Send News. Want a reply? Read this. More in the FAQ.   News Forum - All Forums - Mobile - PDA - RSS Headlines  RSS Headlines   Twitter  Twitter
Customize
User Settings
Styles:
LAN Parties
Upcoming one-time events:

Regularly scheduled events

Thief Dropping XP System

The Eidos Montreal Community Website has a community Q&A about the upcoming Thief reboot, answering questions from eager fans of the franchise (thanks PC Gamer). The topic this time around is the removal of the planned XP system from the game, a decision the developers explain while dropping a hint they may have something positive to say about QTEs in the future:

Why was it removed?

Nic:
At first, we wanted to outline the progression of the player with XP, but it was reducing our motivation to steal. The main goal of a thief should be to gain loot. Garrett is already the Master Thief, so we saw no need to have XP as a core mechanic.

Daniel: We wanted to put emphasis on stealing things, and put the rewards on the stealing aspect. We want to allow the player to decide the "how to" we shouldn't judge how the player wants to achieve their goal, only reward them for achieving it.

The reaction from fans to the "Headshot XP" pop-up in the E3 gameplay demo was fairly negative. Did that have an impact on the decision to remove it from the game?

Daniel: Fans might be surprised how often the devs go to the forum to see how things are perceived in the "real world". This feedback is extremely valuable to us, so as you can imagine, the consistent reaction to the XP system was something that indicated we needed to revisit some design decisions.

Nic: It is more a design decision to add to our economy system and entice the player to steal more. But yes, the E3 reaction was right, rewarding killing like that was wrong for a Master Thief.

How will Garrett progress through the game without XP?

Nic:
The goal is to use gold to buy elements to progress, to encourage the player to steal. The player will be able to choose how to spend money, for more stealthy or more aggressive tools.

Daniel: It was always possible to play without using XP, like it is still possible to play through the game without killing anyone or even spending any coin (though it isn't going to be easy!)

Thanks guys, this was very instructive. And wait until you hear what they have to say about QTEs...

View
59 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 1.
< Newer [ 1 2 3 ] Older >

59. Re: Thief Dropping XP System Oct 22, 2013, 07:45 Quinn
 
+1 on Raptor's elaboration on why the removal of manual jumping can lead to frustration.

Jerykk wrote on Oct 22, 2013, 04:00:
Quinn wrote on Oct 21, 2013, 10:07:
Having issues with people somehow defending the idea of no manual jumping. It sucks as a matter of fact. No matter what excuse you make up. The major reason, that seems to be ignored indefinitely, is the fact that you can now no longer calculate a jump onto a set of boxes, for example, from a higher level up, to get a better position to either ghost past or knock out a guard.

There's no "we'll see" in this. It sucks. Period. How much the entire game will suck or not? We'll see, indeed.

You don't need to calculate a jump onto a set of boxes because the game will do it for you. As I mentioned earlier, the game uses an AC-style traversal system where the game automatically jumps for you. So, if there's a set of boxes you can jump on and you run towards it, you will automatically jump onto the set of boxes. Granted, removing the skill part of it is disappointing but you're still able to go where you want to go.

The lack of manual jumping really isn't that big of a deal if there are other systems that achieve the same results.

Jerykk, I'm not sure it's my English. Do I really suck at describing my point?

I'll give it another try...

Imagine you stand on a wall. Five meters below you there's a set of boxes, positioned 3 meters away from the wall you stand on. You want to jump onto that set of boxes, because it keeps you in the shadows / keeps you from landing on metal tiles / gets you right behind a guard for a knock-out / whatever. You, however, can't make that jump because the game won't recognize the boxes you target. If the game will let you jump automatically if you run off any edge, it might make you jump too far or too short.

If you think the game can read the player's mind, then there's no problem with it, indeed.
 
