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Thread: FMs - Ghost/Perfect Thief Results (Part 6)

FMs - Ghost/Perfect Thief Results (Part 6)

  1. #26

    The Night Watch: Mission 3 - Reorientation

    FM: The Night Watch: Mission 3 - Reorientation

    Ghost - Success
    Perfect Thief - Success
    Time - 02:37:07
    Loot - 1090 / 1090
    Pockets Picked - no stats (!?)
    Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
    Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0 Healing taken - 0
    Locks picked: 0
    Kills - 0
    Secrets Found - 3 / 3

    Comments:

    Director's Cut ghost run the first time through.

    A giant spider was the hardest part of this mission for my ghosting.

    1. It is sitting at the base of a wooden bridge surrounded by metal floors, walls, and ceiling. While it might seem at first that the best way to approach the spider would be to use the bridge as much as possible, it turned out better for me to stay on the metal surfaces. You see, you have to get off of the wooden bridge near the spider, and it hears you every time. So I crept under the bridge all the way to the spider. There is one spot where you need to go partially over the edge above the vortex to squeeze by, but done carefully you neither fall over the edge nor alert the spider. The only place in the mission that I needed a moss arrow was right beside the spider in the semi-dark. To get past that spot, you not only need a moss arrow but need to crouch-run. If you try to sneak by slowly, the spider reacts and starts searching. But if you go quickly, it does not.
    2. Going by the spider once was not enough, you have to go by it a 2nd time to get back. If memory serves, there were only a couple of water arrows there and a couple of flares in that room, so if you find it too tough, you could skip the round trip entirely. I must have chewed up a good hour getting by this spider alone!
    3. Getting into the control room was a real pain with that spider down below, despite the distance, any hard landing on the metal surfaces causes the spider to alert. You have to find the sweet spot and do a run-mantle to get through the broken window, and, if you miss, the spider goes all tingly, so it's reload time. I must have crawled all around that side of the vortex area looking for an alternative entrance before I finally found the right spot to mantle up (to the right of the window facing the left side of it, two steps away from the mantle). Argh! You bet I checked that spider out as soon as I was up on the window: the first time it heard me, the second it didn't. I reloaded and got two more silent jumps up there before I decared that this was truely repeatable. Whew!


    Some people just don't get it, even when it is spelled out in notes left behind by thoughtful folk. You don't want to know how many times I jumped into the vortex trying to hit the switch on my way by. Trust me, you don't want to know this. But I eventually even a blind pig picks up an acorn, and I figured out that there had to be a better way. From that point on the mission was pretty straight forward. And all those jumps into the vortex served me right well when I finally activated the durn switch thingy. I knew right where it was without hardly looking! The rope arrow I found made it trivial to frob it.

    Wading through the Wet Caves was unique. A burrick, a spider, a couple of exploding frogs, and some underwater sleeping zombies round out the mix. Wading silently was a trick. Since you can't see your footing, occaisionally you can't help but make a splashing sound as you drop a few inches into a depression. And you have no idea the zombies are there until you step on them ... oopsie! But the experimentation to find the silent run through this area was nothing like with that blasted spider in the vortex area!

    Oh, the skeleton, when you first drop into the water ... getting by it without alerting was a bit of a challenge. It is already alerted when the furniture starts going by (a natural reaction to part of the script, and not as a result of my action). I stayed on the Chesterfield (sofa) up on its back, by the wall, so that I dropped in at the very end. I swam up to the corpse, got some goodies. and then swam down partway, upstream of the skeleton and out of sight, to watch it from there. When I judged the time was right, I rushed by it (when it seemed to be looking in another direction). As soon as I reached the orange pipes, I turned around and verified that it had not started searching downstream, where I was. In fact, it had stopped searching at all, and just stood there not moving, facing upstream, away from me! I was able to repeat getting by the skeleton, from the time the trap was sprung until I was at the vortex, three times successfully. So I am sure there was no bust at all. I think all the water noise covered up any sounds I may have made.

    Of the three missions I have played so far in The Night Watch, this is my second favorite, above mission 2, but well below mission 1. My opinion.

  2. #27
    FM: The Night Watch: Mission 4 - Confrontation

    Ghost - Success
    Perfect Thief - Success
    Time - 01:25:37
    Loot - 4115 / 4115
    Pockets Picked - no stats (!?)
    Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
    Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0 Healing taken - 0
    Locks picked: 4
    Kills - 0
    Secrets Found - 3 / 3

    Comments:

    Director's Cut ghost run the first time through.

    From a ghosting standpoint there really was nothing tricky here. And no questionable alerts. The only real difficulty comes at the end when Jack goes on a rampage and tries to kill everyone in sight. It would have been much simpler to just sneak out. But once he starts in, every AI goes on alert, and avoiding them as they prowl about looking for Jack is a bit of a pain. Up to that point I had only needed one water arrow (for the fireplace) everything else was timing and shadows, but no more. I had 15 or so water arrows, and I put out every torch in sight as I collected the last of the loot. In all, I used 9 or 10 of them. The special guard in the black armor glow with a purple light, so, if they get close to you at all, they see you, even in the darkest corners.

    If I were to do this again, I would free Jack after I had fully looted the place, I think, instead of as soon as I had the key to his cell. That way I would only have to stay out of the way as he goes postal.

