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crizh
QUOTE (Sma @ Jun 25 2008, 03:20 AM) *
Unaugmented IBalls have a sensor rating of 2, thus - on their own- are only eligible to be a contributing member of a rating 1 Tacnet; and while the text is unclear enough to allow for drones that are somehow slaved through you to count for your channels, having 2 IBalls count as rating 4 (which btw. would only add give sufficient channels for a R2 tacnet, unless you want to count them in addition to your own eyes) because you get twice the amount of cameras that way, seems to be stretching it a bit far.


I wasn't really thinking unmodified, iBalls have 8 modification slots.

The way I was reading the text it had not even occurred to me that drones could be members of a TacNet. I suppose their Pilots could benefit when operating autonomously. In that case I wouldn't count it's sensor rating as it's number of streams I would count it's number of sensors instead, up to 5 in the case of the iBall.
hobgoblin
one thing about degradation, the timeframe is 1 month only for hacker and malware programs. its 2 months for all the rest. so it will take a year for a rating 6 common app to degrade to uselessness...
Fuchs
I still have no answer to my question: For what game/balance reason was it put in?
hobgoblin
money sink, like ammo for the sammie, summoning materials for the mage, and other consumables.

that is, if you try to be cheap and crack a program so that you can spread it around. break out that fake id, put your activesofts and other non-agressive stuff on it, who is going to tell anyways?
Fuchs
So, if a money sink was needed for hackers, hackers were overpowered before?
HentaiZonga
Question on Nexi:

The rules on pg. 50 suggest a Nexus's Persona limit is (System x 3)

The gear list on pg. 198 list Persona limits of 10's and 30's.

Which is correct?
hobgoblin
QUOTE (Fuchs @ Jun 25 2008, 11:37 AM) *
So, if a money sink was needed for hackers, hackers were overpowered before?


i distinctly recall people complaining that a hacker could be maxed out of the gate, with nowhere to go with his money or karma...
apple
Well, it was true that a hacker could reach its hacking peak in a very short time (skill 6+2, programm / hardware 6). However, the new crackings rules does not hinder the hacker really. We are talking about a maximum upkeep of several thousend nuyen per month, something which should be payable by such a good hacker (except the GM pays only 500¥ for an infiltration into a high security area to kidnap the super scientist).

It is just .... bookkeeping without sense and purpuse.

SYL
Fuchs
QUOTE (hobgoblin @ Jun 25 2008, 12:23 PM) *
i distinctly recall people complaining that a hacker could be maxed out of the gate, with nowhere to go with his money or karma...


I think there's a pretty significant difference between not being able to advance much after creation, and having to pay to not become weaker. I also think that, although I dislike power creep, that Unwired should have offered more options for Hackers to spend nuyen (and maybe karma) on new stuff, like the other sourcebooks allowed for everyone else.

So, were hackers overpowered before, and needed to be taken down a peg while everyone else (mages, adepts, TMs, samurais, riggers etc.) was boosted by the different splatbooks?
Fuchs
QUOTE (apple @ Jun 25 2008, 12:35 PM) *
It is just .... bookkeeping without sense and purpuse.


That's the other impression I got - where's the mechanical reason for this, if it's insignificant as a money drain?
Aaron
QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig @ Jun 24 2008, 05:57 PM) *
Sorry, no. There is no way to explain how degredation in a closed system could ever work.

You've obviously never owned a Zune. Or played with SecuROM 7.*.
Fuchs
Still waiting for an answer to the mechanical and game balance reason to put the SOTA rules in. Or, to make it easier: Why wasn't it assumed to be done "behind the scenes", like so much else? (Cleaning weapons, replacing barrels, personal hygenie, etc.)
Ryu
QUOTE (Fuchs @ Jun 25 2008, 01:31 PM) *
Still waiting for an answer to the mechanical and game balance reason to put the SOTA rules in. Or, to make it easier: Why wasn't it assumed to be done "behind the scenes", like so much else? (Cleaning weapons, replacing barrels, personal hygenie, etc.)


Just my own opinion, but the SOTA rules protect the role of the hacker. A hacker has no problem keeping his programs up to date, the casual user has. You are kept from dropping a few grand on matrix stuff and take over the hackers job.
Rotbart van Dainig
That may have been the intention, but it even crippels dedicated hackers and riggers. Of course, the whole intention is wrong, as every runner needs to be able to survive in the digital world, while hacker always will have the advantage of simple focus on that point - it's not like only street sams are allowed to shoot people.

QUOTE (Ryu @ Jun 25 2008, 02:09 PM) *
A hacker has no problem keeping his programs up to date, the casual user has.

