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Some helpful hints for new players in the original Deus Ex that i think might help in a playthrough.

1) Most skills you don't need to train above "Trained", but a few of them really help. When creating a new character you want your COMPUTER skill to ADVANCED. There are many many many computer passwords, logins, etc and its very detracting to the game. Its much easier and better to just hack any computer or computer terminal to get emails, info, money (ATMS) and such. No need for 1000 logins and passwords. believe me, you'll thank me for this. Rifle is a main skill you want to max it. Explosives are amazing at max level to take down robots with 1 grenade instead of 2+. Swimming never hurts either.

Heavy weapons, they are too big you probably won't carry them around and just use what ever is in the area, and they seem to work just being trained. I never had to use 2 rockets or explosive rounds to kill a robot, so don't see a need to put more than trained in heavy weapons. If you max explosives your grenades will do just as well, or even better.

misc weapons you want to max unless you are going to use the overpowered buggy dragon sword the whole game. If you want to really play without abuse, use regular weapons and max this ability. Most other abilities aren't worth taking over TRAINED (lockpick,electronics,pistols,healing, etc)

2) Augments. Very excellent and useful augments are LEGS-running/speed, ARMS - move heavy objects, Melee damage increase, healing, all great and useful and i consider a must have. I liked also environmental resist lets me run through radiation, etc without lugging around hazmat suits. Stuff like fire resists, resists grenades, bullets, rockets, etc you'll usually just sniping/blowing up enemies stealthly long before they are attacking you, so ignore all that junk.

3) Crossbows and toxic arrows are nice for saving your gun ammo early on, just as long as the enemy can't run to a alarm panel before they succumb to the knockout darts. Later i found the xbow useless as it doesn't seem to headshot crit hit harder foes, or maybe it was a bug in my game. At late game i could still headshoot and takedown enemies with just a pistol of 15 or so damage, yet xbow darts which says do 25 damage etc didn't do anything, so when the xbow usefulness fades, just chuck it. You will do plenty well with your guns (pistols, assault and sniper).

4) High rifle skill is useful for the great guns in the game, max it. shotguns, sniper rifles, assault, all much smaller than heavy weapons and you can carry all around.

5) Melee weapons are great backup for when you want a little more stealth and easier close combat. Stun prod a must have, baton is your staple weapon if you don't want to abuse the dragon sword. Crowbar is worthless once you get a baton which is smaller and just as useful. Some other items i consider just useless in the game (pepper guns, throwing knives, etc) just take up space and your regular guns work just fine.

6) Silenced pistol. I found the regular pistol much better than the silenced one. The regular pistol does much more damage and even late game still can easily headshoot tough enemies in 1-2 shots. You'll be sniping far foes with a sniper rifle, so up close a pistol works great, or melee weapon if you need it. The silenced pistol is of course silenced, but never needed that function plus way weaker damage, which means why be silenced if you can't take down foes in 1 shot, or 2 max.

7) Explosives. Like before i found maxing my explosives extremely helpful and fun when i can wipe out a enemy robot with just 1 grenade. There are parts of the game you can take advantage of explosive containers around, saving your grenades for more useful things. Locked door? Save your grenade and lockpicks and move a tnt box nearby and shoot, easy can opener.

8) Healing. Later you will have the healing augment which is THE best way to heal when its upgraded, a quick activation will heal you up to full, even allowing you to survive deadly environments while its activated because it heals so fast. Medkits early on of course, and don't forget eating food/drinking will cure a little so get in the habit of grabbing sodas, candy and quickly munching it down, even if you don't know your hurt, only takes a second and helps. Your healing augment is also the reason you don't need to take skills in environment and healing very high, your maxed healing augment will take care of all that. Those skill points are more useful in rifles/explosives.


Just finished the game so those are some tips i found worked nice in the playthrough. I finished with maxed rifles and explosives in skills, and max upgraded legs-speed, arms-carry, healing and environment augs. The only part of my build i regret was abusing the buggy dragon sword instead of just upgrading melee and using regular melee weapons, but oh well i can do that next playthrough.
I would agree that for a new player, investing heavily into computers is a good idea. The assumption is that you're going in blind and you don't know where to find passwords yourself. For that same reason, investing heavily into Rifles with the intention of stealthily sniping your way through the game is a good approach for new players. Other styles of fighting (as in, actually fighting) are a little bit difficult with the wonky game mechanics being what they are.

About 1/4th into the story you will get your hands on a ridiculously powerful sword that makes short work of all organic enemies in the game, as described in the original post. You could tailor your playstyle entirely around this weapon and probably breeze through the game even as a new player, but I think it cheapens the experience.

