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WJF and Corporate interactions
Too friendly / not enough anomosity

I wanted to add this to the Crime and You conversation, but it seems like too much of a digression so I'm putting it here.

My understanding of the theme is that the WJF is supposed to be / could be a check to corporate power.

My experience has been that the WJF and corporate security forces seem to enjoy a very friendly relationship with each other.

I think that I understand that thematically the WJF was modeled after Judge Dredd. Because of that they have the mandate of being the ultimate combat badasses who fear nothing and demand utmost deference to their authority. While that is cool and all, I would like to see more nuance.

I believe that the theme and game dynamics would be better if the WJF had to walk the fine line between being perceived as acting to balance corporate power / exploitation of the masses, while at the same time maintaining their aura of authority such that Mixers do not rise up.

As it stands right now, it seems like there are two tiers of corporate oppressor. Corporations. And the WJF. In that regard, doing crime topside is doubly dangerous.

I would like to see the WJF less involved in supporting corporations and more antagonistic to them. Essentially adopting an attitude along the lines of "We're out here keeping the oppressed masses from tearing you limb from limb, all so that you corporate assholes can squeeze a few extra chy out of next quarter's earnings."

An example of that could be as simple as the WJF scolding corporate citizens who make it a habit of being shitty to Mixers on PubSIC. "Tone it down a bit unless you want to fined for starting a riot and undermining judicial authority."

The WJF could audit and investigate side businesses that corporate PCs are running. "We see that you've been using your security technician license to install restricted technology for non-corporate citizens." or whatever.

Or the WJF tells corpsec, "It was our pleasure to assist with dispersing the riot in front of your facility. Here is the 100Kc bill for our services, payable within one week. Obey the Law."

I'm not sure what benefits the Hall would get by openly antagonizing the corporations that entirely fund their existence, as well as provide the bulk of the talent pool they recruit from. Many former corpsec members-turned-judges probably still feel some sense of camaraderie or loyalty with their old corporations.

There's been times I can remember where influential members of the Hall were particularly frosty with certain members of corporations/corpsec, but that was more of an interpersonal thing than it was a Hall vs Corporation X thing.

As mentioned in the other thread, I personally would like to see the Hall's scope narrowed down to dealing with mixers basically exclusively, and allowing CorpSec to be doing inter corporate nastiness, internal affairs law enforcement as well as their normal hall monitor/mall cop sort of duties.

I like this idea, and I don't see this as being of benefit to the Hall alone. It's a benefit to the corporation. The governing bodies know full well that there's a balance to be maintained, and that they are VASTLY outnumbered by mixers.

The Hall keeping corporate staff in check ensures that corpcits don't push too far and cause problems for citizens as a whole. I.E. Riots, unnecessary corpcit deaths, loss of mixer productivity due to riots, etc. Not to mention, a wage slave wasting their time badgering some mixer probably isn't working all that hard. Waste of flash, and the Mr. Johnson has more important shit to do than moderate people's thoughts. That's the Hall's job.

It's all about stocks and profit margins.

I feel like my experience in this game is very limited and I like to listen more than I speak out, but I feel like this one has been bottled up within me for a while.

To me it seems the WJF is simply uninterested in applying the Law to protect a Mixer only to punish unless hypothetically because I haven't actually seen this happen, a random corporate employee kills a Mixer in broad day light on the Skywalk or street, far away from their corporate property. I assume and hope that they would be charged with murder still by the WJF.

For other things, it seems acceptable that a Corporate person is just free to say and do what they like on the SIC.

The best example I have is someone who was a clear victim of harassment by a Corporate type and the victim being a Service Mixer was told they do not have the position in life to be afforded protections, so the Corporate type would not be charged with a crime, even though it was witnessed by a Judge.

It feels like to me that with the vast population difference as suggested above, that the WJF would want to be policing the actions of more junior levels of Corporate employees to keep them from inciting the masses to riot and violence openly on Public mediums. Why would they want to continue to openly advertise that a Mixer is less than human and not affordable the same protections when that would easily erupt a massive rebellion from just underneath their sector?

