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AeonReign

Hacking 'Bugs'

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A member of my crew, Coded, had the idea of boarding parties and hackers interacting. The boarding parties could bring an item that allows access to what its placed on, giving the hacker players a chance to get in. This would make boarding even more useful, and give hacking an actual mechanic that needs completed.

What do you guys think?

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Boarding and taking over a ship is definitely a thing, as players can break down interior doors and kill the crew to take over a ship. 

 

However, I'm not sure how I feel about hacking in a persistent MMO. There would need to be a system that restricts the number of times you can attempt to hack something, otherwise people could break into your ship while you're offline and just try the hack over and over until they succeed. Any hacking system would need to be complex enough that you can't easily brute-force it, and you should need to hack into containers and vaults on ships.

 

However, I'm not sure how I feel about hacking being a requirement for boarding parties. That seems like it would seriously negate the whole boarding gameplay in most circumstances. I can understand a secure ship taking longer to take over than, say, a typical fleet battle. But if it takes hours to hack into a ship, you'd really only be able to do it to people while they're offline, or if they have no friends, because they could just hunker down and call for help. That would turn boarding into something that only large and powerful groups do to people who are smaller than them, and that would be really bad, so there needs to be a happy medium of difficulty. 

 

 

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Balancing a "hacking skill" will be a tricky business.

 

If it becomes too easy to use successfully, every prospective pirate and cat-burglar will train the skill, no matter how long the training times, because the rewards will be huge. The elaborate system of RDMS "locks" will become obsolete. Hacking into ships/bases while the owner is offline will be a popular passtime.

 

If hacking is too hard, people will complain that it's a "useless" feature. Why train a skill that hardly ever works, etc. ?

 

And what would the counter-measures be to the hacking skill ? These would have to include passive features that can be deployed while a player is offline, given that offline time will be the most vulnerable window.

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