Hacking Encyclopedia

Various ways of using programs during hacks
Post Reply
e1a00000
Posts: 245
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:22 am

Hacking Encyclopedia

Post by e1a00000 » Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:00 am

Please reply below if you have any opinions. I will edit and add good suggestion here.

Hi, I'm 24111, (currently) level 28 player who mainly gather his resources through leeching off other players. Here's a thing or two I gathered through my long history of piracy - with my number 1 policy: If it pops up in my search, I can hit it.
Well at least 95% of the time.

This guide (for now) will mainly cover 2 sections: Program analysis and brute force guide

A. PROGRAMS

1. Beam cannon:
Your bread and butter tool. Cheap, fast to compile with tons of damage. Most of the time, you will want to max beam first. Beam price sharply increase at the first few level - but that pace quickly drop around level 7. The higher you go, the more cost efficient beams become.

2. Shuriken
I'd like to call it the tactical beam. Under the right situation, shuriken have incredibly good potential. At an approximately same level, shuriken outdamages beam if there's more than 2 targets - but with a catch. Shuriken lower single node DPS for higher total DPS means that you will likely take more damage as with beams. This damage taken curve tends to fall off as there's more target - particularly guardian chokepoints. Shuriken also forces you to micro manage more nodes at a time - and should a node is recapped, it is worse than beam due to its lower single node dps. Later on, you might wanna leave these at level 5-6 as it's too costly keeping these on par with beams, while you probably won't even use it that much.

3. ICE shield
The irreplaceable - yet probably the last thing I'll upgrade. ICE shield price curve is horrible for its little performance increase. As you get your second library, its 2 space cost is barely anything, and you can pack more and more shield, meaning it is sometimes better off to leave that shield low. However, the 2 minute compile time is annoying, more than that cost increase - and as chokepoint gets stronger, weaker shield isn't an option.
Level when needed

4.Worms
This charming little creature is probably the one program I hate to use the most. Worms are useful for securing a weakly secured area for free - and keeping one in your arsenal probably isn't a bad idea, as they tend to clean up and securing captured nodes in clusters - making recap harder, if not impossible. It also delays your attack by a large margin should you ever rely on these things for anything other than a bit of extra security and discount in compile time and cost. Combined with a good portal though, is a good AFK tool if you feel 3 minutes is too much time. Really do not fit in my blitzing brute style.
Never compile more than 1, its compile time per space is on par with beam on the lowest level.
5.Leech
No. Bad. Just no.
Early on its 3 space is too much for your arsenal
Later on, I'd still prefer 3 more beams.
Using leech is the equivalent to accepting defeat before you even start attacking, implying that you will run out of time when looting res, and 9/10 time that won't happen. You either 100% the res, or barely touch it to begin with. And maybe if you spent that 3 costs on beams, and drop it somewhere else, you wouldn't even need that leech in the first place.
During stealth, unless the player have his head stuck up his ass, or in my case, the only scanner is upgrading, you wouldn't get pass the cgs to get to the res in the first place. Nor do you have enough visibility to get everything.

6. Access
Your stealth backbone. If you wanna go stealth prep/hybrid, invest some resources here. As you will likely spend the most vis on access, leveling it up reduce vis by a good amount.

7. Wraith
Against a good base you'd get 2 of these off on CGs. Strategically, you can use it to ease the pressure of a choke point, block sentry path, but as you get to higher level, it's really impossible to use it effectively unless you invested tons of res on stealth. If, however, you are only planning to wraith the CGs, maybe RAM would be a better alternative. Unless time is really an issue.

8. Portal
A strategic portal could means 3 minutes of worms and afk. Can be used to bypass defenses if you caught a base with low/upping scanner, or if the owner is a special case of "special". Normally it can be used to save time if you have the space, and time is really an issue. The 20 minute compile have never convinced me to use one - as pure brute works almost every time.

