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  1. #1
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    Square Enix Talk Deus Ex: Human Revolution

    RPS: I don’t think there was any doubt that Looking Glass/Ion Storm had a bias. With the Thief games, and Deus Ex, Spector and his team were biased toward non-lethal routes. Do you have a bias in this game?
    DeMarle: I know that I personally like to play stealth, but that’s because I’m not very good at combat! But I wouldn’t say I have a bias toward it. I tried, at least from a story perspective, to bear in mind that that’s a viable way of playing, and the world needs to reflect that. And the characters need to reflect it.
    Dugas: I don’t think I have a bias either. I like to play stealth, I like to go through those maps, either to take down enemies or not, and have the feeling that none of them realise I was there. It’s a really good feeling – you feel like you’re eavesdropping, you’re the small camera in the corner that sees everything, but no one realises the camera is there. But as we developed it, it was important that all those aspects would be rewarding in their own rights. If you’re the type of player more interested in shooting stuff, then it should be rewarding as well. You shouldn’t feel like, “Oh my God, to enjoy this game I need to do this.”

    Funny thing, since that's exactly how... my friend... felt like playing the leaked preview. Shooting someone will yield at most 20XP, while knocking someone out will yeld at least 30XP. Furthermore, you get additional XP bonuses for finishing objectives without raising an alarm and even more XP for crawling into every air duct you see(it's uncanny - if you see an air duct, you can be sure you'll find 100XP inside). Hacking is similar - you get absolutely nothing from using a login and password, while hacking a single PC can yield you up to 250XP, extra money, or hacking software.


    Deus Ex didn't have a bias. There is only one place in the entire game where being lethal or nonlethal matters. Your reward for saving lives is... some 10mm ammo which you're most likely full on if you're going for the non-lethal approach anyway.



    Non-lethal in Deus Ex was its own reward - it was "the most silent way to eliminate resistance". At least until you found a silencer mod for your sniper rifle, heh heh heh.


    Human Revolution is clearly biased towards stealth and hacking everything. Including the PC in your own office.

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    The experience points are pretty much the only thing that I didn't like playing the preview build. On the one hand the experience from kills is very low compared to how much you get from objectives and how much you need to upgrade - considering the relatively low numbers of enemies and the limitations of your energy cells meaning you can't just take down a whole group easily, the difference is only a tiny fraction of the total experience you'll earn. On the other hand it feeds on completionist impulses, I don't like being awarded experience for everything but there's still a weird urge to try and get as much of it as possible.

    Hopefully it's something that will be picked up on and tweaked as part of the Q&A process, it's a couple of months away from release.

  3. #3
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    I enjoyed the XP system, but I feel that the notifications could be turned down (or off).

  4. #4
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    The comment about vents reminds me of one of the sillier things that Deus Ex's XP system encouraged. When there were two (or more) different physical routes to an objective, I would frequently take one until I was almost (but not quite) at said objective, then backtrack to the start and take the other one, netting a big pile of extra exploration and progress XP.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus thegooseking's Avatar
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    From the rest of the interview, it sounds like they were making the assumption that someone taking a stealthy approach won't take down as many people, therefore balancing it out.

    I haven't played the leak, so I don't know exactly how it plays out in the game, but it does seem like a silly assumption.
    "Moronic cynicism is a kind of naïveté. It's naïveté turned inside-out. Naïveté wearing a sneer." -Momus

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thegooseking View Post
    From the rest of the interview, it sounds like they were making the assumption that someone taking a stealthy approach won't take down as many people, therefore balancing it out.

    I haven't played the leak, so I don't know exactly how it plays out in the game, but it does seem like a silly assumption.
    If you're trying to play "sensibly" then yes, it would balance out like that. But by plastering experience point notifications all over the screen and dangling shiny new augmentations in front of the player, you're encouraging them to collect all the experience they can. Which leads to people taking every route through a level rather than sticking to one, hacking computers they have the password for and other silliness. I thought the upgrade system in DX worked fine, you got your regular new augs by following the story with additional rewards for exploration. Now everything has to be about experience points

  7. #7
    Network Hub Mihkel's Avatar
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    When I played the leak I took everybody out when stealthing. Non-lethal + melee takedown gives you a very decent amount of xp. Only problem was that I had to wait for the batterys to recharge but I remedied that later on with praxis points in energy whatever-subcategory.

  8. #8
    The non-lethal weapons all reload after every shot, and (Apart from the PEPS gun you can find) they can only take down one dude at a time. So if you're taking this max XP route where you try and take down every single dude stealthily and non-lethally, you're forcing yourself to go through the level very slowly and thoroughly, while presumably giving up the "Ghost" bonus which would get you more XP anyway. So I think it's fair to give you more XP for taking so long with the level, or assume that you've ignored a lot of guys and need to get more XP per guy as a result.

