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Actual Corporate Oppression
Because what's fascism without the jackboots?

Hello there little Timmy! Is your father home? Well, where is he? He died in a mixer riot last week! Oh no!

Goodness Barbra, have you seen Constance since she changed departments from accounting? She's got biceps the size of her head now!

This RECRUITS! Is your typical resident of Red Sector: A MIXER! Note the illegal firearm in hand, the yellow staining of the sclera, the bits of DOG MEAT in between the teeth. And worst of all... THE STOLEN PRI PROPERTY IN HIS HANDS!

JOIN CORPORATE SECURITY TODAY! ARE YOU DOING YOUR PART?

This is a pretty radical proposal. What if, instead of simply having cloak and dagger intelligence officer style corporate agents, we had the ability to play the paramilitary might section of corporate security? And what if, playing one of those types of characters entailed semi-frequent, open combat against rival corporations, corporate assets and properties, in the warzone that is the mix? The final hypothetical I'll list is: What if gains and losses in corporate stocks were the result of successful campaigns, not just in media or PR, but also in tangible assets and losses?

I think this could be accomplished using quite a number of existing assets we already have. Reimbursements could be operated under the same budgetary codes, using the same terminals. A new ranking progression/job title progression could be added in parallel to Corpsec Agent. Perhaps use of 'old school' military ranks, the likes of which certain corporations use. I.E. PFC -> Corporal -> Gunny -> Sarge Major. Each rank has a pre-defined list of cyberware, weapons, armor and consumables they have access to, and reimbursement rights to those rank entitlements. Each rank has a pay and benefits schedule. All pre-defined and laid out. There's no questions as to who can reimburse what, when, how, where, etc.

Orders come down from each corporation's respective directors. There's been megacorp conflict sparking up around the globe and within the system, and it's sure to make it's way here soon. Guidlines have been drafted up at the council level to keep the city from descending into chaos.

(These are an example)

1) No open or armed conflicts on Green or Blue sectors, full stop. Full WJF purview as if you were an everyday citizen. Be prepared to do the time, if you're caught doing the crime.

2) Conflicts in Gold sector to be restricted to corporate sovereign soil exclusively. No chucking of weapons into or out of the buildings, no use of weapons in ways capable of endangering the public (keep the gunfire indoors, baka!) Kidnapping and non-lethals strongly encouraged. We're civilized people topside.

3) Open season on Red sector and outside city gates. Corporate shipping convoys, cargo drops and transports, personnel, assets, armed vehicles & IP are all valid targets. Capture or destruction of goods & personnel are valid.

4) Captured assets in the form of personnel can be held for data extraction no more than 24 hours from time of imprisonment. Assets can be ransomed or sold off internationally to the benefit of the 'winning' team.

5) Use of mixer forces, mixer body shields, contractors, PMC's and criminal enterprises is fully endorsed and encouraged so long as above rules are followed.

6) Employees lost to active operations in the mix are subject to reimbursement. Employees that are lost due to negligence or their own actions in the mix are not subject to reimbursement. All employees are subject to reimbursement of clones from any activity resulting in loss of life on Gold, Green or Blue.

PROPOSED BENEFITS:

-Immediate integration of mix and corporate players into domewide conflict.

-Corpsec escorts and transports actually being meaningful.

-Lowering of perception/reality of topside as the carebear zone.

-Exposing risk-adverse players who prefer topside to some level of risk in a themely way, 'gentle' way and in a manner in which they'll be 'taken care' of by parent corp.

-Potentially a way to stem the long-time issue of bored corpsec combat-specialized players ''falling'' to the mix and being able to punitively slap around a significant percentage of the existing playerbase.

-Significant boost in theme, specifically: Class warfare, utilization of all kinds of mixers, a significantly more open and direct method of moving flash around the economy between sectors.

-Addresses the issues that occasionally arise where significant amounts of 'combat' gear are sitting underutilized topside.

-Holy shit, logistics might actually be an awesome and important job.

-Way more potential RP for the WJF.

-Topside.. medic.. RP? Wha-wha-what game is this anymore?!

-Another system similar to the ganging system that allows people to break into red text and PVP without entirely paying out of pocket. (I see this as a pure win, ganging has been an all-star revamp.)

