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Real Name Jerykk   
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Nickname Jerykk
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Signed On Apr 23, 2004, 02:42
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User ID 20715
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News Comments > Thief System Requirements
78. Re: Thief System Requirements Jan 21, 2014, 04:33 Jerykk
Its too long ago to come up with any examples. However, I do remember shooting multiple rope arrows creating a path, I climbed on one and jumped to the other and so forth. Good chance it resulted in absolutely no progress, but that wasn't the point. The point was 1. that it was fun and 2. that even the mere illusion of "out-thinking" the developers made the game feel less on rails. After all, the removal of said illusion can maybe even be defined as a game being on rails. If you don't get that, I'm wasting my time here.

No offense but that was probably the worst example of emergent gameplay I've ever read. Random activities without meaningful results exist in every game, even the most linear and scripted. If I play CoD, I can hop backwards while throwing grenades in the air and then try to stab them as they fall back down. However, there's no real reason to do this and it doesn't accomplish anything. If the only benefit of manual jumping is the ability to do random and pointless activities, then its absence won't have any impact at all in the new Thief.

Watch this video from DX for some good examples of emergent gameplay:

This comment was edited on Jan 21, 2014, 04:43.
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News Comments > 2013's Top Free-to-Play Games
55. Re: 2013's Top Free-to-Play Games Jan 20, 2014, 23:54 Jerykk
Mashiki Amiketo wrote on Jan 20, 2014, 22:56:
Axis wrote on Jan 20, 2014, 16:42:
Apparently desktops don't exist anymore and Crossfire is the only game that plays worth a shit on laptops?

Or... it's South Korea.
Asking a few friends that I game with over in S.Korea(they're born, raised and live west side--and all that) on it, it seems that it's more of a thing with netcafe kids, and highschoolers than anyone else. Though there is a following among the salerymen(30-45) group as well. I guess someone found a market, exploited it, and made an assload of money.

It has to have a larger audience than that if these numbers are accurate. LoL is incredibly popular worldwide and Crossfire apparently makes 50% more money.
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News Comments > On Sale
6. Re: On Sale Jan 20, 2014, 23:13 Jerykk
Spec Ops is not an immense turd. It's a mediocre cover shooter with an interesting narrative. Not a bad deal for $7.50, though it routinely drops to $5 or less. GMG was even giving it away for free at one point.  
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News Comments > Thief System Requirements
76. Re: Thief System Requirements Jan 20, 2014, 22:59 Jerykk
Quinn wrote on Jan 20, 2014, 15:31:
Beamer wrote on Jan 20, 2014, 11:09:
Verno wrote on Jan 20, 2014, 09:30:
I'm willing to give the new Thief a chance, manual jumping in Thief is really not a make it or break it feature. There are far more important things like AI, the stealth system functionality and so on.

Manual jumping will feel limiting at first, but it wouldn't break a game for me at all.

Someone complained that it just lets you go where a level designer wants you to. In some cases, this can be a good thing. If the level designer puts something in too weak to hold weight, then you can't go on it, whereas in the original Thief I remember running on things that would in no way be silent.

If it has a press-space-to-climb feature, like Far Cry 3, I can see it being fine. Disorienting for the first 30 minutes, then a non-factor.

This is the stuff I don't get. At all.

Because a game gets allot of critique for very ligitemate reasons, osme people decide to get uncharactistically tolerant. We're talking about the removal of manual jumping in a first person Stealth game here! Sure, the game can be alright, but the removal of manual jumping is still the most retarded decision ever. Also, finding your own crazy route was a huge factor of what made Thief 1 and 2 and even 3 so interesting. It motivated the player to explore and try all kind of crazy stuff to get past obstacles. If it ended up with Garrett doing something outright impossible.. who cares? It was fun.

Oh, but people get tired of the critique.. so even the most retarded decision isn't all that bad now. Its laughable.

