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#812680 01/04/22 02:34 AM
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Playing again and this idea came to me. Remove stealth Cones and suddenly stealth would be much more Stealth skill based. I think a big part of the issue with stealth is simply that you can see where the enemy cones are. So, you can more easily avoid walking into the cones.

You wouldn't be able to exploit the stealth mechanics as well if you couldn't see the cones. It would then just be a matter of you, the player, trying to time sneaking past while their back is turned, like in Zelda games and such. I think this simple change could really make all the difference.

Oh, and make it so armor actually gives disadvantage. I'd it does already, it sure doesn't seem like it.

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That would be cool, even if it was just for a hard difficulty mode.



Feel free to steal my profile pic if you feel the same way. Let's show some solidarity.
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Eh, not really - it would be “hiding how the system works, because the system is poorly designed”.

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Originally Posted by Wormerine
Eh, not really - it would be “hiding how the system works, because the system is poorly designed”.

Is it, though? How many video games have you played where you can sneak right up behind an enemy without them detecting you because their backs are turned? It's not much different, really. The main difference is you can see where to NOT walk in order to avoid them spotting you.

If I'm approaching a goblin on patrol, and I can't see the cone, I suddenly have a lot less chance of successfully stealthing because I don't really know where to step to avoid triggering him finding me. How close CAN I get while he's looking right at me? It's only really because I can see the cones that I can easily, totally avoid them spotting me and get right up behind them.

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I must say, I think GM4Him's suggestion, i.e. not displaying the vision cones, isn't that bad. It would introduce a bit more challenge in sneaking, thus making sneaking a bit less easy (and by "easy" I mean essentially given for free so long as you bother clicking the Sneak button ... maybe I should have said "broken").

But it still wouldn't make sneaking challenging either. Even if I don't know exactly where the vision cone starts and stop (in terms of width/angle as well as length), I know the that half-disc behind an enemy's back isn't covered. To me, it sounds like Larian's attempts to make the chain system less bad instead of revising it in full.

Here are two major issues with stealth currently, that merely removing the display of the vision cones would not solve.


1) Sounds.

It seems that the game does not know about sounds. You can wear noisy metal armour, heavy metal boots and dash in the back of an enemy, without problem.

Vision is one thing. But people have more senses than just vision, and can detect your presence if you're noisy. So long as the stealth system doesn't take sounds into account, it will remain ridiculously poor, in my opinion.


2) 100% player skill.

Currently, a character with 8 Dexterity, no Stealth proficiency, and wearing armour that gives Disadvantage on Stealth checks, is just as good at sneaking as a character with 16 Dexterity, proficiency in the Stealth skill and wearing appropriate armour. Because you (I mean, your character) only ever need a Stealth roll if you pass through a vision cone.

So if you, the player, has enough skill to avoid your character being in a vision cone (and that's easy), you are guaranteed to succeed.

Removing the display of vision cones would only increase the difficulty in terms of player skill, but it would not change the fact that your character's "build" does not matter.



I'm not saying no to the whole idea. If, upon release, that's the only improvement available for the stealth system, I would quite probably activate "hide vision cones" (assuming it's an option). But it's really a minimal improvement to me. I'd prefer it if Larian acknowledged that their current stealth system is massively underwhelming and put some serious effort into it.


Hoping we'll be able to create great assumptions-free Custom Characters and be given great roleplay options.
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I don't mind the game having vision cones, but they should differentiate between hearing and seeing. This way you can't sneak up with someone in full metal plate without a good skillcheck just because you managed to avoid their vision cone.

For example:

- In vision cone = stealth vs. passive perception check
- Outside of vision cone = stealth vs. penalized passive perception check (maybe with -5 like RAW for disadvantage conditions, depending on the character, but that might be too much)

Visually, it can be somewhat like the Pillars of Eternity stealth cones (but larger):

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

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Originally Posted by GM4Him
Is it, though? How many video games have you played where you can sneak right up behind an enemy without them detecting you because their backs are turned? It's not much different, really.
True, but I think that for stealth to work that way it would need to be simplified even further - so it could be readable without vision cone.

My concern is that stealth in BG3 is a binary state - you are either spotter or you are not. As such there is no way to indicate player if they enter enemy vision range - that applies to both distance, and elevation. While some (especially older) stealth games have no vision cones, they do have awerness indicators (through UI, or verbal like in Theif1&2) which inform player and allow them to react. Of course, with how clunky and unresponsive BG3 controls are that wouldn't really be very helpful either.

