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View Full Version : Why the recent gameplay videos have been so disapointing



Sushiglutton
08-25-2013, 12:11 PM
I have been very negative lately about the footage shown, but I never really explained exactly why. In this thread I will. If you don't care about gameplay, or just want to read positive feedback leading up to release you may want to leave now ;).


Here are the two vids I will refer two. They are both played by inexperienced players making it look extra bad. But that is not relevant to any of my points below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-QamR03L20 (Casse assasination)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiAAIqTYsGs (Fort takeover)


Let's go through the various core gameplay systems:


Stealth
I think it's fair to say there's a consensus stealth was broken in AC3. Clearly Ubi understood this and improving stealth has been a focus for AC4. However the gameplay vids reveal that this has not suceeded. Good stealth starts with strong enemy AI and clear detection rules. As can be seen in the videos AC4 has anything but. Why is Edward detected at (1 @ 2:45), (2 @ 15:14)? Why is he not detected at (1 @ 3:33)? It's clear detection is still broken.

This may seem like nitpicking, but stealth is something we will do over and over. When the detection system is broken the entire system will feel random and unfair. This was the by far most important thing to fix, but Ubi has completely failed.

Instead of fixing the fundamentals they have added new things on top. For exampl Edward is now capable of seeing through walls. I think this addition is flawed. It's a very gamey system that breaks the immersion and clutters the screen. I also feel there should be a clear distinction between eagle vision and normal vision. This new system blurs the two. A better implementation would have been to only let you see through walls when eagle vision is active.


Combat
Combat has basically remained the same it seems. Quickfire of gadgets has not been implemented, you still need to go through a menu. This is disapointing to say the least as it feels like a fairly easy thing to implement and is standard in other modern action games like Arkham, God of War, DMC etc. Enemy AI is broken. When fighting with friendly allies the enemies will ignore you when they really shouldn't (like 2 @ 11:42). They also spontaniously jump in the water for no reason (1 @ 4:46). If you run away they are uncapable of doing much. Just jump in the water, regaing health and start over.

No extra layer of depths or new moves are visible in the demos. The double counter animations are still too long, disorienting and breaks the flow of combat.


Parkour
Parkour seems pretty much exactly the same as in AC3. In others words it's solid for navigating the world, but too automatic for chase/tomb-like missions. It's disapointing they haven't done more to involve the player.


Mission design
It's hard to evaluate the mission design thus far. I think both missions look fine from that pov. However the optional objectives are back and as dumb as ever. They tell the player exactly what technique to use to assasinate the target. According to Ashraf these belong to 10% of intrusive objectives, most are not like that. I find that really hard to believe. They have shown two missions, both with dumb side constraints. And we are supposed to believe both are exceptions?


Naval
Naval looks very similar to 3, but the seamless transition between naval and other systems is a great improvement, biggest achievement for AC4 I have seen so far. The weakspot system seems to have gone nuts though. Weakspots appear all the time even though you have done nothing to expose them. Then all you need to do is press triangle "to win".


HUD/UI
The enormous amount of visual cues and messages is very disturbing. The handholding has reached a new level. The text "kill" now appears above the targets head to really make the player feel stupid. Why a red icon is needed to point out a giant shark, or a tower repeatedly firing mortars at you is anyones guess. New weapon menu looks slicker though.


Summary
I think it's clear that AC4 is not a massive improvement from AC3, not at all. Most of the same old problems persists. The core systems have not been improved in any noticeable way. This is AC3.1 no matter what they are trying to sell us.

roostersrule2
08-25-2013, 12:15 PM
Indeed, it's a more polished (I hope) version of AC3 with a new map and new story. It looks fun though, I think this will be everyone's second favourite AC game.

silvermercy
08-25-2013, 12:29 PM
I usually don't discuss gameplay mechanics, but story details, my only problem would be with the menu. If it's anything like in AC3 I'd be a bit disappointed. The easiest weapons menu I've experienced lately was in the new TR.

The HUD is there for the slightly inexperienced players I suppose or those who want an easier game at that moment (not every hardcore gamer wants a difficult game all the time). I don't see the HUD as a problem as it can be removed if people don't like it.

The parkour and optional objectives I don't mind if they stay the same. As long as they don't make it frustrating as in that chase mission in AC3 where you could only catch the target if you followed a very specific route around the streets.

Farlander1991
08-25-2013, 12:31 PM
The problem with understanding how detection works is that a lot of these videos are edited. For example, there's a clear video cut in the first vid at 2:45. The second vid at 15:14 is indeed strange, but might have to do something with Edward's allies being in that same spot.

And regarding the 'exception missions' - if they're showing stuff from one sequence only (and I believe they are, so far they've been very adamant about not spoiling anything at all from the story), then I wouldn't call that a stretch, since those could be missions that were finished first (and, to be fair, going back in to change something sometimes is not work/time effective a lot of times).

Anyway, nice post, though I'm not inclined to either agree or disagree with it, because, honestly, I got tired of talking about hypothetical things even based on the demos (and, let's be fair, while the game is not in a released state - everything we see is hypothetical).

DavidPage
08-25-2013, 12:54 PM
Everything you said, I agree with. The funny thing with the Eagle Vision is that a previous build of the game was just like you described it (see through wall but only when it's activated). Check one of the previous demos with Ashraf's commentary. I don't actually remember which one but I'm 110% sure it's like that. Detection is the biggest problem I have with the game. I mean it's so much poorer that other games with stealth. The Last of Us is the best I've played by far! And they've implemented companion stealth in an acceptable way (Ellie is not detected as long as you are in cover). Second problem I have is free running. Yes the animations are epic and I love them, but the high profile with only the shoulder button thing - as easy as it may be and cool - kinda ruins the fun of having to think what to do in different situations when running on buildings. Should I jump now (earlier than the edge of the building) or just jump at the edge? Which route up should I take? Etc, etc... Now you just press R1-up and you're up there! Even the sideways leap is cool but really unnecessary.

