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SixKeys
12-18-2015, 04:40 AM
They're fun occasionally, but more often they just end up ****ing up my missions. If I'm trying to quietly walk my bounty target out of a restricted area, a random group of Rooks will pick a fight with Blighters on the sidewalk and cause chaos. Even when I tell them to **** off, they won't leave me alone. I called a cart while stalking a target (100% sync said I had to drive over him), then told my Rooks to take a hike. I took the reins and tried to run over my target, but my g0ddamn Rooks thought it meant I was in trouble and came to my aide. They killed my target, so I failed the full sync. Cursing to myself, I just stood there not fighting back, trying to get killed by the Blighters so I could start over. I couldn't even do that as the Rooks kept killing everyone around me!

In the end they had screwed up my mission and killed every Blighter in the vicinity, so I had to start over. I thanked them by personally shooting each and every one of them in the head.

D.I.D.
12-18-2015, 04:46 AM
Every single mission where I had to rescue and protect Rooks as part of the job, they were infuriating. The only way to win was to leave them until last and deal with everyone else first, because they moment you took out their captors they'd be straight off to commit suicide so you failed the mission*. We could imagine that this was deliberate and the recklessness of the Rooks was a problem you had to solve, but then... your post :)

* well, not "failed the mission" exactly, but the objective/100%

whatr_those
12-18-2015, 06:28 AM
I think your Rooks hate you.

D.I.D.
12-18-2015, 06:29 AM
They hate themselves.

Sorrosyss
12-18-2015, 10:04 AM
I would too wearing those hideous colours. Putrid green and puke yellow. Mmmm!

Farlander1991
12-18-2015, 01:58 PM
While Rooks AI could use some touching up,I think the issue here lies more with the optional objectives rather than the Rooks themselves.

Syndicate open world is designed to be systemic, with the three factions influencing each other and the world as well as you.

However, optional objectives are a thing that requires player control and is the opposite of open systemic world philosophy. IMO getting rid of optional objectives would only make things.better.

Nickyhaswifi
12-18-2015, 02:45 PM
It got to the point where before I did the mission I would make sure I used the voltaic bomb on any rooks around just to ensure they didn't mess up my objectives.

cawatrooper9
12-18-2015, 03:33 PM
I feel like I'm in the minority here, but I absolutely loved the Rooks. Not as good as the ACB/ACR recruits, but close enough.

BananaBlighter
12-18-2015, 03:35 PM
In terms of combat, they're useless. It's impossible to set up multi finishers when your Rooks are rampantly charging about slaughtering everyone. It's clear that the crowd control focused combat wasn't designed with the Rooks in mind. Even a simple fix, like preventing them from attacking enemies in the near death state, would go a long way.

Again, it feels like they tried to make them tactically usable, but they're hopeless. Despite you telling them to stay put, they take whatever chance they have at starting a fight. I feel that, unless you've instructed them to start a fight, they should run away from any signs of trouble. If you enter stealth mode, they should too, trying to stay as hidden from the enemy as much as possible, avoiding fights, as they follow you about.

It would be pretty cool if they could follow you on to rooftops though. Maybe you'd have to haul them up using your rope launcher, and when you create a zipline they can use it too.

Like SixKeys, I often execute my Rooks when they annoy me, but these immature little bastards will never learn, however much I punish them. Sometimes I berserk a few, starting a fight so that I can feel the satisfaction of performing multi finishers on them.

D.I.D.
12-18-2015, 04:18 PM
However, optional objectives are a thing that requires player control and is the opposite of open systemic world philosophy. IMO getting rid of optional objectives would only make things.better.

Do you think they should all go, or just the ones relating to Rooks?

I thought the optional objectives were great this time, with a few exceptions. I'm all for a fully open set-up if there are enough creative things you can do with the environment, especially if things are really stacked against the player, but it's tricky in a game where you play as the most dangerous thing in the world. They can still make things hard for us, but we might respond by simply destroying everything in our path. I've grown to quite like objectives as they've become more sensible, although I often wish they were baked into the mission.

That penultimate mission where we steal a carriage for Duleep Singh, for example: the objective asks you to steal the carriage without entering the courtyard. You figure out that the way to do it is by firing a gun in the air to make the horses panic and run to the roads but there's no penalty for killing the guards. That mission could look incredibly dull without the suggestion in the objectives - players would kill everyone, drive away in the carriage, and wonder what the point of that mission was. Personally, I don't think we should have been allowed to kill the guards since the player was supposed to be borrowing the carriage and returning it, not committing a terrorist incident and showing various high-ranking politicians the glaring evidence of who had ordered it.

