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Ghosting a Mission?


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Informally, it just means completing all objectives without alerting an AI to your presence. He can say something like "just the wind" or "musta been rats", but not to the next level where he knows someone is there. It also means not changing a room; only the loot is missing. So you close doors behind you; don't use consumables (water arrows etc); etc. No KOs. Basically, like a ghost came in, took everything, and disappeared.

 

Formally, there are actually "official" rules if you want to do it the formal way:

 

http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=30310

 

That's probably what you'd want to do if you wanted to give an official ghost report, whereas you could go the informal route if you're just doing it for fun.

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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What does it mean to ghost a mission???

There are several interpretations, but basically it means to complete the mission without being seen, and without blackjacking or killing (unless it is required to complete an objective).

 

Some take it to the extreme and complete the mission without being seen or heard, while leaving everything in the mission untouched other than those things absolutely necessary to complete the mission. That means no dousing of torches or candles, no rope or broadhead arrows left behind, if you move something you put it back like it was, moss arrows cleaned up, nobody KOed or killed, etc. Basically you leave no trace that you were there.

 

More detailed ghosting rules can be read here.

 

Ninja'd! :P

Edited by LeatherMan
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I personally consider ghosting the most "supreme" playing style and everytime I'm playing a new mission, I attempt to ghost it on Expert difficulty, which gives the most intense experience for me.

 

There are a couple of other playstyles as well, the second most popular among Thief fans is presumably "Lytha style", which basically means inflicting no damage to AI and getting all the loot. There's probably an official playstyle description for this one as well, but I'm not sure Lytha herself imposed a rigid set of rules on herself.

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I think of myself as a free or semi-ghoster in which I attempt to not be detected at all but I don't worry too much about closing doors etc. In particular though, I kind of don't mind using just one or two water arrows or KOs. To me that seems a good balance and gives a potency to the actions that routine use lacks.

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I always called my play-style Jazz Ghosting. You go for the ghost, but end up cocking it up, waking everyone up and only just getting out with your life. Half failing feels so fun. It kind of reminds me of damage control and that victorious limp to the end in games such as X-Wing and Silent Hunter where your X-wing/submarine get their sub-systems well and truly knocked out in a tense battle. Also, I guess Pathologic had it, where you're constantly struggling to survive an entire town going to hell.

 

(I'm really not a perfectionist either)

 

 

 

 

EDIT: OOooooh, ooh. I forgot. X-Com too. While your men are getting offed in horrible ways the tension is crazy. Love it.

 

 

 

Edited by Neb
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Ghost-mode actually gives you a lot of freedom. It's the supreme ghost mode in which you are not allowed to use anything of your equipment and have to leave everything in place besides the loot of course.

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The way I see it, if I wanted to break into a mansion, I would definitely knock everyone out. No question. People are too crafty for me to allow them to be conscious while I steal their things. That said, ghosting is definitely the hardest way to play the Theif-ish games. Well, in TDM's case, I think it might end up being harder to dual with each and every guard without dying than it would be to avoid them entirely. But I suck at it royally, so....

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It just doesn't appeal to me much. Kinda almost "unThiefy". And more than kinda unFun. In particular, to me, one of the primary elements (!) of Thief is the strategic dowsing of torches with water arrows. Even the long-shot braodhead kill (and subsequent rush-to and hiding of said dropped enemy...) is something I enjoy. The bow, man, the bow. Not so much the sword (actually, for me, never the blade), or a ton of thuggish blackjackings... but _the bow_, man, the bow. I _am_ the bow-man... and the shadow-sneaksie.

"A Rhapsody Of Feigned And Ill-Invented Nonsense" - Thomas Aikenhead, On Theology, ca. 1696

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I used to KO everyone by nature, and played that way for the longest time.

More recently I've started trying to ghost parts of FMs and only KO if I have to.

I don't know if my preference changed, but it may just be that sometimes it's nice to mix up your play style and have a different experience with the game.

