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SK as a player corp
My vision of what topside should look like

I thought of a few different ways to do this ideas post. I would list arguments for my case and include rebuttals I know will be brought up and so on and so forth, but instead, let me just outline what I think this would look like.

After months of monumental effort, SK is made into a player corp as competition to VS. On top of the usual PR and HR and CorpSec positions, they hire cyberdocs to both ICly research new projects and offer custom chrome designs, much like VS researches new nanogens and offers custom biomods. With competing research projects, SK and VS race to see who releases their new thing first, while trying to get intel on what the other is doing in order to make sure they're staying ahead of the curve. They can employ full intrigue here, even going so far as to hire mixers to sabotage the competition in any number of ways.

NLM quietly (or not so quietly) fuels the conflict because it generates news and updates and bribes while continuing to be the holy grail for creative types who want to write news articles and movies and shows and superstar performances. It is at the center, playing both sides and raking in profit without having to needlessly antagonize the Mix (even though they still probably will.)

NeoTrans is kept as a faction, but it is a lesser corporation that other corps feed off, seeing as NeoTrans only has a port within Withmore rather than a real HQ. Their employees' status is somewhere between a service mixer and a full corporate citizen. NeoTrans becomes a route for wannabe corporates with hopes of being offered better-paying, more prestigious jobs at one of the Big Three once they prove themselves (with washouts possibly filling the higher echelons within NeoTrans). NeoTrans stays relevant in-game, however, because all three corps rely on them for [REDACTED].

Now that corpies have concrete incentives and weight in terms of competition, topside players have concrete incentives to compete with other corps beyond a vague sensation of 'well we should be competing,' with bonuses and promotions given out for good plotting and intrigue. Perhaps even a semi-automated feature that gives bonuses to one's weekly paycheck depending on how stocks are doing! And yes, the topside community is "divided," but not all positions *have* to be filled at every corp, much like how some Mixside positions remain empty for a long time until someone fills them.

In summary, topside becomes a more interesting, lively place that still accommodates current corpie playstyles but with an added level of danger, intrigue, depth and opportunity similar to what the Mix has, yet with its own unique set of rules and nuances that make it feel very different.

I always thought that SK should be one of the "main three" along with NLM and VS, not NEO. Creating the infrastructure to support SK is a whole different topic but this seems to make more sense, I think SK has more complex interests.
SK is vastly more interesting from a plot and lore perspective than a literal airport corporation.
There already aren't enough Cyberneticists topside.

I would suggest trying to make NEO more interesting, if anything. I've always found it curious that they don't run the lev and thus tend to their security, and also that there isn't more plot related and economy affecting stuff coming out of the fact that quite literally the majority of flow of goods into the City is a NEO thing.

Agreed completely. Shifting Neotrans to the kind of 'void corp' and turning SK into, ya'know, a corp people can work would be far better imo. Unless there can be big changes to Neotrans, as it is it has a big balance difference compared to the other corps IC and OOC.
I always wanted this purely because it would open up an IC venue for players to drive plot in creating new cyberware. Bit of a pipe dream, but a similar thing for firearms would be cool.

And Neo doesn't really have... A service it provides, at least not in mechanical terms, compared to VS or NLM.

I will literally say unless you tripled (not even doubled) the amount of people interested in both skilling Cybertech -and- working corporate you would create a ghostly shell of a corp without a core. The lack of overlap in a majority of fields is in my opinion 100% intentional to maintain topside population. Neo is also pretty much the single source of mechanics jobs at a corporate levels. If anything it should be expanded to allow more skills to have the option of corporate employment.
My original character was in fact an electrotech geek and was gonna join up at SaedorKrupp. Then I found out they were more or less inaccessible and I sort of gave up on the character. Bad mistake, but I was new. I always wanted them to be playable. VS has biotech, chemistry, etc. + security. NLM has media, and many other fields + security. NeoTrans has security and... some aero maybe? SaedorKrupp would be able to hire cyberneticists, electrotechnicians, secure techs, et cetera. It has a whole theme that isn't being tapped into.
There are plenty of cyberneticists and wannabe-cyberneticists in game. They just have more incentive to be mixers, IMO.
Topside already has an issue filling all available slots. Or even close to all available slots. I'd like SK, but I don't think opening up SK would fix this issue that's been a problem for my entire time in the game.

NeoTrans also serves as a great corporate point of interest for the Badlands and Space, though that has been limited in recent years. If those two had more activity and interest overall, I think NeoTrans would feel more vital.

Chicken, meet egg.

Not having roles open means nobody wants to play an otherwise extremely invested and contested job role.

There's a lot of characters with Cybernetics skills in the game. Give them someplace to be besides working at one of the handful of clinics in the game they could possibly hold the (1) position in.

Talon, I think you might want to find out what skills are used in what roles before claiming there is no corporate place for 'cyberneticist' skills, and just how many roles for cyberneticists are available both mixside and topside, because I guarantee you it is not lack of roles, it is lack of interest.
Total agreement.

I think SK would be very attractive to a lot of players in ways that VS, NLM and NT are not. It would also provide a more logical balance to the triad of archetypes that the corporations sort of notionally represent.

There's people regularly fighting over mixer cybernetics jobs. A few months ago there was nearly a half dozen characters all trying to get in on an extremely limited number of roles in the mix.

This could be a topside culture problem, or it could be that people don't want to work for the comic-book villain corporation. Take your pick?

