Deus Ex Human Revolution EP35:Deus Accent

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Mar 13, 2012

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 160 comments

Link (YouTube)

In this episode, Chris brought up the point that some people have claimed the game is enforcing a “right” and “wrong” way to play by way of XP rewards. To wit: The game gives out more XP for stealth than for direct murder.

During the episode I countered that the game does give rewards for killing. Notably, I think that a tranq and a lethal headshot give the same reward. (20 bonus XP.) However, I wasn’t taking into account the end-of-sequence lump-sum payments. The rewards for “ghost” and “smooth operator” are huge, and you can’t get those if you ever go in guns blazing.

I suppose you can make the argument that a stealth-focused character needs a lot more praxis points. Any lunkhead can murder their way through the game. You pretty much just need the armor augs. But if you really want to sneak and avoid all detection then you need cloaking, extra batteries, silenced movement, and some computer hacking skills. Taking the augs to let you see enemy behavior on your mini-map can save you from a load of save-scumming.

But the real question that’s nagging me: What’s to stop you from traversing an area, scoring ghost and smooth operator, and then backtracking to pick off the stragglers for more XP? Perhaps you’re only given those rewards once it’s impossible to backtrack? Perhaps the rewards are for story sections and not physical space? (So, if you ghost Section A and then backtrack, your frontal assault murders perpetrated while backtracking will count against getting Ghost in Section B.) I don’t know. I’ve been through the game a few times now, but I can’t remember exactly where these rewards are given.

Assuming we want equal XP rewards for all play styles, how would we do that? Should there be an XP equivalent to “Smooth Operator” (let’s call it, “Crazed Gunman”) for killing all foes? But doesn’t that make the choice ultimately meaningless? In effect, it would became a system that punished you for the slightest inconsistency. (Leave one person alive, and no Crazed Gunman. Get seen by one person, and you miss Ghost.)

It’s an interesting consideration. This is a tough thing to balance because we’re bringing in a lot of meta-game considerations. Stealthing an area usualy takes a bit of trial-and-error save scumming, while murder is less troublesome. You could argue that this game is balancing the overall hassle experienced by the player, as opposed to making things balanced for the character, thus making the competing play styles roughly equal in terms of expediency.

Again, I can’t say one way or the other. Balanced or not, I really had a blast with both play styles.


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160 thoughts on “Deus Ex Human Revolution EP35:Deus Accent

  1. Infinitron says:

    What you said – it’s based on story sections, not physical space.

  2. Theminimanx says:

    You can also just sneak into the harvester hideout through an airvent on the roof. But then again, when you have exploding bullets…

  3. Gamer says:

    I noticed Josh’s frame-rate began to drop towards the end of the episode. Tomorrow’s gonna be fun.

    I too loved that you couldn’t convince Zelany. He knows what he’s doing and knows the consequences, and he has already accepted them.

    Also, you have 7 Praxis Points and don’t spend them. I rarely have more than 3 Praxis in my inventory at a time. Buy SOMETHING!!!

    1. Jason says:

      On two separate occasions, I had 10 and 11 points, respectively, saved up. As in, I accumulated ten, spent them all, and then picked up eleven more.

      1. MrPyro says:

        I think I peaked at 13 or so.

        In some cases I really should have spent them, but I’d just forgotten that certain useful augs existed; finally completing the second boss fight and then discovering that there was an electrical immunity aug that I could have bought was a little annoying.

  4. Thomas says:

    I love the warrior-priest quest. A guy gives me a quest, I go hunt the guy down for him, talk to him, decide that he sounds like a sensible reasonable guy and let him continue.

    The game just tricks you into not playing the game, I stopped thinking about the reward but just how I want the world to be. And once I’m making choices like that, they’ve sold the world to me.

    Also, Icarus frickin’ Aug this was your last chance to parachute into a nightclub in gloey neon yellow light.

    And I don’t mind them baiting. I think the job of a game-designer is to trick you into doing more. That’s why shooters design maps so you can’t just sit in a choke or camp. In the same way they try to get you to play more advanced playstyles and stay in touch with Jensen’s character

    1. MatthewH says:

      Once I figured out that Zelazny was in the sewers, I went hunting for him. And I ran into the Harvesters. And I thought “huh, I wasn’t expecting this many guys.” And I tried really hard to be non-lethal -but there were just so many I eventually had to pull out the combat rifle. And I was wondering to myself how I was going to explain things to Zelazny when I opened the door.

      “TONG!? Wait? You’re Zelazny? And why do we have a cutscene for a sidequest?”

  5. Licaon_Kter says:

    Going non-lethal/stealth I found my self holding 10+ unused praxis kits on every level ending, either way the XP bonus is there only if you look at it on purpose, I find it’s nice to get an ‘explorer +200xp’ just because it means I found some new area but I like to explore every inch of the map before going forward. ;)

    On the unused praxis kits, I only upgraded stuff that was needed at that moment, so for my stealthy Jensen breaking walls, surviving a 4 floor landing and kicking 2 guys at once were not needed and not desired, actually when I test upgraded some hacking tricks at the start of the TV station I lost the fun part of the hacking minigame since the detection rate went down and I was hacking high level locks without even being detected. :-

  6. Ambitious Sloth says:

    You do have quite a collection of praxis points there. If only you drop them on mines and kill people with them. Then maybe all those points would be useful.

    For some reason they remind me of Season 5’s incinerator.

    1. Zombie says:

      No, no, no, this is like him not putting points into Energy Weapons when they were doing Fallout 3, and the only weapon he used was the friking Gause(?) rifle.

  7. Wolverine says:

    XP bonus for headshot is the same, but you get extra XP for tranq headshot for keeping them alive. Same goes for takedowns – non-lethal grant bonus XP. For non-lethal double takedown you get (I think) 125 XP, so as a stealth character who takes down everybody, you get HUGE amounts of XP…

    1. Sydney says:

      This is the only thing I’d change about the XP system. Make a lethal (noisier) takedown give more XP to balance it out, OR make the non-lethal takedown loud and the lethal takedown quiet and leave the XP the same.

      1. Jeff says:

        Alpha Protocol does it kind of like that, where it’s easier and quieter to stab somebody in the neck than it is to beat them into submission.

        1. Grudgeal says:

          You also get different perks for going lethal vs. non-lethal (which are mutually exclusive), which further rewards sticking to your particular preferences. Also, none of that silly ‘waste an energy bar for a takedown’, which never made much sense to me.

    2. Jeff says:

      Indeed, you don’t get the same XP at any point.

      Ranged, you get the headshot XP regardless, but you also get the non-lethal XP. Melee, not only do you get more XP for non-lethal, it’s faster and quieter compared to his pointlessly flashy kills. As mentioned, Story-wise you get more from sneaking around too.

      Basically the game encourages you to be non-lethal (greater reward and easier) over both lethal means AND sneaky-avoidance.

    3. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Yup,thats why I bought the reflex booster,and then went out punching everyone for massive xp gain.

      The way I proposed in one of the earlier threads on how to solve this is to give you xp not when you deal with the enemy,but when you finish the section.Instead of ghost and smooth operator,youd get,for example,50 xp for every enemy that didnt know youre there (you didnt kill them/knock them out),40 if you disposed of them,but wasnt seen,30 if you were seen by them,but disposed of them,20 if you were seen but just ran away.

