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View Full Version : Poison darts - should they be changed?



SixKeys
09-04-2014, 01:00 PM
The ranged weapon poll made me think about the poison darts. I don't know if poison/berserk darts will be in Unity, but they will almost certainly be in Rogue. As much fun as they can be, they've always been overpowered. It makes no sense why guards can no longer alert each other once they've been hit with a dart. The poison doesn't take effect immediately, so if they've already spotted you, it shouldn't be possible to save yourself by shooting a poison dart at them. They could still scream at their comrades for help for the few seconds it takes before the poison takes over. This would mean they're only stealthy weapons when the assassin is sure he hasn't been spotted yet.

Berserk darts should also be more risky. Right now there's a small chance a guard affected by a berserk dart will come after the assassin, but only if they happen to glance in your direction. With plenty of stalking zones in AC4 (and, I assume, in Rogue), you have to actively try to not be able to hide. I think berserk darts shouldn't be based on line of sight, but should work more like heavy drugs that heighten the senses. Enemies already gain an immense strength boost when hit with berserk, similar to how some drugs actually work. An affected enemy should temporarily become much more alert and aware of their surroundings, including detecting people hiding in stalking zones (similar to Edward's Eagle Vision tagging). Then they would choose the closest target completely at random. This would heighten the chances of the berserk dart working against the assassin, making it a powerful but risky weapon.

JustPlainQuirky
09-04-2014, 01:07 PM
Theyre basically insta-kill weapons.

2OP4mi

Shahkulu101
09-04-2014, 01:19 PM
Darts are much too OP and unrealistic for me so it breaks immersion as well as killing the challenge even further...

So I don't like them, or how they work. Change 'em up or get rid of them.

Farlander1991
09-04-2014, 02:19 PM
I personally think poison/berserk should be a close quarters weapon only, like in AC2. The advantage of having it fired from afar that is introduced in ACB is just too great. While as a close quarter weapon, it's got the advantage of not making you immediately suspicious (like a normal hidden blade kill would), but you also have to be more alert to actually use it properly.

Sleep darts ranged are fine, I think. But, when a person that was drugged wakes up, he should go into alert mode.

Advantages and disadvantages, you know.

Megas_Doux
09-04-2014, 03:04 PM
I personally think poison/berserk should be a close quarters weapon only, like in AC2. The advantage of having it fired from afar that is introduced in ACB is just too great. While as a close quarter weapon, it's got the advantage of not making you immediately suspicious (like a normal hidden blade kill would), but you also have to be more alert to actually use it properly.

Sleep darts ranged are fine, I think. But, when a person that was drugged wakes up, he should go into alert mode.

Advantages and disadvantages, you know.

This!!!!

SixKeys
09-04-2014, 03:21 PM
Sleep darts ranged are fine, I think. But, when a person that was drugged wakes up, he should go into alert mode.

Advantages and disadvantages, you know.

They already do in AC4, don't they? Or do you mean full alert, running to the bell and stuff?

I agree that poison should be reserved for close quarters only. And maybe get rid of the possibility of simply kicking a guard to death once they've been hit with a sleep dart. It takes away all the challenge if you know they can't be woken up again.

Kakuzu745
09-04-2014, 04:34 PM
I personally think poison/berserk should be a close quarters weapon only, like in AC2. The advantage of having it fired from afar that is introduced in ACB is just too great. While as a close quarter weapon, it's got the advantage of not making you immediately suspicious (like a normal hidden blade kill would), but you also have to be more alert to actually use it properly.

Sleep darts ranged are fine, I think. But, when a person that was drugged wakes up, he should go into alert mode.

Advantages and disadvantages, you know.

This....they really need to balance them. Shooting from afar is ridiculously overpowered...you could basically go through the whole game only using darts and it would be the easiest (also most boring) ride ever.

GoldenBoy9999
09-04-2014, 10:02 PM
At first i was like, eh they seem fine to me and then I remembered the assassin contracts. I was doing one from a roof one time and I was like wait a minute, couldn't I just berserk this guy? I never use the darts on my contract. I try to get up close and do a stealthy hidden blade kill.

pacmanate
09-04-2014, 10:04 PM
Too OP.

I don't use them but I feel like it's a waste of a weapon slot.

If anything, they should only work on the lowest guard archetype, ones wearing no armor. Anyone wearing armor shouldn't be affected. I think that would be a better balance.

Fatal-Feit
09-04-2014, 11:17 PM
Darts, arrows, ammo, all range weapons are mostly fine, IMO. The problem are the amount of ammo we're given. We have so much berserk darts that we can literally cause an entire plantation to murder themselves.

6-8 should be the maximum, not 15-20-30.

