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View Full Version : Too much death? Yes, this old chestnut



D.I.D.
07-20-2016, 05:29 PM
I've reinstalled Syndicate so that I can play it at 60fps in 1440p on high settings. I'm telling you this partly to annoy you, and partly because UPlay now puts up stats that stare you in the face on the game's launch page.

My stats say:

Play time - 60 hours
Kills - 3811
Assassinations - 962

That's an average of (just over) one kill every minute, in a game that ties you up in a lot of dialogue, driving and collectible-hunting. Granted, a lot of these probably aren't "kills", as such. For instance, if the game registers the knockouts in the Fight Clubs as "kills", then that could explain a lot of these apparent deaths. I played those quite a lot, and if I'm showing a friend the game then rather than restart and have them play all the tutorial-ish missions (which would take ages) then I just drop them in the Fight Clubs so they can learn combat.

Even so, we're still talking about very high body-counts for a game with "Assassin" in the title. I know it's a tired cliché to talk about games having too much killing when compared to movies/books/everything, as if that's an earth-shaking observation, but... I'm doing it anyway.

What if we had a player-character who was more picky about who gets killed, or maybe a mentor who absolutely forbade us to kill lower level guards? If the majority of enemies were protected by the "Your ancestor did not kill civilians" rule, how might it affect the game? I've got a feeling that, if the missions were designed for it, the gameplay could be a lot more fun since you'd be forced to sneak around to get to the acceptable targets. You'd have to think about when to use smoke bombs, and put more effort into sneaking up behind NPCs and pickpocketing them for replacement items. The points in the mission where you were let off the leash could make killing a lot more rewarding, especially if the killable enemies were difficult to slay (and not necessarily in a "take more hits to kill" way but they might be very agile, very good at hunting you, or very good at combat).

MikeFNY
07-22-2016, 11:37 AM
I believe the problem comes from the fact that combat is extremely easy and many players tend to ignore stealth all together because their hit and miss approach in combat works nicely.

Also the last game didn't do a good job in making us think before acting. Yes, it does show different ways of reaching our target but in the end there's very little difference.

That is why I love Unity and the fact that if you're spotted you're surrounded by 8-12 guards that are very tough to beat in combat.

It would be nice if you try and get the same stats for Unity.


What if we had a player-character who was more picky about who gets killed, or maybe a mentor who absolutely forbade us to kill lower level guards?

This would be interesting.

Someone else complained about how annoying it is to walk in Syndicate only to be surrounded by Blighters trying to kill you. I would opt for a notoriety system like in AC2 where if you kill someone you're not supposed to, your notoriety level increases and that's when enemies start to attack you.

Or maybe in the game you can use the help of fellow assassins but if you kill civilians or people you're not supposed to kill the brotherhood will "punish" you by not allowing you to get any of this help during missions.

Helforsite
07-24-2016, 12:44 PM
Since you only made this thread when you saw the stats, it seems like you did not notice it before, so for me it seems like a non-issue.

SixKeys
07-24-2016, 07:52 PM
IMO instead of outright forcing the player, this kind of thing would be better done through subtle persuasion. Make the Creed more central to the story again. Maybe not have a Mentor who absolutely forbids the killing of low-rank guards, but who makes it very clear that it is frowned upon. AC1 worked so well as a stealth game because you were constantly reminded of the importance of the Creed and how you should avoid taking lives unless absolutely necessary. Starting with AC2, wanton murder became part of the "fun" because Ezio was such a carefree soul and all the guards were depicted as corrupt (it's also when they started making these stats public, subtly nudging players to experiment). In AC3 they tried to have a pacifist assassin, but he wasn't entirely consistent. In Syndicate large-scale mayhem is outright encouraged, mainly because both the story and gameplay (in main missions) is focused on Jacob, the irresponsible, devil-may-care sibling. Evie is supposed to be the level-headed one who respects the Creed, but hey, that's boring, so let's push her to the sidelines!

In short, make the Creed central again. Encourage players to value all human life. I would like it if in addition to NPC conversations, we could listen to guards' conversations too, á la "How is your wife? When is the baby due?" and stuff like that.

