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Grid 3.0 worth the wait?

Hello cyberpunks and generic nerds, let's talk Grid.

The goal with this post is mainly getting a sense of the community's feelings regarding the current state of the Grid and finding alternatives to it.

Grid 3.0 was announced around two years back while Grid 2.0 is now barely functional and riddled with even more bugs than it was previously (Ikonboard not updating correctly, Kwiki errors) and we're currently in the Decker Dark Ages where GM hand-holding is put off because 'Grid 3.0 is arriving soon' (a senior staff member told me this a long time ago while I toyed with the idea of doing something hacky outside of coded possibilities, if that has changed, consider me corrected). Is Grid 3.0 too much of an undertaking? Only one coder is available to work on the project and they have their life to live, so understandably progress is slow, and that's absolutely fine, this is a free game with real people behind it who gets paid jack shit to provide us the playerbase with a fun experience.

It's getting to the point where people who play the decker archetype, an incredibly important cornerstore in any cyberpunk media, realize that they are utterly useless codedly. And yes, style over substance, that applies to all archetypes, but if the only way to shoot someone with a pistol after investing a lot of UE into the skill was to xhelp a staff member and ask for help, nobody would want to play a solo.

We can't rush Grid 3.0 development, and Grid 2.0 is barely seeing any use as far as I'm aware. It's largely ignored. A faster and somewhat dirtier approach to the situation would be to just scrap Grid 2.0 and 3.0 completely. If an in-game alternative with little of the bells and whistles but actual utility took its place I don't think many people would shed any tears over having the 'Grid' in-client instead of in a pop-up window. As far as I'm aware several staffers have experience with in-client coding and the project would be able to move along at a much quicker rate.

So my goal with this post is mainly to see if the community prefers the history element of Grid 2.0/3.0 (old forum threads with IC info, news articles, old nodes etc) over the utility an in-client 'internet' system. Of course there is no reason why the history couldn't be archived and still available IC somewhere.

What's your take? Is Grid 3.0 worth the wait, or would an alternative to the amibitious system be preferable?

I think if Decker's can't get code love they deserve GM love. Simple as that.
As someone with an interest in decking, I think 3.0 is worth the wait. Reading that dev thread fills me with hope.
The powers that be have already put in a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get Grid 3.0 to us. I suggest being patient, and doing with what you have until then.
I agree with Reefer. Maybe the thing to do is be more flexible with what deckers can try/accomplish via xhelp until Grid 3.0 is released. If people think of deckers as magic wizards with unknown abilities that should be courted and feared, then that's a step in the right direction, right?
I do think that Grid 3.0 ought to be pushed forward to the top of the list. At the rate we're going, we're losing a lot of agency that comes with the grid and no one really wants to use it because of all the issues. All these amazing pieces to the game we've been getting are great, but it's all for naught if the main way of organizing and communicating with the game is pretty much shit because of ancient bugs.
As far as I can remember when a Decker got mad at you in SD, 9/10 times you just shrug and say “Who cares about a node? I will ((or hire someone to)) break their legs later” or “I will make a total mockery of them off of the grid where they probably have zero recourse”.

That’s always kind of sucked and I think everyone acknowledges that in some form. I agree with Reefer on his point. I also hate the concept of the grid in place of the matrix proper. I’m of the opinion of replacing quick terms and their siblings with some kind of deck that lets you hack nodes. I imagine integrating an in-game system would make stuff like dropping in on phone calls, viewing criminal records in the database, and similar actions even easier and eventually something possible without even needing a GM but that is an entire other idea or concept.

I am in favor or whatever is better in the long run And I’m willing to hold out for 3.0 even though I’ve never liked the grid, but I am also in favor of this idea too.

I want to echo and agree with some points before I make my suggestion.

First and foremost, this is a free game with real people who have made real sacrifices (time, stress, and more) to make this a fun, quality game for us, like coconut says. They have lives, and it's important to always consider their perspective, and the sacrifices they make.

Also, what Reefer says: If Deckers can't get coded love, they deserve GM love.

These two ideas seem opposed to each other in some ways, so I have a suggestion that may help somewhat alleviate staff pressure and time constraints to allow the current Decker characters to get some GM love more consistently.

Any player (new or veteran) making a new character should be discouraged from creating a Decking-based character via various messages, possibly including prompts at character generation.

