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Meta around pickpocketting

I hope this doesn't come out as grumpy, I am trying to be as objective and not accusatory as possible so If it comes through like that, please accept it as not intentional, and partially influenced by language barrier (English is not my native language).

I am playing a pickpocket, at least trying to, and doing my best to limit OOC exposure when inevitably caught. For that reason I keep rotating and changing outfit, including different shrougs/hoods, sets and bits of immie gear, shortdesc change etc. And even with that, inevitably when caught people claim to have caught the character many times before, and others pile on that "oh ye, this guy picked me the other day", even though my PC had his face covered, had different clothes then, including different disguise.

It is quite dishartening when it happens, and feels very meta. I understand that OOC there are only so few players in the mix, even less sharing the unchangeable part of shortdesc description, but ICly there are literally tens of millions of people in the mix, many wearing the same clothes like others, and have similar body builds. So when people then ignore it, and just assume that because you have the same attribute-based description is the same person (even though all they see is a different disguise on some random guy) it makes very little sense.

And this seems to be extremely used and tolereted by the PB I've seen so far against dips especially. While IC alliance against dips makes sense, I don't think it should spread to the OOC level of things. Is there something we could all do together to make it less of a thing? Maybe have NPC pickpockets or something like that? Or an OOC reminder to go along the failed pickpocket notification that, unless you act there and now, it is likely too generic to ID someone?

Did your player name get exposed? As in, when they caught you, did they find out you were Joe Baka or was it just a hooded chunky bitch for example?

Because if they saw your name, Joe Baka, then they can still tell you apart.

I would say to bear in mind that just wearing a hoodie doesn't mean people can't catch a glimpse of your face, or that there may be other ways people could find out who you are. Not sure if I can go into much more detail without getting into FOIC territory.

If you are successfully hiding your identity, going to the effort of switching up disguises, etc regularly, then yeah, people should really be grumbling about 'damn pickpockets', rather than assuming there's suddenly one prolific dip hitting the mix.

Welp, either way, good luck with it all, and, uh, keep your sneaky hobbit-fingers out of my pockets, or you won't get them back ;)

I am trying to keep it in general spirit, not a specific instance, I know that there are IC ways for disguise to fail and other circumstances and it's never as easy as "oh they could never ever see me).

But sadly this meta happens even when those parts are not in play and dip did the right things and did not lose his disguise, so I was hoping to get some brainstorm going from people way longer into the game about how this could be combatted, and I think a notification explaining it on the failed dip message (or NPC whispering) would go a long way to remind of it.

The simple answer from people who have been around a while is just going to be "don't be meta". There is an expectation that we respect the ambient population and don't just assume that "person in a %color hoodie" is the same "person in a %color hoodie" we saw two blocks away two minutes ago.

That said, I know I've been picked out on the street by people when they really can't know it's me, and I think the issue here isn't people maliciously abusing meta knowledge (in most cases at least), but a lack of understanding. Maybe they do know better, but in the heat of the moment they lost their cool and let themselves get a bit meta in the quest for revenge over their 49 chy, who knows?

Either way, if you think someone's abusing meta knowledge to ruin your day, using xhelp is probably your best course of action. GMs will be able to have a quick chat with the person, and if nescessary explain what they're doing wrong so they avoid doing it again.

(Don't feel like you're setting the secret police on their ass or anything, GMs will be totally cool with it if someone's making an honest mistake and just needs to learn to do things differently... and it's probably better coming from a GM than from yourself over OOC, where it might make them feel under attack, rather than open to listening and learning)

Wow, that was longer than I meant it to be... rant over.

I agree with you that I don't think this is anything intentional, merely someone getting lost in the moment or just not paying attention to the specific of clothing and just assuming its the same person. Though I will take your advice and speak with GMs when back home.

But that's also why I think that there should be ways to limit affect of those incidents, something to help people pay more attention to those details. Like getting occasional pickpocket failed message from random npcs could do it. Or at least make the feel like mixer is full of pickpockets more alive.

Not a bad suggestion, in my very humble opinion.

I think the random NPCs wandering about have done a lot already for disguise on an OOC level (I literally don't know if it's just some generic NPC there for a relaxing session of being a generic NPC, or some vee-addled PC psychopath watching and waiting silently for paydata, or their chance to do nefarious shit to me or my chums).

