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Expansion of Coded Income Systems
Because flash makes the world go 'round

The player-centric economy topside (whether this is trade skills, data brokering, RP-oriented business, or otherwise) is constrained (currently highly constrained in my opinion) by the total chyen entering via coded systems, with an arguable knock-on effect of discouraging player-driven enterprise, engagement and activity, rather than encouraging it.

Of the five coded systems for income generation (crates, markets, leases, selling to NPCs, and job salary) only one is available to corporate players. This also creates an imbalance in terms of uneven support for various trades and archetypes, poor support for independent plot and content creation, and a general lack of reward for players investing more than the minimum effort -- because there simply isn't enough chyen in the system.

I think there's some benefit to examining if the systems already coded and present could be expanded in access to more players, and allow for greater player control in their own prosperity.

I can think of at least a few more ways you can get NPC income topside, besides those that you've mentioned. The most obvious one is the, apparently notoriously underused, requisition requests. Although the more you play, the more you should rely on income from players, not from coded systems.
Marleen, 0x1mm is saying that the income generation and general flash pool is lacking for doing the things you're describing with other topsiders.

Heaven knows all topside needs is more entertainers and tailors trying to get their grift on.

This would be less of an issue if the (perceived) impact of getting caught consorting with mixers was not nearly so harsh. But as it stands, many corporate players either don't seem to want to interact with mixers (I.E. bringing flash topside) or are scared of fallout and ruining their character's careers for doing so.

Yup, and that is when you could use even the requisition system to bring chyen in a corporate way. Just need to explain why corpo should spend money on X.

As for the perception of getting caught, which given the size of the player base and how relatively rare it is for someone to fall from topside to the mix is clearly wrong, I am not sure how to make it less so. Maybe few loud NPC events where one is found consorting with mixers, but because as result made a lot of flash to the corpo, was let off with wife/slap on wrist, even though it publicly got shunned, spanked and given many warnings. A public secret of sorts, that as long as in the end, you bring flash to the corp, which outweigh the image hit, you will be relatively fine.

The requisitions system is not coded -- it is GM overseen, and operates on a fixed monthly allotment. There is, in principle, no limit to the amount of income a player can earn through GM-derived means, but these are not coded systems, and the total quantity of chyen entering the player economy from them is very low.
I tend to agree, but can't really think of an idea solution wise.

I tend to be crime -minded

+1 @grizzly

Topside life needs a swift kick directly in the ass towards committing more crimes, fucking over more people and in general, not being the go-to hugbox part of the game.

If cash is the incentive to get people to do that? Awesome.

I'd suggest a retooling of salaries instead- frankly, I can't think of any themely sidegigs for corpies that aren't already in play, though difficult.

The current system is built to incentivize player initiation and advancement. Get that next promotion you have in line and you'll be sitting much better off. However, without getting into specifics, I feel some of the scaling is a bit off and is lacking a bit of punch. The trade-off though is that as characters scale up, it's important to ratchet up their responsibility to ensure they're not getting showered in flash for being a couch potato.

Tl;Dr: Corpie sidegigs already exist, I think adding themely automated pay on the side for sararimen would be awkward, but I do feel Topside tends to be surprisingly poor overall which suggests some tweaking might be in order.

If you are a smart mixer you can have more buying power then a Corpie.

Corporate life costs more, and that's ok, but maybe salary adjustment isn't a bad thing? I will sacrifice a weeks pay in some cases just to hire someone to fuck with someone else.

I think the economy is fuckin bizarre in some instances but what can ya do?

Just as a rough estimation there are three relatively large chyen sources that fuel player-driven plots, all of which are in the Mix, and despite there being no lack of players all-too-willing to engage with the Mix while topside, if there's a substantial flow of chyen moving from the Mix to topside, I've seen little evidence of it.

What I've seen is a relatively small trade-goods economy, a smaller information economy, a highly erratic professional services economy, and a limited "criminal" economy (comprising like, corruption, sale of secrets, grey-markets, double-agency, et cetera). All of these options can be better supported by an expansion of the base-level of coded support for active players earning more based on the coded systems already in place. I see no reason why the systems already present and beneficial to the Mix could not be adapted to the same benefits topside.

I'd also argue that 'passive' income is a blight on the game in general, and any expansion of that is detrimental, but that's sort of another topic.

Side-gigs are dependant on the flash entering the system from coded means, and right now those opportunities are being strangled in the crib in my opinion due to the lack of chyen supply available. I don't think the solution is just to pay corporate players more, because that simply encourages what already is present, which is passive non-engagement at a minimum level of effort to earn that automatic income. I really think rewarding, through systematic means, player activity and job-specialization, would have considerable positive knock-on effects for the player-driven economy and player-driven plots.

There will always be people who are just logging in to do the bare minimum and save for the next ten years to buy a Ferrari, but I also can't think of anyway to justify something similar to crate running, the scavenger system, etc.

@Grizz: Pretty much. Currently it feels *just* a bit out of whack where with just a little more pay, I could be spending my pay to fuck with people and then not end up stuck eating soyanuts for dinner for the week.

...Would it be possible to split reimbursements from weekly pay? If you could withdraw reimbursement as soon as it's approved, that would push it a little towards 'automated pay' that's a little more accessible.

Addendum: What Grizz said.The problem is that corpies are dignified and well-paid. There's thematic reasons they're barred from say, running crates or delivering someone's coffee, and if they did it's probably not go over well with their employer.
If Cordoba Mallplex had codedly been a 'market' from the outset, I don't think it would at all seem out of place. Likewise NPC sales, which could be configured to be highly themely for the setting and would also get players out onto the streets topside for once, giving more avenues for crime and RP. Crates are kind of borderline automatic income so I'm a bit lukewarm on those, but there's definitely more arbitrary restrictions about who can run them and who can't considering how much flash you can earn from it.

Leases are a whole other Pandora's Box, but their implementation topside now is a mess and could definitely afford a review.

I do like playing topside characters from time to time, and when I do, I often struggle to find other ways of making money, or making contacts or finding RP. I don't want to be a couchpotato sitting and idling for UE, but it happens a lot when there's little going on.
Please keep in mind this is 100% opinion. Thanks.

Well, you have corpsec teams who's job it is to do plot things whenever corporate plot time rolls around.

You also have corpsec teams who deal with the occasional drunk/confused/high mixer on-site.

Where's the corpsec teams scaling the sides of buildings with grappling hooks, cutting open windows, inserting malware drives onto internal networks or gas-grenading and kidnapping key personnel of their rivals?

