Reset Password
Existing players used to logging in with their character name and moo password must signup for a website account.
- LucyintheSky 1m
- JMo 6m Winners go home and fuck the Prom Queen.
- Java 5s
- whatislove00 21m youtu.be/ppRvLqgS2BY
- Selly 42s
- WllowWisp 3m
- Atheran 2m
- Fire 30m https://i.imgur.com/CF2ywFy.jpg
- FairyBlue 1s
- FancyPenguin 12m
- jsmith225 44m
- ComradeNitro 1h
- Supermarket 5m Chute her! Chute heeeer!
- KRPNGDEATH 40s
- waddlerafter 20s
- Jade1202 52s
- Stiza13 0s
- arm0r3r 5m
- memedeckdealer 35s
- Barrien 28m
- Malakai 1m
w Storm 54m I dabble in the puppeting.
- Varolokkur 36m
- DiamondNine 51s
- SacredWest 20m
- Cosmic 10m
- Evie 4m
- Baguette 4m ye boi
- Damarung 24s
- Geist 9m
- Warlord203 1h
- pfh 5m
- TheRed_Comet 1h
j Johnny 1d New Code Written Nightly. Not a GM.
And 24 more hiding and/or disguised
Connect to Sindome @ moo.sindome.org:5555 or just Play Now

Biggest hurdle for new players?
Think back to a time when you knew nothing, Jon Snow.

You're browsing the web for a new game to play. Perhaps you google Cyberpunk RPG or you stumble on our MudConnect or MudVerse profile. You're intrigued. You don't know anyone that plays this game and you've got no one to ask questions of (that you know of anyway). You hit the 'Play Now' button on the website and choose to connect as a guest. You've taken your first step toward becoming a Street Samurai.

What are the biggest hurdles you face?

What prevents you from learning the game?

What do you find frustrating?

There are certain archetypes where it is hard to find characters who are willing to show you things without really making an effort. So it ends up turning into a thing where you have to stumble on things to start learning the ropes. It's frustrating because you'd maybe come in thinking I'm going to be this guy who can do anything with tech, but it doesn't start out that way. Also it's a field that on the surface doesn't seem to be useful, unless you have found the info you need. It's a huge struggle, though there's rewards in it.

Some of the biggest hurdles for me, personally, involve(d) finding RP. Sindome has a lot of interesting code, but I play the game for RP and have a short window of interest where finding RP is paramount to continuing with the game. Occasionally, this can be difficult, especially if you're new and scared of the environment.

Unfortunately, that hurdle also kind of prevents learning the game -- after all, the best way to learn lore, setting, how to play, is from watching the Senior Players (particularly the very well-written ones who know what they're doing) interact with new players, old players and the environment around them.

Despite this being an issue (to me, and a fixable one if you've got initiative), and though it's frustrating in its own way, what I've always considered most frustrating was the history process, wherein you can't really do anything (except RP, see above) until you have a history written, which can take days on its own on top of it sometimes taking days to have it approved/denied and then reapproved once it's denied -- and that's with just a minor issue, like not providing enough names for key players. (Don't get me wrong; I like that the staff demands such thoroughness. It's just frustrating.)

This message brought to you by someone who views a game purely for its RP value. May not apply to individuals taking a broader approach.

I didn't have the same problem with the history.

I follow more or less the same format ever time:

Day 0: I make my char. I spend time in chargen thinking it though.

Day 1: I take my char out and try and feel through their character, interact with a few people, see what comes out of me.

Day 2: I write my history. I spent the day in the coffins just typing away when I get the free time. It takes about 3 hours to get it all the way I want it. I follow the guidelines. I make sure it has my DoB, my location of birth, my real parents names, an explanation for my starting skills, and several details about myself. I submit my history.

Day 3: My history is tweaked slightly, or approved without challenge. I'm good to go, I know who I am, I have a good sense of what I'm here to do.

The biggest challenge I face is finding people. There's a lot of activity, but it's spread out, and when I'm new, locating it can be tricky. But I'm an explorer and I like to see the sights and read the descriptions, so I got over the hump. Now I try and find a new place to explore all the time. Just update your clone first. ;)

I'll have to concur with what seems to be the common sentiment here; the hardest part of the game, for me, is finding meaningful RP. The game is RP, and RP leads to getting items, getting money, making connections, picking up jobs that aren't automated by the game, all that. The parts of the game that make the game worth playing. The thing is, it's kind of hard to do that, when you're Joe Schmo the man who nobody knows. That's the brick wall that stares you in the face when you first join; finding RP that progresses your character. It's the kind of thing that you just have to push past and keep trying until you get something, but it certainly feels like a vertical cliff to Climb to get to the good stuff.

I have to echo a point made by others. My biggest hurdle is and has always been finding players and rp. As well as getting conflict rp, i find it hard to learn how to get 'in' to conflicts and all that sort of rp. The latter is still something i havent yet learnt how to do really and i don't feel i'm alone with my difficulty in trying to find myself decent rp and plots, so i would say that its the biggest hurdle i (and probably a fair couple of newbies) face.

However once you can get meaningful rp it does make the frustration in trying to learn how to find any well worth it!

So I am probably going to get a metric ton of flak for this, but my two big beefs starting out were the inability to make tweaks after char-gen and the help system.

I came from another game wherein if you needed to go to char-gen you could, up to a point (I think it is about 10 RP hours). For example I accidently selected a lower height verb than I meant. Now my character is stuck flagged shorter than I meant him to be, because I couldn't go back for ten minutes. For a new player I want to get into the game and meet people, but I want my character to be just right, too. It would be nice to have a brief mulligan window.

Second the help system. 'That's IC', 'read @newbie', and ' use examine' as answers to how to correctly format command or even appropriate commands gets old in a hurry. New players get frustrated and old players get annoyed. Fleshing out the help files so there are a few more with some of the more advanced commands would be nice.

Now that I have been playing actively for several months I finally feel like I know what I am doing with the commands and I am sure there is still tons that I can learn. It is an awesome game with lots of neat features and a robust lore but sometimes I feel like there is stuff my character should know how to do that -I- don't know how to do.

sometimes I feel like there is stuff my character should know how to do that -I- don't know how to do

We see this a lot, actually. Even among veterans.

Whenever it is appropriate to just give an OOC answer when the question is asked OOCly, people do. Understand though that a lot of the time it is not appropriate because it really does involve IC information, situations, gear, capabilities, etc., before your character can be expected to 'learn' things. And, so, in this situation, 'find out IC', 'examine that thing', 'find a mentor' are the only appropriate ways to respond.

We tell players that the advanced-researcher PhD in their @history does not grant them any OOC advantage or shortcut to IC progress, and we tell them this more frequently than you might expect. Guess what, it also does not grant them any IC advantage or shortcut to OOC progress either (all players must learn the same way as all others, how the world works).

So, the best option is to not write a @history which would create the kind of character who "would" know stuff which you don't know ICly. The next-best option would be to make sure that both the @history and your own OOC understanding of your character contains some justification for why the character has this powerhouse background but came into the immigration gates feeble, stupid, disadvantaged, and incapable.

In all situations, it's also good advice to be sporting and not bent out of shape if your character can't be badass their first day, and not simply as a matter of having too little UE, but as a matter of not having OOC understanding of IC material you haven't been exposed to yet.

As was recently written in another thread, explicitly, all the UE in the world can still result in a total inability to actually use skills effectively. (The same idea has been expressed in many other BGBB threads many other times. Type "Not A Badass", WITH quotation marks, into the site search field above and see a couple of the more relevant topics.) Experiencing the relevant part of the world is still necessary. So is the roleplaying which earns you IC and OOC knowledge which you (by design) cannot get from 'examine' or a helpfile all the time. Making progress is a RP driver, and that's a good thing.

There didn't used to be a helpfile on this. As of five or six weeks ago, now there is: https://www.sindome.org/help/game/power-level/. This helpfile is fairly prominently referred to in the @newbie section on History (yes, 'read @newbie' remains important advice for many new players).

It might still be helpful to new players if this kind of material were presented more prominently or more convincingly. Maybe a practical version (what does this game-design reality mean to my immigrant RP?). Maybe a philosophical version (why is this part of game design in the first place?) Maybe a social version (How do I find and make the RP which will allow my character to learn most effectively?)

Anyone who'd like to draft additional material on this or really ANY subject is welcome to do so. Email proposals and drafts to help@sindome.org. Helpfile text, @tutorial scripts, whatever you can think of. Thanks!

Thanks Linekin! I wasn't saying that any of those responses were wrong just commenting on some of my frustrations that I had to begin with. I learned and adapted and am still here :)

I just want to reiterate that I wasn't trying to be a whiner, just answer the question posed. Once I found RP it was really fun to try and come up with new ways to say, "Yeah I don't actually know how to do that."

This may be a bit rambly but here goes...

After reading the discussion above and I believe much of this can be distilled down to the fact that Sindome is a game with such depth and momentum of history that this is its greatest strength and weakness.

The game just takes time to 'get'. Usually, all of this is 'usually'. New players enter the game, excited! I am going to do X Y Z and then they find that.. 'Oh shit..' weapons are expensive, their skills are weak and so on. It takes time to integrate. If you look at other games outside of SD, the gameplay is largely linear (even sandbox Fallout whatever), there are defined goals, obstacles are scalable to skill so progress is both attainable and visible. The SD player needs to drive their own narrative which is antithetical to how the majority of other gaming experiences are provided to us. They want to do X Y Z soon, but the game simply is not designed for that. It has inherent barriers to immediate ‘accomplishment’.

After you, the player, have realised this, slowed down, the game becomes more rewarding. Getting to do X or Y and maybe even if you’re lucky, Z, tastes better because of what went into it.

So, how can we the community address this? To me, an entry in @newbie, the website, or elsewhere, explicitly setting expectations around what newbies can expect re: the above would help. We obviously to not want to discourage ambition nor excitement, but maybe temper expectations of immediate IC ‘progress’.

Something like that.

Similar to other people I sometimes have difficulty finding where people are at to RP with (this may be related to me being in the wrong hemisphere). I can never work out whether asking on SIC where the action is at is out too OOC.

When I first started it took me ages to get over the fact that making money wasn't a prime objective. It's still a problem I face when describing the game to other people: "You can be dirt poor and out of your luck, but that's fun!"

Learning to stop caring about the relatively sluggish mechanical progress and focus on the sophisticated chatroom at hand.

Finding RP or players isn't hard, finding meaningful RP or getting involved in GM plot RP is a whole other story. 90% of the time RP won't come to you, unless you have generated RP yourself. Which means most of the RP that comes your way is a reaction or repercussion to your own character's RP with the game.

So go and find other players (hopefully not in a bluntly obvious way that breaks immersion for others) and generate RP. What do I mean by that? Well, that is up to you. If you want be a summer camper who is friends with everyone, your most common sources of RP are probably going to be social hubs, SIC and your apartment.

Now if you want to play the theme, you need to generate conflict be it with PCs or NPCs, this will bring to your character excitement, uncertainty, bad situations, risky rewards, violence, betrayal, death, etc.

So you need to generate RP, whichever you are most conformable with and in return that will generate RP back to you. For this is very key that your character has goals, small and big ones alike.

Personally as a new player, my bigger hurdles were having to find mostly everything on my own (still doing it) and finally 'getting' the theme. There are some types of characters and some skills that as a new player one is going to find incredibly frustrating, because you don't know how to use them because of the lack of information resources which might in turn make you feel useless or if you spent your UE in the wrong place and this feeling can drag on for months.

