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gyron
28th Oct 2011, 16:21
Stealth AI guide (Ghost and Smooth Operator)

This guide is dedicated to the analysis of Ghost and Smooth Operator bonuses, i.e. determining the conditions that DO and DO NOT affect them. It was written based on PC build 1.3.643.1 played on hardest ('Give me Deus Ex') difficulty.

This guide on wiki: Ghost (http://deusex.wikia.com/wiki/Ghost_(bonus)), Smooth Operator (http://deusex.wikia.com/wiki/Smooth_Operator).


INTRODUCTION

There are several threads on this topic with small tidbits of information scattered across multiple pages (1 (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?t=120458), 2 (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?t=122181), 3 (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?t=121945), 4 (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?t=123094), 5 (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?t=121497)). I thought it would be useful to gather them all on one page, test them properly, cut the speculation and come up with a standardized and short description for AI reactions. I've checked most of the Ghost conditions, but some need to be tested further (especially enemy reactions to being shot under different conditions). Additions and suggestions are welcome.


NOTATION


If actions happen consequently (like a transition between states or actions) they're connected with an arrow: "→", if simultaneously or in a random order, then with a "+". Additional conditions for the actions are in brackets: "[]".

AI reactions are presented in the form of "reaction chains", which in general look like this:
PLAYER ACTION / EVENT [CONDITION] → ENEMY STATE CHANGE + Ghost/Smooth Operator status → ENEMY REACTION

Enemy — a human enemy. Since bots (security bots and boxguards) share most of their AI with humans it usually includes them too. Turrets have very simple AI and don't affect any stealth ratings, so they are not included.

Enemy states (as they appear on the radar) and states they transit into:

Normal (gray)
Suspicious (yellow): applies only to cameras and turrets (when they spot the player briefly). [→Normal]
Alarmed (orange): lasts until an enemy investigates the disturbance that caused this state. [→Normal]
Prolonged Alert (orange): lasts 80 seconds. [→Normal]
Permanent Alert (orange): appears only in scripted situations (Alice Garden Pods, TYM Penthouse, Picus, Rifleman Bank Station levels).
Hostile (red) (40 seconds): lasts until the time runs out or until an enemy gets disturbed again. [→Prolonged Alert→Normal]


FOV — field of view (vision cone)

Investigate — a standard action: enemy goes to a place of a disturbance, does a 360 degrees look around, then returns to a relaxed state Alarmed→Normal, Hostile→Prolonged Alert)

xGhostx — shows that corresponding action cancels the Ghost bonus




GHOST
PLAYER ACTION → ENEMY REACTION


Be seen by an enemy for a short period [<0,3-1 seconds, proportional to distance from an enemy] → Alarmed → Investigate
Be seen by an enemy for a long period [→1 second] → Hostile + xGhostx
Bump into an enemy [uncloaked/cloaked] → Hostile + xGhostx



Move an object with Use button [inside enemy's FOV] → Hostile + xGhostx
Nudge an object [inside enemy's FOV]

[uncloaked/cloaked + behind the object] → No reaction
[cloaked + in position where enemy could spot the player without the cloak] → Hostile + xGhostx




Jump, Run, Hit something with physical object, Hit something with a bullet, Open a door → Alarmed → Investigate
Hit something with physical object [inside enemy's FOV] → Alarmed → Investigate a place object was thrown from
Break a window → Prolonged Alert → Investigate
Break a fragile wall → Prolonged Alert → Investigate



Shoot a gun

non-silenced [<50 m, depending on weapon] → Prolonged Alert → Investigate
silenced [<1 m] → Prolonged Alert → Investigate



Shoot a gun (non-silenced/silenced) [while inside enemy's FOV]

[blind fire from cover] → Hostile + xGhostx
[cloaked] → Hostile




Icarus stun → Stunned (9 seconds) → Hostile


EVENT → ENEMY REACTION


Receives damage (regardless of its source) → Hostile → Investigates/Attacks the place damage came from

Gets shot by a turret/bot → Hostile → Attacks turret/bot




Sees a body [dead] → Prolonged Alert + xGhostx → Triggers an alarm
Sees a body [unconscious] → Prolonged Alert + xGhostx → Wakes up an unconscious ally → Triggers an alarm
Hears a death scream → Prolonged Alert → Triggers an alarm + Investigates



