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Smilesville

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Smilesville last won the day on January 25

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  1. Smilesville

    Do I remember this game? I remember using the parcel delivery system to ensure that my plasma bombs arrived to the correct destination. I remember using a laptop hacked into the security feed to ensure that my target was close enough to the bomb to open it. I remember using my remote detonator and the frantic cries for help that resulted. Oh, have I loved this game.
  2. Smilesville

    There's enough of a crippling fear of CK's on the server without making them more common, however. Criminal entities are composed largely of throwaway characters due to the fact that a CK could happen at any moment; naturally, this means that an established character has much more to lose than someone created a few days ago, and so those characters that have been around for some time forging a story don't interact with anyone outside their usual OOC circles for the crippling fear of having all their progress erased within an instant. The esoteric standards by which these applications are accepted does nothing to help matters; the application only states that "we will not be accepting petty reasons, and we do require thorough evidence of the circumstances leading up the individuals need for death." I am not alone in worrying as to what criteria Faction Management uses to determine what a valid reason is, and rather than leaving that circumstance up to chance, it is much safer to limit your interactions with others altogether. Furthermore, we have assurances that self defense against a character with a CK app will result in their permanent death, but how is the CK target to know that they've just defended themselves against someone with a CK application on them if they haven't been told about it to begin with? There are too many variables up in the air, and when CK messages flash across your screen daily from the ajail messages, you get into the mindset that it could happen anywhere at any time. Our goal for character kills shouldn't be to make them more or less prevalent, but to make them more impactful; here are some steps I believe we could take towards that: Script support for CK's. That is, when the application is accepted, two characters are tied together. When the script determines one was killed by the other, staff are notified and can take action automatically rather than having to wait for a /report; optionally, we can send the message to both players involved as well. This offers reassurance for potential targets that an instance of self defense after an application's acceptance won't be missed by any omission of the CKing player. Restrict who can apply for a CK. I'm inclined to say that any individual character with less than 200 hours of play time on the server cannot apply; this stymies any attempt by players to use throwaway characters in pursuit of a CK. They are permitted to defend themselves and CK someone who's applied to kill them, of course. Publish guidelines used by staff when determining whether an application will be accepted. Like many others, I'm completely in the dark as to what the staff deems to be a verifiable reason to initiate a CK. Players would be reassured if they knew where the line was and be more open to interacting with new players - the life blood of any server. I'm also of the opinion it should be easier to CK a member of a criminal faction, but that's a detail they can work out on their own.
  3. Smilesville

    I mean, let's not pretend that we don't have tons of features that are "pay for an advantage" already. I'm fairly disappointed that we have to pay for the privilege of blocking PM's from particular players, now. If a cooldown between leaving a mechanical job was designed to encourage server quality, why can you donate to eliminate the cooldown? Are we under any illusion that a "name change" is anything other than paying for an asset transfer? Perhaps the worst offender - all donator features are linked to a character, not to an account. Not to say I don't understand the necessity for a cash flow to keep the server up, but I'm of the belief that walk styles and cosmetic changes are the way to go about it if we truly want to claim to be concerned about the quality of play on the server - not borderline essential features or circumventing purportedly "immersive" restrictions. The idea that a name change has ever been anything other than an asset transfer is just abhorrent to me - especially considering we pretend that there's even a uniform standard by which asset transfers are accepted. Stick with number changes, plate changes, pets, maybe even weapon paint changes (since that's a thing we can probably do, now.)
  4. Smilesville

