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


Tehnomaag
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1 minute ago, Lesdeth said:

I have watched a lot of people that play with the settings I do. It is always run and gun heavy armor, because Light armor is garbage on insane. Post day 30, you will get destroyed. What is wrong with you Kalen? You don't play on these settings and you say "I know people that do." Are you joking or something with your argument?

Why would you think there is something wrong with me?   My statement was pretty clear, I thought.   I've asked people I know that play Insane/Nightmare and specifically asked them if they use stealth and, I'll paraphrase since I don't remember their exact words, "Sure, all the time"

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2 minutes ago, Kalen said:

Why would you think there is something wrong with me?   My statement was pretty clear, I thought.   I've asked people I know that play Insane/Nightmare and specifically asked them if they use stealth and, I'll paraphrase since I don't remember their exact words, "Sure, all the time"

So they go full Agi build with light armor and silencers? I crouch when mining. That isn't the argument I am making oh straw manner.

Edited by Lesdeth (see edit history)
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2 minutes ago, Lesdeth said:

So they go full Agi build with light armor and silencers?

I don't know, I didn't ask them how they do it.... just if they did.   If I had to guess, probably not.   They generally like strength builds... but I really don't know for sure.

Edited by Kalen (see edit history)
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Just now, Kalen said:

I don't know, I didn't ask them how they do it.... just if they did.   If I had to guess, probably not.   They generally like strength builds... but I really don't know for sure.

You are pigeonholed into full heavy run and gun when you play on these settings. I can crouch as often as I want, but that isn't my argument. You certainly have a very bad one my man. You asked them a question that would give you an answer you wanted, not an honest answer to the question at hand.

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Just now, Lesdeth said:

You are pigeonholed into full heavy run and gun when you play on these settings. I can crouch as often as I want, but that isn't my argument. You certainly have a very bad one my man. You asked them a question that would give you an answer you wanted, not an honest answer to the question at hand.

Lol, no I asked the question based on your comment that stealth was useless at the difficulty you played. 

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41 minutes ago, Lesdeth said:

I didn't complain that the game was hard. Wow you guys are a bit dense. I said Stealth is useless on my settings. Insane, Always Nightmare means light armor does next to nothing to keep you alive. Auto aggro rooms wreck your face. Wandering hordes will @%$# you.

 

You guys seem to be straw manning because your arguments are pretty bad... Basically your conclusion is: If you want stealth to work, lower your difficulty. That is quite idiotic...

No light armor works just fine. If you stand toe to toe and blow for blow with zombies on insane heavy armor wont protect you for that long even, nevermind light; therefor, you need to be creative. "Stealth" perks allow you to hide in plain sight, such as running across a room, crouching and moving to a corner. Throw a rock to the other side of the room. Just because you just stand there and say "well guess I'll die man these devs just wanna screw stealth" doesn't mean that's how it is. This, nor is anyone else giving alternative advice, is not being snarky. Give it a try. It works, I promise, I did it seeing if stealth was really broken or not.

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2 minutes ago, Jugginator said:

No light armor works just fine. If you stand toe to toe and blow for blow with zombies on insane heavy armor wont protect you for that long even, nevermind light; therefor, you need to be creative. "Stealth" perks allow you to hide in plain sight, such as running across a room, crouching and moving to a corner. Throw a rock to the other side of the room. Just because you just stand there and say "well guess I'll die man these devs just wanna screw stealth" doesn't mean that's how it is. This, nor is anyone else giving alternative advice, is not being snarky. Give it a try. It works, I promise, I did it seeing if stealth was really broken or not.

Lol I don't die very often. I play dead is dead. You certainly do not play on insane nightmare... Heavy armor keeps you alive for a long time my dude. Do you not know how to mod properly or something? Maybe you don't use meds? I also did give it a try. With the auto aggro rooms, aggro from outside, and the fact your damage is quite garbage with pistols and bows, it is pretty worthless. I went full t6 light armor, full mod for stealth and armor, agi build, and was caught and aggroed on all the time. You have to basically block a door and throw grenades when that happens. When you can heavy armor, m60, and kill everything without breaking a sweat. I am tired of trying to discuss this with people that play on easy mode.

