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Deckers on Sindome
Don't be meta about their skills

Hey Folks -

I've heard that ICly, people have little respect for deckers and their skills. This is completely understandable from an OOC standpoint, if you recognize that we don't have a ton of coded systems that support being a decker on Sindome. However, not only do we plan on rolling these systems out as our availability to code them allows, but being a decker in a cyberpunk game that doesn't have a lot of coded support for deckers is hard enough!

Let's not add to the pain of someone wanting to roleplay this archetype by publicly prodding them and their lack of coded skills. It seems like a meta thing to me, because ICly, deckers DO have power. We run plots where we manually roll decker skills and give them access to things, and let them do cool stuff, because that's fun and that's stuff the archetype would be able to do if we had a perfectly complete game.

Deckers do not have the same code support that a Solo or Judge has, but that doesn't mean that in our world, they are nothing. Let's not treat them as such. If we do, it will make it more difficult to integrate their new skills when they do get coded. Do your part, look for ways to get deckers involved in plots. The GM staff will do our best to support a deckers role in a heist or run. We may not always be able to do it, but we will try. And there ARE ways for deckers to make a difference in various situations ICly. Use 'em if you can, and for gosh sake, don't act like they are completely powerless to eff with you or you might find your bank account missing some chyen or your gridphone disabled forever, eh? ;)

-- S

I feel like people need to be reminded of this more. I see decker players themselves being meta about the situation with deckers and I just find it a little offputting. I get the idea that being a decker is hard in Withmore, but ICly it should be more about the competition, not because decking can't do much. Sure, the Grid limits their power, but there's still banks, phones, and other vectors of attacks.

That's all 100% true and fair and you'll never find someone more sympathetic or frustrated than me about this, I beat this drum hard and have for well over a decade. Let's talk about playing a decker, for years, before there was a hackable grid as we now have it -- I was there too. Yeah, it wasn't great.

The point of the topic is that it's unthemely and OOCly unsporting to let the meta knowledge of deckers affect how your character views and treats them ICly. Expectations around their ability to tap into paydata and so forth are how they balance their usual inability to hold their own meatside.

Does this mean everyone should suddenly be terrified of deckers ICly at every turn? Of course not. But constantly acting like they and the grid are completley harmless is probably a good way for an enterprising decker and a sympathetic GM to find painful ways to prod you back to a more themely perspective.

This isn't to say there shouldnt be RP about the grid being a pale experience compared to the matrix, there are IC justifications for that.

(Edited by Johnny at 10:25 pm on 3/5/2020)

I also just want folks to have some empathy for deckers, especially those that have tried to grind it out, carve out side hustles, RP the best they can, and wait out what we always hope is around the corner.

I am -not- bashing the work of anyone who works on the game, this isn't me trying to poop on anyone, it's just trying to put in perspective the frustration the archetype brings with it.

Just look at all the features SD has added in just the last year or two. All the disguise updates, the makeup stuff, the chatter system, the shroud stuff, the ambient NPC stuff, the ganger system changes, all this incredible complex work -- amazing work by our staff, who I'm proud of and amazed by left and right. These bring great RP, complexity, richness to our world.

Now imagine you're a decking-oriented player who's essentially had the same grid system for more than 10 years.

Imagine being a combat character of basically any kind -- corpsec, ganger, elite UE maxed street sam for hire, whatever. Imagine there was no coded combat system at all. Like Eph mentioned, imagined you just had to emote and RP it and hope everyone involved was agreeable to each step and outcome -- even this isn't even comparable, because even then you might have outcomes that actually have repercussions in the IC world that people would care about.

Imagine people being unafraid of gangers or solos because in meta they know that unless they really, really, really bend over backward to for some reason make themselves vulnerable (and absolutely no one does to deckers, ever), they can't be hurt by them.

