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Lootable paintings

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I've been trying to improve my ability to spot lootable objects, but I always get screwed over with paintings. Sometimes I'll have finished a mission and found that I've missed a lot of loot despite thinking I was being careful and thorough, so I'd go back to my last save, type tdm_show_loot and often it appears as though I've missed several paintings. The problem though is that although I know paintings are lootable, there seems to be no particular consistency as to which paintings are loot and which are just general artwork. Some missions make virtually every painting lootable (e.g. Sneak & Destroy), but some others have what appear to be lootable paintings chosen at random out of many which are not (e.g. Lords & Legacy).

 

I get that the ideas is that you're suppose to check each painting to see if it's lootable, but given how laborious and tedious it is to search particularly since the paintings in most missions will be just artwork, it tends to be the most time-effective to skip checking unless it's blatantly obvious that a painting is lootable. So what's the best solution? I know lootable goblets and plates tend to look shinier and with more gold than regular ones so that's how you know what to go for, but paintings don't really pop out in such a way. Should lootable paintings be rendered with a subtle highlight of some sort (border perhaps) to make them a bit easier to notice? Or do you just develop a sixth-sense about this worth of thing?

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When I played Thief: Deadly Shadows on expert difficulty for the first time, I struggled for a little while on the Widow Moira mansion mission because of that exact situation that you mentioned, so such frustration is understandable. Unfortunately, I'm willing to bet that since every author has their own style and there's no real "standard" way to construct a TDM mission, it's just something that the player will have to deal with. If you're going for all the loot, you'll just have to check all the paintings, unless every single TDM author agrees to do it one way, which I doubt will happen.

Edited by Morat

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Oh, how I wish all paintings were lootable by default with a very low loot value (1?) and mappers

would simply increase that if needed. Nothing should stop you from grabbing a painting even if it

has no value.

 

That said, you're right about the arbitrary nature of loot paintings but that's also sorta their appeal. Little

surprise bonus loot that you would normally walk past.


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The problem with loot paintings is not just the fact that you can't tell them apart, but also they have a ridiculously high value. A golden cup is what, 25 gold? The larger paintings are over 400. So missing them can have a big impact.

 

Unfortunately, the loot painting entities were added without much discussion or forethought.

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Yep, I belong to the camp, who thinks paintings should not be lootable. They would make a good primary objective (steal the rare painting), but looting all paintings feels silly.

 

I'm not sure how to fix this. There will be always inconsistencies with TDM missions: some FMAs make metal pipes and ivies climbable, unusable doors with or without handles, and this painting thing. One of the great things in TDM is the mappers ability to do what they want. The price we pay for it is the inconsistency between missions.

 

At least the missions usually have internal consistency, so it is up to the player to find out what is the norm in this particular mission. It would be good to have some kind of 'document of recommendations' which describes the TDM standard conventions... but there is no guarantee whether mappers follow it or not.

 

These things divide people strongly: I remember the discussion on door handles, or expanding the mapper's ability to limit savegames. Like in a typical value discussion, both sides strongly oppose the other, and there is not much room for compromises.

 

Over the years I've learned that there are many ways to make (and play!) TDM missions, and all the ways are correct.

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Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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How about giving them a gilden frame or something similar to the shiny look of lootable goblets?

Edited by wesp5
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One solution would be to have all paintings frobable and non-valuable paintings return an "uh uh"-sound or turn into a junk object. If the paintings were added as entities, it should even be possible to ensure backwards compatibility for existing missions.

 

Also, it should be hinted in the mission discription, if valuable paintings are present. The optimal solution would be to actually describe those valuable paintings in the text.

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I like the idea of brown frames for non-loot paintings and gold frames for loot paintings.

 

Making a change like that would help players and not bother existing missions.

 

The frames that are left behind would need to remain gold, though, for consistency. But would a golden frame be confusing, because it might be construed in and of itself as having lootable value?

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The frames that are left behind would need to remain gold, though, for consistency. But would a golden frame be confusing, because it might be construed in and of itself as having lootable value?

I like that idea too. I don't think it'd be confusing because players would immediately get used to the convention, and anyway all the gold frames you see in museums and stately homes are painted gold, not made of gold, so there's no contradiction. The first time you try to frob a gold frame and get the painting, you'll know what's going on.

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How about giving them a gilden frame or something similar to the shiny look of lootable goblets?

That is good idea.

But even silver goblets that look like worthless are loot in some missions and not all gold are loot... So still not everybody will use this i think.

 

But article on wiki about lootable paintings could be helpful.

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There was even one mission - but can't remember the name - where I complained about the lootable bottles not being gold coloured and the reply was - That was intentional to make you think (I have paraphrased the reply but you get the meaning)

 

Actually one of my pet hates is frobbing a goblet among several and it isn't loot so clatters into the other ones next to it

Edited by Oldjim

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I honestly just like checking everything. I've always maintained that stealth is, ironically enough, a secondary gameplay direction in the Thief series, and TDM by extension. I think the primary direction is exploration, in that you walk into a place blind and have to go around checking everything while remaining undetected. The largest part of the game for me is making a mental map in my head and figuring out where I haven't been, what I haven't checked, and so on. The stealth is obviously still pivotal, but the exploration is just a constant thing, and all the trepidation I ever feel when trying to remain undetected is that it'd make it a pain to move further into the mission if I set off an alert. If I can look into a room and see everything immediately, that's spoiled for me. I wanna go rubbing my face along all the paintings and ham-fisting the contents of cabinets to see what's in them, all the while nervously glancing at the door. The exploration itself is the core of the game for me, and it's the stealth that backs it up, so as far as I'm concerned, the easier it is to tell loot apart from junk, the less fun I have.

