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Things that could be improved

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15 hours ago, New Horizon said:

I don't really know if it's a matter of quality of the samples or that some players think the footsteps volume should be 'realistic'. 

I guess, it is more of them being unintuitive. The thing with footstep sounds is that some players use their feet for walking in real life. They unconsciously know, how different shoes (or bare feet) sound on different surfaces. They also would not expect a thief going about his business wearing clogs.

In my opinion, the actual hearing of the AI does not need tweaking. But there definitely is potential for tweaking what the player hears.
Maybe an extra slider for footstep sounds in the sound settings would be the ultimate fix. That way the players having a selective footstep deafness could keep them at their current level.

Edited by Abusimplea
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When I press inventory key (the one that display all inventory items), the mouse cursor is sometimes far away from the screen center which force to reposition the mouse on the mousepad. It would be nice if the mouse cursor is automatically moved to the screen center each time you press inventory key.

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I’m sure this will have been discussed before, and I admit I haven’t checked through the other 82 pages of this thread. But I believe, and have done for some time, that the biggest problem with the game is the combat system. I acknowledge that some regard Thief as too easy, and I know TDM has different difficulty settings. But the easiest TDM setting is still too difficult, and in no way comparable with Thief. 

I’m currently using TDM 2.08, 64 bit, but have also used previous versions. Here specifically is what I don’t like.

1. The blackjack is too erratic. I realise that, just as with Thief, some AI cannot be blackjacked but, with those that can, success or failure can sometimes seem to depend on miniscule difference of proximity or timing.  Some of us don’t like ghosting, we prefer to clear the AI out the way as much as possible so we can admire and explore the wonderful map the author has created, and get to work on any puzzles they have set us, at our leisure.  But all too often frustrating multiple reloads are required because an AI won’t go down. And once they are alerted by an unsuccessful BJ attempt, the following additional problems arise.

2. AIs have elastic arms. They can cause you damage at what seems like 8 or 9 feet from their bodies, and can do so through walls. This is even true of weaponless zombies, their swiping arms balloon out and catch you from way off. By contrast the player can only seem to cause damage when they are within 2 or 3 feet of their target, using the blunt knitting needle that is the short sword, a weapon which is particularly ineffective against the undead.

3. And when you’re hit, you put away any weapon you’ve drawn.  It’s right that you take damage, and possibly have to pause, but not put away your weapon. What, so you can shake their hand?

Many of us have come to TDM from Thief and continue to play Thief FMs as well as TDM. Can’t we have a combat difficulty setting in TDM that mirrors Thief’s gameplay more closely? 

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2 hours ago, Marbrien said:

1. The blackjack is too erratic. I realise that, just as with Thief, some AI cannot be blackjacked but, with those that can, success or failure can sometimes seem to depend on miniscule difference of proximity or timing.

I agree to that which is why I removed the magical zero-seconds immunity to blackjacking in my Unofficial Patch. Please test it and tell me if this would be more like you imagine it! You can find it as a TDM addon on the ModDB...

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I will never understand how much trouble people still have with Blackjacking in TDM, unless you're new of course, it's understandable.

But, if we make it any easier.....it's already trivial to knock out everyone, and I play on Challenging/Challenging for site and sound of AI.

Like....how easy do you need it?

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I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

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3 hours ago, Marbrien said:

I’m sure this will have been discussed before, and I admit I haven’t checked through the other 82 pages of this thread. But I believe, and have done for some time, that the biggest problem with the game is the combat system. I acknowledge that some regard Thief as too easy, and I know TDM has different difficulty settings. But the easiest TDM setting is still too difficult, and in no way comparable with Thief. 

 

 

 

I’m currently using TDM 2.08, 64 bit, but have also used previous versions. Here specifically is what I don’t like.

 

 

 

1. The blackjack is too erratic. I realise that, just as with Thief, some AI cannot be blackjacked but, with those that can, success or failure can sometimes seem to depend on miniscule difference of proximity or timing.  Some of us don’t like ghosting, we prefer to clear the AI out the way as much as possible so we can admire and explore the wonderful map the author has created, and get to work on any puzzles they have set us, at our leisure.  But all too often frustrating multiple reloads are required because an AI won’t go down. And once they are alerted by an unsuccessful BJ attempt, the following additional problems arise.

 

 

 

2. AIs have elastic arms. They can cause you damage at what seems like 8 or 9 feet from their bodies, and can do so through walls. This is even true of weaponless zombies, their swiping arms balloon out and catch you from way off. By contrast the player can only seem to cause damage when they are within 2 or 3 feet of their target, using the blunt knitting needle that is the short sword, a weapon which is particularly ineffective against the undead.

 

3. And when you’re hit, you put away any weapon you’ve drawn.  It’s right that you take damage, and possibly have to pause, but not put away your weapon. What, so you can shake their hand?

 

Many of us have come to TDM from Thief and continue to play Thief FMs as well as TDM. Can’t we have a combat difficulty setting in TDM that mirrors Thief’s gameplay more closely? 

 

 

 


I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

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Blackjacking needs to get used to when you come from Thief, where it is easier. However, it is mainly a matter of practise.

