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Cynical

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  1. >You'll never get a full-game length campaign packaged with the mod's download.
  2. In the first game, if you don't have the "stance indicator" turned on in the HUD, it's hard to tell if you're standing or crouched if you don't have a weapon out (and you usually don't want a weapon out, since you move faster with your weapons sheathed). The "shroud" in the sequel fixes this, and lets you play with a more minimal HUD.
  3. This explains a lot, heh. (Strange Bedfellows taking so long really surprises me, though. I always thought that one seemed really uninspired.)
  4. A bit of a bump here, but I really dislike global no-kill/no-KO objectives. To me, a big part of what makes Thief fun is the elasticity/"soft failure" thing; you get caught, but you've got options for getting out, and each of those options opens up new kinds of play. Hiding bodies, swordfighting, headshot sniping; these are all forms of play that you're just excising completely with these restrictions, possibilities that you're stopping the player from exploring. Heavy restrictions of this nature this are something I've seen in a lot of the TDM missions I've tried lately, either through no-kill restrictions or heavily limited inventories like in the PDs or the start of Ulysses Genesis (which is even worse, IMO, because you lose even more forms of play such as "Flashbomb and run"), and they kill the fun for me. An entire game of "wait for the patrolling guards to look away, then slip through the danger zone, with a forced reload if you mess it up" with no variations can get old, fast. I'm a bit more flexible on no-kill than I am on no-KO. No-kill on a story target or two is OK. "No unarmed civilian kills" is also OK with me, since there's never a situation where you'll be properly "fighting" something unarmed. A global "that fancy sword is just for fashion", though, is just a huge turn-off. As for loot goals, I like them as long as they're reasonable. "Find shiny thing, hear that tell-tale chime and know that you're one step closer to your objective" is a great feedback loop.
  5. 1. NHAT 2 2. TP5 3. NHAT 3 4. Coercion 5. TP6 HMs: NHAT1, TP2 NHAT is easily the best and most polished campaign available right now, other than maybe William Steele (which I haven't played yet). Every mission is good, the only real pratfall is the puzzle in NHAT 3 which is skippable for a small HP cost, and particularly impressive is the way it manages to have a proper difficulty curve over only three maps. I saw that a couple years ago, there was some talk of including it in the package like Lucia, and I'd be entirely in favor of that. TP's high points are at a similar level of quality, but it's inconsistent IMO. Coercion is probably the single most polished TDM mission I've seen -- it's insanely smooth and well playing -- but its limited scope keeps it down the list a bit. It would be perfect as the opening mission for a campaign, though. EDIT: Just tried WS1, and it makes me feel pretty confident in my list above. I don't know how many of WS1's issues are version changes (I suspect the non-frobbable objects on guard belts are the result of this) and how much of it is just bad design (no-kill requirements on all difficulties are always a bad idea, and I'm not certain but I suspect the invisible-low-ceiling-in-an-area-with-a-platforming-puzzle issues aren't version related), but either way, it's no where near the caliber of NHAT or the better parts of the TP series.
  6. Gave this a shot last night. Looked great, and had amazing performance for the downright nuts level of detail, but I ran into a lot of snags on playability. The first one, and the one that really set up the frustration for the others, is that both the zombies and the skeletons stayed in perma-alert once they had seen me once (I thought this was intentional at the time and was just annoyed by what I thought was an inexplicable design decision, but judging from an earlier post where someone reported it happening with the skeletons as a bug, maybe it's not intentional?) Given the high enemy density and no holy water (as a side note, I'm never a fan of stealth game design with minimal elasticity, and with no holy water, this seems like a prime example of that, since you can't kill the relevant patrols in the mission), it meant that I had to keep moving constantly or risk getting cornered, which in turn made exploration really onerous. And, I'm sure you can tell "made exploration really onerous" is going... (the rest of this is spoiler-riffic) I also had the same issues that Sotha did with a spider-corpse blocking the door. Not really your fault, but still annoying.
  7. Ah, ok; I thought that search was "no-go", but relaxed with weapon in hand was fine. That explains what I was seeing (word had gotten out about things missing from display cases).
  8. Gave this a quick run on Easy -- I probably should have gone Medium, but I'm not a fan of "no-kill" rules, even though I didn't kill anyone (elasticity on player failure is important to me in stealth games). Overall, I really liked it! I'm not certain if that guard on the top floor is impossible to blackjack, or if it's just typical TDM blackjacking weirdness; I tried to KO him for about 10 minutes before giving up, and every time I just got a *clang* "Ow!". If he is an "unblackjackable" type, I'm not a fan of that -- it really only serves to slow the pacing down (at least on Easy), since one guard with a predictable pattern isn't any kind of a persistent threat. Otherwise, good stuff -- simple but effective layout with multiple approaches, some fun loots (love that dagger that requires lockpicking in the light), some light puzzling and traps, a bit of traditional "hide and seek" play on the lower floors; a bite-size but tasty portion of Thief-ifsh fun.