I notice that despite the current state of Decking in Sindome, there are new aspiring Deckers who appear at the gates often enough for me to believe it puts additional pressure on a Staff that's already stretched thin as it is.

And I believe this pressure is at a greater cost than the benefits(RP, IC world enrichment) that comes from it. My belief (zero evidence, only anecdotal musings and conjecture), is that Decking characters are able to get some GM assistance to feel like their skillset matters, but consistent GM assistance with that is absolutely not a reasonable expectation. So, I think dedicated Decker characters go for longer and longer periods of time where they don't get GM assistance (just how it is), and over time become more and more dissatisfied with their choice of character concept. I think this leads to a higher percentage of Decker characters killing themselves off compared to other "archetypes."

So, to someone like me who does NOT see the big picture, it looks like there is pressure for GMs to help Deckers out, but NEW Decker characters usually don't stay around for long enough to bring a good amount of RP to the IC world around.

I think that with Sindome's focus on the dystopian element of cyberpunk than the sci-fi element, in a pure vacuum it would have been best if deckers were just eliminated from the setting and the game entirely.

Of course, in reality, that's just not possible because deckers are sort of the mascots of cyberpunk. Ignore the fact that they don't tend to have central roles in media because it's not really that interesting from an outside perspective.

The real objective that's worth pursuing in my mind isn't to improve the experience of decker characters, but to improve the experience of everyone when it comes to interacting with deckers. The way things stand right now, there's not much point to be vulnerable to deckers, since the Grid is barely useful and barely any real paydata move through them.

Grid 3.0, from what I've seen of it, would help, not because deckers would be stronger (which they will be though), but because it'll make people's RP more relevant to the Grid. Now, I'm really quite unclear about what Grid 3.0 will include on its launch, but I'm assuming that it'll continue the current initiative to make deckers able to tap into more info. Maybe tapping gridphones, private forums, and whatnot that will make privacy more complicated to obtain in Sindome and making hustling look more like Molly bringing Case to talk at the Finn's instead of just ringing up someone on a proggy.

Jameson, I don't understand your reply. Can you please help me understand what you meant with your "Lol" reply?

Cinder, that's a good point you bring up, with the real objective worth pursuing being the improvement of the experience of all characters interacting with deckers. I think once the framework is there, things like tapping gridphones and stuff would follow at a really good pace.

I don't think Grid 2.0/3.0 would ever be scrapped in favor of an alternative, as suggested by OP though. I might not know anything about it, but it looks like there's way too much 3.0 progress already made for it to be scrapped.

Hi there. It's possible I'm confused about what deckers can do.

My assumption was that they can connect to the grid and, having passed some test, are able to explore items connected to the grid, limited by their skill level. Door locks, SIC chips, weapons that require fingerprint grid verification before activating, etc.

There's hacking in a MUD called Starmourn (I don't play it anymore due to a toxic community). It has a really fun hacking minigame, but all it can be used for is opening doors (and 95% of those doors are pointless to open).

If hacking could be used for far more, deckers would be a real threat -- especially if they had to be connected to the grid in a remote location, and the longer they spend hacking in a single day (based on skill level?), the more they attract the attention of the WJF.

Temporarily disable weapons, cameras, locks, SIC, orbs, etc. or even worse, gain remote control over them. Upgrade them, change what they're linked to, etc. (Yes I understand that a lot of this needs to be fairly done, like is it really OK for someone to unlock a door where someone is sleeping? How difficult should it be to find the object you're looking for? Etc.)

I dunno if this is what Grid 3.0 is about but this sounds really exciting.


Liaison: "Can't you hack faster???"

Decker *says nothing because their body is jacked in*

Decker snaps back to reality.

Decker: It's unlocked. You have three minutes.

Liaison=> Three minutes. Go. [Sent to: Solo]

Liaison=> She's in. [Sent to: Boss]

Nah, right now decking is pretty much nothing more than an oversimplified web design simulator. Of course, that's planned to change with Grid 3, whenever it comes out.
As a newbie on the block, I really like the idea against creating a decker. Buddy that talked me into trying sindome gave me very long talk against making a decker, and the way he described pretty much matches what was said in this topic, and I am so glad that I did listen to him, so really hope that other newbies get similar warning against it, at least till grid 3 comes out.
It would help to RP this archetype correctly if oldbies, or GM managed characters set the tone that those with decking abilities should be respected on some level. Implications of decker abilities would be good as well.