      1. Sumanai says:

        How about 50 xp for each who didn’t notice you, for being stealthy, 50 xp for each who did notice you but didn’t kill you, because you were capable of dodging bullets or hiding behind cover?

        At least no-one would have a reason to complain that the game favours one play style over the other.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Why give the same reward for something thats easier?Stealth is hard,therefore it should give you more xp.

          1. Even says:

            I wouldn’t say it’s that much harder. Just more time consuming.

          2. Sumanai says:

            The trick is, if the game is balanced correctly, getting through or out of a fight can be just as hard.

          3. Soylent Dave says:

            Why not just give you an XP reward for ‘defeating the obstacle’.

            The game is built in nodes anyway – you have a room full of bad guys you have to get through. Whether you kill them all, stun them all, or sneak past them all, your objective is ‘get through the room’ – and it’s when that is accomplished that you should get your XP (no matter which option you choose).

            Similarly for collecting plot-specific items and so on – it shouldn’t matter for XP terms whether you set a load of alarms off, or sneak in and out like a ghost and deactivate all the security, if you still get the item. For story and gameplay purposes it matters a great deal whether you’re sneaking successfully or setting every alarm in the base off, but I don’t see why that needs to be linked to XP.

            (I’d also challenge the ‘stealth is harder’ point – stealth is just more time-consuming. It’s not necessarily more difficult than, for example, going in guns blazing and having to fight all the guards in one area in a stand-up gunfight – it’s just a different playstyle (I do tend towards stealth myself, though))

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              “get through the room”

              Maybe.In human revolution your objective usually is “get through the room as quietly as possible”.In which case stealth does equal more xp.In the end,that depends on the game.You wouldnt want players to be rewarded for slaughtering everyone in a thief game,despite what thief 3 might suggest.

              As for stealth being just more time consuming,thats not true.If we eliminate save scumming(say higher difficulties give you limited/no saves),you need patience,observation of enemies patrol routes,careful planning and timing,which is harder than just relying on your shooting reflexes.Thats assuming you are equally skilled with all of those.

              1. Sumanai says:

                I don’t know if you really need to punish them for it either. In Thief games I’d say it’s enough to make the combat so difficult that most players will want to avoid it at all costs in a serious playthrough. Except maybe on Easy, but that’s a different thing. After all if you don’t really gain anything from killing people and it’s time consuming you’re most likely not to do it.

                Except for murder leaving pools of blood that can warn guards that then raise the alarm making them gang up on you. That’s fine. Naturally occurring or forming consequences are just fine.

                1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Giving you more xp for stealth is not punishing you for going on a murder spree,its rewarding you for not doing it.

                  1. Sumanai says:

                    That depends on the perspective and how the game was balanced. If the drop in xp affects difficulty and it was adjusted for those who get it, you’re not rewarded for stealth but punished for slaughter. After all, the xp is necessary to keep the intended challenge.

                    Works the opposite too. If you get permanently debuffed every time you commit murder, but the game was designed for the difficulty that follows from it, sneaking around in a normal, non debuffed, state is a bonus.

                    And a third way to think about it: if you get debuffed right in the beginning of the game and you get an ability that removes it for couple of minutes and then it’s activated again. Is the ability a buff or a temporary cure?

                    But if the game works fine either way, what’s the point? The more obsessive compulsive would be restarting the level anyway, and the rest don’t care.

                    I don’t know if I want an xp or a skill system in a Thief game though. But I didn’t really like the skill system in System Shock 2 either, so I might not be the target audience.

      2. Grudgeal says:

        Alpha Protocol had a system like that, where you got XP for ‘enemies avoided’ as well as ‘enemies defeated’ (which accounts for both killing and KOing) at the end of every mission. It seemed fairly arbitrary, however. Way I played, either there were a lot of invisible mooks everywhere I snuck by without noticing them, or you get XP for hiding from someone and then taking them down.

        1. Sumanai says:

          In Lionheart if you sneaked near an enemy you could gain 70% of the xp you would’ve gotten by killing them. If you then killed them, you got the remaining 30%. I thought this was a step in the right direction, back when this mechanic was announced, but I don’t understand why you couldn’t get all the xp by sneaking.

    4. decius says:

      You can get headshot and non-lethal ranged, but it’s harder (headshot with the pistol and laser sight is easier than figuring out the drop for the tranq rifle and longer range+more accurate than the stun gun).

    5. Loonyyy says:

      Whenever fighting a group I didn’t like, I’d knock them out, then put a silenced round in their head once I’d hidden them. Because I’m nice like that.

  8. I think that the imbalance can be seen as a way to implement characterization via the game’s systems. Unlike the protagonists of other Deus Ex games, Adam Jensen is a character with a definite history of moral expression. Human Revolution uses its experience and resource mechanics, as well as its side-missions and meta-game goals, to reinforce this characterization not only as a matter of cutscenes and text but also by shaping the behavior of the player. I have written up a more elaborate version of this argument.

    1. Infinitron says:

      To put things in perspective, remember that this game is being made by the same company that’s currently developing Thief 4.
      These are games where you are supposed to play in a certain way.

      1. Sumanai says:

        Different team, according to a couple of comments on Rock Paper Shotgun.

        1. Infinitron says:

          Details, details. ;>

    2. Sumanai says:

      A thought occurred while reading the contents of the link: XP is a measurement of Jensen’s body adjusting to the augmentations. Jensen acting out of character is a result of the augments causing a change in his brain (hormones etc.) which results in his body fighting the augments. Therefore it takes longer for functionality to turn on in them.

      1. That’s an interesting take. In this interpretation, the “role-playing” element of Human Revolution would be a test of how well you play Adam Jensen, the reward being skill progression. The advantages of nonlethal stealth are tactical and material as well, though, so the game goes a bit beyond the mechanism you’ve suggested here.

        1. Sumanai says:

          I didn’t really believe what I suggested is true, as I’m often wrong about this sort of stuff, but I like thinking about things and looking at them from different perspectives.

    3. Eric says:

      I claim it’s simply a badly implemented mechanic which exists largely because XP feeds the reward loop mechanism that keeps many players engaged (following the logic that it’s not an RPG if it doesn’t have XP rewards!!1). Eidos reduced the careful and well-thought-out placement of augmentations within the game world (inherently a reward for exploration) to what is effectively a highly mechanical system which can be metagamed to its fullest potential, drastically unbalancing the game in the process due to a) the huge amount of augments players can get and b) the fact that some are just so overpowered to begin with.

      Characterization has nothing to do with it – straight from the horse’s mouth, they thought that straight-up combat was easier so they decided to give stealthy players more XP. Evidently they never actually playtested this or else they would have realized how amazingly broken the system becomes in the hands of someone who is actually decent at the game. With invisibility buttons, third-person X-ray vision, insta-kill attacks that freeze time, etc., this game is running on easy mode the moment you try to play stealthy, and it gives you the biggest bonuses for doing this.

