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"Some hosts exist offline"

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The Wyrm Ouroboros

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« Reply #15 on: (18:28:49/09-09-18) »
It didn't eat it; I didn't quote anything because it's a long list.

As for the rest ... uh-huh.  At some point you should have one of us explain to you the difference between 'I'd prefer ...' and 'because I'm writing for SR, I have to ...'  We freelancers don't ignore the past; we can't, that's part of the canon.  And 'not talking to each other' ... there's an entire forum dedicated just to that.  It's just that the person with the most/best knowledge on a specific topic may not get the chance to chime in because of other Reasons (like, you know, having a life) before something goes to print.

*shrugs*  Whatever; believe what you like, interpret how you like.  Again, doesn't mean you're right over all games, it just means that you can play it how you want in your game.  So have fun!
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PingGuy

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« Reply #16 on: (12:02:50/09-10-18) »
I think people get caught up in the concept of something being in the cloud, and therefore stored online and not accessible offline.  Does "The Matrix" provide the functionality that hosts use to be hosts?  Or does it define the rules by which the host must live to be connected to it?  Probably the latter based on what I'm seeing here.

Try to think more like distributed computing, which is what is on the other side of that pretty cloud picture.  Every host in the system likely contributes to the functionality of The Matrix.  Each host would be capable of providing the functions required for The Matrix to work, but only those that are connected to it would do so.  An offline host could provide that same functionality within its locally connected "network," but couldn't report to GOD until connected to The Matrix.

For anybody who understands the internal electronics and software of computers, this concept makes more sense than having everything work like a Terminal Services version of Windows.  The Matrix might be magic, but I'm not sure even magic could handle the processing power required to do the lone work of handling all matrix traffic for the whole world.  If it had to handle the processing for all the hosts also, forget about it.  If that were the case then whoever owns the hosts would have to be paying whoever runs The Matrix for all that processing time.

Sphinx

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« Reply #17 on: (13:53:20/09-10-18) »
Here's how I look at it (speaking as someone with only limited understanding of how computers and networks actually function in the real world today):

The megacorps began laying the groundwork for the wireless Matrix initiative before the Second Crash. Practically every device manufactured in the last 20 years (2060–2080) — not just commlinks and accessories, mind, but toasters, refrigerators, coffee-makers,  microwaves, light fixtures, electrical outlets, vending machines, cameras, maglocks, vehicles, drones, weapons, toys — everything includes a cheap processor, transceiver, and abundant memory. All of these things connect in a giant mesh network that forms the fabric of the modern wireless Matrix. Modern Hosts are built on this foundation. They don't exist in a single location; their content is distributed across the fabric of the Matrix.

All devices are still capable of performing their core functions internally, however, even when isolated and disconnected from the Matrix by disabled/deactivated transceivers, signal noise, active jamming, or a Faraday cage. Your toaster will still make toast, your refrigerator still keeps the soymilk cold, your maglock still holds the door shut. Likewise, computing devices like a commlink or deck can still run software and store data without an active Matrix connection.

Legacy host systems still exist and interact with the Matrix, and paranoid organizations can still create  new, hardwired, hardware-based hosts that operate independently for security reasons (see "Non-Foundation Hosts," Kill Code p.45–46). These standalone systems can and do function normally offline, but hackers can still plug into them with a direct connection and do their thing.

Finstersang

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« Reply #18 on: (11:34:45/09-13-18) »
Here's how I look at it (speaking as someone with only limited understanding of how computers and networks actually function in the real world today):

The megacorps began laying the groundwork for the wireless Matrix initiative before the Second Crash. Practically every device manufactured in the last 20 years (2060–2080) — not just commlinks and accessories, mind, but toasters, refrigerators, coffee-makers,  microwaves, light fixtures, electrical outlets, vending machines, cameras, maglocks, vehicles, drones, weapons, toys — everything includes a cheap processor, transceiver, and abundant memory. All of these things connect in a giant mesh network that forms the fabric of the modern wireless Matrix. Modern Hosts are built on this foundation. They don't exist in a single location; their content is distributed across the fabric of the Matrix.

All devices are still capable of performing their core functions internally, however, even when isolated and disconnected from the Matrix by disabled/deactivated transceivers, signal noise, active jamming, or a Faraday cage. Your toaster will still make toast, your refrigerator still keeps the soymilk cold, your maglock still holds the door shut. Likewise, computing devices like a commlink or deck can still run software and store data without an active Matrix connection.

