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Bikerdude

Fan Mission: Sir Talbot's Collateral by Baal & Bikerdude (15/04/2015)

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Nice mission. Not so small and very detailed. Reading was good - not too long, lots of clues, found some of them before I read it.

Got 0 stealth score... but it was on easy. Anyway it is very good mission.

 

Maybe you could rerecord intro, sound is a bit bad, but pictures are nice.

And very nice background of city.

 

Have to play it a little more since is am still missing more than 400 loot and have to finish that optional, think I know where to find statue...

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I'm bit in a hurry (partially because I oversplept having last night played through this).

With this mission I had more fun than with the whole Thief 4. I think that about says enough.

I really cannot find much at all that I did not like.

One of the best things for me was that I - again like long ago in Thief - felt so much like an actual master thief, I guess because I really had to sneak, observe, hear and learn, and

my tools of the trade were limited (or rather fitting here "optimised") for an actual thief, not a killer/KO-guy that jsut waltzes through getting rid of piles of guards.

Many missions seem to try this, but here it really fit together: The right amount of guards, realistic hiding spaces, being stealthy is rewarding; being forced to go full stealth in some missions

makes it seem like tedious work or at least a hassle, not so here - it was pure joy of gameplay and immersion.

The story binds it well together, motivating for a stealthy and "researching" approach by the "collateral" theme and the fun of getting some possible black mail material, without hurting

a future customer or his household/family.

Visually of course it was top notch. Very nice variation in environments: you really feel like being in a living city (by the well done town surroundings in the distance); then there is this nice garden, then the servants quarters,

mansion environment, sewers, cellars, secret and nicely dusty/cobwebbed attics/storage/house technical spaces, a secret lair, and the nice secret forbidden drugs-growing-greenhouse.

And everything sneak-friendly for the enterprising night-guest, without being too easy - without some thief skills one not gets far.

The size was "just right" - no danger of getting lost,yet diverse enough to have a lot of fun exploring. Always feeling in control by having maps from the start.

Mantling and vertical spaces were very sneak-friendly: Many a time I evaded guards by sitting in the dark in the rafters or on furniture. Again a nice feeling of control here.

I could ghost the mission on epxert difficulty , having a stealth score of only 9; more use of moss-arrows would have made me even more perfect here; I am just a "saver", knowing not what awaits further in the

mission; next time I try to go perfect by dispensing all moss arrows. I got 1500 or so loot, which I see as a success; in reality, you would get most, but not all, too.

Ghosting was especially enjoyable because I could imagine being successfully stealthy if this environment was real, I did not use super powers or had to risk getting detected (and therefore killed) in many

places - carefully observing, listening and being patient would carry me safely through this map without being trivially easy by just overly exploiting the light gem mechanic; i really HID and SNEAKED.

I liked the kind of newish aspect of proving your skills to a future employer, so you not just grab everything of value, but leave hints that shows you were there and could have easily stolen everything,

but didn't. Maybe because that was quite innovative and new, but anyway it felt at least a little more rewarding than just grabbing the valuables and then make oneself scarce.

While there were quite some keys, it was no lame keyhunt; most keys were clearly visibly paraded around like treats on belts, or hidden with clear hints in logical places.

I have no mapper's skilled eye, but about graphics, lighting etc. I can see this: I never thought "bah, that looks much like it is constructed in an editor" - I went through the mission without getting

painfully remembered that it is "just" a map with textures and lights etc. - which probably means visuals were damn good.

 

The only very minor annoyance was my inabilty to get that rope arrow - I could not grab it from the garden, not by walking on the window ledge; stacking grates would maybe have helped, but seemed to much work, because

they were far away and would have needed to be transported through guard patroling space, so no rope arrow for me. Maybe I'll get that bugger in my nest playthrough.

 

This was a full-blown, exceptional thief experience in the good old way. Many thanks for over two hours of great enjoyment.


"Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly while bad people will find a way around the laws." - Plato

"When outmatched... cheat."— Batman

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This was a full-blown, exceptional thief experience in the good old way. Many thanks for over two hours of great enjoyment.

Your welcome, glad you had fun playing it.

 

Fyi some things are climable, like vines for example. And regarding a certain player tool/weapon, there is more than one of those to be found in the mission. But like the rest of the mission, this should be consider a minor/medium challenge... :ph34r:

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@Obsttorte

Thanks for taking the time to write all that. I'm going to reply later when I have more time.

 

But I get the impression that it could be a language problem. Did you read everything carefully? Everything is hinted at in the readables.