Now imagine feeling passionate about playing a character like that for, like, 15 years, while deckers received 15 years of one feature after another, with one topic after another on the BGBB where all the -other- players on the game got to excitedly go 'THIS IS AMAZING, THANK YOU SO MUCH THIS FIXES MY PROBLEMS AND MAKES ME EXCITED TO PLAY THE GAME'.

That's how deckers feel watching one makeup tweak, or grappling addition, or armor complexity update post as the months and years go by. Meanwhile we log in to SIC chatter about 'THE GRID? LUL DICKZ ON NODEZ'.

We lack great lore or community too. Decking characters don't last long because they get super burned out by all of the above and suicide to play Another Combat Character Who Maybe Also Is A Tailor Or Whatever.

The one decker in 'Withmore History', Trancer, you say? Trancer was famous not because he was a decker, trust me. Trancer was famous because in his time there were like 10 active players, so allying with any one of them made you / your group very strong. Trancer had strong friends. Trancer was involved with interesting events. Trancer -did- have insane decking skills, including rolling such a high cracking skill check on the first grid hack ever that it broke the system (throwback, Johnny!). But there was nothing to use them on. Trancer got bored, turned into a badass combat character like everyone else, had great roleplay -- that's why he's A Somebody. Not because he, like, hacked the planet.

I vent this just so people who may not get it yet get why some folks may get really, really salty about the topic, IC and OOC. Decking may not now or ever be your thing, but it's very much the thing for some of us, and we watch and even join in being happy when everyone else gets fancy new stuff when we've gotten nothing for literally forever, so give us some slack and maybe try to have fun with us. :)

With the new chatter system in effect, Deckers ARE more useful and scarier. I like that! I hope it gives the players with that build another avenue to take advantage of.
Can't help but agree with Jameson. Far too much "less-CP" code has been addressed than decking. Give 3.0 teeth, unlock bank accounts, modify clones, modify criminal records, view public cameras, blacklist people at their job,upload crazy videos to public Tv. Track SIC, view cheap cube registries. The possibilities are endless.
I believe part of the reason that this is the case is because of something I've noticed about the game that doesn't seem to be acknowledged or noticed. It's that the IC/OOC split inextricably links IC and OOC.

What I mean by this is that there are PCs IC that are not aware of what a decker should be capable of ICly, because they've never experienced it OOCly. Because of this knowledge wall, why would they assume that deckers are capable of anything more than what they've personally experienced, ICly and OOCly. After all, you can only know as a player OOCly, what you've learned ICly. In this way, IC is hard linked to OOC experience.

A potential solution to this, at least in the interim of building out GRID 3, (which understandably is a large undertaking which would obviously take a lot of time), would be to create IC examples of these kind of abilities. It could be as simple as SIC chatter about things that happened, or an official news post by the globe about some big hack.

This topic does strike a cord with me, as the last character I made I had fully intended on going Decker. Me realizing there was not much for them to do in the game, without relying heavily on GM's, had me quite disappointed. It happened to coincide with me realizing I really didn't have the time to commit to something as deep as Sindome, so I once again filed the game away for another time. I'm back now, with plenty of time to play, and am super excited for Grid 3.0 whenever it drops.
Furthermore, I do feel this role deserves an IMMENSE amount of respect in this setting, coding or not. In a world where everything is linked somehow, the reach of savvy deckers is vast. I am sure with some clever planning and patience with the GM's, a lot could be accomplished.
Writing code on the moo, and architecting a complex web application that on top of everything else it does, also communicates with the moo, is not something everyone can do.

I don't mean that broadly, I mean that specifically.

Why have we added all these other coded systems in the past year and not Grid 3.0? Only Johnny can carry Grid 3.0 over the finish line. More Cooks in the kitchen is just going to make it tougher. Once he is finished, people like me who know web dev are going to be able to update code because the framework is there, but until that point, it's a one man show. And that one man has a family and a real job, and Grid 3.0 requires a ton of dedicated work.