    You're free to rattle on about whatever supposed activity has taken place, but the fact of the matter is that if no one in the faction is active enough to update the schedule by which a player is required to find a licensing agent in order to even begin RPing their business - you're not active. Any faction thread with this level of activity would be locked and archived. Seems to me there are plenty of individuals to rattle off a series of snarky replies when self-aggrandizing is pointed out for what it is - which leads me to suspect perhaps the problem is not a "lack of activity," but a lack of interest in the GOV concept by the members within. I would go as far as to content that there's no activity in GOV due to sheer disinterest in what's already been done, and that the players stick around to collect a mechanical paycheck while performing the bare minimum to be considered part of the faction - which really is a shame for individuals who're actually working within the faction. I have no doubt that someone, somewhere, is working on something - the City Charter's existence is proof of that, but one or two motivated people do not constitute an entire faction. To claim that the GOV faction as a whole is even remotely successful, then, is incorrect. Nobody is proud of what GOV is doing except for, well, GOV. But don't take my word for it! Let's take a look at a wide variety of functions on the GOV website: There is only one job listing each for the Public and Private sections for job seekers. The only public job is the "Culture Curator" in a Cultural Affairs Department that has no practical purpose whatsoever. Applications for Affordable Housing are closed (and have been that way for some time.) Special Event Permits are perhaps one of the only useful functions I can see; it's a decent way to handle IC what has been handled OOC for a long time. Business Registration happens quickly, but it's like pulling teeth to get someone out to actually inspect it, despite the constant online presence of the licensing officers. Without Brian Bailey, this would likely fall apart too. I'm reasonably certain there is not actually any discussion pertaining to the Business Grant application I have in; someone set it as "under review" and it will likely never be looked at again, unless someone reading this post gets snarky and denies it in the next few days in an attempt to refute my point. The actual government is faster than this. Its only practical purpose now is to serve as a reminder for how long GOV will let things sit when it doesn't suit them to deal with it - we're at two months now, but let's see how long we can keep it going! The entirety of the new structure in the City Charter remains empty. The City Charted was posted in February. It is now May. This is not "fresh from the oven." By all means, if I've missed some area of activity in which the GOV players are actually serving an important function, do feel free to bring it up - but there's no need to be snide when it's pointed out that the faction has less activity than Weazel, despite being trusted with exponentially more responsibility. If none of the players you've brought into the fold can be bothered to actually upkeep the GOV faction, then might I suggest the faction is being run by the wrong players. Let's not pretend we don't know why Rockford is the mayor, either - Morales was removed due to public outcry over taxes that Rockford implemented anyways, and that's the precise moment at which the entirety of the server base gave up any hope of the GOV being held accountable to anything. We've been waiting since the very inception of the GOV faction for elections and we've been given excuse after excuse to explain why we cannot have them. If you want to hear constructive criticism, I've stated this repeatedly but will make it explicitly clear: Post an elected office and an election period, have candidate applications to PLM to weed out unrealistic candidates, hold a campaign period, tally reasonable votes via the subforum already created for the purpose, and fill the positions in the City Charter. There have been three months to do this. There are no reasonable excuses for why it has not been done already. If the document was posted three months before it could have been reasonably expected to be implemented, that sounds like a problem you cannot gloss over if you expect players to take the GOV faction seriously. I am not going to hold back my criticism simply because you would prefer it be done in a private setting. I won't be responding more here because, frankly, I have better things to do than deal with whatever excuse you manage to conjure up. I've provided my criticisms and my method of remedying the situation. I'll believe it when I see it, but I'm not holding on to any hope that we'll see elections before the server itself fades away. I and others will continue to ignore the GOV faction until such a point in time that it suits us, as we have since the day it came into being.
  5. Smilesville

    Various statements made with regards to the way the GOV operates leaves me with very little hope for the future of the faction until elections are installed. I am emphatic about the progress of the courts and the upcoming implementations of the DOC and DA, but I can't say the same for the GOV side of things. Can you blame individuals for suspecting the GOV is inactive when the only indicator we have of any activity (updated inspection availability) is updated about once per month? There seems to have been more effort of late, but there have been weeks on end where the availability of every licensing agent was "TBD," and even times where the schedule displayed had passed a month prior. I have personally had applications pending for multiple months with no movement. Can you blame anyone for suspecting, then, that the GOV is inactive when all available evidence points to that conclusion? I'll believe the GOV is serious about advancing change when I see elections - until then, I'm really not interested in what seems to pass for 'progress.'
  6. Smilesville

