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Old 17th Nov 2010, 08:33 PM   #1
Shug
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Thievery ProMod

Update 23 Feb - we are now at Version 35

Newest Changes:
- New "wave" spawn system implemented
- AI "guard here" command limited based on human guard count
- Potions cannot stack, excluding health and breath potions. Drinking another potion will cancel the current potion
- Invisibility potion is soundless to drink
- Defensive arrows excluding water (moss, ruse, vine) can be used without cancelling invisibility effect


All changes to date:
- Flash and crack exploits fixed
- Behindview disable toggle
- FrobWake delay for guards, configurable
- New sound system
- Configurable lockpick sound radius
- Sensitivity locked when paralysed
- Scaling bow damage based on pullback duration
- Moss fixed, now properly dampens footsteps and landing sounds
- Silent movement for thieves based on speed threshold
- Chest resupply time increases based on guard player count
- Breath potions provide temporary immunity against crack clouds (not an antidote)
- New Flashbomb system with less punishing falloff vs distance
- Experimental fix to stop playermodels warping up/down on rope arrows and ladders
- Doublejump fix, consecutive jumps don't increase player speed
- Catfall potions are soundless to drink, now last 15 seconds rather than 20
- Some general Blackjack code fixes
- Blackjack KO radius changes based on Thief visibility, making guards in full light less likely to be downed
- Firebolts move faster and explode in a tighter radius
- Flares gutter down when thrown
- Speed potions parabolically reduce in speed towards a 0 count, weapon runspeed modifiers are always in effect
- Reduced scoreboard (no AI shown) test in action
- Mantle landing now silent
- Potion effects no longer stack, barring health and breath potions which may be used concurrently with any other potion
- Using invis is now soundless
- Defensive arrows excluding water (moss, vine, ruse) may be used without breaking invisibility
- Backpedal speed fixed, walking backwards is now silent
- Para is fixed due to the backpedal change, and is now more effective
- Crack cloud reduced to 25 second duration (down from 45)
- Breath potions now cost 30
- Ruse arrow is invisible and inaudible to guards while in flight
- Other defensive arrows don't make a firing noise

Priorities (not a comprehensive list):
- Helmet buffing, possible KO radius reduction system
- Mario fixes
- AI changes (numerous)
- Bow and xbow switching fixes
- Noise arrow reinvented for thieves
- Crack clouds reduced from 45 to 30 seconds
- Suicide penalty for guards
- Screenflash system change
- Capped ambient noise
- More loadout slots
- Changes to the GUI such as invis % checkbox, double keybind system, etc
- Forcing charged swing to complete before allowing another quick slash
- A few others still in discussion

There may be some missing from both lists; we are also still in discussions about various key balancing issues in Thievery. Rest assured the input of a number of veteran players is being carefully considered.


Summary for those with short attention spans
- Thievery needs more players
- The game should be balanced for public servers, 8 to 10 players (4v4, 5v5). The gross bias towards guards when servers are full was one of the prime causes of Thievery's demise
- Thievery ProMod is currently a mutator developed by immortius, designed to fix bugs and address game balance problems for 8 - 10 players
- The end goal is to release a final patch for Thievery, pending approval from Dalai and BCG, with the ProMod changes as standard

----

The Situation: despite Thievery's excellent gameplay, it lost most of its userbase a few years back. Many blamed the dated UT engine, but considering Thief fans still devour Fan Missions for Thief I & II from the same era, this doesn't add up.

When the Mockers picked TUT back up a few weeks ago, we realized two things:
1) Exploits formerly known only by the elite are now common knowledge, including rather nasty anti flash and crack exploits, and sound enhancements
2) On a substantial majority of maps, once the guards have 4 or more players they are far more likely to win the round

Thievery has a very delicate balance, which I've argued in the past was nearly perfect. Unfortunately, that was for 3v3 guild matches, not 5v5 public games. Each player added to the guard team past 3 players has an exponential effect on guarding control of a map.

In the past few weeks I've noted that one of the most powerful guarding strategies is to run around as a big bunch of guards outside. With tweaked sound settings you can hear thieves picking locks, jumping, drinking potions or even just walking from substantial distances away.