As a side note, there is a game that uses similar system that works very very well - Invisible Inc. Being a pure stealth titles, there is of course far more going on to support that design.


Originally Posted by Drath Malorn
1) Sounds.
Yup. D&D uses very abstracted roll system to represent character's ability to remain stealthed. Larian decided to make this system more granual, but implemented only one aspect of what could be considered a more comprehensive stealth system. Adding one aspect of traditional stealth system doesn't result in a better stealth system - just an unfinished and exploitable one.

Originally Posted by Drath Malorn
2) 100% player skill.
That an issue I have with quite a few Larian additions - who our character is should decide what the character can do. That is how D&D is built. Many of Larian additions dont work that way. I think that is what makes them so OP most of the time - you can just reliably do them, and that doesn't play well with RNG-based core of the game. That's the very reason why things like stocks, granades and drones in XCOM2 break the game.

Last edited by Wormerine; 01/04/22 03:22 PM.
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I'd suggest a 3-tiered system. Numbers are purely for example

1.) Automatic-detection Vision Cone (~20-ft cone) - unless you're invisible/blocked by an obstacle, the enemy detects you
2.) Stealth Check Vision Cone (extends another 20-ft past ^) - Your stealth check vs the enemy's passive perception
3.) Stealth Check Hearing Radius (radius of maybe 30 feet) - Your stealth check vs the enemy's passive perception

The latter two options could be slightly modified to be harder or easier. And any/all of the detection areas could be visible or invisible, though it'd probably be least confusing if either all were visible or all were invisible. But as others say above, the important part of this suggestion is that stealth checks are now rolled - an 8-DEX fighter in plate armor can't freely sneak up to/past an enemy.

Imo, essentially nothing besides tactics should be player-skill based in a turn-based D&D rpg, so I'm not a fan of introducing player skill into stealthing.

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As far as I know, if you cannot see the model, you cannot see the cone. I'd argue that heavier armors giving disadvantage is supposed to resemble the obvious pitfalls of sneaking in heavy armor. That being said, if you're strong enough to wear heavy armor, you're strong enough to maneuver in a fine-tuned manner, limiting sound.

If you were to dive into sound, I'd argue that elves should be able to hear up to a mile away given proper noise ambiance. I'd also argue that you'd be able to discern much more from noises, like direction of movement, enemy numbers, and possibly equipment types. My next argument would be that the original dark vision visual should be reinstated in the case where senses are properly calculated, only expanded to characters with stronger senses than others (not exclusive to darkvision). The result would be specific races being MUCH more capable than other races based simply on the fact that humans might as well be deaf and blind when compared to an elf. At what point do you draw the line?

I argue that the current cone system is not without faults, but expanding to the other senses in a more in-depth manner is a waste of effort when you could simply slap "disadvantage" on a heavy armor piece and have it justifiable from multiple angles.

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Go outside and let me know if your vision focus is 100% of the light your eye receives. Then, when you walk around, let me know if you can count every leaf on the ground as you're walking through the woods looking straight ahead.

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@UV01 huh? Argue for what exactly?

The issue with stealth system as it is, that it is not good gameplay wise.

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Originally Posted by UV01
Go outside and let me know if your vision focus is 100% of the light your eye receives. Then, when you walk around, let me know if you can count every leaf on the ground as you're walking through the woods looking straight ahead.
We're talking about entire people here though, not specific leaves. People who are wearing a lot of equipment and are actively moving, both of which create sound and draw the eye's attention. These two scenarios aren't really comparable. I challenge you to go outside and, while looking straight ahead, not notice a person who walks ~10-20 feet in front of you.

Originally Posted by UV01
If you were to dive into sound, I'd argue that elves should be able to hear up to a mile away given proper noise ambiance. I'd also argue that you'd be able to discern much more from noises, like direction of movement, enemy numbers, and possibly equipment types. My next argument would be that the original dark vision visual should be reinstated in the case where senses are properly calculated, only expanded to characters with stronger senses than others (not exclusive to darkvision). The result would be specific races being MUCH more capable than other races based simply on the fact that humans might as well be deaf and blind when compared to an elf. At what point do you draw the line?
Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. The system can be improved upon without necessarily making it 100% accurate.

