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Headshots (and insta-kills by extension)


snatcher
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17 minutes ago, AluminumHaste said:

I guess you haven't climbed many ladders then. Letting go of one hand you can basically look all around you, up and down.

Used to paint/clean houses as a teen, never had issues looking all around when I was on a ladder.

You can continuously spin your head around on ladders? Amazing. ;)

 

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16 minutes ago, AluminumHaste said:

Even out of shape Skallagrim was able to dodge the arrows, when he wasn't trying to cut it with the sword. He even mentions it in the video. He actually deflects a few with his sword at 3:20

Positioning yourself to dodge arrows or deflect them is not what we're talking about (apart from the fact that even doing so, he was only able to deflect a single arrow after minutes). We're talking about an alert state which allows you to dodge arrows out of nowhere. Which even allows you to only get a slight scratch when someone stands behind you and hits you with a blackjack with such a force that you would normally go unconscious. Yes, that's complete nonsense.

Again, though, I'm fine with such a gameplay decision (especially in a game which features magic and undead). It's just that no argument in the world makes it more believable.

Edited by chakkman
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15 minutes ago, AluminumHaste said:

Even out of shape Skallagrim was able to dodge the arrows, when he wasn't trying to cut it with the sword.

Yeah, but these are basically LARP arrows with a broad tip which are flying much slower than normal arrows. I have done some LARPing myself and if you concentrate on the archer you can indeed sometimes dodge or reflect them. But the guards in TDM don't do either, they just take the arrow to the face and don't die if they are alerted :)!

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The players bow is a small short bow,  comparable. 40lbs draw would be on the high end.

Though I see this has devolved into "but in real life you can/can't....".

It's a game, with concessions made to realism for gameplays sake.

I've been trying to give real world examples to counter your "but in RL!" statements, but all in getting back is sarcasm, no real counter.

Yes, on a ladder you can look all the way around. Turn so you can see behind you, then turn the other way. I guess you could argue that the camera should be restricted to 120 degrees of rotation so players can't spin their heads like Mary, but what does this add to the experience except frustration?

 

They're real arrows, with blunted tips covered in padding so they wouldn't seriously hurt him.
The issue with alerted guards taking an arrow to the face and not dying was already addressed like 20 posts ago, you just don't agree with it.
We just don't have a way of animating the guards flinching and causing it to miss, you just have to pretend that's what's happening, IE, if they're alert, you didn't get your headshot. And honestly, if you're set on murdering guards anyways, learn to use the sword if you mess up with the arrows, I've already shown how easy it is to dispatch them with the sword. That was on Expert difficulty, with combat set to Expert.

 

14 hours ago, wesp5 said:

Yeah, but these are basically LARP arrows with a broad tip which are flying much slower than normal arrows. I have done some LARPing myself and if you concentrate on the archer you can indeed sometimes dodge or reflect them. But the guards in TDM don't do either, they just take the arrow to the face and don't die if they are alerted :)!

I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

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My suggestion had nothing to do with whether it was realistic or not, it was only suggested as a harsher penalty for missing a kill shot. As it is now, it's a bit too easy to just take pot shots at guards a short distance away while they wander in random directions.

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13 hours ago, AluminumHaste said:

We just don't have a way of animating the guards flinching and causing it to miss, you just have to pretend that's what's happening, IE, if they're alert, you didn't get your headshot.

But that really isn't the case, you get blood on their faces and if the arrow is set to stick it will even stick out of their face. Anyway, I will stop arguing now because my patch already fixed it :).

Edited by wesp5
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12 hours ago, AluminumHaste said:

The players bow is a small short bow,  comparable. 40lbs draw would be on the high end.

Though I see this has devolved into "but in real life you can/can't....".

It's a game, with concessions made to realism for gameplays sake.

That's the point. And, I think we all agree with that.

Especially when even fan missions modify gameplay aspects for the sake of the perception of the mission authors.

Actually, that is what this whole topic is about.

Edited by chakkman
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26 minutes ago, chakkman said:

Actually, that is what this whole topic is about.

Actually I don't think so. It's not about realism, nobody expects that to be true all the time in a game, but consistency inside the game world. And this for example is not the case with headshots, when they are different from mission to mission or alert state to alert state. Like the player can't easily judge what the result could be and this is the problem!

Edited by wesp5
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In my humble opinion, the term "realistic" should be used with caution as it seems many times it is used as an excuse simply to win an argument. I am not pointing any finger to anyone, I am talking generally.

Because current technology allows for it, some things must look and feel realistic in the TDM world.

- Physics: no need to explain, we aren't in the moon
- Sounds: no need to explain, I guess?
- Architecture: reasonable shapes, volumes and textures to identify what's what
- Lightning: how light interacts with objects, whether dynamic or static

This isn't probably the full list but get these wrong and we will consciously or unconsciously detect it as off. The rest is about which rules fit best to achieve X mechanic or dynamic towards the intended experience.