Sees a bot/turret explode → Prolonged Alert + xGhostx
Sees a thrown mine/grenade/UR-DED [in a 3-4 m distance] → Prolonged Alert
Hears an explosion (grenade, mine, UR-DED, barrel, gas canister) → Prolonged Alert → Investigates
Sees an explosion (grenade, mine, UR-DED, barrel, gas canister) → Prolonged Alert → Investigates

Gets caught in a concussion grenade explosion → Hostile → Stunned (9 seconds)
Gets caught in a gas grenade explosion [outside enemy's FOV] Hostile → Gets knocked out (after 3-5 seconds)


TURRET


Sees the player [regardless of distance] → Suspicious → Hostile [if it loses sight of the player] → Normal
Sees the player for a long period [→1 second] → Hostile → Opens fire
Human enemy reaction:

Hears turret's gunfire → Hostile → Investigates player's last known location (as seen by a turret)



GHOST SUMMARY

3 primary rules for getting Ghost:

Do not be seen by humans or bots. Radar going Normal→Hostile or Alarmed→Hostile is usually a good indicator that Ghost bonus was ruined — but not always.
Do not physically touch an enemy and do not move objects in such a way that enemy may spot you.
Do not let an enemy see his allies' bodies or bots exploding.



SMOOTH OPERATOR
Events that cancel Smooth Operator


Alarm panel

Activated by an enemy




Camera

Spotting the player (Alarmed/Hostile state)
Spotting a body (Alarmed/Hostile state)
Destroyed by a weapon/explosion (EMP explosion doesn't count)




Laser grid

Triggered by the player
Triggered by an object
Laser emitter getting damaged




Computer/Security hub/Dedicated terminal/Alarm panel

Player failing a hack



Events that do not affect Smooth Operator

Scripted alarms (Sarif Plant, TYM Penthouse)
Bots and turrets spotting the player
Cameras briefly spotting the player (showing Suspicious on the radar).

drunkrussian9
28th Oct 2011, 16:35
Nice guide. What about proximity mines? Same rules as explosives?

gyron
29th Oct 2011, 08:18
Nice guide. What about proximity mines? Same rules as explosives?
Yes, they're the same.

I've changed the rule, though: there is absolutely no connection between losing Ghost and explosions, whether enemy sees or hears them. During my tests before I've knocked out some guards and then started trying out explosives. Just re-tested the same level without knocking anyone and there was zero effect on Ghost from explosions of any kind.

My guess that it's a bug: when enemy goes hostile he can sometimes see bodies through thin walls if you didn't hide them well. I've encountered this in FEMA camp: when I've tried to EMP the boxguard after knocking out every soldier, it could always see their bodies on catwalks for a brief time before its death (=> no Ghost). After I've dragged the bodies away in the security room Ghost was awarded properly.

Locutus of BORG
29th Oct 2011, 19:45
Is there any way to use an explosive on someone w/o them noticing?

gyron
30th Oct 2011, 07:53
Is there any way to use an explosive on someone w/o them noticing?

Of course. This what happens to an enemy when you use the explosive:
Hears an explosion → Prolonged Alert
Sees an explosion → Prolonged Alert
Receives damage → Hostile

None of these reactions cancels Ghost by itself. The real problem comes from other enemies coming to check the explosion and seeing the body. Plus sometimes "see-through-walls" bug I've mentioned above makes the dying enemy spot other bodies (he shouldn't normally see) and this can cancel Ghost too.

gyron
30th Oct 2011, 10:14
I've put the guide on wiki, along with Ghost/Smooth Operator locations:
http://deusex.wikia.com/wiki/Ghost_(bonus)
http://deusex.wikia.com/wiki/Smooth_Operator

drunkrussian9
30th Oct 2011, 13:40
If they don't see you then whats the difference between hostile and alarmed?

gyron
30th Oct 2011, 14:12
If they don't see you then whats the difference between hostile and alarmed?
Alarmed means that enemies will go into either
1) investigation mode (they will slowly check the disturbance) or
2) alarmed patrol mode (which is different from their normal patrol mode).
Hostile means that enemies will go into either
1) fast investigation mode (they will run to check the disturbance) or
2) full combat mode (they will take cover and wait).

Sometimes, when hostile they may even open blind fire on your last known position. Once, after I threw a concussion grenade, stunned one guy, then waited for him to recover, he went hostile and fired a full shotgun magazine on the place I threw the grenade from — and I still got Ghost in this case.

