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View Full Version : Flashbomb-Knockout Combo, Overpowered?



DoomyDoomyDoomDoom
9th Jun 2009, 07:03
ok it's a poll this time, sorry about that Master Taffer.

As some of you may or may not know, in TDP and TMA you were able to knockout guards blinded by your flashbombs. You could even blind-knockout large groups of them. TDS changed this. In TDS, guards were unable to be knocked out when blinded. Some people thought this was a bad change, others liked it.

The TDP and TMA way gave the FB more usefulness. The TDS way relegated the FB to a simple item that aids you in escape. The old way may have made the game easier and the new way may have made the game harder.

What do you think? Is the ability to knockout blinded guards overpowered? Should it be done away with or balanced somehow?

How would you like Thief 4 to handle this?

Hypevosa
9th Jun 2009, 07:04
If I flashbomb someone who's UNAWARE, I want to be able to knock them out...

Yes it's a powerful combination, but it can't be abused in the first 2 games since you never have enough flashbombs to do it to everyone.

In TDS, you can't do it because they snap out of it when you hit them (inspite of being able to carry 20 flashbombs)

I think as long as we are limited in the number of flashbombs we have, then it isn't overpowered... but if they give us flashbombs to the point we could retire if we sold them all, then it should probably be removed. (I only really used it for 2 guards standing too close to eachother for me to isolate, then I'd knock em both out while they were flashed).

My answer weighs on the quantity of flashbombs we are either able to carry, or are at our disposal. Therefore I cannot vote.

For thief 4, I say they limit the number we can purchase, and don't make them a common find (I mean really, how many people would have them outside of other thieves?) and allow us to knock people out who we flashbomb

MasterTaffer
9th Jun 2009, 07:06
Dude, that post took me a whole minute! Not cool! ;)

The flashbomb/blackjack combo was over powered and I'de like it ommited from Thief 4. It just made encounters far to easy. On the opposite side, striking a blinded opponent shouldn't magically restore his eyesight. If I strike a blinded opponent, he shouldn't scream "THERE YOU ARE!" and give chase. Making a blind swipe in my direction would be better.

DoomyDoomyDoomDoom
9th Jun 2009, 07:11
Hypevosa, you could vote on how it's been done in the past.

Also, just having one flashbomb was still extremely useful as a knockout assist. You could get a lot of guards to chase you and then blind-KO them in a group. I got busted in a mission recently ( I think it was Assassins) and was amazed when I blind-KO'ed a rather large group of guards (must've been like 6 of them). Just for the heck of it I stirred up this room full of guards (like a barracks or something) and blind-KO'ed every one of them with my other flashbomb.

So yeah, even one can be extremely useful.

Nate
9th Jun 2009, 07:23
Well, the guard/person is in full alert mode when a bomb goes off in their face...so according to past Thief logic, they can't be knocked out with the BJ.

That said, I don't mind if they allow BJ/Flash combos....BUT they will need more guards wearing helmets to balance things.

As it is suggested in the question though, definitely unbalanced!

Hypevosa
9th Jun 2009, 07:24
Hmm... I guess it also depends on how long they last then... I never thought they'd be effective for more than 3 guards max. Wouldn't gas arrows and bombs be overpowered then as well? I've knocked out 7 mechanists with one gas arrow due to the noisemaker arrow gas combo.

huzi73
9th Jun 2009, 08:14
It was never an issue really in the game at all, in fact, on my 1st playthrough of each game, (TDS included) I never bought or used a flashbomb. So if you feel its imbalanced, simply use less/dont use it. I disliked TDS approach of hitting a guard with the "magical sight stick" restores his eyesight. Its not really overpowered or imbalanced imho, view it like a flashbang in real life.

Hypevosa
9th Jun 2009, 08:20
If I had to choose between TDS's method or the first games I'd go with the first games method...it really is just a way for someone to waste their cash.

I say you just don't include those people in the blackjack stat, like they do with gased people in TDS. :D

ToMegaTherion
9th Jun 2009, 08:50
Flashbombs are cheaper than gas arrows and more effective, and gas arrows are pretty strong items, so I think the auto-knockout is way overpowered.

Hypevosa
9th Jun 2009, 09:05
see, but also in the first 2 games no matter where you hit them they'd get knocked out. If they were acting like normal people, and maybe actually moving a little, making the head shot harder with the blackjack, it wouldn't be too bad at all.

Keeper_Riff
9th Jun 2009, 10:31
I think blackjacking blinded guards would be OK if you weren't able to knock them out by striking them into their face. And if they are aware of player's presence, they should orient on player's footsteps and swing their weapon randomly. So if the player wants to BJ a blinded guard, he should carefully sneak behind their back.

Crypto
9th Jun 2009, 10:55
I agree with Hypevosa. If I use a flash bomb on an unaware enemy, I should be able to knock him out. I think a good balance would be that if you use a flash bomb on someone who's already on the verge of attacking you, he should, when blinded, swing his sword haphazardly, preventing you from getting in for a blackjack.

ToMegaTherion
9th Jun 2009, 11:27
I wouldn't say no to that if it was done well.

DoomyDoomyDoomDoom
9th Jun 2009, 15:07
Personally, I do believe it was an overpowered move. Having a flash bomb made me feel immortal in TDP and TMA. Even if they gave me only one, and made it very expensive, I would still get it for that secure feeling. It was neat to blind a guard for a blackjack, but it was too easy to abuse. I wouldn't mind being able to KO blinded guards if it wasn't so easy to do.

While I did like the occasional group blackjack, I think I prefer TDS' way of encouraging stealth and avoiding guards rather than just blind-KOing with ease.

I like the idea of them swinging their weapons around randomly. Might be silly though. Imagine a group of blind guards cutting each other up :D "take that!" "ouch! take this!" and so on, lol.

