1. #11
    LuckyBide's Avatar Senior Member
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    Thank you CoastalGirl for your feedback. As you can imagine, I agree with everything you said.
    And by the way Sarah becoming a Splinter Cell agent is clearly and with good reason a very sensitive topic among fans, I've seen many fans complain here but also on Reddit. We clearly need to tell Ubisoft they would p*ss off fans even more if they decide to put her as an agent in the next game as well.

    I think we here almost all agree on the content that the letter would have. You guys can sure still voice your ideas and expectations but I'd also love to see more feedback and suggestions on the structure of the letter
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  2. #12
    I'm good with the format. I would try to keep it as simple and clean as possible, especially since there are a lot of things covered. Make it easy for them to read, and something that they could constructively reply to. We're not petulant children with a list of demands - we care about Splinter Cell and genuinely want to see it return to its former glory. We wouldn't be here if we didn't.
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  3. #13
    Fraeulein's Avatar Senior Member
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    Sounds good to me.
    I have a letter somewhere half composed and never sent off. It’s been sitting in a hard drive for maybe a few years. (I was laid up and playing it pretty much all the time)
    I believe some of the ideas or recommendations I had, are in a thread from earlier this year. I think it was after the announcement of the VR game.

    Everything @Coastal Girl said about Sarah is spot on. The first few novels, written by Raymond Benson, are what I feel the most accurate portrayal of Sarah. And IIRC, she was created as just a character to make Sam more human and not a “killing machine”.
    Making her an agent is lazy writing and comes off as an idea pulled from a fanfic written by some teen.

    I personally think they can go backwards with a story line. Even though it is a fictitious verse. There can be other missions that were not made into a game or a novel. I recall some missions being alluded to in dialogue. And in one novel, you find out that there are other SC agents. We don’t know what happened in between game titles. That can still be created.
    This option would also open up bringing back Lambert and Frances. Two individuals I have seen people express that they would like to see them return.
    This might also allow a more Tom Clancy plot. The first few games felt very much that way. IMO it was at DA where it just kind of became less Tom Clancyish.

    I don’t think I would play a SC title if Sam was not the main character. I tolerated the addition of Briggs. He was young and inexperienced. And it was a little too “I just quit my job with the CIA and now I’m good to go.” As already said, Sam already had experience under his belt prior to working for 3E. He was not green. I’m cool with Eric Johnson returning as the mocap/VA. I’ll admit that back whenever it was that we found out that Michael Ironside would not be the voice of Sam, I was a little sad. But I also realized that there were other issues behind it and didn’t hate on that decision.

    Gameplay style - I like how Blacklist pulled a lot of elements from previous titles. The layout of controls for me work so much nicer than back in the day when I first played on PC. For example -. The SWAT turn kind of evolved into the little crouch down at a corner and then switch to the other corner with the little arrow.
    The inclusion of “assault style” playing in the game economy was understandable. It brought in people who always played run-n-gun. Which in turn may have sold more copies. Which is also why there were soooo many options for firearms.
    I was cool with some of those daylight levels. It forced me to work harder at concealing myself and to take notice of where the sun was and use that to my advantage to ghost a level.
    Bring back a swimming/scuba level. We reminisced about that in another thread.
    Add more fun random things that you would find while on a mission. Examples - In Conviction. It was a Post-it that read “I made a post-it”. Blacklist had what looked to be a formula on a dry erase board, but closer inspection it was a recipe for hot cocoa. Prior to the release of SC, I had been playing a title NO One Lives Forever. There were recipes found in the file cabinet, that you were also searching for whatever it was. You had to go through different file cabinets to accomplish the task. It wasn’t found on the first search. In Blacklist - example - The Border Crossing mission, how handy that the file I needed, just happened to be in the first drawer I riffled through.

    No open world for me either.

    That is all I kind of have for now. I’m sure I may come up with more.
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  4. #14
    Originally Posted by Fraeulein Go to original post
    I personally think they can go backwards with a story line. Even though it is a fictitious verse. There can be other missions that were not made into a game or a novel. I recall some missions being alluded to in dialogue. And in one novel, you find out that there are other SC agents. We don’t know what happened in between game titles. That can still be created.
    This option would also open up bringing back Lambert and Frances. Two individuals I have seen people express that they would like to see them return.
    This might also allow a more Tom Clancy plot. The first few games felt very much that way. IMO it was at DA where it just kind of became less Tom Clancyish.
    Going back in time would work for me, and true - there are plenty of timeline gaps that could be used.
    I also miss the old-school crew, and absolutely miss their banter. Beyond that, Lambert's still a sore spot for me since my choice in DA was thrown out...

