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Thread: General Fan Mission Review And Discussion Megathread

  1. #26
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by bedwine View Post
    It is interesting how Thief FM's has developed into attracting distinct play styles. Personally I am not a big fan of ghosting but I understand why some hate playing any other way.

    One of my favorites was "Durant" because of brilliant way the author allowed the use of a haunt as an ally to take out enemies. One could actually eliminate everyone in the first part of the mission without to even blackjack with use of a trap. It was just humorus fun. Evidently I am in the minority because Durant never got great scores by players. The fact that there are so few missions that are made this way is actually a good thing. If it were done often it would get old.
    I am right there with you on all counts. I loved "Durant" and am not a big fan of ghosting, though I have previously ghosted a handful of FM's. Its far too hard for me though, as I love the satisfying "thud" that a blackjack victim makes

    As far as what you said about objectives - I love when a mission has ghosting as an "Optional" objective that simply says "ghosting failed" on the screen or ticks off a failed ghosting in objectives without causing me to fail a mission. Then again, I've always thought that ghosting shouldnt even be an option until you are on the hardest difficulty - it just makes sense that way.

    I am replaying 2006 missions for my reviews right now including missions 8 - 10 from the Haddur series: The Dream of Tyrus, Retribution & Guardmen of Haddur. Just to get a feeling for the series, I went back & replayed the first seven missions. I forgot just how creepy, scary these missions were. Turi is a master of atmosphere. These missions use plain stock textures, so they have a very TDP feeling to me. The architecture is basic, but the missions have good game play. Has anyone else played these recently?
    I have not checked them out recently but now that you've mentioned them I've added them to my "to play" list - so thank you!

    here are a couple of things that have been bothering me while playing FMs for quite some time now...

    the lack of light switches! I believe every electric light should have a switch somewhere, whether it's in the room by the door, next to the light itself, or at a control panel at a guard station nearby. it has to be expensive keeping all those lights on all the time, right?

    sinks and tubs filled with water! I don't know if it's supposed to give the feeling that someone just stepped away, but I find myself wondering how long the water has been sitting there getting cold... how it's going to drain, and who brought it up in the first place?
    You make some excellent points that I never really thought about

    As far as the water - thats just something funny that I never really thought about. I guess the only thing I could think of is not having true indoor plumbing and having to bucket fill the tubs and things?

    As far as the light switches - you are spot on.. One of the things I loved about replaying "Heist Society" recently was the fact that every room had working light switches. Its a blast being able to create your own shadows without expending water arrows.

    I understand the point Nameless Voice made as well - perhaps it could be done so that on easy all switches are usable, mid difficulty only some and expert few to none? I don't know dromed that well so I don't know how hard that would be to do.
    Last edited by SneakyJack; 13th Dec 2008 at 17:29.

  2. #27
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2008
    Location: Cheesse'n coffee Fm Tester.
    Great thread! nice to see some screeshot too

    exellent idea, it is interesting as hell talk abotu all the things about the Fms, i love how the fms giving me a fun moments in the night alone, i love the high resolution graphics like have ANIR 1,2&3, or insice the Calendras Legacy,too many etc.

    But i love the investigations in all the Fms, it is having a fun momonts with my litttle taffer.

    Another good thing is colecting the good music inside some Fms. I remeber some ones!
    Last edited by unreal_taffer; 13th Dec 2008 at 18:56.

  3. #28
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Great. Now I can't get back in
    Quote Originally Posted by Nameless Voice View Post
    If every electric light had a light switch, then you could plunge the entire mission into pitch blackness and remove all challenge.
    Very much agree - switch off all light sources & it couldn't be Thief gameplay any more.
    But I'm also a great believer in having as much realistic detail as possible balanced with, or even enhancing, gameplay.
    In the area of lighting - snuffable candles, the provision of electric light switches - albeit in challenging locations - & frobbable gas lamps (after all, if you put them out with a water arrow, the gas is still coming out so where's the explosion? ).
    A few examples of this balance of gameplay & some control of light that I can remember being achieved:
    - missions in which Garrett could turn off some electric lights while the off-switch for others was beyond his reach,
    - providing more than 1 light source in an area, at least 1 of which couldn't be controlled; such as in A Weekend Getaway where you could switch off an electric light to provide some extra shadow but still had the lit fireplaces & lightning flashes to deal with,
    - there was a mission (can't remember the name) where, placed throughout the city, groups of 1, 2 or 3 of the nearest streetlights were run by those boxes with sliding controls on top, but with a guard near each of those boxes. The player had to find a way to either switch off those lights or get through / around that particular area another way.

    There's probably more ways, just can't think of them at the moment.

