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@voice and hiding your identity
"Who is this?" One step too far.

So, one problem I've seen so far is when people try to hide their identity over the phone. Yes, I can understand that deception is part of the game. But the problem is, the people I'm seeing clear their @voice entirely.

To me, this is a huge rp killer. With no @voice whatsoever, all I can tell is that they're speaking english. I don't even have a gender to go off of.

It seems to me really that it's just a cheap way of not letting yourself get caught, instead of even just setting your @voice as "deep male monotone" or "barely recognizable female whisper."

Thoughts?

Agreed, disguising a voice is one thing, but you can only go so far. Should definitely know if it is male or female at the very least.
Phones normally (especially if you're speaking with someone who's using a low quality one) aren't supposed to give you much about their identity. Maybe their gender is fine but disguising your voice if you have the disguise skill completely is very much IC. I'd expect people to leave hints if they don't have disguise at all like their accent or something related to who they are but if they have disguise and clear their @voice you might as well as think that it's them muffling their voice or something so that only the words are understood. If they have the skill they can manage.
You're only supposed to be able to convincingly hide or disguise your @voice with a good disguise skill. There's no code behind it but if someone's abusing @voice you should let staff know.
For example I've seen people toss helmets on and clear their @voice since it'd realistically muffle their voices and you'd only understand the words and not get much else.
While that may be true about muffling, at the very least still a gender would be given. And... kinda hard to report abuse if I can't tell who's doing it, methinks.
People used to manually provide a voice, before we had @voice

to *in a mixer accented male voice* Sup?

We added @voice to bolster RP, but over time it's become an integral part of the game.

However, there is no rule saying that you have to set one but anyone who is clearing their @voice so as to not be identified should consider what their actual goal is. I can't think of a situation where someone who normally uses @voice, should think it is anything but meta to clear their @voice to avoid being identified.

I don't have any disguise skill in real life but with 15 minutes of youtube videos I can do a shitty impression of an irish accent in an octave that isn't my norm. Someone who knew me fairly well might not be able to tell it's me, but they would know the following:

1. I am manufacturing an accent

2. A rise in testosterone levels when I hit puberty lengthened and thickened my vocal cords, resulting in a deeper voice.

This might sound something like this:

*an masculine voice speaking with an inauthentic irish accent*

Now, let's be clear here. If my normal voice is:

*a hispanic tinged mixer accent*

You don't know it's me. But you have something to go off of. You have something to track down. You have something to reference other than... nothing.

We are all playing a game, and yeah, it's PvP, but if you're taking short cuts, you should ask yourself two questions:

1. Do I want all my plotting and planning and lying and climbing to the top of the heap to work because I was more cunning than everyone else, or do I want it to work because I relied on OOC advantages gained by skirting rules around being meta?

2. Would I want someone to do this to me?

Hold yourself to a high standard and those around you will hold themselves to a high standard, and then we're all playing a game with peak role play potential.

You can't win at Sindome, you can't only continue to survive.

As I said I agree with the gender part. Fully clearing it shouldn't be a thing except in specific circumstances really.
I honestly feel differently regarding this idea that mechanics should trump all idea.

Sindome has always been an RP first game with mechanics designed to support that RP. While it would be ideal for the game to have perfect mechanics that conform perfectly to all possible RP, I don't think it is reasonable. I think it is fair and valid to depend on players to think about their actions and not try and take advantage of the system to get ahead when a little common sense suggests that what they're doing doesn't make sense.

For example, I could walk in front of a ganger on his turf and tag the walls with insults against his gang. Or pose making lewd gestures at them. Mechanics wise, nothing stops this. But when you think about it, it doesn't make any sense and you lose out on RP. So Players are asked to put RP first.

Same with busy streets. It doesn't make sense for a character to spot EVERY other character that passes by on a busy street. Too many people. And yes, it could be coded so that you don't even see some characters without a perception check. But instead it has been left for players to regulate themselves a little.

