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> Response and IC, I am confused
Serbitar
post May 3 2006, 10:21 PM
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What response rating does a mainframe have? Only 6?
Why does a credstick have a device rating of 6? This means that it has System 6, Response 6, Firewall 6, Singal 6?
Why does anybody buy comlinks if your credstick is so powerfull? Just modify your credstick.
How much IC can you load onto simple nodes that are not meant to work as "real" mainframes?
How much IC can you load on "real" mainframes?
Why shouldn't there be a huge difference between both kinds of system?
How does IC or an Agent affect a nodes response (as indicated in p. 228, in the paragraph "Intrusion Countermeasures")? Does every of the 4 attributes count as a program? Does only the IC count as a program? If yes, why? Do the programmes, the IC is running, count toward the response limit of the node?
How does a lowered response affect the standard duties? Does this even matter?


The fact, that almost everything now has a device rating, which must fit into the 1-6 levels, smartgun node in your weapon and supermainframe alike, imposes some huge problems.
Does anybody know a solution?
Is there any way to bring comlinks with system ratings of 6, hightech devices with devicerating 6 that are not originally meant to work as superpower processors, and real mainframes that can only have a rating of 6 together?

Do I just have to accept the ratings and roll on random tables for node responses because reasoning is futile?

Help me, for I am confused.
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blakkie
post May 3 2006, 10:31 PM
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Matrix nodes are not limited to rating 6. MATRIX ATTRIBUTES, page 212. More detail coming in Unwired of course. In the meantime just cluster up those cutting edge bad boys to groups, and handwave things like the main Ares mainframe.
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Serbitar
post May 3 2006, 10:37 PM
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Hm, I really hope that the writers of unwired try to model something which is at least consistent on first sight . . .

But the Problem at hand is: How many agents can a comlink, a credstick and your IngramSmartguns node run?
and
Is there any reason not to load every IC available at the first net hit of the node and track the hell out of everything?
Just having the IC loaded everytime does not inhibit anything, so tehre is no reason not to do load the full set at the slightest hint of danger.

I have no idea.

Unwired should have definately been the first book to be released after BBB. Not doing this is a very very big mistake.
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blakkie
post May 3 2006, 10:44 PM
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Here are a few someones posting somethings about hosts.

http://forums.dumpshock.com/index.php?showtopic=12458

As for IC on everything, there isn't really much need for it on most of your PAN items because they seem to get treated more like end devices. It is your commlink's IC that is going to come into play.

Certified Credsticks i wouldn't even bother give a real Signal too. They aren't what they used to be, the main retail cash device.
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Glayvin34
post May 3 2006, 10:55 PM
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I'm kinda glad that I got into Shadow Run for the fourth edition, sounds like third edition knowledge mucks up the understandings.

Anywho, I've read and reread the Wireless chapter many times, and there are some oddities there, but it's consistent throughout, for the most part.

You can run IC from your Smartgun or Datajack or whatever, but you need a response upgrade for that to be effective. Datajacks and Smartguns have ratings around 3, for every 3 programs (rounding down) you loose 1 response. Also, whatever IC you're running can't act higher than the modified response value. But the short answer is that yes, you can load IC on every device and bit of cyberware that you own. I guess you could load IC on a credstick, I don't think that credsticks are self-powered.

All devices have a System rating, and all you need beyond that to run a program is a response rating. Any character with some Hardware skill can make a response upgrade in a few days at half cost (see page 240), so that you can load a shitload of IC into your PAN.

The Hacker that I play spends his downtime putting together response 4 commlink upgrades for :nuyen: 1,000. Then he copies over system 6 from his main comm, and, bam, he has an IC node that runs around 10 active Agents with rating 3. Set four or five of those in tandem without a wireless link between your comm and your PAN and no one's getting in. And if someone attacks you can have 40 agents run out and start to kick their ass.
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Moon-Hawk
post May 3 2006, 10:57 PM
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So then, if this is so cheap and easy, then everyone in your game does this, right?
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James McMurray
post May 3 2006, 10:57 PM
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My rigger /street sam has IC on everything he owns that can carry it and won't be overly affected adversely by it. With free program copying there's no reason not to.
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Glayvin34
post May 3 2006, 11:02 PM
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QUOTE (Moon-Hawk)
So then, if this is so cheap and easy, then everyone in your game does this, right?

Pretty much.
The GM figured it out, too, so if I set off the alarm in a node and don't get a good intiative, I get the crap kicked out of me by 30 IC agents.
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Moon-Hawk
post May 3 2006, 11:02 PM
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See, it's the "there's no reason not to" part that bothers me.
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James McMurray
post May 3 2006, 11:04 PM
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Why does that bother you?
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Voran
post May 3 2006, 11:06 PM
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Yeah it does get a little wonky when the old fairlight excal was a million bucks, and currently the best comlink can be carried by darn near everyone (at least every runner, hacker or not) and be pretty much hacker-grade forwhat, under 10 grand? :)

Mainframes should at least have a couple points higher than rating 6. Or at least have a higher thresholds or be less negatively affected by running many programs at once than someone on a comlink.
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James McMurray
post May 3 2006, 11:08 PM
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Unwired will probably have commlinks with higher ratings and much higher costs.
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Ophis
post May 3 2006, 11:15 PM
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My take on it is to allow mainframes to break rules about howmany programs are running on them. I don't go for the IC running node idea myself I take the Node the IC is running in to be the one it is acting in. This prevents the why isn't everyone doing it problem.
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Serbitar
post May 3 2006, 11:19 PM
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QUOTE (Glayvin34)
QUOTE (Moon-Hawk @ May 3 2006, 05:57 PM)
So then, if this is so cheap and easy, then everyone in your game does this, right?

Pretty much.
The GM figured it out, too, so if I set off the alarm in a node and don't get a good intiative, I get the crap kicked out of me by 30 IC agents.

I would call that inconsistent and unbalanced.

Furthermore: Why does an IC only count as 1 programm and not as the 2 persona programms plus the programms it is running?

Furthermore: A mainframe sholud have at least 10 times the processing power of a mere comlink, if not 100 times. And certainly not just " a couple of points".
Say hello to response 50 mainframes with related initative.

I would call that unbalanced (but not inconsistent), too.

I am still confused.
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Kanada Ten
post May 3 2006, 11:25 PM
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I don't see why a mainframe needs more than a rating 9, it's really more of a hub and attached are nodes such as "off-line storage","coffee machine", "I/O Port". The mainframe is only a large PAN, it doesn't need to run lots of programs.
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Glayvin34
post May 3 2006, 11:30 PM
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QUOTE (Serbitar)

I would call that inconsistent and unbalanced.

Furthermore: Why does an IC only count as 1 programm and not as the 2 persona programms plus the programms it is running?

Furthermore: A mainframe sholud have at least 10 times the processing power of a mere comlink, if not 100 times. And certainly not just " a couple of points".
Say hello to response 50 mainframes with related initative.

I would call that unbalanced (but not inconsistent), too.

I am still confused.

I fundamentally agree with you on the Mainframe part, and if Mainframes had a rating of more like 20 then the whole system would be more balanced. That would make a Hacker with a upper limit of 6 only modestly capable, even with 30 rating 3 agents. Or you could just raise the firewall of Mainframes to 20, then not even a host of rating 6 Agents would do much damage if their threshold is periodically higher than their dice pool.

Apparently processing power and data storage is cheap in 2070. Nanometer scale circuits seem to be commonplace. So if you try to hack a credstick 4 or 5 Rating 6 Agents pop out and tell on you.

A better way to balance this would be to say that an Agent's Load counts against the max programs running. Attack IC needs at least Armor, Attack and Stealth Programs, so that would be 4 programs instead of one.
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blakkie
post May 4 2006, 05:39 AM
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QUOTE (Serbitar @ May 3 2006, 05:19 PM)
I am still confused.

I think it partly has to do with your assumption that a single matrix node must equate to a "mainframe". A "mainframe" could easily consist of multiple nodes at a software level, and very likely a cluster of hardware whose divisions don't nessasarily match that of the software divisions. That would really be a lot closer to real computer architecture.

If you look further down that link i found with Search there is a suggestion about the better systems being able to run some IC without putting a load on a node's resources. Will Unwired have that sort of stuff? *shrug* I don't know, but it seems like a workable solution.

QUOTE (Glayvin34)

The GM figured it out, too, so if I set off the alarm in a node and don't get a good intiative, I get the crap kicked out of me by 30 IC agents.


