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


ChromaticDeath

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22 hours ago, ChromaticDeath said:

 

       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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        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.

    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.
 

 



      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.

 

It's best to treat the city as some weird cyberpunk-ish setting without the cool technology, but definitely a pants-on-head standard of living. Pretend that all the kids shooting each other are paid to have a go at it by some funky megacorporations and stop trying to make it make sense, because it never will make any sense as long as poor roleplay keeps being endorsed instead of being punished.

 

There's quantity, but until there's a breath of the opposite, things won't be going for the better I'm afraid. Thank you for bringing this issue to light, Chromatic. We may disagree on many things but you've nailed it in this one.

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35 minutes ago, Jennie said:

 

42 minutes ago, Topinambour said:

And to be honest, using this term should give whomever uses it instant diarrhoea or something, because it's just flung around left and right by morons, most of the time. And it's possibly part of what is making the problem worse.

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It's even worse when they use it IC with OOC purposes, gives me Ebola.

It's why I've used copious amounts of apostrophes, I'm also against the word "mallrat" in this context. It's a misappropriated word that has lost all meaning to it's original meaning.

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52 minutes ago, SWAE said:

Well the only solution I've found productive so far is this : 
https://streamable.com/81grlx

Nice one.
 

1 hour ago, radreaper100 said:

presenting: a robbery

More of this stuff. It's the human element that makes crime that involves civilians good. (to me)


 

41 minutes ago, Valkyria said:

Thank you for bringing this issue to light, Chromatic. We may disagree on many things but you've nailed it in this one.



Much appreciated. I just want the server to get better for everyone. I've been here for years, long enough to have enjoyed it and had my fill, but there are newer players here who unfortunately will be exposed to this sort of 'crimegrinding' as their first impressions. It has, and will, turn away a lot of them- those who don't join it, anyway. Just want a means to an end, so everyone can co-exist. Not peacefully, there'll never be peace in LS- but at least co-exist. We'll see how the thread does in the coming day(s)?

binoculars-gachi-muchi.gif

Edited by ChromaticDeath
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23 minutes ago, DimitriS said:

Honestly? I don't do anything related to "life" activities after a certain time in the morning. There's just no reason to, my CCW, LEO experience, all that doesn't matter when a 7 feet tall, 250 lbs bodybuilder, at the age of 13 arrives and decides to rob people at the beach. Couple of weeks ago some people robbed two lifeguards in a row, with legit 40 seconds delay between, again on the beach... they proceeded to fight with the police and die, probably respawned, got a new gun, allat. 

It's dumb, for real. 


Can confirm. I play as a Lifeguard. And honestly? In recent times it's difficult for to do any real Beach/Lifeguard RP. Heck, we would love to interact with people, and create a lot of passive and enjoyed civ RP in the beach area. But if we're not in our vehicles, we get robbed, or held at gun point..  I could probably make a montage of all the footage I've seen of Lifeguard and Firefighters being targeted for crime.
My character was even RUN over. It apparently takes less roleplay to attempt to kill someone than it takes to for a LEO or LG/EMS/FF to press a button on the service radio? 

All good and well to say but LEO this and criminal RPer that but there are more than just LEO and Criminal RPers on the server. 

There are so many good opportunities for Roleplay, which EVERYONE can part take in, new businesses can open. This can create interesting Roleplay where people can just hangout and have fun, regardless if you're planning to break into a house or you're swat planning a raid. A business owner ain't going to know you, they aren't really going to care 9/10 they just want to provide you with their goods and services and move on. 

People wanting to roleplay on the beach should be allowed to do so without expecting to get robbed every time they try. Heck! I would love for PETTY crime on the beach. "Hey Lifeguards, My bag is stolen, or Hey Lifeguards someone is painting graffiti on your wall."
There isn't always a need to escalate to violence and shootings or heck even kidnappings, and that's the core problem here from my view things are too extreme because people I don't know? Want to play it all ganged up. I live in a country where crime is really high, I live in a country who has a city with one of the highest crime rates and from personal IRL experience most crime is opportunistic, stealing unattended items or pickpocketing someone, snatching their bag, or smashing the car window to take items left on the passenger seat.  No need for guns blazing pew pew pew business. All it takes is communication and a simple /do /me or even PM like "Did John Doe, your character leave items on the floor? Do they have something on their car seat?"  

I am not sure what my point is, but I fully agree with the OP here and honestly think something needs to be done and the mentality from both sides needs change.

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