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NeoTrans is an uninteresting faction
And unthemely as well

So I'm going to start this off with a blatant admission, this is venting. But it is venting about a problem, and I have tried to make it relevant and accurate venting. In this post I will try to prove some things about NeoTrans throwing nothing that is Find Out IC at you all.

At present, NeoTrans is an uninteresting corporate faction. It lacks bite, it lacks tooth, and it lacks pizzazz. But more importantly, it lacks darkness.

It's an airport essentially. There's a lot of conventional everyday evil that can happen in an airport, but very little of it is going to be taken part in by the player base, because it's not an abstract evil.

In this games lore for player playable corporations, you have VS's constant experiments, presumable plague making, and more. These are for the majority of us, abstract evils. I'm not a virologist in RL working to experiment on plagues and RNA to engineer super virus', so this evil is much more outside of my experiment that participating in it, would be within my bounds as a PC.

You have NLM's iron grip over the media, the heavy handed blunt approach to PR because they don't -have- to give a shit anymore, they've won, and they can make the masses believe whatever they want. This is ultimately, another abstract evil for most of us, most of us aren't in the position to run a smear campaign on someone. Or hire a hitman to destroy them because of some insult.

And then you have NeoTrans... It's an airport... They could, strip search someone, I guess? The TSA is a kind of uncomfortable fact of life in the USA's airports, and there are no real wants to play TSA agent. Ultimately, it's this lack of abstract but meaningful evil that I think makes them unappealing and lacking as a player faction. Most of us can understand and empathize with being fucked with by an overzealous airport security.

Beyond that you just have more of an integration into the world for the other factions.

NLM has a literal vast amount of integration into every aspect of daily life. They control SIC and they control the Grid, and they control the Televisions.

VS has a great amount of integration into the world as well. With entire factions in certain being shaped by them. And a great amount of control of resources that corporate characters might care about, and mixers might as well.

NeoTrans has... An airport... I've played this game for 3 years now. And I have yet to see a point where NeoTrans has been integrated into the common players world, in spite of 3 years of players in the faction desperate to make it feel relevant. No one whispers, "Look at that, that's something NeoTrans did."

I have proposed vast sweeping changes to this before. But with the advent of protestors, and with the advent of messes. Both of which by their patchnotes don't include NeoTrans, whether for reasons of code, or community. Both of which provide reasons for people to exist in their work place, and to care for it. It makes it harder and harder to see NeoTrans maintain a level of parity with the other factions in feature set. Harder still to maintain a parity in reasons to even visit NeoTrans and RP as a NeoTrans employee.

So I ask you all this, having said all this, I ask you, having read all this, how would you, Joe Player, or Jane Staffer address this? I have my own ideas on things that might give them a bit of Pizzazz, bite and darkness, but I've spent most of the day working on this wall and I want to see about meditating on the issue a bit more before I start thinking about ideas to address this as a problem.

The code staff and the build staff are different teams. You can't expect 'patch notes' as you put it to always be released everywhere. We're going to code new features and roll them out where we can in the time frame we have in that moment. Then the build staff will determine when they can expand that elsewhere. It's not a conspiracy. It's nothing to be concerned about.

Once FreeSky is drawing folks up on the regular, the key way there will see plenty of action.

Factions are as interesting as the PCs who inhabit them make them, and also as much as GMs allowed for them to be by giving PCs leeway and support and by injecting plots into said factions.

If faction X has more numerous and more active PCs, its probably going to get more attention than faction Y. That doesn't mean you shouldn't try to make your faction more relevant and fun for other players and for yourself.

Theme-wise, they are all different and can be interesting in their own right. So I think this is more a OOC problem than an IC problem.

@Johnny I understand the concept of the staff divisions, and it wasn't an accusatorial statement I made, it was simply a statement that I didn't know the reasoning behind NeoTrans not receiving these features. Beyond that, you've done little to address my point. NeoTrans controls transport to space yes. However, they don't control the space locations themselves. And thus you've merely exacerbated the problem if you expect that improving the opposite end of the tunnel is going to provide themely and purposeful reasons to be a NeoTrans employee and interact with the location they work in.

You and @GhostInTheMachine also did little to address the fact that I wasn't just talking about the factions implementations in code, in specific. It was talking about the themeliness and the potential for corporate evil that employees of that company have. And in general, it's hard to turn FedEx-Amtrack-Airlines into a well integrated and intimidating part of the world, capable of appealing and abstract forms of corporate evilness, without overly stiffling other elements of the game.

Even in game, you can see this perception.

People FEAR the secrecy of VS, the plagues, the paranoia. It all combines and colludes into an exuding of theme for the faction that can draw players to it.

People FEAR or at least respect NLM's control of the media, their interconnectivity and information networks. It all combines and exudes a sense of theme for the faction that draws people in.

People outright laugh at NeoTrans, what're they gonna do? Ban them from a tiny corner of Gold? What are they gonna do? Send a solo after them? Fuck every other corpie can do the same. NeoTrans exudes a sense of powerlessness and a lack of focus from it's basic integration into the world, to its laughable lack of focus in it's employees. To the point where employees who might be very good members of that respective group, who might help SHAPE and form the nucleus of a factions image. Can do nothing to shake the reputation that has ALREADY been formed.

If you see something you think is lacking then be the change you want to see. If you're not intimately involved in this organization, can you truly say you understand everything they're about and do accomplish behind the scenes?

Why are you perceiving a transportation company that has the potential to control goods, services, and international travel as powerless?

Posting something like this only makes other players oocly start thinking these same things. This is an IC issue that you're spreading IC opinions about regarding an IC organization OOCly.

