As a newbie to Sindome I can say that the players I've seen since creation have been super friendly and helpful. I'm looking forward to learning more and updating my review as I progress further along.Post a comment
Sindome is a cyberpunk environment that rewards roleplaying over stat grinding, boasting a healthy player base and a helpful admin staff.
Set 85 years into a dark, gritty future. 60 million people reside within the geodesic dome of Withmore City. 4 distinct levels separate the corporate elite from the 'mixers'. You arrive in Red Sector where most of the population resides, where it's every baka for themselves, trying to carve out a niche in the underworld, or reach above the fray for the comforts of the corporate life.
Enhance your street samurai with a flash boost implant so he can collect bounties faster. Cloak your ripper doc, profiting from the chrome you rip from the dead. Prepare your gun runner to smuggle warez across the wastes and into the dome in your Flying Car. But be careful what you do, Street Judges are looking to shove a verdict up your clone.
* 256 COLORS! Clothing, art, graffiti and more all enriched with a ton of new colors
* REFACTORED! layer your disguise together from makeup, wigs, clothing and more
* ENHANCED! Nuanced character description and clothing / tailoring support
* REWRITTEN! We've reviewed and updated every help topic in 2018.
* 3-Step Grapple Check supports more than just speed or strength based characters.
* Sticker Mod System supporting item/vehicle decals, wearing makeup & clothing damage
* Custom 2048-bit encrypted web client for work-safe play
* 80+ Weapon types - melee, blades, guns, cybernetic, martial arts
* Dynamic Combat system with Guarded & Kamikaze stances
* 30+ unique Skills & Advantages for class-less chargen
* Fallout Style S.P.E.C.I.A.L Stat system
* 35+ Cybernetic & Organic Implants for combat & support skills
* 40+ Vehicles including all-terrain and flying cars
* 3D Flight & Falling from any level of the Dome, badlands or space
* Weapon Modification, Degradation, & Specialization
* 50+ performance enhancing or degrading drugs, made by players
* Vast Post-Apocalyptic wasteland outside the dome
* launch into orbit with space flight, sky-ships and even mobile space stations!
* Simulated Internet via Hybrid Web Experience
* NPC Job Systems and Factions that are Player Responsive
* Virtual Reality Simulations & city-wide Neural Communication
* Constantly improving features based on Player Input
* Servers maintained with more than 99% uptime for more than 20 years
Currently seeking talented game masters to work on plots and help shape the story lines based on player histories. Those interested should signup and play a character in order to build the experience needed.
Supported and maintained by the member community of The Sindome Corporation. Want to play? Join The Sindome Corporation Today!
Mud Theme: Cyberpunk / Dark Future
Client Recommendation: No Downloads or Plugins Needed. Use Your Browser: https://play.sindome.org/
As a newbie to Sindome I can say that the players I've seen since creation have been super friendly and helpful. I'm looking forward to learning more and updating my review as I progress further along.Post a comment
Been playing SD on and off since 2003, most recently started playing heavily again in late 2017 and haven't stopped since. Wasn't around for when most people were saying Cerberus was pissing people off, but I can say for sure that since I started playing again, I haven't noticed anything untoward at all. I usually keep away from the reddit stuff and reviews, but I feel like I have to respond to the comment below.
To clarify, my character isn't part of any imagined OOC cliques in the game, nor are they a GM/Cerberus favorite. I play everyday for hours on end and barely have any interactions with Cerberus, with his PC or otherwise. OOCly, I gather that if you're not breaking any rules or doing anything dumb, he's not gonna have any reason to interact with you at all unless you approach him about something first.
If he was bad in the past, I can't speak on that. If he's bad now, I haven't noticed it. His previous WJF character is now an NPC and from my perception, is used to bring flavor to the game and spice up the theme, but sparingly. His current mixer character is very strong, and they've got a rep as someone that is not to be fucked with. Whether you agree that GM's should have PC's or not is beside the point - in SD, it's allowed, and it's not against the rules for Cerberus to control a very strong PC. But again, from my perception, this mixer PC is played pretty sparingly and doesn't just walk around murking everything that stands on two legs, from what I've been able to gather ICly, anyway.
As to the accusations of him being a pedophile because his PC is a 16 year old girl - please give your head a shake and stop being a weirdo. Stuff like this is a very serious issue IRL and online, and using it to sling mud on him because you have a grudge with him over an online game is not cool at all. I wouldn't disagree that there are issues with the game and that GM's are fallible, they're human after all, but let's try to keep it civil.
If you want a quality CP experience, try SD. If you want to inhabit a harsh, unforgiving world, with GM's who enforce this theme as best as they can, try SD. Player base is sometimes (frequently) annoying with the 'Find out IC' talk when someone new asks basic game command questions, this is very true. But the amount of tutorials in-game and on youtube, the presence of help files, and an increasingly helpful player base on game-help are all useful tools for a new player to learn the game.
The learning curve is harsh, I also agree, and it's definitely not for everyone, but the rewards once you start developing your game knowledge and figuring out how to RP in this world, are amazing. I started playing this game when I was thirteen years old, and by any measure, I was a horrible, horrible player. Hacking and slashing, killing sleeping characters, barely bothering to RP with other characters, the list goes on. The GM's then had every right to kick me off the game for being so shitty, but I was allowed to stay, and over a decade later, I still love this place. I'd urge anyone to just give it a shot, and if it's not for you, it's not for you, but at least try it out.Post a comment
Sindome is not the game it used to be. Staff in the upper echelons are corrupt. As long as Slither/Fengshui and Cerberus can get along or pretend to get along Johnny is happy. They actually had a dinner on the games expense some months back to help them get along better, approved by Johnny.
Which brings me to my second point. The staff have shifted their policy/view on things since 6 years ago -- when I first started out. It's not beyond them to get rid of the ones that don't see eye to eye with them but abide the rules, to mantain their status quo and retain numbers. All they care about is money. Apartments are extremely expensive, so you're forced to donate real money to even have a chance of stashing chyen (in game money) for a clone (a second chance at life). As a new player/character you have to play it extremely safe just to save up. You will get 2 weeks protection exempting you from being attacked as long as you don't attack anyone, which is useless and severely undocumented. Staff will tell you to take risks and be CP then chastise you when you fail and hold it over your head, going back on their word. They will tell you to play it safe and be thoughtful about the risks you take the next day. This game is run for their amusement and unless you're an admin pet, your roleplay, the way the world responds to you, won't make much sense. You will eventually see the favoritism, see SD for what it is. My advice is to stay away from this game. Cerberus has in the past, told me to not focus on the favoritism going on OOC'ly for the best IC experience possible. A response to my offhanded remark aimed at no one in particular, over the community's OOC channel.
The entire staff is picked out by Cerberus and it shows. As the head GM, he carefully picks prospects who have applied with traits similar in line with his, to keep him in power, and to keep his OOC favoritism going. So long as you are like Cerb and puppet NPC's for his pets as he would when he's not available, you're good for staff. It's the entire reason their application form for Staff has a in-depth personality test. If you're not a pet, again, be prepared for a hard life.
It's not beyond Cerberus to kill characters who roleplayed, and put in the effort for their in game items and chyen, to roll out the ubermax UE NPC's to stomp characters any time they set foot outside their apartment. Costing them millions in loses (Yes millions) of their hard earned, rightfully deserving payoffs to keep his two characters enemies in check, and also stunt RP and the ability of these victims to do anything meaningful. The game is, as I hinted at, micromanaged. Staff will bait you constantly, to see you fail, and if you learn to pick out what bait is and never act on it they will get annoyed and frustrated and it will show. You do not have the ability to create your own story, that is just an illusion. The day you're able to write your own story is the day staff stop meddling in IC affairs through NPC's and leave their favoritism at the door.
Cerb has also created plots to benefit one of his characters at the early stages of development. His same character runs the entire city's law enforcement and upper levels of the city and his second underaged character, a 14/yo, runs the Mix, the lower levels of the city. It's not unlike him to use his loli character to murder Judges in plain daylight on the upper levels of the city right outside the headquarters and then get away with it by conveniently not pursuing it/burying it as his character who runs said law enforcement.
I'm not even sure why Cerb still staffs or returned as he has influenced Slither heavily, for the bad, which lead to Slither framing me and banning me on made up cases and reasonings since they couldn't get it done honestly, as I was a honest player who followed rules. Cerb is only a builder and GM. That is all, yet holds the most senior rank possible. His presence to the game is toxic and destructive. If you cheat as a Judge (the most trusted staff position IC'ly attainable) by using off game communications to affect IC roleplay, Cerb will keep you on if you are a pet. This is the most sacred rule. It is seen right after logging in and carries a one year ban, yet he never banned anyone and attempted to bury it, however the staff team obviously has one or two discontened people, due to the way he runs things, and he was caught out.
All in all. Stay away. Your time will be wasted if you don't become a pet. The staff play favorites and the game is already harsh without staff taking sides. Play for six months to see what I'm talking about.Post a comment
I've started playing Sindome the 29th November and I haven't stopped playing ever since. Every single day I've played this game, be it with my current character or my previous one. Sindome is an extremely competitive game and it's amazing. This was my first MUD and RP game in general and I half regret it, half love that it was. Regret, because I was so abysmal at RP that I might've ruined the experiences of other players. Love, because this game hooked me like very few games ever did.
I hear a lot about staff problems in this game. In my experience, I simply don't get it. GM's have been fucking amazing with me, extremely helpful and helping me see the mistakes I made to become a better player. I don't see a GM interaction like a chore or them hitting me in the head with a stick, but I see it as an opportunity to become an even better player and get better at SD in general. I hear a lot of shit with Cerb, which I don't know because my singular interaction with him was one of the funniest things any GM ever said to me that made me spit my booze all over my screen. THANKS CERB! But seriously, people start talking to GM's and think they're there to beat them, instead of talking to them with the opportunity of growth.
Game in itself is a extremely rough. Be prepared to die, be betrayed, lose your friends, your shit, your money and be beaten down into the gutter. Every player goes through, doesn't matter whether they're a corporate citizen or a Mixer. (MIX LYFE) I also believe that rough treatment of new players will instantly tell them how life is going to be in this game. If people can't handle this emotional bleed IC and OOC, then this isn't the game for them. Which is fine! Really! I personally like a Dota named Smite, you guys can play it and find it shit, which is fine because games aren't meant to be for everyone.
This 'Clique' stuff does exist. But it's separating from veterans that are max 'level' and new players that aren't. New players will have their own RP with their own stuff, and veterans will have their own thing. It's how it works. You wouldn't fight a level 100 boss with a level 1 character. Just doesn't work that way. But, cliques are inclusive and players are extremely open to noobies. At the same time, it depends on what noobies do and how their characters interact with them. If ever 10 new players come and start annoying the shit out of someone IC, then their character will hate new players IC but not OOC. Hope this make sense.
SD has undergone amazing changes in the past month or so, the staff does listen to constructive criticism and does try to help as much as they can, change as much as they can in a positive way. Of course, staff is limited, they can't fix all their problems in a night but they sure as hell are trying to. Their effort and dedication is seen if you simply look at the game.
I'll stop working the shaft of SD and now pinpoint a couple of issues I have with the game. Admin favoritism: Does it exist? Answer: I don't know but there are some instances where it does look like it. People get given free stuff from GM's but at the same time, I don't know the RP that goes behind it. So I can't really judge. Noobie friendly: Is it yow? Answer: No. It is -not- noobie friendly. Especially if this is your first ever RP experience. But that's the theme of the game. When I mean not noobie friendly I don't mean you'll die for no reason, I just mean that you won't get a different treatment. This isn't a My Little Pony adventure, we're talking about a city of murderous psychopaths that want to be rich and snort drugs out of hooker's asses, then kill the hooker because they're ODing, if you expect to be treated like a special rose when you start the game, you'll have a bad time. That doesn't mean you'll have a bad time as a noobie, just means you have to expect something different!
Overall, a game that's not for the light hearted and I highly reccommend people to take their time with. Don't rush, or else you'll not experience this game fully.
No 'xdab' so I'm gonna have to give it a 9/10.Post a comment
I came to Sindome primarily as a MUSH player about a year ago in January of 2017. It was the first system-heavy player-kill-enabled game I had ever tried, with what seemed like rather strict rules to boot, so I was pretty wary.
As a matter of fact, I was expecting to play for about two weeks, get frustrated, then leave. That never happened. What I got instead was probably my most immersive text roleplay experience to date, with a world that actually feels alive thanks to a crew of well-written player characters and a team of dedicated GMs behind the scenes.
The system, as I alluded to earlier, is very robust and a bit confusing at first glance. It more or less dicates everything about your character and shapes how you RP and what you are good at. But there are lots of resources, both IC and OOC, cleverly woven into the game to help you land on your feet and persue your goals.
Since Sindome is based in the dystopian future, the world is not a safe or happy place. You will be challenged and probably fail a lot, but don't lose hope. There are always new RP hooks to follow that often take your character in directions you never thought possible, and it often leads to gratifying outcomes down the road.
