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Bansihment Revamp
Punch beyond a final punishment

So I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Banishment feels weird to me as it's currently in place. Having experience watching the game at all levels at this point, if not completely participating at those levels. It feels like Banishment while it is a hefty penalty, is nowhere near as bad a punishment as the theme would indicate. And to me this is not punk. To me there shouldn't be a level at which you become a criminal that has ascended beyond the normal punishment structure. As to ascend beyond the normal punishment structure, removes certain aspects of gameplay from the criminal element.

As it is, it feels like the WJF cannot respond to banished individuals effectively except by targeting those around them. And thus they cannot truly incentivize the pursuit of banished individuals, even banished criminals by mixers like they can with every other type of criminal.

As well, the badlands being what they are, it's never that difficult to get back to the city and this is fine, the problem is them then safely contacting allies and compatriots to get you back in fully. For players outside of the process of banishment, that is the say non-WJF, non-banished individuals, and their allies, the average joe player this leads to a feeling that the WJF is completely incompetent, and cannot stop single criminals from breaching the gates of the city to cause problems again and again. Without having much recourse. Especially if these banished individuals are repeat terrorists and the like. And it creates a kind of laziness in banished individuals where they lack the paranoia that someone who is supposed to be on the run when within city limits should have.

I have three suggestions for this.

1: Allow WJF to issue special "Green List Bounties" which are bounties on specific banished individuals that, importantly, renew until negotiated away with the hall in some fashion. Or simply renew until the banished person stops coming back, or a period of time expires from the bounty being turned in and problems being caused by said individual, or a set number of bounties is turned in etc there's plenty of ways to do this the point is to make it flexible. Being a Green Lister would be a "next step up" from being Banished, and the bounty rate would be flexible, and highly dictated by the messes caused in Higher security areas.

2. Authorize TERRA to pursue any banished individual as a target of priority, and investigate attachments, and provide reward structures in TERRA for new information about banished people and their allies that can be confirmed.(This is for theme, mostly, but it would maybe incentivize players who play in TERRA style roles to stick with it.)

3. Beyond that, authorize WJF to banish more mid end and top end people and specifically more repeat criminals on the mid and top end, to create an economy amongst these people. And a sort of camaraderie potentially between them. As well as potentially traitors in their midst. And so on. But along with authorizing more bounties, authorize sufficiently high ranked judges, to provide passage into the city for banished individuals to negotiate their way out of banishment(This should be a high end plot reward.)

Finally, a final extra suggestion, the point of this is not to create a banishment system that is impossible to work within rather the opposite. But to give reward structures to the banished, to bring back the top score element, and to give them more RP and consequences than just getting tossed out of the gates for the umpteenth time only to come to the gates, and beg their contacts for a smuggled entry. Which likely becomes stale after a while for both sides of the Banished-WJF equation.

I will preface my response to each suggestion with a reminder that Staff has acknowledged at a recent Town Hall that Banishment and TiDi are very unfun for players on an OOC level, and so are generally used as a last resort.

For the three suggestions listed:

1. There is nothing really stopping the WJF from issuing bounties as it is. Putting potentially infinite rolling, profitable bounties on banished players would effectively perm them within a few weeks, if it didn't just make the player give up on playing the character entirely.

2. There is nothing stopping TERRA from pursuing banished individuals already. However, TERRA is mostly compromised of low-UE combat characters who stand no chance against most banished individuals already, so they don't.

3. This is kind of confusing to me. You advocate changes to the treatment of banished individuals that would make it an OOC nightmare for the player playing a banished individual, while also advocating for MORE people to be banished. Why? This will just make it virtually impossible for fledgling criminal characters to ever be successful.

Having witnessed banishment from a front row seat and having gotten a taste of what it's like to live in a dome where a majority of services are cut off from you, I can tell you that none of this is necessary. Banishment is very difficult as it is.

While I cannot say I have been banished or similar, I do have an addition to this.

Another option is to use banishment for a -group- of characters who commit crimes together. Maybe separate them when they are exiled from the dome, but that spurs RP and has a group of people able to RP out of the city.

The Badlands has a variety of services and areas a banished individual could enjoy and prosper off of as well. While it is understandable that most probably want access to things like SIC because RP tends to be better that way, I do think banished individuals could also roll with it and prosper.

There are pretty serious consequences for being Banished, like the fact that going topside for any reason, even to get a clone or update, carries risk. That being said, it's true that Banished people in the city, especially publicly-active ones, spit in the face of the Law, and I think rolling bounties would help generate conflict and RP around these individuals and make them feel genuinely unwanted by the powers that be in the city. Keep in mind that Banishment is something you earn after lots and lots of fuckery. Most who get Banished asked for it in some form or another, and most have ways to survive such rolling bounties.
Banished people seem to live pretty openly in the Mix -- there are quite a few banished NPCs in certain street gangs, for instance.

I think mostly the disconnect comes from SIC, where banished PCs sometimes seem like they are normal parts of the city life.

That's something that judges should handle ICly. At times past, anyone who is even engaged in SIC conversation with banished people would get Consorting fines. The Hall has been handing them down less lately, and the consequence of that is that it seems like they are operating with impunity. If folks want that to change, then go to the Hall PCs and NPCs and advocate for it.

I do think that if the WJF should be empowered if they aren't to target banished PCs for being too noisy. To my mind, banishment shouldn't necessarily keep people out of the city for months on end, but the banished criminal should get turned into a shadowy figure who is getting SIC rips and working from the shadows. There is something incongruous about banished PCs acting like noisy social butterflies.

That said, my gut is that the Hall PCs have the tools already to handle this and just aren't using them for their own reasons.

If the actual goal was to punish people OOCly, this would make a lot of sense.

However, it is important to remember that the players being banished are generally playing to the theme and contributing to the game at huge risk to themselves. To penalize players for doing this more than is already done - would only further endorse a culture of inaction.

We need players taking chances, committing crime, and overall making Withmore a far more interesting place on a day-to-day basis. If you want conflict, you can't crucify the people creating it or we might as well all just hang out at Super Happy Funland.