    I don’t think I would play a SC title if Sam was not the main character. I tolerated the addition of Briggs. He was young and inexperienced. And it was a little too “I just quit my job with the CIA and now I’m good to go.” As already said, Sam already had experience under his belt prior to working for 3E. He was not green. I’m cool with Eric Johnson returning as the mocap/VA. I’ll admit that back whenever it was that we found out that Michael Ironside would not be the voice of Sam, I was a little sad. But I also realized that there were other issues behind it and didn’t hate on that decision.
    I understand. I would be okay with a Splinter Cell without Sam as the main, though it's not what I want. Same about Michael Ironside. I want him as Sam, but if it's not him, I'll accept it. I wouldn't want him to feel any kind of pressure; he's a human being and if he can't/won't, that's okay. We already know that it's not the same without him, but c'est la vie. I'm sure he knows how much we appreciate his part in creating a character that we love enough to passionately argue about on the internet.
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  5. #15
    LuckyBide's Avatar Senior Member
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    Originally Posted by CoastalGirl Go to original post
    I'm good with the format. I would try to keep it as simple and clean as possible, especially since there are a lot of things covered. Make it easy for them to read, and something that they could constructively reply to. We're not petulant children with a list of demands - we care about Splinter Cell and genuinely want to see it return to its former glory. We wouldn't be here if we didn't.
    Alright, thanks for your feedback !
    I agree on the fact we shouldn't put a whole list of what we'd love to see or not, but give directions and some examples. Most important is about convincing them to create a communication link between us and them, and making them understand that what did IO Interactive with Hitman development would be the right way to go.


    Originally Posted by Fraeulein Go to original post
    Sounds good to me.
    I personally think they can go backwards with a story line.[...]
    This option would also open up bringing back Lambert and Frances. Two individuals I have seen people express that they would like to see them return.
    Thanks for your feedback Fraeulein.
    A new storyline taking place during the early Echelon 3 years would be my dream, I want to see Lambert and the old team back again. But I doubt they would go back to that era, plus they always tend to make futuristic or very contemporary Tom Clancy games.


    Originally Posted by Fraeulein Go to original post
    I don’t think I would play a SC title if Sam was not the main character.
    It depends for me, I just want the new character to have a strong personality and not be an empty shell like in all their other current games. And before that I want a real last story for Sam, I don't want them to abandon this character just like that. And ideally that last adventure for Sam would be voiced by Ironside.


    Originally Posted by Fraeulein Go to original post
    Gameplay style - I like how Blacklist pulled a lot of elements from previous titles. The layout of controls for me work so much nicer than back in the day when I first played on PC. For example -. The SWAT turn kind of evolved into the little crouch down at a corner and then switch to the other corner with the little arrow.
    The inclusion of “assault style” playing in the game economy was understandable. It brought in people who always played run-n-gun. Which in turn may have sold more copies. Which is also why there were soooo many options for firearms.
    I doubt the assault style helped to sell ore copies, I think it turned off a lot of fans and hurted the sales more than anything else.
    Blacklist mostly made references to the old gameplay style, it wasn't a real return to the roots for me. Not everything is bad of course but didn't feel to me like they really wanted to go back to the roots but instead finish what Conviction started by transforming the franchise into a casual-stealth one, especially with the fast-paced movements and animations.


    Originally Posted by Fraeulein Go to original post
    No open world for me either.
    Yep. With Sarah being a SC agent, that would be one of the worst things that could happen.
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  6. #16
    Originally Posted by LuckyBide Go to original post
    Alright, thanks for your feedback !
    I agree on the fact we shouldn't put a whole list of what we'd love to see or not, but give directions and some examples. Most important is about convincing them to create a communication link between us and them, and making them understand that what did IO Interactive with Hitman development would be the right way to go.
    Seeing that success should be encouraging for Ubi, too. From what I've seen, the fanbases are pretty similar (long-time and dedicated).

