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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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  • 2 weeks later...

I just came back to TDM after a while away. Being a fan of In the North, I was excited to see that the next mission in the series had been released (and the third as well, though I haven't played it yet), so I decided to load up Home Again first. In the spoiler below I've written some stream-of-consciousness feedback. I played on Easy, being rusty at TDM and not especially skilled to begin with, so take it with that in mind.

 

Overall, it was quite enjoyable!

 

The sheer scope of the mission is impressive. During the rooftop-traversing sections I was curious to find out how much of each city area was actually accessible to the player, because it was hard to tell at a glance. In the end it seemed that I couldn't get to most places I could see, but many times my searches were rewarded with a new little path or room to explore, and I doubt I found close to all of them. Creating the sense that the world extends beyond what is accessible as a player is a great accomplishment in immersiveness. The mobility through the rooftops was fun and I enjoyed the clever arrangement of paths through the spaces. I died and had to reload multiple times to make some tricky jumps, but I think this was more because I suck at TDM than any fault of the designer :rolleyes:

 

The Watch Station itself was labyrinthine and sparsely populated (maybe less so on higher difficulties), but I was entertained by searching the place. It was nice to explore and then find a clue, a key or a combination that gives me a reason to want to go back to a place I've already been to find something new. I enjoyed reading up on the rivalry between the watch lieutenants and was especially entertained by the evidence locker. My only complaint here is that the corridors got a bit visually repetitive after a while, and could have used some additional visual landmarks.

 

Also, I loved the sound playback devices found across the map. I skipped past a few of them because I didn't want to get myself caught, but then tried one in a safe area and was blown away to hear story-relevant voiceover playing. That is awesome.

 

Congrats to grayman for creating a fun and memorable mission. I don't think I scratched the surface of all the nooks, crannies and plots going on in this map :D

 

Bugs (I didn't read any previous posts in this thread, so apologies if these are already well-known)

  1. There was one place where I kept getting ejected off a windowsill into the streets in a buggy way: the window by the Watch Station with a note inside about a guy being happy to live there so no one will steal from him. It was the first window I entered that led into the upper room.
  2. I got a crash once inside the Watch Station. I was in the storage room with the open crates, then jumped down into the elevator and began to move toward the lantern robots. When I moved close to them the game just hung on me and I had to close Dark Mod in the task manager.
  3. I found a note near the start of the map with a default title in the inventory. I can't load the game up right now to check what it was or where I found it, but can do this later if needed.
  4. I'm not sure if this could be considered a bug or not, but in the Inventor's Lab I went against the written warnings and shot a bunch of fire arrows all around in hopes of creating an explosion, but was disappointed when nothing special happened :laugh:
 

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  • 4 weeks later...

The scope of the City in this mission is amazing! Even though I couldn't go down on the streets, they felt alive with city watch activity. The music was very fitting for the story's circumstances and set the right mood. I did get lost, quite a few times, but there was plenty of good gameplay to make it enjoyable. This mission really helps show off how good TDM's mantling system is. Tons of good platforming to be had. There was so much detail all through out the entire city! I really enjoyed all the readables and the clues they gave to more fun gameplay.

The blackmail letters and their corresponding stashes of gold in wood boxes. The missing ring in the flower garden. The note about the winner of the archery match getting a ticket to see the bear fights :laugh: Lady Barriston's suicide added to the atmosphere and story. The warning sign about no open flames in the laboratory was hilarious :D.

There was so much good detail packed in this fantastic mission!! Just getting to the city watch station was fun, and once you get inside there's enough good gameplay and good story be a mission on its own!

 

Thanks for this amazing mission and all your others too!

Alberic is my sparring partner.

Whaddya mean, smiley faces aren't punctuation :huh:

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  • 2 months later...

This was an absolutely awesome mission! I always found some small way to climb or sneak through, got totally lost, and then found my way back to where I'd been. The place is huge!

 

What I really liked about this FM was the City Watch station--and the light switches. Yeah, a small thing in the grand scheme of things, but every time I see a place fully lit, with no light switches, I think "that's unrealistic, illogical, and stupid." People can't live in perpetually lit up rooms. If people think having light switches makes things too easy for would-be-thieves, then post a stationary guard by one, two, or all the switches, and/or patrolling guards who turn the lights back on if they're off. Here, at the Watch station, the guards do exactly that. I like :)

 

What confused me at the end was the objective to return where I started or go ahead to Cleighmoor. I had no idea where I was supposed to go to get to that second option, so I had to return to the beginning. There probably was a hint somewhere that I missed. Bugger....

 

This series is really one of THE best in TDM. Top notch. I pay thee homage, good sir grayman. :wub:

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  • 2 weeks later...

