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[Resolved] Allow mantling while carrying a body


Daft Mugi

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It seems to me that suggestions like this should be judged on a case by case basis. Breaking older missions is a great detriment to the project and community, yes; but one can imagine scenarios where enabling new gameplay modes and new outlets for FM maker creativity might outweigh that consideration.

Imagine if the mod had launched without dynamic lighting, or the ability to move objects, or to swing on ropes. Should those features be permanently off limits just because some missions were not designed with them in mind? I think not. The project needs to be able to grow and evolve in order to remain healthy.

The problem with the mantling suggestion is that no one has made a cogent argument for why aping the Thief 1&2 system would be a major improvement over the status quo (other than that it conforms better to a few users' expectations). Carrying bodies across the thieves' highway is not a situation that comes up often. Hardly anyone is actively complaining about it (unlike the blackjacking situation), and the community isn't actively excited about exploring the limits of encumbered acrobatics more in future FMs. In fact I struggle to imagine how such a mission could be any fun at all.

The preservationist argument has a lot more weight in this case because the proposed benefits of the change are so rare and marginal. Even if we can't specifically point to any mission that would be broken, the amount of work it would take to check would be prohibitive versus the limited utility of the suggestion, so I think the preservationist carry the day by default here. (Ideally this sort of argument should be hashed out well before people start coding.)

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8 hours ago, snatcher said:

I just wanted to shake things up a little 

I wonder why. Are you somehow frustrated with the way or the pace the mod is being developed? 

I consider critical considerations about future implementations a very good thing. With so many missions out there, it's extremely sensitive which changes can be made without breaking existing missions, or allowing for things which were not intended. And, I think that especially people who are relatively new to the mod should listen to core members who work on this mod for years and years.

Edited by chakkman
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20 minutes ago, chakkman said:

With so many missions out there, it's extremely sensitive which changes can be made without breaking existing missions, or allowing for things which were not intended.

I honestly can't remember any mission where carrying somebody while mantling would have mattered, but I also see no need to be able to do so. I always drop the bodies of guards into dark places nearby, why would I move them up somewhere?

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55 minutes ago, wesp5 said:

I honestly can't remember any mission where carrying somebody while mantling would have mattered, but I also see no need to be able to do so. I always drop the bodies of guards into dark places nearby, why would I move them up somewhere?

The thing is, if some mission author decides that he wants a whole area without any dark places (for whatever reason), and you can all of a sudden easily climb up a ladder, and dump all bodies on the rooftop, then that's not the way the author intended it to be, just because an update suddenly implements carrying bodies up and down ladders.

Just a (stupid) example, there are probably much better examples.

In the end, as you say, I don't see a compelling reason why you'd want to be able to make such acrobatics anyway when carrying a body, when there's more than enough spaces on the same level in most missions which don't require you to mantle up and down anywhere.

Anyway, maybe I shouldn't get involved that much, as I'm a mere player, and never really contributed anything useful to the mod anyway.

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48 minutes ago, chakkman said:

The thing is, if some mission author decides that he wants a whole area without any dark places (for whatever reason), and you can all of a sudden easily climb up a ladder, and dump all bodies on the rooftop, then that's not the way the author intended it to be, just because an update suddenly implements carrying bodies up and down ladders.

Just a (stupid) example, there are probably much better examples.

In the end, as you say, I don't see a compelling reason why you'd want to be able to make such acrobatics anyway when carrying a body, when there's more than enough spaces on the same level in most missions which don't require you to mantle up and down anywhere.

Anyway, maybe I shouldn't get involved that much, as I'm a mere player, and never really contributed anything useful to the mod anyway.

Well, we work on this project for players so I wouldn't be so quick to discount your own input. We probably need more player input because forum posters are really atypical people. I recall someone once stating that over 80% of a forum population are lurkers who just observe the discussions of others.

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12 hours ago, ChronA said:

Imagine if the mod had launched without dynamic lighting, or the ability to move objects, or to swing on ropes. Should those features be permanently off limits just because some missions were not designed with them in mind? I think not. The project needs to be able to grow and evolve in order to remain healthy.

I'd say that's not the best analogy here, because dynamic lights or moveable objects and physics are mappers tools, so they can be added or removed at will. You can create a mission with static environment and lighting only, and if you can make it interesting, more power to you. And, it doesn't affect any other maps, retroactively.

But, if you change aspects of the core mechanics e.g. player abilities, that is carried over to every map you play. In other games, you don't see major updates to player abilities; noone adds wall-running to a game that didn't use wall-running before – at least not without reworking geometry of all maps.

I agree with the rest of your post though, just thought that there is a certain distinction here (things controlled by the mapper vs being at players' disposal on map start at all times).

Edited by peter_spy
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21 hours ago, snatcher said:

I just wanted to shake things up a little

12 hours ago, chakkman said:

I wonder why. Are you somehow frustrated with the way or the pace the mod is being developed?

That's a long shot, my friend. I am quite amused actually.

