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> Unwired, Very Happy
Cheops
post Jul 1 2008, 03:46 PM
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Okay, so we've got all sorts of threads bitching about the book so how about one where people talk about the things they like from it? Hopefully DS can still discuss a topic and stay somewhat positive...

I really liked the addition of Backdoors and Jamming on the Fly (minus the ambiguity of the 2nd rule). I think that these were great additions and open up all sorts of shenanigans for Hackers and Riggers to get involved in. The former actually adds a lot more thought to playing a Hacker and some more planning than there was before. And I think that the latter will add a lot more strategy and excitement to Drone Combat. It seems it will open up a lot more in terms of maneuvering and trying to gain surprise on the other side without exposing your drones.

As a GM I really appreciate that Passive and Hidden nodes no longer act as routers. It means that I can actually have a target in the middle of the city that is "offline" but still has the utility of a wireless facility. Oh, and let me not forget the Sample Spiders! That's a lifesaver! Thanks Catalyst!

What else did people like about this book or any comments on the above?
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Carny
post Jul 1 2008, 04:42 PM
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I was very pleased with the section on technomancers in general. The streams, the widgets, the new sprites, all of that was some pretty excellent stuff. It gave a lot more breadth to the technomancer in terms of what can be done, and even possible roles. I was especially amused to see that you can now pick up technowired reflexes (my pet name for them.) I could see a techno doing that, especially one that was sort of a hybrid techno with some meat world scrapping as part of his skills toolbox.
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deek
post Jul 1 2008, 04:50 PM
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I liked just having some stock IC...I mean, I made a few myself, but its really just nice to have a few more in a book that I can pick up and model when I need to.
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Sombranox
post Jul 1 2008, 05:29 PM
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Love the backdoor/exploit stuff.

Love some of the advanced spoofing stuff.

Love that they added agent ID's to independent agents, even if one can still go out of their way to agent smith it potentially.

Love some of the security chapter info and the sample spiders

Love some of the program and simsense options.

Love the new Disarm program (Disarm Analyze for the blinding win)

Edit to add: Love the new malware fun and havoc it can cause.

Love the fifth IP and other commlink mods.

Love the tapper bug drone.

Love the fluff in all its glory.

Only kinda like the topology chapter as I could have done with some example networks and PANs with big pictures for stupid sorts like me who are still trying to decide exactly what sort of structures are possible and exactly where the distinction between a node and a network lies. Also, loved the idea of clusters initially, but only until it was pointed out to me how scary they could be with a cluster of high-end commlinks.
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Ryu
post Jul 1 2008, 06:27 PM
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From what I´ve read so far, the whole book consists of useable material, quite a lot of which is useable by every player. I think that might be a first for a SR matrix handbook.

- Matrix Overview. Seems like newbie territory, but "facilitates a shared vision of the gameworld".
- Riggers take note of the "more than metahuman" quality, I can´t believe I overlooked it on my first cursory glance.
- New autosofts + ergonomic programs on agents = Useful and non-generic payloads without response degradation.
- Optimised programs, or how "my comlink has response 3 and system 4" can be a not-deadly answer
- Tactical AR software = (IMG:style_emoticons/default/love.gif) . Opting to not care about the matrix has you playing a full league lower...
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Momijizukamori
post Jul 1 2008, 07:22 PM
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QUOTE (Carny @ Jul 1 2008, 08:42 AM) *
I was very pleased with the section on technomancers in general. The streams, the widgets, the new sprites, all of that was some pretty excellent stuff. It gave a lot more breadth to the technomancer in terms of what can be done, and even possible roles. I was especially amused to see that you can now pick up technowired reflexes (my pet name for them.) I could see a techno doing that, especially one that was sort of a hybrid techno with some meat world scrapping as part of his skills toolbox.


Seconded! The new echoes are really cool too - some of the base book ones are handy, but not terrifically interesting. The 'Idiot's Guide to the Matrix' was neat too, particularly as I'm about to start a new campaign with two new-to-SR players, one of whom is playing a TM XD I suspect I'll like the Matrix Topology section when I actually get that far, but I've been jumping around a lot in my reading.
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RunnerPaul
post Jul 1 2008, 07:53 PM
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The rules are perfect for defining how the world of computing works in SR4 for the level of abstraction that the developers have been targeting. While some may question the playability of that level of abstraction, it does have the advantage of mirroring our own computer technology close enough that someone who has a passing familiarty with how things work in the real world can apply that knowledge into better playing their hacker character.

Most of the questions that have gone unanswered since the beginning have now been properly addressed.

And. The. Art. KICKS. ASS.
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baburabi
post Jul 2 2008, 01:26 AM
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just got my copy a few hours ago, and have just breezed thru it, but so far i like it very much
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Sombranox
post Jul 2 2008, 01:43 AM
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QUOTE (RunnerPaul @ Jul 1 2008, 03:53 PM) *
And. The. Art. KICKS. ASS.


Oh yeah, forgot that the art is my favorite so far of all the SR4 books.

Though I would have wished for a little more VR stuff rather than the two or three pics I can think of.
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Sir_Psycho
post Jul 2 2008, 01:44 AM
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Although many of the problems haven't been adressed (or even made worse) there is plenty of workable stuff in the book to make hacking more interesting and fun, but to get the most out of the book, I think a lot will have to be barred by GM Fiat or houseruled.

I like the new 5th VR IP (Although it needs to be houseruled that it doesn't allow Drones to move with 5 IPs).

Tactical AR really gives a tangible reason for runners to have their ware online - even though it has it's associated hacking risk, and therefore further increases the importance of defensive electronic warfare.

