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  • Subject: Maelstrom network and game mechanics.

    Dear Sir. While looking at YouTube's about Hackers The Game, and playing against other players trying to hack their network, I noticed that there are absolutely NO users who use a maelstrom setup. This got me thinking about what would be the cause for this. I am sorry to say that I have come to the conclusion that it is actually the game mechanics which prevents users from trying this network setup, otherwise they would be punished severely for it. Let me explain why and which solutions you have solve this issue and even be rewarded for it.

    Speaking from my own experience, I started playing this game without in-depth knowledge of the game. Since the game itself is not that very easy to understand, it didn't take long before I found the wikia and used it as my guide. This wikia is very helpful and a must for every person playing this game. It is only after a while playing this game, that I understood that a maelstrom setup, as it is called on the wikia (http://hackersthegame.wikia.com/wiki/Defensive_Strategies), is actually a very interesting setup, worthy to try. At that time, my level was around 37 and several security nodes were already leveled a bit. So here is the thing: if you delete a node which is already leveld, just to replace it with a level 1 node, the players network value is a lot less than the value it had before replacing leveled up nodes with the level 1 nodes. Game mechanics make sure that deleting leveled nodes does not lower the experience level by the amount of experience invested to level that node. So whatever node you delete to be replaced by a level 1 node, your experience level remains the same and your experience level is no longer a correct indication of the combined network level and hacking program level. If you decide, while testing a maelstrom setup, that this type of network is only theoretically viable but absolutely not viable ingame and you want to level up your nodes again to the previous level, your experience level will increase and once you get your previous network again, your level will be a lot higher. And I really mean A LOT HIGHER. This means that you will be matched constantly (while using the world map) with players that have a much much higher level of network defences then you will have. This will result in a bad playing experience leading to an unhappy player at least, or will make the game totally unplayable at worst. While there might be valid reasons not to lower the player's experience level when he deletes leveld-up nodes, this game mechanics actually punish everyone who wants to try the mealstrom setup. The only possibility for someone to try this setup is when he starts playing this game and has this type of network in his mind from the start. But nobody knows about a maelstrum setup until after playing for a while and studying the wikia. Conclusion: a maelstrom network is only a theoretical setup, that is not realistically supported by the current game mechanics.

    There are actually several solutions to deal with this problem. One solution (but admitedly not the best one) would be to allow players to build multiple networks, while experience levels, building threads, hacking software and resources are totally seperated and networks from the same user cannot hack each other. The reputation of a player should be linked to the network too, so for each network (the player has) the player should have a different reputation level. This would allow players to try this maelstrom setup without being punished for it, because they can try it from the creation of the new network, so to speak. It involves a lot of programming to the current software, but it is not without profit for the developper: players who have bought building threads on the main network are likely to do so on the second network they are allowed to build. Players who have invested real money into the game to buy ingame credits, are likely to do the same with their second network. While a doubling of the profits (for the devs) is unrealistic, getting a profit increase of 20 to 60 percent is definately not unrealistic. It still is a lot of work to rewrite the game and the game will use more memory and device resources then it currently does, but the dev will get rewarded for his work by an increase in profits. However, this solution requires a lot of rewriting and is not optimal: the problem remains the same for the second network. Once that second network is leveld up or steps away from a maelstrom setup, there is no turning back without being severely punished for it as a player.

    A much better solution, and still one not without profit for the dev, would be to allow the player a choice when he deletes nodes. The choice would be to lower his experience level with the total experience gained by levelling up the node he wants to delete, or to keep his experience level the same. Coding this would be much easier for the dev. Each node just gets a new attribute which is the total amount of experience that is gathered by leveling up that node. How would this increase his income? By asking a credit fee for lowering the total experience level. Credit fee's are already asked for shortening build times of nodes and hacking-software development, so asking a credit fee for an experience deduction when you delete a node, is not hard to accept for a player. And coding this would also be not so hard, because the 'credit fee mechanics' already exist ingame. The game would not take much more resources from the devices it is played on but will provide the player a more 'total' game experience, allowing maelstrom setups and other network experimenting without being punished for it as a player. And the dev will profit from this too.

    What are your thoughts about this? I am very curious to see how you view this matter and if you intend to change your software to allow a maelstrum network or to make it a viable network layout.  

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    • A FANDOM user
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  • The wiki has been vandalized by this user, please ban them. I suggest enabling JS for this wiki and applying the RevealAnonIP script for this wiki to easily detect vandals.

