Would this defeat the freedom of choosing who you wanna be?
Talk amongst yourselves.
Have a list of primary trades which we need occupied for 'the Spice to Flow' ICly. A cybernetic doc, a ripper doc, a healer doc. A fixer. A street sam, a TERRA agent, a Judge. A courier. A chemist (or, in reality, a team of them). A desert walker. A reporter/media personality. A religious nut.
Then part of the GMs new role is to ensure that there is ALWAYS a character out there who is The That Thing. If nobody is chargen-ing a Judge, then either pick an existing character with a bent for the law, and groom them through plots and RP and maybe some OOC hinting. Or as a last resort, stand up an NPC. Then when someone rolls through chargen with a judge character, they have to 'best' the existing That Thing.
The problem this idea is trying to solve is the gaps left when somebody leaves or dies off or decides to change trades...they make plots hard to cook up logistically. Stuff like that.
Coding it is good, but who decides if a character is a 'fixer' or a 'courier' vs. a dude who goes to the gangers and sets them up with what they as for, small-time?
You know what WOULD be cool?
If every time you type @quit (which hopefully people use) before actually quitting there was some way to poll the player. Like a script that asks: what type of character do you think the game needs more of? Corpie/Bad Guy Mixer/Honorable Street Sam/Judge/Chemist/GM. The major + of this is that only people who log in and play get to vote, and they get polled every time they stop playing, so they've had time to think at least once "Gee I wish we had a --- online". And it's a frequent thing, not a one-time vote.
The easiest solution to this, of course, though use is not guaranteed, and contributions may become biased, is to make it a poll on the main website down on the bottom right, where the Nexus 1 vs. Progia thing was for a long time.
Your original post was on how should we push this to the new characters...I'd say that having an option early in CharGen to see What Type Of Character The Game Needs The Most Right Now is good. Forcing them to take it is bad. How many times does a new guy chargen, dump in stats, then find out they're useless for what the game needs? How many times does he walk around for a while asking everyone what he should be?
Rastus pages you, "Just close the window... or @quit if you must".
...10-15 second pause...
Anyhow, as I see it...
First, it'll need code changes in char-gen. Then I think it'll take at a fair amount of content... we'd need a decent number of archetypes, along with some info on recommended skills, what to expect from that character, what kind of player it might suit and some variables within each "recommended build" otherwise we'll just end up with cookie-cutter characters. If we're going to push the idea of suggested characters, the information provided has to be accurate, useful and functionally sound.
An idea I'd like to put forward is some kind of wiki section with a range of builds, guides and suggestions to certain character types. It'd be pretty simple to slot a wiki link into char-gen itself and players could help maintain and update the content. It'd also mean players could flag certain character types as being in high demand either generally or by them personally (with due care on revealing any IC info).
Easier to implement, spreads the work load and can be constantly updated by players.
No doubt there's cons to be discussed, I'm also not entirely sure if the wiki is all IC info or if OOC/mechanics pages are allowed.
I also maintain that char-gen needs a ground up recode to make it more user-friendly and attractive to new players. Just sayin'. ;)
First and foremost, it would allow the creation of a OOC-newbie flagged group for newbies.
I think that'd be a shitload of work though but those of you who deal with more web-based stuff then I do can answer that definitively.
I could go on in depth with my idea but I'd rather stay on topic.
As of now though, Rastus, the wiki is strictly IC standard publically available information. The equivalent of google if you would. However, their are a few entries - namely on certain people that are significantly more developed then they should be...but such is life.
Oh man. Is this what you mean? Brain just clicked.
What if...inside TheMind wiki...
You could make certain 'levels' of access on each topic. Maybe like titles currently exist.
..if joe newbie asks the know-it-all / grid about 'Withmore Wholesale' they get a description of the place and where it is, maybe who the owner is.
..if joe supernewbie with an IC item like a Guide Map or something asks the know-it-all / grid about 'Withmore Wholesale' they get a description of the place, where it is, and the OOC commands to use in order to start making runs and that they need an approved history to work there
..if aspiring decker Joeboy with some decking skills but and a rig accesses the know-it-all / grid and asks about Withmore Wholesale' they get the description, location, owner's name, employees' names, and what types of goods are being delivered to each place on the shipping list
..if l337 Cowboy with mad decking skillz and a souped up rig accesses the know-it-all / grid and asks about Withmore Wholesale they get the description, location, owners name, employees' names, what goods go where, AND what crates are out and about AND who is running them currently
And then they go find the person's SIC alias
And then they cc them and ask their location, pretending to be WW-ops
And then they pass the word to their buddies who go an intercept the courier and capture the crate
And then the group successfully stops all crates from going to Korova Milk Bar, thereby contributing to shutting the place down for good.
Yeah I'm pretty sure that the wikipedia format doesn't allow for that level of integration...though perhaps there's a way to make the MOO interpret certain headers within the wiki. Like ==average== would get caught by the MOO as being not text but something else, then a function internal to the MOO would compare the character requesting's rigging stats against ==average== and decide whether to continue displaying the next up level of information.
Trying to fit a need might result in RP you don't want or like or even have any experience and this will lead to things being "boring" because you're out of your league, or out of your comfort zone. That leads towards players leaving the game for it not being "fun" for them. Or to players getting angry at GMs for things not happening "their way" or for GMs not giving them 24/7 support to move things forward...
So do the character you want to have fun with and go have fun.