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Smilesville    46

With all the changes incoming to the business system and talk of removing mining from the equation, now is a good time to bring up other aspects damaging the economy that typically don't get talked about. One income method in particular is a sore spot for me because it seems that many players are unaware as to just how much cash this method brings in.

 

I am, of course, referring to legal organizations - specifically the Police Department, Fire Department, Government Faction, and (admittedly somewhat self-correcting) Weazel News.

 

For those of you who're in the dark about this, every hour (regardless of whether they're on duty or not) the members of these factions make significantly more than other players for each paycheck period. It's trivial to bump your paycheck up to $2,500 in the Fire Department, and while the police and Weazel do temper their checks in relation to this somewhat, this is still above and beyond the capability of any other player. The very fact that specific figures are not published publicly on the legal organization websites (save for one exception) seems indicative that the individuals involved know that their pay scale is so far out of touch with the rest of the server.

 

In fact, I'd go as far as to say that all 10 of the most wealthy characters on the server are likely members of legal organizations or individuals who purchased a name change after a tenure at a legal organization - and that's a problem. I've heard many criticisms about my suggestion to lower these:

 


But they're providing a service to the realism of the server!

The members of these organizations receive their paycheck regardless of how often they're on duty - every hour, it comes in at the same rate. Minimum activity mandates are in place, but the counter that tracks them has been broken for quite some time. They're also restricted from an unrealistic portrayal of their character by purchasing expensive cars and houses, even though they can mechanically do it - so why are they receiving money they're not permitted to use? While we're on the subject of realism, perhaps we should scale the salaries of the job's real life occupational counterparts.

 

In the United States, the salary range for a police officer rests at about $50,759 to $59,219.

A firefighter/EMT makes between $34,580 and $57,620.
The salary range of a vehicle service technician (mechanic, in server parlance) is $41,650 to $56,770.
A locksmith's (metallurgist's) pay range is $44,043 to $57,231 or, if we want to call them welders, $47,870 to $64,170.

 

None of these have the officer making two, three, or four times the other "civilian" occupations.

 

They do a lot of work off the server, too.

What you do off the server should not impact your pay grade on the server.

 

If we reduce the paychecks, people will leave these organizations en masse, or they won't want to do the forum work.

Let them; if they're more concerned about the number on their paycheck than the roleplay in their faction (that is what we're here for, after all) then they clearly lack the quality necessary to portray a member of one of these organizations effectively. I guarantee you that the saturation of sub-par players is driving away those who would portray the role much better. With regards to the other roles that these individuals fulfill (licensing on the forums comes to mind,) if nobody is having fun playing a particular scenario, why is it part of the game?

 

It's an IC issue since they have a budget, why is this an OOC discussion?

Sadly, this is not the case. The budget itself is an OOC fabrication designed to approximate how much the department will need for a given time; my understanding is that it's simply refilled whenever it empties itself. If a staff member has to get involved to put more cash into an organization's bank account because they've run out, then it's an OOC issue - do you know of any organization other than those listed above that would see their bank account flooded in this manner? Furthermore, the budget isn't assigned with a scarcity of funds in mind (as any realistic governmental policy would dictate) and the system bears no resemblance to how any governmental agency in the United States would actually work.

 

The organizations will not police their own income scales, as they've clearly been given time to do, and the damage is being done to the economy of the entire server. Seeing as it is the structure of the server that has created the wide IC disparity between these income levels, as well as the amount of discretion given to the leaders of these server-sponsored legal organizations, it is ultimately the structure of the server that must change.

 

The suggested solutions place too much emphasis on OOC assets, we shouldn't worry about them.

If this is the case, there is no reason to keep the paychecks in the legal organizations so high, since actually spending the entirety of that money often leads to what is typically ruled an unrealistic portrayal of their character. What else is there to do with it, then, than throw it at their friends?


 

So if we've established that this is a problem for the server as a whole, how do we solve the issue? A number of proposals I've heard over my tenure with the server would take steps to normalizing the pay of these organizations to bring them in line with other jobs on the server.