A fleeing thief makes even more noise, rendering traditional run-and-hide strategies extremely difficult. In previous versions of the game, this type of play would make thieves the favourite to win when leaving loot unguarded, and was accordingly considered extremely sloppy. In a 5v5 you can have a three-guard team running around on flats rooves (for instance), instantly tracking any moving thief while the remaining 2 guards cover major loot locations. An average player has almost no chance of winning against this.

The Conclusion: to make Thievery fun and appealing to Thief players again, it needs changes to make the predominant public games - i.e. 4v4 and 5v5 random team games - more balanced. Being crushed on the thief team every time is not fun for anybody.

As it stands, in these games thieves need to either rush or DM to stand a chance in most cases. We need to bring back stealthy play as an option without rushing or DM being required tactics.

----

Our Aims:
Reduce the guarding imbalance in large public games by achieving the following:

- Scale back guarding hearing to what it was in earlier versions
- Set caps on trap buying to avoid impossible stacks of traps on single objective items
- Lower firebolt explosion radius slightly, make direct hits more damaging, and make it more difficult to constantly relight thieves that have watered themselves
- Reduce flare radius when thrown (holding a flare retains high radius)
- Increase supply chest timer restriction to avoid constant shadow bolting and flarescanning
- Make it dangerous once more for guards to go running about in deep shadow, and allow thieves to punish them for leaving loot unattended
- Alter speed potions so guards aren't as fast as a thief on speed, and modify speed based on weapon drawn (like normal gameplay)

Give thieves more options for stealthy play, and reduce DM ability slightly to make it require more skill and teamwork:
- Beef up the guard helmet so single charged hits aren't a KO
- Reduce the damage done by short pull broadheads
- Introduce a slow, soundless form of movement and undetectable catfall drinking (akin to water and vine arrows)
- Reduce lockpick sound radius
- Fix moss problems and perhaps introduce a more dynamic form of the arrow
- Potentially make breath potions provide a small window of immunity from crack clouds (which won't work AFTER you're cracked)
- Ultimately scale back the overpowered rush spawns for thieves, for instance the asylum stairs spawn, once guards aren't all powerful gods.

----

Current Iteration: ThProMod Mutator v7.7

What immortius has already achieved:
- Antiflash using sketchmap fixed
- Anticrack by lowering fps or netspeed temporarily or permanently fixed
- Behindview 1 for players disabled (changeable by admin)
- FrobWake Delay for KO'd humans/AI toggleable, adjustable duration in seconds
- Experimental new sound system to lower ability to hear thieves all over the map despite sound tweaks, with adjustable lockpicking sound radius
- Ability to adjust sensitivity when paralysed disabled
- Bow damage based on how far a bow is pulled back implemented

----

ShopConfig Mutator

Currently used to:
- Limit traps to 1 set of caltrops, 1 mine and 1 whistler per guard
- Make flares cheaper in the shop

----

General stuff:

ThProMod is currently being run on Krondor Thievery Server. Once we have finished tweaking it, we'll make it available to other server admins.

You may disagree that these changes are necessary. You may suggest refinements or other ideas, but I'm not promising they'll be included or even discussed in any depth.

I've played this game with and against the best players ever to grace Thievery over a period of 7 years including all major tournaments, and everything I know about this game leads me to believe it needs some drastic changing to make public play fun for new and old players alike.

We're sorry that people will have to remake some guard loadouts due to trap restrictions. This is the price of making the game fun and balanced for large amounts of players.

On rushing: this is currently an essential tactic for thieves against large guard numbers. Once guards have been weakened by proper trap restrictions, less powerful firebolts, and lesser speed, we'll look to reduce the ability to rush by editing map spawns.
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Last edited by Shug; 23rd Feb 2011 at 01:29 AM. Reason: Updated again 23rd Feb
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Old 18th Nov 2010, 02:41 AM   #2
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I *possibly* might re-install to check this out...
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Old 18th Nov 2010, 03:26 AM   #3
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I'm never coming back, but the above looks fantastic, well thought out and could bring a few peeps back
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Old 18th Nov 2010, 05:31 AM   #4
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Like many I absolutely adore Thievery, nothing will ever take its place, and although its player base has been dwindling due to many factors, its had a fair increase over the last year, any adavancement like what is being produced is greatly appreciated, so thanks! looking forward to checking it out this weekend.
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Old 18th Nov 2010, 08:22 AM   #5
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what about AI? Reducing AIs runing speed with mace, it doesn't matter if a bot is running with a sword or mace, they are running at same speed, also reduce bots mace swing speed in like 1,5-2x times, as for me, it looks same fast as they would hit u with a sword.
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Old 18th Nov 2010, 08:50 AM   #6
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At long last Thievery is heading in the right direction. For many years we were fighting for balanced games by removing supply chest, changing prices, correcting an oversights and bugs on many of official maps, making long lists of rules etc. but it was only a poor substitute of balance. I believe that we can get a true balance with Thievery ProMod and with work that was done before by TrapMaster, Keg, Getty, FatRatHead, me and other people who were involved in fixing maps.
I'm so excited about this New Thievery Order!