    With the advent of the serial system, it's easy to trace them in-game too. Still, I'm sympathetic to the argument that more PF weapons means more potential straw purchases, and detecting the weapons is well and good but does little to remedy the fact that the criminals... already have the weapons and/or used them in commission of a crime. The new system is still in its relative infancy, so we'll see what comes of it, but I'm of the opinion that allowing too many purchases will open the door to more straw buyers. As someone involved in their fair share of security guard RP though, I've only ever had to draw my weapon a handful of times in the past few months - let alone fire it. If you're suffering a large series of PKs and burglaries, I would present the possibility that someone is targeting you (whether because of a vendetta or because of how easy they believe it is to get your weapons is another matter entirely.) This sort of situation requires a better solution than simply purchasing more firearms, obviously - and an IC one at that.
  7. It's not a "punishment," in the same way that laws preventing you from slapping someone in the face unprovoked is not a punishment. It's a deterrent from being a dick. Forcing someone to give you the entirety of what they've made on the server is an objectively dickish move. In fact, I might go as far as to claim that individuals who want this rule removed likely have less than honorable motivations, unless you can point me to a systemic problem resulting from the rule that's worse than this: on a server with 250+ people, you'll never see more than 10 outside at any given time. That's not good, at all, and it's because there are way too many instances of robbery on the server. I refer you to my post if you'd like an explanation as to the rationale and fairness behind the rule.
  8. Absolutely not. The rules makes perfect sense in that a huge cash infusion in an individual's account after a robbery reported for similar amounts of cash would draw the attention of the IRS. Considering we don't have an IRS, this is the closest we can get. Think of it like the rule preventing PF transfers before we had serial numbers coded in. Allow me to offer a few additional counter points. People do not walk around carrying a million dollars. This is an imagined problem. Considering we haven't had the foresight to implement credit cards yet, it's also not a player's fault if they have to march to the gun store with $15,000 in cash. If robbing is not worth the risk, why does it happen on a daily basis? Robbery RP is extremely narrow, very rarely made fun for the victim, often takes place in unrealistic locations, and is often brief to the point of being a purely mechanical interaction between two players. If I write an emote that is more than one line long, they accuse me of "stalling" because they want their precious script items without actually having to go through the trouble of doing anything else. People in real life do not pull up to you at a light, point a gun at you, and demand all your money. I have no problem discouraging robbery RP because the quality is, frankly, appalling with no sign of improving - never mind that they're not actually risking anything by attempting to rob you. If the police catch them, they'll just get shot or do some more jail time, be out within a few hours, and move on. People never move cash in the method you're describing. Even if someone had a reason to move $50,000 from point A to point B, their solution would not be to hire a private security company - but rather to simply not tell anyone with the hopes that they will be ignored in favor of more opportune targets. Mules routinely drove through isolated areas with over $25,000 in refined aluminum when individuals could mine for cash, and all of it was permitted to be stolen - and yet, security companies to protect miners were never a thing. They simply didn't tell anyone where they were going and hoped for the best. And here's the coup de grace to the bank argument: "Take me to the ATM, withdraw all your money, and give it to me." You think it's hard to find people RPing in public now? Removing the robbery limit would turn the server into a dangerous and hostile environment where each illegal player would rob everyone else for everything they've got at the drop of a hat. The map is littered with ATM's in every conceivable location, to the point where you could kidnap someone, march them up to an ATM, force them to hand over every last cent they have, then tell them to lie down and make your getaway. If you think behavior is bad with regards to robberies now, it will become exponentially worse. There is no remedy for this circumstance if we remove the robbery limit. Let's consider a few? ATM Cameras? Masks. Forced CK if a robber is killed during a robbery? All it takes is one lucky score against the player of a police officer who doesn't spend his assets like mad, and you're set for life. They could just purchase an asset transfer "name change" after their successful robbery and then you've got absolutely no potential recourse against what just happened. Security companies? The problem here is the same as with most others - namely, your login times will not always match up. Are you going to stick inside your interior and refuse to leave if you don't have two armed guards with you on the server? A well-intentioned idea, perhaps, but ultimately a terrible one for this server.
  9. Smilesville

