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Nightcrawler

Knocking out Blinded AI

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I have re-examined my position on this issue over the last few years, and I now think a certain limited pushing ability would be useful.

 

There have been many times where I have been caught by an AI, thrown a flashbomb down, blinded him, but have been unable to escape because the AI is standing somewhere that blocks my route. In some cases, I'm literally immobilized against a wall...two blinded AI are on either side of me, helpless, but I can't get out of the corner because the AI are completely immovable. So I just have to sit there until the flash wears off and they start attacking me again.

 

As you mentioned the flashbombs another solution came to my mind: In "good old" Thief you could easily knock-out blinded AIs. In tdm all you can do is flee from a blinded AI...

Wouldn't it be a better solution to set up blinded AI's to get knocked out more easily in tdm? At least this scenario would seem more realistic than the player pushing the AI without making the AI starting to attack him, it seems to me.

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I'm not sure that blinded AI are immune to blackjacking--I don't recall that being in our original design. However, once alerted, guards can't be blackjacked from the front, so it doesn't help in situations where you're trapped against a wall.

 

If you allow players to knock out blinded AI from the front, that becomes a pretty effective exploit, since the flash effect lasts for a good 5-8 seconds. You could let yourself be chased by 3 or 4 guards, blind them with a single flashbomb and then knock them all out with time to spare.

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However, once alerted, guards can't be blackjacked from the front, so it doesn't help in situations where you're trapped against a wall.

 

My experience so far is: Once alerted an AI cannot be knocked out no matter from which direction. I frequently run into the following problem: I try to knock out a walking guard from behind, but when I hit him he doesn't faint but screams "ouch", traws his weapon and butchers me:/

I must have made him suspicious while approaching him from behind...so i'm almost 100% sure that an alerted ai (even only to the lowest levels) is imune to knock-outs.

I'm not sure if that's the way it's intended to be. Knocking s.b. out is quite a huge challange in tdm...

 

If you allow players to knock out blinded AI from the front, that becomes a pretty effective exploit, since the flash effect lasts for a good 5-8 seconds. You could let yourself be chased by 3 or 4 guards, blind them with a single flashbomb and then knock them all out with time to spare.

 

Making blinded AIs get kocked out easily would change game dynamics, that's a point. But consider that in order to blind and knock-out an ai the player has to throw the bomb, look away from the impact, then return to the ai and blackjack each.

I'm not sure how many you could knock-out within 5-8 seconds, but if you think the impact lasts too long I suggest a 2-phase blindness:

Phase 1: Around the first seconds (3-4s maybe?) the ai gets knocked out easily.

Phase 2: AI is still blinded but can protect himself so it doesn't get knocked-out easily.

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Helmeted (non-elite) guards can be knocked out only from behind, and only when unalert. However, the 'only from behind' rule no longer applies to sleepers, so there is a circumstance in which guards' knockout immunity is removed because of a vulnerable state.

 

I believe dropping flashbombs, if viable, is the recommended way of avoiding being blinded oneself.

 

Two-phase blindness would be hard to communicate to players.

 

http://wiki.thedarkmod.com/index.php?title=The_Dark_Mod_Gameplay#Inventory_Object:_Flashbomb actually recommends 'stunning an enemy before an attack': presumably a sword attack is meant.

Edited by VanishedOne

Some things I'm repeatedly thinking about...

 

- louder scream when you're dying

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. I frequently run into the following problem: I try to knock out a walking guard from behind, but when I hit him he doesn't faint but screams "ouch", traws his weapon and butchers me:/

I must have made him suspicious while approaching him from behind...so i'm almost 100% sure that an alerted ai (even only to the lowest levels) is imune to knock-outs.

 

 

It may feel that way, but that's not how the mechanics work.

 

You must hit an AI on the head to knock them out. Hitting an AI anywhere else will simply alert them. For best results, don't get too close to the AI, or you may hit them with your elbow instead of your blackjack.

You can successfully knock out:

1. Unarmed civilian AI from any direction, any time.

2. Bare-headed guards from any direction when relaxed, or from behind when alert and/or their weapon is out.

3. Helmeted guards from behind when relaxed (helmeted guards cannot be knocked out when alert and/or when their weapon is out).

