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Thread: Ghost rules discussion

  1. #401
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2018
    Quote Originally Posted by marbleman View Post
    No because level 2 alerts already add to your stealth score. They are kinda like semi-search mode, but at this stage AIs already get a firm idea of your presence.
    I disagree with you. Stealth score is helpful tool, but it shouldn't be the most important thing in ghosting. It has it's flaws after all (you mentioned that blackjacking is allowed). So it doesn't reflect ghosting perfectly. The essence of ghosting was always avoiding being detected - in other words avoiding search mode. It just happened that 3rd and 4th alert represent search mode. And it just happened that normal Thief 1st alert is split into 1st and 2nd alert in TDM. It also happened that TDM creators prioritized 1st alert over 2nd alert. But I don't thing we should worry about score the most. The most important thing should be worrying about what kind of alerts we get.

    There is another problem I see. You said it yourself that both 1st and 2nd alert are very similar to each other, so it's hard to distinguish between them. I read in faq that AI stops and looks in one direction in 2nd alert. So it wouldn't be too hard for patrollers, but what about stationary guards. This makes it that ghost player must be more observant than supreme ghost player. Supreme ghost player will just reload game after hearing 1st alert comment, but regular ghost player will be forced to look very carefully at guard trying to distinguish if it was 1st or 2nd alert. Maybe it would be better to avoid any 1st alert comment. But then you play supreme ghost. I don't want to end in situation when I assumed that alert from guard was 1st alert only to find out at the end of mission that it was actually 2nd alert and I'm forced to restart the whole mission just because both alerts are so similar.

    So for regular ghost I would strongly suggest to not put so huge emphasis on getting perfect stealth score and allow 2nd alert. Top priority in regular ghost should be avoiding search mode, not a bit more suspicious 1st alert.

  2. #402
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth
    Without having seen the difference between 1st and 2nd alerts in TDM, I tend to agree with Galaer here. The last point about difficulty in detecting the difference for stationary guards is important.

  3. #403
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2018
    It's not just that. Both alerts uses the same comment remark (that's what I understood from marbleman words). This means that they would both be classified as Thief games first alert. And if the score system wouldn't exist I'm sure this 2nd alert would be allowed. So now I wonder why having score system that gives points for 2nd alert makes suddenly so huge difference.

    Also I read Hexameron's old reports on TDM missions and looks like his stealth score isn't always 0. So looks like even he allowed these 2nd alerts even though it adds points to stealth score.

  4. #404
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Location: France
    I'd like you guys to try out TDM soon so that you'd base your arguments on your own experience rather on what I've written.

    It is overall more difficult to detect alerts in TDM. Guards are much, much quieter, and their footsteps are not that easy to hear. You can even get 3rd or 4th without ever noticing it. I sure did when I started out, many times.
    It is possible to detect 2nd alerts in stationary guards by their motions. Yes, it's more difficult, but so is detecting alerts in general.

    What you're saying does make sense if you want to equate alert states in Thief and TDM. TDM 1st and 2nd alerts would correspond to Thief's 1st alerts, while TDM 3rd and 4th alerts would correspond to Thief's 2nd alerts.
    True, this is not the line of thinking I used when drafting up the addendum, but I can see the logic behind it.

    Again, please try for yourself how the game feels. Maybe you'll figure it's not suited for ghosting at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Galaer View Post
    Also I read Hexameron's old reports on TDM missions and looks like his stealth score isn't always 0. So looks like even he allowed these 2nd alerts even though it adds points to stealth score.
    Here's a quote from one of those reports:
    The "stealth score" of 3 in my final stats confused me. According to the author who explained it on TTLG: "The stealth score is going to be reviewed and hopefully rewritten. At the moment it starts at 10 and 1 point is deducted for even tiny alerts that you might not even notice. Think extreme ghosting then double it. Also remember these AI can see further than in Thief so they might mutter something far down a corridor that you don't even hear. "... thought I saw something ... must have been rats" kind of thing."

    This is not how stealth score works now. We can't rely on that anymore.
    Last edited by marbleman; 21st Jun 2021 at 06:08.

  5. #405
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Location: France
    I'm currently playing Catacombs of Knoss Remastered, and, without going into spoilers, there is a trap where two AIs spawn right near you. You can disarm it, which will still spawn the two AIs but they'll be dead. I don't think it's a bust since it's scripted, but I'd like a second opinion.

  6. #406
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth
    You are right, marbleman. I definitely need to play more TDM before having a say on those rules. My comments were more thinking out loud, but without experience to back it up. I have a few more T1 missions to play and then I'll get into TDM, probably a smaller mission first, then one of Melan's look tempting.

