TTLG|Thief|Bioshock|System Shock|Deus Ex|Mobile
Results 1 to 24 of 24

Thread: Life of the Party - The only Thief Mission I skipped

  1. #1
    New Member
    Registered: Nov 2020

    Life of the Party - The only Thief Mission I skipped

    Hey all,

    I don't remember if I've posted here before. I tried to make an account for this place but apparently I already had one.
    I wanted to write a post about a frustrating revelation concerning Thief 2: I just played Life of the Party, and was super excited for it. But it ended up being the only mission in the series I skipped up to this point (I skipped Thieves' Guild too because it was tiresome, but went back to it instantly after, regretting my choice).

    When I finally obtained the plans for Project Cetus from the safe in Karras' Office, I escaped the building. Everything got alarmed and this looked like the moment to escape.

    However, upon returning allllll the way to the bell tower, the mission wouldn't end. Turns out I didn't obtain the scripture I had to get from somewhere. I simply forgot about it. Spent ages finding a way to open Karras' safe in his office. I already had a scripture in my inventory, too.

    Upon finding this out, I realised I'd have to go alllllllllll the way back to Angelwatch to get the thing, then go allllll the way back to the start to end the mission. I think this is pretty shitty, to be fair. The level itself also wasn't very engaging. It lacked the nonlinear box design many other Thief 2 levels have. The beginning is very linear and the tower feels quite empty. It still felt like a fine mission overall, and it had some funny secrets, but the scripture thing is pretty stupid.

    I was wondering if anyone else shares my experience.

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: thiefgold.com
    Quote Originally Posted by Thirteen1355 View Post
    The level itself also wasn't very engaging. It lacked the nonlinear box design many other Thief 2 levels have. The beginning is very linear and the tower feels quite empty. It still felt like a fine mission overall, and it had some funny secrets, but the scripture thing is pretty stupid.
    Rare opinion. LOTP is my favourite T2 OM, and if I remember it's almost universally loved in the community

  3. #3
    New Member
    Registered: Nov 2020

    LotP

    It's very interesting. I've heard about the praise. With many other highly rated levels I tend to agree (The Sword, Song of the Caverns). My personal favourites are these two, Framed, Blackmail, and Trail of Blood. Also really enjoyed Shipping and Receiving, and generally enjoyed pretty much all Thief levels except for the trailing missions, Ambush, some of the final T1 levels, Thieves Guild and Lost City.

    I seem to lean towards the missions based on exploring big intricate buildings, but LotP just felt less tight and structured than the others. I think it makes sense though, Angelwatch seems more like a monument than a functional building. I guess the resources that could have been put into giving the building more detail went into the sheer size of the mission (which is impressive nonetheless). The Von Vernon and Willey guards conversation was priceless as well.

  4. #4
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    It's a loved mission, mostly because moving by rooftops is practically at the top of our hierarchy of gameplay & aesthetic and it also had a grand scale and it's a high point in the story, but you're right that it doesn't have all that actual gameplay innovation and some clear design flaws like the backtracking problem you mention, I can see how that would sour you to the whole experience. It probably would have been a better experience if you hadn't had that problem.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2007
    Location: Germany
    I see your point Thirteen1355, although this mission is probably my most favorite of them all.
    Having designed several missions myself I sometimes too had the problem of finding a meaningfull ending.
    So yes, backtracking all the way to the start is the most simple (and sometimes also the laziest) solution from an designer's perspective.

    The demo version of LOTP is what has got me hooked to Thief ever since.
    I remember playing it back then on a 300MHz machine where loading a level took several minutes - and I had to reload often.
    I never played any "first person shooter" prior to Thief but I was immediately drawn into Thief's world; it was the atmosphere that really got me.
    I still remember that it took me the entire weekend to finish this mission, but after I was done I felt like: Wow! What a great game!