I could go either way in Thief 4, but only if the FB-BJ combo wasn't as powerful as it is now. I'm not sure how I would go about making it harder to pull off though.

Tushaar
9th Jun 2009, 15:12
I think it is overpowered :P but I use it, a lot! =))
And of course when i found out the door glitch in TMA and TDP, when you are behind a door which opens to your side and you block the door and blackjack a guard who was running towards you easily, then i started using that a lot too! :P

DarthEnder
9th Jun 2009, 18:35
I don't think its overpowers mainly because the Thief 1 and 2 don't give you that many flashbombs to work with.

What I think is overpowered is knocking out enemies from the front. It bothers me that you can deal with 90% of the guards in Thief 1 and 2 by standing in the dark the next room over, jump up and down to get every guard in the area walking towards you, then KO each one as he leans into arms reach.

The Blackjack should only work from behind. It's the same when flashbombed. Yes, flashbombing should make them KOable, but you should have to circle around behind them, and if you make noise doing it, they're gonna turn to face the noise. So you have to be smarth. Flashbomb on a silent enough surface, or flashbomb then make a noise behind them so they turn around for you.

Hypevosa
9th Jun 2009, 18:39
This is probably how I would do it:

Enemy must be unaware
only blinded for 5 seconds instead of like 10
their hearing is unaffected, so you still have to be a bit sneaky
actually move a little making lining up the headshot a little harder

If they were aware when you flashbombed them, I'd have them wave their sword in the direction of any noise they heard that wasn't there before, no matter how little it was. And it would probably result in guards occasionally stabbing other guards. but I would find that a little commical. "I THINK HE'S OVER HERE" *stab* "OW, you taff that's ME!" "oop. sorry *clonk* ughh..."

It would only be secure knockouts if you also threw a noisemaker at the situation. And if noisemakers aren't reusable like TDS, then I think it'd be balanced.

Terr
9th Jun 2009, 19:06
It's back to Gameplay vs. Reality.

Gameplay usually wins, and in this case I think gameplay says flashbombs are for escaping screw-ups rather than cheap knockouts. I don't care if it "makes sense" you could blind them and then knock them out, it's a bad gameplay mechanic.

If you must, have them turn randomly and wave their sword around while turning in a panicked way, swearing at their cowardly opponent.

That's ample explanation for why they're unblackjack-able.

Hypevosa
9th Jun 2009, 19:15
no, if we were arguing for realism we'd just be able to blackjack even aware guards. A hard smack to the head with a bag of lead will knockout anyone, aware or not, back of the head or front.

It's not a poor game mechanic, but it bears teaking like I was trying to do above.

DoomyDoomyDoomDoom
13th Jun 2009, 22:31
wow, the results are not what I expected. I figured it would be strongly in favor of one or the other. Look at that.

I gotta say I have such an easy time with the flashbombs. It's ridiculous. I played 'the sword' mission just recently, and as soon as my stealth was compromised I ran around gathering as many guards as I could. I then flashed and knocked the lot of them out. It was cheesy as hell, but damn was it effective. I was free to explore the area with no worries. Rather than using a flash on one guard that spots me, I found it was a lot better to just run around and get all of them together to clear the area with one flash. I do not like abusing the game like this, but it's too effective to ignore. The only way I can keep it challenging is by not equipping flashbombs or just wasting them immediately.

I must guess that the reason people don't think it's overpowered is because they haven't abused it as I have. On the surface it does just seem like a fun and practical thing, but once you've seen the power, there's no going back. Flashbombs are the best items.

Hypevosa
13th Jun 2009, 22:36
I just voted no to mess with you and put the poll in one direction XD

I think it could use tweaking (i.e. hit em on the head, and somehow have to get behind them to do so) but it's not overpowered like in the old games where smackin their hand will KO them.

jtr7
13th Jun 2009, 22:52
A flashbombed person would be blind and not see what's coming. At the very least they would be seriously hurt when a blackjack mushes into his/her scalp.

13LACK13ISHOP
13th Jun 2009, 23:21
The best solution would be to have blinded people temporarily knocked out and in nomal circumstances(not blinded) perminantly knocked out. When they wake up they sound the alarm,get back-up and search the area. Sounds reasonable.


Guards should attempt to stumble away and swing there sword blindly rather than just stand there like lemons also.

Hypevosa
13th Jun 2009, 23:22
The best solution would be to have blinded people temporarily knocked out and in nomal circumstances perminantly knocked out. When they wake up they sound the alarm,get back-up and search the area. Sounds reasonable

That would completely destroy the usefulness of a flashbomb... we don't want to completely nerf it, it's a signature tool of the series... why would a flash knock someone out anyways?

13LACK13ISHOP
13th Jun 2009, 23:29
That would completely destroy the usefulness of a flashbomb... we don't want to completely nerf it, it's a signature tool of the series... why would a flash knock someone out anyways?

No I meant when you blackjack them when they are blinded. And besides its just enough time for you to get away and find safety so I wouldnt say its completly destroyed its just not as ridiculas as the first one. Besides for the less able players we can make it only apply to lesser difficulties or make it just apply to the harder ones. I found it to easy to just slip away. In the original it was to big a lifeline. For the more able players its just to easy to blind and bash its like there is no penalty or consiquince.

Hypevosa
13th Jun 2009, 23:50
why not just flash them and run then? A flash of light won't make you magically able to get up after getting konked out, people would say it was nearly the same BS as hitting them and magically snapping them out of blindness in TDS. >_> why not just make it harder to knonk them out while they're blinded to begin with? don't make them get up from it

Belboz
14th Jun 2009, 01:38
well I'll get a flashbang you can all gather in a group and I'll set it off, then hit you on the head with a big club and the first one that says there vision clears when they first get hit is an idiot.

MasterTaffer
14th Jun 2009, 01:46
well I'll get a flashbang you can all gather in a group and I'll set it off, then hit you on the head with a big club and the first one that says there vision clears when they first get hit is an idiot.

