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Should small static oil lamps be extinguishable up close?


wesp5
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Oil lamps  

38 members have voted

  1. 1. Should small static oil lamps be exstinguishable up close?

    • Yes
    • No
    • Yes or no, depending on a new gameplay setting.
    • Yes or no, depending on how mappers define them.


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Then the only solution is to turn the option as a mod.

No, I already have this mod installed on my setup :). We are almost there for a global solution, that would make all sides happy: 1) new models for the current oil lamps that have a glass front stopping the player from a quick snuff out and 2) the current models for mappers to use if they want exstinguishable oil lamps in possible future missions.

Edited by wesp5
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If you already have the mod done and working why do you want to make new models if oil lamps can be extinguished by blowing at them or extinguishing them with your fingers?

I would be happy with the current mod, but developers and mappers fear that this solution could change gameplay to much in some old missions. So the solution above would be on the safe side and could make everyone happy :)! Also apologies if any developers or mappers felt insulted, maybe I do indeed underestimate the gameplay consequences...

Edited by wesp5
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Don't you think it would be easier to just make a mod and let people play it , let others try it out and see for themselves if your concept works better for the game? Don't you think this would be a better way to persuade convince the others to consider your idea to be implemented in the game later on?

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Don't you think it would be easier to just make a mod and let people play it , let others try it out and see for themselves if your concept works better for the game?

This would always be a last solution, but then again, mappers and developers could think their work was used the wrong way with their effort wasted.

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  • 6 years later...

Sorry but-not-sorry to bring this up.

I wondered why I can extinguish oil lamps with water arrows but cannot extinguish oil lamps with a blow. There must be a great technical challenge or a compelling reason behind, I thought. Let's go to the library and do some research.

History tells us this story: it turns seven years ago it was decided extinguishing oil lamps with a blow would have brought an apocalypse to this game. Nobility and common folk would have revolted against the holy council and because of the pressure and the continued failing attempts to patch things back the boards would have burnt to the ground and would have ended up being decommissioned. TDM would have been long lost and forgotten.

Fortunately, seven years ago it was decided risks are for commercial organizations - not for open projects or hobbies - and many core dynamics of TDM, along with its inconsistencies, belong in a time-capsule because people don't come and go and nobody would have ever bothered updating any map or asset in seven or twenty years.

Thanks to the decision, this game and community keeps thriving and oil lamps still cannot be extinguished with a blow because seven years ago this mechanic was reviewed and it was decided it was perfectly fine and, in fact, it was a feature al along.

Seven years ago. See you in 2029.

TDM Modpack v1.8 (25/09/2022) - Visit:

Snatcher's Workshop - Mods for The Dark Mod

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FM authors have balanced their maps and water arrow quantities around these lamps not being hand-extinguishable since TDM's beginnings. It'd be like lowering the light radius of all lights - the gameplay would change in a way not intended by the authors, even if we might think it would make them more realistic. I think it's extremely unlikely someone would come and rebalance the gameplay of all 100+ maps to accommodate for such a tweak.

Also, we now have a whole set of proper oil lamps with glass and switches that can be switched on or off.

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Thanks, Dragofer.

I read carefully all posts in this topic. Everything there is to be said has been said, in my opinion. My goal wasn't to bump this topic to resume the discussion but to make a particular point a few years later: what if?

Please excuse that I don't participate further.

EDIT - Oh, and before wesp5 jumps in about the Unofficial Patch: Yes, I know 😉

Edited by snatcher
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TDM Modpack v1.8 (25/09/2022) - Visit:

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41 minutes ago, snatcher said:

I read carefully all posts in this topic. Everything there is to be said has been said, in my opinion. My goal wasn't to bump this topic to resume the discussion but to make a particular point a few years later: what if?

 

I don't get your particular point.  Has something changed in the last "seven years" to make the previous arguments invalid?

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Posted (edited)

I can only say that I play with my patch and extinguishable oil lamps for seven years now and I never felt that a mission was broken. I rarely use water arrows anyway and as you need to sneak very close to an oil lamp to extinguish it, most of the time you already managed the hard bit getting there in full light.

Edited by wesp5
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1 hour ago, snatcher said:

I read carefully all posts in this topic. Everything there is to be said has been said, in my opinion. My goal wasn't to bump this topic to resume the discussion but to make a particular point a few years later: what if?