Avatar 57334
 
"Moo," she said.
And I trembled.
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
58. Re: Thief Dropping XP System Oct 22, 2013, 06:14 Raptor
 
If the system works well I suppose yes. (ie. AC)

If the system doesn't (and any game with prompts for doing things can get confused by this) then it can be a point of frustration and failure. (not constantly, but often enough to be a constant reminder and source of caution)

Say you are escaping guards and want to jump on boxes, but you are approaching diagonally to the boxes edge and the game doesn't recognise the box and doesn't give you the prompt for jumping.
Variations of this happen often. And instead of the player having to get used to how high and how far you have to jump to reach something the player has to get used to the logic of the prompts. (which is harder since prompts depend on a more intricate logic than jumping)

Any game which has had a prompting system for doing things like this has frustrated me at least in one point due to not giving me an option when I can clearly see I should be able to do something or getting me killed because the "knock out" prompt didn't appear while I was clearly behind a guard. Whatever the case removing the player's ability to do these things when and how they wish is just restrictive gameplay.

Lets say melee is a prompt, if you are not correctly facing the enemy you can't swing or do nothing, so it's not as fluid since sometimes you end up just standing there stupidly doing nothing at all while the enemy notices you and shoots you in the face. (I believe I've experienced this most with Hitman, but also with the Splinter cell games)

Sure it makes it easier for the devs to plan player paths and approach options, but it also restricts and limits the player imho.

I'm sure there will be a situation where you are sure you should be able to jump on something or reach something and will circle around the object for ages and then leave because the level designer had built something like it should be reachable, but has decided that it shouldn't be reached or forgot about adding a prompt option.
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
57. Re: Thief Dropping XP System Oct 22, 2013, 04:00 Jerykk
 
Quinn wrote on Oct 21, 2013, 10:07:
Having issues with people somehow defending the idea of no manual jumping. It sucks as a matter of fact. No matter what excuse you make up. The major reason, that seems to be ignored indefinitely, is the fact that you can now no longer calculate a jump onto a set of boxes, for example, from a higher level up, to get a better position to either ghost past or knock out a guard.

There's no "we'll see" in this. It sucks. Period. How much the entire game will suck or not? We'll see, indeed.

You don't need to calculate a jump onto a set of boxes because the game will do it for you. As I mentioned earlier, the game uses an AC-style traversal system where the game automatically jumps for you. So, if there's a set of boxes you can jump on and you run towards it, you will automatically jump onto the set of boxes. Granted, removing the skill part of it is disappointing but you're still able to go where you want to go.

The lack of manual jumping really isn't that big of a deal if there are other systems that achieve the same results.
 
Avatar 20715
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
56. Re: Thief Dropping XP System Oct 21, 2013, 10:07 Quinn
 
Having issues with people somehow defending the idea of no manual jumping. It sucks as a matter of fact. No matter what excuse you make up. The major reason, that seems to be ignored indefinitely, is the fact that you can now no longer calculate a jump onto a set of boxes, for example, from a higher level up, to get a better position to either ghost past or knock out a guard.

There's no "we'll see" in this. It sucks. Period. How much the entire game will suck or not? We'll see, indeed.
 
Avatar 57334
 
"Moo," she said.
And I trembled.
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
55. Re: Thief Dropping XP System Oct 21, 2013, 03:39 Ant
 
Jivaro wrote on Oct 17, 2013, 11:54:
InBlack wrote on Oct 17, 2013, 10:47:
Fuck. Now I want to play Dark Forces....man that was a great game...

Yes, yes it was. Loved that game. Not very often a shooter or a Star Wars game generates that kind of enthusiasm for me anymore. Probably a combination of me getting older and the games not being quite as bold in their design.
Ditto.
 
Avatar 1957
 
Ant @ The Ant Farm: http://antfarm.ma.cx and Ant's Quality Foraged Links: http://aqfl.net ...
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
54. Re: Thief Dropping XP System Oct 19, 2013, 14:52 Jerykk
 
Thief was never the pinnacle of emergent gameplay, though. The ability to manually jump almost never allowed you to reach areas you weren't supposed to go. While AC-style traversal requires less skill than manual jumping, Thief isn't a platformer so does it really matter? As long as you can get where you want to go, that's good enough for me. As in the previous games, the level designers ultimately decide where you can and cannot go regardless of whether jumping is contextual.