Regarding taking out most of the ai. It makes sense to create missions in a way that players can follow different approaches, but taking out most of the ai is definetely not the idea behind a stealth game (the emphasis lies on stealth). Surely the average mission shouldn't force you to ghost it (and they usually don't), but it should be pretty obvious that going rambo isn't something you should expect to be successful. If you do so, you are probably in the wrong genre. ;)


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1 hour ago, Obsttorte said:

It makes sense to create missions in a way that players can follow different approaches, but taking out most of the ai is definetely not the idea behind a stealth game (the emphasis lies on stealth).

Actually, for me, stealthily K.O.ing (or killing if they aren't K.O.able) all the AI is exactly, what i try to do in any stealth game.
In TDM i even make unaccessible sleepers wake up so i can blackjack them.
I also leave doors open, switch lights off, or make noise (not using that arrow though) to lure guards into an ambush.

I consider playing as a poltergeist to be a legitimate playstyle (did not check with the playstyle police yet though).

P.S.: Blackjacking may have its quirks. But it works fine for me most of the time.

Edited by Abusimplea

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Perhaps I am in a minority in having these difficulties (which weren't solely about the BJ, incidentally). I wonder how big or small that minority might be, and whether any survey has been attempted on what players like and dislike about TDM, whether they be TDM authors or solely players, and whether they have come to TDM via Thief or not.  If the minority is a sizeable one, it could be the appeal of TDM is being unnecessarily limited. 

Edited by Marbrien

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Ive looked into the blackjack a bit - its hit detection and everything seems solid. I think the biggest difference as far as I can tell between thief and TDM is the TDM guards have random head movements which shift the volume that detects a successful black jack. 

So in other words,  you want to make sure your landing the hit according to the direction the back of their head is facing (this is basically and invisible cone protruding out from their skull).  This can take a lot of getting used to for sure.

There are other factors too- how alerted they are, are they wearing helmets... ect.. 

 

In general the system is more complex than thief,  but it might not be communicating those complexities as well as it could I guess. Im curious, did you play the tutorial? 

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1 hour ago, Marbrien said:

Perhaps I am in a minority in having these difficulties (which weren't solely about the BJ, incidentally).

I belong to these people too, which was one of the main reasons I made the patch. I would guess most of the developers here are professionals, while I play TDM once in a while when a new mission comes out or I when am bored. Regarding the black jacking, the act as such is not problematic in my opinion but the enemies getting immune once they are alerted. Why should a guard suddenly get a force field around it's head the second he hears you ;)? In my patch you can black jack normal guards unless they have their weapon between you and the blackjack after which is gets very difficult as it should...

Edited by wesp5
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2 hours ago, kingsal said:

Ive looked into the blackjack a bit - its hit detection and everything seems solid. I think the biggest difference as far as I can tell between thief and TDM is the TDM guards have random head movements which shift the volume that detects a successful black jack. 

So in other words,  you want to make sure your landing the hit according to the direction the back of their head is facing (this is basically and invisible cone protruding out from their skull).  This can take a lot of getting used to for sure.

There are other factors too- how alerted they are, are they wearing helmets... ect.. 

 

In general the system is more complex than thief,  but it might not be communicating those complexities as well as it could I guess. Im curious, did you play the tutorial? 

 

Yeah, the blackjack system was something I looked into years ago.  Characters with no helmets can be blackjacked from any direction.  It's when you get into helmets that things get tricky.  The elite guard helmets with the grill on the front and extension down the back can not be blackjacked, though I"m not sure how many missions actually use them.  It has been a long time since I set all that stuff up, but if I recall...the standard helmet guards can only be blackjacked from directly behind when alert.  I did my best to make the cones extend far enough to be forgiving but there always seems to be people who have continued to have issues with it.

I have to wonder if these players have the AI visual and audio sensitivity on the expert settings.  A couple years back there was a player who was going to uninstall TDM because they couldn't stand how hyper sensitive the guards were when compared to Thief.  I pointed out those Audio / and Visual sensitivity settings, they lowered them and were able to enjoy the game as they did in Thief...blackjacking was easier, guards weren't seeing them from crazy distances and over reacting.  

What settings does the Mod ship with these days anyway?  

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14 hours ago, AluminumHaste said:

I will never understand how much trouble people still have with Blackjacking in TDM, unless you're new of course, it's understandable.

I play the mod for ten years now, and still have issues knocking people out. So, yeah, I can definitely relate to the problem... the blackjacking always was weird in TDM.

I don't think it has to do with helmet or not either. Sometimes, I have no problem knocking out guards with helment, even though I feel like I wouldn't knock them out, and sometimes, I fail on guard with no helmet at all 3 or 4 times in a row, even though it "felt good", and I have no idea what I' doing wrong. And, no, those guards aren't alerted either. It's just that it seems like the game has such a small area you have to hit perfectly that it's a hit or miss most of the time. The original Thief's were just totally different in that regard.

