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Nikoladze
16th Jun 2009, 20:32
It would be nice if the player had the option to scramble enemy positions, patrols, habits, loot, and key items for each level after having beat it once. Good of keeping a player on their toes each playthrough, and if the random guard patrol ends up being a bad idea the player can always switch to the original patrols.

ToMegaTherion
16th Jun 2009, 20:42
Am I hallucinating or was there some randomisation in Bank in Metal Age?

BlooferLady
16th Jun 2009, 20:44
Or put in random events where the guards deviate from their normal patrols. I agree, I would like them to mix up the routine a bit.

Hypevosa
16th Jun 2009, 21:09
Well it wouldn't make sense in some places... if you had a valuable object and all the sudden that guards patrol route took him no where near it it would be stupid.... you'd need some guards to never deviate from route (ones with important placement).

jtr7
16th Jun 2009, 22:00
The patrol points are placed manually and fixed. The apparent randomness comes from programmed sets of movements. Any randomness will come from knocking them out of their cycles but any patrolling will always be from preset points. Getting them to chase you or hunt for you is a separate thing.

esme
16th Jun 2009, 22:19
TDP & TMA had the ability to do random patrols between a fixed set of patrol points, when the AI reached a patrol point then it will select a random patrol point from it's route as the next target and will head directly for it, I assume TDS has a similar capability

I can't think of any FM's with random patrols off the top of my head but from my T2 experience I can see AI getting stuck a lot, preventing them getting stuck on a normal patrol is hard enough

what you'd need is a random route selection so not only is a destination chosen but a valid route to get to it that avoids obstacles

ToMegaTherion
16th Jun 2009, 23:09
The AI in Deadly Shadows was a lot better at avoiding getting stuck than the previous games (although it occasionally liked to commit suicide), so things are encouraging in that area.

esme
16th Jun 2009, 23:18
...although it occasionally liked to commit suicide...you mean like AI walking into the fire and being too stupid to get out before dying ?

I believe TDS uses a navmesh on the floor to allow the AI to navigate, so I'd say it needs a hole putting in it where the fire is so the AI don't see it as a viable route

in TMA fan missions I got round this sort of thing by putting large blocks over all the objects I didn't want the AI to try walking through, then compute the pathfinding database, then delete all the blocks

DoomyDoomyDoomDoom
16th Jun 2009, 23:21
I would like random guard and loot placement. Or at the least, different layouts to play. I have Tenchu: Return From Darkness on xbox and I love the added replayability of having 3 different layouts to play for each level. In each layout the guards are placed in different places with different patrol routes. It also changes item placement in the level. Sometimes I just have a favorite level in a game and I get sick of playing it the exact same way. Favorite levels in that Tenchu game can be played 3 different ways each (actually 9 because of the 3 different character's objectives in the same level).

It really did do wonders for replayability because if you wanted to play every layout you basically played the whole game 3 times (9 if you played all layouts with all 3 campaigns). You could play the same level 9 times and the objectives were different for each character (if I remember correctly). Also, there was the replayability that came with replaying a level in an effort to achieve the highest rank.

Would be so great if Thief 4's levels were replayable by way of random guards and loot or different layouts. That along with big open levels to begin with. Man, I would be playing the same missions over and over.

ToMegaTherion
16th Jun 2009, 23:27
It is a nice idea and also an easy feature to trumpet, so might well be worth considering.

Sierra Oscar
16th Jun 2009, 23:39
Make the AI smarter so as they can respond better to a changing environment.

An essential part of Thief game play is being able to interpret guard movements. If it is an entirely random event the game could just become frustrating.

esme
16th Jun 2009, 23:43
yep a large part of the game is observing the AI and planning how to get past them if they are completely random then that pretty much goes out of the window unless you are prepared to wait five times longer than normal for the AI to eventually repeat the critical sequence of actions that let you deal with it

Nate
17th Jun 2009, 00:45
If ever you are spotted and the regular guards sound the alarm, I would like it if a couple of patrols of city guards are spawned at the enterance of the level, and proceed to search the entire place by random paths.

The more often the alarm is sounded, the more city guard patrols show up to help search for you.