And saying you can play Thief like CoD is really going overboard. Taking out isolated guards may be simple enough but I seriously doubt you'll be able to just run and gun, especially on the highest difficulty. People made the same criticisms about Blacklist before it came out and on the highest difficulty, running and gunning in that game just doesn't work.

You also say that the game focuses on taking out guards, which really isn't true at all. In most of the demos they've shown, the player sneaks past almost every guard.

The only real concern I have about the game is the AI, which is a bit spotty if hands-on reports are accurate. Hopefully that will be resolved before the game's release.
 
Avatar 20715
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
53. Re: Thief Dropping XP System Oct 19, 2013, 05:58 Raptor
 
Sorry, but holding down a button and watching the game play for you is not what it should be about.

And I understand that it has the Thief elements available, but so does Dishonored.

At the same time I think you're right that it will reflect a Thief game since you can do all of those things you should be able to do.

But my problem is mainly about the watered down gameplay design, attitude and generalisation of the game.
Are devs really so afraid to actually restrict the player from something?
It's Thief, but if you want you can still play it like CoD just as easily.
They design your experience to meet 100% satisfaction, every time.

I haven't played the new Splinter Cell so I can't compare how the contextual stuff works there, but I remember really enjoying the MP match in one of the old ones where you could run up against the wall and jump on the ceiling panels while the merc was trying to get ain aim on you. Sure it didn't work every time and you got killed, but when you got good, it looked great and smooth.
Skill determined the cool things you could do not the press of a button.
But I think the argument there is that you are the master thief, so you shouldn't die form a mistimed jump.

They spend too much time on all the "player aids" like focus or all the cool things like dropping something on the guard or cool takedowns (which for 95% of the players should be something to avoid anyways)
It just feels rotten from the core.

And we've yet to hear what good they have to say about QTE's as well.
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
52. Re: Thief Dropping XP System Oct 19, 2013, 01:09 Jerykk
 
The problem with Thief4 is not only what they've showed so far, but also the attitude of the developers.
Does it reflect from any of the interviews they've done that they actually care about the Thief mentality?
Sure it will most likely turn out a good game since it's an AAA production.
But the problem is that it's not going to be a Thief game.. since it's an AAA production and catered for the majority.
The majority weren't Thief players by todays standards, so they can't make it Thief.

If you make a new IP, go ahead I won't complain and people won't complain. I'm sure people might even say "woah, this game has a nice mix of Dishonored and Ass.Creed with a Thief vibe to it.."
But if you take the Thief name and then make the changes they've showed and write things like that people will be pissed.

I'm not sure what makes you think it won't be a Thief game. It's still a first-person stealth game that focuses on stealing stuff. You still hide in shadows and try to avoid making noise as you sneak past guards and grab loot from their belts. Will combat be more viable in the new game? Probably, but that doesn't mean you have to fight. The devs have explicitly stated that you don't have to kill anyone. If you want to play stealthy, play stealthy. Same applies to the new Focus mode. Don't like it? Don't use it. Stealth games have always been a matter of restraint. If you enjoy being stealthy, why would you play any other way?

It's just remarkably silly that people can take little things and completely blow them out of proportion. Yes, you can shoot guards in the head with an arrow. Guess what? You could do that in the previous games too. No, you can't jump anymore but if the demo is any indication, there will be plenty of contextual opportunities to get where you want to go. Yes, there's a new voice actor but he sounds pretty similar to the original VA and Garrett's character seems consistent with the original as well. Yes, there will be setpieces but they will most likely comprise maybe 1% of the entire game. Yes, melee takedowns are now a one-button affair via third-person cinematic (ala DX:HR), but this is Thief so you shouldn't be attacking anyone in the first place.

None of the changes they've made are enough to accuse the game of not being a Thief game. It's nothing like the changes made between the original R6 and the Vegas series or between SC: Chaos Theory and Conviction.

It's just dumbass game design. I'm sure it's much easier to not have jumping in your game, but if said game is about a character traversing a level without being seen, then NOT having it is fucking retarded. End of story.

