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Sometimes I feel like a clumsy thief


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Hi all, after a long time I played again to test out the new 2.09. As my skills depleted a bit over time I felt an issue (maybe it's just a personal issue, but I want to find out if other players have the same feeling). There are many new excellent missions with good story telling and nice atmosphere. However when it comes to walking up to an AI character and trying to back jack him or her, I often failed. Either they heard me and turned around or I missed them and they ran away /started to fight me. This is where I always had to reload the game and it stopped me from feeling like a master thief. IIRC in Dishonered you could take out NPCs from behind with a little animation. So that you don't had to aim blind for their head somehow. This is something I feel would make it easier for me as an optional feature for taking out opponents. Has that already been considered at some point? I know this sounds like cheating but for someone who doesn't play often to get an expert on bj enemies, I would rather have this than always having to reload and try again.

What are your personal experiences and opinions on this matter?

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

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Often, you have to aim more at the AI's back instead of the head in a weird downwards angle, especially when guards are wearing helmets.

On one side I can understand this little extra difficulty, but it's frustrating when you think about it beforehand, aim at the back and nevertheless hit the helmet.
Like, duh, why would I want to hit his iron helmet. ^^

On some guards, especially when it's not all flat ground, it can take 6 reloads until the exact pixel spot to hit is found and that is indeed annoying.

 

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14 minutes ago, SeriousToni said:

However when it comes to walking up to an AI character and trying to back jack him or her, I often failed. Either they heard me and turned around or I missed them and they ran away /started to fight me. This is where I always had to reload the game and it stopped me from feeling like a master thief. IIRC in Dishonered you could take out NPCs from behind with a little animation. So that you don't had to aim blind for their head somehow. This is something I feel would make it easier for me as an optional feature for taking out opponents. Has that already been considered at some point? I know this sounds like cheating but for someone who doesn't play often to get an expert on bj enemies, I would rather have this than always having to reload and try again.

Yes, there are already discussions on development forum about simplifying blackjacking.
The latest status was that we wanted to understand which of the rules cause the most problems.

On the latest dev build, you can set cvar "tdm_melee_debug 1", and it will show you what went wrong during blackjacking:

  1. If you see AIHit:head after hit, then you hit the right part of the body. If you see AIHit:torso or something else, then blackjacking failed because of hitting the wrong part.
  2. If you see red sphere after hit, then you failed the so-called "cone checks". These checks forbid hitting directly into face and also take into account helmets (and probably alarm/alert status).

Play for some time, write down the reason for every fail, then post statistics. Also please write down for each case whether the guard had a helmet, was he sitting/slipping, and was he alerted. If he had weapon drawn, that is also worth mentioning.

 

For me personally, there are two big problems:

  1. Blackjack hits low ceilings and doorways before hitting a guard. That's damn annoying and there is no workaround.
  2. Helmeted guards are harder to blackjack. I'd better drop any helmet-related adjustments for blackjacking, because with such an unclear KO system, this "added difficulty" only adds frustration.

If guard is not alerted, has no helmet, and stands/walks around, I generally have no problem blackjacking him.

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Sometimes I go back to the Training Mission and Sound Alert -Blackjack Training, to keep fit and hang out without much pretense and headaches.
Swing is also a good training for jumping and climbing (if one doesn't have a headache from a party the day before)
Regarding Blackjacking, I do not find it excessively difficult, although in certain guards I prefer to avoid it or directly do not try (these very armored, they need mines, gas- or firearrows to eliminate them, or heavy boxes from above).
Bots are very easy to disable with a blow from behind, security cameras can disabled best with Firearrows, if you have them.

Edited by Zerg Rush

Sys Specs Laptop Lenovo V145 15AST, AMD A9- 9425 Radeon R5 - 5 cores 3,1 GHz  RAM 8Gb, GPU 1+2 Gb -Win10 64 v1909

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The main issue I have is that you can't blackjack guards that are alerted even if you are right behind them and they haven't drawn their weapon, because they magically become k.o. immune. I have fixed that in my Unofficial Patch, so you might want to give that a try: https://www.moddb.com/mods/the-dark-mod/addons/the-dark-mod-unofficial-patch

Edited by wesp5
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1 hour ago, wesp5 said:

The main issue I have is that you can't blackjack guards that are alerted even if you are right behind them and they haven't drawn their weapon, because they magically become k.o. immune.

 

That's not accurate.  Guards that have metal helmets cannot be KO'd when they are alert.  All other guards can be KO'd when alert as long as you hit them from behind.  Civilians can be KO'd from any direction, any time.

 

Quote

This is where I always had to reload the game and it stopped me from feeling like a master thief. IIRC in Dishonered you could take out NPCs from behind with a little animation. So that you don't had to aim blind for their head somehow. This is something I feel would make it easier for me as an optional feature for taking out opponents. Has that already been considered at some point?

 

Yes, we've essentially agreed that we want to do something like this, but it will require someone with the right skill set who is prepared to take it on.

 

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4 hours ago, Springheel said:

That's not accurate.  Guards that have metal helmets cannot be KO'd when they are alert.  All other guards can be KO'd when alert as long as you hit them from behind.

So what is the magic happening for guards with metal helmets then? They can be KO'd fine with their helmet on as long as they are not alerted! One second later, no way.

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4 minutes ago, wesp5 said:

So what is the magic happening for guards with metal helmets then? They can be KO'd fine with their helmet on as long as they are not alerted! One second later, no way.