 

 

When I found the evidence I read it only roughly, getting it was about mandrasola. I interpreted the text as an "extra" to provide some story and never thought that it could contain clues. Although not reading it carefully is definetely my fault, this only shifts the aforementioned bottleneck from the map layout to the readable.

 

And if Talbot is complaining about his guard having to climb up there, why isn't he simple buying a ladder? There is more then enough gold to efford it, or there was, before I was there ;)

 

However. I don't want you to get me wrong. My criticism is subjective from my personal point of view. I have a certain way of playing games and have therefore certain demands on a game, like everyone else here. And as far as I can see, you were able to create a mission that suits the demands of most of the players guessing from the comments and the voting result thus far. So you've obviously done a good job. :)

 

On the other side I think it is reasonable to state what or why I did not experienced this mission as good as others. The main reason is that I simple play games differently then many others. Whether you want to make future mission to appeal to people like me is completely up to you, though.

 

To quote the Gamestar headline on their Thief 4 review: "Everybodies darling is nobodies friend". It is impossible to create missions that appeal to everyone, and doing so will most definetely result in failure. But maybe some of my criticism will be helpful for you in the future.

 

I may also add that I've said some good things about your mission, and I've never said it is bad. But nice words don't really help you improve yourself me thinks ;)

 

 

That's just my opinion, don't take it too harsh. And if it sounds so, that is definetely a language problem :D


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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Simply a joy to play. Many thanks for all the time and effort that you put into this gentlemen.


"I believe that what doesn't kill you simply makes you... stranger"

 

The Joker

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That was excellent! good job authors.

 

Here's some hopefully constructive criticism:

 

 

The visuals, characters and story were near perfect in my opinion. I was completely immersed in that place.

The gameplay of the level seem targeted at me. I love purely stealth missions and the objectives are made for me to gloat about how good I am to the client, which is asbsolutely awesome.

 

My problem with it is that it requires too much backtracking, and, if you happen to not figure something out, there's even more backtracking for you. It has been said many times but stealth is mostly puzzle in guise, so each time I have to avoid the same guard/section again becomes more of a chore. A couple of times is understandable and even desirable for a number of reasons, but during my fourth sneaking through one specific guard I'm completely reckless, making more noise than usual, and it kind of nullifies all the effort I put in the first time. It's almost as if the mapper is trying to think of ways to make me visit every room in the level, but avoiding certain crowded rooms is in the same spirit as finding alternate entrances. It's good, it gives me satisfaction, it makes me feel clever. If I discover that I have to go through the main hall anyway what's the point of that window to the cellar? I was happy when I found it, but got disappointed when I realized I would have to go through the main door anyway. That's the kind of thinking that goes through my mind during the playthrough.

 

Also, a bug report: One of the boxes next to the captain's chest fell through the floor. I noticed the guards were all on full alert but I had no idea what I did wrong, until I found the box lying on the hallway leading to the main bedroom.

 

 

 

So thanks for the mission :) I had a blast. Don't worry about the wall of text above, I only do that when I really like something.

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Thanks again to everyone giving criticism, positive or negative. We can take it.

 

@Obsttorte

Always complaining, that's typisch deutsch. :) But don't worry, we don't mind. I agree with some of your points. I am not entirely happy with the readables myself and the evidence pieces are indeed somewhat randomly (from the players point of view) placed. The mission requires the player to be observant, and not just for the side objectives. That's an important part of the gameplay that most people, not everybody, seem to like.

 

I don't agree to or understand your problems with the lighting. That's an aspect into which I put a lot of thought and effort. The harsh transitions between light and dark are fully intentional. I tried to make hiding spots clearly disinguishable and believable. You should always be able to judge visibility by the surrounding walls and floor. I thought we achieved this readability of the environment well enough.

 

@Diego

I like backtracking. But you are right in that an area can get tedious if you have to repeat it too often. But the map is pretty open and you have more than one way of proceeding most of the time.

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I like backtracking. But you are right in that an area can get tedious if you have to repeat it too often. But the map is pretty open and you have more than one way of proceeding most of the time.

And I bet most of the players who have played so far havent found 'all' the nooks and cranies we built into this mission...

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Thank you for this excellent mission.

 

After I've entered the building through the cellar window, there was a barrel with a candle on it in the hallway outside. The barrel threw a shadow in which I thought I could hide but I couldn't, as the candle illuminated the ceiling, so my lightgem shined brightly although in full shadow, and I got detected.

 

 

 

Simple Thief style: I grabbed the key from the guard and entered the builduing through the door when he was out of sight. :ph34r:

 

I'm still wondering which ...

 

... secret or door is opened by the book in the library.

 

Edited by id3839315

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Thank you for this excellent mission.

