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aliases

Aliases

In the MUD implementation, an ALIAS is a string containing a sequence of commands which are executed as a batch when the alias is executed. It is private to the character on which it is defined. There are two steps to using aliases:

  1. declare the alias using ALIAS yourword instruction1 arg1 arg2; instruction2 arg3 etc.;
  2. invoke the alias using yourword

For some instructions, you can supply an argument (here “rat”) to a parameter (here $1). For example:

alias q shoot $1
q rat

will cause your character to shoot a rat in your present Room. For other instructions, this doesn't work. For example:

alias q kill $1
q rat

will fail because kill requires an argument consisting of at least four characters to unambiguously identify its target, and $1 is (naïvely) too short to qualify. FIXME

You can redefine aliases in-situ:

alias test echo yawns
alias test echo roars
test
> FirstLast roars.

If the incoming alias definition fails validation, the original alias is still deleted but the new alias is not stored. FIXME

You can list aliases by executing ALIAS in isolation. You can delete an alias by supplying its name to alias, with nothing — not even a space — after it: ALIAS TEST.

Buffing

Many characters have a list of ongoing effects they would like to keep active while playing, however these effects are often terminated when logging out, when picked up by DocWagon, when a copyover takes place, etc.

  • Hydraulic Jacks;
  • Pain Editor;
  • Levitate spell;
  • Astral Perception;
  • Ritual casting a bunch of spells;
  • Power focus;
  • etc.

A quick way to get back up to speed is to bundle them together into an alias that is uniquely tailored to your character. An example might be:

alias buff activate Quintessence; activate Pain Editor; spool 6 0 0; cast Levitate self; spool 0 0 6; cpool 0 10 0

You will need to build your own recipe specific to the weapons / augmentations / powers / spells your character has collected.

Then you can type buff to quickly restore a known state. (If DocWagon doesn't bring your equipment, you might not have all the items referred to in your alias and get some errors. The fact that implanted augmentations always come with you is a significant advantage here.)

Communication

When someone sends you in-game mail, your Pocket Secretary beeps. If you're currently engaged in a private-message conversation (with tell) then incoming messages will bounce an error back to the sender if they transit while you're pocsecing. Avoiding that can mean you don't get to read your new mail until the conversation concludes. This alias rapidly displays your most recently received message, narrowing the window you're unavailable for incoming tells:

alias pocsec use poc; 1; r; 1; ; b; b

If you use a pocsec for an extended period, you can type history OOC, history newbie, etc. to check what you missed.

Closed doors

Doors close periodically. You might open a door, complete an objective, and on the return journey find the door has closed and blocked your path. Although you can type N, E, S, W, etc. to move, you cannot type OPEN N to open a door in that direction due to a bug in the interpreter first trying to match an item in your inventory before considering Exits from the Room (You can't open a Docwagon Modulator, etc.) FIXME Therefore this block of aliases are short and easy to type when approaching a closed Exit:

alias nn  unlock north; open north; north
alias ss  unlock south; open south; south
alias ee  unlock east; open east; east
alias ww  unlock west; open west; west
alias nne unlock northeast; open northeast; northeast
alias sse unlock southeast; open southeast; southeast
alias ssw unlock southwest; open southwest; southwest
alias nnw unlock northwest; open northwest; northwest
alias uu  unlock up; open up; up
alias dd  unlock down; open down; down

Exits are reported in clockwise order starting with North. Some Exits are hidden until you SEARCH. If you fail to unlock a locked door, you bump into it. If you cannot unlock an already unlocked door, you get an error for that step and move unimpeded.

Lifts start at Ground floor and go up to first storey, second storey etc. or down to Basement 1, 2, etc. Some Room descriptions are desynchronised from which storey they are actually located on. Pushing buttons quickly gets tedious so:

alias pb push button
alias lp look panel

Vehicles

When you ENTER a vehicle, it unlocks. You can write an Alias which locks it again.

alias truck enter my.truck; lock

When you finish using the Autonav to a GridGuide destination, you are not driving, so you can leave easily. But if you have been manually driving (eg to enter a (Garage)) you are instead told that you can't safely leave a moving vehicle. In theory, STOP should stop your vehicle. In practice, this does the job:

alias ll wake; speed idle; lock; sheathe; leave; exits

This covers characters who sleep in their cars and ensures you don't step out of your vehicle directly into aggressing Lone Star by having a weapon wielded.