We can't rush GRID 3, and we can't expect GMs to babysit every decker, but it's is very difficult to flex your influence as a decker when you know there's nothing you can actually do. That means that for the time being the interactions need to be handled by those RPing it not being meta, like Slither said.

That being the case however, oldbies and GMs really need to help with setting the tone of this. New players simply can't do it, from either position.

This is what I have observed so far. I could be wrong.

Upon further reflection, especially as I’m somone who was both new to RP -and- Sindome, and spent a large amount of time investing into trying to build a decker character that made sense as a first character... I can say that absolutely zero of my RP threads relate to decking in any way at all. I think that kinda illustrates that there’s sort of a severe problem with having the archetype in the game right now.

The other problem is also that it’s hard to shift your character to a new goal when you designed your character concept around decking, which is part of what I feel like leads to a lot of people killing their characters. Personally, the reason that I’ve been considering a re-roll is just because it sorta kills my entire character concept and makes it not fun to play. In a lot of ways it makes more sense to neatly wrap everything up and sunset them, and make a character that more easily fits into the world, because radically shifting your character feels like a betrayal of the character and their motivations and doesn’t really feel like a logical IC story progression, but a forced one based on OOC practicalities.

It also occurs to me that though I was talking about setting the tone of deckers having power ICly is needed, I question that now because people IC and people here are talking so much about trying to push people -away- from the archetype. I think it’s hard to have everyone telling a character/player, “Don’t be this archetype” while also saying “But this archetype is very powerful and valuable.” Which I believe leads to all the meta of deckers being useless IC, even though they’re not supposed to be.

I feel bad that I unfortunately don’t have any kind of solution to suggest or add at this time, but I’m hoping that my input might be useful in some way to the GMs, and people who are more familiar with RP in general and Sindome itself.

Oh, an addendum however. I do fully acknowledge that it’s possible that I simple did not invest the right kind of time or RP into getting involved in plotlines that involve decking, however, I will say that from my perspective, it felt nearly impossible to do. Outside influences (other characters) never really approached my character for things relating to decking, and when it’s unclear what your capabilities are as a character, it’s hard to manufacture your own plotlines. IE: If OOCly I don’t know that I’m capable of... let’s say, hacking the Gibson, or even making the attempt to do that, I’m gonna be very hesitant to assert ICly that I can do that.

I’m also aware that yes, this could be due to my character not yet having been taught these things ICly, but in my experience with other decker characters, only one of them loosely implied that there was more capabilities to the archetype than what exists codedly.

One more addendum (lol).

I don’t say all this to place blame on the GMs or coders. I fully appreciate what they do, and have at all times found them to be incredibly mature and thoughtful, as well as helpful. The GMs do a fantastic job, and so do the devs. There’s a lot to love about Sindome.

I’m merely expressing the perspective of one new player’s experience with trying to play the archetype that interested them the most.

Welcome to the club.

Listen, here's the rub, even if we could get folks to meta respect deckers out of pity, which in itself is a shit way to feel and play, it still leaves us with almost literally nothing of consequence to do IC as it relates to the archetype. If you want to really, really tryhard RP some decker flavor through sheer personality thats great, and I've seen some folks try for better or worse, but it always hits the the same wall because attitude and poses and ASCII art on a node only gets you so far -- there's just no there, there.

Occasionally we get a breadcrumb of utility like cracking enotes or phones or something not grid related, but it's always so limited and niche that it doesnt matter.

If you have any interest in any other archetype at all, booth your decker like yesterday.

Grid 3.0 will be interesting maybe, but it's mostly going to be a facelift and groundwork from what we've heard, so maybe like a year after it comes out things will look different.

Also we heard ~5 months ago the only thing keeping it from launching was a way for certain nodes to auto return to a saved state, so guides could be posted. Is that still all we're waiting on? This isn't a harping tone question, I'm just genuinely curious because when I heard that it didn't seem like a 5 month kinda problem.

Like sorry to be salty over here every day but I cant get that worked up over 60-comment threads about biomodded people not being able to show their tail fur got stepped on or w/e while while arguably the most central cyberpunk archetype is what it is.

