I honestly don't know if that's how it works via the code, but yeah. Something like that. Everyone's saying it's a problem on the other thread. What're some more solutions?
|a||Mench||1h||Doing a bit of everything.|
|j||Fengshui||2h||http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00M0DV5IQ <- My Book|
|-||Ryuzaki4Days||10m||Take drugs. Kill a bear.|
|-||ReeferMadness||13m||May the bridges I burn light the way.|
|And 26 more hiding and/or disguised|
I honestly don't know if that's how it works via the code, but yeah. Something like that. Everyone's saying it's a problem on the other thread. What're some more solutions?
Right now, you get in, you've got some stat that says you're limber and you don't know what that means. You've got a skill that says you're adept. You get your ass handed to you in a fight and think, damn, these descriptions didn't help me.
Pretend everything before the curve sounds like you're bad at something now. You get into the game and spend an entire month trying to raise a stat and you still sound bad at everything. How discouraging is that? So you're meditating your skills and stats up in your cube, bored. One month and you're still garbage? How many months is it going to take before you aren't garbage any more? But you invest and invest and all this time goes by and you finally sound like you're good. Awesome. You get your ass handed to you in a fight and think, damn, these descriptions didn't help me.
In the end, your skills and stats still aren't going to save you from making bad decisions.
I'm not trying to sound snarky here at all, so please don't take it that way, but I do believe that "measuring" yourself becomes easier once you hit the curve. When you hit the curve in a stat or skill, the amount needed to raise that stat or skill increases. So let's say jerking off is a skill. Your sheet looks like this;
Jerking off.........Pre-teen (0.5UE)
Once you hit the curve, it will be like....
Jerking off........Lonely WOW player (0.7UE)
The .2 extra it takes to raise it will only continue to become a larger amount, and thus, a method of measurement.
I don't know if this helps you, but given the confusing nature of the adjectives.you could just assume anything at the basic amounts pre-curve you're just not going to be that great at.
“All starting characters are essentially unskilled, regardless of how their skill level is named. When a skill begins to cost more than 0.5 per skill level, you begin to enter the lower levels of being skilled; as the cost increases, so does your skill.”
Though at that point why don’t we just use numbers, and print your skill level as your UE cost to raise?
I think the problem is that you actually ARE shit even with positive adjectives, so it's a little misleading when you're ace and can't make/do a damn thing with your skill. Me personally, I could go either way. But I've been through the curve. Do I think it would be cool for ace to actually be ace? Yeah. Worth it to code? Maybe not. The arguments right now are basically:
Vets: You're always gonna be shit, mudsex more friends and have them beat people up.
Newbies: I want to at least not be super surprised when I'm shit.
Good to know if it's already been shot down. I did a quick search but didn't find anything.
Honestly, just don't worry too much about your adjectives.
1) Give people the scale. Anyone who has played for any length of time has it already. So making it available levels the playing field.
2) Give a colored indicator. Red / Yellow / Green for stats and skills. If you are Red you are significantly worse the average active group of players. If you are yellow you are about average to the active group of players. If you are Green then you significantly better than the average. It's at least simple enough to let people know about how they are in the world.
3) Compress the adjective scale so that the names better fit the bands that they represent. Perhaps just 5-6 adjectives.
Those are things that could alleviate the issue.
Also, we told to RP to our stats and abilities. How can I do that if I have no idea how good I am at something. Is it meta for me to RP being a brilliant Singer when I am Skilled? I don't know.
Knowing how good you are is important if you are going to actually RP your character, which is core to this game.
If you're skilled at something, you have skill in that field. If you're terrible at it, you're terrible at it, and should RP accordingly.
Though, I've been here for a while, so maybe I'm too used to seeing things the way they currently are. It's a lot of effort to rewrite all those adjectives for something that would otherwise be no actual change.
You go, wow I can sex really good, let me play that in RP. Then you roll the stats and all the veterans are like, "No, SuperStar is like...4 seconds in bed. Good thing you don't have lower, you still can't last the foreplay though."
Then you go, "Why are these stats named that way if I'm basically somebody who gets off to a stiff breeze and am actually uglier than that crack hoe that got run over by a truck?" The oldbies reply, "Oh this is fine, it's always been that way. Ignore your stats and rp more."
Now lets be real here. If stats are there, there is a reason we have them, so it isn't something you should 'ignore'. Take with a grain of salt perhaps, but still, they are there, and I assume we didn't have coders taking the time to write all of this just for the players to completely ignore. To me, I see that as an insult to the coders.
The real issue is more that the stats don't reflect what those words actually mean. This is the disconnect players have. It's an RP focused game, and as I mentioned in the other thread, we should, as a new player, know where we are at at least, 'roughly' in terms of the average joe. So we can roleplay our weaknesses, and actually flesh a character out. It seems unhelpful if we don't know what any of the stats mean, so we just roleplay whatever we want and disregard it until an oldbie decides to mug us, kill us, or whatever it happens to be.
This knowledge is an obfuscated gateway that old players don't have as a handicap when making new immigrants, and in my opinion, could be fixed simply by accurately reflecting the level of suck a player has. Sure, it might feel a bit bad still being at 'hot garbage' level for a week, or two, or a month. But when you finally not suck...you can feel you made some kind of progress. But contesting against other players...well..that's just generally never going to be a marker for success unless you've played long enough to know what the max skill looks like. That, in my opinion is fine, and is something that makes players able to seem or actually be more dangerous than they appear. But I suppose here I'm just echoing BlazingCoconut. Bottom line is in order to actually portray your character realistically, or at least in terms of the game, I think it's important we use accurate descriptors. If the descriptors are 'as intended' and accurate, are we using a super human level scale? Like...is a skilled whatever actually skilled compared to your average person? Is someone who's well above that just a legendary god that can do things inhumanly well? If this was the level we're going for, that's what the adjectives currently describe. But then the stat rolls certainly don't reflect that. Just my two chyen.
