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I want to talk about Thief 3

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June 27, 2004 1:16:17 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.thief-dark-project (More info?)

Having just beat the game, I have a lot I'd like to talk about :) 

I will go into some depth about the gameplay elements, enemies and tools.
Some might find this to be *spoiler* type material, but I will not reveal
anything about the story itself. That being said I'm not including spoiler
space.

First and foremost I have to say I find this to be one of the better Thief
games of the entire series. That's not to say it's perfect or suffers from
no flaws, but where I considered replaying the first two thief games only
after some time away from them, I can not wait to begin replaying this one.
Maybe it's the technology, or maybe I've developed as a gamer. Regardless,
Thief 3 is so perfectly ingrained into the universe that I have as much
trouble rating it over the other two as I had rating one over the other of
the first two games.

Since there are those that seem to think I can say nor stand to hear
anything negative about the game, I'll start with all my negative opinions
about the game.

-----------
Loading Zones: My dislike of the loading zones comes and goes. While in
the actual mission parts, I very rarely find myself at odds with them. They
break up the level sure, but in many ways it makes the level a little easier
to navigate. It can force the player to do a mental check that they got
everything done in the first part before moving onto the next part.

What I hate about them is their use in the city. There are 5 or 6 different
parts of the city. as well as 3 sub-mission segments, all divided up into
different loading zones. This makes the city feel not so sprawling as
cramped. Add to that the often extreme differences in populations and the
type of area and it's almost as if the loading zones are not gates but
subway terminals that wisk you away to a different town altogether. I think
of what the city might have been like were it not so cut up and I'm very sad
in deed. The possibilities are staggering.

---------
Garrett's Apartment: Exactly what the point of this is I can only guess.
My best guess is to give the player a home base, which could add to the
depth of the gameplay. However I find it to be lack luster in ever way.
You can not store gear there, you can not hide loot you might not want to
sell right away, you can't rest or eat there or anything else you might want
to do at your very own apartment. There's a dummy you can practice on, but
each actual confrontation is fairly unique, so I don't really see the value
of the dummy. Seemingly, the only constructive thing you can do is buy
practice locks and practice on them. Now maybe I'm a super 1337 gamer but
the lock picking, once you learn how to use it, is not a very difficult
skill to master. Just out of curiosity, did anyone buy any of the training
locks to legitimately practice on (versus buying them because you had an
excess of money toward the end of the game)?

---------
Glaring AI Issues:
Despite their vast improvements over the original AI, there are still loads
of what would appear to be simple properties IS could've added to the AI but
did not.

1) Faction Issues: If a member of a faction you are allied with witnesses
you carrying a body (as an example) they will attack you on sight from that
point forth, until you enter a mission or otherwise progress the story
further.

2) AI Killing AI: In several instances in the City, AI will attack other AI
to the death. Upon ANY AI seeing a dead body they will immediately begin
searching... for YOU! If you are aligned favorably with a faction, members
of that faction will not attack you on sight if they find a dead body killed
by other AI. Otherwise, if the AI is armed, they will attack you, if not
they will run and get the nearest armed person to come and attack you. A
simple flag to state whether the player had anything to do with the death of
an AI would've gone along way. I'm not saying all AI would see a body and
instantly know who killed them, but at the very least they wouldn't
automatically suspect you.

3) Sounds: Often times in Patched Expert mode, Guards will hear you make a
sound, turn and wander off in the completely opposite direction looking for
you. I could appreciate this more if it happened less, as sometimes it
would be hard to tell exactly where a sound was coming from.

On top of that I've not been very successful using Broadheads to make sounds
and distract guards. Anyone else have luck doing this?

Footsteps: How do they always know it's *ME* walking behind them to club
them? Talking in the City now, not in missions or anything. Civilians can
walk behind them without them looking over their shoulders, but if I so much
as step hard on stone they break their patrol route. I'm being super
nit-picky but it bothers me sometimes.

4) Sightings: Often the above happens after they catch a glimpse of you,
which completely kills the immersiveness for me. Who sees something move in
the corner then turns around and looks behind a couple crates? :o P

There are lots more but this post is getting long already.

Now that I've made a few of my gripes known, I'd like to talk a bit about
what I feel are actual improvements, or at the very least, worthwhile
additions.

---------
Climbing Gloves: These are no substitute for the beloved rope arrows, but
in their own right they are great tools with lots of interesting
applications. More than once I've fallen from a high place and was able to
catch the wall on my way down. Even doing that once justifies their
existence for me.

