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

FMs - Ghost/Perfect Thief Results (Part 6)

  1. #101

    Unhappy Old Comrades, Old Debts

    FM: OLD COMRADES, OLD DEBTS

    Ghost - Failure
    Perfect Thief - Failure
    Time - 00:12:17
    Loot - 140/140
    Pockets Picked - 1/2, Locks Picked: 1
    Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
    Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
    Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
    Secrets Found - 0/0

    Comments:
    This was a failure by technical knock out. No I did not knock any one out. It is just that this mission is not possible to ghost for the technical reason that the final mission objective "Now that you have the Ringleader's scheme, you can get out of this cursed place using the tunnels in the basement" is impossible to satisfy without some serious property damage. If the objective had been to blow a hole in the wall to get to the tunnels in the basement, then it would not have been a problem. But since blowing the up the explosives in the basement is the only way to access the tunnels, property damage is a little hard to avoid.

    My approach to the mission was to break out of jail, get the hatch key, and then ignore the hatch as too difficult to mantle through silently (I did it a couple of times, but it was a pain). Instead, I trailed the thief-jailor to the stairs, picked his pocket, and snuck under the the stairs. When he went back to the jail, I ran up the stairs. From there I waited for the 2nd thief-jailor, picked his pocket for the chapel key, went outside to satisfy the objective of getting outside, but then right back in and up to the attic. I know I missed out on the well and swimming through the tunnel that way, but it was winter, snow was falling, and the water looked uninvitingly cold. Sorry, but I am not a member of the polar bear club. Once upstairs, I picked the Ringleader's pocket, collected my lockpicks, booty, and read all the written materials to get my final objective. I went downstairs to the chapel, found the key to the explosives room, went back downstairs and snuck inside. Once there I had the hardest time setting off the explosions without blowing myself up. Nope, hitting my head against the wall did not work either. Finally I hit on throwing flares at the explosives from the other side of the room. Kaboom! I was thrown across the room, but somehow survived without any damage. I checked outside the room, and the patrolling thief-jailor had not alerted!!! Amazing. EOM. It would hace been a perfect thief, but for the TKO. Oh well. It was fun.

    The mission designer is clearly talented. But I'm not certain who it was. GarretLoader only says "s" as the author. Good job "s" whoever you are. But next time, explicitly say "blow a hole in the wall" OK?

    As a side note, by my count I picked three pockets. The first AI had a healing potion on his belt, and each of the other two had keys. But the stats only showed pockets picked as 1/2. I was expecting 3/4. Maybe the keys were not counted a picks? I've played missions where picking an arrow embedded (no pun intended) in a bed was considered to be a pocket picked. But this is the first I remember where two pockets picked were not counted. Odd.

  2. #102
    Originally Posted by goldsla
    The mission designer is clearly talented. But I'm not certain who it was. GarretLoader only says "s" as the author. Good job "s" whoever you are. But next time, explicitly say "blow a hole in the wall" OK?
    Bukary and Ernie. They are both TTLG members; Bukary is also a member here.

  3. #103
    FM: An Adventure in Eastport

    Ghost - Success
    Perfect Thief - Success
    Time - 0:12:58
    Loot - 600/600
    Pockets Picked - 9/11
    Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
    Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
    Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
    Secrets Found - 0/0

    Comments- This FM is small and straightforward, but its difficulty is quite pronounced only because I had to use all of my perishable equipment: 3 moss and 5 water arrows.

    Dousing the two torches in front of the mechanist church is required; there is no way to sneak by the mechanist guarding the front door without dousing the torches. Perhaps I could have nudged him, but I always consider that a last alternative.

    Using moss inside the mechanist church is a must, simply because one cannot sneak by the patrolling priest. He moves quickly around the perimeter of the pews and it doesn't matter how good a sneak you are; you can't move fast enough without moss. I used all three moss arrows in this area and I was able to hide in the corner behind the altar. Since the only door inside this church was locked, I methodically waited for the priest to pass me by and would then proceed to run to the door, pick the lock for a few seconds, and promptly return to my spot of shadow. It took about 7 attempts to pick and open the door.

    The intensity doesn't end, though: right through this picked door is a hallway with a mechanist guard making a small back-and-forth patrol. The hallway was narrow, but I could hug his left back-side and strafe around him as he turned. Entering the next room triggered a completed objective of discovering the Mechanists' secret plans. I picked the keys off of each mechanist and found a blue diamond on the ground. This checked off my 600 loot objective and I returned to the mission start with few problems.

  4. #104
    FM: Easy Bank

    Ghost - Success
    Perfect Thief - Success
    Time - 0:14:04
    Loot - 2024/2024
    Pockets Picked - 2/4
    Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
    Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
    Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
    Secrets Found - 3/4

    Comments - There is nothing too difficult to deal with in this mission.

    -Before I realized I could sneak into the bank via the rooftops, I doused the torches at the front door next to the patrolling guard who paces quickly back and forth.
    -At the vault room, I pretty much guessed by the whirring watcher-sound that there was one inside the vault... So I punched in the vault code with my back to the left side of the vault door. The watcher inside had a large scanning radius and was not a problem to sneak around.
    -The only challenge was finding all of the loot and there were some oddly placed loose/gold coins lying around.
    -The missing secret is actually a tiny compartment behind a banner. Even though the loot behind this banner (coin stacks) can be obtained without slashing it, cutting the banner down is what triggers the "Found Secret" message.

  5. #105
    FM: Hammerarse's Manor

    Ghost - Success
    Perfect Thief - Success
    Time - 0:46:23
    Loot - 4250/4250
    Pockets Picked - 14/15
    Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 1
    Damage dealt - 7 Damage taken - 0
    Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
    Secrets Found - 0/0

    Comments- This FM was a little frustrating to complete, but since this is the author's first mission, I'm willing to overlook the irritations. The loot requirement on expert is 4250, which means ALL loot in the mission. No problem; I was going to look for all the loot anyway. But the author hid this loot in so many ridiculous places (under beds and under dresser's) and some of the loot you can't even see! Looking for loot in rooms became a right-click fest. Basically jumping into every bed, crevice, and space between furniture while simultaneously right-clicking is necessary because you would never see the loot. I don't like that. I'll scrounge for loose coins on the ground, but aimlessly frobbing every inch of a room, hoping to pick up something *inside* a desk or *underneath* the sheets or pillows of a bed is annoying. Another agitation was the duration of lock-picking required for a lot of the doors and chests in the mission. For some reason the servants had state-of-the-art locks on their footlockers because picking them took a good solid minute.

