Dishonored EP17: Another Brick in Dunwall

By Shamus
on Apr 19, 2013
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

Looks like this game is going to wrap up just in time. We’re at the point of the commentary where we’re starting to repeat ourselves and go off-topic. That usually spells disaster if we’re still a long way from the end, but here we’re getting close.

To answer the oft-repeated question: We haven’t decided if we’re doing Knife of Dunwall yet. Some of us are playing it. I’ll play it this weekend. We’ll cover it if we have interesting things to say.

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From the Archives:

  1. Thomas says:

    Can you reduce chaos by killing rats?

    EDIT: Whoops jumped the gun. It’s strange that two companies, one fairly respected at the time, one very good now, have looked at morality bars, decided they were going to deliberately avert them in their games, and then failed.

    On paper it doesn’t seem like it would be hard for intelligent people actively trying to avoid the problem, to avoid it. I guess from the evidence it’s probably wiser to skip the whole idea altogether

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Morality meters are a bitch to implement.No matter what you do,you will screw up.

      Well ok,maybe thats not entirely true.You can implement morality meters without screwing up.You need to make a world with absolute authorities(gods),and remove all gray areas.Killing orcs is always good,even if they are babies,as long as you do it in the quickest way you know of,and there you go,a morality meter that you makes sense.

      • TheUnHidden says:

        Planescape: Torment nailed that topic pretty good. You started out as True Neutral. Your alignment changed according to your actions. More generous or “good” deeds tipped it slowly to “good”. If you behaved like scum you tended to slowly become more “chaotic”. But you really had to go all out extremely in one direction to get a quick change. If you didn’t put an effort into it, you basically stayed around the neutral mark.

        But that scale only influenced how the NPCs reacted to you. It was less of a morality scale but treated more like a notoriety system of sorts. If you were chaotic, people were more wary in their dialog unless they wanted someone killed or stolen from. On the other hand, good characters were spoken to and sought out more readily by NSCs who needed genuine help and you were trusted more readily.

        In my opinion, that’s more or less how such things should be handled anyway. Any “true” morality scale tends to be stupid up to borderline offensive in some cases.

        In the case of Dishonored, it’s one of the stupid ones.

        • Thomas says:

          Dishonoured, like Mass Effect is trying not to be a morality scale though. Which is what’s interesting, because people made this game with that aim in mind and created something that’s obviously a morality scale anyway.

          • newdarkcloud says:

            I think that whenever you have a scale of this sort that measures your actions and rates you on one of two binary extremes, it will always end up being a morality scale, especially if it effects the story and ending. While Arkane way have tried to shy away from morality, I don’t know if they would have been able to.

            It’s a complicated problem without any real answer. I like how the world and levels change depending on what you do, but that’s part of the Chaos system and its flaws. Some of the best and worst parts of the game are linked together.

            • guy says:

              They should really have made the endings more mixed. At the very least, both endings where you don’t get the legitimate heir to the throne killed should have explicitly included the plague getting resolved. Maybe you develop the cure and deploy it in low chaos, while in high chaos the infected districts burn.

              Like, have High Chaos solve problems in the city quickly and ruthlessly, while Low Chaos has them resolved in a more merciful and peaceful manner but more slowly, so fewer people get lit on fire and more die of plague. Something where people can actually debate which option is more moral at endgame.

      • Ringwraith says:

        Time to stick my head above the parapet, but I really liked how the chaos system worked, as it is basically a measure of how much of a mess you are making.
        Or at least it is different enough for me to give it benefit of the doubt. I’d prefer for someone to give it a damn good try to make it different than being overly predictable.

        • WJS says:

          The problem is that it isn’t how much of a mess you’re making. Buy Shadow Kill early. Kill your targets cleanly, vaporise any weepers or “whalers” you find. Maybe some thugs if they get in your way. Is that making a mess? I’d call it cleaning up the city, if you have to call it anything. But the chaos system doesn’t care if you’re killing a guard, or a civilian, or weeper, or a whaler. Or if you’re leaving a body laying around. And I also don’t think that’s a horribly unrealistic way of playing just to try to break the game. (And seriously, you call the pathetic chaos system “a damn good try”?)