Sesheenku
12-18-2015, 06:18 PM
Blow 'em up man.

Eddo36
12-18-2015, 06:52 PM
Don't think this is much of a spoiler, they end up all betraying you in the DLC.

SixKeys
12-18-2015, 07:16 PM
While Rooks AI could use some touching up,I think the issue here lies more with the optional objectives rather than the Rooks themselves.

Syndicate open world is designed to be systemic, with the three factions influencing each other and the world as well as you.

However, optional objectives are a thing that requires player control and is the opposite of open systemic world philosophy. IMO getting rid of optional objectives would only make things.better.

Not really. As I pointed out, they mess things up even when I'm just exploring the world, outside of sync objectives. How many times have I been walking down the street minding my own business, when the police suddenly notice a dead group of Blighters from a fight that I had nothing to do with, and they immediately grow suspicious of me? As a rule I try to avoid killing policemen at all costs, so I usually try to run from such a situation, but if a group of Rooks is nearby when the police start chasing me, they jump in and start slaughtering cops who are simply doing their job.

IMO Rooks should only engage enemies when I tell them to, and not jump out of the bushes to "help" me when I'm in the middle of a fight. Ezio's recruits had to be specifically called, which made them great in a pinch. After their precision strike, they would leave and you'd have to wait a while before using them again. I literally have to avoid liberated areas with a lot of Rooks around because they won't let me handle anything on my own.

Eddo36
12-18-2015, 07:53 PM
Not really. As I pointed out, they mess things up even when I'm just exploring the world, outside of sync objectives. How many times have I been walking down the street minding my own business, when the police suddenly notice a dead group of Blighters from a fight that I had nothing to do with, and they immediately grow suspicious of me? As a rule I try to avoid killing policemen at all costs, so I usually try to run from such a situation, but if a group of Rooks is nearby when the police start chasing me, they jump in and start slaughtering cops who are simply doing their job.

IMO Rooks should only engage enemies when I tell them to, and not jump out of the bushes to "help" me when I'm in the middle of a fight. Ezio's recruits had to be specifically called, which made them great in a pinch. After their precision strike, they would leave and you'd have to wait a while before using them again. I literally have to avoid liberated areas with a lot of Rooks around because they won't let me handle anything on my own.

So how did you play Black Flag? Did you avoid ALL the HMS ships who were just doing their jobs hunting thieving pirates and never completed Legendary Ship fights?

As for the Rooks, they are criminals. Hence the name Syndicate. They are a street gang, thugs. They don't have the discipline of an Assassin. They are exactly the same as Blighters, just different side. You're playing Assassins who are criminal kingpins, Jacob anyways.

cawatrooper9
12-18-2015, 07:56 PM
So how did you play Black Flag? Did you avoid ALL the HMS ships who were just doing their jobs hunting thieving pirates and never completed Legendary Ship fights?

My guess is that we're being a little too obnoxiously literal right now, but it's possible to get necessary upgrades by looting chests and raiding plantations, I suppose.

Eddo36
12-18-2015, 09:39 PM
My guess is that we're being a little too obnoxiously literal right now, but it's possible to get necessary upgrades by looting chests and raiding plantations, I suppose.

Was just saying. You do play that whole game as a pirate after all. And in this game, you play two crime bosses.

Farlander1991
12-18-2015, 11:08 PM
Do you think they should all go, or just the ones relating to Rooks?

I'm for optional objectives only if it's actual objectives, but not something that decides your playstyle or the way you have to complete the mission. I.e. the WHAT, not the HOW. So stuff like 'burn blighters plans' - ok, I don't really mind it, stuff like what you've mentioned - eeeeeeeeeeeh, no. And not every mission should have it. Like, if one can't add something that makes sense - then don't.

