So here is my idea which originally sparked the conversation over in Discord.
In the game’s code, there’s an unused variable in the Character Identity data structure called Skill. I haven’t found a use for it yet, it’s just there for future ideas. I’m thinking of using it as a Codepoints-like system, where performing certain tasks that involve skill will grant you more skill points. Things like hacking, completing missions, etc. These skill points would in-turn be used to upgrade your Peacegate system enhancing your ability to perform those actions.
For example, you may start out only being able to hack into file servers and get read-only access to them so you can download files. That may be useful for getting into things you shouldn’t be able to normally, but, it’s not very effective for taking a system down or taking control of it. (Unless you find some sort of ssh credentials ot something on the way, somehow.)
But, if you do it enough, and complete enough missions doing that, you gain more skill. You get better at it. So, eventually, you get to upgrade your system using those skill points. Now you can, for example, get write access when you hack a file server.
The loop continues, until eventually you’re carrying out full-fledged bank heists and taking down entire enterprise networks. That brings me to my next idea, which is more sparked off of Trey’s.
Doing missions, as well as other things, may also give you some sort of currency. Like, someone could pay you to carry out a hack.
This currency could be used for things other than upgrading your system. It’s not a measure of skill, but it can be used to pay for services within Peacenet. For example, maybe you want to host a website in-game. Maybe you want your own file storage server so you can back up in case you get hacked. Or maybe you just want to pay someone else to hack that thing for you while you waste your time playing Pong on your personal Peacegate and let them take the fall for you.
Whatever the case, those are just a few examples of what a hypothetical currency could be used for. Not only that, but, there’d be in-game banks/vaults where you can store your currency and protect it.
However, these banks (if the hacker is skilled) can be hacked and the stored currency can be robbed. It’ll be hard but it’s possible. Additionally, you’d have a “wallet” where you can store a small amount of cash and easily pay someone through it, but it can also VERY easily be robbed if you’re not careful. Your wallet would be for short-term storage and the vault account for long-term, if you’re smart.
Those are just some of my ideas. I’d like to hear some of yours though.