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Jonny Reload
Reading up on Unwired again, I was curious about Program Degradation (From Programming Software yourself) and going above rating 6. Let's say you code for a few months to make a Stealth 12 Program, normally with programs 6 and under, you could find a price for them, ergo, you could patch them up from a pirate network every month for a small fee... But Rating 7+ programs don't have prices so how could you search a Pirate Network for a patch every month for your crazy Stealth 12 Program before it becomes a Stealth 11 next month?
Heath Robinson
Self-made Programs do not degrade.

QUOTE (Unwired Errata V1)
Software programmed by the hacker and Open Source programs never degrade in this fashion, but may require patching to remain current at the gamemasterís discretion.
Saint Sithney
QUOTE (Heath Robinson @ Mar 8 2010, 02:46 AM) *
Self-made Programs do not degrade.



At the game master's discretion.

For instance, in my game, if you start trading your crazy-awesome program to other hackers for equivalent progs, or if you sell your prog to skiddies, then you invite attention and subsequent patching of random amounts at random intervals. So, you put your hack out in the world, and it takes 1D6 months for it to be noticed, an it loses 1D6/2 points of potency from the first sloppy patch to stop it. If you set off an alarm while hacking, or pull a high-profile hack, then a similar thing happens.

In the world of comp security, exposure is what determines effectiveness.
Jonny Reload
Heath: Where did you read this? In Unwired, ANY illegal use programs "Exploit, Black Ice, etc." automatically degrade unless it's purchased with a fake license legitimately on pg 118.

Saint: So unless it's a trade for a high rating program, you can't exactly put a price on 7+ rating programs on a pirate network to purchase them? frown.gif
Draco18s
QUOTE (Jonny Reload @ Mar 8 2010, 12:57 PM) *
unless it's purchased with a fake license legitimately on pg 118.


That made me giggle.
Jonny Reload
Ok so I didn't write "legitimately" with quotations, you still get it grinbig.gif
SleepIncarnate
Legitimate software is regularly patched and thus does not degrade, pirated and cracked software does not and thus degrades. PC created software would receive its patches from the PC, and thus, does not degrade, though the GM may require them to make periodic patching tests if they wish. This information can be found in Unwired on pp. 108-109 and 118-119.
Heath Robinson
QUOTE (Jonny Reload @ Mar 8 2010, 05:57 PM) *
Heath: Where did you read this? In Unwired, ANY illegal use programs "Exploit, Black Ice, etc." automatically degrade unless it's purchased with a fake license legitimately on pg 118.


QUOTE (Quote Tag)
QUOTE (Unwired Errata V1)
Jonny Reload
Heath: You are a God amongst mortal Matrix Users grinbig.gif

Sleep: The problem with patching yourself is that the Hacking programs need to be patched monthly and take a week to patch... Which means if you do nothing else for a month, you can only keep 4 Hacking programs patched and up to date per month... But then again Heath just pointed out the errata to me so it's all good now... Now I just gotta decide what's appropriate for the non-TM in my games group.
hobgoblin
so fork over 1/10 of the cost of the program, and grab a patch from the p2p networks.

heck, if the GM is friendly, add the maintenance costs of the updates to the lifestyle cost and stop worrying.
Saint Sithney
QUOTE (Jonny Reload @ Mar 8 2010, 09:57 AM) *
Saint: So unless it's a trade for a high rating program, you can't exactly put a price on 7+ rating programs on a pirate network to purchase them? frown.gif


Well, I'd say selling and buying these drek-hot hyper-level programs should be potentially possible at GM discretion, but I don't really like the idea of selling stuff like that. Any hacker collective that writes and releases hacking programs is only going to release old exposed hacks for sale. Their super-premium level stuff is only available for trade within the collective to avoid exposure and maintain digital supremacy. So, first, a character would have to gain entry to a hacking group and then they'd have to write high-level code for trade. This just rewards those characters who actually bother to take Software as a skill and dedicate time outside of runs to working their tech. Sleep Regulators are a must here.
Falconer
Also, super high grade stuff would still degrade (as per GM's discretion). And self-written you won't be buying generic 'patches' off the net like you would for commercial software.


I disagree that it would only degrade if it gets out... there are other crackers out there, and others very well will use the same exploit you found. Security through obscurity... isn't. Similarly, especially for actively maintained programs, the programmers may spot the hole themselves during routine maintenance. The higher the rating the faster it would degrade.