Edited by Lesdeth (see edit history)
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I literally in this thread stated I tested stealth (for a few hours in dozens of T5/t4/t3 pois) on insane (always nightmare speed too) jacking my gamestage up to make sure I get all the rads and just gave myself a compound crossbow, desert vulture/shotgun/sniper with silencers and a set of military armor. No meds. No points anywhere besides the two stealth perks.

 

I didn't need any meds besides a cpl bandages and pain pills I found, as well as food I looted.

Edited by Jugginator (see edit history)
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2 minutes ago, Jugginator said:

I literally in this thread stated I tested stealth (for a few hours in dozens of T5/t4/t3 pois) on insane (always nightmare speed too) jacking my gamestage up to make sure I get all the rads and just gave myself a compound crossbow, desert vulture/shotgun/sniper with silencers and a set of military armor. No meds. No points anywhere besides the two stealth perks.

 

I didn't need any meds besides a cpl bandages and pain pills I found, as well as food I looted.

There are a lot of rooms in t4 and t5 that auto aggro... Hell, the zeds wont spawn until you enter the room sometimes. Open a bathroom with 5-7 in there at a time. What are you talking about?

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On 10/4/2020 at 11:25 PM, Danidas said:

All this date really proves the devs stance that this is not a stealth game and was never designed or intended to be. Instead its a run and gun zombie survival game to its very core with base building and defense thrown in. Which begs the question of why include stealth in the first place as a option when that it's clearly not the point of the game.

 

Well in all honestly from all I've seen on the subject and the perks, mechanics, and game design its clear that stealth only exist to help enable run and gun. In other words the whole point of stealth is to reduce the resource requirements and danger of sustaining the core run and gun play style. While insuring that it will never over shadow or be able to challenge said core play style.

 

Basically stealth allows you to raid POI's while using resources that are mostly not needed by run and gun in large number if cases. All the while also reducing the number of dangerous encounters where run and gun resources are needed. Which then allows you to better build up resources to allow you to use run and gun.

 

Now I know what you are about to say for example that with mining it is trivial to sustain run and gun. Well what of the people who hate mining and would struggle with out its near limitless resources especially when the traders are so heavily rng based. Well those situations is where stealth shines the brightest as a alternative to mining and dealing with trader rng.

 

I agree with what you said.. I believe the stealth build shines on damage for early game (apart from hordenights) and it saves up a lot of material (firearms ammo). And I've always seen it as a sort of "trade off" to melee: It will be powerful early/mid game (distance + easy 1shots early game) but bad in the late game (hard to 1shot radiateds). While melee will be somewhat weaker earlier (because of stamina consumption) while putting you at more dangerous spots.. but later on, it will be stronger (stagger, knockdown and more stamina-manageable) while also saving ammo.

Somewhat the same for the Intellect build.. junk turrets are quite powerful early (or might I say "helpful") but their damage is pretty bad later on. I guess it was improved in A19 (with new ammo and stuff) but the idea was that if you're investing in the intellect tree, once the turrets damage output falls of, you have all the traps and auto/shotgun turrets to make up for it.

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14 hours ago, Roland said:

 

Personally, I would not be opposed to options like this. But that is probably because I did not design a single POI. Including this in the game would be a tough sell for TFP because they have handcrafted the POI's and designed them with intent. Honestly, I'm just glad they still allow us to choose our own way and don't force us down the suggested pathway through the gauntlet... :)

 

The volumes are chosen purposefully to create specific gameplay experiences and risk of death to be sure but more importantly hopes of narrow escapes that result in players relating their gripping stories of survival to their friends. It is why they have resisted just creating procedurally generated rooms and interiors that would randomize the insides of POI's so they would be different every time you went in. The dungeon POI's are designed to play out in the way the designer wants it to be done and TFP want for every single POI in the game to be a hand-crafted design.

 

I really doubt they will just option out their work. It would be like a DM spending all week planning out an adventure for his group and coming up with all sorts of contingency plans that will challenge them depending on the choices he anticipates that they might make and then when Friday night comes around and they sit down to the table one of the players asks if they can implement an optional rule that would negate what the DM had planned. That option might result in a fun time for the players and maybe that DM would allow it during a future session but most likely he would say "No way and by the way, you've contracted a temporary facial skin rash that lowers your Charisma to 2 for the next 2 weeks of game time...."

