View Poll Results: Do you want the "City Threat Level" feature?

Voters
85. You may not vote on this poll
  • I want the CTL Feature…instead of using the “fixed difficulty” instant fail for killing.

    22 25.88%
  • I want the CTL Feature…working in conjunction with the “fixed difficulty” instant fail for killing.

    29 34.12%
  • I do not want the CTL Feature…l just want the “fixed difficulty” instant fail for killing.

    24 28.24%
  • I do not want the CTL Feature…AND…do not want the “fixed difficulty” instant fail for killing.

    6 7.06%
  • I don’t care if the CTL Feature is implemented or not.

    4 4.71%

Thread: "City Threat Level" Feature

"City Threat Level" Feature

  1. #26
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    Yeah, I noticed that! TDS quotes are much shorter and less immersive. It's like thief robot speech when compared to quotes from the first 2 games.

  2. #27
    loading quotes who gives gameplay tips is also horribly repetetive. If such are to be implemented, let them come up on the first mission and then replace them with a huge bunch of hammerite and pagan quotes. Sorry for going of topic.

    The time which passes between missions could be of some trouble with the new suggested system. What if 2 months passes or even more? Would the paranoia stay on the same level? It could also lead to exploits when you know that the next mission will not be affected because it is further into the timeline, located in a place where people will not ramp up any security etc.

  3. #28
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    Beautiful suggestion!

  4. #29
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    Originally Posted by Platinumoxicity
    How about this: Start the mission on Expert-difficulty, do some failing, get cornered and be forced to kill a guard. Finish the mission and the stats say:

    Mission completed on difficulty level Hard "wut?" -you say. You managed to complete the objectives of the hard-difficulty, because you failed to complete the "don't kill anyone"-objective set by the expert-difficulty, but you still completed all the other objectives including the loot requirement. This also works when you kill an innocent bystander, and then the completed difficulty resets to Normal because that's the only difficulty level that allows all killing.
    This is a really nice idea. I think it could be expanded far more than just for killing. When confronted with a situation part-way through a mission that you're really having trouble with, caused by a higher-difficulty objective, you have the unpleasant choice between frustrating yourself by carrying on trying for ages, or frustrating yourself by replaying the mission on a lower difficulty level. This idea could give a superior version of the latter choice. Also it could be a good way of achieving the concept of separating different types of objectives, like loot or killing, without actually having to trouble yourself with implementing the actual separation! I shall ahve to think more on this.
    Follow the fortunes of the Thi4f Forum!

  5. #30
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    Originally Posted by DarknessFalls

    Did every T1/T2 Expert mission say, "Don't kill anyone"? Not sure.
    Those missions say that where you encounter humans. The rule itself only applies to humans. You are free to kill any monster/mech.

  6. #31
    I do like this idea;
    But only tempered by Chade's suggestions over on TTLG

    Originally Posted by Chade
    I didn't vote in the poll because the available options are really quite specific, and none were a good fit for me.

    However: I like the idea of dynamic difficulty in thief. One thing I don't like about your suggestion is that risk and reward are inverely related: the game gets harder as the amount of loot goes down, and vis versa. And it makes the game harder for newbies then experts. This is the opposite of what we want!

    I suggest we separate factors which make the game harder from factors which make the game more rewarding. Adding guards / increasing alertness makes the game harder. Removing loot makes the game less rewarding.

    So punish killing by removing loot (i.e. your scared civilian mechanic). Newbies get less loot then experts. Punish success (in this case, stealing lots of loot) by increasing the amount of guards on the street. Experts have to handle harder levels then newbies.

    Note the feedback mechanics here: ghosters who do not find a lot of loot will start tripping over unguarded loot sooner or later, leading to more heavily guarded levels. On the other hand, people who kill everyone in a level and then pick up all the loot will start to scare aware civilains, leading to leaner pickings untill they stop killing. This is all desirable IMO.

  7. #32
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    Chade and Bakerman do not fully understand CTL...yet...

    From TTLG:

    Originally Posted by Chade
    One thing I don't like about your suggestion is that risk and reward are inverely related: the game gets harder as the amount of loot goes down, and vis versa. And it makes the game harder for newbies then experts. This is the opposite of what we want!
    You are confused in your assumptions regarding the effects of CTL, thereby not understanding the balance.

