Requirements for 'Silent Assassin' rank?

#1 Posted by Pestulon (27 posts) -

Just got the game and completed the first tutorial mission a couple of times to try and see how the ranking system works in this game. I'm just wondering if anyone has an idea what the requirements are to get the highest rank - which I am assuming is 'silent assassin' - in a said level?

In previous games there was a pretty simple list of things you were allowed to do and things you should avoid to get the highest ranking. But is it simply score based in Absolution? Meaning if you avoid unnecessary casualties and being detected you might still not get the highest mission rating unless you completed some bonus objectives or played on a hard enough level to get a bonus point multiplier?

Also, are you not allowed to take out (by non-lethal means) more than one additional target? I noticed I subdued two guys in the first mission but got penalty points for one pacification at the end.

#2 Posted by Demoskinos (13869 posts) -

@Pestulon: I'm thinking there is a score threshold you need to break. I got SA on The King of Chinatown playing on Hard mode but even after doing all the other levels past the train station with suit only and never being spotted or attacking someone I still have only been getting Veteran ranks. I'm thinking if you want SA you need to find the "Evidence" in each level too.

#3 Posted by Pestulon (27 posts) -

@Demoskinos: I think you are right with there being a score threshold. I just spent a couple of hours on the King of Chinatown mission, trying to figure out all the ways to assassinate the target. I think you get a lot more points for using a more indirect way to finish the guy like making it look like an accident. Using the piano wire or simply shooting the target only netted me Veteran rank, even when I got away unnoticed. But using some of the "tools" procured on site in the market (trying to keep the spoilers here to a minimum) got me an SA rank even with one unnecessary pacification. I think I even neglected to pick up the evidence on one of these runs and still got an SA rank. This was on hard difficulty by the way.

#4 Posted by FritzDude (2216 posts) -

I was completely hidden in one mission, & only subdued one enemy silently (non-kill), & I got professional & not Silent Assassin. Out from that scenario I think it's a score based ranking, obviously doing it clean & doing miscellaneous challenges would grant more Points. I don't mind that because the Challenges in the game is a lot of fun to do. If I could sneak past all of them in suit only I would probably get Silent Assassin.

#5 Posted by Demoskinos (13869 posts) -

@Pestulon: Yep. I actually shot the crane thing over where the one exit is and all the crap just fell on his head and I slipped right out. Only SA I've gotten so far.

#6 Posted by eclipsesis (1242 posts) -

Im having a lot of trouble with this? i just did the Burning hotel mission all the way untill the exit on the train platform without being spotted or changing disguises and hurting no one! literally the best the level could possibly be done, yet i get a speciallist rank? what is with that?

And it appears a few of the challenges conflict with each other making it unclear which you can actually do with out conflicting with others

#7 Posted by Ghost_Cat (1295 posts) -

@Demoskinos: Ah, I knew that crane was for something! Yeah, basically be a ghost, subdue little to no one, and silently kill your target (or escaping). Achieving some in-game achievements grants you additional points to help you gain SA.

#8 Posted by Pestulon (27 posts) -

I'm guessing it's probably harder on the pure sneaking missions and such since you do not get that big 'signature kill' bonus if there is no one to assassinate. Maybe on these you either really need to go out of your way to complete as many of the extra objectives as possible or maybe you simply need to play them on expert or purist level.

#9 Posted by dudeglove (7254 posts) -

You actually have to go out of your way to get some arbitrary points to get SA? Are they at least audio logs or something?

#10 Posted by MikkaQ (10225 posts) -

@Pestulon said:

@Demoskinos: I think you are right with there being a score threshold. I just spent a couple of hours on the King of Chinatown mission, trying to figure out all the ways to assassinate the target. I think you get a lot more points for using a more indirect way to finish the guy like making it look like an accident. Using the piano wire or simply shooting the target only netted me Veteran rank, even when I got away unnoticed. But using some of the "tools" procured on site in the market (trying to keep the spoilers here to a minimum) got me an SA rank even with one unnecessary pacification. I think I even neglected to pick up the evidence on one of these runs and still got an SA rank. This was on hard difficulty by the way.