    Not only this, but he has admitted to being seven years old, which violates the Wikia Terms of Use.

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    • A FANDOM user
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  • Dear Sir. My last quest missions I did was named Capricorn (my spelling could be wrong). On your Wikia I have found a page with numerous pictures of all quests, including lots of them after mission Capricorn. Is it a bug I do not get new missions? Are there perhaps requirements I do not meet? Or should I mail the developers and ask them to fix this? Your help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for all your work, time and energy, creating this Wikia and helping us understand the game Hackers. Yours Sincerely, Frank.

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    • Hi Luminaar,

      Meanwhile, the situation is solved. For a daily mission I had to build 100 rep. Once I got above 50 rep I immediately got a new mission and quest line. So I am sure it was a rep issue. When I get starved for quest missions in the future, I will remember to build up some rep.

      While you are right about portalling and using worms, I was able to get to 150 rep now, just by stealth hacking, because a lot of people prefer to secure their resources and not their core, being afraid for a kraken attack. I'll try to maintain this level just for questing. But when stealth hacking doesn't do it anymore at higher levels, I might be forced to use brute force too. Leveling my programs for stealth attacks is never a waste because stealth can be used to defuse the defenses just before the brute force phase. For now though, I prefer pure stealth because my defenses are not up to the task to defend properly so I try to prevent a retrace. 

      This might not be the right place to ask this question, but I remember having read somewhere that a "Sentry with a Portal installed on it, is considered owned by the attacker". Does this mean that no antivirus will be spread during the brute force phase, even if the sentry is not wraithed? Or does it mean that the portalled sentry is permanently owned by the attacker (which I think is not the case because portalled nodes can be recaptured)? Or does it mean that a portalled sentry acts as a shuriken, spreading attacking pulses to connected nodes (whiwh I do not believe too, because nodes are specificly defensive or defend with node-specific properties, while attacks are specifically done with programs and not by 'turning' nodes to the other side). I cannot find that sentence anymore though, so maybe it was a statement that has been deleted. Still, I am unsure about what the statement meant.

      As always, thanks a lot for your support and hard work. I really hope the dev is compensating you for this or I would find it unjust.

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    • Hey Frank,

      That's great news. Real glad that sorted it. I did have a feeling that it was a reputation issue, although that was due to you giving me all the information. :) Thanks for helping me help you!

      Your approach seems perfectly sound. I wish I'd gone more of a stealth approach myself tbh. Preventing retraces by going purely stealth is certainly viable, especially if you can keep up with the progrerss of the defender's scanner(s). You will need to top up your reputation quite significantly to reach some of the later missions, but you've got this under control.

      Aye, I seem to remember similar wording, although you are correct, it doesn't seem to be on the obvious pages. Any node with a portal installed is considered "captured", and once the stealth section of a hack ends, the network will attack it and try and recapture the node. Portal also acts as a kind of Wraith, in that the defender no longer is in control of the node, so portalling directly onto a Sentry would mean that the antivirus never gets to spread. As I'm sure you can imagine, this could certainly cripple certain networks, by giving you a fantastic footing in an opponent's base (with 4 slots and a decently high firewall to boot,) and nullify a lot of their defending power. I hope this clears up the oringinal meaning/intention. As for programs which capture/turn nodes on to the attacker's side - well, maybe there's space underneath the Portal program for sometime in the future? ;) Thank you for your appreciation!

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    • A FANDOM user
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  • When I try to upload picture, it tells me unknown error occured, since that is not very informative for me, how can I find out what is wrong or what are restrictions of uploading pictures on wikia?


    Thanks, hope for reply within days, want to fill hackers wikia soon, becouse more completed wiki means more info for players thus better understanding of game and getting more attached to it.

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  • Well hello there.

    My tablet broke whilst I was playing the game, I'm buying a new one tomorrow so now I'm filling the wiki with usefull information towards the tricks and tips department, I already filled 2 pages, will continue whenever I can.

    I was wondering how much your team is looking towards balance changes and adding other options of "permanent-credit" upgrades.I can maybe leave some feedback on it,as you are a small studio,and as there are not many people on the wiki,and in general its hard to find help,so im asking if I can help out with ideas and suggestions.

    I love your game and with good adjustments and more future content it can become a masterpiece.Keep it up.

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    • A FANDOM user
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