    Oh. An odd thing: one of the guards apparently had a heart attack in the dining room, fell over, and then recovered. He was walking by Lady Drakon and just ... fell over. Klunk! (He made a sort of klunking sound.) I snatched him and hid him under the table before anyone saw him and alerted. (He was identified as a corpse.) However, when I came by later, he was gone! Had he recovered and left? I don't know. Weird.

    Good fun. I must say I enjoyed this mission more than Missions 2 & 3, but less than Mission 1.

  3. #28

    The Shadow of Lord Rothchest

    FM: The Shadow of Lord Rothchest

    Ghost - Failed
    Perfect Thief - Failed
    Time - 02:55:54
    Loot - 3766 / 4016
    Pockets Picked - 10 of 12
    Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
    Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0 Healing taken - 0
    Locks picked: 13
    Kills - 0
    Secrets Found - 0/0

    Comments:
    I had a good ghost going all the way up until the last few steps. There is a white spider sitting by the exit from the mission. You are right next to a glowing spot of lichen on the sloping floor of an inclined tunnel, crouching beneath a low ceiling, with a step up to the floor with the spider and the mission exit. You can try inching right, and the spider alerts because it can see you in the glow of the lichen. You can inch left, and the spider spots you again. You can cover every surface in sight with moss from moss arrows, then try to make a dash, but you always trip on the step. You can't run-jump it because of the low cieiling! the spider turns around and sees you. Arghh!!! (By the way this spider definately sees forward. Most spders see better behind them then forward. But not this one. It is always facing you when it alerts.)

    Up until the end I felt pretty good about this mission. There are a few spots for what I call wall-inching. I have not seen this described by anyone, maybe because it is so obvious. What you do is place your body up against a wall, say the one on your left side, angle slightly right of forward along the wall, then hold down move-left key. This gives you a miniscule forward vector while your sideways vector is blocked by the wall. Very useful near exceptionally sensitive AIs. Unfortunately this fails with that final spider.

    Another trick I had to make use of in this mission was bouncing moss arrows off of the ceiling to place them on an upper floor from below, prior to climbing a ladder or rope. Since you cannot fire while climbing, this allows you to deaden the area you need to jump onto ahead of time. This too did not aid in preventing the last spider from alterting.

    While I did not find all of the loot, it was not through lack of looking. Every piece I saw I was able to get. It required quite a lot of nudging, to do so, but if I saw it I was able to retrieve it. There are three items above the double door entrance on a ledge. Facing the doors from the inside, On the right there is an archer in a room with a view of the goodies, and a guard facing directly at them under a permanently lit light. The room the archer is in has the secret trap door in it. So I got behind the archer, and nudged him until he was on the trap, then I threw the switch, and down he went without alerting. Throw the switch again, and he can see and hear nothing. Cool. (I had already been down there. It leads to the ledge above the tomb of the unknown hammerite, where the jeweled crowned skull mentioned in the goals resides.) Next I nudged the guard until he is in the doorway, under the ledge with the goodies. I can now just reach up and take them with no one the wiser.

    The next nudging took place with a couple of comely women in an upstairs room. They were seriously sensative, so it took a long time to get them where they would not notice my presence as I looted the room and left. The first one, a blond with a long braid, needed to be placed in the center of the room so that she would not get annoyed when I hurdled the bed (in plain sight) to get behind the redhead. There's a chest in the corner that you cannot sneak to from the front, hence the hurdling of the bed behind her. Once behind the redhead, is simple to open the chest. But getting back the same way did not work. The blonde kept seeing something she did not like whe I got onto the bed again. So I ended up nudging the redhead beside the chest and under a straiway. Then I was able to sneak around the front of the blonde, next to the stairs, and into the dark. Whew!

    If I had not been stopped by that last spider, I would have said this was a very enjoyable mission to ghost. But to get that far without a problem and then to be stopped at the very last was frustrating to say the least. It was a well constructed mission though, no special effects, but a very solid, workmanlike job.

  4. #29

    Karras' Diary - Failure

    FM: Karras' Diary

    Ghost - Failed
    Perfect Thief - Failed
    Difficulty: Hurt Me
    Time - 04:34:52
    Loot - 6800 / 7050
    Pockets Picked - 1 of 2
    Locks picked: 9
    Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
    Damage dealt - 19 Damage taken - 0 Healing taken - 0
    Innocents Killed - 0 Others Killed - 1
    Secrets Found - 5 / 5

    Comments:

    Let me start with why this was a failed ghosting: the guard in front of the door that you have to blow-up with a mine always alerts or dies or both when you blow-up the door. I tried moving him with nudges, but this particular guard did not fidgit enough to make that possible for me. (Oddly he is nearly blind and deaf, so despite turning around frequently, you can continue to nudge him as he faces you with alerting! But to no avail, I could not move him at all, let alone out of the way so he would not alert.) I did spend 40 minutes nudging the other guard out to the lava area and down to the ledge so that he would not alert with the explosion. He needed to be that far away not to start searching! I even tried lowering the door to the lava room after nudging him into it, but he somehow not only heard the explosion but also was able to walk through the lowered door! He really needed to be down one level not to alert.

    Up until that point it was a successful (better living through chemestry) ghosting. However, I could not figure out how to get through that door without blowing it up. If I missed a key, please, someone, let me know. But I don't think so. The explosive device and fire arrow was a bit of a tip-off as to what Thorin had in mind.

    So despite this being a failed ghosting, there were a few cute bits that I would like to share.

