Hacking - Ideas, Updates, Etc?

AnnesaniAnnesani Posts: 21Member
Bottom Line Up Front: Hacking doesn't generate marks for users (unlike Bashing/Incursions - both create junk and player-desired commodities), rooms behind hacked doors lead to unresponsive NPCs and inconsequential areas (No quests or lore for my efforts??). Hacking could use some love in the form of rewards as well as more depth to make it attractive to players. Y'all have ideas, aside from the addition that is coming to the 'piercers? Currently just a hobbyist's game.

Okay, so I'm not going to claim to have hacked every available space in the game just yet, but at this point I feel that Hacking deserves a bit more attention thrown its way. I know @Tecton is busy incorporating hacking into PvP aspects of Starmourn, but the general use of hacking is lacking in comparison to bashing and dealing with incursions. Both of these ventures make money through junk and cargo as well as the selling of items for player usage, whereas hacking is just a hobbyist's sport right now. Many of us enjoy it so it isn't really a sin for it to be such, but I think the problem lies in that inequality of Time Spent vs Reward and the fact that a lot of these rooms lead to mobiles that don't interact with the player at all.

To be honest, I don't have any wild solutions to this and would have to defer to the creative minds out there. Having quests locked behind doors or simply siphoning marks from the fictional organization that you're hacking into would be interesting, but I don't know if that is too simple of a solution - it would certainly answer some of the problems I've brought up here and involve the least amount of work for coders. I feel like something bigger would be more interesting and bring hacking to the forefront for those looking for something to do besides bashing, but what do you all think?

Should hacking be a desired skill for some of these NPC organizations? I haven't done the newbie hacking quests in the other factions, but Scatterhome's involve the theft of information to benefit others. An information trade between parties would be interesting, even if it were just NPCs. Since the piercer change will benefit factions, I feel anything else should benefit the player in some form. 

I like the idea of other hackable mediums that provide rewards, but come with high risk as well (deployed security bots in an area, countermeasures that recognize your mindsim signature that need to be bypassed before another attempt can be made). Maybe even terminals with multiple levels of security (with Ops resets between levels)? I'm just spitballing things that sound interesting to me as someone who enjoys hacking and I'm hoping there are others who either enjoy or absolutely abhor hacking that have their own suggestions as well. 



  • SairysSairys Posts: 226Member ✭✭✭
    A thematic but maybe simple method would be to just have hacking generate an amount of "junk data" relative to the level of the terminal hacked.
    It could be abstracted to just "datashards filled with junk data" that you could sell at the shops, the explanation being that organisations buy and mine the junk data to see if they can get anything usable out of it.

    The pass through xp didn't feel really great as another thing, it seemed barely noticeable really.

    I think a personal space where hacking has a potential to shine is in questing. You can have quests that require it for more reward, set up shortcuts/alternate solutions using it (track down the key vs just hack through), and a few other neat things.
    Avatar by berserkerelf!
  • ChiChi Posts: 3Member
    I love the idea of quests behind them.  There is one in Scatterhome with a quest behind it and when I found it I was really excited to be able to do the hidden quest.  

    The quest was kind of terrible but I’d love to see more of this.  
  • KestrelKestrel Posts: 356Member ✭✭✭✭
    Chi said:
    I love the idea of quests behind them.  There is one in Scatterhome with a quest behind it and when I found it I was really excited to be able to do the hidden quest.  

    The quest was kind of terrible but I’d love to see more of this.  
    It took me ages to level my hacking high enough to be able to do that quest.

    The rewards were truly shite. :(

    Hacking does have some benefits currently, namely for exploring. Further to this exploration vein, I'd love to see a 'quests completed' tracker. Nexus already lists them so I'm not sure why the game proper can't do the same. Showing us something like 'You have completed % of quests in the Starmourn Sector' would also be very satisfying for the exploration completionists among us, and make hacking essential to do so.

    Of course I am in favour of more benefits to hacking overall, not just for explorers.

