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Serious Business - Is Dishonored better than Thief?

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by Curratum, Jul 18, 2019.

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Which is the better game / series?

  1. Thief 1/2

    79.9%
  2. Dishonored 1/2

    7.1%
  3. I like both about equally

    13.0%
  1. Great Deceiver Arcane

    Great Deceiver
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    Maybe Garrett sucking at direct combat (even if he is able to engage in direct combat with a sword as a last resort) is... a design choice?
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. DalekFlay Arcane Patron

    DalekFlay
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    I said they were different from the start. We can have a bitch session about semantics and what implies "significant difference" and who meant what, but it's kind of pointless. The point is that combat is an option when stealth fails in both games, and it was in response to someone saying combat isn't an option in stealth games.

    Sure it was, at least to some extent. Arrows work pretty well though. Either way... have you played Deus Ex? It isn't exactly known for great direct combat either, especially in the beginning when your aim is fucking all over the place thanks to stat-based accuracy. The whole point is: both franchises (yes up to the modern ones) focus on stealth and offer disincentives to combat, but also maintain combat as an option when stealth fails. Again this was in response to someone saying true stealth games don't allow combat.
     
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  3. DJOGamer PT Arcane

    DJOGamer PT
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    Have you played Deus Ex?
    Combat is a totally viable route to take if you make a combat oriented character. Because DX is an RPG, not a stealth game.
     
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  4. Lemming42 Arcane

    Lemming42
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    I think Deus Ex is a stealth game before it's an RPG because your stealth abilities aren't governed by RPG attributes. You could say lockpicking, electronics and hacking I guess, but they prove equally useful for a combat character.

    Stealth is always available to any character no matter what your build is, and is usually the encouraged option.
     
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  5. DalekFlay Arcane Patron

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    It's also viable to play Thief as a Robin Hood sim and shoot all the guards in the head with arrows. Would you say that makes it not a stealth game?
     
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  6. Child of Malkav Arbiter

    Child of Malkav
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    Stealth games in general and Thief in particular are still in their infancy even today because kinda nobody or very few are making them.
    With Thief 1, they didn't really know until late in development that it's going to be a stealth game. Thief 2 perfected the concept..... somewhat. Sure they still kept the sword but combat in these games is so hard/bad (IDK which one causes the other) that it might as well not be there. The intent of the game however is clear: ghost or panther your way through. Taking out enemies quietly, out of sight is still stealthy. And the designers should account for these playstyles, including one where you can talk your way through by using disguises. Also, multiple options of completing objectives could be provided through a variety of items, abilities, environment interactions, hidden paths discovered by exploring. If the game has immersive sim elements, the player could use various underlying systems to circumvent defenses or provide unique solutions that are usually found in games like DX 1, Dark Messiah, Prey 2017, D1/2/Doto etc. Picking up an enemy's gun and firing off a shot in order to distract and attract enemies to a specific place is a valid tactic, a risky, unusual one, but valid nonetheless. Or throwing a grenade somewhere, making sure the entire level hears it.
    As for Hitman I don't remember well in H2/3 if it was difficult to survive a gun fight, but in H 2016/2018 versions, it actually is. You go down easily. Also, in H4 (Blood Money), I tried to survive gun fights in multiple levels just for fun but I failed. You die quite easily if playing on the hardest difficulty. I also challenge you to enter combat and kill everyone in the mission "Till death do us part". To this day I still couldn't do it. Every single NPC on that map is armed. Guards, hillbillies and their mothers have shotguns and handguns up their.....Anyway, I diverge too much.
    Yes, if going by this "definition", more like a criteria really, there are very few stealth games in existence, although that wouldn't exclude Thief, because the combat is..... really bad and once you see it in action once, you don't really want to engage with it again. It acts more like a deterrent.
    Also an example would be SCCT. On Expert mode you go down in 3 shots. Enemies have almost 100% accuracy, fast reactions and the pretty much only way to survive a gun fight is to cheese your way near corners with the shotgun attachment, but even so the AI is smart and from what I've seen, they flank you, they throw grenades to flush you out, they take cover and you only have a limited amount of ammunition and other lethal equipment. So, again it acts like a deterrent. That or I royally suck at shooters.
     