-More gear moving and changing hands.

-Blowing shit up is cool. Blowing up corporate property is extra cool.

-SIC and bedroom PVP gets old. Hiring solos to slap around mixers isn't fun for most parties involved. Addressing of spooky no-RP, no-reason-given necksnaps (You got gunned down in the street by VS goons, chum. Maybe shut up next time on SIC.)

PROPOSED DETRIMENTS:

-Less of a source of solo minded players. Often these characters have corporate or other topside organization history.

-People are going to be scared of getting killed by rival corporations at their job

-Staffing corpsec will be fairly important.

-More direct means of manipulating corpshare prices...? (Is this even an issue?)

-Logistics chain issues for topsiders. There's very few specialists that stick topside long-term. Possibly and added benefit of more evenly distributing business to active players vs. NPC's, though.

-Probably take some re-jiggering of existing systems, terminal wizardry.

-Corporate properties and holdings in the mix would need to be more clearly defined for all parties. Not every corporation currently has a stake in the mix with big glowing signs declaring it as such.

-Likely going to need some lift on the part of the build team. Some corporate properties aren't able to really be effectively secured very well against intrusion. Would need to either label corporate properties in the mix as such, or work on having one 'main' pvp location for each corporation.

-AH KNARRR! CARPIES INNA MIXXXXX! Likely going to be the initial kneejerk reactions for a bit until people get a bit more accustomed to fairly regular raids and skirmishes. Expect some growing pains similar to how the ganging rework took time to smooth out.

-NPC mobbing is going to have to be something addressed. Having 2-3 corpsec agents get into a fight with 2-3 other corpsec agents, or rival corporation friendly targets, only to have a piece of shrapnel or a stray bullet hit a NPC and ruin it for everyone would be an issue. Possibly an easy issue to fix w/ RP ala CODE OF DA MIX?

I'd love to hear feedback on this. We have the existing lore. We have the players and almost all of the systems in place. We have that sweet corporate loot and goodies sitting around, only collecting dust. We have a ton of kitted and specced out combat characters mostly idling topside.

Just a matter of seeing if this is something people would find exciting and engaging, and if staff would be on board with a fairly big shakeup to the long-since established 'way of things.'

P.S. Honest to god real, live corporate wars would be the single most cyberpunk thing I've ever seen in any games in our genre. You dudes got a cool X, Y, or Z, but Sindome? They got AV's and tanks rolling around blasting the piss out of each other, and the entire game invested in a unified conflict, brugh.

This plus vehicle combat would be the best shit ever.
Forgot to mention: Talk shit about XXYY corp, get slapped in the mouth. Keep that shit off comms, baka! Use the radio! I would think that actual jackboots coming down to fuck up your labor union (or get slaughtered taking the bait) would be WAY more themely and fun to play than having people go on sewer adventures.
YES. Can we also encourage more kidnapping of mixers to be VS test subjects, PRI human-robots or forced to praise NLM on live TV? I feel like there are so many great opportunities here that corpies need to take advantage of.
I EXTREMELY! Support this idea. Holy shit how much I love this idea. I wish I could have it now.
Nothing's stopping you! Hire a kidnapping squad on that mixer loudmouth ;)
I have two main criticisms of the concept, but I appreciate the effort and thought that went into writing it.

The first criticism is with the portrayal of the Mix as a warzone. This is oft discussed and there seems to be no definitive answer, but as it stands, the Mix is not RPed as a combat zone. High crime rates, heavy presence of gangs, and general poverty are the predominant traits that seem to be agreed upon.

Personally I think that the Mix needs to be more clearly defined by the staff, so people are of one mind on the starting point for how it should change. I think having it be a place of inequality just like topside makes sense, the haves and the have-nots. Those who make it up top have won the proverbial lottery, but not everyone below is rolling around in the mud. There clearly exists a form of "middle class," in the Mix, and it definitely makes things a bit more peaceful. And we all know that there are the rich and the poor there as well.