  4. #29
    Member
    Registered: May 2003
    Location: West Seattle
    Mission X had the pickable light switches, which I thought was an excellent compromise. if you could time it right, you could run down the hall and pick the switch, then turn off the light right as the guard came by... or did it have the light switch key? either way, there was both tension and challenge, with a bit of respite as a reward for a your labors

  5. #30
    Moderator
    Keeper of FMs

    Registered: Oct 2004
    Location: Meraux, LA
    In Mission X, some of the switches were pickable, but others were not. There was a lightswitch key, but it did not exist on the hardest difficulty. The key was not near the start of the mission, so you had to do some exploring before you got it. You could also short out the electric lights with 2 water arrows. I thought this set up was very realistic.

  6. #31
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Great. Now I can't get back in
    Agreed - the handling of the lighting in Mission X is a great example of what I meant. You had to really think about water arrow usage &, IIRC, some lights couldn't be turned off on any difficulty. Realistic while also adding to the gameplay.

  7. #32
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    I was just playing through "The Medal Age" (one of the submissions to the crap FM contest) and after picking up some loot a message appears on the screen that says

    wtf these coins have got yin and yang on em
    or something similar - For some reason that comment made me laugh out loud. Some of those crap contest missions were hilarious.

  8. #33
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2008
    Location: Iceland
    One thing that does not impress me with missions is if they screw up on some fundamental level. The last two missions I've tried managed to do just this.

    The first one is Benny's Dead. It's a good FM but marred by some problems. Everyone knows about the bugs, but what got me the most was the sillyness of the objectives - don't let the cops spot you, don't kill any cops, and only knock out 5 people or less...but you're free to kill whatever else you come across. Which is why by the end of the mission the coppers are alive and well, but they're patrolling a ghost town. The pool in the hotel is full of blood and "chunky bits", while down in the sewer the Bogeys are roasting on an open fire...except for the one I brought all the way to the Sewerman as an "incentive" to go back to work. This is what happens when gamebreaking bugs meet boredom.

    The second mission is the Haddur mission pack. Based on pavlovscat's words, I decided to check it out. It failed on three counts in the very first minute, which sadly is more than I can take. First, a floating sequence...Immersion-killing at its finest. Second, barely comprehensible speech. Third, shoddy programming. By accident, I moved while floating in the air...and died instantly.

    I am being overly harsh on the Haddur missions, but it's a Monday.

  9. #34
    Clearinghouse
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Siberia, Russia
    Quote Originally Posted by Unkillable Cat View Post
    The second mission is the Haddur mission pack. Based on pavlovscat's words, I decided to check it out. It failed on three counts in the very first minute, which sadly is more than I can take. First, a floating sequence...Immersion-killing at its finest. Second, barely comprehensible speech. Third, shoddy programming. By accident, I moved while floating in the air...and died instantly.

    I am being overly harsh on the Haddur missions, but it's a Monday.
    Haddur missions are very atmospheric for me, just need a little more variety.

  10. #35
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    I still have yet to give the Haddur missions a try, but after reading the last couple posts about them I think I need to.

    I'll probably feel the same way as UnkillableCat though - we seem to look for the same things in a FM.

    Edit: Played the first three Haddur missions.. apparently I've never played these before. But after the poorly worded objectives, endless repetitive sewer mission and the rest.. I think I'll choose to stop at three.

    In the first mission I couldnt even understand what was being mumbled about the characters in the camvator sequence so I had no idea what was going on - then at the end of the camvator it killed me and ended the mission. What the hell?

    I don't think I'll be going back to that series - even though it has 9 missions I have not yet played.
    Last edited by SneakyJack; 15th Dec 2008 at 12:06.

  11. #36
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Just got finished playing the rest of the crap missions - and let me say.. interesting idea for a contest. That being said - I hope there is never a second run of it.

    I don't think I've ever died as much with a series of FM's as I did with these. Craziness in fan mission form. Sterlino's "Incubus" had some pretty crazy effects, though - its definitely worth playing once.

  12. #37
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2003
    Location: Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by SneakyJack View Post
    That being said - I hope there is never a second run of it.
    Really? I hope there is a second run of it.

  13. #38
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by thief0 View Post
    Really? I hope there is a second run of it.
    I think in the time it takes to make a crap mission contest, we could have something useful like a quick mission contest or something instead.

    The crap mission contest was fun for a minute or two each mission, but I'll never replay those missions again.

    But people having different opinions is the reason why we're here

  14. #39
    Moderator
    Keeper of FMs

    Registered: Oct 2004
    Location: Meraux, LA
    I enjoyed the Crap Missions in the same way I enjoy Slugg's Bestest FMs. It's something different for when I need to break a bad mood or just don't feel like doing anything too serious.

