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Stalker suggestions

Slappy Cromwell

FNG / Fresh Meat
Jun 16, 2009
441
180
0
Right now the Stalker is fundamentally the most useless specimen in the game. I honestly cannot fathom what her role is supposed to be. Stalkers spawn from crazy out-of-the-way spots as if to ambush you, but they'll likely just walk directly into your line of fire anyway. Stalkers are faster than Crawlers, but they obviously don't perform even a fraction of the damage or kills that Crawlers can achieve. The Stalker's melee attack is only slightly stronger than Clots, but Clots come in larger numbers, have a grappling ability, and even possess more health. (Seriously!) I won't even go into the Stalker's obscenely drawn out melee attack delay. About the only thing she has going for her is her cloak, but I'm pretty sure anyone who has played knows this hardly manages to fool people. Hence, I have some (relatively minor) suggestion to make the Stalker more useful:

1. For non-Commandos, make the Stalker completely invisible at a distance - Simply put, Stalkers are piss easy to see. There's not enough background noise such as rain, dust, etc. to hide their shimmering figures. Sharpshooters can headshot them easily enough from across the level. Therefore, I suggest for non-Commandos that Stalkers be completely hidden from a distance and only become a visible shadowy figure when within, say, 10 meters. Commandos should still be able to see the shadowy figures from any distance just like now.

2. Allow the Stalker to attack while moving - The July 2nd update that added "random moving attacks" to some specimens to discourage backpeddling/kiting did not apply to the Stalker. Currently the Stalker always has to stand completely still when melee attacking. Even though she's one of the fastest specimens in the game, this weakness combined with the extremely long delay makes her one of the least likely to ever connect with a melee attack. Simple solution: Just give her moving attacks like were given to the Bloat, Gorefast, and Scrake. This shouldn't break balance considering the puny damage the Stalker does (Only 10 on Suicidal).

3. Make her melee attack's screen effect more blinding - If the Stalker actually manages to land a hit, it causes a red screen and scratch mark to appear in the player's view. This is a feature unique to the Stalker. (Only the Bloat's vomit has a similar effect.) However, other than being slightly inconveniencing for a split second, it's virtually pointless. I suggest making this red screen and scratch effect longer and more blinding as if to imply the Stalker is attempting to claw the player's eyes out. This disorientation period would definitely add to the surprise and shock factor that it seems like the Stalker should have.

4. More stealthy behavior - This is probably the most difficult to implement since it requires some AI changes, but I'll mention it anyway. Stalkers aren't particularly effective since they simply charge in a straight line just like every other specimen. In their attempt to make to make a bee line for the players, they're likely to get caught in the crossfire. The cloak doesn't help much when they walk in front of a shotgun blast. I suggest encouraging the Stalkers to stay way from other specimens (i.e. attempt to maintain a minimum area of avoidance, similar to how specimens try to avoid grenades) and, when in close range, try to attack the player from the side or back so they don't unintentionally stumble into gunfire. Stalkers obviously cannot successfully flank the players in every situation, but these minor behavior alterations would go a long way to making the class more effective.

Not only would these changes benefit the class as a whole, but increasing the Stalker's lethality would also help Commandos by making their cloak vision a more valuable skill to the team. Think about it, won't you?

To fulfill a request, I have recorded a video that illustrates many of these problems:
YouTube - Killing Floor - Get Out of Here, Stalkers
 
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Private_Joker

FNG / Fresh Meat
Jun 20, 2009
107
40
0
I don't see that stalkers are useless at all. I think their AI is pretty fantastic, actually, and I really enjoy fighting them. Their movement is actually random, as they try to run around and get behind you they make for a nice moving target, distinct from clots which come straight on.

So, when I see a stalker, they make for interesting targets, and when I don't see them they make for interesting surprises. They're a nice challenge for teamplay, too--every game I play I end up seeing stalkers pop up just behind my teammates and I take satisfaction in picking them off to save the teammate.

They are easy to see when they're on their own, but along with a horde of clots and GFs to distract you, they'll usually get by and grab your butt to send you into a panic...

giveusakisss!


-Joker
 

Krieg Jaeger

FNG / Fresh Meat
Jun 21, 2009
298
34
0
That rip mark that appears on the screen isn't to disorient you, it's to let you know a stalker is hitting you, same thing with the unique sound. I'm sure that when they were testing the game, they found that stalkers hitting people without any sort of indicator left them confused and frustrated as to what was going on. If they were on the move, it could nickle and dime then to death.

