Author Topic: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul  (Read 2344 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: 5611
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

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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: 5611
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."
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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

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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

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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: 837
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: 1526
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: 837
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: 1526
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: 40
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: 1526
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.

JohnMichaelHenry

  • Posts: 194
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #25 on: September 26, 2019, 05:16:45 PM »
I think the no hide flag on rooms that it makes sense to have it is a great idea. Also, bonus and penalty for other rooms where it makes sense seems good. Just those two adjustments would solve most of the problems here. I also think some skills, such as scan, and possibly sneak, should have to be typed every time you want to do it. 'Look' is just a cursory look around, while 'scan' is a careful look around. And once I'm hidden, I should have to 'sneak' <direction> every time. (except when shadowing) And if it isn't like this already, a walking person should eventually outdistance a shadowing one. All minor changes and would solve a bunch of these issues, IMHO.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2019, 05:19:15 PM by JohnMichaelHenry »
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Dune Bunny

  • Posts: 40
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #26 on: September 26, 2019, 05:39:01 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.

While the majority I've seen aren't described as large enough for a human to fit through, I'd have no problem whatsoever with windows and the like being climbable to. Though, I'd also prefer to see a vnpc reaction to random dudes deciding to spiderman walls up to people's homes.  XD

That said, a lack of coding in that area shouldn't mean that other areas should be slack, in the name of fairness. Armageddon is harsh, blah blah, etc. Walking into the wrong room could mean an insta-gib. A bad roll in combat could mean an unpredictable death. Fighting a mekillot solo is almost certainly a gory death. Stealth, as something that can be an ultimate game-changer, shouldn't really be safe from it either. If you're going to take the chance to try and get into someone's home to rob, and/or kill them, something that is extremely easy to do under the current code (apartments seem to be a barren wasteland because of it), then you should be aware of, and accepting those risks, instead of knowing that the (advanced)/(master) beside your skill is going to guarantee a free ride in. I'd even go so far as to say that having (master) in a stealth skill imparts the knowledge to be like, "You crazy? I'm not following Tressy into that building".

As for getting into places on a daily basis, I'm going to assume you're not running around hooded, with weapons hanging off your back/belt, crouched and sneaking around, and drawing suspicion like you're doing something wrong?  :P

Dar

  • Posts: 1526
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #27 on: September 26, 2019, 05:45:55 PM »
All I'm saying is to be careful what you wish for.

If you make shadowing someone past the guards/doors impossible. That will literally cut down on 99% of all compound infiltration.  I do suggest we fix this only when climbing over a fence becomes feasible as well.  I can understand you think the current stealth model is overpowered. But so far, the solutions offered do not just balance stealth. They murder it. 

Heade

  • Posts: 837
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #28 on: September 26, 2019, 05:56:08 PM »
Yeah, I'm not really for any of that. I don't care to see it become any more difficult to get past guards. Realistically, with said guards being there 24/7, there will be times when they reach for a piece of ginka pie or something, or are otherwise distracted, providing an opportunity to slip past.

All I'd really like to see change is:

1. liberal use of the "no_hide" flag in hallways.
2. a script that notifies people and sets them to auto-watch you if you shadow them into an apartment
3. making "no_hide" flags visible to players.

I think these 3 changes would significantly help alleviate issues regarding the stealth system. I'd imagine that the one that would take the most development time would be number 2, but I have an idea on how to code that which would be fairly easy. Basically, just using an invisible entity that procs an effect any time someone shadows another person in the room. You'd have to place one such entity in each apartment. Aside from procing the effect, said entity wouldn't be interactable or visible. But this would likely be the easiest way to implement such a system as to differentiate an apartment from other rooms.
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.

Mercy

  • Posts: 115
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #29 on: September 27, 2019, 01:30:26 AM »
Just to clarify what I'd like to see most although I feel like I'm being redundant here.

No_hide flags where appropriate, with a corresponding fail message for either trying to sneak into the room or hide in it while there (I'd want sneaking into a no_hide room to STOP you from moving, not simply walk you in and reveal you).

Scan being made more consistent with a persistent set value for the duration (i'd like the value to be on an independent timer to avoid scan spamming, although the delay might be a sufficient deterrent, i don't know).

The ability to search a (lets assume indoors) room for someone who is hiding. This should be an obvious and slow process, with repeated echos so there is plenty of time and warning to run away or prepare before discovery.

Lastly, the ability to point out a hidden person either to the room at large (default) or to a specific person. The latter being more akin to an hmote.

I do not want to murder stealth. I definitely don't even want to think about npc interaction with stealth, because over-tuning in that regard kills things much more quickly and completely than giving PCs more agency.

Qzzrbl

  • Posts: 4959
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #30 on: September 27, 2019, 06:43:11 AM »
The ability to search a (lets assume indoors) room for someone who is hiding. This should be an obvious and slow process, with repeated echos so there is plenty of time and warning to run away or prepare before discovery.

Lastly, the ability to point out a hidden person either to the room at large (default) or to a specific person. The latter being more akin to an hmote.

If nothing else, these.

Successfully catching a stealthy thing with a perception skill but still being unable to meaningfully interact with it because you don't have master scan is on a new level of tilting.