Thief was never Minecraft. There were a finite number of ways to enter and move through any building and the paths you could take were explicitly defined by the designers. If they didn't want you to go somewhere, they'd simply add collision. If they didn't want you to use your rope arrows, they'd simply not place any wooden beams. I have yet to see a single example of genuinely emergent gameplay (gameplay that was never intended or foreseen by the designers) that resulted from the ability to manually jump. If manual jumping made Thief the pinnacle of emergent gameplay, surely you can list just one specific example of that? If we were talking about the original DX, I'd agree with you. But Thief was never as open-ended as DX and never had even a fraction of its emergence.

Out of curiosity, did you also complain about the lack of manual jumping in Bulletstorm? Or any other first-person game? If so, I think the issue lies with you, not the games. Demanding that every first-person game have manual jumping is about as silly as demanding that every first-person game have leaning, iron sights, sprint or whatever other mechanic you arbitrarily decide is essential.
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News Comments > Thief System Requirements
75. Re: Thief System Requirements Jan 20, 2014, 22:50 Jerykk
harlock wrote on Jan 20, 2014, 16:36:
Jerykk wrote on Jan 20, 2014, 04:20:
Emergent gameplay is defined by unintended behavior within a game's systems.

Too narrow minded. Intentional behavior is also included.

Emergent gameplay refers to complex situations in video games, board games, or table top role-playing games that emerge from the interaction of relatively simple game mechanics.

That's a vague definition without any specific citations. You also seemed to ignore the vast majority of definitions on that page, which included:

"In games with complex physics and flexible object interaction it may be possible to complete in-game problems using solutions that the game designers did not foresee."
"Unintentional emergence occurs when creative uses of the video game were not intended by the game designers."
"Emergent gameplay can arise from a game's AI performing actions or creating effects unexpected by even the software developers."
"In several games, especially first-person shooters, game glitches or physics quirks can become viable strategies, or even spawn their own game types"

There's a pretty clear trend in all of those definitions: lack of developer intention. Referencing that page did not help your argument.
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News Comments > Steam Top 10
34. Re: Steam Top 10 Jan 20, 2014, 16:31 Jerykk
Verno wrote on Jan 20, 2014, 09:14:
Jerykk wrote on Jan 20, 2014, 00:28:
Good to see Banner Saga doing well. Well-written, plenty of tough choices, deep combat, fantastic art and a really interesting approach to the genre. I really like the sense of being on a journey, rather than the theme park feeling I get from many RPGs.

What is the combat like? I've heard conflicting things on it. One friend says its pretty good while another dislikes it due to some gimmick about allowing units to live with low health rather than finish them off so high power units can use less turns. I didn't really understand it. I was thinking about picking it up when I'm between games.

Not sure what he's talking about. Your characters don't die in combat, they're just incapacitated for the rest of the match and then stay injured for a few days afterward. Injuries reduce your health and damage but you can still use injured characters in subsequent matches.

The biggest issue I have is with the leveling system. Basically, characters get promoted based on number of kills (which makes it harder to level up weaker or support characters). Once eligible for promotion, you have to spend Renown (which is basically XP) to actually promote them the cost increases with each promotion. However, Renown is also used to buy supplies which are necessary to prevent your people from starving to death. In the late game, you're basically spending all your money on supplies so you can't afford to promote your characters anymore.

Aside from the leveling system, the combat is enjoyable. The different classes work together in interesting ways and there are a lot of potential strategies you can use in any given fight. Most fights are pretty close, as well. I don't think I've won a single fight without losing at least one character.
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News Comments > 2013's Top Free-to-Play Games
17. Re: 2013's Top Free-to-Play Games Jan 20, 2014, 12:28 Jerykk
HorrorScope wrote on Jan 20, 2014, 11:44:
SpectralMeat wrote on Jan 20, 2014, 11:10:
I thought for sure World of Tanks or Planetside 2 was going to be in first place.
I've never even heard of Crossfire

Figured LOL, as others I haven't heard of Crossfire, looks like every other multiplayer FPS. Other countries that aren't melting pots, they seem to embrace in mass singular games, so in their world there can be one. Like minds, I suppose.