9. Protector
Extremely decent price with a strong, regenerative shield. Your number one chokepoint defender and place-and-afk tool. A protector eliminates the possibility of recap unless it's a chokepoint, and it's the much better version of the ICE shield if not for its long install.
If you're gonna use more than 2 shield, consider using a protector instead. You generally don't need more than 1 of these, and at most 2.

10. RAM
Gate breaker. Should be very intuitive : keep it high enough to break the CG.

11. Shocker
Useless or broken, make up your mind already!
Shocker is similar to ICE shield, it is a tool to increase the lifespan of a node. However, unlike the ice shield, it takes 4x the compile time and 3x the space, making it seemingly useless, except against chokepoints that's gonna kill the shield under that time in the first place. Then there's still guardian...
Use it to install guardian against a high pressure choke, as ice shield won't last that long
But if you are at a point where this is needed, you probably don't even need to read this...
It is also worth to note that unlike shield which usefulness (or lifetime) is fairly a constant, shocker duration just increases as you level it up, making it ridiculously broken later on. Kinda hard to balance that tbh.

12. Kraken
Seriously who use this thing?
At a lower level people just resort to frontline core. Heck even now I use frontline core - as a way to both delay an attack and to drop my rep.
This thing have a very small window of use, as it's so easy to counter. Later on people probably wouldn't even care - and if you spent the bcoin to keep this thing relevant, you might get someone by surprise the 1/100 time it is actually useful. I wouldn't count on it, especially due to the compile time and cost.

13.Maniac
Tbh I haven't unlock this yet - and probably wouldn't. A decent tactical tool, with a very uncharming space and time cost.
On the bright side you wouldn't even feel that choke.

14.Blaster
One of my favorite yet forgotten tool. I could have sworn that I put it above there somewhere but apparently not.
On top of the high damage is a 2 second freeze duration, blaster fulfills both offensive and defensive role. Like protectors they have a long install time, so blaster is a rather tactical use. The damage takes time to ramp up on par with beams (beams attack after 1s).
Its DPS is also greatly reliant on how efficient the shots are, as it's a nuke dps rather than constant DPS. Combining with some beams might help you make the most out of blasters, as it allows blaster to move on to new targets without wasting its shot to clean up some small amount of HP.
It's a great CG alternative to RAM due to its lower compile time, and the extra defense from the freezing effect prevents the AV from recapping.
Combined with protector, it's a great place-and-forget tool against chokes. Unless the choke is strong enough to break the combo, more details below.
B. Hacking strategy
1. Picking the right target
As you have to kill to live, the first thing that probably bothers you the most is the compile time. It's a good idea to consider the time cost and net gain - consider how much res you gain and how much does it cost in term of time to get what you need. This comes with experience, and you can tell how much a base will cost you by giving it a quick evaluation.
2. Beam almost everything. Just beams
Beams are the cheapest tool around, both in term of price and time. Know your beam, estimate the firewall of the node you are attacking.
Knowing when you should drop a shield or an extra beam can save you a lot of compile time. Sometimes that extra beam means you can outdamages the defenses and save yourself a shield - good judgement is often needed, as late additional beam just means you lost some of those precious seconds. You can even beam down CGs - if you feel that you have enough time to do so. 3 - or even 5 beams is still way cheaper than a single 10 minutes RAM. Observe how many slots you have to take down that CG - if it's more than 4, you should definitely try to beam it. Sometimes just 3 works.