I am pleasantly surprised to see the original poster praising the Explosives skill. It is often ignored by experienced players, citing it's benefits not being necessary if you're careful and that grenades are too rare to make frequent use of. That is largely true, but grenades are a lot easier to carry around than wasting nearly half your inventory lugging the GEP gun around for killing bots and smashing locks open. Trained is what I consider a bare minimum, and you can't go wrong maxing it out over the course of the game if you find grenades complementing your playstyle.

Lockpicking and electronics should be raised to Trained early on, but never higher. These skills only reduces the number of items needed to pick locks, disable cameras directly or crack keypads. Often, there are other ways to accomplish these things (like using grenades!) so you won't be picking every lock you find anyhow. I suggest raising them one level still because each new level halves the required number of tools. A door with a basic requirement of 4 lockpicks becomes 2 at Trained, etc.

Swimming is another skill that is disregarded by veteran players, but I say go at least Trained. Combined with rebreather items, Trained level allows you to safely explore all under water areas in the game.

I'm less enthusiastic about Augmentations, especially for a new player. ALL of them are active, powerconsuming abilities, and very situational. As a new player you may not be familiar enough with them to effectively micromanage them. Also, they are all pathetically weak unless upgraded, and you will only find a few upgrade items throughout the game. It is perfectly possible to beat the game without making use of these. By far the most useful is Regeneration, which is quite decent without upgrades. It is possible to find two modules and have both kinds of cloaks available at some point, though as a new player you will probably only ever find one of them and so you will have to make a choice. Both have their uses, but I think hiding from organic enemies is more helpful than radar transparency. Most inorganic "enemies" are static cameras, turrets or bots on predictable patrol patterns that you can figure out safe ways to get around, but organic enemies are far less forgiving and react quicker if you mess up.

Ballistic protection (don't remember the exact name) is a fun augmentation once fully upgraded. It turns you into the Terminator. Not a bad idea for a new player, but sadly it will take a lot of work to get it fully upgraded.

Lastly, I want to say that you shouldn't take the game's initial lessons about non-lethal violence too seriously. The game will acknowledge your restraint in the first couple of missions, then only very sparingly in less than a handful of other situations. I find that playing the game without lethal force eventually makes it very tedious and narratively quite ridiculous. Mix it up. You don't need to cut the throat of every guard you see, but some enemies are just in the way and it doesn't make much sense to be sedate guards one by one, having them raise the alarm in between each strike. Play the game like it is a movie, you'll have more fun.

Have a wonderful time discovering Deus Ex for the first time! Pay attention to what the characters are saying and always know that there were probably five other ways to do something besides the one way you picked. This is a richly designed game that is waiting to be discovered. Don't let the graphics and wonky controls turn you off.
Very convenient I found this post. I'm a new player myself (got the game just an hour ago) and I don't think I GET it. Mainly the stealth mechanics. I get caught constantly and I try to play the game like Thief to compensate but it isn't working for me. I probably got caught 12 or so times during the sneaking portion of the tutorial and I'm pretty sure I got lucky when I did manage to get past that section.

The most prominent section I can think of that really bothered me was at the North Docks in the opening level (still not past the level itself). There's a massive pile of crates with a stationary guard at one side and another circling around it. I tried staying in the dark when the moving guard was passing but it didn't work. Eventually I just killed them both and the whole time I keep wondering how anyone is supposed to effectively sneak past it.

Any help with sneaking would be greatly appreciated. It's just not clicking for me.
Post edited August 13, 2016 by PsychoSephiroth
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PsychoSephiroth: Very convenient I found this post. I'm a new player myself (got the game just an hour ago) and I don't think I GET it. Mainly the stealth mechanics. I get caught constantly and I try to play the game like Thief to compensate but it isn't working for me. I probably got caught 12 or so times during the sneaking portion of the tutorial and I'm pretty sure I got lucky when I did manage to get past that section.

The most prominent section I can think of that really bothered me was at the North Docks in the opening level (still not past the level itself). There's a massive pile of crates with a stationary guard at one side and another circling around it. I tried staying in the dark when the moving guard was passing but it didn't work. Eventually I just killed them both and the whole time I keep wondering how anyone is supposed to effectively sneak past it.

Any help with sneaking would be greatly appreciated. It's just not clicking for me.
Invest in stealth, stay in the shadows, get directly behind them and knock them out then hide the body.
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PsychoSephiroth: Very convenient I found this post. I'm a new player myself (got the game just an hour ago) and I don't think I GET it. Mainly the stealth mechanics. I get caught constantly and I try to play the game like Thief to compensate but it isn't working for me. I probably got caught 12 or so times during the sneaking portion of the tutorial and I'm pretty sure I got lucky when I did manage to get past that section.

