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

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7 hours ago, meganoth said:

Excellent point. Now making a similar visual cue for the auto-trigger rooms is the hard part. Anyone with a good idea?

I mentioned a couple of ideas before, more along the lines of 'atmosphere' clues, not obvious A TRAP IS COMING UP clues.

  • Bloody hand prints on the walls/floors in areas near an aggro volume
  • Additional gore blocks at/just inside the threshold of the volume

The idea being, if you pay close attention (as any stealthing player ought to be) you can know ahead of time when extra danger is ahead. If you don't pay attention, well, surprise! Like the safe house symbol in The Division, only the opposite of safe.

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3 minutes ago, hiemfire said:

Let me see if I have your suggestion correct. New special mob who is always alert that triggers off of someone entering her/his los, is hidden so the only way to see them is by entering their view (including encasing the zombie in blocks to prevent them from being sniped from outside their view), has damage mitigation greater than an A18 zombie bear till triggered, convert blocks of all aggressive volumes to steel...

I think you are confusing "appeal to" with "@%$# over"... Nothing you suggested is appealing at all from a stealth perspective, though I can see the appeal to a run n' gunner who thinks stealth  = cheating.

You got my suggestion wrong, then. If you kept on reading it, you would understand its a whole concept. I suggested to hide her, but not entirely (like table blocks or arrow slits are blocks, but they allow projects go through specific areas). Giving stealthers one chance (and one chance only) of killing her under very specific requirements (to allow for balance).

13 minutes ago, Kalen said:

Either these traps are avoidable (by breaking or avoiding the blocks or killing the POI screamer) which TFP do not, apparently, want.

Or they're unavoidable, which, as @Roland stated, would be super frustrating for people to actually see the trap but still be unable to avoid.

At this point, we were just accepting these things as they work, The ideas were to "justify" aggro rooms happening. Or only giving a visual clue to them. It wasnt much of a fixing issue - apart from the screamer one. That was actually intended to try and bridge both worlds: runs n gunners still get their aggro rooms as intended, stealthers can try to keep stealthy but have a very high chance of failing.

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9 minutes ago, th3s0n1c said:

At this point, we were just accepting these things as they work, The ideas were to "justify" aggro rooms happening. Or only giving a visual clue to them. It wasnt much of a fixing issue - apart from the screamer one. That was actually intended to try and bridge both worlds: runs n gunners still get their aggro rooms as intended, stealthers can try to keep stealthy but have a very high chance of failing.

Thats sort of the point.   If you go to TFP with a suggestion that changes the way auto aggro rooms work, you're not likely to get any traction.   If you go to them with a suggestion to just add some sort of indicator that you set off an auto aggro room, I could see them agreeing to that.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Kalen said:

If you go to TFP with a suggestion that changes the way auto aggro rooms work, you're not likely to get any traction.   If you go to them with a suggestion to just add some sort of indicator that you set off an auto aggro room, I could see them agreeing to that.

My suggestions covered both of those bases.

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6 minutes ago, th3s0n1c said:

My suggestions covered both of those bases.

Oh ok, I guess I misunderstood.... other than the warning sign idea, it looked like all your ideas introduced a way to either avoid the auto-aggro or to frustrate players because they could see the trap before hand but still be unable to avoid it.

 

 

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You got my suggestion wrong, then. If you kept on reading it, you would understand its a whole concept. I suggested to hide her, but not entirely (like table blocks or arrow slits are blocks, but they allow projects go through specific areas). Giving stealthers one chance (and one chance only) of killing her under very specific requirements (to allow for balance).

 

1 hour ago, th3s0n1c said:

- A POI Screamer/Siren/Witch (L4D2): The main concept would be having a zombie in an area that you NEED to go through (forcing confrontation, as intended by the devs when making aggro rooms). She's not sleeping, but she's just standing there. If you bother her or she sees you, she screams, waking up all zombies in the immediate area. This area would be all steel blocks with room for hidden sleepers (avoiding cheesing).

If you really wanna appeal to stealthers, have her hidden or surrounded by blocks. I dont know if there's a way to code that but literally the only way to kill her and prevent her scream would be:

-> To 1-shot her it would require a shot in the head with damage (output) requirement equivalent to having hidden strike 5 + steel arrows + at least an iron xbow/wooden bow Q5 or 6  worth of damage.

