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#26 Bhruic

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 01:40 PM

There's a difference between artificial limitations and limitations in general. The thief character should be limited, of course, in ways that are realistic (within the rules of the world), but he shouldn't be artificially limited beyond that, imo.

Not sure exactly why the crossbow discussion steered sharply into rope arrows anyway. Does the crossbow have any advantage beyond aesthetic? I mean, it's nice to have an option, but it seems like a fair amount of work simply to have a different looking bow.

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#27 oDDity

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 01:48 PM

Erm, or you could just make the AI reactions closer to realistic. There is a BIG difference between a real person's senses and those modelled by Thief, even on Expert difficulty.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I don't think having totally realistic AI would make the game that much harder, unless you also made the thief's abilites totally realistic as well. It's no good giving the AI perfect human hearing if you're giving the player the ability to creep past them in complete silence while carrying half a ton of gadgets, weapons, ammo and loot, or lettig the player open the door to a room with an aA in it wihtout that AI going apeshit at the door that just opened by itself.
It's virtually no extra work, bhruic, just doing a few first person crossbow animations along wioth the short bow ones, a few hours work at most.
I said from the start I didn't want to get into any discussions about ballistics and dvantage/penalties of crossbow Vs shortbow. It's just an astheitc choice.
Getitng into all that other stuff would be extra work and wouldn't make the bother of it worthwhile.
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#28 Darkness_Falls

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 02:45 PM

Most of the team here are VERY conservative when it comes to change, yet will happily include anything that was in Thief without questioning it, such as landmines

Yup yup :)

oDDity - If this is for the enemies to carry, then I'm all for it. Crossbows were in Thief 2 so I accept without questioning it, as you'd suspect. Totally, bring 'em on! But to address others, I don't want the Thief himself having a crossbow. I'm a member of the Thief Conservative Party :D

#29 Vadrosaul

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 03:30 PM

How about including the crossbow if time permits creating it, and let the LEVEL DESIGNERS decide if they want to implement it in their missions. There, problem solved.
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#30 oDDity

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 04:45 PM

No need for that. We'll include it and let the player choose if he wants to use it. I don't want to be giving all the control to those fascist level designers. As I keep saying, it has no advantage or benefit anyway, it's a purely asthetic choice for the player, and a crossbow makes more sense to me as a thief tool.
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#31 Maximius

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 06:58 PM

One last quick point, the cross bow is a far different weapon than the light bow, or even the longbow, or even those REALLY long bows Amazonian Indians use sometimes, the ones they lay down on their backs, brace against the bottom of their feet, and pull with both arms.

Crossbows were made for penetrating armor. Bolts are generally thicker, more massive, than arrows. They dont have the range of a comparably sized bow, but they impart a LOT more momentum to the missle they fire at least in the first few seconds of flight. WHich is why they are both a weapon and a likely candidate for use as a climbing tool.

Edit: crossbows dont necessarily have more punch power, its dependent on the size/flexibility of the bow, but it IS easier to put a really powerful bow on a wooden stock that you can brace and crank to arm, while with a similarly powerful regular bow, you would have to be a Hercules to draw it back. According to some archery hunting website anyhowz.

Edited by Maximius, 03 August 2005 - 07:12 PM.


#32 obscurus

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 08:12 PM

oDDity - If this is for the enemies to carry, then I'm all for it.  Crossbows were in Thief 2 so I accept without questioning it, as you'd suspect.  Totally, bring 'em on!  But to address others, I don't want the Thief himself having a crossbow.  I'm a member of the Thief Conservative Party :D

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



I must admit I am a bit puzzled about the degree of conservatism regarding what sort of tools the Thief player can carry. It is apparently OK for the Thief to have preposterous items like rope arrows and water arrows, but a more plausibe crossbow bolt that embeds in wood and can be used to attach a rope, or even climbing gloves are no good. Landmines are OK but a matchlock rifle is not. Robots with cannons that launch explosives and clockwork androids are acceptable but crawling prone isn't... :wacko:

I know the game is to be loosely based on Thief, but surely we can weed out some of the sillier aspects of Thief and replace them with some improvements, preferably ones based on a little more realism.

Allowing guards to have a crossbow, but denying the Thief to pick up and use one is ludicrous. Either they are in the game and guards and thieves alike can use them, or they aren't be in the game.

