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Aaron
Often, when I ask someone knowledgeable in the game what the disadvantage of hot-sim VR is, they answer that the user takes physical damage from dumpshock (the punchline to that is left as an exercise to the reader) and from black IC. However, they often forget the other issue with VR and any ungoverned direct neural sensory interface like BTLs: addiction.

So hot-sim VR is addictive. If used too much, it can lead to addiction, withdrawl symptoms in dead zones, psychological problems, Essence loss, and ultimately death. I'm wondering what people's opinions are on the severity of the addictive properties of hot-sim, specifically how much is too much, and how severe is the addiction?

First, how much is too much? The rules suggest tests "after repeated/habitual use, a particularly brutal bender, or exposure to strong concentrations of the drug in a short period of time." (Boyle et al. 247) But what is repeated use? How much is too much? One hour? Several hours? A single combat with black IC?

Next, what should the Addiction Test threshold be? Unfortunately, the book has not one, not two, but three different entries are listed for BTL threshholds.

So I had some ideas, and offer them up to be ripped to shreds by the DS community. They are not necessarily meant to be used together.
  • Call each hot-sim session one use and call for an Addiction Test after every (Logic) uses.
  • Call for an Addiction Test if a single session exceeds (Logic) hours.
  • Call for an Addiction Test if the hacker goes (Logic) days without breaking from hot-sim.
  • Hot-sim is a computer-generated experience, and so couldn't be as intense as a Moodchip, therefore the threshold is 1.
  • Hot-sim is a computer-generated experience that uses intuitive emotional impulses to give the user additional information, and so is the equivalent of a Moodchip, therefore the threshold is 2.
  • Hot-sim is a computer-generated experience that uses stimuli that cannot be experienced in real life, and so is the equivalent of a Tripchip, therefore the threshold is 3.

Of course, there's the question of addiction in technomancers. These guys are using hot-sim all the time, aren't they? I don't think it's a problem, though, since "the neural pathways and brain chemistry of technomancers are altered to such an extent that they can reach out and tap in." (Boyle et al. 232) Their brains are already used to it, and so they don't suffer the same effects.
Kalvan
The way I run it, Otaku/Technomancers are essentially addicted to the Matrix, and they experience withdrawal symptoms every time they enter a blackout zone.

For Hot Sim addiction, I roll every every time a charecter makes more than his willpower in uses per day (and/or doesn't layoff the next day) with the threshold based on the color of the particular node.
Teulisch
that looks like too much to me.

Hot sim, as-is, is an illegal modification which exposes you to lethal damage via the matrix. it can get you arrested and killed.

While some hot-sim (BTL) has serious problems, this is a seperate issue. It is unfair to the players to treat all hot-sim as BTL, especialy as hackers/technomancers are such a core archtype of the genere. What you would actualy get, is fewer playing (if any) wanting to play that archtype, creating a more imbalanced team.

If anyone does play a hacker with your rules, you can bet they will run AR with wired reflexes... or possibly be an adept with trodes.
Samaels Ghost
Hot-sim is a power trip beyond anything a hacker can achieve elsewhere. Addiction should be a problem for heavy users. Whether addiction test intervals should be based on Logic is iffy though. What is the reasoning there, Aaron? And I do think that all Hot-sim matches the description:

QUOTE
Hot-sim is a computer-generated experience that uses stimuli that cannot be experienced in real life, and so is the equivalent of a Tripchip, therefore the threshold is 3.


The extra stimuli that has no paralell in RL is what gives you that +2. You experience the data first hand. "You literally feel the code of a program running under your fingers, as your persona translates a wider degree of data that simply could not be percieved through the basic senses alone." Making Hot-sim so addictive would have an interesting affect on the feel that goes along with hacking in game. It would be a desperate, dangerous situation. i like it.
hobgoblin
QUOTE ("kalvan")
the color of the particular node.


when did SR4 nodes get colors?
Kalvan
In the Matrix section, there is mention made of green, blue, red, yellow, violet, and ultra-violet nodes.
Exodus
In 3E there were colors, but in 4E there aren't anymore.

My thoughts on the rules simply go like this. If the character spends hours upon hours using a HOT assist, especially when he is getting mail feeds and such, then this is excessive. If he uses HOT assist for a run, when things get hot, or he needs to get things done promptly. Where he is NOT spending alot of time connected via HOT assit then I don't consider it excessive.

If your player isn't going to EVER use HOT assist because your rules are too restrive (e.g. he has to roll for addiction everytime he uses it.) When are you going to throw black ice at him?
Aaron
QUOTE (Samaels Ghost)
Whether addiction test intervals should be based on Logic is iffy though. What is the reasoning there, Aaron?

My reasoning went something like this:
  1. There are drugs that are physically addicting.
  2. There are some rules involving physically addicting drugs that are based on the Body attribute.
  3. Physical addiction is resisted with Body + Willpower.
  4. Psychological addiction is resisted with Logic + Willpower.
  5. Hot-sim VR directly affects the brain, but only indirectly the body.
  6. Psychologically addicting drugs directly affect the brain, but only indirectly the body.
  7. Therefore, hot-sim is psychologically addictive.
  8. Physical and psychological addiction are analogous.
  9. Physically addictive drugs involve the Body attribute.
  10. Therefore, psychologically addictive drugs should involve the Logic attribute.
I may have skipped a step, but it's tired and I'm late.
Aaron
QUOTE (Kalvan)
In the Matrix section, there is mention made of green, blue, red, yellow, violet, and ultra-violet nodes.