    General Notes

    -The two archers on the outposts of the wall separating Lord Bafford's house and Hammerarse's manor exhibited some strange behavior. When I was all but done with the mission, but had to reload because of a clumsy mistake, these archers left their perches. For some reason they decided to join the other guards' patrols in the courtyard. What's this about?
    -The maid in Bafford's house by the fireplace is just about blind.
    -There is an armory inside the archers' outpost that cannot be accessed. From what I could see (through the bars of the door), there is a huge cache of weapons and arrows in this armory. But the door to the place cannot be highlighted and I could find no switches to open it. Perhaps the FM designer was mocking/teasing the player with this ambrosia of equipment?
    -Almost every guard near and inside Hammerarse's manor has essential keys on their belts which open their respective chests in the barracks. One of these keys is on an archer on the top floor balcony of the Hammerarse manor. I thought he was impossible to get to, but right after entering the manor through the double-doors there is an extremely hard-to-see ladder that leads up to the balcony. The hallway here is dark and the ladder really blends in with the stone wall; I almost didn't find it.
    -The guard in the master bedroom of the Hammerarse manor had a completely random patrol that made success in ghosting (getting all of the loot under the dressers) random as well (only if you decided not to douse the torches in the room, which I did not).
    -Killing Bafford's son (the servant outside of the house) is an objective. I knocked him out, carried him to his bed in the Bafford house and bludgeoned him to death.
    -The secret escape route is located in the master bedroom of the Hammerarse manor; there is a switch under the sink in the bathroom adjacent to the bedroom that opens up a secret tunnel behind one of the dresser's. An unlit torch in the swimming pool area opens the grate at the bottom of the pool, which leads to the only difficult ghosting area in the mission: a grotto with at least 6 different spiders (big, small, glowing) patrolling the catwalk-sized stone ledge around the pool of water. Moving in the water really disturbs them, but the number of spiders and their independent patrols made mantling out of the water dangerous and almost never feasible. It took much patience and waiting to find a gap in the train of spiders and successfully mantle out of the water. I was just thankful that mantling out of the pool did not make a big swooshing water sound or this mission would have been stamped as a bust.

  6. #106

    Unhappy Raid on Washout Central

    FM: Raid on Washout Central

    Ghost - Failure
    Perfect Thief - Failure
    Time - 02:54:20
    Loot - 2089/2704
    Pockets Picked - 7/10, Locks Picked: 31
    Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
    Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
    Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
    Secrets Found - 1/1

    Comments:
    I was beaten by a linked set of watchers in the post office. While I could get by them without alerts by sheer random chance on successive reloads, there was no skilled way that I could find to legitimately make it past the without one or the other going yellow on me. The post office itself was a lesson in absurdity. Each section had to be taken in order to find the key to the next, until you get to the section with the shutoff for the security cameras and the last critical key. Unfortunately, standing still in front of the shutoffs is a stationary guard in a well lit area. This was my 2nd point of failure. The guard was more than half blind (after alerting, he could not find me with directions in Braille) but he did alert no matter what I did.

    That said. Steven Hindley did a nice job and created a fun little mission with several interesting bits. If someone has ghosted it, my hat is off to them. I do not believe perfect thief is possible, as at least one purse was on a stationary guard standing under a light. Unless that guard wanders off after a while, I don't think his purse is reachable.

    There are two ghosting reports that claim success: one by Nebs and one by dafydd. Nebs' report is too brief to tell me anything, but dafydd's is quite detailed. In fact, dafydd lists the file name for the FM. It appears that the release that I played is more recent (washout1-2.zip) and has had some changes in the placement of guards. In particular, where dafydd reported :
    I tried darting across, but the watcher kept catching enough of me to go yellow. So finally I was forced to use my speed potion (which I think I had from the beginning, from Ryalla's secret room) to stand and run like the Flash when the face was looking to my left. I made it across; from that position, I was able to head down the ramp to the right (right while facing the hallway I'd just come from). There was a Security station there with two switches, one to shut off the watchers, the other to deactivate the alarm. There were also two locked safes in the room: the rear one was empty, but the front contained the Vault key. I think.
    There was no stationary guard for dafydd to contend with. I like the idea of listing the file name/version. When someone claims success, it may important to know this.

    * * * * * * * * * * * *
    U P D A T E 12/19/2007
    * * * * * * * * * * * *
    I had an inspiration last night about how it might be possible to ghost washout1-2.zip. Don't laugh. My inspiration? Use water and moss arrows. I said don't laugh! I have been so busy conserving my resources when playing these missions that I forgot what they were for. I have 20 or so moss arrows and 15 or so water arrows. Why not use them?

    I'll update this thread as soon as I know whether this flash of insight was of benefit.

    * * * * * * * * * * * *
    U P D A T E 12/19/2007 (2 1/2 hours later)
    * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Yep. Ghosting is possible if you decide to use water arrows and moss arrows. Perfect Thief is not within my capabilities. I ran into the same problem that Nebs did.
    In security you can switch off all but one watcher.

    Not really that important. But in first room on the left, and in second on the right is last 450g of loot. One gold candlestick and 4 purses in toolbox.
    The watcher who does not turn off is in the Home Office area. It is just a little too fast to let you get by without him going all yellow on you. You can get to either the room with the candlestick or the room with the tool box using an invisibility potion, but you can't get back out again. I had 2 speed potions, and even with them I was not fast enough. Must have been a weak formulation.

    So these are my stats on my 2nd run:
    FM: Raid on Washout Central

    Ghost - Success (Failure)
    Perfect Thief - Failure (all loot found)
    Time - 02:34:38
    Loot - 2254 (2704)/2704
    Pockets Picked - 7/10, Locks Picked: 32
    Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
    Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
    Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
    Secrets Found - 1/1

    By the by. I never read washername's diary, but the mission ended successfully anyway. Since I had already run through the mission once before, I wanted to test out the hard to ghost spots first, before committing to the mission, and somehow I never returned to read the diary until I had completed all the other objectives. So when I got home, blam-o, mission over.

  7. #107
    Originally Posted by goldsla
    I had an inspiration last night about how it might be possible to ghost washout1-2.zip. Don't laugh. My inspiration? Use water and moss arrows. I said don't laugh! I have been so busy conserving my resources when playing these missions that I forgot what they were for. I have 20 or so moss arrows and 15 or so water arrows. Why not use them?
    I know what that feels like. The last FM I reported, "Hammerarse's manor" had a little case like that with the guard in the Hammerarse master bedroom. His patrol is completely random and he basically wanders around in quick successions of circles and zigzags. The room is brightly lit and contains essential loot (since all loot in the mission is needed to fulfill the objective). But after discussing it in my report, I realized... the damn room had two gas lamps that could be doused! Yes, let's not forget our moss/water arrows.

  8. #108
    FM: Some shopping

    Ghost - Success
    Perfect Thief - Failed
    Time - 02:20:09
    Loot - 1490/1700
    Pockets Picked - 12/13
    Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
    Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
    Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
    Secrets Found - 0/0

    Comments - If you're looking for a fun FM to keep you busy for an hour or two at night, this is not the one. I played this for hours and hours for at least two nights trying to progress in the mission. Unless you are really patient or really good, there is no way you can try to complete the mission while ghosting and keep your sanity. I frankly gave up on my attempt to ghost while figuring out how to fulfill the objectives. Fortunately, the author placed a strange artillery cannon in the streets that I used to eliminate all the guards. After unlocking a safebox and activating the cannon, it constantly shoots a stream of broadheads into the street. I pretty much drew all the guards to that spot until they collided with the stream of arrows and died. The pile of bodies was huge. This process took a good hour or so, after which I could do a multi-hour sweep of the mission to find loot/keys and ultimately complete all the objectives.