I always chuckle that LOL defenders say it's not PTW, it is just skins. So people are spending crazy $$$'s on just a new look and not real functionality? Ah no. My guess is when you get your ass handed to you, you try different tactics and then different characters to see if you can overcome deficiencies. But they are different, it's not just looks.

You don't have to pay for new characters. You can buy them using the in-game currency which you get every time you play a match. And if you play LoL on a regular basis, you'll always have enough in-game currency to buy new characters.

The only part of LoL that could qualify as P2W are the XP boosters. Your runes, masteries and summoner spells are all locked behind levels so a level 1 player has an inherent disadvantage against a level 30 player (though the matchmaking would never put them in the same match). You also have to pay for more rune pages, which is stupid.
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News Comments > Steam Top 10
26. Re: Steam Top 10 Jan 20, 2014, 04:40 Jerykk
Skyrim isn't bad but it's basically a polar opposite to Banner Saga. Nothing you do in Skyrim really matters whereas everything you do in Banner Saga has long-term consequences.  
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News Comments > Games for Windows LIVE Deathwatch
37. Re: Games for Windows LIVE Deathwatch Jan 20, 2014, 04:38 Jerykk
Well, that's disappointing if true. If MS doesn't shut down GFWL, they sure as hell won't improve it either. It will continue to linger like a tumor. Thankfully, it looks like almost every publisher and developer has already abandoned it so at the very least, we won't have to bother with it in future titles.  
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News Comments > Thief System Requirements
67. Re: Thief System Requirements Jan 20, 2014, 04:20 Jerykk
Qbex . wrote on Jan 20, 2014, 02:47:
Jerykk sorry dude, don't want to gang-up on you but your definition of emergent mechanic in game is not entirely correct. One would argue that all player in-game actions are an effect of planned range within game systems and simulation. Other would argue that none of those actions were foreseen by game designers in simulation type of game. Main problem with your Tribes example is that's Tribes is a multiplayer game and its a human vs human interaction in that game that's uses exploit or emergent by your definition. Do you have any other examples of emergent gameplay like this in single player game?

I already provided examples of emergent gameplay in single-player games. Deus Ex has plenty of it. The designers never intended for you to use LAMs to climb walls but you can do that. That is emergent gameplay. The designers never intended for you to run around, find every crate/trash can/barrel you can carry, stack them on top of each other and then climb up to areas you aren't supposed to reach. You can do that in the newest DX too. I even managed to reach an area where I could see outside of the level. Even HL2 has emergent gameplay: Needless to say, Valve never intended for players to exploit physics bugs and fly across the levels. That is emergent gameplay. And yes, exploiting a bug does constitute emergent gameplay because a bug is simply unintended behavior. Emergent gameplay is defined by unintended behavior within a game's systems.

I'll give you example, in Thief I can shoot a broadhead arrow near a guard to distract him, is this planned or not planned by designers ? They given you noisemakers for that but i can even distract the guard by dumping blackjacked dude to the pond near by for the same effect, is this all planned by designers?

Yes, those were all planned. Broadhead arrows were designed to make noise. Dropping bodies into water is designed to make noise. The AI is designed to react to noise. That's no coincidence. All of these interactions were by design. As I've said, the Thief games had flexible systems that offer many solutions to any given problem. However, none of these solutions were unexpected or emergent. Also, you'd be surprised by the emergent gameplay that QA can discover. They spend all day testing systems and trying to break them so it's not uncommon for them to discover emergent solutions.

This comment was edited on Jan 20, 2014, 04:34.
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News Comments > Thief System Requirements
66. Re: Thief System Requirements Jan 20, 2014, 03:56 Jerykk
I'm perfectly comfy agreeing to disagree with the exploit-accepting half of that definition. Just as long as you are aware that, if this community is any decent measure (and it usually is), you're in the extreme minority. Wall-hacks in Counterstrike, for example, are cheats... not emergent gameplay.