Riev

  • Posts: 5611
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #31 on: September 27, 2019, 09:18:05 AM »
He's right there? Can't you see him? That's not a pile of coats, that's an actual 'rinthi with their blades out? Come on. How close do you need to get? Its right there?

 -- Some hunting dog, probably, telling you where the dead bird is.
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

Doublepalli

  • Posts: 300
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #32 on: September 27, 2019, 10:17:56 AM »
All I'm saying is to be careful what you wish for.

If you make shadowing someone past the guards/doors impossible. That will literally cut down on 99% of all compound infiltration.  I do suggest we fix this only when climbing over a fence becomes feasible as well.  I can understand you think the current stealth model is overpowered. But so far, the solutions offered do not just balance stealth. They murder it.


I agree with Dar. Genuine stealthies likely aren't heavy combat. It's all they have. We have full guilds + magick subguilds, to the point you could get mon-fireballed from an ethereal krathi, or summon drovian pets while ethereal, classes that can OHK via archery or backstab, juggernauts in combat, templars or others that can see hidden pcs anyway.

We're not nerfing any of that. Why take away the one thing a true stealthy has....where one mistake, or one unlucky crit fail leaves you with a dead PC, or you're ousted for the playerbase - And If I was playing a stealthy, I wouldn't give the PC's the benefit of the doubt that they'd roleplay. They'd spam run, close their packs, emote staring down the room, back to the bar etc etc
« Last Edit: September 27, 2019, 10:19:35 AM by Doublepalli »

Qzzrbl

  • Posts: 4959
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #33 on: September 27, 2019, 01:24:54 PM »
I agree with Dar. Genuine stealthies likely aren't heavy combat. It's all they have. We have full guilds + magick subguilds, to the point you could get mon-fireballed from an ethereal krathi, or summon drovian pets while ethereal, classes that can OHK via archery or backstab, juggernauts in combat, templars or others that can see hidden pcs anyway.

Stealth and most everything you've mentioned here are not mutually exclusive. Especially backstab and ranged combat.

Also try not to bring up magick, since balance between mundane and magick methods are generally on two completely different playing fields.

Why take away the one thing a true stealthy has....where one mistake, or one unlucky crit fail leaves you with a dead PC, or you're ousted for the playerbase - And If I was playing a stealthy, I wouldn't give the PC's the benefit of the doubt that they'd roleplay. They'd spam run, close their packs, emote staring down the room, back to the bar etc etc

To an extent, it's kinda already like that tho, as far as unlucky crit fails and pbase ousting go.

Adding a method to reveal hidden things that your PC can see is just adding another method to do so that isn't "kill shadow".

Adding a slow and methodical way to search a room for that dumb pickpocket that's failed steal on you twice but you can't see because near-magick hide (master) likely won't catch him, but it will present a realistic threat, a reminder that he's not actually invisible.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2019, 01:27:09 PM by Qzzrbl »

Nameless Face

  • Posts: 422
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #34 on: September 27, 2019, 01:51:44 PM »
I'm not sure I'm on-board with being too generous with no-hide flags, etc.  I mean having an assassin up on the ceiling out of easy sight clinging to pitons or whatever is a fun visual trope.

I do think that the slow methodical search method has some merit.  Maybe a command that has a long delay and just puts the effects of a [i/] temporary [ /i] no-hide flag in a room? With some caveats- it wouldn't work  in rooms flagged with an NPC presence, etc.

Heade

  • Posts: 837
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #35 on: September 27, 2019, 02:54:30 PM »
I'm not sure I'm on-board with being too generous with no-hide flags, etc.  I mean having an assassin up on the ceiling out of easy sight clinging to pitons or whatever is a fun visual trope.

Our characters aren't living in palaces with ceilings high enough to be out of sight. Think about hallways in a normal house. Jet Lee spider-walking on the ceiling wouldn't work. You'd see him, especially if he's up there scurrying along to "shadow" you into your bedroom door. And how would he get in the door with you without being seen? As I said previously, if you consider how people move through doors, they close the door behind them AS they go through it. There is no space of time in which someone would have to slip through the door unnoticed WITH the person going in. They'd either have to push the person out of the way, or have the door smack them in the face. In either case, it would be subsequently obvious they were attempting to come in.
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.

Doublepalli

  • Posts: 300
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #36 on: September 27, 2019, 03:25:54 PM »
Scan is IG for a reason. A delayed command to make a max hide PC visible would make stealthing pointless when the guy you're shadowing with no scan makes you vis and proceeds to bash you.

Qzzrbl

  • Posts: 4959
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #37 on: September 27, 2019, 04:00:45 PM »
Scan is IG for a reason.

Try not to overestimate Scan's usefulness, especially at levels lower than master, which only three classes get.

A delayed command to make a max hide PC visible would make stealthing pointless when the guy you're shadowing with no scan makes you vis and proceeds to bash you.

If I'm understanding the suggestion properly, that would be assuming your max hide PC just chills in the same room until the search finishes.

Code: [Select]
The tall and thicc figure in a dark, hooded cloak starts intently searching the room.

