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Cyberware Prevelance
How common is cyberware in the ambient population?

Traditionally in the cyberpunk genre, cyberware is fairly ubiquitous. While not everyone is walking cyberpsycho with more metal than meat, most people who can afford it have some sort of cybernetic augmentation.

By contrast, cyberware in Sindome seems to be fairly limited to established characters. Similarly, cyberware seems to be non-existent on most (all?) of the tokens and other NPCs that inhabit the world.

Recent discussions on the BgBB have led me to question whether or not the sparse adoption of cyberware is thematic, or if it is related to game balance.

It seems to me like game balance trumps all other considerations. Players are often reminded that Sindome is a PvP game at it's core. Because of that, any object in the game, whether it is a weapon, armor, vehicle or augmentation has only been introduced after careful consideration on how it could ultimately affect the PvP balance. Furthermore, staff seems to reserve the right to modify objects as necessary if it is later determined that they affect the balance.

How does that affect cyberware in the ambient population? Take a ganger token NPC as an example. Does the NPC not have cyberware because cyberware is something that only the top 10% of the population can afford and have access to? Or does the NPC not have cyberware because staff does not want people farming the NPCs for cyberware?

I absolutely see the point you're making and have always thought similarly. People don't have chrome for two reasons, mainly, from my POV:

1: It doesn't justify the cost or risk.

Like you said, unless you're an older character with a lot of disposable income (and the means to defend yourself), it's generally not worth it getting that biomod or that skillsoft or whatever. People will hunt you for it, and the benefit you get from it is usually fairly minimal. I can't speak for staff but I imagine that is also why usually only the strongest NPCs have chrome.

And 2: They're generally weak.

Nanos in particular, feel like you're throwing money into an abyss, but all chrome suffer from this. That cybereye isn't going to make you turn a fight around. Most chrome offer utility or the equivalent of a 1-5% performance increase in combat, roughly. Yes, this number is dumb and made up, but that's how it feels. I can maybe think of one piece of cyberware off the top of my head that actually provides a large benefit. One.

What I don't get is why the game has such a big focus on balance, because the game is inherently extremely imbalanced by design. The huge upper limit on UE, ambient pop seeing everything you do, gangs having dozens of npcs at their disposal, and just generally how resource-less a weaker character is against a stronger one. People always say, RP out of it or get allies but that's literally ignoring the problem.

So yes, that's my opinion. I don't think the population, both PC and otherwise, being very scarce with cyberware is an IC thing, I think it's an OOC problem. But in order for that not to be the case, the game would need massive, sweeping changes to a lot of systems and I don't think that'll ever happen.

If you think the UE limit is unbalanced now, you should have seen it before there was one.

Several characters had to respec after having as much as 2/3 of all their accumulated UE taken away.

I imagine it wouldn't have been much different. Power level would've likely still been almost entirely decided by how old the character is, and if anyone had more than a couple of months on you, you'd get stomped, which is still the case now.

But I actually didn't know there wasn't a limit before, I'm actually happy to hear that. Gives me hope that one day we might get another big change to how UE works again. I'd make a thread but I think it's fairly obvious there are enough people who are comfy in their positions of power that it'd never get significant support.

I don't like derailing the thread but I feel I need to say this. There are some niche cases where it is truly a matter of UE roll off. They sadden me but they are fairly rare and, unlike some comments here try to suggest, I firmly believe that combat is not one of them.

I've had PCs stand their own against other PCs with half a year to a year more UE than them. Solo. In one case my PC literally murdered a PC that was at least a year ahead of them and far better equipped. Again, solo. If you bring chums into the mix, it's not even close to a worry.

Yes. UE does matter and it can matter a lot. But the curve has a massive evening effect and the chrome we do have CAN make a huge difference. I would love to see more chrome. It's why I proposed the cosmetic cyberware system I did. But I honestly don't think the system is as badly broken as has been suggested.

I'm not saying I'm right and others are wrong, just presenting another view on the matter. In the end we all have our own experiences that shape our beliefs.