View Poll Results: Should Thief have randomized loot?

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  • Yes, I like the idea of having a fresh treasure hunt every time I play Thief.

    42 42.00%
  • No, I like loot that is in the same place, over and over again.

    58 58.00%

Thread: "Randomized Loot"

"Randomized Loot"

  1. #51
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    Originally Posted by Platinumoxicity
    I've never even considered the idea of having a random loot amount. that would be stupid. I always had in mind a system where there is always a fixed amount of loot, but the locations of the items vary.
    I think random loot total would be OK as long as we still have a loot stat so people who want to get everything can find out how much is available on that particular playthrough.

    But I am strongly in favour of a loot stat in all cases, because I like to see at the end of the mission whether I was very poor or just poor at loot collection. Sometimes I almost get everything! This makes me quite happy.

    I reckon I am leaning towards the no-random-loot camp right now, I find the arguments against it a little more appealing, but my vote is still available.
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  2. #52
    Yeah but I explained, why these two aren't 100% true arguments. In the death to all loot stat, I tried to line the following out - plz tell me whats wrong with the following statements:

    1. Exploration - Is not really promoted in a more intensive way by adding random loot. We all explored the levels, tried to find the secrets. And for all of that exploration no additional motivation in the form of random loot was needed - heck, people even used dromed to find out where the missing lucky coins in the first level of TMA disappeared to after the patch. All of this did came out of the present interest and love for the game and its design - random loot doesn't add anything to that, so why bother with additional work for something already present?

    2. Replayability - other games like Diablo 2, Oblivion have shown, that nor alternating level construction (D2) nor a randomized loot tables for chests etc. has helped the games replayability. Who seriously claims he felt that the D2 random levels added to replayability? If you ask me they looked and felt the same, were monotonous like almost no other game. Next Example: HGL - followed the same concept as D2 - no replayability. D2's fascination came solely from item collection, creating and gathering better equipment than others, the alternating elements added almost 0 to it.

    Thats why I don't follow this two arguments.

    I can only state that I think (from other experiences) that random loot will feel completely differnt from the way some of its supporters here are thinking it will be.

    @Bono Yeah, I understand that, this is certainly true to a certain extent. But at second playthrough I know whats going to happen, and then I take control. I don't really like to lose that feeling.

  3. #53
    Exploration - Is not really promoted in a more intensive way by adding random loot. We all explored the levels, tried to find the secrets. And for all of that exploration no additional motivation in the form of random loot was needed - heck, people even used dromed to find out where the missing lucky coins in the first level of TMA disappeared to after the patch. All of this did came out of the present interest and love for the game and its design - random loot doesn't add anything to that, so why bother with additional work for something already present?
    I see your point. But I actually hate 100% loot collecting, for me it's an attempt to suck everything from the game on the first playthorugh. I mean, I always complete all the objectives and then leave. If the game tells me to get 1700 loot out of 3000, I rarely get more than 2000. But first time I play through the level, I will get one set of loot, next time I'm sure I will pick some other trinkets. It gives you freedom. If the loot is randomised, it will further enhance that exploration aspect - every time you will have to actually look for some stuff in every room, because you never know if this golden ring is in the bedroom, or it is in the basement. I love that.

    I mean, I don't know why, but I always have problems with finding enough loot in T1's The Haunted Cathedral. I'm always 100 or something short, and I always spend time looking for another peice of loot, no matter how many times I played this mission. But if I try to remember exact loot locations (and I DO remember them on my 5th playthrough), it will get easier anyway. Randomization will force me to explre the level again and again. I think it would rock.

    2. Replayability - other games like Diablo 2, Oblivion have shown, that nor alternating level construction (D2) nor a randomized loot tables for chests etc. has helped the games replayability. Who seriously claims he felt that the D2 random levels added to replayability? If you ask me they looked and felt the same, were monotonous like almost no other game. Next Example: HGL - followed the same concept as D2 - no replayability. D2's fascination came solely from item collection, creating and gathering better equipment than others, the alternating elements added almost 0 to it.
    I quite agree with you here. However, I finished Diablo (the first one) for 3 or 4 times just because it had random levels. I would've never played this game again if I knew I would have to run through the same dungeons again. So it really enhances replayability, really. And I never was a fan of collecting unique items.