Rickin10
08-25-2013, 12:56 PM
Thanks for posting this, it saved me the trouble as your views are mostly in line with my own.

AC4 seems to be 2013's best example of how a game can look great - amazing even - when shown in developer controlled and choreographed videos with pretty buzzwords over the top, but it's only when you see the game in the hands of a player that all the flaws expose themselves. All the comments by the devs (particularly about much work has gone into stealth and AI ) look pretty hollow now.

ladyleonhart
08-25-2013, 12:59 PM
Instead of fixing the fundamentals they have added new things on top. For exampl Edward is now capable of seeing through walls. I think this addition is flawed. It's a very gamey system that breaks the immersion and clutters the screen. I also feel there should be a clear distinction between eagle vision and normal vision. This new system blurs the two. A better implementation would have been to only let you see through walls when eagle vision is active.

I agree with this. I'm actually not very fond of the new eagle vision due to the targets remaining marked through obstacles. I do feel, like you, that it would break the immersion for me. Then, I think I will find it quite annoying, and will most likely try to avoid using it, unless I can alter how it displays.



It's hard to evaluate the mission design thus far. I think both missions look fine from that pov. However the optional objectives are back and as dumb as ever. They tell the player exactly what technique to use to assasinate the target. According to Ashraf these belong to 10% of intrusive objectives, most are not like that. I find that really hard to believe. They have shown two missions, both with dumb side constraints. And we are supposed to believe both are exceptions?

Perhaps they chose to show us missions with constraints so that the person trying the demo would be able to understand what to do. The reason for this being, as the demo is usually selected mid-game it may make it difficult for a new player to know what to do without playing the previous parts of the game first. So, maybe those missions were selected to give the player some guidance. Just a thought. :)



The enormous amount of visual cues and messages is very disturbing. The handholding has reached a new level. The text "kill" now appears above the targets head to really make the player feel stupid...

I have to agree with you on this. I didn't actually realise that "kill" is displayed above a target. Maybe it is aimed at new players. In any case, I really hope that it is something that can be turned off.


Indeed, it's a more polished (I hope) version of AC3 with a new map and new story. It looks fun though, I think this will be everyone's second favourite AC game.

I do agree with this. ACIV looks great so far and I'm still looking forward to it, even if it's not perfect. :)

adventurewomen
08-25-2013, 01:06 PM
More like the person who is playing the game more than the game itself. I wouldn't complain though, the game isn't even out yet! I won't be too quick to judge.

The cover of the book isn't all what it may seem, so don't judge it.

ProletariatPleb
08-25-2013, 01:09 PM
More like the person who is playing the game more than the game itself. I wouldn't complain though, the game isn't even out yet! I won't be too quick to judge.

The cover of the book isn't all what it may seem, so don't judge it.
Well they're advertising with that 'cover' and it's really doesn't make sense that they showed the game being like this and will change, has never happened and likely won't.

Sushiglutton
08-25-2013, 01:53 PM
More like the person who is playing the game more than the game itself. I wouldn't complain though, the game isn't even out yet! I won't be too quick to judge.

The cover of the book isn't all what it may seem, so don't judge it.

The detection system has nothing to do with the player. If you are detected when you are not in the enemies line of sight (or not detected when you are), that's the games fault. This is true for all the points I brought forward.

I think it's much better to complain before the game is out than after. It's their job to convince us to buy the game, not ours to come up with excuses. If they are unable to show solid stealth gameplay, chances are it's not in the game. I'm not going to donate $60 fo "find out". It's that mentality that has allowed Ubi to continue these shenanigans. Show me a 10min non edited vid of a player testing the different stealth features, proving that they work and then they'll get my money!

pacmanate
08-25-2013, 01:59 PM
More like the person who is playing the game more than the game itself. I wouldn't complain though, the game isn't even out yet! I won't be too quick to judge.

The cover of the book isn't all what it may seem, so don't judge it.

It's the 6th AC game, I think we are beyond that

Shahkulu101
08-25-2013, 02:10 PM
I agree with all your points, it's very disheartening. But, there is one thing -- I actually think the new eagle vision is good. You can't literally see through walls, you try to spot all the guards you can in eagle vision and they are tagged. I think it's alot more usefull than The Last of Us Listen mode which was also very game-y (they are games, after all). And honestly a small yellow tag on an enemy isn't quite immersion breaking, I don't understand why it would be at all.

Still though, you are correct. A.I is as dumb as ever and combat is just as easy and clunky looking. Funny how we haven't seen the one-shot killer guard archtype; the gunner yet as well.

GunnarGunderson
08-25-2013, 03:19 PM
You're asking for the moon. Ubisoft will never put that much work into a new iteration of their chief money maker when they can make way more profit just recycling everything

Rugterwyper32
08-25-2013, 04:00 PM
I usually don't discuss gameplay mechanics, but story details, my only problem would be with the menu. If it's anything like in AC3 I'd be a bit disappointed. The easiest weapons menu I've experienced lately was in the new TR.

The HUD is there for the slightly inexperienced players I suppose or those who want an easier game at that moment (not every hardcore gamer wants a difficult game all the time). I don't see the HUD as a problem as it can be removed if people don't like it.

