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View Full Version : Loved the game, but some constructive criticism for a sequel...



Ireidan
28th Mar 2012, 18:28
First of all, I just want to say that I had major doubts about this game, but it actually came through for me in a big way. The development team absolutely nailed what I believe to be the most important parts. The atmosphere of the game (including the music and sound design, story, visual style, etc) was exactly what I hoped for in a sequel to one of my favorite games of all time.

There are some design decisions that bug me that I believe could be resolved in a possible sequel.

1: Although there are many different ways to play the game (guns blazing, stealth lethal, stealth non lethal, ranged non-lethal, exploring, hacking, etc), the XP system makes the player want to play it a certain way. For instance, I know I'm going to get the most XP possible in any given situation from stealth knocking the enemies out. I get less if I use the tranquilizer rifle from afar or kill them with a sniper rifle.

2: Also, one of the things I loved about the original Deus Ex was rifling through all the emails and messages, figuring out people's passwords and using them to dig up even more information or to find new items. Sure, that's still possible here, but regardless of whether I actually have the password to someone's computer or not, I'm still going to hack it because it gives me XP and logging in normally does not.

3: The last part of this point is about exploring in general. I actually believe the original Deus Ex was guilty of this as well. If there are 4 different ways to infiltrate a certain area and you get an "exploration XP bonus" for finding each one, it's going to make me want to go through each of the four different ways in one playthrough just to get the XP. I think it would be better to have it where you get some XP for doing it the most obvious way or maybe a slight bonus for finding either of the three "more advanced" ways of getting in. However, you'd only get the bonus once. That would make me no longer care about retracing my steps and actually getting the other bonuses and would also help to give some extra added replay value (On my next playthrough, I'd do it differently).

SDF121
28th Mar 2012, 19:56
I agree. I never liked how XP was earned in this game as it gave the player incentives for what is arguably an unfulfilling style of play (hack everything, knock everyone out, run through every route, crawl through every vent, punch every wall, read every note, etc) in order to maximize the amount of XP one earned and thereby the amount of Praxis one had access to.

To further maximize this accumulation of XP, I found that I would always start the game by pouring all my Praxis into hacking and the ability to perform double take downs. Later in the game, I would revisit areas I had no reason to only for me to punch out a few walls or use the Icarus Landing System in a few elevator shafts to trigger the explorer bonuses.

This also applied to other areas of the game where upon clearing an entire level, I would go back and find all of the alternate routes simply for the explorer bonuses. While this can be great for finding all of the hidden weapon upgrades and credit chips scattered throughout the level, it made my second run through the game rather tedious towards the end as I had already done everything there was to do in my first run through the game.

Because of this, I think that XP should be reworked so that it only applies to the completion of objectives. This is essentially how XP was given in the original except for the few instances where it was guilty of rewarding exploration with XP. Everything else like hacking a computer to read its contents or sneaking through an area without detection should not give XP as they should be rewarding in and of themselves and not because they are the paths which yields the most XP.

Of course, a change such as this will affect the amount of XP one can acquire throughout a single playthrough but I think that Human Revolution was already too generous with the amount of XP it supplied. Nearly everyone I've spoken with who had played Human Revolution said that they had acquired all but one or two augmentations by the end of the game. I've even read instances where individuals were able to activate every augmentation with each one of them fully upgraded.

The fact that one may eventually unlock all of their augmentations results in a perceived depreciation in the significance of one's decisions when it comes to choosing an augmentation. One great aspect of the augmentations in the first game was that, for each slot, you could only pick one of two possibilities. Although I love how augmentations were done in Human Revolution, I never thought that my decisions carried the same weight with them as they did in the original. Nor did my decisions really seem to effect my playstyle as I became a jack of all trades. This is why some critics, like Yahtzee, would claim that Human Revolution is an action game with RPG elements rather than an action RPG. Despite being a jack of all trades, I still proceeded to knock everyone out in order to maximize XP and acquire more augmentations.

Aside from the original Deus Ex where one could not have access to every augmentation nor become master of every skill, consider the upgrade system in System Shock 2. Here you had a complex upgrade system that prevented the player from having acquiring everything in the game. Because of this, one's decisions carried more weight and there was an added degree of replay value seeing as one could now play through the game for a second time embarking upon another path to explore the skills and abilities that it has to offer. Furthermore, speaking of choice and consequence, you were able to upgrade your character in a such a way that it would be impossible to complete the game. I loved that!

Romeo
28th Mar 2012, 22:36
Agreed 100%, the XP system in the game really conspired against the element of choice. I think the simplest solution would be to remove it in its entirety.

Another thing that annoyed me personally was the third-person elements being linked in to virtually every action in the game.

HERESY
28th Mar 2012, 23:21
I agree with points 1 and 3. I disagree with point 2 because there were times where I didn't have enough time to hack or an enemy was near, so I just put the password in.

YaganaWcott
29th Mar 2012, 02:42
I think the simplest solution would be to remove it in its entirety.

