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duck1123
It seems like lately, many people on this board have been debating back and forth on whether Wired Reflexes and other similar physical initiative enhancers carry over into Augmented Reality or not. There are some good arguments on both sides, mostly following the lines that, on one hand, it is perfectly reasonable that speeding up physical actions should speed up physically interacting with the matrix, and on the other hand, allowing a jacked-up street sam to go faster than a "speed of thought" VR hacker is unbalancing, and doesn't mesh well with the fluff text description of the two relevant technologies.

In order to help resolve this, I'd like to present my house rule mechanic called Queueing.

Hackers with augmented physical initiative still retain their full initiative passes, even when using AR.

The commlink's ability to interpret the commands sent to it is limited by the method used to input those commands.

Direct input or non-DNI AR: 1 pass max
DNI AR: 2 passes max
Cold-Sim VR: 3 passes max
Hot-Sim VR: 4 passes max (unbounded*)

A hacker cannot take more actions** in the matrix than the interpretation limit of their connection type. If a hacker has more actions available than their connection type limit, then any remaining actions will be queued.

When a hacker queues an action, they input the command on their turn, but the commlink isn't able to interpret it and actually perform the action until the system is ready again. (next combat turn)

Example:
Twitch, the AR hacker with the Wired Reflexes cyber is doing some heavy duty hacking. With all of his cyber and his physical initiative, he gets a total of 3 IP's this turn. He uses his first two passes to perform matrix actions, as per normal. He issues a command, and the system immediately responds. Now, on his third pass he has a problem. He has used all of his passes for his connection type. He can either choose to instead take some physical actions, or he can begin queueing up actions for the next turn.

Twitch chooses to queue his next action. He declares his action, and and modifiers due to him are noted. (damage, distraction, effects of drugs/toxins, etc.) No tests are made just yet, as the system hasn't processed his command just yet. The next turn rolls around and on Twitch's initiative score from the last turn, his command will finally go off. Situational modifiers due to the system and everything else is added to the modifiers noted from last turn when Twitch performed the command, and the tests are rolled as if Twitch just performed it. (changes in Twitch's condition don't apply and this doesn't take an action, but it does count against his 2 action passes per turn)

Now, say that Twitch has an action queued from a previous turn, but he goes before that action can resolve. (He rolled one more hit on his initiative test this time around) He can either choose to not take any matrix actions until that action has resolved, or he can add another action to his queue. That action wouldn't resolve until his next pass. On his second pass, his second queued action resolves, and he can add another action to his queue. (which will be resolved on the first pass of his next turn) On his third pass for this turn he can add a second action to his queue, but if he does, he won't be able to take any matrix actions on his next turn without having them queued, adding up to 3 more actions to his queue. (the third of which won't be resolved until 2 turns away.)

A hacker can cancel any number of queued actions as a free action. This is not queued, and happens immediately. (Ctrl+Alt+Del)
A hacker can queue one action without penalty, each additional action counts as a loaded program counting against Response. (go ahead, click back and forth between several different things real quick, notice the strain?)
A hacker can queue actions that depend on other actions to some extent, but if the first action fails, the second will generally fail. (ie. you can send a search command, followed by a download command, but if the search doesn't find anything, then that's exactly what the second command will download.)
A super-fast hacker can bypass this limitation slightly by commanding two separate commlinks through DNI-AR. (or sitting down in front of 4 keyboards.)
A hot-sim hacker never has to worry about queueing. His commlink doesn't need to translate anything, and can go as fast as he can.

So, what do you guy's think? I'd like to get some input before I roll this out in my games on Sunday.

* This value should be set higher if the GM removes the 4 IP cap. (although things tend to get a bit insane at that point)
** By "action" in this context, I mean the combination of 1 Free + 2 Simple or 1 Complex that make up a standard pass. If any part of the pass includes a matrix action, this counts as an "action" when calculating the limit of the commlink
Rotbart van Dainig
If you are really bored and want to drive you GM crazy, get some commlinks and install Pilot on them, then order them to do your hacking.

That way, you can generate even more confusion to keep track of. dead.gif
GrinderTheTroll
Interesting idea, but you've added overhead to something that really doesn't need more complexity IMO.
Aaron
It's an interesting idea. It's completely the opposite of the way a commlink would work, though.

For example, an AR interface takes (far) less processing power than a VR interface. The commlink only needs to display 2D information, possibly coordinating with an image link (for the superimposing of displays), whereas a VR interface needs to constantly get information from remote nodes and then render them in 3D, with both audio and video information, plus in some cases tactile information. I think we can agree that the difference is roughly equivalent to the difference in processing power between a command-line interface (CLI) and a graphic user interface (GUI).

The GUI is slower, because the screen is constantly being rendered and re-rendered. You can move and click anywhere you like, or even use keyboard shortcuts, but the screen is in a state of constant re-drawing, with every change. There are some nifty shortcuts that are being used under the hood, but as anyone who uses a modern GUI on an old machine can tell you, it can be slow. A CLI is only putting characters onto a screen, so takes up almost none of the machine's processing time. The CLI takes less processing power and time than a GUI. This is true even if you have a video co-processor, since the central processor still needs to send comparatively complicated information to that co-processor.

Since the CLI takes up less processing time than a GUI, the computer has more time and power to do the actual computing, every time. A machine that can easily handle a GUI without an appreciable drop in speed (Response, if you will) would find keeping up with a CLI to be a trivial task. Similarly, a commlink that can keep up with a VR environment would be able to easily keep up with an AR interface.

Additionally, I'm unconvinced that giving the street sam three passes in AR is a problem. A modern hacker using a CLI and typing 40 words per minute would be slower than the same hacker that types 90 wpm. Also consider that any character with two extra passes in VR would pay 400, or 0.08 BP, while the street sam with Wired Reflexes 2 has paid 32,000 (or 6.4 BP), or with Synaptic Booster 2 has paid 160,000 (32 BP), or an adept who has paid no money but at least 25 BP. How is it unfair to allow a character who has paid 80 times (or 312.5 times, or 400 times) as much to have the IPs she paid for?
hobgoblin
and dont forget the skills and program. without skills and programs to make use of the speed, your just wasting passes on tests that fail anyways...
Lagomorph
So you're allowing people to essentially take two actions in the same turn when a person becomes fast enough, one in AR and one in RL. I don't see how giving a person two actions a turn will correct the problem.

Additionally, you run into other problems like what happens if I queue an attack but before my queued command occurs, they shut off their commlink?

edit: an example of two turns being bad:
IP1: move drone
IP2: aim drone
IP3: Fire drone (queued)
IP1: Unload with full auto from Ares Alpha, Drone Fires full auto, Every one dies horribly from a hail of gunfire that they can't possibly dodge since it occurs on the same round.

Samaels Ghost
Why is the commlink in your example so slow? The arguement isn't about whether the comm can keep up (usually; see 3IP = digital speed in arguements) it's whether you can keep up. Matrix actions are dependant on how fast user input comes in. Your rule would be fine if the problem was Wired Hackers waiting on loading times and such. Fine, but a little more complicated than needed.
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