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FunniestTooth93
08-12-2013, 02:24 PM
I stumbled upon this article one day, where it raises a very valid point.
ALL of the sequels missed the point of SYNCHRONIZATION and the whole point of being in the animus.
"In AC1, there’s no such thing as health or armor. There’s just synchronization—how close you (Desmond Miles) could faithfully recreate the actions of ancestor Altair. If you got hurt or fell off a building, you lost synchronization. Why? Because you suck, I mean, you weren’t as good an assassin as Altair, that’s why. The real Altair was too nimble to fall of a building, too stealthy to attract attention
The sequels totally miss the point of how synchronization drives the first game. They introduce actual health, which could be restored with health tonics. In other words, medieval assassin Ezio actually does get thwacked upside the head by that Brute, no matter what you “remembered” him doing. (This means that Altair, who did not miss his jumps, is a definitively better assassin than Ezio."
Woah, right? Such a minor detail but when attention is drawn to it, the immersion and the fluidity is spoilt a bit dont you all think?
Link to article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/carolpinchefsky/2012/10/25/8-reasons-why-assassins-creed-1/

pacmanate
08-12-2013, 02:54 PM
Have to agree with this 100%. I thought this with AC2 actually. But they got rid of it in AC3?

Farlander1991
08-12-2013, 03:05 PM
So if flags don't exist, then why some informants specifically asked us to collect them for some of their missions? :p ;)

And while he does have some valid points (that I agree with), that question alone breaks half of his arguments :p

DisbandedBox359
08-12-2013, 03:26 PM
ACIII kind of went back to that system though

FunniestTooth93
08-12-2013, 03:27 PM
LOL fair enough but that sync thing really got me thinking

guardian_titan
08-12-2013, 04:26 PM
An opinion is opinion and rarely ever shared by everyone. Personally, I hated AC1 because of its repetitive gameplay, no subtitles, Altair's voice wasn't that good, and the loud whistle every time you entered the various Assassin headquarters in the different cities, and I hated the health system and timed dungeons with the fixed camera in AC2, found Brotherhood a bit lacking (guess I found it boring spending virtually the entire game in Rome outside of the odd quest), and just wanted Revelations and Liberation to be over, but I enjoyed AC3 ... except the ending. :p Didn't like Liberation more due to it just being on a console. I'm terrible with the controls. And the screen's not that large. My eyesight is terrible. Didn't mind the story so much.

In regards to the feathers and flags, how can that person really say they don't exist? What, the Animus can't add a glowy effect to items in the world to basically say, "HEY, PICK ME UP!"? The Animus can add subtitles and translate languages for us but it can't add sparkles to things without it being an Animus projection? The only ones that can't be really there are the clues left by Clay and the Animus fragments. The flags and feathers are likely really there regardless if you give them to someone afterward.

Things always change. Things are always evolving. You can't stay in the past and stick to the same idea going forward. Look at how many businesses are flopping now and have flopped in the past because they were one trick ponies. Imagine if AC2, Brotherhood, Revelations, Liberation, and AC3 all used the exact same gameplay as AC1. People would've grown bored of the series if they hadn't added anything new or changed things up. If the series was done for you after AC1, fine. Don't laugh at those that like the later games because they're different. AC3 was my first game in the franchise and will likely always remain my favorite. The fact that I'm part Cherokee myself with an overbearing parent likely influences it. The same can be said for those who first started with AC1 or AC2. This can be compared to cars. If we never evolved cars, we'd still be driving around in cars that we'd have to hand crank every time they stopped. We wouldn't have air conditioning, seat warmers, automatic car starting, heat, windshield wipers, etc. But older's better, right? :rolleyes: Or look at TVs. If we hadn't evolved those, we'd still only have one channel that's in black and white, no remote, and the box would take up a good chunk of the room. Or phones. Or computers. Wait, better yet, let's remove all modern tech because it evolved from earlier tech. Let's go back to sticks that don't even have stone spears on the end because older is always best. :rolleyes:

Another thing is that the Animus is upgraded in some way every game so why upgrade the Animus if you don't change anything? It'd be horrible to play Ezio running around Venice if he couldn't swim, and some of Connor's missions would've been harder or impossible without swimming. Removing Venice from AC2 would've removed one of the most beautiful cities from the franchise and removing the swimming required missions for AC3 would've made the game more repetitive because they just would've added more ground related ones instead. Then if they removed the naval part of AC3 because they were keeping strictly to the AC1 formula would mean AC4 wouldn't be possible.

