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Player Carrying alot of loot should make noise and or make him slower?

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There may be a compromise here... I've seen some games that have a universal storage stash option. A.k.a. a few secret loot stash lockers (could be literal lockers or secret hiding places in walls or floorboards or ceilings) littered about the map solely for the purpose of depositing all your loot to free up weight space, but the loot lockers all contain the same inventory you've picked up along the way, yet don't count towards your weight. And conveniently enough there is one final loot locker at the near the exit of your mission, or just make the loot locker contents count towards the loot objective. That way you have all the loot you've encountered, yet have the realism of loot weight in your game.

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Ask yourself how much fun having to stash your loot all the time would be. In my opinion, not that much, to say the least.

Edited by chakkman

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3 hours ago, Shadow said:

There may be a compromise here... I've seen some games that have a universal storage stash option. A.k.a. a few secret loot stash lockers (could be literal lockers or secret hiding places in walls or floorboards or ceilings) littered about the map solely for the purpose of depositing all your loot to free up weight space, but the loot lockers all contain the same inventory you've picked up along the way, yet don't count towards your weight. And conveniently enough there is one final loot locker at the near the exit of your mission, or just make the loot locker contents count towards the loot objective. That way you have all the loot you've encountered, yet have the realism of loot weight in your game.

Same issue though, how does an encumbrance system relate to the intention of the gameplay?  I could see it being beneficial if the game was about engaging other AI, fighting them, killing, etc, but that's not the intent of the gameplay here.  Thief and by extension TDM are encouraging non-lethal gameplay, exploration, and the thrill of stealing.  Slowing the player down doesn't work unless the intent is to make thieving unpleasant.  I don't want to manage the loot.

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15 hours ago, peter_spy said:

It's kind of like these discussions on whether AI should be alerted by player shadow or player outline against bright background. I never felt it would add anything to the gameplay or immersion, more like become a list of things you have to micro-manage now.

But you have to admit that you can get into situations that look utterly ridiculous in the game. Like imagine you walked into your own kitchen or dining room, there's some candlelight, and a man in black garb is squatting on your table staring at you. But you don't notice him.

Some of it could be a consequence of the player's gamma settings, and the use of ambient lighting/lack of HDR (scenes appear brighter than they should, no true blacks).

If you had to manage your silhouette, it would just restrict the amount of "shadows" you could hide in, maybe not even by much, and it could be reflected in the lightgem. But it could also make existing missions too hard. So it should be a mod or disabled by default if it ever gets implemented.

Edited by jaxa

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Whether it looks ridiculous or not, I don't think there was a stealth game yet that would consider this an important part of gameplay. And apart from all the coding problems that would come with it, player would need to have a meaningful feedback from the game. I think we can assume leaving it to nervous looking back every few seconds isn't going to be fun, so at least some icon next to light gem would be needed, something like in first Dishonored maybe.

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6 minutes ago, peter_spy said:

at least some icon next to light gem would be needed

Maybe a black silhouette of a person with the background becoming lighter or darker depending on contrast.

But I don't see this being practical. First of all, surely it depends on viewing angle. For instance, suppose I'm standing in front of an illuminated white panel in an otherwise dark and unlit room. Anyone looking at me from the front will see my sihouette stand out against the white panel. Anyone looking at me from the side will not. How do you indicate that with a light gem?

Secondly, this would make things hellish for the map designer. Indicating safe places by making them dark and inviting is easy, but dealing with contrast seems like a pain.

I think it's inevitable to sacrifice some realism for the sake of gameplay.

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Yup, it's a design constraint from the get-go, and probably a pain from coding perspective too. I can only guess that AI would need some kind of ray cast from its position, to and through the player, and to the nearest light source that may or may not be behind him. Not sure how would you decide on how long that ray (or rather, bunch of rays) needs to be, and how expensive this would be in terms of computation.

