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Suggestions for more low value loot?


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No, you can't have fractions with the current system. 1 is the minimum.

 

So one silver coin is not realistically possible or it would be valued at 1 the same as a 1 gold piece. Nor is a huge silver piece realistic. But 4 or 5 silver coins together might be imagined to be worth 1 gold. Be useful to have but it would still likely be in a nobleman's house or rich merchant's. I see we've already got a stack of silver coins valued at 2. A more random pile could be the same or just 1.

 

Almost all current loot is valued in tens or even hundreds. Be nice to have more stuff valued 1 to 10.

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Thief 3 ruined the idea of loot glint by making things sparkle from the other side of a dark room. TDM should certainly not have that. Has the team considered a different type of loot glint, that on

I didn't say we had fractions, my point is that the world would have fractions. ie loaf of bread is a fraction of a gold piece, but the player can never acquire a fraction, hence a pile of copper coins, not single copper coins.

 

Just like in GTA, they use a real world amount (dollars) but the player never gets 50 cents.

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I will make the arguement that more small loot value items will make it harder imo to gather all the loot, and even harder to obtain the loot goals. If you are 50 short and find a vase you are done. If you find a coin stack you need 4 more coin stacks.. Smaller loot is smaller and easier to miss, thereby also making it harder to achieve the goal and or ALL loot.

 

If players can't find enough loot in a map then that's really a map problem (amount of loot / goal requirements/ placement) rather than a problem of the mod not having enough loot item pieces.

 

(having to reuse/spam the same items is really more of a mod problem)

Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

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A loaf of bread costs 1 small silver bowl. Have you not read the wiki?

 

--edit--

 

oh, and the point I was trying to make wasn't that I can't do fractions - rather a poor household in the game might 'feel' less poor in terms of the vibe your create and the narrative you spin to the player (even though the math is exactly the same) if they have big piles of cash adorning their tables rather than a single lonely coin.

 

Poor households feel like poor households because there aren't many loot items - not because they're brimming with loot that doesn't do much to bump up your loot total.

 

That's my two pennies worth anyway.

Edited by jay pettitt
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A loaf of bread costs 1 small silver bowl. Have you not read the wiki?

 

--edit--

 

oh, and the point I was trying to make wasn't that I can't do fractions - rather a poor household in the game might 'feel' less poor in terms of the vibe your create and the narrative you spin to the player (even though the math is exactly the same) if they have big piles of cash adorning their tables rather than a single lonely coin.

 

Poor households feel like poor households because there aren't many loot items - not because they're brimming with loot that doesn't do much to bump up your loot total.

 

That's my two pennies worth anyway.

 

1-yes I have read many pages on the wiki

Am I anal enough to remember every little tidbit, NO.

 

2-over exaggeration gets annoying.

a small pile of coins (aka probably 3-5, maybe even 10) doesn't make a household or table feel like it's brimming over, nor would I call it a big ple of cash.

 

It is easier for the player to not visually miss though, and it draws the narrative that they can only afford 10 coins which are only worth 1 gold piece.Which means they probably purchase things and make less in one day than 1 gold piece.

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When I think about it in real life terms, the 150 dollar bottle of alcohol, the lowly 1 gold coin, why not think of things we buy today that existed in some form back then at the 10-20 gold mark? I'm thinking thinks like ornate cups, sculptures/statues, maybe a valuable silver dagger, valuable clothing? All sorts of possibilities exist when someone applies the retro glasses to modern products, most of them had humble origins. What about an abacus with valuable counters?

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I quite like the idea of finely crafted accessories like compasses, eyepieces, small telescopes, watches, and other timepieces. I don't think it would be hard to identify such pieces as loot since they would typically look out of place amidst other plain belongings. They also contrast the typically clunky and large steam/electric technology. These would obviously be more common in wealthy areas, but such items can be dropped/misplaced and picked up by passers-by. I wouldn't know how to value them though (maybe between 1-3 gold).

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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.

 

Thief 3 ruined the idea of loot glint by making things sparkle from the other side of a dark room. TDM should certainly not have that. Has the team considered a different type of loot glint, that only appears when the player has the object highlighted in the center of their screen, ready to be frobbed? It would represent a sort of "appraisal" ability. Even considering just the existing loot, for new a player (or a forgetful one) who doesn't know what is loot and what isn't, it's more realistic than making them pick every item up to see if it makes a "cha-ching" sound or just hovers in front of them.

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New Horizon's Minimalist mod (thank you ser!) Added very short range loot glint to TDM (frob distance only) which was nice, but still a little jarring to me, the above sounds ideal so long as the glint plays immediately upon mouse over and is mild. I think a quick shine glimmer shader or something would work well rather than a glint sprite that looks like some odd form of lens flare.

I'm in yur forumz,

Makin' them frobbable.

