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Hacking - punishing at low levels

Not sure if others are finding the same thing - but for me, Hacking is extremely punishing at low levels (1-2). I’m finding it takes 10+ attempts to hack a terminal at my level or below, and seems to be mainly a game of chance. Main culprit seems to be the costs of Infect and Gridscan, which are both prohibitive at low levels, and the lack of Ops given by antiviruses - though there are some times you run into a room full of antiviruses and a honeypot or firewall and know you are dead (but I am assuming that part is by design).

I’m not sure how it is at higher levels - might be okay judging by the other thread about hacking? Think it needs a bit of a balancing pass at low levels though.


  • I don't know if it is a coincidence, but hacking was really easy when I did it through the quests. You're right that the starter terminals can be a bit too tough. Try sticking to the quests until you level up a bit and see if that helps? 
  • I've heard everything from way too easy to way too hard. Some of that may be due to adjustments made by admin over time, but I think a lot of is RNG. Either way, I'm sure they appreciate feedback and are still tweaking it to make sure it works.
    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
  • Like @Squeakums said, I would put your efforts into the hacking quests that are available. I'm not sure if it is because they are attached to a quest line, but I don't remember them being terribly difficult at that level and you gain a little more experience and marks for your trouble. 

    I personally think hacking has two tiers at the moment: Pre-Overwrite and Post-Overwrite. There are skills in between and afterwards that can help in situations (Backdoor/Tunnel for sure, Slice at times, Ping/Gridscan ALWAYS when the grids become ungodly huge), but I think Overwrite is when you can start truly tackling some of the more difficult hacks more Ops-Efficiently.

    It would be nice if certain enemies had guaranteed OpsGain on defeat, but that might make it too easy. 
  • When I gain hacking levels, I don't feel like I'm making any progress until I get Overwrite, then every level I gain gives me noticeable, tangible benefit. With how quickly hacking ranks up, I don't know if that should be changed persay, but the grind between around 3 and 8 (when you get overwrite) feels like a dead zone because you can't really handle at rank terminals any better. It's not as smooth as normal bashing.
  • edited January 2019
    I was able to grind through 6 levels of hacking xp pretty easily. Just having the gridscan (lvl 2 or 3?) skill made it pretty difficult to lose. There aren't really any consequences for losing a hack so while I did have to grind a bit, there are plenty of terminals and lots of other things to do in the downtime while they reset.

    A few things I do:

    - Don't kill anything unless I absolutely have to before I find the processor.
    - I will, however, take out firewalls along the way because they do not strike back and tend to die fairly quickly.
    - If I know where the processor is, I will always save enough ops to get back to it to at least guess the password. So many of my successes were from passwords I only knew half of the letters for.

  • I agree, hacking at level 1 and 2 was brutal.

    L1 terminals really could use a difficulty decrease just to help acclimate more players to hacking.
  • Thessia said:
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