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View Full Version : HOW should stealth, parkour and combat be improved?!



BananaBlighter
03-01-2015, 03:13 PM
There are a lot of mixed feelings on these three core aspects of AC games, especially after Unity. In all these threads and videos about what Victory should include, I see people having quite contrasting ideas. Some say further improve parkour, make combat easier, generally improve stealth, but HOW?! Personally I think that the parkour is perfect in Unity, just a few adjustments to the animations and god giant jumps, and it should have no problems. However I agree with other people that in some ways the combat and stealth can be changed, and here's how (in my opinion):

Stealth - OK, firstly, the detection system is messed up as people are seeing me through ceilings and walls, but don't notice when I air assassinate their buddy 1 metre away. The cover system is in some ways better than previously, but pressing buttons to enter cover come with disadvantages too. I think that getting out of cover should be a different button, 'b' or 'circle', so that you can avoid swapping cover when you want to exit it instead. Also, when I'm covered by a door frame and chuck a smoke bomb in to a room, I want to be able to quickly run in and finish off the coughing guards. Instead what I have to do is let go of the thumb stick, press 'circle', and then walk around the door frame before entering - if only I could just quickly slip in without having to fumble and allow the smoke to dissipate hence getting detected. Lastly, I understand that they removed whistling to make it harder, but just why can't I attract guards to my haystack. Allowing the player to throw cherry bombs out of hiding spots would be very nice. Also, please can guards walk all the way up to a cherry bomb, say I'm in a corner. I find it annoying that in cover, guards only get close enough to kill when I drop a cherry bomb, if they are close enough to detect me, causing me to lose reward in heists. That's it for stealth, feel free to reply on what you think should change, the way I see it though, this is a great improvement from previously.

Combat - Unlike many others, I feel that combat shouldn't be made easier, and in some ways really improved in Unity. Countering in previous titles, especially AC3, was OP, but it was also really cool, and the reason I keep coming back to play AC4. I don't find free roaming in Unity as fun as the combat has less variety and fluidity. Also, while the hard combat is there to frighten you from being detected, there needs to be a way to deal with 20 guards in case it happens. What I suggest, is something similar to the combat in Shadow of Mordor, where your hit streak increases and then it becomes charged, allowing you to perform special moves like an execution. Now, I'm not saying for Unity, to have a massive number on the left side of the screen counting every time you hit someone, but I think there needs to be and element of becoming 'charged' in one way or another. I think a number of ways you could become 'charged' could be: pulling off a finisher (not that easy mid battle); three (perfect) parries in a row; three kills without taking damage. When you are charged, you can then do a special move such as a deadly counter (awesome animations included), a tool counter (grappling hook included), or a regular 'execution' with or without a tool. Maybe, like in SoM, you do double damage when charged. A lot of these abilities can be linked to the skill tree like in SoM, and I know that developing the skill 'tree' in another thing that is quite requested.

Here's what I think, but what is your opinion? Do you dis/agree with anything? Oh yeah forgot to mention, add the ability to fight with fists/hidden blades or maybe just a fist and hidden blade combination (you only have one hidden blade now), and be able to swap cover round a corner.

RADAR__4077
03-01-2015, 04:50 PM
I agree with you for the most part.

The detection and cover systems need an overhaul for sure.

But I have another solution for combat. Instead of charging up a super attack, add more variety to finisher animations, add instant counter kills for enemies with less than 20% health, and instant counter kills for perfect parries performed immediately after another. (You get attacked, perfect parry, then perfect parry again before the first is finished)

And I have no complaints about the free running.

Farlander1991
03-01-2015, 05:08 PM
Also, while the hard combat is there to frighten you from being detected, there needs to be a way to deal with 20 guards in case it happens.

There is a way to deal with 20 guards in case it happens. It's called 'escape'. That's kinda the whole point.

Shahkulu101
03-01-2015, 05:56 PM
^ This.

I like your stealth ideas though, agree with everything. The combat idea sounds too much like...idk SoM or Batman. :rolleyes:

AC isn't that type of game. It's an Assassin game grounded in reality somewhat, not a superhero game - at least, it's not anymore. AC2-AC4 felt like exactly that.