We want mixers doing crimes topside more, and topsiders doing crimes with mixers more, but yet the hall and the corpsec players both stomp on mixers, and my logical assumption here is that because they're absolutely overwhelmed with joy at the prospects of doing -anything- in their day to day jobs.

Meanwhile, we have the less glamorous but equally important jobs- your biotech workers, your media stars and producers, your pilots and er.. giftshop attendants. (sorry NT!) What is the daily grind for these people like? Show up, say some things on key about all the cool non-interactive made up stuff they're working on, and then they idle in bars and apartments all day. And why shouldn't they? Gamewide, we don't tend to enforce people requiring to be at their jobs and rp making widgets, because that's not actually fun for players or staff, right? But aside from dumping points into artistry, vehicle skills or some other such trade that's in no way related to their job, what else should they be doing? I think this is a huge missed opportunity. (Again, I realize they get 'do stuff at work with your title' plots, but those plots, in my experience, are not frequent.)

My point with this all is, that if we want people doing crime topside then 1) We need the corpsec teams to not be as focused on internal issues and 2) We might need to cut back on the overall response of the WJF or have a discussion about disguises or other such crime-enabling skills and items being allowed topside.

Topside is a LOT OF IDLING. That's what 90% of corporate players do, either idle or moosex. At least moosex is RP. >.>

Grunen's and Sing-A-Rong are always empty, rarely anybody goes to SHFL, and I guarantee nobody goes to Westun's like people go to the Edge.

I do think topside pay can be a little low, and it should be if you're a Junior or a wageslave. I think the solution is to make Junior stages of corpjobs last long and be harder to pass from, make average ranked jobs pay a little more, and make senior jobs pay a LOT more-- gives people a lot of initiative to go to work and do their best.

@Revex - I have to say, you're completely wrong on everything you just said. No offense intended. There are quite a bit of Corporate players that are active, involved and interacting in most of those areas. Is there less idling than in the Mix, perhaps? But, that's because there's less on-going RP that is 'in-your-face'. Topside is about creating RP. The Mix can sometimes be about simply stumbling into it. Not to say that there is not a LOT of RP generated in the Mix, but you aren't going to just 'fall into' Topside RP. You have to go and actively look for it and create it.
...there is more idling (Topside) than in the Mix, I meant.
We need to really hit the hotspots topside, to create roleplay, honestly. Hang at Grunen's like you'd hang at Red's or Carnal's, etc. But that's getting into a whole other topic. :P
I don't think giving two to four players substantially higher passive income would serve to address or alleviate most of the issues that I would say exist in the topside player economy right now. My arguments are for self-determined meritocracy with player-controlled incomes, through avenues that give players more reasons to engage daily, rather than fewer.

Ultimately tying expansion of coded income to GM-assigned positions is just the same quasi-arbitary system that exists now, with different numbers attached.

Yeah if I have to create RP because there's none going on that means there's no RP topside.
@talon

just my 2 cents about the CorpSec thing

most of CorpSec PCs are characters with bad UE and lack the gear/UE to do all that badass stuff you mentioned, it sometimes does happen but the chance of survival is very low

also there are definitely ways to make extra chy topside but compared to the mix it is limited yea

not bad UE

low UE* lol

There is too much focus on automated sources of income/farming in the Mix.

Many topside workers (such as biotechs) don't actually have any kind of role to play whatsoever outside of staff-assisted plots, and those are feast or famine in a way that I think makes retention in those roles difficult - active players will quickly leave for something that suits them better and inactive ones are not going to do much when staff hands them something to do.

The NLM jobs are way better - reporters, producers, and to a lesser extent media stars only run out of work when they stop putting forth the effort. This IMO should be the standard for topside life. Corpies are too important to run errands for scavengers or farm gear from NPCs.

Corporations have literally all the money in the world and should be spending it to brainwash employed. Biotech goes a week without starting a viral contagion? Weekly bonus. PR rep needs CorpSec to escort her to lunch and didn't get hurt? Bonus.

Revex what you're describing is possible but would be entirely dependent on GM-review, and the amount of support available right now is already stretched very thin even for outright necessities -- this is why I'm suggesting the uses of coded systems already in the game that wouldn't require additional GM time to oversee.
God no. We want to encourage rule-bending behavior, not complacency.
More like ; Biotech makes new virus, releases it in mix to test results, then gets bonus.

The object is to not be boring.

Think of it like this; maybe give HR or Requisitions a company card or the ability on a terminal to give employees bonuses, and then have either staff or HR check budgets once a month to make sure it's not being abused-- suddenly this creates RP. Maybe befriend that employee and get away with getting a little more chy every month, or blackmail them. Maybe you find out your Senior Agent is porking them and getting away with embezzling because of it. Now you can throw them under the bus to your Captain and take their position.
I gotta say I like this thinking @Revex.
Not only are you fixing the money issue, but you're creating a reason to go out and RP. hell you can even make a financial accounts job to review the budget
If you have any experience with even the most basic interactions with Req, you would know getting extremely basic things done can be a nightmare of timing and player inactivity. I'd sooner abandon topside altogether than have Corporations be more reliant on that than they already are -- and is basically the exact opposite of what I'm advocating which is to give individual players themselves more control over their own prosperity and not be dependent on the whims of GM-overseen mechanisms.
What are you talking about? Requisitions is mostly player run (if there's a character in the role), they approve everything. It's their fault your stuff is lagging behind, not the staff's.
not necessarily true revex
I like the concept of a requisitions PC granting "Employee of the Week/Month" bonuses as a way of encouraging public RP.

This gives players opportunities with minimal risk to go out and RP the heck out of their profession--or find sneaky ways of being on top suspiciously more frequently than expected. 😁

I don't think you understand the issues or solutions I'm describing. My argument is that there is a substantial missed opportunity for greater support for individual players earning income independently through coded systems that already exist, but are simply inaccessible to them.

You're essentially arguing the opposite: To give control of player income to a select few -- through a system that is famously slow, arbitrary, and subject to stalling during to player inactivity.

It only takes one person to create a waterfall of RP.
That's not at all what I'm suggesting. I'm suggesting put BONUSES in player control. Your base income is still the same, now you can just earn more by (everybody say it together) role-playing and trying hard.
Also to be clear, players being specially highlighted for their contributions and rewarded commensurately already exists, but it's nothing even remotely like a reliable system and makes up an absolute miniscule proportion of the total player income topside.
I'm just saying, you should have tried getting any equipment topside before requisitions. Your only options were staff (who are understandably busy) or buy it yourself. Things have improved significantly with this new system.
To return to the center-piece of the topic, I am not saying 'there isn't enough flash, please fix', I'm saying there's a great selection of dynamic player-driven systems already available in the Mix, and I think it would be worth considering if they could benefit some of the problems that exist with the topside economy.
Having done similar things, Requisitions really could use some more tasks to do. Inactivity might be due to no orders being made, etc.
Boy there's already a lot here.