The most prominent section I can think of that really bothered me was at the North Docks in the opening level (still not past the level itself). There's a massive pile of crates with a stationary guard at one side and another circling around it. I tried staying in the dark when the moving guard was passing but it didn't work. Eventually I just killed them both and the whole time I keep wondering how anyone is supposed to effectively sneak past it.

Any help with sneaking would be greatly appreciated. It's just not clicking for me.
Enemies can still see you hiding in the dark if they get close enough. Also, check that your light isn't on.

You can run while crouching without making noise.
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PsychoSephiroth: Very convenient I found this post. I'm a new player myself (got the game just an hour ago) and I don't think I GET it. Mainly the stealth mechanics. I get caught constantly and I try to play the game like Thief to compensate but it isn't working for me. I probably got caught 12 or so times during the sneaking portion of the tutorial and I'm pretty sure I got lucky when I did manage to get past that section.

The most prominent section I can think of that really bothered me was at the North Docks in the opening level (still not past the level itself). There's a massive pile of crates with a stationary guard at one side and another circling around it. I tried staying in the dark when the moving guard was passing but it didn't work. Eventually I just killed them both and the whole time I keep wondering how anyone is supposed to effectively sneak past it.

Any help with sneaking would be greatly appreciated. It's just not clicking for me.
Ignore everything xtharpe said because it has nothing to do with Deus Ex.

For this particular situation it is not really advisable to go pure stealth. If I recall it may be possible to pass them on the far left as soon as the patrolling guard turns to his left (relatively to the right from where you're looking). You should always be crouch-running in this game because it is completely silent and even faster than walking upright (which isn't even silent, so, entirely pointless).

Other ideas on how to solve this "puzzle" within the spirit of the game:
- Poison darts for non-lethal takedowns. A little messy but humane.

- Cattleprod the stationary guard, then cattleprod the patrolling guard before he spots his partner. You crouch walk faster than enemies patrol so it should be easy.

- Climb the stack of crates and drop something on the ground to distract the guards temporarily. The return trip is much easier since you can follow the patrolling guard out of sight.

- Gas grenade, then use baton or cattleprod to knock the guards out while they are covering their eyes. Aim for the back, center mass, for near guaranteed knockouts.

You should understand a few things about enemies in this game:
- Their ability to detect you while you're crouching is ridiculously poor. Experiment on the first level to see how close you can get while in direct line of sight. You'll be surprised.

- Enemies have roughly 170 degrees of vision, and unless the next patrol node is to their front right, they will always turn to the left if they are turning more than 90 degrees.

- You can spend roughly a second in line of sight while in their detection radius. You can tap the lean key to bob your head in and out from cover directly in front of them and they won't react.

- Enemies pass through several AI states when they detect the player. In their relaxed state they may patrol with their weapons holstered and they react slowly to seeing the player. If they see you for too long or hear a noise, they will draw their weapon and stand still trying to figure out what is going on for about a second (depends on difficulty setting). Once they have detected danger they enter a kind of combat mode where they will actively search for the player and attack him when they can. After about a minute of not finding something to attack while in combat mode, they go back into a relaxed state and continue their normal patrols. Alarms going off or the sound of gunfire and explosions trigger combat mode quickly.

- Enemies also make loud noises while killed or hurt, except for when taken out with the cattle prod or one-hit knocked out with the baton. Unfortunately, the combat knife makes for messy and loud kills. Not sure about the silenced sniper rifle causing silent deaths or not, I rarely play the game that way so I don't remember.
Tried both of the above tips. This game just isn't working for me.

This time around I figure I'd use the retractable baton you find on the dead NATCO guard. I can work with getting behind a guard and knocking them out. I think I've played enough stealth games to get the idea. With Deus Ex though I just can't get it down, partially because the game registers specific body parts for knocking out someone. What ends up happening is I'd sneak behind a guard, stand up (I disabled Always Run), attempt to whack them on the head/neck only for the guy to turn around and immediately start attacking. I found out it was much more effective to smack them twice behind the legs and even then they had a tendency to either start running away or attacking me before I even get a chance to hit them again.

And I still haven't figured out the prod. I get in close and give the guard a shock, but any other attempts to knock him out only alert him. I've heard you have to aim for the torso or something but I haven't been able to do it successfully.

I'd say on average I have a 60/40 chance of getting caught if I do anything besides navigating around the guards.

