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Fan Mission: Coercion by Sotha (2016/09/27)


Please Rate Coercion  

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  2. 2. Appearance?

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  3. 3. Story & Text?

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This was an enjoyable mission! It had a nice moral ambiguity that was gradually revealed through the readables (it is notable that you are not necessarily breaking into the home of a reprehensible bastard). Sneaking wasn't too hard, but there were challenging bits, and setting up your escape route while picking up the loot in the display cases was fun. Something was missing from the mission in my mind - maybe an extra twist, or a small outside location, etc. - as it is, it can be a bit too much of the same thing, all mansion all the time. But overall, solid work, and I understand it is something built under a short time span.

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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I know this isn't directly related to the level design but...

 

This was the first mission I played with the improved AI, and I was gobsmacked that the guards noticed I had left a case open on my way out and sounded the alarm. Instead of loading the game I managed to dodge them, distract them and get out as I came in, pulse pounding.

"No proposition Euclid wrote,

No formulae the text-books know,

Will turn the bullet from your coat,

Or ward the tulwar's downward blow

Strike hard who cares—shoot straight who can—

The odds are on the cheaper man."

 

From 'Arithmetic on the Frontier' by Rudyard Kipling

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I know this isn't directly related to the level design but...

 

This was the first mission I played with the improved AI, and I was gobsmacked that the guards noticed I had left a case open on my way out and sounded the alarm. Instead of loading the game I managed to dodge them, distract them and get out as I came in, pulse pounding.

You know what's funny, this is the ONLY valuable that the guards will react to it going missing! God damn it, why couldn't you have made them notice other disappearances? :)

"Let me guess - little blue men with three heads stole your sweetroll?"

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@Glyph,

actually it is related to mission design. The missing loot detection has been there for ages. It just isn't commonly used. It is up to the mapper to make the absence of loot to be noticeable to the AI.

 

Here, my idea was to make the absence of prominently displayed loot cause an alert. Nobody is gonna notice if a statue on a shelf or a purse on a desk is going to be missing. But anything missing from a fancy display case will cause an alarm. I think it turned out so well, I'll be using this in the future as well, as long as the amount of noticeable loot is low in the mission.

  • Like 3

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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@Sotha

 

Ah, I didn't realise that! I thought that because it was well lit and on a patrol path that was why it was noticed.

 

Well, in that case, I think that your customary attention to detail has paid off.

 

Next on my "to do" list are the Ulysses missions...

"No proposition Euclid wrote,

No formulae the text-books know,

Will turn the bullet from your coat,

Or ward the tulwar's downward blow

Strike hard who cares—shoot straight who can—

The odds are on the cheaper man."

 

From 'Arithmetic on the Frontier' by Rudyard Kipling

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  • 1 month later...

Gave this a quick run on Easy -- I probably should have gone Medium, but I'm not a fan of "no-kill" rules, even though I didn't kill anyone (elasticity on player failure is important to me in stealth games).

 

Overall, I really liked it! I'm not certain if that guard on the top floor is impossible to blackjack, or if it's just typical TDM blackjacking weirdness; I tried to KO him for about 10 minutes before giving up, and every time I just got a *clang* "Ow!". If he is an "unblackjackable" type, I'm not a fan of that -- it really only serves to slow the pacing down (at least on Easy), since one guard with a predictable pattern isn't any kind of a persistent threat. Otherwise, good stuff -- simple but effective layout with multiple approaches, some fun loots (love that dagger that requires lockpicking in the light), some light puzzling and traps, a bit of traditional "hide and seek" play on the lower floors; a bite-size but tasty portion of Thief-ifsh fun.

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Thanks for playing and glad you liked the mission.

 

I didn't make any special KO-ability changes to the AI in thr mission: they are stock TDM.

 

KOing rules in TDM are much more complex than in the original Thief games. For example, if a guard with a helmet is alerted and has weapon in hand, you can never KO them anymore, not even when they relax from the alert.

 

Good rules of a thumb:

Always KO and unaware AI from the rear.

If helmet and weapon in hand, do not KO.

If helmet with face grill, do not KO.

If bare head, KO from behind.

If the AI is in combat or searching, do not KO.

 

More info here: http://wiki.thedarkmod.com/index.php?title=The_Dark_Mod_Gameplay#Blackjacking

  • Like 1

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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  • 2 months later...