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  7. JDR13 Magister

    JDR13
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    You're really going to start with this nonsense again?

    Viable? It might be possible, but it would be hard as fuck because the game was not designed for you to be able to kill your way through it. Stop pretending that it's remotely similar to something like Deus Ex in the way he meant.
     
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  8. Great Deceiver Arcane

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    I disagree that Dishonored offers disincentives to combat - in fact, I'd argue the opposite since many upgrades are specifically combat-oriented and playing the game like it's a standard FPS is perfectly viable - in fact, it's arguably easier and flows better that way.

    Now, the designers might have intended for the player to use stealth extensively, but they have failed to provide the proper incentives, whether through proper level design, enemy difficulty, Corvo's exceptional combat prowess, or primitive and rudimentary stealth mechanics. In other words, it pays lip service to Thief, but it doesn't really go beyond that at all. The only disincentive to killing everyone is the contrived and rote good ending/bad ending schtick, which is a laughable, superficial device that limits player agency.

    My position is that if you approach Dishonored the same way you approach Thief you're simply larping and playing an inferior version of a pretty good game - Dishonored, that is. My first playthrough of D1 was purely stealth oriented, the 2nd way I ran through the game I had much more fun using the entire toolkit available to the character.

    In any case, saying "true" stealth games don't allow for combat is disingenuous at best and of course I don't agree with that. However, in well-designed stealth-oriented games (I'd consider Thief 1/2, SCCT, Styx 2 as good examples) , combat is a last resort and your character's combat ability/lethality is significantly limited in some way. This simply isn't the case in Dishonored, where Corvo is pretty much a superhero with abilities that vastly outstrip any enemy or group of enemies in the game.
     
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  9. Lemming42 Arcane

    Lemming42
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    Dishonored does provide another gameplay-focused incentive by allegedly making the city more generally shitty if you play in a "high chaos" style - more weepers, more guards, etc. I'm not sure to what extent that actually happens.

    I don't think the good ending/bad ending thing is as superficial for all players as you're making out - it is pretty silly that killing x amount of people causes the game to suddenly put you in the "bad end" category, yeah, but the game's plot is infinitely more interesting IMO if Corvo refuses to kill the conspirators and rises above the violence/horror of Dunwall to improve the city. You can call it LARPing and storyfagging or whatever and you'd be right, but story is a big part of why a lot of people play games.

    I'd argue that Thief does a similar thing to dissuade you from killing guards by giving them personalities and encouraging you to listen to their conversations with each other - it's just background noise if someone's playing purely for the gameplay of course, but anyone who's interested in the story, the setting, and Garrett as a character gets an additional motivation to avoid harming the guards wherever possible. The Metro games do a similar thing on all their levels where ghost-stealthing is possible by showing through enemy conversations that most of them are terrified and don't even want to be there in order to try and encourage you to play stealthily and non-violently, and that worked on me too.

    Dishonored also has the weird heart thing which is meant to enhance this by telling you people's secrets - if you care about the story, it becomes even more difficult to justify killing a random guard when the heart tells you that his whole family has died of the plague and he's the only one left. Of course, the heart is completely fucking busted and makes no sense, especially in Dishonored 2 where it says literally everyone you meet is a child murderer, but you can kind of see what the devs were trying to do with it.

    To be clear though, I agree that Dishonored needed more gameplay incentives to use stealth, because almost all the existing ones really are LARPy and require that the player cares about the characters and story - but that worked on me and compelled me to LARP my way through the game.
     
