work to enable all of us to play)..
Fast forward a year and....
Wow .. its now unusual to see the @who list less than 17 and is regularly at megasprawl amounts.... I maybe be wrong but i believe from my perception the number of active players that are out there in the mix/topside and elsewhere is just massive, gone are the days of trying to find someone to RP with .. now you have to actively avoid it if thats your kink... The player base is larger than ever, with a more diverse mix of players/ages/archetypes/affiliations/styles of play/approaches to SD and RP interests. ..
Have we lost some big characters and players in that time? yes sure .. are they gone forever or just taking a well deserved break? who knows? i hope for the better but accept the worst if they have had their fill, good for them and the rest move on.. more space for them hungry new players to fight/scrape/steal/scheme and general aspire to replace and surpass..
But one thing i can confirm is that its SD is still a shit tonne loads of fun to play.. there are still the same opportunists as a year ago and in fact there are even more and more (thanks to the hard-work of the jinx/johnny and the other builders)..We now have more toys than ever to play with, more opportunities and every and yes more distractions that ever.
Have lost some good players over time, yes.. and we have gained a shit load more as well? Hell yeah, most of them getting it.. playing some great SD, RP the hell out of everything, putting a massive amount of time, effort and work into their characters, their RP, their descriptions ( you know who you are and kudos to ya!!)..
As has been pointed out to me, we also have two games in one here now..
Corpie land, which by its nature is going to be less nailz in your guts and a shotgun blast to your face.. but is every bit as dangerous and cut throat and cyberpunk as the good old mix..
so yes we have (in my opinion) lost a bit of that hardcore danger on every corner.. but only because we now have more corners.. the mix is still as dangerous as every (and remember its up to the players to provide that danger)
but now we have topside as well where its less obvious but im sure is just as dangerous..And if you disagree, then become that danger.. you got the character and the power to be the change in the SD that you want.. too fluffy..then leave topside and bring it to the mix.. never a Chemist on when you want drugs..then become that chemist.. cant afford and cant see how you gonna afford some wheels and are sick of the slow ass grav trains.. then learn to boost cars and fuckin have fun.
***Side note disclaimer : oh how i wish i could have two characters.. one to continue my current character who i hopefully havent finished their story.. and a 2nd to enact all the cool "destructive" RP that the great 'badies' in this game have taught me.. God bless you players that have taught me how to be a great bad guy.
In fact the only negative thing i have seen change over my time of playing .. is that the GMs seem to be spending more time babysitting and defending themselves from a small vocal minority of players that want to absorb all of their time because SD isnt working out for them, because they arent being auto-given everything they want and they want uber god mode 2 days after walking through them immie gates..
Well guess what kids.. this has a consequence that the GMs are spending less time contributing to the game or having fun themselves. This is Poisoning the atmosphere of the game and the GM/Player interactions..
I guess this is inevitable with a massive influx of players that we as a community need to do more to help the staff integrated new players in the unique game that we all call SD. Help them get over their learning curve , show them the SD that we all know and enjoy and teach them they want something then they gotta earn it..
In case you have missed any of my other posts or you haven't gotten it yet, here is a bit of friendly advice from back when i started...
"SD is hard.. SD is cyberpunk. if you a mixer or a corpie, its hard and its dog eat dog.. You want to get anywhere in this game, you have to be smart, work hard and graft (by that i mean create and participate in RP)...
if you are 2 days, 2 weeks or even 2 months into the game and you dont have that shiny chrome, or that plush place in blue.. or that super fast holden.. ask yourself one question before you start bitchin to staff or on the boards.. have you do enough to earn in game that ? .. have you taken the big risks to earned it? have you grafted like its your very life? have you cheated/stolen and made enough enemies for it?.. if the answer is no then thats on you not the game?...
If you just been iced because you've pissed of the wrong gang or your power play corpie move went sideways.. what are you going do? throw your toys out the pram, bitch and complain on the boards and to staff or are you going de-tank, regroup and fucking earn that revenge.. plot scheme,. RP motherfuckers.. get out there and enjoy it. Dont expect everything just because you log in and play.. dont demand shit on xhelp because you think you have a right to it.. fuck that shit. this aint that kinda game and thank fuck for that!!! play smart/ play hard for fuck off home.. go back to easy mode and go play any other mainstream , hand held, linear game thats out there."
So in short, yes SD has changed.. SD has evolved and moved on.. get with the time.. swim faster or sink.. your choice chummer!.
As always this is just my 2 chyen, my opinion. feel free to ignore me rather than get upset by my comments.