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Fan Mission: A Reputation to Uphold, by Springheel


Springheel
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40 members have voted

  1. 1. Gameplay: Enjoyment. challenge, fun, ect. vs bugs. frustration, boredom, etc.

    • Poor
      0
    • Tolerable
      0
    • Good
      13
    • Excellent
      18
    • Near Perfect
      9
  2. 2. Appearance: visual pleasure, lighting, artistic style, deduct bad texturing etc.

    • Poor
      0
    • Tolerable
      1
    • Good
      4
    • Excellent
      18
    • Near Perfect
      17
  3. 3. Story & Text: story, texts, briefing, graphic storytelling

    • Poor
      0
    • Tolerable
      1
    • Good
      6
    • Excellent
      20
    • Near Perfect
      13


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  • 3 weeks later...

Ok, there is a grand appeal in Springheel's missions. They seem perfectly balanced:

 

1. The maps look pretty. (big views, no framedrop)

2. The stories are solid and you don't get lost.

3. The overall quality is set on high bar.

 

What it is missing? A strong, fleshed out main character (like Garrett) and full mystery story.

Awaiting more! Had a lot of fun!

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Just played this on the "default" difficulty. Timed has no appeal to me, and I figured I'd go through once on normal before the mega-test of the light gem shenanigans, which I may or may not have the stomach for...we'll see.

 

I greatly enjoyed it, and have no serious complaints to issue. Excellent job! Since this is the first mission that I've played after making my first mission in DR, I have a renewed appreciation for the work that goes into scripted sequences and map creation. In particular, the balance of lighting in the streets for the following sequence at the beginning felt just right. And the visuals, while more understated than many missions, complement the mission excellently. I hit "Excellent" by accident in the poll. Go ahead and assume one of the "Excellents" is a "Near Perfect" in the visuals category.

 

More details in the spoilers.

 

 

Only two quick "bugs" to report. The first is that I had a dreadful time accessing the little lockbox beneath the movable carpet in...was it Morgan's room? Anyway, the rug never moved away properly, so the box's lid ended up sticking up through it. Between frobbing the rug and box, getting the loot was very hard, and I'm not entirely sure I ended up getting all of it because I couldn't see in.

 

The other bug isn't really a bug. The music in the hideout, while appropriately ominous, was a bit loud compared to ambient noises. I had to keep the volume at a certain level to hear everything, and the droning of the music got a bit taxing after a while.

 

My loot total (~2000) leads me to believe I missed a couple nooks. But I wasn't particularly thorough on the return trip out of the hideout, so I assume that's where the additional loot was hiding. Oh, and I never figured out what Larkin's key did after stealing it off him. It wasn't immediately obvious, and I was pretty sure that I had already discovered every major area in the hideout. But the entirely optional trip to the sewer was an unexpected but cool diversion, and I enjoyed the small but amusing readable that led to the ring.

 

I know you like your pathing trickery with AI, and I kept expecting new guards like in A Score to Settle. I suppose putting us on edge is the goal, though, even if there's no gigantic AI twist like "Score...".

 

 

You seem to like to try new things and push the envelope with something in your missions. While the alternate play styles probably aren't my thing (though I'm curious about the "always visible" setting), I have nothing but respect for making the attempt to try something completely different.

Edited by Digi

"Fancy burricks are afraid of dogs, if they encounter each other the dog barks and the burricks poop." - Thief: Deadly Shadows Game Designer

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Thanks for the extended comments.

The rug will move completely out of the way, unless it hits the player (it's basically a sliding door). Not sure what to say about the ambients...I did try to keep them fairly low, but our default values are all over the place. Larkin's key opens his bedroom, I believe, but you can also pick it.

 

 

Glad you enjoyed it! :)

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

Finished this one today on Shadow. Needed a couple tries to get it going (see spoiler), but once I got to the hideout, it was smooth as butter. Difficulty was great, I was really glad I had bought all those water arrows. Managed to finish with exactly 1800 loot.

 

Difficulty to get it going:

 

 

When following Larkin and Dawkins, they pass a Keska gang member, and Larkin tells him not to go further than breaking a nose. Then they walk on. However, they stop right out of sight around the corner, but one of them still has a visual of the corner, so you can't go around it. But you can't know this is the case because you'd have to come around the corner to actually see the dudes. This cost me multiple retries.

 

 

 

Questions:

 

 

How do you get in the room where Larkin and Dawkins are negotiating? I couldn't find a key and the lock can't be picked, but there is loot in the room (I noclipped around after completing the mission).