That's the Can of Worms opened by Registration/Degradation:

The casual user includes non-hacking runners. And every piece of gear has software. Obviously, it's suicide for its software to be registered.
You do the math.
Lebo77
QUOTE (apple @ Jun 25 2008, 03:34 AM) *
Tycho already quoted the corresponding rule from Unwired. Why they care? Well, it´s in the rule and especially illegal or hacking programs are restricted so like buying a weapon there will be an ID check if you buy your attack/armor/exploit program. And of course the BBB describes general SIN checks and sensor scans as being normal (look at the drone examples).


Tycho quoted a rule incorrectly and in the wrong context as I said above. First he had the wrong page number, second he tried to say that it applied to all patch updates when it clearly was intended to a apply to only initial purchase, third he neglected to account for the fact that it sed the word "may" not "will" or "shall".

QUOTE
Absolutely right. That is the reason why certified checksticks or shadowy shops (who don´t check the SIN) exist. Fortunately SIN check are not mentioned to be standard for common good, just the online transaction where you need an account (and you need a sin for a bank account or a shadow bank account). Unfortunately SIN checks seem pretty standard for buying restricted programs, and it is not a basic check but a check with 2-4 dices against your SIN rating (which has a maximum of 6). But to be honest, the SIN rules as presented in the BBB are pretty broken ... no runner could have a rating 6 SIN for more than 24h if he is living in a larger city, because at some point during the day even a rating 6 SIN would fail the hundreds of SIN tests made during each day.


I think the SIMPLEest solution to the problem you describe is to reduice the frequency of SIN checks. Reduce it from the un-economically sound levels you imply to some rare occurance. Border Crosing? Yes, there should be a check. Entering a High Security building? Yes, there too. Getting o a Plane, buying a car, applying for a gun license, getting arrested? All yes. Walking down the street in a AAA zone... MAYBE If security is feeling paranoid. Buying a soycalf at the Shack? That's just silly. Why exclude customers? It's bad for buisness, and if SR is about anything it's about the greed of the corps.

QUOTE
It´s like the microsoft windows auto update authentification: they check if your program is really legally bought. And they check it in reality every time your windows wants to update (or if you go manually on the windows update webpage)


MS does not CARE if the program was LEGALY bought. They care that they got their money. Just cuz you used a stolen credit card to buy Windows XP is NOT going to stop MS from activating your copy. They care they your software license number is correct and that it is only being used by one computer. They will check the credit card when you BUY the software (not the ID mind you, just the credit card) to make sure they get paid. But on each SW update? Nope. No reason to. It would just cost them time and money.

QUOTE
Since you have to broadcast your ID in high security areas it seems normal that your ID is checked ... otherwise the whole "broadcast your ID"-system would make any sense.

SYL


Not so. The powers that be could RECORD all the IDs, and spot check a small percentage. This allows them to track people down later if something bad happens. It's like making people wear name-pages with pictures. They don't closely examine each one, but it makes it hard to be anonymous. Spot checking a few is like those people selected for "enhanced screening" at the airport. It's anyone who fits a profile, plus a few extra random people to keep everyone on their toes.

I think the whole "SINs get checked a thousand times a day" idea is a bit of over-reading of the source material. Another reading, just as valid is that SINs get checked less frequently. This is a difference of opinion, so there is no RIGHT answer, but in the second reading NPC and corps are acting in their economic intrests, and Shadowrunners stand half a chance of making it a day without being arrested.
apple
QUOTE (Lebo77 @ Jun 25 2008, 07:30 AM) *
third he neglected to account for the fact that it sed the word "may" not "will" or "shall".


It is common in SR4 (and SR3 too) to check the SIN, both as a spotcheck. Until now you could argue that the seller does not check the ID itself, only the credit balance of the buyer. However now it is stated that all software sellers, especially in the case of combat software, "may" (and most GMs will) check the ID (not only the balance), and not only with a superficial check, but with a SIN check so deep it even could mean trouble for SOTA-SINs (rating 6).

Oh, btw, do SINs degrade too? After all, SINs, IDs etc are mostly data and software in an environement which is controlled and checked very often. What about device rating and the OS-Software for almost all electronic gadgets? Does electronic equipment degrade too? And then of course there are the non-hacker runner.

QUOTE
I think the SIMPLEest solution to the problem you describe is to reduice the frequency of SIN checks.


Unfortunetely that is a world change in the same category as "in our game there is no "degenerating software". Of course you can do in our group (and we did it for our group as well especially because of the SIN/streetsam-probleme).

QUOTE
MS does not CARE if the program was LEGALY bought.


