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shobhit7777777
11-11-2014, 10:57 AM
Whenever I hear the word "systemic" I always imagine multiple game components "conversing" with each other - a dialogue.

Lets take Farcry 3 for example:

At any given time they have at least 3 major "players" - You, the enemies and the wildlife. When you're sneaking into a camp, your actions are "conversing" with the AI's routines ("You hear me yet? Nope? cool"). The Tiger chilling by the camp, doing its own thing. So far all of you are in your own orbits.

Things become interesting when these orbits intersect...when the dialogue starts. The Tiger is sparked up because you just invaded his detection radius (You're blissfully unaware of this), the AI is governing your covert behaviour and like the you unaware of the impending carnage.

The three orbits collide when the player rushes into the camp to avoid the Tiger and the AI is alerted to it. Thus begins a 3 way "conversation".

The Tiger initated the conversation that snowballed into a full blown argument between 3 game components.


In Assassin's Creed Unity - from what I've seen - this is, sadly, not the case


The crowds and the guard orbits NEVER collide. There are no consequences. The Guards speak Sanskrit and the Crowds COBOL.

I saw multiple situations where Arno assassinates a guard, the crowd reacts as people normally would when you stab someone - they make a commotion and GTFO quick. The guards nearby? They do sweet ****all....and by nearby I mean 10 yards ahead.

And you know the messed up part? Arno's covert assassinations actually have a window....where you can quickly stab a dude and walk away nonchalantly before the body drops....an AWESOME tool for social stealth gameplay.

The covert assassination mechanic goes hand in hand with the massive crowds, stab and disappear. However since the crowd's reactions can't be read by the guard's AI routine....it takes away a part of the experience.

It destroys immersion and clamps down on an emergent experience.

I've noticed something similar with Watch_Dogs....where deliberate design decisions really **** on player creativity and stealth gameplay.

The crowds reacting to the player's actions in a meaningful way...the guards reacting to the crowds...would've added a delicious layer to the stealth-action gameplay....and disappearing into the crowd after a quick assassination while the guards investigate the commotion would've really added to the assassin experience.



Fin

Dev_Anj
11-11-2014, 12:03 PM
It's very disappointing to know that Unity doesn't seem to have any interaction between the guards and the civilians, as that could have led to several interesting approaches. Do you have Unity currently Shobhit7? How is it so far?

shobhit7777777
11-11-2014, 02:24 PM
It's very disappointing to know that Unity doesn't seem to have any interaction between the guards and the civilians, as that could have led to several interesting approaches. Do you have Unity currently Shobhit7? How is it so far?

Its disappointing indeed. ACU is underwhelming...the initial excitement has worn off, as it slowly dawned on me that the much touted gameplay additions should've been in the franchise much earlier regardless of tech-gen gap. All of the additions are more than welcome, but it feels like its too little too late.

Furthermore, Ubisoft lately have this nasty habit of really throwing around buzzwords and then making some questionable design choices which are completely at odds with the system driven, player agency oriented design.
It was the case in WD and it sure seems like ACU is down the same path.

They REALLY like to "optimize" the experience and this can be extremely detrimental to the game. I can imagine how a panicking civvie might lead to unintentional detections but at the same time it not only adds a neat little immersive layer to the gameplay but encourages more thoughtful approaches. The amount of handholding here can be a bit annoying.

To answer your question - Nope. I haven't played ACU. But from what I've seen on Youtube (The evidence is irrefutable) the crowd-guard disconnect is present.

Dev_Anj
11-11-2014, 02:27 PM
When will you play it then? I can't play it because my laptop isn't good enough.

GreySkellig
11-11-2014, 02:34 PM
The Day 1 patch is supposed to improve AI performance, so one can hope...

shobhit7777777
11-12-2014, 07:21 AM
When will you play it then? I can't play it because my laptop isn't good enough.

I don't know. Waiting for Flipkart to deliver my copy. Should be around next week.


The Day 1 patch is supposed to improve AI performance, so one can hope...

The day 1 patch will not fix the issue I'm talking about.

pirate1802
11-12-2014, 07:26 AM
Yeah, it's hugely immersion-breaking to see the crowd going 'oooooooh' at Arno just commuting a murder before their eyes, and a guard just strolling by among them.

shobhit7777777
11-12-2014, 07:48 AM
Yeah, it's hugely immersion-breaking to see the crowd going 'oooooooh' at Arno just commuting a murder before their eyes, and a guard just strolling by among them.

Indeed. Immersion - Shattered. Interesting emergent gameplay scenario - Lost.