The parkour and optional objectives I don't mind if they stay the same. As long as they don't make it frustrating as in that chase mission in AC3 where you could only catch the target if you followed a very specific route around the streets.

In the case of the menus, at least weapon selection doesn't require loading now and it certainly looks faster and more responsive. I still don't know why they haven't taken advantage of the 8-directional pad (as for PS just use both buttons combined or something), because that would make for something a lot faster.

HUD? Well, there's one thing this series has done really well, in my opinion, and it's that you can easily remove as many HUD elements as you like, so while the handholding's there for players who aren't experienced enough/like it, it's easy to just take it all out. Minimal HUD elements is the way to go. With smaller cities and just wanting to get lost in the Caribbean, I might just take out the HUD entirely and try to base myself on landmarks to move around and use the map when I'm lost in the middle of the Caribbean or I get completely sidetracked. It will make for a far more entertaining experience.

I like the current parkour system, it gives me a good control over my speed and sometimes using A to make it to a far away point is still an option, considering that's the way to go through the "unsafe" options. And it works for me. Optional objectives, well, won't judge this until the game's out. If they give me something for completing them and they stay as "complete" after having done them once but you can still try again if you'd like to (Like high value targets or USBs in Splinter Cell Blacklist), then I have no problem with that. It won't be bugging me after the first playthrough and that'll be that.


The problem with understanding how detection works is that a lot of these videos are edited. For example, there's a clear video cut in the first vid at 2:45. The second vid at 15:14 is indeed strange, but might have to do something with Edward's allies being in that same spot.

And regarding the 'exception missions' - if they're showing stuff from one sequence only (and I believe they are, so far they've been very adamant about not spoiling anything at all from the story), then I wouldn't call that a stretch, since those could be missions that were finished first (and, to be fair, going back in to change something sometimes is not work/time effective a lot of times).

Anyway, nice post, though I'm not inclined to either agree or disagree with it, because, honestly, I got tired of talking about hypothetical things even based on the demos (and, let's be fair, while the game is not in a released state - everything we see is hypothetical).

Having seen the original video, there were a bunch of cuts to make things not look as absolutely awful. Unfortunately the original video is now down to show it (or fortunately, that go to the point of being painful to watch), but yeah, the detection in the first video overall worked with that cut making it seem like it was an issue. When it comes to allies, though, it seems insta-detection is still an issue. I might go back to AC:B to the mission where you kill the French General and mess around with the guards fighting Bartolomeo's men, see if that's been around from so long ago (not replaying a lot of AC2 to figure out if that happened during the missions where allies where fighting guards). But if memory serves, that's been around for a really long time and they don't seem to have figured that out.

Just as with AC3 last year, I'm pretty sure they're showing stuff from halfway through the game, so that'd make sense. Those could easily be among the first missions they got done, and again, as I mentioned before, so long as they remain as "completed" after having done that once and they not popping up on the screen telling you "hey you haven't done this" every time you do something, I have no problem with that.

And when it comes to demos, I would agree about not really trusting it much. I agree that's a good point to address this at this point, see what they can improve, but I'm not sure how much they'll manage in the few remaining months. We'll see though.

Oh, and a last point I didn't mention about Eagle Vision: I actually really like this new eagle vision. The way I see it, besides Revelations, this is the only time I've thought of it as useful. The "tag" system works for me, helps me keep track of (a) specific guard(s) and plan my route around things, or make my day as a predator a lot more fun tracking down the enemy and planning how to go around things. Again, mentioning Splinter Cell Blacklist as I've been at that lately, it reminds me of how I use mark to track enemies (rarely ever use execute though). It helps on the hunt and makes things feel more fun, and it's the one time I've thought I'll consistently use Eagle Vision, as in every other game besides Revelations (where I could see the routes of guard patrols/rooftop guards) it's been nothing short of completely useless.

dxsxhxcx
08-25-2013, 04:11 PM
great post Sushiglutton, I agree with everything you said, since the first time I saw the new eagle vision in action it annoyed me a lot (I hope we don't need to use it that much because I don't want to see guards marked everywhere), and then in one of the last gameplay videos released the "red aura" of the targets could even be seen through Edward's body (what IMO isn't only pointless but something ugly as hell from an aesthetic point of view)!

Oleg l Kirrlov
08-25-2013, 04:18 PM
I wish developers would stop appealing to the 4 year olds as much and make the game more difficult.

silvermercy
08-25-2013, 04:21 PM
I wish developers would stop appealing to the 4 year olds as much and make the game more difficult.
The "4 year olds" are the main market though. If they made the games way TOO difficult only dedicated gamers would buy them.
If I was a beginner gamer now (or one who wants to go with the flow easily in a game) I would never buy a "difficult" game. Other people have to be catered to, for better or worse.

ProletariatPleb
08-25-2013, 04:22 PM
The "4 year olds" are the main market though. If they made the games way TOO difficult only dedicated gamers would buy them.
If I was a beginner gamer now (or one who wants to go with the flow easily in a game) I would never buy a "difficult" game.
A simple solution to that is difficulty selection, what's their beef with implementing that?

silvermercy
08-25-2013, 04:22 PM
A simple solution to that is difficulty selection, what's their beef with implementing that?
Yeah, that could be a solution. I really don't know.

Rugterwyper32
08-25-2013, 04:25 PM
Gamers these days lack a Kid Chameleon/Castlevania Bloodlines to toughen them up.

I agree this series needs a difficulty selection. Always gotta jump to hardest difficulty if possible. Good fun.

