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Author Topic: Using Visual Stealth w/o skill or How to be Invisible  (Read 4953 times)

peasant cretin

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Using Visual Stealth w/o skill or How to be Invisible
« on: March 11, 2017, 08:36:43 pm »

EDITED: 5/11/2017.
While Toady offered a correction (to a misconception I had) in part of his May 2017 FotF reply, indicating that ambusher (still) "matters in all the visual rolls...", it isn't what primarily determines your character's stealth.
The core component of your character's detectability is their Visual Stealth (w/o skill), which is the result of various visual stealth factors.

There are five visual stealth factors of differing degree (press shift + S to view as you would to change movement speed). The most commonly seen:
1. Light, Low Light, Darkness. Light level is determined by being aboveground or underground, time of day and the visibility of celestial bodies (stars, sun, moon phase).
2. Clear, Fog/Rain/Snow. The absence or presence of weather conditions.
3. Open, By Obstacle. Whether a character is orthogonal to an adjacent column, door, tree, or wall tile.
4. No Suitable Vegetation, In Vegetation. Based on occupying a crop or shrub tile. Can be negated by an extreme in character sizing (elephant person).
5. Average Non-Prone Profile, Very Small Profile or Tiny Profile. This is character size relative to position (whether standing or on the ground). To differentiate, dwarves, elves and goblins of large size, and humans of average size have very small profiles when on the ground. Dwarves, elves and goblins of average or small size, and humans of small size have tiny profiles when on the ground.

Visual Stealth (w/o skill) levels from highest to lowest:
Best Possible
Fantastic
Great
Good
Average
Poor
Awful
Terrible
Worst Possible

Light level and character size have the most influence on visual stealth (w/o skill). While darkness alone can raise visual stealth level up to great (low light can do so as well, albeit more conditionally), isolated usage does not scale well. Lime green or cyan colored visual stealth factors work best in combination. Aboveground nighttime's low light becomes darkness under the right weather conditions. Darkness and small size's tiny profile allow a character to reach best possible. The other sizes in combination with low light or darkness require one or two additional visual stealth factors to reach similar heights. However, a combination without light level management never scales beyond fantastic.

Use of fantastic or best possible level of visual stealth (w/o skill) can confer virtual invisibility provided conscientious interaction with an NPC's view range (whose tile count at night is determined by their low light vision), the nature of their vision arc, the quality of their observer skill, their movement behavior, and in a few cases, whether they happen to be lair hunters.

Full utility for your own character will be limited to their low light vision rating. For playable vanilla Adventure Mode species, only dwarves have the full 25 tile view range in low light or darkness. Humans and elves are limited to 4 tile view range, and goblins to 8 tiles in low light or darkness. Diminished view range in low light or darkness primarily affects dedicated archers versus creatures with EXTRAVISION and to a lesser degree, bandit camp/bandit hamlet scouting. As with anything else, there's always a way to play around a deficiency.

Quite likely there's a bit more to this, having skipped most intelligent animal creatures, but this is it for now.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2017, 05:57:25 pm by peasant cretin »
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Egan_BW

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Re: Using Visual Stealth w/o skill or How to be Invisible
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2017, 12:28:03 am »

Huh. So what does Ambusher stat actually do for an adventurer? Or is it useless?
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peasant cretin

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Re: Using Visual Stealth w/o skill or How to be Invisible
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2017, 06:29:14 pm »

Huh. So what does Ambusher stat actually do for an adventurer? Or is it useless?

I think it's useless for a player character.

Toggling Sneak Mode to see NPC vision arcs might should be more of a menu thing, than something tied directly to the ambusher skill.

Something similar to how movement speed and combat speed were split in DF2014's roll out, may have happened incompletely with stealth? In DF2012 ambusher was overpowered and did all the heavy lifting. Now it doesn't seem to do anything but help raise your attributes.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2017, 11:55:30 pm by peasant cretin »
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Bumber

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Re: Using Visual Stealth w/o skill or How to be Invisible
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2017, 12:44:23 am »

Huh. So what does Ambusher stat actually do for an adventurer? Or is it useless?
Sneak speed?
« Last Edit: March 14, 2017, 12:46:05 am by Bumber »
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Derpy Dev

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Re: Using Visual Stealth w/o skill or How to be Invisible
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2017, 07:17:01 pm »

Huh. So what does Ambusher stat actually do for an adventurer? Or is it useless?

If I had to guess, it is either sneak speed, as Bumber said, or a higher chance of hitting an enemy that hasn't seen you, or extra damage to an enemy that hasn't seen you.

pisskop

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Re: Using Visual Stealth w/o skill or How to be Invisible
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2017, 07:18:42 pm »

Huh. So what does Ambusher stat actually do for an adventurer? Or is it useless?
Speed while sneaking around

See a hunter w/o skill in fort mode versus a hunter with professional skill.