VestigialLlama4
03-01-2015, 06:07 PM
Personally I think that the parkour is perfect in Unity, just a few adjustments to the animations and god giant jumps, and it should have no problems.

The Parkour controls are good but the environment needs to accomodate the changes. The main problems with UNITY's traversal is that the building sizes are overlarge and interior Parkour hasn't been improved to keep pace with it. As they move forward in time, the interior Parkours and two or three storey movements and traversals need to be developed and the whole rooftop travel would need to be dialed down, because it can't work the further they travel through time. One way to do this is to give the Assassins the ability to speed-rush or kick down doors in the middle-of-a-chase, you know also distinguish doors on hinge-and-material and required speed and force to barge through on impact.


Stealth

I personally liked the cover system of the earlier games. I also prefer whistling over cherry bombs any day, and I cannot fathom why a guard on hearing the sound of a single cherry bomb doesn't immediately sound the alarm, whereas a single whistle attracts curiosity without driving them to go to the third degree. Stealth can be improved many ways obviously, like say creating environmental diversions (sounding an alarm, destroying an object, generally atracting guards there while you sneak to another place, they did this well with the Bomb Mechanic in REVELATIONS), but I don't think the stealth mode in UNITY was all that much of an improvement over the earlier games.

One way to improve Stealth is fix the Eagle Sense. It's either over-powered or under-powered. What I hate in UNITY is the ugly aesthetic of seeing the screen filled with clutter of red blobs in see-through walls. It spoils the game completely and destroys the art design. This is a holdover from BLACK FLAG and I didn't like the see-through walls Stealth there (which I gather is borrowed from Splinter Cell since it wasn't there in earlier games) but at least there the largely open and natural interiors made sure that it didn't totally destroy the scenery and the colouring made everyone a pale maroon shade rather than totally painting them red. I vastly prefer the pre-BLACK FLAG Eagle Sense where until you consciously enter into that mode, nothing is highlighted (like Batman's Detective Vision).


Combat - Unlike many others, I feel that combat shouldn't be made easier, and in some ways really improved in Unity. Countering in previous titles, especially AC3, was OP, but it was also really cool, and the reason I keep coming back to play AC4. I don't find free roaming in Unity as fun as the combat has less variety and fluidity. Also, while the hard combat is there to frighten you from being detected, there needs to be a way to deal with 20 guards in case it happens.

Exactly. The thing is from AC1 onwards, combat was always a key part of the pillar. Altair wasn't some weakling, he was a master swordsman and a one-man-army and if stealth failed, he could always stand his ground and trash his opponents by swordplay. There are whole achievements and training missions to teach him swordplay, none of which makes sense if he's supposed to be a super-stealthy guy. Assassins were always expected to fight their way out of a jam when cornered. The nature of traversal in the AC games, whether its simply accessing all the viewpoints or travelling across Roofs is such that your player will inevitably run into guards and enter combat and if the Assassin can't fight his way than a lot of time, basic exploration ends up discouraged. That's the problem with UNITY's false good idea of needlessly elaborate combat.

I think if you want to make your Assassin fully stealthy than you need to alter the rules a little bit. Personally introducing a warning system a la GTA would work, like street level misdemeanors differs from roof-top misdemeanors or misdemeanors in government and personal areas. If you are going to say that your hero can't fight his way out of a jam then you need to stop bringing him into situations where he fights 100 guards, make exploration more fair and following a set number of rules. Introduce I don't know ground level viewpoints or two-storey window Interior Viewpoints or something like that.

Shahkulu101
03-01-2015, 06:27 PM
Exploration is not discouraged because of guards at all, in fact rooftop guards were absent except for certain missions and in restricted areas - and normal guards only attack if provoked. You can reach viewpoints just fine because there are rarely any guards there, don't know where you're pulling that from. There are a few guarded landmarks but the snipers are easy enough to avoid, it's not some herculean that's required to phantom blade a few guys. There is no scenario in the game where you are required to fight a hundred guards (I know it's a hyperbole but even still you're never told to take down an army), if there's that many guards on screen, you're supposed to escape.

