Author Topic: Some quickie T3 Fan Mission reviews  (Read 4824 times)

Offline bobdog

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Some quickie T3 Fan Mission reviews
« on: May 27, 2006, 10:55:22 AM »
So, since no one has done any reviews of the few T3 fan missions out there, I thought I'd provide a few with my biased feelings on them. All are available from Thiefmissions.com.

All the World's a Stage -- I rank this the highest, because it is just a beautifully realized mission set in a theatre. The storyline takes you into the theatre to steal something from the Hammers, but you quickly learn upon exploration that the Keepers are involved. You have plenty of time to sneak around before the play starts, although you must maintain a low profile; afterwards, you hide until after the play ends, and then you get to play hide-and-seek with the thieves now crawling through the building. The ductwork will aid you in your goals. A believable location just perfect for thieving. And surprisingly, this mission was created for the Contest 7 and was the only one submitted. 10 out of 10!

The Crypt -- Submitted for Contest 6, this short and scary mission has plenty of atmosphere. It is set in a ... crypt -- who knew? ... and puts plenty of chills down your back. Secret levers are difficult to find, however, and I had to go to the TTLG forum several times to figure out what next, so it isn't necessarily intuitive. The AI, especially on expert setting, is nearly impossible -- I had to ratchet down from expert, which I normally play, to normal just to make it past the things lurking in the crypt. A 9

The Bridge -- Perhaps the most beautifully realized city I've ever seen in a game, with lots of atmosphere. I would have ranked this top of the list, but unfortunately, in all this city, there are only 2 or 3 "thieving" opportunities, where you can climb up and find something. I would have liked to see more interactivity with the structure. An interesting story, and several optional side missions to flesh it out. This mission also has a few bugs, none serious, that detract from the overall ambience. An 8

Krellek's Labryinth -- A large mansion taken over by a rogue Keeper, with multiple objectives involving a ghost and some missing mages. The mansion is sort of a funhouse atmosphere, like Constantine's mansion. Not bad. Just watch out for those Keeper assassins! Another 8

Defender of the Crown -- Komag's submission for his own Contest 6, this is a tightly constructed mission set in a tomb and caverns. It's fairly linear, so not much exploration is necessary. Another 8

Crystal Clear Conscience -- Another city-based mission that requires you to sneak through a market WITHOUT being noticed, even on easy setting. Extremely difficult, to say the least, but it's a nice atmosphere, and it will have you sweating to get through it. I thought it a little unfair that you could get busted by undead, but.... A 7

The Walk -- Another city-based mission with some good architecture. Also created for Contest 6, I would have liked for more interactivity with the architecture; it shows some 8 frobbable doors, only 2 of which you can open. Not bad, but too small to rank higher. Another 7

Special Vintage -- Good layout of the fort and mansion, but there's an impossible objective where you must obtain a treasure atop a spinning water wheel. I have no idea how to get it, so I found this needed some more tweaking. Another 7

I did play the few others out there, but they didn't seem worthy to stay on my hard drive.

Starting from Scratch, and Lord Raven's Mansion -- These just weren't very detailed or offer much. Most were designed for the smaller Contest 6, so they didn't have much leeway as far as size. How about 5's or 6's


ADDITIONAL NOTES: Evicted actually is the only one of the FMs so far to have a true City structure, with a fence and store to buy supplies. The storyline is humorous, as are the liner notes as the game is loading: "Who's stuff is that on the ground? Wait, it's mine!" You've just got thrown out on your can by your landlord, so it's time to get some revenge. After you steal enough stuff to get back your lockpicks to break into your room and get back your climbing gloves. The game has a sewer system and a Hammer cathedral to explore, but the design is very sprawling -- you can tell the FM creator was just getting a hang of how T3Ed works and just threw stuff together. If it had been a tighter design and a bit more structured, I would have ranked it higher. As is, I give it a 6.