If you want to be able to Autonav directly to GridGuide coordinates:

alias gridref grid add temp $*; grid temp; grid del temp

Then you can execute gridref lat,long directly (eg gridref -121172, 60686).

Checkpoints

Some checkpoints require you to show a visa object before you can proceed:

alias visa get visa backpack; show visa guard; put visa backpack; exits

Health recovery

Medical Shop

When you wake in Seattle DocWagon at low health, you can try to First Aid yourself up; you may be able to cast Healing spells on yourself. You can also run to Splat! and use their Medical Shop which is better than your Medical Kit:

alias medlab holster; s; e; s; w; n; n; w; w; w; w; n; n; n; w; s; treat self

Once you explore / get rescued further afield, you won't have such convenient access to a Medical Shop and if DocWagon didn't manage to bring your stuff, you may even not have your Med Kit. An alias can't help you with that.

Interaction

Mission running

alias y say yes
alias no say no
alias done say done
alias jcycle job; yes; endrun

If you're an adept:

alias done activate Kinesics; say Done; deactivate Kinesics

You may need to DEACTIVATE something or POWERDOWN entirely if you don't have enough headroom to fit Kinesics in.

Trade

Transfer nuYen from your cash to your credstick:

alias cred deposit $1; transfer $1 credstick; look credstick; balance

then use it for example, cred 1500. If you forget to supply a value, 11 nuYen will be attempted. FIXME

It is trivially easy to compromise credsticks in the MUD implementation using crack credstick until it “hums silently” (‽‽). After that, at an ATM one can drain the cracked stick and dispose of it. If you store all your booty in a particular container, an alias like this can streamline that for you:

alias empty get credstick backpack; activate credstick; transfer all account; look credstick; drop credstick; balance

Then you can put away your personal credstick (eg in a pocket), run this alias for all of the cracked sticks in your sack, and watch your balance rise.

If you find yourself frequently considering and comparing a sequence of items in a shop, you can streamline this:

alias ip info #$1; probe #$1

and then type ip 1, ip 2, etc.

Certain commands are less obvious to remember than they could be:

alias bribe availoffset $1

and it's easy to accidentally forget that availoffset has been left in an extravagant state, causing all your future purchases to spend more than necessary until you think of turning availoffset on next only to find out it has been on all along. To avoid this:

alias hardbuy activate Kinesics; availoffset 5; buy #$1; availoffset 0; deactivate Kinesics

and then type hardbuy 5, hardbuy 11, etc. before continuing with your day, confident that availoffset is back to zero.

You can see which pieces of gear need to be repaired:

alias dmg equip damaged

Inventory management

You will inevitably loot large quantities of completely worthless garbage in your efforts to not miss looting something worthwhile but at some point having an inventory full of garbage blocks you from looting anything else. At this point, an alias can be defined (and continuously refined) to purge all the chaff:

alias gg get all all.corpse
alias jj junk all.sweeper; junk all.green; junk all.davis; junk all.marten; junk all.suspender; junk all.iron; junk all.humanis

etc. et al. ad nauseam.

If you have something in your bags that matches such a keyword that you don't want junked, KEEP it first to protect it.

You may find that certain items consist of a worthless heavy component and a valuable light component that's worth caching and selling. An alias can assist such a routine:

alias smart detach smartlink 1.predator; put smartlink backpack; junk 1.predator

Pools

You will need to adjust these aliases based on the size of your own pools as they grow.

Combat Pool

The Combat Pool array is remembered and reinstated based on whether you're wielding something. This can be surprising to encounter while reading back through the scrollspam from the DocWagon recovery room. But consider this scenario:

  1. prepare to do battle with your sword out;
  2. set CPool to 0 0 6 (all assigned to offence to try to win each contest);
  3. sheathe your sword (and not notice your CPool resetting, since you're now Unarmed and don't have 6 ranks in Unarmed Combat);
  4. wander around doing a bunch of unrelated stuff in safe areas where having your sword out would cause a Lone Star Pile On;
  5. at some point, recognise you're approaching a gauntlet / chokepoint / killzone;
  6. assign CPool to 0 6 0 (all assigned to staging down incoming damage) for survivability;
  7. walk into the Room;
  8. an NPC aggresses, so you draw your ready sword (and not notice your CPool resetting to 0 0 6 which is what it was when you last had your sword out);
  9. fail to Stage Down incoming ballistics and wake up in DocWagon;

