Author Topic: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul  (Read 2297 times)

number13

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Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« on: June 07, 2019, 03:06:54 AM »
The problem: stealth isn't very exciting in Arm, nor does it fit the narrative.

My own pattern and the pattern I've observed in others is to assume that you are not hidden, not sneaking until you have a high degree of skill in sneak/hide. And once you've achieved that skill level + some gear, it's a safe assumption that you are successfully stealthing pretty much always -- except in edge cases that are difficult to discover.

The infamous case of a hidden character giggling in a room because he knows his hide is pretty much unbreakable -- feels bad. Knowing that you are being shadowed, but not having any chance whatsoever of finding the hidden character feels bad.

On the flipside, using hide at low skill levels feels terrible. It might as well do nothing. Typically, from a gamist standpoint, you're just typing it to practice hiding, and no other real reason. Maybe you're roleplaying your heart out, but you know it isn't having a reliable effect in game.

Plus, there are rooms where it is impossible to hide, and the room descriptions don't always give any clues to this fact. The only way to discover which rooms are impossible to hide in is to have someone come along and say, "You are not hidden here." It's a noob trap.

The solution: An overall overhaul of the system, to make it much more reliable at low levels and less god tier at high levels of mastery, with an emphasis on enabling interesting narrative situations and conflicts.

  • Sneak -- remains as it is, with the exception of sneaking from a hidden position, which is no longer possible. Using a movement command other than Creep (see below) breaks your Hide status.
  • Shadow -- allows you to follow someone while sneaking, but you're not hidden until you type that Hide command. You can Shadow someone while blended into a crowd without losing the blended status.
  • Hide -- always works, if you are above novice skill level. The skill check determines how slow you are at hiding -- quickly darting into the shadows for a high check, slowly fumbling your way under a cardboard box for a bad check.

    Even if you flunk a hide check, you are hidden after a few seconds of delay. Hiding is reliable. However, your character may be very easy for someone scanning or someone who is actively hunting to discover you, to the point where even someone untrained in those skills can easily find a character who flunked a Hide check.

    When hidden, there's a flag to indicate such, which can be displayed on the prompt.

    When attempting to hide in a room where it is impossible to hide, the game reports back a message: "You can't find any good hiding spots here."
  • Blend -- a new skill and a new command that allows you to blend into crowds. It works like Hide, but only in a crowded room. You can sneak while Blended, and keep the blended status reliably, even at low skill levels, but if you sneak into a non-crowded room, you lose the flag.

    Sneak/Hide gear gives you a penalty to blending. Wearing spooky ninja gear is not conducive to blending into a crowd. Wearing high value gear or templar robes or the like should also give you a penalty to blending into a crowd. Best blending gear is rinthi-safe gear that gives no sneak/hide bonus.
  • Hunting (see below) receives a major, major bonus to discovering a blended character, to the point where it's a certainty that an apprentice city Hunter will eventually find a blended character, given enough checks.
  • Creep -- a new command, which stealthily moves your hidden character while maintaining the hidden status into the next room. It has all the same emotive capabilities as a normal move command.

    When hidden you can Creep in a direction instead of using the normal movement commands. This costs MV, and it has a delay timer based on a Hide/Sneak check. It is not always reliable, but when you flunk a Creep roll, you know it. The game reports: "You misstep, and are no longer hidden." Or: "There are no places to hide here!" if hiding is impossible in the new room.

    If you attempt to Creep but are not already hidden, the command fails, and the game informs you as to why: "You must be hidden to move via creeping."

    Missteps should be very rare for a character with journeyman in both Hide and Sneak, but not impossible for a character with master in both Hide and Sneak. There could be a flat 1 in 200 chance that any Creep attempt will fail, regardless of skill.

    C-elves have a greatly reduced MV cost to Creeping while in a city, and perhaps a reduction in the chance to auto-fail a Creep roll.

    The idea here is to enable short bursts of stealth in critical situations. You're sneaking past the guard. You're trying to avoid a templar. You're trying to sneak up on a skittish quarry in the desert. You're trying to get out the back way when get caught kanking Lord Fancypant's favorite aide in the middle of a noble estate.