ERICATHERINE
07-24-2016, 08:38 PM
I don't see any problem, with that. Like Shaun said in ac ii, we're Assassins, which mean what we have to do is actually to kill. The name says it all.

Malik once said to Altair that he should be more stealthy. Altair responded by saying (if I remember correctly) something like they should strike fear in their ennemies by making their kills in front of everyone.

Another character we controled (sorry, I don't remember which one) said he will kill every Templar AND every one protecting them.




On my side I always try to think that each guard I kill can't protect my true targets anymore. ^-^

Helforsite
07-24-2016, 09:05 PM
I would propose something akin to Far Cry 4's Karma system. We would be rewarded for stealthy and non-lethal behaviour.

Sesheenku
07-25-2016, 04:05 AM
I would propose something akin to Far Cry 4's Karma system. We would be rewarded for stealthy and non-lethal behaviour.

No cause then they'll have to incentivize the mechanic and it will essentially become a restriction.

cawatrooper9
07-25-2016, 02:12 PM
What if we had a player-character who was more picky about who gets killed, or maybe a mentor who absolutely forbade us to kill lower level guards?

Yeah, as some have already alluded to, you can be that character. You just apparently chose not to (which is fine as well).

I don't think that making it so that the game can be played to only one player base, just to make it impossible to play in another specific way, is ever the answer.

Ureh
07-25-2016, 07:30 PM
I don't see any problem, with that. Like Shaun said in ac ii, we're Assassins, which mean what we have to do is actually to kill. The name says it all.

Malik once said to Altair that he should be more stealthy. Altair responded by saying (if I remember correctly) something like they should strike fear in their ennemies by making their kills in front of everyone.

Another character we controled (sorry, I don't remember which one) said he will kill every Templar AND every one protecting them.




On my side I always try to think that each guard I kill can't protect my true targets anymore. ^-^

1. I interpreted Shaun's words as: "We do kill. But we will only when we must and who we have to. No reckless murder and wholesale slaughter." I didn't see it as an endorsement for (mass) murder.

2. Yeah I think I get what you're saying. I don't know how many people Altair killed - not counting the main story targets and side targets that were needed to complete a mission - but I doubt even his most prominent assassinations resulted in the deaths of hundreds... or even dozens by his hands. But I guess the devs leave that to the players: some people prefer their Altair to have bloodlust, some people who do be pacifists.

3. That almost sounds like what Shay said, "I will kill every last man who defends him if I must." Might just be rhetoric... but who knows? It was during the 7 Years War so it's likely that Shay did make a huge body count.


IMO instead of outright forcing the player, this kind of thing would be better done through subtle persuasion. Make the Creed more central to the story again. Maybe not have a Mentor who absolutely forbids the killing of low-rank guards, but who makes it very clear that it is frowned upon. AC1 worked so well as a stealth game because you were constantly reminded of the importance of the Creed and how you should avoid taking lives unless absolutely necessary. Starting with AC2, wanton murder became part of the "fun" because Ezio was such a carefree soul and all the guards were depicted as corrupt (it's also when they started making these stats public, subtly nudging players to experiment). In AC3 they tried to have a pacifist assassin, but he wasn't entirely consistent. In Syndicate large-scale mayhem is outright encouraged, mainly because both the story and gameplay (in main missions) is focused on Jacob, the irresponsible, devil-may-care sibling. Evie is supposed to be the level-headed one who respects the Creed, but hey, that's boring, so let's push her to the sidelines!

In short, make the Creed central again. Encourage players to value all human life. I would like it if in addition to NPC conversations, we could listen to guards' conversations too, á la "How is your wife? When is the baby due?" and stuff like that.

I can't remember all of the guard conversation but I keep getting the feeling that there were was a mixed bag. Some of the guards inspired apathy or even disgust, but I also seem to remember there being dialogue that can help us empathise/sympathise with the guards. Examples: In AC2, one of the guards said something like, "I can't wait to go home tonight to tell Elena how much gold we made tonight." And based on the rest of the conversation it sounds like the guards are just regular folk trying to make a living; they weren't hurting anyone by standing guard inside a crypt. I think in another mission, a guard mentioned, "Where's Vincenzo?! My wife is going to murder me if I'm late for dinner again." I also remember some of the Ottoman guards and Janissaries asking each other how they were doing, the current status of their family, or the ailment they last mentioned. I do recall some of the guards being corrupt as well (shaking down citizens/merchants, beating people up, etc) so I guess it's one of those decisions left to the player... depending on what you hear, or what short backstory/roleplay you'd like to write for them, or whether or not those silent guards are innocent enough to be avoided or guilty enough to be eliminated. It'd be nice if most of the guard gave us a clear indication of how we should treat them but that's probably not how things usually go.



