Sound has been so vital for the Thief games since they came out, and a clean, realistic soundscape is so important. I don't hear ambient musical drones in my head in real life, why should I have to have them cover up important sounds in the game?
Suprisingly, the early Thiefs (at least Thief 2, that I know of) puts the ambient music *and* several environmental sounds in the Ambient Volume slider. Turn the 'music' down or off and you're, effectively, losing out on a lot of environmental sound color. For example, lower that volume slider and you won't hear several sounds very well or at all, like fire crackling, crickets chirping, tesla-like machines whirring, wind blowing, droning white noise in mansions (like when you first enter the mansion in Running Interference), etc.
Yes, the sounds in Thief games were vital and nothing short of stellar, but the implementation wasn't perfect since we can't turn off ambient 'music' without removing environmental sounds that are there to help make a realistic soundscape. I've always wished the volume of the 'music' in Thief 1/2 could be controlled completely separately from the environmental sounds.
When I first started playing Thief, I really hated that I couldn't turn the music down or off (since I'd lose out on environmental sounds). Like in 'Shipping & Receiving' and 'Framed', the music can be pretty overwhelming when playing for the first time. In retrospect, though, I'm really glad I didn't miss out on Eric Brosius & company's wonderful music/ambient gems. They are such a huge part of the experience for me now. For instance, the music in Framed has some of my favorite sounds of the game... but I once hated them, as they were grating to the ears.
That is why I cringe when blind "Let's Play"-ers on YouTube substantially decrease the Ambient Volume slider on Thief 1/2 in order to lower the music volume a lot; they often don't realize they're losing out on various environmental sounds... and they maybe don't realize the music/ambients can be crucial the overall enjoyment of the game as they help define the atmosphere and mood quite well.
Dangit, I wish Brosius and the Thief 1/2 audio crew would make more audio like that as side projects. Maybe for fan missions... or for the community... or just for fun... or to sell... etc. Re-acquire similar synth equipment they used and crank out more ambient goodness.
Edited by Darkness_Falls, 01 January 2019 - 04:35 AM.