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Wakshaani
Just curious what people's opinions were on them. I don't see them mentioned very often around here.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
Because they suck... smile.gif
They were potentially decent in SR4A, but SR5 killed the concept.
Critias
Nope. Can't afford 'em.
Jack VII
Honestly, they're really pricey for what they provide, considering you need both wires and a jack at the appropriate level to get the full benefit. Additionally, Activesoft is rather expensive. From my experience playing a concept character built around skillwires, I wouldn't suggest doing so as they are presently conceived. It's also not exactly helpful that they doubled the maximum level of skills but didn't also double the maximum level of skillwires/jacks.

With that said, a high-grade skilljack (without skillwires) with a lot of interesting knowsoft and linguasoft could be good for a face.
Wakshaani
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Aug 26 2014, 03:18 PM) *
Because they suck... smile.gif
They were potentially decent in SR4A, but SR5 killed the concept.


Killed the concept in what way? Just too expensive, or ... ?
Jaid
QUOTE (Wakshaani @ Aug 26 2014, 06:24 PM) *
Killed the concept in what way? Just too expensive, or ... ?


pretty much.

40k nuyen just to be able to use rating 1 activesofts (not that you'll have any) is a large cost. it's actually also the only purchase i would even remotely consider making when it comes to skillsofts, because buying them at high ratings gets really really stupid expensive, so basically the only reason i would *ever* consider it at rating 1 even is that for rating 1 you lose the defaulting cost and at least gain access to the skills that require training.

otherwise? simple fact is for 40k i can almost buy an always-on +2 boost for most of the skills i care most about and use regularly (plus some spillover onto other useful skills). 40k to be able to use niche skills on the rare occasion that the niche becomes relevant and i actually have the skillsoft for it? that could be almost +2 to like 90% of the tests that i make all the time and actually cared enough to invest in a skill for it, depending on archetype.

why would i spend so many resources on something that, by design, will never be used for my area(s) of specialty?

when skillwires were cheap, they made pretty good sense as a backup plan. priced as they are, they almost have to be the central concept of the character. if, you know, spending 1/3 or more of your starting resources into mediocrity is the central concept for your character. for most people, it isn't.
Medicineman
QUOTE (Wakshaani @ Aug 26 2014, 06:24 PM) *
Killed the concept in what way? Just too expensive, or ... ?

not only for Chars
CGL also killed the concept of unskilled labor Slaves that have Skillwires implanted with preloaded Skills at the start of their Shift /Erased at the end of the Day that march (like in the first Sci Fi Movie Metropolis ) into the Labor/Factories
because even Megacorps can't afford to pay 80.000-120.000 per unskilled Laborer if its a few 100 per Factory
(Even if we assume only 25% cost for a Megacorps or 1/2 Price of Used 'ware or some similar Discount its way to much for an unskilled Laborer)
So the Megacorps have to teach their Workers the corresponding Skills and don't have a hold on them (in that perspective)
Workers aren't as dependant on Megacorps as they would be if they where untrained
so ImO CGL killed not only a decent Character Concept, they also killed part of the Dystopian
Image of Shadowrun

Bad Idea ImO

He who dances to the Music of Metropolis
Medicineman
cndblank
Skillwires were one of the few things that helped balanced the awakened and the mundane PCs and they totally killed it in SR5.
For just the price of the skill chip you could hire someone to do the job for a year.

Not to mention that their should be open source available at least for the low rating skills.
Certainly a lot of physical skills don't change much.
I mean hitting someone with a stick hasn't changed that much in the last 10,000 years so why wouldn't a Clubs skillchip from 20 years be nearly as good as the latest version.

Personally I house rule that the skillchips cost is 1/4 for rating level 1-3 and 1/2 for rating 4+.
Stahlseele
Skillwires were nigh unuseable for most of SR History.
SR4 made them decent enough, because you could simply pump up Attributes and get loads of good enough pools for not too much money.
Especially if you ignored skillwires and went for move by wire which had skillwires included in them already . .
DeathStrobe
I don't see how 5th killed Skillsofts.

Assuming we are a mega corp that wants cheap skilled labor, we spend 120,000 for a rating 6 skilljack and 120,000 for a rating 6 skillwire. We make them run wireless on, and buy them three rating 6 active softs for 30,000 a pop. We'd effectively made an indentured servant who owes the corporation 330,000. We pay them a low life style of 2,000 a month, which mean it'll take the employee 165 months (13.75 years) to pay back the corp. Probably longer, since the wageslave will also need to pay back the corporation food and housing, which effectively means they'll never be able to pay back the corp. And after a few years the wageslave will crack, run away, and join a neo anarchist commune and thus a shadowrunner is born.

Still seems to fit the cyberpunk dystopia to me.
cndblank
QUOTE (DeathStrobe @ Aug 29 2014, 11:40 AM) *
I don't see how 5th killed Skillsofts.