FINALLY!

 Originally Posted by NeuroFunkeR: ( link to post ) 
what about AI? Reducing AIs runing speed with mace, it doesn't matter if a bot is running with a sword or mace, they are running at same speed, also reduce bots mace swing speed in like 1,5-2x times, as for me, it looks same fast as they would hit u with a sword.
I would remove guards AI. IMO multiplayer game should not have AI because game with AI becomes predictable. Besides guards uses AI to block passages so it's next thing that can demolish balance. Or replace AI with alarms that can notify guards with text message about last thief location (with delay if needed for balance) or on a map if thieves wouldn't be careful/makes too much noise. I think without AI guard's lives would be better limited so they wouldn't suicide for equipment and would be aware of limit of their lives. Now guards are almost immortal and they plays with this awareness.
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Last edited by Bandit; 18th Nov 2010 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 18th Nov 2010, 09:16 AM   #7
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Exclamation

 Originally Posted by Bandit: ( link to post ) 
I would remove guards AI.
i would say UH!???
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Old 18th Nov 2010, 09:47 AM   #8
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I'd remove: AI, Bolts, SupplyChest, FireArrows and Traps. Lowering damage of sword would be good too - That way the game is 100% balanced
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Old 18th Nov 2010, 09:53 AM   #9
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 Originally Posted by Trapmaster: ( link to post ) 
I'd remove: AI, Bolts, SupplyChest, FireArrows and Traps. Lowering damage of sword would be good too - That way the game is 100% balanced
bolts? why not just lowering damage to like 50%?
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Old 18th Nov 2010, 09:55 AM   #10
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Why is an unofficial patch/fixpack called Promod? Sends entirely the wrong signals. Rename it Thievery Revamp or something

This falls under other ideas i guess


Sounds good, godspeed immort
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Old 18th Nov 2010, 11:18 AM   #11
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 Originally Posted by Shug: ( link to post ) 
- Lower firebolt explosion radius slightly, make direct hits more damaging, and make it more difficult to constantly relight thieves that have watered themselves
http://www.thievery-customs.com/down...id=1&fileid=80

 Originally Posted by Shug: ( link to post ) 
- Increase supply chest timer restriction to avoid constant shadow bolting and flarescanning
the links not up yet but you can try my mutator.. http://forums.blackcatgames.com/showthread.php?t=9876
when brody uploads it. the chest is fully configable for both thieves and guards and so is the timer. when i can be arsed i might update it to include all dif potions too but its not rly needed i guess, just set all the other settings to false if you do use it, dont think your going to want the other parts of it.
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Old 18th Nov 2010, 01:37 PM   #12
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I've had MM's firebolt mutator sitting on my computer for a while, it's very good work but the fact that visually you can't see the flames properly is a bit of an issue.

Removing AI isn't a bad thought, but it'd be a shame to take them out after Joel spent so much time coding them! It'd also make 2v2 games extremely hard for guards. Rodent and I have discussed some possibilities such as forcing guards back onto patrol routes, or at least making sure that you can't use them for doorblocking particularly on maps like Grange where it gets totally out of control. There are some promising solutions - and after all, we can always lower them from the usual Clever setting.

Regarding the name of ProMod it's standard usage for editing games for competitive play, and the original edition was mainly fixing gamechanging bugs before it took the direction of balancing the game for large player counts.
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Old 18th Nov 2010, 02:05 PM   #13
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If we won't remove AI then what we can do to make game with AI better?

AI patrol routes should be random and maybe combined then game would be less predictable.

