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I love this game and I understand Dan is working on plot now but seriously, please as soon you get the chance upgrade the stealth mechanic because right now is the only think I don't like about this otherwise awesome game.
I am talking about the fact that chosing the sneak skill is nearly useless I mean that aside from allowing you to hide in hexes(very usefull) and supposedly allowing you to get the drop on your foes it really doesn't do anything else. I mean the other skills aren't limited only to their basic use for example trapping doesn't only allow you to create traps but also helps in other crafting recipes. What I'm trying to say here is that sneaking while not the most underused skill in the game is one of the potentially most usefull, because I think that in a postapocalyptyc world while being a skilled fighter who can handle himself in direct confrontation is a good think being a clever sneaky bastard who prefer using his wits to avoid confrontation altogether would allow for a definetely longer lifespawn. You could for example add the possibility to camoufflage yourself and your camp allowing you to sleep safely hidden in your a dark building or in the woods if you are also a skilled trapper maybe even placing traps other than noisy ones. Also in case a confrontation is unavoidable allowing to actually getting close to someone without being seen(a thing that I never managed to do despite being in a city or a forrest where I being a trapper should have the advantage of the hometurf) and stealth killing them if in possession of the melee skill or injuring them allowing to either finishing them or make a quick escape(things that are already in the game I but that are simply so rare that you never actualy get to use them).Also combat moves related to the skill like actual stealth kill like slashing trhoats snapping neck and strangling(if you are strong or have the melee skill) hell even stabbing someone in the back shouldn't require all that skill right? Also I think this would actually work very well with the surrendering mechanich you have introduced.
Anyway this is already an amazing game in my opinion whom I have being following for over a year now, I apologies if I've sound a little pretentious in the post but those were the passionate word of a guy that really believe in this game and wanted to give his two cents about one of the aspect that least convinced him(I am an avid stealth game lover).Anyway this is a great game and I will play it regardless of how you addres this aspect. Please forgive my bad english and cheers from Italy

I like those ideas. It would be fun to sneak up to a guy and strangle him to death with wire or something. Having the ability to camouflage your shelter is a good idea. If your guy is really good at hiding he would know how to cover himself up with bushes while he sleeps to not be detected. Although even if your good at stealth it shouldn't work all the time. The guy is still human and would sometimes snap a twig, or move some pebbles or the enemy might just happen to turn around. But it should definitely give a good edge to sneaking about.

The "Hide" option should continue to work while moving, putting player into sneak mode - harder to detect but 2x movement cost and allowing to sneak upon enemies, starting combat encounter 2x closer than usual and already hidden. Having Hiding skill could then make movement while hidden more effective both in and out of the combat, lowering opponent's chances to detect player each turn. That could be further modified by terrain and such to give a nice and simple simulation of useful hiding.

My examples of those chances/modifiers:
Player not hiding 0%
Player hiding +20%
Player hiding w/hiding skill +40%

Open field 0%
Hill/Light Urban 10%
Marsh/Forest/Heavy Urban/Ruins +20%

Player moved this turn 0%
Player not moved this turn +20%

Day 0%
Twilight +10%
Night +20%

Raider -10%
Dogman -50%
Horror -50% at night
Active light source negates all hiding during twilight/night

So player not hiding while walking in open field at day will always be noticed (0% to hide), while standing still, using hide option with Hiding skill in the woods at night will give (20+40+20+20) 100% chance to be missed by creature passing by (one test each turn player is in range of it's sight) unless it is a dogman (100-50=50% to stay hidden) or a rider (100-10=90% to stay hidden) or the player moves, losing +20% bonus for standing still. Same modifiers could be applied when in combat - right now it seems enemies always seem to detect you after a turn or two.

I don't know if it's doable or how could this work when transplanted to creatures (riders might try hiding too) but seems fair and relatively simple.

<--Mighty (mini)Mod of Doom-->
DeviantArt Gallery of MoD Sprites

Add an actual stealth kill maneuver with some crafting elements and that will be exactly what I was thinking about

you don't have to strangle or craft anything all you have to do is to put both thumbs on your opponents windpipe and push thereby collapsing the windpipe immediately and death after. strangling would take a minute or two yes it still takes the air away but a person who is condemned to death doesn't care if you are standing there. plus strangling takes alot of noise if you are rolling around the ground.

And oldie and I would say goodie but not particularly

Seconded, i was going to post it but i dint know how to post it but yeah its much more effective.

Greedy Bastard

It doesn't necessary have to be a separate attack move. A simple modifier to hit chance/damage of a normal attack, if done while hidden would be sufficient, simply to make hiding more useful.

After some proper balancing, a "silent takedown" move could maybe a special option for characters with Melee + Hiding, but it would have to be made very carefully to not become an "ultimate move".

<--Mighty (mini)Mod of Doom-->
DeviantArt Gallery of MoD Sprites

The crafting I was thinking was more about decoys and camoufflage rather than weapons even if a shiv or a rope(not necessarely used for strangling) should be a rather obvious addition to a survivor serving more as tools than meapons.
Talking about the takedown move the idea came thanks to a friend of mine that does martial arts and explained to me that all the badass looking moves and chokes you see in the movies rarely works in real life if you are not either strong or knows what you are actually doing and that even bashing someone's head with a rock is more effective than trying to emulate some moves you saw on tv.
The takedowns I was thinking was only for characters with the melee or strong tract as the would either know how to apply a chokehold or be strong enough to crash someone windpipe bare handed(a thing my friend said was actualy quite easy). obviously using a weapon would be a better alternative than attacking someone bare handed and doing so should include a varying ammount of chanches to pull of for example a strong guy with no melee skills would have a 40% chance to pull it of against a normal not strong survivor while it would either decrease or augment if the target is either strong or frail. On the other hand skilled melee fighter would have a 60% probability to pull it of because based on what my friend told while raw strength is usefull skills are fare more important also they should have different moves based on their tract(purely for aesthetical reasons and to show the different mindset that come into play.
My friend showed me some rear naked chokehold and grabs that would satisfay even those with a penchant for martial arts(not my case but I think it would add to the realism of the game). Obviously a character with bot skills and strength would be a serious threat to anyone who isn't a dogmen and I think that would be the point of it as by chosing those tracts you would actually forfeit 2 tract space and shouldn's need any more balancing as you wouldn't have other skills like mechanich.
My ideal character would be a guy with bot tracts and the trapper and gun ranged tract it would make a reasonable choiche augmenting survival chanches at the cost to the more techie tracts.