When reading the thread, there was some talk about a note from Morgan or something? I did enter Morgan's room and found the valuables. There was also a letter lying there which I couldn't pick up. Is this a bug?

 

 

 

So yeah, good job and I hope to see more in the future!

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

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When following Larkin and Dawkins, they pass a Keska gang member, and Larkin tells him not to go further than breaking a nose. Then they walk on. However, they stop right out of sight around the corner, but one of them still has a visual of the corner, so you can't go around it. But you can't know this is the case because you'd have to come around the corner to actually see the dudes. This cost me multiple retries

 

They shouldn't stop and talk until they go around another corner, where one of them can see part of the archway but not all of it (and you should be able to see them if you lean out and look). That is a tricky spot though.

 

 

How do you get in the room where Larkin and Dawkins are negotiating? I couldn't find a key and the lock can't be picked, but there is loot in the room (I noclipped around after completing the mission).

 

The door is left unlocked when Larkin and Dawkins leave, so you could get in after that. I wanted to let the player get in there earlier, but the method I settled on for getting them to negotiate and then leave promptly when they were done was so complicated I didn't want to risk the player's presence in the room messing it up.

 

 

When reading the thread, there was some talk about a note from Morgan or something? I did enter Morgan's room and found the valuables. There was also a letter lying there which I couldn't pick up. Is this a bug?

 

There is a blank parchment on top of the upturned barrel. The actual letter is hidden under the bed or is sticking out behind the barrel.

 

 

Thanks for the feedback, and glad you enjoyed it!

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  • 1 month later...

This was a nice mission. Difficult and pressurizing, but not excessively. It is however a bit confusing, and you can easily end up in a bad situation which renders success impossible:

 

 

One of the people involved in the deal has a key on him. As you follow them to the hideout, you at some point need to get close and pickpocket it, so you can eventually open the safe. I didn't notice this, and let the two lock themselves in the room as I was learning the architecture of the building. When I eventually realized my mistake, it was too late... so I had to resort to a set of hilarious measures:

 

I placed and detonated two mines in front of the door, so they would hear the noise and bother to unlock it from inside. But soon after that happened, they started heading down toward the safe. In an act of desperation, I rushed down before them and got in, then blocked the door with crates. Eventually I realized that not even this would save my progress, because I'd have to go back up and get the safe key. In the end, I did the less holy gesture of using noclip mode to fly up and obtain this key, after which I went back down in the barricaded room and unlocked the safe. Once that was done, I slowly unblocked the door so that the two NPC's could enter, and once they calmed down I managed to slip away.

 

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That was pretty creative, but not necessary. :)

 

 

 

As you follow them to the hideout, you at some point need to get close and pickpocket it, so you can eventually open the safe.

The key on his belt is not necessary at all to complete the mission. It's just the key to his bedroom, not to the vault. The key to the vault is IN his bedroom, but you can pick the lock to that room without having the key. Having his key just makes it easier to get in.

 

 

 

Glad you enjoyed it anyway!

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Ah... I see now.

 

 

I did get in the room next to where the two locked themselves actually. The problem was that the chest in front of the bed was locked, and it could not be lock-picked... so I thought the key on his belt was for that chest, although it was actually under a pillow in the same room. So yeah, I goofed up for no reason there :)

 

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  • 2 months later...

Another nice mission, thanks, that was interesting to play.

 

 

 

Following these two was fun (although I screwed up on first attempt, because of one light on my side of the metal bridge - alerted the two gamblers, and the following jumping around, the water and finding a niche there took me too much time when I tried to further follow them.

A bit linear, so there was never any guesswork where they have gone now, but I that is an issue of TDM not well supporting maps of the size of "Assassins" (I think that was the one), and also the City being very detailed, in contrast to that mission.

 

Fun details with the guy thumping the door (and I think later finding the explanation for that?), the small conversations, and the actions along the way.

 

After arriving though, it got a bit "normal". Very crowded though that hideout. After some time looking, I decided that hoping on blind movement to not be detected is not a good idea and started taking them out. Stored a few on the small ledge over / under the stairs.

 

Wanted to creep in the inn part, but was seen, resorted to my one Gas Arrow I gave most of my money for (they are always so useful :-) ) Of course one of the three (Nell) refused to step into the Gas. I wanted to move backwards, but seemed to be stuck on some equipment some of the guys dropped, which is why then Nell saw me, attacked me, and I couldn't get out. Had to kill her, with just an inch of my life left, but since I attributed that to game "quirkiness" I reloaded it. I am telling it because it influenced her later fate in my playthrough.