You're idea for the warning system I like, but you're fabricating issues out of nothing.

topeira1980
03-01-2015, 06:43 PM
parkour -
i have very little complaints about it. ACU improved it vastly. its still annoying to climb down from the porch "rail" to get into the porch and then inside a building (takes too long) but most of the time i can use the parkour up and down and parralel and tap A to jump to traverse the environment well. and my skill as a player actually matters now a little bit.

i just wish there was an enemy type that could free run after arno so there are some rooftop chases.


stealth -
improve the cover system to the level of watch dogs and problem is solved. also the issue with 5 enemies all running right around the same corner as their last friend got stabbed in just to get cover killed as well needs to go. :)
the thing where you get glued to cover in the middle of combat because you tried to dodge just as the enemy moved around a small box or something - that's annoying. but that a bug. not a design decision.
i'd like to be able to whisle since its not the same as the cherry bombs. the cherries make the AI to look in it's direction. not approach it. its meant to make the enemies look away from you as you sneak around, but not draw them to you. if combat is hard than a whistle could really help.

combat -
i fidn UNITY's combat the best in the series. it is more simple and more balancedbut has some nice nuances. i dont think the assassin should overcome 20 guards. in ACU i can take out up to 6 enemies. i find that is enough for me to feel like a kick a$$ assassin. i dont need nor want the option to kill 10 enemies. i do feel it is really important that a certain feasible number of guards (say 8 or above) will mean you have to escape. this is what makes it so important to be stealthy and good at combat and use tools. if i can fight my way through 15 enemies than i would not use gadgets or stealth. i like the challenge just the way it is.

what i WOULD love seeing is more moves that require SKILL to be implemented properly like throws (throw an enemy into his friend and they both fumble, throw and enemy into a wall and he gets stunned for a little while, throw him off a roof to his death etc, but if you throw him into nothings special than he doesnt get damaged and just gets back into attacking you), and disarms (very delicate timing and the enemy doesnt just stand there to get killed without his weapon, but he stays far away until he can pick up another weapon or he runs away if he cant), and counter kills (against low health enemies as said above, or if there is even a smaller parry window for the counter kill than the perfect parry - but there needs to be a risk-reward - so if if you try a counter kill and fail the timing you get hurt. not just parry normally.
abilities to attack by using the environment like leaping from walls, or jumping over a table to attack someone who is behind it etc.

but the most important aspect of combat i'd love to see improved is that AI. make them less pattern based.
so enemies can parry you, or even perfect parry you, but they dont always do that under the same conditions like in every AC game so far. in every AC game there is this guy that can counter the player, but it's always binary - either its an enemy that counters you all the time or he never does. in ACU the seekers and officers can perfect parry you but only if you attack them with 3 lite attacks. that is also binary and predictable.
i wish for AI that can do various moves against the player but there is no pattern to these things. just probability that changes form one enemy type to the other and by their level.
also disable exploits against the AI - the AI in ACU cant do $hiT against heavy attacks. ever. fix that. make heavy attacks useful under specific circumstances or have a risk to it.
you can heavy attack and fatal strike any enemy with ease with 2h weapons, or just heavy attack enemies instead of stagger strike or lite attack them with 1h weapons.
that a miss balance, IMO.

also make weapons have stats that matter and make weapons balanced. so there are weapons that are really good at parrying but do less damage, and other weapons that cost about the same that are really fast (harder for enemies to parry you) but do mediocre damage and make it really hard to parry, etc etc.
make all of the weapons stats matter. not just damage as it stands right now. speed and range dont matter AT ALL.

and maybe 1 more checkpoint inside a mission. if combat is hard and i already killed some of the targets and get into combat than its easy to fail and die (to to intentional hard combat or unintentional glitches and bugs) - i hate starting at the beginning.


allow a crime = more police system like in GTA. so if you perform crimes in the middle of the street than slowly more guards will appear. right now i can see 2 guards every time. i kill them really easily and.... that's it. kinda lame, IMO. i liked the notoriety system. a shame its gone. bring it back.


overall, ACU is my favorite AC game so far. i really hope they wont go back to cater to the casuals by making combat a simple two buttons afair like in ACIV and super easy like... like.... like every other AC game.

VestigialLlama4
03-01-2015, 06:47 PM
i really hope they wont go back to cater to the casuals

Well all AC games, all Ubisoft games are made for "casuals", there was never a time when it was otherwise.


