Jump to content
The Dark Mod Forums

[2.11] New Blackjack System (available via dev build)


Obsttorte

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, Obsttorte said:

Ah, curse it. It's custom_builds, not common_builds. Sorry, typo. :(

That still doesn't work - same issue:

http://ftp.thedarkmod.com/upload/custom_builds/blackjack/manifest.iniz

Also, when you get the URL correct it would help if you update the link in the top post with the new URL (you only updated the text, not the link address so 'copy link address' still gives you the old/wrong address).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

32 minutes ago, Frost_Salamander said:

That still doesn't work - same issue:

http://ftp.thedarkmod.com/upload/custom_builds/blackjack/manifest.iniz

Also, when you get the URL correct it would help if you update the link in the top post with the new URL (you only updated the text, not the link address so 'copy link address' still gives you the old/wrong address).

Corrected the link in the op, the upload was unnecessary. Sorry for theinconvenience.

Just now, AluminumHaste said:

What settings are you on for AI acuity?

If you have to ask a player what settings he use as they may cause basic gameplay mechanics to not work properly, those settings are probably rubbish. I told ya. ;)

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

29 minutes ago, Obsttorte said:

Corrected the link in the op, the upload was unnecessary. Sorry for theinconvenience.

If you have to ask a player what settings he use as they may cause basic gameplay mechanics to not work properly, those settings are probably rubbish. I told ya. ;)

Not necessarily.  The core mod is designed to be more challenging to experienced players who found Thief too easy.  If a Thief player comes into it, who did not try to ghost missions or ran around blackjacking everyone, expecting the TDM AI to behave in the same manner without lowering the AI hearing and visual accuity, then that's a legit question. I work in QA for a development studio...if you don't ask those questions, you can't possibly begin to evaluate whether or not there is indeed an issue. The settings are there to allow players to tailor the AI behaviour so they can play in a way closer to their expectations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure what you mean.... those settings were put in there to help players who were struggling with the harder AI.

Also, this system is fucking with my ability to blackjack. Apparently you can't press attack while the raising animation plays, so I'll go to blackjack and this animation will play and if I hit attack in the middle of that, nothing happens.

How do I turn this off? What's the CVAR?

I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok I just tried it.  It seems pretty neat, but I can't say if I prefer it or not without spending a good amount of time with it. I can see how it would come in handy for less experienced players though.

One possible bug: I tried it in my last FM (In Plain Sight), and it doesn't seem to work for the guy sitting in the chair in front of the fireplace in the Inn (that is, the animation doesn't play and you can still blackjack him).  I thought it might have been just an issue with sitting AI, but it works fine for the 2 other sitting AI in that FM.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, AluminumHaste said:
  • Not sure what you mean.... those settings were put in there to help players who were struggling with the harder AI.
  • Apparently you can't press attack while the raising animation plays, so I'll go to blackjack and this animation will play and if I hit attack in the middle of that, nothing happens.
  • Actually the settings were not solely introduced due to the varying sensivity over different missions. In some they were super sensitive, in others they were almost deaf. This is due to mission authors sticking to the default acuity settings despite the fact that different level architecture leads to different average distances between player and ai. The majority of the team members back then however decided it should be up the players to make those adjustments. It might be used for other purposes now, but that was not the intention.
  • That is indeed a bug then. Will look into it.
13 hours ago, Frost_Salamander said:

One possible bug: I tried it in my last FM (In Plain Sight), and it doesn't seem to work for the guy sitting in the chair in front of the fireplace in the Inn (that is, the animation doesn't play and you can still blackjack him).  I thought it might have been just an issue with sitting AI, but it works fine for the 2 other sitting AI in that FM.

That's odd. The calculations performed to determine whether the indication animation should be played and the ones performed when actually performing the blackjack are the same. I'll look into it.

13 hours ago, New Horizon said:

Not necessarily.  The core mod is designed to be more challenging to experienced players who found Thief too easy.  If a Thief player comes into it, who did not try to ghost missions or ran around blackjacking everyone, expecting the TDM AI to behave in the same manner without lowering the AI hearing and visual accuity, then that's a legit question. I work in QA for a development studio...if you don't ask those questions, you can't possibly begin to evaluate whether or not there is indeed an issue. The settings are there to allow players to tailor the AI behaviour so they can play in a way closer to their expectations.

You misunderstood the point I was trying to make. Knocking out ai is a fundamental gameplay aspect. It might be true that performing this is more challenging in TDM than it was in Thief, but it should still be possible. That you have to alter gameplay settings for this to work is not desireable.

(I'll see if I can dig up the discussion, as it's been a few years.)

