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Author Topic: Are Augmentations too weak?  (Read 1183 times)

Pap Renvela

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Re: Are Augmentations too weak?
« Reply #30 on: (10:02:38/03-26-17) »
Well, here's a question for you or, rather, a couple of examples followed by a question.

If It costs 20 Karma (40,000 Nuyen) to go from a Strength 3 to a 4,
and it costs 30 Karma (60,000 Nuyen) to go from Strength 5 to 6,
and it costs 40 Karma (80,000 Nuyen) to go from Strength 7 to 8 (assuming your Metatype allows that!)

Then how much Nuyen (Karma) should it cost for a +1 bonus to your strength that also costs you 0.5 Essence?

Assuming 1 karma=2000 since I'll be using a chargen in this discussion.
I'll use a human as an example- a guy that is going to be a close combat specialist so wants to max out agi and str.


Let's Start with Exceptional Attribute for 14 karma <So the guy is AGI 7 and STR 6>
Muscle Replacement [4] Alpha 120000k or 60 Karma
But you you would normally need to spend 10 additional karma for restricted gear.

If a human could gain those extra 4 levels with karma:
AGI= 40+45+50+55= 190karma
STR= 35+40+45+50= 170karma

plus you gained 35Karma of AGI from going from 6 to 7

So you spent 14+60+10= 84karma worth
You gained 35+190+170= 395karma

So you gained 321karma for 3.2ess
So roughly every .01ess is worth 1karma discount

That makes this damn cheap if you ask me.

And if you actually value karma at 5000 nuyen, then it's an even bigger discount.
Instead of 60 karma for 120k it's only 24.
Which means you only spent 48karma to get 395 karma value.

So you guys that complain about costs being too high,
be glad I wasn't on the team because I'd be arguing for higher prices on attribute boosting items.

And remember, I was doing the math assuming a human.
If you do a race with higher racial maximums, you gain even more karma value.
If you add in Gen Optimization, you gain more karma value.
If you add in surge mutation (whose name I'm not sure of but adds to racial max), you gain more karma value.

Osentalka

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Re: Are Augmentations too weak?
« Reply #31 on: (13:36:06/03-27-17) »
Genetic enhancements are definitely heritable. Genetic therapy replaces harmful genes with normal ones, no reason that can't be inherited, and the ethnicity-changing one is explicitly inheritable. The other genewares are set to be recessive, so you'd not only have to have both parents have the geneware for it to be passed onto the kid, but the mother would've needed to have it installed before she was born, as the ova aren't affected by later genetic alterations. Unless the father gets the geneware and it mutates into a dominant gene (or the corps slipped him a dominant version for nefarious reasons of their own), in which case he could pass it on to any offspring he has with anyone.

From an economic point of view germ line genetic enhancements don't make much sense, who are you going to sell to in the next generation if you've allowed them to inherit it?

Technically they are unlikely to be the same so I'd always assume unless otherwise stated genetic enhancements are somatic line only.
« Last Edit: (13:42:49/03-27-17) by Osentalka »

Ghost Rigger

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Re: Are Augmentations too weak?
« Reply #32 on: (18:53:19/03-27-17) »
Interestingly enough, the two exceptions I mentioned are special cases that have very good reasons to be inheritable from a business perspective, though they may need to be inheritable to function at all anyways. They're not enhancements, they're not patented genes, they're not cutting edge and they're not going to turn someone into a threat, so compared to other geneware there's very little motive to hold these genewares back. This lets the corps use inheritability as a selling point.

For the ethnicity changing geneware, being inheritable is a necessary selling point. This is explained on page 137 of Chrome Flesh, but I'll break it down again: say you're a white businessman working for a Japanacorp in Japan. People who don't look Japanese don't get promoted in Japancorps in Japan; in fact, they don't get anything nice at all in Japan. Your only chance at climbing the corporate ladder and/or getting introduced to your boss's smoking hot daughter is to get a treatment to look Japanese. You could sit in a tank for a month being biosculpted for the cost of 10,000 nuyen, and it would work for you. But the catch is, it would work ONLY for you. Sure, you might get your boss's job and office one day when he gets promoted and bang his daughter on the desk he used to work at everyday, but once she starts popping out babies they'll only look half-Japanese. Assuming that everyone was aware of your gaijin background and this isn't causing some sort of scandal, you've still got the problem of your kids being only looking half-Japanese. Not only will they have the same problems you did with regards to climbing the corporate ladder and meeting the boss's daughter, but they'll all get picked on in school too! This problem might effect your grandchildren or even your great grandchildren as well. Yes, it can be fixed by paying 10,000 nuyen per descendant, but that's expensive and isn't going to remove 100% of the stigma. But if you get ethnicity changing geneware for.....let's say 35,000 nuyen, because that's how much Cosmetic Alteration costs and it seems to fit the bill....then your kids appear 100% Japanese from birth, as do your grandkids and great grandkids. You get a payback period of 3 descendants, and after a few generations everyone will have forgotten that you were actually a gaijin and you will have successfully infiltrated the genetic population without anyone realizing it.