Also I have to agree that the progression rate is incredibly slow, which makes mechanical mistakes feel even more unforgiving for new players.

Is that really what you thought "Summer camper" meant? It never meant "you're friends with everyone", it meant "you treat the game like there are only 40 people in the city and your character knows them all" - whether friends or otherwise.

As a "hurdle for new players", roleplaying themefully is one which I hope we're all helping them with.

I"m SO glad this question was asked. As a new player, I find this game pretty neat. The theme, perfect. Cyberpunk is my favorite theme and there's not enough quality MUDs that explore it.

So what's my frustrations as a new player? It's not the difficulty. I enjoy that. What I don't enjoy is the barrier to entry to get into what I really want to do. I'm fine that things are expensive around here and I'm just a new immigrant needing to make my way. I'm fine that RP is the focus, not making chyen, or combat. Really happy about combat not being a focus.

I did extensive research before even creating my character. Spent a good few hours thinking up a neat history, which was only denied once for me trying to have a character that didn't know their true birthday, and then approved extremely quickly(THANKS GMS!). Look through all the archetypes, looked through forums to see what archetypes the current playerbase was looking for, look for tips. Decide that I love the Matrix theme from games like shadowrun and netrunner, so want to make a decker...

Get in game, and for the last week I've spent most of my time running stupid packages back and forth, SUBMITTING RESUMES(wtf I have to do this IRL, why do i want to do that here), pretty much begging for some kind of job, RPing where I can trying to find the same, being told there are no positions open for what I want to do at one company(you have to be FCKING kidding...). It's been a whole week and I haven't even got to touch on the archetype I was so excited to start as. I find out for me to really get into it..I need to get a piece of equipment that's 18k-22k, or find a job that will provide it.

That's the problem. 18k. For someone who only has access to running packages and factory work...that's a quite a bit of time doing mundane work just to get into doing what I really wanted to do. Why can't there be a cheap version that loses connection often or something. Even browsing the market only comes up with laughably expensive stuff.

Why can't there be NPC recruiters at the front gate, and when you get your SIC, they're handing out fliers for various positions. Organized criminals looking for fresh meat with various cheap labor. They don't have to pay well..like I said, I don't care about making tons of chyen. The only reason I want to make tons of chyen now, is because I have to just to really START being what I've set out to be.

Perhaps when you are recruited, you get a starting set of equipment that's subquality compared to things you would buy, but at least you can see what kind of commands your chosen skills give you and what you have to progress to. You know, something to get excited about besides waking up inside your coffin and running more packages...

I think the flaw is too much reliance on the playerbase in this game. If I really have to rely on the players to get a job(doesn't even have to be decent, just let me work!) then that's just going to get me frustrated and want to leave, which is a shame. I really like this game. I mean really...in a dome of 65mil+, how are there not more little side businesses setup, and people(NPCs) looking for people looking for jobs of ALL types...

I have mixed feelings about this post because, I both agree and disagree. Like I said in my post for example about learning things IC. you have to have people to learn from IC. I have tried so many different avenues to try and learn something that at least gives me a spring board into gaining some sort of start on what my skills allow me to do, but it hasn't happened, because the amount of veteran players who can give me that opportunity just aren't there. It's incredibly frustrating because when you think you've come up with something you are denied by the lack of people to go to for that information. That being said, the beauty of this game is the fact that you can still progress, it might take you a year, but when you finally make that success, it makes all the absolutely frustrating shit you have to go through worth it. Plus since it's player driven you can be creative in getting things done. you might have to get a little dirty to get what you want or need. You might have to wait a long long time before you make the break possible. But that's not to say it's not there.

I think this could be improved upon by having a little more freedom of information, make it difficult to get, but more accessible than just not getting it. If that doesn't happen? it's okay too. But not giving up is half the battle and the fun. Also The veteran players in a way have a responsibility to making that information flow, I mean make it hard, but don't make it impossible, or everyone is pissed, and no one gets anywhere except for the veterans

"Also I have to agree that the progression rate is incredibly slow, which makes mechanical mistakes feel even more unforgiving for new players."

And terrifying, if you happen to hit the curve.

@Vetra: More like people who don't respect the theme, be it by ignoring the ambient population, not being Cyberpunk, lazy or bad RP that breaks immersion for others, etc.

Progression rate slow? I don't know about that. Seemed pretty quick to me and then that curve gets steeper and steeper.

However, I've played a lot of table top RPG's from WoD 2nd edition (World of Darkness, including LARP), Palladium (Rifts, Tmnt, others), Traveler, D&D's, CP2020, Serenity, BESM, Paranoia, Toon & Dark Conspiracy, and it's always the same.

It's easier to get new skills or learn a little more on a skill you have until you start to get good at it and then it costs more and more.

This game I find it's really easy and fast to get decent and good at a skill and then you hit a curve and I like the curve too. Same with Stats.

If you accidentally plop 6 points into skill 4 instead of skill 5, it's not the end of the world. Especially when you're just beginning.

As for the biggest hurdle when new? There's a lot to learn, to take the time to figure out commands and not everyone is an explorer. I know there are help bits that you read when you first enter but maybe a Congratulations! You found clothes. Now people won't think you're a baka running around bare assed. AND Congratulations! You found the coffins. Return here to safely log out and not sleep out on the streets.

When they walk down to Sinn: Congratulations, you're entering Central Red (vary if it's Gold). Get a gridmail account using the StreetTerm and maybe look at some maps then go check out various bars and shops to see what's where while your immigration papers are approved (see @newbie #6). Watch your step among the millions of people around you.

Just 3 more things at game start which might help get a newbie oriented a little more at the start.

I must not be a real good explorer. I've always found it difficult learning how to do certain things in game. But i've never been a person who thinks outside the box well. I always need like a distinct nudge. Hey if you possibly think about these things you might come up with something that can help you out later. But I think the stat gaining things are great and how it costs more later on. I just find practical applications difficult. Because it's not like you can go to the library, pull books off the shelf and one day, boom you found something it seems. You have to find someone and then they're not giving it over even if they know. And you spend your whole time going hey if you have this info. I'll pay or help you out, and nothing happens. That's where relying on the player base can pose a problem for new players. Because there may not be that person who you can learn from.

I also never came from table tops so I've never done that really. I was a person who never played an RP game until I did muds and moos. So that might also effect my opinion.

"Progression rate slow? I don't know about that. Seemed pretty quick to me and then that curve gets steeper and steeper."

It depends on your frame of reference. Without something to compare it to, you cannot judge whether or not something is faster or slower, and what you have to compare it with influences your perception. An observer observing an object in a vacuum, both moving at the speed of light, with no other referential bodies, would see the object as motionless.

If you are used to roguelike CRPGs, it may seem grudgingly slow.

If you are used to pen and paper tabletop RPGs, it may seem normally paced.

The perception is subjective, but it could be possible to make an objective claim on the progression rate by comparing it to how other games work in that regard.

I'm with Tickshot on this - people come into the game wanting to do all this cool stuff and hit a wall almost immediately. But I've also gathered that the observed progression pace may be intentionally done...the resulting reliance on inter-player-character relations seems to be what sets SD apart from many other games. So whether a slow early cash flow / career progression gets 'fixed' really depends on whether the game admin think it's 'broken'.

Perhaps the real solution is to do some more advertising / expectation management for new players so they don't think they screwed up character concept because they aren't getting a job on day 2 after history approval.

@Ben

Yea, perception and what types of games would alter the opinion a little which is why I mentioned, that for me, "I've played a lot of table top RPG's from...." :)

Though I've played video games as well, I don't remember the progression, especially since a lot of it was automatic. And this is my first ever MUD/MOO.

Also, I remember players were reminded that this is sandbox, not linear and there are no quests.

Idea?

Maybe the Help Theme help file could be in the @newbie as #2, right under #1, what is Sindome? Then have RPing Sindome and the others.

@Newbs21,

First, awesome on the RP'ing through MUDs/MOOs. :) This is my first one. The number of them out there kinda amazes me every once in a while.

You mentioned basically one hurdle being that no one is around to help teach you.

You have to find someone and then they're not giving it over even if they know. And you spend your whole time going hey if you have this info. I'll pay or help you out, and nothing happens. That's where relying on the player base can pose a problem for new players. Because there may not be that person who you can learn from.

You're right. It depends on the time of day, and that the player that may know about something you're learning may not be around. Also, if they are around, why help you take potential biz away from them?

You can learn from the other players you work with / hang around or sometimes a GM or another will puppet a co-worker to show you the ropes.

It can be frustrating, but there are people around who'll give you bits of information if you ask the right questions. They also may not be in areas that are just a few blocks away and take a little more skill (RP) in some areas to get to.

Viewpoint: This isn't "Runequest", or "FF12", or "The Secret World" or "Age of Wushu" where there are laid out farms to plant things, or rock mines to mine tin or coal, or someone going, "Here's what you do" because, like in Real Life, it's not that easy. You have to find the person who'll go, "Here's what you do." Sometimes the person you think can tell you is not the right person. They are around.

(skip the two small paragraphs of verboseness)

Idea:

Maybe some players can offer to the GM's some help to newbies (if they aren't mid RP and if they're around) for a new player who is wrestling with figuring out something.

I've gone and helped out a newbie before but I was informed and asked before. I wouldn't have known the newbie needed help otherwise.

But not everyone is willing to part ways with trade secrets. Basics, maybe. More advanced tech, not so much.

(I've personally started working with people on one thing or another and then they disappear. It's the name of the game but can be frustrating too. Your comment on the hurdle, Newbs, isn't just for newbies imo. But also, with offering to pay potential teachers chyen and they turn you down, maybe think outside the box?)

I don't believe pacing to be broken at all. In-fact, it's possible to come into the game and almost immediately make a name for yourself, with out-of-the-gate skills and stats.

I don't feel hindered by the rate of UE gain because I am constantly progressing my character as I play, through storylines with other players, building relationships, learning about the world, acquiring resources and of course bolstering that name which I'm working on earning.

I have never felt wanting for things to do as a new character, because the limitations simply don't exist. As soon as you realize that, it will set your character free. The answer to needing a huge amount of money to get 'started' with certain goals or wants is not to simply passively accrue chyen through convenient sources. If you set your mind to it, you can rocket your progression forwards. As soon as you start making barriers for yourself, that is when you become hindered.

Another hurdle:

I believe that it's fairly common that new players don't understand how important it is to invest UE into stats, and get disappointed or baffled when their character's skills fail (even after the player learns HOW to use them) because of this imbalance.

I agree with Linekin's last point, on not assigning UE to stats. I know in my earlier days of doming, I definitely looked at my character advancement (UE wise, anyways) from a more skill centered POV.

Since then, my rule of thumb has become to spend at least as much on stats as I do on skills, especially once skills start hitting the curve. Perhaps we could add something along these lines under the help for UE/stats/skills/@stats. I know those were some of the first help files I looked over as a new player, and something to let new players know that it's just as, if not more important to advance stats as it is to advance skills could really help with that particular problem.

I agree with Geks on this one. It took me two characters to figure out how important stats are. @ThatCraftydragon Totally agreed. It's kind of a mixed bag, but it'd be good to point that out that GM's can be relied on sometimes with things or something to show players different ways of thinking about something to get some knowledge or something. it's one of those things where it gets kind of muddled in the madness? because your focused on staying alive, how do stats and skills work. and then Okay you need to find who? to do waht? So, that's why it'd be nice to get a better sort of push forthe basic sorts of things to get people rolling to think outside the box for the advance sorts of things.