Sindome has existed for 22 years without Grid 3 0. As was mentioned, this topic is about you, the player, not being meta about the Decker's lack of coded skull. We already know Grid 3.0 is important. But until one of us wins the lottery and we can all quit our day jobs, the pace we develop at is the pace we develop at.

My only issue with that Slither, is why do GM's not let a decker know of what they are capable of? Before I was voided and reaped, I struggled to make a decker character actually usable in this world that you all have made.

It did not work well at all. Mechanics aside, being shut down by GM's on even trying to find out what I could potentially do as a decker really killed it all for me. I ended up quiting after close to a year and a half of trying to play this role with no assistance from a GM, no guidance at all.

You all want to parrot this Grid 3.0 thing, and how it will make it all better.. But honestly, will it? As it is now, a GM has to support a decker. Will 3.0 fix that? I'm going to go with a hard no.

What should have happened is having a GM let a decker know what they can do with "proper planning" at a certain skill level. Since the main focus has been towards combat, I can understand why that didn't happen.

My character was reaped, and I don't have a dog in this fight anymore. I just wanted to express my issues with this archetype. It felt like the absolute epitome of useless..

I'll check periodically like I have for the last 6 months, but I don't expect to have a response if I can be completely honest. I just really hope to one day see the "Cyber" in this game and not just the "punk".

Bumping this thread to say.

I want to say, having interacted with Deckers through my sindome career, I will parrot the advice of everyone here.

Deckers need guidance if they are to do anything beyond the bare basics of grid design and navigation.

Deckers outside of the coded jobs that employ deckers need more of a support network setup for them.

Deckers need more NPC's to look at and model themselves after. Fixers have at least 5 I can think of. Solo's have so many more. There's more fucking racecar drivers that show up on SIC to posture than deckers right now.

Deckers are fucking underpowered code wise, and until they have coded power beyond very minutiae of situations, they will always be disrespected.

Grid3.0's full implementation will help all of these things. But it will not be a panacea, more of a bandage.

I imagine there will come a time when Sindome will be so feature-complete that Decking will be the only thing left to work on. We've seen so many systems completed in the past two years that the list of things that aren't in the game yet is dwindling rapidly.

From recent memory, here are the things I've seen teased:

- Vehicle combat

- Space stuff for NeoTrans

- The glance thing

- Disguise improvement

- B&E (though probably not)

- Potentially more cyberware?

- Bug fixing & balancing

There can't be much more left before Decker updates start coming, right?

The thing to keep in mind here is that a lot of these systems build on each other. We just released a massive update to cyberware that effectively let's people with systems skill hack cyberware, mod it, etc. That allows future hacking of a person, it also gives deckers who want to do things in the real a very legitimate thing to do, a thing that should be pretty in demand as soon as people figure out the implications of the new code, and also one that gives you a fair amount of power over the person under your digital knife.
That's a good point, Slither. I had forgotten about non-Grid uses for Decking. Much progress has been made, even if it isn't the most visible progress.
"being a decker in a cyberpunk game that doesn't have a lot of coded support for deckers is" - or at least has been in the past - quite a powerful position, given that GMs have the power to support it imaginatively. Your imagination, not theirs, generally.

Slither gave a bunch of examples. The thing is, these aren't things a decker's player just goes and does. It takes planning, @notes and GM engagement.

In the past, I have attempted to try "uncoded" things and was told repeatedly that if it's not coded into the game, that you can't do it. Mind you it's been a couple of years since that happened, but none of the things I was attempting to do were anything beyond the realm of what was available now, IRL.

I realize there may be WAY more that contributed to that repeated failure: Character Skill, Change in GMs, Bad Notes on my part, or something I did not envision. So it was entirely possible that I just didn't have enough of X to make it happen. However, I long ago stopped trying to do things that were not coded into the game.

I typed this up NOT as a complaint, but if indeed that this is the solution until there is more coded support, how would you encourage a player to go down this road if they didn't see this thread? Especially someone who might have learned first hand that this did not seem to be the case in the past.