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Thread: TMA20AC Mission — Troubling Transitions (Mar 24, 2020)

  1. #51
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2017
    Location: France
    Hrmm, I would have thought the textures/architecture of the buildings being vastly different would be enough to not blend together, along with the use of the banker's building/dewinder's estate as a central pillar would make it less confusing overall :P I even went so far as to make the map very precise (perhaps too much so!).

  2. #52
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth
    Perhaps I should have pointed out I meant they looked the same from the outside. As soon as I got inside, I knew where I was. I also think I took a weird route around the city, and that didn't help my navigational confusion either. Yes the map was very helpful. I do not like city missions without some kind of a map. Did you see from the list if I missed a whole establishment somewhere? Or is it just a loot item here and there?

  3. #53
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2017
    Location: France
    it seems you missed 2 spots off the top of my head - A big mech banner you can cut inside the warehouse, in the upstairs room. The other area is another cut-able banner in the bedroom above the nave in the cathedral

  4. #54
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth
    Yep, missed those! I didn't check any banners in this mission, totally forgot about it. Although those banners didn't look bashable, so nice changeup there. Missing 200 then (with the unobtainable 10). Maybe a necklace?

  5. #55
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2017
    Location: France
    If you could upload your save I can find the last few items for you. Based off your list it does seem you missed the ring in Dewinder's bedroom bathroom, it the crevice near underneath the open window. I'd have to check in dromed using your save to see the rest though, memory betrays me :P

  6. #56
    New Member
    Registered: Mar 2013
    Location: Mexico
    I love snowy missions, I like the atmosphere it adds. The city exploration was fun, with good verticality, although I did get confused on where I was various times, even if the map was well made. My favorite part was the church, I liked the design of it, the feel that it's slowly being remodeled to a mechanist church. Overall, it's a fun mission

  7. #57
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2008
    Location: Santiago / Chile
    Quote Originally Posted by Lightningline View Post
    Wont load. Get Running Interference, the first T2 mission every time. Using Angel loader 1.4) Every other mission works fine. I even re-downloaded it several times. Both the winrar and the 7zip. There was also a weird bug. Every time I would load it, angel loader would say Into the odd was installed. WTF?????
    It could be your Antivirus software. I sometimes have that problem with Angel Loader, and that's because Windows defender antivuris marks as false positive the file "AngelLoader_Stub.dll", and it put it on quarantine. Check your antivirus history, and find that file, Restore it, and then mark the Angel loader folder with an exception.

  8. #58
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2007
    Absolutely spectacular mission. This mission is so far prob the best one of the TMA20A missions as well as "into the odd"

    Keep up the good work. and, do not take Criticism from others in a bad way, we all like things different. I could not stand "Builders Paradise" but most liked it, I'm not into linier key hunt missions, where you have to look at EVERY millionth of an inch of the game to find a way through it. But some are into extreme puzzles, other like me are into the excitement of avoiding guards and finding my way through, getting to that hard to reach place, or find a way to it.

    I think all who makes these FREE FM's deserve credit. I seem to often criticize more so, than I post positive remarks, but for the most part I like 90% of the missions.

    Being a critic, I give this mission a 9/10 or even maybe a 10/10 rating. There is always a little improvements one can do, but given the time frame to do this. 10/10 rating.

  9. #59
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2004
    Quite liked this one. Were there more than four hammer artifacts to find? I ended up with 5, apparently.

  10. #60
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: France
    I believe there are 6 total on Expert.

  11. #61
    Member
    Registered: May 2005
    Stats:
    Normal difficulty
    1 hour and 35 minutes
    4087 of 5684 loot
    0 of 0 secrets
    0 hints needed

    Rating:
    8 / 10

    One sentence review:
    Troubling Transitions is only the second release by Psych0sis but already feels like the work of a veteran author, an expertly crafted mission in which players get to explore a large City district and a former Hammerite cathedral that is being renovated by Mechanists.

