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Thoughts on the state of the Grid

Throughout my time playing, I’ve come across more and more things with the Grid that are becoming increasingly frustrating. I’ve noticed it is full of minor bugs, or that even some essential things are missing. While I understand that Sindome branched off from our timeline into its own universe, it still feels a bit jarring that something taking place in 2106 is significantly less advanced than we are today. I don’t expect cutting edge tech from a MUD or anything, but I think some small changes would make a big difference.

QuickTerms and LiteTerms are similar to present day tablets, but much less developed. I’m not asking for apps or mini games, but I do think it would be nice to have more options or things to do even if they are not necessarily 'online'. We have SIC for example as a chat with our chip, but it would be nice if there was some kind of instant messaging but only on the grid, where people get together to chat in real time. Forums have their place, but are not private. Everyone uses instant chats these days, why not here?

For example we get a notification of a new gridmail when someone sends us one, and it often does not show as read for a while after viewing it, which is quite annoying when the next day we notice that the notification is still there (and that we do not want to delete the message either). There is also the similar problem if we send a message to ourselves, like a memo, since the grid does not have a section to take personal notes (which I find unfortunate, because it is easier to manage than using a SHI e-note.)

Also, I understand the SIC and e-notes have their own IC weaknesses, but I would assume these changes to the Grid would also come with their own security flaws to make them balanced.

I also don’t quite understand the concept of having a ‘Recent Activity’ category as well, as I believe a lot of people would like to keep their accounts anonymous and it likely discourages more use of the Grid. Maybe it's better that there are only certain ways to view this, like being restricted to those with the necessary skills and/or player jobs.

I've also noticed that recently some players are showing more interest in decorating/designing their nodes to do some really cool designs. I've also shown interest in trying it out myself, and it seems to be using a Bootstrap framework... but less than half of it works, which is a real shame. I can understand there being some limitations to keep it cohesive and themely, but it feels a bit more restricted than maybe necessary? I was looking into things and found it neat that people use “table class =" table table-bordered table-striped "“ to make boxes, because the basic "div class =" card "" or even "div class =" panel panel-primary "" and others are not working. (some parts of the code are stripped so it doesn’t mess up)

It would be wonderful if we could also have a "Preview" button when we want to work on a node, rather than having to post it in plain view to everyone while it's still under construction. It's annoying to have to go back and forth on these two pages, and this kind of function has been available on forums and such for many, many years. And because there are so many limitations on what we can use to format, it can be incredibly frustrating and unnecessarily time consuming.

Each time I use the Grid, I feel limited by its capabilities and I lose that feeling of being in a cyberpunk universe. Decker’s still have their hands tied when it comes to what they can do with their skills, and relying on GMs is exceedingly frustrating. They are often busy and things can’t be done in a timely manner - I’m not blaming them for that, but that hacking is often a very time sensitive thing.

And it's also a shame that you can't purposely lower your own ICE on a node to allow someone else to take control of it. A new ware for deckers to have access to this option is the only way I can see it, just like: Fetch, Guardian and Hammer. A change like this could increase decker collaboration as well.

Even the fact that you can’t put pictures is a bit of a shame. I can see why this would be a bit of a nightmare in terms of using GM resources, however… I think I saw a thread a while ago on the forums before talking about the possibility of adding pictures that would go through a filter or something to make them a bit more themely? Has there been any update or progress on that idea? And most of the images that are available by default on the Grid are… ugly or jarring would be an understatement. It feels like the Grid is stuck in the year 1997.

I'm still a relatively new player, and I love the universe of Sindome as a whole, but it seems like the Grid has very few updates. I believe that only one staff member works on the grid right now, and I find it a remarkable job to do this alone! But it would be really great if we could have more updates, because when I see that we have “realistic toilets”, and their “shitbergs” in the recent updates, it hurts my little heart which is looking forward to the big updates that would make a difference. Why not hire another programmer who would be paid to help out?

