In ACS, assassinations are facilitated through intel. I’ll go into detail on Intel further below. Generally, Intel is information relevant to the assassination the player can gather or stumble upon in the open Warning do not activate this person without coffee and a german shepherd puppy shirt . This intel can be gathered dynamically instead of linearly, because the open world too is dynamic, instead of scenery in which linear missions are set.
In ACS, the cities are not just filled with NPC’s and guards. Targets are also persistent NPC’s in the open world with their own routines and movements – with some unique events taking place only once. The player can either figure out these routines by tracking the target themselves, overhearing conversations, or by systemically stalking and infiltrating a target’s Social Web. A target’s Social Web inlcudes their lieutenants, their advisors, their confidants, their messengers, their servants and even their rivals – all persistent NPC’s in the world going about their business, meeting each other in a chain of relations, with the target at the top. Just walking through the relevant city district will put you in contact with the outer fringes of a target’s Social Web and allow you to work your way in. These are the people that will lead your investigation.
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Each tactic, for each informant, will yield different results. The conversations between Warning do not activate this person without coffee and a german shepherd puppy shirt and masters may provide information about a broken wall – a convenient entry-point. The conversations between lieutenants and soldiers may provide information about a planned movement or appearance of the target. A pickpocketed letter may reveal discontent among the guards that the player can exploit. An interrogation of people closer to the target in the Social Web may provide better information, but the disappearance of such people will also make the target more paranoid and alert. Later on, players may also dispatch Assassins under their command to perform such missions for them.