Of course M$ does ... everytime I go online with the auto updater. It checks my system for a correct serial/registration/authentification-process. The same goes for other software.

QUOTE
Just cuz you used a stolen credit card to buy Windows XP is NOT going to stop MS from activating your copy.


This has nothing do to with the payment. Did you bought the software from its producer? Then yes, you bought it legally, probably with an SIN check rating 2-4. Then the software is registered and you can download the patches. Did you bought the software on the black market? Then you have no registration with the patch server and must get the patches from another source.

SYL
Ryu
QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig @ Jun 25 2008, 02:23 PM) *
The casual user includes non-hacking runners. And every piece of gear has software. Obviously, it's suicide for its software to be registered.
You do the math.


How many programs does your groups mage use on corporate hosts, so that they can leave evidence in the access logs of said hosts? About zero? The trace-bonus is not a great deal because you can only reliably avoid a trace by shutting down the device anyway, should you even know that you are traced.

(And I did the math, I prefer cracked software and a browse agent + monthly payments even for my non-hackers. At the time of equal costs, rating*9 months into the future, I won´t care about a couple of thousand ¥ per month.)
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (apple @ Jun 25 2008, 02:49 PM) *
It is common in SR4 (and SR3 too) to check the SIN, both as a spotcheck. Until now you could argue that the seller does not check the ID itself, only the credit balance of the buyer. However now it is stated that all software sellers, especially in the case of combat software, "may" (and most GMs will) check the ID (not only the balance), and not only with a superficial check, but with a SIN check so deep it even could mean trouble for SOTA-SINs (rating 6).

Of course there is the houserule that any kind of verification system rolls (Rating) dice against a (Rating) Threshold of the fake.

Which will make rating 3 fakes actually useful and rating 6 fakes as solid as they are described.
Mx
QUOTE (apple @ Jun 25 2008, 03:49 PM) *
Of course M$ does ... everytime I go online with the auto updater. It checks my system for a correct serial/registration/authentification-process. The same goes for other software.


Yes it checks your system for a legit serial, but it doesn't in any way check that i'm me. MS doesn't care who i am, just that I have a legally bought copy of the windows. And that check can be skipped by using one of the mirror sites.

QUOTE (apple @ Jun 25 2008, 03:49 PM) *
This has nothing do to with the payment. Did you bought the software from its producer? Then yes, you bought it legally, probably with an SIN check rating 2-4. Then the software is registered and you can download the patches. Did you bought the software on the black market? Then you have no registration with the patch server and must get the patches from another source.


No, just no i just go in to a store and give them money and they give me the software no ID checks, why would they care who you are as long as they get their money.
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (Ryu @ Jun 25 2008, 03:03 PM) *
How many programs does your groups mage use on corporate hosts, so that they can leave evidence in the access logs of said hosts? About zero?

About most common use programs available, stealth, plus system and firewall.

QUOTE (Ryu @ Jun 25 2008, 03:03 PM) *
The trace-bonus is not a great deal because you can only reliably avoid a trace by shutting down the device anyway, should you even know that you are traced.

Just with the trace bonus, you don't even have time to do so. Of course, the described datatrail can be used for more...

QUOTE (Ryu @ Jun 25 2008, 03:03 PM) *
(And I did the math, I prefer cracked software and a browse agent + monthly payments even for my non-hackers. At the time of equal costs, rating*9 months into the future, I won´t care about a couple of thousand ¥ per month.)

It's not so much about the money, but the insane ammount of rolls and bookkeeping.
By RAW, every piece of runner-gear now needs to be accounted for in multiple ways.
apple
QUOTE (Mäx @ Jun 25 2008, 08:07 AM) *
No, just no i just go in to a store and give them money and they give me the software no ID checks,


No, you do not do that in SR. In SR you do the following:

QUOTE
In game-terms, legal registered software is equipped with both the Copy Protection and the Registration program options

and
QUOTE
Registration
Program Types: Common, Hacking, Autosoft, Simsense
A program that is equipped with the Registration option was bought and registered online via a valid (appearing) SIN, which is written into the registry of the program. As a consequence, the software is regularly updated by the company that sold the program and thus is immune to degradation
[...]
with a verification system rating of 2–4.

and
QUOTE
Legal restricted software [...]is usually sold via special online vendors.
[...]
In addition to the normal ID check, users must produce a legal license.


So yes, contrary to what Lebo77 said, I truly think that the authors of Unwired except a SIN/ID check with a rating of 2-4 against your real or fake SIN/ID everytime you buy legal software from a legal vendor.

