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Low Tier Firearm Accessibility
What's a Seburo?

This is all written from my limited perception, so please gladly throw grains of salt at this.

Over time, it's seemed the player base has steadily gravitated towards melee (not Melee) forms of combat and we're seeing fewer and fewer firearm users as a result, for some obvious and some less than obvious reasons. I won't expound too much on these, as I think most people know them, but I will point towards the mechanical and RP issues with early firearm access being one of them with this post.

When new or returning players make their characters, I believe they're taking these limitations into consideration, along with other factors, in their choice of weapons.

So my idea is simple. Give access to the first tier or two of firearms via a store in the Mix, so that players aren't disinclined to choose them as a weapon. While I know that this is feasible currently IC, it becomes something of a chicken and the egg issue. The means to create the supply for them requires the demand, and the demand is limited because of the lack of supply, so people aren't going that route. The risk and overhead are too high.

However. If the lowest tier were made more readily available, we'd see more people choosing them. I understand the pros of firearms, but I believe the cons are severely underestimated for not only new players, but immies in general.

Gun, ammo, holster, and other accouterments are far beyond what an immy's normally willing to spend, and if they do work their way up, they're all skipping the shittiest tier. In contrast, even a pro Melee/Sword/Knife fighter can still pick up the lowest tier weapon in their skill for very cheap and still have defensive functionality with it.

In summary; during the course of character creation, the players are given strong incentive towards melee versus firearms, and these lower tier firearms never see use because of the restrictions, with people ending up aiming for higher tiers for their first guns, so we see fewer and fewer firearm users. Because of the lack of demand, there's also no supply, which means no sweet sweet smuggling action, and the cycle repeats itself. By offering an easier way for the lowest tier firearms to be obtained, we'd see more variety in skill choices, more diverse combat, more demand for higher tier firearms, and more RP as a result.

Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.

I really don't want to give any IC thing away here, but, there used to be a fairly well-used avenue for improving the supply of firearms in the Mix - cheap or otherwise. I don't really know the details but I feel like the people who knew how to exploit and enable this disappeared and didn't pass it on.

A steady supply of cheap ones would be snapped up in no time if it were available. Some of the "usual-suspect" stores would stock them, no doubt, or else, everyone would just know someone who could get them easily.

Nightrunners walk on glass.

It's still around, with limited accessibility from what I'm aware, and (seemingly) no use in this regard because of my chicken and the egg supply/demand issue I mentioned.

This is also what I meant by overhead/risk.

The lack of firearms usage is REAL.

The entire game feels like some feudal lord and peasant simulator at times, seeing hordes of people bashing in each other's brains with bats and sticks. And dear god, the turtle meta just needs to -go-.

Some of it's a community issue, like you eluded to, but also, like, people need to loosen the *@% up and stop playing SD like it's min/max risk evasion simulator 24/7. Buy and ILLEGAL gun and go do CRIME with it, people. That's kind of the entire point of SD. Get caught. It'll suck. You'll have cool stories to tell about it, and it'll spiral out into more RP.

I feel like this is a 100% IC thing that should be addressed IC, but I understand the frustration that brought it to the forums.
I think guns are very accessible but certainly not in an overabundance due to the meta around melee weaponry. I don't mind this and think it's simply the typical guttersnipe see - guttersnipe do phenomenon common to Sindome.

Without going into too much detail, I think there is a significant return on investment for firearms as a new player but it's a lot trickier of a path to take.

My expectation is the meta will shift over time as people become more experienced and even then eventually it'll shift back again. Just the way it goes.

And like I said, Quotient, while I recognize there's IC solutions to it, there's also OOC issues with it with peoples' approach to the game.

The IC solution to it also puts the onus of being an arms dealer on a player, and accepting the associated risks at a cost to themselves, which is why I'm suggesting an OOC solution to an OOC problem.

People aren't hitting chargen going "Oh, well I'll hit up JoeBaka to sell me a gun, so I'll choose pistols."

Maybe someone came along and tried to pwn the turtle meta but due to the chaotic nature of SD/outside influence it didn't work out so well.
Well HolyChrome. I think the point you're getting at but not really laying out is that firearms, and getting into firearms isn't exactly newbie friendly. Not without a GM or player providing a crutch to the introduction, anyway.

