Thread: How many old-school fans are actually optimistic?

How many old-school fans are actually optimistic?

  1. #401
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    Firstly, do not confuse Assassin's Creed with stealth. ...Or with "assassins" for that matter...

    Secondly, the alternatives to mechanics in the earlier Thief games that are being implemented in Thief 4 are not just "different". They are more limiting. And that limits the game. And that makes Thief 4 worse than its predecessors. A game where you can is always better than where you can't. And you most certainly "can" a lot more in the original Thief games than you "can" in Thief 4.

    And we as fans of Thief don't want Thief 4 to be worse than Deadly Shadows. We want it to be better. That's the only reason we are criticizing Thief 4. We don't want it to be bad. Yet it seems to insist upon it.

  2. #402
    Originally Posted by knox140
    Why not? What's it doing wrong?
    There're kinda dozens of threads about it, but I'd explain it this way: Thief games are immersive sims. The main features of immersive sims are freedom of exploration, coherent rules, storytelling via gameplay, flexible systems of interaction that allow for emergent gameplay. Usually you have a number of tools which you can use on everything and a world that is responsive to this tools. It's neat and logical. You do what a person can do, the world does what a world can do. Also Thief games traditionally didn't have character progression and their main system was shadow-based stealth.
    What I know about the new Thief shows that it isn't an immersive sim anymore. It takes away tools (contextual movement and rope arrows) and control (qtes, the burning bridge section). It creates a multitool Focus, which kinda breaks the logic of coherent interconnected systems. Also it adds character progression and reduces shadow-based stealth to three phases.

  3. #403
    Originally Posted by Platinumoxicity
    Firstly, do not confuse Assassin's Creed with stealth. ...Or with "assassins" for that matter...

    Secondly, the alternatives to mechanics in the earlier Thief games that are being implemented in Thief 4 are not just "different". They are more limiting. And that limits the game. And that makes Thief 4 worse than its predecessors. A game where you can is always better than where you can't. And you most certainly "can" a lot more in the original Thief games than you "can" in Thief 4.

    And we as fans of Thief don't want Thief 4 to be worse than Deadly Shadows. We want it to be better. That's the only reason we are criticizing Thief 4. We don't want it to be bad. Yet it seems to insist upon it.
    My only aim with the Assassin's Creed comparison was to show that contextual jumping works fine in an exploration based game. People didn't like it because they think it restricts freedom, but if it didn't restrict the freedom in a game where the core mechanic is finding your way onto rooftops and parkouring around a massive sandbox, then why couldn't they make it work here?

    That's true, but the fuss people are making about it is massively out of proportion to the changes that are actually being made. I've seen people say they were going to buy the game, but now aren't because of the jumping. What you CAN'T do in this game are things that would subtract from the gameplay of the originals, but if the game is designed with there limitations in mind, will not subtract from anything. If you added in non contextual jumping and took out the rope arrow limitations to this game, it would add absolutely nothing except the ability to jump around like an idiot. Make a list of things that you can't do in this game due to the new mechanics that can't be compensated for in the level design.

    Many of the new features aren't even "can'ts", they're new "cans", such as focus, the xp character upgrade system and the intermission area, the City sandbox where you find side missions and secrets. The only "can'ts" are the contextual jumping and the rope hotspots, the former of which has been used in many games with zero detriment to gameplay and the latter which, while a regression on The Dark Project and The Metal Age, is an improvement on Deadly Shadows which had no rope arrows at all, and even the potential limitations from that can be overcome in the level design.

    But it ISN'T bad. As I've already said, nearly everybody who has never played Thief before is saying that this game looks good. Why is that? The original games are immediate points of comparison to this because it is a Thief title. Seeing as you have had no exposure to actual gameplay except a 10 minute game demo, the only way you can imagine the contextual jumping in action is by plugging it into its immediate point of comparison. Gamers who have never played Thief before don't need to do that. When they hear about contextual jumping they don't imagine TDP with contextual jumps, they think of other stealth games with contextual jumping such as Batman and Assassin's Creed and they realise that it can work.