Oleg l Kirrlov
08-25-2013, 04:35 PM
The "4 year olds" are the main market though. If they made the games way TOO difficult only dedicated gamers would buy them.
If I was a beginner gamer now (or one who wants to go with the flow easily in a game) I would never buy a "difficult" game. Other people have to be catered to, for better or worse.
i see where you're coming from, but now it seems the devs are making games to best suit newcomers, and in doing so every game you play is too easy.

dxsxhxcx
08-25-2013, 04:41 PM
Gamers these days lack a Kid Chameleon/Castlevania Bloodlines to toughen them up.

I agree this series needs a difficulty selection. Always gotta jump to hardest difficulty if possible. Good fun.

sir (or lady), you made my day mentioning Kid Chameleon! Sometimes I really miss those days, I'm still waiting for a RPG that'll beat Chrono Trigger :)

the way things are now even Super Mario World could be a problem for some people... :p

Rugterwyper32
08-25-2013, 04:50 PM
sir (or lady), you made my day mentioning Kid Chameleon! Sometimes I really miss those days... :)

the way things are now even Super Mario World could be a problem for some "gamers"... :p

Sir it is. And I'm glad someone else here knows Kid Chameleon! I remember my first game being either that or the original Sonic the Hedgehog. My father got a Sega Genesis the year I was born and I ended up being the one who played it the most. Good times.

And I agree. This article is from a satire site, but I'm thinking that how things are going, it's not far from the truth

http://www.p4rgaming.com/majority-of-gamers-today-cant-finish-level-1-in-super-mario-bros/

Oleg l Kirrlov
08-25-2013, 04:51 PM
sir (or lady), you made my day mentioning Kid Chameleon! Sometimes I really miss those days, I'm still waiting for a RPG that'll beat Chrono Trigger :)

the way things are now even Super Mario World could be a problem for some people... :p

"problem" Please, they would go straight to youtube for mission walk through for every portion of the game

LoyalACFan
08-25-2013, 04:52 PM
The HUD is the most annoying thing for me. It's EVERYWHERE. As long as I can still turn most of it off, I won't mind, but damn. There doesn't need to be a gigantic icon for everything onscreen.

Farlander1991
08-25-2013, 04:58 PM
And I agree. This article is from a satire site, but I'm thinking that how things are going, it's not far from the truth

http://www.p4rgaming.com/majority-of-gamers-today-cant-finish-level-1-in-super-mario-bros/

Please, it's just rose-tinted glasses, I'm sure if Nintendo would've conducted the same test on people all those years ago, they would've got the same results. Plus, some of the things he says is ridiculous. Like, 70 percent of people died on the first Goomba? How many people, who play Super Mario Bros for the first time, don't die on first Goomba, really? I'm pretty sure in the NES days when all the people got the games, 70 percent died on the first Goomba, because that's how you learn that Goomba's are BAD. Basically, I don't agree with his assessment (well... at least in the way he is making it).

Oh. Also, this:

http://v.cdn.cad-comic.com/comics/cad-20130520-1edd9.png

Rugterwyper32
08-25-2013, 05:01 PM
Please, it's just rose-tinted glasses, I'm sure if Nintendo would've conducted the same test on people all those years ago, they would've got the same results. Plus, some of the things he says is ridiculous. Like, 70 percent of people died on the first Goomba? How many people, who play Super Mario Bros for the first time, don't die on first Goomba, really? I'm pretty sure in the NES days when all the people got the games, 70 percent died on the first Goomba, because that's how you learn that Goomba's are BAD. Basically, I don't agree with his assessment (well... at least in the way he is making it).

Well, I DID mention it was from a satire site. P4R comes up with some pretty hilarious articles, you should check it. All are exaggeration/complete BS, but that's the whole point of it

ProletariatPleb
08-25-2013, 05:03 PM
Please, it's just rose-tinted glasses, I'm sure if Nintendo would've conducted the same test on people all those years ago, they would've got the same results. Plus, some of the things he says is ridiculous. Like, 70 percent of people died on the first Goomba? How many people, who play Super Mario Bros for the first time, don't die on first Goomba, really? I'm pretty sure in the NES days when all the people got the games, 70 percent died on the first Goomba, because that's how you learn that Goomba's are BAD. Basically, I don't agree with his assessment (well... at least in the way he is making it).
It's P4R, it's The Onion of games.

Farlander1991
08-25-2013, 05:03 PM
Well, I DID mention it was from a satire site.

Oops, I've missed the "satire" part... >_< *blush* ... And I quoted it too, still didn't notice :-/

OSantaClownO
08-25-2013, 05:14 PM
No idea who played the first one, but they didn't play it stealthy at all.
No offense but they really didn't understand how the game suppose to work...

It's the player fault on this one.

dxsxhxcx
08-25-2013, 05:21 PM
http://v.cdn.cad-comic.com/comics/cad-20130520-1edd9.png

lol, been there, done that.. well, at least they'll continue trying, and even with the help of a magazine many games still required some effort from the player's part and from what I can remember posterior/other games didn't get easier because certain games were harder to beat..