The biggest problem w/ super-high grade is look at the rules and INTERVAL for the programming tests required for that stuff. It takes a LONG time to write a lot of that software. Typically months.


Quite frankly... the matrix rules do one thing very poorly... reflect the actual state of the system in game. You see a lot of things, especially security related products which only have rating 4 or 5 software.... yet rating 6 everything is pretty much de rigeur on character sheets. The single biggest fix they could do to the matrix is fix the program/ratings inflation or at least make normal defenses a bit more robust to protect against some of this silliness.
makari
I dont seem too much of a problem with the given examples and the use of r3-5 softwares... it's under the same lines that the typical security guard is a goon compared to your sam... you're a shadowrunner, you dont suck or you'd be a jailbitch you're suppose to be good at what you do, that's why people pay so much for it.
Draco18s
QUOTE (makari @ Mar 8 2010, 09:57 PM) *
I dont seem too much of a problem with the given examples and the use of r3-5 softwares... it's under the same lines that the typical security guard is a goon compared to your sam... you're a shadowrunner, you dont suck or you'd be a jailbitch you're suppose to be good at what you do, that's why people pay so much for it.


Except that it costs pennies to upgrade from R5 to R6. Pennies. Any business worth anything is going to have enough discretionary income to buy a $6000 program over the $5000 one.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Mar 8 2010, 08:38 PM) *
Except that it costs pennies to upgrade from R5 to R6. Pennies. Any business worth anything is going to have enough discretionary income to buy a $6000 program over the $5000 one.


It is not Pennies,though, especially since you are not "Upgrading" but Purchasing a New Software Package at 6000 Nuyen... so not only are you out the 6000 Nuyen spent to obtain the newest and best rating 6 Software, you are also out the original 5000 Nuyen paid for the previous rating 5 program you were using... 11,000 Nuyen is not Chump Change.

Thousands of Nuyen does not equate to Pennies... Even large corporations look long and hard at something like that when they are purchasing software for their employees...

Keep the Faith
Draco18s
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Mar 8 2010, 10:57 PM) *
It is not Pennies,though, especially since you are not "Upgrading" but Purchasing a New Software Package at 6000 Nuyen... so not only are you out the 6000 Nuyen spent to obtain the newest and best rating 6 Software, you are also out the original 5000 Nuyen paid for the previous rating 5 program you were using... 11,000 Nuyen is not Chump Change.


Or you could, you know, not buy the $5000 version in the first place...

Also, to give you an idea of how pitifully small 6 grand is when dealing with small businesses:
I've been paid almost that much in the last three months (rough math puts it at ~$7200 earned before taxes, assuming a 40 hour work week--a few have been more a few have been less).
I work through a temp agency who probably takes half.
The company I work for (total 7 guys including myself) has paid out close to $12000 to employ me.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Mar 8 2010, 09:11 PM) *
Or you could, you know, not buy the $5000 version in the first place...

Also, to give you an idea of how pitifully small 6 grand is when dealing with small businesses:
I've been paid almost that much in the last three months (rough math puts it at ~$7200 earned before taxes, assuming a 40 hour work week--a few have been more a few have been less).
I work through a temp agency who probably takes half.
The company I work for (total 7 guys including myself) has paid out close to $12000 to employ me.


If you have no programs, it is hard to be a Hacker... You buy what you can afford... if you have to start small (as most do in Chargen) then that is what you have to do... when you upgradem the cost of your orioginal programs is eaten... it is the cost of doing business...

$6,000 is not pitifully small, even for a Large Corporate business... but it is the Cost of doing business if it is a requirement that they spend it... I am full time, and make about $3200/Month (Before taxes, etc.) and yet, I do not have the cash lying around to purchase a $1,000 Program, let alone several $6,000 programs... so it is indeed a lot of money, especially if you need to purchase a dozen of them (like your Typical Hacker will)...

My Company has 12,000+ Employees and they all have a Licenses for several Programs, but I can guarantee you that the Suite we use does not cost 1,000 Dollars per license, let alone $6,000 each... so as a company, they will purchase what they deem is necessary for the employees to perform their jobs... If a Minimal program (Say Rating 1) is all that is needed for them to perform a job, why in the World would they purchase a Rating 6 version? The bottom line dictates that they won't do that...

Keep the Faith
Draco18s
Oh, for an individual hacker sure, its a lot of money.

However, have you seen the cost of various 3D applications, compositing software, rendering server, etc.?

