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Suggestions for more low value loot?


Fidcal
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As a mapper I want to add as much interest and reward in every room if possible. Not all mappers and players feel that way and it's a matter of opinion I guess but I like to have something to find almost everywhere - loot, readable, access to another room or area, or a view of something that helps the player later. Loot is the default one likes to fall back on. In a grand house you can stick a brooch or a gold coin almost anywhere at least in the posh end. The problem lies in the servants' quarter or in some lowly hovel in the village.

 

The smallest loot unit is a gold coin valued 1. We cannot use fractions so that's the absolute minimum. But a poor villager probably will never see a gold coin in his life unless he's a thief. At least it seems not believable to find a gold coin in a poor house. What might be believable is a few scattered copper coins total value of 1 so that is my first proposal for new low value loot. Not scattered widely but not stacked neatly either; just a small group of coins partly overlapping I guess.

 

A small mission with only 10 expensive loot items seems to me to be less interesting than if there were 100 small loot items - plus less chance of getting stuck finding the 66% you need to win. Where there are only a few expensive items, particularly if some are together in a cache might mean you can't find enough within your boredom threshold.

 

So, any other suggestions for low value loot you'd like to see in missions?

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When I read low-value loot, I instantly think about general goods like spices and such. The problem with goods however is that they are usually too heavy to carry around (realism) and their appearance doesn't communicate to the player that they in fact are loot (gameplay). Other than that, there could be trinkets lick necklaces made from cheap materials.

 

There is also always the option to reward the player with items instead of loot. You have to be careful with that though, as giving the player too many items makes him feel too secure and somewhat superior. I prefer to think twice before using a water-arrow: "Dang, just 2 more water arrows. Do I one the arrow here or do I save it and try a riscy sneak-by." Games that perfectly understand this game mechanic are Metro 2033 and Fallout 3 (at least in the beginning).

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I wouldn't think about realism too much. Think about all the things you carry around in the game. And if you scatter around things that have a value of 0,01, it would take hours to collect enough to get your 2000 loot task. I am happy when I find valuable loot. If there ere only little coins it would get frustrating at some point.

 

I actually do not like the idea :(

"Einen giftigen Trank aus Kräutern und Wurzeln für die närrischen Städter wollen wir brauen." - Text aus einem verlassenen Heidenlager

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Do not forget that TDM does not even handle low-value items as loot. Silverware, which would be above your proposed category, is by default a moveable, not a loot object.

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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@Melan: Silver not being loot has always been a mistake. I think I've made it custom loot now and again with no problem. I'd certainly use a tiny silver item worth 1 or 2 units.

 

@SeriousToni: We're not talking hundreds of tiny items and nothing else here. We're talking the normal loot but maybe a dozen or so places where there are a few coins etc. depending on the size of the mission. You are not going to have to scavenge for pennies. The minimum value will always be 1. We cannot have fractions so it can never be 0.01.

 

@STiFU:The spice idea I like because that is flexible - it could be value 1 or 5. You see, even though I would think it odd to find a gold coin value 1 in a peasant's cottage I would find it more acceptable to find a spice bag valued 1. I don't think I would give it any thought that it would seem odd. I'll see if I can make a distinctive skin.

 

Cheap jewellry? Why not. I'll look at that too.

 

Another thing might be a new distinctive coin purse of value 1 eg, containing 50 twopenny pieces as it were. Why not?

 

More ideas would be welcome. As a mapper I find I am often struggling to think of what loot to place. There's only one loot bottle for instance. Which reminds me, I don't know what value that is but we could have some wine valued 1 or special bottle of something valued 1.

 

Most of the above can be done with a simple skin change and a new def.

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Hm.. I suppose the loot is probably protagonist specific, then.

 

Since, to me, TDM is about a Master Thief and not some common burglar, it feels intuitive that the thief is more interested in real valuables than common silverware. Silver is for peasants and stealing servants. Thus I understand the non-valuable silverware.

 

As a mapper for me, loot is second priority. I kinda never felt enticed to look for additional gold in the original games either, so I'm probably a bit different.

 

But if someone wants to put stealable low value stuff, the options are many. Spices, Doses of Mandrasola, tobacco, alchemical ingredients. Heck, you could do a recolor for the expensive bottle loot item and call it Vintage Wine. Or recolor the normal wine bottles.

 

The problem with less valuable stuff is consistency. At present, it is easy to identify valuables from junk. If you make silver junk valuable and none of the other mappers do the same, the players will be confused why silver is loot in your mission. They might not bother to check if the items are frobable. If they see they are frobable, they might not click them since they expect them to be only moveables.

