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FuelDrop
G'day all.
Here's the thing: our group lacks a dedicated hacker. Our rigger pulls double duty for matrix defense, but on the whole our group is fairly light on for matrix offense.

I plan to improve this situation with Agent programs (I'm the group face and want to spend my karma improving those skills, and I'm too paranoid of 'ware to advance that way. On the bright side, it means i have the spare cash to throw around on agent programs). I already have a decent commlink (It's only response 4; signal 5; system 6/4 (limited by response); firewall 6 ATM but i plan to upgrade the response up to 6 ASAP). However... I have minimal experience with matrix combat and hacking, so I would like the advice of some more veteran hackers.

At present my first priority (after upgrading my response) is to get a rating 6 agent with rating 6 spoof (an investment that should pay for itself by allowing me to spoof my lifestyle, regardless of how much other usage I get out of it). If I could get some advice on other programs to add to the agent, along with other programs and defenses I should consider top priority investments, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Other questions:
1. Is running multiple Agent programs a good idea? I can see the value of having several with different skills (specializing), but at the same time high-end Agent programs cost rather a lot?
2. Can i run my agent on my good commlink with the signal turned off and skinlink, then route it through a cheap disposable comm as a 'buffer' against counter hacking?
3. What rating of agent/IC is the minimum I need for it to be reliable against 'average' systems, rather than a hail mary to even effect a stuffer shack?
4. Is the 'pocket hacker' pre-made agent from Unwired any good?

PS: Yes CanRay, I am going to be using the spoofing agent to spoof for some of my Safehouses. The link is in the thread, you don't need to add it. (As an aside, I really like what I've seen of it. Seriously good work)
Thanee
Some things to take a look at:

- a Program Option from Unwired (Optimization) allows you to use software at higher Rating than your System/Response
- the Encrypt program is a great way to make sure your commlink can't get accessed immediately
- for Agents that are used for Cybercombat there are some nifty Agent-specific Autosofts in Unwired (Cascading, Expert Offense/Defense)
- Black Hammer is likely the best attack program, when you mostly fight off metahuman hackers

Ratings are very dependent on how the GM runs the Matrix. But I would say Rating 4+ is a good idea.

Bye
Thanee
Xenefungus
Ad 2: Think even bigger! Slaving 100 (or so) throwaway commlinks to a large chain is actually one of the best ways to be be safe in the matrix. Especially when all of those are set to be rebooted every 20 turns to kick out everyone who is really trying to fight their way through them.
Thanee
If you have 30,000 to throw away every week ... wink.gif

Bye
Thanee
Fortinbras
Daisy chaining/slaving commlinks isn't really a thing you can do. Well you can, but once you get into one, you've gotten into the last one too. This little exploit was spotted pretty early on and they made rules to counteract it.
There will occasionally be folks who claim it should be allowed because of some fancy computer thing, but if it were, then everything in the Matrix would be pretty darn unhackable. Especially on a run.
I guess it's possible for your hacker to roll out hacking tests for 100 devices, but what are the rest of the players doing during that excruciatingly long time? They're either fighting some baddies in time with the hacking, which would take so long they'd probably die, or they're doing nothing, in which case hacking becomes decking.
The first rule of Shadowrun is: The Decker Always Dies!

I guess you could set your commlink to reboot every minute, but then it'd be pretty useless for all your day to day activities, up to an including talking to your fellow runners during a run. Think about it; could you really get anything done if your computer kept rebooting every minute or so?
Come to think of it, I don't think the TM in my game has ever spent more than 20 rounds in one node. If you're really that concerned about it, just don't have a commlink. That's the only surefire way to make it unhackable!
Fortinbras
QUOTE (FuelDrop @ Aug 30 2012, 07:37 AM) *
Here's the thing: our group lacks a dedicated hacker. Our rigger pulls double duty for matrix defense, but on the whole our group is fairly light on for matrix offense.


Have you asked your GM if your group could have an NPC hacker? That way you don't really need to worry about Matrix rules and the GM roles some random dice or something to see how long the hacking takes and if it succeeds.
It'll certainly make his life easier if he doesn't have to write up nodes and all that when preparing a run.
Xenefungus
QUOTE (Fortinbras @ Aug 31 2012, 03:04 PM) *
Have you asked your GM if your group could have an NPC hacker? That way you don't really need to worry about Matrix rules and the GM roles some random dice or something to see how long the hacking takes and if it succeeds.
It'll certainly make his life easier if he doesn't have to write up nodes and all that when preparing a run.



That's indeed the best advice and has been true for the entire shadowrun history nyahnyah.gif
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