Author Topic: 'rinth Activities  (Read 2604 times)

Synthesis

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'rinth Activities
« on: November 29, 2005, 03:15:53 AM »
The discussion about attacking NPCs got me to thinking, and here's the result:

It's okay to do it, within reason, mmmkay?  You shouldn't be constantly trolling around killing everything, because it spoils the atmosphere and ruins the game for other players (similar to spam hunting), but whacking an NPC for a few 'sid here and there is alright, if it somewhat makes sense for your character.

That being said, one of the major problems with playing a 'rinther is that there isn't any really coherent way to train combat skills (and since most 'rinthers are stealthy types, they need a -lot- of training out of the box).  This is difficult to accept, because ICly, most 'rinthers would be pretty deadly already, having had to fight and scrape to survive for their entire existence.  Additionally, there's even -less- trust IC, and really no coded clan areas (yes, I know, the Guild, but try finding them...I've played since '98 and only -known- 2 bona fide Guilders) to practice in a non-lethal environment.  Most people can't sit around and wait for the Guild to show up and give them a job, and when the odd PC -does- come around offering something to do, your character is worthless, because they're still stuck with newbie combat skills.

To summarize, this is why people turn to killing NPCs: 1) There are relatively few and easily manageable repercussions for a mugging, successful or not; 2) It increases your skills; 3) It can net you a little cash; and 4) Alternatives are limited.

The lack of alternatives is really the driving factor in the equation.  If there were realistic, entertaining alternatives out there, I seriously doubt people would run around spamkilling everything.  I don't have all the answers, but here are a few things that I've brainstormed recently:

--Relatively unskilled random muggers who flee and hide if outmatched.  These would be like teenage gangs, and you could add a neat script to it.  1 "leader" kid with weapons, and a couple of "follower" kids who maybe throw a few rocks or something, then hightail it.  They would wander around like some of the current gangs, but would attack anyone who happens to enter.  This would allow some sort of combat training without having "a few bodies of the gangly, pimpled youth are crumpled on the ground" all over the place.  If the NPCs were getting mauled, they'd flee and hide (like some gith do), and if they managed to beat you down, they'd have a mercy script where they'd just steal some of your belongings and run off.

--More aggressive NPCs.  There are anti-roundear NPCs...why not anti-elf NPCs?  Why not NPCs who outright attack everything? Quite frankly (leaving PCs out of the equation), the 'rinth isn't a very deadly place right now, as long as you're wearing the right stuff.  You can go forever without getting into any sort of altercation with an NPC, if you so desire, by simply avoiding certain areas.  I think this in itself is a tad unrealistic.  Sure, you're going to have people who troll around the 'rinth looking for these NPCs to fight, but...to a certain extent, that's what they're there for:  to provide the realistic "struggle for existence" that makes 'rinthers tough as nails.

--More active Guild.  I can't say with certainty how active the Guild is, given its secrecy, but like I said before...in 7 years, I've only known 2 of them.  I've seen more Nenyuki PCs than I have (positively identified) Guild PCs.  I can't stress how -frustrating- it is to hang around a certain place, day in and day out, and never get so much as a veiled inquiry.  If the Guild were more active, it would give 'rinth PCs -something- to do.  Something besides wandering around and mugging (sparring) NPCs.

--Streetcorner spice dealers that operate on a script similar to the Templar who runs the Allanaki Mines office.  It's damn near impossible to find PC buyers for spice, and unless you're in a certain clan, the overhead to sell to existing NPCs almost entirely engulfs your profit, unless you can move -massive- amounts of spice.  This script would offer a lot of people opportunity to get involved:  the sifters who find it and get it in the city, the 'rinth PCs who move it into the 'rinth to the NPC dealer, and the militia, who get bribes or people to hunt down as known spice smugglers.  If you make the return on it good enough to support such a networked system, people will start doing it, and it will be a lot of fun.

That's about all I have for now, but feel free to add your own suggestions.
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Kalden

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'rinth Activities
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2005, 03:35:21 AM »
Quote
--Relatively unskilled random muggers who flee and hide if outmatched. These would be like teenage gangs, and you could add a neat script to it. 1 "leader" kid with weapons, and a couple of "follower" kids who maybe throw a few rocks or something, then hightail it. They would wander around like some of the current gangs, but would attack anyone who happens to enter.


Would be awesome. I've dreamed of people building the 'rinth to be a living, breathing society - like the Mantis valley, but even more unique, flavored, and active(distinctive nicknamed buildings, each having its own atmosphere to it). It's possible. That place alone could make an awesome MUD.

