Thread: DIFFICULTY LEVELS - & "Focus" mode

DIFFICULTY LEVELS - & "Focus" mode

  1. #101
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    Originally Posted by Loneck
    I dont have problem with more people playing certain game. I meant changing certain game too much so it will not be enjoyable for more demanding players.
    I think at some point demanding players are going to have to accept that they are also a niche audience. They make up a small part of the potential player base, and with the rising cost of game production in AAA games it's not financially feasable to cater directly to them anymore.

    There is hope in the indie market, however. The opposite side of the coin is that the tools for developing games are ebcoming more readily available to creative people and with new ways to fund development there's huge potential for niche gameplay mechanics and genres to make a come back. The game industry is currently in a state of fluctuation, but the future actually looks pretty cool.

  2. #102
    Originally Posted by Master Taffer
    I think at some point demanding players are going to have to accept that they are also a niche audience. They make up a small part of the potential player base, and with the rising cost of game production in AAA games it's not financially feasable to cater directly to them anymore.
    Well and that is exactly why it can be sometimes negative around here.

  3. #103
    Originally Posted by Master Taffer
    I think at some point demanding players are going to have to accept that they are also a niche audience. They make up a small part of the potential player base, and with the rising cost of game production in AAA games it's not financially feasable to cater directly to them anymore.

    There is hope in the indie market, however. The opposite side of the coin is that the tools for developing games are ebcoming more readily available to creative people and with new ways to fund development there's huge potential for niche gameplay mechanics and genres to make a come back. The game industry is currently in a state of fluctuation, but the future actually looks pretty cool.
    You know what... Based on your words I flooded into this post several times, and deleted everything I wrote down over and over again. You are right, of course, and perhaps the thief game we are looking for will be an Indie game... This usually means lesser in graphical terms and more in gameplay terms. And under this motive, we already have the old games and many fan-made missions (some of which are excellent). So we already have what we want. We just want some more of it. And this is the legacy of Looking Glass Studios.

    But what I have deleted over and over again was indeed my honest thoughts, which made me sound like an ELITIST PC GAMER. No matter how civil and respectfully I try to explain my reasoning, it always sounds like bashing, which lets some jerk enable me as an ELITIST PC GAMER and thus (unfortunately effectively) reduce my arguments to nothing. Besides, this is not the correct topic for that. This topic was supposed to be on focus.

    Thief games had the focus. In close range, objects that you could interact, highlighted when you looked at them. This led to control input (via mouse) where you tried to look above the shelves, under the desks, behind the sculptures... Which felt like you were really looking for something. It added to realism. It was Garret leaning, looking for sth valuable, maybe trailing his hand over the shelf to check.

    Many modern games include focus-like mechanics, explaining it with instinct, advanced AI in visor, or spell effect. It doesn't matter. What matters is, it lessens immersion. You just press a key, and it is there (or not there). This is... convenient I guess. But less immmersive.

    If we want oldschool, either they will make it optional, or we will challange yourself not to use it.

    In dead space 3, when you complete the game some new mods are activated. One makes the game classic, you play the game with first games weapons, movement and aim mechanics, weaponset etc. Maybe sth. like that could be activated in the start, along the lines:

    "close focus range, deadlier combat, more undead, ironman" etc.

    We can only hope, which never dies.

  4. #104

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    oh boy.... thief is dead already.

    and this is my final post in this forum since I'm not interested anymore. You won't see anymore negativities. I Wish it didn't have to be like this...

  5. #105
    I don't know why Viktoria moved my posts from "The City Watch 2013" to this thread. "Your current THOUGHTS & SUGGESTIONS" would be better fit.

  6. #106
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    Originally Posted by Loneck
    I don't know why Victoria moved my posts from "The City Watch 2013" to this thread. "Your current THOUGHTS & SUGGESTIONS" would be better fit.
    Please accept my sincere apologies. There was a whole bunch of posts that got moved and some were multiple discussions with quotes and responses.. so kind of difficult to split properly. Please feel free to repost in a different thread.
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  7. #107
    Ok. I will be more careful next time not to be off topic.

  8. #108
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    Originally Posted by Loneck
    Ok. I will be more careful next time not to be off topic.
    No problems. Its for your benefit really... if you want to be heard.
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  9. #109
    I am probably just repeating what I've already written but if it's possible to never use Focus and still being able to ghost and get full loot I'm ok with it. But, as someone has pointed out, if you use Focus while developing the game you will probably miss taking design decisions of being able to play without it. We may end up with a game where it is possible to play without Focus but you will still feel that you're not playing the game as intended and I think this is the biggest fear that I have.

