The second in my expansion proposals, the first being Regulation Alpha, found here: https://www.sindome.org/bgbb/game-discussion/ideas/a-sindome-expansion--regulation-alpha-2678/
This expansion threatens to be a ton of work just to spread players further apart, so I want to address that first. Ideally, this expansion will include something for all types of characters, as that is the only reason I think an expansion of this scale should ever be implemented. Moreover, it will ideally be tied into the city both in terms of actual game spaces, but also mechanics. It will be something that, at every level, feeds into the city, rather than exist as a separate experience.
So, before getting into the nitty gritty mechanics, let's tackle how this would literally be added to the city. Since, on the world map, the city is not too far from the water, I think most logical would be to add a docks area to Withmore. I see two main options for that. The first is to have it be another sector, one split in half between Mixer and Corporate, with the separation being on the sector, rather than through verticality. Have it be a short drive from both Red and Gold to reach it. The second option being add it onto Red, maybe a new street, like a bubble coming out of the side of the dome, with a way for people on Gold to get down to a corporate-exclusive section, which has a guarded gate to the rest of the docks area.
This new area is of course ripe with potential. It could hold front businesses for the syndicates that were mentioned as being desired at the recent town hall, something that would mirror real life well. It could hold shops related to diving, fishing, and salvaging, as well as restaurants catering to both high and low end clientele. Perhaps a cube hotel at the docks with repurposed shipping containers, mainly for fun flavor rather than a need for more hotels. Or, in a reimagining of the classic cube lotto, a section of the docks where you can buy access to salvaged cargo containers, and open them up like lootboxes to potentially get lucky. Have a little loot table for them, maybe can do it once a week. I think it should also have a nasty shore area, which I will elaborate on further within the outline.
WHAT CAN I DO HERE?
So on to the meat: why this expansion would exist. The fun new opportunities. It comes down to three core concepts: salvaging, research, and entertainment. Each concept is of course multifaceted, to allow for as many archetypes as possible to participate in the fun and RP, and they, ideally, would all intermingle to some degree.
Let’s start with salvaging. Withmore is not far from the sunken ruins of Los Angeles and San Diego, not to mention all number of potential fictional locales. From simple scrap like cars and wires, to dangerous and interesting places like sunken military bases and research facilities, to the more criminal such as rumors of gold bullion in sunken banks, there is much to do.
I envision a wide range of skillsets being involved in the salvaging operations. At the most base level, I think surface boats should use piloting OR driving for their skill checks, to allow for more participation. Submarines however should use exclusively piloting. Unmanned vehicles would of course use rigging. The best salvage teams will be just that, teams. Some salvage would take certain skills, like electro tech for recovering electronics, munitions for old military equipment, aero and auto tech for even more variety. Secure tech and cracking for breaking into the really good stuff without having to call in an explosives expert and risk destroying it. Hell, still using explosives anyway to blow into certain underwater locations. I think that it should be possible to salvage by diving off of a boat, operating from inside a submarine, or sending salvage drones from either a boat or a submarine. Perhaps even having an underwater piloted mech-type vehicle, like the Prawn Suit from Subnautica.
I think this should also come with the implementation of a new type of limited npc-source income, Exotic Work. This would include the recent cargo system within it. I think it should have a higher income cap, maybe 2x current, and if the person qualifies for exotic work, they cannot take regular npc income jobs like crate running. This would give greater incentive to specialize into these sorts of niches, rather than just cargo or salvaging being “crate running but with fewer runs.” I don’t think salvaging should be limited to just that sort of automated income however, I think that it should bring up valuable items and materials for use both mechanically, and in RP. Have it feel like something more special than just punching the clock to get some pay, instill a sense of exploration and riches to be had.
On to research. The biggest addition would be an underwater research facility operated by Viriisoma, officially for the purpose of studying local flora and fauna, but rumored to do much more. I am envisioning this facility as being on the seafloor, able to be reached by two ways: taking an aero or a ship to a surface platform and riding an elevator down, like with BioShock’s Rapture, or with entering it directly using a submarine and a moon pool. This would be to give potential corporate employment and opportunities to more bio technicians, chemists, and doctors. For Red opportunities, I think it would be much less structured. Maybe using certain rare fish that can get caught to extract various substances.
Research can also tie into salvage of course, as sometimes what gets pulled up is more useful being studied than it is being scrapped. Old prototypes, forgotten advancements in materials science, and perhaps forbidden mysteries.
Finally, entertainment. This can come in a variety of ways, but I see three core concepts to it (again).
First, the brand new floating restaurant and bar (maybe casino?)! A place for corporate citizens and mixers to mingle, show off their rides, and an opportunity for entertainers to do their work. It should probably have a lev-like ferry running to it. It is unironically CRITICALLY IMPORTANT that this place have a set of windows like Bizou, to be able to see the ships and aeros that come in and out. This is to allow for more showing off and RP. Almost like a red carpet for your arrival. Perhaps have a rear, staff (or troublemakers) only entrance, that you can approach without being seen from the windows. Maybe also have the restaurant portion be something like an upper, open-air level, with the bar downstairs.
Second, boats and diving for fun! Luxury yachts, high-speed powerboats, run-down partying houseboats, and more! (Relatively) Safe diving in (artificial) coral reefs for corporate citizens! Much less safe and clean swimming for Mixers! Perhaps even have some very large yachts available as pads. I am of the opinion that diving shouldn’t be a skill, but instead scale off of equipment, endurance, and agility.
Third, fishing. This is a big one, coding-wise. Add in different baits, times, locations, rods, and lines to affect your drop table for catches. Maybe have some extraneous equipment on the side like scanners and high-tech fish callers. I am hesitant to have fishing scale off of any skills, since that might just restrict it unnecessarily. Maybe strength and endurance to be able to really hold on to the strongest fish. Also maybe make that able to be mitigated with equipment, like a rod holder. Implement some sort of coded system to allow for generation of fish within a range of sizes, and then maybe a fishing shop on the docks in which you can scan the fish and get it on record. Maybe prizes for the biggest fish. Have fish woven into the current cooking system, and maybe occasionally have times when high-end restaurants on Green want certain fish, fresh, ASAP. Maybe certain places on Red operated by dangerous clientele will want the same. Fishing competitions. Really, the feature speaks for itself. The most important part of fishing though is that you MUST somehow be able to drink a beer while you fish.
I don’t know anything about the game’s code, or coding in general, so I don’t know what sort of things would be required for an ocean to be possible. It may be necessary to restrict only certain areas to diving, and the rest be surface swim only. This ignorance is why I think having a nasty beach zone would be helpful to make it so all bodies in the sea EVENTUALLY wash up there, if not otherwise secured. I just assume that would be good for clutter and RP, or something. Also could allow for some fun events where some very interesting and unexpected things wash up.
Salvaging in a ton of different ways, boats, subs, underwater research facility, fishing, docks area, floating bar, diving, and more fun stuff.
I will be completely transparent. I am proposing this solely for the purpose of one day having giant VS-experiment-gone-wrong Kaiju attack Withmore, necessitating the creation of giant Mecha to battle them.