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Fan Mission Reviews, walkthroughs

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Yes, I think making greater use of the difficulty system would help there (fewer lights and AI on Easy, for example).

 

It's a hard line to walk though, because TDM mappers tend to be quite experienced and are looking for feedback from this community, which will complain that a mission is too easy if it's made for newbs.

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A good review overall. A few points I'd take them to task over, but nothing too pertinent. I have to agree, I found St Lucia very hard for an intro too. I was a fan of mainstream stealth games but not an experienced taffer when I discovered TDM 15 months ago, and although I managed to get through St Lucia, it was only by quicksave "cheating" near the end, i.e. I didn't feel rewarded for my skill because I knew it was down to blind luck and a quicksave button. I found the alternative route in so the tough bit that sticks in my mind was the church nave. I remember being seen dozens of times trying to get past the windows. That said, it got me hooked! The next mission I played was Requiem which ramps up the difficulty very smoothly and after those two in succession my free time was and is blocked out for the next several years :)

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General difficulty is a function of the kind of mappers we attract maybe. If more people like Kfort started mapping for TDM, we might get some more puffball FMs. Nothing is stopping it. I'm happy with the variety we have anyway. And I think our FMs hit our target demographic just right.


What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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It may be worthwhile to extend Fidcal's A-Z Tutorial a bit. Most FM's do not make much use of the difficulty system, except for different objectives. The reason may be that many mappers may not be aware of the possibilities they have in altering the gameplay difficulty dependend. This starts by not spawning entities under certain difficulty levels (diff_nospawn, easy as this) and ends up by altering the properties of all entities of a certain class without having to do it manually on each one by using the difficulty editor.

 

Decrease the light_radius of lights or the acuity of ai, change the lightgem offset or the noise threshhold for ai hearing. Make doors pickable under lower difficulties which you need a key for elsewhile or open up alternative routes that doesn't exist on higher levels and so one. There are more then enough possibilities here.

 

On the other side mappers should use the same system to create a challenging experience for advanced players. While most FM's may be too difficult for newcomers they are far to easy for advanced players.

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FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

WIP's: Several. Although after playing Thief 4 I really wanna make a city mission.

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

Texture Blending in DR: DR ASE Blend Exporter

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Maybe it's better to write a wiki article and link it in Fidcals AZ tut in the end instead of extending it?

 

Really nice examples you gave there - I really didn't know that all that is possible! We should use this more often. I liked it, how in the Thief Maps they changed the amount of guards patroling. :)


"Einen giftigen Trank aus Kräutern und Wurzeln für die närrischen Städter wollen wir brauen." - Text aus einem verlassenen Heidenlager

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At one point I was planning on making default difficulty options, so mappers could cut and paste them. That might be a nice idea for a wiki if someone has time (I don't right now).

 

Beyond the things you mention it's quite easy to give ai lights, change how effectively they notice suspicious doors or lights, change whether they wear helmets or not, change whether lights are flame or electric, etc.

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This is from the wiki

 


The difficulty editor allows to specifically edit all spawnargs of all entities for certain difficulty levels, both setting absolute values, deleting values and changing them relative to their default value.

Examples: - Setting "is_mantleabe" spawnarg to "0" on the fence entity on Hard difficulty and above. - Increasing visual AI acuity by 60% on highest difficulty. - Decreasing player health to "30" on Hard. - Decreasing the amount of arrows the player gets in the armory, by setting the "inv_ammo_count" spawnarg. - Changing an entity's "name" on easy difficulty. - etc.

Almost everything in D3 is handled by spawnargs, and the difficulty editor allows for precise control over every single spawnarg available. The settings are applied before each entity is spawned, imo it's an extremely powerful tool. The only thing it doesn't affect is entityDefs which are not actually spawned, like vocal sets.

I sometimes wonder if people even read it beyond the A-Z tut. :unsure:


FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

WIP's: Several. Although after playing Thief 4 I really wanna make a city mission.

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

Texture Blending in DR: DR ASE Blend Exporter

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Too much stuff going on... Thats probably why people dont micro-manage all the variables like that. And to be fair, I assume a lot, if not most mappers are focused on a strong and driven storyline setup in their maps, and will focus energy on learning and implementing the mechanics to make that vision come together, and that means more time obssessively polishing the map to perfection, and less time for last minute managerial stuff like difficulties.