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  10. Great Deceiver Arcane

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    While I appreciate your point of view, I don't really agree that Thief's incentives for not disabling guards are similar - at least not for me. While the colour commentary and conversations are interesting in themselves, the main point to disabling a guard in Thief is making the game mechanically more manageable. Since combat is so clunky and Garrett is not as adept at fighting as he is at thieving, it is intuitive (as well as optimal - and not in a game-y, contrived way) to proceed in stealth. You can also choose to ghost and not disable any guards, which is in itself more efficient than fighting, and would render this entire argument moot.

    To be clear, I enjoy Dishonored's worldbuilding a great deal. I appreciate all the effort that went into it, it's just a shame that the actual mechanics of the game don't really justify a stealthy approach. In fact, if you think about it, Corvo is an assassin - playing him like an assassin with occasional stealth when it's convenient (and it is convenient sometimes) feels more natural to me than trying to stealth through the entire game, because the levels are pretty dumb, stealth is simplistic and binary and enemies are not reactive.

    But, of course, people choose to play the game in whatever way they feel is more fun. Whenever I was trying to stealth around in Dishonored it just felt like I was playing a 2nd rate, simplistic knockoff of a better game. When I was killing people and using my entire set of skills, it felt like its own game.
     
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  11. Squid Learned

    Squid
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    I accidentally voted Dishonored. I have brought dishonor upon myself as I cannot retract this vote now. :negative:

    Thief is better as a stealth game easily.
     
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  12. Shadenuat Arcane

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    https://deusex.fandom.com/wiki/Run_Silent
     
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  13. Valky Arcane Manlet

    Valky
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    Dishonored is run of the mill popamole.
     
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  14. ZagorTeNej Arcane

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    Dishonored is remniscent of Thief in terms of atmosphere and visual design but in terms of gameplay mechanics it's much more Deus Ex than Thief for me.

    It's a type of game where you use your supernatural abilites to traverese well designed levels and toy with regular mooks. It's not really a hardcore stealth game so the comparison with Thief is faulty.

    I do think that the bullshit morality system (you get all these cool powers and abilities but the game hits you with a stick if you use them) and lackluster story/writing are holding it back but it's still one of the best modern gaming series. They very much stand out at a time when complex and vertical level design is essentially a lost art.
     
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  15. ZagorTeNej Arcane

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    Skills are not the only thing that governs character development in Deus Ex. There's also agumentations, some of which are specifically designed for stealth play (cloak, radar transparency, run silent, arguably combat strength as well).

    It's encouraged at the very beginning, sure. After Liberty Island though? Hardly, don't see it as all. If anything, on many later levels it's harder to go the stealth route rather than simply gunning everything down.

    Talking about original Deus Ex here of course. Despite officialy belonging to the same series, HR is a fundamentally different game. It offers very little choice in term of character advancement, levels are linear and designed for sneaking through. Heck you'll barely use augs in any given playthrough at all except cloaking. It's essentially a consolized stealth game.
     
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  16. DalekFlay Arcane Patron

    DalekFlay
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    Again, this is all addressing someone who said it's not a stealth game if you can combat your way out of being caught. You can in Thief, and the game in fact encourages you to do so in FMVs and training. You're obsessed with proving Deus Ex and Thief are not the same game, but I never said they were. I am simply arguing combat is a viable way to get around stealth in both, and thus by his definition neither is a stealth game (which I think is ridiculous).

    Anyway whatever, I don't think anyone agrees with him so it doesn't really matter.
     
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  17. Terenty Arbiter

    Terenty
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    For all their elaborate stealth mechanics Thief/Thief 2 still devolve into boring slogs the further you go (although Thief 1 remains interesting for longer than the sequel).

    Dishonored series is shit too
     
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  18. Beastro Arcane

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    There's more to games than just the way they "should" be played.

    I think this is one of the things this board fdoesn't realize as a whole due to the average age of the members that forget how much dicking around kids love to do in games. In Thief it was fun to sneak around and shit, but the ability to go wild killing shit was a fun added way to have fun replying, and in the case od the demo, was a big reason why I played it to death trying to see if I could beat the first level aggroing all the guards.

