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Thread: Thief: TIS - Volume One: Cop In The Shadows - Playing Feb 10th - Feb 24th

  1. #51
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: East Tennessee
    My Playstyle

    Difficulty: Expert
    Ghost: Yes, on the way in. No, on the way out (just tired, and ready to get it done.)
    Total Time: 3 hours 25 min. 13 sec.
    Loot Total: 2619 out of 2729
    Pockets Picked: 4 out of 6 (Did anyone get more than this?)
    Knock Outs: 14

    General Mission Thoughts:
    This mission was "okay", very easy to ghost if one wanted to. I liked the necessity of having to take the "Thieves Highway" to check out certain areas. In reading the original mission thread I noticed that until the author revised this mission, there was no compass. I can't imagine trying to navigate that map without one. On the subject of the map, it was very helpful. The city was laid out well, and the estate was designed fairly well.

    Standout Mission Traits:
    What I call the "key puzzle"; you find one while watching the attack on Lord Archer, then you've got to find what the heck it opens; the safe?...nope, the door to where the attack took place?...nada. Then after backtracking awhile, you find out why jotting down some notes along the way might be worthwhile; I totally forgot about that little lock box. That was planned out very nicely by the mission author.

    Mission Oddities:
    A few:
    Doors dissappearing, not a big deal unless there is a patrolling guard on the other side.
    Proportions of some objects/structures: The gas mine looked to be the size of a sunburst device, the bar that many have mentioned, the toilets in the estate would have required stepladders for Garrett to use them. It's interesting to note that all of these disproportionate objects seem to be contained in the estate, I don't seem to recall any in other parts of the map.
    The modern machines in the warehouse: I can overlook the robots, but the other devices just don't fit.

    Replay Value:
    Nope, but there's not too many that I ever play more than once anyway.

    Personal Mission Accomplishments:
    This is one of the few missions that I was able to accomplish all objectives with no forum assistance.

  2. #52
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Great contributions uncadonego and oneof4 - thank you for your well written replies.

    I'm glad to see folks are looking at a rather plain mission and seeing both the good and the bad rather than just writing it off - I'd call this one more of a classic thief 2 experience like it has been mentioned in the contributions of others. Old school style is sometimes just what the doctor ordered.

  3. #53
    NewDark 64³ Contest Winner
    Registered: Jul 2005
    Location: Locked Inside Dromed
    Quote Originally Posted by oneof4 View Post

    This mission was "okay", very easy to ghost if one wanted to. I liked the necessity of having to take the "Thieves Highway" to check out certain areas. In reading the original mission thread I noticed that until the author revised this mission, there was no compass. I can't imagine trying to navigate that map without one. On the subject of the map, it was very helpful. The city was laid out well, and the estate was designed fairly well.
    Honestly, I often never see the need for the compass. I keep wishing there would be a level that would make it almost a necessity, but maybe that kind of level would be too frustrating. I couldn't even read the map in this one, so I was just went without.

    Something I've never seen before was the blackjack that you had to pilfer from the dude in the inn.
    I think from the readible, that Garrett had a girlfriend in the mission, but I'm not sure who it was reffering to, maybe the woman guard in the room next to the start. If so, I knocked her out first thing after getting the blackjack just because she was there.

    Things I feel didn't work, was that the author just kind of threw in everything. There were robots, an estate area, that strange pagan area with the white tentacle things that reminded me of the end of Half Life. They were all there, but they had no connection. I believe that if there were more readibles, just more 'day in the life' type things happening in the level it could kick it up to another level. Perhaps, the warehouse area could be connected to the estate part.

    If there were side quests that could just add more interest and replay value it would flesh it out better. The city was exceptionally well done, just emptyish. The estate was a huge place, that seemed like that just for effect and had no bearing on the story. I think it would be cool if there was just more 'stuff' to the level. Like if the author perhaps explained that the estate was so large because it had been built by giants, and maybe there was a hidden treaasure that the giants had put into the place and that nobody could ever find, except of course Garrett himself.

  4. #54
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Very interesting post Xorak! Also, thank you for bringing this idea into the light and allowing me to run with it. People seem to be enjoying it One great point you made about the level is that it just needed more "stuff" to feel like it had more life breathed into it. One thing I always wonder with fm's that seem either lifeless, empty or stripped down are the reasoning for it.

    I know many more classic styled fan missions (In my opinion the original thief 2 missions felt a bit lifeless compared to some of the better fan missions released afterwards) seem to have this feeling - is it because the author didn't have the time to fully flesh it out, decorate it and populate it? Is it due to dromed limitations because of the overall size of the mission? Is it due to the available dromed knowledge at the time? Lots of possibilities.