Clockwork78
08-25-2013, 06:11 PM
Older games used difficulty as a way to cover their relatively short length, it's not a model any game should go by.

silvermercy
08-25-2013, 06:19 PM
Older games used difficulty as a way to cover their relatively short length, it's not a model any game should go by.
Ah yes.... good point. I remember playing a Master System game and I don't remember being able to save. You either played the full game in one go or you never finished. I had played it endless times but I gave up on level 13 after a few weeks.

dxsxhxcx
08-25-2013, 06:45 PM
Older games used difficulty as a way to cover their relatively short length, it's not a model any game should go by.

but I don't think this was the main reason, the older generations like any other also had its limitations

David2010549
08-25-2013, 07:12 PM
Nice post OP, as usual. As has been said, your examples for failures of stealth design aren't very strong. The only bit I think is questionable is the one in the second video, but it's likely that the game forces detection to keep a strict delineation between stealth and "assault" approaches on Forts. We still have yet to see anyone take a stealth approach, that's what I find worrying personally. I posted some notes about stealth in the original thread for the unedited version of the first video, they might not be observable in the edited video so you'll have to take my word:

- Enemies are still deaf to player movements, you can sprint right to them and have them unaware as long as you're out of sight.
- You can blend in stalking zones even when an enemy is at the second stage of detection, upon which they'll revert to the first stage and follow you. This makes more sense than the way 3 handled this situation, where you'd just be unable to blend. It makes things easier, at least when dealing with enemies without lanterns.
- Enemies don't go straight back to their neutral states when you've escaped them completely. They retain level one detection, which drains while you stay out of sight. This is a nice middle ground between a friendlier straight to neutral system and a more realistic permanently on high alert system. Looks good, but I'd like to see it really examined. There may still be a high alert system after that level one detection runs out instead of a reversion to neutral, this video doesn't give us the chance to observe it.

Enemies not falling from high places after being killed is also a substantial improvement, though I'd still really like a "kill to carry" move like the one in Far Cry 3. I guess I'll also repost the questions I really want answered that I posted in that thread:

- Is the corpse detection radius still a full 360 degrees, in other words, can enemies know corpses are there without seeing them?
- What's the deal with the crouch walk? Is it just a transitional animation when coming out of stalking zones? Is it even still in the game? Not that it really matters, since enemies are still deaf to your movements. This was a big missed opportunity.

Anyway, combat and parkour seem pretty much unchanged, and I never expected them to be seriously rebuilt in this game. Combat needs to be rebuilt from the ground up, but the only major problem I have with parkour is the lack of ability to get down from high places quickly. As is, you have to hold the interact button and the high profile button when you reach a ledge to fall from it without grabbing onto it first, and that will cause you to perform an air tackle instead if there's an NPC within the very generous targeting range. The air tackle as a separate technique is useful only in missions that are designed around it specifically (why would you ever want to use it on a non-enemy, and why would you want to tackle an enemy under normal circumstances), and could easily be replaced by a contextual animation for the high profile/air assassinate when the game presents a target that must be captured rather than killed.

As for the HUD, I'm actually ok with the objective text on targets, it's a less intrusive way to remind players. What I'm not ok with is that the more intrusive method is present in tandem with it; the big objective text under the health meter is constantly present yet entirely redundant with this new feature. Even worse is the possibility that it'll be impossible to disable like in AC3. The good news is that it's something that seems likely to be changed.

I agree that this game isn't a huge change from AC3, and I'm honestly fine with that, since I think AC3 did the core parts of the series (navigation) better than any previous entry. I also think the Du Casse assassination mission seemed better than a great majority of AC3's missions already, so there's reason for optimism.

Wolfmeister1010
08-25-2013, 07:42 PM
Nice post OP, as usual. As has been said, your examples for failures of stealth design aren't very strong. The only bit I think is questionable is the one in the second video, but it's likely that the game forces detection to keep a strict delineation between stealth and "assault" approaches on Forts. We still have yet to see anyone take a stealth approach, that's what I find worrying personally. I posted some notes about stealth in the original thread for the unedited version of the first video, they might not be observable in the edited video so you'll have to take my word:

- Enemies are still deaf to player movements, you can sprint right to them and have them unaware as long as you're out of sight.
- You can blend in stalking zones even when an enemy is at the second stage of detection, upon which they'll revert to the first stage and follow you. This makes more sense than the way 3 handled this situation, where you'd just be unable to blend. It makes things easier, at least when dealing with enemies without lanterns.
- Enemies don't go straight back to their neutral states when you've escaped them completely. They retain level one detection, which drains while you stay out of sight. This is a nice middle ground between a friendlier straight to neutral system and a more realistic permanently on high alert system. Looks good, but I'd like to see it really examined. There may still be a high alert system after that level one detection runs out instead of a reversion to neutral, this video doesn't give us the chance to observe it.

Enemies not falling from high places after being killed is also a substantial improvement, though I'd still really like a "kill to carry" move like the one in Far Cry 3. I guess I'll also repost the questions I really want answered that I posted in that thread:

- Is the corpse detection radius still a full 360 degrees, in other words, can enemies know corpses are there without seeing them?
- What's the deal with the crouch walk? Is it just a transitional animation when coming out of stalking zones? Is it even still in the game? Not that it really matters, since enemies are still deaf to your movements. This was a big missed opportunity.

Anyway, combat and parkour seem pretty much unchanged, and I never expected them to be seriously rebuilt in this game. Combat needs to be rebuilt from the ground up, but the only major problem I have with parkour is the lack of ability to get down from high places quickly. As is, you have to hold the interact button and the high profile button when you reach a ledge to fall from it without grabbing onto it first, and that will cause you to perform an air tackle instead if there's an NPC within the very generous targeting range. The air tackle as a separate technique is useful only in missions that are designed around it specifically (why would you ever want to use it on a non-enemy, and why would you want to tackle an enemy under normal circumstances), and could easily be replaced by a contextual animation for the high profile/air assassinate when the game presents a target that must be captured rather than killed.

As for the HUD, I'm actually ok with the objective text on targets, it's a less intrusive way to remind players. What I'm not ok with is that the more intrusive method is present in tandem with it; the big objective text under the health meter is constantly present yet entirely redundant with this new feature. Even worse is the possibility that it'll be impossible to disable like in AC3. The good news is that it's something that seems likely to be changed.

