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View Full Version : Freedom of choice in Thief 4!



AbysmalGale
1st Jun 2009, 12:20
I read through the thread about how many haunted levels T4 should contain, and as we all know there are a lot of different taffer-types in here.

Some of us love to sneak around in huge mansions, castles, huts and market places, while others love the thrill from entering the bonehoard, church yard or a haunted cathedral.

Well, wouldn't it be just perfect if we all could choose our favorite missions? Let's say the thief world is a HUGE map, with The City in the center and lots of forests, fields and villages surrounding it. All with different possibilities. So, if you are a person who loves the horror of stepping on an undead and sneaking around haunts etc, you choose to hang around the boanhoard, church yard or haunted cathedral for example.

If you, on the other hand, rather rob wealthy mansions, royal castles, The City Watch, the pagans or small village huts, then you just do that.

I, however, think that everyone should be forced to do some missions that they maybe dislike, but my perfect scenario would be a really, REALLY large map from where you can freely pick and choose most missions that you prefer.

Previous Thief games have been kind of linear (don't get me wrong. I LOVED T1 and T2 and played them over and over again). You are going through basically the same procedure each time you pay the game. Wouldn't it be a even longer living game if you could finish it in one way the first time, and the next time you play the outcome would be completely different?

Thoughts about this?

Herr_Garrett
1st Jun 2009, 12:28
This is so perfectly wrong. And where would the story take place, pray? This is more like a Thief-Sims than your actual Thief game.

AbysmalGale
1st Jun 2009, 12:35
This is so perfectly wrong. And where would the story take place, pray? This is more like a Thief-Sims than your actual Thief game.

Well, there should obviously be a storyline. But I believe it could be made a bit flexible, so that the outcome could change from time to time.

Platinumoxicity
1st Jun 2009, 12:40
-If you don't want to play undead and monster levels, you're missing out a lot.
-If you don't want to play undead and monster levels because you are scared, you're too young to play.
-If you don't want to play undead and monster levels because you think that you can't sneak around zombies, you need to work on your sneaking.
-If you don't want to play undead and monster levels because you think they're not realistic enough, you're playing the wrong game.

Yaphy
1st Jun 2009, 12:45
Herr_Garrett is right. And just think about all the space the game would take in the computer. Sry good idea but its not going to work. In T3 there was some mini missions that was great. It was The golden dagger, the abysmal gale, and the pagan that made undead come from the dungeons in fort ironwood.
If we had more of these missons that has nothing to do with the actuall story, we can have missons that we all want. The golden dagger is for those who just want to be a thief. And the abysmal gale and fort ironwood misson is for those who wants the thrill. As said: more of these missons.

HellionKal
1st Jun 2009, 12:49
Thief titles are Stealth Action/Adventure games that were pretty much meant to be linear.

"Doing missions you don't like" is just part of any game's challenge IMO. Being able to choose only missions you like in a THIEF game would be like having someone hold your hand throughout the game while keeping all the "nasty/scary/difficult" stuff away. Not to mention that it would prove an insane challenge just to tie the game's scenario to each player's playthrough, as mentioned above.

An idea like the one you're describing was implemented in the "Storm of Zehir" expansion for Neverwinter Nights 2, where the player travels the world map and can pretty much explore only the kinds of dungeons he wishes while ignoring everything else. Thing is, NWN2 and SoZ are RPG titles that have a completely different focus and gameplay than the THIEF games.

huzi73
1st Jun 2009, 12:50
-If you don't want to play undead and monster levels, you're missing out a lot.
-If you don't want to play undead and monster levels because you are scared, you're too young to play.
-If you don't want to play undead and monster levels because you think that you can't sneak around zombies, you need to work on your sneaking.
-If you don't want to play undead and monster levels because you think they're not realistic enough, you're playing the wrong game.

There is a new type of phobia,its called Darthenderphobia:lol:
I pray he doesnt stumble across this...

AbysmalGale
1st Jun 2009, 13:14
I see your points. Maybe my idea is a bit too far fetched for a Thief game. But somehow I'd like it to be at least a bit less linear, even though you should be forced to do missions you dislike.

DanielOcean
1st Jun 2009, 13:16
If this freedom of choice influences the Story-line: NO!

Never throw away a good story and a well-structured plot for a gameplay that feels like animal crossing or the sims in order to give the player "all the freedom they wish". I don't want a "World of Thiefcraft"...

CheesyCat
1st Jun 2009, 13:29
Oblivion as a Thief is quite satisfying and that's about as open ended as you can get. Eventually though it gets too easy as 100% sneak skill makes you invisible even in broad daylight right in front of guards. Around 75% it's plays a pretty good game and it's quite satisfying to sneak missions instead of having to fight through them.

AbysmalGale
1st Jun 2009, 13:34
If this freedom of choice influences the Story-line: NO!

Never throw away a good story and a well-structured plot for a gameplay that feels like animal crossing or the sims in order to give the player "all the freedom they wish". I don't want a "World of Thiefcraft"...

That's not what I want either. I don't want endless new objectives and missions.

And as I said before, maybe my idea isn't that great. The thing I was requesting was a bit more freedom in choosing your way. Not entire freedom. There should be a main storyline that can't be stopped, but maybe with short delays depending on if you jump into an extra loot mission here and there. For example, it would be cool if you could replay the game and find missions you didn't know existed the first time you played. In that way, the game would not get old too fast.

DanielOcean
1st Jun 2009, 13:46
That's not what I want either. I don't want endless new objectives and missions.

And as I said before, maybe my idea isn't that great. The thing I was requesting was a bit more freedom in choosing your way. Not entire freedom. There should be a main storyline that can't be stopped, but maybe with short delays depending on if you jump into an extra loot mission here and there. For example, it would be cool if you could replay the game and find missions you didn't know existed the first time you played. In that way, the game would not get old too fast.

Sorry, i didnt mean to affront you. :o

I just wanted to point out, that too much freedom can form a complete different game.
I like your idea of some extra missions. For example, if you want to achieve 100% or whatever of the game, you will have to visit the haunted catacombs or whatever. This extra mission does not necessarily have to be part of the main plot.

AbysmalGale
1st Jun 2009, 13:58
Sorry, i didnt mean to affront you. :o

I just wanted to point out, that too much freedom can form a complete different game.
I like your idea of some extra missions. For example, if you want to achieve 100% or whatever of the game, you will have to visit the haunted catacombs or whatever. This extra mission does not necessarily have to be part of the main plot.

No problem :)

I agree with you that too much freedom could ruin the game. There should be a firm story line all way through! That is agreed. And smaller missions that don't really have anything to do with the main plot is a good idea.

ToMegaTherion
1st Jun 2009, 14:37
To be honest I'd quite like a thief game without an overall storyline, just some mini-stories that you might get caught up in, otherwise just being a thieving thief. It probably wouldn't be fair to call it Thief <number>, though.

Platinumoxicity
1st Jun 2009, 15:08
To be honest I'd quite like a thief game without an overall storyline, just some mini-stories that you might get caught up in, otherwise just being a thieving thief. It probably wouldn't be fair to call it Thief <number>, though.

Thief 4 should get an expansion pack like THIEF:Business :D

xDarknessFallsx
1st Jun 2009, 16:10
I don't like this idea either, sorry. I'm slowly learning that I don't really like open-ended games in the sense of "Here's a city hub..." or "here's a big map..." go and play whatever mission you want. This is why I hope they never do a Thief city-hub where you venture off from there. T3 was close enough for me, and I didn't even like what they did.

It might work for some games, but I don't want it at all (or anything like it) for Thief.