    Attempting to meta-game any kind of game for max XP brings up silly results. You get 25 XP for hacking a computer, out of the 5,000 you need for a praxis point. That's not enough to bring me to risk the chance of failing the hack. If you're going to go through the game purely focused on calculating max XP gain then hell, go for it, but the amount you get from going through every single vent you can isn't worth it for a normal run.
    Last edited by JackShandy; 14-06-2011 at 10:17 PM.

  9. #9
    Network Hub Mihkel's Avatar
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    @JackShandy Well you should still get the ghost bonus, the thing is you'll not get it if you get busted, atleast that's how I understood it. And going through the level like that isn't really slow if you invest some praxis points in the energy thingy, also different levels of xp for hacking and if you unlock reward nodes you can get up to 500xp (from the reward node in hacking) alone. Also taking different routes and discovering shit, I mean the game gives you xp for almost anything you do and getting to that 5000xp marker isn't really difficult.
    Last edited by Mihkel; 15-06-2011 at 08:18 AM.

  10. #10
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    Stealth vs non-stealth. If you want as much XP as possible, melee stealth, mass explore and hacking are the way to go. Oh, wait..you also have to reload conversations in order to get the silver-tongued bonus for a sweet 1000xp. You also need to do things in a certain way in order to get melee stealth, explore, hacking, ghost bonus and operator bonus and conversation xp for the same mission if you -really- want to maximise your XP. That's a lot of trouble. BUT it is rewarded if you want to go to said trouble. You'll experience the same content as people that don't, mostly, just in an XP-maxed manner.

    What I'm getting at is that if you metagame like mad and don't mind reloading often - and have patience, the energy cell upgrade isn't that much better than stock and you will still wait a lot - you can earn more XP than if you just kill kill kill. Yes.

    But.

    A) if you are trying for max XP, or even higher-than-average-XP, get used to dying. This route is risky and can lead to people next to you growing offended and shooting you in the side while you piss off their neighbour. For example. Wiser and safer to use those passwords, talk nicely to people and avoid avoidable dangers. Also sometimes to just snipe them and move on.

    B) You only need XP for cyberware. You only need loads of cyberware if you are going the mass-XP route. You don't really need the extra little things like mark and track and view cones and silent running if you aren't heavy into a cyber-stealth gameplay. You don't need the max hacking and conversation gear unless you want to put the effort - and substantial risk of failure - into every single chance to get XP.

    The depth of the game is so well done, you can swim through it at whichever level, be rewarded and have a great time. Whether you creep along watching your cyber-boosted radar or talk your way pleasantly past whole combat zones.

  11. #11
    You know, I do feel like there aren't enough ways to distinguish yourself in the lethal route. If you complete a stealth section really well, the game will recognise that and reward you with these different XP bonuses. If you're not being stealthy, though, the only bonus you can aim for is the extra 10 XP you get for headshots. And that means you're actually feeling punished for using your Typhoon aug or a grenade or anything other than headshots.

    My perscription would be giving you bonus XP for taking a lot of guys out in a short space of time - something like "DOUBLE-KILL: 20 XP", "MULTI-KILL: 30 XP", "RAMPAGE: 50 XP". That would encourage tactics based around neutralising everyone in a room in one fell swoop: Setting mines, using the Icarus+Typhoon, luring everyone to one spot with a noise and then headshotting them all. That would also provide some distinct-ness from the high-XP Stealth tactics, which are all based around dealing with a single guy at a time.

    I can't imagine the game will change from what it's like now, though. Hope they release mod tools.
    Last edited by JackShandy; 16-06-2011 at 07:42 AM.

  12. #12
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    Mmm. True.
    I don't need recognition of my kill skills, really, any more than my stealth skills. It's enough to know I stabbed and/or shot everyone that tried to stab and/or shoot me and I survived.

    Something to distinguish my method from a stealthy, technical or social solution, however, such as a more fearsome reputation or the enemy, upon seeing my black-clad cyborg form, dropping weapons and running? That would be nice.

    Still. I feel as if we are discussing how we'd like the ice in these delicious, utterly refreshing drinks we're enjoying to be a little more cube shaped than it is. It would be nicer that way, but the game is so good as it, it's not really a complaint for me.

    Edit: You can totally multiple-KO people with Takedowns and it looks awesome. You can also of course concuss them with grenades or fridges and keep going. Funny, too. Fridge of Doom!
    Last edited by Sardukar; 16-06-2011 at 08:36 AM.

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