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Silhouette-based visibility gets brought up fairly frequently, but unfortunately it's a complete non-starter from a game design point of view.

The current system based on incident light depends only on the player position. Silhouettes depend on both player position and the views of individual guards, who each have a different view of the player silhouette. There is no practical way for the lightgem to show both incident light plus an arbitrary number of silhouettes based on the number and position of guards in the scene, and even if you could find a way to represent this, requiring the player to mentally keep track of their possible silhouette as seen by every (moving!) guard in an area would make effective stealth almost impossible.

As for degrading stealth based on the amount of collected loot, this is an even worse idea than degrading player performance based on lost hitpoints (which has also been suggested). At least you can avoid losing hitpoints and/or consume healing potions, but you cannot avoid collecting loot since it is the purpose of the game. Making the game harder and more frustrating over time, for no other reason than "muh immersion!", effectively punishing players for doing what the game requires them to do — that's an excellent way to piss off the player base and encourage them to go do something else.

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While we're on the topic of punishing the player for stealing loot, the other thing that annoys me is guards going on alert when something's missing.  If you can prevent them from noticing the theft by dousing nearby lights that's fine, but having them unavoidably freak out is unfair to the player.

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Yee that is a difficult problem but i do want to state that AI after this only goes into alert mode for a while.
In thief 3 they freak out and you have to go somewhere else, they might even press the alarm.

However not every guard could have that attention level, as we know alot of guards are straight out drunk.


Can we have more scary Zombie Horror maps?

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13 minutes ago, thebigh said:

While we're on the topic of punishing the player for stealing loot, the other thing that annoys me is guards going on alert when something's missing.  If you can prevent them from noticing the theft by dousing nearby lights that's fine, but having them unavoidably freak out is unfair to the player.

It's up to the mapper to decide what loot sends AI into alert.  That's the best compromise between punishing the player too much and having AI stare blankly at a missing painting without noticing.

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I also think that's quite a cool feature. It's a bit dumb when the guard guards treasures which so obviously aren't there anymore. 

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That's the mappers fault though, you can mark items in the editor so that if they're missing the AI's go on high alert.


I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

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I'm of a mind that controversial features should always (to the extent possible) be map-specific. And if an author is going to have the feature in at all, then they should do it without compromise. It's better to have a generally unliked feature that's at least done the right way (that some people like), without compromise, than to compromise it and have more generally liked but wishy-washy gameplay.

Be an author: Have a vision, go all out, don't compromise, don't ask for permission*, be loved or hated and nothing in between! 🤣

 

* But you still gotta betatest. People might not like your feature, but you should know the consequences and player reaction, it should still work for everybody as intended.

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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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I see your point. If it's a museum heist and the target is a jewel-encrusted pope hat in a brightly lit display cabinet, it would stretch suspension of disbelief too far to assume the museum guards wouldn't see it was gone and then freak out about it. But even then I'd add the ability to turn off lights so that the guards would have to turn them back on first before noticing the artifact was missing, giving the player time to ghost out of there and not have to deal with angry super-alert guards. I'm not saying this mechanism can't work if done right.

But I was playing a level recently (obviously I won't badmouth anyone by naming it) where I'd been stealing decorative vases and lion statuettes from dimly lit hallways  all mission and then I finally find out that one specific gold lion, no different to the others, set off every guard within 100 feet even if I doused the two nearby lamps. I say no different to the others; the difference was it was near the only stairwell up to the next floor. Making it an alertable loot object was clearly a cheap gimmick to increase the difficulty. That's the kind of thing I dislike.

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lol I know what mission you're referring to, and I did raise an eyebrow at that also. After reload, I just skipped that one til I was on the way out.

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I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

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9 hours ago, thebigh said:

I see your point. If it's a museum heist and the target is a jewel-encrusted pope hat in a brightly lit display cabinet, it would stretch suspension of disbelief too far to assume the museum guards wouldn't see it was gone and then freak out about it. But even then I'd add the ability to turn off lights so that the guards would have to turn them back on first before noticing the artifact was missing, giving the player time to ghost out of there and not have to deal with angry super-alert guards. I'm not saying this mechanism can't work if done right.

