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Thread: General Fan Mission Review And Discussion Megathread

  1. #1426
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Great. Now I can't get back in
    Excellent stuff, SJ; you obviously put plenty of time & thought into this Dark Mod review. I found it very clear & informative - to the point where I feel I now have a much clearer view of (most of) the pros & cons of TDM.

    The mod's makers seem to have done an amazing job so far, & I also hope that stability issues & melee combat (which I've only ever been reasonable at) can be improved; but you've given me, at least, a clear listing of many of the TDM's outstanding qualities.

    For me, unfortunately, grabbing a copy of Doom III is the lesser part - first I need to find a way to seriously upgrade my computer's hardware. *sigh*, one of these days...

  2. #1427
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    The Chalice Of Kings By Fidcal
    Released For The Dark Mod: 2009

    During my playtime with this mission I somewhat developed a love/hate relationship with it that I think revolved around one simple thing - the overuse of locked... well.. locked everything.

    The mission is interesting with a fun set of objectives that has you looking for a prized chalice and swapping out a valuable crown among other things and overall gameplay wise was pretty fun. The mission looked great visually and had some very well put together and decorated areas - but the time I spent picking every single lock on every single door and hunting for keys really took me out of the mission. It seemed like this mission was more of a lockpick tutorial than it was an actual mission during some sections.

    The estate was pretty well populated which added a bit of difficulty - if you are discovered chances are good that you'll be killed if you don't have a solid escape plan from the get-go. Due to TDM's difficult melee combat mechanic I was struck down quite a few times by the seemingly invincible AI guards in this mission leading to much frustration and many reloads. Your results may vary however.

    A fun and interesting (yet quite tough for taffers like me) mission that will deliver more for those that have patience, I recommend giving this one a shot to see which side of the fence you end up on.

    Screens:



    This is the area surrounding the mission and was probably my favorite part of the mission visually. It looks stunning in-game.




    This area is a great example of how the AI in The Dark Mod will turn their heads toward noises and are much better at catching you than in previous installments of the Thief series.




    Time to make this trip worthwhile.




    Gonna grab a bite to eat before I take off!




    Talk about an armory!




    Mr. Fancypants surveys his reflection.




    Gonna do some quick reading on how melee combat is supposed to work.




    This little mouse was awesome - I named him Mark.

  3. #1428
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by Sticky Fingers View Post
    Excellent stuff, SJ; you obviously put plenty of time & thought into this Dark Mod review. I found it very clear & informative - to the point where I feel I now have a much clearer view of (most of) the pros & cons of TDM.

    The mod's makers seem to have done an amazing job so far, & I also hope that stability issues & melee combat (which I've only ever been reasonable at) can be improved; but you've given me, at least, a clear listing of many of the TDM's outstanding qualities.

    For me, unfortunately, grabbing a copy of Doom III is the lesser part - first I need to find a way to seriously upgrade my computer's hardware. *sigh*, one of these days...
    Thank you for the feedback, I'm definitely glad you took the time to read it and found it at least a little helpful. The Dark Mod is definitely going to become a legitimate force in the fan mission scene - at least after what I've seen I hope it does.

  4. #1429
    Classical Master 2008
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Civitas Quinque Ecclesiae HU
    Impressive reviews there, SJ! I think a lot can - and will - be done with the mod in the coming years.

    [edit]I also wish I could run it at the resolution/settings you do.

  5. #1430
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2007
    Location: Germany
    Thanks for your reviews of TDM missions. Seems like I finally need to get a copy of Doom 3 to try them out.

  6. #1431
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by Melan View Post
    Impressive reviews there, SJ! I think a lot can - and will - be done with the mod in the coming years.

    [edit]I also wish I could run it at the resolution/settings you do.
    Thank you for your kind words! I'm glad to see folks are still reading the thread

    Quote Originally Posted by intruder View Post
    Thanks for your reviews of TDM missions. Seems like I finally need to get a copy of Doom 3 to try them out.
    Thank you for your feedback! I'll be adding the rest of the dark mod missions this evening as well.