    Likes:
    • The mission has a voice-acted briefing video.
    • The snowy City district is expertly crafted. There are lots of hidden areas to discover, buildings usually have several ways to get inside, and there are working light switches all over the map.
    • Most areas are packed with details that keep thing interesting, like a table where the Mechanists collect heretical literature, a furnace in the basement where they burn Hammerite books, or one remaining Hammerite holed up on the top floor of the west tower of St. Alderson's Cathedral.
    • The design of the cathedral is great: Mechanists are replacing the old Hammerite insignia.
    • Several journals and scrolls tell of how the Mechanists are rising to power by winning the trust of the City's nobles. There are references to Cavador and the construction of Angelwatch. We get to read more texts from the New Scripture of the Master Builder. This is great worldbuilding.
    • The two Mechanist conversations I discovered about the design of the Children of Karras and about properly worshipping The Builder were interesting and had good audio quality.
    • Finding „that embarrassing doll“ and stealing the Intruder painting again was a nice throwback to Dewinder Manor from the TDP20AC.
    • On Normal, players are free to go straight to St. Alderson's Cathedral or they can explore other parts of the map first. They get to make that choice.
    • I think references to other fan missions are usually distracting, but I must admit the room where a writer was trying to come up with catchy titles was funny: "The Noise of a Taffer in an Area".
    • The scroll about "wallowing in the mistakes of the past" reads like a stab at fan mission authors who ignore criticism and repeat the same mistakes in all their subsequent releases. It made me remember the argument between Psych0sis and Cardia on the forums or that sarcastic Psych0sis post that every fan mission „is good just because it exists“.
    • It is possible to complete Normal difficulty without having to find hidden switches and without having to solve complicated puzzles.
    • I found five Hammerite artifacts (Builder‘s Triumph, Priest Head, Collected Letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Builder‘s Chisel, Rosary Beads). Even though I did not have an objective for this on Normal, this felt like an accomplishment.


    Dislikes:
    • While the map is great overall, the basement of the cathedral felt less interesting to explore than other areas.
    • The „Hammer of Dromix" is probably a reference to DromEd. The item is just a MacGuffin and there is no plot for which it is important.
    • In the briefing video, Garrett remarks that "hopefully, their prisons are as easy to get out of as Cragscleft“. Break From Cragscleft Prison is one of the scariest original missions and the torture chambers in that dark place do not look like anyone would crack jokes about them, unless they were a character in a fan mission and the author was trying to make them sound „bad-ass“.
    • I did not use a single water arrow in this mission. While not a bad thing per se, I noticed the gameplay element of having to create dark areas was missing.
    • Lord Dewinder‘s pen slipped when he wrote the note to his servants: "Also, if anything is missing when I return, there will be reprocussions."
    • I might be wrong here, but a Hand of Glory is probably not an object that would be locked away in the vault of a cathedral among holy relics.
    • The mission info file reads like it was written by someone with an abrasive personality. It was a bit off-putting.


    Bugs:
    • In the room where the writer was trying to come up with catchy titles, I got stuck between the armoire and the candle. I had to reload.

  12. #62
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2017
    Location: France
    Thanks for the feedback, that was a great read! Just to say though, with the Cragscleft quip I feel it actually is IN character, because he makes a joke very similar in the Strange Bedfellows briefing -

    "If I drop by their temple and explain things, maybe they'll be so distracted by the
    Trickster's return that they'll forget to hold a grudge. And even if they don't, I know
    how to get out of Cragscleft prison already."

    Otherwise, I agree with most of the other points and thank you for the feedback! And yes, I like to think I'm very abrasive

  13. #63
    Member
    Registered: May 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by Psych0sis View Post
    Just to say though, with the Cragscleft quip I feel it actually is IN character, because he makes a joke very similar in the Strange Bedfellows briefing
    I did not remember that joke from Strange Bedfellows! But I think the tone in the original game is more believable: Garrett does not say it is easy, just that he already got out of Cragscleft once and that he probably can do it again should his plan go wrong. He does not make a flippant remark that Cragscleft is easy to get out of.

    This is totally a minor thing though and us discussing it shows I did not find too many things that could be improved in Troubling Transitions. I was actually close to giving it a 9/10. I might increase my rating to that after I replay it on one of the harder difficulty levels.

  14. #64
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2017
    Location: France
    That is true, perhaps I made it sound more jokey in tone rather than the reassuring "If I HAVE TO I guess I can" tone he has in Strange Bedfellows. And thanks!

  15. #65
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2017
    Location: France
    God dammit, I just noticed I never credited GORT in my readme for making the wonderful snow-ified textures (the cobblestone ground and roofs). Sorry about that! Thanks GORT

  16. #66
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: ┴W 'ɐlnossᴉW
    LOL No problem.

