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Fan Mission: Noble Affairs by Goldwell 2022/02/22 [TDM 2.10 Required]


Goldwell
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Cool, looks like this is the mission that I'll play first after updating to 2.10. Quite eager to see what 2.10 brings to the table. That said I've got a couple of questions, just so I get the best experience:

1. The screenshots are fairly dark. Does this mean the gamma should be set at 1.0 instead of the new default of 1.2? I don't mind dark environments, just want to get the right atmosphere intended by the author.

2.

On 2/23/2022 at 12:01 AM, Goldwell said:

It is highly recommended that you play with shadow maps turned on to get full use of the new volumetric lights in 2.10. Go into Settings -> Video -> Advanced -> "Shadows Implementation" set to "Maps".

Normally I play with classic stencil shadows, however I'm happy to change this since I upgraded my GPU recently. I'm a bit surprised the choice of shadow rending tech has an impact on volumetric lighting, but this is a new feature of 2.10 apparently so I'm probably just unfamiliar with how it works.

Anyway, looking forward to trying out this mission!

 

Edited by Xolvix

A word of warning, Agent Denton. This was a simulated experience; real LAMs will not be so forgiving.

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8 hours ago, Xolvix said:

Cool, looks like this is the mission that I'll play first after updating to 2.10. Quite eager to see what 2.10 brings to the table. That said I've got a couple of questions, just so I get the best experience:

1. The screenshots are fairly dark. Does this mean the gamma should be set at 1.0 instead of the new default of 1.2? I don't mind dark environments, just want to get the right atmosphere intended by the author.

2.

Normally I play with classic stencil shadows, however I'm happy to change this since I upgraded my GPU recently. I'm a bit surprised the choice of shadow rending tech has an impact on volumetric lighting, but this is a new feature of 2.10 apparently so I'm probably just unfamiliar with how it works.

Anyway, looking forward to trying out this mission!

 

re: question 1

I play with my gamma set to 1.2.

 

I did use a lot of darker custom textures with this mission so you might even need to tweak the gamma further depending on your monitor brightness settings.

 

re: question 2

Definitely recommend playing with the shadow maps, I don't think the performance hit is too major and you get to see the beautiful new volumetric lights! Some of my beta testers had 1060's and were running the mission without a hitch. So fingers crossed you should be right!

 

If you are finding performance issues, there is an experimental feature you can turn on called "Frontend Acceleration" (Settings -> Video -> Advanced). Apparently that helped massively for those having performance problems during the testing phase.

 

Have fun!

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Being new to The Dark Mod I must say how amazed with this FM. I have been a Thief fan over 20 years (!) and have played and replayed every Thief game and hundreds of FMs during that time.  This mission was my first foray into TDM and I will say I thoroughly enjoyed it. I had to throttle down some of my settings but overall it was still exceptional.  BTW, I really loved the intro music. My wife heard it too felt the same! 

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15 hours ago, therealdadbeard said:

Okay I don't know if this is a bug or not but down in the meat factory

 

  Hide contents

are those enemies supposed to be invisible?

 

Yes they are!

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There is a remote area in the map where a guy is pounding on a door, trying to gain access. Behind him on a cart is a chest that is frobable. Lock picks won't open it. Where is the key ?

Edited by CountMorillonite
Meant for the Noble Affairs thread but can't move it myself
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What mission is this?

{ 0 | 🞵 } = funk_tastic

My missions:           Stand-alone                                                      Duncan Lynch series                              

                                      Down and Out on Newford Road              the Factory Heist

                                                                                                  A House Call

                              

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  • CountMorillonite changed the title to Can't Find Key in FM "Noble Affairs"

  

3 hours ago, CountMorillonite said:

There is a remote area in the map where a guy is pounding on a door, trying to gain access. Behind him on a cart is a chest that is frobable. Lock picks won't open it. Where is the key ?

 

There is no key for that chest as it is able to be lock picked open.

I just tested this ingame and was able to use the lockpicks to open the chest.

 

6H0lSN5.png

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  • nbohr1more changed the title to Fan Mission: Noble Affairs by Goldwell 2022/02/22 [TDM 2.10 Required]

Hmmm...my lockpicks don't work for this chest, but they work everywhere else. I'll just regard this as spooky weirdness and carry on.