 

Later I carefully managed to take each of them out with the blackjack (and many Water arrows)

 

In the basement I took out all, and finally locked ALL of the bodies, besides Nell (who knows what ideas that people have upon waking up), in Monroes (i think?) Room - that was quite crowded. Sadly it seems to have been too crowded. In the mission final screen I saw I killed someone, checked back to notice it was the lowest of four guys I stacked on the bed. Is it possible for bodies to be killed by too much other bodies on them? Or did I drop him badly? I have no idea what can have killed him.

 

Since I checked everywhere, and couldn't find out how to get into the safe, I tried backtracking and looking through the city for clues.

Luckily my safegame crashed when I was out of the sewer, so I took the moment and look here.

1) I saw that there IS a timelimit even on Shadow difficulty. (I had thought there isn't, from the wording of the description of each difficulty)

2) I saw that the key is in the room I already checked, and checked quite well I thought. But I checked pillows, and since none were moveable, I didn't bother looking under them.

 

That prompted me to rush back after loading, and after that the mission went on easy, taking the key, taking the treasure, closing up again, taking Nell, getting out of there, hearing steps, letting myself pass at the stairs, robbing the room they negotiated in, trying to get out via sewer (then reloading, though nothing to do with the mission itself, but with carried body mechanics), moving out through the streets, taking down another two people of the gang for a lesson, dragging Nell silently through the water, and finally getting out safe,

 

Nell might be blamed for the robbing, or maybe I can convince her to work with me. Might be a bit risky though. Wasn't sure about that on exit, but the extra bit of difficulty of moving out with her was fun.

 

Three major things were a bit problematic in the mission:

 

1) Includes a question: What should happen when Larkin and the other get to the safe room after its robbed? Somehow the one with the red cap was quite behind the other, and there seemed to happen nothing but them getting out again, and then repeating that (going down, going out, repeat)

Finally they got stuck outside with one going in circles.

Somehow that all was a bit boring, i took extra time to load and wait by the safe if something would happen, but nothing of that.

Sadly they also didn't note all the missing guards, but thats a TDM limitation I think.

 

2) Some low height lights. show that my visual height and body height are quite different. I was fully lit when approaching them crouched, although I seemed completely in the shadows when approaching them at my height.

Particular noticable it was in the Bedroom (with the key), at the desk. While my vision was completly blocked by the desk, I was fully lit up, and my shadow (full head and I think some shoulders) was showing up on the ground.

 

3) Has nothing to do with the mission, but I noticed it very often in it:

Corpse / body handling is making me puke.

 

When trying to put them on the small ledge to push them under the stairs leading up, one always fell down (maybe thats what killed him? But I am not sure it was this one). Also while pushing them around they made and awful lot of sound. And sadly it was not possible to directly drop them in the small spot below the stairs leading up.

 

Which leads to the next point with the bodies: So often there "is no place" to drop a body, even if the area in front of the player is free (okay there were other bodies on the ground, but it should be easy to drop one other "in the air" so it drops down on the others (the few centimeters).

 

Also: It is impossible to jump to a height when carrying a body, that I would be able to reach by just taking a step. That was frustrating on some parts on the way out. While moving through the sewer for example, I could not cross the ledges by going on the sideway while carrying a body, I had to jump on the small pipe in the middle to be high enough to get over it (was again stepping height)

 

And last, not that important: i finally got stuck with the exit pipe being too high to take a body with me. Sadly we cant just push someone in, although we are carrying the person at the appropiate height already.

 

I wish we could manipulate bodies a bit more like objects (keeping them in front of us and arranging them), but of course they are not stiff, so that would not be that easy,

 

 

that said, I had fun running that mission, and I enjoyed it much.

I really like it, when some game makes me make "extra objectives" that just come to me because of playing (like locking everyone in the room in the basement)

Hiding bodies below the stairs leading up was fun too.

So thanks :-)

 

[i didn't get the reference some were mentioning, which mission is it referring to? And what is it that refers to it?]

 

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I agree with you about body-handling...I'd like to be able to be able to drop them in smaller spaces as well. I think not being able to jump or climb is fair, however.

 

 

 

1) Includes a question: What should happen when Larkin and the other get to the safe room after its robbed?

 

 

As soon as they notice that the jewels are missing, they'll go on alert. If Dawkins is too far behind, he doesn't hear Larkin shouting, so he is still casually trying to get into the room, and if Larkin is blocking the door that can cause problems. Never found a good solution for that.