The topic of corpie pay comes out every few months, and I definitely fall in the camp that would be interested in at least seeing the waters tested of bumping it across the board at least somewhat, maybe even just 20%. Yeah, maybe juniors gotta ride the lev more than they want to be seen doing and should get mugged now and then, but it has always felt silly that mixers with even middling ambition and contacts can easily rival most PC corpies with income if they try. Yes, there are other built-in corpie benefits (job benefits, class-wide benefits), but if we want the class gap to feel genuine, and generate some actual disparity and animosity, make the wage gap -real-. Prices topside should bump up commensurately. The point isn't that corpies can now buy everything, but that they have more to throw at each other and mixers for Sneaky Mean Drek.

Yeah, I get that the Mix people need to make decent money for the most part because they clone out more frequently, but it's not -that- expensive or hard to keep in clones, in fact it should honestly probably be a little harder, there should probably be more gravity to dying, but that's a whole other thread.

Especially at senior positions the pay should be bonkers. Like, PCs who have played the topside dance extremely well for a very long time and not only stayed up there but become Super Master Senior Alpha CorpSec Murder Lord, yeah, they should have a place on Blue and get to decide WHICH Ferrari to drive to work today, why not? I think that would create more PC ambition, and let the kinds of characters who would do so flex hard (making it sweeter when they're finally drug down).

I haven't had a ton of experience with the Requisition system personally, though if the role(s) isn't filled or is filled by someone who barely players it can be frustrating.

I really like the idea of bonuses / some kind of PC-to-PC driven system that gives different corpies reasons to act out in whatever ways, take risks (not saying they don't know, just but more is good). And the idea for PC oversight of such a system is fantastic too!

I don't think the original topic is really being scratched by sidebar requisition ideas.

Putting bonuses into player hands is an interesting concept, but what happens when that player is another do-nothing or never comes around? That idea grinds to a halt.

Presumably it'd be gated to more middle or senior level folks (dept heads decide bonuses for their own departments mb?), who have earned those positions by being at least somewhat consistently active, right? Or it'd be handled by a couple of HR people as well, it could be spread around somewhat.

There could also be a kind of backup to it, where a player could file paper nominating themselves (or someone else?) at their payment/HR terminal, and it could be reviewed by staff on the backend if no PCs have handled it after a while.

Right, but I believe everyone prefers a system for a multitude of reasons that minimize staff oversight or input (thus coded fire and forget of automated stuff)

I can personally attest that HR/PR people can vanish into thin air.

I also continue to have no idea for an answer to this, I just personally haven't seen any that grab me as the "fix".

Jameson, thank you for understanding how I feel about how fucking rich and powerful a Senior at a Corp should be.
senior is still relatively low in the scheme of things

if any of these suggestions are to be implemented it should be for those above senior

If there's no employee in requisitions, or it isn't decided within X days, make it a random coinflip (maybe based on player activity) that mets out a weekly payment and a SIC message.

"Good Afternoon, corporate citizens! We would like to recognize Jane Smarty, Junior Corpsec Agent, as our Employee of the Week. Our thanks go out to Jane Smarty's exemplary effort this week. Please report to the employment terminal to claim your bonus."

And people in roles above senior have a lot of power, including making sure the people below them in their department get quality equipment and chyen in the hands of those lower employees.
Yeah, everyone does prefer that, but people aren't perfect, so a backup staffed by.......staff, is what we can offer right?

We're talking about PC-to-PC solutions. We can't talk about how we prefer non-staff solutions (players), but not be interested in those solutions because players sometimes quit playing. That's a flaw in every part of the game. Let's pour an Ebola Cola out for every Immy Greeter that spent 3 hours showing some baka how SHI works only to watch them @quit into a puddle, that's the game we're playing, IDK what to say.

We hope for the best, implement for the worst, and see how it plays out.

IMO the corps could pay out dividends to employees every month, with the amount of the dividend depending (in a largely suspend-your-disbelief way) on how the corporation did that month versus their rivals. Corps who are completing their plots and objectives get a bigger bonus. That provides incentive to work as a team and to thwart rival corps.

I also think bonuses for strong work should be a thing. Corpies already make less than a motivated Mixer (for the most part) and although reimbursement and requisitions are a thing, there's a certain budget allocated every month, not everything gets approved, you're not allowed to make any requests for your first 30 days, there are a lot of things that make you actually spend a ton of flash when you're starting as a corporate citizen and then have to wait around until you get paid back (if you even do).

Since completing plots and securing objectives is staff controlled that's something that can remain a discretionary measure by GMs.

Maybe NPC bosses just need to be more generous topside. I seen people do some amazing shit in the past and all anyone ever got was maybe a promotion (Disclaimer: this was 2 years ago). Why be stingy at that level of play? Give homeboy a free car or a fat bonus.

Topside's honestly fine if the plots are poppin' and that's been happening nonstop since I got back.

If I recall correctly, I think it was said at some point that topside is less opportunity for chy in exchange for more safety, whereas the mix is more opportunity for chy in exchange for less safety.

A lot of this thread reminds me of https://www.sindome.org/bgbb/game-discussion/game-problems/is-there-a-problem-with-topside--346/

Yes to bonuses, no to player control over bonuses, for the most part. I agree with others that it would only add to complacency and ingrain player cliques and is best tended by GMs who recognize active, contributing players.

To crime/action: I'm wishy washy. More risktaking is a good thing, but you also have to recognize that Topside is heavily surveilled and controlled. It's -meant- to be hard to do something openly criminal.

Addendum: there's a point here to be made that Topside is meant to be a bit of a slow burn where roleplay and initiative are rewarded. You advance and succeed based on what you contribute through roleplay and often, by how much blood you can spill doing it.
Personally I have no issues with being topside as is. The plots are frequent, there are some great characters that overshadow the ones that don't really do anything(for whatever reason be it real life obligations to lack of motivations), but the pay kinda sucks when you compare it to other things. Holiday bonuses, quarterly bonuses, performance reviews that lead to demotions/promotions (they happen, but maybe make them a more routine and scheduled thing if they are not) and plenty of other themely ideas can totally increase the gap. I think there Are totally tons of illegal ways to make churn topside. Would be nice to see legal alternatives too.

