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The Adventures of Thomas: Lucy's Quest


geegee

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@snatcher

did you play the FM?

@computertech82

Your review is almost identical to that of the other review bomber, neonstyle, who didn't play the FM for even 5 seconds but who noclipped to an area where he airdropped before the same door which confounds you.  How did you get to that door if you didn't use a rope arrow in the vents?  If you were a bit observant and were actually trying to play the FM you might've noticed that the building with that confounding door has two floors, the second of which is ringed by a wooden balustrade where a well placed rope arrow (!!) allows the nimble or even not so very nimble player an entrance to a hall where there's a shooting gallery of open windows to use the water arrows (the player should have 20 or more of them by now) to extinguish the confounding torches.  There's also a keyed (!!! how awful !!!) door up there where the thoughtful player might expect a key might be snagged from off the ass of one of the guards sitting up ahead playing poker.  That allows the easiest entrance.  

But oh what the hell.  Once targeted by bombers ever targeted and there's nothing to do about it.  

In a post above I appended an edit to a response to vozka that, since it was an edit, probably went unnoticed so I'll repeat it here since it's really my last word for the time being, given my circumstances of having to learn how to edit all over again (yes, I found myself in a situation where I lost the ability to do even basics like change the ambient light setting! and a lot of the necessary fixes are difficult).

@vozka
I can now give a more coherent reply and I'm recovering nicely. 


I agree with every point of the critique and I'm in a quandary about how I should go about applying fixes.  I think your preamble to the actual critique shows an exact understanding of what I was attempting to do in the FM.  You understand that it is story driven.  You understood the main elements of the story, that basically a farm boy of pagan background entrusts himself with a mission.  His village needs help. Because he's earned a certain bad reputation and fits the bills requirement for having daring and a certain amount of cunning, so the mission is a natural fit; also amongst other things he wants to earn himself a good name.  He has friends to help him along the way, and makes friends of friends along the road of the pagans.  The FM uses devices to distinguish the pagans from the enemy they face and divides the space into distinct enemy and pagan areas, and areas in between.  The pagans are opposed by corrupt nobles and their army of fundamentalist Builders, as corrupt as the nobles they serve.  It's very black and white.  Then there's the city guard who, being ousted from real power by the Builders are resentful and won't help the Builders and will ignore the player unless attacked or the player is caught trespassing in their inner court.  That's about it.

The critique mentions some gameplay elements that detract from the story and I agree about those.

It also mentions gameworld failings that interfere with enjoyment, with gameflow and immersion. 

It seems to me that to fix these flaws will require a total rewrite of the FM, rebuilding the entire thing.  For example, I understand the problems mentioned w.r.t. the lighting and know how to fix them, or at least bandage them over so technically there's no apparent problem.  But I have a notion that the not so apparent problem here is in what's being lit.  That there should be a rearrangement of things so light can be more focused and contrasted with the dark.  I'm only starting to think through ways that I might do this. 

Needless to say anything like this would take time, probably a year, and I'm not sure whether I'm up to it.  I've been playing a new mission by Kingsal and know I haven't anything near that level of skill.  

IMO the FM is unplayable right now.  Actually I had asked that it be removed from the TDM database. I don't like the idea of leaving a blot.  

Thank you again.

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When I first tried to play this mission I got frustrated and gave up on it because it is very computationally demanding and my computer was a potato- the mission became a slide show. Now I have a better gaming machine and when I can set aside a few uninterrupted hours to give it a proper playthrough I'm sure I'll have a much better time.

My missions:           Stand-alone                                                      Duncan Lynch series                              

                                      Down and Out on Newford Road              the Factory Heist

                                                                                                  A House Call

                                                                                                  The House of deLisle                                                                                                  

                              

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11 hours ago, geegee said:

IMO the FM is unplayable right now.  Actually I had asked that it be removed from the TDM database. I don't like the idea of leaving a blot.

Well it's not that bad is it? I thought multiple people have finished playing it already. No reason to remove a mission that has some issues, but can still be played and finished. You can put a warning in your mission description, but let players decide if it's worth it or not. I think removal is not something anyone will be happy with.

I think it would be better if you start on a new mission and with the (hopefully positive) experience that you gained, you can fix things in this mission later.

Edited by datiswous
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  • 1 month later...

I have played through this mission twice now, and despite the few frustrating spots noted by others, I found it enjoyable with many interesting ideas, visuals and gameplay mechanics. I can understand why some unconventional elements like the guard change, some unpickable locks/doors or seemingly impossible-to-ghost areas can break specific kinds of play style. In my opinion however the philosophy of TDM leaves a lot of room for missions to vary and even deviate from the "canon" so not to let us get bored 🙂  I also think it lies on the mission author, how much of such information they put in the mission description as a warning, e.g. geegee already has included warnings about heavy GPU demands and hints at some nonlinear aspects of gameplay.

All in all an enjoyable *and* challenging mission for me.