I get that... but... is increasing firearm availability going to solve the issue of the necessary understanding of underlying mechanics with firearms? Maybe that should be an issue that's addressed alongside availability.

Look, I'm obviously extremely biased in this regard, but seriously, there's been a massive uptake in the number of players playing melee ever since melee got buffed. It's not some unrelated thing.

A pretty new player can pick up two sticks, use a certain stance and dunk on NPC's for profit. You can't do the same with guns. You try that exact same thing with a ranged weapon and you're going to get pulverized because there isn't innate defensive bonuses to ranged weapons, and the sniping nerf from years back hit ranged combat (as in actual ranged combat, not in the same room) very hard. So one of the primary methods of trying to play more defensively with guns simply doesn't have the bite that it used to. It's not to say that it's garbage or something, but it simply isn't as effective in a lot of situations. And I feel that that lack of ranged bite took some of the sting out of using melee weapons.

So while I agree that it's certainly in part an IC problem, there's more going on here than just purely IC issues.

Why I'm suggesting only the lowest tier. People will play around with them and also want to upgrade, promoting them to seek out arms dealers ICly, and the associated RP with them. Give them just a taste, the "starter" ones, and I can guarantee, you'll see more firearm users, arms dealers, and Munitions types.
I actually really like the idea of availability increases, I know I've only been here a short time but I don't think I've ever seen a firearm in someone's hands more than once other than on TV or in the Corporate sectors.

I hope I don't derail this conversation at all, but I see it brought frequently on these types of posts or something along these lines, that dual wielding is useful right out the gate as a new player.

However, just reading up on the update notes from when this was added to the game doesn't seem to suggest as much.

DUAL-WIELDING

Dual-wielding will now give you a penalty, no effect or a bonus to parrying depending on your skill with your secondary weapon for a given combat round and your combat posture. It used to give a penalty across the board. This will be a trade-off between risking more gear and getting a bonus for using it, if you master your weapons.

If I am reading this right, low skill should equal a penalty, moderate skill should have no effect for holding two weapons and there should be a bonus for high skill, but if this isn't the way it's performing it seems like it would be a bug worth investigating for sure.

Back on track though, I think firearms tend to be the more themely weapon I'd expect coming into a cyberpunk game next to swords, and they are for sure a highlight for games like Deus Ex and Cyberpunk 2077.

I'd really like to see more of them in use!

There's a couple key issues that I think hold back gun gameplay that should be looked at, in my experience.

Mods being a one and done thing means that techs only ever get work on fresh guns that haven't seen any usage. That's not.. super ideal in my mind. A significant portion of heaters cycle players or get ransomed back, so the demand for that service is very low overall.

Some weapon mods and accessories are really oddly expensive. I think I made a thread about scopes and trusites being the same price, but I might be misremembering.

Heaters have a lot of downsides. Like a whole lot. They can't be carried around willy-nilly, they can break in ways that costs flash and requires other players to fix, and you can get in serious, life-changing trouble with them for making absent-minded mistakes.

Then there's the availability issue. There's not a lack of availability present, and people who are icly in the know about this don't have issues, but there's a perception that they are hard to get and hold onto.

I won't even mention the economics of using guns. That's just a massive downside. Guns are way more expensive to buy, kit out, and resupply than melee weapons are. And that's realistic, but probably not the best for gameplay.

I think there could be several ways this could be addressed ICly. A reversion on the ban on firearms in the mix could go a LONG way to fixing this issue. Anyone being able to get licensed might also push people to get more interesting with their RP rather than just 'Kill X, snap neck then shout about it on SIC.' An entire black market on ransoming people back their serialized, legal firearms would make for kickass RP.

All I can say, in vague terms is, there's a demand, not a supply issue here. And I personally think it's primarily a perception issue, but there's certainly mechanical issues underlying as well, also.

While I think this idea is more of an IC problem than an OOC one, I do think that this thread has probably given people ideas for things that may be helpful to do ICly, both on the buying and selling end, to cater to or fix these issues. So thank you HolyChrome for bringing it up!
As far as -issues- with firearms, I'd like to suggest someone start another thread discussing them. It could probably use for.

