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


Goldwell
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On 5/15/2022 at 11:07 AM, Tarhiel said:

Delightful mission, as always :)

...

I have one question though: 

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How do you access the last pieced of loot - crown hidden behind "Crystal Eye" painting?
it is unprobeable and I have no idea how to access it.

I haven´t found any other-dimension bespectacles or anything like it :)
 

 

Hint:

Spoiler

The clue is in the name of the painting

More blatant hint:

Spoiler

There's a hidden button to move the painting

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Interesting mission of good size, not to small, not too big. I liked the visual style and the voice-acting was pretty well done. Kudos to the speakers. Both were good to understand even for a non-native speaker like me. Overall the atmosphere was good.

The only downside is that the mission is way too easy under the highest setting. A few more thoughts:

Spoiler
  • While the guards patrol routes appear difficult to manage to begin with, once one guard is down it is pretty easy to take them out on after another
  • The amount of gears is simple unneccesary. There is no real use for most of them and you threw additional stuff like water arrows at them, although explicitly informing the player at the difficulty selection screen, that equipment is sparse and expensive (which will lead to the player storing it for later, which increases the issue)
  • Performance was sometimes a bit suboptimal, but never bad. I got it improved by lowering some settings, but I am not sure what causes the issues.
  • The relation between the amount of time spend outside the manor and inside is a bit off. One has the means to prepare oneself for the missions very carefully (even though only in regards to the equipment, intel would have been a nice twist), only to find a few rooms and guards. I think I didn't spend more than 15 minutes in the manor, but 45 minutes outside.
  • The meat factory was a bit odd. I didn't find out how to progress there and wasn't able to get up into the shaft either (both of which may have probably been my fault). I finally noclipped back up. I am sure this is not intented ;)

This is criticism on a high niveau and mostly subjective, though.

I overall like the approach you are taking and trying to find some means for the loot to acquire by the usage of the shop. This holds quiet some potential. And I hope there will be more from the voice actress.

Despite some criticism I can easely recommend this mission. Well done.

🙂

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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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11 hours ago, Obsttorte said:

The only downside is that the mission is way too easy under the highest setting.

I actually like the difficulty of Goldwell's mission. I think most missions, on the other hand, are way too hard. Especially for new players, the learning curve is pretty extreme.

E.g., I played Written in Stone some time ago. The difficulty was pretty alright actually, until you enter that ancient place. There are so many undeads there that I didn't nearly have enough weapons to get rid of even half of them. And, if you ghost the mission, there still can be 5 undead in the same room with you. I liked the mission, but, had to abort it, because, frankly, that was just badly balanced.

I know that there are many uber pwn0r TDM players here, but, maybe mappers should think about the casuals or newbies sometimes.

Edited by chakkman
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3 hours ago, chakkman said:

I actually like the difficulty of Goldwell's mission. I think most missions, on the other hand, are way too hard. Especially for new players, the learning curve is pretty extreme.

That's what the difficulty levels are for. Obviously I was refering to the highest difficulty. Sadly this quiet rudimentary feature is almost unused. It should be possible to balance a mission so that under the lowest setting a newcomer can pass it while under the highest setting a veteran gets challenged, and the second setting somewhere in between.

3 hours ago, chakkman said:

I know that there are many uber pwn0r TDM players here, but, maybe mappers should think about the casuals or newbies sometimes.

That would be three difficulties then. And I consider myself definetely not an uber player. I am way too impatient for that.

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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Do the different difficulties feature a different amount of enemies in the mission?

I always thought the only difference between difficulty levels would be the amount and kind of objectives.

Edited by chakkman
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2 hours ago, chakkman said:

Do the different difficulties feature a different amount of enemies in the mission?

I always thought the only difference between difficulty levels would be the amount and kind of objectives.

The amount of enemies, their acuities and other settings, the amount of equipment, whether or not a door is locked and how difficult it is to pick it, patrol routes, whether or not an entity is present (which means anything from items to models blocking the way) and if randomized, the probabilities. Light radii and brightness, at which alert level an ai switches from on state to another, whether the ai is carrying a torch ....

There is actually a built-in difficulty editor in DarkRadiant which allows to make difficulty dependent changes. (And it was already present back when I joined, so a decade ago).

But that is just the fundament. You can also alter aspects of the mission via script that are not applicable via spawnargs and entity definitions.

  • Like 1

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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On 6/18/2022 at 11:19 PM, Obsttorte said:

I overall like the approach you are taking and trying to find some means for the loot to acquire by the usage of the shop.

One thing I really appreciated about the mission is that while there is a shop, and items from it can certainly be helpful, you're not required to buy anything. A rope arrow is a good example: if you want one as soon as possible, you can buy it in the shop. But if you want to finish the mission with all loot, you can still get one later.