    You're not slowly creeping through the entire city (or the entire desert), unless perhaps you're a c-elf with a lot of patience, because it's the slowest form of movement by far, and it costs MV.

    Unless you have a damn good reason -- ie, a Wanted flag -- creeping everywhere is a terrible idea. Even then, you're typically better off somehow blending into a crowd instead.

    Ideally, you should be sweating with worry while creeping. Your character is literally sweating, as his MV is reduced.
  • Hunt -- imagine you're following some tracks through the perpetually renewing layer of red dust that coats the Rinth. They lead right up to a point in the shadows and...just disappear. Even though you know the elf who made the tracks is standing right there, you have no way of finding him.

    But you should, and that's something the Hunt command should do. Similarly, if you see an h-emote in a meeting room from a hidden character, it should be possible to turn the place upside down and find the hidden character -- you are hunting someone down, so use the Hunt command.

    Hunt is the "Seek" half of "Hide and Seek".

    When you hunt and there's invisible/hidden/blended characters in a room, your Hunt skill is tested against their degree of hidden-ness. There's a serious bonus to finding characters blended into crowds. The skill delay on Hunt in cities is now longer, to give hidden characters a chance to react.

    If you discover hidden character(s), the game reports this and you temporarily receive a pseudo-Watch on those character(s). This pseudo-Watch behaves exactly like an actual Watch, except it doesn't overwrite your Watch, and it fades after a short delay of 10 to 30 seconds (depending on the degree of success).

    You can use your pseudo-Watch to actually Watch a discovered character.

    In a typical circumstance, if a hidden character sees someone start to Hunt, they will likely want to Creep elsewhere. But hunters may be able to see those tracks, follow the hidden character into the next room.

    Eventually, because of the MV cost of Creep and the possibility of Creep auto-failing, the hidden character will have to break cover to run away from a persistent hunter (or perhaps ambush them with a backstab, or simply walk out and attempt negotiation.)
  • Scan -- works pretty much as it does not, just nowhere near as reliably in the city, and not at all against blended characters. Scan is for scouting for danger, mostly in the wilderness. Hunt will be for seeking out a hidden character.
  • Listen -- works as it does now. A listening character can detect a Creeping character, and if they've recently detected a Creeping character with Listen, they get a bonus to their Hunt and Scan checks against that character.

oggotale

  • Posts: 115
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2019, 04:16:22 AM »
Don't think major changes can happen but I'm down with the idea of drastically ramping up the bonus for crowded rooms and heavily penalising penalties in non crowded rooms.

This does damage sneakers doing the more "fiction-esque" actions like hiding in apartments but those seem a bit stupid to me anyway.

Riev

  • Posts: 5604
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2019, 10:01:40 AM »
This does damage sneakers doing the more "fiction-esque" actions like hiding in apartments but those seem a bit stupid to me anyway.

If there was a way to be "hidden" from a room away, but as soon as you ENTER the room, you can see them, I'd be down for it.

Someone could be hiding in my kitchen when I come home, and I don't notice them until I walk in. In Arm, people often unlock door;open door;l e;e;close door and if they saw someone in their apartment, they'd haul ass out of there. But if you're hidden UNTIL they're in the room, then you might be able to get the jump on them.

I like the spirit of the suggestion, especially giving 'hunt' a little more oomph.
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Synthesis

  • Posts: 9813
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2019, 11:20:32 AM »
If blending is for crowds, why would hunting get a bonus to discovering blended PCs?  How are you tracking individual footprints in a crowd?

And scan is already the counter to hide.  I don't know why you feel the need to shift that duty to hunt.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2019, 11:28:56 AM by Synthesis »
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oggotale

  • Posts: 115
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2019, 12:04:33 PM »
This does damage sneakers doing the more "fiction-esque" actions like hiding in apartments but those seem a bit stupid to me anyway.

