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Security Network Degradation
Make things easier to uninstall over time

With the updates to security networks, this seems like a good time to bring this up again. It would be great if cameras and the like got easier to uninstall over time. This would mean that networks need to be maintained, which makes secure tech work both more consistent and potentially more risky, and it would help curb the supremacy of high-skill (or high-skillsoft) people who put up cameras and televisions that very few can ever take down.
I wouldn't mind degrading player built networks, but we leave the builder/GM created ones alone. :)
I would love to see this on nearly any play installed/created objects. They should all degrade slowly over time. ICE/Installs/vehicle conditions/etc. I think that would go a long way to adding some value to some otherwise lower used skill sets.
I don't think degradation per se is a great idea -- I think it would make lower skill techs even less in demand.

But if security equipment had 'bugs' that popped up that needed to be fixed with relatively easy skill checks, that could create a whole new business for lower skill techs.

To DancingRoo's point, other 'oil change' type stuff would be good in general for other skillsets.

I feel like entropy effects get suggested a lot as a fix for skills when players don't feel they're in demand enough, whether it's vehicles suffering constant wear and tear, or clothing degrading, or people taking damage over time. It seems to come up a lot and it always reads to me as players wanting to be made necessary, when no one really is.

My view is that making something necessary to the benefit of one character or skill or archetype, at the expense of making things worse for everyone else is the wrong direction for skill development to take, and that new skills and new mechanics and new strengths are what actually bolsters skills, rather than just making what's there worse or hacking part of it off to gate behind a new requirement.

I know I don't want to have my schedule filled with endless pretend maintenance, which sounds like a make-work project whether requiring or performing.

That's a good observation, but for me there's one thing I would differentiate.

For certain skills, if you can not do better than the people who are the best, or at least significantly better than you, there is little need/reason to use them. Players seek out those who are the best/top tier because the value they bring is so much better. In some cases, if you are not one of the best, there is very little you can do to anything that is existing.

So I would say it's not trying to make people necessary, but trying to make them more useful when you are not the best in a field. Again some skills suffer from them more than others.

I'd love to see more mid tier uses for lots of different skills. That's a lot of work and in many cases goes against the mechanics that exist. So it's not just creating new use cases, but re-envisioning old ones. Degradation and maintenance probably comes up a lot since it seems to be an easy fix to a problem that doesn't require a revisit to core mechanics. However, your point of just making busy work is fair too.

It doesn't sound like a fix, it sounds like trading a time sink for an activity sink.

I do agree that the skill curve could stand to be flattened across the board so all players can feel more relevant to the larger world, and to encourage players to move on from characters they no longer have an interest in but feel unable to give up because of their skill investment... but I don't think temporal degradation of security systems, or vehicle locks, or gear, or apartment doors, or character health, or anything else is a net positive for the game. I think there is a huge amount of treading water required as it is, and more weights on player time would harm casual play.

I can see what you are saying, but like a lot of things, isn't that very skill/job specific?

You can argue that leaving things as is stagnates conflict since the best can often do a thing once and it's never needed to be touched again. There's no driven conflict, no interaction, just the beginning install/secure/etc.

You could argue that if you get the degredation right, you would also promote more conflict by letting people mess with items/networks that they normally could not. So where there would not be conflict originally there might be now.

I can see what you are saying, but like a lot of things, isn't that very skill/job specific?

You can argue that leaving things as is stagnates conflict since the best can often do a thing once and it's never needed to be touched again. There's no driven conflict, no interaction, just the beginning install/secure/etc.

You could argue that if you get the degredation right, you would also promote more conflict by letting people mess with items/networks that they normally could not. So where there would not be conflict originally there might be now.

A common point of conflict about Sindome is that jobs feel like real jobs, requiring many hours of play to do what amounts to busywork.

As a game designer, or as someone proposing designs for the game, I think we all need to be cogent that engagement is not the same as activity, and both of these are also different from fun.

Engagement can be something that requires a lot of active, conscious thought. Not all things that are fun are engaging, and not all engaging things are fun.

To this specific feature request I see a few outcomes:

1. This will benefit every thief, criminal, opposition in the game destabilize the camera and security networks that exist by targeting sensors.

2. Players with security networks will have to spend more time doing busywork.

The net result will probably be:

1. People will go outside more to do their rounds.

2. More time will be taken away from casual roleplay in order to do what is effectively crate running without profit.

2.a. It won't be possible to delegate this work because it will still be valuable to send the highest skill person possible to do it.

3. Cameras, monitors, and other sensors may see a marginal increase in trading hands, but I suspect most devices you're talking about being "unremovable" are actually staff devices that are permanent.

This seems like a nerf to everyone with a security network, and given I plan for every security network to be hackable on the grid, and to have a grid presence, I'm not terribly confident in the grand scheme of things if this actually increases fun of the game.

It is also hard to separate if this is a suggestion that is instead born from a frustration of being unable to get security devices, which I would prefer to fix instead.

There also is no shortage of security devices in game. The most essential security devices are one of the few items that are not controlled by the econ system's "shortage balancing", but are instead available through a vendor.
This might be veering a bit off of the original topic, but since the idea and intent of making lower level skills useful came up as part of it, I had a thought:

What if at least some actions that required higher levels of skill could also be done by lower levels but in multiple increments? These increments could require a repeat of the same action on a cool-down timer (perhaps daily? it would likely depend on the task), and the number of increments would be determined by the level of skill, up until the skill is high enough that only one step is needed.

This would allow characters with lower skill to complete some of the same jobs as higher skill level characters, but at the cost of greater time and effort.

That is acceptable balance in some games. Everything can be accomplished, it's a function of time, and someone with higher skill can just get it done faster.

Outside of a few specific cases for good reason, that game theory isn't what we use here at Sindome. Characters with higher skill are just supposed to be better. Also an acceptable game design theory, just different, and for a different audience.

I'm not against adding things to do for lower level skill folx, but that might be outside the scope of this thread.

So a couple of quick take aways...

What you said about making things grid hackable... GEEK MOMENT! Yes please and thank you!

Now that it's out of the way.

I get the design philosophy, and the desire to not make jobs, jobs. That makes sense. All I was trying to say is that there is likely a balance point somewhere that the best person can't just do a job once and no one else can touch it until they get good enough to do so. Also, by letting lower skilled people take up maintenance, you give jobs to low/midbies who aren't up to the skills of the "master"

As for your four points. I totally get it, but I have comments on two of them.

"2. More time will be taken away from casual roleplay in order to do what is effectively crate running without profit."

This can be controllable by the degradation rate and can be something that might happen weekly/monthly or whatever is deemed acceptable to let things go bad but not make it busy work. But yes, it's dead time. Or perhaps a maintenance cost of keeping something so valuable working. I'd like to think of it as the later :)

"2.a. It won't be possible to delegate this work because it will still be valuable to send the highest skill person possible to do it."

If you allow lower skilled people to MAINTAIN integrity, then you would be using a different/larger pool of people and give "apprenticeship" tasks. It would also let the best people in a field hire a pool of people to do their maintenance tasks for them.

Which would help the mentoring play. If that is not something feasible or desirable, yeah, totally agree.

For me, this would applicable for a number of professions. Not just security work.

I hate grind. I really do. And Sindome does a pretty decent job of avoiding pointless grind. But there are still tons of ways someone has to grind if they want to have big fancy things.

People who have expensive fancy things usually have to continuously live with the fact that they have to work at keeping them. So I'm not sure why people with security networks it in public places shouldn't have to work hard to keep them as well. Especially huge networks - the larger the network the harder it should be to maintain in my opinion.

Also, a lot times the results of massive UE investment can be countered by essentially ganging up. It's usually an option. One that's often encouraged as good play.

I buy the top end sword and put it into play with the most min maxed stats possible and I can still lose it when a few less powerful characters decide to team up.

I buy a large network and bring it into play with the most min maxed stats possible and it can only be countered by a single character. No ganging up. This applies to other situations/skills too. Unless things have changed of course. :)

Not saying degradation is the answer. But I don't like the idea that valuable equipment can be put up in publicly accessable spaces and be largely safe or that some scenarios encourage overcoming high skilled characters with numbers while others make doing so impossible.