Or maybe in the game you can use the help of fellow assassins but if you kill civilians or people you're not supposed to kill the brotherhood will "punish" you by not allowing you to get any of this help during missions.

That's pretty neat. I kinda reminds me of Dishonored's chaos system where the world reacts to your acts. But it might make more sense if the modern day characters respond to how you play the missions rather than the characters in the memories. You know how Rebecca will sometimes add challenges or unlock more features? And Bishop mentioned that she increased the number of the guards in the heists so that we could hone our skills. What if these modern day characters were able to slightly alter the mission structures and side content based on how you played the previous sequence (or memory) and also based on your sync %. So let's say you were super stealthy in the last mission, you got all the side objectives, did all the black box missions... that means you're synchronization with the ancestor is very strong at the moment. That can allow Rebecca/Bishop to make a few notable adjustments. On the other hand, if a modern day person notices that you're being extremely loud and bloodthirsty in the last mission, they might "scold" you by increasing the difficulty of the next mission by adding more guards. Or if they noticed that you kept desyncing a lot in the last mission they could take pity on you by temporarily increasing ammo or lessening guard patrols, or whatever. Another thing they could do with the Replay Memory feature is to allow you to unlock a more difficult version of the vanilla mission (so let's say did very well in the vanilla, Bishop will allow you to replay the memory but with increased guards, tougher enemies, more alert, less ammo, etc).

Locopells
07-25-2016, 07:50 PM
For reference:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hm793wxCxzg

ERICATHERINE
07-25-2016, 08:17 PM
For reference:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hm793wxCxzg

This at 100%. ^-^

ERICATHERINE
07-25-2016, 08:35 PM
1. I interpreted Shaun's words as: "We do kill. But we will only when we must and who we have to. No reckless murder and wholesale slaughter." I didn't see it as an endorsement for (mass) murder.

It seems what you remember is a fusion of what everyone was talking in that conversation, instead of just Shaun. You should watch Locopells's video. ^-^


2. Yeah I think I get what you're saying. I don't know how many people Altair killed - not counting the main story targets and side targets that were needed to complete a mission - but I doubt even his most prominent assassinations resulted in the deaths of hundreds... or even dozens by his hands. But I guess the devs leave that to the players: some people prefer their Altair to have bloodlust, some people who do be pacifists.

Yea, but the side targets Altair kills are often supposed to protect or work for the primary targets, which mean that each one we kill weaken our targets. Plus, I'm sure if I do a cumulative count of everyone I kill in ac 1 that isn't a primary target, I'd easily count passed the hundred. ^-^


3. That almost sounds like what Shay said, "I will kill every last man who defends him if I must." Might just be rhetoric... but who knows? It was during the 7 Years War so it's likely that Shay did make a huge body count.

Maybe, but remember he was an Assassin, a little while before, which mean maybe he was thinking as an Assassin. Also, by playing my current ac serie, I often heard the characters I controled, saying things another character I controled already said, in another ac game. Maybe what Shay said has also been said by someone else. ^-^

Fatal-Feit
07-26-2016, 01:00 AM
2. Yeah I think I get what you're saying. I don't know how many people Altair killed - not counting the main story targets and side targets that were needed to complete a mission - but I doubt even his most prominent assassinations resulted in the deaths of hundreds... or even dozens by his hands. But I guess the devs leave that to the players: some people prefer their Altair to have bloodlust, some people who do be pacifists.

Having replayed AC1 recently, there are a bunch of missions I can recall that required Altair to kill a dozen enemies. The only mission that forced him to kill dozens was Robert de Sablé's assassination mission.

