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Thread: name one good/bad element to a fan mission

  1. #1
    Registered: May 2008
    Location: Southern,California

    name one good/bad element to a fan mission

    i liked that gem of oldlof? where if you threw it it would give a rainbow effect and show hidden walls only seen it in that one set of missions from way back

    i hate playing a mission where i start out poisoned and have to find a cure before you die,basicly go the wrong way you have to reload,i don't find that fun in anyway,i can think of 2 missions that do it

    i figure name one of each you like and dislike,this way people can get a simple idea of what is liked and not liked in a fan mission

  2. #2
    Registered: Nov 2010
    Location: Beyond boundaries of Magia
    I like that part of the FM (you guess), where you have to cook onion soup. Basically, a part of "life simulator", which makes gameplay more interesting to me.

    I dislike ghost required (stealth missions without importance of staying ghost are fine) missions, where even on Normal you have to do the job completely undetected, without harming and blackjacking anyone, else -- Mission Failed.
    Last edited by Zoro; 23rd Oct 2017 at 20:48.

  3. #3
    Registered: May 2017
    Location: USA
    I like when missions reward me for being creative (e.g., loot or Easter eggs in hard to reach places).

    I don't like when progress depends on finding a item (e.g., key, switch, tool, etc...) that is hidden in a non-intuitive place without any clever hints.

  4. #4
    Registered: Dec 2013
    Location: Somewhere in a city of iron
    Nice, I wanted to start a topic like that for months!

    I don't often play fan missions but I love when they have new gameplay elements, like that potion that turned you into a rat in order to access new areas. In fact, I like new stuff in general (especially sounds and creatures)

    On the other hand, I hate it when they force you to solve a puzzle in order to progress. I think puzzles should be optional (I'll admit it, I'm not the brightest person around) and be used to unlock alternative paths or bonuses. That's just my unpopular opinion though

  5. #5
    Registered: Jun 2009
    Location: Argentina
    I love FMs that have creative custom assets such as new weapons, enemies, etc.

    I hate the kind of FMs that have deviously hidden switches/keys/important items with no clues on their whereabouts that you NEED to find in order to progress. In my opinion, it's a cheap way of making someone stay for long in a mission.

  6. #6
    Registered: May 2006
    Location: Russia
    I love the story development while you progress. No matter if it is a single FM or a campaign.
    I hate impossible acrobatic tricks leading to endless quick load cycle.
    Oops.. only one you've said?!

  7. #7
    Registered: Oct 2012
    Location: UK
    I love it when it seems like a straightforward "get x" kind of mission, then "something" happens and either all hell breaks loose or the story takes a major new turn.
    I hate endless lock picking for no damn reason (so if it's a door on a patrol route, and it's all about timing - will I get caught? - that's OK, but tons of chests/doors etc. that take forever to open.... no no no no no).

  8. #8
    Registered: Jan 2006
    I like missions that let you explore rooftops and open up alternate routes by climbing and jumping between buildings.

    Same as Bosh, I also think tedious and drawn out lockpicking is the worst and I'd like to add that I find it particularly irritating when the sequence of the two lockpicks is always the same for each lock in the whole mission. That isn't happening very often though.

  9. #9
    Registered: Aug 2012
    Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
    I like missions where there's tons to explore and it's very non-linear.

    I don't like missions that get straight to the point and only lead you to your main goal. There have been missions that pulled it off quite well but most don't do it well.

  10. #10
    Registered: Jul 2005
    Location: Tasmania
    Too many missions depend entirely on finding a lot of hidden things. It's quite strange that some people assume an endless trudge to find this and that will be entertaining, given that in real life, the most irritating chore we face is looking for our misplaced keys or glasses or whatever, and trudging from room to room looking in the same places again & again etc.

    Some searching for keys and other items is OK as long as it's kept within bearable limits and there are sensible intuitive clues. The worst offenders tend to be missions where you don't even have your lockpicks and have to search for them in a vast map full of locked items.

    There are many other plot devices that could be used - including many that have never been used - that can keep a story unfolding much more interestingly than just having to look for this and that.

    I challenge FM creators to use their imaginations and try to avoid diluting the drama by sending players off in drab searches.

  11. #11
    Registered: May 2008
    Location: Southern,California
    also i updated my profile pic,as the gems of sornoth have more meaning then we know

  12. #12
    Registered: Mar 2007
    Location: Krull Island, in the pub
    I really don't like missions where there are literally no ambient sounds besides AI and torches - but I must admit that this "illness" was more often in the old days on fan missions, than it is now.