Assuming we are a mega corp that wants cheap skilled labor, we spend 120,000 for a rating 6 skilljack and 120,000 for a rating 6 skillwire. We make them run wireless on, and buy them three rating 6 active softs for 30,000 a pop. We'd effectively made an indentured servant who owes the corporation 330,000. We pay them a low life style of 2,000 a month, which mean it'll take the employee 165 months (13.75 years) to pay back the corp. Probably longer, since the wageslave will also need to pay back the corporation food and housing, which effectively means they'll never be able to pay back the corp. And after a few years the wageslave will crack, run away, and join a neo anarchist commune and thus a shadowrunner is born.

Still seems to fit the cyberpunk dystopia to me.



Why are you investing a third of a million on some wageslave who could have a heart attack tomorrow, when you could buy a couple of robots to do it at a quarter the price with no coffee breaks?
Medicineman
if its only 1 Worker ist Ok (Not really OK, because if a Megacorps pays 1/3 Mio on someone it'll be on a Streetsam,Bodyguard or Decker or Rigger and not for one lousy skilled Laborer)
but if its 100 or Thousands of Workers ? Which Megacorp is going to pay for all of them ?

And what if the Worker dies (By Accident or Suicide, because he can't pay his bills )
than the company now has Level 6 used 'ware and lost 165.000 wink.gif
For ONE ! Worker

He who dances with Hundreds or Thousand others
Medicineman
DeathStrobe
QUOTE (cndblank @ Aug 29 2014, 10:59 AM) *
Why are you investing a third of a million on some wageslave who could have a heart attack tomorrow, when you could buy a couple of robots to do it at a quarter the price with no coffee breaks?

In theory you'll need the wageslave to handle things that would be harder for a drone's dog brain to handle.

Most manual labor probably has been replaced with drones. But its also possible the corp is trying to spin how many employees they've hired, and wanting to make sure that those employees are actually going to be useful they fit them with skillwires. Or maybe the corp did a cost analysis benefit and thinks it'd be easier to use their janitors, accountants, managers, etc to act as instant security guards instead of hiring dedicated guards. While 330,000 per person seems like a lot. That's only a one time upfront cost. Hiring, training, and cybering up normal guards will end up costing you more, and be a recurring charge for only one dedicated task.

While the specialist (a guard specifically hired to do guard work) will of course be more effective at his job, but the utility of equipping your staff with skillsofts also makes sense.

But say we have a AA mega corp, Brackhaven Investments. You have a lot of financial data, and possible ties to the Humanis Policlub, and a few reasons for Shadowrunners to hit your downtown corporate office. But you clearly don't have runs against your office all the time. So you hire 2 guards for every 5 floors to watch over the place. 100 stories tall, that's only 40 guards to protect the whole building. That's a lot, but spread pretty thin. But say that there is a Shadowrun against Brackhaven Investments, you'll need time to stall the runners. And while you may not have any guards on the floor, when the runners are discovered, you do have a few accountants. Well, give all your accountants a Ares Predator, slot them some skills, and now you can at least slow the runners down while the guards mobilize and home in on the runners locations. And also giving time for the HTR team to suit up and show up.

QUOTE (Medicineman @ Aug 29 2014, 11:03 AM) *
And what if the Worker dies (By Accident or Suicide, because he can't pay his bills )
than the company now has Level 6 used 'ware and lost 165.000 wink.gif
For ONE ! Worker

He who dances with Hundreds or Thousand others
Medicineman

Well, good thing there is used ware. And with skillwires, you can actually afford to have an unskilled labor force since they'll instantly be a skilled labor force.
Temperance
One thing you're overlooking is the cost of training employees per year. (Between initial training, training updates, training to accommodate changes in business structure or software or what-have-you, etc.)

Lets look at numbers. According to one study, in 2011 it cost global fortune 500 companies $1034* per hour of training, with an average of 35.2 hours per year to train an employee. Or $39,396, per year. In the 4 years previous to said study, each year the cost had been increasing about $10 per hour, per year. Lets assume it continues at that rate until 2075. Assuming the same training hours, the cost would be $58,943.80 the company spends in training per year. The average time an employee remains with a company today is 4.4 years, or $259,352.72 for his entire stay with the company. Lets assume this remains true in 2075. (Though with SR's dystopia, employment duration is much longer.)

Lets assume that the difference in retail to wholesale is only about 20% discount from retail. Rating 6 skillwires & skilljack would cost the company 240k retail, and 200k wholesale. The activesoft is 30k, or 24k wholesale. Total is 224k. Skillwires pay for themselves in less than 4 years. And that assumes the company is buying them externally at wholesale.

If skillwires, skilljack, and activesoft is manufactured internally, the price drops significantly. At that point the costs are manufacturing, shipping, installation (medical, et al), and sicktime for the wageslave. (Of course said wageslave will need to make that time up, so nothing actually spent there.) All three costs they would be spent anyway for installation in an external party. They just have to produce more, which means cost per unit (wageslave) drops anyway due to economies of scale. The profit margin is theoretically less in the short term, but it still pays for itself and is easily less costly in the long term. (Depending on how often the corp needs to upgrade the hardware or software.)