You think: "Oh dang, he's on to me."

n

You stealthily move north.

You think, feeling relieved: "Man, am I glad I managed to avoid getting mashed into paste."
« Last Edit: September 27, 2019, 05:38:18 PM by Qzzrbl »

Mercy

  • Posts: 115
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #38 on: September 27, 2019, 04:16:12 PM »
I'm not sure I'm on-board with being too generous with no-hide flags, etc.  I mean having an assassin up on the ceiling out of easy sight clinging to pitons or whatever is a fun visual trope.

I don't want to see liberal use of no-hide flags because, again, I don't want stealth to die. However, there are rooms where it genuinely makes little to no sense unless you're actually invisible. Personally, I'm not even mad at hallways being hideable. Honestly the way I've always envisioned it is that you become a vnpc in a hallway, rather than an overtly detectable PC. Since there is no way to "Play it cool" like you belong except via hide/sneak. But you can't exactly play it cool or outright hide in an apartment that has a rug and a bed so low to the floor you couldn't squeeze a rat under it. Certain rooms really need no-hide flags. But even then I'm more down with having a search for hiders option.

Scan is IG for a reason. A delayed command to make a max hide PC visible would make stealthing pointless when the guy you're shadowing with no scan makes you vis and proceeds to bash you.

I want to express that what I'm envisioning for a 'delayed command' to make hidden PCs visible is not something that takes 10 seconds to go off. It would be very slow. Like at least a real life minute slow. And honestly, I'd make it take much longer than that to find someone with master hide. This is partly to give them plenty of time to get the hell out of dodge. It shouldn't cancel scanning, but it should cancel out direction-based watching. The delay wouldn't stop you from inputting commands, but any action would interrupt it. Plenty of room echos in the duration to let everyone in the room know what you're doing. This command would be no where near comparable to scan, what so ever. And if you choose to stand, for a full minute or more, in a room with someone tossing the place I don't think you can get mad at what takes place afterwards.

Gentleboy

  • Posts: 62
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #39 on: September 27, 2019, 06:49:23 PM »
I accidentally type 'Loom' instead of look all the time. Which makes me think instead of a watch command, what if there was a more stealthy loom command so when assessed people don't know you're watching them? Idk something funny I was thinking.

Hauwke

  • Posts: 1973
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #40 on: September 27, 2019, 09:01:28 PM »
I don't like the name of it, but I do like the idea.

Doublepalli

  • Posts: 300
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #41 on: September 27, 2019, 09:34:24 PM »
And then everybody uses the command every apartment, tavern, compound they enter. Goodbye eavesdropping. Good bye spying. Goodbye shadowing. Goodbye most assasinations. This thread just seems like heavy combat PCs are annoyed about stealthies IG because they cant 2 hit them.

Alesan

  • Posts: 351
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #42 on: September 27, 2019, 09:52:24 PM »
And then everybody uses the command every apartment, tavern, compound they enter. Goodbye eavesdropping. Good bye spying. Goodbye shadowing. Goodbye most assasinations. This thread just seems like heavy combat PCs are annoyed about stealthies IG because they cant 2 hit them.

I wish people wouldn't be so reductionist. It harms healthy discussion.

Doublepalli

  • Posts: 300
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #43 on: September 27, 2019, 09:57:28 PM »
Well, the games fantasy, it isnt realistic. We have warriors that reach beyond conan levels and sneakies who become batman.

Ask yourself - would batman be able to break into nobles quarters and someones bedroom?

Can conan kill 6 raptors?

Can robinhood one shot a man in the neck?
« Last Edit: September 27, 2019, 09:59:05 PM by Doublepalli »

Qzzrbl

  • Posts: 4959
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #44 on: September 27, 2019, 10:10:20 PM »
It's not that heavy combat PCs are just so mad that they can't PK the poor weak stealth boys that can't possibly defend themselves in any way.

To me, it's that unless you have mastered scan, stealthy players may as well be invisible ghosts.

I feel it should also be mentioned that eavesdropping can be done from another room entirely (even behind doors), "spying" involves more than just hiding in a room, shadowing will still be viable unless someone stops to search every single time they move-- which would just be silly, compounds are often large enough to sneak away from someone searching, an assassin probably shouldn't try to assassinate someone they're not prepared to take in a fight, and also maybe it's not a good idea to follow someone into a locked single-room apartment if they're going to want to kick your head in.

I believe some of the proposed changes would take stealth play from "invisibility cloak" to "something more analogous to actual sneaking around". Something more involved than just upping a hide flag and being untouchable unless some very, very specific and rarely available conditions are met.

Like, it -is- fantasy, but it is more often than not tempered with realism. Like that time I got shot down for suggesting that one should be able to catch a thrown knife and throw it back like that one scene in Big Trouble in Little China Town because it just wasn't realistic that I'm still totally not salty about.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2019, 10:13:20 PM by Qzzrbl »

Doublepalli

  • Posts: 300
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #45 on: September 27, 2019, 10:13:02 PM »
So because the heavy combat pcs dont have master scan, they should get a free command to spot their counterpart? It just doesn't sit well. I get what you're saying, but ultimately this stuff would end up abused.