Let me put it this way: I just googled the price of AutoDesk's Maya and got a page that said, "Request a quote," and was reminded of the old adage: "If you have to ask, you can't afford it." Another page lists the price as $3495.
AutoCAD (same company): $3995
Nuke (A Weapon of Mass Creation; compositing software) is $3500 + $1000 maintenance (yearly). Was an inhouse program for the Foundary for years, and I've had the privilege of having been able to use it. It is very powerful and very simplistic to use.
Rendering hardware is even more expensive. A "rendering workstation" intended for small (2 to 12 people) businesses that have multi-core needs can cost $30,000 and up. I know because I called Boxx Tech to ask them how much their Apexx 8 machine cost (8 quad core CPUs, 128 GB of ram, and 15 TB of local hard drive space). The guy on the other end was rather patronizing when I told him why I wanted to know the price: I'd like to own one, as a home user, someday. "Sir, this is a $30,000 machine."

Outfitting a location with thin clients? $100,000(plus) for a server +$25,000 per 30 clients not including monitor, keyboard, and mouse. I know this because Drexel's LeBow college was looking at replacing their 400 lab machines with thin clients to reduce the need of reformatting them every 3 months (it's a 4 day process if everything goes well--I'm not joking, it was 8 hours a day, for four days of sticking a boot CD in the machine and restarting it, grabbing the disc and moving on, and that was with no wait time because I had a stack of 12 CDs--do a row, come back, collect CDs, and hit the next row). AFAIK they haven't done it yet, but in 2007 they were considering it and almost had the money to do it (if the department allowed the spending).

Absorbing $6000 for security software, that is a one time expense, is nearly trivial. Remember: the above prices are single user licenses. Site Licenses are ten times that, if not more. Software in SR is somewhere between single user and site wide: it seems to depend on which software. Defense programs are single-use (because you need lots) but attack programs seem to be "however many you can figure out how to use." Which tends to be "one" but you're allowed to copy it to however many devices you own, you'll just have trouble using all of them.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Mar 9 2010, 08:00 PM) *
Oh, for an individual hacker sure, its a lot of money.

However, have you seen the cost of various 3D applications, compositing software, rendering server, etc.?

Let me put it this way: I just googled the price of AutoDesk's Maya and got a page that said, "Request a quote," and was reminded of the old adage: "If you have to ask, you can't afford it." Another page lists the price as $3495.
AutoCAD (same company): $3995
Nuke (A Weapon of Mass Creation; compositing software) is $3500 + $1000 maintenance (yearly). Was an inhouse program for the Foundary for years, and I've had the privilege of having been able to use it. It is very powerful and very simplistic to use.
Rendering hardware is even more expensive. A "rendering workstation" intended for small (2 to 12 people) businesses that have multi-core needs can cost $30,000 and up. I know because I called Boxx Tech to ask them how much their Apexx 8 machine cost (8 quad core CPUs, 128 GB of ram, and 15 TB of local hard drive space). The guy on the other end was rather patronizing when I told him why I wanted to know the price: I'd like to own one, as a home user, someday. "Sir, this is a $30,000 machine."

Outfitting a location with thin clients? $100,000(plus) for a server +$25,000 per 30 clients not including monitor, keyboard, and mouse. I know this because Drexel's LeBow college was looking at replacing their 400 lab machines with thin clients to reduce the need of reformatting them every 3 months (it's a 4 day process if everything goes well--I'm not joking, it was 8 hours a day, for four days of sticking a boot CD in the machine and restarting it, grabbing the disc and moving on, and that was with no wait time because I had a stack of 12 CDs--do a row, come back, collect CDs, and hit the next row). AFAIK they haven't done it yet, but in 2007 they were considering it and almost had the money to do it (if the department allowed the spending).

Absorbing $6000 for security software, that is a one time expense, is nearly trivial. Remember: the above prices are single user licenses. Site Licenses are ten times that, if not more. Software in SR is somewhere between single user and site wide: it seems to depend on which software. Defense programs are single-use (because you need lots) but attack programs seem to be "however many you can figure out how to use." Which tends to be "one" but you're allowed to copy it to however many devices you own, you'll just have trouble using all of them.


I do not deny that high end equipment is expensive, nor that Site Licenses can become rather exorbitant... My point is that the software expense does not equate out to the implied peanuts... at $6,000 per Program and Licensing fees for several thousand employees, it rapidly becomes a very expensive proposition. My point is that a Company will not spend that kind of money if they do not have to do so... they will spend exactly enough resources on what they need, and only that... And itn he real world, Security software is cheaper than a lot of other applications out there, but then you have to figure in the costs of the hardware for the security as well... in the end, it is very expensive...

