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"Assassin's Appeal?" or: "Teach Me How to Stop Worrying and Love

    • 41 posts
    June 29, 2015 1:10 PM EDT

    So, I've been wondering this for a long while... what is it that people see in assassins? I've never understood their "appeal," so to speak, but it seems that a lot (a majority, even?) of the gaming community enjoys them, evidence being the huge successes of such games as Assassin's Creed and Dishonored.

    I generally dislike the archetype, though that mostly comes from not understanding rather than a dislike of any specific part of assassins. I, personally, have only played two assassins in Skyrim -- one traditional dagger assassin that succumbed quickly to restartitis, and the other a greatsword-wielding assassin who never returned to the Dark Brotherhood after killing the emperor -- so it's not like I've experienced many styles. In fact, it's likely that I just never found a niche I would enjoy.

    I put off posting this for about a month since I actually had the idea to ask. The current site poll spurred me to finally post this, as at the time of posting, we can see the huge early lead that the Dark Brotherhood has over every other faction, followed by the Morag Tong assassins. It's also worth noting that the Thieves Guild is in third; and as we've seen before, there's an overall trend towards stealth among the fans.

    So here we go. I'd like to hear it from all of you assassin-fans out there. Whether you play a Shadowscale or a Serial Killer, an Alchemist or a Jester, I want to know. Why do you enjoy assassins? What's your favorite aspect of them? Favorite assassin builds? Anything. As in the title, "teach me how to stop worrying and love the killers".

    • 1441 posts
    June 29, 2015 1:20 PM EDT
    Probably their mystique and the fear they insight. Take the ninja, they would, contrary to the stereotypical look, primarily dress as your everyday person, so they wouldn't stand out. Also that you rarely, if ever, see them coming
    • 161 posts
    June 29, 2015 5:31 PM EDT

    I like them because of the skill. They keep their calm and just do what they are supposed to do. Unlike Warriors they dont scream or rush in. They use sneak attack and surprise their enemies while exploiting weaknesses.  They dont need to overpower people they "catch" them. 

    Not only that but an Assassin can use anything he want to get what is done, Magic, Daggers and Arrows. Whatever. Not only that but not all Assassins are evil, Assassin's Creed kill Their Archnemesis The Templars. They kill for freedom and justice. Dishonored: He kills for His Daughter and The Empress. In Dishonored you dont even have to kill. 

    • 133 posts
    June 29, 2015 5:47 PM EDT
    How often have you walked down a dark alley, an icy chill running down your spine as your head swivels from side to side and your eyes dart to every shadow? Out of fear from someone lurking, waiting for you to let your guard down. Nobody's even there but you still feel the FEAR of the unknown.

    Now to turn that fear on your enemies, to see them squirm! It is an intense power. Not one we can all experiance in real life but CAN experiance in video games. Hence why they're are so popular.

    Also in modern society we are taught to be good and kind. It's nice to break that in a video game, but you're not actually hurting anybody. Allowing you to live your fantasy, guilt free.
    • 113 posts
    June 29, 2015 5:56 PM EDT

    I don't know man, but Assassins are just overrated sissies. 

    • 133 posts
    June 29, 2015 6:25 PM EDT
    Sleep with your eyes open...

    Just kidding.
    • 168 posts
    June 29, 2015 6:39 PM EDT

    The great thing about assassins? It doesn't matter if you are a powerful mage or warrior, even the most powerful spell or sword are useless if you don't know where and when your enemy is going to strike. That is why I love assassins: they can kill in silence and without trace.

    • 130 posts
    June 29, 2015 7:14 PM EDT

    I like playing as the bad guys in games, and assassins are usually part of that. Besides that, there's something really satisfying about stealthily making your way about the place with nobody noticing you.

    • 161 posts
    June 29, 2015 7:24 PM EDT

    You forget that Assassins are made to KILL. Knight, Kings and Champions. EVERYONE!

    • 16 posts
    June 30, 2015 3:46 AM EDT

    Have to ask, is your title a reference to Dr. Strangelove? 

    • 130 posts
    June 30, 2015 7:09 AM EDT

    I think that kind of thing had been done before Dr. Strangeglove, but I could be wrong.

    • 485 posts
    June 30, 2015 8:01 AM EDT

    Kick the moral complications to the curb and learn to savor the kill. 