I forgot to respond to something. Silly me. @Euclid I totally agree that pacing is not broken it's an RP game so it being slow isn't the problem at all UE is perfect in my opinion. Or we'd have those people who'd find a way to rocket to expert levels or something like that in the matter of a few weeks.

Competency and RP are not mutually exclusive in fact it is quite the opposite, they are synergistic. More competency equals more RP, now this topic is aimed to the perspective of new players who understandingly find this lack of competency frustrating when they start playing. Also it is obvious that most old players would have grown accustomed to the slow progression, but that doesn't mean it still doesn't feel off for new players.

I would argue that a boost on daily UE, would boost player retention rate, increase the average player base and generate more RP for players. They idea of having to play every day for 3 years to reach max UE is pretty hardcore IMHO. Also it's not that once you reach that point you just stop playing, so I don't see why UE needs to be so tight.

@ErgoProxy

You suggested that a boost in UE would help increase player retention. But it's important to note that a rising tide rises all ships. If everyone else is progressing just as fast as you, then you've not really changed anything, just the time it takes to reach the cap. I'm not sure dropping the 3 year number to 1 year would really change much for player retention. Or did I miss the point?

@ ShinMojo

Well I disagree, I think it would. I won't repeat my argument if you don't understand that that making new players feel good and having them invested faster in the game is a good thing.

Don't forget that we have the play tips in place, which not only help new players as they discover things, by giving more info, but also help them get some extra UE early on. Beyond that, I think the UE system is good as is.

There has been talk of AE, assigned experience, but to the best of my knowledge, no system has been thought up that would actually contribute to the game in any meaningful manner.

It might be in the way that perception has been braught up. If people feel like they're getting nowhere and they don't feel like they're making any real progress until the three year mark, then they might drop off at the one year mark. It doesn't make a difference really across the board but it does in perspective.

Well that's the problem, right? It's not that they're investing faster, they are in fact investing at the same accelerated rate as everyone else.

Perhaps I misunderstood though. Was the suggestion that new players get more UE for the first 2 weeks or first month or something like that?

@Newbs: There's that slow word again. My argument isn't that 'it's an RP game so it's okay for pacing to be slow'. My argument is that pacing -isn't- slow in any sense that is meaningful.

Will you be a God in your field of choice within a month?

No, but you can sure as hell become rich or have stories which circulate around the game from time to time for a long time to come within your first few weeks as well as be well under way with your profession of choice.

A few of our self-help guides here tend to remind new players that they're at the bottom of the hill and shouldn't expect to be badasses. This is true, however... you can come into the city with meaningful enough stats/skills into a profession that you can perform it competently and usefully such that you WILL be useful to other players and they will want to have you on-board - and in most cases, getting yourself set up with the means to do so can take as long as your first session or at most a busy couple of first weeks.

I think some of our guides give new players a false expectation of uselessness that in turn leads them to believe they will have to spend some time passively earning UE before they can get into what they want to do, when the reality of it is that just because you can't start the game as Walter White you can start the game as 'talented and qualified junior chemist' who can make their immediate impact on the game.

Alright, so I need to clarify; I'm not denying that there are hurdles for new players in the slightest. Not at all. I've been there; I'm still relatively 'new' speaking. I'm saying that many of the obstacles that new players feel in regards to the power level they come in at or at the difficulty of acquiring equipment to do their job are obstacles you set for yourself. They're traps of thinking. Yes, it's going to be slow if you do SHI/Acme for weeks. Steal, befriend, grovel, betray, join an organization, join a corporation, extort, run away with lab equipment. Doesn't fit into your morality? You can still loan, curry favor, or even settle into a corporate job that allows you to put your skills to work, among many other options. Playing a character that doesn't have at least a 'grey' morality will hold you back, but there are still means to do what you want and quickly. Waiting for someone to get in touch with you to continue with x thing? Don't let that be a hang up. You get trapped by this thinking.

A big part of Sindome for me has always been engaging with and getting new characters on their feet. From my experience, a lot of the time when I'm hearing people are having difficulty getting set up it's because... they haven't really been playing the game or tried anything that it has to offer. Those who are motivated and fearless early on, when they're at their most vulnerable are usually the ones who prosper because they quickly strike out on their own.

In short, if you put yourself inside of a box early then you and your character's progression will suffer for it. Go wild and crazy and jump right in and tell yourself 'I absolutely HAVE to get that flash piece of gear by the end of the week. How can I do it?' and you will set yourself free. You don't have to be an evil asshole to accomplish this; just reframe the question so it makes sense to your PC. 'I have to absolutely... without betraying my character's morality.'

Also, shameless plug and touching on a point from a couple of Town Halls ago:

Be a Mixer.

This is just my shameless promotion and personal opinion, though. I think spending time Mixing is a super good thing for any new player. I'm not saying 'play a criminal' but play someone who lives in a Mix. Philanthropist, criminal, person just trying to get by who leans neither way, street hero, pragmatic businessman... doesn't matter. Learning to play in the Mix is very liberating and I think there's fewer hang-ups for new players such as the feeling that you need to employed by a corp before you can begin playing (not true for any character, but I feel like some people feel that way).

Feel free to dispute me, it's just my own feelings. If you come into the game wanting to play a corpie, then do it! If you're on the fence though, that's my advice. I don't think the attitude that Red is a zone that you must escape as fast as possible is as popular as it was at the time of the aforementioned townhall, but I think the attitude is out there. No man, Red isn't a tutorial zone; for a bunch of people it's our Endgame.

@euclid I think you misunderstand my comment. Personally my progression has been very fast because I employ the various things you stated, what I recently mentioned up above is I agree with you. I just said from a newbie perspective or someone who comes new to this game in particular. They want to feel like something matters, Sure RP is what really counts and it's how you get anywhere. I told someone the other day that if you come play this game, the worst thing you can do is hide out in say SHI, or just run crates and then disappear, because you'll get nowhere. But people have a perception that when they only get three UE to spend and they don't see any way to start making contacts because, they're new they're not going to stick around. I was fortunate to find a good group of players my first time around, but I have suggested this game to well over 15 people, who ten of them have tried this game. They all say, we're lost, it's slow, it's not rewarding enough to stick around and try and progress and it's hard. That's the perception they get. I don't think it's the case, but if we want newbies to stick around we have to give them something else to focus on. Otherwise we can just keep telling them RP and they'll say, 'Why? there's nothing I can do but walk around looking for people to talk about the weather or dump little bits of points into a skill or stat.'."

I think that's what we're trying to get at here. What is it that holds new players back from breaking through that barrier that keeps them feeling like they are just trying to find random people to talk to and putting their slowly gained UE into stats and skills? Over all, I feel like the consensus is not to just try to throw coded solutions at it, that it's more about getting new players to interact with more experienced ones who can help them progress, one way or another.

One thought I have, on the theme of finding other players to RP with. As of right now, you can ask any bartender, "Where's the party at?" And they will point you to whichever public place has the most PCs. How about expanding this, so they will give you all the public places that have PCs, perhaps listing them in order of least to most, or perhaps closest to where the asking PC currently is. I think this would help because as it is now, if Korova is super busy and the Drome is kind of busy and you ask a bartender in the mix where the party is at, they'll only tell you about Korova. Yes, mixers like to go party topside sometimes, but that borders on unthemely, not to mention, it's difficult for new PCs to get topside, generally.

Besides figuring out the mechanics of the archetype Linekin nailed my biggest problem. It was really quick to get to an "accomplished" status on skills but they would fail over and over and it was frustrating. I xhelp'ed asking for a reroll which was promptly denied (now i see why). So i just said fuck it, and stopped trying and focused on developing my character the best i can in the time i have and dump UE accordingly while i learn how to create the archetype i want(slowly but surely). I've had way more fun since that turning point.

One piece of advice from the forums that i didn't follow that i should have before i made my character i put below as i remember it and maybe this should be stressed more during creation.

The advice was: Don't make your first character something you love because you're just going to die and you don't want to lose your favorite character concept right out of the gate. (paraphrased from memory)

This isn't totally correct. I mean, my first char still lives on, but i -do- wish i had made some character i didn't really invest in first, spend a month or so really getting out there and learning and making huge mistakes getting murdered then moving on and when i've figured some things out, then make that character you've always wanted.

I didn't know you could do that!

I'm not misunderstanding, I'm just disagreeing with your words vertabim. I see that we're on the same page, but I would go one step further.

I gave examples in my posts of what new players can strive towards besides making small-talk. I have and will presumably continue to try and facilitate new players with things to focus on, but I don't necessarily think that this is a problem which lies with the game, but with the attitude that is brought into the game.

If those players believe that there is nothing to do but small-talk and increment numbers after a read through this thread, then I really don't know what else we can do. I have heard some talk of employer NPCs around the gates, NPC quest-givers... and I think therein lies a fundamental misunderstanding of what the game is about. For the types of player that do not come in expecting this kind of gameplay, there is already a rich world and an expansive network of things to dive right into.

I would like to see more visibility given to player plots and player victories. It's touchy, because it's not like I'm advocating for peoples' secretive works to be exposed. That said, giving new players a heads-up that players are out there in the world doing big things might serve as a draw to roleplayers and drive them to investigate and see how they can get involved. That said, there are plenty of times where highly-visible shit has happened that would make for a talkpiece seems to have just gone completely unnoticed by the ambience.

There's all these mentions in the ambience of the old guard, stories over a decade old... But Cyberpunk is current. There are significant PCs in the game right now. Is Withmore just reminiscing for the good old days? It really just feels like that to me. I rarely hear anything of recent history that doesn't come through the mouth of a PC. I respect that there are Legends and that we remember Legends but in the now there is new blood to push and shit happening that is current and new players will want to know about.

@fleurtygirl THat's a great point. I know my first few characters didn't live long enough to get out of the coffins. And that's a great piece of advice for new players to know, that you shouldn't get too invested in your first few characters, as they may end up dying as the player learns their way around the game. In fact, that jumping right in with no concern for whether or not your character lives is a great way to start getting a feel for the game.

Actually, fuck that. I said 'player plots and player victories' but while I'm at it I should throw in player defeats, because hearing about the crash-and-burn of a big name is captivating all of and in itself.

@Euclid I See the point. I just think that if we're looking for a significant player increase, I think many people want to see that they can do something mechanically so a lot of those things might not mean anything to them if they're not seeing what they can or cannot do. I personally love the roleplay, but interacting with a lot of newbies they don't think about that at first they want to see something meeningful they can do. I guess. I don't think I'm making my point clear at this point though so yup. And this is just my opinion so in the grand scheme of things it's just my experiences.

There is obviously a lot of good info out there. So many threads have been made on the board with plenty of advice for new players to get into the game and enjoy the theme. The problem there is that it's almost too much. There's so much to sort through, that it's not realistic to expect every new player to be able to just join and read through it all and be ready to go. There's the first challenge. We need to distill everything down into a format that new players joining can have a realistic expectation of how quickly they will progress in the game while at the same time giving them proper advice on how they can move past those hurdles.

The second issue, as I see it is, how can more experienced players then help new players take these basics and start putting them into practice, expand on them, etc...but in a theme way, that can match with what the characters involved would do.

The third, and I think smallest, issue is what coded features could easily be added to help players get into the game, not in a way that distracts from the theme and focus on player to player interaction, but one that promotes it.

I guess that depends on whether we're trying to retain RPI players or MUD players.