There are apparently some rumors that the staff of the game are unwelcoming, but I've never experienced anything beyond the realm of 'stern but fair'. The staff are volunteers who are constantly working to create new plots and program new features, so politeness and common courtesy goes a long way when talking with them.
In summary: if you enjoy media such as Blade Runner, Neuromancer, and Deus Ex and want to feel the rush of forming alliances and wasting your enemies in such a dystopian world with deep RPG-style mechanics, I urge you to try Sindome.
I know I am glad I did! c:Post a comment
I found this MOO a couple of months ago and while typically a MMO player, I decided to try a MOO to see if I could find greener RP pastures than what exist in the typical MMO. Since then, I have been delightedly hooked. I never seem to have an issue finding RP and while some of it boils down to tavern/social RP, enough of it is masked with the underlying current that everyone is out to get you. If you read nothing else, then I would recommend this game highly as something where you can spend time growing your character and learning about the world around you.
Pros: * Deep and varied systems - there is always something to do to progress yourself * XP and income are not really a grind system, leaving you free to RP more * Setting is wonderful with a lot of reference material and tips to point you in the right direction * RP is enforced. You don't feel like you're listening to a meme channel or hearing discussions about the game last night * Staff is helpful and willing to work with you, they seem really engaged * Frequent content/systems fixes and updates * Player run economy * While it's hard for a new player, there are TONS of people trying to help them as well
Cons: * Sometimes the FOIC (find out in character) nature of the game seems overly enforced and knowing a little more about the world would be nice * Some professions have a power gap where you are stymied for a good long time until you can skill up * Getting established can take a while
I want to also comment on my experience which I realize is only my own. I have had zero issues with staff or players and wouldn't have sunk the time I have here if I had. I play games to have fun and I can say that I have not had as much fun in any other game as I have here. While I have wished some systems/rules worked differently, I also feel like I have always been treated fairly and had people explain the things they could to me. The RP has been great and the cast of characters that roam around the world is varied and interesting. I know that there has been concern over staff/player interactions and I have yet to see any of them. I think at this point I have had interactions with all of them and while they all have different tones and approaches, I had zero complaints about any of my interactions. In fact I would say it was the opposite.
As for cliques? I don't know, I haven't had issues interacting with anyone in game so far. Some people have liked my character and others not, as it should be. I've not felt excluded from anything arbitrarily and never have issues finding people to RP with.
Two months in, I'm not a mover and shaker, but I have some influence and have been involved in some of the goings on in the world. I get to watch my character grow, skill wise and socially. So if you've read this far, give it a try. It's a great game and a lot of fun.Post a comment
Comment posted on Wed Jan 9 09:25:02 2019 by Slither:
Thanks for taking the time to write this review and sharing your thoughts!
I played Sindome the first time in the summer of 2016 not really expecting anything and was promptly blown away in the short span of time I did play it. I could tell it was very complex and I couldn't quite make heads or tails of anything I was doing. I eventually got a job, met someone close - never had too many friends with that character before I promptly died twice to the same NPC and perm'd myself. The second time was admittedly my own fault because I ignored the theme of clone death, your clone forgetting the experiences between them being spawned and your last clone update. Regardless, that time I had on that character served as a teaser that lingered on the back of my mind for at least half-a-year to a whole year.
I picked up Sindome again sometime in late 2017, this time made a more solid character, made a lot more friends. I was having a great time actually, I got in league with a group of players who benevolently lent me their home to use between socializing with them and getting into hijinks. Once again my character got a job and this time correctly used it as a backdrop for other, more lucrative practices. Like some reviewers have mentioned, frankly the most fun you will have with this game is purely just from interacting with other player-characters.
Over time the group of friends my character had shrunk, prospective enemies had grown - which would be a nice challenge if the player progression in this game wasn't such an utter curbstomp battle that no-matter-what favors the senior challenger. The only people that could possibly offer me support were becoming intermittent in their appearances while I was left with being a nice fluffy target (keep in mind it's been revealed that it takes about 2.5 years real time to max out all your experience, good luck putting up a fight), and I don't really find my character getting broken down and destroyed a fun thing, even if it is part of the 'theme' which is always brought up as the defense for the unfair mechanics. Yes, I get it, it's cyberpunk, it's unfair - sure, whatever, but I'm playing a game and I'm the player, not your play-thing.
Ultimately I quit when one of the NPCs, which as another reviewer has mentioned are just enforcers of the games status-quo, nigh-invincible -- robbed my apartment of everything that I had collected since my first month in the game. Keep in mind actually robbing another player's apartment isn't a mechanic that's fully supported to be done by any player character, the best you can do is hope that they misplace the code to their door or perhaps you can get it from someone who knows it and isn't happy with the owner. This just felt like such a *spit* in my face that I realized I had more interesting games to spend my time with.
Someone mentioned this game isn't a power-fantasy -- well, it is. Just not for the player.Post a comment
Comment posted on Wed Jan 9 09:30:01 2019 by Slither:
Thanks for taking the time to review Sindome. I'm sorry your experience didn't live up to your expectations. If you feel as though a rule in the game was broken you can email the staff at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will always look into the issue. We have full audit logs of everything anyone on Staff does.
As for robbing apartments not being a mechanic that is not actually true. There are additional ways to get into an apartment that were not mentioned, including sneaking in after someone has opened their door, which is a mechanic supported by stats/skills.
If you feel strongly that what happened was a violation of our rules I'd implore you to email us with more information so that we can look into it. We take player complaints very seriously.
The game looks great on the surface. They have this excellent way of drawing you in and making the world seem exciting on the surface. It's only after a little while that you realize the way things really work. First off, Cerb is a huge problem. He's an admin with a loli fetish that he brings into the game under both his characters and consistently makes the world not make any sense. The police force, for example, is not above dropping orbital strikes on people from space to off them or flying an AV down to waste someone. That is, unless it's against his character who is a fourteen year old girl armed with a katana. The entire police force wont touch her in any meaningful way. She basically does whatever she wants in the Mix (the PvP heavy ghetto area of the game) and he has a second character who runs the entire police force. Despite this, they will insist that there is no favoritism and any player with proper planning and skill could challenge either of his characters. His idea of giving people an out to do this is dragging all of his over exp obtainable bodyguards around with his character and calling people pussies for not attacking him over the IG chat. The game is a joke and it starts with Cerb and ends with people who buy into this world full of logical inconsistencies and downright favoritism of certain players and admin pets. If you're looking for an immersive RP experience, you'd get more satisfaction hanging around the NeoPets forums.Post a comment
Comment posted on Sun Dec 16 09:17:00 2018 by Slither:
Thanks for the feedback. You seem to have copy & pasted this from a reddit flame thread about Sindome from a while back. Either way, I'm sorry that you had a negative experience on the game. Hope you find the right game for you in the future.
Comment posted on Fri Dec 21 10:32:16 2018 by Bobby Bricks:
Yep! And it was promptly deleted because you guys are big about covering things up and the issues with your system, so I decided this was the best place to post something and have my viewpoint heard. I loved your game and your other admins, but it's kinda hard to buy any sort of gritty realism in a game where this guy is allowed ultimate power with very little story cohesiveness and allowed to flaunt his borderline illegal fetishes when he himself kills off people's kids in game. I hope you improve your system or call it what it is; pink mohawk RP for people who like to be abused.
Comment posted on Wed Jan 9 09:33:00 2019 by Slither:
Hi There -
Thanks for the response. I think it's fair to say that you had a bad experience. We appreciate the feedback and hope you find the right game for you!
It's a good game to play if you can avoid ever dealing with a staff member. The staff do not seem to appreciate the fact that there wouldn't be a game to play without the players, whom put in just as much if not more in some cases where as the players do seem to appreciate the fact that there wouldn't be a game to play without the staff.Post a comment
Comment posted on Sun Dec 16 09:20:36 2018 by Slither:
Hi There -
Thanks for the feedback. I'm an admin on Sindome. I want you to know that despite the gruff exterior we sometimes have to have, to keep the game running, we do appreciate each and every player. I think this is on full display with in the following ways:
1. Me responding to your review!
2. 'Office Hours' where you can come and talk to an admin about any issues or questions you have in a one on one setting
3. Twice yearly Town Hall meetings which follow much the same format as the 1 on 1's but give the entire player base a chance to address concerns and issues.
4. Our forums where we routinely discuss and give/get feedback from and with players.
5. Game-Help channel where admin are always helping new/existing players.
6. Xhelp channel where admin can help players directly.
We also have extensive training videos, help files, and while our staff is small (for such a large player base) we are very dedicated.
Hope this helps!
Comment posted on Thu Dec 27 15:44:38 2018 by Benji:
"Thanks for the feedback. I'm an admin on Sindome. I want you to know that despite the gruff exterior we sometimes have to have, to keep the game running, we do appreciate each and every player. I think this is on full display with in the following ways:
1. Me responding to your review!
2. 'Office Hours' where you can come and talk to an admin about any issues or questions you have in a one on one setting
3. Twice yearly Town Hall meetings which follow much the same format as the 1 on 1's but give the entire player base a chance to address concerns and issues.
4. Our forums where we routinely discuss and give/get feedback from and with players.
5. Game-Help channel where admin are always helping new/existing players.
6. Xhelp channel where admin can help players directly.
We also have extensive training videos, help files, and while our staff is small (for such a large player base) we are very dedicated.
Hope this helps!
- Slither "
Thank you for your response. It does not help. The facade that you present on the feedback is a far cry from the reality of what takes place on that game. You have multiple people get banned and then evade these bans. You have admins sharing secrets and game information with their friends through OOC channels, and a "Do as I say but not as I do" attitude towards the very people that spend countless hours of their lives playing Sindome. I like the players well enough, but as most of these reviews will reveal, Sindome is just a poorly staffed game. Your forums have much of the gossip, but if one would like to further research the issues, they only need to glance over here, Reddit, or perhaps find a Discord server full of current Sindome builders and higher end players that put a mask of loyalty on to the game?
Best of wishes to Sindome in 2019.
Comment posted on Wed Jan 9 09:40:40 2019 by Slither:
Thanks for the additional response! I added some comments / thoughts in line.
"You have multiple people get banned and then evade these bans."
It's the internet, there is only so much we can do.
"You have admins sharing secrets and game information with their friends through OOC channels, and a "Do as I say but not as I do" attitude towards the very people that spend countless hours of their lives playing Sindome."
If you have evidence of this, please email email@example.com so that we can take action. Simply stating it, does not help you or us to make the game a better place. We take admin cheating very seriously, and it DOES happen sometimes, because again, this is the internet and people can be jerks, but in my 15 years on Sindome, it's happened 4-5 times and every time we have removed that admin and banned them from the game forever.
"I like the players well enough, but as most of these reviews will reveal, Sindome is just a poorly staffed game."
It's frustrating to hear that. We work really hard, and spend a lot of time working on the game, listening to feedback and improving. We never claimed to be perfect but the blanket statement you made seems unfair given you probably haven't interacted with most of the staff.
"Your forums have much of the gossip, but if one would like to further research the issues, they only need to glance over here, Reddit, or perhaps find a Discord server full of current Sindome builders and higher end players that put a mask of loyalty on to the game?"
Our forums are a place for people to provide feedback, good or bad. We don't censor them unless someone posts IC info or NSFW content. So yeah, they have complaints! But there are also thousands of posts where people aren't complaining too :)
As for Sindome builders being on a Discord server... that is not something I'm aware of. If you've got information that that is happening, I'd ask you email firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can investigate and take action. Simply stating it without evidence or any way for us to follow up and actually -do- something about it is counter productive.
Sindome obviously made an impact on you if you're taking the time to write a review and respond to my comments about your review, and I appreciate that, good or bad, but if you want to actually help us improve the game, reporting this stuff would be the best way to do that.
Thanks again for your time!
(Brief background on myself. I've been playing RPGs since the late-1980s starting with 2nd edition AD&D. I played PNP Cyberpunk 2020 and Shadowrun both as a player and a GM. The first M* game I played was Battletech 3055 MUSE around 1991-92ish. I have staffed a few places as a GM. I have done some minor coding / building. Sindome was the first and only MOO I have played on.)
(A lot of this review is going to read like a meta-critique of the player base, more so than a black and white break down of the game system.)
Sindome is the kind of place that I need closure with, and having said that I hope it offers some glimpses into what other players might be getting into. I spent a month playing there and the overall feeling that I was left with is one of frustration. I wish that I could break this down into black and white Pros and Cons, but the two are so intertwined that the best I'm going to be able to manage is a stream of conscious recap.
The overall gist of my experience playing there as a newbie was, "You're going to learn through trial and error, and you're going to get the crap kicked out of you (both ICly and OOCly) in the process."
First of all, Sindome comes across as a brutal PVP simulator. That aspect seems to drive everything else. All of the code is tightly focused around conflict and PVP. The mechanics behind the code are kept intentionally obscured. While there might be mentions of 'great roleplaying' on the website and what not, that comes with enough caveats that I'd take it with a grain of salt. Short poses and coded emotes are par for the course. There might be some good writers playing here, but if there are, they are likely doing their roleplay in non-public places where they can actually relax long enough to craft well written poses. That being said, the 'pose' code is pretty cool, if a bit non-intuitive and rough around the edges. The way that it sorts out pronouns and adjectives so that they are displayed in the right tense to other players is pretty awesome.