JSj
30th Oct 2011, 15:52
This is very useful information, thanks for all the work putting it together. But it's really sad that it was neccesary to do it in the first place. Games today all seem to come without a proper manual.

Why should the players need to experiment with things like how exactly the bonuses in the game work? As is noted in the first post, there's been many threads about this on the forum, and god knows how many hours people have wasted on experimenting with this just to find out exactly how things work. But the developers who programmed the game of course have all this information readily available, if they'd just share it and make a proper manual.

imported_BoB_
30th Oct 2011, 16:19
Don't you think there is enough hand holding as it is?!?

Too much obscure stuff is pretty bad (Dark Souls for example) but a little bit is pretty fine and enjoyable because the player has to find some things for himself.

Besides, it's not like it's mandatory to know this for completing the game.

JSj
30th Oct 2011, 17:03
I enjoy exploring and finding things out in a game. I like exploring new areas, and coming up with solutions about how to get past them.

But I don't enjoy, for instance, not knowing what I can and can't do and still get the Ghost Bonus for a particular mission, unless I replay the same part of the game again and again, each time performing just a single action differently to see if I get the bonus or not.

That kind of repetitive experimentation is not my idea of fun, which is why I'm glad this thread exists.

gyron
30th Oct 2011, 17:10
But it's really sad that it was neccesary to do it in the first place. Games today all seem to come without a proper manual.

Though I like to experiment with AI a lot, I can agree that it's a problem. If you want to earn Ghosts consistently or aiming for the Foxiest of the Hounds achievement it is pretty much a requirement to play with a constant saving/reloading — only because of lack of the information.

Pacifist achievement also comes to mind — most of the questions concerning it are not about tactics, but bugs (like killing with tranq rifle or people dying from dragging their bodies) or lack of verifiable facts (like indirect killing by bot's explosion).

Normal statistics screen with kills, alarms, ghost, etc. counts could answer 99% of questions about this stuff without the need to consult forums/FAQs/guides. But I guess it's too late to hope for it.


Don't you think there is enough hand holding as it is?!?
Too much obscure stuff is pretty bad (Dark Souls for example) but a little bit is pretty fine and enjoyable because the player has to find some things for himself.
Besides, it's not like it's mandatory to know this for completing the game.

The constant hand-holding is mostly prominent in small but frequent stuff and yes, there is too much of it. But there is practically zero information on things that really matter.

Ghosts, smooth operators, Pacifist, Foxiest of the Hounds all come either at the end of the level or at the end of the game — as a result of a lot of efforts. And it can be very bewildering to spend an hour on a level or 30 hours on a pacifist run and then get nothing for the effort and do not know what you did wrong. THAT is annoying. A bit of a feedback from the game on this matters wouldn't hurt anybody.

drunkrussian9
30th Oct 2011, 17:24
how do they know your last known position if you were never spotted?

gyron
30th Oct 2011, 17:54
how do they know your last known position if you were never spotted?

It is another AI "feature" (i.e. sloppy programming). They will know your location even you throw a concussion grenade from a cover, cloaked and without anyone seeing it before it explodes.

imported_BoB_
30th Oct 2011, 18:04
Ghosts, smooth operators, Pacifist, Foxiest of the Hounds all come either at the end of the level or at the end of the game — as a result of a lot of efforts. And it can be very bewildering to spend an hour on a level or 30 hours on a pacifist run and then get nothing for the effort and do not know what you did wrong. THAT is annoying. A bit of a feedback from the game on this matters wouldn't hurt anybody.

Well I don't know, I won the two achievements on my first playthrough and I did all the subquests and all the explorations, and without having read anything on the game. My playtime was near 70 hours and I knew full well when I void a reward during my playthrough and when I needed to load my save (Actually, I just wanted to do the game the more stealthy I could, I didn't even care about achievements or XP)
It's because there is too much hand-holding that people want to be hand-hold even further on stuff like that because they're too dumb to actually figure it out for themselves.

Achievements are useless anyway so I don't see how that's "things that really matter". It's a reward, if you already know how to get it and you just follow instructions, it doesn't reward anything anymore except being a good robot.

Reading the things that void Ghost reward seems pretty logical to me. If you want to be a true Ghost, you will reload for some of the others things as well anyway. If you just care about a virtual reward and you want to do it the easiest way, it's another matter though... (which I don't see the ******* point but hey, to each his own I guess)

Sure a stat screen would have been useful, but I'm sure a lot of people would have wanted even more like an enormous blinking message YOU JUST VOID THIS ACHIEVEMENT. RELOAD YOU DUMBASS.
This is what is wrong imo.

