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Thread: HACKING - All Discussion - Strategy Tips and Q&As (Possible Spoilers)

HACKING - All Discussion - Strategy Tips and Q&As (Possible Spoilers)

  1. #1

    HACKING - All Discussion - Strategy Tips and Q&As (Possible Spoilers)

    What are some tips and tricks for successful hacking? Here's what I've come up with so far:

    -There are a TON of hackable devices in Detroit accessible via Capture 2. Well worth 1 Praxis point even for playstyles that don't plan on hacking-based routes through areas.

    -In Detroit try to get by without the Stealth or Fortify hacking augmentations for as long as you can, to teach yourself to play the minigame well. Most level 2 devices can be defeated without any augmentations -- I even hacked a couple level 3's before I hit a wall and got one level of Fortify.

    -Analyze only starts becoming worth considering when you can't capture bonus datastores without using hacking consumables -- which certainly isn't true early on. Then you have to decide when the consumable savings / datastore rewards become worth a praxis point.

    -Apparently there is a misconception that the Fortify augmentation only lowers the chance of detection when you Fortify a node -- which wouldn't be worth the price of admission. Hacking:Fortify also increases the strength of your Fortify by 1 per level. You start with a base of 1 in Fortify which raises the rating of a node you control by 1. The time you cost the security process by doing a level-1 Fortify is barely more than the time it costs you to execute it. However level-2 Fortifies feel very heavy-hitting by comparison.

    -Always zoom out a click or two (mouse wheel works if you have it). Less screen space between nodes = faster actions.

    -Take time to study the scenario. Note the location of bonus datastores (cubes). Note that the security process's route may be very different than yours due to one-way connections. There may be a node you need to Capture/Fortify to slow the opposition that isn't otherwise needed to reach your goal. Plan ahead calmly while you're off the clock.

    -In some scenarios it's possible to Capture the Security node (red stack). This results in a successful hack AND auto-Captures all datastores. (Need to verify!)

    -There are essentially two options for your first move: Capture just one node and hope for no detection, or kick off a Capture of multiple available nodes as well as a Fortify of your I/O port all at once, near-guaranteeing a start to the countdown. Bearing in mind that you have several attempts, it may be worth it to try for a detectionless first move. If that succeeds and you can then kick off five[*] additional Captures+Fortifies in parallel pre-countdown, that may be enough of an edge to beat a finely-balanced scenario.

    -Pre-detection, the only action you should be taking is Capture. Don't just Capture everything, only get nodes that are important to your goals, which are: Capture the directory/directories (green sphere) OR Capture the Security Server(s) (red stack), Capture nodes that the security process will need to traverse to reach you (if you plan to Fortify them), Capture optional data stores (cubes). In some scenarios Capturing a special gear-node may be important.

    -Detection only has a chance to occur at the conclusion of an action. So if you have kicked off several Captures and it is highly likely that one or more of them will be detected, it is good to start kicking off Fortifies if that is part of your strategy.

    -Post-detection, if you don't have enough time on the clock to complete your Capture goals, you will need to change the game somehow -- either by using Stop/Nuke consumables, or by Fortifying nodes the security process must capture (preferably before it gets to them).

    -You can Fortify your I/O port too, but put it off as long as you safely can (unless there's a moment when you have nothing else to do). Taking time to Fortify your I/O port while leaving a critical-path Capturable node untouched can be a losing move.

    -You cannot start a Fortify on a node once the security process has begun Capturing it, though your existing Fortify process can still complete. This is why it is sometimes important to have Fortifies already in progress when you get detected.

    -The countdown is not absolute, it is an exact forecast of when the security process will kick you out based on current scenario conditions. If conditions change the countdown will update. eg: you complete a Fortify on one of the nodes it hasn't Captured yet, or a gear-node raises or lowers the rating of nodes on its remaining path. This is why in some scenarios you can be kicked out when there were many seconds left on the timer -- a "Transfer" node near your I/O port lowered its rating.

    -If a "Stop" virus is needed to complete a scenario, it is most effectively used right at the beginning of the countdown so that you can Capture and Fortify more nodes before the security process reaches them. (The opposition uses Fortify against you!)

    -Automatic Unlocking Device is useful even for well-augmented hackers, in situations where you are only briefly unobserved at the target machine. Note that AUD does work on computer consoles.