Nikoladze
17th Jun 2009, 00:58
I'm not asking for the AI to behave erratically, I just want to have them spawn at different locations and diffrent patrol patterns anytime you load the game.

Hypevosa
17th Jun 2009, 01:14
I'm not asking for the AI to behave erratically, I just want to have them spawn at different locations and diffrent patrol patterns anytime you load the game.

That's what I thought, and why I was talking about how you needed at least a few guards to have the same patrol pattern because of the loot they're guarding.

fayfuya
17th Jun 2009, 04:01
Almost every AI i've seen in TDS was patroling, and i'm sick of people who walk from here, watch the wall, watch nothing...scratch his ear....come on, the guards should be patroling, it's ok, but the citizen are just lifeless, please give the citizen more life and juice, give them something to do for example, they hurry to their homes for dinner or they are late to somewhere...

Nate
17th Jun 2009, 04:09
Hehe, the citizens in TDS work as if they are unionized.

jtr7
17th Jun 2009, 04:16
The streets should not be so populated at night unless the bars close and the people are stumbling home, and nobility shouldn't be parading themselves in the slums. They were mindless herds to harvest loot from. I know mugging is a form of thievery, but that's just low and classless for a Master Thief who shouldn't be showing his face to any of his victims.

Hypevosa
17th Jun 2009, 04:27
I had a rule... if they had a purse I picked it, and if they were wearing more than a single piece of jewelry they were showing off and needed to be taken down a notch... so I'd blackjack em take their stuff.

People should have a pattern that they obey at night until you interrupt it... if they're a drunk they should be at the bar before your mission starts, and after the mission they should be stumbling home or passed out in an alley. If they are normal, they're asleep. If they're a workaholic they're at their place of work. If they're a thief, they're at some thieving shop before a mission, and afterwords they're either being chased down by a guard, or they're at the fence trying to get rid of the goods. When you interrupt that pattern they get a new one in an attempt to avoid you... it's a good way to set people sober.

Deathologist
17th Jun 2009, 05:37
Guys it's already quite possible to throw guards off of their patrol routes in thief :P

jtr7
17th Jun 2009, 05:41
Yes, but they don't patrol randomly before the player interferes with them. ;)







Observing patrol patterns has always been a Thief puzzle. Most of the time it's not an issue, though, unless the player isn't taking the guards out, or can't.

citywolfdreams
17th Jun 2009, 05:57
I really agree with the randomization idea, even if it's something as simple as occasionally glancing off from side to side, or turning around when they hear a sound instead of just freezing. Thief is about being CHALLENGED in a realistic environment, and part of that is reacting to changing circumstances.

I get what some of you guys are saying about how pattern watching is a large part of getting by the guards - but I disagree for two reasons. First of all, it's very unrealistic. Real human beings do not move in predictable and consistent patterns. Second of all, it's boring because it makes the entire game a pattern watching exercise. If you want the entire point of the game to be about watching patterns, then HERE's the game you should really be playing:

http://www.freegames.ws/games/kidsgames/simon/mysimon.htm

Come on, seriously guys - this is Thief, the game that is supposed to be require more intellect than the others. If anybody can ghost by something as easy as watching patterns, then to me the game isn't even a challenge. Some people are into that, but in my option, that's exactly what lower difficulty levels are for. Or better yet, maybe they could have options for people when first starting a mission. For example, some people like to kill NPCs, but the highest difficulty level forbids it. Others like to shost, but they don't want the guards to be too alert. Maybe instead of difficulty levels per se, Thief could have a checklist of options like:

Guard Random Behaviors ON/OFF
Guard Alertness LOW/MEDIUM/HIGH
Guards Spread Alarm LOW/MEDIUM/HIGH
Garrett Kills ANYONE/GUARDS ONLY/NOBODY

Something like that wouldn't be too hard to do, and it would make everyone happy. But if they're not going to do that, then I'd rather they err on the side of increased challenges. I'm just not a big fan of dumbing games down so just that any average schmoe can win. Winning should be something you can feel PROUD of.

Hypevosa
17th Jun 2009, 06:05
I really agree with the randomization idea, even if it's something as simple as occasionally glancing off from side to side, or turning around when they hear a sound instead of just freezing. Thief is about being CHALLENGED in a realistic environment, and part of that is reacting to changing circumstances.