The scratch and sound is REALISTIC, and helpful, because unlike real life, in the game you can (thankfully) not feel the pain your character feels. So if someone is attempting to disembowl you from behind, you wouldn't know unless there is some kind of in game indicator.
I do agree that it's kind of funny to be blasting at some zeds in the distance, just to watch dead stalkers drop out of thin air, but they do have a nasty way of blocking your path (just when you thought you had a clear shot out of there...) and flanking when you have bigger problems to deal with.
 

Slappy Cromwell

FNG / Fresh Meat
Jun 16, 2009
441
180
0
Their movement is actually random, as they try to run around and get behind you they make for a nice moving target, distinct from clots which come straight on.
Their movement pattern is not random. They have no special AI behavior. They are not inclined to attack from behind; they simply do not do that at all. Your imagination is simply at work. The Stalker's real attack pattern can be summarized thusly: Run in as straight a line as possible. Most specimens follow this rule, but it works out better for them because they're not intended to surprise or flank.

I take satisfaction in picking them off to save the teammate.
I'm sure your teammate will survive the grueling scratch.

they'll usually get by and grab your butt to send you into a panic...
I'm shaking, I'm shaking!

That rip mark that appears on the screen isn't to disorient you, it's to let you know a stalker is hitting you
If that's the case, then the Stalker is actually put at a disadvantage. Most players won't immediately realize there's a Gorefast or Crawler ripping them to shreds from behind since there's no instant screen display to alert them to what's attacking. By the time they comprehend the telling sound, quite a bit of damage will already have been done. If TWI added the scratch mark specifically to the Stalker's attack just to make it obvious she's attacking, then congratulations, they made one of the weakest specimens with one of the weakest attacks just that much weaker. So much for a surprise ambush.

Regardless of what the red screen and scratch mark were intended for before, they can be adapted into something far better. Making it function as a blinding, disorienting effect (Think back to how the Crawler's attack mucked with the motion blur until it was changed in a patch) is a great way to increase an attack's potency without simply bumping up the damage.

but they do have a nasty way of blocking your path (just when you thought you had a clear shot out of there...) and flanking when you have bigger problems to deal with.
A Gorefast has just as great a chance (If not more since they're more common) of blocking your path, but he'll have a nasty sword to introduce to your backside as well.
 

Chicken

FNG / Fresh Meat
Mar 20, 2009
144
0
0
England-Cambridge
If that's the case, then the Stalker is actually put at a disadvantage. Most players won't immediately realize there's a Gorefast or Crawler ripping them to shreds from behind since there's no instant screen display to alert them to what's attacking. By the time they comprehend the telling sound, quite a bit of damage will already have been done. If TWI added the scratch mark specifically to the Stalker's attack just to make it obvious she's attacking, then congratulations, they made one of the weakest specimens with one of the weakest attacks just that much weaker. So much for a surprise ambush.
Play with sound on.
 

HobbStweedle

FNG / Fresh Meat
Sep 30, 2006
385
3
0
Their movement pattern is not random. They have no special AI behavior. They are not inclined to attack from behind; they simply do not do that at all. Your imagination is simply at work. The Stalker's real attack pattern can be summarized thusly: Run in as straight a line as possible. Most specimens follow this rule, but it works out better for them because they're not intended to surprise or flank.

They do try and flank you. Next time you see a stalker, let it get close to you (10 meteres-ish) and they will move to the side and attempt to get around behind you. Have you noticed how they usually end up attacking people from behind, even when that player is facing the majority of the horde?
 

Wolfdust

FNG / Fresh Meat
Jul 24, 2009
236
9
0
Massachusetts, USA
I have to agree with this. I've never seen a Stalker kill someone who wasn't AFK or already surrounded by a horde (And thus the Stalker was superfluous). They're just cannon fodder that's trying to be steathly and failing hardcore.
 

213

FNG / Fresh Meat
Jul 22, 2009
917
371
0
and the clots are superfluous as well. you can easily take them down as they slowly trudge towards you in a straight line. lets just fill the game with scrakes and fleshpounds.

no.

they add variety. and the game is based primarily on killing hordes of cannon fodder with some big ones thrown in between.
 