Landruner
09-04-2014, 11:29 PM
That is an interesting topic Sixkeys, because after player Aveline in Liberation I did not know if I preferred the instant kill poison darts the most?
The sleeping dart of AC4 where cool and where somewhat giving me sometime to assassinate some damned gunners. I believe that the berserk dart was is better use in Liberation than AC4. The biggest problem I had with AC4 was the AI of the foes and their ultra number randomly spread around the level design. I would had that the clunky auto stealth mod that did not help neither.
So, most of time, the darts were useless in order to help you to find a strategy to make your snaky way around the guards.

Landruner
09-04-2014, 11:32 PM
Darts, arrows, ammo, all range weapons are mostly fine, IMO. The problem are the amount of ammo we're given. We have so much berserk darts that we can literally cause an entire plantation to murder themselves.

6-8 should be the maximum, not 15-20-30.

Eh wait a minute, you did not have to fill the all bags on darts, you could limit yourself to just 3 to 5 like I tried to do.

Fatal-Feit
09-04-2014, 11:38 PM
Eh wait a minute, you did not have to fill the all bag on darts, you could limit yourself to just 3 to 5 like I tried to do.

That's something the players should not have to do.

But regardless, I do limit myself. Sometimes I never use the darts and try to liberate the whole plantation with just the hidden blades and rope dart.

Landruner
09-04-2014, 11:50 PM
That's something the players should not have to do.

But regardless, I do limit myself. Sometimes I never use the darts and try to liberate the whole plantation with just the hidden blades and rope dart.

Well, why not?! I do not see you your point there mate?
As players we should be able to challenge ourselves with what the game has to offer - Take it the easy ways or the hardiest ways, whatever your own challenge is about. I don't play Demon Souls because I finf it to hard for my taste, but I am happy that some people have blast with those games
It lets you the possibility to either get what you need or more for the ones that need more, that is not a bad thing, I mean I do not complaint when an AC lets a freedom of game-play like this one.

It is like the hidden the bodies option, even if it could have been sometime useless in AC3 and AC4 i always tried to hide the bodies I eliminated, not because I had too but just because I was challenge in myself, I do not want to see that option removed neither.

In some replays, I tried to use only my firsts or the hidden blades (which was hard because of those bunny gunners), but I was still happy that the blow pipe was there (with 3 or 5 darts) just in case I needed it.

Fatal-Feit
09-05-2014, 12:06 AM
Well, why not?! I do not see you your point there mate?
As players we should be able to challenge ourselves with what the game has to offer - Take it the easy ways or the hardiest ways, whatever your own challenge is about. I don't play Demon Souls because I finf it to hard for my taste, but I am happy that some people have blast with those games
It lets you the possibility to either get what you need or more for the ones that need more, that is not a bad thing, I mean I do not complaint when an AC lets a freedom of game-play like this one.

Possibilities are welcomed, yes, but challenges should still be a standard. If players want the game to be easy, they can practice. Limiting themselves should be a last resort for veterans. What we've been settling with are too exploitable. When a game is too easy, it becomes tedious, and when it becomes tedious, it becomes boring.

That's something that's been plaguing the series since AC:2, especially AC:B.

Landruner
09-05-2014, 03:13 AM
Possibilities are welcomed, yes, but challenges should still be a standard. If players want the game to be easy, they can practice. Limiting themselves should be a last resort for veterans. What we've been settling with are too exploitable. When a game is too easy, it becomes tedious, and when it becomes tedious, it becomes boring.

That's something that's been plaguing the series since AC:2, especially AC:B.

Well, the perspective being that AC4 still left the players to set their own difficulties, but the game did not force them to enjoy the hardiest ways also.
Now all the freedom was there for players to do whatever they wanted in level of difficulty they could set up for themselves. It was possible to do that for most of the main missions and mostly for he rest of the game-play including naval.
The game was only easy for the ones that took the easiest ways and much harder for the ones that did not want to.
Note that I am not saying that AC4 was an example on stealth game-play and an example in imagination concept for most of the missions. but trying to be actually stealthy was indeed a real challenge, however, I approve that the developers let the players to set their own difficulty for the game.

I disagree with the ACB plague like you mention, which I attribute more to AC3 game-play that made an excel of the least interesting AC2/ACB/ACR missions that alas AC4 abused then. I believe that those 3 AC games are unfairly considered there, (I always consider that AC2 was the full game and ACB &ACR are simply AC2 expansions, a bit like GTA4 Episodes of liberty City and Half life 2 two episodes) and if plague and reproach has to be attributed to something it is more on AC3 that It should come after since it did nothing to change the formula in mission level design.

Fatal-Feit
09-05-2014, 04:35 AM
Well, the perspective being that AC4 still left the players to set their own difficulties, but the game did not force them to enjoy the hardiest ways also.
Now all the freedom was there for players to do whatever they wanted in level of difficulty they could set up for themselves. It was possible to do that for most of the main missions and mostly for he rest of the game-play including naval.
The game was only easy for the ones that took the easiest ways and much harder for the ones that did not want to.
Note that I am not saying that AC4 was an example on stealth game-play and an example in imagination concept for most of the missions. but trying to be actually stealthy was indeed a real challenge, however, I approve that the developers let the players to set their own difficulty for the game.