For the former, they're already facilitated into every way, adding mechanical fetch quests and objectives isn't what this game is about for them. What they do need to be aware of is the fact that their stats and skills are mechanically useful; and that happens through finding RP which is relevant to their character, hence my argument for visibility and dropping this collective nostalgia that seems to plague the ambient population (honouring the achievements of the old guard is important, but it shouldn't take precedent over the present).

It all falls back into having relevant RP that isn't talking to players about the fucking weather and how we can facilitate that RP. I don't think -much- needs to be done here because motivated roleplayers will go out and acclimate to the game without much of a push, and once that initial hump is overcome I think the majority of the new player dilemma evaporates.

Euclid, I agree with pretty much everything you are saying. Good roleplayers are going to find a way to get into the game, and those that are just looking to kill MOBs are not. I think what we really need to think about are those that fall somewhere in between. Those who have the potential to be good RPers, but just haven't had much experience with it. It's a skill like any other, after all. I know I have personally come a long way during my time on SD. Learning to think as my character would vs. think as myself, learning posing/emote/other forms of IC communication to properly express that to other characters. That drive to get what my character wants. But I've been playing this game about 13 years now. Yes, I still continue to learn and discover new things, and I'm far from the whiny newb I used to be, because I've stuck with it and learned all these things.

How can we take all those issues with the learning curve of the game (getting into theme, getting out there and seeking goals, dealing with lose and death, getting used to commands, etc...) and make it easier for new players to tackle. Honestly, as I'm looking at this thread, I feel like it's almost too broad, and it's starting to become a bunch of experienced players talking about their approach to the game without actually addressing the issue that this thread was started to help resolve.

But I am focusing on that issue, Geks. I'm not worried about losing people who lean full-MUD or that great roleplayers are just going to get by anyway, I'm concerned about the in-betweeners we lose.

I think just giving them that push that, 'Hey look, there's fucking shit going on to get involved with' will go a long way. Not so much that it robs all of the mystery from the game and that nobody has to investigate what's happening in the city, but enough to let people know there's stuff going on that's worthwhile to get involved with to begin with. Currently new players come into the game and they're barraged with loaded SIC chatter about decade old memes, decade old characters, on the television there's five year old news and there's just so much of this everywhere but hardly a mention of the present. The Globe is working pretty well at the moment compared to some dry periods but it barely scratches the surface, I don't think it's enough to get new players hooked. But there's a whole lot of 'remember those good old days' in the game's ambience that, when a fresh RPer can't seem to find their feet, has to be discouraging. A bit more news, new programming for NLM, more SIC ambience about what the current solos, movers and personalities are up to would go a long way to giving new players a place to start looking.

And to ever clarify; I'm sure there are great roleplayers we miss on too for all the stated reasons. I'm not bashing on anyone who gets discouraged as an 'inbetween' roleplayer.

And I'm not saying we need to wipe the history book. No man, because that shit is fucking awesome. But it absolutely overshadows the present in every way at the moment from the point of the ambience and there could be a lot more balance.

Okay, I'm actually getting what you're saying now, and I agree. There are plenty of sic shoutouts "Whatever happened to so and so, they were crazy..." and the like. And I agree, I'd love to see more sic chatter about PCs that are still relevant, and that may actually give new players an idea of who to keep an eye out for.

I also agree on the news front. Yes, it's been more up to date and regular than I really ever remember it being. Yes, it can be better. At the same time, we can't just ask the GMs to do more, as they already to have plenty to do.

So, how do we as a playerbase focus on these issues? How can we help point players in the right direction?

I know someone mentioned having "job npcs" near the gates. I don't think that's the solution. But there is a nugget of gold in there. I had a previous play who tried to hire new characters to build his powerbase. He would spraypaint ads near the gates, drop flyers, etc...with contact info and such. Then when new players saw them and contacted him, he would find out what they were good at and start finding ways for them to be useful to him. Sometimes he would go so far as seeking out immy sic aliases or even hanging around the gates and chatting up immies. That's not very themely for my current character, though I try to do it when it is.

I guess the point I'm getting at is, yes, we definitely need more focus on what is currently going on in the dome and express that in a way that can actually get new players involved. So, what ways can more experienced players make that happen?

Stats in addition to skills, yes, that's key. I guess I was lucky in a way to focus on stats mainly along with some skills. Then worked on improving skills along with stats. Being in an area I could easily observe the changes that came about (even if not at first) helped.

But the area I was in before (work and RP sits [situations]), there wasn't a way to easily see improvement but there was still RP happening and that was the key. It wasn't coded and that was fine.

But yes, doctor and tech stuff obviously to some degree is coded and has to be.

I remember helping a newbie out by being the 'guinea pig' while their boss showed them the ropes and had the newbie try to do it and fail. And fail again. Though decently skilled in the area, the stats hadn't caught up yet.

One thing I've noticed:

I played World of Warcraft back in Burning Crusade time. You had to explore, figure out where to go to for your quests, think on your own. I didn't play for long but I remember this.

But then Cataclysm was released in 2010. I wasn't playing at the time but someone I knew did. Now, the world and concept was nice but in my opinion, WoW was dumbed down. A lot.

You no longer had to explore and find where you next needed to go to for your quest. Everything was handed to you or damn near seemed like it was.

And this is boring. But as a marketing strategy, Blizzard (WoW) was brilliant. Their numbers expanded like mad.

Why I like Sindome? It is NOT like that. It reminds me more of Burning Crusade or some other RPG's.

Now, the *hurdle* as I see it, is that we have people who are expecting linear games not sandbox. Some, not all, need to be given that push and told where to go and what to do.

This is not what Sindome is about, but as I mentioned earlier, when they start exploring (moving out of the gate area) there could be those three tips/windows that get you started.

(Congrats! you entered Central Red. Get yourself a gridmail account by looking at the streetterm and check out the maps of the area. You may want to check out some of the bars like The Drome, Deji Pachi, Slys or 100 Rads blah blah blah [or something like that].)

The other thing people don't realize, my opinion, is this:

D&D, Pathfinder, WoW, The Secret World, it doesn't matter. You start as a level 1 character. Now, those level 1's are trained a *little* more than your average ambient population. You're a PC. You have a little more drive. But, you're still only level 1.

This game doesn't have levels, which is great, but as you progress, you get better and better at things and RP more things.

That's the thing about not being a trained cyber surgeon or a top assassin in your history. You're only level 1. And as we learn in D&D, level 1 characters can get their ass handed to them by mere little kobolds and goblins. Let alone the level 10 plus creatures you see walking the streets of Central Red and Gold. ;) Level 8 if you're lucky.

Thankfully there are no "You're now Level 3!" but as you go out and RP and look around, you start to figure out what you can and can't do yet. You couldn't climb that one wall, well, now. But later? Look at that, you still can't. But oh wait, that 3rd time you try? Yep. (I'm reminded or Runescape suddenly.) *wink*

I think that is a hurdle. This is a sandbox. There are no levels. No notice that you advanced except by skill or stat increasement which helps you gather your courage to try climbing that wall again or maybe explore the park, after you update.

Possible Solution:

But if the newbie is given a head's up in their first windows after entering the city and maybe even in @newbie with a 'How to start' that brings up, that there are no levels in this game and no linear quests but in a way you're level 1 in a new city, now's the time to explore, learn to use the grid and create some contacts, that could be something?

I'll say it again, but I don't like that 'You're a level 1' concept. Because it's a sort of misconception.

You might be surprised what a fresh-out-of-the-gates character can accomplish through pure mechanics.

I've found that most new players don't know what they can or cannot do mechanically, so in that Regard I think ThatCraftyDragon is indeed correct. You're a level one.

That's mostly true, but it does bear pointing out that after a month of playing, I knew enough to do chargen in such a way that I left the gates with abilities that will rival those of many players who have been playing for months, making my character competitive and certain aspects of my existence and RP 'level 3' on day one. It's not a cheat, or an exploit, it's just that I allocated things a little counter-intuitively for someone who doesn't understand all the mechanics.

Now of course I had to spend the next month just getting some other critical abilities that many characters opt for out the gates, but that just put me on an entire different RP arc, since I had to find ways to make up for those shortcomings. Loads of fun, by the way. Johnny and his team have really thought outside the box when it comes to this stuff, and are prepared for you to get creative, and support that creativity in very unexpected ways that make the game much more challenging. It's unfortunate that I've the only one I've encountered that's interested in this 'hardcore' route, it's WAY more exciting than just your average run of the mill player, but then I guess not everyone says, "Hmm.. chargen, huh? I think I'll make things EXTRA hard for myself!" and then goes on to enjoy the resulting RP.

All in all, I've found chargen to be limiting enough to force you to make some seriously hard decisions, but flexible enough to allow me to explore the play style I'm interested in from the start, if I'm willing to give up some other aspects until later in the game.

Yeah the your are lvl 1 thing is a fallacy and a contradiction to the this is an RP and not a hack n slash card.

Again, this is about the new players...who clearly have vocalize slow progressing and lack of information as their biggest hurdles so far. Now the staff can decide to devise a solution for these issues or not.

A change to the UE system and improving help files (maybe unlock certain HF at certain lvl skill?) seem like the two most apparent solution for these problems. Now how the staff decides to go about it or not is a different thing.

Other than that, I think this topic is getting a bit derailed.

My takeaways thus far:

- Improved Help

- Players need to be aware of and focus on, helping new players. That's the main reason we push XYZ just entered the city to OOC-Chat. So you guys can find an IC reason to be in that area and help out that newbie. Help out being subjective, of course. It's probably one of the ONLY times we are cool with a little tiny bit of meta influencing your IC actions. IE: you know where I haven't been in awhile? The Withmore clothing depot. Yeah, I should check that out right now.

- We had an immigration liason role ICly through WCS. Someone should apply for that job. Maybe two someone's. Can't guarantee anything but that seems like a role we are in need of.

- Players need to greet new players on xgame when they hear they've entered the city. Greet them and offer to help! We are like the people of old. We pass our knowledge and information down verbally. Iterating it at each turn of the metaphorical page.

- I am open to the idea of a 'help archetypes' help file. It would be like what you see in chargen and would include 'common tools' and perhaps how much RP versus reliance on code is needed to prosper / succeed.

For example (warning, slightly meta information below)

Street Saumari

Primary Stats

-Agility

-Perception

Secondary Stats

Strength

Charisma

Luck

Intelligence

Primary Skills

-Long Blade

-Dodge

Secondary Skills

-Trading (Fixer)

-Martial Arts (Fighter such as UMC)

Roles: Bad ass, muscle for hire, ganger, corporate security, private police, drug dealer, fixer, bodyguard, bouncer, private detective, cage fighter.

Reliance on coded jobs: Minimal

Tools of the Trade: Machete or Katana, Armor

Ramp Up Time (Time needed in game to acquire needed skills via XP and needed gear and connections via RP and coded jobs): 1-3 months

Roleplay Required to Succeed: Very High

Useful Player Skills / Knowledge (Player, you, OOC controller): Knowledge of IC combat system, understanding of economics (fixer leaning roles), general business savvy.

Time Commitment: High

----------

Thoughts on something like this? Speaking to admin and players alike. I do not want this to devolve into a discussion on stats or skills orbtheir usage on the players part. We stay away from those types of discussion generally speaking, but new players don't have any context and providing some at the get go could bolster their success rate. And the success of new characters from existing players.

Speaking of the Withmore Clothing Department, new players, and having a hard time...

I'm presently standing there (but I won't be by the time you read this), because I got the New Character alert, and whenever I'm idle and I get that I always try and rush there to give them their first flavor of the city (and send them back for clothing if they forget).

