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Randomized Street Weapons
When did gangs get a standard issue?

I've kind of noticed that there's two different types of street-walking gang NPCs. Named NPCs who will offer money for drugs and gear, and minor NPCs with full names that wander and don't offer money for drugs or gear.

I know that each gang has their own weapon that is iconic of that gang, but I feel like these minor NPCs should have some variance, and since they don't create a demand when robbed, they should have less-important gear on them. I think it would be cool to see gangers walking around with bokken, basic machetes, butterfly knives, axe handles, pipes, baseball bats, etcetera. It would feel more organic that way, and the iconic weapons would still be in the hands of the recurring gang NPCs who would still want them for the automated jobs.

It's no secret that there's an issue with farming, and I think that the fact that there's a potentially infinite supply being generated by minor gangers is clashing with a very finite demand may be breaking the economy while farming continues for no particulary reason. That's not to say the minor gangers should never have these items, they probably should have them sometimes so that they aren't entirely scarce, but it should be randomized throughout as to make it harder to farm these "big ticket" items as 'help farming' states.

I fully agree with this idea and without getting into mechanics of gear and how they work it would eliminate an issue where one type of NPC is specifically targeted over another. It would also add more tactical planning for gang fights.
Farming is insanely out of control right now and this is a simple and elegant way to fix it. Plus it'll allow potentially younger characters avenues for getting crappy tier weapons.

+1

The problem of farming doesn't happen because it's "too easy."
Nah, gonna hard disagree with that one, Beandip. Day one immies can roll these NPC's for high end weapons that are supposed to be valuable but are so overwhelmingly cluttering the market that things are getting sold second hand for like 1/3 to 1/4 their actual value.
Small tweak: what if they created balanced demand by starting out unequipped? It might be possible to give them buyer-needs for a randomly-selected weapon, and once they get it, they'll be able to fight with it.
Beandip,

I don't think it's 'too easy', I just think that as it stands, there's a direct pipeline that is apparent where there's an infinite supply for these "big ticket" items. I think this would cut down on that pipeline while still making the streets dangerous, and, in my opinion, a little more themely, as it would take some serious organization to get every single ganger to have the exact same type of weapon and weapon training as they currently do.

That'll encourage even more farming.

I mean, hey, if you're looking for a coded solution to a behavior problem, why not make faction scavengers only buy from their faction members?

I know, someone's going to say "because of the income cap", one PC can't supply more than one high end weapon a week the way things are now. But it's been suggested elsewhere to work around that with puppets. I recognize that creating a flood of new @puppet-requests just for this purpose isn't a grand use of GM time, so, if we're coding solutions to behavior problems, altering the transaction itself (demand side) is both more effective and more feasible code-wise than randomizing the supply side (these mementos are spawned from a template which includes the gear, it's not an easily altered system.)

I mean, I can't tell you how much I shuddered when people talked about "creating demand" - as if that wouldn't encourage this behavior even more.

Complaints about diluted values? Hey, it's a good thing not a bad thing that this commerce has been moved away from the NPCs to the PCs. Hell, it solves the problem entirely, doesn't it.

Have you noticed that the "direct pipeline" has shut down? Problem solved - this is what I mean when I say it's a good thing not a bad thing that the trade is now among players (at whatever price) rather than in this pipeline.

We all agree that the pipeline's bad, right?

I think you're wrong, the pipeline hasn't shut down. I mean, without revealing IC info, blah blah, whatever, but inflation hasn't stopped it, people just learn to live with the paltry sum they get from it.

If the weapon must be taken from a stronger NPC, farming gets harder, it gets less common.

And, I don't see how this would even encourage farming. If it is harder, and the weapons you can easily take from NPCs as Talon put it are simple lowbie weapons, then why would people farm them?

That was my reaction to multiple references to "creating demand." Creating demand is making the NPC-to-PC cash pipeline bigger.
the weapons you can easily take from NPCs as Talon put it are simple lowbie weapons

How is that NOT farming?

People aren't supposed to get lowbie weapons from NPCs, they're supposed to get them by hustling for them. Earn enough to go to the store, do a PC a favor, rob a PC, I mean give people reasons to do all of the things that we're supposed to be doing other than farming, not new reasons to loot teh mobz.

You fail to realize that the money is still being made at a static rate by the people moving the items. It's just less common because more people are moving said items. They make just as much money from the automation, if not more since the items themselves cost less-- if anything, this just encourages people to farm and hold onto the items themselves so that they themselves can give the item to an NPC.

The only prices that are being damaged at the ones that are settled between PCs, NPCs do not care about the market conditions and will always pay full price.

If you want the payout for farmers to be lower, I may even agree, making weapons overall less profitable to farm may be a good idea, but they aren't less profitable, they're just slower right now. Why not both, then? Varied weapons by minor gangers does not nullify that suggestion.