    I encourage you to take a moment and rewatch the gameplay demonstration. While doing so, think about the limitations that could come from the new mechanics WITHOUT using the original Thief games as points of comparison.

    Originally Posted by deadoptimist
    There're kinda dozens of threads about it, but I'd explain it this way: Thief games are immersive sims. The main features of immersive sims are freedom of exploration, coherent rules, storytelling via gameplay, flexible systems of interaction that allow for emergent gameplay. Usually you have a number of tools which you can use on everything and a world that is responsive to this tools. It's neat and logical. You do what a person can do, the world does what a world can do. Also Thief games traditionally didn't have character progression and their main system was shadow-based stealth.
    What I know about the new Thief shows that it isn't an immersive sim anymore. It takes away tools (contextual movement and rope arrows) and control (qtes, the burning bridge section). It creates a multitool Focus, which kinda breaks the logic of coherent interconnected systems. Also it adds character progression and reduces shadow-based stealth to three phases.
    Storytelling via gameplay? The Thief story was told almost exclusively through cutscenes, with perhaps one or two sentences of dialogue per mission. I played Thief Gold on Steam for the first time when it came out on there, which has a bug that means you don't see the cutscenes. I had absolutely no idea what was going on, and I though that Thief was just a collection of burglary minigames.

    But while you've told what an immersive sim should be, that is different to what a Thief game should be. If you asked me what the bare bones of any Thief game is, I would tell you this.

    A Thief game is a level based stealth action game with heavy emphasis on light and sound, and little emphasis on combat, but combat should be available to players to fight their way out of a tricky situation. Exploration should be encouraged via the use of loot and pickpocketing which can then be used to buy equipment. Levels should be vast, non-linear, and expansive, and the player should be free to approach a goal from multiple angles. The main character, Garrett, should be a sarcastic antihero with little love for anything but money.

    Now I'm not even being biased here, if you had asked me what a Thief game should be before the demo I would have said exactly the same thing. This game does all of that. The tools it has removed will be compensated for in the level design- if jumping is contextual, you won't ever NEED non-contextual jumping to reach any area. If rope arrows have hotspots, you won't ever NEED rope arrows to reach an area where there is none. It removes control in the set pieces, but you don't have any less control in the actual segments. Imagine these sections (which are very infrequent, I think there are only 2 or 3) weren't even there, you wouldn't be saying that you didn't have control, which begs the question: if they're just extras, why are you complaining about them?

    This game has everything a good stealth title, and a Thief title, should have. What it DOESN'T have are things that make ZERO difference to a game that compensates for these limitations in the level design. Read my reply to Platinumoxicity for clarification on that.

    The 3 phase light gem is a myth, by the way, this was confirmed by the mods who played the game at E3.

  4. #404
    Originally Posted by knox140
    The 3 phase light gem is a myth, by the way, this was confirmed by the mods who played the game at E3.
    I only remember the mods saying that it 'appeared' to have more graphic phases on the UI, but that doesn't mean that the actual functionality beneath the hood is more than three phases. Pretty sure one of the devs was quoted as saying it was binary or trinary.

  5. #405
    Originally Posted by New Horizon
    I only remember the mods saying that it 'appeared' to have more graphic phases on the UI, but that doesn't mean that the actual functionality beneath the hood is more than three phases. Pretty sure one of the devs was quoted as saying it was binary or trinary.
    I'm pretty sure it's not a graduated scale...

    Quote from the E3 Q&A summary: "Stealth is not binary; the light gem operates as a more comprehensive detection meter and fades through various levels of brightness and darkness, like a gradient."

