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Neutral Characters and the crime rate: What's the point?


ChromaticDeath

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       Let me preface this by saying what I really shouldn't need to say;

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In no way do I want this server to be a hugbox, and in no way do I want criminal roleplay elements to be eliminated, for legal roleplay to be solely prioritized, or anything of that nature. That argument is old and tired and there's no point in making it, because it's a strawman and is made every time a discussion thread is put up on the topic of the crime rate. This is GTA: World. It's a server hosted on Grand Theft Auto, and based on Los Angeles. Crime will happen. I am also aware this thread is going to get bombed with shitposting and pseudo-abuse toward myself and other neutral roleplayers that I and others are just 'bitching' and should get over it. I've made a thread on robberies, I know how that goes already. 

 

EDIT: I am also not advocating for blanket bans or extremes. Compromise is not reached through this and it will result in more harm than good. Also, don't turn this thread into more of a warzone than the streets currently are please. I didn't sit and type all of this out for it to devolve into ad hominem.



    With that disclaimer out of the way though, let me get into the meat and potatoes. There's a very huge issue with balance that is being completely ignored in favor of a harmful mentality of cops versus robbers roleplay over realism in general. I do not speak for myself on this matter, I am writing this as a consensus for a very large group of friends and fellow players who have grown jaded and completely disillusioned with how utterly one-sided this server has become, and is continuing to become. Nearly every update is for the benefit of either Law Enforcement or Criminal roleplayers, with those QoL updates for the neutral side of things such as the Economy Update coming with some sort of price-tag.



 

      I have played on GTA:W since July of 2019, in all forms of RP: Illegal, LEO, Security, corporate - I have a character that directly benefits from the crime rate as a journalist. I am not speaking from inexperience when I say that the server, as of right now, is the worst it has ever been for anyone who is not roleplaying as a law enforcement officer, gangster, or a member of an organized crime group. The sole exception to this are those who log in solely to go to a nightclub, dance for a few hours, then bounce to the next. Those with blinders on don't count, as they're not the demographic on the server here to roleplay neutral characters that have actual development put into them. But for everyone else: We're out of luck, in every sense of the phrase. Make no mistake: This is not me shitting on illegal roleplay as a whole. I desperately want to see a GTA: World with an overwhelming abundance of good  criminal roleplay. Those of you who are good criminal roleplayers know who you are. Your characters have development, feelings, they feel fear and shame for their actions, and they co-exist among the populace just fine. Many factions fit this bill, and the character stories section is full of these fantastic examples, yet the community is becoming more and more marginalized and split, even on an OOC level. Discussions such as these turn into shit-flinging competitions because it would "negatively impact" one side or the other, without consideration that there should be no sides.



        It's become almost entirely impossible to realistically portray a normal civilian doing normal civilian day to day things. You can't hang out in public unless you're in a big group, or you'll get kidnapped or robbed. You can't really open your business without a security guard of some shade present or some sort of dubiously legal muscle, as there's become a higher probability of being mobbed upon by a street gang for questionable reasons and having it written off as 'realistic behavior'. Squads of fearless fourteen-year-old warriors prowl the streets in blacked-out sedans with automatic firearms, waiting to jump out on the first unwitting individuals they find trying to go for a walk. Street performers don't exist because they'd get mugged every time they try to set up. Believe me, I have tried. The only place you're even remotely safe from any of this is across from the bank in Pillbox Hill, and even that's a toss-up recently. How are we meant to portray our characters, then, other than becoming shut-ins and living in fear of the third-world levels of street crime that have absolutely no end? Law Enforcement can't really do anything to stop it, and aren't always on to begin with. If a neutral character attempts to run away from MASK_1234_ABC, it's considered poor fear roleplay. If a neutral character uses their CCW to defend themselves, it's considered poor portrayal, because they should have just 'gone through with it'. But after the eleventh robbery or time being chased down by a gunboat- who wouldn't? How exactly are we meant to have our characters treat the abhorrent crime rate? Ignore it and move on? When even LSFD are overwhelmed with how bad it is, how are we as civilian roleplayers meant to treat it? Taken directly from the IFM census:
 

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"As it is, we in the LSFD are plagued with the issue of GSW calls in the early evening to early hours of the morning times - Say, 1700-0400; so much so, that many members simply avoid logging in at this time to avoid the spam of calls. Everyone and their dog has a gun, and while you can argue that it's America therefore an accurate thing, the sheer amount of shootings is far, far too high."