At the risk of saying you're wrong, you're wrong. A search on the term "ultra-violet" turns up nothing. A search on the term "ultraviolet" returns one result that has anything to do with the Matrix: a mention of hyper-realistic nodes. A search on the term "green" returns nothing about the Matrix except a suggestion for what an Armor spell may look like.
Aaron
QUOTE (Samaels Ghost)
The extra stimuli that has no paralell in RL is what gives you that +2. You experience the data first hand. "You literally feel the code of a program running under your fingers, as your persona translates a wider degree of data that simply could not be percieved through the basic senses alone." Making Hot-sim so addictive would have an interesting affect on the feel that goes along with hacking in game. It would be a desperate, dangerous situation. i like it.

I like the idea that some data comes across as emotional content. Like a feeling of infatuation means that there's a hidden node nearby. That would really frag up a strung-out hacker with a crush on somebody in meatspace.
Samaels Ghost
Emotional simsense is just cool all around.
Edward
Remember BTLs are designed to be addictive (the dealers want repeat business) hot sim hacking is designed to have the least effect possible without compromising performance (that is they make it as good as possible and may add safeties where it wont hurt performance, cold sim being ad safetyís everywhere there is risk).

That said hot sim could easily be physiologically addictive. The brain will learn not cope with and expect the higher signal strength.

I donít think hackers use the emotional simsense track much. To hard to interpret accurately and buy not turning it off you leave yourself open to a paralyzing fear attack just buy sending the emotion.

Edward
Charon
QUOTE (Aaron)
First, how much is too much?

Well, I'd say that if the hacker is doing almost 100% of his hacking in hot-sim, it's too much. Then I might invoke the addiction rules.

If he seems to be making any kind of effort to downgrade to cold or just AR when the situation is less tense, I wouldn't annoy him with that.

I read it as just a "don't abuse it" clause and unless I'm seeing abuse, I wouldn't really try to quantify my Hacker's PC use of hot-sim.
Aaron
QUOTE (Edward)
Remember BTLs are designed to be addictive (the dealers want repeat business) hot sim hacking is designed to have the least effect possible without compromising performance (that is they make it as good as possible and may add safeties where it wont hurt performance, cold sim being ad safetyís everywhere there is risk).

At the risk of being contrary here, no it isn't. Cold sim is designed to have the least effect possible without compromising performance. The definition of hot sim is that the safeties are gone. I have a hard time believing that hot sim is "designed to have the least possible effect" (Edward) when "even random line noise could potentially be translated into lethal amounts of feedback." (Boyle et al. 229) Why would hot sim protect against regular input when it doesn't even protect against random line noise?

QUOTE (Edward)
I donít think hackers use the emotional simsense track much. To hard to interpret accurately and buy not turning it off you leave yourself open to a paralyzing fear attack just buy sending the emotion.

Now this, on the other hand, is a fair argument, but not for the reasons given. I believe that a hot sim user would happily allow emotional content if it gave her an edge; that's the whole point of hot sim: getting an edge. By using hot sim, the hacker is leaving herself open. A hacker that wants that protection uses cold sim. No, the argument is fair because your hymnal does not specifically mention emotional content in hot-sim VR.

One part of the description of hot sim says "your persona translates a wider degree of data that simply could not be perceived through the basic senses alone." (Boyle et al. 229) If information is coming in on more levels than the five basic senses, then how is the information being relayed? I interpreted this to mean that hot-sim VR includes computer-generated emotional content and induced "gut feelings" that give the hacker an extra edge.

For example: why does the hot-sim hacker get two more dice than the cold-sim hacker when Analyzing an icon? My answer would be that in the hot-sim hacker's perception, the icon "just feels like" an agent (or what have you).

Additionally, we know that simsense can generate emotion (with Moodchips and Tripchips), and as such would be fair game for hot sim.
Aaron
QUOTE (Charon)
QUOTE (Aaron @ Jul 29 2006, 02:30 PM)
First, how much is too much?

Well, I'd say that if the hacker is doing almost 100% of his hacking in hot-sim, it's too much. Then I might invoke the addiction rules.

If he seems to be making any kind of effort to downgrade to cold or just AR when the situation is less tense, I wouldn't annoy him with that.

I read it as just a "don't abuse it" clause and unless I'm seeing abuse, I wouldn't really try to quantify my Hacker's PC use of hot-sim.

I'd like to pose two questions to you, Charon (and, on a tangent, I'm amused that our names rhyme).

Question the First:
What type of BTL chip do you feel hot-sim VR is most like?

Question the Second:
How much BTL use would a character require for you to invoke an Addiction Test?
Charon
QUOTE (Aaron @ Jul 30 2006, 11:21 AM)
Question the First:
What type of BTL chip do you feel hot-sim VR is most like?

Question the Second:
How much BTL use would a character require for you to invoke an Addiction Test?

1 - They aren't too clear on that, aren't they?

I'd say basic hot-sim VR is like Dream chip (with a threshold of one for addiction test).