Exploration is not discouraged because of guards at all, in fact rooftop guards were absent except for certain missions and in restricted areas - and normal guards only attack if provoked. You can reach viewpoints just fine because there are rarely any guards there, don't know where you're pulling that from.

You are right about that, I was using that as a, slightly fabricated, example of the problems with wanting "tougher combat" in a game like AC. The combat in AC is not hard, its just needlessly elaborate, and you can still carve out 20 or 30 guards, the problem is one of time. Why do you want waste time initiating a fight you didn't want to start doing a minor thing. In any case, stuff like that still happened in UNITY anyway and I basically focused on story missions(the side missions are crap anyway), pointless fights started over trivial things.

AssassinHMS
03-01-2015, 11:12 PM
HOW should the core be improved? Well, there are two ways to go about it:

1 – You can either do right by the franchise - deeper/more complex, more interactive/less automatic and more realistic core mechanics (I would go on and explain in detail each core mechanic but I have done that countless times in other threads, so…). Basically, the core would require a lot of mental and physical input from the player while giving him many options and treating him like an adult instead of a brain-dead idiot.

2 – Or you can do right by the big market and make the game they want you to make regardless of its quality or potential – simple/basic core mechanics that don’t offer much of a challenge to a newborn and that are automatic enough so that the game requires minimum input from the player, who can just sit back, relax and drool all over the overly brutal animations and all the casual carnage and explosions.

Fatal-Feit
03-02-2015, 12:03 AM
Personally I think that the parkour is perfect in Unity, just a few adjustments to the animations and god giant jumps, and it should have no problems.

The lack of side eject is my only main problem with Unity's parkour. Oh, and some of the animations. Instead of doing a proper kick start to climb up walls w/o any ledges, Arno just climbs them like Spider-Man and that bothers me.


Stealth

Agree with all of your suggestions.


Combat

No, thank you. I prefer AC to have a combat more grounded to reality. Unity's my perfect ideal combat for AC, but it just needs some adjustments. They should disable auto-sheathing, as it intrudes combat. Allow only one enemy to aim a gun at you, unless they're sniping from far away. Aaaaand work on fixing the bad camera angles, sluggish controls, and jerky animations.


Here's what I think, but what is your opinion? Do you dis/agree with anything? Oh yeah forgot to mention, add the ability to fight with fists/hidden blades or maybe just a fist and hidden blade combination (you only have one hidden blade now), and be able to swap cover round a corner.

Fist fights? Maybe. Hidden Blades? Nahhh. Both? I'll keep an open-mind.

VoldR
03-02-2015, 10:48 AM
Just like to say, for hth combat, I like Splinter Cell: Blacklist's style.

Depending on ur environment, position, angles... U get a different move.

Ezio got multiple takedown styles for the same angle. That got lost since AC4... where all rear fist takedowns are just choking

Also in AC4 there's no other takedowns (static foes) other then hidden blades and fist. There's no takedowns for swords (single or dual)
No rifle takedown either... Ezio can do stuff with almost anything on hand.

Ezio Auditore combat list

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xSfq542kZug
Around 4:00
All his takedowns on a static guard thanks to a glitch

But I do like the corner takedowns, and ledge attacks they've added and improved.

EmptyCrustacean
03-02-2015, 11:47 AM
Combat:

They would have nailed the combat in Unity... if AC Unity was a true stealth game. They claimed they made the combat harder in order to encourage stealth, however they also said that combat was still a main pillar and there are just too many times in the game where combat is actively encouraged. It pretends it's a stealth game but then turns around and provides massive combat upgrades to allow players to have a "unique play style". But the combat is still hard. So if you're a combat person you can't even be your best because the game deliberately makes it so that you will only win with up to a certain number of guards. So I would find a way to maintain the difficulty but through the challenge of maintaing stamina like the Arkham games as opposed to 'how many guards can I take shooting at me all at once?' OR if you're truly stealth orientated as you say you are just discourage combat altogether by not offering combat upgrades and keeping the health bar low. Combat should be a fail state that forces the player to run immediately. You shouldn't give players false hope by offering perks for it.

