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TMC Player Reviews: Sindome


Review Submitted By: Bothered
Author Status: Player
Started on Sindome: June 2016
Submission Date: Jun 11, 2016
TMC Listing: Sindome

The following review is the opinion of the review's author [Bothered] and in no way represents the opinions of this website or its staff.

Sindome is an attempt at a cyberpunk-themed RP-enforced MUD, but fell
short for me in a number of ways.

First, the theme itself hits many of the notes of cyberpunk but
misses the mood entirely. There are world echoes of gritty happenings
juxtaposed against silly pun-named stores and graffiti with references
to modern pop-culture and memes. All in all it feels like a satire of
sci-fi in the vein of Robocop or Idiocracy than a traditional
cyberpunk setting.

Right away you write a background justifying why you have the skills
you picked up in chargen, which is par for the course in an RP MUD,
but the game turns around and upends the background you just wrote by
declaring basic knowledge of the tools and *syntax* used IC knowledge.
Documentation is sparse. The result is that your mechanic character
has to write a background explaining how they learned to repair
things, and then enter the world without any idea of how to repair
things or what tools they would use to repair them - by design.

Sindome says this is intentional because they hold roleplay as more
important than code. Reading the posts on the forum, you are directed
to seek out employment from other players as a means to learn the
syntax and get money to pay for clothes and the tools they need. There
exist a code-based methods for getting money, however, such as SHI.

At SHI you must type 'work' every six and a half minutes or else
you'll be thrown out. You earn 250 credits per real-life hour.
Alcoholic beverages start at 90 credits and go up to 300. Clothing
starts in the hundreds and goes into the thousands. Armor starts in
the thousands and goes in the tens of thousands. Tech-items start in
the upper-thousands and go into the hundreds of thousands. The other
method of earning money is delivering delivering packages to NPCs, not
players, at a maximum of between three and five packages per RL day.
Packages give approximately 100-200 credits each.

There is mechanical support for shoplifting from stores, but when I
attempted it I received an OOC prompt that said shoplifting had been
disabled.

Most of the players I met were quasi-AFK grinding at SHI for money.
The bars are often desolate, and when I did happen to find people in a
bar they told me that they were not hiring and told me to work for
SHI. There is an in-game mail system you can use to reach out but I
found that most players did not reply. I received one message, and it
was to tell me that they could not hire me because they were
contracted to an NPC group.

I attempted to join the NPC group because my skill set matched
theirs, but staff did not animate them or acknowledge the @note
stating I had been seeking employment. According to posts on the
forums, getting staff to animate an NPC can take several real-life
hours.

Despite the gritty echoes of danger you'll see when walking around,
the main city is fairly safe. There are no aggressive NPCs on the
streets. Additionally, you gain experience not from using your skills
or from roleplaying, but from logging online hours. This means that if
you work at SHI to make money you're gaining experience that can be
used to raise combat skills the entire time.

During my time at Sindome I encountered a number of bugs, including
one chargen bug that had been reported at least a year ago by another
new player asking for help on the forums. Another was a website bug
not properly displaying archetype descriptions which was reported
during an October 2015 town hall but, as of yet, has not been fixed.
Another bug I encountered in game caused your bank account to be
charged when it said you should be credited funds, causing my new
character to immediately owe thousands in debt.

Submit Comments About this Review


Comment Submitted By: Slither
Author Status: Staff member
Started on Sindome: 2003
Submission Date: Jun 16, 2016

(The following review comment is the opinion of the comment's author [Slither] and in no way represents the opinions of this website or its staff).

Thank you for reviewing Sindome. I am a senior staff member there,
and I wanted to address some of the concerns / critiques you raised in
your review.

I’m going to quote some of the points made and reply in-line with
them.

“juxtaposed against silly pun-named stores and graffiti with
references to modern pop-culture and memes.”

Sindome is an homage to Cyberpunk. We have streets named after famous
cyberpunk authors, and a handful of locations that are a wink and a
nudge away from their counterparts in fiction or movies.

There are also thousands of rooms with unique names, unique
descriptions and vibrant NPCs. Everyone who has ever worked on Sindome
has done so because they love cyberpunk.

As for graffiti with modern pop-culture references and memes. I 100%
agree that this is unacceptable. Graffiti is put up in game with cans
of spray paint. It’s for gangs to mark their turf or a serial killer
to claim responsibility for their latest murder. It’s all player
created and as such, there are times when something appears ICly that
perhaps should not.

Instances of graffiti like this can be reported via xhelp and will be
removed by staff and the player who put it up will be contacted and
asked to stay on theme.