But it wouldn't be a stretch to assume that the VR world is more "intense" in some area which could mean the hot-sim experience in one of those mythical UV node would be more like that of a Tripchip (threshold of 3).

2 - A lot. I would eventually get to it, but there is just no mechanical advantage derived from abusing Dreamchips.

A PC who routinely uses kamikaze is getting a clear mechanical advantage so I'd kick up the addiction test early in order to get his drug use under control (but not make it prohibitive to sometime pop one).

But dreamchips? The player is declaring his PC use them most likely for pure roleplaying purpose and he doesn't get any benefits but he does have to pay money. So I'd be very tolerant. By the time addiction test would kick in, it would be obvious the PC wants to play an addict anyway.

I'd be swifter with the test if the PC is using Tripchips on a regular basis. Not because these are more useful than Dreamchips, just because that would be a clear signal that player wants his PC to have a self destructive side. I'd chat with the player before hand, though. He'd be about to get a lot of grief for no benefits so I'd give him a chance to state his POV. If it's done for good reasons (i.e. he says he's trying to forget the recent in-campaign death of a loved one) I'd probably throw in some karma bonus as long as the addiction contribute positively to the stories.

Similarly, I wouldn't be too harsh on alcohol and weed. Well, there would be serious penalty for being drunk during a gun fight, but I wouldn't be kicking a PC over the head with an addiction test after every declared drinking binge.
Aaron
QUOTE (Charon @ Jul 30 2006, 11:46 AM)
2 - A lot.  I would eventually get to it, but there is just no mechanical advantage derived from abusing Dreamchips.

What if the Dreamchip gave a mechanical advantage, like say a +2 on all Matrix actions and an extra IP?
ethinos
I've always considered addiction to hot sim VR to be comparable to addiction to Power of any other sort (magic, political, physical,etc). All that extra data, the heightened senses, the quickness imbued by the hot sim link is simply addictive. It fills your character with an almost Godlike feeling. What God wants to be a peon again?

Going to cold sim, and especially AR, after hot sim is like wearing protection during love making. Same act, but very dissatisfying in comparison.
hobgoblin
heh, sounds like your talking cyberpsycosis there ethinos wink.gif
ethinos
Why not? Look at how many people are already addicted to Everquest, Myspace, etc? Spending 40+ hours a week on it. People have lost jobs and spouses for that. One person died in Korea for spending 54 hours STRAIGHT online at an internet cafe playing a MMORPG!

And these people aren't even linked physically to the internet, like matrix hot VR users are. These people have a keyboard and monitor between them and their internet feed. What happens when you go straight to the brain with the feed?

Computers can cause all sorts of psychological reliances and antisocial behavior. And as tech gets better, so will the psychological problems.
Charon
QUOTE (Aaron)
QUOTE (Charon @ Jul 30 2006, 11:46 AM)
2 - A lot.† I would eventually get to it, but there is just no mechanical advantage derived from abusing Dreamchips.

What if the Dreamchip gave a mechanical advantage, like say a +2 on all Matrix actions and an extra IP?

I'm not sure how that would work but if it did I would treat it roughly on equal footing as another PC who is on cram.

What is this "footing" I can't say for certain until I get a chance to start my new SR4 campaign and have a drug/chip user on my hands.

Perhaps once every 3 use with a dice pool penalty if the uses have been in rapid succession.

hobgoblin
im not so sure thats cyberpsycosis, but its very related to it.

it allso reminds me of that christmas eve discussion that was printed in VR2, where one party talks about the reality of the matrix, and the ability to crash a powerplant and thereby kill people that need said power to survive.

and yes, i see more and more people going wow these days. even people i never expected to be interested.

but in any case, i agree that its a power-trip kinda thing...
Aaron
QUOTE (Charon)
What is this "footing" I can't say for certain until I get a chance to start my new SR4 campaign and have a drug/chip user on my hands.

Perhaps once every 3 use with a dice pool penalty if the uses have been in rapid succession.

You do understand that the "Dreamchip" that I was describing is the mechanical equivalent of hot sim, ne?
Charon
QUOTE (Aaron @ Jul 30 2006, 10:32 PM)
You do understand that the "Dreamchip" that I was describing is the mechanical equivalent of hot sim, ne?

Oh, huh, yeah. embarrassed.gif

Tired.

Hot Sim I wouldn't be as hard on as Cram. It's part of cyberpunk, you can't make it prohibitive. It's normal for Hacker to be on hot-sim on a regular basis.

As I said earlier, as long as the PC looks like he's making any kind of effort to balance between cold and hot-sim and AR according to the situation I would never annoy him with addiction test. I don't want the player affraid to use hot-sim when the tension in the story rise (Well, not affraid of addiction, anyway. Black IC is another story).

If hot-sim seems to be the only mode he can hack in, then I would do addiction test. Normally the first test ought to be a wake-up call and I'd expect to see some more diversity in his choice of hacking "mode".
Kalvan
Well, in my game, Hot Sim VR is used mostly for emergencies, or at least for the REALLY tough nodes. You know, the ones at corporate arcologies where you have to physically plug the linker (hacker is simply insuficiently flavorful) in. My players don't seem to mind this rule.