Right now, I think that the lack of definition for the Mix is leading to cognitive dissonance among the players, and some confusing lore. If the Mix is a combat zone, how do corporations profit off it? If it is purely for the workforce then the combat zone becomes more reasonable, but then other assumptions must be made, such as the role and income of NLM, as well as general viability of commerce in a warzone. I think it is easier just to have it be a high crime rate slum.

The second criticism would be in fragmenting the RP of an already socially suffering topside. Unlike the Mix's gang wars, EVERYONE topside belongs to one of the potentially warring factions. Conflict breaks out, and all of a sudden your social RP with a huge swathe of potential peers is severely limited. Of course, this does in a way just transform into a different sort of RP - subterfuge, corporate espionage, and manipulation - but those can already exist now with ease.

Right now, with the way corporate sovereignty exists, there can be inter-corporation conflict that doesn't exist on such a broad scale. Black ops that the Judges have no jurisdiction in, and the corporations handle behind closed doors. This allows the corpsec to have their action, while also allowing for Cubicle Carl to feel comfortable going to Accountant Anne's party.

I appreciate the sentiment and ideas raised here.

I want to highlight a couple of them to make sure that I am addressing them and keeping this response on topic.

1. There is a perception or maybe even reality that as far as physical conflict goes, that conflict never really crosses the divide between the Mix and topside.

2. CorpSec characters tend to not see much of any conflict or threat that comes close to the frequent conflict in the Mix. The results in some (the majority of?) CorpSec characters buffing up topside until they get bored, "falling" to the Mix on purpose, and then proceeded to run roughshod over 85%+ of their "peers" (combat focused characters) in the Mix.

3. Corporate conflict seems to be (really is?) little more than social intrigue and soap opera style scheming and backstabbing. The cyberpunk theme elements of frequent, kinetic corporate "warfare" as a whole is being ignored / going untapped in Sindome.

My Thoughts / Input

I like the idea and the sentiment. I would like to see more aggressive corporate warfare. I would stop short of the full scale conflict that @TalonCzar suggests. I do think the game would be well served by ramping up the frequency and intensity of the conflict.

My main concern with this was raised in the initial idea. That concern is that there is only one corporation with an obvious Mix presence. Another with a semi-covert, occasional reason to run operations in a Mix. And a third corporation with zero to gain and everything to lose from getting involved in the Mix.

When the MacGuffin system was introduced, I had high hopes that it would serve as a mechanism to tie topside and the Mix together on a fairly regular basis. I was hoping that there would be some element to the MacGuffins that would require them to have a physical presence in the Mix. Maybe there are some resources in the Mix required to progress the MacGuffin. (A chemical plant for example).

I suggest taking a look at MacGuffins and putting some thought into how the system can be expanded. What can be done so that CorpSec teams have to protect the MacGuffin while it is being worked on? What can be done so that the characters with the required skills have to work on the MacGuffin somewhere other than the relative safety of the locations where they are currently being worked on? I think if the community can come up with solutions for these questions, we would be making good progress on moving towards a more dynamic and conflict rich environment.

I hate to expose good ideas to the public because it robs everyone of the joy of discovery. That said, I am throwing this idea out there in hopes that it stimulates some creativity. What if the MacGuffin was a vehicle? And that vehicle was stored in Millsport? The first phase of that MacGuffin requires working on the vehicle for X amount of time before it can be safely moved. Voila, all of a sudden corporations have a reason to have an extended, maybe even multiple hour long, presence in the Mix.

I am against @TalonCzar's idea of giving CorpSec agents ranks and kits that are simply given back to them upon death. Though I do understand the desire for that because it would drive more risk taking and less gear fear.

A more inclusive and RP generating system would be for CorpSec teams to augment their forces with gangs and other Mix assets. (I think this was also suggested).

As a community, we would need to set some ground rules. The most important is around loyalty, or lack of it. Mix assets should be completely mercenary, and that mercenary nature needs to be respected. Just because Gang A worked for Corp 1 last week does not mean that Gang A cannot work for Corp 2 next week. And then back to Corp 1 the following week.

Enshrining flexibility loyalty is essential to prevent a single power bloc from forming. Without it, we risk ending up with Corp A + Gang 2 and Corp B + Gang 1 in semi-permanent perpetuity.