I agree that this game isn't a huge change from AC3, and I'm honestly fine with that, since I think AC3 did the core parts of the series (navigation) better than any previous entry. I also think the Du Casse assassination mission seemed better than a great majority of AC3's missions already, so there's reason for optimism.

Combat does not need to be changed from the ground up. They are very proud of the new combat system they came up with in AC3, and the majority of players received it very well. While people complained about the story, missions structure, bugs, constraints, and lack of stealth...graphics, naval, size, and combat were the things that were received positively from the majority of players and critics. I certainly believe it is the best AC combat to date.

We can not judge until we play it. I have noticed that the players are parrying much more in this game. I believe this is because the counter window has been drastically shortened. Because in AC3, since the counter window was so large, it was almost impossible to just parry. You would have to hold down the b button a few sec before the enemy attacked. This seems to not be the case in AC4, which would point towards a short counter window.

Basically all of the things we want in combat are not able to be seen clearly when watching another player do it.

Also, you're comment about the air tackle is false. If you just press high profile and b on a ledge, you just jump down. The only way for you to do an air tackle in AC3 is to select the fist option, lock on to an npc, and then press those buttons.

Wolfmeister1010
08-25-2013, 07:46 PM
Well, the same problems/ areas to improve the franchise has carried since AC1. Because it is not like the first three games excelled in terms of Stealth, Combat and all the details you appointed.

In fact I kinda like the combat better in AC III and AC IV, even though is still uber easy, but at least you can die, unlike AC2/ACB. Other than that, guards that jump into the water out of nothing, waiting to be massacred, etc etc


With that being said, I have a good feeling about AC IV.

You can not prove that the combat is as easy as ACIV if you have never played it.

Megas_Doux
08-25-2013, 07:50 PM
Well, the same problems/ areas to improve the franchise has carried since AC1. Because it is not like the first three games excelled in terms of Stealth, Combat and all the details you appointed.

In fact I kinda like the combat better in AC III and AC IV, even though is still uber easy, but at least you can die, unlike AC2/ACB. Other than that, guards that jump into the water out of nothing, waiting to be massacred, dumb AI


With that being said, I have a good feeling about AC IV, hope they deliver with the plot, in both of storytelling and pace. Oh, and also with the antagonists.

Farlander1991
08-25-2013, 07:50 PM
Other than that, guards that jump into the water out of nothing

Btw, why do people keep saying that guards jump into the water out of nothing? Like, in the example stated at 4:46, they jump OVER the water onto another pillar, that is already taken by a guard, so they slip and fall. Just like the players in one of those videos were slipping and falling into the water too, without any guards as an obstacle.

Granted, this means that the AI is not sophisticated enough to check if there's somebody on the pillar they want to jump to before doing it (but, can you blame them, considering that during chases if the Assassin goes onto the rooftops and guards follow him, they'll have to do that check every jump? All of them? It may pile up into a not exactly smooth experience), but they don't jump into water out of nothing. Well, there's this other guard who keeps losing balance in fight with Edward because he's too close to the edge and Edward's pushing him.

Mr_Shade
08-25-2013, 08:04 PM
Well they're advertising with that 'cover' and it's really doesn't make sense that they showed the game being like this and will change, has never happened and likely won't.
tbh - anything they show - as in gameplay style would upset someone..



With Splintercell - they released a few different trailers - showing different aspects - stealth, action etc

All of them got negative comments for 'not doing it right' :)

As long as the tools are there, the game play is for you to decide..

Megas_Doux
08-25-2013, 08:08 PM
Btw, why do people keep saying that guards jump into the water out of nothing? Like, in the example stated at 4:46, they jump OVER the water onto another pillar, that is already taken by a guard, so they slip and fall. Just like the players in one of those videos were slipping and falling into the water too, without any guards as an obstacle.
.

It looked like that...

But do NOT get me wrong, that is a very minor feature me. The difference is that I acknowledge it as a franchise thing, and not of JUST the games I dislike, as MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANY do.

In regards of the everlasting the dumb guards, at least the do not die out of the mere contact with water,.....Thats something, doesn´t it? :P

Wolfmeister1010
08-25-2013, 08:17 PM
tbh - anything they show - as in gameplay style would upset someone..



With Splintercell - they released a few different trailers - showing different aspects - stealth, action etc

All of them got negative comments for 'not doing it right' :)

As long as the tools are there, the game play is for you to decide..

Have you played AC4? What is your take on it?

Mr_Shade
08-25-2013, 08:28 PM
Have you played AC4? What is your take on it?
I have yet to get hands on - I was undergoing surgery when I should have been playing it ;')

David2010549
08-25-2013, 08:44 PM
Combat does not need to be changed from the ground up. They are very proud of the new combat system they came up with in AC3, and the majority of players received it very well. While people complained about the story, missions structure, bugs, constraints, and lack of stealth...graphics, naval, size, and combat were the things that were received positively from the majority of players and critics. I certainly believe it is the best AC combat to date.

We can not judge until we play it. I have noticed that the players are parrying much more in this game. I believe this is because the counter window has been drastically shortened. Because in AC3, since the counter window was so large, it was almost impossible to just parry. You would have to hold down the b button a few sec before the enemy attacked. This seems to not be the case in AC4, which would point towards a short counter window.

Basically all of the things we want in combat are not able to be seen clearly when watching another player do it.

Also, you're comment about the air tackle is false. If you just press high profile and b on a ledge, you just jump down. The only way for you to do an air tackle in AC3 is to select the fist option, lock on to an npc, and then press those buttons.

