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Thread: Iron and Titanium Man rules discussion

  1. #1
    Registered: Oct 2013

    Iron and Titanium Man rules discussion

    This thread is to discuss the official rules of Iron Man and Titanium Man, which can be found here.

    Over the past year or so I have spent a large amount of time playing both challenges, and this has led me to believe that some clarifications and modifications may be needed. There are, IMO, some seemingly arbitrary and unnecessary restrictions on the player, which I don't think have anything to do with the spirit of the challenges. I'll talk about what I consider the three most important points here.

    But first let me say, I have spent a large amount of time playing these because they are great, and I am grateful to their originator, who I believe was Squid.

    So here goes. I'll list the three proposed changes then give arguments why further on.

    The first rule of both IM and TM is:
    1) All objectives must be completed.
    I propose the rule be clarified as:
    1) All given, completable objectives must be completed.
    The second rule of both IM and TM has:
    2) No saves are allowed during the middle of a mission.
    I propose this be changed to:
    2) No loading from mid-mission saves is allowed.
    TM's rule 5 begins:
    5) If you are going to stop playing for a significant period of time, say, an hour or more, you may save the game and when you return to it, you may restart from that save.
    I propose we drop the time limit for breaks, and just have:
    If you need to take a break you may save the game and pick up where you left off when you return.
    Re the first change. The original rule needs clarifying for if you take it 100% literally some missions cannot be Iron Manned (and in turn their host game cannot be Titanium Manned) as they contain objectives that are impossible to complete (for e.g. "Loot the Hammer Temple for at least X" in Assassins).

    The next obvious interpretation is "All completable objectives must be completed." But then does that include secret or bonus objectives? I think it is unfair to have a situation where a player erroneously believes themselves to have Iron Manned a mission when unknown to themselves they never found a hidden objective. Hence the "given" and "completable" qualifiers.

    Re the second change. No saving is an unnecessary restriction as it is the later re-loading of a save to give yourself a mid-mission do-over that would violate the spirit of these challenges, not the simple act of saving itself. In fact, both IM and TM allow you to save, take a break, then later resume from that save. It is not the saving that is the issue, but how saves are used.

    This restriction has two consequences that I'll mention. Most importantly Thief 2014 is impossible to IM or TM as it creates auto-saves. But why should that be? As long as the player does not use them what do they matter.

    Also when Iron Manning a mission with a difficult section a long way into the level, I would sometimes take a break partially because doing so would allow me to create a save somewhere before the difficult bit. Then if when I later returned I got past that section great, but if not and I died I would have a handy save to practise from before restarting the IM attempt from the beginning.But why couldn't I just create a save and keep playing? The IM unbusted for as long as this save was never used?

    Re the third change. The time limit is another arbitrary restriction IMO. I kept a link to the saves folder on my desktop and if I found I was ready to start playing again but was unsure if my break had been an hour, I would check the time of the latest save and if say it was made at 14:44 and it was now 15:38, I would wait the extra minutes just so that the break would be more than an hour.

    But what real world difference is made whether a player takes a 60 minute break, a 54 minute break, or any other length break? Iron Man does not care how long you wish to quit for, so why should Titanium Man.
    Last edited by Cigam; 23rd Dec 2017 at 18:44.

  2. #2
    Registered: May 2004
    I've been playing games in iron man mode for a while now and my only rule is that I keep only one save and delete that save when I die. Keeps things simple. That way I don't have to worry about crashes or downtime or anything like that.

  3. #3
    Registered: Oct 2013
    That sounds like the version of Iron Manning that Theif 2014 uses. At first I thought it odd that a Thief game would have a challenge called "Iron Man" which is quite different in spirit than the classic IM created for the Thief games by the community. But then of course as pointed out in the OP, Thief 2014 may not be possible to IM under the classic rules, due to the auto-saving.

    Oh well, it seems there is little will or interest in varying the classic rules, which is fair enough as they are long established. Guess Thief 2014 will just have to remain unIron Mannable and unTitanium Mannable.

    Or maybe I'll just create my own vr 2 of these rule-sets, which will remove the needless restriction on saving and replace it with a more appropriate restriction on loading, as discussed earlier. I can then IMv2 and TMv2 Thief 2014 to my heart's content. Or attempt to anyway
    Last edited by Cigam; 27th Dec 2017 at 04:21.

  4. #4
    Registered: May 2004
    I used it before any of the Thief games came out with games like X-COM. And I used it on the first two Thief games. I don't know what form of iron man the reboot uses, but it's not really a game that's fun to play in this mode anyway. A game needs to either be very replayable or fair enough so that you don't have to keep restarting the game. Of course, this is somewhat rare for games that aren't designed around permadeath.

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