Shouldn't the Juniors of the world have to earn their egos a bit more?

I don't think it is realistic to say that it would hurt in any way the Corporations if the WJF ego-checked the more generic wage-slaves positions on Pub Sic every so often to maintain some idea of balance and peace at least in the immediate minds of tens of millions of angry Mixers.

Also, the people who are incorporated themselves and do not actually belong to a mega-corporation such as leased businesses and PMCs and things like that? They seem to also get a lot of leeway on PubSIC compared to a standard Mixer and it would be nice if they got reminded when deserved that they don't pay the WJF's bills and are subject to the same laws as everyone else.

Also this might be a comment for another topic but it seems really strange to me that if the WJF sanction a Corporation to act off property in public spaces to capture someone for some kind of RP, that it may also extend to the people the Corporation's employee hire to help them (solos, mercs)

I think the Corporations are strong enough with their security departments, do they really need to hire the biggest fists in the dome to add on top of it for handling something immediately in the scope of Corp Security's job description?

If they are allowed to mitigate risk beyond the extent of their own security forces on Gold and Green, it really seems counter to encouraging more risk taking and crime top side.

They are strong enough as it is. It makes more sense to me that you hire mercenaries to operate in spaces you are not capable of operating such as deep in Red where absolutely everyone hates you.

I really like your thoughts on this, JakeyBoy. I'd like to offer another point of view on this in conversation with you, I promise I am not shooting down all your points and I apologize if it comes across that way, I'm just adding my thoughts on things.

To me it seems the WJF is simply uninterested in applying the Law to protect a Mixer only to punish unless hypothetically because I haven't actually seen this happen, a random corporate employee kills a Mixer in broad day light on the Skywalk or street, far away from their corporate property. I assume and hope that they would be charged with murder still by the WJF.

This seems themely to me. Unfair as fuck. But themely. It's the sort of thing a mixer might complain about IC and thusly get slapped with a UJA for "questioning the system". It depends on the Judge, too – perhaps the corpie slipped the Judge on duty some chy to look the other way during the murder? Or maybe the Judge reported the corpie to their own CorpSec and the corpie faced consequences internally.

These are the sort of injustices that mixers can "capitalize" on in order to incite rebellion. Turn the murdered mixer into a martyr. Accuse the corporation of harboring a criminal, spread rumors that the corpie has a hidden criminal past. Accuse the Judge of turning a blind eye.

From a corpie point of view, if there aren't instances of class oppression happening regularly and in plain sight, the underserved class won't "learn their place" – they might even get "uppity"! Gotta keep them down, right?

For other things, it seems acceptable that a Corporate person is just free to say and do what they like on the SIC. It feels like to me that with the vast population difference as suggested above, that the WJF would want to be policing the actions of more junior levels of Corporate employees to keep them from inciting the masses to riot and violence openly on Public mediums. Why would they want to continue to openly advertise that a Mixer is less than human and not affordable the same protections when that would easily erupt a massive rebellion from just underneath their sector?

This is a good point. I feel like the "mixer = less than human" rhetoric is so ingrained into the system that it's just the way things are, in the minds of topsiders. The city is built upon this way of thinking, even down to the very layout of its sectors. Countless NLM Producers have rocketed to fame and fortune just by calling mixers "trash golems" on TV. This is the status quo.

To me, it seems like the WJF are thematically more focused on quashing rebellions when they happen and keeping an eye on any notable troublemakers, rather than preventing the rebellions from happening in the first place by promoting healthy relations between the classes...

If there's gonna be any topsiders speaking out against the treatment of mixers by corpies, they will probably be in the minority, but it could lead to some interesting alliances and RP.

Whoever has the capital has the power. And/or friends in high places.

To reply to some thoughts here from my perspective.

