Dishonored was a game that showed a lot of promise to the stealth community. I for one was massively hyped for it and enjoyed it as I started the game up, but as I got further in, I became really bored and disappointed. The stealth was easy and rigid where tools like blink should have enabled the team to come up with harder stealth challenges than previously possible in stealth games.
My big conclusion on the issue was that guards, even on the highest difficulties, didn’t pursue enough and didn’t really have counters to the player’s options.
The worst part is, most of the code necessary to fix dishonored was already there, just not used correctly. If there was just a modder with source code access, the game could be patched up easily.
All I can say is, I hope at some point in the future someone does this game justice.
Changes that can be made using existing code or very minor modifications to it
Guards get back up after a fixed period of time after being knocked out (there is already a routine for ragdolls getting back up, I saw it with soldiers who survived the wind blast attack)
Guards who get up investigate in the direction of the player and are placed on level 2 alert (investigation routine exists)
Guards who find other unconscious guards do not raise an alarm, but instead wake the guard up and begin investigating on level 2 alarm (ditto)
Guards who hit level 2 alert mark the player location and begin their investigation routine in that direction (the investigation routine exists, I’ve triggered it with a grenade before)
If a guard partially spots a player and the player blinks away, the guard marks an investigation spot at the player’s blink destination (small code change, small trigger condition, small result)
After a player who is in sight uses a ranged attack (windblast, crossbow, gun, etc) enemies using ranged weapons have a shorter windup animation before firing enemies using melee attack faster (like halved or something) (small code change, only involves changing some timers and adding a simple new trigger)
Darkvision costs all the meter the player has temporarily (it all regenerates) (simple variable changes)
Bodies allowed in the stage is a lot higher (variable change, people have already done it in ini mods)
guards hit with sleep darts take longer to go to sleep and investigate around when they are shot (former done with ini mods, latter is obvious) (maybe an aggressive investigation instead of a normal one?)
Guards put on alert status or in investigation status take longer to cool off (basic variable change), and after an alert cools off there will be a separate investigation phase which also needs to cool off, with the investigation point set at the player’s last known location, or if the player can see the guards, the player’s actual location (more simple AI state work)
Pistols knock down less or not at all, also remove the wide blast zone around the pistol, it’s overpowered enough. (ini edits, easy)
Increase the number of zombies in areas with them present? Make the new ones idle around, so as not to disrupt the existing level compositions? (not actually code, just level design)
Basically all the ultimate difficulty mod changes (they’re ini mods, simple)
More guard wandering (It’s a variable, I know it is)
Addition of a noise maker arrow? Make one of the existing arrows have this function? (can’t be too hard, there is already a sound propagation engine, and investigation routines, hell, the DLC has something like this with the chokedust)
Changes that require the writing of new code routines
Guards who notice missing guards alter the patrol patterns of all guards in the area to cover missing spots in the patrol (this obviously requires totally new pathfinding code and could potentially be really tricky)
Once put on full alert guards cycle the current patrol routes for that area of the level, perhaps from a set of pre-scripted routes. (not too hard honestly, simple trigger condition, simple result, more work in designing good guard routes though)
Guards shuffle patrols every so often, taking over another guard’s route (could be a bit complex to manage)
Guards that see another guard being killed by a razor tripwire will not step on razor tripwires in their direct line of sight. (I have no idea how complex this is, it involves modifying pathfinding, but I don’t know if unreal has dynamic pathfinding support out of the box like that)
Guards that see the player use a ranged attack will use the environment to take cover (No code exists for this in the published game, but it’s made in unreal engine, there has to be full fledged support for that type of thing)
Guards that see rats will attempt to run from them, maybe after seeing one companion get devoured (no routine exists for this, would involve new animations and voice acting)
If a guard notices a wall of light has ceased to function, they will replace the whale oil battery + increase to level 1 alert temporarily (holy christ how is this not in the final game? Anyway, needs new AI routines, maybe pathfinding, definitely animations)
Melee system like Dark Messiah? (I can dream, right?)
Guards dodge or run away to avoid grenades thrown at them (new routines and animations)
Guards that discover a device is rewired will attempt to fix it if possible (new routines and animations)