Artistry lets you make clothing. It takes almost no skill at all to begin producing clothing and art. You can measure your skill in terms of item value. You can tell how shit you are by comparing to other players clothing. This skill is -extremely- clear on how good you are by using it.
Bio-Tech is a skill I don't know much about. There was a recentish update where you could test how good you were at installing a cybernetic using in game tools. I assume that, and just trying things, are how you can tell on your own. As far as I know, there aren't really any ways to compare to other players.
Chemical is drugs. Drugs are cool. Your ability to make drugs can be measured in game by making drugs. I don't believe there are any direct conflicts with this skill against other players.
Forensics needs work. That's what I always hear. We're going to skip this skill because there isn't a lot of free knowledge about what it does.
Medical lets you realive people. This is extremely easy to tell if you are good or not. You can see how healthy you can make people. You can test how long it takes to make your patient breathe again. You can test this skill against another player by just seeing how better their results are on average compared to yours.
Aero Tech lets you fix things. I copied and pasted this one into another skill too! You can tell how good you are by trying to fix things and seeing how successful you can end up. You can compare against other players by seeing how much better their results are.
Auto Tech lets you fix things. I copied and pasted this one into another skill too! You can tell how good you are by trying to fix things and seeing how successful you can end up. You can compare against other players by seeing how much better their results are.
Electro Tech is another skill with uses that aren't very well advertised in an OOC sense.
Munitions lets you modify guns and make ammunition. The various uses of this skill that are more common knowledge aren't as indepth as above skills for checking how good you are. Mostly what seems like pass/fail situations. So you can tell if you're good enough to do one thing, but you can't really show off how good you are at that one thing. Can't really compete directly with another player via advertised means.
Secure Tech has some more obvious uses than Electro tech. Like munitions, it's a lot of pass/fail on your own terms. However, you can more accurately test how good you are compared to someone else with this skill fairly easily by direct competitions involving the skill with clear winners.
Driving lets you drive vehicles. The system is pretty simple. You can tell if you're good by trying to drive in a variety of conditions at a variety of speeds. You can tell you're good because the game lets you pull them off. Sadly, no car battles yet :( As a result you can only compare against other players in a limited way.
Piloting lets you FLY vehicles. The system is pretty simple. You can tell if you're good by trying to drive in a variety of conditions at a variety of speeds. You can tell you're good because the game lets you pull them off. Sadly, no AV battles yet :( As a result you can only compare against other players in a limited way.
Rigging another somewhat neglected skill with basically no advertised usages. We'll pass this one.
Stealth is a really complex one. It's basically impossible to tell how good you are on your own, because you're not able to watch yourself to find out. But this makes sense. There are still ways to check your ability. There are a -ton- of ways to compare your ability to someone else however.
Thievery gets you fantastic discounts. While there aren't really lots of available options to compare against other players, you can easily tell on your own how good you are versus how good someone else is by trying to steal from them. Good luck.
Disguise is probably the most obvious thing in the game. Is your disguising staying up? Your'e doing good. Is it failing quickly? Not so good.
Dodge, Brawling, Martial Arts, Melee, Short Blade, Long Blade, Pistol, Sub-Machine Gun, Rifle are skills which have so many ways to test how good you are that it isn't even funny. There are training targets. There are vidyagames. There is killing one another. There's getting killed.
Heavy Weapons didn't get included in the above list because they are sadly missing right now. Heavy weapons needs some lovin'.
Explosives are a more secretive thing than most other skills. So again, we're not going to touch base on it!
Now why did I make this giant mess of skills? One simple reason. There are ways to ICly find out how good you are. Your stats show you descriptions how good you are that might mislead you. But finding out IC is a sure fire way to learn, especially if you are trying to compare yourself to anyone else in the game. With few exceptions, it's very easy to tell how good you are at something IC, all by using the skills. In many cases you can tell by yourself. In other cases, you learn via comparison.
This is important, because you could have a skill that's godly sounding, but why would you say you're godly at it if every one and their red-headed stepchild is better than you at it?
In both instances, sure it works...eventually. But the topic was asking what the biggest hurdle was, and why we would want to change them. My point isn't that I do not understand the system, or that I'm somehow unable to comprehend what you are saying, or that curve equals competency. What I'm saying is that this is a fundamental issue -for newbies-.
The majority of the arguments here still remain a "the system isn't broken once you learn it", which isn't wrong, but is precisely the issue most newbies complain about. Addressing this issue shouldn't be a major problem for a player who feels they understand these stats, but would help the players understand the theme of the game better, give them a better understanding of where their skill actually lies, and generally be able to write their character in a manner more consistent with the stats.
Sure, we can and should test in game to see how our stats work, but when we're first dipping our feet in, people tend to not understand exactly where the skills actually lie, so might rp things in a way that is inconsistent and possibly immersion breaking without intending to. Sure it's always nice to have someone teach us more, to understand more, to spread that knowledge, and both IC and OOC I'd be happy to learn where I'm mistaken any time, and I'd be happy to share what I do know.
But again, the dance around the issue itself by saying 'oh things are just fine, we don't need to improve' instead of actually providing a solution that would help new players transition into the game comes full circle. Sure, new players can 'learn' to understand how the system works, but it doesn't match what everyone learned in -reality-. Are we to just start saying that cyberpunk isn't cyberpunk? That the grid is actually whatever we want it to be in some archaic form? That blue isn't blue, red isn't actually red? I realize this is slippery slope, but we learn and communicate with -words-. This is a text based game, using words to convey tone, theme, attitude and feeling. We roleplay with words and there is a difference between saying someone does something with skill, or that they bungle it up like an idiot that doesn't know their ass from their sword.