If there was a way to be "hidden" from a room away, but as soon as you ENTER the room, you can see them, I'd be down for it.

Someone could be hiding in my kitchen when I come home, and I don't notice them until I walk in. In Arm, people often unlock door;open door;l e;e;close door and if they saw someone in their apartment, they'd haul ass out of there. But if you're hidden UNTIL they're in the room, then you might be able to get the jump on them.

I like the spirit of the suggestion, especially giving 'hunt' a little more oomph.

IDK man the Arm hide isn't just a "they can't see me" it's a "they can't see me but I can see and hear them", the latter seems largely fictionesque, therefore making it largely non viable makes something fictionesque largely non viable.

This does fuck over the more surreal badass rogue concepts, I have tried my hand at these in the past too and I'm sure you can tell fun stories with them, that being said they're still personally surreal/immersion-breaking, so let these concepts get trashed I say.

Riev

  • Posts: 5604
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2019, 12:10:39 PM »
I don't understand your point.

If I'm hiding, it is likely to avoid detection, and slightly less likely that I'm trying to overhear things.

Unless you are whispering or sitting at a table, if I'm hiding in the closet I can probably hear you. Otherwise I need to use my finely-attuned Listen Skill.

And I wasn't clear, my proposal was only for apartments and their like. Not regularly "Oh I'm in the room and can see you now" but more "I'm hiding in your house ready to kill you."
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

oggotale

  • Posts: 115
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2019, 01:29:46 PM »
"I'm hiding in your house ready to kill you."

I was trying to say that in general I feel most hiding in apartment situations shouldn't be condusive to listening as well as is coded or seeing emotes. So throw the whole thing out.

I forgot this use case that you mentioned though, this is pretty important, even at the risk of giving people all those other unimmersive (to me) abilities.

Synthesis

  • Posts: 9813
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2019, 02:09:38 PM »
If an apartment is so small you can't hide in it, it should be a no-hide room.

You don't need to take a jackhammer to the entire system just because people are hiding in the middle of a barren chamber.
Quote from: WarriorPoet
I play this game to pretend to chop muthafuckaz up with bone swords.
Quote from: Smuz
I come to the GDB to roleplay being deep and wise.
Quote from: Vanth
Synthesis, you scare me a little bit.

oggotale

  • Posts: 115
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2019, 03:17:09 PM »
If an apartment is so small you can't hide in it, it should be a no-hide room.

You don't need to take a jackhammer to the entire system just because people are hiding in the middle of a barren chamber.

My issue wasn't just that small rooms shouldn't be hide-able, of course I agree with that.

I'd say the entire current hide-system outside crowded rooms does a jarring enough emulation that I'd rather have it fully scrapped.
Of course I'm inclined to think this would all but demolish sneaky characters but between a moderate # of "high-fiction" sneaks or close-to-no sneaks I'd choose the latter.
Maybe the use-case of ambushes justifies the current high-fiction code though, anyway my preference of jackhammering most of the sneak code is probably discussed to death.

P.S. On an unrelated note I don't think it would be feasible/easy to change all small-rooms to be non-hideable would it? If it were I'd assume that would be done already.

Brokkr

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Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2019, 06:15:40 PM »
There are some decent ideas here, but I think it misses the core of the issue that stealth has.

It doesn't address how stealth uses discreet rolls, and because of folk's ability to spam scan with independent results essentially has to become an all or nothing thing to be useful.  As opposed, say, to stealth being a state, with some sort of memory for various checks by any individual against it over some time horizon.

With remembered detection, something like 95% becomes much more viable.

MeTekillot

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Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2019, 06:49:55 PM »
Look guys, pickpockets aren't that serious.
My thoughts.

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Brytta Léofa

  • Posts: 647
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2019, 12:41:41 AM »
As opposed, say, to stealth being a state, with some sort of memory for various checks by any individual against it over some time horizon.

That sounds beneficial and maybe not overly difficult to do.
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Gracchus

  • Posts: 21
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2019, 01:15:20 AM »
I don't think we need to bloat the skill list just to a.) force thieves to grind even longer for b). less reward, given all the skill bloat does is force them to use more skills to get caught and killed more often.

