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Darth Lunatic
10-16-2001, 09:11 AM
I was just wondering to what extent stealth will be implemented into JKO?

Will we be able to back up against walls and peek around corners like in Metal Gear Solid? Or similarly like in Rogue Spear, where you can bob your head around a corner to take a quick look at your closest foes? Raven could really make something special with this game. Will walking around quietly prevent enemies from noticing you, if you arent in their field of vision?

Surely the use of stealth will be vital to complete some portions of the game. I'm not saying i want a really slow paced game like Rogue Spear, but it would definetely add to the depth of the game.

cossack1812
10-16-2001, 11:48 AM
Stealth would be an interesting element, sneaking around would be fun, but it shouldnt be an element that is required in certain areas to beat the level.

There should be a choice between going quietly, or blasting your way through the level :rolleyes: , like Dues Ex or NOLF

Darth Lunatic
10-16-2001, 12:52 PM
Ok, i'll replace the word vital with "a better way" :)

What i mean, is using stealth could be a quicker and more efficient way to get through a part of a level.

Myxale
10-16-2001, 04:47 PM
Ok, I'll agree to you pals.

But it sounds like Stealth will only "replace" the old Force Persuasion - ya know the force that make you unseen to the foe;

But whats the matter!?
Any ideas.....!!???
:confused:

Kurt Plummer
10-17-2001, 03:16 AM
The key to stealth is actually _awareness_.

You can't 'jam' what you don't see/sense.

If you look at Obi Wan in EP.4 as almost our only explicit example of how Force influence works in a tactical covert penetration role, it's almost like a mental as opposed to physical 'push' to make the person look elsewhere.

Nothing as sophisticated as say telepathic camouflage or physical light bending ala 'look at but don't see me' as shown in the games.

Therefore, if you want to use stealth as a means of advancement (and I personally think there should also be discoverable, highly efficient, 'Imperial Scout' chameleosuits for non Force users) through a level, it should be under the condition that you have an precognitive or clairvoyant ability to indeed 'look around corners' _before you cross the line of sight_.

And thus 'sense a presence' in time to concentrate on it, wiggle your fingers, and gain 10-20 seconds of quick-speed bypass as he turns away.

More gameable because it's less certain and because if you miss a guy on another level who is also looking or a mechanical alarm supplement, their screaming could 'reset' the designated dufus' awareness level and...

Yer Screw-ed Du-ed.

That said, IRL, it is generally Pretty Damn Stupid to stick your head around a corner in a gun battle. You usually end up taking fire that is often lethal or at least disabling, even after you've ducked back.

A bullet will go right through a corner frame in a wall and even 'turn' (be deflected by it) to a sharper angle by the metal stanchion.

SRT teams instead use mirrors and FO cams or even robotic minivehicles when they want to do things 'the quiet way' while a noisy entry is usually a full frontal one where multigun speed of onset to/thru the kill zone is a better solution than predictable peeks.

Shattered Limbs may heal and your torso is often very well armored but your head never really can be.

OTOH, IF you choose to indulge in the 'face first' kind of idiocy, it would be typically be _slowly_ at ground level or sometimes very high (standing on somebodies back) to remove the mass of motion factor in any threats immediate field of view and it would ideally be with a man holding your web gear to jerk your ass back _2-3ft_ from any 'line-of-sight -thru-the-wallboard' counterfire.

Now, you look at those blasters eating /chunks/ out of steel and ferrocrete walls and think about whether you want your noggin' to receive equivalent treatment.

Then you realize that the first cue to the human defensive visual response is _quick motion_ against a defined background (past a hard LOS visual terminator or assymetric form against symmetric contrast).

And the Stormies have sensor helmets besides.

I know we all feel the need to pay homage to the Lucasian Dream but honestly at least part of this is based on filming of an initial funding and technology limited production which couldn't afford say a Terminator/Predator like Storm Trooper 'graphical presentation'.

I have never really figured out how people could accept that the clearly costly Storm Trooper 'smart suit, armored soldiery' ideal could be so _stupidly executed_ in the reality of the Star Wars mythos.

Using a powerful but limited Force capability would be one way to not only make the Jedi more survivable but the Imps more line-of-fire deadly as well.

"Too accurate for Sand People, only Imperial Troops are so precise...";-)


Kurt Plummer

GonkH8er
10-17-2001, 05:57 AM
only Imperial Troops are so precise...

Looks like old ben never played JK :)

[ October 17, 2001: Message edited by: GonkH8er ]

Alan
10-18-2001, 09:17 PM
Old Ben never used Force Control to shove an Imp around the corner in order to create a diversion either, but that ain't gonna stop me.
Besides, Old Ben was in there to get killed when you think about it--albeit only through fighting his former pupil.
Kyle, however, is young, vital and has Luke, Jan, the Crow and maybe Mara (hope, hope) on his side.
He ain't going down easy.