There's also the fact that Ubisoft is trying to widen the appeal of the game. Personally, I equated the synchronization meter in AC1 to being health. That's how it's been in every other game I've played. Little bar on the screen that drops when you take damage? Health bar. The concept was likely too confusing and wasn't ultimately needed. It's confusing enough for people who just come into the franchise thinking you just play the assassin on the cover only to find you play another guy at various points, too ... and with no UI to help you out. I know I was confused on who Desmond was when I first played AC3, and then scratching my head over Haytham. Finished that and bought the rest of the franchise so I could start over from AC1 just to understand what was going on. Didn't buy Liberation until a few months later. Such a shame the PC version of AC3 doesn't play with Liberation for the Connor mission. Have to watch it on YouTube. Hoping Aveline's in the PC version of AC4, but not holding my breath since she was a PSVita exclusive.

Jexx21
08-12-2013, 04:58 PM
I still see the AC2-ACR "health bar" as being synchronization, and that when we use the medicine it returns synchronization because Ezio really did use medicine when he was hurt, but he probably didn't use it in battle.

Gi1t
08-12-2013, 05:51 PM
So if flags don't exist, then why some informants specifically asked us to collect them for some of their missions? :p ;)

And while he does have some valid points (that I agree with), that question alone breaks half of his arguments :p

In that case, it might be more accurate to say that they started moving toward a health system somewhat even before they finished AC1. That wouldn't surprise me since they definitely changed the health system to make it more mainstream before they were done with it. (initially you couldn't take anywhere near as much damage). Also, didn't flags restore your sync? I seem to recall getting into a big fight with a Templar and then restoring sync by picking up a nearby flag.

I DO think it would have been interesting to see how things would be different if they had really stuck to the concept of sync instead of health, but in some cases they did go back to it such as with no-detection missions, which were really annoying truth be told. But it's a good point they ought to consider seriously because it could really set AC apart if they found a clever way to use it.

Spider_Sith9
08-12-2013, 05:52 PM
ACIII kind of went back to that system though

And people hated it. Thinking it all started with AC3. Meaning Ubi jumped the Regen Health bandwagon. Probably because most never played AC1.

Farlander1991
08-12-2013, 06:03 PM
In that case, it might be more accurate to say that they started moving toward a health system somewhat even before they finished AC1. That wouldn't surprise me since they definitely changed the health system to make it more mainstream before they were done with it. (initially you couldn't take anywhere near as much damage). Also, didn't flags restore your sync? I seem to recall getting into a big fight with a Templar and then restoring sync by picking up a nearby flag.

I DO think it would have been interesting to see how things would be different if they had really stuck to the concept of sync instead of health, but in some cases they did go back to it such as with no-detection missions, which were really annoying truth be told. But it's a good point they ought to consider seriously because it could really set AC apart if they found a clever way to use it.

Okay, well, the whole synchronization thing is really just a skin for the game mechanic elements to look neatly tied together to the narrative, and also giving some game mechanic conventions a reasoning (while usually those conventions rely on suspension of disbelief). And it ALWAYS has been health, mechanically speaking, it was just called 'synchronization'.

Like, why Ezio could barely walk after being wounded in a cutscene, but was just fine when being hit? Well, synchronization. In AC1, what's the reasoning of getting more health points? (which is a traditional game mechanic - do stuff, get more hearts, really) Well, synchronization. It all ties neatly to the narrative. Same with stuff like, why can we go chase chickens when the world needs saving? Animus - simulation. All that stuff to incorporate video game conventions into the world. And, yeah, they use it as a reasoning for fail states (like death or detection) or optional objectives too. So, there never has been a 'synchronization' mechanic or anything like that in AC, just a narrative skin/explanation for traditional game mechanics and making some open worldy stuff more believable.

