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Newbie Brutality

So,

I just wanted to kind of post some of my thoughts concerning the game and its environment after having been kicking around about a week or so. I have to admit, for a game that has SO MANY prompts about role play, and doing one's part to keep new players around, I don't think I've had a harder time finding literally ANYONE willing to interact with me beyond a couple of sentences worth of answering a direct question in all my years of slagging through the MUD.

The game has no representation of any class of character except brand new baka-shit bags, so there is no ladder to climb really - and in a situation where EVERYONE is a crap IMMY who had to carve life out in your Mix - there's a lot of up-noseing that happens toward anyone who already isn't in a person's Clique.

Short version - This game is not only a brutal by theme, as it should be, but brutal to the newbie and it doesn't surprise me that your activity numbers are relatively low. I came here from CS because there is no RP to be had on CS pretty much at all. So far, there hasn't been any RP to be had here either, and their code is better than yours.

While I know that short-lived opinions in the community such as mine are often glossed over or dog-piled with insult and naysaying ... I hope that the poor experience, and that 0/10 would play again review offers a little food for thought for those in position to make some changes.

The game does have a steep learning curve in terms of RP. There are IC mentor figures for immigrants, it's an actual PC profession, and they're supposed to help get you pointed in the right direction. Worth noting that experienced players rolling up new characters don't necessarily suffer from the same problems because they have a sense of what to do, it's more of a learning about the city in-character type of thing and it's meant to be a struggle.
I've been playing here for about a year.

I was in your position when I first started. My opinions closely mirrored your own.

My experience was that the "game" is first and foremost figuring out how to survive. Once you do that, and in the process of figuring out how to do that, you will connect with other characters who will RP with you.

You, and all new players, have an uphill battle. There are literally countless people who login here every week, then give up not long after. It happens so frequently, that very few long term players want to make the effort to get to know someone new.

In the year I've been here, I've lost track of the number of new players I tried to help out, only to have them vanish when they decided that this game was "too hard".

I can assure you that if you stick around, you will find an extremely deep and complex game. But it is a game that you get out of what you put into it.

First you have to figure out how to survive. And figure out SOME of the systems work.

Once you've been around for a month or two and established yourself as someone who is sticking around, you will find that people are willing to invest some time in you.

Or put another way, it's not you, it's us.

But that being said, we aren't changing. This game isn't for everyone. Most people self select out of it.

I was in your position probably a month as a newbie. Zero RP, and no idea how to find it. Then I just went for it and started talking to everyone to make something happen. It's been a wild, nonstop ride ever since, and my life has never been the same. 😅

Also, joining a faction is a really good way to push forward.

The number of characters I interact with meaningfully on a weekly basis is easily 20+, and the majority aren't in any sort of clique at all. I'm sorry it was tough for you, and that I likely didn't have a chance to interact with your character.

New characters -- especially newbies themselves can be very valuable to veteran players specifically because they don't have any known affiliations and can get away with a lot more than experienced characters. If you do come back, you may also want to try reaching out to those voices on SIC! What's the worst that could happen, death? 😉

Newbies are extremely useful contacts to have on your side, and if you're not interacting with them, you're selling yourself short. The IC mentor profession is one thing, but almost everyone can (and should) find reasons to create work for immies. They're blank slates in terms of reputation, blend into any bar scene, and eager to work without being too demanding in terms of payoff.

Never underestimate the power of getting an immy on your side.

Sindome is very based on classism. Perhaps this "naysaying" you experience is just part of your experience having a non existant reputation, no money, or no status to show for it. This type of experience is always an IC situation, and you shouldn't take it personally as the game trying to clique you out.
It's extremely common to feel this way, as Hek notes there are so many one-and-done players that more experienced players are going to give people a few weeks before spending a lot of time with them, unless they distinguish themselves as interesting and worth the risk of investing in.

I am a constant advocate for the new player experience but the ball is super in your court at the start. That said you don't have to be amazing out the gate, just stick around, play a nobody just trying to make their way in a hostile world, and eventually things will start coming together.

Being a strong roleplayer will be a dramatic shortcut, but even modest roleplayers can lean on just having a decent amount of experience or know-how to get by and make a name for themselves.