      It was a boneheaded move through and through, along with many, many other design choices in the game. Eidos channeled much of the spirit of Deus Ex and even successfully updated a few parts of it, but many parts of the game it’s clear they had no idea why they were built that way or why they worked so well. Everything from the half-baked progression system, to the removal of lockpicking, to reducing melee to an Awesome Button with no utility value outside combat, to the in-game economy, to the poor and overly linear level design, to the plot that gradually becomes more and more nonsensical the longer the game goes on, etc. are easy to ignore because the game is still good, but become infuriating from a design standpoint when you become aware of them in contrast to the original game.

      1. Thomas says:

        Well you’ve got an opinion at least :D I on the other hand have struggled every time I tried to force myself to play the original (I have the more extreme opinion)

        I feel even if they didn’t design it that way, rewarding more for stealth was very beneficial in overall terms for the game. It emphasised character and encouraged more nuanced play mechanics. Regardless of actual difficulty, stealth is a more complicated and varied action than shooting. And all the things you mentioned that assist stealth, require XP, unlike the things which assist shooting which mainly require money

      2. Jeff says:

        Maybe they figured the RPG players are the ones who like XP and sneaking around, while the run&gun guys prefer just wandering around shooting things and can’t be bothered.

        That certainly reflected how my friend and I played. He ran around shooting things, and then told me to level his guy up. He also didn’t really bother with the story and told me to point him where to go.

  9. Nyctef says:

    Obviously the Mohawk tribe were Assassins, and the Mullets were Templars ;)

    The Hyron project totally looks like something a bored Minecraft player might come up with. I bet Hugh Darrow just had too much money and time.

  10. McNutcase says:

    I’m glad to see the credit-subtitle lambasting of Chris has begun. You’re not really a proper Spoiler until Josh has insulted you in the credits.

    1. Dave B says:

      I’ve often wondered how the credit-subtitles get chosen. Does Josh make them up on his own while editing the episodes, or do they get discussed during the recording session by the whole crew?

      1. Rutskarn says:

        As far as we know, Josh comes up with them while editing the video with one hand and cutting up his traditional psychedelic editing-the-video-drug line with the other. We have no input whatsoever.

  11. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Rutskarn,you mean that they need to shout “I will destroy you!” when they see you?

    If you were just a bit more careful at that page,Shamus,youd have seen that she was indeed born in china.But was she raised there,it doesnt say.

    1. krellen says:

      Clearly enemies should be shouting “Enemies Everywhere!”

      1. Ringwraith says:

        Hold the line!

        1. Irridium says:

          GO GO GO!

          1. Milos says:

            This hurts you.

            1. Deadyawn says:

              This is the part where you fall down and bleed to death!

              1. Michael says:

                “You’re a masochist!”

                “I’ve got a rib in my eye!”

                “I’ll never dance again, mom!”

                And, my personal favorite: “YOU N’WAH!”

                et cetera.

                1. Lovecrafter says:

                  I just recently played through the original Deus Ex, and my favorite has got to be the chipper way some soldiers shout “Bogey!”.

                2. AbruptDemise says:

                  I’ve fought mudcrabs tougher than you!

            2. Eruanno says:


              1. Ringwraith says:

                Ah, the “press interact to ‘Assume Direct Control'” was very amusing when it came up.
                Was one of the few redeeming qualities of that DLC.

      2. ps238principal says:

        Let me just throw in my 2 cents and note that one of the reasons I love “Vampire: Bloodlines” is that there are NO combat taunts!

        1. swimon1 says:

          Well the sounds of the things in the sewer (the small ones) aren’t much better, actually they’re worse. They’re all exactly alike and the sound is just WAY too loud, also the sound itself is this awful indescribable thing that hurts my ears and head. I took off my headphones for that part of the game, I couldn’t stand it.

          Actually taking my headphones off because of a death sounds seem to be a recurring motif for Troika. In “Vampire: The masquerade: bloodlines: the colon” it was the two legged weird-looking small sewer thingies and in Arcanum (my favourite RPG as an aside) it was the monkeys/apes. Their death screeching just wouldn’t stop, you’d fight 5 at a time and everyone would make you want to cut the sound out of your head. It just wouldn’t stop.

          *sitting in corner rocking back and forth*

          So yeah sometimes it’s preferable to have the enemy shout “GO! GO! GO!” (“YOU N’WAH!” is always better because that’s just awesome ^^).

          EDIT: haven’t played temple of elemental evil yet, is there awful sounds in that one too?

  12. Adam P says:

    The mmohawk discussion reminded me why I dislike the Alliance in WoW. I hate seeing technicolor gnomehawks sticking out above the crowd. It’s so out of place! It’s a fantasy setting, not a punk rock concert.

    1. FalseProphet says:

      I wasn’t aware the fantasy genre had a dress code, but even if Azeroth was attempting to accurately represent some historic culture, the earliest example of a Mohawk hairstyle–and hair gel, for that matter–is 2,300 years old.

      1. Sumanai says:

        The fantasy genre does, unfortunately, have a dress code and set races with established behaviour. As has been mentioned on the internet, there’s something wrong when there’s such a thing as “standard fantasy setting”.

        Too many players with the exact same hairstyle is still kind of irritating. Especially if it’s distinct from every other hairstyle and therefore draws attention to itself. Not that there were many with a Mohawk when I played.

  13. silentlambda says:

    Icarus Landing System. The Incinerator of tomorrow!

  14. BlckDv says:

    Goin a bit off topic but:

    Shamus: “In effect, it would became a system that punished you for the slightest inconsistency. (Leave one person alive, and no Crazed Gunman. Get seen by one person, and you miss Ghost.)”

    Encapsulates my one big gripe with the story/alignment system in SWTOR. The game presents you with numerous dialogue choices which award you Light or Dark points, but your rewards for these point are based solely on your net score. In effect, the game quickly teaches you that playing a nuanced character who selects the choices which reflect his own moral code and goals is a fools game, selecting only all the options from one or the other will reward you with better gear unlocks and a vendor with alignment pre-req gear. This places a meta pressure on the player which in effect closes off a large ammount of potential story progression, as most players can summarize their story as either “the Lightside” or “the Darkside” story, tightly limiting the game’s uniqueness to each player.

    1. Sumanai says:

      Yeah, it really discourages actual role-playing. Doesn’t help that at certain points they feel kind of preachy. Right now they support very strongly a black and white view on everything.

    2. PhoenixUltima says:

      That’s a problem with pretty much any game with a karma meter. You have to stick with either Good or Evil (usually Good) all the time, and trying to be neutral just leaves you gimped. KotOR2 was especially bad about this, because even though most of the dialogue (and Kreia in particular) suggests that extreme evil and extreme good are both terrible choices to make, you still have to ding max light or max dark in order to get one of the better characters (both plot and mechanics wise), unlock the prestige classes, and get the stat bonuses for your classes (and they’re substantial bonuses like +3 DEX or 1d8 bonus damage, you really are gimped if you don’t get and keep them). So even as Kreia is berating you for being overly generous -or- overly cruel and gunning down children for laughs, you still have to be either Space Jesus or Space Satan, both of which will piss her off! It’s really a large blemish on what is otherwise a really good story and atmosphere, a game that for the most part can hang with the cool kid games like Fallout and Planescape: Torment (except those two games had actual endings).