    1. The secret area at the start of the mission
    This was a bit of a challenge ghosting. I think that Thorin's intent was for you to stack crates to get up there. But when ghosting, that is way too much work to acquire that many crates, transport them to the spot needed undetected, and then stack them undetected, all while what seem like hundreds of Karras' converts wander about. My solution used just the two crates in front of the Keeper's house. I carried them up the ladder (the one outside of the statue area), and then I them placed the first one half on the ledge, half over-hanging the ledge, so that when I stood on it I would be able to mantle up the wall. I then picked up the other crate, mantled, and walked accross the top of the wrought iron fencing to the other side! (A little ouchie on the feet, but it worked, without getting detected.) I then used the crate I carried with me to mantle up onto the roof, over past the wrought iron fencing there, and down into the tree lined area.

    2) Getting Karras' diary. This had me going due to the two spideresd in the way, until I rembered the two invivibility potions I had (one from the secret area at the start of the mission, and one from Karras' house -- I went there before I had the Diary to "case the joint" and plan how to place it on the pedistal). A quick swallow, and up the ladder I went without the spiders knowing or caring. Then on the way back, a second swallow and I was past them!

    3) The third bit I want to mention was in getting back down from the loft area in the church without losing a rope arrow or getting hurt. My approach was to retrieve the arrow after climbing up to the loft and getting the blueprints. I then fired the rope arrow so that it stuck in the ledge above the entry way for the church. A run jump and I was able to grap the rope without injury, climb & mantle, and retrieve the rope again. Just jumping onto the ledge always ended in damage. Hence jumping onto the rope.

    4) Finally, rather than chance alerting the guard in the North Gate area by using regular arrows to open the doors, I used my three gas arrows. I had no other use for them, they make much less noise than regular arrows, and since they don't fall off with a parabolic arc, you can be really exact in aiming them at buttons!

    Most of the rest of it was straightforward ghosting: waiting until the coast was clear and staying in the shadows. Nothing really spectacular was called for.

    I gave up on perfect thief early on. The bottles in the pub were just too far for me to grab. I tried nudging the banker's nephew ouot of the line-of-sight, but ultimately failed. There were two problems. The first was the barmaid, she kept tuning arround, making nudging an advance - retreat exercise. I did eventually get the nephew nudged all the way forward to the bar so that I could be far enough forward that the bar itself hid me from the barmaid, but I still could not get back to where the bottles were without the nephew alerting. I tried nudging him away (to the right) from the bottles, but he bumped up against the guard who was in there then, and would not budge.

    So those bottles accounted for 100 of the missing loot. The other 150 missing was in the church. I was able to get one of the candlesticks (50) on the alter successfully, but the 2nd one eluded me, as did the 100 in gold in the church's money box. I just could not make it past the two guards.

    I will say that this mission was great fun, and quite challenging to try to ghost. Right up until the end I thought I had done it, but it was not to be.

    - - - - -

    Now is anyone else out there still ghosting? I seem to be the only one posting lately. Should I continue to do so? Are my reports of any interest?

  5. #30
    Originally Posted by goldsla
    Now is anyone else out there still ghosting? I seem to be the only one posting lately. Should I continue to do so? Are my reports of any interest?
    I'm interested although I don't like ghosting.

    The avid ghosters are often beta testers and don't report on the missions they test. Keep up the good work!

  6. #31
    Join Date
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    Originally Posted by ffox
    The avid ghosters are often beta testers and don't report on the missions they test. Keep up the good work!
    That is certainly true in my case. It would be nice if more people joined you. We need to go on a recruiting drive. Where are you, Clayman?

    And yes, please do keep up the good work!

  7. #32

    Tipping the Scales Part 1: SSDD

    FM: Tipping the Scales Part 1: SSDD

    Ghost - Success
    Perfect Thief - Failure
    Time - 02:44:59
    Loot - 2856 / 3056
    Pockets Picked - 7/8
    Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
    Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0 Healing taken - 0
    Kills - 0
    Secrets Found - 3 / 4 (the 4th secret is impossible for me to ghost)

    Comments

    This is a straight ahead romp in the open. No spiders, frogs, zombies, haunts, etc.. No puzzles to solve other than how to get from here to there without being noticed. Just guards, guards, and more guards.

    I do not believe that perfect thief is possible for this FM. The mission starts with you under a half-open window in a stone facade building. If you locate enough crates to peer in that window, you will see a dead body and a purple purse. This purse is inaccessable while ghosting, I believe. To get it you have to enter on the other side of the building after stacking 5 crates under the noses of 2 guards who make very short circuits. I did not have the patience to try to do that this time around. I may try it again some other day when I have a few hours to kill. Oh, and that area is connected to one of the secrets, so you will only be able to get 3 of 4 secrets while ghosting, too.

    Someday someone will tell me why when you have switches on both sides of a door, and you open one, you have to double toggle the other to get it to work. I have noticed this with any number of secret passages, and in this FM the door to the big safe in the bank can be opened and closed from inside the safe using such a switch, but unless you know to double toggle it, you could be left thinking that the switch was a dummy and the door had to be left open. Such was the case for me. I spent quite a bit of time hiding in the safe, trying to open safety deposit boxes with a guard strolling up and down in front of the open door. Eventually I fugured it out, and closed the door, but let me tell you I was sweating there for quite a while.