But back to stealth. Yes, I want to see it used, but not any great extent. It might be pleasing to walk around in the shadows for a while, but I don't want to see Kyle taking off his boots so as to decrease the noise of his footsteps. Stun baton will come in handy here, but lightsabers are out of the question if you use stealth too much--even if you have them off for a good deal of the time, when you turn them on, people are going to know it.
But, herein, we return to the question of AI. In order to implement stealth properly, we must also have good, if not unsurpassed AI. And situational awareness. And a relaxed trigger finger.
And, here we come to a question that's been lurking in my mind for a great time now. Do we want to see the action-based adventurism(is that a word?) of JK, or do we want the stealth of Rogue Spear, or the horror-based gameplay of Half-Life? Raven need to be careful not include too many styles of gameplay with the danger of falling into the jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none syndrome.
Most of all, I want JK2 to befun, and as long as it is fun, thrilling and satisfying, I will be happy, no matter how they achieve it.

Dark-Obi-Wan
10-20-2001, 08:28 PM
lets all just hope and pray that it isn`t nearly as bad as hitman!!! whoever made that game should find another career. anyways, but from preveiws they said that stealth will be a major part of game, and with force powers it would make it all the more uselful

StormHammer
10-20-2001, 09:16 PM
Well, according to the PC Gamer (UK) article, they hope to expand a bit on the style of stealth used in Elite Force. Your enemies should be able to hear you walking/running/shooting etc. within a defined radius, and react to dead bodies.

I hope that radius fluctuates according to the environments, because certain areas should allow sound to carry further than others. Line of sight, of course, is an even greater problem, especially if enemies are equipped with macrobinoculars, etc.

As for dead bodies, it might be nice to be able to pick them up and move them out of sight - a trick utilised in Red Faction. Of course, it would be even better in JK2 if you could use the Force to levitate the corpses and stuff them in a vent overhead, or cast them over a cliff, or something.

In terms of seeing around corners, I think that could be easily implemented by having Force Seeing back, but redesigned. Instead of being able to turn on an overlay map in combination with Force Seeing to determine the locations of enemies, for example, I'd prefer to have a see through walls effect - confined to a specific radius dependent on the strength of that force power. Kind of like an infra-red mode, that allows you to pick out focuses of life-energy. It would be great if you could then use a Mind Trick on those identified, without actually showing yourself.

Of course, that level of concentration should immobilise you for a short time - and I also think Jedi Mind Trick should not automatically take effect on every enemy. I think it should sometimes fail.

Having said that, I don't see anything wrong with ducking your head around a corner to take a peak either. It worked relatively well in Elite Force.

So the choice of playing stealthily or all-gus-blazing would be welcome...as long as the game does not try to emulate Thief. A choice of ways to play the game will be vital in terms of replay value.

Millions o' Monkeys
10-20-2001, 10:34 PM
the should implement a sort of max payne style into it though

kyle always wanted to divre around corners using bullet time :cool:

come to think of it a thief style wouldnt be all bad either..if there was a balance of course

remember when obi wan goes tippy toeing around the reactor..that was all stealth

SlowbieOne
10-20-2001, 11:02 PM
Stormhammer: Of course, it would be even better in JK2 if you could use the Force to levitate the corpses and stuff them in a vent overhead, or cast them over a cliff, or something.

Or maybe after they hit the ground, you could Force Push the body further out of sight or off a cliff. Or Force Pull the body towards you out of sight.

Either way, I hope they allow you to move corpses too. Not only that but I hope they stay.

There's almost nothing more cheesy in a FPS when a body just mysteriously vanishes before you very eyes.

Lord_FinnSon
10-20-2001, 11:22 PM
I'm all for creating missions that require more stealth, but a jedi picking up bodies and stuffing them somewhere? Somehow that seems to be a little bit too cruel even for Jedi who are more like diplomats(okey, perhaps not Kyle) than cold blooded hitmans. I think the game could even be so hard, that when someone sees you, you have actually losed it(you had your fair chance to use Jedi mind tricks and other Force powers againts unexpected opponents) and then it's either fighting againts enemies that game sends againts you or running away(perhaps with Force speed) hoping that you leave them behind looking for you. Besides, there isn't enough time to play with corpses in an imperial base swarming with stormies(no pun intended). ;)

[ October 20, 2001: Message edited by: Lord_FinnSon ]

SlowbieOne
10-21-2001, 12:39 AM
What's the difference between killing a stormtrooper, and dragging him out of the way. Does moving him out of the way make him more sinister?