    Ah, so now the goalposts have shifted from "potential metagaming to "getting out of hand." How does it impact anyone else if things get out of hand? How are you even defining things 'getting out of hand?' This is dramatic hyperbole designed to cast aspersions on any other roleplayer who wants to use voice chat and, dare I say, utterly unhelpful to a serious discussion of what we should do about the double standard in the rule. There is nothing uniquely valuable about the players in the LSPD over the remainder of the player base. If the assertion that the training camp and applications filters out poor roleplayers, that is obviously not the case. Their players mess up too - especially with regards to the law. The supervisors have been especially negligent in their positions because they don't seem to teach their subordinates much of anything that's not related to driving a cruiser or shooting a gun. If you'd like to cast the majority of criminals as engaging in chatter like "WHAT THE FUCK RAM HIM RAM HIM WHERE'S THE HELICOPTER AHH WHAT THE FUCK," anyone could easily say that cops are, "NINER NINER TANGO DOWN, TEN ZERO OFFICER NEEDS ASSISTANCE, MULTIPLE TANGOS, AHH I'M HIT WHAT THE FUCK." I have plenty of examples of police officers behaving badly - high ranking ones, too. We're all players, good and bad, so have a little faith in players outside the watchful eye of police supervisors and if things don't go particularly well, so be it. No reason not to give it a shot.
  10. Smilesville

    Permitting all players to communicate via VOIP in particular, pre-defined scenarios wouldn't permit (or make more difficult the sussing out of) easier metagaming. My qualms are with the belief that the rule is actually preventing VOIP metagaming from happening. If someone is determined to metagame via a third party platform despite the rules against metagaming to begin with, they're going to - and an additional, unilateral ban on voice chat, even in scenarios in which it is highly desirable and reasonable to use it, is not going to change that. There are countless discord channels closed to the general server population, including administrators, that serve to unify one group or another with a medium of OOC communication. Proving that an individual is involved in metagaming behavior does not require monitoring that third party method of communication, but rather determining that a character acted in an unrealistic manner that just happened to coincide with knowledge they should not have had. The exact medium - voice or text - does not impact the methods used to determine whether an offense has taken place. Again, I'm all for defining the exact circumstances under which individuals are permitted to use voice chat for purposes of a chase - that's fine. If we want to say they have to have others they're voice chatting with as contacts in their phone, or establish that each individual is tuned into the same radio channel before the chase-related VOIP begins, I believe that is a reasonable caveat to have. Ultimately, my problem with the rule is that there is no reasonable answer to this question: How would permitting VOIP communication in chase scenarios for all sides encourage undesirable behavior? There is no practical purpose for the existence of the double standard.
  11. Smilesville

    This is an important presupposition to keep in mind when detailing an argument, for those who missed it. Even so, I have a number of issues with the arguments made in favor of the LSPD keeping their Teamspeak without considering the fact that other players with equivalent levels of organization often get into the same sorts of situations. If we want to build up rules regarding exactly what can be communicated on these channels, that's fine - it would not be any more difficult to uncover improper VOIP usage than it would be to uncover metagaming, so the risk involved isn't terribly high to begin with. My contention is that there are enough instances of the LSPD using the chat incorrectly to warrant asking the question as to whether we can't expand the use of VOIP to other groups. I'm of the mind that the cases in which it was misused were ferreted out rather quickly because of the effect in-game, not the oversight from LSPD supervisors or staff members. I fail to see a plausible scenario in which a group would get away with using VOIP improperly without leaving many indicators (or a notable lack thereof) in-game and in the server logs if use of VOIP is extended to other players and organizations. I've been meaning to address the radio issue anyways, and this might be a good time and place to do it. Restrict VOIP and the /r command to individuals with a physical radio item and have those radios sold at the phone store or a 24/7.
  12. Smilesville