->There's only one very specific angle for you to be able to hit her in the head.

I don't think I misread it, if anything there may have been an issue with how it was presented.

 

As presented these are the flaws: If you can shoot through it, they see through it. If they aren't asleep, then they are alert. If there is "only one specific angle" to be able to hit them in the head, then they will see you before you can shoot. You're forgetting that these volumes aren't just in Tier 4 and 5 POIs (an assumption implied by your specification for steel arrows and bolts from tier 5 or 6 iron crossbows and wooden bows, the requisite HS/FTS perk investment is possible by level 23), they're also in tier 1-3s. Sub steel GS/LS (GS120 iirc) what you've outlined is as big of a "@%$# you" to the player as what is currently in place because there is nothing they can do. Even after reaching steel they aren't even going to bother going silent into those sections since they spent the last 40-60 levels having what amounts to screaming cheese zombies @%$# @%$# up.

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14 minutes ago, Kalen said:

Oh ok, I guess I misunderstood.... other than the warning sign idea, it looked like all your ideas introduced a way to either avoid the auto-aggro or to frustrate players because they could see the trap before hand but still be unable to avoid it.

 

 

Yeah, we were discussing on the basis that things were mostly unavoidable, but at least would have a sort of visual clue (for preparation) or at least a "justification" for "I just entered a room, whoops, everyone's aware of me for no reason".

Warning sign was nothing but a visual clue.

Barricade breaking would be a justification for trigger, but not avoidable (lets say just before final loot room or only path to progress through the POI without cheesing with nerdpole or detours, etc, but would probably work best for underground basements, etc)

Pressure plates would be a justification for trigger, but would be avoidable, yes. The idea was more of trying to hide it comparatively to "a trash pile in your face" that caused the trigger - or no reason at all.

Defect blocks: justification but hard to spot (do people really go hitting every single block in the ground to check if its a fake one?). Would probably work best if the game allowed for a RNG when it comes to the where this block would be, but I guess that would be too much to ask for)

Falling block: more like an event for the justification. Not supposed to be trap or a trigger. Just a visual and sound clue of entering an aggro room.

Hubcaps: yeah, avoidable, didnt put much thought in this one. Would work best in ground areas as it could blend in with the ground as its covered in dust.

 

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5 minutes ago, hiemfire said:

 

I don't think I misread it, if anything there may have been an issue with how it was presented.

 

As presented these are the flaws: If you can shoot through it, they see through it. If they aren't asleep, then they are alert. If there is "only one specific angle" to be able to hit them in the head, then they will see you before you can shoot. You're forgetting that these volumes aren't just in Tier 4 and 5 POIs (an assumption implied by your specification for steel arrows and bolts from tier 5 or 6 iron crossbows and wooden bows, the requisite HS/FTS perk investment is possible by level 23), they're also in tier 1-3s. Sub steel GS/LS (GS120 iirc) what you've outlined is as big of a "@%$# you" to the player as what is currently in place because there is nothing they can do. Even after reaching steel they aren't even going to bother going silent into those sections since they spent the last 40-60 levels having what amounts to screaming cheese zombies @%$# @%$# up.

If the zombie is facing West and you come from the south side, it works for both those entering the room (run and gunners), as for those looking from afar in a specific angle (stealthers assessing the area).. from like a crack in a wall.

FTS doesnt come into the equation, as the zombie wouldnt trigger-scream unless 1- she sees you, 2 - you're right on top of her (short sleeper volume) or 3- if you miss the shot and hit a block next to her.

You're right, I forgot the steel arrows are tied to books, which might take a while to happen (I tried toning it down from compound bows and xbows to make it more accessible). Could probably use some change then (maybe iron ones instead, idk). But do keep in mind that steel arrows are found in traders, so buying/keeping them (and not wasting them) early game would be of utter importance.

Other than that..  the game is supposed to be hard early on and get easier as you have perks and better equipment (then it scales back up, but thats another conversation). So I think its perfectly valid that you will fail at these on low levels (even to learn about it)  but get a way to counter it later on - even if a extremely hard one.. but it's more than we're getting as it stands right now (like you've stated: aggro rooms that happen regardless of your stealth).

