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Why are the devs screwing over agi/stealth in their POI design?

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4 hours ago, hiemfire said:

Many, not "any".

Meh...I would say my comment stands better if instead of crossing out the word "any" and changing it to "many", you instead insert the word "worthwhile" between any and game...

 

4 hours ago, hiemfire said:

Maybe for some it is this way. For me it is more about being forced to not because I made a mistake but because the game turns off up to 14-18 levels (19-23 levels if you include HS) worth of time and resource investment without warning.

But its sounding more and more like it doesn't turn it off. The zombies auto wake up but don't necessarily auto target you and even if one does you can use the 19-23 levels worth of skill development to lose them, hide, sneak back, and stealth kill them. At best it simply changes the dynamics of your stealthing but the stealthing itself remains intact. You never lose your stealth. An event beyond your control causes an ambush but your stealth can still save you.

 

4 hours ago, hiemfire said:

I suggest the Shamway Factory "boss room" without either Parkour or the fall damage removal Great Heist (5k Dukes in inventory, ignore first 15m of falling) to render it moot. It would be a good test of the feasibility of that portion of the stealth system.

I'll give it a go.

 

4 hours ago, hiemfire said:

A Game Stage 200+ taking full advantage of trader quests and trader inventory not being inline with Loot Stage perspective noted... If you hate the loot system now, you're going to despise the game when they bring traders inline with it.

Provided, of course, the other changes aren't implemented at the same time that is. Never assume the game will be the same as it is now when looking at one future change. I certainly hope they don't nerf the trader as the only change...

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9 hours ago, hiemfire said:

I get that you and @Jugginator are trying to show how it works at the top end to "prove" stealth is "fine", but it's coming off to me as basically a MMO good rng/long play time flex, even with you two probably dipping into dm & cm to set up your runs. To be a bit less "Get lucky or just die." how about doing the same runs, lvl 23, day 28 using t3 iron age and/or t6 stone age, agility tree gear. And actually throw in a few Aggressive volumes to test the deaggro portion of the mechanic this time. The upper rooms of the Ranger Station 6 and Ranger Station 7 main towers or the Hospital cafeteria (?) would work for that. The skyscrapers you ran have none (unless Boidster's data is wrong, which I doubt), and the Shotgun Messiah cafeteria isn't one. I've stealth cleared that section, including it's bathrooms and roof with no aggro...

There isn't only you claiming stealth is broken. A few pages previously someone claimed we unworthy lame players don't test at endgame insane where it is really broken. And he claimed it about tier4/5 POIs generally, not only a few auto-aggro rooms.

 

The cafeteria was not testing auto-aggro either but the ability to restealth, which is usefull to know whether your stealth failed because of carelessness or auto-aggro. The successful counter strategies are the same, whether 10 zombies are coming at you because of a blunderbuss, you stepping carelessly on a paper or  auto-aggro

 

You propose to test it in very normal conditions. Not only have we already a few people posting that they don't have any problem with stealth in normal game play, But I already played lots of lvl 23, day 28 runs at normal difficulty and had zero problems. Yes, even only with a pistol. I often played agility in mid-game with a pistol and left an available smg or magnum in the base because I liked the handling of the pistol a lot more.

I agree that "from the shadows" is too expensive for what it gets you, but at lvl 23 I usually had a few points in both stealth perks and my bow had no problems with anything at the time and the pistol was more than enough for any oh-@%$# situation except if I got cornered (I remember once dying because I ran into a small bathroom and 3 zombies left me no way out). 

 

What my test also showed: "into the shadows" may be too expensive but on the other hand I'd say in end-game you still need every point in it. I did get into stealth, sometimes easy sometimes less easy, but there were sometimes occasions where a zombie spotted me or I failed to restealth against one of them and I had to run further. I assume with less stealth these situations would be more often.