gunfight.gif


        The suggestion is always to 'take it IC and get your law enforcement to step it up', but LEO factions get so cucked with what they can do and swamped with work that that's a non-suggestion. I've been in one for a year, and have now left because I couldn't justify continuing to roleplay a police officer in a place with more deaths per capita than an active warzone. Crackdowns can't happen (Yes I know about the Chamberlain raid, first one in months), because it would be 'unfair', even if they're warranted and the parties being raided were being reckless enough to warrant it. Districts don't seem to matter in the slightest in regards to how horrible the crime has become in Los Santos. Rockford Hills is just as bad as Strawberry, the only difference is how far the Buffalo full of MASKs needs to travel to get there. There's no such thing as robbery-free zones; when a suggestion was made to IFM to propose one be established along Portola Drive and at Legion Square, it was shot down with the response that it was "realistic"  for there to be this much crime anywhere on the game-map whatsoever, with articles linked to about the sparse robbery occurring on Rodeo Drive or in Echo Park as justification. Crime-free zones are basically ignored in entirety anymore. Ever since this ruling from IFM, robberies and kidnappings have gotten to a point to where there is little reason to exit one's home anymore, go for a walk - or do anything in public, for that matter. Quality has gone down, while quantity has skyrocketed at an alarming rate. "If a criminal perceives that the risk of robbing a target is too high, then they will not conduct a robbery" is wishful thinking at best, and geography absolutely does play a part in crime- but this was a decision made out of the hands of the community. The fact of the matter is, while being robbed does not take very long, it provides the party being robbed next to no development and is so over-saturated it's become tedious. This is why you don't see many businesses stay in business that aren't either fronted by law enforcement in some manner or somehow connected to an illegal faction- It's simply not worth the trouble anymore.

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What I don’t understand is why location doesn’t matter anymore 'as long as it isn't Paleto if the robber lives in Davis'. How does that not matter? This blanket statement opens up the door to robbery squads going North, East, South and West Los Santos to rob whoever they please where-ever they please; even when the place is densely populated 24/7 realistically (like Legion Square)!

 

This is a dangerous precedent that the staff is setting and could have severe negative consequences to legal characters who were once protected by rules enforcing realism, and its a step further into going dangerously close to 'cops and robbers that someone takes too seriously' territory.

    While I hate to agree with ThatDutchPerson on anything, they were completely correct with this prediction in May. It's the new-year and that's exactly what happened.
 

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Does LFM represent the voices of those of us who choose to RP purely civilian characters?

 

From the original post, it seems that the admin approach was advocated for by IFM. Have civilian RPers had the chance to put their concerns directly to the admins? Do we even have someone doing that on our behalf?  - Greyfeather

 

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Let's check the standards, though... does this mean that truckers and other people should be permitted to speed throughout the city simply because the area isn't populated? How about the "Cheetah Driving Lesbian Mallrats"? Are they now allowed to succumb to our level by speeding throughout the city simply because "the area is not highly populated"? We're lowering our standards, as a server.

I mean, does this mean that we can loot people in public spaces if there aren't any people around? You cannot claim that "this is an R.P. server, not PUBG" then say "the area is no longer populated unless I.C.ly populated".

How about truckers speeding throughout the city to complete their jobs? It's not unrealistic, as the streets are ICly empty.

These people shouldn't be punished, any more, if this rule is in place. My character shouldn't fear looting four bodies because "the area is not ICly populated". My character should not fear receiving a ticket for speeding because "the area is not ICly populated". 
- DLimit



      The majority of those who actually care who are caught in the middle are completely unhappy with how the server's going and has been going for at least the past year. Punishments for intentional bad roleplay, metagame, and powergame are light-handed as we're on a "learning server". Not long ago, my character was chased down and attempted to be killed with carbine rifles over stopping at a red light, because the gun-boat that saw them do it thought they were opposition for getting too close to the car they'd just shot to pieces five minutes earlier. The tail smashed their car into a concrete wall, was brake-checked and spun out, and promptly /vparked and /vg'd their vehicle (video enclosed), only to be handed a warning for this malicious behavior. Cases of looting dead bodies are so common, some don't even know it's against the rules. Fistfights escalate straight into gunfights when one side or the other starts to lose. What's the end of all of this, exactly, other than those who aren't involved with the ceaseless street-wars becoming uncomfortable with playing their characters, as many already are? The crime is so bad it's become a meme, both IC and OOC. Los Angeles is not a homogeneous place, it's a veritable city-state. There are differences in districts, every district is distinct- to the point that some districts are considered completely separate cities within the city. Realism should not be pick-and-choose dependent on how it best effects the 'cops vs. criminals' meta - and unrealism in crime impacts everyone, even and especially other criminal roleplayers who get grouped up with those who play the server like an RPG with civilian NPCs. There's another group that keeps getting either left out or ignored in these discussions, though: the monkeys in the middle, those who have noone advocating for them whatsoever.
 