The WJF are not the SIC police. I personally think harassment is such a lowly charge that shouldn't even be applied unless in extreme scenarios. ICly, there are millions and millions of voices on SIC probably insulting, harassing, making fun of each other all at once. It doesn't make much sense to single out one interaction from so many happening and then charging them with crime. If a corporate citizen was physically following a Mixer around and making threats and such, then sure, that is a situation where the WJF /might/ want to get involved. However, SIC is SIC -- the Hall isn't meant to shut down SIC talk unless it absolutely is required. Two people picking on each other isn't an extreme, or else the Hall would realistically have to judge thousands of people with harassment every minute.

As for sanctioned off-corporate situations, there can be instances where a faction does not have enough players online. There are also factions in game which have authorization to be hired as 'extra muscle' in such situations. Is it fair? No, probably not ICly. But numbers always have been an advantage. There can also be more going on ICly behind the scenes that might explain why a player seems to be trying hard and covering all their bases.

I think the fact that corporate entities end up being treated better than mixer ones is very themely but also logical. The WJF having various degrees of corruption adds to the feel of the city and gives some weight to certain plots. I get the feeling that as a Mixer, you shouldn't have a point at which you see the WJF as your friend or someone you can rely on. Their lack of presence in the Red Sector instils a distrust in them and the idea that they don't care about your wellbeing at all.

When the WJF does act otherwise, it should feel more like an outstanding act from a minority rather than the norm.

It's also the fact that your existence and your job hinges on there being crime that needs to be dealt with. On the macro level, keeping a large portion of the population antagonized maintains the status quo and reinforces the idea of "You need us." It's a lot easier to swallow the hard authority a Judge holds when the general corporate population is made to think that it's necessary for their protection.

"The WJF are not the SIC police."

They literally are.

"I personally think harassment is such a lowly charge that shouldn't even be applied unless in extreme scenarios."

What qualifies as harassment and what is considered extreme in terms of the law is at the whim of the Judge in question. Characters live in an oligarchic police state, and I expect charges to frequently fly. It isn't really a "low" charge in terms of the state, as allowing harassment to roam unchecked might lead to bigger problems for corporations. In fact, simply fining people for speaking out of line is a light sentencing when compared to the real world. Squashing the right to free speech is one of the most basic goals of any police state that has ever been.

"ICly, there are millions and millions of voices on SIC probably insulting, harassing, making fun of each other all at once. It doesn't make much sense to single out one interaction from so many happening and then charging them with crime."

The ambpop argument goes both ways. We can assume there are thousands of Hall employees monitoring sic just the same as there are millions of people talking on it. The Hall is big brother, so of course SIC it's monitored.

Kind of orthogonal to the discussion but one of the reasons mix picking elements from different genres goes awry is this: The WJF is mining heavily from Judge Dredd/2000 AD which is Thatcher-satire of a dystopian police state where Judges are the only authority, but Withmore very much isn't a police state (further I'd argue cyberpunk and monoauthoritarian dystopian fiction are incompatible genres).

The Hall provides street-level policing but it is not the government, does not have supreme authority over the corporations, and is actually pretty modest in reach in comparison to the enormous planetary power of the megacorps (NSEC is supposedly like the 5th largest armed forces on Earth by size from what I recall).

The fact that the city is so widely perceived by players as being a police state with WJF as the central authority is evidence I think of the scope and authority creep as player's soft power has calcified over time into hard power and the use of the WJF as an action arm of staff enforcement has warped the theme around it.

I don't think there's any unringing that bell anymore without a lot of work, and I do agree in practice the city does function like a police state, but I don't believe that was ever intended to be the case. The Council playing a bigger role in the story might be a way to divorce enforcement from rule, to reaffirm corporations as the supreme power without giving any one corporate player excessive authority.

@svetlana

It still doesn't make any sense to me. Sure a player can have a protest. I've seen that happen. It was mostly just noise and bluster if you examine if from the perspective of the targeted corporation. It's not something that has an impact on the status quo from my experience.

What I am saying is that the way the WJF acts, or actually just chooses not to act would enrage a MASSIVE portion of the Mixer population to the point of a outright rebellion, not a protest.

This should be the exact thing they are trying to avoid, and if slapping a Junior in the mouth quietly, even just in private communications is a way for the safety to be maintained between Gold and Red, I think the corporations would want it to happen, and expect the WJF to do it.