This thread was meant as a solution for a perceived problem, not discussion of surrounding ones.

Mods being a one and done thing means that techs only ever get work on fresh guns that haven't seen any usage.

Techs do more than modding. Whether people pay them for the services is another wrinkle - shooters who do their own work forgo other opportunities.

I think the scarcity of guns, is not unlike the scarcity of even more common items like ponchos or letters. Its an IC problem that has IC solutions but also this is not something random.

Do I like it? No. Would I want stuff in general including guns to be more commonly available? Yes.

Would it be balanced? Maybe if the guns were really crappy, but still the theme consequences of guns might not make it that wise of an investment.

If you listened to one of the SD podcasts, one of them talks a bit about this.

Rhicora [to Shady Guy]: Got anything for sale?

Shady Guy unveils his trenchcoat full of cheap 3D-printed pistols.

Shady Guy: Yeah, I got a PopPop Defender.

Rhicora [to Shady Guy]: Sure, I'll take a PopPop Defender.

You count out some chyen and hand it to Shady Guy.

Shady Guy gives you a PopPop Defender.

Shady Guy [to You]: Good luck, chum.

There is a supply issue, in the sense that the mechanisms of firearms supply make them more vulnerable to per unit added costs and these costs tend to be fixed unless you purchase at a scale that's really not practical for the size of the player base.

Below a certain threshold the added costs exceed the value of the weapons themselves.

The really crappy guns are consumable and as such don't have supply constraints the way the other items referenced do.
Besides the economic napkin-math and questions of game balancing... I think it would be good for the theme to encourage more basic gun usage. It does feel all a little swords-and-sorcery at times.
The lack of gun usage in the mix makes it feel strange. Guns should be thematically be the primary weapon of crime in any cyberpunk setting, honestly, even with guns being illegal. They are still accessible in a sector with barely any legal authorities, and would often be much preferred over being a street samurai with a katana.

Honestly, it feels like almost everyone is using swords in the mix, it's kinda strange to think about thematically.

It's a demand problem more than a supply one. Finding a gun isn't hard, finding someone who packs a gun is hard. So it's down to culture more than anything.
Player's choices of weapons ebb and flows.

Usually it's based on their understanding of how a character is built or just seeing 'badasses' with a certain weapon and consciously(or unconsciously) wanting to be more like them.

Melee weapons have a superior advantage OOC and ICly over firearms that also deters many from going through the trouble to getting it.
I agree @Celestial, but there's been a pretty sharp decline in the numbers of people playing shooters in the mix over the past two to three years. And we've had a lot of badassed characters in that time to inspire people.

Lord knows I am doing my best to push this issue ICly, but it's really a demand problem. Which as I said, leads me to believe it's either a balance issue, or a big perception problem. The first isn't easy to fix, and the second seems more like a continual effort than a problem that has a defined solution.

Sure, I can agree there.

I still don't believe this is due to the availability of low, and low-to-mid range of firearms, however.

I would agree its both a balance and supply/demand issue. Due to perception in balance, there isn't a demand and that affects supply, which contributes back to the perception in general.

Its illegal, uses ammo, requires maintenance, expensive, gets jammed, expensive holsters, fixers, hard to conceal, etc etc etc.

A melee or blade just works, isn't illegal, and abundant.

Anyway if you wield guns and ask around enough, you're going to find someone who sells them. I agree with Kiwi here, I don't think this is a supply issue.
It may be masked by the existing pool of already-generated weapons re-circulating in the player base, but from an economic theory standpoint there are some fixed supply cost issues that disproportionately effect generation and distribution of entry-level guns.

The extant pool of player circulating weapons makes it a semi-invisible problem, and maybe a non-issue if the current pool is large enough, but I don't think it does the entry-level guns (already with so many downsides) any favours.

@0x1mm,

Well, when you think about the faucets and sinks present in SD in relation to firearms, and the retention rate of characters by player age, yeah, there's an issue.

New players/characters are the most likely to perm out. Permed out people's stuff isn't quite as likely to circulate as mid-to-high end stuff that isn't going to just sit around idle.

Nobody cares if joebaka and his 10K collection of random drek perms, but when established people perm, there's a mad dash to secure stuff for resale.