 

I kinda did this too. After Mandrasola, every time I see an AI with the light brown pouch attached to it I instantly think he is a Mandrasola junkie. For me it is always a dose of Mandrasola now and I find it odd I cannot frob the pouch... :)

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Do not forget that TDM does not even handle low-value items as loot. Silverware, which would be above your proposed category, is by default a moveable, not a loot object.

Yeah and its not that easy even in 1.07 to change an item from a normal FS to loot and assign it an appropriate loot value.

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I like the idea of spices and tobacco: something for which a servant or peasant might save up spare pennies and which serves as a small luxury to make life more bearable. A pouch, leather or otherwise, with a symbol on it to denote the contents might be distinct enough to indicate its value to the player.

 

They could also be used as objective-based items, e.g. putting spices into food to make someone ill.

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They could also be used as objective-based items, e.g. putting spices into food to make someone ill.

 

Oh I've been thinking for long time how hilarious it would be to put poison, knockout powder or laxative in an AIs lunch. Now here is a free idea for someone for mission called "a score to settle 2" :-)

 

It's probably doable but would require clever scripting or entitywork. Laxative would require the possibility to make AIs forget current paths and get new targets.. To make them rush to a toilet.

 

My apologies for thread highjack, but I had to spit it out.

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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The problem with less valuable stuff is consistency. At present, it is easy to identify valuables from junk. If you make silver junk valuable and none of the other mappers do the same, the players will be confused why silver is loot in your mission. They might not bother to check if the items are frobable. If they see they are frobable, they might not click them since they expect them to be only moveables.

Exactly what I am thinking! Identifying loot needs to be intuitive to the player, so that immersion is guaranteed at all times. If the player stops and thinks "hmn, am I supposed to pick this up or not? Ok, let's just try." the immersion is gone. If there was some sort of loot-glint feature, this wouldn't be a problem.

 

(Please note, that I am not asking for loot-glint :) )

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There was discussion about it during development for sure, and Sotha sums it up pretty well. All loot as it is is very noticeable as loot. Silver (the next valuable item) was chosen against because then you start getting tons of loot items. Frobbing 25 forks on one table is dumb. So why grab a huge teapot if you're not grabbing silverware...

I still feel silver coins would be fine. They're a tight compact form of wealth unlike a silver set...but as it is, silver is non-loot so it was done for consistancy.

 

So if someone makes silverware valuable in their mission people are likely to miss a lot of loot. Only exception would be 'Steal Bafford precious teapot' objective, but that would still be an objective piece not loot.

 

So that doesn't leave much. Even copper is touchy. It would stop the use of copper skins for stuff like pots, machine parts, etc...

 

Probably best to stick to pouches, jewelry, etc...

 

I used to like to load my maps down with stuff too but these days I prefer spare good loot and doorknobs. I still like more available loot with a lower goal in the easy setting. Less loot and higher goal in expert. I think if someone is playing expert they are probably above the 'boredom threshold'. They will be more focused on finding the tough loot, exploring more, etc..

Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

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I can understand the difficulty of placing loot in poorer neighbourhoods. I had that problem in A Score to Settle and I remember it from St. Lucia as well.

 

The problem with less valuable stuff is consistency. At present, it is easy to identify valuables from junk. If you make silver junk valuable and none of the other mappers do the same, the players will be confused why silver is loot in your mission.

 

This is the key problem, however. There are some items I don't even pick up anymore because I know they're not generally loot objects...players learn what to expect after a few missions and probably won't pick up things that were just movables in other missions.

 

There are some cases where I think we blew it. We have a simple silver bowl that is a loot object, but the ornate silver pitcher that looks very valuable isn't...doesn't make sense but it's too late to change it now.

 

I think there is some flexibility in objects that are obviously loot, regardless of the material...coins and jewellery are probably okay. There is actually a coin purse with silver coins. A few scattered silver coins that equal 1 gold would also be fine IMO.

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Points at random:

 

'Copper' is a British term for penny, ie, low value coin. In our case it can be any pile of non-silver, non-gold coins. There is no confusion with copper metal because they are clearly coins. How many low value coins make a value of 1? Do we care? 15? 20? Would anyone even stop and think? Oh that's odd? This peasant has coins valued the same as a gold piece? Why has he got that much money? I don't think it's a problem.

 

Protaganist: Yes, there is no protaganist in TDM so this is a mapper thing. Any mapper who doesn't like low value loot need not use it. Any player who does not like picking up low value loot does not need to. It will be rare for any mapper to have so much low value loot that will force the player. And anyway, why is it acceptable to pick up a single gold coin but not a pile of copper coins of the same value?