I hadn't gotten my entrance pose barely typed when he disconnected.

I often wonder about these players. They make it through char gen, find their first human to interact with within 5 minutes of starting, and disconnnect.

Can anyone offer any insight into this? Do you think it's because they realize it's a sandbox and they are looking for linear gameplay? Is it a total turn off to get approached by someone when you think no one is looking? Does my character just smell that bad?

@slither

I like that. It's the archetypes page but more detailed.

Helps to also give people an idea a little more in depth than the page we have now.

"I am open to the idea of a 'help archetypes' help file. It would be like what you see in chargen and would include 'common tools' and perhaps how much RP versus reliance on code is needed to prosper / succeed."

--

My bit on the level 1 is only another way of saying what has been said repeatedly with the new players and history. You are not a badass. Same idea.

Instead of only being in the history section, something at the start might help.

I tried to put it in a way most would easily understand. (Newbie or otherwise)

- -

The ue system is fine.

- -

Also, maybe it's also the goals we individually choose for our characters in the game but as in real life, we need some sort of success, even if small, to help keep people going towards those larger goals.

One reason people get tired is they hit one failure after another and another. One loss after another. People put up with a lot of shit to get some semblance of a reward (in RL and games).

Yes, we got to do things toward our goals but when we do, and still come up with nothing, only the persistent will continue to try.

How many people are that persistent without some sort of nudge or mental reminder (say, the angel reminding us that maybe we may want to look at so and so place again)? Or another player making a comment that could be a new lead.

ShinMojo's observation is a good one, and as an admin, I do have a little insight into what might make some people disconnect the second they finally get immigrated.

You're often seeing the "Hey! New immigrant!" alert after someone has just spent potentially an hour getting @registered and finishing char-gen, potentially with starts and stops and helpfiles and Lore and Timeline reading and maybe even a @history submission. Maybe it wasn't an hour, maybe it was five.

Very often, I see people disconnect as soon as they're in front of the immy hologram and come back later to begin the next phase of their introdictuon to Sindome and Withmore - now that the OOC effort of chargen and more is complete, they might just need to go eat lunch or go to bed, before they're ready to start a new session and get IC.

So yeah. It's awesome if players are willing to go to the Courtyard and show some life to the newcomer. Sometimes it's just not quite "time" for them yet. Most of them do come back - maybe not to stay, but, most of them do come back of they manage to make it through chargen and then the gates, and then take an offline break.

I actually think more extended helpfile for archetypes like you've shown would be a GREAT start. If i would have known the amount of effort and time it would have taken for me to even start feeling like the archetype I chose, I would have probably chosen another one for my first character to learn the game.

Maybe SHI can be hard up and needing someone to work and a newbie who's history isn't approved (papers aren't approved) can maybe do something that 1-3 days until the history is approved?

Could make less than someone who does have their papers approved. 75 an hour maybe? Or even 50. Since it would be under the table. But what few places don't have illegal immigrants working for them?

Just in case no one needs any deliveries in the area when they come through the gates.

So far I'm interested in this game, but I hate that you can't do dick till an immortal approves your history. So limiting.

I am definitely a fan of the help archetypes file.

Oh there is TONS you can do without a history.

I have in the past played for a few days before making one, and done quite well, making money and everything. Just not at the coded jobs.

You can't treat this like a linear game. It's role-play enforced. The history defines who your character is, and is needed to ensure that you're playing by the rules of the game, namely that you're staying In-Character.

Give it time. It's worth it.

I'd just like to refer back to my original post about how I learned to stop caring about UE, stats, and skills. That's the sort of liberation that the more H&S-leaning players would need, in order to play longer and more fully, I think, but that's going to have to come from within, than from without.

It's a mindset thing, I'd wager.

Ben, can you please extrapolate on your last post. In particular, what is H&S?

Hack and Slash. It refers to the style of MUD where coded mechanics is the order of the day, and experience is earned and therefore progress made by killing things.

Or basically most other MUDs out there.

Hack and Slash. Where your main goal is to kill things.

Jago wrote:

"So far I'm interested in this game, but I hate that you can't do dick till an immortal approves your history. So limiting."

I am with ShinMojo on this: There is a lot you can do before your history is approved.

On the thought of newbies, fresh newbies, I was curious about the option of SHI being the only place that work might be allowed, but only for possibly 1-2 hours at a time for 1 - 2 days max. (Officially they turn you down. Unofficially, they get a couple hours from you. You get 50-75 an hour and the supervisor pockets the rest. *wink* I'd go with the 50.)

However, there are money making opportunities and lots of contact making opportunities without a history. I made a small amount of chyen my 3rd day with some help. No history at this time. (I didn't submit a history until I think it was my 3rd day playing. That was 3 days doing something else and then it took a couple days I think for final approval. [Mainly due to my schedule.])

The two week newbie safety net unless you're stupid is a perfect length and by that time, contacts can be made and some money coming in from them as well as coded work.

Newbies also need patience.

So my suggestion with SHI maybe being one money making place for 1-2 hours without an approved history, I'm both for and against it. I'm for it for helping brand new newbies a little, but also against it if it ends up possibly stopping a person from thinking outside the box.

Hack and slash. I think someone said "MUD-leaning" prior, but I wanted a more specific term, since I consider the terms MUD, MOO, and MUSH, etc. all more or less interchangeable. Grinding, World of Warcraft, those sort of things. I think the phrase "bean counters" has been thrown around on this board before, too, though that one is unfamiliar to me.

The people who are used to a grind and find themselves lost without one.

But there is a grind.

It's just very subtle.

In fact calling it subtle may be an understatement.

It's amorphous. And they're used to the structure.

Two week safety net unless you're stupid... or willing to sacrifice your newbie protection for any of the perfectly valid reasons immigrants might be faced with*.

History approval for a coded job is not going away. It's the easiest way for us to ensure new players will wrote a history. Oherwise, we have to chase them down. There are games you cannot even play without an approved history. We want a history because we want to ensure the person playing the character has actually put some thought into their character and isn't running around telling people things that will not be approved. It's important. It helps each character develop.

You don't need to submit a history right away. Generally, I don't when playing a new char. I might submit a stub I know will get declined so I have a baseline but who cares about coded jobs? You're here to RP and you can make much more money hustling and working for other players than you can working at SHI or running crates.

Sorry for necroing the thread, but as a new player, I'd like to say the game has not improved at all after 2 years and a few months on this front. There were no greeters, Not a shrivel of RP to be found. The only similar thing to RP I had was getting robbed, and getting robbed without much conflict. He just pulled out a machete, brandished it, asked for my money, then told me to fuck off.

I'm not asking to be spoon-fed. I have a life to live. I can't sacrifice that to live another one in Sindome, especially when there's only 40 so people around and half of them afk during my playtime. I'm feeling really discouraged here. I've already botched my 2 attempts to get into the game in 2016 and 2017, and this time it's not any different. Will it improve after I deliver cargo for another month or two, when no players actually seem interested in taking newbies under their wing and guide them? They seem very enthusiastic about using these poor statted, poor killed 'immies' to brandish how amazing their characters are and maybe earn a few cash by robbing them.

Poor skilled*. Sorry for the double post, and of course, sorry for whining. I know how this might sound to older players. Annoying, maybe even entitled. I just don't know what there's to do for me, that's all. People keep telling me to set IC goals and find means to attain it, but that means literally nothing regardless of looking at it ICly or OOCly.

New guys are basically homeless drifters. You are asking homeless people to pick themselves up and integrate themselves to the society. That's complete wack. Sure, some lucky ones or incredibly gifted ones do, but is that what the game is aiming for? Maintaining a strict society by gatekeeping? I'm guessing not.

Here goes the triple post. Again, I feel terrible for doing this. I'd also like to know the player retention rate for newbies in Sindome. If it's any higher than 20%, I'll just accept that I'm stupid and that's why I can't play the game properly, and possibly eat a sock if there's a popular demand.

I'm really hitting a dead end here, guys. Is there anything that can be done?

Lionion - as a relatively new player myself, I may offer a perspective for you before jumping in with my opinion. The first few days that I played, and I play at a later time in the day due to RL commitments, there weren't other players lining up to meet-n-greet. I had to wander a bit and seek out a few encounters. But, I think the game is set up that way to give us time to get the feel of things. To me, it sets the mood of the game which is, in essence, that I'm in this alone. I'm in a rough, dangerous, lonely existence. Now, that said, there are in-game assistance like Immy near the coffins that can give guidance and I know there are players that offer immigration assistance.

I think I saw you going through chargen and it could have been that by the time you got through creation, there weren't as many players in a position to RP with you because of the RL time. My point, don't judge by one night of play, please. For me, it took a few days to start finding the 'hang outs' and then I slowly started engaging. That's the other thing, people aren't going to just walk up and start chatting you, even if you are a new player (which is usually, but not always, obvious in game). The game theme is about being in a world that wants to eat you up and spit you out. So, most players' characters are going to be either corpies that hate Mixers, Mixers that are skeptical of anyone and Gangers that are looking for a few chy to get by. They aren't 'gatekeeping' but trying to help keep the feel of the game solid. Take it as a sign of how good the playerbase value the integrity of the game. Which means the game is worth it.

My first night I was mugged. And, honestly, I loved it. It gave me something to bitch about/cry about - basically an RP-starter to any players that I ran into. Take the experience as that instead of thinking of it as a 'non-RP' thing. Nothing more realistic than sitting at a bar, staring at your beer and lamenting with the other shmucks around you about how shitty life is.

And, as for character advancement. I really recommend you watch Slither's training videos. Not plugging for the guy, but seriously, they were really helpful to me. He's got a few that are linked on the main page and then more under youtube. There are a few that talk about job hunting, character gen, what to expect, etc.

I've been playing a week, maybe, and I'm slowly finding a niche. But, I'm far from 'well-known' and still running crates and struggling. But, that's what the theme is, so I'm enjoying it. I think if you wrap your head around the fact that the game is meant to make you struggle for a bit - maybe a long bit - then it won't seem so daunting.

Like I read/heard somewhere, this game is about the end-game. About months or years down the road to getting even close to your 'win' and even then, the game is going to try and make you lose. It's your enemy, not the other players/characters.

Anyways, that's my opinion and hope it helps.

I did watch all of Slither's videos. https://youtu.be/cTC5TUH7Rsw This one really hitted home for me.

I didn't expect to be sppon fed. I'm not expecting to be spoon fed. Hell, I wouldn't normally even mind mugging, but considering it happened in a bar, not so long after I was told on gamehelp to sit in bars to get some roleplay...

I was actually excited at first. Then the mugger didn't bother posing or emoting once. Just threw a bunch of slangs. Took my character's money, told him to fuck off. Whole thing took 5 minutes tops. It didn't break any rules I think, but it was very stale. It didn't add anything to my character roleplay wise other than, maybe a line on @notes. I didn't learn a thing about gangers, I didn't learn a thing about the area's gangs.

When I meant gatekeeping, I didn't mean ICly. I meant OOCly. I've actually seen a couple people running around earlier when there were more people. Few people dropping by the bar I was in since it was probably registered as 'where the party was at' with me sitting around. Everyone immediately walked out. Then it hit me after reading a few more forum posts.

Most RP happens behind closed doors. There's nothing inherently wrong with that, of course. But what does that mean for Newbies? Newbies are just told to make their own RP then. There's no induction to the society unless you stick around on months and months end doing cargo runs and people remember seeing your name on @who.