Stealth:

Speaking of which they botched stealth in Unity because there is far too much emphasis on long range stealth weapons now. The beserk dart needs to go. It was fun in Black Flag when there were far less guards and the threat of unintentionally killing an ally with it encouraged shrewd decision making. But now it's just lazy. The entire point of stealth is that the guards are never suspicious or aware of any nearby danger. If the guards are so bunched together that you're FORCED to use beserk darts to clear the way then it just becomes a mess. It's not very stealthy and becomes tedious and repetitive waiting for the guards to off one another. I remember in Brotherhood when using long range stealth weapons would always be a last resort if you couldn't go near the guard and knock him out yourself. You had to use your crossbow sensibly otherwise you'd find yourself in a situation where you're out of long range ammo when it's the only option. I miss that. Take a page out of Shadow of Mordor's book - yes, I realise the irony of saying that as it all but plagarises but it does stealth waaay better than any of the AC games because you get to use stealh ALL THE TIME - not just in misison specific settings. Additionally, rules for detection should be clearer. I have thrown bombs at a guard when out in the open without being caught but have shot a phantom blade behind cover whilst the guard has his back to me and it's instant detection. AC3 had a similar problem IIRC of enemy NPCs just detecting from places it just wasn't possible.

Parkour:

Parkour in Unity was more fluid and a step in the right direction. I do miss having to actually THINK about how to climb a tall building like in AC1 and AC2 but that obviously couldn't last forever because the novelty of learning the parkour mechanics has worn off - we just want to be able to move around as quickly as possible to get to the next location. I would say fix the entering windows mechanic i.e make sure it's consistent. Arno should not be able to enter windows automatically sometimes and then require a trigger at other times. It's one or the other. Also, get rid of parkouring inside small houses and shops. It's unnecessary and annoying. He should only be allowed to parkour in wide open spaces.

pacmanate
03-02-2015, 07:03 PM
Stealth - Let you move around corners of objects instead of sticking, removing yourself, sticking again.
Parkour - Super jumps
Combat - Hit detection

Shahkulu101
03-02-2015, 11:01 PM
Guess I'll give my two cents:

Stealth: Much improved but more consistent detection system is needed. Sometimes they have super-vision and a hive-mind and sometimes they can be looking right at you and do nothing. They need to tone down the amount of snipers and their LoS too in my opinion - you can't move an inch on rooftops during certain missions. Less sticky and clunky cover system would be great. Getting in and out of corners is far more slow than it has to be. Like someone said you should be able to throw a smoke bomb into a room and quickly run in to dispatch you're enemies, but it takes too long to get out of cover. Make taking cover automatic like in TLoU or Tomb Raider, but keep the crouch button.

Combat: I was mostly very pleased with combat due to it's balance and the fact that it's no longer the best option when taking on enemies, the only gripes I have are that guns ruin the flow a little bit and the animations very often glitch - combat should be made a smoother affair in Victory . Smoke bombs need to be made a little less OP, make it so some enemies can roll away from the smoke bombs and have us choke ourselves if we throw 3-4 of them in quick succession.

Navigation: In general it's very fluid in Unity and controlled descent is a great addition, it's hard playing the old games without it. However they need to fix the issue with climbing in windows, sometimes it's automatic and other times not. Give us total control and it wouldn't be a problem. There's also the issue when you drop down to balcony you land on the bandstand and can't drop down to the floor, Arno will just keep leaping from one side to another which is all the more infuriating if an enemy is approaching. The animations are brilliant in general, but some are wholly unrealistic. He can grip walls like spider-man, when climbing up ramped rooftops usually found on landmarks he doesn't latch onto anything and just scrambles up a smooth surface - looks a bit ridiculous. So make entering interiors less frustrating and remove make-believe climbing animations in Victory.

Fatal-Feit
03-03-2015, 03:42 AM
Also in AC4 there's no other takedowns (static foes) other then hidden blades and fist. There's no takedowns for swords (single or dual)
No rifle takedown either... Ezio can do stuff with almost anything on hand.

That's not true. Hold onto high-profile for special take-downs. You can also perform a variety of dual take-downs with dual swords, hidden blades, and rifles as well. Also, you can perform aerial take-downs.

Ezio had less variety and animations than Edward.