  6. #6
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    So you're blaming the mission for you doing a crap job of keeping track of your objectives. Got it.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth
    I must say I agree with ZB here. The main complaint you have about this mission is the fact that you forgot something that was clearly stated in the objectives. Why do you feel so strongly about the scripture objective, and not the cetus project objective? It's exactly the same, you have to go to the tower to get it too, and then return. Is every objective where you have to get something at the other end of the mission and return to the start decreasing the quality of the level?

    I also disagree with the other points you made, it being linear and the tower being empty. Those are absolutely not the memories I have of the mission. You then go on and mention Trail of Blood as one of your favorites, which is the most linear mission in the entire game...
    Last edited by klatremus; 7th Jan 2021 at 23:50.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2020
    I'd say instead that mission was one of the few I liked of T2 even if there were others good ones too, like I don't remember the name right now (the early one Garret had to listen at a door, the one with the ghost under that cathedral, the cemetery, etc..) because still had that sort of "ancient/magic/haunting" atmosphere that was more common in Thief Gold than in T2 imho while others level like the second one was just boring..
    Returning to the subject I liked also the massive open scenario even if I had to play it with a lower Z-Buffer value for my bad config I played it with, so I didn't enjoyed the level as I should. In fact I remember there was a demo version of a part of that level if I'm correct, that was even better (considering coming from the T1 experience), but others levels were not that good imho. Not to mention the ending of the game that might have deserved a longer better final imho.
    Anyway I do agree it was not an easy level.. one thing I always liked about Dark Engines physic logic of those games is that sometimes the character has the freedom to make sort of impossible things like jumping from a balcony to another inside the mansion to escape or inventing probably unexpected ways to climb to the top of the buildings, slowly walk on thin lines on the border of them, etc..
    Last edited by 386SX; 8th Jan 2021 at 08:11.

  9. #9
    New Member
    Registered: Nov 2020
    Quote Originally Posted by klatremus View Post
    I must say I agree with ZB here. The main complaint you have about this mission is the fact that you forgot something that was clearly stated in the objectives. Why do you feel so strongly about the scripture objective, and not the cetus project objective? It's exactly the same, you have to go to the tower to get it too, and then return. Is every objective where you have to get something at the other end of the mission and return to the start decreasing the quality of the level?

    I also disagree with the other points you made, it being linear and the tower being empty. Those are absolutely not the memories I have of the mission. You then go on and mention Trail of Blood as one of your favorites, which is the most linear mission in the entire game...
    Um, maybe because once you get the project blueprints a huge alarm goes off and Garrett says "Gotta make my escape?"

    Trail of Blood was awesome yes. It used its linearity to craft a level unlike the other T2 missions. It decided to restrict in favour of unique and creative design. LotP is the usual Thief setting but linear and with a pretty empty tower ahead. Also, I wasn't even blaming the mission. I simply said it soured my experience.

    I think Demagogue sums it up nicely.
    Though it would probably not have decreased positive perception of the mission at all had the devs simply made escaping Angelwatch end the mission (rather than returning to Bell Tower). Would have made it less retreading the same linear ground, something Trail of Blood doesn't do luckily.
    Last edited by Thirteen1355; 8th Jan 2021 at 07:15. Reason: Crediting an earlier post from someone I had to check the name of

  10. #10
    New Member
    Registered: Sep 2018
    Location: Lyon, France
    Quote Originally Posted by Thirteen1355 View Post
    Um, maybe because once you get the project blueprints a huge alarm goes off and Garrett says "Gotta make my escape?"

    Trail of Blood was awesome yes. It used its linearity to craft a level unlike the other T2 missions. It decided to restrict in favour of unique and creative design. LotP is the usual Thief setting but linear and with a pretty empty tower ahead. Also, I wasn't even blaming the mission. I simply said it soured my experience.