The obfuscation of the game mechanics is combined with a draconian approach to IC / OOC crossover and meta-gaming. Like most things in life, this is good and bad. The game has been around for so long, that the sense I was left with is that some of (the majority of?) long term players project that sense of geek hubris that comes from A. 'knowing' how things work and B. the ego affirmation of using that knowledge to be 'better' than others. The knowledge of the system that the long term players have accumulated was done through brutal, and often traumatic trial and error. That seems to have created an environment where the general attitude is, "Being new here sucked for me, so I'm going to make sure it sucks for you too." As a new player, you need to go into this game aware of that. Do you want to go through re-living the collective trauma in what I can only equate to a hazing ritual?
As another reviewer wrote recently, Sindome has the best and the worst of the internet in it. If you have been role playing online long enough, you are familiar with players who live a better life through their online personas, than they do out in the real world. I say this as someone with those tendencies myself. Sindome takes that to another level, and then another one. There was a conversation on the OOC channel about how the strict rules against any sort of OOC contact with other players (eg you can't exchange Skype info, Facebook profiles, Discord names, etc, etc) is mostly there to protect players from other players. There are apparently players who take the game so seriously, that they will cross boundaries. Even though I only played there for a month, I completely understand how those attitudes come about. The effort required to progress is significant, and the cost of failure is so high, that players will do whatever it takes to preserve what they have sunk their blood, sweat and tears into.
As a new character, you are going to start at the bottom and have zero ability to affect the world around you. You are going to be pawn for other players. You will not get much support from the staff. Due to the intense obfuscation of the mechanics, basic questions about commands will likely be met with decidedly less than helpful responses (at best) and outright demeaning or hostile replies (at worst). The game is not about you. There are other players there who have plenty of things going on with themselves and their social circles. You are a brand new character without any useful skills. Few will be all that helpful about helping you figure out how your skills work. The 'only' way to figure out how your skills work is through conflict, and the conflict comes at a super high price. Either conflict with other characters, or conflict with coded systems owned by other characters. And all of that comes down to the perpetual conflict, the paranoia, the constant warfare.
In my experience, it seems like the best parts of the game come from the worst parts of the game. "Everyone" is there to screw you over. While that is completely thematic in alignment with the dystopian and cyberpunk environment, it doesn't make for a fun place (for me) to play. Not only are people there to screw you over, they are screwing each other over. So there is the sense of paranoia that just does not go away. Again, that is thematic, but not so fun to play. There are multiple mentions made about "Your friends are going to be the ones who really screw you over in the end." Again, thematic. But as a prospective player, ask yourself if you want to spend time your time building relationships with people who you never really trust.
I think that Sindome is the kind of place that anyone who enjoys playing text based games should try once. It is like playing a computer based RPG on hard mode with no saves and perma-death for your character. The new player experience and figuring out the systems is rewarding, but you'll only get it once. Once you figure out how things work, you'll never really be "new" again. The basic human inclination to use that knowledge to your own advantage going forward is impossible to avoid. For example, I had a good time meeting other characters and figuring out how to make money. It was fun because I was new and I truly had zero idea about how to do that. I had genuine interactions with other characters around that, and I think that some of them really did find enjoyment in having a new face around, and being able to help out a little bit. But I will never have that experience again. No matter how good a roleplayer a person might be, there is a huge difference between being new, and acting new. While every character who comes into the game is brand new, the reality is that the players are not.
From a pure code perspective, the game is amazing. I saw so much code there that made me nostalgic for other places that I have played in the past. It feels like they ported huge amounts of the old Shadowrun Seattle (circa ~1997) code base over, and then cleaned it up. It is great to see Johnny and Slither and other staffers actively coding. So many places that I have played are stagnant from a code perspective. They have a stable code base and aren't messing with it. The only "newness" in those places are buildings. That's not the case on Sindome. It is in active development, and it is stable (mostly). I do IT for a living, so I definitely appreciate the challenges inherent in actively developing in production. There is one specific bit of code that I want to rave about, but I won't because it was such an edge case, that I don't want to spoil it for anyone else who might, maybe, experience it. But it's one of those moments where I literally sat there for a minute and thought, "There's no way that somebod(ies) considered the interdependence between the game systems at that level of abstraction. But they DID. And the proof is right there as a coded object, in my character's hands."
I am glad that in the end, I played there for a month. I am glad that I made my major mistake before sinking too much time into it... sort of a wake up call to cut my losses and quit while I'm ahead, so to speak. It feels like the online gaming experience of a bad fling. My mind knows that I'm better off for moving on, but there's that small part that is always going to wonder what it would have been like if I stuck it out. It's kind of cool knowing that places like Sindome still exist on the internet, even if they aren't for me.
I don't know where else to fit this tidbit in, so I will leave it here at the end. The push to figure everything out ICly (FIOC), combined with the at times confusing code, combined with the high price of failure, creates an extremely uncomfortable disconnect. It's the kind of disconnect that could be significantly mitigated by helpful staff and players, but isn't. I the player, ended up screwing my character over, due to a lack of understanding about some code mechanics. It's the kind of situation where a thirty second face to face conversation, or a five minute text conversation with someone patient, could have avoided it. But that kind of conversation can't take place, due to the IC / OOC crossover prohibitions. As a player, you can't ask other players, "Hey, I'm here at X trying to do Y." because the fact that your character is at X and doing Y is IC information being communicated OOCly. And while you might be able to attempt to ask staff, odds are the help request is going to go into a backlogged queue where the odds are the response is going to be "Try it out and see what happens."Post a comment
Comment posted on Sun Oct 28 13:41:19 2018 by Michael:
Hey there, this review was just basically spot on, every part of it. I love it, and I agree that every text-based game player should give Sindome at least a month of their time to give it a shot. The call back to a "hard-mode rpg with no saves and perma-death" is just so spot on the money. Good break downs about a lot of the major problems facing a new player to the game. Also yeah, the roleplay "quality" I agree is very slim at least in public spaces. I did during my tenure there run across quite a few players that could pose quite well in detail once in a private location where you didn't have to constantly be ready to kill something or run away from something.
Sindome was an amazing game in several aspects, and one of the worst games on the internet in other aspects. Johnny, bless his heart, was an amazing fellow that actually seemed to take pride and care in his players. He did a few little coding tweaks specifically for my character to add some coded flavour to them. Nothing mechanically just a couple custom emotes that I could prompt with an alias that was built into my character rather than my client. I see in some of these reviews Cerberus is still around. Screw that guy, screw him with a ten foot pole, I don't know why Johnny keeps him around, he chased off half the players I played with with his metagaming characters. He's fine with NPCs though, strangely enough, but if he has his own player character he's a jerk.
Otherwise, this game was great, a good solid friendly (despite the cries of toxicity, the player base from an OOC point of view is primarily positive, I've often had a player use the OOC comm to be like "Sorry bro, but thems the biz") group at the time I played several years ago. Staff were often doing little things to encourage sudden roleplay, though the limited amount of staff to the 50-60 players (before Cerberus chased most of them off for awhile) did mean sometimes you could be waiting a few days if you were trying to get Staff to puppet an NPC for a player arc.Post a comment
This game is hard as hell.
It's not that the mechanics are particularly difficult - it's basic MOO stuff. Anyone familiar with other MOOs (Wayfar 1444, HellMOO, Cybersphere) will feel at home immediately, and it's not so different from a MUD that learning the parser feels like a chore. The big hurdles for this game are twofold.
1) Sindome is not a power fantasy.
Your character rolls into the city with frankly pathetic stats and skills, zero connections, no knowledge, no money, no inherent worth or value, and the game world treats you as such. Everyone above you (which is to say, every other PC and NPC) has achieved what they have by fighting tooth and nail for it, and they're not about to break you off a piece without a fight. You will be abused, robbed, cheated, lied to, stomped into the dirt, and pushed around. The friendships you make are tenuous: PCs you know and love will get dragged into factions that require them to cut ties with you. They will find themselves in bad situations where they have to steal from you to get by. They will sell you out to get ahead. And all of this creates the drama and conflict that you can strive to overcome time and again.
Even the strongest most well-connected characters are constantly going through cycles of horrible defeat, clawing their way back to the top, and exacting revenge. Nobody gets to skate by without any trouble, and no one gets off easy. This is not a power fantasy, it's a game about gambling, losing it all, and finding the determination to come back to try again.
2) The mechanics are kept IC
There's no wiki listing what stats go to what skills. The help files are sometimes spare. You will be at a loss as to how to build your character, and if you agonize over that sort of thing you are going to get frustrated when you ask questions OOC and get told to find out IC. Some people act like this is arbitrary (you don't have to look far to find a review complaining about how no one would tell someone what stats he needed to be a sniper or whatever), but it's meant to reinforce the first point: You are not a badass and you're not allowed to become a badass by reading a wiki. You have to engage with the game, experiment, talk to people, and lose until you find out how to win. A significant percentage of your RP will come out of learning how to do things in-character rather than looking them up OOC. This holds true for deckers, street sams, medics, or any other archetype. The end result is that the player characters who are the best in their field got there because they worked for it in-character.
Once you've got your head around those two ideas, there's a lot to dig into. The game has a robust playerbase and there are any number of directions to take a new character. The combat and travel mechanics (especially flight) are very well done and cybernetics and gadgets are a lot of fun to play with, though I will say that outside of these areas there's still work that could be done. The game lacks cyberpunk's usual cyberspace elements, instead using an in-world intranet that you can access via your browser for IC emails and forums. Many corporate jobs currently lack a lot of tangible job-related activity for players to dig into, which means that players in these roles get a significant amount of money dumped in their laps and are expected to make their own fun (read: crime) with it. Unless your archetype is combat-related, consider not leaning -too- hard into it and go in with the understanding that you'll want to do activities that go beyond the basic stated function of your job or role.
Crime is the focus here. Sindome's roots are clearly in works like Neuromancer and Johnny Mnemonic, but playing the game often feels more like living in the world of Grand Theft Auto. Even characters who attempt to keep on the straight and narrow are going to find themselves surrounded by baldly amoral jackasses, casual ultraviolence, and dark humor. It's an immersive RP world where the bad guys always win until the worse guys show up. If you can roll with the punches and want Vampire: The Masquerade level scheming with heart-pounding PVP, Sindome might be the game for you.Post a comment
Ever since I began to play Sindome I became captivated by the sheer attention to detail that is invested in every minuscule part of the game. From the game world, the characters, the stories told and to be told, the ample diversity in roleplay opportunities, the welcoming community, the game has nothing to envy to other M** games in the Internet.
The most common pitfall perceived by the public is the alleged toxicity of the Sindome community. This is by far the most common complaint. However, in my three years of experience as a player (I am not a staff of Sindome, never been, so this is as unbiased as it gets) I haven't had any negative experiences. The truth is that the world is harsh and unforgiving because of the Cyberpunk theme the game has to offer. Life in the streets is gritty. Sometimes things don't go our way. Death and loss are impending risks looming over your characters all the time... and sometimes it's normal to let that loss bleed to you (the player). But if you look at things from an objective point of view, Sindome is fair, balanced, and most importantly: themely. The theme is never broken to satisfy your whims as a player.
Withmore City is a finely tuned meat grinder with a massive scale. Hundreds of grinders working against each other to provide a cruel world where the Man rules everything and the ordinary Mixer -- those who live in Red Sector, the breeding ground for the scum, the lowest class of the social caste -- enjoys as many rights as a slave would have in the medieval ages. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing medieval about this game. The environment simply irradiates a neo-noir like Bladerunner, retro-future vibe like Brazil vibe. Alliances and rivalries are forged and broken all the time and the political landscape never settles down before turning into an eternal struggle for power. Sindome is the game where everybody can join and have a shot at greatness and glory, and those opportunities are backed by the cyberpunk principles: never take the blame, and always want more.
The mechanics of the MOO are by far one of the most advanced I've seen in a game of this kind. Cybernetics, vehicles, combat, drugs, the Grid, factions, weapons, a lore that has been developed for over twenty years. If you get bored of an archetype, you can simply roll a new character or change the direction of your current one and suddenly become entranced in a world of newfound opportunities that you never considered possible: Sindome is a game where you never learn enough, and where if you think you know enough, you only know the bare surface of the deeply entangled web of secrets, conspiracies, betrayals, alliances, and plots that are always forming -- both by players and GMs alike -- to bring the best possible roleplaying experience in a cyberpunk world.
The theme is harsh and the world is unforgiving. But the community is welcoming and kind. We are always glad to help new players and get them into the kick of things. Don't let yourself be cheated by the appearance of this unforgiving world: Sindome has a lot to offer to those who seek it out.Post a comment
Comment posted on Thu Aug 16 08:48:22 2018 by Slither:
Thank you for taking the time to write this review. The community really appreciates it.