    -When you get locked out, don't stare at the screen for 30 seconds, go get a drink of water or do some pushups or something. :-)

    -Augmented Hacking: there appear to be two general strategies, Fortify-based and Stealth-based. A Fortify-heavy strategy hopes for at best a single detectionless capture before going into the race against time, but uses heavy-hitting Fortifies along the opposition's path (after being detected) to ensure enough time to complete the goal. A Stealth-heavy approach tries to get most of the hack done before the opposition even starts. Different scenarios are more susceptible to different strategies. If the opposition is forced to traverse some moderately high-rated nodes to reach you and you can fortify them all before it starts on them, you will have plenty of time to get stuff done. If the opposition has a comparatively short, low-rated, or multibranched path to reach you, then a Stealth-based approach has an advantage. In the later stages of the game both Fortify and Stealth augs will probably be needed to succeed.

    My impression so far is that a Capture+Fortify strategy will beat more scenarios (or use less consumables) than a pure Capturespam strategy, *regardless* of one's augmentations. Capture+Fortify starts out just doing Captures, but once the currently-running Captures are likely enough to be detected on their own, it starts doing Fortifies on the nodes that the opposition will reach soonest.

    Even a player with all three Stealth augments (-45% detection) will soon find themselves trying to capture three 90%-45% = 45% detection nodes at once early in a scenario. That set of actions would collectively have only a .55x.55x.55=.17=17% chance of going undetected -- so they can probably benefit from running some key Fortifies at the same time rather than just waiting for the Captures to finish.

    Q&A:
    -how do i queue multiple nodes to capture at the same time?

    When you start a capture on a node, a progress bar fills up over time on that node until it is catpured. You do not have to stare at this bar until it is complete before doing something else. In the time that it takes a level-2 node to capture you can kick off 4 other captures/fortifies.

    -How is it possible to kick off 5 actions as your second move? (See[*] above.)

    Consider a scenario in which your I/O port can see two nodes, and each of those nodes can see two more. As a first move you capture a node, wait for it to finish, and are not detected. You now own two fortifiable nodes and have access to three capturable nodes. If the ratings are all 2 or higher you can get all three Captures and two Fortifies going in the time that it takes the first of those five actions to complete.

    -Why does the "remaining attempts" counter stay stuck at 4?

    The "remaining attempts" counter is the number of times you can start a hack and then Disconnect before the device goes into a 30-second lockdown. If you are booted out by the security process the device goes into 30-second lockdown and "remaining attempts" is reset. A locked-down device will set off an alarm if available, so hitting Disconnect on a failing hack can be critically important.

    -What do the different special nodes (gear) do?

    Spam: lowers the rating of the security process by 1. This is the number that appears on the opposition's start node (red stack). A lower-rated security process takes longer to do Captures. Thus the more Captures the security process still needs to do, the more effective this is. [Need to know: does Spam hurt you if the security process Captures it first? After one player Captures it, does it still provide its benefit when the other one Captures it?]

    Transfer: Applies +2 rating to one neighboring node and -2 rating to another. The nodes chosen are random each time -- ie if you re-run the scenario, it may choose different nodes. [Need to know: After one player Captures it, does it repeat the Transfer effect when the other one Captures it? Or undo it?]

    Clearance: Applies -2 rating to all datastores. This can be bad for you if the security process needs to Capture a datastore on its way to your I/O port. [Need to know: only for the player who Captures it or both? What happens when it's Captured by the second player? Does it also lower the rating on nodes you have already Captured?]

    Soften: Applies -1 rating to all neighboring nodes. [Need to know: only for the player who Captures it or for both? What happens when it's Captured by the second player?]


    Wanted:

    -Say a 1-rating node requires 3 seconds for the security process to Capture, while a 2 requires 6 seconds to Capture (made-up numbers here). 2 seconds into the security process Capturing a 1 node, your Fortify finishes making it a 2. Does the opposition keep its 2/3 progress, requiring only 2 more seconds to complete? (1/3 of 6) Or does the requirement change to 6 full seconds to Capture the node, so an additional 4 will need to be spent after the 2 spent so far?

  2. #2
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    I'll have to be honest. I've watched both tutorials, read the help and various threads and still have no idea what I am doing. All I do is go out and try to capture as many nodes as I can. As you can imagine, I fail 50% of the time. I wish someone would make a video of an actual hack and do a voiceover, step by step, of what they are doing.

