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Proposed Changes to Eagle Vision and Tailing Missions

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Summary:
- Tailing Targets walk at Fast Walk Speed
- Tailing Targets no longer stand still when suspicious
- Tailing Targets' future paths can be seen, allowing tailing from the front
- Eagle Vision is separated into three upgraded Tiers
- Eagle Vision costs a secondary Synchronization meter separate from Health Sync

Tailing Missions in Assassin’s Creed are a feature that the fanbase often requests to be removed or changed. Because of my design philosophy, I don’t advocate the removal of features that could be made engaging through tweaks - I only advocate intelligent tweaks.

Daniel: What would you do to change them, then?

Leo: Firstly, make the targets walk at the speed of Fast Walk. That way, the Assassin is required to walk at least that fast to keep up. This will create a bit more tension than just having them normal-walk. Second, if they look around themselves, don't make them stop moving. No human does that. No one stops in their tracks to look around suspiciously. Lastly, do you remember how in Revelations, Ezio’s Eagle Vision evolves into Eagle Sense, and he can see where enemies are GOING to go a few moments into the future? Add that back in, somehow. That way, we can follow targets by walking in front of them the entire time. Who on Earth would suspect being followed from the front? It’s absurd. But our Assassin could do it. Speaking of which, Eagle Vision itself needs some changes.

Daniel: And what are you thinking in terms of those?

Right now it’s either useless, or far too useful. It’s a very binary mechanic and there’s not much “gameplay” to it. I would make Eagle Vision much more dynamic and upgradeable. In AC4, it’s a bit better because you can tag enemies and see them through walls, but I’d make the Eagle Sense upgrade possible as well.

[New Ideas]
Also, Eagle Vision should hold some kind of cost. A sensible option in my eyes would be to have a Synchronization level separate from Health. Slowly drain someone's Synchronization as they use Eagle Vision. Why? Because it’s something the mind is not used to. Someone Synchronizing with an ancestor who wielded Eagle Vision would find themselves slowly losing Sync each second that they used it, because the mind would not be able to accept this sixth sense. The Bleeding Effect would eventually make the Animus Subject capable of accepting it without losing Sync (after you’ve beaten the game once).

Possibilities;
Tier 1: Eagle Vision
- A ‘pulse’ radiates out from the Assassin and Targets glow [Gold], enemies glow [Red]. This goes away after two to three seconds and costs some Sync.

Tier 2: Eagle Sense
- Targets’ future-steps can be seen as red or yellow lines on the ground. Can be toggled on and off with a steady Sync drain when On.

Tier 3: Knowledge
- In Combat, the order that enemies will attack in can be seen - allowing the player to Kill-Streak foes in that order, increasing combat flow when necessary. This is triggered randomly, does not cost Sync and is not controlled by the player. They merely adapt to it if they want to.

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I'm interested in most of that, except for the eagle vision upgrades. the first two tiers are ok, but the final one seems kinda gimmicky, and might not even be applicable if they change the combat system. furthermore, a three-tier system seems a bit limiting, in my opinion a more complex upgrade web would be more interesting, since it could let you choose between what abilities you want to gain at the moment rather than the path being directly laid out for you.

Similar to Deus Ex: Human Revolution's system of upgrades.

the posts a bit guy

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I agree completely on a more complex web, these were just possibilities, and a very early example. I could take a long time to brainstorm some Web-based upgrades, and I think I might, but it's just to get an idea for it. You do seem to agree with the general idea I have, which is great, now we can work on addressing the finer details of the system. I do agree that a Three-Tier system is a bit limiting and I am actually GLAD you SAID that; if a three-tier system is limiting, you understand how a One-Tier (what we have NOW) is even more so.

Human Revolution's upgrades were incredible.

I would, however, like to see an Eagle Vision Combat Upgrade that would help the player see which sequence enemies would attack in. It's very satisfying to be able to killstreak enemies that are just about to attack, but this is pretty inconsistent sometimes. My thought was just to make this a more consistent possibility. We can totally scrap it.

In terms of the first tier of - let's say - Vision Pulse, you do like that?

I've been replaying AC1 with a friend and we like how after exiting Eagle Vision, the glows stay on-screen for a few moments. We end up just tapping the button and walking around like that, taking note of the residual glow and planning that way. That's what made it into this post.

