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Stealth Overhaul Suggestions - NinjaNoSpyNoMo


CrownOfShadows

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A lot of people like the stealth elements of WF and wish there were more. Also, a lot of people hate the stealth elements and wish they didn't exit at all.

Should the stealth aspect of WF be encouraged and expanded or destroyed and eliminated? Or perhaps simply tolerated?

Positive aspects of stealth:

  • plays into the "ninja ideal"
  • great alternative to the standard gameplay of hack 'n slash

Negative aspects:

  • can be cheesed easily, making it trivial
  • no consequences for failure, other than reward table
  • reward table is often trivial compared to other 'simpler' mission types
  • it's hard / slow

How, IMO, we might improve Stealth and Spy:

  • Failure system ramp-up: currently, failing to hack a vault results only in failing to get the rewards. While this might seem like a potent drawback, it's not, because it's RNG. You have an x/n chance of having not lost anything worthwhile at all. And if you're at a certain level, no matter what you get it will be useless to you. What? I need the 15th installment of a rare mod? Yeah, not that much, thanks. Do I need to farm Ivara again? Nope, got her 2x+prime, thanks. Increasing the failure potential, even without increasing the rewards, would help a lot. Why? On the surface, not much, because the system doesn't care if you triggered the alarm or not, as long as you hack the console. I propose making the console hacking the essential piece IN ADDITION to triggering the alarm. In this scenario, triggering the alarm forfeits rewards. Why is this good? For a lot of lazy people, it's not, but for people who enjoy spy, well, this is what spy is all about. Don't get caught. Besides, ciphers and perspicacity would still get you through - except maybe for some elite spy stuff where not even that works.
  • Alarm system improvements: comparing WF's stealth to other games, it's easy to be disappointed. WF's version of stealth is not very well realized, and yet it's honestly not that far from being good either. I think a few things would really help this game mode.
    • Make the alarm meaningful:  my go-to comparison is always Metal Gear, such an awesome stealth game, kinda my gold standard tbh. When the alarm triggers in Metal Gear, you go 'Oh Sh*T'. When the alarm triggers in WF, you go 'meh, whatever'. This should change, this right here. This is a major problem. Contributing to this is>.....
  • AI improvements: right, so the 2nd thing that needs to change is the AI response. This is 3-fold in WF, I think:
    • First, we need an improvement on the alert status. We ALREADY have alert status on enemies. They have the "?" 'huh? what's goin'-on here?' already. We just need improvement, where they actually investigate and search for you, instead of basically reverting to their default AI. Yes, they need to hunt for the intruder, like any normal security force. Adding a HUD element that shows their vision would be helpful, simply because it adds both suspense and precision, but not massively necessary. You need to fear their search, really fear it. That's what makes stealth great >....
    • Second, we need THREAT. Honestly, nothing is more important than this. There needs to be a threat attached to alarm triggeration. What, are those sentry drones going to kill you? HA! They don't even attack you, chump. In MG, when you trigger the alarm, you're in real danger. That's what we need here. Trigger the alarm, and suddenly you have an actual SECURITY FORCE coming at you who CAN KILL YOU and you CANNOT JUST SUPER-hack the console and run away. Lock the console, locks the doors, summon reinforcements, force the player to run and hide... then as the player force an eventual alarm de-escalation, and then a re-entry. Stealth is all about avoiding enemies because you cannot handle them. IF the enemies find you, they should be able to kill you. It doesn't have to be 100%, in fact it shouldn't be, but you should be in real fear. And death probably should not respawn you where you are, but at the beginning or some other marked point. Currently, if you are discovered, no sh*ts given, you just kill everyone and super-hack, (why did I even bother with stealth in the first place?). This is not what stealth is about. Making this happen in WF may require a special "Vault Guard" AI that are super strong (scaling off you?) and are way above average on their threat-assessment/threat management. Giving them the ability to reveal cloaked units when alerted is also probably desirable. Likewise either immunity or massive resistance to abilities is probably desirable, along with a robust set of stats. Surely state secrets are not guarded by some grineer/corpus out of basic? Pathetic! Even further, within the 'Vault Guard' we might want special forces: especially elite Vault Guards that will wreck your world and then some if they spot you. These might act as a SWAT in addition to their regular close-to-vault spawn too; if the regular security is having trouble putting you down, after a certain amount of time, they call in the SWAT. This would require a strong AI overhaul, but it would be worth it for stealth IMO. Basically, we would want to make it impossible to brute force your way into the primary objectives, or at the very least make it take way longer than using stealth. Currently, this is pretty much medium opposite, you can stealth a bit and then brute force your way through the rest if you need to. It should actually get harder to brute force your way through the close you get to your objectives.
    • Third, we might want to give security cameras - or perhaps only upgraded special-purpose security cameras - the ability to see cloaked units. Why? Because this would mean we would actually have to give a sh*t about the camera rotation and approach when it's out of view, instead of not caring about it at all. Literally, not at all. Why even have camera rotation when it means nothing? Make it a real obstacle to deal with instead of something to be ignored? Yeah, more interesting. In addition/coordination with this, we might have searchlights.
    • Fourth, in coordination with the above, we need Darkness.  Who woulda thought, darkness is great for stealth? Does darkness exist in WF? Kinda.... But to truly capitalize on this, we really would want levels designed with stealth and darkness in mind. This is probably the higher effort aspect of advancing stealth in WF, but it would contribute immeasurably to the atmosphere of alternative play. This definitely requires smart AI integration with light and alerts, as well as good stealth level lighting and level design.
  • More mission types: there is SO much more to stealth gaming than our current spy missions. Here's some suggestions for how we might tweak WF's Stealth:
    • Total Spy: imagine a game mode where all 4 players are invisible, and must religiously maintain their invisibility, and work together. Imagine 4 Ivaras, or 4 Lokis, or any combination thereof (or the other 'stealth' frames), all working together to disable security systems and eliminate the enemy and infiltrate secure compounds and steal secrets from mainframes. This is what spy should be. Currently it's a quick wu-cloud, (ignore enemey) auto-hack, wu-cloud, auto-hack, etc. Make it a real process, one that actually involves the enemy, one where an alert has disastrous consequences for the entire team, where an alert forces everyone to hide like school girls. By it's very nature, this would make wu-cloud less desirable, and yet not un-serviceable. With camera upgrades and alert upgrades and AI upgrades, this should be easy to achieve.
    • Deep Spy: imagine a solo spy mode. Indeed, I actually think spy shines brightest in the solo mode. Why? It increases pressure on the individual player, and thus it increases suspense. A team will carry you (omg the spy sortie leeches are real), but solo, you have to carry yourself. Spy is by it's very nature solo-oriented. Because of the added time investment here for solo players I would recommend either increased rewards for solo execution, and/or separate tiles for solo play. Ideally, a solo player, instead of hacking 3 separate vaults, would hack 2 levels of a single vault and then the vault itself.
    • Asymmetric Spy: introduce a variant game mode that requires one spy character while the rest are standard wreck-the-map types. Have them do spy things the entire time while the rest of the team does hack-n-slash. Adjust rewards accordingly. Have spy character's actions benefit, but not be essential in any respect to the rest of the team, and vice versa - the hack-n-slash might clear areas or otherwise benefit the Spy character, and since this isn't PvP, the two aspects can freely overlap at any point. Probably, scale some independent rewards, so that the spy character not doing their job is mostly a detriment to themselves, and the PvP characters not doing their job is likewise mostly a detriment to them rather than the spy character.
    • Total Raid Spy: take spy to the next level with a sortie-like raid/quest that is completely oriented around stealth. Give players a multi-mission spy engagement, escalating in difficulty. This would be like Total Spy on steroids, and would ideally include amped up versions of Vault Gaurd AI and Elite Vault Guard AI.
    • All-Mission Spy: don't get detected even once. Stealth kills on every enemy, no alarms triggered.  I'd actually like a more fluid kill-to-kill animation system in place for this, where you could stab one, silencer-shoot another, and then stab a third all in the time it takes to perform a standard finisher animation. I think this mode has a lot of potential, especially since a fair number of people run missions like this already. We'd probably want to feather the rewards a bit, so that getting detected results in less rewards rather than none, OR overhaul the respawn system for stealth so that detection = death and death =respawn point (NOT your current position) - this honestly sounds like a good stealth mechanic to move towards.
    • Split Reward Missions: create a bunch of enticing missions that can be completed either way - stealth or destruction, but offer different rewards for each. This is honestly how I would've designed ALL mission to work, as it would offer alternative gameplay options for every mission (and eh, i guess in some sense we got this in the form of stealth farm, although it's not all that satisfying). This would be primarily achievable solo, but if you got an intelligent squad together, could also be done that way. I would scale the rewards accordingly, with public destruction at the low end, and private spy at the high end (simply because it requires a lot more effort). You could also vary rewards based on alarm time, if alarm improvements were made.
    • Puzzle Spy: this is kinda what Lua spy/puzzle is, but Lua spy is a bit too convoluted, at least for the reward offered compared to other spy. I think there's a lot of potential here, but a good deal of caution is needed too. Ideally, this is a sort of an Uncharted type of puzzle, where multiple things either need to be in order or need to be active simultaneously to unlock something (ik "we already have this" except it's a bit too clumsily implemented - compare it to Uncharted, where there's some natural level guidance and it's just generally more forgiving, also, there's a lot to be said for being in sight of and/or in easy reach of everything you need to make something work). While there is also multiplayer potential here, I think Lua puzzle boxes taught us that getting people together for this is really hard and should be avoided - I would orient it towards solo exploration. Likewise, I would scale the rewards based on average solve time, and I would make the rewards in general much better than any other mission type (compare deimos vaults or nightmare to lua puzzle) simply because it requires thought and time and consideration. Randomizing the puzzles somewhat (note that while current spy missions involve random tilesets, the actual spy section itself is NEVER random) might help with repeat-spam.
    • Hybrid Spy: make a spy mission where you need to be part brawler and part spy. To do this succesfully while staying separate from current spy, we'd want to be total spy for the first 4/5ths of the mission, but then at the end force a mini-boss encounter that requires you to fight in the open, with most (if not all) of your usual spy gimmicks rendered ineffectual).
    • Spy Meter: since spy is such a minor subset of the overall missions in WF, we could actually make running Spy missions fill a meter, like Fomorian/Razorback, where the whole community contributes to a hacking meter, perhaps faction based, and once full, a special 'super spy' mission is unlocked for people who contributed [x] amount of spy to it, with special rewards. Alternatively, this could be clan-based, with a clan spy meter. Another and possibly better alternative, would be to have a personal spy meter, where completing [x] # of spy missions (without alarms?) unlocks something for you - cyclic, like NW.
    • Got any other ideas? I'm just spitballing up here.
  • Animation Improvements: to have a really successful spy alternative gameplay, we REALLY need some animation/programming improvements:
    • Cornering & Crouch-Firing: a staple of pretty much every stealth game, cornering allows you to hide behind walls and fire strategic shots around the corner. This is a very nice middle ground sort of play style in between stealth and dynasty warriors, and one WF is definitely lacking in. Similarly, we can crouch, but we can't crouch and shoot over our head. I submit that this should be rectified, and if we wanted a bit of tactics associated with it, well - only allow secondaries to be shot from a crouched position (and a cornering position, for that matter). Simply providing these abilities results in more stealth, but it really also needs to be combined with threat level. If the enemy can pump a bajillion rounds of ammo into you without effect then why should you hide at all? But if a few round will kill you, then yeah, you need to hide.
    • Crawling: we don't have a crawl in WF, and it would also help a lot with stealth, especially in coordination with enemy AI alerts. Just jumping up and running like a fool across an open space should trigger an alarm, but strategically crawling and crouching behind obstacles ...... that's stealth. Any non-stealthy action should be punished, tbh. Rolling might be a bit of a middle ground. But jumping and bullet gliding - i mean, the enemy is going to see that, if they had eyes and brains. An addition benefit of crawling is that it opens the possibility for special stealth geography. Yes, we already have vent systems, but we don't need to crawl through them. Adding crawl-only vents and other bits would create an entire stealth tier to levels. In combination with our already built-in auto-light this should be fine, and I see no real reason why our current frames can't adopt a universal crawl animation.