There are quite a few missions which have elite guards. If you want to try one particular mission, then try William Steele 3, where there are 3 or 4 elite guards right at the beginning, guarding sewers. *cough cough*

Edited by chakkman
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It rarely comes up for me because I ghost whenever possible and knock out guards only when absolutely necessary, preferably with gas arrows, but there is something I'd like to know. Why do I sometimes hit (it seems) an invisible wooden barrier between me and the guard that protects him from the blackjack and makes a huge wooden thump noise that alerts him? Am I hitting the ceiling or other parts of the map geometry somehow? If so, it's absurdly unforgiving- I must have go-go-Gadget arms six feet long- and misleading because I get the sound of wood even if the only surfaces anywhere near me are made of rock.


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Just to pick up on some points here: I have seen the BJ video before, the one reposted by AluminiumHaste, quite some time ago. It improved my success rate, but only to a degree.  I think I also played an in-game tutorial, again a long time ago.

I have my AI settings at Nearly Blind and Nearly Deaf, and Combat Difficulty at Normal (which seems to be the easiest setting). 

Knocking out non-elite helmeted guards when they are standing or walking on an incline seems a lot harder than when they are on the level.

And if you don't want to avoid the undead but dispose of them, other than by fire or holy water arrows, you have another problem altogether.

 

Edited by Marbrien

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What I picked up from the video is that it seems like you have to have the right distance, and that it's better to knock them on the neck. Doing that doesn't really change much for me though. It's still a complete hit and miss. As I mentioned, sometimes it seems it's even easier to knock guards with helmets out, than the ones without. It remains a mystery for me. 

Sometimes I even manage to knock a guard out from 45° in front. Which is weird, because, that never worked for me in the past (knocking guards out from the front).

In general, there's nothing which is less rewarding for me than successfully sneaking up a guard, and then mess up the blackjacking because the system works in a way that is not obvious to the player.

Edited by chakkman
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Well, I don't think it will ever be as easy as in the Thief 1-2 series, as you could blackjack them anywhere when they weren't in alert state and knock them out, which was kinda dumb, but the limit of the tech at the time.

I think most people have trouble is they aim too high and look at the top of the guards head when swinging the blackjack. This often hits the wrong spot, or the ceiling. I always just look at the middle of their back or just below the neck, and don't get too close.

 

Getting too close is guaranteed failure.


I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

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22 minutes ago, AluminumHaste said:

Getting too close is guaranteed failure.

Could this be fixed by changing the cone? Because for most people if would seem reasonable that you could not ever fail in real life by being too close...

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That's not true at all, like swinging a baseball bat or an axe, getting too close to what you're swinging at becomes innefective. If you're too close to your target you don't get your full power swing, which would happen at almost full arm extension

 

Remember, you're not giving these people a friendly pat on the back (of the head), you're bludgeoning them unconcious.


I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

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56 minutes ago, AluminumHaste said:

Remember, you're not giving these people a friendly pat on the back (of the head), you're bludgeoning them unconcious.

Yeah, but you are not using a bat or something, but a small item exactly made for that purpose. What I know from movies and books, you do it from rather close up...

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4 hours ago, AluminumHaste said:

Well, I don't think it will ever be as easy as in the Thief 1-2 series, as you could blackjack them anywhere when they weren't in alert state and knock them out, which was kinda dumb, but the limit of the tech at the time.

I think most people have trouble is they aim too high and look at the top of the guards head when swinging the blackjack. This often hits the wrong spot, or the ceiling. I always just look at the middle of their back or just below the neck, and don't get too close.

 

Getting too close is guaranteed failure.

The thing is, in a game without peripheral vision (after all, it's not (yet) VR), it's not that easy to estimate the distance, and, if the game is so picky about the distance then... well, you say it. Guaranteed failure.

Anyway, all that I'm saying is that it should be more forgiving. As I mentioned, it's very unrewarding to fail knockouts because the games is so fidgety about distance. And, I wouldn't expect the sweet spot to be somewhere on the back or below the neck of a guard as well... "Aim for the head", as they say.

Edited by chakkman
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I totally get where you're coming from man. But, it's been explained HOW to blackjack in THIS game, saying that it still doesn't work like the other games, or you can't play in a similar style is holding you back.

Abandon what you know, learn what works and what doesn't. The distance that the black jack works is not some magical number that's always changing, it's hard coded based on what you're aiming at. Getting too close will fail, being too far will fail.

Sorry I sound so blunt but it's been literally 14 years that I've been listening to and watching people fail at some aspect of TDM, and then CONTINUE to try for success using the same technique even after they've been told and shown how to adjust.

And basically it almost always boils down to; "It worked this way in Thief, and that doesn't work in this game, make it work like in Thief where I could do X really well".

Guess we'll have to agree to disagree here, I find blackjacking in Thief 1-2 stupid easy and requires no skill whatsoever, and blackjacking in TDM to be super easy most of the time, unless I'm coming in a a weird angle or screw up myself.


I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

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Normally, I would agree, but, as I mentioned, I try to get the blackjack thing for 10 years now, and it's still a hit and miss (I watched your videos, and tried to figure it out, but, I still can't reliably blackjack the guards). There's just something terribly wrong with it. Sorry to be so insisting, but, I really think it is. The amount of complaints about it tell me I'm not alone with my assessment either...

Edited by chakkman

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