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Fan Mission: Home Again (by grayman) (2014/2/12)


  

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Announcing the release of the second William Steele mission! Summary Home Again takes place in Bridgeport when Steele returns home from the north. He finds that something terrible has happened, an

By the way, was I the only one who launched a    

Beautiful city view from above...

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Thanx gman, awesome mission can't wait for the sewers!

 

Technically pretty solid build, I climbed off the map a few times (not a biggie).

 

Thoughts: Closing off street level was a bit odd, sort of cramped the sand box. And it could have been a little more difficult on highest settings. None the less, superb thx for your hard work no doubt.

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Re-read your first CON.

Pretty sure he was talking about Steele's map itself, not your map.

I think that was in reference to the Map not the FM

:laugh: Yep, that's what I've meant. The map carried by William Steele could have been a bit more detailed. The Mission detail was fine.

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

WIP's: Several. Although after playing Thief 4 I really wanna make a city mission.

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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Hey g-man, thanks for this beautiful FM. Finally someone to pull off a roof-top mission in TDM. The holy grail of thievy-sneaking of sorts. :) There are probably many people like me thinking D3 was not made for rooftop missions, but you proved us all wrong! Congrats on the release, mate! :)

 

Visually and storywise, I'd rate this FM 5*. The gameplay could've been a little more challenging. After all it is more of a explorative FM, but as such, it was done VERY well. I still prefer WS 1 though, due to its excellent style! :)

 

Here are some hopefully constructive notes:

 

  • Since the loot objective is optional anyway, you could just raise it a lot higher, at least on expert. I ended up with 7500 worth of loot and the objective had already been met at 4000.
  • I believe there was one ingame note saying there was some loot in cell 1, whereas I found loot in cell 6.
  • Sooooo many tools at the players disposal. You really spoil the player a little, making it a little less challenging.
  • Some more lights on the rooftops would've been a great way to increase tension and difficulty.

 

 

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Small issue: FM is on the in-game downloader now, found an update (translation), but when finished downloading there are now 2 entries in the FM list for WS2: Home Again. This is because it downloaded and installed the update into \fms\ws2_homegain instead of \fms\ws2_homeagain.

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Obs suggested it needs more detail, but y'all will never know how much detail I had to throw away.

So this might be the limit on we can expect from the current Dark Mod? Obsttorte may not have actually worded a remark about the level of detail in the mission but I do.

Now, I consider myself a fan of your work, WS1 is in my opinion the best TDM mission released and Somewhere Above The City is in my top 5, and this is no exception. However, I was sometimes surprised that the level of detail was less consistent than what it was in In The North, with some empty / blocky spaces that I did not expect at all. I thought, "either grayman rushed the release a bit and forgot a detailing pass or he had to carry out a really agressive optimisation pass". Now I know which is which and, while I appreciate how smoohtly the mission ran, I'm worried that we might not be able to see sprawling missions that are more detailed than Home Again. It's so unfortunate that the idTech4 engine is so bad with medium-high draw calls.

 

That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed the mission, obviously. Thank you very much.

 

I too thought the starting gear made things a bit too easy, but that at least felt logical story-wise considering the occupation of Williams' father and what must have been available at his workshop. It also sets things up nicely for the next mission. Same goes for the explanation of:

 

 

Another point is the use of guards in unreachable areas. Not too keen on that. I wanted to stay hidden as much as possible but got spotted by a bowman where the woman killed herself; the guy patrols on a rampart and I kept hearing him, but couldn't see him. I only saw him by chance much later on.

 

 

I thought the guard was

already on alert because he saw the corpse at street level and was expecting a killer up on the roof.

At least it made sense within the story.

 

Also, a little detail: one readable that can be picked up is called 'setup_note' in the inventory.

Edited by Briareos H
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Interesting , giving it a go but not a great fan of rooftop / climbing missions . Can I ask , why is such a large armory available (fire arrows etc ) when no killing is allowed ? Frustrating having them without being able to blast the occasional nuisance guard. Obviously the gas arrows might come in handy.

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Did that, too :D

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

WIP's: Several. Although after playing Thief 4 I really wanna make a city mission.

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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I enjoyed this mission a lot - it favorably reminds me of Sotha's "The Phrase Book," with the rooftop focus and endless sprawl of Bridgeport right in the background. Like any good city map, it's densely atmospheric, populated with events and hints of things happening just out of sight. I especially like how you manage to incorporate a lot of the principle TDM factions (the Builders, Inventor's Guild, the Watch, thuggish body guards, aristocratic backbiters, etc) into the map. It makes Bridgeport feel properly claustrophobic and overcrowded with competing influences. Anyway, I'm a sucker for urban settings, so you hit the nail right on the head with this one.

 

My only complaint with the visuals is that a few of the locations feel a smidge too barren - although I'm sure you had to contend with engine limitations after a certain point, so it's easily excused. The chief offenders were the Watch headquarters and Inventor's Guild.