It also allows betrayal without betrayal resulting in more or less permanent banishment from ever dealing with the betrayed organization again. "Of course they flipped sides in the middle of the firefight. They're mercenary gangers. You should have anticipated that and had mitigating measures in place Agent Johnson."

I think some subtle changes to MacGuffins providing more need to go non-topside places (Red Sector, Badlands, Space), along with more corporate interests in the Mix for all corporations, be that 'charity' things or factories or businesses, that said MacGuffins need to regularly go to, will help push the world you are looking for.

Collection of thoughts after some input:

I don't want the role of agent going anywhere. I would love them to remain a parallel career to 'jackboots' corpsec. But I truly believe that almost the entirety of corpsec business as usual could be handled by 2 active players in role. If it gets busier and you need more special ops agents? Pull them in from the grunts to fill the need. If you like playing a super spy secret agent man agent nothing changes for you.

On MacGuffins. I'm not gonna pull punches on this one:

I really, sincerely do not like them. I think MacGuffins are fundamentally flawed, extremely gamey, and further promote clique behavior.

Here's my issues wit MacGuffins, as it applies to my proposal:

I l(ICly) literally don't give a single shit about MacGuffins. What is it? Busywork. Where is the danger? (Nonexistent.) What does it accomplish? Money farming.

If I'm a corpsec agent as things are today I 1) Barely have any tangible risk exposure 2) Will only ever accrue wealth if I choose to do so, see 1) and 3) Can easily find and hire one reliable go-to and toss them pocket change to handle 'scary risky mix stuff.' And that's assuming your team isn't just handling all the tasks in-house. This is supposedly high stakes work, right? So why expose ourselves, and our corporations to additional risks when we can do it ourselves, all in-house? Or with extremely minimal exposure?

I want to briefly touch base on the issue of trying to contest a MacGuffin. The idea that in today's game, one corpsec team will go intercept another corpsec team in the mix, mid operation without direct GM meddling is entirely fantasy land. They're barely interactive right now, and unless you were to make them extremely annoying by putting blaring alarms and strobe lights all over it, I don't see that changing. It also still doesn't address the core issue of Corpsec being a combat role that never does combat. Spicing up MacGuffins means that sure, we get to go live class fantasy for 10 minutes a week. What about the other 10,070 minutes? Nothing changes. It's still an extremely high burnout rate job, we still have people swan diving, we still have people barely even awake at the wheel.

Here's some of the core themes and ideas of my proposal.

-I want to make content for players. Right now in SD, one of the best ways to make content in ways that broadly effects all of the niches of the game is conflict. Look at the entire ecosystem that thrives around gangs being lugnuts and beating each other up regularly. Now scale it up and make it a thing for people who want to RP corporate baddies and use their corporate smudges and armor, rather than operate a progia, grid terminal and some cameras.

-The role of corporate security today sucks. There's a handful of people who adore cloak and daggers gameplay- and we have lots of avenues for that- but it's not even remotely corpsec exclusive. We've tried and tried to add content to corpsec agents topside for several years now, but it doesn't fulfill the class fantasy of paramilitary corporate security. Combat players doing combat things.

-There isn't nearly enough staff time and sanity to go around to be running plots for all the game, all the time. Allowing players to make and dictate content, and allowing staff to guide it and correct it where needed is a much more realistic goal, IMHO.

-The divide today, is ephemeral. There's very few hard-coded class division items. More mixers own guns than the corporates who are supposed to be strapped. The restrictions we have are goofy like making cosmetic stuff corporate only. Or owning a hot tub.

You know what's not ephemeral? Seeing honest to god actual corporate kill teams in the mix not because a GM told them to be there, but because they actually want to be there to accomplish their own goals. A mixer riot because there were prominent mix citizens who were collateral kills and not because there has to be a GM pushing the plot. Mixers having a reason to have mix solidarity and push class warfare without needing a GM to drive things. Am I successfully making my point here?

Look at all the content gangs drive. Look at how little GM attention most of that content needs. Now look at the tumbleweeds and comatose players topside. When's the last time a topside medic wasn't literally a meme? How often are corporate surgeons getting work compared to mix surgeons. Look at the roles we have in corporations that barely have a reason to exist.