I have also experienced framerate drops in some areas, even with my new RTX 3060 with maxed-out settings. Strangely, this also happens in areas with "smoke" effects, e.g.

Spoiler

the campfire next to Aeden's hut or the fire pit in the dungeons

It also appears to get worse when the lantern is on, so maybe it is an interaction of light sources with volumetric stuff or shadow maps?

I encountered a few other bugs here and there, like items frobbable from inside closed drawers/containers and the stuck dungeons door, and I also managed to break the game once by

Spoiler

jumping over Helot's portocullis 🙆‍♀️

The lighting could also use some tuning in a few areas.

One thing I was not able to figure out is,

Spoiler

how to access the Accounts area in Scarletbotham's mansion, which I suspect is needed to complete the Hoppie evidence objective. There is a locked grate in one of the vents where I can glimpse to an inaccessible room, but I cannot pick or force it open nor can I find another entry to this area.

Will certainly play v2, whenever @geegee decides to make it!

Edited by irisx
typo
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  • 7 months later...

It took awhile to get used to the size of this mission.

The long loading times didn't help, but after passing a certain point, I get it now.
However, I will say this - the AI is crazy on this map.
I started, right? And the first thing I see - all guards going ape because some thug cut loose. I sat in the dark corner, for like ten minutes, waiting for them to calm down, because I figured I should look around for loot (I only found some of it much later when I was returning here after finishing the mission)

The same thing happened later, when I needed to pass an abandoned mansion.
I waited for the epic battle, instead it was a massacre, but like an idiot I saved AFTER I left the tunnel, not before. So I couldn't reload and see if next time the battle will go differently. (Am I crazy or do leather thugs spawn after a moment?)
I had to use up all gas arrows to pass that part because they kept trimming the bushes.

The evidence part got me confused because I dropped a piece of evidence, but it didn't count, so I dropped everything that said evidence. Only then it counted, but later, as I was still hunting for loot, I finally remembered that I had a vent key and came looking and found yet another piece of evidence?!

Finding Smythe was funny, because he kept saying "Show yourself" and the moment I did...
I gathered skulls before I was prompted to, but Edgar... I don't get it.

edit: Those glasses, tho. Holy crap, I did not expect to see "actual glass" in this game.

The hidden room took me ages to find, despite TWO blatant hints. But I was sleep-deprived at the time.

There was one snag, and one confusion that I had.
The snag was that, when I finally reached the alchemist, the note told me to use the vent, right? But... I couldn't open the second vent in his lab. I don't know which key I was missing for that. So I figured - I could just go back the same way... and game CTD. I walked there again - CTD.
I noclipped through that locked vent, killed the spiders, and tried to open the doors to my left (got spooked by friendly guards) - CTD.
Only when I walked right and up the stairs did I finally progressed.
Not sure what that was about.

The confusion, however, came from Builders.
I knocked out most of them in the Builder's outpost, but when I dealt with the Mr. Nom-nom-zom, they vanished. I guess they needed that many people to dig him out of the spider outhouse?
(Never found the second news flash either)
I still somehow missed 3.5k, and noticed that lights kept poking through walls (there is a piece of light pointed at doors leading into the inner garden of Builder's outpost that nearly got me killed a few times)

Overall, however, this was an impressive piece of work.

Edited by Rio_Walker
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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm at the beginning of a new area, where bandits fights each other. Near the end, I imagine, but I'm not going to bother finishing it. The thing is tedious.

It's very obvious your focus was on telling a story. The issue is that's not my thing, and I also think this is not the right game for it. You're trying to make it do things it was never designed to, so it feels clunky. I think the game shines best in a smaller map with some backstory and little touches in the mission, like notes one character leaves for another.
Here, it feels like I'm being pulled along from place to place, having to go back where enemies have artificially respawned, with locked doors everywhere, JUST to further the story, not to give me an interesting challenge.

And in terms of story, it's the same thing we see all the time: Pagans are the poor, downtrodden, nice people, and the Builders, are the heartless monsters. Yawn.

I don't get how the gargoyle switch works in that guy's office, even after having read your explanation. I don't even understand what the situation is supposed to be. The gargoyle looks like it's locked inside a glass case, and therefore you want to get that glass case open. The note says the gargoyle switch is behind the downstairs desk. Downstairs from this note, there is no desk. And the note calls it the "gargoyle switch", which implies it's a switch for the gargoyle, not that the gargoyle itself is a switch. It's confusing for no good reason.

 

Random notes:

Boring name, as others have mentioned.

A cursive font in letters is annoying to read.
Loud music and sound effects are not fun, it just hurts the player's ears.
The map is a screenshot. That ruins immersion.
The light issues have been covered. For me, it never felt like I was in shadows, as opposed to other missions. Almost everything looks pretty brightly lit.
I saw someone mentioning rope arrows are pointless, and I agree. You asked how that player could have made it past something without using one; well, I haven't used it either. You can just mantle. Of course, that's not an issue in itself.
There's not reason to cry "I'm getting review bombed" when people are just giving their opinion.

Edited by Demetrius
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