Some of you may have heard about this ICly, but a shift this big requires an OOC announcement as well. We are making some IC changes to the way gangs behave / work to make ganger life a bit more appealing to players. This was enacted ICly using some PCs and NPCs, but was an idea that was presented by a player, and iterated by the staff into what it is now.
Gangs are a great new player job/role/experience. Gangs are a great newbie to middlebe experience. Gangs are a great way to learn the game, and grow as a role player. Gangs are VERY themely. Gangs are a proving ground for becoming a syndicate member, a solo, or some other next level character.
Gang fights with PCs and NPCs result in gangers dying a LOT. It's costly, results in an overabundance of perms, and becomes frustrating. It's a meat grinder that once entered, is hard to leave. The core of ganger RP is rivalries with the other gangs, but those rivalries often degrade into situations of little RP, people hiding in cubes to avoid being neck snapped in a fight, and a bunch of other things that reduce the amount of RP gangers actively get to engage in. Given there are so many newbies in gangs (or at least we want there to be), and given that a single well geared middlebe can take on a group of newbies, it's really hard to balance the gangs, to make an interesting and compelling experience, and to keep things fair and fun.
We've enacted an IC solution to this in the form of a 'ganger code' that all the NPC run gangs have agreed to. The code, OOCly, is intended to prevent ganger PCs from constantly dying or getting frustrated OOCly with the role. If every ganger always kills every other ganger they fight with, and they fight, and the role of ganger is defined by fighting, it's not great for RP.
Instead, gangs will be encouraged to simply beat each other down in fights and then rob each other. Showing their dominance not by killing, but through actual dominance and strength. This means that proper planning, role play and other things will be required instead of it just being a meat grinder all the time.
There are plenty of IC reasons for this to happen, of which, you can discover ICly. OOCly though, there are many benefits.
1. It allows us to have a finger grain macro control over the ganger RP by allowing us to bring members of different gangs together for RP on a more regular basis through ganger diplomacy, turf wars that aren't murder fests, and a ganger council that can act as an overseeing body over all the gangs.
2. We can have characters from different gangs have to RP with each other to accomplish 'jobs' the ganger council accepts.
3. Balance. If one gang steps out of line, the other gangs can bang them back into line.
4. Proving grounds. The gangs have always been intended to be a proving ground for PCs that want to become Solos or Syndicate members. This doesn't often get a chance to happen because gangers are typically very short lived, or leave the gangs quickly due to OOC frustration.
5. Imbalances in gang membership are less of an issue. Think about this: 1 gang with 4 PC members, those 4 pcs get lots of RP with each other and it's great. But what about the other gangs that have 0 or 1 PC members. It's boring for the 1 PC member of this other gang, and also unfair since they have to go up against this other gang that has 4 PCs planning the 1 PCs death. We could put 1 member in every gang and slowly work up to 2 members but that's still boring for the 1-2 members that don't have anyone to RP with or plot against. This allows us to have less balance while still allowing it to be fun for those who aren't balanced, since they aren't waking up at Genetek every time they leave their cube.
6. This doesn't mean no deaths. Gangers can still plot to kill other gangers, they just have to be more crafty about it and be ware the council because if caught there will be repercussions. It also means accidental kills in combat have to be RPed. Do you get the resuscitated? Do you lie? Do you cover it up?
7. Higher gang membership. We're hoping that this change makes the gangs more viable as a character path and that we can get a lot more people into the various gangs.
8. TERRA. Terra also signed the agreement. This means that TERRA Agents (arguably the most dangerous job in the Mix) are not going to be killed on sight. They might get beat down like any other gangers but they won't be killed every day, and people can work at becoming Judges or Corpsec through TERRA. They can also become corrupt, and that is awesome.
9. Syndicates. Syndicate RP is fun. Ganger RP is fun. They are on different levels though. They shouldn't overlap. Not much anyway. This helps us to give an IC reason for why syndicates and gangs do not interact much. It's just too easy for a syndicate member to get an entire gang to go after a rival or for a gang to hire a syndicate to go after a rival. This prevents that in an IC way, bringing more balance to the game.
10. Neutral places. The Drome has always been neutral but now in general, bars/clubs will be neutral and fighting will take place outside them. That means that gangers can go out, shit talk, and enjoy their role, but also be fairly confident that they won't get mobbed by a rival gang and killed just for going out and RPing. It let's the RP be compartmentalized so that if you're in the mood to go get into a gang fight you can, but also, you can just go handle some biz at a bar and meet new characters and plot and plan and enjoy your RP experience while being super themely and fun.
11. RP. This means more RP. It means shit talking and fighting and challenges, and coming up with interesting ways to fuck over your rival gangers.
This is an experiment. It might fail. If it does, it's easy to have the gangs go back to the way they were. We're hoping it succeeds though, or that it leads to problems we can address IC, and grow from.