That seems more or less in-line with the other Hitman games. You only got SA if no one suspected foul play. So even with the scoring system it seems to work more or less identically.

#11 Posted by Pestulon (27 posts) -

@MikkaQ: If I remember correctly, in previous games, you weren't forced to use the 'signature kill' method and could still get SA rank as long as you didn't get caught and didn't harm innocents. That does not seem to be the case in Absolution though as simply shooting or garrotting the target will not get you the points required for SA rank. At least not based on my experience with the first few levels on hard difficulty setting.

So this time around it seems to be more score/multiplier based. And difficulty setting also seems to be a big factor here. I mean, wasn't it possible to get SA rating in Blood Money on all the missions even on the lower difficulty settings? I don't think that is possible in Absolution.

#12 Posted by dudeglove (7254 posts) -

@Pestulon: SA in Blood Money came down to basically no witnesses, no noise, no being caught on camera, no bodies found (i.e. not left out in the open visible to NPCs even after the level ends) and the deaths didn't need to be accidents either. One sniper shot or silenced bullet to the head was all you were allowed.

On the hardest difficulty I think the guards are more alert, as one time during the New Life level in the suburbs, I left the mobster lying in his chair in the TV room after strangling/poisoning him from behind (on lower difficulties after coming back from fixing the fuse box his escort doesn't notice that he's "asleep") and the alarm was raised.

Don't quote me on this but I think you can even get SA after killing everyone via accidents i.e. chucking them all over railings/off cliffs or pushing them down stairs. Do not underestimate the power of the almighty coin either.

#13 Posted by envane (1156 posts) -

tossing objects to distract ppl is so overpowered , i dont subdue anyone anymore , instead of losing points i just gain instinct and can basically keep distracting people until i get everyone in the right spot (silenced bullets are useful in distractions too but you're more likely to get caught)

and yeah a score threshold makes sense , what that is , or if it varies from level to level , would be nice to know.

also is silent asassin even possible on levels such as the gun range , or the tailors shop?

#14 Posted by RenegadeDoppelganger (395 posts) -

TL;DR: Ranks aren't about playstyle, they're about achievement grinding.

So unlike previous Hitman games, where you receive one ranking based on all your actions throughout a level, Absolution ranks you via a points system. It also splits the levels into smaller chunks and scores you for each section. Your level ranking is the sum of your score in each section.

Basically this is a compromise that the developers made in order to implement all the social leaderboard bullshit. Instead of rewarding players based on their playstyle, the points system rewards grinding multiple playthroughs of the same level in order to get the highest score multiplier and therefore the highest score and best rank.

Here's a scenario which illustrates my frustrations with this game perfectly:

I start a level. First section has no target. I move through the level completely unnoticed and do not kill or even subdue anyone. Proceed to second section, game tells me I have a target to kill, I do the exact same thing as in the first section, move unnoticed, kill no one, eliminate the main target silently (or via an accident) and complete the level. Fans of the Hitman franchise will recognize that in any other Hitman game this would have been a Silent Assassin playthrough.

Here's how H:A handles it: In the first section I am ranked Specialist (3rd rank). Second section; Silent Assassin (1st rank) My overall level ranking; Shadow (3rd rank). Why? Because points. I couldn't get the big 50,000 silent assassin score bonus in the first section because that bonus is only possible when the game gives you someone to assassinate. This basically makes getting Silent Assassin an achievement hunter rank in most cases because the only way to get it in the first section would have been to try and complete the majority of the challenges (many of which need to be done over multiple playthroughs).

Now this problem is actually compounded by the fucking story. If you've played even half way through the game you will know that there are many sections and even entire levels where you aren't required to kill anyone. This makes getting the big SA score bonus impossible in these areas and unlike every Hitman game ever made, a completely stealthy non-lethal approach through these areas isn't enough to warrant Silent Assassin anymore. Now you have to grind achievement hunt.