RedKnight7
30th Oct 2011, 18:18
Coolness, thank you for this, Gyron. Would you believe I just came to the forum to ask if anyone can explain the rules of Ghost and Smooth - and saw your post? You get MY smooth operator bonus, lol

Yes, I really wish there was an indicator for when you lost a chance at something. Very much like Jenny's quest to remain unseen in DRB terrority - the instant the game decides you're seen, bam, you get a notice. And you can also check your quest log to see if that part is still possible, in case you missed the notice in the confusion of doing something.

I consider Pacifist and Foxiest pretty much absurd. Not only for the reasons stated in this thread. But also because I am incapable of not saving a helpless woman about to be killed (Malik). :)

gyron
30th Oct 2011, 18:52
Achievements are useless anyway so I don't see how that's "things that really matter". It's a reward, if you already know how to get it and you just follow instructions, it doesn't reward anything anymore except being a good robot.

Reading the things that void Ghost reward seems pretty logical to me. If you want to be a true Ghost, you will reload for some of the others things as well anyway. If you just care about a virtual reward and you want to do it the easiest way, it's another matter though... (which I don't see the ******* point but hey, to each his own I guess)

Everything in the game is "virtual reward", including achievements, they are just badly integrated into narrative. How can you say they're not important? Isn't the game recognizing your playstyle is what you like the most about videogames in general and Deus Ex in particular? I would say that getting Pacifist in DXHR is more rewarding than any of the endings or NPC reactions. Ending = result of a button press, Pacifist = result of a complicated and dedicated playstyle across multiple levels. This isn't a simple trophy bragging.

Also, compare the attention the Foxiest/Pacifist/stealth threads get with the amount of people who got the achievements (~3%): http://steamcommunity.com/stats/DXHR/achievements/ I think the huge difference shows that a lot of people are interested in at least trying to play stealthily — but abandoned it or didn't want to replay the game just because of lack of information on the game's part.


Sure a stat screen would have been useful, but I'm sure a lot of people would have wanted even more like an enormous blinking message YOU JUST VOID THIS ACHIEVEMENT. RELOAD YOU DUMBASS.
This is what is wrong imo.

Well, if the stat screen were designed with the same subtlety as the mission markers or object highlighting then it indeed would only spoil the stealth. All people ask is a simple statistics so you can check what things affect stealth and what not. The only alternative is saving-checking-reloading which is a huge time-waster.

imported_BoB_
30th Oct 2011, 19:29
Everything in the game is "virtual reward", including achievements, they are just badly integrated into narrative. How can you say they're not important? Isn't the game recognizing your playstyle is what you like the most about videogames in general and Deus Ex in particular? I would say that getting Pacifist in DXHR is more rewarding than any of the endings or NPC reactions. Ending = result of a button press, Pacifist = result of a complicated and dedicated playstyle across multiple levels. This isn't a simple trophy bragging.


The game recognizing your playstyle is what the endgame sequence is all about. Seeing an achievement pop is not. If the game is buggy and kill a NPC after i knock him down and that I don't get the achievement related to that because of it, I don't really care because I know I did it right. Besides, the achievement doesn't pop the second time around so it's basically the same thing.

Before this generation of consoles, you could say that you did this or that playstyle during the entire game or that you finished this game to 100% completion, and there wasn't any proofs to that but it didn't matter at the time, so it shouldn't matter now either.
I don't agree with you, achievements are all about about bragging rights and when I see people buying ****ty game because the achievements are easy for example, I tell to myself that something went seriously wrong. And I'm sure Sony and Microsoft are well aware of that and I bet that the next consoles will use the same gamercard and stuff than the current one, and that some people are gonna buy a console instead of another one only to not start from scratch, it's how crazy this state of mind is.

(sorry for taking over your thread which is not about that though :D)

gyron
30th Oct 2011, 19:50
Heard of Doom? It had an achievement screen after every level! Didn't hurt it at all. And "bragging" was part of the videogames since Space Invaders (1978), so it's hardly MS or Sony's fault.

I understand your objection against having achievements and XP rewards popping on screen in a story-heavy game. Ideally for immersion there should be as little distractions as possible. But if these "distractions" are inseparable part of the game, then they should be at least implemented properly — that's all I ask.