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8 hours ago, chakkman said:

Wow. I should try different difficulties before judging then. :) I really always thought the only thing that differs are the objectives...

I said these adjustments are possible. I fairly doubt mappers make much use of them. As far as I can tell the only thing that currently differs are indeed the objectives (with some exceptions, Springheel made use of them in some missions iirc).

 

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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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On 6/19/2022 at 6:19 AM, Obsttorte said:

Interesting mission of good size, not to small, not too big. I liked the visual style and the voice-acting was pretty well done. Kudos to the speakers. Both were good to understand even for a non-native speaker like me. Overall the atmosphere was good.

The only downside is that the mission is way too easy under the highest setting. A few more thoughts:

  Hide contents
  • While the guards patrol routes appear difficult to manage to begin with, once one guard is down it is pretty easy to take them out on after another
  • The amount of gears is simple unneccesary. There is no real use for most of them and you threw additional stuff like water arrows at them, although explicitly informing the player at the difficulty selection screen, that equipment is sparse and expensive (which will lead to the player storing it for later, which increases the issue)
  • Performance was sometimes a bit suboptimal, but never bad. I got it improved by lowering some settings, but I am not sure what causes the issues.
  • The relation between the amount of time spend outside the manor and inside is a bit off. One has the means to prepare oneself for the missions very carefully (even though only in regards to the equipment, intel would have been a nice twist), only to find a few rooms and guards. I think I didn't spend more than 15 minutes in the manor, but 45 minutes outside.
  • The meat factory was a bit odd. I didn't find out how to progress there and wasn't able to get up into the shaft either (both of which may have probably been my fault). I finally noclipped back up. I am sure this is not intented ;)

This is criticism on a high niveau and mostly subjective, though.

I overall like the approach you are taking and trying to find some means for the loot to acquire by the usage of the shop. This holds quiet some potential. And I hope there will be more from the voice actress.

Despite some criticism I can easely recommend this mission. Well done.

🙂

 

Difficulty is an interesting one to tackle, like most things it is highly subjective. I have had people complain that a mission is both too easy and others say it's too hard before, much like some people will enjoy a mission and some wont. It all comes down to tastes and playstyles. The route I like to take is somewhere down the middle with a little more leaning on the easier side.

 

I would rather people have an enjoyable time in a mission than not. However I do offer up more difficult tasks within levels. So for example @Obsttorte the meat factory you mentioned is an expert contract. So for those I don't offer as much hand holding and expect the player to figure out their own way forward.

 

Spoiler

The factory forces the player to follow some hints, although even then they are quite direct. So an elevator door wont open, inside the control room it mentions the valve being broken and the spare one is in the storage room. This plants the clue that you need to head into the storage room, you grab the valve, attach it and voila you can now open the door to the elevator.

 

If this was a main objective you would have things more directly telling you what to do and where to go, there would be less AI down there and it would be better lit. But because it's not a main objective, it's an expert contract, I wanted to provide more of a challenge to folks. Perhaps I could convey that some areas are tougher by having an onscreen text read "You are in an expert area" but I feel that takes away from the immersion of the level so I just leave things as is.

 

In regards to there being an unnecessary amount of gear, that's another point I don't agree on. As TDM is an immersive sim, I feel it's important to give the player as many options as possible. So say while you may not find any of that gear necessary another playstyle might. Do you want to go in with just a black jack, go ahead, or if you want to go in heavy then you can stock up on mines and fire arrows and wreck havoc, or maybe a flash bomb. Perhaps the roof is better, so a rope arrow will make that easier, etc.

 

You did mention the issue of spending 15 minutes in the manor but 45 minutes outside. That's because the mission was originally only the manor, it felt too short so I decided to expand the things to do in the mission by building the city around it. I can see the argument that the logical pathway is to improve the main objective aka the manor, however I wanted to make things more interesting and give folks more side content through the contracts. That way if you want a quick and easy mission you can just break into the manor and get out and that's maybe a short 20 minute mission. But if you want to go the completionist route then it's going to add a lot more content.

 

That's why in games the main storyline takes 15-20 hours to complete but a completionist will take 100 hours to complete. Again it's all about giving the player more choice.

 

Re: the performance. Well you got me there, dead to rights. I wanted it to look pretty and fancy with loads of custom textures and sounds. I tried as hard as I could to optimize the area, but there definitely is some sluggish performance in certain areas.

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First off, at the creation stage it's just "let's create great art", or "let's think of ways to express ourselves and communicate our ideas". GDC presentations are a byproduct of that work. Then, at some point, the PR department steps in and talks about high sales. But historically, games in the Thief era had much more leeway in that regard. So framing it like it was a modern AAA title is misleading.