    Once I learned what to do, I returned to a previous save when I had been attempting to ghost it and thus completed the mission as a successful ghost. I don't like doing this. I would much prefer the satisfaction of completing a mission for the first time while ghosting, but believe me, this is one of those missions that gets frustrating pretty quickly. It would have taken me at least 8 hours to finally unravel the mysteries of my objectives and locate all the keys if I had been simultaneously ghosting.

    If you want to sharpen your ghosting skills and hone your stealth performance, this mission provides ample opportunity for it. Although the mission does not require ghosting, this is the only feasible playing mode on expert because *every* guard (except a few archers) are the un-KOable helmeted ones. Beyond that, nearly every avenue and corner in these city streets contains a patrolling guard. There is never a break in the population of AI. It was comical in the prison, with literally a dozen first alerts erupting from guards on each of the three levels because of my moving around on the wooden floors.

    General Notes

    -This mission is reminiscient of the T2 OM "Ambush!" and takes places in the city streets, with multiple interior buildings being the only diversity of terrain.
    -The FM author loves keys. I counted at least 7 unnamed keys that all had a unique purpose. Each key was vital to completing the mission and they were strewn all over the place. Two of them were on the ground in inconspicuous places, which really ticked me off. There were no clues about how to find these keys and I can't believe the author thought it made sense to drop two on the cobblestone streets in insignificant areas. You have to be a loot-scrounging rat by nature to find them.
    -Some of the interiors were extremely congested and claustrophobic, making it hard to move around and open doors without getting stuck in narrow hallways. In addition to that, these interiors were brimming with guard patrols. If you want to test your ghosting skills, try to Supreme Ghost the prison, the workshop, and the pub.
    -Moving around on the various pipes connecting buildings in the streets could be problematic, as some of these pipes were joined together very crudely. Often I would move off of one pipe and onto another and always create a loud clanging sound. Here is one instance where I wasn't ashamed to use moss.
    -Did I mention there were a lot of keys, and two of them were on the ground at opposite ends of the city?

    Ghosting Difficulties: The Prison

    Ghosting the prison was definitely formidable and required alacrity as well as problem-solving. The short patrols and narrow interiors meant unrelenting tension for the player. In order to open the doors to the main office, one must loot the Hand of Glory on the ground by a dead servant in a prison cell. I barely saw this hand and it was never mentioned in any reading material. Once you pick it up, there is a special "poof" smoky effect and the doors leading to the office open. Inside this office is a necessary scroll that checks off an objective. Moving into the office was difficult because of the cramped interior design. I had to mantle onto a table so I had enough room to open the back door to the office; it was that cramped.

    Ghosting Difficulties: The Workshop

    This place consists of only four or five rooms, but they were small and complicated by two guard patrols in close proximity to each other. Sneaking through the first hallway was tough because I had the hardest time understanding the guard's patrol. I was hoping to follow his rear and make a quick strafe around him as he turned, but every time I tried, he pivoted to the other side unexpectedly. I concluded that he must have at least four different back-and-forth patrol points which accounts for his seemingly randomness of turning. Eh, I could have used a water arrow to make it easier here, but I chose not to and managed to slink by him after quite a few reloads.

    The guard inside the workroom (with the steam engine needed for an objective) was not easy to get by. I had to mantle onto the worktable and quickly move to the other wall while his back was turned for a few seconds. I got really aggravated when I opened a moneybox and saw a "Sextant" in my throwable inventory. What was I going to do with that? Since I didn't save after entering this room, I was forced to deal with the object. I knew I couldn't drop it anywhere, lest it make noise, so I took it outside and found a soft place to drop it. Unfortunately, I had to redo my ghosting method in the workshop and that just delayed my success even longer. That guard in the hallway and his random pivotting is still perplexing...

    Conclusion

    I did not even bother trying to Perfect Thief this mission, even though I'm sure it's possible once the loot is found. I missed a substantial amount of loot and could not find it even during my 4 hour game where I had decimated nearly all the guards. Finding those keys and retracing my steps everywhere in this guard infested city finally left me exhausted. I'm just glad I could call it a Ghost Success after all of that.

  9. #109

    A Love Story v1.1

    FM: A Love Story v1.1 (alovestory1_1.zip)

    Ghost - Success
    Perfect Thief - Failure
    Time - 02:15:14
    Loot - 2169/2314
    Pockets Picked - 19/23, Locks Picked: 19
    Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
    Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
    Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
    Secrets Found - 2/2

    In the mission notes, the author, John Denison, states: "I changed one of the watchers to make the FM ghostable. This was suggested by Dafydd."

    Unfortunately I did not read the mission notes until afterwards. If I had, it would have saved me a lot of worrying. That I did not give up on the ghost attempt was really just blind luck. Memo to self: always read the mission notes.

    The watcher referred to is a critical one. It is in the police station, above the front entrance. It faces north and commands a complete view of the entire front office area. You have to approach the area from the north, so there is no avoiding it. And you can only turn it off after you have gone past this area. There is a wooden wall with a wide opening between you and the front area that you can hide behind. Just on the other side of the wall, on the left and right are two torches. You would have to lean out of the shadows to extinguish them, and the watcher will catch you every time if you try to do that. A little past the torches, on each side, is a wooden door. Guards come in and out of these doors and through the opening in the wooden wall fairly regularly. To put the finishing touch on it, there is a stationary guard just beyond the wooden door on the left (east), looking straight at the opposite door.

    I spent quite a bit of time trying to put out those torches. No dice. Finally in desperation I decided to try timing a run from the entryway, in direct torchlight, straight to a spot just behind the stationary guard (!!). I made sure the watcher was at the extreme end of its pivot to the west, and dashed east. It worked! Elsewhere in this mission the guard would have exploded into action, but this particular one appears to be deaf and have blinders on. He did not see or hear me. (I suppose I could have used a moss arrow to be safe, but I still have not learned my lesson from Raid on Washout Central.) From behind the guard I could extinguish the torches just in time to hide in the shadows as three guards come tromping past. Whew!

    After that, this was a normal ghosting. I appreciated the opportunities this mission offered for climbing. You don't have to, but I think it is a lot of fun. Just be careful where you drop down. There are some areas that once you drop into them, there is no way out. And don't look up when you are on the rooftops. If you do, you will experience a clipping problem that can give you a headache.

    I'm not certain where the missing 145g in loot is. Most of the loot was in the open and in obvious places. That may have lured me into a false sense of security.

    I enjoyed this mission enough that I am now planning to work my way through the remainder of missions in the series. Good job, John Denison!