In the Assassination mission that's in the Waterloo station, I got into the station with the approach that makes the crowd go en masse to the restricted zone and I entered it that way. But there was an optional objective, 'use the secret entrance', and, you know, I didn't fail the objective, I could still go out and find it and use it, but, damn, I wanted to do it the way I did it as I found it enticing and the game was like, 'yeah, but we won't give you 100% synch for that'

And I was thinking about the optional objectives that make you act more like an assassin, don't get detected or stuff like that, and, you know, in the end I think I'm also against it. When it comes to playstyles, in an open-world game, I think we shouldn't put objectives to do that (with possible exception being narrative forced restrictions if they're really necessary, like desynchronizing on killing Assassins on Tulum because that just messes all things up). Maybe badges that you receive depending on your style. But not something that actually influences gameplay. I.e. nothing like in ACC where you technically can complete levels in different styles, but Shadow style gives the most points and achievements are related to it. Just, you know, show that, 'oh, you've completed this in a really assassiny way and we want to acknowledge it and pat you on the back. You've completed this in a brawly way, we also want you to acknowledge it and pat you on the back. Try other methods as well if you want. There's no achievements for this so you don't need to or not pushed to do it.'.

Maybe, I don't know this needs to be tested, but maybe make it related to skill trees. 'Oh, you're completing a lot of missions in a combat style, so here are some more combat skills'. Maybe. As with any idea, there's no definite 'this is how it must be done', but I think what should remain is the ability for the player to choose how he wants to proceed with the mission. AC1, for example, makes it perfectly clear that the only things that definitely have happened are the cutscenes, everything else is just us trying to kinda get from that synch point to synch point. After every battle there's a 'resynchronization' message, health is not called health, Animusy stuff like that, so you know your Assassin wasn't wounded a bunch of times, or that he didn't necessarily kill 1000 guards, but you can still get wounded a bunch of times and kill 1000 guards and it's ok.

I understand why optional objectives appeared in the first place. I mean, as much as atmospheric it was, ACB introduced a 'press to win' button. Two of them, actually. So it was a way to make players use different things. But, you know, the games are about free will, and optional objectives that tell you 'this way of playing is wrong so you won't get 100% completion because you don't play the way needed' kinda go against that. So, yeah.


Not really. As I pointed out, they mess things up even when I'm just exploring the world, outside of sync objectives. How many times have I been walking down the street minding my own business, when the police suddenly notice a dead group of Blighters from a fight that I had nothing to do with, and they immediately grow suspicious of me? As a rule I try to avoid killing policemen at all costs, so I usually try to run from such a situation, but if a group of Rooks is nearby when the police start chasing me, they jump in and start slaughtering cops who are simply doing their job.

IMO Rooks should only engage enemies when I tell them to, and not jump out of the bushes to "help" me when I'm in the middle of a fight. Ezio's recruits had to be specifically called, which made them great in a pinch. After their precision strike, they would leave and you'd have to wait a while before using them again. I literally have to avoid liberated areas with a lot of Rooks around because they won't let me handle anything on my own.

I will have to disagree strongly here. My favourite moments from Syndicate came from the world doing its own stuff and me not commanding it to do anything. This story (http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/1356294-ACS-(No-Spoilers)-The-most-awesome-bounty-hunt-happened-to-me-today). That moment when police attacked the warehouse and I saved children while Blighters and Police were fighting. On one mission I was thinking about how to approach the target, and the Rooks attacked the area and lured the target out so I adapted, threw a smoke bomb down and air assassinated the target and ran away undetected. And lots of other examples, really. There were a bunch of times when I was in full control of the situation, but there were also a bunch of times when I wasn't, and it was fine because it provided variety and memorable moments and made things more interesting and unexpected.

And, you know, not to sound arrogant or like a know-it-all, but you say you hate the Rooks, but do you really? I mean, looking at your arguments, and at the arguments of other people... It doesn't look like the Rooks are the source of the problems. They just happen to make symptoms of it appear. Would them coming to your aid be a problem if you didn't have to kill the target in a specific arbitrary way (that's also, due to the mission's set up of location is very uncomfortable to do, it's hard to run over that target there)? You hate the Rooks for killing the Blighters, but the reason of your frustration is not them, but the police thinking it's you, so it's a flaw in the social stealth system (to be fair, I never properly understood when police puts the blame on you and when it doesn't, even before the bribe upgrade, after the bribe upgrade it could be even more confusing).

You know, all of us (well, if not all, then a lot of people) were wanting a more systemic open world where things don't depend just on us and just the way the systems interact between each other, interesting situations are created, and while these things are not perfect in Syndicate (as I said earlier, Rooks AI does need improving, and some rulesets do need clarification), it does that and to me it makes it a more enjoyable experience.