Much like Dishonored, I played half the game as carefully as possible, desperately trying to get the most silent, non-lethal complete playthroughs before realizing I was not having any fun and actually missing out a big chunk of the new mechanics. I played the later half of those games not concerning myself with how my performance was being rated and instead just tried to have a good time. Both games became far more enjoyable at that point.

#15 Posted by Pestulon (27 posts) -

@RenegadeDoppelganger: I completely agree with everything you said. Trying to get the SA rating makes the game a terrible challenge grind. And to complete the challenges I don't think you even need to finish the level. So basically what you could do is simply make suicide runs for the evidence pieces and just run and gun your way through to get all the disguises etc. just to boost your multiplier before going for a full clear. Doesn't matter if you get killed when doing this since challenge progress is instantly saved as soon as a challenge is completed or updated.

I started out playing the game on hard and trying to go for SA rank on each level but this is starting to ruin the gameplay experience for me as it is more about being an OCD challenge completionist than simply beating each level in the most effective and stealthy manner, like it was in the previous games. I think I will do what you did and simply not worry too much about the performance rating and just try to have some fun.

#16 Posted by RenegadeDoppelganger (395 posts) -

@Pestulon said:

@RenegadeDoppelganger: I completely agree with everything you said. Trying to get the SA rating makes the game a terrible challenge grind. And to complete the challenges I don't think you even need to finish the level. So basically what you could do is simply make suicide runs for the evidence pieces and just run and gun your way through to get all the disguises etc. just to boost your multiplier before going for a full clear. Doesn't matter if you get killed when doing this since challenge progress is instantly saved as soon as a challenge is completed or updated.

I started out playing the game on hard and trying to go for SA rank on each level but this is starting to ruin the gameplay experience for me as it is more about being an OCD challenge completionist than simply beating each level in the most effective and stealthy manner, like it was in the previous games. I think I will do what you did and simply not worry too much about the performance rating and just try to have some fun.

Don't get me wrong, when the game is good, it's really good. The strength of the game is undoubtedly the engine. Holy shit is this game ever pretty, and the crowds are mind blowing. The random dialogue can be pretty entertaining too. The gameplay is familiar and it can be extremely satisfying when everything in a mission goes according to plan. The whole disguise thing I have mixed feelings about: In previous games once you had the 'highest ranking' disguise you basically had a free pass to go anywhere you pleased unharassed and it sort of removed a lot of the challenge. At least now disguises work logically. If you're supposed to be guarding a place and some dude who you've never seen before walks up dressed as a cop, you've going to be suspicious. Doubly so if you've been informed that there's a hulking bald killer operating in the area who's been known to don disguises and this dude fits the description.

However the stuff they did to this game in service of the story and the leaderboards (things that have never been big parts of Hitman games) are it's biggest failing points.

IO really wanted 47 to be this hero character, or a least A character/ .The problem is whole idea of Hitman was that his character motivations were always explicitly obvious and pretty much self explanatory. They required little to no set-up or explanation ever. Agent 47 kills people for money. Why? Because that's his job, his purpose in life, that is why he was created.

After 4 games of ruthless murder 47 suddenly grows a conscience acts totally out of character. The story turns into just another vessel for some videogame melodrama and to support these various narrative events we're going to gimp some of the mechanics.

#17 Edited by studnoth1n (222 posts) -

in past games, your individual performance was evaluated based simply on what you did or did not do. here, the devs opted for a scoring system that doesn't always take into consideration the subtleties of play. if you avoid all detection, don't kill/incapacitate anyone except your target (when available of course), and all kills should be made to look like an accident, that is a silent assassin rating, period. again, the scoring system doesn't seem to evaluate, as well, the individual performance like in previous games.

also, i might be mistaken but i thought there was a game in the series that awarded you titles, which were not necessarily accumulative or indicative of being better than one another (which a scoring system clearly does), but rather just indicating predominate methods between play styles. in any case, i would much rather prefer that system over the current, since it doesn't assume a preeminent method of play style, which contradicts the very nature of the game.

#18 Posted by Pestulon (27 posts) -

@RenegadeDoppelganger said:

@Pestulon said:Don't get me wrong, when the game is good, it's really good. The strength of the game is undoubtedly the engine. Holy shit is this game ever pretty, and the crowds are mind blowing. The random dialogue can be pretty entertaining too. The gameplay is familiar and it can be extremely satisfying when everything in a mission goes according to plan. The whole disguise thing I have mixed feelings about: In previous games once you had the 'highest ranking' disguise you basically had a free pass to go anywhere you pleased unharassed and it sort of removed a lot of the challenge. At least now disguises work logically. If you're supposed to be guarding a place and some dude who you've never seen before walks up dressed as a cop, you've going to be suspicious. Doubly so if you've been informed that there's a hulking bald killer operating in the area who's been known to don disguises and this dude fits the description.

However the stuff they did to this game in service of the story and the leaderboards (things that have never been big parts of Hitman games) are it's biggest failing points.

IO really wanted 47 to be this hero character, or a least A character/ .The problem is whole idea of Hitman was that his character motivations were always explicitly obvious and pretty much self explanatory. They required little to no set-up or explanation ever. Agent 47 kills people for money. Why? Because that's his job, his purpose in life, that is why he was created.

After 4 games of ruthless murder 47 suddenly grows a conscience acts totally out of character. The story turns into just another vessel for some videogame melodrama and to support these various narrative events we're going to gimp some of the mechanics.

I agree. The game does look stunning at times and the engine works very well. And the more classic Hitman assassination style levels that are in the game, are a lot of fun to play. But at the same time I find it a little bit saddening as it makes you feel the game could have been so much more, if they had stuck with the classic formula and not concentrate so much on the more linear story-driven stuff.

Personally, I'm a bit torn about the disguises. On the other hand - like you said - it makes sense that people can still see through the disguise if you get too close or act suspicious. But I find it extremely annoying that they can spot you in mere seconds across the entire map if you happen to stand in their line of sight. At least on the harder difficulty levels. So chances are you end up sneaking around most of the time, even while in disguise, which kind of defeats the purpose of the disguise, don't you think?

#19 Posted by RenegadeDoppelganger (395 posts) -

@Pestulon: Yeah the disguises could definitely use some tuning when it comes to the rate at which enemies in the distance are able to recognize you. I think the actual distance people can see you is okay -if I thought I saw something moving out of the corner of my eye, I might be a little suspicious too- but yeah that meter seems to fill up pretty fast even for people at a good distance. I think this all comes down to difficulty tuning. It seems like the recognition distance vs relationship is pretty linear when it should be more of a curve. I imagine it's mostly okay on Normal difficulty or lower but on Hard or higher it feels like you have at most 2 seconds before most enemies blow your disguise at just about any given distance. Maybe 2s for <15ft is okay for Hard but 2s at 30ft+ seems kinda unrealistic unless all these guards have photographic memory and 15/20 vision.

I believe in another thread someone posted that IO had acknowledged there was some tweaking to be done for the disguise system but as yet they've not mentioned when that tweaking might happen. I wasn't bothered as much by the whole disguise thing in the first half of my playthrough but certainly in the later missions -unless you are prepared to spend 25 minutes waiting for an opening- using disguises in close proximity to guards is essential and for someone doing a non-lethal(ish) playthrough on Hard, it's near-impossible to have enough instinct to fool more than 1 or 2 quick glances from the numerous patrols.

#20 Posted by 1337hitmanplayer (1 posts) -

The rating system in Absolution is a mess, but I seem to understand how it works. There are different types of levels in the game. There are levels with targets, where you can knock out as many people you want and leave them on the ground and you'll get the Silent Assassin rating if you weren't spotted and didn't kill any guards or civilians. Then, there are levels without targets and with evidence. In these levels, you have to hide every body you knock out and collect the evidence in order to achieve the Shadow rating (which is the highest on such levels). There are some levels without targets and without evidence, where the highest possible rating is Specialist. To achieve it you can leave up to two bodies unhidden. Also, unlike in Blood Money, found bodies don't affect your rating and accidental deaths of non-target NPCs lower your rating.