There are other cases of this happening, for instance, if someone
enters the game and writes their character description such that they
appear to be a dragon.

It’s the kind of thing you see in larger games that have new
players entering on a regular basis. Our community is very good at
reporting these types of things for the staff to address.

“declaring basic knowledge of the tools and *syntax* used IC
knowledge”

This is true in most situations. We do want players to learn about
coded game mechanics in as fluid and in-character fashion as possible.

The exception here is if you are having trouble with syntax, we offer
in-game help channels to connect with your fellow players (xgame) and
staff (xhelp).

There are also, in some cases, in character training materials for
various jobs. Such as cybernetics doctor, or mechanic, that can be
found on the in-game internet (the grid).

I don’t disagree that from the outset, this can be frustrating and
sometimes daunting. However, it can be very rewarding and contributes
to your overall sense of accomplishment with the game, to learn these
through IC means (role play, research).

There are hundreds of roles a character can fill on Sindome. Be it a
mechanic, a ripper doc, a cyberdoc, a fixer, a judge, a rent-a-cop, a
drug pusher, a drug maker… the list goes on and on. It is not
completely feasible to write detailed documentation on how each of
these is best done from an OOC standpoint.

All that being said, we are always expanding our help files and have
recently added support for additional help files for each IC skill.
Our goal being to alleviate some of the frustration that you felt when
attempting to learn OOCly about automotive technology.

“Documentation is sparse.”
This may be true in some cases, especially with features that are
still under development (we are still in open-beta and under constant
development). However, not only do we have in-game help files and
channels, we offer these help files on our website in a fully
searchable format.

http://www.sindome.org/help/
Our website search combines help files, forum posts, guides, and
other content into a unified search to make it as easy as possible to
find answers to the questions you might have.

We have a detailed new player guide:
http://www.sindome.org/help/newbie/
We have video tutorials for those who prefer to learn that way:
http://www.sindome.org/help/video-tutorials/
We have a cyberpunk style guide:
http://www.sindome.org/help/cyberpunk/
We have a role play workshop on posing and spoofing (a commonly
discussed difficult to master topic):

http://www.sindome.org/help/workshops/
And a comprehensive wiki of commonly known in character information
on the world, setting, corporations, gangs, important people, and
more. This wiki is consistently updated, well formatted and also
available in the game:

http://www.sindome.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
There are also specialized commands to help bring new characters up
to speed.

@newbie covers the basic commands and theme
@tutorials covers a handful of more advanced features.
“At SHI you must type 'work' every six and a half minutes or else
you'll be thrown out. You earn 250 credits per real-life hour.
Alcoholic beverages start at 90 credits and go up to 300. Clothing
starts in the hundreds and goes into the thousands. Armor starts in
the thousands and goes in the tens of thousands. Tech-items start in
the upper-thousands and go into the hundreds of thousands. The other
method of earning money is delivering delivering packages to NPCs, not
players, at a maximum of between three and five packages per RL day.
Packages give approximately 100-200 credits each.'

SHI and the crate delivery jobs are meant to be starter jobs, a way
to get some basic income while you explore the game. These are not at
all the only jobs available in game and SHI especially is supposed to
be a grind so that you get out of that job as quickly as possible and
find something more interesting / entertaining.

However, SHI is a great place for new characters to meet each other.
Jobs as a low-level immigrant can be hard to come by. That's the
struggle. The haves versus the have-nots. Money is not so hard to come
by when you are in a corporate area, or working for a corporation,
something that characters can, with the right amount of RP, accomplish
within a week or two of arriving in the city. Sometimes sooner.

Everything in the game revolves around roleplaying.
“The bars are often desolate, and when I did happen to find people
in a bar they told me that they were not hiring and told me to work
for SHI.”

The game is spread among 4 distinct levels, with players on each
level. Even with 40 people average online, you sometimes have to
explore to find role play when you are first starting out. This is one
of the reasons we have what is called the SIC in game. It’s an in
character communication network that allows you to broadcast your
thoughts out to the network. You can talk on a public channel, or
privately. There are also several other ways to communicate with
players you are not in the same room with, and to find RP.

As for players not hiring your character, that is an IC problem and I
cannot address why or why not that was the case.

“I attempted to join the NPC group because my skill set matched
theirs, but staff did not animate them or acknowledge the @note
stating I had been seeking employment. According to posts on the
forums, getting staff to animate an NPC can take several real-life
hours.”