      Oh hey, that reminds me, I’ll have to actually watch the video when they finally get to the end, just to hear their thoughts on what Yatzhee called “the endingtron 3000”.

      1. Piflik says:

        ME’s Paragon/Renegade abomination is even worse, because it not only limits your character growth, but also determines if you can make a certain decision at all…

        1. Thanatos of Crows says:

          I actually find it better to limit your decisions, as you really have to roleplay a consistent character. In theory, atleast. Too bad Bioware didn’t make the system complicated enough to have you role play a character of your own. In the end they just let you choose from theirs.

          1. Sumanai says:

            And it’s not consistent.

            Some of the options aren’t really the sort that should require high Paragon or Renegade levels. They seem to have those simply to reward players who have managed to get them high, rather than to think about it from a role-playing perspective. Why else would many positive, or arguably positive, results be hidden behind them?

          2. Zukhramm says:

            How is that a good thing? Why reward being consistent. Since when was an interesting character one that’s the same all the time? I want my character to have different opinions in different subjects, I want my character to change opinions and attitude over the course of the game. Paragon/renegade points rewards be for making my character less interesting.

            1. Thanatos of Crows says:

              As I said they fail in making the system complicated enough. It might not even work without an actual DM, and I hate to see western developers try when they don’t put enough effort in it.
              You’re a consistent character even if you don’t see the world in black and white. You have things that drive you, things you respect and hold important. You have ethics and you were raised to believe in different kinds of things. It’s all consistency with who you are, and it’s just the thing that makes you an interesting person. Your experiences make you into who you are, not a choice of three character types Bioware has written for you. I’d just like to see the system brought further.

        2. Chiller says:

          No, it’s not. The bad thing about the KOTOR/SWTOR alignment point is that your overall score is based on the difference between the light and dark side, while in ME Paragon and Renegade points are tracked separately. I felt a lot more comfortable playing ME and knowing I can take whatever option I felt good with, and not be punished for it by the stupid meter.

          1. Sumanai says:

            It’s good that they’re tracked separately, it’s bad that they’re limiting already limited conversation choices. Also in ME1 it was annoying that not only were you forced to get Paragon/Renegade high enough, but then you had to put skill points into Diplomacy and Dickishness.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              In the series defense,you had plenty morality points to get one scale full,and the other halfway there in a single playtrough.And from what I get about 3,these two stack.

              1. Ringwraith says:

                Your overall ‘reputation’ is what determines whether or not you can charm or intimidate, so you can solve those problems as politely as you want.
                The inclusion of being able to get the neutral reputation points instead of specifically paragon/renegade points helps massively too.
                Basically, they finally nailed the system. Only took them three games to do it. (Although I will say they weren’t awful previously, but 3’s really knocks them out of the park).

      2. Sumanai says:

        I don’t think it’s a necessary part of a karma meter. You could grant bonuses for staying neutral. Or being consistently neutral, if you’re worried it’s too easy otherwise. Or just balance the system so that at any point in the meter there’s some kind of benefit, equal to other points.

        Personally I’d rather they’d stop using karma meters. The pull for developers to put bonuses on the extremes is just too strong apparently.

        1. Piflik says:

          They should just give different, but balanced bonuses for every position on the evil-meter…simple example: being a complete asshole gives a damage bonus, being a saint gives a defense bonus and anything in between gets a combination of the two. Instead of getting a bonus for playing a narrow-minded archetype you have a second tier of (dynamical) character-classes…

          1. Sumanai says:

            Yeah, that could work. Balancing could be hard, but being at a slight disadvantage is better than the game getting completely broken depending on how you play.

            1. James says:

              Kotor 2, by obsidian, did something interesting with the good/evil game balance thing I think (Might be just how I played).

              As a good Jedi I lightsabered about killing everyone, at a moderate difficulty- nothing too bad. Going evil? I became stupid powerful after absorbing force energy from anywhere and anyone. Too me that made a lot of sense, because the dark side was all about selfish and destructive gains- you could become strong enough to protect anyone you wanted but you also sort of killed everyone you cared about.

              It made me consider the part that rewards can play to enhance the theme of a game, and I think that's what Deus Ex was doing here. Jensen has a job to do, he's not an assassin (Or even a mercenary, lol), he's not paid to kill people (But forced into situations where Sarif wouldn't mind if he broke some skulls) and working as a security officer seems like a job he'd rather not do- but trouble is he has the skills for it and nowhere else to go. He was in a rough spot and Megan got him a job (Which probably didn't exactly help him get over whatever relationship they had before their breakup).

              Anyway, the trick I'd say is if certain options result in more power they should carry extra weight, either in the form of challenge or the narrative. In this case it's a little both, because it is a lot easier to just kill everyone, so why should you be rewarded for taking the easier option?

              (Trouble of course is in any kind of multiplayer game, any hint at unbalance- even to make an interesting situation or choices- makes everyone flip out)

              1. PhoenixUltima says:

                Oh yeah, KotOR2 really did a better job with the karma meter than most other games, simply because you can be evil or good and still get rewards and bonuses. Whereas most games force you to be good if you want all the good stuff; PS:T, as good as it was, had this problem. There were items that permanently boosted your CON, but were only usable if you were lawful good (and there’s no “use magic items” skill like in NWN2). Most quests only gave you the good rewards if you took the good path through (Morte and Dak’kon in particular got very substantial bonuses if you went through their personal quests by being helpful and reassuring). And one of the best weapons in the game is Lawful Good only. And it’s *still* one of the better games WRT giving you actual choices!

                Really, I play as good characters anyway just because I actually feel bad when I’m an evil asshole to NPCs (except for games where that’s the default, like GTA), but the part of me that wants to play evil just to see what it’s like always gets squashed by my inner munchkin, because doing so would mean giving up the best stuff.

                1. Hitch says:

                  Fallout 3 and New Vegas tried to deal with this problem with their good/evil karma scale. They had certain benefits only available if you maintained good karma, evil karma, or some that made you stay neutral. Of course, that doesn’t end debates about how well balanced the options were.

                2. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Hordes of the underdark was pretty good with its alignments.And I dont remember any uber-weapon-that-trumps-all-others that was tied to just one alignment.And being evil had some really juicy choices for you.

                  Still,alignments/karma/whatever moral systems need to die.Look how well human revolution does it without such crap.And reputation in new vegas was also nice.I dont know why it needed to keep karma as well.It was both stupid and useless.

              2. Sumanai says:

                And what if you want to stay neutral either for the heck of it or because you’re trying to role-play and your idea of the character doesn’t really fit either side fully? Because while it makes it more feasible to use Light and Dark side powers, at least in KotOR1 going to the extremes dropped energy costs so much that it didn’t matter you couldn’t use Force Lightning or whatever.

                1. James says:

                  It's funny seeing all these games pointed out cause I've played all of them as well, and only remember now that they did do these things, lol.

