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Thieves' Guild Vs. The Sword...


kano
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One of these missions is hated. The other, is loved. Let's discuss why. Both are said to be confusing to navigate, Thieves' Guild by the players, and The Sword by Garrett himself.

 

Personally I never found The Sword difficult to navigate in, because it follows the rules of good mapping, where each area is distinct from others, through use of unique textures and sounds. In contrast to that, Thieves' Guild had a lot of sections which used the same textures over and over again and seemed to go on forever. It was easy to get turned around and not even know it until you are staring at the same area you were just looking for a way out of! Note that I rarely use maps in games, and mostly go by learning landmarks and architecture instead.

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The Sword was well designed. Yes, it got freaky but there was still a sense of progression to it. The first floor is a standard mansion, more or less, with the usual layout and decor. You get to the 2nd floor and, OK it's a bit weird looking with all the pagan stuff lying around, odd traps, and occasional physics-defying areas but it's still more or less comprehensible. The third floor is just batshit insane. The higher you go, the freakier it gets but it's still a coherent whole. LGS had a plan for this level from the outset which is why it works.

 

Now, Thieves' guild is very obviously not planned. It's clearly a bunch of map fragments LGS came up with, glued together haphazardly, and the connecting areas created in a hurry and without much care. Which is why it's confusing and the textures are repetitive. You can't tell me that the casino, the mansion at the end, and the underground castle spire with broken planks and weird swimming pools outside were created to fit together. Nope.

{ 0 | 🞵 } = funk_tastic

My missions:          the Factory Heist

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The Sword makes me think of its closest real-life counterpart: Winchester Mystery House. It was weird, but also attractive, interesting, memorable and atmospheric.

Thieves' Guild was like the unfinished deleted scenes you sometimes get on DVDs: you can see exactly why they were deleted, and adding them back improves nothing.

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