-------------------------------------------------------

And again: the archetype hacker has to make or buy 17 rolls each month (or every second month depending on the software) and my chaos mage has to make 46 rolls if he wants to stay in the shadows. Then there is an inconsistency in the rules regarding what kind of software (one page says common/hacking/simsense/autosoft, the other page adds agents and operating systems). Then of course it is unclear what happens with SIN, device ratings, unrated software and software without category (mapsoft, sensorsoft). To be honest: even the 70 000¥ my character will get back for buying cracked software will not balance the stupid and boring bookeeping I am now forced to do if I want to play in the "official world".

SYL
Lebo77
QUOTE (apple @ Jun 25 2008, 09:18 AM) *
So yes, contrary to what Lebo77 said, I truly think that the authors of Unwired except a SIN/ID check with a rating of 2-4 against your real or fake SIN/ID everytime you buy legal software from a legal vendor.


Registering the software with a SIN: So you have to give them a SIN number. They record it. Do they HAVE to run a check? Of course not. They will do so only if it is in their best interest. So long as they get paid, they need not worry about the SIN check.

And if they intended them to run the check every time, why use the word "may" in the rule Tycho (mis) quoted? Why not "will" or "shall". A close reading of the text implies it is optional. I am reading the text, you are attempting to read the developer's minds.

QUOTE
-------------------------------------------------------

And again: the archetype hacker has to make or buy 17 rolls each month (or every second month depending on the software) and my chaos mage has to make 46 rolls if he wants to stay in the shadows. Then there is an inconsistency in the rules regarding what kind of software (one page says common/hacking/simsense/autosoft, the other page adds agents and operating systems). Then of course it is unclear what happens with SIN, device ratings, unrated software and software without category (mapsoft, sensorsoft). To be honest: even the 70 000¥ my character will get back for buying cracked software will not balance the stupid and boring bookeeping I am now forced to do if I want to play in the "official world".

SYL


Hey, I don't like the SOTA system any more then you do! I think it is a bookeeping mess and a general nightmare. However, I do think there should some game balance reason why cracked software is not totally superior to uncracked software. I would rather lump it all together and come up with a monthly bill for the hacker, with a single roll each month. The developers went another way. Fine. I can allways house rule it. That said, paying 10% of retail for software should come with a downside.

(I also don't like that registered software makes it easier for you to be tracked. If you use an Ares SW suite to crack a Aztech node, why should Ares help the Azzies catch you again? How is that in their interest?)
Ryu
Your groups mage is using Edit and Command on corporate hosts? You call that a non-hacking char???

The base threshold for trace is 10. That buys at least the first IP, regardless of bonus dice. If you know you are traced, shut down your connection. Pretty academic as a non-hacker has less of a chance detecting the trace than a hacker. Stupid observe in detail actions, stupid agents running stealth.

About the book-keeping: Use an agent, buy successes. If you don´t care about the matrix, use an anonymous rating 4 open source program. If you do, be part of a coder/cracker/warez group, details up to you and your GM. Buy successes for that, too.

@Rotbart: It´s not about you in particular, but I don´t get how rather constant SOTA costs are worse than the religious counting of ammo most groups have going (We abandoned it quite some time ago, a flat payment that takes individual training into account is way better. Funny parallels...).
Dashifen
QUOTE (Cthulhudreams @ Jun 24 2008, 09:43 PM) *
This is stupid. Are you seriously saying that hackers should adventure to stay exactly as good as they are, whereas everyone else adventures to get better? It certainly seems so.


Yes, in effect, that is what I'm saying. But, others are not "adventuring," as you put it, to get better. Armor degrades, bullets run out, guns break or jam, drones/vehicles need repairing (a lot), cyberware must be purchased/upgraded, etc. Frankly, about the only character that I've never seen trying to stay at the top of their game were TMs and Mages. But, as we know, the spend their karma more so than their nuyen.

Dashifen
QUOTE (Fuchs @ Jun 25 2008, 03:37 AM) *
So, if a money sink was needed for hackers, hackers were overpowered before?


In my opinion, yes. When many of my other players would be spending every dollar of their cash on new ware, bullets, materials, spells, etc., hackers were often sitting pretty on quite a bit of cash because they had bought rating 6 programs at character gen and after a few thousand dollars, had a 6/6/6/6 commlink to use them on. The only other character that seems to amass money like a hacker is usually an adept or a mage that doesn't bind. And TMs, but they use karma like no tomorrow.
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (Ryu @ Jun 25 2008, 03:37 PM) *
Your groups mage is using Edit and Command on corporate hosts? You call that a non-hacking char???

The only non-'hacking' runners in the augmented world are dead runners.

QUOTE (Ryu @ Jun 25 2008, 03:37 PM) *
The base threshold for trace is 10. That buys at least the first IP, regardless of bonus dice.