Quote
--More aggressive NPCs. There are anti-roundear NPCs...why not anti-elf NPCs? Why not NPCs who outright attack everything? Quite frankly (leaving PCs out of the equation), the 'rinth isn't a very deadly place right now, as long as you're wearing the right stuff. You can go forever without getting into any sort of altercation with an NPC, if you so desire, by simply avoiding certain areas.


Also good. The risk is making it too dangerous, especially for newbies. Maybe we could make these NPCs bribable? 5-10 sids and they'll leave ya alone?

Quote
I can't say with certainty how active the Guild is, given its secrecy, but like I said before...in 7 years, I've only known 2 of them. I've seen more Nenyuki PCs than I have (positively identified) Guild PCs.


It varies. Sometimes it seems like nearly everyone is Guild, and they'll snatch up anyone(especially when the leader is a n00b -- yes, it happens - that's not to say the Guild shouldn't have its fingers in everyone though). So I have to say you must not have played in the 'rinth much. Anyone who plays rinthers (westside ones) much will see tons of Guilders.

Then again, it has been pretty rare in the past few months(which is kinda cool). Maybe it needs a jumpstart. I dunno.

Quote
--Streetcorner spice dealers that operate on a script similar to the Templar who runs the Allanaki Mines office.


Another good idea. Spice dealer buys it from 'rinther and sells it southside for a huge profit, you mean?

Intrepid

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'rinth Activities
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2005, 10:17:51 AM »
Everything you're saying is good, but has been organized by pcs before.
Just remember, the chain breaks down when you lose two or more parts
of it.

And the Guild could be very active and you'd never know it.  They're
very wily.
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Rindan

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'rinth Activities
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2005, 12:28:22 PM »
The ‘rinth suffers from two linked problems.  There is a lack of realistic ‘rinth activities and the organization of the players is spotty to non-existent at times.  I think in an ideal world you would be able to make a ‘rinther and never leave.  While this is possible, if you do this, you are probably in an elven tribe, in one of the few rare guilds, or occupying the job position of ‘mastermind’.

There are no good reason to not leave the ‘rinth unless the templerate is after you.  Your cunning elf is going to quickly realize that all of the money is south side.  Your starving scavenger will quickly find that he can sell the stuff he scavenges in the ‘rinth in the bazaar much easier.  Your pick pocket is going to pass up the slim pickings of the ‘rinth for the commons.  On a purely OOC level, the ‘rinth can get very spotty at times in terms of player numbers which is probably more then reason enough for people to head south side.

The way in which the ‘rinth is run is probably a symptom of the top heaviness of the game.  Power, plots, and money all cluster around the game’s great houses.  If you want to do more then watch the NPCs wander by, you are better served being in the Barrel or even the Gaj.

The only solution I see is to remove a few clans somewhere else, and start up a few active and open clans in the ‘rinth complete with imm support and perpetuation.  While that certainly might liven things up, I highly doubt that is going to happen any time soon.  That solution is the non-brainer solution for when the player base is bigger, but until then it is unlikely.  As it stands, the ‘rinth pretty much exclusively has to rely on acting as a base for criminal acticity and the occasional PC leader who can breath life into the area.

Dakurus

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'rinth Activities
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2005, 01:07:08 PM »
Spice smuggling is active.

It exists, and you have the option of trying to freelance, or take more paved routes. Competition and consequences are fierce, but rewards can be great.

The biggest problem you point out, is actually the street selling of spice. It's difficult to get PC's buying spice. This is true the world over, but naturally moreso where spice is illegal. Spice, like alcohol, and certain others things in the game tend to be more ignored by the PC population. They aren't effective in dealing damage, nor absorbing it. They can't fit a bunch of stuff in it like a super pack,  nor shelter from the sun like a tent. It's not pretty like jewelry or a tattoo, and unlike the other consumables, food and water, it's not required, nor does it give a coded advantage. And honestly many players tend to be sid hoarders, saving up for that "big" purchase that they always die before.

Let me say, spice, alcohol, and other similar things have increased in use over the years. I believe the major push behind this has been players leading other players by example. This leads to greater awareness, as it can serve as some great ambiance. Being a small time spice dealer, pushing spice in the alleys, while likely discouraging is another great way to slowly develop the market that should already honestly be there to some degree.

Having various npcs around the rinth that purchase it from you however, kind of eliminates the affect, even if it does provide you some sid.

