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Tehnomaag

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

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31 minutes ago, Boidster said:

What you described above - creating better opportunities to take care of them before they take care of you, using the tools the game gives you - is not cheating. It's smart gameplay. Same for fashioning an exit before entering a potentially dangerous area. Same for putting down climb-able escape blocks before any (obviously a trap) 2+ block drops into rooms you can't see. These are S-M-R-T smart tactics.

That is just brute forcing the situation. The devs will probably make invulnerable and slippery blocks to prevent framing around or poking shooting holes in a room.

Being able to disable trip wires, motion sensors and killing alarm zombies would make what they intend into a deeper mechanic, rather than this *magic* single way to play mechanic.

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3 minutes ago, Jenshae said:

The devs will probably make invulnerable and slippery blocks to prevent framing around or poking shooting holes in a room.

Why would you think that?   If anything they've been very supportive of breaking walls or using frames to get around obstacles.... its really many of our fellow players that are against those tactics.

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8 minutes ago, Kalen said:

I mean if you're trying to prove that there are instances where stealth doesn't work.... mission accomplished.  Though, I don't think anyone doubted that it was true.   The majority of the time stealth is quite effective.   For the cost of 2 perks, that's a pretty good ROI.

I amazed you've forgotten my position on this. Auto-aggro volumes need to either have clear indicators before you enter them, that someone being observant will notice, that they do not follow how the other volumes function or they need to be removed from the game. Effectively having my character slammed into a corner and curb stomped despite having done everything to mitigate my observability is @%$#ing bull@%$#.

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2 minutes ago, hiemfire said:

I amazed you've forgotten my position on this. Auto-aggro volumes need to either have clear indicators before you enter them, that someone being observant will notice, that they do not follow how the other volumes function or they need to be removed from the game. Effectively having my character slammed into a corner and curb stomped despite having done everything to mitigate my observability is @%$#ing bull@%$#.

Oh, it seemed like your position was that stealth should be effective in all areas of every POI.   You kept showing examples where stealth doesn't work in POIs.   Now, as to your current position, I disagree.   I like areas that trigger when you enter them.... adds some excitement, IMO.   In fact, I wish they were more randomly placed since once you know where they are its a lot less exciting.

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7 minutes ago, Kalen said:

Oh, it seemed like your position was that stealth should be effective in all areas of every POI.   You kept showing examples where stealth doesn't work in POIs.   Now, as to your current position, I disagree.   I like areas that trigger when you enter them.... adds some excitement, IMO.   In fact, I wish they were more randomly placed since once you know where they are its a lot less exciting.

Excitement? Interesting generalization term for this. There are other, more focused, terms that apply to being effectively powerless to prevent being slammed into a corner and beaten w/n an inch of your life...

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10 minutes ago, hiemfire said:

Excitement? Interesting generalization term for this. There are other, more focused, terms that apply to being effectively powerless to prevent being slammed into a corner and beaten w/n an inch of your life...

Yup.... exciting.   I'm glad you find it interesting!

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10 minutes ago, Kalen said:

Yup.... exciting.   I'm glad you find it interesting!

It is like that one Godzilla film with the babies. They kept rushing out of corners to startle the audience. It got tiresome and I was bored of the film quite quickly.

Sure, make traps but make sure they can also be disarmed. Also, yes, randomising where they are would make it more interesting.

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21 minutes ago, Kalen said:

Yup.... exciting.   I'm glad you find it interesting!

I'm going to enjoy leveling the ranger station POIs for sure. No point running them thanks to their developer's power tripping.

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1 hour ago, hiemfire said:

I'm going to enjoy leveling the ranger station POIs for sure. No point running them thanks to their developer's power tripping.

Make videos of it.

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5 hours ago, hiemfire said:

In the time it takes to turn to go back to the door, much less uncrouch while doing so, they were already attacking me and blocking the door to the garage thanks to the new break out --> stagger mechanic + going down a slope movement speed increase. 

You are faster than them and just need to lead them away from the door, circle around them and leave. I'm not saying this is trivial but neither a frightfully difficult task.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Jenshae said:

Make videos of it.

Took screens of the rubble and posted them in the Images thread.

21 minutes ago, meganoth said:

You are faster than them and just need to lead them away from the door, circle around them and leave. I'm not saying this is trivial but neither a frightfully difficult task.

If that option had been there I'd have taken it. You can't walk, run or jump through zombies...

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2 hours ago, hiemfire said:

Took screens of the rubble and posted them in the Images thread.

If that option had been there I'd have taken it. You can't walk, run or jump through zombies...

