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Things that could be improved


Berny
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2 hours ago, Araneidae said:

[...] something like a number between 0 and 5 that I could filter on if I come back and want to revisit.  For me 0 would mean "don't play this, you hated every minute", 1 is "really didn't like this very much", 2 is "meh, some elements of interest", 3 is "pretty average", 4 is "that was decent", and of course 5 for all those superb missions out there (Iris, Requiem, In the North (maybe a 4.5 for me), etc).

If the problem is the (lack of) available space, and as a start, a simple icon besides each mission that I can toggle on and off at will would suffice to me.

That single icon can, at a later stage, grow into a sequence of icons depending on the number of clicks:

Default state: [nothing]

Click: 🤩

Click: 🙂

Click: 🙁

Click: 🥴

Click: [nothing]

Edited by snatcher
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Instead of stars the mission rating could be represented by text color, too, if desired. The question is how many users are really desiring this, as in are there enough to motivate someone who has no interest in this but the skill to apply such changes to actually spend time on this. Otherwise you have to change it yourself.

FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

Texture Blending in DR: DR ASE Blend Exporter

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One of the criticisms I often read of TDM, especially in other venues where it is being unfavorably compared to the thief - is that AI acuity balance by default seems a little unfair where a slight misstep can feel like it brings the whole map down on you. Overall this contributes to an unfavorably high “quickloads per minute” for many typical players.

While I don’t agree with many of the other typical criticisms - this one I can’t really argue with.

Obviously an element of this is in the individual encounter designs themselves which will vary mission to mission, but when it comes up I almost always encourage new players to crank the acuity in the difficulty down to their taste as they may not be aware this is somewhat scalable in the options menu.

I honestly play on nearly deaf/nearly blind myself. I wouldn’t propose overhauling the current acuity settings options but maybe there could be additional ones even lower?

Perhaps one of these lower setting could be set as default and then adjusted up to taste instead of risking new players having a bad experience before they get to the point they understand they can tailor this element of their experience?

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17 minutes ago, Wellingtoncrab said:

One of the criticisms I often read of TDM, especially in other venues where it is being unfavorably compared to the thief - is that AI acuity balance by default seems a little unfair where a slight misstep can feel like it brings the whole map down on you. Overall this contributes to an unfavorably high “quickloads per minute” for many typical players.

While I don’t agree with many of the other typical criticisms - this one I can’t really argue with.

Obviously an element of this is in the individual encounter designs themselves which will vary mission to mission, but when it comes up I almost always encourage new players to crank the acuity in the difficulty down to their taste as they may not be aware this is somewhat scalable in the options menu.

I honestly play on nearly deaf/nearly blind myself. I wouldn’t propose overhauling the current acuity settings options but maybe there could be additional ones even lower?

Perhaps one of these lower setting could be set as default and then adjusted up to taste instead of risking new players having a bad experience before they get to the point they understand they can tailor this element of their experience?

...and if you're going to adjust the default settings for that, maybe you could also set it so that the default is named the same, because right now hearing and sight is different levels. ...and none of these levels are named "normal", so you just have to remember which level settings is the default.

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I would say set defaults both to forgiving and lockpicking to trainer. When you just learned lockpicking in the trainer mission, it makes sense to have it start at that level.

Personally I have set both Ai hearing and Ai vision to chalenging (I'm tempting to increase it further), but lockpicking to trainer lever, because I don't like that minigame much (I mean it gets old over time).

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I think it doesn't hurt to let the default be on low, less challenging levels. However, it might be worthwhile to

  1. somehow communicate it to players that they can increase the settings further (and may do so once they played a bit to get the experience the mission authors are aiming for)
  2. should communicate to mappers that acuity settings are more or less average values that need fine-tuning depending on the situation/geometry the ai is used in. I fairly doubt that there are a lot of mappers, if any, who actually make adjustments to that values. It may also be a good usus (by mappers) to make it difficulty dependent (even Thief Deadly Shadows did that)
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FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

Texture Blending in DR: DR ASE Blend Exporter

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6 minutes ago, Obsttorte said:

I think it doesn't hurt to let the default be on low, less challenging levels. However, it might be worthwhile to

  1. somehow communicate it to players that they can increase the settings further (and may do so once they played a bit to get the experience the mission authors are aiming for)
  2. should communicate to mappers that acuity settings are more or less average values that need fine-tuning depending on the situation/geometry the ai is used in. I fairly doubt that there are a lot of mappers, if any, who actually make adjustments to that values. It may also be a good usus (by mappers) to make it difficulty dependent (even Thief Deadly Shadows did that)

1. Could this adjustment be mentioned in the tutorial map? Is there a sneaking section there? I can't remember. I was thinking that there could be an area at the end, where the tutorial just goes "Here's a friendly thief standing guard to spot students traversing this room. Experiment with the settings to the point where you feel able to traverse the room without the guard seeing or hearing you.".

2. Do you mean writing a wiki tutorial about how to set that up according to difficulty? ( ...because I doubt it's fun to be surprised by just one of the guards suddenly having extra good hearing, especially on the easiest difficulty, so the only good way to use altered acuity, is probably to set it up according to difficulty.)

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5 hours ago, Wellingtoncrab said:

One of the criticisms I often read of TDM, especially in other venues where it is being unfavorably compared to the thief - is that AI acuity balance by default seems a little unfair where a slight misstep can feel like it brings the whole map down on you.

I have the suspicion, that most of the unfair acuity is caused by room-to-room leaks. When you can hear a guard walking by outside the room as if it where inside the room, chances are that the audio system actually assumes it being inside the room. Dmap can't warn you about improper room-to-room sealing - and beta testers are often experienced players, which barely make any noise anyways. I expect there to be tons of these internal sealing bugs in existing missions.