    Also, in general I think that stealth players tend to be thinkers (these are essentially puzzle games, after all). We've already theorized about tons of possible advancements that could really help push the genre forward and get noticed. It's an opportunity to really stand out in a sea of similar games...who wouldn't want that?
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  7. #17
    LuckyBide's Avatar Senior Member
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    Originally Posted by CoastalGirl Go to original post
    Seeing that success should be encouraging for Ubi, too. From what I've seen, the fanbases are pretty similar (long-time and dedicated).

    Also, in general I think that stealth players tend to be thinkers (these are essentially puzzle games, after all). We've already theorized about tons of possible advancements that could really help push the genre forward and get noticed. It's an opportunity to really stand out in a sea of similar games...who wouldn't want that?
    And a part of these fanbases are similar and always loved both franchises. Besides I'm sure Ubisoft could attract some of the Hitman new audience if they show that Splinter Cell is following the same development methodology and structure as the new Hitman games

    I also agree on stealth players like us being people who like to think and want to experience puzzle games under the form of stealth mechanics mixed into 3D challenging situations.
    There is so much potential with this genre, it's a shame and a waste to see it being deserted like that by publishers.
    Ubisoft must definitely put in charge a team who know and love real stealth, who like to create puzzles and have original ideas to push this genre further.
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  8. #18
    Originally Posted by LuckyBide Go to original post
    And a part of these fanbases are similar and always loved both franchises. Besides I'm sure Ubisoft could attract some of the Hitman new audience if they show that Splinter Cell is following the same development methodology and structure as the new Hitman games

    I also agree on stealth players like us being people who like to think and want to experience puzzle games under the form of stealth mechanics mixed into 3D challenging situations.
    There is so much potential with this genre, it's a shame and a waste to see it being deserted like that by publishers.
    Ubisoft must definitely put in charge a team who know and love real stealth, who like to create puzzles and have original ideas to push this genre further.
    Yeah, in general they just need to embrace the genre, and listen to those who actually like it. There were times when playing Conviction and Blacklist that I could almost feel the debates the devs might have had when they were working on it...elements of "okay fine we'll put something stealthy here just stop whining about it...".


    Also, I hope they believe that they can make a pure experience while maintaining accessibility. They don't have to universally water things down to make it work.
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  9. #19
    LuckyBide's Avatar Senior Member
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    Originally Posted by CoastalGirl Go to original post
    Yeah, in general they just need to embrace the genre, and listen to those who actually like it. There were times when playing Conviction and Blacklist that I could almost feel the debates the devs might have had when they were working on it...elements of "okay fine we'll put something stealthy here just stop whining about it...".
    I'm sure it's how it went. Especially when we know how Maxime Beland wasn't a fan of the original games. That's why the choice of the core team is really important, and I'm sure there are plenty of developers (besides Hocking) who love stealth and/or miss the old SC formula.

    Originally Posted by CoastalGirl Go to original post
    Also, I hope they believe that they can make a pure experience while maintaining accessibility. They don't have to universally water things down to make it work.
    Agreed. Devs have to find a way to welcome newcomers without dumbing down the mechanics, stealth is a gameplay that need to be teached to players who never had the chance to discover and experience it as we did 20 years ago.

    I recently posted a comment on the SC subreddit on a thread evoking ideas on how to make new players and original fans happy. I detailed some ideas and suggestions there, it's a bit long so I copy-paste them in a spoiler tag:

    Spoiler:  Show

    I am an old stubborn head and think that stealth and especially Splinter Cell must go back to its pure hardcore roots. But as I said devs must find a way to teach stealth to newcomers into the genre. So in my opinion gameplay should remain the same (which includes pace, animations and movements amongst other things) but as you suggest AI adaptation could be an important element into gathering both categories of players. Of course adding more enemies in highest difficulty modes, making them deadlier, more careful and more watchful like in any game is a must have. But I think making AI smarter and more challenging by adding more credible reactions to it is something that could encourage new players to increase difficulty in order to try and learn "OG stealth". I'm giving a few examples.

    Let's say that in the highest difficulty modes:

    • there would be more security systems

    • lockpicking and hacking minigames would be more complex

    • NPCs would be able to detect blood trails and weapons left on the floor

    • NPCs would have a permanent memory so players wouldn't be able to continusoulsy distract a guard the same way by throwing an object or turn off the light ten times in a row, and a guard will react if he sees that his colleague is missing

    • guards would team up when the alarm is trigerred, and they would inspect more places like throwing light sticks into air vents

    • when Sam would interrogate a guard, other NPCs nearby would be able to hear them talk

    • etc.

