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Earned APPEAR OPTIONS
Gradual evolution of APPEAR progression

PREMISE

Appear in its current form allows too great a swing from one side of the description spectrum to the other. eg Tall BRO in shroud goes into alley, Squat MONA in shroud comes out of alley five seconds later.

APPEAR SCALE SUGGESTION

Each Appear and Shortdesc option can be given an APPEAR Weight.

The APPEAR Weight values could be: Neutral / Feminine / Masculine

For Example: Citizen / Mona / Mano

The MOO can Poll every Character's currently set APPEAR options every so often.

The Weight of those collectively Polled Options can unlock gated APPEAR options from predetermined Lists.

For Example:

Citizen > Denizen

Mona > Lady

Mano > ShitBag (just kidding guys)

OPTION : DERAGATORY WEIGHTS

If we wanted to go seriously random with the APPEAR rewards, we could assign the three lists Positive or Negative connotations based on the Gender of the Character.

For Example:

Mano Polls a lot of Masculine shortdescs and APPEARs. "Unlocks" from a list like Bro, Guy, Dude, etc.

Mano Polls a lot of Feminine shortdescs and APPEARs. "Unlocks" from a list like Fag, Queer, etc.

Mano or Mona Polls a lot Neutral shortdescs and APPEARs. "Unlocks" from a list like Androog, Neut, Meatsicle, etc.

OPTION : Strict Polling Enforcement

A worthwhile Option would be to only Tally the Weights of connected Characters who are currently NOT Disguised when the Poll triggers.

or

The opposite. Only Tally the Weights of the Poll for Characters who ARE Disguised.

or

Trigger either of the above based on a "not idle" check from the UE poller???

Rate of APPEAR Options Earned

I think that it would be reasonable to earn 1 new Option from any of the three lists at the rate of 1 every 30 days. That works out to roughly 12 a year. Assuming the character lives that long. Assuming that they are fairly active and earning UE through other normal RP activities.

OPTION: Must have Disguise Skill UE Investment

A Character must have hit "the curve" in Disguise before the MOO starts polling their Shortdesc and APPEARs for the purposes of granting "new" APPEAR Options.

(nod to Grey0 and everyone else who feels that Disguise might require some significant UE investment to make use of the new APPEAR system.)

Any restriction or gating on gender presentation would be a huge step backwards.

People just have to get used to the fact that a strict gender binary (or trinary) is not something you can readily identify someone with.

Someone presenting masc or femme or NB or genderfluid is not 'disguised', in a coded sense or otherwise, and relating that to the disguise ability I think would be both a misstep in thematic messaging and unnecessary in terms of balancing.

I disagree with you, 0x1mm.

Line up ten men and women wearing hoodies/ponchos/whatever and you will, very easily, be able to tell their genders at a glance. Not saying there aren't exceptions such as very effeminate males or masculine women, but assuming, from a code perspective, that every character is androgynous seems extremely gamey and unrealistic. And changing your posture, walking and figure to convey that is very much a skill which I'd describe as disguise.

Disguises are insanely strong and nobody can contest that, it's probably the only thing the vast majority of the playerbase uses unanimously (and I kind of hate that, tbh, but that's another story). Appear makes it even more absurd. I, as someone with no disguise skill (even a negative to it), shouldn't be able to appear as the opposite gender, and I can. It is insane that someone with no skill investment can be completely and utterly unidentifiable, even if for just short bursts, so I'm very much for this idea or something like it.

I think one of the issues people are grappling with is that we have linked gender identity and disguises. Someone who identifies as female but is biologically male isn’t disguised, but the code makes no distinction between that person and the Mission Impossible agent.

I think limiting changes in appear gender by time (with a higher disguise skill reducing that time) would solve some of this issue.

What if there was a check to see if this person identifies as the opposite gender or not? Let's say you have a command called @identity. It has two or three options. If you identify with your biological gender, then you'll have a harder time to look like the other physical gender. If you do identify as the opposite gender, it will be easier.

I think disguises have been getting more and more abused honestly, with this new appear command. It has added a lot of great things, but sadly also a lot of abuse.