Barring some future reworks and balances by the quartermaster, it's been my experience that pretty much every new character all but skips the first tier of entry level stuff. That could be a balance issue, could be an economic issue. Personally, I don't think there's quite enough of a gulf between some of the lower-tier options, Some are not significantly more expensive than their lower tier counterpart, but seem to have a big jump in effectiveness. However, that's just my rather limited experience speaking. Perhaps retweaking the curve that ammo based weapons have might address that. Some weapon classes are crowded at the low end. Some weapon types have noticable luils in the midrange, and that's prime real-estate for stick already existing assets into more interesting roles.

Here I am writing out this thesis and then realizing it's just a treatise on how to smuggle guns and where it starts being profitable and viable, so instead I'll just say that my subjective impression, based on what parts of the system I can see and understand to some degree, the bulk of the low-end guns in player circulation got there when the supply lines were 'warmer' and therefore more profitable.

This is sort of tangential to the topic, but from what I've seen I would expect firearms to become much less popular over time than they are as entry- and mid-range extant supplies dwindle and the price goes up.

In theory the rise in prices produces market pressure to warm the supply lines back up and makes their sale profitable again... except that the 'game' factor means that guns are in some practical ways just reskinned swords or knives and so they're subject to pricing pressure from things other than just themselves.

Based on that I'd expect firearms characters to go down and stay down until there was some perceived correction that outweighed the cost.

I think the game sort of reinforces this idea that firearms should be better (requiring different RP concerns, having additional costs, not appearing as often on NPCs) when they're arguably worse in a lot of ways.

From a purely gameplay standpoint I think there could very easily be Seburos issued on certain tokens in place of other weapons and you'd see no real game imbalance result from something like that, but would probably give an avenue for new characters to experiment more compared to bokkens, butterfly knives, et cetera.

There are too many issues with firearms for me to go into here, but I believe the primary one responsible for sparking this particular thread is the one of OOC, thus IC culture. Firearms come with significantly more risk, are harder to find and are much more expensive to use. A PC is more likely to come into the city with something else on their character sheet if they want to get into combat immediately, whether that be through a gang or some other avenue.

Also, something else that's extremely relevant here. NPC bosses need to stop demanding that firearm users learn martial arts because shooting people hurts feelings and looks bad. Why there's so much fuss about the optics here is beyond me, considering this is the dystopian cyberpunk future. The game is leaning a certain way not because players don't want to use guns, but because a lot of the time it's simply not feasible.

I think the key insight from several previous posters is that firearms compete with other weapons on if not equal at least similar playing fields. That's part of the nature of a game -- I'm not suggesting that gun beats knife pretty much all the time -- but I think 0x1mm and others observed correctly that guns are competing with katanas and machetes and lead pipes.

I agree that it seems to be more a demand issue than a supply issue, though I think increased supply can impact demand positively. My sense is that generally, though, guns in general could stand be 'ticked up' in balance and that might make them more desirable.

Just an observation here from reading all the points.

If Guns compete with katanas and other weapons nearly equally, doesn't that make them far less attractive given the significant higher cost, lower availability, illegality and other cons on the list?

If they have all these negative aspects, it sort of feels like perhaps they shouldn't be performing equally in head to head combat.

Exactly.

Assuming they are nearly equal, the cost for a low to mid tier firearm is almost the price of a high end blade. You can open carry a high end blade almost always while in Gold and Green with no consequence. You can't do the same with a firearm without risk, for example. Being able to carry your weapon and prepared to fight always vs having to tip toe around with a firearm.

A lot of misinformation being spread here.

And let's keep IC details out, please.

A few thoughts on this one:

1. There is generally an accessible NPC alternative for most anything in this game. Except for buying guns. That's pretty much PC only. I know that some here might say, "But there's that one guy!" And yes, there is that one guy. And between that guy and new players using their guns in the mix is a LOT of red tape and chy loss. There are exceptions but finding a gun at a reasonable price as a new PC (especially new mixer PCs) feels like winning the lottery. We don't want to undercut PC hustle and a PC first mentality is always good in my opinion but I think that things are pretty unbalanced in this regard.