On top of that the level designers have come up with lots interesting ways
to incorporate them. From climbing a wall to get a gas arrow or loot, to
finding an alternative way to a place you need to get to, these have lots of
cool applications. Best of all there are very few places where they're
required, so if a player doesn't like them, they don't need to use them.

----------
Levels: I think the levels (missions) in Thief 3 are quite often far
superior to those of the first two games. This is my opinion mind you. But
there's a certain realism to them that sometimes got forgotten in the first
two. For example, think back to Baffords Mansion. Think of all the strange
hallways, connecting rooms and what not. Think of the hidden passage from
the garden to the *RAFTERS* of the throne room. While the layout lends
itself nicely to the gameplay, you have to suspend reality quite often to
believe someone might actually live in this place.

I find all of the mansion style levels in Thief 3 to feel like actual places
of residence. It's not hard to imagine people actually living, playing,
working in these places. There are exceptions to every rule but I
thoroughly enjoyed what I saw. :o )

Damn, I'm running out of time but this should be enough to get some dialog
going. What does everyone else love/hate about Thief 3?

Happy Thieving!

Loony

More about : talk thief

Anonymous
June 27, 2004 6:59:06 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.thief-dark-project (More info?)

"Loony" <loony@nospam.loony.name> wrote
> First and foremost I have to say I find this to be one of the better Thief
> games of the entire series. That's not to say it's perfect or suffers
from
> no flaws, but where I considered replaying the first two thief games only
> after some time away from them, I can not wait to begin replaying this
one.

All I can say after playing the demo...

Perhaps I'm spoiled by the nice graphics these new
games have novadays and all, but after playing Thief3
the previous ones seem quite ugly and blocky looking.

I think T3 has got plenty of more lines for the guards to
say too. In T2 the guards were saying something like
"As soon as I'll find you you're DEAD!" over and over
again while searching for me, in T3 they have way larger
scale of taunts to throw at me.

Err... Did the guards even talk in T1/2 while standing on
guard? I remember they were just randomly coughing and
whistling, otherwise they were quite silent. But in T3
I sometimes just stop to listen what they are babbling by
themselves. Sometimes things they mumble are absolutely
hilarious.

> Loading Zones: My dislike of the loading zones comes and goes. While in
> the actual mission parts, I very rarely find myself at odds with them.
They
> break up the level sure, but in many ways it makes the level a little
easier
> to navigate. It can force the player to do a mental check that they got
> everything done in the first part before moving onto the next part.

I just hate the way how games are done novadays. Developers
have consoles primaliry in mind, so it is quicker and less expensive
to do some low visual effect ripped-off console game (because
of the limitations of CPU/video power) with small levels (because
of the RAM limitations) first. And after that quickly convert it to
PC than other way around.

As a side effect just some wasted PC resources and smaller
game worlds with reduced visual effects. Not to mention other
nice console limitations we PC players can enjoy as well...

> 2) AI Killing AI: In several instances in the City, AI will attack other
AI
> to the death. Upon ANY AI seeing a dead body they will immediately begin
> searching... for YOU! If you are aligned favorably with a faction,
members

Somehow Garret in 3rd person reminds me of Splinter Cell's
character, the way he moves and all. This somehow made me
assume that other features would be at least similar what comes
to AI. Guards would wake up KO'd mates and start searching
for me etc. just like in Splinter Cell. But no, I guess it was easier
to make them just say "Oh no, he's dead!", search a bit, leave
the "body" and return to normal patrolling routes like nothing
was happened!

Path finding is also quite poor, guards chasing me just try to
ram through every box I have thrown in their path, instead of
going around them. Also if I escape through the window,
guard stops the chase and stays at the another side shouting
"how did you get there?!" etc. even if there's a doorway
near them leading right to me

Sometimes I find 2 guards stuck at the doorway, both trying
to walk through each other and constantly saying "How's it
going?" etc. Funny, but also basically STUPID for the AI and
that's one blocked doorway to me if I have made a decision
not to kill or KO anybody.

> On top of that I've not been very successful using Broadheads
> to make sounds and distract guards. Anyone else have luck
> doing this?

Now why would player buy noisemakers at all, if normal
broadheads do the job as well?
Solution: Make guards completely deaf to broadheads so
player will buy more expensive noisemakers instead!
Genious!