  7. #1432
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    The Crown Of Penitence By Jesps
    Released For The Dark Mod: 2009

    Where The Crown really shines is in its gameplay and atmosphere, both of which are really excellent. Basically revolving around a valuable item in what amounts to be a rather well done mansion mission The Crown has excellent patrol routes with the guards that will continuously keep you on your toes, and the way many of the loot spots are set up will have you fleeing in terror when you hear "We've been robbed!" or something similar when a guard notices that something is missing that previously should have been there.

    One great parts of the AI in the Dark Mod is that they actually notice most times when something they are guarding has been heisted. This can cause some incredibly tense situations during play for those of you who enjoy ghosting - your actions aren't going to go unnoticed anymore. I really enjoy sprinting down the hall unnoticed only to hear the sounds of a frustrated guard who got there one minute too late and is now on the hunt. Does it add to difficulty? Absolutely. But it also adds to the immersion and the feeling that what you do actually has consequences and affects the game world around you.

    Aesthetically the mission is very pleasing to the eye with some areas reminding me of Christine's Thief 2 missions in the way they are designed and decorated, and that is by no means a bad thing - in fact, quite the compliment. Light sources are placed really well and texture choices throughout the areas are strong.

    Probably my second favorite of the missions released for TDM thus far, Crown Of Penitence definitely deserves a playthrough. Recommended!

    Screens:



    This fella loves red. No, I mean he REALLY loves red.




    This guard was very upset when he discovered the vase he had been staring at for hours had suddenly vanished. That or he was falling asleep on his feet.




    I warm myself near the fire as a guard patrols by.




    See that guy in the shadows in the background? Yeah, he wont be happy to see me here.




    Wonder if he'll cook something for me while im passing through?




    Very classy decor!

  8. #1433
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Patently Dangerous By Demagogue
    Released For The Dark Mod: 2009

    When playing through the first four missions for The Dark Mod I found myself thinking 'Wow, I can really see the potential here and the other missions are strong - but thus far nothing has really shown me what this thing can do". Enter "Patently Dangerous", which blew me away.

    Though Patently Dangerous is the complete package of atmosphere, gameplay, visuals, story and sounds I must particularly applaud the strong use of story to drive the mission forward. Without giving away or spoiling anything I have to say that this story is haunting, creepy and riveting and it left me wishing that there had been more of it. You'll find yourself looking for the next book or readable just to see where its headed, and you'll find twists along the way - two or three of which in particular were fairly shocking to me.

    The gameplay here is top notch and really shows some of what TDM is capable of. The incredible mantling mechanics will become your best friend as you dive into open windows and climb up walls. You'll creep through houses and shops, you'll hop from rooftop to rooftop and you'll avoid guards and other foes while you do. You'll have to be particularly alert in this mission for windows that can be opened - in TDM they'll usually look like any other window and will require a higher level of 'thief sense' to discover. That or you'll be hopping toward every window mashing the activate button - either way you'll have a ton of fun.

    Sound wise this mission is the first mission in TDM to really stand out to me in using music and sound cues to ratchet up the tension and set the mood - particularly in a few areas that you'll need to discover for yourself. The author has done an excellent job here of harnessing the power of sound to deliver tension along with a fright.

    Visually the mission is definitely one of the most detailed and best looking missions thus far in TDM's lifespan. Though I'm guessing missions in the future will be a more complicated in design and layout, this mission still looks really good. Interiors feel 'lived in", light through lampshades project images onto ceilings, water from a spring glistens in the moonlight, and are setup realistically, exteriors are pretty well designed and there is a variety of the locations you'll visit. Overall everything looks solid.

    Out of the missions released thus far - this mission should be the example of what the Dark Mod can do at this very early stage, and I can only see the missions getting more involved and impressive from here on. Mystery, tension, thrills and fun - this is what Thief is all about. Highly recommended!



    Look at that water. Awesome.




    Incoming!