Besides like all games that use stealth, you can play it any way you please.

StormHammer
10-21-2001, 01:18 AM
Originally posted by SlowbieOne:
Or maybe after they hit the ground, you could Force Push the body further out of sight or off a cliff. Or Force Pull the body towards you out of sight.

Either way, I hope they allow you to move corpses too. Not only that but I hope they stay.

Yeah, that's what I was thinking. So if you just want to play it stealthy, and keep your profile to a minimum for parts of the game, you can. I seem to recall in that PCG article they indicated you should be able to complete the whole SP game using just Force powers and lightsaber, if you want.

There's almost nothing more cheesy in a FPS when a body just mysteriously vanishes before you very eyes.

I have to agree. I'd prefer a logical method of body disposal - either you do it yourself, or in comes a clean-up droid.

Originally posted by Lord_FinnSon:
I'm all for creating missions that require more stealth, but a jedi picking up bodies and stuffing them somewhere? Somehow that seems to be a little bit too cruel even for Jedi who are more like diplomats(okey, perhaps not Kyle) than cold blooded hitmans.

It was just an example. ;) The key point was about trying to keep a low profile if you want to play stealthily - and if your enemies react to finding dead bodies, then the logical remedy would be to try and hide them somewhere. Besides, what is more cruel...hiding a corpse, or creating one? :D

Kurt Plummer
10-21-2001, 08:01 AM
I would generally agree that, in a fast onset attack in some kind of covert ops scenario against a largely idiot-force, you still want to 'housekeeping' take care of any and all leave-behinds within a patrolled perimeter.
This makes SURE that they are dead as well as removing the problem of immitators and trip-over discovery by late night perambulators on their way to the 'fridge.

However; I also think that most people don't realize that a true MILITARY doctrine driven security system will have multiple inner-outer, controlled entry point, security zones with interlocking or _double pair_ sentry paths, plus one or more overwatching (elevated LOS) 'guard post' (masted sensor) with independent area-motion sensing and/or at least nightvision aids.

And most importantly: some form of _team_ reporting-interval so that nobody is out of LOS or radio contact for a sufficient length of time to make a practical 'body disposal' effort worth the realtime or coding hassle.

At it's most basic in a 'known hostiles' irregular forces area it has been known to have the sentry walking a beat with hands wrapped around pin-pulled grenades in his uniform pockets.

Even without the 'loud bang' effect, if he disappears and/or doesn't respond every 2-5 minutes, you send the flying squad (or hover droid) to find out WHY.

_Right Now_.

While the whole base goes to various staged (based on previous action status) alert and EVERYONE else checks in.

In such a for-grins instance, a path of absent sentries is almost as deadly a follow-me cue as active battle and it certainly messes up any 'never knew I was there' kind of bug plant or plans-stealing type of objective.

Technologically, if nothing else, I would expect an automatic GPS type, 'arm band or implant' reporting system, possibly tied into heart-beat emergency beacon trigger so that if the current wearer location or the 'life signs' stopped/dropped off the map in a central control room or onboard the suit, the body armor or the duty officer would again be reaching for the Big Red Button.

After all, LLA or no, SW's universe is generally FAR more advanced than we are and this kind of capability is not so different from the systems we have in joggers watches and prisoner house-arrest/probationary 'passive jailing' systems today.

While we already know the Imp armor comes with low light and thermal vision built into the helmet together with a multichannel radio, making them more like our Landwarrior 2000 concept than Midieval Knights of Yor.

That said, if you want the bodies to stick, I have no problem, given that the function is either deactivateable or doesn't hog up so much memory/processor time that I have to shrink the screen down to a window the size of my pinky finger.


KP

wardz
10-21-2001, 08:41 AM
Kurt, I think I understand what your saying but if you want to make the discussion a little less hard work, you're going to have to paraphrase a few of your sentences. Why say things in 30 words when you can say it in 15?

I am sure I am not the only one who thinks this.
cheers,

wardz

Kurgan
10-21-2001, 08:33 PM
Somebody get that guy an editor!


Somebody get me a @#@&!! wheel chair!

- Whistler, Blade

StormHammer
10-22-2001, 12:49 AM
How about this for an edit...my interpretation of Kurt's post. ;)

**********
I agree that during a stealthy assault against relatively dumb enemies it is acceptable to erase traces of your activities within a patrolled perimeter.

Moving bodies ensures they are dead, and reduces the chance of someone falling over them on the way to the fridge.

However, in a Military-style security system, you should expect the following:

1. Inner and Outer security zones.
2. Controlled entry points.
3. Overlapping paths for sentries.
4. Watch-towers with sensor equipment and night vision aids.
5. Sentries reporting in at agreed intervals (e.g., every five minutes).

