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Author Topic: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3  (Read 23131 times)

Taharqa

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #60 on: 23 March 2011, 11:20:10 »
So take a guy with low attributes, say 2's  his gunnery base target is 14  it's impossible for him to succeed, ever, until he gets trained up to skill level 3  and at that he has a 1:36 chance.   Even trained up to 'master' level in skill, he's a base target of 8  with the absolute highest possible skill level


Now take a guy with high attributes, say 5's  His base target is 8  with no training at all, with one level of training it becomes 7  meaning a little less than a 60% chance of success.  ONE stinking level of skill and he's better than that other guy who is a master skill wise.

See those numbers seem just about right to me. You have to keep in mind the scale. Going from 2 to 5 in an attribute on a 6-point scale is HUGE. If we were talking strength, its going from a slightly below-average strength character to a body builder. So the idea that the wimpy guy would have to reach skill mastery to match the skill of a "green" bodybuilder sounds perfectly reasonable. The basic point being that somebody with poor attributes in a skill area should be spending their skill points elsewhere.

In MW2, one point of difference, whether in skills or attributes, really mattered and that is precisely how it should be given that is how BT itself works.

I fully agree with the rest - the character creation system was completely messed up, but it could have been done right with the existing scaling of skills and attributes.
« Last Edit: 23 March 2011, 11:21:54 by Taharqa »

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Taharqa

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #61 on: 23 March 2011, 11:21:20 »
double post, arggh.

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Tslammer

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #62 on: 23 March 2011, 18:01:38 »
Actually I made a similar point about MW3 not valuing Attributes. Steve Urkle vs. Bruce Lee.

In MW2 Steve has the target numbers Tempus mentions and he should. Most warrior training programs like most military programs will weed out the Steves. So you do not see the extreme low attribute super high skill green equal. In only rare cases would they even make it to high skill the battle field process of natural selection would cleanse the Steves.

The clans are breeding what they hope to be an army of Bruce Lee crossed with Chuck Norris (internet version Chuck Norris).

Grognard

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #63 on: 23 March 2011, 19:30:35 »
But I will say that MW2 was a hcek of alot of fun for us RPGers who played equal amounts of in Mech and in person combat.
And for those who say that the GM needed to enforce the "no -# g/P characters"... ours did.
But my Urkel whose G/p was 1/2, solved that problem with Natural Aptitude Gunnery.
NA-G just pwns the world.  Yes, the Urkel couldnt get out of his Mech without minor injury, but once the steel started to fly...

 [notworthy] [notworthy]NA-G and MW2! [notworthy] [notworthy]

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #64 on: 24 March 2011, 00:20:06 »
  I need to spend some time getting all the house rules we have together and then will post them

Please do, I would seriously consider using them in my campaign.

ATN082268

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #65 on: 24 March 2011, 09:55:30 »
  Besides the fact the MW3 RPG tried to divorce itself from the Battletech game line, it seemed the game focused too much on trying to make every character average to start with and to virtually stay that way. Some house rules like not starting off with any skill better than a target number of 3 would solve most of the problems of the MW2 RPG.

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #66 on: 24 March 2011, 10:37:41 »
My group has always done that limiting how good a starting character can be. In MW1-2 we limited it to 4's. In MW3 and 4 we have limited the starting skill level to +4 but now use a modified version of MW3 Solaris rules for all mech combat.


Taharqa

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #67 on: 24 March 2011, 10:51:17 »
  Besides the fact the MW3 RPG tried to divorce itself from the Battletech game line, it seemed the game focused too much on trying to make every character average to start with and to virtually stay that way. Some house rules like not starting off with any skill better than a target number of 3 would solve most of the problems of the MW2 RPG.