Gonna take some time to Edit the original post and put in some possible webbing ;D

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DarkAlphabetZoup wrote:
I agree completely on a more complex web, these were just possibilities, and a very early example. I could take a long time to brainstorm some Web-based upgrades, and I think I might, but it's just to get an idea for it. You do seem to agree with the general idea I have, which is great, now we can work on addressing the finer details of the system. I do agree that a Three-Tier system is a bit limiting and I am actually GLAD you SAID that; if a three-tier system is limiting, you understand how a One-Tier (what we have NOW) is even more so.

Human Revolution's upgrades were incredible.

I would, however, like to see an Eagle Vision Combat Upgrade that would help the player see which sequence enemies would attack in. It's very satisfying to be able to killstreak enemies that are just about to attack, but this is pretty inconsistent sometimes. My thought was just to make this a more consistent possibility. We can totally scrap it.

In terms of the first tier of - let's say - Vision Pulse, you do like that?

I've been replaying AC1 with a friend and we like how after exiting Eagle Vision, the glows stay on-screen for a few moments. We end up just tapping the button and walking around like that, taking note of the residual glow and planning that way. That's what made it into this post.

Gonna take some time to Edit the original post and put in some possible webbing ;D

it would be great to have tiers of vision pulse, where you can upgrade the speed the pulse travels. other upgrade lines could be like "make the red/blue/gold glows stay when out of eagle vision for x seconds".

There are obviously many other variables you could tweak to build the version of eagle vision best suited to how you want to use it.

I personally think that sort of upgrade path should only really apply to eagle vision, and that the base movement and offensive abilities should be unlocked from the beginning. weapons/armor can still be purchasable with money like before, but I'd imagine Eagle vision would use something more ephemeral than cash, maybe sync points awarded every time you complete a memory or something.

Aside: hopefully they move from many different outfits to one extremely customizable outfit.
side missions that would previously have gotten you super-armor could now get you special customization pieces that change the look, but that you could mix and match with other parts. Would be a big undertaking regarding clipping issues, but it would be really great if they made it work.

the posts a bit guy

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YES! YES TO ALL! You're great, okay, I'm probably gonna be up for the next forty minutes just thinking of stuff and building little webs in some kind of choice drawing program (MS Paint game too strong).

Agree @ Eagle Vision being Upgradeable while all base abilities are unlocked from the beginning.
Agree @ Sync Points being gained through Main Memories, Side Memories and Full Syncs.
- - Enough Sync Points (Say, 500/500) allow for a "Deepen Synchronization" option in the Web
- - Alternatively: The Subject's Sync Deepens the more Sequences they Sync with. Upgrade Points are distributed over the course of the story in addition to being a reward for Side Activities.
Agree @ Single, massively customizable outfit
- - Next-gen should make this a possibility without massive clipping issues. It won't be easy - but game development in general never is. Art is always being pushed forward, and so are its limits.

I'll directly drag and paste some of your ideas that you outlined above into this little image I'll make soon, all of what you said is clever so far.

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DarkAlphabetZoup wrote:
I'm probably gonna be up for the next forty minutes just thinking of stuff and building little webs in some kind of choice drawing program (MS Paint game too strong).

Looking forward to the masterpiece that will change AC upgrades forever. Wink

"...and if I had no self-awareness, I think I'd know."

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Double McStab with Cheese's proposed changes to AC tailing missions:

1 - Eliminate bullshit tailing missions.

That's it. If there is a REALLY good reason to tail someone, fine. Otherwise you should be able to pickpocket them instead to see where they are going and meet/beat them there at your own time.

“Force has no place where there is need of skill." Herodotus

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Double McStab with Cheese wrote:
Double McStab with Cheese's proposed changes to AC tailing missions:

1 - Eliminate bullshit tailing missions.

That's it. If there is a REALLY good reason to tail someone, fine. Otherwise you should be able to pickpocket them instead to see where they are going and meet/beat them there at your own time.

some of them can be pickpocket missions, but it's a bit silly to think every person you tail would carry a map with them, let alone one that's marked so as to lead you right to where they were going. since a normal map would just be of the whole city or district, not have a big red line pointing to where to go.

tailing missions are a bit too prevalent, but they've toned them back a whole bunch from stuff like brotherhood. I think they'd be on the right track if they continued to tone them back combined with improving them in the way that we've suggested.

to your point, though, there could be three types of tailing: one where you're just following, one where you're trying to pickpocket a key, map, or letter, and one where you're trying to kill them and get a confession out of them like you'd do for a main assassination target.

the posts a bit guy

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The new Eagle Vision mechanic should also help significantly with tailing variety, to allow you to do exactly what you've suggested.

