Part 11: If you can't beat 'em, kill 'em outrightIf you can't beat 'em, kill 'em outright
Sorry for the delay; I played through this update Thursday night, then got food poisoning.
With our skill points dumped into Attack and Defense, which is where they're all going for the rest of this character's life, we're ready to roll!
Just kidding, we need a whole new set of software and upgrades to our hardware first. Sorry, Zap 1.0, but you don't cut it for... well, anything.
First, the arbitrary choices for Analyze, Scan, and Evaluate.
Our Attack program (can be renamed).
Our Armor program (can also be renamed).
And our Decoy program (probably really should be renamed).
I really wanted to hit up a rating 1 server first, but none were on offer and time to collect rent was running short after all the programming. And the hardware isn't even cooked yet, so we're rocking hardware ratings of 1 for Attack and Defense.
Here's our loadout to start. Doesn't look much different, does it? That's because I start out showing the really boring way of doing combat: by not doing combat. Instead, we're staying stealthy (for now) to get into the server...
...turn off the administrator alarms...
...and close out respawns and reinforcements. Of course, if you can successfully do this, you might as well just stealth the whole contract and be done with it. Yawn. Anyway, at this point it's time to shuffle programs around for the combat loadout, while maintaining a Light load on the deck.
And we're starting with a lone target, but one that can fight back so it's at least mildly interesting. First of all, of course, we silence the node.
Then we hit him until he falls down. Or until Silence expires, at which point we renew it.
My damage seems to cap out at 125%. But hey, we won! Our first kill!
Uh oh, this Probe IC is querying us, and Deceive isn't loaded! What to do? If only I had some other way to get rid of pesky IC...
Anyway we're after a file, which means we need to get rid of Tapeworm IC (which now looks like a snake. Wait, it looked like a snake before!) Here you can see in the text box how a successful OHKO leaves the file intact, while nonlethal damage makes the IC take the file with it. In fact, even if you miss the IC, it responds by crashing along with the file. Whoops!
Fortunately, I lucked out and still found the contract file despite the messiness with the Tapeworms.
A job well done, and a lot of paydata besides! Our most useless combat mission is complete! (I say useless because, again, we could have just kept using stealth.)
Cowardice compels me to sneak into the server once again.
This time, however, I abandon Hush in favor of showing off Decoy. That's a lot of us's!
Combat continues to go swimmingly. I continue to not have Head.xpld loaded so I can't tell which I/O nodes are the ones I need.
Remember kids, always silence the node first! Here we did it just in time, as the Probe came in and promptly saw us (thanks to no Hide program running), turning everything hostile. Silence saves lives!
Because when you don't use Silence, this happens. Which, uh, I totally did on purpose for the purpose of demonstration for the LP. In no way did I just forget to take this crucial step. The previous sentence is true.
Fortunately, all we have to go is kick some ass in the security node, then cancel the alarm. If I recall correctly, this is an Attack check, so it can fail. Multiple times, if you're going pure stealth. Failure doesn't trigger an alert (if you're trying to go from yellow to green) the way creating a back door can.
My successful alert cancellation makes me cocky enough to go kill the bouncers at the front door for no reason.
I even create a back door in the system, after crashing every piece of IC, because I can.
So there you have it. Two useless uses of combat successfully.
That gives us enough skill points to put Defense up to 5. You can also see it's about to be June; I told you programming and chip design take time.
With the rent covered, I take the time to make a Shield program (that can be renamed). Unlike Armor, which makes you harder to hit, Shield is basically an extra layer of health, absorbing damage that you would otherwise take. Once a Shield program takes damage equal to its rating, it crashes.
Now is when I get bold. Fuck stealth, I'm going to bash my way through the front door. This may sound impossible, and Added Space bet as much that it is. But it's not. Crashed IC will respawn until I shut off the entry point I/O, but they don't respawn instantly. It seems to take a number of seconds equal to the rating of the IC, which admittedly isn't much. But the IC also respawns back at the I/O node, and has to travel back to its post.
The upshot is, as long as I keep the node silenced, I can kill the Attack IC first, then kill the Gateway IC in just a couple seconds and bam, I'm in the server. Then it's just a matter of making my way to the IC entry point and shutting it off, followed by shutting off the administrator alarms. All I have to do is not fail a Silence check.
I failed a Silence check.
Luckily, between the decoys and the shield, I survived to have the admin shut down the system.
My first failed mission! Oh the shame, the humiliation! Okay, so it didn't actually affect our reputation, but failing missions will result in Reputation hits sooner or later.
For the next mission, I go pure combat again. Is it possible to succeed at the impossible: brute force my way through a server faster than the IC respawns?
Yes, yes it is.