With genetic therapy, there's a strong chance that it's actually being paid for by the corps themselves; as stated on page 156 of Chrome Flesh, genescreening and corrective gene therapy is part of every corp's healthcare plan. They're the ones paying for it, so it's in there best interest to make it inheritable. As for people not on a corporate health plan? Well, selling an inheritable version means less customers from the next generation, but inheritability is such a huge selling point that selling non-inheritable versions isn't viable unless nobody sells inheritable versions, and we all know that the corps will never play nice enough with each other to allow that to happen. It's better to destroy the entire market over the course of a few generations to get a bigger piece of it now, especially when you know those other corps will happily do the same.

That said, you could probably get an inheritable version of any geneware if you paid enough for it, and the corps might have reasons of their own to distribute them. While only EVO would want the entire population to go full transhuman, the other corps would love to make all their employees smarter, more resistant to disease and toxins, fitter and otherwise generally superior, all while not costing them much. While there would be a significant upfront cost, inheritable geneware would be a cost effective way of achieving this in the long run. I have no doubt that once the prices on geneware are low enough, they'll start turning their employees into Metahumanity 2.0. In fact, I'll bet that they're already getting started by selling inheritable versions of select geneware to their own bachelor employees.

There's also the idea of spreading Adapsin through the general population to boost cyberware sales and reduce the cost of implant-related mental health problems on society, or to do the same with Narco to increase the sale of drugs (legal or otherwise), but good luck making that profitable.

EiraHaexa

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Re: Are Augmentations too weak?
« Reply #33 on: (14:58:08/03-28-17) »
There's also the inherent issue that as mana levels climb, there will be an increase in the number of awakened. One the flip side, certain awakened minerals will also become more commonplace (Psilosen bullets and cyberarms embedded with Corinthian bronze, anyone?).
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Duellist_D

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Re: Are Augmentations too weak?
« Reply #34 on: (13:57:21/03-30-17) »
Well, here's a question for you or, rather, a couple of examples followed by a question.

If It costs 20 Karma (40,000 Nuyen) to go from a Strength 3 to a 4,
and it costs 30 Karma (60,000 Nuyen) to go from Strength 5 to 6,
and it costs 40 Karma (80,000 Nuyen) to go from Strength 7 to 8 (assuming your Metatype allows that!)

Then how much Nuyen (Karma) should it cost for a +1 bonus to your strength that also costs you 0.5 Essence?

Assuming 1 karma=2000 since I'll be using a chargen in this discussion.
I'll use a human as an example- a guy that is going to be a close combat specialist so wants to max out agi and str.


Let's Start with Exceptional Attribute for 14 karma <So the guy is AGI 7 and STR 6>
Muscle Replacement [4] Alpha 120000k or 60 Karma
But you you would normally need to spend 10 additional karma for restricted gear.

If a human could gain those extra 4 levels with karma:
AGI= 40+45+50+55= 190karma
STR= 35+40+45+50= 170karma

plus you gained 35Karma of AGI from going from 6 to 7

So you spent 14+60+10= 84karma worth
You gained 35+190+170= 395karma

So you gained 321karma for 3.2ess
So roughly every .01ess is worth 1karma discount

That makes this damn cheap if you ask me.

And if you actually value karma at 5000 nuyen, then it's an even bigger discount.
Instead of 60 karma for 120k it's only 24.
Which means you only spent 48karma to get 395 karma value.

So you guys that complain about costs being too high,
be glad I wasn't on the team because I'd be arguing for higher prices on attribute boosting items.

And remember, I was doing the math assuming a human.
If you do a race with higher racial maximums, you gain even more karma value.
If you add in Gen Optimization, you gain more karma value.
If you add in surge mutation (whose name I'm not sure of but adds to racial max), you gain more karma value.

Thats a calculation that only makes sense if you ommit all other options.
Thing is, thats going to lead to faulty stuff like we have today.

If you want to balance the costs of augmentations, you need to make sure that there are not "strictly better" paths to begin with.

Some geneware giving a cheaper means of raising a stat than normal Karmaprogression isn't a problem.
The problem appears when you have different means of augmentation with highly different levels of effectiveness.