The gameplay at the Guards Watch headquarters was really underwhelming seeing how much a build up there is to getting there. The scenic route ended up being totally overshadowing the part that should have been difficult. I love going over buildings and having to do a bit of mantling, tightrope balancing and keen observation of my environment. The Guards Watch was had alot of light and a few light switches but it didn't have enough guards, so there was no reason to really use the ventilation system and all that light made the place rather bland looking. Although I did like the basement/prison cells/armory visually, but it to felt rather easy. I felt as though that is really the only thing holding this mission back and is perhaps the only blemish on the 3 missions we have so far. And I had all that equipment to! It seems like its a reoccuring issue that I never end up using my theify escape tools even when clearly this mission should have been begging for it. I can say that I thought the city was wonderful though. Also maybe I'm just getting good at this, but I found that finding all of the loot was rather easy.. to easy. Maybe put some of the loot off the beaten track?

 

cheers!

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  • 1 month later...

Fantastic mission. I thought I'd done a decent amount of exploration (as part of my regular playstyle) and got at least 3/4rds of the loot. Turns out I barely got over half, so I will be revisiting this one for sure! I will echo TheUnbeholden's statement that the Watch HQ gameplay was kind of underwhelming. There are only 3-4 NPCs in the whole building, and it's quite sizable.

You can call me Phi, Numbers, Digits, Ratio, 16, 1618, or whatever really, as long as it's not Phil.

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  • 6 months later...

I just finished this mission and thought it was excellent. I particularly liked the music in the roof area, whatever triggers when you leave the gaol if there is more than one piece. Dark throbbing ambient music. It reminded me of T2. Where did it come from?

 

Since I'm posting here I'll offer a few suggestions:

 

[i'm not sure how to do spoiler tags but there's not much here.]

 

 

1. Judging from my experience the loot limit should be raised on expert. I achieved the loot objective before even entering the gaol, which takes away some of the thrill of the hunt. (I normally make the opposite criticism with respect to some TG and T2 maps.)

 

2. I thought there were a few points in the roof section where it was a little too hard to figure out where to go. One of them was when you're leaving the building that is being remodeled and you wind up having to drop down on some ropes. I also found the egress point from the church a little too elusive. I like difficulty and there's no perfect fit for everyone, just relating my experience. You could add some subtle pointers with light or make the map more suggestive.

 

3. The rooftop writings were a little confusing and I'm not sure I was able to keep track of all the bit players. I also thought In The North 1 should have had the number of writings pruned down a bit. Or alternatively add some auto-notes. But then auto-notes could be misleading when they're just for background lore and not related to mission objectives.

 

4. Are helmeted guards immune to gas arrows?

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Thanks for playing!

 

The map with the murders on it should give you the general idea to "head east" w/o making it too clear how to do that. In some spots, there are a couple ways to make progress, in others only one. Exploration helps.

 

I'll put the loot limit suggestion in my notes.

 

Helmeted guards should succumb to gas arrows. Do you have an example of one that isn't?

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Regarding the gas arrows, in all three In The North missions I have tried gas arrowing enemies and never had success. I am shooting quite close to where they're standing. I think in some cases I have actually hit their bodies. I believe every time the enemy in question was helmeted, which may have nothing to do with it.

 

If there's a way to make an in-game recording to post I could try that.

 

 

I think in In The North 1 I tried it on the head of the guards, the one with the grilled helmet. In In The North 3 I tried it on guards in conversation and guards in the sewers.

Edited by dw1
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If you hit them in the head or torso, they should go down right away.

 

If you hit the floor where they're standing, they won't be affected, because the gas dissipates before it reaches their face.

 

If you can cite a specific guard that won't go down if you hit him in the head, then I could look at the code.

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Oh I have been shooting near the ground, which is what I did in the Thief games.

 

Incidentally when I said "I tried it on the head of the guards" that was perfectly ambiguous - I meant I tried it on the chief guard.

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Shooting a guard in the head with an arrow is supposed to knock him out? What kind of ass-backwards logic is this?

 

Well, see, the blunt force trauma of the arrow hitting him in the head is enough to knock him out. B)

 

(time passes)

 

Sinceriously, what we've been discussing is the effect of a gas arrow hitting a helmeted guard. Body, head, floor, whatever.

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Well, see, the blunt force trauma of the arrow hitting him in the head is enough to knock him out. B)

 

(time passes)

 

Sinceriously, what we've been discussing is the effect of a gas arrow hitting a helmeted guard. Body, head, floor, whatever.

I know we were talking about a gas arrow. But that's still an arrow.

You can call me Phi, Numbers, Digits, Ratio, 16, 1618, or whatever really, as long as it's not Phil.

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  • 2 months later...

This is among the ranks of the great city FMs.

I liked that the way to make progress wasn't obvious except 'generally make your way eastish'because I wasn't in any big rush.

 

Unfortunately a bit after the church the game locked up mid-quicksave, and the quicksave was corrupted.

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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  • 2 months later...

Help please. I'm stuck,. I'm at the City Watch, on a ledge. Below me is the

metal guard and the front doors

. If I continue on the ledge and round the corner to the end, I come up on a

chute with a gate thingy at the top and the bottom that leads to the sewers? I've tried squeezing in through the top gate when it's raised

, before it comes clanging down, but I can't get through. I can't see any way to get across the building ledge I'm on to get to the other side of the city watch to see if there's a way in that way.

fosig_zpshhfnjs18.png

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