How would souls work if it had MGS style stealth as opposed to combat, but still had the same fundamentals for everything else?
That’s a weird combination, but I started thinking about it, and maybe it’s not a bad idea.
My first thought is limit the player character to just fist and dagger weapons. Leave enemies with the same moveset design as in the souls series to begin with, so they’re already tough to deal with. Another thought is instead of backstabbing, have backtapping, where you like tap the enemy from behind, and they do a little animation of turning around to face you that takes like half a second or so, during which they face their head down as a part of the turn and disable their vision cone. Have it so if you hold the button, you stab them in the stomach when they turn around. Enemies could be divided into classes, with the lightest class instantly dying, medium taking 90% damage, heavy taking 75% damage, super-heavy taking 50% damage. Stronger daggers could move increase this percentage, or take out medium/heavy enemies entirely. Naturally makes a sound, about the size/range of sprinting.
Okay, so armor can affect visibility and weight. Maybe it could be schemed based on the general area, and have an effect similar to levels of darkness in thief, except in how much it matches the color. Weight can affect both the movement speed and the amount of noise the armor gives off. Being naked means you’re very high visibility, and lower visibility armors can be heavier (also probably defend you better.)
Walking can probably be made completely silent (except with the heaviest armors), running should have about half the sound range as it currently does, sprinting could have a 1.5 times larger range than running currently does. dodge rolling should be updated to work more or less how it does in MGS3, where it can go over obstacles, knock people down, smoothly land from reasonably higher heights (where you’d normally get a heavy fall animation but still survive, instead halve damage and significantly shorter recovery).
There’s a surprising amount of items from souls that are naturally suited to a stealth game. Pebbles (lure enemy to sound), Firebombs (could temporarily make flames on the ground that enemies don’t want to pass through unless they’re on alert), Alluring Skulls (fascinate certain enemy types for a while), poison daggers (makes a sound on a faraway spot, and could tranq slowly over time), Prism stones (screech if dropped far enough to kill you, which makes noise of course, could also serve as a weak lure, like a weaker alluring skull, draws enemies over to it, but they become disinterested once they pass close enough), young white branch, the fucking chameleon and hidden body spells (chameleon is cardboard box), something like lloyd’s talisman except it makes an enemy blind or deaf, shaman bone blade.
You could use the undead theme so enemies revive after being killed after a certain amount of time. Some beastial enemies could have a sense of smell, which causes them to patrol near you. Chameleon could hide you better near similar objects.