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Thread: What worst missions do we have?

  1. #26
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Dromed Detention Room
    Quote Originally Posted by R Soul View Post
    I agree with this. People struggle with criticism when they think it's criticism of them rather than the thing they did..
    Or something you DIDN't do. That first page referenced as "real, genuine FM discussions" has some troll nitpicking about Thieves' Highway with stuff that is trivial or downright untrue.
    The guy touts himself as an expert player, but bitches that to get into a wall grate you may have to lean forward sometimes. Who cares? He also whines about castle turrets and how not walking them fast enough, you can't walk smoothly across the tops. No effing kidding. Seriously? if you walk slowly across two foot sections with two foot gaps that are two feet deep, you will drop into the gap? Again, who cares? What else would an "expert player" think was going to happen?
    Then he bitches about marble floors. Okay, first off, that's the stinking TRAINING lesson from T1 20 years ago. That's what the developers trained you to expect. Then he bitches there were only two moss arrows to deal with it. That's a load of crap. There were two moss arrows in your closet at the beginning of the mission. You are supposed to be rewarded for exploration. There are 10 moss arrows in the game. And what about the note on your table at the starting point telling you where to go to find a bunch of moss arrows warning you that you would need them considering the place you were going to rob? Okay, so not helpful...just an idiot.
    In game if you look around you find 10 moss arrows, 3 gas arrows, 5 rope arrows, a fire arrow, 14 water arrows, and a gas mine. Also other things like flashbombs and stuff, but that can't be tallied because there's a damn factory where you can make your choice of explosive devices, scouting orbs, flashmines, flashbombs, etc, so that number of equipment is unknown.
    There's a difference between offering constructive criticism and criticizing unnecessarily, in addition to making statements about a mission that are actually downright false.
    Mr. expert player bitches about having to lean forward, an in-game preset keybind for some reason. Maybe if he leaned forward and looked into some places he might find the equipment he says for a fact isn't there.
    All in all though, yeah, totally accurate description. Not enough equipment to deal with the mission. Even the guy's avatar is a angry grimace. There may be some good critical discussions of FM's on that site, but the example given was a troll.

  2. #27
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2007
    Location: Sweden
    I agree that its a lot of crap on that forum. I'm sure that it is some good stuff too. I think its nice to get positive negative criticism, i'm sure you get what i mean. But one guy there, wrote a little about my Mortuos Liber. That the first mission was so boring:
    "It was at this point that I realized that no one in the FM cares, the author doesn't seem to care, so why should I care? I just quit then and there."
    He just gave up there. I think you should play the whole thing before give criticism. I know i'm not the best FM maker here. I have my own style, i hope someone likes them. If not, there is no pint to continue. But i think its fun.

  3. #28
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2003
    Location: Cambridgeshire UK
    Quote Originally Posted by Yandros View Post
    ... But for others, even fairly and constructively presented critiques of a mission will not be accepted well by the author - we all have seen this happen. As an example, there was one case where I casually mentioned that due to the large number of bugs being reported in the thread, it sounded like he should have optimized and tested the mission a bit more before release, and as a result I received hate mails and death threats from the author.
    Surely that's a case for advising the author to seek psychiatric help rather than banning justified criticism in the forum?

  4. #29
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Dragonsreach
    Entirely applicable in that case, yes.

  5. #30
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    I was just reading a review on that "other" site, about Scarlet Cascabell (you know, the mission that won the Anniversary contest). The reviewer called the 1st mission a "Total and Complete Waste of Time." Then they went on to say the 2nd mission had "stupid design decisions" and then later they didn't quit the mission but "walked away in disgust" and that the mistakes in the mission were due to "incompetence." They finished by saying the authors should be banned from creating anything dealing with gameplay.

    Again, this was the contest winner, out of 24 missions. And this isn't from one single guy who posted once and disappeared, it's from someone who is a regular there and has probably posted more reviews than anyone.