As for eavesdropping if they are a room away and talking at table you wont hear them anywho.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2019, 10:15:25 PM by Doublepalli »

Qzzrbl

  • Posts: 4959
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #46 on: September 27, 2019, 10:27:30 PM »
So because the heavy combat pcs dont have master scan, they should get a free command to spot their counterpart? It just doesn't sit well. I get what you're saying, but ultimately this stuff would end up abused.

It's not just heavy combat classes, I don't know why you keep bringing that up, because scan at a level decent enough to call out a master sneak is absent on like 12 of the 15 classes available.

You also seem to keep forgetting the part about simply sneaking to another room to avoid inevitable detection when a search starts.

The only real danger of this idea is to sneakies that either don't move or shadow someone into a locked room-- which tbh -should- be a bad and dangerous idea if they're not prepared to fight in the first place.

also i really, really think you underestimate how dangerous a prepared stealth character is

Veselka

  • Posts: 1111
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #47 on: September 27, 2019, 10:29:20 PM »
I don't know where I land on this. I hate binary skills (Hidden or Not Hidden, Sneak Success or Sneak Fail). It'd be nice to have some nuance in-between.
Live your life as though your every act were to become a universal law.

--Immanuel Kant

Doublepalli

  • Posts: 300
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #48 on: September 27, 2019, 10:45:10 PM »
If stealthies are to be subjected to even more work and risk involved because only 3 classes have master scan,  then we should start a thread on how a crafter can make 30k in a year easy, or how OP a heavy combat with an extended guild is while we're at it!

Alesan

  • Posts: 351
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #49 on: September 27, 2019, 10:48:26 PM »
If stealthies are to be subjected to even more work and risk involved because only 3 classes have master scan,  then we should start a thread on how a crafter can make 30k in a year easy, or how OP a heavy combat with an extended guild is while we're at it!


I mean, sure. Go for it.

Veselka

  • Posts: 1111
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #50 on: September 28, 2019, 12:27:09 AM »
I mean money is useless.
Live your life as though your every act were to become a universal law.

--Immanuel Kant

Doublepalli

  • Posts: 300
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #51 on: September 28, 2019, 02:03:28 AM »
It's not. With the right PC IG it can make a world of difference. Also a super high bounty gets anyone dead.



And I want to point out, what's changed? You can't scan a miscreant, big whoop?

Did we forget burglars existed? The old Ranger vs assassin? Any of that?

If you want balance, then the classes themselves need to be revamped, because there are several more game breaking than somebody who can emote giggle and remain hidden.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2019, 02:05:41 AM by Doublepalli »

Qzzrbl

  • Posts: 4959
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #52 on: September 28, 2019, 06:39:47 AM »
It's not. With the right PC IG it can make a world of difference. Also a super high bounty gets anyone dead.

To an extent, sure, but that's not what this thread is about.

If you could stop trying to railroad the discussion away from the ideas presented, that would be great.

And I want to point out, what's changed?

Nothing, the way upper-level stealth works has never not been kinda silly. This is not a new discussion.

You can't scan a miscreant, big whoop?

Some of the proposed changes will make it a little harder for a sneak to wind up in immersion-breaking scenarios  that defies all logic like they currently can, big whoop.

Did we forget burglars existed?

The old Ranger vs assassin? Any of that?

No, but that's still pretty irrelevant to the topic at hand.

If you want balance, then the classes themselves need to be revamped

This is more about immersion and realism than some notion of "mechanical checks and balances" that Arm has pretty much never adhered to in the first place.

because there are several more game breaking than somebody who can emote giggle and remain hidden.

You are absolutely free to start a thread discussing what you find to be game-breaking elsewhere, if you have the inclination.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2019, 06:53:38 AM by Qzzrbl »

Doublepalli

  • Posts: 300
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #53 on: September 28, 2019, 08:20:31 AM »
Alright. I'll /bite/.

Making stealth more realistic out of all the other nonrealistic things in arm.

Ill go devils advocate first and ask - Why wouldn't someone with master hide be nothing short of a ghost anyways? If someone has mastered batman level sneaking, realistically they'd be moving through a crowd or what have you to remain hidden at all costs. There's already penalties in place for stealthies in places with no crowds, hallways, apartments, etc. We have no hide rooms which is sometimes not always apparent to the stealthy. If you feel like you're being shadowed you can always start running. Or climbing if thats your thing.

So beyond that - how would we make stealth even harder for stealthies and more realistic?

The command suggested with the RL min delay, being visible to the room/a room away is a nice thought, but what happens when you happen to just walk in on the end of saidd command and get revealed? When every PC that walks into wherever uses the command. Walking in and out and in and out and in and out will become very tedious, very quickly. Maybe a room-wide timer after the command is used before anyone else can use it in said room again.

Apartment shadowing will never happen beyond finding where someone lives and entering with the pure intention to murder them the second they enter because they'll be using that command immediately upon entry. Probably leave the door unlocked till the search finishes too so they can spam run away.

Im all for the command as long as there is some check where the command rolls against those who've achieved master stealth. Whats the odds of spotting them anyway? The command makes scan pointless beyond spotting hidden critters.