You heared the people in charge: It is set in stone and can't ever be changed because old missions would become too easy and some people would end missions with 15 instead of 10 water arrows.

I would even go so far as to suggest making torches hand extinguischable. And i am pretty sure i could even do it myself in meat space by suffocating the flame with a damp leather hood. Like with the oil lamps, you would have to step into the bright light to do extinguish them (but dousing a torch probably takes more time).

Just adding to the pile of everything for the record (and maybe for @wesp5). Also definitely not starting a discussion about necromancy...

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2 hours ago, Dragofer said:

FM authors have balanced their maps and water arrow quantities around these lamps

If there is something almost all missions have in common is that there is no balancing in regards to the amount of tools given. The typical answers I got when asking mission authors on that matter is "it might be useful/needed". At the same time, the majority of the people on this forum consider ghosting more or less the way to play. So any discussion about tools is more or less pointless.

57 minutes ago, Oktokolo said:

people would end missions with 15 instead of 10 water arrows

This.

On the other hand, mappers are free to customize the way the player can interact with the environment, and in this particular case I even think that there are missions who allow frob-extinguishing oil lamps, like there are fms that allow to douse candles without having to pick it up.

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

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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1 hour ago, Obsttorte said:

If there is something almost all missions have in common is that there is no balancing in regards to the amount of tools given. The typical answers I got when asking mission authors on that matter is "it might be useful/needed". At the same time, the majority of the people on this forum consider ghosting more or less the way to play. So any discussion about tools is more or less pointless.

This is something of a bold assumption. Maybe some authors aren't very good at balancing, but I believe all mappers I'm regularly in contact with put significant thought into how stealth gameplay and tool availability is balanced in their missions. A common idea is wanting to allow for various playstyles and ways of solving a situation, not just ghosting. Making all oil lamps hand-extinguishable would indeed raise the likelihood of players ending the mission with 10+ water arrows.

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3 hours ago, Dragofer said:

A common idea is wanting to allow for various playstyles and ways of solving a situation

This common idea is at least a common statement by map authors, and more or less what I've meant by "it might be useful". I am simply not a fan of this "play the game the way you want" design philosophy, throwing everything at the player and tell them to simply not use it if they don't want to or to adjust half a dozen gameplay settings to make a game fun, all of which is actually the job of the game designers. If a player gets tools handed out, there should be specific usecases for them.

Spoiler

On a sidenote: I think this is the main reason why the dark souls games and other soulslikes have become popular, similar to roguelikes et. al. It is not because they are difficult, which most of them aren't anyways, but because they demonstrate a clear design line. These games have a fix set of rules, and the player has to adept to it to master the game. There are different approaches one can take, but no "do whatever you want cuz you will succeed anyways".

It's a refreshing abberation from the occupational therapy design approach most modern games take and that, despite complaining about the impact of modern game design in Thi4f for example, some members here seem to favor.

If I can avoid most extinguishable lights or just ignore them if I am a bit patient, as most of the time I am not in the viewcone of any guard anyways, I don't need to have water arrows. I don't need flashbombs if reloading a quicksave is the easier way to "deal with a situation". And I don't need lockpicks if I can't unlock most of the locks with them anyways.

3 hours ago, Dragofer said:

Making all oil lamps hand-extinguishable would indeed raise the likelihood of players ending the mission with 10+ water arrows.

I don't argue for adding this, personally I don't care. I just wanted to state that your argument doesn't reflect the state of most of the fms imho.

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

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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It’s discouraging to read both a developer and a player saying we give no consideration to certain design elements of our missions in the context of a conversation that seems to be about overwriting some of those intentions anyway.

Given we already have frobable oil lamps, as well as non frobable ones and that we can do practically whatever we like in this regard via spawnargs/custom scripting I think our intentions as to how/if you’re supposed to be able to interact with a given light source are usually pretty clear on the mappers side.

Part of what makes TDM cool is that players can also change almost any element of the game or a given mission themselves regardless of those intentions and no one is trying to stop them.

So in a world where players have the option to play the mission as intended, unofficially “patch” the game to have the feature, or even boot up DR and hook up a light switch themselves what is even the ask?

