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kingsal

Fan Mission: Volta II - Cauldron of the Gods by Kingsal (11/30/17) UPDATE: v2.0

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It might be so. If you don't hear enhanced audio, like in the video below, then it doesn't work.

 

 

It will work in 2.06, regardless of your audio solution. Note that not many missions have EFX set up. You can open PK4 packages with programs like 7-Zip, if you see a folder named "efxs", then it supports enhanced audio.

It seems to be working fine because, when playing your video, the sound is awesome, with reverb,echo, and ambient sounds crisp and fully textured. So I'm sure I'm getting the best audio I can. Thank you for your time.

 

I "may" try 2.06 sooner than later anyway, as the problem of not being able to pick up some loot items makes gameplay frustrating, and I'm assuming the fix for that will be incorporated into 2.06

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Oopps, I should have realized that.

 

I've played Volta 1 & 2 and the audio from both of them I thought was excellent. I went back to verify and it seems to me to be comparable to your video attachment. So I'm at the same conclusion. If I'm wrong and sound quality can be improved, it doesn't really matter, as the upgrade to 2.06 will solve that itself. And once installed, I intend to replay these missions so i can complete the loot tally. Hopefully my saves will still work as a reference, but I'm not counting on it :)

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Oopps, I should have realized that.

 

I've played Volta 1 & 2 and the audio from both of them I thought was excellent. I went back to verify and it seems to me to be comparable to your video attachment. So I'm at the same conclusion. If I'm wrong and sound quality can be improved, it doesn't really matter, as the upgrade to 2.06 will solve that itself. And once installed, I intend to replay these missions so i can complete the loot tally. Hopefully my saves will still work as a reference, but I'm not counting on it :)

 

Unfortunately, I don't think your saves will work in 2.06. Once the packages change, there isn't really an easy way to load older saves.

 

FYI- In Volta II the reverb isn't immediately noticeable until you enter the sewers. At which point you'll get a hollow metal-ish reverb (as best as I can describe it).

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I went into the sewers to check and believe I experienced the reverb you speak of. Mostly the sloshing around in the water. I don't think its necessary to install any special EAX software.

 

As regards to the saves....oh well. They are mostly Secret Locations and I like to have a reference in case I forget where one is on a future playthrough. If I lose my saves, then I'll just have to rediscover them.

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Mission finished yesterday :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

 

What to say: I have no words. Kingsal, You really are an ARTIST!

This mission has the best Thief classic touch on TDM, I liked a lot exploring the world and the atmosphere created. Outstanding vision on gameplay and "architecture", but this beauty was all already present in the first "Volta" mission.

 

You really are an inspired and gifted guy :-D

 

Thanks!

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Does anyone else find the

Apebeasts

to be blackjack-proof when they are squatting down? I ended up quicksaving right before one was squatting down to pick up a weapon, but every blackjack attempt failed. Either it would hit his rear and not KO, or the blackjack would whiff right through him. The only way to get him was to wait until he would stand back up.

Edited by GEPGUN

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I'm finding the blackjack to be flaky with all targets. But I haven't played the game long enough to be sure. So far, it seems to not work if the target is at any angle other than completely with his back to you. So you can't blackjack someone from the side, only 100% behind.

Also, many times using the blackjack while you're crouching doesn't work.

Leaning forward to knock someone out works sometimes, not others.

This could be because they are alerted and highly sensitive either to footsteps or the air disturbance while you swing.

 

I haven't had my blackjack go right through anyone harmlessly yet though.

 

This might all be related.

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I have similar problems with the blackjack. I think in part its due to the animation on those guys, particularly the crouching animation.

 

You should be able to blackjack within a certain cone behind them. However, if they are alerted its significantly harder. TDM also has tactile alert, so if you touch them at the last minute the blackjack might fail.

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I'm sorry for the confusion. I was playing a different mission (St Alban's Cathedral) when I responded to GEPGUN. With that on my brain, the directions I gave related to that mission, not Volta 2. Bikerdude must have been scratching his head over my "misdirections".

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Don't know if anyone else is having trouble understanding the statue's words;

especially the one in the water cave

- Could someone tell me what they are asking for-

The only one I can understand is the

priest's hand found in the hammer's furnace.

 

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How do you get into the church?

 

To get to the church:

 

Once you get down into the caves . Head north. You will either cross a natural rock bridge / cross a metal bridge / or you can get to it by swimming in the water. Past that you will see the church. There is a key nearby for the doors or you can climb the roof and get in.

 

Edited by kingsal
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Don't know if anyone else is having trouble understanding the statue's words;

especially the one in the water cave

- Could someone tell me what they are asking for-

The only one I can understand is the

priest's hand found in the hammer's furnace.

 

 

The statues say (in short):

 

- The statue behind the water fall: "Find the drowned priest's remains"

- The statue in the lower crypts (spider lair): Find the strangled (or poisoned) priest's remains. This has a bug where the name of the remains mismatches what the statue says. But the remains are close by and there is only one.