 

  1. Lower the pay grade overall. The simplest solution with the least amount of scripting required - and my personal choice. The short of it being, no individual on the server should be making more than $1,600 per paycheck. This doesn't leave a lot of room to bump pay up, but those $100-200 per grade add up fast not only because they're making up to twice the base income as someone else, but the expenditures (rent/insurance costs, road taxes, property values) do not scale up to the increased check size.
  2. Keep pay the same, but only pay it out while a member is on duty. It has been proposed to keep two separate time tracks for each member of a legal organization - one for the amount of time spent on duty, and another for the amount of time spent off duty. Filling up 60 minutes of off-duty time would result in a payout of $800, while the on-duty track would pay out at the current rate. My criticism of this particular solution is that this further enforces the notion of having a "robotic" character, 100% of whose online time is dedicated to their job - this tends to result in a caricature rather than a character. However, I am not unsympathetic to the argument that some sort of bonus is necessary even while the character is not "on duty" for these organizations.
  3. Lower the pay to the standard $800 employment check, but grant World Points or other rewards for members. I haven't seen this suggested often, but am curious about what everyone else's thoughts are on it regardless. I don't see it happening, especially at the cost of monetary donations that keep the server running, but the idea could hold some promise if a proper balance is drawn. The idea of taking suggestion #1 and lowering all the paychecks substantially while offering something as simple as, say, different walk styles across an account so long as activity mandates have been met is not without merit.


What do you think? Do we need to implement a different incentive for individuals to put in the often tedious OOC work to be a member of these factions? What could keep these foundational, legal organizations attractive to players without providing an unrealistic incentive?

Edited by Smilesville
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Sabess    3

There's a lot of different ways to do things, and unfortunately I'm not really one to make long paragraph spanning arguments, but I would simply like to put in my short two cents.

 

Really, I think if numbers were tweaked, the economy would be a lot more sensible. Removing a zero off of things would legitimately work 9 times out of 10. There's obviously a lot more to it than that, and other strategies need to be implemented to change who's rich and who's poor, but I think the economy would feel a lot better if a cheap car cost a few thousand dollars instead of a full 30k, and people made 200 an hour instead of 2000 an hour. A burger costing 5 bucks instead of 28, etc.

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Koko    28

Let me give you my thoughts as a member of the Fire Department with a character who's advanced through the ranks up to Firefighter III over the past 3 months (bear with me, it's 7:00AM and I'm writing this off the top of my head before work):

 

3 hours ago, Smilesville said:

Lower the pay grade overall. The simplest solution with the least amount of scripting required - and my personal choice. The short of it being, no individual on the server should be making more than $1,600 per paycheck. This doesn't leave a lot of room to bump pay up, but those $100-200 per grade add up fast not only because they're making up to twice the base income as someone else, but the expenditures (rent/insurance costs, road taxes, property values) do not scale up to the increased check size.

 

We did. As someone at the gates of becoming Supervisor, driving a 50k car and with a simple house in El Burro. After our paycheck changes I'm making 1750$ per paycheck after tax. Is this enough? Is it too much? I don't know (particularly due to the overall inflation within the server), but in the case of the Fire Department the pay grade was a remnant from a time in which the faction was absolutely dead and options were being tried desperately to have a minimum of activity. We now have a roster that at least is dependable, and that's when our paychecks have been slashed. 

 

The problem is that the economy of GTAW is dictated by many variables. Yes, most people make their basic income, but they're also making money elsewhere with RP jobs or investing in businesses. So ultimately you have to make a fake paycheck that takes into account the impacts of farming, and the average wealth of a character. For months I played a lot of GTAW, more hours than your average player for sure until I started my new job, and I have a character who doesn't really spend money on anything or invests, and my assets sit at around 750k after months of dedication to Firefighting. Just for reference.

 

There's also the matter of the perception of these jobs vs. other jobs. We in legal factions are expected to maintain nothing short of excellence in our RP (whether we manage all of the time is not what we're discussing though), and our standards are monitored constantly. Pay is another reward for our precious little animal brains, and a number on a screen is an incentive for that quality as it helps justify effort.

 

This entire issue of lowering paychecks is also a hot topic of debate within the faction because a part of us follows the OPs logic of "why do we need big paychecks if our rules don't allow us to spend them?", but then again we have to take into account the general inflation of the server AND I'll tie it in to your second proposal:

 

3 hours ago, Smilesville said:

Keep pay the same, but only pay it out while a member is on duty.

 

Yes. Absolutely yes. But let's take cost of opportunity into account.

 

In the Fire Department we're aware of the opinion a big chunk of the server has of us as not being particularly fun (which we're trying to fix and have been getting better at) but we pay well. So it's not been a rare occurrence to see characters who join and either do the bare minimum or do nothing at all while leeching off paychecks. This has led to many a frustrated Firefighter getting salty about it (me included) and overall leads to a lot of internal discomfort.