    One thing that would be great is hearing from the original author years and what they would have done the same or differently with missions they've released in the past - but I doubt with some of the older missions this will happen - it seems many members have moved on from Thief altogether.

  5. #55
    NewDark 64³ Contest Winner
    Registered: Jul 2005
    Location: Locked Inside Dromed
    Yea, I agree that the original thief missions (with some exceptions) weren't the best. I think they were kind of hedging their bets, I feel they definitely were in the first one. Like they were afraid people didn't want the full, difficult experience of sneaking around so they added more regular stuff for those people who wanted to kill things instead.
    I don't know if anyone's ever played the Commandos games, but I wish sometimes thief was more like that where you had to plan exact routes around places, and time things to the second to get through successfully. I love the idea of being forced to ghost through a hall of guards, that you'd have to time just right to run through them all -- and then of course you have to come back.

    I get the feeling that in this level, the author let the hugeness of the mission speak for itself so to speak. Making a map that large must have taken quite a while and that part of it is very impressive. I think though that the limitations of the engine weren't neared. As other people have remarked, the city wasn't 'real'. Like for instance the placing of keys and the reason for putting Garrett's buddy where he was.

  6. #56
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2003
    Location: Texas
    It wasn't terrible - but having played most, if not all of the available FMs, I could see what makes the great ones great and the rest the rest. In this case, there seemed to be alot of odd architecture, such as parts of the city only being accessible by going through someones house - the odd house that had a hole in the ceiling leading to a living room with no other entrance or exits. That kind of stuff.

    Also, the story in light of the Thief universe is a little ridiculous - that Garrett would chose to join the ranks of the police, and that they would let him without a thorough background check.

    However, there was one particularly well-done moment - that of seeing the murder of the guy through the window, and then having to get the key off the killer's belt when he came out of the room. That was a nice touch in an otherwise average mission.

    There were also several points where you had to climb out windows and along ledges and rooftops - always a plus in an FM, and not used nearly as often as I'd like.

    I also liked climbing OVER the locked room in the warehouse to find the body. Again, an unconventional approach not often used.

    As always, I point out that I am impressed by anyone who can take the time to put together a workable mission - so I'm not bashing the author here. I'm simply suggesting things he could work on in the future to perfect his work. I hope I'm being constructive.

  7. #57
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2003
    Location: ...nothing but flames...
    Difficulty: Expert
    Style: I have a style?
    Total Time: 2 hours. 4 min, 23 sec.
    Loot Total: 2679 out of 2729
    Pockets Picked: 4 out of 6
    Knock Outs: 28 (Locked Ramirez in the pool room with the corpse)

    This is really a great idea!
    I have not played a lot of FMs lately (been a little busy)

    I thought a lot about Thief I during this mission, with the severe shadows and empty streets.

    The biggest annoyance (for me) was the looseness of the sound propagation. It's hard to be sneaky when you can hear all of the mansion - and they can hear you.

    The Ramirez scripting was well done, but overall it seemed a bit sterile - like a home that's been overly tidied-up before guests arrive.

    Still, a new (for me) FM after years of Dromed was fun.

  8. #58
    NewDark 64³ Contest Winner
    Registered: Jul 2005
    Location: Locked Inside Dromed
    Quote Originally Posted by Balboa View Post
    The biggest annoyance (for me) was the looseness of the sound propagation. It's hard to be sneaky when you can hear all of the mansion - and they can hear you.
    Oh yea, I forgot about that. How you could hear guys sleeping from a long way off. You knew they were somewhere, just couldn't tell where.

    I think it did the same with Benny (he sure gets around doesn't he,) in the street part of the mansion. I was also quite surprised with the scripted part, almost didn't expect it towards the end.

    Don't want to get off topic here Balboa, but I enjoyed your new mission; managed to find all the loot too. That's always a bonus. I was thinking a cool thing would be to have taken that heavy statue-head and used it to break the glass on the roof to progress further in the mission. I even brought it up there just in case the mission called for it.

    But, back to the mission, I also liked the points that taffedinthehead made, about different approaches to the level. I thought too that climbing onto the top of the partitions was clever. About climbing through the roofs and such, I though it would have been better if it wasn't part of the linear path to complete the mission, and I guess forced in a way. Like if there were two or three different ways to go across the roofs.