  10. #110
    FM: A Lovely Night - (LovelyNightv1.zip)

    Ghost - Success
    Perfect Thief - Failed
    Time - 00:57:58
    Loot - 4258/4498
    Pockets Picked - 7/8
    Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
    Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
    Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
    Secrets Found - 3/4

    Comments - This mission was fun to play, though ghosting is enforced on expert. The custom music and artwork was beautifully interwoven into the interiors, making this mission successfully blend into the Thief world while being refreshingly different; sort of like the FM Saturio Returns Home. I had no ghosting difficulties to report.

    General Notes

    -The guard who patrols the kitchen and the bottom floor of the library went quirky after I had been away from him for a while. I returned to find him standing in the corner of the library facing the wall, recalling a particular scene in The Blairwitch Project
    -I ghosted the watcher before I realized there was a room to deactivate it.
    -The noblelady in the large bedroom with the sleeping nobleman had some scripted animations that looked like a second alert, even though she wasn't actually alerted.
    -The missing secret is the room behind the banner on the plant balcony (and also behind the door barred with wood planks). Cutting down two banners is the only way to gain access to the room, which contains two dead bodies, a ghost, and a nice gold amulet worth 200 loot. Perfect Thief is therefore impossible, so I didn't try to search for my own missing 40 loot, but I wager I missed two loose coins somewhere.

    By the way, I've decided to start adding the file names to my reports based on goldsla's recent comments about it. Vanguard always did this but for some reason I never felt compelled to because I was usually playing the final versions of FM's. But since I'm playing newer FM's which may be prone to updates, I think goldsla is smart to suggest mentioning the zip file name or at least the version in our reports.

  11. #111
    FM: HGS-Secrets of Avidan - (HGS-SecretsOfAvidanv1.0.zip)

    Ghost - Success
    Perfect Thief - Success
    Time - 00:51:22
    Loot - 3009/3009
    Pockets Picked - 1/1
    Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
    Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
    Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
    Secrets Found - 2/2

    Comments - This is a fun mission. While it wasn't difficult to ghost, it just took a long time to sneak across marble floors with all the multiple hammerite patrols.

    General Notes

    -Although I never used it, I was determined to get the water arrow in the fountain outside of the hammerite chapel by the two houses. Dropping into the pool of water sometimes alerted the nearby hammerite. My solution was to wait until he was farthest away in his patrol, and then slowly drop into the pool, at which point I could rush to get my water arrow (and even some gold coins I happened to notice while down there ).
    -There was an optional objective to find a blackjack or something to use as a weapon but I never found it.
    -After methodically sneaking through the first floor's marble hallways, I noticed an odd-looking wall panel in the office adjacent to the stained-glass window gallery. After further inspection of the gallery, I found a hard-to-see switch by the desks that opened the wall panel.
    -Once I picked up the scroll in the library that triggered a New Objective to find the Book of the Nail, I decided to scour the room for secret switches. The placement of the previous switch in the gallery led me to believe that the author liked to place levers behind desks or in other crevices. To my astonishment, I found a switch on one of the wood support beams by the desk in the corner! I barely noticed it, but I'm glad I did because the switch opened one of the paintings in the room that revealed an essential key to the locked altar room.
    -To save time, I exited the second floor by the balcony and dropped off to the first floor so I could enter the locked altar room.
    -After acquiring another important high priest key in the altar room, I retraced my steps back to another notable locked door. Sure enough; this was the high priest room. I noticed some reading material inside this room that divulged a code number. On the top of the chapel is a keypad which, after receiving the correct code, opens a door to the tomb.
    -Ghosting the tomb was a piece of cake and I was pleased to possess all the loot after nabbing those ubiquitous gold nuggets on the sarcophagi.

  12. #112
    FM: Pereira's Mansion - (PereirasMansion.zip)

    Ghost - Success (Chemical)
    Perfect Thief - Success (Chemical)
    Time - 00:50:06
    Loot - 2420/2420
    Pockets Picked - 1/2
    Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 1
    Damage dealt - 28 Damage taken - 0
    Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
    Secrets Found - 0/0

    General Notes

    -Besides Paulo and the ghost of the mansion owner's aunt, there was no AI to worry about in the mansion. The ghost was actually an invisible one who could neither attack nor see, but it could still hear and go on alert if enough noise is made close to it.
    -The mission author actually placed a scroll in a hidden compartment under a removable bed that details where the secret levers for the tomb door is. I was enjoying the atmosphere of the mansion, with its desolate dark rooms and creepy music, until this immersion-destroyer. The scroll basically addresses the player and says (paraphrasing), "Thanks for playing my mission; if you're having trouble finding the Horn of St. Miguel, here is where the secret levers are to open the tomb that leads to it:..." Why not a diary that has the mansion owner discussing these levers instead of the author informally speaking to the player?
    -There was an objective to kill a rival thief named Paulo. He was standing in a storage room outside by the courtyard. I knocked him out and beat him to death.
    -Most of the levers to open the secret catacombs door were placed in obvious locations except for one: behind a banner at the mission start which requires the use of rope arrows. Most of the secret places to find loot and other levers also required rope arrows, so it wasn't a big surprise after I had explored the rafters of the attic (which yielded a secret lever and an invis potion).
    -The catacombs in this mission are like the exact opposite of the empty mansion: gushing with AI (haunts and zombies) all amassed in a single area. I decided to douse all the torches in the catacombs simply to save time since I would need to scale the ladders next to the sarcophagi looking for loot.
    -I managed to jump across the first huge pit with lava at the bottom Tomb Raider style, even though holding the jump key to mantle when hitting the edge was required. The second gap, however, was impossible to clear without using a slow-fall potion which the author strategically left in the mansion; hence my chemical success.
    -Once I looted the Horn of St. Miguel (an objective), the mission ended. I even found all the loot on a first run and did not have to go back to the mansion.

  13. #113

    Big Grin A Love Story II v1.3

    FM: A Love Story II v1.3 (ALoveStory2v13.zip)

    Ghost - Success
    Perfect Thief - Success (Better living through chemistry - Slow fall potion used)
    Time - 04:34:04
    Loot - 5512/5512
    Pockets Picked - 10/17, Locks Picked: 32
    Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
    Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
    Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
    Secrets Found - 7/7

    Comments:
    I had forgotten what a joy it was to get a perfect thief the first time through a difficult mission. And, at least for me, this was not an easy mission to ghost, let alone perfect thief. I believe that I had to nudge seven AIs out of the way, either to sneak behind them, or to get them out of line of sight. In all there are 75 individual loot items, and numerous non-loot consumables. Most of the early loot seemed to be very well hidden and/or difficult to access without alerting someone. Much more so than Love Story I. For some reason this mission engaged me early on in hunting for loot. It may be that once I discovered the first difficult to find loot item, I decided to really scour the mission. For whatever reason, it worked! Also I got lucky in that my Klepto-thief habits served me well. Early in the mission I acquired 8 Dew Drop dolls, and there were three or four spots where having them was essential to the ghosting. When I needed a soft and quiet landing spot when dropping from a rope or balcony, they were there in my inventory to serve the purpose. I developed a technique of looking up and highlighting the rope arrow in preparation to retrieving it, and then dropping a Dew Drop (upwards!) so that it would land exactly where I would fall. It is very weird to see this red doll falling straight through you, let me say.