#21 Edited by studnoth1n (222 posts) -

it's not based on score, but specific requirements, which are as follows:

  1. do NOT get spotted
  2. do NOT kill/incapacitate anyone (excluding your target of course)
  3. assassinate your target using a "signature kill," which not only includes the level scripted "accidents," but also extends to using the fiber wire.
  4. and obviously, there must be a designated target within that particular sequence

again, the SA rating is only attainable assuming there is a defined target. this makes sense, although i'd prefer the scoring be disabled outside of those instances, just to eliminate any confusion. regardless, it seems like an odd decision to implement a scoring system, at lest this time around, where the gameplay is more or less structured around the narrative, where there isn't that symmetry in having these compartmentalized levels where there is always a target and an opportunity to plan in advance. probably would have worked better with past games

#22 Posted by VindictivePotato (10 posts) -

@studnoth1n said:

it's not based on score, but specific requirements, which are as follows:

  1. do NOT get spotted
  2. do NOT kill/incapacitate anyone (excluding your target of course)
  3. assassinate your target using a "signature kill," which not only includes the level scripted "accidents," but also extends to using the fiber wire.
  4. and obviously, there must be a designated target within that particular sequence

again, the SA rating is only attainable assuming there is a defined target. this makes sense, although i'd prefer the scoring be disabled outside of those instances, just to eliminate any confusion. regardless, it seems like an odd decision to implement a scoring system, at lest this time around, where the gameplay is more or less structured around the narrative, where there isn't that symmetry in having these compartmentalized levels where there is always a target and an opportunity to plan in advance. probably would have worked better with past games

And even then, you need extra points/score to get an overall silent assassin rating for the level.

I did all the above that you've mentioned in the hunte / hunted level and I've uploaded a video to prove it, but I still didn't get silent assassin, I just got shadow as an overall rating.

it all boils down to points.

#23 Edited by studnoth1n (222 posts) -

@VindictivePotato: well i've scored higher shadow ratings than i have SA ratings. the outcome being a result of my playing on a lower difficulty and having fewer challenges completed, so the score multiplier was lower for those SA ratings. essentially, the SA rating doesn't even "pop" until you've satisfied those specific requirements, and as you may have already found out, the rating can also be stripped away should you forfeit any of those requisites afterwards.

#24 Posted by Laiv162560asse (487 posts) -

@studnoth1n said:

do NOT kill/incapacitate anyone (excluding your target of course)

I got SA rank on the Vixen club section after incapacitating at least a couple of people. Pretty sure it's just based on score.

#25 Posted by poisonmonkey (282 posts) -

Hey duders, the silent assassin rank does seem pretty random sometimes and I think it cannot be obtained at all in certain sections, I have managed to to do it of a few missions (including the Barber shop mission which seems to be troubling some people), I have made a few youtube videos to help (but obviously there are spoilers) at:

https://www.youtube.com/user/MrPoisonmonkey?feature=guide

Hope they help a bit.

#26 Posted by Lugburz (40 posts) -

It is just simply:

-Only kill your target(s)

-Do not be spotted

-Find the evidence (i think that is optional in some levels, or not required at all)

In the other hand, in levels were there is no assassinations, you will get the rank of 'shadow' instead.

#27 Posted by VInski (1 posts) -

I know this is a really old topic but here it is just to clarify

Silent Assassin is achieved by not being spotted and by not killing anyone other than the target(s). As such, it is not available in purely stealth-based levels. To get Silent Assassin rating for the whole level all the sublevels should have a target, otherwise Shadow is the highest achievable ranking.

Two chapters don't have the evidence which is necessary for the Shadow ranking: Burning Hotel in 4th mission (Run For Your Life) and Dressing Rooms in 5th mission (Hunter and Hunted) — so the highest rating available there is Specialist.

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