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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I used to KO everyone by nature, and played that way for the longest time.  

More recently I've started trying to ghost parts of FMs and only KO if I have to.  

I don't know if my preference changed, but it may just be that sometimes it's nice to mix up your play style and have a different experience with the game.

 

I did the same for a while, but then it gets to be boring having all the AI in the map "sleeping". I try to ghost but don't force myself. If someone gives me trouble I will occasionally immobilize them, or some lights will be doused. The self-imposed restrictions are challenging and fun.

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I sure like the ghosting, but I am too lazy to do it most of the time. This is why I really like it when a mission does not leave the choice to me and gives me the "no blackjack tonight"-goal.

 

On the other hand it can be funny to knock out just everyone. You know you are finished when nothing moves anymore.

 

:)

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Interesting thread.. I didn't know about the term Ghosting till just npw. I have never ghosted a mission except in the Thief missions where you HAD to ghost.. you could not knock anyone out or kill a character due to things like thier ghost/undead, robots etc and were forced to ghost.

 

I like that now and then. Are there any FM Missions set up like that?

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Can't think of any FMs that forced ghosting off the top of my head, but Casing from T2 was kinda restrictive in that way (but you could still use water arrows etc). If you want a challenge, I remember having a hard time ghosting 'Embracing the Enemy', one of my favourite FMs and a very rewarding FM to ghost properly.

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I like missions like Trapped! where you have to acquire your weapons as you go... That sorta reminds me of "forced ghosting". (well... the Blackjack and Sword were in the next room :laugh: )...

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Some FMs like that are the start of Old Comrades Old Debts, Midday Escape, the start of Emilie Viktor ... probably a lot of others.

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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Interesting thread.. I didn't know about the term Ghosting till just npw. I have never ghosted a mission except in the Thief missions where you HAD to ghost.. you could not knock anyone out or kill a character due to things like thier ghost/undead, robots etc and were forced to ghost.

 

I like that now and then. Are there any FM Missions set up like that?

There are some. But the hardcore ghost community actually prefers to ghost missions not designed for ghosting, since it is often a greater challenge that way. Ghosting is pretty much testing yourself against hard rules and using every little trick in your arsenal to succeed, and missions set up for ghostability are typically a lot more forgiving than going into a situation where that wasn't an author's intention, but it is just doable. It is a fine line to walk.

 

The Hammerite Imperium mission The Seven Shades of Mercury has a lot of good ghosting challenges, especially if you don't find your tools as soon as you are supposed to (I didn't).

Edited by Melan

Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

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I recently ghosted most of Esme's mission, Bafford's Townhouse, because I couldn't find my equipment at the start. I ended up getting stuck against the wall and 'teleporting' into the house. Damn, ok, onwards.   :laugh:

 

It was a fairly hardcore experience with only lockpicks and a moss arrow.

 

 

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I play video games to relax unwind and have fun, and part of my relaxing process is nailing someone in the skull with an arrow. Since it's not that simple in this game, i at least want to knock them out. Call me old fasioned, but i couldn't think of much more stress releiving ways than violently stopping the movement of every moving thing. That's why i wish you could step on rats, that would be neat :)

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In my experience, ghosting doesn't sound like that much fun until you actually start doing it for whatever reason, and then you want to keep doing it as long as you can, until it gets to the point where you want to try to finish the mission without a bust. Then it takes on a life of its own, and it becomes its own challenge for its own sake.

 

I don't think it's something I would have thought about for myself until I read other peoples' experiences doing it and I thought, well, it's worth a try.

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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In my experience, ghosting doesn't sound like that much fun until you actually start doing it for whatever reason, and then you want to keep doing it as long as you can, until it gets to the point where you want to try to finish the mission without a bust. Then it takes on a life of its own, and it becomes its own challenge for its own sake.