I just want to chime in to correct a false bit of info here. A tall character cannot appear as a squat character. Per 'help appear':

You can't go from a midget to tall or tall to a midget. You can't go from skinny to fat. You can only 'go up a level' or 'go down a level' so to speak.

To address a couple of comments...

@0x1mm

What I am proposing does not limit people ability to express their preferred gender. A biologically Male character can use "female" pronouns if they want.

What I am suggesting is to gate the available pronouns behind a timer, much like UE is accumulated. If a character spends more time with female pronouns, they unlock more female pronouns. Same for male, and gender neutral pronouns.

I think that gating the pronouns behind a timer more accurately reflects the process of evolving gender identity. A person does not wake up one day and suddenly decide that they want to perceived by the rest of the world as the opposite gender. It is a gradual, many years long process.

@Veleth

I had a very similar thought to your idea about @identity. I think we almost need a third "gender". That gender would be "Neutral" or "Androgynous". Or something very similar. It would need to be genetic though. A nod to the fact that while some people appear masculine or feminine, others get genetics that are more fluid.

@Pavane and others

While the gender pronouns are definitely a big cause for confusion, I am realizing that the same issues exist with @shortdesc. There's nothing to prevent a Male from choosing "mona" as a @shortdesc and then throwing on a poncho.

I think that it might be appropriate to gate Height and Weight modifiers behind Disguise UE investment. I suggest that simply because of how powerful they are in terms of being able to drastically change the appearance of a disguised person.

@Dreamer

I think you overlooked the "average" character. An average character can go "down a level" to appear squat, then go "up a level" to appear tall.

I have not fully explored all of the combinations out there. But in my limited experience an average character, I can go from squat / curvy to Amazonian. In my case, my character has spent a fair amount of UE on Disguise and associated Stats so I think that would be "ok". But for a character without any time spent developing Disguise, going from squat to Amazonian seems like too big of a leap.

Oh I didn't overlook anything, and I'm not commenting with opinion on the thread, though it is good to have discussions.

I just stated your specific example was wrong, which it is.

I may have said this elsewhere but as someone who is trans IRL I can say that it took FOREVER to figure out how to properly be read by strangers. It's one thing to tell your friends you're a girl or a meatsicle or whatever and have them respect it, quite another for a stranger to unquestioningly assume you're whatever you are. Cis people learn all of this stuff growing up the same way babies learn language.

"Disguise" isn't maybe the right word for my daily presentation in my identified gender but a great deal of practice went into making sure I get ma'amed over the phone and don't have people doing double takes when they see me in a dress, and I'm probably a better actress for the experience as I'm now far more aware of body language and vocal inflection.

Disguise is extremely powerful and the new appear options can give you excellent protection against meta if you take proper advantage of them. I would argue that both for realism and balance there should be a higher skill floor on gendered appearances. Queer characters who wish to access these for RP purposes but lack the skill could just verbally correct people like in real life. Your skills are low, be that messy nonpassing trans disaster for a couple weeks.

@Dreamer

I'm not trying to give up too much IC info here, but I need to put in some specifics to discuss them.

An "average" person can APPEAR: taller + skinnier and end up Gangly

An "average" person can then APPEAR: shorter + fatter and end up Squat

The same average person can layer on Gender APPEARs to go from Gangly woman to Squat man.

I think the majority(?) of the playerbase is suggesting that the type of transition detailed above is "too good".

Specifically that the list of requirements to "identify" a disguised individual is such that huge swings from one end of the spectrum to the other, when considered against an ambient population background of "similar" people, leans too heavily in favor of disguised characters.

@Vera

Thanks for adding some background with your RL experience. I have a couple of close friends, and even more acquaintances who have gone through their own transitions. But as an outside observer, I did not want to speak too directly to the process given my own lack of first hand knowledge.

I appreciate that you mentioned the kind of unconscious conditioning and gender reaffirmations that happen in society going all the way back to infancy. Like you said, it's one thing to tell people that you're "female". It's a completely different thing to have them perceive you as that on an unconscious / default level.