  3. #3
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    Originally Posted by sygyzy
    I'll have to be honest. I've watched both tutorials, read the help and various threads and still have no idea what I am doing. All I do is go out and try to capture as many nodes as I can. As you can imagine, I fail 50% of the time. I wish someone would make a video of an actual hack and do a voiceover, step by step, of what they are doing.
    The goal of hacking is to capture a chain of nodes from the starting point to the target (represented as a green sphere). When you capture the target, you have hacked the system. Along the way there are other special nodes such as datastores that might contain information or hacking software, or modification nodes that can change the strength values of other nodes. The enemy is the security system that attempts to trace any incursion back to the source. When you capture a node, you have a chance of alerting the security system to your presence and if that happens, then it is a race to see which side can reach it's objective first.

    As an alternative, you can attempt to capture the security system node. This may not always be possible, but it will guarantee a hacking win over that device and may reward you with extra software. More complex devices may have multiple targets or multiple security systems; if this is the case then every such target or security must be captured for you to succeed.
    Make a cup of tea. Enjoy a nice cheddar. Always bring a towel.

  4. #4
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    About hacking eidos need to bind the 4 options to the keyboard arrows, since you're acting against time you almost ALWAYS missclick for the so precious Stop/nuke virus :'(.

  5. #5
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    Originally Posted by Jerion
    When you capture a node, you have a chance of alerting the security system to your presence and if that happens, then it is a race to see which side can reach it's objective first.
    after the first mission i upgraded my hacking capture to lvl 2. thats it.

    on every single lvl 2 hack i do, i estimate a 100% detection rate within the "base" and the first "node"
    It had degraded into a race for the final node every single time.

    is there another aug that i need to reduce my detection rate? it seems like there are half a dozen hacking augs, and
    if you go heavy hacking, thats pretty much all you specialize in

  6. #6
    Originally Posted by Algent
    About hacking eidos need to bind the 4 options to the keyboard arrows, since you're acting against time you almost ALWAYS missclick for the so precious Stop/nuke virus :'(.
    Wait, so I'd have to use my mouse and have my fingers on the arrow keys?

    I'd rather have the hacking options be more spaced out and perhaps have keyboard and mouse shortcuts, such as Space to activate Stop! Worm, clicking once on a captured node to fortify it and maybe Q for the Nuke Virus.

    I remember seeing a post about this shortcut idea, but I cannot remember who made that post so sorry if you're reading this.

  7. #7
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    the tips say to try to capture 5 nodes at a time, how do i queue multiple nodes to capture at the same time?

    I am realizing that i have no idea what i am doing with hacking

  8. #8
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    Originally Posted by mattlistener
    -When you get kicked out, don't stare at the screen for 30 seconds, go get a drink of water or do some pushups or something. :-)
    alternatively, disconnect before you get kicked out.

    -instead of capturing the target nodes you can capture the enemy starting node which is much easier on some of the maps.

  9. #9
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    Originally Posted by redial
    the tips say to try to capture 5 nodes at a time, how do i queue multiple nodes to capture at the same time?

    I am realizing that i have no idea what i am doing with hacking
    Each node you currently control has pathways leading out to one or more other nodes. I don't recall right now whether you can launch multiple captures from the same node if it has multiple paths, or if each node can only perform one operation at a time. However, you can definitely do one operation from each node you control. Say you currently control three nodes plus the I/O port, laid out in a Y formation with the I/O port at the base. The two nodes at the tips of the Y can each attempt to capture a node while the junction node and the I/O port are each running fortify programs. The potential problem is that each operation you do has a chance of triggering the trace program. However, once the trace program has launched there's no penalty for doing that.

    Occasionally you'll see a system that has two registries, and you have to capture both to succeed. If you're doing one of those and trigger a trace early, you'd better have multiple captures going at once.
    Age and treachery will defeat youth and skill every time.

  10. #10
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    Originally Posted by redial
    after the first mission i upgraded my hacking capture to lvl 2. thats it.

    on every single lvl 2 hack i do, i estimate a 100% detection rate within the "base" and the first "node"
    It had degraded into a race for the final node every single time.

    is there another aug that i need to reduce my detection rate? it seems like there are half a dozen hacking augs, and
    if you go heavy hacking, thats pretty much all you specialize in
    There is a Hacking Stealth aug which is a relatively lightweight investment, designed to reduce the chances of detection. The more you upgrade it, the less likely you are to set off the security system. Personally I've found that just investing in hacking clearance and the hacking stealth augs while ignoring the others has worked out fine (YMMV).