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New Horizon's Minimalist mod (thank you ser!) Added very short range loot glint to TDM (frob distance only) which was nice, but still a little jarring to me, the above sounds ideal so long as the glint plays immediately upon mouse over and is mild. I think a quick shine glimmer shader or something would work well rather than a glint sprite that looks like some odd form of lens flare.

Ah, I haven't tried that mod. I agree that it should be something subtle. It doesn't even have to be a "glint" per se, just some kind of indicator that doesn't distract.

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Has the team considered a different type of loot glint, that only appears when the player has the object highlighted in the center of their screen, ready to be frobbed? It would represent a sort of "appraisal" ability.

Yeah, I had something like that in mind numerous times as well. If you're uncertain whether something is loot or not, highlight it and some visual feedback will appear (or not if it's junk).

 

Advantage: Possible noise due to picking up junk is avoided. Also the player probably won't miss any loot because of thinking it was just junk.

 

Problem: You still have to get close to things in order to tell whether they are loot or not. (This is basically the same argument as with props doors)

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Problem: You still have to get close to things in order to tell whether they are loot or not. (This is basically the same argument as with props doors)

This problem is a realistic one to have, though. It's hard to judge the material composition or craftsmanship of a small object without getting close to it. Prop doors are a little different, as they are "fake" in a way that non-valuable objects on a table are not. Plus, a prop door has to either be obviously a prop or else it has the potential to mislead the player from a distance (without some other identifying mechanism, which I would not advocate). There are more nuanced ways to use non-obvious loot. It doesn't have to be in a place that is hard for the player to reach, or that the player wouldn't go otherwise. It can be used for realism and variety, such as the examples Fidcal started this thread with. It would still be up to the mission designer to use well. Putting a visible but non-obvious bit of valuable loot in a dangerous or hard-to-reach place (without good reason) would be bad design.

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Maybe - though I am now of a mind to think that missions should not have critical loot - one of the reasons for this thread. By that I mean I think it's better to have one hundred mixed value loot items where you need 80% (but scavenger players can still enjoy searching for all 100) than ten high-value ones where you also need 80% (but if you can't find a tricky, no-clue, cache of three loot items you can't finish the mission.) So yes, converting an average-looking vase on a high window ledge into loot is OK imo if it's not critical (though the player needs to be informed of this!) The bottom line is that mappers need to give this some thought and realize that players vary in how they play and what they enjoy.

 

Regarding this special frob highlight for loot I quite like the idea. I don't think it even need be optional because the object is within frobbing distance anyway. It sounds reasonably easy for a coder to set up and it doesn't break existing maps.

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Some painting pigments can be more valuable than pure gold, so can be salt or sugar a good target for burglar. In first half of XIX century aluminium cutlery was nearly expensive as platinum one (it was difficult to gain pure metal).

Don't forget a printing press is just invented, so many of books are handwritten and extremely expensive (somehow paintings on wall are more popular loot in game). Also thief can always search for info-based valuables, like bills, stamps and sigils, blueprints, or debt lists. There could be also mechanical containers like audio-rollers - even perforated sheet for robots and other machines may have same value as... keys. One more thing is origin of 'key ring' in hands of default thief: in old times padlocks are simple mechanisms and only few ppl are rich enough to order original model -most of them are quite similar and those few keys on ring have good chance to fit encountered lock. A key or a padlock can be a loot (so opening padlock could raise loot-counter, just like experience gaining when you use your picklock skill in some RPG ;) ).

Edited by ERH+

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Any coders want to take a peek at the frob highlight code? see how tough it would be to use a different frob color for instance on loot? (just as a simple test of trivial/non-trivial) If not i'll take a peek myself.

I'm in yur forumz,

Makin' them frobbable.

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firoso,

 

the frob highlight is defined in the materials (it's an rgb blend value). So in some cases it would be quite easy to give it a 'gold' tint or whatever. However, a lot of materials are used for many objects. So you might add a gold tint to a goblet, then see that gold tint on a piece of junk...

 

And while I think a little glint up close sounds pretty cool I don't find it necessary, it's pretty easy to learn what is loot and what is not after a few maps anyway.

Further more the team is pretty much anti-glint anyway so I doubt it would go anywhere.

Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

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That would be a good point (regarding the locks being valuable) if this wasn't a steampunk universe. I imagine while stuff like the printing press is still relatively new, basic manufacturing could be quite advanced comparitively. Maybe have some ornate, valuable handcrafted master padlocks?

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Regarding this special frob highlight for loot I quite like the idea. I don't think it even need be optional because the object is within frobbing distance anyway. It sounds reasonably easy for a coder to set up and it doesn't break existing maps.

I put it on my possible TDM-tasks list. I doubt I will be able to contribute anything again anytime soon (I haven't even played TDM in months), but at least the idea doesn't get lost.

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And while I think a little glint up close sounds pretty cool I don't find it necessary, it's pretty easy to learn what is loot and what is not after a few maps anyway.

