Does everyone need a tacnet or just one person?

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TheBurn TheBurn's picture
Does everyone need a tacnet or just one person?

Let's say that it's time for some Tactical Network software, how many people need it? Could it be that only one person hosts the network and everyone else connects to it; or perhaps, everyone needs a tacnet to connect. Can only characters with tacnet connect to tacnets? Would multiple characters with tacnet be redundant?

And an unrelated question, can you use AR illusions on an entire tacnet? Would you need to hack the host or just anyone?

Picture of Fire taken under CC0 license. (That's the correct syntax, right?)

ORCACommander ORCACommander's picture
I'd say every member that

I'd say every member that wants to benefit fro ma tacnet needs a tac net unless they just want to be the imprecise pawn of some green lt back in the apc

Xagroth Xagroth's picture
Think of it this way:

Think of it this way:

To begin with, if you allow "only one inside the group needs a Tacnect" for whatever reasons ("bought an Open Source Tacnet" and you deem this a legal enough considering that character is all about Open Source... obviously you would not accept this if the the dude is an Oligarch all about DRM XD), you have two options: first, let the players share copies (and hit them one or twice all at once with a Zero-Day exploit, but it has to be on dramatically interesting moments and against logical enemies), and second, let them have a Host/Server and Guest/Client relationship (where taking down the one player with the Tacnet collapses the whole net, and only that player has access to all bonuses, with the other players being limited in what they can add to the system).

As for how "broken" is to allow the sharing of common software between players, Id' say hacking software and gear blueprints can be even more broken. Remember, the most revered Ultimates (the frigging Exhurgent hunters!) do not use digital stuff, and they rarely use radio or any comms aside from visual signals. Having a Tacnet is great, but you are an E/M grenade away from losing all those fancy HUDs... and when facing nanomachinery, E/M is precisely what you want to detonate at your feet.

Finally, as for the AR addition to anyone inside a Tacnet, it depends on how do you want to play it. I'd say it is reasonably to think that all Tacnet AR is deliberately designed to not obstruct the vision and be as little confusing as possible, essentially not allowing the "simultaneous hack of the entire net" with just one individual hacked (be it the host or any guest). However, while you wouldn't draw a Fenrir in the face of an enemy, you certainly can place a "heavy tank warning" for all enemies but one to see, while at the same time you cut the feed of the enemy who "saw" that Fenrir and neutralize him (so it looks like he was vaporized).

Think the Tacnet as something akin to an RTS game, you have a minimap and can zoom in and out, mark positions, etc..., but you can't really "see" what your allies see, only what the system tells you and translates to whatever imaginery you want.

kigmatzomat kigmatzomat's picture
I disagree about the not

I disagree about the not seeing part. Lots or morphs have gear that let them see through other objects so adding an AR overlay showing an enemy based on an ally's sensor data seems perfectly reasonable. That doesn't even seem like tacnet, that seems like something a muse could do.

Tacnets should provide useful tactical information based on accumulated data, including estimations of capabilities, probable actions taken by the enemy and the best course of action for the mission objective (escape, defeat opponent, defend a target, etc).

There is software now that will build a video file of a person saying whatever you want, matching the facial movements to an audio track. At the same time, AR software in phones allows spatial mapping to put virtual furniture in actual places. Then add mapping software that recommends routes based on obstacles and preferred transit methods.

Combine those three and you build a "skin" based on the accumulated observations and drape it over a 3d model that is in the position and location the tacnet knows (or guesses) that the target is in. Additional sensor feed data improves the model, confirming type of weaponry, armor, camoflage, tech, combat capability, etc. The system uses the observed actions to guesstimate the opponents' likely actions and provides input on where you should go and what you should do to achieve what you want.

Or I could just regurgitate the book on p205instead of waxing extemporaneously.

• Sensory Input: Any sensory input available to a participating
character or device in the network can be fed into the system and shared. This includes data from cybernetic senses, portable sensors, smartlink guncams, XP output, etc. This allows one user to immediately call up and access the sensor feed of another user

Positioning: The exact positioning of the user and all other participants are updated and mapped according to mesh positioning and GPS. Likewise, the positioning of known people, bots, vehicles, and other features can also be plotted according to sensory input.

• Maps: Tacnets assemble all available maps and can present them to the user with a bird’s eye view or as a three-dimensional interactive, with distances between relevant features readily accessible. The AI or muse can also plot maps based on sensory input, breadcrumb positioning systems (p. 332), and other data. Plotted paths and other data from these maps can be displayed as entoptic images or other AR sensory input (e.g., a user who should be turning left might see a transparent red arrow or feel a tingling sensation on their left side).