    Also in the bank, on the top floor, there is a guard who is positioned in a hallway between two doors on opposite sides of the hallway. There is not enough room to sneak by the guard on either side. (Garret could do with losing a few lbs around the middle!) But inside one of the rooms is some loot, so you need to get there. To make matters worse this guard does not fidgit, but pivots facing one door, then facing down the hallway towards you, then facing the other door, instead. Eventually I was able to work out a nudging technique which allowed me to move him into the empty room and close the door behind him. That allowed me access to the room with the loot. Turns out, you may be able to rope up behind this guard from the outside and avoid the nudging. I did not try. I was on the inside and it seemed like less work to stick with the nudging than to reload a saved game and try it from outside.

    In all this was a very pleasant medium scale FM. I would have liked for more of the mission to be fleshed out. But that is quibbling. It was definately fun to play.


    - - - -

    Originally Posted by ffox
    I'm interested although I don't like ghosting.

    The avid ghosters are often beta testers and don't report on the missions they test. Keep up the good work!
    Originally Posted by Peter Smith
    That is certainly true in my case. It would be nice if more people joined you. We need to go on a recruiting drive. Where are you, Clayman?

    And yes, please do keep up the good work!
    OK that's two. Thanks to both of you for letting me know. That's enough for me to keep posting them for now. I just don't want to write on the wall if it isn't of interest to anyone.

  8. #33
    Join Date
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    Originally Posted by goldsla
    Someday someone will tell me why when you have switches on both sides of a door, and you open one, you have to double toggle the other to get it to work.
    I am not a dromedder, but it seems clear to me, as a programmer, that the switches in question are not wired like a three-way light switch in a house (which is a little tricky). Evidently, each switch has an on and an off position, and each switch is a separate object that does not know about the other. The switch is checked only it is changed. If a certain switch (the "first switch") is in the off position, say, in the door-closed position, and you open that door by a 2nd switch, then the first switch does not know that. If, then, you flip the first switch to the on position, and the door is already open, nothing changes. If you then put the first switch back to off, it shuts the open door. So that is two flips to change the state, simply because the switches are decoupled.

    The mission designer could change this behavior by further programming such that flipping either switch one time changes the state of the door. One way to do this would require the designer to figure out how to save a state variable for the door, check the value of the state variable on toggling either switch, and cause the door state to change, using an IF statement. Anogther way would be to couple the switches so that if one were flipped on, the second would also be flipped on. Both of these require additional proramming that, essentially, makes the switches aware of each other. Obviously, this is not the default behavior of the swithes.

  9. #34
    Originally Posted by Peter Smith
    I am not a dromedder, but ... The mission designer could change this behavior by further programming such that flipping either switch one time changes the state of the door.
    Thanks. I actually suspected that technically there should be no reason that the switches could not be coupled such that throwing one into the open state also throws the other into the open state, eliminating the need for double switching on the other side. (Or possibly simple throwing the switch just does a NOT on the current state of the door, so that it always causes an open to become closed and vica-versa for closed to open.) I was more musing why, when it should be so simple to accomplish, that it is rarely (if ever) done. As a professional software engineer myself of more than 30 years experience, it struck me as something that should be a trivial standard practice but wasn't. So I wondered why. Is there some non-obvious limitation, or perhaps a secret pact, vows taken, arterial blood used to write and seal the compact upon the alter of DROMED...

    UPDATE: There is no reason for the double toggle except ignorance on the part of the FM author as to how this should be set up in DromEd. It really is quite simple to set it up with FrobProxy links once you know how.

  10. #35
    Beta testers too busy ghosting to notice/mention minor problems?

    Why not do some testing yourself? If you are interested check out the ttlg.com forums for posts like this one.

  11. #36
    Originally Posted by ffox
    Why not do some testing yourself?
    But then I wouldn't have time to ghost and report on all these wonderful completed FMs that I have just found out about ...

    Actually, I may check out beta testing. Thanks for the link. Unfortunately I am currently committed to over 80 hours a week for a company that only pays for the first 40, so the last thing I am looking for is additional unreasonable deadlines when I am attempting to relax. It may depend on how flexible the designers are on beta deadlines. We'll see.

    Thanks.

  12. #37
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    FM: Elizabeth Bathory - Chapter 1

    Ghost - Success
    Perfect Thief - Success
    Time - 05:29:36
    Loot - 2500 / 2500
    Pockets Picked - 9/17 (appears to be an error in mission stats)
    Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
    Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0 Healing taken - 0
    Kills - 0
    Secrets Found - 0 / 0

    Comments

    This is another fine mission from Sensut, Author of the Dracula series, parts 1-5. I hope we see five parts of this one as well. Sensut hails from Transylvania, Romania, according to his profile at TTLG, and he likes to portray the darker history of that area in FMs that are very moody and colorful. Highly recommended. Anyway, Elizabeth Bathory was a noble woman who was a torturer and serial killer of young women in Hungary around 1600 AD. Chapter 1 is an introduction to her story after the fact that sets the stage for (I hope) more missions to follow. The setting is a town with a castle inside. The town is alive and functional. The castle is abandoned, decaying, and very creepy. The background music throughout the mission is very good, too. One Victrola in the actresses room was excellent.

    Game play is initially fairly challenging. Many areas are well lit, and it is tricky to figure out the routes needed to get past strategically placed guards. I think I explored most of the city in this mode. Apart from the route finding, the ghosting, per se, was straightforward except in two places, described below. Eventually I found an entrance to an electrical station in which I could turn off all street lights and some other lights from one location. Then the navigation became easy. I was glad to have the lights out for what turned out to be a lot of loot hunting. I completed all objectives with 2230 / 2500 loot in about 3.5 hours, and it took me another two hours to find the last 280. It was all in plain sight, but you know how that is.