Scale it up. Make it higher stakes for for 'bigboy/biggirl pants' characters. Staff can push the sled, and players can drive it from there. We've got almost all the pieces in the lego set already to make this happen.

I mean, it doesn't really even need to be in the Mix.

At least in the genre, corporations sending spec ops teams to kidnap VIPs, steal secrets, or assassinate traitors is a big thing. I'd personally like to see the lawfulness of topside take a huge step back to let literal conflict with bullets start to be more a factor between corporations, but there has never seemed to be much appetite for topside to be any less stable than it is.

Transposing these inter-corp conflicts to Red with terrorist hunts or MacGuffin plots did get more total players involved but they do end up being a bit messy and seemingly hard to run as a result.

Although I should add that those topside intercorp conflicts did get tried and in at least a few cases players kind of ignored them so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I personally don't care as much about corporate oppression against Mixers/The Mix as much as I want to see valid, exciting, chilling corp-on-corp conflicts, ala New Rose Hotel.

I mean, I'm not voting against class oppression but to me the potential promise of corporate CP is found in corp vs. corp conflict.

I believe that a viable CvC game would ripple out to non-corp characters in a variety of the ways we always say we want to see.

Thanks for the feedback so far, everyone.

I'd just like to reiterate: This proposal is primarily focused on opening up more direct conflict between corporations, corporate assets, key personnel, vehicles and the like. How they are allowed to go about doing this would depend largely on sector and location. While I wanted to push "The Divide" as theme in laying out the proposal, and that this could go a long way to stirring up more organic conflict between classes, that is not the primary focus.

It would be at the discretion of the corporate management (both player and NPC) as to what level they might want to incorporate outside assets. Given that we often portray corporate directors and executives as sociopaths, I would personally envision that it would often be the case of "Deliver results by any means necessary" when it comes to the lower sectors.That said, I would be in full support and really like to see corporate jackboot forces employing mixers not simply in eyes and ears roles, but also as cheap, disposable front-line fighters. Mixers are, after all, far more disposable.

In the more crunchy language, it would be an opportunity for existing combat characters in a corpsec role to actually do combat. It would also open up a lot of avenues for combat characters as well as support characters who often fall into a midlife crisis between retiring or being ejected from a gang and the many opportunities provided to more seasoned veteran characters. I'd also like to point out that a more direct integration of mixer and corporate and corporate and mixer is a big RP win for everyone involved. If corporate boots on the ground mix-side became more of a common occurrence, there might be additional instances of corporate kidnapping, ransoming people back to their corporations, and shifting of power dynamics in ways that we don't see today.

And corporate forces in the mix isn't a free pass for murder hobo activities, either. There's a huge difference between telling your boss that people died in a crossfire accomplishing an objective, and your boss getting reports that you got shitfaced and shot up a love motel, and had to be carried back to barracks by your squad.

I'd love to get more input on this idea, as there's certainly plenty of areas this could go wrong or use further thought and refinement.

I largely like this idea, but I strongly disagree with involving gangs at large in corporate paid gigs. It goes against everything they claim to stand for imo, and there'd be pretty much no hiding it from the masses. What you do under the table is one thing, but gangs overtly working as mercenaries for corporations sits sour in my mouth.

That said, gangs have turf to protect and I fully expect them to show up to beat the dogshit out of ANY corporate who thinks they can just walk into the mix and wreck shit over who wore the best suit last week.

It'd be one of those mix unity events like other x y z issues that the gangs drop biz for to handle as one.

You come down for a corpo fight and you better look out because half the walkers from every street are on their way to fuck you up. They won't need your bougie money when they strip all that fancy gear from your cold dead baka flesh.
I'm just going to say this short and sweet; as somebody who refuses to go topside or ever play corporate because it's legitimately a worse game to play, please do something to fix it. I like this idea; there could be others, but something radical has to change.
Re: gangs and corporations. My perception of things is that gangs don't care about the Mix. They care about being on top of the shit pile. They'll beat the shit out of corpies for kicks but they'll also take corporate money; especially if it's to fuck up another corporation. They put up a good front game, but each of the gang leaders is just a warlord, expecting any kind of moral standards is an exercise in futility. Personally I'd be interested in more gangs taking on corpie gigs, either secretly or not, as they're kind of seen as the standard of what it means to be Mixer, they're often expected to be the most hardline anti-corporates which I don't really think should be the case. We've got anti-topside factions already. Of course that's just my read, I could be wrong on all counts.
I agree, but even the gangs know they can't fight off thousands of pissed off mixers coming down on them for helping corporations fuck their lives up.