I went back and restarted the game and my lockpicks did their job !!!

Sorry for the bother

Edited by CountMorillonite
Problem resolved
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Sorry, another silly question.

What SSAO (r_ssao) setting are you using in the screenshots? I've left ambient occlusion disabled ever since it became an option, but if I enable it, the increased darkness around objects/wall corners feels very odd. It's probably just because I'm not used to it (very un-Doom-3-engine-like), but I'm wondering if you have it on high and would recommended it overall, or if it becomes bothersome. The Dark Mod with everything new enabled feels so different to what I remember in 2014. :)

Edited by Xolvix
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A word of warning, Agent Denton. This was a simulated experience; real LAMs will not be so forgiving.

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These are the settings I play with and took the screenshots with

 

Ge2KtBN.png

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Thanks. I feel some of those "experimental features" don't really need to be marked as such anymore, they seem pretty stable and almost discourage people from enabling them.

EDIT: May as well give first impressions after all the settings business...

Bloody hell, what a start. Plus I think someone else mentioned it, but the new female protagonist is so refreshing a change that I can't help but smile. And so much detail, I'm not normally a graphics fanatic but with all the trimmings and the latest TDM it definitely shows and helps with the atmosphere.

Edited by Xolvix
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A word of warning, Agent Denton. This was a simulated experience; real LAMs will not be so forgiving.

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I just finished this mission yesterday with all side quests and the main quest on easy and while it was quite entertaining, the overall changes were a mixed bag for me. In my opinion, a problem of TDM is that stuff in missions are done differently and thus a clear overall design is missing. On one hand this makes TDM unique, on the other hand it makes it harder for people looking for a normal game where they can rely on everything being like the expect it to be. Now for a closer look:

- I loved the female protagonist! I believe you should provide the assets to the core game so we can see more of her.

- I loved that you could take food for later. This should go into the main game too, or could I at least add it to my patch?

- I liked the taking animation, although it sometimes moves stuff through solids. Could this be added to the core game?

- I didn't like the merged lockpicks. What were the reasons to do that? Why would lockpicking be different in this mission?

- I didn't like the new arrow heads without a shaft. I don't think we have a Hawkeye quiver, how are we using them?

- I didn't like the new taking sound effects, they reminded me too much of Thief 4. The old sounds are much better!

- I didn't like the new menu screen. It has the game name missing and the size is too small so options stick of the borders.

- I didn't like the new mouse cursor. I don't think TDM is about somebody pointing a sword at things in the first place ;).

Edited by wesp5
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1 hour ago, wesp5 said:

I just finished this mission yesterday with all side quests and the main quest on easy and while it was quite entertaining, the overall changes were a mixed bag for me. In my opinion, a problem of TDM is that stuff in missions are done differently and thus a clear overall design is missing. On one hand this makes TDM unique, on the other hand it makes it harder for people looking for a normal game where they can rely on everything being like the expect it to be. Now for a closer look:

 

Thanks for leaving your feedback!

 

Firstly with the mention of continuity. My missions since Shadows of Northdale Act 1 have very much strayed from the standard core of TDM. There are design and game choices in the core game which I personally am not a fan of, so for all of my missions I decided to flow a certain way adopting changes such as using Kingsal's arrow models and animations, to implementing Epifire's custom models and of course to my own tweaks and feel.

 

I always set out to make missions that I personally want to play and prefer, now with that I completely understand it's not for everyone. Some people find my missions bad, some find them great, and some just okay. And that's completely fine, just the nature of games and mods. We are all entitled to enjoy or not enjoy whatever we want.

 

I just make missions the way I like them and prefer them to be made, and among my missions I try to keep a strong sense of continuity among my design/game choices. If people dig it, sweet, if not, sweet!

 

Now as for your other points:

 

Quote

- I loved the female protagonist! I believe you should provide the assets to the core game so we can see more of her.

It was awesome doing a brand new protagonist. This was the first TDM mission with a female protagonist and it felt quite refreshing when writing dialogue and how she would interact with the world. There are about 60-80 custom player sounds I had to implement as well as narration lines of course. But to implement the player sounds I think you would need to do quite a lot of work to get them into the core mod. Firstly some of the sounds aren't the best pick for the action they're doing, good enough for my mission but not good enough for a core asset imo. Additionally there are some other unknown issues which need to be beta tested, such as one other poster pointed out of the guards using the same sigh vocal as the player which means sometimes they make a noise that is meant for Clara haha. So there would have to be some changes to the core vocal definitions to address that as well as what ever other issues come up.