    The trap spawning dead enemies once disarmed seems like a bust to me. It reminds me if the ring that spawns a haunt nearby in Bad Debts. You can use holy water on the mist before taking the ring and the haunt spawns dead. This was deemed a bust for that mission, or at least I treated it as such.

  7. #407
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Location: France
    Quote Originally Posted by klatremus View Post
    The trap spawning dead enemies once disarmed seems like a bust to me. It reminds me if the ring that spawns a haunt nearby in Bad Debts. You can use holy water on the mist before taking the ring and the haunt spawns dead. This was deemed a bust for that mission, or at least I treated it as such.
    Okay, but if it doesn't spawn any enemies at all once disarmed, that's not a bust right?

  8. #408
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth
    Correct, because it is the killing of the enemies that is disallowed, not disarming the trap.

  9. #409
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2018
    So I took your suggestion, marbleman, and played some TDM missions. It didn't start well, because Training Mission is really awful. These pop-out messages vanishing way too quickly iooks like really bad idea. Mission doesn't really explain some basic function like opening chests with key. I thought I need to use key on lock and then use lid. It took me 10+ min to figure out that I need to interact only with lid. Then why lower part is frobbable? Grabbing bodies on your back is never explained. I managed to find about that by mistake in 1st introductory mission. There are some rings on crate and one of them can't be picked, because crate is being highlighten. And ring is too heavy to raise crate from it's spot. So getting ring is awkward trying to make it fall out of crate. Also there are some invisible barriers blocking way into alleys or invisible ceiling (you can shoot rope arrow up there, but if you start climbing rope, then something will stop you. That's pretty terrible 1st impression. Luckily introductory missions are much better.

    So now I know why you wanted to disallow 2nd alerts, marbleman. I would say that the problem is that they are looking very similar to 3rd alerts. And that's true, alerts are very quiet. But they stop and look around. But I think that they sometimes continue their patrol route without stopping and this still counts as 2nd alert. Usually when they see opened door and decide to check situation, it counts as 2nd alert. But not always. Sometimes this behavior don't count to stealth score. Thew same goes with the situation when enemy immediately spot us and attacked us. I was checking my stealth stats when guard was attacking me and I noticed lack of points added to stealth score. So that's really weird, but it would be good to still avoid that.

    I agree with pickpocket alert, it looks pretty innocent. Alert to lack of loot though should be avoided, because it's 4th alert. Enemy raise weapon, searches around, gathers other guards and suddenly there is one huge mess and you need to wait long time for them to calm down. The problem is this kind of loot isn't indicated and you may not detect that. If there is stationary guard near loot, then he may spot lack of loot immediately. Patrollers frequently visiting area near loot, will spot loss on their 3rd or 4th journey near this loot (so after couple of min). Guards on long or random patrol route may not spot lack of loot on their 1st visit in room. This means that they may spot lack of loot after 10 or 20 or more minutes. You will be long time gone, so you may never detect this 4th alert. The last situation I would excuse based on lack of knowledge.

    Also I think it would be good to disallow alerts connected to completing objectives. They don't count to stealth score, but they are alerts nonetheless and they are made by our action. Example: in Tears of St Lucia is objective to destroy statue, so it will look like accident. You do that by pushing giant hammer on statue. Fall make huge noise and 4th alerts guards below. This doesn't count to stealth score, but objective didn't say to alert everyone. Actually intro mentioned possibility to do it without alerting anyone. But I don't think it's possible.

    It wasn't mentioned in rules, but in this game are cheats. They can make you indestructible, make you walk through walls, make you undetectable or spawn weapons. I think it should be mentioned that these cheats are disallowed.

  10. #410
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Location: France
    I only recently saw how guards react to missing loot. Indeed, they search the area, fully alert and with weapons raised, and all nearby guards join in as well. While it doesn't count towards stealth score, I'd probably treat it as a ghost bust as well.

    I figured the no cheating rule would be obvious, but we can add that as well.

  11. #411
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Location: France
    Another thing I noticed while playing with the stealth score tool: sleeping AIs give first alerts if you're making noise, but they have no remarks for that. You'd never detect this without the tool. Not sure whether this should be allowed.

  12. #412
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2018
    I think it's similar to scoring 1st alert from guard who is very far away. You can't hear that too. So I think it should be allowed. Weirdly enough sleeping AI doesn't alert to picklocking or opening/closing chests. They alert to the sound of opening wardrobes or cabinets (sound of opening doors), but they don't alert when you close them. I noticed that during ghosting A New Job and mentioned that in my report.