To avoid blocking passages we can use Keg's ThNoAiControl.
 Originally Posted by keg: ( link to post ) 
ThNoAiControl - ThNoAiControl makes all ai not take orders
It's already used on my ghosting server so you can join there and check how it works. Thanks Keg!

But sound of AI steps is loud and annoying for guards so they should be able to stop AI or give order to patrol another place if they want to hear thieves.
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Old 18th Nov 2010, 03:39 PM   #14
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On a side note, id just like to point out that me & Keg have been working on a few different projects for a few months now. from our side, AI has already been taken care of. We also already had the MinFWU time implemented along with anti flash and bow pull charge damage etc. its been running for awhile on kegs server for testing, I was even close for pmming Shug when he asked for someond doing the MinFWU, posting him what to do, but I realized that it was too much text and I did not want to make a standalone mutator just for one feature. We wernt sure how much immort was planning on doing anyway. At the moment it seams pointless to keep working on it as it conflicts with promod and we also dont want to appear as if we are ripping off the idea of making a fixed patch. So i guess it will never seen the light of the day .... We hadnt posted anything because we wanted to have certain features set into it before it was released and we were planning on releasing it as a suprise treat.. guess we wont be anymore.

We were also working on a video to show some of the possible new features we were adding.
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Old 18th Nov 2010, 04:30 PM   #15
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 Originally Posted by Trapmaster: ( link to post ) 
On a side note, id just like to point out that me & Keg have been working on a few different projects for a few months now. from our side, AI has already been taken care of. We also already had the MinFWU time implemented along with anti flash and bow pull charge damage etc. its been running for awhile on kegs server for testing, I was even close for pmming Shug when he asked for someond doing the MinFWU, posting him what to do, but I realized that it was too much text and I did not want to make a standalone mutator just for one feature. We wernt sure how much immort was planning on doing anyway. At the moment it seams pointless to keep working on it as it conflicts with promod and we also dont want to appear as if we are ripping off the idea of making a fixed patch. So i guess it will never seen the light of the day .... We hadnt posted anything because we wanted to have certain features set into it before it was released and we were planning on releasing it as a suprise treat.. guess we wont be anymore.

We were also working on a video to show some of the possible new features we were adding.
u were working, now not anymore, why should we care about that after all?
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Old 18th Nov 2010, 05:34 PM   #16
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 Originally Posted by Bandit: ( link to post ) 
To avoid blocking passages we can use Keg's ThNoAiControl.
That's definitely an option in the interim, although I'd like a balance between not doorblocking and not controlling at all. AI who won't move from paths are dead meat against a lot of thief teams.

Trap: keg mentioned that some stuff had already been coded, but I had no idea when I started this up so apologies for that! We appreciate the work that has been done in our absence such as the AI and chest mutators and the fixed maps which are excellent quality.

I also felt that if immortius was contributing we were more likely to get this worked into an official patch in the future.

We may be looking to also expand some maps like Bourgeois to accommodate 5v5 games, if you're interested in discussing possibilities for that.
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Old 19th Nov 2010, 03:01 AM   #17
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I fairly enjoyed some games last night. I need to get all my load outs worked out and some key binds though. I also need to get my head around not being one of the better players in the game. My place is definitely going to be elsewhere than what it used to be... like generic annoyance/pest

I'll jump on from time to time. Good games to all that were there!
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Old 19th Nov 2010, 05:36 AM   #18
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what about to make traps also can be activated by guards, and deal some damage? So guards should watch under their feet too.
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Old 19th Nov 2010, 06:27 AM   #19
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Shug, people will just fixate bots into doorways using winebottles. This cannot stop the ingenious exploiters.
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Old 19th Nov 2010, 06:56 AM   #20
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 Originally Posted by FatRatHead: ( link to post ) 
Shug, people will just fixate bots into doorways using winebottles. This cannot stop the ingenious exploiters.
Turn to the dark side, use the anti stack.
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Old 19th Nov 2010, 09:30 PM   #21
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 Originally Posted by FatRatHead: ( link to post ) 
Shug, people will just fixate bots into doorways using winebottles. This cannot stop the ingenious exploiters.
Even if that happens, it'd still take more time and effort to set that up than it does now, and AI would actively try to get out of doorblock situations. Of course we can't plan for everything that humans can do, but we'll do our best.
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Old 20th Nov 2010, 06:22 AM   #22
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Well thats the question: If it's done day to day then it is a problem. If it rarely happens, I wouldn't care too much for it. Also it's the variance in gamestyle that makes up the game.