    There was only one tricky place involving AI. At the entrance to the castle is a locked door. To get the key to that door you have to rope up over a sleeping guard. There are no moss arrows to be found anywhere, by me at least, to cushion sounds. Most of the time the rope arrow hitting the wood woke the guard and make him stand up in place, although not he was alerted. That is technically allowed by the rules, but I wanted to do it cleanly so the guard stayed seated and snoring. It took a lot of tries before I learned how to plant the rope arrow properly. I had to shoot it from some distance away and at an angle rather than straight on. Getting onto the rope then required mantling onto a sloping crate and making a gentle run at the rope from the crate. Then, after getting the key, it was a problem to dismount from the rope and land on the crate below without alerting the guard. The method I used was to move onto the arrow shaft from above with some forward velocity so I slid off the arrow and off the edge of the sloping crate. That took a few tries. Anyway, mission is complete, and our guard is still snoring.

    A second area that was a challenge was to get down a vertical shaft in the graveyard without damage. This is the only way to enter the residential part of the castle. I tried that many times and finally took a slow fall potion that was no doubt planned for that purpose. Later I went back and managed after many tries to do the fall without damage using the slow, leg-dangle method. Unfortunately, I had to reload a prior save to ghost the sleeping guard (above) cleanly, but after I did that I could never repeat that slow drop. Finally I picked up a nearby crate and dropped that down the shaft before jumping. That cushioned the fall without breaking the crate. I carried the crate down for two more drops. Thus, I was able to avoid damage and avoid using any the slow fall potions.

    Later in the mission, you will find a clue that Elizabeth (who is dead) wants you to release her faithful servant (also dead) from his suffering by bringing his heartbeat to an end. The servant is a skeleton, but he has a beating heart. Go figure. Anyway, that requires that you mash the heart with a mace. It does not cause damage in the stats, it does not cause an alert, and it is a scripted event that is necessary to continue. So, I claim that mashing the heart is not a ghost bust, but you may draw your own conclusions.

  13. #38

    Thumbs Up Good Ghosting

    Thanks for the report. Sounds like I will have to try that FM after enough time has passed to blunt my memory of the details you provide. I've just started Cauchemars, and having fun. No ghosting, but challenging enough in its own right.

    Ta Ta For Now (TTFN)

  14. #39
    Just wanted to say hello and kudos to Peter Smith and all of the fellows still ghosting FM's today. I've just joined the forum here, but I'm not new to Thief or the forums. My old Eidos alias was Deadfall and I used to write a lot of Ghost reports some years ago at the old Eidos forum.

    I gave Thief a break for a few years and when Thief 3 was released, I assumed the T1/T2 FM's would stop coming... But after deciding to play Thief again, I checked the recent FM activity and was stunned to see that they are still being pumped out. Additionally, I'm surprised and happy to see people still writing ghost reports! They are as colorful and enjoyable to read as they've always been... though I do miss Vanguard's exceptional reports. What happened to him?

    Well, keep up the good work.

  15. #40
    FM: Plagiarism

    Ghost - Success
    Perfect Thief - Success
    Time - 00:45:43
    Loot - 1430/1430
    Pockets Picked - 5/6
    Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
    Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
    Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
    Secrets Found - 0/0

    Comments - Well, this particular FM may not be much of a ghosting comeback, but I was a little rusty after a few years of no Thief so I decided to pick a smaller and maybe easier FM. I randomly picked this one from Komag's Contest 5 and it happened to be one of the few FM's I know of that forces ghosting when on expert level. That is, the mission requires no "confrontations" (i.e. knockouts/kills) and while it was not too difficult to ghost, there are some tricky spots. Since this is a contest FM, the size of the mission is obviously small and consisted of a mostly exterior layout with a few interior buildings. There are plenty of dark spots but traversing through the cramped interiors of certain buildings proved to be difficult at times.

    Warden Crowther's Home

    This is the first building each player encounters and it was actually the most difficult area of the entire mission. The starting point of the mission is somewhat nestled in a brightly lit alcove of a street corridor. If you're careless (and I was), you might just move a few inches out from the alcove and run headfirst into the nearby patrolling guard. This patrolling guard can be maneuvered around, though; it's the guard inside Crowther's home that is annoying to deal with.

    The sound propagation of the warden's home is a little skewered and while outside, I often couldn't hear the guard inside walking around at all, even with the door to the building wide open. It takes a while to study the guard's patrol and getting to the second level requires tailing his rear closely while he walks up the stairs. Once upstairs, it's easy to avoid him. He walks into each room downstairs, comes up to the second floor and stares at the grandfather clock. This is the only chance to crouch and drop down the stairs (walking down is too risky) and from there I was able to carefully sneak into each room, hiding and waiting for him to go back upstairs.

    Hammerite Temple

    This is quite straightforward, though the tight space and lack of shadows means that a lot of hiding behind pillars and walls is necessary. The wandering pagan in the crypt has a deceiving patrol. He makes two complete and very small rounds back and forth to the same spot; these multiple patrols look seemingly identical. Careful inspection reveals that his second round is a variation of the first. Since his first patrol involves standing still for a few seconds and his second patrol doesn't, it was an excellent test for the ghoster. You need to follow him closely and strafe around him, and if you catch him on his second patrol, he'll turn around when you least expect it, guaranteeing a bust - I thought this was a clever idea on the part of the FM's designer.