This is my last post here, as I've just asked to have my character kicked out and GMs obliged. The thing kicked off from a topic that, while I thought was forbidden, turns out is allowed but in the milder version. I am speaking of course of rape, which while outright banned, it seems that it's milder brother - sexual harassment is allowed and considered part of the theme.
And I don't mean the mild version of catcalling, but coercing people into sex, and very much sexual assault is allowed to be roleplayed and accuse other players off. This is just something that made me almost vomit oocly when heard it from a GM, as I can't believe that we still have people who apparently need this for their gaming avenue. Would the world really be so bad if we left all sex-related crimes as the game background, not go around and accuse people of it and spin around them?
Maybe that's just my mad rambling. But alas I vote with my foot and leaving sindome. Which is a shame, as I've enjoyed the game greatly up to this point.
I initially wanted to post it on the forums, but apparently my access was removed.Post a comment
Comment posted on Fri Aug 10 11:26:27 2018 by Slither:
Regarding access to the forums, the former player was made aware of the following in an email prior to their writing this review, which was apparently ignored: 'I put your character in the $void to remove them from the game so you could quit without having to go kill your character off. The $void is a catch all for people who aren't in the game, have quit, or who have broken a rule or are in a cooldown, and it blocks anyone in there from posting on the boards. If you would like to be able to post you can let me know and I can put you in a coffin instead of the $void....'
From our rules: 2.C. Sexual Harassment Sindome is an adult game, with adult content. As such some amount of sex will, in all likelihood, enter into your characters life at some point, however, if someone OOCly asks you to stop directing sexual comments, requests, actions, etc, at their character, you need to stop.
If you are uncomfortable with sexual roleplay that is being directed at your character, you may use the local OOC command to request that the person cease. If you make this request and it continues to happen, please use xhelp to alert the admin staff, and we will help resolve the situation.
If someone requests you cease sexual roleplay with them under ANY circumstances, you are to cease it, without question. Failure to do so will result in punitive action with possible loss of your account.
Do not use accusations of sexual misconduct to slander another character in game, as it becomes an unavoidable in character topic for those who do not wish to engage in roleplay of that nature.
Additionally, sexual conduct in an OOC room, or OOC channels does not have to be tolerated at all. If you feel as though someone is sexually harassing you on OOC channels, please xhelp and alert an admin of the situation.
DO NOT sexually harass community members out of character. If you do you can expect to be banned from the game.
2.D. Text Rape & Rape RP Text rape is defined here as any instance in which something explicitly sexual is directly forced on a character. Rape RP is any RP that revolves around an instance of text rape, including the rape itself and any in-character or out of character discussions about it.
Rape RP is against the rules on Sindome. Discussing instances of Rape RP that took place on this, or other games, by any IC or OOC communication method is also against the rules. The only exception is to use xhelp to report violations of the rule, or get clarification from admin.
This means that you should never engage in rape RP, including both perpetration and discussion, in any location, over SIC, on the grid, or on OOC Channels. It does not matter if all directly involved have given their consent to the RP because its impossible to obtain OOC consent of everyone (players & admin) who may witness, hear discussion of, or be affected by the RP itself.
Avoid this kind of RP altogether and any discussion of RP that may have happened ICly or OOCly in the past.
Combat roleplay following sex roleplay does not constitute a rule break under this rule as long as the two events are conducted separately. Sexual roleplay must be done and over with before combat roleplay can commence for a clean and clear progression of the roleplay.
The discussion of rape as it pertains to the rules, or the real world is not forbidden on OOC channels but anyone discussing it should be aware that it is a volatile topic that can easily upset others. Be respectful and be prepared to stop discussing it if asked by other members of the community.
(see also: 'help rape' and rule 2.C. above on 'Sexual Harassment')
Take my advice. Give an indie MUD a shot over this.
Roleplay: Sindome follows very simple rules regarding this. 'If code allows it'. From there, it's the average fare. Code abuse, minimalist RP, and Out Of Character and In Character divide far too thin.
Mechanics: Mechanics are considered 'In-Character'. Metaknowledge about the game's systems are jealously guarded, to the point that the games help channel has a long history of 'Find out IC' responses (That they think is actually charming, instead of both alienating and undermining the point of having a Help Channel). Yes, this includes key features to your role. Yes, this means you have no guarantee if your role is even useful.
Internally inconsistent rules: In-character scenes of forced sex (Text simulated rape) is a bannable offense. Referencing such actions in-character is highly against the rules, out of respect for players. +Instances of teen abduction, and alleyway rape (As an unclever 'implication' technicality to be edgy.) occur in flavor-text constantly in some areas. Undermining the rule being out of respect for people with trauma in this regards.
Community harm impacts the game as it functions. If I were to consistently corner and bully a subset of players, this would net me a ban. Rules against bullying against admins exist, as it should, as they are people too, and deserve the respect as such. +Please refer to each and every 'Cerberus' complaint on these reviews. Nothing has changed. You will be personally insulted by him for even suggesting anything. The sheer amount of people babying him is silly.
General Spite Towards Players: Something in my experience with Sindome is the sheer amount of 'othering' that occurs here. If you do not focus on combat, you are the problem. If you roleplay anything above a two word response, you are the problem. If you aren't familiar with the codebase right out of chargen, you're the problem.
Every review and suggestion about staff and the game itself suffers from this view. Issues are ignored, and you're the enemy for suggesting them.
Your character is viewed as a 'Failure' if you choose to fuck people over in a slow-burn, or in a way that doesn't end in them being killed. The only way you avoid scathing criticism is if you're willing to bully new players who barely even know the mechanics, nor able to defend themselves in a meaningful story. The story just ends.
The game has a notorious reputation from other, better crafted MUDs for being a very negative, toxic place. It feels somewhat shameful that 'Cyberpunk Roleplay' is now forced to be a min-max fest when it advertises itself as story rich.
Play the game if you want the feeling of hand-waived Roleplay and just mashing your characters stats against another. Don't, if you want to play a game in the vein of Cyberpunk 2020. (IE: Non-combat features in storytelling, all skills useful, all backgrounds useful/etc.)
Because sometimes finding out IC is a bad thing, when it's a disappointing story about players, even admins, breaching the In Character-Out of Character divide to try and harass players.
The time spent to reach this conclusion wasn't worth the journey. But without comment, neither staff will improve their attitude, nor problems addressed.Post a comment
Comment posted on Wed Jun 13 16:00:19 2018 by Brendan:
Thanks for your feedback. I really appreciate you taking the time. We are always looking for ways to improve as a staff and as a community. We aren't perfect for sure, and we have definitely made mistakes in the past. We'll use the feedback you provided to improve.
In an effort to provide some objective measurement for my review I have put together a measurement system that takes into account fourteen different focus areas and weights them differently to come up with a meaningful score. It should be noted that a solid five is a good score, it indicates that the game is stable, engaging, and the community is supportive. With that disclaimer here is how Sindome scored:
1 Meets No Expecations 3 Meets Some Expectations 5 Meets Expectations 7 Exceeds Expectations 9 Far Exceeds Expectations
Code Summary 5.9 Community Summary 4.8 Staff Summary 4.8 Game Quality Summary 7.3 Summary Score 5.7
Sindome is by far my favorite online, text based, roleplaying game. Hands down. I enjoy almost every moment in game. Here are a highlight of areas where I think they stand out and where I think they can improve:
Code Stability 9: In my three plus years, I can count the number of times the game has crashed on one hand. Where many games reboot once a day, and may experience multiple crashes a day, Johnny takes great pride in how stable the code base is.
Engaging and Compelling Theme 9: I love the cyberpunk culture and how it is woven into every room description and enforced by staff. There are stories lines that players can get involved with, with a little effort, that are a splended blend of noir and bleak futurism.
Map Size 7: The map is huge. Three completely fleshed out levels in the city, plus outside the city and even space. One could take months to explore everything and it is worth it.
Help files 3: I am spoiled by extremely detailed help systems that let me figure out everything I need to know in one place. Sindome prefers that you try and experiment with commands, a learn by doing mentality. I am not that kind of player, I want to look somewhere once and don't want to bother people needlessly. Different help files often redirect to more vague helpfiles. When I first started playing, the help was a lot worse and it has come a long way, but it still could be better.
Staff Transperancy 3: Again, relitive to other games I have played the Sindome staff is very secretive and their decisions hidden from view. If pressed on a decision they will often say that it has IC ramifications rather than having an open and honest discussion about the topic.
Staff Avaliblity 7: I am throwing this one in here to offset the negitve review above. I must say anytime I have needed staff they have been there. Sometimes before I have known I need them. True bug situations are handled quickly and professionally.
On balance I strongly recommend this game if you are looking for a non-traditional MUD* in a unique setting. Amazing code and solid mechanics, along with a compelling theme offset most of the negitives.
*Don't ever call it a MUD in game. It is a MOO. You will get repremanded for forgetting this point.Post a comment
Comment posted on Tue Aug 14 19:43:41 2018 by Slither:
Thanks for taking the time to write this review. I read all of them and try to address the comments that are made in them.
Help Files: Always a work in progress. However, I've recently added a bunch of new code around this, and also audited ALL of them, to make them much more helpful and cross linked and also have a date they were last updated. Hopefully this improves their usability. We've also added a lot of 'forwarders' to forward things like help jobs to help job and other such things to surface these help files better.
Staff Transparency: We do try to be transparent where we can but we don't reveal how specific parts of the game work so that people don't start 'gaming' the system. We have twice yearly town halls where we discuss openly all the policy changes and rules changes. We also have our BGBB forums where we post updates to the code, the rules, and our reasonings behind them, and engage in discussion with players.
What we don't do is discuss in character events or the reasons behind them, most of the RP on Sindome is player driven and revealing IC info to players OOCly is against the rules for both staff and players alike.
MUD or MOO: We're trying to lighten up on this :) MOO as a term is less and less used and less important as a differentiator as MUD has come to encompass everything.
Thanks again for taking the time to review us! Slither
I played Sindome for a year, and even towards the end of that year I was enamored with the players and mechanics. Even if the mechanics were (as I have recently discovered) pretty much unfinished.
My first six months of Sindome were pretty fun, infact I'd even go as far as to say they were some of the most memorable RP experiences I've ever had on an online medium. My next four months were probably the worst experience I've ever had on an online medium. Allow me to explain, briefly-- why.
There is nothing wrong with Sindome in it's community, at least in my eyes the characters there are an array of various talents. Some people avatar their characters but hey! We're all guilty of that to some degree.
There isn't anything wrong with the mechanics either, even though I've come to learn they were basically ripped from another MUD who have actually developed a good deal of the 'lacking' bits --I'll go into that later.* What there is a problem with, and what I -refused- to believe there was a problem with for seven months, (because I'm stubborn and do not listen to people who are not me). Is with the staff.
I'm not going to name names because you can take a cursory glance through Sindome's reviews and ascertain precisely what I -am- talking about. The staff on Sindome, and I have been in some CANCEROUS communities. (Search TnB, gmod RPing community, and realize the depth of cancer I refer to). Are purely corrupt, and purely apathetic. They do not care about SD with even the tangential affection someone who uses it to ERP does. The members of staff who are not directly fellating those above them, have become so jaded and more or less apathetic to the enjoyment of their own game, that they refuse to react with any level of what I'd dare to call humanity. There is no love of storytelling, narrative, or character progress here. Instead, you will find a combination of traits among the GM team that I would say have become almost commonplace. There are those who puppet all-powerful avatars of mechanical destruction who -cannot- be killed, their status quo -cannot- be upset, and they are basically gods to the rest of the player characters. There are GMs who will spawn in powerful NPCs just to kill players they don't like.
Realize for seven months, I tried to justify this behavior to myself because I was so in love with this game. I tried so desperately to fool myself into thinking this sort of behavior was acceptable for GMs to exhibit, and to persist in. I really did try to delude myself because-- when I get going in a direction I tend to not stop until I've accomplished what I set out to do.
Don't make the same mistakes I did. Don't invest yourself, don't develop as deep of an infatuation with it as I did only to find out that you've wasted your time.
*SD took it's codebase from a Mud called Cybersphere and in twenty years haven't developed it even fractionally, as well as they have. https://www.cybersphere.net/cs/Main_Page If you're in love with SD's mechanics, or the Cyberpunk genre I would beg you to try CS. It is quite astounding in mechanical depth, and the GMs are actually quite sweet.
P.S. Keep in mind I invested 200$ into this game for private lodging for my character, -real- money that I believed would go towards development and am still leaving a negative review. Profound, right?Post a comment
Comment posted on Fri Aug 10 11:33:03 2018 by Slither:
Hi, I'm Slither. I've been playing Sindome since 2003 and I've been a staff member since 2005. I'm one of the hightest ranking members of the staff and I'm responsible for a lot of the code, training, disciplinary action, and other stuff that goes on in the game day to day and week to week.
It sounds like you had a bad experience with one of more staff members on Sindome. I'm sorry to hear that.
For anyone reading this review, or any of the other reviews that come from a similar line of thinking and experiences, I can't dismiss everything that the reviewer said. There have been times, and specific players, that have had contentious relationships with the staff members on Sindome. Sometimes this was the fault of the staffer, who mishandled a situation, sometimes it was the fault of the player, sometimes there was fault on both sides.