Registered programs reduce the Threshold. So no, not even the first IP anymore.

QUOTE (Ryu @ Jun 25 2008, 03:37 PM) *
About the book-keeping: Use an agent, buy successes.

Buying successes might keep you from rolling, but you still need to check every piece of equipment for all its programms

QUOTE (Ryu @ Jun 25 2008, 03:37 PM) *
It´s not about you in particular, but I don´t get how rather constant SOTA costs are worse than the religious counting of ammo most groups have going

First off, most of the pure hate stems from the fact that a really ugly change to the hackers mechanics was shoved in through the back door in Unwired.
Second, it's easier to count a handfull of pieces of equipment than to account for every piece of equiment.
Tycho
@Lebo77:

If you don't want to check the SIN in your group, just don't do it. I don't care how you play the game and I never forced you to play it the way i think it is right.

I said, I would do it that way, not that it is the only thruth out there and you are damned if you don't accept it...

QUOTE ("BBB p.259")
If you lack a SIN, many activities that normal citizens take for granted become impossible for you. For example, you need a SIN to get a legal job, open a bank account, own property, go to school, rent an apartment, establish utility services, and so forth. Most importantly, a SIN is now required for any form of legal travel—including just buying a bus ticket.



In a world where you have to have a SIN for a bus ticket (which will be cheaper than 10 nuyen.gif ), it just seems right for me, that every corp will run an ID check every time you log on their matrix side for an update. Still, the ID Check rules are crappy.

cya
Tycho

PlatonicPimp
Tacnet:

As I read the rules on my first pass, a drone counts as sensor channels for the person who is using the commlink they are slaved to, assuming they are so slaved. If the drone is running the tacnet on it's own hardware, then it gets bonuses and it's sensors act as as sensor channels for itself.

Also, if you have fewer senses for the tacnet, you can still participate in a tacnet with a rating higher than yours, it just operates at a lower level for you.
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (Dashifen @ Jun 25 2008, 03:42 PM) *
When many of my other players would be spending every dollar of their cash on new ware, bullets, materials, spells, etc., hackers were often sitting pretty on quite a bit of cash because they had bought rating 6 programs at character gen and after a few thousand dollars, had a 6/6/6/6 commlink to use them on.

And we all know that in SR4 it's completly forbidden for the hacker to invest in drones, implants or other equipment because the Hacker class probits it. sarcastic.gif
Sma
QUOTE (crizh @ Jun 25 2008, 10:39 AM) *
I wasn't really thinking unmodified, iBalls have 8 modification slots.

The way I was reading the text it had not even occurred to me that drones could be members of a TacNet. I suppose their Pilots could benefit when operating autonomously. In that case I wouldn't count it's sensor rating as it's number of streams I would count it's number of sensors instead, up to 5 in the case of the iBall.


Gotcha.

It´s probably cheaper to just grab one or two handheld sensor packages sporting the chosen sensors in that case.

camera 100
-ll 100
-thermo 100
-vision mag 100
microphone 100
- select sound filter 100
- spatial recognizer 100
Motion Sensor 50

Sma
apple
QUOTE (Ryu @ Jun 25 2008, 08:37 AM) *
Your groups mage is using Edit and Command on corporate hosts? You call that a non-hacking char???


Of course. Do you really play SR4 without any basic hacking abilities besides your group hacker?

QUOTE
About the book-keeping:


Thank you for something I wrote one page earlier. But this does not change the fact that you have to specify the availability treshold at least for every category of software you are using. And it certainly doesn´t help that the official rules contradict itself when if comes to the category of degenerating software.

And of course, if we are talking about such simple solutions like "be member of a cracking group" why do the rules exist at all? Why not a flat increase in lifestyle? Why not a mandatory connection and ONE roll per month to see if you can provide the neccessary contribution to the warez grou? Why not a simple +10% in lifestyle? Or 1% of the buying price? Or some similiar elegant, yes simple solution without bookeeping for a dozen+ programs (and a lot of questions regarding which kind of software is degenerating). And please, before you start flaming my examples: they are just that: examples. I am quite sure that you are familiar enough with the SR4 rules that you can decide for yourself if there are other possible rule solutions other than "roll or buy successes one or two dozen times each month".

QUOTE
, but I don´t get how rather constant SOTA costs are worse than the religious counting of ammo most groups have going


1) There are no rules for constant ammo degeneration (only if you use ammo), but there are rules for the degeneration of linguasofts. And yes, compared to the ammo resupply the SOTA system feels much more cumbersome, time-consuming and roll-intensive without giving any kind of fun/roleplay/interesting interaction back. It is just ... bookeeping. If you want to compare it, either your equipment looses one point every month (so your heavy pistol does 4k after one month and 1k after 4 month) or your software is damaged in combat and must be repaired/resupplied after combat (like reloading a weapon)

2) Basic rules vs advanced rules. Yes, it makes a small difference if you have to pay 100% or 10% for programs.