Wall-hacks were a cheat, yes. One could argue that they don't qualify as emergent gameplay because they require third-party software to perform. Wall-hacking is not an interaction between existing systems, it's an all new system introduced from outside the game. Skiing, on the other hand, was not, nor was it ever regarded as a cheat. Instead, it emerged from the game's existing systems and became the default way to the play the game.

As for automated traversal in Thief, I still don't see the issue. Thief was never a platformer. The focus of the game was never on platforming. On the rare occasions where you did perform platforming, it was very simplistic platforming that required little to no skill. If we were talking about Tomb Raider or Prince of Persia or Mirror's Edge, then you'd be right. Automatic traversal in those games would significantly dumb down the experience because those games focus on platforming. That's not true of Thief. The tension of Thief's gameplay comes from sneaking past guards and avoiding detection, not performing intricate precision platforming. It feels like you're complaining about this based solely on the principle of the matter rather than the actual impact on gameplay. The first few Splinter Cell games had manual jumping. The last couple of games made it contextual. Guess what impact that had on gameplay? None whatsoever because Splinter Cell was never a platformer, just like Thief was never a platformer.

You speak of the original Thief games as if the designers didn't provide explicit solutions for the player. If you wanted to enter a building, you could only do so where the designers let you. If you wanted to use a rope arrow, you could only do so where the designers let you. The designers specifically placed the guards and set their patrol routes. They specifically placed the entrances to buildings. They specifically placed wooden beams for you to use the rope arrows on. They specifically placed the torches and specifically scripted the ability to smother them using water arrows. All of those interactions were specifically designed by the developers, just like shooting a latch to drop a crate in the new Thief was designed by the developers. The existence of an interaction like that does not preclude having open-ended levels with multiple solutions. It just means that those solutions are not emergent, just like they weren't emergent in the previous games.

The Thief games have always had open-ended level design and numerous ways to solve problems. However, those solutions were never surprising or unintended. The designers created those systems in order to provide you with specific options. Using a noisemaker arrow to distract a guard so you can Blackjack him, using a rope arrow to reach an elevated platform, using a water arrow to extinguish a torch so you can sneak past a guard... these are all solutions that the designers thought of. From what I've seen and read, the systems in the new game provide just as many options as in the previous games.

Also, comparing the new Thief to AssCreed or the Arkham games is ridiculous. You don't run around pummeling/stabbing groups of enemies. At no point are you even required to attack anyone. As with the previous Thief games, the focus is on stealing loot while avoiding detection by hiding in shadows, keeping quiet and using distractions to manipulate the AI. That sounds like a Thief game to me.
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News Comments > Thief System Requirements
57. Re: Thief System Requirements Jan 20, 2014, 01:36 Jerykk
Sorry, yonder, but you're mistaken. If you're playing a game in a manner that the designers never intended or foresaw, that's emergent gameplay. Doesn't matter if you're exploiting a bug or not. Skiing in Tribes redefined how the game was played and resulted in many other emergences, such as mine-discing, disc-jumping, mortar-jumping, grenade-jumping, bodyblocking, beacon stopping/jumping, etc. None of these tactics or maneuvers were explicitly designed by the developers and were instead created/discovered by high-level players who needed to innovate in order to remain competitive.

Look up "emergent" in the dictionary. Note that one of the definitions (and the only one really applicable to videogames) is "arising casually or unexpectedly."

Also, please tell me how removing manual jumping REALLY limits the openness of the game. Did it allow you to reach places you weren't supposed to go in the original games? I'm going to keep posting the links I posted earlier until people actually click on them:

Everybody in this thread should watch this: and then read this:

Finished watching the video? Good. Now please tell me how the traversal in that game is any more limited than the traversal in the previous games. Hell, the traversal in that video showed more mobility and verticality than any of the previous games ever had. Also note that the player falls off ledges several times in the video.