Hiding underneath someones bed in an apartment has always been iffy to me, but everything else already seems pretty realistic. If you have city hunt you can always use that to deduce you're being followed.

It would be cool if a PC was a victim of a steal roll while somebody was hidden, a debuff would be added that is stackable to said theif trying to steal from them again. A PC would be more alert after being robbed or almost no?

« Last Edit: September 28, 2019, 08:22:33 AM by Doublepalli »

LindseyBalboa

  • Posts: 92
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #54 on: September 28, 2019, 08:22:02 AM »
Make things better and more fun for stealth characters, not harder. That should be the criteria for suggestions that overhaul an entire class or classes, instead of adding a billion more hurdles for like 3 classes.

I also don't really see why not being able to see someone who is hiding in a room as "immersion breaking" but I have noticed that the term is used as a dog whistle on the forum where it really means a player wants an advantage in game. This is a desert world where there are elves and sorcerers and some people are just better at hiding than you are at finding; and that's the realism of this game. They're probably moving around the room out of your point of view and unfortunately your character just isn't perceptive enough to spot them.

Qzzrbl

  • Posts: 4959
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #55 on: September 28, 2019, 10:06:18 AM »
Alright. I'll /bite/.

Making stealth more realistic out of all the other nonrealistic things in arm.

Ill go devils advocate first and ask - Why wouldn't someone with master hide be nothing short of a ghost anyways? If someone has mastered batman level sneaking, realistically they'd be moving through a crowd or what have you to remain hidden at all costs. There's already penalties in place for stealthies in places with no crowds, hallways, apartments, etc. We have no hide rooms which is sometimes not always apparent to the stealthy. If you feel like you're being shadowed you can always start running. Or climbing if thats your thing.

So, if you're sneaking through a crowd, you're moving. Meaning you wouldn't really be subject to a room search check anyway so that's sort of a moot point, if the room search could even be used in a crowded area to begin with. Which I kinda think it shouldn't tbh.

If you feel like you're being shadowed you can always start running. Or climbing if thats your thing.

So, to you, it makes sense to break into a sprint or look for the nearest ledge to scramble up, but it doesn't make sense to try and find whoever/whatever you think is following you?

 ???


So beyond that - how would we make stealth even harder for stealthies and more realistic?

The command suggested with the RL min delay, being visible to the room/a room away is a nice thought, but what happens when you happen to just walk in on the end of saidd command and get revealed?

idk, the discussion has been bogged down by doom and gloom about how these suggestions would 100% destroy stealth for it to even come up.

This thought should be talked about.

When every PC that walks into wherever uses the command. Walking in and out and in and out and in and out will become very tedious, very quickly. Maybe a room-wide timer after the command is used before anyone else can use it in said room again.

Or, better yet, a stamina cost associated with its use, if a long before/after delay leaving a searcher vulnerable wouldn't be seen as enough to keep spamming it to a minimum.

Apartment shadowing will never happen beyond finding where someone lives and entering with the pure intention to murder them the second they enter because they'll be using that command immediately upon entry. Probably leave the door unlocked till the search finishes too so they can spam run away.

I'm of the mind that apartments should offer some measure of security, and that sneaking in behind someone through a door that they open/close is kinda silly in the first place, so I don't have much to say on this. Even Batman would have a lot of trouble pulling that off.

Im all for the command as long as there is some check where the command rolls against those who've achieved master stealth. Whats the odds of spotting them anyway? The command makes scan pointless beyond spotting hidden critters.

idk, I think being good at being sneaky should involve more than having (master) in your skill list. If you goof and get cornered in a room you can't get out of, you should be able to be found.

Scan would still be much faster and much more discreet. I don't really see its use being devalued if a room search is added.

I also don't really see why not being able to see someone who is hiding in a room as "immersion breaking"

That's not the immersion-breaking part.

The immersion-breaking part is seeing "a strange shadow" every time you type look, and being 100% unable to investigate further because "look shadow" lands a "you don't see that here".

Or the failed pickpocket attempt in an empty alleyway that again, you are unable to do anything about. Bonus points if the failed steal attempt is followed up with -another- failed steal attempt.

Or getting blowgun'd in front of all of your friends, but dammit nobody has scan high enough guess there will just be no recourse.

 
but I have noticed that the term is used as a dog whistle on the forum where it really means a player wants an advantage in game.

Try not to cast too wide a net with that assumption.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2019, 02:41:53 PM by Qzzrbl »

Mercy

  • Posts: 115
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #56 on: September 28, 2019, 12:44:44 PM »
I honestly am getting to the point I don't want to post in this thread anymore. If you dislike the merits of an idea, can you please try to offer constructive criticism rather than attacking the potential motivation of the person(s) behind the idea itself? Constantly complaining that people are mad they can't be overpowered in the way they want, or are seeking an extra advantage helps nothing.

Make things better and more fun for stealth characters, not harder. That should be the criteria for suggestions that overhaul an entire class or classes, instead of adding a billion more hurdles for like 3 classes.