Analysis: The muses and AIs participating in the tacnet are bolstered with skill software and databases that enable them to interpret incoming data and sensory feeds. Perhaps the most useful aspect of tacnets, this means that the muse/AI may notice facts or details individual users are likely to have overlooked. For example, the tacnet can count shots fired by opponents, note when they are likely running low, and even analyze sensory input to determine the type of weaponry and ammunition being used.
Opponents and their gear can also be scanned and analyzed to note potential weaknesses, injuries, and capabilities. If sensor contact with an opponent is lost, the last known location is memorized and potential movement vectors and distances are displayed. Opponent positioning can also identify lines of sight and fields of fire, alerting the user to areas of potential cover or danger. The tacnet can also suggest tactical maneuvers that will aid the user, such as flanking an opponent or acquiring better elevation.

Many of these features are immediately accessible to the user via their AR display;

I'm not rules lawyer, I'm a rules engineer.

Xagroth Xagroth's picture
kigmatzomat wrote:I disagree

kigmatzomat wrote:
I disagree about the not seeing part. Lots or morphs have gear that let them see through other objects so adding an AR overlay showing an enemy based on an ally's sensor data seems perfectly reasonable. That doesn't even seem like tacnet, that seems like something a muse could do.

Tacnets should provide useful tactical information based on accumulated data, including estimations of capabilities, probable actions taken by the enemy and the best course of action for the mission objective (escape, defeat opponent, defend a target, etc).

Of course! However, there are several caveats that need to be taken into consideration:

1.- Premium state: Vision. While AR is great, most people will want to have "low res" AR limitations to limit bandwith usage, AR hack, and information overload. The last one can be tweaked and the muse surely is an enormous help, and the Synesthesia mentioned in a previous post can really simplify things, but I doubt professionals will prefer a 100% fidelity render of AR objects in a combat situation over a low res one. Specially those aware of what a Basilisk Hack is (John is transmitting a photo of the target... oh damn, the whole tacnet has become an Exurgent vector! All operatives compromised due to Basilisk Hack!).
2.- Bandwith. Regardless of availability, you either require time using low bandwith to transmit all of the info, or the local mesh spikes up a lot. While the information can be improved over time, with things starting very spartan while everything updates, the less time and data used the best, to avoid raising alarms from those monitoring the local mesh' traffic or the exposure to receive laser beams.
3.- Transmit/Receive. There is a gap here for the GM to force all players to buy full Tacnet programs: if you are a client, you depend on the Server for the data and cannot really change stuff, being limited to your muse digesting and overlaying the data for you, while those with a license can tweak the things to their heart's content.

Also, a lot of data will be dependent on the "observer" of the Tacnet, if that one doesn't have the required senses to identify the enemy implants (in case of not obvious ones), then no data gets transmitted, and if they do identify those, then I doubt they will send the raw data, just the conclusions.

As for the pg 205, remember my point #1. Having to work with Big Data in occasion has left me with an ever greater appreciation for space optimization than I had when playing WoW (back in the day of 40man raids and tons of addons...) or some FPS games. Yes, you will have access to all those data, but you will have it mostly hide until you call it (with a thought), unless you can directly pass the data to your mind using some weird combo of Eidetic Memory + Skillsoft + mental enhancements.

Anyway, I think the only inevitable stopgap here is the bandwith: you want to use the minimum amount of it to minimize the chance of being exposed/discovered, and you want to limit the AR fidelity so you cannot mistake AR for reality (to avoid the hilarious "walk into a hole").

ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
Wallhacks and Aimbots! Oh My!

Personal canon: You need the software to transmit and for analysis, but everyone can receive transmitted data.
As for presentation, I imagine it normally presenting information through simple models or wireframes.
Behold the following images for examples!



RL computer games and animation are decent inspiration for this sort of thing because they have to deal with these issues right now.

I fully expect the fully developed AR/computer implant software to take a lot of lessons from FPS and MMORPG gaming interfaces.

In the past we've had to compensate for weaknesses, finding quick solutions that only benefit a few.
But what if we never need to feel weak or morally conflicted again?

Xagroth Xagroth's picture
ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:

ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:

I fully expect the fully developed AR/computer implant software to take a lot of lessons from FPS and MMORPG gaming interfaces.

Considering how VR is so inmersing in EP, I would expect that games inspired life, which is now inspiring the games (there are mentions to famous FPS games used by Firewall to train (modded to "too much real, they also sometimes modified my ego to not notice it's a game by removing my memories of login") which inspire life which...

So yeah.

I would also say that having the software gives some advantage, but thinking about it, if they follow a license-based "DRM" (or an open source, CC model), the team can rotate who acts as the "server" so all of them are familiar with the thing.

Not a substitute for true group-training, however. Ultimates' top elite troops being TITAN-hunters who do not use Tactnets (or anything digital) yet being totally coordinated proves that brains > augments (augmented brains help a lot though!)