    1) Less available unsecured loot

    People are simply nervous about carrying or leaving valuables in unsecured areas, and are either locking them up and/or hiding them better, for fear of getting killed because they own them.

    Mechanics:
    This can work alone, or be used in conjunction with a randomized loot placement/amount system, and used as a modifier. The more killing, the greater this modifier would be, reducing available unsecured loot.
    There need not be any less total loot. As I stated, there would be less available unsecured loot, not less available total loot. This means that more valuables would be locked in secure areas/containers or hidden better. This would be accomplished with loot placeholders that would accommodate this dynamic shift between secure/unsecured locations/containers and between open/hidden locations. The loot would not just disappear *poof*...:laff: ...However, a total loot reduction could be scaled with difficulty (e.g. Normal = 100%, Hard = 90%, Expert = 80% total available loot), if desired.

    The effect of the CTL is scaled with the fixed difficulties in every regard, and would work in conjunction and in proportion with them, creating a balanced, dimensional, and synergistic difficulty system.

    Are we clear on that now?...

    Originally Posted by Bakerman
    I like the idea of dynamically adjusting the difficulty, but the idea of the 'no killing' rules is that it's difficult to do. New players will be more likely to rely on killing guards, and if you then make the game more difficult for them it'll turn them off (or force them to kill more and more guards until they've maxed out the difficulty). It's a feedback loop that goes the wrong direction - it unbalances things instead of keeping the balance based on the player's skill level.
    The CTL feature doesn't prevent killing, it just discourages excessive killing/violence for the expert and newb alike. This is scaled with the fixed difficulties to maintain balance.

    Tension points

    Killing:
    Normal = 3, Hard = 5, Expert = 10

    Knock outs:
    Normal = 1, Hard = 2, Expert = 3
    This is just an example of the concept, and these values could be adjusted for more precise balance. Even if adjusted, the concept remains the same.

    For example this could be:

    Tension points

    Killing:
    Normal = 1, Hard = 3, Expert = 5 or FAIL

    Knock outs:
    Normal = 0, Hard = 1, Expert = 2

    Even a newb doesn't need to go on a killing spree in order to complete a mission, but if he does, he will feel the natural resistance of City, just like everybody else...albeit to lesser degree, because of scaled balance...

    In the future, I would appreciate a request for clarification before jumping to conclusions...thanks...

    Originally Posted by Chade
    IMO you're not seeing the forest for the trees. The right feedback system won't require lots of little patches so that it works.
    Lots of little patches?

    The difference between securing and removing loot is irrelevant detail. The fundamental concept here is reducing or increasing the amount of loot the player is expected to find: this can then be implemented in any appropriate way.
    If you are referring to the CTL feature, that is not the fundamental concept. If you are referring to another concept, then I am having a hard time understanding it because of how you are phrasing your responses.


    Delaying the punitive effects of CTL depending on level is a poor solution to the difficulty problem. It doesn't remove the undesirable feedback loop, it merely obscures it. Now you have the problem of balancing two contradictory game mechanics: one which punishes killing, and one which explicitly allows it! Far better to get the right feedback loops in the first place.
    There would never be an undesirable feedback loop unless you wanted it that way. One would purposely have to jack up the tension point values...this is easily avoided. Remember, the CTL decreases as well as increases.

    There isn't any contradictory game mechanics. Your mind only believes that because you mistakenly perceive the "allowance of killing" as the equal and opposite force of the CTL feature. The "allowance of killing" is a fixed negative absolute, and the CTL feature is a relative dynamic positive.

    Because they are not contradictory absolutes (because CTL allows killing), and because the CTL feature is dynamic, it operates in harmony with it. There is no problem with balance, as this can easily be fine tuned for optimum results...just like the fixed difficulty system.

  8. #33
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    Originally Posted by jtr7
    So...for this CTL system, instead of hearing about it, or just hearing and reading about it as before, we would see it and experience it when it makes sense to, at a level according to the missions' settings, determined by the devs' knowledge of time, place, and Faction in relation to the previous mission. Adding in modifiers that work off the stats, or nullify them as needed, there is no requirement to record new voice-overs, or create new readables, and they can be tuned to serve the fiction, and the fiction can be made with the system in mind.
    The CTL system could be used to seamlessly trigger events in many different ways, including auxiliary story events and may even be used to dynamically alter supply prices, or add fixed difficulty objectives, if desired.