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m G h m u o s
29th Mar 2012, 04:01
Yeah the hacking thing isn't really an issue.. but its like a mindset you end up having. Its no ones fault, I mean you choose to do it but the game sets the conditions for it. Really hacking should cost you something, just entering the hacking interface alone should cost. That or a XP bonuses for finding/using access codes.

They could implement systems to track things like the number of items/ammo/augs you use which weighs into the amount of XP you get (and lead to encouraging achievements like a "no item" / "no aug" playthrough) but it would be a lot easier to remove the XP system :P

Romeo
29th Mar 2012, 15:06
Yeah the hacking thing isn't really an issue.. but its like a mindset you end up having. Its no ones fault, I mean you choose to do it but the game sets the conditions for it. Really hacking should cost you something, just entering the hacking interface alone should cost. That or a XP bonuses for finding/using access codes.

They could implement systems to track things like the number of items/ammo/augs you use which weighs into the amount of XP you get (and lead to encouraging achievements like a "no item" / "no aug" playthrough) but it would be a lot easier to remove the XP system :P
The easiest solution to the hacking "problem" would be that using the password gives the player the bonus XP/Credits/Items they could've recieved from hacking automatically. That way there's no long-term advantage to hacking, but it does still have usefulness in the sense the player isn't bound to having to find every password.

nomotog
29th Mar 2012, 16:31
You could remove the EXP system, but would it still fell like DX without it?

68_pie
29th Mar 2012, 17:04
You could remove the EXP system, but would it still fell like DX without it?

Do you mean from hacking or from the whole game?

If just from hacking (and fighting let's say) then it will still feel like Deus Ex. The fact that the XP has been combined with Augs in DXHR kind of makes the XP system seem a bit pointless anyway.

If you took XP away from the original DX then I don't think it would feel right.

In the future, if they are going to keep using XP I would rather set amounts be given for completing main quests thus enabling each play style to be valid (rather than the double non-lethal takedown hacker being the way to go) and possibly smaller amounts for finding particularly well hidden secrets or completing quests that aren't in your notebook. Though, having said that if the world and levels are interesting enough then people should explore without resorting to bribing them with XP.

IMO having separate skills and Aug systems would lead to more diverse and interesting characters.

Edit: The reward for hacking should be information and/or control over bots/alarms/turrets. If we are going to have financial rewards for hacking then either bring back ATMs or have some information (that can only be got by hacking) that can be sold to certain NPCs.

Ireidan
29th Mar 2012, 17:19
I wouldn't want hacking removed from the game entirely, but you should be rewarded just as much for being able to find the username/password to login manually. I don't really think either way should reward XP. As was said earlier, getting to read the information or getting the items behind the door is reward enough.

I've been replaying the game recently and just jotting down thoughts as I go along, which is where this post came from. I'm going to add two more.

4: Having stealth takedowns cost aug energy is very, very stupid. Here's what usually happens: I come upon two static guards facing away from me. I sneak up on one, use a stealth knockout. I then stand, twiddling my thumbs for a while behind the 2nd one until my meter refills and knock him out as well. This mechanic isn't realistic and doesn't serve any gameplay purpose, in my opinion.

5: This one is admittedly a small complaint, but if I shoot someone with a tranquilizer dart, his buddy shouldn't be able to come over and wake him up. Walking over to your buddy and slapping him upside the head doesn't remove injected chemicals from your body.

Like I said, love the game, and it nails that Deus Ex feeling. It just seems like the gameplay mechanics are fighting the player more than they should.

SDF121
29th Mar 2012, 17:48
It would be interesting to see the Praxis kits treated like the cyber modules from System Shock 2. Instead of continually mining the game for XP, Praxis kits would be digitally given to you upon completing objectives. In addition to this, there would also be hidden Praxis kits scattered throughout the game for you to acquire.

Solid_1723
29th Mar 2012, 17:56
4: Having stealth takedowns cost aug energy is very, very stupid. Here's what usually happens: I come upon two static guards facing away from me. I sneak up on one, use a stealth knockout. I then stand, twiddling my thumbs for a while behind the 2nd one until my meter refills and knock him out as well. This mechanic isn't realistic and doesn't serve any gameplay purpose, in my opinion.



While I did my fair share of standing behind the other guy twiddling my thumbs, there is a gameplay purpose behind it. If there was no energy cost, you could just run through some of the maps, spamming TDs like crazy. You would be incredibly OP that way.

The real problem in my opinion is, that the TDs are far too stealthy. You shouldn't be able to take down guards who are standing that close together without the other one realizing at all. But yes, chokeholding a single guard should not require any energy use in regard to realism.

EDIT:The problem would almost be solved if stealth TDs wouldn't net you so much more EXP than other means of disposing of enemies.

SDF121
29th Mar 2012, 19:53
The real problem in my opinion is, that the TDs are far too stealthy. You shouldn't be able to take down guards who are standing that close together without the other one realizing at all. But yes, chokeholding a single guard should not require any energy use in regard to realism.