We want automation for some things, but what keeps coming circle is back to GM support. Ideas that require GM oversight for whatever reason tend to be up to severe scrutiny (the only reason I suggested looking more at automation if you want to see your idea move) maybe it is lack of GM time, support GM numbers, whatever, but we all accept that they are volunteers with a lot to do.

The only solutions I scan come up with are GM oversight.

Senior members of a corporation really aren't THAT high in the spectrum, but that doesn't mean they should be written off. You work towards the job you want, right? Well if you've made it to senior you should be chomping at the bit for the next spot. Perhaps that is the level where your leadership as both a character/employee and a player are tested with tasks, weekly objectives, oversight, etc.

For example , Skywatche NPC boss calls Senior Corpsec Traxel Gravens into the office. He hands him a folder with a tasking to be done within a weeks time; Compile a go to on NPC/PC, run a training exercise, execute target (bland plot but you get the idea) He gives Traxel Gravens 100k budget for the operation.

Mr. Gravens can do many things with this money. He can spend it wisely on gear for himself and his team.

He can use it to secure a good mix side informant who could lead them to their target or betray them. He could dive it up amongst each team member. Hell he could pocket all of it and take off to Vegas. The point being player to player leads to so much and makes more sense, but that's just my opinion on it.

@Grizz

I had typed up a response earlier in the thread saying pretty much similar things to what you are.

Have a GM give a leading player in the corp a premise or a plot thread, toss them a hundred kay to make it happen, and promise more if they get it done successfully, and then carry through.

Right now I see tons of corpies hiring mixers to do mixy things to mixers, but very rarely do I see corpies hiring mixers to do mixy things to other corpies. This could simply be a funding issue, in my mind. You want to hire a solo with good enough gear to do a snuffjob topside and compensate them well enough that they'll actually take the job on the off chance they fail? It's going to cost more than that one week's salary.

Player does well at the task? Keep them rolling every few weeks. Player does poorly or absconds? Well, then the problem solved itself. Maybe the next player can learn from their prior's mistakes. And this addresses the other key issue with topside: turnover. Namely... it's people idling themselves into playing other games or leaving the moo, and not getting fired and then generating tons of RP stealing corporate secrets or getting murderhoboed in the mix.

Precisely
Not to cut through the conceptual questions, or discussions of what topside life should be, but my rubric for support income basically comes down to two questions: Do I need to puppet request to do this, and will the process be like getting blood from a stone?

It's possible to make considerable additional income in the Mix entirely without the oversight of GMs or reliance on other players, simply because of the coded systems that are present. These systems also significantly benefit players and archetypes that are not especially well-catered to otherwise. I'm just imagining if the game-world was being implemented anew, there wouldn't be much reason to say, okay there definitely needs to be more ways to make flash in the Mix than topside -- I think it's the status quo and people accept it as the norm, but it's basically arbitrary from a mechanics standpoint.

0x1mm,

I think we're trying to discuss alternatives to more boring, mindless and/or exploitable forms of automated income.

Let's just assume for a moment that we try and do a 1:1 with mix jobs, but put a topside spin on them.

Automated Options:

1) Mail room: Each day, your office mail room is overworked, and you're offered tip money for delivering letters and packages around in your corporate HQ.

2) Stealing mail: You're able to steal mail from rival corps and sell it to your corp, but if you do so, you'll never be allowed to deliver mail again.

3) Rich & Lazy: Some CEO/Media Star/Retiree from blue is wandering around on gold, looking for random bits and bobs and wants to throw flash at people to run and grab it from stores topside for some profit.

4) Dipping: Needs no analogue.

5) Requisitions: People in your corporation security team need resupplies of ammunition, protek they keep mysteriously losing, and some nice, but not amazing weapons.

6) Party-goers: People in the clubs around on gold and green want candy like no tomorrow, and you should be able to turn a nice profit selling it to them so they don't have to take time off their party schedule.

Now, for some of this, I think you could probably recycle some existing code and port it over (provided it's actually portable), and some of these things would have to be added via coders and builders.

Now, mind you, you're correct in saying that you don't need to sit on puppet queues to pop to do these things in red, however, these things -do- need regular oversight and interventions by staff. But what about theme? Are the Letter Cutter Boyz going to spring up, and constantly raid rival corporations of their precious mail and packages? Seems unlikely. Is someone who holds a management position with a corporation going to want to be seen delivering mail, coffee, lana and heavily used protek just to make that sweet chyen?

I think the biggest difference here is that with what Grizzly and I are proposing, that it's really maximized for the amount of impact it'll have in the game, versus the amount of staff time needed to manage and upkeep. Each corp filling a puppet request out once a month to crease rivals or do other such super on-point themely things is a very minimal lift. It also might go far enough as to create some rivalries between corporations- after all, who want's to lose all that chrome and all those sweet goodies they're allowed to sit on basically uncontested in the game right now? Just some food for thought.

Admittedly as far as implementation goes, I can only speculate and I don't want to present anything like it's a given as far as being practical or even possible, or suggest it's anything like a trivial effort. I just think long-term anything that puts players in control and frees up more GM time can only be healthy.
So,I I know this isn't 100% the point of this post, but I saw someone mention corpie candy kids, prolly in clubs and bars, buying drugs like gangers, and I wanna +1000 that idea. Maybe even pay more than selling on red, but also the clubs or something alert security or WJF upon mixers entering. Sure mixers could easily have more charisma than a corpie, but that might be a good place for something like that to come in as a skill/ skill check too as also mentioned in another post. That might be all intricate and stuff, just a brainstorm.
More topside auto-hustle jobs doesn't make any sense to me. It doesn't seem very themely foremost. If you're playing a corpie and you find your side biz is running dry and your salary doesn't have enough digits then you should be plotting to climb the ladder, maybe by hiring mixers to do something you can't be seen doing.

All those automated jobs exist in the mix to allow mixers to scrape by in between the big hauls, which should be facilitated by corporate interests somewhere in the tangled web of a plot, at least that's how I see it.

Most of the solutions here are either plain unthemely or unbalanced.

Corporate citizens live and die for their status. Money is important but while an industrious Mixer can earn more in a week, they don't have the safety of CorpSec and Judges, meaning they die much more frequently and face bigger losses. Mixers don't have corporations paying their rent, chrome, gear, and weapons either.

The automated income cap is the same for everyone. Even if we add more automated income topside it wouldn't work because of two reasons. First being, it's unthemely. You're a corporate citizens. You should be able to display your status as one without having to go to a courier office or do side gigs for extra cash. People who do this haven't got a solid grasp of game theme. Second being, it breaks the balance of Mix hustle vs. generous corporate funding and internal welfare systems that allow for a lot of quick enrichment scheme (yes, this includes embezzlement too).