Can you explain what that would even look like? What about stealth is bad and unfun for stealth characters? I'm 100% serious here. Because the only issue that comes to mind for me personally, is the inconsistent nature of sneak-in-progress and no sort of indicator that you're definitely fucking up (which I spoke on initially in terms of trying to make sneak/hide more consistent with static flat values, and the same for scan so if you are hidden you don't get revealed by someone spamming an input likewise if you are detected you don't just randomly vanish without doing anything). I think stealth can be a little unforgiving in the sense of letting you know you're being obviously bad or are in obviously bad conditions for it. I have oodles of thoughts on this, but I'd rather keep the changes small so they can be felt out by both staff and playerbase rather than making huge sweeping changes.

Additionally, I'm not really concerned with 'immersion' here. It's such a subjective word to begin with I don't want to get into it. My issue is meaningful counterplay. I don't want things to be balanced per se. But if you KNOW something is taking place, or is going to take place, you should have a meaningful way to prepare yourself. That doesn't mean you will succeed even with impeccable planning, but you should be able to give yourself a better chance. This also means people can plan for you planning, and so on. If you know someone is going to break into your apartment, your only solution shouldn't be find a PC who can see them and then lock the door when they enter for a good ol' fashioned locked room PK.

Personally, I think a slow room search command also adds the opportunity for RP as it gives you notification and time to think of something to do/say other than flee/kill. From my perspective if you don't jump me in that duration AND you don't leave, then you're at least willing to try and RP. I'm addicted to RP so I'd really like more opportunities to indicate a willingness to RP in potentially deadly situations. I really don't know how other people would view this though.

The command suggested with the RL min delay, being visible to the room/a room away is a nice thought, but what happens when you happen to just walk in on the end of saidd command and get revealed? When every PC that walks into wherever uses the command. Walking in and out and in and out and in and out will become very tedious, very quickly. Maybe a room-wide timer after the command is used before anyone else can use it in said room again.

One solution to this is just to tag everyone in the room when the commands starts. So anyone who enters after the fact cannot be revealed by it. You raise a very good point here though. I don't like the idea of a room-wide timer before anyone can use the command again. But imposing a delay on whoever used the command, in terms of reusing, could have some merit. It feels very awkward to me though, as I don't know any other command that operates that way off the top of my head and this also opens up room for "Oh they're searching, I'll come back in a minute then they can't do anything even if they notice me somehow."

kahuna

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Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #57 on: September 28, 2019, 02:37:37 PM »
Rooms that have no where to hide need to break hide. That's all I have to add to this thread. It's way too unrealistic. Stealth based characters have -plenty- of opportunities to take advantage of being near impossible to see. If you're shadowing someone into their apartment that's your fault, I would totally support being crimflagged for such actions.

Let's imagine what shadowing actually is, you're following a person without their knowledge, whether its in the shadows or a slight distance, it should be impossible to shadow into certain areas of the game and that needs to be reflected or a number of reasons:
-Realism. This is something we all pride ourselves on in this game right? We want the world to feel realistic.
-Balance. Stealth based characters have had a big advantage for a while now. There's a reason Stalker is BY FAR the number one class in the game (Shabago posted the stats in another thread).

So a room-flag that breaks your hide and if you're shadowing crimflags you is what I'd like to see. Shadowing people into their apartments should be a criminal offense if someone notices and alerts the guards. They have nothing better to do but arrest your ass for any reason so why not this one as well?

kahuna

  • Posts: 202
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #58 on: September 28, 2019, 02:40:43 PM »
I'll add one more thing.. I don't think compounds should be impossible fortresses either. So while shadowing someone into a compound is possible now, I think every compound should have ways inside, whether it's climb rooms or air rooms. It's unfortunate that many of the compounds we see there is only one way in and out (codedly) linked into the game and that's the gate. It's unrealistic and should be fixed.

Dar

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Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #59 on: September 28, 2019, 02:40:58 PM »
I would support a complete overhaul of stealth and stealth related activities. But a "complete" overhaul. If you do it piecemeal, you'll be causing damage. In my opinion.

kahuna

  • Posts: 202
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #60 on: September 28, 2019, 02:50:31 PM »
I would support a complete overhaul of stealth and stealth related activities. But a "complete" overhaul. If you do it piecemeal, you'll be causing damage. In my opinion.

Why and how would you be causing damage? Specifics would be nice.

Dar

  • Posts: 1526
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #61 on: September 28, 2019, 03:59:53 PM »
being able to shadow through the door = bad
Being unable to shadow someone into compounds and making compounds impregnable = bad.
Giving a command that negates stealth at no cost = bad
Removing the strength that the entire guild is focused around = bad
Having a near magickal ability to stealth = bad.

People who like fighters want stealth nerfed.
People who like stealth doesnt want to be invalidated.


Doing piecemeal adjustments will swing the pendulum every which way, causing uproar from either one side, or another.

Armaddict

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Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #62 on: September 28, 2019, 04:35:03 PM »
being able to shadow through the door = bad
Being unable to shadow someone into compounds and making compounds impregnable = bad.
Giving a command that negates stealth at no cost = bad
Removing the strength that the entire guild is focused around = bad
Having a near magickal ability to stealth = bad.

People who like fighters want stealth nerfed.
People who like stealth doesnt want to be invalidated.