I have yet to see the game world rise up and actually threaten the power of the corporations and maybe this is why things just seem to be the way they are now, I think maybe the players in those positions need a reminder of it being possible that Red can do damage in a significant way that they would want to avoid, so then the culture of their junior employees can adapt to avoid punishment by the WJF or losing their job altogether.

Right now it just feels like the Corporations are immune to consequences. I think this is an artificial reality, or a delusion. I don't think a GM can puppet 10,000,000 mixers flooding Red through the tubes, shutting down factories, facilities, deliveries, stopping the money from being made. I don't know that it's possible to simulate, and if it's not, we shouldn't simply forget that it theoretically could and would happen under the right circumstances based on the theme and we should respect that with our RP, that is why I think Low level corpies need to be treated like they're babies who don't know how to act, and be punished accordingly by the Corporate peace keepers, WJF or CorpSec to avoid these circumstances loudly or softly behind the vale of SIC, I don't think it matters.

But I genuinely think it's best for Egos to be earned and grown over time for new corporate employees, not unleashed immediately like they have a 51% stake in Corporate stock.

Egos are bruised and crumbled by the people who they pick on sabotaging them in turn.

Some of this thread feels like there's annoyances that the WJF doesn't step in to resolve every interpersonal conflict between mix pcs vs corporate pcs. It's just not going to happen. A junior shit-talking a Mixer isn't going to draw the WJF's attention unless it rolls over into illegal, and probably blatantly illegal, territory.

WJF vs corporate PC conflict does exist, maybe not as publicly as some would want. But it's there. There's also been situations publicly over the last several years where it's popped up, Mixers have at times triumphed over corporate enemies via the WJF. Or at least gotten some type of retribution or acknowledgment of pain caused to them.

But the WJF aren't babysitters for some mixers getting talked down to or threatened (in most ways) by even juniors. If a mixer wants to give a reminder to a junior that they're just a junior, go smack the spit out their mouth.

I have yet to see the game world rise up and actually threaten the power of the corporations and maybe this is why things just seem to be the way they are now, I think maybe the players in those positions need a reminder of it being possible that Red can do damage in a significant way that they would want to avoid

The players in question know it's possible. The players in question have been pushing this for years. But an object at rest stays at rest.

ICly, Mixers are thematically made to sit down and shut up both via corporate/WJF hard power as well as soft power. The corps encourage in-fighting among mixer factions – even gang conflict, fights over limited turf in an overpopulated sector, is preventing the mix from joining together and focusing their collective attention on topside. (This isn't an OOC problem with the game – this is how the IC system works. Gangers are doing exactly what they're supposed to do.) It's a dog-eat-dog world and the fastest way to get chy is to mug your neighbor for it.

The PRI factory pays mixers peanuts so that they're always struggling to survive. Workers will feel obligated to take on extra shifts in order to pay their rent – this is how the corps keep mixers exhausted and overworked so that they don't have time or energy to think about how systematically unjust life in the city is.

NLM churns out TV shows to numb the brains of mixers who want to escape from their reality after a long factory shift. Even when VS is at its most "benevolent", the candy it produces is yet another way for mixers to escape from their reality. That's the point, that's half the reason why the corps do what they do. Earn a profit and promote order in the city.

Right now it just feels like the Corporations are immune to consequences.

That's themely. While the Mix might have 90+ million people, each corp has at LEAST 50X that much chy and resources, if not more.

It's an uphill battle and a daunting challenge but that's what makes this such an engaging story to RP. At least from my point of view.

It's real easy to say "Go smack the spit out of their mouth." and it'd be fine if you were only competing against the Corp Security to have access to that person, but you're also competing against a WJF force that has more active players than some Corp Security departments.

I think because of my lack of experience that my perspective is just going to be vastly different than the veterans here and maybe will more time we'd be in full agreement.

But It feels that the system is too skewed in one direction to encourage more conflicts from reaching a head, and the biggest contributor to that problem seems to be the WJF. It feels pointless when more veteran and experienced characters ICly are saying things like "ignore it, it's not worth it." Day after day and incident after incident.