    But at second playthrough I know whats going to happen, and then I take control. I don't really like to lose that feeling.
    That is possibly the main difference between random loot 'lovers' and 'haters'. I don't want to take control. I want the game the amaze and confuse me every time I play it. Thief is great because it really amazes me no matter how much time I played it. But I believe that randomization will only make it even better.

  4. #54
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    To me, random loot does promote exploration, albeit on the 2nd or 3rd playthrough. If we assume most areas will be visited on the first playthrough, then where's the motivation on that 2nd playthrough? I agree to have the loot stat may encourage you to try again, but retreading ground is hardly "exploration", at least random loot provides something a little different to the same enviroment. Or put another way, once you've achieved 100%, which could be possible on the first playthrough, the game gets very predictable. Random loot, especially if you include "unique" treasures, just gives a little freshness.
    "Did you find the crown in the attic?
    "No, I found gold theodolite.
    "Really? I found a bag of jewels." etc
    Just something that may your playthrough that tiny bit different from everyone else, and even your own 2nd playthrough.

    I take your point "Be careful what you wish for..." Yes, I agree this could get implemented horribly. But then so could movement, combat, AI...etc

  5. #55
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    "What did you find in the kitchen? I found a bottle of Gravecourt Red."
    "Nothing but the usual fine cheese and deer legs, this time, but there was large gold figurine in the basement. Last time I was in the kitchen, there was a set of silver dinnerware."

  6. #56
    Originally Posted by Flashart
    To me, random loot does promote exploration, albeit on the 2nd or 3rd playthrough. If we assume most areas will be visited on the first playthrough, then where's the motivation on that 2nd playthrough? I agree to have the loot stat may encourage you to try again, but retreading ground is hardly "exploration", at least random loot provides something a little different to the same enviroment.

    but isn't the kind of replayability random loot creates exactly the one you are descibing here? oh man I am still missing about 30 g loot, lets visit the atrium again its the only room I haven't visited this playthorugh... Isn't this equivalent to revisiting already seen places?

    @Bono: Maybe we have to accept that there are differences between the different player types that cannot be overcome with a single compromise or solution. One likes the changing, everytime a little different levels in D2 like you, the other one prefers the static, but beautifully created landscapes of Dungeon Siege 2.

    We will see what we get, expect nothing, but be dissappointed anyway..

  7. #57
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    Originally Posted by Bono
    ...This is a point, but don't forget that Thief has always been about realism and about unexpected events. The best moments in Thief is when you have to figure out what to do, where to go, and how to avoid that goddamn guard who has just come from around the corner while you were picking the lock. Randomness will significantly improve this effect.
    I disagree with this point, I find that knowing that a guard AI is going to come around the corner and that I have only a few seconds to pick the lock and get through the taffin door before they spot me and all hell breaks loose significantly raises the excitement level for me

    after I played thief for a while I started to think more along the lines of "ok there's a door, it's probably locked, there's a corner and an AI comes round it roughly every so many seconds so I have this long to get to the door, this long to pick, and this long to get away if I can't, where can I go if I get spotted, are there any shadows I can use..." and so on

    if the patrol is random most of that goes out of the window

    if I have no idea when to expect them I'll probably end up resorting to a sequence of make a save, try the door, get caught, sigh, reload, try the door and so on until I get through it or get bored, but there would be very little thrill in that for me

    I'm not saying random events can't be used, just that in this particular example it would detract from the experience for me

  8. #58
    I disagree with this point, I find that knowing that a guard AI is going to come around the corner and that I have only a few seconds to pick the lock and get through the taffin door before they spot me and all hell breaks loose significantly raises the excitement level for me

    after I played thief for a while I started to think more along the lines of "ok there's a door, it's probably locked, there's a corner and an AI comes round it roughly every so many seconds so I have this long to get to the door, this long to pick, and this long to get away if I can't, where can I go if I get spotted, are there any shadows I can use..." and so on

    if the patrol is random most of that goes out of the window
    I don't think so. In order to plan your moves, you have to observe and note the guards behavior. But you have to do it only once, when you first play the game, because when you restart the mission 2nd time, you already know everything about this particular AI behavior. Having guards patrol routes randomised will not prevent you from planning your moves, but you will have to observe and learn their behavior each time you replay the mission. Once you figured out where the guard is going this time you play the mission, feel free to plan.

