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Find out IC - Make it more pallettable.
Newbie's Perspective.

Now all this is just me talking, not bashing ya, not trying to upend the cart or anything, but just sharing honest feelings and feedback.

So I totally understand that you can't be told certain things in OOC context whether through game help or ooc.

But I do think you guys go a little crazy with it sometimes. Example:

I recently asked how I forget something, since memorizing something is a feature.

I was told to ask IC how to forget something. Now do you realize how stupid that would be? If I'm a living breathing character in the world and I straight up ask you, "So hey chum, how do I forget something I remembered?"

Whether people have just been beaten into submission to repeat "Find out IC" without fail or it's a reflexive response I get it but come on here guys.

Also, it's been hinted at that RP is the main way to get ahead, and I have found some instances of run here, do that, watch this guy, spy on this guy etc etc. But these fall under the same issues that IG jobs have in my opinion, they require days/weeks of effort to get paid (At least on the spying side). I personally am a big proponent of effort based advancement in games. Put in a shit load of effort and get something for it and maybe that's just not how this place works and I'm not trying to tell you how it to run shit or anything, again just sharing my feelings.

On the subject of RP advancement be it cash/social/gear whatever. It's been hinted at that the sky is the limit, think up some crazy shit and do it with risk/reward and gain/consequence as the barometer to success. But nowhere do I see a hint of it really except for via help NOTES where it mentions crimes that aren't coded.

So if say me just emoting/posing doing shit and tossing a note in and waiting for admin approval/denial/consequence to come raining down on me is an issue, I think that needs to be spelled out MUCH better than it currently is.

Why? I've ran around this damn town like a chicken with my head cut off trying to find coded things to do to make money, again back on that effort/reward way I tend to play.

While I totally understand some folks might be happy to sit in a bar or in their apartment for hours of play and talk on the sic, play on the grid and I'm not judging them. I just wonder if there is truly a place for action oriented folks? (Players).

Now I also think I might have made a mistake with my first character archetype trying to do something that appears to not really be in demand or coded much, so I think maybe recommending combat to new players might be good? Because it seems like there is always someone trying to fuck someone up in the Mix.

In finishing, I might be totally wrong on all this, but it's because I have such limited info and experience. There is only so many inferences I can make and so many times I can ask a question before I give up hitting the find out IC wall on issues that I really shouldn't find out ic.

Frustrated, but loving the game, just can't figure the shit out.

When I was new to Sindome, they did the exact same thing. 'Find out IC' to things that really, any sane human being should know how to do, if it was in real life. Finding everything out IC is just going to turn Withmore City into a game even ICly, and that's awkward. I thought it had gotten better since, but then I don't use the xgame channel much anymore. That part I totally agree with you on. People being a little too scared of being accused of metagaming, so much that they throw a 'find out IC' without really considering how dumb it might be, in some instances. I don't really have a lot of opinions on the other stuff.
I do find that "Find out IC" for mechanics based questions being the only answer given for new players has definitely driven lots of players away in my time here. Even just changing the automatic thought from 'Find out IC' to 'You can look at X help file for more information on that. Anything else is something you need to find out in character." would help with both understanding and player retention and growth.
I don't want to sound confrontational at all, I don't really like that sort of thing on OOC mediums but I feel like another perspective would do this thread some good.

I am a new player too, 22 days as of today. I read every help file suggested to me by the system generated notices and examined everything I could find as instructed by players on game-help and as recommended by system messages and quite frankly, I have had to ask very few questions on game-help as a result.

I think maybe that you may feel like "FInd out IC" or "Read the help file" may seem hostile, or, blunt, or uncaring, but I think it's supposed to be a "for your own good" type thing, like it's to encourage good behaviors from you, to be self-sufficient as a player, to respect the game and the work that goes into the help files and the IC and OOC explanation of features and functionality.

Good players want to play with other good players, and the best way to make a good player out of a new player, is giving them the tools to survive on their own.

Give someone a fish, feed him for a day, teach someone to fish, feed them for life, etc.

On the note of RP and time invested, I do not want to say too much because I do not want to 'out' any of my RP, but I have been involved in so much just by talking to random people, that it has blown my mind how much value I've gotten out of Sindome in the past 3 weeks.

I've made and lost what I think is a fair amount of money, I've had positive and negative things happen to me, and it's all been fun, I could have easily gotten upside at how some RP played out in contrast to my expectations, but it was fun, bad things happened and it was fun to RP it out, that's awesome.

Setbacks can be good for the gameplay, a bad for your character, I believe the cure for getting caught up in the negativity of "bad for the character" is by investing more in the gameplay value of Sindome, and less in your characters overall progression and powerscaling.

I hope this helps a lot, I can only wish that people enjoy the game as much as I am right now.

Honestly I had some setbacks, and I thought flush the character at first, but then I reflected that the setback was literally the most interesting RP I've had so I don't know if that's the saddest thing or the best.
So you had several different things you bring up in your OP @Volo, so I'll try and address them in turn.