 

If someone wants to do that, they have my blessing but I don't have the time personally to do that.

 

Quote

- I loved that you could take food for later. This should go into the main game too, or could I at least add it to my patch?

This is another Goldwell FM feature, one that I don't think would be appreciated if it was in the core. You'll have players ask "well why can't I pick up food anymore? I wanted to throw it to distract a guard".

 

Quote

- I liked the taking animation, although it sometimes moves stuff through solids. Could this be added to the core game?

That animation was originally scripted by Obsttorte, and then optimized by Grayman. Complaining that sometimes objects fly through solids is not something i've ever experienced with the script, and it is a bit nitpicky and doesn't really matter or negatively impact the overall effectiveness of the animation, that's my personal opinion on that. As for it being added into the core game, because the script in its current form alters how frobability works it would need to be changed so as to not break previous missions. For example if you frob an object that is targeting another entity, the script breaks. Which is why all of my missions use a S&R system. You would have to either change the script to support that, or go through and retroactively change every mission that has such an action.

It could be done, but it's a lot of work.

 

Quote

- I didn't like the merged lockpicks. What were the reasons to do that? Why would lockpicking be different in this mission?

This is a personal preference of mine and one that I actually saw in a few Thief 2 FMs. Having two lockpicks doesn't add anything of value, it just makes it more annoying having to switch back and forth. When the actual action of lockpicking remains the same, I figured okay lets just simplify this down to just having one lockpick.

 

You still need to engage in our lock picking "minigame", so you still need to listen to the clicking and time it so that they click on the right time to get the door/chest open. So nothing has changed on a technical front.

 

As for why would the lockpicking be different in this mission? Well again because I prefer the system of just having one set of lockpicks instead of a snake and triangle lockpick. Additionally I recieved very positive feedback during beta on that so I decided to keep it in.

 

Quote

- I didn't like the new arrow heads without a shaft. I don't think we have a Hawkeye quiver, how are we using them?

This doesn't feel like a big deal to me. If I had a full water arrow sitting in the basin of Lady Volta's bathroom for example, instead of just the arrow head people would complain "well why is there a full arrow in the basin?".

 

I think that falls down to a matter of preference, because opening it up to the realism critique just opens a whole can of worms that neither side can win. And extends even beyond that, why can our thief carry so much? why can they hide in a shadow when being right infront of a guard? why can you fall from a great distance and not sprain your ankle? etc. There's a lot of choices you make whether to gamify something or make it realistic.

 

Of course you can't go too silly, but I think having just an arrow head for the water arrows in area of waters is well within acceptable limits of being gamified. The player sees a source of water, they check to see if there are water arrows.

 

Quote

- I didn't like the new taking sound effects, they reminded me too much of Thief 4. The old sounds are much better!

I personally love and prefer the new sounds along with the loot animation, I feel the two go together great. But there is no right or wrong opinion on that, just opinions! :)

 

Quote

- I didn't like the new menu screen. It has the game name missing and the size is too small so options stick of the borders.

I see what you mean! I definitely could have improved the new menu screen there. Fair point!

 

Quote

- I didn't like the new mouse cursor. I don't think TDM is about somebody pointing a sword at things in the first place ;).

Blasphemy! The sword is mightier than... the shadow? :P

 

Thanks once again for playing and leaving your input :)

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45 minutes ago, Goldwell said:

Of course you can't go too silly, but I think having just an arrow head for the water arrows in area of waters is well within acceptable limits of being gamified. The player sees a source of water, they check to see if there are water arrows.

I saw this first used in Iris, then I thought adding a bunch of sticks (just one bunch of sticks icon) in the inventory would add realism. The idea is that when you pick up an arrow point, a stick is used automatically to create an arrow.

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On 3/9/2022 at 2:00 PM, datiswous said:

I saw this first used in Iris, then I thought adding a bunch of sticks (just one bunch of sticks icon) in the inventory would add realism. The idea is that when you pick up an arrow point, a stick is used automatically to create an arrow.