I know that money can be donated to Withmore Inc, but I'm not sure where it will go and how it will be used. I see it supports Sindome and other MUD resources - but it might be nice to know more details. Also, why not launch a kickstarter directly? You can place a list of updates that everyone would like to have with goals, and the amount needed to achieve them (it can be really any amount you need.). You can also put dates of releases there, so players know when the job is done. Anyway, I guess you already know how these things work. And at the same time, it can also promote Sindome on the front page of the website if it raises a huge amount toward the goal. I say this as someone who used it in the past and who sold personal work to +1000 customers on my own. I can help you if needed.

And I apologize if some of the things that have already been mentioned in this post have been discussed in other parts of the forum. I'm still a new member who would just like to see more innovative things in a super cool world like Sindome, and that it gets a lot more of that feeling of being in a cyberpunk universe when you're a decker.

It might be nice if there could be ‘clips’ of some of the crazy things that happen in-game to draw in some players who have no idea what Sindome can offer, or have never played a game like it before - give them a taste of the passion we have for the game. It could be pre-written text that we can share, to make sure that anything said has already been vetted by the staff and contains only minimal IC information that was openly available on PubSIC or an article as well. Personally, Sindome is my very first MUD game, before I was doing roleplay on a private Discord with a shit ton of paragraphs, and I’m happy that a platform such as this exists.

I bring up these points because of how much I love the game and want to see it continue to grow and thrive, and bring in new players as well.

It's just old HTML tags, not Bootstrap. Probably why those tags aren't working.

There are also ways around the Recent Activity log, but I'm obviously not going to tell you what they are.

I have, in the past, suggested adding a list of users that have write-access to a node ASIDE from the main Node admin, don't know where that's going. But for now, keep in mind that there ARE ways to transfer node ownership.

Trying not to get into too specific of IC things... The problem with the way of that they are 'transferred' it is that the person taking control needs to have higher ICE. I think you can see how this can be an issue over time if things are transferred often with no way to lower it. I don't want to get into any more details on it for obvious IC reasons, but people who know, will know.
All I'll say is node passwords can be changed.
I understand, but what I'm talking about is a different matter. It's fine if you don't know what I'm talking about.
There's also the @holdback command.
Things I hope to get done this year:

- node pathing (the notion that a node is hidden behind another node you must have accessed just before)

- giving admin the tools to manage the devices accessible from a given node

- node access control lists

- node ownership transfer

- at least one hackable device reachable by grid nodes

And it is using bits and pieces of bootstrap in the grid, but its not meant for players and any bootstrap features you are able to use are inadvertent bonuses. :)

That would be amazing!

Great list and I'm happy to hear all of this!

Can I also put a plug in for being able to delete company accounts of employees who no longer work at a place? If there is a way, I've tried to FOIC and never gotten anywhere. But that seems like kind of an important security loophole that the good citizens of Withmore... and the bad ones... would really kind of want.

Oh yes,that sounds like a great idea BlazingCoconut! I would have totally added this to my list of things if I thought about it.

And Johnny, I'm looking forward to those updates and some of them do tackle a few of the issues mentioned. Thank you!

Mmm... A lot of good points. Something that stands out to me as well are some of the pictures. I also find it odd that ViriiSoma has official art but I don't believe the other corporations do?

And I agree that sometimes it's a bit jarring with how antique the Grid feels... I understand there's probably a bit of a struggle for staff to balance the feel of Sindome with 'modern' things that aren't /our/ modern, but some small tweaks mentioned could improve quality of life a bit.

I'm very glad to hear about those upcoming changes/additions though, Johnny! Feeling optimistic about the future of the Grid, I can't wait to see some of these changes brought in.

I don't want to clutter this... but one other thing I would love to see...

Links working from forum posts would be wonderful as a way to draw people into Nodes. I guess I can see some reasons why it is not there, but it's something that would be great. Maybe in the Advertising and Employment sections?

You guys should see the Grid that was before Summer 2020. That was old styling. This is at least from this century. :)