    • 627 posts
    June 30, 2015 8:10 AM EDT

    Power, we all crave some form of it and what power is greater than fear? Assassin's are feared. So by playing an assassin we gain control of that power.

    • 41 posts
    June 30, 2015 8:56 AM EDT

    Yeah, that was the idea. I wanted to make the call to action clear in the title, and do it in a clever way that grabs people's attentions, so I patterned it that way. I also thought the reference worked, considering the Fallout theme.

    Stupid Ning keeps eating my replies...

    • 122 posts
    June 30, 2015 11:11 AM EDT

    So glad I'm not the only one. But in AC and Dishonored, I interpret the kills as necessities, which does wonders for my moral conscience. I mean, we are killing walking shitlords in those games, so....yeah.

    The only type of assassins I dislike passionately are the types that are purely and mindlessly chaotic. You know, the ones that seem to commit every single sin in the book just for the sake of it. There's no life in that, it's so overly done and edgy that it becomes bland. A major part of being an assassin is to separate one's self from becoming a run-of-the-mill psychopathic murderer. As the Sniper would say, professionals have standards.

    • 1483 posts
    June 30, 2015 11:24 AM EDT

    I don't view assassins in AC games as, well, assassins. The assassin for me is a ghost, someone who can't be seen unless he wants to. Imagine if you own a huge castle with tons of guards, traps and elaborate locks to protect yourself. Then you proceed to piss someone off. Now imagine waking up one morning in your castle and see a dagger stuck near your neck. No disturbances, no alarms. Nobody saw anything. All you know is that someone sneaked in while you slept, left a dagger stuck in your pillow and left without anyone noticing. You feel that there is no place safe from them, that no matter how much you try to protect yourself, it'll all be for naught. 

    Assassins are in control. Whether when watching from the shadows, or when approaching their target in the middle of a marketplace, an assassin is always one step ahead. 

    • 122 posts
    June 30, 2015 11:35 AM EDT

    Daggers on pillows? Sounds like something the IRL Assassiyun would pull off 

    • 1483 posts
    June 30, 2015 11:53 AM EDT

    It is definitely something that they were able to pull off  

    They did not always kill their targets, however, preferring at times to try to threaten an enemy into submission. This could sometimes be accomplished with a dagger and a threatening note placed on an enemy's pillow. The assassin group was indeed feared enough so that these threats were sometimes taken seriously, as in the case when Saladin, the Muslim Sultan of Egypt and Syria, made an alliance with the rebel sect in order to avoid more attempts on his life. One of these attempts involved the Assassins placing a poisoned cake on Saladin's chest as he slept, with a warning note to desist from his military exploits. 


  • June 30, 2015 2:49 PM EDT

    Another real life assassin tactic was sprinting at someone in broad day light and stabbing them as many times as they can before being axed off themselves. #stealth

    • 1483 posts
    June 30, 2015 3:22 PM EDT

    Well, AC at least got that right 

  • June 30, 2015 3:24 PM EDT

    i like their killing effectiveness. coming out of shadow killing unprepared opponents. and leave that one guy who've been sleeping all night wondering the next morning what happened to all his buddies. and go berserk with shadow warrior dance move when caught, or just shadow stone during oh sh*t moment.

    or lure them into oil puddle and drop that fire urn upon them. or kill them with their own spike door and falling stones.

    also, they do not discriminate people. as long as people pay, they kill.

  • June 30, 2015 3:31 PM EDT

    Getting in, killing the target, and getting back out without anyone being the wiser is an incredible show of skill.

  • June 30, 2015 3:53 PM EDT

    Minus the being axed off part.

    • 113 posts
    June 30, 2015 4:08 PM EDT

    I've been axed multiple times, it's just about coordination, and timing. Not all of that can be done in a single run. Sometimes, you need to fail in order to do it right again. 

    • 79 posts
    July 6, 2015 7:53 AM EDT

    I figured out that the Dark Brotherhood is sort of a necessity.

    Otherwise, the whole of Mundus would be destroyed by the "cycle of retaliation."

    First kill, then a revenge kill, then a revenge kill for the revenge kill, and so on.

    Or it would be like Bruce Wayne told Dick Grayson revenge works in Batman Forever:

    "You kill Harvey, but your anger grows even stronger, and you need another kill, and another, until one horrible day you wake up and realize revenge has become your whole life."

    By hiring the Dark Brotherhood, there is only one killing, as opposed to the cycle of revenge.