Somebody said they should give away things as a reward for good performance over the month. Sorry but this doesn't make sense. Corporate citizens are barely a speck in the map of the organization chart of any mega corporation. There are thousands of other people, some of which are more qualified, veiling for your people. The game will not reward you with happy thoughts, only with a good story. So giving away free cars or bundles of cash is not only unthemely but it's also unbalanced because the same goodies will never be available to Mixers in their themely versions for creating good RP.

The solution is simple, either go back to Red or learn the theme, and begin focusing on more aspects of the game such as creating good stories and not hoarding money. Everybody loses it in the end.

If you're a corporate citizen and you're not leeching every God damn chyen out of your boss you're doing it wrong.
@Villa

While this may have been true at one time, this 'generous corporate funding and internal welfare system' doesn't appear to exist today with anything like the leeway you seem to be illustrating. Far from there being room for players to embezzle anything, these budgets are frequently being exhausted by maintaining minimum support and equipment. I don't know if the GM stance towards requisitions and reimbursements changed at some point, but I've been provided the budgetary details for more than one CorpSec department and it's hardly exorbitant. Divided equally amongst the active players in that department the total income allotted to any given player was still less than I made on average in the Mix, and had the substantial disadvantage of being largely gear -- which is great for the person wearing it, but does nothing to spurn the player-driven topside economy.

You seem to be saying it's not themely for corporate players to make flash through certain avenues, which I rather think is simply inertia of how things have been in the past, rather than any actual representation of what a 'cyberpunk' economy would look like. If anything a highly unregulated hyper-free-market economy so typical of the setting would be completely at odds with the extremely managed system that exists currently.

I have more thoughts on this I don't have time to express right now but I believe the following would be a good example of what the OP is after.

You are a Viriisoma Chemist, you have a decent base pay regardless of what you do provided you at least turn up to work periodically. However a bonus automatically granted weekly for reaching a targeted quantity of drugs produced beyond a certain grade, with production being measured by the amount of produce you drop in a specialised chute.

This is themely, you are just doing your job. And it gives you a reason to actually turn up to work beyond just once a week to collect pay. Whilst you're out and about you're likely to bump into other players (at the very least viriisoma employees) and rp can be produced that way, as well as with the flash you earn by being a productive employee.

I'd also reiterate I'm specifically not arguing for more automated income, but rather, just by example, something mechanically similar to a market or NPC sales available topside, or perhaps even fleshing out of player-owned businesses.

I think the mantra of 'don't worry about flash, you'll lose it all anyway' rings a bit false knowing that the most successful and most historically plot-driving players have very often been incredibly rich in the bargain, and some of them became rich and stayed that way until they eventually sun-setted their characters or otherwise moved on. I know that some of the small plots I've driven myself have been entirely enabled by the fact that I like, cleared a hundred kay in one day on occasion and averaged many times what a lot of other players made. I certainly never felt like 'this flash is really just a hollow pursuit when I could be RPing and telling stories'.

While it's absolutely true that players can drive plots and RP while being dead-broke, it sure is just a lot easier to be able to throw flash around as required.

@Mong

I'd love to see a coded dynamic earning mechanism for each sector of jobs, to give something players to do every day and to get out and move around doing something to earn extra flash in addition to their basic pay, and that would certainly fall within the concept I've been rehashing. That would be basically a dream mechanic, but if something like that was ever possible I think it would contribute a lot to mitigating some of the issues with the topside economy.

I think the mantra of 'don't worry about flash, you'll lose it all anyway' rings a bit false knowing that the most successful and most historically plot-driving players have very often been incredibly rich in the bargain, and some of them became rich and stayed that way until they eventually sun-setted their characters or otherwise moved on. I know that some of the small plots I've driven myself have been entirely enabled by the fact that I like, cleared a hundred kay in one day on occasion and averaged many times what a lot of other players made. I certainly never felt like 'this flash is really just a hollow pursuit when I could be RPing and telling stories'.

It is 500% easier with trunk fulls of money. It's also not a firm grasp on the game to say "lol ur doing it wrong just embezzle". We know how to embezzle.

But I don't want to do dumb chores like on Red. I want to make plots and generate RP.

-1 to anything that is more automated mindlessness.

Agreed, -1 to anything automated topside, that betrays the whole idea of a corporate citizen.

Maybe bump topside pay raises and purchase prices exponentially, so suddenly you have reason to throw all that big flash down at mixers?

I think that what is really needed is some IC equivalent of Red's Code which will demonstrate that while consorting with mixers is bad and horrible if you do it for good of the company, and overall not make too much of mess doing so, you will be fine. Maybe even rewarded.
I am struggling to find a concise way of saying this...

Corpies have access to huge amounts of flash. They just need to figure out how to tap into it. This mostly involves proactively DOING, themely things that fit your role and corporation's agenda. Then, for the cherry on top you abuse the systems in place in smart, reasonable ways for a nice little bonus.

But do keep in mind that corpies are structured to act more like a Johnson and less like a mixer on the grind. Also, you have to play with the politics and present things in a way that gets you want you want and has the corp footing the bill. Wile still living within the limits corpies have to openly abide by.

I have seen several PCs do very well with this. You can too. But I'm not sure I'd want to see more options added that revolve around side hustles and mixer like activities. Everything a corpie does should be influenced by his corp. You can have goals but you need to find ways to align them with your corp's agenda in most cases of just be ready to deal with it out of pocket (and maybe find ways to use that corporate agenda to better line your pockets).

Either way I don't personally see this lack of flash and hustle that others seem to see. I see that the hustle is different from your typical mixer methods and that the big flash has gates that you need to navigate to gain access.

@marleen

there are already things in place like that

Clearly not enough, as every month or so the matter of those risks causing install downfall (not true) comes up.
that is because of the PC not the system
What's wrong with giving those PCs an ICly tangible example of that? If current one is too subtle, then maybe a bit less subtle. Just an occasional NPC getting in caught doing so and then living on.
because consorting with mixers isn't supposed to be a public thing

your coworkers may know about it

your boss may know about it

and as long as it is for the corp's benefit, nobody will do a thing

but you don't go around talking about your mix connections in public like it's a good thing

Stop trying to get easy answers on the boards Marleen, it feels like that's the crux of every single post you make
@Ephemeralis

Stock Markets are such a good idea! Players getting stock options as bonuses to keep them invested in their corporation's prosperity and having some kind of market other players could buy and sell on would be so themely I think. The same sort of coded mechanism could even apply in the mix with some sort of crypto darkmarket (Bizcoin when?).