I think to fix MW2, at a minimum, you have to rebuild the chargen system from scratch. Two things need to be fixed. First, costs need to be adjusted so that higher level attributes/skills cost a lot more, preferably through an exponential scale (i.e. it costs you the same to get one six as it does to get two fives). Second, "average" for both skills and attributes needs to be re-scaled to allow for more room on the top end. Based on the sample characters the skill level for regular was 4, leaving you only two places to go upward but 3 levels of "green." Similarly 5s and 6s on attributes should be pretty rare (although it is important to remember that mechwarriors are more elite than professional athletes, so 5s in their core attributes are probably "average" for MWs at least). Both of these changes would require making some adjustments to the TN calculation.

Just to toot my own horn, I have been working on some house rules along these lines. Here is what I have developed so far for chargen. It makes the changes above, plus some additional changes (like 3 more attributes) to add some more diversity to generated characters.

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Jackmc

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #68 on: 24 March 2011, 13:31:14 »
My group has always done that limiting how good a starting character can be. In MW1-2 we limited it to 4's.

Personally, since Herb bumped up the target numbers by 1, I'd put the limit at +5 for ATOW (if I were to go that route).  That allows a player to build a hook off a slightly above average but prevents starting characters from being elites.


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Tslammer

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #69 on: 24 March 2011, 16:17:13 »
MW2 was simply MW1 values reduced to fit into the generic Shadowrun character creation formula. Having played both at the time the it was noted how similar they were. Funny thing was a 12 Body character in MW1 had the same number of health dots as a MW2 Bod 6.

MW 1 exp and advancement progress was very slow I played for years with our regular group and still had about half the EXP needed to make elite. Flip side as we all acknowledged MW2 was a bit to fast. I agree the starting attribute values should have been lower maybe 27 points should have been the cap. The problem was they were so expensive to raise that few would save the stock pile required so you needed to get them on the way in. MW1 it did not matter you could fix just about any flaws with EXP and your level up bumps.

Either way we have found our way past that and have a system that works great. While character creation is based on ATOW we upped the starting EXP to 5500 and ditched the exp for each year of age. You come in at the age you end life path.
The second thing was we are using a form of the old MW3 Solaris rules for all mech combat. The key thing here that swayed me from MW2 (i would have dug my heels in) was your piloting skill had something to do with how hard to hit you are. You have a base defensive number divided from your stats and skills into a Standing/Walking value and Running/Jumping value. If you move you get to add your piloting skill level up to hexes crossed.

Instead of a flat movement table that says your +5 if you move x hexes. In our game you need to have +5 in piloting skill and have crossed at least 5 hexes to be +5. If you moved 12 hexes your still limited by your piloting of 5. We use 10-12 and 20 sided dice so the GM and players all know how hard a target is to hit. You then add up the normal range LOS and movement mods minus your skill level and link if you have any to find the target # you need on 2D10 with a 10's re rolling.

This way you now have a reason for a veteran with some skill to pilot a lighter mech.

It also gives some value to attributes again which I like a lot.


« Last Edit: 24 March 2011, 16:41:36 by Tslammer »

Voodoo

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #70 on: 25 March 2011, 23:42:12 »
With all of these responses, it would seem that something is still amiss with A time of War.  I just ordered another copy of MW2.  Thank you all for your input.  Different topic, but when am I gonna get that 25th anniv. box set I pre-ordered?
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Voodoo

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #71 on: 26 March 2011, 12:44:33 »
Clearly, after I read the below post in developer Q&A section, I will not be buying A Time of War.


Quote from: Akalabeth on 01 February 2011, 03:29:18

    1. Battle Armour
    1. Does the BAR rating of Battlearmour ever degrade? Or do the four BAR ratings remain constant until the integrity is reduced to zero?


As indicated in the first paragraph under Armor Degradation on p. 186, Battle Armor rates its armor degradation only through loss of tactical armor (TW-scale) points. The BAR values, as indicated in the first paragraph of Battle Armor and Exoskeletons (on the same page), are defined by the starting number of tactical armor points on the suit. These values do not change.

Quote

    2. Do personal weapons interact with Battlearmour in a manner similar to Personal armour? Or Tactical armour? The one example is of a support PPC, which I would argue is on the border of personal/tactical weaponry.