    Surprisingly, as hard as this mission felt, I believe I only needed 6 water arrows, three each in two spots, and no moss arrows.

    Rather than continue with a more traditional report, I thought I would share what my personal notes look like while playing a mission. I use Excel, since it is great at tables. However, I can't figure out how to post a table here, so this has been slightly edited to fit the medium. Since this is essentially a shorthand walkthrough of the mission, I have put spoiler tags around it all, in case you don't want the mission spoiled for you. I know the request was not to use spoiler tags in this thread, but this is such a huge spoiler, I thought it appropriate. If the moderator(s) disagree, I can remove them.


  14. #114
    Thanks for sharing your note-taking format, goldsla. You're definitely more meticulous about loot locations/value than I usually am. Are you constantly alt-tabbing out of Thief to type up your notes in Excel, or do you use a laptop/different computer? Personally, I use a real notepad and pencil when I'm jotting down important procedures, loot, secrets or ghosting problems.

  15. #115
    FM: Portisco Head - (PortiscoHeadV1.zip)

    Ghost - Success
    Perfect Thief - Success
    Time - 02:15:25
    Loot - 6860/6860
    Pockets Picked - 12/12
    Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
    Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
    Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0 Bodies Discovered by Enemies - 2
    Secrets Found - 10/10

    Comments - While there were some sound propagation problems and some quirky AI, I really liked the non-linear layout of this FM, and ghosting it was rewarding. I don't know why my stats reported two discovered bodies but perhaps the museum is the culprit; I'll explain soon.

    General Notes

    -By now I've played so many missions with secret switches and levers that I routinely check for them with methodical precision. This mission was no exception. Finding the secret switches in this FM required a keen sense of detection: not only where they were located in a room or hallway, but which room or hallway seemed significant enough to contain them. Just observe the 10 secrets in my stats - those are 10 hidden switches.
    -I learned later that I could have taken two very different paths in this mission: go through the tunnels to get to the crypt/apartment area or through the jail and to the castle. I decided to use the tunnels and hit the castle portion last.
    -At the mechanist workroom there is a secret tunnel with a ladder. This ladder leads up to the crypt with the gigantic Pagan Face where the two rubies (objectives) need to be placed. Moving off of the ladder is impossible without jumping, but the drop onto stone alerts the sleeping mechanist. I first resorted to using healing potions to soften my fall, but when I had to come back here an hour later I got lazy and used moss.
    -I used a moss arrow by the Ruby case in the museum, but this was a desperate measure because of the extremely sensitive guard which I'll discuss soon.
    -A major problem with this mission (for a ghoster) was reloading after looting the Ruby Chest and also placing the two Rubies in the Pagan Face. The key to open the Ruby Chest is a statue head; when the chest is opened, a plain old "rubble" statue head magically floats above the chest. I thought this was part of the mission design and left it. But if one reloads after opening the chest, the statue head drops to the ground and alerts a nearby apparition. A similar case occurs with the Pagan Face after the two Rubies had been placed into the eye sockets. Reloading causes these Rubies to fall to the ground, alerting two haunts. Both situations cannot be remedied, but I just made sure not to reload once I learned what could happen.
    -I'm proud of myself for finding all of the loot on a first run because some of the loot was well hidden or obscure: a loose coin under the gambling table in the barracks was one instance; after looting the coins on the game table itself, I didn't think the author would have placed anymore. Yet I couldn't resist checking under the table, and to my amazement, there was a single loose coin on the floor. Perhaps the coin was placed mid-way through the table in dromed and fell to the floor, but it pays to be anal when loot-scrounging.

    Ghosting Crisis in the Museum

    I had my work cut out for me in the museum. There are pedestals with various AI models on them (a haunt, treebeast, mechanist, etc) with their hands outstretched (the way they look when placed in dromed). But while these AI's could not see or hear or move, they were real and alive; I slashed one with a sword and drew blood. I don't understand how the AI could exist in this state but for some reason it made the guard inside go berserk and completely wacky.

    Before encountering this guard, however, I had to deal with the guard outside of the museum who had a short back-and-forth patrol in a brightly lit hallway. I could have doused the torches but chose not to. If I opened the door to the museum, this patrolling guard would also scream and go on second alert when he noticed the exhibited AI's inside the museum. The trick to defeating this situation was to open the door when his back was turned, quickly dart into the museum, and close the door before he noticed; a split-second action. But the single guard inside the museum who makes his rounds down the carpeted steps was the most problematic ghosting situation I've dealt with in the FM.

    I'm surprised the author or betatesters failed to notice or report this conflict. The guard would sometimes come down the main staircase, scream "Ah!" and continue his patrol. A second later he would say, "There's a Thief in the building; looks real mean" and then continue his round. He would come back, go on second alert for a few seconds, and then return to his patrol. This occurred everytime he moved towards the AI's on the pedestals. Whatever these museum exhibits were doing to him affected his sensitivity to Garrett because if I even appeared in middle-brightness, his peripheral vision would pick it up and he would charge towards me. Really, I had to revamp my general technique to fit that of a super Supreme Ghoster. I couldn't even hide in the darkness near him or he would spot me. Alas, this wouldn't have been a problem if his patrol was more flexible: he moves up and down a T-shaped staircase that is fortunately in complete darkness; but being anywhere near him on that T-shaped staircase put him on 3rd alert. No amount of waiting would ever lower his alert status because everytime he noticed the museum exhibits, he would yell as if someone had shot a broadarrow into a metal door.

    To make a long process of trial and error short, I solved this problem by shooting a rope arrow into the ceiling at the far right corner of the T-shaped staircase. It took much practice to do it right, but it worked: I could hide at the ceiling and not risk setting the guard off like I did when on the ground. When he moved downstairs, I could lower myself and move out of his view. It was quite a difficult maneuver and if the ceiling had been stone, I doubt I would be claiming a ghost success here.

  16. #116

    Exclamation Note Taking

    Originally Posted by Hexameron
    Are you constantly alt-tabbing out of Thief to type up your notes in Excel, or do you use a laptop/different computer? Personally, I use a real notepad and pencil when I'm jotting down important procedures, loot, secrets or ghosting problems.
    For me it is a bit of both. I usually have a paper and pencil, though, as in the case of this mission, I may alt-tab every time to Excel and not use paper at all. It depends on how I'm feeling and whether or not I can find paper and pencil. Sometimes I just play the mission straight through with no note taking. Usually this is with the lighter weight missions.

    After I have played the mission to my satisfaction, I'll look and see if there is a walkthrough. I often learn new techniques or get search ideas from this practice. It has definitely made me a better Thief player to do so.