I'll never understand bottlenecking all of deckings meaningful power into a system one staff member can work on. I love Johnny and respect him so much, we go way back. I get not wanting to give in to the sunk cost of the work of the grid as we know it, but are we a MOO or a browser game? Imagine where decking could be if it had been pushed MOO side with force even 6 months ago. There's already a foundation for it there. We've rolled out things like the NPC dispatch system and that drug game Slither made, those are awesome! Imagine what our MOO coders and builders could build for deckers. It's shit I've dreamed about for 16 years here.

It's a huge undertaking and I understand staff feeling burnt out.

Silver lining: I do think, in the meantime, it gives good IC opportunities to hate on NLM. When that "Grid 2.0" ad shows up, blow up on SIC at NLM on a burner alias. Call them trash and wreck their reputation.

If folks show more spirit towards it IC then maybe that'll help inspire the development motivation train?

This is a project done in fits and starts because of real life time constraints. Until we have a working beta it's not something I can work on. Johnny has put a large amount of time into this already but he had limited time and a long list of things that crop up day to day and week to week that end up being more immediately important to the health of the game systems. Stinging together ten hours of deep work on a regular basis are super hard and sadly that's the kind of work a project like this takes to get across the finish line. It's not that it isn't a big deal it's that it's a lot of work that only he can do.
Sometimes you have to kill your darlings. It's true in writing it's true in project management. Bottlenecking so much potential richness that's beyond just one archetype being relevant at all behind one staff members abilities for 15 years is just....shooting ourselves in the foot. Both feet. Then tying the feet together. Forget the sunk cost. Thats just saying yeah but we've hobbled so far doing it this way!

I'll say it again; our coders and builders can do amazing things, scrap this direction and put it MOO side in their hands. Our deckers deserve it. If we can crank out circuitous coded systems to literally generate shrouded NPCs bc meta stupidity then lets sink the MOOside resources into something that truly adds to the richness of the world.

Or 3.0 eventually drops and is whatever it is. Then when the foundation needs updating or fixing its back to this bc its the same bottleneck. Were strangled forever. Deckers get short shrift for another 15 years because our systems happen to have gone this direction and everyine else gets to keep being interesting, powerful, respected, viable.

Put the cyber in your punk. I love you Slither and we go WAY back but dude you'd be so less chill if things were reversed and you never got to play 7x because after playing SD for 15 years there was no working combat system yet and street sams were a joke while Grid 12.0 was steaming along.

I'm so numb watching some of the best RPers the game has seen suicide or just abandon their decking characters because they feel so negelcted. FIFTEEN YEARS with the same system dude you can only say "it takes time" so many times in the face of FIFTEEN YEARS . We're obviously just not a priority. I've been here literally like half my life.

I'm not sure how much more Slither can be, dude. Node.js is a Johnny thing. Literally, his wheelhouse. The ancient garbage wiki of Grid 2.0 is not worth it. It's been piece-mailed along but Johnny has spent a lot of time building something unique but not something anyone else can contribute too.

The other more recent coded features have been done by other coders. Not Johnny.

RL > SD. End of story. Please don't linchpin the lack of a feature on a game you play for free against one developer who is working to manage a healthy balanced life.

If you want Grid 3.0 so bad - learn Node.js and apply for the development role.

I fully agree with Reefer here. Want things to go faster, contribute. I wonder how many of the people complaining for better systems in game have donated actual money to help Sindome keep going? The Man behind the Curtain is just a man, with a life beyond this -game-. If it is really getting to you so badly, step the fuck away. Go play something else, go walk your dog, take a vacation. The game allows you to send a character off somewhere else while you explore a new one, do that. Don't slam the hardworking people who make Sindome exist for doing the best they can in real life to keep things moving.
I suggest looking into how much it would cost to have a coder(s) come in and complete the project.

My recollection during the last all player / staff meeting is that the Sindome corporation has a fair amount of excess capital. (Hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars if I remember correctly.)

Depending on the scope of the work needing to be done, it might be possible to farm it out hired coders.

I would be happy to manage to the project. I do IT project management for a living.

Not a bad idea. Could even run a fundraiser and offer some kind of commemorative pin IC or some shit for a donation to 3.0.
I'd probably be far too willing to donate too much money to such a fundraiser.
I'd throw down a lil sumim sumim.
Sorry guys, outsourcing what is basically a labor of love for us to an external party is not something I would be open to doing, even if the financials were to work. Which they don't.
Everyone knows the masses want it.

Everyone knows that it's taking time.

And each time it's brought up OOC or even IC in a complaining or even deserving tone, it's embarrassing and disrespectful.