Stock market has been talked about before and the reasoning was that these are megacorp stocks and they are in billions of chyen which a character could never afford.
I mean, that's a clash of IC 'realism' defeating what could be an absolute buffet of really interesting ideas, who cares? Let people buy(or be given, in specific corp-related situations, or 0x1mm's great blackmarket cryptocurrency idea) micro-shares (this is already a thing today, $10 doesn't buy you a whole share of Apple stock, it buys you a partial share. There's already an IC stockmarket, are there only 4 mega-billionaires in there trading stocks with one another?
I'd rather see more plot hooks and potential to steal from a corp I work for or embezzle funds from a corp, fuck a rival corp over, or do shady deals than ever see more automation.

Personally I think automated work encourages the idle/static kind of players to sit on their ass, run some automated work, horde their flash and never quite do anything with it. So I'd prefer to see people get money through actually working for their corp, and not the bare minimum overall. I know it's hard to encourage plots with how staff time is limited, but player-plots are always possible, and I know the issue is that there's not enough money to encourage those plots, so I'd be all for corpies earning a bit more on their wage. It always bugged me how little they actually make a week in comparison to mixer with automated work.

This is a great thread and I'm not trying to derail it with some sarcastic humor here.

Having said that, there's something deliciously ironic about the meta being flipped on its head and corporate players whining OOCly about being jealous of how much money mixers are making.

Love you all. Mix Life!1!!1!

@Mobius

While I'm certainly aware of other mechanisms available (and players/characters who have taken advantage of them, though I think it's fair to say more than a few of the most notable were doing things that are probably no longer possible), GM-remitted flash from whatever avenue is not really on the scale I'm arguing for there being an issue, my perception has been very much that this ultimately makes up for a tiny minority of the total chyen flowing around. Though this is just my perception, so it does prompt the question of whether GM-remitted plot-related chyen is entering and circulating in the player-driven economy in significant and consistent quantities?

@Ryuzaki4Days

As there have been a few people with the same opinion, I'll ask: In what way would you see a mechanism, like for instance the players markets on Red, as automated income, but would see weekly salaries as not? I'm not sure if the term coded is being parsed for automatic, but I'm actually arguing for less automatic sources of income, and more avenues for active players to make dynamically make flash through systems. I'm sure everyone would just like more plots to do, but I'm also sure GMs are often running as many as they can handle (at least currently) and that again, I don't think there's really much actual flash, in a total percent sense, entering the economy from these sources -- but again I could be wrong.

I think ultimately the position I'm trying to argue is not that like, I personally can't make flash, but rather that, from my perspective in aggregate there's really only a very controlled remittance of liquid currency into the wider topside player economy beyond the baseline of weekly fixed salaries, and I think it's limiting the potential of a larger economic ecosystem in terms of trades, crafting, and plots.

Perhaps I'm wrong and that everyone is just keeping their fat bank accounts and payouts very quiet indeed, but I'm pretty confident in saying nearly all of the talented and effective players I know topside could be making more flash in the Mix -- sometimes vastly more -- and driving commensurately more plots and fuelling more of the secondary economy, and it just doesn't seem to me like there's a great reason for that disparity. Personally I don't think the answer is just play corporate players more as a flat salary, but I do think more avenues to make flash beyond GM-remittances might be.

@ Hek

Despite popular perceptions at the lowest levels, the Mix has always been the largest economic engine in the game by far, and frankly I find your characterization of the discussion here as 'whining' to be rather ill-informed, especially considering the IC contributions of some of the players posting here.

@0x1mm

When I refer to automated income, I refer to things such as crate running, selling to gangers, scavengers, automated salaries from employment etc all bundled into one. Automated income from job salaries makes sense as a corporate, and they are incredibly low (unfortunately). I was actually parsing coded as automatic, and bunching it together, yes.

With that said;

Do I agree that Corpies should be running crates? Fuck no, you're too important for that mixer job, too self-entitled to be doing that kinda whack. Do I think Corpies should be slanging candy to clubbers? Nah, imagine being caught doing petty hustles as a corpie like that, it's gonna make you look bad.

Stock markets have been discussed for years, and they've always been shot down by a senior member of staff, because they're nothing but a chance based farming tool. You wanna do that, go gamble on Kashflo.

It's been mentioned a dozen times in this thread there are ways for Corpies to access mundo flash, go embezzle it. But I am 100% against automation, because then the MOO becomes more grindy/farmy, it encourages idlers who don't get involved in things, and well, several other reasons. Even with the income cap.

That's all I really have to say on the matter, I ain't played a Corpie in a long time now, and even when I did, I had absolutely no issues getting cash to do things.

I am not personally interested in bringing mix style hustles to topside or increasing the wages as too many corpies choose to just collect paychecks as it is. I am very interested in corpies using the systems already available to get paid to do cool and themely things that fit their roles. And I am not talking about a GM puppeting an NPC and handing them flash for reasons (though this might happen on occasion). I am talking about corpies proactively creating their own themely RP.

But I feel like I am repeating myself because I am missing some vital point here. So I am certainly open to new ideas and explanations. :-)

I am very interested in corpies using the systems already available to get paid to do cool and themely things that fit their roles. And I am not talking about a GM puppeting an NPC and handing them flash for reasons (though this might happen on occasion).

Unless I'm missing something, but unless there's some mechanism I'm not aware of all of the ways in which corporate players can fund RP are effectively just direct GM-remittances -- like reimbursements and requisitions has a menu front-end, but it's ultimately no functionally different than puppeting and asking for the same.

Not to be critical, but driving plots through these mechanisms is a dubious gamble a lot of the time, it's practically a cliche that GM interfacing with players is often borderline hostile IC, and all of the most successful players I've ever known (and I've had the privilege to know a few exceptional ones) have made most of their flash through non-GM controlled mechanisms, and my perception was that plots tended to be a net-losses on average, even if they were a lot of fun and worth the cost -- they just weren't really paying the bills a lot of the time, and certainly not funding a secondary ecosystem alone.

And again just to stress -- I'm talking at the macro level, rather than the personal. I don't have the IC skills or engage in the trade and service economy to benefit from the second-market advocacy I'm presenting here. I'm not worried about making flash myself, I just think there's a sector of players and player-driven plots that could benefit from a rising tide so to speak.
It's not that corpies are too poor, it's just too easy to get rich in the Mix.
I'm not sure I agree that it's too easy to get rich in the Mix. For some players it certainly is, but considering how much more Mixers have to deal with theft/extortion/dying/home invasion it balances out.
I can assure you that, while NPCs can be greedy, ambitions, arrogant and mean, your NPC boss is interested in your success up until you prove to be more trouble than you are worth. There are exceptions of course but this is the rule. They (and us GMs) want to see you do awesome things with that position you just gained and NOT just hang in your bedroom and collect paychecks.