This comment was edited on Jan 20, 2014, 01:45.
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News Comments > Steam Top 10
22. Re: Steam Top 10 Jan 20, 2014, 00:28 Jerykk
Good to see Banner Saga doing well. Well-written, plenty of tough choices, deep combat, fantastic art and a really interesting approach to the genre. I really like the sense of being on a journey, rather than the theme park feeling I get from many RPGs.  
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News Comments > Thief System Requirements
55. Re: Thief System Requirements Jan 19, 2014, 23:19 Jerykk
I'd argue that your view of emergence is far too broad. By your definition, choosing your weapon in an FPS constitutes emergent gameplay because the designers aren't forcing you to use a specific weapon. Every game offers some degree of player agency, even games like CoD. You can run around knifing dudes, you can snipe them from a distance, you can chuck grenades at them, you can blast them with a shotgun, etc. As such, player agency can't be synonymous with emergent gameplay unless you consider almost every game to be emergent. For example, good RPGs offer several solutions to any given problem. These solutions are almost always explicitly designed but then, the systems in games like Thief are explicitly designed as well. Just like choosing a weapon in CoD, choosing how you deal with guards in Thief is simply a matter of choosing from the options that the designers have provided you.

If systems are designed with specific interactions in mind (regardless of whether those interactions are forced on the player), performing those interactions doesn't constitute emergent gameplay. It's only when systems interact in unexpected ways that emergence occurs.
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News Comments > Thief System Requirements
53. Re: Thief System Requirements Jan 19, 2014, 21:12 Jerykk
Squirmer wrote on Jan 19, 2014, 20:51:
Jerykk wrote on Jan 19, 2014, 17:01:
And, once again, emergent gameplay is NOT simply gameplay that emerges from the interaction between systems.
This is wrong. The problem is you're not recognizing emergence when you see it. You can't say on the one hand that Thief has a systemic design and on the other hand that it is not emergent. The two go hand-in-hand. Emergence is what results from systemic design.

Emergence doesn't mean the player invents entire ways of playing that the designers never intended. You used an example earlier of how Deus Ex allows you to use the strength aug to stack crates and climb up higher. That's a good example of emergence -- but of course the designers intended the strength aug to allow you to lift crates. Of course they intended for you to jump on crates. Of course they intended for you to combine those abilities. But they might not have anticipated that players would stack crates in this exact location to climb on a roof, and they might not have anticipated that players would stack crates in that specific location to hide from a guard, etc.

Likewise in Thief, the noisemaker arrow has a specific purpose, yes, but its design collides with AI routines in such a way that you can use a noisemaker in all sorts of situations, where a different player would use a different tactic. I agree that Deus Ex has more of these systems that you can combine, but Thief is still emergent in the same way. In fact I'd say Thief is a more 'pure' simulation; Deus Ex fudges things quite a bit.

The example of crate stacking only reinforces my point. In and of themselves, the strength aug, the jump aug and the ability to carry and move stuff are not emergent. They were designed for specific purposes. However, when you combine them to do something the designers never intended (like reaching areas you aren't supposed to reach), that's when emergent gameplay is born.

Thief didn't have that. The noisemaker arrow was designed to allow you to distract guards and lure them to specific areas. That's not emergent. That's exactly what you use them for and that's exactly what happens. The rope arrow wasn't emergent either. It only worked on wooden surfaces and those surfaces were explicitly placed by the designers in areas they wanted you climb. There is no case where you could use a rope arrow in a way that the designers did not intend.

Emergent gameplay can emerge from systemic design but that doesn't mean it always does. When designers are creating systems, they do so with specific intentions. 99% of the time, the interactions between these systems comply with the designer's intentions. 1% of the time, they don't and that's when emergent gameplay occurs. Emergent gameplay can also occur in a game that's rigidly scripted and linear. It's just much harder to do because the player has less agency and the systems aren't as flexible. Even games like Portal and Half-Life can have emergent gameplay. Just check out the speedrun videos for numerous examples of that.