  9. #59
    Master Builder 2018
    Registered: Jul 2008
    Difficulty: Expert
    Ghost: Yes
    Total Time: 2 hrs 34 min
    Loot Total: 2489 out of 2729
    Pockets Picked: 4 out of 6
    Knock Outs:0
    Damage dealt: 0 Damage taken: 4 (rope arrow) Healing taken: 0

    General Mission Thoughts:
    All in all an excellent way to spend a couple of hours I thought and I really enjoyed it. Overall it was a nice blend of TDP and TMA. It had a definite TDP feel to it at times contributed to by the choices in sound, textures and AI skins. The gameplay was engaging and held my interest thoughout, though the ending was a bit anticlimactic. I was expecting something more rewarding after all that work to find the estate and infiltrate it. I never saw any kind of "boss battle" situation which SneakyJack mentioned earlier in this thread. I just snuck up and lifted the key off of Ramirez (at least I assume that was Ramirez, maybe it was Archer or maybe just a thug). The story could have been more developed and a few more readables or additions to existing readables would have helped. But then, the entire premise was a bit silly. None of that detracted from the moment to moment gameplay though which was fun.

    Standout Mission Traits:
    The general TDP feel of the thing. The twised city streets with some nooks and crannies to explore. Having to use your brain (and the map) to find a way to proceed. Just the kind of stuff I particularly like. The textures in the streets were not up to todays standards perhaps but they gave the city a seedy kind of feel that I felt went very well with the mission and I felt right at home there. The textures, architecture and layout of the estate were exceedingly well done.

    Mission Oddities/Problems:
    Oversized objects, objects with badly adjusted physics, anachronistic objects (e.g. computers) and less than ideal room brushing. And the weird magical thingy in the warehouse area. I kept expecting to see the Trickster show up. What was that about?

    Disappointments:
    Mainly that there wasn't more thieves' highway work and not enough nooks and crannies. Access to a few more buildings would have been enjoyable, although in all fairness, I never did find a way to open one metal door at street level. And as I mentioned already, the story needed a bit of beefing up (I would have liked to find out what that thing in the warehouse was for one thing) and the ending was a bit of a letdown.

    Replay Value:
    Probably won't replay it. There are much better missions out there that will satisfy my cravings for big city maps and exploring that have a much bigger payoff in the end and are much more challenging along the way.

    Personal Mission Accomplishments:
    Well, I ghosted it but it wasn't terribly difficult, just tedious at times.
    Last edited by Tannar; 18th Feb 2009 at 03:49. Reason: spelling/clarification

  10. #60
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2009
    Location: Situation's changed, Tom.
    I'm stuck! (again) I finished the estate part and got back to the warehouse entrance, but I don't know how to get in. I saw a window near the gate and tried to get in, but failed. I found a box in the "second city part area", on top of a big box. I took the box and got in, clicked some button, tried to get out of the window and failed again, even with the box. Can someone tell me where to get a second box?

  11. #61
    Master Builder 2018
    Registered: Jul 2008
    Instead of going in that room just shoot the button from outside with an arrow.

    And let's ask and answer any other questions about this mission in this thread.

  12. #62
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2009
    Location: Situation's changed, Tom.
    I just feel so stupid. Same trick in THC, in Soulforge and still forgetting the arrow trick.

  13. #63
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    As Tannar mentioned, the original post in the thread contains the hint and help thread for the mission - this thread is only for discussion and playthrough stats

    My thanks to Taffedinthehead, Balboa, Xorak and Tannar for your recent contributions to this thread - all well written and a joy to read.

    I think Tannar is one of the most impressively skilled and thorough thief players I've seen on these forums I won't even get into your beta test reports - those things are amazing.

  14. #64
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2007
    Location: Germany
    I agree with that SneakyJack. Tannar is a very patient and reliable tester. I hope he will surprise us with his first FM someday ... maybe not that far in the future

  15. #65
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2009
    Location: Situation's changed, Tom.
    Well, after getting into the warehouse, it was a piece of cake to finish the game.

    Difficulty: Normal
    Style: Just getting everyone KO Tempted to kill Ramirez, but I was in a good mood. Lucky Ramirez.
    Total Time: 1 hrs 23 min
    Loot Total: 2129 out of 2729
    Pockets Picked: 3 out of 6
    Knock Outs:28

    It was a.... weird level. Sme things were good, some bad. Most of the stuff is said already: sound, height of the bar, walking too much for 1 item of loot...

    I didn't like the beginning. First of all, Garrett a cop? If you know him a little, you won't exspect that to happen. The city streets were a bit boring, and not alive enough. When I was stuck, and decided to finally look on my map, it looked like a tutorial! Thére is a ladder, you have to walk the roof edges like thát, thére is a key for the Basso area, etcetera.

    I did like some small things in the mission like:
    A naked Servant, the return of Ramirez, the president in the chest.


