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Factions
The La-li-lu-le-lo!!

In the latest website poll asking "What Area Needs the Most Love?" the majority of you voted for Factions. Out of curiosity, what do you feel is missing from factions? Please try to keep this a constructive critique and don't include any IC information.

I think I can speak for the various faction members when I say that we are very receptive to making the experience better for everyone involved.

I can speak for staff when I say we are interested and receptive to this feedback.

These are just my first thoughts and I reserve the right to take is all back when I am told why they are silly.

I guess that a few things pop into mind for me.

1. Visibility. A few factions are in your face. Like the gangs. But many seem to be hidden behind a curtain or five. I know that when I first started I assumed that factions meant the gangs and the corps. Turns out there is a lot more than that. This might be as intended of course but I thought it was worth mentioning.

2. Accessibility. It seems that you can get a job at a corp in just a few weeks at most and I've always kind of seen them as factions. But most other factions seem to have a much higher barrier to entry. Even joining a street gang seems to take a crazy amount of effort when compared to joining a corp. Again, this might be as intended.

3. Focus and Flavor. Sometimes it seems hard to really get a feel for the differences between some factions. Maybe there really isn't a difference in some cases. What makes Gang A different than Gang B? This might already be in place though and I've just not noticed of course.

4. Balance. This might just be a perception thing but it really does seem that one particular faction in particular sector (Faction A) has a great deal more power than another particular faction (Faction B). Anyone on SIC has heard of Faction A wreaking havoc on Faction B repeatedly but it never seems to come back on them (from my limited perspective).

Again, just my first thoughts as someone who has had little interaction with factions and who has primarily been an outsider.

"Factions" is any organization in the game. Could be NLM, VS, Yakuza, TERRA, etc. I'm not currently working on syndicates, just in case you think I might be.

I'm not sure how it can be worked on, but I'd love to see more PCs in gangs. Maybe it's lack of interest, but sometimes it feels like it is more difficult to join a gang than a corp, like Grey0 said. It's easier to join TERRA than a gang, I'd think gangs would benefit from having more lowly people.

Is it easier to get an entry level job at some random corp than it is to join a gang in real life?

I would argue yes. Gang membership is more exclusive and something you have to work toward. Being a member of a gang doesn't prevent you from having a job at a bar or some other method of making money. Gang membership is more like family than a corporation is. In my opinion. You have to earn trust, prove yourself, be loyal. Gang membership is also kinda forever. You don't get fired. If you screw up to many times you probably just get permed.

As Cerberus stated, "Factions" is any organization in the game. With that in mind - allow me to provide my perspective on what we aspire to accomplish with any faction while addressing the feedback provided so far.

Visibility Every faction has a corporate culture...even if they're less than corporate. Visibility largely plays into it. A corporation may have jobs on payroll entirely dedicated to creating more visibility, a gang may cover the streets with graffiti along with shouts over SIC quietly, and more clandestine organization may go to great lengths to remain unknown. With that said, one of the things which makes Sindome so great is the flow of paydata. It is the jazz which keeps chyen flowing and people talking. Without obfuscation there is no paydata.

Accessibility Some things in Sindome are particularly challenging for a reason. A corporate gig is fairly barebones. You work a job. You collect a wage. The price of entry is kept themely but not painstakingly high. The nice thing is that due to the high number of PC's involved - I like to imagine corporations are a bit self-governing.

A ganger on other hand typically has less member and very different stakes. There's no wage so PC's are responsible for making there own biz. They're in the limelight constantly exposed to NPC and PC threat from rivals. It's a tough gig and while people occasionally try to join the ranks - it is difficult to survive long enough in the role to rise to notoriety. I think this is why you see less PC's throughout the ganger population. It a totally valid "career" choice though.

As for other, less seen factions. I believe they are difficult to join because they whole idea of being behind the scenes means that many PC's do your work but few ever really knows who they're working for.

In essence though, I think accessibility is pretty consistent across all organization. The easier and more low end the gig - the more accessible it is. However, depending on the organization the jobs are predominantly high level. The WJF is a good corporate example of this.

Focus and Flavor This is one area where I think PC's have the most influence. As players, we really dictate the focus and flavor of the organization we are affiliated with. NPC's are there to reinforce it and keep things from sliding off the rails. You may find an organization culture still being driven by ideas and concept from a long dead PC in some cases.

Balance Not all factions are equal. However, most factions have rival factions which put them on a roughly even playing field. Some factions just have better PR in some cases. Another thing to remember though is that the struggle is real in SD. An underdog who can't confront there rival directly - can aspire to bigger and badder things. The game encourages dynamic actions to fight your foes so don't spend too much time trying to measure an organizations power. Also, see my prior comment about visibility. ;-)

To ExMachinae's point, there's a lot of low level opportunities which could use some PC love.