Skunkee

FNG / Fresh Meat
Jun 17, 2009
302
2
0
Their movement pattern is not random. They have no special AI behavior. They are not inclined to attack from behind; they simply do not do that at all. Your imagination is simply at work. The Stalker's real attack pattern can be summarized thusly: Run in as straight a line as possible. Most specimens follow this rule, but it works out better for them because they're not intended to surprise or flank.
They do the same thing as Gorefasts once they reach a certain range. They strafe around you and try to hit you from the sides. Play on hard/suicidal and you'll see what I mean.

If that's the case, then the Stalker is actually put at a disadvantage. Most players won't immediately realize there's a Gorefast or Crawler ripping them to shreds from behind since there's no instant screen display to alert them to what's attacking.
I'm pretty sure that when a players screen flashes red (happens no matter what hits you), they don't care what's hitting them as long as it ends up dying.

By the time they comprehend the telling sound, quite a bit of damage will already have been done. If TWI added the scratch mark specifically to the Stalker's attack just to make it obvious she's attacking, then congratulations, they made one of the weakest specimens with one of the weakest attacks just that much weaker. So much for a surprise ambush.
It's more to blind/disorient the player getting hit. Just like the bloat bile.

Regardless of what the red screen and scratch mark were intended for before, they can be adapted into something far better. Making it function as a blinding, disorienting effect (Think back to how the Crawler's attack mucked with the motion blur until it was changed in a patch) is a great way to increase an attack's potency without simply bumping up the damage.
eh, IDK. I'm kind of torn on this one. I wouldn't mind it if the game got a bit harder, but for the time that stalkers start spawning (waves 2 and beyond), I think they're balanced pretty well. You have to remember that TWI is catering to more than just the die hard KF Mod fans who are/were used to impossibly hard difficulty. I think if they made Stalkers harder it might scare off some players. It's a Wave 2 specimen, and I think its difficulty is fine as it is.

A Gorefast has just as great a chance (If not more since they're more common) of blocking your path, but he'll have a nasty sword to introduce to your backside as well.
They also spawn from much more predictable locations than Stalkers, and can be seen a bit easier. I know stalkers are semi visible, but they're not as easy to see as you're making it out to be. I've been surprised quite a few times when retreating from bigger threats.
 

Slappy Cromwell

FNG / Fresh Meat
Jun 16, 2009
441
180
0
and the clots are superfluous as well. you can easily take them down as they slowly trudge towards you in a straight line.
Clots are supposed to be cannon fodder. They come in large numbers to fulfill that role. However, they also have a grappling move which is infinitely superior to the Stalker's sole unique ability of cloaking.

Stalkers, on the other hand, fulfill nothing. They don't come on large waves, they don't inflict damage, they don't draw your fire, they don't flank you, they don't waste your ammo, they don't force you to retreat, they don't distract you for more than the split second it takes to drop one in a single shot from near any weapon, they don't even succeed at being a nuisance. They have no effect on anything whatsoever. Don't be daft and claim there's some sort of parallel between the two. Take Stalkers out of the game and you'd never know they were gone. Take Clots out of the game and you've quite possibly ruined it.

Of course, I'm not suggesting either. I'm suggesting that the Stalker be improved in such a way that would reinforce whatever role she's supposed to play, perhaps that of a cloaked assassin who is supposed to flank and surprise players, spreading confusion and actual panic. Doing this would also help boost the Commando's fairly useless ability of cloak vision.

They do the same thing as Gorefasts once they reach a certain range. They strafe around you and try to hit you from the sides.
No they do not. Doesn't matter what difficulty you're playing on. Stalkers are not defined to use any strafing/flanking/whatever tactics at all other than what every other specimen would do. Gorefasts, however, are indeed particularly coded to strafe, so you're right on that part.
 

Skunkee

FNG / Fresh Meat
Jun 17, 2009
302
2
0
Whether they're coded to or not, I tend to notice Stalkers trying to hit squad mates from behind rather than frontal assaults. Then again, I'm not a programmer so take that as you will.

I still stick with my stance on them since they're an early wave specimen and should be dispatched with a slightly greater degree of difficulty than a Clot.
 

Soanos

Member
Jul 2, 2009
569
8
18
Finland
Oh, no, a stalker grouped with other specimens! Maybe it has something to do with the fact that they have to to come to you trough the same doorway / narrow corridor as the rest of the specimens, forcing them together? I'd blame level design for this grouping up behaviour.