 

Silver: In TDM this is a team decision so I go with whatever they want. However, I don't see a problem with changing things. New silver loot, even using existing models, won't break previous maps. Solid silver is actually very expensive, especially old, quality silver so this is slightly off-topic. It really would not be a major problem if some maps have a silver teapot that is not loot and another does. But we can still have custom silver for those that want it if we don't want it to be official. And you can always put in a message: 'This map uses loot silver. Take it or leave it. There is enough other loot.'

 

Mandrasola is good - that's a drug isn't it? Is that official yet. Could be. But don't we want a different model bag for it? Can we use that generally then Sotha?

 

Tobacco is good but what form of model? A tobacco pouch is rather ambiguous-looking - just a loose leather foldover pouch. I think we'd have to make something distinctive like a bulging semi-circle that everyone could get used to. Hogwash mentioned symbols which is a good idea for making things distinctive. We could use symbols for tobacco, drugs, money to make bags clearer. I don't like the idea of G for money because it suggests gold. Maybe a symbol derived from it like a square G without the top or just a square C with a slash through it. A tobacco pipe symbol like a check (tick) mark for tobacco and a T with handles perhaps for drugs like a symbolic syringe.

 

Coins: I would go with say, 8 silver = 1 and say 15 'copper' = 1. It does not need to be accurate. Whose gonna count a small group of coins above 6 or 8? Who's even going to think about what the value 1 means in context? One gold coin = 1 in a mansion is a petty spare coin. A small group of coins in a cottage = 1 is accumulated over weeks to buy a new pig or something. We'd be doing pigs a favour by stealing it.

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It really would not be a major problem if some maps have a silver teapot that is not loot and another does.

 

Depends how you define "major", I guess. I think it would definitely be confusing if the player picked up something in one mission and it was loot, and then in the next mission it was just a regular movable; it would be especially annoying if they took a risk to get to it. Likewise, a player that picks up something and finds it a regular movable in one mission is probably not going to pick it up in the next, so they'll never realise it's loot.

 

Our design philosophy behind loot was to make it consistent and make anything that was loot "look" like loot. If we don't stick to that, then the cries for loot glint are only going to get louder.

 

Also, on another point, if players are picking up spare copper coins lying around, why not pocket things like swords, spectacles or nice silk hats too? Those things would be much more expensive than a few copper coins. Keep one of the water arrows for yourself and you've just earned 75 copper coins. At a certain point the economics really start to get silly.

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Mandrasola is good - that's a drug isn't it? Is that official yet. Could be. But don't we want a different model bag for it? Can we use that generally then Sotha?

 

Hey, if someone wants to use mandrasola as a loot item in their mission, I'd be really flattered as my humble works have contributed something to the TDM universe. Mandrasola is a powderous substance that could be stored in any kind of bag or can.

 

The briefing of the mission says:

One of these imported items is Mandrasola, a rare herbal product, which is imported overseas from the far southern continents. Mandrasola has its uses in alchemical cures and poisons, but mostly this substance is used for its narcotic qualities by commoners and even the nobility. The problem with Mandrasola is that excessive use is extremely addicting and the withdrawal effects are most grievious. Many are utterly incapable of stopping using Mandrasola and are transformed into quivering human ruins if they do no get their daily dose.

 

I don't know what it's price would be. I think it could easily be situation specific. What is the dose size? How pure (peasant grade, nobility grade)? Its price could easily also depend on the time of the year. A big dose of peasant stuff could have a value of 1 gp. Noble grade could easily cost hundreds.

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Cheap rings with no gemstone, pouch of coins (slightly open at the top to see coins inside), plates (like china, there was some like that in T2), silverware, maybe some kind of quartz or other low value stones, for display in mansions and especially in the case of mines where ore and small unpolished stones could be found, hairbrush/combs, medals/medallions, ankhs and other symbolic necklace type things, bracelets, anklets, maps, compasses, additional labelled wines or small crystal flasks, steins, dolls and figurines, watches and small timepieces, bowls, ornamental daggers, tapestries (you can grab paintings), individual ornamental chess/backgammon pieces, dice, small pottery, music boxes, porcelain, items that could be associated with the pagan faction in a village/forest or manor/museum display setting.

 

And if it doesn't look like loot, give it loot shine! :P

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One way to distinguish loot 'pouches', whether or not they are tobacco or spice could be a small gold or silver clasp. A strong specular shiny metal could be thought of as TDM's 'loot glint'.

 

Possibly some books, a precious scripture book or scroll. Again, would be good to have a skin with some precious metal on it to easily denote loot from regular book.

