Preemptive TL:dr for those who don't want to read.
The fact is that technical softs are brokenly powerful in the hands of high UE characters. They remove the necessity of low and mid end technicians. And every point I've seen to counter this has been in denial of the fact that as it is implemented now, it would rely on excessive staff policing and coaching to ensure it is not misused. And one of the things we as players should strive to do is reduce the amount of work on staff.
If you want how I would solve this issue, then poke through this following rant.
Even smaller TL;dr: Skillsofts OP for reasons of skill negation on low and mid ends, please fix in a way that makes them balanced and themely.
Hi. Making an honest post here, to discuss a few things. Skillsoft as a system as they exist in game, are OP, and invalidate at the low and mid end, almost any technical professions, from Ripper Doc, to even brand new professions, like cybertechnician, allowing for cliques of solo's to form without any real support staff being needed for upkeep or contracting on the day to day.
Do you need a ripper doc to pull chrome? No you don't if you have a skillsoft, you can slot in with sufficient stats, any tier of a particular skillsoft, and be able to do the work just as well as anyone else.
Do you need a cybertechnician? No you don't and in fact given the sensitivity of the work, you probably don't want one not affiliated with you. So slot in a skill soft, and pay your buddy to import the device. And never worry about having to go to a sketchy tech place again.
Do you need a driver or pilot? No you don't, slot in a skill soft, and you are on every level probably better than a low or mid end driver.
Do you need a person capable of installing things? No you don't, not if it's in an already secure location, like your apartment, so why bother hiring a secure tech to design your network and install your nodes, when you must either hire the best or be vulnerable, or in the case of not using the best use a skill soft.
Do you need a doctor? No you don't, slot in a skillsoft, and you can revive people using your ZMI kitbag just as well as a mid end doctor. This is mildly mitigated by clinics being the only place for CHEAP healing. But in every other instance I'm going to list, skillsofts favor solo's by allowing them to operate completely independent of other players.
Do you need a forensics expert? No you don't, because a skillsoft will do the job just as well, and you don't have to pay them. You can just get it done.
In every case, where a skillsoft can be used for technical skills, it is better from a logistical, cost expenses, and infosecurity standpoint, to use that skillsoft and say damn the other people around me who crave themely RP.
And if you a prospective arguer say RP should counter each of these points, it doesn't, it's purely a mechanical issue with the mechanics of how skill softs work within the system in game, and any system in which someone can do something, it should be expected they will, with or without staff "policing" of this, do this thing. There will always be someone who uses a skillsoft to deprive themselves of RP as a matter of paranoia, or as a matter of cost savings. Because Sindome is a RP PVP game.
I was in xooc ranting about this at one point, and I came up with what I feel is a compromise and I'm going to elaborate on it here.
Rather than a skill soft chip. Have a skill socket that can be boosted with skill checks from a cybertechnician, or a machine that you can pay more than a player to do this if no player is around. These boosts to skills falloff over time but crucially max out at an equivalent of a Gold level of soft. There is no longer an instant ability to swap in technical skills as needed, there is a target ability to the action that is equivalent to hiring someone and a cost to using them.
And programmatically it could potentially be fairly easy to implement. As assets are already in place.
This is something that I believe will be HIGHLY healthy for the game if it is addressed, as one of the biggest problems that technical characters have early on in their carreer is that literally no one will every hire them unless they are god tier networkers, which 90% of newbies are not.
Cutting this off here,