 

That's a good point.

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The problem with any solutions at this point is that they wouldn't apply retroactively. We can't make every painting frobbable because most missions have already used non-frobbable paintings. Changing the frames to gold is possible but would require a lot of adjustments to textures and could potentially mess up custom entities or skins.

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Painting Checking is something I despise a bit. Sometimes it is nicely doable, sometimes its so out of touch that I just stand up, run over to the paintings. or jmup up to them 5 times, for all of them, check which are lootable, and then reload again.

I like finding ones that are lootable, and some that are not, but what I am missing is a measure.

In reality, paintings get worth if they are the right one, and the price would depend on if they are a copy or original, or how damaged they are, ... In TDM we have no way of knowing that, and when there are many paintings, we can only try and error them. Especially because we have limited amounts of different paintings of course.

 

One with a portrait of a man can be worth something, a lot, or not lootable, depending on the mapper.

 

What I am missing in this context is additional information to the maps, that is also readable after download (I don't like it that the mission preview area of the downloader isn't there when the mission is installed, there is often good information about the mission that I can't find to read again after installing the mission.)

That additional information could point out standard of the mission that the player should know about.

Like:

- In this mission pipes are climbable (How often have I missed that, because the so often are not)

- In this mission Paintings with gold frames are lootable, others are not

- In this mission doors without handles are not openable

- In this mission windows that can be opened have shutters

- ...

 

That would allow the mapper to design how he wants, and an area where specialties of the maps can be pointed out, so they can be used and are not overlooked by the player.

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Changing the frames to gold is possible but would require a lot of adjustments to textures and could potentially mess up custom entities or skins.

Hm, but how many paintings are there in TDM? Maybe it's worth the effort in the end...

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It's not a matter of effort. It's about breaking existing maps.

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At least for the future missions it can be done... gold frame is a good idea - before reading that I was thinking lootable paintings would :

Have very fancy / ornate frames ( gold is easiest way to go,) vs plain old square ones for non-lootalbes

Be locked behind glass, bars, or so out of the way to easily reach....

 

but then again, I see Airship's point...

 

& I really don't mind checking the paintings...

Edited by Mr M

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I agree, that checking everything is an important part of the gameplay, but what is the looking glass for? I use it frequently to check if guards have anything pickpocketable or e.g. if there's anything valuable on a table. However, in the case of paintings, you cannot detect through usage of the looking glass, if it is worth anything. Now I know everyone hates loot glint, but what if it only became active upon longer inspection of an item through the looking glass? It would solve all our problems regarding loot identification. The same principle could actually also be applied to that old non-openable doors discussion and openable windows even. Even better yet, we could have some audio feedback instead of visual feedback, like a whispered "shiny" or "wonder if I can get in there?".

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It seems that the idea of a special frame for lootable pictures is reasonably popular, although I understand and respect the issue of not wanting to break existing missions. Not to mention Airship Ballet's points are also quite valid.

 

Maybe have an additional setting in the Difficulty page of the TDM options menu, one which enables or disables Painting Frames (the default setting being works best in testing). That way people can have it enabled if it helps make lootable paintings slightly easier to spot at the risk of (very rarely) breaking a mission or two (which then can be disabled as desired), or have it disabled entirely for those who don't want the additional help.

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Since we already have the regular framed loot-able paintings, why not just add the gold frames. The mission authors could decide whether to use the gold frames or not. They could also use both in the same mission. They can make the gold-framed models present in the low and mid skill levels and use the regular frame in high skill level. Or mission notes could also be used.


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It might be possible to adjust existing loot entities. I could make a new model for loot paintings that changes only the frame, and have existing loot entities point to that instead. It would change any map that uses the default entities. It would have no effect on maps using custom loot paintings. The question is whether that has the potential to mess things up. Could there be unusual uses of default loot paintings that require the frame it already has?

 

One obvious example would be paintings that are leaning on the floor. The new frame would have to be exactly the same dimensions or it would wind up clipping.

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Wow

 

Very good conversation here. Bit late but I think it's a reasonable idea to have a new set of frames just for looting which would be easier to implement in new missions without breaking older ones?

I also liked stifu's idea of a glint or sound (imagine hearing the player say :ah some extra coin for the rent or simply :ah something extra) upon longer inspection through the looking glass (not that I use it much) but this would be a huge undertaking I would think.


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Actually, I don't like the idea for the looking glass. One thing I enjoyed in TDM was the fact, that you do not have a "loot vision", that is present in most modern games (Thief4, Dishonored, Styx). I know, the standard argument is: "If you don't want to use it, don't use it." But the fear of missing something always makes me use this "loot vision" more frequently than is good for good immersion.

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But in the case of a looking glass, it absolutely makes sense to me. You use the looking glass to inspect things a little closer and can make out a lot more about the object. However, since it is a game instead of RL, what you believe to see through the looking glass is not neccessarily what you get. So I see no harm in communicating to the player, what he is supposed to see and what not, either visually or audible. In an ideal case, that feedback would also be delayed by two seconds or something, so that it really only comes on closer inspection of an object and so that this feature doesn't get overused.

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