  15. #40
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2008
    Location: Iceland
    Well, as I noticed a long 2-year old thread about a fan mission being resurrected, I decided to see what all the hubbub was about.

    The Folly Of Youth is one of those missions that does not impress at first. Huge, empty areas, hunting for keys that aren't always there (I had to restart once due to the second key not being where it should be), but once I got into the church...man, does the mission take off in style. It's funny, deep, plenty of stuff to do and well-hidden keys and secrets.

    By the time I finally finished it I had been playing for 3 hours in game-time, found 15 of the 17 secrets and clocked over 1800 loot. The only objective I didn't get was the optional one - very few of my flying knockouts were counted as such, which was a shame.

  16. #41
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Norway (currently Phoenix, AZ)
    Quote Originally Posted by Unkillable Cat View Post
    The only objective I didn't get was the optional one - very few of my flying knockouts were counted as such, which was a shame.
    A mission with an optional flying knockout objective?! Man do I have to try that!
    Klatremus' Supreme Thief Site - Walkthroughs, Loot Lists & Ghost Reports
    Let's Supreme Ghost Thief - YouTube Channel with Thief Let's Plays

  17. #42
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by Unkillable Cat View Post
    Well, as I noticed a long 2-year old thread about a fan mission being resurrected, I decided to see what all the hubbub was about.

    The Folly Of Youth is one of those missions that does not impress at first. Huge, empty areas, hunting for keys that aren't always there (I had to restart once due to the second key not being where it should be), but once I got into the church...man, does the mission take off in style. It's funny, deep, plenty of stuff to do and well-hidden keys and secrets.

    By the time I finally finished it I had been playing for 3 hours in game-time, found 15 of the 17 secrets and clocked over 1800 loot. The only objective I didn't get was the optional one - very few of my flying knockouts were counted as such, which was a shame.
    After reading your recommendation and mini-review I went back and played The Folly Of Youth - and like you said it was one of those missions that I probably quit a few minutes into due to the sheer wasted space at the beginning and all the running around you need to do in wide open spaces just to get to the ladder objective to get into the grounds. Once inside I had a great time with this mission - all the hidden areas and great readables made it a really good mission that will have replay value in the future for me.

    The only thing that confused me is that some of the hammers seemingly appear out of thin air or spawn out of nowhere when I think I've already cleared an area.

    That just added to the surprise of the mission for me, however.

    Thanks for the recommendation! I managed 7 total flying knockouts - the game seems to be very picky on how it awards them like you mentioned. Talk about a mission that keeps expanding as you play!
    Last edited by SneakyJack; 18th Dec 2008 at 17:57.

  18. #43
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2008
    Location: Iceland
    Yeah, I also noticed the "appearing out of nowhere" guards. At least here it's done with a little bit of sense - all the guards appear in the main corridors. That single fact gives a sense of reality, like how they may have been returning to the church after a good hammertime down at the pub or somesuch. One of these guards gave me a scare though, as he appeared almost right outside the room I was in and then entered the room. I had to hide in the closet to avoid being spotted.

    But on to the next FM I decided to try. While Rebellion Of The Builder is hard because of pure cheese, Ruins Of Originia is hard because...well, it's a tough nut to crack. You will need the walkthrough, I can almost guarantee it. You get 4 missions, of which the first one is a huge mines/catacombs thing. I spent almost 4 hours on that one alone...and enjoyed every minute of it!

    RoO has issues, like spelling & grammar, illogical puzzles/situations and crashes in the 2nd mission, but RoO did something for me that no other Thief mission (fan-made or otherwise) has accomplished...it made me feel like I was playing Ultima Underworld again. Underworld I and II are two of my favourite games, and RoO somehow manages to tap into that atmosphere...mostly by being 95% underground, I'd guess.

    If you have plenty of Thief-related time on your hands, play RoO.

  19. #44
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by Unkillable Cat View Post
    Yeah, I also noticed the "appearing out of nowhere" guards. At least here it's done with a little bit of sense - all the guards appear in the main corridors. That single fact gives a sense of reality, like how they may have been returning to the church after a good hammertime down at the pub or somesuch. One of these guards gave me a scare though, as he appeared almost right outside the room I was in and then entered the room. I had to hide in the closet to avoid being spotted.
    I had that happen once as well, almost the same situation. I like the way that it was handled, and like you said - it just seemed like more hammers were coming in from town or in from patrol. It actually kept me on my toes for the entire mission, unlike most where you know everyone in the entire place is snoozing via blackjack nightcap and there is no threat at all.

    The next mission I decided to replay was Mysterious Invitation (MH. Freak's 2007 rework version). This mission is a huge mansion crawl - which I always love, and I had a blast with it.

