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ruknabard
I was reading up on RunnerPaul's responses to the faq and something piqued my interest

QUOTE (SR4 FAQ v1.1)
Q: Is it possible to modify a sim module to disable the emotive tracks of simsense, or is feeding your AR/VR through the various link implants (image link, sound link, touch link) the only way to avoid simsense-induced emotion?

A:In most cases, you can turn off any of the tracks in a sim module if you like -- sight, hearing, emotive, etc. BTLs, however, have an override that prevents the individual tracks from being turned off.

RESPONSE:his was another one of mine. I thought you probably could turn the emotion feeds off, but I was trying to justify the existence of the [sense]-link implants. The thought process was that maybe the emotive track playback was "locked-on" at the factory, and hard to disable, making the [sense]-link implants perfect for paranoids who don't want AR feeds messing with their emotions. With easily toggleable emotive tracks, there doesn't seem to be a point in getting all those individual [sense]-link implants when you can just implant a sim-module.

Perhaps I misunderstood the core book, which is why I'm asking here, I thought that a simmodule merely let a user experience VR in their "mind's eye" or rather, something like a dream, just with the risk of neural damage. I thought that the "X-Link" cyberware was designed to improve a user's VR experience by directly stimulating the nerves of the "linked" sense, making it a more complete experience.

Then again, I could have this all mixed up, so I guess I'm asking for the interpretation as to what exactly the family "link" cyberwares do.
hyzmarca
The sim module is what was once refered to as a ASIST Converter. It converts simsense data into sensory input that the brain can understand.
RunnerPaul
QUOTE (ruknabard @ Dec 10 2006, 03:38 PM)
Perhaps I misunderstood the core book, which is why I'm asking here, I thought that a simmodule merely let a user experience VR in their "mind's eye" or rather, something like a dream, just with the risk of neural damage. I thought that the "X-Link" cyberware was designed to improve a user's VR experience by directly stimulating the nerves of the "linked" sense, making it a more complete experience.

Then again, I could have this all mixed up, so I guess I'm asking for the interpretation as to what exactly the family "link" cyberwares do.

As far as I know, the simsense signal from the sim module gets sent to the same parts of the brain as the simsense signals from the [sense]-link implants.

Even if it were the case that say the sim module piped its visual simsense straight into the visual cortex, and the Image Link implant piped its visual simsense into the optic nerve at the end where the retina ties in, the end result is the same: the simsense ends up in the visual cortex to be processed by the brain. The optic nerve does no processing on its own, it's merely a transmission path.

However, since I haven't seen anything else to explain why anyone would bother with [sense]-link implants, I think I may adopt "the experience is more natural" as a very handy fluff justification. Essentially, they'd be connoisseur's toys, marketed to the same caliber of people who prefer vinyl records over digital audio because they supposedly can tell the difference in a "pure" analog signal and one that's been quantized and then converted back to analog via a smoothing function.

Thanks for the idea.
ruknabard
So do you think that the "link" implants allow a user to interface with VR without need for the gloves and goggles and such? Allowing them to interact discreectly (without obvious wires and paraphenalia)? Are these merely implanted interfacing options?
ixombie
The answer to this question is pretty stupid, which is why it's so easy to miss.

Sense links allow you to experience various AR senses without trodes or a datajack. If you operate in AR without trodes or a datajack, each sense has to be filled in with a different device. Image links on glasses or in cybereyes give you sight, AR gloves and feedback clothing or a touch link give you touch, sound links in cyberears or earbuds give you hearing, and the only way to get smells and taste is through smell and taste links.

The reason why it's so stupid is that you could replace all of those devices with trodes or a datajack, the former projecting all desired simsense right into your brain without even requiring an implant. There is no good reason why someone would want those things implanted seperately, but they do have some use, namely allowing you to use AR without trodes or a datajack.
RunnerPaul
QUOTE (ruknabard @ Dec 10 2006, 04:37 PM)
So do you think that the "link" implants allow a user to interface with VR without need for the gloves and goggles and such? Allowing them to interact discreectly (without obvious wires and paraphenalia)? Are these merely implanted interfacing options?

The rules say you need a sim module to access full VR.

However, to be able to do what they do, the "link" implants would have to contain purpose-built partial sim modules capable of converting computer data into a format that the brain's sensory centers can understand. If you had a commlink that didn't have a sim module (rare yes, but the el-cheapo basic models do come without), and Image-Link, Sound-Link, and Touch-Link implants, and depending on just how immersive you want your VR to be, the Olfactory Booster and Taste Booster too, then in theory, you should be able to pipe all your sensory data through them if you wanted to.