    So yeah! I'm not sure that's the kind of "constructive" criticism I want around here.

  6. #31
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2018
    Quote Originally Posted by uncadonego View Post
    Or something you DIDN't do. That first page referenced as "real, genuine FM discussions" has some troll nitpicking about Thieves' Highway with stuff that is trivial or downright untrue.
    Read more carefully! You can't assume that just because it's different forum, everything is all troll.

    Quote Originally Posted by uncadonego View Post
    The guy touts himself as an expert player, but bitches that to get into a wall grate you may have to lean forward sometimes.
    He doesn't talk about leaning forward. He's talking about crouch+lean forward+jump+move forward to get into really tight windows. Well, for me it's quite awkward trick to do. And remember there was no Newdark with it's new mantle, so mantling into some places could be really difficult.

    Quote Originally Posted by uncadonego View Post
    In game if you look around you find 10 moss arrows, 3 gas arrows, 5 rope arrows, a fire arrow, 14 water arrows, and a gas mine. Also other things like flashbombs and stuff, but that can't be tallied because there's a damn factory where you can make your choice of explosive devices, scouting orbs, flashmines, flashbombs, etc, so that number of equipment is unknown.
    Did you even read his comment? He's talking about ghosting. GHOSTING. Do you know what's ghosting is? It's avoiding enemy alerts, avoiding dealing damage and avoiding damage property. So already half of these items CAN'T be used. Gas arrows can be used to only douse torches, fire arrows, mines, flashbombs and explosives CAN'T be used while ghosting. So it's not that easy situation like you say.

    Quote Originally Posted by uncadonego View Post
    All in all though, yeah, totally accurate description. Not enough equipment to deal with the mission. Even the guy's avatar is a angry grimace. There may be some good critical discussions of FM's on that site, but the example given was a troll.
    I read both posts: yours and SCO. And to be honest it's only yours comment that sounds like troll.

  7. #32
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2017
    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post
    I was just reading a review on that "other" site, about Scarlet Cascabell (you know, the mission that won the Anniversary contest). The reviewer called the 1st mission a "Total and Complete Waste of Time." Then they went on to say the 2nd mission had "stupid design decisions" and then later they didn't quit the mission but "walked away in disgust" and that the mistakes in the mission were due to "incompetence." They finished by saying the authors should be banned from creating anything dealing with gameplay.

    Again, this was the contest winner, out of 24 missions. And this isn't from one single guy who posted once and disappeared, it's from someone who is a regular there and has probably posted more reviews than anyone.

    So yeah! I'm not sure that's the kind of "constructive" criticism I want around here.
    Brethren I like you cause you're very level headed (though too "on the fence" sometimes) but this post is pretty misleading.

    You neglected to detail the evidence the user posts at all as to WHY he did not have fun with the mission. Reasons like no loot being carried over, thus making the first mission essentially pointless besides the meeting which easily could have just been done in a briefing or a smaller compact cutscene-esque mission like some of Death's Cold Embrace. Or the GONG issues that plagued many, or some of the crashes, or the various AI issues and inconsistencies.

    Now, in my opinion, do these issues make the mission as bad as they say? No, but for some people it's enough to turn them off from playing, and they have every right to an opinion like that, and to voice it as long as they're not just going "LOL BAD MISSION XD". You also didn't say that pretty much no one agreed with him and called him out/corrected him on the "incompetence" comment, so that's actually AGAINST the usual postings there.

    Also don't throw around sayings like "it won the contest!!!", that's irrelevant. Not everyone has to like something everyone else likes, especially when they give evidence as to why they don't.
    Last edited by Psych0sis; 31st Jul 2019 at 14:21.

  8. #33
    Moderator
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: Wales
    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post
    I was just reading a review on that "other" site, about Scarlet Cascabell . . .