Investing in Stealth is probably better than Abandoning it:

We already have a lot of tech and programming invested in stealth. It would probably be just as much work to destroy it at this point as it would be to invest in it and make it more robust.

Having alternative gameplay is good for the health of the system. Archwing helped this, and necramech, and operator, but spy is the OG alternative, and even archwing-necramech are still basically hack-n-slash, with operator also now not really giving any f*cks about brawling. It's probably about time stealth got some love. Leaving it to rot it is fine, that's just kinda what we got, but the more WF advances the more these antiquated stealth mechanics become obsolete. Also, call me crazy, but I think a good number of tenno would love expanded stealth systems.

Further, this would open the way for more stealth frames to be developed, with ever more interesting mechanics/possibilities/themes.

----------------------------------

Got thoughts?

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Some of it is interesting in idea, why do players keep creating threads on stealth changes though, for the worse in some of the scenarios, yes I have played Metal Gear Solid way back when it came out on console, the changes you're after seem similar in that game. 

I like the stealth mechanics in WF, it got me through the early days of the game in some missions while learning them or when I'm feeling in a cbf'd mood, so nothing to change imo, those who hate it can just ignore what we who like it. 

If I want full stealth mechanics I'll go play my Assassins Creed franchise.

In higher missions you can be killed for not getting the hack in time so there's that, other than lost rewards for that cycle.

To be blunt why don't you just play Metal Gear Solid if you're after more danger/threat level, also In this game under the wrong circumstances at times you can get reemed six ways to sunday when you're stealth, so creating more environments on top of this will make what a stealth frame mechanic relies on to stay alive way harder.

Some enemies in the game at present can see stealth frames so increasing the danger might just make another genre of frame harder to play like DE's latest changes in enemy abilities has made it more awkward to play CC frames.

I like some of the Spy changes in regards to,

Total Spy: would be hard to implement because I'd say only big Clans could be that coordinated, the rest though we are talking humans working together. lol

Deep Spy: I think we already have missions like that in game now that should come close like Kuva Fortress and the new Spys on the Corpus ships one vault in a way cannot be brute forced you need to hack both consoles to raise a cover to even get to the vault console.

