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Arrows of Death!


nbohr1more
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Killing is louder and leaves blood behind, meaning you're more likely to be discovered. KO's are quiet and don't leave as much evidence.

 

The blood part I already covered, but the killing being noisier, this i did not know or notice. Although I'm still in favor of body-crashing making the same noise level regardless of the source, The death-scream noise factor could easily be used to escalate to a higher alert level than AI-collapse noise would generate, especially as the death-noise system is apparently already in place!

 

Blood stains and death-scream with higher alert level generation should easily be sufficient to differentiate knockout / kill consequences if the sound propagation distance is increased significantly.

 

edit: lastly, AI going to alert to check out knock-out noise makes it much harder to do a KO run with stealth score 0 at the end of misson debriefing. Once again, some AI traveling from a medium distance to check out a crash noise is MUCH different than a bunch of guards running in from a larger radius screaming "CHAAARRRGGGEE"

Edited by ungoliant
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Although I'm still in favor of body-crashing making the same noise level regardless of the source,

 

Yes, I agree with that. I didn't mean to give the impression that I thought bodies should make different noises depending on what caused them to fall, only that anything that penalizes players for trying to remove gameplay obstacles (AI) should be well thought out, and not done simply to encourage more ghosting.

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Even though i stand by the conviction of my belief on the subject, I can see how trying to perfect a new system, or tweak, might easily spiral out of control until we are left with a different game. Already managed to deviate pretty far from just "its too easy to kill people with arrows", and we haven't even reached the natural conclusion of this exploration, which is obviously equipping guards with guns, grenades, and infrared goggles.

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Hm... So many are against increasing challenge in with difficutly with objective restrictions. I am surprized.

 

I do find the idea of moral decision with consequences interesting, but let's face it. The missions do get really easy if you eliminate the AI's. It is easy to kill (easy difficulty) and it is challenging to KO (medium difficulty). The mission becomes hard if you are removed from those options (hard difficulty).

 

But it all boils to mission design I think. The above is fine for a mission with static AI patrols and predictability. There is no consequences for KO if the body is not found. There is no consequence for the kill if the body, blood and the sword is not found. In a mission with static routes, the player is almost guaranteed the stuff is easy to hide. This supports the difficulty controlled AI interaction limitation. Basically there is no potential consequence for the AI elimination.

 

But there is an alternative. The big red button is placed somewhere in the map. There are a few AI that walk the matrix and examine every single room casually, randomly with low probability. If the are alerted, they will idle_alert_only to the big red button and press it. Alarm sounds, and plenty of new guards arrive to the scene. Now there is always a potential consequence for the player actions.

 

BTW: is it a problem if you have to play on an easier difficulty to be able to kill everyone you want?

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Not necessarily a problem.

 

But it would be cool to be able to utilize Broadhead arrows in difficult missions.

 

The way to fix this problem is with some scheme that makes the kills trigger alerts eventually just as real guards would grow suspect when their comrades have been gone too long.

 

You could even create a KO or Kill timer that sets an absolute time before all AI within such radius become alert. Your alarm method would work as well.

 

Some sort of mechanism that allows the use of Broadheads in a challenging context would be great.

 

If the easy mode is the only mode where Broadheads can be used, it should still offer "some challenge" or that mode almost becomes a non-game. Undesirable for any player.

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You could even create a KO or Kill timer that sets an absolute time before all AI within such radius become alert.

 

This kind of things should probably be avoided, unless it is objective specific and the player is given information about it: "Once Max has been eliminated, I should be quick. Moritz will probably start to suspect something if Max hasn't returned after a few minutes."

 

I'm pretty sure it would be frustrating if region specific AI would suddenly and mysteriously freak out 120 seconds after KO'ing a guard there.

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Imagine if it were more natural though...

 

Moritz starts wandering around yelling "Hey Max! Where are you? Max? Maaax?"

 

Constantly searching around for his friend.

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Imagine if it were more natural though...

Moritz starts wandering around yelling "Hey Max! Where are you? Max? Maaax?"

Constantly searching around for his friend.

 

You'd need pretty specific barks for that. :)

 

TDS claimed to have that feature, where AI would notice if other guards were missing, but I can't recall ever noticing it. Did anyone else? Or am I misremembering?

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I have just checked it out, you can shoot an arrow in a door (in proper angle) and door will not open. Too bad doors will go through arrow then it stick out of floor or doorframe. You can block door for good (instead of making a pile of chairs), broadhead arrow is perfect for this.

Edited by ERH+

S2wtMNl.gif

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Yeah, that's a bit of an exploit. It's not really intended behaviour, since arrows would normally break in that case.