    So yeah! I'm not sure that's the kind of "constructive" criticism I want around here.
    AFAIC there is and always has been room for constructive criticism here. It's just unfortunate that there are some who are unable to do that, make personal attacks, and it generally goes downhill from there. And that is what is remembered, not the criticisms which are presented in a polite manner and, for the most part, are accepted by the author. IMO, there is no need for 'brutal honesty', honesty is good enough.

  9. #34
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    Yes, that pretty much covers the point I was trying to make with my post. I'm no delicate snowflake, but I don't see much point in calling people (or the things they do) stupid, incompetent, or a waste of time. There's much better ways to communicate. But in all fairness, the review I mentioned actually does contain some constructive stuff too, so you be the judge.

    "The Scarlet Cascabel" is one of the FMs that somehow didn't get the memo: "Build a Fan Mission in the style of the original game." It's anything but that. Overreliance on visual effects like fog is the biggest culprit, but soon other things join in that seem to be put in there solely to annoy the player. Two long sequences where the player stands around and listens to a person deliver tons of exposition (and most of it pointless) while their face doesn't move. This is what intro movies are for! Deliberate deathtraps, like that boghole near the start and then later that innocuous piece of loot across the ravine where there seemingly is no way to get back afterwards. And the author states that "Mission 1 is just a small intro mission". It's bigger than some of the contest entries!

    And being a two-parter FM, one would think that gathering all that gear in the first part (the village and surroundings) would be carried over to the second part (the hotel), right? Nope. You vill hav ze geer vee choos, und no mohr! In other words the first mission is a Total and Complete Waste of Time.

    The hotel in the second mission at least looks ace, but in the first moment alone there are more stupid game design decisions. There's a low wall to the south of the starting position with visible terrain beyond it... blocked by an invisible wall, but there's no invisible wall blocking the player from falling down the ravine to the west. And then, as I was sneaking around unseen outside the hotel I trigger a conversation by the front door that, once ended, has the thin bloke going inside and the fat bloke going outside and literally into my arms. Despite me and the fat bloke being out of sight of everyone, and no one being close enough to normally hear the blackjack (or react to it) me knocking the fat bloke over the head sent at least three people inside on full alert and running for the alarm. When making a two-part FM it is common sense to have the same AI routines running in both missions... not blithering dolts in one and super-psychics in the other.

    This is the only FM in the contest that I'm not giving up on as much as walking away in disgust. This is not an FM that I believe is like this due to time constraints (as the authors claim), this looks like intentful incompetence. The author(s) can clearly create neat-looking environments in DromED, but should be outright banned from anything related to the gameplay itself. This is a serious challenger to zontik's "King's Story" for 'Least Game Design Awareness' in a FM.
    And the only reason I mentioned it was the winner of the contest was to say that the majority of people playing it really enjoyed it. I'm not saying it's above criticism or anything like that, not at all.

  10. #35
    Moderator
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: Wales
    And I would say that if the writer of that piece had chucked in a few 'IMOs, I thought, I felt, it seemed to me,' etc. it would be something constructive and therefore something an author would be open to listening to.

  11. #36
    DromEd Archmage
    Registered: Nov 2010
    Location: Returned to the eternal labor
    I've got one thing to say :
    -Play my first mission
    -Play my latest mission

    Compare them. Write down the list of differences.
    The changes you'll see is above all due to criticism since I learnt to stop being stubborn and just listening at the problems. This is the only way to grow up.
    If I didn't listened at it, my last mission would have been still buggy and boxy. People can be harsh sometimes but it's for the good sake. It's up to the author to be mature enough to listen and try to learn something or to be stubborn and upset and giving up. You just have to stop taking things seriously because as people use to say : it's free. There is no money or honor to lose, just having to do your best so you could be proud of your work, enjoy it and share this joy with satisfied players who had an impressive adventure.

  12. #37
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Location: Southern,California
    i loved the scarlet casabell missions,the second mission was epic,still never got all chess pieces,so replay is there aswell

  13. #38
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Dromed Detention Room
    Quote Originally Posted by Galaer View Post
    Read more carefully! You can't assume that just because it's different forum, everything is all troll.