Haunt

  • Posts: 24
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2019, 10:36:47 AM »
The problem: stealth isn't very exciting in Arm, nor does it fit the narrative.

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oggotale

  • Posts: 115
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2019, 11:13:00 AM »
The problem: stealth isn't very exciting in Arm, nor does it fit the narrative.

murder corruption betrayal

Exactly! I'm also looking forward to them rolling out the sentient yellow stress balls which lure you in with sweet words and transform into Meks upon being touched.

Haunt

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Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2019, 11:55:28 AM »
i would just like the stress balls honestly
Sometimes the shit breaks you

Armaddict

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Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2019, 12:56:22 AM »
Long been a proponent for stealth revision, with various ideas that have come up over the years.  That said, I think this is overcomplicating things.

I -do- like the idea of hide breaking as you move from room to room, as it was once before. I do not like the idea that 'hiding' and 'blending' are inherently different.  That seems to be overcomplicating.

I do like the idea of 'standing still' hiding being reliable.  I do not like the current state where you can move through the entire city without a single soul noticing you.  Sneak skill can determine a hide-duration reduction or somesuch.  I have also posted ideas about shadowing increasing chances of detection, and determining a follow distance; if I'm shadowing you, I am not right on your ass, there's no way I'm moving into your apartment behind you without your notice.

Make shadow have a follow distance.  Same room, you of course are exposed to the most information and tactical advantage, but you are going to get noticed by people who are decently aware.  1 room behind, you can listen, you can see some information.  2 rooms behind, you are purely on a follow path; you are mostly safe from detection, particularly over short distances, but you can't make immediate power moves or be a spectacular spy from safety.

Tie in 'watch' with these follow distances.  The shadower is not going to be able to be fully aware of their surroundings, scan will end.  They have to focus on their quarry, not the shadows around them.  If they are worried about themselves being shadowed, or traps, they need backup to watch for them.

Make 'follow' while hidden an overt action that removes you from hiding and echos the message.

Edited to add:
There is a very delicate balance here.  You don't want to nerf stealth to oblivion because you're frustrated by it.  Stealth needs to be strong to a certain degree because of how mechanics within the game are set up on a deep, fundamental level.

But you can find ways to keep it strong -and- make it more dynamic while getting rid of some of the more questionable scenarios that depend on it.

Edited again:  Obligatory elf pride; You can also more strongly tie in stealth to agility so that good human agility ain't all that great for stealth.  But good elven agility?  Hellz to the yeah.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2019, 01:16:59 AM by Armaddict »
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Heade

  • Posts: 836
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2019, 11:33:22 PM »
I don't think stealth needs changed. I am leaning more towards Synthesis' idea, that we'd be better off with more liberal use of the "no hide" flag in rooms where hiding doesn't make any sense, like cramped hallways leading into apartments. Most apartments can fit furniture and the like in them, so most apartments shouldn't be "no hide" if they have furniture and such that could provide cover, but often, the cramped hallways leading into them are described as so small that no one should really be able to follow you without drawing notice.
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Mercy

  • Posts: 115
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2019, 02:57:28 PM »
Necroing this might not be wise but I had been thinking about stealth for a long time before even seeing this thread. I don't necessarily agree with the ideas posted originally. However, I feel like stealth and detecting stealth, is inconsistent in a way that warrants attention. It's very possible I just don't understand how things work, as my knowledge of the game's mechanics is not very intimate.