For Thief, I REALLY enjoy having missions in the classic T2 sense. The story and sequence of missions are linearly laid out, but I get my sense of freedom by the very nature that each level is open, somewhat, for me to roam in. Yes, there's a locked door I can't get in sometimes, or I can't do B without first doing A, but that just helps promote the gameplay exploring fun factor.

I love getting background info on a mission I'm about to play in the T2 style, and then being plopped at the start of the next level. T2 pulled this off perfectly, imo, because it wasn't like you were dropped at some random location. Instead, you could look around at where you were dropped and see that it's implied that you just jumped over a wall or something. There was rhyme and reason to where you were placed. Loved it! And the crescendo of sound to start each mission? Loved it, too :)

WhatsHisFace
1st Jun 2009, 16:22
Thi4f cooking game confirmed.

Yotun
1st Jun 2009, 17:06
If EM had 1000 people working on the game, and some super advanced development program to do work for them, and you could potentially have a world with a huge number of potential, but optional, missions, but of the same quality as the originals, then I'd say it would be a good idea.
But they don't so its not.

The thing is, Thief missions are individually constructed, they are not generic and automatically made by some generator. They are huge, and extremely detailed. For what you are describing to work, you will need to have an entire world modelled, but to the same level of quality and detail as individual thief missions. That's not really humanely possible though. That's why we only got just somewhat more than 10 missions per game in the previous titles.

now, what somebody could do potentially, is make some sort of large map, and fit all the fan missions ever made into it - where you 'choose' where to go and what to play, making some sort of 'fan-made' open world. don't think it could make much sense in terms of storytelling though :p

Yaphy
1st Jun 2009, 17:22
The mini missons could make the main missons better by giving you information from the great library in the city about the place you are going to visit. Breaking in to the library would be the mini misson that yuo dont need to do, but can do if you want the story to be more komplex and know waht items you should bring. At some other mini misson you could find a map to a place youre going to visit.

LightWarriorK
1st Jun 2009, 17:41
I'm all for a VERY open-ended game, but I'm certainly not looking for GTA: Thief City.

Yaphy
1st Jun 2009, 17:50
I'm all for a VERY open-ended game, but I'm certainly not looking for GTA: Thief City.

So true!

Knight
6th Jun 2009, 20:59
Yeah, a main quest with little horrible quests, but very much sidequests, and some sidequest has 4 part

Hypevosa
6th Jun 2009, 21:47
I like the spirit of having some optional jobs in certain places, but if you wanted to make the 14 large nice missions for the main story like in thieves 1 and 2, and then maybe 10 large nice missions for side missions, you'd have way too much game to make if it was all high quality, the main story missions might suffer for the side missions which are less important.

lefty
7th Jun 2009, 19:27
There's a lot of generalizations in this thread. If there was the chance to roam around and steal what you want, suddenly the game is the sims? Or a cooking game? Stupid comments. And if you honestly can't see how to put a story into a game like that, I hope you don't reproduce. The formula of T1 and 2, being level-cutscene-level-cutscene was acceptable because the levels and cutscenes were so amazing. But personally I'd like to do some actual thieving; short on cash, find a mansion to loot that isn't integral to the story. Just because you're not being forced to play one mission immediately after another does not mean a story is impossible to include. The thief levels are known for their openness- how could we possibly find the next objective? That is what you are saying.

Yotun
7th Jun 2009, 19:37
There's a lot of generalizations in this thread. If there was the chance to roam around and steal what you want, suddenly the game is the sims? Or a cooking game? Stupid comments. And if you honestly can't see how to put a story into a game like that, I hope you don't reproduce. The formula of T1 and 2, being level-cutscene-level-cutscene was acceptable because the levels and cutscenes were so amazing. But personally I'd like to do some actual thieving; short on cash, find a mansion to loot that isn't integral to the story. Just because you're not being forced to play one mission immediately after another does not mean a story is impossible to include. The thief levels are known for their openness- how could we possibly find the next objective? That is what you are saying.

The Thief franchise is based around large missions in very large maps. I think its fair to say that we are expecting at least 10+ large missions on the scale of Thief 2 to be satisfied, and of the same design. Thief missions are not generically designed buildings of smaller proportions, like in Oblivion. They take a long time to be created.

I do NOT think it possible to include BOTH the huge mission dynamic, AND a satisfactory more open ended Thieving section. One of the two is going to suffer, or even worse, both will suffer. If including an open ended section is going to make the main missions of even 1% lower quality, then I don't think any of us would want that. Developers do not have infinite resources and infinite time to create and combine two different types of fundamental gameplay mechanics and make both of them work at the same time. So better focus at what makes Thief Thief, and leave other options for other franchises.

jtr7
7th Jun 2009, 19:42
Again, if the games were created from the original formula, there would be something for all of us, and it's to be expected that different people will like and dislike different things than one another. This is the genius of Thief.

lefty
7th Jun 2009, 19:44
The Thief franchise is based around large missions in very large maps. I think its fair to say that we are expecting at least 10+ large missions on the scale of Thief 2 to be satisfied, and of the same design. Thief missions are not generically designed buildings of smaller proportions, like in Oblivion. They take a long time to be created.

I do NOT think it possible to include BOTH the huge mission dynamic, AND a satisfactory more open ended Thieving section. One of the two is going to suffer, or even worse, both will suffer. If including an open ended section is going to make the main missions of even 1% lower quality, then I don't think any of us would want that. Developers do not have infinite resources and infinite time to create and combine two different types of fundamental gameplay mechanics and make both of them work at the same time. So better focus at what makes Thief Thief, and leave other options for other franchises.

now there's a worthwhile post.

DarthEnder
7th Jun 2009, 19:45
-If you don't want to play undead and monster levels because you are scared, you're too young to play.
I'm 30.

Also, after adolescence people tend to become more fearful as they age, not less. It has to do with increased awareness of mortality as maturity progresses.


I pray he doesnt stumble across this...I've got my eye on you buddy....

Platinumoxicity
7th Jun 2009, 19:53
I'm 30.

Also, after adolescence people tend to become more fearful as they age, not less. It has to do with increased awareness of mortality as maturity progresses.

I've got my eye on you buddy....

Did I say that you were scared? :scratch: You could have been any of those examples.
And why are scary movies rated for older audiences if "people tend to" get more fearful as they age?

BoldEnglishman
7th Jun 2009, 22:21
It has to do with increased awareness of mortality as maturity progresses..

Certainly doesn't apply to everyone though. Just listen to the samples from Pink Floyd's "The Great Gig in the Sky".

Nate
7th Jun 2009, 22:27
The Thief franchise is based around large missions in very large maps. I think its fair to say that we are expecting at least 10+ large missions on the scale of Thief 2 to be satisfied, and of the same design. Thief missions are not generically designed buildings of smaller proportions, like in Oblivion. They take a long time to be created.

I do NOT think it possible to include BOTH the huge mission dynamic, AND a satisfactory more open ended Thieving section. One of the two is going to suffer, or even worse, both will suffer. If including an open ended section is going to make the main missions of even 1% lower quality, then I don't think any of us would want that. Developers do not have infinite resources and infinite time to create and combine two different types of fundamental gameplay mechanics and make both of them work at the same time. So better focus at what makes Thief Thief, and leave other options for other franchises.

Seconded!

Hypevosa
7th Jun 2009, 22:38
The Thief franchise is based around large missions in very large maps. I think its fair to say that we are expecting at least 10+ large missions on the scale of Thief 2 to be satisfied, and of the same design. Thief missions are not generically designed buildings of smaller proportions, like in Oblivion. They take a long time to be created.