 

Interesting take. I personally think ghosting is the most enjoyable and appropriate way to play Thief - I'm often surprised that the majority of the Thief community still likes breezing through a mission by blackjacking everything. I certainly played that way when I first got into Thief, but I quickly found it boring and almost laughably easy. Once you KO everyone in your way, you can just run through a mission like you're playing a Doom level, free to kangaroo jump down tiled-floor corridors without having to worry about a single AI. Lytha style is more challenging, but even with that you have license to alert a number of AI and run away from them unscathed.

 

I've been ghosting for eight years and I never get tired of it. I know this is partly personal taste, but I really think ghost mode as it is outlined in the official rules on the Eidos forums is a refreshing and sadly neglected playing style. I wish more in the Thief community didn't shy away from it or have misconceptions that it is "too hard." It really isn't, it just takes more patience and a delicate hand. If you can wait in the dark and sneak up to a guard and knock him out, you can certainly wait a few more seconds and skulk past his patrol instead. Ghosting some missions will obviously be harder than others (trying to ghost T1's "Escape" is tantamount to masochism). There are situations where AI seem impossible to sneak by or one must rely on alternative methods like nudging, banner transmigration, and stacking objects to avoid alerts, but that's what makes ghosting a consistently stimulating and exhilarating way of playing, whereas with blackjacking, there's not much else to do in the mission but find a target and knock it out of commission.

 

There is such a feeling of satisfaction and sense of accomplishment with ghosting, too. I remember the first time I ghosted T2's "Life of the Party" and just knowing that I traversed the thieves' highway, looted Angel Watch, and infiltrated Karras' office without knocking out or putting one AI on 2nd alert left me much more fulfilled than I would have leaving a trail of unconscious bodies in my wake.

 

Incidentally, I find ghosting quite preferable and more easier than KOing in TDM. The stealth score in TDM is an added incentive to even avoid first alerts, and that is where I think the most difficult Thief playing style, "supreme ghost mode", should be noted: no first alerts, no expended equipment, and all items returned to their original locations are the principal tenets. Normal ghosting isn't so difficult by comparison and there are a couple forum members from Eidos who actually believe that normal ghosting is easy.

 

My bottom line here is that I think more people might enjoy ghosting if they remove all thoughts of it being difficult and instead think of it as an exciting way of playing that is befitting of a master thief.

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Welcome to the forums, Hexameron! Helluva first post.

Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

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For me, ghosting is about immersion. It really makes no sense to me to KO everything that moves and to be playing in a mission without life and activity is a loss of quality. I'm still happy to take out the odd AI or extinguish one or two torches. It feels more potent and it is part of the game after all.

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It really makes no sense to me to KO everything that moves and to be playing in a mission without life and activity is a loss of quality.

 

I don't necessarily KO or "Kill'em All!"...

 

But it's not as if this is to be excused as playing in a mission without life... the KOing, killing, and extinguishing IS playing. You do this as you play through. :ph34r:

 

As I've said before, Thief is about the bow, man.

 

Ghost schmost... causing no commotion or the chance of it by just bidding your time to an excess? That's tedious and boring to me (most of the time -- I do occasionally ghost...)

 

Taking some merc (paid thug {guard}) down from afar and rushing to get him hidden before his fellow mercs notice? That's a rush!

 

My bottom line here is that I think more people might enjoy ghosting if they remove all thoughts of it being difficult and instead think of it as an exciting way of playing that is befitting of a master thief.

 

I think if more people remove all thoughts of ghosting being anything but a perversion (!) or the pure thiefy thief-as-intended (!) and instead think of USING THE BOW as skillfully and stealthily as possible, and, in so doing, realize they are now playing a far more exciting and wonderfully wonderful game, they will realize they are now playing a far more exciting and wonderfully wonderful game. ;)

 

:ph34r:

"A Rhapsody Of Feigned And Ill-Invented Nonsense" - Thomas Aikenhead, On Theology, ca. 1696

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