Misleadng newbies is the exact issue I had with this. Understanding what those words meant was a fundamental lesson, and by far the largest hurdle I felt I've had coming in as a new player. You are asking all new players to learn 'the old ways' by re-learning definitions simply because we'd rather have everyone else conform, rather than correct ourselves. That seems a bit backward to me. "I'm not wearing my pants on my head, this is a -shirt-." rings in my head when this sort of thing happens.
As for the argument that oldbies have an advantage in a game that newbies don't. I simply stated that this was a gap we could fill by simply fixing this. I realize and stated that oldbies will have more knowledge of the game that they can leverage. I never stated otherwise. My argument focused on knowledge that is literally meta, rather than in character. This gap is created simply by misidentifying how well a character is at a skill.
I will say though, that I was generalizing a bit too much when I say it was an echo chamber, but the opinion generally seems to be newbies just have to learn the secret word arts of knowing what they actually can do by failing, a lot. I get it, I'm still here because I enjoy that sort of thing. But this is something that is easy to fix, and is something I think that new players would benefit from in terms of learning the system itself. I just feel that the sentiment of not changing something is the same logic as 'it ain't broke cause we always have done it this way' mentality. I could be wrong though, and by all means, I'm open to learning why people thing these positive words for trash skill are a good thing. Of the arguments so far, the one that rang out to me the most has been that we want newer players to feel like they're actually improving, even if it is in only minuscule amounts of UE compared to what can potentially be invested in a stat.
Jerking Off is a skill that allows you to masturbate. The more talented you are, the longer you can resist release and the more satisfying it will be.
Because Sindome is a complex game, it doesn't use just one stat to modify the skill.
Jerking off requires Stamina, Stamina, Toughness, Coordination, Quickness, Quickness, and Luck.
It uses stamina twice to simulate how long you're able to hold out. Toughness to prevent chafing. Coordination for masterful control. Quickness to achieve the right speeds. And just a touch of luck to determine how well you hold out today, compared to tomorrow or the day before.
I am unrivaled at Jerking Off. I've got a -ton- of skill. But I still suck at Jerking Off anyway. I've been investing all my UE into Charisma so I can use the skill in public and convince the Judges to lay off my case, and putting points in Strength because I thought it might feel better to squeeze harder.
My unrivaled description, even when it is 100% accurate, does not make me good, because my stats suck. And you're right, the only way you're going to learn what makes you good at Jerking Off is to get more experience with the game. Maybe find a mentor so they can advice you in the arts of self pleasure.
Likewise, even with low skill, but -excellent- stats, you can still beat someone of higher skill. Because the descriptions don't mean much of anything. And that's why changing the descriptions aren't going to make you, or anyone else, better at Sindome.
But I shouldn't have to test against other people to have a vague idea if I'm good at something or not. Again, a lot of times I want to RP something that's not an automated check. It would be nice to have an idea if I am good bad or whatever. There are solutions to this, but before one could be put forward the question of why the system exists and is a conscious choice or just something that happened.
If it is a conscious choice, why would you want a punitive system that only affects people that you are trying to put a best foot forward too?
Knowing what is good and what kind of works for what is a problem with brand new players to a large degree and everyone else to a far smaller degree. It's a problem that can be solved. The question is, what is the rationale to have it in place. I haven't really heard a good one yet, but there is a lot of thought to most of the systems in the game so it wouldn't surprise me if there is one.
It's not a punitive system that prevents newbies from figuring things out. It does, however, make it more IC than OOC to figure out. And if you aren't willing to get out there and find out IC, then you're just kind of stuck. And that's fine.
The only skill that basically requires you to test against other players to find out how good you are is stealth and stealing. And it doesn't matter if you're the best, or the worst at those anyway. It matters if you can sneak past or steal from someone. If you're a god at both things and still fail, then it doesn't matter that you were good at all. Likewise, if a person is bad at defending against these things, it won't matter if you're bad either.
And by knowing how well you do at certain things, you can get an idea of how you can RP being okay at things that don't use checks. And in the instance you can't, you use your best judgement. Which is fine because no one's going to know anyway. If you think you have the skill required to do a sweet yoga pose and hold it for a while, pose it. Chances are no one's even considering your skills or stats for it anyway.
I gave you rationale for why changing the system won't make things better. I could go even further in depth on why it won't by using examples of how you could have great stats, and great skills, and -still- get creamed by someone who is inferior to you. We could name examples of how you can take on people who are much better geared, skilled, and experienced and succeed. There is more to consider than your OOC knowledge of what your @stats has to say about anything. And even if you knew the exact value of how good you were, out of the maximum amount of good you could possibly be, that still wouldn't make you good. It still wouldn't explain how the relationships between various things work with stats and skills.
All the description changes would do would be applying a band-aid to a scratch that isn't even bleeding.
If I reroll today, for the most part I have an idea of what stats work with what skills and what levels actually mean. For a lot of the skills I have a vague idea of what would work for them and I'd be able to RP my character without a lot of the questions I had when I started.
It's not a problem for you, or for the most part me anymore. But I politely disagree that it isn't a problem. It comes up a lot in xgame and there have been players who have left in frustration because they have no way to gauge their character. Now... I would agree some of those that left may not have been a good fit for this type of game, but not all of them.
More to the point, if it's okay for older players to have meta knowledge of the scale and what makes things good. Would it be a problem to give new players some of that same knowledge?
I would not be better at Sindome if I knew the numbers behind the words. The words don't even matter. The thing that matters is that if I dump UE into a skill, I know I am getting better at it. Stats are more confusing because I might not be getting better at something, and even then, it's a little random due to sub stats, not being able to see those, and having no control over them anyway.
