Note: Since Update #25 Smooth Talker has been replaced with the Spotter skill. Crews can now answer 4 pagers by default without the need of any skills. This skill is still available on the PlayStation 3 and XBox 360 versions.
|Basic (1 pt): You can successfully answer 4 pagers instead of just 2.|
|Ace (3 pt): Special enemies marked by you take 15% additional damage.|
If a guard is killed during the stealth part of a mission, his pager will start beeping after 3 seconds. If it is ignored for 7 seconds, the pager operator on the other side will raise the alarm. To prevent this, players must answer the pager by interacting with it for a period of time. It takes 10 seconds to complete the interaction. Any given pager will beep and require attention only once; once it it successfully answered, that particular pager will not be of further concern. The first two pagers answered per mission day will always be successful upon completion of the interaction, by any player. However, third and fourth pagers on a mission day can only be successfully answered by players with the basic Smooth Talker skill, prior to the update removing this skill and granting this ability to all players. Completing the pager interaction on any pager after the second (without Smooth Talker) will result in the operator raising the alarm. Completing the pager interaction on any pager after the fourth will always fail (even with Smooth Talker).
Multiple players can attempt to answer the same pager at the same time. The first player to actually complete the interaction will trigger the appropriate response (successful persuasion or raised alarm, as described earlier), ignoring the partially completed interaction from all other players.
Interrupting an ongoing pager interaction (e.g. starting to answer it, then releasing the interaction button halfway) will cause the operator to raise the alarm immediately, unless there is anyone else answering the same pager at the same time. This potentially allows two or more players to delay a pager response indefinitely by overlapping their interaction durations.
If alarm is raised, all pager activity ceases. Players will not be able to, nor will they need to, answer any more pagers. Likewise, any ongoing answering interactions will automatically be terminated.
Only security guards carry pagers. Law enforcement officers, including street cops, and gang members of all types do not.
The following missions may require pager interaction (note that most values are incorrect for the current build of Payday 2).
- Bank Heist Any variation can have 2-5 guards present, including guard in camera room.
- Big Oil Day 2 contains 5 patrolling guards.
- Diamond Store 3 or 4 guards, including guard in camera room.
- Firestarter Day 2 will have up to 11 respawning guards. Day 3 contains 4 guards, including guard in camera room.
- Four Stores 2 guards total.
- Framing Frame Day 1 will have a total of 6-7 guards, including one in camera room and one stationary. Day 3 will have 5 guards.
- GO Bank 4-6 guards will be present in addition to possible guard in the toilet, 2 potential GenSec guards at the start and 2 after a call.
- Jewelry Store 0-3 GenSec guards can be present.
- Mallcrasher 1-4 guards will be present, depending on difficulty. Cops outside do not have pagers.
- Train 4-7 guards will be present outside with train possibly containing more inside. Bulldozers do not carry pagers.
- Ukrainian Job 3-7 guards will be present, including camera guard.
- Shadow Raid 7-8 guards will be present, along with a large (varies) number of Murkywater PMCs who also possesses pagers.
The following missions do not require pager interaction.Edit
- Nightclub Only gang members are present.
- Rats Only gang members are present.
- Watchdogs Can't be stealthed.
Overall, basic Smooth Talker is a very important skill if one aims to feel comfortable and be useful during stealth. Theoretically it could be enough to have one member of the team with this skill learned. However, unforeseen complications are always possible (like another guard that needs to be dispatched quickly) and it may help to have more than one player to handle this. Having several players also has an added bonus of being able to work on killing guards independently, thus speeding up mission advancement. Situations such as this are also not uncommon: multiple pagers require attention at the same time, player(s) with this skill started answering a pager first, and a player without this skill is unable to help, since both interacting with and ignoring the pager will trigger the alarm in the end. All this considerations make it one of the most generally useful skills (if your play style involves stealth and killing at all). The cost of a mere one skill point also helps, although it requires prior investment into mastermind tree.
Aced Smooth Talker is another matter entirely. Its value is questionable. If a player needs to kill an enemy very quickly (a charging Cloaker, for example), he will most likely not have time to mark him. If there is time to spare, 15% damage bonus from this skill will at most save a few bullets for weak auto-fire weapons. It is also unclear whether or not this bonus applies if a player with this skill re-marks the enemy that was already marked by a player without it. It costs 3 skill points, requires investment in mastermind tree and a point into the skill that offers advantages for a completely different situations and play style. This skill is, perhaps, at its most when used against the Bulldozers and even then it does not offer that great of a bonus, which, again, depends heavily on the whether or not players with this skill can override other players' marking.