Total character revamp mid-game, or how sneak skill got borked.

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Total character revamp mid-game, or how sneak skill got borked.

Post  Minus2Degrees on Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:55 am

Joe Wilson had touched on this a few times in previous episodes of the podcast, but for some reason the sneak skill no longer works. At all.

My dark nocturnal shadow apparition specter night stealth blahblahblahblah Khajiit, Chattus du-Fangue, has 100 Sneak skill, the Shadow Warrior perk, and a full set of Dark Brotherhood Ancient Shrouded armor on. Theoretically, a character with specs like this should be pretty damn close to undetectable, even in broad daylight. But lately, it hasn't turned out that way.

Last night I was in Treva's Watch doing the Infiltration quest, where a mercenary hired me to find out what happened to his kidnapped family by breaking into a fort and clearing it of bandits (both blade and mage). Normally such a fort dungeon would be child's play for a level 39 character who is able to totally melt into the shadows and pick someone's weapons and clothing right off their body. But I found, as I attempted the usual sneak-backstabs on each bandit, that something was horribly wrong.

I would go from totally hidden to DETECTED within the course of swinging my dagger. It mattered little if the room was dark, or I was standing directly behind my target -- as soon as I went for the power attack, he'd turn right around and my 30x damage multiplier would be gone. I'd have to stand up and flail at him with Mehrunes' Razor and hope I could score an insta-kill with it.

I was sometimes able to execute a stealth roll and cut a guy down before he was finished turning around, but the disturbing thing was that I was being seen every time. I used to be able to clear an entire dungeon without ever being detected -- not anymore. And even if I had succeeded in bringing down a target with one shot, his companions would immediately zero in on my position -- sometimes from two rooms away -- and I'd have to deal with three guys swinging warhammers and two casters all at once, while wearing light armor, and brandishing one dagger. I died, again and again, Widgit style, while burning through health potions like an alcoholic at Ten-Cent Beer Night.

Far from being the dark nocturnal shadow night steath specter etc. etc. etc., Chattus du-Fangue was now CAPTAIN OBVIOUS.

I don't know if this is a bug, or what -- I read somewhere that removing all one's armor, equipping something else, and then switching back will break you out of it. I'll try that tonight, but I'm not holding my breath. I've already decided to take matters into my own hands by totally changing the character's strategy.

So I picked up a sword in one hand and equipped restoration in the other, and stopped sneaking around altogether. Every enemy in every room is a three-minute hack-and-slash battle for supremacy, in which I have a 50-50 chance of survival, but I noticed something afterward -- I was advancing in multiple skills like crazy, simultaneously. I'd take down two bandits and their caster helper, and I'd level up light armor, restoration, and one-handed all at the same time. I went from level 39 to 40 in fifteen minutes this way, hacking away at whoever I saw, and switching to the bow only when I knew I was in over my head (bandit chiefs, Draugr Overlords).

So now, where there was once the shadows, now stands an up-and-coming swordsman. We'll see how this goes.
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Re: Total character revamp mid-game, or how sneak skill got borked.

Post  Genis on Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:42 am

I actually haven't come across that bug yet and my two most played characters are at 100 Sneak. I'll just keep hoping it doesn't happen to me ¬_¬
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Re: Total character revamp mid-game, or how sneak skill got borked.

Post  SoCHobbit on Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:39 am

I also have a sneaky character. I have run into this bug, and for me, it only happened infrequently. I noticed when it did happen, it was when I tried a sneak power attack while moving forward. I have never had an issue when standing still. Also, are you using one or duel wielding daggers? I have only ever used 1, just so I can get the awesome throat slash animation.

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Re: Total character revamp mid-game, or how sneak skill got borked.

Post  Minus2Degrees on Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:50 am

I also realized that the bug would trigger during forward sneak power attacks (dagger in the right hand, healing in the left), and could alleviate a lot of the symptoms by not doing that anymore; but it doesn't completely eliminate the problem. Lately I'd be in scenarios where, at 100 sneak, there should be no way I'd be seen, but the enemy would aggro anyway.

For example, I was in a dungeon hiding around the corner from a patrolling Draugr; he walked past my position, and without me even moving, he turned into a red dot and the "searching..." eye opened up a little bit. He knew something was there. By the time I decided to rush him, the eye opened all the way up and I was busted before I'd even had the chance to begin a power attack. And then I had to stand up, which of course alerted the seven other Draugr all the way over in the next tunnel...

But then, there are flashes of my former shadow-knight awesomeness, such as the quest where I had to kill a giant to alleviate an Orc stronghold of a curse. This was the moment when I sneaked all the way up on a giant without ever being detected, and killing him with one shot from Mehrunes' Razor. Simply glorious. Why can't all the other ones go down this well?

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Re: Total character revamp mid-game, or how sneak skill got borked.

Post  Genis on Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:26 am

Well, whenever I was detected, I would immediately fire a calm spell (or one of its more powerful forms) at the aggro'd enemy. They would turn back around and I just wait until I'm hidden again to cut their throat.
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Re: Total character revamp mid-game, or how sneak skill got borked.

Post  Minus2Degrees on Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:29 am

Genis wrote:calm spell

I have got to get me one of those.

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