    Granted that I am an old purist who has ghosted both Thief: Gold and Thief II I still recognise the fact that a game has ROI goals. This, however, does not stop me from giving voice to why I like Thief and what the key elements are for me to enjoy another installment in the series.

    If the designers put in functions to cater to a mature player crowd in the end with FOV settings, smaller HUD with smaller font etc. these things will still be things put upon the game on top of the core elements rather than having them as core elements themselves. I give my best wishes of luck to EIDOS however and hope that I will get proven wrong.

  10. #110
    Really sad news!

    Looks like one more great series will be destroyed?

  11. #111
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    The inclusion of the focus system doesn't necessarily make the game bad. It actually shows how bad the developers are. Not because of it being a bad idea when trying to help players see things, but because other developers do things better. Valve for example expends a massive amount of effort to playtest a guiding system that doesn't look like handholding at all. It's just that the level design is so carefully crafted from every concievable angle to subconsciously drive players in the right direction. Like for example, instead of pointing an arrow at something important on a desk, as you open the door to the room, the light shining to the room directly hits the desk, which ends up being the first thing the player seens when entering the space. Or when you enter a guard room, instead of the game pointing an arrow at a key on the wall, you observe a guard walking through the room and placing the key on the wall with a very distinct keyring sound effect. Air ducts are revealed by roaches and rats skittering across the floor and disappearing into walls. Ladders leading to roofs can have a noisy bird up on the roof that keeps making noise until the player looks that way and notices the ladder. Open windows can have shutters banging in the wind.

    Those kind of clues are not condescendingly mocking the intelligence of even the most idiotic lobotomized morons. Smart players will discover what they are indicating anyway, except without unnecessary handholding making them angry, and stupid idiots who inexplicably insists on playing a stealth game (In other words, a demographic that doesn't exist but to which every new stealth game release caters) will think that they are smarter than they actually are.

  12. #112
    I would like to start by saying that I'm not a hardcore Thief player, but I'm an avid stealth fan. I've played the original and was impressed by it, especially by the atmosphere and gameplay, but I never finished it due to dated graphics which gave me headaches. I did finish Deadly Shadows, but that's nothing to brag about 'round here, is it? Anyway, the point is that I consider myself a newcomer to this franchise and that not only Thief veterans are worried in this game's direction.

    I really don't think Focus is a good idea, but it's not even the main problem. The real problem is the attitude that the developers don't want to force players to play as thieves. Well what do you want us to play as then? Journalists with bazookas? Freedom of choice is a good idea, but it should be within the limits of the basic premise on the game.

    I also don't agree that powers like Focus are necessary for new players. In a well designed game artificial solutions aren't necessary. And Focus really is artificial. Garrett doesn't have magical powers, he doesn't live in he Matrix and, honestly, time manipulation is overdone. It's everywhere, and most of the time it just doesn't make sense. This is one of those times. And judging by the fact that it regenerates from stealing things successfully, the power really has no better explanation other than Garrett's professional expertise.

    I think the main problem is bad game design. If your game is too confusing to play without some additional, tacked-on power then you should rethink some of your decisions. Information about objects you can interact with and paths you may take should be naturally available from your surroundings. I also think that it's always a bad idea to take the control away from the player - simple control input is always better than different complex interaction modes, such as distinctly different moving, fighting, climbing and other gameplay modes.

    Now, everybody's saying that if it's optional, they're okay with it. I'm afraid it doesn't seem like it is - the fact that you can steal a larger amount of loot while in Focus mode is really worrying. Also, it's a core aspect of the game, it doesn't just grant vision, it's present in all kinds of interactions. For example, the "see through walls" (whatever it's called) power in Dishonored was completely optional and I didn't use it at all, but that's just because all it did was grant vision and there were other ways to look around. Actually, IMO, even though the game is far from perfect, but when it comes to movement, fighting and interaction, Dishonored made the all the right decisions.

    Besides, every Thief player likes to think that their intelligence is superior because they enjoy such a complex and unconventional game, but the truth is, anyone with half a brain and enough pills to keep their ADHD at bay for a few hours can ghost a game like Thief. Why is everyone focusing their time and effort on idiots? There's a huge competition in that area nowadays anyway.

