Message Traffic refers to a specific event that occurs, multiple times, in each Criminal Plot. In this event, one participant in the plot sends a coded message to another participant.
Messages are very basic events. Participant A sends a message to Participant B.
Messages are low-profile events, at least when compared to all other events. They do not automatically generate a Bulletin from the CIA, as other events do. Discovering that a message has been sent can occur in one of several different methods:
CIA Message Traffic DetectionEdit
Normally, there is a rather small chance that the CIA might be able to detect a message as it is being sent, and provide at least the location of the sender of the receiver. However, without Max Remington's help, this is scarce and none-too-helpful information on its own.
This may occur during the first day of the plot, before Max's mission begins. If it happens, the player receives the bulletin while reading the initial plot Clues.
Message Traffic EvidenceEdit
More often, messages are discovered after the fact, by Remington collecting evidence that they were sent. This can be done in several ways:
- Collecting evidence during a break-in, via Photography or Hacking.
- Collecting evidence during a Wiretap.
- Performing a Local or International Scan for information through a CIA Office.
In all cases, Max receives this data directly into a Suspect's file - either the Sender's or the Recipient's.
Each piece of data reveals either the location, affiliation, or name of the sender or receiver (whichever one is not the suspect to whom this evidence pertains), or possibly the date on which the message was sent. The contents of the message are normally encrypted.
Bugs and WiretapsEdit
Installing Bugs and Wiretaps at any location increases the chance of intercepting future messages coming or going from that location, through CIA Message Traffic Detection (see above). It also increases the chance to decode part (or all) of each message (see below).
A turned enemy participant will reveal all details about all messages he has sent or received so far. This includes the location, affiliation and name of the sender/receiver at the other end, as well as the date on which the message was sent.
Turned enemies will also automatically divulge the details and content of any message they send or receive after being turned.
Normally, messages are sent in encrypted form. This means that while you can discover the details about the sender, receiver and date of the message, you cannot read its content. To be able to read the content and understand the meaning of the message, it must be decoded first. Successful Decoding will reveal all other details about the message as well.
There are certain cases when part (or all) of a message will be decoded the moment you discover its existence. There are several ways to encourage this:
Bugs and WiretapsEdit
Any Bug or Wiretap installed at a location will increase the chance that part (or all) of any message sent/received at this location will be decoded automatically. This happens if the bug/wiretap has successfully picked up the message (see above).
When this occurs, the message's content appears in the Suspect File for the participant residing at said location. If not completely decoded, it will be shown in segments of words, separated by " ... " to indicate missing words. You would then need to decode the message to reveal those missing words.
Turning an Enemy AgentEdit
A turned enemy agent reveals all messages he has already sent or received in their entirety, including all details about the person at the other end of the message as well as its full content.
In addition, they will provide the details and content of any other message they send or receive in the future.
Failure of DeliveryEdit
When it comes to fulfilling their part in the plot, participants treat messages like any other event: failure to deliver a message causes a participant's entire mission to fail, and they will then attempt to go into hiding at the next opportunity.
If the next step in a participant's agenda is to send a message, but the intended recipient has already been arrested or gone into hiding, the event will fail.
Similarly, if the participant is expecting a message from someone who has already been arrested or gone into hiding, this participant's mission fails, and he will attempt to go into hiding.
If both sender and receiver are at large, or at least one of them is turned, the message will be sent as normal.