It's always been my firm belief that most issues that players have with the staff can be resolved by us simply taking the time to explain the situation in as much detail as is required for the player and the staffer to get on the same page. I encourage all the staff members to take this approach. I train them (as much as my time allows) to use this approach. I offer feedback after player interactions that I witness that didn't go as well as I believe they could have. Still, there are times when shit hits the fan so to speak. Someone is having a bad day, someone pushes buttons, misunderstandings happen, or sarcasm and tone don't translate well. It sucks, and we learn from it. We try to be better.
However, to call our community (or even just the staff) cancerous, is incorrect. Despite what people might think, no one on the staff is on it because they want to play super powered characters that can kill whoever they want and not have their status quo upset. We do not accept people onto the staff that exhibit these traits and we do not keep people on the staff that it becomes clear are after that kind of thing.
I can understand why players, not seeing our side of the curtain might jump to that conclusion. Bad ass NPCs show up and roll characters. All attempts to kill an established NPC fail. It seems like the GMs know everything that's going on and are using meta information to get ahead of your characters actions.
Time and time again I see players present this issue. I wish I had a better way to explain it but I will fall back on the explanation I typically use. You are playing a cyberpunk game. Everyone around you is smiling to your face and betraying you the moment you turn your back. Information travels as fast as mind to mind communication allows. There are always IC explanations and justifications for what NPCs are doing and how they know about what -you- might be doing. There are IC cameras everywhere, controlled by players and NPCs alike. There are secret informants. There are uber NPCs who are not -meant- to be beatable by characters less than 6 months old. Sindome is a game that takes 3-4 years to get to 'max experience points'. And the bad ass NPCs that are waiting for you when you get to that amount of experience are designed to challenge even the most powerful player characters.
Death on Sindome is like a punch in the face, both literally in how it makes you the player feel and in the amount of damage it actually does to your character compared to the real world. It's multi-death. Before I became a GM I played a character who died 150 times in 2 years. It was great fun! 70% of those deaths were probably from NPCs. That doesn't mean the GMs were out to get me, or power gaming, they meant that whatever choices I made, I made the wrong ones, ICly.
To say that the staff doesn't care about the game is... well, it's silly. I don't know how else to respond to that. The mere fact that I've spent the last thirty minutes writing a response to this review. The amount of time the GMs spend every day, working on the game, the amount of emails the staff answers, and the amount of daily communication between the staff... the posts on the forums... the plotting before falling asleep-- it's, I mean, we obviously care.
As for our code base-- yep, 21 years ago Sindome split off from Cybersphere due to irreconcilable differences in how the game should be run. We've got nothing but love for Cybersphere-- and any Cyberpunk game. They've gone far in directions we have only coded a bit, and we've gone far in directions they have only coded a bit. We are different games, with different staffs, and different worlds :)
For all of you reading this, I hope you do check Sindome out. Read our forums, or sign in as a guest and talk to the players on our OOC-chat. See what they think, and if this reviewer was correct or not about us.
Hope to see you soon. -- Slither
Beware of Sindome! I came into Sindome a few days ago because I love the cyberpunk atmosphere. This was my second stab at the game; the first time it just didn't connect for me, but I also realized I wasn't being fair to it because it doesn't model well after other MUDs. Honestly, that is both its greatest -- and weakest -- strength. I had experience with entirely different games like BatMUD and Aardwolf.
Overall, my impression of the game early on was good, but I must caution new players about Sindome. Contrary to its claims, it is NOT a 'newbie-friendly' environment, and unless you are looking at your screen and following along every second of every moment while playing Sindome, even new players should be prepared to lose everything as I did. You must accept the militant terms of the game, and any complaints levied against it are opportunities for mockery and disinterest in the community.
What I've basically realized about Sindome after playing several hours of it is that: if you love RP and you love cyberpunk, Sindome is one of few options, and the rich RP (role play) environment delivers very strongly. In fact, this is what I love about Sindome. Walking around the city and talking IC (in-character) is both rewarding and deeply immersive. This cannot be overstated enough. I have absolutely no complaints in this department, and I suggest that if you try Sindome, please keep RP in mind as it is both expected and against the rules to excessively talk OOC (out-of-character) while playing. That isn't to say you can't ask questions OOC, but it's more or less expected that if you have an IC question, you will need to find an IC answer. What does that mean? It means if you have a problem playing as your character, you'll largely be out of luck finding an answer from another player unless you're both IN character and communicating in the game, in the same room. This is an obscure concept for most gamers, and it also means there are no easy solutions to your problems should they arise (and trust me, they will). You can't even really find it outside the game as it is against the rules to discuss IC concepts or events outside Sindome. If you do, you will probably be banned.
Where Sindome collapsed for me is how it negates to inform you that being AFK (away from keyboard) even momentarily can spell doom for your character. It's explained that in the first two weeks, there is some measure of 'protection' for new players. That is to say, no one can kill you. However, Sindome is like PVP on steroids. Not only can you be killed while walking down the street or performing some menial task in any room at any time, you can lose your character or get mugged and lose all of your money (as I did). While I was certainly within the boundaries of the two week protection, the game failed to explain anywhere during it's tutorial or '@newbie' guide that robbery is completely fine. Oops!
In my unfortunate situation, I was called urgently away from my computer for OOC problems. Real life works that way sometimes, and adults can't be expected to monitor each and every second of our in-game time when those instances arise. Unless you're already familiar with Sindome, and you happily accept and agree to it's masochistic rules, be prepared for a punishing ride. Let me be clear: the environment is designed to reflect real life as much as it possibly can, and this can be a wonderful and engaging virtue of Sindome. It strengthens the rich RP environment, encourages very real consequences, and it keeps you on your toes. However, there is virtually no 'safe' area beyond the tight confines of habitats like coffins, cubes and apartments which are all purchasable in-game. Coffins are initially a free asset (up to two weeks) but require some working knowledge of how to navigate the city. For new players, this is a tall request should something OOC require your immediate attention, and you're clear across town away from the safety of your coffin.
Back to my story: while I was away dealing with my real-life crises, my character stood in the middle of the street in broad daylight and was mugged by another player. I lost every chyen (cyberpunk currency) that I had earned on me. I had spent the previous day playing 8-10 hours, familiarizing myself with Whitmore City, earning money, talking to other IC players and learning what I could. Let me rewind a little to just how involving and punishing the game is, even from the moment you step in.
You are given no weapon and no clothes when you enter the city. The only thing you are given is a small sum of currency which will provide you an opportunity to purchase some clothes to cover your 'naked' character who is apparently running around in the snow in this city (despite the game's aim to be overtly realistic). I guess hypothermia is off the list. In this way, you are provided no way to defend yourself. Again, you can only rely on two assets for the first two weeks: no players can kill you, and the public coffins are free to 'sleep' in. Everything else is perfectly acceptable. Sleeping includes not only logging off from the game but also being AFK, I guess? It's not entirely clear to me, and neither is the guide. What the newbie tutorial (if you can call it that) fails to mention is that every moment in the game is a risk to not only die but to lose anything you're carrying.
After this frustrating encounter, I scrolled up urgently to find out what might have happened and realized had I not been AFK, I wouldn't have known what to do anyway. One of the earliest drawbacks to the game is an entire lack of a combat tutorial. There are a few brief commands mentioned in the newbie guide, but there is no opportunity to put the knowledge to use. Had I not been called away from my computer, I'm not entirely certain I would have been any better off since I had no prior experience with combat, being mugged or defending myself. More importantly, I had no weapon and no means to defend myself. Perhaps I could have ran away, but I have no idea the mechanics of being mugged since the game utterly fails to explain anything about that event in any way. That is no exaggeration. It's not mentioned anywhere in the guide. It was a harsh lesson in Sindome's mechanics, and as I quickly learned, the player community is largely indifferent to your ills.
To draw some contrast here, a game like EVE (which is notoriously punishing) is a children's romp compared to Sindome. No, it's not a MUD, but it's an MMORPG, and in it the risk / reward mechanisms can be similarly very high. It might seem like hyperbola, but Sindome has not only created an environment where you can lose everything, but the demands to get back into the game (should you die) are steep. After logging in for the first time, you are frequently alerted that you need to write a '@history' for your character. This should be a well thought out piece of literature explaining your newly created character's backstory and how it connects with the Sindome universe. I spent a couple of days revising a draft that the game's admins had initially rejected because my history didn't go far enough to explain each and every skill I had put points into when I created my character. It also required me to read a lengthy timeline on Sindome's website to find a hook where my character logically connects to the world. Having a character history is important because job opportunities are largely nonexistent in the game without them, and without money, you're not likely to make it far in the walls of Whitmore City.
Should your character die, be prepared to lose it entirely and start the process of character creation all over again (including an entirely new written history). Also, you won't be allowed to use the same character name, history or any part of their original identity. It's permanent death for that character if you don't have a clone. Attempting to return a similar character to the game could result in a suspension or ban from Sindome. Whew. This is a game, right?
After my mugging, I urgently went to the help channel to inquire about losing all of my money while doing nothing more than standing around in the game. Several players were quick to explain that this was all part and parcel of the game, and if I didn't like it, I can leave. From my perspective as a new player, it made me feel largely unwelcome and dismissed. I fully understand that it's different strokes for different folks out there, and if you like a high risk game, Sindome might just be your cup of tea. Be warned though: Sindome and its community are not gentle to new players. Learn as much as you can about the game before entering. Read everything three times (or more), minimize your OOC talk, and get comfortable with being stepped on like a bug. For me, it just wasn't a fun experience. I play games to relax and escape the very real stresses of life, not trade one evil for another.Post a comment
Comment posted on Tue Aug 14 19:51:53 2018 by Slither:
Thanks for taking the time to write a review. I'd like to think we're getting more newbie friendly every day. I've recorded a series of introduction videos which new players can watch to get better aquainted with the game. These aren't required but are very helpful for those that don't want to pour over help files.
We've updated our helpfiles to be more helpful, in the past few months.
We've gone a game-help channel dedicated to helping new players. We've got a detailed newbie guide in game and on the website. We also have a somewhat steep learning curve. If you aren't familiar with PvP RPI games, you should consider your first character as possibly disposable as dying in a PvE or PvP situation is totally possible. You do get newbie protection, but certian things (like attacking someone, or stealing from someone) will negate that protection, such as to be fair to other characters.
Plenty of what you said was fair and just, and Sindome isn't everyones cup of tea, that's for sure. If you do like a game that doesn't pull punches, and requires you to think through your actions and plan and plot and betray and such, it could be for you. But it's fast and hard and unforgiving at times. And not really geared toward 'casual play'.
Also if you do find yourself needing to take a call, you should use '@ooc' to leave the game world and enter an OOC area where you cannot be harmed.
Good luck out there! Slither
Sindome is difficult to understand at first. One of the reasons why is because when you first approach it, you're probably coming off not from a MUD. Instead, you're probably used to other roleplay situations where you talk freely to people ooc'ly, share info that other person needs to plan your next scene together, and generally try to work out storyarcs in the name of having a good time.
One of the biggest shocks you might have when you play at Sindome is how that sort of thing isn't allowed due to keeping immersion constant in the game. You cannot ask *anything* ooc'ly that you can find out ic'ly. If you push this, there are consequences.
MUD commands are also hard if this is your first time playing one. Simple things like lifting something or closing a door might be hard to understand at first. Here's a tip: examine everything around you, it took me forever to learn to do that. If you get stuck, search the website for hints and tips on what to do.
Those two things I've mentioned gave me a tough time at the start. I had to get used to Sindome's style of play which took a minute. Now that I've gotten used to it, I think the game's pretty fun and I enjoy it quite a bit.Post a comment
OK. Nobody wants to read reviews full of subjectivity: straight to the meat. This is about Cerberus, a top-tier administrator on Sindome. You will be occupying the same space as him, should you choose to play.
_____ [OOC-Chat] Staff Cerberus: Just like to make another appeal to the community. If you're not aware, we've received some negative reviews on TMC from banned players and in the absence of positive reviews , they stand out a lot. So if you've had a positive experience with SD and the Staff, please feel free to post a review on TMC so we can avoid losing potential new immigrants to the exaggerated claims of a few toxic people. http://www.mudconnect.com/cgi-bin/prev/submit.cgi?mud=Sindome
[OOC-Chat] Staff Cerberus: We appreciate any time people take to write the reviews. It's unfortunate that the voting doesn't speak for itself, but we need to protect ourselves and our new players from the toxicity of banned players.
+++ What this man is doing is called 'poisoning the well.' You insult someone before they get a chance to make a statement in order to persuade people's opinions of them negatively. It works wonders. Unfortunately for him, it's not an argument, thus has no rational, keyword rational, persuasive merit. It would be like if I referred to him as Cranky Cerb throughout the rest of this review in Trump style of bestowing a funny nickname onto your opponent. But it shouldn't affect your judgement. But it does.