ADDITIONAL NOTES: Escape from Castle Black was hard as hades, with super alert AI. On top of that, the design was major blah. A 5.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2006, 09:50:19 AM by bobdog »

Offline The Rogue Wolf

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Re: Some quickie T3 Fan Mission reviews
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2006, 05:02:11 PM »
I've been meaning to play some TDS FMs, but since I'm replaying my way through the main game (because some damn online antivirus scanner glitched and wiped out half my My Documents folder... and WHY THE :redangry: DO GAME COMPANIES KEEP PUTTING THEIR SAVE-GAME FOLDERS IN THERE?!), I'm worried about losing my progress somehow. Is there a newer version of Darkloader that works with TDS?
"Choice one: we flank them using what military men called tactics, and what religious men call divine inspiration. Or, we charge at them head on screaming various obscenities, in what military men call bravery and religious men also call divine inspiration."

Offline Silver Sorrow

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Re: Some quickie T3 Fan Mission reviews
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2006, 09:30:09 PM »
Goody! I love mini-reviews!   :onethumb:  I haven't played All the World's A Stage yet, nor have I played Crystal Clear Conscience (too! many! words!) but since I'm just about bored to tears over Oblivion, I might as well pick up some of the FMs that I've been ignoring in favor of molasses-slow weapons training.  ::)

Curious game directory structure: I think it's because M$ had a say in Oblivion. Memo: "Henceforth, all important game files shall be placed in in a cute little directory such as 'My Games'; failure to comply will force us to put you in the Vista QA group."

Darkloader has been taken over by Telliamed (a forum thread here), but it doesn't support TDS. I doubt it will ever be TDS-friendly, but since I'm wrong on a consistent basis, there's a good chance that I could be wrong about that.

For TDS though, you'll need potterr's Garrettloader, which can be found here. GL can handle T1/G, T2, T2X, TDS, SS2, and The Dark Mod, including Doom3. Call me a stubborn neo-Luddite, but I just use it for SS2 and TDS, and DL for T1 and T2. The only thing to watch out for is a possible conflict:

"Do NOT mix GarrettLoader with DarkLoader installs (for Thief 1/Gold/2 FMs). That is to say if you install an FM via either DarkLoader or GarrettLoader do not then try and install one via the other program...this will muck things up massively. If you do wish to switch between programs, make sure you restore to the original missions first."
An interview with Kim Kardashian? Who wants to see that? I'd rather see an interview with the mortician's assistant who had to piece her head back together so they could have an open-casket funeral.

Offline bobdog

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Re: Some quickie T3 Fan Mission reviews
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2006, 09:53:25 AM »
I've been meaning to play some TDS FMs, but since I'm replaying my way through the main game (because some damn online antivirus scanner glitched and wiped out half my My Documents folder... and WHY THE :redangry: DO GAME COMPANIES KEEP PUTTING THEIR SAVE-GAME FOLDERS IN THERE?!), I'm worried about losing my progress somehow. Is there a newer version of Darkloader that works with TDS?

Rogue, check out the TTLG thread on T3 tweaks -- there's a section in there on how to move the Save Game folder, but you have to adjust your Registry files, I believe.

And yes, you'll need GarrettLoader to run T3 FMs.

A quick check on Komag's site shows there are about 12 T3 FMs currently under construction, so we'll see how popular the game is over time.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2006, 09:58:10 AM by bobdog »

Offline Silver Sorrow

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Re: Some quickie T3 Fan Mission reviews
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2006, 11:53:47 AM »
By the way, there's a kinda weird install process thingy for All The World's A Stage...which, as I recall, is the reason I never played it. But I started to do so, and...the file I was directed to download, the "Sound Add-On Program" (as it is called), was AWOL. Fortunately, GlasWolf mirrored it, and you can get that here.
An interview with Kim Kardashian? Who wants to see that? I'd rather see an interview with the mortician's assistant who had to piece her head back together so they could have an open-casket funeral.

Offline bobdog

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Re: Some quickie T3 Fan Mission reviews
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2011, 07:01:04 AM »
Wow, it’s literally been 5 years since I played Thief 3, and in that time only about two dozen T3 FMs have been created, 99% of which are “break into the mansion” types. Most of them I reviewed earlier up above, but I’ll follow up with a few additional new ones that came out since.

T3 Download locations: KOMAG’s Shadowdark Keep and Cheap Thief Missions.

All the World’s a Stage – Reviewed earlier, this is still an excellent example of T3 level design, comparable with the best of the original missions. You must case a theater without getting caught, and then hide until nightfall. Lots of great moments, from crawling through the ducts to get a missing key, to overhearing a conversation, to finding secret rooms. Still 5 out of 5.

