All actors have Stealth Points, which function basically as stealth "hit points" -- when your Stealth Points go to 0, you are detected. Simple, right?
Continuing the analogy to hit points, your Sneak skill functions as your stealth "armor class" -- the higher your Sneak, the less "stealth damage" you take.
Stealth points only apply to "aggro" detection. (Not, for example, to whether or not you're caught stealing from a store.)
- What makes my Stealth Points go down?
- When anyone's detection value on me is higher than 0, my stealth points drop (with the rate of drop corresponding to the amount the detection is above 0 -- if their detection is at 1, my stealth points are dropping slowly; if they are at 50, my stealth points are dropping like a rock).
- What makes my Stealth Points go up?
- When detection is below zero, my stealth points are filling back up (at a rate based on how much detection is below 0 - if detection is at -1, stealth points refill slowly; if its at -30, it refills more quickly).
- When is someone Alerted to me?
- Any time my Stealth Points are going down, someone is Alert to me -- meaning that they would detect me if it weren't for my Stealth Points. Put another way, as soon as my Stealth Points run out, I will be detected.
- When does someone detect me?
- Whenever my Stealth Points go to 0, I am detected (by at least one enemy). Note that this does not mean that EVERYONE detects me -- only that I've lost the "protection" of my Stealth Points -- now as soon as an enemy's detection goes above 0, they will detect me immediately.
- NOTE: If an enemy's detection goes above a (high) threshold, they will immediately detect you, regardless of how many Stealth Points you have remaining.
- How do I evade an enemy once I've been detected?
- Once I've been detected, I need to "refill" my Stealth Points in order to evade detection (but see below for a caveat). When an enemy loses detection on me in combat, a short timer runs - if that timer expires and detection is still < 0, my Stealth Points begin to increase, and the enemy begins "combat search" behavior. When my Stealth Points reach 100, I have escaped and my enemies stop searching for me.
- There’s a gamesetting (fCombatStealthPointRegenAlertWaitTime = 10 seconds) = minimum Alert time – if someone becomes alert to you, your Stealth Points will not refill at all during that time.
- Stealth Points go up or down based on the current MAXIMUM detection level of all AGGRESSIVE actors.
- Stealth Points always = 0 when enemies are in combat with you.
- When in Alert/Lost states, as soon as your stealth points meter refills, the enemy drops out of combat search.
- If enemy detection exceeds the combat detection threshold (iCombatStealthPointSneakDetectionThreshold or iCombatStealthPointDetectionThreshold, depending on if you are sneaking or not), remaining Stealth Points are ignored and the enemy immediately detects you.