Keep in mind also that the majority of players are on the more passive side, if you initiate and generate RP rather than looking for someone to give it to you, people will flock to you.

Rhicora is right, but Hek is also right. The problem is the ROI on immies both in terms of raw chy, intel, usefulness or even RP is generally truly awful, because as Hek points out they almost always disappear or perm out stupidly, whether in a day or a week. The only people in a position, most of the time, to continually throw money and gear (not to mention time/RP, which is the biggest risk and biggest investment) away on the ones just in the gate who have done nothing to show they're willing (or able) to stick around are rich oldbies or those who are literally paid to do it.

There's an initial hump to show you're going to stick around and not do Really Baka Shit, and then you'll find people ringing your progia and hitting your SIC chip because they'll want you in one of their overlapping clique circles before you're in one of the circles they want to fuck with. It's a game where themes of trust and betrayal are HUGE, so that's just part of it. And it won't even take months, an immy who can do that for even a week or two, and puts themselves out there consistently with RP that shows interest and effort will 100% get hooked by someone somewhere.

This also goes for almost any new character. Even if Max Street Sam Oldbie perms tonight and rolls in tomorrow with an immy, unless there's conscious or unconscious signs they put off signaling who they are OOC (hopefully they aren't on purpose), they'll get treated the same as you were. Everyone has to put in that work on a new character, more or less.

It's super hard at first. It feels like everyone is just blowing past you. Typically they are because they're so caught up in their own plots.

I liken it to a small towner coming to New York. Everyone ICly has seen small towners burn out and leave, and as the "newcomer" it's up to the player to find a reason to make others notice you and hook you in. Build a rep, that kind of thing. I like to stress that there's a huge divide between IC and OOC attitudes from players. That guy that seems to be ignoring you in the bar is actually waiting for you to give him a reason to interact with you: whether that's by asking him for advice, or by telling him he's a bitch. We all want you here OOCly, but from an IC perspective, the three-year murder machine who chews raw steel and shits out bullets has a lot on their mind. Give them a reason to look at you, whether it's good or bad.

The times I felt like I was being most ignored sometimes coincided with when I was struggling with syntax and asked on local OOC. The outpouring of support locally on OOC was overwhelming proof that people cared OOCly but needed me to step up ICly.

Like someone else said, joining a gang/faction is a great way to get into it with people. Also, doing the dumbest and most reckless thing can actually be a great way to hook in with new people. When players see you willing to do dumb shit, they'll rope you in for more adventures. Plan for your current character to perm out. Rob someone you know will whip your ass, they may see that willingness to risk death as a sign that you're ready to get into it. Just yesterday I olive-branched someone who really stepped in it and they're getting onto a cool path I wish someone had extended to me when I started.

Also, finally, the PvP hangs over every interaction, especially in Red. A lot of the people blowing by you in the streets are in real danger all the time. Especially in Red. It can be hard for them to stop and chat in a relaxed way when they're under such pressure. It can help to try to network with other immies because you have the same gripes and goals. If you desire longer more dialogue heavy scenes, find a few immies in your general play time and buy them a drink, or go to a hotel and vent your IC frustrations. It could be the start of a long IC relationship that will blossom when you're old and gray.

Welcome in, and I hope you find what you're looking for : )

As others said, this happens to every player, even oldbies who've played the game for 5+ years when they start a new character. You're new, you can do very little and people have no reason to invest time and resources into you.

It's on you to convince them otherwise. That simple. There is no game, MUD or otherwise, where you'll go in and RP will be placed in your lap with no effort.

My advice has always been, talk as much as possible. The more you talk, on SIC or in person, the more people will interact with you, and the quicker you'll stop being 'just another immy'. And don't fence-sit, pick a side. Piss people off, take risks, and don't limit yourself because you're an immy. I've seen immies who were, in their first weeks, some of the most popular characters around. It's all about how you portray yourself and what you do.

Reasons why I personally wouldn’t interact with players:

1. No @nakeds or subpar amount of detail for them.

2. Bad spelling/grammar.

3. Nothing for me to want to interact with. There’s millions in the Dome, if you’re not doing anything beyond breathing and there’s no conversation-starters about you - you’re not giving me anything to interact with.