Valley – Perhaps the largest T3 map ever designed, Valley takes advantage of the PC’s strength to deliver a sprawling, but nicely detailed map located in a Pagan valley filled with ancient structures, narrow pathways and ancient groves. Your tasks are oftentimes complicated but logically designed; i.e. gather certain ingredients from throughout the map to create a potion to get past one of the Pagan shamans. In all, this was a lengthy but mostly fun FM to play through, on par with the OMs, although I had a few hang-ups with some of the goals. 4.75 out of 5

The Bridge – Also reviewed earlier, The Bridge is a beautiful level, but its lack of interactivity ultimately pulls it down. You’ve got a huge space with lots of alleys and interconnected buildings, yet you have no real thieving opportunities. A real waste of space, in all honesty. The story and related tasks are good though, pulling the FM forward. 4 out of 5

Silence – This two-level FM has you playing as a Pagan in the Audale quarter of the city. You must escape and enter the Watch Captain’s house to liberate the gate key out of the quarter. So you play in both areas and get a mix of city-crawl and break-in missions. Nicely done, although gameplay is more challenging since your character doesn’t carry a blackjack. 4 out of 5

Both the following series of T3 FMs were the latest developed for the game, and really expand map sizes and opportunities available.

Savar’s Keeper Series
This is a decent set of maps, but ultimately, they are too challenging, requiring you to look all over the place for secret levers and secret passages. I appreciated the challenge, but can see where many others would quit in disgust before getting to the end. 4 out of 5 for each

- Part 1: The Keeper – Based on the original South Quarter map, you’ll see a lot of familiar places, but the author has added new goodies that definitely require you to think vertically. The climbing gloves will come in handy, so save your money for them.
- Part 2: The Hotel – set in a hotel
- Part 3: The Blue Rose – set in a large cathedral
- Part 4: The Secret Room – probably the best of the bunch, although the vast number of secret rooms within the Keeper base are extremely difficult to locate, requiring multiple trips to the forums to look for answers.

The Cabal, by The Flesheaters
Another four-part series built by different authors, which unfortunately makes the mapset uneven, especially after the first part.

- Part 1: Furious Flames – This is an amazing FM set in The City that stretches over a dozen individual maps. I’d say this mapset alone is reason enough to reinstall TDS, improving upon the original T3 maps in so many ways: new textures, new foes, new arrow types, new quests, new NPC models, new action triggers and scripts, etc. New levels start you back in South Quarter and then stretch across the City’s various quarters as you fight against a flaming fire – both physical and figurative. I can’t say enough good things about this mapset, which took about 4-5 hours to complete. I rank it 5 out of 5 only because I can’t go any higher on the scale – it’s that good.

- Part 2: Night of the Long Knives – ... which makes this follow-up in the series all the more disappointing. The map is huge in scale, similar to Angelwatch Tower in that you can climb up into the rooftops and make your way all around the quarter. But it is ultimately empty – no thieving opportunities whatsoever and you are merely following the trail of one of your dealers to a couple of sites, which takes all of 15 minutes. A poor showing that could have had much more potential, leading you in and out of the buildings to accomplish tasks. 2 out of 5

- Part 3: Heart of the Deal – regains some of the ground from the 2nd piece with an intense set of maps reminiscent of the Forgotten City, with the “follow-the-mark” idea. Unfortunately, there is no thieving to be had in the whole map ... you must find three bonus objects, but otherwise there’s nothing to do but get through Haunt-filled caverns into an underground mercenary base. 4 out of 5

- Part 4: Knife to the Heart – has some nice story elements, where you must frame several of the partners who have brought down the Keeper fold, but ultimately the FM is brought down by the poor mapping efforts. The scale is too big, rooms are too empty, too many straight hallways, etc. So it’s not appealing to sneak through, despite the background mission objectives. 3.5 out of 5

So, after now completing ALL the Thief 3 FMs available, the tops are Valley and All the World’s a Stage, which are as good as the original T3 maps, and the absolute best is The Cabal Part 1: Furious Flames, which in many ways EXCEEDS the original map quality in design. It’s definitely worth booting up T3 for that FM alone.

Enjoy, taffers!