3) As you said: you are using a flat payment. Now, we are talking about 1000¥ to estimated 5000¥ for a normal user to an advanced hacker, and these are more or less static costs after a certain game point. So, using hundreds of bullets on runs is handled with a flat payment, but using common and not so common programs is so special that there must be specific rules on how to calculate the exakt ¥ for each specific program? For me, SOTA costs sounds just like "Please have a connection, make a software test each month or pay (rating x 10¥) each month".

QUOTE
(We abandoned it quite some time ago, a flat payment that takes individual training into account is way better. Funny parallels...).


Yes, especially considering that your houserule has nothing to do with the official SOTA rules besides "Your GM decides your roleplaying success in getting into a cracker group, otherwise you are threatened with rolling 20+ tests." The funny thing is, your houserule is the same in my group.

SYL
Ryu
QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig @ Jun 25 2008, 04:08 PM) *
The only non-'hacking' runners in the augmented world are dead runners.

Registered programs reduce the Threshold. So no, not even the first IP anymore.

Buying successes might keep you from rolling, but you still need to check every piece of equipment for all its programms


1) Non-hacking runners need a subscription to their hacker-buddy. Repeat matrix signal, take care of your own job.

2) A reduced threshold is better in most cases, as your Stealth program reduces the opponents dice pool.

3) Yes, I do. Fortunately only once, hacked autosofts are quite affordable.
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (Ryu @ Jun 25 2008, 04:34 PM) *
Non-hacking runners need a subscription to their hacker-buddy.

..wich best is a NPC and the matrix belongs only to Hackers, Technomancers and AI, anyway - suuure. sarcastic.gif

QUOTE (Ryu @ Jun 25 2008, 04:34 PM) *
A reduced threshold is better in most cases, as your Stealth program reduces the opponents dice pool.

A reduced threshold is never better, as it equals 4 bonus dice.

QUOTE (Ryu @ Jun 25 2008, 04:34 PM) *
Fortunately only once, hacked autosofts are quite affordable.

No, you need to go through the entire euqipment list every two months ingame. Idle chores, no fun.
Fuchs
I don't get how in one area, making the game less fun for hackers is not ok (encryption), and in another area (SOTA) it's ok.

Also, as others pointed out - hackers were not prohibited from branching out, and going rigger or samurai - quite the contrary for rigging, actually.

The whole still looks like a senseless rule to me that does nothing to make the game fun.
PlatonicPimp
all right, nothing new has been added to the discussion for pages now. Agree to disagree folks. House rule it if you don't like it.
Fuchs
It's not about agreeing to disagree, I'd just like to know who thinks this is a fun rule. What exactly does it add to the game? To your game?
PlatonicPimp
MY game?

It gives my hacker a reason to have programming skills. It marks the difference between a real hacker(maintains at least some of his own programs) and a script kiddie. It suggests what a social network for hackers looks like and does. It gives FOSS a place in the SR world. It does these things better than fluff because it actually effects the character.

YOUR game? I have no idea. House rule it if you don't like it.
TheGothfather
QUOTE (Fuchs @ Jun 25 2008, 10:15 AM) *
It's not about agreeing to disagree, I'd just like to know who thinks this is a fun rule. What exactly does it add to the game? To your game?
What it does is prevent the hacker from giving free shit to everyone else in the team. Because software can be cracked and copied, as soon as there is enough accumulated downtime, everybody gets every program at rating 6. For free. Software degradation means the hacker has to spend time and money keeping his warez up to date, which means that, assuming there's some shadowrunning going on, he probably won't have the time to start kicking out copies of all of his software to his buddies.
apple
Ah ... no. If he has the cracked patches (either bought from a warez group or programmed it himself) it is just a simple action done in less than 1 second to distribute it in the TacNet of his group. Cracked software does not have any copy protection.

SYL
TheGothfather
QUOTE (apple @ Jun 25 2008, 10:44 AM) *
Ah ... no. If he has the cracked patches (either bought from a warez group or programmed it himself) it is just a simple action done in less than 1 second to distribute it in the TacNet of his group. Cracked software does not have any copy protection.

SYL
Right. No copy protection, it's cracked. And now it degrades. So he has to spend time and money to keep it from degrading. That's kinda my point.