By attaching negative adjectives to the writers of these reviews ('banned, toxic'), Cranky Cerb is able to gain the persuasive upper hand on people who are less likely know about these kind of tricks. And you don't want to be tricked, do you?
_____ (From): http://www.sindome.org/bgbb/open-discussion/anything-really/cerberus-and-you-707/
''I will make an attempt to return to being polite and understanding, but I will do so with a zero tolerance rule.
If I hear you out, and respond, and you decide that you didn't like my response and resume arguing your point.
You will have earned a time out in the void for 30 minutes as per our current rules.
Respect is a two way street and I will respect you if you can respect the fact that I am putting an effort into being nice and polite and understanding to your concerns.''
+++ Respect is a two way street, except when Cranky Cerb doesn't like your response. There cannot be an 'understanding' conversation when you have threats hovering over your head like this. You just can't. You will stifle yourself in hopes of avoiding any kind of conflict and may even convince yourself that you indeed like this person and their opinions to better cope with the situation. It is similar to, but not exactly, Stockholm syndrome.
_____ (From): http://www.sindome.org/bgbb/open-discussion/anything-really/cerberus-and-you-707/
Xenode: So GMs have not defended an action, ever, that wasn't cool by player or GM standards? Cerberus: I don't understand the question.
Xenode: You're phrasing things in an 'us vs. them' style, as if GMs are saints, and players are the only ones who ever do anything wrong. This is the same kind of mentality that has people angry at the police in many parts of the US. Yes most GMs are good and well intentioned, like most police are, but when you start talking like the players are the only ones causing any trouble or doing anything wrong, you're forcing that kind of reaction. Cerberus: I am not sure how to answer the question Xenode when you take the position that admin are abusive like police but I'll try.
+++ This is called strawmanning. You twist your opponent's words into something easier to beat and kill it before anyone notices what you did. The discerning reader will note Xenode never said that Sindome admins are abusive like police. It makes it much easier for Cranky Cerb to completely dodge around concerns such as these by painting them a different colour.
_____ Cerberus OOCly shouts, 'It is NOT appropriate to clear your description in a shroud. What the heck.'
+++ There's also the problem of whimsical judgement. He has a tendency to influence players with the use of the global Out Of Character announcement system, making up laws on the fly which only affect the players that are around at the time to notice them. You get a set of players abiding by this set of laws, that set of laws, eventually there's secret mystery laws that nobody knows about. You can see where this goes. If something isn't written down explicitly, it's not a real standard.
_____ Cerberus OOCly shouts, 'Ignore that description and HOW THE fart DO YOU COME TO THAT CONCLUSION' Cerberus OOCly shouts, 'I SAID IGNORE IT'
...Moments later... Cerberus OOCly shouts, 'Johnny is saying that if you forget to remove specific details out of your description when you put on your shroud then its your fault and people get to be meta against you. So good luck. '
+++ Then you have kneejerk reactionery bipolarism like this. Cranky Cerb rapidly takes one emotional stance then quickly takes the more favorable stance of listening to his superior.
_____ [OOC-Chat] Staff Cerberus: I get a list of everyone's bank accounts at the push of a button. [OOC-Chat] Staff Cerberus: Last time the mix got too rich, I had to kill people daily until they spent their bank accounts on resupplying.
Cerberus OOCly shouts, 'STOP annoying ME OFF.' +++ And then there's that. _____ Did my usage of Cranky Cerb alter your perception or judgement in any way? It shouldn't.
Overall Sindome is a unique roleplaying experience that while it has a clunky interface at times can provide the potential for fun if you find the right chums and avoid the bad hombres. You just have to be know who's in the kennel.
[ Profanity has been scrubbed from the logs below to concur with TMCs ruleset. Full version available here: https://pastebin.com/raw/2R1kVUVk ]Post a comment
Comment posted on Sun Oct 8 07:47:49 2017 by KennyFan:
Great review, NotKenneth! You didn't even pick the best examples of the behavior you described -- all in all, pretty lenient, I'd say. The bad apples aside, Sindome is a great game. Would love to play again someday. Y'know, when Cranky Cerb finally gets bored of the power trip and moves on. Until then, I can't really justify subjecting myself to regular abuse during my limited free time. Best of luck to ya.
[-][OOC-Chat] Staff Cerberus: Just like to make another appeal to the community. If you're not aware, we've received some negative reviews on TMC from banned players and in the absence of positive reviews , they stand out a lot. So if you've had a positive experience with SD and the Staff, please feel free to post a review on TMC so we can avoid losing potential new immigrants to the exaggerated claims of a few toxic people.
If anyone is curious while Sept 8 sees an uptick in positive responses it is because the staff directly solicited the assistance. Note that the staff and even some of these solicited comments/reviews presume that there are 'bad players' leaving these reviews. Anyone who has been around the block a few times can already see the early warning signs of a tone deaf administration and players either acting with blinders on or benefiting from staff approval... or hey maybe they do enjoy the game but never felt like reviewing it before or didn't know mudconnect existed.
When I played sindome I found the game to be enjoyable. I thought it was weird that you couldn't ask about syntax questions. For example I have an item, it is clearly meant to do a function, but I do not know the syntax and it is not in helpfiles... When I inquire about syntax I am instructed to find out in game. Well I'm not sure how very roleplay intensive the idea of ICly asking about code syntax is. Futhermore Cerberus (the staffer soliciting positive reviews) was once removed from Sindome for causing a general player outcry on a third party forum. It was only months later he was allowed back and is now back to the same antics that got him removed in the first place.
If Johnny was an active roleplaying owner or Slither has time from his busy daily life, I'd be willing to put dollars against pennies that Cerberus wouldn't be a GM/staffer on that game anymore. Sadly as is common with a lot of older games those with free time and a drive to be active rise to the top and their issues are glossed over, ignored, or apologized for because despite some staff (not just Cerberus) being toxic they do a lot of work and the game probably wouldn't function without them.
I suggest everyone try Sindome, it is a unique MOO, and it is a great place for RPI refugees from other games to enjoy themselves. I generally give people anywhere from 3 - 5 months before community/administration problems will drastically affect their enjoyment of the game.Post a comment
I've been roleplaying since I was twelve an I can say with all honesty, twenty years later, Sindome has been the most rewarding experience of any genre or game in I've had the pleasure of playing.
Consistent and immersive roleplay is the crown jewel for Sindome, endless plots and opportunities present all who wish to take advantage and participate the chance to see their character's dreams, goals and purpose come to fruition; if they can navigate the treachery, backstabbing, chaos, poverty and green classic to the cyberpunk theme. No character is too low or too high to remain unscathed or reach out and try to pry themselves up the ladder, bodies an devastation to the top.
Mechanics are well thought out and evolving where necessary or when new ideas work themselves out to improve the game world. Balanced combat with consideration to a number of scenarios, weaponry, enhancements and participants is only one part of a world rich with roles for different play styles. Artistic crafting to mechanical junkies to those who modify guns and munitions to scientists and doctors who can change the body to chemists creating candy, getting you hooked! Transport systems, travel, Judges and space!
Clear divide between economic classes add public dispute and conflict to complement the underlying tension between corporate competitors and enemies to the hatred between rival gangs, factions and interests in poverty stricken dwellings. Two distinct environments to go with those who try to play the middle ground, with much risk, so whatever your flavour of interest, it's there for you to explore to your heart's content. Scheming, conspiracy, betrayal and paranoia are high and with that the chances for characters to sneak in and twist a piece of it off to their advantage are greater!
Staff in Sindome are dedicated. One or two can be brusque and short, yes, but please don't mistake that for inherently rude or intentionally cruel to players. They are a small number of hardworking individuals who constantly work on projects: plots, area improvement and rehaul, polishing areas to expand and add new amenities and investments for characters, mechanical and code advancement, personal to worldwide events. Helping teach characters/players how to run positions of power to involve more characters on a consistent basis without staff help. Answering questions and dealing with problems that, in hindsight never needed their help but they did so anyways.
Questions repeated five plus after being told it isn't appropriate to ask, clear bug abuse or exploit or people behaving in ways to get banned are the only times I've seen staff go from to obviously agitated, disappointed and/or angry. In a time where I made a critical error I was spoken with brusquely but not rudely, and it was never held against me.
If you can handle a steep learning curve and understand that people speaking bluntly for the sake of efficiency doesn't mean they're angry or being rude to you, then I encourage you to try Sindome. If cyberpunk is your cup of cold tea, of course!Post a comment
Sindome is like an abusive partner. Sometimes, some days, you just want to forget how badly they've treated you and be cuddled. That's what has kept me connected to Sindome for the past two years: this idea that they could get better. That they knew what they were doing wrong, and were making changes to remedy it.
Unfortunately, as much as I wish I could say that was true, it isn't. Sindome has some of the best cyberpunk RP and gameplay that I've ever seen in a MU*, but it's wrapped up in a toxic community and toxic staff. If you can play this game with blinders on, and talk OOCly as little as humanely possible, and never, ever (God forbid if you do) ask any sort of question that might be considered 'stupid', you might get along wonderfully in Sindome. However, for those of you who like to have your questions answered, this probably isn't the game for you, because depending on the day and how cranky old Cerberus (one of the staff members) is feeling, because instead of actually answering your questions he's prone to throw hissy fits and state how a question is so stupid he 'won't even answer it'. The playerbase not only feeds into this behavior - that actually model it. The more of an asshole you are OOCly, it seems the better your character will do ICly. It's an odd paradigm that I've yet to see anywhere else, and it hasn't improved in the past two years.
Contrary to that, there are some really fabulous staff there. It's easy for me to say that some of the best deaths I've had on Sindome, and their uber-strict policy about thematic additions to the game is actually one of my favorite things. However, because of the toxicity I've experienced, I won't be playing there.
I'm very friendly when I talk to people, and especially over the internet where the tone of your text is so important. I bend over backwards to be nice to the staff on games, because I know they are volunteers, and I know they often times just want to enjoy their time in the game too. However, when I'm nice, I expect politeness to at least be reciprocated. I do not log onto MUDs because I like being treated like shit OOCly by the people who run it. I log in because I want to play in the world that we're all helping to create.
In short, Sindome is a great game plagued by OOC toxicity, elitism, and narcissism that makes my experience absolutely shit.Post a comment
Comment posted on Sun Sep 10 04:47:50 2017 by Molly:
'The more of an asshole you are OOCly, it seems the better your character will do ICly.'
Given that it's not generally known who plays who in the anonymous opt-in OOC chat, and given that the secrecy and paranoia inherent to the theme generally precludes anyone from knowing how well most other characters are really doing, this seems like a statement made in bad faith.
This is not a game where you get your questions answered OOC. You go in blind and everything's extremely confusing, but as you learn the systems by interacting with them, you gain a measure of understanding that moves you ahead. As your character's skills and stats grow, so does your OOC knowledge about the game, which helps give you an advantage. Every new trick you learn helps put you ahead of the other guy. It's simply part of the game design that you do so in-character rather than reading a wiki or something.
Comment posted on Sat Sep 9 08:21:22 2017 by Charles:
Hi. While it is true that staff and players are refuse to answer many questions, there is a good reason behind it. Sindome is VERY role play intensive and there is a HUGE line drawn between OOC and IC information. This line is not always clear to new players. It is easy to believe that the information you are after should be available OOC. But for the sake of preserving awesome RP and encouraging players to come together, this is often not the case.
Example: Player asks OOCly 'My character is a doctor. Has a medical degree and experience from before coming to Withmore (the city in which the game takes place). I should know how to use the tools of healing and the commands needed. Please tell me them.'
Answer: 'Withmore uses different tech than the rest of the world. Your character has never used the items available in Withmore. But you can have your player go out and ask medical professionals ICls for this information.'
To be honest though, the above answer does often get shortened quite a bit. Answers can be terse. The initial answer might be, 'Find out in character!' or even 'FOIG!' which means 'find out in game'. And if a player keeps pushing they might be told to back off, quit fighting and at least try and take the advice they have been give.
Sindome is also full of people who prefer to play the game rather than talk about it. I think this also contributes to short replies to answers.
In all I have found that coming to see why I always got answers like this has really made a difference for me. It was hard but worthwhile. Just my two cents!
Comment posted on Sat Sep 9 08:18:40 2017 by Goose:
Sindome is a great MUD, stopped playing for a while because of its learning curve, but I started back up again and have been playing for a year straight since. It has a great playerbase that's helpful and also really good at making RP, however there's a lot of things you need to figure out through in game methods since this is a heavy RP MUD, which a lot of people seem to take offense to, which makes no sense really. The admins are constantly working on it to improve it, whether it be simple bug fixes, or an entire reworking of an old system. The room descriptions are amazing and really help enhance the RP. Great game overall.