I like realistic limitations on what I can do as a player, not purely arbitrary limitations that make no sense. Not being able to use a crossbow that a guard is using is no different to having an invisible barrier blocking access to an area you can see but are not supposed to go. It spoils immersion and is not fun IMO.

That said, keep up the good work ! :)

#33 Springheel

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 08:38 PM

I like realistic limitations on what I can do as a player, not purely arbitrary limitations that make no sense. Not being able to use a crossbow that a guard is using is no different to having an invisible barrier blocking access to an area you can see but are not supposed to go. It spoils immersion and is not fun IMO.


So how do you manage to ever enjoy a game, since every game includes a multitude of arbitrary limitations? Games like Far Cry have trees in them, but you can't climb them, or break the branches off and use them like clubs. How many FPS allow you (without being scripted) to knock out an opponent, steal his clothes and try to sneak into the base looking like him? How many FPS allow you to club a guard with the butt of your empty weapon? Or play dead? Etc, etc.
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#34 obscurus

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 09:14 PM

OK OK, there are seemingly arbitrary limits that have to be imposed due to the limitations on processing power, development time, difficulty in implementing etc...

I am not saying I don't enjoy Thief etc, but I would enjoy it and other games more without some of the sillier aspects, and if there are limitations etc, they should make sense in the context of the game. Having crossbows in thief without the player being able to use them does not make sense in the context of the game - the player has an extensive range of tools and weapons at his or her disposal already, and there is no logical reason why a crossbow couldn't be added to the list, especially if the weapon is in common use by other entities in the game world.

I would love to be able to climb trees, steal guards clothes and do all the wonderfull things you have suggested, and if they can be implemented, please do so.

The fact that most FPS have lots of silly limitations that have no basis other than the developer deciding they don't add enough to gameplay to bother with, doesn't mean TDM should follow suit.

I see TDM as taking the premise of a good, enjoyable game and making it better and more enjoyable by giving the player more realistic freedoms and limitations.

#35 Darkness_Falls

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 10:05 PM

I must admit I am a bit puzzled about the degree of conservatism regarding what sort of tools the Thief player can carry. 

Well, the common thread that brought us all together here is Thief, right? Naturally, you will find some die-hard Thief players who would like to be memebers of the TCP (Thief Conservative Party). Since I'm a bit biased toward Thief, I just can't see Garrett running around with a crossbow even tho his enemies had them. Regardless, the crossbow will likely be in the toolset so if modders want their thief to use one, I'm sure they could do that.

I know we had discussed before about letting our Thief carry weapons of fallen enemies, and to be able to use them in a very limited fashion. These wouldn't go into the thief's inventory. I assume the crossbow would be treated the same? How many bolts can a crossbow shoot before reloading? Just one? Or is it more? Either way, the limited functionality of the weapon would be coupled with the limited supply of bolts that the enemy leaves in the crossbow, imo.

#36 New Horizon

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 10:22 PM

The fact that most FPS have lots of silly limitations that have no basis other than the developer deciding they don't add enough to gameplay to bother with, doesn't mean TDM should follow suit.


That my friend, is called gaming design and may not simply hinge on whether or not it adds to gameplay...but whether it unbalances the gameplay. Sure, some decisions aren't going to please everyone but that's life. Games require limitations to achieve the developers intended goal, otherwise it's not much of a game...simulations on the other hand strive to encompass everything. I think if we had ten years we could implement and balance everything into a playable simulation. It wouldn't be much of a stealth game so much as a world simulator.

#37 obscurus

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 12:49 AM

Since I'm a bit biased toward Thief, I just can't see Garrett running around with a crossbow even tho his enemies had them. 


I can't see a Thief running around with any sort of bow period for a number of reasons, and a good thief would leave no trace of his presence other than the absence of the items he stole. Nevertheless, I don't see any reason for restricting a Thief from using waepons and objects available in the world around him or her if they might aid in their thieving activities.