    There is a bit too much marble for my tastes (which you'll see led to an unfortunate situation for two guards that you'll see in my upcoming screenshots) but a good story and a large mansion will always help me overlook little complaints like that.

    I recommend this mission to anyone who enjoys mansion missions - you cant really go wrong with the gameplay in this one - but be prepared to be found at least once unless you are an excellent ghoster on mostly marble floors. (which I am not)

    And now some screens:


    The view from the get-go and a friendly guard for once. I enjoy the immersion it creates when folks put non-hostile guards into the mission along with the hostile ones.




    Oh this cant be good..





    Any FM maker that includes these is pure evil. Seriously.





    Having a delightful conversation, im sure.





    Oi! The incompetence around here knows no bounds! Even these blasted machines are sleeping on the job.





    I did not want it to come to this but your persistence in stabbing me with sharp objects left me no choice.





    I guess I should redecorate a bit - these might just do the trick.




    I spy out of the corner of my eye.. that this will not end well for him.

  20. #45
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Apologies for double or triple posting - hopefully its alright with the mods since I'm adding new FM's that I've played since the last time I posted - I don't want any one post to get too screenshot heavy.

    That being said - the next FM I finished was "Damsel in distress" by Dyald.

    You can find my full review of it here.
    Last edited by SneakyJack; 12th Apr 2009 at 20:44.

  21. #46
    Clearinghouse
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Siberia, Russia
    Quote Originally Posted by SneakyJack View Post
    The next mission I decided to replay was Mysterious Invitation (MH. Freak's 2007 rework version). This mission is a huge mansion crawl - which I always love, and I had a blast with it.

    There is a bit too much marble for my tastes (which you'll see led to an unfortunate situation for two guards that you'll see in my upcoming screenshots) but a good story and a large mansion will always help me overlook little complaints like that.

    I recommend this mission to anyone who enjoys mansion missions - you cant really go wrong with the gameplay in this one - but be prepared to be found at least once unless you are an excellent ghoster on mostly marble floors. (which I am not)
    Don't forget Ultima Ratio - the sequel Mysterious Invitation

    Beautiful screenshots, SneakyJack.

  22. #47
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by clearing View Post
    Don't forget Ultima Ratio - the sequel Mysterious Invitation

    Beautiful screenshots, SneakyJack.
    Thanks and thanks! I'll check out that mission next for a play (or replay if I've played it before)

    I didn't know if anyone even enjoyed the screens I've been posting, but I like showing off the amazing hard work of FM makers in the spots that I enjoy from the missions, so I'll probably continue as long as no one hates them.

  23. #48
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    No need to be sorry, it happens. You seem all over the forum trying to find the right thread though.

    I gave Ultima Ratio a shot based on clearing's suggestion - and I was not disappointed. This one was again done by MH - author of Mysterious Invitation. This mission was massive - and had a little something for everyone. A great story, solid and fun gameplay, incredible architecture in the city and great decoration and atmosphere on the interiors of buildings. I clocked a few hours in this one, it was challenging but not frustrating - so anyone who has not checked it out.. I highly recommend it.

    I had a bit of trouble with this one crashing on me - then I deleted the movies in the zip file and all worked fine. Something about the movies did not agree with my PC.

    If you enjoy a solid story, a huge area to cover and a mix of guards, hammers and a tiny bit of undead - this mission is for you.

    Some screens:


    A view from the street. Drink in that architecture. Drink it in.





    The clocktower - what a site indeed.





    City watch headquarters - arches galore!





    If you have to ask, you can't afford it.





    Minutes later Chef Jenkins beat me to a pulp for causing one of his patrons some unnecessary naptime.





    Those Hammers love their fountains.





    Lady thief on the loose, the fuzz in pursuit!






    Obligatory view from above - I love these!

  24. #49
    The recent Memoirs Of A Dead God by Nicked seems to thread the needle as far as light switches go. The mission objectives demand ghosting AND exploring 90% of the map, so having a bit of help with the "hot" zones reduces the frustration (I'm not too proud to blackjack). Overlapping guard patrols do a good job of keeping things tense, despite their inability to notice your shenanigans.

  25. #50
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by Printer's Devil View Post
    The recent Memoirs Of A Dead God by Nicked seems to thread the needle as far as light switches go. The mission objectives demand ghosting AND exploring 90% of the map, so having a bit of help with the "hot" zones reduces the frustration (I'm not too proud to blackjack). Overlapping guard patrols do a good job of keeping things tense, despite their inability to notice your shenanigans.
    If the objectives forced ghosting, thats probably a mission I skipped. Does it force ghosting at all difficulty levels? If not, I may need to check that one out again.

    Any level with well placed light switches is one I'll give a second chance if need be.

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