                  I think a lot of the moral choice systems in games can be traced back to D&D and therefore Bioware- I'm probably wrong but I believe they're the ones that first really pushed this idea of good or evil choices (saint or chaotic stupid in their case). The first Mass Effect popularised the concept I believe (In the form of the dialoge wheel in some cases), and so some game dev's saw it and were like “Oh, that works, and sounds cool” and added it with no real reason in some cases (Did Infamous really need a moral system? Or Bioshock for that matter).

                  Part of what happened of course is the middle ground evaporated, and Bioware themselves have never had any idea how neutrality works. Good and evil is pretty easy to write, but it’s easy to be lazy with it, but neutral choices are more nuanced and are usually about the bigger picture.

                  A good character would bargain with the troll under the bridge to work with the villagers, the evil one would extort/kill the troll for its plunder. The neutral character would build a new bridge you couldn't hide under.

                  1. Thomas says:

                    The thing about alignment is playing out the alignment game is fun.

                    I guess what it does is it gives another stack to max and it gives your decisions game sense and character sense. It wouldn’t quite so much like there’s a light side/dark side playthrough available.

                    But I think those good things are a hinderance because they keep the bar when it’s not doing something or not needed. It stops the conversation.

                    In Star Wars a light/dark bar makes sense. The mythos is straight and makes it clear that there is a good and a bad. It’s not a hard to interpret/gray affair. Presumably the force knows.

                    But the bar still kills it. Because the thing about Star Wars is the Dark Side is meant to be a trap. It’s meant to lure you into it and warp your view so you stop even trying to get out.

                    A game that could do that would be amazing. There should be a visual change as you play the game and the way they hand out quests, as you get more towards the dark side (which you reach through anger or pragmatic solutions) it should remove the good choices and convince you to take darker things. Make it gameplay harder to choose a lightside.

                    The bar means you can flip on the head of a coin which isn’t how star wars should work

                    1. Sumanai says:

                      Couple darker choices with things shown in a darker light, making selfish, angry or heartless seem more appropriate. It would actually make a replay worth it, since the game would actually be different the whole way, instead of in a couple of bits. Might get players to think about their behaviour as well.

                      I still don’t feel that Bioware has done a good job with the Light and Dark side system. Making it so you can’t use certain items if you’re not good or evil enough, even assuming it’s so in the Star Wars universe, isn’t much fun. Same thing with Force Powers getting incredibly spammy.

                      Edit: Oh yeah, just because a fictive world works in a certain way, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be changed if it doesn’t work for real people. In this case I think changing it would piss off SW fans, which would undermine the whole point of using the IP.

    3. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Unless your own play style is that of a munchkin leaning to evil.

    4. Irridium says:

      Why would you waste your money buying anything from the alignment vendors? Pretty much all of their stuff is, well, crap compared to stuff you get as quest rewards.

      All my characters are more or less “grey”. And since everyone pretty much expects a consistent dark/light character, it’s always fun choosing light side choices sometimes, and dark side choices other times and confusing them.

    5. swimon1 says:

      Yeah I’m not a fan of morality meters either. What’s considered “neutral” in SWTOR is also kinda weird. I’m playing an imperial agent as a true patriot, essentially a covert agent who would betray anyone and cross any line if it would help further the goals of a fascist slave driving nation. This makes me true neutral in the eyes of the game. Mostly because I don’t do the whole “eat a baby because you’re evil” shtick and I can see the value of allies in a war. Dark Helmet had it wrong, evil is dumb.

      Actually tho while I would prefer if they didn’t use them I can see the point of morality meters in KOTOR and half of SWTOR. KOTOR’s (and star wars as a whole) central theme is a good versus evil thing. Peace versus passion where black and white is very clear cut and I can see the appeal in having a game mechanic that reflects that narrative. Now unfortunately I don’t think it worked all that well in KoToR but I can see the idea and I like that it tried to express the narrative through game mechanics (something I think Bioware is actually really good at). The problem is that in the half of SWTOR that doesn’t focus on jedis (as well as every other game that has this mechanic) it really doesn’t fit. The imperial agent’s story isn’t about being tempted by evil while trying to stay good nor is it about indulging your passion to the detriment of everyone else because it will make you more powerful. It’s about being a servant to an evil nation. Really most of the main quests for the imperial agent works in a moral grey area asking you to betray your nation because it’s in the same nations best interest or trying to control the ruling class into stop infighting. A completely black and white morality imposed on this makes no sense and work against the story. It’s really just kinda awful.

      1. Sumanai says:

        Makes me wonder why it didn’t occur to the people at Bioware to completely cut off non-Jedi and non-Sith out of the Light/Dark thing. Granted, in my eyes only the original trilogy is really canon, and in there the whole “Dark side is a slippery slope” only applied to Jedi.

  15. Gruhunchously says:

    I like the addition of sleeping guards to this game. It didn’t do much for gameplay, but it did add plausibility to the setting, letting us know that the guards don’t, in fact, spend all night patrolling back and forth like tireless automatons.

  16. silver Harloe says:

    for balancing the rewards of the play styles:
    …what if the system were more like a Bethesda RPG and you got murder XP for murder and stealth XP for stealth?

    (I’d add the ability to use a small % of the XP from one category to improve another so you don’t get _completely_ locked into how you played the first couple missions)

    1. Sydney says:

      Could lead to a weird unwinnable situation where you just can’t handle a late-game sneaking mission, but only have two or three combat points to spend and can’t do that anymore either.

    2. Thomas says:

      In the end that’s a lot more limiting than the current system. Here there was only burden if you wanted to maximise XP, that way you’d be forced into selecting a playstyle and would have to be very inconsistent if you wanted to munchkin

  17. Eroen says:

    I don’t see the problem with a tower to the bottom of the ocean, we have those already for a bit shallower seas. For example, the Troll A drilling platform, which has hollow, air-filled legs 300 meters below the North Sea. Pictures here, in particularly from the bottom inside.

    To compare, it was the tallest structure in Europe when it was constructed. Then it was transported to the right place and sunk.

    1. Shamus says:

      Magnificent. A wonder. Thanks for that link.

      EDIT: Why is this thing not a build-able wonder in the Civilization games!

      1. Rasha says:

        Because then you’d have to program an ocean floor with realistic ability or inability to build in certain areas and maybe deal with what happens if your ship, which has a larger click box than the tower, is over the tower directly and you want to click said tower. In other words it would be cool but you could annoy many people with simple mistakes.

        1. Sumanai says:

          I don’t know if making it an actual thing that appears on the map is necessary. Just demand it’s built in a city that’s next to water.

      2. Sumanai says:

        Because it’s “not cultural”? There seem to be a lot of modern great works of engineering that don’t get attention in Civilization games.

        1. krellen says:

          Civilization 4 allows one to build The Three Gorges Dam. I think the problem is that a lot of modern engineering wonders aren’t at the scale of “World Wonders”.

          1. Sumanai says:

            Figured there was at least one I hadn’t ran into.

            But are many of the Wonders in Civ games actually World Wonders? I should probably search for a Civilization wiki.

            1. Ringwraith says:

              Well, there’s only seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
              Most of them aren’t in it.

      3. Grudgeal says:

        Because Norway doesn’t count as ‘civilization’ nowadays.