Encourage, support. Maybe even try to spurn plot with the Grid as it is, showing interest in it. The squeaky wheel gets the grease remains true, but it's squeaky IC wheels such as conflict and plot versus OOC complains. The areas of the game the GMs put effort into are the ones players are invested in. THAT is how you show you're invested. Not banging on the clockmaker's door.


Is your opinion the opinion of the entire staff, or your personal opinion?

While I understand the emotional attachment to a project, your response is unhelpful and does not do anything to move Grid 3.0 forward to completion.

Can you lay out some specific reasons why outsourcing development is not something that would be considered?

A number of players have already chimed in and volunteered to offer additional funding.

Outsourcing coding projects goes on every day. It's not like we are trying to build a spaceship to colonize Mars with here. We have an established project being run by someone who does not have the time to get it done in a timely manner. That's normal. These things happen all the time. I've lost track of the number of times I've read "Johnny has a real life and this isn't his priority." That's great. Let's respect that Johnny has a real life, that this isn't his priority, and brainstorm ways to get it done that do not involve trying to squeeze blood from a rock.

Given that the current strategy is not getting the job done, we should at least consider alternate strategies. Even if they are eventually discarded after we discuss them, there is no harm in discussing them.

Just code the matrix right quick 😂

Something I haven't seen addressed and may not occur to everyone initially is that the game is NOT open source. The systems are obfuscated for a reason.

Allowing anyone who raises their hand to play around in the guts of a system in dev would undermine that entirely. As well as outside assistance not having the first clue of the balance that Johnny is approaching Grid 3.0 in mind with.

Literally nothing but time and patience will make Grid 3.0 come.

I don't know why I bother with the same point when people don't bother to read.

I'm not slamming anyone, at least not with constructive input, and if it comes off as frustrated or harsh, there's good reason.

'The grid' or whatever deckers 'use' -- putting it into Node.js or whatever MOO-external frameworks is, I feel, a deeply flawed and failed design point and has been since it was implemented. The fact decking is where it is and that literally no one on the staff but Jman can work on it or has been able to is my reason for saying that.

Before Slither posts and tells me how hurtful to him it is to hear that, etc. I genuinely say it with full consideration of how much work and time and money has gone into it, both the work I know about and work I'm sure I can't even imagine. I really mean that. I've been a player as well as a staff member (though that was a very, very long time ago) so I get it . Slither and Johnny on and off over the years have been IC/OOC people that have been people I deeply admire and respect and have at times considered friends. But let me say it again because apparently twice now hasn't been enough for people to comprehend it: what we've learned is that this isn't working.

What would be actually fruitful is to start over, with an approach toward a decking system that is MOO-side so that the other coders and builders who Aren't Johnny and can actually contribute to it.

Without getting IC, as I've said before (and as some players might know) there's already some groundwork there, it's not even starting from scratch.

IDK why I've raised this as constructive input like 5 times now (including off-handedly at a town hall) and it's just glossed over with "lol lern 2 code and make ur own grid".

The flashy browser UI layer stuff is COOL but it feels obvious that it is and always has been too ambitious / too much because we've had so long to get there and we're not. That's not a criticism of Johnny, I don't think he doesn't care or isn't talented enough or isn't lazy or something, I agree with everyone else that this is just a free game passion project for the staff and real life comes first -- absolutely! Which is why things like the scope of this should match the time folks like Johnny can honestly contribute. If I have 10 minutes a day to read, I should probably read a novella, and not War and Peace.

And yes I've donated to the game a few times. The fundraising ideas are funny, Jman makes bank, we're not going to get him to quit his day job. =)

W/e I'm done, people don't read, most of the playerbase gives 2 chy about the archetype anyway because after this much time the people who want that RP have gone elsewhere for it. I can't believe I'm 34 and remember being 16 and thinking "OMG I love Neuromancer, I can RP it here! No decking? That's weird. I'm sure it's coming."

I'm stepping away from the forums, I've already stepped away from the game at this point. I hope to return to both in better spirits someday.

Having been here for 12 years and been staff for almost half of that time, it hurts me to see the number of feelings expressed that resemble entitlement to the development of specific features.

Sindome has always developed at its own speed, as it's volunteers are available to dedicate their personal time to work on it. There's so much to do in SD beyond the Grid, that I feel like there isn't a massive need for it to come out any time soon.