The question of hobby vs. professional framed the above is something that I've seen several times already, and TTLG and here would be the only places in the world that I've seen people frame it like that. There is no hard line between hobbyist and a pro, as your post implies. People do pick up creative hobbies because of pros in the first place.

Like you pick up an instrument, because you heard something recorded by pros. And you imitate them, then you try to find your own style, etc. You learn whatever your curiosity and taste leads you to, and as much as you are willing to spend your free time on this. But no one says: "ooh, I'm not learning that, this is for the pros only". :D "I'm not learning it right now, because I have to work on my technique first" – sure.

In the end, the difference between hobbyists and pros is mostly that the latter earn money for it. Not how far someone goes in their learning or skills.

On 6/24/2022 at 6:16 AM, Obsttorte said:

@DragoferAs you are a moderator, can this discussion be moved to its own thread? I start to feel bad for abusing poor Goldwells thread :( and we are clearly off topic here. Thanks in advance.

That is perhaps one thing we can agree on. Also don't want to continue this, because to me it seems like a discussion for sake of discussion, with walls of text, and not in order to get somewhere interesting.

@Dragofer you forgot to move this last post from the conversation to the gear thread.

Edited by peter_spy
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  • 1 month later...

Finished this up yesterday, nice enjoyable mission.

Spoiler

I enjoyed the side contracts and secrets (found them all). Gave me a chance to check out the beautiful tribute garden. Nicely done. The book was a nice touch. I misunderstood the factory contract and thought the little critters were what I was suppose to get rid of so tried a bunch of different things on them and nothing worked. So thought okay, maybe there's something else ahead. Only when I came upon the guy upstairs, did I reread the contract and came to realize this was who I was to get rid of so took care of him and threw him in the cage where my reward was lol.

I really liked the new female character for the most part. Although I did notice she groaned and grunted louder with effort any time she climbed or lifted anything. Even alerted a guard once.  

I would have loved to have been able to rob the whole supply shop but found if I knocked him out or was caught on camera, the whole place shut down so that was a bit disappointing (not too much though)

Thank you for all your hard work, I always enjoy your missions and look forward to more. 

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So, I went *all the way* through the 

 

Spoiler

literally no version of the spoiler quotes with one / or \ works. If someone could mention it, that would be great.

all the way through the flooded basement avoiding each of the invisible monsters 2 or 3 times, to get the new valve for the elevator.

I insert it with hopeful step, and then

 

and then I still can't open it? The lever just fizzles as if I had done nothing. What should I add, elbow grease?

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1 hour ago, Netos said:

So, I went *all the way* through the 

 

  Hide contents

literally no version of the spoiler quotes with one / or \ works. If someone could mention it, that would be great.

all the way through the flooded basement avoiding each of the invisible monsters 2 or 3 times, to get the new valve for the elevator.

I insert it with hopeful step, and then

 

and then I still can't open it? The lever just fizzles as if I had done nothing. What should I add, elbow grease?

Spoiler

After you put the new valve on the wall. Spin the valve and then the elevator doors will open.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Superb mission. I liked the lighting that 2.10 brings as well as the new looting animations. Great job for the voice actors and the female protagonist was a nice change and well done.

Spoiler

That flooded basement area with the invisible creatures was quite horrific😱

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  • 2 weeks later...

Playing this map gave me an interesting thought about mission objectives. The player character is a pretty woman, wearing obvious makeup in the map promo image. At one point in the mission she makes a statement about how good the nobles have it in this town, indicating her jealousy. Most of the time the loot objectives are either some ancient artifact, an object of great magical/social power, or valuables like gold. Wouldn't it be cool to add an objective where she has to steal some everyday makeup from the noblewomen just to keep up her appearances and a lifestyle which she normally could not afford (like Garrett steals mostly to pay the rent)?

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/25/2022 at 5:49 AM, Goldwell said:

The AI will freak out if it hears a mouse farting 20 miles away. 

Possibly one of the most irritating parts of TDM. 

For that reason I actually play with the AI sound difficulty setting set to “forgiving”. Because the standard setting is ridiculously sensitive as you mentioned.  

I can never hear my own footsteps with the clarity the AI can, in any version of TDM; across a town square, in the grass, next to loud machinery...

 

anyway, I really liked this mission! Really creepy foes, fun stories about residents of the town squabbling, good voice acting, and rewarding secrets - though I had to cheat to get to

Spoiler

the bird's nest by Bishop's sign. Ended up getting 7/10 secrets and 3 bonus contracts

 

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