So yeah, for the individual user? Yes, the cost sucks. It still holds as an economical way to deal with a corp's employee training process. (With a side benefit of just swapping skillsofts as necessary for job changes, instead of fresh training, and more costs, every time.)

* Yes, I know the UCAS dollar is less value than the nuyen. But the current US dollar in not the UCAS dollar and still has relative validity. (According to Google, 1 yen is $0.96 US.)

QUOTE (Medicineman @ Aug 29 2014, 11:03 AM) *
And what if the Worker dies (By Accident or Suicide, because he can't pay his bills )
than the company now has Level 6 used 'ware and lost 165.000 wink.gif
For ONE ! Worker


Actually that sounds like a winning situation for the corp. Assuming they aren't completely destroyed or rendered completely non-functional (which I am not assuming because you mention used 'ware) the corp just spent 165k between 2 workers, instead of 330k. All they need to do is refurbish them, and install them into a new worker.

Edited to add:
QUOTE (DeathStrobe @ Aug 29 2014, 01:55 PM) *
Well, good thing there is used ware. And with skillwires, you can actually afford to have an unskilled labor force since they'll instantly be a skilled labor force.


What he said.

-Temperance
apple
You dont train slave labor (as megacorps in 2075). You want to keep it cheap.

SYL
Wakshaani
Note that most workers have a skill of 4, not 6. (And an attribute of 3, for what that's worth.)

You can get by with a skill of 2 for most menial jobs, like janitorial, or repeatedly doing the same task on a production line. Fleshy robots. smile.gif

(Note to self: Look into bringing back SKill Hardwires.)
Stahlseele
No. Hardwires were a Trap-Option.
Worse than Skillwires were then.
And they probably will be again too.
Temperance
QUOTE (apple @ Aug 29 2014, 02:18 PM) *
You dont train slave labor (as megacorps in 2075). You want to keep it cheap.

SYL


That would be true if we were talking unskilled labor for unskilled jobs. You always pay for skilled labor; whether in salaries, training, and/or education. Yes, they want to get skilled labor as cheaply as possible. Their options are salaries, training, and/or education, or skillwires. If my numbers hold true, skillwires are the cheaper option.

QUOTE (Wakshaani @ Aug 29 2014, 02:20 PM) *
Note that most workers have a skill of 4, not 6. (And an attribute of 3, for what that's worth.)


K, lets run the numbers at skill 4: Skilljacks and wires at 160k and 20k for the 'soft; 180k total, 150k at wholesale. So it pays for itself in less than 3 years.

QUOTE (Wakshaani @ Aug 29 2014, 02:20 PM) *
You can get by with a skill of 2 for most menial jobs, like janitorial, or repeatedly doing the same task on a production line. Fleshy robots. smile.gif


And many of those jobs would be unskilled labor, so wouldn't require skillwires anyway.

QUOTE (DeathStrobe @ Aug 29 2014, 09:40 AM) *
I don't see how 5th killed Skillsofts.

Assuming we are a mega corp that wants cheap skilled labor.. <snip>


I'm going back to build on DeathStrobe's earlier post.

For low skill, the skillwires pay for themselves and save the company money in 3 years. For moderate skill, the skillwires pay for themselves in 4 years. Now, since they are technically unskilled labor, you don't pay them a living wage as they otherwise have the value of a janitor. Call it that low lifestyle DeathStrobe mentioned. Assuming you pay your normal skilled labor a middle lifestyle wage, that grunt with skillwires is saving you 36k a year on salary costs. That means you actually break even at year 2 and 3, respectively. Since you know it's going to pay you back in the long term, you can call it money saved and move on if you are a "nice" corp.

If you're a cheap-ass corp, you make the wageslave pay back the investment. A number of skilled and unskilled jobs in the real world require you pay for your own tools, uniforms, etc, so it's not a stretch. That's pure profit.

If you're a dystopian corp, you make the wageslave pay it back with interest. You now have a wageslave indebted to you for life. Now it becomes profit with interest!

Lets take a look at that. Assuming the rating 6 skillwires, using a mortgage calculator (since the cost is similar in scope), and assuming the calculator's default of a 30 year fixed rate at 5.5% (cause the corps isn't that evil), the loan will cost it's 1,271.85 per month or 457,865.05 paid back. For the rating 4 'wires under the same terms, it's 851.68 per month or 306,606.06 paid back.

Lifetime of crushing debt to the corp's pure profit seems very dystopian to me.

-Temperance
apple
QUOTE (Temperance @ Aug 29 2014, 08:11 PM) *
That would be true if we were talking unskilled labor for unskilled jobs.


We are exactly talking about that if we are talking about chipslaves.

SYL
hermit
QUOTE
One thing you're overlooking is the cost of training employees per year. (Between initial training, training updates, training to accommodate changes in business structure or software or what-have-you, etc.)

(...)

K, lets run the numbers at skill 4: Skilljacks and wires at 160k and 20k for the 'soft; 180k total, 150k at wholesale. So it pays for itself in less than 3 years.