All that said, my thoughts are as follows:
Hide, sneak, and scan should all set a flat value on skill use with a certain timer attached to that value. Modifiers should be attached to rooms (I would assume by type) that would give bonuses or negatives appropriately. This would remove "spam look" to find the shadow in the room. And it would, theoretically, make hide/sneak more consistent at lower levels. Which I hope would encourage more "I'm not an absolute ghost" behavior. Additionally, there should be a command (perhaps an extension of 'search', although I don't really want it tied to a skill per se) that allows you to search an entire room for hiding persons. There should certainly be a no-search flag (trying to comb a leagues worth of desert for a half buried dwarf sounds ridiculous) for whatever that command becomes. For the 'search' command, it shouldn't function on a strict success/fail basis, but rather a slow repetitive delay with increasing values. This would essentially give sneaky types a timer to finish up and leave if they don't want to be discovered unless they're actually trapped in a room with someone. Lastly, I'd like to see the ability to point out a hidden person. Both overtly (to the whole room, including said person) and covertly (to a single specified person).

There are a lot of things I'd like to see beyond this that I'm not going to get into. I really don't think stealth needs to be massively re-done. But it really could stand to see some tweaking I feel. It feels incredibly frustrating to know someone is in a room and not be able to do anything about it. Yes scan is a counter, but it is no where near a common skill, and does effectively nothing untrained from what I've seen. Even trained using it feels like a crap-shoot.

Side-note: I feel like both scan and hide should slowly increase over time to a certain cap (probably based on skill level) if you don't leave the room or take an action that would negatively impact the skill. Clan specific room bonus (as well as for rented rooms like apartments) would be nice as well, to indicate a familiarity with the area in question.

Heade

  • Posts: 836
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2019, 03:52:11 PM »
I would be on board with an extension of the search command allowing virtually anyone to EVENTUALLY find a hidden person in the room. I think that makes realistic sense, and solves the issue of being able to hear someone, but never being able to find them, even in a small chamber that has almost nothing to hide behind.

Basically, it would be completely obvious that said person is searching for you, and you'd have a period of time during which you could leave the area before they find you. If you're in a locked room with them, you'd instead have a bit of time to mentally prepare yourself for the coming confrontation, whether it be social or physical.

I'd like this search command to be blocked in certain areas where the proprietors of said area wouldn't allow you to turn the place upside down searching, like taverns and shops, and I'd like NPC guards/soldiers to have a script that interrupts searches conducted in the streets if they walk by, since this search would basically be moving around overturning things and eliminating places people might hide. The command also shouldn't work in the daytime on busy streets at all, since people are basically "blending" into a crowd rather than hiding under a table.

After typing all that out, it seems like it'd be a lot of work to implement it for a very small subset of circumstances where it'd be particularly useful. So I think the most expedient way to help with a lot of the issue is to just make hallways leading to apartments "no hide" rooms if they're narrow hallways and leave the majority of the current system in place.

I wouldn't mind a search extension being implemented, but it would need to be realistically limited, and therefore the usefulness to work required ratio may or may not be worth it in the eyes of the staff compared to something more simple like "no hide" flagging hallways.
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Dar

  • Posts: 1522
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2019, 04:12:55 PM »
After typing all that out, it seems like it'd be a lot of work to implement it for a very small subset of circumstances where it'd be particularly useful. So I think the most expedient way to help with a lot of the issue is to just make hallways leading to apartments "no hide" rooms if they're narrow hallways and leave the majority of the current system in place.

I wouldn't mind a search extension being implemented, but it would need to be realistically limited, and therefore the usefulness to work required ratio may or may not be worth it in the eyes of the staff compared to something more simple like "no hide" flagging hallways.

Yes! Let's do that!

On a more serious note. Maybe make apartments have a script that allows you to thoroughly search the room. But at a price of getting significant delay on you. Some kind of a defense penalty. And losing ability to see echoes. So the thief can picklock a door while you're busy moving furniture and slip out.

Heade

  • Posts: 836
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2019, 04:22:47 PM »
After typing all that out, it seems like it'd be a lot of work to implement it for a very small subset of circumstances where it'd be particularly useful. So I think the most expedient way to help with a lot of the issue is to just make hallways leading to apartments "no hide" rooms if they're narrow hallways and leave the majority of the current system in place.

I wouldn't mind a search extension being implemented, but it would need to be realistically limited, and therefore the usefulness to work required ratio may or may not be worth it in the eyes of the staff compared to something more simple like "no hide" flagging hallways.