So missing a call-in should result in the alarm being raised. This means any sentry you kill will be missed anyway, so it may not be worth the effort to hide their body.

If the whole base is placed on alert, all other sentries should check in. The security zones of those who fail to report in can be considered as ‘breached’, and the path of the intruder should become apparent.

Other devices for measuring the welfare of sentries could include an arm-band or implant that sends out information about heart-beat, etc. (similar to the system used in the film Aliens). If vital signs flatline, the alarm could be raised by the duty officer.

**********
The rest is pretty clear, I think. ;)

Do I get a cookie?

P.S. Kurt...please don't take offence, okay?

Jedi Howell
10-22-2001, 01:54 AM
No, even better: a cake! Here you go:
__1_1_1__
| |
|_______|

Blow out the candles!

Back to the topic, I want something like what Storm(is it Storm or Hammer?)/Kurt said. However, I would like if you could use the force to make them report a power failure in their section of the comm systems, or something like that. Be able to do an excuse, if possible.

jh

Kurt Plummer
10-22-2001, 07:32 AM
Thanks Stormhammer,

No offence at all but I would add that:

1. If you are penetrating quietly or at least /quickly/ it is generally appropriate to go out the same way you came in because the opfor won't have time to set up any surprises.

However; good soldiers never trust anything to fate so that 'housekeeping' (Snicker, La Femme Nikita style...) implies a secondary role for what is nominally a 'door holder' force to keep that entry=exit route safe.
THEY handle the bodies not you. You just keep your ass going forward.

Otherwise, (on your own) one of the big dangers of presumption is not that the guy you killed is 'still dead' but in fact, IS THAT THE SAME GUY. At all.

In this case the /enemy/ may be doing 'housekeeping' and with anonymous white armor encapsulation you could easily have a new guy at your feet or even someone behind you 'pop up' as all his buddies open fire from the front in counterambush while you try to leave.

This is what I meant when I said 'immitators'.

2. Layered Security Zones usually imply either a hard perimeter (literally, thick walls or perhaps in this case shielding) or a 'free fire' kill zone inbetween open field areas.

Controlled entry points don't work otherwise and double-pair sentry teams are in fact TWO people, walking on each side of this defensive kill zone, able to see each other all the time but separated by the distance across the barrier from being usefully co-sniped.

That said, what you 'see' may be again be deceptive.

At it's highest level it will be two fencelines with a 20-100ft, often (IR) illuminated, mined, strip inbetween and sometimes a separate long-corridor active alarm system based on directional micro or milliwave 'disturbance detection'.

The inner fence may also be charged, either all the time or based on a fast capacitance alarm activation.

Nobody SHOULD be inside this area so you can make it as tripwire loud or lethal as you please.

Such a system is both an explicit warning to innocents and a secured forced-entry denial capability because you can't /reach/ the mines until you are thru the outer fence (and vice versa for the inner fence) while especially the inner zone walking sentries are often hidden from direct view by 'glare' on each side. Yet kill the outside man and you WILL be seen doing it, by his buddy, two fences over on the inside.

In the SW universe, it need not be anything so blatant and particularly against a Jedi 'hop on over' threat capability it might instead be somekind of (invisible) gravimetric or tensor field projector to immobilize objects between wide open lines of 'telephone poles'.

Imagine how STUPID you'd feel if you were knocked out or 'left hanging there' after a leap over a fence left you caught like a fly in a spiders web!

3. Masted Sensors are NOT Watchtowers. At least in the sense I think of them being like Great Escape or Bay Watch style manned (gun) platforms with roofs and four support legs plus ladder or stairs.

Even in our world, such a sophisticated, long-construction period system would only be used when what it sheltered needed high maintenance access/controlled environmentals or pulled-trigger (manned) fire control permissivity.

In all other instances, for both cost and time as well as obvious security-device-here signature involved, you want the system to be more remote-unreachable but also largely 'generic' discrete.

Such a bit of hardware could be a telescoping monopole maybe 2" across the top of the sensor cluster.

With no roofline blockage of wideangle sensor minimum horizon (depressed LOS) and made of an exotic lightweight alloy it could be set in place by something as simple as a single man with a vibrodrill zapping a six inch wide by six foot deep hole in the ground before setting a fire hydrant type baseplate overtop and tapping 'root 6, erect 25' into the control panel.

Before moving on to set the rest of the 10-20 poles he may have on a repulsor raft behind him.

The one constant that any military organization demands from a 'new toy' system is that it add the least possible in terms of activation/employment/maintenance 'speciality' man hours and TOE pallet tonnage to all the -existing- crap that they already have to hump around.