Doing piecemeal adjustments will swing the pendulum every which way, causing uproar from either one side, or another.

Early on in the thread there were actually pretty good ideas about how to move that pendulum in ways that didn't invalidate things.  I think the apartment stealthing side of things kind of swung things out of perspective and into emotional territory, even though it was addressed in some of those ideas.

Quote
If you dislike the merits of an idea, can you please try to offer constructive criticism rather than attacking the potential motivation of the person(s) behind the idea itself?

I think this starts happening because there are assumptions made first about the people using stealth and putting it in line of 'What -possible- justification do you have?  If you have one, you're a shitlord.'  That's paraphrased, of course.  Again, constructive ideas were placed in the first couple pages, I like some of them.

Stealth is one of those areas of mechanics where things can be wonky, but it's often used to fight against or protect against other wonky mechanics of the game.  There's a huge grey area of interpretation involved that say 'Well I can't climb over these walls, I'll just pretend that I am as I shadow this person in' or something like that.  Not all of these will be 100% approved by all players, but there has to be some degree of self-reliance on things that can be done without assistance, tempered by some degree of self-awareness of how far the interpretation pushes it.

I, for one, do not think it's impossible to shadow someone through a hallway, but it is nigh-impossible to squeeze into their apartment behind them without them noticing.  Improbable for the former, given some of these hallways, but that was why I liked there being some sort of follow distance involved.

I also think it's important to note that the class overhaul removed master stealth from -most- people.  This is a shallow thing to say since I'm not fully in tune with how subs are contributing and such, but I did complain about how the stealthiest class was also the only class with the ability to have a chance of scanning itself out, realistically speaking.  I think that was odd.  But non-master scan should, in theory, be more useful than it once was.

Edit:  Also, I think it's likely that an all around uncovering of all stealth things would probably become a routine use of everyone which would be kinda weird unless we make for a world where that's actually a rational action, and not just a protection against personal character loss.  Some apartments are pretty damn secure, from a long-lived burglar perspective, unless you take some serious efforts to justify bypassing the security.  We have apartment complexes with guarded gates and hallways.  If something like that went in, yes, there should be some sort of significant drawback other than a lengthy delay, or our next complaint is going to be 'They just backstabbed me with no rp while I was in the process of spotting them.'
« Last Edit: September 28, 2019, 04:38:53 PM by Armaddict »
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Bogre

  • Posts: 3313
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #63 on: September 28, 2019, 05:54:57 PM »
Just as some food for thought ideas I'll post. I'm not advocating for the nerfing of stealth characters abilities, who can already be hard pressed into character-ending discovery super easily.  Presumeably, any changes would actually offer them some benefits if it's going to be limiting their supreme ghostliness. And remember - people who achieve crazy high levels of stealth skills have given up something to do it, since a lot of the tier 1/2 classes can't max those skills, and would have put in significant time training it up.


> The way another RPI did it was to have 'hide' status visible to the player. It was pretty easy to hide; even unskilled characters could secrete themselves with some success with time. But they wouldn't be able to ghost around everywhere without some sneak ability. And their hide skill would directly oppose passive and active searching. Characters with massive stealth could often just ghost through a couple people searching a room, and even lower skilled characters were pretty skulky unless someone was actively searching them out. Often those folks searching would be overconfident that they weren't being spooked on, if they missed seeing a hidden person.

The benefit to seekers here would be an active thing, to maybe search a room and gain some bonus to spotting hidden folks. The downsides ? Delay, decreased ability to spot other stealth skills or people, and a distraction from general awareness. The benefit for sneakies: hide not being an inscrutable binary check, but a gradient that's more intuitive. Advanced/master hiders should still be really hard to find.

I don't know if the above would work in Arm, but it seems like main complaints over stealth is that its highly risky/dangerous to do stealthy stuff up until the point of achieving total ghost status.
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Hauwke

  • Posts: 1973
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #64 on: September 28, 2019, 06:15:52 PM »
It has recently come to my attention that this is a thing.

You should NOT be able to guard an exit if you are hidden. Especially if it just returns someone and not your Sdesc. Guarding, in this sense is physically putting yourself in the way, which is obvious as hell.

Edit to add: A guard check should cause you to become visible, as an alternative to flat out disallowing hide and guard to work in tandem.

If you stop someone going through a door, you should not remain hidden. If you try to stop a guy going through a door you should not remain hidden.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2019, 06:18:06 PM by Hauwke »

Dresan

  • Posts: 1306
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #65 on: September 29, 2019, 03:01:30 AM »
Unless you are playing an elf, infiltrator and scout have terrible stealth already. With an elven infiltrator with the best possible agility, stealth skills can still fail a depressing number of times even when maxed.

Ultimately the one thing all stealth classes have in common is that their combat sucks. The moment their stealth fails they are dead, either socially or literally.

If you nerf stealth in any way, combat and stealth based skills will probably also need to similar re-balancing boosts across the classes.

Keep in mind  though, not everyone enjoys the combat in this game.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2019, 03:09:38 AM by Dresan »
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Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #66 on: September 29, 2019, 10:04:02 AM »
As a whole stealth needs to be good because it's the primary tactic of an entire set of character play styles/classes. I think it's just a few niche cases that might need to be looked at.