30 agents? WTF? Isn't that going to load the crap out of the node? They'll be tossing a die or two each. There are people that know that chapter's rules better, but having that many Agents load up all at once seems quite a stretch. Certainly a perversion.

Of course that is just another great reason to intepret the vague copy protection cracking rule as a one per cracking extended test copy instead of unlimited copying for a single cracking extended test.
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The Jopp
post May 4 2006, 11:05 AM
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QUOTE (blakkie)

30 agents? WTF? Isn't that going to load the crap out of the node? They'll be tossing a die or two each. There are people that know that chapter's rules better, but having that many Agents load up all at once seems quite a stretch. Certainly a perversion.

Rating 6 node with 30 agents:

6 Agents = Response 5
12 Agents = Response 4
18 Agents = Response 3
24 Agents= Response 2
30 Agents= Response 1

Ok, so the GM toss 30 agents against you. Well, first they have to find you. They need Analyze and will roll 2D6 against..say that you run 9 programs on a response 5 commlink so you have 8D6 in total. One of them need to find you in order to call on the others to attack you.

Their attack programs will be a rating 1 program and they attack with 2D6, you defend with 8D6- Each attack they do might do 1DV+ damage, you resist with around 8D6.

In order to defeat them just upload 6 agents of your own on the node to attack the other agents. Once you have uploaded 6 agents it will be 36 agents on a rating 6 node and it will reach Response 0.

Not a good tactic. He should stop with 12 agents rolling 8D6 each on attack tests with rating 4 programs.
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Serbitar
post May 4 2006, 11:24 AM
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I think even 5 IC that are loaded when the node gets 1 hit in detecting the intruder is overkill and ruins the whole game balance. But there is no logical reason not to do it.
Furthermore I still think an agent should count as "2 (System, Firewall)+number of programs on the agent" programs. This would even make IC count on response 1-6 devices reasonable.

AND I still think that a mainframe (realistically) should have response 50-100 if a comlink can have 6.
Even if a mainframe is running multiple nodes (why should it?) it has enough power reseves to do whatever it wants (and provide ultra high intiative for its IC).
Remember: A comlink has to be small. A mainframe can be the size of todays midi towers. It should be very easy to squeeze 10-100 times the processor power of an usb-stick sized comlink into such a mainframe at a cost that is much lower than the comlink. (Just compare todays PDAs, destkop pcs and mainframes)
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Voran
post May 4 2006, 11:50 AM
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I'm wondering at the math for agents/IC. After looking over the program section again for agents/IC, I'm wondering if I understand the math correctly.

An agent, if run in my persona, counts as 1 program. But while loaded in my persona, does nothing unless I give it a program to do. So lets say I give it Heal to do. That would give me a program count of at least 2, using both active at the same time. This could then be set to run heal on me every turn or something, freeing me to do other things. But this leaves me with 2 less 'slots' for programs if I want to avoid my own lag. Alternately I could dump the agent by itself in the node I'm at and load him with heal. He could still do the heal every turn of its turn, but now I have 2 freed up slots in my persona to run other stuff. He counts towards my subscription, however. The agent, now independent, can impact the node response, since its not running off my personal resources anymore.

Thing is, does the now free floating agent count as 1 prog or 2 (agent+heal) for purposes of impacting the node response rating? Likewise does an IC loaded with analyze, attack, blackhammer, blackout, and trace count as 1 or 6? (IC + 5 progs).

Yes in a way memory is functionally unlimited. But if they're putting in a mechanic of # of programs affects function, that still sorta implies that # of programs run within an agent/IC count towards total count too? Which would also lead nicely to less agents/IC being run at one time, rather than swarm tactics, unless you ran agents/IC with only 1 loaded prog each, or something.
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blakkie
post May 4 2006, 12:21 PM
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QUOTE (Serbitar @ May 4 2006, 05:24 AM)
I think even 5 IC that are loaded when the node gets 1 hit in detecting the intruder is overkill and ruins the whole game balance. But there is no logical reason not to do it.

Other than it is overkill? Thanks for that breakdown Jopp, but i was thinking more along the lines that it would take an IP per Agent brough up by the system that is not already actively running. So ever IP the system might throw another log on the fire, taking a full turn to get 3 up. Or is that 2 per pass? So you face this cascading dogpile if you don't get the hell out of Dodge fast, but it isn't a total dump on you right from the start.