BananaBlighter
12-18-2015, 11:46 PM
I'm for optional objectives only if it's actual objectives, but not something that decides your playstyle or the way you have to complete the mission. I.e. the WHAT, not the HOW. So stuff like 'burn blighters plans' - ok, I don't really mind it, stuff like what you've mentioned - eeeeeeeeeeeh, no. And not every mission should have it. Like, if one can't add something that makes sense - then don't.

In the Assassination mission that's in the Waterloo station, I got into the station with the approach that makes the crowd go en masse to the restricted zone and I entered it that way. But there was an optional objective, 'use the secret entrance', and, you know, I didn't fail the objective, I could still go out and find it and use it, but, damn, I wanted to do it the way I did it as I found it enticing and the game was like, 'yeah, but we won't give you 100% synch for that'

And I was thinking about the optional objectives that make you act more like an assassin, don't get detected or stuff like that, and, you know, in the end I think I'm also against it. When it comes to playstyles, in an open-world game, I think we shouldn't put objectives to do that (with possible exception being narrative forced restrictions if they're really necessary, like desynchronizing on killing Assassins on Tulum because that just messes all things up). Maybe badges that you receive depending on your style. But not something that actually influences gameplay. I.e. nothing like in ACC where you technically can complete levels in different styles, but Shadow style gives the most points and achievements are related to it. Just, you know, show that, 'oh, you've completed this in a really assassiny way and we want to acknowledge it and pat you on the back. You've completed this in a brawly way, we also want you to acknowledge it and pat you on the back. Try other methods as well if you want. There's no achievements for this so you don't need to or not pushed to do it.'.

Maybe, I don't know this needs to be tested, but maybe make it related to skill trees. 'Oh, you're completing a lot of missions in a combat style, so here are some more combat skills'. Maybe. As with any idea, there's no definite 'this is how it must be done', but I think what should remain is the ability for the player to choose how he wants to proceed with the mission. AC1, for example, makes it perfectly clear that the only things that definitely have happened are the cutscenes, everything else is just us trying to kinda get from that synch point to synch point. After every battle there's a 'resynchronization' message, health is not called health, Animusy stuff like that, so you know your Assassin wasn't wounded a bunch of times, or that he didn't necessarily kill 1000 guards, but you can still get wounded a bunch of times and kill 1000 guards and it's ok.

I understand why optional objectives appeared in the first place. I mean, as much as atmospheric it was, ACB introduced a 'press to win' button. Two of them, actually. So it was a way to make players use different things. But, you know, the games are about free will, and optional objectives that tell you 'this way of playing is wrong so you won't get 100% completion because you don't play the way needed' kinda go against that. So, yeah.

Y'know, I've actually never hated optional objectives the way many do, and felt they were nice for adding some challenge despite being a bit restricting. Though, I do agree that giving the player the ultimate freedom in their playstyle is most important. Like your Waterloo example I can understand very well. It's a bit annoying that too achieve full sync you were prevented from making use of the black box opportunities.

However I do like the fact that these optional objectives reflect the fact that we're playing a simulation of an ancestor's memories. This clearly contradicts with player freedom, which has likewise always been a core aspect of AC. I can't really decide which I would rather, though I have to say that nowadays these optional objectives suit my style well, and don't feel like a pain to complete, so really if I had to make a choice I'd let them stay.

Is there a balance? Could optional objectives be adapted, similar to black box mission opportunities, only there to serve as prompts in to approaching the mission differently? What about multiple objectives which reflect a variety of playstyles? Completing at least one would be all that is necessary to achieve full sync.

The best solution IMO is to make full use of the dual protagonist mechanic. The problem is that some optional objectives may not suit the players playstyle. What if we let the players choose their optional objectives, by letting the game know their playstyle beforehand? Well not exactly, what I mean is that, depending on which protagonist you choose to play as, the optional objectives will change to reflect their character, and they should actually reflect their character; I did find it a bit awkward in Syndicate how many of Jacob's optional objective revolved around stealth. Unfortuantely this woul only work for side missions, with story missions, as long as there is a balance between the different playstyles which the optional objectives encourage, it is OK for them to stay.