    I don't suggest fortifying the starting point often as it's a chance of triggering the security system before you've made any progress.
    Make a cup of tea. Enjoy a nice cheddar. Always bring a towel.

  11. #11
    I might be wrong, but I'm pretty sure I've been using the SPACE bar to do the STOP virus. I agree with the arrows being a usable input, but I'd even rather use WASD. Maybe double tap D for Fortify, double tap A for Nuke, etc. It almost seems the hacking UI is impeded purposefully, to make it more of a challenge, which is OK for me.

    I think the savescumming comment is funny, since most people (myself included) probably take longer to do it this way. As far as I can tell, there is no penalty for failing other than alarms going off. For most systems, it's harmless to fail until you run out of tries.

  12. #12
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    I understand the goals of hacking but I don't understand what all the paths are for, or specifically what the computer is doing to trace me. At what point does it "find" me? When it's path reaches the blue sphere?

  13. #13
    I hate using a mouse to capture nodes, would much rather using shortcuts on the keyboard to speed things up. If that's a design choice to slow you down, I have no problem with that (You devious dev people!)

    Many times I have accidently wasted precious nuke viruses by clicking the wrong icon.

  14. #14
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    Originally Posted by killerp
    I hate using a mouse to capture nodes, would much rather using shortcuts on the keyboard to speed things up. If that's a design choice to slow you down, I have no problem with that (You devious dev people!)

    Many times I have accidently wasted precious nuke viruses by clicking the wrong icon.
    They do like to complicate things. They took on Deus Ex, after all...
    Make a cup of tea. Enjoy a nice cheddar. Always bring a towel.

  15. #15
    of all the tutorials, I believe the hacking one needed more detail as it can be very confusing to people who never played anything but call of duty in their life.

  16. #16
    i maxed out the hacking augment and the stealth augment. never used the analyze or fortify as you can simply nuke stuff if you nervous about it or use the STOP worms. once you get level 5 hacking and 3 stealth anything 3 or lower is 15% detection rate and 4 goes up to 35%. i will admit that ive reloaded a couple of saves to bypass the waiting time thing but ive only done it 3 or 4 times. its pretty easy once you max out.

  17. #17
    Updated top post with some Q&A's and improved some of the tips based on feedback so far (and my own further learning in-game).

    What are the possible rewards from the optional datastores? Here's what I've seen so far:



    If I were designing the game I'd have a single datastore in some brutal near-end-game hack award a praxis point, paying back the player who buys Hacking:Analyse and discovers a node that every other player would pass over because it just looks too expensive/challenging to be worth trying for. :-)

    I'm really enjoying the hacking game. I don't want to beat it by augmentation, I want to beat it by good gameplay -- only getting augments when I'm running into scenarios that just don't seem to be beatable with my current abilities.

  18. #18
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    This is not so much a hacking tip as it is a stealthy hacking tip: hacking does NOT pause the game. Cameras keep moving and guards keep patrolling while you are hacking. It will set off alarms if you do it in view of security. Guards will warn you first, so if you hear "Hey, back off buddy!" you'd better disconnect. In one place, I had to wait on a guard patrol to move away, hack a security hub, disconnect and hide, and wait for him to leave a second time before turning off the cameras and robot. In other places it may help to EMP a camera with a grenade or a stun gun to buy yourself a few seconds.
    Age and treachery will defeat youth and skill every time.

  19. #19
    Originally Posted by mattlistener
    I want to beat it by good gameplay only getting augments when I'm running into scenarios that just don't seem to be beatable with my current abilities.
    Didn't they say it should be beatable with no augs? Making them somewhat redundant... But that's another topic.

  20. #20
    Originally Posted by Jerion
    There is a Hacking Stealth aug which is a relatively lightweight investment, designed to reduce the chances of detection. The more you upgrade it, the less likely you are to set off the security system. Personally I've found that just investing in hacking clearance and the hacking stealth augs while ignoring the others has worked out fine (YMMV).