The community is generally not very helpful, as they are mostly long time players who don't want to answer the same old questions again. This isn't a big issue as the game isn't rocket science to figure out. The admins are a great group of people, unless you take into account they have lives and the 'tertiary' admins are just the most unpleasant of people all around. If you don't get along with one of these guys, you're going to have a very bad time. It's not uncommon for the admins to play favorites with who they will bend the rules for and then scorn people who try and do the exact same thing. There is very little consistency and if you point this out, there will be a blathering paragraph about how this isn't a democracy from one of the unpleasant and unfriendly admins. Personally, the game is great, but the community of higher ups makes the game hard to play for the long term. Come in for the scenery, leave because you dislike toxic people.Post a comment
Comment posted on Sun Sep 10 01:04:33 2017 by Kisaki:
I remember, back then in 2015 when I created my character. I thought, 'Maybe it's a hack and slack dubbed with RP.' No, it wasn't.
As a fan of Sims, I had a good surprise: technically, you can be anything you can as long as it supports cyberpunk theme, it's like a second life. There are lots of options and jobs, entertainment, and facilities.
I decided my character would be a cyber doc. You can be the good or the evil through text. Attacking a character would need legitimate reason. I took the good path, until getting to know the fight mechanics better.
In game, I got a lot of support from some veteran characters. They sometimes made up a plot, like hiring me as a runner, to help me earn some money when I was a noob and unemployed.
Some characters are friendly, but some characters can't be. It's like you ask The Joker to be friend with Batman, or Venom to be friend with Spiderman, or a thug to be friend with a cop. We have 'bad guys' characters that we secretly love. They make the RP so lively. Just don't confuse characters with players.
Once in OOC, they're as friendly as the actors who played the nemesis characters together. Don't take an IC offense as something OOC.
I also got the 'Find out IC' or FOIG answer for some of my IC questions, but well I understood I had to make a little effort. I just had to ask IC. Easy.
It's not hard to find things IC, you can ask the 'SIC', the IC chat channel. Any immy or newbie who encounters this answer, takes a shot there and gets the answer.
I play the same character since almost 2 years ago. This game changed my life, as I didn't know I would be hooked.
You are not limited to hack and slash like other muds. Here, you write your story, along with other players. Of course it takes time to separate IC and OOC, and now I take them as two different worlds.
Heavy RPers and people liking text games or reading will surely be hooked.
I won't complain about staff. From time to time, on the OOC channel, we get to chat together or share funny stuff (Mostly fun stuff). This is like family. Everybody gets along.
We're not mute at all. We have a newbie channel and two OOC channels. While RPing you can also use an OOC command with the character you're with. In game, you have a public channel, and the in-game internet. You're never left alone when in need.
We have a town hall event every six months, where every player and staff log in to a special area to discuss the game and how to improve it.
Staff are dedicated, even in low number they do their best. They're the reason why the game improves. Building takes time, but they can manage. They create good plots too, like gangs fight or the attack on the Hall of Justice.
Unless you're a rule breaker, you will enjoy Sindome for years. Some players are there for a decade, I'm just at my 2nd year and I will continue for sure. Good RP always is rewarding.
Before I begin my review of Sindome, I'd like to establish the credentials by which I am reviewing it. I played Sindome several hours a day for approximately 2 years, the last few months of which I was a support staffer assisting in behind-the-scenes operations of this game.
Sindome is a long-established, well-coded and deeply cyberpunk themed MOO set in the dystopian domed city of Withmore, where the rich corporate elite oppressively try to assert their hold over the impoverished 'mixers' trying to climb the economic ladder. Fleshing out the theme of the game is a background of retro-futuristic technology hailing straight from the dystopian, post- apocalyptic and sci-fi 1980s movies and fiction that inspired the cyberpunk genre. The game has an incredible amount of potential as a roleplay playground for those willing to invest a huge amount of time and emotional energy into it. It does however suffer from various OOC (i.e. Out-of-character/irl-side) issues that can and will impact your IC (i.e. In-character) experience and OOC enjoyment of the game.
The game enjoys a consistent playerbase of about 50+ (which is double what it routinely was in late 2014) who are by far the bread and butter of the game as far as the IC experience is concerned. The potential is there to enjoy plentiful amounts of player vs player conflict (the main source of Sindome's plot) without needing staff to assist if you are a creative, self-driven player. There is however a distinct glass cieling as to what can be achieved by players who are not afforded staff assistance in their plots, most obviously access to the coded forms of in-character employment and to powerful equipment. Staff availability is extremely limited.
For those hoping to enjoy a pleasant OOC community alongside their roleplay experience, unfortunately Sindome is lacking to the point of hostility. Don't take my word for it, just read the stark warning you would see EVERY time you logged into the game:
'[*SYS-MSG*] WARNING! Discussing the in character world with other players via Out of Character communication methods (Skype, IM, Facebook, etc) is strictly against the rules, even if you don't plan to act on the information you give or receive. Intent is irrelavent when dealing with natural human instinct to defend oneself from harm, this applies to roleplay as well. Sharing IC info is unfair. It has disastrous effects on the game. Report all incidents that you are aware of via xhelp or to email@example.com and do NOT engage in it yourself. It carries a one year ban from the game. WARNING!'
This strict In-Character/Out-Of-Character divide exists to protect the game from metagamers (i.e. players who effectively cheat by using means outside the game to gain an advantage inside the game) and would be fine, were it possible to productively discuss any serious issues on game matters that bridge the IC/OOC divide (it was this kind of discussion that resulted in my getting banned under the above rule). Sadly this, and any other form of communication that might be considered criticism, is not the case. Again, don't take my word for it; here's a statement by a prevalent member of staff:
'[+][OOC-Chat] Staff Cerberus: I hate posting on the forums. When I do, it's because I was asked to, and the content I have to post is 99% of the time, telling you what to do. I don't want to discuss it. If I did, I would literally say, 'Tell me what you think if you disagree.' I am not Slither, I don't want to have conversations with players. I want you guys to do what is expected of you.'
(Link to screenshot of above statement: https://i.imgur.com/AM6ecLp.png ) (Bonus screenshot: https://i.imgur.com/uLJVbnQ.png )
More relevant statements exist, but unfortunately the profanity of those declarations violates the terms of posting this review, and so they could not be shared (plus I don't want to clutter this review any more than it already is). Suffice to say that a -few- (not all) members of staff treat players in a way that, were it reversed, would be deemed abuse and would result in a ban. Note this happens even on the open chat channels (as per the above statements), not directed at any one player, but to the game as a whole. Worse experiences have been reported on a one to one basis with these members of staff.
To mention one of the key issues bridging the IC/OOC divide, my time behind-the- scenes as a staffer revealed to me that staffer integrity is poorly enforced. It is dependant in large part on three things: Multiple staff being online to monitor one another, player reporting (Which all too often doesn't happen for fear of reparations to either their character or to their account.), and staff noting their activities honestly. Once on their own staff are effectively free to mess with the in-character world as they see fit, and some of them do. Player characters who oppose or fall victim to these staffers characters will find that the world is suddenly a much more hostile place, with NPC's irrelevant to the rivalry suddenly finding IC reasons to pick fights with the player characters.Post a comment
Comment posted on Wed Sep 13 14:23:00 2017 by Hailfire:
First and foremost thank you to Molly and Kisaki for your replies to this review. I am glad to hear you are both having positive experiences of Sindome and hope that through discussion we can lead to more positive experiences of the game for more people, without the negative ones I personally witnessed and experienced and that others have reported in their own separate reviews.
---- Molly ---- It is entirely possible you are correct and I am who you think I am, after all I am using the same account name here that I did whilst playing Sindome back in the day, not trying to hide who I am. I cannot confirm this however because I don't know what character you think I am if that is the only way you are identifying me. I hope at least you had some fun playing with my character at some point if you are correct.
I feel I should clarify that I personally was never directly targeted by meta-tactics but I did witness other players falling victim to it. I was never able to confirm that it was definitely meta-tactics whilst only a player so I simply kept quiet and hoped I was wrong, but when I witnessed it through the staff resources as a staffer I was no longer able to deny it and it put me off the game immensely through the distrust it caused.
Example: In one such incident I witnessed numerous entirely separate npcs (some non-sentient) repeatedly targetted one character in a large group of characters over the course of an RP session. It didn't make sense ICly so, suspecting something was amiss, I logged into my admin account to see what was going on and was disappointed to find that the ONLY member of admin online and the one puppeting the npcs in question had in character beef between her character and the one being targetted.
Because of numerous statements similar to those in the quotes and screenshots above, I didn't feel able to raise the matter with staff and so resorted to venting with OOC friends, eventually resulting in a ban and a forum discussion that in hindsight I wish had never happened. I'm more than willing to admit I did not handle that revelation appropriately, but I wish I had felt more secure in flagging it so it never became an issue that way.
---- Kisaki ---- Again, I am glad you are having a positive experience of the game and of Cerberus's GMship and I'd like to assure you that I have no personal quarrel with Cerberus or indeed any other member of staff. Quite the contrary I admire what Cerberus contributes to the game and I think it would be a shame to lose him as a member of Sindome's staff. Even just the overhaul of corporate pay schemes must have been a monumental administration task and I can only imagine it having a positive impact on a game based on an economic class divide between the rich and the poor.
Despite this admiration it is possible to disagree with someone without a personal dislike for them. I have tried to be as earnest as possible in this review, stating both the plentiful good the game has to it and mentioning the negative aspects of the game and where possible I've tried to support my statements with evidence in the form of quotes and screenshots. I feel it is in these quotes and screenshots you feel I have flagged an individual out of personal dislike and to that I say I dislike the actions, not the person. I feel that the kinds of statements in those screenshots make Sindome a less enjoyable and accessible place for players with the potential to dramatically degrade the Sindome experience over time, even if the game is otherwise enjoyable. That issue was mentioned here in an effort to raise awareness of the issue and hopefully fix it in the long run. The fact you and other members of the Sindome community have replied suggests to me that this review has at least been noticed and may contribute towards achieving that goal.
---- Afterword ---- I would like to state that I took no pleasure in writing the negative aspects of this review. Sindome is a game with huge potential (and I wouldn't have continued playing it for two years otherwise) but, at the time the review was written, some rather serious ooc issues that eventually cumulated enough to cause a rift between myself, the game, and the other staff. The fact other reviews echo similar complaints to those expressed here suggests that I am not and was not alone in feeling that way and should be an indicator that in fact there was/is an issue that needs addressing. If it can be indicated to me that a sincere effort is being made to address the issues in the above review I would be delighted to contact TMC with a view to removing this review, placing an entirely positive one and perhaps playing again, if I weren't banned of course.
---- P.S. ---- If anyone else has posted besides Molly and Kisaki by the time this is published and I haven't made an effort to respond to your concerns I apologise. They were not visible at the time I wrote this reply. Thanks again for contacting me and giving me the opportunity to address your concerns.
If a member of staff would like to discuss any of what has happened further they are more than welcome to contact me via my email for my Sindome account, which is also Hailfire.
Comment posted on Mon Sep 11 19:45:50 2017 by Molly:
I am going to preface this by saying that based on a number of factors I can assume who you were playing when you wrote this review. I could be wrong, and if so I apologize but I believe my comment here can still speak to your point. You wrote:
'Player characters who oppose or fall victim to these staffers characters will find that the world is suddenly a much more hostile place, with NPC's irrelevant to the rivalry suddenly finding IC reasons to pick fights with the player characters. '
No one player, nor even any staffer, has a perfect bird's eye view of any RP situation where a lot of moving parts are involved. If this is the incident I am thinking of, several players were responsible for advancing that conflict for a variety of reasons, many of which had nothing to do with each other. NPCs were getting pulled into it because players were pulling them in. By the same token, I can't know what was going on on your end, but acting like NPCs were coming after your character because they'd crossed a staff PC is ignoring the bigger picture.
In a game like this, a hostile world is a good thing. It means that staff is respecting the decisions you make and engaging with you. NPCs generally won't permanently kill your character, but if they're giving you trouble, especially if you're a combat-oriented character, then they're giving you something to do. If it was a matter of simply not liking you as a player, you would be banned or ignored.
If I'm mistaken and this isn't who I think it is, it's still a little disappointing to read. The IC/OOC divide means you can never, ever trust that you accurately understand what's going on in the game world. Even the most adept RPers often find themselves blindsided like this, and it plays into cyberpunk tropes beautifully. Assuming that one staffer is out to get you when there are a ton of player characters tugging at threads all over the game just sort of seems like it's missing the point.
Comment posted on Sun Sep 10 00:58:16 2017 by Kisaki:
I would like to disagree with some of the statements. For my two years of experience there, I didn't notice anything weird. Flagging Cerberus means you got some quarrel with him. You should fix it with him instead.
You probably know that Cerberus is the only staff (visible) who overwork there (Building and GMing). There's too much work in behind the scene, that it would be great to have some GMers to help with RP.
He would work efficiently if you did your job well. If you question Cerberus, you should question yourself too.
Ranting over the review won't help.
I am still a new player on Sindome MOO as of this writing. However, a friend of mine suggested the game for productivity and an outlet for my imagination. He was correct that I, an avid role-player, would probably like it!
Sindome is a role-playing enforced game set in a dystopian cyberpunk world. The play area, Withmore City, is extremely detailed and sparks the imagination with no need for pictures. It is also a huge world, from what I have explored so far. The dome, which is a slang word referencing the city's shape, is divided into different levels where different classes of people and powers populate. All player characters begin as immigrants to the city but can accomplish almost anything they would like to from there. All it requires is trying.