Oh he's suffering a delusion based on a concussion... :nut:

jtr7
14th Jun 2009, 01:48
Visions of sugarplum taffers...

13LACK13ISHOP
14th Jun 2009, 12:08
why not just flash them and run then? A flash of light won't make you magically able to get up after getting konked out, people would say it was nearly the same BS as hitting them and magically snapping them out of blindness in TDS. >_> why not just make it harder to knonk them out while they're blinded to begin with? don't make them get up from it

Its not meant to be realistic its just meant to make it harder and more balanced. As for the flash and run, in for a penny in for a pound. It will at least slow them down for a X amount of time. It could range from 5 to 30 minuits depending on the difficulty so yeah it does have a point.

The make it harder to knock them out idea is also included in my idea and that was only to stop them looking like lemons. They would be limited to stumbling and swinging there sword blindly but even then it would be to easy.

Besides this could only apply to certain dificulties perhaps.This is only a rough idea. I would have to balance this first.

kabatta
14th Jun 2009, 12:32
We have a stick of lead and a chump, we hit him in the head. If we fail to hit, we use the flashbomb to hit him. Not overpowered. It's merely a mechanic that allows multyple solutions.

Psi Yamaneko
14th Jun 2009, 21:29
I'd think you should be able to flash-bomb groups. When a target is blinded he might flail around in a panicked state. This would make it a LOT harder to get in close enough to blackjack them, though they might strike each other once or twice.

Also, when a flashbomb is used in point-blank range, you get blinded too. I seem to remember you weren't affected by your own flashes in T3.

DoomyDoomyDoomDoom
14th Jun 2009, 23:57
hmm yeah, that's part of the problem. They all stay exactly where they are, and when you get them to group together it's pretty easy to knock them all out in that brief moment of blindness. It might be a lot better if they would move around, maybe even bumping into walls and whatnot. Maybe that movement would keep the player from knocking them all out in that brief moment.

jtr7
15th Jun 2009, 00:18
Yeah, 'cause when I can't see my environment I start freaking out and moving in random directions. Do we want even dumber guards?

Hypevosa
15th Jun 2009, 00:30
I think most people actually do spin and reach out at least trying to grab a wall so they can wait for there senses to return. Maybe they'd accidentally grab a thief on occasion XD

MasterTaffer
15th Jun 2009, 00:33
I think most people actually do spin and reach out at least trying to grab a wall so they can wait for there senses to return. Maybe they'd accidentally grab a thief on occasion XD

Especially if it's a female thief. They could accidentally grab their chest with hilarious results!

*Cue "Yakety Sax"*

jtr7
15th Jun 2009, 00:42
I think most people actually do spin and reach out at least trying to grab a wall so they can wait for there senses to return. Maybe they'd accidentally grab a thief on occasion XD

Only if they are unbalanced and taken by surprise in the middle of a movement. I don't know how the fighter AI would be trained, but usually fighters get themselves used to the kinds of situations they may encounter, so they aren't so surprised. With flashbombs all over The City, it wouldn't be farfetched that they would be taught how to maintain their bearings and increase their chances of survival from having their eyes blinded.

Gameplay is FAR more important than trying to make it a reality simulation. Most games ever invented are representative of life, symbolically, and Thief is no exception.

MasterTaffer
15th Jun 2009, 01:02
Gameplay is FAR more important than trying to make it a reality simulation.

Quoted for truth.

Hypevosa
15th Jun 2009, 01:39
Only if they are unbalanced and taken by surprise in the middle of a movement. I don't know how the fighter AI would be trained, but usually fighters get themselves used to the kinds of situations they may encounter, so they aren't so surprised. With flashbombs all over The City, it wouldn't be farfetched that they would be taught how to maintain their bearings and increase their chances of survival from having their eyes blinded.

Gameplay is FAR more important than trying to make it a reality simulation. Most games ever invented are representative of life, symbolically, and Thief is no exception.

I've been wondering about the mortality/quiting rate of guards... they apparently only get a few copper a week according to TDS, and they have probably one of the worst jobs out there. Gameplay is far more important than a reality simulation, but I don't know what that has to do with people attempting to find something to hold onto while they readjust their eyes? Maybe my idea sounds more extreme than I intended... if you've ever choked someone with a moss arrow, you know how they kinda spin a little bit and reach out for something... that's what I'm talking about, something where a player could still get up behind them for the whack if they wanted, it just wouldn't be super easy. If a guard managed to find a wall they could back against it and try to rub out their eyes, and if they grab a thief they could ask where the guy went, and you could point them the wrong way, XD

jtr7
15th Jun 2009, 02:07
Animation and environment. Every movement that isn't just gravity and velocity and collision needs to be animated by people. We would still get very goofy moments, just like the older games, where the animations would be laughably inappropriate. Real life is infinite in possibilities and we take a lot for granted. In a game everything has to be programmed.

DoomyDoomyDoomDoom
15th Jun 2009, 02:28
Yeah, 'cause when I can't see my environment I start freaking out and moving in random directions. Do we want even dumber guards?

....I actually think it's dumber to just stand there when an intruder blinds me. The least I would do is back up and wave my weapon around.


Gameplay is FAR more important than trying to make it a reality simulation. Most games ever invented are representative of life, symbolically, and Thief is no exception.

Yes, definitely. Gameplay is far more important than reality. Which is why I don't like the FB-BJ combo. It makes gameplay too easy. If that stays then anything that keeps it from being overpowered is good for me.

I'd imagine that if somebody caused my blindness I might freak out and move around a bit. A torch suddenly going out next to me would be highly suspicious. A blinding flash of light out of nowhere would be very alarming. Imagine you're a guard and you are blinded. You might want to get moving. This isn't regular power outage blindness we're talking about. This is "oh ****" blindness. I'd like to think stumbling away after being suddenly blinded in such a manner is a normal reaction. Have you ever been surprised? And I mean truly surprised. The kind of surprised that makes you fear for your life. You don't just stand there. At least, I don't.