QUOTE
Even if a mainframe is running multiple nodes (why should it?) it has enough power reseves to do whatever it wants (and provide ultra high intiative for its IC).
Remember: A comlink has to be small. A mainframe can be the size of todays midi towers. It should be very easy to squeeze 10-100 times the processor power of an usb-stick sized comlink into such a mainframe at a cost that is much lower than the comlink. (Just compare todays PDAs, destkop pcs and mainframes)

AND I still think that a mainframe (realistically) should have response 50-100 if a comlink can have 6.


The whole big cluster of the hardware that comprises the "mainframe" might have that collective power, but a single matrix -node- that you get to see on it from the inside out does not. A mainframe isn't really organized like a desktop. Besides, try to keep in mind that this is SR computing. Try too hard to rationalize it and your eyeballs will get sucked right out the back of their sockets. :(

P.S. Balance? You keep using that word. I do not think that word means what you think it means.
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Glayvin34
post May 4 2006, 04:54 PM
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Hm. Now I'm confused about the rules. Does the IC need to be in the same node as you to initiate cybercombat or just subscribed to the node you're in? For almighty BALANCE, they would have to be in the same node as you, but I can't tell from the Cybercombat section in the book.

In this thread everyone seems to think that you can just subscribe 10 IC nodes to your main node for the aforementioned 30-40 Agents:
Skill wires rort.
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mdynna
post May 4 2006, 05:28 PM
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Although every "device" in the game has the same ratings, for sanity purposes in my games I have put them into 2 classes: device, and host (call them whatever you want).

The first class, "device" is mostly everything in the world: Commlinks, credsticks, vending machines, cars. They follow all of the rules listed, as standard.

A "host" (or mainframe) is what the whole Matrix "backbone" is made of, and what corps run for all of their stuff. Any Node classified as a "host" ignores the rule for Response Decrease. It still has all of the ratings, but has unlimited "bandwidth" or "multitasking" capabilities.

To take the Response Decrease rules and apply them blindly and universally to everything is just silly. Think about an MSP for a second, it must have a Response of.... 5 BILLION or so? I think those Response Decrease rules were written to prevent the "Hacker with an Agent army" problem.

I think a lot of people are still suffering from some SR3-rules "hangover." Under SR3 there were micro-management rules and number crunching for everything: Storage Memory, Active Memeory, I/O Speed, Party IC, Cascading IC, Trap IC, yadda yadda (did anyone get as far to use the Optional Bug rules?). This reduced the game to a crawl and made Decking an exercise in mathematics to the nth degree. Even then, players found "holes" all over the place and ways to exploit the game. Now, we have general rule "guidelines" and the mantra of SR has become whatever you think is reasonable. The rules, in many cases, are a starting point. Take them as such, and extend and build upon them as your situations arise.
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GrinderTheTroll
post May 4 2006, 07:40 PM
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Put aside trying to deistinguish between a "device" and a "mainframe" they are all nodes in SR4.

So as such, isn't the max device rating 6? System is capped at Response, so you could have Systemx2 programs before Response degrades by 1? So a Rating 6 node could employ 12 Agents before you'd see a performance issue? So once a 13th Agent enters, the nodes response drops 1 to 5 effective reducing any Agent's ratings of 6+ to 5. This also includes your agents, since they are "free" of you, they take on the Reponse of the node the occupy.

As long as my understanding holds true, standing in a Node rated 6, and it launched 20 Agents rated 6, they'd all suffer from Reponse degradation and become Rating 4.

Am I correct in this?
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Moon-Hawk
post May 4 2006, 08:44 PM
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The biggest reason, to me, that you have to distinguish between a device and a mainframe is that a device can only connect to system x 2 other devices at a time. An average home would have dozens, hundreds, possibly thousands of wireless devices in it that the telecom should be monitoring and managing. An office building mainframe should have hundreds of users logged on at one time. There's no way a rating 6 device can connect to that many people and run that many personas at once. Unless of course the mainframe is dozens of rating 6 commlinks wired together in parallel, in which case it could become a sort of virtual commlink that still only runs at rating 6, but can connect hundreds of users before it slows down, hey, let's call it a mainframe!
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