  17. #67
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2020
    Location: Germany
    Another town/thieves highway FM?! Awesome! I really enjoyed playing this, definitely one of my favourites here aswell

  18. #68
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2017
    Location: France
    ... And here are the anonymous review for my other mission, thank you everyone and I hope you all had fun.

    -A huge step up from Dewinder Manor, this feels like a much more polished product. I loved the construction going on in the cathedral and the unfinished feel of it all, though I think the buildings and streets might have been laid out a tad smoother. All in all a solid mission with a decent amount of fun to be had; it's definitely got the feel of a lot of classic early missions in that sense. With this rate of improvement I think your next outing will be even better.
    ___
    -This was a wonderland for thief fans, so many references and insiders. The story was as basic as it gets but considering all the humour and references, the readables and the funny conversation about the children and karras voice/face...this gets extra points in "story" for all of it.
    ___
    -It's snowing, but the architecture and the story is not exciting at all (mechanists taking over hammerites). Despite snow there are a lot of open windows. The city and the mech complex both feels okay-ish but boring.
    ___
    -Very good mission, loved the mech Cathedral and some of the memes. Only issue I have is the city feels a little bit empty at times with too many unenterable buildings.
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    -Good verticality
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    -Technically this mission is cool, but:
    1) A huge amount of walkarounds prevent the... more methodical approach to exploration. This leads to much hassle and running back and forth.
    2)Spine with the skull in a pool of blood? On the street? (Either I've missed some important part of the mission or that is taffing dumb)
    3)Most of the goals were completed accidentally just by exploring. I'm not sure if this is good.
    ___
    -Nicely done city + cathedral mission, not master architecture but a bit of verticality and overall satysfying experience.
    ___
    -A wonderful blend of city and Mechanist missions and a large step up from Psych0sis's previous release, though the meme content felt kind of unnecessary.
    ___
    -This one barely missed the winners' podium. Very playable and a typical quality-T2-fm but the "special something" was missing. Do you know these city missions where you have the most fun traversing the streets to your actual goal? Yes, it is one of those.
    ___
    -I'm often wary when it comes to FMs that try to add to the main story of the base game, but this one surprised me by featuring stellar writing. The city is built relatively well, though I'd like to see more ground floors since having almost every building be accessible through a window in a mission that doesn't really focus on "the thief's highway" becomes a bit repetitive. Traveling off the beaten path feels rewarding due to the sheer amount of loot that's peppered through the map, which makes exploration very satisfying. The cathedral's layout is maze-like but that's counterbalanced by relatively uniquely-designed rooms. A very good mission overall that's written even better.
    ___
    -A solid city exploration mission.
    ___
    -Solid fm, good architecture and visuals, nice verticality
    ___
    -Solid streets/rooftops FM, very well builded. Nice to see some Hammer/Mech changes. Nice work.
    ___
    -Was a really good and atmospheric mission. A huge improvement compared to Dewinder Manor especially in architecture but also in the story.
    ___
    -Very good level design and atmosphere. The game play itself was a bit easy and somewhat of a let down.
    ___
    -Straightforward town and cathedral mission. Fun, but very easy. "Steal an object so I can pay next month's rent" is the most over-used plotline in the book. I liked the use of the Thieves Highway in this mission.
    ___
    -This one was well made but could have been improved if there were more obstacles to hinder your ability to complete the objectives. Accessing the vault for example was far too simple with the key on the nearby priest's belt.
    ___
    -The story is very basic, nothing fancy. But sometimes we don't need one. The city feels alive, especially interiors. There are good stuff like the transitioning church, or writer? apartament. Although the mission is solid, but good. It is not a masterpiece. I would compare to the well made home dinner.
    ___
    -This mission is one of the best in this contest. It has everything that a good thief mission should have. I would have made more buildings accessible on the perimeter, but it is just nitpicking. Good job, psych0sis!
    ___
    -Very atmosphric, but also very confusing layout because of all the odd angels.
    ___
    -Masterfully crafted level. Loved the references to other FMs. Dewinder's Mansion and the church were lovely and atmospheric. Sneaking through the houses and the streets was classic Thief fun.