        And besides, it’s just another oil platform, just a somewhat taller one. Of course, the Three Gorges Dam is just another dam, just a somewhat bigger one. But then again, that’s China building it.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      True,but there is a huge difference between a drilling platforms leg,and a huge underwater chamber for a computer.

      1. guy says:

        I don’t think there’s a fundamental difference. One of them has a pipe inside and the other has a computer.

        1. Ringwraith says:

          …and said computer also helps prevent the whole place being flooded.

          1. Thomas says:

            If you look at that bottom side picture he linked too, it looks really really like Pangea. Given this is the future making the same thing but a little wider doesn’t seem so impossible

    3. GiantRaven says:

      Oh god, the thought of the Eiffel tower being less tall than the water is deep made me go all lightheaded. Good to know that I won’t be stepping on a boat any time soon.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Depth of the water shouldnt scare you.Unlike with heights,you will die way before you reach the ground.

        1. Rayen says:

          yeah and if you’re submerged deep enough you don’t even need to worry about drowning. The pressure will kill you, or if you get a small leak in your vessel the spray of water can tear right through human flesh.

        2. GiantRaven says:

          The thought of that much nothingness underneath me is unsettling, to say the least. I feel the same way about being ridiculously high up in the air.

          1. Marlowe says:

            Hang on to your hat as James Cameron plans to dive 7 miles down into the deepest part of the Mariana Trench (the Challenger Deep) piloting a custom designed one man submersible. Not much chance of rescue if anything goes wrong down there with 35,800 feet of water above you.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              Didnt we already send humans to the deepest part of the ocean?

              After a brief search,it seems that we did.50 years ago.

  18. About the french accent thing, yeah, Orleasian characters accent in the Dragon Age franchise is really really stupid. But no big deal, I never heard a proper french accent in movies or video games. You guys just can’t pronounce our “r”, just as we can’t pronounce your “r” or “th”… So let’s hold hands and walk together in a sunset of mocking each other’s accent ’till the end of times!

    1. krellen says:

      Rutskarn’s point is that Corinne Kempa, the VA for Leliana, is French.

      1. Deux Mains says:

        On top of that, it seems that her performance as Leliana was more or less just her normal voice. Listening to her voice over demos here, even in the French one all I can picture is everyone’s favourite Orlesian rogue doing publicity for Australia and Gilette.

    2. Lame Duck says:

      I think the Orlesian accents would have been OK if Dragon Age hadn’t been so ham-handed with it’s Fantasy Counterpart Cultures (I won’t link to the TV Tropes page). If Orlais had felt more like an original culture then maybe it would have been possible to accept it as the Orlesian accent, rather than hearing it as bad French accent.

    3. MatthewH says:

      I have long wondered about this -how much of this could be regional variation? Some quick googling tells me that Corinne Kempa is from Lille, which is near the Belgian border (for that matter, the flemish-speaking part of the Belgian border). But most Americans will hear French spoken by Canadians or Parisians. English has dialects, I imagine so do French and Chinese. And those dialects would play out in the accent when they speak a different language.

      1. Even says:

        Most, if not all languages have dialects to some degree I’d imagine. Add the ever increasing globalization and the lines will just keep growing even more blurry as the years go by. Who’s business is it really to judge in the end?

      2. Raygereio says:

        Really this – in combination with ignorance of how real life accents sound like – is probably the issue.

        And not only do you need to take different regional dialect into account, the personal skill level of the person speaking is also important.
        I can grab 10 different dutchmen from the same city, or even from tehg same district, and they will all have quite different English accents, varying from utterly horribly to the point of it being a “racist caricature” to more then passable.

        1. Velkrin says:

          Let’s not forget the whole matter of pronunciation when dealing with a native speaker in a tonal language (eg: Chinese, Vietnamese) vs a tense language (English). In English we tend to signify a question by using our voice a little at the end of the question. When you’re dealing with a tonal language raising the tone on the word may cause you to end up with an entirely different word. As a consequence non-native speakers often sound off to native speakers since the non-native speakers are minding their tone.

          I’ve actually lived in Vietnam for a bit, so the Chinese accents sound believable to me. When you have people who are one or two people removed from a native or near native speaker the pronunciation tends to mix a lot more with the natural language.

      3. Bubble181 says:

        She sounds quite perfectly normal to me wen she’s speaking French. I can’t speak for her English since I’m at work right now and can’t go listen.
        I’m Belgian, and speak Dutch as first language and French as second, mind you…
        I can pronounce both English adn French R’s, but not the Dutch one. Don’t ask me why. Silly rolling Rrrrrrs.

        1. Tizzy says:

          In English, she has the accent of someone who is very fluent, but has been quite unable to shed her foreign accent. These accent are rare, but appear increasingly common in actors, who spend enough time attached to English-language projects to develop fluency, but not enough time in English-speaking countries to shed their foreign accent.

          Hers sounded pretty natural to me, not at all put on.

  19. Chiller says:

    Having experience rewards for non-lethal takedowns and hacking was definitely a bad design choice. There is no reason not to hack every panel and no reason not to knock everyone out, especially since lethal takedowns are outright RIDICULOUSLY loud (Tranq dart? No-one bats an eyelash while the target takes his sweet time to fall into slumber. Headshot with silenced pistol? ALARM HELL. And why does impaling someone through the heart make more noise than breaking their arms?)

    Having XP rewards for stealth… it’s not inherently bad, but in the way they have implemented it, it’s not good either. A stealth XP bonus would work alright as an offset to all the takedown XP you would miss on such an approach, except that you can happily claim all that XP anyway (with the added bonus that you are also using the more bountiful non-lethal takedowns). On top of that, you have no easy way to tell when you have missed the Ghost bonus (by, say, a guard spotting you for a fraction of a second before you tranq him).

    The most insidious side effect of encouraging stealth, however, is that the player will actively avoid using loud, lethal weaponry. And you know what? There are a lot of very nice guns in the game! I’ve only noticed that on my second, lethal, playthrough. Try out the heavy rifle, laser rifle, Typhoon, rocket launcher, crossbow sometime – they work and are quite satisfying. And hacking turrets and bots to actively hunt your enemies is that much better than just shutting them down.

    1. Ringwraith says:

      Basically, Ghost is only voided when a guard turns hostile (as in, so far as the mini-map says ‘Hostile’ and they go red and stuff), otherwise you get it. Having them merely alarmed is fine.
      Amusingly, you can get Ghost and not get Smooth Operator, which I’ve done a couple of times.

    2. Infinitron says:

      Here’s an interesting thought. By encouraging stealthy gameplay in this manipulative, OCD-inspiring way, Eidos Montreal are effectively training a new generation of stealth gamers – the same people they hope will buy Thief 4.

      1. Adam says:

        It’s…a CONSPIRACY!

  20. Marlowe says:

    Invisible War brought the wonder of dodgy German accents and the amazing authentic Australian voice of Sid “I was just talking chuff, mate” Black.

  21. Grampy_Bone says:

    I believe the idea was if you’re going full stealth they give you points so you aren’t “missing” xp you would have gotten for a kill. However, non-lethal is rewarded over lethal force; kills are worth 10 points, knock outs are 20, and stealth takedowns are worth 30 or 40? I can’t remember.