Edited by Wellingtoncrab
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43 minutes ago, Wellingtoncrab said:

It’s discouraging to read both a developer and a player saying we give no consideration to certain design elements of our missions in the context of a conversation that seems to be about overwriting some of those intentions anyway.

Again, I'm not for changing anything in the default configuration. I just expressed an opinion. I am not for overwriting mappers intention, the opposite is the case, which leads to

43 minutes ago, Wellingtoncrab said:

Part of what makes TDM cool is that players can also change almost any element of the game or a given mission themselves regardless of those intentions and no one is trying to stop them.

You are contradicting yourself a bit here. If the mapper does a good job, players will most likely not feel the urge to change anything. You don't buy a picture to paint over it ;) And it basically reflects the "play it as you want" attitude which I am absolutely no fan of. But maybe I am just getting old.

I can't speak for @snatcheron why he necro'd this thread, but it's a reoccouring thing that mappers always state how discouraging it is getting criticised, something that is completely normal in any other hobby. You could see it as something to improve upon instead of acting as you would get bully'd.

As I am not only a dev but a mapper myself it might be less discouraging if I would pick up my own missions and start to list up the things I messed up from my nowadays viewpoint?! That would be a long list, though :). (And one of the reasons I haven't released another fm in years. I wanted to do it better and somehow got stuck. 🙄 But maybe the goddess of motivation will shine her light on me, who knows).

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

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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Well it's objectively untrue that mappers have no plan or design for their stealth gameplay and tools. If players think a mapper hasn't done a good job they're free to provide feedback or change it for themselves. However, it's not the task of the dev team to overwrite mappers' intentions out of a belief that this would improve the level design.

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34 minutes ago, Wellingtoncrab said:

It’s discouraging to read both a developer and a player saying we give no consideration to certain design elements of our missions in the context of a conversation that seems to be about overwriting some of those intentions anyway.

If it makes you feel better: I still am of the opinion, that Iris is the best TDM mission created so far. Also i would have expected winning that contest to somehow protect against such ultra-fast discouragement a bit...

But yes - ignoring some outliers and special missions - actual balancing of tools is basically absent in TDM.
And that is okay as long as noobs still get enough tools on easy to somehow make it through the mission (which seems to normally be the case). I am in the "play it as you want" camp btw and rarely use tools anyways - so too much tools are just translating to more loot for Definitelynotgarret to pawn after the mission...

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22 minutes ago, Obsttorte said:

I can't speak for @snatcheron why he necro'd this thread [...]

While playing with my new toy and experimenting the cool stuff this world has to offer, I didn't understand why I couldn't blow a tiny oil lamp that is right in front of my face. I would have given it a pass if this was an incipient project.

This necromancy is here to say I found the body and its secrets. Bury it better next time.

TDM Modpack v1.8 (25/09/2022) - Visit:

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@Obsttorte @Oktokoloare these comments a response to mine? Because they don’t really seem to be. I am not discouraged by being “criticized” (You don’t seem to have specific criticisms - rather a blanket generalization about the balancing done in “almost all” missions) but the dynamic here:

1 hour ago, Wellingtoncrab said:

It’s discouraging to read both a developer and a player saying we give no consideration to certain design elements of our missions in the context of a conversation that seems to be about overwriting some of those intentions anyway.

Or is it intended to encourage us to give more consideration to that “missing” balance - because it seems to me even if I were a mapper who had carefully dolled out every water arrow and piece of equipment in their mission these types of retroactive changes are agnostic to that effort or intention. I also don’t see the point of offering up “BTW I don’t support this change, but here is some more justification for pursuing it” but it’s an open forum. Maybe the contradiction here is not as obvious as it seems to me. The end result is a pointless recursive loop.

Which is the other element of my post, which I don’t really follow as being a contradiction: What is the point/ask here? These changes are in effect implemented. Core mod has multiple options for mappers to use frobable/non frobable oil lamps, the unofficial patch exists apparently changing every non frobable one to a frobable on, and the game and individual missions can be modified by any player who chooses. Yet somewhere somebody is not getting what they want in oil lamp world?

1 hour ago, Obsttorte said:

And one of the reasons I haven't released another fm in years. I wanted to do it better and somehow got stuck. 🙄 But maybe the goddess of motivation will shine her light on me, who knows).

“The Elixir” is a really great mission so I hope to play another someday! I also think your mapping tutorials are amazing for intermediate learners - I had never actually seen in a tutorial or actually understood working with patches at all for example until I watched your videos. I am no expert but if you ask me you certainly got the gift! 

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@Wellingtoncrab

In regards to getting discouraged by criticism I was more refering to the reaction of mappers in general. And as stated, I am not for changing it in the core mod (don't mix up my posts with those of others). It has been like this for so long that it doesn't make sense to change it. I, however, consider it important to discuss such things to simple bring it to the mappers attention, as if something is done in a certain way for long enough, people, including myself, tend to stop thinking about it.

And yes, the missing balance in tools given, among other aspects, is a general observation. It neither implies that it is like that in every single mission nor does it mean that there has been no thought put into this by the respective mappers. However, putting thought into something doesn't guarantee the best results, so feedback and criticism is vital, as maybe the concepts that went into those thoughts have issues or things have been overseen.

7 hours ago, Wellingtoncrab said:

Which is the other element of my post, which I don’t really follow as being a contradiction: What is the point/ask here? These changes are in effect implemented.

I for one just added my opinion in a response to a statement made by Dragofer. The original intent of the thread is not refered to by me.

7 hours ago, Wellingtoncrab said:

“The Elixir” is a really great mission so I hope to play another someday!

Despite beeing named as mission author I am not. The mission is by Bikerdude, I just helped with scripts and performance.

And it has quiet some of the flaws I mentioned here and in other threads, too, like my own mission have (Old Habits and Builder Roads). One other thing both the Elixir and my first Release have in common is bottleneck design, something extremely common among TDM fms. In Old Habits you have to find a specific key to be able to get to the upper levels, and the key is hidden. If you are unable to find the key, something that happened to some players, you end up coming to the forum and making a post starting with the magical words "I am stuck...". Something you read in a lot of mission threads. The Elixir suffers from the same issue.

That's one thing I changed when creating the rebuild, providing an alternative way. Other things are no kill objectives (I added it because Thief had them, not for a gameplay reason), and today I would probably not add loot objectives. The light placement allows for players to always have a corridor of shadow to walk through without getting spotted, which is extremely artificial. In regards to the loot amount I am not sure anymore, but iirc it at least differs difficulty dependent.

Builder Roads was a bit of an experiment, which automatically leads to flaws. The main thing is that the whole setup doesn't allow for much variety in how you approach the mission. And again there is only one way to fulfill the main objective, requiring the player to solve a puzzle (which sometimes doesn't work 😪 ). If he is unable to, he cannot finish the mission.

Those missions are old, though, and so are others. I am not as critical to old missions as I am to new ones, because there was a lack in experience back then. But I would have liked to see some sort of evolution in terms of gameplay, which didn't happen (in the sum!). The missions get bigger, they look better and overall production quality increased. But the gameplay didn't. And this is no surprise if almost everytime you write a critic mappers feel offended, even if you stress positive aspects, too, and try to be as objective as possible. This was more so in the past then in the last time, so I guess the mood has changed a bit around here. (Lots of drama going on in the past, so people were probably a bit more thin-skinned).

There are two things btw. where I have gotten positive feedback on Old Habits. The loot placement and patroling. The first caused me to pay more attention to it in other fms, noting that there is no (obvious) logic behind it. So I asked. And tell you what: Neither players nor mappers consider loot placement or the values important. At least back then, although I can't say it has changed much.

In regards to patroling I was told that it almost appeared as if the patroling was timed (aka thought went into it) and I just thought: "Of course they are, that's a fundamental part of the gameplay. To tight and it becomes unfair, to loose and it becomes boring." But the response and my own observation in other fms tell me that this is something rarely (not never!) taken into consideration.

So I don't consider my own work much better in regards to gameplay, from my nowadays standards they are mediocre at best, and my criticism is not only based on how I perceive the missions, but also on the kind of feedback and statements I have read in the forum over the years.

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

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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Posted (edited)

Just to make it clear, when I made the oil-lamps exstinguishable in the patch, it was never about making the game easier. This was just about making it more consistent, because I love how good the world building of TDM is! I also made several candles exstinguishable which for whatever reasons are not in the core game, like when two or three are on one holder...

Edited by wesp5
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