And as far as in game, the expense is an investment for the Hacker, otherwise he will be completely unable to perform his mission...

Keep the Faith
Draco18s
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Mar 9 2010, 11:22 PM) *
My point is that a Company will not spend that kind of money if they do not have to do so


Fair enough, but my point was, the extra 20% isn't all that large. Likely they'd be paint $60,000 and get to use it "as much as they want" which is a lot better than $6k * [employee list], which likely more than 10 people.

For the hacker PC: it should be expensive. I even think it's not expensive enough. It's trivial for a starting points character to have R6 programs out of the gate, maybe lack a few skills here to there, but those are easy to raise up (and your limited on how high they can start anyway!)
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Mar 9 2010, 09:26 PM) *
Fair enough, but my point was, the extra 20% isn't all that large. Likely they'd be paint $60,000 and get to use it "as much as they want" which is a lot better than $6k * [employee list], which likely more than 10 people.

For the hacker PC: it should be expensive. I even think it's not expensive enough. It's trivial for a starting points character to have R6 programs out of the gate, maybe lack a few skills here to there, but those are easy to raise up (and your limited on how high they can start anyway!)


But as a Starting Hacker, you will not have the true depth of Programs at rating 6 that you would likely want... there are about 25 programs (maybe more) out there as it is... it gets real expensive real quick, and when you have to crack them after Chargen (so you are not leaving any of htose annoyingy data trails because of registration) they no longer stay at their rating... it will get pretty expensive pretty quickly if that hacker is not able to keep his programs SOTA... the pricing schemes have worked out pretty well in my opinion... even now, My character still has a few programs at rating 5, just because there is less need for them, so no real need to upgrade...

And being a SOTA hacker is never cheap...

Keep the Faith
Falconer
Disagree... the SOTA costs are trivial compared to lifestyle. Especially when you consider how easy it is to spoof a low lifestyle up to a medium for example.


I'm w/ Draco, it's too cheap and easy to have a full program suite right out the gate, especially if the GM allows for cracked programs right out of chargen. And I'm definitely not in the 400BP chars are world class category... they're starting chars... they're proficient and notable... but not world class not even close. A character must have room to grow... and this generally is less true of deckers than any other archetype.

The skillset is small, attributes generally aren't relevant, and the vast majority of their kit is in easily obtained cyber/equipment/software.

Draco18s
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Mar 9 2010, 11:32 PM) *
But as a Starting Hacker, you will not have the true depth of Programs at rating 6 that you would likely want...


Sure you can:

Armor
Biofeedback*
Decrypt
Exploit
Spoof
Stealth

6 programs times 6k is 36k or just over 7 BP. There are only 15^ hacking programs (which cost 1k * R), and most of them are not necessary for most hackers. Black Hammer is not even needed at a full R6 (hell, a R1 will get you what you need: dead spiders, though higher ratings will be more effective). The remaining programs ("Common use") are a mere nuyen.gif 100 per rating. Meaning you can get all 7 of them at R6 for less than 1 BP (nuyen.gif 4200). Grand total of just over a scant 8 BP. For another 2 BP you can add in R5 ECCM and R4 Attack/Black Hammer/Databomb and have nuyen.gif 800 left over for who knows what.

*Not even strictly necessary, given that I didn't include Attack or Medic: you're not supposed to get into Matrix combat, so these programs can be left at lower ratings or neglected entirely. Armor is necessary so that you can have extra time to log out of combat, if needed.
^Unwired adds 3--quite unnecessary--hacking programs and 1 common use. Even getting all programs at R6 costs 22.56 BP. Ooooh~ Totally unaffordable at chargen.
Brazilian_Shinobi
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Mar 10 2010, 02:19 AM) *
^Unwired adds 3--quite unnecessary--hacking programs and 1 common use. Even getting all programs at R6 costs 22.56 BP. Ooooh~ Totally unaffordable at chargen.


Not unaffordable, but then you've spent half your points allowed for gear and you didn't even start buying 'wares.
Draco18s
QUOTE (Brazilian_Shinobi @ Mar 10 2010, 08:05 AM) *
Not unaffordable


That particular line was sarcasm.

Yes, it's half your allowed points for gear, and you don't have cyber yet, but like I said, that's every single program at R6. You really only need the 7 core Common Use programs and about 6 of the hacking ones, coming in at 8.04 BP (16% of the total allotment for gear before qualities).
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