 Quote:
Turn to the dark side, use the anti stack.
You're taking away the essence of Thievery! What's next? Rats? Players?

Last edited by Trapmaster; 20th Nov 2010 at 10:26 AM. Reason: Typos
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Old 20th Nov 2010, 11:19 PM   #23
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I agree with you Trapmaster. Taking away options shouldn't be the answer.
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Old 21st Nov 2010, 03:04 AM   #24
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It hits on playing form. Bad form or good form. In any game they're are ways to be underhand.

Depending on the players in the game depends on the tactics deployed.
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Old 21st Nov 2010, 11:39 AM   #25
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Caltrops are already countered by moss arrows so why do they need to be limited? Are thieves not buying them?

For mines you could have them be destroyed by hitting them with a decoy.
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Old 21st Nov 2010, 12:03 PM   #26
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Mines can be lockpicked too. And with the sound rebalance, it will be less difficult, as it's harder to hear.
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Old 21st Nov 2010, 01:48 PM   #27
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Salvage in 4v4+ situations we're finding trap stacks are killers on a number of maps. Also problematic is that guards will often either suicide or force KOs and pick up more traps later in the round after the thieves have already spent their equipment. It's an issue that we're experimenting with, although decoys taking out mines may be overpowered considering you'll often have chain explosion effects (and a mine is 50 loot, while a decoy only 30, although we could obviously change that).

Also, while picking doors is a lot quieter now mines still produce quite a lot of sound. The main issue is on most maps, having 5 players allows you to cover all key locations without needing to rotate players around, therefore making stealthy thief play very difficult - particularly against competent guarding, which is now more widespread than in earlier days. We're looking to allow players the option to win without deathmatching.

We're actually running into full servers quite a lot these days, so you could personally see how the game plays with the experimental changes to date.
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Old 29th Nov 2010, 12:11 AM   #28
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We're now up to version 12, so significant progress has been made towards our end goal!

Current feature listing:
- Flash and crack avoiding methods fixed
- No behindview for players
- No changing sensitivity when paralysed
- Moss dampens footsteps and landing sound properly
- Customizable delay before Frob Wake allowed
- New sound system to fix guards hearing across the map
- Customizable lockpick sound radius
- Bow damage modified based on pullback time
- Silent movement based on speed threshold implemented
- Chest resupply time increases based on guard player count
- Breath potions provide temporary immunity against crack clouds (not an antidote)

Still in the works:
- AI tweaking to prevent doorblocking and problems like cracked AI hitting you if you bump them, among other things
- Making the helmet more useful for guards
- Silent catfall drinking, possibly with a visual effect
- Firebolt adjustments to make it less godly but more damaging on direct hits
- Revival of a useful noise arrow for thieves
- Making flares less powerful
- Para backpedal fix

Miscellaneous wishlist:
- Forcing screenflashes on, making the effects less intrusive
- Integrating options like show invis % to HUD
- Forcing ambient sound on
- More loadout slots



This isn't a complete listing, as we're still in discussions about balance issues and we expect that the testing of ProMod may require further adjustments.

Asaltec: I think the key issue with AI doorblocking is that in conjunction with competent human guarding (and 4+ players to the team) it's an easy, very strong counter to the equipment of thieves - nullifying invis, crack, speed and to a large degree flash as well.

Knowledgeable and patient players could navigate AI setups on their own, but the addition of human guards makes it impossible for the average (or even above average) player to prevail in a range of situations which makes the game quite simply not fun.

Interesting thoughts regarding traps, however I'd caution against nerfing mines in that fashion because they're an important physical barrier to prevent rushing objectives / exiting thieves. At this point in the game's development we don't want to change the fundamentals of Thievery, because it would require a lot of extra time and effort and probably have a ripple effect into other items and tools.
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Old 29th Nov 2010, 01:35 AM   #29
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Awesome work Immort. Thanks for putting the time in.
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Old 29th Nov 2010, 06:51 AM   #30
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Love the breath pot against crack clouds, that is genius. Is there a timer that appears for that?

Also, noise against speed thing does this work for guards too?
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bring back the taff, persecution, play soft go noob, scrubmodz, shugsgonesoft, strap on yer balls, thnoobmod


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