I get what some of you guys are saying about how pattern watching is a large part of getting by the guards - but I disagree for two reasons. First of all, it's very unrealistic. Real human beings do not move in predictable and consistent patterns. Second of all, it's boring because it makes the entire game a pattern watching exercise. If you want the entire point of the game to be about watching patterns, then HERE's the game you should really be playing:

http://www.freegames.ws/games/kidsgames/simon/mysimon.htm

Come on, seriously guys - this is Thief, the game that is supposed to be require more intellect than the others. If anybody can ghost by something as easy as watching patterns, then to me the game isn't even a challenge. Some people are into that, but in my option, that's exactly what lower difficulty levels are for. Or better yet, maybe they could have options for people when first starting a mission. For example, some people like to kill NPCs, but the highest difficulty level forbids it. Others like to shost, but they don't want the guards to be too alert. Maybe instead of difficulty levels per se, Thief could have a checklist of options like:

Guard Random Behaviors ON/OFF
Guard Alertness LOW/MEDIUM/HIGH
Guards Spread Alarm LOW/MEDIUM/HIGH
Garrett Kills ANYONE/GUARDS ONLY/NOBODY

Something like that wouldn't be too hard to do, and it would make everyone happy. But if they're not going to do that, then I'd rather they err on the side of increased challenges. I'm just not a big fan of dumbing games down so just that any average schmoe can win. Winning should be something you can feel PROUD of.

There's a difference between randomized response to stimuli and randomized patrol routes... the thread I believe is about their patrol routes, but I like your idea of people responding differently to stimuli. The reason you can't have completely randomized patrol routes, is because if you have one, you've been assigned to it by a superior... and randomly deviating from said route "because you feel like it" is the stuff that'll get you fired. I still argue that some patrol routes need to never ever change, for the very reason that if you completely randomize it, there may be NO ONE guarding the thing you came to steal, which would be a "WTF?" in my book.

The randomized reaction to stimuli could tie in with the guards having various personalities thread. The greenhorn might just stop in his path and wait for more sound and shrug things off, where as the experienced guard might do a 180 and look around for a second before resuming his patrol, and the ornery guard will just turn around and actually search a bit because he's itching for a fight.

Customizing difficulty really isn't something that someone should be doing from the getgo... there should be Easy, Medium, Hard, Expert, and then Custom if they have it. You still want people who play expert to all have played the same expert. ya know? Then you can put special options in custom difficulty for people who want to ghost specifically, or restrict saving, etc.

jtr7
17th Jun 2009, 06:21
When I was in the Navy, at the last base I was at, we would rotate who had the patrol route, and we were required to start at one point--a station--put the station's key into a recording device with a clock and turn it to record that we were there and at what time, and move on to the next station, and the next, and so on, until the circle was complete. We had to do the route once an hour.

Hypevosa
17th Jun 2009, 06:23
Dude... that's pretty strict, I've never heard of clocking a patrol, but it makes sense. Maybe they could use it in T4, you could hear the guards complain about it XD

jtr7
17th Jun 2009, 06:35
Guards going from station to station, keying in their clock-device, bored as hell. :D

Hypevosa
17th Jun 2009, 06:39
See one kinda dragging his feet along the carpet and looking down on the ground.... "So... bored... so.......tired..... " *inserts key into clock device and simultaneously collapses, snoring*

Garrett then pickpockets a note and the guard's key... the note is a reminder of the exact route he's to take. Garrett then follows the guard's route (no other guards :D), looting everything in sight, finally ending the circuit at the door

esme
17th Jun 2009, 11:39
Guards going from station to station, keying in their clock-device, bored as hell. :D

been there, done that, still got the boots, body clock is still out of sync :(

fayfuya
17th Jun 2009, 13:23
Or put in random events where the guards deviate from their normal patrols.
That's a good idea

Nate
17th Jun 2009, 14:29
If a guard hears something, but is only slightly alerted, wouldn't it be cool if he walked a bit further down the corridor and then hid in the shadows to see if anything was following him?

esme
17th Jun 2009, 14:59
If a guard hears something, but is only slightly alerted, wouldn't it be cool if he walked a bit further down the corridor and then hid in the shadows to see if anything was following him?

