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Downgrade memento ganger gear?
Do they really all need such good weapons?

I propose downgrading weapons and giving mementos bokkens for the Arts, axe handles for the Snakes and pipes or something for the Sinners. Targeting lone mementos should have less reward than targeting the more stable, presumably tougher ganger NPCs, and this may help diversify the market a little. There are other possible reasons for doing this, too, but I will leave it up to people more experienced with this system to bring up more pros and cons.
Unless something has changed you are not allowed to take more than one big item from NPCs per week. So it's not replacement for shaking down players, just a small income boost once a week.
Seven to ten thousand chyen isn't that small, imo.
This sounds like it'd make memento gangers vastly weaker across the board and just make people less money over all.

People shouldn't be farming NPCs to begin with.

If looters are getting the lion's share of final price on gear, then the problem may simply be that fixers are paying them too much. This will resolve itself when fixers get oversupplied, which may or may not be already happening.
There is the possibility of very serious consequences to robbing/beating/dippings gangers for profit, check out help farming:

"First, the ratio at which you target NPCs vs PCs. In general, you should not be targeting NPCs for

dipping/mugging/stealing/killing/whatever significantly more often than PCs. If we look at the source of your

character's wealth and it mostly comes from your character taking things from NPCs, it's a problem.

Second, the rate needs to be reasonable for the activity in question - even if you are targeting NPCs and PCs at an

acceptable ratio. Dipping half a dozen NPCs in a day is not a huge deal - assuming you are also targeting an equal or

greater number of PCs. But killing half a dozen a day is a big deal. If the amount of flash pulled in from NPC sources

or the number of NPCs targeted is excessive given the circumstances, it's a problem.

Third, we ask that people limit themselves to taking about one big-ticket item from NPCs per week."

And I've seen all those points enforced on people who were breaking them on repeatable basis, and if you see someone doing so then it's best to let the staff know so they can sort it out.

I think the reason why mementos are meant to be strong is because Sindome is inherently a PvP game and probably will always be. You are expected to pick on other players, yes, and strong NPCs help solidify the essence of PvP, because they're harder to do things on.
Sorry for the double post, but if you really wanted to downgrade the mementos you can have random mementos have random gear across the board. So you might have one Art using a bokken, one using a machete... so on so forth. That could reduce the power level of the mementos without just making them -all- scrubs.
Rhicora, your comment about fixers touches on an issue the current settup has. Fixers are more or less cut out of the supply chain entirely. It is more profitable for the characters who are mugging NPCs to hire their own players to run the goods back directly to the paying npc than it is for them to involve a fixer. It is also 100% profit for those who choose to go the mugging route whereas fixers have to go to the market and pay the lions share of the goods worth before attempting to sell it.
I am seriously considering this suggestion and some of the other suggestions made on this general topic (ganger weapons, economy and farming). That doesn't mean any of these ideas will be implemented but they are all things I plan on discussing with the rest of staff. We will all see what comes of it - if anything

And while we do have farming guidelines, I honestly dislike that they need to exist at all. Ideally players would just meta less and we could all move on but it's not really that simple. It's not easy to realize you're being meta, there are different opinions as to when something crosses that line and the pressure to keep up can be fierce. So if we can find ways to make the farming guidelines unnecessary, I am very eager to consider them.

The partial cause of it, and what annoyed me quite a bit in my time as a ganger, is that they are guys of either extreme benovelane, or extreme not-give-rats-assis about getting their asses kicked. If a non-gang person were to attack and rob a specific player on weekly basis, I am pretty sure that at around week two they would be fed up with it and spend substantial amount of resource to make it stop, one way or another. Even more so when you are part of a bigger group that extends its strong-arm across part of the sector, and yet when a rando robs them, they don't seem to care too much.

Obviously there is not enough staff manpower to keep all those gangers run like players. And trying to write some sripts to do that is also likely not possible. So maybe instead of nerfing the memento gangsters, we could figure out a way to pass that feeling onto players about just how big and dangerous the gangs are? It is so rare to see people going to pay the tolls not because of the gang-player asking, but because of the fear for the whole big ass gang behind that single person shaking you down.

Frankly, I like the idea of a random weapon assortment for mementos best of all, but if that's code difficult they could just not drop their weapons, kind of like how the shrouded NPCs don't drop their shrouds. I suppose this would create an issue with disarming, but going around and kicking weapons out of people's hands is already a little odd.

I do think that fixers play a major role in the weapons trade. Most weapons are sold to a fixer, in my experience, and when someone hires a runner to sell a weapon often that runner is someone who wants to become a fixer one day. Right now there is a fixer shortage which I think increases the amount of weapons being run, but that's okay and the IC economy will slowly solve that.

In general I think there's a tension -- the weapons trade provides a backbone income to gangers and other violent characters, and probably is the source of a lot of the cash that enters the mix. I think you want people having that cash to hire runners for dumb stuff or put up bounties on people who dodge tolls or any of the things gangers do as high-profile spenders, but it is also a really weird business to be in. I wonder if there would be a way to shift income away from the weapons trade somehow, maybe by dramatically increasing the payouts on protection rackets. That's maybe the subject of its own @idea though.

Fixers are more or less cut out of the supply chain entirely

Only if there are more than zero named gangers buying weapons.

In my own opinion this problem is already solving itself, through mechanisms already described above. Working as intended - very organically.

Taking ganger weapons is no longer as profitable as used to be. Giving them shit weapons implies they will be shit at combat (even more) will severely weaken the gangers since mementos are a big portion of gang NPCs.
Farming isn't a problem right now. I strongly suspect there was a bug causing the permanent ganger NPCs to lose their stuff quickly for no reason--creating infinite demand--that's now been fixed. It's been much harder to make money off that the past month or so, which is great.

That said, I think it'd be fun to see mementos carrying more varied weapons, as long as they aren't all huge downgrades across the board.