  2. X2-Eliah says:

    Albino rats – that charm matters to people using possession a lot. You can possess white rats slightly longer by default, and there’s another charm that doubles the rat possession time on the whites.

    I also hated the River Krusts. This level unfortunately has a boatload of them.

    Killcam – yeah, this game has one, and you can tweak the frequency of it’s triggering in the UI settings in the game. So you can see it very very few times or very very often, depending on how you like and, obviously, how many ranged kills you are making.

    Overall this level.. Eh. First two times, I really hated this level, as it was too drawn out and too, well, sewer-ish. The water/swimming mechanics don’t really work for this game (or any game), and there’s a *lot* of swimming in this level. On the other hand, it does have a cool atmosphere, and once you know where to go and what to take, it is easy to go through. So.. I like it now, but that’s after many many playthroughs.

    Oh, and another problem with this level – weepers. Freaking zombie clone weepers. Urgh. I hate hate hate hate the weepers in this game, I hate zombies in all games, but in this they are just so poorly utilized and implemented (and could have been so much better if they weren’t just zombie reskins! The concept is pretty awesome, after all!)

    The sheer speed of Josh’s progress through this level, by the way, is incredible. And he is going through almost everything backwards (compared to the paths I tend to take). And dishonored allows it. Brilliant.

    @Shamus – you really should play the Knife of Dunwall DLC at least for yourself (and not just to have a tick for spoilerwarning). It addresses a lot of problems with this game, and the locations added are really neat and interesting. Also it does away with any sort of “hub” system (e.g. Hound Pits Pub) and is just 3 missions back-to-back. And it works, imo, wonderfully well. After doing KoD dlc, I went back to try another go at the main game. And… I can’t, there’s just so much waste of time in the hound pits pub between missions, eurgh. I just want the mission stuff!

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Arent the albinos also the most aggressive ones,so if you kill all of them the swarm disbands?

    • newdarkcloud says:

      For people who pre-ordered the game at Gamestop, there’s also a bone charm that lets you eat white rats for mana and another that makes them completely docile. In that case, having more of them spawn can be useful.

      I’m going to be perfectly honest, I think this level could’ve been broken up into two mission. One could be the up to the point you fight and get passed Daud, and the other could be you making your way back to the bar. When I went through, I took twice as long on this mission than I did for any other mission in the game. I’m surprised at how quickly Josh is playing this game.

      I’ve already discussed the Weepers to death. Fucking things.

      I second the praise of the Knife of Dunwall. I just finished it and while the plot doesn’t wrap up, it adds so much to the experience. Daud’s skillset is both similar, yet completely distinct from Corvo’s and it adds a new flavor to the game. Plus, I am going to miss his version of Blink when I go back to the vanilla game.

    • GM says:

      yeah got killcam twice on default and am just passed Doug.
      and Ugh Krusts the worst spot the sewers,you know where.
      yeah i did that mistake of swimming in that map.
      i killed 21 people in Flooded map and got low chaos how? i do not got a clue.

      it took me very little time to get out mostly just walking and not fighting the tallboys,that the wall of light scared me so much :)
      and i liked the npc there that talk and are not weepers yay. met two.

      • X2-Eliah says:

        Less than 20% of enemies killed per level (without considering any special actions) gives a low chaos rating to that level. Flooded district is huge, and has tons of npcs all things considered, so it is entirely possibe to kill twenty or so enemies and still get a low chaos.

  3. Gruhunchously says:

    I could have seen a beautiful friendship developing between Corvo and the brick. They have so much in common.

  4. ? says:

    Pre-order DLC from Amazon gives you bone charms that turn white rats non-hostile and can be eaten for mana, so I guess albino bone charm makes the other ones a little bit more relevant…

  5. Tse says:

    There is a roundabout way to knock people out after being spotted, just blink behind them and choke while they look for you.