This is not immy exclusive. There are long time characters that still spurn the same apathetic reaction for those reasons.

Reasons I would be brutal towards an immy:

1. Lack of respect / bad mouthing me or my faction.

That’s it. Immy’s are expected to be dumb or confused and often that’s a way for others to start interacting with them, but they aren’t exempt from any of those OOC/IC criteria.

hello,

I've been playing for 2 weeks and just wanted to share my experiences a bit since I found this thread. I have played Arx and other MUSH-like games a lot so Sindome was familiar in a lot of ways.

I decided to play a character who relied on anonymity a lot. I read up about disguises and the protections of ambient population and [redacted] and followed that through the best I could.

[redacted timeframe], [redacted specifrics] outed my identity with deliberate metagaming and not respecting ambient population. I contacted the GMs about it and explained the situation, they agreed with me and spoke to the characters and gave them a slap on the wrist and that was it. My characters anonymity was now ruined through no fault of mine. I was linked to a help file and told to follow it and left with a 'good luck'.

I started looking at ways to adapt around it and fade back into the background but (not spoiling anything IC) nothing I heard or read about was accessible in any way to my character so I was stuck.

Now, I am told [redacted] for [redacted] or more and basically not play as I was before, which does not sound very appealing to me when metagaming is treated in such a relaxed manner here when the stakes are so high in terms of time cost.

I dont feel like I can keep playing anymore after this despite liking Sindome a lot. I thought with all the focus on RP that policing metagaming would be top priority but from my experience here and reading other posts it seems like it isn't, which is really sad given how interesting the game and some of the people playing it seem to be.

Really upsetting :(

(Edited by Slither at 11:36 am on 7/30/2020)

I agree the disguise metagaming sucks. The rules changed recently regarding disguise meta because so many people were consistently meta gaming and others crying wolf about it that it was taking a lot of GM time. With the recent addition of the appear command, there's a lot more ways to oocly make yourself unrecognizable, but it can still be quite difficult. It used to be strictly enforced, but it simply took too much time for staff to police it :/
Saricyne,

Definitely been there. Sindome has a problem with certain players not respecting disguises, perhaps due to their play to win mentality. I can only say you should try to learn the ins and outs of disguises, and use the game mechanics that allow you to disable other player's guesses when your disguise becomes obscure enough. There are in-game mechanisms to allow you to effectively become impossible to discern with proper skills and gameplay.

That being said I suggest you stick it out. Sindome has had a fair share of MASSIVELY successful characters that nobody ever heard about.

Yeah, meta does seem more common than people like to admit, especially with things like disguises and decking. Someone in a shroud? Those nondescript hands look awfully familliar... some anonymous decker fucked up a node? Must be one of the very low X amount of PC deckers!
Shit, inevitably, happens.

Sometimes its the result of metagaming, sometimes its a bug that makes you lose things, sometimes its your own fault. Having to change your play style to survive? That's just part of the game.

Staff notice the people who roll with the punches, even when they seem "unfair". And things will always seem unfair in Sindome, for some reason or another. But that's cyberpunk.

Keep on soldiering saricyne, the game is loads of fun from new player to new player. :) I'm sorry about your bad experience.
Please feel free do discuss things in general and voice your opinions, this is how some great changes have been made.

Please do not break the rules as outlined on these forums by sharing specific occurrences which can easily pinpoint who you play or situations that happened IC.

Always remember that players have a small peak at the full picture, and assumptions are dangerous. We realize this means you have to trust the GMs running the game, and we do our best to give you that trust. Beyond that the choice is yours to play or not.

the staff agreed with me here when I raised the issue with them, it isn't very "cyberpunk" to have people ignoring game rules and ruining things for other people... it is just not following the rules?

I am very cool with in-game consequences but being punished for another player not playing the game properly really sucks

wait why is my post deleted?
the thing is it's hard to explain in detail my issues without seeming paranoid and/or giving away IC details

and, yeah, "lol its cyberpunk tho" is a very shitty excuse for meta

Even when staff agree with you, things are very rarely retconned. Once something is out, it generally spreads far and fast, so there's no undoing instances like these where an identity becomes known. However, staff takes the people affected by these instances and their reactions to them into account.