A good analogy for emergent gameplay would be an experiment where you put a mouse and a piece of cheese in a box. At no point do you force the mouse to do anything or interfere in any way. If the mouse eats the cheese, that's not an emergent result. That's exactly what you expected to happen and the very reason why you put those two things together. Conversely, if the mouse uses the cheese to create a bomb and then blow a hole in the box and escape, that's an emergent result. Looking Glass designed the systems in Thief with specific results in mind and the resulting gameplay met those expectations.
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News Comments > Thief System Requirements
51. Re: Thief System Requirements Jan 19, 2014, 20:37 Jerykk
harlock wrote on Jan 19, 2014, 19:02:
"emergent" does not mean explicitly unintended

skiing in tribes was an exploit - not "emergent gameplay".. it later became a function of the game when it was specifically added in later versions, but originally it was a bug that was taken advantage of by players.. the spinning grenade macro was also an exploit, not a bug - but thats more in line with "emergent" even though it was technically "game breaking" in a sense

"emergent" does mean gameplay which is derived from the results of interactions between a number of simulated elements - rather than a specifically scripted outcome or scenario that happens the same regardless

the orginal thief games certainly did have emergent gameplay.. who knows if this one does or not, its not out yet

but the idea that they didnt is pretty absurd at best

Once again, emergent gameplay is gameplay that the developers did not intend or foresee. Hence the word "emergent." How this gameplay originates, whether through a bug or otherwise, is irrelevant. Skiing in Tribes was most definitely emergent gameplay, just like strafe-jumping and rocket-jumping were in Quake. These exploits redefined how the games were played which is why they were later integrated by the developers, at which point they ceased being emergent. Thief never had anything like that. You played the games as the designers intended. The gameplay systems were flexible and interacted in interesting ways but you could never do anything that the designers did not intend for you to do. Just because the gameplay isn't rigidly scripted and linear doesn't make it emergent. "Systemic" is the word you can use to describe Thief, not "emergent."

In any case, regardless of how you define "emergent," the new Thief retains the systemic gameplay the series is known for. It is not Call of Duty. The levels are still open-ended, there are still multiple ways to enter and move through buildings, the AI still reacts to light and sound and all the tools you had in the previous games are still available to you. The automating of jumping does not change any of that.

Everybody in this thread should watch this: and then read this:

The video gives a good sense of how the traversal, sound and shadow systems work. And if you complain about Focus mode or the combat, then you obviously didn't click on the second link.

This comment was edited on Jan 19, 2014, 20:53.
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News Comments > Thief System Requirements
47. Re: Thief System Requirements Jan 19, 2014, 17:17 Jerykk
Quinn wrote on Jan 19, 2014, 15:54:
Cutter wrote on Jan 19, 2014, 14:30:
Jer, have you actually played the original games, much less enjoyed them? It sure doesn't seem like it. Otherwise we have zero idea how you can be defending how they're trashing this property. Do you work for these guys in some capacity? Seriously.

I wonder this, too. We always critisize games that haven't been released yet. It's nothing unique nor is it generally frowned upon. When we're proven wrong once the game is actually out, we simply stand corrected. You, Jerykk, normally do this as much as the average Joe in here. For some reason you made up your mind to just... somehow defend this game, for some inexplicable reason -- after all, you don't even bash their decision to remove manual jumping.

It's really not that impressive to be the minority, in this case.

How often do I criticize games before release? I'll voice my concerns if, after doing sufficient research, I find red flags. For example, before Hitman Absolution came out, I observed that the level design looked a lot more linear and NPC behavior more scripted than in the previous games, with the biggest issue being that the scripting was based on level triggers rather than AI routines. Lo and behold, that was exactly the case in the final game. Before Splinter Cell Conviction came out, I voiced concern that the inability to hide bodies or distract enemies with thrown objects meant that the game wanted you to just kill everyone. The introduction of Mark & Execute only reinforced this belief. Lo and behold, the final game was just as I predicted.