    • newdarkcloud says:

      You can Bend Time LV 2 and get around them to choke them out in a combat scenario, but that just eats away at your mana, so it may not be worth it.

      Knife of Dunwall gives you “Chokedust”, which act like Smoke Bombs, and non-lethal electric Stun Mines to use as traps.

      • Tse says:

        Bend time eats a lot of mana and feels like cheating. Blinking behind enemies with several around you actually feels more difficult than fighting them to the death.

  6. Thomas says:

    It so refreshing to have a game where you can jump over the wall instead of opening the gate. I keep expecting Josh to hit invisible barriers

  7. Wuvly says:

    This is about the point where I stopped playing for about two weeks. I had it in my head right from our first meeting that the outsider was behind it all, a sinister figure who for some reason wanted to sow chaos in Dunwall and Corvos low/high chaos rating tied into whether you were his willing puppet or the man who was going to prove him wrong about humans.

    Obviously I credited the writers with too much imagination and the many squandered opportunities grew to be too frustrating for me and I had the horrible feeling I’d be very disappointed with the end aaaaaand I was.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Well he is all that youve said.Its just that its not presented well.You learn about it mostly from the notes you collect here and there,and from the ending stills,which arent that impressive.

      • Ringwraith says:

        Indeed, if you are low chaos he finds you interesting for being unpredictable, having all this power and not abusing it to kill people. He is also genuinely puzzled if you spare Daud.

        Mostly what the Outsider does is give people powers/influcence them (like with Piero’s dreams) so he can see what they do, hence why he only gives them to “interesting” people.

  8. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Sliding up the stairs,thats the best one.That never gets old.

  9. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I forgot about this the last episode,but why did they leave your mask with you?And why are you wearing it now?

    • newdarkcloud says:

      I’ve asked myself that same question. You’d think they would take it from you as well.

      • Lame Duck says:

        The mask is the only identifiable characteristic Corvo has; if they took it away from him, nobody would be able to remember who it was they had captured.

        • Ringwraith says:

          Yup, they need to be identifiable as the masked assassin so they can lay all the blame on him and enforce the legitimacy of their cause.

          • Thomas says:

            Which would be a good reason not to leave the mask with him right? If he throws it down a hole or smashes it the case goes up. If you take it away you can parade it round and show people even if the actual assassin escapes and even without that contingency it’s much more convenient to have it on hand than on the face of a prisoner in a pit

            • Ringwraith says:

              Well, they were not expecting for him to survive, or Samuel to smuggle him away on a boat, so they probably did not even take it off him after poisoning him.

          • MrGuy says:

            Yeah, but the point about a mask is IT’S A MASK. If it’s the only thing that makes Corvo recognizably the masked assassin, then you don’t need Corvo.

            Take the mask, kill some dude of roughly the correct shape, put the mask on himm and presto! We caught the masked assassin.

            You don’t want to know about it, but there are ways. Heck, I can have you a toe by 3:00 this afternoon. With nailpolish.

  10. newdarkcloud says:

    Rutskarn, I’m only 2 years younger than you are and I’VE seem Pinky and the Brain.

  11. newdarkcloud says:

    As far as I’m aware, if you don’t get your gear back you lose it forever. This means that you no longer have access to the crossbow and thus you can’t use sleep darts. Any replacement weapons, like the Pistol, you come across will NOT be upgraded.

    You can find a new pistol to replace the old one, so that’s not a big deal.

    As for the sword, you can easily find a replacement either in the Assassin’s Blade or the City Watch Sword.

  12. newdarkcloud says:

    Incidentally, I was not aware you could use explosives against River Krusts. In future playthroughs, I will keep that in mind.

    • Ringwraith says:

      To be fair, I only guessed because you find a pile of grenades, possibly more than you have found all the way to this point, right before them. So decided to give the high explosives a shot.

  13. Hitchmeister says:

    No, Rutskarn, you can’t always count on someone else vomiting. What you do is vomit into their mouth, then gag them and pinch their nose shut so they choke on your vomit. It’s actually the perfect crime. They’ll never identify you since it’s well known you can’t dust for vomit.