The rest of the Spy ideas are interesting but would need a lot of coordination again.

Puzzle Spy: Sounds interesting but in a Sortie environment fail one because of a glitch or forgeting the backdoor methods like Lua past/present would suck if you failed the mission to many times, hence why it was removed from the sortie rotation. 

 

Your layout wall of text is hard to read, I broke it apart so I could follow it better.

8 minutes ago, CrownOfShadows said:

A lot of people like the stealth elements of WF and wish there were more. Also, a lot of people hate the stealth elements and wish they didn't exit at all.

Should the stealth aspect of WF be encouraged and expanded or destroyed and eliminated? Or perhaps simply tolerated?

Positive aspects of stealth:

  • plays into the "ninja ideal"
  • great alternative to the standard gameplay of hack 'n slash

Negative aspects:

  • can be cheesed easily, making it trivial
  • no consequences for failure, other than reward table
  • reward table is often trivial compared to other 'simpler' mission types
  • it's hard / slow

How, IMO, we might improve Stealth and Spy:

  • Failure system ramp-up: currently, failing to hack a vault results only in failing to get the rewards. While this might seem like a potent drawback, it's not, because it's RNG. You have an x/n chance of having not lost anything worthwhile at all. And if you're at a certain level, no matter what you get it will be useless to you. What? I need the 15th installment of a rare mod? Yeah, not that much, thanks. Do I need to farm Ivara again? Nope, got her 2x+prime, thanks. Increasing the failure potential, even without increasing the rewards, would help a lot. Why? On the surface, not much, because the system doesn't care if you triggered the alarm or not, as long as you hack the console. I propose making the console hacking the essential piece IN ADDITION to triggering the alarm. In this scenario, triggering the alarm forfeits rewards. Why is this good? For a lot of lazy people, it's not, but for people who enjoy spy, well, this is what spy is all about. Don't get caught. Besides, ciphers and perspicacity would still get you through - except maybe for some elite spy stuff where not even that works.
  •  
  • Alarm system improvements: comparing WF's stealth to other games, it's easy to be disappointed. WF's version of stealth is not very well realized, and yet it's honestly not that far from being good either. I think a few things would really help this game mode.
     
    • Make the alarm meaningful:  my go-to comparison is always Metal Gear, such an awesome stealth game, kinda my gold standard tbh. When the alarm triggers in Metal Gear, you go 'Oh Sh*T'. When the alarm triggers in WF, you go 'meh, whatever'. This should change, this right here. This is a major problem. Contributing to this is>.....
       
  • AI improvements: right, so the 2nd thing that needs to change is the AI response. This is 3-fold in WF, I think:
    • First, we need an improvement on the alert status. We ALREADY have alert status on enemies. They have the "?" 'huh? what's goin'-on here?' already. We just need improvement, where they actually investigate and search for you, instead of basically reverting to their default AI. Yes, they need to hunt for the intruder, like any normal security force. Adding a HUD element that shows their vision would be helpful, simply because it adds both suspense and precision, but not massively necessary. You need to fear their search, really fear it. That's what makes stealth great >....
       
    • Second, we need THREAT. Honestly, nothing is more important than this. There needs to be a threat attached to alarm triggeration. What, are those sentry drones going to kill you? HA! They don't even attack you, chump. In MG, when you trigger the alarm, you're in real danger. That's what we need here. Trigger the alarm, and suddenly you have an actual SECURITY FORCE coming at you who CAN KILL YOU and you CANNOT JUST SUPER-hack the console and run away. Lock the console, locks the doors, summon reinforcements, force the player to run and hide... then as the player force an eventual alarm de-escalation, and then a re-entry. Stealth is all about avoiding enemies because you cannot handle them. IF the enemies find you, they should be able to kill you. It doesn't have to be 100%, in fact it shouldn't be, but you should be in real fear. And death probably should not respawn you where you are, but at the beginning or some other marked point. Currently, if you are discovered, no sh*ts given, you just kill everyone and super-hack, (why did I even bother with stealth in the first place?). This is not what stealth is about. Making this happen in WF may require a special "Vault Guard" AI that are super strong (scaling off you?) and are way above average on their threat-assessment/threat management. Giving them the ability to reveal cloaked units when alerted is also probably desirable. Likewise either immunity or massive resistance to abilities is probably desirable, along with a robust set of stats. Surely state secrets are not guarded by some grineer/corpus out of basic? Pathetic! Even further, within the 'Vault Guard' we might want special forces: especially elite Vault Guards that will wreck your world and then some if they spot you. These might act as a SWAT in addition to their regular close-to-vault spawn too; if the regular security is having trouble putting you down, after a certain amount of time, they call in the SWAT. This would require a strong AI overhaul, but it would be worth it for stealth IMO. Basically, we would want to make it impossible to brute force your way into the primary objectives, or at the very least make it take way longer than using stealth. Currently, this is pretty much medium opposite, you can stealth a bit and then brute force your way through the rest if you need to. It should actually get harder to brute force your way through the close you get to your objectives.
       
    • Third, we might want to give security cameras - or perhaps only upgraded special-purpose security cameras - the ability to see cloaked units. Why? Because this would mean we would actually have to give a sh*t about the camera rotation and approach when it's out of view, instead of not caring about it at all. Literally, not at all. Why even have camera rotation when it means nothing? Make it a real obstacle to deal with instead of something to be ignored? Yeah, more interesting. In addition/coordination with this, we might have searchlights.
       
    • Fourth, in coordination with the above, we need Darkness.  Who woulda thought, darkness is great for stealth? Does darkness exist in WF? Kinda.... But to truly capitalize on this, we really would want levels designed with stealth and darkness in mind. This is probably the higher effort aspect of advancing stealth in WF, but it would contribute immeasurably to the atmosphere of alternative play. This definitely requires smart AI integration with light and alerts, as well as good stealth level lighting and level design.
    •  
  • More mission types: there is SO much more to stealth gaming than our current spy missions. Here's some suggestions for how we might tweak WF's Stealth:
     
