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Thread: General Fan Mission Review And Discussion Megathread

  1. #51
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by SneakyJack View Post
    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.
    Ultima Ratio is one of the missions I was never able to finish - there was one required key that I could never find and nobody seemed to remember where it was. Too bad, because I thought it was otherwise a good mission, despite the slightly frustrating keyhunting.

    Nice to see Durant get a mention - I always liked that one and thought it was underrated. Calendra's Legacy, on the other hand, is one of those classic missions I'm not particularly fond of. I recognize the amount of effort that was put into it, and would certainly recommend everyone to play it once, but Midnight In Murkbell in particular was a mission I found rather frustrating. I don't like ghosting and feel naked without my blackjack, which - together with the time limit - made the beginning kind of hard for me. And then, once you finally get the blackjack, it becomes practically useless because of the undead.

    For some reason, one thing that always fascinates me is watching AI vs. AI battles, and I always try to provoke them if it seems possible. Sometimes I've noticed that in some otherwise good missions, the author hasn't made different types of enemies into different factions, which can lead to some rather bizarre situations. There was one mission in the Night Falcon series (IIRC - I'm terrible at remembering the names of FM's), where you break into a Hammerite temple with burricks and other creatures wandering outside, so of course I had to try to draw the burricks towards the Hammerite guards. To my disappointment, the Hammers and burricks completely ignored each other and banded together to look for me, which felt quite odd because there were readables inside that indicated that the Hammers were afraid of the burricks and had, IIRC, been previously attacked by them.

    Are there any FM's that involve (or can involve) major conflicts between AI's besides some scripted events or individual battles?

  2. #52
    Classical Master 2008
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Civitas Quinqueecclesiensis HU
    My suggestion would be Brawl in the Tombs -- there are lots of scripted battles, but you can break them and otherwise lure AI to fight each other.

  3. #53
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    You made a few excellent points Jah. I myself also really enjoy when FM creators use AI in fun ways - One mission I can think of right away is the story of Mr. Oh Dear in "A Servants Life". There was a ton of AI scripting and hilarious scenes that played out in that mission, its a great time.

    Scripted sequences, friendly AI here and there and AI battling each other all add so much to the immersion factor for me when I'm playing a mission. You made a great point when you talked about disappointment when two different AI factions meet each other and act like they've been friends for years - it really pulls me out of the situation.

    I always love seeing hammer vs. guard confrontations - even thieves vs. hammers or guards. It makes you feel like you are part of a bigger thief world than just yourself against a few guards or creatures, and adds a ton of cinematic feel to a mission.

    I've always wanted to see an epic mission where thieves vs. guards vs. hammers vs. keepers vs. mechanists plays out in some form though scripted events and story.

  4. #54
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    I know what you mean....hammers versus undead is always fun too....brawl in the tombs was great for that, but I've always wanted a mission where we get to see a bunch of hammers retaking the old quarter. I mean with the eye gone, the undead must be settling down some and hell there weren't that many undead there in the first place. Makes you wonder where they all went. Still would be fun to tag along with the old hammers as they clear their way through the old quarter.

  5. #55
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by SneakyJack View Post
    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.
    I just finished Memoirs of a Dead God. The ghosting objective is compulsory only on Expert, so if you're a blackjacker like me, you can play it on Normal or Hard. Both parts of the mission are nods to certain OM's - I won't spoil things by saying which ones - and although I found some parts of the second one a little frustrating, I think this is a very good mission overall. If you haven't checked it out yet, I warmly recommend you do so.

    Thanks for the recommendations - I'll have to check out Brawl in the Tombs. I'm generally not too fond of undead missions, so the name has probably scared me away in the past. Perhaps I should also try Ultima Ratio again, now that I know there's at least one person who has finished it recently and might remember the location of that evasive key if I get stuck in the same place again.

  6. #56
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Just got finished playing Christmas Present by Naks and P Forth - What a fun mission that captured the winter holiday mood perfectly.

    I loved the lighting effects on the trees and the colored lighting in general - and though it was a quick and straight forward mission I enjoyed the story as well. The villager scene in town square was fun as well.

    Highly recommend for at least a playthrough!

    Just a few screens this time to show off the atmosphere:


    What a scene!






