I don’t know how else to put it. I’m using the latest version of the game on Steam, the Year One edition of course. Now, my ability to test is limited by several factors. For example, without a detailed explanation of the mechanics, it’s hard to know for sure what’s happening. I’ve read the guides and the explanations that exist, and yet my experience in testing with it doesn’t line up with a lot of those things. For example, are there hidden mechanics kicking in when I enter a mission with only one Infiltrator (since that is how I was testing), or is stealth simply not working as intended? I even tried a run or two with other soldiers present, but I didn’t see a change in the behaviors I’m describing below.
Scenario is this: an exploration site resulting in a “recover the vehicle” mission. I start the mission with one Infiltrator in full Styx armor. Stealth is at 75%. If I am to understand it correctly, this should mean that unless something is within 25% of its perception range, they can’t hear me, see me, anything. So, if something with 20 perception is nearby, it has to get within 5 tiles of my Infiltrator to see her. I also understand that in a recent patch, it seems a minimum 5 tile buffer was added. That is to say that regardless of stealth and perception match ups, if someone comes within 5 tiles of the Infiltrator, they see them no matter what.
Either way, I start the mission, and nothing is on screen the first time. For the sake of my testing, I restarted this mission several times, so as to try and keep as much consistency as I could. Occasionally a restart would result in a sentinel being on screen at the start, but typically a good 15 or more squares away from my Infiltrator. Also, the sentinel having a perception of 5 (according to the info as reported by the game) tells me I should be at no risk of being spotted by it, unless its mist gets to me.
Except, in the case of the sentinel (and others), thats not how it works at all. As long as my Infiltrator stands there, and does not move or take action, she appears to remain hidden. But the second she moves even one square, the sentinel is immediately alerted. With a perception of 5, and with a stealth of 75%, with a good 15 tiles between us, how is that possible? Is the alert because some OTHER Pandoran heard me move? They’re so far away as to not even be on screen, when I’m centered on the Infiltrator, so that shouldn’t be it. The sentinel should not be able to see me, or even hear me at that distance, with a perception of only 5.
Maybe hearing is a totally separate thing, from raw perception? If so, what are the numbers for it? Or are there special mechanics at work as regards the sentinels themselves? Let’s say there are special mechanics for the sentinels, I should therefore not see this behavior when there was no sentinel visible at all, but that didn’t seem to be the case.
I should note that the UI continues to report to me the whole time that my Infiltrator is concealed (showing the eye with the slash through it). In fact, be aware that ALL of the scenarios I am describing take place while the UI reports my Infiltrator as being under concealment.
So, as already mentioned, even when the sentinel is not present the experience is just about the same. Move even a square, and watch the Pandorans come running. Don’t move at all, and no one approaches you directly, except by accident, as best as I can tell.
Also, there’s yet more problems with stealth, and not moving around, as related to “silenced” weapons. After testing various methods, all of which failed to keep the Infiltrator undetected despite never coming even within 15 tiles of Pandorans (but still concealed according to the UI), I decided to reload to before the mission, and outfit the Infiltrator with a Synedrion head augment, providing the ability Silent Echo. Turns out, it doesn’t seem to matter. I even tried changing the weapons I was carrying and/or using, but nothing changed the results, be it crossbow, Hel II cannon, etc.
When standing still, never moving, and waiting on enemies to move into range, and then firing at them, you are still homed right in on. Since Silent Echo is supposed to silence any weapon entirely, and because I haven’t taken a single step, techincally this shouldnt bring them right to me. Now, it’s not really a viable play style, but it IS an interesting test. Why am I attracting Pandorans, depsite being concealed, having not moved, and only fired a weapon that is SUPPOSED to be totally silent, thanks to Silent Echo.
Is that because there’s multiple methods of perception? Light, sound, smell, etc? I’m assuming, considering that the game makes no detailed mention of multiple methods of perception, that this is not the case. And if that’s correct, then all I can say is stealth simply does not work as implied via the game, or is broken mechanically altogether.
Unfortunately, for a non-programmer like myself, my ability to test anything other than the in-game effects is somewhat limited. But I swear, stealth is either broken, or does not work at all the way that people seem to think it does. Whenever you pay close attention to enemy AI behavior with an Infiltrator present, things simply do not make sense. Even when a couple other soldiers came along, as I already mentioned, I witnessed Pandorans going after my Infiltrator, while she was concealed, many a time.