    Getting St. Yora's skull is possible without dousing any of the torches in the mausoleum; just dashing from one shadow to another works.

    Finishing

    When I walked into Gillam's apartment, he stood there and said "Welcome Garrett" (using Keeper Orland's soundbyte in Thief 1's training mission) and the mission didn't end. I completed all the objectives and ventured through every building and street corner, so I assume there is some problem hitting the objective trigger in Gillam's apartment. I used CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+END to complete the mission. By the way, the door of Gillam's apartment is considered invisible to AI, so staying against the wall is important since the patrolling archer outside can see inside even with the door closed.

    Some hard-to-find loot for those interested:

  16. #41
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Posts
    2,704
    High there, Deadfall, err... Hexameron. Is that like the Decameron 60% baked, or do you mean this? Glad to see you back in business. We try to encourage ghosting here, but we are below critical mass. Mostly goldsla is keeping this alive now. Join us. Join us now!

  17. #42
    Originally Posted by Peter Smith
    High there, Deadfall, err... Hexameron. Is that like the Decameron 60% baked, or do you mean this?
    Your deduction is almost correct, Peter. While the real inspiration for my name actually came from this, I'm aware of word's real origin. And I confess I mostly just like the sound of the name .

    Glad to see you back in business. We try to encourage ghosting here, but we are below critical mass. Mostly goldsla is keeping this alive now. Join us. Join us now!
    Thank you for welcoming me back. I am glad to see you and goldsla ghosting, even though some of the others are no longer around. I've decided to return to Thief for good, so I hope you don't mind an additional contributor of reports.

    Tell me... whatever happened to Sneak, clayman and Vanguard? I haven't looked around the forums and I've not gotten up to date on things in the Thief world, but are these fellows still around?

  18. #43
    FM: Retaliation

    Ghost - Failure
    Perfect Thief - Failure
    Time - 02:53:52
    Loot - 1676/1776
    Pockets Picked - 4/6
    Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
    Damage dealt - 28 Damage taken - 0
    Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0 Innocents - Some (Castor)
    Secrets Found - 0/0

    Comments - Whew, this mission took me a long time to get through. I played it off and on for a week trying to figure out how to ghost it when I became so stumped I checked the TTLG forums and learned it cannot be technically ghosted because of a required AI alert. However, I like to think in spirit it could be.

    Causes of Failure:

    1. Castor must be alerted in order to spawn an important AI to complete the objectives.

    A Chest Problem

    After going through the zombie caverns to infiltrate the mechanist mansion, I encountered a problem in the basement and it was a problem only for loot reasons. In the zombie caverns there is a giant well with various underwater corridors that lead into the basement. After swimming through the corridors, I surfaced inside a small metal-floored room with a watcher who has full view of the room. Fortunately, the pool of water is in complete darkness, but an enticing chest resides across the room and in exposed light. If the watcher's pivoting radius is 180 degrees, the chest is positioned at 90 degrees. From the pool of water, I mantled towards the watcher and stayed to its right in complete darkness. When it pivoted to its left, I followed its turn and crouched under its left side which was unfortunately brightly lit. It looks like from here, the watcher's scope barely skims over my head. Once in this position I could make a dash towards the chest (which contained loot) and run back to my crouched position. I wouldn't have bothered with this time-consuming maneuver if I knew the mission couldn't be perfect thieved (there is a purse on a mechanist priest guarding the front door of the Mechanist Mansion, and he is surrounded by watchers, guards and a combat bot... but later I discovered the mission can't even be ghosted...).

    Ghosting the Mechanist Mansion

    This was a somewhat AI-congested area with lots of marble floors and watchers. Some of the mechanist patrols consisted of duos and trios, that is, trains of two or three guards following the same route. My attempts at ghosting were both challenging and satisfying, but the mission requires less than three kills, so the layout of the rooms and the AI locations were designed for it. In addition to a loot objective and limited kills, the initial objectives were (1) find Castor and kill him, (2) find the Glorious Gem and (3) find any secret plans Castor has in mind. Traversing the mansion and its many floors took a lot of time because of the numerous watchers and guard contingents. I only gradually began to figure out that there were multiple "Camera Control" rooms located at different areas of the mansion.

    The Glorious Gem and finding loot (there was a 1350 loot objective) was easy to deal with, though I must say I was stunned to find a lot of loot hidden behind random banners. I almost made a habit of instinctively running up to any banner and right-clicking. Reading the Mechanist book in the locked library replaced the (3) objective with a new one to find the "Heart of Sanctity." This is a flower easily found in the green house accessible from the perimeter of the mansion.

    Castor

    The main issue with this fellow was that I had no idea how complex the "kill Castor" objective was. I found his room (before I found an important watcher camera control room) and boy did I have a ghosting problem in this room. Two double doors lead into his office and Castor stands right next to an active watcher. Trying to maneuver around the double doors and dash towards the teleporter and into some shadow without alerting the watcher was tough. I managed to do it after many reloads but realized I did it for nothing. On this side of the room I only found his bedroom and some loot. I tried to assassinate him with a broad arrow but realized that since he's a thief, he had too many hitpoints for a single shot.