Guards are already as retarded as can be in these games. The FB-BJ combo basically just removes them as an obstacle (imo). Heck, when I have FB's in TDP/TMA, guards are practically nonexistant.


Real life is infinite in possibilities and we take a lot for granted. In a game everything has to be programmed.

Yes of course. We can save a lot of time by just removing the FB-BJ combo.

jtr7
15th Jun 2009, 02:46
I've been very shocked and surprised and been struck in the face in pitch-blackness (and saw a flash of white from the pain), but I don't throw myself sideways, I jump and become rigid and then settle into a fighting stance. A servant or maid, I could understand, and maybe a new guard who's green, but the only people I've really seen that throw themselves around in surprise, are those who are lurching away from what they can see and feel, like something flying at them out of the corner of their eye, for instance.

Guards fearing for their life and fleeing FIRST in a Thief game would be a dumbing down, which is what the guards would be doing if blinded and lurching into terrain as a regular result of using a flashbomb. It would be used all the time to justify all the time and money spent on making it happen. Garrett could just walk between the flailing cowards.

The whole team will only be about 80 people at most, right now it's less, and the new team will be formed around 20 from the Deus Ex team. Without motion capture and fast programmers there will not be time or worry about all these animations you want. And no, it takes more time to disable the FB-BJ combo, because you have to program it not to do a set of things when another set of things has happened, when both already exist at once.

Hypevosa
15th Jun 2009, 03:10
There's a difference between fleeing and making yourself less vulnerable... standing in the same spot, when you don't know where the attacker is coming from makes you vulnerable, finding a wall to back against while you try to feel around, and probably have your weapon out, does not leave you so vulnerable. If I was a guard, unaware, and suddenly blinded, and knew about flashbombs, I'd probably immediately back myself to a wall with my sword drawn and just listen closely for running footsteps, and then start slashing that direction. If there had been someone else in the room, I'd probably listen for them too to make sure I wasn't about to hack someone innocent down.

If I didn't know about flashbombs I'd probably put my back to a wall and start rubbing my eyes trying to get them to work again... either way I'm not going to just stand in the middle of nowhere rubbing my eyes, I want a solid surface to be against.

jtr7
15th Jun 2009, 03:15
You don't move backwards unless you are sure you know what's behind you. In the older titles the weapon was out front and waving. In real life the ears would become important. Backing against a wall isn't reducing vulnerability under most circumstances, it's you looking for security and balance. It won't protect you from most attacks.


Also, they don't just stand there. You're attacking them or leaving before the starting taking cautious steps, feeling the ground with their feet and waving their hands and sword. The stand, then baby-step, settle down, and charge.

MasterTaffer
15th Jun 2009, 03:25
There's a difference between fleeing and making yourself less vulnerable... standing in the same spot, when you don't know where the attacker is coming from makes you vulnerable, finding a wall to back against while you try to feel around, and probably have your weapon out, does not leave you so vulnerable. If I was a guard, unaware, and suddenly blinded, and knew about flashbombs, I'd probably immediately back myself to a wall with my sword drawn and just listen closely for running footsteps, and then start slashing that direction. If there had been someone else in the room, I'd probably listen for them too to make sure I wasn't about to hack someone innocent down.

If I didn't know about flashbombs I'd probably put my back to a wall and start rubbing my eyes trying to get them to work again... either way I'm not going to just stand in the middle of nowhere rubbing my eyes, I want a solid surface to be against.

Problem is it's easy to say, "I would do this," when you're not in that situation. Once it happens, things change.

I have been in a CS gas chamber, pepper sprayed and flashbanged before. And these were for training purposes, so I knew they were going to happen. Some people bragging about how manly they are broke down and cried in agony int he gas chamber. One of my classmates in A school (Military job training) went through this long diatribe about how he was going to memorize the area and power through for the pepper spray course. He locked up the second he got sprayed and refused to go on. And the flashbang trianing was one big example of people in such utter shock that they were taken down quickly, despite claims of "backing into a wall" or "swinging wildly."

Saying you would do something and actually doing it can often be mutually exclusive in matters like these.

Hypevosa
15th Jun 2009, 03:25
it'll keep me from getting sapped or stabbed in the back would be my logic... they can only come at me from 180 degrees now instead of 360.

MasterTaffer
15th Jun 2009, 03:27
it'll keep me from getting sapped or stabbed in the back would be my logic... they can only come at me from 180 degrees now instead of 360.

Provided of course you don't get passed the initial shock of being blinded by surprise.

In all honesty, it would be far more realistic for guards to be knocked out after being flashbanged. But the reason I don't want it is because it feels way too over powered and takes almost all of the sense of dange rout of being caught. It makes gameplay too easy, despite being realistic.

DoomyDoomyDoomDoom
15th Jun 2009, 03:51
And no, it takes more time to disable the FB-BJ combo, because you have to program it not to do a set of things when another set of things has happened, when both already exist at once.

I'm not sure what this means. Wouldn't they just keep the Guards in an unblackjackable alert state when blinded? They would simply be unable to chase the player for a moment.

Why should the FB-BJ combo even be in the game? Why do some people prefer it over TDS' way?

jtr7
15th Jun 2009, 04:03
The flashbomb effect is enabled when the flashbomb goes off within the correct parameters. The blackjacking effect is enabled when the player strikes the AI with it. Both are enabled if the player does both, it takes more programming to tell the game to make an exception.

Now, I'm not talking preferences here, myself, but the question of why TDS is not preferred has been answered many times. At this time, the FB-BJ thing bothers most players, anyway. It's actually more reasonable for a skull-crushed blinded person to have trouble standing up, let alone, staying coherent, or awake, than to have the blindness turn off like a switch and act as if no damage occurred at all.