 

 

 

 

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42 minutes ago, meganoth said:

There isn't only you claiming stealth is broken. A few pages previously someone claimed we unworthy lame players don't test at endgame insane where it is really broken. And he claimed it about tier4/5 POIs generally, not only a few auto-aggro rooms.

Okay, fair. So caught up in it my part of it I forgot about the guy who thinks sneaking around in heavy armor successfully should be a thing...

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An easy way to tell if a room is an auto aggro room, just hit any paper/glass/whatever with a stone axe to kill it.  Then there is nothing to carelessly step on.  If you still get a sudden rush of zeds, it is an auto aggro room.

 

One of the down town/old town looking mom and pop stores with multiple floors is like that, when you get to the near top floor.  The one with a hole in the roof and corner of the building.  You can kill all the trash at the door and leave nothing to accidentally wake zeds up and still suddenly get rushed, even while sneaking with maxed from the shadows.

 

You can bust a lot of things while stealthed normally.  Heck you can take out an entire building before some zeds wake up if you wanted.  Hitting metal seems to be the only thing loud enough to wake some zeds that are too close.  Stone Axe is also the quietest tool, so if you take out trash on the floor and still get agroed, while stealthed, that room is usually an auto aggro room.

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5 hours ago, KotCP said:

Hitting metal seems to be the only thing loud enough to wake some zeds that are too close. 

I've woken one up by breaking one of the sides of the wood "Zombie closet" they were hiding in. Broke the part right next their head. :D I was seeing if I could get a shot on it that way because I couldn't get a good line of sight on it from where I was and it was too close to the entry for me to sneak past.

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22 hours ago, Jugginator said:

All of this. Stealth doesn't mean "ctrl to never be attacked again", heavy armor perk doesn't mean "wear steel armor to never be hurt again", etc.

The game also tells the player that armor is hard capped at 90% damage reduction in the Armor journal entry. That there are places where stealth is guaranteed to fail isn't mentioned in game at all, unless that's been added to the journal entry for Stealth in the experimental builds.

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2 minutes ago, hiemfire said:

The game also tells the player that armor is hard capped at 90% damage reduction in the Armor journal entry. That there are places where stealth is guaranteed to fail isn't mentioned in game at all, unless that's been added to the journal entry for Stealth in the experimental builds.

What would make you assume that stealth would ever be 100%? It's not like you're putting on the cloak of invisibility.

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1 minute ago, hiemfire said:

The game also tells the player that armor is hard capped at 90% damage reduction in the Armor journal entry. That there are places where stealth is guaranteed to fail isn't mentioned in game at all, unless that's been added to the journal entry for Stealth in the experimental builds.

It doesn't tell you that there are blocks in the game you can't break either..... but by playing the game, you figure this stuff out.

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5 minutes ago, hiemfire said:

That there are places where stealth is guaranteed to fail isn't mentioned in game at all.

Because it isn't true. That has been proven to my satisfaction. You can say that you don't like the scripted event of an ambush happening and I have no argument with that. But it has demonstrably been shown now by more than one person that stealth does not get switched off nor does it fail. You can react successfully to the ambush event by going guns blazing and kill them all quickly or you can retreat, hide (parkour could help with this), and then re-emerge and kill them all using stealth. The act of retreating to a shadowy hiding place has been established by multiple stealth games as being an element of stealth gameplay and so it is with this game as well. There is no FAIL screen that comes up when the zombies aggro. Credits don't roll and the Game Over message doesn't play. You are allowed to react to the event as you see fit. You can continue to use stealth or you can use direct and open force.

 

I played the Shamway Factory and while I did not do it in Nightmare mode, I was clearly able to see that zombies that woke up automatically after I crossed a threshold could be retreated from and shaken off of my trail. When I came back I could throw rocks to direct them and shoot them from a crouched position for full benefits. My stealth was intact the entire time.

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9 minutes ago, Roland said:

scripted event of an ambush happening

 

10 minutes ago, Roland said:

stealth does not get switched off nor does it fail.