If you go and do and pay flash to do something that drives RP, is themely, is applicable to your corporation's agenda and fits your role, you will be compensated at the least. You do not need to wait for an NPC to walk up and give you an assignment. Be proactive.

And if you are unsure, then yes, talk to your boss. Submit a puppet request. But the goals of these puppets are for the player and character to get a feel for what they can and should be doing. So that you are equipped to be proactive and go do cool things without hand holding.

Also, a corporate job is way different than a mix job. A mix job is just a way to pay the rent in many cases. The level of loyalty required is often pretty low. And it probably isn't the center of your life.

A corporate job IS your life. And if you try and treat it like a side gig or as nothing more than a means to collect flash for your own agenda, you might find yourself having trouble. A skilled corporate PC will find ways to spin things so that their own aims at least appear to be aligned with their corps.

Remember. This is a Cyberpunk game. When you sign on with a corp like NLM, you are sacrificing a lot of freedom in exchange for flash and safety. You are going to be monitored. You are expected to rep the corp. Anyone looking at you on the street should feel that your corp is central to your life. Not like that mix job you barely even do.

I think I'm probably not making myself understood well, but I appreciate the discussion everyone had and I think there were some productive ideas exchanged.
I'm of the mindset that mixers tend to hustle more (both coded systems as well as their PC job giving counterparts) because you need to hustle in the mix. I remember my first week in the game. I looked at my job's salary, then realized it would take two months to purchase one of the lowest-tier pieces of armor in the game.

At that moment, I decided to get off my ass and do this 'go RP and make flash' thing that everyone on the forums was talking about. I was doing extremely well for myself, and at that point, I didn't even KNOW about 90% of the ways that people make money that seem to just get completely passed around as free data now. A few years ago, you didn't talk about casually handing big ticket items over to one day immies and collecting huge stacks from grunt work openly. However, to be fair, this was also the time at which (I think) farming was at it's peak. It was just mostly kept under wraps.. (in my limited knowledge)

The thing is, we have these giant fountains of chyen that exist in shadows that are supposed to be getting spread around the dome for work for everyone, and I don't see that much going topside now as opposed to then, and I honestly don't know if that's because the current crop of rank and file corpies are too-risk adverse or too caught up in furiously ERPing to chase after it, OR if it's simply not being offered topside in lieu of making the flash and jobs go like crazy in red.

Before we go slapping more chyen fountains into the game, perhaps we need to have a review and theme discussion with people who hold very highly-regarded roles within the game, and have access to chyen pumps. An audit, if you will. -IF- what we have now is not being allocated and moved around well, then that's really an IC issue, and not an issue of needing more cash money topside. Like I said before, I'm personally of the mindset that the PLAYERS topside need to discard that risk adversity and get to committing more crime. But I discussed that more detail previously in this thread.

I would propose that hustle happens both topside and in the mix. It just takes different forms. So few corpies hustle from what I've seen. Most get into a cozy position then kind of coast. Seriously think hard about your corp and your role and about what you could possibly get your corp to pay for. Really try.

To be clear, I don't just mean you should try and get your corp to buy you more shiny things. I mean think about what you can pay others to do that would benefit your corp. Then get criminal on top of that. ;-)

You want to be that slick Mr. Johnson in a suit and killer shades that is hiring mixers using back channels to do shady things for your corp? We want that too! Give it a try! See what you come up with!

That was my experience as well, Mobius, but it's been some time now since I played a corporate citizen.

Generally was a lot of sitting around, collecting paychecks, bar-RP and complaining that there was nothing happening, heh.

I would propose that hustle happens both topside and in the mix. It just takes different forms. So few corpies hustle from what I've seen. Most get into a cozy position then kind of coast. Seriously think hard about your corp and your role and about what you could possibly get your corp to pay for. Really try.

The issue is that the apparent incentives, guidance, and rewards for putting in that time and effort for a macro-level of population is not there. One player gets some Xo5, a lease, or a military dropship, or some spectacular plot and subsequent fall it is barely a ripple in the greater picture in economic terms.

If only a tiny fraction of the player base topside is playing what the GMs view as the 'correct' way, and the player-driven economy is stifled as a result, with the knock-on effect of reducing the viability of the second-market for services and trade-skills and crafting, I think it bears discussing why that might be.

Some people need to realize that when it says it's a player-versus-player game on the website, that doesn't mean hiring a solo once a year and calling someone a bitch on SIC every now and again.

I've seen it said time and time again to characters that if you can't handle the mix, then you need to go topside. -That- is a systemic problem. Not to state the obvious, but if you're playing a full-on PVP game and you're not plotting, scheming and twirling your mustache like an evil villain daily topside, then you just aren't playing the game correctly. And as Mobius has stated, you really should be aligning your personal goals to that of your corporation ICly.. I.E. that plotting and scheming to fuck your fellow players over as hard and as often as you can should be directed at all of your rivals. Sure, there's some level of corporate solidarity, you're not an animal mixer, after all, but you absolutely should be defending fellow, rival corporates on SIC against mixers, while plotting their demise off SIC.

I find I concur with Talon and Mobius here, and would add that my experiences topside were also showing that the people who did do things were typically antagonistic or secretive enough to not be noticed in their doing of stuff.

But seriously, it was for the majority of people, a safe but boring place to be, and that is regrettable. Personally I'd love to see topside shrink a bit. Maybe have a policy of plotting, where you have to note or report, one plot you're running or taking part in, to the GM's a month, or nebulous forces start swirling to remove you.

To me Topside should be that, either a safe but very temporary retreat for people who fucked up and need safety to lie low, or the bastion of the PGMC, the player GM character, where they are running and motivating plots that shift things downstairs and up.

NLM sees a mixer badmouthing them, there should be ferrymen on them with a discretionary budget in place to get the point across.

NeoTrans sees a novahot Skyfox pilot or mechanic, there should be people attempting to be wining and dining them to stop with that dumb flying for a taxi company like Skyfox, and to come fly an orbiter.

VS should be sending plagued folks down to the mix to "stimulate sales and promote better metrics on disease spread and containment and control." and this should happen on the regular.