But then, outside of the Z-Zones, my players tend not to flash chrome, cold steel, or shooting irons around.

And as for Black IC, If I ever decide to setup a game here (or Shadowland if I can ever manage to get my Java to behave), and you join it, you'll get to find out! devil.gif
Aaron
QUOTE (Charon)
Hot Sim I wouldn't be as hard on as Cram.  It's part of cyberpunk, you can't make it prohibitive.  It's normal for Hacker to be on hot-sim on a regular basis.

I disagree. I think VR is part of cyberpunk, but this is the first time I've seen a difference between cold and hot sim, and it adds something. It's that whole "phenomenal cosmic power, itty bitty living space" concept that's been used in games at least as far back as Starfleet Battles' Orion Pirates.

The big, black book makes no bones about how dangerous hot sim is. Sure, you've got an advantage, but there are drawbacks. The book specifically mentions BTL abuse as an equivalent addiction; of course, it then gives three different levels of addictiveness for BTLs, thus this thread.

I highly doubt that corporate hackers use hot sim. It's just too risky to do all the time (or ever, in some cases). It's like rock climbing with or without safety lines (being analogous to cold and hot sim, respectively). The free climber doesn't have to set lines or worry about them getting in the way. But you'd better believe that the ones who do it for a living are required to have those lines.

Besides, drugs are part of cyberpunk, especially performance-enhancing ones like Cram.

QUOTE (Charon)
I don't want the player affraid to use hot-sim when the tension in the story rise (Well, not affraid of addiction, anyway.  Black IC is another story).

I do. It adds to the dramatic tension. If the player has no compunction jumping into hot sim when he needs to hack some heavy metal, there's no drama there. But when he pauses briefly, knowing that the added benefit will mean that he falls off of the proverbial wagon, then you've got dramatic tension.

QUOTE (Charon)
If hot-sim seems to be the only mode he can hack in, then I would do addiction test.  Normally the first test ought to be a wake-up call and I'd expect to see some more diversity in his choice of hacking "mode".

Right. From what I've seen of your previous arguments, it would appear that you think that hot sim is the equivalent of Dreamchips, and so your Threshold would be 1. In fact, that's more or less carte blanche to throw as many Addiction Tests at your hackers as you like, since it's rare that they'll actually fail it. If it was me, the threshold would be 3 (I think that "every sense and every neuron becomes sensitive to the translated machine code" is closer to Tripchips than Dreamchips), but I'd invoke the roll less often.
Charon
QUOTE (Aaron @ Jul 31 2006, 08:39 AM)
The big, black book makes no bones about how dangerous hot sim is. Sure, you've got an advantage, but there are drawbacks. The book specifically mentions BTL abuse as an equivalent addiction; of course, it then gives three different levels of addictiveness for BTLs, thus this thread.


Hum, how long have you played SR?

In SR3, running hot gave you an extra 1D6+2 of initiative over running cold but you could get killed by Black IC instead of just taking stun damage.

I'll quote you the Matrix sourcebook pages when I get home.

Back then they also said that the Matrix could get addictive. And there are many mentions in SR literrature of decker who would let themselve waste away because they spent too many hours in the Matrix. But these are all about people who'd spent hours on end hooked to the machine, missing meals and such.

So it's nothing new, really. It seems weird to an old timer like me to suddenly hassle hackers with addiction test.

If the Hacker is usally on cold sim but switch to hot for challenging nodes or when attacked, he should never be asked to make an addiction test IMO. That's hardly abusive and would be common modus operandi, I think.

As for security decker, same thing. They'd patrol in cold but if they probably all go to Hot as soon as there is an alert.

QUOTE
Right. From what I've seen of your previous arguments, it would appear that you think that hot sim is the equivalent of Dreamchips, and so your Threshold would be 1. In fact, that's more or less carte blanche to throw as many Addiction Tests at your hackers as you like, since it's rare that they'll actually fail it.††


Dice pool penalties that keep increasing until there is a cool down period tak car of this.
Aaron
QUOTE (Charon)
Hum, how long have you played SR?

I've been playing Shadowrun for seventeen years. Why do you ask?

QUOTE (Charon)
Back then they also said that the Matrix could get addictive.
[...]
So it's nothing new, really.  It seems weird to an old timer like me to suddenly hassle hackers with addiction test. 

I'll be presumptuous and assume that I qualify as an old-timer, myself. You may have been playing longer than I have; my first game was two or three days after the first edition initially hit the shelves in Milwaukee, and I'm absolutely certain that there are people who have been playing longer than that.

So, assuming I count as an old-timer, I don't find it weird at all. Cybernetics has improved. Matrix technology has improved. Magical theory has improved. Why wouldn't simsense? When I started programming computers, it was on a machine that only put green (or white, depending on the monitor) pixels on a CRT; I bet you're reading this in millions, if not billions, of colors.

Besides, the suppliment to SR3 mentioned (and I dislike going back to previous editions to discuss the fourth edition) mentioned that going naked before the Matrix was addicting. They just didn't have explicit rules for it in that book.

QUOTE (Charon)
If the Hacker is usally on cold sim but switch to hot for challenging nodes or when attacked, he should never be asked to make an addiction test IMO.  That's hardly abusive and would be common modus operandi, I think.