I think we have directly opposing viewpoints on how the game economy works, Beandip.

Gang economy I'd argue is really the heart of mix money making for a lot of players. It's certainly supposed to be one of the key ways you have a steady income as a ganger who is exposed to constant risk. Payouts have been slashed, and slashed again, and it continues being one of the most profitable activities in the game because of mechanics I don't want to go into.

I don't see getting money from a ganger being different from getting money from a terminal, or getting money from running boxes. It's a form of mostly passive income that feeds into the cash economy that ultimately is used to drive plots in the game. Money moving between players is the ideal situation, but there simply isn't enough flash for most people not using gangers to be able to get shit that they need done.

Of course, we can say 'blah blah go kill people do crime etc' but again, that caters to very specific archetypes, when ganger econ, like job econ, is sheet agnostic.

The problem is that a larger number of players are accumulating supply right now, and they are fighting over an amount of demand that hasn't changed. The result is that these items which are supposed to be big-ticket aren't actually very valuable anymore, because it's harder and harder to find a willing buyer. The pipeline has become less valuable to any given player, whether they're a ganger or a fixer or a runner.

You can reduce supply but that won't solve the core problem. I'm not averse to expanding the pipeline to accommodate the number of players who are participating in it. It's also possible to create new markets with other types of weaponry (as suggested in the original post, butterfly knives, bokkens, etc), which might be more themely and interesting.

And to expand on what Rhicora said, butterfly knives, bokken, and other already-low-cost weapons are not envied by NPCs currently for automated jobs, and therefore 'farming' them for the paltry sums that they do give would actually create more PC-to-PC transactions than anything.

PC-to-NPC transactions have not reduced, they've been going at a steady pace this entire time. What farm inflation has done is damage PC-to-PC transactions and even shut them down entirely, while people are STILL giving shit to NPCs for money rather than RPing for it.

I didn't mean to suggest that "getting money from gangers" was wrong. It obviously is where a great deal of Mix income comes from.

We're talking specifically about farming here, so, can we be on the same page in that we're not demonizing people who supply gangers with things they acquire by not farming?

"Creating supply" of things to rob from NPCs and "creating demand" of things to sell to NPCs doesn't seem like it's going to slow farming.

That's the thing, though.

I don't believe that people are breaking farming rules. I just think there's now like 30+ people actively popping weapons off gangers once a week because there's a general awareness and ease of accessibility.

Likewise, people are very aware that they can make a sale every week. The missing piece is that demand has stayed limited, and that's what's reducing ganger weapon value.
I think this is a great idea. Beandip's comment about memento issues might be an issue -- is there a single 'template' used to spawn all gangers of a particular faction? Or is there a couple random models? If there's, let's say, 5 Sinner templates, giving one a cricket bat, one a baseball bat, one a butterfly knife, one a regular machete and one a bokken would be awesome. Or whatever.

The iconic gang NPCs (the 'walkers' or 'old bloods' sometimes in IC parlance) would keep their iconic weapons, which would still give the gangs their weapon flavor, as would having 1/5th (or whatever) of the random generated gangers having the gang's iconic weapon.

Where TERRA is concerned, this may also help emphasize some game theme questions -- the notion that these are really part-time night watchmen, not some kind of mix police force. That all the gangs use the same weapon evokes old martial arts movies, but every generic TERRA agent carrying a baton makes them feel much more regular than I think the game seems to suggest.

In terms of economy balance, I agree:

1. This would create a larger PC-to-PC trade in weapons.

2. This would make 'farmed' weapons a little harder to get, by requiring that the 'tougher' NPCs be targeted. This would have the practical issue of increasing demand as a ratio of people's "big ticket" farms. (Though I think people have clued in that demand is the issue, not supply, so they target tougher NPCs to create demand, so I'm not sure if that's the issue.)

3. This would make the world feel more varied and less homogenous, which is also good.

Variable payouts based on stats, skills, rep and demand (ie. how many of X are currently held by Y faction), with weekly demand increased, might help to alleviate and create more variability in the 'combat character take weapon sell for N kay' loop, but it's hard to say without a bird's eye view of the total economy and what is happening why.

I do feel like the economic gameplay is less coded market/trading oriented and just less fun than it was this time last year, but again it's hard for me to say why based on the ground-level view.

Even with the farming/not farming/whatever aside, I think this'd be pretty cool just from a themely standpoint, and would definitely add a new level of strategy to ganger gameplay.

Do you take the blood with the knife and risk bleeding someone out in your next brawl, or do you take the chummer with the chain?

Do you attack the guy running around with the axe handle, or the guy with the bat?

It adds a little bit of (minor) strategy, for a lot of little flavor that can be appreciated for sure. The big mementos keeping the iconic gang weapon, whereas the lil bloods and pledges and what not all run around with whatever they can scavenge up to fight their rivals.