Personal weapons (including Support Weapons) vs. Battle Armor are resolved in the same fashion as said weapons versus tactical armor, when it comes to finding the damage done to the character within, but the armor itself will experience a loss in Tactical armor value equal to the weapon's damage, divided by the suit's BAR. (same page, under Tactical Armor (and Structure) Degradation.) Only if the suit will sustain tactical armor damage will the operator within then suffer damage, and said damage will equal . Otherwise, it is presumed that all damage was absorbed by the suit.

Quote

    For example, take a IS Battle armour with Tactical 4 and ratings of 6/6/6/5

    Let's say the Armour is hit by a Elephant Gun 5B/6. With normal personal armour, the damage would be reduced to 4B/5 and inflict 5 Standard damage upon the Battlearmour operator. The 5 damage would also degrade the armour to 5/5/5/4

    With Tactical armour, the 5 damage would equate to (5/6) = 0.83 damage rounded up 1. Reducing integrity points from 4 to 3 but otherwise leaving the armour at 6/6/6/5 and the user unharmed.


In this example, the Elephant Gun (assuming an MoS of 0 to 3) accomplishes the following vs. IS Tactical Armor 4 (BAR 6/6/6/5):

The BAR reduces the gun's damage from 6 to 5. This 5 points is then divided by 6 (the BAR versus the gun's ballistic damage type), and rounds normally to 1 point. Because the total damage is only 1 point, there's not enough Tactical Armor damage to penetrate the suit and harm the user. The suit is reduced to a Tactical armor level of 3, but retains its BAR of 6/6/6/5.

Quote

    And finally if the BAR does not degrade, once integrity points = 0 do all armour values also drop to 0?


Yes, once the suit is reduced to a Tactical armor value of 0, it is considered destroyed.

Quote

    2. Grapple Question

    Friends to the Grappler gain a +2 bonus versus the Grappled while the Grappled has no bonus versus these characters.

    But what about the Grappler? Do friends to the Grappled gain a +1 bonus vs the Grappler? Or do they attack normally? Since it's not mentioned I assume it's the latter but doesn't hurt to ask.


You seem to be asking if a friendly target can grapple the grappler, effectively turning against their own guy. In this case, what happens is this: Because the grappler is friendly, there are no modifiers that apply to attacking the grappler, who has control of the grappling situation. The grappled character gets a +1 to attack his grappler, and the grappler has a +2 to attack the grappled character. Friendlies of the grappler get a +2 to attack the grappled victim because they have a buddy holding him. Friendlies to the grappler attempting to attack the grappler are not likely to find him obliging, but would likely get a modifier for his surprise (he likely doesn't expect his own buddies to hit him!)

Hopefully, this helps.

Thank you,

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Lost_Heretic

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #72 on: 26 March 2011, 15:21:50 »
WOW.  D-20 anyone?  Please, someone let me know when the overhaul happens.

The grappling seems logical, but I agree that the armor types could use streamlining.

I still plan on getting A Time of War, but I'll be cherry picking rules and simplifying others.
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Voodoo

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #73 on: 26 March 2011, 20:36:23 »
My point is, NO action should EVER take that long to resolve.
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PurpleDragon

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #74 on: 26 March 2011, 21:05:13 »
I haven't been able to get a AToW book yet.  after making several dozen characters using the lifepath system from 3rd ed, I actually preferr it over point based systems.  we did, however change a couple of things during character creation.   we doubled the skill points and only the skill points given and taken during the generation.   we don't apply the -1 to the roll if takking the same path a second time.  You run out of edge you're gonna get the bad roll eventually anyway, unless your dice are loaded. 
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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #75 on: 26 March 2011, 22:17:49 »
AToW still has modules that are similar to Life Paths with one major difference, No random event rolls.

When we were using MW3 a large portion of our Clan characters kept washing out of training.

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #76 on: 26 March 2011, 23:16:12 »
The armor types are actually fairly streamlined so I'm not sure what the complaint is there.