 

Now, with any offering there will be those who disagree with the design and think it is lousy and unfair and bad. That is to be expected. But, I agree with you that your listed options would be fun to play around with. The POI's aren't MY babies. ;)

Hm. I get that the devs have some kind of specific vision. If that is particularly essential they could disable these suggested options for the Navgezene map. 

 

Unfortunately me and people I play with are not particularly interested in playing THAT game. For us this is a cool sandbox to play in and we tend to go in a different direction by pushing things a fair bit off from the official (vanilla) settings making it a fair bit more challenging for ourselves. To the point we even adopt few "house rules" which are not supported by the configuration options of the game. 

 

As an example, the current map we are on is 8x8 km full winter biome with all cities mostly bombed to wasteland. Landscape is 100% mountains, vicious cracks, as rough as it can be made, no roads - making going anywhere pretty brutal. We have 8x increased wandering horde size, x4 increased wilderness zombies. Day speed is 2 (run), night speed is 3 (sprint) [we did try nightmare as well, but the zeds start glitching a bit too much on nightmare].  Default difficulty settings (because making zeds bullet sponges does not seem to affect difficultly that  much compared to adjusting zed speed). Day lengths is 3 hours (so 45 min night). There is single trader (took us about 90h to find it, as we deliberately did not preview the map and as there is no forest trader there is no initial quest leading to it). Delete all on death, so if you die you start again naked.  Loot quantity set to 30%. House rules are: no underground mining (we can pick up boulders lying around but basically, no mining), not doing/bying/using machines with engine (cement mixer, power tools, vechiles, etc), no nerd-poling (you can get to roof but have to use ladders or build stairs - i.e., zeds can follow you). This is very different from vanilla experience, but after about 160h on this map we are still happy as clams, while in vanilla with no house rules we are bored after 20h at most or so. 

In a nutshell - we play for the initial struggle. We love the limited resources aspect and if after 160h on a map we still have to count the bullets and decide if it is the right time to use them. cool. Death should matter for us and oh boy it does. It hurts quite a lot to lose your carefully collected set of Q6 armor and mods when you have to start again from scratch, basically, after losing them. In such a context getting randomly murdered by an invisible flag is a bit more frustrating, I suppose, than in vanilla. But that is not the point. 

 

The point is, 7d2d is as popular as it is is predominantly because it allows players the choice of tailoring an experience THEY want to play. An OPTION to configure the sleeper volume behavior would extend that aspect of the game and, basically, fully neuter the underlying frustrating aspect of the game motivating the starting of the present thread. This should be technically relatively easy optional override to add for the devs, considering a simple script capable of doing that (by editing the POI files in a given directory) was already posted in the present thread on page 9 if I remember correct. 

Edited by Tehnomaag (see edit history)
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On 9/29/2020 at 8:06 PM, Boidster said:

Easy peasy. Go through all <poi name>.xml files under /prefabs and in these lines:


<property name="SleeperVolumeFlags" value="2,0,0,0,2,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,2,0,0,2,0,0,0,2,2,0,0,0" />

Change all of the 2s to 0s. That will change any "Attack" volumes to "Active". Or change them to 1 ("passive") for a true carebear experience. Here I am crouched down at the Red Mesa vault room, with a bunch of stealth-killable zombies. No surprises, no threat to a high-stealth player.

 

image.png.d585d67cd554a4a6c2c4adf2569bdeea.png

 

Edit to add: if this is doable in a modlet, it's beyond my skills. I was able to get the game to load up a mod which was designed to alter installation_red_mesa.xml, but it did not actually change the auto-aggro volumes. Only manually editing the XML file worked. Of course a robust text processor like sed/awk could fix all the XML files at once for you, if you're into that kind of thing. Otherwise, just hand-edit all 500 POIs and you'll have 100% stealth-able kills everywhere you go.

Is there a resource/documentation somewhere, if you know which would explain what flag does what in the POI xlm files?