I'm guessing the IC reasoning is that 'there's 70 million people in the city and you are just one of them', but honestly, there's only 40 of us in the city OOCly. You can't roleplay with non-existent 70 million people. There's probably a middle ground.

I don't know. Maybe I should just cool my head and come back in a few days.

From a veteran perspective, let me just say I really do understand your frustration. Even oldbies don't get the RP they were hoping for some days (most days?). Patience is sometimes your best friend around here.

That doesn't mean complacency or living in your cube -- the more you put yourself out there (literally) the more chances for opportunity you create, but especially in the beginning when your character just doesn't have a lot of contacts or involvement yet, there's a lot of random chance at work, and in the Mix the random chance means the encounters are likely to be ICly unpleasant (though I'd hope the RP around it would be a bit more rich than that happened to you, that does sound lame and I'm sorry; someone trying to mug someone in a bar seems...dumb).

Sometimes people are lucky and 30 seconds in the gate they might get an awesome WCS Immy Greeter who not only shows them the ropes a bit but RPs like a rockstar and really enthralls them, or they get mugged but the RP inspires them, or they get pulled into some crazy plot that hooks them on the game for a decade. Sometimes absolutely nothing happens and they have to stick it out. It's not perfect but it's our MOO and we love her, warts and all.

Just be patient. Don't let a little crummy RP dissuade you. Keep putting yourself and your character out there. Maybe it happens with another 20 minutes of playing, maybe it takes another month (unlikely) before you happen across the right people or situations. Don't get frustrated if it doesn't happen overnight.

I think I can offer some perspective on this as someone who has played for over a year, which is still peanuts compared to a lot of people in the game. Most players have extensive experience dealing with new immigrants (whether they're new players or veterans) and will often go out of their way to try to be welcoming (even if it doesn't seem like it ICly).

However, every character has their own IC stuff they're doing. Although it may not seem like it superficially, a lot is happening at any given moment in the game: plots are unfolding, people are planning, crimes are being committed, investigations are taking place, and most of it is happening in secret (or, as Lionion phrased it, behind closed doors).

In many cases, the people most capable of igniting your imagination and drawing you into the game are busy bees, juggling multiple plots and lots of contacts. The have a lot going on. The HOPE is that you run into a player like that and they indoctrinate you in the way the game can be played, or at least give you something to do or to aim for, but in practice, a lot has to happen for that to take place, and it's not going to happen for every new player.

It's far more likely that you'll learn with and from other new players or other players looking for new action. Although your job doesn't have to define your character, the job search is actually a perfect opportunity to be taken under someone's wing, and that's something that may take weeks to complete. First you need your papers, then you need to spend time ICly understanding what jobs are available and how your skills could fit them. It's very likely that you'll meet and interact with other players while looking for a job. This is an awesome chance to explain some of your backstory, get some RP, learn about the world, and make some contacts.

I know it's not what someone trying to dip their toes necessarily wants to hear, but Sindome is a game of patience and commitment. No one expects you to come out of the gate knowing much of anything. You're not expected to be successful with your first character. The process is one that teaches you about the game world and the mechanics at the same time while also reinforcing how helpless and powerless you are in a very dangerous place.

A little boredom may be a necessary evil until you start to get the cadence of how things around you work, but this isn't a game where anyone hands you anything--not because we're OOCly unwelcoming at all, but because that's the theme. People do tend to take it easy on new immigrants and especially new players, but realize if things are going horrible and you're being taken advantage of, that's all part of the experience.

Also: use SIC. SIC can answer your questions, SIC can keep you on theme, SIC will connect you to other players. Even something like, "I'm new to the city and need help, someone robbed me" will of course get you a lot of IC jeering from people giving you the Withmore welcome, but if anyone has a mind to take a new player under their wing, that should help make the connection. If not, hopefully someone will at least explain about immigrant greeters so that you can keep your eyes out for them.

Another 3 hours spent, this time tried to follow the advice more closely. i tried initiating roleplay, people walked away without saying a thing. Sought help on SIC, was promptly told to fuck off and do cargo runs(which I guess makes sense).

It's a slow game. I get it. I'm just not seeing the game part yet. Well then.

It sounds to me that part of what you've been dealing with is simply bad luck. Logging on during server downtime when there aren't a lot of players around, interactions with people who are too busy/lazy/otherwise occupied to give you a proper RP experience, and of course the consistent unhelpful sarcasm of the SIC network.

If this happens to be the case, I'm afraid there's not a lot of advice I can offer you, but I assure you that there are those of us out there that would be more than happy to oblige your character with RP and information as long as you can find us and make the effort to engage our characters.

If someone asks what hurdles exist and people give feedback on what they perceive them to be, it isn't helpful to try and explain why they aren't hurdles or why the hurdles are there. We should take the answers as they come.

The roles could be modified a bit to let players know that they won't come out of the box as a kickass ripper doc, street samurai, lord of war or tech guru. An application claiming any of those things would get slapped down. If character creation is going to point toward the roles for suggestions it's a bit misleading. Some mention of building up to that or something would probably solve a few problems and lower expectations.

Thanks for all the feedback. Could you point me to specific places where you feel we are not explicitly saying that you won't come out of chsrgen a bad ass? I have also felt like we've done a good job with this. I will happily update things if we aren't up to snuff.

As for not finding RP, that's always tough. If you aren't finding the game to your liking, nothing saying you have to keep playing. We aren't for everyone and I don't think there is anything wrong with saying that. Some people are looking for an experience we can't or won't provide because it's not in keeping with our mission statement.

When I started this thread I was looking for things we can do to improve the new player experience. The recent comments, despite being well written and understandable and appreciated, don't really help us do that. I can understand them and the frustration, but these are ic problems not OOC problems. The GMs don't control the players. The players act within the theme. Aside from paying GMs to be around at all times of day and puppeting NPCs to act as greeters I can't solve this problem.

I want to solve OOC issues that are under my control. If you folks can focus on things that are not the IC world or how specific players treated you on sic or in person, and focus on where we are lacking with help files and systems that could better inform you the player-- then I can help make those changes :)

I seem to recall watching Slither's introductory video when creating my character, where (unless I'm misremembering), he says fairly explicitly that a character won't come out of chargen a badass. Is it written down anywhere, though?

help power-level

New Character Power Level

http://sindo.me/mnppj7

GMs do not want players to start the game with inflated expectations about what their newly-created character should be capable of in the game. New characters have very low stats and skills, no matter what is in their @history, so, try to make your @history account for this.

Build a character who -is- a small one, as of their first day in Withmore, and have plans to make him/her big over time as you roleplay out their growth, progress and life.

A couple of examples:

- You can't claim to be a CIA trained stealth assassin if your dodge and stealth are at below par and your martial arts are average and you are slow as a snail.

This means that "high class assassin" is out. But "trained under high class assassin for a few months until high class assissin was himself assassinated" is in.

- You can't claim to be a PhD-level medical expert if your character can literally not draw blood or get a diagnosis with the tools in the clinics in the game.

This means that "Chiba City's top experimental cybernetic surgeon" is out. But "undergraduate medical student" or "paramedic" are in.

See the difference? You can not come out of chargen a combat god. Or a medical god. Or a nobel laureate. But you can indicate that you plan to become these things over time through your roleplaying on the MOO.

Just to add on, this helpfile is pointed at in @newbie under the history section. It's also mentioned in 'help history' as a related file to look at. And for those too lazy to copy or click the link in the power level helpfile, it takes you to a Sindme BgBB search for "You+are+not+a+badass"

It's some what telling that a player who has tried the game several times over different years has experienced similar issues each time like Lion described and I don't want to discount that. As a game designer and admin I can't solve the equation of players not giving info when they rob another player and things of that nature. I can only solve for mechanics and that if in part what I am getting at. I need something actionable from my side of the curtain, which, can be hard to provide, hence the post. Lion and others, I really do appreciate you taking the time. It's important.

Also, Lion, your resurrection of an old thread should be applauded as an example of how to search for a thread that already exists, and add on to it-- as opposed to just starting a new one.

Bravo for reals.

Oh, I'm tired. I'm not trying to come off as discounting, I was just answering the question Adea asked about if the information was posted anywhere.

The only place I can think of that it could be posted in, that I don't know for sure if it is or isn't already posted in, is the room in chargen that tells you about writing yours. Other than that, it's linked in every place that really makes sense, and merging the helpfiles together would probably make them large and hard to read.

Although, a small blurb in the help history helpfile might work. Something like, "Your character is not a bad ass when they start the game. In fact, you come into the game quite weak. Read help power-level' or something like it.

Hey, here's an update without giving too much IC info.

Good news: Sticking around and seriously hunting for RP as opposed to sulking in a coffin really helped. If there's a new player who felt the same challenges as I did, just make sure you finish your background and go work a factory job or do courier work. You'll get robbed(with roleplay), you'll meet new people, make friends, make enemies. I did all 4 in 3 hours just now. I feel like I now have a solid foundation to work on.

Being on peak playtime definitely helped. Don't just AFK. Try to engage people. You'll feel like a toddler learning how to walk, but you'll get better. (I hope I get better, jesus). and a one last bit of criticism I can give Slither is that the tutorial videos were excellent, but the crucial info that I feel existing players and new players alike should watch are placed way at the end of the playlist and has practically no views. maybe setting up a new line of tutorials, I dunno, player guidelines? roleplaying guidelines? and separating them might be better.

I think the biggest hurdle for new players is a complex mix of maturity and ignoring ego. Just accept you're walking into a game with nothing, as nobody, that takes time to develop. When I first started playing in 2004 the game was a lot different. 12 people in game (not counting GM's/admins) was a lot. Now everytime I've logged in this week there's excess of 40. So my intial challenge was playing about three different characters, the longest running one was about two months, before I understood the dynamics of the game. This is something that players need to understand aside from RP and theme...Stay out of dark places with sewer rats because they will probably kill you even though you trained under chuck norris in your history. Don't fight randon NPC's for the gear in their hand. You will lose. Jumping off of the Westinghaus roof isn't fun, etc etc. Once a newbie gets the "gist" of it, and they have sufficient RP skills, the rest will come pretty easy. Also, a "throwaway" character if you will, much like Slither stated he had when he first came in, help you see the world, meet some people, and form a better idea of a character you would like to play out. You also don't need to plan for a 20 year old uber stat character. It can get stale or boring playing one role, so it helps to have multiple ideas with the willingness to switch them out. It is also possible to take a character you have invested a lot of time and energy in to take a "vacation" while you play a different one. It has been done many many times. I've done it a few. With cyberware, you can also close the gap on the characters that have reached max UE. Hell you can get two or three people together, ware them the fuck out, and remove that uber character from the plane of existence. Nobody is untouchable in the game which is outstanding.

This was not to say make a character and go do troll/newb/dumb stuff on purpose to see what happens, merely be prepared to go through some coal before you find a diamond.

I think the biggest hurdle for new players is a complex mix of maturity and ignoring ego. Just accept you're walking into a game with nothing, as nobody, that takes time to develop. When I first started playing in 2004 the game was a lot different. 12 people in game (not counting GM's/admins) was a lot. Now everytime I've logged in this week there's excess of 40. So my intial challenge was playing about three different characters, the longest running one was about two months, before I understood the dynamics of the game. This is something that players need to understand aside from RP and theme...Stay out of dark places with sewer rats because they will probably kill you even though you trained under chuck norris in your history. Don't fight randon NPC's for the gear in their hand. You will lose. Jumping off of the Westinghaus roof isn't fun, etc etc. Once a newbie gets the "gist" of it, and they have sufficient RP skills, the rest will come pretty easy. Also, a "throwaway" character if you will, much like Slither stated he had when he first came in, help you see the world, meet some people, and form a better idea of a character you would like to play out. You also don't need to plan for a 20 year old uber stat character. It can get stale or boring playing one role, so it helps to have multiple ideas with the willingness to switch them out. It is also possible to take a character you have invested a lot of time and energy in to take a "vacation" while you play a different one. It has been done many many times. I've done it a few. With cyberware, you can also close the gap on the characters that have reached max UE. Hell you can get two or three people together, ware them the fuck out, and remove that uber character from the plane of existence. Nobody is untouchable in the game which is outstanding.