CPool being adjusted automatically to adhere to the rules is a good thing but to help protect my cerebral wetware from surprises, I use aliases like these to equip my [m]êlée, [r]anged, or [gh] to loot everything and holster everything:

alias mm holster; draw pole; cpool 0 4 6; stand; activate Counterstrike
alias rr sheathe; draw rifle; cpool 4 0 6; mode bf; reload; pockets
alias gh cpool 0 10 0; holster; cpool 0 10 0; get all all.corpse; look; scan

In the above lines, draw pole finds an equipped polearm strap with a weapon inside it, and puts that weapon in your hands. If your weapon is in something else (like a boot knife sheath) you'll need to put the name of that container here. If you are not a Physical Adept, omit the Counterstrike power.

Likewise, draw rifle finds an equipped rifle strap with a weapon inside it, and puts that weapon in your hands. If your weapon is in something else (like a concealed shoulder holster) you'll need to put the name of that container here. Sometimes weapons can forget their firing mode, or maybe last time you used it you went PRONE with a tripod and forgot you left it on FA-10, so the alias ensures next time you draw it, it's in an expected firing mode.

gh here sets CPool to defence, twice: once with a weapon out, and once with no weapon out. That way when you walk into an ambush, you're Staging Down already, and when you automatically draw in response, you're still Staging Down.

As a houserule, the MUD implementation disallows Dodge while prone. Therefore to avoid inadvertently wasting CPool on Dodge, you could define an alias:

alias pro cpool 0 6 4; prone

Astral Projection

When you first Astrally Project, your Pools are set to default and often not all your Pool dice are represented. FIXME These aliases set you up for resilience and reorientation.

alias pj project; cpool 0 12 0; spool 0 0 12; pools
alias rt return; stand; status; penalt; exits

Begin projecting with pj; return with rt.

Remember to include @Z in your PROMPT to keep track of your Essence depleting over time.

Matrix

Jacking in

When you jack in, you want a carefully curated set of Utilities LOADed from your Deck's storage memory to your Icon's active memory without loading (so many) (unnecessary) Utilities that you have inadequate capacity for the essentials. Entry-level Cyberdecks have enough active memory to load most Utilities you'll need so can lean on the DEFAULT command (HELP DEFAULT).

As rating rises, Utility MP rises faster than Deck memory does, so there comes a point where you might want to load specific ratings of specific Utilities for specific runs – without wanting to work that out and type it in every time:

alias jackin connect; load armour; load browse; load sleaze; load read; load analyze; load deception; load decrypt; load attack

Jacking out

When you jack out, you first want to attempt to gracefully log off and erase your trail so you can't be traced. If sentry software blocks your escape, you can forcibly disconnect anyway and wake up to a nosebleed.

alias jackout logoff; disconnect; stand; exits

Cybercombat

Most Matrix commands like LOCATE, DECRYPT, DOWNLOAD, et al. automatically run what needs to be run to get the job done. But not the Attack Utility! It's special!

alias atk run attack $*

then you can atk IC just like you locate IC.

Convenience

While the Decrypt Utility provides the DECRYPT command, the Defuse Utility provides the DISARM command:

alias defuse disarm $*

If you're used to the standard spelling of analyse, an alias like this can perform the exotic regional dialect localisation for you:

alias tally analyze security

Masking

During a PRun, you may find you accidentally keep typing OOC by force of habit when you mean to type OSAY which is unfamiliar.

alias ooc osay $*

temporarily masks typing ooc to cause the same effect as if you'd typed osay.

You might be used to other environments using /me reads the newspaper -type syntax to emote.

alias me em $*

You may find that you keep on losing your Cyberdeck Utilities and then spot them drifting loose through Matrix hosts unexpectedly. This is because LOAD “uploads” a utility to your Icon but UPLOAD “uploads” a file to your Host. So if you naïvely UPLOAD ATTACK to re-arm yourself when a tarpit has crashed your Matrix weapon, what you're inadvertently doing is throwing it away into cyberspace.

alias uploadfile upload $*
alias upload load $*

With this alias in place, if you do need to intentionally upload a file, you can use uploadfile (or you can restore access to normal upload after deleting the alias with ALIAS UPLOAD).

aliases.txt · Last modified: 2024/02/16 03:28 by bloodninja