Sword Art Online, or "when you can't d/c from the MMORPG"

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Xagroth Xagroth's picture
Sword Art Online, or "when you can't d/c from the MMORPG"
I was having a look at the new season's anime and I stumbled on this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wv8u5bY8Now&feature=player_embedded So, for what I caught in the video, the premises translated to EP would be: - You are a normal AF10 person that bought a simulspace game, like a lot more people. - The simulspace game is a Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game, with a magical fantasy setting. - Like everyone else, you went online the day of the great presentation, and was present when the creator of the game gave the inauguration speech. - The speech informs all players that they are trapped into a high-speed simulspace, with the only way out being to clear the game. - Dying in the game will send a fatal neurosignal that will corrupt the ego both in the brain and the cortical stack, and release a virus in the Mesh that will hunt all backups of that ego that connect to the Mesh after that (backups that won't have any idea of what is going on, because it is more than likely they were made before the purchase of the "game"). - "Morphs" are get depending on the race. Elfs are Sylphs, Dwarfs are Dverger, halflings/hobbits are neotenics, Humans are Splicers, battle constructs (Warforged for D&D connosieurs) use Synths or Steel Morphs, etc... And the monsters use the less human morphs out there (novacrab, reaper, etc...). Just as stat value, thought, appearances are different. - To make melee combat "doable", all damage received is applied at the end of the turn, as a "single attack", so armour and Wounds Threshold only apply once. - Asyncs work as sorcerers here. They get a "mana pool" equal to their "sanity points" (but its a separated pool) plus all their Async skills and can use spells that work like weapons in the core book or gear effects. They need to "buy" the spell or learn it by adventuring, using this "spells" follows the same rules regarding Stress Value that Async powers do (using, not having), and each "spell" costs a number of mana points equal to 1/100 credits per use (in the case of "buffs" like T-Ray vision, each use costs that per minute, per user: yeah, you can "buff" your party members). Of course, you can find "Mass buff" (they cost the same as the normal version in mana) versions of the gear spells during missions, never in shops. You decide the duration of the buff when casting the spell. - Recovering mana can only happen using taverns or special items, like "mana potions", or "tents" that allow you to set camp (you better keep guards, or monsters will attack!). One tent allows 1 night of rest to everybody in the team, once, regenerating both life points and mana points, but not curing injuries. - Injuries need to be taken care off in hospitals, in towns. And of course they have to pay rupies to get treated! - Magical damage works as firearms in the RAW: each one is an independant attack that will work like it does, instead of accumulating until the end of the turn. Also, you cannot cast more than once spell per turn no matter what (monsters, on the other hand...). - Most of the combat is melee. Ranged non-magical attacks deal too low damage to matter... - Monsters also prefer melee, but some will have "magical attacks" (firearms). They have unlimited mana (and yes, a player can "exploit" this by finding a drain mana spell). Behind the cameras: one of the possible truths. This is in really an experiment being made with several illegally obtained 9lives backups. It is very likely that Xperia or Cognite (or both) are behind this, and the "login part" is just a personalized simulation for each "player". It is obvious things are messed up: so many people (hundreds, and the background information is that there were dozens of servers, but it doesn't need to be true) can't remain connected for weeks in real time without some sort of alert going on, even with their mesh inserts being hacked: it is very likely that some people would live with others that would notice he won't disconnect. Also, so many deaths would call the attention of other people, like Firewall or some sort of "neighbourhood brigade" in the case of Autonomists. the object of the study is, of course, an investigation into Asyncs, with some extra data for other projects. So, with this here... let the discussion begin!
Prophet710 Prophet710's picture
Re: Sword Art Online, or "when you can't d/c from the MMORPG"
This looks absolutely dreadful. I can't wait to watch it!
"And yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this Earth with envious eyes. And slowly, and surely, they drew their plans against us."
DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
Re: Sword Art Online, or "when you can't d/c from the MMORPG"
I don't like the idea. I think its dumb. I think that any game involving a mind-game interface (in whatever form it takes in any genre) should be not fatal. Making a machine that is capable of connecting your mind to a game that is somehow able to kill a player and made available to the public -- would be in my eyes, a tool of mass murder... or suicide (if a player chooses to join the game as a way to kill themself). There is also a factor that organic brains can't be hacked in the same way as cyberbrains or infomorphs can (the titans can do organic brain hacking due to their special knowledge, but I keep such things on the milder side, so no kill virus). Most biomorphs don't carry the specialized hardware needed to erase an ego from an organic brain. However, I however would suggest any "dead" person who somehow evaded the "deletion" to avoid ego bridges and emergency farcasters (or any augmentation that can be hacked in such a manner that can be used to kill a character). Another defense is to turn your mesh inserts off, and/or disconnect them from the mesh. You can't hack what you can't reach. Another concern is how does the kill virus react to forks? A big philosophical topic is, "At what point should 2 separate forks be considered 2 different people?". Another consideration is, how are the "dead" players identified? If you rely on brain scans, they might be rendered ineffective because brain patterns do change. If a character manages to hide on some brinker habitat long enough (just to warn you, it could be a long time), their brain pattern should change enough to be rendered unrecognizable by any current brain scan system. Also, trauma, phychosurgery, and exsurgent viruses can change brain patterns in strange ways.