    If no walkthrough exists, if I like the mission well enough, and if I succeeded ghosting it (preferably Perfect Thief), I email the author(s) and ask if they would mind if I wrote and published a ghosting walkthrough. So far no one has said no. I then use my notes and carefully replay the mission, alt-tabbing with Word. Most of the time I record how I played the mission through the first time, even though it may not be optimal. I want to capture the feel I had. If the game devolved down to a loot hunt at the end, I will put the discovery of the odd piece in where it belongs, had I not been so blind.

    [In the case of Love Story II, I did a little rearranging of loot in the loot list. This one had 150g missing when I first completed it, so I reloaded and went on a hunt. Despite the 4 1/2 hour time shown on the stats, that mission took me the better part of a full day. A couple of times I had an alert that caused me to backtrack over a full hour to a prior save. (I got caught up in the game, and forgot to do more frequent saves.) Also, a section may take me a lot of reloads to get right to my satisfaction. Getting the loot out of the rafters in the thief hideout took me over an hour of reloads. I had given up on it, and then later in the game I hit upon using Dew Drop and figured out how to do it correctly (no more than four and no less than three -- less than three not enough padding, more than four and you fall off and make noise). I then had to reload to the near the hideout, and replay that section. When that worked, I reloaded yet again to earlier in the game. I had skipped a door due to alerts from sounds made dropping onto a metal balcony. The dear Ms. Drop worked there too. When that worked, I had to replay the mission from that point forward again . . . But that was soooooo close to the begining, why not start over and take complete notes in Excel this time? You get the idea. So I sort of play missions in a fugue, metaphoricly. (You decide if I mean music, psychiatry, or both!)]

    Here are links to the ghosting / perfect thief walkthroughs I have written so far. (All posted on www.thief-thecircle.com.)

    Keyhunt
    MuseumHeist
    Tipping the Scales
    Two Fathers

    If you have trouble with these links, you can try going through The Circle's Fan Mission page (http://www.thief-thecircle.com/missions/) and use the search feature in the left sidebar to navigate to the mission. The walkthrough download is just below the mission download, in the light blue box.

    My aim is to promote ghosting. Maybe someone who is looking for a walkthrough will find out from mine that ghosting
    1. is fun
    2. isn't impossible for them
    So maybe they will start ghosting. Maybe. I look upon the walkthroughs as a way to give back to the community. If I hook a new ghoster, so much the better.

  17. #117
    I'm impressed not only by your systematic (fugal ) style of playing, researching, and replaying a mission, but your walkthroughs as well. How do you decide which missions to play/ghost/report in this way? Are you doing walkthroughs for every mission you attempt or just the one's you like? I have a suggestion based on two FM's that I recently tried and stopped due to frustration. I wonder if you would be up for their challenges: Dance with the Dead and The Unknown Treasure. I had major technical ghosting issues with the former FM and a terrible problem finding loot in the latter one.

    I didn't even know thief-thecircle was accepting ghosting walkthroughs. I had an ambition a long time ago to launch my own website that would serve as a database for ghosting FM's. It would combine the long list of ghostable FM's that I recently compiled and also feature my own walkthroughs with lootlists and screenshots. It would be inspired by Lytha's webpage for the Thief OM's but focus exclusively on FM's. I actually started on this for the first 50 or so FM's I played a few years ago, but I gave up.

    Being too busy in real life impeded any progress in starting this webpage, but I'm happy to see you share an interest in the kind of thing as well. I, too, would like to promote ghosting because I want to see others chime in with their own reports here. Ghosting is slowly taking hold as a viable and popular playing mode at the TTLG boards, but it is still considered a style of play for the connoisseur rather than the layman.

    Oh, and after reading your report on A Love Story, I have a new profound respect for Dewdrop. In the mission, Portisco Head, the big "treasure" to satisfy the primary objective was in fact Dewdrop in a treasure chest. I felt disappointed that my 2 hours of slinking resulted in this straw doll, but I'll remember to keep Dewdrop in mind as a versatile piece of equipment from now on

  18. #118
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Posts
    2,704
    @goldsla

    I am glad you are trying to promote ghosting. Keep up the good work.

    I tried to follow those "Loot Through" links and the server 208.49.149.120 seemed at first not to respond. Then it was very slow, like 2-3 KB/s. I also tried to drill down from the Circle, and I could not find the links. Could you post a link to the Circle page where these links reside?

    I am sure you are aware that there is a little philosophical conflict with this rule:

    9. No loot cheats or walkthroughs are allowed -- a point of honor that cannot be enforced.

    The ghoster recruits can walk in the footsteps of a ghoster, but I think the ghosting experience is not captured. The main point of Thief is the adventure of the unknown, the puzzle solving, the route finding, and the hunt. Eventually, to graduate, the ghoster recruit needs to be weaned from walkthoughs. I wonder: how many people who seek them out will make the grade?

    I'd suggest giving links both to the rules (which you have done) and to this thread, for people to read more or maybe even post. It would be nice to attract a few more people here who actually play Thief and talk about it.

  19. #119
    FM: Reflections - (ReflectionsV2.zip)

    Ghost - Success
    Perfect Thief - Failed
    Time - 00:54:15
    Loot - 2110/2590
    Pockets Picked - 3/4
    Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
    Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
    Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
    Secrets Found - 3/3

    Comments - The author of this FM clearly has talent in constructing architecture and interior design, but his or her sensibility to thieving is quite peculiar. Instead of giving Garrett some water/moss arrows, the only equipment provided for the player is in the shed outside and it is loaded with sunburst explosives, fire arrows (25), mines (roughly 20), frogbeast eggs (10) and broadheads... as if I intended to walk into the mansion Matrix style and start lobbing mines and frogbeasts while shooting fire arrows.

    There were a few challenging areas to traverse but only one major hurdle that might have busted many ghosters, and I'll describe the ordeal soon.

    General Notes

    -I found the ring required for an objective in one of the display boxes containing a model-sized monolith (located near the secret tunnel to the shed key).
    -The shed key was lying on a crack near the ceiling of the main lobby. I took the trouble of shooting a rope arrow up there to grab it, but later discovered a secret tunnel leading to the room beyond the crack. The shed key was worthless, though, because I only felt like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando, strapping up with the most violent and destructive gear Garrett could possibly get his hands on: 20+ fire arrows and mines, frogbeast eggs, broadheads and two explosive devices. Darn... I would have been happy to have maybe one more rope arrow or a water arrow .
    -I couldn't sneak into the bathroom upstairs with the servant inside. Maybe if I had a water arrow to douse that candle I could have snuck in; I'm sure some of my missing loot is in there.
    -I went through the back door and into the cave area but only found a gold nugget. However, while it looked like this area was designed to be the exit point once all the objectives were completed, I did not have to come back here. For some reason entering the bathroom of the dungeon barracks checked off the "exit the backway" objective.

    A Ghosting Conundrum and THE Solution

    I thought I was going to have to accept a bust early on in the mission with the large library containing two noblemen. The interior of the library is brightly lit by four lamps against the walls and a centrally located fireplace. The perimeter of the library has a pentagonal shape and the walls are lined with a bookshelf texture. Fortunately, these walls disguised as bookshelves protruded far enough from the real wall of the room and I realized I could get on top of them to move around the perimeter of this area.