2. This is IC but it's also on The Mind and listed as common knowldge. Guns are pretty much the only weapons that are strictly illegal without a license. By taking a gun you are taking on a huge headache (especially as a mixer) and, early in the game, it's often not worth the effort. Further, there is a large number of locations where a mixer can't take a gun without taking on some serious risk that other weapons don't deliver. Not to mention that there are other ups and downs to firearms that other weapon skills just don't have to worry about but that's best to learn about ICly. Still, they are a factor.

3. Yes, there are some things one can do ICly as a PC to address this but I agree with HolyChrome that there is an OOC element here. I would mention that there are more than a few things that have changed in regards to firearm accessibility and smuggling in the last few years. Keep in mind that the game is always evolving so the tips and tricks that one might have been able to apply a few years ago may or may not apply to today.

4. This constant stream of 'melee was buffed' and 'two sticks' is misleading in my opinion. ALL ONE HANDED WEAPONS CAN BE DUAL WIELDED. This includes swords, knives, pistols and more (yes, you can parry with a pistol). It is also dependent on skill as others have pointed out. Further the specific combo has specific downsides. Yes, NPCs generally need to be puppeted before they can take advantage of some of the downsides this brings but I will say I have seen GMs puppet PCs specifically to do so in the past. I am not saying a small debuff wouldn't be worth trying but I also think that a lot of PCs just never learned how to deal with this scenario.

4. Guns are really awesome and can deliver a level of satisfaction other weapons don't. They also change the battlefield. To be fair, the scarcity of guns can in some ways benefit those who do use them as fewer PCs are aware of how they change the battlefield and suffer from it.

I would reasonably allow non-Junior corporate citizens to license up to 9mm for self-defense purposes even if they're not working security. I've long since stated that there are a number of privileges mixers enjoy that the supposed 'privileged' corporates do not, and further pushing this limit in terms of firearms availability goes in the wrong direction in my mind.

Making things more available, sure, but that goes both ways, and the legally favored side seems to get shafted here, not to mention those meant to supply them having previously had trouble keeping their business open simply because of scarcity topside.

It goes without saying ammocrafting should be implemented alongside any of this, as well.

IC problems, with IC complications, with IC solutions.

Counter points to a few points so I'm not just plying memes.

Firearms licenses are literally available to ALL PC's to apply for. People in security roles just have a discount or the ability to reimburse it. RP with a judge or hall employee, they are generally desperate for RP, and REALLY good RPer's.

There are multiple sources for firearms in the mix. Smuggling isn't -that- hard. There just are IC complications that are occurring for most of the major smugglers because of IC things happening.

Firearms do not need a buff on the low end. A low end firearms user will fuck up an equal tier fighter who uses other weapons pretty utterly. And this scales pretty decently as well.

There is a paradox of low tier weapons not being seen as worth it, because the mid and mid high tier options are affordable enough due too high supply.

I do not think cutting PC's out of the middle and giving that role to NPC's is the solution however. Again.

IC problems, with IC complications, and IC solutions.

I find myself agreeing with Cel here. Way too much misinformation going on. I think that the important thing has been accomplished: The concern has been raised to staff who are best equipped in regards to information needed to decide what, if anything, needs to be done. :)
@Rhea

Sure, anyone can waste 10K on a licensing application.

@Rhea

I'm sorry, but your counterpoints are just flat-out wrong.

Mixers are not allowed to have firearms licenses outside of SPECIFIC use cases.

Smuggling is NOT easy. You need to have access to very high end and very, very limited resources to do so. These aren't things that are handed out to everyone, and shouldn't be.

I'm not advocating that plinkers start exploding skulls. What my point was, was that one of the big defensive benefits of heaters (the ability to fight at range) was toned down a good ways back, and that a similar defensive bonus was baked into melee weapons innately.

I think a NPC that just wholesales illegal guns would be bad for players from a RP perspective. There certainly isn't a profit motive in selling these low-end guns, because as mentioned by @0x1mm, there's a not-insignificant financial offset that has to be overcome when sourcing them, and due to the low-priced nature of the items, it tends to favor buying enmasse or seriously price-gouging on small batch sales to offset that expense.