Staff is very helpful, in my experience. They are also attentive to what is happening in the game world. If you interact with a NPC, staff may animate them and interact in return. This is unique to me and opens up many opportunities. Staff is busy handling things for many players, so it is important to be patient when you need them.
I do not have any personal negatives to report about Sindome MOO. However, I went in somewhat knowing what to expect. I would warn potential players who prefer consensual role-playing games that Sindome is non-consent. Permanent character death can happen, but cloning offers a safety net. Other types of negative things can also happen, but that doesn't mean they won't pass or that nothing positive will happen for you. Also, many characters are not politically correct and swearing is commonplace. I do not feel that Sindome is a game for minors.
I would like to close by praising Sindome MOO for the effort it has invested into accommodating the impaired. The game has tools which help me to more easily play, as an impaired person. This made me feel very welcome where some MUs can be daunting to play.Post a comment
Let's get something clear before I start.
This is not a game.
Well, not in the traditional sense. Sindome is not designed to make you feel powerful, succesful, joyous and victorious. Rather, it's designed to challenge your adaptability, morality, flexibility... and viciousness.
Sindome is not a game. It's a work of art. It's a sociopolitical manifesto. And you get to play in it and mess with people.
A cyberpunk city. 65 million people. Four city sectors. You walk into the gates... the guards strip you of even your clothes. From there, you have a plethora of options, career paths, friends and enemies. Thousands of items, dozens of weapons, armor and gadgets. Place bets. Go to space. Scavenge the outer wasteland. Join a gang. Join a corporation. But whatever you do... there's always a price.
Sindome is very carefully designed. This is not evident at a first appraisal, and you will spend some initial time scratching your head and wondering what the hell the developers were thinking. Weapon prices seem odd (there's a running joke about the high price of a set of brass knuckles). Many common items are hard to find. You are not initially told how technology works. Wages are insufficient and the automatic means of money farming are not enough. There is a very, very strict separation of in-character and out-of-character information as well.
Why all this? To generate RP, putting it simply. To force you to get out and interact with people, steal, cheat, band with friends, avenge someone. You're not gonna be able to afford that car if you just work in your nine to five desk job. You won't rise to media stardom if you don't curry in some favors. A gang will not let you enter if you're not willing to make someone bleed. Things that look like flaws now, will start to make sense after a few months -- I guarantee you this, as a two-year plus old player.
The MUD is well coded. Game breaking bugs are rare and addressed swiftly. There is always staff, and they are focused in efficiency rather than personalised player care -- a design choice. There are many failsafes to avoid crashes, and the MUD is divided in subsystems to manage the stream of data. Additionally, it has it's own webclient.
The world is -enormous-. After more than two years I still have things to find. There are secrets everywhere. Your NPC barman may have a secret bomb installed in her brain. That dirty alley may have a secret door to a mob weapons cache. That whorehouse may have cameras to blackmail it's customers. (These are all fake examples, but themely with the game)
Every now and then the GMs throw in a few wrenches to spice things up. A gang raids another one. A fire breaks out. A madman starts shooting. A hostile corporate takeover. A viral outbreak. An art competition. And, always, things aren't what they seem...
This doesn't mean the game is perfect. I disagree in some design choices - like what I feel is over reliance on NPCs, and the intential ignorance about out-of-character mechanics. But like everything, it's a design choice. Those flaws are more than compensated with all the perks.
The game is free. GMs are extremely hard working. Players are always encouraging one another to better RP.
I cannot recommend this game enough.
There is always a price.Post a comment
I played Sindome for over two months, sometimes for several hours a day, and in that time, I became fairly familiar with the game. This will be an extensive review, so please skip to the end for a summary. This review will be divided into two sections, with the first discussing the mechanics of the game and the second discussing the intangible aspects of the game.
First, the mechanics. Sindome is ostensibly a roleplay-centric game, but the mechanics seem to act against that rather than reinforce it; in fact, the mechanics that get the most attention are combat-related ones.
Combat is simple, automatic, and mostly intuitive; unfortunately, it is also quite buggy. Combat is extremely lethal, requires little micromanagement, and is usually resolved fairly quickly, offering little to no opportunities for roleplay during it. Certain combat systems are so buggy that they cause PCs to disappear or come back to life. In one 2014 case documented on the forums, a staff member, less than a week after generating a new character, used his PC to kill three established PCs by exploiting a new, buggy combat system. Expect no apologies or restitution if a bug disrupts your play. Overall, the combat system does nothing to promote roleplay and would in fact be more at home in a hack- and-slash MUD.
The emote system is fairly cumbersome and unintuitive. There are several bugs in it as well: punctuation gets removed, dialogue gets replaced, and certain words are forbidden in emotes because they can break the system. Related to the emote system is the noise system; all rooms have a noise level, and nearly all public rooms are considered to be 'noisy,' which means no other characters will see or hear a PC speaking or emoting unless the character specifically targets those PCs. While in theory this system makes sense, in practice, it often just gets ignored by most players, who opt to have their characters address everyone in the room. A few players I have spoken with agree that it is unnecessary and detrimental to roleplay. GM-animated NPCs will hear PCs no matter how quiet they are, so the only purposes of the mechanic appear to be to provide a veneer of realism for realism's sake, frustrate players, and discourage roleplay.
Another remarkably bad mechanic is inventory management. Dealing with multiple items with the same name is time-consuming and frustrating, as the game engine forces you to specify the 'first' item instead of simply interacting with the first item. Among other things, this can make weapon sheaths immensely frustrating. There is also no easy way to deal with large numbers of items, requiring you to drop them or pick them up one at a time.
There are no good group mechanics by which characters can travel together. Due to travel times, the 'follow' command is a poor substitute compared to most MUDs, and the 'escort' command is buggy. In addition, due to the room noise mechanics, PCs who travel together have to re-address one another in each new room they enter. The lack of a good grouping mechanic is most likely intentional to prevent PCs from working together.
Sindome has a webclient which takes primary concern in development and, as a result of that, Sindome lacks support for real clients. Single-key input, such as directional pads, is banned. Standard client features, such as macros and triggers, are also banned. Sindome has an experience system that requires players to log in and play in order to gain experience. While this system sounds good in theory, allowing players to get a limited amount of experience each day simply from roleplaying without having to grind, in practice players end up spending sometimes as much as five hours of roleplay *every day* in order to get their full allotment of experience. The system also makes it near-impossible to catch up with older PCs. Players also must justify the way they allot their PC's experience; they are not free to spend it as they like.
Now on to a review of Sindome's intangible aspects.
Despite having no skillgrind, playing Sindome can still feel quite tedious. Your PC could be forced to beg over a course of real-life weeks, even months, to find a job, since the job system requires a GM to pay attention to you. As one player I spoke with put it: 'You know how some games have skill grinds and start to feel like work? Sindome has no skill grinds, but it still manages to feel like work. It's a grind that you don't meaningfully control. All of the grinding and none of the results.'
Players can donate money to Sindome in order to receive tangible in-character benefits: their character receives a rent-free custom apartment. Personally, I think the exchange of real-life money for in-character benefits in a roleplay-enforced MUD is distasteful and unethical, and it hints at something ugly about the MUD: not every player had to roleplay to get their PC where they are.
Thematically, Sindome successfully portrays a dystopian cyberpunk world: room and environment descriptions are well-written and evocative. True to theme, there's no opportunity for ordinary players to create their own story or to have their PCs accomplish anything noteworthy or change the world in appreciable ways. The staff use puppets and their own PCs to enforce this structure and to quickly restore the status quo should anything get out of hand, often leading to boring, contrived, and frustrating staff-run events that accomplish nothing more than disrupting interesting roleplay between players.
One previous reviewer of Sindome has described its staff in the following manner: 'rude, abusive, drunk with power and not afraid to show off just how much they have over you.' Regrettably, that is an accurate characterization. I have spoken to quite a few players about Sindome, and while they differed on a number of points, all of them agreed that the absolute worst thing about Sindome is the staff. From my own experience and from watching the way the staff treat other players, I can report that they are unprofessional, immature, touchy, and caustic, all of which fosters an unhealthy environment to play in. While it's understandable that in a grim, gritty, dystopian cyberpunk MUD that *characters* will get treated like dirt, it's unconscionable that the staff treat *players* that way as well.
Worse still, while not seeing it first-hand, I have heard from other players that the staff show favoritism to certain players, as well as their own characters, to the point where most would consider it cheating. For example, the staff allegedly generate items for favored PCs or for their own PCs, and they also play the most powerful, most influential, and richest PCs in the game while allegedly using metagame knowledge to their PCs' advantages (in addition to outright threats against other players). I can't speak to whether or not these allegations are true, and I don't claim that they are, but based on the logs and conduct that I have seen regarding the staff, I personally have zero difficulty believing that the allegations of cheating *are* true. From experience, I can say that there is a toxic environment in Sindome due to the staff and their favored players, and it's that toxic environment which ultimately made the MUD unplayable for me to the point of quitting.
That's not to say that my Sindome experience was entirely negative: apart from the handful of toxic ones, I quite enjoyed roleplaying with most players I met; they were dedicated, friendly, helpful, and very good roleplayers. I'm still amazed at the resilience of these players in sticking with Sindome despite the open abuse and hostility from the staff. I'm glad that I got the opportunity to meet those players and interact with their characters, and I'll miss them dearly. They deserve something better than Sindome, and I wish them the best of luck.
Summary: Sindome is thematically on point, but the mechanics mostly work against the experience. The staff are unprofessional and abusive to players and perpetuate a toxic environment. Despite the near-miraculous existence of a friendly community of good roleplayers in it, I still can't in good conscience recommend Sindome to anyone. Our lives are far too short to spend time around abusive people, especially in what is supposed to be a game.Post a comment
Comment posted on Tue Jul 26 01:29:10 2016 by Marla:
Moncrieff is on point about the bugginess, and while I hadn't thought about it previously, the fact that the combat is quick and automatic and leaves no room for roleplay during the combat is actually pretty strange. The inventory and counting system is agreeably bizarre for reasons I don't understand. As a person who hasn't seen the code, I don't know why 'drop shirt' doesn't know to drop the only shirt you're holding rather than making you specify the first one when you're holding one and there's three in the room or 'catch soyanuts' doesn't cause you to catch the only packet out of the twelve that has been thrown, but it DOES seem like an unnecessary inconvenience to the player.
Bugs do happen, and there are a lot of them. Most cases I've personally seen have been peaceful and positive resolutions, but it seems that your mileage may vary. Character and NPC death in particular are really buggy and I've personally seen a few cases of limbo states where you have Schrodinger's characters, except not really because they're both dead and not while you're observing them. (Meaning you look at them and their description says they're dead, but their short description says they're standing in front of you, and as a medic it tells you they're not dead if you try to revive them.)
I've played for five months and unlike the previous reviewer, I have mostly positive feelings and continue to play. I enjoy the environment and the theme. He or she is completely on point, though, that it's the other players that make the game great and the staff that make it stressful. Staff do police your roleplay and step in with messages to you if they do not feel like you are reacting appropriately to a situation- sometimes with an IC shoulder angel or devil with a thought forced on you, sometimes with an xhelp message telling you to do something different.
I would disagree with the heavily negative tone above but would be completely willing to throw in that it's a very mixed bag and you have to decide what you're personally willing to put up with for the sake of your fun.
Comment posted on Tue Jul 26 16:39:42 2016 by Linekin:
Players who haven't played a PC long enough to attain the in-game connections and resources which staff alts might have attained love to shriek 'metagame abuse!', without actually knowing anything at all about how the other player's character earned what they earned.
There are many firewalls against Sindome staff using their position to enrich or unfairly advance their own player-characters.
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.Post a comment
Comment posted on Thu Jun 16 09:33:48 2016 by Slither:
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 posted on Sat Jun 18 21:13:32 2016 by Count Grishnakh:
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 posted on Sun Jul 17 14:02:37 2016 by WasZdyslev:
'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.
As the first and only MUD I've ever played, I can't really compare Sindome to anything else, nor do I know how it stacks up against others. But I can say that it's the most immersive RP I've ever participated in.
Sindome has enough active players to make the city feel alive. Stuff's happening every day and if you don't witness it yourself, you'll a hear almost certainly hear gossip about it. I find the amount of detail in what you can do with your character very impressive. I especially love what a character can do with the right skills. You can have artists, assassins, wage slaves, hustlers, strippers, reporters, mechanics, doctors... There are lots of roles to fill or aspire to.
My biggest criticism (maybe my only real one) is most definitely the learning curve of playing the actual game. If you're inexperienced like me, you'll feel like you're studying for a test with all the functions you have to memorize. It's overwhelming, and the staff are very anti-hand holding. It felt unapproachable at first, in fact it drove me away for nearly a year.
I've come back with appropriate expectations, and actual knowledge of how to play, and I've been completely sucked into the world. It's the best RP I've ever been part of. If you love cyberpunk and rp, you should at least take a peek to see if it's your style.Post a comment
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|# Days With Status||21|
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