 

As far as I know, the current system creates a "missing entity", when an object that is supposed to be there gets taken. Is this entity dependent on light? I.e. would it help to turn off lights? If it is, it is purely bad design, if it does not work. If not, is it poosible to change that?

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I have the feeling I've seen guards not notice missing loot when it's too dark to see but not 100% sure. It seems to help in St Lucia with the gold chalices near the pulpit, at least until the Builder derps relight the torches.


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22 hours ago, thebigh said:

But even then I'd add the ability to turn off lights so that the guards would have to turn them back on first before noticing the artifact was missing, giving the player time to ghost out of there and not have to deal with angry super-alert guards.

The right way to ghost-steal well-guarded main objective loot is to have the thief replace it with a cheap copy.
I played missions implementing that mechanic and it felt pretty immersive.

Mission authors have to think about how to keep their missions ghostable - if they want them to be ghostable.
For non-ghost gameplay, the blackjack also solves the issue of guards noticing stolen things. And that mechanic just works without author intervention as long as the author does not go out of his way to break it.

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20 minutes ago, Abusimplea said:

For non-ghost gameplay, the blackjack also solves the issue of guards noticing stolen things. And that mechanic just works without author intervention as long as the author does not go out of his way to break it.

K.O. limit objectives. *cough cough*

Wished mission creators would finally get rid of those. They're silly (nobody cares how many people you knocked out, especially not rich Lords who only care about their valuables being secure) and limit the player in how he wants to approach a mission. And, additionally, they can break things like these.

On the other hand, no kill objectives make a lot of sense, because, obviously, murder is a capital crime, which is more severe than theft.

Edited by chakkman

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KO limit objectives should be optional.

12 minutes ago, chakkman said:

nobody cares how many people you knocked out, especially not rich Lords who only care about their valuables being secure

Ghosting a mission whenever possible makes sense from the thief's point of view. If the rich Lord's valuables go missing but none of the guards say they saw or heard anything, and none of them got hit on the head, the Lord might suspect an inside job. That can keep the actual culprit out of suspicion. If instead all his guards got clobbered the his Lordship will know right away that it was a burglary- and the next time you go to raid one of his properties all his guards will be wearing shiny metal helmets and carrying lanterns.

Another alternative for limiting blackjacking sprees is to allow the player to blackjack guards but not civilians. It makes sense for a gentleman thief to see armed guards as fair game, but turn up his nose at concussing innocent, harmless cooks and scullery wenches just for being in the mansion at the wrong time.


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Fair enough. But, objectives like "Only K.O. x people", as seen on several missions, don't make sense at all. Actually, stuff like that isn't found on the original Thief's either, IIRC. On the contrary, some even enforce on you that you knock out some guards.

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There was that T2 mission where you infiltrate the watch house. You weren't allowed to KO anyone on the hardest difficulty, but on easy and medium you could KO no more than five or two watchmen respectively.


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There was another forced ghost mission in T2 (IIRC), where you check out a target building, so you are not allowed to rasie any suspicion that your were there. In the mission following that, you conduct the actual heist. Sp, for recon missions this may make sense. But I agree, that it should make sense story-wise. A general "You don't do that, because the mission demands it", is rather inelegant.

I was planning on doing a mission (or rather a set of two missions), where something like that is implemented. In the first, you prepare for a heist, secure one or more possible entryways for the main building (and maybe prepare some other stuff) and in the second mission taking place in the following night, you actually have to steal something. If you KO/kill guards in the first mission, the number of guards in the second one would be increased. This is, in my opinion, the best way to do something like that: let the players do what they want, but show them, that certain actions may have consequences. But like so many cases before life came in the way and motivation to continue the project did not come back so far...

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