The difference here is that I'm not seeing those red flags in Thief. From what they've shown, the levels look open-ended. The core systems of the series look to remain intact. The lack of manual jumping is a bit disappointing but it's not significant enough to ruin the game, as so many of you seem to think.

I love stealth games. I love Splinter Cell, Thief and Hitman. When I defend the new Thief game, I'm not doing so because I think it will be a great game. It could be a piece of crap. As I said before, it will ultimately boil down to level design and AI, neither of which can be fully judged until the game is released. However, when I see unfounded and illogical arguments, I feel obligated to refute them and quite frankly, almost all of the criticisms towards the new Thief are unfounded and illogical. Am I disappointed in some of the new design choices? Sure. Like others, I'd prefer manual jumping even though I don't think it would have any significant impact on the gameplay. I'd also prefer to have Russel playing Garrett and for the guards to sound as absurdly retarded as they did before. Also, there's been a distinct lack of the word "taff" in the dialogue I've heard thus far, though that may not be the case in the final game. The quality of the writing and whether or not it will retain the most endearing elements of the originals has yet to be determined. I don't like the third-person camera cuts either. I also don't like set-pieces, even though I know that they are never representative of the game as a whole. However, the actual gameplay looks very faithful to the originals and the gameplay is what defines the series more than anything else.

I'm just tired of people bashing games without sufficient cause. It happened with DX:HR and Splinter Cell Blacklist. If you find specific facts that concern you and can provide logical reasons for that concern, I'm fine with that. But that's not what I'm seeing here. What I'm seeing are overblown and reactionary criticisms that throw reason and logic out the window. The removal of manual jumping does not mean the levels will be linear and scripted. The completely optional Focus mode does not mean that the game has been dumbed down for CoD players. The player's enhanced combat abilities (for the completely optional combat) does not mean that Thief is now an action game. The new voice actor does not mean that Garrett is a completely different character.

This comment was edited on Jan 19, 2014, 17:40.
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News Comments > Thief System Requirements
46. Re: Thief System Requirements Jan 19, 2014, 17:01 Jerykk
Zoom wrote on Jan 19, 2014, 06:07:
Jerykk, i am a veteran Thief player (bought the first one, still got the box somewhere) and to be honest i'm between both sides at the moment. I pre-ordered the new game so i'll see how it is by myself, there is too much emotional charge on both sides of the argument.
One thing that you have to remember though, is what made Thief great was its *immersion*. Immersive gameplay was certainly a specialty of Looking Glass, for that they used a lot of small tricks that add up to make the magic happen. Miss one, and suspension of disbelief is broken.
And in these tricks the most important ones were the ambient sounds, audio cues, and yes, voice acting. Everything clicked together just perfectly in a delicate alchemy. Thief was well known for having fantastic audio, with (at the time) revolutionary 3D positioning, echoes and muffling, etc.
This delicate alchemy (along with the story writing and acting) actually made the game what it is, a cult classic, otherwise it would have been quickly forgotten as technically it was sub par.
Add to this an *emergent* gameplay (yes.) that let the player do whatever he wanted to in order to complete the game (within the "stealth only" domain, of course) - i'm not sure any studio today has got this kind of vision that Looking Glass had at the time. They made games without any compromise on gameplay.
Here what i'm worried about, is compromises. Compromising the voice acting, not a good sign. Compromising the basic gameplay elements that defined the series, not a good sign.
At least admit there are elements that justify being worried.

I completely agree that audio is important to the series and from what I've heard, the audio in the new game seems fine. Granted, we'll need to actually play the final game before passing proper judgment on that.