If you feel punished for not knowing how your skills work, figure out how your skills work. It's entirely possible IC. Puppets will flat out tell you what you should do to improve. Players will tell you how to improve. Trial and error will show you are making improvements. And just know that every point you invest makes a difference somewhere.
The adjectives of skills and stats don't make me better at understanding my skills. Using them does.
Wanna know if you're a good shot? Go find an IC way to test that, I can name 3. Wanna know if you can drive? Jack a car or bribe a chexie to let you borrow their wheels. Deck? Grab a term and pop a baka's system.
My point is, changing the adjectives literally won't matter, when you can find out how shit you are, or how good you are at something in countless IC ways. Go spar, go try dip someone, go try steal a car, make a bomb, tailor a new outfit etc. If you don't have a means to test such, go RP til you can test such.
I'm quite new myself, and certainly understand (and remember) the feeling of 'Oh, I'm *insert badass-sounding skill adjective here*, but I still seem to suck, wtf?!', so...
What I've learned is it's important to remember the non-coded ambient population of the game, those 76-million other bakas out there who don't know the difference between a folded-steel katana and a pair of chopsticks. That's who we're comparing ourselves to with these stats, or as Slither put it:
'If you agility is 'average' then you are certainly able to trade blows with the average malnourished street scum you find yourself surrounded by. That doesn't mean that 'gangers' are average though. They are above average. They are predators. Should you wish to not be prey, by all means, devote UE to agility, or strength, or endurance. RP doing pushups or jogging or jumping rope.'
(See here for the full post on this: https://www.sindome.org/bgbb/game-discussion/game-problems/stat-progression-naming-convetions-280/ )
Basically, if you're skilled at some sort of fighting you're likely to win your gritty, badly-lit CP duel to the death with these chummers:
When people are talking about spending days worth of UE to increase a skill by a single point, that's when you might be able to start thinking you're one of these:
I've said enough here already, but to the other newbies out there: Just remember that even the cook/garbage guy/Rob Schneiders of the world can mess with the Korben/Motoko/Deckards, just probably not by going head-on at them, be conniving and schemey about it.
TLDR: Skill adjectives are comparing us to the random junkies passed out in doorways and chummers getting beaten up by hookers in the room descriptions. Maybe making this clear to newbies will help them understand the progression better.
Did Motoko not spend her entire life working for the UN, JDF, and then secretive government security forces, and still not know how'd she fare against her wide array of diverse opponents?
Was Korben actually a badass or just some wash out who didn't give a flying fuck and he made things work cause he had a giant pair of brass balls and a girl he liked.
Determining your strength and prowess against other people is a process, an exploratory process. You need to discover it by being your character, take the game concept out of this situation, stop trying to rationalize it, calculate it, understand it, and just go out and learn it naturally. It's how I did it for 12 years, and how some of us have been doing it for over 20.
New players don't need to be told how things work to this level of detail, you don't need the adjectives to grok in your head perfectly, you just need to understand the flow of progress over time at least once, and interact with other characters through sparring and other ways to represent skill checks, and comparatively measure yourself against allies and rivals. Experience the game, role play, learn it... Because that's how the rest of us did it, and we're better roleplayers for making that effort.
Considering Slither saw fit to make a post clearing this up for players two years ago (see link on my ast post) and it's still a problem, all I'm advocating is making that perspective more prominent for new players. Let them get over it and have fun RPing instead of fretting about something so minor on xgame/forums all the time.
That said, I do completely agree with you that people should be getting in game and IC to discover how their stats and skills stack up. Knowing that the *good* adjective on your skill means that you're better at whatever skill than the (for practical purposes, non-existent) ambient population doesn't provide any in-game benefit. As you said SB410, they still have to go out and find out how they stack up against the rest of the elite population by just trying it out IC.
I'm going to have to argue the point on the characters being badasses, because Korben, Motoko and Deckard *are* all badasses (at least in the films those screenies are from), all at the peak of their careers, or (minor spoiler alert) have been recalled from retirement because they're the best at what they do.
Of course they still have to go out and do RP in-character to find out how they stack up against Gary Oldman/cyborgs/androids/elite hitsquads/etc :)
Someone with good stats and a 'mediocre' rating in a skill may outperform someone who is rated much higher than them on the skill tree but with poor supporting stats.
When your stats AND your skills are on the low end of the spectrum, that's when you start feeling all of the words are pointless and you're just worthless all the way around.
They're written in as badasses, all the backstory is skipped and conveniently penned to fulfill the needs of the plot of a story.
You're not that type of character, this is not a story you write. It's a story you contribute character dialogue and action too, but other authors control everything else. No one will write you in like you're a badass, and the only way for you to improve yourself is to spend UE in the places you want to spend it, and someday, through use of those skills and your average successes and failures will paint a clear picture for how you measure up against your peers and against the big names in the Dome who have reputations for doing those types of tasks.
Thus is the nature of playing a RP game with real time progression over the course of years and not a MUD that let's you know exactly how you should want to build your character so you can be a combat badass by just following a cheat sheet/guide so you can slay the monsters the most efficient way.
New players often come from MUDs, this is their wakeup call to something better. Let's not try to lower SD's experience to that of a hack and slash, even if the intent is innocent and the desire is just understanding, the effect could be immeasurably bad.
It would take a staff vote to change this type of fundamental about SD, and I am extremely confident that there will never be enough votes on staff for it to succeed.
On top of that, I don't even know why staff would vet people for staff who are of the opinion that fundamentals of SD need to change, sounds like that's like inviting a snake into your hen house.