I would in that case, but only like once a month or something, just to add some tension to the hacker's life. That's why I started a discussion thread; different people will have different ideas.

QUOTE (Charon)
As for security decker, same thing.  They'd patrol in cold but if they probably all go to Hot as soon as there is an alert.

On this, I disagree with you. I think that since hot sim is a) a high-risk way to use the Matrix, and b) completely illegal, having employees that run in hot sim would be forbidden by a legitimate corporation's legal department and insurance carrier. You can get a similar effect with one drek-hot hacker in cold-sim and a few expensive agents. Other runners, sure. Organized crime members, maybe. Matrix gangs, definitely. But not a salaryman.

QUOTE (Charon)
Dice pool penalties that keep increasing until there is a cool down period tak car of this.

If you like. I prefer to stick to the rules when I can, and grant bonuses or impose penalties only as necessary.
Charon
QUOTE (Aaron @ Jul 31 2006, 01:41 PM)
I've been playing Shadowrun for seventeen years. Why do you ask?

Well then it's 5 years more than me so why that sudden urge to be harder on Hacker? You know perfectly well that these hot-sim rules are almost copy pasted from the last Matrix sourcebook.

Technology evolve? The fluff text describing SR evolve, the basic premises of SR not so much. Gameplay has driven every notable change we've seen, not technology.

Sniper rifle are a bit less lethal than they used to be, smartgun are not as accurate as before (+2 dice VS -2 to TN is not nearly in the same league) while Wired reflexes are about the same as ever. That's technology evolving too? Or is that just gameplay tweaking? It's gameplay. It's always gameplay.

Hot sim improves your performance a little but expose you to a fried brain if you run afoul of a Black IC. That's the same as SR3 except now we have a mechanic for addiction. Or do we? Never do they say that you should test your hacker after every use against a threshold of 3, or anything drastic really. Just a warning and possibly a story hook that addiction is possible.

---

Anyway, I gave my opinion. For my part, I consider life and death battles with Black IC are part of the lore of SR. Fear of Black IC is a pretty good incentive to stay off Hot-Sim unless you really need to and so I don't want to give players any additional reasons to avoid this element of the game beyond the obvious risk. Therefore I'd only go for addiction in extreme case where hot-sim is all the hacker uses.

QUOTE (Aaron)
QUOTE (Charon)

As for security decker, same thing.† They'd patrol in cold but if they probably all go to Hot as soon as there is an alert.


On this, I disagree with you. I think that since hot sim is a) a high-risk way to use the Matrix, and b) completely illegal, having employees that run in hot sim would be forbidden by a legitimate corporation's legal department and insurance carrier. You can get a similar effect with one drek-hot hacker in cold-sim and a few expensive agents. Other runners, sure. Organized crime members, maybe. Matrix gangs, definitely. But not a salaryman.


High Risk? Illegal? ''But not a Salaryman''?

I have top admit when I wrote about security hacker I had Megacorp AA and up in mind. I Should have stated that. And I never had a salaryman in mind ; I was talking about Security hacker. I stated that. These guys are the VR equivalent of armed personnel defending a megacorps. They will use lethal force.

Giving this, yes, I will reiterate (and clarify) my opinion that a NEONET, Lonestar or Azthechnology security Hacker would go in Hot-Sim mode against a detected intruder.

For one thing it wouldn't be illegal for them to do this in their extra-territorial jurisdiction and for another I'm pretty sure most Megacorp are willing to accept the risk to their employees. Much like the US government accept the risk to its soldier when they send it on the field. If they are facing a hacker good enough to kill one of their Security Hacker, they are facing loss of assets in excess to whatever training this Security Hacker was worth to them so they'll want him to get that extra IP and +2 dice if it means he'll win and protect the corp instead of crashing and letting the intruder succeed.

I would say that most SR litterature would support the point that Megas would go at least that far to protect what's theirs.

---

PS : Don't sound so defensive if I ask how long you've played.
'Why do you ask?''
''I'll be presumptuous and assume that I qualify as an old-timer''
''So, assuming I count as an old-timer''


I get it.

You have to admit that Hot-Sim from SR4 and Hot ASIST from SR3 are basically the same gameplay device but you never mentioned it so it was natural for me to wonder if you have played SR3 when trying to understand your position.
Lagomorph
I believe that it is stated in the addiction flaw that you don't get points for being addicted to Alchohol or Nicotine in SR4. I'd say hot sim falls in a similar category. Or at least that's how it would be in the games that I've played in.

I do like the idea of giving it a dangerous/addictive side, but I think that it's intended by the game that most hackers run hot sim all the time. Which means all the code monkeys would be addicted in a heartbeat, which I've never really seen in the fluff or rules. A departure from that philosophy is interesting though, very interesting.
Moon-Hawk
The Center for Online and Internet Addiction (no, I'm not making this up) claims that five to ten percent of the population suffers from Internet addiction.
Aaron
Charon, you're starting to use ipsedixitisms (I love getting to use that word), your arguments are becoming less concise and more ad hominem, and you're trying to set up a straw-man. If you're coming to Gen Con, send me a PM and I'll get you a drink and we can discuss it in person.
Charon
QUOTE (Aaron @ Jul 31 2006, 03:50 PM)
Charon, you're starting to use ipsedixitisms (I love getting to use that word), your arguments are becoming less concise and more ad hominem, and you're trying to set up a straw-man. If you're coming to Gen Con, send me a PM and I'll get you a drink and we can discuss it in person.