The grappling question I honestly do not think Herb understood the intended scenario correctly in that thread and frankly grappling is faster and easier to resolve than D&D 3.5 but that's not saying much I admit.

AToW isn't perfect but it does have less to fix in my opinion than MW2.

PurpleDragon

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #77 on: 27 March 2011, 00:08:33 »
I actually enjoy the random event rolls.  keeps me from falling into the cookie cutter history for characters. 
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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #78 on: 27 March 2011, 01:21:10 »
I've been absent from these forums for a while, but now that I've had a chance to play AToW, I can sum up my opinion of the system in one word.

Meh.

Yeah, it meshes better with the board game, but the board game is a rather simplistic creature and I was never about playing an RPG adventure whose sole goal was to wind up in a mech's cockpit.  I'm not sure why the designers decided to try and mesh the two, but the shoehorning shows and results in a somewhat lackluster gaming experience.

The positives: game play is fast and lethal.

The negatives: character generation is a pain and granularity is much reduced do to the 2d6 system.

Otherwise, I wish they'd published this book in softback because you pay too much for what you get.  The art is middling, the fluff is the same old stuff, and all in all, MW3 was much better.

monbvol

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #79 on: 27 March 2011, 01:28:39 »
I admit I do miss some element of randomness for character generation but the power creep of new Life Paths when they were added and how crippling or overpowering they could make a character was just too much in CBT:RPG/MW3ed in my opinion.

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #80 on: 27 March 2011, 05:37:30 »
I agree that there was a bit of the "big guns syndrome" going on with some of the later life paths, but Battletech had been going that way ever since the designers decided to drop the Helm Core in the Inner Sphere's lap.

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #81 on: 27 March 2011, 11:03:50 »
My problem was more with how imbalanced the newer Life Paths got rather than their raw power, but I admit their raw power didn't help either.

Jackmc

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #82 on: 27 March 2011, 15:09:49 »
I agree that there was a bit of the "big guns syndrome" going on with some of the later life paths

There's actually an industry term for that, power creep/splat creep.  The second term comes from the fact that the power creep usually manifested itself in supplemental books which are known in the industry as splatbooks.

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Tslammer

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #83 on: 28 March 2011, 12:36:57 »
While I am liking our new group of characters and a further refinement of our combat system from the MW3 version we played. Character creation in MW1 and MW2 were fairly simple and a new player could be helped and setup to play fairly quickly. MW3 was a joke and MW4 feels like I am doing my taxes.
One big problem about MW2 was the lack of RPG gear resources that eventually came out later or for MW3. Another was the armor system was not very clear. Granted the new MW4 systems feel like they handle that better feel slightly cumbersome.

Of course the thing about MW2 was the critical nature of high attributes. As mentioned elsewhere in MW1 you could fix just about any characters problems with points and level up bumps. MW2 made raising attributes cost so high post creation and skills so low that you were crazy to not make attributes your 1st or 2nd pick. A balance point between starting skill cost and raising attributes post creation needed to be made. Raising skill costs and breaking out some skills to create more sub category skills for players to purchase was one way we addressed this. Our group also increased the cost to raise skills. 

If we had not stumbled on the MW3 Solaris rules we would not have switched. As far as how much work was involved to fix MW3 was slightly less work to fix than MW2. MW4 was slightly less work than MW3 but had the benefit of the Solaris 2D10 mech combat refit. Some of our guys pointing out things that ATOW beta never caught.




Taharqa

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #84 on: 28 March 2011, 13:28:25 »
Yeah, it meshes better with the board game, but the board game is a rather simplistic creature and I was never about playing an RPG adventure whose sole goal was to wind up in a mech's cockpit.  I'm not sure why the designers decided to try and mesh the two, but the shoehorning shows and results in a somewhat lackluster gaming experience.

AToW has lots of problems, but integration with the board game is not one of them. That has to be the first time I have ever heard Battletech called "simplistic."