    If you want the maximum amount of points you have to knockout every guard with a silent takedown while never being seen or triggering an alert. That will give you max points for every guard plus the ghost awards.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Kills give 10,non-lethal give 30,headshots give +10,melee gives +20,double takedown gives +45.So a double non-lethal takedown gives 125,while killing both with a grenade would give you just 20.

  22. Blake says:

    As a mohawked man I found your uneducated jabbering quite distressing.
    Clearly we are not members of the Mohawk Illuminati, the Mohawk Illuminati are a bunch of Illuminati trying to be cool.
    The Mohawk Fellowship are those of us aiming to bring the sacred coiffure to the masses.

    To have ones hair point towards the heavens, is to have ones soul linked to the universe. ~ Mark Twain

    1. Marlowe says:

      Hairs are your aerials. They pick up signals from the cosmos, and transmit them directly into the brain. This is the reason bald-headed men are uptight.” — Danny the Dealer

  23. george says:

    That’s what I dislike about traditional XP rewards.

    It should just be a flat bonus for finishing the mission, no matter what conversation choice you took (Planescape), whether you stealthed (here), or the likes for ‘max xp’, thus people will be inclined to do the playthrough that ‘feels right’, so I’d incline towards the suave businessman.

    To compensate, you’d have to give people more XP so they could make everything across a playthrough (I hate feeling like I have to replay to enjoy a different style), but also make the enemies much harder so it’s still enjoyable (a stealth toon who is spotted should have a hard time escaping, whereas a brute force character should be thrown a few curveballs like big heavy mooks sitting around waiting for the alarm to be tripped, whereas for stealth they’d take too long to arrive instead of being directly on the path).

    Granted, I’d also change the melee system so running around as a melee freak would also work (changing the batteries to always recharge all of them, or at least the next 2 instead of 1).

    1. Sydney says:

      I think the Fallout games have the best sort of xp system.

      “You did the thing? Here is your experience. You did the bonus objective? Here’s some more. You did the ‘screw everyone over’ thing because it was easy? EHHNNNNGGGTT. Here is a pittance.”

      1. Sumanai says:

        I’ve actually been thinking, in 2009, about a formula which would give you xp according to the effort required. Tabletop of course, a bit trickier for player skill based games.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      The game that does all that youve mentioned there is mass effect 2.And I guess 3 as well.

      And if you like completely changing your play style whenever,try kingdoms of amalur.You can literally change from a soft lightning tossing mage to a beefy two handed sword wielding fighter any time you want(granted,it costs a bit to do so,but money is plentiful).

      1. Sumanai says:

        Ah, Kingdoms of Amalur. I’d like to play it, but the demo didn’t endear itself to me, so I’m waiting for the price to drop. Really dislike the “every skill takes X amount of points to max out”, since some of those don’t feel like they should be requiring that much effort for the top level stuff.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          The good thing about that is that you can level the skills you need for combat,exploring the map and such,and then respec to crafting when you want to do something epic,and then respec back.And since the stuff you can craft is waaaaay more powerful than anything youll find,you can keep it on you for quite a long time,when you can just craft something new.

          1. Sumanai says:

            Yeah, but I don’t like selling or throwing stuff out that I might need later. Because you can take stuff apart, I need to keep them. So I have to put points into crafting right from the beginning.

            I’m way too obsessive in games. No wonder I hardly ever manage to finish them.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              The only things that you cant take apart(most of the times)are the unique/set items.Which you can keep in your stash.And you only need 5 or 6 points in crafting to be able to dismantle everything.But you sure wont find blue items that soon,so there is no rush.Plus,I never sold a single weapon or piece of armour,and I still have half a million gold half way in the game.And thats with paying about 50k every time for repairs of my uber gear,because I think repair kits take too much space to carry around.

              The problem,however,comes later,when you have hundreds of components and shards,all in the misc space when you are trading,and some useless books tucked in between them,that you have to carefully search for,because you cannot arrange the inventory alphabetically,but only by price,which isnt displayed unless you are trading.Further complicating this is the fact that stolen components and shards are displayed separately.Grrr!

              1. Sumanai says:

                Have you tried using the “junk” system? From what I’ve gathered you can send stuff to junk, which is a separate screen, and you can just sell them all with a single button press/click.

                1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  That works,yes,but I like to know how much stolen stuff there is,and if I should search for the fence.

      2. Ringwraith says:

        Mass Effect 3 has a slightly hybrid system, as it’s no longer ‘get XP at end of mission’, and instead you get XP after completing objectives. This means you can easily level-up mid-mission and helps give some feeling of progress, as you’ll get XP rewards after certain combat ecounters for example.
        There’s also some extra XP for finding stuff like datapads and the other written stuff, as well as XP for picking up spare medi-gel (however little sense it makes but works better than giving a tiny amount of money).

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Oh yes,that always bugged me in 2.
          – Hey shepard,hurry,we need to escape this reaper ship fast!
          – Just a sec,I need to look into this corner to see if there is any spare parts lying around.

    3. Raygereio says:

      Yes. Oh very much yes.
      A good example of this are the Spellforce games.
      In 1 you got XP for every enemy you killed. Forcing you to grind endlessly to keep up with the level scale.
      In 2 you got XP for completing quests, keeping you automatically up with the level scale and eliminating the need for boring grnding.

  24. Deadyawn says:

    Interesting note: You know how you can get Darrow’s assistant to tell you about Hyron? Well you can actually find mentions of Hyron in an email on a computer in TYM. It says someting about issues they are having and to send some engineers down there to help (specifically the short lifespan of Hyron “drones”). Basically, if you find both of those things it heavily implies that Darrow is part of the illuminati.
    While it’s cool to be able to find that out,the game doesn’t account for it at all so Jensen just stumbles forward, apparantly blissfully ignorant.
    I can appreciate that it would have been difficult to implement that without some serious alteration to the plot but I think if you’re going to make it possible for the player to ligitimately figure this out in game, there should be some sort of consequence for it.

  25. Phoenix says:

    I really shouldn’t talk since I got the preorder version which have AUD (autosomething unlocking device) which hacks everything and abounds in the later part of the game. So I’m talking of a game using AUD, without it’s probably harder and less convenient, not sure u can end all the quests (in my version it’s not possible without using aud sometime, I was even unable to finish one but I probably wasted a praxis somewhere).

    I think that the violent path is viable, especially if u still backtrack and explore everything and tend to face people melee, which is good for sneak but then again sneak jensen is weaker so probably violent jensen can do it easily if things go wrong.

    I didn’t took a point in hacking, invisibility or persuasion. And I even took points on the radar system thingy. I was wasting points in the end! And it was faaaaaaaar easier than stealth.

    So if u got AUD it’s a compulsory matter this thing of hacking everything (I still hacked everything of basic level and used AUD when really curious). Also u can break doors with guns so u don’t need hack for exploring. Without, I really don’t know.

    I found my second playthrough funnier, violent and full of ego instead of stealthy and virtuous. And I saved Malik. First time, didn’t know it was possible and she died. Not that they let have sex with her or whatever. But was fun. Typhoon and explosive gun = easy win.