- The statue in the builder church: "Find the burned priest's remains."

 

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Alright, I got it. I had been through that area from the cave many times, but I could never find the key. I only noticed the skeleton from the roof of the entrance, and I could only notice that you could even climb up to the roof after turning the gamma way the hell up.

 

Another question:

 

Does the difficulty setting affect the number of enemies in the mission?

 

Also is the house with the attic and the moon-window of any significance?

Edited by GEPGUN

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Alright, I got it. I had been through that area from the cave many times, but I could never find the key. I only noticed the skeleton from the roof of the entrance, and I could only notice that you could even climb up to the roof after turning the gamma way the hell up.

 

Another question:

 

Does the difficulty setting affect the number of enemies in the mission?

 

Also is the house with the attic and the moon-window of any significance?

 

 

The roof is suppose to be a secret way in, so its not very noticeable. The difficulty effects the number of patrols. The attic isn't really of any significance other than you can get a fire arrow by doing the puzzle there and there is a piece of loot.

 

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After two completions of this mission, first on Expert, and then on Normal here is a spoiler heavy review:

 

 

 

Volta II: The Cauldron of the Gods is quite different from its superb mansion heist predecessor. The mission starts out very similarly to Thief: Gold's Song of the Caverns, with you having to meet a contact underground only to learn that things went awry before you arrived. While Song simply left you to use your map to navigate, Cauldron has you follow the trail of the captured Bellero, the player's dealer who has been captured by apebeasts. The trail leads you into the mostly pitch-black Lost City-esque ruins and eventually through a portal to a giant Maw of Chaos style bloody tree, where Bellero is being kept inside and about to be sacrificed. The player must first enter the portal from the eastern temple area, find Bellero, then carry him back out through the portal, then to a new exit out of the ruins via the underground church to the north.

 

The overall visuals for the mission are superb, with the iconic rooms like the Cauldron, church, and the tree standing out as very memorable. The tree in particular, with it's wisps, rivers of blood, and wooden walkways feel like its out of Trail of Blood, only a bit more disturbing considering what the apebeasts are doing.

 

Having done my first playthrough on Expert difficulty, I found the mission to be incredibly infuriating for number of reasons. The difficulty settings affect both the number of enemy patrols and their senses. Compared to Normal difficulty, expert is crammed heavily with patrols, many of which cover each others backs which makes blackjacking very hard. At the same time, the mission is DARK as hell. We're talking Dark Souls' Tomb of the Giants levels of darkness here. I play The Dark Mod with a gamma setting of .6, which makes everything that is not near a lights source look pitch-black. I find this to be the best setting for making the world feel dark and foreboding, but it feels like the mission was not designed with very low gamma like that in mind. There is a lack of bright light sources throughout most of the mission, so its very easy to bumble off a cliff edge into the water, get lost in circles, or even bump into an idle apebeast. In order to see, I hand to either keep a lit torch out or at least have the lantern on at all times. Unfortunately, using a light source to navigate makes it incredibly easy to get spotted by far off apebeasts who I could not even see to begin with because their own patrol routes were mostly in pure darkness. The end result is that it was incredibly easy to get spotted and once that happened it didn't take long for a domino effect to occur where every beast would alert another due to the high patrol numbers. Some areas, such as the Cauldron and the temple were a nightmare to sneak through on expert due to the sheer numbers. The placement of light sources is also different from your usual mission. While most missions rely on lights that are on the walls or ceilings, Cauldron relies on light mushrooms that are mostly placed on the ground. The problem is that due to the light source being on the ground, it makes seeing the silhouettes of patrolling apebeasts hard to see. That, combined with the pitch-black darkness often led to me accidentally bumping into an apebeast while going for a blackjack. Add the wonky hit-detection on the apebeasts, and you have a recipe for shear frustration. While flint is offered to the player to light torches, there are so few wall-torches in the mission that it feels pointless. The church interior, which SHOULD be loaded with wall torches, has none whatsoever.

 

Once I had gotten Bellero out to the church entrance I had to find the key its front door. I figured that since the lower crypts to the south were the only place I had not explored yet, the key to escape would probably be there. Unfortunately, I was wrong. All there was too the south was some loot and a severed hand for an optional mini-sidequest, thus making the entire area feel like pointless filler. It turns out that key to the church is right near the door that it unlocks, but its hidden in an alcove near some rocks. I had been through the area nearly a dozen times, but I never noticed this little alcove because my gamma was low and the area was poorly lit.