I had a similar experience as Veleth - first character aiming for SK only to find it isn't a playable faction. I was even writing notes about inventions and advances in the character's field of expertise for later use at the corp. Was pretty disappointing, and the biggest reason I left for a while before making my current character.
This isn't a few months ago. Things change, and there are cyberneticist positions topside outside of the MegaCorps as well, so there is no one being forced to be a 'comic book villain' as you put it.
I'm just saying that every single topside doctor I've talked to in... probably the past four years now that fell has said that topside medic and doctor RP is a RP desert for their character's idea.

Because there's hardly ever violent crime topside, whereas in the mix, they're able to RP being a doctor and living out their character fantasy pretty much daily. I'm sure there's people willing to, or hell, even desperately wanting to play someone who researches cybernetics at SK.

But let's also address the idea that we'd need like, lots of bodies for this. The last additions to VS nanogenics was basically the brainchild and RP dump for one character. One or two producers at NLM have historically produced the bulk of content. SK doesn't need a glut of skilled cyberneticists, and those out there that are skilled could probably easily be pulled topside with some plot strings. There's also the security, HR, PR, Requisitions, pilot/transport roles to be filled, and that's assuming that things already in SK tower don't get touched, like WAI, which could have a few token people generating RP in it with a pay terminal as well.

I'd also imagine that people with some level of cybernetics skills could make some level of progress towards 'weekly research' even if they're not skilled enough to actually be doing surgeries on people. After all, engineers designing the drek aren't the same people sticking the wares in live patients.

I just think that for myself, and a lot of others, the fantasy of playing a baggage checker is way less exciting than the fantasy of playing a corpsec agent protecting a corporation researching all kinds of black ops next-level cybernetics. Or hell, even being one of the researchers or people installing the cybernetics in-house.

I'm going to take a page out of Slither's book and simply say if there's a limited number of jobs and you and others are competing for them. Good. Kill those other guys. Or do something else about them. Or if you can't, then I guess it's time to sell out to the Corps so you can live your dream and go topside. Limited availability drives conflict. This is intended.

It's also a necessary balancing mechanism to spread out population evenly.

If the issue is RP and OOC topside factors, then yes, I agree with you that those can be worked on, but I don't think ignoring what's bad and just building an ivory tower on the other side of the increasingly smelly trash heap is gonna fix anything.

You point out issues you felt with VS nanogenics. People here point out issues with Neo. I pointed out lack of corporate positions for mechanics and other skills outside of Neo. Let's maybe work on that. Let's maybe make the places we -do- have for cyberneticists better. And ultimately we still can't make it right for everyone. If someone absolutely doesn't want to be a corpie cyberdoc and wants the mix job.. well, they'll have to go back to competing for them.

PCow. SK can literally absorb all NeoTrans positions, the corp doesn't have anything special as it is and that is the problem, It's such a generic corporation that another can take it over completely because its only basic minimum jobs in it.
Neo at present doesn't fit the lore of the company(It would be able to shut down every other faction in the dome if it did.) nor does it serve a use beyond being a gateway to hidden fun stuff.

I would like to point some things out, these are just whatever comes to mind in support of this idea.

1. SK has it's locations already mostly implemented.

2. Neo has no viable feeder akin to the clinic system or KMB and Strip Clubs that NLM and VS have. Therefore there is no real viable entry point for Neo characters at present.

3. I wouldn't suggest Neo as a feeder for all corporations. But bumping NEO down to service class employee's and changing over it's major staffing and hiring ability to SK would be good. Making them SK's feeder company might be a very good idea.

4. As far as I know, the rigger bots we have are unbranded. It would be childsplay to pop them into SK's line up and make them not just a cybernetics company but also a robotics company as well.

5. This is ultimately something that I see aiding conflict topside. And would add a dynamic to the current roster of corps that is lacking. SK is more interesting and more respectable to the average -player- than NEO is.

I like a lot of these ideas. I like seeing Rigging better and more featured, and SK is the right place for it. I like taking over the mechanics jobs, and maybe expanding them, that Neo has.

Really my main concern is trying to focus it around competing for a pool of employes that already basically doesn't exist topside. Apparently it's highly sought after mixside, but I can't just go with the assumption that 'this time it will be different' and unlike all those other cyberneticist jobs availavble topside, the SK ones are gonna be what people actually fill. Not to mention of course the other position having even more competition for very few players to fill them.

I am not ruling out making SK a corp, but I think if it was made one, the Cybernetics would have to take a background role of off-screen NPC action, and I'm all for promoting rigging, mechanics and other Engineering tech and giving it jobs through SK, in the wake of the Townhall.

NEO also seems to have a habit to go near dead, aside from its NPC's. I think Neo usually is the choice for characters who have skills that do not fit any specific theme, or security, else it's often a third option after you've been fired in the other larger two.

I always wanted SaedorKrupp to make new cybernetics and I always find it a bit bothersome when those ads pop up talking about the 'new' ColorEye - I have no idea how old it is, but it's always been there for me. I've been a player since 2017, so I am definitely not a veteran, but it's been a few years at least, y'know?

It's not just for cyberneticists, if anything, it would be THE corporation to go to if you're an electrotechnician, secure technician, and sure, biotech can come into play.. but I see it more like the robotics variant of VS biotech team, you know? It could open up so many new playtypes.

Topside is a ghost town because of the lack of positions. Killing an old corporation that adds NO specialized positions apart from basic corpsec set up and shifting it to a corp that can be built to aid actual positions would be great.