The money you spend on training or on an update infrastructure, including the necessary testing and safety precautions to make sure your update doesn't destroy your entire labor pool probably evens out in the end, all expenses considered. Updates do not grow on the update tree, after all.

Also, where do you get your "wholesale" numbers from? Prices in the core rules are not defined as retail, wholesale or street prices anymore - and for many things, street prices - for contraband - can be as much as 10% of retail (iphones, for instance). Skillwires in the core book can just as well be defined as prices for contraband cyberware that 'fell of a truck' - and is 1/10 of the actual retail price of 1.80.000 nuyen. We just don't know, so that assumption is shaky at best.

QUOTE
Just curious what people's opinions were on them. I don't see them mentioned very often around here.

That may be because you nerfed them too hard. They're not a viable concept by any means anymore.
apple
I suppose its right now only a ware for some very special jobs, perhaps special forces who need a mission specialist ad hoc ("go defuse this nuclear bomb"). So perhaps one skillwire guy in a SEAL unit or something like that.

SYL
hermit
If even that, yes. Are the SR4 wireless download-on-demand services still viable in SR5? That would make them useful at least for law enforcement specialists (be your own CSI unit). No need to buy a license for the software, just pay as you use. Handy for corp orces who probably do not maintain their own crime lab, but do not want Knight Errant CSI snooping around Black Lab 13 that has been hit by runners again.
Wakshaani
QUOTE (hermit @ Aug 30 2014, 04:35 AM) *
That may be because you nerfed them too hard. They're not a viable concept by any means anymore.


I'm innocent on this one. But that doesn't mean I'm not invested. *nebulous hand gesture*
Jack VII
@Wakshaani: If you want to see an example of a skillwire focused character in play, I'm playing one (cliche mass-produced solider prototype story) named Jack in Lobo's Nothings Free in the Free Zone PBP. One of the few positives about skillwires/skilljacks is that they are pretty clear-cut in how they work, so there is little room for "playing them wrong." If you go through the thread, I think one thing that stands out is that the skillwires don't really do too much for the character besides providing him with basic competency to professional training in some military related skills. Even then, his dice pools aren't particularly spectacular given the chargen cap of 4. While I did go out of my way to avoid min-maxing the character (I specifically assigned two points to each of his attributes in chargen as part of his backstory), Jack's contributions largely come from RP and planning contributions and I don't think that would change all that much even if I had min-maxed the attributes. While skillwires might be nice for someone to have an "on demand" back-up set of skills, the price tag is really high for that kind of contingency.
Wakshaani
QUOTE (Jack VII @ Aug 30 2014, 09:28 AM) *
@Wakshaani: If you want to see an example of a skillwire focused character in play, I'm playing one (cliche mass-produced solider prototype story) named Jack in Lobo's Nothings Free in the Free Zone PBP. One of the few positives about skillwires/skilljacks is that they are pretty clear-cut in how they work, so there is little room for "playing them wrong." If you go through the thread, I think one thing that stands out is that the skillwires don't really do too much for the character besides providing him with basic competency to professional training in some military related skills. Even then, his dice pools aren't particularly spectacular given the chargen cap of 4. While I did go out of my way to avoid min-maxing the character (I specifically assigned three points to each of his attributes in chargen as part of his backstory), Jack's contributions largely come from RP and planning contributions and I don't think that would change all that much even if I had min-maxed the attributes. While skillwires might be nice for someone to have an "on demand" back-up set of skills, the price tag is really high for that kind of contingency.


Interesting, and I'd like to see a link to a whole character sheet, if you could.

(I've always been fond of tossing them on to Faces, personally. It fits in well with teh pseudo-corp nature of most Faces, and gives them some nice skill backup for the rest of the team.)
Jack VII
Well... I was going to say it is in the OOC thread, but something seems to have happened to it that deleted a bunch of it. Shit.

Here is the character at chargen:

[ Spoiler ]
Wakshaani
Heh.

And thank you! *logging*
rythymhack
I am in the process of building an uneducated troll. My idea is that he gets ahold of a skilljack. During play he will randomly slot a chip and start randomly spouting random bits of newly gleaned knowledge. "HEY! Did you know that approximately 6070% of thallium production is used in the electronics industry, and the remainder is used in the pharmaceutical industry and in glass manufacturing?" He of course retains nothing when the chip is removed.
kzt
QUOTE (Temperance @ Aug 29 2014, 06:11 PM) *
For low skill, the skillwires pay for themselves and save the company money in 3 years.

These are low skilled jobs. How many hours of training do you think it takes to teach a janitor or iPhone screen cleaner how to do their job? They don't give out Masters of the Science of Emptying Trash Cans or PhD's in Frappuccino Brewing at the university I work at. (Yeah, you can argue that that is what everyone in the "studies" programs in going to actually DO with their degree, but that is kind of besides the point.)
Temperance
QUOTE (hermit @ Aug 30 2014, 03:35 AM) *
The money you spend on training or on an update infrastructure, including the necessary testing and safety precautions to make sure your update doesn't destroy your entire labor pool probably evens out in the end, all expenses considered. Updates do not grow on the update tree, after all.