    • Total Spy: imagine a game mode where all 4 players are invisible, and must religiously maintain their invisibility, and work together. Imagine 4 Ivaras, or 4 Lokis, or any combination thereof (or the other 'stealth' frames), all working together to disable security systems and eliminate the enemy and infiltrate secure compounds and steal secrets from mainframes. This is what spy should be. Currently it's a quick wu-cloud, (ignore enemey) auto-hack, wu-cloud, auto-hack, etc. Make it a real process, one that actually involves the enemy, one where an alert has disastrous consequences for the entire team, where an alert forces everyone to hide like school girls. By it's very nature, this would make wu-cloud less desirable, and yet not un-serviceable. With camera upgrades and alert upgrades and AI upgrades, this should be easy to achieve.
    •  
    • Deep Spy: imagine a solo spy mode. Indeed, I actually think spy shines brightest in the solo mode. Why? It increases pressure on the individual player, and thus it increases suspense. A team will carry you (omg the spy sortie leeches are real), but solo, you have to carry yourself. Spy is by it's very nature solo-oriented. Because of the added time investment here for solo players I would recommend either increased rewards for solo execution, and/or separate tiles for solo play. Ideally, a solo player, instead of hacking 3 separate vaults, would hack 2 levels of a single vault and then the vault itself.
    •  
    • Asymmetric Spy: introduce a variant game mode that requires one spy character while the rest are standard wreck-the-map types. Have them do spy things the entire time while the rest of the team does hack-n-slash. Adjust rewards accordingly. Have spy character's actions benefit, but not be essential in any respect to the rest of the team, and vice versa - the hack-n-slash might clear areas or otherwise benefit the Spy character, and since this isn't PvP, the two aspects can freely overlap at any point. Probably, scale some independent rewards, so that the spy character not doing their job is mostly a detriment to themselves, and the PvP characters not doing their job is likewise mostly a detriment to them rather than the spy character.
    •  
    • Total Raid Spy: take spy to the next level with a sortie-like raid/quest that is completely oriented around stealth. Give players a multi-mission spy engagement, escalating in difficulty. This would be like Total Spy on steroids, and would ideally include amped up versions of Vault Gaurd AI and Elite Vault Guard AI.
    • All-Mission Spy: don't get detected even once. Stealth kills on every enemy, no alarms triggered.  I'd actually like a more fluid kill-to-kill animation system in place for this, where you could stab one, silencer-shoot another, and then stab a third all in the time it takes to perform a standard finisher animation. I think this mode has a lot of potential, especially since a fair number of people run missions like this already. We'd probably want to feather the rewards a bit, so that getting detected results in less rewards rather than none, OR overhaul the respawn system for stealth so that detection = death and death =respawn point (NOT your current position) - this honestly sounds like a good stealth mechanic to move towards.
    • Split Reward Missions: create a bunch of enticing missions that can be completed either way - stealth or destruction, but offer different rewards for each. This is honestly how I would've designed ALL mission to work, as it would offer alternative gameplay options for every mission (and eh, i guess in some sense we got this in the form of stealth farm, although it's not all that satisfying). This would be primarily achievable solo, but if you got an intelligent squad together, could also be done that way. I would scale the rewards accordingly, with public destruction at the low end, and private spy at the high end (simply because it requires a lot more effort). You could also vary rewards based on alarm time, if alarm improvements were made.
    •  
    • Puzzle Spy: this is kinda what Lua spy/puzzle is, but Lua spy is a bit too convoluted, at least for the reward offered compared to other spy. I think there's a lot of potential here, but a good deal of caution is needed too. Ideally, this is a sort of an Uncharted type of puzzle, where multiple things either need to be in order or need to be active simultaneously to unlock something (ik "we already have this" except it's a bit too clumsily implemented - compare it to Uncharted, where there's some natural level guidance and it's just generally more forgiving, also, there's a lot to be said for being in sight of and/or in easy reach of everything you need to make something work). While there is also multiplayer potential here, I think Lua puzzle boxes taught us that getting people together for this is really hard and should be avoided - I would orient it towards solo exploration. Likewise, I would scale the rewards based on average solve time, and I would make the rewards in general much better than any other mission type (compare deimos vaults or nightmare to lua puzzle) simply because it requires thought and time and consideration. Randomizing the puzzles somewhat (note that while current spy missions involve random tilesets, the actual spy section itself is NEVER random) might help with repeat-spam.
    •  
    • Hybrid Spy: make a spy mission where you need to be part brawler and part spy. To do this succesfully while staying separate from current spy, we'd want to be total spy for the first 4/5ths of the mission, but then at the end force a mini-boss encounter that requires you to fight in the open, with most (if not all) of your usual spy gimmicks rendered ineffectual).
    •  
    • Spy Meter: since spy is such a minor subset of the overall missions in WF, we could actually make running Spy missions fill a meter, like Fomorian/Razorback, where the whole community contributes to a hacking meter, perhaps faction based, and once full, a special 'super spy' mission is unlocked for people who contributed [x] amount of spy to it, with special rewards. Alternatively, this could be clan-based, with a clan spy meter. Another and possibly better alternative, would be to have a personal spy meter, where completing [x] # of spy missions (without alarms?) unlocks something for you - cyclic, like NW.
    • Got any other ideas? I'm just spitballing up here.
    •  
  • Animation Improvements: to have a really successful spy alternative gameplay, we REALLY need some animation/programming improvements:
    • Cornering & Crouch-Firing: a staple of pretty much every stealth game, cornering allows you to hide behind walls and fire strategic shots around the corner. This is a very nice middle ground sort of play style in between stealth and dynasty warriors, and one WF is definitely lacking in. Similarly, we can crouch, but we can't crouch and shoot over our head. I submit that this should be rectified, and if we wanted a bit of tactics associated with it, well - only allow secondaries to be shot from a crouched position (and a cornering position, for that matter). Simply providing these abilities results in more stealth, but it really also needs to be combined with threat level. If the enemy can pump a bajillion rounds of ammo into you without effect then why should you hide at all? But if a few round will kill you, then yeah, you need to hide.
    •  
    • Crawling: we don't have a crawl in WF, and it would also help a lot with stealth, especially in coordination with enemy AI alerts. Just jumping up and running like a fool across an open space should trigger an alarm, but strategically crawling and crouching behind obstacles ...... that's stealth. Any non-stealthy action should be punished, tbh. Rolling might be a bit of a middle ground. But jumping and bullet gliding - i mean, the enemy is going to see that, if they had eyes and brains. An addition benefit of crawling is that it opens the possibility for special stealth geography. Yes, we already have vent systems, but we don't need to crawl through them. Adding crawl-only vents and other bits would create an entire stealth tier to levels. In combination with our already built-in auto-light this should be fine, and I see no real reason why our current frames can't adopt a universal crawl animation.

Investing in Stealth is probably better than Abandoning it:

We already have a lot of tech and programming invested in stealth. It would probably be just as much work to destroy it at this point as it would be to invest in it and make it more robust.

Having alternative gameplay is good for the health of the system. Archwing helped this, and necramech, and operator, but spy is the OG alternative, and even archwing-necramech are still basically hack-n-slash, with operator also now not really giving any f*cks about brawling. It's probably about time stealth got some love. Leaving it to rot it is fine, that's just kinda what we got, but the more WF advances the more these antiquated stealth mechanics become obsolete. Also, call me crazy, but I think a good number of tenno would love expanded stealth systems.

Further, this would open the way for more stealth frames to be developed, with ever more interesting mechanics/possibilities/themes.

----------------------------------

Got thoughts?

Just a few thoughts, disclaimer they are my thoughts and if anyone doesn't like them then bad luck. :laugh::tongue:

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I think stealth / invisibility in Warframe is best leveraged as counter-play of some sort, something that's kind of lacking. For example, our current recourse when faced with groups of ranged enemies, because they're always everywhere, is largely 1. kill everything first or 2. cheese (massive tankiness with regen, turning off AI with Resonator, etc.). There's not a lot of global counterplay, not the same sort you can find when facing Infested: they're melee so gain elevation and stay out of their claws. Any Warframe can do that with the parkour system. And that makes it feel pleasantly interactive. At least when you don't lean on the cheddar.