You yourself already show how little NeoTrans means when you are more worried about positions not being filled, it is empty for a reason and that being lack of appeal.

I don't want to kill NeoTrans completely, because they still DO have a role to play in topside dynamics. The jobs should just be transient on the way to a bigger better job, and NeoTrans should be EXPLICITLY lesser than the Big Three.
So personally speaking, there's an identity problem with the corporations, and they're not created equally in this regard.

One of the corps has a strong identity and culture, and people are drawn to it naturally through it's presence. Want to be a musician, media star, director, writer or the people rubbing elbows with the dome's glitz? NLM. 10/10 for theme. People are naturally drawn to it because they want to be loud, or popular/infamous, or work for people who are.

One of the corps more or less seems to exist to put out new content every couple years, has some cool identity, but also has some 'dark' baggage that people might not want to be associated with. Arguably one of their main product lines is arbitrarily locked behind corporate citizenship in what some might argue is a non-hyper

capitalist way. So we have VS for medical fantasy people, cyberneticists, bio-researchers, etc. I think it's fair to say they have some great strengths to play to on their theme, but it could use shoring up in other areas. 6/10 for theme.

Then we have NeoTrans. The corporation that the other corporations laugh and snicker about. It's a spaceport that's woefully underutilized, has an annoying-to-visit snack stand, and some lockers ostensibly for smuggling things that don't seem to hardly get used. It has arbitrarily 'lesser' positions than it's 'peers,' and really is -very- lacking in culture and theme. There's a lot of areas they could branch into, like PCOW said, they could be more of a topside import/export corp, even though that would mess with game balance in other areas. It could also be a place people who are inclined to mechanical trades drift to. Issue being is that NT is where you used to go to fly around, and now they're just, well, as the topside jokes go, they're just a stepping stone. Nobody wants to take pride working at the 'B-team' corporation. 2/10 for theme.

On the flipside, SK oozes theme. They have WAI. They have cybernetics. You could roll up PrimeSoft into them for more techie inclusion. They have shit so cool it was banned within Withmore city. There's lore and history there that's cool, and it's not even playable. VS and SK are obvious and natural enemies.

Hell, I'd even argue that PRI/Skywatch/SHI probably has more thematically going on for it than NT does. That corporation would make much more sense to be a stepping stone corporation than NT, IMHO.

Neo's reputation in game is as a corp for burnouts, and those lacking the basics of topside decorum. And it has been that way for YEARS in spite of many players trying to change it.

Neo as a company has specialized roles that are more fit to flirt around as service positions, than as full fledged corporate ones.(Service Tech in specific, every other mechanic position in the game bar the Hall potentially having one, is a service class position.)

Neo lacks the power that it in Lore should have. And if they had it, they would be an overwhelming faction to fight, because your requisition system would just stop getting packages to you. Do you like toiletries? Guess who ships those in? Do you like water? That's NeoTrans as well. Food? Neo. The dome basically doesn't produce any of that itself, it can't, it's all brought in from space and on shuttles... By NeoTrans. This is how it works in Lore, and is why Neo is an important faction to the city. But given that it cannot leverage this power(Where VS and NLM can, leverage their specialities very readily,) I would say trim them back. Make them a feeder service role to go into SK or the Hall eventually. Just like KMB, just like potentially the topside clinics.

Also everything Talon said in the post above mine is relevant and better worded than my own.
Also I meant Craft Techician, not Service Tech. Beep, please insert caffeine.
" Or hell, even being one of the researchers or people installing the cybernetics in-house."

I don't believe the latter will ever happen. One of the corporations used to have an in-house cybernetics clinic several years ago that wasn't used and was removed when someone sought out the possibility. Johnny said at the time that he didn't want to take away from PC clinic positions.

NeoTrans used to be a bustling corporation. VS used to be dead. It's cyclical.

You want to open up SK. I like the idea in theory. But in practice over the last five years we have seen empty or near empty departments of the other three. Sometimes only one of them, sometimes all three at the same time. Even at the game's highest consistent peak of active players there were still many vacancies. It really risks stretching something thin even moreso.

I agree with Talon in the regard that, if SK were to be added, I think VS would also need some work to be brought up to that level of quality, activity and attractiveness, or risk becoming 'the next' Neo, by being overshadowed, for the reasons Talon stated about them and the strength of SK and its various associations and feeders.

I think VS has stronger theme than he rates, but at the same time is sharing a lot of overlap in theme and cultture with the 'original boogeyman' that is SK, thus the above concern.

Let me make a point clear:

Yes, in theory, NeoTrans could be fixed. Import/export code, more opportunities, more unique things, yadda yadda yadda...what then? Now you have three big corps that still don't really compete with each other.

Instead, invest that energy in SK and make a cool topside dynamic that breeds conflict and fun throughout the whole Dome.

NeoTrans should be the company that every other business entity in the city has to be on good terms with if they don't want to suffer some repercussions in some way. In my personal view, NeoTrans is responsible for the majority of material entering the city. Be it topside businesses or corporations, or Mixside criminal entities and businesses. There are some exceptions, yes. But if you're using a terminal to requisition something, that crate is probably coming at some point from a NeoTrans freight line that's coming into the city.