And, btw, we don't really know what kind of medicine Ezio was drinking. It could be just painkillers or something like that, for all we know, something to keep him going in a battle against heavily armored opponents.

Jexx21
08-12-2013, 06:10 PM
Actually the medicine wasn't liquid, it was just smelling salts and they were supposed to help dull the pain.

Wouldn't surprise me if Ezio actually had an addiction to them..

Sushiglutton
08-12-2013, 06:17 PM
I think the idea of recreate something exactly like someone else did it, is pretty lame for a videogame. Videogames are interactive that is the point. The synchronization doesn't make any sense. How does the animus know the difference between a guard and a regular citizen? Why can you skin a billion bears, but if you fall off a roof from a none deadly height you lose synch etc. I mean these rules are very arbitrary.

Farlander1991
08-12-2013, 06:22 PM
I think the idea of recreate something exactly like someone else did it, is pretty lame for a videogame. Videogames are interactive that is the point. The synchronization doesn't make any sense

I personally think that it's a very genius idea, it just really depends on how to use it :D Synchronization concept doesn't have anything to do with the interactivity level. AC1 is, pretty much a proof of that. Synchronization is used as a tool to show cutscenes, to act as a barrier between areas, and to give a sense of progression and stuff like that, but it doesn't limit interactivity in the game ;) It's a purely narrative thing. The game would have had EXACTLY the same mechanics with or without synchronization, but with synchronization and Animus simulation it doesn't look as jarring as it usually does in videogames if you think about the way video game mechanics work in comparison to real life.


How does the animus know the difference between a guard and a regular citizen?

if
{
this.item.type = "Weapon"
}
then
{
this.class = "Guard"
}
else
{
this.class = "Citizen"
}

:p

Or something like that. After all, Animus is a simulation :p It's probably more complex than that (or easier, considering that Animus knows which classes of characters it creates, dunno), so it can find a way ;)

EDIT:

Look at it this way, there are mechanics, and then there is the narrative skin of the mechanic.

"Health" - it's a mechanic. You reach 0 - you die. Synchronization with the ancestor - it's a narrative skin to the mechanic. You don't die, you desynchronize with the memories (or, like in the case of Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, "WAIT! That's not how it happened, I didn't die, let me tell you this part again!" :D )
Optional objectives - is a mechanic present in many games. Just because the narrative skin of it is to try and do things like the ancestor did it doesn't mean that it actually removes interactivity from the game. Like with any mechanic, it's all based on design decisions. I mean, you can do an awesome optional objective which is like a side mission (which even you would be happy about :p ) or a crappy optional objective like "kill this particular person in this particular way", the narrative skin for it still remains the same, really.

What I'm trying to say is, don't blame the narrative skin for the design choices that you don't like :p Because this narrative skin actually fits pretty much... everything, really. Which is why I think that it's genius :D

STDlyMcStudpants
08-12-2013, 06:44 PM
I totally agree..which is why i want to smack people whenever they cry about lack of customization.
But ironically the game that had no health loss and only synchronization also was the only game with no limitations (other than Altair can't swim haha)
Which though I hate mission specifics, they are truly what syncing is about..but those in game objectives take away the fun when they are forced on you..im all for replaying a mission to try and get perfect sync just for getting the most of your game purposes and as a cool little challenge (Kind of what AC 3 was leaning towards but failed at) But what I don't like is when I play a mission that I get auto desynched because i get detected..it definitely takes you out of the experience. There shouldn't be a mix of forced mini objectives and optional mini objectives...either force me to do everything the game wants you to or let me play the game my way.
I wish it would go back to AC 2 where you had ONE and only one forced objective of do this without being seen but absolutely nothing like use a poison dart or smoke bomb on top of it
But at the end of the day, the story and mystery is the point, not the technology...

vinkula
08-12-2013, 06:55 PM
By the sound of the opening post, I am happy that Ubi changed it, tbh.