The issue is giving some context to the generally useless adjectives on your sheet. That was the issue and what the thread was speaking too.
The issue is not making new players great at things.
The issue is not giving them numerical insight as to how much they need to min/max.
I would also suggest asking people to whine less is NOT helpful when you are trying to come up with a solution to help retention. I also disagree that you become a better roleplayer by going out and testing your skills. I suppose you're getting better at learning a very complex system and better at discovery, but that does not make you a better roleplayer. They are separate skill sets.
I want to talk about the example of Deckard and the other named characters. Yes, they did not know how good they were against the Replicants. But what they did know is that they were at least competent. The act of spending UE means you are training at something. Likely off screen since RPing doing pushups for hours is not terribly fun. By training you have some idea if you know what you are doing or not. Decard didn't know if he could beat a Replicant, but he certainly did know he was a decent shot. He did not exist in a vacuum.
Right now, when you start, you get 100 some UE. You don't start as an infant. You start as someone who has done something. Otherwise, why have a history? That someone has some idea how good they are in the world. They may not know if they're better than Decard or a Replicant, but they know if they can hit a target with a pistol. They know that they can write code and have some skill there. They know people have told them they are good at singing or not.
Yet, because of the obfuscation, NEW players don't have that perspective. Every other player in the game has that knowledge. Even players starting their second character.have the knowledge.
If not knowing stats and testing yourself in the world is critical to RP, then the stat/skill system should be removed for anyone to see. You can live in a vacuum and learn through play. I'd be fine with that as a solution as well because if the goal is to RP better by constant testing, then don't let anyone see anything other than height, weight, hair and eye color. Now it's an even playing field and the argument that obfuscation is required for RP is applied evenly to vets and new players alike.
So remove all adjectives and perhaps even what stats/skills are even being tracked. Don't show the curve, don't show the skills, don't show what stats you are even using. That's a system that's fair and achieves the goal.
Right now, you have a system that is unfair to the group of people you wish to cater too. I have no problems with the arguments above about being required for the game. That's fine. If it is, remove it from all players and be done with it. We'll all be better RPers and the design goals will be met.
The adjectives are there to prevent people from gaming the system by knowing specific values. There are a lot of adjectives. But the way the system works is that it combines a skill, or skills, with a stat, or stats, to determine a roll.
A roll which can be good or bad, or anywhere in between.
A label saying you're 'good' at something isn't going to necessarily mean you always look good. You might go out and get the worst set of rolls of your life and die to someone who is 'bad' because they got lucky and you didn't. Then people are going to complain because the labels aren't always accurate.
A different set of adjectives for skills and stats simply isn't going to make any difference because the outcomes are both random (but influenced by your skills and stats) and based on a combination of attributes. It won't retain newbies.
But the skills and stats being obscured is a fundamental of Sindome. That isn't something that is going to be changed just because it makes newbies run away. It's not even that big of a problem. There are so many things that have been added to help gain an understanding of why the system is in place, and how it works.
Just recently help stats was updated. And in help stats is a listing of ten more help files to look at, and I think all of them have been recently altered to make things even more clear than they were before. Each of the 'help stats' files even have a reference of how the stat/substat can be utilized with a skill to help create the feel of a bridge between the two.
You've never answered my question, actually no one has (and that's usually how internet discussions go so I'm not really upset)
Why is it acceptable for a large group of players to have knowledge of skills and how they work, along with a better idea of their values WITHOUT using IC methods than new players?
When I get permed and start a new character, I'll know about the curve, I'll know about the adjective scale, and I'll have a good idea on where I fit in the world. All of that will be done without testing a single thing ICly. Yes, I won't know specifically how good I am. But I'll know generally.
Why is that acceptable?
The only argument that is being presented is that it's better for RP to obfuscate the system because it makes people go out and DO things. I'm okay with that. While I don't think it automatically makes you a better RPer, I do think it does achieve the goal of making people get out of cubes.
I'm not okay with the current system because it doesn't do that. It just makes it so NEW players have to go out and test things to get a general idea on where they are. Heck there are systems in place because Vets know that they are bad and were idling in coffins for months.
This system puts the keys into some people's hands and not others. That's not good game design.
Again, if the goal is getting people to continually test things ICly, then don't show the stats and skills at ALL. Don't show how much it costs to raise and just let people experiment in game continually. That's a fair system that doesn't punish new players disproportionately.
Sindome has never been for everyone, it's for the people who enjoy it the way it's provided by the people who decide what Sindome is as a whole. This isn't like EA loot boxes, it's not income impacting, it's purely game design as it's core, and you either like it or you don't. Usually, if you don't, the game isn't for you.
I am not sure if people are generally aware of this but, not even the volunteer staff get to change the fundamentals of SD. It's largely Johnny's prerogative and always has been. It'd have to survive a vote + Johnny's tie breaker vote + an override on a fundamental disagreement level for the direction of the game as a whole.
These things don't just change because a few people want them to, you know?
Every single thing in life allows people to gain knowledge about it and become better at it, and know more about it, and utilize it better, with time and experience. Sindome is no different. Oldbies will always have some kind of upper hand on new characters in terms of knowledge about the game. This is not unique to Sindome. This is every single game out there.
Even without being able to see anything in @stats, an oldbie will still know more about it than a new player. Even if the newbie gets @stats and an oldbie doesn't, the oldbie will still understand better.
Not only is this not necessarily a bad thing, it's also not something you can fix. Players will always learn the game they are playing.
This game has evolved over 20+ years. There are countless testimonies about people saying it's friendlier to newbie's now than ever. Just this year Disguises changed. The way ALL skills are checked changed. Grid 3.0 is coming soon. To say that we shoudln't talk about something because it's always been this way is also not really a good argument.