    "They are elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty."
    — Oscar Wilde

    "I'll take care of it, Luke said. And because he said it instead of her, I knew he meant kill. That is what you have to do before you kill, I thought. You have to create an it, where none was before."
    — Margaret Atwood

  • SecosSecos Posts: 28Member
    I'm not inclined to hack if I can't make marks off it.  If there is no reward and it isn't worthwhile, then why waste my in-game time on it?
  • NuzirNuzir Posts: 11Member
    Part of what makes hacking confusing for me is the practice of locking the latter behind experience level. (I'm level 39, for context). You can immediately start hacking as a new spacer, but until you level up the usual way you won't have an opportunity to see quest contexts. Moreover, the few examples of hacking quests I've seen involve low-level terminals; I can think of one exception (involving a level 15 terminal) but the reward for it is simply too small at my level to justify the amount of legwork and hacking expertise required.

    Overall, I feel like you start as a new spacer with full opportunity but little motivation to pursue hacking beyond the satisfaction of puzzle-solving and ranking up. That's sufficient for hacking as a hobby/game---otherwise I wouldn't have grinded it as much as I have---but it means it doesn't yet work as part of Starmourn as a whole for me.
  • SeladorSelador Posts: 31Member
    I think I've seen similar responses here, but there are NPCs behind several hackable terminals that just require conditions to be met before they'll talk to you. Either they're the middle of an ongoing quest or you have to have done something else already to unlock them.
    Character: Edon
    Race: Elgan
    Class: Engineer
  • MinionMinion Posts: 162Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 23
    So, because you broke into a locked door, you want everyone to fall over themselves to reward you? Most of the rooms you are hacking into are secured storage facilities. You are commiting a crime... why would the people behind the doors be happy to see you?

    Honestly, I am surprised more of those rooms don't have guards that attack on sight.
  • IndecisionIndecision Posts: 36Member
    Seconding the request for more hacking love.

    Also requesting terminals WAAAAY above level 16, please. Level 16 just isn't challenging enough.
  • IndecisionIndecision Posts: 36Member
    edited January 23
    I want to be able to hack enemies by hacking into their wetwiring, disabling them in a pacifist manner, thus completing quests without murdering anyone.

    I want to be able to hack items to upgrade them, or risk destroying them if I fail.

    I want to be able to hack bugs and drones and change their logic.

    I want to be able to earn marks by hacking INRs to significantly magnify their XP gains (but only to the player who died; don't want an INR theft economy).

    I want to be able to hack NPCs' mindsims to get a list of all their quest triggers etc. and risk being aggro'd if I fail.

    I want to be able to hack PCs' mindsims as an alternate form of PvP.

    And more.
  • IndecisionIndecision Posts: 36Member
    edited January 23
    Also, instead of jumping up to Level 17+ terminals, do grade levels of hacking, E-D-C-B-A-S, each one comes with a speed increase and a new thing to hack. For example...

    Class E 1-16 (Levels 1-16)
    - Terminals

    Class D 1-16 (Levels 17-32, but actually just levels 1-16 with 50% speed increase on actions, ops drain, and AV attack speed)
    - Disable Mobs
    - Hack bugs and drones

    Class C 1-16 (Levels 33-48, but with 100% speed increase)
    - Hack NPCs
    - Upgrade common items

    Class B 1-16 (Levels 49-64, 200% speed increase)
    - Hack INRs
    - Upgrade uncommon items

    Class A 1-16 (Levels 65-80, 300% speed increase)
    - Hack PCs
    - Upgrade rare items

    Class S 1-16 (Levels 81-96, 400% speed increase)
    - Upgrade artifacts???
  • SeladorSelador Posts: 31Member
    Seconding the request for more hacking love.

    Also requesting terminals WAAAAY above level 16, please. Level 16 just isn't challenging enough.
    There's kind of a point of diminishing return the way difficulty currently scales up. At some point longer passwords just cut into the number of possible passwords. And otherwise the main driver of difficulty is just bumping up the GigaOps health and GigaOps damage of ICE, which is really just stat bloat and not particularly fun.

