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Thread: T2 FM: Malazar's Inscrutable Tower (18th July 2020)

  1. #26
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: France
    I agree with the responses to your post, A.Stahl. It's one thing to play the grumpy guy who posts highly critical reviews - that is encouraged as long as it's constructive - but personal insults will not fly. Consider this your warning.

  2. #27
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2010
    Location: Switzerland
    Quote Originally Posted by howeird View Post
    i always was always told beta-testing was top secret
    what do you want to say with that?

  3. #28
    New Member
    Registered: Dec 2019
    Location: Poland
    Absolutely loved the mission, super creative and atmospheric. Thief was always for me a game about exploration and atmosphere, so I'm completely fine with the way this one plays. I actually wanted to make an enemy similar to the statues from this mission in WtUL, but gave up Great job Nicked.

  4. #29
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2004
    Just finished this one. Very solid mission with some very nice architecture and some fun, invisible use of portals to make for interesting geometry - nice job on all of that!

    The puzzles mostly worked very well - my only suggestions might be that it wasn't clear what you were supposed to do with the blank parchment; maybe that could be spelled out more directly. Also the statues, while definitely creepy and effective, also act to discourage exploration; the one place I was stuck, after assembling the serpent staff, was due to not exploring a location one of them inhabited.

    Overall definitely a mission I'd recommend, and a fun way to spend a bit of my weekend.

  5. #30
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2017
    Location: France
    Quote Originally Posted by Galaer View Post
    Easy, people. Just because I didn't post it that I figured it out, doesn't mean I didn't figure it out.
    Ah yes, cause we are supposed to know something that you didn't post, so therefore we are the ones at fault for trying to help someone who, to our knowledge, seems to have gotten stuck and frustrated with the mission.

    Glad you figured it out, though. Sorry you're experience wasn't so great in the end.

  6. #31
    Member
    Registered: May 2017
    Location: USA
    Those statue-esque baddies---OMFG! Brilliantly conceived and executed!

    EDIT: Could you post a tut for that? I have some ideas....
    Last edited by trefoilknot; 18th Jul 2020 at 15:10.

  7. #32
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas!
    Great mission so far! I need a little help I planted the magic seeds but I guess you need to water them? but I can't find anything to put water in??

    Thank you nicked for this GREAT mission!!!
    pwl

  8. #33
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2010
    Location: Switzerland
    Quote Originally Posted by pwl View Post
    Great mission so far! I need a little help I planted the magic seeds but I guess you need to water them? but I can't find anything to put water in??

    Thank you nicked for this GREAT mission!!!
    pwl
    I assume you are in the area where found the glue? look in the shower, if you are in that outside part where all the swords are, look in the water, there should be at least 3 water arrows

  9. #34
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: thiefgold.com
    I found the serpent head, but where's the other part of the staff?

  10. #35
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2017
    Location: France
    Check some windows in one of the courtyards

  11. #36
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2014
    Azaran, you can take it through the window from the building nearby.

  12. #37
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2006
    Location: On the tip of your tongue.
    Quote Originally Posted by trefoilknot View Post
    Those statue-esque baddies---OMFG! Brilliantly conceived and executed!

    EDIT: Could you post a tut for that? I have some ideas....
    Yeah, I made a post about them a while ago when I first made them: https://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=150468
    NV had a more elegant solution with fewer steps, but I couldn't get it to work without tanking the framerate, so the method I used is the first post.

  13. #38
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas!
    I didn't even think about my water arrows this is better played with eyes open!!

  14. #39
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2010
    Location: Switzerland
    Quote Originally Posted by pwl View Post
    I didn't even think about my water arrows this is better played with eyes open!!
    Yeah I can totally relate, sometimes it's the simple, obvious but still outside the box thinking...like the lock on the window

  15. #40
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2018
    Quote Originally Posted by Supremcee View Post
    Yeah I can totally relate, sometimes it's the simple, obvious but still outside the box thinking...like the lock on the window
    Was that really that obvious? I was sure I need to find lockpicks for that.

  16. #41
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2004
    It was pretty obvious. When you frob it there's dialog on screen to the effect that it should break easily.