    Multiple CTL's could also be used, and they could be made to be sympathetic to each other, depending on preferred and logical design.

    The CTL feature would enhance and dimensionalize the core design of THIEF, creating an even more immersive and dynamically responsive experience.

    I've added this comment to my first post...

  9. #34
    If this idea allows killing, then I fundamentally disagree.

    If implemented while keeping no kill on expert, then I conditionally approve.

  10. #35
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    Originally Posted by Namdrol
    If this idea allows killing, then I fundamentally disagree.

    If implemented while keeping no kill on expert, then I conditionally approve.
    The CTL feature would not inherently interfere with any no-kill restrictions. That would be by designers choice.

  11. #36
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    Well said, and exactly true.......Fixed difficulty objectives would always supersede the CTL.

    They co-exist in harmony, creating dimension and shine to our beloved core crystal that is THIEF.

    Using sub-thresholds, the CTL could also be used to trigger special events...if desired...

  12. #37
    As Jtr said, the CTL should mainly serve contuinity, and the distance and time between missions should be noticed when doing it. Also it should be personalized for each mission, how much you can harm enemies until CTL rises. Harming people should count only; who cares if you KO a burrick or destroy a walking corpse? Also the place should be noted; maybe no one ever knows if someone is killed or goes missing. KOed people will eventually wake up, but after mission - let's not break gameplay. The importance of the target matters too. If you rob the baron, everyone will panic. Warehouse break-ins are common.

    For example what they could be:
    Normal:
    5 CTL points/kill
    0/KO

    Hard:
    10/kill
    0.2/KO

    Expert:
    kill=fail
    0.5/KO

    I'd allow quite much blackjacking as that's the way I usually play, KO everyone.

    And maybe it should also count if you vandalise much property.

  13. #38
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    .....I don't remember Garrett as being the vandal type....well, unless you count the Clocktower, then Garrett would be considered the Vandal God.

    Also, since knockouts are being mentioned here. In that T2 mission where you go across the rooftops to Karras's party, I knocked out every guard in the place. When I finally went into Karras's office, the audio message played that told me that I had walked right into a trap mhahahahah.......crickets chirping! I am guessing that IF I hadn't knocked out the guards, they would all have converged on that office? Is that correct?

  14. #39
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    Adventures of the Greatest Thief the world has NEVER seen. -The cover of the Thief 2 box.

    There's 1 problem with CTL that I don't think has been adressed yet. The CTL would need to take into account whether any of the guards have seen Garrett or not. If Garrett has stelthily assassinated a few guys without any sort of witnesses, although there would be more City Watch on the streets, Garrett still wouldn't be a suspect. I don't consider Garrett's fame among the Watch in TDS as canon, because the only reason why the Watch had any reason to look for him in T2 was because someone hired the sheriff exclusively to catch him. So the Watch officers on the streets shouldn't automatically attack Garrett, and react to the sound of his footsteps. Remember the Watch officers on the streets in T1? In "Bafford's", "Assassins" and "Thieves' guild"? They never reacted to Garrett. If the guards in the City have no reason to arrest the common peasants walking around in the middle of the night, Garrett is no exception and should be treated like any citizen.

    Only if Garrett got sloppy and left a witness alive would anyone have any idea what the perp looks like.

  15. #40
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    Awesome Idea!!!!

    IF Garrett Knocks Out a lot of people (or kills), BUT is never seen = more guards/security systems on/loot put away.....but guards in the streets don't know who is doing it = they don't bother Garrett.

    IF Garrett Knocks Out a lot of people (or kills), AND is seen = guards will react to him on the streets (doesn't matter if it is open city or simply a chunk of city attached to the mission map).

  16. #41
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    Originally Posted by Platinumoxicity
    There's 1 problem with CTL that I don't think has been adressed yet. The CTL would need to take into account whether any of the guards have seen Garrett or not.
    No, the CTL feature would not need to take into account whether or not Garrett has been seen. The CTL works in reaction to the amount of killing/violence, regardless of whether Garrett has been seen or not doing it.