  6. #406
    ... compensate for missing mechanics with level design (summary of many posts)
    Wrong. Pro designers do not have to listen to amatuers and make a mansion lop-sided with paths to secrets. A pro designer can "dot" wooden textures across 20 window sills and not be a failure. Unfortunately, the next very amatuer designer comes in and advocates that two have a wooden window sill (and secret window) while 18 have just the window. Why build mansions with consistent windows of wood across the wall? What a waste. The amatuer only needs the creativity to build mansions for the secrets, and not build mansions to look like ... mansions. Much worse if the 18 other windows still have the wood but no hotspots and just start wasting the rope arrows. The amatuer designer can relate to saving amateur players time from checking different windows.
    I think what people don't realise is that in the original series, if there was a secret area which you couldn't reach by climbing, they'd put a wooden platform so you could reach it by rope arrow. Now, if there's a secret area that you can't reach by climbing, they put a hotspot there so you can reach it by rope arrow. It's the same thing. ... The only difference is that now, you can't waste 5 minutes trying to fire a rope arrow into a certain spot only to find that there's nothing up there anyway.
    You are advocating another contextual AI handholding element like "PRESS x TO FIND DISTANT SECRETS FROM THE SAFETY OF MY TWO FEET AT GROUND LEVEL". The destruction of rope arrows identifies useless places, and a visible rope identifies a secret. Anyway, Eidos was unable to simulate next-gen animations of tired zombie hands when the master thief is getting too old in age now to climb all those ropes in 5 minutes.
    ... 10 years of imagining the glory and nostalgia through rose tinted glasses (paraphrased)
    What imagination? It is still a reality that we have been free-jumping in many games during those 10 years to today and expect people will free-jump in many games for another 40 years. It's about as glorious and nostalgic as learning to ride a bike at the age of ten and seeing bikes with two pedals still work when I will be 50 years old. A 50 year old is not the 'fool' to still ride a bike with two pedals after 40 years. Basic mechanics endure any span of time - real or virtual.

  7. #407
    Imagine if a level like "The Sword" in TDP had special spots where you could only use your rope arrows.

  8. #408
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    Originally Posted by knox140
    I encourage you to take a moment and rewatch the gameplay demonstration. While doing so, think about the limitations that could come from the new mechanics WITHOUT using the original Thief games as points of comparison.
    No. I will keep comparing this to Thief 1, and stating how absurd it is for a studio with great resources to not be able to reach the same quality as a poor little PC studio in the 1998. It should be as good or better, and it is shaping up to not reach either.

    Focus and swoop are the only things that we criticize, that are just innovations that we feel don't really fit Thief. Everything else we criticize are compromises that produce inferior alternatives to the classic mechanics. I've said it before and I'll say it again. EM wanted nice body awareness, but either lack the skill or determination to reach that, so everything that would have required dynamic animations to blend the classic mechanics with the body awareness, led to a compromise that is a limited broken alternative to the game mechanic that it's supposed to represent. When they ran into the wall of not being able to achieve body awareness with the mechanics, they had the choices of abandoning either the visuals or the control, and they chose to abandon the control for the sake of the visuals.

    I will keep comparing Thief 4 to Thief 1. And because I don't care about graphics, and Thief 4 happens to be full of compromises to gameplay features that are caused by the priorization of graphics, the only conclusion I can come to is that Thief 4 is just not good at all. There's just no excuse for not first aspiring to create the framework and then updating it with whatever cool new things you'd like to add. When making a new Thief, you should first make the basics of the old Thief, and then make it better if possible. And if not possible (when it comes to graphics, such as animations), it's your new ideas that have to go, not the old game. When you realize that it would be way too much work to combine nice body awareness animations with jumping, its the animations that should go. Not the jumping.

  9. #409
    I remember the devs talking about how they wanted Garrett to feel more acrobatic in this game. So how come the movement can't just be like it was in Mirror's Edge?

  10. #410
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    Originally Posted by Spades
    I remember the devs talking about how they wanted Garrett to feel more acrobatic in this game. So how come the movement can't just be like it was in Mirror's Edge?
    Because in Mirrors Edge you can fall off buldings. Thats immersion-breaking

  11. #411
    On the topic of the 3-stage shadow thing, there's been a lot of misinformation going about. I've dug around a few times now, and I THINK I get what's going on there now.

    The light gem, and the lighting model, are a graduated scale, much like the original games. It's NOT a binary or trinary system.