Armies are organizations dedicated to killing and conquering. Any activity which distracts from that is a bad thing in their eyes.

4. Controlled Entry Points.
Think of the gate tunnels running under castles. First you've got a drawbridge which basically denies reachable-access to any 'door'.

This drawbridge usually mates up with a THICK gate tower set in an outer ward wall among several cross-fire overlapped others.

Each gate tower itself comes with the equivalent of a longspear vented portcullis and double barred door at either end of a tunnel whose roofs are lined with murder holes.

Where modern electronics are applied, this can include gas, electrical charge, directional mines or autoguns whose effects are contained in a freefire, 'blast proof', kill corridor whose doors are controlled at both ends and often at a separate control center as well by _individually keyed_ panels.

The doors are set up so that they can NEVER be sealed-circuit 'opened' simultaneously (at least not without raising a hell of a stink in the central security room) and doctrinally each door must be opened only after the operator confirms, from both his other-door fellow and their TWO 'guest list' appointment time schedules that the petitioner for entry is supposed to be there.

WHEN he is supposed to be there.

In our own nuclear storage facilities, these lists are now also usually electronically sent using separate modem cable paths so that both may not be 'update' corrupted, together.

This is then followed by a visual, 'yep that's him' inspection, while sealed in the kill corridor coupled with the possibility of a bodyscan for pheromone scented and (SW) maybe electrical impulse level 'nerves' threshold and of course electronics/explosive chemistry/metal signatures.

A Jedi might be able to eventually cut through the doors and individually Mind Trick the 'lobby guards' but the man in the central control room may be /blocks/ away.

Effectively Unreachable and without his added key-turn permission, these foot thick doors are NOT going to open on their own.

At least not before you are treated to a Fourth of July fireworks show of apocalyptic proportions. And a couple squads of response troops on either end when you stumble out, bleeding profusely.

Going back to the castle system, once you are past the FIRST gate tower and inside the outer ward you often face a system of 'discontigularity' whereby you are in a chasm 40-60ft deep with defenders on the upper catwalks on both sides as well imbedded in slit windows on the inner facings of each tower.

These angry folks will be **pouring** fire down on you as you meander your merry way around to the /next/ gate-tier of an often multiple-concentric series of climbing defenses to get at last to the inner pale and actual 'main hall' fortress of primary occupancy buildings.

Again, all of this defeats linear-path _time_ effects of exposure to detection and trapping fire as you are literally going around the majority-circumference of a circle past 5-10 controlled entry points.

5. Predictability as a 'Good Thing'.
Knowing _exactly_ where you are relative to everybody else and TIME is probably one of the two primary goals that military forces have striven to achieve since the first time a mangey ape picked up a jawbone to whack his brother in front of a black obelisk.

If you can maneuver your forces in perfectly formated coordination there is virtually no threat on the planet large enough to not be pulled apart and dealt with in detail.

GPS of course implies a satellite positioning system which puts you within a given number of meters of a mean-error positioning system.
EPLRS or the Enhanced Position Location Reporting System works on a similar idea except the units are tracked from presurveyed ground (cell phone like) relay stations via the sequence code radio-delay.

The nice thing is that if you aren't walking your beat you are 'breaking the rules' not simply as a function of doctrine but technically, based on assumed position keeping within the radio relay net.

This provides instantaneous cue to a (droid or computer) system monitor that something is 'up'. If your break in lockstep is nothing more than a need to pee or watch a sunset then it can be 'averaged out' in to the pattern log and that's that.

But regardless it is /stored/ as a historical pattern change that says not only where and for how long but also how long _ago_ the alteration occured as a function of predicting travel times between sentry-kills and "Where is he now" that you may better intercept on again a door-to-door coordinated force-massed maneuver basis.

Add all this together and it clearly becomes well nigh impossible for even a Jedi to move about freely using assassination-elinimation of sentries, however quietly he 'hides' them.

He MUST either act to kill everybody he meets, simply butchering his way in

OR

Work as a team to flood the system with false-pathing changes.

OR

Totally subsume a threat identity (and act within it's basic tracking path logic).

OR

He must penetrate totally unseen by technical sensors as well as sentry encounter.

This is why I suggested 'classing' between heavy (power armor=Dark Trooper) warriors, stealthed Scouts/Jedi and maybe a couple engineer/pilot/droid operator classes a couple of posts ago.

Because especially around the free fire killzones and controlled entry points, you can Mind Trick clear away all the sentries you want but SOMEONE is then going to have to lug in that 40lb energy mine satchel charge and blow open the security doors.

After Which the odds will soar up to maybe 1,000:1 with 'The Rest of the Imperial Garrison', regardless.

