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Headshots (and insta-kills by extension)


snatcher
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I actually think an own topic would be appropriate if you intend to start a discussion of a specific mechanic. We've only just moved a discussion of gear availability that started in the Noble Affairs FM thread into its own thread.

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Isn't the solution to this no kill or low kill objectives on the higher difficulty levels? Optional, no mission end on failure if you don't want to limit playstyle.

I don't always hit the target correctly on the first try. If you are playing a self-imposed "Iron Man" style, things would then escalate if you missed.

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3 hours ago, snatcher said:

the post turned very Hazard Pay centric

Well the feature is not. I head-shotted an entire pub full of people in mission COS 0 and had a lot of fun with it. I don't do this often, but it can be fun and is just one of the playstyles. Head-shooting can be made better maybe, but not by restriction. Well, I'm fine if somebody (you?) will implement this and other great ideas in new missions, but they should not be part of core.

3 hours ago, snatcher said:

The problem has nothing to do with the player or his play style but with the mechanic itself: the lack of limits or restrictions to be precise.

Headshots (insta-kills / fatalities / you name it) are extremely satisfying features in any commercial game. But here is the thing: the less control the player has over these features and the more rarely they happen, the more satisfying the experience is when it happens.

So less control and more restriction means more fun?

Edited by datiswous
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If you put an optional no kill objective on even the easiest difficulty level, that can act as a subtle reminder to anyone playing the mission that "hey, this is a stealth-oriented mission in a stealth game". And anyone watching the tuber/streamer would get the message. But they can still play the way they want to.

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10 hours ago, snatcher said:

There are plenty of moments like this in his play-through and I wonder whether the player is (consciously or unconsciously) having an engaging, frustrating or simply an uninteresting experience. Because rules allow for it, the player is applying the best strategy there is, and he is exploiting the mechanic to have it all: an insta-kill, a cool head shoot, and his arrow back. You can notice he is not trying to go through the challenge fast, he's got all the time in the world.

How can this be any fun? No sense of risk or loss, no chance of failure, but a constant trial and error. The problem has nothing to do with the player or his play style but with the mechanic itself: the lack of limits or restrictions to be precise.

Headshots (insta-kills / fatalities / you name it) are extremely satisfying features in any commercial game. But here is the thing: the less control the player has over these features and the more rarely they happen, the more satisfying the experience is when it happens. Hardly the case here, in my opinion.

There are people who like fast-paced action and others who like the calm, planned and methodical approach.
Some like nondeterministic risk/reward mechanics and and others prefer a more deterministic approach (they also don't get a rush when winning at a slot machine and are immune to modern loot box mechanics).
And then there are people who like some mix of it.
He decided to go slow and careful and trained until he scored the hit.

Whether Boy Lag truly enjoys playing TDM or just does it for the ad money generated by the 100 views of his 500 subscribers i obviously can't be absolutely sure about. But i am of the opinion, that he is mainly doing it for fun...

He said a really revealing thing regarding broadhead headshots at 17:20: It's the first time in a long time, that i found regular arrows to be of use - beyond, you know, flipping switches.
So he seems to have some experience with helmet-wearing guards...

He gave the prime example of how to make players use tools: Just make the tool useful.

If i remember correctly, i came there from the top and rolled down one of the conveniently placed heavy urns first. It didn't do enough damage, so i quickloaded and used a fire arrow because i didn't know about the altered headshot mechanic yet. So my playstyle seems to be similar to his and i enjoyed the mission.

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I learned that headshots are possible from this mission as well and was quite surprised, that they are already part of the core game, only the increased damage is not enough for a one-shot-kill of unhelmeted enemies. So I changed that in my patch :)! And because as Springheel wrote, the game correctly uses the helmets against them, even directional, I see no overall problem with this...

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15 hours ago, snatcher said:

There are plenty of moments like this in his play-through and I wonder whether the player is (consciously or unconsciously) having an engaging, frustrating or simply an uninteresting experience. Because rules allow for it, the player is applying the best strategy there is, and he is exploiting the mechanic to have it all: an insta-kill, a cool head shoot, and his arrow back. You can notice he is not trying to go through the challenge fast, he's got all the time in the world.

How can this be any fun? No sense of risk or loss, no chance of failure, but a constant trial and error. The problem has nothing to do with the player or his play style but with the mechanic itself: the lack of limits or restrictions to be precise.

I don't understand any of this. It's all so self-contradictory and inconsistent. The player is employing the "best strategy" and "exploiting the mechanic", but he ends up getting killed. There's "no risk" (he dies) and "no chance of failure" (he wastes numerous arrows then dies) but at the same time it's "constant trial and error"?

15 hours ago, snatcher said:

Headshots (insta-kills / fatalities / you name it) are extremely satisfying features in any commercial game. But here is the thing: the less control the player has over these features and the more rarely they happen, the more satisfying the experience is when it happens. Hardly the case here, in my opinion.

So this strategy which is supposed to be too easy but at the same time gets this player killed, is going to be made more fun and satisfying by imposing randomness and arbitrary restrictions to make it more difficult and unpredictable? Is there some evidence for this beyond the ideologically-driven belief that making a game more difficult automatically makes it more fun?

Sorry, I'm just not getting it.

Most missions have some combination of helmeted guards and/or no-kill objectives which would make a Sniper Elite headshot-based strategy impossible, even if it were as easy as you claim (and the video disproves).

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To the moderators: We have this discussion twice, once here and once in the respective FM thread. It would be good to merge it here, as the amount of posts made regarding this topic is pretty high and pretty much off topic considering that most users may get to the mission thread to ask for hints.