As Hawke mentioned guarding an exit while hiding and not breaking hide if contested is weird and probably shouldn't happen.

Being able to watch a small to average sized door and having someone be able to pick it, open it, and enter, while you are physically staring at the door, but you somehow didn't notice the door opening, is weird.

Peek at times seems like it's able to see underwear or under objects that it probably shouldn't, also layers of objects, which is odd. Peek should probably be limited to container objects only.

That's all I can think of atm that I would even consider in need of adjustment.


Dresan

  • Posts: 1306
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #67 on: September 29, 2019, 10:17:22 AM »
Being able to watch a small to average sized door and having someone be able to pick it, open it, and enter, while you are physically staring at the door, but you somehow didn't notice the door opening, is weird.

I would be okay with this but with this change I would also recommend the following:
  • sleight of hand rates are improved
  • watch is changed so that the longer you watch something, the more chance you fail (becoming distracted)
  • You are able to sneak in through windows.

Basically you can close all the 'loopholes' you want, but new 'features' would need to be added to allow the same thing you are trying to prevent.
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Mercy

  • Posts: 115
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #68 on: September 29, 2019, 10:45:55 AM »
Unless you are playing an elf, infiltrator and scout have terrible stealth already. With an elven infiltrator with the best possible agility, stealth skills can still fail a depressing number of times even when maxed.

Honestly, I think stealth needs to be more normalized and less random. A single persistent flat roll for the duration, with bonuses coming from rooms, means your sneak check won't suddenly fail on you and expose you to the world without you know. Additionally, I think if you're being obviously bad  the game should tell you (I.E. the crowd in this room is particularly thin and you look like a weird creep hunched in the middle of no one. You tripped over someone's table and are making noise, or you tried to fit behind something to cover yourself from a mark, only to realize half the room has a perfect viewing angle on you and maybe it's time to go). I don't like that you have no idea how terrible you're being at stealth. There is a certain margin for error when you're not being bad and someone is just attentive enough and you should get no warning for that. But when the Half-Giant really busy trying to get a kank-fly out of his nose sees you saunter into the room with all the subtlety of a mekillot carrying a salt worm, you probably would know you're not doing so hot.

Additionally whenever your timer runs out, I'd love for there to be some notification. This is for all of the 'toggle' duration skills. It seems very odd to me that when my character has basically decided "I don't wanna listen so hard anymore" I have no way of realize outside of setting something on my prompt, or manually checking the status. Maybe add a brief option to gag this for people who prefer the way things are now. But it just seems jarring more than anything.

And I agree whole heartedly with the whole guard/hide interaction. It might warrant submitting a request about that so staff actually sees it in a timely fashion if they aren't particularly keen on perusing this thread. It seems extra bizarre. I would posit that if you're guarding an exit and stop someone who is hidden you should reveal them as well if it doesn't already work that way. Obviously if you don't it shouldn't reveal them (I can see realism/immersion arguments against this but ultimately I don't think it's fair or makes the most sense). There's a lot to be said about door interactions and stealth, but at this point I don't even wanna go there.


Brokkr

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  • Posts: 898
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #69 on: September 29, 2019, 11:46:58 AM »
Being able to watch a small to average sized door and having someone be able to pick it, open it, and enter, while you are physically staring at the door, but you somehow didn't notice the door opening, is weird.

Not possible unless they are using magick.

Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #70 on: September 29, 2019, 12:18:16 PM »
Being able to watch a small to average sized door and having someone be able to pick it, open it, and enter, while you are physically staring at the door, but you somehow didn't notice the door opening, is weird.

Not possible unless they are using magick.

*chin stroke*

Harmless

  • Posts: 2813
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #71 on: September 29, 2019, 01:45:40 PM »
There was an awesome player submitted log of an assassin hiding for hours doing that, on a ledge, high up, so that it made sense that they stayed hidden watching a conversation between noble marks. In that tale the assassin threw out feels of her muscles aching from the sustained waiting, aching for the observed conversation she spied on to end -- but she wasn't experiencing any coded stress at all, she stayed hidden just fine doing nothing.

I think instead of flagging a room no_hide, it could be flagged difficult_hide or no_cover or quiet, where you can still hide in it, but it requires such stillness/positioning/effort to maintain lack of notice (such as in a totally quiet room or clear area) that you expend move or maybe stun points over time by sustaining it, getting harder to sustain the longer you hold it, and risk exhausting yourself by waiting too long.

These rooms will warn you when you hide in them, that you have no "cover" be it noise or objects or vNPCs and so staying hidden requires intense concentration/effort.
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number13

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Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #72 on: October 01, 2019, 02:22:08 AM »
^a great idea.

Brokkr

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Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #73 on: October 01, 2019, 12:34:19 PM »
My take on stealth is that I used to like to play the game Thief.

Veselka

  • Posts: 1111
Re: Sneaking and Hiding: A complete overhaul
« Reply #74 on: October 01, 2019, 05:27:52 PM »
My take on stealth is that I used to like to play the game Thief.

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