 

Look, Im sure it can play a huge part in some peoples enjoyment, to have a toned down version of a map to play, but I also see how maps are simply thought out as a single playing experience. To use an example of yours, not that you meant the contrary, but when you find a locked door in a map, it means the author specifically wants the player to look for a key for it, thats part of the story. The same for a guard he wants you to best, etc. A lot of stuff doesnt allow for a lot of toning down unless they loose their place in the story. Of course that doesnt mean you cant really go through a map and set it for varied difficulties without loosing anything in the feel of it (doing it manually when needed), Im just elaborating on why a lot of people dont actually implement them in a very discernible way.

 

But this is not really the thread to talk about this.

Edited by RPGista

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Looks good! The site itself is pretty well-designed and, following the guide to Quinn Co at least, is comprehensive. I think that grammar and formatting of the information is lacking, but the information itself is great.

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wow cavador, that must have been a lot of work to write up, impressive! One quick note on your Requiem write up - you don't need to douse the flaming crowns before picking them up, just frobbing them even when lit will do the job.


But you should walk having internal dignity. Be a wonderful person who can dance pleasantly to the rhythm of the universe.

-Sun Myung Moon

 

My work blog: gfleisher.blogspot.com

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I think that grammar and formatting of the information is lacking

Yeah, I'm not too concerned with using excellent grammar and correct punctuation. Just as long as the information is understandable is all I set out to do. I write in fragments a lot. Just as long as the info is good is all I care about. They are not meant to be grammatically correct.

 

 

you don't need to douse the flaming crowns before picking them up, just frobbing them even when lit will do the job.

Cool, didn't realize that. I'll get that updated real quick. Thanks for the info. I thought it might hurt grabbing a fire lit crown so I just shot them with water arrows first. Garrett must have some fire proof gloves?

 

If anyone wants to let me know if there are any other changes that need to be made to any of the walkthroughs, I don't mind at all. It only takes a few seconds to change the information. In fact, that's a good idea. I just added a contact email to the website in case a FM author wants me to change something. You can contact me on the forum here or by email. I don't mind.

Edited by cavador_8

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The start of Patently Dangerous is different. The way you got into Soren's was the unintended way.

 

After you climb the fence, go left. You can lockpick and enter the house on your left, which has a readable that tells you that you can enter Benson's window. Exit, turn left, go through the tunnel. When you exit the tunnel, climb the grey brick wall in front of you. You can open the 2nd floor window of the grey building from there. Jump into the window. Go downstairs. Get Benson's key and unlock the front door. You'll see Harlan tied up with two guards. Sneak up and get Harlan's key from his belt. New Optional Objective, save Harlan and return him to his bed. KO Harlan, and carry him out. You can deal with the guards or sneak Harlan past them if you want a challenge. After exiting Benson's house, turn left, walk past the warehouse door, down the street beside the warehouse (either side, they go the same way), finally to Harlan's house on the east side of the map. It has a note slipped in the door. Unlock Harlan's door, and drop Harlan off in his bed on the 2nd floor. Go up to the attic where you find 2 rope arrows, and you can open the window to get on the roof. Go through the window, turn right, go to end of the roof. Drop down to the little overhang. Now open the window of Soren's house across from you and jump inside.

 

Then the walkthrough continues from inside Soren's house as you have it. That's the intended route.

 

Thanks for doing this btw. It's a great resource.


What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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Cool, didn't realize that. I'll get that updated real quick. Thanks for the info. I thought it might hurt grabbing a fire lit crown so I just shot them with water arrows first. Garrett must have some fire proof gloves?

 

Well, the player model does have gloves, but I'd chalk it up to magical fire instead :-).

Edited by Moonbo

But you should walk having internal dignity. Be a wonderful person who can dance pleasantly to the rhythm of the universe.

-Sun Myung Moon

 

My work blog: gfleisher.blogspot.com

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get Harlan's key from his belt. New Optional Objective, save Harlan and return him to his bed.

You have to keep in mind that I am playing on Normal (easy) difficulty. There was no optional objective for me after taking that key. I have updated the walkthrough to reflect the method that you suggested. I guess it makes more sense that way even though that objective didn't pop up when playing on Normal (easy).

 

I play Thief 2 and the Darkmod solely to immerse myself into another world. I'm in it for the experience. I don't play on the hardest difficulty because I don't like searching for hours just to find loot and I don't like forced ghosting either. As long as the objectives take me to cover the map then I'm happy. I will solve optional objectives though if one pops up on normal (easy) difficulty. But, if it doesn't pop up then I'm ok with solving a few objectives and completing the mission.

 

thanks

Edited by cavador_8
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I know just how you feel about stealth and your right it is all about immersion, So if I may can you not be enticed to at least download Dark radiant and try to pen together a story of crime and corruption or theft and deceit to bring that same experience to others like me who crave the knowledge and interpretation of others to sustain my meager existence?

