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Colony Ship Update #47: The Stealth System

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Colony Ship Update #47: The Stealth System

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 18 September 2020, 02:30:27

Tags: Colony Ship: A Post-Earth Role Playing Game; Iron Tower Studio; Vince D. Weller

This month's Colony Ship development update gives us our first look at the workings of the game's stealth system. Most of you probably don't remember the scenario Vault Dweller described in a previous update over two years ago, involving the quest to win the loyalty of Lord's Mercy and her gang in the struggle for control of the Pit between local business owner Jonas Redford and outsider militia leader Jeremiah Braxton. Of course, persuading Mercy to switch sides is just one way of handling this quest. Another way is to sneak into her compound and assassinate her. Colony Ship's stealth system appears to be full-featured but intuitive. Tiles are colored green, yellow or red based on the difference between the player character's stealth skill and the guards' current detection values. As the character moves around and does things, he generates noise which can cause the guards to become suspicious and eventually begin looking for him. A character armed with a knife or dagger can attempt to inflict a one-hit kill while in stealth. The screenshots included in the update demonstrate these new features, as well as the previous diplomatic approach.

An overview of the mechanics:

1) Tiles - when you enter the stealth mode, all tiles around guards are automatically assigned detection values. If your sneaking ability (the skill and modifiers) is greater than the detection value, you remain undetected. Thus, green tiles are safe to walk on, red tiles means instant detection and combat, yellow means higher chance of detection (if you end your turn there, you'll be instantly detected at the beginning of the guard's turn).

The detection values are determined by the distance from the guards, which way they're facing, their Perception, and thermal vision gear, if any. High sneaking ability turns more tiles green and opens up more options.

2) Noise - each step and action (lockpicking, climbing, using computers, killing guards in stealth mode, etc) generates noise. Not a whole lot of noise to instantly alert the guards the moment you do something but enough to add up over time and raise the guards' suspicions. The higher the guards' Perception, the faster the alert bar is filled:

0-24: Unaware
25-49: Suspicious (a warning to the player)
50-74: Alerted
75-100: Searching

When a guard is alerted, he turns around towards the last noise generated, so if you are close he'll see you (meaning a lot of green tiles will instantly turn red). When a guard decides that it's time to investigate, he moves towards the last noise generated on his turn. If the meter reaches 100, he "interrupts" your turn and turns around immediately.

Each state past Unaware raises the difficulty of killing in stealth mode.

3) The higher your sneaking ability (skill, feats, gear) the longer you can stay undetected and the more you can do. To put it simply, if your quest goal is to steal an item from a chest nearby but there's another chest in a room down the hall, it will be relatively easy to get to the 'quest chest' but much harder to get to the optional chest (without starting a fight you may or may not be able to win). So specialization will definitely pay off.

You can reduce the noise you generate (Sneaking and feats like Ghost: -1 noise per tile, actions generate half the noise). Heavy boots and armor will increase the noise, so dress light and not get caught in your underwear.

4) Takedown aka instant killing – if your takedown value is equal to or higher than the guard's defensive rating (Con, Evasion, Alert level), you kill the guard. If it's lower, you do X points of damage (modified by different factors) as a consolation prize.

You can only use knifes and daggers for takedowns. If your favor clubs and axes, you can start a combat with the element of surprise on your side (think Sneak Attack).

That's about it for now. Thoughts?
Very cool stuff. According to Vault Dweller, we might be able to get our hands on this ourselves as soon as December, with the official Early Access release currently planned for February.

There are 16 comments on Colony Ship Update #47: The Stealth System

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