    Where there's a 3-stage system is in the guard AI. It's actually much like the old games in that respect. If you make a noise, or if you're seen at a distance, or if you're seen in partial shadow from closer, a nearby guard might investigate, but they aren't yet in a combat state. That only happens once they see you properly. The graduated shadows allow a huge variety of range brackets at which enemy guards will become suspicious or alert when they see you depending on how brightly your position is lit. I hope they consider not only the light level around you, but also around the guard looking for you, because when you're standing under a light, it really messes with your night vision.

  12. #412
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    Originally Posted by Spades
    I remember the devs talking about how they wanted Garrett to feel more acrobatic in this game. So how come the movement can't just be like it was in Mirror's Edge?
    Because it's hard to do.

    Making complex animation mechanics that follow the player's free movements is hard. Making an automated animation system that makes Garrett grab the walls when leaning without having to activate any special modes and without interrupting the player's control is hard. Making Garrett's hands dynamically seek out objects in reach when activating them without impacting the player's control is hard. Aligning static animations without taking the player's freedom into consideration is incredibly easy in comparison. All you do is center the animation pivot point to the contextual action's pivot point, ie. move the player in place to execute the animation.

    Eidos Montréal wants body awareness, which is hard to do, but they want to do it the easy way, which pretty much means that the control is the first thing to go.

  13. #413
    Originally Posted by obliviondoll
    On the topic of the 3-stage shadow thing, there's been a lot of misinformation going about. I've dug around a few times now, and I THINK I get what's going on there now.

    The light gem, and the lighting model, are a graduated scale, much like the original games. It's NOT a binary or trinary system.

    Where there's a 3-stage system is in the guard AI. It's actually much like the old games in that respect. If you make a noise, or if you're seen at a distance, or if you're seen in partial shadow from closer, a nearby guard might investigate, but they aren't yet in a combat state. That only happens once they see you properly. The graduated shadows allow a huge variety of range brackets at which enemy guards will become suspicious or alert when they see you depending on how brightly your position is lit. I hope they consider not only the light level around you, but also around the guard looking for you, because when you're standing under a light, it really messes with your night vision.
    As I know guards AI always was 4 stage.


    And no, the light indicator itself is 3 stage, but the shadow system is truly graduate(well, it's said by moderators, and devs repeated few times overall shadow system to be 3 staged, not only light gem)

  14. #414
    There is nothing so far about Thief 4 that is an improvement, and almost nothing that isn't already worse than its earlier equivalent.
    Er..really? Graphics aren't improved? What about being able to put junk in inventory to use as a distraction? What about delayed pickpocketing? What about looking thru keyholes, or guards adapting their patrol routes to where they saw something earlier? What about dog-alarms (or bird alarms, probably)?

    Sounds like a lot of good stuff to me. Doesn't mean there isn't a lot of crap too, but let's not get carried away.

  15. #415
    I would disagree strongly with your questions. No doubt Eye Candy has it's appeal but the remainder of the "added" attractions are far from the Thief that is the reason over 800 FMs done with tho old engine are popular and the basic THIEF is still going strong.

    The nu-thief may have better graphics, but the rest is more damaging than enhancing, and better graphics do not make a better game.

  16. #416
    Er..how does being able to look thru keyholes "damage" the game? How do dogs "damage" it??

    If you asked Thief fans at the beginning for a list of twenty things they wanted in a new Thief game, I bet you'd see both of those things on some peoples list. And better guard patrols is damaging? Come on.

  17. #417
    Originally Posted by Cavalier
    Er..really? Graphics aren't improved? What about being able to put junk in inventory to use as a distraction? What about delayed pickpocketing? What about looking thru keyholes, or guards adapting their patrol routes to where they saw something earlier? What about dog-alarms (or bird alarms, probably)?