    The next step for increasing difficulty should probably include different challenges (like Black ICE) at higher skill levels, but I think the vast majority of players are a long way from needing the extra challenge. I was top 5 in the hacking rankings last I checked and RNG still kicks the crap out of me enough to keep high level terminals interesting. I've yet to encounter a Level 14-16 terminal that didn't require treading carefully and you can still find yourself stuck in a clusterflakk.
    Character: Edon
    Race: Elgan
    Class: Engineer
  • KestrelKestrel Posts: 356Member ✭✭✭✭
    Side note: Adding hacking ranks to general player honours, under experience/captaincy ranks, would surely help to stimulate interest.

    "They are elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty."
    — Oscar Wilde

    "I'll take care of it, Luke said. And because he said it instead of her, I knew he meant kill. That is what you have to do before you kill, I thought. You have to create an it, where none was before."
    — Margaret Atwood

  • IndecisionIndecision Posts: 36Member
    @Selador I hacked all the L16 terminals at level 8/9 and it was my favorite thing ever. Need harder things to hack, definitely. The current terminals are really slow and easy and I think a speed increase would be a fine and fair way to increase the challenge.
  • tysandrtysandr Posts: 90Member ✭✭✭
    Class S > solve this Extreme level sudoku.
    vote ∘ Explore Nexus mods for Starmourn & Achaeandb for Nexus

  • IndecisionIndecision Posts: 36Member
    Upside down while an incinerator countdown is about to begin.
  • IndecisionIndecision Posts: 36Member
    edited January 24
    Different challenges are good as well. But more importantly I am excitedly requesting just *more things to do* with Hacking.
  • AnnesaniAnnesani Posts: 21Member
    Minion said:
    So, because you broke into a locked door, you want everyone to fall over themselves to reward you? Most of the rooms you are hacking into are secured storage facilities. You are commiting a crime... why would the people behind the doors be happy to see you?

    Honestly, I am surprised more of those rooms don't have guards that attack on sight.
    I'd be okay with that, but they're going to die and then I ought to get something afterwards. Again, every other system that is accompanied by levels has a reward mechanism. Hacking should be no different. After all it is a game. If I bash, I get junk and equipment. If I quest, I get experience and marks. If I do incursions, I get space junk, captaincy, and potentially more marks through tethering or harvesting gas. Why am I getting nothing for hacking? Why, as a player, should I continue to hack? 

    Sometimes the systems don't automatically correlate to game theory, but that's where the developers come in and make systems matter. That's why hacking is an inclusion in the 'piercers now. I don't think it is enough though. 

  • IkchorIkchor Posts: 86Member ✭✭✭
    I want to hack:
    1) Ship systems (to steal the ship, plus other options)

    Can't fire the guns, can just fly it off somewhere else - obviously secondarily locked by your piloting skill.
    Getting brought up on charges of grand theft ship would be fun for me anyway, i'm sure other people could find other reasons for it, or just not use it. Just cause you can doesn't mean you will want to. I want to, if I can.
    Probably handy for cosmpiercers. (Step 1: alert other faction to your cosmpiercer raid. Step 2: Steal their ships when they land. Step 3: ??? Step 4. Profit Laugh)

    Additionally, remotely hack some other systems on an enemy ship. Force the guns into cooldown mode, initiate the self destruct, cause the ship to spin in a circle, nerf the shields. Things like that, maybe have it work in PvE too?

    2) At high levels of hack, can write/compile your own scripts.

    This'd probably be extremely difficult/tricky to code which definitely puts it in the 'down the line' category IMO but i'm envisioning something similar to hacking becoming a tradeskill at high levels. You get a framework to work with (design template) and you plug in some preset values to run (previous skills in the ability, plus maybe some additional new commands available when you can do this) and it gets a y/n on it from someone, and becomes either a macro in your skilltree, OR becomes a single-use item you can inject into a hack to perform.
    I mean you git gud enough at hacking you should start making your own scripts instead of using someone else's right? (though in this case you're just combining several previous hack abilities into one executable but... still, it's something)

    3) Hack marks accounts. Not specifically players, though that is an option (I know IRE players typically hate their currency being stolen, or anything really) but just a nebulous account that you can hack from somewhere fixed or anywhere really at high enough levels. Can only do it every so often with no backlash, or as many times as you want while simultaneously generating 'heat'. Tie it into the bounty system that's coming out soonish? Rank 1 heat drops in like 30 RL mins, but rank 5 heat (max heat?) puts you on the board for 1-3 RL days of online time? Bounty is whatever amount of marks you took plus 20% extra.
    Reasoning being is those marks came from someone and they figured out who you were, and are not amused by your antics.