  13. #113
    Originally Posted by The Devil
    Besides, every Thief player likes to think that their intelligence is superior because they enjoy such a complex and unconventional game, but the truth is, anyone with half a brain and enough pills to keep their ADHD at bay for a few hours can ghost a game like Thief. Why is everyone focusing their time and effort on idiots? There's a huge competition in that area nowadays anyway.
    Amen, from a long-time thief player.

    I played through both games a short while ago. That stuff is really getting old, too. The mere sneaking in shadows thing has been done and re-done. In any case, a new thief title needs to be a modern look at what a good stealth game needs to be, and if that means a focus ability, then so be it.
    I for one am pretty curious as to how this will be implemented, but frankly I believe everything we have is quite vague at the moment. I will refrain from judgement until I see the actual thing in action.

  14. #114
    One thing that nobody seems to have noticed is that Focus actually seems like a pretty good mechanic for discouraging players from being seen and getting into combat. Consider:

    1) Focus is apparently helpful in finding loot, hints, and other secrets.
    2) Focus appears to be important for surviving and escaping combat situations.
    3) Focus is a limited resource that can be expended, and needs to be replenished by doing Thief-like things such as finding loot.

    In other words, any Focus you waste on getting out of combat after slipping up and being seen is Focus you can't use to find the game's secrets. Hence, you will be incentivized to save your Focus for more productive things instead of burning it on fights, and to only use it to to help you do things that will cause it to be replenished.

  15. #115
    Originally Posted by The Devil
    In a well designed game artificial solutions aren't necessary. And Focus really is artificial. Garrett doesn't have magical powers, he doesn't live in he Matrix and, honestly, time manipulation is overdone. It's everywhere, and most of the time it just doesn't make sense. This is one of those times. And judging by the fact that it regenerates from stealing things successfully, the power really has no better explanation other than Garrett's professional expertise.
    Garrett doesn't have super-powers (or maybe he does - his ability to be completely invisible to someone two feet away from him, using only a tiny patch of shadow, is arguably supposed to be preternatural power that the Keepers taught him). However, he does have greater situational awareness, perception, reflexes, and dexterity than you or I do, or than can be captured with a mere control pad or mouse. So I don't think there's any real problem with a game mechanic that tries to capture this in some way.

  16. #116
    The Deuce-

    But finding loot, hints and secrets on your own without having it pointed out to you is fun. At least I preferred this in T2 over blinking loot beacons in TDS. The reward does not feel as great if you're just pursuing blue-glowing gamey highlights all the time. Also, if you use focus and see from afar the the right side of the room, a well-lit area, has no loot, then why go there? Normally, exploring that area would be a tense situation, but with Focus, that whole tense experience doesn't happen.

    And the suspense of being patient to avoid guards because of the ramifications is part of the fun of Thief. I admit the Focus system sounds maybe nice for escaping, which I agree needed work, but I don't really want it for violence and loot/secret finding. Maybe violence on one or two guards... to break the stealth monotony on occasion... but not for three or four.

    I could maybe see Focus as a potion you drink and then it's effective/usable for a period of time, like a minute. That would be more in-tune with the magic canon. But to have it just regenerate by finding loot? Sounds a little Ubisoft Montreal non sequitur gamey to me.

    I actually kinda like the thought of it being a potion you can buy in the shop or maybe find on rare occasion in levels. Or rather: would far prefer this over the current plan.

  17. #117
    Originally Posted by The Devil
    Now, everybody's saying that if it's optional, they're okay with it. I'm afraid it doesn't seem like it is - the fact that you can steal a larger amount of loot while in Focus mode is really worrying. Also, it's a core aspect of the game, it doesn't just grant vision, it's present in all kinds of interactions. For example, the "see through walls" (whatever it's called) power in Dishonored was completely optional and I didn't use it at all, but that's just because all it did was grant vision and there were other ways to look around. Actually, IMO, even though the game is far from perfect, but when it comes to movement, fighting and interaction, Dishonored made the all the right decisions.