 

You Sir should map and story tell.


Laptop:Metabox P370SM3- Intel Core i7-4800MQ- 2x GTX780M SLI- 16G 1600Mhz- 500G Samsung mSata-1TB Hitachi HDD- 120Hz LG 1080p.Desktops:i75930k-2x GTX980 SLI-16G 2133Mhz-Evo120GSSD-Swift PG278Q1440p Gsync.Spare:AMD A10-7850K-APU-8G 1866Mhz-seagate 4TB-120G ssd. LoL Old:P75-1:1FSB-8M ram 512MB Maxtor HDD-1MB Cirrus Logic video chip-still got the parts somewhere?First PC-Tandy 512K Color computer.

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Tr00pertj, are you asking me to create a fan mission? I messed around with the dark engine for Thief 2 before but never got very far. I am flat out amazed at what these creators can accomplish both with Thief 2 and the Darkmod. I have a great deal of respect for the talent that these guys have. I don't think I could ever create anything like these guys can.

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TAQUITO'S REVIEW: VOLTA AND THE STONE!

 

 

 




ARCHITECTURE: 10/10

The balconies, the Halls, The Streets with the canals, The atrium, the library. This is perfection! Loved the scale of the buildings which were big enough yet never felt gargantuan or exaggeratedly gigantic. Excellent scale! Oh the geometry of the map with the angular hallways, a delight! There are so many things to discover, so many places to climb, so many routes and paths to take and nothing felt out of place, everything perfectly balanced between the big and small spaces. The whole map had a sense of reality in scale. One great detail to mention is the whole map had areas which perfectly highlighted the Tower which was pretty much the center of attention in the layout of the map.






ART DIRECTION & MUSIC: 10/10

From the very beginning of the mission, you feel like you're about to experience something special. The intro video artistically design with a specific palette of colors, the reverse twisted music which surprisingly feels quite fitting to the aesthetic of TDM. The little plaques describing each room was a really nice touch. The fog effects were nicely placed giving great atmosphere in certain areas. The music is also perfectly presented adding to the feeling of tension in the right areas. The object placement was great as well with rooms perfectly decorated with the right amounts of objects.




GAMEPLAY & STORY: 10/10


Another perfect ten here. The AI was perfectly placed, with great pace. There were instances where I had to stop and think my approach. The Mission is filled with so many great little details like the auto save, the interactive cues by the player's character. The textual cues in the center of the screen during certain events which I think could be a great addition when objectives are completed. The challenges were perfectly balanced and the story was interesting, engaging and fitted quite well with the setting. I personally liked the cruelty presented in some texts and how well it set the whole feel of the story. The game play elements were well executed with nice challenges that never felt out of place. All in all a well balanced game play.






LIGHTING: 10/10


Another perfect score in the lighting department. ALTHOUGH, I think the beta version of this mission the one with the entire concept by Kingsal was slightly superior to the one now. I felt the lighting was dumbed down for no particular reason and it lost a bit of atmosphere here and there. I still don't get why people want dark areas to be visible in the game, this is the DARK Mod. For the Grace of God there is a brightness option in the menu! Is way easier to brighten the map with the menu option than trying to get the game to look naturally dark. The beta version felt pretty much like playing a T2 Mission with better graphics. I do think the original textures also had to do with this. Either way the lighting still great with good balance between darkness and light and Oh, the highlighting was amazing!




FINAL THOUGHTS:

All in all a Great Mission that could be considered The best so far. I had so many feels with this one, from feeling nostalgic with T2 memories, to feeling Paranoid hearing things and getting scared in the dark isolated rooms when I cleared most of the map from the AI. If there's a Mission that should be packaged with the new version of Dark Mod I think this would be a great candidate and I wholeheartedly recommend this mission to everyone. Excellence across the board! Hope to see much more from Kingsal. You are a great addition to the line up of already great Creators here. Congrats!

 

Edited by Taquito

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Don't forget the closing tag on the spoiler, Taquito.

 

 

 

See

 

 

 

 

I know. I've already tried like 10 times in the other thread but for some reason doesn't seem to work. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. I already knew how to do the spoiler thing. Maybe a mod can help? I also tried to hide it in sections but it didn't work either.

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I think spoilers are excessive in a Review Thread. Players should know that details will be revealed here.
Still, another option to add spoilers to click the "Special BBCode" (3rd icon from the upper left corner)

then select "Spoiler" from the dropdown list then enter your text in the entry box and submit. Admittedly not as nice as using tags.


Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

http://www.indiedb.com/mods/the-dark-mod

 

(Yeah, shameless promotion... but traffic is traffic folks...)

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