AI War - Hacking
What is Hacking?
Hacking is a background value similar to AIP. It's cumbersome and isn't really meant for human consumption. However, what it does is keep track of how much hacking you've done to the AI. What you need to know is the more you hack, the more the AI gets cranky about it.
Hacking is caused by one of the following activities:
- Performing a Ship-Hack against an ARS, allowing you a selection from the additional two possible ships that could be chosen there, instead of always getting the first one.
- Performing a Knowledge Raid against an AI held system.
- Using the SuperTerminal (which will not spawn in all games) to lower your AIP.
Hacking, in general, will have the AI spawn zombie defender ships in the local area of the hack. The more you've done, the more ships and the more options it gets as to how varied these spawns will act. This is done internally via a "Wild-Mage Roll", and can be reviewed by turning on the appropriate logging item in the CTRLS tab.
Some options include:
- Spawning a set of Raid Starships with an Exo-Wave style goal (Hitting some key-component of your infrastructure)
- Spawning in a random place on that planet.
- Spawning on a connected AI World and attacking via a wormhole.
- Spawning Guardians.
- Firing a Tachyon Pulse to show all cloakers.
The list of possibilities here is large, and will probably grow with time as more options are included. Many options aren't listed or described in detail here simply because part of the 'fun' of hacking is to be forced to react to the new environment. You always have the option of digging around to find all the options if that's your choice.
Rough notes about hacking: Each Ship hack is exponentially more expensive, hacking wise, than the one before it. In most games you'll only want to hack two, perhaps three, ARSs. The third one will heavily challenge newer players. The fourth and fifth hack are purposely meant to be game-ending cataclysms to keep some enforced variety in the game play. Choose your targets well.
Each Knowledge Raid is roughly equivalent to about two and a half of the first ARS Ship Hack, and about two-thirds of the Hacking the second Ship Hack will cause combined with the first. More than two planets worth of Knowledge stolen will be challenging without serious strategical thought. Also, if you only need 500 Knowledge or so, don't fully K-Raid it and you won't incur the full penalty. It is based on the amount of K that is stolen, not the number of planets you've stolen from.
For the SuperTerminal, removing 3 planets worth of AIP (60 points) is worth roughly as much as a full Knowledge Raid or the second Ship-Hack.
All of these activities add up together. So if you've Ship-Hacked twice and are now at about 1.5 K-Raids, your next K-Raid will be that much more difficult.