  17. #42
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2010
    Location: Switzerland
    Quote Originally Posted by Galaer View Post
    Was that really that obvious? I was sure I need to find lockpicks for that.
    I didn't say that it was obvious, I just compared using water arrows on the beans to using arrows on the lock and that sometimes the answers are more simple than you think but you still need to think outside the box....but you really seem to have a problem with that mission considering your earlier posted opinion about it. I actually think that this is one of the better puzzle missions because it didn't give me headaches, and I am really not a genius at puzzle missions, I love them but most times don't succeed, and this one gave me the right amount of clues and possibilities to act to figure things out. I actually think that the most cryptic stuff was the location of the staff, the blank page and the library key they were easy to miss

  18. #43
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2010
    Location: Switzerland
    Quote Originally Posted by Galaer View Post

    Also information on scrolls was completely useless. It didn't helped me at all. Some items are really hard to spot. For example: staff, ring. I had a lot of problem with finding exit (I think it's frobbable only after grabbing crystal). Spot of shooting water arrows is really precise. Even though I shot it in the ground with bean. At first I thought it's a bug that bean doesn't grow. I needed many tries to find this pixel perfect spot. And I'm surprised that you didn't give infinite water arrows for this puzzle. Also after figuring out arrows puzzle, I had big problem with finding exit out of garden. It felt like I need to use vine to climb to attic, but vine wasn't climbable. Climbing statue felt like I am cheating, it really doesn't feel like intended solution.

    So overall, I want to like it more, but I didn't have that fun experience.
    I would totally disagree, the readables actually give you very specific hints but still don't feel artificial...they tell you important things between the lines

    and overall...it feels like you feel hurt because your ideas of proceeding weren't the correct/intended ways...for example, you felt you need to climb the vines, but nicked didn't intend to work it that way. but there is alot of architecture...so maybe someone could think of that this architecture ( an puzzle mission) isn't maybe just there for decoration...

    I totally agree on the amount of water arrows, you always need to quicksave before using them
    Last edited by Supremcee; 18th Jul 2020 at 18:04.

  19. #44
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2018
    Quote Originally Posted by Supremcee View Post
    I would totally disagree, the readables actually give you very specific hints but still don't feel artificial...they tell you important things between the lines

    and overall...it feels like you feel hurt because your ideas of proceeding weren't the correct/intended ways...for example, you felt you need to climb the vines, but nicked didn't intend to work it that way. but there is alot of architecture...so maybe someone could think of that this architecture ( an puzzle mission) isn't maybe just there for decoration...

    I totally agree on the amount of water arrows, you always need to quicksave before using them
    About readables not helpful: after I got teleported I got hint that I need to fix some staff and that fire area is dangerous. All I needed to know was how to get out of this place. Oh, and I mistook staff I need to fix with silver scepter switch that teleported me into this place. Another info about mop stuck blocking Dining Room. Yes, I see it. I was sure that I need to change gravity or something. Solution was completely different though. Maybe hints are good for you, but for me they were useless.

    About vine: this vine was leading to attic window, so it was natural for me it should be climbable. Later I noticed this window doesn't lead anywhere. As for statue - I actually had problems with mantling on top of it. That's why it didn't cross my mind it's really an intended solution.

  20. #45
    Member
    Registered: May 2017
    Location: USA
    Quote Originally Posted by nicked View Post
    Yeah, I made a post about them a while ago when I first made them: https://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=150468
    NV had a more elegant solution with fewer steps, but I couldn't get it to work without tanking the framerate, so the method I used is the first post.
    Perfect- Thanks!

  21. #46
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2010
    Location: Switzerland
    Quote Originally Posted by Galaer View Post
    About readables not helpful: after I got teleported I got hint that I need to fix some staff and that fire area is dangerous. All I needed to know was how to get out of this place. Oh, and I mistook [SPOIL]
    I assume that you always want hints that quite directly lead you to the solution? I think nicked did it the other way around...at the beginning he gave you very limited areas with some objects and they are needed for the solution, so it's up to you to find that solution. The staff and fire area are mentioned in one readable (so hint between the lines). and you didn't need to KNOW how to get out of this place...the authors idea was that you figure out how to get out...and he gave you hints and the right amount of limited space with no exit before you figure out the solution

