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Crouch - gameplay purpose?

Posted: Thu May 31, 2018 7:25 am
by mikeprichard
Re: stealth mechanics, I understand the Stealth passive skill is always checked when near hostiles (just as it is in vanilla Daggerfall - my Stealth skill levels up near hostiles whether or not I use Sneak), with the Sneak stance enhancing the skill. But does the Crouch stance also increase Stealth benefits? If not, what is the gameplay purpose of Crouch?

Re: Crouch - gameplay purpose?

Posted: Thu May 31, 2018 7:39 am
by Interkarma
I might move this one to General as it's prompting more of a gameplay discussion than a tech support question. :)

The simple answer is that crouch exists for player agency, going under low spaces, and because it's in Daggerfall. It's an RPG movement ability all to itself just like running, climbing, or jumping. There's no reason for it to be tied to stealth at all, even though several modern games do it this way. Not every game needs to be the same.

I actually raised the idea of combining stealth/stealing with crouch in Daggerfall Unity some time back. The outcome was resoundingly in favour of keeping systems in line with classic with mode switches and a dedicated stealth key. When in doubt, classic wins.

And besides, in Daggerfall you can sneak on horseback. That's an action combination you don't see often.

Re: Crouch - gameplay purpose?

Posted: Thu May 31, 2018 7:51 am
by mikeprichard
Yes, this makes more sense in the General forum, and thanks for the quick reply and info! I completely agree that Crouch shouldn't have anything to do with stealth gameplay. Although it does in some later TES games, that never made any logical sense to me in any case (the guy/gal crouching while moving through a crowd is likely to attract more attention rather than less). The only reason I asked is because I had seen some discussion previously on a UESP talk topic I believe that suggested Crouch might have a stealth purpose as well - apparently, that was incorrect.

And sneaking on horseback is one of the most hilarious features of Daggerfall/DFU. Two thumbs up.

Re: Crouch - gameplay purpose?

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:09 pm
by Narf the Mouse
TIL - I always thought crouch was how you did sneak in Daggerfall. :lol:

...No wonder I had trouble playing stealthy characters!

Re: Crouch - gameplay purpose?

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 12:12 am
by Balls-OFyre
I find it quite amusing that "crouching" in Daggerfall actually means that you crouch to avoid bumping your head on a low ceiling, allowing access to a character where he or she otherwise would not fit.

If you think about it, it is a perfectly logical idea and implementation, and much more sensible than having your sneaky assassin crouching in broad daylight to try and pickpocket some guy at the bank. How the hell does that make sense?

One of Daggerfall's wonders is in it's wealth of possibilities. Climbing walls, levitating most anyplace, jumping on stuff, traversing rooftops and swimming anyplace. You can be anything, anyone with it's wealth of skills. Some of them are there for no other reason than the color of speaking weird languages. Daggerfall's designers reached for the stars.

And you can crouch.

Re: Crouch - gameplay purpose?

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 12:39 am
by Interkarma
Welcome to the forums Balls-OFyre. :)

There's a term for this in gamedev I adore called "player agency". For me personally, having the agency to perform free movement is really important - especially in first person games. I can't feel connected in a first-person game unless I feel a strong sense of agency, and crouch is part of that toolset.

There have been a few cases where I've completely disconnected from a game due to lack of player agency. The 2014 Thief reboot is a good example of this done badly - there were cases where I couldn't even jump down from something (such as a beam I was traversing) because the game didn't think it was contextually appropriate for me to do so.

Compare this to much better games like Dishonored where the player has almost complete agency to move freely around the environment, and where you can't go is very clearly communicated. There's a lovely interplay between the visual design and movement design that few games get so right.

Daggerfall is definitely an outlier in that it just lets you climb stuff and fly around, and doesn't care about where player is or isn't meant to be. The sense of free agency is incredibly strong, and its one reason I love the game.

Re: Crouch - gameplay purpose?

Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:51 am
by Teralitha
Interkarma wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 7:39 am
I might move this one to General as it's prompting more of a gameplay discussion than a tech support question. :)

The simple answer is that crouch exists for player agency, going under low spaces, and because it's in Daggerfall. It's an RPG movement ability all to itself just like running, climbing, or jumping. There's no reason for it to be tied to stealth at all, even though several modern games do it this way. Not every game needs to be the same.

I actually raised the idea of combining stealth/stealing with crouch in Daggerfall Unity some time back. The outcome was resoundingly in favour of keeping systems in line with classic with mode switches and a dedicated stealth key. When in doubt, classic wins.

And besides, in Daggerfall you can sneak on horseback. That's an action combination you don't see often.
But classic didnt win. I personally do not like the dedicated stealth key. Its not even a toggle. I wasnt here at the time you made that change or I would have voiced my opposition to it. if anything, I would rather have crouch/sneak be a thing. If i am crouching, I feel like Iam sneaking, therefore its immersive. The current implementation feels unimmersive.

Re: Crouch - gameplay purpose?

Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:53 am
by mikeprichard
The stealth key, among others, will be made into a toggle in alpha. viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2085&start=10#p24330

Re: Crouch - gameplay purpose?

Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:54 am
by Teralitha
mikeprichard wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:53 am
The stealth key, among others, will be made into a toggle in alpha. viewtopic.php?f=4&p=24311#p24310
Thats good to know, but what about tieing it to crouch, for immersiveness?

Re: Crouch - gameplay purpose?

Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:57 am
by mikeprichard
There was some discussion a while back (maybe in one of the threads linked above; not sure just now) that decided that crouching - despite being synonymous with sneaking in later TES games - made no real-world sense for someone trying to sneak, as it would likely make them more conspicuous rather than the opposite. That said, I'm also used to the later TES style, and in any case would like a way to more easily tell when stealth is active. To that end, jayhova suggested a stealth icon be added to the HUD in the above linked topic.