The Science of Hacking Terminals

Discussion in 'Fallout 3 Discussion' started by NMLevesque, May 26, 2017.

  1. NMLevesque

    NMLevesque Commie Ghost

    Jul 2, 2016

    Edit: added image.

    Would anyone with a coding background give some input on this? I'm wondering what we're supposed to understand is happening. Or perhaps more literally what is happening, even if it's a bit ridiculous. Which it probably is, given how ridiculously easy it is to crack these computers (If only someone had warned them not to choose shitty passwords that are just a single whole word in the same case. Or if it wasn't so easy to game the 'guess limit'. Or if there were at least more than one make and model of commercial computers and operating systems thereof). Then again you need some arbitrary skill level just to try. I've never bothered to read all the nonsense you type before the 'guessing screen' comes up (which I have no idea what to make of), but do they even say anything different when you reach these benchmarks of skill? Or is your Science! skill just supposed to represent your vocabulary and/or willingness to randomly click on a few possible passwords b/c most of the time taking the clever approach is much slower (and it's clearly set up for a brute force method to begin with). 'Oh, I can work out which words have the same number of letters in the same position, or I can just play the odds without thinking? Huh, I wonder which one I'm going to do to solve this incredibly boring problem I have.'
    Last edited: May 28, 2017
  2. Ediros

    Ediros Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Feb 4, 2016
    Treat it as every other instance of shitout 3 being stupid. Frankly all the minigames in 3 and 4 suck.

    How do you even open hydraulic doors, which have got no lock on it? Or why is every door locked by the same kind of lock? Or why are there doors that can only opened by a key, even though you have got something like a rocket launcher?

    Just bethesda being shit.
    • [Like] [Like] x 2
  3. Risewild

    Risewild Carbon Dated and Proud
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    The best way of enjoying the hacking terminals is to use the mod Immersive Minigames and forget about the vanilla hacking. Unfortunately this mod is only for Fallout New Vegas...
    • [Like] [Like] x 1
  4. CourierFour

    CourierFour First time out of the vault

    May 21, 2017
    It's something like a maze... the computer tries to hide the correct password among wrong passwords to make a breach less likely. The higher your Science skill the less false codes are shown. The program tells you how many letters in a password are like the true sequence, then it is a matter of looking for the correct letters in the correct order (for FO3 & NV) in a different password.

    Obsidian did a better job with the mini game by making it harder, even with 100 science. If you exit the minigame you'll get a timeout penalty making the importance of finding nodes to remove the duds and reset your tries a lot greater. In Fallout 3 & 4 you can just keep selecting the first couple of codes, back out, rinse 'n' repeat until you luck upon the password being one of the first couple of codes. Child-level engagement.

    Fallout 4 completely trashes the mini-game in my opinion. You're no longer playing advanced hangman... i don't even know what it is supposed to be because when you think you're on the right track it just completely throws you off the trail. Infuriating. There's also no chance of being permanently being locked out of the system, taking away even more engagement.
    Last edited: May 26, 2017
  5. Jogre

    Jogre So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 25, 2015
    I always interpreted it as simply being a mechanic, as opposed to what's actually happening.

    Kinda like how in combat, the enemies obviously aren't taking turns to move up, and you aren't spending literal action points on shooting a gun.

    Actual hacking would take hours and hours, with no clear way to tell how close you are to breaking in, so adding a mini-game instead of an actual hacking activity makes it more engaging to the player.

    Also, it's very unlikely the passwords genuinely are so pathetic.
  6. NMLevesque

    NMLevesque Commie Ghost

    Jul 2, 2016
    Well, to clarify I was hoping people would have something to say from the 'taking it seriously perspective'. The fact that it's moronic is patently obvious. I'm more looking for something where you assume the world is as stupid as necessary to make a literal interpretation work. I'm guessing it's not a shitty version of some actual hacking method, besides oversimplified brute force. Which is a lot less...impressive than it sounds.
    Last edited: May 28, 2017