For example, there are "2" and "0" values in the "SleeperVolumeFlags", for red mesa. Does each sleeper volume have one flag only (i.e., does red mesa have 24 different sleeper volumes set up out of which six are auto-aggro)? What are the other valid flags? "0" is "normal sleeper", "1" is passive, "2" is auto agro. But .. there is supposed to be also "awake" state for a sleeper I understand? Is it "1" or "3" or something else, as an example?

After thinking about it for a while and starting a new thread in the modding subsection of the game - based on discussion going on it that thread (i'll add link to it to the end of this post for the sake of completeness) it appears to be logical that the POI xlm files would be either "cooked in" into a map during a map gen (and downloaded by the players upon joining a server) or would be read server-side when a player enters the POI and then transmitted to a player from a server. Otherwise the system would be far too open for an abuse of anything clientside could override the server-side settings. 

This is an disctinction I am wondering about, as if the POI xlm is loaded by a server when player enters it it should be possible, theoretically, to override it by a server side xlm modlet. If the POI is "cooked into" map files during map gen then it might be a fair bit trickier to do anything about it at any later change with an xlm modlet. 

That might also explain, to a degree your observation that "Only manually editing the XML file worked." - if it was done prior map gen then it would imply that POI's are cooked into map files. If it worked on an existing map after manually editing the relevant xlm file for the POI it would imply that it is possible to change SleeperVolumeFlags for POI's on an already existing map by running a script changing the relevant flags server-side post map generation. 

 

As promised, link to the relevant thread in modding section as well: 

 

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7 hours ago, Lesdeth said:

I said you were pigeonholed into run and gun, agi builds (light armor, silencers, pistols) are useless. You did straw man. No question about it.

Ah, my apologies for misunderstanding you.... when you said

 

Quote

So Stealth should be completely worthless because of higher difficult?

I assumed you meant that you thought stealth was completely worthless because of higher difficulty.   I was trying to demonstrate that others did not agree with your assessment.   

 

I appreciate you now making your stance clearer.  

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8 hours ago, Lesdeth said:

There are a lot of rooms in t4 and t5 that auto aggro... Hell, the zeds wont spawn until you enter the room sometimes. Open a bathroom with 5-7 in there at a time. What are you talking about?

No, those rooms are mostly not auto-aggro. We have been saying this already multiple times. But if you are in heavy armor they will surely aggro. If you have your headlamp on they will also surely aggro. I don't know what you are doing wrong with stealth, but you are doing something wrong with stealth

 

Jugginator tested this, I tested this: on insane in t4/t5 and we could seriously both kill zombies while other zombies were soundly sleeping. And if zombies occasionally woke up we could run away to restealth again. And not on easy mode, on insane.

 

Edited by meganoth (see edit history)
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7 hours ago, Tehnomaag said:

Is there a resource/documentation somewhere, if you know which would explain what flag does what in the POI xlm files?

Not that I know of.

7 hours ago, Tehnomaag said:

For example, there are "2" and "0" values in the "SleeperVolumeFlags", for red mesa. Does each sleeper volume have one flag only (i.e., does red mesa have 24 different sleeper volumes set up out of which six are auto-aggro)? What are the other valid flags? "0" is "normal sleeper", "1" is passive, "2" is auto agro. But .. there is supposed to be also "awake" state for a sleeper I understand? Is it "1" or "3" or something else, as an example?

Yes, one value for each sleeper volume; Red Mesa has 24 volumes. There are only 3 states for a volume (you can see this in the POI editor). 0="passive", 1="active", 2="attack". I think what you call "awake" is the same as "active" - upon triggering, the sleepers wake up and have normal hearing/vision, but do not GPS to you. These are very rare (see the charts earlier in the thread).

 

image.png.bf96694b8046f64455cc7ddbb8e6e7d0.pngimage.png.d931e7175eed1227bbf2b840d115b615.pngimage.png.6b6920c3b112ac98615ff5b32dab4ca0.png

 

7 hours ago, Tehnomaag said:

This is an disctinction I am wondering about, as if the POI xlm is loaded by a server when player enters it it should be possible, theoretically, to override it by a server side xlm modlet. If the POI is "cooked into" map files during map gen then it might be a fair bit trickier to do anything about it at any later change with an xlm modlet. 