    (To everyone else reading this, I’m very sorry.)

  14. rrgg says:

    @4:20ish

    What the frick? By blinking over that roof Josh manged to skip past a bajillion obnoxious river kursts, rats and weepers. How come I never tried that?

    —–
    Overall I think this level was actually pretty fun. Water in this game is fairly interesting simply because you can be a fish, and the elevated platforms led to some cool tactics like sniping people as they are looking over the edge so you don’t have to worry about bodies being spotted.

  15. rrgg says:

    River Krusts seem to work based simply on were the player is standing meaning that you can’t really sneak past them. Plus if you do manage to come at them from the wrong side you can shoot them, hit them with your sword as much as you want and they won’t open until you walk away and your back is turned.

    I think there was some lore somewhere that the Empress was basically a river krust conservationist and made it illegal to hunt them for their pearls. Ah well, back to avenging her death guys.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      To be fair,Josh wasnt hunting them for their perls,but because they are annoying.He didnt even bother to check their corpses.

      • Klay F. says:

        I personally loved the river krusts. The pearls were some of the most valuable treasure in the game, and they are hilariously simple to deal with…that is, if you aren’t jumping around like a chimp on crack.

  16. Hieronymus says:

    Hey, leave those kids (shows) alone! ;)

  17. Humanoid says:

    Yes, I’m of that age too. I’m going to mentally overlay the Rat King’s awesome voice over all the Outsider’s lines from now on.

    As a kid, his standing in the show always sort of confused me – I guess the term frenemy hadn’t been in vogue back then – but now it, and his entire set of character traits, are rather obviously all there in his name. Not really a nuanced character as such, but he doesn’t fit into the black and white morality scale kids are trained to perceive. Maybe if they had designed the Whale King Outsider after him….

  18. TheJeremy says:

    I just finished ghosting Knife of Dunwall… I liked it, but it seemed as though the environments (especially in the later 2 levels) didn’t have the same attention to detail exhibited in the main game. The level design was quite good as always, but the art direction stagnated significantly towards the end.

    Daud is intriguing, but at this point (this DLC is apparently part 1 of 2) he hasn’t been characterized much aside from some Samuel-the-boatman-style moral compassing. The additions to the lore regarding the cultural impact of the ongoing whale slaughter were probably the most interesting part of KoD, and I wish they had been more frequent and in-depth.

    • Eric says:

      I would say that the level design is actually stronger than in the original game. They solved the problem of vertical options being too powerful and too easy to exploit (no hallways with 10 chandeliers in them), and the enemy patrols seem tighter and harder to avoid. Ghosting looks like it will be more of a challenge as you’re forced into direct confrontations more often.

      Also, the increased number of toys to play with (especially stun grenades and mines) solves the problem of non-lethal play having only 1-2 options to deal with enemies. It also gives you a way to avoid combat without quickloading if you are ever detected.

      That said, the story is also completely flat and uninteresting. Potential for good commentary, mostly in talking about what improvements were made and why they wrok but I dunno if the crew wants to devote 3-5 more episodes to it.

  19. kenup says:

    Got to love the river crusts. They are the best dump for bullets and grenades, in non-lethal playthroughs ;D

    of course, they are annoying as hell.

  20. Given everything Corvo has been through thus far… what must his overcoat smell like at this point? Not to mention the inside of his mask.

    • X2-Eliah says:

      Myes, but considering that Dunwall appears to be a reasonably warm climate zone (at the very least, not chilly) and I severely doubt that anti-perspirants/deodorants are a thing there, probably everybody more or less smells. Especially given the large number of incredibly buff guards in their heavy overcoats and gear.

  21. RTBones says:

    This episode was highlighted by me saying, “Whaa? where the HELL is he going…? Does he not realize … what the fvck?!?”

    A lot.

    As in, the entire time I was watching this.

    And it is a beautiful thing.

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