As for what's suggested here...let me get this straight:

  1. You point out mediocre rewards is a drawback of Spy
  2. You make those rewards able to be lost entirely by triggering an alarm
  3. You increase the complexity and danger of even vanilla Spy missions (despite "it's hard / slow" being a listed downside)
  4. No apparent changes to the reward structure exist (despite "mediocre rewards" being listed as a downside)

How is this improved? Sure, you fix two out of the four downsides to Spy missions, but do so in a way that exacerbates the other two. And with the result being the most complicated mission type available, with such a hard fail state, it makes me question one of the upsides: that it's a good alternative to hack'n'slash gameplay. I like Spy missions and love alternatives to mass-murder mission types, from Capture to Sabotage to Void Flood, yet this makes me want to avoid Spy missions if at all possible.

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12 minutes ago, Tyreaus said:

I think stealth / invisibility in Warframe is best leveraged as counter-play of some sort, something that's kind of lacking. For example, our current recourse when faced with groups of ranged enemies, because they're always everywhere, is largely 1. kill everything first or 2. cheese (massive tankiness with regen, turning off AI with Resonator, etc.). There's not a lot of global counterplay, not the same sort you can find when facing Infested: they're melee so gain elevation and stay out of their claws. Any Warframe can do that with the parkour system. And that makes it feel pleasantly interactive. At least when you don't lean on the cheddar.

As for what's suggested here...let me get this straight:

  1. You point out mediocre rewards is a drawback of Spy
  2. You make those rewards able to be lost entirely by triggering an alarm
  3. You increase the complexity and danger of even vanilla Spy missions (despite "it's hard / slow" being a listed downside)
  4. No apparent changes to the reward structure exist (despite "mediocre rewards" being listed as a downside)

How is this improved? Sure, you fix two out of the four downsides to Spy missions, but do so in a way that exacerbates the other two. And with the result being the most complicated mission type available, with such a hard fail state, it makes me question one of the upsides: that it's a good alternative to hack'n'slash gameplay. I like Spy missions and love alternatives to mass-murder mission types, from Capture to Sabotage to Void Flood, yet this makes me want to avoid Spy missions if at all possible.

I'm open to suggestions.

Sorry I forgot about talking about rewards.

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Ah, you reminded me of the good old days back when Maniacs and Bursas used to be threatening, and triggering the alarm WAS an 'oh sh*t' moment. Bursas would steam roll you, and Maniacs would pounce on you and tear you to pieces. I miss those days...

Honestly, I think DE gave up on the idea of implementing decent stealth the day that they kicked Loki off of the starter roster. Personally I would love to see more done with stealth, and have done since the beginning (chose Loki as my starter for that reason), but I don't see it ever happening sadly... unless they bring back more of the stealth sections from The New War into Duviri, that's maybe about as far as they'll potentially go with it (even then, that section was akin to easy mode on MGS).

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8 hours ago, CrownOfShadows said:

I'm open to suggestions.

Sorry I forgot about talking about rewards.

Well, for invisibility specifically, something that could be leveraged is a thing like Wisp's passive. For example, you could bullet jump, gain a handful of seconds of invisibility (as long as you don't attack anything), and that would allow the player to reposition. Could be that melee enemies basically see through it - which also makes it easy to tell who can still see you - but it'd allow counter-play with ranged ones. Maybe a few tweaks to AI so they don't glue onto the player as soon as they become visible and you could get some decent strategy out of the ability. That isn't addressing a downside, it's just something I'd like to see.

Meanwhile, invisibility abilities - not the above mechanic - could do the same thing invisibility in other games does: drastically lower detection range. So the player can't just sit there and never get targeted, they need to be cognizant of what's around them and be ready to hop out and reposition as needed. That helps curtail the cheese, especially if considering things like cameras and other sensors to have set detection ranges (that can't be shortened).

For missions and general stealth, it's a bit less "counter-play" and more "alternate style of play". Variable mission lengths and enemy spawns. Take a Spy mission. If you take the time to stealth through, raise no alarms, alert no enemies, whatsoever, you do vault A and go back to extract. Alert things and you'll be doing A and B. Trigger alarms, and it's all 3. Respective alert states increase enemy spawns, too, which adds to the kill counter on something like Exterminate. Life support drain and rotation timers on Survival, enemy counts and time defending on Defense, so on and so forth. There's some details that would need to be hashed for how it works in some missions (exactly how Defense may operate with stealth could be iffy - perhaps making enemies not target the defense objective at all unless they're alerted, enabling stealthy assassinations to clear small waves), how to reset it, alert states being polished up so one enemy seeing his buddy die in some random corner of the map doesn't wreck the whole thing immediately, etc. But that's the general idea.

That handles both stealth being slow (by literally shortening mission lengths for taking the slow route) and having consequences for failure (because if you take your time stealthing and screw up, your mission now takes longer - it's a risk-reward). And, obviously, it fixes reward pools because, it being a universal mechanic, it involves all reward pools. It's a style of play instead of something you go to do in Spy.

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5 hours ago, Tyreaus said:

That handles both stealth being slow (by literally shortening mission lengths for taking the slow route) and having consequences for failure (because if you take your time stealthing and screw up, your mission now takes longer - it's a risk-reward). And, obviously, it fixes reward pools because, it being a universal mechanic, it involves all reward pools. It's a style of play instead of something you go to do in Spy.

Idk if making all frames go into stealth on a bullet jump is going to help stealth - I feel like that's just going to add aerial DR for the people who already jump around and be used more in regular play than in spy. Being able to actually use it in a spy mission where you aren't seen by an enemy, then are about to be, then bullet jump to stealth, and then also land out of their view seems like an edge case. You seem to be connecting it to cameras though - are you suggesting that bullet-jumping through camera views as a special case should act as a stealth? That could be interesting. I think most vault cameras guard doors rather than corridors though, so it wouldn't help with those much.

Not sure if I follow you on this mission stuff. So you want to improve stealth by adding it to all mission types as an alternative way of completing them?

As for the reward example you have here, what about the Spy reward tier, where the rarest items are in rotation C. If you could just finish the mission by only doing one vault, you'd only ever get the A rotation.

For stuff like defense your suggestion has some potential (could use it to create a shield for the objective too, or lock off an entry point to make defending easier), but I feel like just slapping consoles and a trip-wire or two everywhere would get pretty annoying too, and would probably feel like a token stealth gimmick rather than an alternative playstyle. Like, I think this might work, and it sounds a lot like my asymmetric spy suggestion except it's forced into every mission in the game. Maybe I don't have a clear vision of what you're proposing, but I'm just imagining like a mini-vault that does something to shorten a mission, and given how people just try to bulldoze spy in general, I feel like a shorter and easier to complete version would end up with people not caring about the stealth aspects at all and just charging through as Rhino or whatever and trying to get to console - if it doesn't work, no matter, just back to the mission. Why bother bringing a stealth frame if it's only going to be good for hacking the one console that might save a little time? (And everyone would just wukong it ofc, because he's everything in one). Like to make it a playstyle, you have to actually get people to use stealth constantly, not just once or twice a mission.