However, if no one bothers to discuss it, then Staff has little insight into how people feel. Ironically, the issue doesn't affect me anymore. But I see where it does affect newer players. I want the game to thrive and remain vibrant because I enjoy it. That doesn't mean I enjoy every piece of it, or think that every piece is perfectly designed. I doubt that staff does either. Programming is a running compromise of what you can do and what you want to do.
There are already ways to know exactly what some of your numbers, and close approximations about some of the others, and your @stats are irrelevant except for having something to look at. This wouldn't help a newbie, and it wouldn't hinder an oldbie.
That's not really a debatable factor, so it would be great if we could move on from that being a point in this topic.
I think the only initially confusing thing, personally, is the blurb about fatigue levels, if you happen to have that. And that gets cleared up pretty fast by asking a question.
The premise that the oldbies have that knowledge over a new character 'not through IC means' is false, or you starting a new character but you knowing about the curve, et al isn't through IC means is also false -- it's through IC means of your previous character. I know what you mean, but oldbies have gained game knowledge through IC means over time, that's just how games work. People who have played longer are going to have an advantage no matter what, and I don't even understand the idea that's a problem to begin with.
There seems to be the notion that the knowledge they have is being gatekeeper'ed as well, by oldbies or staff to keep newbies from progressing or prospering, when it's not -- it's just that SD is a gritty, difficult game to progress in, especially if you play recklessly and are playing to 'win' at every turn.
There seems to be large agreement / frustration with the adjective path itself and I'll actually agree there just because it feels like you get to a line of adjectives giving you a false sense of mastery faster than you should. Even hitting curve doesn't take that long or mean that much -- I'd be completely in favor of overhauling the adjectives at least a little to draw out the progression a bit, and lengthen the feel of the overall skill curve to match up more with the reality of the progression to how it feels IC'ly. Removing the adjectives entirely is a very bad idea, I'm sorry.
The biggest thing I feel like many people keep missing is that your character's 'power' or 'progression' is ALWAYS going to be 100% relative to the situation / other characters / your archetype / how many of your archetype happen to be playing, have recently come back from @vacation recently / and so on. If a couple choice oldbie street sams decide to take a year off the game, the power curve for your 6-month old burgeoning thug changes. No matter what, your situation is always going to be situational to whatever is going on around you, who your allies are, how smartly or stupidly you've played your situation, how many other immies you've recruited for backup, etc. Your @stats genuinely are just one ingredient in the soup, and unless you're dueling 1v1 (and if you are you're cyberpunking wrong, chica) relying on your @stats alone is begging to fail and no coding change to adjectives or anything else is going to save your game experience.
Yes, older players will have more knowledge in anything you do. But usually you give the rules to all the players. Right now, ONLY people who have played long enough to see the curve have the rules to even correctly RP.
In a game where you are told over and over to RP to your stats, it still amazes me that new players are left in the dark about what their stats and skills are. Yes, older players will know more about how to be effective. They should not know more about the "rules" or they should not know more about the basics of what defines a character. That's the kind of general knowledge that people have and should have in game.
For everyone who says it's not a problem... I would agree if it did not come up all the time on xgame or in various threads. But it does, and you do lose players because of it.
Is every player who thinks that not knowing if your character is hot garbage or not unreasonable and not for this game? Is that what you want to chase people off for?
Rules are rules, and everyone can see them typing @rules.
Gameplay mechanics that are INVISIBLE to everyone and ONLY discoverable through use, means EVERYONE has the same playing field initially, so it's fair, because at no point did any player ever have this knowledge given to them by Sindome mechanics. It's fair, because it's consistent.
It'd be unfair to change it now, and make it easier for new players to suddenly be that much more effiienct at building their characters than people who found out the natural way.
They'd have to let 100+ players all respec their characters, no thanks.
It's fair because it's been consistent for 21 years, changing it now is unfair to people who have spent 10+ years learning the game and becoming experts through blood, sweat, and tears.
1) You should always use IC methods to find out if you are Hot Garbage.
To this, I have no issue. However, I would like either the scale to be representative so that it more accurately means what you are, or get rid of it entirely so that everyone is forced to actually go out IC and find out.
When I get permed, I absolutely will not have to go out and ICly find out if I'm good or not. I have an idea where I need to be on the scale and can social RP until I get close enough to do so. I know this happens because there is a system in place to dissuade people from doing this (idle UE gathering).
2) Games are always unfair to newer players.
Yes, they are. However, most games make the knowledge available to people equally. New players don't even know there is a curve until they see it for the first time. Yet once they see it, they certainly don't unforget it. Making the scale public knowledge and the curve public knowledge does not stop people from going out and seeing where they are relatively. Yet it does actually give them some indication if they are 'good or bad' at a relative level to the population. Not to an individual or situation, but a general gauge of if you are decent or not.
Why does this matter? Well if I am new and I see skilled in my fighting, I might think I am actually skilled. I pick a fight with a ganger and am trounced. I get upset because I am NOT skilled. If I have an idea that skilled does not really mean skilled, I probably don't go pick that fight, because while I don't know where he is, my guess is that he's probably better. Again, this only hinders new players. When I start over, I know skilled is hot garbage and I'm certainly not going to pick that fight.
STAT COSTS & THE CURVE
When you first create your character, all your stats and skills will have the same cost. As you raise stats (or skills) to a higher level, you will eventually reach 'the curve'. This is the point where continuing to raise a stat (or skill) to a higher level will cost an increasing amount of UE each time you raise a stat (or skill). The curve is specific to each stat (and skill) so reaching it with your STRENGTH will not cause an increase in the cost of any other STAT (or skill).
You -are- 'skilled', -comparatively-.
It's relative. This was already addressed above. Skilled does not equal hot garbage.