    However, I believe that sometimes AIs must do some unexpected things. Let me give you an example. There is the Assassins mission in Thief 1. In Ramirez' manor, guards walk only in the hallways, and all the rooms are empty. When you play the mission for the first time, you don't know whether someone visits rooms or not, so you're always nervous and extra careful. But when you play longer and realize, that noone actually navigates these bedrooms, you can really position Garrett in the middle of a room, then walk away from your computer, have a dinner, and when you return to your game after an hour, nothing is changed, Garrett is still standing here in a complete safety. Imagine if there was a servant who might occasionally visit some of these rooms once in 10-15 minutes. If you know that you might be chased in these rooms, you will play more carefully, you will be always listening if there are footsteps and someone is approaching.

  9. #59
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    ah, so you don't mean a random patrol you mean a patrol that follows a fixed route but the route is different for each play though

    I'll have to think about that but it sounds interesting

    I believe one of the guys who writes scripts for T2 FM's has a route selector so you can define several possible patrols for a single AI and have them pick one of them at the start of the mission, would that sort of thing do ?

    so you'd still have fixed patrols but a different one each time and it would be up to the developer how many different variants there were

    would that be a sufficient level of randomness or would you want the route made up on the fly ?

    as for AI not patrolling rooms that's mainly down to the developer not making the patrol route complex enough, it is perfectly possible to create patrols where AI occasionally check the rooms with a repeat time large enough to make the player think it's a random event

    so if the patrols were made more complex in this way would that be ok ?

  10. #60
    jtr7 wrote: All a loot stat really tells you (regardless of how it's interpreted) is that you did or didn't explore everywhere you could've/should've. The purpose for killing the loot stat is to get away from the high-score mentality of the majority of games, encourage immersing into the role of Garrett and a thief a bit more, and actually be more realistic in a benign way, unlike many suggestions that do the opposite of these.
    Hmm, I've never taken the loot stat as a high-score thing. I've always seen it as an amazing thing when I scoured the level only to find I was 200 or 300 loot short of finding it ALL. I tip my hat to LGS every time I come up short. (Except I heard recently there's maybe an issue in TMA where the total loot in a level is artificially inflated and you can never get it all?? If true, it saddens me and I try to block that knowledge out so it doesn't hurt my experience.)

    High scores help you gloat. The loot stat helps you see that you failed and that there's more to find. High scores let you achieve unimaginable high scores. The loot stat is capped and very achievable, so it's not like I'm going to go for a world record high-score in "loot stat".

    Removing the loot stat would not do anything for me in terms of immersing into the Garrett role. It would have a neutral effect there. If anything, I'd appreciate the Thief experience less.

  11. #61
    In TMA sone loot pieces are stuck in the wall and the pickpocket counter is a bit buggy. But it's insignifficant.
    Surripio ergo sunt.

  12. #62
    I believe one of the guys who writes scripts for T2 FM's has a route selector so you can define several possible patrols for a single AI and have them pick one of them at the start of the mission, would that sort of thing do ?
    I believe one can do it without any special scripts. By the way, if I remember correctly, the assassins in, erm, The Assassins, walk different routes from the start of the mission to Ramirez' mansion, and this is done without scripts. If you preset a number of patrol points and link them all to an AI, the AI will randomly pick one of the points and will proceed.

    However, we're really offtopic here

  13. #63
    That route depends on the difficulty that you choose. The higher the difficulty, the longer you get walked around the city.
    Surripio ergo sunt.