I patiently await this thread being locked after being bombed with toxicity, but it doesn't matter anyway. GTA: World is very unlikely to change for the better for everyone until something is actually done to come to compromise.

EDIT: 19 hours in and we get our first few here who didn't bother to read OP and assumed this thread was unfairly targeting illegal RP. Thanks to everyone who have contributed to the thread so far, it's been much more successful this time around than any time before- and it's owed to productive discussion.
Hopefully something's done about it for the sake of those who have been here a while, but especially newer players who will get bad first impressions.

EDIT 2:

It has been 24 hours since the posting of this thread.
We have:
 

  • 183 replies
  • 6,451 views
  • 69 positive reactions to the OP
  • Had numerous great ideas crop up through discussion
  • Had roleplayers from "both sides of the fence" agree there is an issue
  • Had numerous staff members and retired staff members agree there is an issue


    Great progress has been made, but progress isn't progress unless there is a solution. I anxiously await an official ruling and I hope it's favorable for everyone. This isn't just a neutral roleplayer issue, as much as the thread's about it. Bad crime roleplay/crimegrinding negatively impacts illegal RP just as much, if not more- because it forces an 'us versus them' mentality upon those who are sick of it and assume all criminal roleplay is like this. Make no mistake: that was me a few months ago, until I left PD and tried it out myself. I then realized this wasn't a criminal roleplay problem, this was a shit roleplay problem. Please - for the sake of the future of GTA: W, start handing out harsher punishments for intentional rulebreaks and give us some low-crime or robbery/kidnap-free areas we can RP in.

                                                                                                                                        EDIT 3:
                                                Response from IFM. Good work everyone, we'll see how it goes!
     
    18 hours ago, honey. said:

    Hey guys, this is on Faction Management's radar regarding the unofficial groups issue and the primary quality concerns that have been raised up through the comments section, we are in discussion and should have a conclusion with some changes, or explanations, after the New Years holidays, so within the next 3 days or so.

     

    As for the punishments being too lenient on the server, I've referenced this to Staff Management so they can be aware of the census that has been reached here.

     

    When Faction Management has an update, I'll post it here as well as whatever official channel it'll go through.

     

    Thanks for keeping it civil - there is a lot of good, valuable and constructive feedback here. 

Edited by ChromaticDeath
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Very much this! While I myself am somewhere in the middle I am fortunately not often victim to atrocious roleplay from two bit fourteen year olds. In saying that I have definitely seen this kind of terrible roleplay coming out of certain character archetypes. I find it incredibly silly that i could literally be robbed in the middle of rockford hills at 10 in the morning simply because less LEOs and Admins are on to regulate robbery rp (By providing punishments etc.) I feel as if this ruling should be looked back upon rather than promoting bad roleplay. While some admins may consider this server to be 'a learning server' they should also remember that roleplay standards have improved drastically since the days of SAMP, with immersion and quality being our first and foremost focus. As it is right now GTAW simply feels a DayZ roleplay server of all things where select players pursue other players simply to attain more guns to kill more people no matter where they are. (A white, rich upper class neighborhood) I myself have seen GOOD examples of the kinds of robberies and burglaries and know it can be done.

In addition I am not bashing gangroleplay as a whole when I say this, but I feel as if 12-16 year olds shouldn't be going out and 'smoking' the ops, it is unrealistic and simply only happens because of bad roleplayers treating GTAW like a video game rather than a roleplaying server and as such they do not accurately roleplay fear, guilt or human emotion.... hell somehow some of them even get away with robbing in the starting airport cars at the age of 12-14 with no admin consequences other than a warning? This sort of behaviour has driven many of my friends away from the server as they dont' want to deal with roleplay so bad it is borderline trollish if they even dare step outside. I think the worst part in all this is the accusations of 'stalling' received the moment someone takes a moment to type an ACTUAL EMOTE to roleplay the situation properly, such as perhaps writing more than a sentence. I know this thread is going to be blown to shit by bad roleplayers who feel as if the ruling is fine, but any good criminal roleplayer knows that IFM's ruling in May 2021 has been nothing completely stupid, immersion breaking and nothing short of disappointing for those who are actually here to roleplay and not simply paste emotes of pointing guns at random members of the public. Of course, this is only one ruling of many which has proved problematic towards roleplay quality on the server as a whole. You shouldn't be able to get robbed at 10 in the morning simply because there are no police online and you made the decision to stand on the sidewalk of rockford outside a bustling array of boutique, high class stores. 