    I have another question. Recently I supreme ghosted Swing. It's a parkour mission without any enemies. The main problem is retrieving rope arrows and shooting switch resetting catapult. In Thief games it's allowed to use arrows that way, but in TDM arrow breaks in half and fall on ground. Is this allowed for supreme to leave this evidence? Though in this particular mission I was sent by King, so everyone knows that I was on giant swing. Also broken arrow fell at the bottom of the canyon, way below swing and it's believable that rope arrow could fell down and break, because it's placed loosely on table on swing, which changes position all the time.

  13. #413
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth
    Alerts from sleeping guards where you don't hear anything are annoying. I haven't experienced this myself, but I don't see how it could be a bust. You can't require players to have the tool available in order to know. This rather seems like a bug that the DM team should fix. What is the point of the stealth score system if it detects what is not really a detection? If a sleeping guard hears something, he should wake up.

    The arrows question is tricky, Galaer. The whole point of using the arrow is to reset something that you've changed, but in doing so you change something else... It's a lose-lose situation. Not sure about that one. What do you think, marbleman. Ugh, the dark mod poses more issues than I thought. In the end it might be on a case to case basis for some missions. The three of us seem to be the only ones ghosting it at this moment, at least following the rules, so we'll just have to keep checking here if we have questions. For your specific situation Galaer, I'd probably say you're fine, because the arrow ends up at the bottom of the canyon for one (where few will notice it, if ever), plus anyone who used the catapult could've droppped the arrow. Still doesn't feel right though, you know.

  14. #414
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2018
    Quote Originally Posted by klatremus View Post
    If a sleeping guard hears something, he should wake up.
    But that would be 2nd or 3rd alert. TDM alerts are more realistic. If you sleep lightly you can still hear small noise, but will you say something? If it's small noise, then you will probably ignore it and continue sleeping. And that's the same story with TDM. For supreme ghosters it's annoying situation, because of lack of indication of an alert, but maybe there is something - a very subtle change in behavior. It's hard to tell.

  15. #415
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth
    Maybe. I am ghosting A New Job right now and will check once I get to Rothwick's room. The stealth doc is invaluable to learn the alert levels; highly recommended. I noticed in your report for A New Job that you weren't able to get the ring in the nest without alerts. You can instead of leaping onto the pipe going up there, mantle onto it from the wooden roof. Mantling is always silent, which is great. Going back you can't do that, so you have to do a running jump from the nest level all the way to the wooden roof. Since it's wood it makes less noise and doesn't alert anyone if they're far enough away. Just sharing tricks in TDM as I learn them going along.

    @marbleman: I remember you said that first alerts have settling remarks, but that is not always true. Several times I have heard a guard say "hmmm" quite loud. Checking the stealth doc this is a first alert, but I never hear a second remark from this alert.

  16. #416
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Location: France
    In Thief, the use of moss arrows is allowed to hit buttons, but moss arrows also leave evidence. I'd say leaving broken arrows behind is okay. Can you press buttons with water arrows in TDM?

    Sleeping AIs might become the bane for Supreme ghosters then if no alerts whatsoever are allowed. You might see a single 1st alert in the end and say, well it clearly comes from a sleeping AI... but are you sure it does?

    Regarding settling remarks, maybe! I just know they exist, but maybe AIs don't settle from 1st alerts.

  17. #417
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2018
    About sleeping AI - even if there is no indication, it's still possible to learn what sound 1st alerts AI and what range of hearing it has. Also one thing I learned - don't mantle on bed, because AI will definitely wake up.

    As for my report: it was more about testing stuff. I know that it's possible to drop on pipe without any alerts when guards are away, but I wanted to check their range of hearing and their reactions. Even my Tears of St Lucia has a lot of stuff that I noticed, because I was testing stuff. I didn't write about this there, but if you take plate from spider nest, 2 spider shows up. If you fall into water, these 2 spiders will go into search mode, but it's impossible to hear it, because they are couple of rooms away. And when you go to them, they just stand in place without any indication there was any alert. I only know there was search mode thanks to stealth stats scroll.
    Last edited by Galaer; 30th Jun 2021 at 09:29.