"We protect the mix from Jakes." "Pay your tolls and your respect, and we keep you safe."

I firmly think flipping a giant, visible fuck you to the mix by becoming corporate toadies is a death sentence for the gangs. It's not only whoring yourself out to the event, but actively involving themselves in making collateral damage out of mixers for topside interests.

I see nothing less than (at least ambient) rioting that ends with thousands of mixers lynching gangers with sheer strength of numbers. The kings replaced, walkers replaced, etc.

Rep makes the world go round is all I'm saying, and this would put their rep in the grave. The mix has a way of turning your rep into reality.
I might be mistaken about this, but I believe there's been a number of "Corpies in the Mix" for events, events in the past and the local gangs just took a payoff to not give a shit.

They're also long known to take payoffs for bounty hunting for the hall, as well as other very corporate-centric activities.

The way I see it, gangs are amoral wealth extractors much the same way that a corporation is, just with more swords, chains and guns. So long as they're getting theirs, they good.

If gangers are just an extension of corporations and the Hall, then why are they being given so many privileges and perks and protections? If gangers want to be solos or jakes or CorpSec without a dresscode, then their faction benefits should be scaled way back.
These are roles that shakedown NPCs and PCs for easy cash with impunity, get major free muscle backup, have enforced protections to keep them alive, have the power broker leaders to back them, and have basically no entry requirements, so that they can enforce the Mix theme.

Someone who takes jobs from anyone and everyone and doesn't care about theme beyond their bank account is a solo, and they don't get a laundry list of free support.

I agree with that as well. And besides, the theme is clearly articulated everytime a PC ganger is caught/expected of doing biz with topside. Regardless of its nature, that PC is a rat, and doesn't last much longer with a turf. Either because of PC response, or Kings living then out. Why do they kick them out? Because joebaka couldn't keep they're biz with VS quiet, and now the whole gang looks like shit and has a bad rep for it.
I don't know if any of you have spent any serious times in a gang, but gangs are 100% criminal organizations in the sense that they are crooked, crooked, crooked. Code breaking? YUP! Taking massive wads of chyen from corporations? YUP! Punitively slapping people around over personal grievances? YUP!

They are basically the epitome of being two face hypocritical bastards in the game.

If you believe otherwise, then they have successfully duped you into buying what they're selling, and for that, I applaud them.

I would also ague that setting aside your personal morals and views for a fat wad of chyen, some shiny corporate toys or the dangling promise of a lucrative mail-room job is entirely on theme.

As for the benefits and protections? I personally view that as game mechanics. Old gangs tended to lie heavily on the side of neck-snapping, blowing up bars, killing their rivals endlessly. What was the effect? Social RP in bars and clubs was sparse. There was one or two clubs in the game where people would actually loiter because of being protected by bigger forces that be. And much like syndicate wars today, gangers spent a lot of time in apartments looking for their rivals to expose weakness to capitalize on.

This was changed with the code of the mix. No more neck snapping. Don't start shit in clubs. Respect the sex workers they used to extort. It became PVP lite mode where you could cut your teeth, learn how to red text and have fun without getting constantly murdered and having a shit time of things.

To loop this back around to the original topic and keep this from going totally off the rails: This is precisely why I advocated that the corporate council draft up some 'terms of engagement' (rebranded code of the mix) that defines acceptable behaviors for corporate warfare. Now: here's the thing. Players are free agents. You could break those rules left right and center, and it's on the rivals to prove it and make it an issue. Or your bosses. Or you could follow them to the letter. It's all in the player's choices, and what consequences those choices will have.

Ooooh autocorrect you ass.