    But here is the main problem: the two noblemen are standing close to the entrance of the library and are facing each other. There is simply no way to even move into the library without alerting them. I tried firing a rope arrow into the left and right sides of the protruding bookshelf wall so I could climb up. I was lucky to get onto the rope, but mantling onto the shelf itself always put the nobles on alert; mantling somehow raises my visibility gem another hue (giving me the red bar). Damn, I thought I was busted for good! I can't sneak into the room; I can't use my only rope arrow to climb onto the bookshelf wall; and there is no other way to progress through the mission without traversing this library.

    Here is what I did to defeat the room, the nobles, and the author who planned for this area to be confrontational: I moved to the left side of the large hallway leading into the library. I was able to CCC close enough to the side of the bookshelf wall. I shot my rope arrow right up into the wood ceiling instead of the side of the bookshelf-textured wall. I had to reload to do this correctly until the rope was close enough to me and almost flush with the purple-toiled wall. Keep in mind at least one of the nobles was on first alert because he was facing me in full yellow brightness. Yet I was far enough away from him to be safe. I made a small jump onto my rope and slowly CCC'ed my way to the ceiling.

    One important note I need to make is that if you save on the rope and reload to that save, Garrett falls to the ground. So a sort of mini-Ironman ghosting attempt is necessary here. Once at the top of the ceiling, I leaped onto the top of the bookshelved-wall (collecting my rope arrow as I flew) and landed thankfully on a silent untextured top of the bookshelved wall. From here, I could slowly scale the top of this wall to the other side of the pentagonal room and drop to the bottom. Solving this and utterly defeating the previously hopeless case of ever ghosting this room was very satisfying.

  20. #120
    Originally Posted by Peter Smith
    I am sure you are aware that there is a little philosophical conflict with this rule:

    9. No loot cheats or walkthroughs are allowed -- a point of honor that cannot be enforced.
    Yes. I am aware of it. I am trying to walk a fine line. For those who will never ghost, I hope to provide a quality walkthrough. For those who think ghosting is too hard for their level of skill, I hope to have a mission walkthrough which is detailed enough that they can see that they can do it. I hope that once they discover that they can ghost a mission with my help, they will strike out on their own and ghost more missions on their own.

    Originally Posted by Peter Smith
    The ghoster recruits can walk in the footsteps of a ghoster, but I think the ghosting experience is not captured.
    You are right. Nothing beats doing it on your own. These are for those who get frustrated and want / need a little help.

    Originally Posted by Peter Smith
    Eventually, to graduate, the ghoster recruit needs to be weaned from walkthoughs. I wonder: how many people who seek them out will make the grade?
    I could not agree more! They will have to swim on their own eventually. But since I can, at best, write one walkthrough a month, I think they will be ghosting on their own pretty quickly, just because they will run out of ghosting walkthroughs to use! I know of just one other person who is writing them (Klatremus has an excellent T2X ghosting walkthrough . . . and others he has written - Klatremus'Thief Gold Site).

    My criteria for writing a walkthrough include:
    1. I cannot find an existing walkthrough for the mission on the web
    2. I really like the mission and want to promote it
    3. The mission author(s) approve of my writing one
    4. I can provide a complete loot list, even if you cannot get all the loot while ghosting

    So I do not write a walkthrough for every mission I ghost. Not by half.

    Originally Posted by Peter Smith
    I'd suggest giving links both to the rules (which you have done) and to this thread, for people to read more or maybe even post. It would be nice to attract a few more people here who actually play Thief and talk about it.
    What a great Idea!! I'll write a short paragraph (probably plagiarize some of your intro to this thread) and add it to all my walkthroughs. Gretchen, at The Circle, has been a brick about posting my updates as soon as she opens her email. So that should be complete by Xmas.

    I really want to promote ghosting. I think it is the best way to play Thief missions. I also want to give back to this great community. I am not in a position to author / design / develop missions, but I can encourage through writing. So that is what I am trying to do.

  21. #121
    FM: Serendipity - (TheFollyOfYouth.zip)

    Ghost - Failed
    Perfect Thief - Failed
    Time - 01:58:28
    Loot - 629/2180
    Pockets Picked - 15/29
    Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 2
    Damage dealt - 2 Damage taken - 0
    Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
    Secrets Found - 12/17

    Comments - Well this is quite the ambitious mission and I know I missed significant areas because of my missing loot and secrets. It seems like every room had essential items, whether keys or lootable objects that must have been used for something. I'm stumped; what the devil were these used for: the rat heads, the sword, the robot head, the rosary beads, the pagan painting, the candle and so forth . I might have tried to solve the mysteries of these items but once I realized the mission couldn't be ghosted, I just sort of lost steam and accepted the mission end once I placed the coins in their respective bowls in the crypt. And it's a shame because the basement of the hammerite church is extremely challenging to ghost (if you don't douse torches). I would have liked to claim a sucess, but property damage is required.

    Cause of Failure

    -Cannot complete the "Find Charity" (Garrett's friend?) objective without using a hammer to break down the storage room door.

    General Notes

    -It was interesting to find two "Toy Spades" which looked like a tiny shovel and pick axe; these were used as lockpicks.
    -Progressing through the mission was carefully controlled by the author. Often I had to rely on the mission's linearity and triggering certain AI or items to spawn. For instance, I might have explored the tower thoroughly, but one of the gold coins to use in the crypt only spawns here after certain objectives are completed. The same goes for an essential AI with the key to the Captain's bedroom. Once I infiltrated Brother Razzle's room, a hammerite with a vital key spawned on the other side of the basement (taking the flight of stairs down the right from the church area).
    -I surmise from the amount of AI and their patrols that the author did not consider that the player might forego blackjacking. The AI patrols, especially in the dining room, were laughably conflicting. Most of the AI were running into each other and getting stuck in the hallways. It was ridiculous when I counted four (including a servant) all stuck in the hallway before the kitchen. Traveling away from them and reloading the mission fixed this, but to save frustration when skulking through the dining room, I doused nearly every torch.
    -The amount of AI patrols was startling. There were at least 10 Hammerite's patrolling the basement and 6 could be seen at the same time in a single hallway. Dousing torches saves time but if you want the ultimate sneaking challenge, try maneuvering through the main hallway where Brother Razzle's room and the dining room are located.
    -Each room was like something from one of those children's books where you have to look at a cluttered room filled with junk and find certain items. In this case, finding tiny switches, keys and other important objects was paramount.
    -The objective to find the secret journals of three top Hammerite officials was easy once I knew that each of their rooms had secret hideouts.
    -I discovered a secret cave area behind the banner in the private prayer room. Slashing the banner was not appealing to me, but regardless of that, there was a boulder blocking the passageway beyond the banner. While I didn't explore it any further, I have a feeling the single fire arrow provided in the storage room is used to destroy this boulder.
    -I know I've missed either a large number of secret passages or one huge area because I'm missing over half of the loot in this mission, not to mention 5 secrets.
    -Speaking of loot, it might not look like I picked up a lot, but the author changed the loot properties so that most of the loot values were between 1 and 10.
    -Charity's corpse is contained in a locked room and I could not find the key, though I imagine there is no key since a nearby scroll said the key was lost. Anyway, breaking the door down is property damage but the noise also alerts two hammerites, so I knocked them out before tossing a hammer into the door.
    -When I placed the two coins into the bowls in the crypt, a ghostly voice spoke, a secret passageway opened, and the mission ended. Very puzzling... because I feel like I missed a gigantic portion of the mission.