  14. #64
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    Originally Posted by jtr7
    "What did you find in the kitchen? I found a bottle of Gravecourt Red."
    "Nothing but the usual fine cheese and deer legs, this time, but there was large gold figurine in the basement. Last time I was in the kitchen, there was a set of silver dinnerware."
    That's the spirit!

  15. #65
    Originally Posted by kabatta
    That route depends on the difficulty that you choose. The higher the difficulty, the longer you get walked around the city.
    If I remember correctly (and I'm pretty sure I do), there are a few different routes for Expert difficulty.

  16. #66
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    Yes, on every difficulty. Assassins! has many many patrol points, and "look back" points, which are chosen by preset routes per difficulty. If kabatta had pluralized "route" you'd get the gist. If patrol points are deleted, they AIs just go to another one. Patrol points could be deleted randomly to create a different path, but the major puzzles of Thief are solved by observing patrol patterns and timing a move, which means staying hidden and watching, which most players don't wanna do, but it's more thiefy to do so.



    And it is a High Score mentality to achieve the highest possible score, the most impressive and complete stats. Many games have the same highest possible score every time and people gloat when they reach it. The point is not to know anything but the terrain on every playthrough. Other than the main objective loot, it would feel like revisiting a place you've robbed before, rather than revisiting the same game play that one could play with less challenge each time, and it would lean the experience a little more toward that first feeling that can never be experienced again (not much closer, but more than ever).

    "Exploration is not promoted..." in a lot of cases, but not as completely as stated. Exploration this way means you don't know what you will find, if anything, when you revisit an area, making it fresher, and sometimes surprising, and if you want all the loot you can find, yes, you will have to explore thoroughly. As the games often stated in the goals, find the minimum goal for expenses, then do what you want afterwards, when you are done, get to the end mission zone. That won't change.

    "...so why bother with additional work for something already present?" If you are serious, and not just parroting me, I'm glad to hear that thinking. I also point out that I have been accused of wanting a remake/reboot/rehash, and being overly conservative, and an old taffer afraid of change. How the tables have turned. I'm pushing for radical change, and it scares people, even though it's extra thiefy. Thiefier than ever. I'm amused and pleased to see ideas sinking in. All I want is for the suggestions to be considered honestly before making an informed decision to reject it. I will only reject ideas according to what I've learned over the last 8 years. This idea is a positive step for a new Thief game to be released in a new decade. Gameplay will not be affected negatively. You will only miss a piece of the aftermath. I'd like to hear why the total possible is critical, not just a perk held over from centuries of gaming with scores where the score actually matters to win or gain extra lives or power-ups or level-ups or unlock stuff. Garrett will still be tallying up the loot, and sorting what goes in his pocket, what goes to the landlord, what goes to the stores, what goes to the fences. Let's promote Thief growing up, especially after the anti-aging of TDS.

  17. #67
    Originally Posted by jtr7
    And it is a High Score mentality to achieve the highest possible score, the most impressive and complete stats.
    Oh M G! You guys won't believe this. I just got 2435 of the loot on Thieves' Guild! Beat that you sorry Taffers!!!!!!!!! Wish we could do a multi-player showdown so I could show how a true taffer plays this game extra fast and achieves this loot total in 26 minutes!

    Hmm.

    Some peeps may use the loot stat in that way, but I don't. Do you actually see people gloat all the time in Thief forums like ttlg.com? Even if they do, that's not the benefit I gain by having it. You won't see me gloating over loot totals. You can just choose to avoid those forum threads or EM-sponsored leaderboard (g forbid), if it's too traumatic.

  18. #68
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    Certainly not exaggerated into ridiculousness like that. However, you've seen the suggestions HERE for a leaderboard. As far as I can determine, the concept of a leaderboard for official Thief has never come up. I've searched for keywords, but I don't know if it may have come up in some discussion that used other less descriptive or concise terms.

  19. #69
    Maybe they're calling it "Sneakerboard" or "Tafferboard", not "Leaderboard". LOL.

  20. #70
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    Hahaha! I may have to try it. online stats brought up FMs--but not what this discussion was about--and other games that have power-ups, level-ups, and things Thief never did. That was as close as I got, but definitely nothing like that one thread here.