I do NOT think it possible to include BOTH the huge mission dynamic, AND a satisfactory more open ended Thieving section. One of the two is going to suffer, or even worse, both will suffer. If including an open ended section is going to make the main missions of even 1% lower quality, then I don't think any of us would want that. Developers do not have infinite resources and infinite time to create and combine two different types of fundamental gameplay mechanics and make both of them work at the same time. So better focus at what makes Thief Thief, and leave other options for other franchises.

Actually I think it is possible, because all that open world really should be is maybe 2 or 3 "large missions" that are in the same space, and have cycling citizens (an old citizen exits a door and a new citizen enters through another), some respawning treasure (like at stores or the donation box for the chapel) and guards (but guards should stay conked out for the night thanks).

Assuming they go for exactly 15 missions (like Thief Gold and TMA), then that would leave 13-12 story missions with a large city hub inbetween. Or if they go for broke they can have the 15 missions and that large city hub. They JUST announced this project guys... it's not like it's something that's been already worked on for 2 or 4 years and already has limitations. They can do whatever they want at this point, and they have the TIME to do it well.

razorstealth
7th Jun 2009, 22:48
I think that you can have some flexibility with Missions without compromising the Storyline. TDS implemented this somewhat with the optional Pavelock Prison mission, it had no direct correlation to the story and if you are smart and dont want to, you dont have to ever play the Prison mission if you dont wish to. At the beginning of each Thief game you start out robbing some ritzy place that has little to do with the story. Perhaps Thief 4 can give a few options at the beginning of the game as a sort of statement that Garret is a full time Master Thief, not just when The City is in danger. If Thief 4 chooses to use the City as a commonplace between levels perhaps new levels can be unlocked based on the ability to hear certain revealing conversations without being heard. sort of like the training mission set up the first mission in TDS. Not too many of these but just for more entertaining replays.

nydusordos
8th Jun 2009, 00:18
Thoughts about this?

I guess you are advocating a sort of Oblivion style game (hopefully without the RPG element or you lost me!).

I'm not adverse to having components of freeplay and exploration. In Oblivion you could essentially decide to stick around the major towns or go out into the forest and explore ancient ruins, etc.

However, I'm not sure a game with complete freedom of movement like in Oblivion or Fallout3 would work in the Thief Universe. Precisely because the standard has been set so high in terms of detail in the previous games. Games like Fallout3 or Oblivion start out being awe inspiring, but it is impossible to adequately detail an entire city or realm to the point where you can consistently suspend disbelief (hey, this castle looks EXACTLY like that last one!).

So alas, there should be some fair degree of mission structure like in the other Thief Games, but I'm open to some freeplay being incorporated.

- Ordos

Yotun
8th Jun 2009, 03:08
Actually I think it is possible, because all that open world really should be is maybe 2 or 3 "large missions" that are in the same space, and have cycling citizens (an old citizen exits a door and a new citizen enters through another), some respawning treasure (like at stores or the donation box for the chapel) and guards (but guards should stay conked out for the night thanks).

Assuming they go for exactly 15 missions (like Thief Gold and TMA), then that would leave 13-12 story missions with a large city hub inbetween. Or if they go for broke they can have the 15 missions and that large city hub. They JUST announced this project guys... it's not like it's something that's been already worked on for 2 or 4 years and already has limitations. They can do whatever they want at this point, and they have the TIME to do it well.

But I would hardly call the concept of one large map as the 'hub', being repeated a few times as you describe as doing an open-ended 'thieving' section 'right. It would just feel tacked on. If you are going to have an open ended world for thieving done right, then the city should be to a fairly realistic scale, not the extend of a single map - and you wouldn't expect valuables to 'respawn' as well between missions in the city hub. Why would they? It's not as if people rebuy all their things every night.

Like, look, for me, when I think of the city, I always for some reason think of London. I expect it to be at least of the same size as the modern city, even greater. A single map, which would also be a hub and connect all the missions together just wouldn't fill right. Which in a way is why I also didn't like the city stages in TDS.