And of course, we aren't getting into the fact that SOMEthing needs to happen that isn't a drain on development time. I think the AI should be able to be hit, but not recover miraculously from blinding and sapping. And if the player weren't being aggressive there wouldn't be an issue, but it'll be hard to stop this exploit without continuing to piss fans off. The devs are painted into a corner with this one. An extreme solution--guaranteed to anger--would be to disable weapons while an AI is blinded by a flashbomb. Still doesn't make sense.

Hypevosa
15th Jun 2009, 04:11
That's also an area where you could chalk it up to different kinds of guards. Some are greenhorns, they'll break down, OH MY GOD I'M BLIND AHHHHHH, etc etc... some have had it happen before, and know how they want to react to it. I'm also sure that the shock of a flashbang is different than just a flash, you're messing with someone's ears and their sense of equillibrium, it would have a very devastating effect I would think compared to just a flash. (I wonder what the power of the flash bombs really is? I know there have been people who were rendered completely permanently blind by the flash bulbs used in the really old fashioned cameras if they got it right in the face)

jtr7
15th Jun 2009, 04:27
There's nothing loud about the sound, but it would add to the jump. It's not giving a sharp sound or a BANG!!, it's a Ki-Fwoomp!

MasterTaffer
15th Jun 2009, 04:29
Could be part of the drawback to using a flashbomb. It's loud and attracts others to the area.

DoomyDoomyDoomDoom
15th Jun 2009, 04:30
The flashbomb effect is enabled when the flashbomb goes off within the correct parameters. The blackjacking effect is enabled when the player strikes the AI with it. Both are enabled if the player does both, it takes more programming to tell the game to make an exception.

exception huh? So are you saying it would be easier for it to work depending on how alert they are already? Like you would be able to BJ a blinded, but unaware guard and you would not be able to BJ a blinded, but aware guard? That way there are no exceptions. It's the way they already are at that time.


It's actually more reasonable for a skull-crushed blinded person to have trouble standing up, let alone, staying coherent, or awake, than to have the blindness turn off like a switch and act as if no damage occurred at all.

doh, I don't mean the magic vision stick in TDS. I mean just not being able to blackjack them at all when they are blind. I thought it was great that the FB was only for blinding and making your getaway in TDS. The result of trying to blackjack them was pretty stupid. I always thought that was a bit of an oversight/bug in the game. I figured they were not supposed to be knocked out when blind, yet they were also supposed to stay blind when you hit them.


And of course, we aren't getting into the fact that SOMEthing needs to happen that isn't a drain on development time. I think the AI should be able to be hit, but not recover miraculously from blinding and sapping. And if the player weren't being aggressive there wouldn't be an issue, but it'll be hard to stop this exploit without continuing to piss fans off. The devs are painted into a corner with this one. An extreme solution--guaranteed to anger--would be to disable weapons while an AI is blinded by a flashbomb. Still doesn't make sense.

I don't see anything wrong with just making blind-aware guards unblackjackable (same result as hitting a guard with BJ in a fight). And blind-unaware guards could just remain blackjackable. edit. the more I think about it the more I like that. The best of both worlds? I wouldn't be able to just round em all up because they would all be aware. I would still be able to ambush a guard or group that doesn't suspect me though. It might be balanced that way. I dunno.

jtr7
15th Jun 2009, 05:03
Like I said, there doesn't seem to be a good solution.

Hypevosa
15th Jun 2009, 05:28
I like FB-BJ for unaware guards, and not for aware guards. While logically it isn't perfect, it gives you the best of both worlds like doom said. Plus, you can FB-BJ guards in TDS, you just have to get behind them and wait for their sight to return, and all the sudden you can blackjack em again.

DoomyDoomyDoomDoom
15th Jun 2009, 07:19
hmm I never did that in TDS. Does that work even when they are alert? So they just go back to normal when they get their vision back? Might try it out and see how effective it is. I don't suppose it's possible to get a nice group that way?

Hypevosa
15th Jun 2009, 08:06
No, it only works on people who were unaware... they are unaware for a moment after they stop being blinded, and you can konk em, but you can't do groups because people always hear people get knocked out now in TDS.

ToMegaTherion
15th Jun 2009, 08:33
I don't think you should be able to knock out alerted guards at all. Serves you right for alerting them. I don't care about realism.

fayfuya
15th Jun 2009, 18:58
That combo would be so lame, you guys can't just blind some1 and escape? why hurting the guy?
If anyone is really that lame so don't play the game.
Thief 4 should be without flash-bomb + blackjack-backstab combo

kaekaelyn
15th Jun 2009, 19:29
Here's what I think:

You toss a flashbomb to blind a guard. Whether he was aware or unaware didn't matter--he's considered "aware" now, but unable to pursue you because he is blind. Now you think, "Let's try the ol' tried and true flashbomb+blackjack combo!" So you run up to him and bop him on the head.

I think he should just yell something like "Where the hell did that come from?" or simply "AHH!" and start swinging his sword around wildly. Realistic? Not really, but it's not overpowered, and it's not the TDS system, which was stupid in my opinion.

I also thought maybe a guard that is blinded could start yelling for help and attracting the attention of other nearby guards. I mean, I guess he already sort of does that, but I think it could be riskier to flashbomb someone if he really started trying to get other guards into the area.

Myth
15th Jun 2009, 20:31
It was overpowered i can't twist facts around. If one didn't impose limits on himself he could run around, alert 8 or so guards and knock them out all at once with one flash bomb.

TDS did not nerf that, they gave us the gas bomb right? Same effect, but no knockouts required. IMO if the player wants an easy time he can have it. I tried to refrain from using any tools at all.\

I can't see the devs making the new game more difficult - the kids would simply stomp their little feet and cry too much. So once again i'm at least hoping for the option of imposing the limit myself.