SixKeys
12-19-2015, 12:10 AM
So how did you play Black Flag? Did you avoid ALL the HMS ships who were just doing their jobs hunting thieving pirates and never completed Legendary Ship fights?

As for the Rooks, they are criminals. Hence the name Syndicate. They are a street gang, thugs. They don't have the discipline of an Assassin. They are exactly the same as Blighters, just different side. You're playing Assassins who are criminal kingpins, Jacob anyways.

Not sure what you're getting at. I dislike the Rooks because they're supposed to be helping me but they just keep messing up my missions. How is that remotely similar to Black Flag? http://static5.cdn.ubi.com/u/ubiforums/20130918.419/images/smilies/confused.png


I will have to disagree strongly here. My favourite moments from Syndicate came from the world doing its own stuff and me not commanding it to do anything. This story (http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/1356294-ACS-(No-Spoilers)-The-most-awesome-bounty-hunt-happened-to-me-today) that you seemed to like. That moment when police attacked the warehouse and I saved children while Blighters and Police were fighting.

I liked your description of the events as it all seemed to play out perfectly in the end, like a movie scene. There are so many ways it could have gone wrong though and frustrated the hell out of me, so I'm glad it didn't happen to me.



On one mission I was thinking about how to approach the target, and the Rooks attacked the area and lured the target out so I adapted, threw a smoke bomb down and air assassinated the target and ran away undetected. And lots of other examples, really.

See, that's exactly the kind of **** I hate. If my target is alerted by anything and starts to run away, I usually just go to the main menu and start over, because I like to be completely stealthy. For example I hate missions where it's scripted that the target will be alerted at some point no matter what, but you don't know that, so you spend 45 minutes trying to infiltrate some place and being the perfect ghost assassin, then the mission turns into a bloody chase scene anyway. I don't like thinking on my feet, I like carefully planning my approach. Detection is a fail state for me.



There were a bunch of times when I was in full control of the situation, but there were also a bunch of times when I wasn't, and it was fine because it provided variety and memorable moments and made things more interesting and unexpected.

I don't like unexpected. :p The only times I do is when things play out like a movie scene, where everything just comes together perfectly (like in your story). Like one time when a Blighter detected me in a restricted area, I stood up and prepared to get killed (because, like I said, detection is a fail state for me), but just as he was starting to beat me up, a policeman walked by and came to my aid. It totally felt like something that could happen in a story like this: policeman sees "helpless" young woman being attacked by a thug and rushes to help her, then goes right back to patrolling, feeling like a hero. I imagined Evie going "Uhhh, yes, thank you, officer. I shall be on my way now", turning a corner, putting her hood on and going back to being an assassin. I allowed myself to continue the mission only because it played out so perfectly. If the policeman hadn't been there and I would still would have been detected, I would have simply sighed and restarted from the beginning.



And, you know, not to sound arrogant or like a know-it-all, but you say you hate the Rooks, but do you really? I mean, looking at your arguments, and at the arguments of other people... It doesn't look like the Rooks are the source of the problems. They just happen to make symptoms of it appear. Would them coming to your aid be a problem if you didn't have to kill the target in a specific arbitrary way (that's also, due to the mission's set up of location is very uncomfortable to do, it's hard to run over that target there)? You hate the Rooks for killing the Blighters, but the reason of your frustration is not them, but the police thinking it's you, so it's a flaw in the social stealth system (to be fair, I never properly understood when police puts the blame on you and when it doesn't, even before the bribe upgrade, after the bribe upgrade it could be even more confusing).

This is true. I dislike how after so many games the crappy guard AI still hasn't been fixed, and that it's unpredictable. Sometimes the police will apprehend the Blighters, sometimes they won't. You can never tell which it's going to be until it's too late. I just witnessed two criminals killing a man THREE FEET FROM THE POLICE, he was facing in their direction, and they stabbed the guy numerous times. After the criminals have already walked away, the officer goes to investigate the body and goes " Who did this??". It was already laughable back in AC1 and that was 8 years ago. The gang system just makes it glaringly obvious.

FWIW, I don't like the Rooks coming to my aid even if I'm not in the middle of a mission, either. The gang warfare sounded like a fun concept, but in practice it's easy as hell because the Rooks kill everybody before you can barely throw a few punches. Outside of gang wars, when I'm just going around starting trouble on the streets, I keep wanting to set up multi-kills, but if my Rooks see I'm fighting a group of enemies, they come over and mess everything up. It's a system that - when it works - it makes an already easy game even easier, OR draws attention to existing problems. I loved taking over Templar hideouts in Unity because it was just me and my blade. If I got into a fight, I had to fight my way out alone. And there was no danger of a delicately set-up assassination being screwed up by companions who are supposed to be helping me.