Yes! Let's do that!

On a more serious note. Maybe make apartments have a script that allows you to thoroughly search the room. But at a price of getting significant delay on you. Some kind of a defense penalty. And losing ability to see echoes. So the thief can picklock a door while you're busy moving furniture and slip out.

Meh, I'm not in favor of the failing to see echoes thing, or the defense penalty. I'm fine with a command delay. But if anything, if you're searching for someone you think is skulking around the room, you're going to be more on guard than you otherwise would be were you doing anything else, and unlikely to not notice someone lockpicking the door to try to get out.

IRL, if I get the idea in my head that there is an intruder in my home, I will arm myself prior to going and investigating whatever led me to believe that, and I will be particularly wary of potential threats. I imagine people in Zalanthas would approach the situation similarly prepared for physical confrontation.

Right now, breaking into apartments is way too safe. There is no reason to keep it as safe as it currently is. I'm ok with most apartments being hideable rooms, but there is no reason to try to "protect" the burglars with wonky code that doesn't make sense. Let's keep a little bit of risk involved in doing what SHOULD be risky shit.
I used to have a funny signature, but I felt like no one took me seriously, so it's time to put on my serious face.

Dar

  • Posts: 1522
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2019, 04:26:35 PM »
Well. Basically. I'd prefer something to discourage a needless use of the command.

Because otherwise, searching the room for hidden people would be just one of the commands you would do, when you hide your key away in your pack.  When you enter your apartment. Do you begin to systematically look under every table?

Dune Bunny

  • Posts: 39
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2019, 05:00:23 PM »
I think no_hide flags and penalties could absolutely be used more to offset the balance a bit. If it doesn't make sense for certain rooms to have hiding done in them, then there should certainly be one or the other involved.

Certain apartments in the game have a foyer when first stepping in. The foyer is described as tiny, arms-reach across, blah blah. No matter your stealth skill/bonuses/etc, there's absolutely no way whatsoever that you should be able to hide from someone in that same room, just as much as I don't believe you should be able to pass a sneak/shadow into said room with another pc in it either. Things like balconies should probably have the same treatment.

Apartment rooms are likely a case-by-case scenario, I'd imagine. Some are described as a barren square; this should probably be rather difficult to hide in, while shadowing anyone through a door into a small room should also be difficult. Some sort of code could perhaps be enacted, that would making hiding in an apartment room easier, with each piece of furniture in the room?

Sneaking past gate guards is another issue I find incredibly too easy. When you're already in a small entryway, where at least two NPCs are hanging out, and a gate is in the way, and one is tasked specifically with the task of guarding that gate, popping it open and slipping past unseen should be near impossible. If I'm within 10-20 feet of a door, or even larger gate, that's in my view? It's not even getting cracked without noticing, much less if I'm a trained guard, and that's my only job. Even shadowing someone with access through should come with its own major risk. Those types of places are meant to be 'more safe' for PCs, but the only difference between there, and an open hallway, is you have to type an extra couple of commands to sneak through.

Stealth skills can be extremely powerful, brokenly so. There shouldn't be any shame in breaking them from time to time for a more fair and realistic response.

Hiding and sneaking overall, however, I don't feel is too bad off. Accounting for the virtual world and the size of most outside rooms, being able to hide so well isn't that far fetched, I'd say. It's the 'small area' part of the game where it feels exceptionally broken, and in need of an overhaul, in my opinion.

Dar

  • Posts: 1522
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2019, 05:10:57 PM »
While you're correct on all accounts, implementing all that in this way will make compound infiltration impossible, period. They will all be fortresses of solitude. No climbing up into windows, no climbing down the chimneys, no nothing. Because those entrances are not coded. They exist virtually! but they're not coded.

So there is a balance. Yes, shadowing someone past the guard is a little bit weird. But so is inability to climb into a window. I also get into security guarded, buzz code locked condo buildings without permission all the time. Basically daily. Not as a requirement, but more as an accident.  So it's not an impossibility. It just requires a little bit less open mindedness.