BTW the best possible use i ever had for flash bombs was on my first run of Return to the Cathedral. I jumped down from the ledge, right in the middle of a dozen haunts, threw two FBs at the floor in rapid succession, and when the world returned from bright white to normal, there was not a single undead left :) Good times!

DoomyDoomyDoomDoom
15th Jun 2009, 20:44
BTW the best possible use i ever had for flash bombs was on my first run of Return to the Cathedral. I jumped down from the ledge, right in the middle of a dozen haunts, threw two FBs at the floor in rapid succession, and when the world returned from bright white to normal, there was not a single undead left :) Good times!

Yeah they were super effective against undead.

Weird I don't remember the gas bomb at all, just looked it up. Sounds cheesy.

Myth
15th Jun 2009, 20:50
Weird I don't remember the gas bomb at all, just looked it up. Sounds cheesy. Yes, quite so. But that's in the same game that allows for unaccounted killing on it's highest difficulty setting, so i just put it as "yet another thing i should not use".

jtr7
15th Jun 2009, 21:06
When I'm not playing the game but running through it for research, I stay loaded up on gas bombs, gas arrows, flashbombs and just move relatively unhindered. Definitely too powerful to be sold, and should be more rare than they are.

Hypevosa
15th Jun 2009, 22:35
Yeah they were super effective against undead.

Weird I don't remember the gas bomb at all, just looked it up. Sounds cheesy.

They nerfed the gas arrow's effective radius, and made the gas bomb instead >_> bastards...

jtr7
16th Jun 2009, 00:14
I haven't tried it out, but does the gas still snuff flames?

Hypevosa
16th Jun 2009, 00:48
yes it does, and the gas does what gas arrows and mines used to do size wise... gas arrows' effective radius was halved for this new invention.

tinetone
25th Aug 2011, 15:32
Maybe there should be some people with dark glasses imune to flashbomb...

Hypevosa
25th Aug 2011, 15:50
Maybe there should be some people with dark glasses imune to flashbomb...

People in welding masks. When they have them down they're immune to flash, but when they're up, they're immune to blackjacking.

Sounds like fun to me.

jtr7
25th Aug 2011, 22:58
Yep. A rare blind person, workers in welding masks, eyeless subterranean creatures... Not sunglasses, though.

Platinumoxicity
26th Aug 2011, 08:05
It would be impossible for people in welding masks to see anything that isn't in direct light. There's no reason to flash them :D

jtr7
26th Aug 2011, 09:10
Yep. That's why it's useless and they are still immune to flashbombs in more ways than one. Give them ears.

Hypevosa
26th Aug 2011, 11:03
You have severely hindered sight but you can still see out of a welder's mask so long as there's light somewhere.

Mainly I see the interaction being something along the lines of this: the welder is welding, a slightly loud activity so the player just walks on by under the mask of sound. They end up knocking over something big and making alot of noise, causing the welder to stop what he's doing and lift his mask to look in the direction of the sound. *Flash* They back up against their work bench and work to clear their eyes for a few moments. Able to see again, drop their mask to prevent such an event from happening again and proceed with the search, blowtorch in hand to light the shadows and any flamable thieves.

No, there's no point to straight out flash the welder when he works, but the mask gives him protection from you after his experience with your unique little toy. He will likely not be constantly working anyways and will have his mask up then. I'd also expect his workplace to be well lit for his own safety besides, meaning a flashbomb would be a normally good means of slipping past him to get some of the gear he's making or whatever else has you in that room to begin with.

thesteppenwolf
26th Aug 2011, 22:16
You are not seriously suggesting this, are you? How could this realistically be ANYTHING more than a gimmick? Even in a work shop or factory, how many welders do you envision? The whole idea just seems silly.
I have recently been replaying TDP, as it runs on my graphic card-less laptop, and I only use the flash/blackjack as a last resort when I am spotted. It is a little overpowered, and perhaps it should be limited to easier difficulties.

But seriously, now we are going to have welding guards? Although, watching a guy weld in the dark would involve some awesome lighting effects. Still, the whole idea of multiple enemies in welding masks seems so gimmicky. I think best solution is to remove the flash/bj ability on a higher difficulty level.

jtr7
26th Aug 2011, 22:45
Hahahahaha!

Hypevosa
27th Aug 2011, 04:35
You are not seriously suggesting this, are you? How could this realistically be ANYTHING more than a gimmick? Even in a work shop or factory, how many welders do you envision? The whole idea just seems silly.
I have recently been replaying TDP, as it runs on my graphic card-less laptop, and I only use the flash/blackjack as a last resort when I am spotted. It is a little overpowered, and perhaps it should be limited to easier difficulties.

But seriously, now we are going to have welding guards? Although, watching a guy weld in the dark would involve some awesome lighting effects. Still, the whole idea of multiple enemies in welding masks seems so gimmicky. I think best solution is to remove the flash/bj ability on a higher difficulty level.

It's called attention to detail and, normally, people appreciate it. The thief universe is full of billions of examples of heavy tech, and someone has to be putting all the pieces together - whether it be a closet mechanist who is working in his private workshop, or a bunch of hammers creating more great works in the name of the builder. Where are the workshops full of inventors, clockmakers and smiths? There are lots of people involved in making a functioning steampunk world - we've only really been exposed to the many different types of magic users. Aside from the Hammerites (and at one time mechanists) we haven't really seen the craftsmen of the thief universe, and I don't think the hammers are the ones who build absolutely everything of technological significance - I'd be very surprised to know they were the ones making and selling flashbombs and mines for example.

I'm not suggesting everyone start wearing welding masks, but they're an item that would offer unique scenarios for the player to play out.

I think enemies who are flashbombed should react appropriately, and it should be harder than usual to blackjack them. Normally, when someone is rendered blind, they'll attempt to find an object to brace against and move towards the last spot they remembered solid surfaces being. So, in this case, a guard would probe for the wall, then brace themselves against it and clear their eyes, making it impossible to blackjack them if you weren't quick about it.