I think that this issue could be solved by having melee takedowns happen in real time similar to how the takedowns worked in Battlefield 3 and Aliens vs Predator. This way, one may choose to take down a foe but doing so would leave you vulnerable for however long it takes to complete the act. Furthermore, I think the melee mechanics should be such that you cannot take down an opponent from the front (you have to sneak up from behind to take him down like the automatic takedown system in Battlefield 3). With the melee system set up like this, I see no reason why Eidos would have to continue requiring the use of an energy cell for a melee takedown since the new system would be less prone to being abused. Then again, Eidos could just include a traditional melee weapon in the next game where pressing the attack button will swing the weapon and holding the attack button would trigger an automatic takedown (if behind the opponent) in a fashion similar to how the knife is used in Battlefield 3.

68_pie
29th Mar 2012, 22:18
I think that this issue could be solved by having melee takedowns happen in real time similar to how the takedowns worked in Battlefield 3 and Aliens vs Predator. This way, one may choose to take down a foe but doing so would leave you vulnerable for however long it takes to complete the act. Furthermore, I think the melee mechanics should be such that you cannot take down an opponent from the front (you have to sneak up from behind to take him down like the automatic takedown system in Battlefield 3). With the melee system set up like this, I see no reason why Eidos would have to continue requiring the use of an energy cell for a melee takedown since the new system would be less prone to being abused. Then again, Eidos could just include a traditional melee weapon in the next game where pressing the attack button will swing the weapon and holding the attack button would trigger an automatic takedown (if behind the opponent) in a fashion similar to how the knife is used in Battlefield 3.

Bring back a normal melee combat system and retain one-hit takedowns as a reward for sneaking up behind someone. You can still choose whether to make it lethal or non-lethal but instead of an XP reward the choices effect how other people react to you.

It's how Alpha Protocol did it and it was executed really well.

SDF121
29th Mar 2012, 22:24
Bring back a normal melee combat system and retain one-hit takedowns as a reward for sneaking up behind someone. You can still choose whether to make it lethal or non-lethal but instead of an XP reward the choices effect how other people react to you.

It's how Alpha Protocol did it and it was executed really well.

I've also thought that it would be cool to have the ability to hold an opponent hostage to use as a human shield or to forcibly escort somewhere else (say an optic scanner). For example, if you sneak up from behind you can choose to grapple with them and place them in a hold where you hold a gun to their head. Then once you use the melee button to pistol whip them unconscious or pull the trigger to take them out. Furthermore, pressing the iron sight button would allow you to aim your gun at other foes while holding onto your human shield.

Romeo
29th Mar 2012, 23:31
While I did my fair share of standing behind the other guy twiddling my thumbs, there is a gameplay purpose behind it. If there was no energy cost, you could just run through some of the maps, spamming TDs like crazy. You would be incredibly OP that way.

The real problem in my opinion is, that the TDs are far too stealthy. You shouldn't be able to take down guards who are standing that close together without the other one realizing at all. But yes, chokeholding a single guard should not require any energy use in regard to realism.

EDIT:The problem would almost be solved if stealth TDs wouldn't net you so much more EXP than other means of disposing of enemies.
Well, it wouldn't be so bad if it was louder, like you said, if the patrol routes were much more common (making hiding bodies necessary), if the enemies communicated with eachother (Meaning they'd go to alert if someone failed to "check-in" after some time; Could be countered with an aug that allows Jensen to mimic the guard's voice to check-in himself) and lastly - and most importantly - if takedowns weren't stop-time events. If taking someone out exposed you for several seconds while making noise against a very mobile enemy that could eventually clue-in that you were taking them out, stealth would be much more difficult and rewarding. In my opinion, anyways.

68pie, you and I think quite alike apparently. Agreed entirely.

bajininja
11th Apr 2012, 15:35
Seems to me there are 3 ways which could fix the current XP system in DX3:

1. Just bring back the old DX1 RPG system with skill trees in addition to augmentations. That would fix most of the XP problems right away, as long as they didn't increase the amount of XP/skill points per completed bonus/objective.

2. Deepen the augmentation trees. For instance, in DX1 you had 4 tech levels per augmentation ( or most of them if I remember correctly). So for example, instead of having the maximum level of jump ability when you first buy it, why not add 4 tech levels to that specific aug. Jumping ability would increase as the level increased, with a maximum of 4. Same applies here, with keeping the same amount of XP received per bonus/objective.

3. Vastly decrease XP earned for bonuses and objectives. Also make leveling equal for all playstyles, without favoritism (thinking of hacking and takedowns in HR). I know there is a mod for the PC version that decreases XP earned per bonus, but unfortunately I don't have a good enough PC to run the game, so playing it on PS3.

Other than the somewhat broken XP system though, it's a great game that mostly does justice to the first game (excluding Invisible War).