    Sounds like a lot of good stuff to me. Doesn't mean there isn't a lot of crap too, but let's not get carried away.
    omg the guards changing their patrol routes makes me so excited
    It makes a lot more sense for them to do that in game, and it sounds like it'll make the game that much more challenging. That's probably one of my favorite new things about the new Thief owo

  18. #418
    Admittedly, Cavalier, keyhole peeking, guards being more alert are interesting, but I can see that you have little or no experience with THIEF. You may have, most likely, played The Deadly Shadows, but have limited or no experience with THIEF in the Originals.

    The departures instituted may seem like 'good' things to you, but to most of those who were with Thief from TDP are justified in saying that the nu-thief is a 'perversion' of what made the game attractive to those who have followed, produced fan missions and had dreamed of a real thief game.

    TDS was a patched hacked up version designed to attract new players and make $$ not to continue the series in a meaningful manner. If the list you mention had all those items and adhered to the basic premise of thief, you would have many who thought it a good thing.

    However, the current offering is merely designed to, hopefully, be a money machine. I fear that it will fail miserably in continuing the Theif world 1/5 as well as the T2X fan mission. The departures, restrictions and artificial panderings being touted so heavily by EM, including the "walk like a Zombie" hands are laughable.

  19. #419
    Originally Posted by theBlackman
    Admittedly, Cavalier, keyhole peeking, guards being more alert are interesting, but I can see that you have little or no experience with THIEF. You may have, most likely, played The Deadly Shadows, but have limited or no experience with THIEF in the Originals.

    The departures instituted may seem like 'good' things to you, but to most of those who were with Thief from TDP are justified in saying that the nu-thief is a 'perversion' of what made the game attractive to those who have followed, produced fan missions and had dreamed of a real thief game.

    TDS was a patched hacked up version designed to attract new players and make $$ not to continue the series in a meaningful manner. If the list you mention had all those items and adhered to the basic premise of thief, you would have many who thought it a good thing.

    However, the current offering is merely designed to, hopefully, be a money machine. I fear that it will fail miserably in continuing the Theif world 1/5 as well as the T2X fan mission. The departures, restrictions and artificial panderings being touted so heavily by EM, including the "walk like a Zombie" hands are laughable.

    If you would kindly remove your rose colored glasses

    I've played Thief Gold, Thief 2, T2X (simply fantastic), Deadly Shadows, The Dark Mod, and a few fan missions (need to play more of them).
    It's all well and good to think that the original Thief games are perfect but immersion can certianly be improved.

    There are some things that are just out of place in the originals (ridiculously loud footsteps and pin drop guard hearing). There are some things that are dated (npc movements and search patterns).

    I'm not sure why someone has to have only played Deadly Shadows when they feel that some extra immersion is being added to the new thief game.

    No doubt there is plenty of bad additions to the new thief game, but you can't sweep the good things under the rug and pretend they don't exist

  20. #420
    Good points Mike, but in the overall, the faults of the OMs are not as egregious as the dumbed down, make it easier for the player, in the new version

    Those minor, and I say minor faults in the OMs required that the Player learn to be skillful. No "Use Focus (Bullet time) to allow the player to not have to learn to be silent and creep up on an opponent. No "Aim here".

    The old games had their faults, no doubt, but this, at least as far as has been displayed and discussed, it no way is adhering to the principle of "learn your craft" or fail. It is rife with hand-holding, hints and tweaks that relieve the player of the responsibility to LEARN his limits, or to improve his skills.

    "Rose colored glasses, are not in my inventory, but the FMs past and present adhere more to the premise of the original game than this seems to.

    I will wait for the finished product, but am reasonably certain that it will be a repeat of TDS in its deviation from the OMs. Those same characteristics that will be missing from nu-thief, that established a loyal fervent group of followers, who, if indications are accurate, will most likely ignore the nu-thief after a single play through, if that, and will return to the FMs for satisfaction.

  21. #421
    I agree with pretty well everything you just said. There may be some progressive immersive stuff in "Nu Thief", but it looks like it will unfortunately be overshadowed by the restrictive gameplay.