And, once again, emergent gameplay is NOT simply gameplay that emerges from the interaction between systems. It's gameplay that the designers never intended. That's a very important distinction. Shooting an arrow to create a noise that distracts a guard so you can sneak past him? That was intended by the designers. It's the reason why they have the AI react to sound and investigate. Shooting a rope arrow into a wooden beam so you can climb up and reach higher ground? Intended design. It's the reason why rope arrows only worked on wooden surfaces and why the designers specifically placed a wooden beam in that particular location. The AI, the sound system, the light/shadow system, the level design... all of these things were designed with specific intent. Almost everything you could do in the original games falls under this intent and is therefore not emergent.

A proper example of emergent gameplay would be skiing in Tribes. By exploiting a friction bug, players were able to gain momentum very quickly and soar across the map at extremely high speeds. You could could gain extra momentum by using the force of your own disc/mortar/grenade explosions as propulsion. The designers never intended for any of this. They intended for the game to be a relatively slow affair where players relied on vehicles for mobility. I know this because they included a bunch of demos showing how they expected the game to be played and they were nothing like how the game was actually played, thanks to emergent gameplay.

Did the original Thief games have open-ended and flexible gameplay? Yes, they did. They were not rigidly scripted or on rails. The same could be said of the new game as well. From what I've seen and read, the levels are still open-ended and the game is still driven by the same systems (AI, sound, light/shadow). No, you can no longer manually jump but people are acting like that's the one thing that defined the series when in truth, it really wasn't. In 99% of cases, the automated traversal system will provide the same results as manual jumping.

As for "compromising" the voice acting, a change in voice actor is not inherently bad. The new actor might even be better than Russel. However, the only way to know that is to actually play the game, not assume that any change is inherently bad. And again, what "basic gameplay elements" are being compromised? You're still sneaking around. You're still using sound to distract guards. You're still hiding in shadows. You're still stealing as much loot as possible. You're still extinguishing torches with water arrows and using rope arrows to reach higher ground. You're still knocking people out with the Blackjack (if you choose to knock them out at all). You're still picking locks. You're still grabbing loot from around people's belts. You're still blowing out candles. The only thing that's been "compromised" is traversal and I'd argue that it hasn't really been compromised at all. You can still jump, mantle, vault, walk, run, crouch, climb, etc. The only difference is that jumping is performed automatically while you hold down a specific key.
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News Comments > Steam Top 10
9. Re: Steam Top 10 Jan 19, 2014, 16:35 Jerykk
I don't really see the issue with Early Access. Early Access games are clearly labeled as such and the developers explicitly mention that the games are not finished and subject to change. Bohemia Interactive even warns players not to buy DayZ if they're expecting a polished and complete experience.

As always, it's the consumer's responsibility to make informed purchases. There are plenty of ways to learn more about Early Access games (forums, first impressions, videos, etc). All it takes is a little research. If a customer makes a purchase without doing any research and then feels screwed, he bears much of the responsibility for that. As long as Early Access games are clearly labeled and their incomplete nature explained, I'm fine with them.
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News Comments > Thief System Requirements
36. Re: Thief System Requirements Jan 19, 2014, 05:45 Jerykk
It's amazing how important first impressions are. When Ubisoft debuted Blacklist with that stupid, action-packed E3 demo, people immediately assumed that Blacklist would just be another Conviction. Had they done more research or actually played the game, they would have realized that wasn't the case at all but by then, it was too late. Their opinions were already set in stone.

Thief's debut demo wasn't even remotely as bad as Blacklist's. They showed ONE headshot with an XP reward and people immediately called it CoD, despite the fact that the vast majority of the demo is spent sneaking past guards using the mechanics (shadows and noise) the Thief series is known for.

Should Square be doing a better job marketing Thief? Sure. The difficulty mods should have been revealed more prominently than they were and Square needs to show more gameplay in general. But even then, I doubt that the people who wrote the game off after the debut would even care. If self-proclaimed Thief fans can't even be bothered to read a Q&A about the newest game in the series, why would they bother to watch another trailer?
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