This was not to say make a character and go do troll/newb/dumb stuff on purpose to see what happens, merely be prepared to go through some coal before you find a diamond.

Sorry Slither, I thought I was being specific.

Newbs get encouraged to look at roles in chargen. They see this:

ARCHETYPE SPECIFIC ROLES

[ 1] The Ripper Doc Underground Doctor, Ambulance Technician, Cyberneticist

[ 2] The Medic EMT, Paramedic, Private Care Taker, Forensics Expert

[ 3] The Street Samurai Joeboy, Razor Girl, Bodyguard, Bouncer, Bounty Hunter

[ 4] The Gear Head Mechanic, Wheelman, Taxi Driver, Car Thief

[ 5] The Media Star TV Personality, Musician, Debutante, Press Liason, Street Reporter

[ 6] The Enforcer Street Judge, Private Eye, Bounty Hunter, Vigilante

[ 7] The Fixer Fence, Smuggler, Drug Dealer [ 8] The Street Thug Gang Member, Pickpocket, TERRA Agent [ 9] The Lord of War Gun Smith, Arms Dealer [10] The Candyman Pharmacist, Drug Dealer, Pot Farmer, Underground Chemist [11] The Cyber Jockey Network Administrator, Security Consultant, Hacker

[12] The Tech Guru Security Technician, Electronics Technician, Remote Operator

[13] The Street Urchin Courier, Drug Dealer, Spy, Smuggler

Those all sound super dope. But it's not really clear that these are all trajectories to aim for and not things you can use specifically in your background unless you know to type help power-level and such.

Maybe throw some transitional roles in there that could well be suited to playing into those future dope roles?

At least being gay isn't a hurdle. Being gay ain't so bad!

addendum: roles list might contradict power levels helpfile, or at least muddies the water.

The chargen roles now have this disclaimer:

"These are just starting points to help you design your character. It will take time, work, and roleplay before your character has the connections and accumulated experience points to fill these roles. You will not come out of character generation a bad-ass. You will be weak, and it will take some time to build your character up to where you want them to be. Keep this in mind!"

Dude. Perfect.

Q: What are the biggest hurdles you face?

A: When I first started, I had trouble finding RP. It's true that it's actually not that hard to find RP in Sindome, but when you start the whole danger of the situation is drilled into you so much that everyone is a potential enemy. I got used to it and became more confident and adapted to the danger over time, but it's definitely a hurdle, albeit one that I believe was necessary for player growth.

Q: What prevents you from learning the game?

A: FOIC. See first answer. Sure, it's easy to actually ask people, but when you're new and scared of everyone it's hard to do so.

Q: What do you find frustrating?

A: The sorta reliance you have on GMs to puppet NPCs when you're starting out. I fully understand that GMs are busy people. Still frustrating.

You don't actually have a reliance on puppeting early in the game, you really do need to treat it like you don't know a damn thing, but respect that the game will give you enough to figure things out for yourself. I was completely lost when I started, didn't understand how I would get to my goal at all, but if you take the "common sense" steps, they actually work. What materials or gear you might need, and then check for commands it has. Things like that.

"respect that the game will give you enough to figure things out for yourself", really?

Hologram of Immy comes up with nothing if you ask it about clones. A search on NLM forums only finds posts on Genetek. An ad implies it's the place for clones. Genetek doesn't have an NPC to ask questions to. Only information in the recombination room is about getting clothing. Looking at the machine doesn't give you any information. Examine gives you opaque commands. Still, no implication that there is yet another business in which cloning happens for the living. Experiment with machine. Machine gives you an echo about numbers and letters flashing - possibly when it could be giving you... you know, tangible information. 'Please insert corpse here'. So, you fuck around with the machine. Machine doesn't have a refund function. Staff shrug.

I'm down for exploration - in fact, I think that's pretty cool - but when the newbie grind for chyen is so intensely boring, and can disappear with stupid systems, it's a real waste of free time imo.

The grind being bad is intended to a) create a bare minimum of income if you literally cannot find RP and b) teach you by example that hard work and an honest living are boring and not worthwhile in 2103. It's the game's way of demonstrating to you that being some working schlub is no way to get ahead, and to inspire you and your character to get out there and lie, cheat, and steal instead.

Color me inspired.

You can paint it anyway you like, but the real slow grind alone does not inspire players to do any of what you said. It makes them quit. At this day and age, people don't come to text based games, let alone RPIs for gameplay. They come to roleplay.

What I'm saying is, from a new player and somewhat of an outsider's perspective, what keeps me playing is the people I meet and interact with while I'm grinding, and it's through roleplaying that I learn that I can, and end up wanting to lie, cheat, and steal.

I'm not arguing either side. It's just my two chyens, if you will. I'm just worried that some players' IC attitude of looking down on immies are bleeding out to OOC. People may deny it, but it can really show.

It worked for me. I realized SHI was laughable and stopped doing it immediately. Then I got a 'real' job and realized the same was true of wages.

No one is forcing you to go do SHI work. In my opinion it flat-out isn't worth doing and is only there so you can go look at it and be like 'lol no' and then go scheme for real money instead.

Yeah, no one is forcing me to do SHI work. What's also true is no one is forcing me to play the game. New players can think that the grind is what the game actually is. It's basically where all new players are guaranteed to try at least once. Talking about it, asking about it OOC is strictly prohibited and they all get parroted 'FOIC' and 'that's against the rules' when they ask on game help. I'm fortunate enough to find ways to roleplay after 3 attempts stretched over 3 years, but there are people who aren't. What do you think those people do?

They quit.

I've been enjoying the game immensely after finally getting some roleplay, and was trying to recruit people into it on reddit and other text based games I play. A lot of them recoiled at the thought of it since they all more or less tried the game years ago, and quit for the reason I described above.

Again, I'm just laying it out plainly, and I don't know if slither and other staff members can utilize this, but that's just how it is.

It might be worthwhile making it more apparent to players what "Where is the party at" is, and how to use it. That would help them find other players more quickly, and get them into the game much faster. I didn't realize it existed myself until someone asked about it on Game-Help.

Sometimes 'the party' is the squad of assassins you've assembled to murder the fuck out of someone for a minor slight.

Addition: What I mean is, while the more rarefied group of RPers scoff at the idea of combat being the driver of RP, SD still does have a lot of PVP potential, and sometimes if all else fails, revenge is a very good motivator for plot. In fact, it can get your character involved in something deeper. For example, let's say "Junko" got mugged by "Jeff". Now, the initial RP might be mostly anticlimatic because Junko is just a cyberdoc, but now she has a motivation to do something. She goes and find friends, lovers, and through her bonding with her allies she set them on Jeff and erase him from the face of Withmore. That's RP.

Well, I have been playing for about a month now? Just over or just under by a few days probably.

First things first great game, I have spent many hours already playing and it's a lot of fun RPing with people. There are some things that are so frustrating it makes me wonder why I'm bothering to even do some things that are fun as well though.

First of those is you literally cannot compete with any established characters in any way shape or form. Doesn't really seem to matter what profession you go for, want to go be xyz's competition? Can't as the job either isn't hiring, or the qualified people are only those with a few years of play. While this is great for those of you who have been playing for ten years, it also makes it super difficult to do your own thing as a new person not that it shouldn't be difficult but so far it seems pretty much impossible.

You can RP and get some benefits but actually accomplishing much that will change anything but maybe another character or two is impossible it seems unless you get lucky and someone who has been alive a while takes you under their wing. I say that like it's a bad thing but it does go both ways a bit, as I have with my characters managed to not do the grind jobs or pay for rent or anything else so far but I may have just gotten lucky in the personalities I gave my characters or they die before they need a place to live I can't imagine every new character skips the cubes and stuff when finding a place to live.

Not sure I have a solution to the problem it just is a very frustrating thing that I can't do much on my own and I am clearly a handicap to any other character that is working with mine.

There is great fun to be had as well though in RP. The people who I just said you can't compete with on a technical level, or any other mechanical level are also some of the funnest to RP with. I think so far I have spent maybe ten or twenty minutes doing the mechanical things and the rest has been RPing with people who either RP a lot or are just very good at it. That is what keeps me coming back more than anything. That and I love the world even though it is pretty bad in many ways that I will likely make another post about for accessibility.

I know this post seems like I hate how it works, but honestly, I hope to keep playing for a while and eventually be one of the characters that gets to help a new person stay alive for a few days at least, I just wish there was an actual entrypoint that would help a bit more with some paths or groups as even a few hours in you can tell there are little cliques of people to RP with. The incentive is there even if it is just frustrating how some things work to play and have more fun.

I don't know where you get that feeling from, you might be a little too paranoid. I get the feeling that if I had an IC reason to, I could easily fuck over an established character. Not directly, obviously, but in more subtler ways. But ICly that makes no sense. It does make me more relaxed though because there's mutually assured destruction keeping me comfort. Not to mention that, OOCly, people don't want to bully immies too much.

I am someone who has an old character. I've played SD since about 2004. I don't believe my character has been around since then because it took me about a year of going through characters to really lock one in. Some people take less time, I just took a lot of risks. Now, with that said, just because a character is old does not mean he is the uberness of badassery and untouchable. For, let's say 14 years, There was about a year I vacationed this character to play a different one, then when I joined the Army my character was vacationed for the 4 months or so it took to complete basic training/Airborne School. There was a 1 year my Character was vacationed because I was deployed with no internet. There was about two years where I was a GM and very busy with GM stuff that I hardly ever took my character out for anything. I also took the last 3 years off and just recently came back to playing. So that's...about half the time my character has been alive as out of the game. In each of those instances, rent expired...lockers expired... gear and money and vehicles were lost, new blood had moved in and staked their claim, and the character had to start from ground zero, with some stats being the only thing in it's corner. With cyberware and nano's and team work, stats don't mean shit anymore.

You can take anyone out if you plan it right, and that's just direct combat. Think about it in a broader scale too. Make up evidence against someone, start discreetly planting it in their friends minds or the WJF. Buy a gun, go into your chummers apartment topside that you can't stand, excuse yourself to the bathroom and hide it in there and call the Jakes when you leave to report an illegal firearm. Be shady. Be scummy with a smile. You don't have to tell everyone everything, especially if you want to shove them out of the field you want to corner. As said earlier, most of us older characters don't really bully immigrants unless it is totally warranted.

What it also boils down to is you're (in most cases) moving to a new city with the clothes on your back and the change in your pocket. That sucks when that happens IRL, it sucks a hundred times more so in this theme. Move in,do some menial work for a week or two, meet some people, don't mug gang members right off the bat, spend the UE where it makes sense, and establish your trade. Don't get discouraged if after a month you're not king of the hill.

I definitely agree that skills/stats do not mean half as much as most people think. I have seen new characters show up and be hugely impactful. To be honest, I really think it is player skill and knowledge that matters more than anything. But since players with such skill and knowledge frequently command characters that are at least perceived as being badass it is all too easy to focus on the skills/stats.