I really enjoyed this level - I played it through twice, bumbling through the first time but I managed a stealth score of 2 the second time around! My only regret was that I (probably unnecessarily) turned off/extinguished a few lights. But now I'm wondering what else is available in a similar vein to this level - high quality, focused FMs that require a lot of learning like this one does.

Also, is it actually possible to BJ the helmeted guards? I know it was discussed up above, but I was under the impression that the helmets with the chainmail coif couldn't be KO'd? I'm still pretty new to the Thief games/TDM, so I wouldn't be surprised that I'm just doing it wrong or misinterpreting what the wiki has to say on the subject.

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Glad you had fun!

 

You might want to check my other missions. The Golden Skull is somewhat similar to this one. Then there are the Ulysses and Thomas Porter series. Ulysses is easier and TP missions are rather difficult. My missions from my earlier period are harder than my more recent ones. It is good idea to play the series missions in order, however.

  • Like 1

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Thank you for an absorbing mission. I would love to finish this one before I update to 2.05, but I am missing a lot of loot (only 2180 with 3000 needed on Expert), and I am going around in circles. I think I must have missed one or more pretty obvious locations, like an entire wing of the house or a giant vault or a neon sign pointing to a pile of jewels. A hint would be appreciated.

 

Update: Never mind! I answered my own question by downloading Cambridge Spy's video. By chance, I skipped ahead to just the right spot to find something that I should have found already. My mission completion is forever tarnished!

Edited by TeeJay
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  • 3 weeks later...

I just played this small mission yesterday and think it's a wonderful example of how much cool gameplay and great atmosphere TDM and Sotha can create out of only 10 MB :)! I need to report two issues though, of which at least one might be fixable:

 

- When I tried to blackjack the lord while he was taking a piss, I couldn't hit him at all. No sound and no effect hitting other things or people too, even after reloading a save! I then had the idea to draw the sword, sheath it again, get the blackjack out and afterwards it worked as intended! Is this a known random bug or some new problem of 2.05?

 

- When I flipped the switch for the secret door I was too close to the wall so it didn't open and I searched the whole floor for any changes! I tried the switch several times until I finally was far away enough to see the door half opened. I suggest to make that door open into the other direction, onto the landing, then this shouldn't be possible anymore!

Edited by wesp5
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  • 1 year later...

This mission is excellent, really liked the whole atmosphere and detailed geometry. Gameplay was damn near perfect and very enjoyable to sneak around. I liked the use of light switches & loot showcases scattered around along with the balance of npc's & patrols.

I tend to use the blackjack a lot but in this mission I think I only ended up blackjacking once, good mission to ghost in my opinion.

 

 

I almost died from the arrow trap when looting the books, literally had like a slither of health bar remaining since I had been detected earlier in the mission. To top it off, right after I looted the book an npc decided to enter the room as well although I was able to 180 and hide in the shadow just before he saw me haha. In my experience playing other missions there is almost never anyone who patrols into a hidden room so I was very much off-guard in that respect.

 

 

Great mission to introduce new players to the game.

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  • 3 months later...

Now that I have some time and a working video card to get back into TDM, I've went through the last fan missions created over the past two years. This one ended up first on my list, since I wanted something simple to get back into the gist of The Dark Mod with. My thoughts on it:

 

Pro: Good and high quality FM; Clean mapping and a nice interior layout, and you also know where to go next at every point in the level. The one secret relevant to progressing isn't too obscurely hidden as to cause you to get stuck for an hour looking around, which is a problem many other FM's have. The addition of in-world dialogue gave it a nice touch as well.

 

Con: I can't really call this a flaw as it's likely what the mission was intended to be; The FM is pretty small, simple, and not very exciting overall. Nothing really special happens, even if at first you get the impression that something more than meets the eye might be going on. I was half expecting that something weird would happen when I read the book in cause (hopefully I don't need to spoiler this as the book is mentioned in the briefing), like opening some magic portal to attacking zombies and skeletons. There is a small creepy surprise when you get to your final objective still.

 

 

BTW: Great idea with calling that one book "the origins of caulk". It took me a few seconds to realize what that was referring to, especially when speaking about "the void" ;)

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
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  • 1 year later...

Very nice little mission, interiors are nice, I liked the challenge, the secret place of the Lord, the windows wiew on a real town make nice effect. Works well with DarkMod V2.07.

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