Wired Reflexes vs the Adept Power, for example is a good example for a very problematic one. Not only is the Adept Power usually way cheaper than the combined cost of Nuyen and Essence you have to pay for WR, it also scales without brakes. And THAT is a really big Advantage. Going from level 2 to 3 for the Adept Power is a fixed single PP, so basically 13 Karma (as the cheapest Option) after Chargen.
Going from WR 2 to WR 3 however, is VERY expensive if you stick to the printed Rules.
If you have a generous GM who allows the upgrading rules from the FAQ, however, you are still looking at 88 400 Nuyen, so around 44 Karma in difference (plus the opportunity Cost of lost Essence that creates a hardcap).

44 vs 13 Karma.

That is a VERY badly done job from a game design perspective.
You wouldn't need to have both things cost the same, obviously, and there is stuff that modfiers the actual cost like the ability to combine it with reaction Enhancers, but still.
On top of that, WR has the additional cost of Essence (5 out of 6) and the Adept Power has the additional Bonus of linear scaling and no restriction on finding it, which should both modify its net value.
Sure, there are stuff where *ware is cheaper than Magic or offers effects that Awakened can't reproduce, but INI is one of the most important concepts of the game (as in, it has a very high impact on the gaming table) and here the different costs are way to disproportionate.
It shouldn't be THAT much cheaper than every other option to reach a set (important and relevant) goal by taking a specific option that is not even open for everyone. No-brainers are not a good idea.

So, if one was very polite, one could say that the person who designed this didn't think it through to the end.
I, however prefer to be a bit more direct:

The person who made these rulings is in my humble opinion not suited for this specific task of game design.
If you design rules for a complex game, please have at least some basic knowledge of economics and mathematics. If you don't have them, grab a book and spend a night or two reading up on basic stuff.
Like, fire up Wikipedia and read up on "Opportunity cost", "Budget constraint" and "trade off"; all three articles are very simple and short (maybe an hour to properly read an another one to properly understand), but these concepts are very handy in these cases of having to weight different options against each other and/or setting the prices for them.

Reaver

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Re: Are Augmentations too weak?
« Reply #35 on: (14:31:06/03-30-17) »
And  yet, you are still comparing Apples to Bananas....
Where am I going? And why am I in a hand basket ???

Remember: You can't fix Stupid. But you can beat on it with a 2x4 until it smartens up! Or dies.

Ghost Rigger

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Re: Are Augmentations too weak?
« Reply #36 on: (15:08:00/03-30-17) »
Not really. One might be magic and the other might be cyberware, but at the end of the day they both have a karma cost. Just because they're very different fruits doesn't mean you can't compare apples and bananas from a nutritional standpoint. That said, the whole issue could be fixed by making money come easier. Maybe next time around, keep the prices the same but have the pay for any given job be 5000 times modifiers instead of 3000. Justify it with a sudden drop in the runner population or something.

Duellist_D

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Re: Are Augmentations too weak?
« Reply #37 on: (15:19:20/03-30-17) »
And  yet, you are still comparing Apples to Bananas....

Care to elaborate?
Because in my opinion the ingame-fluff is meaningless in regards to /heavy/ mechanical balancing discrepancies.
"But its Magic" is an exceptionally shitty excuse for something being a mechanically superior choice, considering its just a different branch on the resource allocation tree during and after chargen.

Sure, you can design games where magic simply IS the better choice, mechanical wise, but this shouldn't be the case in a point-buy system and its a very bad decision in a "man / magic / machine" setting.
Its Shadowrun, not Magerun after all. Magic should be a viable alternative, not the no-brainer that you start with and increase with cyberware on demand
Well, it could be, in a different setting, but then it should also be reflected in the game mechanics (eg everybody being magically active by default). That, however, is not the case for SR.

Sterling

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Re: Are Augmentations too weak?
« Reply #38 on: (16:27:03/03-30-17) »
Doesn't this only matter if your primary concern is to "optimise" your character?

If I decide I don't want to play an Awakened character then it really doesn't matter what the cost difference is.

If I'm only worried about getting the "best" stats so I can beat everyone else at the table? Sure, comparisons might be useful.  I doubt I'd find many games to join though.

Besides, I find that nuyen rewards tend to rise as the game goes on, whereas karma rewards stay about the same.  These comparisons may favour the magic characters early in their careers, but as time goes on and the physAd is looking at trying to Initiate a 3rd time, and then raise Mag from 8 to 9, the 'ware based character can improve at a faster rate.
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Pap Renvela

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Re: Are Augmentations too weak?
« Reply #39 on: (17:53:07/03-30-17) »
@Duellist

You do realize my answer had nothing to do with augmentation vs awakened?

It was a direct answer to:Then how much Nuyen (Karma) should it cost for a +1 bonus to your strength that also costs you 0.5 Essence?

As far as the mundane vs awakened...
Mundanes got thrown into a cell with Bubba the Love Troll Shaman, and sandpaper for lube.


 

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