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More impactful fire damage.
Doesn't leave much if an effect.

What if there was a certain game time that fire damage had to last, depending on the severity of the fire?

As it stands now, a raging inferno can be fixed up quickly. I think big fires should leave longer lasting effects. That would incentivize more FUN.

I agree that fire is underwhelming.

From a gameplay perspective, I think it'd be unbalanced if fire was simply made more deadly with no countermeasure. Businesses would be firestorms constantly.

So...make fire more deadly, but also give firefighters tools to deal with it!

* Throwable, firefighting chemical grenades and flame-retardant suits for WCS

* Purchasable foam systems for businesses that have to be reloaded (I don't know if this already exists)

* A "weapon" mountable on vehicles that fights fire in a room (roof-mounted foam cannon) for a WCS truck

WCS Firefighter would be a cryo dedicated job, but as it stands right now there isn't really a need for it. It'd be amazing fun if a crew of WCS PCs had to suit up and go to work against an actually threatening fire.

Huh... WCS fire department? That sounds awesome.
I would LOVE a dedicated Fire Fighting job. Fire Drones would be riggers, fire trucks, or even Fire Aeros for the pilots. It could be made into something special.
The current method for dealing with fires outside of enclosed buildings can be a little lackluster and the clean-up, no doubt, is ridiculously simple given the work, chyen, and risk that goes into pulling off a successful burn/bomb operation.

I would suggest that an item(s?) should be required to initiate repairs (scrap?) and that higher tiers of damages require more of the item. I think back to one instance in particular where months of planning was effectively nullified in 10 minutes because a new player decided to try out the repair command for fun. Good for them, but not exactly conducive to encouraging more crime around explosives.

As for the fires themselves? I'm not sure how to best approach uncontrollable levels of flame outside of the system currently in-place. Maybe streets could be updated with something equivalent to a fire hydrant and fire hydrants can only be accessible by service workers and/or those with the correct tools. An additional job perk to unlock the authorization for the command. Fires could still be put out in the traditional way but tweaked on account of encouraging the new system?

So how do you handle the issue of all fires being started during the hours when no WCS players are online? There would need to be a reasonable NPC response to automatically take care of fires, or else this would become extremely lopsided and overpowered.
I'm talking about the environmental damage. As it is now, someone can repair the fire damage in minutes, even if it was a raging inferno. An entire street could be set ablaze and no one the following day would know if it got repaired.
My comment was more directed at the suggestions of dedicated WCS firefighters and more dangerous fires with tools to combat them.
Blackbird:

If no WCS firefighters are online, the targets of those fires should deal with the damages. No one should expect help in Red Sector.

Firefighting tools like the chemical grenades or the fire foam sprayers would be available for anyone to purchase.

Fires are underwhelming, I think most would agree on that. Explosions too. Though the latter is probably entirely for balance reasons. I have some proposals of my own for them. I apologize in advance if some of these are already partially implemented, I've played with some fires, but I'm no arsonist.

-Fire should consume items in the area, the rate decided by how big the fire is.

-There should be a chance for a player to catch fire, which damages their clothes/armor/inventory until they use a either a specific command to put themselves out or 'resist'. Also hurts, obviously. The rate of how likely this is to happen is based on how big the fire is. Walk into a roaring inferno? You're catching fire, baka.

-Fires and explosions should have a chance to create rubble (similar to the 'damage' that is currently implemented). Rubble blocks exits, can hit players when it's created (maybe trap them under it also?). Has to be dug out, takes forever to do so without tools. There is already a thing ingame that is basically this, would just need to be spawned and made dangerous, with a different name.

-Large enough explosions should have a chance to knock players around. You can be pushed to any connected map (which can be lethal if you're on a roof), or against a wall, ouch. Are you a frail noodly thing and hit your head? Nap time. Maybe a little 'stun' for people getting up to make it so these things are more than just a loud bang with some damage attached.

-Large explosions and fires could 'disable' maps for a while. If I bomb the hell out of Olga's and she's still peddling her stuff 10 minutes later, that just... Kind of sucks. Rubble and fire being more lethal would probably already result in this. I know staff already do this stuff sometimes and close down places, but it would be neat if this were automated.

With regards to the balance concerns with the firefighter equipment suggested, the obvious solution is to just have firefighting equipment by a thing anyone can purchase, not just a WCS thing, but have it be somewhat expensive. A WCS position already includes cleaning up after fires, they could simply be provided the firefighting equipment as they already are with other things. Your business is burning down and you don't have a firesuit/extinguisher or whatever, and WCS aren't around to help? Sounds reasonable. Should've protected your biz better by investing in that gear beforehand.

Maybe a small limiter in the form of a semi-random 'spread' value that fires can attain based on what caused it so we don't have an entire sector on fire because nobody was online to deal with it. Pretty sure this already exists, also.

Just some thoughts from someone who never really cared to do much stuff with bombs because everytime I see them used, it's been pretty underwhelming, especially considering how much of a pain they can be to get/keep. Explosives should be extremely dangerous, imo, and aside from a notable, very specific one, they're almost always just a flavour/RP thing to make things more dramatic.