The prefab XML files are not cooked into the map, nor are they downloaded when joining a server. But they are read from disk when the map is loaded, so if the XML is changed between game sessions the POIs will behave differently. If you run a server and you want clients to have the same aggro settings they all would need a copy of the altered XML files installed manually. It's just like Compopack in this regard. And it's why (at least at my skill levels) it's not doable by mod. The 7D2D mod apparatus does not appear to check/update the /prefabs folder whatsoever.

 

I don't quite know what would happen if two clients on the same server had different POI sleeper volume settings in XML. My guess is that Player 1 (all-passive) would cross the sleeper boundary and nothing would happen. Then Player 2 (normal auto-aggro) comes along and wakes them all up, pissing off Player 1 and causing a friendly-fire incident. Recommend disabling PvP kills. 🙂

 

Edit to add: I'm unsure, actually, if POI XML files are somehow sent by the server to clients at logon, but I don't think they are. There is no evidence of them in the save folder, like there is for the other (moddable) config files. Maybe they're sent and just kept in memory? I need to do a little test on my own server to see how clients behave when their XML does not match the server's.

 

Nevermind, it seems that server XML for POIs is sent to clients, but just not saved on disk. Maybe they're loaded up as clients encounter POIs in active chunks? See my results a few replies down.

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

I don't quite know what would happen if two clients on the same server had different POI sleeper volume settings in XML. My guess is that Player 1 (all-passive) would cross the sleeper boundary and nothing would happen. Then Player 2 (normal auto-aggro) comes along and wakes them all up

Wow, if thats true thats very exploitable.

Edited by Kalen (see edit history)
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Ok so now that I am aware that auto-aggro volumes are a thing, they are pretty @%$#ing annoying.

Am I going to abandon my stealth-build? No. Am I going to piss and moan about it incessantly? No. 

 

Speaking of, I'm at 8 agi with maxed skills. Lvl 54, so the bulk of my points are there. Do I go for 10 or put the points into other skills? We're talking another 11 points to finish it (6 for agi and 5 for skills). I am leaning towards maxing it, but 3 points per ability is painful.

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4 hours ago, meganoth said:

No, those rooms are mostly not auto-aggro. We have been saying this already multiple times. But if you are in heavy armor they will surely aggro. If you have your headlamp on they will also surely aggro. I don't know what you are doing wrong with stealth, but you are doing something wrong with stealth

 

Jugginator tested this, I tested this: on insane in t4/t5 and we could seriously both kill zombies while other zombies were soundly sleeping. And if zombies occasionally woke up we could run away to restealth again. And not on easy mode, on insane.

 

I just tried it again. Half the rooms in shotgun and shamway will aggro after you kill one or two zeds with a crossbow or silenced sniper. Then you have to either shotgun or mp5 everything (slower run and gun basically) or run and hide which works maybe half the time with de-aggro, then start again. If there are many zeds, you have to do this 3 or 4 times to actually stealth kill everything, which makes the clear maybe 10x longer than run and gun. There are aggro rooms, which will automatically chase you, then you have to run and hide again to stealth kill instead of just throwing a grenade or two. This is with game stage 200. Agi builds are quite garbage. There is serious balance issues. This is with almost all of the books, tons of points, and t5-t6 armor and weapons.

I will time my runs on the next test to compare the two.

Edited by Lesdeth (see edit history)
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3 hours ago, Kalen said:

Wow, if thats true thats very exploitable.

Indeed!

 

However I just tested it and it appears that POI XML must be loaded either at connect or as POIs come into the active chunks around a player. I set my client to 100% auto-aggro in a particular POI and the server was set to 100% passive. The zombies appeared to be passive when I entered the POI (though I'm very low level so they did wake up pretty easily when I tried to sneak).

 

My next test is to change the server to 100% aggro and leave the client at the default.

 

Edit to add: okay I cannot explain the behavior with a dedicated server. Maybe I'm missing something. Someone else may need to give it a try. Here's the behavior I've noticed so far:

 

Single-player game: changing XML in /prefabs changes the behavior of the POI, even between sessions (same world, same save). I set volumes to "attack" or "passive" and changed them back and every time I loaded the world they behaved as given in the XML.