You're skilled, but compared to whom? The Red Ike? Nah, son. A fresh immie decker? Yeah, you're gonna beat the shit out of them.
The adjective is always going to be relative. Even if your adjective takes you 10 UE to raise it one point and says 'novahot elite fucking kunfu god' and you beat Seven Ecks to death yesterday and finally feel like you have this SD thing understood, tomorrow when Seven shows up with a couple buddies and turns you into gutter pudding because he played the situation smarter....are you going to reply in the thread that the @stats are confusing to a new player because they told you that you were a total god but you still lost a fight once so obviously you're hot garbage?
I personally would happily sacrifice the 3 months it took me to understand more about the system to retain some players who feel like I do and leave instead of staying around and seeing the really cool bits of the game. But that's my feeling.
Alkaline, SB, let me ask you one other thing. Since, nothing you've said has really convinced me otherwise, and I'm sure nothing I've said has convinced either of you.
What harm do you see from letting people know generally how good or bad they are? You still would have to Icly seek out to find if you are good compared to different people. So what harm do you see coming from a change like this.
How actually good or bad they are is learned by going out IC and finding out.
What harm do I see coming from what change, since you've tried to make so many different points now that it's hard to follow.
I've already said why I said most of them would be pointless, and also said why I think getting rid of them in @stats would be harmful.
Altering the terms could be a good move so they are mediocre until you get to that curve.
Valid points, but I think it would still do more harm than good. I'm going to use completely made up -and- inaccurate numbers here to prove a point.
Let's pretend you dump all of your UE in chargen into a single stat. You enter the game and it says you're hot garbage. Great. That's motivating.
Then you are a player that logs in and spends a couple hours on the game every day, but only manages to get 1 UE per day. This can happen and probably does happen.
You spend the next two months putting every single UE you gain into the stat you dumped every chargen point into. And you still dont' hit the curve, and you are still hot garbage. And that's just one stat, and you haven't gotten better at anything else.
Are you motivated to continue when it takes months and months just to reach a point where you are mediocre? When the game flat out tells you you are finally mediocre?
I originally had some suggestions on what to do as opposed to should you do something. But we got more into a debate on if as opposed to what.
My real contention is that the expectation for a new player is that the words you are showing them make them think they are decent at something, when they are not. My secondary contention is that this problem impacts new players more because older players have seen the scale and know better.
I think it's plainly silly to not have an idea if you are competent at something or not. You should NOT know if you are better than someone. You should NOT know exactly how competent you are. But there should be an indication of your general competency. That should be the adjectives, but we all know they don't really mean that.
That's an issue with progression if that's the case. Yeah, it's a really slow burn game. Hearing that it will take 2.5 years to catch up to some people is a very eye opening statement.
I would say it's better to present to people reality.
Yeah, that's discouraging as all get out, but I'd rather know ahead of time as opposed to always getting smashing and taking that same time to understand that... oh, the adjectives told you that you were decent, but really... you're not.
The first case makes me think about if this is the game for me or not.
The second case makes me frustrated because my stuff says I'm good and I'm not. Since there's nothing easy to figure out how to get better, then I xgame and in a lot of cases just quit.
I know I would be more likely to abstain from introducing JoeBaka to the taste of composite plastics if I thought I was terrible. Which means I'm going to take JoeBaka's shit and just chill in my apartment and cry, then probably get bored, then probably leave Sindome because I want a game that's more fun and accessible and doesn't require an entire year of my life before I get good at anything.
Perception (not the stat) of your stats is important.
And as already said before, you can get Seven Eck's levels of skills and stats and still be hot garbage. The adjectives will never be truly accurate since things are quite relative.
I appreciate the debate and discussion. I know we disagree.
Yes, I will not likely go slap Joe Baka. However, after going and slapping 5-10 Joe Baka's when I thought I was 'Skilled' and getting CurbStomped and having PubSIC mock me for being a stupid Immie, I complain on xgame about why I can't do anything or just quit.
Perhaps letting immies know that they really shouldn't go slap Joe Baka for a while isn't a bad idea. Or if they do, know that they're pretty bad and Joe Baka shouldn't be very important in the world if they're going to try.
If you get to know that without trying the skill check, I'm done with Sindome.
Does that answer your question? Otherwise, I am not sure I understand how you expect to know how good you are relative to other people just based on your stats.
Maybe this is going over my head entirely because I am so against the idea of revealing all this extra information that is easily gained by roleplaying in a roleplaying game.
The difference is at some relatively low amount of stat and Gun Fu, you are going to walk up to a training dummy and perform pretty well. You're going to see you can pull off a couple of fancy moves. Maybe you aren't good enough to grip the gun with your foot and helicopter kick them into the air before shooting them, but you can probably land a few shots while you are doing a cartwheel.
Go up against JoeBaka though, who isn't even actually good but he's reached the curve, and you're probably going to get yourself styled on so bad that the game makes fun of you about it.
Your stats can't be accurate to every situation. And even if they were, just having God skill in Gun Fu won't make you good when you have Crippled levels of agility.
I think I'm going to exit this conversation now because at this point I am just having to repeat myself as the same questions get brought up time and time again.
Changing the adjectives won't make people stay. Making the skill-stat relationships visible might. But it would also ruin the fundamentals of the game.
The real problem here, in my opinion, has already been highlighted. You just need to understand what your frame of reference should be. Guess what? If you are Skilled as a brawler that means you can beat down most people in the Dome as long as your stats aren't crap. Even most fighters who are likely Ordinary. Why? Because most of the 70mil don't even have a fighting skill and most of those that do are less skilled and statted than you.