AC:IV's stealth was a step-up from the previous titles, sure, but it was still easy. You had plenty of spots to hide (bushes), courtesans to hire (you can pretty much use them to walk right up to a target and assassinate), and the enemy AIs are still foolish as ever (repetitive telegraphed back and forth pacing).

But again, I know what you're getting at. And I like that concept for AC:IV. However, the problem is, it's still too easy and exploitable. From what we've seen of Unity, that's the way it should be. The game itself is naturally difficult (you can choose the difficulty from 1-5 stars), and you can make it easy through your own means like recruiting friends, unlocking abilities like morph, or practicing with combat. You shouldn't have to restrict yourself for a challenge.


I disagree with the ACB plague like you mention, which I attribute more to AC3 game-play that made an excel of the least interesting AC2/ACB/ACR missions that alas AC4 abused then. I believe that those 3 AC games are unfairly considered there, (I always consider that AC2 was the full game and ACB &ACR are simply AC2 expansions, a bit like GTA4 Episodes of liberty City and Half life 2 two episodes) and if plague and reproach has to be attributed to something it is more on AC3 that It should come after since it did nothing to change the formula in mission level design.

I don't think you understand what I meant.

For example, AC:B is extremely easy to exploit... Your Assassin recruits can assassinate all of your contracts for you. Throwing knives are plentiful and you can stealthily take down 3-4 guards at once with those. The double-tool-kills are broken (you can literally spam it up to 40-50 times, killing about a hundred guards with a push of a single button, and enemies can't interrupt you like the later titles). Countering with the hidden blade can take down any enemy. You can take over 100+ hits thanks to potions and the 20-30hp bars. Pistols are nowhere as broken as the hidden gun. You always need to reload them, and they are limited to 1-2-4 ammo in combat which means you can only perform up to 4 double-tool-kills or tool-counters. Also, shooting 4 enemies with the hidden pistol in AC:B is almost as quick, if not quicker, than AC:IV. And I haven't started on the poison darts.

Xstantin
09-05-2014, 06:25 AM
Although it doesn't concern only poison I'd make ammo more scarce and expensive, but then again making more was never really hard. I think games like Dishonored and TLOU had some nice balance even on easy.

LoyalACFan
09-05-2014, 06:33 AM
To be honest I'm not really big on silent ranged weapons anyway. It sort of feels like a cheap way to win at stealth IMO. However, what if it worked like in Metal Gear, where you have tranquilizer darts that take quite a while to kick in, meaning the victim is free to investigate the source of the shot before falling asleep? A dart to the head still makes them fall over instantly, which is very gamey and unrealistic but it at least adds a layer of challenge to aiming; in AC4 it doesn't matter where you hit them, you can even quickfire at them and it'll have the same effect as free-aiming.

Something else that could be learned from Metal Gear is the bullet drop mechanic. Every weapon has a distinct effective range, but even if you're outside that range there's still a chance at hitting your target if you compensate for the drop. In AC it's either "reticule is lit up, my shot will have 100% sniper accuracy" or take one step backward and it's "reticule is faded out, it's impossible to hit target."

Sushiglutton
09-05-2014, 05:05 PM
No fan of the berserk effect at all, as I think it's a bit silly/uncool.

As for sleeping darts I think they worked pretty well as implemented in AC4. I can see your point that when enemies awake they should be more aggressive. This should increase then incentive to get to their position and take them out for good before they awake, or alternatively be long gone. I think that they work instantaneously is kind of good though. I dunno, have a feeling it could be a bit annoying otherwise.

Also your new sig is hysterical :D!



To be honest I'm not really big on silent ranged weapons anyway. It sort of feels like a cheap way to win at stealth IMO. However, what if it worked like in Metal Gear, where you have tranquilizer darts that take quite a while to kick in, meaning the victim is free to investigate the source of the shot before falling asleep? A dart to the head still makes them fall over instantly, which is very gamey and unrealistic but it at least adds a layer of challenge to aiming; in AC4 it doesn't matter where you hit them, you can even quickfire at them and it'll have the same effect as free-aiming.

Something else that could be learned from Metal Gear is the bullet drop mechanic. Every weapon has a distinct effective range, but even if you're outside that range there's still a chance at hitting your target if you compensate for the drop. In AC it's either "reticule is lit up, my shot will have 100% sniper accuracy" or take one step backward and it's "reticule is faded out, it's impossible to hit target."


These sound like good improvements to me. The shooting mechanics in AC are still very primitive (which is understandable as it's not primarily a shooter). However I think slowly improving them to something closer to modern TPS standard would be good in the long run. Complete free-aim, bullet drop, various effects hitting various body parts, being able to shoot more stuff in the enviroment and so on.

I can see why it hasn't been a priority though.