  18. #418
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth
    So thinking about it more, I do not agree with counting alerts for sleeping enemies at all. There are plenty of times in Thief where I'm sure the engine registers first alerts for enemies, but you dont hear anything. Here are some cases: 1. If enemies dont have sound files for first alerts. Many special enemies with custom sounds simply dont have first alert remarks. 2. Enemies involved in conversations. Here it's very obvious because sometimes they even give the settling remark after the conversation ends. 3. Neutral guards. In some missions, these also give settling remarks even though they're not supposed to. 4. Enemies that have already been in a fight with someone else. They will be in a constant first alert state and thus not give remarks any longer. 5. The case in question, sleeping guards in TDM.

    I'm sure that in all these 5 cases (and probably more) TDM will count them as Alert 1s, and if we are strict and just follow the stats, they will bust Supreme. This is not in line with the original rules where all of these would be allowed. We should stick to the spirit of the original rule set and not the stats only. I'm pretty firm on this guys.

  19. #419
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2013
    Responding to an earlier point, I thought T3 ghosters did not count AI reactions to missing loot? The whole game would be unghostable if you did? Or was that just Travis Whitsitt?

  20. #420
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Location: France
    @klatremus: I fully agree with that reasoning. I'm just not sure how to explain this in the ruleset. Additionally, those playing without the tool might get many more plain undetectable alerts from guards far away or behind walls, which does happen quite often. And once again, I don't know if these should be allowed. Honestly I think the use of the stealth tool should be encouraged somewhere in the rules as well.
    Last edited by marbleman; 1st Jul 2021 at 14:47.

  21. #421
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2018
    Quote Originally Posted by klatremus View Post
    3. Neutral guards. In some missions, these also give settling remarks even though they're not supposed to.
    Heh, whenever I was supreme ghosted missions, I always was avoiding 1st alerts from neutral guards and counted them as a bust.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cigam View Post
    Responding to an earlier point, I thought T3 ghosters did not count AI reactions to missing loot? The whole game would be unghostable if you did? Or was that just Travis Whitsitt?
    From what I remember missing loot alert in T3 is just unique 1st alert (kinda like pickpocketing alert in TDM) and it's way more frequent. In TDM it is unique alert, which ends as a search mode (4th alert). Plus is more frequent - in Tears of St Lucia I encountered only 3 places where this alert can occur and still you can complete loot objective by avoiding this problematic loot. So it's completely different scope of the problem.

  22. #422
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2013
    In T3 they will also go into a brief search mode phase if they notice missing loot. Travis, at least, did not count this as long as they were reacting purely to the loot, and not any sounds he had made etc.

    You could perhaps argue for skipping "unnecessary" loot that would trigger such responses, but that gets complicated as it might require advance fore-knowledge of the mission. And I am a believer that people ought to be able to just play and make decisions in real-time, without needing to do mission-research first.
    Last edited by Cigam; 1st Jul 2021 at 13:48.

  23. #423
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2018
    I really don't remember about T3. I played it so long time ago, I also watched Travis's videos, but again it was many years ago. I only remember that he managed to supreme ghost the whole game.

    As for 2nd part, different games have different mechanics, so research is absolutely necessary. I'm sure that even Travis made research before he supreme ghosted T3.

  24. #424
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2013
    I thought there was something in the rules about not taking the final stats as the be all and end all?

    I am sure there are plenty of claimed ghost successes that were actually busts, but the player genuinely did not hear a very faint and far off "hmm?".

    I guess what I am trying to say is this. Rather than getting hung up on what some final stats screen might say, if you see or hear no objective evidence that a sleeping AI or a far off guard was disrupted by you, then it is all good. Just as it would be in the original games?

    Anyway, who is to say that there wasn't a bug and something that should have been counted in the stats wasn't, and vice versa? I mean, the stats in the original games were known to bug out sometimes.

    So in a nutshell, FWIW I would disagree with making the results stated on a final stats screen, with prescribed target values, as a differentiator between success and failure. What actually happens, and what there is in-game evidence of, is what people should draw conclusions on?

  25. #425
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Location: France
    There issue is two-fold:
    1) TDM does have all your alerts summed up on a stat screen.
    2) Alerts in TDM are much harder to detect.

    In Thief, when you haven't heard anything, it usually means there were no alerts because they are so easy to detect. This is not a case in TDM. I don't agree that you can ghost a mission, get a few alerts on the stat screen and go "Well I didn't hear anything so I'm good \_(ツ)_/"

    Thief 3 is its own game with its own mechanics. I wouldn't use it to justify anything in TDM, or Thief for that matter. If a Thief 3 ever gets its ghosting community, they might add clarifications allowing these kinds of alerts even though they might not allowed in TDM (it's still to be decided).
    Last edited by marbleman; 1st Jul 2021 at 14:48.

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