  21. #71
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    The first time you play any Thief level from any game the AI and Loot may as well be "random" as you've never seen it before. Garrett wouldn't know what doors are locked, patrol routes, loot location. The 2nd time you play it, you obviously go in "pre-prepared". I guess it's a toss up between how much enjoyment is derived from both scenarios.
    Randomizing things means your playing Vs the Game. There's an unpredictability.
    If you're trying for 100% then you're playing "against yourself", trying to beat your previous total.
    Both are perfectly acceptable, but you could still do the "100%" with the random game, but you can't do the uniqueness with a "static" game.
    This is all about using Thief in different ways, just like the "High Score" or "Speed Run" or "Ghosters" do.
    I make the point again, would static "fans" be prepared to make "Saves at the Level start" thereby creating a "Static Level"?

  22. #72
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    If you save at the start of a level then you are stuck with whatever loot you had from the last mission to buy your equipment with (or, if we have a Deadly Shadows type of game, the exact equipment you entered the level with). I suspect this would be unacceptable to the static fans.

    I've never really been able to remember most of the loot locations in subsequent playthroughs anyway, so perhaps I am not the best qualified to be offering an opinion here, but one thing that does happen to me a lot is remembering vaguely where some loot is, like "there is something behind a statue somewhere" and it's quite satisfying to find the relevant statue eventually.

    But since I never find all the loot I can never say "there's no point in my exploring there because I know nothing is there" so I guess randomised loot doesn't really fulfill any purpose for me.

    I find guard locations and patrols easier to remember (presumably because they're more important than loot). So randomising these might be a better use of randomisation. But this will also be harder to do, so it might not work so well, so it might be a worse use of randomisation. Bleh.
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  23. #73
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    Originally Posted by jtr7
    Yes, on every difficulty. Assassins! has many many patrol points, and "look back" points, which are chosen by preset routes per difficulty. If kabatta had pluralized "route" you'd get the gist. If patrol points are deleted, they AIs just go to another one. Patrol points could be deleted randomly to create a different path, but the major puzzles of Thief are solved by observing patrol patterns and timing a move, which means staying hidden and watching, which most players don't wanna do, but it's more thiefy to do so...
    I'm not sure that's how it works, in TMA each patrol point is linked to both the previous and the next patrol point, delete one and, as I remember from making patrols in my own mission, the patrolling AI will get to the patrol point just before the deleted one and stop dead because of the missing forward link not sure if it's the same in TDP tho and I've no idea what TDS does

  24. #74
    Using a save game might work for yourself alone, but you still can't help each other out if you miss a certain bit of loot and the whole speedrun fun videos (yeah I enjoy seeing someone run through Morrowind in 20 minutes ^^) get impossible, since they are no more reproducable. And its not the same feeling to manage something in an individual random version of a level, instead of doing it within the one, same version everyone had to play. Its not the same if A gets 100% in his (maybe easier?) level than I, B, get 100% in my level.

    I don't think the savegame option helps me, I also still fear what jay once pointed out - for me the loot placement was part of the level design, the bottle and goblet in front of a fireplace, the lucky coins in a well - I just can't imagine I get the same feeling if an amount of the loot is randomized. Thats just not the same feeling I think...

  25. #75
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    Originally Posted by esme
    I'm not sure that's how it works, in TMA each patrol point is linked to both the previous and the next patrol point, delete one and, as I remember from making patrols in my own mission, the patrolling AI will get to the patrol point just before the deleted one and stop dead because of the missing forward link not sure if it's the same in TDP tho and I've no idea what TDS does
    That's how it works usually, yes, but in Assassins! I described something that actually happened when I was trying to get a screenshot of Quince and Jacow before they walked away from Farkus Functionals. I don't know how to make them stop patrolling, but I wanted them animated, just idle. I deleted a bunch of patrol points, and they would walk to whichever ones were available. I had to deleted them all to get them to idle outside Farkus' window! Whatever makes that level different, it does exist and can be tapped.

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