 

I guess a pile of coins of any metal wouldn't be bad (it is coins after all). Like Spring said we messed up with that one silver bowl, and I know I have picked up one or two-or missed them... I never pick up silver stuff...

The thing with these items (we have copper vase skins, candlesticks, etc..) it they almost look like a valuable one. So it's up to the experienced thief to decide if he wants to mes with it or not. But once a player leanrs what they are...

I'm definitely for sticking with convention as much as possible, mainly not making non-loot regular items loot.

If you do add new loot have a new skin or model so when players see it they will be curious and they will learn whether or not it is loot, then it needs to be added to the mod as such.

Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

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There used to be a show on the Discovery channel called "It Takes A Thief", which involved a former thief breaking into homes and other buildings to demonstrate the need for security. Sadly it's not on DVD as far as I know and there aren't many videos of it floating around out there anymore.

 

Anyway, one of the things that the show's thief tended to do in most episodes was improvise or acquire containers on site to maximize how much loot he could carry away with him. These would often be things like trash bags, suitcases, handbags, boxes, or whatever else would be available.

 

Perhaps TDM could have similar movable containers to make large numbers of lower value loot items more viable. Perhaps you could pick up and carry the container with you like a corpse or an unconscious body, and while you are carrying the container perhaps you could rapidly stuff large numbers of normally "almost loot" items into it by just holding a button pull them in like a vacuum (which would be like using your arm to shove them into the sack) for some extra loot.

 

That's probably a bit far-fetched for now, but something that might be interesting.

Edited by Professor Paul1290
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I doubt the team would be up for implementing that...feature creep.

 

But someone mentioned (think it was Sotha) that a Master Thief wouldn't be grabbing all the little junk and it reminded me of a recent experience.

 

My truck broke down and i had it towed to the shop, where it sat in the street all weekend. Someone busted out a window (used a crobar to pry it open and left a big dent in the door too :( ). Anyway, I had pulled the stereo and everything of importance just in case, and to show it wasn't worth breaking into.

Anyway, he rooted through all my junk, didn't grab my cnc flame rearview (probably $250, was in the truck when I got it) and spilt my spare change all over the car and didn't even grab that.

 

So all that trouble and he didn't even bother grabbing the actual money.

Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

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Jaxa those are some good ideas.

 

I love picking up small items in TDM - my favourite is things like --- hidden low value gemstones. Things that are hidden by servants trying to steal them - you find a clue and find some small piece of jewellry.

 

Small rings are perfect like that.

 

Oh - let's not forget that a small packet of tea / coffee beans or the equivalent in this world would be worth a LOT of money. Even in the 18th century, a pound of tea was worth a month's wages for a working man. And the City is arguably in a much earlier age of trade and exploration.

Edited by Glyph Seeker

"No proposition Euclid wrote,

No formulae the text-books know,

Will turn the bullet from your coat,

Or ward the tulwar's downward blow

Strike hard who cares—shoot straight who can—

The odds are on the cheaper man."

 

From 'Arithmetic on the Frontier' by Rudyard Kipling

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If loot is defined by the mod and given a default value, would it be a good idea to have a loot list somewhere, perhaps on the wiki, showing all of the loot objects, their default values and a little screen shot? Newbies might find it useful to get a feel for what they have to look out for.

 

I really like the idea of Mandrasola being part of the mod's universe and appearing in other missions. Perhaps it needs to be given a street name(s) like real illicit drugs.

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The smallest loot unit is a gold coin valued 1. We cannot use fractions so that's the absolute minimum. But a poor villager probably will never see a gold coin in his life unless he's a thief. At least it seems not believable to find a gold coin in a poor house.

 

Methinks this is perhaps too literal. At least, that's not how my brain works when I play the game. I look at 1 gold piece and and think - one lonely coin. If a poor household had stacks of gold coins it might bother me, but if they only have one or two coins it kinda computes just fine. It's the sparseness of loot that reinforces the poor household vibe.

 

In fact, I half wonder if a big stack of coins valued at 1 might seem more out of place than a single coin valued at 1 in a counter intuitive sort of way.

 

Maybe if you want to add interest, readables or keys (literal or hypothetical) or moss arrows or something might be more appropriate for poor areas.

 

Most important thing, I reckon, is that loot is distinguishable from junk.

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Well, a small pile of copper coins would be one gold. One gold might be a weeks wages, so what if a peasant wants a loaf of bread? they work a whole week for it?

 

The loot system is just measured in gold. Like in Grand Theft Auto it's in dollars, you never earn 50 cents...

Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

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