 

And even then, there is a grace period of a second or so where you can still KO a guard once he is alerted.

 

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Was this the same in good old Thief? Because it doesn't really make sense. Either the helmet protects the wearer from a hit, then it should do so always from all directions, or it doesn't, then the direction should be not critical. The same goes for alerted state or not...

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Having all helmets protect all AI from being knocked out is a little overpowering.

 

Having helmets provide no protection at all is bit silly.

 

Our solution is a compromise that uses the common game convention that alerted AI are more difficult to harm with weapons because they are dodging, tensing, etc.

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It may feel that way, but that's not how the mechanics work.

 

Quote

You must hit an AI on the head to knock them out. Hitting an AI anywhere else will simply alert them. For best results, don't get too close to the AI, or you may hit them with your elbow instead of your blackjack.

You can successfully knock out:

1. Unarmed civilian AI from any direction, any time.

2. Bare-headed guards from any direction when relaxed, or from behind when alert and/or their weapon is out.

3. Helmeted guards from behind when relaxed (helmeted guards cannot be knocked out when alert and/or when their weapon is out

 

And even then, there is a grace period of a second or so where you can still KO a guard once he is alerted.

 

 

I think in the video at 2:42 you've just nailed what my problem was: I was always getting to close bumping into the AI.

 

But i'm still sure that the knock-out doesn't work as intended: When I bump into an AI and even hit them with the blackjack in the very same second the ai won't go down (although that's what should happen, right?) but go on alert and attack me. So no grace second for me - never had that :blush:

And it also proves wrong point 2: Bare-headed guards from behind when alert and/or their weapon is out. Nope no chance for me to knock out the ai Once it gets suspicious I can beat the back of his head 1000x till it's wound he wouldn't faint.

 

I don't know if that's happening because the game mechanic is really not working as it should or because I've just been too clumsy when knocking AI's out...

Soo can any other players relate to that problem or is it just me?

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Two-phase blindness would be hard to communicate to players.

 

http://wiki.thedarkmod.com/index.php?title=The_Dark_Mod_Gameplay#Inventory_Object:_Flashbomb actually recommends 'stunning an enemy before an attack': presumably a sword attack is meant.

 

I might disagree with that. Last time I blinded a guard with a flash bomb I remember him saying first s.th like "I can't see." and a few moments later s.th like "What is going on?"

I think 2 simple comments from the AI may be enough to indicate to the player which state of blindness they're in.

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For the record, I vote blind guards can be blackjacked as a gameplay mechanic. It's a rare and powerful tool. The current way isn't intolerable though.


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A little trick I use sometimes for blackjacking is to hold the 'lean forward' key as I'm creeping up to a walking AI from behind. It lets you KO him while keeping that tiny bit of extra distance. This worked in original Thief, too.

Edited by Morat

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But i'm still sure that the knock-out doesn't work as intended: When I bump into an AI and even hit them with the blackjack in the very same second the ai won't go down (although that's what should happen, right?) but go on alert and attack me. So no grace second for me - never had that :blush:

I often have the same issue. I think the guards should stay susceptible to blackjacking until their sword is out completely. Going in one second to invincible makes no sense!

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I think making blinded AIs be able to knocked out from every position would make the game far too easy. You should flash them and run, that's what the bombs are for :)


"Einen giftigen Trank aus Kräutern und Wurzeln für die närrischen Städter wollen wir brauen." - Text aus einem verlassenen Heidenlager

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think in the video at 2:42 you've just nailed what my problem was: I was always getting to close bumping into the AI.

 

But i'm still sure that the knock-out doesn't work as intended: When I bump into an AI and even hit them with the blackjack in the very same second the ai won't go down (although that's what should happen, right?

 

 

If you're close enough to risk bumping into the AI, then you're too close for the blackjack to make contact with their head. You're probably swinging and hitting their head with your elbow instead of the blackjack itself.

