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SneakyJack's TDM review


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#1 Springheel

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 02:39 PM

For those of you who haven't noticed this yet (I just found it myself) there is a very thorough and well-written review of TDM in general, and then each mission specifically, at The Circle:

http://www.thief-the...darkmod/review/

#2 SneakyJack

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 03:26 PM

Thanks for the mention!

You can visit the link posted above or you can find the main review (complete with logo and pictures) on the TTLG forums here.

Individual mission reviews (with screens):

The Outpost
The Chalice Of Kings
The Crown Of Penitence
Patently Dangerous
The Thieves
Too Late
The Parcel
Trapped!
Living Expenses
Sons Of Baltona
Return To The City
Business As Usual

I'll be adding reviews and screens of each mission as they are released to the review thread at TTLG, and I can post links to those reviews in this thread as well as long as no one minds.

Great stuff coming from The Dark Mod thus far, and I'm very much looking forward to the future!

Edited by SneakyJack, 15 January 2010 - 03:11 PM.

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#3 SiyahParsomen

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 03:57 PM

that was sneaky! I really haven't noticed these reviews of tdm and its fan missions in ttlg up to now. They are well written. I hope you'll review the fms of christmas contest when they are released.

#4 Baddcog

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 04:05 PM

It's good to see reviews soon, it deffinately helps get the word out I think.

I haven't really had issues with BJing either. The one thing that does get me is sometimes I get too close and bump them ;) But once you get that distance down I think it's pretty easy.
Funny enough though, I have been avoiding combat at all costs and even BJing as much as possible lately. And until release I really hadn't played within TDM for a year, and even longer for thief.
I never used the foward lean BJ hack, so I guess I never got dependant on it. So I don't miss it now.

So far I've gotten through all the missions on expert with probably less than 5 BJ's. But I have reloaded when I get busted, but that hasn't happened too much.

But I can see having a BJ/combat slider for those who need it. Possibly it would make the BJ target larger.
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#5 Noisycricket

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 04:07 PM

I like the screenshots you make. I keep wanting to start a small business making animated desktops pictures, but only partly animated to save computer resources. Like having only a candle and its surroundings flicker slightly... Nice review.. I agree.

(if you only knew what is being dreamed of....:laugh: )

#6 SneakyJack

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 04:36 PM

that was sneaky! I really haven't noticed these reviews of tdm and its fan missions in ttlg up to now. They are well written. I hope you'll review the fms of christmas contest when they are released.


Definitely! I've reviewed many (probably in the hundreds by now) fan missions for Thief 2 (And Soon Thief 1 and Gold) and also for every Dark Mod mission up to this point, and I'll continue to do so into the foreseeable future. Thank you for the kind words!

There is an index on the first page of that review thread at TTLG that shows how many myself and others from that community have covered thus far - you are all more than welcome to add your own Thief or Darkmod reviews there. The more the merrier, as they say.

#7 demagogue

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 01:09 AM

Oh, I'm surprised I didn't catch the review of my FM until now!
I usually check that thread pretty regularly.
I appreciate the kind things you had to say about PD, SJ, and it makes me happy that some of my dark visions were appreciated. ^_^
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#8 Carnage

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 04:29 AM

Just read them last week and must say they are really good. Very thorough reviews without spoiling too much details. Reading the review of TDM, it shows that the beta of TDM is already really good and that it can only get better. Keep up the nice reviews sneaksy.

#9 Tels

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 04:05 PM

I loved being able to drag a candle around lighting torches and other candles with relative ease and thought it was really clever that some food items left behind bits (like an apple core) when eaten.


Have to print out and frame that quote above *happy smiling face with a wide grin*

It's really cool that someone actually likes what I did :)

Edit: However:

Storable Food: Let me admit up front that this is a silly personal nitpick and isnt to be taken that seriously - but I do miss being able to store up food to be used later for a few bits of emergency health regeneration. I could be wrong, but I noticed no way to "pocket" food that is picked up in TDM and though I enjoy the cool effects like apple cores being left behind - I'm a sucker for the nostalgic ability of using food to regain health. You could probably blame Christine for packing her excellent Thief 2 missions with edible goodies - but I think it adds a little something to the experience. Now that I think about it... does food even give health in TDM? Apparently I've got more research to do.


Yes, food heals, but only by very small amounts (IIRC 1 point, but you have 99 HP). So, stacking food for emergency would mean you would need to carry a ton just to heal yourself - and that is what health potions are for.