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Heath Robinson
post Jul 2 2008, 02:26 AM
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A lot of the content was extremely interesting and useful even if you plan to totally rewrite the way the Matrix and computing technology operate. Nexus and cluster rules were exactly what I wanted to see. Now I need to add a program option to allow a program to make better use of the additional process capacity. The new technomancer tricks are interesting and make TM pseudo-sams a possibility, which is an awesome new development. The sociological aspects of the book are as nice as the rest of the Shadowrun fluff.

More importantly the book allows the hacker to size up the absolute minimum amount of money needed to retire to running a server farm and provide Matrix-delivered services for a living. I like having a decent exit strategy for a character.
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Zen Shooter01
post Jul 2 2008, 03:54 AM
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I liked the simple stuff. The table of prices and availabilities for things like commcall anonymization and shadow banking is very, very useful. I like the new qualities. I like Spoofing Life.
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Sir_Psycho
post Jul 2 2008, 05:24 AM
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There didn't seem to be enough to spoofing life. I like the idea, but I would have preferred more on the practice of spoofing life, such as legislation and punishment. And how do landlords not look at their books and say "Ok, I'm renting out 10 apartments, but I'm only generating the income of renting 9 apartments? Hmm..."
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Cthulhudreams
post Jul 2 2008, 05:31 AM
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I presume they actually get the money because its skimmed off you diverting pallets of snickers bars and adding fraudulent transactions/rounding on legit transactions to 100,000 people's itunes accounts for .01 cent to pay the rent.

Or something.
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Tiger Eyes
post Jul 2 2008, 05:45 AM
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QUOTE (Sir_Psycho @ Jul 2 2008, 01:24 AM) *
There didn't seem to be enough to spoofing life. I like the idea, but I would have preferred more on the practice of spoofing life, such as legislation and punishment. And how do landlords not look at their books and say "Ok, I'm renting out 10 apartments, but I'm only generating the income of renting 9 apartments? Hmm..."



I would seriously suggest you not spoof your apartment from a landlord with only ten units--especially if your landlord is a big, cranky troll. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif) Try an apartment complex with 600 units. Or 1,000 units, or 5,000 units, or even more. Much easier to convince the central management system that your particular apartment is "vacant" or "renovations scheduled" or some other logical explanation. Sure, someone will catch it eventually, but isn't that what glitches are for? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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martindv
post Jul 2 2008, 03:20 PM
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QUOTE (Carny @ Jul 1 2008, 12:42 PM) *
I was very pleased with the section on technomancers in general. The streams, the widgets, the new sprites, all of that was some pretty excellent stuff. It gave a lot more breadth to the technomancer in terms of what can be done, and even possible roles. I was especially amused to see that you can now pick up technowired reflexes (my pet name for them.) I could see a techno doing that, especially one that was sort of a hybrid techno with some meat world scrapping as part of his skills toolbox.

I for one love the idea that the Resonance can lead towards an Extremis-type evolution of humanity.

After all, that seems to be the whole point. They are the next evolution, even beyond the half-hearted measures of transhumanists, who still rely on technology to change their bodies rather than how Technomancers are evolving into a new type of humanity.
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Crank
post Jul 2 2008, 03:32 PM
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QUOTE (Sir_Psycho @ Jul 2 2008, 12:24 AM) *
There didn't seem to be enough to spoofing life. I like the idea, but I would have preferred more on the practice of spoofing life, such as legislation and punishment. And how do landlords not look at their books and say "Ok, I'm renting out 10 apartments, but I'm only generating the income of renting 9 apartments? Hmm..."


Its an abstraction. Its a assumed that you're completing a number of different tasks all geared towards your lifestyle. In the situation of the landlord with 10 apartments, you may have forged a credstick, or hacked someones account and rerouted sufficient funds to pay for the apartment.
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Chrysalis
post Jul 2 2008, 03:58 PM
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Or stabbed out the peephole, stuck the flamethrower nozzle against it and rung the doorbell.

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PlatonicPimp
post Jul 2 2008, 08:43 PM
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no, thats how the Sammy spoofs a lifestyle.
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Blade
post Jul 13 2008, 09:20 PM
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Just finished it yesterday, and I have to admit I really like it.

It gives the necessary explanations for the Matrix, "fix" most of the holes or issues with the BBB's rules. Hackastack is still more or less here, but it's not different from riggers being able to have an army of drones given enough money so I don't really see the problem.
I can't tell if a begineer will be able to get everything after reading the BBB and Unwired, but it definitely cleared up most of the more obscure part of the BBB's rules. And as a bonus, most parts are quite close to my own take on the Matrix.

With Unwired, the Matrix becomes a whole new "world", as magic is. But, and I think it's a tour de force, it manages to keep it from being too complex. First, most non-hacker character can ignore most parts of the book and still be able to deal with the Matrix with the basic rules. Only hacker players will need to use the advanced rules. And even for them, it's not that complex: most of the new elements are just mostly logical extensions of existing elements. For examples, mass probing and botnets are just the answer to "Can I hack a lot of low rating nodes to load agents on them?" and the rules are just a way to make that simple. Other elements are close enough to Real-Life to be understandable by most players (virus, trojan, phishing and so on).

The Technomancer and Matrix phenomenons part are quite good too, adding the mystic elements to the Matrix in a really nice way. (Except for the MMO references, I'm not sure that was necessary).

I only have two complaints (three if you take into account the time it took to get the book!) :
1. There's no system to let hackers do quick'n'dirty hacking, for example during combat.
2. The first chapter could be about today's smartphones/computers with only minors modifications. I'd have prefered to have something more imaginative. And the same could be said about the whole Matrix. It's really close to today's computing and network system. I understand this choice and it's probably the best to make sure people are comfortable with the Matrix but on the other hand it'd have been nice to have something really innovative. Hopefully, there's still the metaphor to be able to play in a more abstract Matrix rather than playing Real-Life hacking.
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