Knowledge of the Sindome world. What tools are good for what jobs. What skills/stats actually matter for what you want to do. Who can do the things you need done. What is possible and what isn't (both codedly and GM assisted). How to effectively work with GMs and other players to get things done. How to RP your way into serious money (with NPCs and other players). And much more.

There is so much to learn and become familiar with and as you gain insights you become more capable. So yes, stats/skills are not crazy important to your success. At the same time, a new player will have a lot to learn before they are able to leverage themselves as effectively as a more experienced player. I understand how this can be daunting and even discouraging sometimes. But as others have said, this knowledge is best gained by DOING. Trying. Failing. Lots.

Or so I've been told... I still have so much to learn myself and take far too few risks. :-P

(And as a side note, I do realize that a good player will clearly differentiate between what they know and what their character knows. At the same time these characters will probably discover all this goodness much more rapidly and they can even, if I understand it right, sometimes start off as being from Withmore and thus have IC reason for a greater level of knowledge than your average Immy - within staff approved limits.)

I just realized that I didn't really conclude my previous post. In the end I think that the biggest hurdle for new players is letting loose, taking risks, setting goals and gunning hard for those goals. Because it's by doing this that you start collecting the skill and knowledge you need to become a force nature (of the artificial dome variety of course).

What can be done? Well, I think that Slither's videos are a huge help. Finding ways to educate players when they try and fail is helpful. Balancing the need to provide a dark, oppressive atmosphere and giving players room to engage each other. Pretty much just doing what they are already doing I guess. :-P

Been playing around ten days now. Sometimes figuring out commands is still Scary to me, but for the most part I feel like I'm settling in.

I feel like starting Sindome is gonna be intimidating no matter what, both because of the format and setting, and I feel like that works. However, I do kind of feel like there should be more of a tutorial of some sort. Even if it's just a short interview with an NPC so you learn how to converse, then giving you a welcome packet that mentions a couple basic things like getting some clothes, NPC telling you to put it away to teach freehands, that sort of thing. A little more IC guidance to teach commands.

I intended for my first character to be kind of a throwaway to figure out the game with before inevitably getting killed, so I could then make the character I really wanted to play with a better chance of them surviving. I was even kind of impatient for him to die. But watching him build relationships with those around him has gotten me really attached, and while it's unlikely, I hope he lives a long time.

Interacting with other characters is where the game is really at, obviously, and the feeling of being overwhelmed and in danger is immersive. But it can also be discouraging and make it easy to feel like there's nothing to the game but stress at the start, before you've really met anyone, so that's why I think a little tutorial would be good.

I lifted the below from a review for Sindome on Reddit...

...when a newbie asks a question about game mechanics which the staff eventually points out where to find a general information about it, they parrot FIND OUT IN CHARACTER. Even when a player asks a mechanical question involving commands, they parrot FIND OUT IN CHARACTER. When new players are finding the game too harsh, or lost, or not enjoyable and comment on the forums to perhaps vent, or maybe to ask for guidance, they are told to just shut up and keep playing by those players. I honestly don't know why some players behave like that despite the harsh punishments Sindome staff apply to maintain the game.

This irks me and it really serves no one. On one hand, we have a sizable thriving player and on the other we're being a bunch of elitist pricks. It really seems like we're cutting off the nose to spite the face in a lot of these instances.

Thoughts?

FOIC has been the way we all learned the game and figured out how to play. It worked for us, it will work for new players. If people can't figure out how to ask "How do I access the Grid" Ic then they're a lost cause imo.

FOIC for Mechanical Questions I think that's just people being too quick to answer without understanding the question. It honestly doesn't happen often enough for me to even begin to worry about it being a problem.

I think you're overthinking the mugging dream situation.

On one hand, we have a sizable thriving player and on the other we're being a bunch of elitist pricks. It really seems like we're cutting off the nose to spite the face in a lot of these instances.

It's the multitude of personalities on here. Most players are chill and helpful, then there are some players that act like the staff's attack dogs when you ask a question or submit an idea. Like, chill homie.

I agree that this is a case of overthinking. Also, the ideas forum is very bad.

The one thing I'd change is if people made their answers gentler/more personable instead of curt/abrupt and dismissive. Providing context on why FOIC is important may seem repetitive to us if we do it all the time, but to new players who may not have a firm grasp on why the game is constructed that way, I'm sure it is very helpful.

I agree with that. It's one of the things I've always wanted people to try and do. From a customer support background, I always try to make my answers full and explain for the dumbest of people but by the time I've done that someones already came in and said FOIC.

They get their question answered in the end, I stopped trying to change how people answer a long time ago.

I didn't even know tabletop existed before this. People not telling you what can be done ingame but just be told instead of finding it IC, I get the mystery ish but somethings can be explained and people can go on with their roleplay instead of asking characters random questions because of what you OOC want to know.

FOIC is a very valid answer and I'd rather not step away from it. However, just taking the time to explain WHY the answer is FOIC can make a huge difference. Or why we don't talk about the details of mechanics. And I do think that the quality of answers (in terms of friendliness) has improved a lot these last two years. So you guys are all doing awesome in my book.

As far as the ideas forum go, I love it. Sure, not every idea posted is worth the effort and not every idea posted makes sense giving the way the game is made or balanced. But I still love hearing what people think. No one is forcing anyone to read that forum or comment on it. Some truly awesome things have come out of the ideas forum.

I fully agree that FOIC is valid most of the time it is used, but I also support that we should lean much more heavily on being firm but friendly about it if we want the game to continue to grow. The playerbase has grown, sure, but we want it to keep growing, and we don't want it to shrink -- and it very easily could. If I have any qualms, it's the 'well the playerbase has grown, so what we're doing is working' response to basically...everything criticism anyone raises ever. That's not necessarily true. It means some some things have worked, to some extent, more often than not. It doesn't mean criticisms aren't valid and there isn't room for improvement.

But I do think the New Player Experience has improved in the last 2-4 years, and my hat is off to both admin and players in positions that have worked very hard in that regard. That work has paid clear and appreciated dividends.

And the ideas forum is fine. There are good ideas and bad ideas -- shocking. More people should definitely search the boards before posting on it, but welcome to every suggestion board of all time.

I find FOIC to come across as condescending. It really doesn't help a new player enter the game and explore the theme; rather it is a blunt and brute stonewalling. Nobody likes getting stonewalled, and it's a fantastic way to get someone to bugger off and never return.

There are much better ways to approach a new player and guiding them into the IC/OOC paradigm Sindome uses rather than approaching the issue like everyone on the planet should grok how SD works. New players should be granted a great deal of latitude on the IC/OOC front as they are new, and it takes some time to get used to the way things work.

For example: when a new player sees the word 'limber' beside agile or 'competent' beside a skill they are going to be completely dumbfounded and shocked to find out those terms mean, more or less, 'quite shitty'. So then they have a history that is probably way out of line with stats they thought were decent, and you start getting questions around stat type things on xgame. Typical response is a FOIC stonewall. Find out -what- ICly exactly? That the interface for the game (OOC) is esoteric (OOC) and specific to SD's environments (OOC)?

This is just one example of where esoterica on SD gets a FOIC response on xgame rather than a more thought out response like "Yeah, the stat and skill terminology are a bit odd here, they don't really correspond with their dictionary definitions. Treat them like guide posts on progression rather than a description of where you are at relative to others. The best way to know you are approaching mid-level ability is when you hit the 'curve' and advanced ability when you are heavily into the curve. Find out more on the website."

To be honest, if all you can drum up for a question is FOIC you should probably just leave xgame because in my opinion that's utterly useless and unhelpful.

Well put, Meph.

To be honest, if all you can drum up for a question is FOIC you should probably just leave xgame because in my opinion that's utterly useless and unhelpful.

Couldn't agree more with this statement.

For one, the stats example shouldn't be answered with FOIC in my opinion. It makes no sense. Though I agree with you that it is hard to play to your stats when you have no idea where you stand on the scale from min to max, the fact is that staff have decided that they will not share the ladder of adjectives and no one, outside of senior staff, is permitted to talk about game mechanics. The best advice I can give someone is to review "help power-level", to know that ALL characters, no matter how you distribute your starting stat and skill points, are low powered and that the best you can do is compete and compare with other characters to get a feel for where you stand in the game world.

On the other hand, sometimes the only permitted answer is a version of FOIC. Say you hop on xgame and ask "Where is Hugo's Hardware, I don't see it on the map?" The fact is that no one, aside from staff, can answer that question oocly. If they do, they very well might be called out on it. They can, however, tell you that Sindome has a very strong OOC/IC divide that takes some time getting used to and that this question has to be addressed ICly. Try asking on SIC or asking someone in game. It might take some time getting used to this IC/OOC divide but it really leads to a great RP environment. If is a bad idea, in my opinion, to EVER answer an IC question OOCly as it doesn't help the player as much as a guiding them to finding that info IC would.

I also think it is important that answers on xgame be polite, teaching answers whenever possible. If they ask for the command and it can be easily discovered in @newbie, a help file or by examining, let them know what the help file is or what they need to examine. And if they ask an IC question on xgame, teach them that they need to find out IC, give them some examples of how they might do so (SIC for example) and explain why. Empower them.

The only time I might consider answering a question with plain old "FOIC :-)" and nothing else is if I know for a fact that the character asking the question has already been given a good explanation as to what it means and why they should do this. There is little point in going into all of that repeatedly with the same player. All they need is a polite reminder that this is one of those times again.

Just my two cents here (okay, more like 17 cents). No on answering IC questions OOCly. Yes on giving more of an answer then a curt "FOIC."

xfoic

People weren't being curt in the instance Mephibosheth is describing, and foic doesn't mean 'fuck you it's a secret.' It means ask in-character and you'll probably get a fairly immediate answer from just about anyone. The reason it turns contentious is because people dig their heels in and refuse to be the guy who has to ask IC whether they need a sec tech or electro tech skillsoft.

And people provide plenty of help in gamehelp. It's not like it's a constant chorus of foic in there.

Often, xga is awesome, and new players can get very informative answers to their questions.

Though at times, it feels like there's some sort of race to see who can type 'FOIC' the quickest to shut down someone's question. It's not needed, and counter-productive to treat new players this way.

Instead of being in a rush to shut them down, maybe try explaining why we're telling them to find out ICly. Like, 'hey, good question, but this might be a something you can ask through your character and they can learn it in-game from other characters.", is a way better response than just 'FOIC'.

Feel that taking time to respond like that instead of being curt with them, would also result in less push-back from the person asking the questions, so xgame doesn't have to devolve into a pissing match, either. And yeah, if you don't have enough time or patience to say anything more than 'FOIC' to a question, maybe don't say anything at all.

Totally unrelated, but on my 5th (?) character, I decided to stop trying to play Sindome like a game of chess and went in as a character with glaring, obvious flaws and foibles instead, and shaped those things around things that would more or less force me to interact with other people.

I'm having a blast and chyen is barely a factor. It's great.

Granted, it did involve a fair bit of stat optimization that I really had no clue about on any of the other characters I made. Characters should have flaws for sure, but if you're playing something that has nearly no mechanical strengths or at least something it's *vaguely* good at, things can get old pretty fast. The archetypes are a bit deceiving in this regard - if you take the 'useful' skills at chargen, you just end up with a character that can't really do the main draw of the role very well at all (even for an immy) at day one.

It would seem that stats are way more important generally speaking than skills for actual character progression overall, at least that's what I've taken away from it.