    He doesn't talk about leaning forward. He's talking about crouch+lean forward+jump+move forward to get into really tight windows. Well, for me it's quite awkward trick to do. And remember there was no Newdark with it's new mantle, so mantling into some places could be really difficult.



    Did you even read his comment? He's talking about ghosting. GHOSTING. Do you know what's ghosting is? It's avoiding enemy alerts, avoiding dealing damage and avoiding damage property. So already half of these items CAN'T be used. Gas arrows can be used to only douse torches, fire arrows, mines, flashbombs and explosives CAN'T be used while ghosting. So it's not that easy situation like you say.



    I read both posts: yours and SCO. And to be honest it's only yours comment that sounds like troll.

    I have never had to do the maneuver you are talking about to get into any of the spaces in the mission. And ghosting isn't supposed to be easy, and that's not on a mission designer. And the mission doesn't " exult in the most obscure sort of movement skills in thief". And the mission is ghostable.

    https://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthre...=1#post2330551

  14. #39
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2018
    Quote Originally Posted by uncadonego View Post
    I have never had to do the maneuver you are talking about to get into any of the spaces in the mission. And ghosting isn't supposed to be easy, and that's not on a mission designer. And the mission doesn't " exult in the most obscure sort of movement skills in thief". And the mission is ghostable.

    https://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthre...=1#post2330551
    I never said that the mission isn't ghostable, but have in mind that Grandmauden ghosted it in 2016. In other words few years after Newdark started to exist. SCO has ghosted this mission in 2010 (before Newdark). That's actually a difference.

    SCO has only shortly mention these issues, but you are overgrowing them to the monumental size. That's my problem with your post. Seriously. Just relax.

  15. #40
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Dromed Detention Room
    I have a problem with being called a troll and then being told to relax. Apparently you are allowed to have a problem with my post and call me a troll, but I'm not allowed to have a problem with SCO's post and call him a troll. Quit going on about the Newdark difference. I played it while I was building it without Newdark and my betatesters played it without Newdark and it was released in 2005 to FM players without Newdark. No crouching problems. And you didn't say it wasn't ghostable, SCO said it was ghost hostile. He also said the mission appears to exult in the most obscure sort of movement skills in thief. Look up the word exult....feel or show triumphant elation or jubilation. Words matter. Like he's accusing me of getting my rocks off screwing players over by making the game purposely quirky.

  16. #41
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2018
    Quote Originally Posted by uncadonego View Post
    I have a problem with being called a troll and then being told to relax. Apparently you are allowed to have a problem with my post and call me a troll, but I'm not allowed to have a problem with SCO's post and call him a troll. Quit going on about the Newdark difference. I played it while I was building it without Newdark and my betatesters played it without Newdark and it was released in 2005 to FM players without Newdark. No crouching problems. And you didn't say it wasn't ghostable, SCO said it was ghost hostile. He also said the mission appears to exult in the most obscure sort of movement skills in thief. Look up the word exult....feel or show triumphant elation or jubilation. Words matter. Like he's accusing me of getting my rocks off screwing players over by making the game purposely quirky.
    I'm just saying that just because somebody didn't like yours mission or some elements of it, it doesn't mean that you can go into all out attack on this person. Don't take it too personal.

  17. #42
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: WearyTaffer
    I find the whole idea of 'best' and 'worst' when it comes to fan missions is almost entirely subjective. Yes I would consider a mission bad if it had bugs that kept you from playing it, but everything else really is dictated by what the author or player is really into. Some people like undead missions, others like mansions, some like OM resource only missions while others love tons of custom textures/objects etc. Also you have to take into account the experience factor of an author-is he or she just starting out-or do they have a few missions under their belt? Another factor is when an FM is made-obviously a pre New Dark mission won't have the level of detail that the newer missions will. There are many missions I love, some I would like to play again-others I really wasn't into-but I don't believe in insulting authors, everyone has their own vision-and the great thing about Dromed is the fact that you can practically create just about any kind of world you want. Don't like the mission you're playing? Drop it and move to the next one-there's plenty to go around!