    I don't suggest fortifying the starting point often as it's a chance of triggering the security system before you've made any progress.
    I agree, stealth early on with capture 2 worked fine for me too, just stay calm and aim for the core if detected which happens at one point of the hack of course. You may leave some registry loot on the way but aside from a credit or xp boost and some progs the trade off is not worth it early on. later the detection aug becomes a worthy choice to be able to pinpoint if the node is worth the trouble.
    Fortify later too to avoid early detection, again if you are not going the hacking way for your playstyle do not invest too much since the augs are numerous and you need to keep them up to date the further in the game you go.

  21. #21

    Tired of Hacking

    I haven't put any points into hacking because I have no interest in doing that sort of thing. But some quests require you to have Hacking 1...okay so I did that and put a point into Hacking 1. Later on in game you run into another side quest requiring you to hack into a computer.....sigh....so I go to Hacking 2....more wasted precious praxus points into something I don't wanna invest in..sigh

    Pretty soon another quest comes up...you need Hacking 3...omg....okay at this point I am wondering why they are forcing us to invest points into Hacking? It's almost like this game is nothing but a Hack-fest! Everytime you turn around some door or computer needs hacked!!! It never ends! I didn't buy this game to be forced to hack crap...I got no interest in this BS....just give me a weapon and lemme shoot...sheeesh!

    Retitle this game DeusHacksorz! I mean,..really...you forcing us to Hack...why? I don't like this at all. Some doors are locked requiring a code you can hack OR you can shoot the door in and knock it down..I like that...BUT ..how do you do that on a computer? Right now I am in the Hive with NO WAY of getting into the lvl 3 media center up in the lounge area because I cannot do the lvl 3 Hack..just can't do it and not wasting anymore time on it....another side quest DELETED...thanks alot!

  22. #22
    Originally Posted by dimljajvbu
    Didn't they say it should be beatable with no augs? Making them somewhat redundant... But that's another topic.
    You say redundant like it's a bad thing. If there is more than one way to accomplish a goal, then there are redundant solutions. This is something for which DXHR is receiving critical acclaim.

    An augless completion of DXHR will likely not involve many hacks beyond the early game, though one could hoard Stop/Nuke viruses in order to perform a small number of path-opening hacks at key junctures.

  23. #23
    you can easily max out hacking and stealth hacking without gimping your character. the first things i upgraded were my hacking stuff and increasing my inventory.

    you can ignore fortify and analyze those are useless.

  24. #24
    Originally Posted by Jetsonix
    I haven't put any points into hacking because I have no interest in doing that sort of thing. But some quests require you to have Hacking 1...okay so I did that and put a point into Hacking 1. Later on in game you run into another side quest requiring you to hack into a computer.....sigh....so I go to Hacking 2....more wasted precious praxus points into something I don't wanna invest in..sigh

    Pretty soon another quest comes up...you need Hacking 3...omg....okay at this point I am wondering why they are forcing us to invest points into Hacking? It's almost like this game is nothing but a Hack-fest! Everytime you turn around some door or computer needs hacked!!! It never ends! I didn't buy this game to be forced to hack crap...I got no interest in this BS....just give me a weapon and lemme shoot...sheeesh!

    Retitle this game DeusHacksorz! I mean,..really...you forcing us to Hack...why? I don't like this at all. Some doors are locked requiring a code you can hack OR you can shoot the door in and knock it down..I like that...BUT ..how do you do that on a computer? Right now I am in the Hive with NO WAY of getting into the lvl 3 media center up in the lounge area because I cannot do the lvl 3 Hack..just can't do it and not wasting anymore time on it....another side quest DELETED...thanks alot!
    I haven't gotten that far in the game or done much hacking yet, but are their not other ways for bypassing the security? Such as listening, scrounging, for a code/login/password?

  25. #25
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    You don't have to spend points for Hacking 1; you get that free with your augmentations. Most quests have alternative possibilities. Cloak & Dagger, for example, has an alternate route into O'Malley's building (jump from roof to roof, but might require the cyber legs for this one) and a non-hacking way into his back room with the rating 4 lock (hidden pocket secretary with the door code). However, I think I have seen a couple of side quests that did require Hacking at higher levels to complete.

    If you had the Explosive Mission pack, you could at least use the automatic unlocking device on doors, but I doubt that would work on computers.
    Age and treachery will defeat youth and skill every time.

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