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I think WF's stealth suffers from these things in particular:

  • Getting caught and failing don't really mean much.
  • No way to sneak. We currently only 'sneak' if we're invisible, and most types of invisibility make it so you're still going full speed or even faster, which doesn't really feel 'stealthy'. Getting actual sneaking to work & feel good involves a lot of things though, as I detailed in the OP.
  • Too much hacking. Stealth should be more than just hacking.

 

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15 hours ago, Slayer-. said:

Total Spy: would be hard to implement because I'd say only big Clans could be that coordinated, the rest though we are talking humans working together. lol

 

The rest of the Spy ideas are interesting but would need a lot of coordination again.

Puzzle Spy: Sounds interesting but in a Sortie environment fail one because of a glitch or forgeting the backdoor methods like Lua past/present would suck if you failed the mission to many times, hence why it was removed from the sortie rotation.

I quite clearly explained the same issues with puzzle spy, and even suggested this was probably better as a solo experience.

As for coordinating a team to actually play as spies rather than nukers, that's not hard at all, you simply need to create an environment that rewards stealth and punishes getting caught. Once people understand that lazily taking just any old frame into these missions isn't going to cut it, they will naturally be forced to use spy frames. Current spy is already halfway there. I don't think you're seeing this in the context of changes to the overall stealth system.

15 hours ago, Slayer-. said:

To be blunt why don't you just play Metal Gear Solid if you're after more danger/threat level,

I hate when people use this logic every time someone wants to improve something. Warframe's stealth could easily be improved, wanting that isn't a sin, and telling me to just accept what we have or get lost is such a bad way of interacting with anyone who is suggesting improvements.

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17 hours ago, CrownOfShadows said:
  • Failure system ramp-up: currently, failing to hack a vault results only in failing to get the rewards. While this might seem like a potent drawback, it's not, because it's RNG. You have an x/n chance of having not lost anything worthwhile at all.

AFAIK this is false. Spy vaults use an A/B/C reward system, not an A/A/A reward system. This means if you fail a vault entirely, you lose the C reward. Entirely. Just gone

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1 minute ago, TARINunit9 said:

AFAIK this is false. Spy vaults use an A/B/C reward system, not an A/A/A reward system. This means if you fail a vault entirely, you lose the C reward. Entirely. Just gone

You partially misunderstand. The C reward is the C reward, yes, but it's still an RNG table. So yes you lose the C reward, but WHICH C reward? What are the chances that that C reward was even 'good'? For example, if the C reward was Ivara Chassis, then failing the C vault means you don't get the chassis. BUT if the C reward is an RNG table (like it currently is) then failing the C vault could be a loss of any ~10 items, most of which you could care less about not getting. Like do I give a crap about missing out on a Serration mod because I failed the C vault? Nope.

What I'm suggesting is that we increase the failure ramp up by either making the C rotation more worthwhile or by increasing the punishment for failing, or both.

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Between the hack-and-slash nature of the game, how few frames have invisibility on a non-gimmicky level, and how much worse the game has usually felt whenever DE attempted to force any sort of stealth-like scenario like TNW or that one MR challenge where it's just easier to use a glaive, I see no realistic reason for them to do anything with stealth or invisibility effects.

The only real case where I see this having any effect is either exclusively for Loki, or if we have any missions where we're forced into operator mode.  Beyond that, it'd be far too much effort to make something the game really isn't (hence the "play MGS" calls throughout this thread).

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19 minutes ago, CrownOfShadows said:

You partially misunderstand. The C reward is the C reward, yes, but it's still an RNG table. So yes you lose the C reward, but WHICH C reward? What are the chances that that C reward was even 'good'? For example, if the C reward was Ivara Chassis, then failing the C vault means you don't get the chassis. BUT if the C reward is an RNG table (like it currently is) then failing the C vault could be a loss of any ~10 items, most of which you could care less about not getting. Like do I give a crap about missing out on a Serration mod because I failed the C vault? Nope.

What I'm suggesting is that we increase the failure ramp up by either making the C rotation more worthwhile or by increasing the punishment for failing, or both.

I think you've forgotten how farming works.

If you're farming for Ivara, then missing a vault drops you from a 20% chance to a 0% chance

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8 minutes ago, TARINunit9 said:

I think you've forgotten how farming works.

If you're farming for Ivara, then missing a vault drops you from a 20% chance to a 0% chance

lol.... ik....

🙄 I guess I'll try one more time. What I'm saying is that missing the C Vault has no punishment associated with it other than missing the reward*, and the reward is from an RNG drop table, and that table is almost entirely worthless once you hit a certain point. I understand perfectly well that missing the A or B Vault before that means you can't get to the C tier, thank you.

*Just in case you feel like you need to correct me on this too, I understand that enemies spawn, and the alarm carries from vault to vault and can cause an exterminate and all that. Trivial nonsense not worth mentioning.

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1 minute ago, CrownOfShadows said:

and that table is almost entirely worthless once you hit a certain point

It sounds to me like: your problem here isn't the lack of penalty for missing a Spy vault. Your problem is where you can farm all the rewards then have no reason to visit Spy missions at all anymore

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5 minutes ago, CrownOfShadows said:

You only came here to annoy me didn't you?

I just don't see how your example is useful even when corrected for false information. People aren't ignoring stealth and tripping alarms because they've budgeted not getting the rewards as "oh statistically I wouldn't get that reward anyway." They're ignoring stealth and tripping alarms because they already have those rewards

If the entire point of your thread is "how do we make stealth more gratifying and fun?" you need to identify why it isn't fun now. And to do that, you need to identify it correctly, not come to the wrong culprit

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Firstly just to say you need to structure what you write, the way you have written it makes it hard to read and with some ppl they will take one look at it and won`t want to read it so in future please try to structure what you write.

That being said, I do agree I`m crap at stealth but I love it, I like the idea of sneaking up on an enemy and take him out without alerting nearby enemies (which is why I like Ash).

Unfortunately all ppl bloody care about is damage, damage, damage, helminth Sp, Sp, Sp, armour strip. I would like a game-mode the is all about stealth even operator stealth would be cool.

One of the problems with stealth is grinner and corpus acted like the infested, if one enemy is alerted eve if they don`t make a sound they all are alerted, an example of this is when I use Ash teleport but because of teleports inconsistency of opening them up to finishers the enemy is alerted which alerts everyone else, this needs to be fixed.

I have also talked about this in the past.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2022-09-06 at 2:32 AM, Numerikuu said:

Ah, you reminded me of the good old days back when Maniacs and Bursas used to be threatening, and triggering the alarm WAS an 'oh sh*t' moment. Bursas would steam roll you, and Maniacs would pounce on you and tear you to pieces. I miss those days...

Ah, unfortunately, I never experienced those days - they sound better

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On 2022-09-08 at 5:04 AM, (PSN)Vexx757 said:

Firstly just to say you need to structure what you write, the way you have written it makes it hard to read and with some ppl they will take one look at it and won`t want to read it so in future please try to structure what you write.

 

On 2022-09-05 at 11:59 PM, Slayer-. said:

Your layout wall of text is hard to read, I broke it apart so I could follow it better.