Splinter Cell says otherwise. As I mentioned before, Blacklist doesn't have manual jumping but there are enough contextual actions in each level that you never really miss it. It's all a matter of level design.

EDIT: This new gameplay footage actually shows that traversal has more in common with Assassin's Creed than Splinter Cell: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiwa9-e10m8

Basically, you hold down a traversal button and Garrett will automatically climb, jump, mantle or vault over obstacles. It's still contextual but it seems pretty flexible and if AC is any indication, it works well enough for getting you where you want to go.

This comment was edited on Oct 19, 2013, 02:36.
 
Avatar 20715
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
51. Re: Thief Dropping XP System Oct 18, 2013, 15:42 Creston
 
It's just dumbass game design. I'm sure it's much easier to not have jumping in your game, but if said game is about a character traversing a level without being seen, then NOT having it is fucking retarded. End of story.  
Avatar 15604
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
50. Re: Thief Dropping XP System Oct 18, 2013, 12:07 nin
 
Creston wrote on Oct 18, 2013, 11:59:
Jerykk wrote on Oct 18, 2013, 04:54:
Wait until the game actually comes out. Or better yet, wait until you actually play it.

That's easy to say when you pirate everything. It's a bit harder for everyone else.

Also, this new Thief DOES have jumping. It's just only where the Devs put a big "HIT X TO JUMP NOW!" on screen. Rolleyes

After trying that routine in Sega's last AvP, there's no way in hell I'm doing that again. Made me want to scream...the Predator can only jump from certain spots?? Really???!?

 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
49. Re: Thief Dropping XP System Oct 18, 2013, 11:59 Creston
 
Jerykk wrote on Oct 18, 2013, 04:54:
Wait until the game actually comes out. Or better yet, wait until you actually play it.

That's easy to say when you pirate everything. It's a bit harder for everyone else.

Also, this new Thief DOES have jumping. It's just only where the Devs put a big "HIT X TO JUMP NOW!" on screen. Rolleyes
 
Avatar 15604
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
48. Re: Thief Dropping XP System Oct 18, 2013, 10:24 MajorD
 

MyRealName wrote on Oct 18, 2013, 08:56:
If there are seriously people refusing to even give The Dark Mod a try simply because it's based around fan missions instead of an "official" story arc, I can only strongly assert that they're missing out.

The vast majority of the 1000+ Thief/Thief 2 missions released to date have little to nothing to do with the original story, and I don't mean stinkers -- I'm talking about the highest rated big missions and campaigns. That is in of course in part because fans who can produce such work invariably have creativity and will of their own and want to distinguish their work.

TDM now has something like 70+ maps. A good chunk of them are campaigns and series. It's got more than one story; it's got many! Just like T1/T2 FMs. But I guess if you're not into playing FMs then that's a problem of a different type (not knowing or accepting that a great many of them are better than original missions, and sometimes land the authors in game Dev jobs...)

Anyway. You're missing out!

I was hesitant about playing TDM FMs, but once I gave them a try, I was pleasantly surprised how good they actually were/are. Granted, some are better than others, but overall, I like what I've experienced so far.....quite impressed actually.

 
Avatar 55780
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
47. Re: Thief Dropping XP System Oct 18, 2013, 08:56 MyRealName
 
If there are seriously people refusing to even give The Dark Mod a try simply because it's based around fan missions instead of an "official" story arc, I can only strongly assert that they're missing out.

The vast majority of the 1000+ Thief/Thief 2 missions released to date have little to nothing to do with the original story, and I don't mean stinkers -- I'm talking about the highest rated big missions and campaigns. That is in of course in part because fans who can produce such work invariably have creativity and will of their own and want to distinguish their work.

TDM now has something like 70+ maps. A good chunk of them are campaigns and series. It's got more than one story; it's got many! Just like T1/T2 FMs. But I guess if you're not into playing FMs then that's a problem of a different type (not knowing or accepting that a great many of them are better than original missions, and sometimes land the authors in game Dev jobs...)