EDIT: I've corrected my statement regarding the acuity sliders. I couldn't find the discussion regarding the ai too sensitive vs. ai too dumb, but I know we had it once (caused by a review of TDM). Another thread was about that it is too easy to kill ai, another that the ai could be more challenging.

It all boils down to that TDM was designed as a more challenging experience, but as this caused the game to take more time for unexperienced players to get into it, the idea arose that it would be great to have dozens of different difficulty sliders. The major issue with blackjacking though was that players have problems with properly hitting the enemy, not necessarely with them beeing to sensitive. So although those settings obviously affect blackjacking, too, that's not the main reason for them to be introduced.

None of this is relevant here, though, as the changes made do not affect the acuity. So whether or not you are able to approach the ai is untouched by this, but what happens once you try to take them out is what should have changed.

  • If you perform a blackjack attack said attack should succeed if all conditions are met (as far as judgeable by the player). It shouldn't fail because you hit a part of the body you wasn't even aiming for.
  • The blackjack should not get hung up on level geometry that isn't even in you field of view during your attack or only at the edge of the screen (the typical ceiling beam issue).
  • The indication is for new players to help them get a feeling on when a blackjack attempt should work. I guess experienced players would turn it of either way. We have to see whether we get it to work in a relyable way. If it is causing more confusion then aid it can be removed (it's only an extra, nothing that needs to be added).
  • Like 2

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/27/2022 at 8:20 PM, AluminumHaste said:

Also, this system is fucking with my ability to blackjack. Apparently you can't press attack while the raising animation plays, so I'll go to blackjack and this animation will play and if I hit attack in the middle of that, nothing happens.

That is solved now. An issue with the weapons scriptobject.

On 8/27/2022 at 8:28 PM, Frost_Salamander said:

One possible bug: I tried it in my last FM (In Plain Sight), and it doesn't seem to work for the guy sitting in the chair in front of the fireplace in the Inn (that is, the animation doesn't play and you can still blackjack him).  I thought it might have been just an issue with sitting AI, but it works fine for the 2 other sitting AI in that FM.

You gave me a tough one here ;)

It appears to be an issue with the mages. If I place one in my test map I can reproduce it and even more, if the mage is looking in the wrong direction, it cannot be knocked out at all. This is also the case with the female and the moor mage. The odd thing is that as long as they are unalerted they should be knockoutable from any direction and that all other ai I've tested worked flawlessly, independent from whether they were helmets or not.

I'll have to see what differentiates the mages from the other ai that could possibly interfer with the setup, but currently I have no clue what is going on :(

11 hours ago, snatcher said:

The idea of a signal was good but the animation isn't the ingredient for this recipe. Actually, we don't need no signal but your fake ko alone.

Making claims without even bothering to bring up some arguments for them is the best type of support any developer can hope for. Thanks a lot, sir. 🙏

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It strikes me that the original developers implemented all these rules that increase the failure rate but didn't provide an escape route to prevent save scumming. In example: blackjacking takes training and practice and it is challenging but if the player fails the KO the AI will get dizzy and confused giving players a chance to get out of the situation. Nothing of the kind happens and when players want a KO they eventually get the KO after X quick loads but all this goes in detriment of the flow of the experience. Anyway, issues were identified long ago regardless of the opinion of those that don't see or don't want to see.

Players want a KO? For god's sake give them the KO. No need to add extra layers to an already convoluted and controversial mechanic.

TDM Modpack

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Find an example attached.

It is all based in your first concept from 15th August so big thanks for you work! You had all ingredients but one too many: the extra animation.

Very basic rules (unless KO-immune):

  • Civilians: Can always be knocked out from any direction
  • Combatants: Can always be knocked out (including when fleeing) from any direction except when in high alert state (normally in combat mode)

We can think of extra rules (for helmets, in example) but this is as simple and as close to the original Thief as it can get therefore it is named Classic Blackjack. For what is worth, I almost always (try to) ghost but to each his own.

Obsttorte, sorry to hijack the topic but the indicator isn't the solution. Perhaps my take isn't the solution either but give it a try, and if you want, please make it yours and expand on it.

--------------------------------

EDIT (1)

As far as I can tell the Classic Blackjack mod conflicts - and may very well break - the following missions:

  • A House of Locked Secrets
  • By Any Other Name
  • Hazard Pay
  • Iris
  • Noble Affairs
  • Snowed Inn
  • Shadows of Northdale ACT I
  • Shadows of Northdale ACT 2
  • Volta 1: The Stone
  • Volta 2: Cauldron

Author's included in their missions either tdm_weapon_blackjack.script OR tdm_weapon_blackjack.def but not both meaning you will be missing half of the puzzle either way you look at it. The "Classic Blackjack" will be improved in the future.