Setting aside the snark, when a guard is relaxed, it is assumed that the player has time to plan out a careful, aimed strike to the base of the neck.  When the guard is alert, it is assumed the guard is tensed up and reacting too quickly for the player to aim that carefully.

The other option would be to treat guards with metal helmets the same as guards with no helmets, but that would be equally "magical", wouldn't it?

 

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9 hours ago, stgatilov said:

On the latest dev build, you can set cvar "tdm_melee_debug 1", and it will show you what went wrong during blackjacking

Thank you, this is actually a good way of "debugging" my personal experience with blackjacking in the game. If I find the time for the next FM and save a custom log, I will make sure to reach out with the data attached. Really useful for sure! Thank you again. :)

 

8 hours ago, Zerg Rush said:

Sometimes I go back to the Training Mission and Sound Alert -Blackjack Training, to keep fit and hang out without much pretense and headaches.

I understand that there's a bit of training needed, like in almost every game. I was really good back in the day at university, but now I barely find the time to play a FM, but when I do, I want to make sure it's a bit more casual to play, so that I can make it through the mission in time without having to redo some parts over and over. That said, I like the difficulty settings for AI seeing and hearing. Years ago I was playing on hard, now I set them up to easy. It's a nice way for players adjusting the game's difficulty all over the game instead of choosing FMs randomly to find an easy (or hard) one to play through.
This isn't mean negative towards you - I am happy that you are able to train and then use the learned reflexes in real missions later. That must be a lot more satisfiing than setting everything to easy mode. :D

 

42 minutes ago, Springheel said:

Setting aside the snark, when a guard is relaxed, it is assumed that the player has time to plan out a careful, aimed strike to the base of the neck.  When the guard is alert, it is assumed the guard is tensed up and reacting too quickly for the player to aim that carefully.

The other option would be to treat guards with metal helmets the same as guards with no helmets, but that would be equally "magical", wouldn't it?

 

Indeed it would. I get your point and I want to say also: I am completely fine with guards that are shielded against my blackjack attacks. Why? Because I already know, that these tough guys aren't worth a try for blackjacking them. I just avoid them and sneak past them. It's totally fine because this is the game's rule. My problem is with all the other NPCs walking around, that I never can seem to be sure if my bj attack will succeed or not. I know I should be able to do it, but as I said, it's totally random because of my lowered skill. Thus I think an !optional! feature (like setting the seeing and hearing of AI) for easier blackjacking would help out on this.

-

Again, everyone - thank you for all the participation and the different inputs. I want to make sure, I don't demand anything from you except your feedback and personal experiences. So I remind everyone to stay friendly. Everyones got their opinion and it got its place - no need to be offended or to offend anyone else. :)

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

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As a retiree I certainly have more time for these things, but due to my age and my eyesight, I no longer have the reflexes of before and mission trainings if they help me to stay in shape, at least in things that do not refer to quick reactions, but yes I can extinguish torches at full water arrow range and I hardly need the light gem for stealth.

Sys Specs Laptop Lenovo V145 15AST, AMD A9- 9425 Radeon R5 - 5 cores 3,1 GHz  RAM 8Gb, GPU 1+2 Gb -Win10 64 v1909

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3 hours ago, Springheel said:

Setting aside the snark, when a guard is relaxed, it is assumed that the player has time to plan out a careful, aimed strike to the base of the neck.  When the guard is alert, it is assumed the guard is tensed up and reacting too quickly for the player to aim that carefully.

All this "assuming" looks like magic to me when in fact there is just a trigger switching them to immune in a second. I am not talking about them attacking, just about them hearing a noise and being in the middle of drawing their sword, not concentrating at all on their neck...

Just out of interest, how was this handled in the old Thief games? Did the guards there switch to ko immune the second they heard something too?

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1 hour ago, datiswous said:

I've much more problem with impossible mantle distance in certain fms, but that's another topic..

True, also more than once I have found myself 2 floors below, half stricken on the ground in front of a guard.

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The mantling system is in fact much, much better than it was in the beginning, that I can assure. It is important to look at the edges to climb them. :)

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

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It might have more to do with how mappers implement it. I personally find it bad design if mappers make it harder to mantle as a gameplay feature to make it more chalanging. Often there are places that are obviously possible to reach, but it takes like 15 tries. But sometimes it really is not possible to reach those places (but you will never know for sure). And then your tries are in vain.

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15 attempts sounds more like you've been trying to climb somewhere to the edge of the map. :D Back in the day there was one forum member (I don't recall his name) who specialized in climbing to places that seamed impossible to reach. He then posted screenshots looking over the houses that sealed the area into the skybox textures. That was some crazy stuff! :)

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

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1 hour ago, SeriousToni said:

15 attempts sounds more like you've been trying to climb somewhere to the edge of the map. :D Back in the day there was one forum member (I don't recall his name) who specialized in climbing to places that seamed impossible to reach. He then posted screenshots looking over the houses that sealed the area into the skybox textures. That was some crazy stuff! :)

Not so complicated, in some old maps it's possible to do this. But no, I am referring to some maps, where it seems that you can continue on the other side and where you can also get there, although with some difficulty, but once there you realize that you cannot continue where you thought.

Sys Specs Laptop Lenovo V145 15AST, AMD A9- 9425 Radeon R5 - 5 cores 3,1 GHz  RAM 8Gb, GPU 1+2 Gb -Win10 64 v1909

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