I want to engage with people in conflict, not ignore them. It feels like something is broken but i will stop speaking on this is just try to get more experience.

Thank you to everyone for your input and responses.

It isn't vastly different. What you were saying to Svetlana about keeping low level wage slaves in line is exactly the mentality I would expect. I don't see the Hall as the defacto power in the city, but rather, the most present and overbearing form of Corporate power.

Slapping a junior in the mouth with a verbal warning from the Hall isn't stepping on corporation toes, much less the council. It's an extension of their job as I would see it. If someone is threatening the corporation or its individual members, that's one thing. Some dumbass is begging for retaliation verbally and otherwise. That's in the interest of the corporation to handle.

If it's some kind of pointless spat between two people in different social strata, and you have juniors threatening mixers or daring them to try something, or what have you, then that junior is INVITING trouble to the corporation. And because pubsic is public space, it absolutely is in the Hall's jurisdiction and responsibility to handle. Their job is to protect corporate interests, not the people.

I feel like something that needs reminding on this thread is the fact that everyone, including each INDIVIDUAL member of the WJF (PC or not) has their individual agenda.

Some particularly lean into certain corporations. Some are straight-laced and don't favor corporates or mixers (some favor the latter, some the former, too!). Just because this isn't as blatantly obvious as you want it to be, doesn't mean that it isn't there.

There's also a fuckload of nuance in interpersonal relationship between Hall PCs and PCs from certain factions. I understand that it's simple to assume that it feels shallow and like a Mixer is going to get slapped around for talking back to a Junior, but that really isn't the case.

I feel like you could boil down a lot of this to it's just the social game. Being able to smack the spit out of their mouth- literally- is also about the social game. Everything you do has ramifications, and one of your biggest strengths is who you work with.

Wasn't the WJF created and funded by the corps, to protect them and enforce their will? So the WJF work for the corps?
I really don't want to involve myself too much in this thread but I think it would benefit from one underlying answer regarding Wulf's question.

Wasn't the WJF created and funded by the corps, to protect them and enforce their will? So the WJF work for the corps?

There are six Megacorporations with seats on the council that are player accessible at this time. The WJF's most important job OOCly and ICly is to cultivate conflict between those factions and players.

Take that as you will.

@RatchetEffect

I respectfully disagree. The ambient population in this sense does not go both ways because ICly the amount of Judges are miniscule in comparison to the population of the city. There are maybe a few thousand at best versus 90+ million. There literally are not enough Judges to respond to every single situation going on.

As for Juniors 'inviting' trouble... the WJF's job isn't to stop any crime or conflict whatsoever. The Hall literally would not care if a Junior was 'inviting trouble to their corporation' with a verbal spat because those corporations have armed and militarized corporate security whose job is to stop this from happening or hit back. The Hall is not going to step in unless it gets very criminal -- such as when I said if there was an assault on Gold (there can be exceptions to this if a Judge has another agenda or is bribed or whatnot).

So, no, I don't think that the WJF is the SIC police. It makes no IC sense that they would be the SIC police. They can police it in extreme scenarios as I said but trust me when I say if you're trying to prevent every single Mixer-Corporate or even Corporate-Corporate conflict, you'll be surprised at the outcome ;) As Reefer said, their job is to cultivate conflict, not the other way around.

I also do not think that people should expect a Mixer rise-up or whatnot with huge lore changes without GMs being involved or a big plot. Corporations can have consequences, but this isn't really sandbox in the sense that you can expect to blow up NLM and permanently alter the course of the city or something.

My take on this...

The top layer of government and power in Withmore is the City Council plus the Corporate Council that officially acts as an "advisory" board.

As the Lore says:

"""

The Corporate Council was originally the governing body of Withmore City, made up of members from each of the corporations that helped found Withmore City. In January of 2060 it ceded power to the City Council and became an advisory board only. Many citizens of Withmore City still believe that the Corporate Council is where the real power lies.

The Corporate Council released its governing power and became an advisory board to the newly elected city council in January of 2060. At the time, 9 of the 11 council members are ex-corporate vice-presidents. This is a trend that continues today.