    All in all this FM deserves the highest praise.
    ___
    -Nice concept. Not a very complex or elaborated story, but it has a nice integration with the original game story. Also some really fun conversations and things to read. I liked the snow detail and the map is big enough and nice to explore, although I was a little disappointed that many of the buildings were not accessible. The cathedral is a little messy.
    ___
    -Mechanist cathedral was big and well done. I liked the city and it was really nice to see it snowing! At times I was a bit confused about my location but the city wasn't so big that I would be completely lost and soon learnt roughly where everything located. There were lots of nice climbing spots and open windows that made the mission interesting! From time to time ambient music was slightly monotonous (there might have been a bit more variation). All things considered this mission was very nice experience!
    ___
    -I dug the idea of exploring the Mechanists just starting out, and it was well done. Also liked the lone dude in the tower that turned his back on them.

    Gameplay was pretty standard, but done well for that.
    ___
    -I really liked this mission, although not a classic it is a top quality, well built city with a wonderfully confusing Hammerite Cathedral, so Psych0sis you should feel really proud of yourself.
    ___
    -The author's improvement over time is evident within the mission. Some brushwork around the start is really rough, and only a few of the buildings in the city are especially pretty or remarkable. The cathedral is a whole other ballpark, showing off the author's true talents.

    Per the categories, the story is easily the weakest part. A less expository narrative is always a welcome feature when told in an interactive way, but the mission doesn't lack exposition so much as fill that budget with in-jokes and tonally unsuitable rubbish. The city serves little story purpose beyond these gags, aside from the odd bit of relevant flavour text.

    The gameplay mostly makes up for these deficits. It's a joy to explore, and the flow is focused no matter what direction you take. Perhaps it's a little too open-ended on occasion, but backtracking is entirely avoided. Street level could do with some more attractions, however -- there's very little reason to ever go down there, which detracts from the feeling of a real locale somewhat.
    ___
    -Thank goodness! No key hunt (except for one . . .). So many rooftops, windows, and pipes and that means exploring (for me, a key to a fun mission). Everything blended so well into a nice story line, particularly the DeWinder Mansion and the Cathedral. The difficulties were reasonable. And the story fits nicely into the world of Thief II.
    ___
    -Review: https://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthre...=1#post2450337
    ___
    -Solid mission with lots of exploration. Plenty of apartments to plunder and the Hammerite church being converted to a Mechanist one is a unique idea we haven't seen before.
    ___
    -I quite liked the overall construction of the mission. The designs were okay, but mostly limited to simple, closed spaces, the only more complex structure being the main nave of the cathedral. The ambient sounds didn’t really give any distinctive character to particular places, because there were so many different locations. Also, the use of snow textures was rather pointless – the mission didn’t have winter feeling at all.
    The mission offered some classic Thief gameplay with strong focus on stealth and stealing. I liked the option (or even necessity) of accessing many locations through windows and connection pipes. I wish getting inside key locations was more challenging, though. The idea of collecting Hammer-themed objects was interesting and fit well in the general theme. The mission played well and felt quite rewarding after all.
    I liked that you expanded on the topic of transformation of Hammers into Mechanists in multiple places. The little models of Mechanist buildings were lovely. I quite liked the secondary stories to come across and the fact you used many conversations. On the other hand, the main quest wasn’t really fresh nor exciting.
    ___
    -A city/church mission revolving around the rise of the Mechanists, and their split with the Order of the Hammer, in an interesting, atmospheric Winter environment. The architecture of the mission is labyrinthine in a good way – visually creative, and fun to navigate through either the rooftops or the streets. The places you can visit, and the snippets of information you can gather are fun, but the focus of the mission is the church, undergoing refurbishment from old Hammerite roost to antiseptic new Mechanist facility. This sense of upheaval is conveyed expertly through visual storytelling, readables, and the challenges you will be facing. There are a lot of routes to take, and the whole complex has a very satisfying flow.

    There are minor weaknesses: the street level is much less populated with interesting stuff, and prowling with many more guards than the rooftops, so it makes little sense to venture there too much. Likewise, you can notice the signs of conceptual overreach – sometimes, the FM wants to be a much bigger mission than its scope allows. These are overall small nitpicks, and the FM shows tremendous improvement over the author’s submission from last year’s TDP contest.
    ___
    -The title talk about "transitions", how about an author's transition who comes from novice to expert in one mission? This mission is a prove of the definition of improvement!
    The atmosphere is nice and the place hide several interesting game elements and easter eggs.
    The balance in matter of difficulty is not perfect but still decent. Good job!

    25/30
    ___

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