Ad hominem : In what way did I attack you or your character in order to try to invalidate your arguments?

Strawman : What unsound arguments am I unfairly attributing to you?

Less concise... Well maybe. wink.gif

I'd love to take you on this drink offer but there is no chance that I'll be attending.
Moon-Hawk
QUOTE (Aaron)
Charon, you're starting to use ipsedixitisms

Gesundheit. biggrin.gif
ethinos
QUOTE (Lagomorph)
I believe that it is stated in the addiction flaw that you don't get points for being addicted to Alchohol or Nicotine in SR4. I'd say hot sim falls in a similar category. Or at least that's how it would be in the games that I've played in.

I do like the idea of giving it a dangerous/addictive side, but I think that it's intended by the game that most hackers run hot sim all the time. Which means all the code monkeys would be addicted in a heartbeat, which I've never really seen in the fluff or rules. A departure from that philosophy is interesting though, very interesting.

Actually according to the rules, you can be addicted to alcohol, but not caffeine or nicotine (at least not take BPs for it as a negative quality). Consuming alcohol on a regular basis has a much more profound, noticably negative effect on a person than caffeine (person is a bit twitchy or hyper) or nicotine (smells like an ashtray).

But I don't think hot sim is even equivelant to any of these three mentions. Hot sim's affect on someone is probably going to be a lot more subtle. The person is more likely to slowly increase hot sim usage (and general time spent in the Matrix) and not recognize this fact, until well into the addiction phase.

WOW and Everquest are probably good examples. People start out playing a few hours a week. They then ramp up to a few hours a day. Pretty soon they can be spending 8+ hours a day on the game without really realizing the detriment that this is having on their social lives, work life, etc.

Do I think the game designers were creating the Matrix to be run on hot sim all the time? No. They explicitly say that hot sim is addictive, illegal, and requires the removal of safety features. A dedicated hacker can be successful running cold sim. If they want to go balls to the wall, hot sim is an option, not a requirement.

In 4th addition, hot sim is more like the dark side of the Force. Powerful, but addictive and with the potential to severely corrupt your character's core being if not kept in check.

If not kept in check, the character will likely want to be on hot sim full time, online constantly, and could lead to a lifestyle of character's body physically wasting away from lack of nutrition and exercise. The hardcore couch potato of today might be the hot sim junkie of 2070.

BTL addicts die because they don't pay enough attention to the real world. Hot sim addicts do have this in common.
Aaron
QUOTE (Charon)
I'd love to take you on this drink offer but there is no chance that I'll be attending.

A shame. Still, this conversation doesn't belong on a forum, so if you'd like to continue it, feel free to take it to email or PM.

QUOTE (ethinos)
If not kept in check, the character will likely want to be on hot sim full time, online constantly, and could lead to a lifestyle of character's body physically wasting away from lack of nutrition and exercise. The hardcore couch potato of today might be the hot sim junkie of 2070.

BTL addicts die because they don't pay enough attention to the real world. Hot sim addicts do have this in common.

Very nicely put. Would you describe the wasting in game terms (if it came to that) as a loss of Attributes, or a loss of Essence? The rules suggest each, I wonder which is more popular.
Lagomorph
QUOTE (ethinos)
QUOTE (Lagomorph)
I believe that it is stated in the addiction flaw that you don't get points for being addicted to Alchohol or Nicotine in SR4. I'd say hot sim falls in a similar category. Or at least that's how it would be in the games that I've played in.

I do like the idea of giving it a dangerous/addictive side, but I think that it's intended by the game that most hackers run hot sim all the time. Which means all the code monkeys would be addicted in a heartbeat, which I've never really seen in the fluff or rules. A departure from that philosophy is interesting though, very interesting.

Actually according to the rules, you can be addicted to alcohol, but not caffeine or nicotine (at least not take BPs for it as a negative quality). Consuming alcohol on a regular basis has a much more profound, noticably negative effect on a person than caffeine (person is a bit twitchy or hyper) or nicotine (smells like an ashtray).

But I don't think hot sim is even equivelant to any of these three mentions. Hot sim's affect on someone is probably going to be a lot more subtle. The person is more likely to slowly increase hot sim usage (and general time spent in the Matrix) and not recognize this fact, until well into the addiction phase.

WOW and Everquest are probably good examples. People start out playing a few hours a week. They then ramp up to a few hours a day. Pretty soon they can be spending 8+ hours a day on the game without really realizing the detriment that this is having on their social lives, work life, etc.

Do I think the game designers were creating the Matrix to be run on hot sim all the time? No. They explicitly say that hot sim is addictive, illegal, and requires the removal of safety features. A dedicated hacker can be successful running cold sim. If they want to go balls to the wall, hot sim is an option, not a requirement.

In 4th addition, hot sim is more like the dark side of the Force. Powerful, but addictive and with the potential to severely corrupt your character's core being if not kept in check.

If not kept in check, the character will likely want to be on hot sim full time, online constantly, and could lead to a lifestyle of character's body physically wasting away from lack of nutrition and exercise. The hardcore couch potato of today might be the hot sim junkie of 2070.