C. In depth guide
1. Stealth prep.
It is often the case that this is unneeded. Stealth prep is costly, so unless you're sure it's needed, don't do it. Consider finding a new target.
But if you need to, just a few standard guideline:
Portal can save you time if it's an issue. Wraithing 2 CGs then portal is a common strategy, and can save you up to 1 minutes.
Wraithing only CGs is often not advised. Not only wraith are costly to compile, the added cost of access makes RAM to be better in a lot of cases, unless you really need that extra 10 seconds. Only valid uses for a wraith is to ease the tension of a choke to a manageable level (not just wraith everything there - too many people do this!)
2. Chokepoints
Chokes are simply low firewall node connected to multiple other high damage, tanky node (Even miners!). People often overlook less noticeable chokes, but that can be the turning point between riches and empty hands. A good maelstrom for example, is filled with chokes, between layers of stronger and weaker nodes, with a strong AV backing it. Depends on how much pressure is on a choke, you may need shockers, ICE and protectors on it. Protectors often secure a node completely - removing the odds of a recap. Blasters are also a common choke tool, as its high damage and 2s freeze reduce the damage being dealt by the hostile node. To counter a standard scanner choke, use 1 ICE, 1 blaster and 1 protector. Depends on your protector level, it might be necessary to add some ICE shield as the protector is about to break. Watch the tail to prevent that from happening. You can also add a beam to speed up the attack if the defenses are not that strong.
Evolver, low level miners, and mixer may also be choke points - be careful with them, as you might be taken by surprise.
A sentry, low or high, connected to 3 high level storage/miner is always a choke. Drop 3 beams/shuriken on them with an ICE.
A storage/high level miner often have high enough firewall that you only need to drop 3 beams on them without risk of recap, except if you have a storage choke.
Guardian choke is where shuriken can shine - due to the nature of its 5 links, up to 4 security node can be connected. However, that means it's unlikely those security is backed up by further security nodes, reducing the needs for micro management. The shuriken also enjoys a 4x DPS increase, and guardian allows for 2 shuriken to be active, as you'll probably need to save 1 slot for extra shields (You should always install a protector in a guardian choke). Near the end of the attack, you can add another shuriken to speed up the process.
Always estimate if you have enough damage to save a shield. It might not be the most reliable thing to do, but it saves you alot.
Last edited by e1a00000 on Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:38 am, edited 2 times in total.

Yopee
Posts: 122
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:16 am

Re: Hacking Encyclopedia

Post by Yopee » Thu Jan 19, 2017 3:18 pm

As a blaster user, this encyclopedia greatly disappoints me :(

Sutopia
Posts: 171
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2016 12:53 pm

Re: Hacking Encyclopedia

Post by Sutopia » Thu Jan 19, 2017 3:47 pm

Yopee wrote:As a blaster user, this encyclopedia greatly disappoints me :(
Your highness, this is not for high level players.
Things like blaster and shuriken grow good and fast only after certain level to make them worth using than beam spam.

Yopee
Posts: 122
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:16 am

Re: Hacking Encyclopedia

Post by Yopee » Thu Jan 19, 2017 4:04 pm

Sutopia wrote:
Yopee wrote:As a blaster user, this encyclopedia greatly disappoints me :(
Your highness, this is not for high level players.
Things like blaster and shuriken grow good and fast only after certain level to make them worth using than beam spam.
OP mentions leech, kraken, and maniac but leaves out my beloved blaster!
There is no excuse for this blasphemous act!

e1a00000
Posts: 245
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:22 am

Re: Hacking Encyclopedia

Post by e1a00000 » Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:23 pm

Yopee wrote:As a blaster user, this encyclopedia greatly disappoints me :(
How come I forgot about it :( one of the tool to max.

Azelthedragon
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2016 5:37 pm

Re: Hacking Encyclopedia

Post by Azelthedragon » Sat Jan 21, 2017 7:58 am

Wow, i've been really leaning on stealth for a bit now. I've been portalling in past allll their defenses, and just sweeping up loot. I just used rams instead, for the gates, and cleaned up fine. Seems like 20 min compile for brute is way better than 20min for portal alone, haha

e1a00000
Posts: 245
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:22 am

Re: Hacking Encyclopedia

Post by e1a00000 » Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:38 am

Azelthedragon wrote:Wow, i've been really leaning on stealth for a bit now. I've been portalling in past allll their defenses, and just sweeping up loot. I just used rams instead, for the gates, and cleaned up fine. Seems like 20 min compile for brute is way better than 20min for portal alone, haha
20? Mine fluctuate from 10-18 most of the time, occasionally rockets up to 30 or down to 7.
I kept considering stealth, but in the end brute is still always cheaper.

Post Reply