Here is how you can find out which POI you are looking at. Maybe post the name of it so I can see for myself. I visited 4 of the 7 ranger stations in the game and couldn't find anything fitting your description

 

Which POI am I looking at?

  • Activate dm in console (admin on server or host in SP/P2P game)

  • Hit F3

  • Enter POI bounds

  • “Player” tab 3rd line biome will also show POI name (can ignore .xyz after name)

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11 hours ago, Boidster said:

What you described above - creating better opportunities to take care of them before they take care of you, using the tools the game gives you - is not cheating. It's smart gameplay. Same for fashioning an exit before entering a potentially dangerous area. Same for putting down climb-able escape blocks before any (obviously a trap) 2+ block drops into rooms you can't see. These are S-M-R-T smart tactics.

 

Sleeper volumes are actually volumes, not trigger points (though I suppose it's possible to set up a 1x1x1 volume to act as a trigger). For the loot room at Red Mesa, there is a volume that covers the room itself (but not tall enough to cover the hatch at the top, so you can open the hatch without triggering the volume) as well as the area outside the vault door.

 

There is another sleeper volume which wraps around behind the loot room. Surpisingly, only the 2nd volume appears to have actual sleepers in it. They both have the same Group ID, though, which I assume means that both volumes apply to the same sleepers.

 

Only the vault-room volume (the one bordered in green) is set to "Attack" on activation. The other is "Active" which I think activates their hearing, but does not automatically wake them up. So if you somehow entered this area from behind the room (in the blue-bordered volume), you could conceivably stealth-kill the sleepers before you enter the main (green-bordered) vault volume. Of course the One True Path leads you into the vault-room volume which sets all the zombies to attack immediately.

 

image.png.d78954721256aebe4aea1c25c6dcf361.png

Live and learn, thanx. I am definitely now a bit more educated in regards of sleeper volumes and how they operate. Based purely on observations I kind had misunderstood an aspect of them (the assumed existence of individual trigger "points")).

 

The "opportunities to take care of them" - though. In my mind the player decision to go through a wall instead of an open doorway or any other intended path, without any in game information to justify that decision is cheating/meta-gaming/cheesing/etc. Because you know that this is a sleeper volume. But your character should not know that. There is no indication whatsoever in-game that a given volume is a sleeper volume. 

AND - on top of that - apparently devs have decided that these "other opportunities to take care of them" should not exist and have gone the way of SPAWNING ZOMBIES OUT OF THIN AIR for you as a next level hack against stealth gameplay and/or cheesing the sleepers before triggering them, I suppose. 

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5 hours ago, hiemfire said:

Took screens of the rubble and posted them in the Images thread.

Youtube videos of the explosions and maybe a protest sign are more likely to be shared to a wider audience.

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On 9/25/2020 at 6:26 PM, meganoth said:

I posted a bug report about the fire station now. We'll see shortly whether this is considered unbalanced or an intended exceptional case in a sea of stealthable POIs

 

 

By the way, my bug report for fire_station_01 landed in "confirmed".  So it seems POIs with all volumes on auto_trigger are not intended. I suppose it is still possible that some developer later looks at the bug and says "No, this is as it should be", but all the signs point strongly to this being an oversight.

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Tehnomaag said:

have gone the way of SPAWNING ZOMBIES OUT OF THIN AIR for you as a next level hack against stealth gameplay and/or cheesing the sleepers before triggering them, I suppose. 

So just to be clear, they have not added in any special "SPAWNING ZOMBIES OUT OF THIN AIR" mechanic or "hack". If you see zombies pop into existence it is because you entered a sleeper volume that was not previously loaded and the direction you entered does not provide cover to hide the spawning. You absolutely are seeing zombies spawn right in front of you, I'm not denying that. But it was not added as a "hack" to counter some player behavior. It is just a weakness in the mechanics of sleeper volumes that, hopefully, they find a way to fix.

 

9 hours ago, Tehnomaag said:

The "opportunities to take care of them" - though. In my mind the player decision to go through a wall instead of an open doorway or any other intended path, without any in game information to justify that decision is cheating/meta-gaming/cheesing/etc. Because you know that this is a sleeper volume. But your character should not know that. There is no indication whatsoever in-game that a given volume is a sleeper volume.

That's a fair point, however I think it's also fair to say that a survivor who has encountered several homes and businesses laden with traps and newly un-dead former residents/employees/customers could be expected to punch out a few windows or holes in drywall to scope out the next room before entering it. Obviously the survivors who came before me were very diligent in setting up traps and apparently the zombies are pretty devious as well. The concept of "sleeper volumes" is not required. Of course the auto-aggro rooms don't really bother me that much and I strongly resist the idea of "cheese" in a game where I have tools which can destroy any building I'm in, so I haz a bias for sure.