    In total I think this mission should be a DromEd tryout, not a real mission. The story was rubbish, but the architecture was not bad. If the story was better I might replay this mission. But now...no.

  16. #66
    Master Builder 2018
    Registered: Jul 2008
    @SneakyJack - Thanks for the kind words. There are lots of very skilled and talented folk here, yourself included! That's one of the many things that makes this such a wonderful place.

    @intruder - Thanks to you too intruder, it is always a great pleasure to test (and play) your missions! As for the FM, well, you know the score there.

  17. #67
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2008
    Location: in your second eyelids
    How i played:

    Difficulty: Expert
    Style: Ghosted
    Total Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes, 59 seconds
    Loot Total: 2519 out of 2729
    Total damage dealt: 0
    Total damage received: 0
    Secrets found: 0 out of 0

    General Mission Thoughts:
    I sort of disliked, how linear this mission was and how if you missed something of it, you're stuck. I got stuck searching for the warehouse for a while. The mission needed some better ambient music i think and wtf was with the robot part? That was very strange heheh.
    Anyway the mission was still fun to play despite how bored mood i'm in today.
    It wasn't too frustrating to ghost either. It would be too easy not to ghost it. Also i didn't make any 2nd level alarms while ghosting (guards become suspicious, they start searching for you).

    Replay Value: Probably not on this one, there indeed are lots of better fan missions out there.

    Personal Mission Accomplishments: Ghosted it, no forum assistance, another fan mission beaten! *adds to the list*

    That's my 2 cents on the mission.

  18. #68
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Great work PotatoGuy and Thor02. And I have to agree to disagree with you a bit in what you said about Garrett being a cop PotatoGuy - I think if he had the right motivation (setting up to get close to a target that had wronged him, a major loot score or being forced into the situation by the keepers somehow) Garrett would have temporarily thrown on the uniform but only if given the proper motivation

    It is against character for him though - but after seeing the amount of things that the keepers have been able to get him into against his will anything is probably possible!

    Thank you for your contributions!

  19. #69
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2008
    Location: in your second eyelids
    Heheh. Thanks! just followed some examples more or less.

    Looking foreward to the next map.

  20. #70
    Moderator
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: Wales
    I did think I had a chance of playing this after all, SneakyJack, but I've spent 3 days this week transferring stuff to a new computer, and then another one when that didn't work properly and it's a real b****r configuring everything for Thief when you don't know what you're doing. And downloading and reinstalling things and trying to remember what you did last time around.

    Catch you next time though. As a matter of interest, what are you going to do with the thread when time is up? Get it closed?

  21. #71
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2009
    Location: Situation's changed, Tom.
    And I have to agree to disagree with you a bit in what you said about Garrett being a cop PotatoGuy - I think if he had the right motivation (setting up to get close to a target that had wronged him, a major loot score or being forced into the situation by the keepers somehow) Garrett would have temporarily thrown on the uniform but only if given the proper motivation
    Yes, I thought about that. I think Garrett would join the bluecoats when he thinks he can do some good things. (Even when he is a thief, sometimes he really does good things. Like saving the world for errr.... 30 times?) On the other hand, Garrett likes to be his own boss and decide on his own, and when you are a bluecoat, it's not that easy.

  22. #72
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2008
    Location: in your second eyelids
    Oh c'mon, he would just HATE being the one standing in the lightened are waiting to be blackjacked. That is pretty impossible. No way that would happen. It's a nice idea still. Cookie to the author.

  23. #73
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2009
    Location: Situation's changed, Tom.
    With his thieving experience, Garrett as cop would hear a thief from a mile away

  24. #74
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by PotatoGuy View Post
    Yes, I thought about that. I think Garrett would join the bluecoats when he thinks he can do some good things. (Even when he is a thief, sometimes he really does good things. Like saving the world for errr.... 30 times?) On the other hand, Garrett likes to be his own boss and decide on his own, and when you are a bluecoat, it's not that easy.
    I don't know about that at all

    I think Garrett is the anti-hero type that only saves the world in order to save his own skin - so something like that might be stretching it.

  25. #75
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2008
    Location: in your second eyelids
    Hero is a cheap thing anyway. Those series named "Heroes" are cheap in their idea. Wee, everyone wants to be special there, wee! I mean it's just funny. Hero is more like a thing for kids.
    So Garrett being that guy, that saved everyone "by the way", is the best idea ever, because that way it's not too far in fantasy (batman, superman, ...?), but realistic (and not overly realistic, which i don't like so much) and... gotta love the carelessness/not-all-shining skin he shows every time he does it.

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