I know we had discussed before about letting our Thief carry weapons of fallen enemies, and to be able to use them in a very limited fashion.  These wouldn't go into the thief's inventory.  I assume the crossbow would be treated the same?  How many bolts can a crossbow shoot before reloading?  Just one?  Or is it more?  Either way, the limited functionality of the weapon would be coupled with the limited supply of bolts that the enemy leaves in the crossbow, imo.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I don't really like the idea of weapons not going into the thief's inventory or of any limitation on using picked up weapons. If you are a Thief purist, you will be well aware that Garret had a sword. It annoyed me a little that I couldn't drop it and pick up a different weapon. I have never used a Hammerite style hammer in combat, but I am sure I could do quite a bit of damage with one without needing any specific training. Sure I might be at a disadvantage to an opponent who has been trained to use it optimally, but I could still use it. You could give the player a penalty by making it slower to swing if you assume the Thief is quite sprightly, and making it take up a lot of space in the inventory, that is a reasonable limitation, but not being able to add it to the inventory and use it at all is not a reasonable limitation. In a game like Thief, where there is a high degree of interactivity with objects in the gameworld, it gets very annoying when all of a sudden you come across an object that you would naturally expect you could interact with in a predictable way, and you can't, and it detracts from immersion, which is the most important element of gameplay IMO.

Why on earth you would want to add a further penalty to crossbow use beyond the limitations it already has I have no idea. A crossbow, if included, should behave realistically for both the player and AI who use it. AFAIK a crossbow is not a weapon that requires a profound degree of training or experience to use, unlike a typical short bow, and it has limitations enough as it is without adding to them.

I seriously doubt it would imbalance gameplay in the slightest if the player were to have a crossbow, any more than an ordinary bow already does.

And to me the gameplay balance issue is very overstated. If you pay the same attention to realism and consistency to every aspect of the game, it will be as balanced as reality, and as the FM author makes it. I am not saying you have to make a perfect world simulator, obviously you can't, but you can make sure all the aspects of game design match up into a cohesive, consistent world that makes sense, as long as you don't get too dogmatic about things like gameplay balance or sticking to traditions that were developed when computing power was a tenth of what it is now.


EDIT: I guess you can put me in the RTRP (Radical Thief Reformist Party). :)

Edited by obscurus, 04 August 2005 - 01:10 AM.


#38 sparhawk

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 02:05 AM

I must admit I am a bit puzzled about the degree of conservatism regarding what sort of tools the Thief player can carry.


One of the frist things, we did when we launched this project, was to define a mission goal. This goal was to recreate a thief style experienced, based on thief gameplay. We did not agree to create a new stealth game or something else. It's as simple as that.

One other thing is. The features that Thief offers are easy to implement, proven to work very well in a game, and versatile enough to keep the gameplay interesting. Adding features does not neccessarily make a game better and the same goes for realism. A real Thief wouldn't stand a single sword blow - reloading. A real Thief wouldn't spend 17 hours or more inside the house that he wants to rob. He would not be able to carry hundreds of items with him. He would not be able to heal himself in time. A rope or water arrow would also not be realistic. Considering that, we have to do some choices. Knowing feature creep I tend to stay on the safe side and keep the gameplay in a the area where it is managable and known to be working well. Some things are on our list, which are not in Thief and some things can be done by ambitious modders, but our game is to provide a solid gamplay base. Nothing more and nothing less.
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#39 sparhawk

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 02:08 AM

I can't see a Thief running around with any sort of bow period for a number of reasons, and a good thief would leave no trace of his presence other than the absence of the items he stole.  Nevertheless, I don't see any reason for restricting a Thief from using waepons and objects available in the world around him or her if they might aid in their thieving activities.


Using items an resources doesn't come free. It has to be implemented, and it has to be processed by the CPU. This is a VERY good reason to limit what a player can do and is probably one of the most deciding factors.

Why on earth you would want to add a further penalty to crossbow use beyond the limitations it already has I have no idea. A crossbow, if included, should behave realistically for both the player and AI who use it. AFAIK a crossbow is not a weapon that requires a profound degree of training or experience to use, unlike a typical short bow, and it has limitations enough as it is without adding to them.


That a crossbow requires no training and can penetrate armor, was exactly the reason why this weapon was outlawed for peasants. Because it could unbalance the political hierarchy which was based on warriors aka knights, using armor and having a big advantage in battle. Now considering that this was a real life issue, you can easily imagine that such a weapon would unablance a game much more if it were done realisticly.
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#40 FishFace

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 04:13 AM

(Back from Holiday! Woo!)