The corporations hold the ultimate authority over the city council, which holds ultimate authority over the WJF.

"""

The Corps run the city. The WJF serves the Corps. But that service is not direct. NLM does not get to directly order the WJF about. But the WJF must respect NLM (and the other megacorps) as there can be serious consequences for not doing so.

ICly the WJF can and does have some authority over the megacorps but this is authority these entities have given the WJF are subject to because they CHOOSE to be subject to it. They choose to be subject to it as it grants them greater control over the city and keeps the conflict between them from descending into something that becomes purely negative to the powers that be.

The WJF knows who feeds them and is careful about how it deals with them. In general it works WITH the corps. It knows that corporate sovereignty is a real thing. It knows that these corps can an do exist outside of Withmore law (they are global). It is generally a symbiotic relationship.

All this in mind leaves me with three opinions on Judges:

1.

They might say they are the law but they aren't. They enforce the law as dictated by the City and Corporate councils. These powerful people are not interested in Judges having the ability to make up whatever rules they want on the spot. They want people who will apply their vision to the city mostly as directed. The process of application is simplified (combined police, judge/jury and executioner) but they still apply the law and do not make it up.

2.

As with almost roles, especially high end ones, Judges need to perform a balancing act. They need to express the limited authority they do have over corporations while also serving the interests of those same entities. Making them respect and maybe fear you while also being a good partner

This will look different from Judge to Judge and, as long as they are not seen by their superiors as going too far in either direction, they are doing it right. However they play it. I say let them have fun with their roles.

3.

SIC police, from an IC perspective, seems so silly to me when it becomes too frequent. It's a massive network and there are not enough Judges to keep it all clean and I doubt it's even a priority for most. It's also, in my opinion, a questionable look in IC terms. I personally feel it gets worse when it's some high ranking Judge doing it. Like, do you seriously have nothing better to do?

OOCly I get it though. Players with Judge characters want to have fun too and it's an accessible way to look Judicial, influence tone and help foster conflict. I'm not a fan of the current IC SIC police tone (it feels too prevalent in my opinion) but it's certainly not the worst thing in the world either!

Honestly, I don't see much SIC policing anymore. It used to be very prevalent, but nowadays I feel like people almost say too much over SIC, with no intervention from the WJF. I don't advocate for either end of behavior here, but to have my 'back in my day' moment, if today's SIC policing is too stifling, you've not seen anything yet.

I think the WJF cracking down on illegal speech is thematic, and while it's annoying, it's usually just that. UJAs are rarely breaking the bank. Discuss your hatred for corps, the WJF, and that one mixer you have a bounty on all you want... in person. Being offensive to corporate interests in a highly public forum invites notice of those who enforce and protect corporate interests.

+1 to Batko's post here.

There's been a back and forth between 'too much WJF interference in SIC' and 'not nearly enough' over the past few years.

One of my biggest gripes about the game currently is that it feels like you can't do shit in the game without it being blasted all over pubsic in the form of 'freedata' within 15-30 minutes of it happening. Frankly, I'd like to see much more SIC policing if it would accomplish the goal of getting people to shut the fuck up on pubsic half the time.

It's really genuinely hard to have drama, politics, scheming and intrigue when the entire game is just constantly snitching or self-snitching.

While I do believe that the game could benefit from a little more show of force on SIC from the WJF, I don't think it's unthematic that your actions are sometimes blasted over SIC immediately after it happening. There's millions of people in the Mix, so it's not unheard of for someone to go blabbing about what they saw to call you out.

If you have a problem with your actions constantly being broadcasted, then the problem lies with the character's choices and the company they keep if they're unable to do things discreetly. And the things that people call 'freedata' really aren't that deep if someone hears about it. It's not hard to have drama, politics, scheming and intrigue. It happens plenty and rarely is what the person on SIC saying exactly the truth or the whole story anyway. Personally, I just take it as a challenge to be more discerning with the sneaky business that I do, as there's always a heavy risk of someone ratting me out.