Dedicated server "passive", client "attack": POI volumes appear to behave in "passive" manner. (ranger_station_05)

Dedicated server "attack", client "passive": POI volumes appear to behave in "passive" manner. (ranger_station_02)

 

I can't explain it, except to surmise that I am doing something wrong. The last test should have resulted in "attack" behavior, if the server is supplying the client with the POI XML. 🤔

 

I need to retest in a new world - not the one I'm actually using for my co-op game - where I can pop-tart my character to level 100 with max sneak. It could be that some of the behavior is just due to my level 11 self being very bad at sneaking. But "attack" should be pretty obvious regardless, and not all zombies in a volume would wake up at the same time so...seemed "passive" to me.

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

I just tried it again. Half the rooms in shotgun and shamway will aggro after you kill one or two zeds with a crossbow or silenced sniper. Then you have to either shotgun or mp5 everything (slower run and gun basically) or run and hide which works maybe half the time with de-aggro, then start again. If there are many zeds, you have to do this 3 or 4 times to actually stealth kill everything, which makes the clear maybe 10x longer than run and gun. There are aggro rooms, which will automatically chase you, then you have to run and hide again to stealth kill instead of just throwing a grenade or two. This is with game stage 200. Agi builds are quite garbage. There is serious balance issues. This is with almost all of the books, tons of points, and t5-t6 armor and weapons.

I will time my runs on the next test to compare the two.

 

That sounds like normal sleepers as the auto aggro ones instantly know where your at and attack the second they spawn into the world regardless of what you do. It also sounds like your making too much noise too close to them and that is what's waking them up. Make sure your not using a helmet light and it will greatly help to try at night time as it is far harder to wake them then. Also use as many muffed connection mods that you can throw in your armor and armor with the lowest noise rating of the tier you want to use (armor stats can vary even between the same piece).

 

Now as for speed it's normal for stealth to be slower then run/gun as it is a more careful, slow, and methodical way to play with often more skill involved. However when done well it can easily match the over all speed of run/gun but doing so is not easy and tends to be a tortoise vs the hare situation.

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12 minutes ago, Danidas said:

 

That sounds like normal sleepers as the auto aggro ones instantly know where your at and attack the second they spawn into the world regardless of what you do. It also sounds like your making too much noise too close to them and that is what's waking them up. Make sure your not using a helmet light and it will greatly help to try at night time as it is far harder to wake them then. Also use as many muffed connection mods that you can throw in your armor and armor with the lowest noise rating of the tier you want to use (armor stats can vary even between the same piece).

 

Now as for speed it's normal for stealth to be slower then run/gun as it is a more careful, slow, and methodical way to play with often more skill involved. However when done well it can easily match the over all speed of run/gun but doing so is not easy and tends to be a tortoise vs the hare situation.

I did the run at night and I didn't use any lights nor did I bother using my night vision. It cannot even come close to run and gun. I stream 7dtd and I will link the test.

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10 minutes ago, Danidas said:

Also use as many muffed connection mods that you can throw in your armor and armor with the lowest noise rating of the tier you want to use (armor stats can vary even between the same piece).

1 small related thing: Unless the connector mods are bugged or there is typo in the description of the armor or connectors, Muffled Connectors (normal and advanced) should do nothing to reduce the noise generated by someone wearing padded armor. Padded armor adds 0 to the noise level of the character.

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14 hours ago, Lesdeth said:

Insane, Always Nightmare means light armor does next to nothing to keep you alive. Auto aggro rooms wreck your face. Wandering hordes will @%$# you.

Sounds to be Working As Intended to me. the hardest setting are supposed to WRECK YOUR FACE.  How is that hard for you to understand? You are not intended to be able to sneak kill everything in sight at those settings!

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5 minutes ago, JCrook1028 said:

Sounds to be Working As Intended to me. the hardest setting are supposed to WRECK YOUR FACE.  How is that hard for you to understand? You are not intended to be able to sneak kill everything in sight at those settings!

I can run and gun, kill everything extremely fast, one grenade to kill a room, and have heavy armor with insane survivability. Stealth is supposed to be completely subpar, with garbage survivability, and take an extremely long clear time? Seems to be to be completely unbalanced and useless.

 

Hell, it even takes more resources since you aren't using grenades which are cheap to make.

Edited by Lesdeth (see edit history)
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