    Guards/City Watch almost always attack Garrett in the streets because he behaves and is dressed like a thief, and therefore is a general threat. The few that didn't were exceptions. This reaction could be different during the day, but at night it is a reasonable one.

  17. #42
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    Originally Posted by Vae
    No, the CTL feature would not need to take into account whether or not Garrett has been seen. The CTL works in reaction to the amount of killing/violence, regardless of whether Garrett has been seen or not doing it.

    Guards/City Watch almost always attack Garrett in the streets because he behaves and is dressed like a thief, and therefore is a general threat. The few that didn't were exceptions. This reaction could be different during the day, but at night it is a reasonable one.
    That's completely stupid.

    1. Nobody really knows what Garrett looks like because he never gets caught and wears a hood and keeps to the shadows.
    2.City Watch officers don't know what Garrett looks like, and therefore they can't have wanted posters and can't react to his presence and footsteps in a crowded and loud City.
    3a.Garrett doesn't dress up like a thief in the streets. He has a cloak and he probably carries his thievin' gear in a bag to his mission location. Garrett's thief-model was used in TDS street levels because of hardware limitations and developer laziness.
    3b.Garrett isn't the only shady looking guy in the dark City during the night. Actually, the model that Jackow the assassin uses in TDP is named "Garrett" so Garrett must wear similar clothes to those in TDP, yet the assassins are not attacked by the police, and neither is Garrett.
    4.If a guy dies in a mansion robbery, people don't automatically assume that Garrett did it when there are no witnesses.
    5.How does he "behave like a thief" in the street?

  18. #43
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    Originally Posted by jtr7
    Quince and Jacow would be cut down, too. Any Thief/Assassin dressed for the job would be cut down. Weird argument there, Plat'. The Thieves in Life of the Party, once seen, are attacked on the spot. The City is rife with criminals, and anyone who looks like they are on a job, will be attacked.
    Anyone hopping around on rooftops at night or ransacking an apartment would be taken down. All the guards in LoTP are hostile because they've been told to look for any and all movement on the rooftops at night. They know the thieves' highway exists, but because of the dangerous conditions high up, guarding it effectively is challenging.

    Armed thugs on the street are not attacked on sight in TDS. Armed pagans are not attacked. Quince and Jacow were not attacked. That's all because they were on the street, minding their own business.

  19. #44
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    Yeah, but Garrett on the street minding his own business = guards attack on sight.....worse yet, they even recognize his foots steps amongst everybody else.

  20. #45
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    Originally Posted by Nate
    Yeah, but Garrett on the street minding his own business = guards attack on sight.....worse yet, they even recognize his foots steps amongst everybody else.
    That was all TDS. In T1 the watch officers never attacked on sight. In T2 they locked down the City checkpoints and wouldn't let anyone through, so they attacked anyone matching the description that they had been given. In TDS... well. I think that goes to the "what's wrong with TDS"-thread.

  21. #46
    Originally Posted by Vae
    A fail by killing in a no-kill mission has been a simple and effective way of making things more difficult in THIEF...but perhaps there is a better way to handle it.

    Tension points

    This is how tension could be quantified, without using the "instant fail" for killing on "expert" difficulty":

    Killing:
    Normal = 3, Hard = 5, Expert = 10

    Knock outs:
    Normal = 1, Hard = 2, Expert = 3

    Alternatively, this is how tension could be quantified, when used in conjunction with the "instant fail" for killing on "expert" difficulty:

    Killing:
    Normal = 5, Hard = 10, Expert = FAIL

    Knock outs:
    Normal = 1, Hard = 2, Expert = 3
    [See below, jtr7's very natural reaction. Viz, Being a klutz, I had quoted the entirety of Vae's letter #1; and twice! which I kept thinking, but couldn't pin. I'm sorry; I had really tried hard to cut a slice, but I kept getting lost, and the effort was driving me nutz. I hope what remains now is sufficient.]

    I would recommend a discovery multiplier; maybe even just {0,1}.