There's not much that can be done, in the immediate, but rolling with it, embracing the conflict and -plot- that can come from it, and understand that staff are doing everything they can to stem the tide with hundreds of players is the important part.

This isn't the end.

@saricyne your post was hidden because it provided info that could identify your character and others involved in the events. I have edited the post to remove this information and made the post visible again.

As has been pointed out by a number of people in this thread, we do take metagaming seriously, but do not police meta around disugises. We had a problem where every time someone identified someone who was wearing a disguise (95% of the time it was legit and they had a good reason), someone would xhelp and call foul, and it required an immersion breaking and time consuming investigation by the staff. instead of having to do that we coded a system to provide a huge amount of ways to hide your identity and change your appearance in character, both skill based and things that do not require any skill.

We made a choice to stop policing disguise meta, which is outlined in the help file you were directed to, and while I, or other GMs can agree that metaing someones identity is poor form, and say so to the person it happened to, and even reach out to the other players involved to remind them if it is particularly egregious, we are also no longer in the business of policing it, as we have provided the tools for every character to ICly and OOCly trick other characters and players about who they are.

While I understand that might not be what you are used to, or what you prefer, this is how it is on Sindome.

(Edited by Slither at 11:44 am on 7/30/2020)

Really sad to find out about the hard way :(

I'll try again with something that doesn't go anywhere near the disguise rules, thank you for the support

In addition to what Slither said, I'd just reinforce what other people are saying and tell you to stick with it, since you said you were enjoying the game.

Believe me, someone meta-ing your disguise is nothing compared to some of the stuff players can do to you, and I say that because you mentioned 2 weeks worth of play time. With no offence intended at all, that is not even a drop in the bucket in terms of a character's growth or identity. Even a six month old character can change archetype/environment/personality fairly easily.

It sucks that someone was shitty to you, but I do agree with the staff's decision not to police disguises and simply buff them so you have more tools to be undetectable that you may or may not be aware of yet. I cannot begin to imagine how annoying and petty it must've been to mediate two people debate whether or not they should've been detected.

Stick around. RP with people IC about it, see what you can get out of it. You'll usually find things are not nearly as black and white as they seem, there are always options.

Character identity is extremely difficult to protect, Withmore is a hyper surveillance state and there are things that new players wouldn't even know to defend against at the outset. Remaining temporarily or circumstantial anonymous is something that requires a lot of experience, both mechanical and social, to do well -- so I wouldn't get discouraged that it went sideways on your very first attempt.
There's nothing saying you can't go down the disguise path, still. It's definitely doable to create a new disguised persona. You may find yourself circling around to it at some point! 😊

Unless it was, like, identifying your typing style through prose syntax, common misspellings, common use of certain uncommon words, and such things that are difficult to change about the person behind the screen. That requires some serious investment of time and energy.

I don't want to sound offensive or rude or anything but it is a bit crazy to say "2 weeks doesn't mean anything"! i know this game is very "long term" but 2 weeks is a lot of time and completely wrecking someone's experience with meta really isn't okay just because they've "only" had 2 weeks of work ruined by it.

Thank you all for your support and advice really, but if things are this punishing for so very little then maybe this game isn't for me.

It's less that two weeks of work isn't something to be valued and appreciated, and more that two weeks is only scratching the surface of learning the complexities beneath.

I tend to be more critical of the occasionally very punishing nature of the game than most, but as a new player almost all of the hurdles will involve learning mechanics, both coded and social, and how to leverage them and roleplay to tell the story you want.

I would say I felt mechanically comfortable with Sindome after about a month of serious play, and felt like I had learned how to achieve the things I wanted after about a year.

I promise you that everyone had early struggles. Strong roleplayers can write their own tickets in many ways, so if you have a lot of experience I encourage you to stick with it, but there is definitely a lot to learn.

I am very cool with in-game consequences but being punished for another player not playing the game properly really sucks

What is the punishment, the fact that your character's anonymity isn't preserved anymore? Or are you referring to something else.