1) FOIC: This is a thing that the community has to get reminded of from time to time. A few years ago it got to the point that xgame was a contest to see who could spam FOIC the fastest. Some things should be FOIC, but at the same time, help for basic questions like verbs and the like isn't FOIC material, in my mind. It's like telling a character that has a significant UE expenditure into driving that they have to FOIC how to start a car :(.

In most cases EXAMINE HERE or EXAMINE OBJECT will give you the basic details to start getting yourself into trouble, but sometimes you'll want to either make and ask an IC mentor "Hey, my car's computer is acting up, who out there has experience with those things?" and other times you'll have to ask on xgame.

2) Money making: You can work your ass off IC to make tons of money but in the end, money is a fleeting thing, and if you work yourself to death trying to make it, you're more likely to just quit when you lose it. Try not to focus on the material and instead work on the RP aspects of the game.

3) Sky's the limit (RP): This is something that's perpetuated, but doesn't often happen in practice. Any kind of plot that is going to have a major impact to the game is going to require staff approval, NPC interaction, and potentially code changes. As a result, these things aren't on the timetable of days/weeks and are instead more like weeks/months/years. I won't be a negative Nancy and say they don't happen, because they do, but they're rare. One of the overarching themes of SD is that players don't have a ton of agency in this dystopia setting. That's both an IC and OOC thing.

4)Pacing: SD is a slow, slow, SLOW game. I can't stress this enough. It can be hard to keep up with the insane volume of shit that's going on in-game, because SD has an active playerbase of around a hundred people or more that log in at least once or twice a week, so the pace of the WORLD can be crazy. However, the pace of your character and their development is going to be in terms of months/years. I really want to stress the following point the solution to wanting faster character development is not to play a combat character. Combat characters who are not veteran rerolls take months of initial UE investment before they start being capable of doing even relatively simple things. If you're wanting a more active and engaging lifestyle for your character, try running in circles that are extremely active day over day. Examples of this would be things like gangs, or running jobs for corporations who are looking to add people into their spy networks.

@Andromeda

I definitely agree on your 'play to lose' sort of deal. This isn't that kind of game where whoever is best wins. If you enjoy the game, especially because of the roleplay, I think you've won.

However, I am totally fine with people referring others to helpfiles. It can be very confusing when you're new to Sindome, or maybe text-based games altogether and be told to 'find out IC' and you don't know half of the commands yet. It took me about a week to manage to properly navigate the game as Sindome was my first MUD/MOO/text-based game. But this was nearly three years ago. And there is still so much to learn! However, I stopped needing the xgame channel after maybe a month. For the most part.

I am also fine with people sharing help files I did not mean to imply I was against that, I was just trying to share that I felt the game did a good job directing you to them itself when you try to use a feature.

I think it's great that people help one another on game-help, they've cleared more than a few things up for me, mostly around proper ways to conduct yourself OOC/ICly about a few different topics.

I guess if they wanted to improve the experience of game-help they could make it a moderated system where someone poses a question via a command to the channel rather than just talking on it, and players with a special flag that's authorized to respond to these questions could give an answer, and these people would be expected to give meaningful and thoughtful responses that are appropriate for the question asked. Given enough veteran, patient players with this ability, it may possibly improve the game-help experience.

That's just a thought, I don't want to step on any toes or suggest that there needs to be a change, just brainstorming.

So, what I'm hearing, and I'm not trying to be a smart ass at all here is:

Sindrome is super slow to develop characters IE their abilities due to the UE gain/spend, so you're not going to be good at anything for months.

Due to this fact, expecting to do much of anything but running, bar RP, simplistic jobs (Bartender/Cabbie (if you have the ability)/Food service) is probably rare unless you go for an entry level corpie job, but that has a whole different set of restrictions.

Running the streets, hustling, putting effort into gain is not a real successful method of play due to the above, not to mention it's annoying as fuck to see people promoting themselves constantly on sic and nobody seems to use the grid for much.

Summary: I'm probably not going to have a good time here.

I have done nothing but hustle, put effort in, and run the streets without anything coded other than crate work and I believe I have been more successful than someone with an actual job that hands out a paycheck.

I sincerely think that if you try not to be so caught up with whats going to happen in the future for your character and just live the moment and make snap decisions as things come up, you will find more enjoyment out of the randomness of the game and RP than any other type of single player or multiplayer game.

That's the great things about MUDs, they're slow, and give you plenty of opportunity to develop and experience really detailed stories and experiences on your own or with other players.

One thing that really caught me and dragged me in was the help think file, learning that there is IC cybernetics that let you read thoughts made a lightbulb go off in my head, I now think it is meta to not use think religiously, if I am standing in a bar and I need to do something important, I use think to tell myself, because that makes sense to me, and doing things on that level for my character, has made me even more immersed in my RP experiences than I had expected. It puts me at risk if my thoughts are read, but hey, thats literally what mind-reading equipment should enable you to do, catch people off-guard by snooping on thoughts, that's awesome!.

I hope this helps but I do get the sense that you've already decided last night that you may not want to continue on.

Most opportunities you'll get to make money as a new character aren't code based, Volo. You'll be depending on more experienced characters to involve you in stuff, so the best you can do is make sure to put yourself out there and make sure lots of people know who you are.