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Basically how sleepers work is when the level designers create the POI they place spawn points along the intended path to indicate where they want zombies to spawn in. While placing the spawn points they can specify which zombies can spawn at that point and also always try to placing them out of line of sight of the intended path. Now the spawn points on their own will do nothing so to activate them they draw a 3d cube or rectangle shaped volume around them that includes the spawn points for the encounter and a bit of the path to it. Once they do this they can set the total zombies allowed to get activated to determine how may spawn points will be used and if they will auto wake/attack the player or not.

 

Now for the POIs the Zombies with in do not exist until the player crosses into a volume which will then trigger the specified zombies to appear. With the main goal of the system to ensure that as few zombies exist in the world as possible to maximize performance and to minimize the impact on the intended game play. Which naturally the second part of that is not really working out very well as this thread attests to.

 

Edit - The main issues is that the sleeper system when not used right or not working correctly can greatly limit or get in the way of game play. Not only for stealth players but all players as no body wants zombies to magically appear in front them or for areas that appear clear from afar to suddenly be crawling with zombies once you get there.

Edited by Danidas (see edit history)
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19 hours ago, meganoth said:

Here is how you can find out which POI you are looking at. Maybe post the name of it so I can see for myself. I visited 4 of the 7 ranger stations in the game and couldn't find anything fitting your description

 

Which POI am I looking at?

  • Activate dm in console (admin on server or host in SP/P2P game)

  • Hit F3

  • Enter POI bounds

  • “Player” tab 3rd line biome will also show POI name (can ignore .xyz after name)

Sorry the reply took so long.

Ranger station 06

Got it to load in the prefab editor.

No reference key that I could find for what the different sleeper volume colors are.

Screens are of the location where I got pinned (right of the door, against the corner).

Spoiler

A19.1_2020-09-28_15-52-10.thumb.jpg.36dc77fdfe629de6d76549e7e1a5dbdf.jpgA19.1_2020-09-28_15-53-29.thumb.jpg.9062d428e19855a21e8c7930be12962b.jpg

Entry to the section from garage.

Spoiler

A19.1_2020-09-28_16-14-30.thumb.jpg.d0c0c64463c393b1fbd78cfc90813b41.jpg

With Sleeper spawns shown (1st one wide, second focused)

Spoiler

A19.1_2020-09-28_16-13-11.thumb.jpg.e235ed6fe4d6ba8d446149454e42ae2f.jpgA19.1_2020-09-28_16-13-26.thumb.jpg.16e194a0f3be4ab057d902de82c807dc.jpg

Odd thing is, that if blue is supposed to be not Auto-Aggro and orange is supposed to be Auto-Aggro, I sniped the vulture that spawned on the main building balcony without it spotting me (got the sneak attack bonus).

Edited by hiemfire (see edit history)

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18 hours ago, Jenshae said:

Youtube videos of the explosions and maybe a protest sign are more likely to be shared to a wider audience.

And probably .000000000000001% more effective at getting the change you want out of the developers....but if Covid has provided you with more time then a project like this could be fun to do so go for it.

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On 9/27/2020 at 12:18 PM, hiemfire said:

I amazed you've forgotten my position on this. Auto-aggro volumes need to either have clear indicators before you enter them, that someone being observant will notice, that they do not follow how the other volumes function or they need to be removed from the game. Effectively having my character slammed into a corner and curb stomped despite having done everything to mitigate my observability is @%$#ing bull@%$#.

This is definitely the wrong tactic to take. TFP wants there to be occasional areas of direct confrontation. They are happy to have stealth work 90% of the time and fail 10% of the time to mix things up a bit. If you ask them to add visible indicators of the reasons the zombies all wake up in that section they might consider doing it as a visual causality to better communicate to the player why it happened.

 

HOWEVER

 

We know you wouldn't be happy with just that. You would then insist that TFP give players the ability to disarm and avoid and cancel out those visual cues because it would be immersion breaking to see a trip wire but have no way to disarm it or to go in through a wall and not activate the trip wire but still they all wake up.  Nope. The devs are not going to go down the rabbit hole of doing all of that I can tell you right now. And if you present it as such I can tell you now that Madmole will just say no to the whole idea and just keep it the way it is. In their minds Stealth is pretty much done and adding an indicator that might lead to weeks or months of deeper development for disarming traps and sirens and lights and tripwires.

 

As Madmole would put it, "We're not making a stealth simulator. It is a zombie killing game with stealth elements."