    Besides, every Thief player likes to think that their intelligence is superior because they enjoy such a complex and unconventional game, but the truth is, anyone with half a brain and enough pills to keep their ADHD at bay for a few hours can ghost a game like Thief. Why is everyone focusing their time and effort on idiots? There's a huge competition in that area nowadays anyway.
    I don't care if it's optional or not. If focus and automatic perspective shifts make it into the game, I will not buy it or recognize it as a Thief game. There is a lot of truth in what people have been saying about simulated skill vs player skill. The more the game does automatically for you, the less you feel like you have any control. The first three games were rather bare bones in this regard. Countdown to seeing EM post "hold E to scale grapple rope"

  18. #118
    Originally Posted by xAcerbusx
    It's not bad because I decided it's bad. It's bad because the combat elements of Focus run contrary to the game's premise, and more importantly, its title! It's called THIEF! Not 'First-Person MMA Fighting Simulator'. And the fact that it's inspired by Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes - a despicably awful film with some of the gawdiest, most pointless combat scenes in contemporary cinema - lends further credence to that appraisal.
    You say it's "Thief" not a "first person fighting simulator", but surely that argument could be levelled against The Dark Project? "This game should be about a thief, not a sword fighting simulator!" At the end of the day, it's up to you in The Dark Project if you want to try and fight or reload. It sounds like in Thief 4 it's up to you if you want to push/fight and flee or reload.

    I think the main concern is with how the Focus feature actually works in practice. We haven't seen it in operation yet, and obviously we're all concerned about it because it's something new, and it's potentially something which might break the realism of playing the game.

    Generally I think people haven't been too negative, because the game looks great, is in first person, has Garrett in it, etc. There's loads of stuff to be really happy about.

    But obviously people are worried about a lack of undead, because it's been such a big part of the franchise in the past, and are worried about the brand new Focus feature, because it's new. Otherwise I don't think people have been overtly negative at all; quite the reverse, in fact.

  19. #119
    We don't know if Focus directly points out loot to you or not though, just that it's apparently helpful in various ways for finding hints. We also don't know how much you can abuse it before it runs out.

  20. #120
    Originally Posted by El_
    I don't care if it's optional or not. If focus and automatic perspective shifts make it into the game, I will not buy it or recognize it as a Thief game.
    Well, we've seen a screenshot of Garrett shoving a guard, which is one use of the Focus system we've been told about, and so we know that stays in 1st person at least. I surmise that his takedowns stay in 1st person in general. One area where I wouldn't mind the game shifting perspectives is when Garrett is using his grappling rope. I think it would be really difficult to accurately climb, swing, and jump from a rope with realistic physics in 1st person where you can only see your hands.

  21. #121
    Originally Posted by El_
    I don't care if it's optional or not. If focus and automatic perspective shifts make it into the game, I will not buy it or recognize it as a Thief game.
    We don't know for sure, but it sounds like the game will remain in first person throughout. Fingers crossed!

  22. #122
    Originally Posted by Blue Sky
    You say it's "Thief" not a "first person fighting simulator", but surely that argument could be levelled against The Dark Project? "This game should be about a thief, not a sword fighting simulator!" At the end of the day, it's up to you in The Dark Project if you want to try and fight or reload. It sounds like in Thief 4 it's up to you if you want to push/fight and flee or reload.
    Indeed, one thing I like about the new screenshots is that it appears that Garrett no longer carries any close combat weapons with him at all. Instead it seems that if cornered, he now relies on his reflexes, speed, and dexterity to deliver a few well-placed shots that knock guards off-balance and create an opening for him to escape. That actually seems a lot more thieflike than swordfighting.

  23. #123
    Originally Posted by The Deuce
    We don't know if Focus directly points out loot to you or not though, just that it's apparently helpful in various ways for finding hints. We also don't know how much you can abuse it before it runs out.
    Okay, fair enough; you had mentioned loot in your post; I was just running with. Loot aside, if it reveals hints and stuff from afar that would normally be seen through careful exploration and observation, I suspect there will be times where you won't want to explore an area because through Focus you know what you seek isn't there.

  24. #124
    I agree, the concept is great! I do just worry whether the whole 'Focus' system will take you out of the game a lot, what with it slowing time and that kind of thing.

    In a way it would be nicer if there was simply some kind of 'shove' key which you could activate in real time when you were near a guard which would stagger him for a moment.

  25. #125
    Originally Posted by The Deuce
    Indeed, one thing I like about the new screenshots is that it appears that Garrett no longer carries any close combat weapons with him at all. Instead it seems that if cornered, he now relies on his reflexes, speed, and dexterity to deliver a few well-placed shots that knock guards off-balance and create an opening for him to escape. That actually seems a lot more thieflike than swordfighting.
    He should at least carry a small dagger.

    What if he needs to cut something, like a rope?

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