I honestly don't ever see a time in which Sindome embraces an "if the command goes through, it's fair game" philosophy. Maybe I'm wrong but I don't think that this is that kind of game. Players will always be expected to RP and that includes considering the situation, applying common sense and making choices based on that.

Also, regarding voices and IDing people, please think about how this works in reality and apply that to your RP. Even without any efforts to disguise your voice there are some things to keep in mind.

It is virtually impossible to take a description of someone's voice and ID someone off of it. If I am told that someone has a deep voice that is slightly melodic with a Spanish accent, I will come across hundreds of people who's voices fit the bill in a city like Withmore. Maybe even thousands.

So this idea that Andy heard Bob's voice then tells Charlie over SIC/Phone/Gridmail what Bob sounds like then Charlie identifying Bob based on that description is crazy to me. At most, such a thing might help Charlie narrow the field but nothing more.

On the other hand, if Dan directly hears Eve's voice regularly then runs into a shrouded mona with the same voice, they have reason to suspect that the shrouded mona is Eve. That makes sense. As does the reverse (matching a shrouded persons voice that you have heard often to someone unshrouded with the same voice).

Also, copying another character's @voice message verbatim without the needed stats/skills should also be avoided in my opinion.

Anyways. Just some random thoughts I have had regarding voices and their use.

I dunno guys I've heard some dudes with some pretty squeaky voices and some girls that sounded like truckers. Can you honestly tell 100% of the time if it is a girl or a guy?
@Ephemeralis

I find your post unfair. There is no glaring code problem with @voice. @voice, as I mentioned, was put in as a helper command to augment RP, as people were manually adding it in front of their speech. It's no different than @look_place in that regard. Consider a time when people would manually type things like this when a new person entered a room:

.continue to lean against the bar, looking out over the crowd.

Instead of doing that each time a new person enters, you have @look_place to augment your RP and save you some time.

@voice is no different.

It would be super easy for me to change the code to REQUIRE everyone to set an @voice and prevent you from clearing it entirely.

We don't do that. Why? It's simple. We are an RP community and we hold people to high RP standards. There are dozens if not hundreds of things that people CAN do ICly that are totally ridiculous under some circumstances. Tagging rival ganger turf in front of rival ganger NPCs when no GMs are paying attention is just one example.

It is up to individual players to be responsible with their RP. That's the game. It's always been the game. And as people play it, they get better at doing it. If people meta, then they get called on it by other players or by the GMs.

I don't want to write code to prevent things that can be prevented by having a high standard of RP, and a player base and GM staff that are willing to engage with players who make mistakes such that they learn and grow as roleplayers.

If someone calls you with no @voice, one way to indicate there is something amiss is to say something like this:

to progia I am unsure who I am talking to. I can't tell your gender, or accent.

It's a bit brash, sure, but it gets the message across to the character and the player on the other end of the line that they are missing something (an @voice).

Forcing people to have an @voice will just result in the people who don't understand it's meta not to have one, picking shitty @voice messages and that will make it harder from an OOC standpoint to identify them, and communicate to them that they are (intentionally or not) missing out on an important piece of the game.

There are reminders that go out to players without an @voice to let them know they should set one. I think that, coupled with player and GM intervention is how this problem gets solved. Not adding restrictive code and complexity to an already complex game with a steep learning curve.

-- S

Are you referring to when you are disguised? Most likely due to the need to prevent matching conflicts. If someone used a shortdesc that included a word that was in common use like East or Holden or beer it could make targeting difficult.
Thanks for the feedback! We do appreciate it and I and the other coders and staff do discuss all the feedback behind the scenes as well. Things change, and our positions change as the game grows and changes.
Spoke with GMs, @voice is not non-clearable. You gotta have one after you set it initially. See: http://www.sindome.org/bgbb/game-discussion/new-game-features/-voice-is-required-now-315/ for more info.