One more thing, part of this idea stems from a lack of violent RP opportunity for corpse/hall, yes? I would love it if we could find ways to get mixer cringe and violence move permanently in gold too. The mix is a meat grinder and if anyone thinks a handful of corpsec would survive even ten minutes down there with thousands of hungry red citizens clawing for a payday off your X0, you crazy. RP wise I'd love to see this idea happen, but again, a focus on creating opportunity for larger scale mix crime events on gold could help too.

@talon it isn't that the gangs don't do it, it's that they shouldn't want to be seen doing it. It's quite literally comes with the same consequences as a corporate citizen repeatedly being caught doing biz with mixers
I agree Ratchet, that we need more action on gold (and maybe even Green, le gasp!) Best way to accomplish that isn't to pay people to go suicide doing dumb shit, in my mind.

What would be ideal, is if you paid a gang to walk into the lobby of a rival corporation and start smashing all the monitors up, spray painting everything and stealing everything that isn't bolted down. With a minor tweak as to how corp / hall relations are right now, it could easily happen, then the gang walks out of gold and the WJF is like "Well fuck. Didn't happen in our jurisdiction. That's on XXYYZZ corpsec." And we'd have actually meaningful crime activities that are organically driven, and not just "throw yourself against the wall RP" which is largely what we have now. Which, don't get me wrong- it's totally themely! But it's shitty gameplay.

That's something I can totally get behind. Love it.
Obviously their players want all the perks and no requirements except get rich, and that is pretty evident in the state of the Mix. That gangs are just an easy way to get free stuff and free rep and the expectations are basement level beyond that. Real Mix rep has become cosplay with crying about who broke the Code more.

If there is going to be Corporate Oppression or Mix vs Topside gameplay, then the gangs need to step up in a big way to become the major antagonistic fashion to provide an opposition to topside, and serious enforcers of what street rep means.

Gangers as Corporate Pawns

Before getting into gangers specifically, I want to point out a trend that I have noticed in the last week or so. I will use my own thread as an example.

It seems like a lot of us are looking for clarification on the larger world / ambient population / theme. Specifically I created a thread about upward mobility. That is not something that my one single character gets to choose. It is better than them.

Another one is violence on sectors outside Red. Interwoven in that is the discussion about the role CorpSec should / could be playing. Unlike upward mobility, this is more in the control of individual characters and groups of characters (factions). Though it also "requires" some staff input or clarification. As @papertiger stated (as a player, not a staff member), being a corpie and getting caught being violent is a failure.

The conversation about gangs and gangers helping corpos / being paid by corpos falls even more fully into the realm of individual player / character agency.

The recent comments seem to overlook the fact that individuals are capable of acting in ways that do not define an entire faction. It seems like a number of as players (myself included) want something close to tacit approval from staff that it is "okay" to act in a certain way. Whether that means being violent topside (without being fired), taking corp chy to assist corpsec in the Mix (without being run out of the gang), etc.

I think that we owe it to ourselves as players, and as a community, to push the boundaries. Realize that our character does not represent the entire faction. Realize that our desires as players to have the world / ambient population behave in a certain way does not make it so. Realize that often times there are not any absolutes.

Do gangers make some extra chy doing corporate dirty work? Maybe some do. Maybe some don't.

Maybe the King makes a show of reprimanding a ganger who gets caught taking chy. But in the background they take 50% of the chy and don't really do anything concrete to the ganger.

Maybe the King in another gang really comes down hard on a ganger who gets caught, takes 100% of the chy, and puts them up on a cross at the Omega Gate.

Maybe next week the same King looks the other way when the same ganger takes chy from a different corporation.

The last thing I'm going to say on this is about @notes.

If you are going to have your character break the mold, @note it. If your character is going to do something where they are pushing the edge cases of how you perceive the theme, @note it. If you as a player have some long term intentions and reasoning behind a series of actions for your character, definitely @note it as an IC-Goal.

@note IC-Goal = I want to normalize making looting by whoring my ganger character out to any corporate with an expense account.

@note IC-Goal = I want to co-opt a street gang by stuffing chy into the pockets of their low / mid-tier members.

Then roll the dice and go do it. Maybe it works out. Maybe it doesn't.

Either way, those in game actions will clarify these questions about theme more concretely than 6 months worth of BgBB posts full of our opinions, wishes and dreams of how we want things to be.