You know, all of us (well, if not all, then a lot of people) were wanting a more systemic open world where things don't depend just on us and just the way the systems interact between each other, interesting situations are created, and while these things are not perfect in Syndicate (as I said earlier, Rooks AI does need improving, and some rulesets do need clarification), it does that and to me it makes it a more enjoyable experience.

For me the funnest systemic aspects are things like pickpockets stealing from other civilians and I can choose to go after them or not. It's when I hear there's a fight going on a few blocks away and I can see people running away but I don't know exactly from what. I like when NPCs act like they've just spotted an old friend and cross the street to talk to them. Those are things that make the world feel like it goes on living without me, whereas the Rooks are a very game-y system. They're absolutely everywhere, kind of like how ACR kept pushing bomb stations on you by putting three of them on every street corner. They'll follow you around even when you don't want them to and get you into trouble when you'd rather be doing something else. I like to just walk around the city at a leisurely pace, just looking at the sights, not engaging enemies, and I can't do that for long if there are any Rooks in the neighborhood because sooner or later I know they're going to draw attention to me.

Farlander1991
12-19-2015, 12:52 AM
Y'know, I've actually never hated optional objectives the way many do, and felt they were nice for adding some challenge despite being a bit restricting. Though, I do agree that giving the player the ultimate freedom in their playstyle is most important. Like your Waterloo example I can understand very well. It's a bit annoying that too achieve full sync you were prevented from making use of the black box opportunities.

...


Well, my biggest issue with optional objectives is that they're required for something to be 100%, even more so than the nature of optional objectives themselves. StarCraft II has optional objectives in each level that provides bonuses, but if you don't complete them, you don't complete a level 50% or something. You just don't get the benefit of those optional objectives. Shadow of Mordor also has optional challenges in every mission, but there also they didn't bother me as much because failing them didn't make me feel like I didn't do something right, just that I failed a particular arbitrary challenge.

But the AC way, essentially says, 'If you don't do these particular things, then you haven't completed this level 100%, therefore all those other things you'd like to try? They're not valid, you need to do these particular things'.


See, that's exactly the kind of **** I hate. If my target is alerted by anything and starts to run away, I usually just go to the main menu and start over, because I like to be completely stealthy. For example I hate missions where it's scripted that the target will be alerted at some point no matter what, but you don't know that, so you spend 45 minutes trying to infiltrate some place and being the perfect ghost assassin, then the mission turns into a bloody chase scene anyway. I don't like thinking on my feet, I like carefully planning my approach. Detection is a fail state for me.

Well, in that particular instance I stayed undetected, so... :p I agree about scripted detections. However it depends, like Talal detection in AC1 makes perfect sense to me.

Anyway, don't take this the wrong way, but I don't believe what you really like is what AC should strive for, save for restricted areas (like, actual restricted areas, not just mandatory that just show that you'll be detected but in reality are normal areas) where it's only enemies/guards and nobody but enemies/guards (like, let's say the Tower of London area). Globally in the open world, though, it shouldn't be about full stealth. Because AC is not a game about stealth. That's what games like Thief and Mark of the Ninja are for.

AC is about social stealth, at least that's what it tries to position itself as. Society is a system that acts on its own. As Assassins we can influence it and adapt to it depending on the situation. How Unity and Syndicate like to put it, it's about opportunities. I was searching for opportunities, Rooks happened to create one by luring out enemies outside. I took advantage of it. That's what makes me feel like an Assassin.

Sometimes things go according to plan, sometimes they're not, it's always important to adapt and take advantage of situations that show up themselves. I don't think the environment should be for show, the environment should be a full breathing system that can both help you and **** you over because like Malik says in AC1, you can never know, only assume.

You can say maybe that it conflicts with what I said about freedom of choice, but I don't think that actually affects freedom of choice. It's the situation that changes, you don't have to resolve it in one particular way, you can resolve it in how you want.