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On 6/20/2022 at 2:11 PM, Obsttorte said:
  1. somehow communicate it to players that they can increase the settings further (and may do so once they played a bit to get the experience the mission authors are aiming for)

Perhaps on the difficulty selection screen during the mission briefing there could be a small button below the three main difficulty selections - “Advanced Difficulty Options” or something which just takes you to the screen to adjust the seeing/hearing/lock picking global options. Not sure if you’re at the point of the mission brief if you can even open the main menu without exiting the mission (so you might have to watch the briefing video again, etc)

I still think even though there is a definite element of design and FM authors could do better here, for overall accessibility it would still be good to have additional layers to make the game easier. This might allow you to “flatten” the experience across FMs and better contend with all of the existing variance in legacy missions.

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I have never or almost never (don't recall) changed difficulty settings in any game and I always select and stick to "Normal" (or whatever name the game presents as the default). I consider normal = balanced or: "the best we could come up with for the best experience". I either like the experience (and therefore the game) or not, but I restrain myself from adjusting difficulty mainly because I don't trust what devs do behind curtains with, what I consider: "extra settings to please a wider audience". I have nothing against a wide array of options or settings, though.

In TDM, I haven't changed any of the difficulty settings and I don't I have plans to. So far it is fine. I hope I am not missing anything,

Now that I am at it, and upon close examination, I detect:

"AI Vision" and "AI Hearing" must be either "Forgiving" or "Challenging", no middle ground (Normal or Default), which sends to me the message "I couldn't make up my mind, you decide".

"Lockpicking": Fine, but "Average" should be either "Normal" or "Default". I don't know what "Auto" is for and the GUI doesn't want me to know.

"Combat Difficulty": No "Easy" (or "Forgiving") mode? Weird. The rest is fine.

Oh, and a "Reset to Defaults", at least in some areas, is missing but, I think it was reported somewhere already.

Cheers!

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  • 4 weeks later...

The blackjacking. Improve the blackjacking. So I don't have to save scum absolutely every time I do it because I know its just a matter of luck whether the guy goes down.

As somebody who plays Thief 1 2 and 3 in a manner that involves knocking out everyone and everything that's knock outable on a level, its really jarring how the blackjacking works or doesn't work in The Dark Mod.

That and the impossibility of combat and backstabbing are my only complaints with this game.

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Combat easy:

 

And we just had this discussion for like 10 pages, and got nowhere.
For most of us it's second nature at this point, others, still find it difficult because it's not as forgiving as Thief 1/2 blackjacking.

Wesps has a patch that changes AI behaviour and KO rules a bit to make it more forgiving, check it out.

I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

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A. Thank you very much for directing my attention to that patch. It fixes several small problems I have with The Dark Mod.

B. That video you posted of the combat...
I don't get it. I CANT do that. My weapon never seems to make contact with the enemy no matter how close I stand and what direction I swing it from. I swear I just fought a haunt for 5 straight minutes without doing any damage to it.

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Haunts are the hardest enemies in the game, head shots like I'm doing in the video don't work as well.

Also, try inverting the attack in the game settings, play around with it, lower combat difficulty.

I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

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18 hours ago, wesp5 said:

Oops, AluminumHaste was faster :)!

Hey there! Great mod! Thanks for making it! :)
Only complaint I have is that holy water is still useless. At least in the level I played. 20 bottles couldn't take down a single zombie. Am I doing something wrong or is it just the level Im on or what?

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2 hours ago, LaughingMan008 said:

Only complaint I have is that holy water is still useless. At least in the level I played. 20 bottles couldn't take down a single zombie. Am I doing something wrong or is it just the level Im on or what?

Did you hold down the attack key to throw it farther so it actually hits the zombie? Because the damage has increased threefold compared to normal holy water arrows and should kill every supernatural. If it doesn't, tell me in which mission it happened and then I might take a look...

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42 minutes ago, wesp5 said:

Did you hold down the attack key to throw it farther so it actually hits the zombie? Because the damage has increased threefold compared to normal holy water arrows and should kill every supernatural. If it doesn't, tell me in which mission it happened and then I might take a look...

Yup. I'm holding the key down to throw.
Thomas Porter 6: Lich Queen's Demise. Holy water seems to have no effect at all on any enemies in the level. It doesn't seem to do any damage at all. Any other good recommendations for levels where I could test the holy water out? Levels that are just instant undead fests?

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1 hour ago, LaughingMan008 said:

Thomas Porter 6: Lich Queen's Demise. Holy water seems to have no effect at all on any enemies in the level.

I'm pretty sure I played that mission with my patch. Have you tried throwing several bottles at a lich? I remember that some of them were too hard for only one. Maybe I need to raise the damage some more...

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11 minutes ago, wesp5 said:

I'm pretty sure I played that mission with my patch. Have you tried throwing several bottles at a lich? I remember that some of them were too hard for only one. Maybe I need to raise the damage some more...

Oh, Ive thrown like 20 bottles at the regular zombies in the mission, and nothing happens. Doesn't even phase them. Tried to throw them at the skeletons in Dead Drunk just a bit ago and it didn't work there either. Are there any other good levels to test in? Because so far the holy water just doesn't work on anything. Are you sure something didn't get broken in the latest patch?

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I just tested this, it takes 2 holy water arrows to kill the regular zombies, and 4 to kill the Lichs.

This is the regular game, not with the patch.

Playing on hardest difficulty.

I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

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