    My only option left was blackjacking him and noticed I could perhaps come in from another entrance to his office and get behind him. So after much further ghosting, getting lost and retracing steps, I found a huge lobby with two watchers and a balcony that surely lead to his room. I can't tell you how many times I tried to rope arrow up there right in front of the watchers' faces. I mossed the floor, doused the torches and after a few reloads, managed to leap onto the rope and scurry up without alerting any other patrolling guards or the watchers under the balcony. After jumping onto the balcony and opening the nearby door, I was in Castor's office and right behind him. I knocked him out and managed to get out via the double doors with his body. Oh, and by this time, I had found another Camera Control room, so that annoying watcher I spent so much time trying to sneak by () was now deactivated.

    I didn't know that what I was doing was a complete waste of time. I took Castor's unconscious body to the pool room and dropped him into the water. It's amazing how much hitpoints the FM designer actually gave this guy. He suffered, grunted and screamed under that water for at least a minute. But alas when he stopped choking and was presumed dead... nothing; the objective didn't check off. Needless to say, I was upset. I reloaded an earlier save and tried it again, this time knocking him out and hacking him to death. Again, nothing.

    I figured out, after searching for bugs in this mission on the TTLG forums, that Castor is meant to be alerted, at which point he runs into the teleporter in his office and then a different Castor spawns in the room where the Glorious Gem is found. Well, since this is the case, the mission cannot be lawfully ghosted. I reloaded an earlier save and tried alerting him but he just started attacking me instead of running into the teleporter. I figured out that I had to alert him and run into the teleporter myself; when he follows me into the teleporter he vanishes and the New Castor spawns elsewhere.

    New Castor

    He is located in the locked room where the Glorious Gem is showcased. Fortunately I saved two moss arrows because they are needed to ghost this New Castor... or so I thought. I had to moss the floor between the disabled watcher and the corner of the hallway adjacent to the Glorious Gem room. Dashing from behind this corner into the darkness was the only way to enter the room without alerting him, and even that took many retries. I also had to moss the floor in front of the brightly lit window so I could run quickly across. Once I got behind him, I realized he was simply not blackjackable. Everytime I tried to knock him out he just staggered back as if damaged. So I repeatedly whacked him to death with my blackjack, it looks like 28 times since my damage count reads as such.

    Thankfully, my objective checked off and I was done. But as much time as I spent trying to ghost the mission, I was a little frustrated I couldn't claim a success due to the complicated AI of Castor. In spirit, however, I'd like to think I was able to ghost this FM: even though Castor's required alert is technically a bust, I could still knock out the first Castor, kill him quietly elsewhere, and ghost the rest of the mission without any other busts.

  19. #44

    Museum Heist - Perfect Thief Success

    FM: Museum Heist

    Ghost - Success
    Perfect Thief - Success
    Time - 03:36:54 (time includes lots of side trips to nowhere)
    Loot - 2474 / 2474
    Pockets Picked - 9/10
    Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
    Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0 Healing taken - 0
    Kills - 0
    Secrets Found - 4 / 4

    Comments
    I completed this a while ago, but have been too busy to report it.

    This is a really straight-forward mission. Nothing tricky, just good old fashioned sneaking. You have nothing that needs to be timed to the 100th of a second. No complex puzzles to unravel. Some of the loot is hard to see, but once found, no trouble to attain without notice.

    There are lots of areas that Bugelsoft put in only for depth of scenery and which you can explore for bizarre effects by crate climbing. And it is a fun mission. Just not tricky.

    I am in the middle of The Art of Thievery. This is a fairly long mission, and I hate to say it, despite the fact that it was clearly designed to be ghosted, but only if you know what you are doing, I am not fully drawn into the story. And so I keep postponing finishing it. Perhaps it is too open in its structure. Perhaps its that I am too busy with the mundane tasks of eaning a living. Who knows? Someday I'll finish it and report. Maybe by then I'll have figured out why it seemed flat to me.

    Hexameron: Nice to meet you. Good ghost reports! Keep 'em coming. Sorry about Retaliation. I hate it when you have everything going for a good ghosting and then the mission design defeats you at the very end. Had a few of those too. Bummer.

  20. #45
    Originally Posted by goldsla
    I am in the middle of The Art of Thievery. This is a fairly long mission, and I hate to say it, despite the fact that it was clearly designed to be ghosted, but only if you know what you are doing, I am not fully drawn into the story. And so I keep postponing finishing it. Perhaps it is too open in its structure. Perhaps its that I am too busy with the mundane tasks of eaning a living. Who knows? Someday I'll finish it and report. Maybe by then I'll have figured out why it seemed flat to me.
    It certainly is the most non-linear FM I can recall at the moment. I remember ghosting it many years ago and I might have even accomplished a perfect thief, but it must have taken me a good week (of vacation time) to finish it.

    Hexameron: Nice to meet you. Good ghost reports! Keep 'em coming. Sorry about Retaliation. I hate it when you have everything going for a good ghosting and then the mission design defeats you at the very end. Had a few of those too. Bummer.
    Thanks for the compliment and I'm pleased to reciprocate the sentiment. Coming back to the forum and reading the latest ghost reports, most notably yours, encouraged me to return to good old Thief after a long hiatus.

  21. #46
    FM: Art of Thievery

    Ghost - Success (chemical assisted)
    Perfect Thief - Failure
    Time - 05:39:36
    Loot - 6935 / 6985
    Pockets Picked - 30/32
    Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
    Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0 Healing taken - 0
    Kills - 0
    Secrets Found - 17 / 17

    Comments
    This is a monster of a FM, at least in terms of the size and complexity of the geography. The mission takes place almost 100% inside of a mansion that would make le Chateau de Versailles seem small. The mission is ghostable, but I needed to make use of an invisibility potion to get to the shut-off for four watchers at the very end of the mission. More about that later.