I just think that when AC will stop trying to mix traditional stealth in an open-world systemic environment, and focus on the systemic environment stealth (but provide traditional opportunities in places where it fits, like aforementioned enemy strongholds with no other systems), then it can make its idea that it has introduced in AC1 truly shine.

Anyway, that's just my opinion. I love that Syndicate has more dynamic systems in the world, it creates so many more interesting situations than the game would otherwise have, and I would like to see more of it (and actually, in terms of 'gaminess', it would feel less gamey then because it wouldn't stand out).

Farlander1991
12-19-2015, 01:25 AM
As a side-note (posting this a separate post in case edit won't be noticed) @SixKeys, I read my post, and I feel like I've worded some things a bit disrespectfully regarding your tastes and opinions, so I want to apologize about that, and I would just like to clarify that I'm not trying to say that I feel AC is not a place for traditional fully-controlled and based on skill stealth, there certainly is, but there's so much opportunity in systemic open-world that is not yet taken advantage of and Syndicate I feel is a good starting point.

shezzor
12-19-2015, 01:49 AM
I just wish I had more control over them, similar to how you did in the previous games. 9 times out of 10 they just get in the way of what im trying to accomplish. Even more when they are levelled up, they take all the fun out of being an 'Assassin' :/

D.I.D.
12-19-2015, 03:11 AM
I'm for optional objectives only if it's actual objectives, but not something that decides your playstyle or the way you have to complete the mission. I.e. the WHAT, not the HOW. So stuff like 'burn blighters plans' - ok, I don't really mind it, stuff like what you've mentioned - eeeeeeeeeeeh, no. And not every mission should have it. Like, if one can't add something that makes sense - then don't.

[...]

And I was thinking about the optional objectives that make you act more like an assassin, don't get detected or stuff like that, and, you know, in the end I think I'm also against it. When it comes to playstyles, in an open-world game, I think we shouldn't put objectives to do that (with possible exception being narrative forced restrictions if they're really necessary, like desynchronizing on killing Assassins on Tulum because that just messes all things up). Maybe badges that you receive depending on your style. But not something that actually influences gameplay. I.e. nothing like in ACC where you technically can complete levels in different styles, but Shadow style gives the most points and achievements are related to it. Just, you know, show that, 'oh, you've completed this in a really assassiny way and we want to acknowledge it and pat you on the back. You've completed this in a brawly way, we also want you to acknowledge it and pat you on the back. Try other methods as well if you want. There's no achievements for this so you don't need to or not pushed to do it.'.

Maybe, I don't know this needs to be tested, but maybe make it related to skill trees. 'Oh, you're completing a lot of missions in a combat style, so here are some more combat skills'. Maybe. As with any idea, there's no definite 'this is how it must be done', but I think what should remain is the ability for the player to choose how he wants to proceed with the mission. AC1, for example, makes it perfectly clear that the only things that definitely have happened are the cutscenes, everything else is just us trying to kinda get from that synch point to synch point. After every battle there's a 'resynchronization' message, health is not called health, Animusy stuff like that, so you know your Assassin wasn't wounded a bunch of times, or that he didn't necessarily kill 1000 guards, but you can still get wounded a bunch of times and kill 1000 guards and it's ok.

I understand why optional objectives appeared in the first place. I mean, as much as atmospheric it was, ACB introduced a 'press to win' button. Two of them, actually. So it was a way to make players use different things. But, you know, the games are about free will, and optional objectives that tell you 'this way of playing is wrong so you won't get 100% completion because you don't play the way needed' kinda go against that. So, yeah.

Yeah, good points. Maybe I just want to see more mission-by-mission restrictions, really. There are lots of missions/activities where I might just have murdered my way around if not for the objective sometimes - a hint that something is possible and might be fun. Scaring the horses out of there? I might have discovered that with no hints, but only if I was incapable of killing the guards. Normally, I do these "creative" things in games because I'm up against very tough odds: I'm very vulnerable to damage, ammo is very low, something like that. So AC can only do that for me if there's a strict "You may not kill the guards" rule. In that mission's case, I think that would make perfect sense because of the mission's purpose and the fact that those guards work for the royalty, but I guess you wouldn't be in favour of it as a restriction any more than you are as a suggestion.

The game structure is many nibbles rather than big bites: Dishonored is going to leave you with just a small number of major memories in your head, so you're tempted back to try things again a different way, whereas AC is dozens of missions so the inspiration to revisit individual pieces is not as strong. I wasn't a fan of them at first because they were poorly chosen, but dangling objectives has become pretty effective in getting the player to pursue missions in more interesting ways recently. But...