Blackbird:

If no WCS firefighters are online, the targets of those fires should deal with the damages. No one should expect help in Red Sector.

Firefighting tools like the chemical grenades or the fire foam sprayers would be available for anyone to purchase.

You're missing the point. No one is online 24/7. The system described here could be used specifically to target people when they are away, and they have no means of countering the damage. Players should not be punished for having real lives and needing to be away from the game at times when others would do their characters harm.

I think it's both a good idea to have more robust PC firefighting and more substantial fire impacts and to have a balance about online/offline players.

Here is what I would suggest:

1. More dangerous fires. Explosions throwing people around is a cool idea. Damaging the clothing of people caught in fires seems great. I think a lot would be accomplished by just increasing "the fire rate" -- right now it is a long time between fire damage cycling, and if it cycled faster I think they would seem more dangerous.

2. The introduction of firefighting gear.

3. While FIRE DAMAGE remains in a room, shops and bars don't work.

4. If a fire goes out on its own or because of automated systems, FIRE DAMAGE cannot be cleaned up for a period of time. (Depending on the amount of damage, between 1 and 24 hours maybe). The message is something like "you can't clean this up until the embers have cooled."

5. If coded firefighting tools are used to put the fire out, FIRE DAMAGE can be cleaned up immediately.

Great ideas, Pavane.

Blackbird:

You're missing the point. No one is online 24/7. The system described here could be used specifically to target people when they are away, and they have no means of countering the damage. Players should not be punished for having real lives and needing to be away from the game at times when others would do their characters harm.

Most aspects of a character can't be harmed (or it's extremely difficult) when you're not online. This is clearly by design.

Some investments can be harmed when their owner is not online. These vulnerable investments are more expensive and out of the reach of many characters. They are optional. From what I have seen, these investments are open to characters who are far along in their progression.

When you reach the point in Sindome where you are operating a public-facing business, and you are concerned about the premises being attacked, then you are also at the point where you can hire a staff. You should be making deals with people to defend or repair your investment when you are not present, or give employees authority to liaise with WCS or the WJF as applicable. No individual needs to be online 24/7.

Currently, using fire to attack a business or a certain street does very little, and is arguably not 'worth' the cost and risk of acquiring and using fire weapons. I've seen a major fire attack recently, that involved multiple characters and plot, where WCS characters put a large amount of fire out in about five minutes. There are other, more damaging ways to attack these targets. People use them.

Making fire more impactful wouldn't (in my limited opinion) put more pressure on players to be online more often.

Also note that some suggestions, like automated fire foam systems, wouldn't require

anyone to be online at all, except to reload them. Which, if you're at the point of needing such a system, you can hire someone else (or multiple someone elses) to deal with it for you.

Also, I don't think anyone wants to see a player suffer major losses that demand a large time investment to recoup simply because someone threw a few molotovs.

But I think nudging the current dynamic away from "if you go @ooc for 8 minutes inside a bar you might return, pick your drink back up, and never be aware a major firebomb attack occured while you were away because it was cleaned so fast" and a little closer to "minor inconvenience, at least" is called for.

While things have generally been a bit quieter recently, conflicts do historically heat up to the point that there are enough timebombs going off to kill off half the sector.

Any buffs to explosives/fire would be with the caveat that player characters will occasionally be killed instantly for less total resources invested. Which is not necessarily a bad thing but it's something to keep in mind.

I think that no buff should push fire to the level of "instantly kill a player", even an immy. Damage to clothes and more lasting effects on locations would be good, though.

I find the clothes particularly galling -- I see topside players with $100k+ outfits on running in to fight fire all the time, and I think they might hold back if there was more risk.

I mean in the sense that while most players probably more often see the effects of one explosive or incendiary, my impression had been they are balanced more around their use in volume.
I'm asking it get reconsidered whether clothing is burned when worn under armor. It's silly that clothing under armor gets burned with several large holes, imo.

I wasn't a big fan of this suggestion when it came out because it seems like it only benefits tailors who already get plenty of work, but I don't understand why it can nearly destroy clothing worn under armor at all.
Better explosives could be interesting, but as it stands right now (AFAIK) there's no GM oversight to prevent someone from just amassing a treasure trove of bombs.

There's also the issue of them being pretty trivially cheap to manufacture.

If there were oxidizers or something that were available on a more restrictive basis (I.E. staff has to approve them at some point) I could see implementing some of the suggested changes.

As it stands right now, explosives give you a pretty significant bang for your buck (I know, I know, I'm terrible) if they aren't addressed immediately. If you are attempting to do structural or financial damage... that's where staff comes in! Much of what's being requested is doable already, it's just managed by staff so it's not entirely stupid.

I'm entirely against the idea of firefighter jobs with city services. We can barely staff some city services jobs as it is now which are far more important than playing with super soakers. I do think foam grenades or something of the sort would be nice, though. I always thought the idea of stepping into an inferno and chattering away on a device was absolutely comical.