    It's not actually true that if a guard is missing, suspicion automatically results. Although it's a long time ago, I can speak of that first-hand, now that I think about it. Nightwork is not much like daywork. You're severely underpaid. You probably have people there who are working their second job of the day. I even knew one fellow, who had a family of five, and worked two 8-hour jobs and one 4-hour job. I'd often see him literally walk his route while dead asleep. Nothing may happen for months at a time. Meanwhile, otherwise, it's always the same stuff. Year after year. You're there for an emergency, and otherwise you don't have a lot to do. And the checks on you are not all that good. And they're not even supposed to be. People who hire you know what that work is like. Basically, you're there for occasional emergencies. Otherwise, you're a reassurring show in a place where people are asleep or absent. And there are all sorts of things guards may be doing during those long, dead periods. There may be a card game that he's in and out of all night. Some people are catching a nip, some people a nap, splitting their work into constant fifteen minute intervals. There's places with leftover food. There might be other entertainments for some people. In the world I was in at that time, it was mostly about a sequence of timeclocks. But if a timeclock was missed a couple of times a night, well, people sometimes forget. And it wouldn't be found out until the next day. So, if I was on my route, and somebody wasn't where I expected them to be, I wouldn't have given it a second thought, unless there was something else abnormal. Sound is a biggie. Sound perks you up in a hurry. You'd think there'd be a feel to trouble; but in a large area, that feel doesn't seem to happen. It's not like your own home, where you suddenly wake up with a bad feeling. Maybe it's a combination of the long dead haul, that it's not personal, and a feeling of safety in numbers.

    One other possible problem is that, even with Ghosting, as soon as Lord Bafford's place is emptied, everybody's going to get nervous about Loot. The next day, all the locksmiths are going to be working overtime to make life tough on "Whoeveritis".

  22. #47
    Yes, I was wondering on that, as well. It seems to me that if Garrett uses BJ, he needs to watch out for complex checks over time. If he's ignorant of a guard with a long circuit, or an innocent happens into a cleared room, or an overseer has a self-scheduled stop, in a reasonable sense, it should mean trouble.

    I've got a hidden concern. Looking at the point system, I'm worried about Ghosting seizing the character of Garrett and leaving all other sorts of Garretts out in the cold. How many murders are there in an urban area per day, and how many of them would make me alter my life? I once timed an urban news show for forty-five minutes of one murder story after another. Kinda' stunned me.

  23. #48
    i dont think knockout should be included if you knockout someone in the city just throw it into the ocean , burn the corpse , hide it in place that none comes or knows (like ur daungeons hideout)
    0.

  24. #49
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    Stop trolling, clock.

  25. #50
    I know some time has passed over this topic, but I feel a need to aprove this. I voted for in conjunction with hard-fails for killing in expert difficulty, but what I feel about the CTL is...

    This is good. Not because it might be a very accurate and balanced initially, but because it can be very "fixable", just by changing the numbers in a cfg file. It's innovative, uses many other mechanics of the game during the process, gives a "live" feeling to the city without using a city hub (and therefore fixes the problem), disencourages from killing etc.

    As thief fans we are not fond of "statistics" or whatever, but it can create a feeling of competition to have accumulated lesser CTL points in the end of the game. This would encourage players to find more innovative ways of being more stealthy. OR, it may also give way to methods like "ultimate frenzy" to reach the highest level of CTL possible. (hence I would advice it to be in conjunction with hard-fail system.)

    What I worry about CTL system is just the numbers; I believe they can be multiplied by 100, and smaller modifiers could be added, even for number of lvl 1 or lvl 2 alarms of guards or other NPC's.(Of course, threat level limits will also be multiplied by 100 to be 0-900, 1000-1900 etc.)

    Imagine: killing for
    Normal : 100
    Hard: 200
    Expert 300

    Blackjacking
    Normal: 25
    Hard: 50
    Expert: 100

    Alarm Level 1 on NPC
    Normal: 2
    Hard: 4
    Expert: 8

    Alarm Level 2 on NPC
    Normal: 4
    Hard: 8
    Expert 16

    Combat Stance with NPC
    Normal: 8
    Hard: 16
    Expert:32

    You may even include much smaller points for things like "doors being left open = 1 CTL" or "wall tapestries being cut" or some other small things I can't imagine at the moment. All in the sake of a competition to be "the master thief" amongst the fans. Like, I can finish the game on expert difficulty with 1070 CTL points, but you can do it with 930, and thus you are master thief and I am the apprentice.

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