Where the first law of firepower is that he who FIRES the most, WINS the most, in terms of attritionally missed bullets per dead body, you then want to be able to shoot a LOT more than your enemy does.

Jedi just don't do that, they aren't equipped or trained for it and this limitation of firepower doctrine is what offsets the 'aawhh but he can do magic!' disappointment in terms of other-character useage.


Kurt Plummer


(Snicker, now you see why I tend to condense things a bit...;-)

StormHammer
10-22-2001, 05:34 PM
I'm not editing that post. :D

However, I'll respond with a few points...

The inherent problem with the scenario portrayed above is a matter of finding game balance. Although the number and type of security measures are potentially viable - and even necessary within a real-life scenario - their implementation within a game context could have a considerable impact on game mechanics - unless appropriate counter-measures are also implemented.

If Jedi Outcast is to match the playability and style of it's predecessor, then many of the security measures outlined above could have a detrimental impact on gameplay, and force a reconsideration of the one Jedi faces all context.

This may be no bad thing, and indeed raise the stakes in terms of game immersion, puzzle solving, tactical planning, team building and strategic implementation. However, there is a danger of introducing elements that may not be well-received by long-standing JK fans.

It would also necessitate the careful consideration of time as a more fundamental factor in the completion of certain tasks, and obtaining certain objectives. Instead of a purely timed level like those to be found in JK and MotS, you might in fact have to implement areas within a level that need to be timed - similar to the Tower level in JK where you used Force Speed to throw two switches and run for the door. Whether this would be a good or bad thing is debatable, but I might personally view it favourably if it was not overdone.

In terms of electronic surveillance systems, although they may be highly sophisticated, and less prone to error, they are not foolproof. The use of slicers to remotely bypass certain types of security systems might be possible if there is a viable access point that allows at least partial access to a central control room from which sensory arrays are monitored.

Access might also be obtainable from within, if sufficient forward planning is allowed prior to assault. The implantation of droids capable of direct terminal access might be undertaken. For example, if as part of a routine maintenance schedule droids are sent to an external facility, which may have considerably lower security measures, then it might be possible to substitute or reprogramme droids of the appropriate type, which when returned to the higher security facility would act as infiltration units, awaiting a command signal to perform covert ops to slice certain security measures.

If the slicing went undetected, it might be possible to implant routines (constant loops) that make it appear that certain sensory arrays are functioning within certain tolerance levels, when in fact they may have been destroyed - or bypassed.

Of course, that would also require a fairly intimate knowledge of the security systems in place - information which again might be obtainable from facilities outside of the main installation. Construction blueprints, security system maintenance facilities etc., could all be accessed to obtain detailed information regarding a particular target - in a similar way to Kyle stealing the plans of the DeathStar, and that information being analysed to identify a weakness that can be exploited.

Of course, there are other ways of disabling electronic sensory equipment. You could attack the power source, which may be outside of the main facility, but if it is inside, you could use an infiltration unit (either a droid or personnel who have been planted some time beforehand) to carry out the necessary maintenance to take the power off line. Although it might lead to a heightened level of security among personnel, the initial event might be construed as an accident, or fault, and may not be viewed as the precursor of an all-out assault.

An alternative method would be to employ an EMP (or in the SW context, an Ion pulse) of sufficient magnitude to disable all (or most) electronic equipment within the targeted facility. This would make even backup generators redundant. However, the use of such a method would probably be viewed as a precursor to attack, and lead to implementation of the highest level of security. The use of stealth as a mission objective might be compromised, except in the context of physically bypassing personnel, and manned armaments. Nevertheless, with electronic communication effectively nullified, it would be hard to determine avenues of attack without utilising Line-Of-Sight methods, which may not always be possible due to architectural constraints.

Assuming you could disable or slice sensor arrays, you would then have to tackle physical obstacles, including personnel.

If the game engine would allow, circumventing blast doors, tunnels packed with weaponry and other anti-personnel measures, would be rather simple by employing a lightsabre as a cutting tool. You could simply cut your way out of trouble, and into the next chamber/tunnel etc.

In addition, the utilisation of all the Force powers at your disposal would assist in bypassing certain physical security measures. For example, instead of cutting your way through a fence, you simply jump over it. Alternatively instead of jumping over a wall into a mined area, you leap up onto it, use a Jedi Mind Trick on any personnel within the area, and Force Speed your way to the nearest cover before they regai their true awareness.