Alright, I should have made it clearer that the need for combat to be rebuilt was strictly my opinion. I may even disagree that it was the best combat in the series so far, but that doesn't matter because I've never liked the combat in this series particularly. Simply shortening the counter window from AC3's wouldn't solve the fundamental lack of interest I have. The core element of combat is countering and killstreaking and as long as that's in place there's no room for anything truly thoughtful.

What you said about the air tackle isn't true. You can perform it with any weapon equipped, and it can target NPCs that are off screen entirely. Like you said, you perform it by tapping the interact button while holding the high profile button, so if you're approaching a ledge you want to drop down from in high profile and start holding the interact button too close to the ledge it'll be interpreted as the air tackle command. This happens far too often, and like I said before, the air tackle is a near useless technique anyway that could easily be replaced.

Sushiglutton
08-25-2013, 09:13 PM
Nice post OP, as usual. As has been said, your examples for failures of stealth design aren't very strong. The only bit I think is questionable is the one in the second video, but it's likely that the game forces detection to keep a strict delineation between stealth and "assault" approaches on Forts. We still have yet to see anyone take a stealth approach, that's what I find worrying personally. I posted some notes about stealth in the original thread for the unedited version of the first video, they might not be observable in the edited video so you'll have to take my word:

- Enemies are still deaf to player movements, you can sprint right to them and have them unaware as long as you're out of sight.
- You can blend in stalking zones even when an enemy is at the second stage of detection, upon which they'll revert to the first stage and follow you. This makes more sense than the way 3 handled this situation, where you'd just be unable to blend. It makes things easier, at least when dealing with enemies without lanterns.
- Enemies don't go straight back to their neutral states when you've escaped them completely. They retain level one detection, which drains while you stay out of sight. This is a nice middle ground between a friendlier straight to neutral system and a more realistic permanently on high alert system. Looks good, but I'd like to see it really examined. There may still be a high alert system after that level one detection runs out instead of a reversion to neutral, this video doesn't give us the chance to observe it.

Enemies not falling from high places after being killed is also a substantial improvement, though I'd still really like a "kill to carry" move like the one in Far Cry 3. I guess I'll also repost the questions I really want answered that I posted in that thread:

- Is the corpse detection radius still a full 360 degrees, in other words, can enemies know corpses are there without seeing them?
- What's the deal with the crouch walk? Is it just a transitional animation when coming out of stalking zones? Is it even still in the game? Not that it really matters, since enemies are still deaf to your movements. This was a big missed opportunity.

Anyway, combat and parkour seem pretty much unchanged, and I never expected them to be seriously rebuilt in this game. Combat needs to be rebuilt from the ground up, but the only major problem I have with parkour is the lack of ability to get down from high places quickly. As is, you have to hold the interact button and the high profile button when you reach a ledge to fall from it without grabbing onto it first, and that will cause you to perform an air tackle instead if there's an NPC within the very generous targeting range. The air tackle as a separate technique is useful only in missions that are designed around it specifically (why would you ever want to use it on a non-enemy, and why would you want to tackle an enemy under normal circumstances), and could easily be replaced by a contextual animation for the high profile/air assassinate when the game presents a target that must be captured rather than killed.

As for the HUD, I'm actually ok with the objective text on targets, it's a less intrusive way to remind players. What I'm not ok with is that the more intrusive method is present in tandem with it; the big objective text under the health meter is constantly present yet entirely redundant with this new feature. Even worse is the possibility that it'll be impossible to disable like in AC3. The good news is that it's something that seems likely to be changed.

I agree that this game isn't a huge change from AC3, and I'm honestly fine with that, since I think AC3 did the core parts of the series (navigation) better than any previous entry. I also think the Du Casse assassination mission seemed better than a great majority of AC3's missions already, so there's reason for optimism.


Glad to hear you are optimistic since you are Lord Stealth. I guess that means I was overly pessimistic. I don't understand what was wrong with my (video 1 @ 3:33) example though. Why does it make sense that Edward is not detected in that scenario?

I think enemies never hearing sprint is better than in AC3 where stationed guard did hear movement, while patroling ones didn't (that was my interpretation at least). Doesn't the running assassination move (which I like) kind of require guards not hearing to work?

It seems like enmies give up on prusuits a lot quicker making it easier to go back to hiding after being spotted. For example in the Du Casse vid Edward runs out of the jungle on the linear path and no one follows. I guess this can be both good and bad.

Body detection radius I still don't know about. Nor if they will go into a more aggressive state if they find a body. I guess not given the cave gameplay for example.


Just some random, incoherent thoughts before I go to bed.

Wolfmeister1010
08-25-2013, 09:33 PM
Alright, I should have made it clearer that the need for combat to be rebuilt was strictly my opinion. I may even disagree that it was the best combat in the series so far, but that doesn't matter because I've never liked the combat in this series particularly. Simply shortening the counter window from AC3's wouldn't solve the fundamental lack of interest I have. The core element of combat is countering and killstreaking and as long as that's in place there's no room for anything truly thoughtful.

What you said about the air tackle isn't true. You can perform it with any weapon equipped, and it can target NPCs that are off screen entirely. Like you said, you perform it by tapping the interact button while holding the high profile button, so if you're approaching a ledge you want to drop down from in high profile and start holding the interact button too close to the ledge it'll be interpreted as the air tackle command. This happens far too often, and like I said before, the air tackle is a near useless technique anyway that could easily be replaced.