  22. #422
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    Originally Posted by Cavalier
    Er..really? Graphics aren't improved?
    Improvement of graphics is not a positive feature because it has been done in the expense of gameplay and controls. Also, producing realistic graphics is very expensive, yet the game still needs to be sold at the same price as before, so it needs to appeal to a wider audience. The last time better graphics improved a game was when distance cutoff fog was replaced by LOD, lights became dynamic and higher maximum polycount removed the need of walling off sections of large areas.

    Graphics don't improve a game unless that improvement has an impact on gameplay. It's a non-factor when determining the quality of the product.

    Originally Posted by Mik James
    I've played Thief Gold, Thief 2, T2X (simply fantastic), Deadly Shadows, The Dark Mod, and a few fan missions (need to play more of them).
    It's all well and good to think that the original Thief games are perfect but immersion can certianly be improved.
    Yes, immersion can be improved. Those games are not perfect. Too bad Thief 4 is doing the exact opposite of what should be done to improve it. Thief 2 had some buggy controls, with mantling and climbing. TDS updated the controls somewhat, and its body awareness was a half-baked step in the right direction. The next logical step forward from that would be to fully reconcile the control fluidity of the originals with the body awareness. Thief 4 didn't even try. EM immediately threw away controls completely, for the sake of lazily implementing the body awareness. It seems they had no intention of making a better game than TDS, because they didn't even try to take what was badly implemented in TDS and fixing it.

  23. #423
    Originally Posted by Cavalier
    Er..really? Graphics aren't improved?
    If the player's freedom and interaction has to be sacrificed in order to have more detailed graphics, it's not an improvement. It's just a shift of priorities.

    Originally Posted by Cavalier
    What about being able to put junk in inventory to use as a distraction?
    Already done in Dark Project.

    Originally Posted by Cavalier
    What about delayed pickpocketing?
    Already done in Deadly Shadows Mobile.

    Originally Posted by Cavalier
    What about looking thru keyholes
    In Dark Project you can partially open any door to see what's inside. Deadly Shadows has windows in doors. Scripted keyholes which serves the same purpose but completely removes the risk of being seen is hardly an improvement.

    Originally Posted by Cavalier
    guards adapting their patrol routes to where they saw something earlier?
    The only improvement I see for now if (and it's a big IF) it's well-implemented.

    Originally Posted by Cavalier
    What about dog-alarms (or bird alarms, probably)?
    Dark Project already has all kinds of alarms and traps including noisy ones which call nearby guards. Traps which only rely on other AI and don't deal damage by themselves is hardly an improvement.

  24. #424
    Normally I'm an optimistic person, but I've got to confess that I'm not liking a lot of what I've heard so far about Thief.

    Before Thief [4] was 'properly' announced back in March, I was looking forward to the prospect of a new Thief game. I really hoped that Thi4f would stand out from the crowd; not necessarily be the exact same game as the originals, but something that improved & expanded on the earlier games without losing sight of what the made them brilliant.

    From what I've learned, Thief doesn't even seem to be able to match the core parts of the original, and all the major changes they have made (no jumping, action sequences, focus etc.) seem to be a detriment to the core gameplay.

    I also don't like the idea of a progression system. This is mainly because Thief was more about mastering your tools than it was about upgrading them. Maybe it's just a personal preference, but for me: you either make the RPG element a core part of the gameplay (System Shock 2) or you don't have it at all (Thief 1-3).

    I haven't actually seem much that strikes me as being particularly Thief-y, so if they had dropped the title, changed the character names and launch it an actual new IP, then I would probably be more optimistic. I'd actually prefer to see more new IP that learns from the Thief series rather than a reboot that pretty much boots out all the established lore from the previous games.

    Also, what happened to all the surreal elements from the original? None of the supernatural horrors of the first, not the disquieting machinery from the second seem to be present in the trailers or gameplay.

    I'll still give this one a chance to surprise me, but they seemed to have missed their chance to make a game that truly sticks out from crowd.

  25. #425
    I'm actually OK with a progression system, as long as its done well. It's definitely a departure, but I think you can make a perfectly valid Thief game that gives the player new tools and abilities as they progress.

    The other stuff is worrisome though.

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