One of the core functions that security at NeoTrans is supposed to do, is search the luggage of outgoing/incoming passengers for contraband.. Again, going back to my personal opinion, if someone is ordering something through a requisition terminal, there should be a system in place where that order has to be 'inspected' or some such thing at NeoTrans as it enters the city, with some kind of bill of lading stating its ultimate destination and intended recipient (be that a department or person.) I feel like this would enable a lot more RP and give people a reason to be on better terms with NeoTrans persons, as well as providing them a good source of data for whatever purpose. Perhaps even going so far as bribing or extorting people for those.. less than savory imports.

Just my 2c on a little way to make NT more themely.

I once started a theory with some people topside that was like, speculating about why SK is always silent on SIC and the Grid. Something like, they have something else instead of SIC, like their own network that no one else even knows about, like a full on conspiracy theory and that they're all more robotic than humans. It was mostly a joke, but seriously, SK has so much potential, it is crazy to let it sit and rot as the building where you go to mostly for its cybernetic vending machines and for anyone non-cyberdoc; a literal karaoke bar.
NeoTrans is not the only ingress into the city. You could give them control over the gates in Red, but...meh?
It has -always- been up to the players to provide the theme surrounding their corp.

Yes, there are NPCs that help showcase the how and why, adding in 'pillar examples' of what the corps stand for, but saying that any corp is a graveyard is insulting to the people there.

If you want theme, push for it. Find ways to represent your corp. Opening up another one like SK will lead to the same exact issue if you don't know why it's an issue to begin with.

I am not focused on theme as much as I am focused on breeding meaningful conflict that actually makes sense in terms of world-building. Also, keep in mind that if NeoTrans is a feeder corp, you could even have NPC higher-ups making strategic offers to prospective employees and encouraging them into SK or VS to keep things somewhat balanced.
The issue Chrome, is that there's no way to enforce theme for Neo.

They have nothing like the Globe, or the Television stations like NLM does, or really any necessity for other players to go to NeoTrans, like VS has for it's services.

They don't have a way to carry out their theme, both mechanically, and viably.

They have no way to create that theme -mechancially- either, because mechanically, to integrate them in a themely fashion would make all other topside factions subservient to them for shipping and requisitions.

Unless you want people just spouting nonsense about Neo on SIC? Which would only open them up to retribution from the larger more influential and mechanically powerful factions and characters topside.

But that's just my 2 cents. That players can't viably provide a theme that makes sense for Neotrans, and that to provide it to them in tools that make sense would disrupt and make the playerbase reliant on Neo topside in a way that wouldn't be healthy for the game.

That isn't totally accurate, HolyChrome.

Generally conflict is generated on Sindome when one party does something that someone doesn't like. NLM can easily piss off the mix by broadcasting stuff that's offensive to mixers, or by writing on the Globe, or by using one of the other systems they control that is widely used and viewed by the public. This is all player driven.

ViriiSoma can easily piss of the mix via their experiments because they're, as Talon put it, 'comic book villain corp'. This is also player driven a lot of the time but I still think ViriiSoma requires a lot more staff oversight than the former.

As for NeoTrans, there isn't really anything the players can do to upset people which is specific to NeoTrans. According to theme they have a lot of power but that power is held by staff, not the PCs there, unless it's a very specific plot. Yes PCs can definitely cause some chaos, but in my experience the tools at their disposal to do so are very limited.

If you're asking for more hooks? I agree. Some corps could use more than others, but that isn't to say there's none. I have actively worked at each corp and can tell you, there are ways. Again, all coming down to the players inside them.

As crashdown mentioned, there's a cycle to them, like the rest of the game. Stars rise and fall. Some are bustling hubs only to be effectively mothballed by the end of the year. Just because one isn't active now, doesn't mean it's bad or another option is better.

Again, back to the players. Some means of conflict are easier than others, but even with other "active corps", all the things that have been mentioned still require staff. If you're a PC in a "dead corp", then do something about it. If you build it, they will come.

The solution isn't to just create/bolster another corp. The solution is for players to find ways inside the current corps. All the wishful thinking of what SK -could- be would still require staff attention for each and every one, without pulling players from the others.

HolyChrome, honest question, how do you expect people to hook plots with NO access to the number of tools that other corporations have?
There are ways.

That's not to say all corps are created equal and there's complete symmetry in design. But even in the "dead" or "dying" corps people are talking about, I've seen many many ways to generate plot without needing tools -from- the corp.

https://www.sindome.org/bgbb/open-discussion/theme/corporate-rp-orientation-handbook-272/

See "You are not your job" under the above. While some jobs do have more hooks than others, that isn't to say some are dead ends. They wouldn't exist if they were. Jobs at corps are (generally) background things to give you money and keep you afloat while you pursue other things. Yes, you can excel at a position, just as much as you can bomb at one. Even the "best" topside jobs can have stagnate people not utilizing the hooks, or just playing it safe.

If you wait around at -any- corp for GMs to come and give you plot? You're corping wrong. Start chasing your own, be it big or small. You start making things happen? People will notice, PCs and NPCs alike.

But the other corps have those extra tools, so the question becomes, why join a corp that is basically just the basic toolkit, when there's two other options, with both more interesting thematic flares, and an advanced toolkit and built in support structure along with it?

Further, how do you compete with those that are supposed to be competitors when you basically have an arm tied behind your back, by not having those advanced toolkits?

Further than that, how do you redress this inequality, without making that inequality the theme?

If there were a reason to use the hidden fun stuff associated with NEO this would all change. But as it is... Playing Neo feels mechanically -and- thematically, like the pythonic black knight. "GET BACK HERE, I'LL BITE YOU TO DEATH!" And like any attempt to play ball will result in the exact same fate as the pythonic black knight... Disarmed, outclassed, and sent rolling down a steep hill.

Nine times out of ten, the faction specific resources a corp has don't come into play.

Hands down.

I don't know what you -think- each corp has that they're throwing or not throwing around on the daily, but it isn't much. When it comes to day to day, every corp has the exact same resources as the other, give or take some minimal exceptions.

That's blatantly false and addresses none of my points.

To restate.

Even if a character doesn't utilize those faction specific resources, they still very much factor into RP.

"When is this going to appear in the Globe y'think?"

"Watched it all happen on NLM 420,"

These provide leverage... Leverage that is mirrored in VS's access to certain resources and things that aren't as obvious on the OOC level so I won't talk about.

Where is Neo's leverage? As in it's viable leverage, because as I said, if the hidden fun stuff offered by Neo was at all appealing or incentivised, then you would see a lot less complaints in general about them.

2 and a half years by the way.

This isn't cyclical.

It's been 2 and a half years I've been playing, and in the entire time I've played, Neo has been considered to be the lesser corporation through that entire time.

So... Yeah... Something needs to be done to figure out why that is the case. And the voice from many of the people in this thread, has been that thematically, and mechanically they do not stack up.

This is not about GMs handing people plot. It's not even REALLY about the ability to throw one's weight around (though that is a plus). This is about incentivizing people into conflict. You can say "you are not your job" and that's fine, that's really good advice, but I think the reason things are so successful and fun in the Mix is because factions have very clear enemies both at low levels (gangs) and high levels (syndicates) that directly compete with each other, and people regularly get wrapped into that conflict, even while outside of it.

This isn't about players not taking the initiative or anything like that. This is about building infrastructure.

Topside doesn't have good infrastructure for conflict between topside factions and I think making SK a player corp in direct competition with VS would establish good infrastructure to generate conflict and plot with much less GM interference.

Yes, and I've been playing for over double that.

And it is.

PCs will come who mesh with the theme of a corp and it'll go from there.

Access to certain things at either? Doesn't do much. Genuinely think what these "active corps" have that are creating things. It's about the players and what they're doing with what's on hand.

There are, currently, multiple stagnate/dead factions that used to be thriving. And ones that are bustling now that use to be in the same stagnate/dead state before.

What do medics do outside the clinic in the Mix? What do mechanics do outside the shop? I think I need to be blunt and say if you're having trouble coming up with plot, you need to be more creative.

There have been a couple of mentions of SK being "needed" as a place for secure and electro-techs.

What about PRI?

They are already a corporation. They have a facility on Gold. They have facilities in Red. They literally make robotics and all(?) of the security gear in the game (doors, locks, etc)

I agree that cybernetics are cool and SK would be cool. I just think that the "no place for techs without SK" discussion is off base.

As for NeoTrans, it seems like the ultimate corporation for Johnsons and Fixers. Got Import Export? What else needs to be said there?

If I were CEO of NeoTrans, it would be a holding company for a bunch of deniable LLCs and other shell corporations. People would be coming and going from there all the time. Taking trips to Location A, while really ending up in Location B, complete with plausible deniability. Every other corporation who needed materials or wanted to sell things would be paying my NeoTrans a protection fee, or their shipments would get lost.

While I would love SK to be added to add another interesting vector in corporate intrigue, I would also like that add that while it isn't now (at least openly) NeoTrans there was a time that NeoTrans had bustling RP and plot revolving around it, both on its own and for other corporations.

The cyclical nature of this game has factions and corps be dead for some periods of time,while others flourish and then they match up and compete or one dies off and another flourishes in a year or two. Its a matter of who pushes to go to what and where the interest of the player base seems to lie, along with other matters such as perceived politics, things like the plots going on openly that draw more players in, and all that.

Regardless, I don't think a new corp is needed to add to corporate intrigue. There is definitely overlaps between all of the corporate interests and that spurs plot. It has in the past and probably is now. Its just a matter of figure out what those things are.

Thematically, there doesn't seem to be great fundamental motivations for VS, NLM and NT to fuck with each other.

There's always GM driven plots that try and push this, and sometimes they feel great, and other times they miss the mark.

The things that NT is supposed to be doing thematically isn't represented in gameplay, period. I can't tell you that I've ever heard about someone in SK, PRI, VS or NLM, or hell, even the Hall being like 'Oh no, we pissed of NeoTrans, we really fucked up, and can't get basic everyday shit we need to -exist- as a corporation here.' It's entirely possible that it happens under the scenes or there's staff rolling off dice to see if that's the case when generating plots and the like, but it doesn't feel like that's the case.

I'm right at the four years of playing mark now, and for as long as I've been here, NT has been the butt of most corporate jokes. Even when it was staffed by 'powerful' or 'influential' characters, the go-to retort has always been 'oh yeah, well, you work at NT, hah!'

That's a problem. Nobody wants to play out a fantasy where the highlight of their day is mopping a floor and getting bullied on SIC all day. That's fine when we have transition jobs for people to get punched around like that for X amount of time to pay their 'dues' before being let into Y or Z organization, but as an identity, it's not okay. In the past year or two the last MAJOR plot that NT had arguably wasn't even NT's plot. It was a plot that involved them, but really had been setup and orchestrated about the damages and losses of a 'real' corporation in the way it was framed. If we want NT to exist as this stepping stone corporation and not one of the 'big boys' then that needs to really be S P E L L E D O U T in much the same way that decking as an archetype had to be EXPLICITLY told to players the state it's in and what the roadmap is for it.

@HolyChrome is spot on correct that players are ultimately the driving force of theme for a lot of these corporations, but when you have a corp that's the punching bag, and has been staffed by people that either treat it like the corporate merry-go-round that it is, or totally fail in their roles, then what is to be done? I don't think the solution is to simply have players existing and collecting paychecks from a place topside that has started to represent the embodiment of mooching gameplay.

And again- as Rhea and others have brought up- where is the organic conflict between NLM and VS? Between VS and NT? NT and NLM? These corporations compete over talent, but they occupy totally different market shares from one another. NLM doesn't grow food, NT doesn't have television stations, VS doesn't import mass cargo and export goods.

The corpshare market is a step in the right direction, given the framework that we have and corps we have active now. If there's say, 250K up for grabs in 'stock/dividend/bonus' payouts per quarter, then people will naturally want to go to the lesser populated corps to try and edge in and grab second or third place of that cut. But even then, it's more of a carrot on a stick to promote pushing plots hard for their own corporation than it is significantly beefing with other corps, but the devils going to be in the details on implementation and support for that feature. It'll be a big deal at some point, I'm sure, and might even prove to provide a lot of resolutions to everyday problems we're discussing here.

Having played a research role before, they're VERY hard to roleplay and keep engaged and characters that get into it have to be pretty clever at filling the space in through their own efforts and creativity. It's pretty tough, and I'd foresee SK being largely adding a second wing of what VS already has. So I think the change would largely be redundant and probably just split the niche VS operates in. That's not necessarily a good thing if Topside's already considered a bit thin.

Corps don't honestly need a reason to directly compete, they're greedy and they'll do it anyway. You can already have the conflict you're asking for, it's just up to players to drive it.

I find it a bit silly that SK, which still technically has international conflict in the two different German nations, isn't more significant in Withmore. Or maybe because of it? I also always found it a bit forced for NLM and VS to be rivals, especially in the past, as neither of them compete in any field whatsoever. They both have monopolies on their own things, and they both technically depend on each other for it.
I think empty rivalry is lovely. Not better than "meaningful" rivalry, but nothing wrong with it. The way I see the NLM/VS rivalry is like the rivalries between jocks and nerds - there's no reason for them to be rivals, they don't threaten each other in any competitive way, but the cultural animus is huge and compelling.
I can understand both sides of the coin here. There's definitely advantages to starting up SK as a playable corp, but also disadvantages to the general divide topside. I get the feeling though, that if SK had been the corp to play from the start, rather than NeoTrans, maybe it would've been the ideal outcome. VS players actually do sometimes push out new nanogens. Imagine SK actively pushing out new chrome.
Folks, please consider that you are not expected to experience the full breadth of what any given corporation does to make its money. We'll be growing what you do as part of PRI because we want to grow space play. We won't be growing the SK tower any time soon as a place players work and RP daily. Instead, think about it more as a destination for runs or other infrequent visits.
On the topic of Neo being a ghost town, I was going to chime in with this, but first I did a quick browse through everyone who I know has been fired or otherwise left the big three over the past year-and-a-half. Turns out, the numbers are surprisingly even.

On the topic of Neo being a butt of jokes, I've recently seen Neo as the place for people who are corporate to get away with a lot more than anywhere else. It almost feels like the San Mara of topside.

Neo should acquire Chex for dominance of the transportation scene and give the other corporations a reason to hire disposable assets to like, sabotage taxi cabs and crash AVs.
I'm genuinely surprised Chex isn't a subsidiary of Neo already. 😮
Chex becoming part of NeoTrans would open up a lot more rp for NeoTrans earnestly. The taxi's get stolen or damaged fairly regularly and even if it is just a filthy mixer driving corporate property, the taxi is imporant to the corp so it would give their security something to get involved in.

I don't have much experience with playing corporates so I can't comment too much on that, but involving the idea of grouping Chex/Skyfox with NeoTrans sounds cool on its surface.

Being a cabby is typically considered one of the safer professions in the game, having them (or their vehicles) reclassed as targetable assets by corporate rivals would spice things up with a bit of extra risk. It would also give the mechanics some more stuff to do, seeing how most cabbies don't seem to crash their work vehicles. 😊

Grouping Chex into NT would maybe be interesting and flesh out NT a bit, but:

1)There's already infrastructure around Chex that spans sectors, I'm curious how that'd be integrated / re-branded or what, and Coletti is a fun NPC I'd hate to see disappear or put into the background in the process.

2) Far more importantly, I'm really not a fan of one of the few independent service-class jobs getting put under the umbrella of a corporation, thus making the Chex employees just another set of servies that basically lose most of their RP opportunities and start getting shunned, like someone at Bizou would. Maybe they'd culturally keep the label of 'good servies' that Mixers basically don't treat poorly just based on job alone and it wouldn't be an issue, but if that attitude shifted along with NT's 'acquisition' the job would get incredibly unappealing. It's healthy for the game to have jobs like Chex and Wicks that are, at least to a degree, interstitial w/r/t the Divide.

Corpies would treat them better in return though.

I'd say maybe Chex stays the same but Neo grabs Skyfox. So we get mixer cabs and corpie flyers. Makes sense with Neo's mechanics positions in place.