Of course, given time, and an appropriate start point away from scrutiny, and beyond the perimeter of sensory devices, you might even be able to cut a tunnel, and thereby remain outside of scrutiny when attacking a base - although, of course, any security system worth it's cost should have seismic sensors built in. :D

Another way into a secure facility is to go in with the next load of supplies. This might mean sneaking into a lower security supply depot, and placing yourself in a crate (a la MotS). Assuming such crates would be scanned the other end of the line - you might try to implant a specially shielded crate that looks the same as others in the load, or attempt to use a device that will nullify your life-signs to try and fool any scanning equipment. Such an infiltration method would effectively negate the need to tackle high-level security measures contained around the facility's perimeter. Such measures could then be tackled from within, once you have achieved your primary objective, byt any of the methods outlined above.

So, although levels of security may be high, they can always be circumvented based on appropriate intelligence, and utilising appropriate methods, while allowing a level of stealth to be maintained.

The only problem with the implementation of such counter-measures within the game would be the amount of time available for the game's development. If JK2 had another 18 months development time, for example, then a truck-load of features such as those we have discussed might be implemented (and tested to ensure good game balance). However, it is more likely, given time constraints, that a less real-life approach will be taken to the implementation of security measures at certain key points of the game. Again, this may be no bad thing, and could indeed be far more enjoyable to play.

After all, it is only a game, and not meant to be a simulation of what you might confront in a real scenario.

Besides, at this time in the SW universe, the Empire is effectively deceased, with only small pockets of Imperialism to be found. Many of these focuses of the old Empire have limited funds, limited resources, and a potential reducation in morale, which may lead to some facilities not being maintained exactly as they should. Failing equipment might not be replaced, sensors may not be properly maintained, perimeter walls may not be repaired. There are a number of reasons why it might be slightly easier to infiltrate Imperial facilties in the aftermath of the Empire's demise.

And I would argue that any enemy other than Imperials would potentially be less vigilant and more lax in the security measures they employ, because they would potentially have less discipline than their Imperial counterparts.

At the end of the day, I'd like to use stealth elements within the context of the game, as long as it is fun, and logical to an extent. ;)

Kurt Plummer
10-23-2001, 07:16 PM
Stormhammer,

Good Post, as far as I'm concerned the only problems inherent to 'too difficult to do' in the scenario is that of single player integration of multiplayer elements. It' the Rogue Spear scenario where they deliberately dumbed down the capabilities of the threat force to allow 'one CT faces all' execution of the game through almost all levels, even though it was clearly possible to play from a gods eye perspective (which I maintain is both tactically impossible and technically unlikely).

I don't know if I would want to run the JKO game as a 3rd person manipulator of multiple game characters but without a Hard Target defensive capability (not dummied up AI response) there is no point to try at the linking code for a sophisticated (replay value) multi-penetration option system.

Whether you 'feel it' or not, the pathing will be linear and only your actions on that path will effect kill-or-be-killed encounter-effect the game's outcome.

That Said:

Slicing.
Yup, a good idea and one with precedent in the SW universe.

Except that the First And Best lines of electronic defense are moating the systems.

Such that even if the overall building system is netted, the security grid _IS NOT_.

Ever.

If you physically cannot enter the protective computer you cannot gain access to insert a repeater loop and while computers now control everything from environmentals to doors in almost all modern buildings (as the cultural source point for SW technology), camera systems are still usually hardline discrete analog for both cheapness of late-installational routing and security of source signal.

In addition, most 'ultimate heist plots' work on the simple assumption of routine as a means to defeat the viewing system through a constant scan blank-insert and this blatantly ignores the use of multi-aperture 'viewing the camera that is viewing the door' overwatch and either automatic or manual (doctrinal) deviations in image path refresh.

This occurs when checking over inbound personnel and objects from multiple no-hidden-perspective angles (another reason for multiple cameras) as well as through simple, sheer, boredom "Lets technotoy voyeur some more".

In truly high security systems, even scanning systems will have a 'stop and recenter' pattern interrupt on the display which is onboard-automated on a random-number chip time domain generator that again, a pre-taped emission period doesn't cover appropriately.

This centerring break in the scan often is combined with a base boresight laying upon an in-motion object or background so that, again, the human visual system is forcibly shaken from an expectation of non-change.

Add to this basic resonant line frequency cable monitoring as an antitamper and image-quality assurance to the security of EACH camera coax themselves and life gets difficult because you can't keep the user from either:

noticing the tamper operation in progress

noticing the line break as a discrete alarm
or

noticing the scan pattern/manual interrupt 'reality faults' with a constant blank area image that doesn't scene-refresh properly.

This only leaves remote-insert of an ultra smart graphics package image to effectively **synthetically** draw the given scene to perfection and thus allow manipulation of it independent of reality.

THAT I have yet to see, even in SW.