 

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Did I say "gasping"? This horse is still bucking....lol

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I probably should have specified exactly what I was after when I called for ideas: A clue that explains how zombies were aggroed without a way to prevent it. Bonus points if it is easy to implement since we can imagine how much time TFP wants to invest into a problem it hardly sees as a problem.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, meganoth said:

I probably should have specified exactly what I was after when I called for ideas: A clue that explains how zombies were aggroed without a way to prevent it. Bonus points if it is easy to implement since we can imagine how much time TFP wants to invest into a problem it hardly sees as a problem.

 

 

A potential problem with this is that we're using our metagame knowledge of what an auto aggro volume is to assume that the ingame explanation is that its some sort of trap that has some kind of trigger.  What if that assumption is wrong?  What if the ingame explanation is that it's just a room with particularly alert zombies that no one would be able to stealth past?   In that case, there would be no clue as to what happened.   A person would just assume that they weren't stealthy enough.... which is a perfectly viable explanation.

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5 minutes ago, Kalen said:

A potential problem with this is that we're using our metagame knowledge of what an auto aggro volume is to assume that the ingame explanation is that its some sort of trap that has some kind of trigger.  What if that assumption is wrong?  What if the ingame explanation is that it's just a room with particularly alert zombies that no one would be able to stealth past?   In that case, there would be no clue as to what happened.   A person would just assume that they weren't stealthy enough.... which is a perfectly viable explanation.

That would suppose that anyone at TFP made the effort to look for an ingame explanation for auto-aggro or even more outrageously had an ingame explanation and created auto-aggro to simulate it.

 

Let me give you my theory:  They wanted a few different methods how sleeper were activated and so they implemented them. And they happily lived ever after.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Kalen said:

A potential problem with this is that we're using our metagame knowledge of what an auto aggro volume is to assume that the ingame explanation is that its some sort of trap that has some kind of trigger.  What if that assumption is wrong?  What if the ingame explanation is that it's just a room with particularly alert zombies that no one would be able to stealth past?   In that case, there would be no clue as to what happened.   A person would just assume that they weren't stealthy enough.... which is a perfectly viable explanation.

 

Fully agree but that last sentence is where the issue begins as that only really works the first few times it happens. However after that it starts going down hill for most players as they cannot possibly be failing this many times. Instead it must be that stealth is bugged or broken, as in most games that is a more logical conclusion then it being intended. Since it is such a sharp 180 on what most people expect to occur and in most other games they tend to make a effort to ease that 180. aka a pause before confrontation, cut scene, scripted event, etc...

 

Now as for the tactic to deal with it via retreat and trying again, it typically runs contrary to a players ever forward drive. Making it feel wrong or uncomfortable especially at first and due to that it is rarely second nature or at the very least unintuitive.

 

Basically the more natural the devs make the mechanic feel the better and in this case a keep it simple approach is best. For example the sound of a zombie falling or tripping, tree branch falling, thunder or wind, etc....... Also for the tactic to retreat to be more obvious via at the very least a loading screen tip or the stealth help page.

 

Edited by Danidas (see edit history)
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4 hours ago, Roland said:

Did I say "gasping"? This horse is still bucking....lol

More like the horse has come back as a zombie. That's what happens around here.

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4 hours ago, meganoth said:

I probably should have specified exactly what I was after when I called for ideas: A clue that explains how zombies were aggroed without a way to prevent it. Bonus points if it is easy to implement since we can imagine how much time TFP wants to invest into a problem it hardly sees as a problem.

 

 

So I guess you didnt like any of my ideas? XD

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4 hours ago, meganoth said:

I probably should have specified exactly what I was after when I called for ideas: A clue that explains how zombies were aggroed without a way to prevent it. Bonus points if it is easy to implement since we can imagine how much time TFP wants to invest into a problem it hardly sees as a problem.

 

4 hours ago, Kalen said:

What if the ingame explanation is that it's just a room with particularly alert zombies that no one would be able to stealth past? 