Anyway. You're missing out!
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
46. Re: Thief Dropping XP System Oct 18, 2013, 08:30 gray
 
Raptor wrote on Oct 18, 2013, 06:02:
But the problem is that it's not going to be a Thief game.. since it's an AAA production and catered for the majority.
The majority weren't Thief players by todays standards, so they can't make it Thief.

If you make a new IP, go ahead I won't complain and people won't complain. I'm sure people might even say "woah, this game has a nice mix of Dishonored and Ass.Creed with a Thief vibe to it.."
But if you take the Thief name and then make the changes they've showed and write things like that people will be pissed.

I too have to scratch my head at that decision, game series sequels are only attractive to us customers if they retain the popular elements of the original's identity. Otherwise as we see here, it's a liability.
 
Avatar 54867
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
45. Re: Thief Dropping XP System Oct 18, 2013, 06:02 Raptor
 
You listed what the difference of Dx and DxHR was and I believe this example shows best what's wrong with games these days.

Deus Ex gave you a various assortment of tools and didn't limit how you could use them.

DxHR gave you a more limited selection of tools and limited how you could use them to avoid people possilby breaking the game or finding an amazing solution (there's always a risk of going both ways with freedom) I believe it's called streamlining.

It's like Lego 20+ years ago and modern Lego where you already have a prebuilt set and can't really do much else other than building what you're meant to build. It's cool, but you have nothing else to do with it.

DxHR was a good game because it was well made and carried over enough of the features and gameplay from the original to weigh over the issues and limitations such as the one button takedowns, AI & level design limitations, easy difficulty and a lot of the augs being useless (the MGS ones)
Mentality wise I can still argue that it didn't have what made the original great. Even if you had multiple paths they were all carefully preplanned for you to find.

The problem with Thief4 is not only what they've showed so far, but also the attitude of the developers.
Does it reflect from any of the interviews they've done that they actually care about the Thief mentality?
Sure it will most likely turn out a good game since it's an AAA production.
But the problem is that it's not going to be a Thief game.. since it's an AAA production and catered for the majority.
The majority weren't Thief players by todays standards, so they can't make it Thief.

If you make a new IP, go ahead I won't complain and people won't complain. I'm sure people might even say "woah, this game has a nice mix of Dishonored and Ass.Creed with a Thief vibe to it.."
But if you take the Thief name and then make the changes they've showed and write things like that people will be pissed.
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
44. Re: Thief Dropping XP System Oct 18, 2013, 04:54 Jerykk
 
Except reaching places you're not supposed to reach isn't really part of the PC mentality. The only reason it happened more often in older games is because they didn't have nearly as much testing as new games do. When Ion Storm made Deus Ex, they never intended for players to use sticky mines to climb up walls. When Dynamix made Tribes, they never intended for players to exploit a bug in the physics system and move at incredibly high speeds. Emergent gameplay, by its very nature, exists in spite of design. The Thief games, while having large, open-ended levels, were never really known for emergent gameplay. You were still mostly limited to going where the developers allowed you to go and doing what they allowed you to do.

The lack of manual jumping does not mean that Thief will be a completely linear and guided experience. The demo they showed at E3 had multiple ways to get into the castle and plenty of opportunities for verticality. Splinter Cell: Blacklist was very much the same way. No jumping but the levels were open-ended and there were enough contextual triggers available that you never felt limited.

I think people are just way too eager to dismiss the game based on very limited knowledge of it. Wait until the game actually comes out. Or better yet, wait until you actually play it. Remember DX:HR? Remember how people were shitting all over it when they heard about the one-button takedowns, the third-person camera cuts, the cover system, the object highlighting, the merging of the skills and augmentation systems, the XP awards for specific actions, etc? In spite of those things, DX:HR ended up being a pretty damn good game. I've heard fewer specific criticisms about Thief yet people act like it's going to be the worst game ever made.
 
Avatar 20715
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
43. Re: Thief Dropping XP System Oct 18, 2013, 03:20 Raptor
 
Jerykk just wrote the examples I wanted to give about the lack of jumping. We can add OFP/ARMA to that mix as well.