Yes, updates don't grow on trees. However, it's not an "extra" expense. The expense there is already absorbed by the purchase price of said upgrade (externally) or R&D (internally) for the next upgrade to sell/give to customers. Assuming the corp has to deal with it as an externality, and their lawyers know what they are doing, their purchase contract will include free or discounted upgrades.

I'm very familiar with contract stipulations like that. (Because I've had to work on them.) For a more commercial example, look a software patches and updates. (Not necessarily version changes, because that's often a "new model" example.) Or a more concrete example: Boeing has (or used to have) a unique version of Windows for their workstations. It roughly was equivalent to the latest commercial version and actually followed the commercial naming scheme. (XP, Vista, Win7.) The contract with Microsoft required patches/updates developed exclusively for their use.

QUOTE (hermit @ Aug 30 2014, 03:35 AM) *
Also, where do you get your "wholesale" numbers from? Prices in the core rules are not defined as retail, wholesale or street prices anymore - and for many things, street prices - for contraband - can be as much as 10% of retail (iphones, for instance). Skillwires in the core book can just as well be defined as prices for contraband cyberware that 'fell of a truck' - and is 1/10 of the actual retail price of 1.80.000 nuyen. We just don't know, so that assumption is shaky at best.


Here's the source of my assumption:

QUOTE (SR5 @ page 416)
Standard items with no Availability rating can be purchased at your local Kong-WalMart, Stuffer Shack, or Microdeck, or perhaps ordered online or picked up from a vending machine. All you have to do is pay the cost
listed in the book for the item (with adjustments from the gamemaster if she wants, according to local market fluctuations or other extenuating circumstances she deems appropriate).


That says standard items are retail. Yes, I acknowledge it's talking about gear with no availability rating. But when the book jumps from there to "here's how you buy things illegally", there's a big middle ground missing. And it's not the first time the book didn't tell you how to do something legally* as it assumes you are playing 'runners, who do everything illegally.

*Like legal licenses, which cost money and may have training requirements; at least in the US. But then, we have licenses for everything.

As for my 'wholesale' discount, the discount was assumed. (Which I mentioned in my post: "Lets assume that the difference in retail to wholesale is only about 20% discount from retail.") As for where I got the idea from, it was a from a random website talking about car prices wholesale vs retail. A car seemed a valid comparison. Though I admittedly went for the larger discount. Even assuming a 10% discount, at the low end of the range, the 'pay for itself' date only moves back a few months. A house would have been a better comparison admittedly, but I couldn't find a quick easy quote on that.

And the extortion of the wageslave still makes it profit.

QUOTE (apple @ Aug 29 2014, 03:18 PM) *
You dont train slave labor (as megacorps in 2075). You want to keep it cheap.


QUOTE (apple @ Aug 30 2014, 02:36 AM) *
We are exactly talking about that if we are talking about chipslaves.


Okay, then I am not following your point. If you are buying unskilled labor, you keep it cheap by using them as unskilled labor.

If you want skilled labor, you buy skilled labor at the prices they command (command in the economics sense). Or in Shadowrun, you buy unskilled labor and turn them into skilled labor via skillwires. So no, we aren't talking about unskilled labor. Rather, I'm not talking about unskilled labor, I'm talking about skilled labor or their equivalent, and have been from the beginning.

Your commentary appears to be a non-sequitur at this point. Do you mind explaining?

QUOTE (kzt @ Aug 30 2014, 09:22 PM) *
These are low skilled jobs. How many hours of training do you think it takes to teach a janitor or iPhone screen cleaner how to do their job?


To be clear, I'm referring to "low" skill as the Rating 4 example and "moderate" skill as the Rating 6 example. As previously in my post, I mentioned that janitorial work was unskilled labor, and therefore didn't require skillwires.

Also, if anyone is interested in my operational definitions of skilled vs unskilled, since they are technical terms:

[ Spoiler ]


-Temperance
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
What you seem to miss, Temperance, is that economy of scale applies to the whole industry it is economizing. If the Economy of scale for Skill Wires gets the unit price down to something not all that onerous, it will apply to the Industry as a Standard at that point. Otherwise it is not Economy of Scale production. Those products have to go somewhere, and once they start hitting the open market, price will drop steadily. SR5 completely ignores such things because apparently such things no longer work (for some unknown reason).
hermit
QUOTE
But when the book jumps from there to "here's how you buy things illegally", there's a big middle ground missing.

The book assumes runners cannot buy restricted items legally because they lack the SINs and licenses to (because street-punk and gritty). That also means, though, that prices for goods with availability rating are street prices. These may be more or less expensive than retail prices. We just do not know (and please check what usually is charged for military and security equipment; Shadowrun prices usually are 1/10 of the real-life price, if that).

Concluding, from the lack of a "buy restricted/forbidden items legally" chapter, that the prices given are retail prices and wholesale prices are even lower is pure guesswork. It may be. It may be much more or much less expensive. The book doesn't offer any clues here.

QUOTE
And it's not the first time the book didn't tell you how to do something legally* as it assumes you are playing 'runners, who do everything illegally.