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Well, I agree that the best way to do stealth is with both hearing rings and sight cones. Regardless, making them invisible to the player would make it so stealth becomes much more Skill Check based and a lot less player just needs to get gud based.

It's an RPG. It's meant to be based on your character's abilities, not your own, so you can become your character an escape to their world. I suck at rogue games with stealth. If I'm playing a rogue in an RPG, I want to be good at stealth because naturally I suck at it, not in RL and in video games.

But if I'm a rogue with Stealth Expertise, having +7 or +8, I should be able to sneak up on enemies much better than my +1 disadvantage with heavy armor cleric.

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Hearing doesn't work as a "cone" and considering peripheral vision and simply turning your head to look around, the vision "cones" are way too narrow.

It's taking them so long to develop a sensible stealth system it's almost like they think this version is great. Screw the D&D skills and use Larian's own fun cone mechanic instead, right? Stealth skill is only a secondary consideration if you fail at the fun stealth minigame that ignores a characters skills completely.

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Originally Posted by GM4Him
Playing again and this idea came to me. Remove stealth Cones and suddenly stealth would be much more Stealth skill based. I think a big part of the issue with stealth is simply that you can see where the enemy cones are. So, you can more easily avoid walking into the cones.

You wouldn't be able to exploit the stealth mechanics as well if you couldn't see the cones. It would then just be a matter of you, the player, trying to time sneaking past while their back is turned, like in Zelda games and such. I think this simple change could really make all the difference.

Oh, and make it so armor actually gives disadvantage. I'd it does already, it sure doesn't seem like it.

Ok, agree with this 100%. The fact that Shadowheart can sneak up behind an enemy wearing scall armor and carrying a shield is a bit ridiculous (unless using Pass Without a Tracy of course). Also, the ability for a rogue to, in the middle of combat, after the enemy has seen you, run behind the enemy, sneak, and back stab, in the same turn. Due to detection being based off of sight and SOUND, there should not only be a cone, but also a circle, with a certain radius, going around the detector, as show above. The DC to detect the char within that radius, outside the cone, would be more difficult, but still a chance. That DC would be much higher if the char is not wearing light or no armor. Watching Astarian running around in medium armor and shield, then sneak attacking enemies from behind, undetected, is kind of like a facepalm moment for me... Now, saying this, the cone and circle doesn't have to be shown, and I agree, that it shouldn't be. You're chars have no idea how perceptive the enemy is, so you shouldn't either. smile

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I think each character's hearing radius should be based on their passive perception. If the characters passive perception is 11, then there is a radius of 11 ft around the character. If you pass within that radius, you have to make a stealth roll against their passive perception. But I think it should go further than that. There should be a second hearing ring. This is a radius that is twice your passive perception. You still have to make a stealth roll if within the second ring, but you get advantage on your roll. If you're within a character's sight cone, you get disadvantage on your roll. Darkness of course provides advantage if in a person's sight cone.

What would this look like? Your character is wearing heavy armor and has disadvantage on stealth. However, they are sneaking around behind an enemy. They reach the outer hearing ring. They would have to make a stealth roll with neither advantage or disadvantage. Why? Because the disadvantage of the armor is negated by the advantage of sneaking around in the outer ring. One roll it's made. For the entire duration of you sneaking around in that outer ring, you don't have to roll again. As you sneak into the inner ring, a stealth roll must be made at disadvantage because the armor causes disadvantage and you are also in the inner hearing ring. So it's much harder for someone in heavy armor to sneak up that close.

Here's a rogue example, and the Rogue has expertise. The Rogue enters outer hearing ring. The Rogue has advantage on stealth. Rogue enters inner ring. The Rogue has a regular stealth check with no advantage or disadvantage. That Rogue is going to have a much better chance than the person in heavy armor to sneak up and backstab. The Rogue suddenly winds up in the characters sight cone. The road now has disadvantage. The rogue with expertise will still actually have a chance to succeed simply because their skill is so much better. Even with disadvantage they are so good at sneaking that they might still avoid being detected, especially in darkness which would negate the disadvantage.

Why one roll per hearing ring or site cone? Because players don't usually like it when they at first succeed but then the DM makes them roll again and they fail. If you succeed per ring or cone, you should be given at least some lenience so it's not super frustrating.

Last edited by GM4Him; 04/04/22 01:30 PM.

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