Amazingly you missed that these contradict each other.

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21 hours ago, meganoth said:

First completed the book tower, then half of dishong.

Not to argue the usefulness of your testing, but the skyscrapers have no auto-aggro volumes. If you want to test some POIs which have a mix of 0s and 2s in their sleeper volume flags, you can try:

 

business_burnt_02

docks_03

house_modern_05 (this one is quite aggro heavy)

house_modern_16 (100% auto-aggro)

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46 minutes ago, Boidster said:

Not to argue the usefulness of your testing, but the skyscrapers have no auto-aggro volumes. If you want to test some POIs which have a mix of 0s and 2s in their sleeper volume flags, you can try:

 

business_burnt_02

docks_03

house_modern_05 (this one is quite aggro heavy)

house_modern_16 (100% auto-aggro)

Their test wasn't pertaining to the discussion about the Aggressive volumes, but to one that is happening in parallel. Another poster who "stealths" wearing heavy armor (considers equipping armor that doesn't make a @%$# ton of noise a "downgrade") and plays on Insane difficulty was saying that stealth didn't function in Tier 4 and 5 POIs on Insane. I made the same goof up and misunderstood why they were doing the testing.

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1 hour ago, hiemfire said:

 

Amazingly you missed that these contradict each other.

We will just have to agree to disagree on that point, Hiem. I don't see a scripted event as invalidating stealth if you can react to that event through stealth.

Look at the game Thief in the final battle with the boss. He knows you are there. The scripted event of him confronting you happens and he is aware of you. But immediately you can use stealth in the ensuing conflict with him. I see this as a similar thing. You enter the room and EGADS! These zombies are awake and riled! But if you utilize your stealth skills you can still kill them in a stealthy manner and the skills you paid for were not wasted.

 

Your premise is that because of the auto aggro room you must fight directly gunning them down out of stealth because it was negated. Now we see that this assumed reaction is not necessarily a forced one. You CAN react by hiding and waiting and then killing. There is no forced open confrontation and therefore the scripted event does not contradict the use of stealth. The actual scripted event is over in a second (as soon as the zombies aggro) and then you are left to react and play however you wish-- including using all of your stealthy skills (both as a player and as a perked character)

 

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3 hours ago, Roland said:

We will just have to agree to disagree on that point, Hiem. I don't see a scripted event as invalidating stealth if you can react to that event through stealth.

Look at the game Thief in the final battle with the boss. He knows you are there. The scripted event of him confronting you happens and he is aware of you. But immediately you can use stealth in the ensuing conflict with him. I see this as a similar thing. You enter the room and EGADS! These zombies are awake and riled! But if you utilize your stealth skills you can still kill them in a stealthy manner and the skills you paid for were not wasted.

 

Your premise is that because of the auto aggro room you must fight directly gunning them down out of stealth because it was negated. Now we see that this assumed reaction is not necessarily a forced one. You CAN react by hiding and waiting and then killing. There is no forced open confrontation and therefore the scripted event does not contradict the use of stealth. The actual scripted event is over in a second (as soon as the zombies aggro) and then you are left to react and play however you wish-- including using all of your stealthy skills (both as a player and as a perked character)

 

No, my premise is that the moment the volume triggers stealth has failed. Being able to run and re-sneak in those places that it is possible (you never did specify if you tested the Shamway Factory "boss room" without parkour or the mag+Dukes, just that you tested the POI) does not change that stealth failed due to a Deus Ex Machina middle finger decision to set that volume as aggressive by the POI dev. At a minimum they need to disclose in the game itself that this is in place. I don't mean say where the volumes are, just that there are places where stealth will always fail. Iirc, the boss fight from Thief that you referenced was after a cut scene...

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1 hour ago, hiemfire said:

Being able to run and re-sneak in those places that it is possible does not change that stealth failed due to a Deus Ex Machina middle finger decision to set that volume as aggressive by the POI dev.