Right now a lot of what I notice as well, is topsiders conspiring against each other as well. Which adds to the further degree of paranoia and lack of doing things.

I think blaming players for something that has attracted criticism and concern for years is mislaid criticism. If the player base is not being mobilized in the way the staff would like, the cause is not that the player's are deficient, it is that they're not being properly motivated or guided. Certainly some players can say 'well I did it', but I think it's fair to say things have been seen as stagnant for a long time and I think looking for some root causes and possible solutions is worthwhile, rather than just saying, well they should play better.

Although there's some issues with engagement in the Mix as well, I definitely found the player-driven economy was much healthier there, and there was more avenues for player-driven plots, hence some of my suggestions for mechanical parity as one possible solution.

I do agree that ICly it doesn't make much sense for the budget in corps to be this strict. But I also believe that it is strict to ensure OOC balance -- like I said, easy to get gear in the Mix, but also easy to lose it.

Hard to get gear topside. Also hard to lose.

My observances have been that remittances have been for, in decreasing order of how much chyen value was dispensed; weapons and armour, nanos and chrome, and general contracts. The issue with that being the first two groups don't themselves stimulate the player-driven economy topside and the third was nearly always flowing to the Mix.

If I've got Xo5 sitting in the closet and shiny new Mk23-S because I'm the consummate conspiring CorpSec player, that really does nothing to bolster the economic situation of the setting itself, and it's rewarding one very narrow field of play-styles and players to the exclusion of I think what could be a ton of additional untapped potential in fleshing out the atmosphere and engagement of topside life.

I've read over this whole thread a second time and took notes in an attempt to see if I can identify good ideas or spot places where I can provide advice. Here is what I have:

THE GOAL

Fists of all, I think that the goal here is less than clear. I'll state my goal. I want to enable corpies to do cool things like hiring mixers to do stuff that would benefit their corp. I want corpies to be able to slowly gain wealth if they are proactive and for that rate to increase if they are willing to take risks. My goal is not to make it easier to increase a corpie's personal wealth. So my focus is on spending power.

SIDE GIGS

As I and others have stated, I don't think a lot of side gigs are very themely for most corpies. I don't want corpies running crates or delivering coffee. If they do something demeaning like this it should be fore a very powerful person who can do great things for them.

Even if we did create 'automated means of income' for copries, they would be useless. Most corpies already make more than the weekly cap with their salary alone. I guess we could consider upping the cap just for corpies but I'd rather not. That cap is there to encourage PCs to engage other characters and RP and not just do automated jobs all day.

GM OVERSIGHT AND EFFORT

I honestly don't think that approving reimbursement requests requires all that much time and effort on the GM side. The systems we have are clean and easy for us to use. Also, I think you all underestimate how much oversight we put into mix side hustles. It takes a different form and is less visible to players but it is there.

THINGS FOR JOB X TO DO

We can certainly improve here and we want to. There is, however, a lot players can do on their own too. Are you a bio-tech? Convince someone you need test subjects. Are you a requisitions guy? Get insulted at the mixer who stood too close to you in the Lev and lie to your CorpSec people about how you overheard them talking on the phone about bombing your corp. Chemist? Play with the various strains and convince people you need guinie pigs (willing or not) to test your drugs on.

We want to improve things here but don't wait on us. Go make your own stories.

REGULAR ASSIGNMENTS

This idea proposed by Grizzly and Talon is a lot like what I laid out. The difference is that I want to see players create their own assignments and do them. Don't wait for GMs to hand them out. Honestly, half the time we do hand them out the PCs just drop the ball or ignore it anyways. I've tried. A lot.

Doing this cover's two things: Buying Power and Personal wealth. You get buying power when you know what kind of things you can throw flash at and be confident the corp will reimburse you for it. You should be trying to learn this so that by the time you are out of Junior you can start doing cool things. The personal wealth comes from rewards of being proactive and driving RP and increase by being shady here.

BUDGET AMOUNTS

This is an IC thing. If you feel the budget is too limited then tell your boss. Be ready to justify a change. These aren't set in stone. But I rarely see budget being a real issue. And remember that people are more likely to get flash to do cool things with then they are if all they want to do is to buy themselves the next new shiny thing.

GENERAL ADVICE

1. Get hired at a good time, when you can handle the step up.

2. As a Junior, put in an effort to learn what you can safely spend on in the corp's name

3. Out of Junior, start spending and driving RP. Even if every corpie did just one cool thing a month topside would explode with activity.

4. Remember that IC rules can be broken. Should be broken even. No risk, no reward.

5. Remember that you can be a mix loving whore as long as it's done discretely or framed right.

6. Cash flow matters more than account balance. Yes, you need a decent chunk of flash to front expenditures. But once you have a decent amount, the flow will be beautiful if you can tap into corporate flash - even if you balance doesn't raise crazy fast.

7. Every so often stop and think about what your PC could do to stir things up in a way that your corp will like and pay for. Is there a problem that needs solved? Can I create a problem that needs solved?

Out of Junior, start spending and driving RP. Even if every corpie did just one cool thing a month topside would explode with activity.

I agree -- and yet, it isn't, which I think is very telling. I think the same mantra of 'get out and take risks and tell stories' with no change in the mechanisms to encourage, guide, and reward that sentiment has persisted for a long time, and I think giving players themselves more means to enact that on their own terms might start to change that, but I'm only really confident there's a problem, I can only speculate on solutions.

I do notice there's been historically a lot of resistance to independent player agency, with player wealth being carefully controlled. Is that beneficial to the game world as a whole? I'm not sure, but I think it's worth questioning -- but I also think player-driven economics and player-driven plots should be the ideal, rather than a side-show to GM managed gameplay, so I may simply have a different conceptual view of what makes for satisfying interactions.

Thank you for that excellently worded response, Mobius. 😊

Will focus on improving.

Well here goes my 2 cents from someone that has never spent much time topside but is concerned with all he stuff they are reading in this thread

Idea is a corporations have a "productivity" metric of some sort that is determined by GMs when certain plots are completed for the corp. Then a corp has a certain amount of "pay stock" for its topside employees in withmore. Depending on your position in the corporation you get more or less of that "paystock" which is determined by the highest level of PC management in withmore and can be passed down through lower management levels. Deciding who gets how much can depend on performance bribes blackmail ect. Then at the end of the month as well as normal salary the employees get a bonus based on how productive there company was and how much of the "paystock" they have.

Please see my post in the theme thread for my take on our coded and uncoded income systems and how you can ICly find out more about them.

TLDR: ask ICly, possibly by creating a grid post where you character is asking what people do to hustle topside or in the Mix.