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Trace Mechanic


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#21 byronczimmer

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 04:10 AM

Wow… the 'call', 'raise', 'fold' terminology is really off in my mind and Ed's example is a bit of a run-on and hard to follow.

The Corp is going to have Trace values in the 1-2 range (generally, I'm sure there will be a few bigger values) and the Runner will have links established of 0-1.  Every TRACE routine gives the Runner a choice: Break it with Breakers (if available), or suffer the trace and try to outrun it.

Once the first decision (break or don't break) is made by the Runner, if the TRACE is happening, the CORP then gets a decision:  Boost or don't boost.  If they're already at +2, then that's 2 credits the Runner needs to spend in order to avoid the effect.

Once the TRACE value (passive + spent credits) is established, the action is back on the Runner to spend credits to avoid the effect, or just accept things as are and accept the effect.

As the Runner installs LINK cards, the decisions will change because the Corp will go from not having to pay in order to have a higher TRACE to always needing to boost if they want a chance at the effect.

The Runner LINK cards we've seen so far have a 'payoff' value of about 3, meaning that it takes 3 uses in a TRACE/LINK war for them to break even, and more for them to 'pay off'.

 



#22 Buhallin

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 08:29 AM

AussieKSU said:

So the corp gets another opportunity to raise after initial bid. I doubt it, but I didn't see anything that was a for sure no.

My impression was that it was only a single pass.  Otherwise, why would the corp going first be an important difference, as described?

I'll admit that I'm concerned with the change.  It seems like it will make it basically impossible to tag a runner unless you have more money than they do, and even then you'll have to overbid them.  Maybe it'll work out as byronczimmer suggests - a more steady drip of bits paid to avoid traces rather than a single massive payoff.  Guess we'll have to wait and see.



#23 AussieKSU

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 08:57 AM

I don't think so. A weak bid from the corp can still get a few bits out of the runner. This could make the rest of the run disasterous.



#24 Buhallin

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 09:48 AM

AussieKSU said:

I don't think so. A weak bid from the corp can still get a few bits out of the runner. This could make the rest of the run disasterous.

But at best, this will end with the corp essentially paying a 1:1 cost to drain the Runner's bank account.  It's certainly going to have an impact on gameplay, but it's not really going to be about tagging.

I loved playing tag-n-bag decks as the corp.  I Got A Rock, Urban Renewal, Schlaghund…  All were awesome.  Tagging the runner was never easy, but now it seems like the only time you'll be able to actually pull it off is if the corp has a sizeable monetary advantage.

And unfortunately, that monetary advantage has shifted entirely to the runner, at least where tagging was concerned.  When it was a blind bid, I could sucker the runner into spending money to boost their link with traces that I didn't actually spend on.  That's impossible now.  The monetary advantage lies entirely with the runner, since they know how much they have to spend to avoid it.

There's a lot of other things that can influence this, so I'm not completely freaked out about it - for instance, if the money production has improved for the corp compared to the runner, that works to even it back out.  But the new system seems to hand almost all the power in the trace to the runner, which is disappointing and worrisome for an element of the game that I loved.



#25 byronczimmer

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 10:12 AM

In prep for the reboot I've been breaking out the old cards and playing anyone wanting to learn (on the assumption that the mechanics aren't going to be too far different, which so far has panned out - except for traces).

We hit one situation where the Runner ran into a data fort with 3 ICE on it, and the first ICE had a trace subroutine that the Runner chose to NOT break (would have cost them $2 to break it).

As the Corp, I knew the next two ICE, and my finances, and what it would take the Runner to get through those next to ICE.  The trace was a program eater, and if I could smack Black Dalhia into his trash, then he wouldn't be able to get through the Sentry ICE with an 'end the run' on it.  But… If I wanted to REZ that ICE, I couldn't spend maximum on the trace… in other words, my finances dictated that I couldn't ensure that the trace happened AND the ICE would be rezzable.

It's decisions like the scenario above that I expect this trace system will cause more often than it had in the past.  The Corp knows what it will take to get through the rest of the ICE tower, and how much capital they want to commit to tracing the Runner.  If they spend so much that the trace is a lock, the Runner won't spend anything at all and the trace will 'work'.  If the Corp doesn't spend beyond the Runner then now the Runner has to figure out why the Corp kept the amount they did and if paying off the trace is worth it.

Early on, the Corp may choose to leave the value at its starting (Passive) value and the Runner will STILL have to pay.  As the Runner gets their link up to 3, that changes and the Corp will have to choose to spend to cause the decision.

Is it perfect?  We don't know yet.  But it's worth exploring.



#26 Big Head Zach

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 03:47 AM

 I'm reminded with cards like Audit of Call Records, Netwatch Voucher, and Trojan Horse, that there will always be more ways to give out tags than with traces. So I don't think the B&T concept will be obsolesced with this change.



#27 byronczimmer

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 04:20 AM

Indeed, we already have Posted Bounty and Breaking News.



#28 Penfold

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 09:07 AM

Wow… the 'call', 'raise', 'fold' terminology is really off in my mind and Ed's example is a bit of a run-on and hard to follow.

It was never intended to be a perfect analogy, just to show that the idea of knowing how much your opponent has bid does still allow for bluffing and keeps the focus on the what and why in regards to the run rather than a rather arbitrary blind bid system. I'll put up some translations so that you can see what I was referring to a bit easier… but remember it was never intended to be a statement that the two were identical, just that the process and bluffing aspects were similar.

The Corp is going to have Trace values in the 1-2 range (generally, I'm sure there will be a few bigger values) and the Runner will have links established of 0-1. Every TRACE routine gives the Runner a choice: Break it with Breakers (if available), or suffer the trace and try to outrun it.

Once the first decision (break or don't break) is made by the Runner, if the TRACE is happening, the CORP then gets a decision: Boost or don't boost. If they're already at +2, then that's 2 credits the Runner needs to spend in order to avoid the effect.

That Trace Value is like being big blind in poker, I've already got an investment in this hand. First bet goes to me and the question is do I wish to raise it or leave it as is.

Once the TRACE value (passive + spent credits) is established, the action is back on the Runner to spend credits to avoid the effect, or just accept things as are and accept the effect.

This is where the runner decides whether he wants to commit credits to the pot matching the trace attempt, or fold and let the attempt go through. In the process of making this decision the runner is going to have to start calculating how many credits he needs to make it through the rest of the exposed ICE as well as start figuring out how many credits the Corp has that they can spend on unrezzed ICE, and how much they can spend on any cards in their hand that may punish the Runner for being tagged. Added to this is deciding whether or not you have enough actions and credits after the run to remove any tags gained or draw any additional cards to make up for damage done during this run.

As the Runner installs LINK cards, the decisions will change because the Corp will go from not having to pay in order to have a higher TRACE to always needing to boost if they want a chance at the effect.

The Runner LINK cards we've seen so far have a 'payoff' value of about 3, meaning that it takes 3 uses in a TRACE/LINK war for them to break even, and more for them to 'pay off'.

As the game progresses the Corp goes from being the Big Blind to being the Small Blind, where he must devote extra credits to force the runner to even consider the need to spend credits.

Not a perfect analogy at all, but I thought it was decent enough. Sorry for confusing the matter.

 

 



#29 Edwin20er

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 02:50 PM

 I think it's a solid analogy… in order to avoid a run on as I've let myself do in the past, I'll break down the circumstances where a trace is taken into account in my views.

I am using bits as I cannot remember exactly what the terminology is going to be Creds perhaps, anyway, not important, but the ideas are what I'm trying to get across.

Runner runs into an ice with a trace subroutine that sie can break, it is hir decision to either break the subroutine (fold - The runner has folded as sie has paid the cost to break that trace and those bits are gone.) or allow it to go through [or not be able to stop it]  (call - The runner has entered into a pot.).    

Now, assuming the runner allows the trace to go through, we go to our actual pot. 

If the corporation is willing to outspend what the runner can do, the corporation tags the runner (wins the pot)

 

The corporation wants a tag on the runner because they have the cards in hand and resources on the table to take advantage of a tagged runner(They have the hole cards.), but cannot outspend what the runner can do, they commit as much to the trace as they are willing to.  The runner can either:

[runner misreads the corp and feels safe in having a tag] save their bits (call - The runner feels like the corp can't do anything to hir and is willing to have a tag as they don't believe the corp has the resources to hurt them, or doesn't have the hole cards to beat them to further the Poker analogy) or…

[runner correctly reads the corp] give enough bits to prevent the tag (fold - The runner is going to lose the bits.  Sie feels like the Corp has the resources in hand, on the board, etc to take advantage of the tag, furthering the Poker analogy the runner fee)

 

 

 

 

 

The corporation wants only to drain the bank account of the runner because they don't have the necessary cards in hand(They are bluffing), at this point they are trying to commit enough to the pot that the runner will still use what they can to avoid the trace.

[runner misreads the corp and feels threatened] gives enough bits to avoid the tag (fold - The runner loses the bits).

[runner correctly reads the corp] takes the tag (call - The runner saves their bits).

 

All of these are magnified the closer the bit pools of the runner and corp are.  (Just as in poker, hands mean much more when the players involved have closer stacks.)

The player that correctly reads the situations and can make more meaningful decisions will eventually have the proper currency to win the game, be it by making more effectual runs, or being able to more efficiently protect and advance their agendas.

 

 

 

 






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