I actually agree that the additional bookkeeping is ridiculous, but I really think that SOTA rules are there to discourage the player from powergaming. The fluff is just there to explain why it has to be done in game.
Nightwalker450
Few questions... (Completely unrelated to degradation, but completely related to this topic...)

Complex Forms and Program Options: 2 Karma per option is per option, not per option per complex form correct... Meaning I buy it once and can apply it to any complex form I wish.

Submersion: Reassembling. Am I correct in reading only Entropic Sprites can be reassembled to provide a discount to Submersion? So we have to deal with a "anti-resonance" sprite, we can't assist a good sprite and gain a benefit? Also regarding the absorption, it says some technomancers see it as sacrificing a sprite, others see it as crossbreeding of the code... How do the sprites feel about this?

Echos: Biowires. Emulation takes a skillsoft and then you threading test (still no action I assume), threshold of the rating. Then you can sustain it, or learn it as a complex form paying karma equal to rating. So this makes it easier for me to learn Pistols, then it does for me to learn a computer program. Since Rating 4 Pistols, is only 4 karma, and learning rating 4 Browse will take 11 karma. Can I emulate computer programs to save cost? Though I guess it has been said you can't thread a skillsoft to a higher rating. Biowires also apply the same limits as to the number of skillsofts you can run?

Echos: Defragmentation. I'm reading this to say that only damage caused by an Attack program can be defragmented. Even though damage wise its just like Blackout (except using Armor vs. Biofeedback filter)

JoelHalpern
Reading this whole thread (it will likely be a few months before I get Unwired) the software decay rules look like the result of a series of individually reasonable decisions.
However, as the decisions interacted, the result is a system that has unlikely implications (autosofts and knowsofts degrading) and results in mechanics which either require a bunch of calculation, the use of the rule of 4, and then end up not actually swolving the initial problems, or else you have an immense number of rolls to be taken every 1 to 2 months.

so in solving some probably reasonable concerns (including trying to answer the question as to whether hackers can reasonably earn money just hacking) a construction that sounds akin to one built by Rube Goldberg has resulted.

(As a caveat, it is possible when I see the rules I will conclude that they are cleaner than this discussion indicates. But it seems unlikely.)

The main reason for posting this is to suggest that this does matter.
I try to check out each book before buying it, to decide whether it is going to be useful / interesting / etc.
From what I can tell, this is actually a small part of Unwired, and I will buy it anyway.
But having a rule that is, from a game-play perspective, as awkward as this one appears to be is a serious disincentive for buying the book.
(It also makes me wonder whether I cam going to conclude that other aspects of this particular volume are as bad. Which would make me an unhappy customer.)

Yours,
Joel M. Halpern
dionysus
JoeHalpern, having read the PDF, I would argue that degredation is a relatively small part of the book, even thought the rule has far-reaching implications. I wouldn't worry too much about it, there's lots of great crunchy (and some fluff I really like) in it. The topology and security chapters are, IMHO, very satisfying and helpful. The missing EC/ECCM rules are a disappointment, though, I thought there had been some noise that that was going to be addressed in UW.

QUOTE (Nightwalker450)
Can I emulate computer programs to save cost?

That's really interesting, esp given the Adopting Software sidebar on p136. "In theory, a technomancer can adapt any piece of software by mimicking the program with a complex form that he shapes (by threading or learning) based on the original." It doesn't say anything about the mechanics of this "adaptation" process.
FWIW, the description of Emulation on p149 says "Technomancers with the Biowire echo can use threading to convert skillsofts..." so it does seem to be limited to a) those with the echo and b) skillsofts. Nightwalker, I don't have my core book with me, so I can't look it up, but 11 karma for rtg 4 browse seems high to me...could you spell that out for those of us with faulty memories?
Nightwalker450
Not a problem... If you don't have the complex form
Rating 1 = 2
Then for every rank after than you pay the new rating so the breakdown is
2 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 11 karma

Hence technomancer never buy any complex forms after creation, because they are just not worth it.

Here's another question:

How large are nexi? I'm thinking I should be able to carry a Renraku Hotspot, or a Renraku Retailer Hub in my backpack.
apple
QUOTE (TheGothfather @ Jun 25 2008, 10:50 AM) *
but I really think that SOTA rules are there to discourage the player from powergaming.


Could you please explain how the SOTA rules could discourage the player from powergaming?

You said:
QUOTE
What it does is prevent the hacker from giving free shit to everyone else in the team. [...], he probably won't have the time to start kicking out copies of all of his software to his buddies.


Your point, that the hacker doesnt have the time to distribute his cracked patches/software to other people is not valid.

1) If he is cracking/patching it himself, he needs so much time he cannot run. But if he has cracked/patched it, he can distribute the software in seconds to other players.