BTL addicts die because they don't pay enough attention to the real world. Hot sim addicts do have this in common.

Ack, mixed up alchohol and caffine.

If the addictive effect of hot sim is more subtle than Caffine or Nicotine, and you can't get addiction flaws for either of those, why should you get points for hot-sim?

It may just be the friends I have, but I have never seen a slow ramp up on MMO's. For me and my friends, it tends to be instant 16+ hours dropping off quickly to a moderate rate of play when the newness wears off. So, you could be correct there, but I don't think it would be a universal or general example of hot sim user experience.

How many hackers/deckers from the example characters and fluff are not hot sim modified? I don't know that answer, but my guess is that it's near zero. I think they intended hackers and deckers to run hot sim. The entire matrix wasn't designed for hot sim, but I think that the book intended for hackers to use it that way.

I've never gotten the darkside impression from reading the BBB. I like the idea of it and will probably use that in my games, but I just have never read any more into "hot sim is dangerous and illegal" than "Having an ares alpha is dangerous and illegal". Sams will have the Alpha regardless and deckers will have the Hot-Sim, but the sam's don't get addicted to the alpha. (those are example paraphrases in the quote marks, not literals)

If your body wastes away, thats what cyber replacement is for smile.gif. But seriously, hot sim and BTL are similar, but your body could just as easily waste away from cold sim as from hot sim.
ethinos
QUOTE (Aaron)
[QUOTE=Charon,Jul 31 2006, 04:04 PM]
Very nicely put. Would you describe the wasting in game terms (if it came to that) as a loss of Attributes, or a loss of Essence? The rules suggest each, I wonder which is more popular.

Someone would have to be doing hot sim constantly, for long periods of time for something like atrophy to take place.

But, I'd honestly look more towards slow atrophy with the physical traits at the least. All of them.

Human physiology requires constant use to maintain your body at its current level.

Look at the folks who are in wheel chairs for decades. Their legs shrivel up to nothing. (Strength loss.)

Look at the folks in long term comas. They have to retrain all their muscles all over again to even sit up or walk. (Agility and Reaction loss.)

Lack of proper dieting or the lack of even eating frequently result in an unhealthy individual, also lowering resistance to disease, and increasing healing time. (Body loss.)

I'm using these examples to showcase the individual effects on common problems we see around us. Wasting as a result of BTL, or hot sim would probably include all of them.

Essence loss, could also occur, but that's harder to show an example of.

I would however, consider all of them temporary, if the individual overcomes the addiction long enough to function in the physical world long enough. Regained, maybe one point a month.
ethinos
QUOTE (Lagomorph)
Ack, mixed up alchohol and caffine.

If the addictive effect of hot sim is more subtle than Caffine or Nicotine, and you can't get addiction flaws for either of those, why should you get points for hot-sim?

It may just be the friends I have, but I have never seen a slow ramp up on MMO's. For me and my friends, it tends to be instant 16+ hours dropping off quickly to a moderate rate of play when the newness wears off. So, you could be correct there, but I don't think it would be a universal or general example of hot sim user experience.

How many hackers/deckers from the example characters and fluff are not hot sim modified? I don't know that answer, but my guess is that it's near zero. I think they intended hackers and deckers to run hot sim. The entire matrix wasn't designed for hot sim, but I think that the book intended for hackers to use it that way.

I've never gotten the darkside impression from reading the BBB. I like the idea of it and will probably use that in my games, but I just have never read any more into "hot sim is dangerous and illegal" than "Having an ares alpha is dangerous and illegal". Sams will have the Alpha regardless and deckers will have the Hot-Sim, but the sam's don't get addicted to the alpha. (those are example paraphrases in the quote marks, not literals)

If your body wastes away, thats what cyber replacement is for smile.gif. But seriously, hot sim and BTL are similar, but your body could just as easily waste away from cold sim as from hot sim.

Being subtle doesn't mean its insignificant in the scheme of things. Caffeine and nicotine are being disallowed by the authors probably because they don't significantly affect the characters in a negative way. Caffeine is addictive, but what's it going to do? Make you jumpy. Maybe thirsty? Nicotine will kill you down the line (if used with tobacco), but a negative quality was meant to negatively affect gameplay at onset not 50 years in the future.

Personally, I am a little surprised that hot sim isn't listed as an option for addictions, though, its not specified that you can't take it.

The example characters were designed by other folks with other ideas. They are by no means, the paradigm of what that archetype should be. Also, they probably designed the characters so players had the option of running hot sim if they so desired.

Actually, the Sam with a gun is probably a good example of this. How?
Imagine a Sam addicted to pulling that trigger. There are people in the world with this problem. Carrying out the addiction will likely cause significant problems in the Sam's life. It's not hard to imagine why. The Sam has to find strength to use the gun as needed, not wanted.

The hacker should also restrain from hot sim. And yes, technically you could waste away in cold sim, in AR, or even laying on a couch if you lack the motivation to get off it.