a bit like the look back points in assassins and tracing the courier only automatic when the AI is alerted ?

hmm it could be done it may mean inserting an extra patrol point in their route ... might even be able to do this in T2

jtr7
17th Jun 2009, 16:51
Yep. At this point, until I hear the technology has changed, anywhere the AIs patrol requires a point placed in the mission.

esme
17th Jun 2009, 17:20
yep in T2 you can dynamically add and destroy links to an object so you should be able to break a patrol route and add in another patrol point in a shadowed place and have the AI wait and then look back before proceeding ... might give that a try

Direlord
17th Jun 2009, 20:42
I'd like to see some randomness to the patrol routes where a guard is set when he comes to X intersection he can go straight or make a turn. Just give the randomness a certain weight depending on the patrol. For those guarding specific points maybe have one guy sit down for a bit or stop and look at the thing he's guarding. If it's not there have him sound the alarm.

I was also thinking some enhanced AI or just random oddities. Examples would be when a guard comes to a way another guard patrols but he doesn't seen him after a few times he goes down that route to investigate looking for the other guard. For some levels a guard going to another guard or a central area telling someone there to cover his route while he takes a piss or grabs a snack. That would mean the guard is going to a specific location not normally on his route. While the replacement guard would either extend his route making for a very long patrol or a guard from the central post would go on patrol possible increasing the amount of guards in the area.

Lots of examples or ways you can go with that. One of my biggest hopes for T4 is a greatly improved AI.

jtr7
17th Jun 2009, 20:50
It will break the game, as observation and planning will come down to blackjacking, sniping, and flashbombing our way through. It needs to be subtle, or else they should just make multiplayer.

AI pathfinding will have to be much stronger than we've ever seen, or AIs will get stuck or kill themselves without Garrett's help.

zombie32
18th Jun 2009, 01:35
I cannot remember any randomization in the Bank, but in the Evesdropping mission where Garrett had to make a duplicate key for the Safe Deposit Box to use in the Bank, there would be random locations given by Karras as you listened at the door, such as "You will find the key in the Alcolytes Quarters." The next time you played the mission Karras would give a different location for the key.

jtr7
18th Jun 2009, 02:03
Sad thing was, all the keys were there, and only one was given the link ID.

zombie32
18th Jun 2009, 03:12
Although there was no randomization of guard patrols per se, the existence of very long patrol routes in TMA in missions such as Kidnap and Shipping and Receiving could provide some surprises along the way if you weren't careful and forgot. In TDS the patrol routes were so limited that the guards weren't really much of a factor in my gameplay, and that's a shame. I could always outrun a guard, or know that he would give up looking for me after a brief search. I think poor guard performance was one of the main failures of TDS, perhaps one that gets less attention than it deserves. Good guards make a good game.

jtr7
18th Jun 2009, 03:15
Some areas were over-populated and others were really empty, but in ways that didn't make sense. It makes sense that there would be areas like that, but not some of the ones actually seen.

DoomyDoomyDoomDoom
20th Jun 2009, 21:05
Although there was no randomization of guard patrols per se, the existence of very long patrol routes in TMA in missions such as Kidnap and Shipping and Receiving could provide some surprises along the way if you weren't careful and forgot. In TDS the patrol routes were so limited that the guards weren't really much of a factor in my gameplay, and that's a shame. I could always outrun a guard, or know that he would give up looking for me after a brief search. I think poor guard performance was one of the main failures of TDS, perhaps one that gets less attention than it deserves. Good guards make a good game.

That's true.

The longer patrols do tend to surprise and it makes more sense to have one guy watching everything from point A to C instead of having 3 different guards watching all points. Shipping and Receiving is a great example of good guard use. Then again, the mission was big so the guard placement felt more natural. Thinking back, there were still an awful lot, but the space between them was good. There's only so many guards you can fit before it feels too crowded/stupid.

TDS had a bit too many guards with too short patrol routes. It was silly seeing somebody walk to and fro in the same room all night long. Even more so with 3 or 4 doing the same thing so close to each other. I mean come on, maybe I'm just lazy but I think one guard should just get into a position where he could see the whole room. I felt there weren't enough 'still guards'. It always felt silly to me seeing the guards patrolling when it seemed unnecessary.

kaekaelyn
21st Jun 2009, 00:24
Don't kill me, but I think there were some pretty stupid patrol routes in Running Interference in TMA. There was one guard that just paced back and forth about 1 foot. Stuff like that bothers me because it makes me laugh and looks so scripted. TDS had dumb patrol routes too, and the worst part about it is that it didn't have enough guards with long patrol routes to balance it out, but it's not the only game in the series that has some ridiculously short patrol routes.

jtr7
21st Jun 2009, 02:31
That was a glitch. Or are you taffing us?

kaekaelyn
21st Jun 2009, 19:45
Must have been a glitch...but it's one I got in my game every time. And unless my memory is failing me, it's not the only time I've seen a model railroad track guard patrol in the original 2 games. But maybe it is failing me.

Not taffing you though.

jtr7
21st Jun 2009, 20:44
I don't know what would cause that. How new is your copy of the game?

ToMegaTherion
21st Jun 2009, 20:47
Well, there is the guard in the dining room, he has a ludicrously tiny patrol.

jtr7
21st Jun 2009, 21:01
Hahaha! Yeah. But it's long enough to pretend he's pacing... If you wanna pretend. :p Waiting for the servant in the kitchen to send something up the dumbwaiter--nevermind that he ignores Garrett.

I'd like to know about this Shipping guard though. I do get the glitch where a sword guard gets stuck on a barrel and keeps walking stupidly.

kaekaelyn
21st Jun 2009, 21:23
What Shipping guard? I said Running Interference...

jtr7
21st Jun 2009, 21:30
I'm dain bread. Tried a new prescription sleeping pill and it hasn't let go of me yet. Sorry. Never taking that crap again.

That guard's challenging, though. Good for that TMA version of a training level.

kaekaelyn
21st Jun 2009, 21:52
Heh, no problem. Just wondering if you were talking about someone else's post.

True that. I had a time with him the first time, if I recall. But he did look pretty silly. I wish I could remember others...maybe I'm dreaming, and he's the only one.

DoomyDoomyDoomDoom
22nd Jun 2009, 01:33
Well there was another guy right down that very hall who I remember being on a short, back and forth patrol.

jtr7
22nd Jun 2009, 01:54
At least most of the idling voice files are bored and distracted, which would make sense considering how silly it is.

Since every guard is a piece of a puzzle for the player, it's not surprising there are head-scratching AI behaviors. This would be an example where the game breaks from realism to create a challenging obstacle that happens to resemble a guard. :/

Belboz
22nd Jun 2009, 04:41
lol

TheEye
4th Jul 2009, 10:46
not a bad idea

Fatherwoodsie
5th Jul 2009, 19:25
theres something that i think is critical. and that is that the gaurds looks like the gaurds from T1 and 2. i dont even care if they are poly graphed and look like old graphics. anything is better than the gaurds in deadly shadows that are all dress like scorpion from mortal kombat..

jtr7
5th Jul 2009, 22:38
.....................

Fatherwoodsie
6th Jul 2009, 01:09
i cant tell if your agreeing with me, but ill just interpret that as an agreement so i can say that thats what needs to be done. they need to go back to thief roots

jtr7
6th Jul 2009, 01:57
......................

[PT] Garret [PT]
9th Jul 2009, 17:19
Or put in random events where the guards deviate from their normal patrols. I agree, I would like them to mix up the routine a bit.

agree

jtr7
10th Jul 2009, 01:21
........................

Secondary
1st Sep 2009, 18:09
instead of "dot-to-dot" patrols, give the A.I a point B, a point B, then let them plot their own course. some low ranking guards take the path of least resistance (straight line most often). officers chagne routes, inspect doors and windows along the way.

Davehall380
1st Sep 2009, 19:45
I like the idea of the random element being incorporated into the gameplay. This needs to take into account the players ability to observe patrol routes. One of the oldest techniques has been counting the seconds inbetween guard patrols before proceeding, and to much of a random element could interfeer with this.

Prehaps these AI patrol routes become more random after an alert spike? Or maybe lower level guards stick to pradictable routes, whilst higher level guards (from experience) are more likely to back-track, skip a room etc.