One important catch: such a setup would be lacking the RAS Override that keeps your body from flailing about while your brain is experiencing VR. These are included with the sim module, but previous editions did offer this as a seperate implant by itself, and it'd be trivial to bring it forward into the current edition.

Also, by breaking up the simsense signal to be converted by 3-5 different implants to brain readable makes it tricky, if not downright impossible to run Hot Sim.

Getting back to your original question, you were looking for a way to access VR without gloves and goggles. When using a sim module, typically, there's some sort of Direct Neural Implant to allow you to mentally input all your commands. It's always available when you wire your sim module through your datajack and if you have a sim module implant, DNI comes standard with that too. As for using 'trodes, I've heard of a few GMs who don't believe that trode connections provide DNI, and they even can point to places in the book that seem to back them up, but personally, I allow it, and think most other GMs probably do to.
RunnerPaul
QUOTE (ixombie @ Dec 10 2006, 04:44 PM)
Sense links allow you to experience various AR senses without trodes or a datajack.

If you're sending a wireless signal from your commlink to your Image Link and Sound Link Implants, you could just as easily transmit directly to an implanted Sim Module which would then pipe brain-readable simsense of the AR Overlays directly into your brain, all "without trodes or a datajack". Why do multiple implants, when one does the job of all of them?

The book even flat out says "The easiest and most common way to get your AR fix, though, is through simsense."
ruknabard
Sorry bout the misunderstanding...see, what I didnt say in the post was that I was consindering the "link" ware for a character with an implanted sim module, thinking that they somehow enhanced or enabled a different method of accessing VR.

So the general consenus seems to be: "Link" ware is pretty silly to install unless its coming free with other cyberware. Because why really would you need them if you already have a commlink implanted with a hotsim mod installed on it?

I suppose this has been addressed in multiple forums, but the core book was pretty loose on it's definiton of some items.
De Badd Ass
nevermind
RunnerPaul
QUOTE (ruknabard)
Sorry bout the misunderstanding...see, what I didnt say in the post was that I was consindering the "link" ware for a character with an implanted sim module, thinking that they somehow enhanced or enabled a different method of accessing VR.

And a "different way of accessing VR" is a decent enough fluff reason by itself.

It's like when they introduced Datajacks with built in ASIST Converters back in SR3 to support Otaku. There was no good reason for such a thing to exist outside of the context of Otaku, as anything simsense related that you'd plug into a datajack already had it's own ASIST converter built in.

Implant manufacturers wouldn't be making them for just Otaku, so there had to be some reason why the general public would want one. In the end, at my table, I went for the same kind of fluff reasoning here: some segment of the marketplace sees perceives it as adding quality, but it's not enough of a difference to result in an actual game rule bonus.
Wakshaani
Don't forget that the assorted links also come with recorders (Semi-seperate for sight and sound, but together for the rest), which has lots of uses. The Mechanic with a cyberarm, for example, might get a Touch Link, so that she can use her metal arm in a potential threat situation, measuring and taking data... she could, for example, reach in where there could be acids, high heat, or loose wires, and take a reading with her arm. The Rigger might have linked all his senses to record, then playback on Hotsim when bord. "You guys go on in. I'll stay in teh van." . o O ( And replay that 'service' I got two years ago from my girlfriend. MMmm... )

Nothing quite like being tortured for information, getting away, burning a copy of teh whole thing onto a chip, then slotting it back on teh guy who did it to you in teh first place. Revenge is best served in Hot ASSIST. smile.gif
RunnerPaul
QUOTE (Wakshaani)
Don't forget that the assorted links also come with recorders (Semi-seperate for sight and sound, but together for the rest)


I see where the Olfactory Booster and Taste Booster have recording functionality, but the wording of the Touch Link's description only talks about outputting "directly to the userís neural system." and doesn't seem to mention recording from the neural system. Is there some reference I'm missing here?

Besides, you should be able to record any tactile data directly from the cyberlimb without having an extra implant.

And while this is handy for the people who already have the implants, but if your goal is to be able to record simsense of being tortured, or of sex with your girlfriend (Or being tortured while having sex with your girlfriend, for that matter), the implanted simrig will handle your whole sensorium with one relatively essence-friendly/wallet-friendly implant.
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