    I think Demagogue sums it up nicely.
    Though it would probably not have decreased positive perception of the mission at all had the devs simply made escaping Angelwatch end the mission (rather than returning to Bell Tower). Would have made it less retreading the same linear ground, something Trail of Blood doesn't do luckily.
    Well, maybe my question is stupid, but why didn't you load a previous save, where you were still in the Tower ?
    I always keep a few saves of key moments/buildings when playin, just in case I forgot something so I don't have to start all over again

  11. #11
    Hopefully you didn't forget the game came out 20 years ago Good luck trying to find any game at that time or before where traversing rooftops was even possible; let alone a big chunk of a mission where you're doing this... and then getting to Angelwatch (another big chunk) after all that. LoTP was truly unique and engaging for the rooftop (thieves highway) adventure aspect alone back then.

    The verticality, stealth, freedom of movement, and controls the Thief games had was unheard of in gaming back then, as far as I know. LoTP was a nice change of pace from all the other missions; so, was icing on the cake, in some respects. Thief had many gameplay aspects that weren't done in any other game franchises for more than a decade, which was annoying. It's still annoying that games still can't do stealth very well.

    I'm sorry you didn't get to play it in the year 2000, but it's not the mission's fault you didn't

    That said, I agree about Angelwatch. That always felt a little barren to me, and not as lively as I was hoping for... just a handful of NPCs standing around
    Last edited by Darkness_Falls; 15th Jan 2021 at 02:19.

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Location: Southern,California
    it was the first time you get to meet the golden child so epic,yes i locked him in the room before i left lol,he is a trouble maker :P

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: May 2001
    Location: Boston MA
    I understand the different points of view on this mission and that is one of the great things about this community. We are all allowed to have our own opinions.

    I actually got out the front door of anglewatch. Can’t remember how I did it. I could have opened it in Dromed. Anyway, not much out there and clearly you were not meant to go there. I suspect the original intent was to have the final objective to leave by the front door and then it was changed after.

    It is one of the favorites of many players and mine as well. Although I love TG a little more than T2, this is one of my favorite missions of all time. I really enjoyed even backtracking to the beginning because I love rooftops so much (even made a missions with rooftops &#128578. And of course the “I’m telling you” conversation is just as great every time I play this mission. Rooftop play was groundbreaking for the time.

    As I understand it, this mission was originally intended to be part of TDP but the clock ran out. Glad it did, it was the best one of T2.

    Just my 2 cents.
    bbb

  14. #14
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Quote Originally Posted by bbb View Post
    As I understand it, this mission was originally intended to be part of TDP but the clock ran out.
    Citation needed. I've never heard this. Sure you're not getting confused by the fact that the demo version of this mission, The Unwelcome Guest, was done in the T1-ish version of the engine?

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: thiefgold.com
    Quote Originally Posted by ZylonBane View Post
    Citation needed. I've never heard this. Sure you're not getting confused by the fact that the demo version of this mission, The Unwelcome Guest, was done in the T1-ish version of the engine?
    For whatever it's worth, the demo shown in the Making of T2 documentary uses the T1 guard models and voice (around 8:03)


  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: May 2001
    Location: Boston MA
    I stand corrected. After searching around a bit, I could find no evidence that Life of the Party was intended for TDP. I thought I had read that but must have confused it with the demo “Unwelcome Guest.” Wanted to set he record straight.

    bbb

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by Thirteen1355 View Post
    The beginning is very linear and the tower feels quite empty. It still felt like a fine mission overall, and it had some funny secrets, but the scripture thing is pretty stupid.
    I agree with you about the tower, I didn't like the cold look and feel of it.

    I understand why this mission is almost universally loved, but I'm one of the few who are not so fond of this mission, it is good but fan missions have long since far surpassed it.

  18. #18
    New Member
    Registered: Sep 2018
    Location: Lyon, France
    Quote Originally Posted by zajazd View Post
    I agree with you about the tower, I didn't like the cold look and feel of it.

    I understand why this mission is almost universally loved, but I'm one of the few who are not so fond of this mission, it is good but fan missions have long since far surpassed it.
    As it's been said before on this thread, you have to keep in mind that Life of the Party is an OM.
    Every single OM have been far surpassed by FMs in terms of gameplay, level design and technique, which is pretty understandable considering the developers were still trailblazing, had limited time, budget and knowledge.