Another important point I think people often overlook, Grid 3.0 is not going to revolutionize Sindome. Grid 3.0, it's initial release is just a mirror of existing features on a new, expandable and supportable framework, even if it were done tomorrow, we have no idea if Johnny or anyone else would have the time to start coding, balancing, testing, and implementing new features and integration points with the rest of the MOO in 2019, or 2020.

My first character in SD was a decker. I enjoyed it thoroughly, his accomplishments were all bluster and RP, very literal actual grid work done. GMs plotted more decker interaction for that character than he spent on the Grid.

Dedicate time to your character and get involved in plots and GMs can write in a decker hook for you somewhere, but you gotta put yourself out there and not let yourself get stuck on the hype of the promise of a better Grid.

Outsourcing is not an option here even if it were something we wanted to do. The grid is integrated heavily with the MOO, and required code on both sides.

The node.js code takes time to learn, time we would be paying someone for even if there were a mooside API they could integrate with and a full project propplosal and technical roadmap that was fully scoped and written down. Doing that would take 10-15 hours. Learning the code by contractor 10-15 hours. Finishing the moo api--20 hours. Writing moo API documentation 5 hours.Understanding the MOO integration and API by a developer 5 hours. Writing the code needed on the node side, 40 hours. Project management 20-30 hours.

Add all those numbers up, double them, then tripple that. Then multiply that by typical contractor rates of 125-150 an hour for the caliber dev we would need. That's $117,000 ballpark or so. And if we paid that, we would be getting it cheap. Which means we wouldn't be getting the system we want in the timeline we want.

If you think that's crazy then ask yourself how digital agencies make money when they have to pay developers 6 figure salaries and benefits.

There is no way to raise the kind of money we would need, and even if we did someone on our end would still need to spend a bunch of time project managing it.

I'm sorry to folks that don't like how long it's taken. But thems the breaks.

We've only been working on 3.0 for a couple of years. Not 15. We were working on the matrix and made the active choice to work on only one of these systems. And this was the one we picked. We are not going to end up in the same situation we we're in with ikonboard and crapwiki. We are developing in languages we actually know. Languages and services that will be around in 20 years.

Be patient. And in the meantime, play characters that have the level of coded support you are comfortable with.

Thanks for taking the time to lay out some tangible figures to represent how much of an undertaking this whole thing really is. It really puts it in perspective for me, though I am perfectly happy playing as is until you guys are able to get 3.0 going, whenever that may be.

I understand what you are saying about obfuscation, closed source, etc. That is actually a plus in the category of having a third party, who does not play the game, come in and finish it. They have no frame of reference and can focus on making it work. The staff and players do not have to worry about "trusting" them because they are not in the position to exploit any information that they gain.

Personally, I have worked on some extremely sensitive matters that to this day I am not allowed to go into specific details on. Matters like the largest financial institution in the world creating financial products that nearly crashed the world economy about a decade ago. It is possible to work on a project without spilling the beans. Within the last hour I even considered whether I would give up my character for six months (even though the character is not a decker) in order to manage the project, and the answer is that I would.

I have zero skin in this game, other than wanting to see a working Grid / matrix.

A good 70% of a project like this is establishing the scope and deliverables. In other words, defining what the finished product is and how it is supposed to work. That is where Johnny is invaluable. He has the big picture in his head and knows how he wants everything to fit together.

The actual coding, testing and debugging is only 30%. It is a 30% percent that requires a specialized skill set. But it is not the majority of the project.

My fear, and this might be misplaced, is that very little has actually been done. And that "everything" is in Johnny's head. He knows what he wants the final product to look like, but he's the only person who knows how to get from Point A (where we are) to Point B (Grid 3.0 functional). He probably does not know exactly how to get from A to B and needs to hack it out. That is typical when it comes to development. You have a basic idea of what you want to do, but until you sit down and start writing code and debugging it, you aren't sure just exactly how it is going to work.

All of this is conjecture based on 20+ years of working on IT projects, so take it with a grain of salt. I am not trying to throw shade on the staff, or poo poo on what has been done.

As a third party who is reading what I see in public and looking at it as an outside observer, I am willing to bet that the project is a lot closer to the beginning phase, than the end phase. Glitch's response about not wanting to farm it out, combined with the lack of progress, combined with a single person being the "only" person who can work on it is a pattern that is common in the business world.