 

There's also an issue of our budget. We now have a limited amount of money to spend a month within legal factions. We keep draining the faction bank nonetheless. So it only makes sense to pay for assets we're using (aka pay Firefighters that work).

 

As it is in real life, pay is an incentive to go to work, but it's just fair that you're paid by the hour actually worked. But in legal factions we're also discouraged from having other ways to make money other than our primary job and technically aren't allowed to work multiple jobs as our legal faction is our full-time occupation, whereas nobody really ultimately cares (other than the OOC pointing of fingers and giggling) that a non Legal Faction changes occupations drastically in the span of a month or that works wildly different jobs or dabbles in all sorts of business enterprises. We don't have that. Or generally time to grind.

 

3 hours ago, Smilesville said:

Lower the pay to the standard $800 employment check, but grant World Points or other rewards for members.

Don't agree with this one. Time worked in-game should pay in-game rewards.

 

 

 

All in all, I agree with most of your points. But also 1.4 is coming and businesses are being revamped. Let's see how that works and if we can make integrated change into an economy that makes sense for all.

Edited by Koko

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Smilesville    46
44 minutes ago, Koko said:

We did. As someone at the gates of becoming Supervisor, driving a 50k car and with a simple house in El Burro. After our paycheck changes I'm making 1750$ per paycheck after tax. Is this enough? Is it too much?

If you're at the gates of being a supervisor making that amount, you're being taxed for already having over $600k worth of assets - something that any other individual with that sort of wealth would be paying. However, subtracting $500 is much more to someone whose check is only $800 - you're making nearly six times what any other individual would make per check. I would contend that this is entirely too much. $2,000 for an hour's of work is a decent benchmark to measure civilian earning potential through RP businesses by (without owning one yourself, which I will get into more detail on below,) but even with the global asset tax you make nearly that much every hour regardless of what you're doing.

 

44 minutes ago, Koko said:

Yes, most people make their basic income of 500$, but they're also making money elsewhere with RP jobs or investing in businesses. [...] For months I played a lot of GTAW, more hours than your average player for sure until I started my new job, and I have a character who doesn't really spend money on anything or invests, and my assets sit at around 750k after months of dedication to Firefighting. Just for reference.

As stated above, RP jobs pay next to nothing in relation to the legal org paychecks; the best money you'll ever make is owning a bar and running it all by yourself while attracting enough customers every night to consistently max out the GOV bonus - not exactly an innovative RP choice, but it's what works.

 

An extremely dedicated individual would have to run the bar and restock it consistently every day in order to make about $30k a night, give or take. This is also an absurd amount of money for a few hours of work - but the difference between this and the legal faction paychecks is that this system is in the process of being removed. Legal faction paychecks are, to my knowledge, remaining untouched. The only people who should be making anywhere close to $1,750 per check are the individuals at the very top.

 

With regards to inflation, the solution to that problem isn't more money pumped into the economy, but less. To truly combat inflation, you have to stem the tide of cash going into the system - brewing was neutered to this end, mining is soon to follow, and it's time for legal org paychecks to join them.

 

44 minutes ago, Koko said:

There's also the matter of the perception of these jobs vs. other jobs. We in legal factions are expected to maintain nothing short of excellence in our RP (whether we manage all of the time is not what we're discussing though), and our standards are monitored constantly. [...] But in legal factions we're also discouraged for having other ways to make money other than our primary job, whereas nobody really ultimately cares (other than the OOC pointing of fingers) that a non Legal Faction changes occupations drastically in the span of a month or that works wildly different jobs or dabbles in all sorts of business enterprises. We don't have that. Or generally time to grind.

I'm sympathetic to the argument that legal org members are not free to pursue side work, which is why I would not desire to see the improved paycheck removed altogether - but again, it's demoralizing to see that any job that comes remotely close to a legal org paycheck (brewing, mining) is neutered. One could argue that the police could have cracked down on illegal brewing/mining to "deal with the money problem IC," but that's not remotely close to how things ended up because the staff (correctly) identified the issue as originating with the server's system itself. Why they refuse to do the same for legal org paychecks is beyond me.

 

Now, there's talk of "RP jobs" but is anyone under the illusion these will pay remotely well, especially given that the primary motivator for removing mining and brewing is the earning potential? With the removal of the GOV bonus per entry to RP'd businesses, you're going to see any sort of legal, non-org paycheck slashed substantially. The amount does not matter to me so much as the disparity between the two income levels as a percentage, and I anticipate that gap will only widen with the newest update.

