In regards to crime, consequences, quest conclusions and the lack of player skill based consistency
As the topic mentions there’s a few issues with the rogue play-style for dedicated players.
What do I mean by that?
Well, there’s the casual player stabbing a nobel in the face in broad daylight and then there’s the potion-popping stealth, lockpick, pickpocket and carefully planned criminal actions which, what I believe, is what this game is rewarding in all categories of progression. The fact that the carefully planned, isolated and remote murder can have devestating effects on your reputation and treatment in remote places while a mass-murder in the day could go completely unoticed is what I’m getting at in particular.
Just as a well rested, fed and geared, not to mentioned trained Henry do have tremendous success compared to the impulsive berserker approach when facing several enemies pays off emmedietly, I wish the same would be true for criminal undertakings.
Let me elaborate on a few issues I’ve noticed with regard to this:
Guards searching me:
there’s nothing bothering me in particular with random searches; What really grinds my gear is how easily and arbitrary the mechanic for suspicious guards and rude citizens are triggered.
Let me give a couple of telling examples:
Killing a civilian trough stealth and with no witnesses will in - what I can only conclude as completely random - some cases cause you to be treated harshly by traders and citizens, albeit only trough greetings, comments and guard searches.
In other cases I can rob and murder entire establishments or groups of on duty guards with no reaction what so ever.
I had to stealthily kill the madame in the quest from the miller to steal back a ring from the bathhouse chest and I did so with extreme caution and made absolutely sure there was no mechanic triggered or witnesses reactions outside of the dampened moaning from the murder. I even used the bathhouse services the very next day with no change in trade and service mechanics. However this did trigger the entire town with the citizens being the most aggressively rude and dismissive down to the guards searching me. This typically happens when I leave or visit trade shops, such as sharpening my weaponry in the arms dealer or buying goods in the trade store.
Furthermore and this really frustrated me;
In the quest to find Reeky, when you find him, dying and he desperately asks you to help him to the after-life (my interpretation seeing as these were a intensely Chatolic period in european times) where upon I do so without further delay and without leaving any statements about this encounter to the Tanner, nor any of the other NPC’s in Reeky’s home town but this didn’t stop the entire population from hating my guts.
again the exception is the aristocracy and law enforcement basically keeping neutral. And this is typical for these events; Most witnessless crimes seem to automatically cause people to judge me in an instant, ironically correctfully so, whilst not filing charges against me and this is quite illogical and frustrating.
While I understand the life choices of a rogue cut-throat should have consequences I fail to recognize any cultural, logical or even morally justified reason for these very dramatic and quite honestly damaging mechanics to the overall enjoyment of the game-play experience and while I am a coder myself and understand that this is part of extensive code and likely algorithms depending on global variables which probably are the basis of most progression and choice-based actions made by the player I still sincerely believe this system, as it works in 1.4.2 which is the version I am currently using, desperately needs an overhaul if the idea is to leave the choice of life-style to the player rather than morals and political correctness.
When I say morals and PC I am not insinuating the development team and coders purposfully coded KCD to punish morally undefensible actions, what I’m saying is that with the current crime/rep/quest-choice algo’s the experience is very much as if this would be the case and I don’t believe this to be a positive nor desired either by players and dev’s alike.
I hope this sheds some light on what I believe is where some of these issues stem and what they do to the experience. And I feel greasy quoting others in forum posts but when you develop software, there’s a few very well known, true and tried concepts;
The most important focus of any software development should always be, without exception, the end-user experience.
Why do I say that?
Because you’ve created a masterpiece with KCD and I would be ungrateful if I wouldn’t respectfully share any if not all all thoughts of, hands down:
possible improvements to what I already concider the greatest single-playerr experience for PC every created.
Post scriptum digitalis - Part II:
Miracula resurgendo occidendum victimarum.
(The following is unlikely to be directly related to mentioned above though indirectly could very well be considered to be)
What I’m about to mention now probably belong in another topic and/or new topic for it’s own sake I discovered a quite severe bug related to crime, specifically stealth-murders.
This appears to be connected to stealth murder victims:
Two NPC’s, both generic (no apparent role, both lacking in unique names) called “Townswoman” and “Guard” that I successfully stealth-murdered with no witnesses disappeared as expected a while after hiding their corpses.
That is until they both raised from the dead. This presented itself in a very bizarre way;
The deceased guard suddenly spawned where I had previously dumped his corpse and sprung at me in violent outrage, attacking me in front of other guards, whom just as surprisingly acted and forcefully hindered the guard from attacking me further.
I drew the conclusion that the guard was angry at me and acting in similar fashion as when attacked but should’ve been dead, e.g angry at me for killing him (yes that’s quite funny) !
This didn’t trigger any reputation, criminality or warrant mechanics either which is almost as weird as the fact that he raised from the dead, out of thin air on the spot I hid his corpse quite some time and several days after the fact.
Similarly this happened to the townswoman but rather than attacking me she simply runs for her life when she see’s me. She was well hidden and quite dead - I didn’t only stab a dagger trough her heart in stealth. Since I was quite bored I practiced a few arrows in her face and torso too and even though forensic investigations in the 15th century did not make use of DNA, fingerprints and serial-numbers I still made the effort to remove the arrows after and later used them for some poaching.
When approaching the woman I get a tool-tip stating “bad behavior will make people …” as with criminal activities or violence would do but every time I enter her vicinity.
I could see how this very well likely is part of needed mechanics, not least with characters that have a personality and is part of the game in such a capacity to be capable of being stopped but needed to keep the storyline intact.
Even though they lacked unique character names (which is historically and traditionally typical for disposable npc’s, items and such; whether they’re there to fill the streets as extras or to practice skills on) or any telling detail or unique features and belongs to future storyline events the issue with being instantly recognized by victims whom supposedly died from a sneak attack with a knife to the heart which causes instant loss of consciousness - as depicted in the game - not even being aware Henry were in the area or having the opportunity to see me before the thrust to the heart.
This is very, very frustrating and probably as damaging - if not more so - to intuition, logic and even mechanics in the manner they’re introduced and presented to the player.
thus ultimately the end-user experience.
I might sound more critical than a fan of KCD and while that is understandable it is not how I feel. I stand by my opinion that KCD is the best game made to date I have had the pleasure to enjoy and I began 25 years ago when my mother bought me an amiga (i’m 33).
Thanks for your time and hope this is of any use to the heroes behind this masterpiece!
Thanks. yours truly, Slimbo(dot)se