A stealth suit that used force fields to bend light or a mesh of adaptive fibre optics to allow an 'along the walls' shadow-bypass makes somewhat more sense since we know that there are 'cloaking devices' in SW and by localizing the sensor disruption to the person you give him a constant invisibility advantage.

And while the Imps may be down, it is also clear that there is a HUGE 'war surplus' left over as their materials and weapons form the basis of almost every armament that you use.
At which point I find it surprising that there is in fact not MORE use of more generic items like uniforms and armor, vehicles and other casual-exploitation goodies.

Cutting Thru.
Here too I would say that we OWE ourselves an ingame cutscene whereby you pick a wall, hit a key, and then watch as junior does the EP.1 "Lets play woodpecker on the blast door!" routine of breaking and entering.

The lightsabre is just too powerful a tool not to be useful as more than a 'Killroy was Here' passage marker and the use of a cutscene allows external manipulation of objects without active damage-modelling or crawlthrough character animation. Just make a tile with a hole cut in it and as the cutscene plays out, reinsert the character in a new map location with a "Now you're in the adjoining corridor!" look back at the gap.

Obviously, a 1m wide glowing HOLE will /not/ be 'inconspicuous' however and while we have come to think of Star Wars as the inevitable compilation of closed-corridor sets with limited (graphical) 'windows' on an exotic external world, I go just the opposite direction.

A nuclear storeage depot is a very plain, unassuming, bit of concrete blockhouse set in the middle of a government reservation in outer back of beyond with walls about 10ft thick, formed from high density concrete with spacer volumes of air and steel plate to help deflect kinetic penetrator ordnance.

There is ONE entrance and ONE tunnel-in to either a single level vault or subterrainean (100ft+) elevator access.

So that you are now not so much cutting a hole as starting a tunnel and that tunnel WILL intersect a known location (monitored)

Because there really isn't anywhere else to go.

And of course 'mining' as a function of sappery is an ugly, dirty, nasty business, 'inappropriate for any self respecting Jedi to engage in' (nose up, holding the pinky-out tea cup pose...;-).

Still it would be NICE to see, for once, a Very Plain Entrance to a given complex, instead of the soaring architecture and sprawling width that is so often associated with the JK series so far and this could easily be applied to an 'inspection hatch' access ala the Battlestar Galactica episode scene with Gun On Ice Planet Zero.

Dumb in terms of reality check but still 'different' as a backdoor out among the wilds of wherever.

Sneaks and Disguises.
Well, that depends on the levels of installation you presume to infiltrate, the nature of the troops and guarding them and how long everybody has to plug holes in the security plan.

But at least assuming that technology lets them equal the levels of our nuclear troops, I would have to say Nope.

Wouldn't have a hope in hell of working, I don't care how 'tricky' you are.

These folks are considered 'elite' because they are rabidly trained to come down on each other for the slightest fault in 'procedure'.

That means that they will have short duty periods (high on-off switching to ensure maintained alertness) and are more highly 'informed' of daily activity schedules than are normal troops.

Add to this an expectation of recognition by base personnel of ALL OTHER personnel on-base and _anything you do wrong_ (strangerly) will be locked onto, instantly. Your face, your clothes, your business in that area. Long before you can waggle-fingers.

Where external-to-base importation occurs there will be restrictions on the SIZE of materials brought in 'crated' and that means delivery to a secure area outside the safety zone for unpackaging onto open transport systems.

Two people will have to sign off. Those two will have to be in sight of each other at all times and they in turn will have at least one supervisor.

Nothing goes in that has not been visually inspected within say 15 minutes of sending and once at the hot zone gates there will have to be someone else ready to accept the item, often with another inspection by the gate guards, with a known destination and call-back "He's arrived" time by yet another supervisor (that the gate guard can have a written record of not simply gate arrival but confirmed travel time to the final location).

I would also expect more cases of interrogation droids to monitor behavioral cues and possibly even random-administer truth goop.

Or perhaps the 'authorized use' of Kessel Spice by select supervisors monitoring high security areas.

No, Raven and LA got that much correct, except in the most exigent of rushed circumstances, by the most incapably idiotic of troops, you are better off blitz attacking than infiltration.

It's just that at that level, simple man power vs. firepower (shoots the most, wins the most) becomes the dominant factor and again, I would expect a lightsaber+pistol+grenade Jedi to get his head handed to him.

The method of 'stealth' alternative must then be tiable to the most dramatically impressive of combined penetration modes so that you DO 'see' (visual example of threat bypass) these military-security-system instances of "Well it's sure a good thing that I'm a Jedi, if I'd been stuck inside that kill tunnel for a second longer, I'd have been fried for sure".

This gives you a feeling for how powerful you are as well as more-ways-to-die 'entertainment' when you screw up.


Kurt Plummer