    4) Hack Sims.

    Something similar to illusions in fantasy games, but more tech-y. Possible options include: garbage data filling your vision, mail from suspicious Bushraki princesses trying to offload marks, jump scare gifs, et cetera. Maybe even tie it to #2?
    I forgot I was going to call myself Ike while in chargen, so now I'm Zarrach.
  • AureliusAurelius Posts: 467Administrator Starmourn staff
    Ikchor said:
     mail from suspicious Bushraki princesses trying to offload marks, 
    I lol'd.
  • VorialVorial Posts: 4Member
    edited February 14
    The experience gain is pitiful, even as a token amount.  I've already done the level grind in another IRE MUD (and don't have the time to bash for hours on end like I used to), so I mainly login to hack stuff because it's a fresh and interesting minigame.  The result is that my character is currently level 16 with level 12 hacking.  Doing a 10+ hack, given the time investment to get hacking that high + 12 hour cooldown on a successful hack + limited number of terminals, should shower a character in its teens with exp.  As is, it's unlikely to even net 5% - and that's highballing it.  I'd love to be rewarded for engaging with the less mindless content (and I like how pve has been handled in this game).

    While a reward would be nice, I understand that it's technically a no-risk minigame, whereas cloning costs marks.  Could potentially add, down the road, some high risk terminals that require paying some marks to initiate the hack (manipulating the data or whatever), so that there is a risk of loss upon failure.  Risking regular exp is fairly irrelevant, given the low level cap that quite a few people are already sitting at.  Risking hacking exp in the mid to higher levels wouldn't be too awful, but the early hacks with no abilities are so rng based that I'd rather it not kick in right at the start - much like cloning is free up through (I think) level 15.

    - Higher level hacks vs word length issue: -- Consider making hacks that have multiple words (shouldn't be too awful to code), so that shorter words can be used while the overall number of password characters increases (and it's harder to guess multiple short words vs a single long word).  Or alternatively/additionally, have a different Processor Array for each password input (password 1 unlocked at array 1).  That'd be a lot trickier to balance, though.

    Chain hacks might be interesting.  Such as needing to complete two+ hacks in succession (thinking that it auto-starts a new hack with a fresh map/ops after the first is completed) to hack a terminal.

    Lure and Jam are either broken or explained incredibly poorly.  I'm not sure if polymorphics are supposed to lose most of their health after transforming or if they're basically being set to level 1 health due to an oversight.  Not sure how they're coded, but if they essentially get swapped for a higher damage version then it'd make sense if it's unintended.  Otherwise, their glass cannon transformation is a unique and interesting interaction.

    Speaking of which, ideas for additional antivirus/ICE types would be cool to explore.  One thought is a "hazard" that isn't directly fought.  Something like a conduit that'll teleport you to a random room (couple second warm-up), though it'll warp a decoy instead if you make one.  Would be a single warp hazard, rather than having to continually make decoys while hacking it.
  • GrekGrek Posts: 52Member ✭✭✭
    ICE ideas:
    Something that buffs/speeds up antivirus/scanner actions in the same room.
    Something that redirects attacks to it, protecting other ICE.
  • QitorienQitorien Posts: 361Member ✭✭✭
    I really would love to see dual hacking somehow. I was thinking super tough grids and working together with someone to solve it for better/different rewards. So many different ways to go. Could be part of an event or Cosms or just something more regular spread throughout the sector.
    As T'rath has pierced the veil, so will I, and so will my life become complete in a good death.
    Tecton-Today at 6:17 PM
    teehee b.u.t.t. pirates
    GrootToday at 2:16 PM
      if there's no kittens in space
      I'm going on a rampage
    TectonToday at 2:17 PM
      They're called w'hoorn, Groot
      sets out a saucer of milk
  • WyldeKardeWyldeKarde Posts: 141Member ✭✭✭
    Three long-term ideas here after spending more time hacking:

