Writing a post title after writing the article is a great idea!

So I was thinking, what kind of behaviour should be used in stealth games. One that's obviously realistic, but the problem is sometimes, games don't always seem to get it right (which by the way is most of the time). Now, the problem here lies not just in the behaviour of the guard, but the resources he has access to. Think of it like this. Compare a security system from a medieval (and it's always medieval) period to more modern security system.

One already major factor is this is technology. As most stealth games have some element of combat, I'll make this example: You have killed a guard, and no one has seen you, nor has the guard had time to shout out "Stop, criminal scum!" or something similar. A clean kill, basically. Now, in an old setting, the loss would not be accounted for until a worried family member reports a significant absence of a loved one, or more likely, missing a roll call (or if the assassin/thief/etc. is terrible, discovering the body). Other guards will carry on their duties until shift changes.
In a modern day setup, this feat would be a lot harder to get away with, as guards, whilst bored out of their minds in most cases, are often monitored at least semi-regularly, and in some cases, simply being off the radio for too long constitutes as a danger.

But this isn't what I was actually going to talk about which is unrealistic guard behaviour, no matter what settings they happen to be in. I mean, really, in what normal circumstance would a guard relate loud noises and constant clanking in vents to (probably just) the wind. WIND. INDOORS. Even MICE would be a better excuse even if it does make even less sense in certain contexts.

One thing the game designer I feel seem to forget is that, no matter how vigilant the guards are expected to be, they are just guards, extremely bored. Who wouldn't be? But what makes another random day when Hero McDude  is sneaking around special. If you hadn't caught the drift, I changed subjects to guards reacting to anything. A guard hears a noise, walks around to investigate, and finds out that... DUN DUN DUN it's a cat. The guard goes 'oh that cat again :3' and walks back to his post. After a few times he'll probably ignore it, not because of his job, but human nature. Now Hero McDude is fluffing around when he makes a noise. The guard wouldn't (under most circumstances and assuming he isn't feeling curious) bother to check. But I seem to be going at a bit of a tangent, mainly that I can't remember quite what I was arguing about.

Oh well.

Rant Over.