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Appropiate loot values in FM's


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I was wondering if anybody has a special opinion to the amount of loot a player should gather in a FM.


I noticed that many FM authors used the Thief 3 approach like for example find 25%/50%/75% of the total loot (although they never write this in the objectives). I must say that I'm not a big friend of this, as it sometimes seems a bit randomly.


My personal opinion about this topic is that the already gathered loot is something like a mission progress meter. It gives the player some feedback on how far his progress in the mission already is. Obviously this should be something difficulty dependend. In my own FM I used to write down the loot avaibable in the single rooms/areas and if they were just lying around or hidden or if you need a key or your lockpicks to get them.


While someone playing on the lowest difficulty level may just go the straight forward way needed to accomplish his main objectives and mainly only catch the loot lying around and lockpick some chests someone playing on the highest difficulty level will most certainly go to every single room and may also search for hidden loot. In the latter case the player may also be less unsatisfied if he has to search for more loot after accomplishing his main objectives.


I tried to take this into consideration when setting up the loot objectives. Not sure how good I've done this anyway.


So what is your opinion about this topic? How important is this objective to you? Do you get bothered when you've accomplished your main objectives and still have to search for some additional loot? Should there be some kind of system behind this objective type, or does it not matter to you?


Looking forward to your responses. :smile:

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I'm not a big fan of mandatory loot objectives. Best case scenario, they give me some sense of how much more of the map there is that I haven't seen, which might lead me to explore more. But more often than not, they either get checked off early, creating a "why bother trying to snatch that vase since I already have my loot objective" scenario, or they keep me in the map long after the story is completed. There's nothing as frustrating and immersion breaking as finishing the story, defeating the bad guy and finding the Really Expensive Thing you came for, only to have to go back and search through the map looking for another 25gp of loot.


If I had a magic wand, I'd make loot collection part of a final score that you get at the end of the mission, that was a combination of Stealth Score, Loot Gathered and Objectives fulfilled.


But since I don't, I just make loot objectives optional in my missions.

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The loot objective is just a tradition I thinks.


I have no big feelings for it. It is fun to pick up loot and often the only 'purpose' for a room or a chest is the loot it contains. You reward the player seeing the trouble of getting somewhere.


I do not have big need to collect every single loot item but I think it may be very enjoyable for the exploration player type. Putting some loot here and there caters to everyone: planners can calculate risk/reward ratios stealing a goblet in front of a guard (decision making) and explorers probably use the loot as a metric of their exploration skill/progress. Yes, I do think some loot should be placed so that the player cannot just grab it, like coins on gambling guards table. It should be fun to figure out how to lure the guards elsewhere in order to snatch it, if the player chooses to try.


The player does not need to, or should not, know the amount of loot in a mission beforehand, because the loot amount should be a surprise at the end. "Did I get it all? No, that much I missed! Gotta play this again sometime..."


In my missions I simply decorate plausible locations with valuables. Then I have a hidden cache or two for the explorers. Then I check the loot amount ingame and calculate some arbitrary percentage of it for the different difficulties: something like 20, 40, 60% or something.


I deeply hate and loathe the scenario that all main objectives have been completed and I'm ready to leave, but some stupidly and unintuitively hidden trinket prevents me from exiting. This usually makes me stop sneaking and KO everyone so I can find the last loot unhampered. Needless to say KOing everyone (as well as save-loading) is the most boring way to play for me. (Note that I respect it that it may be the only way for others.)


-The mapper's best friend.

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I've been ambiguous about loot, so I tend to set the loot values on the low side.


I like the idea of making loot optional for future missions, perhaps leaving it off completely. (Still having it lying around, though, to continue the tradition.)

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The player does not need to, or should not, know the amount of loot in a mission beforehand, because the loot amount should be a surprise at the end. "Did I get it all? No, that much I missed! Gotta play this again sometime..."







I really like this approach!

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I like having the loot objectives and have always included them.


But when I was mapping T2 I was guilty of making them too hard.


Most players expect them, you are a thief and looting is a big part of it. Though I think most people want that objective to be fairly easy.


I'd say when counting loot to figure out what the player should at least find, instead of using %, just count obvious stuff. Vases, goblets, etc... Larger higher dollar objects. Leave things like rings and coins, well hidden loot (ring on skeleton finger in sewer with a hint halfway across the map) should not be counted.


This way a quick player can easily reach the goal because the goal is easy to find loot, and extra stuff and small stuff they find is just a buffer or extra. It would probably leave the loot goal pretty low too so they don't feel forced to grab every single coin, etc..

grabbing a guards coins should alert him and make him suspicious, better to not waste time...


And the goal could always be worded more interestingly. Instead of grab 3500 gold. 'I need to find at least 3500 to pay off my debts' or something. That to me makes it feel more like I am grabbing that much for a reason, not just because it's a number.


You can always use hidden objectives too.


ie: the player completes all major goals, still needs 25g, but when all major goals are finished a new goal, 'time to go' pops up and the loot objective is cancelled (or just optional).

You can also have a hidden objective : 'I've scoured this place clean, I'm pretty sure i got all the loot' if they get it all. That's a nice bonus to actually get a message that you did find it all, but it doesn't lock the player into a loot hunt.

Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

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@Bikerdude, http://thiefmissions...aa&sort=title#m


I think they're important in the almost kind of ritual way. If you didn't have it, then the game doesn't care if you do it, and then frobbing loot is suddenly not part of the game so why have it at all... In practice, I usually try to measure it so the player should inevitably meet it just by following the plot along, but there's more hidden out there to reward players that really want to get every last piece as a personal exploration objective.

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 T2 missions did you make..?


Skully Bros demo (3 mages tomb), Crom's Blade, Left 4 Dead, Jailbreak, House of Random, Trainspotting, ... that might've been it other than a couple small demos.


--edit, ah thanks, didn't see the link posted

Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

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I can't have been the only one that thought the commercial game "Left 4 Dead" was just ripping off your FM.

That's my favorite FM of yours. You managed to make that swamp feel just maaasive, atmospheric, towering, and unending, and you could just get lost in it. It's one of the best models for outdoor areas, the way you had the "kissing circles" of space and populated it with so much chaotic nature, worked really naturally.

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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thanks :D

I had a lot of fun making it, wish I had that motivation to get a TDM map done these days.


Funny you say so, I was telling a Steam friend of mine that same thing. There have been several coincidences in some of the modding I have done and stuff that Valve has done afterwards. Left4Dead name is the most obvious but as I type this I am drawing a blank on the others. But I'm sure it's just coincidence and not Valve stalking me. Of course some of them were model submissions I made to Valve for TF2, then 6 months or a year later they add the same object in game made by someone else (slightly different or whatever), that's a bit disconcerting though, put all my ideas out there then someone else gets paid big money for the same thing later.


But then again, I know the guy who did all the work porting the L4D1 maps into 2. They then included them as content in updates but pretty much snubbed him.

Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

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