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Stealing paintings the right way


snatcher
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The idea:

In order to successfully steal a painting you must stand in front of it and continuously frob it for about 4 seconds.

Feedback on the progress comes in the form of a sound: short cut > long cut > quietly tear it away > loot sound.

If you quit fobbing during this time you must start over.

Think twice before approaching a painting and enjoy art while stealing it ;)

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Part of the issue is that there's so many paintings in missions that are decorative, it's hard enough to know if a painting is lootable without basically attempting to frob every painting you see, which is time consuming enough as it is and something I often forget to do anyway for this very reason. At least with doors they block off progress so you're guided towards them and can soon determine if they're locked or not.

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

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1 hour ago, Xolvix said:

Part of the issue is that there's so many paintings in missions that are decorative, it's hard enough to know if a painting is lootable without basically attempting to frob every painting you see [...]

Yes, our hero is very picky when it comes to art 🧐

An interim solution to the problem, until a better solution is found, was proposed here:

 

This mechanic should allow us to tell in a second if a painting is worth anything or not, under any light condition.

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I think the idea is exploration. You want to find that special painting. It should be clear though if a painting is worth stealing and when not. But that's up to the mapper. The same with locks, it's often said that making the mission be full of locks that you constantly have to lockpick becomes tedious.

I would think Corban needs to use a special knive on the painting to cut it loose. Maybe he can find one in the nearby kitchen?

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4 hours ago, snatcher said:

The idea:

In order to successfully steal a painting you must stand in front of it and continuously frob it for about 4 seconds.

Feedback on the progress comes in the form of a sound: short cut > long cut > quietly tear it away > loot sound.

If you quit fobbing during this time you must start over.

Think twice before approaching a painting and enjoy art while stealing it ;)

Did you not play Thief 4? It was cool the first few times, then it was the most tedious, awful thing to do. Long ass animations are a fun killer.

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I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

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1 hour ago, snatcher said:

This mechanic should allow us to tell in a second if a painting is worth anything or not, under any light condition.

I think you misunderstand what the frob helper is doing. For a big object like a painting it makes no sense at all...

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35 minutes ago, AluminumHaste said:

Did you not play Thief 4? It was cool the first few times, then it was the most tedious, awful thing to do. Long ass animations are a fun killer.

Who's talking animations? 😉

 

8 minutes ago, wesp5 said:

I think you misunderstand what the frob helper is doing. For a big object like a painting it makes no sense at all...

I am not talking about the helper. Refer to suggestion #2 in that topic.

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5 minutes ago, snatcher said:

I am not talking about the helper. Refer to suggestion #2 in that topic.

Ah, then you should have cited that part ;). Have you already tried out the Frob Outline then? It can be enabled using the console or you could install my Unofficial Patch which replaces the Frob Helper with the dark version of the Frob Outline.

Edited by wesp5
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Thanks for the link, wesp5!

Yes, I tried the different built-in outline options. My conclusion is that we are not addressing the underlying problem, hence the ongoing discussion and disagreements. I will check your "dark version of the Frob Outline" out.

 

1 hour ago, datiswous said:

[...] I would think Corban needs to use a special knive on the painting to cut it loose. Maybe he can find one in the nearby kitchen?

Cool! but when you build the house, you don't start with the roof ;)

The problem with suggestions is that things can go south pretty fast, and while a good brainstorming can bring new and/or greater ideas, we many times lose focus and end up alienating developers.

I try to bring to the table reasonable ideas that could be integrated into the environment that we already have without much hassle by recycling existing assets or mechanics.

 

7 minutes ago, Wellingtoncrab said:

The answer to this question is no unless it’s employed briefly and sparingly.

While I could agree, this hardly has to do with game mechanics but with how these mechanics are put to work by mission makers. A different story altogether.

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52 minutes ago, snatcher said:

Who's talking animations? 😉

 

So there would just be the player looking at a painting, holding a button down for 5 seconds while some sound play.

Yeah no thanks.

I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

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1 hour ago, snatcher said:

While I could agree, this hardly has to do with game mechanics but with how these mechanics are put to work by mission makers. A different story altogether.

I can’t follow that logic at all - how many iterations of the lockpicking/hacking mini game have we seen over the years in an attempt to make this mechanic engaging?

While it is a pet peeve of mine when fms decided every lock should have three lock pick stages the underlying mechanic is still what only supports this being interesting at all maybe a few times in a given mission.

same with your theoretical painting mechanic - a player might be engaged by holding down a button and waiting for a timer to fill a couple times, but I imagine that is it. Doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea - but it seems like something that should maybe be mission specific instead of a core mechanic.

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56 minutes ago, Hooded Lantern said:

its a rly good idea. i like it alot, could produce tension before the next watch walks by.

Indeed! And while I prefer automatic lockpicking like in Bloodlines, any version takes some time in which you can be caught. Looting in TDM on the other hand is so fast that it doesn't matter and it makes no sense in case of paintings.

Edited by wesp5
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In Thief 4 you're just slicing the painting up. I can forgive developers for not knowing how to pick a lock, or how to hack a network, but they could just go to a local picture store, to learn how to properly remove a canvas/poster from a frame.
You can argue that "you can't roll it up if you keep the inner frame" but if you roll up a painting and stuff it in your pocket, you're going to unroll a heap of paint chips at best. You can't steal paintings and then stealth around like you're an invisible ninja with a kite on his back.

Edited by Nort
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I don’t necessarily agree that tension really exists at all - what you are describing about narrowly picking a lock or looting a painting before a patrol just sweeps by sounds like a great scene in a movie. Movies don’t have fail states - regardless of what happens in the scene you will continue to progress through the movie.

In TDM most players perceive detection as a fail state and they promptly hit the reload button if this happens - so where is this tension? I also imagine most players will focus on neutralizing an obvious threat of the patrolling guard before they focus on looting the painting.

Really the result is in rare circumstances you increase the chance for the player to experience a fail state and make everyone else wait for an arbitrary amount of time before a single type of loot ends up in their inventory - something that would be frustrating in a mission that didn’t specifically design around the mechanic.

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I second that this should definetely not be a core mechanic. Specific setups can be interesting under special circumstances, if, as Wellingtoncrab stated, the mission is build around it. And hey, you provided the idea so maybe some mission author will pick it up.

But as the current missions are simply not designed with something like this in mind, it will have a huge impact on how the missions play and feel, which some if not all authors may interpret as mission-breaking - something that has always been a no-go. (One of the few things all team members could always agree on).

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