Finding and training GMs from every corner of the globe to give up
real life hours to run a game with as many players as Sindome has, is
not easy. It’s an on-going process. It sounds like you followed the
proper procedure in speaking with an NPC, and leaving a note if they
were not animated.

Staff does not typically respond OOCly to notes left by players.
These notes serve to let us know what you are attempting to do so that
we can be ready if you attempt it again when a staff member is
available. in the end, that is really down to if an admin is
available. No one expects you to stand around for two hours, but
trying to talk to an NPC, not getting a response within a few minutes,
then trying to talk to them again a few hours later, is completely
acceptable.

We do our best.
“There are no aggressive NPCs on the streets.”
This is untrue. However, as a new player, with nothing, and not many
hours playing the game under your belt, most GMs are not going to
animate an aggressive NPC to get in your face and mess up your day. As
your experience with the game grows, this changes.

Another important thing to remember is that Sindome is a PvP game.
Your biggest threat comes from other players, not from the staff.

“During my time at Sindome I encountered a number of bugs.”
Yep. Bugs happen. We use project management software (jira) to triage
and prioritize all the bugs that come in and then set about balancing
our time between adding new features and fixing critical bugs. The
game has been under development for 19 years, with new pushed out
daily. We expect our players to be understanding when bugs happen.
They are a natural part of the development lifecycle. We can’t fix
every bug that comes up, in real time, while also rolling out new
features, animating NPCs, answering xhelp questions and building new
areas of the game.

Any time a bug negatively impacts a player in an IC way, we attempt
to make it right when they notify us of the problem.

We do our best to live up to even the highest of expectations, but in
the end, our game is driven by players getting involved with other
players and the role play that comes out of that.

Comment Submitted By: Count Grishnakh
Author Status: Player
Started on Sindome: A week ago
Submission Date: Jun 18, 2016

(The following review comment is the opinion of the comment's author [Count Grishnakh] and in no way represents the opinions of this website or its staff).

I think this is an overly critical review. Yes, the game is difficult
at the beginning when you have nothing, but this is typical for all
heavily RP'd MUD games. And very in sync with the game world setting
I just started played less than a week ago and the people working in
SHI are sort of quasi-AFK, yes. But, most of them are simply waiting
for someone else to come in so they can initiate RP. To be honest,
working is a bit of a pain in the ass, but it is refreshing realistic.
And you won't need that much cryen (the in game currency) as long as
you make a couple of friends in the game so you can help each other
along. Making friends with people in the SHI factory is a good start.
Writing a background is not that hard. I knew very little of the IC
world and I got my history approved in my first submission. Anyone who
is familiar with a sci-fi dystopian future type of setting shouldn't
have difficulty creating a background story.

The staff are actually extremely helpful. I also tried to get in
contact with an NPC group for the same reason an dthe respective NPC
was animated in less than 5 minutes. They also keep an eye on the game
world. One Immy intervened when my character was seriously injured and
nearly bled out and animated a nearby NPC doc to help (before I could
even say anything to get the staff's attention, they simply noticed).
They are very dedicated to the game, efficient and friendly. When I
saw you're review, I felt discourage from trying the game. I'm glad
I still tried it, because I'm enjoying it very much.

Comment Submitted By: WasZdyslev
Author Status: Player
Started on Sindome: Spring 2016
Submission Date: Jul 17, 2016

(The following review comment is the opinion of the comment's author [WasZdyslev] and in no way represents the opinions of this website or its staff).

'I attempted to join the NPC group because my skill set matched
theirs, but staff did not animate them or acknowledge the @note
stating I had been seeking employment. According to posts on the
forums, getting staff to animate an NPC can take several real-life
hours.'

This right here is/was my biggest gripe with the game. During the 2 week
period where players are given a free 'coffin' to sleep in, i went around
asking for possible workplaces besides carrying boxes or the SHI, and
i got a few leads, and even a gridmail address to contact a hospital.
I sent my IC-history/resume, left an OOC note and...

The two weeks lapsed, and i actually had to start pseudo-grinding
the bad jobs to have a hotel room and then i just waited. Sat in
whatever bar in Red had people and waited. Checked the gridmail
pretty much hourly. I played daily for two more weeks, after which
i just came to the conclusions that,
A: No-one's going to reply to the gridmail and
B: 5 boxes and afk-grinding is stupendously boring,
and with that i simply stopped.

It's now been a bit over a month since i quit trying
to get inside the gameworld, but i have actually logged
in quickly to check the gridmail a few times. Simply because
this game has the potential to be really, really good, with
some of the most engaging world-building i've seen
and i just wish i would've been allowed to join in on the fun.