Hmm. I have no idea. I have never been able to air tackle just like that in Ac3. Do you have a ps3? I am on Xbox, so maybe that affects it

David2010549
08-25-2013, 10:00 PM
Glad to hear you are optimistic since you are Lord Stealth. I guess that means I was overly pessimistic. I don't understand what was wrong with my (video 1 @ 3:33) example though. Why does it make sense that Edward is not detected in that scenario?

I think enemies never hearing sprint is better than in AC3 where stationed guard did hear movement, while patroling ones didn't (that was my interpretation at least). Doesn't the running assassination move (which I like) kind of require guards not hearing to work?

It seems like enmies give up on prusuits a lot quicker making it easier to go back to hiding after being spotted. For example in the Du Casse vid Edward runs out of the jungle on the linear path and no one follows. I guess this can be both good and bad.

Body detection radius I still don't know about. Nor if they will go into a more aggressive state if they find a body. I guess not given the cave gameplay for example.


Just some random, incoherent thoughts before I go to bed.

At 3:33 you're referring to the guard who notices Edward and whose detection meter starts filling at level 2, right? I was assuming you were. If that's correct, I can explain: Edward is out of sight of the pursuing group when he's sighted by that guard, so the guard investigates him rather than instantly going into alert. If alerted guards were in the suspicious guard's line of sight at the time, he'd instantly be alerted and join the chase. This is consistent with AC3 as far as I know.

Guards in AC3 don't hear movement, period, regardless of whether they're stationary or not. It makes taking out isolated stationary enemies or pairs of enemies completely trivial. High profile assassinations like the running assassination automatically alert enemies with a certain 3 dimensional radius regardless of line of sight, so the interpretation that they "heard" the kill is an easy assumption, but this apparent sound simulation is only applied to certain actions.

It's hard to judge whether enemies give up more easily now, since their navigation is such a complex matter. Adding to that, their new ability to swim could cause the complexity to explode if they can follow you into the water. There's no way to make a real judgement with the little pieces of media we have.

The cave gameplay doesn't prove or disprove the presence of a high alert state, since the player immediately engages the investigating guards, giving them no chance to go back to their routines. I'm still curious.

And hey, there's no need to degrade yourself, we're all speculating here. Your analysis is consistently some of the best, so I'm glad you're still posting it.



Hmm. I have no idea. I have never been able to air tackle just like that in Ac3. Do you have a ps3? I am on Xbox, so maybe that affects it

I'm on PC (yeah, posting in the console discussion forum, but it's much more active). I can post a video if you like.

pacmanate
08-25-2013, 10:04 PM
I have yet to get hands on - I was undergoing surgery when I should have been playing it ;')

lol!!!!


I joke dont ban me pls

SixKeys
08-25-2013, 10:21 PM
The biggest problems I currently have with the demos we've seen are enemy AI, full synch constraints being too specific and not having clear indication that detection has been improved from AC3. I'm already willing to forgive a LOT if the detection has been improved as it was my greatest frustration with AC3. I'm disappointed that enemies still take forever to attack, especially after having played a few other games with better AI (The Last of Us, even Tomb Raider). There is simply no excuse for such dumb AI in what is already the sixth installment in the series. I hope Ashraf was telling the truth about full synch constraints, but even if there hasn't been much improvement, they at least seem easier to ignore since they no longer give a glaring red "failed" text.

I also agree with Sushi about the HUD/interface being too cluttered. The "kill" text above the target's head is really too much. It's a lesser concern though, since we've traditionally always been able to turn the HUD off.

I'm already impressed with the amount of side content and locations that AC4 is promising. If they can just make stealth a more viable option and fix the horrible detection system in AC3, I'm willing to forgive a lot, even if the game is just AC3.5. ACB was just AC2.5 and I enjoyed it immensely.

plentybeef
08-26-2013, 12:13 AM
tbh - anything they show - as in gameplay style would upset someone..



With Splintercell - they released a few different trailers - showing different aspects - stealth, action etc

All of them got negative comments for 'not doing it right' :)

As long as the tools are there, the game play is for you to decide..

That's what I say. I don't wait for the game to tell me. I go looking for the stealth way. Or as the iktomi follower I see with out seeing.

TheDanteEX
08-26-2013, 08:47 AM
To be fair, it's not like the demos are always trustful:

http://i.imgur.com/WZ1Rr0i.jpg

Farlander1991
08-26-2013, 09:04 AM
Wow, that's some impressive shapeshifting there. Changes skin color, grows a beard, and then transforms the beard into a hat? Impressive. Not to mention how quickly he changes clothes.

Btw, I don't remember seeing that particular moment, which demo is this from?

TheDanteEX
08-26-2013, 09:12 AM
Btw, I don't remember seeing that particular moment, which demo is this from?

13 Minute Open World.

ctuagent15
08-26-2013, 02:41 PM
Wow, that's some impressive shapeshifting there. Changes skin color, grows a beard, and then transforms the beard into a hat? Impressive. Not to mention how quickly he changes clothes.

Btw, I don't remember seeing that particular moment, which demo is this from?
Well we know that the demo vids are just different playthrough's edited together, so that could be why this happened

Farlander1991
08-26-2013, 02:43 PM
Well we know that the demo vids are just different playthrough's edited together, so that could be why this happened

I know, I was just making a sarcastic comment regarding that fact.

ctuagent15
08-26-2013, 03:00 PM
I know, I was just making a sarcastic comment regarding that fact.
I've just watched the vid at that bit again and it is because of an edit, the edit is just before Edward kills the target, the guy in the third pic above is not the shapeshifted guy from the second pic, you can see the hands of the guy in the second pic in the third pic.