I'm getting frustrated here. I want to like the game, I really do, it's supposed to be one of the greatest PC games of all time but it just isn't doing it for me. I guess I just suck at it.
Always aim for the back torso, you don't want to hit them in the limbs where the damage multiplier is something like 0.4x. The head is very difficult to hit with melee attacks.

I forgot to mention that the AI state is very important for clean kills/knockouts. Relaxed enemies take a big damage multiplier, so a baton hit across the back when they are not expecting it is like 80-100 damage as opposed to just 10 or whatever the base value is. If the enemy is startled or in combat mode, that multiplier goes away. I find that if they are disabled by gas grenades or stunned by the prod they take two hits across the back with the baton to go down. You do know that the prod can knock people out instantly if you're aiming at the back torso, right? If you hit anywhere else, you may need to prod them twice.

Put Always Run back on and crouch all the time, it is the only way to sneak in this game. Stay behind enemies and never spend more than a second in direct line of sight, you'll keep them in a relaxed state where they can't detect you and you can knock them out with clean hits.

It is possible to finish the whole of Liberty Island without interacting with any enemies, using no items. Again, I suggest experimenting with crouch running in front of enemies to test their reaction times. This is actually a super easy stealth game once you realise how handicapped the AI is. Stuff that looks like it would be impossible in a true stealth game is actually the right way to play it. I'd call it counter-intuitive, but that isn't fair to the game. You're not looking to hide in the shadows, you're looking to break line of sight at all times and staying just outside their cone of vision and detection radius. Enemies patrol slowly and predictably.
For the record I did not see your post in response to mine, likely because I was typing my own. Sorry if you took any offence.

Anyhow I did manage to get past the first stage. I can commend the game for its freedom of choice, I enjoyed being able to sneak through the less-patrolled back door and handling the situation as I saw fit. I did manage to successfully knock out a guard with one hit from the baton and I felt like I was being rewarded for improvising, especially near the end when gas grenades were introduced. I even liked the next section where you wandered the offices, gives the game a nice sense of pacing you don't really see in action games anymore.

That said, the game feels very janky to me. I like the story thus far and I love what the game is trying to go for, but the shooting and the stealth feel awkward and the gameplay overall pales in comparison to System Shock 2.

Maybe I just don't have the hang of it yet, I mean this is a different type of game even by today's standards, but my first impressions have been...disheartening to say the least.
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PsychoSephiroth: For the record I did not see your post in response to mine, likely because I was typing my own. Sorry if you took any offence.

Anyhow I did manage to get past the first stage. I can commend the game for its freedom of choice, I enjoyed being able to sneak through the less-patrolled back door and handling the situation as I saw fit. I did manage to successfully knock out a guard with one hit from the baton and I felt like I was being rewarded for improvising, especially near the end when gas grenades were introduced. I even liked the next section where you wandered the offices, gives the game a nice sense of pacing you don't really see in action games anymore.

That said, the game feels very janky to me. I like the story thus far and I love what the game is trying to go for, but the shooting and the stealth feel awkward and the gameplay overall pales in comparison to System Shock 2.

Maybe I just don't have the hang of it yet, I mean this is a different type of game even by today's standards, but my first impressions have been...disheartening to say the least.
You analysis so far is spot on. People tend to forget this when they talk about the game: It sucks. All game mechanics are mediocre. The visuals were behind the times even when the game was released. The voice acting is cringeworthy much of the time. It is simply not a good simulation of the world it sets out to recreate.

Still, the game is worth more than the sum of it's parts. If you can get into the fantasy it portrays it truly is one of the best PC games of all time. You may not notice it the first time through but there are several variations to most interactions and conversations in the game. The game feels alive in surprising ways when you play it a second time and realise how things could play out differently. Major character deaths that seemed canonical on the first playthrough may actually be story branches upon closer inspection. What if you disobey characters who tell you in simple narrative-mechanical ways what your objective is as if the designer is trying to hide that there is only one way to progress the story? Some parts of the game that felt like main plot developments can be bypassed or play out in unexpected ways.

And what an adventure it is. The game feels huge. The odds feel pressing. The story goes places you may not expect, going bigger and more serious than you would expect from such a simple looking "by the numbers" RPG. It really feels like fate hangs in the balance for your character and the world. The game has fantastic world building that, if you can see beyond the gameyness of the game, feels meaningful and engrossing.

I think some of the resonance from the time of release may be lost to present day players. The game about the future war on terror came out just a year before 9/11 and the patriot act. I feel that the world has now moved beyond that early narrative that led to the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, but man, if you could have played this game in those days...