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I think Sotha described it very well, map design can solve most of this difficulty - the core of the thief games has always been about manouvering inside a tight (though unsuspecting) survaillance network, and not about overcoming any one foe, which has always been easy to accomplish (as you would expect by playing a master thief/assassin). Regardless of the method you use to take out the opposition, if there are no intersecting routes, no random encounters, no variety of situations and tough spots you would do well to avoid, any innocent AI will be easy prey to a hiding player with tons of weapons.

Edited by RPGista
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To complete this topic, I would also emphasize that "tons of weapons" is also a mission design flaw.

 

Why not limit the amount of arrows available instead of making a mission no-kill.

 

You can't clear a map if you don't have enough arrows to do so...

 

Though, in that case, the KO is still a problematic mechanism and some more tools to make AI aware of other AI's routes would still help...

 

As a side note, any mission where you can purchase an Armory of weapons in the shop is usually poorly planned from the POV of

weapon to AI balance.

 

This is probably part of my reason for preferring missions like "Trapped!" where weapons are found rather than bought in the shop.

Edited by nbohr1more

Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

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Summarizing, there are a lot of mapper options for making maps challenging without no-kill objectives:

 

 

1. Give player limited weapons/tools.

2. Include plenty of overlapping patrols so AI are rarely alone.

3. Use heavily armoured AI.

4. Allow a limited number of kills (eg. no more than 2)

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Yes, not to call-out an otherwise cool mission but House of Theo has an example that drives home the point.

 

I believe that all difficulties are no-kill and limited to 3 KO's.

 

One of the first treasures you'll find? A box full of Broadheads ...

Edited by nbohr1more

Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

http://www.indiedb.com/mods/the-dark-mod

 

(Yeah, shameless promotion... but traffic is traffic folks...)

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Heh - it just made me think - imagine if there were a ssteel arrow that when you shot into a wall - stayed there and you could jump on it - like you could make an impromptu ladder up a stone wall with them x-D

 

I think Witchaven or some other similar old fantasy action game had that. :)

 

TDS claimed to have that feature, where AI would notice if other guards were missing, but I can't recall ever noticing it. Did anyone else? Or am I misremembering?

 

They did, They greeted each other when passing, and would notice if the other guard didn't come around, in which case they entered alert mode and checked a few nearby areas.

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They did, They greeted each other when passing, and would notice if the other guard didn't come around, in which case they entered alert mode and checked a few nearby areas.

 

This is probably easy enough to do. AI could keep track of when they see other AI, and based on multiple sightings, could determine an average time between sightings. This establishes a "next sighting duration", and if a sighting doesn't occur w/in 150% of that duration, the AI could become alerted. It would have to be based on sightings, and not greetings, because AI don't always greet each other. The concerned AI could even go to the last place they saw their friend, and begin searching from there.

 

Of course, RIT behavior and dendritic pathing could create a few false alerts, especially if RITs include napping or sitting. But all the AI knows is that he was expecting to see his friend, and when he doesn't, it's cause for concern.

 

Now, if we teach an AI to keep track of the last place he saw his friend, think of what that means when a stationary posted guard is suddenly not there. His friend walks past him a half-dozen times, but on the next pass, he's not there. This should cause the passing guard to start a search of the vicinity where the posted guard is supposed to be.

 

Having AI learn about where and when to expect to see their friends opens the door to this new type of reactive behavior.

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Of course, RIT behavior and dendritic pathing could create a few false alerts, especially if RITs include napping or sitting. But all the AI knows is that he was expecting to see his friend, and when he doesn't, it's cause for concern.

 

We'd probably want some kind of spawnarg to indicate an AI that should cause suspicion if they disappear. That way mappers could leave it off for AI that might nap for extended periods (although it would be funny if an AI went looking for and then found the AI napping).

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Just an idea although it may be a bit far-fetched:

 

How about including the "no kill" "no KO" "number of Ko-s" as checkboxes/sliders that could be applied to any given mission by player (options could be disabled by mapper, if for example a kill is required to finish the mission) ?

I could imagine a similar system for loot. You could set the percent to collect ( mission author could make preset of easy/medium/hard percents of loot to be colledted)

 

With TDM's flexibility i could think of so much better options with the difficulty settings than the usual more gold required/no kill..like different starting/escape points, patrol density/variety, number of clues etc.I know it's all possible now but then if you'd like to include something like a start at A, B and C then you lose the restrictions side of things.

Edited by _Atti_
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killing vs ghosting: If I'm going into a mansion full of people who have no resentment or hesitation to kill me why should I? But ghosting does make you feel like a badass in the sense that they dont even know what happened the next morning. some missions however have unreasonable amount of guards to set a no kill rule. what if i want to have a higher threshold for loot required and objects needed but not a kill limit or restriction? more options would be nice in that sense. and if there are going to be kill restrictions id rather they exchange my broadhead for water arrows. you can never have enough water arrows.

The only limits your imagination has are the ones you set.

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Some levels have items hidden on them (Sons of Baltona has 2 water arrows in the pond for example) but this is a legitimate complaint.

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