  18. #43
    Master Builder 2018
    Registered: Jan 2008
    Location: The lovers the dreamers and me
    The number one thing, for me at least, that has helped to improve building, is Let's Plays. Watching someone else play your mission in real time, stumbling upon problems that never occurred to you, seeing everything with fresh eyes, has been simply invaluable. Minin and The Count probably don't know how helpful they have been with our latest build fixes

    Since our mission was mentioned in this thread, I will say that the posts I've read on Codex really did nothing to help me improve gameplay. Maybe we're the exception, and not the rule, but during the contest we received a lot of invaluable feedback where we needed improvement right here on the forums. There was nothing constructive offered on the Codex that we didn't already read here at TTLG. And, looking back, after I built my first mission, it was with PM's here at TTLG from another author that truly helped me see how to improve. I'm not sure what the fascination is with Codex, either, as it so often seems a place to just vent, than to offer real criticism. Again, there are the exceptions to that rule, but on the flip side, you could say the same for the TTLG 'hugbox'.

  19. #44
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Dragonsreach
    Well said, pukey and Indy. I didn't mean to imply there is never any good feedback given and received here, or that the Codex is special in that way - to the contrary it can be a rather unpleasant place as others here have noted (and I had a very personal run-in with a certain paisano over there which was very unpleasant). The point is we have all had different experiences and for me, I didn't get a lot of constructive criticism in release threads here that made me improve, so I sought it out over there and found some constructive (as well as non-constructive!) feedback on the Codex which helped me improve some as an author. But some people like pukey, uncadonego and others I have spoken to have found no value in the comments on their missions on the Codex, and that is fine too. But it helped me.

    The real main point here is, we want players to feel free to give constructive comments and suggestions to the authors here in FM release threads, unless the authors specifically state that they do not want that feedback given in this setting, or would prefer it to be given via PM or otherwise privately. Authors can also if they wish create a FM Feedback thread separately form the release thread and ask for it there, or ask for it to be given in review form in SneakyJack's mega thread. What we don't want is FM releases devolving into aggressive and/or negative comments and personal attacks, as that benefits no one.

    If that is clear, let's move on, hmmm?

  20. #45
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    While we can provide clear examples of proper, fair criticism and clear examples of unfair, irrational criticism, most criticism will fall on a spectrum in between clearly identifiable examples. The line on that spectrum for where criticism goes from being constructive to offensive will be different for everyone reading, and different for every author.

    I can imagine that spectrum being a nightmare to moderate.

    I'm afraid the only way to have free, open critical discussion is not draw that line and hope people have the poise and skin thickness to deal with it. But for better or for worse, it's been clear for a long time that will never happen in TTLG's Thief FM forum.

    And I don't know... maybe it's not optimum, but maybe it's okay for this forum's identity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post
    There was a recent thread where someone made a wiseass comment like "if you don't like the mission, then make sure to ask for a full refund." I'm always hoping that kind of stuff gets the same smackdown as people who just say "this mission sucks."
    Yeah, that behavior really annoys me. Especially because around here those sorts of comments are made in response to the tiniest, slightest of criticisms.

  21. #46
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2004
    Location: Ireland/Poland
    I know I'm late in the discussion and not really familiar with the RPG Codex forum (maybe for better, judging from the heat of discussion ), but I wanted to refer to the original thread author's question.