    What happened here?? You'll have to play the mission to find out!




    Likewise to find out who this fella is.




    This my friends - this is what thief (or imitation thief) is about.




    Sleep well old man, for when you wake up you'll notice your piggy bank is much lighter.




    Sneakin around the city.




    What the??

  9. #1434
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    I think that covers everything for the dark mod released up to this point. I know "Thief's Den" and "St. Lucia" exist but I don't believe they are playable in the release version of TDM yet so I'll have to hold off on reviewing those. Whew, all done.

    Recap of The Dark Mod stuff:

    The Dark Mod Review

    Dark Mod Missions:

    The Outpost
    The Chalice Of Kings
    The Crown Of Penitence
    Patently Dangerous

  10. #1435
    Desperately dodgy geezer
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: The Wailing Keep
    Great reviews, Sneaky J! It's great to see some TDM FMs in here.

  11. #1436
    Member
    Registered: May 2003
    Location: Normally I'm in the batcave.
    SneakyJack, dude, YOU'RE MAKING ME LOOK BAD.

    All these reviews in just a week's time, good God man you are a machine! When was the last time I wrote one? October? I wrote two paragraphs of a new review last night and it wiped me out. You sir are not human, but I enjoy you're reviews a whole hell of a lot anyway you evil cyborg you.
    (Also I appreciate the callback to one of my earlier reviews that you made right before starting all the Dark Mod stuff. I'm a hopeless attention whore, thanks for humoring me. )

    I highly agree with just about everything you said about the Dark Mod. I'm still planning on writing up my thoughts on it, I just need to spend an hour or two standing on my head first so all the creativity can rush back into my brain.

  12. #1437
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2008
    Location: in your second eyelids
    Indeed, now you're making me (us.... and them?) drooling all over this shiny new "game".

    On another note, I've counted (could'nt count percisely since I'm a retard or something, plus some reviews are just overviews & stuff) a bit over 300 reviews in this thread. Kinda oool, isn't it?

    Btw, was this the thing you promissed on that 100 thousand view milestone thingy, [IIRC]?

  13. #1438
    Clearinghouse
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Siberia, Russia
    Cool. Excellent reviews, SneakyJack! And very good screenshots as always

  14. #1439
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by Yandros View Post
    Great reviews, Sneaky J! It's great to see some TDM FMs in here.
    Thank You Yandros! I'll be reviewing them as they are released in the future - I'm itching to play more

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mike View Post
    SneakyJack, dude, YOU'RE MAKING ME LOOK BAD.

    All these reviews in just a week's time, good God man you are a machine! When was the last time I wrote one? October? I wrote two paragraphs of a new review last night and it wiped me out. You sir are not human, but I enjoy you're reviews a whole hell of a lot anyway you evil cyborg you.
    (Also I appreciate the callback to one of my earlier reviews that you made right before starting all the Dark Mod stuff. I'm a hopeless attention whore, thanks for humoring me. )

    I highly agree with just about everything you said about the Dark Mod. I'm still planning on writing up my thoughts on it, I just need to spend an hour or two standing on my head first so all the creativity can rush back into my brain.
    I'm glad you enjoy the reviews and I enjoy reading yours - so get that creativity flowing again!

    I really do think everyone should give The Dark Mod a shot after what I've seen and I'd really like to see your thoughts on it as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thor02 View Post
    Indeed, now you're making me (us.... and them?) drooling all over this shiny new "game".

    On another note, I've counted (could'nt count percisely since I'm a retard or something, plus some reviews are just overviews & stuff) a bit over 300 reviews in this thread. Kinda oool, isn't it?

    Btw, was this the thing you promissed on that 100 thousand view milestone thingy, [IIRC]?
    More than 300 already? Awesome! I'm pretty excited by this thread hitting 100k views as well due to all the hard work all the contributors have done in it. I know there are tons of threads that have more than 100k views here but most of those are 'release and hint' threads for missions and not pure content like all of the reviewers and posters have put in here. I'm pretty proud of all that we've done thus far - we've covered hundreds of missions and hopefully we'll cover every mission multiple times eventually! My thanks to Potatoguy, Intruder, Thor02, Quakis, The Mike, Tannar, The Juggler, Jah, Melan, anyone else that has posted a review that I missed and everyone that has read/posted in this thread.

    The Dark Mod mega review thing was part of what I was doing to celebrate hitting 100k soon but there are still a few smaller things I've got on the way.

    Quote Originally Posted by clearing View Post
    Cool. Excellent reviews, SneakyJack! And very good screenshots as always
    Thank you for your support and kind words clearing! Also, thank you for all the work that you do maintaining Darkfate. Its a great site - I just wish there was an english version!

  15. #1440
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2008
    Location: in your second eyelids

    Reviewing "Right Up There In The Mountains"

    Made for Thief II
    Mission: Right Up There In The Moutains
    Author: Troutpack
    Released: 2005

    Description

    I was contacted by a man with an interest in the occult.He's asked me to acquire a certain tome for him. Apparently it's an ancient book that deals with burial rites and things of that nature. The book was discovered at some ancient ruins by an old professor and it is currently in his possession. He has retreated to his cabin in the mountains to study it away from prying eyes.
    It shouldn't be too difficult to sneak in there and slip back out with the book. Then again, that's what I told myself before I had my eye torn out. I'm sure everything will go fine this time though.



    Insight

    This mission was full of creepy, classic horror elements, which were quite scary for me. Actually, this one of the scariest FMs I've played, though you may have a different experience with it. The horror elements were scripted quite beautifully for Thief and together with design it made the experience worthwhile.

    I didn't see anything particulary wrong with architecture. There may have only been a few unimportant oddities I felt about it.

    Even though the mission is atmoshperic and immsersive, I would have liked longer travels in the wild, since, personally, I thing the author did a good to great job at making mountains and wilderness.

    What I loved about this mission was that it had a fairly realistic abandoned house concept. The house wasn't big at all and you didn't have to spend such a long time to get all the keys to some locked doors.

    I'm not sure if you could break the mission, since the events changed rapidly in the middle of the mission. If even I didn't break the mission, though, then probably noone will.


    Conclusion

    Overall this was and interesting, unique and worthwhile experience and by the end there's a good chance you'll want more.



    Just the back of the house. Nothing over-the-top.


    Typical basement.


    A creepy enough place.


    These kinds of little touches are what makes this mission stand out and be atmospheric in my point of view. The moonlight may be overbrightened, but the idea itself counts.


    There are some good bits of humor in this map.


    Classic abandoned-house-in-a-remote-place-from-civilization scene.


    Edit: Well, SJ, I think you've covered more then a half of the FM reviews yourself. Also, a pure content would be all the reviews put into some blog like quakis does. You could also set many standarts and formalities for each mission, but the more I do that, the more tired I'm getting with the over reapeating of things that should rather be done randomly. Oh well, tried to make my new review at least a little different, so here's for hoping you guys like it, hahah.
    Last edited by Thor; 15th Nov 2009 at 15:11.

  16. #1441
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Great review Thor! You may want to consider brightening your screens just a tad to make them more easily visible - I'm using the darkest theme available on the forum and the first few I can't really make out what is going on. Could just be my old CRT monitor though - I should have replaced that when I built my new system

  17. #1442
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2008
    Location: in your second eyelids
    Ah, that's my habbit - leaving screens dark.

    On the other hand, I found some of your and other people's screens too bright. I'm used to thinking, that mine "preserve the beauty".

    Well, I don't really want to redo them, but I'll try to be more understanding to the lot of you instead of myself. Thanks for the heads up.

  18. #1443
    Desperately dodgy geezer
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: The Wailing Keep
    Since you didn't mention it in your review, I thought I would mention that that FM is inspired by the Evil Dead movies.

  19. #1444
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2009
    Location: UK
    Screenshots are seriously tempting me to play some of these missions I haven't yet. Like SJ's 4th Planet review and now Thor's "Right Up There In The Mountains" review. But I still have two unfinish FM's to complete though!

    One of these days I'm going to reinstall Doom3 and check out The Dark Mod, but that might wait until next year perhaps. Got stuff to do, otherwise I'll be too distracted. Hopefully by then a few more FM's will be out.

  20. #1445
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2008
    Location: in your second eyelids
    Oh, thanks Yandros. Though now I feel a little silly. Though I'll be sure to watch that movie.

    Quakis, this mission shouldn't take you long, so if the other ones are long and you need a quick escape from them, go for it.

  21. #1446
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by Thor02 View Post
    Ah, that's my habbit - leaving screens dark.

    On the other hand, I found some of your and other people's screens too bright. I'm used to thinking, that mine "preserve the beauty".

    Well, I don't really want to redo them, but I'll try to be more understanding to the lot of you instead of myself. Thanks for the heads up.
    Its really hard to balance screenshot brightness in these games - they are meant to be nearly pitch black alot of the time but posting screens of pitch blackness makes it very boring to look at - obviously alot of my screens are far brighter than the game actually appears just to try to show things off.

    Its also very hard to balance different forum themes (yes, it makes viewing shots a bit different) and monitors (Im sure images are far darker on my CRT than they are in newer monitors so sometimes I 'overbrighten' by accident) so there is alot of juggling to do.

    Just do the best you can do and hope that folks like them, thats my motto If you can point out any screenshots you specifically mean that are far too bright then it might help me gauge how bright they need to be.

  22. #1447
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2008
    Location: in your second eyelids
    Well, this would be one of the more overbrightened screens, imho.

    I also thought the Eclipsed ones were way too bright (I had obviously played it on twice or trice darker gamma), but now they look alright. I suppose sometimes it just goes to the show, .

    Ah, lok at that. It's exactly midnight where I live. Guess I'm going to sleep. Mondays ftw. :/

  23. #1448
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2009
    Location: UK
    Quote Originally Posted by Thor02 View Post
    Quakis, this mission shouldn't take you long, so if the other ones are long and you need a quick escape from them, go for it.
    Thats interesting to hear, I think I might just do that. I'm probably halfway through 'Eclipsed', but 'The Art of Thievery' will probably take me a while to complete. I finished Rose Cottage a few days ago which wasn't too long either, so a few shorter missions are a nice break from time to time.

  24. #1449
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by Thor02 View Post
    Well, this would be one of the more overbrightened screens, imho.

    I also thought the Eclipsed ones were way too bright (I had obviously played it on twice or trice darker gamma), but now they look alright. I suppose sometimes it just goes to the show, .

    Ah, lok at that. It's exactly midnight where I live. Guess I'm going to sleep. Mondays ftw. :/
    I'll agree with that shot you posted and with some of the Eclipsed ones - the problem I have alot of the time is that when doing the post-screen processing in photoshop I have the mindset of wanting to show more of whats in the scene than to have the person think they are playing the game when they look at the screenshot. Its more of a "hey, look at the amazing architecture in this mission (that you wouldn't see in game with normal gamma settings really because its mostly shrouded in shadows) and now go play the mission to see how amazing it looks with normal settings!"

    That and alot of times some missions "photograph" better than others due to the way they are lit, textures used and overall lighting settings. You can have a mission like Pirates Ahoy! that comes out wonderful in every screenshot and then play the next mission where every shot comes out terrible. There are some reviews I've done that never got posted because of how awful the screenshots came out and no amount of photoshop-trickery could make them viewable or look good. I think at least a dozen have gotten axed from posting for that very reason, as I'm pretty hard on myself about what I post and what I don't.

    Thanks for the input

  25. #1450
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2008
    Location: in your second eyelids
    Wow, that's harsh.

    Even if you wouldn't accept the photoshopping of it, you still could have posted the text review.

    May I ask you of what missions you couldn't make out proper screens? Just curious. :P

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