 

 

 

 

 

2) Some low height lights. show that my visual height and body height are quite different. I was fully lit when approaching them crouched, although I seemed completely in the shadows when approaching them at my height.

 

 

Even though your eyes might be in shadow, enough of your body can be sticking into the light that your lightgem stays lit. You can't judge by the player shadow, as that isn't really supported and doesn't crouch properly.

 

I saw that there IS a timelimit even on Shadow difficulty.

 

 

There is, but it's several hours...essentially unlimited.

 

I chuckled imagining you saving Nell from the fate of having her bum pinched. :)

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I agree with you about body-handling...I'd like to be able to be able to drop them in smaller spaces as well. I think not being able to jump or climb is fair, however.

The combination of the two, though, means that it's sometimes possible to get stuck in TDM missions: shoulder a body; drop down into a confined space; find that you can't release the body or climb out of the pit. (A variant can occur in Phrase Book's water trap, because you can't use items while holding a body either.)

 

A matter for another thread, perhaps.

Some things I'm repeatedly thinking about...

 

- louder scream when you're dying

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  • 2 months later...

I ran up against the time limit in shadow difficulty and have broken the mission for myself. I'm down in the basement and have cleared out every room except the locked room where the fence and his contact were doing business. Now they're coming down to the basement and I can't keep them from the room with the safe which triggers mission failure.

I actually have a work around. I was able to beat them to the room and block the door with a bundle. I should be able to no-clip out of there while they keep trying to open the door.

 

But still it's pretty annoying as I had taken the difficulty descriptions to imply that only the one difficulty has a time limit. Also I think my total play time at that point was about 1.5 hours, so my time in that actual playthrough should have been even less. Is there something wrong here? I was taking my time but not taffing about or anything.

 

 

PS - Excellent mission :-).

Edited by dw1
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A happy update, I managed to get out of my tight spot by locking Larkin in the other guys room. Hitting the loot limit was very tough and I only just made it after finding the loot stashed behind the tapestry in someone's flat.

 

I must have missed a major loot source somewhere. I did find the sewers but didn't acquire anything there.

 

Anyway I really enjoy the writing and atmosphere in your missions. They have a kind of grittiness I like.

 

I guess my only concrete advice for this one would be to either take out the time limit on shadow difficulty or make it more explicit in the description.

 

 

Also what other FMs have you done? I've only played this one and A Score To Settle and would like to play more.

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The time limit in Shadow difficulty is something ridiculous, like six hours.

Once you open the safe, though, they head down to that room. That doesn't cause mission failure unless you haven't taken the necklace by then...I suppose players could get into a tight spot if they open the vault but don't bother taking the necklace, but I didn't consider that as a possible scenario. If they came down before six hours and without you opening the vault, then something went wrong.

 

 

Glad you enjoyed it anyway.

 

Those two missions are the only ones I did myself. I did the story and readables for The Thieves and The Builder's Influence, though, so I can recommend those.

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You need the decorated key or ornate key or something like that to open the vault, correct?

 

There was something wrong then. Like I said it was less than one and a half hours, and I did not have the decorated key in my possession. I seem to get all the strange bugs.

 

One more question, was there any hint anywhere about the chest key being under the pillow?

 

 

 

Off to try the two FMs you mentioned now.

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There was something wrong then. Like I said it was less than one and a half hours, and I did not have the decorated key in my possession.

 

 

 

Hmm, strange. That shouldn't happen.

 

 

 

One more question, was there any hint anywhere about the chest key being under the pillow?

 

 

No...in fact, it's not always under the pillow. The key is in different places in the bedroom depending on what difficulty level you play.

 

 

 

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  • 4 months later...

I just replayed it yesterday, and lost miserably.

 

I actually got a head start when I palmed the gang leader's key as he was relieving himself in the street, and later alarmed them enough to make them lose a lot of time searching. However, I didn't find the safe key, and as I was searching the cellar, the pair walked down and got to the necklace before I did.

 

Great fun! B)

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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^ That was the Timed difficulty, I hope, and not another example of the AI leaving before they should?

 

@AH Looking forward to watching that. :)

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Springheel: It was the standard difficulty. If it is unintended, could the AI get triggered by trying to open the safe? I tried both that and picking it.

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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Hmm, no, the AI should not be triggered until either a tremendous amount of time passes (more than 6 hours or something ridiculous), or the player actually takes the necklace. Failing to open it shouldn't (and didn't used to) trigger anything.

 

Looks like something has changed. Were you playing with the 2.03 build?

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