Not. But I noticed while playing with Thiefbot, that setting
all AI-senses to 15.0000 or something crazy number like
that (versus Normal Difficulty = 1.0000), some guards
actually started to hear broadheads - but again some of
them didn't, no matter how many arrows and how close
to the wall I tried to shoot them.
June 27, 2004 7:19:19 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.thief-dark-project (More info?)

> All I can say after playing the demo...
>
> Perhaps I'm spoiled by the nice graphics these new
> games have novadays and all, but after playing Thief3
> the previous ones seem quite ugly and blocky looking.
>
Yeah I agree. I still love the old games but it's tough to go back when
you've seen the all the new technology has to offer. The game is no less
great, just not so pretty :o )

> I think T3 has got plenty of more lines for the guards to
> say too. In T2 the guards were saying something like
> "As soon as I'll find you you're DEAD!" over and over
> again while searching for me, in T3 they have way larger
> scale of taunts to throw at me.
>
The voice acting is top notch. I'm very pleased with it over all.
Sometimes the lines they use are a little off and don't make sense when the
guards meet eachother in the street, but that's to be expected with the vast
number of things they can say. Over all new taunts and comments are very
very funny. Although I admit I haven't heard the now infamous conversation
side story of the Benny guard and his wound. I'll be looking for it next
time through!

> Err... Did the guards even talk in T1/2 while standing on
> guard? I remember they were just randomly coughing and
> whistling, otherwise they were quite silent. But in T3
> I sometimes just stop to listen what they are babbling by
> themselves. Sometimes things they mumble are absolutely
> hilarious.
>
Oh yeah. Not as much but there were some great classics. The most noted is
probably "When are they gonna bring me my dinner, that's what I want to
know..." He kind of grumbles it as he walks by. The most talkative from
the first two have to be the Hammers (or the Mechanist bots). I LOVE the
little Hammer prayers and stuff. All this AI small talk really makes you
feel you're part of the world you're exploring.

Speaking of AI, is it just me or does anyone else try to time a KO on a
guard after he says something stupid/funny. Like I'll make a slight noise
getting into position and he'll say "What was that.... Hmmm... Must've been
rats I gues..." *THUD*

Stuff like that. Man I live for those moments :) 

> I just hate the way how games are done novadays. Developers
> have consoles primaliry in mind, so it is quicker and less expensive
> to do some low visual effect ripped-off console game (because
> of the limitations of CPU/video power) with small levels (because
> of the RAM limitations) first. And after that quickly convert it to
> PC than other way around.
>
I know exactly. PC has the greatest span of all the systems. Games should
be developed for PC FIRST then toned down and ported to whatever system they
want. Seems to me if they've allowed for the best and worst case senerios
for PC, then you can set up a permanant place to lock it for the consoles.
This is not to offend the console crowd, of which I'm a member, but
realistically, cranking down the abilty of the game for PC users so everyone
on whatever platform can play the same game is a little like making high
school sports teams compete against the majors. Neither is better than the
other, but they're certainly in different leagues.

> As a side effect just some wasted PC resources and smaller
> game worlds with reduced visual effects. Not to mention other
> nice console limitations we PC players can enjoy as well...
>
Yes, on the upside if they keep making the games console friendly, I'll
never need another upgrade again! :) 

> Somehow Garret in 3rd person reminds me of Splinter Cell's
> character, the way he moves and all. This somehow made me
> assume that other features would be at least similar what comes
> to AI. Guards would wake up KO'd mates and start searching
> for me etc. just like in Splinter Cell. But no, I guess it was easier
> to make them just say "Oh no, he's dead!", search a bit, leave
> the "body" and return to normal patrolling routes like nothing
> was happened!
>
Yeah, that bugged me in the first game as well. first it's "OH NO! A
BODY!" then 35 seconds later he's stepping on the guy's head as he continues
his patrol. At the very least it'd be nice to see him run to get help or
report this or something after he's searched a bit. AI waking up KO AI is a
great idea :)  Really make you want to hide the bodies well!