But with hot sim, obsession and lack of willpower could make the wasting more of a possibility.
Exodus
Anyone ever see those Gin Tangeray (sp?) commercials? You know with Tony Sinclair where at the end of his commercials he always says "Always with Moderation"

Thats how I think of the particular topic, if the character is doing it in moderation, then its not a big deal. If he is doing everything in hot sim there is no moderation. I think all these mentions of doing addiction tests everytime and the near to be WAY over the top.

The book essentially says make them do it when they use it alot, which is in Moderation. If he uses it only when he needs it that isn't over the top its moderation.
Shrike30
QUOTE (Lagomorph)
It may just be the friends I have, but I have never seen a slow ramp up on MMO's. For me and my friends, it tends to be instant 16+ hours dropping off quickly to a moderate rate of play when the newness wears off. So, you could be correct there, but I don't think it would be a universal or general example of hot sim user experience.

Five of the people I lived with for a while (including myself) got into the WoW beta. Three of us put in 1-3 hours most days for a while, did the thing, enjoyed the game, had the occasional marathon session on a weekend or into the night or whatever but generally played in a normal gamer fashion. After a few months, it got old and I stopped, as did the other two guys playing normally. Not an addiction.

One of the guys had no job. He put in a very solid chunk of time every day... likely six hours minimum. He played until the end of the beta, at which point the game ceased to be free, and he ceased playing. Not an addiction (just too much time).

The fifth guy was in school and had a job at the time he started playing. Over time, he went on to quit the job, stop attending school (although he was still registered/getting excused from classes, and having his housing paid for by his parents), and go from a few hours of play a day to well over 12 hours a day, every day, and you couldn't get him out of his basement room with a crowbar. He dropped out of the CP2020 game I was running at the time because it required him to stop playing WoW for a few hours, discovered that you could order pizza from the internet (and had it delivered to the back of the house so that it would take less time to get to the door), and essentially dropped off the face of the earth for a year and a half.

That's an addiction, folks.

Another friend of mine's roommate just moved back in with her parents at the age of 26. A year ago, she started playing Final Fantasy Online (or whatever it's called). After a while, she dropped from 40 hours of work a week to 20 hours of work a week, due to "medical difficulties" (read, not sleeping since she's up all night playing). A bit after that, she quit her job entirely (since having 20 more hours at home means you might as well play then). She's gotten it into her head that, among other things, she's got the ability to heal injury by putting her hands on wounds, but "it only works if you believe it will" (much to the annoyance of my friend, who discovered this the day she twisted her ankle, when the FFO-playing roommate started to squeeze and rotate it "to heal it"). When it got to the point where she called her parents and said "I need you to pay my credit card bills, my student loans, and my rent because I'm having medical problems and can't work," they decided to move her back home a couple of days ago. I'm kind of curious to know how that goes.

That's an addiction, folks.

If a character finds themselves compelled to use hot sim to the detriment of other aspects of their life, they should qualify for an addiction in-game. How would I deal with this in-game? The physical attributes would probably be in danger. Charisma, Willpower, and Essense would probably be up on the block, too. People who this kind of thing is obvious to (and who care) might think twice about giving this character responsibilities, since their priorities are obviously elsewhere (harder to get jobs, harder to get the rest of the group to trust you, etc). On long stakeouts, the hacker might get bored and decide to get in "just a couple of minutes" of some hot-sim game. And, of course, there's always the danger that the person will start to burn out...
Samaels Ghost
That's scary. And stupid
Shrike30
Yeah, no shit. There's a point at which you get tired of trying to dig these people out of their holes and give up on them (maybe that could be represented by diminishing contact loyalty?). Their unwillingness to acknowledge that there's a problem ("I can't sleep, that's why my life's fucked up." "You play computer games for 20 hours at a time, that's why you can't sleep." "No, it's not.") does not help the situation.
Samaels Ghost
I've heard about people actually sustaining themselves to an extent while being addicted to WoW by selling online "gold" for cash on EBay or something. Living like that has to be awful.....
Brahm
QUOTE (Shrike30 @ Aug 1 2006, 12:54 PM)
That's an addiction, folks.

That 26 year-old faith healer sounds more like schizophrenia, although I suppose chronic sleep deprevation could break your grip on reality like that too. Either way the game playing could be more a symptom of a manic disorder than the true root cause itself. As such the computer game would simply be the flavour of the poison.
James McMurray
Yeah, it sounds more to me like the game is a form of self-medication for other more serious issues.
Samaels Ghost
QUOTE (James McMurray @ Aug 1 2006, 03:42 PM)
Yeah, it sounds more to me like the game is a form of self-medication for other more serious issues.

Don't let all those anti-violent video game nuts hear you say that. They're absolutely convinced it is the game that makes the murderer, not being a FREAKIN' SOCIOPATH TO BEGIN WITH!
James McMurray
Yes, well... Every society has to have it's morons. And besides, I can probably use it as a basis for an insanity plea if I ever find myself having to kill someone. wink.gif
laughingowl
To me:

Hot = Danger of being brain fried.

A person may be addicted to the 'danger/risk/thrill' but not addicted in the since of BTLs


UNTIL>>>>

They stumble into the Sculpted system BTL Honeypot trap.

The danger of (and reason) not to do it all the time... is the risk for real damage.


To me Hot deck is the same as a mage (SR3) dumping all into casting and saving nothing left for drain. Impressive powerful, but very good chance of bleeding.

Peace
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