    Another info about mop stuck blocking Dining Room. Yes, I see it. I was sure that I need to change gravity or something. Solution was completely different though
    there never was a talk about gravitiy, it was actually mentioned what would interest a "living" mop? so i think you don't need to be a professional cleaning lady to figure that out
    As for statue - I actually had problems with mantling on top of it. That's why it didn't cross my mind it's really an intended solution.
    do you have new mantle on? Climbing the statue should be really easy and the way the lamp and the statue + the architecture behind it are arranged should a general thief player give the idea

  22. #47
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2018
    Quote Originally Posted by Supremcee View Post
    do you have new mantle on? Climbing the statue should be really easy and the way the lamp and the statue + the architecture behind it are arranged should a general thief player give the idea
    I always have new mantle on and I'm sorry this climbing was awkward. And by the way, I also had problem with mantling to the window leading to this garden. I had played a lot of missions and this felt awkward in the same way when I try to get somewhere during my ghost runs just to avoid alerts. And I disagree with your "architecture is arranged for general thief player". General thief player doesn't need to mantle on statues. It appears sometimes in more obscure mission, like for example: Keeper of Infinity. But it's not general thing.

    About mop - readable said something about enchantment, so I thought I need to disable this spell somehow.
    Last edited by Galaer; 18th Jul 2020 at 18:36.

  23. #48
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2004
    The readable specifically mentioned it looked like the mop was waiting for something, but the author couldn't fathom what a mop would anticipate. That seems pretty clear to me.

  24. #49
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2007
    Location: USA
    Great mission! I don't typically like puzzle or key hunt missions, but I beat this without needing to refer back here for hints. Really enjoyed the statue enemies who would freeze when you look at them. I usually leave all doors opened to give a visual reminder I've been in a room, but kept closing them in this FM to make sure I wasn't spotted! There was a jump scare here & there because of those things.

    I have one small suggestion. Make the Ice beats invulnerable. Feels out of place being able to kill them when you've worked around invulnerable enemies for the rest of the mission.

    4 out of 5 for me.

  25. #50
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2018
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    A really well made FM, well worth the time. Not entirely without faults, however.

    The style is vivid and memorable. Room layout was ingenious, and the surreal interconnections helped to minimize backtracking. It appears that the author took substantial inspiration from Into The Odd (gear floors, overlapping carpets, canvas bed etc.), though perhaps the link is spurious. It would be wonderful to see the author explore similar themes and decoration in a more traditional FM... one more akin to Memoirs of A Dead God, perhaps?

    The puzzles are mostly intuitive, and do not usually rely on withholding information to be cryptic. The rules are sometimes inconsistent (can pass under electric particles safely but not jump over? Also resorting to instakill floors to avoid softlocking the player where dropping down should be otherwise possible, instead of finding a more organic solution), progression is sometimes unclear, and I'm certain at least one puzzle relies on trial-and-error (broadheads breaking padlocks? EDIT: this is not true, frobbing the padlock gives a hint) although it somewhat signposted by the environment. Most of them were expertly done: The Horn of Winter solution immediately came to mind, but didn't feel too simple -- the perfect balance.

    To my mind, however, the FM has one glaring issue: the statue AI. Moreso than a normal FM, a puzzle one suggests that you need to pay close attention to your surroundings. However, the statues heavily restrict the ways you can look around. For me, it tended to be much more irritating than challenging, and contributed to making some puzzles take longer than they would have had the solution not been in harm's way (e.g. finding the Staff or identifying where the Eye-Watering key went). However, obvious effort was taken to always give vantage points and safe locations, so it is not unfairly implemented. Not making them collide with some objects did feel cheap, though I imagine it was done to prevent them getting stuck. At least doors work correctly. I had hoped something would eventually let me destroy them, a nice payoff for the everpresent frustration. To contrast, dodging mass projectiles from the ifrit was a challenge, but lots of fun.

    That said, the problems I have with it are pretty subjective, and to change them would detract from its character. In any case, the author's talent and ingenuity are on show in every location. Object placement is consistently paid high attention-to-detail, bearing none of the cut corners seen in parts of Duncan Malveine. Some brushwork is a touch simple, but never generic or messy. It might be hard to recommend to those who aren't keen on puzzle missions, but it's worth experiencing for everything else it offers.
    Last edited by DirkBogan; 19th Jul 2020 at 01:56.

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