Really? Have you seen bad structure before? Is this structure better than something like.....

On 2022-09-05 at 11:59 PM, Slayer-. said:

Your layout wall of text is hard to read, I broke it apart so I could follow it better.

if so, please explain how, I'm legit interested for formatting of future posts. Would you prefer paragraphs over bullets?

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1 hour ago, CrownOfShadows said:

Really? Have you seen bad structure before? Is this structure better than something like.....

if so, please explain how, I'm legit interested for formatting of future posts. Would you prefer paragraphs over bullets?

Go back and open the quote box in my first post directly below your original post and you'll see how much easier it is to read over your wall of text, just a little bit of spacing makes the world of difference imo.

The quote under this line of text.

Your layout wall of text is hard to read, I broke it apart so I could follow it better.

Or you could just look at it here.

Spoiler

A lot of people like the stealth elements of WF and wish there were more. Also, a lot of people hate the stealth elements and wish they didn't exit at all.

Should the stealth aspect of WF be encouraged and expanded or destroyed and eliminated? Or perhaps simply tolerated?

Positive aspects of stealth:

  • plays into the "ninja ideal"
  • great alternative to the standard gameplay of hack 'n slash

Negative aspects:

  • can be cheesed easily, making it trivial
  • no consequences for failure, other than reward table
  • reward table is often trivial compared to other 'simpler' mission types
  • it's hard / slow

How, IMO, we might improve Stealth and Spy:

  • Failure system ramp-up: currently, failing to hack a vault results only in failing to get the rewards. While this might seem like a potent drawback, it's not, because it's RNG. You have an x/n chance of having not lost anything worthwhile at all. And if you're at a certain level, no matter what you get it will be useless to you. What? I need the 15th installment of a rare mod? Yeah, not that much, thanks. Do I need to farm Ivara again? Nope, got her 2x+prime, thanks. Increasing the failure potential, even without increasing the rewards, would help a lot. Why? On the surface, not much, because the system doesn't care if you triggered the alarm or not, as long as you hack the console. I propose making the console hacking the essential piece IN ADDITION to triggering the alarm. In this scenario, triggering the alarm forfeits rewards. Why is this good? For a lot of lazy people, it's not, but for people who enjoy spy, well, this is what spy is all about. Don't get caught. Besides, ciphers and perspicacity would still get you through - except maybe for some elite spy stuff where not even that works.
  •  
  • Alarm system improvements: comparing WF's stealth to other games, it's easy to be disappointed. WF's version of stealth is not very well realized, and yet it's honestly not that far from being good either. I think a few things would really help this game mode.
     
    • Make the alarm meaningful:  my go-to comparison is always Metal Gear, such an awesome stealth game, kinda my gold standard tbh. When the alarm triggers in Metal Gear, you go 'Oh Sh*T'. When the alarm triggers in WF, you go 'meh, whatever'. This should change, this right here. This is a major problem. Contributing to this is>.....
       
  • AI improvements: right, so the 2nd thing that needs to change is the AI response. This is 3-fold in WF, I think:
    • First, we need an improvement on the alert status. We ALREADY have alert status on enemies. They have the "?" 'huh? what's goin'-on here?' already. We just need improvement, where they actually investigate and search for you, instead of basically reverting to their default AI. Yes, they need to hunt for the intruder, like any normal security force. Adding a HUD element that shows their vision would be helpful, simply because it adds both suspense and precision, but not massively necessary. You need to fear their search, really fear it. That's what makes stealth great >....
       
    • Second, we need THREAT. Honestly, nothing is more important than this. There needs to be a threat attached to alarm triggeration. What, are those sentry drones going to kill you? HA! They don't even attack you, chump. In MG, when you trigger the alarm, you're in real danger. That's what we need here. Trigger the alarm, and suddenly you have an actual SECURITY FORCE coming at you who CAN KILL YOU and you CANNOT JUST SUPER-hack the console and run away. Lock the console, locks the doors, summon reinforcements, force the player to run and hide... then as the player force an eventual alarm de-escalation, and then a re-entry. Stealth is all about avoiding enemies because you cannot handle them. IF the enemies find you, they should be able to kill you. It doesn't have to be 100%, in fact it shouldn't be, but you should be in real fear. And death probably should not respawn you where you are, but at the beginning or some other marked point. Currently, if you are discovered, no sh*ts given, you just kill everyone and super-hack, (why did I even bother with stealth in the first place?). This is not what stealth is about. Making this happen in WF may require a special "Vault Guard" AI that are super strong (scaling off you?) and are way above average on their threat-assessment/threat management. Giving them the ability to reveal cloaked units when alerted is also probably desirable. Likewise either immunity or massive resistance to abilities is probably desirable, along with a robust set of stats. Surely state secrets are not guarded by some grineer/corpus out of basic? Pathetic! Even further, within the 'Vault Guard' we might want special forces: especially elite Vault Guards that will wreck your world and then some if they spot you. These might act as a SWAT in addition to their regular close-to-vault spawn too; if the regular security is having trouble putting you down, after a certain amount of time, they call in the SWAT. This would require a strong AI overhaul, but it would be worth it for stealth IMO. Basically, we would want to make it impossible to brute force your way into the primary objectives, or at the very least make it take way longer than using stealth. Currently, this is pretty much medium opposite, you can stealth a bit and then brute force your way through the rest if you need to. It should actually get harder to brute force your way through the close you get to your objectives.
       
    • Third, we might want to give security cameras - or perhaps only upgraded special-purpose security cameras - the ability to see cloaked units. Why? Because this would mean we would actually have to give a sh*t about the camera rotation and approach when it's out of view, instead of not caring about it at all. Literally, not at all. Why even have camera rotation when it means nothing? Make it a real obstacle to deal with instead of something to be ignored? Yeah, more interesting. In addition/coordination with this, we might have searchlights.
       
    • Fourth, in coordination with the above, we need Darkness.  Who woulda thought, darkness is great for stealth? Does darkness exist in WF? Kinda.... But to truly capitalize on this, we really would want levels designed with stealth and darkness in mind. This is probably the higher effort aspect of advancing stealth in WF, but it would contribute immeasurably to the atmosphere of alternative play. This definitely requires smart AI integration with light and alerts, as well as good stealth level lighting and level design.
    •  
  • More mission types: there is SO much more to stealth gaming than our current spy missions. Here's some suggestions for how we might tweak WF's Stealth:
     