> Path finding is also quite poor, guards chasing me just try to
> ram through every box I have thrown in their path, instead of
> going around them. Also if I escape through the window,
> guard stops the chase and stays at the another side shouting
> "how did you get there?!" etc. even if there's a doorway
> near them leading right to me
>
I've seen that some but mostly I find the pathfinding is adequet. In fact
most times I'll run, spin around and the guy is right on me. Other times...
well... ;) 

> Sometimes I find 2 guards stuck at the doorway, both trying
> to walk through each other and constantly saying "How's it
> going?" etc. Funny, but also basically STUPID for the AI and
> that's one blocked doorway to me if I have made a decision
> not to kill or KO anybody.
>
Yeah, that looks pretty silly. I've seen them correct themselves though.
Where one will finally give up, and back out of the doorway for the other to
pass. In fact most times I've seen that happen they've done that. But I've
certainly seen them do what you say before. Quite annoying. However I'll
point out that you can free up the doorway with a noisemaker, moss arrow,
oil bottle, water arrow or flash bomb and still not kill or KO anybody :) 

> Now why would player buy noisemakers at all, if normal
> broadheads do the job as well?
> Solution: Make guards completely deaf to broadheads so
> player will buy more expensive noisemakers instead!
> Genious!
>
Yeah, I heartily abused the broadhead distraction in Thief 1/2, so I could
see them wanting to make the noisemaker more appealing. However it'd be
nice for a guard to notice someone just shot an arrow into the wall 2 feet
from his head :) 

> Not. But I noticed while playing with Thiefbot, that setting
> all AI-senses to 15.0000 or something crazy number like
> that (versus Normal Difficulty = 1.0000), some guards
> actually started to hear broadheads - but again some of
> them didn't, no matter how many arrows and how close
> to the wall I tried to shoot them.
>
That's also next :)  My first time through I did no tweaking. Just straight
off the shelf (and the patch when it came out). Now I'm going to really
crank stuff up and see what I can get it to do :) 

Thanks for the reply!

Happy Taffing
Loony
Related resources
Anonymous
June 28, 2004 4:27:51 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.thief-dark-project (More info?)

"Loony" <loony@nospam.loony.name> wrote
> I know exactly. PC has the greatest span of all the systems.
> Games should be developed for PC FIRST then toned down
> and ported to whatever system they want.

Yes, but this would bring more work for them too - and who
the hell would like to do overtime job novadays? ;-)
Also all PC-players are of course bad pirates, so they think
they would get more copies sold to the console people.

I was amused when I read that the new GTA: Whatever is
going to be released for PS2. PS2! C'MON! What great
innovations do they think they could possibly get out from
that wormbox these days? Then after PS2-version comes a
quickie-con version for PC where we can also see our vehicles
disappear right behind our backs and I guess the draw distance
is even shorter than in Vice City... But this is irrelevant what
comes to Thief games :-)

> Yes, on the upside if they keep making the games console
> friendly, I'll never need another upgrade again! :) 

But of course they'll put some loose code etc. to slow things
down for the PC-conversion, that we could still enjoy constantly
upgrading our machines...

> AI waking up KO AI is a great idea :)  Really make you want
> to hide the bodies well!

Indeed. Now how in earth does it affect to my actions anyway
if guard finds a knocked out fellow I left in the middle of the
corridor at the other side of the level? By the time I go back
the guard has already finished his search-routine and returned
to patrolling and I wouldn't even notice that the body has been
discovered...

> > Sometimes I find 2 guards stuck at the doorway, both trying
> > to walk through each other and constantly saying "How's it
> > going?" etc. Funny, but also basically STUPID for the AI and
> > that's one blocked doorway to me if I have made a decision
> > not to kill or KO anybody.
> Yeah, that looks pretty silly. I've seen them correct themselves though.

Yes they somehow seem to get past each other eventually,
after 15-30 minutes or so :-)

> certainly seen them do what you say before. Quite annoying. However I'll
> point out that you can free up the doorway with a noisemaker, moss arrow,
> oil bottle, water arrow or flash bomb and still not kill or KO anybody :) 

Yeah, but it still would break the whole plan of staying
fully unnoticed :-)
June 28, 2004 4:27:52 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.thief-dark-project (More info?)

> Yes, but this would bring more work for them too - and who
> the hell would like to do overtime job novadays? ;-)
> Also all PC-players are of course bad pirates, so they think
> they would get more copies sold to the console people.
>
I know a guy with 20 some odd PC Warez and 160 XBox warez. Not that that's
the norm probably but there are certainly Console pirates as well. If it's
software, someone will try to crack it.

> > certainly seen them do what you say before. Quite annoying. However
I'll
> > point out that you can free up the doorway with a noisemaker, moss
arrow,
> > oil bottle, water arrow or flash bomb and still not kill or KO anybody
:) 
>
> Yeah, but it still would break the whole plan of staying
> fully unnoticed :-)
>
Well you didn't say that :o P
!