Legacy host systems still exist and interact with the Matrix, and paranoid organizations can still create  new, hardwired, hardware-based hosts that operate independently for security reasons (see "Non-Foundation Hosts," Kill Code p.45–46). These standalone systems can and do function normally offline, but hackers can still plug into them with a direct connection and do their thing.

I think that´s pretty much how it works, at least at most tables. The remaining question: Do Hackers, or others trying to interface with the device or host, still need a connection to the Matrix to "do stuff" (because, dunno, the ressources to hack things are still partially in the Matrix Cloud?  ???) or not?

I´m heavily favouring the latter here, but it´s still unclear if that´s RAI.

My personal take would be like this:
  • You can be out in the Matrix or in a Matrix. The latter refers to a bunch of interconnected devices, hosts and users that, as a whole, are shut off from the Matrix. That could be the case because everything is wired or because the whole ensamble is trapped in the same Farady Cage. Think of it as a kind of Mini-Matrix. It´s usually not under GODs protection, so no OS here.
  • However, the Matrix Protocolls are kinda... grabby. If a member of a "Mini-Matrix" regains contact to the Matrix (f.i. because you turn your wireless on or manage to penetrate the Faraday Cage), the whole ensemble comes back online as well.
  • Example 1: You try to hack a throwback device through a direct connection. You can decide to leave your wireless off to not expose yourself to GOD. If you don´t, both you and the device will be accessible from the Matrix for everyone else. Same for hacking an offline host: If you decide to go in with active wireless, you can act as a backdoor for other remote hacking attempts.
  • Example 2: You try to hack a wireless active device with a direct connection. The second you plug yourself in, you become logged in on the Matrix as well, thus prone to GODs surveillance and wireless detection. By keeping the wireless on, the owner of the device essentially traded physical security for digital security.
« Last Edit: (11:41:38/09-13-18) by Finstersang »
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« Reply #19 on: (11:50:09/09-13-18) »
Guys, Jayde Moon clarified the errata team's opinion on this:

Two commlinks cut off from The Matrix but connected to each other via a Data Cable compose A Matrix.  And that 'mini Matrix' satisfies the requirement of 'being on the matrix' to accomplish Matrix Actions.


I linked his statements back on the first page.

Iron Serpent Prince

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« Reply #20 on: (12:21:59/09-13-18) »
Guys, Jayde Moon clarified the errata team's opinion on this

And all that is is one person's opinion.

The Errata Team doesn't make any decisions.  It is one of the reasons it takes so long to get the Errata out.

After the Team formulates their suggestion, it gets passed on to...  I think Patrick Goodman referred to it as the "Errata Committee" for a vote on if it becomes official or not.

Until that time, everything is just House Rules.

The Wyrm Ouroboros

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« Reply #21 on: (14:13:37/09-13-18) »
Actually, it'd be multiple person's opinions, people with in-depth knowledge of both RAW and RAI, and an opinion that has a good probability of said opinion becoming official canon.

Don't try to pass that sort of thing off as 'meh, nothin' special'; there's importance there.
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Marcus

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« Reply #22 on: (00:50:08/09-14-18) »
If Jayde Moon said it, that's as good as official imo. 
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Iron Serpent Prince

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« Reply #23 on: (02:26:06/09-14-18) »
Even if all that were true, Ouroboros, it still doesn't make it official, yet.

Hell, even if you are right, and RAI is that Persona Devices function fully without a connection to the Matrix (more on that little hiccup in a moment), that means the authors did a piss-poor job of conveying it.  I mean they had at least three chances to do so:  Core, Data Trails, and Kill Code.

I know, because I've been looking for anything to support the idea ever since Xenon pointed out to me that RAW doesn't support how I want tech to work in Shadowrun.



Now, let me play devil's advocate against my own wishes for a moment.

First, there is a potential "cheat" available if Persona Devices function normally without a connection to the Matrix.  No OS score.  Jayde Moon presented the crazy idea of the OS being stored on the device, meaning the hackers who use them have complete control over their own OS's, but that can't be the intent.  Just as being able to turn Wireless Off to not generate OS while directly connected to another device can't be the real intent.

Next, thanks to Kill Code, we know that Persona Data is stored / contained / exists in the Foundation.  That makes it highly unlikely that a Persona Device can even form a Persona without a connection to the Matrix.  No Matrix, no Foundation, no data to form said Persona.  Quotes incoming:

Quote from: Kill Code, page 20
This means that once a user creates a Matrix identity for the first time, their persona is crafted from the building blocks of the Matrix’s Foundation, in somewhat the same fashion as a host. As a result, personas are impossible to hack without access to the Foundation.
Quote from: Kill Code, Persona's sidebar, page 22
A persona is logged in whenever the user is online with a device capable of running a persona.  Global positioning data, incredibly advanced passkeys, biorhythm data, and past Matrix history all combine to virtually eliminate false logins.