Yeah, like editing a text file, but let's not go there. wink.gif

QUOTE
A car seemed a valid comparison.

Not really. Car sales are a cut-throat market, and especially in the US, retail prices and discount massively limit company and trader revenue (sometimes even being sold below break-even to try and force competitors out o the market). Houses (though the American market is massively distorted there) or industrial machinery indeed might be better. I'd expect to see a 5-10% margin.
Jaid
also, the difference between a human and a drone performing work in SR5 is pretty miniscule. the skill rolls are identical, at most you need a human to apply common sense... and common sense isn't possessed by most humans (or metahumans) anyways. and it can still be done pretty much just as well by having a single person managing half a dozen drones. even if you decide to spring for an RCC (which is completely unnecessary unless there are extreme noise problems; you can issue commands from a regular commlink, and a rating 2 commlink is both cheap and able to handle 6 drones at a time, plus drones are capable of running their own autosofts, especially if you already own the autosoft license in which case software pretty much is free after the first copy), it's still a heck of a lot cheaper than skillwires. by a pretty large amount.

simple fact is, drones are cheap, and one person to watch a bunch of drones and make sure they don't do anything stupid in a repetitive task that requires little creativity is a lot cheaper than outfitting a dozen people with skillwires to do the work of 12 drones. humans are also cheap, until you decide to cram tens or even hundreds of thousands of nuyen worth of 'ware into them, all to get a performance no better than a drone the vast majority of the time.
Stahlseele
QUOTE (hermit @ Aug 31 2014, 08:05 PM) *
The book assumes runners cannot buy restricted items legally because they lack the SINs and licenses to (because street-punk and gritty). That also means, though, that prices for goods with availability rating are street prices. These may be more or less expensive than retail prices. We just do not know (and please check what usually is charged for military and security equipment; Shadowrun prices usually are 1/10 of the real-life price, if that).

Concluding, from the lack of a "buy restricted/forbidden items legally" chapter, that the prices given are retail prices and wholesale prices are even lower is pure guesswork. It may be. It may be much more or much less expensive. The book doesn't offer any clues here.


Yeah, like editing a text file, but let's not go there. wink.gif


Not really. Car sales are a cut-throat market, and especially in the US, retail prices and discount massively limit company and trader revenue (sometimes even being sold below break-even to try and force competitors out o the market). Houses (though the American market is massively distorted there) or industrial machinery indeed might be better. I'd expect to see a 5-10% margin.

in SR3 we used to have the streetindex, which modified the list price of items such as augmentations when bought in game.
in chargen, the streetindex did not apply to modify the price of the item you wanted to get with your chargen ressourcepool.
does that not exist anymore? O.o
hermit
QUOTE
does that not exist anymore? O.o

No. Like the number of seats in a vehicle, it was deemed to complicated and confusing by Chris "Simplify" Lohnsing. I really miss the street index, wacky as the numbers it produced were.
Stahlseele
ah x.x
confusing but neccessary/important/usefull information . .
both the street index(to a lesser degree) and the seats in a vehicle . .
Wakshaani
QUOTE (rythymhack @ Aug 30 2014, 10:18 PM) *
I am in the process of building an uneducated troll. My idea is that he gets ahold of a skilljack. During play he will randomly slot a chip and start randomly spouting random bits of newly gleaned knowledge. "HEY! Did you know that approximately 6070% of thallium production is used in the electronics industry, and the remainder is used in the pharmaceutical industry and in glass manufacturing?" He of course retains nothing when the chip is removed.


This right here made my day. Thank you!
Sendaz
reminds me of a british set of fraternal twin runners I ran across, he was the decker specializing in slipping into systems with stolen passcodes while she was wired up tight with a decent Move By Wire and a selection of combat chips depending on what was needed.

Their street handles?

Phish 'n Chips
DrZaius
Not to get into a big debate here (this one is pretty mild by DS standards), but I'd classify skill-wires under a general "computer" asset of the corporation, meaning they could be depreciated and written off. So, even if your wage-slave has $240k of skillwires in them, the corp gets to write most of that off over the lifetime of the implant (just like they get to write off other major equipment). Plus, the wage-slave will have incentive to have the operation and accept the entire cost onto his overall serf-debt, because with a skill rating 6, he gets to be a manager now! Moving up the ladder! He won't be with the worker bees much longer! Just 7 years to payoff this skill wire.. At least until the new software comes out. Gotta keep up with his peers!
Stahlseele
QUOTE (Sendaz @ Sep 3 2014, 03:19 PM) *
reminds me of a british set of fraternal twin runners I ran across, he was the decker specializing in slipping into systems with stolen passcodes while she was wired up tight with a decent Move By Wire and a selection of combat chips depending on what was needed.

Their street handles?