Mudder

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'rinth Activities
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2005, 01:27:20 PM »
I can already see my next pc in my head. A filthy 'Rinth loving long-neck who is addicted to spice and losing coins to get a high on his own supply, heh. Can't sell any spice if you don't have any.
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amoeba

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'rinth Activities
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2005, 01:29:23 PM »
Quote from: "Dakurus"
Let me say, spice, alcohol, and other similar things have increased in use over the years. I believe the major push behind this has been players leading other players by example. This leads to greater awareness, as it can serve as some great ambiance. Being a small time spice dealer, pushing spice in the alleys, while likely discouraging is another great way to slowly develop the market that should already honestly be there to some degree.


Mild derailment, one thing that I think that would help, and should be relativly straightforward to implement, is to have persistaint "spice messages" crop up periodicaly.  Currently there is only the entry and exit messages, but I now that it is easy to even forget you are affected by spice.  A gentle reminder would help boost the allure of the drug I would think.

Back on topic, the 'rinth is one of those "cult of personality" things. It has it's ups and downs like any other location or group I'm sure.  I haven't played there much, actually very little, but it is on my "to do" list when I have time to play it out in depth.
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marko

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'rinth Activities
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2005, 01:52:48 PM »
The 'rinth needs a supply of cheap, sand-laced spice that is sold in the alleys - not npcs that buy more of the damned stuff.  You can sell "easily" enough already.  There just needs to be a cheaper source - so that is feasible to maintain a habit on a 'rinther's average income.

I see this laced spice being instantly addictive and powerfully so.

As for the rest of the 'rinth - the 'rinth suffers from a wide variety of clichés that sometimes work and sometimes don't.  Basically, it is a matter of at least one "leader" (or charasmatic) PC entering the 'rinth and sticking around.  Once that happens - you see huge things happen in the alleys.

There is a lot of character turn-around in the 'rinth - the vast majority start 'rinthers and promptly leave never to return.  Personally, if you are going to make a 'rinther then always return to the 'rinth to quit.  Otherwise, don't bother making a 'rinther.

As per the Guild - it's a clan that has its own ways.  Sometimes it is active and sometimes it isn't.  Sometimes it is ultra-secretive and sometimes it is widely available.  The Guild is entirely dependant on its PC leadership.  If there is only one Guild PC leader then you can guarantee that the Guild will vanish once that PC dies.  That has always been the Guild's problem but, other than that, the Guild is one of the best clans in the game in my own view.

All too often I found that people in the 'rinth fight to the death - instead, people should be fighting one another and then running away.  Later, they can rejoin the fight.  Leaving yourself an opponent alive and well in the 'rinth means you can fight them regularly (and wow, look, it's combat training that's fun - sure as hell beats sparring when you have an alley war going on).

Intrepid

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'rinth Activities
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2005, 02:14:00 PM »
Having played a link in the spice supply chain in the past, I can tell you
that it's easier than you realize to set up the chain.  And believe me,
you're robbing yourself by trying to involve npcs and vnpcs.  Not only
are you depriving the other pcs around you of partaking of organized
crime, you're also spreading the profits to parties that do not constitute
the playerbase...and, chances are, they'll eat up a big percentage of it.

When in doubt, make it happen as a player character. ;)
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Bogre

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'rinth Activities
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2005, 09:24:23 PM »
Another thing about the level of rinthi pc's and their activities, it also fluctuates depending on the strength of the militia/templarate at that time. If the militia are cracking down and the templars are executing, you are gonna see less 'rinthis doing less illegal stuff.

Of course, the 'rinthis can get strong and be able to do things with near-impunity.

Like most of the playerbase ARM, the 'rinth is very cyclical.
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Synthesis

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'rinth Activities
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2005, 10:40:01 PM »
With regard to spice, the problem, as I stated, is NOT getting people together to gather and smuggle it.  The problem is getting people to -buy- it at the end of the chain.  PC's rarely do so in Allanak, and anywhere else, there's not much point in doing it, because it's already easily available from NPCs.

My suggestion with spice, to state it in abstract terms, is to have an NPC merchant/dealer act functionally as a consumer, so when you smuggle in more spice than you can sell to PCs, or when you end up with a bunch of different types of spice that your PC customers don't want, you can still profit from it.

Edited to add:

Additionally, I didn't bring up lack of PCs in the 'rinth as a complaint.  I did, however, suggest that (as Rindan more explicitely stated) their organization is spotty to non-existent (IC trust issues matter here more than anywhere else).  Population isn't the problem...the problem is lack of things to do.
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