That is EXACTLY what I am trying to get at with the idea of timers and time spent with specific pronouns in character. That's also why I suggested an OPTION to have the timer only accumulate when a character is NOT disguised. In my mind, that is when a character is really putting in the hard work of projecting their chosen gender identity. (and to a lesser extent, posture (tall / short, skinny / fat, etc.))

Appear being tied to disguise skill for gender presentation is horrible messaging, and a step in the completely wrong direction.

There are lots of ways of balancing the skill that don't involve someone being only disguised as a woman (with all that implies) rather than presenting femme.

Making shape/size changes more difficult, or making appear lock you in place for a minute or two, or increasing the cooldown between appear changes are all options that don't mess around with gender presentation.

Appear being tied to disguise skill for gender presentation

Have you tried it, 0x1mm?

Gender "appear"ance by itself isn't tied to disguise skill. It's a separate thing from appearing differently-built or differently-tall.

I know that, and I think it should remain that way. I'm responding to comments above arguing that should change for balance reasons.

Appear was a massive step in the right direction, I don't think the many, many positive identity-positive and preferred presentation aspects of those changes should be balanced around some people misusing or overusing the mechanic. There are other ways of going about it.

I don't think it's horrible messaging. It's literally a skill IRL, same as putting on eyeliner or driving a car.
Presenting and passing are two different things, and the latter is all about social expectation and has nothing to do with the individual. That type of expected gender conformity certainly wouldn't exist in 2105.

The whole concept of presentation as a disguise that can be seen through to show what is "real" identity underneath is horrible messaging, and certainly doesn't need to be added for some kind of realism.

Let people present as whatever gender or non-gender they wish. There are other ways to balance these mechanics.

Since the argument seems to be that being able to present as whatever gendered shortdesc you like is overpowered and needs to be balanced, what would be an example of this that has been experienced by players that doesn't also violate the appear rules as stated?
I'm not going to post strategy guides for disguise. Use your imagination.
@0x1 asked...

what would be an example of this that has been experienced by players that doesn't also violate the appear rules as stated?

My last response to this conversation included exactly what you just asked for.

One issue with the appear rules right now is that they require any RP to match appear changes -- but most of the time, there's no RP at all. It isn't that someone is appearing as a bimbo and then posing in a different way, it's that they aren't posing at all, which makes it very difficult to parse what is going on.
@0x1 said...

Appear being tied to disguise skill for gender presentation is horrible messaging, and a step in the completely wrong direction.

There are lots of ways of balancing the skill that don't involve someone being only disguised as a woman (with all that implies) rather than presenting (Hek: Appearing) femme.

I want to clarify what I am suggesting. I want to do that by addressing what 0x1mm raised and I quoted here in this reply. In the process, I am also going to try to summarize the input and contributions that other people have raised about the broader subject of APPEAR changes.

First, 0x1mm.

I am not, and I do not believe that anyone else is suggesting that staff take away, roll back or otherwise remove your agency as a Player to allow your Character to express a variety of gender presentations.

It is obvious that a large majority of the Players and Admins here want to create a game mechanic that facilitates Roleplay involving gender presentation. I say a large majority because this is something that is happening. It's not an Idea. And it's not a Complaint about something lacking.

APPEAR is the new game mechanic that makes possible. It is an integral part of the Sindome game at this point.

This whole conversation is complete, so for the sake of tl;dr I am going to bring this part of it to a close. I'm going to do that with this question.

0x1mm, can you trust that the people who are discussing APPEAR do not have any intention of taking away your ability as a Player to create a Character who can flexibly and fluidly express a broad range gender?

Hek your first post is suggesting that players earn the right to various gender presentations (I use this word deliberately, presentation is more than your shortdesc), which I think is a misguided approach to balancing this mechanic overall.

In another case it was suggested that gender presentation be tied to the disguise skill, which I think, again, is the wrong approach.

I responded accordingly to these particular, specific ideas, with my feedback of them -- so I am not clear what you mean when you say no one is suggesting the things I am directly responding to.

In any case I started a new thread with some alternative suggestions that do not involve gender, rather than derail the suggestion to 'earn' appear options made here.