But when you start comparing yourself to the outliers, the part of the population that can afford clones and to eat regularly, the guys that have the potential to make a name for themselves. Compared to them being Skilled may not take you very far. But a lot of players new to Sindome and are not familiar with this concept of ambient population. So they think that being Skilled means more than it does because they completely disregard that 70mil.
If you changed the Skilled label to Mediocre, you are no longer accurately representing your PCs place in the world. You might be better representing their place among the outliers but I would rather have the first to be honest. It is more useful in some ways in my opinion.
For example, this is why Immies can even get jobs. Sure, a Skilled brawler might get their asses handed to them by most outliers (NPCs and PCs) you see. But they really can rhandle most patrons who cause trouble at a bar just fine. It's why they get paid. But once you want to leave that base level position you need more because you competition stops being the population at large and starts being more the outlier population.
I don't want to repeat a lot of what was said but there is some good stuff here. You can get a feel for most things by doing. The check system is complicated so there is no way to easily say that Skill at level X is Orange, Yellow or Green because it depends on what you are doing with that skill as different tasks uses different stats as far as I am aware and nothing forces you to have Skills and Stats at similar levels.
I totally get that it is hard, even as a midbie, to know if you should be dancing this good or if your tattoo text is too fancy or not fancy enough or if you are thinking too smart. But staff does try and monitor these things and provide guidance and players do try to help each other here. And you could always ask via xhelp if you really feel it's needed - though there are few situations in which I can imagine the answer will not be that you can and should find out by doing.
Just because I have 120 skill and 110 in my stats doesn't mean I am always going to roll a 110-120 against my opponent or a check against a system.
RNG could have me crit fail and roll a 0, or roll poorly with a 5, or a 7, or a 200 for a crit success.
How do you ever really know how good you are with RNG until you see success? How will you ever be able to gauge your actual competency when RNG is present without trying?
You can only do it with averages, really, and even then that does very little to help you when you don't know if the next check is gonna be good or bad.
Let's look at reality for a moment.
I'm not good at fighting. I've had some exercise classes where we danced around and threw punches. That might count for 'training'. However, I don't need to get into a fight to realize that I'm going to be bad at it. Yes, I might win because I'm faster, or get lucky or whatever against someone else inept. It could happen. I don't know how much my little training got me or not. I know I'm going to lose against anyone who has an idea on what they are doing.
I am a decent programmer. Might even be really good. I don't have to test myself against anyone to know that I can solve some reasonably complicated problems. If I have to have a competition against another professional I might win or lose. My code might be more or less efficient. Who knows. I do know I'm not a novice and I might be close to an expert. Although that's hard to judge.
That was what I was originally suggesting before we derailed into this discussion on should. Give people a very generic idea on if they are good or bad. That's all.
Since then, we have also talked about the scale and why hiding the top and bottom list of adjectives is, in my opinion, unfair with the current system. But, I have not ever thought it would be a good idea for you to know if you are better than person A in anything more than the most generic cases without figuring it out.
That's a really good point. Yet, there are few if any cases where a new player can contest against one of the millions of people on the street. Maybe in the future that would be a great thing to put in.
Let the novice brawler mug some NPC nobodies and feel like he is 'Skilled' as opposed to just being useless at fighting anyone for many months. Actually, maybe this happens and I never see it... but if it doesn't that could be a way to alleviate the adjective problem without messing with the stats themselves.
I also think that the changes to labels that you suggest will actually make it -less- clear where a PC stands among the Dome's 70mil. That is why I'd rather not have this change.
If you want to get an idea of what stats are commonly considered goods supporters of a skill, reference the Archetypes page and ask NPC or PC mentors ICly in a way that makes sense ICly. You will find this isn't too big of a deal really.
Just my opinion though.
What does this mean? There are plenty of characters, both PC and NPC (and more of them are PCs than you would think), that can be outclassed by an Immy in one way or another. I had a rather powerful combat player before that still tried to get Immy fixers to do jobs for him because he was in no way an outlier in that regard.
Get to know your potential enemy. Find the ones that are most likely ambient level in the areas you want to trounce them on. If you want to just go attacking any and all NPCs and PCs without thinking it over or doing any prep, that's legit to but you will lose plenty - especially in Red where even hot nurses learn to fight to fend off crazed immies just like that.
But, you don't like the stat and skill adjectives. However, there's nothing really game-breakingly wrong with them that I've experienced in the past decade+ of Sindome, so I am just going to bow out of this conversation.
It's all good. I just wanted to be clear that I agree with you on that. Yes, if I want to find out if I'm better than you, I need to find some way to engage you in whatever I want to find out. I don't mind that people disagree with me, that's fine. Discussion, I think is what the boards are for :)
I really really really would like something that gives me some indication if I am competent or not because I feel it's unrealistic to not know that without having to try and punch out every baka on the street. Again, general proficiency vs. any sort of specific knowledge. It's what I think the original Adjective system was made for, it's just that English is not the best at describing things...
Yep, I don't think the skills and stats themselves are unfair how they are applied. I can pick and choose to be a generalist or specialist in some things. I know that what I choose to focus on will make me weaker by default in other areas.
The part I spoke about, in my opinion being unfair, is that basic game mechanics that take no special knowledge other than persistence and time to get, are obfuscated. So the game can either tell me generally that I'm good or bad. Or what happens in reality, I play for x months, see the scale and the next time I roll, I know what's good or bad.
Another application of this is people assigning UE and trying to figure out early on if they are good or not. By nature of spending UE they should have (again a very general) idea if they are decent or not. They shouldn't know that they are better than the ganger at the corner, but they should know that they have an idea on stances and when to lead with a jab or throw a cross. That kind of knowledge would be nice to impart to newer players. Changing the scale was just one idea on how to achieve a better knowledge of your character and their GENERAL capabilities.