/grumble,grumble,grumble Maybe something in "Apache" script (Did the tribes that make up the "Apache" that got tossed onto the reservations in Eastern AZ/Western NM have a written portion to their language? If not I think the Navaho did and do so maybe theirs instead) next to the rooms' exits (to keep the stupid Deus Ex Machina ambush aspect, though it'd be nice if it was scrawled on or above the entrance to the volume) saying something along the lines of "The Ever Hungry watch"?

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11 hours ago, Danidas said:

 

Fully agree but that last sentence is where the issue begins as that only really works the first few times it happens. However after that it starts going down hill for most players as they cannot possibly be failing this many times. Instead it must be that stealth is bugged or broken, as in most games that is a more logical conclusion then it being intended. Since it is such a sharp 180 on what most people expect to occur and in most other games they tend to make a effort to ease that 180. aka a pause before confrontation, cut scene, scripted event, etc...

 

Now as for the tactic to deal with it via retreat and trying again, it typically runs contrary to a players ever forward drive. Making it feel wrong or uncomfortable especially at first and due to that it is rarely second nature or at the very least unintuitive.

 

Basically the more natural the devs make the mechanic feel the better and in this case a keep it simple approach is best. For example the sound of a zombie falling or tripping, tree branch falling, thunder or wind, etc....... Also for the tactic to retreat to be more obvious via at the very least a loading screen tip or the stealth help page.

 

 

Players will either think it is a bug or find out on the web that there is auto-aggro or simply deduce it. But in the latter case it is almost worse as they then will put any stealth fail on being because of auto-aggro and then complain about hundreds of auto-aggro rooms. Instead of looking for mistakes they might be doing themselves. That is why I would like an indication to explain the behaviour. If every auto-aggro room had a siren sound at the moment of the trigger, nobody would complain about bugs and stealth-fails would always be seen as stealth-fails and not auto-aggro.

 

 

9 hours ago, th3s0n1c said:

So I guess you didnt like any of my ideas? XD

Lets say I got mixed feelings about them 😉.

 

I do use trigger plates by the way.

 

 

Edited by meganoth (see edit history)

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41 minutes ago, meganoth said:

 

Players will either think it is a bug or find out on the web that there is auto-aggro or simply deduce it. But in the latter case it is almost worse as they then will put any stealth fail on being because of auto-aggro and then complain about hundreds of auto-aggro rooms. Instead of looking for mistakes they might be doing themselves. That is why I would like an indication to explain the behaviour. If every auto-aggro room had a siren sound at the moment of the trigger, nobody would complain about bugs and stealth-fails would always be seen as stealth-fails and not auto-aggro.

 

 

Lets say I got mixed feelings about them 😉.

 

I do use trigger plates by the way.

 

 

I guess that is true. I mean before this thread I suspected this was a thing but I generally accepted it was my own fault I got made. Since this thread, now I blame auto-aggro whether I was stealthy or not. In fact I now blame auto-aggro for everything bad that happens to me!

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5 hours ago, Krougal said:

In fact I now blame auto-aggro for everything bad that happens to me!

You've just simplified my life AND protected my ego. Thank you! ;)

Edited by Roland (see edit history)
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On 10/12/2020 at 7:14 AM, Roland said:

Since the revelation that came out of this thread that you can backtrack, hide, and then sneak back to stealth kill the now awake but meandering zombies

I would do that if there were a trigger that can be disarmed and I goofed it.

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On 10/12/2020 at 11:07 PM, Kalen said:

Good ideas.... But:

 

Either these traps are avoidable (by breaking or avoiding the blocks or killing the POI screamer) which TFP do not, apparently, want.

Or they're unavoidable, which, as @Roland stated, would be super frustrating for people to actually see the trap but still be unable to avoid.

 

To me, the best option would be some sort of "off camera" audio signal.   Not the most immersive idea, but at least it would clue the player in to the fact that something happened.

I would much more prefer the idea electrical traps and warning signs.

The problem is much more simple since we have 2 types of rooms avoidable sleepers and trigger ready sleepers, so all we need is the following:

 

For the avoidable ones i propose the rigged doors and other actually avoidable traps. The idea is that they look like regular doors and bocks but when you open/hit them they make a loud noise. Examples:

 

  • A potted plant on a flimsy chair next to the door. When you open the door the plant falls and shatters alerting the undead. To avoid it you need to find where the plant is and go around it raising your stealth high enough would decrease the chance of triggering this one to 100%.
  • A beaten up door, same idea as previously expect that this door falls out of its place when opened.
  • Tripwire set up to a hidden speaker. Just not touch it.
  • Simple puzzle system where you need to walk around in a pattern to not trigger movement sensors or to place some weight on the right pressure plate to open the door.