    A lot of things happened between the release of T2.
    Authors learned from each other, created a community still active 20 years later which proves how big and committed it is, and shared knowledge.
    Some even created NewDark which gave DromEd and FMs a completely new dimension

    In addition, FM authors have way more time to invest in their creations. And they have passion. They don't do it for a living, they do it for fun, for the pleasure to share their creations with the other players.
    Let's take for example Broken Triad - Its author invested 4 years on it (+1 year for Ominous Bequest)
    His work is absolutely great, but do you think he could have done the same if he had 1 month (which is probably more or less what devs had to invest on every OMs) to finish his campaign ?
    A lot of FMs' mention the Building Time in the Info file. Lot of them are 6-12 months !

    To me, what is amazing with T2 is that it created some foundations.
    Then, the community took it to the next level.
    Indeed, after playing some masterpieces we have today, OMs seems pretty empty, which is also the case for Life of the Party is you compare it to some Thieves' Highway style FMs which are some of the most amazing of all to me
    But you have to keep in mind that without these OMs, no FMs would have ever existed.

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: May 2001
    Location: Boston MA
    Quote Originally Posted by thehardyboyz View Post
    His work is absolutely great, but do you think he could have done the same if he had 1 month (which is probably more or less what devs had to invest on every OMs) to finish his campaign ?.
    I can barely get a street or two done on 30 days (I am a slow builder). I can’t imagine doing an entire mission in a month. Impressive to say the least.

  20. #20
    New Member
    Registered: Sep 2018
    Location: Lyon, France
    Quote Originally Posted by bbb View Post
    I can barely get a street or two done on 30 days (I am a slow builder). I can’t imagine doing an entire mission in a month. Impressive to say the least.
    Even if it takes you time, I hope you'll keep releasing some new stuff, your FMs are some of my favourites !

  21. #21
    New Member
    Registered: Nov 2020
    Shame I completely forgot to check back my thread, as I see quite a few great replies have been written since I last checked!

    Quote Originally Posted by thehardyboyz View Post
    Well, maybe my question is stupid, but why didn't you load a previous save, where you were still in the Tower ?
    I always keep a few saves of key moments/buildings when playin, just in case I forgot something so I don't have to start all over again
    I intentionally only use quicksaves within a level (and make a regular save at the beginning of each level), because I play with a very specific checkpoint system. I quicksave whenever I achieve an objective, or when I am in a 'save room,' which basically encompasses a quiet, dead end room without any enemies and a door you can lock. Through this, I try to keep the challenge and tension up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkness_Falls View Post
    Hopefully you didn't forget the game came out 20 years ago Good luck trying to find any game at that time or before where traversing rooftops was even possible; let alone a big chunk of a mission where you're doing this... and then getting to Angelwatch (another big chunk) after all that. LoTP was truly unique and engaging for the rooftop (thieves highway) adventure aspect alone back then.

    The verticality, stealth, freedom of movement, and controls the Thief games had was unheard of in gaming back then, as far as I know. LoTP was a nice change of pace from all the other missions; so, was icing on the cake, in some respects. Thief had many gameplay aspects that weren't done in any other game franchises for more than a decade, which was annoying. It's still annoying that games still can't do stealth very well.

    I'm sorry you didn't get to play it in the year 2000, but it's not the mission's fault you didn't

    That said, I agree about Angelwatch. That always felt a little barren to me, and not as lively as I was hoping for... just a handful of NPCs standing around
    Of course. My expectations came solely from the other missions in Thief 2 (love almost every single one of them) and hearsay. I'm used to playing games from 20+ years ago. About 90% of what I play is emulated console games. It honestly felt like LotP went into the direction modern games tend to go into. Size for the sake of size, and a bit more of a linear path. Not labelling these as bad things, but I can at least see they were really ambitious with LotP. Personally, I just feel it suffers a bit from that sentiment.