The reason I'm asking is, you're feeling like staff punished you but there's no way to re-cork the bottle once the information is out there in the wild. It's beyond staff control.

What did you hope or expect them to do to the metagaming player?

beandip,

I don't think they were hoping for a magical retcon. And I think it's fair to say since staff (apparently) backed them up in their grievance that the situation was blatant and silly enough that their frustration is more than warranted.

As Baguette mentioned, these meta situations happens a LOT and it extends well beyond disguise/appearance. I also think the decision staff made about meta around disguise was a poor one -- the reasoning around it wasn't even 'this is best for the game', it was just 'we don't have time for this'. That's absolutely fair in a pragmatic sense, but it's just a recipe for....to put it nicely, a whole lot of nonsense.

'What is the punishment...' the answer by now to that seems clear, I'm not sure what the confusion is.

Considering how seriously metagaming is supposedly taken, their frustration is probably that they suffered disproportionately compared to the player(s) that metagamed against them, which it's hard for us on the outside to judge, though I'm inclined to empathize.

Whether it's a two-week character or a ten-year one, a lot of RP and work can go into things, and when someone lazily ruins it via meta and your efforts are nullified and there's not much sense of justice, cynically piling on the victim feels like an odd move.

There are absolutely people in the game that take advantage of the fact that meta can be sometimes hard to prove and easy to get away with, particularly by more experienced player who know how to be at least slightly subtle about it, and overworked staff who likely have a million things they'd rather work on than potential-meta-complaint-number-seventy-three.

It is a tricky subject. I find myself agreeing and disagreeing with Jameson. I do think it's better to just say 'here's the system, here are the rules, we're not getting involved' because otherwise, as you say, you end up with hundreds of these threads (not literally, but in the form of xhelps), overworked/jaded staff and grudging players.

I too, have seen a lot of meta, some subtle, some really obvious and off-putting. I didn't xhelp or do anything about it, even when it affected me quite a bit. What I did do is stop engaging with those players. That's the only way you fight this or just generally unfun/grief-y behaviour (within reason, there are limits when staff should step in). It's not a massive, widespread issue, I've found the majority of players to be pretty responsible and good with making conflict fun for everyone, but there's definitely a few people that like to skirt the line, but I do not believe a few bad apples should spoil it for everyone else.

I don't think anyone is saying that they should dismiss this because the character in question is only two weeks old, I think most posters are just using that as encouragement for that person to keep going. I just really don't like the idea of staff going back to policing these disputes personally because it won't solve anything and just create a ton of extra problems for everyone.

Jameson has it 100%. The people that metagamed against me got benefits for it and a mild slap on the wrist from the GM, where I lost something very important that could not be recovered.

I understand Sindome does not do retcons but the fact that the people who ruined so much of the effort I put in because they were playing to win, small-worlding and being meta get a slap on the wrist and the GM policy here is that "sorry we tried to police this in the past and it didn't work" in a self-proclaimed RPI game is just crazy to me!!

So much about an RPI is that breaches of meta are taken very seriously in order to preserve the suspension of disbelief involved in the world. What happened tells me that this game isn't really an RPI experience, it's a "meta as much as you can get away with it before the GMs notice" game.

This all really sucks because I was enjoying playing with the people here heaps until this happened. There's some really awesome and fun characters hanging around but I can't stomach having to deal with this again and the GMs just shrugging and saying they can't do anything about it when they could be a lot harder on the people breaking meta, especially with all the rules you have about OOC stuff.

Saricyne, while the GMs can't tell you everything, I trust them to not allow a breach of meta like that to go unpunished by the offending party. That falls under 1.F of the rules of conduct and is a cheating violation.

1.F. Metagaming

Metagaming is the act of crossing IC/OOC lines either passively or actively. For instance, using information you as the player know to benefit (or even hinder) your character is active metagaming as is circumventing IC factors (such as SIC dead zones) via OOC methods. Passive metagaming is the sharing of IC information through OOC means, such as discussing IC events through OOC channels and also altering your character's behaviour towards another character due to your OOC relationship with that character's player.

I got told that I should be happy I only lost 2 weeks and not "several months" like some other players when I spoke to the GM about it.. I'm not holding my breath.