User login

Series-Wide Stealth Guide [A Call To Action]

12 replies [Last post]
Leo K's picture
Leo K
Offline
male
Toronto, Canada
Joined: 12/30/2009

Hello, THB.

Recently I met a decently strong Assassin's Creed player named Neighbird/Fatal-Feit. According to them, they saw my Unity No Upgrades/No Leveling series and decided to start uploading Unity videos of their own. This is their channel, and it's already got some interesting stuff with a decent amount of challenge. Feel free to check it out, I think their content is super applicable to this site.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2pE8uKI4mqwjZ38OKGOyrA/videos

On the AC Forums, Neighbird posted:

Stealth have always been one of the least appreciated parts of the series and I think it's fair to say a huge portions of the fans--even the hardcore ones--don't even bother, and that's kind of depressing. There are many complaints about the detection systems being broken or mechanics being useless, but in most cases it's just a lack of good tutorials properly explaining them. Since I've been uploading stealth videos of Unity the past week, I've been thinking about starting a comprehensive tutorial series on YouTube to teach the community how to stealth like a pro, starting from AC1 to Syndicate. The franchise have been a continuous evolution, changing rules and introducing new mechanic a lot, e.g, Revelations' bombs, Black Flag's naval stealth and Unity's dedicated stealth mode, but the games don't always do a good job of explaining them in-depth and unfortunately, there isn't much tutorial videos at all.

I'm not in any way a flawless master at it, but after some practice and studying of each game, avoiding detection is fairly easy, and in some ways stealth is even better than getting into combat. So with this project, I hope to see more people in the community become better at it, or at the very least, learn a thing or two--especially dedicated Youtubers outside of TheHiddenBlade.com.

But that's just what I want. What do you guys think? Is it necessary? Would you even watch them? Be honest, this is something up to you guys.

It's also an incredible amount of work, so I ask for your support and volunteering for this project if we want it to happen, just like with ACCP. I'll be doing most of the work, such as putting together the information, recording the game, commentary, and basically assembling the video together, but there are room for help. This one is optional, but we could use a graphic designer/s for thumbnails, channel header, etc; I promise to not interfere, but otherwise, I can do it myself. It would be a bonus if people shared some tips and tricks they've learned by experimenting with the games; there is always something to learn from other fans. Discussions on formatting the tutorials, a name for the series, an appropriate length, general feedback and criticisms, etc. Aaaaand just basic support such as liking and sharing the content we produce for more exposure.

Again, this is something that's up to you guys. AC has a whole year break, so we have plenty of time to do this. If you want it, please show your support. If you think differently, share your opinion as well.

I think this is a wonderful opportunity for TheHiddenBlade to help out and share our knowledge, helping the entire AC community become better at Stealth in general.

Neighbird self-admittedly isn't as great at Stealth in the games before Assassin's Creed III, and we at THB know quite a bit about the mechanics of the games reaching all the way back to AC1.

If anyone's got any tips or really strong and practical advice that can be applied to the games, to help beginners or intermediates get even better, definitely post it here and we can try to compile a decent list of helpful information.

Little things like:

- In AC1, Red SSI still lets you Run, but not Sprint. You can use this to Low Profile Assassinate a Guard, then pull R1/RT/RightMouse and jog away from the area before his body hits the floor.

- In all AC games from AC2 onwards, "SSI Trick" involves understanding that when a Guard's SSI turns Red, he will walk to the position he last saw you at when he loses sight of you. This can be used to pull specific guards toward specific areas, and in AC3 and later, can be used as a hyper-precise Whistle (as Whistle has a chance to pull several guards to you at once.)

Let me know what you think, this could be a neat cross-community/multi-community thing to come together on.

Altair Auditore's picture
Altair Auditore
Offline
Citizen
male
Joined: 12/18/2012

I saw this on the official AC forums as well, sounds like a cool project.

Will see if I can come up with some good tips/etc

Leo K's picture
Leo K
Offline
male
Toronto, Canada
Joined: 12/30/2009

Thanks AA. Much appreciated. Smile

charlotte's picture
charlotte
Offline
Citizen
female
California
Joined: 05/11/2016

I wrote something for this but it ended up turning into a whole in depth guide for stealth rather than a few tips. Would you like me to still post it here for the newbies?

Leo K's picture
Leo K
Offline
male
Toronto, Canada
Joined: 12/30/2009

Please do! Anything is valuable! Laughing out loud

JoeyFogey's picture
JoeyFogey
Offline
Administrator
male
Indianapolis, IN
Joined: 02/16/2010
charlotte wrote:
I wrote something for this but it ended up turning into a whole in depth guide for stealth rather than a few tips. Would you like me to still post it here for the newbies?