In the end- this is going to be bombarded by bad roleplayers stating "Stop limiting our RP!" when really this kind of bad portrayal is holding the server back as a whole. No people don't get robbed constantly in broad daylight in hollywood hills, no it is not realistic 'because it happens irl.'  If I recall correctly the server actually forbade something that does 'happen irl' due to bad roleplay in the past- and that is Motorcycle robberies purely because bad roleplayers were going around chainrobbing for hours on end- which continues to be an issue even without motorcycles.. purely because people can be robbed literally anywhere, even in broad daylight around the corner from a police section in a metropolitan area. 


 

Edited by Zetara
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My very based opinion. Robberies on random individuals don't bring good rp for anyone. I feel like robberies should be prohibited if they don't have an actual reason. They usually end up in ooc conflict and sure maybe a few good roleplayers benefit from it, but for the most part it's just bored people that hope they'll end in shootings. Just ban random robberies. 

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Having just seen a video of a shootout in south LS, which reminded me more of GTA O deathmatches (or that one hit squad video from Puerto Rico), having two groups of at least 10-20 people firing on each other with automatics... that's just nuts. How has it gotten this bad? We got roflstomped out of the ability to have legal characters RP around marijuana, and instead we now have a crime problem worse than El Salvador. There needs to be some grand change in how robberies and violence overall are handled here. The server never used to be this violent or this prolific with robberies.

 

Now there are massive groups of excellent illegal RPers out there, which set the standard high, but its not universally enforced or people are able to somehow justify their actions when the consensus is that they were wrong in doing so. 

 

As from my factions POV, being the final destination for 99% of these shootings.. please just give us a Christmas truce or smthn we were can get a couple days with calls not relating to someone being turned into Swiss Cheese, its becoming excessive and draining my factions motivation to even bother anymore. 

Edited by Mecovy
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2 minutes ago, TinyPotato said:

see? this the shit im talking bout, the notion that blanket banning RP cus idiots ruin it is the solution will lead to a server where u cant do anything

 

random robberies can bring great rp if theyre conducted in a realistic manner with appropriate build up n cool down

when people RP a robbery well i find it very enjoyable to be victimized

 

if u make everything so restrictive because idiots do things badly, good rpers will feel stifled and get bored and go elsewhere and idiots will stay and continue to rulebreak and you'll just be worse off

 

its much better to punish individuals for bad rp then it is to restrict entire types of rp cus u fear people will do it badly

You're actually right but it's the same reason why we have speed limits on our roads. Clearly the robberies have not improved in the last years. And I'd be curious to see the roleplay that happens after the robberies. Because I doubt that its fueled by IC motivations.  And yeah in a perfect world we'd be be able to remove the bad apples but it's not possible and we always end up here. 

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10 minutes ago, TinyPotato said:

i personally would argue more is lost by losing out on good robberies with a blanket ban then is gained by preventing the bad 1s that way

im all for high-standard realistic-oriented rp but i think its really important on an rp server to be able to freely engage in RP, and to minimize the amount of stuff requiring forum & admin approval

 

how to do that while still keeping the RP good is really difficult, like if we ban everything that isn't dancing and esex we'll have a lot less bad crime rp but we'll have a boring limited server, so the money question is how do u give people the freedom to rp things while maintaining quality? id argue ur best bet is via punishing/banning individuals and trying 2 promote/celebrate/support good rpers

 

there are many just bad rpers who play for ooc reasons and should eat a ban, but theres many shitty criminals who rp badly but just wanna experience playing a exciting criminal char, and if u structure them in a way where they can do that, but realistically and quality (thats what factions SHOULD do, rather than re-enforce the ooc dumbassery) you can get people to contribute 2 the overall atmosphere and rp palette of the server. imho good "illegal RP" leadership that shows ppl how to have fun without just ooc-style RPG mask robberies/DM wars could lead half these underage retards into being meaningful contributors to a good criminal scene.

 

I'm absolutely with you here. Restricting things on an OOC level by blanket bans do more harm than good. My personal proposal is a mix between harsher punishments for poor RPG-Style roleplay, promotion and praise of good roleplay, and at least one or two areas for civilians to congregate that it's more frowned upon to commit these crimes in- such as the inner park at Legion Square, and Portola Drive/Mad Wayne Thunder Drive in Rockford Hills. This gives civilians somewhere to go that they can roleplay in freely without the risk of a gunboat pulling up on them, and encourages more tactful approaches to robbery, such as preying on those in shady areas, baiting them into traps, or the like.

 

The only thing I'd be in outright agreement with banning are random kidnappings. This simply doesn't happen in the real world; it's far too risky and it's simply much easier to jump someone and take their phone than to drag them in a car, drive them to the middle of nowhere, then take their phone. Body language cannot be properly conveyed through the medium of the game which is a huge tell with kidnappings involving vehicles- and more often than not this approach results in the victim being inconvenienced on an OOC level through wasted time.

Edited by ChromaticDeath
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