Part 19: It's REAL Miller timeIt's
We decide to give ourselves moderator powers, at least in one small way.
And with that, we move up into the realm of Upper Class. Naturally we take the Box with us, just in case, but in the meantime we won't ever have to eat soy food again! We get all the hot water we can drink and/or bathe in! And an actual house, with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an attached garage! That would really come in handy if we had a car or left the house. But goodness, four grand a month for the mortgage payment. That might actually take two contracts to make.
The store now sells rating 13 hardware and software, and rating 4 devices. Now that we're actually planning to program and design chips, it's worth getting a rating 4 design assistant and chip burner.
The reputation after Cyber Wizard is the very appropriate (for us, anyway) Ice Crusher. Also, contracts are suddenly worth more skill points again. This one was at 75% difficulty, which previously were rare and only gave 3 skill points.
As expected, they're not rare anymore, and with rating 15 and 16 server targets open, don't require any modifiers to show up.
In the setting at the time, Federated-Boeing is a AA corp. I'm still amazed Yamatetsu, a AAA megacorp, came so much earlier in difficulty.
Of course, with the jump in ratings comes a jump in difficulty. We're facing IC up to rating 18, and a rating 11 area attack just isn't working against normal IC anymore, missing frequently and otherwise doing negligible damage. I have to pare back on the programs in order to fit all three attack types in.
Rating 13 servers still appear, and for some reason it's on one of these that we run into our first hardened Black IC. Remember: your all-important Shield program is the only thing keeping Black IC from frying brain cells with each hit.
It's about this point that Chip Design reaches 15, so I take some time away from decking to fully equip our deck with rating 15 chips. Even with a quad speed chip burner, it takes about three weeks to burn a chip that powerful, so about twenty grand disappears to the bank by the time it's done. On the bright side, this allows me to bring more software back into play.
After Ice Crusher, we come to Node Master. Which sounds... slightly odd to me, for some reason.
This also pushes Programming to 15, so the first thing I do is bust out a better Area Attack program. How about a name for it, as well as normal and Piercing attack varieties rated 15?