I can see NeoTrans boycotting a single corporation as leverage - costing that corporation far more financial damage than the damage 50 solos could inflict. That is one example where their IC business model could be realistically used to combat the others.

As a player with limited exposure to inner workings of those specific corps, it seems more that VS and NLM are more intimidating because they’ve had very enthusiastic and power hungry PCs making moves within them and beyond. What we are seeing now are the results of years and years of plots ago.

Whereas some might see NeoTrans as too weak to bother investing time in - I see NeoTrans as ripe for a scheming corpie PC to get themselves elevated and start using the IC Lore power of NeoTrans to become very influential with less internal competition.

Remember it’s the PCs that create corporate influence that can last for years after they are long permed - not the staff.

@Rhea I did mention theme, I just don't agree with your assessment of NEO. And that's why I said that I feel, this perception is not as much related to the specific IC themes of NEO as a corp but rather other OOC elements that make it seem that way.

For example, players laughing at NEO comes out of corporate rivalry (that's good) and in part said rivals being meta (with no consequences, that's bad) about OOC factors like PC population of said faction.

NEO could very well smuggle weapons, people and stuff from out of world that nobody else has seen or has access to and use them to cause some very scary things that no other corporation can. And it has done things as such in the past on several occasions, without giving IC specifics the last one was very recent and very public. So I'd say NEO is equally deserving of FEAR as any other corporate entity.

I agree NEO has always seemed lackluster and the little brother of the big (playable) three. And yes, players come and go and different corps get different players, but I think NEO's problem is it's identity doesn't really translate into much, as the original post says. And I also don't think relying on GM plots is a solution, either. GM plots should be done to spice up the game, not patch over parts of it where nothing is really happening.

What's weird to me is that, realistically, they would be one of the coolest factions. A spaceport as an HQ, dominating a lot of travel and commerce, knowing what AVs, ships and cars are coming and going, what shipments are being made... There's a lot there. But you just don't see it ingame (and for that reason I also think 'you just don't see what's happening there unless you work there' is a good justification here).

I think it'd be cool if NEO could be expanded to have a lot more presence throughout the city. NLM has the grid, SIC and TV, VS has pharma and biotech, NEO just doesn't have anything other than the trips to a few orbital spots. Which are neat, mind you, but unless Freesky and Kashflo have tangible reasons for players to /regularly/ go up there, then it's not much to stand on.

I think a cool change would be for NEO to control everything going in and out of the city, by air, land or space. They could be the guards at the Omega gate instead of... I don't remember if they're WJF or just faceless Wickes or something. They could control the levs, the tubes, control traffic, have access to shortcuts and hidden places for smuggling purposes, maybe decide on a different type of goods that gets brought in every month and can ONLY be obtained via them, etc. They could be the ultimate corporate fixers, I think that would be a cool spot for them.

I posted this thought in some other thread, but it's always struck me as odd that the cyberpunk moo doesn't have the cyberware corp as playable. I realize that it's because there's not enough corporate characters, just a thought.
One thing that I have observed, at least to my knowledge, is that Neo doesn't have any 'core mission jobs' -- it has pilots and security officers and HR and all of the 'support positions', but it doesn't have jobs that uniquely Neo's, really.

Compare:

VS has scientists -- they are the core talent of the corp, and everyone else is kind of supporting their work.

NLM has entertainers, TV writers, journalists, and gridworks who are the core talent of the corp. (It's also worth saying that NLM has -way more- under its umbrella than everyone else, which is maybe an issue.)

There's no one at Neo whose job it is to run the actual corp's business, nor really a clear idea what that is. The other corporations are producing things that happen in the game -- mostly IC art or new science things -- but Neo doesn't have something that they are producing in the same way, and this seems a real issue.

This might be an unpopular opinion, but the distinct lack of "a unique thing to do / produce" at NeoTrans gives NeoTrans more opportunity to be social and active with hustle than other corporations, who spend much of their time on-the-job.

Still, I'm not sure what "unique thing" gets added to the core gameplay of job types at NeoTrans with the advent of Johnny's FreeSky teaser, but hopefully it'll be enough that they have a daily thing to do.

I have played in Two Corps with very different flavors. But in both cases the things that I went to go do often were dictated in large part by what the Corporation was attempting to do.

In one I had a direct job function that was unique to the corporation. I spent time and RP in the space and a lot of my plots related to it.

In the other I had a generic position, but my plots were often driven by the needs of that corporations specific purpose. I would receive tasks and assignments that enhanced by relatively mundane job.

Many jobs are not terribly interesting or complicated. They are a reason to be a place and I agree with the designers that this is not farm simulator. I don't want to "run crates" I want to RP with people. But when topside, those jobs become interesting based on the tasks/flavor/goals of your Corp.

Without having a thing that really defines them, I would agree that it's harder to attract people to want to be there. Even Neo's social hub is less desirable than either of the other two corporations. There is little traffic and l think little plot related reason to want to be there. If players don't want to be there, then regardless of the lore, the corporation will get a reputation as an afterthought.

I see the OPs point and also and am really excited to hear Johny's announcement that there will be stuff in FreeSky that will give the corp regular purpose.

Corps grow and change and develop a personality over time. NeoTrans is still in the infancy. NLM and VS have supported players for much longer than NeoTrans has. Players playing the faction, expanding what the space offers, expanding what roles are worth doing and are fun to do consistently, all that plays into a corp being fun. Neo is the little sibling of the bigger corps. It may always be, and maybe that becomes part of its identity as the scrappy younger sibling.

I appreciate & agree with much of the feedback on what we can do to improve it. I also agree with some of the posters who have said that a corp is what you make of it. Both those are true.

In the end we should approach just about everything as a work in progress, because that's what it is.