Food is more for the "oh I need to find some food and snack" situation - that both makes it more challenging, and it also lets you keep the "cool" core-left-behind feature. If you had the food in your inventory, you wouldn't get left-overs or you would always have to drop the food into your hands before you eat it. Cannot have your apple, and eat it, too :)

(Also, I wonder how much of that sentiment for carrying-food is "T2 did it, and we don't want it any other way". Personally, I find accepting that TDM is not Thief makes it easier to look forward to changes than everytime to glamour for getting the old times back :)
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

#10 Tels

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 04:13 PM

It's good to see reviews soon, it deffinately helps get the word out I think.

I haven't really had issues with BJing either. The one thing that does get me is sometimes I get too close and bump them ;) But once you get that distance down I think it's pretty easy.
Funny enough though, I have been avoiding combat at all costs and even BJing as much as possible lately. And until release I really hadn't played within TDM for a year, and even longer for thief.
I never used the foward lean BJ hack, so I guess I never got dependant on it. So I don't miss it now.

So far I've gotten through all the missions on expert with probably less than 5 BJ's. But I have reloaded when I get busted, but that hasn't happened too much.

But I can see having a BJ/combat slider for those who need it. Possibly it would make the BJ target larger.



Well, the review says:

So far I have not found a way to successfully blackjack a foe walking toward you (normally while in total darkness you can lean forward to hit them head on for the KO) without alerting them and getting my loot sack sliced in two (see the melee combat section a few paragraphs down) so I really hope this gets tweaked a bit as well. Overall though its quite solid.


Emphasis by me. IIRC, you must hit guards from behind - that is a feature. Only civilians can be KOed from front. However, with all the discussions and changes we had, I might remember it wrong.

The text here says you should be able to KO relaxed guards from front, too, if I read it correctly, tho:

http://wiki.thedarkm...ay#Blackjacking
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

#11 Tels

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 04:19 PM

Some more things:

Ropeswinging: I have the same difficulties, so we both must make some mistake, because other people use it easily. However, since I have the same sentinents about lockpicking (I am too impatient for it :D, we both probably share a style-of-play that leads to these difficulties. And:

Let me be blunt - Melee combat is too god damn hard.


That is a feature - you are not supposed to fight and win :)

Actually, you will find that over time the game becomes easier and easier, so having something you cannot do from Minute 1 on is actually good :)

TDM is quite different from the old games, from the controls, to the timings, so it is no surprise you cannot do all the same things with the same ease. Of course, it can be a bit frustrating at first :)
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

#12 Tels

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 04:25 PM

The Darkmod Video:

The video is there so it is alredy in place and mappers can quickly substitute with their own video. However, now that you mention it, yeah, we probably could have done an "animation video" instead that looks more in-style with our menus. Maybe something for v1.1 :)
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

#13 Baddcog

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 05:59 PM

I did pick-up and carry food in T2. Sometimes it was great, 3 carrots in a row and full health. Othertimes it was 10 carrots, leg of lamb, 4 apples and a couple bits of cheese and NO health. So it wasn't dependable per se.
One thing that did annoy me was inventory clutter. I got to where I'd only pick up an apple if there were 3 or 4 there, but why waste a slot on one apple.
But I wont miss it personally.


BJing ai in the front isn't too realistic, even in the dark they'd have to see your fist coming at them and the whites of your teeth as you smiled ;)

Guess I missed what was said about rope arrow swing. You deffinately have to be lower on the rope, probably below the halfway point to swing good. It's a bit tough and I think it could use some kindof of smoothing modifier. Kindof like a mouse movement smoother in Team Fortress2. I don't know how easy that would be to implement though.
Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

#14 aidakeeley

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 07:01 PM

having something you cannot do from Minute 1 on is actually good

Agree. Most definitely, agree.
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#15 SneakyJack

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 08:17 PM

I'm really a huge fan of difficulty levels being different in ways. I think it would be brilliant to have things like combat be much easier and frontal blackjacking on the 'normal' difficulty to satisfy players like myself and then when you ramp up the difficulty to hard and expert start removing ways to make things easier to give a much better challenge to ghosters and the hardcore.

I'm sure this has been thought of and dismissed by this point already, but it would be an excellent way to make everyone have a pleasant experience with TDM. I'm definitely in support of TDM and like those who have worked on it, I just want to see it find the widest audience possible without needing to water down the experience, and I think that would be a great compromise if it is possible. Not all of us are "hide in the shadows for 10 minutes scouting the route of every guard" type players, as much as we'd like to be there sometimes just isnt time to be hardcore. :D

#16 HappyCheeze

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 01:23 AM

Nice reviews SneakyJack!