--------------------------------

EDIT (2)

The download provided in this post has been removed. The improvement Obsttorte is working on has different goals and is heading is a different direction and the "Classic Blackjack" will be developed separately in a different topic in due time. Thanks for your understanding.

 

Edited by snatcher

TDM Modpack

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@snatcherThe point of this thread and what I am currently working on is a different implementation of the blackjack attack, replacing the animation based one with a more straight forward approach, in this case a trace. The rules, under which a blackjack is considered successful as well as any other gameplay aspects are untouched.

In addition, the indication animation does neither affect the execution of the attack nor the ruleset. And it is not intented as a "solution" as you call it. It is intented as a help for new players and is currently still work in progress.

Before making suggestions you should really read more carefully what the scope of the work discussed in a thread is, as you tend to bring up things that have nothing to do with the matter at hand (not for the first time). And you still haven't brought up an actual argument for the point you made about the indication animation. Just repeating that it is "too much" doesn't make it true.

 

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, snatcher said:

It strikes me that the original developers implemented all these rules that increase the failure rate but didn't provide an escape route to prevent save scumming. In example: blackjacking takes training and practice and it is challenging but if the player fails the KO the AI will get dizzy and confused giving players a chance to get out of the situation.

This is a very, very good point. I hope it will get more discussion.

Realistically, I don't think the most common human response to being ineffectually surprise bludgeoned or stabbed or shot by an invisible shadow man is going to be turning around and trying beat the crap out of him with your sword--irrespective of how well armed and armored you are.  When facing an unknown threat, the safe response is always flight not fight... at least until you get an idea of what you're dealing with.

For simulation verisimilitude then, the universal human-actor reaction to being attacked by an undetected player ought to be to run away.  This would give the player an opportunity to effect their own escape or enact other contingencies without the automatic resort to save scumming, as you say.  For guard actors it would make sense for them to revert to attack mode a few seconds later, although if one wanted to make the response more sophisticated there is a great deal of latitude. For instance when the player shoots an unaware sword guard with a bow it would probably make more sense for the guard to keep running. There is a high chance they will not be able to path back to the player, and will be at a big disadvantage when all they can do is throw rocks. However that calculus might change if they have a bunch of friends nearby... and so on.

The point is, this could be a relatively low effort option to significantly deepen TDM's immersive simulation. There is a reason ghosting is the near-universally preferred style of play among expert Thief/TDM players. The reason is not that blackjacking and sword fighting are unreliable or clumsy, because it's actually been well demonstrated that in the hands of an expert they are quite the opposite. (See the meme-worthy video of AluminumHaste Errol Flynn-ing through an entire prison of guards.) Rather it's because violence degrades the engagement of the simulation rather than improving it.

TDM's stealth gameplay is like a game of chess: a complex interplay of predicting opponent actions and developing your own hand of contingencies. Combat gameplay is more like tic-tac-toe: once you learn the trick, the outcome is literally determined from the moment the game is played.  Making blackjacking more predictable with new animations or simulation logic would help make this handicap mechanic more accessible to newcomers, sure, but it doesn't change the real problem that knockouts are just the absolute dullest way of interacting with other actors that the game supports.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Obsttorte

I have removed my download from a few posts above. After reading the whole topic carefully I realized things have been evolving and rules have changed and the improvement you are after is heading in a different direction. I now fully understand what you are doing here, at least, today.

I have downloaded and tested your latest implementation and I have to say it has improved greatly from the initial prototype. Well done. I feel once again in control in the sense that I can freely use blackjack regardless of the indicator. I sometimes get close to AI and the indicator kicks in but by the time I perform the attack the situation has changed (AI moved or I moved) and I miss the KO but I understand this isn't the indicator's fault. The big plus is that hitting ceilings, door-frames or wooden pillows should no longer be an issue.

Your work definitively is a good aid that players will welcome. Thanks.

  • Like 1

TDM Modpack

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, snatcher said:

I sometimes get close to AI and the indicator kicks in but by the time I perform the attack the situation has changed (AI moved or I moved) and I miss the KO but I understand this isn't the indicator's fault.

Yup, there is a delay between the indicator and the moment when the blackjack kicks in :D It's roughly half a second. I wasn't sure whether player consider this an issue or not, but am fully aware of it.

You can try turning it off (tdm_blackjack_indicate 0 in the console) and see how it goes from there. The indicator is more a trainer for newbies, as it is hopefully more convenient with this implementation to understand when a blackjack attempt will succeed and when not. (At least that's the plan ;) )

9 hours ago, snatcher said:

Your work definitively is a good aid that players will welcome. Thanks.

