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-   -   Equipment Bond for Software? (http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=126428)

vicky_molokh 06-09-2014 03:01 AM

Equipment Bond for Software?
 
Greetings, all!

For many skills, 'equipment' is actually software, be it a programme for brain hacking, a word processor, or the expert system that gives advice on precision aiming. But where things get complicated is where a piece of software counts as 'mine'. Well, sure, things are crystal clear when the software was written by the character in question for oneself only. But this isn't a requirement for equipment bonds, so I wonder what counts as sufficiently individualised for purposes of equipment bonds when not writing one's own software.

Obviously brand-and-model can't be arbitrarily changed, just like with non-informational tools. Upgrading equipment doesn't interfere with Equipment bond, so apparently version increments are okay. But then what counts as required personalisation? UI customisation, relevant macros, databases and templates? That seems right for things like a spreadsheet programme, but not so much for a minimalistic editor with a same-on-all-computers philosophy such as ed or vi.

Thoughts?
Thanks in advance!

Culture20 06-09-2014 06:34 AM

Re: Equipment Bond for Software?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by vicky_molokh (Post 1772317)
what counts as required personalisation? UI customisation, relevant macros, databases and templates? That seems right for things like a spreadsheet programme, but not so much for a minimalistic editor with a same-on-all-computers philosophy such as ed or vi.

I've seen vim and emacs tricked-out with so much chrome and decals that you'd think they were full IDEs. Changing the keystrokes for different commands might work too, but that would make the program harder to use by others. Custom kernel modules for an OS, javascript mungers for browsers...
Of course if you're dealing with ed or vi, you could have custom compilations with little tweaks in the code.

GodBeastX 06-09-2014 06:47 AM

Re: Equipment Bond for Software?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Culture20 (Post 1772353)
I've seen vim and emacs tricked-out with so much chrome and decals that you'd think they were full IDEs. Changing the keystrokes for different commands might work too, but that would make the program harder to use by others. Custom kernel modules for an OS, javascript mungers for browsers...
Of course if you're dealing with ed or vi, you could have custom compilations with little tweaks in the code.

You just cracked me up with that :)

I think bond can be used as long as you can say why it makes sense. I think computer software, was mentioned above, are easily bonded because they tend to be so tailored by the user, for the user.

Programmers in the office, for example, go so far out of the way to get software and tools to speed up every little task their own way. No two Visual Studios at our office look the same, with layout changed, color choices changed, custom macros, some use GUI tools, others are off in Makefiles.

Anaraxes 06-09-2014 08:56 AM

Re: Equipment Bond for Software?
 
For the true minimalist, the Equipment Bond might represent the fact that the character's most effective way of working happens to match the tool, rather than the other way around. It may not be a matter of altering the tool to suit you so much as finding the tool that already works the way you work best. There's more than one minimalist editor, after all.

It's okay if other people could have a Bond with exactly the same tool. That just means it suits them, too. Bonded stuff doesn't have to be unique in the universe, nor does the Bond itself have to be unique, so that no one else in the universe could Bond with a copy of that item.

aesir23 06-09-2014 09:21 AM

Re: Equipment Bond for Software?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Anaraxes (Post 1772388)
For the true minimalist, the Equipment Bond might represent the fact that the character's most effective way of working happens to match the tool, rather than the other way around. It may not be a matter of altering the tool to suit you so much as finding the tool that already works the way you work best. There's more than one minimalist editor, after all.

It's okay if other people could have a Bond with exactly the same tool. That just means it suits them, too. Bonded stuff doesn't have to be unique in the universe, nor does the Bond itself have to be unique, so that no one else in the universe could Bond with a copy of that item.

Nope. If you can simply replace your tool if lost or broken you can't take equipment bond with it. I'd require at least some costumization for balance.

SCAR 06-09-2014 09:33 AM

Re: Equipment Bond for Software?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by aesir23 (Post 1772395)
Nope. If you can simply replace your tool if lost or broken you can't take equipment bond with it. I'd require at least some costumization for balance.

Really - where does it say that?
Quote:

Originally Posted by PU2 says:
You own a piece of equipment ... that’s uniquely suited to you.
This perk reflects the fact that you’re used to your stuff;
If you lose that particular item, you lose the perk.
You can acquire a new Equipment Bond in play, however.

None of which implies any require customisation.
The fact that losing the specific item loses the perk, means to replace it you have to buy the item and buy the perk again!

aesir23 06-09-2014 09:43 AM

Re: Equipment Bond for Software?
 
Sure, if you're buying Equipment Bond again every time you download the software, there's no balance problem. But what does that represent in a non-meta scenario if not time and effort customizing it?

If a player wanted to buy Equipment Bond after the start of play, they could do so by spending 200 hours working with a particular piece of equipment. In some situations that can be familiarity, but in the case of software, every iteration of that equipment is identical--unless costumized.

You gain a bonus from "that particular item," emphasis mine. If you're a writer with Equipment Bond (Microsoft Word) you can't just use anybody's computer with Word installed and get the +1 bonus. That's not how equipment bond works.

But in game, that has to represent something--if your version of software isn't different from anybody else's, why don't you get a bonus with every version of that software?

Anaraxes 06-09-2014 09:49 AM

Re: Equipment Bond for Software?
 
Other descriptions of Equipment Bond:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Supers
Having this perk doesnít affect the price you paid for the item, but if you lose it you canít replace it by just paying cash. You have to spend a long time searching for another one that suits you as well

Quote:

Originally Posted by Low Tech
If the gear is lost or destroyed, the Equipment Bond doesnít transfer to new hardware. You can acquire a new Equipment Bond in play, but in addition to spending a point, you must spend time searching for just the right item, and then buy it. To avoid such hassles, acquire your equipment as Signature Gear.

In the world of software, even extensive customization wouldn't qualify as making your copy unique, as you can back up the config files as easily as you can back up (or re-acquire) the main program. You wouldn't have to reconfigure the program again from scratch.

"Loss", in this case, might mean something catastrophic enough to trash your backups as well as the main installation.

There's also a possibility that there's at least some hardware component as well. People can get as picky about their keyboards as they are about their software - angle, key resistance, clickiness, positions of the secondary keys. Perhaps it's the combination that's Bonded. (That is, it's not a Bond with the keyboard alone, giving you a bonus to any interaction via those keys, but the hardware-software combination.)

whswhs 06-09-2014 09:55 AM

Re: Equipment Bond for Software?
 
I'm going to say that Equipment Bond and Weapon Bond are totally designed to work with hardware, that is, with physical objects, each of which has a unique identity and a unique instantiation, however subtle the differences are. The conditions don't obtain for software, so you can't port them over to software.

That's not to say you can't come up with a comparable perk for software. But it should be written up in a way that (a) makes sense for the way software works and (b) requires some serious effort to get a new Bond if the old one is terminated. I'm not expert enough with software to define the relevant conditions. I would suggest that a place to look is at the distinctive places where you actually "lose" your familiar software in a permanent way, as opposed to being temporarily inconvenienced.

But in any case let's call it something different. Maybe Customized Software would be a suitable name, or maybe not.

Bill Stoddard

ULFGARD 06-09-2014 09:58 AM

Re: Equipment Bond for Software?
 
Though I wouldn't require it to be 200 hours of customization, I'd require that there would be some work required to customize the software such that it would not be simply trivial to copy/backup/etc. so that if you were to lose the setup in which it was installed, it would require some effort to re-establish the level of customization required for the perk.


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