Nine times out of ten when I have worked with a team that is not making progress and is hesitant to let anyone else see what they are doing, it is because the reality of what they have accomplished does not line up with what they have been telling people has been accomplished.

Anyway, that's my two cents. Farm it out. Do all of the heavy lifting (scope creation) internally ahead of time.

I am willing to help. Over the last 20 years I've delivered over $100 million worth of IT projects. I've worked on highly sensitive matters involving some of the largest corporations in the world and three letter Federal agencies. I don't have a decker character, and despite having played FPS games since Quake on an IPX LAN, I have never once used an aimbot. I hate cheaters. =)

Ignore my last post.

I was writing it at the same time @Slither was apparently.

He addressed all of the major points in it.

I appreciate the offer but the reality is that the time to scope everything out and train and project manage developers would exceed the time it would take to just finish the project ourselves even if it was financially viable. We have a plan, we have the skills, we know what we want, and we just have to put the hours together to get it where we want it. Real life, family, and work have to come first, ya know?
There's something that doesn't seem to be coming across to a lot of people here, is that deckers have no ability to operate independently. To HolyChrome and SB410, it's somewhat insulting to simply be told that 'you're not doing it right lol', as well as the accusation that anyone who is frustrated with these issues is merely whining and moaning. I don't think anyone here who has pointed out the flaws with the way things are currently done has attacked the GMs or the coders in the slightest, and it's a bit unfair to be characterized that way.

The issue is that it's very difficult to get involved in decker RP as things stand. Deckers are incapable, as it stands, of offering any kind of worthwhile IC service to another PC. ICly, nobody cares about the GRID. Nobody really uses it, and it has minimal affect on the IC world at large. If you're pissed at someone ICly, who are you gonna go to? A decker that can draw a dick on a node that person doesn't use or care about, or hire a solo who can beat them up and take their stuff? Decker's can't make other players interested in the GRID, and can't offer services that they are incapable of. As a decker, you're not even sure what you're supposed to be capable of. Once again, are you gonna go up and tell someone you can 'hack X's bank account' when you know for a fact that you can't?

Deckers offer no IC benefit. The alternatives I've heard from you guys seems to be simply 'keep roleplaying until a GM throws you a bone', but that's pretty lame. If I'm a solo, I can easily take initiative, and offer my services up to someone, or take revenge on my own accord or do other things which have tangible results. Deckers cannot do this.

Sorry to be so heated but there is a reason why nearly everyone who is interested in this archetype brings this up, including older players. There's a reason most decker characters booth, and there's a reason why ICly and OOCly nearly everyone will tell you not to bother with the archetype.

Unfortunate that Jameson rightfully criticizes and calls out others for not reading and glossing over their posts, while at the same time glossing over posts made directly to them.

"And in the meantime, play characters that have the level of coded support you are comfortable with. "

Is there any way we can get this to display on the site, or the client in a more noticeable way, so that new players understand deckers do not get very much coded support currently, and will need to wait until it's more readily available?

There should be a document with an outline of what exactly you can do as a decker with GM assistance.

Hacking a door, for example, would make a decker not only kinda powerful in the sense that they can get someone into an otherwise secure area, but also would make them essential on high stake operations.

I'm not gonna go to in-depth with that idea, but it might be something the GM's can all discuss and brainstorm the what is acceptable and what is not acceptable and list them oocly so people know what they could potentially do as Deckers. It is a band aid where you need stitches and maybe an amputation but something is better then nothing and it wouldn't really take much to implement at all. Just a suggestion. I understand the grief here, and the flip side to it.

++++ to Grizzly just as a way to patchwork a solution in the meantime.
I don't think it's right to say Deckers don't provide -any- kind of IC benefit to players. They do, but most of those benefits also require additional GM support. I like the idea of there being an 'outline' of what Deckers can do with GM rolls/skill checks etc.
This won't be a popular opinion, but I agree about just plain shutting it down. I know mentioning other games on the BBS is taboo, but I bet a ton of people here have worked with more functional systems for decking elsewhere. If it's not going to be significant and work pretty well right off give up. Some projects are just never going to be sorted out properly no matter how much time you have invested in them. Make it functional for characters to do cool stuff, or spend more time making instructional videos, or coding makeup and sandwiches or something.

Also, Jameson, don't abandon us on the streets of RED, think about the history.