Now, to be fair, it isn't exactly clear if Matrix Actions can only be performed by Personas.  I assume they are restricted that way, but that is just an assumption on my part unless someone can provide a quote that I missed.

Since you can only be "logged in" while online, and so far everyone equates forming a Persona = logged in, that means no Matrix connection, no Persona.

If that wasn't enough, there is a symmetry in the game system.  There is the Astral realm, with the Metaplanes.  There is the Matrix, and the Resonance Realms.  A character can only cast spells / summon spirits when they have a "connection" to the Astral (no Magic-y things in space, for example).  A hacker can only do Matrix Actions in the Matrix Realm, the telecommunications grid.


If that isn't enough for you to admit you just might be wrong with your claim of in-depth knowledge of RAW and RAI for the Matrix, let's go to your "real world" argument.
For the last decade, or more, tech producers - mostly software, admittedly - have been striving to make everything "cloud only."  (Autodesk, Google, Microsoft, etc.)  The only time they walk that back is when there is sufficient customer pushback.  Frankly, each time the producers try, the amount of pushback gets smaller and smaller.
It is more than just within the realm of possibility that in 50, 60 years time the (mega) corps finally win and require Matrix connection for devices to work, it is actually likely - as much as I hate to admit it.


If anyone has any quotes to make things work the way I want them too, I welcome the input.

Given how hard forum goers try to prove me wrong, I think they would have surfaced by now, though.
« Last Edit: (02:39:19/09-14-18) by Iron Serpent Prince »

Finstersang

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« Reply #24 on: (06:16:45/09-14-18) »
If that Errata for "Mini-Matrices" really comes to pass, it would surely be a huge relief on my side. After all, that question really affects the core of Matrix content in 5Ed. So, to the Errata Team (blessed be upon you): Please don´t not rush over this with a simple one-sentence statement and keep the unavoidable follow-up-questions in mind:

  • What about Personas, see ISP´s argument above?
  • What about two devices trying to wirelessly connect while in the same Faraday Cage?
  • What about OS? I´m not sure if OS something actively generated by GOD or if it is a feature of the new Matrix Protocols (the "ripples in the pond"-analogy) that GOD uses to find illegal activity. In the latter case, you might still accumulate OS in a "Mini-Matrix".
  • Where can Files be stored? On the Matrix, on a Device or both? What´s the role of the Cloudless Program in Data Trails here?
  • What happens if a member of a "Mini-Matrix" becomes connected to the actual Matrix again? (As I said above: I´m a strong proponent for the whole ensemble coming back online as well - for both fluff and gameplay reasons.)

And ISP is right here: There really has been a lot pointing in the "Cloud-only"-direction in RAW. You can also add that weird Cloudless Program from Data Trails to this list. The official addition of offline hosts (I believe there was an offline host featured in a Mission before, but I can´t remember which...) is one of the rare official indicators that the Matrix is only 90% cloudy and not 100%. And despite many tables already houseruling it that way, it really stinks that this is not cleared up after five years and two supplements. This is not some fringe issue, this is core gameplay.
« Last Edit: (10:50:08/09-14-18) by Finstersang »
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PingGuy

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« Reply #25 on: (10:10:48/09-14-18) »
Quote from: Kill Code, page 20
This means that once a user creates a Matrix identity for the first time, their persona is crafted from the building blocks of the Matrix’s Foundation, in somewhat the same fashion as a host. As a result, personas are impossible to hack without access to the Foundation.
Quote from: Kill Code, Persona's sidebar, page 22
A persona is logged in whenever the user is online with a device capable of running a persona.  Global positioning data, incredibly advanced passkeys, biorhythm data, and past Matrix history all combine to virtually eliminate false logins.

So you can't create a persona without a connection to The Matrix.  You also can't hack (i.e. change) a persona without access to the Foundation (The Matrix).  And they even go as far as to say you are logged in whenever the user is online with a device capable of running a persona.  The first two parts don't specifically support your point, but the third one makes it look like they do.

However, the third statement contradicts the existence of offline hosts.  They literally can't exist if being offline leaves them incapable of having matrix actions performed within them.  No Edit File for the guy working on spreadsheets, no Matrix Perception for looking around.  No anything, because an Offline Host by this definition would be a lump of useless silicon.  If you can't use Attack/Sleaze actions on it then you can't use Data Processing actions on it either.

