Back to the main topic, I haven't played the New Thief
Could've sworn the main topic was about EM mods not wanting to acknowledge that TDM is a game, rather than Thiaf's intrinsic qualities. No need to take personal offense, by the way (what's wrong with liking HR? It was a good game). TDM isn't a solid game in terms of rewards because it doesn't have
rewards. It's a bunch of missions, largely unrelated in terms of narrative and design. The emphasis is on the gameplay of the moment and what you can take from that, not the long-running distillation of every mission into one big skill pool that you grind so you can level up your walking speed. If you'd like to be rewarded for every head shot and loot pick-up, the game isn't for you. It's from a time where the reward is beating the mission itself, before achievements and flashy point pop-ups were required to make people feel special for just playing the game, and progressively make what they've already accomplished easier. When it comes to that, people don't play to play the game for what it is, they play to have a bigger number before their name than everybody else.
they were able to wrap all these elements so well.
I'd disagree. The skills in Deus Ex are irritating, given that rounds come out of gun barrels sideways until you level up the skill that allows you to shoot straight. The stealth is very wonky and you have almost no indication of how well-hidden you are, to the point it almost feels like RNG. Both that and System Shock have paths you can follow to make the game far too easy, and also--especially for System Shock--let you completely cripple yourself to a point where the game is unplayable because you couldn't see into the future. The skills are my least favorite elements of both of those games, simply because of the dissonance between the adrenaline hit-scan shooter context they were born out of and the restrictive levels dampening your own skill. Bottom line is that skills just detract from the player's ability and put you on the game's rails rather than your own. In this case, it puts a huge restriction on the mapper, and just isn't realistic unless the entire game is built around it. Accomodation of it aside, this just isn't the type of game to benefit from skills. It's a modern thing that's bled out of RPGs into the AAA scene to let people feel like they're progressing somewhere because it's just not enough to beat the thing anymore, which is understandable in most cases given how damn easy they are.
Edited by Airship Ballet, 19 March 2014 - 10:32 AM.