Aside from that, the easiest way to make Tailing a fun gameplay mechanic is to make it systemic and spontaneous - the way it is in Watch_Dogs. You see a possible target, your Eagle Vision alerts you that they may have something. You follow them until you're satisfied with what you see/what you've got, or until they finish whatever they do. This gives you gameplay opportunities that are less scripted and more dynamic.

They've experimented with that vaguely with Black Flag, bringing it out in full-force with Watch_Dogs' systemic gameplay and will surely learn from Watch_Dogs to add toward AC: Unity.

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Calvar The Blade wrote:
Double McStab with Cheese wrote:
Double McStab with Cheese's proposed changes to AC tailing missions:

1 - Eliminate bullshit tailing missions.

That's it. If there is a REALLY good reason to tail someone, fine. Otherwise you should be able to pickpocket them instead to see where they are going and meet/beat them there at your own time.

some of them can be pickpocket missions, but it's a bit silly to think every person you tail would carry a map with them, let alone one that's marked so as to lead you right to where they were going. since a normal map would just be of the whole city or district, not have a big red line pointing to where to go.

tailing missions are a bit too prevalent, but they've toned them back a whole bunch from stuff like brotherhood. I think they'd be on the right track if they continued to tone them back combined with improving them in the way that we've suggested.

to your point, though, there could be three types of tailing: one where you're just following, one where you're trying to pickpocket a key, map, or letter, and one where you're trying to kill them and get a confession out of them like you'd do for a main assassination target.

Isn't that basically what AC1 gave us? We had to eavesdrop, pickpocket, or beat up a target. All three started with listening to a conversation and the latter two involved a secondary objective.

Slowly, but surely, the job gets done.

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TheMethodicalAssassin wrote:
Calvar The Blade wrote:
Double McStab with Cheese wrote:
Double McStab with Cheese's proposed changes to AC tailing missions:

1 - Eliminate bullshit tailing missions.

That's it. If there is a REALLY good reason to tail someone, fine. Otherwise you should be able to pickpocket them instead to see where they are going and meet/beat them there at your own time.

some of them can be pickpocket missions, but it's a bit silly to think every person you tail would carry a map with them, let alone one that's marked so as to lead you right to where they were going. since a normal map would just be of the whole city or district, not have a big red line pointing to where to go.

tailing missions are a bit too prevalent, but they've toned them back a whole bunch from stuff like brotherhood. I think they'd be on the right track if they continued to tone them back combined with improving them in the way that we've suggested.

to your point, though, there could be three types of tailing: one where you're just following, one where you're trying to pickpocket a key, map, or letter, and one where you're trying to kill them and get a confession out of them like you'd do for a main assassination target.

Isn't that basically what AC1 gave us? We had to eavesdrop, pickpocket, or beat up a target. All three started with listening to a conversation and the latter two involved a secondary objective.

eavesdropping in AC1 was not in the context of tailing. it's sitting on a bench. a pure tail wouldn't require any eavesdropping, anyways.

beat-ups were similar to the idea of a mini-assassination, but required you to get into an open-conflict fight.

pickpocketing is the same, though the mechanics are different now and may be different again in unity.

the main difference is that these would not be investigations, but variations on a mission structure for story-driven missions in-between assassinations. Hopefully investigations would be more varied than three kinds of following.

the posts a bit guy

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Calvar The Blade wrote:
beat-ups were similar to the idea of a mini-assassination, but required you to get into an open-conflict fight.

Not necessarily. Every beat up event I was able to play allowed me to tail the target into a lone alley so I could take them down without anyone seeing. Even beating the sh*t out of people is stealthy in that game!

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JoeyFogey wrote:
Calvar The Blade wrote:
beat-ups were similar to the idea of a mini-assassination, but required you to get into an open-conflict fight.

Not necessarily. Every beat up event I was able to play allowed me to tail the target into a lone alley so I could take them down without anyone seeing. Even beating the sh*t out of people is stealthy in that game!

yes, I know, but when I said "open conflict" i was referring to your target, not other people seeing you. I consider entering into a fistfight open conflict, as opposed to air assassinating an unaware target.

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