    Quote Originally Posted by downwinder View Post
    it was the first time you get to meet the golden child so epic,yes i locked him in the room before i left lol,he is a trouble maker :P
    Sadly, I did not get to see him at all. Maybe I'd have felt better about the mission if I had seen him

    Finally,
    Quote Originally Posted by thehardyboyz View Post
    As it's been said before on this thread, you have to keep in mind that Life of the Party is an OM.
    Every single OM have been far surpassed by FMs in terms of gameplay, level design and technique, which is pretty understandable considering the developers were still trailblazing, had limited time, budget and knowledge.

    A lot of things happened between the release of T2.
    Authors learned from each other, created a community still active 20 years later which proves how big and committed it is, and shared knowledge.
    Some even created NewDark which gave DromEd and FMs a completely new dimension

    In addition, FM authors have way more time to invest in their creations. And they have passion. They don't do it for a living, they do it for fun, for the pleasure to share their creations with the other players.
    Let's take for example Broken Triad - Its author invested 4 years on it (+1 year for Ominous Bequest)
    His work is absolutely great, but do you think he could have done the same if he had 1 month (which is probably more or less what devs had to invest on every OMs) to finish his campaign ?
    A lot of FMs' mention the Building Time in the Info file. Lot of them are 6-12 months !

    To me, what is amazing with T2 is that it created some foundations.
    Then, the community took it to the next level.
    Indeed, after playing some masterpieces we have today, OMs seems pretty empty, which is also the case for Life of the Party is you compare it to some Thieves' Highway style FMs which are some of the most amazing of all to me
    But you have to keep in mind that without these OMs, no FMs would have ever existed.
    I am really interested in trying out some of those fan missions after finishing T2. I follow a lot of hacking/modding communities and while sometimes, real gems are released, I've never heard anyone say a hack/mod was better than the original games they were built off. Hearing this hypes me up hugely!

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth
    Dude, if you enjoyed the first 2 thief games, you absolutely have to do yourself a favor and play some fan missions! There are over 1,200 of them and many are very high quality. I have played fan missions continuously since 2001, and even I have only scratched the surface and played 150-200 of them. Look up some best-of threads or reviews and get to it. Ominous Bequest/Broken Triad is as good as anything you'll ever find. So start there.

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Thirteen1355 View Post
    It honestly felt like LotP went into the direction modern games tend to go into. Size for the sake of size, and a bit more of a linear path.
    Of course, you can pretty much just go straight to your target, but what makes LotP great is all the things you can discover when you step aside and explore, all the memorable places and scenes -- the necromancer's spire with the Necron Book of Ash, the crazy astronomer building a rocket ship (and the fate of his poor servant), the Rothchilds' conversation, the burglary in progress, the greenhouse with the friendly spider... just from the lore and worldbuilding standpoint this is an absolute gem of a mission. And this is just the commute! At the end of the thieves' highway towers a nice big Art Deco/Futurist building where you get to see what mechanists are up to. And it has a few delightful surprises of its own. Did you know you can avoid triggering the alarm for example?

  24. #24
    New Member
    Registered: Sep 2018
    Location: Lyon, France
    Quote Originally Posted by klatremus View Post
    Dude, if you enjoyed the first 2 thief games, you absolutely have to do yourself a favor and play some fan missions! There are over 1,200 of them and many are very high quality. I have played fan missions continuously since 2001, and even I have only scratched the surface and played 150-200 of them. Look up some best-of threads or reviews and get to it. Ominous Bequest/Broken Triad is as good as anything you'll ever find. So start there.
    Strongly agree with that, if you've never played any FM, these two are definitely a great choice to get started. It has everything : Mansion, City, and .. other stuff ;-)
    I'll add, if you liked T1/TG as well and want to see what a city mission looks like now, I'd highly recommend "The Sound of a Burrick in a Room" - To me it's the ultimate Thief city experience, and according to what you said about LotP and OMs, I guess you'd love it.

    Anyway, you'll find on this forum several threads listing some gems on the dedicated subforum. Enjoy !

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •