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View Full Version : MISSIONS: Make levels "ghostable"!



Platinumoxicity
3rd Jun 2009, 12:53
I was very upset when I played the TDS demo and on the very first mission, the training level you are forced to get caught! :mad2: I just tried to ghost the "Overlook manor" and getting to the secret door in 30 seconds with that much people on the way simply can't be done. I had to blind people with flashbombs so that they couldn't see me!

Levels that you need to ghost, more of these, please:
-Framed on expert
-Casing the Joint

Some levels that are very, very hard to ghost, but I don't mind a challenge ;):
-Thieves' guild (I've never spent this much time only to get inside the building to begin with)
-Return to the Cathedral (Patience, my dear. And a moss arrow, please.)
-Escape (Minimal equipment and a taffload of spiders with eyes on their back)
-Song of the Caverns (Taffin' Cripes, that one's hard)

There are some levels that I can't believe that people like Lytha have ghosted:
-Sabotage in Soulforge on expert. (No taffin' way to get to the last tower)
-Overlook manor (A secret door with a 30 second time limit and 12 000 people to sneak by to get there)
-Trace the courier (How do you get past the murderous mechanists in the end?)
-Mages' towers on expert (Tower of Fire - The horror... the horror...)
-Down in the Bonehoard (Mystic's Soul and fire arrows)

Some levels that are impossible to ghost:
-Kidnap (The name says it all)
-Running Interference on expert (Knock out 8 people)
-Blue Heron inn (Guard teleports in front of you, mandatory knock-out)
-Pagan sanctuary (Blood sacrifice? Come on!)

So I think that the levels should be designed so that it is possible to make it through without ever being seen, without knocking out or killing anyone and without using flashbombs for cover while simultaneously trying to seem like no-one ever was there.

So please no:
-A guard standing in a room with a locked chest of gold, staring constantly at the chest with the room lit with a light that can't be extinguished and no place to hide when distracting the guard. (Overlook manor)
-No knock out- or killing objectives (Runnig interference, kidnap, pagan sanctuary)
-No scripted situations of exposure (Blue Heron inn)
-No mandatory exposure in order to get to an objective (Soulforge)
-No guards getting stuck on the only doorway leading to a room with the last piece of loot (Pagan sanctuary)
-No use of explosives in order to complete the last objective (Bonehoard, Maw of Chaos, maybe also Return to the Cathedral)

Hamadriyad
3rd Jun 2009, 14:24
-Pagan sanctuary (Blood sacrifice? Come on!)


Actually I don't care about to be a ghost.But yes,some objectives(not missions) are meaningless. Lİke "at least 8 knock outs." And why can't we sacrifice our blood instead someone else's, this is not blood sacrifice, this is life sacrifice.
I think that always for blood sacrifice:
A cutscene begins, Garrett takes his own knife and cuts his hand. Blood drops to stone slowly.

Slickleg
3rd Jun 2009, 14:37
Ghosting is my preferred play style too and it sometimes bothers me when it's impossible to do it. I've never been able to get past the guard in Lord Bafford's Manor in the throne room without knocking him out for instance. But in training levels or when it's part of a storyline, I don't mind as much. Also, I'm not as committed to getting 100% loot, so if there's a chest that is totally inaccessible by ghosting I just leave it alone. You just have to decide which is more important to you.

As for the Overlook Manor, I definitely found it possible to do, you just need to time it extremely well and RUN. By my count it was more like 20 seconds til the door closed (maybe I just count slowly).

And in the Pagan Sanctuary, there is a dead body at the top of the stairwell that you can bring down with you and use instead of killing someone yourself.

ToMegaTherion
3rd Jun 2009, 15:09
That Bafford's guard is avoidable but it did take me rather a long time to do it. I found the guy guarding Lady Elizabeth's room to be one of the most annoying guards to bypass.

Platinumoxicity
3rd Jun 2009, 15:50
Ghosting is my preferred play style too and it sometimes bothers me when it's impossible to do it. I've never been able to get past the guard in Lord Bafford's Manor in the throne room without knocking him out for instance. But in training levels or when it's part of a storyline, I don't mind as much. Also, I'm not as committed to getting 100% loot, so if there's a chest that is totally inaccessible by ghosting I just leave it alone. You just have to decide which is more important to you.

As for the Overlook Manor, I definitely found it possible to do, you just need to time it extremely well and RUN. By my count it was more like 20 seconds til the door closed (maybe I just count slowly).

And in the Pagan Sanctuary, there is a dead body at the top of the stairwell that you can bring down with you and use instead of killing someone yourself.

The goofiest way I passed the Bafford guard was that I doused all the torches, pickpocketed everyones' keys, lured them to the small room that leads to the gong room and locked the door behind them, locking the guards outside. :D It was tricky as taff, but the laughs were worth it.

Well I played the Overlook with the minimalist project installed so the guard sensitivities are always very high and they could hear me running on wooden floor from 50m away. And yeah, I left the chest and the guard alone.

I didn't have a dead body at the sanctuary. :confused: Maybe it was a bug.

DarthEnder
3rd Jun 2009, 17:14
I certainly don't have any objection to them making every level ghostable, but I am not a fan of levels that require it.

ToMegaTherion
3rd Jun 2009, 17:55
I'm not a big fan of the "don't be spotted" objective being enforced but the "no KOs or kills" requirement can be fun.

A funny thing about Casing The Joint was that I'm not allowed to do anything that makes a fuss but I am apparently allowed to lead the library ghost onto a murderous rampage.

Yaphy
3rd Jun 2009, 18:23
I hate the "rarly seen and never cought" thing ive read somewhere. It makes you feal quite useless if you dont ghost.

MasterTaffer
3rd Jun 2009, 19:09
Some levels that are impossible to ghost:
-Blue Heron inn (Guard teleports in front of you, mandatory knock-out)
-Pagan sanctuary (Blood sacrifice? Come on!)

I'de like to point a few things here.

While the Blue Heron Inn's mandatory blackjack knockout can't be avoided, the teleporting guard can be snuck past. You simply must put out the torches with water arrow shots BEFORE you enter the room. Do that and you can sneak past the teleporting guard.

Also, in the Pagan Sanctuary there is a dead Pagan already in the level that can be used. There is a scroll in game that says this pagan tried to take the Paw for a ritual without partaking in the ritual herself, and was instantly killed during it. The dead Pagan should be near the stairs that descend into the Paw's cavern. I read that someone else pointed this out, but you can trust me that it is there in the level somewhere.

Hopefully that will help your stats on your next playthrough! :wave:

ToMegaTherion
3rd Jun 2009, 19:40
There is usually a pagan who has suicided on a fire on that map as well :D

MasterTaffer
3rd Jun 2009, 19:48
There is usually a pagan who has suicided on a fire on that map as well :D

Getting dinner for Pagans sometimes takes sacrifice from its members...

kaekaelyn
3rd Jun 2009, 20:52
I don't know what to think about that. I'm all for ghosting as a concept, even though I don't have as much fun doing it because I love all the mischief I can get away with while I'm not ghosting. I recognize that it's probably the ultimate way to play Thief. The thing is, I don't necessarily agree that every bit of every mission should be "ghostable." The guards want to make things difficult for you. I like the fact that you have to shake things up and improvise sometimes. Yet it throws me because by having to abandon ghosting by KO-ing or flashbombing guards, you're probably actually making things easier rather than harder. I dunno, I guess I'm kind of undecided on this one.

Hypevosa
3rd Jun 2009, 22:49
Overall no method of play should ever be FORCED on the player. If the person prefers ghosting, then they should ghost. If they prefer a mister sandman style of play, let them do that. If they prefer the serial killer style of play let them do that (except on expert and Hard). And if they prefer to play it like halo instead of like thief, then let them know that that's the last straw and put a few swords up their bum and a few arrows in their ears, they'll hopefully read the box and go "Oh, sneaking... right..."

I don't "Ghost" every mission by most people's standards... even though I'm never caught and chased after, I always knockout everyone. I use my tools as sparingly as possible but I do use them for the sake of ease, a master thief to me isn't someone who makes his job more challenging than it has to be, but sees where tools should and should not be used, and acts appropriately, why else would he have the freakin things? they just make him look like a thief if someone see's what he's got on him.

Never force a style of gameplay, only a purpose. To steal stuff and not get caught, not to fight everyone in a level to the death.

Terr
3rd Jun 2009, 23:35
Getting dinner for Pagans sometimes takes sacrifice from its members...

"I bes them honeysweet, I bes them breadmeat, Feeders you of me, til them times that I feeders of you."

AbysmalGale
3rd Jun 2009, 23:45
But yes,some objectives(not missions) are meaningless. Lİke "at least 8 knock outs."

That was Running Interference, which was merely designed to be a training level, more than a normal mission. The knock out thing was just to make sure you'll know how it works in the future.

AbysmalGale
3rd Jun 2009, 23:52
Another thing I'd like to point out. While I think it should be possible to ghost most levels (if you want to), I also would find it strange if all corners of all levels could be fully explored that way. Like the example with the guard standing in front of a chest, with a light that can't be turned out. Situations like that should just occasionally be part of the game. If you wish to ghost such a thing, you'll just have to leave the chest unopened. If not, then pull a trick like throwing a vase in the hallway so that the guard moves (which might not be considered ghosting though).

My point is, not all situations should be 100% ghostable, at least not in all levels.

Oh, and I am not a fan of levels that has to be ghosted. Only levels that can be so if wished.

MasterTaffer
3rd Jun 2009, 23:52
That was Running Interference, which was merely designed to be a training level, more than a normal mission. The knock out thing was just to make sure you'll know how it works in the future.

Yes, but the fact that objective was on the Expert difficulty was the problem I had with it. If it had been on a lower difficulty, the issue would not have been as bad.

It's possible for Basso to get to Jenny only putting out one torch and knocking out one bow guard, honestly.

AbysmalGale
3rd Jun 2009, 23:57
Yes, but the fact that objective was on the Expert difficulty was the problem I had with it. If it had been on a lower difficulty, the issue would not have been as bad.

It's possible for Basso to get to Jenny only putting out one torch and knocking out one bow guard, honestly.

Yup. I see your point.

However, that means one knock out has to be done no matter what, so ghosting would still be impossible.

MasterTaffer
4th Jun 2009, 00:11
Yup. I see your point.

However, that means one knock out has to be done no matter what, so ghosting would still be impossible.

Indeed, but within the context of the level I found it appropriate. Considering you're doing a job for Basso, the framework of the mission is his choice. Clearing a path for him is the primary objective, and if that requires to remove certain guards for their patrols, so be it.

The same can be said for grabbing Cavador, since that's what Viktoria requires of Garrett.

Platinumoxicity
4th Jun 2009, 00:15
Not every part of every mission should be ghostable. You can't always get all the loot without problems, but all the objectives on all difficulties should be achievable by ghosting. Especially on expert. I have never found a way to get to the last tower in Soulforge without being seen. That's why I haven't ever gotten through that level on expert. :(

kaekaelyn
4th Jun 2009, 00:17
I kind of liked the score 8 knockouts thing. I wouldn't like it on every mission, but on that first mission it was kind of a fun way to mix things up. People take ghosting too seriously in my opinion. I don't know why it seems to make so many people physically ill if they have to toss a flashbomb or whip out the blackjack every once in a while instead of reloading an old save. That comment from me probably makes me sound like I'm one of those first-person shooter freaks who doesn't have the patience, subtlety or finesse for a game like Thief, but it's not that way. I just think people should accept that versatility and improvisation is part of Thief.

I think I've decided that not all missions should be inherently "ghostable." I like the idea of forcing people outside their comfort zones. Sorry if this offends any hardcore ghosters out there, because I recognize that you guys are probably much better players than I am. It's just not the attitude I have about Thief, and I think you should exhaust every resource you have in order to get out of sticky situations instead of reloading.

(Of course, I myself do a hell of a lot of reloading when zombies spot me and start coming after me, but that's different! I'm just scared out of my mind, that's all!)

DoomyDoomyDoomDoom
4th Jun 2009, 04:17
Never force a style of gameplay, only a purpose. To steal stuff and not get caught, not to fight everyone in a level to the death.

Yes, players should never be forced, but I would like to see it possible to ghost every level. I would like the game to have a 'ghost mode' that imposes ghosting rules on the player.


The goofiest way I passed the Bafford guard was that I doused all the torches, pickpocketed everyones' keys, lured them to the small room that leads to the gong room and locked the door behind them, locking the guards outside. It was tricky as taff, but the laughs were worth it.

Well I played the Overlook with the minimalist project installed so the guard sensitivities are always very high and they could hear me running on wooden floor from 50m away. And yeah, I left the chest and the guard alone.

heheeeeee, it's so fun to lock em up like that ain't it! I wish the noismaker arrow had a larger area of influence to get people where I want them.

Yea that minimalist project is rough! I like it :) Just hate that I can't drop something without alerting everybody nearby.:hmm:

AbysmalGale
4th Jun 2009, 08:20
Yes, players should never be forced, but I would like to see it possible to ghost every level. I would like the game to have a 'ghost mode' that imposes ghosting rules on the player.

Hmm, I personally don't really agree with a "ghost mode". I just like the expert rule of not killing anyone, some extra objectives added and most of the loot collected. What I'd like to see though, is an extra bonus score or so when finishing a level by ghosting it. Kind of a diploma for your collection ;)

But please, no ghost mode.

Nate
4th Jun 2009, 08:45
Well, if it is a game setting (or mission objective selection), then I don't have problem with it.

tinetone
25th Aug 2011, 15:16
Ghosting should be possible through most of the game al least for main objectives. Some ghosting mission ar at least part of it would be fun too. But on no account ghosting should prevail over other aproaches.
So make ghosting possible but dont use all of your time for level design just for ghosting.

Platinumoxicity
25th Aug 2011, 16:52
There are some levels that I can't believe that people like Lytha have ghosted:
-Sabotage in Soulforge on expert. (No taffin' way to get to the last tower)
-Overlook manor (A secret door with a 30 second time limit and 12 000 people to sneak by to get there)
-Trace the courier (How do you get past the murderous mechanists in the end?)
-Mages' towers on expert (Tower of Fire - The horror... the horror...)
-Down in the Bonehoard (Mystic's Soul and fire arrows)

Some levels that are impossible to ghost:
-Kidnap (The name says it all)
-Running Interference on expert (Knock out 8 people)
-Blue Heron inn (Guard teleports in front of you, mandatory knock-out)
-Pagan sanctuary (Blood sacrifice? Come on!)

Nice resurrection. :D Now that I look back at my rantings, I see that I have actually managed to ghost:

-Soulforge. Piece of cake. Ghosted it with 0 saves a month ago. It's a long mission, sure. But very straightforward and easy. In fact, Soulforge is easier to ghost, than it is to play through in a normal way.
-Overlook. Only possible to ghost if you leave nothing to the poor widow, or on a lower difficulty. On expert it's impossible to ghost and simultaneously leave the captain's treasure to the lady. You won't have over 90% loot.
-Courier. You actually get a lot of invisibility potions in this mission.
-Mages Tower. Ghosted it through with saves. On a no-save run a keyboard bug caused me to trip into lava in the final room of the fire tower. I will never play that mission again. :mad:

-Kidnap. If you ignore the 1 damage dealt, and the fact that you need to use a flash mine on 2 guards, success. Ghosted except knocking out Cavador, with 0 saves. The main thing is that the 2 guards + Cavador get blinded by a flash mine, during which I knock out Cavador and carry him into the darkness, and when their vision comes back, Cavador is nowhere to be found, and nobody saw anything.
-Blue Heron Inn. The scripted guard goes into alert mode in the end, but you can at first put all the lights out and hide under a shelf. But you still have to knock out the front desk guy. Even if he wasn't part of the objectives, it wouldn't be possible to get by him without being detected.
-Pagan Sanctuary. Success. A guy randomly dies in a campfire, and you can carry the body to the sacrifice area. Then you need to wait 45 minutes for the patrol routes of a shaman and a treebeast to go the same way at the same time so that you have a long enough window of time to get to the altar with the dead body without being seen. It's pure luck if one manages to ghost this mission, and it includes exploiting a bug.

The Bonehoard and Haunted Cathedral are still impossible because you need to use fire arrows to light torches, while standing in the most exposed areas imaginable, and with enemies everywhere around you.

jtr7
25th Aug 2011, 22:51
I still think no single playstyle but Garrett's (a mix of various non-lethal styles, except where creatures and undead are concerned) should exist in all missions. The fiction should still add pressures to challenge player-invented playstyles, and change requirements as the game progresses, and shouldn't even try to pre-plan for anything but Garrett's character, as TDP did. Let the story be well-written for its purposes and let the game meld with the story in an organic manner, anchored in a strong character.

Flashart
27th Aug 2011, 17:26
I don't think the player should be "made" to ghost, or "made" to kill for that matter. It should be the player's choice to enforce whatever play style upon Garrett.
Good level design should provide for both styles, I'll concede that sometimes difficult choices may have to be made with regard to certain key elements within a level and it's narrative.

BigBoss
27th Aug 2011, 22:17
I'm not a fan of forced encounters in a true stealth game, so I second this

Odyseeos
27th Aug 2011, 23:15
Yea, the fear on the stairs is a lot.