I would point out that there are ambient pickpockets. If you are out in the streets sometimes you will get messaging that sound really fishy and sometimes these messages will come with a loss of chy. So there are always a force of dips out there plying their trade and nobody should ever have an IC reason to say, "Suddenly there are dips and there weren't last week!"

Maybe something can be done to make such messaging more obvious or even have NPC dips like we have NPC cab riders. Not sure.

But the main answer, in my opinion, is what UchuUsagi said. Help each other learn. In cases like this I also feel a quick xhelp to staff is the best response. Something like, "Yo. Not sure if it's legit or not but XXX might be acting meta and ignoring the ambient population without meaning to. I was hoping you could check it out and help them if needed. Or maybe it's just me and I can lean something here!"

Thanks for the advice Grey0, it is good and I will certainly remember it for the future. Still learning the ropes obviously :).

Though I don't think I have in my month and bit career here seen anything even close to an npc pickpocket message, but I do see a lot people talking about singular dips, or only talking about dips after a player dipped them and a very little, if every, outside of that. Though, I will yield that I have very narrow perspective here :).

Ambient dips are definitely a thing. Like the others said, if you feel you've done everything right and yet a player is still meta, just xhelp.
I think the ambient pop is overwhelmingly ignored in my experience as a dip. I also notice that the general hate for dips is such (Whether ICly or OOCly) that people are blinded to the RP potential of catching one.

Ex. Joe Baka dips someone. That player doesn't catch them, but another PC, Jill Flaka, does. Good job Jill, you passed the mechanical check to see what happened. Now factor in the hundreds of people you're shoulder to shoulder with in the mix and decide OOCly if you ACTUALLY SAW it. Maybe you keep walking this time, or you're hanging at the street corner and it's all good - because RP wise, you probably shouldn't be seeing every dip that the mechanical system helps you catch. This is the kind of disregard from ambient pop that I see a lot.

Now Let's say it's one of those times you decide, "Yeah, I passed the check and this time I decide I notice them doing it in the crowd." Your first response is to cut them down. This without fail, and I mean 100% of the time in my experience, is what happens. Jill Flaka passes her roll, decides she saw the thief do their thing among the population, and if she knows she's got the advantage in a fight, vats said thief.

Why? It doesn't generate RP. It's a dead end. Why not blackmail? "Hey, I'll tell that baka you're the guy that ripped off her hoodie unless you steal something I'm looking for." Or hold them up for a cut of the profit? "Nice helmet you got there. We split the take or I'm gonna put you in the ground." Why not literally anything except the path of least resistance?

First off, flawed assumption there.

If your character noticed it, they noticed it... If they cared should be the question here. Not whether they actually noticed it... The crowds are supposedly already factored into the check to notice them.

In general, yes the reactions are overly harsh, but I've honestly seen other reactions. I've seen dips adopted by powerful gangers and lifted up, But that standard offensive/aggressive reaction comes from the fact that it(Dipping) is ultimately a very hard thing to defend against if the target doesn't have meta knowledge and UE to toss around.

And there's also a view amongst some but not all, that if they see you preying indiscriminately on others, you could be an incautious dip. So better to teach you to be cautious, the hard way, than to try and blackmail and teach you the soft way. There's also the fact that "STOP THIEF!" is much more white knight sounding than, aim at thief, attack thief.

Killing someone is almost always the most boring possible thing you can do to them, but you can't really control how other people play. Lead by example I guess.
If the game says you saw Bob dip you or another character then you saw it. You can then decide how to react to it. Just keep in mind that there are lots of thieves in the mix. Even ambient ones. Actual coded ambient thieves. So it doesn't make sense to react as if this was some absurd, outrageous thing you witnessed or like it's not something you don't see several times a week just walking from home to work.

Also, please remember that if the game didn't explicitly tell you that you say Bob dip you or another character, you will have to make one hell of a case to justify assuming it was the only PC you happened to see when you noticed the money/item gone.

Chances are hundreds of ambient people (there are for real ambient dips) and even a few NPCs and/or PCs were also in a position to dip you at some point between the last time you last checked you pockets and when you noticed something missing. And that's assuming you noticed really soon. If it's been rooms and rooms since you last checked or a long time in one busy room, it goes from hundreds to thousands.

There are exceptions to this but not many. :-)