Making blackjacking a flashbombed opponent impossible is unnecessary if we can just make it a challenge instead.

jtr7
27th Aug 2011, 04:52
I'd be content with a still-simple-but-more-complex setup where blackjacking a flashbombed opponent will not knock them out (except, maybe, under combined preceding factors) and not ever clear their vision, just primarily cause injury with a pained reaction as they remain blinded and trying not to stumble. I think their hearing should increase, except where other variables could cause the reverse. If they could make a wild swipe with sword/hammer/claw, without requiring a whole new animation, and/or if AIs could stumble more and not just in one context, it would fill in missing reactions a little better. I would hope it would combine animations already in place for a new effect.

If animations could be layered, rather than all-new, all-separate, full-bodied animations per condition, but head, upper-body, hips and torso, with specialized leg and arm movements, combined on the fly in combat and charging across odd terrain off the beaten patrol path, and related to, but not beholden to the proprietary licensing of other companies' physics engines, it could play out nicer, and leave less-desirable reactions in the past, but it's almost its own project.


Not KO'ing and not clearing their vision are the first steps int he right direction, and if they have time afterall, layer it up.

Hypevosa
27th Aug 2011, 05:21
It's one thing if you've already set someone off to the point they drew their weapon and started looking for you. Yeah, have them swing wildly so long as they don't have a partner nearby they want in one piece. However, I don't see any reason that someone unaware of what's going on should suddenly gain immunity to a sap striking them in the base of the skull - it's as strange as suddenly regaining their vision to me.

If flashbombs aren't so common they're a dime a dozen or we can't carry that many, and if guards behave realistically after a flashbomb and aren't standing still, asking Garrett if he could massage the base of their skull with his blackjack, then there's no reason for such shoddy patchwork as immunity to KO.

I don't like the idea of band-aid fixes when we have ample time to actually do some decent stitch work instead.

thesteppenwolf
27th Aug 2011, 13:02
It's called attention to detail and, normally, people appreciate it. The thief universe is full of billions of examples of heavy tech, and someone has to be putting all the pieces together - whether it be a closet mechanist who is working in his private workshop, or a bunch of hammers creating more great works in the name of the builder. Where are the workshops full of inventors, clockmakers and smiths? There are lots of people involved in making a functioning steampunk world - we've only really been exposed to the many different types of magic users. Aside from the Hammerites (and at one time mechanists) we haven't really seen the craftsmen of the thief universe, and I don't think the hammers are the ones who build absolutely everything of technological significance - I'd be very surprised to know they were the ones making and selling flashbombs and mines for example.

I'm not suggesting everyone start wearing welding masks, but they're an item that would offer unique scenarios for the player to play out.

I think enemies who are flashbombed should react appropriately, and it should be harder than usual to blackjack them. Normally, when someone is rendered blind, they'll attempt to find an object to brace against and move towards the last spot they remembered solid surfaces being. So, in this case, a guard would probe for the wall, then brace themselves against it and clear their eyes, making it impossible to blackjack them if you weren't quick about it.

Making blackjacking a flashbombed opponent impossible is unnecessary if we can just make it a challenge instead.

I agree, but how many people would actually be welding? I have worked in a railroad repair shop, and out of 100 guys we had 3 welders, one for each shift... I think 20 guys walking around with flip down welding helmets would be excessive.
For me, the more welders there are, no matter how cool the lighting would be, the more there are the LESS immersive the game is...

Platinumoxicity
27th Aug 2011, 13:15
Yep. There are actually only 3 welders in the Thief series. 2 in cutscenes in Thief 1, and one hammerite machinist in TDS.

Hypevosa
27th Aug 2011, 14:49
I agree, but how many people would actually be welding? I have worked in a railroad repair shop, and out of 100 guys we had 3 welders, one for each shift... I think 20 guys walking around with flip down welding helmets would be excessive.
For me, the more welders there are, no matter how cool the lighting would be, the more there are the LESS immersive the game is...

I guess it really depends on where we go and what we do in T4, doesn't it?

If there's 20 guys in the same room in T4 that's more indicative of a problem than anything. Throughout the whole game, I'd expect to run into them maybe 2 or 3 times as individuals and also as a team working together intermittently.

Just because you do something awesome doesn't mean you have to go around in a game and flaunt it the entire time, because it then becomes less awesome or even annoying. That's something some developers don't understand, but thief always has a naturally low NPC count to begin with given how late Garrett plys his trade. They'd really have to make some kinda mistake if there were more than 12 or so of these guys in the entire game - unless we ran across some sort of massive sweatshop that was full of people on assembly lines doing nothing but welding.

TheYouthCounselor
28th Aug 2011, 09:59
I never understood the reason behind why you couldn't knockout someone who was aware. But due to the climate of these forums, I'll concede before the rest of you tear me to shreds.

However, not being able to knockout a foe that is rendered blinded and deaf/dazed and confused? You're kidding me, not being able to take down someone who was ready is one thing, but a blind and deaf man?

tinetone
28th Aug 2011, 10:29
I never understood the reason behind why you couldn't knockout someone who was aware.
I think you were able to do it in T2, just not in T3.

Hypevosa
28th Aug 2011, 23:47
You can't K.O. someone who's aware with a blackjack because, normally, someone who is aware of your presence is much more resistant to being K.O.ed. Part of the reason saps and blackjacks were so effective at one time was not because someone the size of Duke Nukem used it and could crush the back of your skull in - but because your system wasn't ready for the shock of the blow.