    Eliminating bad choices isn't the greatest approach I think. I'd imagine only a handful of fanmissions could be objectively pruned as being either jokes, experiments or total mistakes. You still will be left with a large number of fanmissions that are either great or just good enough for some people to enjoy.
    What we really need is a site for reviewing fanmissions and such a site already exists: https://www.thiefguild.com/

    It's still relatively new, but you can find quite a few reviews and ranked missions already. Although it still needs more content to be a valuable source of information. It's been designed with community input in mind, rather than being maintained by one person or a small group, which I think is a right approach.
    Not sure if currently you can sort by the mission rank but as far as I know, this is on a to-do list, being an easy one to implement.
    If all of the missions had received some score, sorting from the best to worst would be the easiest thing to do. And if there were more reviews, then choosing your next FM to play would be a problem solved.

    I even have this idea, which I'm going to suggest to the site author of talking to Fen about maybe integrating review and ranking abilities in his new Angel Loader. So, as you tick mission as completed, you could immediately submit your score and review to the website. This would populate it with valuable info very quickly, I believe, for the benefit of us all!

  22. #47
    New Member
    Registered: Dec 2018
    Location: Germany
    I agree with that, thievesguild is a very good site for that :3

  23. #48
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2011
    Location: Montpellier, France
    Quote Originally Posted by Independent Thief View Post
    I find the whole idea of 'best' and 'worst' when it comes to fan missions is almost entirely subjective. Yes I would consider a mission bad if it had bugs that kept you from playing it, but everything else really is dictated by what the author or player is really into.
    This is quite true but as you said, there are still objective criteria. Bugs is one thing, so are performance, coherent design and technical know-how when you have a few levels under your belt. It's inconceivable for me that, for example, someone can make the same mistakes over and over and over again either because they haven't been told how to improve or simply choose to ignore legitimate complaints and everyone else seems fine with it. That sort of thing wouldn't fly in other level design community I know, for instance. I'm not talking about small mistakes since these are only natural and will creep up on anyone, but really big ones here.

    I would also argue that general adherence to the core mechanics and philosophy aren't entirely subjective as well. The people who play Thief are used to LGS' design philosophies and naturally expect something similar out of fan missions. Not necessarily to the same level, since LGS were professionals and a vast majority of us are hobbyists, but at least something similar to a degree. I'm not saying you can't make a weird and outlandish mission but I believe you really need to have a tight design for it if you do.
    Last edited by skacky; 2nd Aug 2019 at 06:07.

  24. #49
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    I don't know, I think some people in the community here just make levels for fun, they're not aspiring to be professional level designers, or follow Stepwise Refinement, or live up to any GDC presentation's standards. I won't name specific people, but I can think of several authors here like that. I'm not saying they're exempt from criticism either, but they shouldn't feel the need to change their ways because it doesn't follow some predetermined "Thief" way of doing things.

    Ok, I will do a little naming. Look at the Haddur levels or some of the Japansese stuff from awhile back. Completely unconventional, weird crazy shit, that would never be made by LGS in a million years. But some people love them. So what's the harm in that.

  25. #50
    Member
    Registered: May 2001
    Location: Boston MA
    All authors improve in time. Looking back at my first mission is embarrassing. It was a horror, but I was proud to have completed a mission.

    At the beginning, I was less receptive to feedback from testers than I should have been. I learned in time that testers are your best friend. In other words, I learned to take constructive criticism in the spirit in which it was given. The result was better more playable missions and a good learning experience each time.

    Constructive feedback is fine it if is well intentioned, tactful and helpful. Saying missions are “bad” or a “complete waste” is just not helpful. I can tell you if I got feedback from Yandros, Melan or Skacky, I would really listen as I know them to be very knowledgeable, helpful and supportive.

    Just be kind to authors who probably built that mission late at night after the family was all in bed. They traded sleep for Dromed.

    Finally, being able to play 1000 missions (not exactly sure of the number) for a game I have loved for 20 years for free is an incredible joy, even if they aren’t all perfect 10 out of ten. All authors- please keep making missions. I am going to be around for quite a few more years and playing Thief at night beats almost anything on cable.

    bbb

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