    This should have been a pleasure to play. It had all the elements: lots of guards to sneak by, lots of keys to find, lots of pockets to pick, lots of loot to discover, lots of secrets to uncover, lots of hidden passages, lots of clues to gather, etc. But somehow the elements did not come together for me. I found that I had to force myself to complete the mission. I missed 50 in loot, and I did not care. It was too much trouble to go looking for it. For me that NEVER happens. I obsess about finding the last piece of gold. Not this time. Too much work. And I guess that sums up my feeling about the mission, it was just too much work.

    Maybe my problem was that I never really got a feel for where I was spacially during the mission. Rooms just seemed to wander all over the place. The map provided is less than useless: everytime I tried to use it I got further lost and had to backtrack.

    But enough grousing. The mission landscape itself is very well constructed: an enormous three level building. However, once you got past the scale of it, there really were very few ghosting challenges. For the most part guards traveled well defined and obvious paths, and there were usually 2 or 3 different approaches to any objective. If you needed a key to a room, you just had too look around the neighborhood to find a guard carring the one you needed.

    The first challenge in the mission was to find an entry point which facilitated shutting off the watchers. I lost count of the number of watchers and watcher controll rooms. I think there are 25 or so watchers all told, most of them controlled from 4 control rooms. But it could have been 20 or 30 of the buggers. All I can say is that there were lots of them.

    In any event, unlike most missions where there are at most 3 or 4 ways of breaking into a building, in this mission there must be 30 or 40 ways in. Every exterior window is pickable, there are handy downspouts to climb to reach all three levels of windows, and there are a number of doorways too. I'm not certain that I ended up picking the best location to break in (I used a 3rd floor window to a hallway), but it did work out OK in the end.

    I won't trouble you with all the gory details. I can't remember them anyhow. Lots of places to climb, swim, and explore. Too many, really. It all just blurs. But at the end you are faced with 4 watchers at four corners of a large room. The shut-off for all four is at the far end away from you, and near each watcher is a light switch. Each watcher covers the two adjacent watchers, so there never is a time that any watcher is not watched for very long. Normally you would dash under a watcher and then when it was not looking, turn off the local lights. But everytime I tried that, one of the adjacent watchers would catch me and alert, usually just to yellow, but that's enough to bust the ghost. Once I think I made it, but I could not duplicate the event, so I suspect I just missed seeing the yellow alert that time. In the end, I swallowed some invisibility potion, dashed for the switch and shut off all four watchers before they noticed me. After that it was plain sailing.

    One "bug" I noticed was that if I did not close the doors to that secret room before dealing with the watchers, when I left the room I would get a message that I had alerted the guards, despite the fact that there were no guards anywhere near. It was very wierd. As soon as I crossed an invisible line, the alert would go off no matter how quiet or slow I was. But if I closed the doors, did the dirty, and then opened them later, there was no alert message. That was annoying.

    I can understand why the community rates this mission highly. It is well done, large, and complex. However, for me, this mission did not hit the spot.

  22. #47
    Great work, goldsla, and excellent timing too. For a mission of that size and difficulty, you pulled it off in good time.

    Too bad about that missing 50 loot... judging by your pockets picked, it might have been a purse.

  23. #48

    Out of the Frying pan

    Thanks Hexameron.

    I am now ghosting another huge mission: Lord Alan's Factory. For some reason, this one is much more enjoyable than Art was. I'm not certain why. I have already played it with no alerts at a lower level of difficulty, now I am trying the timed (expert) level. I'll let you know how it goes when I am done.

  24. #49
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Posts
    2,704
    I don't want to put you off your form, Goldsla, but Lord Alan's Factory is an excellent mission for playing Speed Perfect Thief. Also, I suggest you go for all secrets, all Builder's Scriptures, and all hidden objectives.

    I tested the Factory over a couple of years and played it so many times I can't count.

  25. #50

    Lord Alan's Factory - Preliminary Notes

    Peter -

    I am on my first run through at the Timed difficulty, and my 2nd run overall. In this run I completed defusing all seven bombs at 36:45. (You don't want to know how many hours it took the first time through at the Tips difficulty! Sheesh. I felt like an idiot backtracking up and down and all over the place. )

    Right now I am trying to remember where everything is as I methodically explore over 90% of the facility. Some things appear to have moved locations from the TIPS difficulty level.

    From a ghosting perspective, there really have been no sticky spots so far. Making the bomb codes illegible after the water slide ride was sneaky at the Timed difficulty . Fortunately I always write down my clues on a notepad for easier viewing, so I still had them.

    I have had no issues with avoiding alerts. One point though: triggering the beasties to appear by passing through an area speaks to me of some kind of alert. Admittedly they do not appear to have appeared "on alert" and I can easily keep them from upping their alert level, but their very appearance makes me think the ghosting is busted.

    Others may have another opinion, but I think that a true ghosting would be such that you avoid triggering their manifestation. If the monster in the engineer's office was already waiting for you when you entered, that would be one thing, but to appear because you enter, that makes me think the ghost is a bust. Similarly, the three-eyed plant thing appearing on the roof of the Air system when you get 1/2 way along the passage or the one in Room 0330 that appears when you get too close to the bomb, those also seem like a busted ghosting. I would prefer for them to already be there guarding the bombs than to have them appear because I approached.

    I'll let you know more after I have completed the Timed level.

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