Guides are always welcome! Share your knowledge with newbies and...oldies...alike!

PSN: JoeyFogey

Steam: JoeyFogey

Instagram: joeyfogey

charlotte's picture
charlotte
Offline
Citizen
female
California
Joined: 05/11/2016

Ok then here goes. It's not the best guide, I haven't categorized anything but I tried to keep similar topics grouped together. Most (or all) of it is stuff everyone knows but it might help some people that are really bad at stealth. I'm more than happy to help with this, as I pride myself on actually being very good at stealth in the AC games. This is going to be a long post, I hope at least some of my information will be helpful to someone. I tagged everything as a spoiler just to save people from scrolling through the mess, there are no actual spoilers in this "guide"

Spoiler: Highlight to view

Assassin's Creed 1

The problem with the stealth in AC1 is that the SSI indicator is somewhat unpredictable. Unspoken rules like not running within about 10 metres of an alerted guard are the things that ultimately mess you up. There seem to be a lot of variables, especially in the Kingdom, that go into determining whether you are going to trigger combat or not. I won't talk about stealth in the kingdom though (unless someone wants me to) because stealth is totally unnecessary there. It is more or less the same as stealth in the cities, except there seem to be a few extra things that determine the degree of hostility.

So, let's talk about stealth in the cities. Rooftop gardens and benches are your best friend, scholars are too few and far between to be reliable. If you have to disappear quickly run in the path of vigilantes and quickly find a hiding spot. Guards in this game don't have a detection meter, and will only approach dead bodies (meaning they won't follow you unless you're in combat). Using dead bodies is definitely a very good way to get past barriers, the only issue is the guards will then be on high alert, even after going back to their posts, and if you go near the body again you'll usually be attacked on sight, regardless of whether you're blending or not. It’s something I personally don’t do because it’s easier to go around a barricade than risk being exposed. Most of the time scholars are nearby to help you out anyway.

When in missions, it’s best to use the rooftops when possible, because frankly the archers are idiots. They will attack fairly quickly though so you need to act fast (they will also notice you and attack immediately if they’re on high alert and you’re hanging underneath them). Don’t do low profile kills when facing an archer’s front because they’ll counter you most of the time. If combat hasn’t been initiated high profile kills work almost without fail. Even if other archers are nearby they likely won’t notice you just killed one of their buddies. If you’re in a tight spot throwing knives will usually kill archers in one hit (correct me if I'm wrong on this, I don't use throwing knives).

When on the streets it’s easy to remain detected as long as you don’t provoke the guards. Except for the groups patrolling that yell a lot. They’re on constant high alert and can catch you by surprise if you don’t know which areas they patrol. To make things extra convenient they’ll usually be patrolling in areas you need to kill someone during a mission. They're also commonly found near landmarks. Just to be safe, blend while moving past them because they sometimes aggro on you even if you’re just walking (this probably has to do with the proximity between you and the guards while you're walking).

After an assassination the whole city is on high alert so it goes without saying that it’s a lot more convenient to run on the rooftops rather than the streets teeming with guards. If you do choose to take to the streets, when walking through a guard post (like those small tunnels on the border of city districts) you'll be attacked on sight most of the time, even if you're blending. So maybe avoid that.

TLDR: The stealth in AC1 isn’t that complex and it’s more about avoidance than sneaking up on people and killing them.

A small sidenote I'm sure many of you know, despite there being no crouch button, holding down high profile and the A button allows you to crouch and remain undetected when behind things you would be seen behind if you were standing. I find this is most useful on rooftops.

Assassin's Creed 2, Brotherhood, and Revelations

The stealth in the Ezio trilogy is more or less the same in each game, except the AI seems to be a lot smarter in Brotherhood and Revelations. Detection meters have been introduced, which puts guards in various states of alertness based on notoriety level, whether you’re in high or low profile, and whether you are running or walking. This makes things more predictable than AC1 so once you know what triggers what, you can take more risks.

When I was talking about AC1 I didn’t really go into the types of assassinations too much because the variety mainly lies with the high profile assassinations. But with AC2 onward, there are a lot more options for low profile assassinations. You can kill while inside hiding spots, kill people while hanging from ledges, and kill two people at the same time (this can sometimes garner unwanted attention though and it doesn’t always work). Air assassinations are good options if your target is isolated, but if there is anyone nearby you can bet they’ll see it and aggro immediately. It’s worth noting that you can now pick up dead bodies, which makes hiding bodies and creating distractions much easier.