    Defensive Hacking
    • There are issues in a certain server and the character is hired to work with the system security to find and stop a hacker before they have a chance to finish their job.
    • Pay is based on the difficulty of the operation and similar to current terminal levels; the enemy hackers will be inside the mainframe and the player can use certain skills to incite, lure, or otherwise move the ICE around to try and stop them before their Ops run out.
    • The current hacks are all primarily doors that block access to a physical space
    • I would like to see mainframe computers and servers that are available to hack with a specific purpose
    • For example, hacking a mainframe to steal research data, lock/unlock a ships docking rights, release the clamp on a storage container (containing a random mod/item), stealing corporate secrets (can be sold similar to junk to various data brokers)

    Multi-Node Systems
    • In addition to the above, harder hacks should involve multiple grids -- for example you may have Grid A (system access) which has several processors allowing exit.
    • One processor may loop you over to a secure information storage grid where you can earn extra marks, but adds danger because time is still ticking
    • Other grids may give access to system doors, environmental controls, security systems, docking bays, etc.
    • For example, allows for layered access -- Grid A (Entry - Level 4) links to Grid B (Data Archive - Level 6), Grid C (Security Controls - Level 8), or Grid D (Admin Grid Combined B and C access - Level 12).

  • AnnesaniAnnesani Posts: 21Member
    These are all cool ideas! Hopefully they can be implemented at some point. I'm bowing out of all things Starmourn for a bit since I'm a little bored with things, but that won't stop me from cheering it on. 

    Not to completely deviate from the existing hacking, but boss ICE or hacking terminals that have multiple objectives would be nice. Or even alternate objectives. Examples would be:

    - Dual Passwords? We've touched on this with layered hacks, but this is an option as well.

    - Boss Ice would be nice. Rather than make them an ICE with ungodly amounts of health, maybe create various objectives that disable certain abilities or enable abilities for the hacker. Ex: Each overwrite restores a bit of ops to you. Alternatively, these new hacking dungeons could have multiple terminals within them that act as gates for this sort of thing. 

    - Variable or bonus objectives. Hack the terminal under a certain amount of time, defeat a certain number of ICE.

    - In the same vein as above, allow for multiple objectives. Rather than unlock a password, maybe the UNLOCK function is enabled once conditions are met. 
  • SlanderSlander Posts: 176Member ✭✭✭
    The only thing I can think to add to all these great ideas is giving some hacking xp for defeating ICE. Doesn't need to be a lot at all, even .02% of a level, just something. It feels a bit like bashing an area but only getting experience if you clear everything as it is. And sorry if that's brought up in one of the older replies, I looked back through to see but I'm still half-asleep.
    I'm gone.
  • RinRin Posts: 1Member
    I have a few ideas, like an ICE that marks you for death (via brain zap or via goons) if you fail (and fail to destroy the ICE), or an ability to reveal a single letter (it's super annoying scouring half the terminal for a single letter).

    And challenge terminals that scale to the hacker would be neat. Level 16 terminals are kind of easy already.

    The most important by far, though, is to add Hackers to the list of earth movies that survived.
  • RocketCatRocketCat Posts: 155Member ✭✭✭
    I think a simple and powerful skill could be added at Guru, providing some real motivation to grind all that way (and it is A LOT of grinding):

    BYPASS: Once per hacking attempt, you may bypass the terminal's ICE to learn 1 letter of the password.

    Hi, I'm Ata. Oh and maybe some other people, too. o:) Check out my various packages for Nexus: Vuu combat system, Global Pathfinder, Slicer Tools, Ship compass, JS from command line, Vitals Tracker, and Equipment Manager.
Sign In or Register to comment.