Spider_Sith9
08-12-2013, 06:56 PM
I totally agree..which is why i want to smack people whenever they cry about lack of customization.
But ironically the game that had no health loss and only synchronization also was the only game with no limitations (other than Altair can't swim haha)
Which though I hate mission specifics, they are truly what syncing is about..but those in game objectives take away the fun when they are forced on you..im all for replaying a mission to try and get perfect sync just for getting the most of your game purposes and as a cool little challenge (Kind of what AC 3 was leaning towards but failed at) But what I don't like is when I play a mission that I get auto desynched because i get detected..it definitely takes you out of the experience. There shouldn't be a mix of forced mini objectives and optional mini objectives...either force me to do everything the game wants you to or let me play the game my way.
I wish it would go back to AC 2 where you had ONE and only one forced objective of do this without being seen but absolutely nothing like use a poison dart or smoke bomb on top of it
But at the end of the day, the story and mystery is the point, not the technology...

But plot holes. ;__;

Gi1t
08-12-2013, 07:01 PM
I think the idea of recreate something exactly like someone else did it, is pretty lame for a videogame. Videogames are interactive that is the point. The synchronization doesn't make any sense. How does the animus know the difference between a guard and a regular citizen? Why can you skin a billion bears, but if you fall off a roof from a none deadly height you lose synch etc. I mean these rules are very arbitrary.

I don't think of it as making the game all about the re-creation aspect so much as a skin for the health meter that makes it feel less arcade-y. I'd really like to see more games re-think the generic health meter and also the standard 'getting hit' animations. I recall that in AC1 sometimes you could take a hit and Altair would block the attack, but not properly as opposed to just getting clocked in the face with a sharp sword, and I thought it'd be cool if they used that more. Health doesn't always have to represent 'health' and the animations for getting hit can be done in any number of different ways. You could design the animation so that it not only looks like a 'hit', but also describes why it doesn't kill you.

I certainly don't mind if you can get impaled, electrocuted, blown up and thrown across the room and still get up (Ninja Gaiden XD) but if you're going for something that feels more 'real' it might help to have combat that looks more real, where a deadly blow actually kills people, and by changing the animations, you could potentially do that without having to make the player literally die in one hit. (Side note, that WOULD be harder to do for guns, I'm sure) but as long as it's not too over the top, it could really be cool, and I'm surprised that the industry doesn't look at that angle more often.

LoyalACFan
08-12-2013, 07:58 PM
The AC2 trilogy's health bar was still synchronization, but it just wasn't as in-your-face. And honestly, I'm so glad they changed it; not because the armor system was useful or anything, but because the Animus interface was too intrusive in AC1 IMO. I couldn't get totally lost in the Crusades because the Animus kept getting shoved in my face.

Anyway, the way I sort of explained it to myself was that armor helped give Desmond a little more wiggle room while controlling Ezio in the Animus. Like Altair, Ezio never took damage in battle (scripted wounds notwithstanding) but if Desmond failed and allowed him to, his synchronization would take a huge hit if he let Ezio get smashed with a battle axe. Armor helped him preserve Ezio (and therefore, his synchronization) by allowing him to take more damage while acting as the puppeteer without actually hurting the ancestor.

So basically, Ezio actually did own armor during his lifetime and he never took a hit in battle, but when Desmond was puppeteering him, the armor in those memories served as a buffer to keep Desmond's lack of skill from damaging Ezio and weakening his synchronization.

Jexx21
08-13-2013, 12:23 AM
It looks like Black Flag might be returning to the synchronization thing as well anyway.

Sigv4rd
08-13-2013, 01:28 AM
It looks like Black Flag might be returning to the synchronization thing as well anyway.

What makes you so sure?

AlphaAltair
08-13-2013, 11:37 AM
Good article.
I would agree with most of the points raised.
I guess its hard to make a game as polished and with such quality gameplay and storytelling as AC1 and AC2 when you have so little time and, or you divide the work across the globe.
Those were the days!