    Love the lighting and overall feel of the mission. Well done.






    Bonus tree lighting action!

  7. #57
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    I played both parts of the Sisterhood of Azura series by Ben Hur over the last few days and had a ton of fun with them - specifically the first mission.

    Tons of scripted events (one hilarious encounter I think happened on accident where a guard literally got into a battle with one of the larger cannonball robots (their name escapes me right now) - Sadly his heroic act proved futile and he met his maker.

    Anyone know if Ben Hur is still creating missions? I've played all three that I could find of his and had a ton of fun with all three of them. Great stuff.

    Also, I've been looking to replay a FM but for the life of me I cant remember what it is - so anyone with extensive FM knowledge want to take a shot with this one?

    - You are inside a mansion I believe - I think there may be thunder and lightning effects.
    - At one point you meet the "lady" of the house.. I believe she is mumbling or insane sitting in a chair at the top of some stairs - and I think it triggers an objective for you to find her a bottle of wine from the cellar or something of that sort.

    I wish I could remember more, but thats all I've got. Anyone wanting to take a shot at naming that would one be appreciated!

  8. #58
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2006
    Location: Szeged, Hungary
    That is not a FM! It's Moira's Mansion (I don't know the exact name of the mission) from Thief 3.

  9. #59
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by Cavalorn View Post
    That is not a FM! It's Moira's Mansion (I don't know the exact name of the mission) from Thief 3.
    Oh damn, I could have sworn it was a Thief 2 FM.

    Thanks for the speedy answer

  10. #60
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Drinking baby lemonade!
    Ben Hur goes by And now, and as of July he was still working on revamping Part 1, and finishing Part 3. They're still listed as green in Phantom's thread so I guess as far as we know Part 3 will be released one day. Maybe And will hop in here and give us an update?!

  11. #61
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by Yandros View Post
    Ben Hur goes by And now, and as of July he was still working on revamping Part 1, and finishing Part 3. They're still listed as green in Phantom's thread so I guess as far as we know Part 3 will be released one day. Maybe And will hop in here and give us an update?!
    Thats great news and thanks for the info Yandros. If the missions are still being worked on I'm really looking forward to them - I don't know how I missed them this long.

  12. #62
    Clearinghouse
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Siberia, Russia
    Good news, Yandros.

  13. #63
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    I continued the excellent A Love Story series by John9818a by playing chapters III and IV recently - incredible missions with a ton of atmosphere and a great deal of attention paid to the story itself.

    I loved how there were lots of objectives that didn't just involve stealing things (in fact, alot of the objectives had you actually leaving things instead) and the gameplay is top notch on these missions. Chapter III was my favorite, closely followed by Chapter IV. The architecture in chapter 3 particularly is a sight to behold - probably one of my favorite mission designs - rivaled only by the Rocksbourg series.

    Author: john9818a
    Fm(s) in development: A Love Story V (T2)
    Author's earlier mission(s): Jenivere De Ja Vu, Lord James' Retreat, Undead Reckoning, A Love Story, Bafford's Last Stand, A Love Story II, A Living Nightmare, A Servant's Life, A Love Story III, A Love Story IV, Rust Belt Prison
    Current status: on hold
    Latest news: http://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthrea...35#post1792735
    Estimated release date: unknown
    Screenshots: N/A
    Heres to hoping chapter V gets finished and released - I'm really looking forward to it!

    Just a few quick shots:


    Just one example of the imagination put into play for the design of this excellent mission. Incredible.





    Another great town design as well. I loved the atmosphere in these missions - it worked very well with the story.





    Some areas are absolutely massive - and this one was no exception. Amazing touches to the area that I won't spoil - lets just say there was a bit of added danger. Also, you can see the area littered with the bodies of the monkey beast-like things - I'm not a big fan of leaving those alive.


    I encourage everyone to share what missions you've recently played and hopefully some screenshots of your favorite parts of those missions like I have been - I enjoy reading your opinions and seeing the parts of the missions that you enjoyed.

  14. #64
    Moderator
    Keeper of FMs

    Registered: Oct 2004
    Location: Meraux, LA
    The Love Story Series is also one of my favorites. The story is one of the best IMO. Every mission has been enjoyable and has great gameplay. This is one series I replay over & over. I am anxiously awaiting the next chapter.

  15. #65
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by pavlovscat View Post
    The Love Story Series is also one of my favorites. The story is one of the best IMO. Every mission has been enjoyable and has great gameplay. This is one series I replay over & over. I am anxiously awaiting the next chapter.
    I completely agree with you. I'm the sort of player that goes gameplay over story and rarely reads every single thing in a FM that isnt objective based - but the story in this one completely sucked me in over the entire series and the gameplay was just as great - a winning combination.

    Hopefully the fifth in the series does get released.

  16. #66
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: Sheffield, UK
    Quote Originally Posted by Nameless Voice View Post
    The first is for gameplay reasons: torches and gas lamps can be doused, and electric lights cannot. If every electric light had a light switch, then you could plunge the entire mission into pitch blackness and remove all challenge.

    I've wondered about the baths and sinks myself, but... it's traditional!
    It's not particularly difficult to get the AI to turn the lights back on, even using standard scripts, then when you turn them off you have only bought yourself a short period of darkness and time and while the AI is occupied with the switch and not patrolling, if you are ghosting that can be handy if a little nerve wracking, if you are on a BJ or killing spree it makes little difference

    I managed to do this in my only mission to date, plus on easy the AI ignored the state of the lights so for the experts out there it was a challenge and for the newbies it wasn't impossible

  17. #67
    *siiigh*
    *wishing Sliptip would continue The Ashen Age series*
    I think The Ashen Age is the most visually beautiful FM I've ever played, as well as having a fascinating story--disappearing keepers?? I wanna find out what happens next!

  18. #68
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Taffer View Post
    *siiigh*
    *wishing Sliptip would continue The Ashen Age series*
    I think The Ashen Age is the most visually beautiful FM I've ever played, as well as having a fascinating story--disappearing keepers?? I wanna find out what happens next!
    Yes, yes, yes. Me too. I'm playing that at the moment.

    As well as the visual beauty, I quite liked the custom footsteps on wooden floorboards.

  19. #69
    Member
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: Toronto
    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Taffer View Post
    *siiigh*
    *wishing Sliptip would continue The Ashen Age series*
    I think The Ashen Age is the most visually beautiful FM I've ever played, as well as having a fascinating story--disappearing keepers?? I wanna find out what happens next!
    Thanks! errr. . . and sorry it's a ways from getting done

  20. #70
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2008

    a couple o'general questions

    Hello there and thanks for the great topic. I head a couple of things that disturbing me a little but I found no place to drop a question.

    1. I start playing FMs only at August this year and I'm kinda supressed by enormous quantity of really great FMs. Screenshots lika screaming "Play ME!"
    It's not a question of hard newbie choice as there are many ratings and recommendations throughout the community. It's a question of lacking time for playing all FMs I wanna play.
    I am used to slow walkthrough while "watching here and there" and "trying to climb that roof" activity but it seems like it's better to learn play more quick style. Well I'm trying to ghost and not reload but idealistic ambitions keep time on its' own.
    So the question is: do you prefer to run through a new FM or just take a time lurking and staring around neverminding tons of other FMs?
    How much time IRL (not on stats screen ) it took you to finish particular FM, for example Ashen Age?

    2. I can't start The Inverted Manse.
    No, it's not a technical question, and not a point of difficulty (yet). And I liked Cult Of Resurrection.
    I don't know why but I can't make it any further than a little set of rooms. Maybe it's because of my conservatism and rejection of new equipment (which I hope to get used to while my recent T2X walkthrough) or because of total Undead style which is not a problem but seems too forced here, or maybe I'm afraid to run out of equipment too fast (which never occurs in other FMs).
    And, most of all, it has a deal with multiply choices on difficulty (which means playstyle) and ways to start (I'm afraid to loose something while walking one way and not returning to another, and I'm not gonna replay it 'cause other FMs are waiting).
    Question: which way is to start this goldhammered FM easier: just walking forward and overcoming difficulties as they appear or trying to plan my way making landmarks in progress?


    Re-reading this post I realized that my problem is a wishful thinking not to loose a little bit of something in all of FMs.
    So I just need to figure out that life is short and I can't have everything.
    Last edited by sh_b; 13th Jan 2009 at 10:18.

  21. #71
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Not trying to be an ass - but can we make a new thread for the fog troubleshooting? It really doesn't belong here, and we're almost at two pages of it now.

    Quote Originally Posted by sh_b View Post
    So the question is: do you prefer to run through a new FM or just take a time lurking and staring around neverminding tons of other FMs?
    How much time IRL (not on stats screen ) it took you to finish particular FM, for example Ashen Age?
    This is a hard question to answer due to the quality of FM's being so different and playstyles being so different depending on the mission. Some of them penalize you for not being quick (ghosting and following someone without losing them or being seen for example) so I base the time I spend on how much I enjoy the mission. Take DrK's missions in Rocksbourg series for example - he puts so much work into fleshing out the city (and in ink and dust the atmosphere is truly unreal) that you'd be doing yourself a huge disservice not to explore every nook and cranny to take it all in.

    Then again you have missions that are very straight forward and don't have any hidden secrets or much to see and do other than a few simple objectives. I usually tend to blow through those.

    If a mission has a ton of hidden secrets or branching hidden passages or multiple ways in and out of target structures I will explore as much of the entire fan mission as I can. I've many times spent at least four or five hours on a good fan mission, sometimes more. If the mission suits me I can spend all day in it - Take "Pirates Ahoy" mission 1 for example.. I've replayed it at least six times now, each time spending more than two hours making sure I do everything, find everything and blackjack dozens of folks. Its a ton of fun.

    If you feel like you are spending too much time or not enough time in a fan mission, you probably are.

    2. I can't start The Inverted Manse.

    Question: which way is to start this goldhammered FM easier: just walking forward and overcoming difficulties as they appear or trying to plan my way making landmarks in progress?
    I'm not a huge fan of undead missions, so I approach every situation where I can see them coming slowly and overcome them one at a time - saving often and ducking out of the way somewhere safe and dark to regroup when they give me a good startling. Hammer haunts are the worst for me - those bastards and their speed are terrifying sometimes.

    I save after every hammer haunt or undead I manage to take out or safely distance myself from by sneaking - and if I fail I try to plan my approach on the second play through. I never run and gun through an undead mission - thats the fastest way to death for me - I get too rattled.

    Dunno if either of these answers helped - but I'm glad you enjoy the thread and please continue to discuss!

  22. #72
    Moderator
    Registered: May 2000
    Location: Thunder Bay, On., Canada
    SneakyJack is absolutely right. This thread has gotten entirely derailed and needs to come back on track. Any more discussion of fog problems belongs in the Legacy Tech forum. I've shifted all the posts about fog from this thread into this one where you can discuss it to your hearts' content.
    Last edited by Nightwalker; 14th Jan 2009 at 09:08.

  23. #73
    Moderator
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: UK
    Yup! Apologies for my part in said derailment and as contribution to discussion instead, since I've missed quite a lot this year, I'm now working my way through pav's 2008 review - so far - and have just finished Doschtles' Labyrinth, which, despite being a German only mission and therefore I couldn't understand anything, was a lot of fun.

    Even Dia might like it.



    Honestly Dia, the AI are so easy, you might get cured.
    Last edited by nickie; 14th Jan 2009 at 14:01.

  24. #74
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Thank you for splitting the topics Nightwalker, it is appreciated And no worries nickie - I'm going to give that German mission you mentioned a shot and see how far I can get without understanding a word.

    I've been replaying some of my favorite fan mission entries to sorta cleanse the FM pallet before going back to some ones that I gave a short try and gave up on - mostly undead missions.

    I don't know what turns me away about them - perhaps its not so much the undead aspect as it is always being centered around a cave/sewer/abandoned church. I guess I enjoy the more inhabited settings than I do the feeling of running through hallway after hallway of dark uninteresting cave architecture.

    Anyone have any recommendations for undead missions for someone that wants to ease himself into playing them?

  25. #75
    Moderator
    Registered: Jul 2008
    Location: shalebridgecradle.co.uk
    Well, The Kindred Vault by eepcat from the anniversary contest is not too bad. It might not be the best one to play first but maybe second or third on the list.

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