I think personas aren't unlike the 3rd party authenticators of our time.  You have to be able to connect to Google/Facebook to authenticate, but then your account is cached until there is another reason to authenticate it.  Did you relaunch an app?  You have to authenticate again to use it.  What this would mean is that a Decker/TM who rebooted their Deck/Living-Persona wouldn't be able to log back if they were in a Faraday cage at the time.  But if they were logged in and then put in the cage, they could hack directly-connected things within the cage.

As far as OS score goes, the idea presented elsewhere makes sense.  All actions are logged to some degree, Attack/Sleaze related ones surely are.  When a host/device re-acquires a connection to the Matrix, those logged actions would then be seen by The Matrix.  If you had rebooted your deck by then you might have nothing to worry about.

As far as how this affects the cheesing of ownership changes.  I think the ownership can't change until the device is reconnected to The Matrix.  If you had failures during that process that you would have been reported for, then it reports them on reconnect, but the ownership still changes since you succeeded.  I need to re-read how that process works to be sure how it would affect things like reporting your location and so forth, but conceptually it works.

As much as the RAW may support your vision of how this should be working, the RAW is conflicted in places also.  Until we get some kind of errata or official ruling on it, the default should be to assume that it works in a way that wouldn't effectively brick technology that we know exists in game and supposedly works.  RAI is certainly not to break offline hosts just to ensure nobody has an easier time stealing ownership of something.
« Last Edit: (10:15:06/09-14-18) by PingGuy »

Marcus

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« Reply #26 on: (00:24:39/09-15-18) »
Goodness folks, I think you guys way, way over thinking this.

Look, take a deep breath, the rules and the system aren't perfect. Change will happen. If the writers want offline nodes we will get offline nodes. From the stand point of play this 99.9% irrelevant.

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Ech0

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« Reply #27 on: (04:40:37/09-20-18) »
I'm with Marcus, and would like to point towards my first post in this thread.

It makes it easier to just accept the fact that offline hosts exist. The Persona necessary to enter it is formed with data the Resonance Realms (or whatever) that still touch the magical fringes of the offline host as well.

Listening to the latest episode of the Arcology Podcast has been rather enlightening as well; if you don't want to listen in, here's the short version:
The Freelancers who collaborated on Kill Code set out to fix the hot mess that is/were the Matrix rules and fluff in 5th - because they were annoyed by it, as well. Within the limits given, they've managed to come up with a hot fix that makes it cool(-ish) to play a Hacker again. They've succeeded, even if they had to come up with a "The Matrix is Magic" solution. A solution I applaud you guys for! And various new matrix actions that assume (of course) that a rigger/decker/techno would be performing them - not the face without the slightest bit of Matrix knowledge.

Funny enough, the episode pretty much confirms my assumption (and maybe Ouroboros takes note) that the Rules-As-Written, the Rules-As-Intended (and the fluff) we ended up with, just somehow -happend- and everyone just kinda interpreted them to the best of their respective knowledge.  :)
Take Noise, for example, or the Grid Hopping stuff, no one used.

It's also rather funny that apparently there wasn't a big plan behind the hows and whys of the 5th Ed Matrix. Or that they flew out window at some point when the writers of Kill Code decided: "Eeh, we can't explain all this. Let's make it magic."
« Last Edit: (05:20:25/09-20-18) by Ech0 »

Jayde Moon

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« Reply #28 on: (15:17:11/09-20-18) »
If Jayde Moon said it, that's as good as official imo.

While I appreciate the support, my word is only 'law' insofar as Missions games go,and sometimes Missions rules will be different from what folks should expect at hone games.  That's my disclaimer.

That said, in this case, I believe the Missions' interpretation matches the RAI for general play which is corroborated by pretty much all of the creators from the top down.

I understand ISPs points about RAW, but sometimes it's worded a certain way because that's the easiest way to explain it to the general reader.

For those afflicted with a more IF; THEN; ELSE mindset, it is understandably frustrating.
That's just like... your opinion, man.

Kiirnodel

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« Reply #29 on: (16:44:11/09-20-18) »
Hasn't there been "offline nodes" since pretty much day one?

The first pre-written mission Splintered States features several examples.

***SPOILERS***






The initial commlink with its hidden secondary "sub-commlink"  It isn't noticeable except through an extensive search of the system itself. It isn't broadcasting its own signal.

And in the epilogue mission there is a hidden host within the building that is only accessible through direct connection. That whole mission is about retrieving off-line data...
« Last Edit: (16:46:24/09-20-18) by Kiirnodel »