2) If he is searching for cracked software/patches, he needs money and the player needs a lot of patience, when the GM is determining the result of 20+ rolls (or bought hits). But if he has the cracked software/patches, he can distribute it in seconds to other player

3) And he *must* search for cracked patches or program the patches for himself, otherwise, after some month, he will not be able to hack anything over a basic commlink without any defense. The problem/limitiation is not the distributation to other characters, it is the constrait to get patches for himself every month.

Either he gets the patches and can continue to hack, or he does not get the patches and is a dead hacker. The distribution of free software to other characters has nothing to do with it and is done in seconds.

SYL
apple
QUOTE (Nightwalker450 @ Jun 25 2008, 11:20 AM) *
How large are nexi? I'm thinking I should be able to carry a Renraku Hotspot, or a Renraku Retailer Hub in my backpack.


Not very large. Unwired has nexi-drones

SYL
Dashifen
QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig @ Jun 25 2008, 09:12 AM) *
And we all know that in SR4 it's completly forbidden for the hacker to invest in drones, implants or other equipment because the Hacker class probits it. sarcastic.gif


They're certainly capable of doing so, however in my three years of running SR4, my hackers haven't done so. YMMV.


QUOTE (Fuchs @ Jun 25 2008, 10:15 AM) *
It's not about agreeing to disagree, I'd just like to know who thinks this is a fun rule. What exactly does it add to the game? To your game?


I think this is a solid rule. Is it fun, no probably not if you're going to force a person to roll all of that, but I think it does balance the hacker character especially with respect to the spoofing of lifestyles that is now capable. I have perceived an imbalance for hackers as starting characters. Many of them have never purchased a piece of gear after character creation because their gear was as good as they needed them to be right out of the gate. The degradation rules will help combat this.

Personally, I do not intend to have any activesoft, knowsoft, linguasoft, pilot, system, or firewall degrade. Really, I see this as being of solid benefit when hacking and, to a lesser extent, common use programs come into their own.

Also, I agree with the others in the thread that indicate having registered software isn't that bad, especially for things like browse, analyze, and other common use programs. In my games, SIN checks are few and far between because I think they reduce the fun of the game, and so far my players haven't seemed to indicate that this is a problem. 'Course, my players rarely, if ever, purchase anything that they need from legitimate source and, instead, go through black market fences and the like. Thus, having fake SINs or no SIN isn't an issue for them. Perhaps my perception that SIN checks are a largely unnecessary part of the game also colors my point of view with respect to degradation and it's capabilities.

Thus, what this adds to the game is the ability for a character to make a choice: to use registered or unregistered software. If they use registered there is the chance, albeit unlikely, that they may get caught using those registered programs while performing an illegal activity of some kind. If so, then the registration may lead (eventually) back to them. However, to mitigate that danger, someone could choose unregistered software which degrades and must be upkept.

I'm not sure if I'm being clear. Am I?
Nightwalker450
Since all wireless devices act as routers for matrix traffic. What is the purpose of the Retrans Unit in Arsenal, and now our Repeater Drone in Unwired? I guess the purpose would be to try and create a secure wireless line between places, but I can do the same thing by hiding commlinks around town operating on hidden mode... Ok that thought made me want to give free comms to the homeless so I can set up a route through them to connect to places biggrin.gif.
Nightwalker450
QUOTE (apple @ Jun 25 2008, 11:34 AM) *
Not very large. Unwired has nexi-drones

SYL


But its still a medium drone.. which isn't backpackable... nyahnyah.gif
So I'm thinking laptop size, for the lower ones (<10,000 nuyen.gif ), the rest are more desktop size. At least for the prebuilts
dionysus
QUOTE (Nightwalker450 @ Jun 25 2008, 10:55 AM) *
Submersion: Reassembling. Am I correct in reading only Entropic Sprites can be reassembled to provide a discount to Submersion? So we have to deal with a "anti-resonance" sprite, we can't assist a good sprite and gain a benefit? Also regarding the absorption, it says some technomancers see it as sacrificing a sprite, others see it as crossbreeding of the code... How do the sprites feel about this?

I went over the sections again, I don't think it is restricted to entropic sprites. The description of reassembling on p158 says "Unlike free spirits, free sprites don’t require Karma to grow in power. They alter their “source code? in a process known as reassembling," so it seems to be free/wild sprites of any type.

I, too, would like to hear about how the sprites take it. Esp. since some sprites (see Independence, p157) see going free as "a separation from their intended purpose," sprites might see helping a free sprite to be making a bad situation worse. OTOH, sprites might see it as a way to re-unify the free sprite with their original programming.
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