Its not useless to have.  but its like crutch walking for adventure mode characters.
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peasant cretin

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Re: Using Visual Stealth w/o skill or How to be Invisible
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2017, 06:34:13 pm »

Okay, I see what you guys are saying. Ambusher defines how quietly and quickly your movement is. (Visual) stealth is then about (mostly static) concealment in regard to NPC detection.

pisskop

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Re: Using Visual Stealth w/o skill or How to be Invisible
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2017, 06:39:44 pm »

attributes still level based on skill gains, right?

agility is always good.  id rather have, from a powergamer perspective, more agility than more strength.  agility is the single most important factor (besides dodge and blocking) in not getting hit.  and not getting hit means not being maimed
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drealmerz7 - pk was supreme pick for traitor too I think, and because of how it all is and pk is he is just feeding into the trollfucking so well.
I track my running!

peasant cretin

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Re: Using Visual Stealth w/o skill or How to be Invisible
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2017, 09:08:13 pm »

attributes still level based on skill gains, right?

agility is always good.  id rather have, from a powergamer perspective, more agility than more strength.  agility is the single most important factor (besides dodge and blocking) in not getting hit.  and not getting hit means not being maimed

Yup, attributes still do.

Though as someone who likes to play a catenaccio version of Adv Mode combat, in regard to factors influencing whether you get hit or not, it's modifiers like position (being attacked from the side or behind vs facing one another), attack of opportunity (cyan exclamation point !, lime green plus +) and the less mentioned but most significant creature size, affecting the rolls when it comes to likelihood of bridging a skill-stat gulf (attacker natural/weapon skill vs defender dodge/block).

Attribute-stat tiers like average/above average/high/superior/super*** are relative to size; a small sized dwarf with high strength can't break the grip of an averaged sized human with average strength. And so larger creatures tend to have sh*t for dodge by virtue of their largeness. A nice example of this is the level 6 skill-stat critters of titan vs roc vs night troll.

roqi

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Re: Using Visual Stealth w/o skill or How to be Invisible
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2017, 04:28:54 am »

When playing as a dragon, my profile says Gargantuan. :P Just a bit of trivia...
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Ziusudra

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Re: Using Visual Stealth w/o skill or How to be Invisible
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2017, 06:30:02 am »

I like how a monster will have a conversation with someone they can't see.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
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Derpy Dev

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Re: Using Visual Stealth w/o skill or How to be Invisible
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2017, 08:35:52 am »

I like how a monster will have a conversation with someone they can't see.
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But... friendship lasts forever... right  :'(

In all seriousness though, this makes complete sense. The game just doesn't have any suitable dialogs for large beasts that are different than the conversations with anything else. I look forward to this changing in the future.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2017, 08:58:46 am by Derpy Dev »
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Random_Dragon

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Re: Using Visual Stealth w/o skill or How to be Invisible
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2017, 11:13:16 am »

One small consideration being neglected here. Sneaking up behind an enemy, one that isn't facing you at all, seems to be affected to some extent by the Ambusher skill. Actual testing would be needed to confirm this, and to see how much an effect it actually has.

EDIT: ...okay. It seems that I'm wrong so far, as arena testing suggests that an NPC with Grand Master Observer skill, facing away from you, is basically totally deaf. Whether with no Ambusher skill, or with Grand Master skill, I could walk up right behind him and he'd ignore me. :V

gnome

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Re: Using Visual Stealth w/o skill or How to be Invisible
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2017, 12:52:00 pm »

Is there any intention of eventually implementing vision arcs for players? It seems a little weird having all these complex mechanics related to stealth and implementing vision arcs for NPCs - but all in all NPCs can't sneak up on you save for in fast travel mode or by your own real-time fault of impatience - ie not checking every available level in sight for archers and otherwise unnoticed enemies on the move. While I'm sure this would make the overall game harder in general I wouldn't mind having at least a little bit of a blind spot behind my character just for the sake of immersion - otherwise as it stands stealth feels kind of overpowered and lopsided. I mean - you could still make use of your hearing as you do when enemies are around the corner.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2017, 12:53:53 pm by gnome »
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peasant cretin

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Re: Using Visual Stealth w/o skill or How to be Invisible
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2017, 05:33:06 pm »

@gnome: I asked about something similar in the FoTF thread. This was Toady's reply.

Quote from: peasant cretin
I'm probably misreading this, but similar to the movement speed/attack speed split of DF2014, it seems ambusher skill has become separate from visual stealth. Will NPCs like hunters and other archers occasionally display behavior where they path according to tiles that benefit visual stealth? If so, will this conceal their vision arc from the player?
. . . Ambusher matters in all the visual rolls, but yeah, sometimes it doesn't matter how good you are, if your placement is awful.  They should think about it more, but it's a difficult problem . . .

I'll add in Toady's correction to my assumption in my OP as well.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2017, 05:58:20 pm by peasant cretin »
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