Ureh
07-26-2016, 05:38 AM
Having replayed AC1 recently, there are a bunch of missions I can recall that required Altair to kill a dozen enemies. The only mission that forced him to kill dozens was Robert de Sablé's assassination mission.

Yeah the Robert one was the exception. But I don't remember having to kill that many guards in the other Assassinations. Although I should mention that I last played on the PS3 so didn't get to partake in some of the rooftop or escorts missions. Can't remember what they entail.

Tamir memory: 1 interrogation kill, 2 informant kills, then Tamir himself. I think that's it?

Garnier: same as Tamir I think.

Talal: same? 4 total.

I think in the later memory blocks it might've doubled to 8 but I don't think we absolutely had to kill a dozen or more. I think! Could be I'm missing some stuff.

ERICATHERINE
07-26-2016, 07:04 AM
The only "assassination" from ac 1 that have only 3 side missions is the first of Masyaf. For the big majority of the others, you have a certain amount to do, but the total side missions per assassination is always (if I remember correctly) bigger than 4.

Not to mention all the citizen rescue or the 60 Templars across the maps. ^-^

Ureh
07-26-2016, 07:26 AM
Yeah it was 5 or 6 iirc. Pickpocket, informant assassination, eavesdrop, interrogation, flag racing. Only two investigations in the vanilla games require killing. It's possible to sneak to the main target then escape without taking more lives.

You know I didn't really think about citizen rescue as part of the assassinations.... I guess we can count them too. So he did kill hundreds of people.

What a monster... :p

Farlander1991
07-26-2016, 09:41 AM
You know I didn't really think about citizen rescue as part of the assassinations.... I guess we can count them too. So he did kill hundreds of people.

That's a very good point. There's 85 citizens to save in Assassin's Creed, saving raises synchronization which means Altair did do it, so as every citizen is being beaten by either 3 or 4 guards, Altair's kill count on saving citizens alone ranges from 255 to 340 people.

cawatrooper9
07-26-2016, 02:54 PM
For reference:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hm793wxCxzg

I gotta say, for a franchise known for this:

http://modernorientalism.weebly.com/uploads/1/3/9/9/13997581/2646158_orig.jpg?641

I'm a little surprised that Shaun (who admittedly knows a ton about history) implies that there's never been a vegan Assassin before.

Though, I guess that "we work in the shadows" wouldn't work well with them. If they're vegan, they'd have to tell everyone! :p

ERICATHERINE
07-26-2016, 03:46 PM
That's a very good point. There's 85 citizens to save in Assassin's Creed, saving raises synchronization which means Altair did do it, so as every citizen is being beaten by either 3 or 4 guards, Altair's kill count on saving citizens alone ranges from 255 to 340 people.

Yes and I think I remember even 5 guards around those citizens. Not to mention the one that joins the fight, since as long as there is people who want to fight us, the citizens won't talk to us, but I guess if we keep them them for last, we can kill the first group of guards and then flee to hidding to return later to talk to the citizens. ^-^

cawatrooper9
07-26-2016, 03:47 PM
Yeah, I think this all kind of stems from the paradox of the series- much like how people complain when missions aren't stealth based enough.

The word "Assassin" brings connotations with it of "cloak and dagger" intrigue, and the historical secret war with the Templars adds to this. As Bellec points out in Unity, though, a dagger in the daytime is far more the traditional Assassin style. Basically, they're about taking out their targets at all costs.

Hey, no one ever said they're the good guys. The Templars are always accepting applications.

Farlander1991
07-26-2016, 03:57 PM
Yes and I think I remember even 5 guards around those citizens. Not to mention the one that joins the fight, since as long as there is people who want to fight us, the citizens won't talk to us, but I guess if we keep them them for last, we can kill the first group of guards and then flee to hidding to return later to talk to the citizens. ^-^

Well, due to the nature of the Animus, anything that is not a confirmed kill (i.e. part of the mission objective or in case the later games 100% optional objectives) can't be added to an "official assassin killcount| so to speak. The whole 'just because you kill 1000 guards while roaming the open-world doesn't mean that the ancestor has done it' schtick, so even if you do kill alongside those 3-4 guards 20 more guards, only those 3-4 are the guards that we know Altair has 100% killed. The other 20 they're dependent on the player and his playstyle.