Glad you enjoyed the mod. Hope you'll review the FMs I'll eventually (hopefully) release :)
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#17 Tels

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 03:47 PM

I'm really a huge fan of difficulty levels being different in ways. I think it would be brilliant to have things like combat be much easier and frontal blackjacking on the 'normal' difficulty to satisfy players like myself and then when you ramp up the difficulty to hard and expert start removing ways to make things easier to give a much better challenge to ghosters and the hardcore.

I'm sure this has been thought of and dismissed by this point already, but it would be an excellent way to make everyone have a pleasant experience with TDM. I'm definitely in support of TDM and like those who have worked on it, I just want to see it find the widest audience possible without needing to water down the experience, and I think that would be a great compromise if it is possible. Not all of us are "hide in the shadows for 10 minutes scouting the route of every guard" type players, as much as we'd like to be there sometimes just isnt time to be hardcore. :D


Yes, we talked about difficulty levels, but apart from the "no time to do everything" factor, it is also difficult to design how much sliders we want. We wouldn't want a page of sliders where the player can set everything and then some. It would also create other problems, like maps becoming way too easy or too hard just because some setting is at "low" or "high". It would then more become a game of "find the right combination of settings to beat the mission".

However, things will be tweaked, and I think a melee-difficulty setting will be in (because we have a lot of variables for tweaking it).
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

#18 STiFU

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 03:29 AM

 

Guess I missed what was said about rope arrow swing. You deffinately have to be lower on the rope, probably below the halfway point to swing good. It's a bit tough and I think it could use some kindof of smoothing modifier. Kindof like a mouse movement smoother in Team Fortress2. I don't know how easy that would be to implement though.

Yeah, the swing was tricky. I also found that the tutorial-mission kind of leads you on a wrong trail. The way I understood it, the player is supposed to press the mouse-button in the moment he passes the center of the swing, but this way you actually don't gain any momentum. It's much better if you press the mouse-button right in the moment you start swinging back from the peak. Spamming the mouse-button also works quite well, but it's very unclean and hard to control.

#19 Unwanted Guest

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 12:59 PM

I like the difficulty in fighting, in fact, I dont think I ever won one except in the training mission. At best I hope to injure the guard enough that he may run ( do they even do that? like in T2 etc?) - but if I'm found, I am lucky to get away alive, and I think it should be like that. Me a theif going up against guards that probably conduct combat training/drilling on a daily basis - except for the Benny types of course.

I found that playing T1, T2 fan missions were getting too easy - easy to outrun everyone, easy to do the guards in - so ghosting was the only way to make it more challanging. DarkMod is diff,......... guards are tougher = more exciting game.

Can some guards be made to run faster than the thief?

#20 Mortem Desino

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 03:28 PM

For the time being, combat is stuck on "expert" mode. That will change in the future.

Can some guards be made to run faster than the thief?

Only if the FM maker says so.
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#21 etdarkb

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 04:57 AM

What about stabbing? Can I kill someone with a single swing if I am undetected? I remember I did massacres in the last missions of Thief 1...

#22 Goldchocobo

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 01:14 PM

What about stabbing? Can I kill someone with a single swing if I am undetected? I remember I did massacres in the last missions of Thief 1...


Yup. Provided it's a good shot.

#23 etdarkb

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 04:48 PM

The fighting system sounds farily good to me: if I had to give an advice I'd say to check the feet movement to decide the swing, not only the mouse. (Maybe it is already like that and I am just bad :D )
I like the fighting system because you cannot apply the Thief/Jedi Knight/Video Games in general idea of `Attack, run a little backward, repeat.' With a little training you can do Bafford entering from the front simply killing everyone.
Usually I play ghost so it does not matter really, but it doing the `attack, run' sounded too much unrealistic even for a video game and break immersion.

What I dislike is the `touching' of the AI. Too often I have situations like: `sneaky, sneaky, ... attack with blackjack, did not work.' What? You pressed `attack' a fraction of second too late and touched the guard that become alert: reload dear! :(
Of course the opposite extreme of Thief where you can push guard without them never noticing anything is bad too... Maybe we need some kind of tolerance: like the guard is alerted after half second of touching.

#24 plasticman

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 07:22 PM

Just pretend it's a long distance blackjack. It will work. :)

#25 SneakyJack

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Posted 24 December 2009 - 10:41 AM

New review just posted for the most recent mission release "Too Late" is is right here.




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