That would make sense for missions using the new arrow heads. As for the rest of the continuity, @Goldwell could you combine them to some kind of campaign so it is obvious that they belong together or rather play in the same world?

Edited by wesp5
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The pickup animation and sound is great imo - evoked dishonored in my mind much more strongly than thief 4 - though perhaps my memory of that game is simply not as strong.

Elemental crystals have usually represented arrows in thief and I like that the mission has both. This opens up resources to be collected in areas like bonfires, fountains, trees, etc where the fully assembled arrows would read as out of place. Yes there is abstraction involved - as there almost always is in games.

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Arrow crystals are a very Thief 3 idea. Even in T3Ed they were called crystals, and the main point was that those were more like a manifestation of elements, and Garrett could make use of them (perhaps due to his ex-keeper training?). Adding shafts and some kind of crafting wouldn't give quality time to players, more like a ubisoft-like busywork.

Edited by peter_spy
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Even Thief 1/2 had crystals instead of full arrows if you found them during a mission. They were a sort of low-resolution pointed cylinder shape, in the colour of their element (with gas particles rising in the case of gas crystals). It was never explained how the player somehow turned these into arrows, but presumably it should be understood that he carries some empty shafts to attach the crystals to. Having to do this manually in game would be annoying and add no gameplay value, unless it was opening up some new possibilities like crafting unusual combination arrows with multiple crystal types.

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10 hours ago, OrbWeaver said:

Having to do this manually in game would be annoying and add no gameplay value, unless it was opening up some new possibilities like crafting unusual combination arrows with multiple crystal types.

Nobody wants manual crafting of arrows, just add a small bundle of shafts to the inventory grid like the unarmed icon!

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On 3/11/2022 at 3:55 AM, wesp5 said:

That would make sense for missions using the new arrow heads. As for the rest of the continuity, @Goldwell could you combine them to some kind of campaign so it is obvious that they belong together or rather play in the same world?


It already is obvious that my missions belong together by the fact that they say “by Goldwell” next to them.

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My only real complaint would be how tight the patrol route of the guard right inside of the mansion's entrance is.

Spoiler

Getting out without KOing him is really unneccessarily hard since you have to run behind him on carpet, jump/climb the fountain and try to squeeze in jumping up/mantling up on to the beam as there are no alternative ways to get out unseen other than up on that beam and into the ducts it connects to, all before he gets to the end of his path and turns around immediately to look down the hallway. There's no darkness in the hall to hide in where he won't give at least a suspicious low level alert while walking by.

Other than that, a lot of newish stuff which is honestly what your missions are known for, unusual new things you usually haven't seen elsewhere. It all worked together well in a medium-sized mission and there was no super cryptic stuff keeping the player from progressing or even from completing the side objectives. The side objective system was handled a lot better than in your previous missions where the reward just automatically appeared in your inventory.

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1 hour ago, wesp5 said:

Nobody wants manual crafting of arrows, just add a small bundle of shafts to the inventory grid like the unarmed icon!

I can’t really think of a reason to occupy the players inventory with an item they don’t actually use - this dead item actually seems potentially confusing to me as opposed to clarifying. Most players would assume they are supposed to do something with a bundle of sticks in their inventory - should there are also be an icon of a semi trailer in the grid to explain how the player carries so much loot, armament and loose sticks apparently with them?

Again if this whole thing is about realism - is it more realistic to walk up to a tuffet and find a fully assembled moss arrow or find a piece of moss? The game imo communicates to the player well when they pickup an elemental crystal that an arrow has been added to their inventory via a gui message. Either way it’s probably a discussion to move out of Goldwell’s thread as lot of missions use this custom arrow set or other abstractions, and it is perhaps presumptive on my part but it might be better to reserve this space for feedback specific to this mission.

 

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That was fun.  As others have said, having a female protagonist made an interesting change though the guard voices obviously assumed a male protagonist.

The intro music is awesome.

Now I don't think I've seen this mentioned, but I managed to
 

Spoiler

blackjack the gatekeeper guard through the door.  This did not impair his ability to open the gate given the appropriate credentials, but it was amusing to see the hatch slide open and nobody behind it.


 

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