  22. #122
    FM: Chasse A L'Homme - (Chasse.zip)

    Ghost - Failed
    Perfect Thief - Failed
    Time - 00:39:42
    Loot - 2311/2561
    Pockets Picked - 6/7
    Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
    Damage dealt - 8 Damage taken - 0
    Healing taken - 0 Kills - 1
    Secrets Found - 0/0

    Causes of Failure

    -Must slash banner to get required bag of spice.

    -Killing Max le Borgne (objective) cannot be done without breaking glass and alerting all AI in the vicinity.

    Comments- This is a French mission and so I could barely understand the objectives or any of the reading material in the mission. By simply exploring every area I figured out that these are the objectives: A) Find a sword; B) Kill Max de Borgne; C) Get 2000 loot; and D) Escape through the sewers. For a small "Ambush!" style city mission, this one was excellently designed and fun to play. The non-linear layout and the attention paid to making the rooftops accessible made this a gem of a mission.

    General Notes

    -Interestingly, there is an orange key on top of a crate in one of the houses near the mission start. This key opens almost all of the doors to the merchant stores near the male thief.
    -I could not get into the nobleman's house (to the left of the mission start). While most of the loot could be taken from an open window, his home cannot be entered without bashing the door in; and thus some loot (in the kitchen) cannot be had if ghosting.
    -I loved using the rooftops to move around in the mission, though I had a problem at the balcony by the two servants. I managed to get onto the balcony and loot the house, but getting out through the same balcony was tough. I had to jump onto the wood chair and then gently leap onto the metal railing. I was always triggering first alerts but I managed to mantle back onto the roof via this railing.
    -The spice (objective) is located in a niche behind a "Bafford" banner inside the house with the blue marble floors. I could loot the footlocker without slashing the banner, but the spice bag cannot be acquired without being close to it; slashing the banner is necessary and that was my first ghost bust.
    -Even if I managed to get the spice without cutting down the banner, assassinating Max ruins any chance of being covert. He is standing by a window inside the centrally located police station. Since he is visible through the window, I figured that shooting a broadhead at him is my only option. Doing this breaks the glass of the window but does not harm him; therefore, more broadheads were needed to mow him down while he and every single AI in the mission became alerted. I doused the torches by the sewer and in front of the police station so I could slink away undetected.

  23. #123
    FM: Citadel of Douro - (CitadelofDouro.zip)

    Ghost - Success
    Perfect Thief - Failed
    Time - 02:07:04
    Loot - 3669/4064
    Pockets Picked - 3/10
    Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
    Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
    Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
    Secrets Found - 0/0

    Comments - This is a highly engaging and immersive mission replete with a beautifully designed layout, impressive buildings and perfect music. The music is probably the most effective and most Thief-like than any other FM I've played. My hats off to the mission designer on this one, the same fellow who designed Pereira's Mansion, but surpasses himself in every facet. The only thing I didn't care for was yet again the numerous scrolls that addressed the player and broke the immersion. It really is a paradox how this author creates a breathtaking world with the finest atmospheric music for a Thief FM that I've ever heard, but resorts to leaving "tip" and "clue" scrolls around the mission that say things like, "there is a purse behind the barrel in the tavern" and things like that.

    General Notes

    -The mission only has two objectives on expert: 1) Find 3669 loot and 2) retrieve the Hand of Dreams. I acquired the Hand early on, which meant that once I obtained 3669 loot, the mission ended.
    -At the start of the mission I heard a chaotic battle between mechanists and guards occurring somewhere. This battle is all scripted and there is an invisible wall separating the AI so that they constantly run towards each other but are unable to fight... or are they? By the time I got to the exact area of the battle (around the L-shaped buildings with the hotel), there were two dead mechanist priests and at least three dead guards. I was able to do my own business in each building while they continued to cause a ruckus. Interestingly, their shouts and damage dealing did not alert many AI in the vicinity. Only a single servant was upset and tried to run to his fleeing point. I say try because he couldn't get out of a locked door. I had to pick the door and move aside so he could run to his fleeing point; after he did so, he went back to alert 0 and returned to his patrol inside the building. Eventually everyone except one helmeted guard had died and he must have had one hitpoint left because he kept fleeing for no reason.

    -Since I recently played Pereira's Mansion, I knew what to expect with regards to loot locations. It didn't take long to completely understand the predictable formula of loot placement: coins in the bathrooms and purses behind furniture in rooms.
    -There were many areas I did not enter because of AI positions. I couldn't sneak into a few rooms because of AI's staring at the door, like the male thief in Room 1 of the hotel and the noblelady on the top floor of one of the apartments.
    -I was determined to jump over the chairs blocking the stall doors in each public shower building. The female shower hut contained a single gold coin, but I had to be careful when leaping onto the wood chair; it put a nearby green spider on first alert and if I made a little step on the marble floor, it set off the spider and the patrolling guard outside, too. Many of the AI in this mission were at an excited state of alertness. Sometimes opening doors put guards on second alert, but I imagine that mechanist battle was the culprit.
    -I can't remember how I managed to open the gate to the big castle/mansion, but I was dismayed when I inspected the interior of the castle: the place was brighter than the sun from all the torches and the big hall was overflowing with guards. I only had 10 water arrows and I considered saving them for this. But I decided to leave this area for last. Of course, once I found my loot objective and already had the Hand, the mission ended and I couldn't attempt to ghost the castle.
    -I was fortunate to see the buttons on the ground at the altar of the Citadel of Douro; these opened the banner behind the altar, revealing the Hand of Dreams.

  24. #124
    FM: Karras Apartments - (karrasapartments.zip)

    Ghost - Success
    Perfect Thief - Success
    Time - 0:09:27
    Loot - 1110/1110
    Pockets Picked - 0/1
    Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
    Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
    Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
    Secrets Found - 0/0

    Comments - There is nothing really of note in this all-too-brief FM with only four AI and some sleeping one's to worry about. I retrieved the loot in the room with the fireplace without dousing the gas lamp. To get the loot in the bathroom across from the fireplace without alerting the mechanist, I just leaned into the room while in the darkness of the door frame.

  25. #125
    FM: Vol De Nuit - (VolDeNuit.zip)

    Ghost - Success
    Perfect Thief - Success
    Time - 0:05:31
    Loot - 380/380
    Pockets Picked - 0/1
    Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
    Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
    Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
    Secrets Found - 0/0

    Comments - Quick and painless.

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