 

Thanks in advance. :) (This post can be deleted afterwards).

FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

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1 hour ago, OrbWeaver said:

Most missions have some combination of helmeted guards and/or no-kill objectives which would make a Sniper Elite headshot-based strategy impossible, even if it were as easy as you claim (and the video disproves).

I agree. If the player wants to go on a headshot spree, please let them do it if they are good enough! It's the way I play many first person shooters too, like in Cyberpunk 2077 a silenced pistol and headshots is a lot of fun.

Edited by wesp5
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3 hours ago, wesp5 said:

I learned that headshots are possible from this mission as well and was quite surprised, that they are already part of the core game, only the increased damage is not enough for a one-shot-kill of unhelmeted enemies. So I changed that in my patch :)! 

Are you talking about this mission or generally? Because, you can headshot any unhelmeted, and helmeted guard (as long as the face is not covered). That's actually what I'm doing recently: Guards with a helmet (not the elite ones) which prevent me from exploring some places quietly get an arrow in the face. ;)

I don't know now if it is consistently possible (after all, the hitbox for the blackjacking is very odd as well), but, it usually worked when I did it. Need to aim precisely though. Which is the point: There IS skill involved when you want to consitently hit the head. Especially on distances more than a few metres.

Edited by chakkman
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32 minutes ago, wesp5 said:

I agree. If the player wants to go on a headshot spree, please let them do it if they are good enough! It's the way I play many first person shooters too, like in Cyberpunk 2077 a silenced pistol and headshots is a lot of fun.

Players can get both a Stealth & FPS experience if done with elegance. In example: enemies are tough and you have to take risks to take any down. Two-thirds of the mission are a pure stealth experience, which goes with the spirit of the series. But then, upon reaching your main objective, a bazooka lands in your hands. The often tedious task of backtracking suddenly turns into a brand new experience.

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3 hours ago, chakkman said:

Are you talking about this mission or generally? Because, you can headshot any unhelmeted, and helmeted guard (as long as the face is not covered).

I was talking about generally, but I only learned about headshots from this mission. Normally I don't kill anybody anyway unless the mission demands it :).

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Watching the video, it seems like the problem stems more from savescumming than headshots. He failed several times, missed a ton, and only was able to do it because he kept reloading.

Restrictions are important, but you have to consider whether a restriction or a tradeoff works better. The way broadhead arrows work now is balanced through a tradeoff, and is actually more elegant than your proposed melty arrows.

Broadhead arrows can take down guards from a distance, but it kills them and produces a bloodstain. You need to use a water arrow to erase the bloodstain and you need to walk to the body to move it. In other words, it's a long distance take down with the tradeoff of making a bigger mess than a blackjack. Not to mention that the longer the distance, the harder it is to pull off.

Killing in general is a tradeoff in a similar manner. If you kill someone in a lit area, then you might need to use a water arrow, resulting in you able to douse one less torch.

Your melty arrows just add another consumable on top of a system that already has you use a consumable to clean up afterwards. It's redundant.

I really like the killing mechanics in TDM and wish there were more missions that took advantage of them. I've wanted to make an assassination mission that would make the most out of the dynamic between water arrows and killing, but I've just never gotten the time to learn dark radiant and make it.

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Headshots need to be a thing even in combat. Shooting a guard in the face should result in immediate death no matter how alerted he is. Allowing non-combat headshots, only for them to be impossible if the same guard is alerted is forcing the games no-combat design philosophy rather than implying it.

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I think if headshots should be changed in any way, it would be to increase the penalty for missing one. At the moment, hitting or narrowly missing a guard makes them aimlessly search. It would be more interesting to have them search in the direction the arrow came from in those cases.

Even with hardcore AI difficulty, they can't tell what direction they were hit from when I shoot from about 10 feet away.

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13 hours ago, datiswous said:

In my experience it was. But maybe I have to ckeck in other missions

I definitely onhitted unhelmeted thugs in the past but my bow aim never got really good while my blackjacking did. So i started blackjacking everyone but lone guards lurking on inaccessible parapets featured in some missions.

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10 hours ago, snatcher said:

and given the inconsistency, head-shots shouldn't exist in this game (in the current form)

At this point I have to disagree. They aren't really inconsistent to begin with, except those inconsistencies that may come from mission authors altering the default behaviour. This is, however, rarely the case.

That ai is more resistent against damage if alerted is basically a takeover from Thief like many other mechanics, of which some got adjusted and some stayed as they are. Whether something could be handled differently is, as this thread shows, always a source of heaty discussions :D

It is however very unlikely that such things get changed all of the sudden just because of said discussion, unless the majority of the team members do agree that a change is necessary. Considering that this topic is not brought up the first time, I would say that the necessity is not seen.

If you really wan't to push a change then the best approach imho is to create a fm on your own in which you use an alternative setup. Let players and mappers experience the difference and maybe more mappers will adopt the mechanic and people even get convinced, that it would be better to have it this way as default.

10 hours ago, Gin said:

I think if headshots should be changed in any way, it would be to increase the penalty for missing one. At the moment, hitting or narrowly missing a guard makes them aimlessly search. It would be more interesting to have them search in the direction the arrow came from in those cases.

Even with hardcore AI difficulty, they can't tell what direction they were hit from when I shoot from about 10 feet away.

That's actually an interesting idea. I don't know whether it has been discussed before, though.

FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

Texture Blending in DR: DR ASE Blend Exporter

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