Corpies treating them better is the problem :)
Skyfox becoming NT would make all piloting jobs, and by extension effectively all flying period, corporate-only. I think that would be a huge mistake and would make one of the best systems in the game, one which sees very little use considering how deep it is, even more inaccessible.

SK is superficially more interesting than NT in my mind, but only from the perspective of a 1:1 reskin. I don't think any faction should just be given more stuff to make it more attractive, especially something as extreme as giving one a borderline monopoly on flying.

I think mixers treating some servies better and some worse is also a problem, to be honest. Different sides.
@PCow

That certainly is a problem.

Kill all servies.

;)

I love the idea of SK but I think it's also very true that Neo is underwhelming as presented. Yes a talented player(s) could help shape it's perception but they need something to work with. As others have said, NLM and VS provide actual services players use while NeoTrans essentially provides travel to FreeSky.
There are obvious cultural and practical reasons why some servies are treated better by Mixers than others. Some jobs you only take because you're trying to get in topside or because you've burned yourself one way or another in the Mix.

If Immie Greeters and Chex cabbies and Disposal Techs were treated as badly as Bizou baristas, no one would fill those jobs, and then you'd really see a problem.

Which is why its odd that people would argue against giving NT a monopoly on a service.

NLM has a monpoly on TV.

VS has a monopoly on biomods and DCD treatment.

Why can't NT have one on flying?

I don't think Chex or SkyFox should become "corpie only" if they were to be theoretically moved to NeoTrans ownership. At least, that is not what I was suggesting. The other corporations already have private AVs and pilots, so this seems like overkill.

The Chex/SkyFox employees would still be service mixers still (unless they were some sort of special senior/corporate only pilot) and their vehicles would now be potential targets for VS and NLM in the corporate war. It'd basically be the same, just getting them involved in some possible topside drama/intrigue, and possibly letting them network with Neotrans people closer in case they want to go corporate.

Them being service workers for a MegaCorp has no downside to me, as it makes the service more attractive for corporate citizens and once again forces Mixers to choose if they would rather tolerate a servie or not have a cab in the same way they can choose if they wanna tolerate a servie or not have corpses disposed of. Just gives that nice 'corporations own everything around you and if you go hardline anti-corp you will suffer' feel.
If chexxies became KMB employees 2.0 I think you'd see a heck of a lot of mixers giving cabbies shit and creasing them.

I also don't think it makes sense, given the long history of chexxies themselves being criminal scumbags and not hoity-toity wannabe corpettes.

Skyfox on the other hand? That'd probably make more sense, thematically.

I still think there should be a corporation that has a serious investment in deckers -besides- the one that already exists.

That could be a organic avenue for a lot of inter-corp drama and intrigue, while also promoting more people to get into the new and shiny life of 3.0 as it's fleshed out.

I think honestly the attitude towards servies is a problem right now. No one wants those jobs because they're reviled, so like, why not make them un-reviled? The easiest thing would be to make the service class a separate class that can live on Green and is not corporate but are also not Mixers.
Turning Skyfox pilots into just another set of topside-aligned servies might not affect them that much, honestly.

It would ruin Chex cabbies. They'd essentially never get a fare again considering Mixers account for almost all of their fares, and no mixer is taking a corporate lapdog servie cab driver.

I think there's a very good reason Chex/Skyfox are positioned independently and this would ruin the entire concept.

I'm absolutely for trying to give NT some kind of actual services and assets, but you don't break one thing to try and fix another.

There's nothing preventing servies from living on green right now.

Many that I have known in the past have lived there, it's just a matter of either hustling to pay the bills, or schmoozing your way into a relationship with someone who has a place already. AFAIK, they just can't have membership pads on green as a servie, which makes a lot of sense.

Why can mixers not be expected to deal with having to either accept a servie driver or not get cab rides but corpies are expected to have to deal with their cabbie being a mix-living criminal or not get cab rides?

Seems fine to me.

We don't need to be breaking up tried-and-true systems and factions to shore up one, for no reason. There's only one avenue for mixers to be pilots as it is. I think we need less 'X Archetype requires Y Job', not more of it.

I have no issue with an entirely cosmetic reskin that has no effect on current jobs or gameplay, but talking about completely reshaping multiple factions and jobs just to shore up NT with more toys is ridiculous.

For me this is an issue of theme.

When you say mixers should be able to be comfortable with their cabbies and corpies just need to deal or not get rides, then you're saying mixers are in a privileged position and corpies are in a non-privileged positions.

That's backwards.

I still say that NT's problem is thematic and cultural, and not entirely mechanical.

Johnny says that more space...stuff? is coming down the road, so that'll give NT more mechanical weight to throw around potentially, although, I don't know to what extent they'll be able to do that. Tickets are automated and available to everyone, although I suppose they could have NeoSec enforce embargos and have their own revulsive stop and frisk policies on rival corporations to make sure their share of white-collar crime and smuggling isn't be infringed upon.

PCow,

Corpies don't have to make that choice because from what I can tell from past experience and the experience of other Chexies I've interacted with, Corpies take Chex rides very rarely. They have much easier access to their own vehicles, corporate rides, or they just take the free lev rides provided by their employers most of the time even though it's the most dangerous option for them. They're privileged enough to not have to make the consideration to begin with.