 

For the unavoidable ones i propose the idea of visual marking and no sleeper function. Examples:

 

  • Already awakened zeds and masses of bodies infront of the door. Pretty simple deal.
  • "AMBUSH" and other warning signs. The idea is to make the player know that there might be a trap in the room, there doesnt need to be always one to keep the players on edge. For example put the "Rabid dead!" on the boiler room in the shotgun messiah factory where the burning guys spawn, now there are no spawns in the actual room because they are on the other side of the room.
  • Runner strike. Simply let loose one bloodmoon type feral screamer in the POI what tracks the player and tries to fight it, when the screamer gets attacked it explodes triggering nearby zeds to attack.

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One thing that you have to realize is that the game is taking a ultra minimalist approach to this due to extreme limitations on performance imposed by the devs. Which is the whole reason the sleeper system exists now and all the other zombie mechanics to ensue that every zombie is purposely spawned in for a encounter with the player.

 

As a result absolutely no zombies exist in POIs until the player crosses into one of the cube shaped volumes the designer drew around the room they wanted to create a encounter in. Which at that point the zombies with in will pop into existence and if that volume is set to auto aggro then the second they pop into the world they will not only know where your at but begin attacking you.

 

In other word the system is insanely simple as all it entails is draw a box around the room including the intended path to it. Then add more spawn points to said room then your intending to use of the types that you want (normal, tough, badass) in as hidden of locations as you can. Lastly set the number of spawners to get activated and if they will all be asleep, awake, or lastly auto aggro to the player and almost always it is either asleep or auto aggro as they very rarely use awake.

 

This system requires absolutely no set dressing or any thing to add any from of complexity to it as it is intentionally as simple as possible. At the very most all we can really expect is a audio queue at this point if a mechanic for it exist and if not then I doubt that adding it would be seen as worth the effort to do for them. Since they are not going to go and redesign any bit of the POIs as that will take way to long and is not worth the effort. At the very most all we will see for POIs is minor tweaks to the easiest to cheese ones to make it harder to cheese your way to the loot room.

 

 

Edited by Danidas
Added a bit more (see edit history)
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4 hours ago, Solomon said:

For the unavoidable ones i propose the idea of visual marking and no sleeper function. Examples:

 

  • Already awakened zeds and masses of bodies infront of the door. Pretty simple deal.
  • "AMBUSH" and other warning signs. The idea is to make the player know that there might be a trap in the room, there doesnt need to be always one to keep the players on edge. For example put the "Rabid dead!" on the boiler room in the shotgun messiah factory where the burning guys spawn, now there are no spawns in the actual room because they are on the other side of the room.
  • Runner strike. Simply let loose one bloodmoon type feral screamer in the POI what tracks the player and tries to fight it, when the screamer gets attacked it explodes triggering nearby zeds to attack.

Except, maybe they don't want you to know in advance.   Asking for some sort of notification letting you know what happened seems reasonable.   Asking for some sort of warning letting you know whats going to happen is probably not.

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11 hours ago, Danidas said:

As a result absolutely no zombies exist in POIs until the player crosses into one of the cube shaped volumes the designer drew around the room they wanted to create a encounter in. Which at that point the zombies with in will pop into existence and if that volume is set to auto aggro then the second they pop into the world they will not only know where your at but begin attacking you.

Not sure it is exactly like that. I wouldn't be able to break walls and ceilings to pop their heads without reaction from the others if that were the exact case.

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19 minutes ago, Jenshae said:

Not sure it is exactly like that. I wouldn't be able to break walls and ceilings to pop their heads without reaction from the others if that were the exact case.

I haven't tested it, but based on what I saw in a couple of POIs when I was looking into sleeper volumes, they can be connected. So possibly one volume can spawn the zombies in while another triggers their aggro. The aggro/asleep setting is on the volume itself, not on the zombie, and the volumes have group numbers which makes me think they can be connected.

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