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Sword Art Online, or "when you can't d/c from the MMORPG"
I want to know why that company wasn't put out of business immediately, with all nerve gears immediately confiscated as players successfully logged out. At least until safe guards were put into place to prevent that sort of crap from happening. I mean lets be honest, what this dude did was essentially mass-murder. How many people starved to death while stuck in the game world? How many infants might have died because their parents were players at the time? The implications are crazy-dark.
Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age. [url=http://bit.ly/2p3wk7c]Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.[/url]
Quincey Forder Quincey Forder's picture
Re: Sword Art Online, or "when you can't d/c from the MMORPG"
The previous work of that author (it's a light novel before it became an anime) also provides great ideas. Funimation simulcast it weekly it is called ACCEL WORLD
[center] Q U I N C E Y ^_*_^ F O R D E R [/center] Remember The Cant! [img]http://tinyurl.com/h8azy78[/img] [img]http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg205/tachistarfire/theeye_fanzine_us...
Xagroth Xagroth's picture
Re: Sword Art Online, or "when you can't d/c from the MMORPG"
Mmm... Who said that the "real death" part is known? As I saw in the first chapter two or three days ago: 1) Nobody knew, but the creator of both the interface and the game, that you weren't going to be able to log out. 2) There had been a Beta, and the only amount of games sold were 10.000 (add to that about 1000 beta-testers). During the beta, loggin out wass possible, it was just aa very beautiful MMORPG (in the setting, the first of its kind with full inmersion). 3) The helmet used for the interface uses some sort of microwave generator to operate and has a battery. In case of death ingame, or attemps of removal of the helmet, fried brain. 4) All I know for now about this is, by the way, what has been seen in the PV and 1st episode, all from the PoV of the players, so it could be a simulspace accelerated with the perma-death being just a bluff (the player is logged out and then the helmet fries itself, with the account deleted). In EP, egonapping becomes more than possible for silent "killing". And accel world is quite interesting, but I didn't watched it: the manga hasn't been finished, which was what I was reading. Maybe along the summer I will catch up on the anime, but the concept is rather interesting ^^
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Sword Art Online, or "when you can't d/c from the MMORPG"
Xagroth wrote:
Mmm... Who said that the "real death" part is known? As I saw in the first chapter two or three days ago: 1) Nobody knew, but the creator of both the interface and the game, that you weren't going to be able to log out. 2) There had been a Beta, and the only amount of games sold were 10.000 (add to that about 1000 beta-testers). During the beta, loggin out wass possible, it was just aa very beautiful MMORPG (in the setting, the first of its kind with full inmersion).
I can somewhat buy this, though I'll explain my problems with it later on.
Xagroth wrote:
3) The helmet used for the interface uses some sort of microwave generator to operate and has a battery. In case of death ingame, or attemps of removal of the helmet, fried brain.
Here's my problem with all this: how do you sneak in a means to fry people's brains without getting caught doing it during the patent-filing process or auditing process? How does it not get found out when someone decides to tear their neuro gear apart to see what makes it tick (it happens to every device)?
Xagroth wrote:
4) All I know for now about this is, by the way, what has been seen in the PV and 1st episode, all from the PoV of the players, so it could be a simulspace accelerated with the perma-death being just a bluff (the player is logged out and then the helmet fries itself, with the account deleted). In EP, egonapping becomes more than possible for silent "killing".
The implications are still dark. Even with acceleration, you might risk the lives of people who have medical conditions requiring constant medical attention, or younger children with higher metabolisms. As for ego-napping, it would only work if the simulspace was restricted to cyberbrains and infomorphs.
Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age. [url=http://bit.ly/2p3wk7c]Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.[/url]
Xagroth Xagroth's picture
Re: Sword Art Online, or "when you can't d/c from the MMORPG"
As for the "technology is dangerous" part, I would like to say that a translation to EP terms would be needed (a virus able to delete egos? More than enough to warrant Firewall's action!), and that, well... Lots of stuff in our houses are dangerous, Microwaves are there, after all, and the episode implied that there was a reason for that MW generator other than frying brains if overclocked, but I don't know which one exactly. Of course is another idea of a nefarious plan to make people suffer or have trouble, but the potential is there. I still need to watch the second episode, and to catch on all the stuff I had on hold for the last week (I've been on "vacation" after all!), so maybe more data regarding the device might come out. Personally, I doubt it, since I bet the series will focus on the players inside the game instead of the people outside. As I said, the most likely explanation for all this goes to: - Buy MMORPG "x", login and get your ego copied (an alpha fork). - Profit. There is no need to recreate Sword Art online, just the idea of another scheme from 9 lives to get more egos is quite enough for me, specially if the players have to login into the game to find the hidden clues that lead to the egonap (after all, it is better to seed the game with some clues that only people with certain mindsets and skills can follow, so you can cathegorize them without active effort). - And there is the possibility that some exurgent threat has modified the game for its own purposes...