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26 minutes ago, Roland said:

This is definitely the wrong tactic to take. TFP wants there to be occasional areas of direct confrontation. They are happy to have stealth work 90% of the time and fail 10% of the time to mix things up a bit. If you ask them to add visible indicators of the reasons the zombies all wake up in that section they might consider doing it as a visual causality to better communicate to the player why it happened.

 

HOWEVER

 

We know you wouldn't be happy with just that. You would then insist that TFP give players the ability to disarm and avoid and cancel out those visual cues because it would be immersion breaking to see a trip wire but have no way to disarm it or to go in through a wall and not activate the trip wire but still they all wake up.  Nope. The devs are not going to go down the rabbit hole of doing all of that I can tell you right now. And if you present it as such I can tell you now that Madmole will just say no to the whole idea and just keep it the way it is. In their minds Stealth is pretty much done and adding an indicator that might lead to weeks or months of deeper development for disarming traps and sirens and lights and tripwires.

 

As Madmole would put it, "We're not making a stealth simulator. It is a zombie killing game with stealth elements."

It was a statement of my opinion on the matter. To restate: There needs to be an indicator that the section being entered ignores the "rules" laid out by the rest of the game or they need to be removed for stealth to be worthwhile at its current in game cost. It is the only mechanic in game that has an 18 perk (14 to 18 levels worth of gameplay) investment to maximize the player's capability in that auto aggro volumes ignore. That is without including increasing sneak attack damage, which is another 5 perk points/levels worth of investment (23 perk points or 19 to 23 levels total) that these volumes negate. To every other build type auto-aggro volumes are just another sleeper volume. To stealth they are a punishment.

 

At a minimum they should openly disclose within the game itself to the players that these exist so the players can make an educated decision if they want to make use of the perks. Aside from encountering these volumes and repeatedly failing to stealth through them (Learn by Dying, like a gen 1 console side scroller) or "word of mouth" from others who have discovered them, this doesn't exist. Adding it to the loading screen tip on Stealth or as part of the game journal entry on Stealth would cover that, minimally. As it is now they are being disingenuous with the player in regards to how the stealth mechanics function in game, intentional or not. I just double checked both the loading screen tip and the journal entry, neither mention it.

Edited by hiemfire (see edit history)
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Why bother preparing to be curb stumped into a corner if it is something that you can always avoid by being observant or doing a low effort trick? That is boring as you take away most of the danger of the game. As its much better if your always at risk of it happening and have incentive to prepare the tools, tactics, and perks to mitigate it when it happens.

 

Note by low effort trick I mean things like going around a trigger, disabling it, or busting through a wall to try and out smart the encounter.

 

An example with Agility is that you have Knives that inflect bleed that slows down your attackers a long with Parkour that allows you to jump over even the tallest of zombies. So all you had to do was a few swipes of the blade to get bleed going then jump over the zombies before they could back you fully into said corner or to jump out once backed in. Even better would be to jump the fence or onto the roof to allow cover to get out of line of sight to re-stealth to use Form the Shadows to make them forget you faster so that you can then snipe them for the sneak attack bonus.

 

Not to mention you also have guns such as pistols or with out them a Blunderbuss or 2 as a back up. Now before you cry foul about noise the game already mitigates most of the danger from it. Other fronts are to forgo maxing stealth with muffled padded armor and go for leather or military armor instead to buy yourself more time to escape. As well as borrowing tools from other attributes even if you have no intent on spending any perks on them. For example the Stun Baton is amazing at nullifying threats especially if you get Tech Junky 6 to drastically increase the charge chance.

 

Glass cannon builds where you put all your focus on offense with out anything in defense beyond a hope and a prayer. Which rely on your ability to kill everything before it sees you so you don't need defense are doomed to fail. 

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Going to be interesting to find out, if they ever release the info, how many people who spec into FTS keep using it vs quit/restart or Grandpa's Forgetting Elixir it away...

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3 hours ago, hiemfire said:

Sorry the reply took so long.

Ranger station 06

Got it to load in the prefab editor.

No reference key that I could find for what the different sleeper volume colors are.

Screens are of the location where I got pinned (right of the door, against the corner).

  Reveal hidden contents

A19.1_2020-09-28_15-52-10.thumb.jpg.36dc77fdfe629de6d76549e7e1a5dbdf.jpgA19.1_2020-09-28_15-53-29.thumb.jpg.9062d428e19855a21e8c7930be12962b.jpg

Entry to the section from garage.