 

If there were one tweak I'd like to make to blackjacking, it would be to lengthen the contact area of the blackjack so that it goes further up the player's arm. Since it's hard to judge depth precisely, it's not always easy to judge exactly how close you are when swinging the bj, especially when you're just learning. And since the animation is so fast, it can easily look like the bj did hit them, when it fact it was your arm or elbow that did.

 

In game terms, players shouldn't really be punished for getting too close to an AI, as long as they don't actually bump into them.

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In game terms, players shouldn't really be punished for getting too close to an AI, as long as they don't actually bump into them.

I completely agree to that! Also if you hit them hard enough on the head with your elbow, it should drop them too ;).

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Maybe it's a case of one man's exploit being another's risky gambit that feels good when it works. If players are happy to create mayhem, they can even do things like kiting pursuers over explosive mines.

I think making blinded AIs be able to knocked out from every position would make the game far too easy. You should flash them and run, that's what the bombs are for :)

This thread was split from the one about pushing AIs, where the problem was that if you were cornered you could blind them but then you'd still be cornered.

I might disagree with that. Last time I blinded a guard with a flash bomb I remember him saying first s.th like "I can't see." and a few moments later s.th like "What is going on?"
I think 2 simple comments from the AI may be enough to indicate to the player which state of blindness they're in.

Even assuming you could isolate suitable barks in all the existing voice sets, I doubt it's going to convey 'transition between knockout vulnerability states' unless that's added to the list of things players are expected to learn explicitly from the wiki, like differential helmet-related vulnerability.


Some things I'm repeatedly thinking about...

 

- louder scream when you're dying

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I got back to the training area to practice knock-outs and I even could knock-out an alerted unhelmed guy from behind. It took me quite a lot of attempts until it worked. It felt like I had to search for a single tiny weak point at his head....

The way knocking-out in tdm works right now seems a bit arbitrary: Some times it works, some times not - even if you hit him in the same way.

 

 

If there were one tweak I'd like to make to blackjacking, it would be to lengthen the contact area of the blackjack so that it goes further up the player's arm. Since it's hard to judge depth precisely, it's not always easy to judge exactly how close you are when swinging the bj, especially when you're just learning. And since the animation is so fast, it can easily look like the bj did hit them, when it fact it was your arm or elbow that did.

 

In game terms, players shouldn't really be punished for getting too close to an AI, as long as they don't actually bump into them.

 

You'd have my 100% support for this idea!

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I also have a better idea now of what exactly should be changed of the behaviour of blinded AIs: They simply should be knock-outable like unalerted AIs.

When you blind an unhelmed and unalarmed AI you can knock him easily out (even from the front). However if he was alarmed before and you blind him he staggers around helplessly as before but he cannot be knocked out. That makes no sense to me...

The alertness level shouldn't matter here.

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The difficulty of blackjacking is a recurring topic, but since not everyone reports having so much trouble it's hard to diagnose what's going on. I have trouble with it myself, sometimes - most recently on a staircase, where I ended up blackjacking from a crouching position as the AI walked away down it - but all I can suggest is turning on tdm_ai_showko in the console to get a sense of where the knockout cones are.

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Some things I'm repeatedly thinking about...

 

- louder scream when you're dying

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This thread was split from the one about pushing AIs, where the problem was that if you were cornered you could blind them but then you'd still be cornered.

 

Yes I understand. So basically you're screwed if they corner you. Imho that's just life and it happens. You lose and you reload when you're dead. But it shouldn't make us add a feature which makes blackjacking just as easy as in Thief, where you can easily blind and hit :)


"Einen giftigen Trank aus Kräutern und Wurzeln für die närrischen Städter wollen wir brauen." - Text aus einem verlassenen Heidenlager

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If you have a gas arrow knockouts are even easier. Equipment is meant to make things easy that would otherwise be difficult or impossible.


Some things I'm repeatedly thinking about...

 

- louder scream when you're dying

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If you have a gas arrow knockouts are even easier. Equipment is meant to make things easy that would otherwise be difficult or impossible.

 

That's also why I want blinded AIs to ignore their alarm status. They way lighting bombs (or lightning mines - they're even more useless) are currently working doesn't make them very useful tools.

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