In the Assassination mission that's in the Waterloo station, I got into the station with the approach that makes the crowd go en masse to the restricted zone and I entered it that way. But there was an optional objective, 'use the secret entrance', and, you know, I didn't fail the objective, I could still go out and find it and use it, but, damn, I wanted to do it the way I did it as I found it enticing and the game was like, 'yeah, but we won't give you 100% synch for that'

Agree 100%. This was probably the worst major assassination in the game, and the objectives only worked against it more. Tower of London was pretty bad for pretending to be blackbox while in truth being tightly marshalled, but Waterloo Station is worse. All the objective/special event things are spaced out to make you work the whole station, but they're scattered so much as to be arbitrary. None of them makes the slightest bit of difference to a mission which has almost zero difficulty anyway.

The first time I played it, I hopped down and spoke to the station attendant. He tells me he needs a schedule. I note the location of the driver and the Unique Kill templar. Sneaking into the other platforms, I decide to go and check out the carriage in which the target is standing so that I can see what I'll need to do to get to her. I jump on the roof of the carriage parallel to hers, thinking that nobody's likely to look up as long as I'm quiet. I'm wrong, and a brute jumps onto target's carriage's roof as I'm reaching it too. We begin to fight, and suddenly the glass gives way and I crash through the glass killing the target. (In truth, I'd hit X to attack the brute at the same moment that the "X - Assassinate" prompt must have flashed onto the screen!)

White room, sneak to the front of the train, escape with train.

Now that was a fairly interesting turn of events, I thought at the time - a little short, but it played out kind of like a movie scene. I was excited to come back and try that again. This time, I went aiming to mop up all the extras, so...

I rescued the driver from the Blighters, had a look around up there for the schedule and found that too. Had a hunt around for a secret tunnel (I'd played the Bank of England level where I'd found that mission's secret tunnel, so I thought perhaps I'd be looking for something similar). No tunnel, so considering that area complete, I moved on.

Schedule to the station master, blend with crowd to get through platform entrance. This didn't feel like any kind of reward, since if I wanted to sneak through there I could do it with a smoke bomb. If I wanted to get silent unseen kills, I could go to the rafters and knife the two brutes guarding the entrance. As it turned out, I could even have used Beserk Dart - something I had avoided because I thought the target would be alerted.

But, after getting the train plans from the Templar for the Unique Kill, I discovered that no amount of commotion would have made a difference. Discovering that the carriage roof is the weak point was neither a surprise nor useful, given that I found there was not even a door separating me from the target. I look inside, and she has her back to me muttering as she reads some kind of document. I see some Blighters hanging around outside, so out of curiosity I decide to fight them. Guns are fired during the battle. With all the Blighters dead, I take another look at Attaway through the train carriage door. She's still got her back to me, still muttering. Nothing would ever have changed that. I check out the entire platform area and connecting rooms for this secret tunnel. No sign of it.

So I kill her, watch the White Room, and then go and look for this tunnel again to make my escape instead of using the train, because surely that's what the secret tunnel is for, right? And it's nowhere. It's almost embarrassing. I'm almost leaving the station when I see two Blighters. I take a look inside the nook where they stand, and there's the secret tunnel! Great, off we go... and it leads right back to Attaway's carriage. Even if I'd used this secret tunnel earlier in the mission, I'd have been emerging right into a pack of Blighters directly outside Attaway's carriage, and we would have fought, and the game wouldn't have cared.

So I drive off with the train, and the game tells me I failed the objectives because I didn't use the secret tunnel: i.e. I hadn't used it before her death. GARBAGE. So here I would certainly agree with you. There was no objective to use a secret tunnel for Unity's final compound to kill the Grand Master, but I cut out a lot of problems and got in there with a tunnel on my own volition. I looked at the options on the map, made an educated guess about which one might lead underneath the area, and I was rewarded for it. Supposing by some incredible fluke that I'd found the Waterloo secret tunnel before the mission start, I would have been punished for it by being immediately discovered.

Sushiglutton
12-19-2015, 01:25 PM
Assassin's Creed having mediocre AI, pray it ain't so lol. Annoying allies is a core pillar and has been in the franchise since AC1.