  Reveal hidden contents

A19.1_2020-09-28_16-14-30.thumb.jpg.d0c0c64463c393b1fbd78cfc90813b41.jpg

With Sleeper spawns shown (1st one wide, second focused)

  Reveal hidden contents

A19.1_2020-09-28_16-13-11.thumb.jpg.e235ed6fe4d6ba8d446149454e42ae2f.jpgA19.1_2020-09-28_16-13-26.thumb.jpg.16e194a0f3be4ab057d902de82c807dc.jpg

Odd thing is, that if blue is supposed to be not Auto-Aggro and orange is supposed to be Auto-Aggro, I sniped the vulture that spawned on the main building balcony without it spotting me (got the sneak attack bonus).

Thank you.

 

Since I didn't know what level you were when you encountered that place I tested going through that yard with different levels (artificially increased my level to 20 so my gamestage was 24, identical to a player who leveled up to 10 in 10 days and did not die once.). First some general comments:

 

1) The garage can actually be left again without a ladder or wood block. Jump on the engine hood of the car and jump out.

2) The zombies were somehow aggroed when you got past a specific point directly before the stairs, not when you entered the blue area

3) The zombies I had all landed on top of the stairs, most of them had to stand up again before doing anything. Zombies have a chance to get propelled out but you need to be very unlucky that both zombies jump out.

 

Now what I did was I gave myself a quality5 knife, a quality 5 wooden bow, a toilet pistol (i.e. quality 1), iron arrows and 100 bullets 9mm. Got a full set of padded armor. No mods in weapons or armor. 5 healing bandages. Perk-wise I skilled Agility to 3 and all combat perks to 2, both stealth perks to 2, and run&gun to 1. Difficulty Nomad by the way.

 

Then gave myself xp for appropriate player levels (without using any further perk points I got through this).

 

Level 10 aka GS 24: Two basic zombies, one stumbled and fell out, one landed a little further. I could easily have backed out into the garage. I also had plenty of space in that yard to run around them (GS24, slooow zombies). I then tried to kill them just with the bow while running around, after a few rounds I took too long to aim and got stunned. So I changed to toilet pistol and simply killed them. I could have used the knife as well, would have been no problem and more silent

 

Level 25 aka GS 60: Again only basic zombies, this time I had no problem killing them just with the bow. Practice maybe.

 

Level 40 aka GS 96: This time only one basic cheerleader, the other window was a empty. I was a bit surprised, I had thought lvl40 should be finally enough for ferals.

 

Level 60 aka GS 144: Finally one of the zombies was a feral. I still could run around in that yard and avoid both zombies, yes, even the feral.

 

Result: Plenty of ways to deal with this situation. I just tried to run around. Killing them with the pistol is trivial, even with a toilet pistol. If I had perked up parkour I could simply have jumped over the outer wall and have plenty of time to stealth again or kill them while they try to get through the wall. One round inside the yard and I could go out any door even if it had been blocked by a zombie for a moment.

 

Sure, I was lucky at lvl 40 and 60, there is probably a non-marginal chance to get even two ferals or a glowie. But at lvl 40 and certainly at lvl 60 a single player should have many AGI skills at max and a good SMG in his hand.

 

Also I was expecting the zombies and could plan ahead what I want to do. Without that knowledge I might get confused, panic and decide to do the wrong thing. Or forget to get out of stealth and run around with turtle-speed. And yes, forgetting to leave stealth happens to me quite a lot.

 

My conclusion is that you must have had exceptionally bad luck if you were cornered immediately and had no way out. Try it out again and you will probably see that in 99 out 100 cases the zombies would be no problem and you have plenty of time to either run away, run inside the yard, shoot them or even jump over the fence.

 

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14 hours ago, Boidster said:

So just to be clear, they have not added in any special "SPAWNING ZOMBIES OUT OF THIN AIR" mechanic or "hack".

I can believe it from the way I have seen zombies spawned in front of me out in the world.

4 hours ago, Roland said:

... You would then insist that TFP give players the ability to disarm and avoid and cancel out those visual cues because it would be immersion breaking to see a trip wire but have no way to disarm it or to go in through a wall and not activate the trip wire but still they all wake up. ...

...  In their minds Stealth is pretty much done and adding an indicator that might lead to weeks or months of deeper development for disarming traps and sirens and lights and tripwires.

 

As Madmole would put it, "We're not making a stealth simulator. It is a zombie killing game with stealth elements."

I find it immersion breaking that the same zombies as anywhere else *magically* behave differently for no apparent reason than, "just because".

I guess it is time to figure out how to make a mod to break these auto-aggro volumes as step 1, then try and introduce traps that won't be spotted the first few times but can be spotted and disarmed after that. 😣

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