On the streets the stealth is pretty easy. You can hire courtesans to slip past guard barricades and use any group of people to blend with. Thieves can permanently get rid of barricades for you. Hiding spots like benches and haystacks are also plentiful. However guards now search these spots, meaning a quick escape may be foiled when they start searching the crowds and poking their swords in haystacks - I don't recommend hiding in haystacks while in a yellow search area because they are searched most often and frequently. This can be used to your advantage though. This method was mentioned by DAZ already but I thought I’d elaborate a bit. When the detection meter has filled to a certain point, guards will begin to recognize you and start to follow you. They’ll follow until the point where they last saw you, meaning if they see you go around a corner or hide in a haystack they’re going to check it out which gives the perfect opportunity for a nice clean kill. This is your most effective method for luring as whistling won’t show up until AC3. The tricky bit is leading them enough that they won’t give up and stop following, but not letting them get close enough to completely fill their meter. This means try not to run because that fills up their meter too quickly. Stay in low profile to keep the meter where you want it.

The rooftops are about equally as safe as the streets in these games. Archers are more intelligent and will chase you when alerted, and killing them often sends their bodies sliding towards the ground, letting all the guards know that someone on the roof is killing people. They are alerted more quickly and if you’re running they will hear you and turn around. They’ll usually warn you a few times and then aggro on you, depending on how close to the archer you are. The easiest way to get around them undetected is to low profile kill them (if you see them sliding pick them up and drop them somewhere else) or slip past by ledge hanging or crouching until they move away. If you’re running fast enough you may not give them enough time to detect you so sometimes running is a good strategy too.

Notoriety is an important factor in remaining undetected. It occurs in AC2 and Brotherhood, but not Revelations (the meter determines your vulnerability to attack in this game). For every impressive or socially unacceptable action you make, your notoriety meter will fill. When it’s full, all guards will be on high alert and their detection meters will fill very quickly, usually immediately becoming red (hostile) rather than starting off yellow (suspicious). Actions that fill this meter are high profile kills, pickpocketing, and some low profile kills like ledge kills. Notoriety is for the most part a non issue, because there are posters and heralds everywhere than can lower your notoriety at the press of a button. The only time it becomes a problem is if you’re doing many high profile kills in a row (which you shouldn’t be doing anyway if you’re trying to be stealthy).

When in missions, sometimes you’ll find yourself in a restricted area. This means while you’re in this area, you are permanently notorious. Luring becomes more difficult, there are usually more guards present, and sometimes the amount of hiding and blend spots are greatly reduced. This can actually make stealth very challenging. When facing situations like these it’s best to avoid guards because if there’s one patrolling, you can bet they’re going to cross paths with another guard at some point. Unless you can make a quick escape it’s risky to alert other guards with a dead body. However if there’s an opportunity to safely kill a guard (like from a hiding spot), do it because you never know if they’ll pose a threat later on. Anyway, like I was saying avoidance is best when you can’t hide, so take to higher ground when possible. Just watch out for archer’s extended range of detection and keep an eye on their rotations. And make sure any bodies don’t fall to the ground. Don’t let those bodies hit the floor (I had to slip that joke in sorry).

Another thing worth noting is that hard landings alert guards and civilians, drawing lots of attention towards you. If you can’t drop down from above quietly, move further down until you can. Air assassinations are useful to break a fall but again, they also attract attention.

Something often overlooked is the use of consumables for stealth kills. Throwing knives are useless for most enemy types but will insta-kill the basic types. The gun is a tool that alerts literally everybody to your presence so don’t use that. It’s useful for quick escapes though, point it at a low level enemy and he’ll flee. I believe it also insta kills everyone, including assassination targets so it may be a good option if you know you can flee immediately. The crossbow is a brilliant tool (it’s not in AC2 though). It has lots of ammo, insta kills most enemies, and it doesn’t alert other guards in most circumstances. The downsides to it are its slow reload speed and honestly it’s ugly as hell. Smoke bombs are mostly used for quick escapes but they’re also good for those ‘oh shit’ moments where you’re about to be detected by multiple guards and there’s nothing you can do. In Revelations there are non-lethal bombs you can craft that can be used as distractions.