We have head-shots but we don't have butt-shots. Who cares. The point is how to make KOs or insta-kills challenging and/or engaging, not realistic. I think.

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3 hours ago, wesp5 said:

Actually I don't think so. It's not about realism, nobody expects that to be true all the time in a game, but consistency inside the game world. 

What I meant is that this whole topic revolves around mapper's decisions.

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7 hours ago, wesp5 said:

 It's not about realism, nobody expects that to be true all the time in a game, but consistency inside the game world. And this for example is not the case with headshots, when they are different from mission to mission or alert state to alert state. Like the player can't easily judge what the result could be and this is the problem!

 

The rules are quite consistent in the core mechanics.  If mappers choose to change them, that could cause some confusion, but there's not much we can do about that.

 

(For the record, the guards aren't "dodging" the headshot entirely...they're still being hit by the arrow, but the wound is non-lethal)

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7 hours ago, wesp5 said:

And this for example is not the case with headshots, when they are different from mission to mission or alert state to alert state.

Consistency doesn't imply that it is always the same. Consistence isn't equivalence. If the conditions aren't the same, the result can differ, too. So I don't consider it inconsistent that the ai takes different amount of damage depending on their alert state. It's a different matter if it differs between missions, as the situation one get into are similar, so players would expect similar results.

In the end it comes down to communication, because it is not important whether it is realistic or always the same or whatever to begin with, but first of all only that the player is aware of that. Players should know that the damage dealt differs depending on alert state. If that it isn't clearly communicated, this might need to change, but not the mechanic itself.

If a mapper alters a game mechanic, it should be communicated, too. But we shouldn't disallow mappers to go different ways. (Actually I think it would be better if we encourage them to experiment more.)

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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9 hours ago, AluminumHaste said:

If the guard is alert, headshots don't work. Seems very consistent.

What I meant is the following situation: I crouch in the shadows, a guard approaches and I fire an arrow straight from a few feet into his face which kills him on the spot! Now I reload the save, stand up so the guard can see me, and fire the same arrow straight into his face and he survives. Which might be consistent for us knowing about all the alert-state-changes, but to an average player? The least we could do is write something about this into the loading tips, for example into the line about the blackjack-ko-immunity.

Edited by wesp5
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1 hour ago, wesp5 said:

Which might be consistent for us knowing about all the alert-state-changes, but to an average player? The least we could do is write something about this into the loading tips, for example into the line about the blackjack-ko-immunity.

 

Nothing wrong with including it in the tips if it isn't already.  But I would think the average player is likely to be familiar with the concept of "stealth damage" which is common in most games that have a stealth mechanic.  You'd probably have a harder time coming up with a stealth game that doesn't include that concept. 

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20 minutes ago, Springheel said:

Nothing wrong with including it in the tips if it isn't already.  But I would think the average player is likely to be familiar with the concept of "stealth damage" which is common in most games that have a stealth mechanic. 

I'd really be interested in how many stealth games actually have it. I never noticed it in Dishonored, Splinter Cell, or the Chronicles of Riddick games. The only games where I really ever observed it are the Thief games.

Of course, situations where the AI is in a high alert state, and you still sneak up on it and try to KO or kill it are very rare.

Well... I always had different issues with TDM anyway. I still can't score KO's consistently, and, headshots with arrows also only work 2 out of 5 times or so. The blackjacking is much more annoying though. Most of the time, I really don't know WTH I'm doing wrong. And, yes, I watched videos about the blackjacking, and do it accordingly. Still doesn't work. It's really, really difficult.

Edited by chakkman
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I'm confused, when did gaming come with all this hand holding? Why can players not be trusted to learn mechanics organically?
Blackjacking success is also just practice, and is different than in the Thief games. There was some talk about reworking it to avoid issues like the player arm hitting low ceilings and such, but I'm not sure where that came from.

I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

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3 hours ago, chakkman said:

I'd really be interested in how many stealth games actually have it. I never noticed it in Dishonored, Splinter Cell, or the Chronicles of Riddick games. The only games where I really ever observed it are the Thief games.

 

Dishonored has both lethal and non-lethal sneak attacks that only work if the enemy is not alerted.   Assassin's Creed has stealth damage, Thief has it, tactical combat games like X-Com have it, most RPGs with stealth classes have it. 

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On 6/29/2022 at 3:06 PM, AluminumHaste said:

One of the things that was easily exploited in the thief games was alerting a bunch of guards, and have them chase you into a shadow. You could then KO them by blackjacking them in the back of the head.

Maybe that's realistic, but it trivializes the threat of the guards.

