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I was reading Destructoid's interview with the developers of Payday: The Heist where they go through the arsenal of weapons. One of the devs had this to say regarding the trip mine weapon:

Insider hint: Put a trip mine on the ground, switch off the laser beam (yeah you can switch it on and off as you please) and then when some enemy who can take a LOT of damage (cough Bulldozer cough) stands near it, shoot at the trip mine (preferably with a weapon that has some spread, so that you know you'll hit it) and BAM! That sucker is GONE!

This seemed to imply to me that if you turn off the laser beam, the AI may be less likely to notice and/or react to the trip mine. Is this actually the case? Or does turning off the laser sight just make it so the trip mine must be manually detonated, allowing you to be more precise about its explosion?

I don't have trip mines yet, so I cannot test this myself.

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The AI isn't particularly clever regarding trip mines anyway. With or without the detection beam, enemies will run through it. But the advice given in the interview works pretty well: put trip mines on the floor, turn off the detection beams and simply wait to have several enemis around it before you shoot it. There are even challenges/achievements for this ("Three guys went on a trip", etc).

However, some players think that trip mines can modify the path that police take to get to you:

It appears that the trip mine might be able to somewhat control the path that police take to reach you, as they can at times prefer to take alternate routes rather than detonating the mine. Though they will at some point push through the mine regardless.

Source: http://payday.wikia.com/wiki/Trip_Mine

But I sincerely doubt it. Maybe it only works in some simple or obvious cases. What I know: if you plant mines everywhere in Panic Room stairwells, police will use it anyway and trigger the mines...

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Actually now that you mention it, I do recall being in games with teammates who use trip mines in the First World Bank mission. If you mine one of the two hallways to the vault area, the AI tends to funnel into the other one, making them easier to pick off. –  FAE Dec 12 '11 at 15:33
    
Last time I tried it (the exact situation you describe), the cops didn't make any difference between the two possible pathes. But that was before the last update (Xmas update) which is supposed to fix (or at least improve) that kind of stupid AI behavior. I'll try it again one of these days; thanks for the advice ! –  Anto Dec 12 '11 at 15:51
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I haven't found any instances where the AI reacts in any useful way to the laser beam.

Turning off the laser simply means that the trip mine won't detonate when a normal enemy walks past it, so that you can save the detonation for when it will do the most good.

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