Hi All! I wrote this article for another site but it wasn't what they were looking for, so I wrote a different one. I didn't want this one to be lost, so here it is!
Sindome is a text-based, roleplay enforced, cyberpunk experience. We have a classless character progression system that allows each player to fluidly create and continually develop their character over the entirety of that character's life span.
We as a staff and as a community have been refining our roleplay experience for the past eighteen years. During that time, we have gone through a huge amount of progression in terms of the features and functionality that we offer to our players.
We've undertaken strenuous balancing of our weapons and attacks on several different occasions. We have also balanced the cost of items and introduced dynamic rarity on a per object basis. This allows the game itself to adjust the value of items based on how many are expected to be in game versus how many are actually in game, simulating supply and demand.
It's important to note that being a role play enforced game, the primary focus of most player interactions is not combat focused. However, because Sindome is such a gritty game, most of our players are always combat aware.
Cyberpunk is about high tech and low life. The haves versus the have-nots. That can be an interesting dynamic when it’s equally as possible to be a highly paid corporate Vice President as it is to be a top member of a gang that controls a large part of the city’s underbelly - and collects protection payments from local businesses.
One of these players is provided with a swanky mansion, a bodyguard, and a limousine to travel in. The other most likely has a hundred thousand chyen bounty on their head.
Each one is equally fun to play, depending upon your play style.
So how do you balance the mechanics of a game that is meant to be unbalanced? We provide a singular and enthralling experience for our corporate level characters with one style of play, and another equally unique and engaging experience for our lower class and street criminal characters.
How do you make it possible for a new character, with very little earned experience toward stat and skill progression, to make a difference or be viable in combat? For that we use cyberware. You can get a cybernetic eye that increases your perception. An injection is available to rewrite your genetic code and make you stronger or harden your skin to protect against attack.
There are cybernetic finger blades called Nailz that can never be disarmed. You can get thermal graphic imagery for your cybernetic eye. You can even get a special cybernetic attachment that allows you to interface with your gun for additional accuracy, with a heads up display of your current ammunition.
Like all good things in life, some cyberware comes at a price. Either stat penalties or unappealing visual side effects such as the hardened-skin look accompany many of the best cybernetics.
All of this comes together to form a very interesting dynamic. Corpies live topside in luxury and relative safety while Mixers survive below, on Red, fighting for their lives (and their next meal) every single day.
These varied character types have motivations ranging from controlling an entire syndicate to simply finding enough food to suffer by and everything in between.
The fluid character system allows you to be nearly anything you could ever want to be within the scope of the genre. A street judge. A street samurai. A club owner. A Yakuza-- or both.
It is impossible to code for all the different variations and rules of the game. In this respect, Sindome’s greatest strength is its’ community. The dedicated community of players helps to inform and enforce the rules and the theme better than any code or admin could.
Beyond two decades of code development, two decades of lore, and thousands of hours of game master and coder time, it's our players that create the cyberpunk experience of Sindome.
Fostering that sense of community has not always been easy, nor has it always been a priority. However, since we began truly nurturing that sense of community within the game, our numbers have steadily risen and the quality of roleplay has unwaveringly increased.
Finding the right balance of code, rules, lore and community for your games’ special sauce will never be easy, but it will be worth it.