Well, I wouldn't like to see a crossbow with the requisite penalties for using one, i.e. shorter range, different ammo and hyowge reload times that screw with your aiming (gotta aim downward to reload) Because otherwise it would simply not be realistic enough. A "magic crossbow" just sucks - I wouldn't want one that just was identical to a shortbow in all but aesthetics. For a start, you'd at least need the point & click shooting, otherwise it would look vaguely retarded.

On the topic of rope arrows, remember that an arrow shot into wood at 100yds is bloody difficult to extract. At a distance of more like 10yds, with a powerful bow and perhaps a specially modified arrow, it's not a huge leap of imagination to allow it to hold a thief. Especially if the tip is coated with magical glue that makes it stick to the wood ;)
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#41 sparhawk

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 06:30 AM

Somehow I doubt that the penetration is much deeper from 10 yrds or from 100yards. Of course it will be deeper somewhat but that is probably not as much as you would expect from the distance difference. Also the problem is not the penetration, the problem is 1) the rope that couldn't be attached to the rope with this technology and 2) the weight that you apply when you are climbing up.
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#42 Maximius

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 08:13 AM

The point of a crossbow is that you get the penetrating power of a longbow in a weapon that doesnt require the strength or training that a longbow demands. Or the size of a long bow. And longbows are only really useful up to a certain point anyway. Careful archery hunters generally dont fire at a target further than 50 yards away, because often times although you will penetrate its not immediately fatal and you lose both quarry and arrow.

In combat, immediate death isnt necessary, cause a man with an arrow through his arm is out of the fight as much as the corpse next to him. But if the Thief is firing a broad at an opponent, he generally wants him dead, not screaming and howling in agony.

In regards to climbing, sure, magical arrows and bows could be called upon, but its a matter of the **degree** of the suspension of disbelief. In other words, it takes a LOT more magical explanation to explain a rope arrow than it does a rope bolt. For example:

Bolts have more MUCH MORE penetrating power, in the short range, than arrows do. They can be made heavier, which allows for the clockwork mechanism I described. When the crossbow is armed, the bolt lays in a shallow runner atop the bow, which would make firing some sort of climbing rig a lot easier than trying to balance an arrow with a rope attached to it.

Rope arrows demand that you have an ENTIRELY magical item, the rope pops in and out of existence, the arrow can be only slightly embedded in the wood, they are ripped out of the wood and reused without penalty time and time again. They limit immersion.

Now a vine arrow is a different creature to me, because although they too are an entirely magical item, the Thief universe already has a deep history of plant based magic and the notion of climbing up a tangled mass of magical vines ( the way they should have been done) is far more compelling than a dinky rope that falls out of an arrows ass. And I would have made them a one shot item as well.

I wish the devs would consider including the climbing gloves at some point. Maybe some of the CTPers dont want em but they were actually one of the few good things that TDS brought tothe table. And they are a REAL life item that demands no magic and would actually work. I thought the way they were implemented was stupid, no one could climb a wall that fast but spider man, but the basic notion is sound.

Edited by Maximius, 04 August 2005 - 08:19 AM.


#43 Springheel

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 08:21 AM

So basically, you're more willing to come up with reasons to justify a vine arrow over a rope arrow. You can't argue a rope arrow is less part of the 'deep history of the thief universe' since they existed in the game before vine arrows did.

Who is to say that the 'rope' in a rope arrow doesn't grow from the arrow itself, just like the vine you have no problem accepting? The only other magic you'd need is that rope magically supports the weight of whatever is on it, so virtually no weight is passed to the arrow itself. Since slowfall potions existed in the thief universe, magical weightlessness was already well established.

Problem solved.
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#44 sparhawk

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 08:33 AM

The problem with a rope arrow are several.