  9. There seems to be a bug with a lot of the locked things in this mission; if you don't have the "automatically open unlocked objects" option turned ON, a lot of them can't be opened after being unlocked. That was the main thing I came to post, but since I voted "poor" for gameplay while I was here, I guess I should expound more: The overall structure of the mission felt very "stringy"/"chokepoint-y", like it was a series of very small setpieces joined together by doors and short hallways. I've always thought the Thief games thrived on interconnectivity in level design -- the ability to move around a space in lots of different ways and pick your routes through it -- and I just wasn't getting that here. Also, I thought that the invisible dudes were incredibly annoying (basically a save/reload spam-fest), and I don't know why the holy water was so plentiful, since it seemed to have no effect on anything in the level other than the basic zombies (and you don't have enough water arrows to kill a meaningful number of them, anyways). The "Lost City" style rope arrow climb up the side of the tower was also annoying, doubly so since a single bad rope arrow shot was a forced game reload.
  10. You have the logic backwards here. I treat them differently because they are different; the examples of me treating them differently was used to explain the "good-ness" of variety in enemies. (The Thief wiki is wrong about the ease of killing Haunts -- they're definitely easier than regular Hammers, for a lot of reasons. Yes, they're faster. They also do less damage, have a shorter reach [and it doesn't look like their combat AI compensates for this, so if you know how to space yourself, it's easy to get them to savagely slash the air in front of you], and take damage from flash bombs. This is all quite fortunate, since you can't really run from them like you can guards, because of their faster footspeed.)
  11. If you had read what I was responding to, I was responding to someone saying that TDM undead worked mostly like T1 undead. Which, I guess we agree, isn't the case. Yes, because the way you handle them if (or when) you get detected is different. In T1, you don't treat Haunts the same way you do regular guards after being detected; you kill Haunts, because they're easy to kill (btw, you're forgetting flashbombs as a damage source on them -- one flashbomb and one slash usually kills a Haunt), and you hide from guards. In TDM, you hide from both (or, more likely against Revenants, reload your game). Likewise with Zombies. In TDM, you just sit in a shadow and wait for them to walk by, like an elite guard. In T1, when they get close, you move (and likely run), no matter how nice of a shadow you find yourself in. The net effect of this is that undead levels in TDM are basically just palette-swapped guard levels, while undead levels in T1 actually play differently. It's a good thing that levels with drastically different themes play differently.
  12. Read again -- they can identify the player visually, just not anything else.
  13. Zombies and Revenants in TDM don't really work like Zombies and Haunts in Thief 1 at all, though. Thief 1 Zombies have an additional "radius detection" on top of their very low base senses that lets them "see" you in pure black shadows, and their persistence in a chase is very low. Haunts in Thief 1 are actually more fragile and easier to kill than regular guards are, with half the HP of a Hammerite, no resistances at all, and lots of weird vulnerabilities that make them easier to kill (thank the Builder that this is the case, since you have to kill about a dozen of them in Return to the Cathedral -- an objective that would be frustrating to the point of 100% unbearable in TDM). Buricks, likewise, have very different detection rules than humans do, although I guess it's easy to miss that, since most people just slaughter them. I could not disagree more. Escape! is by far my favorite mission in Thief 1. That the undead, particularly Revenants, behave roughly like human guard re-skins is a major flaw. The Shadow enemies in TP06 do a better job at filling the role of Zombies in Thief 1 than TDM's Zombies do. EDIT: How do you attribute quotes to the right people on this forum? I used tags and copy/paste to get AirshipBallet's and Springheel's quotes here, but the [q uote=person] formatting didn't seem to take correctly, and now the quotes are showing as images in the post, so I can't even try to correct this by changing the code.
  14. I've played eight missions, not counting the tutorial. In that time, I've encountered one creature that didn't behave like a human or "a human that can't be blackjacked". If you play the first eight missions of Thief Gold, you run into Zombies, Haunts, Fire Shadows, Buricks, and two varieties of Spiders (and Craymen, but I'm not counting them, because their core behavior more or less falls into the "reskinned human" category). If you play the non-Gold Thief TDP, you don't encounter Fire Shadows in that period of time, but you do encounter Fire Elementals, so it's the same number. Thief 2 is a bit weaker here (one of many reasons it's inferior to the first game), but even there, in the first eight missions you've seen cameras (and you've seen them do a large variety of things upon player detection) and two types of robots (provided that you haven't gone well out of your way specifically to say "hi!" to a few Haunts). So, either: 1: The Dark Mod, as currently implemented by the community, has far less variety in challenge design than the classic Thief games, boiling it down to "harder" versions of basic guards or 2: I'm playing the wrong levels, in which case, what campaigns should I be playing?
  15. Just finished this mission (and the TP campaign as a whole). I liked this one quite a bit, as well -- not as much as the previous one, but well enough. It had a strong Thief 1 vibe IMO, . There's a couple of rough edges on the actual play that are worth mentioning:
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