Anyway, let's take some missions to the lab and see what breaks.

newjob-2023-01-29-11-35-48.jpg

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I think @Daft Mugi’s goal in exploring all of these things is smoothing the transition from thief players into the mod of which many, including very prominent fm authors, are vocally critical and dismissive of often because of these types of mechanical differences we are all used to at this point.

It’s an effort worth encouraging, even if some changes can’t make it into core over concerns like backwards compatibility which could be valid in cases like this.

Either way I would offer the script up to mappers as a way to extend their missions if it’s possible to package it in such a way. The example of Volta was brought up as one which might potentially break as a result of this being implemented at the core level - that is also a mission where the player movement speed, the ai damage model and animation rates, weapon animation rates, blackjack behavior, etc have already been tuned extensively by the author to be more like thief. While not as extensive I did similar things in my mission. So I would think there may be authors interested in designing around more thief like mechanics.

Probably a valid argument that it also bad for these things to be inconsistent across missions, but the ship has sailed at this point and this type of extendability is also what makes TDM great.

Personally I find it a bit annoying when mappers don’t design a railing or ledge to allow a clean body drop over (come on - just make 40 units please), but there is no arguing that regardless of whether or not they intended this as a consequence, they did certainly design that way.

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1 hour ago, Wellingtoncrab said:

I think @Daft Mugi’s goal in exploring all of these things is smoothing the transition from thief players into the mod of which many, including very prominent fm authors, are vocally critical and dismissive of often because of these types of mechanical differences we are all used to at this point.

In that case the easiest way would be to make it switchable using a variable and I think he already planned to do this, so old time Thief players can set this to how they prefer it even if it might affect some missions. About the Volta mission, can you please explain why exactly this feature would break it?

Edited by wesp5
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Thanks, @STiFU. I figured.

Is climbing up/down ladders, pipes, vines, etc part of the design?

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

@Daft Mugi

Regarding your pm_mantle_while_shouldering cvar, chances are slim it will be allowed by default therefore I wouldn't over-complicate it.

Here is my suggestion: Let users mantle freely (no upper waist restriction) and consider forbidding jumps to prevent players from reaching some heights. I tested this configuration here locally and it works very well.

I fully support the change, by the way. Thanks for your efforts.

Edited by snatcher

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On 1/27/2023 at 12:55 AM, STiFU said:

While shouldering, what's the tallest object that can be mantled?

> Waist high. Height could be controlled by a cheat-cvar.

While shouldering, should there be different object height requirements between crouched and standing?

> Yes, crouched should be lower. It would create some additional tension to have to stand up to perform the mantling.

While shouldering, can the player mantle during a fall or jump across to another ledge?

> Player cannot jump while shouldering. Conversely, he should not be able to mantle while shouldering and falling.

While shouldering, what mantle types are allowed out of: push, pushNonCrouch, pull, pullFast, hang?

> Definitely not hang and anything pull. That is only triggered for big heights. While shouldering, it should probably play the usual viewport animation, but a bit slower.

Pretty amazing! That matches perfectly with how I implemented (v3).

  • Max Height: 41 units (controlled by a cvar)
  • While crouched: reduce max height by 5, which is 36 units.
    • My reason was more about feel and animation than challenge, though.
  • Don't allow mantling while falling.
  • Mantle phases: only push and pushNonCrouched.

I based the 41 units on a table found in The Painter's Wife. Also, by chance, it matches the 40 units mentioned by @Wellingtoncrab! :)

file_download.php?file_id=1578&type=bug

Edited by Daft Mugi
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8 hours ago, STiFU said:

Good catch. If that's true, we have to fix that! 😄 That's not intended design, as far as I know.

In released builds (i.e. TDM 2.10), ladders, pipes, vines, and ropes are climbable while shouldering a body.

I know Volta 2 requires shouldering a body up a vine.

Probably too late to change this, because some missions depend on it and players are used to it.

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2 minutes ago, Daft Mugi said:

In released builds (i.e. TDM 2.10), ladders, pipes, vines, and ropes are climbable while shouldering a body.

I know Volta 2 requires shouldering a body up a vine.

Probably too late to change this, because some missions depend on it and players are used to it.

Oh my, this is embarassing for me. 😄 I was sure this was not possible, sorry. I guess sometimes your mind plays tricks on you. Maybe I just never tried because I implicitly assumed this was too unrealistic to work. Your point that it is too late to change this, is absolutely valid then.

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Yes! It is mandatory that the player be able to climb those vines with a body although it is not mandatory to mantle with it. 

I would suggest we don't change that rule as it could effect this mission, PD3 and who knows how many others :)

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As for my own opinion on mantling with a body. Im for it. However, I worry that this could have the opposite effect and break some missions where the author anticipated the player not being able to mantle with a body.

Risky waters changing mantle rules, but.. im not against the effort.

I could see allowing waist high mantles with a body, but not full on overhead grabs and mantles.

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