First, the arrow needs to have a mechanism that contains the rope and activates on impact to release it. While this may feasable the major problem is the rope itself. In order to have a rope that you actually can climb you need something that you can grab. But a rope sufficiently thick enough to climb on it AND has at least enough length to make it usefull would require to be put on the arrow which considerable ways it down. The physics of an arrow in flight is quite dynamic, so any such rope would severly impact how far the arrow can fly, if it could fly at all. If you reduce the weight of the rope enough that it wouldn't impact the arrowflight, it either has to be extremly thin, which wouldn't lend itself well to climb with your full weight, or it would have to be extremly light. No matter how you turn it, I doubt that this technology was available and that we could even produce such an arrow today. If you look at grappling hooks, they have a very heavy head just to keep dragging the rope while inflight, and they only fly a low distance anyway.
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#45 Springheel

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 08:35 AM

Nobody is trying to argue it's realistic. But it's no harder to explain than crystal arrows or slowfall potions.
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#46 New Horizon

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 08:37 AM

OY. Too much debate over an established tool. :wacko:

#47 sparhawk

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 08:38 AM

Especially since we already discussed this a long time ago.
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#48 bob_arctor

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 09:25 AM

But a limited 1 shot rope bolt is BORING TO PLAY!!!!
I don't care about your arguements. I just want something that is so limited it's not fun. I don't want to reload the game more than I have to because I missed a crucial shot! I also don't want to climb extremely slowly up things.

FUN > ALL

As for crossbows if you are going to bother putting one in think about pros and cons versus bow (they cannot be the same, the whole action is different and if the stats are the same the fact you have to look down to reload a crossbow will swing it...) and bother to implement a weapon swap system. Can't be that hard really compared with other things.

Or just have a Thief style bow. Does Mr Thief need a crossbow except for some extremely boring drawn out explanation of how rope arrows work?

Think about it, in the game players just accept some things. When Thief glitches and Garrett is thrown in the air and falls to his death you are not immersed and don't accept it. But with Rope/water/fire arrows, it's just part of the world.

There is a water arrow. You put fires out. You try it. "cool, that's fun" Is that a plausable thing? "yeah whatever". So how does this rope arrow work "It's a rope arrow, dur! You climb things, yank it out, and climb further. Neat, no? How it works? Who cares?"

#49 Maximius

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 09:44 AM

Springheel, my point was that the Thief-verse ALREADY contains *many more* reasons for a vine arrow to work than a rope arrow. Its a matter of degree, not a black and white claim.

Viktoria shot vines outta her arms, Constantines healing potion for Garrett made plants grow super fast (remember the cutscene?), plants devoured the bodies of Hammers in seconds, and finally Viktorias suicide did what? Sent a giant vine throughout Soulforge. Even in TDS there were examples of magical plants, the one that closed off the sewer door where the Hag was hiding, the cutscene of the pagan using his blood to speed up the growth of a , guess what, a PLANT! Oh, and remember those MOSS ARROWS? All they way from T1? And the poisonous nodding pitcher plants underground, they were in t1 too I believe.

Again, rope arrows were just there, bing, there they go, no rationale, nothing. At least the crystal arrows have some precedence in RL, as everyone knows crystals were long associated with magical powers. I still thought they were over the top, but not like the rope arrows. But I will dro p the topic, I never intended to rehash old arguments but I just thought the idea of a rope-bolt to be a little more digestable thatn the rope arrows. But nuff said.

#50 Maximius

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 09:58 AM

But a limited 1 shot rope bolt is BORING TO PLAY!!!!"

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Dude, you are getting on my nerves. If you have a point to make, other than you dont care what anyone else has to say, then make it. If you dont like an idea, say so in civil terms. Springheel has disagreed with most everything Ive said in this thread but has found no need to blow his top. And its a discussion anyway, no one is threatening to murder the families and loved ones of the Mod team if they dont implement rope-bolts.

Your standards for immersion are obviously less strict than others, fine, but dont attempt to ridicule the standards of others. A limited shot is NOT boring, to me and many others, because it makes you think harder, use other routes, and because it adds a great deal of realism to our perception of what the THieves world should be. I like missions that make me spend an hour or two figuring out how to get from point a to point b, and whats the least amount of resources i need to do it. We all come here cause we loved Thief, and we all want to see our various hopes/dreams realized in the Dark Mod. That wont happen of course, but thats why we are TALKING ABOUT IT HERE, to compare ideas and suggestions, and see what is viable.

But I am done, I hadnt realized this was a sensitive a subject as it obviously is, Ive stated my ideas and thats all I wanted to do.

Edited by Maximius, 04 August 2005 - 10:07 AM.





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