R6, GR, OFP etc are military games where jumping would be about as stupid as what these guys are doing to Thief 4.

The design principle of the Thief games has always been about freedom of movement. Heck the same dev managed to still have jumping for DxHR!

What I fear is that they are just taking the "everything has to constantly look cool and nobody has to get stuck anywhere" principle way too far.

Reaching places you're not supposed to reach is a part of the PC mentality if I may say so.
It's always about finding a way to do something which is unique to how others have done it.

This completely gues against modern game design.
If there was a minefield these guys would draw a big red line through it for the safe path and have a popup warning in case you wanted to stray off it - that's what it's about when they removed jumping.
It's just a part of the overall design they are aiming for and none of the people here are the target crowd.

(PS: Installed Dark Mod yesterday)
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
42. Re: Thief Dropping XP System Oct 18, 2013, 01:48 Jerykk
 
Fletch wrote on Oct 17, 2013, 18:28:
Jerykk wrote on Oct 17, 2013, 12:26:
I'm pretty sure the decision to remove jumping has nothing to do with consoles. Plenty of first-person console games have jumping. Hell, CoD, the epitome of consolitis, has jumping.

Nothing to do with consoles? Really? How many first-person PC games don't allow jumping? I think it was a combination of controller limitations, and the limited imaginations of designers making maps for millions of easily-confused console gamers. Hand-holding seems to be a pretty huge part of their design concept.

Rainbow Six? Ghost Recon? Two of the most hardcore PC games ever (before Vegas and Advanced Warfighter, that is) didn't have a jump button because jumping wasn't useful to the design of the game.

Being a PC game or console game has absolutely nothing to do with the inclusion of jumping. I'm not sure why Square removed jumping from the new Thief but one definite benefit (for them) is that it's much harder for players to break the game. You can no longer reach areas you aren't supposed to go, making life much easier for the level designers and artists. You have no idea how many collision bugs pop up when players can hop all over the place.

Make no mistake, I like jumping and emergent gameplay as much as anyone, but I'm not going to immediately dismiss a game simply because it doesn't have jumping. The Hitman games don't have jumping and they are great stealth games. The latest Splinter Cell game doesn't have jumping and it's very good. A stealth game without manual jumping is still perfectly viable.
 
Avatar 20715
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
41. Re: Thief Dropping XP System Oct 17, 2013, 20:43 Fantaz
 
Rattlehead wrote on Oct 17, 2013, 19:38:
Fantaz wrote on Oct 17, 2013, 16:25:
Quinn wrote on Oct 17, 2013, 15:22:
jdreyer wrote on Oct 17, 2013, 13:17:
For those wanting to get classic Thief joneses, try The Dark Mod, a free, standalone Thief mod of the Doom 3 engine.

That's all nice and cool, for sure, but my interest for that mod got absolutely and brutally obliberated the moment I realized these are fan-made maps. No matter how awesome the gameplay or mood, if I'm not following a story.. ergo there's no "higher purpose/goal", I have no motivation to play. I can't even feel the pathetic pride of being better than other players in some form of PVP.

+1

This is why I can't play MMOs and MOBAs... games need a story and an ending!
*looks at post, then looks at signature* not sure if serious....

okay... so I admit then, i love multiplayer FPS and RTS (with base building) games from time to time. and the sig is obviously a joke, i don't really like to play regular vanilla DM.. only team DM, CTF or better.
 
Avatar 571
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
40. Re: Thief Dropping XP System Oct 17, 2013, 20:15 NewMaxx
 
Jerykk wrote on Oct 17, 2013, 12:26:
Hell, CoD, the epitome of consolitis, has jumping.

You're going to get beat up with that comment, lol. One thing you forget is that CoD and games like that are multiplayer focused, and their foundations exist in games where movement (and usually bunny-hopping) are part of the mechanic. The jumping remaining in the single-player portions is just (ironically) laziness. On the other hand, if your game is focused for consoles and single-player, it takes fewer resources if you just remove the potential for universal jumping.
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
59 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 1.
< Newer [ 1 2 3 ] Older >


footer

Blue's News logo