 

Simple Thief style: I grabbed the key from the guard and entered the builduing through the door when he was out of sight. :ph34r:

 

I'm still wondering which ...

 

... secret or door is opened by the book in the library.

 

 

its obvious when you turn on generator

 

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Thanks for this mission.

Loaded it, because I somehow thought it was a small city mission (That screenshot on the main page was a bit misleading with all those houses visible), but besides that I wasn't disappointed at all.

 

The visuals are great, and every room forms a single small scene, thats great to watch and take in and explore.

 

Its also a nice change of pace, with a more realistic number of guards and inhabitants (Before that I played a mission that felt way too overcrowded), that make it challenging, but not trial and error hard to sneak around.

 

Nice objectives, different ways to plan your way around, i am quite pleased.

 

Some issues:

 

 

High Alert

At one point in the mission, all the guards went on high alert. I have no idea why, and exactly when it happened. i was sneaking around crawlways a lot, and suddenly I found a guard with a weapon drawn. I found more of them. All of them, and Talbot were talking about that rogue that got away, that no one will get by them again, and more.

I thought they had probably seen me when making light in one of the crawlways, but why would then everyone from top to cellar be on high alert? And I had heard nothing...

I got a bit careless from that point on, which maybe resulted in my Stealth score, but since it showed a wonder full "1" I am very satisfied with that. But that "1" also showed me, that I was not directly responsible for the high alert.

If it has been triggered by turning on the electricity, some hint at it would be nice, as the standard dialog made me think they had seen and chased me without me noticing. If it was something else, a fix would be good (I saw someone else writing this)

 

Lightning

Some areas were not as dark as they seemed, especially up in the rafters I noticed that. Moving from one to another similar area suddenly lighted me up very clearly.

 

The book

The book trigger in Talbots room made me look around much, listening, look around, throwing all out the window, and running around the room, blinding the guard with a flashbomb, more running, loading, repeating. A few times.

Of course after the generator was on and I rode the elevator up to this point I could find out what it was about, but before it did nothing at all.

If there was a readable noting this, I must have missed it (or not attributed there), it would be nice if that door would open anyway. Maybe block the way with another fence that will only open when electricity is on, so it is more or less the same, but not frustrating when you find the book first.

 

Performance / Gameplay helpful

Some areas were a bit weak on performance on my side, it was mostly the gardens and the greenhouse.

Both had a slightly open window inside, but a quick look around with r_portals showed that it can't be really the problem.

Sadly enough, both areas were beautiful, but I found not really anything adding to gameplay there (not really much loot, besides on the table on the roof).

Could be nice to add something in the garden / greenhouse.

 

Questionable reality

Not hard to ignore, but many items in some of the crawlways were a bit large, especially since the entrances were not easily reached.

One in particular (the one with the entrance in the servants room) was either cut off (servants room), hard to move anything through (connection room to the sleeping room with the ladder), or both (Guard Captains room, were it was quite high up). Despite that, it was full with crates, barrels (I think) and more.

 

 

 

Overall a very satisfying experience

Edited by DeusXIncognita

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Good to hear. Thank you.

 

On a different note, who ever voted for tolerable on gameplay needs their head examined...

Hey, I just wrote that we can take criticism. ;) But I'd like to hear what it was, that he/she didn't enjoy, too. Don't be shy.

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Hey, I just wrote that we can take criticism. ;) But I'd like to hear what it was, that he/she didn't enjoy, too. Don't be shy.

Im not being harsh, just more matter of fact. Ive seen T1/2/3 mission's with noticably worse gameplay that got a min of good. The gameplay in our mission is pure/classic thief, the best kind :-)

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Congrats to you both. I've spend a great time with your mission. I'm not gifted for criticism insofar as I frankly enjoy all the missions that I always receive as a gift.

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But figuratively he is true ;)


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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I just finished man you guys made a GEM loved the story, visuals, and gameplay!!

 

Had a couple of items that I picked up thinking they were loot and dropped them they then went through the shelf ?

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Where is the key to the chest in the "attic" above the library? I tried all the keys I had and the lock-picks, but could not open it.

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Had a couple of items that I picked up thinking they were loot and dropped them they then went through the shelf ?

I'm not sure what's the best way to fix that. Maybe the moveables in question are too close to the surface they clip through when you frob them and the physics become active.

 

Where is the key to the chest in the "attic" above the library? I tried all the keys I had and the lock-picks, but could not open it.

Slight hint:

 

It's part of a secrete objective. There is a readable somewhere that gives some hints on that.

 

More:

 

The readable is somewhere in the captains quarters.

 

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