Further more the team is pretty much anti-glint anyway so I doubt it would go anywhere.

 

The point of this is to allow for new and more varied bits of loot that can still be distinguished without being made out of gold. It helps make it feasible for any mapper to use new loot objects that are not already familiar to the player. This would also be very different functionally from the loot glint in Thief 3. I understand the team being against that kind of loot glint (I hated it too).

 

Essentially, this is addressing the fact that the character knows somethings that the player does not. The character knows definitively what is loot and what is not, and communicates this to the player when the player frobs something by either putting it in the loot stash or making it hang in mid-air. This does work pretty well, but is not necessarily the most elegant way to communicate the information, especially when the player has to be very careful not to make noise when moving the object or setting it down again.

Edited by Weasel
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IIRC rebb (or somebody else) experimented with a different "frob highlight", one that would slowly pulse, or whatever. However, the main problem remains: We are having only ONE frob highlight shader stage and it is the same on all materials (copy&paste). So during frob, the engine doesn't know wether this is a loot item, or not.

 

Nec. steps to make this to work (I am not saying we should,tho!):

 

* make two frob highlight stages

* add the new one to all textures used for loot

* make the code that determines frob set different variables for loot/non-loot

* enjoy sparkling loot

 

So it is not as easy as it sounds. Plus the nightmare of finding a consens on what the new highlight should look (you will find that after 6 months discussion, you get 4 fundamentally incompatible ideas and no way to implement one and make everyone happy).

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

 

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

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IIRC rebb (or somebody else) experimented with a different "frob highlight", one that would slowly pulse, or whatever. However, the main problem remains: We are having only ONE frob highlight shader stage and it is the same on all materials (copy&paste). So during frob, the engine doesn't know wether this is a loot item, or not.

 

Nec. steps to make this to work (I am not saying we should,tho!):

 

* make two frob highlight stages

* add the new one to all textures used for loot

* make the code that determines frob set different variables for loot/non-loot

* enjoy sparkling loot

 

So it is not as easy as it sounds. Plus the nightmare of finding a consens on what the new highlight should look (you will find that after 6 months discussion, you get 4 fundamentally incompatible ideas and no way to implement one and make everyone happy).

 

Ah, if the engine doesn't know whether the highlighted item is loot or not, that does complicate things. However, it doesn't have to be done through shaders and materials. It doesn't have to effect the rendering of the object. An alternative that may be easier to implement would be to have some small indicator attached to the light gem. Or just have a little icon show up in the corner of the screen. This would be enough for a proof-of-concept, at least, to see how it influences the feel of the gameplay.

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The frob highlight is triggered by the code setting parm11 and is proportional to it. Might it be possible for the code to oscillate the value of parm11 during the period it detects the loot is within frob range? It cannot change the colour but it could make it flicker in some way; slow pulse or rapid flickering or whatever. Also, if there is enough objection, make it optional for those that want it. I'd certainly try it.

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The frob highlight is triggered by the code setting parm11 and is proportional to it. Might it be possible for the code to oscillate the value of parm11 during the period it detects the loot is within frob range? It cannot change the colour but it could make it flicker in some way; slow pulse or rapid flickering or whatever. Also, if there is enough objection, make it optional for those that want it. I'd certainly try it.

Yeah, this would be a good thing to make optional. In current missions that use familiar loot, most players wouldn't need it. Conversely, if a mission designer wants to use a lot of non-standard loot, they could specifically suggest that players turn the option on.

As a long-time Thief player, it would admittedly take time for me to get used to this feature, even though I'm advocating for it.

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Well, just having the material shaders have a different value than non-loot ones would be easiest.

 

In DR you can see what materials are used by which loot objects, then you just find it copy/paste in new code. The hard part is knowing that nothing else will be effected, in which case you can make a 'duplicate loot shader' so the original shader isn't effected and all the loot items now have a shadername_loot (new name). Easy enough to fix on .ase models with text editor, however lwo models need re-exported with proper material names so... (and this goes for either changing loot or other objects).

 

Having a hud icon to tell you what is loot not only requires the engine to know it's loot, it also requires coding/hud work. So materials really is the simplest way to go, but it has it's issues as you can see.

 

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I think it's really a non-issue though.

 

1st, we really haven't even seen any custom content yet.

2nd, if a player sees new items they will be curious and investigate

3rd,taking your chance/being careful to not make noise is part of the the challenge

4th, even if someone does release new loot items it doesn't guarantee they will use the proper shader

5th, having a new menu item for this complicates the shader simplicity, but also further complicates a hud based effect.

6th, a good thief would probably need to pick up and examine something anyway to know it is valuable (unless it's familiar) which is what they do now.

7th, new loot items in T2 never caused issues.

 

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edit

 

I also think having a 'pulsing' frob highlight would be the worst option as it could seem like 'I can grab it, now i can't, I can grab it, now i can't"

Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

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