You are welcome. :)

  • 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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, snatcher said:

What do you mean, have rules changed / is the blackjack more forgiving than before?

I've meant the indication animation can be turned off. The blackjacking system is not affected by the cvar.

My question was whether you are comfortable with the new blackjacking system without the indication?! The old system doesn't has this either and seasoned players will turn it off most probably anyway, so it should work reliable then, too (especially more reliable than the old system).

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The "things that could be improved" thread brought up the point that AI's random headturning can cause a blackjack to fail, even though you're standing squarely behind the AI. I think it'd be quite sensible to use the entity or upper body angles rather than the head angles for.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Dragofer said:

The "things that could be improved" thread brought up the point that AI's random headturning can cause a blackjack to fail, even though you're standing squarely behind the AI. I think it'd be quite sensible to use the entity or upper body angles rather than the head angles for.

That's not a big deal. I'll can change that in the next iteration.

  • Thanks 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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Obsttorte said:

My question was whether you are comfortable with the new blackjacking system without the indication?!

I am. Something else definitively changed beyond the indicator, at least, when everything is quiet.

-> Please confirm rules remain the same with or without the indicator.

Back to indicator "on", it seems sometimes it kicks in for a split second even with some AI (no helmet but armed in this case) are in searching mode. I think I also noticed it took sometime for the indicator to get back in action once AI went back to idle.

Regardless, and while I applaud any effort to improve this area, my concerns have to do with the rule set and the many variables going on. I don't understand, in example, why I can blackjack a guard with a certain helmet from the back but if the same guard enters a pitch black room I cannot blackjack him from the front. AI without helmet can be blacked-jacked from both the back and the front. This kind of stuff. I have never known what is acceptable and when and with whom but that's beyond the scope of this piece of work.

TDM Modpack

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, snatcher said:
  1. I am. Something else definitively changed beyond the indicator, at least, when everything is quiet.
  2. -> Please confirm rules remain the same with or without the indicator.
  3. Back to indicator "on", it seems sometimes it kicks in for a split second even with some AI (no helmet but armed in this case) are in searching mode. I think I also noticed it took sometime for the indicator to get back in action once AI went back to idle.
  4. Regardless, and while I applaud any effort to improve this area, my concerns have to do with the rule set and the many variables going on. I don't understand, in example, why I can blackjack a guard with a certain helmet from the back but if the same guard enters a pitch black room I cannot blackjack him from the front. AI without helmet can be blacked-jacked from both the back and the front. This kind of stuff. I have never known what is acceptable and when and with whom but that's beyond the scope of this piece of work.
  1. That's good.
  2. I haven't touched the rules.
  3. AI without helmet can be knocked out from behind even if alerted (as long as they don't see you, at least).
  4. Yeah, that's another discussion. I have objections to the current ruleset, too. But as said before: first get this thing here done before moving to the next issue. ;)

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks.

Considering the different opinions you should probably be preparing the field for two separated systems: Legacy BJ and New BJ or something. Leave what's in there intact and implement a different system with its own rules aside.

Duty calls and I won't be available for testing for a few days.

Cheers!

TDM Modpack

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recent Status Updates

    • The Black Arrow

      I was playing Skyrim, got bored fast. Got back to The Dark Mod just for one mission, played "Somewhere above the City" which is not really a great mission but still good, as in above-average.
      My biggest regret is living in this country, where there's a heat wave, I am sweating at 20c and I really wish for temperatures below 5c.
      · 10 replies
    • Skaruts

      Is there something wrong with the forums lately, or is it my browser? I've been having trouble formatting posts, and just now I couldn't format anything at all.
      I'm using Vivaldi.
      Usually I have to: select text, click bold, nothing happens, select again, click bold, then it works. 
      Same for other stuff, like creating spoilers, bullet points, links. Nothing works the first time. 
      · 1 reply
    • STiFU

      Back from a spontaneous 1-week trip to Lanzarote with wife and son. I hope beta testing has been going well...
      · 1 reply
    • datiswous

      Whenever I eat fried chicken these days I think of this scene in The Black Mage..

      · 1 reply
    • Mortem Desino

      Even though I've been absent a long while, I still find myself dreamily wishing for the free time to do TDM mission development. When working on new research projects I'll find myself involuntarily thinking, "hee hee this could be a fun texture or readable or bit of map architecture." Or I find myself absentmindedly responding out loud to odd noises with a drunkguard-like "must've been rats!"
      · 3 replies
×
×
  • Create New...