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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 6:02 am 
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Just some bits of knowledge you may or may not know.

Hacks! Hacks are powerful, yes, and the way I approve them is somewhat subjective. You have to meet certain guidelines, of course; not taken by someone else, not too overpowered, not a stupidly boring elemental manipulation or the like. It has to have room to grow over time, and have a downside to balance it's positive side. It should be an extension of your character's personality, as well. That's because of the IC reason for hacks. Hacks are the effect of the Twilight Virus infecting you. The Twilight Virus infects everything in The World, but for most things there's so little of the virus it doesn't matter. For us, however, there's such a large concentration of the virus that it triggers the effects of the virus.

Stages of the Virus:
-Low Infection: This is your character just created. This is items of scenery. Barely any viral code, so ubiquitous that even the Admins think it's natural.
-Mild Infection: This is your character after a while of play. More heavily trafficked areas of the game. Viral code is more dense and more random, but it rarely ever manifests.
-Medium Infection: This is your character after an encounter with a hacked monster or a hacker. Contrary to popular belief, hacking the game itself is nearly impossible, the Admins are very, very good at patrolling it. However, Twilight is very good at combating them. It makes holes for hackers to hack, without them ever realizing that's what's happening. Your Twilight concentration is even more dense, a time bomb waiting to explode, but it's still unlikely to act other than altering luck: drawing monsters with their own high concentrations more likely than not, or attracting the attention of Hackers in the Hacker Society that know what Twilight is and how to track it.
-High Infection: This is you being killed by a highly infected monster, or something of the sort. The dense little ball of Twilight has exploded, and as a result, you're now trapped in the game. Your mind is sucked into the Virus and implanted irrevocably in your data-bound body. This is where low-level hacks begin to manifest. Think of them as side-effects or symptoms of the Virus Infection. It's your mind and personality reacting to the new form or "reality" and giving you ways to adapt and prosper.
-Extreme Infection: This is Nall, Nighthand, The Elites, most Elite-created Monsters, and other very deadly creatures. Due to having such a high viral infection, not only are they buried deep in the data of the game, in the case of comatose humans, their mind begins to merge with The World itself, and with the Virus. Hacks at this point are well developed and very powerful. Of course, there's a downside. A very significant downside that the hackers take advantage of. At this point, simply being near one of these infected people for too long can drive a person's infection up to medium, and being killed by them can easily drive it to High. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Nighthand could PK a guy and accidentally comatose them. He doesn't know it yet, but, he could.


Now, for approving hacks, and guidelines... again, it's really subjective. It depends on a lot of factors... if you have a pet, or want one, if you have other hacks, how powerful the hacks are, what level you are, how active you are... and here's a big factor: Use of the hack.

I classify them in a few types.

Combat Hacks: These are hacks that do damage, mostly. Zan's werewolf, Nighthand's spell controls or state shift, and Phoenix's Wind Blade are all examples of these. These are the most strictly controlled, the most common, and frankly, one of the least useful in many cases. A lot of fights involve more than pure brute force, and a lot of combat hacks encourage being solo, standing alone; good for subs-minded soloing, but not as good for group questing where we need to work as a team.

Buff/Defense Hacks: These are hacks that stop or redirect damage, increase stats, offer protection of various kinds, and the like. These are fairly strictly controlled (no ultimate defenses guys sorry) and also fairly common, but they tend to be more useful. A lot of end-field bosses can break through them with ease, but the trash mobs in the way often can't break through. They're also easily scalable to be useful for more than one person, and thus are more useful for group questing.

Utility Hacks: These are the rarest type of hacks: hacks that don't do much, if anything, in combat, but are very useful outside of combat. Flight sort of falls into this category, as well as things like Nighthand's Unbreakable, where if he is deleted, he's shifted to a special subfield instead and saved. They can be very powerful much faster than other hacks, but they can also have vicious drawbacks. They're very good for group coherency and useful for puzzle solving as well.




That's another thing to mention; group coherency and teamwork. I really like when people script with me, and script with each other, especially in battles. Working together is GOOD. A group of solo players is easy to break and defeat; a group that can trust each other and watch each other's backs is much harder to defeat. And trust me; defeat will be more and more a possibility.


Rewards! One thing I want you guys to do is tell me when you're unhappy with rewards. Most of the time I won't retroactively change them, but I can adapt my grading procedures to take more into account your concerns next time. I'm sure some of you wonder how I grade... and it, too, is rather subjective. I keep track of how often you post. Each "round" gets a slot. If you post you get a +, if you miss you get a -, and if you post more than once, you get a note at the bottom that says +1 <username>. I read each post to get a sense of how well you're working with others, how useful you're being, and the like. I also note how well you're sticking in character, not messing around too distractingly, and the like. I keep track of your post quality and length as well, though length tends to matter very little; Zan will almost always have a much longer post than Zhao, but that doesn't mean he accomplishes more.

All of these qualities come together to figure out your rewards. I assign levels first, with 5 being the "you're consistently good" and 0 being "you slacked off a lot". From there I look at wishlists and give out weapons and armor I feel you earned. After that I go across and give items, generally fairly randomly unless they're in your wishlists. After that is GP, which is also pretty random.

An Important Note about Rares: I rarely ever will give out Rares in Main. I think I've given out a total of... four? Something like that. I plan to start giving them out more often, but here's the thing. You have to really earn them. And I mean REALLY earn them. If you miss a round of posting, you won't earn a rare, unless you REALLY outdo yourself for the rest of the quest. By which I mean posting twice a round for most of the rest of it when you can. You will probably never get two rares in two consecutive quests. Rares will not be handed out every quest. The more rares you have, the harder it will be to earn them: think of it as raising the bar. You did it once, you can do it better next time. Constantly strive for improvement.



The Hacker Society!

Some of you wonder just how extensive and well-organized this society is. Some of you wonder if you've met people from it before.

Probably not.

The society is huge: you'll be experiencing that soon, and more and more information becomes available. Here's the thing. Not all hackers are part of the Society; in fact, most minor ones (which includes every hacker in subs with the exception of those in the EC and a few special cases) is not part of the society, and indeed has never heard of it. Even within the society, most hackers have never heard of Twilight, and those that have probably don't know how it works. The higher in the ranks, the more powerful, the more information they're allowed to have. Only the elites know almost everything, and only a very, very few characters know everything.

Contrary to popular belief, the hacker society isn't entirely made up of hackers. They actually employ a large number of mercenaries, players they outfit with hacked items or weapons, or supply with large amounts of GP to spend, and send on missions for them. We'll be seeing more of them as well.




I'll be adding more to this as I come up with things, but in the mean time, feel free to come up with any questions you may have; I'll answer them if I can and want to (some, obviously, would reveal plot secrets I can't give you, but still.)

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 6:41 am 
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A little known fact: Did you know, Main was the source of Fist Fighters? It's true! In the Dark Tournament of Yamiyo, a character named Kayin was kidnapped by Garaa and hacked down to his core. He had the ability to use weapons removed, but was replaced with a very powerful unarmed combat. The class was liked enough that it was adapted on Subs as a special class. In-character, it was swiftly adopted by many hackers who saw it's power in the tournament Garaa hosted in Yamiyo, and soon the administration of The World could do nothing about the rumors of it's existence. Rather than blame it on hackers and then have to deal with said hackers, they created the class and simply labeled the prior sightings "beta testers" and swept the issue under the rug.

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