  26. James says:

    Haha, oh god I just remembered how I actually played through this game my first time through. I'd knock people out with the dart gun, and then sneak up to their sleeping form… and shoot them in the head with the silenced pistol.

    After sneaking through an area and putting guys to sleep it was inconvenient for them to be woken up if someone found them. So I just popped them in the head while they were down. I remember thinking it was both funny and horrifying that I'd get this nice Mercy xp reward, only to immediately murder them lol.

    1. Phoenix says:

      It could be nice: extra xp for killing them while they’re unconscious, forcing players to do that to xp more :D

  27. Loonyyy says:

    I remember seeing something about how the hacking minigame was fun because it was non-intrusive, but as a stealth player and XP-whore, it was frustrating, stopping the game every few minutes to unlock a random door, or computer, and read some uninteresting email (Some are awesome, but most are just boring), and after doing one or two computers in an office room, I dreaded finishing the task.

    1. AbruptDemise says:

      Oh god, yes. I felt so compelled to hack everything I could, just so I get my hands on that sweet, delicious xp. It made my playstyle a bit inconsistent, in the news station as well as TYM, I ended up stealthing up to the point where you first found that turret or robots that you could hack. From there, I would either wait for the robots to kill everyone, carry a hacked turret with me – which felt absurd and was hilarious.

      Also, Josh isn’t going to make it a point to avoid spending his praxis points on anything, is he? I can definitely see that happening.

      Maybe I shouldn’t be giving him ideas.

  28. webrunner says:

    This sewer part was the one where I caused the weirdest bug.

    Basically the two guards, I was trying to figure out how to knock both out without being seen. I shot one guy, and the other guy (in the water) started looking for me.. then he walked THROUGH the bridge, straight into the wall, and fell through the floor.


  29. Kdansky says:

    Why not give more exp to stealth? It’s way harder to do than guns blazing, because you can always fall back to guns when you mess up. It makes perfect sense that stealth and non-lethal give more exp from a psychological point of view too: Instead of forcing the player to become a mass-murderer, you can use the mechanics to subtly make him want to use the non-lethal route, and be slightly disappointed when you have to murder someone. In essence, Jensen becomes more human and less of a cold sociopath by tricking the player into feeling some empathy towards all the guards he has to take out.

    That’s way more interesting as a concept than everything being equal. If everything is equal, everything is boring.

    1. Nick says:

      Besides which, how many augments are actually useful to anyone roleplaying gun-crazy Adam Jensen Who Murders Everyone? Dermal Armour and the Typhoon, maybe the Rebreather and Flash Suppression augs. You don’t really need hacking or cloaking or double takedown.

      So who cares if you get less XP? You don’t really need it

    2. Sumanai says:

      I used to have the same “it’s more interesting when everything isn’t equal”, but then I realised that if, for instance, orcs get +10 strength and -10 intelligence compared to humans, then there will be no human warriors and no orc wizards. Which will be boring, since there’s no variety in regards to race-class combos. Or the 10 point difference is meaningless, in which case having it doesn’t make anything more interesting. Worse, it might unnecessarily confuse newbies, who may not realise it doesn’t matter.

      And there’s also that role-playing shouldn’t gimp your characters.

      It can work if the difference works in tandem with the fluff to establish differences between the races/cultures, but most of the time they just entrench the notion that elves are wizards, dwarves are clerics, humans are thieves and orcs are warriors. Which just helps more clichés to form.

      Or they help establish that the creator is racist/sexist.

    3. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Stealth should give you more xp,but non-lethal shouldnt.One hit from a tranq anywhere,and the enemy is down.With bullets,you have to aim,or unload plenty,or go the explosive roinds.So it already compensates for the reload and wake up,there is no need to compensate with xp.

      But between those two extremes there is a sweet spot.Its hard to achieve,but if you get there,you will get a nice balance of races.Yes having a weaker fighter may seem like a bad choice,but he can compensate with his smarts.

      About role playing,that doesnt apply to crpgs.Without true ai,you cannot really role play a crpg,because it cannot anticipate everything you can do.And even the best gms can be surprised(for good or bad)by the players.

      1. Sumanai says:

        I was talking about role-playing games in general, so pen-and-paper was on my mind. Even then, it’s possible to role-play to a certain degree in video games, it’s just that you have to take a different approach. And the designers need to take a different approach to dialogue choices and quest solutions.

        The balance is really hard to hit, and the result is rarely meaningful. I think the rule system should properly support the notion that all attributes are beneficial to all classes without enforcing a different combat/non-combat role.

        For instance, you can tank with either Endurance, Agility or Intelligence. And even then not force specialisation through high minimum requirements for Perks (in DnD3), with a logarithmic scale for attribute bonuses or by having each attribute work with a different skill/use its own skill check.

        I suspect however that my biggest gripe with it is that I don’t know how to build the world around races that are on average obviously different. Surely some of them would die out, either before technological advancements (orcs would kill elves) or after (elves killing orcs). But I suppose that would be fixed by not having one or more of the races be in a constant war, like it tends to be in so many fantasy settings.

        I’d rather have the race dictate culture, which would describe roughly how the character should act (in tabletop, don’t see that happening on PC) and the characters background defining the starting attribute levels. Started out as a farmhand? Str and End bonus. Then got trained as a soldier? More End and Int.

  30. NihilCredo says:

    The difference between stealth XP and combat XP pales in comparison to how much XP you get if you simply hack everything.

    Never mind the basic reward; whenever you hit a ‘treasure’ node that gives you XP, I don’t remember the exact amount (up to 500 XP?) but it was often HUGE.

    Now, there should absolutely be a reward for hacking (although there should also be a smaller one for when you find well-hidden password notes). But hacking should not be THAT freakishly rewarding. It got to the point that you’d hack doors/computers even when you had the password, because you’d hate missing out on the bounty.

    1. Sumanai says:

      I think many would still be hacking everything, because it is still more xp. Just give the same amount of points for finding the passwords, think of it as an exploration bonus, but don’t hand any extra for both finding the password and hacking. Metagaming should be discouraged.

      1. Sumanai says:

        A correction: not discouraged, but never encouraged.

  31. Irridium says:

    Regarding accents and the like, it reminds me of one of the God of War 1 dev diaries. Where they did a bunch of research, made everything as Greek as they could, showed it to people, and it turned out that actual “Greek” wasn’t what people thought of as “Greek”.

    Can’t seem to find the video, but the point is, perhaps they’re also factoring in what the “general public” thinks they should sound like. Or expects them to sound like.

    I don’t know, I don’t really know much about accents or what people “normally” sound like, so usually I just roll with it.

    1. Sumanai says:

      It would be nice if they had included a “historically authentic mode” for visuals. Might be a bit more tricky on the gameplay side of things.

  32. Chyvern says:

    When Jenson was just about to let it slip to Mr. Darrow that he knew about the Hyron project, Josh ran into a cutscene and cut off the dialogue. I really wanted to see what kind of reaction Jenson would provoke with his smarmy “Ha ha I know your secret plans” talk!

    As a sidenote, I don’t intend to play the game myself at any point in the future, sadly. :P

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