Yes, let's replace a system that's been in development hell for >15 years with one that's been in development hell for 20.

I honestly think that if we just wait, Grid 3'll be fine. I don't particularly like having less shit to do without GM help than other archetypes, but I think I prefer it a whole lot more to not being able to do [i[anything[/i].

I will not work on Grid 2.0. It's a Frankenstein's mess of stuff hacked together. This has been policy for almost a decade now. Ergo, Grid 3.0 is the future, I will work on it and since it's all javascript, others can more easily join me on it as I trust them to do so. It hasn't materially changed since folks last tested it, I've just been A.) very busy and B.) very demotivated when not busy.

A fresh migration test is needed. This is where we migrate the grid 2.0 content (and users I think) over to the grid 3.0 system and test that things work. Once we do that, we need to see if my backup / auto restore code is working. If it is, we're ready. If its not, I fix it until it is. :)

And yes, I am still very busy and demotivated, sorry.

+1 for the list of things that deckers might be able to do

Keep it simple and to the point. (I haven't played a decker so I have no idea if these abilities are even relevant)

Open / Close Doors

Control Cameras

Look up Bank Account


If it's not too much of an ask, it would be great if there was a process via Service-Request or something similar where a decker can check their abilities. To keep staff sane, consider limiting the skill check to once a month.

The reason I suggest a check is because other characters can pretty much figure out where they stand via coded systems. Combat characters can fight NPCs, or other PCs. Tailors can create clothing. Doctors can heal people. Mechanics can work on cars. Technicians can mess with electronics. All of the above can be done without staff interaction, and by a single PC working alone.

There should be a way for a decker to know if they can contribute meaningfully to other characters' plots before they are really needed in a life and death or other potentially PVP type situation.


If there is anything that I can do to help, please let me know.

You mention backup / auto-restore code. I'm pretty familiar with dev ops and basic SDLC strategies like automating the movement of code between dev, QA and Prod.

I'm a Windows guy (hiss, boo, go home.. yeah, yeah, I know ;) ) but I'm comfortable enough with a Linux shell to not break anything.

Here's a list of things we're targeting for hackability via grid 3.0 in some fashion:














































































Well, now I'm very excited.

That looks pretty dope, yo
*hacks satellite and causes another SpacePort mass-death event*

On a more serious note, I would REALLY like a helpfile for deckers to know what they can ask for GM aid with. I never ever did any decking/hacking outside of the Grid 2.0, AKA I never got GM assistance for anything decking-wise, so I'm basically just playing a node-editor guy at this point. I wanna know what is do-able. 'Cause I do not know what I can do, which makes no sense from an IC PoV. +1 to Grizzly's idea on that.

.look at Johnny's epic 'deckable stuff' list

.mutter bitterly about perming previous decker character.

.goe back to attempting to avoid having face smashed in.

.smashe Hek's face with LiteTerm magic, AKA .hack the weather to cause lightning at his exact location.
Okay wait though.

That list is awesome, but the whole reason the Matrix was banned in Withmore was because hackers used it to steal a fuckton of money from the bank. Isn't this just gonna invalidate that?

I don't know how Grid 3.0 is supposed to work, but I imagine Withmore thus far being a series of closed networks because of that, so one would have to (in theory) physically hack into the system before virtually hacking into the system. Which is a pretty neat idea that may allow for more tense CP-style runs and require a more diverse skillset range, encouraging team ups.
Per a suggestion in this thread I have updated our archetypes help on the site and moo to warn people that playing a decker means playing without a ton of coded support.

However, aside from grid based stuff-- there are things deckers/computer/electro/secure/cracking folks can do. The skills used vary, but in general fall under things deckers might be expected to know. This isn't a complete list-- but it does illustrate that this is not a purely roleplay role.

1. Get chatter from specific NPCs about specific things (find out in game)

2. Hack e-notes

3. prog cloth

4. maintain slot machines

5. reset gridphones

6. jury rig pirate tv broadcasts (find out IC)

7. siphon fuel

8. break into vehicles

9. hotwire vehicles

10. repair certain devices

11. use holo projectors

12. all grid based hacking/editing we support currently

13. install/uninstall security gear

14. modify quick terms

15. modify sic amps

Thanks for sharing this, @Slither! :)

It does give one ideas.


Good deal. I'm glad to see all the improvements you've been making to the game to help the player experience. We all appreciate it.