Phish 'n Chips

Buddy of mine (one of my GMs) and me we were once planning on being a bit mean to the other GM and doing a MasterBlaster combo of a chipped troll and a Dorf on his back doing the slotting.
SpellBinder
Skill rating 6, what used to be somewhere between 3 & 4 previously in SR4 when Skill Wires used to go up to 5 (SR5 equivalent of a skill at 9).
Jaid
QUOTE (DrZaius @ Sep 3 2014, 09:42 AM) *
Not to get into a big debate here (this one is pretty mild by DS standards), but I'd classify skill-wires under a general "computer" asset of the corporation, meaning they could be depreciated and written off. So, even if your wage-slave has $240k of skillwires in them, the corp gets to write most of that off over the lifetime of the implant (just like they get to write off other major equipment). Plus, the wage-slave will have incentive to have the operation and accept the entire cost onto his overall serf-debt, because with a skill rating 6, he gets to be a manager now! Moving up the ladder! He won't be with the worker bees much longer! Just 7 years to payoff this skill wire.. At least until the new software comes out. Gotta keep up with his peers!


what makes you think megacorporations pay taxes in the first place? depreciation isn't an advantage for them, it's just an acknowledgement of their eventual need to spend more money on replacing and upgrading the system.

(for non-megas, that's still a huge investment for something, and unlike the megas they probably don't have a branch company capable of providing the equipment at cost, or hospitals run by the corporation to perform the surgery at cost).
Glyph
The trouble with skilljacks/skillwires/skillsofts is mainly their opportunity costs, when getting three utility skillsofts at rating: 3 each costs more than getting wired reflexes: 1. They are only feasible for A or B resources but suboptimally augmented techie/generalist/face characters who have the extra money (resources going in large jumps instead of increments can lead to that sometimes). I think the biggest change is that skills went up, and skillwires became relegated to secondary specialties.

It does put the kibosh on the distopian notion, from previous editions, of a force of skillwired factory workers, with cheap skillwires and skillsofts downloaded to them by the company as needed. No matter the economies of scale involved, the augmentations are just too expensive now. I could see it for mid-level corporate types, but not armies of workers stuck with borrowed skills and no future, like they had before.
Wakshaani
Well, we used to have skill HARDwires for that, which were way more brutal (And something I'd like to see come back.)

(Hardwires, like Skillwires only much cheaper and they only accepted a single skillsoft, ever, hardcoded into them. IE, Skill Hardwires: Menial Task (2) let someone do the same repetitive task over and over, and if they ever left the company, it wouldn't even do them much good elsewhere. (You're programmed to make Jigsaws? Sadly, we only make iPhones. Have a good day!)

They were only around for 1st and some of 2nd edition, then vanished as no PC ever took 'em.

But, jeeze, if we're gonna put *Cortex Bombs* in the core book, well, I think it's time for Hardwires to come back. smile.gif
Stahlseele
i'd sooner take the cortex bomb than skill hardwires . .
hermit
QUOTE
I'd classify skill-wires under a general "computer" asset of the corporation, meaning they could be depreciated and written off

Written off - of what? How exactly would an exterritorial, non-taxable corporation write off anything? The whole appeal of corporate exterritoriality is not to pay taxes in the first place. Tax writeoffs have no meaning for most larger Shadowrun corporations. Please note that Shadowrun megacorporations are not modern shareholder-value centered companies and holdings, but 1930s Zaibatsu - interwoven cartels of banks and various corporate concerns that support each other and can bring enormous economic force to bear, but will not generate mountains of revenue for greedy oligarchs, like modern corporations.
Garvel
Mr Johnson: "Now gentleman, that you have agreed on the extraction job with a payment of 10,000 nuyen per teammember, here are some informations about the target subject."
*A image of some random guy pops up in the holo-projector that is build into the table*
"The person in this image is Joe Nobody, your target. He is currently employed in Corporation XY. He started there 1 week ago.
He is 21 year old and dropped out of school when he was 15. He has absoluly no educations or qualifications of any kind and is a failure in most aspects of life. We want him for our company.
As I told you before, you will have to deal with minimum security as he lives in one of the worse parts of Renton."

Runner 1: *nervously clears throat* "No education or qualifications you say? Why you want him? Has he magical potential or is some kind of 'chosen one'? Could he be dangerous?"

Mrs Johnson: "No, don't worry, he is nothing of that. It's just that Corporation XY implantated a skillwire system into him, thats worth hundred thousands of nuyens. So it's actually way cheaper for us to pay runners to extract uneducated workers from other corporations, than it would be to implant them with skillwires ourself."

Runner 2: "If he has such expensive implants, won't he have personal bodyguards?"

Mr Johnson:
"Most likely not. No company can afford to give personal bodyguards to each of their thousands low payment workers. He might have a Kung Fu skillsoft, but nothing that a taser and the advantage of surprise couldn't handle.
Companies that are extratorial will just make their workers never leave concern property. But we have especially chosen Corporation XY because they aren't extratorial.
You really have to wonder, why a company chooses to implant 300 k nuyen skillwires into low payment workers, if they can't shut them away in an arcology afterwards. It's like they are begging to be robbed. It's probably an old habbit, from when the skilwire system was only worth one-twentieth of was it is now."