I sortof do that pretty much all the time in TDM missions: I jump to make a sound to get a guard to investigate without drawing a weapon and then carefully maneuver around and blackjack the guard at a conveniently dark location.
I never do it with more than one guard at a time though. And i never did it in the original three Thief titles, so can't compare.
But it definitely doesn't feel like trivializing the game. The sound cues need to be dosed right to avoid guards switching into "may i suggest a quickload" mode. And sneaking around still makes some noise, so getting into position isn't that easy either.

I like that you can do this in TDM. So i guess, thanks for beefing the AI up a little.
Still not a fan of the "may i suggest a quickload" alert level though (i am in the blackjacking and headshots should work at all alertness levels camp - you still have to be able to get into position and headshots on helmeted guards are quite hard anyways)...

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9 hours ago, chakkman said:

The blackjacking is much more annoying though. Most of the time, I really don't know WTH I'm doing wrong.

I had similar problems a long time, but now it works better. One issue is of course that if you don't hit the right spot the first time, the guard gets alerted and is immedieately completely immune, for which I have my patch ;). The other issue, which I only suspect though, is that the reach of the player might be much larger than it looks like and you might stand too close to the victim. Has anybody ever tried to do a third person view video to show of the reach when blackjacking?

Edited by wesp5
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7 hours ago, AluminumHaste said:

I'm confused, when did gaming come with all this hand holding? Why can players not be trusted to learn mechanics organically?

I'm not sure who or what you are referring to, but, in my case, I'm even still having issues after 14 years of playing this mod, and dozens of missions I have played. And, considering how many times the topic of blackjacking came up over the years (many times) you maybe will realize one day that it is indeed an issue. 

I remember that you even did some videos explaining how it works. The video descritpion reads "For those having trouble coming to grips with the way TDM implements these features.". Why would you do a video with such a description, if it was that straight forward? And, by the way, even watching your video, and doing everything you show in that video, I can't blackjack consistently. And, I think I even know why. In a game you play on output devices without peripheral vision, it's very difficult to judge the distance to the enemy. It might be different if TDM was VR, but, as it isn't, the game shouldn't base its mechanics so much on distance, because, you simply can't judge it reliably on monitors.

Now you may go on about how I need hand holding and all that, but, it doesn't change anything about the fundamental problem, which has been brought up gazillions of times here.

Edited by chakkman
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59 minutes ago, wesp5 said:

I had similar problems a long time, but now it works better. One issue is of course that if you don't hit the right spot the first time, the guard gets alerted and is immedieately completely immune, for which I have my patch ;). 

Even that isn't consistent. Sometimes I blackjack a guard on the helmet, it does "clang", and the guard isn't fully alerted, and I can blackjack him on the second try...

The bottom line for all these issues is that the game should be more forgiving, instead of being so complicated in that regard.

Edited by chakkman
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There seem to be two major causes behind the difficulty of blackjacking:

  1. The implementation is based on physics (tracking the exact motion of the blackjack model and calculating what point on the victim's head it lands), which adds absolutely no gameplay value but results in numerous failure conditions which are completely opaque to newcomers and seasoned players alike. The idea of being "too close to blackjack" is abject nonsense — if anyone has a gameplay explanation for why such a mechanic would be fun, I'm dying to hear it.
  2. Any suggestions to improve the mechanic or make it more forgiving are largely shot down by the "muh realism!" crowd. But...but...but... we need all these silly secret rules and failure conditions! Players should do 8 hours of blackjack training before playing this game! More difficulty means more fun, always and forever! Git gud, scrub! 🤦‍♂️

The end result of this is: players endlessly complain about blackjack difficulty, and have to work around the issue by quicksaving before every blackjack attempt because it might as well be a coin flip whether it works or not. To which the response is... let's restrict saving so you can't do this! Moooooooooar difficulty! Moooooooar fun!!!

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3 hours ago, chakkman said:

I'm not sure who or what you are referring to, but, in my case, I'm even still having issues after 14 years of playing this mod, and dozens of missions I have played. And, considering how many times the topic of blackjacking came up over the years (many times) you maybe will realize one day that it is indeed an issue. 

I remember that you even did some videos explaining how it works. The video descritpion reads "For those having trouble coming to grips with the way TDM implements these features.". Why would you do a video with such a description, if it was that straight forward? And, by the way, even watching your video, and doing everything you show in that video, I can't blackjack consistently. And, I think I even know why. In a game you play on output devices without peripheral vision, it's very difficult to judge the distance to the enemy. It might be different if TDM was VR, but, as it isn't, the game shouldn't base its mechanics so much on distance, because, you simply can't judge it reliably on monitors.

Now you may go on about how I need hand holding and all that, but, it doesn't change anything about the fundamental problem, which has been brought up gazillions of times here.

 

Was talking about the headshot mechanic only working while guards are unalerted.

You're standing too close when blackjacking.

EDIT: Also, not sure what video you're talking about, the only one I can think of is the one I made specifically for FenPhoenix, and guess what, he's good at blackjacking in TDM now.

EDIT2: you mean this video???

He even made a response video:

 

I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

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