    • Total Spy: imagine a game mode where all 4 players are invisible, and must religiously maintain their invisibility, and work together. Imagine 4 Ivaras, or 4 Lokis, or any combination thereof (or the other 'stealth' frames), all working together to disable security systems and eliminate the enemy and infiltrate secure compounds and steal secrets from mainframes. This is what spy should be. Currently it's a quick wu-cloud, (ignore enemey) auto-hack, wu-cloud, auto-hack, etc. Make it a real process, one that actually involves the enemy, one where an alert has disastrous consequences for the entire team, where an alert forces everyone to hide like school girls. By it's very nature, this would make wu-cloud less desirable, and yet not un-serviceable. With camera upgrades and alert upgrades and AI upgrades, this should be easy to achieve.
    •  
    • Deep Spy: imagine a solo spy mode. Indeed, I actually think spy shines brightest in the solo mode. Why? It increases pressure on the individual player, and thus it increases suspense. A team will carry you (omg the spy sortie leeches are real), but solo, you have to carry yourself. Spy is by it's very nature solo-oriented. Because of the added time investment here for solo players I would recommend either increased rewards for solo execution, and/or separate tiles for solo play. Ideally, a solo player, instead of hacking 3 separate vaults, would hack 2 levels of a single vault and then the vault itself.
    •  
    • Asymmetric Spy: introduce a variant game mode that requires one spy character while the rest are standard wreck-the-map types. Have them do spy things the entire time while the rest of the team does hack-n-slash. Adjust rewards accordingly. Have spy character's actions benefit, but not be essential in any respect to the rest of the team, and vice versa - the hack-n-slash might clear areas or otherwise benefit the Spy character, and since this isn't PvP, the two aspects can freely overlap at any point. Probably, scale some independent rewards, so that the spy character not doing their job is mostly a detriment to themselves, and the PvP characters not doing their job is likewise mostly a detriment to them rather than the spy character.
    •  
    • Total Raid Spy: take spy to the next level with a sortie-like raid/quest that is completely oriented around stealth. Give players a multi-mission spy engagement, escalating in difficulty. This would be like Total Spy on steroids, and would ideally include amped up versions of Vault Gaurd AI and Elite Vault Guard AI.
    • All-Mission Spy: don't get detected even once. Stealth kills on every enemy, no alarms triggered.  I'd actually like a more fluid kill-to-kill animation system in place for this, where you could stab one, silencer-shoot another, and then stab a third all in the time it takes to perform a standard finisher animation. I think this mode has a lot of potential, especially since a fair number of people run missions like this already. We'd probably want to feather the rewards a bit, so that getting detected results in less rewards rather than none, OR overhaul the respawn system for stealth so that detection = death and death =respawn point (NOT your current position) - this honestly sounds like a good stealth mechanic to move towards.
    • Split Reward Missions: create a bunch of enticing missions that can be completed either way - stealth or destruction, but offer different rewards for each. This is honestly how I would've designed ALL mission to work, as it would offer alternative gameplay options for every mission (and eh, i guess in some sense we got this in the form of stealth farm, although it's not all that satisfying). This would be primarily achievable solo, but if you got an intelligent squad together, could also be done that way. I would scale the rewards accordingly, with public destruction at the low end, and private spy at the high end (simply because it requires a lot more effort). You could also vary rewards based on alarm time, if alarm improvements were made.
    •  
    • Puzzle Spy: this is kinda what Lua spy/puzzle is, but Lua spy is a bit too convoluted, at least for the reward offered compared to other spy. I think there's a lot of potential here, but a good deal of caution is needed too. Ideally, this is a sort of an Uncharted type of puzzle, where multiple things either need to be in order or need to be active simultaneously to unlock something (ik "we already have this" except it's a bit too clumsily implemented - compare it to Uncharted, where there's some natural level guidance and it's just generally more forgiving, also, there's a lot to be said for being in sight of and/or in easy reach of everything you need to make something work). While there is also multiplayer potential here, I think Lua puzzle boxes taught us that getting people together for this is really hard and should be avoided - I would orient it towards solo exploration. Likewise, I would scale the rewards based on average solve time, and I would make the rewards in general much better than any other mission type (compare deimos vaults or nightmare to lua puzzle) simply because it requires thought and time and consideration. Randomizing the puzzles somewhat (note that while current spy missions involve random tilesets, the actual spy section itself is NEVER random) might help with repeat-spam.
    •  
    • Hybrid Spy: make a spy mission where you need to be part brawler and part spy. To do this succesfully while staying separate from current spy, we'd want to be total spy for the first 4/5ths of the mission, but then at the end force a mini-boss encounter that requires you to fight in the open, with most (if not all) of your usual spy gimmicks rendered ineffectual).
    •  
    • Spy Meter: since spy is such a minor subset of the overall missions in WF, we could actually make running Spy missions fill a meter, like Fomorian/Razorback, where the whole community contributes to a hacking meter, perhaps faction based, and once full, a special 'super spy' mission is unlocked for people who contributed [x] amount of spy to it, with special rewards. Alternatively, this could be clan-based, with a clan spy meter. Another and possibly better alternative, would be to have a personal spy meter, where completing [x] # of spy missions (without alarms?) unlocks something for you - cyclic, like NW.
    • Got any other ideas? I'm just spitballing up here.
    •  
  • Animation Improvements: to have a really successful spy alternative gameplay, we REALLY need some animation/programming improvements:
    • Cornering & Crouch-Firing: a staple of pretty much every stealth game, cornering allows you to hide behind walls and fire strategic shots around the corner. This is a very nice middle ground sort of play style in between stealth and dynasty warriors, and one WF is definitely lacking in. Similarly, we can crouch, but we can't crouch and shoot over our head. I submit that this should be rectified, and if we wanted a bit of tactics associated with it, well - only allow secondaries to be shot from a crouched position (and a cornering position, for that matter). Simply providing these abilities results in more stealth, but it really also needs to be combined with threat level. If the enemy can pump a bajillion rounds of ammo into you without effect then why should you hide at all? But if a few round will kill you, then yeah, you need to hide.
    •  
    • Crawling: we don't have a crawl in WF, and it would also help a lot with stealth, especially in coordination with enemy AI alerts. Just jumping up and running like a fool across an open space should trigger an alarm, but strategically crawling and crouching behind obstacles ...... that's stealth. Any non-stealthy action should be punished, tbh. Rolling might be a bit of a middle ground. But jumping and bullet gliding - i mean, the enemy is going to see that, if they had eyes and brains. An addition benefit of crawling is that it opens the possibility for special stealth geography. Yes, we already have vent systems, but we don't need to crawl through them. Adding crawl-only vents and other bits would create an entire stealth tier to levels. In combination with our already built-in auto-light this should be fine, and I see no real reason why our current frames can't adopt a universal crawl animation.

Investing in Stealth is probably better than Abandoning it:

We already have a lot of tech and programming invested in stealth. It would probably be just as much work to destroy it at this point as it would be to invest in it and make it more robust.

Having alternative gameplay is good for the health of the system. Archwing helped this, and necramech, and operator, but spy is the OG alternative, and even archwing-necramech are still basically hack-n-slash, with operator also now not really giving any f*cks about brawling. It's probably about time stealth got some love. Leaving it to rot it is fine, that's just kinda what we got, but the more WF advances the more these antiquated stealth mechanics become obsolete. Also, call me crazy, but I think a good number of tenno would love expanded stealth systems.

Further, this would open the way for more stealth frames to be developed, with ever more interesting mechanics/possibilities/themes.

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Got thoughts?

 

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On 2022-09-06 at 2:59 AM, Slayer-. said:

Some of it is interesting in idea, why do players keep creating threads on stealth changes though, for the worse in some of the scenarios, yes I have played Metal Gear Solid way back when it came out on console, the changes you're after seem similar in that game. 

Shot in the dark and black helicopters: Because I think DE maybe wants to scrap the stealth affinity multiplier.

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