 

I didn't find anything too challenging - actually, the biggest challenge was just in finding my way around. I got lost more than a few times and had to resort to using noclip to reorient myself - some better signposting for where you're ultimately meant to be going would be nice. I also found myself a little too well equipped and not having to use any of my tools that often. Eh. More tool austerity might be fitting.

 

In terms of plot, I really liked how you incorporated the use of recording devices - nice voice acting, too. The readables presented an easily followed, over-arching narrative, awash in the usual blackmail, death threats, and backbiting I love about this setting. I really liked how you kept alluding to where the plot would eventually take us, with all the references to

Cleighmoor Gaol

. Nice work.

 

So yeah, overall; really nice work, and I can't wait for the next one :)

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Another issue I noticed is that the directory of the original archive I downloaded before it was added to the in-game downloader is 46.1mb and the one from the in-game downloader is 25.3mb. I haven't played the one downloaded from the in-game downloader yet but someone on the TTLG thread was posting about possible missing texture files.

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I thought the extra content was just language files.

 

No I meant the original was bigger than the new + translations. But I think the issue there is actually not an issue and just the compression used. Was probably less compression on the initial release.

 

I played through the latest downloadable via in-game version again and it worked fine. No missing textures or anything. Haven't tried to break it by getting outside the map at spots I could previously, but...

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Wow, another great FM and I'm not even that far in! Love the over all atmosphere, and general 'feel' of the city. It really does feel like a cramped part of town where people are stacked together. . .the well-to-do along with the 'poor' apartments of people just trying to get by. I have to say I liked hearing that baby crying too. . .it added a nice 'background' to the area thats often missing. (Though some of the newer FMs have dogs barking, or cats meowing, helping lend a little more 'unseen life' to the city.) I suppose children in general would be sleeping, but the baby was a nice touch. :) Now all we need are folks arguing in the background. :D

 

My only 'complaint' so far is that its a bit easy to drop to street level without realizing you're doing so. Open stairs that are all inviting and poof, you're on street level and mission is ending. Or drop off this building onto the upper terrace there and. . .oops, I guess thats part of the 'street' too. Not that it makes much difference. I'm doing a fair bit to send the character screaming to his demise anyway, at least the street-fail is quiet!

 

But. .yes. I'm stuck. Already. I can't figure out where to go. I've reached the clock tower area or the area with the crying baby and the statue and the archery range. . .and can't figure out how to proceed from there. I've backtracked a few times trying to find somewhere I missed, or a window that opens, or a place to put a rope arrow. . .and. . .I haven't found anything. Just more places to slip and splatter! A little nudge, please? :) Thanks.

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2 hours and 49 min of fun. Personally I liked this more than the first WS and I have to say, as a player, exceptional exectution in this FM. Hats off to you!

 

The city scape architecture and backdrop had purpose and give the player a real sense of place. Everywhere you looked the city was alive. Great sound placement and lots of little interesting nooks and crannies throughout made the world believable and palpable. Lots of neat and well thought out, side and through areas.

 

The readables and custom voice work, back stories, and the over arching story really pulled you in. I didn't want it to end! I was itching to head down in to the WS3 abyss. Ahhhhh! take me! It was really really grand.

 

 

 

Damn them!! Damn them all!! Hrmm... I was so charged by the story and what was going on within it, developing an inner anger against these conspirators. I wanted those bastards to pay for what they had done to my parents. What a great story line and so very well exectuted.

 

I do admit, and completely through my own fault, after reading the intro and beginning the mission I initially forgot my objective and started looking at the map, and wondering around the city I began looking for evidence at the murder scenes throughout the city which got me all confused and disoriented which in this case I actually enjoyed. The sense of urgency instilled in the player from the outset made this confusion part of Williams story for me as I searched and searched to no avail. Then realizing after about an hour of taking in the city that I still hadn't even covered half the map and ....omg... the first objective, get to the City Watch and find the evidence... hehe, I explored on happily now knowing at least how to traverse the first half of the city.

 

It was like a jungle gym but with purpose and I throughly enjoyed it.

 

I tried to ghost it as always but a couple of the well timed patrols coupled with those DAMN ELECTRIC LIGHT switches :D had me scurrying for shadow more then a handful of times. I ended up knocking out 3 guards just to simplify things. The guy in the records room, one of the guys in the cells, and one guy at the vault. There was only a way to close/open the vault from the outside, right? That was great! Really tense when a guard came cause they'd been noticing when doors were opened and I figured THIS is not the door you want them to see open, but I bonked him when he was at the lights just barely. So I'm back in the vault thinking coast is clear and I'm on like the last 2 pieces of evidence and you know, you can hear the guards downstairs walking around and closing/opening doors and you listen keenly... yeah... and then the lights come on and I'm in the vault and the doors open... AAARRRgh! Excellent situational mechanics.

 

 

 

 

Can't say enough. It was well worth your time and effort. One of my top 3 FMs now.

 

2 weeks till WS3? \o/

Edited by Lux
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