In Brotherhood and Revelations, assassin recruits are introduced. They fight and kill on your command and are useful if you’re in a bind. However they trigger combat easily (which is a good distraction if they’re high level) and if they’re a low level they’ll die if you don’t help them out. Fun fact: When they die if you try to loot their bodies instead Ezio will tell them to rest in peace and it’s really sad. The downside to assassin recruits is they’re usually not available in areas where you really need them (eg the castello in the vaticano district) so don’t rely on them as your sole method of distraction and stealth. Assassin recruits are also extremely overpowered and in my opinion using them often is almost like cheating.

TLDR: Stealth is much better and more fleshed out in the Ezio trilogy and the concepts are easy to master after a bit of practice.

This turned into an essay and I’m so sorry, but if anyone wants me to write about the Kenway Saga's stealth mechanics I'm happy to.

Double McStab with Cheese's picture
Double McStab w...
Offline
Citizen
male
San Diego, CA
Joined: 03/29/2012
charlotte wrote:
Ok then here goes. It's not the best guide, I haven't categorized anything but I tried to keep similar topics grouped together. Most (or all) of it is stuff everyone knows but it might help some people that are really bad at stealth. I'm more than happy to help with this, as I pride myself on actually being very good at stealth in the AC games. This is going to be a long post, I hope at least some of my information will be helpful to someone. I tagged everything as a spoiler just to save people from scrolling through the mess, there are no actual spoilers in this "guide"

psst... just start a new topic. Wink

Charlotte's "new eyes on old stealth" or something like that would work fine.

A small sidenote I'm sure many of you know, despite there being no crouch button, holding down high profile and the A button allows you to crouch and remain undetected when behind things you would be seen behind if you were standing. I find this is most useful on rooftops.

I... can't believe I never tried that...

“Force has no place where there is need of skill." Herodotus

JoeyFogey's picture
JoeyFogey
Offline
Administrator
male
Indianapolis, IN
Joined: 02/16/2010
Double McStab with Cheese wrote:
charlotte wrote:
A small sidenote I'm sure many of you know, despite there being no crouch button, holding down high profile and the A button allows you to crouch and remain undetected when behind things you would be seen behind if you were standing. I find this is most useful on rooftops.

I... can't believe I never tried that...

I remember trying this in AC1 before I joined THB. I felt so smart...

NOW look at me!

PSN: JoeyFogey

Steam: JoeyFogey

Instagram: joeyfogey

JoeyFogey's picture
JoeyFogey
Offline
Administrator
male
Indianapolis, IN
Joined: 02/16/2010

Also, like Cheese said, I'd just start a brand new topic about the guide.

PSN: JoeyFogey

Steam: JoeyFogey

Instagram: joeyfogey

Leo K's picture
Leo K
Offline
male
Toronto, Canada
Joined: 12/30/2009

Amazing stuff charlotte! Thank you for the taking the time to do this.

I'd encourage you to move forward with your tips or knowledge on the Kenway Saga, as well as Unity and Syndicate, if you have access to all of those games.

Strictly speaking:

- AC1
- AC2/Brohood/Rev
- AC3/BlackFlag/Rogue
- AC Unity/Syndicate

These are the "categories" of Stealth in the Assassin's Creed games. For example, if you master Stealth in AC3, you're probably going to be good at it in AC4. If you're amazing at Stealth in AC2, you'll be decent at it in Revelations, because they're fundamentally the same game. Same thing with, if you're alright at Stealth in Unity, you'll be fine in Syndicate and vice versa, despite the small piece-meal changes that are found between those games.

charlotte's picture
charlotte
Offline
Citizen
female
California
Joined: 05/11/2016
Double McStab with Cheese wrote:
psst... just start a new topic. Wink

Charlotte's "new eyes on old stealth" or something like that would work fine.

I don't know why I didn't think of that! I'm totally going to steal that title too, thanks Smile

charlotte's picture
charlotte
Offline
Citizen
female
California
Joined: 05/11/2016
DarkAlphabetZoup wrote:
Amazing stuff charlotte! Thank you for the taking the time to do this.

I'd encourage you to move forward with your tips or knowledge on the Kenway Saga, as well as Unity and Syndicate, if you have access to all of those games.

Strictly speaking:

- AC1
- AC2/Brohood/Rev
- AC3/BlackFlag/Rogue
- AC Unity/Syndicate

Thanks! Right now I just finished Black Flag for the first time and I'm powering through Rogue right now, so the Kenway saga is the only thing I have experience with. I'll write up a guide for it here and post it as a new topic like McStab suggested. I plan to at least start Syndicate within the next few months so once I'm done I can write something up.