Runner 1: "Wait a second. There are thousands of low payment wageslaves with expensive skillwires walking in the streets. With almost zero security. Even used skillwires still have a streetworth of 100 k nuyen. Why do I keep breaking into corporate facilities and risk getting my ass shot?
Why don't we just hack their cars, let them drive into the barrens, wait there to be the first to rob them, deliver them to a street doc, have that skillwire system extracted, let them wake up later in a bathtube full of ice, and have made 100 k nuyen pofit?
I have done worse for 100 k nuyen. We could lay low a long time with that much money."

Runner 3: "I have a streetdoc connection that would be willing to assist. I will call him."

Runner 2: "I will get ice for the bathtube."

Runner 4: "I have hacked already five cars of skillwired low payment wageslaves while you were speaking. We have to hurry to be in the barrens in time."

Mr Johnson: "Could you please first fulfill our contract? Time might be pressing. We fear that other corporations might also be interested in extracting Joe Nobody."
Jaid
QUOTE (Garvel @ Sep 4 2014, 09:57 AM) *
Mr Johnson: "Now gentleman, that you have agreed on the extraction job with a payment of 10,000 nuyen per teammember, here are some informations about the target subject."
*A image of some random guy pops up in the holo-projector that is build into the table*
"The person in this image is Joe Nobody, your target. He is currently employed in Corporation XY. He started there 1 week ago.
He is 21 year old and dropped out of school when he was 15. He has absoluly no educations or qualifications of any kind and is a failure in most aspects of life. We want him for our company.
As I told you before, you will have to deal with minimum security as he lives in one of the worse parts of Renton."

Runner 1: *nervously clears throat* "No education or qualifications you say? Why you want him? Has he magical potential or is some kind of 'chosen one'? Could he be dangerous?"

Mrs Johnson: "No, don't worry, he is nothing of that. It's just that Corporation XY implantated a skillwire system into him, thats worth hundred thousands of nuyens. So it's actually way cheaper for us to pay runners to extract uneducated workers from other corporations, than it would be to implant them with skillwires ourself."

Runner 2: "If he has such expensive implants, won't he have personal bodyguards?"

Mr Johnson:
"Most likely not. No company can afford to give personal bodyguards to each of their thousands low payment workers. He might have a Kung Fu skillsoft, but nothing that a taser and the advantage of surprise couldn't handle.
Companies that are extratorial will just make their workers never leave concern property. But we have especially chosen Corporation XY because they aren't extratorial.
You really have to wonder, why a company chooses to implant 300 k nuyen skillwires into low payment workers, if they can't shut them away in an arcology afterwards. It's like they are begging to be robbed. It's probably an old habbit, from when the skilwire system was only worth one-twentieth of was it is now."

Runner 1: "Wait a second. There are thousands of low payment wageslaves with expensive skillwires walking in the streets. With almost zero security. Even used skillwires still have a streetworth of 100 k nuyen. Why do I keep breaking into corporate facilities and risk getting my ass shot?
Why don't we just hack their cars, let them drive into the barrens, wait there to be the first to rob them, deliver them to a street doc, have that skillwire system extracted, let them wake up later in a bathtube full of ice, and have made 100 k nuyen pofit?
I have done worse for 100 k nuyen. We could lay low a long time with that much money."

Runner 3: "I have a streetdoc connection that would be willing to assist. I will call him."

Runner 2: "I will get ice for the bathtube."

Runner 4: "I have hacked already five cars of skillwired low payment wageslaves while you were speaking. We have to hurry to be in the barrens in time."

Mr Johnson: "Could you please first fulfill our contract? Time might be pressing. We fear that other corporations might also be interested in extracting Joe Nobody."


while you're at it, you forgot to dismantle their cars and sell them for spare parts. i mean, you already hacked them and got them to a location of your choosing, no sense wasting any of that effort, right? nyahnyah.gif
DrZaius
QUOTE (Jaid @ Sep 4 2014, 10:18 AM) *
while you're at it, you forgot to dismantle their cars and sell them for spare parts. i mean, you already hacked them and got them to a location of your choosing, no sense wasting any of that effort, right? nyahnyah.gif


There has to be some Dumpshock corollary to Godwin's Law that no matter what people are arguing about, at some point someone is going to bring up stealing cars instead of doing Shadowruns.
Sendaz
QUOTE (Garvel @ Sep 4 2014, 10:57 AM) *
Mrs Johnson: "No, don't worry, he is nothing of that. It's just that Corporation XY implantated a skillwire system into him, thats worth hundred thousands of nuyens. So it's actually way cheaper for us to pay runners to extract uneducated workers from other corporations, than it would be to implant them with skillwires ourself."

Brilliant from the budget angle, am sure accounting will approve.


QUOTE (DrZaius @ Sep 4 2014, 11:29 AM) *
There has to be some Dumpshock corollary to Godwin's Law that no matter what people are arguing about, at some point someone is going to bring up stealing cars instead of doing Shadowruns.
Interestingly sometimes it seems easier to break into a megacorp lab and make off with that prototype than it is to successfully steal a car, co-opt the owndership and get it to the chop shop/ fence.

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