The Let's Play Archive


by CirclMastr

Part 9: Nothing says efficient like reinventing the wheel

Nothing says efficient like reinventing the wheel

The thread has spoken, and it has spoken C(++). (EDIT: At least it did when I started this update.)

Programming goes to 4. And hey, I've got two days left in the month, I might as well grab a little extra nuyen.

This is a gambling chummer's contract. It's incredibly straightforward, with extra pay and skill points for being more difficult, but the fact that you can set off a red alert by trying to create a back door means that you don't have too much control over success or failure.

Fortunately, we succeed on the second try.

That success makes me bold enough to hunt for paydata, and I find two new things in one! First of all, this isn't a program, it's source code. Being source code means we have to compile it into a program back in our Projects page, but since we're not designing it ourselves, it doesn't take any time.

Secondly, it's an Area Attack program. As has been mentioned before, an Area Attack does reduced damage to all (normal) IC in a node, and full damage to Phasing IC. Against Hardened IC, it's pretty crap. Still, dealing damage to all IC in a node is a generally useful ability, unlike Piercing Attack which is pretty useless except against Hardened IC.

Anyway, the gamble paid off in the form of filthy lucre and skill points.

Skill points that I used to raise Stealth to 4. Yay for smaller chances of failure!

Here's that Area Attack source code, where it's going to sit unused. At least having it will make it quicker to design higher-rated Area Attack programs of our own!

So long, rent money. We hardly knew ye.

With enough for February's rent already, I went ahead and finished Hide 4 right away, naming it Hush based on the thread suggestion.

But having done that, what did I spy with my little eye but a rating 1 Chip Burner in the marketplace! Too bad it cost a hair over 1000 nuyen. Suddenly the race was on to get another 500 nuyen before the store refreshed, plus another 500 after that to cover February's rent!

Along the way, our Reputation increased to Cyber Surfer. We're not a wannabe anymore! Of course, this meant that rating 3 and 4 servers started appearing in our Contracts, making grinding on rating 1's that much harder. Whoops!

Also along the way, I steal a rating 1 Decoy program. Decoy is another passive program; it creates ghost doubles of your icon in the node. The good news? Attacking IC can't tell the real icon from the decoys, and will randomly pick something to attack. The ghosts share your defense value, so if you're an evasive SOB, you can waste a lot of the IC's actions. The bad news? Having Decoy running absolutely ruins your Hide program, and any active IC that query you while Decoy is running will trigger an alarm. Each decoy also goes down if it takes any damage at all.

If you're a pure combat guy, it's great. If you're at all trying to be sneaky, not so great.

With one day to spare, I snag that Chip Burner. Whew!

The first thing I do is churn out a rating 2 Coprocessor, so the deck can still handle a full load on Light with our Hush program. Then it's back to the grind for rent money.

In the process, I come across a Virus program! Virus is the Attack program of choice for sneaky bastards. It still keys off your Attack skill and hardware when you attack with it, but it's followed by a Stealth check to see if the target IC notices. Yep, it lets you attack undetected! Rather than dealing direct damage, it gives a Virus status to the IC; each turn, the status deals 5% damage to the IC, and persists even if you leave the node.

To top it off, remember in How Numbers Work, where Attack programs deal [degree of success * 2] damage, and Silence and Smoke last for [degree of success] turns? Well, Virus actually lasts [degree of success * 4] turns! Five degrees of success will kill any IC, and because it's a status, it affects Hardened and Phasing IC equally well. Basically, I fucking love Virus.

More grinding goes on, and I churn out Deceive 4 in the meantime. But what should I name it?

I also pushed out a rating 3 Stealth chip, so with Skill 4, Hide/Deceive 4, and Hardware 3, we can finally go after rating 2 or even rating 3 servers!