 

I would contend that slashing the paycheck would have the added effect of improving the RP quality of the faction as a whole and thus eliminating some of your frustrations; those who are simply there for the paycheck and doing the bare minimum will find an excuse to bow out, and what you'll be left with are the people who actually want to be there - and that enthusiasm is contagious.

Edited by Smilesville

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XanX    43

DfMPHrk.png

 

I'll use my Police Department character as an example for some maths below. Here is a statistics screenshot of that character.

 

I have around 600 hours (25 days) of total playtime alone, I have had this character solely be a PD character, what this means is by the time I reached around 20 hours on it, I was already in the department. This will give us a good estimate as to how much I have earnt throughout the duration of my time of being an officer, which is almost 5 months real time in total so far.

 

If we take a look at the total assets, it says I have just over half a million, however, this doesn't take into account the house I bought with a good friend of mine which I have spent around $250,000 on, I now rent that house, and easily another $250,000 on vehicle modifications, firearms, ammunition, clothes, and other miscellaneous items.

 

We can round the value over to being around $1,100,000 easily. If we take that number of $1,100,000 (total wealth) divide it by 600 (total playtime) we get an average paycheque estimate per hour of $1,833. Now bare in mind, this is an average, I have been earning less than that amount when I was a Police Officer I and I am now earning more as a Police Officer III which is a small difference between the ranks and it only gets higher than this from here.

 

From what I'm trying to get at here, is that yes, we do earn too much and it's so unnecessary for us to be getting these crazy paycheques when not on duty. This is mostly why I support the suggestion of having two timers, one on duty timer and the other being normal paycheque and whenever you cross over an integer, a bonus (from the job) gets paid on the standard paycheque amount.

Edited by XanX

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Koko    28

Just to be clear from my post since I reread it and my 7AM me might've failed to convey this, but I fundamentally agree. I guess my sleepy brain was just trying to play devils advocate when it comes to the wacky economy up till now.

 

I think we should be earning whatever the economy deems a pretty average wage once the new systems are introduced, and we shouldn't get paid the same amount on duty than off duty.

 

Added to this, we have a monthly budget we keep depleting. This should be respected. Once the budget is gone, it's gone. This can create legitimate political RP.

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Smilesville    46

I understand! I just think it's important to be semantically correct with the points we bring up in support of a new legal paycheck system that only works when an individual is on duty. It'll take some time to see how the "closed loop" concept for the economy will impact wages and such, of course (they'll be lowered dramatically, is my prediction.)

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Mitch    34
40 minutes ago, Koko said:

Added to this, we have a monthly budget we keep depleting. This should be respected. Once the budget is gone, it's gone

I wanna scream this to the moon and back. If our safe runs out of money, don't refill until new budgets are done

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Budget appropriations are held to a standard. Most recent example - LSPD underestimated their budget request for the 16/DEC to 16/JAN period and the high command ended up donating their own money to keep the paychecks flowing.

 

No funds leave the city treasury without a written budget request and a record of an IC appropriation meeting to discuss the request, and we sure as hell aren't refilling anyone's coffers outside of the requests. 

 

We'll be closely examining city revenues over the next month or two. Only after we've gathered sufficient information we will determine whether to institute a hiring freeze, payroll cuts, tax increases (or decreases) or any other method of adjustment of municipal budget.

 

At the moment, the revenues of the city exceed the expenditures. 

Edited by AVRO DANKASTER
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hentai!    9

I agree that the jobs should be reworked, and be more focused on interaction. I love that they implemented it to 24/7 shops, gas stations and all that - it's awesome, because you don't have decreases in roleplay activity - if you're bored and can't find anyone to roleplay with, or your friends are offline you just go to a gas station and there will be a cashier, or even a bunch of people nearby.

Though... I think it would be better to replace the current mining, fishing, trucking and all that RPG bullshit with straight up working in a 24/7 or Gas Station. Some people want to grind money on roleplay, and you won't stop them, but we can make sure they do it while interacting with others, not driving from Del Perro to the fish buyer.

I have not yet worked in any legal factions, so I'll skip on that point. But grinding is another way to screw the economy and you can make it just a little bit less severe.

In my honest opinion, drugs are not as profitable as they should be on a roleplay server too. But since this is mostly a topic around legal stuff, I don't know if I should even bring this up.

Edited by hentai!
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