The Bethesda Softworks release – Dishonored – has been out for a couple of weeks now so it is time for most people to forget about it. However! Dishonored has a hidden game stat called Chaos. This stat is hidden from the player until the end of a mission. There has been some parts of the system that have remained mostly undiscovered and this has frustrated a few gamers.
As there are achievements for finishing the game without being discovered and as there is a meter related to your sneaking ability, Bethesda Softworks felt compelled to step in and offer some advice by explaining how a few of the more obtuse mechanics in the game work.
This post outlines all Bethesda feels they need to reveal about the mechincs themselves. Guides have been appearing after this post was made so it seems as though the advice is sound. Here is the text relevant to these mechanics):
Import information on Stealth Detection/Chaos
How do the detection markers work that appear over NPC (non-playable character) heads?
There are four levels of detection.
Level 1– One marker will appear on either side of the NPC – The NPC has caught a glimpse of your character or heard a non-threatening sound.
- The NPC will not actively search.
- The NPC will return to patrolling or idle after a few seconds without further alerts.
Level 2 – Two markers will appear on either side of the NPC – The NPC has seen your character or heard a threatening sound.
- The NPC will actively search for a several seconds and up to a minute.
- The NPC will return to level 1 after a about a minute or two without further alerts.
Level 3 – Three markers will appear on either side of the NPC, and they have not turned red. In this case, the NPC is very close to finding or being aware of your character’s presence.
- The NPC will actively search, up to several minutes.
- The NPC will return to level 2 after about a minute without further alerts.
Level 4 – Three markers will appear on either side of the NPC, and they turned red – The NPC has spotted your character and is actively engaging him.
- The NPC will enter into combat and actively chase / attack.
- This level will count as an official sighting of your character and will count against stealth-based achievements/trophies (i.e. Ghost, Specter).
- If the NPC loses sight of your character, they will search for several seconds.
- The NPC will return to level 2 after a few minutes without further alerts.
Which characters and creatures count towards detection of your character?
- All characters and creatures with the exception of friendly characters, Rats, River Krust, Hagfish and Watchtowers, count as detecting your character (evidenced by the red bolt icons upon detection).
- Friendly characters will turn into a detection if they see your character do anything aggressive/hostile (kill someone, be hostile towards the NPC, carry a dead/subdued body, etc.). They will gain the red bolts when this happens.
How does the Chaos system work? How do I raise or lower the Chaos level that is displayed on the end mission stats screen?
- Chaos is a value that is adjusted according to the actions of your character during gameplay. This system is a hidden mechanic and you will only see the Chaos rating displayed during the ‘end mission’ Stats screen.
- Weepers do count for detection. They do raise the Chaos level if they are killed.
- Kills by Rewired traps will contribute to your kill amounts and Chaos; that’s Watchtowers, Arc Pylons, and Wall of Lights.
- Rats, Hagfish and River Krust do not raise Chaos if killed. They also do not count towards detection of your character.
- Wolfhound kills do not count towards Chaos, but they can detect your character and will count towards that. They can also discover bodies, as well as their corpse will count towards “bodies found”.
- Your character’s Chaos level will change the story outcome and lead to other various differences throughout gameplay, such as more enemy characters, more rats, or different scenes/environment items and conversations.
- Basic rule is killing less than 20% of the characters in a Mission should allow the Low Chaos rating to be sustained.
How do I lower the Chaos rating?
- The best method for regaining a Low Chaos rating is to not kill enemy characters and take stealth routes to avoid combat when playing through a mission.
- There are scenarios where performing a good deed will drop the Chaos rating by a small amount (Example: saving a character that is in distress).
- Following “Non-lethal” objectives will decrease chaos by a significant amount when the mission is completed.
I’m getting stats for bodies being found or killed when I’ve rendered NPCs unconscious, why?
- Not hiding bodies well enough after choking them out or sleep darting them can sometimes lead to other characters finding them.
- Unconscious characters won’t survive a fall from a great height, or a slip into the water which will also result in a kill towards your character stats
Dishonored was released in mid-October 2012 for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360. Despite some controversy about its advertising, the game has sold well and continues to sell well.