    I really like, when there is a unique atmosphere, which consists of music, well chosen textures, furniture and vegetation, and weather. This in itself can make a mission bad or good in my opinion. For example, there is Turn of The Tide, which can be considered as a not-that-professional piece, but due to the well choesen AI, the foggy-rainy weather, and the seaside town setting, many "faults" are balanced.

  13. #13
    Registered: Feb 2009
    Location: some ancient Cycladian island
    well, I like a lot secrets and hidden areas in a map and I prefer it when they are part of the story so you are aware of their existence through some readable or dialog and I don't like so much Mechanists because they are too loud in every aspect the only sect I gladly kill and destroy their creations just to make them shut up

  14. #14
    Registered: May 2017
    Location: USA
    Good: When the existence of a puzzle is made apparent well before its solution (or even its precise nature). Adds to the mystery, imo Example would be, finding an unusual item that goes into your inventory ("Hm, what could this be for?").

    Bad: excessive use of scripting in unintuitive ways. e.g., mandatory items that are FrobInert until you do something, but there's no obvious reason to expect that what you've done would have any such an effect. This is especially problematic if the item in question isn't a standard frobbable.

  15. #15
    Registered: Oct 2009
    Location: Pawtucket,Rhode Island
    I can't think of a specific mission but I do have something I love and something I wouldn't say hate more like a gripe.

    Love:The Architecture,texture work and world building especially in Skacky's Mission is just the best,there a some others to but its been awhile since I played a fast majority of the Thief 1 and Golds FM's and I am no where near being complete going through Thief 2's.

    Gripe:Marble\Tile Abuse while use of these surface is in the game and perfectly legitimate I feel there needs to be a balance.Just enough leads to a good challenge where as too much can slow things to much and hurt the missions pacing.People tend not to think too much about pacing in games because you don't think about it when its good but when its bad it can really hurt ones experience or enjoyment.But thankfully from what I have played it was mostly only a problem early on or among new authors.

    But even then I still wouldn't considered enough to ruin a mission especially when the rest of it is really good,not to mention that FM's are unpaid labors of love.Not to mention that we have been spoiled with some god tier missions that even better than the OM's or stuff a lot of developers could produce.

  16. #16
    Registered: Oct 2004
    Location: Ireland/Poland
    Good: interesting storytelling through books, cut-scenes and conversations.

    Bad: throwing in zombies/undead to every mission. Literally - every mission I play recently has zombies. And while some of them kind of need to have them, due to the story, in most cases it's just a lazy and zero-creative way of "let's make this place more challenging/scary/thief-y etc...". People get very creative with architecture, models, textures and new AI, but not when it comes to zombies - same sounds, same movements, same behaviours over and over again. It's like adding boobs to a commercial - it will always sell.

  17. #17
    Registered: Jun 2010
    Location: A Former Forest
    I mostly agree with all these comments/opinions. It's a topic as old as the first FMs.

    I like well placed keys. They can be remote to the site if it makes sense, such as on a person, or a key to a bank safe deposit box hidden in a house. Puzzles are fun for me, as well as their cousin... having to build or repair something. I'm into adventure games and Thief can fit that bill pretty well.

    I don't like key hunts much though. I don't like locked doors that when unlocked lead to nothing but a room with no loot or clues. Time limits are no fun for me either. And Zontik's dislike for acrobatics (the start of King's Story?) I don't like having to be Indiana Jones or Tomb Raider. I'm a thief, not some parkour expert

  18. #18
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: Sheffield, UK
    I love missions where
    • You get about halfway through and the clues suddenly gel and the story comes into focus and you think "ahhh that's why this happens, this all makes sense now".
    • You get about halfway through & realise this isn't the mission you started anymore, this is no longer routine, this has gotten interesting.
    • There are alternative paths for the objective and the author has thought about all of them
    • I can sit somewhere up high & just watch the AI patrol around
    • The author is a devious so and so and lets you see the objective & really makes you think about how the taff you get to it
    • Where I can look down and get vertigo and sweaty palms.
    • Where if I'm careless, don't pay attention, fail to observe or rush unnecessarily, I die.