Dude... its not about "screwing over stealth", you seriously can't believe that's the reason volume triggers exist?  It's about the level designers wanting you to confront zombies at certain points in a POI.   Luckily, as has been pointed out, you don't have to.... you can run away, re-stealth and come back.   

 

1 hour ago, hiemfire said:

At a minimum they need to disclose in the game itself that this is in place.

No they don't.... people figure it out through trial and error.   I noticed what was happening after only a few POIs.... I'm sure you did to.  Not everything has to be spelled out.   Letting players learn how the game works on their own is a good thing, IMO.   

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, hiemfire said:

At a minimum they need to disclose in the game itself that this is in place. I don't mean say where the volumes are, just that there are places where stealth will always fail. Iirc, the boss fight from Thief that you referenced was after a cut scene...

How shall this be disclosed? Would a cut scene right when the auto aggro volume is triggered be sufficient?  That wouldn’t stop buyer’s remorse from someone with your sensitivity because by then the stealth points were already spent. Should one of the load screen Tips mention that sometimes in the game the zombies will wake up despite your best efforts? Is that enough or should they work it into the Early Access disclaimer on the Steam store page?

 

Plus, there’s the problem with stating “Stealth will fail” because as the game stands right now and as I already explained to you, it doesn’t fail. It is preserved. You just have to choose to use it when the zombies wake up. 
 

I’ve said my piece on this now and really have no more to say without just repeating already posted arguments. We just aren’t going to see eye to eye on this issue. Not now that I’m certain auto aggroed zombies can be ditched and then re-engaged with all stealth perks preserved. 

Edited by Roland (see edit history)

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An updated journal entry for stealth should do the trick and would be probably the right place to disclose the existence of auto-agro volumes. 

 

Ideally there would be an option, during the game setup to choose to override the sleeper volume behavior. Say,

  • default (sleeper volumes behave as set by the POI designers)
  • all auto-agro (all volumes rush you upon entry)
  • all awake (the most underused flag, zombies are fully awake and with all senses on, but to no rush you outright before detecting you)
  • all asleep (the "normal" sleepers upon whom you can practically step before they take note of you)
  • all auto-agro volumes are instead turned into "awake" volumes

would be ideal. That way all the people who are happy as clams with the things as they currently hare can just not change that option, while all the people who do have some kind of problem with things as they are have an option to choose something that fits them better. 

 

I personally would love to try a play where all sleepers are awake. So if you step into its line of sight, tough luck. Being stealthy would actually matter as you could bring the whole house down your way if you get too noisy. But there is an *option* to get through the POI without zombies attacking you. 

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1 hour ago, Roland said:

How shall this be disclosed?

This way:

34 minutes ago, Tehnomaag said:

An updated journal entry for stealth should do the trick and would be probably the right place to disclose the existence of auto-agro volumes.

More specifically: "In some locations enemies will be alerted to your presence and move to attack regardless of what the observability gauge shows. Remain aware and have a back up plan at all times."

1 hour ago, Kalen said:

people figure it out through trial and error.

Learn by dying... How retro...

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, hiemfire said:

This way:

More specifically: "In some locations enemies will be alerted to your presence and move to attack regardless of what the observability gauge shows. Remain aware and have a back up plan at all times."

Learn by dying... How retro...

Learn by dying in this game is used with

* landmines

* spike traps (seeing zombies walk into traps and be killed after 10 seconds wallowing in it will not prepare you for the 1.5 second death when you accidentally step into one).

* all manner of POI traps, like floor traps. And yes, the shamway factory boss room is especially unfair and got me killed the first time (I don't know what I was speccing, but I got killed and since I was panicked and made the wrong decisions I would have died with any specc). I don't think the designer of that boss room wasted any thought on whether this room is fair at all. It is made to kill most players when they think they have seen everything.

