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 Post subject: AR in SR3R
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 6:30 pm 
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Because it's been a longstanding demand, and due to popular demand here, it's time we began seriously talking about how to create AR, SR3R style.

From the Decking Notes Suggestion thread:

G) AR allows for people to do simple things without physically disengaging from the real world (SR4)

H) Everyone should be able to use AR and therefore the matrix, making the computer skill much more common

I) All electronic devices (including cyber) can be connected to the matrix and thereby hacked (SR4)
1. ACIFS of 2*rating for all areas
2. ACIFS of rating + 4


Now, I don't actually think that H) should apply at all. In fact I think it should be the opposite; by default most people will know basic computing tasks, just like most people can drive a car by default, but you can take a special flaw to deny you that.

As for the rest... how do you want to deal with it? Before we begin, though, we should define what we already have. Does anyone have a book handy that they can use to describe the specific benefits and requirements of:

-Hot ASIST
-Cold ASIST
-the RAS Override (and what happens when you work without it)
-pure DNI
-Anything else that might be relevant?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 9:24 am 
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Considering how effective the virtual dashboard is, and how little space it takes to add a datajack port to something compared to a control panel, I think it makes sense to make many (although not all) items with a DNI interface that would allow for AR control. An ipod would be a little device you just pop into your datajack directly and brings up a little something in the corner of your vision, allowing you to control your music without going into complete VR, for instance.

The question here is how much a datajack is capable of. It seems a bit odd that a datajack can make you see things in the case of the virtual dashboard, but you need special eyeware to use anything visual in a skillsoft. This is a contradiction we really should address.

Defining terms:
Pure DNI - "even with a datajack, most users still use keyboards, touchpads and other manual controls when interfacing with a computer." Pure DNI is doing everything purely mentally, his reaction attribute equals his intelligence. When using hot ASIST, he gets +2 +1d6 to his reaction and initiative.

The ASIST interface controls the simsense experience. Information is translated into simsense, allowing for virtual reality. Because of how bandwidth intensive that is, the ASIST interface keeps a library of standard sensations, images, etc. It receives commands calling up those specific things from the library, and only actually gets information on the sensation itself from the matrix if that sensation doesn't appear in the library (as an interesting note, it sounds like one could hypothetically change someone's library so some or all of the sensations are replaced with other sensations, resulting in comedy gold.) This is recorded in ACT format, which is clearly artificial (when compared to Dir-X feeds). This is why better decks are better, they can handle Dir-X.

Cold ASIST just means running at the level you find in home simsense players and rigger remote control decks, keeping everything within legal ranges. This protects the user from lethal Black IC damage.

Hot ASIST is on par with BTL chips. "Even random line noise could potentially be translated into lethal amounts of feedback." The user becomes faster, hyper-alert, super-sensitive, and can therefore deal with the data and the virtual world faster. It allows the user to take advantage of response increase, gives the extra speed bonus if running pure DNI (above), allows for the hacking pool. However it is illegal and makes the person vulnerable to black IC*.

RAS override is the reticular-activation system. It suppresses sensory signals from the physical body and keeps the person from flailing about. Trying to do anything while the RAS override is in effect adds a +8 modifier. Working in both VR and the real world simultaneously without an RAS confers a +8 to perception tests in both worlds and a +4 to all other TNs.


*If Black IC only has dangerous effects on people who are running an illegal setup anyway, why are they illegal? Wouldn't it be like saying speed bumps should be illegal because anyone who hits them at 100 mph will total his car?


To address the particular points brought up...
G) AR already does have precedent, in the form of the virtual dashboard for driving. The only real limiting factor I could see would be cost (it costs about $1,000 to install a port currently).

H) Kage has already said this and I would tend to agree. The computer skill should be very common. If we break out the decking skill into its own active skill, these two would obviously be separate. Currently it would appear the only people who have the computer skill are people with an expensive computer or deck, whereas it really should be any technical-minded person (and as EB pointed out, everyone would be computer literate).

I) This depends on how we define what is and isn't a host.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 9:34 am 
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More thought when I have time, but the term "AR" gets the axe for this proposal unless it ends up actually being Augmented Reality as opposed to substantially being a way to interact with the Matrix on-the-go, which is what SR4 has big chunks of it being (probably more appropriately described as Mixed Reality).

~J

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Failure: when your best just isn't good enough.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:18 am 
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nezumi wrote:
RAS override is the reticular-activation system. It suppresses sensory signals from the physical body and keeps the person from flailing about. Trying to do anything while the RAS override is in effect adds a +8 modifier. Working in both VR and the real world simultaneously without an RAS confers a +8 to perception tests in both worlds and a +4 to all other TNs.
This right here is our problem. Per the rules, this +8/+4 to everything when not using RAS override would also apply to the virtual dashboard, and that's just not right.

Quote:
*If Black IC only has dangerous effects on people who are running an illegal setup anyway, why are they illegal? Wouldn't it be like saying speed bumps should be illegal because anyone who hits them at 100 mph will total his car?
Wait, you're saying the law has to be rational? I always assumed we were just "legislating morality" here, kind of like how showing porn on TV is illegal, or how that new GTA game got all that flak because an unauthorized, illegal mod to the game has some nudity in it. The fact that it can kill people who do illegal things X, Y, and Z is enough for most governments to make it illegal, IMO.

Quote:
H) Kage has already said this and I would tend to agree. The computer skill should be very common. If we break out the decking skill into its own active skill, these two would obviously be separate. Currently it would appear the only people who have the computer skill are people with an expensive computer or deck, whereas it really should be any technical-minded person (and as EB pointed out, everyone would be computer literate).
Exact opposite of what I said, actually. :) The computer skill should be no more common than the driving skill. Per the rules, just as you can drive around without the skill, you can perform most menial computer tasks (type a document, browse the 'Trix, etc) without a test and without the skill.

The tests (and thus the need for a skill) come when you do complicated stuff, like complex searches through organized data structures.

In fact, I think there should be a special "Computer Illiterate" Flaw (probably worth a good -2 points) to specifically describe those who are so technologically inept that they can't do common computer tasks...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:25 am 
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Eyeless Blond wrote:
The computer skill should be no more common than the driving skill. Per the rules, just as you can drive around without the skill, you can perform most menial computer tasks (type a document, browse the 'Trix, etc) without a test and without the skill.


However, I think it's reasonable to assume that anyone who goes out of his way to push his car beyond normal commuting likely has a Car skill. Unfortunately, in most cases this sort of behavior is illegal (at best, speeding). So the number of non-professionals with the Car skill isn't going to be high because it generally requires a fair amount of money (cars are expensive) and a willingness to regularly flaunt the law (street racing is very illegal).

On the flip side, using computers above and beyond the normal work functions is not illegal, and doesn't require any more financial investment beyond what you've already put in. So with those two limitations taken away, you'll see a lot of people who do things like really break into Windows, learn how drivers work or who design complex macros for programs, while the rest of us generally don't go beyond point and click.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:56 am 
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nezumi wrote:
On the flip side, using computers above and beyond the normal work functions is not illegal, and doesn't require any more financial investment beyond what you've already put in. So with those two limitations taken away, you'll see a lot of people who do things like really break into Windows, learn how drivers work or who design complex macros for programs, while the rest of us generally don't go beyond point and click.
Part of the problem we're dealing with is that the Computer skill is almost incalculably broad in its current incarnation. The specializations that make up the Computer skill range from computer programming, to intricate, detailed search algorithms to cybercombat and very much illegal decking, to cyberware construction and maintenance, even to many of the aspects of low-level firmware programming. The skill as we understand it in normal SR3 is far beyond what the normal "power-user" of today gets up to; I've got a minor in Computer Science and I'd hesitate to give myself a 2, given that broad range of skills represented by the actual Active Skill. You could make a good case for the Background Knowledge skill I suppose, but the active skill? I doubt it.

Even with my proposed splitting of the skills, I'd still hesitate to give the Computer skill to the random guy on the street. The skill is still too specialized, and too technical, to describe the things that your average power user would know how to deal with. I mean, how much does your family know about digital signal processing, or IT systems administration? How many of them have ever used--much less regularly use--the "Advanced" button on Google? These aren't things that your average Joe would have any reason to know anything about, let alone be proficient enough in to warrant an actual Active Skill.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 9:58 am 
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Considering both my wife and I started in Computer Science and I graduated in it, I'm probably the wrong person to ask that question.

I would tend to argue that real system administration is another skill, but just like things like accounting, it's not one runners GENERALLY take, so it's not listed in the main book. However, more and more I'm agreeing with your division of skills.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 12:24 pm 
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Oh forget about the skill discussion, different thread people. The real issue here is the RAS override. It HAS to go, at least for abbreviated decking/ mobile decking. And the precedent is simple ... it's called astral perception. The bottomline is we have a couple fundamental issues here.

#1. What can a datajack do? Canon is mixed up here (I brought this up in my thread about the transducer). A datajack can allow you to "see" a virtual dashboard, see a move/BTL, control computers/games/movies with thought, control a cyberdeck and navigate the matrix without any other input. Really if you look through all of Canon and cyberpunk and whatnot, the datajack allows full DNI input/output. Simple as that. It really does make image/datalinks silly, as it does the transducer and subvocal microphones, etc etc. That's all from Canon, and it doesn't require the RAS.

#2. What to do with the RAS? My thought is simple, you only need the RAS for FULL VR decking. You should be allowed to DNI with your pocket secretary, phone, ipod, car, Trid, etc etc ... without having to go all zombie. Then the same can be made true about decking. Perhaps we take away the bonus for Hot assist and give it to the RAS. So you can in theory deck without a RAS, but you're much slower. Or put some limit on hacking pool or speed for decking without a RAS. But ultimately it SHOULD be possible and even effective. RAS or no ras, you MPCP is as effective as ever as are your programs ... you're probably just a bit slower in slinging them off. LEts treat the RAS just like Astral projection and non-ras like astral perception. Its really the perfect analogy and one people can easily understand. When we get around to rigging we should do the exact same thing.

#3. What IS simplified decking? I made a very broad proposal on how to simplify ALL decking but this forum is full of people who love AFICS so I guess I fail. Regardless an Ipod won't have AFICS ... FFS. Neither will a security camera. Neither will a regular computer. Neither will nearly everything you could want to deck into that isn't a SAN or a Datastore. Regardless, this needs to be addressed if we really want to push the more free-form decking that you will need for a mobile decker.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:41 pm 
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I agree with #2 whole-heartedly. Reading canon, it would seem that an RAS would in fact be relatively uncommon. Most people use keyboards and the like instead of full DNI. So the RAS is a separate (although cheap) piece of ware.

In regards to #1 and #3, I really feel like we need to settle on definitions where Shadowrun has failed. What precisely is a host? What precisely can a datajack do? If a datajack can do a virtual dashboard, yeah, why do we have imagelink hardware?


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