In the scheme of things, it feels like a tiny issue (a non issue even) but when it comes to gameplay experience it may add a lot. Then again, after reading the reviews for ACU and the overall response to this thread....I don't anyone GAF about stuff like this. Feels pointless to even have mentioned it now.

pirate1802
11-12-2014, 09:10 AM
Nah. Without topics like these there'd be only people bickering about 900p vs 1080p and other graphical insignificancies. Someone needs to remind us..... :p

shobhit7777777
11-12-2014, 10:01 AM
nah. Without topics like these there'd be only people bickering about 900p vs 1080p and other graphical insignificancies. Someone needs to remind us..... :p


i'm batman!

pirate1802
11-12-2014, 10:12 AM
lol.. did you participate in KOL btw? :p

Sushiglutton
11-12-2014, 12:27 PM
I think it's safe to say that Ubi has not had the time to make the crowds what they wanted them to be. It seems like the crowds are the root of the performance issues and at the same time, like you describe, they have not added that much to gameplay. I think it's a cool feature on paper and maybe next year they will be able to tune the crowds to become more interactive while at the same time being nicer on the hardware.

Here's from the Kotaku review btw (I thought you would enjoy this bit knowing your feelings for Revelations :p):


I wish I could say all these great graphics amounted to something, but the game's massive crowds turn out to be not very interesting. In theory citizens in the crowd will accuse you of crimes if they spot you being bad. They'll scatter at signs of trouble. They jostle around and make Paris look and sound alive. But their application to gameplay feels less relevant than the crowds of Assassin's Creed Revelations, who players could enjoyably manipulate by throwing all sorts of smoke, coin and blood bombs into their midst.

Farlander1991
11-12-2014, 12:45 PM
who players could enjoyably manipulate by throwing all sorts of smoke, coin and blood bombs into their midst.

This statement feels weird, considering in ACU there's smoke, coin and poison gas bombs (which, considering how redundant ACR bomb crafting system was, cover pretty much all actions that covered in ACR with the exception of a standard 'grenade'... plus, yes, in ACR you can change radius and put it on timer and booby trap, but honestly I never found the radius/timer thing to be of any proper tactical use in the game world other than 'let's mess around'... I mean, in theory, sure, 'booby trap this place to make a distraction at a particular moment' sounds nice, but in practice normal bombs worked just as well and even better as third parties couldn't mess them up)

I don't know how they affect the crowd yet, obviously, but from my limited perspective it looks like the Kotaku guy doesn't know either as he hasn't tried them out :p

x___Luffy___x
11-12-2014, 01:49 PM
AI has always been bad in all of the AC series sadly. reading this thread, so now they have just increased the no. of characters onscreen but they are still stupid.

and hey PIRATE, im harpreet btw. changed my uplay name :)

shobhit7777777
11-12-2014, 02:36 PM
lol.. did you participate in KOL btw? :p

KOL? Was ist das?


I think it's safe to say that Ubi has not had the time to make the crowds what they wanted them to be. It seems like the crowds are the root of the performance issues and at the same time, like you describe, they have not added that much to gameplay. I think it's a cool feature on paper and maybe next year they will be able to tune the crowds to become more interactive while at the same time being nicer on the hardware.

Here's from the Kotaku review btw (I thought you would enjoy this bit knowing your feelings for Revelations :p):

Perhaps. Eitherway, it disappoints me at a fundamental level :(

That said, the massive throng of crowds is JUST what the game needed to be social stealth friendly....I only hope that the mission designers took this into account. While the Guard-Civvie orbits may never intersect, using crowds to start distractions, disappear or stalk should be far more accessible now.

Re: ACR Bombs - Yep. I did read that bit. Loved the way you could mess around with bombs and the crowd, but the best thing about ACR was that restricted areas had a transient civvie population. You could blend in and infiltrate those Templar dens for recon etc.


This statement feels weird, considering in ACU there's smoke, coin and poison gas bombs (which, considering how redundant ACR bomb crafting system was, cover pretty much all actions that covered in ACR with the exception of a standard 'grenade'... plus, yes, in ACR you can change radius and put it on timer and booby trap, but honestly I never found the radius/timer thing to be of any proper tactical use in the game world other than 'let's mess around'... I mean, in theory, sure, 'booby trap this place to make a distraction at a particular moment' sounds nice, but in practice normal bombs worked just as well and even better as third parties couldn't mess them up)

I don't know how they affect the crowd yet, obviously, but from my limited perspective it looks like the Kotaku guy doesn't know either as he hasn't tried them out :p

While many options were indeed redundant, the overall bomb crafting was the best thing to happen to AC. Smoke was a silent distraction device - only people with LOS to it would move towards it...and then there was the other one which would use sound to attract near everyone. I really liked how they gave you total flexibility.
Timers allowed you a moment to getaway and the radius was important for lethal bombs when in dense urban areas - to minimize collateral damage.


AI has always been bad in all of the AC series sadly. reading this thread, so now they have just increased the no. of characters onscreen but they are still stupid.

and hey PIRATE, im harpreet btw. changed my uplay name :)

AI hasn't been the sharpest in AC, true...but I'm also concerned with the fact that two AI systems would be so disconnected.

aznassassin159
11-12-2014, 03:39 PM
AI hasn't been the sharpest in AC

A hilarious example... (http://youtu.be/gavcvi19q1g?t=11m11s)

shobhit7777777
11-13-2014, 09:20 AM
A hilarious example... (http://youtu.be/gavcvi19q1g?t=11m11s)

Well, dayum.

Good vid. BTW