@0x1mm Ganging definitely isn't free and easy money. Or at least, not any more than being a member of a syndicate is.
That aside, theme is very unclear on where gangs are placed, whether they're meant to be fucking up topside on the regular for the hell of it, whether they're all just posturing on what the Mix is about, that kind of thing. If the clear direction given is "gangs should be hitting topside regularly" then they need to be beefed up to go toe-to-toe against corpsec and Hall, who have better resources, bigger numbers, and substantially more UE cap; rather than just fighting against other gangs, which I think is broadly in a good place.
Can we please stop talking about ganging in a thread where it's brought up as merely an example of inter-class activities that the proposal might promote? I feel like this conversation keeps getting way off topic and we're not even discussing any of the rest of the proposal.

Thank you!

Not to drag topic off-course, but just to respond: I agree Wonderland. It's not reasonable right now to expect gangs to be the major antagonists to topside, they don't have the resources for it and by their very purpose they should be training up new characters rather than feeding them to topside as cannon fodder content.

And it's out of line of me to call out a system without also saying: Look at the gangers who come correct, they are the ones who should be getting the nod to step up to LT and being recognized for it... but it's tough because playing the role well often means burning bridges that start becoming really important around retirement. It's more optimal gameplay to keep many strong allies, and keep as many doors open as possible because that job doesn't last forever.

I don't think that is an easy balance to strike at all for players who want to roleplay to theme.

In my defense, that Back on Topic post went up while I was typing.

Yesterday there was some discussion on XOOC regarding this topic that I'd like to summarize here.

I'm heavily paraphrasing, but my understanding was that the feedback was "Be the change you want to see in the game" and "Drive it player-side and stop asking for staff handouts." Included in the feedback was questions of "Well, have you tried doing this to see if it's possible or not?" Followed by my own admission that no, I have not.

This was a pretty bitter pill to swallow for me personally, because I have, for years now, been pushing the content that I'm usually trying to prescribe, often rather unsuccessfully. Often I'll try for months to enact a change in areas I've personally perceived to be problems. Nothing, or very little will happen, I'll get frustrated and feel like my time is better spent elsewhere pushing more generic, run of the mill kinds of content that people are always demanding. Getting called out for being a hypocrite sucks, and in this case, it's quite true.

There is one thing I would like to say when it comes to players pushing major change in the game without pushes and nudges by staff code, policy or puppets. It's hard. It's not only hard, it's extremely slow, and extremely labor intensive. I'm not coming at these issues, putting in a week's effort and then throwing my hands up and saying 'What-everrrrr" and peacing out when things don't instantly change. However, I do try and be a player GM as much as possible and push plots outside of merely my own character, very often to the direct detriment of my character and my personal gameplay experience.

Trying to push IC agenda and IC/OOC change has a cost associated with it, though. You're gambling with your character, in a very big way. Like stage and theater, the audience (our community IC and OOC) doesn't react to subtlety and nuance. They react the most to brightly painted faces, song, dance, flourishes and bawdry writing. When you hardline stances to try and push for change ICly, you've bolted a manacle around your character's metaphorical ankles. And often, what determines what's on the other end of that chain, be it a balloon or an anchor is entirely at the whims of the playerbase.

Our playerbase changes opinions on things at what feels like an absolute glacier's pace. We're still hemming and hawing and debating changes that happened 2,3,4 years ago. We're still hung up on plots and characters that permed 2-3 years ago. People refuse to let minor IC grievances go from 1-2 years ago. I hope I'm able to illustrate what I'm trying to get across.

Often time the resistance to change isn't that staff do or don't want to do something. It's that the playerbase feels like the immovable object, and that I, or other people trying to push for substantive change in our respective areas of interest aren't unstoppable forces. What does drive a boot square into the ass of the playerbase, however, is staff doing aforementioned things. And sometimes that doesn't even work. I think it's a fair point to say that players should try and be the agents of change before making appeals to staff. But I also think that we have to recognize that the game usually always trends towards maintaining whatever the current status quo is, because that's what people have planned for, that's what people have specialized their characters for, and that's where people feel the comfort of knowing what's likely to be around the next corner.