 

Having finished the mission on expert, I found the overall experience to be really terrible. Whether it was falling into a the river for the millionth time because I could not see the edge due to having to keep the lantern off and there being so few light mushrooms near the ledge, getting a train of apebeasts on me due to their sheer numbers, constantly missing blackjacks due to the darkness and wonky hit detection, or scrounging for the church key, it was incredibly infuriating. Definitely a 2/5 score experience. After giving the mission a second go on Normal difficulty with the gamma up a bit, the experience was a lot less frustrating. With duller patrols in lower numbers, sneaking through the mission was a lot easier. Knowing where that damn key was also made things a lot easier and understanding the layout made navigation far quicker. The complaint about the lower crypts feeling like filler not withstanding, it was overall a much better experience. Definitely a 4/5 score experience. In hindsight, its easy to see why so many people loved this mission while I ended up hating it on my first playthrough.

 

With that out of the way, here's some suggestions to improve the mission:

 

Move some the floor mushrooms to a nearby wall - This will help make it easier to see the silhouettes of patrols easier.

 

Add some extra light mushrooms to the ledges near the river - This will help ensure players don't stumble off a ledge and have to quickload like crazy.

 

Add some extra light mushrooms to surrounding location of the church key - This will help make the key's location easier to spot.

 

Make the flint more useful - Add some wall torches to the church and more posts that can be ignited in general

 

Fix the torch apebeast's pathing - There is a torch wielding apebeast at the bottom of the spiral pit in the bloody tree. He tends to get stuck near the wall and will repeatedly walk in circles.

 

Change spiral pit wisp's path to have it go through the alcove at the entrance - Simply heading straight into the blood in the spiral pit where the three blue gemstones are is suicidal as it lights you up and you have to take the nearby alcove to the left to not be noticed. Unfortunately, with a low gamma setting it is not seeable. Having the wisp fly through there would let the player know of an alternate route.

 

Have the difficulty settings add objectives rather than increase patrol counts and AI sensitivity - Its simply more interesting and less frustrating this way. Volta II on expert is hell compared to Volta I on expert.

 

Give a good reason to explore the lower crypts other than loot count. - Add a third church key there, maybe have the other client trapped in there for rescuing. Make it meaningful.

 

Less patrols in pure darkness - There's several patrols that spend most of their time in pure darkness, making them hard to see. The javelin apebeast on the high ledge in the temple area is in pure darkness for his entire patrol route.

 

Add those blue precurssor motion-detector lights - just doesn't feel right without em.

 

And here's the stealth scores of expert vs normal:

 

Expert:

 

ic67MV4.jpg

 

Normal:

 

hOilbnp.jpg

 

 

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You might want to play tdm missions above a gamma setting of 0.6. By comparison I play between 0.8 and 1.0. Its different for everyone, but it shouldn't be pitch black. That would make an expert play though probably 10 times more infuriating.

Thanks for the suggestions, Ill take a look at some of those problems. However, I wont be making any major changes to mission at this time.

 

edit: Ha, I tried adding some torches in the church area:

 

The flaming skeletons end up lighting them all because they ignite anything near them. Kind of awesome, even though its not the intended effect

 

Edited by kingsal
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This is a fantastic mission, Kingsal, thank you! 1667 in loot, and it wasn't until I was done that I realized I never searched for what those Ancient Keys unlock. Ah well, something to find next time I play!

One of the secrets nearly tricked me.

The Torc way up high. I made my way up there, saw the corpse, thought about how many of those I'd seen, then meandered my way around trying to spy another way off- another place to explore. When I saw it was a dead end, I groused and went back the way I came. After I passed back by the corpse I had a 'waitaminute' moment. All that's up here is a corpse? So I moved the body. Saw only a sword. Went to leave again. Said 'no way there's JUST a corpse up here', went back and finally noticed the Torc. Almost missed it!

 

 

Again, thank you. I've greatly enjoyed both of your Volta missions!

 

And for ridiculous niggling detail, even though you may never need to patch this mission again, I found a... typo, I guess? If you happen to knock out the guard in the city at the very beginning (please don't judge, it's instinctual), his body is labeled "Unconscience Guard" or something very similar. Unless it's on purpose. To make my conscience guilty over blackjacking a non-hostile. Or it's possibly correct in another language. I don't know, I just wanted to mention it!

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Hello,

i am new here and its big fun to play Thief again, thanks.

i had a few "trough the wall" moments at severall adventures and eg a sword trough the door etc.

but actualy with Volta 2 i had a total "drop trough wall in black hole and see play ground dissapear" moment.

which i saved ... if you want me to upload/make a download available, no problem, its a 5 mb file.

maybe you can "walkback" in edit mode

There is a big change my setup is not complete.

i have a 64 bit, with opensuse 42.2, xfce

Edited by CrisiusXIII

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Well, on some larger maps, once you get to the extents, precision loss can sometimes manifest itself as going through walls and weird glitches.

Can you post a screenshot of the area you fell through?

 

If you're still falling, open the console with CTRL+ALT+~ and type noclip

That will allow you to fly back up to the map.

Once you're back in the map, open the console again and type noclip to get back into normal mode.


I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

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