    Alongside to that, ideas like "reflex" from MGS V or Instinct mode (and also mission opportunities) from Hitman are a great way to help new players. So why not making Grim and the team giving more advices to the player in the easisest difficulty modes ? Why not giving them an optional Augmented Reality vision through the goggles that would allow them to mark enemies, to see hints in the environments or indicate them the objective location ? Things that feel realistic and plausible which would help them to understand how the game and its mechanics work while not making them easier for OG fans, given that these things won't be available in normal or hard difficulty modes.

    I think this kind of ideas and mechanics while making AI having more credible reactions according to difficulty would encourage new players to learn more efficiently about the game mechanics and then try harder difficulty modes, because it would feel like a new challenge and almost playing a different game. Their friends could challenge them and tell them how the game is totally different when played this way.

    In conclusion I would like to see "easy" difficulty modes as an entry point for hardcore stealth, these modes would not change the core gameplay elements but they would make new players want to increase the difficulty level because the game would be more appealing this way. And they would discover stealth as a new genre like they never experienced before. But I may be dreaming and asking way too much...
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  10. #20
    Originally Posted by LuckyBide Go to original post
    Agreed. Devs have to find a way to welcome newcomers without dumbing down the mechanics, stealth is a gameplay that need to be teached to players who never had the chance to discover and experience it as we did 20 years ago.

    I recently posted a comment on the SC subreddit on a thread evoking ideas on how to make new players and original fans happy. I detailed some ideas and suggestions there, it's a bit long so I copy-paste them in a spoiler tag:

    Spoiler:  Show

    I am an old stubborn head and think that stealth and especially Splinter Cell must go back to its pure hardcore roots. But as I said devs must find a way to teach stealth to newcomers into the genre. So in my opinion gameplay should remain the same (which includes pace, animations and movements amongst other things) but as you suggest AI adaptation could be an important element into gathering both categories of players. Of course adding more enemies in highest difficulty modes, making them deadlier, more careful and more watchful like in any game is a must have. But I think making AI smarter and more challenging by adding more credible reactions to it is something that could encourage new players to increase difficulty in order to try and learn "OG stealth". I'm giving a few examples.

    Let's say that in the highest difficulty modes:

    • there would be more security systems

    • lockpicking and hacking minigames would be more complex

    • NPCs would be able to detect blood trails and weapons left on the floor

    • NPCs would have a permanent memory so players wouldn't be able to continusoulsy distract a guard the same way by throwing an object or turn off the light ten times in a row, and a guard will react if he sees that his colleague is missing

    • guards would team up when the alarm is trigerred, and they would inspect more places like throwing light sticks into air vents

    • when Sam would interrogate a guard, other NPCs nearby would be able to hear them talk

    • etc.

    Alongside to that, ideas like "reflex" from MGS V or Instinct mode (and also mission opportunities) from Hitman are a great way to help new players. So why not making Grim and the team giving more advices to the player in the easisest difficulty modes ? Why not giving them an optional Augmented Reality vision through the goggles that would allow them to mark enemies, to see hints in the environments or indicate them the objective location ? Things that feel realistic and plausible which would help them to understand how the game and its mechanics work while not making them easier for OG fans, given that these things won't be available in normal or hard difficulty modes.

    I think this kind of ideas and mechanics while making AI having more credible reactions according to difficulty would encourage new players to learn more efficiently about the game mechanics and then try harder difficulty modes, because it would feel like a new challenge and almost playing a different game. Their friends could challenge them and tell them how the game is totally different when played this way.

    In conclusion I would like to see "easy" difficulty modes as an entry point for hardcore stealth, these modes would not change the core gameplay elements but they would make new players want to increase the difficulty level because the game would be more appealing this way. And they would discover stealth as a new genre like they never experienced before. But I may be dreaming and asking way too much...

    I like that. It's how I picture difficulties working, too. More focus on actual AI actions, and less reliance on just detection range. In an ideal world, we'd see individual options for a lot of the features, too. They're already doing that in AC, so why not SC, as well? It's hard to predict what a random player might want turn on/off, so why not let them choose?
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