    My contention is that this is never the case - or at very least, if it is impossible for officers, it is also impossible for others who should be allowed the same opportunity. Allowing one and not the other is hypocrisy at worst, unfair at best. Should a faction's IC function determine what OOC rules they are permitted to get around? I would say no. One hardly needs training in pursuit commentary if they engage in a group phone call and simply talk into their phone while leaving it on - and if they are permitted to use voice chat during their own car chases, I highly doubt you would hear radio codes over their channels. As for the contention that it is heavily moderated, I would present the following quote to you. If this is acceptable by server standards, why not have the "senior" faction members of criminal organizations monitor their own voice chat channels? You would be right to be suspicious, of course, but I fail to see how this differs in any way from permitting police supervisors to monitor their own voice channels - at the end of the day, you are permitting a group to police itself and trusting that the outcome will be fair. Not even supervisor LSPD players should be above that suspicion, and the case in point is this very situation mentioned by others in which an officer called for backup while surrounded over the Teamspeak. Was this an action sanctioned by the aforementioned supervisors? Will they be punished if they permitted this? These are fair questions that we probably won't get the answer to, if we're being entirely honest. I have repeatedly advocated for all of these positions you make examples of (except "always CK when fighting cops" which is ridiculous and silly unless it's reciprocal.) Your assumptions that other characters do not feel the repercussions of crimes they are charged with flies in the face of the fact that people will pay my lawyer upwards of $50,000 to fight these convictions. Never mind that many officers are extremely and routinely negligent in the manner with which they perform their duties - to the point that arresting an individual with absolutely no cause happens on a fairly regular basis with no penalty. The voice channel has been demonstrably misused in the past - that's just a fact, and that's just what we know of. Where is this accountability you keep mentioning? Nobody has forgotten this, but if this is true for the police, it is also true for the criminals... who could easily call up their friends and coordinate a bait-and-switch, or someone to run interference, or any number of potential remedies that could result in a far more interesting situation. If the contention is that only police would have access to group voice capabilities ICly, that is patently false. If the contention is that non-LSPD channels would not be properly moderated, I would point to the recent example of abuse on the LSPD channel. I fail to see a good faith argument that logically supports allowing one group to use a voice chat feature while denying that to all other individuals.
  13. Smilesville

    Now, you're looking at the thread title and already considering typing out an explanation of how the police cannot coordinate a pursuit effectively without using voice chat - or perhaps you're going to remind us that the channel is "heavily moderated" by the presence of server staff to ensure the channel is only used for its intended purpose. I would posit, however, that these arguments can also be made in favor of any other faction or organization of individuals. The idea of a group phone call is not so advanced that a group of criminals could not all join one with the objective of chasing down a particular individual, or coordinating a heist of some sort. Some realistic group actions require timing that cannot be achieved with the text-based framework provided within the game - this is the tacit acknowledgement of the permissions LSPD received to use voice chat during vehicle pursuits. One cannot type (to speak) and drive at the same time - an argument I am only sympathetic to insofar that the same is true for everyone, not just the department. The LSPD already has rules for how individuals without microphones should conduct their duties - my suggestion is to bring the faction in line with the rest of the server and establish a rule that fits all players, regardless of your faction. If you find yourself involved in a pursuit? Type out your pursuit message yourself, or have a partner in the passenger seat do it for you. There is absolutely no need for one faction to receive a privileged status with regards to the OOC server rules in order to help them "win," and we'd be doing a wonderful service to player parity by returning everyone to the same playing field. I suggest removing voice chat for the LSPD, of course, because I find it highly unlikely that the server would permit IC information to be transferred across voice channels it cannot monitor. If the server allows voice chat for pursuits regardless of the faction in question - knowing well that not every group can be monitored by administrators - then this is a tenable (though not preferable, in my opinion) solution as well.
  14. Smilesville

    Oh boy, legal questions! There's new incoming legislation to address all of these concerns (and more) that's been in the works for some time now. In the near future, there will be a method by which individuals can notify the government of a firearm sale so the serials will remain up to date with regards to who the current owner is - therefore, as a pawn shop that deals with weapons, you'd really only have to go through a few extra steps. As for what you can and cannot do presently within the boundaries of IC law, this sounds like an excellent question for an aspiring business owner to hire a lawyer IC to discover the answer to! Far as server rules are concerned, however, there is no limit on the sale of firearms.
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