When you have a bunch of contacts willing to use you for things the game becomes less of a grind. Ideally the worst you'll have to deal with are the consequences if something goes wrong in the event you decide to take on something risky.

Alternatively, join up with one of the gangs on Red if you're looking for something heavy on day-to-day interaction. Second to that would be one of the security teams on Red, who see less action but will have PCs and NPCs willing to both involve you in things and show you how to do things.

As others have mentioned, it is a slow game but that doesn't mean that it's boring.

@Volo

SD is slow to develop your character, yes. It takes about 2&1/2 years of playing daily to hit the XP cap. You'll need about 2-3 months of focused UE expenditure to become halfway decent at something initially, but things tend to get easier as you go due to the way that stats and skills interact with one another.

Consider that MU*, your actions will break down into consuming RP, Generating RP, or some mix of the two. So far, you're focusing on consumption: "I want to get a job doing this, I want to get hired to do runs, I want to hustle this thing, etc." Sooner or later, you'll want to try giving RP creation a shot. For some of us, consuming is the most entertaining aspect of the game, and for others it's making RP for others and seeing how it plays out. Experiment some, and you might be pleased to find yourself enjoying new things.

When I said originally to try not to focus on material things, it's simply because the effort required to make things is much greater than the effort required to take things. You might hustle all week for a couple thousand chyen, and lose it in an instant to a mugging. By focusing on that materialism (Good for theme, maybe not good for RP/enjoyment of the game) it'll be harder to recognize that getting mugged is essentially a RP prompt. You just got mugged, and lost a week's worth of 'chyen progress' now what do you do?

Just try and keep in mind that you don't need UE to have a good time in SD. And for the most part, you don't need UE to get RP, consume plots or generate plots. And that's really, at the end of the day, what the game's all about. Storytelling.

It's normal for creative new players to start and try to do ten things at once, spending every waking moment hustling, never learn how to throttle back, and then to burn out in a few days/weeks.

Bursts of activity often generate RP and veterans love seeing immies with hustle, but you do have to settle in for the long haul. I advocate a lot for improving new player impressions of the game, but players who aren't able to settle in to long term strategic play aren't going to really get into the best parts of the game.

You can be good at many things in a few days or weeks, more than enough to make a living on it, though which things will vary.

Coded mechanics where your skills are checked against another character, your success is being around par or better than them, so combat at the beginning often requires punching in your weightclass or a hell of a lot of bluffing.

Mechanics against a fixed check, or series of checks, can be more forgiving. Once you can pass those checks reliably, you can do the thing reliably and it may not matter that someone else has a thousand times more UE than you.

Correction. I shouldn't say many things. There are one or two skills that can be learned from zero in a few weeks that you can make a living on with hard work (easier still to start with them in character creation), and improve as you work.

Most things take a while to get good at and to develop the stats to support them. But then you're good at them forever, which is why Sindome favours the long game.

Jumping in here for a few things:

TLDR: ANYONE TELLING NEW PLAYERS TO FOIC WHEN THEY ASK MECHANICS QUESTIONS LIKE HOW A COMMAND IS USED OR WHAT THE OPPOSITE OF A COMMAND IS -- PLEASE STOP!

Anyone who is telling new players to FOIC when they ask mechanics questions like how to 'forget' something, please stop now. Anyone seeing people doing this, please ask them nicely to stop, and state that finding out IC is for in character information, not commands the player needs to execute.

FOIC is for where to find Acme Wholesale, or the Hall of Justice or Genetek. Or where to buy a gun. Or if guns are illegal. Or what the purposes of the Judges are. Or how much a clone costs. When someone asks that-- don't just say FOIC. Say Find out in character-- a good play to start is on the public SIC. 99% of questions can be answered by having them asked on the public SIC.

Commands, especially commands that the character would not be using but rather are an interface for the player to animate their character, are not FOIC things.

USE THIS RULE OF THUMB:

If the person asked this question on public SIC, would it be weird? Probably an OOC question.

If the person asked this question on public SIC, would it make sense? Probably a FOIC question. Direct them to the sic.

SHADES OF GREY

If the player is asking how to get so fucked up on drugs that they forget some experience-- sure, that's FOIC, but if someone is asking what the opposite of the 'memorize' command is, that's exactly what game-help is for.

If you aren't sure if it's FOIC, say so. Let a GM respond. Or let a player who knows the answer respond. This has been a big complaint from a number of new players. Yes, we want people to find out things on their own. Yes we want them to use help files. Yes we want to train them to look in character -first-, but there is no opposite to memorize in terms of a a command. You need to literally 'memorize' new lines until you don't see the thing you memorized previously anymore because it has been overwritten.

Point people to helpfiles, and give them legitimate answers. Don't tell them how to be an awesome street sam, and don't talk about your own stats or skills or things like that, but in situations where people need -information- especially information that is contained in help files, or should be contained in help files-- this is the purpose of the game-help channel!

As a side note, this would be better suited in Game Problems & Complaints as opposed to ideas. This definitely leans toward a problem in the game as opposed to a fresh idea.