@TalonCzar

The first was a response to the post preceding mine. About Corporate Employee's and firearms licenses. RP with judges, I'm not gonna reveal the process ahead of time, but I have seen non-corpsec issued firearms in the past. And non-former corpsec.

Smuggling is easy, you just need the proper connections. IC connections, IC reasons, IC complications. There are very extremely accessible ways of smuggling things into the city. Some that even immy's can could manage. You just need to know how to get to them, or think to use them. And accept the risks of using them. ;D

The defensive bonus for melee isn't equivalent to the defensive bonus for firearms. And Firearms have many more dynamic uses and a myriad of other advantages that melee weapons don't have. The issue with guns is mostly risk averse players. Not any inherent weakness too them. Defensively or offensively.

I could see an extremely limited supply of firearms being given out to the NPC pawns, equivalent to certain disguise items lately. Pop Pop's Seburo's etc that, "Fell off the truck." That are gone extremely quickly.

I could also see the advantage of having a few gangers in each gang's memento pool spawning with low-tier firearms and the skill to use them.

This would help alleviate and adjudicate supply. And would give levers that could be cranked for staff to play with for gun supply.

Too much IC info being leaked here.

Come on. Stop that.

There's a major misconception that firearms on Sindome are the weapons of the Gods, when in reality they come with a lot of risk and take a lot of training to be able to use correctly. Their number one advantage also works against them in many cases and their one unique feature has been balanced against in five different ways.

It's for these reasons that a lot of the restrictions on firearms should be relaxed, especially in the mix. If they were more readily available and culture weren't that they were such immense pains to possess, they'd see more use. I'm saying this as someone who knows, for reasons I can't say, that even cheap firearms are incredibly hard to get rid of.

@Necronex666

Mirroring your, and other sentiments above. Literally can't give the damn things away to people. 100% a demand problem. They're a pain in the ass to use, and expensive to use for very little added benefit. I think people know this, and that's one of many reasons we're not seeing much contemporary usage.

Added with the fact that one of the biggest avenues for use is topside users, and through IC guidance/demands made on them, they have very, very little reason to touch anything below the bottom half of the spectrum. I'd expect every soccer mom to be packing some concealed carry weapon in the event of evil trash monsters harassing her precious NexusKidz, but I think that outside of the people invested in combat topside, they don't see much utilization. That could be a topside is too safe problem, but it could also be the aforementioned issue of walking around topside strapped with 15 kinds of melee weapons being A-OK with PC and NPC law enforcement.

Then there's just... overall theme. In a cyberpunk future, I'd expect that guns are the predominant weapon type that's used, with melee weapons thrown in for style, gang culture and fashion over function reasons. Instead we have hundreds of rooms with ambient messages of machine guns rattling in the distance, and the collective population of Red totally losing their shit every time a non-silenced firearm goes off. :)

The issue is that the theme is already being enforced on the Staff side. As you said, there's 100s of ambient messaging about guns going off. There's a predominance of guns in the game already in the world.

This is entirely an RP issue, a player issue, and it requires IC solutions. What those are are hard to go into.

I have an interesting solution to your last point.

Remove the echoing in nearby rooms for gunshots in the mix. Either replace it with a message akin too.

Just another day in the mix, as gunshots echo around you.

Or just get rid of it entirely

It's incoherent to say systemic game issues should be solved IC, people keep repeating this refrain lately and it's nonsense. It makes zero sense and is tantamount to metagaming to have use one's character to advocate for game balancing changes IC.

Whenever characters have done this in the past, it was immersion breaking. See: People advocating on SIC for perma-pads to be removed.

Additionally there is no reason anyone's character should share motivations with their character when it comes to the development of the game and the IC world. My character is much better off if guns and crime, and numerous other things that I advocate for constantly, simply vanished from existence.

My desires as a player for the overall design and health of the game have no relationship with my character's desires, and nor should they.

I really feel that IC info is being leaked in a massive way. That and info a player should be RPing to learn. I know we all seem to have different levels of tolerance here but I sincerely ask everyone to please consider what you are writing. Is it IC and not on the lore pages? Is it something that a PC could learn IC via RP? If they answers are yes to either consider NOT posting, even if that means you can't 'prove you're right.'