    Seeing your post, I actually now regret buying Styx for not having the ability to dick around like that as it's been sitting on my to-do list for awhile. :(

    It adds a certain element to the gameplay and expands it even if he is crap at combat and even if you don't use it. At the very least you know you can even if you don't and that oddly adds a layer to the sneaking.

    Take a look at horror games and you can see a similar thing in the older Resident Evils and Silent Hills where trying to line up the tank controls and fight right can lure the player into traps of their own making that can produce desperation and panic that otherwise wouldn't happen.

    It brings to mind what the US experienced in WWII arming recon aircraft only to find their losses went up doing so, not down. It boiled down to the pilots realizing they could defend themselves so they tried to even when it was a bad idea and contrary to their mission. Removing weapons on a recon aircraft not only lightened the plane for more speed and range, but it also removed a mental factor from the pilot reminding them that they can fight back. Unable to fight back they can focus on only one thing: Running away which is an added bonus to recon aircraft who are there to get in and then get out with their pictures.

    I remember experiencing the very same lack of options playing Amnesia the first time and quickly realizing I couldn't fight back. Once that sunk in all I did was run and hide, and oddly, the game wasn't as scary because I had less on my mental checklist to panic over when trapped in a corner afraid if something could find me.
     
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  19. DalekFlay Arcane Patron

    DalekFlay
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    The combat in Thief is designed so you can't run around playing it like an FPS, but it is also absolutely designed you can use it to dispatch guards at a slower pace, or get out of trouble when caught.
     
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  20. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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    Yeah frontal combat approach in Thief is hard and you can't just circlestrafe like in Quake
     
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  21. taviow Magister

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    For people who say Thief guards should notice torches being put out, what should happen when they do and what would be the consequences for the game? Should they go on alert mode, warn other guards? Wouldn't that make true ghosting impossible?
     
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  22. Child of Malkav Arbiter

    Child of Malkav
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    True ghosting means you don't touch anything. They wouldn't notice torches being put out because all of them would be untouched. Also, they wouldn't go on alert at first. They would consider it a joke, a prank from other guards, change their patrol routes. Eventually, if you actually manage to put out all the torches and scare them, they would go on alert. Or if you shoot a water arrow at fire source and near it is a guard and he hears it, he would freak out and determine whether it's a prank or an assault. IDK, something like that, a gradient increase in tension, not something binary like from being calm to full alert, reinforcements and all that. Kinda like SCCT did it, but more nuanced.
    We wouldn't know if it would work or not or how it would work because nobody makes stealth games anymore and when they do they don't innovate, they play it safe.....and they still go broke.
     
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  23. DalekFlay Arcane Patron

    DalekFlay
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    Ghosting definition aside, I'd have them move to the torch and light it back up, which would take some researched amount of time that allows the player to move by unnoticed in most situations.
     
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  24. RNGsus True Neutral Patron

    RNGsus
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    Don't forget gas lamps, which guards can kindle if they've been doused.


    You drown in both? Thief 3 is probably the weaker game, despite having Doom 3 lighting quality, because Garrett's less versatile in TDS. However, I haven't played Dishonorabu yet, so do not memorialize my words for all time.
     
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  25. sullynathan Arcane

    sullynathan
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    They should respond as they would to any other irregular thing they find or hear. First they get cautious because the light around them is turned off or the light in a room is turned off (or on)when it isn't supposed to be. Then they search the area and turn the torch on (or off) then they leave. If it happens again they stay in a heightened alert state.

    Guards should be aware of the state of their environment prior to player manipulation. How much they're aware should vary by game difficulty or design.

    Splinter cell chaos theory did this. In one of the later missions, I was tasked to infiltrate an agency. I'm inside a room and turn the lights off because I don't want the guards to know I'm in there. A guard walks past the room and notices that the light is off, even though it's supposed to be on (or vice versa). He walks in, checks the room for what changed and switches the lights before leaving.

    They also check for windows that are opened when they should be closed, doors that had their locks broken or computers that were tampered or hacked when they should be off.
     
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