* collapsing mines (the ones where you dig your own grave 😉)

* horde night. No matter of journal entry can prepare you for the dozens of ways zombies can breach your defenses and for a typical beginner this is a death sentence. There is no journal entry that explains zombie AI, their capabilities and limits. There is no journal entry warning you that some zombies can jump 5 blocks high

* vehicles on horde night

* underground bases on horde night

* the demo. The first time a player will encounter a demo he will not know about that 5! block explosion radius. It is pure chance whether he will survive that first encounter.

 

Sure, some of them are evident in principle. Zombies are dangerous, everyone knows that. A mine could be spotted if not hidden by grass or debris. It is found around military camps or in the wasteland, both visible to be dangerous. So what, does a POI not signal danger in general as well?

 

I didn't check if some of those dangers are mentioned in the journal. I'm sure a lot of them are not. In general a game designer does not want to explain meta-knowledge in-game. Just like the tricks how sleepers are spawned or how wandering hordes are faked is not journal-material.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by meganoth (see edit history)
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18 minutes ago, meganoth said:

And yes, the shamway factory boss room is especially unfair and got me killed the first time

You can actually trigger the room from underneath it.... which makes it much easier to get away and restealth.   Then you can pick them off a lot more easily.

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1 hour ago, Kalen said:

You can actually trigger the room from underneath it.... which makes it much easier to get away and restealth.   Then you can pick them off a lot more easily.

First time through/initial clear after a reset or after the 3 day respawn timer with no reset?

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, hiemfire said:
9 hours ago, Roland said:

How shall this be disclosed?

This way:

9 hours ago, Tehnomaag said:

An updated journal entry for stealth should do the trick and would be probably the right place to disclose the existence of auto-agro volumes.

More specifically: "In some locations enemies will be alerted to your presence and move to attack regardless of what the observability gauge shows. Remain aware and have a back up plan at all times."

Wait wait wait...

 

All this wailing and gnashing of teeth, and you'd be satisfied with just a journal entry? THREAD CLOSED. I think everybody would agree that a journal entry edit is perfectly reasonable, with all else remaining as-is. Good job everyone coming up with a reasonable solution!

 

Edit to add: okay, here's the description of the max rank for From The Shadows:

Quote

Hide in the shadows 65% more effectively, noises from actions are muffled 50% and sneak movement is 50% faster.

So it already says you are only 65% more effective in hiding (not 100% hidden) and noises are only muffled 50% (not 100%). How should this description read, in your opinion? I'll make a modlet for you to fix it.

Edited by Boidster (see edit history)
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23 minutes ago, Boidster said:

All this wailing and gnashing of teeth, and you'd be satisfied with just a journal entry?

At a "@%$# it, fine. That covers it." level because they'd no longer be hiding the existence of aggressive volumes from players who have no meta knowledge of the game, yes. Preference is still the removal of the volumes or the removal of the perks.

 

27 minutes ago, Boidster said:

So it already says you are only 65% more effective in hiding (not 100% hidden) and noises are only muffled 50% (not 100%). How should this description read, in your opinion? I'll make a modlet for you to fix it.

A modlet does nothing for new players, nice of you to suggest it though, and FTS's description doesn't apply to aggressive volumes (a 65% boost of 0 is still 0). At least with a journal entry they have an opportunity within the game itself to be made aware that this will happen before they get their character's faces bashed in by them. 

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On 10/5/2020 at 10:26 PM, hiemfire said:

And actually throw in a few Aggressive volumes to test the deaggro portion of the mechanic this time. The upper rooms of the Ranger Station 6 and Ranger Station 7 main towers or the Hospital cafeteria (?) would work for that.

So I tried Ranger Station 06. Cleaned out lower floors, then went to top floor, two zombies drop from ceiling, I run downstairs and hide behind the yellow pallet. Zombies come down stairs and then just meander about.

 

image.png.35b4980c3a9017766cf446d5f0926b75.png

 

This was with only 3 ranks in FTS.

 

image.png.d042ad2988b6856bc712f0c19bcd578e.png

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