Granularity is overrated. The RPG should provide a similar feel as the board game and that means that single unit increments in skills and attributes should produce big differences in outcomes. Doing it any other way just produces dissatisifaction in one direction or the other when moving between the boardgame and the RPG.

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #85 on: 29 March 2011, 03:26:59 »
Granularity is overrated.


right, because it makes for a good campaign for the players to be able to go from green to vet in a little over 4 months of once a week play, and elite in a bit over 6 months.   Yeah that makes for a realistic gaming experience, everyone loves being powerleveled.


no offense intended because I don't know you well enough to know if this is the case, but when I hear someone make a statement like that my knee-jerk reaction is to mentally characterize them as someone who wants instant gratification and is addicted to cheat-codes and powerleveling.   


IMHO smooth character progression is a very good thing to have in an rpg.   Just because the main BT game only had 4 levels of skill isn't a reason to have the rpg emulate that, especially since in the main BT game we rarely had on-going characters that progressed in skill (people doing that usually got the RPG versions)
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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #86 on: 29 March 2011, 10:02:05 »
The Lifers that I play the game with have all complained about the lack of opportunity to get a mech from using the lifepaths Event rolls. I have started to modify them and upgrade to AToW rules. Also they are over and above tyhe allocation of XP. If they get a crap role and want to spend edge XP to re-roll then it costs them 100XP.
Does anyone have suggestions on how to stop the entire party taking 41 year old pilots with loads of XP?

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #87 on: 29 March 2011, 10:32:01 »
Also they are over and above tyhe allocation of XP. If they get a crap role and want to spend edge XP to re-roll then it costs them 100XP.

Actually, in MW3, Edge use during chargen lowers the threshold, it doesn't actually drop the Edge attribute, which you still have to buy.
And you wouldn't buy them using XP, that's MW4/ATOW.


Quote
Does anyone have suggestions on how to stop the entire party taking 41 year old pilots with loads of XP?

MW3 has a limit about how many Lifepaths you can take. Additionally, each repeat inflicts a -1 on the Event Roll.

MW4, just tell em their maximum age. Or give them an XP allowance ceiling.

Paul

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #88 on: 29 March 2011, 11:06:19 »
The Lifers that I play the game with have all complained about the lack of opportunity to get a mech from using the lifepaths Event rolls. I have started to modify them and upgrade to AToW rules. Also they are over and above the allocation of XP. If they get a crap role and want to spend edge XP to re-roll then it costs them 100XP.
Does anyone have suggestions on how to stop the entire party taking 41 year old pilots with loads of XP?

Using the MW3 LP I am surprised to see they made it through the LP as a warrior let alone to any advanced age. I am assuming they are either Points builds or using aging to stack on piles of exp.
Paul just mentioned starting limits. Any good gaming group should have some preset limits on how good a starting character should be.  My group limits MW4 exp to 5500 no extra points from aging you are what ever age you are when you leave the LP system. We upped the starting XP from 5000 to 5500 because our version of the MW3 Solaris rules places more importance on Attributes than MW4 does. We further limit starting characters to a skill cap of +4.

Taharqa

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #89 on: 29 March 2011, 11:54:30 »

right, because it makes for a good campaign for the players to be able to go from green to vet in a little over 4 months of once a week play, and elite in a bit over 6 months.   Yeah that makes for a realistic gaming experience, everyone loves being powerleveled.


no offense intended because I don't know you well enough to know if this is the case, but when I hear someone make a statement like that my knee-jerk reaction is to mentally characterize them as someone who wants instant gratification and is addicted to cheat-codes and powerleveling.   

You would be wrong. Granularity or lack of granularity has nothing to do with any of the things you just cited. You are assuming that someone is going to apply the leveling rate for a granular system to a non-granular system. That would be a mistake. When you have a less granular system, character progression needs to be slower because there is more difference between each skill level.  The kind of problems that you are talking about arise from poor game design not from a lack of granularity.

Or do you think that the battletech boardgame suffers from these problems as a result of its lack of granularity?

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