ERICATHERINE
07-26-2016, 04:14 PM
Well, due to the nature of the Animus, anything that is not a confirmed kill (i.e. part of the mission objective or in case the later games 100% optional objectives) can't be added to an "official assassin killcount| so to speak. The whole 'just because you kill 1000 guards while roaming the open-world doesn't mean that the ancestor has done it' schtick, so even if you do kill alongside those 3-4 guards 20 more guards, only those 3-4 are the guards that we know Altair has 100% killed. The other 20 they're dependent on the player and his playstyle.

Well, based on what Vidic says to subject 1, in a interview we can listen to in black flag, absolutely everything we do in the machine, the ancestor did it as well. It's not even acting he said.

Check from 5:11. ^-^


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sMbyh4mEXM

cawatrooper9
07-26-2016, 07:33 PM
Well, due to the nature of the Animus, anything that is not a confirmed kill (i.e. part of the mission objective or in case the later games 100% optional objectives) can't be added to an "official assassin killcount| so to speak. The whole 'just because you kill 1000 guards while roaming the open-world doesn't mean that the ancestor has done it' schtick, so even if you do kill alongside those 3-4 guards 20 more guards, only those 3-4 are the guards that we know Altair has 100% killed. The other 20 they're dependent on the player and his playstyle.

I guess it depends on how far you want to take it. In most games, you can get away with killing a civilian or two, but desync after much more than that. If we wanted to be really literal, I guess we could assume that numbers actually are a factor.

So, if Altair kills 400 guards on his way to a target, we can assume that it's not likely that he actually killed all of them in real life at that time- but, it's still not completely out of line of his character either, as it did not cause any more of a desynchronization than killing only the target.

Of course, judging games this way is kind of dangerous, as the overlap between lore and gameplay with the Animus is pretty big. We could have a player continuously run into a wall for 10 hours and claim that Ezio would have done it, because the game didn't desynch. Still, I think it's certainly interesting to think about.

MikeFNY
08-21-2016, 04:11 PM
My stats say:

Play time - 60 hours
Kills - 3811
Assassinations - 962
I have just finished AC3, a much, much bigger game and with a more cold-blooded assassin according to some.

My stats are:

66 hours
1261 kills
424 assassinations

Three times as much, pretty interesting if you ask me.

V3CTORL3O
08-22-2016, 02:01 AM
What if we had a player-character who was more picky about who gets killed, or maybe a mentor who absolutely forbade us to kill lower level guards? If the majority of enemies were protected by the "Your ancestor did not kill civilians" rule, how might it affect the game? I've got a feeling that, if the missions were designed for it, the gameplay could be a lot more fun since you'd be forced to sneak around to get to the acceptable targets. You'd have to think about when to use smoke bombs, and put more effort into sneaking up behind NPCs and pickpocketing them for replacement items. The points in the mission where you were let off the leash could make killing a lot more rewarding, especially if the killable enemies were difficult to slay (and not necessarily in a "take more hits to kill" way but they might be very agile, very good at hunting you, or very good at combat).

The game would look a lot more like this:

[Unity] https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLC113FCD4D46B0F4B

[Syndicate] https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL36oulzyfYiNlmmbd5uVvSYmMDyZL0LJy

LoyalACFan
08-22-2016, 04:44 AM
I have just finished AC3, a much, much bigger game and with a more cold-blooded assassin according to some.

Lol, according to who? :p Much of the criticism of Connor focused on his indecisiveness and reluctance to fully commit to his assassinations.

MikeFNY
08-22-2016, 07:58 AM
Lol, according to who? :p Much of the criticism of Connor focused on his indecisiveness and reluctance to fully commit to his assassinations.

I read many comments saying that all he wanted to do is to get Charles Lee, killing whoever gets between him and Lee, even his best friend.

cawatrooper9
08-22-2016, 02:19 PM
I read many comments saying that all he wanted to do is to get Charles Lee, killing whoever gets between him and Lee, even his best friend.

Nah, that was to save his village. Connor had more than ample opportunity to kill Lee if he wanted- they were both working alongside the Continental Army for a decent chunk of the game. His focus on Lee didn't happen until much later in the game, after Yorktown.