    I hate missions
    • With gotcha traps, traps that you can't avoid & have no way of knowing they're there or disarming.
    • With short well lit corridors in front of pickable doors that you have to sit in front of to pick, while you just know there's an armed, alerted and usually hyper fast AI on the other side of it staring right at you when the door opens.
    • That force me to fight because that's the way the author likes to play.
    • Where the AI have been sped up & given hyper sensitive senses so unless you are precisely behind them to within 1 degree of arc, raising the blackjack results in the AI turning, arming & hitting you several times, usually killing you before the blackjack starts the down swing.
    • Where the author is actively trying to kill you rather than letting you're own inattention or lack of observation do it.
    • Where when you find a place of concealment & take out an AI from it, the other AI home in on that location despite there being no clue that that's where you are.
    • Where there's only one way through, usually through lots of heavily armed AI, so it's either run without knowing or being able to see where your going or fight & usually die

  19. #19
    Registered: May 2017
    Location: USA
    Quote Originally Posted by Esme View Post
    • Where when you find a place of concealment & take out an AI from it, the other AI home in on that location despite there being no clue that that's where you are.
    I've noticed this before, too. Is this something the FM author chooses? Or is it just a quirk of the engine?

  20. #20
    Registered: May 2005
    Location: Full on Kevel's mom
    Quote Originally Posted by trefoilknot View Post
    I've noticed this before, too. Is this something the FM author chooses? Or is it just a quirk of the engine?
    Pretty sure that's an engine quirk. Also, it seems to be a bit random as sometimes it doesn't happen.

  21. #21
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Dragonsreach
    FM authors don't choose that as far as I know.

  22. #22
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: ┴W 'ɐlnossᴉW
    That might be from "Unknown Treasure". But that only happens if you did something that you shouldn't have done. (ex: killing or leaving bodies in exposed areas for AIs to find.)

  23. #23
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: Sheffield, UK
    Quote Originally Posted by Yandros View Post
    FM authors don't choose that as far as I know.
    I've had it in at least one mission, for example I had a well lit area to cross with an AI sightline on it, there didn't appear to be a way of creating shadows, I had a good scout round for an alternative route & didn't find one, I may have missed it in which case kudos for hiding it well, but I decided to take out the AI to make it a little simpler, not my preferred way but needs must.

    I found a place of concealment, lets call it A, with a difficultish shot at the AI I needed to take out, verified I wasn't visible by sitting there with weapons drawn as AI patrols went on obliviously, took out the AI & was promptly killed by another.

    I reloaded, took some time & created a second place of concealment, call it B, not as good as the first one, but good enough, the shot was a lot harder but I eventually made it after several reloads and then I watched an AI barrel up to my original place of concealment at A & start searching, there was nothing to give me away at A because I wasn't there, it wasn't on a patrol route or I wouldn't have chosen it, but the AI knew to go there.

    I reloaded again & just ran through the well lit bit, trying to keep to the slightest shadow & timing it while the AI was looking somewhere else, still triggered the AI but I eventually lost it.

    So it looked like taking out one AI didn't give away my position but the author knew where I was likely to be & sent an AI to that place.

    I don't know if that's what actually happened or if it was a result of the AI being boosted somehow, but this is Thief, you're supposed to be able to hide in the shadows and take out the odd AI if you need to, if an AI is aware of a location that is likely to contain a player then it should get patrolled now and then.

    The mission itself was otherwise superb, technically brilliant, highly imaginative and I am not going to criticise the author for preferring a different playstyle to me, it's my personal preference.

  24. #24
    Registered: Jan 2006
    Location: On the tip of your tongue.
    Sounds like just the AI pathfinding algorithms being a bit overly predictable, probably more or less noticeable depending on the layout of the area.
    AI search parameters are mostly out of a mission author's hands - certainly in terms of where they search. You could script an AI to go to a particular place based on alert level or similar, but it probably wouldn't look natural.

  25. #25
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: Sheffield, UK
    If it was pathfinding then lacking any other giveaway I would expect an AI to go to where the body or disturbance was not to the place the player is most likely to be.

    The second time the AI went to the place I reckoned was best for the shot, not to where I actually was, so I doubt it was me giving my position away and it was a long way from the AI that was taken out, I couldn't get close.

    And if I missed a way of getting close then even more kudos for hiding that.

    Again it's just a personal preference, I don't like this particular mechanic, other people may love it.

    Anyway I've said my bit.

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