Someone start a new topic to talk about Skyfox, this hasn't been about SK for at least 20 comments now.
I think you're dealing with the question of whether one (big) reason why corpies don't take Chex or Skyfox more -is- the fact they're the dirty kind of servie, often with criminal history or corporate washouts.

Sure, if they do something to you, they lose their job, but that isn't gonna un-murder you.

Corps take SkyFox/Chex plenty. I really don't know why you keep saying this.
@TalonCzar and some others brought up the underdog status of NeoTrans and the implicit lack of interest in joining the corporation because of that.

Many people have brought up the lack of structure or forced conflict / reason to 'fight' with other corporations as a NeoTrans employee.

Lastly it has been mentioned that relative power of corporations tends to ebb and flow depending on the players involved in them.

This entire thread puts me in mind of organizational psychology and specifically work motivation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Work_motivation

There are different types of people drawn to different types of organizations. Some people like the ambiguity of not having a lot of management oversight because it gives them free reign to act. Others want to be told what to do, or have a very clear structure to fit their actions into.

Some people get beat down and give up when others are giving them crap all the time. Others respond to that as motivation and find even more drive to work harder and eventually overcome their detractors.

I briefly mentioned this in the Town Hall, and one of the things I have come to love about Sindome is the lack of direct admin involvement in factions. It is up to the players to become members of a faction and make them succeed. Some factions are better resourced than others.

I do not think it is up to the GMs to make one corporation more or less competitive or "attractive to players" than any other corporation. In fact, I would be disappointed if they do that.

The first "cyberpunk" type online game I ever played was a horrible world of admin backed factions that were nothing more than exclusive cliques. Those cliques lived and died based on admin attention, and "everyone" wanted to be in whichever one had the most admin support at any given time.

The system that we have here, where players run the factions and admins neutrally puppet and answer queue requests is a much better system.

One last point to get back to the topic of organizational psychology, the base salary for professionals in that field is ~$103K a year. It is an extremely complex field that few are good at. It's practically insane to expect part time admins to create organizations that are going to cater to all of the various personality types that are represented in the playerbase.

Bumping this thread and hoping to recenter the discussion here on the possibility of SK becoming a playable corp (with a latter section commenting my two chy on the NeoTrans dilemma, which should really be its own thread).

Don't need to say much as it has already been mentioned, but SK seems like an underutilized opportunity for gameplay in Withmore. Here's a few reasons why:

1) The mechanical/technical corp. Specialized positions for all forms of engineering skills, from development of cyberware to robots to weapons.

2) WAI as a partner. In addition to roles surrounding security/weapons manufacture and distribution (official licensed provider of corpsec equipment?), development of potential new products (WJF-exclusive, or even off-book weapons of mass destruction) and the importance of a corpsec team preventing these from getting stolen.

3) Greater corporation conflict. In particular, would generate competition between VS and SK somewhat. However, the two do still hold separate realms (so there is no direct replacement): VS has always felt like a more 'life science' based place, with a focus on medicine and chemicals and food and a fun side-hustle of nanos. SK, on the other hand, is -all- about cyberware; still, they can't touch the bioengineering of a VS nano.

4) More mixer-corpie interaction. My vision of SK is one that, in game, operates on a 50/50 level. Half of the employees are full corporate citizens, working from the SK HQ up on Gold to do the big things (such as R&D on new products, corpsec, PR, etc). However, outsourcing to mixers would be a must: testing (potentially deadly) products on mixers for a paycheck, hiring informants to gather reviews and feedback on products, and even collecting mixer input on what new types of chrome are wanted by the millions in Red. Could more organically increase mix/topside RP, because who doesn't love chrome?

--

A large portion of this thread has also been addressing the impact that opening up SK could have on Neo, an already 'weaker' corp in terms of gameplay.

1) In regards to SK replacing Neo, taking characters away from it: I don't see this as a real issue to worry about. Neo and SK have very different goals/roles, and in fact the creation of a playable SK could help specialize the purpose of both corps. Neo is the place for transport and shipping, SK is for cyberware and combat products.

2) It seems the consensus in this thread is to either bump up Neo's position and power from a realized, mechanical standpoint and not just one based in lore, or to demote them to the sad fourth corporate cousin while VS, SK, and NLM battle it out at the table. Personally I would love to see the first option, because Neo certainly plays a role in this game and lore: it just struggles with focusing that.

2a) Trakel made excellent points about Neo's potential. And in addition to the mechanical implementation of reqs having to go through Neo, imagine the paydata employees there would be gaining? Other corps would need to seek good relations with Neo, or else their goods are stalled, tampered with, exposed, etc.

2b) Hek put it well: "NeoTrans seems like the ultimate corporation for Johnsons and Fixers. Got Import Export? What else needs to be said there?"

3) If, even after these implementations, Neo still struggles to shine among the corps, we could always privatize the lev (a pipe dream that I personally don't believe is absolutely necessary, but could be fun). Unless there's strict balance reasons against that, it could generate a whole slew of new jobs and RP. Train operator, who works from NEO HQ, anyone? Corrupting a lev officer to aid a criminal escape? Etc.

TL;DR, SK has a ton of potential as a playable corp and I would love to see it happen. Also, we need a thread on how to boost the importance/role of NeoTrans.

Folks, please consider that you are not expected to experience the full breadth of what any given corporation does to make its money. We'll be growing what you do as part of PRI because we want to grow space play. We won't be growing the SK tower any time soon as a place players work and RP daily. Instead, think about it more as a destination for runs or other infrequent visits.