There are times where it's possible to K.O. an aware opponent - obviously people with a "glass jaw" where their physiology is such that punching them in the jaw will deliver the full force of a blow into their skull and rattle their brains, or simply where one applies enough force anywhere in the skull to do the same thing. Theoretically, we could K.O. an aware opponent if we bludgeoned them with the blackjack enough, but you'd still risk killing them more from all the bleeding you'd inevitably cause beating their face in with the blackjack.

jtr7
29th Aug 2011, 00:14
In real life, a person who doesn't know what's coming cannot brace themselves, reflexively roll with the blow, react before the hit, clinch muscles, or disperse the impact. In real life, the element of surprise is a factor. In the older titles, if the AI cannot see Garrett at all, no matter how alert, they will get knocked out. It doesn't matter if they are blind from a flashbomb or Garrett is standing in total darkness. In the games, there are no animations to indicate the thousands of things a person can really do, and no variables to cover most of them, so it's going to be unrealistic.

Tryst
29th Aug 2011, 08:43
It needs to be done properly or not at all. Only allow BJ to back of guard and limit the number of FB's. The guard should continue to turn and swing in your direction if he hears your footsteps but if you're running off, it doesn't matter. This is a game of stealth, both visibly and audibly and just like if the guard can't see you in the dark, he should still react to your footsteps when temporarily blinded.

Also, a FB should destroy his night vision for a while, making him unable to see you for a while in low light when he would have done if alerted and not affected by the FB. Maybe rubbing his eyes frequently in a vain attempt to get his night vision back until it comes back normally to give you an indication that he has limited night vision.

If you think the combo is OP, you don't have to use it. It's a good combo to have for two or more guards in one place like a doorway.

Reno27
29th Aug 2011, 18:24
Hey guys.

Personally I've found the FB alone to be very effective. It's a useful tool for quicker escapes if you get caught. Then you go back and do what the game WANTS you to do, which is sneak past. Plus, there's always the Gas Bomb. :P

tinetone
29th Aug 2011, 18:35
Mabe FB should be less effective in strong light since human eye in light areas is adepted to stronger light and sudden flashes of strong light wont really blind you.

Hypevosa
29th Aug 2011, 19:06
see, the issue becomes that where you most often want to use the FB is where there's enough light that it's hazardous to move through it since a guard is looking there... the flashbomb would lose alot of the situations where it really shines.

I do agree with the principle though - perhaps a simple boost in duration against those who are currently looking into nothing but darkness, or nocturnal creatures.

Reno27
29th Aug 2011, 19:35
At least it would add a bit more realism. :D

tinetone
29th Aug 2011, 21:16
see, the issue becomes that where you most often want to use the FB is where there's enough light that it's hazardous to move through it since a guard is looking there... the flashbomb would lose alot of the situations where it really shines.

I do agree with the principle though - perhaps a simple boost in duration against those who are currently looking into nothing but darkness, or nocturnal creatures.
You are right about that.
It was just an idea since people are complaining about how owerpowered it is.
PS: What about smoke granade or some kind of tear gas for light areas?

Hypevosa
29th Aug 2011, 21:50
The reason flashbombs are better is mainly because the player can use them without afflicting himself. Smokebombs cause vision issues for Garrett too, and teargas is something he would be subject to as well. A flashbomb in the hands of a skilled player offers the full package - allowing them to see and move through territory they just caused a guard to not be able to do the same in.

Ultimately it also just becomes a matter of redundancy. Why bother with the programming, creation and debugging of 1 or two other tools when you can just have the one justafiably perform the other functions?

Flashbombs would be MORE effective in the dark, certainly, but ultimately if someone took a flashbulb camera and you were staring directly at it when they set it off, even if it were high noon, you'd be having sight issues for at least a little while if you weren't rendered blind.

tinetone
29th Aug 2011, 22:11
I dont think so becouse sun is much brihter than any artificial light source, but luckily game doesnt have sun so yes FB would still be effective anywere in the game.
But if FB would be less effecive on strong light than light would be even more dangerous than before. This however could be new challenge.

Davehall380
30th Aug 2011, 12:24
I suppose the extent to how overpowered the FBs are depends on your style of play.

jtr7
30th Aug 2011, 12:59
And it's only a real problem for those who find it too tempting an option.

Odyseeos
30th Aug 2011, 13:51
FBKO was complex for clumsies like me; once in T1, once in T2, T3 never.

Tryst
1st Sep 2011, 13:16
FBKO was complex for clumsies like me; once in T1, once in T2, T3 never.

That's because T3 prevented it. You couldn't KO guard because he would snap out of it as soon as you hit him. It was like trying to KO an alert guard whether it was from behind or not.

Hypevosa
1st Sep 2011, 15:22
I've made a revolutionary discovery! Guards have literally evolved, developing a rather curious physiological anomaly. It appears that a very strong impulse of light sent through the optical nerve will actually result in the activation of an, until now, undeveloped autonomic nervous response. This action potential travels down a newly developed nerve that branches from the optic nerve and to the base rear of the skull, where a pouch has developed. This nerve releases acetylcholine onto a sphincter, causing contraction to occur and the sphincter to open, allowing a good portion of cerebrospinal fluid to leak into the sack - creating an edema at the lower base of the skull. This sack provides enough cushioning to soften the blow from a blackjack to the back of the head, such that it is impossible to knock the guard out. Even more miraculous is what the placement of the pouch and sphincter allow to occur!

Striking this pouch hard will cause a jet of cerebrospinal fluid into the rear portion of the brain, directly targeting the visual cortex! This sudden pressure change causes a shock that, in essence, "reboots" the visual cortex - causing an imperceptible moment of blindness followed by completely recovered visual acuity!

I suspect that this reflex was bred into the guard population on purpose by someone with a greater purpose - the guards who did not have the reflex were fired when they were found "sleeping" on the job, leading to a loss of income, and eventual death before they had the chance to reproduce. However, guards with the reflex were promoted, paid more, caught more thieves, and thus, got to produce many more progeny and perpetuating this revolutionary new asset!

Absolutely fascinating...

(P.S. I'm a pharmacy major and do have medical background, this is my best explanation for the unique ability of TDS guards)