Let's keep this going.

I think it's these low level opportunities that I'm most interested in.

Factions are awesome in my opinion. They seem like a great way to get a character into conflict quickly. They provide structure and goals. They bring the world to life in some ways. They can even be a source of income and work for free agents like solos. In the mix, however, getting on board seems daunting from my perspective. I can't speak much about topside factions.

I really don't know how hard it is to join a gang in real life. I imagine it involves proving yourself though. Perhaps by doing something that makes it hard for you to ever turn on the gang or leave it. Like being made to ace a Terra agent on camera or something - even if the other gang members drag the naked, beaten agent to you and you just have to pull off the finishing touch.

Also, most organizations have a kind of trust level. You might start off with a low level of trust. Over time, you move up as the faction sees you being reliable and becoming competent. Kind of like going from Rookie Bouncer to Bouncer to Senior Bouncer. I could see this applying to gang members too - even if it's just a note slapped onto your character for GMs to reference when interacting with other gang members. I'm not sure if total trust should be necessary to get started in a gang (also not saying that it is right now).

It could be that this is already happening though so take the above with a grain of salt!

I was just thinking about this, maybe it was mentioned before but we have cultural quarters and gangs with territory span multiple quarters, and one that doesn't touch any. I think it'd be cooler if the gangs were related more to the cultural quarters in some way.

I kinda wanted to add my own little experience?

Now, I've lead a Cabal for nearly three years. A different RP Mud/Moo, granted (yes I keep rubbing it in, I am sorry). Not that I have any argument for joining any affiliation, but I've found that sometimes joining any cabal, faction, group, or company provides its own disadvantages as well as advantages.

The biggest hurdle I've had was being the only active member of a Cabal. It existed as a Cabal, even with one person. I recruited as best as possible, while ALSO fighting, negotiation, neutralizing and allying against opposing Cabals...sometimes it can get pretty one-sided...

And. While I'm sure this intell purely is IC, what are people looking for when joining these Factions? What are they gaining? Or rather, what are they providing in the context that other's are not? Do different Faction's provide skills, access to better things? (again, I'm sure all that is IC)

Then again, I'm going to presume that individual membership, and integration, rely solely on In-Character motivations...I like individual freedom.

Also. Can you be ICly threatened to join a Faction?

Focus and Flavor This is one area where I think PC's have the most influence. As players, we really dictate the focus and flavor of the organization we are affiliated with. NPC's are there to reinforce it and keep things from sliding off the rails. You may find an organization culture still being driven by ideas and concept from a long dead PC in some cases.

I agree with this %10000. For each faction I've been involved with, other PCs have helped characterize and shape my expectations and understanding of that faction. While NPCs often provide the kernel or impetus for action as well as the sticks and carrots, we're all responsible for developing and enforcing the lore and the style of our factions on our own, as well. Teaching newer faction members not only creates an RP relationship but also gives you the chance to frame someone else's experience of your faction and impart the proper feel of it for them.

I've seen characters for whom their company/gang/organization was the central focus of their RP, as well as more fluid and mercenary types. I feel like the characters who connect deeply with a particular faction should take it on themselves to be stewards of that faction's image/lore in the game world and try to spread that color for everyone (or keep it hidden from them, in the case of more clandestine factions).

If you're worried that you're doing something wrong by trying to enhance your faction's flavor, just start small. Like ReeferMadness says, NPCs are there to keep things from sliding off the rails.

^ There are so many players who do an amazing job of this, by the way.

I've seen characters for whom their company/gang/organization was the central focus of their RP. Etc etc etc

Your explination sounds...a lot like me, actually.

What if, perhaps, that NPC support is not always there? Or able to keep things stable? And....at the same time...someone within the agency continuously derails the vision with which the leader shapes the faction? It's easy for someone, anyone in leadership, to get lost when there is that one guy manipulating the faction, members and otherwise, 'away' from the cause. The Flavor and Focus.

No matter how good, no matter how well or amazing you are, without some kind of support backing up the focus/flavor your promoting...and...

Well. Not to be funny or anything, but I feel like I'm going nowhere because of emotional reasons.

I want to know...how involved are these Faction NPCs in Sindome, exactly? I feel like if they always have a hand in the pot, maybe I wouldn't have gone through the headache I've gone through.

And no...I doubt I'd want to go back to leading anything again. Just asking tho.

All this information or requests for information are going to go unanswered. You need to find out ICly what Factions are all about.

You need to find out ICly what Factions are all about.

Duely noted...