Personally I think Stalkers are in the game to teach you to look around you every now and then to avoid being surprised from behind.
 

demontrace

FNG / Fresh Meat
May 25, 2009
51
0
0
I think the stalkers are fine as is. Obviously you guys haven't tried playing on a computer where you have to turn down the graphical details.

On MY computer, I have the details at max, and I can see stalkers pretty well, but they either have to be coming directly at me, or be somewhat close for me to see them with any race other than commando.

On my FRIENDS computer, I do not have anything close to that luxury. On his computer, with the graphical details extremely low, I CANNOT see the stalkers until they are RIGHT ON ME. They attack, and THEN they are visible, unless I'm a Commando.

Believe me, stalkers are tough enough on my friends computer, to the point that I'm screaming out curse words when they surprise me, and believe me, they DEFINITELY surprise me on my friends computer. I think I make my friend mad comparing my computer to his, and how much easier the game is on my computer.
 

Slappy Cromwell

FNG / Fresh Meat
Jun 16, 2009
441
180
0
Please do.
Your wish is my command:
YouTube - Killing Floor - Get Out of Here, Stalkers

I believe I gave these Stalkers more than ample opportunities to do their thing. Therefore, I humbly request that you identify even one instance where any Stalker attempts to flank me at any point in time. Frankly I can't imagine what you expect to see since I know full well that they simply don't flank, but this is for your benefit, not mine. Otherwise, I think this video aptly illustrates many of the issues with the Stalker:

1. They're damn easy to see.
2. They can never hit me (unless I purposely let them) because Stalkers can't attack while moving.
3. The scratch effect is pointless. It certainly doesn't blind me considering just how long it lasts.
4. They never attempt any flanking or stealthy behavior whatsoever. They act like every other specimen: run in a straight line towards the player and attack as soon as they're in range.
 

Soanos

Member
Jul 2, 2009
569
8
18
Finland
I believe I gave these Stalkers more than ample opportunities to do their thing.
Well, I did notice you kited them most of the time, which is running away from something. Of course they try to follow you and then fall in line.

Therefore, I humbly request that you identify even one instance where any Stalker attempts to flank me at any point in time.
Well, as I said, they spent most of the wave trying to catch up with you.
situation is a bit different when holding a position with a team of 3 or 4 players.

1. They're damn easy to see.
Their camouflage is not perfect, no. But then again, they force you to look around more carefully, which distracts you.

2. They can never hit me (unless I purposely let them) because Stalkers can't attack while moving.
Before they added random moving attacks to Gorefasts, Scrakes and Fleshpounds, this was a fact with pretty much EVERY specimen.

3. The scratch effect is pointless. It certainly doesn't blind me considering just how long it lasts.
This is a matter of preference I guess. I like it. But I guess they could increase the duration slightly.

4. They never attempt any flanking or stealthy behavior whatsoever. They act like every other specimen: run in a straight line towards the player and attack as soon as they're in range.
I think this "flanking" is mainly happening trough the means of spawn volumes, spawning them behind the player. But if the player constantly kites, they have to fall in line like everyone else to catch up. Kiting tends to mess up AI like that.

All I could really see in that video was your kiting technique. :D
 

Electrocuuute

FNG / Fresh Meat
May 17, 2009
206
0
0
I don't know how many times I've been blocked from behind by stalkers. Crawlers you can see from a distance easy since they're NOT invisible. Stalkers, on the other hand, are easy to pass up from a distance if it's dark or you're only glancing, especially if there's a bigger matter on hand (FPs and Scrakes).

As for your video, it doesn't accurately depict the uselessness you say the stalkers are plagued with.
1. You're using a mutator. That's all there is. The specimens work as a team like players should (which leads into...)
2. You're the only one in there. Their AI isn't THAT smart to flank the only person there. Especially since you're on the move the whole time.
3. See how useless they are in Hard and Suicidal.

Get some actual gameplay (6 man server on an official map) if you want to really prove the uselessness of Stalkers.
 
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Colt .45 killer

FNG / Fresh Meat
May 19, 2006
3,998
775
0
what about the stalker having some kind of highly damaging rear attack, possibly some immobalizing attack? ( stranglehold ? )

edit:

oh and chumps, i thought his video was pointing out how easy it was to evade them, DESPITE their faster move speed, like how he crouched for that 1 block by the gate, they stop uncloak and attack, that process takes them so long that they miss, ergo they should have a 'moving' attack...
 
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